Sunday, 29 July 2007

Chapter 107: Sometimes

Yun Ho was squinting grumpily at the both of us, and I could feel my face turning red.

“Can you guys keep it down?” he said as he lay back down and covered his face with his pillow.

“It’s all your fault,” I whispered at Jae Joong and poked his head with my index finger.

“My fault?” he whispered back as he got off the floor and pulled me up.

“Yes,” I hissed at him.

“I was just being spontaneous,” he said.

“Right… falling off the bed is definitely a spontaneous act,” I giggled, and quickly muffled them by clearing my throat.

“Let’s leave the room,” Jae Joong said. “He needs the sleep.”

“I’ll be out in a minute. I need to get my bag cos Hee Chul’s gonna be here any second.”

“Araso,” Jae Joong yawned and walked out.

I walked to my pile of stuff that has taken residence in their room and picked up the bag I’d packed earlier. As I was about to walk out when Yun Ho started coughing; and it wasn’t just a cough. It was more like a fit.

“Yun Ho,” I turned around and looked at him. “Kwaench’ana?”

“Kwaench’ana…” he said as he continued coughing.

I walked up to him and sat next to him on the bed. He was still coughing, but was lying down. I noticed now that his eyes were red and puffy, not to forget the dark circles, and he looked a little pale.

“You don’t look okay to me,” I said.

“I’m fine,” he said as the fit started to die down.

I walked to Jae Joong’s bedside table and picked up a bottle of water I’d always left there, in case my throat got dry in the night.

“Here,” I said as I handed Yun Ho my bottle.

“Thanks,” he said as he accepted the bottle and sat up to drink from it.

“You look tired,” I said.

“I’m fine,” he said as he capped the lid on the bottle and put it on his side table.

I reached out and touched his forehead to check his temperature.

“You feel a bit warm. You’d better take a paracetamol or something. Don’t want it to end up a full-blown fever.”

“I will,” he said as his hand came up to hold my palm against his head. “Why do you always have such cold hands?” he said as he closed his eyes.


“Are you cold-blooded?” he said as he smiled.

“Yea…” I laughed. “I am.”

“Just what I need,” he laughed softly. “Ah… chohta… My eyes felt like they were burning,” he said as he shifted my hand to cover his eyes. “Can you keep your hand on my face all day?”

“I can’t,” I smiled. “I’m going on the road today, for the rest of the week.”

“Hmm… Can I pay you to stay here and take care of me?”

“First of all, you can’t afford me… well maybe you can,” I laughed. “Second, you of all people should know that I’m not really good at taking care of the sick. Jae Joong is better at that.”

“But you’ve stolen him from me,” he said, still using that lazy voice, and still holding my hand to his eyes.

“That can’t be helped. If he was gay, and you were gay, maybe you’d have him all to yourself,” I laughed.

“Doesn’t matter… you owe me, since you took Jae Joong away,” he said.

“Don’t be silly,” I laughed and smacked his legs with my free hand. “Yah… isn’t my hand getting warm on your face?”

“Yea,” he said. “Time to switch hands,” he said and he tried to reach for my other hand.

“Michoso,” I laughed as I jumped off the bed, the moment he released my hand that was on his face.

“Sierra!” I heard Jun Su yell from the living room. “Hee Chul hyung is here.”

“Coming,” I yelled back. “I gotta go,” I said to Yun Ho. “Take some medicine, and drink lots of water.”

“Araso, oma,” he smiled. “Take care of yourself, I’ll see you in a week” he said and he turned onto his side to go back to sleep.

I closed the door and walked down the corridor to find Jae Joong sprawled on the couch.

“Why haven’t you showered?” I asked him.

“Yoo Chun’s in the shower, and I was waiting for you. What were you doing in the room?”

“Yun Ho looks like he’s about to have a fever. Might wanna get him some medicine,” I said as I looked at Chang Min.

“Right,” he said as he walked into the kitchen where the medicine cabinet was.

“You’re walking me down?” I asked Jae Joong.

“Sure,” he smiled as he reached for a cap that someone had left lying around on the coffee table and put it on. “Kaja,” he said as he opened the front door for me.

“Bye guys,” I said as I walked out.

“Bye! Have fun!” Jun Su said.

“Like I will…” I stuck my tongue out at him.

As soon as Jae Joong and I walked into the elevator, he pulled me into his arms for a very long and tight embrace.

“I’ll miss you,” I said, and I kissed him on the side of his neck instead of his lips, since he wouldn’t allow me to move at all.

I closed my eyes for the rest of the ride down the elevator, and he didn’t let go until we reached the ground floor, and the doors opened. We disentangled ourselves reluctantly and walked out hand in hand towards Hee Chul’s car which was parked out front.

“Call me,” he said softly, and kissed me.

“Yah!” Hee Chul yelled from the car and honked at us. “Let’s move it,” he laughed.

“See you in a week,” I said and I kissed him once more, and I got into the car.

“Take care of her,” Jae Joong said to Hee Chul as he leant his head into the car.

“I’m not her nursemaid,” Hee Chul said.

“He’ll take care of me,” I smiled to Jae Joong. “Chagiya… annyeong…” I said in a sweet voice and pulled Jae Joong down for another kiss just to irk Hee Chul.

“Yah… keumanhae!” he laughed. “See ya, Jae Joong,” he said and we drove off.

“Are you picking up Skye and Shoei?” I asked Hee Chul.

“Nope,” he said. “They’ll be meeting us at the studios, and we’ll leave from there.”

“Araso,” I sighed.

I leant the seat back and closed my eyes.

“Are you that tired?” he asked me.

“Don’t ask,” I said as squirmed around to get comfortable.

My back was aching this morning, and I wasn’t about to describe to Hee Chul why it ached. He knew well enough.

“I think I know what’s wrong with you,” he laughed. “You missing Jae Joong already?”

“Yah… shikkeureopta,” I said in a lazy, emotionless voice.

“Aigoo…” he said as he patted my hand which was sprawled on the armrest between the driver and passenger seat. “Koktjongman… oppa will take care of you,” he said.

“Yah… don’t touch me, you pervert,” I said in that same tone, and he laughed again.

We arrived at the studios where Skye and Shoei were already waiting in the van parked out front. We were going to go from city to city to promote our new single which was launched this morning. The first stop was one of the biggest record stores in Seoul, where we will be singing live and giving out autographs on copies of the single that the fans purchased from the store.

We arrived there and saw a sea of our blue-silver balloons and specks of blue balloons, which was Super Junior’s colour, since Hee Chul was with us. The security team pushed through the crowd gathered at the entrance of the store to make way for us. On our way in, we shook hands with some of the fans, and stopped to hug a few of them we’d actually seen often enough to remember.

“I got molested,” Skye wailed as soon as we walked into the safety of the store.

“Where?” I asked him.

“Someone touched my chest,” he laughed.

“You call that molestation?” Hee Chul retorted. “Someone grabbed my butt.”

“No one grabbed me,” Shoei smiled.

“Me neither,” I said.

“I think we’re just not as desirable as those 2,” Shoei laughed.

“Could be,” I said sadly.

“Yah… you think it’s fun to be molested?” Hee Chul exclaimed.

“Nah… but it sure feels deflating to know no one wants to grab me,” I giggled.

Once we were seated at the table prepared for the signing, the fans were allowed entrance into an area in the store with barriers around it.

“Annyeong haseyo!” the emcee greeted everyone once they were ready to begin. “Thank you all for attending the launch of S-Cube’s latest single, ‘Waiting for You’, a collaboration with Hee Chul of Super Junior. This is the first leg of their nationwide promotional tour and for the next few days, they will travel to 6 other cities, Taejeon, Pusan, Taegu, Kwangju, Incheon, Ulsan, so if you can, please be there to support them.”

“Yes, please do support us,” Shoei said, and the crowd applauded.

“I’m sure most of you have been teased with snippets of the MV for the past weeks,” the emcee said, “so let’s kick this off with the premier of the complete MV for the song.”

The lights were dimmed and all attention was turned to the huge screen put up on our right. The scene begins with Skye and Shoei sitting side by side on a bench by a pier, and they sang the first verse. They were both dressed in casual suits; Shoei in a grey one, and Skye in a black one.

Shoei: My mind tells me to go
But my heart says stay,
You’ll never know

Skye: Won’t you tell me to stay
Ask me again tomorrow,
and I may not be there

(Hee Chul appeared next, leaning on the lamp post by the bench Skye and Shoei sat on, and looking out toward the sea, wistfully. He was wearing a denim jacket over a dark colored turtleneck shirt and a pair of matching jeans.)

Hee Chul: Battle after battle, we fight each day
Every night before I go to bed for you, I pray
Do you still need me, baby, the way you used to
Tell me quick, baby, for I still love you
Let’s have it out, let’s pick it up, where we left off
Don’t play with me, honey, for you I care for
I don’t have much time, for us to play around
If you truly love me, then just say it out loud

(I appear behind them, walking down the pavement, and the three of them look straight on as they were, and as if I weren’t there. I was wearing a pair of skinny jeans, and a longish blouse with deconstructed sleeves and geometrical graphics on the front.)

Sierra: Baby turn back, if you don’t know what lies ahead
Don’t go too far, or you may be lost forever
Tried to tell you, no matter what you do, you’ll have my love
But time does not permit, baby I may not be waiting for you

(There was an interval, where it’s just music, and the 4 separate scenes we each were about to have were flashed onto the screen one after another, repeating a few times.

The scene changes to the airport. Skye walks towards the departure lounge at the airport, and he looks out at the planes taking off outside the building. He was now wearing a cap, t-shirt and jeans.)

Skye: My plane takes off in an hour
I kept waiting for you,
But you never showed up

(The scene changes again, and Shoei is in bed, his eyes opened and staring at the ceiling.)

Shoei: When I woke up this morning
I was suddenly reminded
that you belonged to me no more

(Hee Chul is now standing in the middle of a crossroad, wearing the same outfit, and people are walking past him, around him as he raps.)

Hee Chul: I look around, don’t see you there
I tried to pretend that I didn’t care
But I feel so lost, I feel so sad
You were the kind of love I wanted to have
Pick myself up and walk again
I swore to myself it wasn’t the end
Each day is a new day in this world without you
No matter what happened I’m grateful for you

(The scene changes again, and I’m hunched in the shower, fully dressed in a full-length black silk slip, and the water beating on me, drenching me as I sang the chorus.)

