Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Chapter 147: 멋진 인생 (Cool Life)

Happy New Year everyone! Sorry for being so slow... my resolution for the new year is to update more often and quickly! So let's all hope I keep to it. Hehe!

It's been a great year, and I'd like to thank my loyal readers for staying with me all this time. I will continue to write good fictions and work towards living my dream! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! MWAH!!!


“Need a lift?” Jae Wook asked me after our shoot had concluded for the day.

“I’m going to the recording studio, wouldn’t it be out of the way for you?” I asked.

“Not if you’ll have lunch with me,” he smiled.

Jae Wook and I had gotten friendlier since the drama progressed. I’m still a bit shy around him, especially when we have to do intimate scenes, but I was really thankful for his guidance throughout the filming since he was a sonbae, and I was totally green when it came to acting in a drama. Music videos don’t really count. It wasn’t every day that we exchanged words or ate together, so the few occasions we did were actually quite refreshing.

“You were shaking earlier,” he teased, as we drove out onto the main street.

“It was cold,” I joked.

“I make you feel cold?” he asked.

“Sometimes,” I laughed, and he pretended to look offended.

“Will your boyfriend be watching that episode?” he asked.

“He’s watched most of it,” I said.

“So he’s fine with 2 hot guys manhandling you?” he joked.

“Part of the job,” I smiled. “He’s done it too, so he should understand.”

“Good to hear,” he laughed. “Working till late, I guess?” he asked.

“It’s close to the awards season. The company is pushing for us to put out albums as quickly as possible so that we don’t miss out.”

“And this is your solo debut, right?”

“Someone’s been catching up on the news,” I teased.

“Hey… I know you personally now, so if I do hear stuff being said about you, I’d pay some attention to it,” he laughed.

“It’s my solo debut, and my band will also be releasing an album.”

“Won’t that cause a clash?”

“I don’t know how the company planned it, but this is what they’re doing. I suppose they don’t see a big clash. Skye and Shoei have their own fan base, and I have my teeny-tiny fan base to compete. I’m only grateful I’m collaborating with someone for the title track, then I can ride on his fan base,” I said.

“Collaboration? With whom?” he asked.

“Can’t tell yet,” I smiled. “Press release is next week.”

“Ya… I’m your leading man. How can you keep secrets from me?” he joked.

“I’m sorry… I have to guard the secret with my life, or my company will disown me,” I laughed.

“No leaks, huh?” he said.

“No…” I shook my head. “Unless I’ve been directed to leak it,” I added, and Jae Wook laughed out loud.

“I guess it happens,” he said.

“So when are you releasing an album?” I asked him.

“Me? I’m an actor, and I model. You think I’d make a good singer?”

“Well… it’s always worth a shot. I think most people would at one time in their lives harbor dreams of being a rock star,” I said.

“Hmm… I’ll ask my manager,” he laughed.

We decided to grab a quick bite somewhere near the studios, since I had to be there in about an hour.

“I’ll have the pumpkin soup and a Caesar salad,” I told the waiter.

“Are you on a diet?” Jae Wook asked me.

“No… I can’t eat too much before a recording session,” I explained.

“But you’ll have another meal later, right?” he asked.

“Of course,” I laughed. “I don’t starve myself.”

“Then how do you maintain your great figure?” he winked.

“Exercise, of course,” I said, proudly.

“Right…” he laughed.

“I’m considered fat for this industry anyway,” I said.

“It’s always nice to see some flesh on a girl. I’ve seen my fair share of waifs on the catwalk and film sets. Those are not really the kind of women guys would want to bear their children,” he smiled.

“I have heard this line often enough, and yet these girls do get married off, and they marry well too.”

“Those are trophy wives,” he said.

“You’re just trying to console me,” I laughed.

“You own one of the most eligible men in the K-Pop industry. What are you worried about?” he joked.

“I do not own him,” I said.

“How many years has it been? 2?” he asked, and I nodded.

“A long relationship between 2 young celebrities lasting so long is as close as you can get to a marriage.”

“Is that supposed to be a positive comment?” I laughed.

“However you want to see it,” he shrugged.

Jae Wook dropped me off at the studios half an hour later.

“Thanks for lunch,” I said.

“Anytime,” he smiled.

“I’ll buy you lunch another day,” I said.

“No need,” he replied. “Just give me a free copy of your new album.”

