Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Chapter 124: Ride On

We took off our headphones as ‘Waiting for You’ played.

“Sugohaseyo…” Seung Ho said to Sierra and Yun Ho.

“Ye… komapseumnida,” Sierra replied. “It was a good show.”

“Were our questions good?” Darren asked as he collected and stacked up the scripts on the table.

“Not bad,” Yun Ho replied. “Pretty original.”

“Tangyeonhajyo,” Seung Ho said. “Do you know how long we sat together just to come up with those. We’re like the last to interview you both this week, and almost every single question to be asked had already been asked.”

“Repeating a few of them wouldn’t have hurt. Some people might have missed the other interview sessions,” Sierra said.

“Then we wouldn’t be original. Andoe, andoe… we had to be original,” Seung Ho said.

“Well, you did it,” Yun Ho smiled.

“You two were perfect for that song,” Seung Ho said. “Your live singing is brilliant.”

“Kamsahamnida…” Sierra smiled.

Even now, she still glows with the pleasure, like a new kasu, when someone praises her singing. I guess being battered by the media and critics for the entire duration of her career up till now has made her more gracious and thankful when she received success and praise.

“Still so modest, Sierra?” I remarked.

“She’s always been like that,” Yun Ho replied in her place.

“Yes she has. Can’t imagine her being otherwise. Sierra’s famed for her modesty,” I laughed.

“Isn’t that a good reason to be famous for?” she smiled.

“Yep,” I replied. “So are you looking forward to our collaboration.”

“Oh… I almost forgot about the drama,” I said.

“Ye? You’re gonna be in a drama with Sierra?” Seung Ho exclaimed. “You lucky punk!”

“Yea… really lucky,” Yun Ho said.

“Hey… don’t get envious,” I smiled. “It’s just my fate.”

“Yun Ho, Sierra…” their PA called out as she popped her head into the room. “We need to go.”

“Well, gotta run,” Sierra said. “See you guys around.”

“Sure,” Seung Ho smiled his sappy smile at Sierra.

Hot girls just blow his mind. It’s a wonder how he can remain calm, collected and articulate during our shows in their presence.

“Bye,” Yun Ho said as he ushered Sierra out of the door.

“That girl…” Seung Ho said, as soon as the door closed. “She sure is something.”

“What? Not even Hae Rin can hold a candle to her?” I said.

“Hae Rin is a different league all together… Sierra makes me wanna sing that Lee Seung Gi song… how does it go again?”

“Nuna nae yeoja anikka?”

“Yesss…” he said dreamily, and started humming the tune to the song.

“You’re such a sap,” I said as I nudged his head with a file.

“Kaja… the next slot’s DJs are coming,” he said, and we walked out.

We went to a nearby stall to have our lunch since we each had other shows to do in the next hour.

“So why didn’t you tell me you were gonna be in a drama with her?” Seung Ho drilled me.

“How can I reveal company secrets to you?” I said as I slurped my ramen.

“Ya… you did it in the end anyway,” he said.

“That was cos I was allowed to only after she’d confirmed her acceptance.”

“So she’s agreed to work with you?”

“Yep…” I said.

“Why don’t I get such luck?” he whined as he sipped his drink.

“You’d have to have a face like mine to get such privilege,” I laughed.

“What’s wrong with my face?” he asked as he stared at me.

“It doesn’t look like mine?” I laughed and patted him on the back. “Your chance will come. Don’t worry.”

“Sure…” he said with a disheartened tone, and he started eating.

[Sierra’s POV]

Yun Ho and I are stuck at Mnet’s broadcasting studio tonight. We’d just finished recording the interview session which will be broadcasted right before out MV, and we have been requested to stay for the broadcast and attend a small launch party afterwards.

“Sierra-sshi,” one of the assistants called out to me as she handed me a drink.

“Kamsahamnida,” I smiled as I accepted it.

“Shall we meet up with the rest later, or shall we just head home?” Yun Ho asked me.

“Are they planning to go somewhere?” I asked him.

“No… not if you want to go home.”

“Well… I think I’d want to head home,” I said. “We have another long day tomorrow.”

“Okay,” he said. “We’re not gonna be able to meet them for dinner anyway. They should just have their own dinner and we’ll meet them at home.”

“Yep,” I said, and I took another sip of my drink.

“You got the script yet?” he asked me.

“Yea… the story starts of typically,” I said.

“How typical?”

“Darren is traveling abroad and he bumps into me, we spend sometime together, part, and then somehow, we meet again in Korea.”

“Aha…” he smiled.

“The only fun bit is I get to play his boss in the drama.”

“His boss?”

“Yea… his character goes back to Seoul to work in a multinational company, and it so happens that I’m hired by his company to be his new superior.”

“Sounds fun,” he smiled some more.

“And he’s supposed to hate me at first, because he thought he would’ve been promoted, but instead they brought me in.”

“I can imagine the drama now… the fights, the dialogue… the passionate scenes to come,” Yun Ho laughed.

“Let’s hope you’re wrong. I’m hoping for some twists in this. It just sounds so cliché so far.”

“Right,” he said.

The broadcast of our interview finally began. We watched intently, looking for mistakes that we have to correct in our next interviews; the wrong facial expressions, wrong answers, and other stuff like that. When the interview ended, our MV played.

[To Be Your Love MV]

String instruments played a classical melody as Yun Ho came into view. He was sitting on the grass with his back against a tombstone. The words ‘Sierra + Yun Ho’ followed by ‘To Be Your Love’ appeared slowly on the screen and fades away. The camera zooms in on the tombstone and Jin Yi’s photo comes into view and the name ‘Ryu Jin Yi’ written below it.

“I hope you’re happy,” he said as he ran a finger down the photo on her tombstone. “What a mess you’ve made of me now.”

He stood up slowly and dusted off his suit. He was wearing a casual grey suit, and he had his sunglasses pushed onto his head like a headband. He walked leisurely away from her tomb, onto the stairway up the hill where his car was parked. He looked up and the sun blinded his eye for a moment. He blinked, and when he opened his eyes again, there she was.

“Jin Yi?” the name escaped his lips.

She was walking down the same stair he was on; wearing a white sundress, and holding a bouquet of lilies.

“Jin Yi,” he said, and he grabbed her arm as she walked past.

She turned and looked at him, obviously startled.

“Ajeosshi… please let go of me,” she said.

He continued to stare at her, not releasing his grasp.

‘Ajeosshi? She called me ajeosshi? But she looks exactly like Jin Yi. She must be Jin Yi!’ Yun Ho thought.

She stared at the man who gripping her hand.

“Ajeosshi,” she said as she tried to pry her arm out of his vise-like grip. “Please let me go.”

“Jin Yi, it’s you, isn’t it?” he said.

‘Why won’t she acknowledge me? Why won’t she admit who she is?’ he thought.

“I’m not Jin Yi,” she said, “My name is not Jin Yi,” she yelled in frustration and finally, she managed to pull her arm out of his grasp. In doing so, she dropped the bouquet she was holding.

“You’re not Jin Yi?” he said.

“No, it isn’t. Are you drunk or something?” she said as she rubbed the part of her arm where he’d gripped her so tightly.

“Choesonghamnida,” Yun Ho said, finally awakening from the shock.

“Are you alright, ajeosshi?” she said as she peered at him.

He’d suddenly gone pale, as if he was in shock.

‘Shouldn’t I be the one in shock?’ she thought.

“Sierra,” a voice sounded from above and they both looked up.

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

“Oppa,” she greeted him.

“Kwaench’ana?” he asked as he came to stood beside her and put his arm around her shoulders.

“Nan kwaench’ana,” she replied.

“Who is this?” he asked her as he looked at Yun Ho.

“Erm… this is,” she started.

“Jung Yun Ho. Detective Jung Yun Ho,” he said.

“Park Jung Su,” the guy replied and extended his hand to Yun Ho.

“Nice to meet you, Sierra-sshi, Jung Su-sshi. I’ll take my leave now. Annyeonghi kyeseyo,” he said as he pulled his sunglasses down to cover his eyes.

“Annyeonghi kaseyo,” Jung Su replied, as he and Sierra watched Yun Ho walk away.

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

“Who was that?” Jung Su asked Sierra.

“Just some guy,” Sierra said dismissively. “Let’s go see oma,” she said as she bent down to pick up the bouquet.

Sierra turned back as she and Jung Su walked down.

‘I wonder what happened to him. Who is this Jin Yi?’ she thought.

(guitar intro of ‘To Be Your Love’ starts)

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

The scene changed to a flashback scene and showed Sierra pushing open the swinging glass doors and walking into a café. She stood in line at the café, waiting to place her order. She stepped forward as the guy in front moved away. The guy’s tray almost hit her, and she managed to step away just in time, but she lost her balance while doing so. She let out a cry, anticipating the impact of her butt and the ground, but someone reached out to steady her.

She turned around to have a look at her savior and is surprised to see Yun Ho.

The singing stops after the bridge, but the music continues playing softly in the background and the scene shows them having coffee together.

“I’m really sorry for acting the way I did at the cemetery. The truth is you look exactly like my ex-girlfriend,” Yun Ho explained.

“Did something happen to her?” Sierra asked.

“She died last year,” he said.

“Wow,” she said. “I look like your ex-girlfriend? That’s a little hard to believe.”

“We can always go back to the cemetery, and I’ll prove it to you,” he smiled.

“That’s okay. I’ll take your word for it,” she smiled back.

“Komawo,” he said.

“It must have been painful, then. Losing the one you love.”

“The pain dulls eventually,” he said wistfully as he stirred his coffee. “So where’s your boyfriend?”


“That guy you were with at the cemetery.”

“Oh… Jung Su oppa? He’s my cousin. We were visiting my mother’s grave,” she smiled.

Yun Ho smiled back, and the singing resumed at the first chorus.

The scenes change to show them dating; walking in the park, having dinner, watching a movie at the cinema and the music stopped after the music interlude, before the first verse of the 2nd part of the song. The scene changed to show Yun Ho holding Sierra’s hands as they sat alone on a bench, overlooking a lake.

“Let’s date, officially,” he said.

“You can’t be serious, Yun Ho,” was her reply. “You still have her in your mind. I know that I’m just a substitute.”

“Sierra, you’re not a substitute. I know who I’m looking at. I know who I’m talking to. You’re Sierra, not Jin Yi.”

“But will I ever live up to her?” she asked him.

“She’s dead, you’re here, and I love you,” he said, and he kissed her.