Sierra: Baby turn back, if you don’t know what lies ahead
Don’t go too far, or you may be lost forever
Tried to tell you, no matter what you do, you’ll have my love
But time does not permit, baby I may not be waiting for you

(The 4 scenes flash past twice, quickly, and it’s the final chorus, and we’re all gathered on a platform somewhere in the middle of the sea, standing in a circle, facing outwards. We were all wearing the same outfits as we were in the first scene by the lake. Hee Chul raps almost inaudibly in the background as the three of us sang the chorus.)

Sierra: Baby turn back, if you don’t know what lies ahead
[Shoei: Baby, yeah…]
Don’t go too far, or you may be lost forever
[Skye: Forever…]
Tried to tell you, no matter what you do, you’ll have my love
[Shoei: You’ll have my love]
Sierra: But time does not permit, baby I may not be waiting for you
[Skye and Shoei: Waiting for you]

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Chapter 106: Girl Friend

[Sierra’s POV]

“I know what you guys are thinking,” Skye laughed when he saw our faces. “I’m not cheating on Hae Rin. I bumped into Yuk Hee during my CF shoot, we caught up, and she just wanted someone to ride with her on the plane back to Seoul.”

“It was really a coincidence,” Yuk Hee said.

“Araso, araso…” Jae Joong laughed as he nodded. “You didn’t need to give that long speech. You’ve embarrassed Yuk Hee.”

“Omo!” Yuk Hee exclaimed. “You’re…”

“Yong-ung Jae Joong,” Jae Joong finished for her. “Pangapseumnida.”

“Let’s go,” Shoei said. “The crowds are starting to notice us.”

“We need to drop Yuk Hee at her hotel,” Skye said as we walked towards the parking lot.

“Hotel?” I said as I looked back at him.

“Yea… her family’s migrated to Taiwan, and she’s from Kwangju. It makes sense that she doesn’t have a house in Seoul,” Skye said.

“Right… I heard you. Don’t need to elaborate like that,” I said.

Yuk Hee was a pretty girl. So pretty, that she could’ve rivaled Hae Rin if she were another kasu. She had long hair, fine features and fair skin, and she was exactly the kind of sweet-faced girl Hae Rin was. She was as tall as I was, and slimmer. If Skye knew her from way back, I wonder why he hadn’t ended up with her long ago.

“You sit in front,” I told Shoei after we’ve loaded the car. “I’ll sit in the back with Skye and Yuk Hee.

We arrived at the hotel 30 minutes later. Skye helped Yuk Hee unload her luggage and they said goodbye.

“Call me when you have a day off,” she told him before we left.

“We’ll see. Cos we’ll be touring all the cities for this new single.”

“Araso. See ya!” she smiled and waved. “Thanks for the ride, Jae Joong oppa.”

“No problem,” Jae Joong smiled, and we drove off.

“Oh… nuna!” Shoei suddenly exclaimed from the front passenger seat. “Guess who I met while in Tokyo?”

“Who? Hyde?” I guessed.

“I’ve met him already. Guess again.”

“I dunno… tell me,” I said in a very impatient tone.

I’m not really into guessing games or surprises. I like to be told.

“Kimura Takuya,” he said.

“What?!” I exclaimed. “Get out of here!!!”

“The Moving Rubber man…” he laughed.

“Omigod… you lucky bum!” I smacked him on the shoulder, and he winced.

“Yah…” he said as he rubbed the spot I’d hit. “I’m never gonna tell you stuff like that again if you’re gonna react like that.”

“Hehe… mian…” I smiled sheepishly.

“By the way… he wants to meet you someday,” he smiled. “He’s thinking that SMAP should collaborate with S-Cube.”

“That’s great!” Jae Joong hyung said.

“Really? Chintcha? Us and SMAP?” Skye piped in.

“Yea… that’s what he said. Unless it doesn’t fall through.”

“Damn… you just got us some nice connections…” I smiled. “Sending you to Tokyo was a very good idea.”

“Kongju-ya…” Jae Joong piped in. “Where to now?”

“Are you guys hungry?” I asked them.

“I’m famished,” Skye said. “But can we bring Hae Rin along?”

“Then you'd better call her now,” I said.

“Do I make a turn to the studios?” Jae Joong said.

“Ne,” Skye said.

While Skye had a sappy reunion telephone conversation with Hae Rin, Shoei, Jae Joong and I continued to talk about Shoei’s Tokyo trip.

“So what else did you do?”

“Photo shoots, MV shoots and when I get back, I’ll be recording a few game shows and interviews with Mika,” he said.

“Wow… busy… busy…” I remarked.

“But I don’t see the need to go to these talk shows. I’m not even singing the song with her. I’m just appearing in the video,” he sighed.

“It’s just publicity,” Jae Joong said. “And you should be very thankful they want you involved on such a large scale.”

“Yea… that’s how we make money, right?”

“Wrong,” I said. “That’s what puts food on our table,” I laughed. “Imagine no one wanting us on any shows… that would mean the end of our careers.”

“I can’t imagine what I would do when I retire,” Jae Joong said.

“I thought we were gonna have our own restaurant…” I exclaimed.

“Oh yea… that… fine…” he laughed.

“I can always go back to school,” Shoei said. “At least nuna already has her degree.”

“I’m gonna be rusty by the time I quit the industry. No one will hire me.”

“You can always open your own company,” Shoei suggested.

“That’s if I have enough money saved. Chef Kim here wants to open his own restaurant.”

“We can always open the kind of business you want, yeobo,” Jae Joong cooed, and Shoei snickered.

“Yah! Kim Jae Joong… you’re excessively sarcastic today. What did you eat this morning?” I poked him.

“Nothing… just a kimch’i kimbap,” he said innocently.

We arrived at the studios and Skye got out of the car to get Hae Rin. When they emerged from the building, they were so lovey-dovey and sweet that it was hard not to just go, ‘Awww…’.

“Annyeong!” Hae Rin said perkily as she got into the car.

She was obviously ecstatic that Skye was back and I had to witness their expressions of love in the backseat all the way to the place we were having dinner.

“Shoei,” I called out, halfway through the journey.


“Can I sit in front at the next traffic light?”


“These two are giving me diabetes,” I said.

“Ya… nuna,” Skye said as he hugged Hae Rin for good measure. “We used to put up with you and Jae Joong hyung and now you’re complaining about me and Hae Rin?”

“We weren’t that sweet, were we?” I poked Jae Joong.

“I wasn’t,” he said. “You were,” he added, and Skye snickered.

“You needy girlfriend,” Skye teased, and I stuck my tongue out at him.

After dinner, we went back to our apartment so that Skye could pick up his car and send Hae Rin home. Shoei got out and went up to our apartment, and I left with Jae Joong.

“You’re not coming home tonight?” Shoei asked me before we left.

“I’m too lazy to move my stuff. I’ll move back when you guys come back for good,” I said.

“Okay… we’re gonna be on the road for the week anyway,” he said as he got out.

“Keurae,” I said. “Good night.”

“G’night,” he said, and closed the door.

We waited for him to unload his suitcase and I waved goodbye to him as our car pulled out into the main road.

“Agasshi…” Jae Joong said. “Where to now?”

“I need the bed… desperately,” I said as I yawned.

“Good idea,” he smiled. “You need to wake up early anyway.”

“Will the guys be home?” I asked him.

“They might be out,” he said.

“Good…” I said in a low deliberate voice, and he laughed.

“Pyeont’ae,” he said as he reached over to squeeze my knee affectionately.

The next morning, I got up early; earlier than everyone else… or so I thought. I pushed open the bathroom door and there was Chang Min in a towel, brushing his teeth.

“Aaah!!!” he squealed like a girl.

“I didn’t see anything,” I said, as I covered my hands over my eyes.

“You’d better not,” he said, laughing as he closed the door.

He emerged awhile later, fully clothed with his towel slung over his neck.

“Why didn’t you lock the bathroom door?” I asked him.

“I didn’t think anyone was awake… and they’re all guys. I didn’t expect you to walk in.”

“I could’ve woken up early cos I needed to pee or something.”

“Good point,” he laughed. “I’ll lock it from now on, and warn the others too.”

“You do that,” I said.

“So why are you up?”

“I need to get ready,” I said. “Hee Chul’s gonna come get me in a bit, and we’re going on the road for about a week to promote the new single.”

“Oh… right,” he said. “You’d better go shower then. I’ll make you breakfast, since I’m making mine.”

“Thanks, Chang Min,” I smiled as I walked towards the bathroom.

It wasn’t until we’d finished breakfast that the other guys started emerging from their rooms.

“G’morning…” Jun Su yawned as he walked out to the living room and flopped onto the couch.

“Yah… hyung,” Chang Min exclaimed. “Go shower, or we’ll be late.”

“Why are you up so early today?” he asked Chang Min as he scratched his head.

I think fans should know how they look when they wake up. Their short hairs usually look like an explosion had happened on their head, something like the characters of the Dragon Ball Z comic. To top it off, they all had their hair dyed most of the time, as do the characters in the comic. I shouldn’t laugh though, for I have short hair myself, and I share the same problem. Still, perhaps I should take a picture of each of them someday, just for the fun of it.

“I couldn’t sleep, cos someone kept talking in his sleep,” Chang Min grumbled.

“It wasn’t me, was it?” Jun Su yawned again, implying that it must have been Yoo Chun.

“No, it wasn’t you,” Chang Min said as he stood up to clear the dishes.

“I can wash up,” I told Chang Min.

“It’s fine. You need to get ready. Hee Chul hyung will be here any minute,” he said.

“Komapda,” I said as I walked towards Jae Joong’s room, ruffling Jun Su’s hair as I walked past.

“Yah!!! You do not touch the hair,” he yelled in mock annoyance as he pretended to fix it.

I walked into the room to find Jae Joong and Yun Ho still sleeping, which was odd, since Yun Ho and Jae Joong were usually one of the first few to wake up. I tiptoed to Jae Joong’s bed and peered down at him. He was still sleeping soundly since his breathing was rhythmic and soft. I pushed back his fringe which had fallen over his face, and I kissed his forehead.

“Yah…” I whispered. “Wake up.”

Instead of opening his eyes, he just wrinkled his nose and flipped over onto his side to continue sleeping.

“Oi!” I said as I poked his arm repeatedly.

His hand reached out to rub the spots I’d poked, and he pulled his blanket up to shield his arm from my future attacks.

“Kim Jae Joong,” I whispered into his ear. “I’m gonna have my way with you if you’re not gonna wake up.”

After I’d whispered that, I leaned over to look at his face, and sure enough, I caught him trying to contain his smile. His lips were twitching.

“Yah!” I poked his forehead. “I saw that smile.”

Then suddenly, he reached out his arm to pull me onto him, but he hadn’t counted on being to near to the edge of the bed. The both of us fell off and ended up on the floor with a very loud thud.

