Hope you enjoyed the special chapter through Shoei’s eyes. Now we will go back to the story through Sierra’s eyes.
Shoei took a deep breath and said, “My nuna, Sierra.”
“Ooooh!!!” exclaimed MC Yoo.
The crowd cheered and whooped. Everyone on the set started talking excitedly. Did I hear correctly? Did he say my name?
“What are you going to do today?” MC Yoo asked.
“I’m going to sing and dance,” Shoei replied.
“Ya… give it up for Shoei!!” MC Yoo announced.
As the music started, I recognized the tune. It was 瞳の住人 (Hitomi no Juunin) by the Japanese band L’arc en Ciel. The first week I’d arrived in Korea, we’d discovered that we both loved this song. Shoei started singing.
“Kazoe kire nai... demo sukoshi no saigetsu wa nagare
Ittai kimi no koto wo dore kurai wakatteru no kana?
Yubisaki de chizu tadoru you ni wa umaku ika nai ne
Kiduite iru yo fuan sou na kao kakushiteru kurai
Isogiashi no ashita e to teikou suru you ni
Kake mawatte itemo fushigi na kurai...kono mune wa kimi wo egaku yo
Miagereba kagayaki wa iroasezu afurete ita
Donna toki mo terashiteru ano taiyou no you ni nareta nara
Mou sukoshi dake kimi no nioi ni... dakarete itai na
Soto no kuuki ni kubiwa wo hikare boku wa se wo muketa”
Why Shoei? The girl you’ve been pining over was me? No wonder you got so worked up earlier.
“Shiroku nijinda tameiki ni shirasareru toki wo
Kurikaeshi nagara futo omou no sa...naze boku wa koko ni iru n darou?
Soba ni ite zutto kimi no egao wo mitsumete itai
Utsuri yuku shunkan wo sono hitomi ni sunde itai
Dokomademo odayaka na shikisai ni irodorareta
Hitotsu no fuukeikan no naka yorisou you ni toki wo tomete hoshii eien ni
Soba ni ite zutto kimi no egao wo mitsumete itai
Utsuri yuku shunkan wo sono hitomi ni sunde itai
Itsu no hi azayaka na kisetsu he to tsuredasetara
Yuki no you ni sora ni saku hana no moto he...hana no moto he”
As he sang, tears came to my eyes. What do I do now? How can I say yes to someone who has been a brother to me all this while? I would be lying if I did. I love Yun Ho. I love Shoei. But it’s a different kind of love. Throughout the whole song, he looked at me with his beautiful eyes. It was as if he was pleading me to accept him. I turned away sadly. I couldn’t bear to look. As the song ended, the set was almost silent. They probably felt the emotion of Shoei’s song. Then a new song came on, Perfect Man, by Shinhwa.
The backup dancers fell in and as Shoei started to dance, I noticed a new power about him. It was like as if he was putting all the energy he had into this dance. He’d always danced effortlessly, like it was the easiest thing to do in the whole world. As the dancers encircled me, and Shoei stood in front of me, mouthing the words to the song, I felt so lost. What am I going to do?
When Shoei’s dance ended, the crowd cheered wildly. Shoei stood there glaring at me in his finishing position. He was breathing so hard and it made me want to just hug him.
“Woah!! That was an electrifying performance!” exclaimed MC Yoo.
Shoei bowed and went back to his place.
“Sierra, are you feeling it?” asked MC Yoo.
I just covered my face with my hands. I cannot trust myself to speak at this moment. Everyone laughed and the mood lightened a little. Next was Haha and thankfully, he’d decided to choose Hye Bin as his target.
Then, it was time to select the couples.
“Kang Ho Dong!” MC Yoo announced.
“Jeon Hye Bin!” Ho Dong oppa said.
“Kamsahamnida!” Hye Bin replied and they went to stand behind MC Yoo.
“Sung Shi Kyung!”
“Jung Hwa-shi,” he replied.
“Choaeyo,” Jung Hwa replied, bowing.
“Sierra!” Brian said, confidently.
“Choaeyo,” I replied and we walked over to MC Yoo.
“Okay! Two more guys left. What will the outcome be tonight? Shoei!”
“Nuna, saranghae,” Shoei said.
“Woaahhh…” MC Yoo exclaimed excitedly. Everyone started to get excited again.
I looked at him and looked at Brian. I hope I don’t regret my decision tonight.
“Sierra, your decision, in three- two- one!” MC Yoo counted.