“Okay,” I laughed. “Naeil pwayo.”

“Naeil pwayo,” he replied, and drove off.

Another long day in the studio awaited me. Today we were going to do ‘Make Me'. The mood of the song was playful and rebellious, which made it feel a lot like Ji Yong’s character. But of course, that was only natural since he co-wrote it.

“Ready, baby?” he crooned.

“Yeah, baby!” I winked and made shooting actions with my hands.

I’ve learnt to match his wit and tone in the past week. By now, we were interacting freely and comfortably during our recording sessions.

“Music cue!” he said, and the music flooded the earphones.

Hey, you say, you say, it’s time for bed
Hey, you say, you say, don’t stay out late
Hey, you say, you say, don’t turn away
Hey, you say, you say, I’m talking to you

Every minute, every moment, you keep dictating
Every second, every hour, you gotta say
Something, something, to keep me in line
Well I’ve got news for you now, you can’t make me

I’d like to see you try… to make me
I’d like to see you try… to control me
No more, no more, I won’t toe the line
No more, no more, I won’t heed your cries

I say, no more, you hear me
From this minute on, you can’t make me

Hey, you say, you say, don’t run away
Hey, you say, you say, don’t you stray
Hey, you say, you say, only look at me
Hey, you say, you say, I’m your one and only

Every minute, every moment, you gotta speak
Every second, every hour, you drive me crazy
Seriously, shut up now, or you’ll regret it
You gotta learn right now, you can’t make me

I’d like to see you try… to make me
I’d like to see you try… to control me
No more, no more, I won’t toe the line
No more, no more, I won’t heed your cries

I say, no more, you hear me
From this minute on, you can’t make me

Oh no, no, no… Oh no, no, no…
You keep this up, for sure you’ll lose me
Oh no, no, no… Oh no, no, no…
From this second on, you won’t control me

Every minute, every moment, you gotta speak
Every second, every hour, you drive me crazy
Seriously, shut up now, or you’ll regret it
You gotta learn right now, you can’t make me

I’d like to see you try… to make me
I’d like to see you try… to control me
No more, no more, I won’t toe the line
No more, no more, I won’t heed your cries

I say, no more, you hear me
From this minute on, you can’t make me

The entire staff clapped as soon as I finished.

“Great energy!” Ji Yong said.

“Thank you,” I smiled and bowed.

“Are you feeling especially rebellious today?” he asked.

“A little,” I laughed. “And it’s all thanks to you.”

“Hmm… we’ll need to keep you in line then,” he said, and mimed cracking a whip, complete with sound effects.

“Yamete!” I held up both hands and waved them in protest.

I think as days went by, we got wackier and wackier. Ji Yong is bringing out the kid in me, and even Skye couldn’t do it to this extent. I’m definitely going to miss working with him once the album is complete.

After 3 strenuous days, I had a reprieve from recording. It was time for S-Cube’s album sleeve photoshoot. Not only that. They’ve decided to do a behind the scenes concept for the MV of our first single ‘Just a Feeling’. ‘L.O.V.E’ was initially planned as the first single, but since it was already featured on ‘Girls on Top’, and they had an MV made of clips from the series for it, they decided to release the ballad ‘Just a Feeling’.

The new album was a collection of love songs covered by us. The songs ranged from 70s to 90s favourites, and also some recent hits. What made the album more special to the three of us was that we got to choose each of the songs we wanted to do, except for the bonus track, which was supposed to be a publicity piece for my upcoming mini-album.

Since most of the songs were oldies, we were doing a photoshoot dressed in 70s, 80s and 90s inspired outfits. For the cover, we were going really glam. I had on a champagne colored gown with a fur stole, diamonds dripping from my ears, neck and hair, and I was made up with red lipstick, smoky eyes, and a sleek chignon.

“Whoa… looking like a laydee…” Skye sang when he saw me.

He and Shoei were both dressed in morning suits with their hair slicked back. They had top hats and canes to go with their outfit.

“Thank you, kind sir,” I curtsied.

“Places!” the production assistant shouted.

“The scene would be a Hollywood glamour photo session. The mood should be serious, and sort of romantic,” the director explained. “Sierra will interact with Shoei as a couple, and Skye will be the bystander in this photo.”

“Ne,” we answered in unison.

“Stills will be taken from our entire shoot today, so please keep your expressions right for the entire filming. The photographer here will also be taking your photos.”