“Ah! Appuh!” Jae Joong whined, and I just burst into giggles since I fell on top of him, and felt nothing from the accident.

“Yah!” Yun Ho yelled all of the sudden, and the both of us sat up quickly and turned to look at him.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Chapter 105: Oh!

[Shoei’s POV]

Mika and I walked into a restaurant and I almost fell over when I saw who the ‘friend’ was.

“Shoei… this is Kimura Takuya,” she introduced, and I was almost dumbstruck when I saw him.

“Konichiwa,” he smiled and shook my hand.

Takuya was a huge star in my book and even nuna adored him. Granted he wasn’t a very good singer, but he’s a performer through and through. I never thought I’d have the chance to meet him.

“It’s really, really a great honor to meet you, senpai,” I said.

“Likewise,” he smiled. “But please don’t call me senpai… I feel old enough as it is.”

“Alright,” I said, still star-struck.

“Shall we be seated?” he said.

“Yea… Shoei’s catching flies while standing here,” Mika laughed.

“Huh?” I said.

“Your mouth… it’s been open since you saw Takuya-san.”

“Oh… mian… I mean, sumimasen,” I fumbled.

“Mian?” Takuya said as we sat down.

“You’ll have to forgive him. He’s been a little too Koreanized,” Mika said. “When he’s spacing-out, he switches to Korean just like that.”

“Really?” Takuya laughed. “That’s interesting. How many years did you spend in Korea?”

“About 6 years,” I said.

“That’s a long time. Even I would forget Japanese if I lived abroad for that long. Daijobu,” he smiled.

“Arigatou,” I said.

“See, he does know his Japanese,” Takuya teased.

It turned out that Mika wasn’t really close with Takuya, but when he heard that I was collaborating with Mika, he asked to meet us through Mika’s agency.

“I’m curious… why would you want to meet me?” I asked him.

“I wanted to meet fresh, homegrown talents like you, who have made it abroad.”

“You’re an international star yourself.”

“My star is fading,” he smiled. “I’m getting older, in case you haven’t noticed.”

“Well… so am I,” Mika said wistfully.

“You still have many more years,” Takuya smiled at her. “It’s how you work about it.”

“Quite true,” she said as she continued eating.

“You’re still famous. Even my nuna is crazy about you,” I said.

“Your nuna?” he said.

“That would be his female band mate, Sierra,” Mika said.

“Oh yes… Sierra,” he smiled.

“She can’t get over the Gatsby ads,” I laughed. “Especially the one for Moving Rubber.”

“Ah… don’t remind me. That was a little… crazy.”

“She made us watch it over and over again, and each time she was laughing as hard as the last.”

“Sounds like a die hard fan,” Mika said.

“She was actually into SMAP, before she got into the Korean stuff.”

“Then I need to meet her,” he smiled. “To convert her back to SMAP,” he laughed.

“I think she’s rather outgrown SMAP, but she still loves watching your dramas. Before she lost interest in SMAP, she wanted to marry you,” I laughed.


“Yea… but then you got married… so there goes her dreams.”

“So it’s safe for me to meet her now?” he asked.

“Yea… she’s dating Jae Joong of Tohoshinki now,” I said.

“Then I don’t think you have any hope of converting her, Takuya,” Mika laughed.

“Looks like it,” he said, pretending to be deflated.

During dinner we talked about the industry’s current situation here in Japan, and compared it to Korea.

“It’s really saturated here in Japan now,” Mika said.

“And yet the Korean companies keep coming,” Takuya said.

“I’m sure they think that they could be the ‘something fresh’ and with that, overtake the locals on the charts,” I explained.

“And that’s quite true. Look at BoA and Tohoshinki’s successes. Plus, now we have you to look out for,” Takuya said.

“S-Cube is just beginning. I don’t think we’ll be able to rival BoA or Tohoshinki,” I said.

“You’ll never know,” Mika said. “With good songs and good publicity, you might.”

“The three of you aren’t too shabby, and if SM does things right, you guys will be as famous as Tohoshinki is.”

“Maybe,” I smiled.

“At least he’s Japanese,” Mika said.

“So when will S-Cube release a Japanese album. We keep seeing singles only,” Takuya said.

“I think the management isn’t confident that an album would sell well, and at least singles don’t cost that much to produce. So if it’s a flop, they can just write it off,” I reasoned.

“Have any of them been flops?” Mika asked.

“Not really, but they didn’t do very well on the Oricon charts. We never hit top 10.”

“Top 20 isn’t too bad,” Takuya said.

“Yea… but we’ll have to get a hit like say… Lion Heart to get us in the Top 10,” I said.

“You know that song? Were you even a teenager yet when that song was released?” he asked.

“I think I was,” I laughed. “And nuna reintroduced me to it when we first met.”

“Ah… I must meet this nuna of yours. You keep mentioning her, and I can see how much she’s influenced you.”

“We’ve lived together for 3 years. I would think she is an influence on me. She’s pretty knowledgeable when it come to music, and she’s always learning and exploring new stuff.”

“Maybe when SMAP puts out a new single, you should collaborate with S-Cube,” Mika suggested.

“I was thinking about it, that’s why I wanted to meet Shoei,” Takuya said.

“Just S-Cube? What about me?” she joked.

“You can join us. We’ll have a big collaboration,” he said.

“We’ll see…” she said. “I’ll need to check my schedule,” she added in a mock all-important tone.

“Yes… Nakashima Mika is a very busy star. Do join us when your schedule allows it,” Takuya said, and we laughed.

It’s been 2 weeks in Japan, and today I’m flying back to Seoul for a week of promotional activities for the single, ‘Waiting for You’, with Hee Chul. When I arrived at the airport, I was pleasantly surprised to see nuna and Jae Joong hyung waiting for me.

“Nuna!” I greeted her, and she hugged me.

“Oooh… look at you!” she said as she hugged me. “You look refreshed. Did you even work while in Tokyo?”

“I think the air is different in Tokyo,” Jae Joong hyung said. “Glad to be back in Seoul?” he asked me.

“Yea,” I smiled. “I missed you guys.”

“Aww…” nuna said and reached up to ruffle my hair.

“Yah… dame!” I said and realized that I’d just spoken Japanese.

“Mworago?” nuna said.

“He said, ‘Stop!’,” Jae Joong hyung translated.

“I know what he said, but why did he speak Japanese,” she giggled.

“You know… I had the same problem in Japan.” I said as we started walking away from the arrival gates. “I kept speaking to people in Korean.”

“They must’ve stared at you,” Jae Joong hyung said.

“Yea… Are we heading home?” I asked them.

“We need to hang around for a bit, cos Skye’s flight lands in about 2 hours,” nuna said.

“Aren’t you busy?” I asked her.

“I got the day off,” she said. “I’d die if I had to go on this promotional activity for an entire week without taking a break before.”

“What about you, hyung?” I looked at him.

“I was forced to come along, as usual,” he sighed, and nuna slapped him on the arm.

“Say that again,” she threatened.

“Anio… I was so eager to come. She wanted me to go to work but I insisted on coming to accompany my Sierra kongju,” he said in one breath.

“You’re really asking for it, aren’t you,” I laughed when I saw nuna’s expression after he’d given his long sarcastic speech.

“You have no idea,” he laughed.

“Let’s go somewhere where we can sit and have some coffee,” I suggested.

“Sounds good to me,” Jae Joong hyung said, and we dragged nuna along with us.

We found a quieter cafe where we could be inconspicuous and sat down in a secluded corner. Jae Joong hyung and I ordered a warm lemon tea and nuna ordered a latté.

“So what’s going on?” I asked nuna. “Your project done yet?”

“We’re done filming the MV, and recording the tracks, so all that’s left is to prepare for the live performances and the promotional activities,” she said.

“And all that will be done after this week?” I asked her.

“Yea… cos the guys are leaving for Japan in 3 weeks. So Yun Ho and I will have less than a week to prepare after the ‘Waiting for You’ promotional activities end, and then about 1 week to promote our single.”

“I think Yun Ho will have to fly back to Seoul for a few more times while we’re in Tokyo, to promote this single with you,” Jae Joong said. “It’s a pretty important project, so I don’t think they’re gonna skimp on the promotional activities just because we need to be in Japan.”

“Great…” she smiled. “Would’ve been better if you got to come back more often,” she added.

“I know… I should’ve taken the project. Mian…” he said as he took her hand and squeezed it.

The two hours passed quickly while we chatted and we were soon walking towards the arrival hall again to wait for Skye.

“Where’s that monkey?” nuna said as she craned her neck over the crowd waiting at the arrival gates.

“Stop talking so much,” Jae Joong hyung said. “People are gonna notice us.”

We’d signed lots of autographs while waiting for Skye, but Jae Joong hyung had the most to sign, obviously. The fans even wanted to take pictures, and I saw some of the girls eyeing nuna with jealous expressions. I guess they can never get over the fact that nuna had stolen their dream guy from them.

“I see him,” I said as I saw Skye walking out from the luggage claim area.

“Who’s that beside him?” Jae Joong hyung remarked.

That’s when we noticed that a girl was walking beside him. They were laughing and talking animatedly, and the girl was even holding on to his arm. Hae Rin is not going to be pleased.

“Skye!” I called out to get his attention as he walked out.

“Hey!! You guys came for me!” he said as he came forward and hugged nuna and I.

“Yea… are you touched?” nuna asked him.

“Very…” he said as he clutched his hands to his chest.

“Who’s your friend?” Jae Joong hyung asked him.

“Annyeong haseyo,” she bowed. “Yuk Hee-imnida.”

“This is Yuk Hee,” he introduced. “She was my neighbour back in Kwangju. She traveled back from Taiwan with me.”

I looked at nuna and I got the expression I expected, since it echoed mine… what are the odds of meeting your old neighbour in Taiwan?

[Yuk Hee’s POV]

I knew what they were thinking when they saw me. They’re probably assuming that I’m some tramp who’s gonna try to seduce Skye or something. Well, they could be right, but the thing is that they don’t know what Skye was to me. Before he was Skye of S-Cube, he was Skye who hung out with me every day of the week during our childhood. In this sense, I’m no ordinary tramp. I was a girl from Skye’s past and if this Hae Rin isn’t good enough to Skye, she’s about to have her man taken from her.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Chapter 104: I Wanna Hold You

After the course of meat, where mine was the beef roll, we had the last dish, ‘one bite of fragrance’. According to Vanness, it was a dish raved about by all the celebrities that have come here.

“I can never get tired of this,” Yuk Hee said as she chewed her ‘one bite of fragrance’.

“You’d have to be able to afford it in the first place before you can say that,” Vanness commented.