“Mianhae, Shoei. You’re like a brother to me, so I think I’ll be better off as Brian’s partner.”
With my decision, the crowd got all excited again. I could see the pain in Shoei’s eyes. After all he did for me tonight, I chose someone else. But I had to. I had to kill his hopes. If I don’t, he will never stop this madness.
Haha succeeded in stealing Hye Bin from Ho Dong oppa and the rest of the show was a blur to me.
It was 9pm. We’ve just changed out of the costumes and I was walking out of the studio with Skye when we bumped into Brian and Hwan Hee.
“Hey! Sierra!” Hwan Hee said.
“Hello,” I replied.
“That was some show today, huh, Brian?” Hwan Hee continued.
“Yea. It was fun. I hope I get to be on more shows with you in future,” said Brian.
“So where are you off to?” Hwan Hee asked.
“We’re celebrating nuna’s birthday tonight,” Skye announced, “You guys wanna come?”
“Party? Ya… you didn’t tell us that it was your birthday, how old are you?”
“Oh… don’t ask, I’m 24 as of today,” I sighed.
“Hey, don’t feel so bad, we’re both 25,” Hwan Hee laughed.
“Yea, so I guess we’ll see you there. Do you need a lift?” Brian asked.
“Sure, hyung!” the monkey replied before I could stop him and he continued telling them where the party was and all the other details as we walked out.
Yun Ho was supposed to pick us up. Now I’ll have to call him. I hope he’s not on the way.
“Oppa, it’s me. You don’t have to come pick me.”
“Why? Is there something wrong? You can’t go?”
“No, the guys from FTTS are gonna send me and Skye there. They’re joining us tonight.”
“Mwo? Since when they were coming?”
“Skye invited them.”
“Fine, I was actually on my way. I’ll see you at the club.”
“You sound different. Are you okay?”
“Yea, I am. Yun Ho-yah.”
“Saranghae. See you there.”
As I hung up the phone, I’ve never felt a greater need for someone to hug me than at that moment. I felt so empty inside. It was as if Shoei had sucked the life out of me with his confession. Everyone must’ve thought he did it for the sake of the show. But I know Shoei. He meant every word he said.
As I walked up to the guys, I noticed Shoei still hadn’t come out.
“Where’s Shoei?” I asked Skye.
“Oh! He went home. He said he was tired.”
“Poor boy, he must’ve been devastated that you chose me tonight,” Brian joked.
I smacked Brian’s arm half-heartedly. He didn’t know how right his remark was.
The gang from TVXQ and Super Junior were already there as we entered the club. They started cheering as soon as they saw me. They greeted the FTTS guys and some of them walked off to get more drinks.
“How was the recording?” Han Kyung asked in Mandarin.
“It was okay,” I replied.
“I remember my first few times. It was so embarrassing.”
“You must be referring to that episode of Love Letter,” I said and laughed as I remembered what had happened.
“Yea… I felt like such a fool.”
“It was good entertainment. Don’t worry,” I said as I patted his back.
Just then, Yun Ho came and put his arms around me.
“Hello gorgeous,” he said and kissed my forehead.
“Erm… I better go see what the guys are up to,” said Han Kyung as he walked away.
Yun Ho sat down on the sofa and pulled me onto his lap.
“Are you tired?” he asked as he massaged the back of my neck with one hand.
“I’m fine,” I said as I slid down onto the sofa and pulled his arms around me for comfort.
“You don’t seem fine. Did something happen during the recording?” he asked.
I sighed and started to inspect his fingers, trying to avoid answering his question.
“Sierra….” Yun Ho voice started to change. I know that he’s starting lose patience.
“Shoei confessed during the show,” I said and covered my face with his hand.
Yun Ho pulled away and grabbed me by the shoulders to face him.
“He did what?”
“He confessed, he said he loved me,” I sighed.
“And? You think he meant it? Are you sure it wasn’t for the show?”
“I know Shoei. He meant it.”
Yun Ho’s hands dropped down to my sides.
“Don’t worry. I rejected him. I love you, Yun Ho. And I love Shoei like a brother.”
“How did you reject him?”
“I chose Brian instead of him during the couple game.”
“Can we not think about this tonight?” I pleaded, “I just want to forget it happened at all and just enjoy myself. What a birthday this has turned out to be…”
“But you’ll still have to face him when you wake up tomorrow. You live together, remember?”
“Yes, I’ll deal with it tomorrow. Can you please help me forget it now?”
“Okay,” Yun Ho said.
