I opened the door and walked into the apartment. It was pitch-dark. Skye had forgotten to leave a light on for me. I’d sat on that pavement and cried until I had no more tears to cry. As upset as I’d been, I wished that Yun Ho had come for me, but he didn’t. I walked slowly into my room and started getting ready for bed. It was 3am when I finally lay down on my bed to sleep.
The next morning…
“Nuna! Wake up! Jae Joong hyung is here!” hollered Skye as he banged on my door.
I had such a headache and I just wanted to die in peace on my bed. I decided not to acknowledge Skye. He continued banging for another 5 minutes and then my door opened. I opened one eye to see who had come in, it was Jae Joong.
“Are you awake?”
“Oh…” I mumbled as I stretched under the covers.
“I suppose you’re not up for our cooking lesson today?”
That’s right! I’ve forgotten. Jae Joong always came by during the weekend to teach me how to cook Korean dishes. Usually, Yun Ho would come with him.
“Did Yun Ho come with you?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
I buried my face in my pillow in frustration.
“He told me everything when he came home last night. Kwaench'ana?” he asked as he sat down on the bed.
“Molla,” I replied as I fiddled with the corner of my blanket.
“I don’t know what has gotten into him, but I know he cares for you.”
“If he cared, he wouldn’t have said the things he did last night.”
“Hmm… I’ll talk to him when I get home. So how are you feeling?”
“I’ve got a horrible headache. I just want to sleep now.”
“Really?” Jae Joong said as he reached forward to touch my forehead, “You have a fever.”
“I do?” I said and touched my own forehead.
“How long were you out last night? It must’ve been really cold.”
“I don’t remember. It was about 3am when I finally got to bed.”
“I’ll get you some medicine, but first I’ll cook you some chuk.”
“Jae Joong, don’t bother. I’ll take care of myself,” I protested as I started to sit up.
“I’m doing this for Yun Ho,” Jae Joong replied as he slowly pushed me back onto the bed, “since he doesn’t have the sense to do it himself. Stay in bed.”
Jae Joong walked out of the room and closed the door softly. I looked at the ceiling and tears started to prickle my eyes again. Why can’t Yun Ho be like Jae Joong? Calm, sensible and thoughtful. Yun Ho had a tough childhood, but shouldn’t that have helped him mature, or did it do the opposite and made him yearn to gain back the childhood he’d lost? Yes, he made me happy. He’s playful, loving and protective, but he lacked the maturity Jae Joong had. It makes me wonder if blood type did matter. Jae Joong is ‘O’ and Yun Ho is ‘A’. It’s said that O goes better with O and A with A. Mine is 'O'.
“Nuna!” shouted Skye as he bounded into my room, “Hyung said you were sick. Are you okay? Kwaench'ana?”
“Yea, just a headache.”
“Hyung is cooking chuk for all of us. Isn’t he great!”
“Oh… Why don’t you go out and help him?”
“Hehe! I better not. I might destroy it,” he joked.
I laughed, “Fine, go do whatever. Leave me in peace,” I said and tried to push him off my bed.
Skye walked out and closed the door, and then I heard the sound of the TV. About an hour later, Jae Joong came in with a bowl of porridge, a glass of water and two pills.
“Here, eat,” he said.
He helped me sit up and when I tried to take the bowl myself, he pushed my hands away.
“No, just sit up. I’ll feed you,” he said as he started to spoon the porridge.
“I’m not an invalid, I can feed myself,” I protested.
“I’m doing this for Yun Ho, okay? So don’t argue, open up,” he said as he thrust a spoonful of porridge at me.
If you knew Jae Joong, you wouldn’t argue when he used a firm tone like that. I obediently opened my mouth and swallowed the porridge. As usual, it tasted good.
“Jae Joong-ah,” I said as I watched him blow gently on the next spoonful.
“Oh… wae?” he said as he fed me again.
I swallowed and put my hand on his knee.
“Komawo,” I said.
“Aah… kwaench'ana. I’m just taking care of a good friend,” he said as he smiled.
“Really, thank you. I wish Yun Ho were here now, but I’m so thankful you came anyway,” I said as tears started to stream down my face.
“It’s okay,” Jae Joong said as he put down the bowl, “Come here,” he said and he hugged me.