The music played again, starting at the first verse of the 2nd part of the song and showed scenes of Sierra cleaning Yun Ho’s house alone; him coming home and them having dinner at home. Then there are the scenes of them watching TV together, their expressions changing with the different genres of movie they were watching as the bridge played.

The 2nd chorus showed them chasing each other, throwing pop corn and pillows at each other, and laughing. The song ended with the repeated chorus playing as scenes of them being happy flashed past the screen, and finally a scene with Sierra leaning against a tree, and Yun Ho moving in slowly and finally kissing until the song ended, and the words ‘Sierra + Yun Ho’ and ‘To Be Your Love’ were written out on the screen in gold calligraphy as the cameras moved further and further to show more and more of the backdrop; a park with a lake.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Chapter 123: Play My Song

[Darren’s POV]

Darren: We’re gonna have a really exciting show today… Seung Ho, tell us why!

Seung Ho: Why? Because we have 2 of the fastest rising stars in Korea here with us today… Sierra and Yun Ho. (applause) Say hello!

Sierra: Annyeong haseyo, Sierra-imnida.

Yun Ho: Annyeong haseyo, Yun Ho-imnida.

Seung Ho: So how does it feel? You’ve just released a single together, the week is about to end, a whole week of rumors and controversy have passed, and the chart results will be out at the end of the week.

Yun Ho: (laughs) So many questions… which one do you want to hear first?

Darren: How about your comments on the controversy?

Yun Ho: Which one? As kasus, we’re always surrounded by gossip and rumors. Out of 10, usually about 1-2 may be true.

Seung Ho: Well, all week we’ve heard that you and Sierra have gotten back together, and Jae Joong has been kicked to the curb. I guess that isn’t true.

Sierra: No it isn’t. But it’s what sells the papers, right?

Darren: You bet it does. So how do you feel?

Sierra: Well, 3 years ago, I might have felt horrible and would’ve wondered why people would say such things about me, but now, I just ignore them when they’re untrue.

Yun Ho: Same here. There are too many rumors going around. They’re not all worth addressing.

Seung Ho: Well, we’re not gonna ask all those questions you’ve been receiving all week. We’ve come up with some tough cookies that you’ve not gotten yet, and don’t worry, they have nothing to do with your personal lives.

Yun Ho: Thank you.

Darren: No problem… we’re just trying to do our jobs well.

Sierra: You and Seung Ho have done pretty well.

Seung Ho: Ah… ye, komapseumnida.

Darren: Komapseumnida.

Sierra: So what do you guys have for us today?

Darren: First question, why did the two of you decide to do this collaboration?

Yun Ho: Well… it’s planned out by the management, but Sierra and I were happy to have gotten each other for this project. As everyone knows, we go a long way back, and yet we’ve never done anything like this together, so it felt really worthwhile and meaningful to work on with such a great friend.

Sierra: Aww… Yun Ho… you’re making me tear (laughs). Likewise… usually the producers come up with the ideas then we just get assigned and get to work. But to get to work with a friend is always more fun, and I’m glad we had the opportunity.

Darren: That’s very nice to hear, but I think Seung Ho would be too happy if I were replaced as his partner, preferably with a girl. (laughs)

Seung Ho: How can you say that Darren-sshi? I love you as much as my own brother… (pauses) wait a minute, I don’t have a brother.

(everyone laughs)

Sierra: Anyway… I feel that no one was more suitable for the part other than Yun Ho. The song suited his vocals and the MV was perfect for him since he’s such an incredible dancer. I just can’t imagine anyone else in his place.

Seung Ho: But aren’t the parts usually tailored for the kasu?

Sierra: To some extent. If everything can be tailored, then anyone can be a kasu, madji?

Seung Ho: Ne, majayo. And how did you think you fared for this collaboration?

Sierra: I did the best I could.

Yun Ho: Which was a fantastic job.

Seung Ho: Ne… I’ve seen the MV, it was spectacular. The drama, the music, the acting, the singing… it really was a whole package.

Sierra & Yun Ho: Kamsahamnida…

Seung Ho: So to kick things off, let’s listen to Sierra and Yun Ho’s first collaboration, the song that has been talked about all week, ‘Ice Box’.

(music plays)

I watched as Sierra and Yun Ho hovered over their scripts, their head close together. They really did make a good match, but yet, Sierra is with Jae Joong, which doesn’t matter for me anyway, because my only goal was to break them all apart… very soon.

The song ended, and we launched back into the interview session.

Seung Ho: Ya…. That song really sends shivers down my spine. It’s great!

Sierra & Yun Ho: Kamsahamnida…

Darren: So… here’s a statement for Yun Ho to comment on: People have said that someone like Stephanie from TSZX or Hyo Yeon from SNSD would have been more worthy to be your partner, since Sierra wasn’t the best dancer in SM.

Yun Ho: Is there even a standard to define ‘best dancer’? Sierra is a great dancer. Her style is different from Stephanie or Hyo Yeon. I guess in that sense, people don’t consider her the best, but there is no doubt that she’s good. Some people have also commented that I’m not the best dancer there is.

Seung Ho: You? U-Know Yun Ho of TVXQ?

Yun Ho: Ne.

Seung Ho: I don’t believe anyone ever said such a thing.

Yun Ho: It’s really a matter of opinion, so I wouldn’t worry too much, even if someone were to say that Sierra isn’t the best dancer. Most of us at SM have been trained thoroughly, and dancing is something that we don’t miss out on. A lot importance is placed on the ability to dance and sing. Sierra doesn’t need to be named ‘Best Dancer’ to shine.

Seung Ho: Keuraejyo! I agree. See how she’s shining even when just sitting next to us.

(everyone laughs)

Sierra: You’re too kind.

Darren: He’s only kind to girls, and people he fears.

Sierra: Is that so?

Darren: You’ll never see him treat me this well.

Seung Ho: You’re never happy with how I treat you, so let’s put this topic aside. So what makes ‘Ice Box’ the hottest song this week?

Yun Ho: Just this week? Let’s make it at least a month, shall we?

Seung Ho: Right… who am I to argue? (laughs)

Yun Ho: ‘Ice Box’ is a very good song, in terms of the lyrics and music, and we really hope we’ve done it justice. It’s emotional and meaningful and it’s danceable.

Sierra: Omarion is an artiste I really love and respect. It was an honour to do his song.

Seung Ho: What about the other song on your single?

Darren: ‘To Be Your Love’.

Seung Ho: Yep… that’s the one.

Sierra: That song was written by myself and Shoei a long time ago, and the producers finally picked it up and put it in a project.

Seung Ho: So how does Shoei feel; not being able to sing it with you?

Sierra: I don’t think he minds that much, as long as the song was finally made use of. (laughs)

Darren: And how is that song special?

Sierra: That song is an achievement for me.

Darren: How so?

Sierra: I’ve always loved sad love songs… and that’s what I write best. ‘To Be Your Love’ is a love song… a song about being in love, as opposed to the songs about falling out of love I’ve always written.

Seung Ho: Didn’t you co-write another love song with Skye, the one with Chinese lyrics…

Sierra: This was written before ‘Don’t You Know’. But because ‘Don’t You Know’ was selected for the 3rd album, it was considered the first song I wrote… with Skye of course.

Seung Ho: I see… such a long story behind it. Then I guess we should have a listen to it.

Sierra: If you like…

Yun Ho: If you notice, in ‘Ice Box’, my vocals are more prominent, but in ‘To Be Your Love’, Sierra’s is more prominent. We sort of take turns.

Darren: Keurae? I really didn’t notice at first, probably because of how your voices blend so well together. Then we really need to listen to compare.

Sierra: You should… shall we sing it to you guys?

Darren: Good idea!

Sierra: Okay with you, Yun Ho?

Yun Ho: I came prepared. (laughs)

Seung Ho: Alright… so here’s Sierra and Yun Ho’s next single, the MV will be released next week, and you’re the first to hear Sierra and Yun Ho sing it live on air, on ‘Hot This Second’.

Darren: This is ‘To Be Your Love’…

(music plays, Sierra and Yun Ho stand up to sing into microphones set up above the tables)

Sierra: I love…
The way you touch my nose when I cry
The way you look at me when I sigh
When I sigh

Don’t know why
I just love to be by your side
If we were to part I would cry
Baby I would cry

Sierra: Gentle breezes caress our faces
[Yun Ho: Gentle breezes caress our faces]
Sierra: The rain pours lovingly on our skins
[Yun Ho: The rain pours lovingly on our skins]
Sierra: The waves of love they gently wash over us
[Yun Ho: The waves of love they gently wash over us]
Sierra: This is how it feels
[Yun Ho: This is how it feels]

Sierra & Yun Ho: To be your love
To be your one and only
To be the reason you that smile

To be your hope
To be the reason
For every breath that you would take
To be your love

Sierra: This time
I’m gonna hold you close and never let you go
I’m never gonna find another love like you
Love like you

Who knows
If I am ever gonna live to see the day
That you would tell me that you love me for all time
For all time

Sierra: Pretty blossoms they fall around us
[Yun Ho: Pretty blossoms they fall around us]
Sierra: The sparkling snow float past
[Yun Ho: The sparkling snow float past]
Sierra: The waves of love they gently wash over us
[Yun Ho: The waves of love they gently wash over us]
Sierra: This is how it feels
[Yun Ho: This is how it feels]

Sierra & Yun Ho: To be your love
To be your one and only
To be the reason you that smile

To be your hope
To be the reason
For every breath that you would take

To be your love
To be your one and only
To be the reason you that smile

To be your hope
To be the reason
For every breath that you would take
To be your love

(music ends – applause)

Seung Ho: Waa… that was so sweet. It’s a total 1-80 from the lyrics of ‘Ice Box’.

Darren: Yes… and it’s probably going to be the theme song for many lovers this year.

Sierra: Kamsahamnida.

Yun Ho: Ye…. Kamsahamnida.

Seung Ho: About the upcoming MV, it’s supposed to complete the story left hanging in the first one, correct?

Yun Ho: Something like that…

Sierra: I have 2 identities in 2 MVs, so the next one will clear that up.

Darren: Are we going to get any spoilers from you 2 today?

Sierra: Sorry… it’s a surprise.

Darren: And there will be no launch event for this?

Sierra: No, but it will be broadcasted on national television, and cable too, nationwide, on Monday at 9pm.

Darren: Aah… very suspenseful. Good thinking! Our compliments to the marketing team.

Yun Ho: (laughs) They should be listening in.

Seung Ho: Of course… so to all listeners out there, turn on your television sets on Monday night cos at 9pm, Sierra and Yun Ho’s 2nd MV, 'To Be Your Love', will be broadcasting nationwide.

