“Hello Darren,” I said, and smiled as sarcastically as I could, and he started laughing.
“What’s so funny?” the DJ asked Darren.
“Nothing,” Darren smiled. “Just thought of something funny.”
“Keurae? Wanna share it?”
“Not now,” Darren smiled.
“Why are we booked on a show he’s in?” I hissed at Shoei.
“He’s filling in for the other DJ this week. We didn’t expect him to be here at all,” Shoei replied.
“Crap,” I muttered and started flipping through the script that hyung had prepared for us.
“Annyeong haseyo, this is Seung Ho and Darren on today’s segment of ‘Hot This Second’,” the DJ, Seung Ho, started as we went on air.
“Annyeong haseyo, Darren-imnida,” Darren greeted. “Today, we have three very special guests with us, Sierra, Skye and Shoei of S-Cube,” he announced and we all had to clap our hands.
“Annyeong haseyo, urineun S-Cube-imnida,” we greeted together.
“Sierra-imnida,” I said.
“Skye-imnida,” Skye said.
“Shoei-imnida,” Shoei said.
“It’s great to be here,” I added.
“It’s great to have you here,” Darren said, and I know he said it on purpose because he was winking at me when he said it.
“The whole of South Korea knows that S-Cube is the band of the moment, especially this month. Your new album has been flying off the shelves and you’re all given big assignments abroad. Tell us more about them,” Seung Ho said.
“First of all,” Skye said. “We aim to continue to be the band of the moment for longer than this month,” prompting Shoei and I to cheer.
“Haha… of course,” Seung Ho replied.
“As for the assignments, only Skye and I will be going abroad,” Shoei said.
“Sierra’s staying here?” Seung Ho asked.
“Fortunately for everyone, I am,” I smiled.
“We’re definitely fortunate,” Darren grinned. “Is there some strategy for doing this?”
“I think the management wants me to strengthen my fan base and continue to improve on my Korean,” I replied. “I’m still very much a stranger here, and I think it would do me good to focus my activities here.”
“Stranger?” Seung Ho laughed. “Sierra, you are definitely no stranger to South Korea. You’re one of the most famous foreign stars to have made it in our industry.”
“It’s easier for people to accept me when I had Skye and Shoei by my side,” I said.
“True, but I do know that S-Cube was started with the international, or shall I say, Asian concept. All 3 members are of different nationalities,” Seung Ho said.
“I used to think that this concept would be a novelty for a short while,” Darren said. “But you have proven that you were not a once off project. You’re here to stay now.”
“Yes we are,” Skye said. “I think it’s thanks to Shoei and Sierra’s diligent efforts in learning Korean and the way of life here that helped us continue. Because they have almost made themselves feel local, people no longer think of this as a band made of different nationalities. We’re now a Korean band.”
“Thanks Skye,” Shoei and I said.
“Alright… that’s a lot of information. We didn’t really expect to go into such detail, but it has been very enlightening. Now, let’s listen to the title track on your latest album, and may I say, the MV is one of my personal favorites. Would you like to introduce it?” Seung Ho asked.
“Nae… everyone, this is our title track from our third album, ‘Connect the Dots’,” Shoei announced, and the song started playing.
“I can’t sit here,” I whispered to Shoei as soon as our microphones were turned off.
“You can’t leave now,” he said, grabbing onto my hand to make sure I didn’t take off.
“Darren is pissing me off. He keeps giving me these knowing smiles, and… arrrghhh,” I complained.
“We’ll deal with him after the show. Focus now,” Shoei said, and we started looking through our scripts for the rest of the show.
“How have you been, Sierra?” Darren asked, somewhere in the middle of the song.
“Fine,” I smiled tightly.
“You seem tensed today. You’re not feeling well?”
“Jerk,” I muttered under my breath.
“Nuna had a late night, with Jae Joong hyung,” Skye very helpfully piped in.
“Skye!” I exclaimed.
“It’s nice to hear that the both of you are still so into each other after… a year? Has it been a year?” Seung Ho said.
“Almost,” I replied.
“In my mind, relationships in the entertainment industry fizzle out so quickly. It’s really reassuring to see that there are couples who are doing well,” he added.
“We try. But it’s not always rainbows and butterflies,” I said.
“Of course, of course. All relationships have their ups and downs,” he agreed.
“Are you going to marry him?” Darren asked.
“Here we go again,” Skye laughed. “Nuna has been asked that same question time and time again.
“People seem to think that when a couple lasts more than a year, they automatically get married,” I said.
“Well, when it seems like such a good match, why not?” Seung Ho smiled.
“When we’re ready,” I said.
“The standard answer,” Darren said knowingly.
“The truth,” I corrected him, and continued to read my script, ignoring him.
The interview was over in another 20 minutes. They’d played 2 of our songs and asked more questions and as the last of our song played, we were allowed to leave the studio.
“Bye Sierra,” Darren drawled as I walked out, and I just smiled, for Seung Ho’s benefit.
“That pig!” I exclaimed as soon as I walked out of the studio.
“Let’s go,” Shoei said and he steered me out of the room into the corridor, Skye and hyung followed behind us.
