You used to be a golden child; hands embellished with diamond-crusted weapons, brandishing both your money and aptitudes to obtain attention from those around you. Your father called you a king, for a prince would only inherit the kingdom later—but you, you are the son of the Great King himself, sculpted by god with iron and steel, leading a world within the creases of his palms. You were destined for greatness since you were little, a king of your own empire, and one day, you would grow up to be a man chiseled into minute details with perfection and power, just like your father.
(But what is his god to you, when your mother was a monster?)
You never knew the taste of gentleness caressing the expanse of your young skin, pale under the moonlight. You fed yourself with folklores that you found in your mother’s shelves, hiding between her lavish dresses to read late at night, but it wasn’t like your father would notice for he was too busy being loss in the lull of work. Work made him forget about the bereavement. Work made him forget about you.
(But it’s okay, you’re not his son—you’re the son of the night, inundated by the moonlight, swimming swimming swimming into the periphery of broken memories and a hazed mind.)
Somewhere along the way, you failed your father, and shed your layers of skin until there was nothing left but your bones, weary and tired and weary. Your blood dripped onto the floor as you cradled your mother’s portrait like a compass, wondering if there was a path worth taking if you were already lost, if any path would matter to you at all.
Mornings in Seoul started tasting like exhaust and tobacco, hinted with a series of residue that came from your younger days. You were stained with decadence, but not without anchoring yourself to the core values that you learned to preserve despite the debauchery that lined your clothes with your friends’ fingerprints. Nights in Seoul smelled like fumes and asphalt, and you were too young but you understood the thrill that came with the rushing adrenaline as your friend gripped on the steering wheels until his knuckles turned white, drifting and drifting and drifting until nausea came creeping into your stomach. You smirked as your vomit caked your mouth with the foul taste, and you smirked when your father eventually stripped you off your kingdom.
(But there was nothing left of your kingdom anyway; just the ruins of what could’ve been—your father could’ve saved you but it was a little too late.)
Mornings in Jeju were always scented with the absence of familiarities, but doused with the sign of a brand new reign, and you loved the second chance. You crafted a throne of your own when those people fell into the trap of your innocence, but it wasn’t always a façade. You knew how to wear your skin well, sometimes, but vulnerability became a consequence that you’d rather evade that you sometimes wore your jacket like a protection, hiding. Nights in Jeju were accented with habits learned from rows of text, and you thought you were ready. You thought you were ready until you realized that you were not.
You thought moon would become your friend but you were gravely wrong. The moon betrayed you and you smeared your nails with oxblood. In return, you had silver smelted against your skin and your scream pierced the night, but it wasn’t anything compared to your shattered pride.
Mornings in Jeju are laden with the knowledge that you’re wearing opulence like no other. Nights in Jeju sound like a death march.
(But you’re a king; you’ll fight your battles.)
If there is one adjective to define you, it would be honest. Your honesty transfers into that of your actions; you wear your heart on your sleeves, proffering your heart like pomegranate within the cusp of your open palms, but you’ve learned to sometimes close your hands and keep your heart to yourself, although it doesn’t always work. You trade your innocence with decadence, for curiosity often punctures your insides and mischief gnaws at your ashes, but if there’s anything that such a thing never changes about you, it would be kindness, sincerity, and loyalty. You were born with core values, you are holding onto them. Not all monsters have the heart of a monster, anyway.