“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!”