Darren: It will be the piece to complete the puzzle the first MV has created, so you don’t wanna miss it.

Sierra & Yun Ho: Ye… don’t miss it!

Seung Ho: Well, well… look at the time.

Darren: Wow… how it flies. I guess we’ll need to wrap it up then.

Seung Ho: So thank you, Sierra and Yun Ho for being with us. It was a great pleasure.

Sierra: Likewise.

Darren: We hope to see you again, very soon.

Yun Ho: You will… Monday, 9pm, nationwide.

(everyone laughs)

Seung Ho: Good one! Once again thank to Sierra and Yun Ho. Thank you to the listeners for listening in. We’re gonna leave you with the last song for today, 'Waiting for You' by S-Cube featuring Hee Chul of Super Junior. Enjoy it!

Seung Ho & Darren: Bye!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Chapter 122: 행복 (Happiness)

Yun Ho walked into the restaurant to get the guys to come out and assemble outside the van. The bumping sounds coming from within the van got louder and louder. It seemed that Yoo Chun was slamming himself on the door, trying to attract attention of would be passersby.

“Ready?” Ee Teuk asked the rest. He banged on the door loudly before opening it to warn Yoo Chun, in case Yoo Chun decided to slam against it when they opened it.

“Yah!” Dong Hae yelled at Yoo Chun for good measure, just to scare him a little more.

Jun Su reached forward and pulled off the blindfold. The moment Yoo Chun could make out the faces of the group of guys standing in front of him, his eyes widened, and his face paled in shock.

“Saengil chukhahaeyo!” the guys yelled as Jun Su pulled off the tape plastered across Yoo Chun’s mouth.

“Ya… Yah! Michoso?” he yelled at them.

“Is this a great prank or what?” Jun Su asked him, as he patted him on the back. “Saengil chukhaheyo!”

“Did anyone get a photo of his expression?” Ee Teuk laughed.

“I did,” Sung Min said as he held up the camera in his hands.

“This is so not funny,” Yoo Chun said, and he still hadn’t smiled.

“Hwanajima,” I said as I went to stand beside him and rubbed his back affectionately.

“My body hurts like hell now,” he complained as he rubbed his arms. “I was slamming myself on the door trying to get attention.”

“Chintcha appuh?” Hee Chul asked him, and started to massage his arms.

“Ah, twaeso…” he said as he shrugged Hee Chul off, and got out of the van.

Everyone was silent. We must have really ticked him off this time. Maybe we did get a little carried away with the kidnapping scheme.

“Yah…” Jun Su said as he put him arm around his shoulder. “Hwanaseo?”

“Pabo,” he said, and he laughed, then the rest of the guys sighed in relief, and laughed along.

“For a moment, I thought you weren’t gonna forgive us,” Dong Hae said.

“As long as dinner’s on you guys… I’ll try to forget what you did to me,” he smiled cheekily.

“Araso,” Jun Su laughed. “Let’s go in,” he said and the guys followed behind the two of them.

“Sierra-sshi,” Jae Joong called out, and I turned to look at him.

“Jae Joong-sshi,” I giggled as he put his arm around me.

“How was your day?” he asked me as we walked behind the rest, towards the restaurant.

“It was okay,” I said.


“A little,” I said. “How was yours?” I asked him.

“As usual,” he said, and he leant down to give me a quick kiss.

The tables were already covered with food when we entered the restaurant. The guys must’ve come pretty early and ordered all the food. I sat down beside Han Kyung and Jae Joong sat beside me. They’d pushed Yoo Chun to the head of the table, and Jun Su sat beside him.

“You know… if someone wanted to put SM out of business now, they’d blow up this restaurant,” Sung Min laughed.

“Then we shouldn’t meet like this… in such a huge group,” Shin Dong said.

“And miss out on the good food?” Chang Min piped up with his mouth full. “No way!”

“Anyway… what makes you think SM would be out of business without us?” Si Won said. “We’re not all here.”

“Who else is missing?” Ryeo Wook asked as he sipped his soju.

“Skye and Shoei,” I reminded them.

“Oh… right. They could continue without us,” Sung Min said. “They’re pretty popular now anyway.”

“Yea… I see the future,” Yoo Chun said. “They’ll be the kings of SM Entertainment.”

“But without Sierra, they’ll be like Fly to the Sky II,” Dong Hae said.

“Still works… as long as they sell,” Yoo Chun said.

“What? Are you thinking of retiring already?” Yun Ho asked him.

“Aniya… we’re just talking about ‘what ifs’,” Yoo Chun said as he picked up a bean sprout with his chopsticks and slurped it into his mouth.

“That’s gross,” Chang Min said.

“What?” Yoo Chun grinned, and picked up another bean sprout.

“Here,” Jae Joong said as he placed a piece of kalbi on the piece of lettuce on my plate.

I smiled at Jae Joong, wrapped the piece of meat up in the lettuce and put it in my mouth.

“Hyung… I want one too,” Jun Su whined.

“Chamkan,” Jae Joong said as he flipped a piece of meat on the hot plate.

“Na tto,” Chang Min piped in gleefully. “Wrap it for me.”

“Andwae… andwae!” I said as I grabbed Jae Joong’s hands away from the hot plate. “You guys cook your own kalbi!”

“Sierra! You should share Jae Joong. Why are you being so selfish?” Hee Chul said.

“Andwae… andwae… Jae Joong is mine and mine alone,” I said, and the guys groaned at my syrupy voice.

“Chagiya…” Jae Joong said as he turned to me. “You’re starting to freak me out.”

The guys burst out laughing when he said that and I just looked down and pouted.

“Miweo,” I said.

“Hwanajima…” Jae Joong laughed as he put his arm around me. “I love how you freak me out,” he said, and the guys started making gagging sounds as I looked up and smiled lovingly at him.

“Chagiya… aaa,” I said as I held a piece of kalbi wrapped in lettuce leaf in front of his lips, and he opened his mouth so that I could feed him.

“You two are horrible,” Ee Teuk laughed.

“Jealous?” I smiled. “I know you want one,” I said as I waved another wrapped kalbi in front of his face. “You want it? You want it?”

“I’ll have it,” Yun Ho said and I handed it to him.

“There are only 2 people whom Sierra treats well here,” Hee Chul said. “Jae Joong and Yun Ho.”

“She treats me pretty well,” Han Kyung said.

“You’re Chinese,” Hee Chul said. “You don’t count.”

“Then rephrase your statement to ‘there are only 2 Koreans whom Sierra treats well here’,” Han Kyung said.

“Aishii…” Hee Chul said as he threatened to throw a piece of cucumber at Han Kyung while the rest of the table laughed.

“He has a point,” Si Won said.

“You don’t count either, since you’re like half Chinese already,” Hee Chul said as he stuck out his tongue at Si Won.

“Hee Chul onni…” I said deliberately, “ani… oppa,” and he glared at me.

“What?” he said in a falsetto voice.

“Why do you care who I treat well? Why do you even keep track?” I asked him, and Eun Hyuk snickered.

“I’m not keeping track. It’s just one of the obvious things about you,” he said.

“Are you sure?” Sung Min said, then quickly looked down and started slurping his soup.

“Sung Min…” Hee Chul called out sweetly.

“Ye, hyung?” Sung Min smiled and batted his eyelashes.

“Yo!” Jun Su exclaimed, breaking up the staring match. “Time for miyeokkuk!”

Miyeokkuk or seaweed soup is always served during a person’s birthday, and as usual, the guys made it extra special.

“Oi!” Yoo Chun exclaimed as Ki Bum dumped soy sauce and ground red pepper into the soup while the others added in a piece of each of the side dishes available at the table. “I’m not drinking that! You want me to die?”

“No one has died before,” Chang Min said, as if to reassure him, before adding, “but you might be the first.”

Yoo Chun grimaced as the bowl of now unrecognizable soup was placed in front of him.

“Looks more like kimchi jjigae now,” Jun Su said.

“Yummy…” I laughed.

“Drink up!” Shin Dong said.

“Can I just pay for the meal instead?” Yoo Chun said. “I’d rather pay for everything than drink that bowl of…”

“Gunk?” I offered.

“Yea,” he said as he wrinkled his nose.

“No… everyone has always drunk theirs. You’re not getting out of this,” Chang Min insisted, remembering his own ordeal with miyeokkuk during his birthday.

After much egging and persuading, Yoo Chun picked up the bowl and brought it to his lips.

“Micky Yoo Chun, Micky Yoo Chun,” we chanted as he started drinking it.

“Pick up those bits,” Jun Su said when he had finished the soup.

“Ye…” Yoo Chun said, and he started picking up the bits of food left in the bowl and putting them in his mouth.

“Eww…” I said.

“It’s actually not too bad,” Yoo Chun smiled as he finished and wipe his mouth with a piece of tissue paper.

“Sure…” I said. “Whatever you say…”

It was close to 11pm when we left the restaurant. Ee Teuk, being the eldest, paid first and we’d split the bill and pay him the next day.

“Thanks guys,” Yoo Chun said on the way home.

Jae Joong was driving and I sat in front. Chang Min was behind me, Jun Su behind Jae Joong, both asleep, and Yoo Chun in the middle, still awake, probably from the miyeokkuk. Yun Ho had to send some of the other guys home since they had to send the van back to its owner.

“No problem,” I said.

“The whole kidnapping thing was pretty ingenious,” he laughed softly.

“I bet you had the shock of your life,” I said.

“I seriously thought I was a goner,” he said as he leaned forward and sort of squeezed himself between Jae Joong and my seat.

“Well, at least now you know how people feel when their kidnapped,” Jae Joong said.

“Yes… I shall be very sympathetic from now on,” he laughed.

“You okay?” Jae Joong asked me when he saw me leaning back and closing my eyes.

“Me and soju will never mix,” I laughed.

“You and any alcoholic beverage,” Yoo Chun said.

“Right… and it’s not a bad thing,” I said.

“It’s bad…” Yoo Chun laughed. “Cos Jae Joong can never get you incapacitated if you don’t drink.”

“Now why would I do that?” Jae Joong said.

“Yea… why would he?” I asked Yoo Chun, my eyes still closed

“Oops… yea… erm… he wouldn’t,” Yoo Chun said quickly.

“Anyway, if I’m incapacitated, I wouldn’t be much fun to be with,” I laughed softly.

“Ne…” Jae Joong said. “I don’t need a pig for a girlfriend.”

“Ya… who are you calling a pig?”

