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Thanks for being understanding... and please keep supporting MKR!!! This chapter's title is dedicated to all of you who have always supported MKR. Love ya guys!!!
My last week in Tokyo has finally ended. I felt a bit sad to leave; in any case, it had been as close to home as I could get. Then again, I looked forward to returning to Seoul and reuniting with nuna and Skye. I still loved being a part of S-Cube, and this thrill may never end for me.
I threw the last shirt into my suitcase and closed it. I can already imagine nuna nagging at me when she opens my case when I get back.
“Why didn’t you roll them up? Now you’ll have to iron everything again,” she’d say.
In the beginning, before she started dating Yun Ho or Jae Joong hyung, nuna would be the one helping me with my packing. She showed me how to roll my pants, shirts, and how to pack them in the most compact manner. Then she’d force me to put all my toiletries in a plastic bag, telling me the horror stories about lotion bottles bursting and splattering all over the clothes in my bag.
Mika threw me a small farewell party last night, at her apartment. It’s hard to believe that she and nuna are of the same age. She looked like she’d been through a lot, and nuna was still finding her footing in her life as a kasu in South Korea.
“You’re thinking again,” she said as she approached me; I was standing on a balcony alone with a drink in my hand.
“Hmm?” I responded.
“You’re staring at the open sky with that wistful expression of yours,” she laughed softly.
“I am?” I said softly; I knew I sounded more like I was speaking to myself than replying her question.
“Earth to Shoei,” Mika laughed.
“Sorry,” I smiled.
“Here,” she said, as she raised her glass towards me. “A toast to the past few weeks we’ve spent working together.”
“Kanbai,” I said, and we clink our glasses together.
“So you’re happy to be going home?” she said.
“Yep,” I smiled.
“You won’t miss me one bit?” she teased.
“I wouldn’t dare,” I joked back. “Nakashima Mika is an untouchable.”
“Yea…” she sighed. “I’m destined to be alone for the rest of my life.”
“Well… gambatte,” I smiled. “Someone will show up some day.”
“Hopefully,” she smiled, and sipped her drink.
The next morning, I took the first flight back to Seoul. As the plane took off, my heart soared with it.
I dragged my suitcase through the airport lobby. An assistant had checked in my other luggage earlier, so all I had to do was lug my hand luggage into the immigration checkpoint with me. It would’ve been an easy feat had the fans not been tipped off that I would be there. Furthermore, they only sent 2 personnel to act as security for me. I was mobbed by about 50 enthusiastic Taiwanese fans.
“Oppa!” they screamed at me.
“Skye oppa,” another shrieked.
“Oppa saranghae,” another declared as she reached out and tried to grab my arm.
I walked quickly into the gates, the minders pushing the girls away as much as they could and finally, we were home free. I had my passport stamped and all, then finally got to my plane. Just as I was about to heave a sigh of relief, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around with a ready smile, expecting one of the stewardesses.
“Skye,” she smiled, and I could just feel my face fall.
“Yuk Hee,” her name escaped my lips.
I sat on the bed as I watched Jae Joong and Yun Ho both pack for Japan. They leave in 2 days, and tomorrow, I would have to go home since Skye and Shoei would be back in Seoul.
“Come on,” Jae Joong said, mussing my hair as he walked past towards his suitcase. “Smile…”
“Easy for you to say,” I grumbled as I flopped backwards onto the bed and buried my head under a pillow.
“I’ll be back in 3 months,” he said as he folded another shirt and laid it in the suitcase.
“This is short compared to our other trips,” Yun Ho said. “Wait till we’re on tour again, then you’d have something to complain about,” he smiled.
“Sure… remind me about it,” I grumbled, then I felt the bed move.
“Na wa,” Jae Joong said as he opened his arms, and I moved into them and lay my head on his lap while he stroked my hair.
“I’ll go see how the others are doing,” Yun Ho said and he left the room.
“I’ll be back in 3 months,” Jae Joong said. “Just hang in there, okay?”
“I know you’ll be back. I just miss you so much, and I have that series coming up,” I said.
“I know… the series is something new for you, but it’s going to boost your popularity. I would love to do some acting myself, but so far all we’ve done is banjun dramas, Vacation and Dating on Earth. I wish I had the chance to do a longer project.”
“I thought you preferred to sing,” I said.
“I love singing, but I’ve love to try something different for a change.”
“Hmm…” I said as I fiddled with a stray thread on his pants.
“You should go to bed,” he said. “Don’t you have to meet your acting coach tomorrow?”
“Ne,” I said, and I rolled off his lap to sit up.
“Go to bed,” he said, and he kissed my forehead. “I’ll come to bed soon.”
“Araso,” I said, and I put my arms around him to hug him.
As I did, a single tear slid down my cheek, and I hugged him tightly, trying to stop the sob from choking out of my throat.
“Pabo,” he said affectionately, and he hugged me back. “3 months… and I’ll be back here again.”
“I know…” I said tearfully, “it’s just so hard.”
“Sierra,” he said softly. “It isn’t easy for me either. Saranghae.”
