Renee closed the door behind her and put her back against the wall bringing the plushie close to her chest.
"what is it with you girl?" she kept thinking. "why did you kiss him? He's your next door neighbor!... you silly!" she thought now sort of hitting herself on the head with the bunny as she slowly made her way into the apartment.
Onew as always went to work the next morning. His friends were all excited to hear what Renee thought about them.
"Guys relax! She loved you." Onew reassured them.
"At first it was really hard for me not to mention that monster boyfriend of hers!" Key replied. "But she's so sweet that I forgot about it after a while."
"I was afraid she might think we're boring." Jonghyun said slightly laughing.
"Well now I am more convinced that she doesn't deserve what she gets from this guy..." Minho said.
"I know..." Onew replied letting out a little sigh.
"So what did you do with the bunny hyung?" Taemin asked.
"I-I gave it to her..." he replied blushing light pink as his friends all aww-ed in response.
"Aren't you cute?" Key teased the older boy slightly nudging him with his elbow.
"Hyung... do you think she'll see him again today?" Jonghyun wondered.
"I don't know but it's been a day so... I guess she will..." Onew responded.
"I'm scared. I really hope nothing more happens." Taemin said and silence fell among them only to be broken seconds later by Minho.
"But if it does... and if she does nothing to protect herself... you must." the tall boy said looking straight at Onew.
Onew returned home that evening. He walked up the stairs and got to his floor only to be greeted by Mrs. Choi, who looked frightened. She was standing at the top of the stairs.
"Onew ssi I'm so glad you're here!" she said.
"Mrs. Choi... is everything alright?" Onew asked.
"It's that young man again! He's here!" she replied.
"Yes! He's been here about ten minutes but he started yelling really loud again. I'm scared for the poor girl. Please Onew do something." the woman said.
"Don't worry Mrs. Choi. I'm here now. You can go home." Onew said as he was now walking down the hallway. The woman nodded and left.
Just ten minutes ago Daesuk had come by, knocking on Renee's door.
"Hey honey." She greeted him at the door. A serious Daesuk entered the apartment.
"Is everything okay?" she asked. "Have you eaten? Do you want me to cook something for you?"
"I'm not hungry." the man replied in a serious tone.
"What's wrong Daesuk?" Renee asked as calmly and as softly as she could, gently touching his shoulder.
"Everything is wrong!" Daesuk yelled. "Do you know what I did last night? I went to see my brother! Just like you asked! And do you know what he told me? The same things you do! That I have drinking problems and that I should look for help!" he continued in rage.
"But Daesuk..." Renee tried to speak.
"No!... Help?! What is wrong with you people? Always nagging, complaining. All my life... Complaining. Nothing I ever do is enough is it? Can't you see I'm fine?! You are the ones that need help!" he shouted now moving in closer to Renee.
"Honey... everything we say is for your own good..." Renee said in a trembling voice as she saw a furious but this time sober Daesuk before her. He was a man she almost didn't recognize.
"Oh don't 'honey' me!!! Do you think I've gone crazy? Huh? Do you? No! You are all crazy!" he yelled louder at her almost making her heart stop.
It was then that Onew walked closer to Renee's door and heard that man yelling, sending chills down his spine. He quickly entered his apartment trying not to be heard. He threw his bag on the couch and started walking up and down his living room, frustration building up. But even that soft sound of his door closing caught Daesuk's attention. He shot a look at the door.
"Now lets just say that my brother won't bother me about this matter again any time soon..." he said bringing his eyes back to Renee. His voice was low and husky. Kinda scary. Renee's eyes widened in terror.
"Daesuk... your brother... what did you do?" she asked, voice still shaking.
"Where were you last night Renee?" he asked, his voice still low.
"I... I was out. I went to... get some fresh air." she replied.
"Yes... but you weren't alone now were you?" Daesuk asked now raising his voice in anger once again.
"No..." Renee replied so softly you could barely hear her.
"Were you?!" the man yelled louder.
The sound of a slap made Onew's knees get weak. Renee was now on the floor, her hand on her left cheek that felt like it was burning.
