“Oppa, onni,” she greeted as she sniffed.
“Hae Rin,” I said. “You’re sick?”
“I have the flu,” she smiled.
Her nose was red, her eyes puffy and the moment she entered the room, she sat down immediately. How was she going to record today? Then again, Jae Joong and the rest of TVXQ have recorded when their sick, and so have we. But Hae Rin really did look awful.
“She’s just missing a few minutes more of recording. Let’s finish it today,” her manager said, and she nodded.
I watched Hae Rin drag herself into the studio and recorded as she leant heavily on the stand they’d placed under the microphone. The stand was usually used to hold up the lyrics and most of the time, we’d place our water bottles on it.
After an hour of recording, Hae Rin was finally released and I accompanied her down to the lobby to catch a taxi home. I had to remain because my recording was not complete yet.
“I can wait for the taxi alone,” she said, after we’d asked the receptionist to call for one.
“It’s alright. I just want to make sure you don’t faint before getting onto the taxi,” I smiled.
“Too bad Skye’s recording, or he’d be able to take me home.”
“Yea. We’re on a tight schedule. Our album’s due for release in 2 months, and we’ve not even finished recording. What’s more, we still have MVs to film.”
“And you have an extra MV to film with me,” she added.
“That’s right,” I sighed.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have asked you to collaborate with me,” she said.
“It’s fine. I can handle it,” I said. “This is not my first collaboration.”
“You’re really nice to me, onni,” she sighed.
“Why do you say that?” I asked her.
She looked up at me and she looked back down, shaking her head slowly.
“What’s wrong, Hae Rin?”
“You know, don’t you?” she said.
“You know how I feel about Jae Joong oppa, don’t you? I know Skye must’ve told you. He didn’t tell me he did. But I know him. He must’ve told you.”
“And what if I do know.”
“I’m sorry, onni. I should’ve stopped obsessing about it a long time ago. I just realized that the both of you are really in love, and your relationship is steadfast. And I just realized that I could lose the only person who cares about me if I kept this up.”
“What happened? Did Skye say something?” I asked her.
Just then the taxi arrived, and she stood up.
“It’s nothing onni. I’ve talked it out with Skye. We’re fine now, and don’t worry. I’ll never try to come between you and Jae Joong oppa,” she said. “I’d better go now,”
“Okay. Go. Rest and get well soon,” I said, and she turned around to walk off.
I’m really puzzled with her attitude. Just a few days ago, she was devastated when she saw Jae Joong and me kissing, and now she’s admitting everything to me and telling me that she’d given up. I really don’t know what to make of her attitude. I should probably talk to Skye to confirm this. Did she really mean it? Was she really over Jae Joong?
[Hae Rin’s POV]
I climbed wearily into the taxi and after telling the driver where to go, I just lay down in the backseat. Thank god I’m sick today. Because I’m sick, I got the short break I needed so much. I’m finally getting the day off. I closed my eyes and groaned softly to myself.
“Agasshi,” the driver said as he turned around, “are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine,” I replied, and I closed my eyes again as soon as he’d turned around.
The past few days have been hellish for me, but thankfully, all has ended well. The night Kang In oppa had dropped me home, I found Skye waiting for me outside my apartment block.
“Skye,” I said as I approached him.
“Who was that?” he asked me.
“Kang In oppa,” I said.
“You went out with him?”
“No, I bumped into Sierra onni and Jae Joong oppa on the way out of the studios, and they offered me a lift, and to join them for dinner. That’s where we bumped into Kang In and Eun Hyuk oppa,” I explained.
“I thought you were recording late. Nuna and hyung left the building a short while after Shoei and I did. How could you have bumped into them?”
What’s up with Skye tonight? Why is he interrogating me? He usually says nothing when he sees me, other than describing his day and telling his jokes.
“My recording session ended early. What’s wrong with bumping into them?”
“Did you plan it?” he asked me.
I was taken aback when Skye asked me that question. What made him think that I was plotting anything? Then I remembered that he knew about my feelings for Jae Joong oppa.
“I didn’t plan anything, Skye,” I told him, and it was the truth.
“Are you sure? I can see you’ve not given up on Jae Joong hyung. I know it. You think I don’t know what you’re thinking when your mind wanders, when you’re not paying attention to me?” he said.
“I’m with you now, Skye. Why can’t just you let things be? Why must you talk about this?”
“Because you’re still thinking about it. You’re not contented just being with me,” he said.
“What makes you say that? You’re being crazy. If you wanna think that I’m not contented, maybe it’s because you feel that you’re not doing enough,” I said.
“Listen to you. I’ve not done enough? Hae Rin, I’ve been with you almost every single day since you got back from the States. Tell me how I have not been doing enough?”
“Then? What are you getting at?”
“I just feel tired. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t return my feelings.”
“What do you mean? Aren’t we together? What do you mean by not returning your feelings?”
“Sure… you do everything a girlfriend would do, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re not thinking of me when you do all those stuff. You’re still wanting something else, someone else.”
“You’re being ridiculous Skye,” I said. I was beginning to get really frustrated.
“Am I?” he said.
“I’m not going to defend myself when I’ve done nothing wrong,” I said as I crossed my arms across my chest.
“Fine. Then ask yourself. Are you really true to me? When you have an answer, then we can continue. For now, I’m done with us,” he said and he walked off.
“Done?” I exclaimed, shocked. “Skye!” I turned around and called after me, but he just kept walking.
