We took off our headphones as the closing theme of our show played.
“Where are you girls off to?” Seung Ho asked as the girls got up and started collecting their stuff.
“Next venue on the schedule,” Sylvia answered.
“Busy, huh?” Seung Ho added.
“It’s good to be busy, isn’t it?” Shin Hee said. “Otherwise it would mean we’re out of our jobs.”
“Yep,” he laughed.
The girls and us packed up and we left the studio for the next group of DJs. As we walked out, I quickened my steps so that I would ‘accidentally’ collide with Su Bin a little.
“Mian,” I said as my hands came up to steady her.
These girls were always tottering around on high heels. Sure it made them look sexy, but someday, I’m pretty sure someone would be breaking her pretty neck.
“Twaeso,” she said as she continued to walk out.
I know I’d affected her when I touched her since she was starting to look a bit flustered.
“Onni,” she called out to Sylvia. “I need to go to the toilet.”
“We’ll be waiting out front. Don’t be long,” Sylvia said.
“Araso,” she smiled and she turned to walk towards the toilets.
“I need to go too,” I told Seung Ho.
“Then I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said.
It was obvious that he was dying to walk out with the girls. Seung Ho is known to have a weakness for young and pretty girls; especially those part of new acts.
I walked towards the toilets and looked around before I entered the ladies’. I got in I locked the door, and just then, Su Bin walked out of a toilet stall.
“Oppa… you do know this is the ladies’,” she smiled as she casually walked towards the sink to wash her hand.
“Chongmallo?” I said in an innocent tone.
“Are you stalking me?” she asked as she wiped her hands with the paper towels provided and threw them into the bin.
“What if I am?” I smiled.
“Hmm… then should I be afraid?” she asked me as she walked towards me.
“Come here you…” I said as I pulled her towards me, and I kissed her.
I’d just met her yesterday night, but today… I guess it was the excitement of sharing a secret in a room full of people, and the danger of the situation we’re in now that made me feel like just indulging in the heat of the moment.
“Good job today,” I said to her.
“What do you mean?”
“You ignored me very well during the show just now,” I laughed.
“What? You wanted me to throw myself at you like Puri did?”
“You noticed huh?” I laughed and I kissed the top of her head. “Hwanajima… she’s too easy and she’s not my type.”
“I’m not angry,” she replied. “And I bet you don’t even know what your type is. You just go for whoever catches your eye, paramdung-i”
“Yah… how can you call me a player?”
“You sure don’t only have eyes for me,” she said.
“Pabo… at least my eyes are for you most of the time,” I laughed and hugged her. “Go on now. We don’t want the girls to be suspicious.”
“Araso…” she said as she unlocked the door.
“Go on,” I said. “I’ll come out a few minutes after you.”
I’ve just spent the whole day at the HQ, going through my schedule and other arrangements that have cropped up while I was in Taiwan. Looks like I’m going to be really busy for the next two weeks. Finally, I’m out of the evening rush hour traffic as I drove into the waiting space at the front doors of the studios where Hae Rin was recording today.
“Hey,” she greeted me as she entered the car.
I drove out again, into the jammed road.
“What do you wanna eat?” I asked her.
“Whatever,” she said. “I’m not really hungry.”
“Are you going on a diet or something?” I asked her as I took her hand in mine.
“Anieyo… I snacked earlier,” she smiled.
“Then I’ll just take you home?” I teased, and was rewarded with a thump on my lap.
“Drive,” she said.
“Araso…” I laughed. “Tough day?” I asked her after a long moment of silence.
“Not really,” she said. “Guess who I met today?”
“Do you remember Su Bin? She was a trainee at SM with me.”
“Oh yea… Su Bin. Your room mate, right?”
“What happened to her?” I asked.
“She was transferred to DSP just before I went to America,” she said.
“Because they had an opening for a new group, and they were looking for someone like her? I dunno… what other reasons would there be?”
“Beats me,” I laughed.
“So what time is your flight? Tonight?”
“What time would you like it to be?” I asked her.
“Be serious…” she said.
“I can leave tonight, or early tomorrow morning, if you like,” I said.
“Won’t you be tired if you have to wake up early tomorrow morning?”
“Anything for you,” I said as I reached over to pinch her cheek.
“Michoso…” she laughed. “It’s pretty late already. You’ll be rushing to the airport. Leave tomorrow then.”
“If you say so,” I said, and I pulled out my mobile phone to call my PA.
We had dinner and I had to take her back to the studios to continue her recording session. She got out of the car and I parked nearby and wound down the window a little before turning off the engine, intending to take a nap in the car while waiting for her.
“Hit him! Hit him!” I yelled as I continued lifting my dumbbells.
Chang Min and Jun Su were both on the Playstation battling it out in this game called ‘King of Fighters’.
“Who are you rooting for?” Jun Su turned around to ask me in the brief moment of pause he had since Chang Min was knocked out and recovering.