"No." she mumbled.
"A friend of mine bumped into you last night... at the market. He said he saw you with another guy, holding hands! And from the description I think I know who he is! Are you cheating on me?" he asked still shouting, his voice echoing in Renee's ears. He picked her off the floor and pushed her against the wall, clenching her jaw with his hand.
Onew's heart skipped a beat as he heard the sound of her back hit the hard surface that was the connecting wall between both apartments. Renee, with eyes filled with tears, barely managed to let out another "no!" before Daesuk's hand made her cheek burn once again.
"After all I did for you! How can you cheat on me? I should have known! It's that Onew guy isn't it?!" he kept screaming like a monster, like his energy was never ending, like his anger was never ending.
"I'm not cheating on you I swear!" Renee managed to say with tears rolling down her eyes as Daesuk was walking now towards the living room.
"You're lying!" he yelled. He spotted the little bunny plushie on the couch. His face turned a deep red. He grabbed the stuffed toy and walked back towards Renee who was now getting back on her feet.
"What... the hell... is this?" the angry young man asked squeezing the small toy in his hand. "Did he give it to you?"
Daesuk threw the item with all his might towards the coffee table. The strength was enough to knock a small flower vase off of it, which broke as soon as it hit the ground.
On the other side of that wall Onew felt tears running down his face as he was standing frozen in the middle of the living room. Suddenly he felt incredibly guilty for what was happening. He heard that vase break and that somehow forced his brain to function and his body to unfreeze. He wiped his tears. He knew that this time he couldn't be standing there doing nothing. Now Renee was more than just a neighbor, and at least for him she was more than just a crush.
"Tell me Renee! Did he give it to you?! Are you cheating on me with him? Talk to me or I swear I'm gonna kill you right now!" Daesuk screamed once again as he was now holding Renee's arms and was shaking the crying girl.
"Why are you like this to me?... I... love you!" she mumbled though her tears, her lip bleeding.
"Stop lying!" he replied in rage, slapping her with force once again.
Renee's head was slammed against the wall. These few seconds it took her to slide down and touch the floor there was only one thing ringing in her head, Onew's words... ''please promise me you'll fight back...''
Onew walked towards his door. He was ready. If he heard another hit he would get in there and stop him no matter what. What Minho said came to mind... '' if she does nothing to protect herself... you must''. And there was no more reason to wait.
Renee stood up once again. She shot a look at Daesuk who was still raging and was ready to attack her as soon as she would get back on her feet. But by then she knew... she had to fight back. Daesuk made his way to her and took a grip of her hair, which made her yelp, but she realized she was close to the door. So she gathered all the strength she could.
"Let me go!" she yelled at him and pushed him back making him lose his balance. Daesuk let go of her hair and Renee made a run for the door.
"Come back here!" Daesuk yelled from inside the apartment.
Onew and Renee opened their doors almost simultaneously. As soon as Onew saw her he rushed out grabbed her hand and pulled quickly inside the apartment with him, slamming and locking the door behind him.
"Open up Renee!" the angry man kept shouting outside the door. "I said, open the damn door!" he said and kicked it.
Onew was now a few feet away from the door, on the floor. He had pulled Renee into a hug that he never knew he could give. In his arms was Renee, shaking, crying, holding onto him like her life depended on it.
"Go away!" Onew yelled back at him.
"Shut up you piece of shit! This is none of your business! So you are really cheating on me with him aren't you? You lying stupid bitch!" he said punching the door.
"Go away before I call the police!" Onew yelled once more. He felt Renee clench tightly onto him.
"This is not over yet Renee! I'm gonna come back and then you will both be sorry I swear!" he said punching the door once again. "You'll both be sorry!" he shouted one last time as he was walking away.
Now in the silence Onew could hear Renee crying her heart out. Her tears soaking his shirt. He kept her in his arms slightly rocking her, caressing her hair, trying to calm her down.
"Shhh.... it's ok... it's all ok now... he's gone. He's gone and he can't hurt you now... You're safe... I'm here... You're safe..."