there's a great tangled web of threads inside your head. you don't know when they all appeared there, maybe its been something that's festered over years. some days its easier to ignore them than others; just go about your business, take calls and meetings, treat people as coldly as ever. other days its more difficult and you can feel the weight of the tangled mess inside your head as it threatens to fully crush you. ever since you were little, there they are, but they were smaller then. just tiny threads, like the frayed edges of that scarf your mother used to like to wear. over the years they've just gotten bigger and bigger, thicker and intertwined. you can't sort them out, so you've never tried.
you were born into the lap of luxury—with a silver spoon in your mouth, as people never fail to remind you—and you were given everything you could ever want. you weren't given everything you needed (like the means with which to communicate or understand your fluctuating emotions) but you were well taken care of. your mother and father are lavish people, your father owns his own company C&R and your mother was famous in her own right. the one thing you never really saw was appreciation for one another. they were both always busy, barely had time for one another, and surely not you. instead you were taken care of by nannies and butlers. you were given the best training that money could afford—etiquette, music, tutors when you went to your private school.
you grow up sheltered.
your saving grace and quite possibly the only reason you know how to interact with other people at all was jihyun. you remember thinking he was something of a strange boy and the fact he actually wanted to get to know you was even stranger. up until then you'd just been the rich boy down the block in the huge mansion with the famous parents. you were only seen around town with said parents and you didn't have any friends. you were alright not having any friends, that way the threads inside you couldn't get even more tangled. jihyun fixed some of those threads, untangled them just a little bit, and you two became friends. you're not sure how, because he was infinitely more knowledgable than you; he knew how to be a child, whereas you did not.
all the hard work that was done by being friends with jihyun was torn apart when your parents separated and eventually divorced. you were old enough to understand what that meant but young enough to be bitter about it. you rarely saw your mother after that. the barrage of women vying for your father's attention was unexpected and disconcerting for a child that just lost his mother. not that she'd really been around that much to begin with. however, she was a constant, not like all the pretty young women that start coming in and out of your life as quickly as the tide changes. you hate them. all they do is serve to tangle you up inside tighter and tighter, replacing those little threads with bigger ones, topped in barbed wire that scrape and drag against you leaving open wounds. they don't want to get to know you, they want to get on your good side.
if they gain your favor then they'll gain your father's approval. they don't know how to treat you and, instead, they do anything they can just to make you like them. they handle you carefully and they cater to your every whim. all they see is the little boy with the rigid posture and polite attitude, they can't look past that because they don't want to. they don't care about you and you don't care about them. your father remarries years after separating and to a woman that clearly only wanted him for his money. she grows famous because of her relationship with the chairman of C&R and you're left confused. every time one woman comes and goes you get more and more confused. you don't trust women.
romance and relationships has never been something you've been interested in. you haven't had the best role-model in that department anyway. when rika comes along, right at jihyun's side, she is a ray of sunshine in your bleak world. she confuses you just as much as jihyun did. why she would want to be your friend, you're not sure. often she tells you that you should find yourself other friends and you disagree. friends are of no consequence to you and you could care less if people liked you. it wasn't your business to get other people to like you—though you learn how to charm the people around you. they see just the same as anyone else; they only see what they want. they can't see your flaws, all those tiny, tangled webs. you thought that, maybe, rika could. you trust her because jihyun loves her and you are fond of him. (you can't say 'love' because you don't even know what that means.)
they give you elizabeth 3rd and, finally, its like someone can see all the tangled, mixed up threads.
somewhere inside you know she can't. she's only a cat. but if you look hard enough, if you twist and turn, you can imagine she's a woman. she's the only woman that hasn't let you down so far. its rika's wish to start up a fundraising organization, to donate to people that need it most. you've grown up rich, your father donates money to various charities, and while you don't know what its like to be poor, because its important to rika, it is suddenly important to you. you watch rika's eyes light up, the way she takes your hand. she worries about you like no one else ever has, not even jihyun--but he's always been somewhat private about things. you find yourself wanting to be there for rika, wanting to be important to her. can she see your tangled threads? you're not sure.
her funeral is short and simple. there was no body to be had so there lays and empty coffin. rika's death tangles all those threads into a tighter, razor-sharp knot in not only your head, but your heart as well. (rika was never yours to have and elizabeth fills in the space she leaves behind.)