I stood there and stared at his back as he walked off. Was he for real? Have I really gone too far? That night, I lay in bed and thought about it. Was I really going to ever get Jae Joong oppa? I grimaced when I remembered the kiss he shared with Sierra onni. They have never looked more into each other. I guess I will never get a shot at him. Was he just a teenage fantasy I couldn’t get over, or was he really the man of my dreams that I cannot live without?
I thought about Skye, about how he’d been there for me all these months. He did love me, and I know it. I’d refused to replace Jae Joong oppa’s place in my heart with Skye because I kept telling myself I was this close to winning him. The truth was that I haven’t even gotten in through the door. Sure he knew I existed, but he sure didn’t seem to care if I did or not.
The next day, I called Skye. I’d decided that I’m going to forget my obsession with Jae Joong oppa, and make the most of what I have with Skye. I tried again and again, and he just didn’t pick up. What was up? Didn’t he have breaks between his recording sessions?
After about 10 tries, I decided to try calling Shoei oppa instead, thinking that maybe Skye left his phone at home.
“Yoboseyo?” Shoei oppa said as he answered the phone.
“Shoei oppa, is Skye here?” I asked him.
“Ye,” he replied.
“Then why isn’t he answering his phone?” I asked him.
“I dunno,” Shoei oppa replied.
“Can I speak to him?”
“Chamkan,” he said, and I was kept waiting for awhile.
“Yoboseyo,” I said as I started to get impatient.
“Uhm… Hae Rin,” Shoei oppa said. “Skye’s recording now. He’ll call you back later.”
“But wasn’t he…” I started.
“I gotta go too,” Shoei oppa cut me of. “He’ll call you. Bye!” he said and he hung up on me.
What was Skye playing at now? Was he angry with me? Was he trying to ditch me? I decided that I needed to find out, so I waited in the lobby that night so that I could catch him after his recording session. I sat there for almost an hour past the usual time he’d usually get out of the studio. My manager had been calling me for the past half an hour, probably to ask me to get back into the studio, but I ignored his calls. I needed to talk to Skye, or I wouldn’t be able to focus.
Sierra onni had walked past sometime ago, and she stopped to talk to me.
“Why are you here, Hae Rin?” she asked me. “Waiting for Skye?”
“Nae,” I replied. “Is he coming down yet?”
“In awhile, I guess. I gotta run. I have a shoot elsewhere,” she said, before she rushed off.
Sierra onni was really busy these days. I could see that her popularity was on the rise. It wouldn’t be long before they decide to make her a solo kasu, then she’d be my competition.
It was almost an hour later when Skye finally emerged from the elevator
“Skye,” I yelled as he walked out. I noticed him rolling his eyes when he saw me.
“I’ll meet you outside,” Shoei said and he took the car keys from Skye before walking out quickly.
I walked up to Skye and tugged him to a more secluded corner to talk.
“What do you want?” he said.
“Why didn’t you answer my calls?”
“I was busy.”
“You didn’t answer my calls on purpose,” I accused him, and he gave an impatient sigh.
“So? Unless you have good news for me, I don’t want to talk to you,” he said. “I’m really tired of all this, Hae Rin.”
He’d never sounded so cold when speaking to me before. Did I really do this to him? Did my inability to commit cause him to give up on me?
“Why are you talking like that Skye? You’re never spoken to me in this tone before,” I said, sadly.
“Even a statue would shed tears if you treat it the way you treated me. I’m not made of stone you know,” he said.
“Was I so horrible? Do you really think that I don’t care for you?” I asked him.
“Sure you do care for me. You care for me only enough to keep me by your side until you can trade me for something better.”
“Skye,” I said, my lips trembling. How could he accuse me of such a thing?
“I need to go. Shoei’s waiting,” he said, and he started walking out.
It was raining outside and he ran into the rain to get to his car.
“Skye,” I shouted as I chased after him.
“Get inside,” he said as he turned around. “It’s raining.”
“I don’t care,” I replied as I got drenched while walking up to him.
“Get inside,” he said as he walked towards me and tried to push me towards the area where it was sheltered.
“I just…” I said, as I shrugged his hands off. “I want to tell you something,”
“What is it?” he said harshly, as he looked at me.
“I love you, Skye,” I said, and his expression started to soften.
Before I had time to resist, he quickly pulled me under the shelter.
“Are you sure, Hae Rin?” he said, as soon as we were out of the rain. “I’ve been hurt and neglected by you, and I don’t think I can take a second time.”
He never looked more endearing to me than at that moment; his shirt soaked, and water dripped from his hair and off his beautiful nose. I felt like I was in my own drama; drenched in the rain and expressing myself to the man I loved.
“Yes, I am,” I replied. “I love only you, Skye,” I said, and I meant it.
It felt good to finally say how I feel. I guess I loved him all along, but my childish pride and impractical wants stopped me from facing my feelings for Skye. He was the person who meant the most to me. I can’t believe it took me that long to see it.
“Hae Rin,” he said softly.
His hand came up to wipe the droplets of water that had dripped from my hair, onto my face. Then, he pulled me towards him and hugged me. I hugged him tight, as a sense of relief washed over me. I hadn’t lost him. Thank god I turned back in time, in time to stop him from giving up on me.
I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and I took it out to see who it was. It was a text message from Skye:
Feel better. I’ll come visit you tonight. Saranghae…
I smiled when I saw the message, and I typed a quick reply before closing my eyes to rest again:
Saranghae… See you tonight.
[End of Hae Rin's POV]