“Oh, believe me,” I said. “She can…”

“Come on Skye… don’t say that.”

“You’re richer than I am, that’s for sure,” I said.

“I am not… your dad is doing as well as mine is,” I protested.

“Okay… I get it… the two of you are well-off. Stop bragging,” Vanness cut in, laughing. “So what does Yuk Hee means?”

“Huh?” Yuk Hee responded.

“You name sounds like it has a meaning to it…” he explained.

“I’ll tell you…” I said. “It’s really a no-brainer.”

“Yah!” Yuk Hee poked me.

“She’s the 6th child in her family. So ‘yuk’ is six and ‘hee’ comes from ‘hwan hee’, which means delight. The 6th delight,” I said as I gestured at Yuk Hee by waving my hand in flourish as if I’d just performed a magic trick.

“Thanks a lot,” she said as she smacked my outstretched hand.

“Really? Is that really what your name means?” Vanness asked Yuk Hee.

“Yes…” she said, grudgingly now that the secret is out.

“And I thought only the Chinese named their kids with such old fashioned names,” he laughed. “Especially with numbers.”

“I usually have a much sophisticated explanation for it, but since Skye beat me to it this time, there is no point in trying to salvage my pride.”

“It’s a beautiful name,” Vanness said. “If you translated it phonetically into Chinese, ‘yuk’ could be jade… and ‘hee’ is still happiness. Still a little old fashioned, but nonetheless a beautiful name.”

“You’re old fashioned in 2 languages!” I exclaimed. “What other name could be that?” I cackled.

“Your name isn’t that glamorous either, Kyu Jin,” she retorted.

“Yah… nothing beats Yuk Hee… except for Sam Soon,” I laughed.

“Shikkeureoptta!” she said and pretended to ignore me.

I’d almost forgotten how much fun it was to tease a girl. Not having nuna or Hae Rin around for the last 2 weeks really made life boring. Good thing Yuk Hee showed up today to help kill my boredom.

“So how long will you be here, Skye?” Yuk Hee asked me as Vanness drove us home.

“I finish my CF filming tomorrow and I’m heading back for about a week to promote a new single.”

“You’re going back? I’ve been waiting to see if there was anyone flying back so that I could tag along. I hate flying alone. Can I come with you?”

“Sure, why not?” I said.

“How about you, Vanness? Are you going with him?”

“No… I need to film my part of the CF. Maybe after our collaboration is over, I can follow him back to Seoul for a short break.”

“That’s great.”

“So you’re coming with me?”

“Think I can get on the same flight as you?”

“Probably,” I said. “I’ll get the PA to help book your ticket.”

“Komawo,” she said.

[Sierra’s POV]

Today we’re filming the indoor scenes for the MVs. The set was this beautiful house in the countryside; long glass windows, French doors, filmy curtains, and modern furniture.

“Wow…” I said as I walked in with Yun Ho behind me. “When would I be able to afford a house like this?”

“You probably can afford it now, with a loan and all, but it wouldn’t be convenient to live out here and commute into the city each day,” he smiled.

“When I’m a huge star, I’ll move here,” I smiled.

We changed into our first set of costumes for today; pajamas. The first scene was a bedroom scene. Not the steamy bedroom scene, but the kind of playful and sweet morning-after situation. The both of us got into the double bed, and I immediately pulled the covers up.

“Cold?” Yun Ho asked me.

“Yea… this pajama is so thin,” I replied.

It was almost summer, but not quite yet, and the weather in the countryside tends to be a little cooler, especially since it was about 6am. We’ve traveled here from the city at about 5am so that we could catch the morning light for the first scene.

“Yun Ho,” the director called out. “Lie back on the pillow with your arm stretched out… yes like that. And Sierra, you lie on his arm, but move nearer so that you’re almost lying on his chest. That’s right.”

For the first scene of the day, the director wanted us to wake up together, slowly, then interact like a couple in the early, passionate stage of their relationship.

I opened my eyes slowly and stretched languorously as I turned to look at Yun Ho. He was still sleeping. I got up a little and leaned over him, kissed him lightly on the nose and quickly lay back down to pretend that I was asleep. Yun Ho’s eyes fluttered open and he turned slowly to look at me, and smiled to himself. He pulled me close and started to nuzzle my neck deliberately, causing me to giggle and try to pull away.

I thought that this whole scene would make us uncomfortable, but somehow it didn’t. It wasn’t like I was acting, but rather I just told myself at this moment, Yun Ho was my boyfriend. He would be my boyfriend here, in this house, and when we went back to Seoul, it would all be back to normal. I don’t know how he’s coping with this, but his actions felt very natural. It was as if we’d never been apart.

The little ‘scuffle’ continued and ended with Yun Ho pinning me down on the bed, my giggles dying off, and he leaned in for a long lingering kiss. I’d almost forgotten how he kissed. He was always strong and demanding when he kissed, but at the same time, he was gentle and playful, but always controlled. Jae Joong was slow and romantic, but he could get rough and wild depending on his mood; it takes very little for me to get him into that mood. With Yun Ho, I usually had to really tease him, to get him to loose control and give in to the mood totally.

The camera stopped rolling and Yun Ho pulled away slowly, but you can tell that his lips lingered for a moment, then he rolled off me and moved to the side of the bed. He was shirtless and only wearing a pair of boxers.

“We need that last bit again,” the director said. “You went too quickly into the kiss, Yun Ho. Let’s take it from you pinning her down.”

I lay back down on the exact spot and Yun Ho came back on top of me to pin me down by imprisoning my wrists against the pillow. When the director yelled ‘Action!’, he started leaning in again, and my eyes focused on his as his face closed in and my eyelids slowly closed as his lips touched mine.

The earlier kiss felt innocent enough, despite us acting out the passion, but this kiss felt a bit more real coming from Yun Ho. I lifted my hands up to touch his face and to put it behind his neck and pull him closer to deepen the kiss. After a few seconds, he pulled away and as he moved away, he was breathing quicker and his eyes were glazed with passion. I remember that look, and seeing his expression now brought me back to more than a year ago, when we were still together.

I closed my eyes and just lay back on the pillow when the director yelled, ‘Cut!’. This was becoming pretty annoying; this constant merry-go-round and going back and forth to revisit the past and comparing it with the present. I was tired of questioning my feelings again and again. It was obvious that there was still spark between Yun Ho and myself, but to go back would be impossible since I did love Jae Joong, and I didn’t want to harm the relationship they had. Once was enough. It might not survive a second time.

Yun Ho was silent for most of the time after that scene, and I didn’t try to make conversation with him like I always did. I knew he was mulling over the same thing I was, and I did not want to be the one to dig a confession out of him. I used to feel tensed and uncomfortable around him, but these days, I was starting to get used to it. I guess it comes from living together. You eventually deal with the awkwardness and get over it.

It wasn’t until the scene where we were supposed to be watching the television together that he loosened up. We curl up in the couch in front of the television; a bowl of popcorn in my arms and his arm slung around my shoulder as I fed him popcorn.

“Okay… you’re watching a romantic movie now, lean in, look blissfully happy,” the director said, and I lay my head on Yun Ho’s shoulder and tried to look dreamy.

“Scary movie now… look scared,” the director instructed, and I hid behind Yun Ho’s sleeve while he looked at the screen looking a little tense.

When we looked through the shot with the director, I couldn’t help but laugh at the expression Yun Ho made in the scene. He looked a little too petrified.

“Okay… it’s a funny movie now… laugh…” the director said.

It was a little weird but we had to laugh, so we started laughing awkwardly, but because our awkward laughs sounded so funny, we started laughing for real, to the point where Yun Ho couldn’t stop and rolled onto the floor. The whole set was laughing with us when the cameras stopped rolling, mainly because Yun Ho had fallen off the couch.

“What’s wrong with you?” I giggled.

“I don’t know,” he said as he tried to control his laughter.

“This is like when Sung Min couldn’t stop crying for that Goong parody,” I said.

“I just feel bursts of laughter coming, and I can’t stop them,” he said, his laughter finally under control.

“You’re a little kooky today, you know?” I smiled.

“I know…” he smiled.

The final couch scene was a popcorn fight. It started with Yun Ho flicking a popcorn at my face. I turned to glare at him, and he flicked another at me. I threw the popcorn I was holding at him, and he calmly flicked another back at me, then I stood up and poured the entire bowl on his head. I started laughing, and he picks up a handful of popcorn and flung it at me. I retaliated with another handful and we were chasing each other around the living room with popcorn until the director yelled, ‘Cut!’.

“Good job,” he said as we walked towards him.

“Komapseumnida,” I said.

“The both of you have very good screen chemistry,” he said. “Ever considered filming a drama together?”

“Us?” Yun Ho said.

“I don’t think so. We hardly have time with all the promotional events.”

“But you’ll never know if the management has already been planning something like that,” Yun Ho said.

“And I think after they see this MV, they might consider it,” the director added.

“Hmm…” I smiled. “I think it’s just helpful that he and I are friends. It feels more natural as opposed to acting when you’re with a friend, since you’re comfortable. Isn’t it?”

“Could do the opposite,” the director said. “I’ve seen some kasu get self-conscious because they are filming with a person who knows them.”

“The person is probably not a close friend,” I smiled.

“I guess so,” the director said.

We’re filming the final scene of the day, which will also be the final scene in the Ice Box video.

Yun Ho walked slowly towards the desk and he saw a book on it. He picked it up and studied it, and noticed that a page was marked with a piece of paper. He removed the piece of paper and read it. As he read, a voice over I’d done earlier was played.

Yun Ho… I know this is hard for you, but you have to trust me. Please read this page. It’s really important.

He sighed and opened the page of the book to read it. His expression got more and more somber as he read.

Tomorrow… I have one more day. We’re lazing around at home tonight, watching TV, tossing popcorn around. Today, everything about him was beautiful to me; his laughter, his smile, his voice. I wanted to remember them forever. I want them imprinted in my mind so that in my next life, I’d be able to find him, wherever I am.

Tonight… tonight I have to kill him. But how do you kill someone who is already a part of you without killing yourself? I love him. It’s too late now, and I love him.
Because I love him… it will be my life for his.

After the last line, he dropped the book and stared forlornly ahead, then he sank to the floor, buried his face in his hands and started crying. I watched him as he cried, and he really did look like he was in pain. How many times had Yun Ho cried like this in his life? What kind of pain would have caused such sorrow in a person as strong as himself? As he continued to sob, I walked forward towards him, into the view of the camera. I knelt down next to him, his back was facing me, and I hugged him.

I hugged him, and I rubbed my hands up and down him arm.

“Kwaench’ana,” I whispered as I continued to hold him.