“Never you mind,” I said. “He’s getting up!” I yelled and Jun Su immediately launched into an attack on Chang Min’s character.
“Hyung! Give me a chance, will you?” Chang Min yelled as he tried to defend himself.
“You’re dead! You’re dead!” Jun Su yelled as he continued his assault and finally, Chang Min’s character had lost. “Yes!” Jun Su cheered and pumped his fist.
“I don’t wanna play anymore,” Chang Min said as he put down the controller and got up.
“Yah… who’s gonna play with me if you won’t?” Jun Su whined.
“Play with the computer,” Chang Min said as he walked off to his workroom.
“Sierra?” Jun Su looked at me, pleading.
“You just want someone you can beat, don’t you?” I laughed, and he smiled sweetly. “Araso… let me finish up here,” I said as I rounded off my mini workout session.
Just as I was about to sit down beside Jun Su, Yoo Chun dive onto the spot and picked up the controller.
“Yah!” Jun Su pushed Yoo Chun. “I don’t wanna play with you.”
“Wae?” Yoo Chun whined. “I paid for this too. I’m playing.”
“Then I guess I’m not needed,” I laughed and started to walk away.
“No… kajima, Sierra,” Jun Su said. “Go away, Yoo Chun. I wanna play with Sierra.”
“Andwae,” Yoo Chun said as he quickly selected his player. “Come on… we need to go to bed soon.”
“Play with Yoo Chun, Jun Su,” I said. “He’s lonely,” I laughed.
“Aisshii…” Jun Su complained. “Araso…” he added grudgingly as he selected his player.
I walked towards the workroom where Jae Joong and Yun Ho were both working.
“Aren’t you guys tired?” I asked them.
“Can’t slack off,” Yun Ho said. “We’ve got some stuff to finish before we leave for Japan.”
“O yea… I almost forgot. 2 weeks right?”
“Yep,” Jae Joong replied.
“I’m off to bed,” I said to the both of them.
“So early?” Jae Joong said.
“Yun Ho and I have a press conference for the single release tomorrow.”
“Yea…” Yun Ho sighed. “I’ve gotta get to bed as well.”
“Stick with me for a few more minutes,” Jae Joong said to Yun Ho. “Then we’ll go to bed.”
“What? Are you still spooked by that trick Sierra and I played on you?” Yun Ho asked him.
“Of course not. Do I look like an idiot to you?” Jae Joong grumbled.
“I’m going to bed,” I said as I ruffled Jae Joong’s hair. “Don’t be late.”
I lowered my chair and reached for an outdated magazine someone had left in my backseat. I remember now why this was in my backseat. It was a magazine we’d picked up during nuna’s cold war with Jae Joong hyung because of Darren Kang. There were actually speculations that they were breaking up at that time because the photographers started publishing photos of nuna and Jae Joong hyung going around alone, when they are usually together almost whenever they’re out in public.
There were pictures of nuna hanging around on the sidewalk with us while we were waiting for the van to come pick us up. She actually looked devastated; her nose was red, and if it weren’t for those huge sunglasses she wore, they’d have seen her puffy eyes. Seeing the pain that nuna and Jae Joong hyung had to endure, it made me wonder if I could ever survive the bumps in the road with Hae Rin the way they did.
I tossed the magazine aside and closed my eyes. It’ll probably be at least another 2 hours and I could’ve gone home, but since I was gonna sleep anyway, I might as well wait here so that I didn’t have to rush back here to pick Hae Rin up on time.
I was almost asleep when I heard a tapping sound on my window. I opened my eyes and saw Hae Rin’s manager, Ryu Ji Tae.
“Hyung,” I greeted him as I wound down the window.
“Get out,” he said.
He didn’t sound angry, but I knew he meant business. I turned on the engine to wind up the windows and turned it off before I got out.
“Darawa,” he said as he walked off.
I was puzzled at his behavior, yet I locked the car and followed him into the quiet alley by the studios’ building.
“What are you doing here?” he asked me.
“Waiting for Hae Rin,” I replied honestly.
“Are you two dating?” he asked me.
“No,” I replied firmly.
“You’d better not be lying Skye. I’ve been watching the two of you, and you’ve been meeting her on your own too often.”
“We’re just good friends.”
“Sure…” he laughed. “And 18 year old ingénue and a 24 year old R&B artiste.”
“There’s nothing going on between us,” I insisted.
“Whatever you say, Skye,” he said. “I’m letting you off now because you and your band are somewhat important to the company now. If you slip up, I’m going to make sure you pay. No one screws with my plans. Hae Rin is my biggest success now, and I won’t allow you to ruin anything for me and her.”
I just kept quiet as he gave his little speech, and when he was done, he walked off, leaving me standing there, staring blankly at the wall. Does this mean that Hae Rin and I would be watched from now on? Could she and I actually get away with being a couple the way nuna and Jae Joong hyung did?