I woke up to the sounds of Skye singing off-key outside my room. As I rubbed my eyes and stretched, I saw a figure sitting right beside me on the bed and I jumped up with shock.
It was Shoei.
“Yah! You scared me.”
He smiled his knowing smile. Hate that smile. But that will be the smile that will make him famous.
“Sorry. Did you sleep well?”
I lay back on the bed and stretched slowly again.
“Yea… for once I didn’t dream about work.”
“Must’ve really been a great day yesterday?”
“It was. Ya… Shoei. I didn’t know I would have so much in common with Yun Ho.”
“But we have a lot in common also.”
“It’s different. You’re my brother. He’s…”
“He’s my age nuna.”
“Yes, but… haii… now you’re making me feel like it’s a sin.”
“Sorry,” he mumbled.
“Anyway, you must have been here for a long time waiting for me to wake up, what is it? Come to watch me snore and drool?”
“You don’t snore and drool, nuna. Just wanted to ask you something.”
I plopped back onto the bed and he lay down next to me.
“Nuna, if a girl were to have a guy like U-Know date her and a guy like me tells her he likes her, would she want me?”
“Shoei, I dunno what is it with you and ‘a guy like U-Know’? You’re every bit as good looking as Yun Ho oppa.”
“Yun Ho oppa?”
“Oh, mian. He asked me to call him that. Anyway, the only difference between the both of you now is that he is more famous. But that will change soon, won’t it. I am sure you will be as famous as he is.”
“Then do you think this girl will like me when I am famous?”
“Getting famous is just making you equal to Yun Ho. The final deciding point is which guy loves her most and also which guy she loves most. But since you’re so mysterious and cool, I think it’s gonna be easy to make a girl fall for you. Right?”
“If only it were that easy,” Shoei sighed as he got up and left the room.
I am really confused with his behaviour. He’s happy then sad, friendly then moody. What’s happening to Shoei? Does this girl mean so much to him?
I showered and went into the kitchen to cook lunch. Skye was already there doing his own version of cooking. That would mean soggy instant noodles and egg. Today, he insists that he cook and made me sit at the dining table, waiting for my soggy noodles. Skye is so cute and yet so frustrating sometimes. He’s gonna need a really smart, resourceful and capable girlfriend to take care of him.
As we ate our soggy noodles, Shoei was nowhere to be seen.
“Where’s Shoei?” I asked Skye.
“He went out, didn’t say where.”
“We need to look out for him more. He seems down these days.”
“Really? You noticed too? I thought he was acting really weird. He just sat around moping yesterday when you were out. When I went to bed, he didn’t want to come. He just sat on the sofa, staring at the TV. The TV wasn’t even on!!!”
“Hmm, just keep an eye on him. Maybe he’s homesick or something.”
“Maybe, but it’s more like love sick,” Skye said thoughtfully, then continued slurping his noodles.
After lunch, while we were watching TV, my mobile phone rang, it was Yun Ho!! Aaaaaahhh!!! Okay, compose yourself… deep breaths… I ran to my room and answered the phone almost breathlessly.
“Yun Ho oppa here”
“Oh. Oppa, wae?”
“I’m at a shoot now. Feeling so bored. It won’t be my turn for another hour.”
“At a shoot? On Sunday?”
“Yes, the price of fame,” he sighed, “So are you gonna entertain me or what?”
And we talked for an hour until it was his turn.
“I’ve got to go.”
“You sound like you won’t miss me at all,” he complained.
“That’s okay, pogoshipda!”
And he hung up. That guy!!! Why does he love to have the last word?
For the next few weeks, we were so busy running from one promotional event to another. Shoei was back to normal; cool but not depressed. Yun Ho continued to call me every other day. He’s always tells me that he misses me, and then hang up. I never get a chance to tell him that I miss him too. So I decided one day that I was gonna say it as soon as he calls. Sure enough, before the day we were supposed to go to Japan to promote our single, he called.
“It’s me. You tired today.”
“No, but I miss you.”
“Yes. Wish I could see you now.”
“Come downstairs now.”
“Why? Are you downstairs?”
“Yes, I am. Why do you always make me explain everything? So unromantic!”
“Hehe… mian. I’m coming down now.”
“Don’t hang up. Talk to me until you see me.”
“But won’t the reception be cut off in the elevator.”
“Aisshh… don’t worry. You see, spoiled my romantic line again.”
“Heh… mian. I’m in the elevator now. You didn’t tell me you were coming earlier. Now I’m wearing my tracksuit and my hair is messy.”
“Who cares? You look cute anyhow.”
“That’s easy to say, for someone who is cute 24/7.”
“Who said I was?”
Just then, the elevator doors opened and there he was, leaning on his car, in a tracksuit as well. He was wearing a cap as usual to hide his face. I walked up to him slowly and he opened up his arms. I walked right into them and he hugged me.
“I missed you so much,” he said, and kissed my forehead.
“I missed you too. I’m going to miss you even more tomorrow,” I sighed as I hugged him tighter with my head on his chest.
“Why? Oh yes, you’re going to Japan. Want me to come with you?”
“Can you?” I looked up and blinked.
“Sure I can. I have training tomorrow, but I can skip.”