There was a photographer dressed up like us and using an antique camera to shoot us. The stylist handed me a cigarette with a long filter attached to use as a prop.

“Do I have to smoke it?” I asked the director.

“If you do smoke, go ahead. If you don’t, just pretend,” he said.

“Ne…” I replied.

Filming started, and the song played in the background to help us get into character. ‘Just a Feeling’ is a song by the band, Breeze. The song is about a man who is losing his lover, and not wanting to face it even though he knows that she is leaving. This is most evident in the lyrics of the chorus when they sing “And if you love somebody else, would you still pretend you’re mine”.

Usually, Shoei would play the melancholy and jilted lover since he had that naturally brooding appearance, but this time, Skye had the honor.

I sat beside Shoei on the lounge they placed on the stage, half leaning against him. Skye stood beside it, his hand resting lightly on the backrest. For the first shot, Shoei and I looked at each other, his hand lightly touching my chin.

“Good expressions, Sierra and Shoei,” the director said. “Keep that longing look. Sierra… rest your hand lightly on his lap, maintain that cigarette filter’s position.”

I had to keep glancing back at the cigarette filter in case the ash from the cigarette fell on the dress, and I had to maintain eye contact with Shoei. Skye doing a good job, glancing down at us and back to the camera, pretending to notice but trying not to have noticed.

“Move closer now,” the director instructed. “Your lips almost touching.”

Sometimes I wonder what went on in the directors’ minds when they created scenes like this with the 3 of us. We were obviously like siblings, more than anything else, and it did feel a little incestuous when we did scenes like this. Of course, I still wondered how Shoei felt when we were put in such situations.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

~ Skye & Shoei ~

For the past 2 years, I have been receiving this single question over and over again... "What do Skye and Shoei look like?"

I've always had an image of them in my mind, but I had not found anyone in their likeness that I could provide my readers with photos. I had even contemplated conducting some sort of an activity to ask my readers to submit photos of people they thought looked exactly like how I'd described them all this while.

Well... I finally got a little tired of having to always imagine when I wrote about them. I hadn't wanted to use photos of existing celebrities to describe them because I didn't want to 'steal' someone else's face. But it so happens that in the past week, I have finally found the likeness of Skye and Shoei on the faces of 2 celebrities. Coincidentally, both of them have the same surname, Park. I hope they meet your expectations.

Skye is Park Jin Woo... Park Jin Woo (born 3 Jul 1983) is an actor . His latest movie is titled Frivolous Wife, in which he starred with Park Jung-ah from Jewelry. Honestly, I don't know too much about him, but from the photos I've seen of him on the net... I find him to remind me of Skye a lot.

The reason I think Skye looks like Park Jin Woo is because they have the same innocent babyface and that playful boyish smile.

Shoei is Park Hyo Shin... Park Hyo Shin (born 1 Dec 1981) is an awesome singer whom I have only recently discovered. If you read my personal blog, you might have seen me raving about his flawless singing. He recently embarassed Tae Yang of Big Bang with his rendition of Look At Me ^_^

The reason I think Shoei looks like Park Hyo Shin is because Park Hyo Shin has a bit of that Japanese vibe going on, and he is also quite a shy guy in real life, but because of his talent and being soft-spoken... it makes him really, really attractive.

Do we look good as a team? ^_^

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Chapter 146: Doobob

So sorry for the delay. I have been busy with work and working out some kinks in my personal life. Needless to say, these things do not help to inspire me to write (as you can see, even the title isn't creative) :P I'll be free soon, and I'll get back on track. Stay tuned ^_^


Today is the 2nd session with Ji Yong. Seung Hyun did his bits so well that he didn’t have to come in today, so it was just me, Ji Yong, the sound engineer and a producer.

“Let’s do the chorus again,” Ji Yong said into the microphone. “You’ll need to turn up the sex appeal,” he giggled.

“Oh sure… piece of cake,” I replied sarcastically.

“Hey… you’re a sexy girl… so just feel it and do it,” he laughed.

“Yes sir,” I replied with 2 thumbs up.

It’s a bit weird to have someone younger than me direct me and tell me how to sex-up my singing. But here I am, about to go solo, and I had one of the youngest, most talented artistes in Korea coaching me.

The music started playing, and I started singing. I finished the line, and Ji Yong cut off the music.