“I said I didn’t need one. I’m not calling anyone a pig,” he laughed.

The next day, Yun Ho and I had a radio interview on ‘Hot This Second’; an interview I was dreading since Darren was still the DJ together with DJ Seung Ho.

“Sierra,” Darren smiled when I entered the room.

“Hi Darren, hi Seung Ho,” I smiled.

“Hyung,” Darren smiled at Yun Ho.

“Darren,” Yun Ho greeted with a stiff smile.

“Yun Ho,” I whispered, reminding him not to make a big deal out of it.

“Araso,” he whispered back. “Hey Seung Ho,” he greeted, and shook Seung Ho’s hand before he sat down.

“Are we ready?” Seung Ho asked as soon as we’ve settled down. “2 minutes more.”

“1 minute,” Darren said awhile later.

“Annyeong haseyo!” the two of them greeted as we went on air.

“Seung Ho-imnida.”


“And you’re listening to…” Seung Ho said.

“Hot This Second!” they announced together.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Chapter 121: Rest of My Life

[Sierra’s POV]

“Mwo… mworago?” I exclaimed when the manager told me the news.

We were traveling to the next venue on our schedule when the manager gave me the news. I was going to star in a drama with Darren.

“What makes them think a foreigner and an American born Korean can generate ratings?” I exclaimed.

“It’s a very good script,” the manager said. “Otherwise, the management would not have accepted. This will help boost your popularity by the mile.”

“This is crazy,” I said as I threw up my hands.

“Is this final?” Yun Ho asked.

“Pretty much,” the manager said.

“Can I not sign the contract?” I asked.

“The company has the right to accept on your behalf, since technically, you belong to them for the next 5 years,” the manager reminded me.

“Remind me why I signed that contract?” I sighed, and Yun Ho laughed.

“Cos you love the job,” he smiled.

“Ne…” I rolled my eyes. “So when does this thing start?

“After your promotional activities for this single,” the manager said.

“Fair enough,” I said.

“You’ll receive the script tomorrow,” the manager said, and he moved to the back of the MPV to answer a phone call.

“Looks like someone isn’t going to get much sleep for the next few months.”

“From what I know, you might be required to travel, but the location has not been finalized yet.”

“Goodie… I get to travel,” I said sarcastically.

“Why? Aren’t you bored of Seoul yet?” Yun Ho asked me.

“I haven’t really been everywhere yet,” I said. “When have we had the time to really go anywhere?”

“Majayo…” he said.

“And you guys run home whenever you get the chance.”

“Yea… why don’t you ever go home?” he asked me. “It’s been forever since you last went home.”

“I don’t want to,” I said.

“Did your parents forbid you to come in the first place?”

“Well… in a way, they did,” I said. “I’ve never told you the story?”

“Nope… not even in the entire year we were together.”

“I was still new here then. It wouldn’t have been the time to go home. So I guess that’s why no one asked.”

“Skye and Shoei never asked?”

“Shoei did once. When I first got back from Prague, he asked me why I went to Prague instead of going home.”

“So why did you?” Yun Ho asked me.

“Well,” I said as I leant back into the seat. “I think that if I go home, it will make it harder for me to leave again, and I might miss it more when I get back here.”

“So you never plan to go home?”

“When my life here ends, I will. Or if something big crops up.”

“Like you getting married?” he said.

“Do you really think I will get married?” I laughed.

“Are you saying you don’t want to?” he said as he raised an eyebrow.

“Why’s everyone always so interested in my marriage issues?”

“Cos you’re getting older,” he joked, and I smacked him on the arm.

“Can’t I marry after I retired?” I said.

“That’s such a long way to go,” he said.

“No… soon I won’t that popular anymore. Maybe after my contract ends, SM won’t renew it, and no one else will hire me.”

“So you plan to get married in like 5 years?” he asked.

“Erm… if I have nothing better to do, maybe,” I laughed.

“Jae Joong is going to be upset when he hears this; he’s just your backup plan.”

“I have a feeling when I’m ready to get married, he won’t be,” I said.

“Is that why you keep postponing meeting his family?” Yun Ho asked me.

“He talked to you, eh?”

“It was sometime ago, but yea… he did mention that you kept avoiding the topic.”

“I just don’t want to raise anyone’s hopes or expectations,” I said, “especially mine.”

“What do you mean?”

“Yun Ho… are you sure you want to discuss this with me? I mean…”

It just hit mere that here I was, talking about my future with someone else, with my ex-boyfriend. I’d almost forgotten if our past was still hanging over our heads, and it never seemed to go away. No one ever forgot it.

“I’m okay now. I don’t dwell on the past anymore,” he said succinctly, summing up my worries.

“If you’re sure,” I said.

I wasn’t convinced that he was really alright, and that he won’t feel a single shred of emotion when talking about my future with Jae Joong with me.

“I am. Nan kwaench’ana. You can tell me what’s on your mind,” he said, and I decided to trust him.

“Okay,” I said, and I took a deep breath before I started. “Say I meet his family, and they become like my own family, and what if for some reason, we can’t be together, or we fall out, what becomes of my relationship with his family?”

“Sierra,” Yun Ho sighed. “Stuff like that happen all the time. People just deal with it. You’re thinking too far ahead.”

“That’s just how my brain works. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

“I still think you’re making a huge deal out of something simple. So you’re saying you’ll only meet them when you and Jae Joong decide to get married. Won’t you feel like an alien; marrying into a family you don’t know?”

“I’ll have to prove myself then, and I don’t mind it playing out like that. Do you know that I can’t even remember his sisters’ names?”

“You think I do?”

“I should,” I said.

“You’re just giving yourself too much pressure. You’ll remember their names when you see them often enough. Stop scaring yourself with all these expectations.”

“Hmm… then what about their expectations of me?”

“What about them?”

“Jae Joong is the only son,” I pointed out.

“So am I,” he said.

“Well… there are more people in his family to be afraid of,” I laughed.

“You haven’t met my father,” he said.

“Am I supposed to fear him?”

“No, but if we were still together, and if I intended to marry you, there’d be a lot of expectations on his part.”

“Good thing I got away,” I giggled.

“Hmm…” he was all he said. “Aren’t you glad we did this project together?” he asked me.


“We’ve not spoken to each other like that in awhile.”

“We were busy. And when I’m not busy, I’m with Jae Joong.”

“And we’re leaving in another week or so,” he said.

“Japan loves you. You have to go back,” I said.

“Yep… the price of being Dong Bang Shin Ki,” he said.

“It’s just 3 months,” I laughed.

“Arayo,” he smiled. “Just wondering if you would miss us.”

“Of course I would.”

“Or you’ll just miss 1 person.”

“I’ll miss him a little more, but I’ll miss the rest of you too,” I said.

“You’d better not be lying,” he said.

“Or what?” I challenged him.

“Or the 4 of us would be really sad,” he laughed.

With the busy schedule Yun Ho and I had, the week passed quickly. Soon, it was Thursday. Our plans for Yoo Chun’s birthday was set into motion.

That day, Yun Ho and I had promotional events to do, so we left the whole operation to Jun Su, Jae Joong, Chang Min, and some of the guys from Super Junior. Kang In, Ki Bum and Dong Hae were assigned to be the kidnappers.

“Hyung,” Jun Su called later in the evening, and we put him on speakerphone. “We’re going to end at 6pm today, then we’re going to find an excuse to leave Yoo Chun behind so that they can kidnap him.”

“Araso,” Yun Ho said. “Sierra and I will meet you guys at the restaurant you’re taking him.”

“Yep,” Jun Su said. “They plan to keep him tied up, gagged and blindfolded in the van until all of us arrive at the restaurant.”

“Are you sure he won’t get upset?” I asked Jun Su.

“He’ll be fine. He needs some excitement in his life,” Jun Su laughed.

“He doesn’t have a history of heart problems in his family, does he?” I asked.

“Aniyo… stop worrying, Sierra.”

“Fine…” I laughed.

“See you guys later,” he said.

“Ye…” the both of us replied, and he hung up.

We spent the entire day on various radio shows and doing a few public performances, and finally, we arrived at the restaurant at about 6:15pm. The van was parked out front, and Dong Hae was standing outside, leaning on it.

“Where are the others?” Yun Ho asked him.

“They’re inside,” he replied as he walked towards us. “Hi Sierra!” he smiled.

“Hi Dong Hae,” I replied.

“I haven’t seen you in awhile,” he said.

“Nan yojeum nomu pappeuge,” I said.

“Yes, I know. You’re a big star now. Of course you’re busy,” he said.

“How’s Yoo Chun coping?” Yun Ho asked.

“You should’ve seen him,” Dong Hae laughed.

Up till now, we’ve been half whispering in case Yoo Chun could hear us from the inside of the van.

“Did he put up a fight?”

“Yea…” he replied as he tried to stifle his laughter. “We had on these ski masks, and we just grabbed him, and carried him off.”

“He should really put on some weight,” I said.

“Yea… he was no problem for the 3 of us to carry, we pushed him onto the ground and quickly tied him and blind folded him before we carried him off. Hee Chul hyung was the driver.”

“Wasn’t he yelling?” Yun Ho asked.

“We taped his mouth shut after blind folding him,” Dong Hae said.

“I hope no one saw you guys doing that. Or the police would be on your tails,” I said.

“We kidnapped him when he was walking down the corridor at the studios, and we took him out the back of the building,” Dong Hae said.

“Someone must’ve seen you,” I said.

“Yea… after we blindfolded him, we took off our masks. Whenever we saw a staff, we just smiled and put a finger to our lips, telling them not to say anything.”

“Man… I wish I was there,” Yun Ho laughed.

Just then, we heard a loud bump coming from the van.

“We’d better hurry up,” Yun Ho said. “Is everyone here?”

“We’re missing Jung Su hyung,” he said, and as soon as he said his name, Ee Teuk walked into sight.

“Alright!” Dong Hae said. “Kaja! Let’s do this!”

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Chapter 120: Oh Yeah

“Waseo!” Jun Su greeted as Yun Ho and I walked in through the door.

“Ye…” I smiled as I dumped my bag on the floor and collapsed onto the couch.

“How did it go today?” Yoo Chun asked us.

“It was crazy,” I said I threw my arms back and stretched.

“Wae?” Jun Su asked.

“They asked some dumb questions,” Yun Ho said. “I’m going to shower.”

As Yun Ho walked towards his room, Jun Su and Yoo Chun’s eyes followed him curiously.

“What’s up with him?” Jun Su asked me.

“You’ll know by tomorrow,” I yawned.