“Sierra!” hyung yelled from behind, “Where were you?”
“Umm… I overslept.”
“You almost missed the show!”
“Mian,” I smiled.
“Mian? Your behaviour is becoming unacceptable. You think just because you have a little popularity now, you can behave like that?”
“Aigoo, hyung! Keugo aniya,” I said. “We’re not even that popular.”
“Then? Is it because your boyfriend is Yong-ung Jae Joong of TVXQ?”
“Hyung! I just overslept. It has nothing to do with all of this,” I said in an exasperated tone.
“You’d better buck up, Sierra. There’s no room in a band for a diva.”
“I know, hyung. I won’t do it again,” I said, and he just huffed.
“Sierra,” someone called from the direction of the studio we’d just left.
The 4 of us whirled around to see Darren walking towards us.
“You forgot this,” he said, and he held out my file.
I’d been in such a hurry to leave that I’d forgotten all about it.
“Komapda,” I said.
“Where are you guys headed?” he asked.
“Brunch,” Skye replied.
“Mind if I join you?” he asked.
“We’re actually in a hurry,” Shoei cut in politely. “We’re probably just going to grab a quick bite and move to the next venue on our schedule.”
“Aww, that’s too bad,” Darren smiled.
I could punch him for that smile. I’m starting to hate him more and more. Even though we don’t know what his motive is, but I can tell he is waiting for the opportunity to do something.
“Yea,” Shoei said. “We’ll catch you some other time.”
“Right then, see ya,” Darren said and he turned and left.
“Kaja,” Shoei said as he put an arm around me.
“I so wanna slap his smug face,” I said.
“What’s wrong now? You guys having some kinda fight with Helix?” hyung asked us.
“Aniya,” Skye replied. “We’re just not fans of them at this moment,” he snickered.
“Don’t stir up trouble. People see you as rivals, and to stir up trouble would put you in unfavorable light with their fans. We don’t need a fan war.”
“Nae,” we chorused.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we were again guests on another radio show. This time, it was Super Junior’s Kiss the Radio on KBS, with Ee Teuk and Eun Hyuk.
“Teukie, Teukie!” I called out as I walked in, and he laughed.
“Can you stop calling me that? You never let me forget.”
“How can I, Teukie?” I laughed as I sat down.
“Everything alright now?” Eun Hyuk asked me, with a concerned smile.
“Jun Su…” I cringed. “That blabber mouth.”
“It was big news,” Eun Hyuk said.
“Then I suppose everyone knows?” I sighed.
“Not everyone. Just the usual crew,” he said as he patted my hand.
“Aissshiii,” I said as I buried my head in my arms on the table.
“Hyung,” Skye said as he fiddled with the equipment around. “Are we gonna play soccer this weekend?”
“Aren’t you going to Taiwan or something?” Eun Hyuk said.
“I am… one last game before I go?”
“Count me out,” Ee Teuk said.
“Waegeurae?” Skye asked.
“I can do without the soccer games. Sierra and I can go shopping while you guys play,” he said, and he winked at me.
“Shopping? I love shopping,” I nodded.
“I’ll go shopping too,” Shoei piped in.
“Ya! Don’t you wanna play soccer with me?” Skye asked Shoei.
“Nah. I can’t keep up with you,” he replied.
“Miweo…” Skye sulked and slouched in his seat.
“Ya, ya, yah…” Eun Hyuk said as he poked Skye. “Sit up, young man. We’re about to go on air.”
Skye sat up straight while continuing to grumble about us not wanting to spend time with him, but as soon as we were on air, he shut up.
“Annyeong haseyo, Ee Teuk-imnida,” Ee Teuk greeted.
“Annyeong haseyo, Eun Hyuk-imnida,” Eun Yuk said.
“And you’re listening to Super Junior’s Kiss the Radio,” they announced together.
“Today we have really special guests with us. One of our SM family members, S-Cube!” Ee Teuk announced.
“Annyeong haseyo,” I greeted.
“Urineun, S-Cube-imnida!” we greeted as a group.
“Annyeong haseyo, Sierra-imnida,” I greeted.
“Annyeong haseyo, Skye-imnida,” Skye greeted.
“Konichiwa, Shoei-des,” Shoei added, and we all laughed.
“What’s with the Japanese today?” Ee Teuk asked.
“Well, as you all know, I will be leaving for Japan next week, so I’m making sure I don’t forget my own mother tongue,” Shoei replied.
“Does that mean I will need to speak more Mandarin?” Skye asked.
“Nae. Do your greeting again!” I said to Skye.
“Da jia hao,” he said in his shaky Mandarin, “wo shi Skye!” and we started clapping.
“You sound almost native,” Eun Hyuk snickered.
“Cheongmal?” Skye asked.
“Yea… native Korean,” I piped in, and we laughed hysterically.
“Okay, let’s move on,” Ee Teuk said, as soon as he had his laughter under control. “Let’s answer a listener’s call before we play the first song of the day.”
“Nae,” we all replied.
“Annyeong haseyo,” Eun Hyuk said as he answered the call.
“Annyeong haseyo,” the caller said, and the voice was vaguely familiar.