“Close…” he said. “Almost the mood we’re looking for. But I know you can do better,” he said. “Try thinking of something that can get you in the mood; Jae Joong hyung?” he laughed.

“Ya!” I exclaimed, and I could feel myself blushing.

Sure… I’m no 18 year old virgin, but having someone 5 years younger than me telling me to think dirty and get in the mood was starting to embarrass me.

“Come on, Sierra… come on!” he said, and that cracked me up.

It always cracked me up when he said that because it would make me think of the Coffee Prince parody he did with the rest of Big Bang for their concert. It’s not just his speech. His general appearance was a key to keeping our meetings interesting. Today he was in his usual high-tops, BAPE jacket… the full ensemble. He’d taken off his beanie and put on a headband to hold back his hair. It was a glittery diamante studded headband.

“Did you steal that from somewhere?” I laughed when I saw it earlier on.

“Nah… some fan gave it to me,” he laughed.

“That’s nice… wish my fans gave me headbands,” I laughed.

“I’ll bring you one the next time we’re meeting,” he smiled.

Ji Yong had a really large forehead for someone so small. Sometimes it kinda looks like he’s balding in the front, especially when he pushed his hair back like that. But I suppose his cuteness makes up for everything; balding or not. Then again, the Chinese believe that it’s a good thing to have a large forehead… it usually means you’re smart and you would do well in life; as proven with his success.

He may be younger than me, but he was my coach until we get this album done, so I had to listen to his advice. I took a deep breath, and closed my eyes. I tried to think about something sexy… a sexy incident which had taken place in my life, and I was no longer surprise where my brain had brought me to… sometime, long ago, when I was with Yun Ho.

It was one of those nights where Skye and Shoei had gone out to the gym with the guys from Super Junior, leaving me and Yun Ho home alone. We were sitting in front of the television, watching an English movie of my choice, 50 First Dates. You’d think that an Adam Sandler movie was far from sexy. It was always absurdly funny, never sexy, but ending of this movie was so touching.

I snuggled up to Yun Ho as we watched the ending, where Drew Barrymore showed Adam Sandler all the drawings she had done of him, not even remembering who he was.

“Would you remember me like this?” Yun Ho asked, and dropped a kiss on the top of my head.

We were laying side by side, me on the edge of the sofa. He had an arm tucked under my neck, and had the other resting on my hip. Our legs were entwined with my feet tucked under his to keep warm.

“I might… but I won’t be able to draw your face so accurately,” I giggled.

“Fair enough…” he said.

“I could always draw you as an animal; a symbolic representation of you. What would you like to be?” I teased.

He just growled in response and nuzzled my neck, causing me to squirm because it tickled. My laughter died as we watched the ending, where Drew Barrymore wakes up to a video where Adam Sandler has documented the whole journey of their relationship to remind her each morning how far her life has gone along since she had forgotten it. Yun Ho’s arms tightened around me as the scene progressed.

I was lulled into a state of mind where I was drunk on the romance on the screen, and from the warmth of being in his arms. I always felt protected when I was with Yun Ho. That was how any girl would feel when with him. As the credits rolled up, I turned to face him, and he leaned down to kiss me softly on the lips. I guess there is no need to discuss what went on from there.

Granted it wasn’t some hot and heavy incident. It was the simple passion of being in each other’s arms… and getting drunk on the unspoken love we shared.

I sang the chorus again, my mind fresh with emotions I had recalled from my past. I could feel my heart pouring into the microphone, expressing that deep hidden emotion that would convey the message of the lyrics and the music. As soon as I ended, Ji Yong started clapping.

“Bravo!” he said. “That was IT! What were you thinking of?” he asked.

“You?” I joked, and I could’ve sworn he looked a bit uneasy, but laughed anyway.

It’s always an obvious betrayal to Jae Joong whenever I thought of Yun Ho. The guilt would rush to my head, and I would always feel like as if I’ve actually cheated on Jae Joong whenever my mind took a trip down memory lane with Yun Ho. I will probably never get over my past, and this was one of the reasons I have not been able to commit to Jae Joong when it came to talking about our future.

Jae Joong was as dependable and Yun Ho, and he’ll definitely make a good husband, but I’m still at that crossroad in my life where I’m deciding when would be the best time to settle down. It’s too early anyway, since it has only been a little more than 3 years since S-Cube debut, and I’m about to go solo. I’m thinking it wouldn’t even hurt for me to wait till I was 30.