“Huh?” Yoo Chun said.

“The papers will tell you…” I said. “Oooh! Guess who we met!”

“Met? You guys met someone?” Yoo Chun said. “Hmmm… nugu?”

“Guess…” I said.

“I dunno... someone important? Is it someone you like? A guy?” Jun Su asked.


“Who does she like? I think she idolizes almost all the guys in the industry,” Yoo Chun teased.

“I do not!” I said, indignantly.

“Yes you do…” Yoo Chun insisted. “But after you get to know them, the your adoration for them wanes,” he laughed.

“Kojinmal!” I said, and nudged his leg with my feet.

“So it’s someone you haven’t met… so it’s not Brian hyung, or Min Woo hyung or Jun Jin hyung…” and Jun Su continued to name dozens of male kasu that I happened to like, but have already met.

“Ya! What kind of a person do you think I am?” I poked Jun Su on the head.

“You won’t tell… so I had to guess in this way,” he laughed.

“Fine… we met Woo Hyuk oppa,” I said.

“Woo Hyuk? No wonder you were star struck,” Yoo Chun said. “He’s smooth.”

“Not as smooth as you,” I laughed. “You’re much greasier, compared to him.”

“Oi… I’m not greasy!” Yoo Chun protested.

“Yes you are!” I countered.


“You are, you are, you are…”

“Ya… wae neomu shikkeureoweo…” Jae Joong’s voice came from the corridor.

“Chagiya… Yoo Chun was bullying me,” I pretended to sound victimized.

“Sure… sure… play that card, will ya,” Yoo Chun pretended to grumble.

“How can you treat my Sierra like that?” Jae Joong said and he sat down next to me and enveloped me in a bear hug.

“I’m suffocating,” I giggled as I tried to get out of his embrace.

“Kamanhi isso!” he said as he tightened his arms around me.

“Jun Su… let’s go,” Yoo Chun said as he got up. “I don’t need to see all this. Reminds me of how lonely I am?”

“Lonely?” I laughed. “I find that hard to believe.”

“Twaeso… I didn’t asked for you to believe me…” he said and he walked off. “Are you coming, Jun Su?”

“I’m fine… I wanna stay here and finish watching the free show,” he laughed as he made himself comfortable in the armchair beside the couch.

“Kijahoeui ottaeyo?” Jae Joong asked me as he loosened his grip so that his arm casually rested on my shoulders.

“The press conference? Not too bad,” I said. “There were the usual probing questions, and the technical questions. That’s about it.”

“What probing questions?” he asked.

“Hmm… like… does Jae Joong mind that you’re doing this project with Yun Ho, have you gotten back together with Yun Ho…” I listed.

“Hmm…” was all Jae Joong said.

“It really surprises me that they never tire of such questions,” Jun Su said. “How they can keep harping on the same questions every single opportunity they get to ask it is beyond me.”

“It’s just part of their jobs,” Jae Joong said. “It’s what sells… the scandals.”

“Good thing you’re a reasonable man,” I smiled. “Or you’d be all fired up now… and probably questioning why people make such speculations.”

“That’s because I know the both of you well enough. If it were others, I might not be so trusting,” he said.

“Arayo…” I said. “Komawoyo…” I added, and I kissed him on the cheek.

“It was me who turned down the project anyway. Yun Ho covered for me, I should be thankful.”

“Let’s not talk about this,” Jun Su said. “Since Yoo Chun’s not around, let’s discuss what we’re gonna do this Thursday.”

“Oh yes… his birthday,” I said. “What should we do?”

“Mollayo…” Jun Su said. “But I definitely want to play a prank on him.”

“Shouldn’t we discuss this with Chang Min and Yun Ho too?” I asked.

“We’ll fill them in later,” Jae Joong said.

“So what are we doing?” Jun Su asked gleefully.

“Well…” I said. “I friend of mine once got gagged and they poured gallons of soy sauce all over him.”

“What?” Jun Su exclaimed, and started laughing uncontrollably.

“Yea… I think there was egg and flour involved too,” I laughed.

“We’re they making ramyun or something?” Jae Joong laughed.

“Don’t think that’s what they were going for, but it was something along those lines,” I said as I scratched my head.

“I don’t think Yoo Chun will like being made a human ramyun,” Jun Su said.

“But I think kidnapping him in some way would be fun,” Jae Joong said.

“Ottoke?” I said.

“We could like leave him behind after the last venue on our schedule, then get some of the guys to wear masks when they kidnap him,” Jun Su suggested.

“Hmm… good idea. But who should do it?” Jae Joong said.

“Anyone bigger than him?” I said.

“Shin Dong?” Jun Su asked.

“Nah… too obvious. Someone with a much more normal build,” Jae Joong said.

“Kang In,” I suggested.

“Good idea…” Jun Su said.

“I think we should move this discussion into the room, in case he come out,” Jae Joong said and he got up.

The three of us hurried to his room and quickly locked the door after we went in.

“What are you guys up to?” Yun Ho said as he looked up from the book he was reading while sitting up at his bed; he was already showered and in his pajamas.

“Shh…” Jun Su said. “We’re having a meeting about Yoo Chun’s birthday.”

“Oh…” he said, his eyes lighting up.

“I’m gonna go shower while you guys finalize the details,” I said as I started picking out my pajamas.

“Sure… go on,” Jae Joong said.

I went out of the room and Jun Su locked the door from the inside as soon as I closed it.

“Who’s inside?” Yoo Chun asked me as I walked out.

“Jae Joong and Yun Ho,” I said innocently.

“Where’s Jun Su?” he said. “Didn’t he want to play a game of ‘King of Fighters’ before we went to bed?”

“I dunno… isn’t he in the workroom?” I said.

“No,” Yoo Chun said. “I went in there, and Chang Min was alone.

“I have no idea where he went,” I said. “Gotta go shower,” I quickly added, and slipped into the bathroom before he could ask me anymore questions.

I took a long shower and turned the heat up to as high as I could take because it would help soothe my aching body, and feet. Those heels we’re killing me all day, but I hadn’t complained to Yun Ho because I knew I had to wear them, and I didn’t want him to make a fuss for my sake. When I finally emerged from the bathroom, the entire apartment was dark, save for the little light they left on in the corridor for those who needed a trip to the bathroom at night.

I opened the door to Jae Joong and Yun Ho’s room; Yun Ho was already asleep and Jae Joong was quietly playing a game on his phone.

“Where’s Jun Su?” I whispered as I hung up my towel.

“Went to bed,” he whispered back as he flipped his phone close and put it on the bedside table.

“Did you guys come to a decision?” I asked him.

“Yea… we have our list of kidnappers, and what we’re gonna do,” he said as he started arranging the pillows and blankets to the positions we slept in.

“Are you sure this prank won’t be too much?” I said as I got into the bed and lay down beside him.

“He’ll survive it,” Jae Joong laughed softly.

“Don’t make it too extreme,” I said. “He might get upset.”

“Araso,” he said as he settled down beside me, and put his arm around my waist under the blankets. “Chalja.”

“Mmm…” I replied, and closed my eyes. I drifted off to sleep within seconds.

[Darren’s POV]

I saw Sierra again today. It’s been weeks since I last saw her. She looked pretty hot today. Must been because she was flanked by Yun Ho and Woo Hyuk. Girls always seem hotter when they’re surrounded by men.

It’s been another long day; broadcasting on radio, going for dance practices and recording for our next album. The management had been a bit late in kicking off the recording of our current album. Probably due to budget issues since we didn’t perform as well as they’d wanted us to last year, but they can’t deny that we’ve done well enough since we’d managed to match SS501 in terms of album sales last year.

“Hyung,” Min Jong said as he handed me a stack of cards.

We’re still up at this hour, stamping our autographs on the cards to be given out with out coming albums.

“Why can’t they just print our signatures?” Nakata grumbled as he stamped his signature on a card.

“You know we need to go this extra mile to show our sincerity,” I reminded him.

“Why us?” he sighed, as he continued his task.

“Things will change soon, don’t worry,” I smiled.

“Yea… how?” Min Jong said. “We’re always behind those SM kids.”

“They’re kids,” I reminded him. “We’ll catch up soon. Don’t need to get bitter about it.”

“Speaking of the SM kids, have you checked out that Hae Rin lately?” Nakata said.

“What’s with her?” Min Jong said.

“They’d totally revamped her. They’re going for BoA meets Jang Ri In now,” Nakata said.

“How?” Min Jong asked.

“She’s dancing, and still singing ballads,” he laughed.

“Sounds confusing,” Min Jong remarked.

“But it seems to be working… they keep changing her image… maybe she’ll end up becoming this Korean Gwen Stefani,” Nakata.

“I dun think she has what it takes to be anything close to Gwen Stefani,” I said. “Someone like Sierra would be much more possible.”

“Yea…” Min Jong agreed.

“I’m just saying. I don’t think Hae Rin is some dumb girl either. I’ve seen the glint in her eye,” Nakata said.

“You sure that wasn’t the camera effect?” I joked.

“I meant in real life,” he grumbled.

“Yea… yea… hurry up and finish your stack and we can go to bed,” I said.

I’d been racking my brains for sometime, thinking of the suitable scandal I could create to help with the sales. It was pure luck that we managed to make it the last 2 years, but this year, we’ll need more than luck. Thankfully, the gods have been kind and I’ve been given an opportunity. I hadn’t told Sierra today, since she was with Yun Ho and Woo Hyuk, but SM has just accepted an offer for her to star in a drama, and I will be starring opposite her.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Chapter 119: 원 (Cycle)

Our performance ended and we took our bows and waved at our fans in the audience.

“Phew…” I exclaimed as we walked off the stage.

I was sweating like crazy, and so was Yun Ho. The energy of the audience had been great and they looked like they really enjoyed our performance.

“Towoyo…” Yun Ho said and he started taking off his jacket as we descended the stairs.

I was attempting to take mine off as well, when my feet suddenly gave way from beneath me. I let out a cry as I stumbled and Yun Ho turned around just in time to catch me before I rolled down the stairs.

“Kwaench’ana?” he asked me.

“Ne,” I said as I tried to straighten up.

“Did you sprain anything?” he asked me, his arms still wrapped around me.

“Aniyo…” I said.

Without a word, he picked me up and carried me down the stairs and up till the dressing rooms area. We had some odd looks on the way there, but Yun Ho just ignored them.

“I can walk,” I said.

“We’ll check you for injuries before you try to,” he said.

When we got to the dressing rooms area, he sat me down on a chair and pulled off my shoes to check my ankles for injury.

