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.
“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.”