After the recording session, we’d more or less started moving on to my other songs; those that I would be doing solo. I had a choice of 1 cover, and I chose Alex’s ‘Sarangha-o’ (I Love You), since I was such a huge fan, and I had to have a ballad in my album, to prove that I could sing. In fact, I had almost every genre in my album. There’s R&B-Hip Hop with ‘Crazy’, ‘Sarangha-o’ was the cover-ballad, there was a pop song called ‘Make Me’, a disco song ala Kylie Minogue called ‘Cutting the Strings’, a rock song entitled ‘Wut?!’ and another slow song, just to prove I could sing, called ‘This Is My Life’.

I was practicing the song during my break at the film set when Jae Wook came to sit beside me.

“Hello,” he smiled.

“Annyeong,” I replied, and smiled back.

“You’re not helping me practice my English,” he complained.

“You’re not helping me practice my Korean,” I answered, and he laughed.

“So I heard you’ve been really busy,” he said.

“How did you guess?” I said, pretending to be shocked.

“Well… seeing how they’re rushing us with the filming… that kinda tipped me off,” he said.

“Oh… Mianhae…” I smiled.

“So are you gonna keep practicing your song?” he asked.

“It’s actually top secret, so I can’t let you hear it,” I said in a stage whisper.

“I won’t tell the press,” he smiled.

“Hmm… you swear?” I said.

“Yes… if I tell anyone, I would be attacked by a crazy fan on the way home,” he laughed.

“Okay,” I laughed.

I took a deep breath, and I started singing ‘Saranghao’ (I Love You), by Alex.

눈을 감아요 그대 두근거리는 이 밤
nuneul gamayo geudae dugeungeorineun i bam
그대 귓가에 흩날리는 내 마음을 받아 주오
geudae gwitgae heutnallineun nae maeumeul bada juo

왠지 서투른 나의 이 노래를 받아주겠소
waenji seotoreun naui i noraereul badajugettso
이 뜨거운 마음
i ddeugeoun maeum

눈부신 그대 두 눈을 난 사랑하오
nunbushin geudae du nuneul nan saranghao
그 안에 숨쉬게 해주오
geu ane sumshwige haejuo
푸른 밤 하늘 가득 채워 놓은 두 마음
pureun bam haneul gadeuk chaewo noeun du maeum
변하지 않겠다고 내 손을 잡고 말해주오
byeonhaji angettdago nae soneul japgo marhaejuo

아름다워요 그대 우리 둘만의 이 밤
areumdawoyo geudae uri dulmanui i bam
그대 모습에 스러지는 내 마음을 잡아주오
geudae moseube seureojineun nae maeumeul jabajuo
왠지 어색한 나의 이 약속을 받아주겠소
waenji eosaekhan naui i yaksogeul badajugettso
이 뜨거운 마음
i ddeugeoun maeum

눈부신 그대 두 눈을 난 사랑하오
nunbushin geudae du nuneul nan saranghao
그 안에 숨 쉬게 해주오
geu ane sumshwige haejuo
푸른 밤 하늘 가득 채워 놓은 두 마음
pureun bam haneul gadeuk chaewo noeun du maeum
변하지 않겠다고 내 손을 잡고 말해주오
byeonhaji angettdago nae soneul japgo marhaejuo

스쳐 지나는 많은 사랑과 체념 속에
seuchyeo jinanun manheun saranggwa chenyeom soge
아름다웠던 우리 달콤한 입맞춤
areumdawottdeon uri dalkomhan ibmatchum

눈부신 그대 두 눈을 난 사랑하오
nunbushin geudae du nuneul nan saranghao
그 안에 숨쉬게 해주오
geu ane sumshwige haejuo
푸른 밤 하늘 가득 채워 놓은 두 마음
pureun bam haneul gadeuk chaewo noeun du maeum
변하지 않겠다고 내 손을 잡고 말해
byeonhaji angettdago nae soneul japgo marhae
그 마음 변함이 없다고
geu maeum byeonhami eoptdago
내 품에 안겨 말해 주오
nae pume angyeo marhae juo

When I finished, I noticed that the stylist and makeup artist were also watching, and Jae Wook had a really straight expression, frozen on his face.

“Well?” I said.

“That was great!” he broke into a smile, and clapped.

The stylist and makeup artist clapped too.

“Look… now everyone knows,” I joked.