I could feel his body shaking from the sobbing, and though I knew he had just gotten into character, I could feel that part of it was him actually releasing his own sorrows. I closed my eyes and hugged him tightly, and that was when I felt my own tears flowing down my cheeks.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Chapter 103: HIWAY (Ride With Me)

“Yuk Hee?” I exclaimed.

“Oraemanida,” she smiled.

“What are you doing here?”

“My family moved to Taiwan. I’ve been here for a year already.”

“Cool,” I smiled.

“I hear you’re a star now,” she said.

“A star? Nah… just a kasu…”

“Still, congratulations on your success.”

“Komawo,” I replied.

“Skye!” one of the assistants called out to me from the entrance to the gym.

“I’ve got to go,” I said. “Gimme your number. I’ll call you,” I said.

She rummaged through her bag and produced a card, then she scribbled her number on the back of it.

“Make sure you call me,” she said as she handed the card to me.

“Araso,” I laughed and I sprinted off as I waved at her. “See ya.”

“See ya,” she waved back.

Yuk Hee lived next door to me back in Kwangju. She’d moved away just before I left to join SM in Seoul. We used to go to the same elementary school, and on weekends, we shared the same tutor since my mother and hers were pretty good friends. They’d always be somewhere nearby chatting and gossiping while Yuk Hee and I studied under the guidance of our tutor.

Yuk Hee and I actually spent most of our childhood together, until I was sent to America to study. Back then she wore glasses and had braces, and when I came back from America, the last time I saw her before she moved away, she’d morphed into a swan. My mother told me that there were neighborhood gossips of Yuk Hee having gotten plastic surgery. It was a pretty cruel gossip since I knew she didn’t get surgery any done. Then again, these days, people are even asking my mother where did I get my eyelids done and stuff like that. Such is the mentality in South Korea these days; no one can believe that beauty is natural anymore.

In the next hour or so, I’d used practically every single piece of equipment in the gym. By the time the shoot ended, I was dying for that miracle energy drink I’m endorsing. If it can magically give me strength to last till tonight, then I’m gonna bring a truckload back to Seoul when I leave Taiwan.

Vanness appeared at about 3pm to join me for the final shoot on the tennis court. I was dressed in a white outfit and Vanness in black.

“You play tennis?” he asked me.

“A little,” I said.

“I don’t,” he laughed.

“Aww… don’t worry. I’ll go easy on ya,” I said.

“There are gonna be many takes just to make sure I hit the ball,” he said, self-depreciatingly.

“I don’t think your coordination will be that bad,” I said. “Want me to show you how to hold the racquet?”

“Sure,” he said.

While I was showing Vanness how to hold the racquet correctly and how to swing it for the camera, I noticed Yuk Hee walking past. She waved at me, and I waved back.

“Whoa… babe…” Vanness exclaimed. “You know her?”

“Kinda… an old neighbor.”

“What are the odds of meeting an old neighbor here,” he said. “So are you gonna hook up with her later.”

“I might meet her for a drink when I have time,” I corrected him. “There will be no hook up.”

“Why not?”

“Cos my girlfriend will kill me,” I laughed.

“Ah… I was wondering why you smiled like a dork whenever you got a text message. I was guessing that you had a girlfriend back in Seoul. Who is she? Is she singer too?”


“Alright… now let’s guess who she is…”

“You’ll never guess,” I smiled.

“Aww… come on bro… tell me who she is,” he said as he put an arm around my shoulder. “We’re brothers, right? You gotta tell me,” he said.

“I’ll let you meet her when you come to Seoul, but for now, I can’t tell you,” I said.

“Okay… you’d better not go back on your word.”

“Scout’s honor,” I said as I held my hand up.

“Were you even a scout?” he said as he eyed me warily.

“Nope… you got me,” I laughed, and he slapped me on my back.

Filming begun and we tried to play a good match. Vanness wasn’t too bad, actually. With a little training, he’d be playing a little better. I tried sending the balls towards Vanness more often so that they could get shots of him hitting the ball.

“Cut!” the director yelled. “We’ll need to get shots of just Vanness hitting the ball. We’ve got enough of the both of you interacting and front shots of Skye.”

We took a quick break to wipe our sweat off, fix our makeup and have a drink of water.

“Skye… serve the balls towards Vanness. Vanness, try to look forceful and assertive when you’re hitting the balls,” the director instructor.

“Okay,” Vanness said as he pushed his hair back and got into position.

I started hitting some easy serves towards Vanness and he returned them easily.

“Skye, hit harder,” the director yelled. “We need to see some speed with the ball and more strength from Vanness when he hits the ball.”

I started returning the ball with harder and faster stroked towards Vanness and I could see he was actually improving since he had no problem hitting them back at me. After a few more sets, the director was satisfied and wrapped up the shoot for the day.

“You’re becoming a pro,” I said as we walked off the court with towels slung around our necks.

“I guess I’m a natural. Keep this up and I’m gonna beat your ass,” he laughed.

“Then we should play again another day; to see if you can actually beat my ass,” I smirked at him.

“You’re on,” he replied as he gave me a competitive glare before the both of us cracked up.

We showered and got dressed and left the club for dinner. On our way out, we bumped into Yuk Hee again.

“Hey Skye,” she smiled as she stopped to greet me.

“Yuk Hee,” I greeted her back. “Erm… this is Vanness Wu,” I introduced.

“I know. I recognize him,” she said. “I’m Yuk Hee,” she said as she shook Vanness’ hand.

“So you’re his old neighbour?” Vanness asked her.

“Do I look old?” she joked.

“No…” Vanness laughed. “Of course not,” he added. “I like her, Skye… Would you like to join us for dinner, Yuk Hee?”

“You sure move fast,” she giggled.

“Yea… join us for dinner,” I said.

“Sure,” she smiled. “We need to catch up.”

“Did you drive here?” Vanness asked her.

“Nope. A friend dropped me off.”

“Then you can come with us,” he said.

“Great. Let me just get my bag. I’ll meet you guys outside?”

“Okay,” Vanness said. “I’ll go drive me car up to the main door.”

We waited about 10 minutes or so in Vanness’ car before Yuk Hee emerged from the club house.

“So where are we off to?” she asked us as we drove off.

“I was thinking of taking Skye for teppanyaki,” Vanness said. “I bet he’s never tried the Taiwanese gourmet kind.”

“Maybe not, have you?” she asked me.

“I’ve only had in Japan. I guess that’s different from the Taiwanese one?”

“It’s a little different. We’ll explain when we get there,” Yuk Hee said.

We arrived at the DaFang Regimen Cate Teppanyaki located at Xin Yi Road. On the way there, Vanness was telling me how famous this place is among Taiwanese celebrities and even Rain went there for a meal during one of his visits to Taiwan. We were shown to a private room where a long table is elegantly set, in front of a long metal surface, which was the hot plate.

“The hot plate in Taiwan is continuous, from one end of the table to the other,” Vanness explained. “In Japan, the surface is smaller and is usually framed off with a wooden frame or something, with the seasonings placed on the side.”

We each order a set meal. Mine consisted of the beef roll, a bite of fragrance, seared scallops; as recommended by Vanness and Yuk Hee. We chatted as we ate and watched the chef prepare our meals. Like the chefs in Japan, the chefs at Da Fang practice a kind of showmanship as do most high-end teppanyaki restaurants in Taiwan. There might not be so much fanfare during the cooking process if you went to the chain outlets or the fast food style teppanyaki place. You can’t help but marvel at the expertise of the chefs; the way the maneuvered and cooked the food and also the end presentation of the dish.

The entrée was steamed egg. Empty eggshells were placed in egg holders resembling springs, and the beaten egg is poured into it. The chef then pours water on the hot plate, around the egg holders and cover it to contain the water, to steam the egg and before serving the steamed egg, he sprinkles some huge caviar onto it.

“Mmm…” Yuk Hee exclaimed as the servers in the room set the egg in front of her. “This is one of my favourites.”

Each room is attended by at least 2 servers who are on standby to collect your dirty plates after every course and replace them with clean ones, and to serve you the next dish. Next were scallops for me and Yuk Hee and some huge prawns for Vanness.

“Here… you can try one,” he said as he put a piece of his prawn on my plate. “I saw you drooling when the prawns were set in front of me,” he grinned.

“I was not,” I protested, but ate the prawn anyway. “Wow… good stuff,” I said.

“They have really fresh food here. Definitely worth the price we’re paying.”

I ate my scallops next, and they were very sweet and juicy. They used simple seasoning like salt, butter and pepper here so that the natural flavors of the food are retained.

“This is so good,” I said between my mouthfuls of scallop. “Nuna would definitely be in heaven if she came.”

“Really?” Vanness said.

“Yea… She loves prawns, scallops, and most seafood, except the raw ones. She’s also a ‘natural taste’ advocator.”

“What’s that?” Vanness asked.

“She yells at us when we use too much seasoning… gravy, soy sauce, chili powder… she’s always telling us to eat the food without seasoning and taste their original or natural flavors.”

“It’s actually healthier to do that,” Yuk Hee said. “Sauces and seasonings eventually dull your senses since you’re so used to food that tastes strongly of them. When they’re not available, you’d feel that everything is tasteless and you won’t be able to appreciate the original taste of the food, like you are able to now.”

“Yea…” I smiled. “Because of nuna, Shoei and I are forced to eat more healthily. So I have her to thank for being able to enjoy today’s meal.”

“Your nuna is your band mate, the girl, right?” Yuk Hee asked me.

“One and only,” I said.

“Sounds like you guys are really close,” she said.

“After 3 years of living together, it’s hard not to be.”

“I envy the relationship you guys have,” Vanness smiled. “I don’t think I’ve had a band mate that I lived with like that, or had such a strong friendship with.”

“It’s not too late,” I smiled slyly. “Shall I move in with you?”

“In your dreams,” he laughed. “You’re gonna cramp my style, man.”

“Suit yourself… you just wanna build on your image and you’re willing to forsake a bond like the friendship I’m offering,” I said, righteously.

“I can do without that bond,” he laughed.

“You’re cold, Vanness. Being a veteran in the industry has made you bitter,” I laughed.

“Who are you calling a veteran?” he exclaimed.

“Well you have been around for a long time,” Yuk Hee smiled.

“It’s only been like… 7 or 8 years,” he protested.

“Yea… and that is like only yesterday?”

“Yes it is,” he said. “What do you know about it? You’re a kid,” he said, and he glared at me.

“Yes, yes… I’m a kid… and you’re a grandpa now. You should consider retiring,” I laughed, and Vanness just ignored me and continued eating.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Chapter 102: Egotism

“Shoei…” Mika nudged me.

