34 Art of Resuscitation Pt.3

    Hidden behind a delipidated wall, Namjoon watched from a safe distance as the pair mingled with two orphans in a game of cuju. A sliver of a smile spread across his lips as he witnessed Taehyung let the scruffy young lass score a goal against him. He chuckled at Taehyung's exaggerated feigned disappointment as he let the ball pass through his legs. Seeing Taehyung play cuju with Gyuri and the orphans reminded him a lot of the times he used to play cuju with his cousins when they were younger. Namjoon's smile suddenly slipped: how long has it been since all of them just got together to play cuju?

    Namjoon looked away as he reminisced his happy childhood memories. He remembered having cuju competitions with his cousins all the time. Jongin and Taehyung weren't born back then so he would play with Minseok, Junmyeon and...

    Namjoon sighed.

    What was up with him today? Why was he always thinking about the past?

    He cast his memories aside as he tried to focus on what was happening in front of him now. He had followed Taehyung and Gyuri with the intention of confronting the sly pair for sneaking out of the house without security. He was about to approach them, catch them by surprise, when he suddenly saw the pair playing cuju with two orphans, nearby the river. Instead of challenging them, he decided to watch.

    Was this the reason why Taehyung kept sneaking out of the household?

    Namjoon arched his brow as he observed Gyuri play cuju competitively. It was her turn to score a goal against Taehyung and when she did, she celebrated enthusiastically, waving her arms in the air while hooting in celebration.

    Gyuri really is a strange girl.

    After a while, Namjoon decided to slink away. He was content that Taehyung was in no danger and he decided that reprimanding him could be done later. He's just playing cuju... he thought to himself. There is no harm in that.

    As Namjoon sneaked away, he began contemplating on all that he had witnessed. Seeing Taehyung happily play with others around his age made Namjoon hesitate in interrupting their game. After all, when he was a young boy, he had his cousins to play with. He had grown up with playmates that were around the same age as him so he hardly ever felt lonely. But Taehyung's situation was different. As the youngest Kim, he didn't have as many people to play cuju with. And with that reason in mind, Namjoon decided to leave him be.

    As he began his journey back to the main road, Namjoon's resolve to leave Taehyung alone suddenly crumbled. Namjoon halted at his step as a terror-stricken scream grated on his eardrums, causing him to turn around. In the far-off distance, he witnessed the orphans huddled together near the bank of the river, screaming their lungs raw. Gyuri and Taehyung were nowhere to be seen.

    A hair-raising sensation overwhelmed Namjoon making him shudder despite the warm weather. What had happened to them? He had only turned his back on them for a second!

    With his eyes darting wildly around the vicinity, Namjoon searched desperately for any sign of Taehyung or Gyuri. As he was doing so, the unintelligible screams of the orphans, that had grown hysterical, became more comprehensible to him.


    "Please save Papa!"

    "Tae, hang on! Gyuri will save you!"

    "Mama, be careful!"

    Namjoon restlessly bolted from his hiding place to find out what had happened. As he sprinted down the field, his view of the river became clearer. He stopped briefly, his eyes widening, when he spotted Gyuri, gliding through the water as she swam to a flailing Taehyung who was struggling to keep afloat. How the hell did Taehyung end up in a dangerous situation in a blink of an eye? Namjoon ran with renewed vigour, desperate to help in any way he could to save his idiotic, younger cousin.

    When he finally reached the orphans, he saw that Gyuri had managed to pull Taehyung out of the water and was carrying him in her arms, bridal-style. She waded through the shallow end of the river, where she placed a lifeless Taehyung down on the riverbank. The orphans, oblivious to his presence, ran to Gyuri in a hurry. Namjoon did the same.

    "Taehyung!" he heard Gyuri shout while shaking him. "Hey, Taehyung! Wake up!"

    Namjoon watched as Gyuri tried to shake Taehyung awake but to no avail. The orphans, witnessing Taehyung's lack of response to Gyuri's vicious shaking, started sobbing at the realisation that Taehyung had drowned. Namjoon felt the familiar wave of panic overwhelm him as he willed his legs to move, his mind frantically trying to keep his panic at bay.

    "Move away from him!" he heard his voice shout.

    Gyuri and the orphans looked up briefly as Namjoon crouched down next to Taehyung's lifeless body. He inspected his cousin quickly, checking his neck for a pulse like he had learned from the medical scrolls he had been reading. At the same time, he spoke to the trio who were sobbing in the background.

    "What happened?" he questioned fiercely.

    The young girl replied. "We were- we were playing cuju" she stuttered, her eyes never moving away from Taehyung. "But the ball... it fell into the river."

    "I told him to leave it" Gyuri murmured, her face showing signs of shock. "I told him that the current had carried it too far out for him to reach-"

    "Papa!" the little boy wailed. "Papa, come back!"

    Namjoon turned his attention back to Taehyung. His hand was shaking uncontrollably as he tried to feel for his pulse. You idiot, he cursed inwardly. You cannot die on me, Taehyung! You must not! He searched Taehyung's face for any sign of waking up but there was none. Namjoon tried his best not to get swept away by the sound of sobbing that was growing louder by the second. He refused to give up. He will not let a single person die under his watch-especially not his own cousin.

    Taehyung, please wake up, he begged internally. You cannot die like this... I promised your brother that I would look after you...what will I tell him now?

    Suddenly, Namjoon remembered the medical scroll he had recently been reading before following Taehyung and Gyuri. It was a new concept, one that had rarely been practised in Saim but was apparently, very effective.

    It was the art of resuscitation.

    "It is not too late," he said, loud enough for the trio to hear. "We can still try something to save him."

    Gyuri was immediately attentive. "He's still alive?"

    Namjoon nodded. "Yes, his pulse is weak but he is most definitely alive." He glanced at Taehyung who was still unconscious. "But he will not be for long if we do not act immediately."

    "What are you going to do?" Gyuri asked keenly.

    "I am going to attempt to revive him."

    Gyuri watched as Namjoon positioned himself next to Taehyung with his hands interlocked together. She watched him in confusion as he hovered his clasped hands above Taehyung's chest like he was about to perform CPR but with the wrong hand position. It was only then, did Gyuri realise, that what Namjoon was attempting to do could potentially kill Taehyung. It appeared as though Namjoon was not experienced in CPR at all.

    Without a moment to lose, Gyuri pushed Namjoon aside and assumed the CPR position herself. Okay, Subin. You can do this. You passed your silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, remember? We got this!

    "What are you doing?" Gyuri heard an irritated Namjoon shout. He was surprised by Gyuri's hidden strength.

    "I-I'm sorry Master Namjoon" she rushed to reply. "I'll explain everything later-"

    Gyuri clawed at the back of her mind as she tried to remember the proper CPR procedure that she had invested so much time learning earlier that year. As composed as she could be, Gyuri reached her hand out to Taehyung's pale face and tilted his head back by the forehead and opened his mouth, giving her better access to his airway.

    Oh God, oh God, oh God, she kept thinking as she swiftly carried out the steps to CPR. CPR in practice is so much harder than theory...

    Once she was satisfied that she had executed the steps in the correct order and that it was okay to begin the rescue breaths and compressions, Gyuri positioned herself above Taehyung's agape mouth. Here goes nothing-!

    Namjoon and the orphans watched in shock as Gyuri kissed Taehyung.
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