“Does it hurt?” he asked me as he rotated my foot slowly.

“No,” I said. “I just slipped. I didn’t twist anything.”

“You’re darned lucky. You could’ve broken your ankles on those heels,” he said as he got up and sat in the chair next to me.

Other than the fact that I was lucky my ankles were fine, I was lucky Yun Ho had been walking in front of me. If he hadn’t, I’d have fallen all the way down, about 10 steps, and broken more than just my ankles. The stairs must have been slippery from everyone’s sweat dripping on it.

“Ya…” a voice said, and we turned around. It was Woo Hyuk.

“Hyung,” Yun Ho smiled.

“I heard there was some kind of commotion. People said that you were lugging Sierra around like a piece of luggage. What was that?”

“She almost fell down the stairs,” Yun Ho explained. “I carried her here because I couldn’t well check her injuries right there, and I didn’t want her to aggravate the injuries if she had any.”

“Ya… so nice to your tongsaeng. If only you were this good to your sonbae too,” he teased. “So are you alright, Sierra?”

“Ne, sonbaenim,” I said.

I called him sonbaenim because I didn’t know him very well and also since he had so many years of experience in the industry compared to me.

“Don’t call me that,” he laughed. “Makes me feel so old, and I’m not that much older than you.”

“5 years,” I said.

“Then call me oppa. Isn’t that what you call Min Woo too?” he said.

“Min Woo?”

“Lee Min Woo,” he laughed. “Forgotten about him?”

“Aniyo,” I laughed. “I haven’t seen him in a long time, but I’ve not forgotten. I was surprised that you mentioned him. He talked about me?”

“Yep…” he said.

“Only the good stuff, I hope,” I said.

“Unfortunately… the bad stuff too,” he laughed.

“Chintcha?” I asked.

“You believe me?” he smiled cheekily.

“Ya, hyung. Don’t tease her. She’s pretty gullible,” Yun Ho laughed.

“So I heard.”

“Hey… I am not gullible,” I protested.

“Where are you heading to next?” Woo Hyuk asked us.

“Some radio show, then we wrap up for the day,” Yun Ho said.

“Too bad… I was about to ask you guys to join me for late lunch,” he said.

“Well, we can, actually,” I said. “The next venue on our schedule isn’t for another 2 hours.”

“And Sierra here is dying to have a longer conversation with you,” Yun Ho teased.

“Chongmal?” Woo Hyuk exclaimed and all I could do was glare at Yun Ho.

“She’s your fan, well… she was also my fan, until I killed the mystery by dating her,” he laughed.

“If she didn’t lose her adoration, she would have to be a psycho fan. You should know that that kind of obsession should wane when you’ve known the person for so long,” Woo Hyuk said.

“Yea… the sad truth about life,” Yun Ho sighed.

“So you got disappointed that he was real, and you dumped him?” Woo Hyuk asked me.

“Ya… oppa… keugo aniya,” I said in exasperation.

“Let’s go for lunch and you can explain to him why I’m not your perfect man,” Yun Ho laughed as he got up and pulled me to my feet.

Woo Hyuk drove us to a nearby cafe in his car. When we got out, several girls rushed forward towards Woo Hyuk and Yun Ho. When some of them were done getting their autographs from Woo Hyuk and Yun Ho, they turned to me.

“Onni, can I have your autograph?” one of the girls said.

“Sure,” I smiled.

“I love your outfit onnie,” one of them said.

“You’re so tall,” another said.

“It’s the heels,” I smiled, and all of them looked down at my feet and started admiring my shoes.

“I’m gonna get a pair of those today,” I heard a girl say.

“You shouldn’t,” I heard Yun Ho say. “They’re dangerous.”

“Yea… you could die falling when wearing shoes like that,” Woo Hyuk added.

“Michoso,” I laughed as I signed the last autograph.

“See you girls around,” Woo Hyuk said to them as we walked into the cafe, and I could hear a few of them swooning.

We were seated in a secluded area where prying eyes or camera lenses couldn’t reach; I sat next to Yun Ho, across Woo Hyuk. The moment we sat down, I took out my pillbox from my bag.

“What’s that?” Woo Hyuk said as I started picking up the pills and popping them into my mouth, “Please tell me those are just vitamins or some supplements.”

“They’re her medication,” Yun Ho said.

“Are you that ill?” Woo Hyuk asked me.

“Not really,” I said. “After I finish these, I won’t be anymore.”

“What are you suffering from?” he asked me.

“Erm… remember that last awards where I blacked out backstage?” I asked.

“Yea. I heard about it,” he said.

“These make sure that never happens again.”

“I see…” he said. “Jae Joong must worry about you all the time.”

“All of us worry about her.”

“I’ve never seen the TVXQ boys so worried about anyone else in the industry, or in SM for the matter,” Woo Hyuk smiled.

“Erm…” was all I could say.

“I think it’s just fate we’re so close,” Yun Ho smiled. “There are just some people you really connect with, and these people just become important to you and play a big role in your lives.”

“And she’s one of them?” Woo Hyuk said.

“Well… it all started when she and I began dating. If it weren’t for the fact that we were once a couple, I don’t think we’d be as close as we are now. Her, S-Cube and TVXQ,” Yun Ho said.

“It’s nice to see a celebrity couple being able to remain friends after the fall out,” Woo Hyuk said.

“It wasn’t really a fall out,” I said. “It was a misunderstanding, but again, that’s how fate works. You’re Buddhist, aren’t you?”

“Yep,” he said.

“That’s makes 2 of us here,” I said.

“You’re gonna have to convert someday, you know,” Yun Ho smiled. “Jae Joong is Christian.”

“I know… until then. I haven’t really decided yet,” I said.

“Decided what? To convert or to marry him?” Woo Hyuk asked.

“Both,” I laughed.

“So… since when have you been a fan of mine?” Woo Hyuk asked me while we were eating.

“Since I saw you dance on the X-Man Christmas special. I think it was in 2006.”


“Hey… I was there too!” Yun Ho said.

“Yes… I noticed you first, happy?” I laughed.

“But I didn’t a better job, didn’t I?” Woo Hyuk asked, and Yun Ho began to look pleadingly at me.

I had to try very hard not to laugh because his mouth was filled with food, and his cheeks were puffed up like a hamster’s.

“Ermm…” I coughed. “Obviously you have had more experience, Woo Hyuk oppa. But Yun Ho wasn’t bad for someone new either.”

“Keurae?” he said in astonishment, and then broke into a smile. “I guess so.”

“Yah… hyung. You don’t sound convincing at all,” Yun Ho said as he swallowed his food.

“Both of you are good…” I laughed. “Stop comparing. You guys don’t even have the same style.”

“Actually… I used to steal his moves… for practice,” Yun Ho said.

“Ha… you see,” Woo Hyuk said. “I’m better,” he added, with a smug expression.

“Whatever,” Yun Ho said, and continued eating.

We were eating silently for a moment when someone interrupted us.

“Sierra?” the male voice said.

The three of us turned our heads to find Darren standing by our table.

“Neo…” Yun Ho said, and he didn’t sound happy.

“Annyeong haseyo sonbae-deul,” Darren said as he gave a little bow, which I presumed was in acknowledgement of Yun Ho and Woo Hyuk.

“Darren, right?” Woo Hyuk said. “From Helix?”

“Ne,” Darren said.

“Hi Darren,” I greeted, as politely as I could.

“I saw you guys walk in, and I thought I’d say ‘hello’ before I left,” he said.

“Right,” Yun Ho said. “Keundae?”

“I’ll leave now,” he smiled. “Annyeonghi kyeseyo,” he said, and he turned and left.

“Yun Ho-ya…” I sighed. “You didn’t have to be so hostile.”

“Why are you so upset with him?” Woo Hyuk asked Yun Ho.

“He did some unspeakable things to Sierra,” Yun Ho said as he speared a piece of meat with his fork and put it in his mouth.


“Long story… let’s not talk about it,” I said.

“I wanna hear about it,” Woo Hyuk said.

“We don’t need the whole music industry to know about it,” I said.

“Well, if you insist,” he sighed. “I thought I was about to get to hear a good story.”

“That Darren Kang is a menace,” Yun Ho said.

“Come to think of it,” Woo Hyuk said, “you’re right.”

“Let’s not talk about him,” I said. “It’s just brings back bad memories.”

“Araso, araso…” Woo Hyuk said. “Ppalli mokja… or you guys are gonna be late for your schedule.”

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Chapter 118: Quiz

“Annyeong haseyo,” Yun Ho and I greeted into our microphones.

“This song is a cover, isn’t it?” a reporter asked.

“Yes, it is,” I replied. “’Ice Box’ was originally sung and made popular by the American singer, Omarion, in 2006.”

“Any particular reason this song was chosen?”

“Well… I’ve always loved this song.” I said. “It has deep and emotional lyrics, and the beat of the song is great to dance to. You can express a lot with this song.”

“Yes,” Yun Ho added. “It’s one of those songs where you can lose yourself in and allow the emotions it evokes to drive you.”

“So how long did it take to get all this done?” a reporter asked. “There was news that all these were completed in a little under 3 weeks.

“Yes they were,” Yun Ho said. “The project was rather sudden, and the rush was also due to TVXQ’s schedule. We’re heading to Japan for at least 3 months in 2 weeks time. So we had to finished and put this out before I had to leave, otherwise it would be a lot of traveling, back and forth, for me.”

“Why so sudden? Why couldn’t the release have waited till after TVXQ’s stint in Japan?” another reporter asked.

“Is it because the management is trying to capitalize on the recent popularities of S-Cube and TVXQ? Were they afraid that if they left the project for 3 months later, it might not be as popular as it is now?” another reporter added.

“Maybe you can check with the management,” Yun Ho smiled. “As for me and Sierra, we were pretty eager to put this out and see the response.”

“Ye… and we’re very proud of what we’d achieved in this short time.”

“Sierra sshi, Yun Ho sshi. How does it feel to be back together again?” a reporter asked.

“I’m sorry?” I said. What sort of question was that? “Again? This is our first project together.”

“Sierra and I have never had a duet before. Previously TVXQ and S-Cube collaborated for the concert in New York, and that was the only time I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Sierra.”

“Sorry,” the reporter said. “I was referring to your relationship with each other. Has this project brought you closer?”

“We’ve always been close,” Yun Ho said. “At SM, we’re all family, and not to forget, Sierra is dating Jae Joong, my brother,” he smiled.