“Well… it’s kinda like the case of a princess with a beautiful voice. When she sings, all the woodland animals would come to listen,” he winked.

“You’re crazy…” I laughed. “So you’re saying I have kongju-pyeong?”

“Aniyo…” he protested, laughing at my self-depreciating joke. “You definitely do not have kongju-pyeong. You’d have kongju-pyeong if you spent all your break times selca-ing and uploading the photos to your mini-hompy.”

“I guess you’re the expert,” I shrugged and smiled.

We chatted for awhile more, and it was time to get back on set. Darren wasn’t around today, so we focused on scenes with Jae Wook and myself. Yuk Hee was also here to film the scene today.

‘Girls on Top’ has been getting decent ratings. We weren’t on the top of the charts since Darren and I weren’t big names, and it was really the addition of Jae Wook to the cast that helped our ratings climb.

{Girls on Top: Episode 16, Scene 5}

“Shut up!” Yun Mi yelled at Maya.

“Yun Mi-ah… please go to Ho Young, he needs you,” Maya pleaded.

“You’re just expecting me to help you pick up the pieces after you’re done with him.”

“I never meant to destroy him,” Maya said regretfully.

“Then you should have let him come to me when it was still possible. How do you expect us to carry on now? He’s so hung up on you, and he’s totally given up on his life.”

“Don’t you care for him? I know you can help him. You can change his mind and help him forget. I wish I could help him, but Si Won and I…”

“You should have let him go and gone back to Si Won from the beginning,” Yun Mi said. “It’s too late now…”

“Yun Mi… I…”

“Enough!” she said, and turned to walk away.

Maya sat down on the bench nearby and covered her face with her hands.

“Is it so tough?” Si Won said as he walked up to her.

“Si Won,” she smiled through her tears.

He sat down next to her, and put his arm around her shoulders.

“Maybe I should return you to Ho Young,” he smiled wistfully.

“I’m fine… I’m fine…” she said, trying to collect herself.

“I’m serious, Maya,” he said. “It’s bad enough I’m dying, I don’t need to see another die just so I can have my wish.”

“I owe you this much, Si Won,” she said, looking at him and reaching up to stroke his face.

“I know you love me,” he smiled. “But you love him more…”

“I’ve given him up. Even when you’re gone, I’m still your wife. I made a promise to you.”

“I was selfish to have asked for such a promise.”

“This is our fate,” she sighed. “I was meant to be with you in your time of need, and I will always be with you.”

Si Won gazed at Maya’s face, his face expressing his love and appreciation.

“Saranghae,” he said, and he kissed her softly on her lips.

Maya returned his kiss.

{End of scene}

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Chapter 145: SHINE

I am soooo sorry I took so long to post this. I just realised the first version of Sierra's solo 'Crazy' was so sloppy. So I took a longer time to jazz up 'Crazy (Version II)' for her duet with T.O.P. Hopefully it sounds better this time :P

I'll be writing songs again for the next few chapters. So I hope you're looking forward to them. There will be at least 3-4 new songs written for Sierra's solo ^_^


Shoei and I stared at Skye, boggled.

“Waegeurae?” I asked him.

“You never stop with the self-depreciating. You know damn well you can do it, and yet you keep whining about how you can’t,” he said.

“Oh sure… I can do it,” I said. “But how successful will I be?”

“The producers will do everything to make sure you’re successful. Whoever’s idea this was… his ass will be on the line if your album is a flop,” Skye said. “You need to buck up and make sure you don’t screw up.”

This was one of the very rare occasions Skye had ever exploded. I guess I’d been a little too vocal with my concerns of my own ability. But this was my solo debut. Everything was on the line.

“Skye’s right,” Shoei said. “And you know that no matter what happens, you have us to fall back on. It’s better than you going solo only after we’ve disbanded.”

I blinked at the both of them. This was them giving me their moral support, just as Jae Joong had, not too long ago. I felt the world weighing on my shoulders, and yet the men in my life are making sure that I know that I could shoulder this burden and that they were not far behind when things get too tough.

“Mian…” I smiled at them both. “I’ll stop with the complaints from now.”

“Good,” Shoei smiled. “Supper anyone?”

“What? Didn’t you come back from dinner with your new wife,” Skye teased.

“Yea… she pulled a 180 on me during dinner,” he said. “I was a little afraid of eating her cooking by then.”

