Saturday, 9 December 2006

Chapter 40: Minutes

We arrived at JFK International Airport after more than 17 hours on the plane. I can never bear sitting on a plane for such long hours. Throughout the entire flight, I couldn’t sleep. I was either walking up and down the aisle or watching a movie on the screen in front of me.

“This is like the hundredth time you’re going to the toilet,” Jae Joong complained as I squeezed past him.

“You were the one who didn’t want to sit by the window,” I said. “Stop complaining.”

After making through the customs in one piece, our American crew received us as we exited the arrival hall. They had a few MPVs parked outside, waiting for us. The weather was pretty chilly since it was almost December. We’d put on our windbreakers before we walked out of the airport. Jae Joong had his arm around me as we walked out, to keep me warm. After 2 years in Korea, I still detested the cold weather and had never gotten used to it.

It was about 1pm, Eastern Time, when we arrived at Atlas apartments, where we were going to stay throughout our duration here at NYC. The time difference with Korea was minus 10 hours, which meant that we should be in bed now. We were allowed 2 hours of rest before our appearance on MTV’s TRL. They’d rented 2 apartments for us at Atlas and we grouped into fours. Jae Joong joined Skye, Shoei and I. There was a room with two single beds and there were another 2 single beds in the living area.

“Skye,” Shoei nudged him, “I don’t think we need to bother requesting, we’re gonna end up sleeping out here.”

“Hyung… I want to sleep in the room,” Skye whined to Jae Joong.

“The room’s mine,” I said and stuck my tongue out at him.

“Then can I sleep with nuna?” Skye asked Jae Joong, while raising his eyebrows suggestively.

“In your dreams,” Jae Joong said as he laughed and Skye pretended to cry.

“Come here, Skye,” Shoei laughed as he put his arm around Skye. “I’ll love you.”

Our assistants came in shortly after with racks of our outfits for outings and television appearances. Our costumes for the concert will be sent directly to MSG (Madison Square Garden). I grimaced when I saw that most of my outfits were not going to provide me much protection from the cold weather.

“Nuna,” I asked one of the assistants, “Isn’t there like a thicker coat for me?”

“These are all the clothes the company had provided. You’ll probably have to wear your windbreaker over these if you’re really cold.”

I went into the room and lay down on the bed for a catnap. I could hear someone entering the room and then, I could feel Jae Joong lying on top of me.

“Get off, fatty,” I said, without opening my eyes. I knew it was him from the way his body felt against mine and I could smell his scent.

He bent down until his lips were a millimeter away from my ear, “Make me,” he whispered.

“I’m too tired,” I said. “Get off before you regret it.”

“How are you going to do that,” he said and he shifted so that more of his lower body weight was against mine.

I slid my hands underneath his shirt and he flinched a little as my hands came into contact with his skin.

“Your hands are cold,” he said.

“That’s why I’m warming them,” I smiled. I still had my eyes closed as I slowly slid my hands up his back, reveling in the warmth of his body and his muscles. He didn’t have rock-hard muscles. They were nicely toned and firm, just the way I liked them. I brought my hands slowly around the side of his body to his front and I slid my hands up his chest. My right hand touched the piercing on his nipple and he inhaled sharply as I did. I opened my eyes to see him looking at me with that expression of his. The expression that always made me melt like an ice cube in a pool of lava. His eyes mesmerized me as always. I never ceased to drown myself in those eyes of his.

I licked my lips. They were chapped from the dry and cold weather. His eyes flicked down to look as I did. I pulled my hands out from under his shirt and guided his head, with my right hand on his neck, towards me to kiss him lightly on the lips. He pulled away and his hand came to rub his thumb across my lips. Then he leant back forward and kissed me. His arms came around me, underneath me, to lift me up tighter against his chest as he kissed me. I put my arms around his neck and pulled his head down towards me so that his lips came down harder against mine. In a sudden moment of panic, I pushed him away.

“Did you lock the door?” I asked him. I didn’t need Skye and Shoei barging in and catching us in this state. He smiled and leant back in to continue kissing me. I took that as a ‘yes’.

Sometime later, Jae Joong fell onto the pillow beside me, breathless. I moved over to lay my head on his chest, and his hand came to stroke my hair. I closed my eyes and fell asleep almost immediately.

I was awoken by a knock on the door.

“Nuna,” I heard Skye call through the door. I nudged Jae Joong awake and he dragged himself over to unlock the door before he went to flop facedown on the other bed.

“Nuna, we leave in half an hour,” Skye said and he shut the door quietly. I looked at my watch. It was almost 4pm.

We arrived at TRL’s studios at Times Square. After watching countless of episodes of America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway, I finally get to see Times Square for myself. It was dazzling. The LCD screens on the street had been prepped before our arrival, they now flashed photos of TVXQ and S-Cube. Nothing had prepared me for the way I felt when I saw all those lights and graphics flashing before me.

“Wow!!” Skye exclaimed as he got out of the MPV. “Look at us!”

