Let me tell you a little story.
A couple of years ago, I had a best friend—he was so, so nice to me, and we shared practically everything. He might not have been THE best friend, but at the time, that’s what he felt like.
I had heard things about him, that he could be controlling, manipulative, and unpredictable, but I didn’t take those rumors as seriously as I should have, I guess. I thought they were just what they were—rumors, and nothing else.
I don’t know if I had been just too blind and stupid and immature to see it, or if it was truly the accident that changed things.
He was a wrestler. During a tournament, he was KO’d and got a concussion. After that, he was different, or simply lost the nice, gallant, chivalrous face he’d been using with me—with our circle of friends, really. After that, he turned around and told me that he was only friends with me to get closer to my other best friend, whom he was, for lack of better term and phrase, madly in love with.
That didn’t sit well with me, because I, on the other hand, really liked him. My best friend practically hunted him down and slaughtered him (joking). But that is what he said, “I don’t need you.”
He was a dramatic guy, yes.
I became a bitter, caustic, angry person after that. I trusted no one but my closest friends. I’d go home and keep to myself, and in my family I’m reputed to be the one to never shut up at the table about something or other, always going off about something in school, or about latest book for this or that. I was—still am—very close to my parents, and when I stopped talking, they knew something was wrong, but I wouldn’t say what it was. I just didn’t want to, I was loath to explain the whole ordeal.
That was when SHINee—and Jonghyun—came into my life, or rather, barged their way into my life. At first, I couldn’t stand the sight of his face, and I hated his hair, and his what-seemed cocky attitude (RDD era wasn’t exactly the most humble era) but I loved his voice, so much. It intrigued me.
And then, I could smile again.
As I got to know them, through reality shows and live performances, I got to know what he was like—dorky, childish, all-smiles, but at the same time, melancholic, thoughtful, sad in his own way. But getting to know him took my mind off that drafty feeling that I had after the fallout with my friend, and though I grew to love all of SHINee, none of them could quite replicate the way his voice brightened my day.
And I could go to school without wanting to turn around and go right back home. I could see my ex-best-friend’s face without feeling the urge to punch it. I could hear my ex-best-friend talk without wanting to rip my hair out, because I’d just let Señorita or Jojo to flood my consciousness and I could forget.
It all sounds too dramatic, and stupidly romanticized, this story, but it’s true—all of it. Because today, I can smile. I can smile at everyone, and though I never quite forgave my ex-best-friend, when I see him around my hometown, I can at least say hello, civilly. I’m happy. I don’t feel like I’m missing out, on anything.
And that’s all I really wish for Jonghyun, to be honest. To be happy, and I don’t give a single fuck what it is that does make him happy, but I hope he finds it, sometime during his life. Be it girlfriend, wife, dog, lizard, pet rock—whatever. He’s touched the lives of so many, and he’s helped some people get through the rougher patches in life—he deserves to be happy.
This is why I’m a Blinger, and this is why that will probably never change. I’ll grow out of it, I know I will—be it in five years, or ten. But that’s okay, because if he finds happiness, that’s all I really care about.
I guess I’ll end this with thanks, Jonghyun, for helping me smile again. You should smile too, because you taught me that a smile on anyone will always look infinitely more beautiful than anything else.