Rather than a heavy heart, I would like to say that I am typing this right now with a free, but still uncertain heart. But the amount of uncertainty isn’t enough to kill my resolve – a resolve that has been formed ever since I first connected to your heart in my own, mysterious way. My heart is free, my soul is light – but it doesn’t mean there isn’t pain. There will always be pain – especially in this kind of relationship.
I was caught off-guard; just like everyone else. While some, those who do not follow you first above anyone else in EXO, were caught off-guard by the fact that you would one day desire to free yourself; us, those who paid attention more to you than anybody else, those who knew how the company worked too well, and those, who shared your interest – were caught off-guard by how soon your wings opened. Just a month after the return, in the middle of success, a few weeks before the climax: the long-awaited event – EXO’s Kris, your alter-ego, decided he no longer wanted to be under the spotlight given by SM Entertainment.
It was one fine morning yesterday, I had just gone back from a step to fix my life and lead it better – and I was hoping for another fresh start. I was close to finally determining what I wanted to do in life and I had everything I need – including you and your brothers. You were my vitamins – those little supplements that give an added boost to my life. Just like what you had said before, I spend most of my time on my priorities, and spend every little time left with you. Life was perfect.
But somehow, I knew, deep inside my heart, that something was going to come down. Days before this happened, you posted a photo of you on your Instagram account – a new place you found where you were allowed to freely express who you were. Somehow, while everyone was all smiles and all cheeks red with the photo, there was a sick feeling in my stomach I could not explain. Then it hit me, but I didn’t believe it at first. Perhaps I was thinking too much; I always did. So I cast the thought away. Until the following day – when you didn’t appear with everyone else as they were going ‘home.’
You always prepared medicine even before the illness came. You always had something ready it case something was going to happen. You always gave something, even before you take something. You always left messages clearly addressed to all of us who you’re going to have to hurt later on. What you don’t, or probably realize but still can’t do anything about – is the fact that getting the cure ready even before the wound appears, isn’t going to lessen the pain after all.
March 2013. Just a few suns before you took off and spread your wings by yourself for the first time, didn’t you tell us you were just resting and treating yourself well? It was because we were looking for you for days already. After assuring us, you disappear, You disappear for so long. What that message actually talked about, was not an assurance for that sole moment you posted it – but for the following days, weeks you were to go out of sight. Pain struck hard. Rumors started floating around – smoke that came from flames. No matter how much I tried to shun and shut everything down, I knew deep inside – something was wrong. That moment you came back, I found myself breathing again. But it never became steady again – even until now. Something brewed that time, it was only waiting to be served. And it did, yesterday.
Even though I told myself so many times after that to be ready when it happens, I realized it hard, that nothing could truly prepare a heart for something that it was supposed to handle well in the first place. The knowledge that you have been suffering whether physically, mentally, emotionally inside that machine of a company – I knew it for so long. People I cherished before you suffered the same – and they all wanted to break free as well. Your circumstances are different, but the results were the same. For so long I had turned a blind eye over everything, praying that things will change the following day – focusing on just your smiles and not the voices on the back of my head that tell me you were in pain. Those were selfish efforts, I am guilty. But at night before I sleep, my conscience tells me I was doing it wrong.
Hearing everything all at the same time shattered my heart today. The extent of all the black holes that slowly sucked the life out of your galaxies. It tore me apart. With shaking hands I had to type every word the company paid me for, but all words ended up typing four letters; the four letters that formed the name the company gave you. Everyone was fighting for you by exposing all the unfortunate events you had to suffer, everyone was supporting you by spreading all these exposes. Scratch that. It wasn’t everyone. And that’s another story. I wouldn’t have to reiterate all these ‘stories’ because first, no one really knows the truth aside from you. And secondly, because probably, everyone already has a grasp of what they think is the ‘truth.’
So here’s my truth – the truth after the ‘truth’ of the situation came out.