“Saranghae,” I said, and I kissed him.
He kissed me back, and then pulled me into his arms for a long embrace.
“I’ll be back soon… kidariyo,” he whispered lovingly, and I nodded wordlessly.
After awhile, Chang Min called for Jae Joong, and I had to go to bed since it was getting late. He left after he tucked me in, and I buried myself under the covers and cried softly.
The day Jae Joong drove me home to my apartment where Skye and Shoei would probably have already arrived, I was silent.
“Wae tto…” he said affectionately as he took my hand.
“Nothing,” I lied.
“Are you still missing me?” he said.
“What do you think?”
“I miss you too. But you know I have to go…” he sighed.
“Arayo…” I sighed. “I just wished we could’ve like gone together or something.
“I’ll try to suggest we do another TVXQ/S-Cube concert to the management, okay? But for now, just wait for me to come home. Araji?” he said as he rubbed my hand gently with his.
“Arayo…” I sighed, but smiled as bravely as I could.
“Besides,” he said, “aren’t you glad that Skye and Shoei are back? You guys are gonna work on the new album and you will have no time for me,” he teased.
“I will have time for you,” I said indignantly.
“We’ll see,” he said.
We finally reached my apartment and Jae Joong helped me lug my luggage up. We were greeted by the ever perky and loud Skye the moment we walked in.
“Nuna!” he yelled, as if he hadn’t seen me in years. “You’re back, you’re back, you’re back!” he chanted.
“Yes… and already you’re giving me a headache,” I smiled as I slapped his arm when he bounced past while doing a little dance around me.
“I’ll put these in your room,” Jae Joong said, and he started bringing my bags to my room.
“Where’s Shoei?” I asked Skye.
“Supermarket… to stock up since the we’d left the fridge empty,” he said. “I’m sooooo hungry nuna. Cook me ramyun,” he whined.
“Do we even have ramyun? We have no eggs for sure,” I said.
“I don’t mind,” Skye said. “I just need food!” he wailed dramatically.
“Araso… araso…” I laughed as I walked to the kitchen.
Shoei came home while I was halfway through preparing Skye’s ramyun.
“Ya…” Shoei said. “I want one too, nuna,” he smiled.
“Hey, Shoei,” I smiled and I gave him a quick hug.
“I got some veggies too,” he said. “I’ll just give them a quick rinse and you can toss them in,” he said as he got to work.
“Hello…” Jae Joong said as he popped his head into the kitchen. “Need my help?”
“Nope,” Shoei replied. “All covered.”
“Are you hungry?” I asked Jae Joong.
“Not particularly,” he said.
“Jae Joong hyung,” Skye said as he popped in and thumped Jae Joong on his back. “Make some jiggae. I love your jiggae.”
“I’m not sure if they’ve got all the ingredients,” Jae Joong said.
“I don’t mind,” Skye said, “Do you mind?” he asked as he pointed to Shoei.
“Be my guest,” Shoei said as he stepped away from the counter with his hands up in the air.
“Hey! Then what about the ramyun,” I exclaimed.
“Right… is it ready?” Skye asked. “That would be my appetizer.”
“Here,” I said as I turned off the stove and held out the saucepan towards him, “dig in.”
“Goodie…” he said as he gleefully intercepted the saucepan from me and dug around for a pair of chopsticks with his free hand.
“Oi… use a bowl,” I said.
“Twaeso…” he said as he walked out the kitchen with the saucepan in one hand and a pair of chopsticks in another.
“Jiggae?” Jae Joong said as he looked at me inquiringly.
“Why not? It’s already past noon and my breakfast had digested,” I laughed.
“Okay,” he said, and he started getting to work.
About half an hour later, Jae Joong had prepared a visual and epicurean delight, as always.
“Don’t touch it yet,” he said as he placed the pot of steaming jiggae on the table where Skye was already waiting, his ramen long gone, but his appetite still present.
Shoei and I walked in with rice ready in bowls and the other utensils and sat at the table, waiting for Jae Joong to put the final touch to his masterpiece… a garnishing of spring onions.
“Now?” Skye said, almost salivating like a rabid hyena.
“Okay,” Jae Joong laughed, and it was evident that he had been teasing Skye all along by prolonging the whole meal preparation process.
Along with Jae Joong’s jiggae, there was my famous plain omelet and the ever-present little plate of kimch’i.
“Omelet!” Skye squealed like he’d never seen one before. “How I’ve missed your omelet, nuna,” he said.
My omelet consisted of nothing but eggs, soy sauce, pepper and a sprinkling of sugar. I think it’s the sugar that makes it different; a recipe of my mother’s.
“So how were your trips?” Jae Joong asked them as he chewed his rice.
“Mine was so-so,” Shoei said. “But it was nice to be near home for a change; my parents could come visit me.”
“You’d never believe mine…” Skye sighed, his expression changing and his appetite suddenly seeming to wane.
“What happened?” I asked him, my chopsticks mid-air because I was about to pick up some food before he made his statement.
“Yuk Hee’s moving to Seoul,” he said.