“Sierra sshi, has this collaboration been a strain on your relationship with Jae Joong? You’ve dated Yun Ho when you first debut, and then Jae Joong the year after. Does your collaboration make Jae Joong worried that you might have rekindled an old flame?” a reporter asked.

“Was it the video that made you think that?” I laughed and a murmur of ‘Yes’ echoed through the theatre.

“I guess Sierra’s and my acting has improved a lot,” Yun Ho laughed.

“I think they’d just write off those scenes you saw as very good screen chemistry. Yun Ho and I were pleasantly surprised that we were able to capture the essence of the song in our acting.”

“But won’t you admit that it’s because of past chemistry that you were both able to relate to the song and portray it effectively? Isn’t Ice Box about loving, losing and betrayal?” the same reporter pressed on.

“Lots of couples can’t even bring their real life chemistry to the screen. Therefore I wouldn’t say that anything from our past could be attributed to the success of this work. It’s not a deciding factor of whether a couple has screen chemistry or not,” I said.

“Right… can those present refrain from asking anymore personal questions and focus on asking questions regarding the single,” the emcee cut in.

“Can we have more explanation about the storyline of the MV? There seems to be 2 different versions of Sierra. Why is that?”

“That…” I smiled. “There are 2 versions of me.”

“All will be revealed in the 2nd MV which will be out next week,” Yun Ho said.

“Isn’t it a bit to rushed to reveal the 2nd MV within the week?”

“Well, you’ll have to ask the marketing team,” I said. “It’s all been planned out and Yun Ho and I will be on the road promoting this single for the next 2 weeks. So we hope that it will be a great turnout.”

“Does it ever get too tough for you, Sierra? You’ve just gotten back from a nationwide promotional tour with S-Cube and Hee Chul. How much do you think you’ve improved in terms of coping with the workload as a kasu?”

“To be honest, in the past, I’ve often wondered what I have gotten myself into. But I realized that whatever country I’m in, the entertainment industry will always be tough and often unforgiving. I am truly grateful to have been allowed to do this project with Yun Ho. I feel that my abilities have been recognized, and I can really put them to use in this project,” I said.

“I’d like to add a few words. May I?” Yun Ho said as he turned to look at me, and I nodded.

“As her sonbae, I’ve seen her grow from a shy girl from Malaysia to the kasu she is today. I think she has managed as well as us locals did. It’s not easy for anyone, and especially more difficult for a foreign kasu to survive in our music industry. The industry, media and even fans and anti-fans have been hard on her for most of her career, and she has managed to hold her own.”

“Thank you, Yun Ho,” I smiled.

“No problem,” Yun Ho said. “You deserve some credit, and I think that this collaboration we’re doing will be a testament of your abilities and success, and it will be an important milestone in the duration of your career as a kasu here in South Korea.”

“I’ve been given a great opportunity, and I was very lucky to have made it this far, not that I doubted my own abilities, but I will always be grateful to those of you who have given me the chance to spread my wings here. And I hope that you will continue to support me for the entire duration of my career as a kasu here, in your country.”

“Our country?” Yun Ho smiled. “I think you’re becoming more and more Korean as each day passes, and if you marry Jae Joong, this will be your country too,” he said, and that brought about peals of laughter from the audience.

“We’ll see,” I smiled. “But to answer the initial question, I’ve learnt to cope with the hardship of being a kasu here. A job is not a job without hardships, and the best thing is that I love my job, which is not something everyone can say of theirs. Whenever it gets too tough, I tell myself that it’s worth it, because I’m living my dream, and the dream of many others.”

The reporters shot a few more technical questions at us, and finally, the conference ended with Yun Ho and me giving a live performance of ‘Ice Box’. The fans and reporters seemed to be impressed with the whole routine, which had been altered slightly from the one in the MV because we had to sing live; the microphones’ receivers clipped onto the back of our hips and the wires made it a bit difficult to dance in such close proximity as we did in the MV.

After our performance, we went back into the holding room and had our hair and make up touched up before we left the building to get to the MPV. On our way out, we were allowed to sign a few autographs and greet the fans who’d come to see us. We got into the MPV waiting out front and headed to KBS for our next appearance, where we’re going to be singing ‘Ice Box’ on KBS2’s Music Bank.

If it were an all guy band or all girl band in the car, they’d be changing in the car on their way to the next venue. Yun Ho and I were lucky we didn’t need to do that. Plus… my outfits weren’t that easy to get changed into in a moving vehicle anyway.

“Didn’t you brief the reporters before hand?” we heard Yun Ho’s manager yell into the phone from the back for the MPV. “What do you mean you didn’t know?”

I supposed that the manager was asking about those personal questions they were asking today. They may have seemed like trivial questions asked out of curiosity, but they could have a damaging impact on our reputations.

“I think we’re about to be painted as a pair of adulterers in tomorrow’s papers,” Yun Ho said to me.

“Tell me about it,” I rolled my eyes. “I knew this would happen the moment they said we were doing this together. Jae Joong should have done this with me,” I grumbled.

“Twaeso… the songs and MV worked out well. It’s just the way the media are painting it now,” he said as he reached over and patted my hand.

“I know it was a success, but it’s going to reflect very badly on us.”

“Then I shouldn’t have taken the job when Jae Joong abandoned it?” he asked.

“Aniyo… the role was right for you,” I said. “I just wish that things didn’t have to be like this.”

“It’ll work out. It’s just an initial hype. The management knew there would be lots of speculation the moment they agreed with this idea. Kwaench’ana.”

We reached the KBS studios and were quickly ushered backstage to the changing rooms. Our assistants helped us change into our outfits, and when done, the stylists checked our hair and makeup once more before we headed to the backstage area.

We were both dressed in white suits; Yun Ho’s was buttoned all the way up, and mine was a plunging v-neck, and I wore a spaghetti strapped top inside since a tube top might fall off. We both wore white slacks, and he had white leather shoes on while I had white leather stiletto pumps.

“Are you sure you can dance on those?” Yun Ho asked me when I walked out on those heels.

“Do I have a choice?” I laughed.

“Why don’t you wear something with a broader base?”

“Come on, Yun Ho. This is not the first time I’ve danced on shoes like these,” I smiled. “I’ll be fine.”

The PD called for us and we walked up to the side of the stage where our dancers were waiting. We were going to do a full dance routine and start singing from the middle instead of from the beginning like in the original. The stage darkened as the last group of performers left the stage.

“Woo Hyuk hyung,” Yun Ho smiled as he waved at Jang Woo Hyuk who had just gotten off the stage.

I’ve never really spoken to Woo Hyuk before, but I’ve heard a lot about him from the guys, and I’ve always admired his dancing skills.

“Catch up with you later,” he said as he smacked Yun Ho on the arm before walking off.

We got onto the stage and took our positions. The spotlights were turned on; first on me, then on Yun Ho, and the music started, amidst the screams of the fans and the emcee’s announcement. I started my part of the routine with my group of dancers, while Yun Ho’s remained stationary with him, like statues, then my group and I froze, and Yun Ho’s group started dancing. Yun Ho moved towards me and circled me slowly. My body remained stationary, but my eyes were trained onto his, watching him as he moved.

The beat of the music hardened, and I started moving. I put a hand on Yun Ho’s shoulder as we did some kind of a rumba inspired movement, moving back and forth whilst facing each other. I twirled and faced my back to him, and he put his hands on my waist and we repeated the movement. At the end of the routine, I slid down with my back on his front into a kneeling position, whipped my head up to look at the audience and the stage went pitch dark for a moment so that we could pick up our microphones. The lights came on again and the music started.

Yun Ho: Yo! This is Ice Box…

Sierra: Yeah… are you ready…

Yun Ho: Sure am…

Sierra: Then sing it…

Yun Ho: Fussin' and fightin', we back at it again
I know that, its my fault, but you don't understand
I got memories, this is crazy
You ain't nothing like the girl I used to know

Good with ma, good with pa, cool with all my brothers
I should try to decide, wanna let you in, but no
That means memories, and its crazy
You ain't nothing like the girl I used to know

Yun Ho: Girl I really wanna work this out, cause I'm tired of fightin'
Sierra: And I really hope you still want me the way I want you
Yun Ho: I said I really wanna work this out, damn girl I'm tryin'
Sierra: Its no excuse, no excuse

Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (but I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (said I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold
Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold

Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (but I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (said I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold
Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold

Sierra: Why can’t you get it right, just cant let it go
(You said) I opened up, she let me down, I wont feel that no more
I got memories, this is crazy
You ain't nothing like the girl I used to know

I don't mean to take it out on you baby but I cant help it
Cause my heart is in the same ol' condition that baby left it
And I, I apologize, for makin' you cry
Look me in my eye and promise you won't do me the same, you said…

Yun Ho: Girl I really wanna work this out, cause I'm tired of fightin'
Sierra: And I really hope you still want me the way I want you
Yun Ho: I said I really wanna work this out, damn girl I'm tryin'
Sierra: Its no excuse, no excuse

Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (but I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (said I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold
Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold

Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (but I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (said I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold
Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold

Yun Ho: I don't wanna be stuck up in this cold cold world
Don't wanna mess this up better keep your eye on me girl
Sierra: You don't wanna be stuck up in this cold cold world
Don't wanna mess this up better keep my eye on you boy
Yun Ho: I don't wanna be stuck up in this cold cold world
Don't wanna mess this up better keep your eye on me girl

Sierra: You don't wanna be stuck up in this cold cold world
Don't wanna mess this up better keep my eye on you boy
Yun Ho: I don't wanna be stuck up in this cold cold world
Don't wanna mess this up better keep your eye on me girl
Sierra: You don't wanna be stuck up in this cold cold world
Don't wanna mess this up better keep my eye on you boy

Yun Ho: Girl I really wanna work this out, cause I'm tired of fightin'
Sierra: And I really hope you still want me the way I want you
Yun Ho: I said I really wanna work this out, damn girl I'm tryin'
Sierra: Its no excuse, no excuse

Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (but I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (said I got this)
[Sierra: You got this icebox where your heart used to be]
Yun Ho: I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold
Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold

Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (but I got this)
[Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold]
Yun Ho: I got this icebox where my heart used to be (said I got this)
[Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold]
Yun Ho: I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold
[Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold]
Yun Ho: I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold, I'm so cold
[Sierra: You’re so cold, you’re so cold, you’re so cold]

Yun Ho: Girl I really wanna work this out, cause I'm tired of fightin'
[Sierra: Boy I really wanna work this out, cause I'm tired of fightin']

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Chapter 117: Love In The Ice

[Hae Rin’s POV]

I was halfway recording when the audio engineer stopped the music.