I hugged Jae Joong and cried silently for a few minutes, when I finally pulled away, his shirt was all wet.
“Oh! Mian. Your shirt is soaked,” I apologized.
“It’s okay,” he smiled, “I’ll make sure Yun Ho knows what I had to endure in his place.”
I smiled through my tears and brushed the spot on his shoulder where I’d wet his shirt.
“Komawo, Jae Joong,”
“Yes… enough… you’re starting to bore me. Let’s finish your chuk before it turns cold.”
After finishing the porridge, he made me take the pills. Before he left, he tucked me into bed.
“You take care, okay? I’ll make sure Yun Ho makes it up to you for yesterday, don’t worry,” he said as he brushed my hair away from my face.
“Oh…” I said, as I closed my eyes.
Hours later, I opened my eyes and found Shoei sitting beside me, with his back leaning against the headboard.
“Nuna, you’re up. Are you feeling better?” Shoei asked.
“Oh… the headache’s gone,” I said.
“So has the fever,” Shoei said, as the touched my forehead.
We were silent for awhile before Shoei spoke.
“Nuna, about yesterday…”
“Shoei, let’s not talk about yesterday.”
“But nuna, I really do love you,” he said as he took my hand.
“Shoei, it was a mistake. You can’t love me. You’re my brother,” I said, pulling my hand away.
“What does Yun Ho have that I don’t?” he asked.
“Nothing! I just happen to love Yun Ho, not you.”
“Why, nuna? We met first. Why didn’t you love me first?”
“It doesn’t work like that Shoei,” I explained.
Shoei sighed loudly.
“We’ve been like brother and sister this past year and I cannot change those feelings,” I continued.
“I just don’t understand,” he complained.
“You have to. You’re gonna give me a hard time if you keep this up. If you love me, even just as your nuna, you won’t do this to me. Do you think that I wouldn’t feel guilty?”
“I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just wanted you to care for me like I do for you.”
“I do care, Shoei. It’s just different from the way I care for Yun Ho. Just promise me that we’ll put this madness behind us.”
“Fine,” he said, “I’ll stop, but I won’t stop loving you.”
“Shoei…” I said is exasperation.
“I’ll leave you alone. I won’t express my love to you anymore but I can keep on loving you. I can’t turn my feelings off like a tap.”
“I wish you could,” I said quietly.
“It’s my heart, you can’t stop it,” he said, as he got up, “Rest, I won’t bother you anymore.”
I watched Shoei walk out of my room. I’ve hurt him again, and it didn’t feel good at all. I just hope he gets over this infatuation soon.
The week had begun and we’re back to our hectic schedule. Yun Ho had not called for days. I was a bit worried that he’d meant it when he proposed the break. Today we had a live performance at a jazz bar. I was dressed in a collared denim dress with white tights cropped at the calves and stiletto pumps. The guys were in suits.
“Yeoreobun, let’s welcome the current chart toppers, S-Cube, with their latest single, ‘Wae Kayo?’!” the MC announced.
‘Wae Kayo?’ or ‘Why did you go?’ was our third single that’s currently climbing the charts. I started playing the keyboards, it was a sad song with a classic piano opening.
Shoei: I sit here on this lonely bench
We used to come here all the time
We’d cuddle close and watch people pass by
In the autumn we’d come so you could see the leaves fall
Skye: This was a place filled with beautiful memories,
You and I ran carefree along the beach
We’d splash around in the sea and roll in the sand
And as we walked home, I’d carry you on my back
Sierra: Wae kayo, why did you go
You’ve left me with nothing but memories
You haunt me with your laughter
When I close my eyes all I could see is your smile
Skye: We used to come here to sit and read quietly together
You didn’t know, but I’d keep watching you secretly
The way your nose wrinkled as you focused on the book
My heart bleeds when I’m reminded of you
Shoei: Will you ever come back
Would you come back if I begged you
Sierra: Would you hurt me again
Or would you cherish me forever
Shoei: I would do my best to be a better man
Sierra: I can’t take another heartbreak, I loved you too much
Together: Wae kayo, why did you go
You’ve left me with nothing but memories
You haunt me with your laughter
When I close my eyes all I could see is your smile
As the song ended, I looked up. The crowd cheered and clapped. As we bowed and thanked the audience, I spotted Brian and Hwan Hee at the VIP table in the corner.