“Ye?” I looked at her.

“Gone back to Korea for a moment?” she laughed.

“Sort of,” I admitted.

“My question?”

“Oh… well… I think we can still grow as a band, and until we’ve achieved all we can as S-Cube, I’d hate to miss out on the fun,” I smiled.

“Well answered,” she smiled. “You’re really as eloquent as they say you are.”

“It’s the upbringing,” I smiled back.

“Oh? Your family’s in politics?”

“No… we practice law. My grandfather was a judge, and my father’s a defense attorney.”

“Sounds glitzy,” she said.

“Well… almost,” I laughed. “It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

“Nothing is,” she smiled. “Even when you hear how great Nakashima Mika is, don’t listen to them. I’m only human, not the goddess they paint me to be.”

“I’ll keep that in mind… even if I never thought you were a goddess in the first place,” I said.

“Thanks a lot,” she said sarcastically. “You sure know how to boost my ego.”

They rented me a small studio apartment in a quieter district of the city. I’d specifically requested for such an apartment because I preferred to live away from the noise, and I would less likely be recognized there. The apartment was modestly furnished; there was a twin bed, a small cooking area, a little couch and television set, and bathroom. There was no washing room, and I could either do my washing in the common washing room in the basement or hand it to the PA each day for her to deal with it for me. I would probably just pick the 2nd option when I’m too tired to do my own laundry.

I opened the glass doors that lead to the balcony and stood leaning against the bars. There was a light breeze and I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. I should probably just shut off my mind, but my thoughts would always be of her. I took my wallet out of my back pocket and flipped it open. It was a photo we’d taken the last time we met, just me and her, hugging each other. I missed not having her around. This trip home had felt a little incomplete because she was no longer around. I really missed my grandmother.

I pulled out another photo from a slit in my wallet and gazed at it for a moment. The other person I missed… nuna. I wonder what she’s doing now. She should be very busy starting this week. From the moment I heard of her project with Yun Ho, I knew it would be no easy feat. I just hope she’ll take care of her health. She looked so happy in the photo; she was standing in the middle with Skye and I on each side, and Jae Joong hyung hugging her from behind and resting his head on her shoulder. We all looked happy. I miss Seoul already.

I pulled my laptop out of my bag and put it on the little desk by my bed. As it started up, I walked into the bathroom to wash my face, and I poured myself a glass of water before I went to sit down at the desk. I configured my wireless network settings so that I could access the network of the building and as soon as I was connected, all my communicators started logging in. I closed all the message windows as I scanned through each of them, then I saw nuna’s message.

Sierra: Yo! Watcha doin’? Glad to be home? ^_^

I started typing my reply.

TShoei: Was only home for a day T_T I’m in Tokyo now… Met Mika today… she’s really cool @_@ I was star struck.

I hit the reply key and waited for a moment, in case she had deliberately left her status as ‘Offline’ to avoid some pesky people. I received no reply, and I turned my attention to clearing my emails. There were a few from the management regarding my activities, junk mail from Skye and some photos of Arisa from Shouji. I smiled when I saw the pictures of Arisa. She was such a sweet and friendly baby, almost too friendly. Let’s hope she doesn’t get taken advantage of when she gets older. But if she’s anything like her aunt, Yume, I don’t think anyone would dare take advantage of her.

I arrived at the studio bright and early the next morning for a photo shoot. After Mika had met me in person, she’d decided that I should also appear on the CD sleeve with her; one or two photos at least. The title of her album was My Sins and the theme for it was this black and greenish palette inspired by Maleficent, the witch in the Disney animated motion picture, the Sleeping Beauty.

I got to the studio and they gave me these long, black linen pants to wear. I was to go topless. After I’d changed into the pants, the hairstylist started styling my hair into these coarse spikes with wax and hairspray. The makeup artist sprayed me with body paint… black body paint to be exact, and they were done in a flame-like motive all over my body and face. Finally, to top it off, I had to wear green contacts; the kind that made you look like a cat, and they glowed freakily.

I looked at myself in the mirror before I went in for the shoot and I was surprised to see that I still resembled myself.

“We still want people to be able to tell that it’s Shoei from S-Cube,” the stylist said. “That was the main reason you were asked to be part of this album.”

I chatted with the photographer on the set while waiting for Mika, and when she appeared, you could see that everyone’s jaws were almost dropping, even though it’s not like it’s the first time she’s dressed like this. She was wearing this filmy dress that was kinda ripped and had ruches here and there. She also had black body paint and those green contacts.

“We look crazy,” I laughed when I saw her.

“Tell me about it…” she smiled.

“Crazy but cool,” I added.

“I got scared when I looked in the mirror,” she laughed.

“Yea… compared to your Nana image, this one is a little freakier.”

“Nana was human… this is bordering on the line between the living and the dead,” she said.

“Kinda reminds me of the hot vampire in Underworld… was it Underworld?”

“Kate Beckinsale,” she said.

“Yep… that's the one. Very hot…”

“Typical guy,” she said as she rolled her eyes.

Shooting started shortly after. The lights were all dimmed and dim, yellowish light illuminated the set just enough for the cameras to be able to capture our expressions and outfits. The backdrop was all white in contrast to our dark outfits so that the outlines of our bodies were visible.

“Mika, lean into Shoei… yep… like that,” the photographer directed, and Mika did as she was told.

I think many guys would be dreaming of this; having Mika Nakashima lean into them. My left hand rested lightly on the small of her back and the right hand on her hip. She was really thin and small. Girls like her made nuna feel inadequate all the time.

Despite our busy schedule and the stress that came with it, she still managed to gain weight. She was now nearing the 52kg mark, and the good thing was that the management have not made any scathing comments about it or asked her to go on a diet. Perhaps they feel that nuna is in a position of popularity where she can still gain some and still be loved and accepted. Honestly, she didn’t look like she gained any weight at all, except for the little bit of extra roundness on her face. I can still recall her complaining about her face just before I left.

“I’m fat!” she exclaimed as she scrutinized her face in the mirror.

“No you’re not,” I said. “You’re weight is healthy for your height.”

“Healthy… but my face looks so round,” she wailed.

“It’s fine…” I sighed.

“My cheekbones are gone!” she said dramatically. “Look at this double chin.”

“There’s not double chin,” I assured her.

“And did you notice how long it took for the photographer to get a perfect shot of me the other day, to make sure I didn’t look like a Hello Kitty?”

“That wouldn’t have been the case since the makeup artiste would’ve fixed your face with makeup before you went on the set. They have ways to create the slimming effect for you face if you did look round.”

“Don’t you know that when on camera you look much fatter than usual?”

“You didn’t look fat. None of your photos looked fat if you recall looking at the proof sheets. The photographer was just a little more demanding than usual, that’s why she took a longer time than usual.”

She still didn’t look convinced by the time I’d finished explaining and there was little I could do if she refused to be convinced. Even though the management have now relaxed their control on nuna, she still can’t help feeling pressured to criticize and control herself in the manner they would do to her.

It sometimes angers me how they’ve shattered her confidence in herself. She’s only confident when she feels that she looks perfect, and I can see how taxing the effort is to maintain her confidence. Such are the ways of the industry. I’m sure even someone like Mika has moments where she feels inadequate. How else would she drive herself to maintain that figure and image?

The photo shoot wrapped up by noon, and I sat in the chair while the makeup artist removed the body paint from my face and body with the solvent on a cotton swab.

“We’re having lunch together with a friend of mine,” Mika said as soon as we were clean and leaving the set.

“Who?” I asked.

“You’ll see when we get there,” she smiled, and I decided not to bug her for an answer.

[Skye’s POV]

It’s been a week and so far I’ve shot 2 episodes with Vanness for the music program. In addition to that, we’d been appearing on local variety shows together and today, we’re appearing in a CF for an energy drink. Like most of the CFs I’ve filmed, this wasn’t much different; there will be a few versions, 2 to be exact. Vanness’ was going to be mostly night scenes and mine would be day scenes. They’re planning to air each separately and also have one which will be some sort of a medley of the 2 ending with cuts of me and him on each side of the screen at the end.

The whole concept of this energy drink was that it would give the both of us the energy to rush around all the time and do whatever for long hours. The first scene we’re filming is of me swimming laps in a pool. Vanness happened to have some free time on that day so he came to the set to watch.

They put me in a pair of swimming trunks, a cap and a pair of goggles.

“Stand there,” the director said, motioning me to stand at the edge of the pool. “Pull down your goggles, get into position and jump into the pool.”

I nodded and started warming up a little while the crew did last minute adjustments to the equipment and the director got back to his chair. I was lucky that the director spoke English, otherwise, it would be the case of the chicken and the duck, as nuna always said.

“Ready?” the director yelled from across the pool, and I gave him the thumbs up. “Action!” he yelled.

I pulled down my goggles, leant down to touch my feet and jumped into the pool. It was a clean dive, and I was pretty impressed with myself. I swam speedily across the pool, freestyle, and when I reached the end, I flipped and swam back.

“Cut!” I could hear the director yell as I completed 1 lap.

I surfaced and coughed a bit.

“Skye,” the director said, “Can you try the breaststroke now?”

“No problem,” I said.

I climbed out of the pool and the assistant dried me down a little before I went back to the earlier starting position. As soon as the director shouted ‘Action!’, I jumped into the pool again and started swimming. The breaststroke was a little slower than the freestyle and I’d given all my energy to the earlier shot, so I slowed down considerably mostly. I finished the lap and the director yelled ‘Cut!’.

“Good take,” he said as I climbed out of the pool. “We’re gonna move on to the next set.”

I changed out of the swimming attire and into gym clothes. Vanness met up with me as I walked out of the changing room.

“Looking good,” he smiled.


“Good thing there isn’t much sporting activities in my CF,” he said.

“Really? What’s yours?”

“Mostly dancing, clubbing,” he laughed.

“Hey,” I protested. “Not fair. Why did you get the fun job?”

“Cos I’m the senior,” he grinned.

“And I’m the foreigner,” I grumbled.

“Yep,” he laughed. “Where to next?”

“The gym,” I said.

We were shooting at a club house, so we’re going to complete the shots for most of the activities where the facilities are available there; swimming, gym, squash, tennis. The plan was to film as many activities as possible and they’ll take the best clips to make the final clip.

“Looks like you’re gonna be burnt out today,” he said.

“Tomorrow as well. I can bet we won’t finish today.”

“Yea… that’s normal,” he said. “Well… all the best for today. I’m gonna head off now. See you later.”

“Alright… see ya,” I said.

