Warning & Disclaimer: Contains mentions of child neglect. This fanfiction draws from real characters and events however its connections are purely the work of the author’s imagination.
If you have not read Chapter 1, you can read it here.
My Playdate with V
by J.H. Pyo
CHAPTER 2: 7 BECOMES 8
Early next morning we were scheduled to meet Mr. Warren G, so I woke the boys up at half past six to get ready and have breakfast. During breakfast, V, Suga, and Kookie talked about the little girl they had met at the laundromat.
“이제부터 그 애를 ‘태이태이’라고 부를 거야. ‘Mini-me’인 것처럼 내 이름이랑 비슷하기도 하고. (I’m going to call her Tay Tay, cause it sounds like my name, like a mini-me!)” V gave his classic eye smile and continued eating his breakfast.
He and Kookie finished early to skateboard a little before leaving. I followed them out since I had already eaten and wanted to make sure our ride was here.
As soon as we stepped into the hallway, we could see Talayiah sitting in front of her door with her arms wrapped around her knees and her little head resting above them fast asleep. V immediately ran toward her and gently patted her on her shoulder, “Tay Tay, 괜찮아? (Tay Tay, are you ok?)”
Talayiah began to wake up. “어, 괜찮아. (Uh, I’m okay.)”
V was in a panic and asked, “무슨 일이야? 왜 여기서 자고 있어? (What happened? Why are you out here sleeping?)”
Talayiah, still in a sleepy state, said, “밖에서 기다리라고 해서 기다리고 있었는데 잠들었나봐. (They told me to wait outside and I fell asleep.)”
At this point, V was clearly angry, “그럼, 너 데리러 나오지도 않았다는 말이야? 너 밤새 여기에서 있었다는 말이야? (And they never came out to get you? You stayed out here all night?!)” He lifted her up and carried her back to their unit, shaking his head in disbelief.
As we came into the dormitory, Tony the tutor, and one of the bodyguards approached us, “What happened?” V signaled for them to be quiet. He sat on the couch and placed Talayiah’s sleepy head on his lap while I explained to them what happened.
Rap Monster asked, “How can this happen? How can they just leave her out there like that?”
Carlos, one of the production crew asked me to translate, “My sister is a social worker and she tells me things like this happen all the time. Severe neglect is the number one reason kids enter the foster system.”
Looking shocked Jimin asked, “누가 경찰이나 누구에게 신고할 수 없어요? But can’t someone report it to the police or something?”
Carlos explained, “Even if they do, Child Protective Services will most likely continue to let her live with her aunt. They do not like to pull kids out of their relatives homes especially when placement is so hard to come by.”
“Placeu? ment? 그게 무슨 뜻이야?? (What does that mean?)” asked J-hope.
Carlos continued as I tried my best to translate, “Placement. They are temporary homes for kids who are taken away from abusive situations, or in this case, neglectful homes like Talayiah’s. But the number of children that need homes is staggeringly greater than the number of homes available. Children are often left to sleep in the social worker’s office or in hospitals. The Department of Children and Family Services is woefully underfunded and just don’t have the resources or manpower to meet these needs.”
As I translated, the room was silent. The boys looked sad and angry at the same time. While Talayiah slept on V’s lap, he patted her gently on the arm as if to soothe her in her sleep; however, it woke her up instead.
“좋은 아침, (Good Morning,)” she said with a smile.
V didn’t want her to know what they were talking about, so he immediately perked up and said brightly. “오늘 우리랑 같이 놀래? (Do you want to play with us today?)”
The boys all agreed with this idea, but I interjected and reminded them of our full schedule. V flipped his puppy eyes setting to super begging and and I turned towards Carlos and asked, “Do you think it would be ok to take her with us?”
He nodded and whispered to me, “You can ask the aunt to be safe, but quite honestly, I don’t think they would even notice she’s gone.”
Truth be told, I was glad to hear that Talayiah might be able to come with us. I couldn’t bear to leave her here alone like this. She was better off with us than wandering around by herself. This poor girl. Even while I was talking to Carlos, I saw her eyeing the leftover breakfast. Jin and his motherly tendencies had noticed as well and gathered a plate of food for her. I wondered when she had last eaten. In the time it took me to say, “I’ll be back,” she was already going for seconds. “Eat slowly, ok? We have more you can take with you later. I am going to ask your aunt to see if you can come out with us today, ok?”
“Ok…” mumbled Talayiah with her mouth full.
Carlos accompanied me as I headed to Talayiah’s unit.
“Take her! Take her for as long as you want,” was the answer I got after getting all my courage up to ask her nicely. I couldn’t believe people like her existed! I felt like I was in some over-dramatized tv show. Except I wasn’t. This was real.
Walking back into the unit I hurried everyone downstairs to stay on schedule. The production crew told me to keep her by my side and that they would keep her out of all the shots.
We packed into the van with Talayiah at the center. The boys were unbelievably sweet to her. Even Suga, the grumpy grandpa of the group couldn’t keep a loving smile off his face. The car was filled with laughter as J-hope tried to speakeu english to her and she would come back with perfect Korean. Even I couldn’t keep my laughter in.
CHAPTER 3: BABYSITTER G
Illustrated by: Sandee
Edited by: Telumiel & C. Moon
There have been many theories given about the Spring Day MV, from “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to Sewol Ferry tributes. There is one theory no one has ever explored. Why the Laundromat?
Gotta catch’em all!