“I didn’t know the program was such a big deal,” Jun Su said.

“It almost reminds me of the last time Rain was here,” Chang Min said. “I heard he was plastered all over Times Square as well.”

“Finally… we’re global!” Yoo Chun exclaimed.

“Hwaiting!” I shouted and raised my hand up.

“Hwaiting!” the guys shouted as their hands joined mine.

We came dressed in our outfits for the show. All we had left to do was to put on our war paints, or more commonly known as makeup. Each of us was dressed in individual casual outfits instead of the usual coordinated colors and designs. I was in a pair of low-cut skinny jeans and a complicated halter top. There were slashes on it that revealed my skin at the abdomen and across the neckline. While waiting for our turns to be made up, we read through the script or rather a list of stuff we may be asked during the show. In the middle of our preparation, Park Su Chin, our host for the show, walked into the dressing room.

“Annyong haseyo,” she said.

“Annyong haseyo,” we all replied.

“It’s such an honour to finally meet you,” she said as she went around shaking our hands.

“It’s an honour for us too. We’ve always seen you on MTV and we’re so in awe of all the artistes you get to meet,” I said when she came to shake my hand.

“Sierra. I’ve heard so much about you. You’re from Malaysia , aren’t you?” she said.

“Yes. Everyone’s from Korea, except for Shoei, who’s from Japan.”

“S-Cube is almost more of an Asian group rather than a Korean group. You have three different nationalities in just one band.”

“Right, but we’re aiming for international, really,” I laughed.

“Who isn’t?” she smiled.

We were wired and ready to go within the hour. We looked out and saw that fans had gathered outside the building. There were hundreds of them. They carried huge placards and banners with our names and we could see a sea of red and blue (with silver streaks) balloons. In the studio itself, there were many fans too; mostly screaming for the guys. Park Su Chin walked out and stood in front of the camera, and they cued her that she was on air.

“Annyong haseyo, Park Su Chin-imnida. I’m Park Su Chin and welcome to a special episode of Total Request Live. Tonight we’re here to meet two of the hottest groups from Korea who are here in NYC to perform in their first large scale concert ever in the USA. Let’s give them our biggest welcome as TVXQ and S-Cube take NYC!”

The whole studio cheered and the music started. We were positioned on either side of the studio; S-Cube on the left and TVXQ on the right. The lights focused on TVXQ and they started dancing to ‘Rising Sun’. The fans’ screaming were deafening as they waved their balloons in time to the song. Midway, the song switched to 'Desperate' and S-Cube was now in the spotlight. Surprisingly, the screams for us were equally deafening. As our opening performance ended, we gathered in the middle with Su Chin and were handed a few microphones.

“That was an awesome performance.” Su Chin exclaimed.

“Kamsahamnida,” we said in unison.

“Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves, starting from TVXQ,” Su Chin said.

“Annyong haseyo, Dong Bang Shin Ki-imnida,” TVXQ shouted in sync.

“Chonun Xiah Junsu-imnida.”

“Wassup NYC! Micky Yoochun-imnida,” Micky shouted and was met with more screaming.

“Yongung Jaejoong-imnida. Pangabsumnida.”

“Choikang Changmin-imnida.”

“Hello everybody, U-Know Yunho-imnida!”

As they went from one to another, introducing themselves and bowing, they were greeted by endless screaming from the audience.

“Annyong haseyo, S-Cube-imnida,” Skye, Shoei and I announced.



“And I’m Sierra,” I said in English.

“Thank you, TVXQ and S-Cube. Aren’t you guys excited?” Su Chin asked the audience.

“Yes,” some of them shouted back.

“I can’t hear you, everybody, say ‘Ne!’” Su Chin shouted.

“Ne!” the audience shouted back loudly.

“Right… let’s get things started with a little Q&A. I’m sure most of the fans here know almost everything there is to know about both bands. So what we’d like to do is dish a little dirty secret from the each of you or maybe talk about what you guys have been doing and your plans for the coming year. I know it’s the end of the year and these are nerve wracking times for the two bands with the upcoming awards.”

“Ne, we were mostly busy preparing for our concert at MSG tomorrow night,” Yun Ho was cut off by the fans screaming. “And we’re also preparing for our performances at the upcoming awards.”

“I hope you guys haven’t been overworking. I heard that sometimes, you guys get really sick,” Su Chin remarked.

“We’re stronger now. After more than 3 years in the business, we’d started to become immune to the schedule’s demands,” Jun Su laughed.

“What about S-Cube? How are you guys coping?” Su Chin asked.

“Well,” Shoei said and the fans screamed again. He laughed nervously before he continued, “Of course we’re not as busy as TVXQ since we’ve not reached their level of popularity. But as far as coping with the schedule goes, we’re doing fine.”

“How about you, Sierra? Has adapting to the Korean culture been difficult for you?”

“I’ve always loved the Korean culture. I may have had a little problem with the food, but as for the lifestyle, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with it,” I smiled.

“So, no live octopuses for you yet?” she laughed.