As Vanness walked out of the main doors, I saw someone get out of a car stopped at the front. It was a girl, and she looked very familiar. I craned my neck to get a better look, but the door closed. Is it who I think it is? I walked towards the door and pushed it open almost hitting the girl I’d noticed. She backed away in shock as the door swung at her.

“Mian,” I said as I held the door open for her.

“Oh… Hi Skye,” she said as she flashed a bright smile.

I was speechless as I looked at her. I really didn’t think I’d see her here.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Chapter 101: Reminiscence

Filming wrapped up as the sun started setting. By the time we’d removed our makeup, changed and the rest of the crew had packed up, it was already nightfall.

“Sierra, Yun Ho,” the producer called out to us as we walked out of the trailer. “Have dinner with me and the crew.”

“Okay,” Yun Ho replied for the both of us. “Where are you going? We’ll meet you there.”

After the producer had told us where they were headed, we got into the van that was taking the equipment back to the headquarters, where Yun Ho’s car was parked, and we drove there ourselves.

“Tired?” Yun Ho asked me when he noticed the way I sat in the seat; slouching with my head lolling about when he turned corners.

“A little,” I smiled. “I’m just being lazy.”

“Right,” he laughed. “I’d almost forgot… twaeji.”

“Yah…” I said lazily as I glared wearily at him. “Watch it.”

“I can’t call you ‘twaeji’ anymore?” he said as he made a sad face.

“Only my boyfriend can call me that,” I said, before realizing what I’d just pointed out.

I quickly turned to look at Yun Ho and I was relieved to see that his expression hadn’t changed.

“I know,” he said. “I’ll find a new nickname for you,” he smiled mischievously.

“Don’t do that…” I whined.

“Why not?” he teased me. “Let’s think of a new name… hmm… pabo? Aniyo… Poktan?” he laughed.

“Very funny,” I said, and I smacked him on the arm.

“Yah… appuh…” he exclaimed. “You should have a nickname that described how violent you are.”

“I am not violent,” I protested.

“No?” he laughed. “If there is anything I remember most about you when we were dating, it’s how violent you are.”

“What did I do that was violent?” I asked him.

“The hitting, the poking, the yelling,” he listed out.

“You yell too,” I pointed out.

“I’m a guy…” he shrugged.

“So what are you saying? It’s socially unacceptable for a girl to yell?”

“Something like that…”

“Which century are you from?”

“The current,” he grinned.

“Aissshiii…” I laughed and punched his arm.

“There you go again…” he said. “We should call you yeobginyeo.”

“You’re not calling me that.”

“Let’s see what the others think before we decide,” he said.

“You’re not telling them!” I exclaimed as I shook his arm. “Yah! You can’t tell them! I’m nothing like Jeon Ji Yeon in ‘My Sassy Girl’.”

“You do at least half the stuff she did in that movie,” he laughed.

“No I don’t! And I warn you… do not tell them.”




“Cholltae andoe,” I said.

“Araso,” he said, and that was when I realized he’d been pulling my leg all along.

“You’re evil,” I sulked.

“I know,” he smiled, and I gave up, and started laughing.

Dinner was pretty lively, especially after everyone had had a few drinks. I was probably the only sober person there, until they decided to force 2 glasses of soju into me.

“Chintcha… I can’t drink,” I protested.

“Come on, Sierra,” the producer tried to coax me.

“I really can’t drink,” I said as I looked pleadingly around the table.

“She’ll get really drunk after 1 glass,” Yun Ho said in my defense.

“Kwaench’ana…” the producer said. “Yun Ho will take you home.”

I looked at Yun Ho and he nodded, which meant that I had to accept the drink. I took the glass from the producer and swallowed the clear liquid in one gulp. As soon as I did, the whole table cheered.

“Yaaahhh… see!” the producer exclaimed. “You can do it. Have another!”

And that was the last one I had, or at least that was what I remembered. I remembered hearing Yun Ho telling the producer that 2 glasses was my limit, and after that I just felt my brain slowly drifting. I was actually alright for awhile, after the 2nd glass, but as time passed, my head started to feel heavy and my eyes just wanted to shut themselves.

“Kaja,” I could hear Yun Ho say as he helped me up from the table and he said goodbye to the party for the both of us as he bowed, and we walked away from the stall to his car.

I probably would’ve been able to walk better if I hadn’t been wearing these really high heels. It was really because I was around him, that I feel the need to wear heels, since he was so tall. He had to keep me from falling whilst fishing for his keys and when he finally got the door opened, he helped me into the car, making sure I didn’t bump my head or fall into the car headfirst. We drove home in silence, him looking straight ahead and me leaning on the window and looking out on my side. By the time we got home, I was still dizzy, and he had to help me up to the apartment.

“I think you shouldn’t join the crew for meals in future,” he said.


“They’ll always try to get you to drink. Good thing you’re not one of those ‘happy drunks’ who get overly friendly when you’re drunk.”

“That’s cos I wasn’t really drunk, and I told myself to just sit there and stop talking, or I’d have gotten a little too animated,” I giggled.

“Just listen to yourself,” he said in a voice that I could only interpret as affectionate.

We were in the elevator, and I was leaning heavily on him while he supported my body with one arm.

“You know…” I said.


“If someone were to take a picture of us now,” I giggled again.

“It would be a bigger mayhem than your last scandal,” he said as he poked my head with a finger.

“Yea,” I said as tried to stand up straight but dipped and slammed into him, pushing him against the elevator wall.

“Yah…” he laughed as he tried to stand up and hold me up. “Stop moving around you crazy girl.”

“No mich’in,” I said, and I knew I was slurring my words, but I couldn’t control it.

“Ne…” he laughed.

The doors finally opened and we walked out together.

“Chamkan,” I said as I pulled him to a stop.

I kicked off my shoes and picked them up.

“You should’ve done that earlier,” he said.

“It’s dirty on the streets.”

“Keurae… I should’ve just carried you.”

“That would’ve been nice,” I smiled.

As we stumbled into the apartment, 3 heads turned to look at us.

“Yah… what happened to you, Sierra?” Yoo Chun was the first to speak.

“They wouldn’t stop offering her drinks,” Yun Ho explained.

“You should’ve drank them for her,” Jun Su said.

“Then I wouldn’t have been able to drive,” Yun Ho reminded him.

“Right…” Jun Su replied as he smiled sheepishly. “I forgot Sierra can’t drive.”

Just then, Jae Joong walked out of the room and saw me and Yun Ho standing in the doorway, with me still leaning on him.

“What’s wrong?” he said as he walked towards us and intercepted me from Yun Ho.

“One too many…” I drawled and giggled.

Chang Min started laughing, and the others followed. I guess they’ve never really seen me like this, so they found it funny.

“Come on,” Jae Joong laughed as he picked me up and carried me into his room.

“Whoa!!! Hyung!!!” Jun Su exclaimed.

“Go Jae Joong… go Jae Joong…” Yoo Chun chanted as Jae Joong walked away from the living room.

“I didn’t know hyung could be so gallant,” Chang Min laughed.

He laid me on his bed and helped me take off my jacket.

“Why did you drink that much?” he asked me.

“They were pressuring me,” I grumbled as I rolled over on the bed so that he could pull off my jacket.

“You shouldn’t go out with them in future,” he said.

“Why do you and Yun Ho say the same stuff?” I said as I turned to look at him.

“Cos it’s common sense?” he said, and he tweaked my nose.

“Hey…” I exclaimed, but it was still in that slurry tone since everything I did was in slow motion now.

“Go to sleep,” he said as he hung up my jacket and turned off the lights, leaving only the bedside lamp on.

“I wanna shower,” I whined. “I stink.”

“You’re gonna get a rash if you shower now. Shower tomorrow,” he said. “Go to sleep.”

“Hmm…” I pouted, but closed my eyes anyway. “Goodnight,” I mumbled as I hugged the bolster I’d brought with me from my apartment.

“Goodnight,” he said as he leant down to kiss my forehead.

He probably thinks that I didn’t know, but I was half awake when he came back with a warm, wet towel later on. I felt him wipe my face, hands and feet but I didn’t open my eyes. I just smiled happily, as I continued pretending that I was asleep.

[Shoei’s POV]

I was shown into the studio where they were taking photos of her. Mika Nakashima… I finally get to meet her. When they stopped for a break, I was brought to her to be introduced.

“Mika…” the producer said. “This is Takizawa Shoei, from S-Cube.”

“Mika-san,” I smiled as we shook hands. “It’s an honor.”

“Honor?” she smiled. “I’m getting a little too familiar-faced in this industry, meeting someone new and successful is more of an honor than meeting someone like me.”

“If you say so,” I smiled. “I hope to learn a lot while working with you.”

The reason I was here was to play the male lead in Mika’s new video. I’d assumed that the female lead would be someone else since it wasn't always that Mika did a video with a guy. I was pleasantly surprised when they told me she would be acting out the role of the female protagonist.

If you think I was going to get to touch her, I wasn’t. It was one of those stories where two people are in the same room, but they do not interact. The title of the song was ‘Still Asleep’, and the story was of a woman who was still in love with a guy who was no longer there.

On the first day, I was on the set to watch her photo shoot for her single CD sleeve, and after that, we went for dinner.

“Hyde has talked about you,” she told me as we ate in this rather posh sushi restaurant.

The both of us sat face to face at a small table while the producer and a few staff at another.

“He has?”

“He said you were pretty talented, and it was a pity you went into R&B,” she continued.

“Oh… that,” I smiled. “I did tell him that my first love was Rock.”

“So why didn’t you go into Rock?”

“Don’t have a band, and the management wanted me to do R&B. They needed me to complete S-Cube.”


“From the moment Skye and I were recruited, they sort of set us aside, and were waiting for the 3rd voice to complete the group.”

“Sierra, I presume,” she said.

“Yes… but her being the 3rd member was pretty unplanned. They’d really kept their options open when searching for the 3rd member. We weren’t even told if they wanted a guy or a girl in the first place.”

“Then if someone gave you a chance to leave S-Cube now, would you?” she asked me. “If someone here in Japan offered you the position of a lead vocalist in a Rock band, would you consider?”

I looked up at Mika as she shot her questions at me. Would I leave S-Cube now? Was I still needed? Sometimes I feel like we were almost reaching the peak, and in order for us to grow, we’d probably need to go solo, but would I leave, knowing how much nuna would never want that to happen?

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Omo! Omo! Omo!

I am shocked... I am baffled... how did I manage to write 100 chapters of fantasy? ^_^ Probably because I keep dreaming... hehe...

Thank you to all the readers who have been reading up till now... for you and for me, here are a few wishes I have...