“Hae Rin-sshi,” he said into the talk back microphone.

“Ne,” I replied as I heard his coming from my headphones.

“Phone call for you.”

I took off my headphones and left the recording booth. It must be a really important call for them to interrupt a recording session like that. When I reached the control room, my PA handed my mobile phone.

“Yoboseyo,” I said as I put the phone to my ear.

“Hae Rin,” Ji Tae oppa said. “You’re to finish up this session tonight before you can leave instead of picking it up tomorrow like we discussed earlier.”

“Ye? But I thought I had the night off after this,” I said.

“There’s been a change of plans since you have a tight schedule coming up,” he said. “And you can tell that boy to go home. I spotted him downstairs waiting for you.”


“Don’t try to deny that he was waiting for you. What have I told you long before we began? Don’t screw this up for yourself Hae Rin. Now is not the time for this.”

“Keundae, oppa…”

“I have to go now. Tell him to leave before I deal with him myself,” he said and he hung up before I could get a word in.

“Aisshi!” I cursed and kicked a nearby chair.

“Hae Rin,” my PA exclaimed. “Waegeurae,” she asked me.

“Nothing,” I replied sullenly. “I’m gonna go out for 10 minutes.”

“Sure,” the producer said, and I left.

I walked out the lobby and towards the parking lot. Skye was standing there, leaning against his car as I approached it.

“What happened?” I asked him.

“Ryu Ji Tae saw me, and he threatened me,” he said.


“Yep. If I see you again, things will happen to me,” he laughed.

“Then are you alright? Did he do anything to you earlier?” I said as my hand reached out to touch his face.

I’ve heard very often what Ji Tae oppa was capable of, and I was fearful of what he might do to Skye.

“No…” Skye said. “I’ll be fine. He can’t touch me now. Not while we’re at our peak. S-Cube has joined the ranks,” he smiled.

“Still… he might just do something crazy, and cover it up.”

“I’m not afraid of Ryu Ji Tae, and he didn’t exactly accuse me of dating you. He just asked me to not see you.”

“Still…” I sighed. “It’s a good thing you’re leaving for 2 weeks tomorrow. That will buy me some time convince him that nothing is going on.”

“Just be careful,” he said. “Maybe you shouldn’t call me or text me until your home at night. I don’t want him to catch us.”

“Araso,” I said. “You’d better go now, in case someone is spying on us.”

“I’ll pick you up later?”

“Twaeso… Ji Tae oppa extended my recording hours for tonight; probably because of this.”

“What? That jerk,” he cursed

“It’s okay. I’ll be fine. I’ll see you when you get back?” I said as I took a step forward and tilted my head up.

“Sure,” he said and he leant down to kiss me.

“Saranghae,” I said, and I hugged him.

“Na tto,” he replied as he hugged me back tightly.

[Sierra’s POV]

The next morning, Yun Ho and I were assaulted by a whirlwind of activities. We started really early at the studios; getting out make up and hair done, outfits fitted and we managed to squeeze in a run through of our routine for our live performance of Ice Box later on. After our looks were perfected, we were ushered onto a MPV that was going to take us to all our promotional venues for the day.

We arrived at the first venue, a theatre where the screening of the MV and our press conference will be held, and we were immediately visually assaulted with a sea of red balloons, sprinkled with blue-silver ones. It was obvious that most of the fans were here today for Yun Ho, but I didn’t mind. His star had always been brighter than mine. We were escorted into the building where the press conference will be held, and on our way, we were almost deafened by the screams from the fans.

“I’m suing you for this,” I told Yun Ho once we got into the building.

“Mworago?” he said.

“I nearly went deaf from your fans’ screams, and you know how important our hearing is in this profession.”

“Aigoo… you’re just jealous,” he said as he stuck out his tongue at me.

“Tsk tsk…” I said. “This is hardly the reaction of a 24 year old idol. Act your age,” I laughed.

We were brought to a holding room beside the theatre where the press conference will be held. It took about 20 minutes for the press to come in and settled down and for them to let in the fans to an area of the theatre which had been blocked off with tape and barriers. Even in the holding room, we continued to hear them screaming. Once everyone was present, the lights in the room dimmed into darkness, and the projector was turned on and aimed at a huge screen at the front of the theatre.

The video started playing… images of Yun Ho and my character, Jin Yi, facing off each other at gun point, in a parking lot, flashed on the screen and in between, flashbacks of scenes of a raid with police officers and thugs running past and gunshots ringing into the air were inserted.

“Jin Yi?” Yun Ho said as the scene focused on his face.

“Hello Yun Ho…” my character, Jin Yi, said.

“So it was you all along…”

“Who else did you think it was?” Jin Yi replied.

“I didn’t believe it when they told me it was you. I had been hoping it wasn’t you,” Yun Ho said.

“Well… doesn’t it make sense? Who else would know better?”

“I trusted you…” Yun Ho said; his pain from her betrayal eminent in his voice.

“Are you sure, Yun Ho?” she asked as she smiled wryly. “I never thought you trusted anyone.”

“I opened up to you.”

“Your mistake…” she shrugged.

She pulled out her gun, cocked it, and pointed it at Yun Ho.

“You really want to do this?”

“Get your gun out, Yun Ho,” she said. “I don’t want to be accused of killing an unarmed man.”

Yun Ho took out his gun, cocked it and pointed it at her. They both stand face to face now, with guns pointing at each other, ready to pull the trigger.

“You’re really gonna kill me, aren’t you?” Yun Ho said, with still a hint of disbelief in his voice.

“That was my assignment, and I will finish it tonight.”

“After all these months, you don’t feel anything for me? We can turn back. You don’t have to do this. No one has to get hurt,” he pleaded.

“Cut the crap, Yun Ho,” she bit out harshly. “It’s either you or me. Let’s end this.”

Yun Ho sighs in frustration.

“Hana!” she shouted.

“Dul…” he said softly, but loud enough for her to hear it.

“Set,” she finished off and the both of them pulled their triggers and gunshots rang out, echoing through the parking lot.

The scene switches to show the both Yun Ho and Jin Yi as the bullets moved across the screen towards each other, and finally, Jin Yi was shot, her blood spattering onto her own face. She starts to fall, and the camera cuts to Yun Ho’s face to show his look of shock as he registered what had just happened; he’d just killed someone he cared about.

“Jin Yi!” he exclaimed as he ran forward, dropped his gun and picked her up in his arms.

“Good shot…” she said weakly.

“Jin Yi…” he repeated. “Why did it have to be you?”

“It’s just fate,” she replied. Then she coughed and blood started dripping from her lips. “I happened to be assigned to get rid of you. End of story…”

“Did you ever love me?” he asked her. “For all these months… tell me that you did love me,” he asked her with desperation in his voice.

“I wish I did…” she replies and the scene fades into a new one as the introduction beat to the music started.

The backdrop was all black with smooth, reflective floors. The camera showed me walking onto the screen on the left, and looking up briefly and the same after, for Yun Ho, who came in from the right and the camera cut to show us both face to face. The routine started with me walking slowly around Yun Ho, then I turned to walk away, and he grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me to him as the loud beat of the song started playing, and we started dancing in a sort of tug of war style. The background switched from black to white and when that happened, our outfits changed as well.

At one point, the scene where I leaped into his arms and slowly slid down his body was played, I actually felt a bit fearful of what the fans might do to me later on. The whole routine was a portrayal of an interaction between two lovers, coupled by the little acting scene we did before. I guess the fans will have a love-hate feeling for this project.

For most of the song, it was an interpretive and interactive sort of dance, with me and him having almost sort of a conversation through movements, and when it comes to the chorus, our routine changes and we dance in sync as the scenes of us chasing each other around the couch with popcorn, hugging and kissing were shown at intervals.

The music stopped just after the last bridge, before the 2nd last chorus and the scene switched to show Yun Ho sitting down at a table, opening a book and removing a piece of paper it held.

“Yun Ho… I know this is hard for you, but you have to trust me. Please read this page. It’s really important,” my voiceover played as he read.

He sighed as he folded the paper and placed it on the desk, then he picked up the book.

“Friday,” my voice over played, and scene switches to a flashback scene to show us both sitting on the sofa together, playing, laughing and watching the television. “Tomorrow… I have one more day,” the voiceover continued. “We’re lazing around at home tonight, watching TV, tossing popcorn around. Today, everything about him was beautiful to me; his laughter, h is 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.”

The scene goes back to Yun Ho, whose expression had changed from the hardened one earlier, to a much softer one as he continued to read.

“Saturday,” my voiceover played. “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.”

A single tear rolled down Yun Ho’s cheek as he continued to stare at the book.

“Jin Yi… mianhae… you really fooled me,” Yun Ho’s voiceover played. “How could I believe that the time we had together was a charade? Those feelings were real…” he ‘thought’ as more tears rolled down his cheeks. “I was such a fool, and now I have lost another person who cared for me…” then he started sobbing.

Yun Ho just cried and let out all his emotions and just when it seemed as if he’d lost everything, a pair of arms came to envelope him in a hug, and then just before the chorus started again, Yun Ho voice sounded out in a solo ‘Woah…’.

The scene continued showing me holding Yun Ho, the both of us crying, switching to the dance scene again and back to us embracing and still tearful for two more choruses. It ends with the scene cutting back to the dance scene, and us facing each other, his right hand around my waist, and the both of us looking down on the ground as the last line was sung and echoed.

The screen went black, and that was our cue to quickly exit the holding room and get into our seats at the long table set in front of the screen. We’d been waiting near the door when the ending was drawing near. When the MV ended, the fans cheered like crazy. The theatre felt like it was shaking with the squeals from Yun Ho’s fans.

“See how much they love you,” I teased him as we took out seats.

The lights were turned on, and just when I thought they couldn’t get any louder, the volume of the cheering, and screaming and squealing increased; everyone were on their feet.

“You do notice that they’re also screaming for you,” Yun Ho said as we smiled and waved to the fans and press.

Cameras flashed like crazy, almost blinding me. But after 3 years in the business, I’ve learnt not to bat an eye when the cameras flashed, or I’d end up with a very unflattering photo on the front page the next day. I’ve often wondered if there would be long-term repercussions to our eyesight since shutting our eyes when cameras flashed was supposed to be an instinctive mechanism to protect ourselves.

“Ye… kamsahamnida,” the emcee said. “Let’s have another round of applause for two of the brightest stars in South Korea today… Sierra and Yun Ho!”

The audience and press obliged, and applauded once more.

“Kamsahamnida,” he said. “The press conference shall now begin.”