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“She couldn’t cook. From yesterday, till breakfast today,” he said. “And finally tonight… her food suddenly became edible.”

“Huh?” Skye said.

“Damn right,” he laughed. “I think she was pretending not to know how to cook.”

“Why would she do that?” I asked him.

“I don’t know. And I intend to find out. She’s a sweet girl… but there’s definitely something going on.”

“Something going on?” Skye said.

“Yea…” Shoei said, and took another sip of his tea.

“I’ll get supper,” I said as I got up and went to the kitchen.

[Su Bin’s POV]

I waited patiently for Darren oppa to arrive. He said he’d pick me up after my filming of We Got Married. I had to walk a safe distance from the apartment Shoei and I shared and called him to tell him where I was. He arrived 15 minutes later.

“Hey there,” he smiled as I got into the car.

I leant over to kiss him on the cheek, and he kissed me back.

“So? How’s the plan coming?” he asked me.

I’d dreaded the entire day because I wasn’t ready to tell him that the plan was failing.

“Oppa… uri keumanhaja?” I said.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“He’s a nice guy,” I said.

“Nice guy?”

“Everything I did to him, he just took it in and smile,” I explained. “There’s no way I could get him to misbehave.”

“Did you do what I told you to?”

“I couldn’t do everything you asked me to. I have my own reputation to worry about,” I said.

“Then what did you manage to do?”

“I screwed up every meal I cooked, and I brought up some uncomfortable subjects, hoping he would slip up when responding to me.”

“And he still behaved like an angel?” Darren oppa asked.

“He was a little distant throughout the whole shoot, but otherwise, he was perfect.”

“These SM kids sure know how to put on a good show,” he muttered.

“I can’t do anything to him without hurting myself, oppa. I can’t do this anymore,” I explained.

“You can’t or you won’t,” he asked.

“I want to help you, oppa. But you have to think of my career too,” I said.

“Araso…” he conceded. “Then we’ll just have to find another way then,” he said, grimly. “Let’s get you home, then.”

I watched as he put the car into gear and drove onto the road. The wheels in his head were turning… and I was afraid of what he was planning next.

[Sierra’s POV]

I’m going crazy…

I’ve been running all over Seoul just to meet my schedules this week. The management had arranged for some of my ‘Girls on Top’ scenes to be brought forward so that we could make a little room for the recording sessions with T.O.P and G-Dragon that will today. They’ve wrapped up the recording for S-Cube’s 4th album, which was simply titled ‘S3 - 4eva’.

I rushed into the recording studios where everyone was already waiting for me.

“Sierra…” the producer said, disapprovingly.

“Mian..” I said. “I just got off filming the drama.”

“This is G-Dragon, and T.O.P,” he introduced, ignoring my excuse.

I turned to find the 2 famed Big Bang members sitting right in front of me. I’d been so concerned about getting in on time that I hadn’t noticed them.

“Hi,” G-Dragon stood up and extended his hand. “You can call me Ji Yong.”

“And you can call me Seung Hyun,” T.O.P said, extending his hand as well.

“Pangapseumnida,” I said as I shook both their hands. “You can call me Sierra.”

They laughed at my lame attempt at a joke, but oddly enough, I’m already beginning to feel at ease with them.

T.O.P or Seung Hyun, as I now know him as, was tall, serious and exuded masculinity. But beneath that exterior was someone who seemed to enjoy whatever it is he did. G-Dragon or Ji Yong, was small and slim, probably slimmer than me, and he was flamboyant and adorable. It was obvious how much he loved producing as much as he loved singing. Both were talented and professional. I felt that I had a long way to go in terms of becoming on par with them.

“Ready to roll?” Seung Hyun asked me.

“Yea,” I smiled.

“Here…” he said, handing me a sheet of the new lyrics that had his lines in them now.

“I can never get over how good your English is,” I said to him.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“You can sing and rap without a hint of Korean accent,” I said.

“You should see the number of hours we put into fixing the accent,” he laughed.

“Yes… especially when you’ve never lived abroad,” I smiled as we both got up and went into the recording booth.

“If it makes you feel better… I’m at awe of your command in English and other languages. How many do you speak? 5?” he asked.

“You read up on me?” I asked, a little shocked.

“I never had, but when I found out that I was going to work with you, I thought I should at least know a thing or two about you,” he laughed.

“Oh… you mean you were never interested in knowing about me till now,” I said, pretending to be a little offended.