“Encore!” Brian shouted and the crowd followed.
We sang ‘I’m sorry, I love you’ as an encore and we retired back stage. Brian was there to greet us.
“Great job guys!” he said and patted the guys on their backs.
“Thanks, hyung,” Shoei replied.
“You to Sierra,” he said as he turned to me.
“Thanks,” I smiled.
As the guys walked off to change, Brian and I sat down to talk for awhile.
“So did you get home okay the other day?” Brian asked.
“Yes, why wouldn’t I have?” I replied.
“Nah, just asking,” he said.
“Thanks for your concern anyway. Where’s Hwan Hee? I thought I saw him,” I said.
“He’s at our table, with his girlfriend, they’re inseparable,” he laughed.
“So where’s your girlfriend?” I teased.
“Don’t have one at the moment, you interested?” he looked at me.
I blushed and looked down.
“Hey, I was just joking, don’t get shy on me now,” he said.
“I need to get changed,” I said as I got up.
“Okay. See you around then. Great performance tonight,” he said as he got up.
“Thanks! See ya,” I said as I waved and walked off.
As I approached my table, I saw a stuffed penguin holding a bouquet of flowers. Yun Ho… I thought. I picked up the card that came with it.
You were beautiful tonight.
It was a short note, but I knew it meant an apology he couldn’t express. Was he still here? Would he be waiting for me outside? I ran out through the back entrance of the club. There were fans gathered there and they started screaming when I appeared. I gave an apologetic wave as I scanned the crowd. Where was he? I was beginning to feel desperate when I saw him at a distance from the club, leaning on a van. I pushed through the crowd and I ran to him.
“Yun Ho!” I shouted.
He looked up, he never looked more beautiful to me than at that moment. I ran into his arms and he hugged me hard.
“Mianh,” he said.
“Saranghae, Yun Ho. Saranghae,” I whispered as I started to cry.
“Saranghae, Sierra. Mian, don’t cry. I missed you so much,” he said as he combed his fingers through my hair.
The fans began to descend on us. They were screaming in excitement and clicking their cameras and mobile phones repeatedly to capture our pictures.
“Let’s go,” Yun Ho said as he pulled me to his car which was parked behind the van.
Yun Ho held my hand as we drove through the late night Seoul traffic.
On the radio, Buzz’s ‘남자를 몰라 (Namjarul Molla) - You Don’t Know Guys’ was playing. It made me wonder, how well I know this guy. Are we always going to have problems like this? Or will we be able to resolve this and get on with our relationship.
Yun Ho drove up to the hill which overlooked the city lights. We often come here to talk when we felt stressed. He wound the windows down a little and turned off the engine. There was a long moment of silence before he spoke.
“I missed you,” he said, squeezing my hand.
“Then why didn’t you come to see me?”
“I wanted to, but I couldn’t. I thought you wouldn’t want to see me again.”
“I waited for you that night. I sat there on that pavement and waited.”
“I know… I was right behind you.”
“You were? Then why didn’t you come?” I asked, and the tears started coming again.
“I wanted to come over, but I thought if I did, you’d just get more upset and I couldn’t bear seeing you look so sad.”
“What kind of a reason is that?”
“I just thought I had to give you some time to think about us.”
“Then why did you bother to come tonight??!!” I cried
“Mianhae, I was wrong,” he said as he put his arms around me, “Jae Joong told me everything and he gave me a good scolding. I know I’m at fault. Forgive me… Saranghae.”
I continued to sob and he hugged me close.
“I stood behind you the whole night until you went in. Now I wish I’d come over and hugged you. Mian. Did you hurt yourself?”
“I scraped my knees a little,” I said, sniffing.
“Where? Let me see,” he said, as he rolled up my tights.
He gently touched the scars with his fingers.
“Look what you did to me,” I complained, still sniffing from my blocked nose, “You’ve scarred me for life now.”
“Mian…” he said, “Does it still hurt?”
“No, but since you did this to me, you’d better take responsibility. You break it, you bought it,” I said as I glared at him.
“Yes, I did,” he smiled, “Now you belong to me,” he said, and he kissed me.
I felt whole again that night though I wondered if our romance would ever end. We have many more years of hardships ahead, relationship wise and career wise. For now, I’m just happy to know that he really loves me.