He pulled me close and kissed me. I don’t know how long we were kissing. I felt so empty inside and only Yun Ho could fill me. We were oblivious to everything going around us until we heard Hee Chul’s voice.
“Yaa… happy couple. Can we cut in? It’s time to cut the cake!”
They had a huge cake with lots of candles wheeled in and everyone started singing.
“Hey! What’s with the hundreds of candles? I’m not that old!” I protested.
Everyone laughed and Yoo Chun replied, “It’s just for fun. We did it to disguise your age, actually.”
“Really?” I asked, staring at Yoo Chun.
“Yes… I wouldn’t lie to my sister-in-law,” he laughed.
Yun Ho blew out the candles together with me and when all the candles were blown out, the guys cheered. Then someone started chanting and got the whole group into it.
“Kiss… kiss… kiss… kiss…”
I started to blush. Yun Ho took my face in his hands, turned my head to face him and kissed me slowly. The guys started cheering again.
We had cake and decided to have a dance off. Yun Ho and I danced as a couple. In the middle of our dance, Brian cut in and started dancing with me. I continued dancing with Brian as I had with Yun Ho. Yun Ho was a little baffled at first and decided to challenge Brian. I couldn’t do anything but watch as both guys started to break dance. Their battle ended when Ki Bum and Shin Dong jumped in started doing a funny dance.
That night, when Yun Ho sent me home, he was silent again. I hate it when he doesn’t speak. I hate it when it feels like he’s ignoring me. He drove into the apartment compound and parked in front of the entrance.
“Are you going to talk to me?” I said as I turned to look at him.
He was looking out of the window. I could see his reflection on the window. He was bothered about something.
“Jung Yun Ho!” I called out, a little louder than I had meant to.
He turned around and I could see he was upset.
“Let’s go for a walk,” I said as I got out from the car.
We walked until we found a bench and sat down.
“Yun Ho, can you please talk to me? You’re really scaring me. You know I can’t take it when you don’t talk,” I pleaded again.
Yun Ho sighed, the air misted up as he exhaled, as though he had just blown smoke out of his mouth.
“Will you stay with me always?” he finally said.
“Yun Ho, what kind of question is that?”
“I mean… tonight, when I looked at Brian and Hwan Hee, I can’t help thinking that they were the kind of guys you’d like to date instead of me.”
“Yun Ho, I’m with you aren’t I? How can you say that?”
“Sierra, be honest with me. I don’t want to tie you to a relationship where you’ll always feel like you need more than I can give.”
“I really don’t know why you’d have such thoughts,” I said as I took his hand, “You’re my dream come true, I’ve waited for someone like you all my life and I will cherish every moment we share together. I am thankful that I have you.”
Yun Ho looked at me sadly and pulled me into his arms.
“I’ll always love you. I just wished I had everything you wanted in a man,” he whispered in my ear.
“But you are,” I said as tears started rolling down my cheeks. I was so frustrated. Why does he doubt me?
Yun Ho lifted my head and kissed the tears that ran down my cheeks.
“Mianhae,” he said before he kissed me on the lips slowly.
I pulled him closer as he kissed me. I was so afraid of losing him and I wanted to hold him and make sure he’d never leave.
Then, he pulled away and said, “Maybe we should take a break.”
I stared at him. I was speechless. This was coming out of the mouth of the guy who’d just kissed me like that.
“Wh… what?” I stammered.
“I think you need time to sort out your feelings, about me, about Shoei, about the kind of guy you want to share your life with,” he said quietly.
“But I don’t need to. I want you. I want only you. Why is it so hard for you to believe?”
“I don’t know. I just feel like I cannot give you enough. Just think about it. I’ll wait for you.”
At that moment, I was so angry with the way he mistrusted my feelings and I slapped him.
“Maybe you think that I’m not good enough for you,” I retorted and I turned and walked away.
I sobbed as I walked up to my apartment block. There was a line from the movie ‘My Boyfriend is Type-B’, ‘love is one pleasure with a thousand sufferings’. I guess I was feeling the thousand sufferings now. Why does it have to be so difficult to love?
I could hardly see the pathway leading up to the apartment from the tears in my eyes and I tripped and fell. I landed on my knees. They were scraped and bleeding, but I didn’t care. I just sat there and cried. I felt so tired and I didn’t want to get up. I just wanted to sit there and cry. At that moment, the song 하루가 가… (Haruga ga) by FTTS filled my head. The sadness that I’ve always felt the song was conveying felt real to me, now that I understand how it feels.