“None, I’m afraid.”

“She’s always forcing us to eat Chinese food,” Skye piped in and everyone laughed.

“I’ve heard TVXQ and S-Cube share a really special friendship; almost as close as TVXQ’s friendship with Super Junior. How is it that you guys are so close when you could easily be rivals?”

Yun Ho cleared his throat and said, “First of all, we’re label mates. As label mates, we meet each other often during events organized by the management. Secondly, being young and in the same industry, it’s perfectly normal to bond together.”

“Ah…” Su Chin exclaimed softly.

“And not to forget, we have a couple here,” Chang Min added.

“Right, I’ve forgotten. Sierra and Jae Joong,” Su Chin smiled. “I’m sorry girls, but Jae Joong is taken,” she said and was met with a few wails from the audience.

“Don’t worry girls, you still have the six of us here,” Jun Su laughed and the audience applauded.

“Right,” Skye said and they pushed Jae Joong away so that they could have a group hug with just the 6 of them, causing a wave of laughter from the audience.

“So Sierra, is it hard dating someone who has so many fans?” Su Chin asked.

“I often fear for my life,” I laughed. “But I’m glad that Jae Joong’s fans understand and they only want Jae Joong to be happy.”

“And if I’m ever unhappy, you guys know what to do,” Jae Joong laughed as he came over to speak into my microphone and I pushed him away.

“You guys are so sweet,” Su Chin laughed.

“You see what we have to put up with each day?” Yoo Chun said.

“So are we going to have to special preview of what we will see at the concert tomorrow night?” Su Chin asked.

“And spoil the surprise?” Yun Ho exclaimed and raised his eyebrows.

“How many of you want a preview?” Su Chin asked the audience and was greeted with loud applause. “You see. You have to give us a preview. That’s the main reason we invited you here.”

“Shall we?” Yun Ho asked all of us and we pretended to look unsure of our decision. Some of the fans wailed and shouted for us to perform.

“Come on…” Su Chin urged us.

“Oh well, why not?” Yun Ho said and the audience screamed in delight.

“Everyone, give it up for TVXQ and S-Cube, performing an exclusive song meant for tomorrow’s concert at MSG. You’re seeing it here first on TRL, tonight. This is ‘Hold On’,” Su Chin announced and lights dimmed.

The few LCD screens behind us lit up with graphics as the music started. We were already in our starting positions. The sounds of violins filled the air and as the intro ended, I moved forward from between the guys and started singing.

Sierra: I want you, I need you

Each day I wanna be with you

I’m cold now, please hold me

[Jun Su: I’m cold now, please hold me]

When you leave, please don’t forget me

[Jun Su: When you leave, please don’t forget me]

Jae Joong: To see you, and touch you

Brings out the beast inside me

To own you, to have you

[Sierra: To own you, to have you]

I’ll never let you go

[Sierra: I’ll never let you go]

Skye: In this world where love isn’t forever

In this world where affections could turn to hate so easily

Shoei: In this world where wanting someone, becomes pure torture

In this world where love may just disappear

Guys: Hold on, grab my hand

Don’t you ever let go

[Sierra: Let go…]

Baby, if you don’t

I might lose you forever

Sierra: Hold on, take me with you

Don’t leave me here alone

All: If you don’t, baby

You may regret it

Chang Min: I want you, I need you

Your smile I’ll always remember

When we kiss, I shudder

[Sierra: When we kiss, I shudder]

Waves of pleasure wash all over me

[Sierra: Waves of pleasure wash all over me]

Yun Ho: To see you, and touch you

So near that I could smell you

Your face imprinted in my mind

[Jae Joong: Your face imprinted in my mind]

I can never love another

[Jae Joong: I can never love another]

Yoo Chun: In this world where life is turning meaningless

In this world where no one cares what happens to you

Jun Su: In this world where you and I could be one forever

In this world where I would never give up on you

Guys: Hold on, grab my hand

Don’t you ever let go

[Skye: Let go…]

Baby, if you don’t

I might lose you forever

Hold on, take me with you

Don’t leave me here alone

If you don’t, baby

You may regret it

Shoei: Hold on, grab my hand

Don’t you ever let go

S-Cube: Baby, if you don’t

I might lose you forever

Jun Su: Forever… yeah, yeah…

By the time the song had ended, we were sweating and breathless from dancing and singing live.

“Was that the most awesome performance you’ve ever seen?” Su Chin hollered to the audience and they cheered. “Well, we’re going to go for a break now. Don’t go away. More sizzling performances and answers to questions by TVXQ and S-Cube after this,” and we received a cue that we’ve gone off the air for the moment.


wintergal // lainez said...

Wow! It was such a blast~! XD I could imagine me being there enjoying everything~! XD Haha! Update soon~!

~*devilish charz*~ said...

cant wait for the second part of the interview, actually waited for few days dy....

KRii said...

AHH i wish TVXQ would come to the east coast to perform!! (preferrably somewhere are virginia KEKE! xD)