“Won’t your manager get angry if you skip your training?” I asked as I pulled away.
“Hmm… he’ll be fine,” said Yun Ho and pulled me back to him.
“No,” I said and pulled away again, “I don’t want you to get in trouble for me. I’ll be really upset if you do.”
“But you miss me, so I should go with you.”
“No, I can handle it. You can come find me when I get back.”
“Okay, don’t get so worked up. Come here.”
He hugged me tight and kissed me on the forehead, then he kissed me on the nose, then finally, he kissed me on the lips. It felt like the kiss lasted for an hour. My heart was beating like crazy when he pulled away.
“Now I’ll be sure that you'll only think of me when you’re in Japan.”
“What makes you think I think of others?”
“You’re so cute and ditzy, anyone nice and good looking would take you away from me.”
“No they won’t!” I exclaimed, stamping my foot on the ground.
“Right, right, they won’t,” he laughed and pulled me to him again. This time the kiss felt a little urgent and desperate unlike the soft romantic one earlier. I suppose it’s cos we’re still in the heat of the beginning of a romance and the thought of being so far apart for one day can even drive us nuts. This time I pulled away, I was out of breath and my heart was going crazy again.
“I’m that good huh?” he smiled.
“Don’t get cocky,” I said, smacking his arm, “You should be afraid. Aren’t you afraid that the paparazzi might catch you with me?”
“If they do, then you should be afraid.”
“Think of what my fans will do to you?”
I stuck out my tongue at him and smacked him again.
“Go on. You need your sleep, or the papers will be commenting on how much you look like a panda tomorrow.”
“Okay, good night.”
We held hands and walked to the elevator. When the doors opened, Yun Ho hugged me again and pushed me into the elevator.
“Bye,” he waved.
“Good night,” I waved back at him as the doors closed.
When I got in, Skye and Shoei were watching TV.
“We saw you and Yun Ho, nuna. Naughty, naughty. Maybe you should invite him up the next time. You can be sure there are no paparazzi here and Shoei and I will get to watch a live show.”
“Shuddup you monkey!” I pushed his head.
“Hey! I was only thinking for you and Yun Ho hyung, since we’re both from Kwangju. We’re like brothers and I should help whenever I can.”
“Yes, thank you. I’ll tell him you said that. Shoei, aren’t you excited. You get to visit home tomorrow.”
“Yea… I guess,” mumbled Shoei.
“Are your parents coming to the press conference?”
“Yes, I’ll have dinner with them tomorrow.”
“Wah, you’re so lucky. It’s gonna be a long time before our promotional activities reach Malaysia. When we get there, I’m gonna take you guys out for a big, big meal.”
“Really? You promise? You’d better, or I’ll eat you,” said Skye as he pretended to grab my arm for a bite, “Will Yun Ho hyung come along then? Hmmm?”
“None of your business.”
“I’m going to bed,” Shoei said as he suddenly sat up and walked to his room.
“There he goes again,” whispered Skye.
“I think he’s just nervous to be facing the reporters in his hometown tomorrow.”
“I guess. Okay, let’s sleep. I can’t wait to go to Japan.”
The next morning, we were at the airport by 8am. The flight was a short and quiet one. Skye was still sleepy and slept the whole way there. I was too nervous and just listened to my MP3s and read a book. Shoei kept staring out of the plane the whole way there. When we arrived at the airport, we could not believe there was a huge crowd gathered outside the airport, waiting for us. There were banners with our names, our photos, girls were screaming for Skye and Shoei and surprisingly, me!
We went immediately from one press conference and autograph session to another since our trip would only last until tomorrow afternoon before we head back to Seoul. Everywhere we went, crowds would be waiting, and some of them followed us from one location to the other. It was scary. I never thought I would be able to experience this in my lifetime. Skye was basking in the attention and Shoei wore his cool mysterious expression throughout. We all had our chance to answer questions.
“Sierra-san, in all the songs of S3, we got this feeling that there is a love triangle between you and your male band mates. So is there really a love triangle?”
“No, of course not. We sing love songs and in some relationships there is a love triangle of some sort, but we are definitely not experiencing it. It’s just a message in our song, the pain of being in a love triangle. My band mates here are my brothers and soul mates.”
Skye continued, “and because we are so close, sometimes we sound like we’re feeling the emotions of the song together. I suppose that makes the listener think we’re in love.”
When someone asked a weird question, like what colour underwear Skye preferred, Shi Kyung hyung had to step in and deflect it. Mostly he had to stop it in case Skye’s mouth got out of control.
Out last destination was HMV. We performed “I’m sorry, I love you” with each of us on instruments and then it was Q&A again. We were ready for the next question and Shi Kyung hyung pointed to a guy in the crowd.
“The gentleman in the cap, your question?”
“Sierra-shi, is it true that you are dating a member of another band under SM Entertainment as well?”
That voice, it was so familiar.
Just then, a reporter exclaimed, “It’s U-Know Yun Ho!”
Yun Ho looked up and winked at me. The reporters went wild and started taking his pictures and there was a huge commotion with questions thrown at him and the guards trying to hold off the reporters. During all the commotion, our eyes never left each other.