Am I ok? The truth is – I am. At least I am trying to be. I’ve experienced so much pain in the same situation before, that I refuse to be the one that cries. I’ve learned that this battle isn’t for the weak of heart – and certainly not for the ones who easily get swayed. I won’t deny I cried last night – but to me that was but an aftershock. The real earthquake happened a year ago – that March 2013 event. Last night was the after-effect. It was a terrible one, to be quite honest. But after all the devastation – came the resolve. The resolve to rebuild everything that was destroyed. And I promised myself, that in this battle, I need to be strong. And I promised myself, I wouldn’t be the one that shatters to pieces – it would be them. Them who shattered you. Who shattered EXO. Who shattered us.
Do I accept your decision? I don’t know. It’s up to you. You accept it yourself completely first, and I will follow suit. You are the only one who knows what you suffered, and you are the only one who could tell if you’ve really had enough. I can only second the motion. I don’t own you, they don’t. You own you.
What am I going to do now? Join the battle silently. No one else can come in the front line but you, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be on the battlefield. I can’t spar directly, I can’t seek revenge for you, and I can’t condemn everyone who condemns you – but I will be here to watch you win or lose. I may not be able to become the ally that will draw blood for you, but I will be the ally you can turn to when you need to heal your battle wounds; the ally that sends back to battle not because I wish for you harm – but because I believe you have to fight for yourself. And I will be the ally you can come home to – even if you emerge victorious, or if you would need to rethink your decisions. The moment I decided to follow you, I decided to follow all the way. I failed to keep this promise once to someone else, but I’m keeping it now. Because you, Wu Yi Fan, are different. And I’m also different now.
What do I think of EXO now? They’re EXO. They will always be EXO. They will always be my EXO. I love each and everyone of them, just as how you do, and how you love each and everyone of us. I want them to continue being strong, just as how you hardened your heart to make this sacrifice. I want them to become better, to show the world they’re alive. It will never be the same, it’s a fact no one can deny, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try to mend the pieces back together. Climb the top. Seek the heights you decided to not seek together with them, and carry on. We all have to carry on. They can cry, everyone is crying. They can curse, everyone is right now. But we all have to stand up somehow.
As for me, it would take time for me to get used to the absence beside Chanyeol or Lay. I know they will, too.
What do I think of people who call you a traitor? Nothing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, everyone is free to think whatever they want to think – just as how I am free to think you know what you’re doing. No one is heartless enough to make decisions without thinking, and if you must be this angry and unhappy that you’re pushing through still knowing all the damage, then it is reason enough. Even villains think before they make decisions. Even villains have people they want to protect. Even evil is once good – just fallen out. And if for them you are evil, then for me, you are evil who once was good, but was deprived of goodness that a black hole called ‘redemption’ has voiced out to you. I cannot deny them of voicing out the pain your decisions put them through, especially EXO. If you had the right to make this step, they also have the right to feel something out of it. So I am not forcing anyone to side you. We all have our own choices.
How am I going to survive? Simple. I’m not listening to what anyone else says as the ‘truth.’ The only ‘truth’ I will believe is what my eyes saw before, and what will come out in the end. Everyone will say ‘this is what really happened,’ ‘this is how they feel,’ ‘this is how SM is doing this,’ ‘Kris is actually this.’ But the only real thing is what the eyes cannot see, what the ears cannot hear.
What do I want for you? Happiness and fulfillment. If you are leaving, then that must mean you are seeing light somewhere else. The other members of EXO aren’t leaving, because they see their own light there. It’s not a sin to follow another light, another path. Each of us have our own purposes in life, and we have to accept that these purposes may not be parallel with everyone else – even those we think we’d spend our lives together with. But that doesn’t mean that there will be no ways back. It’s just that you have to find your destination first before you can trace your way back – otherwise you will be caught in the middle and indecisive.
Is this the end? No. There is no end. Nothing is ending, unless it’s life itself. Even then, there is eternity after. Nothing will end by itself, unless we choose to. It’s always writers who decide where to put the dot.
My last words? Thank you for the 2 years, Kris. And thank you for the coming years, Wu Yi Fan. I always preferred Yifan over Kris, anyway – just as how some would prefer Yixing over Lay, Zi Tao over Tao, Lu Han over Luhan, Junmyeon over Suho, Oh Sehun over Sehun, Byun Baekhyun over Baekhyun, Park Chanyeol over Chanyeol, Kyungsoo over D.O., Jongin over Kai, Minseok over Xiumin, Jongdae over Chen.