the parties stopped after that, with none of you in the RFA (rika's fundraising association) being able to hold them without her or the information in her locked down apartment. jihyun--who now dubs himself v--has taken to growing colder, distant. he doesn't spend as much time in the chats, doesn't talk to any of you but 707 often enough. even then, seven seems to miss him even more than you do. you don't allow yourself the luxury of wasting time on your emotions. you've more important things to do--like making sure your father doesn't give every pretty woman that comes into his life portions of his company. not to mention, making sure that dear elizabeth 3rd has everything she could ever want in life. you pamper and spoil your cat and some say you're obsessed. you wouldn't call it that, but she comforts you when humans can't. she looks at you with her beautiful blue eyes and you can swear she's seeing past all the things people praise you for and delving right into every dirty, terrible facet of your personality.
all you've ever wanted was for someone to see you. the real you. not the you that you put on display for people in the company or for your clients or for the others in the RFA. while you don't want to acknowledge the terrible parts of yourself, you just want someone else to see them.
abrupt and unexpected, someone else finds their way into your life--into the lives of all the members of the RFA--and you're not sure what to think. she is kind and she is interesting; she finds amusement in your jokes, she approves of you working jaehee to the bone (though you know you shouldn't, you've always known you shouldn't), she opens up to the dark parts of yourself, and maybe she can see those tangled webs inside your head. you find yourself caught up with thoughts of her as she plans the next party in rika's stead. there's a possessive, nagging feeling in your gut; you don't like seeing her give attention to others. reading her messages, knowing she has some kind of interest in you, fuels a strange desire. inappropriate and strange. she feels like elizabeth 3rd to you, but also something new entirely.
into your life comes sarah, the student of your father's new mistress. you don't dislike glam choi, not right away, at least. you know her role, she is a gold-digger, she wants your father's money, and its nothing new. he's always been blinded by beautiful women in a way that you are not. or, perhaps you are? you've never met the mysterious new member of the RFA, but you find yourself imagining her. you imagine she is beautiful; like your elizabeth 3rd. she panders to you, caters to your obsessions, and you find yourself growing more and more interested in her. sarah, as it turns out, visits you and informs you that you shall be marrying her. an arranged marriage your father and glam choi set up. you turn her down, of course, because you don't see the need to marry.
she does not deal with rejection well and it sends you into panic mode. you start to believe that maybe her and glam will try and blackmail you into this union, that they'll take the things that are most important to you and hold them over your head until you agree. and that most important thing is...elizabeth 3rd. the webs just get more and more tangled until they are no longer single strands. they turn into one, giant ball that just sits there and weighs you down. they become confused feelings, something like a twisting, turning puzzle. the only thing that eases your worry is locking elizabeth 3rd up. its to keep her safe. you have to keep her safe.
when she comes to visit, its all you can do to keep form locking her up immediately. and then when elizabeth 3rd runs away--away from you, the person that's loved her the most for so long--something inside you finally breaks. she wasn't meant to be yours anymore than rika was. at first, panicked over her disappearance, with the new company in your penthouse you find that you don't really mind as much. as the days go by you realize that she was a cat, could never see into you the way you wanted someone to. she is a human...but she doesn't really see it either. you can pretend she does and she claims she understands you. but what she wants from you is...everything that your father's girlfriends have wanted. she wants your money, your name, but she also wants to be yours.
you think you'd like to lock her up.
just as elizabeth 3rd replaced rika, the formerly mysterious new member of the RFA has replaced elizabeth 3rd, and she seems to delight in it. its a terrible downward spiral she puts you into. of never-ending obsession, of possession, panic and fear that someone might try and take her from you. you absolve to never let her out of the penthouse. you buy her clothes, you plan her meals, you do everything to her that you'd do to your cat. you treat her as a pet and she revels in it. tired from trying to figure out all your conflicting feelings and tired of wasting your emotions on things that don't matter, you give in to this. you give into her and she gets just what she wants from you. just like every other woman in your life.
when you end up here, in this place they call elysion, you think you must be dead. everything in you is mixed up and confused, tangled beyond belief, and you're not sure what you should be doing. eventually, as things calm and the smoke clears, you make your way into the professional field. everything in the capitol is very close to korea with businesses and the hustle and bustle. you may not run your own business now, but you can help keep this one afloat. but things are worse than you ever remember them being. its hard to go back to the way you used to be.
being sent to a therapist is, well, suffice it to say you didn't want to. but the more unstable you seem, the more pertinent it becomes. the more you close in on yourself, the more necessary. they haven't really been able to help untangle all the damage that's been done to you over the years and you also don't open up until months into your sessions. when you finally do, its only after months of being on depression medication and mood stabilizers. you feel...well, you don't feel better, but that's supposed to take time, isn't it? at least you don't feel any worse. usually.
its easier to get your work done when you're not thinking about your missing cat or the RFA or...anything else, for that matter. for now, its back to the same routines. its back to working almost non-stop, back to the praise, the adoration, back to being successful.
its back to being alone.