1. To keep writing quality chapters
I don't wanna just keep spinning yarns for the sake of reaching Chapter 200 o.O I want to keep writing because I have something fresh and exciting to share. So whenever my story gets to mundane and predictable, give me a wake up call ^_^

2. More comments!
In the recent weeks, I've never been more happier to write because there were people who took the time to comment on my work and the plot. Knowing that there are people out there who care about my characters and the fiction in general helps encourage me to write. So please... start COMMENTing!!! ^_^

3. Share MKR with the world
This is one huge favour I have to ask of all my readers. I know many of you are here because a friend had recommended you, or even because I have blatantly advertised it to you. Now I need your help to keep it up for me. Please get the whole world (or just anyone you know) to read my fiction. The more the merrier, and maybe if things work out, I can publish a book someday? Or a series of manga? Hehe!

So those are my wishes... for those who have any for me, feel free to make it known anytime, and I will see what I can do. Thank you for reading MKR from Chapter 1 to Chapter 100, I hope you continued to enjoy this fiction, as well as all the others that I write from time to time. I might be coming up with some new work soon... look out for my announcements!

For as long as my dreams are alive... my Korean romance will have a breath of life...

여러분... 사랑해!!! (yeoreobun... saranghae!!!) Everybody... I love you!!!

Chapter 100: Hello Again

“Cut!” the director yelled.

Yun Ho helped me up onto my feet and someone passed me a bottle of water to rinse off the ‘blood’ in my mouth.

“Bida…” he pretended to be shocked as I took off my leather jacket and handed it to one of the assistants.

“Yuck,” I said as I surveyed the damage on the shirt.

It really looked like I had just lost a gallon of blood or something. I pulled out the bag from under my shirt and another assistant collected it from me.

“Komapda,” I said.

“That was a very good take,” the director said. “We don’t even need to shoot again. The both of you were very in touch with your emotions.”

“Komapseumnida,” we both bowed.

“Good job. We should have done this long ago,” the producer said. “There’s obviously screen chemistry between the both of you. Could it be because of your past involvement?” he teased.

“Anieyo,” I said.

“We’re good friends. There’s no past attachment left between us,” Yun Ho added.

“Still, it’s good. You’ve really captured the emotions of the characters you played,” the producer said.

“We need to move to the next location now, to catch the late afternoon sun,” the director announced.

We piled into the vans and left for the next location for the shoot, a cemetery. The cemetery scene is meant for the 2nd MV, ‘To Be Your Love’. We’re doing all the outdoor shoots today, and for the next few days, we will focus on the studio shoots.

Once we arrived at the location, they stylists trimmed my hair extensions and changed my hairstyle to a shorter cut which ended just above my shoulders. I’ll be keeping this hairstyle for the next few days, until the shoot ends. When they were done with my hair, I was given a moment alone to clean off the ‘blood stains’ from earlier, and when I was done, I changed into a white sundress. It was feminine, demure and a far cry from my earlier costume. Yun Ho was in a casual suit this time and topped off with a pair of sunglasses pushed up on his head like a headband.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you look so suave,” I smiled.

“I’ve never seen you look more lady-like,” he laughed. “And didn’t I wear a suit to the last awards?”

“That was an elaborate suit. This is simple, and sophisticated.”


“This is really not my usual style,” I laughed.

“I can tell,” he said. “You don’t look like you.”

“I don’t?”

“You look better as Jin Yi,” he smiled.

“That’s probably because you’re drawn to dangerous-looking girls,” I said.

“I guess I am,” he smiled. “So where do I find one?”

“Beats me,” I shrugged my shoulders, and smiled back at him.

Filming began in a short while. The sun beat down on the set, but Yun Ho was sitting comfortable in the shade while filming his bit. The scene it set for 1 year later. Yun Ho sits by Jin Yi’s grave; and yes, they pasted my photo on someone’s grave.

“Are you sure it won’t bring me bad luck?” I asked the prop master.

“We’ve done this many times. It won’t bring you bad luck,” he assured me.

Call me traditional and superstitious, but I’m Chinese, and Chinese are really particular about these kinda stuff. I’m gonna need some kind of talisman after this shoot.

We had a special guest for this scene and he was already on the set by the time we arrived.

“Teukie!” I exclaimed when I saw him. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m your cousin,” he smiled.

“Great! If only you were really my cousin,” I said.

“You could start telling everyone that. They might believe you,” he laughed.

“Hyung,” Yun Ho greeted him as he approached.

“Hey Yun Ho. Ready to get your heart broken?”


“You’re supposed to think that I’m her boyfriend,” he explained.

“Oh… ara…” he smiled.

“I think they’re ready to begin,” I said when I noticed them signaling everyone to their positions.

“Let’s go,” Yun Ho said.

Ee Teuk and I went up the stairs right to the top to wait for our entrance, and Yun Ho would be sitting next to ‘my grave’.

“Action,” the director yelled, and the camera focused on Yun Ho as he said his lines.

Yun Ho: I hope you’re happy. (runs a finger down the photo on Jin Yi’s tombstone) What a mess you’ve made of me now.

He stands up slowly and dusts off his suit, and walked leisurely away from her tomb, onto the stairway up the hill. He looks up and the sun blinds his eye for a moment. He blinks, and when he opens his eyes again, he sees me.

Yun Ho: Jin Yi?

I walk down the stair he is on; in a white sundress, and holding a bouquet of lilies.

Yun Ho: Jin Yi! (he grabs my arm as I walk past)

I turn and look at him with a startled expression.

Sierra: Ajeosshi… please let go of me.

Yun Ho continues to stare at me, not releasing his grasp.

They would later on add this piece of dialogue as Yun Ho’s thoughts.

[Yun Ho: Ajeosshi? She called me ajeosshi? But she looks exactly like Jin Yi. She must be Jin Yi!]

Sierra: Ajeosshi… Please let me go. (still struggling)

Yun Ho: Jin Yi, it’s you, isn’t it?

[Yun Ho: Why won’t she acknowledge me? Why won’t she admit who she is?]

Sierra: I’m not Jin Yi! My name is not Jin Yi

I pull my arm out of his grasp and drop the bouquet I was holding.

Yun Ho: You’re not Jin Yi?

Sierra: My name is Sierra. Are you drunk or something?

Yun Ho: Choesonghamnida.

He steps away from me.

Sierra: Are you alright, ajeosshi?

I look at his shocked face, concerned.

Jung Su: Sierra.

Ee Teuk, dressed in a black shirt and a pair of blue jeans jogs down the stairs.

Sierra: Oppa!

Jung Su: Kwaench’ana?

He came to stands beside me and put his arm around my shoulders.

Sierra: Nan kwaench’ana.

Jung Su: Who is this?

Sierra: Erm… this is…

Yun Ho: Jung Yun Ho. Detective Jung Yun Ho.

Jung Su: Park Jung Su

He extends his hand to Yun Ho, and they shake hands briefly.

Yun Ho: Nice to meet you, Sierra-sshi, Jung Su-sshi. I’ll take my leave now. Annyeonghi kyeseyo.

He pulls his sunglasses down to cover his eyes and walks away.

Jung Su: Annyeonghi kaseyo…

Ee Teuk and I watch Yun Ho as he walks away. Camera zooms in on Yun Ho’s expression as he walks up the stairs.

[Yun Ho: She’s taken… to think I actually mistook her for Jin Yi. She doesn’t even come close to Jin Yi…]

Jung Su: Who was that?

Sierra: Just some guy. Let’s go see oma.

I bend down to pick up the bouquet and as Ee Teuk and I walked down the stairs, I turn back to look at Yun Ho.

[Sierra: He looks so distinguished and poised, but he also looks depressed. I wonder what happened to him. Who is this Jin Yi?]

After this scene, the music would start and the scene of the MV would change.

“Good take,” the producer said. “Let’s head downtown to finish off the other scenes.”

There was a little sun light left, and they thought they’d film a few more scenes before we wrapped up for the day.

“I’m gonna take off now,” Ee Teuk said when he’s gotten out of his costume.

“Okay,” I said. “See ya!”

“Tell Yun Ho I’m leaving,” he said, since Yun Ho was still in one of the trailers.

“Araso,” I said. “Bye!”

We left the graveyard shortly after that and arrived at a coffee shop to film another scene. On the way, they dressed me in a feminine linen blouse and a pair of casual jeans. Yun Ho was already dressed in jeans, t-shirt and a denim jacket by the time we got off the vans.

We have lines for the next few scenes, but they won’t be audible on the MV. They are just meant to make the scenes look more realistic. The only audible would be the part where Yun Ho and I meet again. He is going to save me from hitting the floor.

“You’d better catch me,” I told him as we stood in position, awaiting the director’s instructions.

“How much do you weigh now?” he asked me.

“About 50kg,” I replied.

“Man…” he exclaimed, and I gave him an evil eye, “that’s not very heavy,” he finished, laughing, and I laughed with him.

“I bet you’re only like, 10kg heavier than me,” I said.

“I’m not 19 anymore, Sierra. I weigh more than that now,” he said.

It’s true that they’ve all put on some healthy weight in these past years. They no longer looked painfully thin like they used to back in the first 3 years. They had more muscle and built now, and they looked much healthier.

“Yea… I realized how much chunkier you look lately,” I giggled, and he gave me a pained expression.

“Places everyone!” the assistant director shouted, and we stood in line.

I’m supposed to be in line at a cafe, waiting to order my drink. The guy in front nearly hits me with his tray and I move back, losing my balance. Someone catches me and when he’d helped me up.

Sierra: Komapseumnida…

I turn around and find that it’s Yun Ho.

Yun Ho: Hello Sierra.

Sierra: Ah… hello…

Yun Ho: It’s Yun Ho.

Cashier: Miss? Your order?

Sierra: Choesonghamnida…

I smile and bow a little at Yun Ho and turn to place my order.

“Cut!” the director yelled to indicate the end of the scene.

The next scene shows me and Yun Ho having coffee together and some lighthearted conversation. This next dialogue will be audible.

Sierra: Wow… I look like your ex-girlfriend? That’s a little hard to believe.

Yun Ho: We can always go back to the cemetery, and I’ll prove it to you.

Sierra: That’s okay. I’ll take your word for it.

Yun Ho: Komawo.

Sierra: It must have been painful, then. Losing the one you love.

Yun Ho: The pain dulls eventually (stirs his coffee). So where’s your boyfriend?

Sierra: Boyfriend?

Yun Ho: That guy you were with at the cemetery.

Sierra: Oh… Jung Su oppa? He’s my cousin. We were visiting my mother’s grave.

Yun Ho: So you don’t have a boyfriend?

Sierra: Opseumnida.

I smile at him, and he smiles back, and the music is supposed to continue from here.