[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.”
“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.
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.”