“Of course I like your work, if that’s what you’re getting at,” he laughed. “I listen to your songs, but that doesn’t mean I have to memorize your biography.”

“Right,” I smiled. “But you’re a little off the mark.”


“I speak 7 languages,” I grinned.

“7?” he exclaimed.

“English, Malay, Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Korean and German.”

“You’re scaring me,” he laughed as we put on our headphones.

“Are we ready?” the producer interrupted us.

“Ne,” the both of us answered.

“Crazy…” Ji Yong drawled into the talkback microphone, “take 1.”

The music played, and it was a different beat from my solo version. This time, there was a more Hip Hop vibe, to complement Seung Hyung’s rap input.

-Start Dialogue-
T.O.P: Hey baby…
Sierra: Hey T.O.P…
T.O.P: You look so fine today
Sierra: Do I?
T.O.P: You’re driving me crazy, y’know
Sierra: Guess what?
T.O.P: Wut?
Sierra: So are you…
-End Dialogue-

T.O.P: Yo so wicked girl
Girl you look so fine
There ain’t ever been a female so divine
I could go on all day, if I had my way
But I’d much rather listen to that sexy voice
So, holler at me lady…

Sierra: Let me look in your eyes
Let me see through your mind~
Won’t you hold my hand
Make me feel alright~

It’s just not gonna work
If you’re not gonna tell me~
It’s just not gonna work
If you can’t be a man about it~

T.O.P: You’re asking me to be a man
I’m telling you, baby, I am that man
But you don’t seem to be listening girl
What I gotta do to get some attention girl
Seems like we’re going round in circles
But you know that we’re so good together
Close your eyes now and gimme your hand
I’ll make you go, go crazy again…

Sierra: Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

T.O.P: Crazy…

Sierra: Let me open your eyes
Let me open your mind, mind~
T.O.P: My mind it’s going wild, so wild,
And my heart, it’s beating like, beating like…
Sierra: I have your hand in mine
Don’t you feel alright, alright~
T.O.P: I just gotta ask you something...
Is this what heaven feels like

Sierra: This has got to work
And you’re so gonna tell me, tell me~
T.O.P: I’ll tell you one thing, baby girl, so listen up
Sierra: This is so gonna work
Baby now that you love me, love me~
T.O.P: I love you foxy lady, you’re my one and only
Sierra: Now that you love me!

T.O.P: So now you’re listening to my every word
We’ve come so far now, it’s getting good
You’re into me, I’m into you
Don’t ever leave me baby, whatever you do
I’m feeling so hot, just thinking of you
You’re taking me apart with that look of yours
You’re mine, you’re fine, yeah, so sublime
I’m going crazy, Sierra… baby…

Sierra: Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

Sierra: Yeah… forevermore
As corny as it may sound
T.O.P: What corny? Never heard of it
Sierra: Yeah… there’ll be no other
As long as you’re around
T.O.P: I’ll always be around…
Sierra: Oh yeah… baby

Sierra: Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…
T.O.P: Crazy, baby…

As soon as the song ended, everyone in the recording booth started clapping. Seung Hyung and I bowed to them and gave each other a quick hug.

“Good job for a first take,” the producer said as we walked into the control room.

“I think they have good chemistry,” Ji Yong said. “That’s always the case when the first take is good.”

“Or it could’ve been the fact that we both spent hours practicing with the demo?” Seung Hyung said.

“I’ll say both,” I laughed.

“This is a good start,” the producer said as they started playing back the recording.

I sounded decent, Seung Hyun sounded awesome. Is this really going to be a moneymaker for SM, and a start of a new career for me?

Friday, 3 October 2008

Chapter 144: HEY! (Don't Bring Me Down)

[Sierra’s POV]

I’m back in the studios, and from the look on hyung’s face… I can see he has something planned for me, but he wasn’t going to tell me yet.

“Where’s Skye?” I asked hyung.

“He went for a last minute radio show,” he said. “We’d better start recording.”

I went into the booth and spent the next 3 hours there until the producers were satisfied. When the session ended, I was asked to sit down at the table. The 2 producers and hyung were about to deliver me the news they’d been holding back all day.

“We’d just fixed a deal with YG,” the producer said. “We’ve decided to bring forward your mini album.”

“What?” I exclaimed.

“Calm down, Sierra,” hyung said.

“Am I even ready for a solo career?” I asked.

“It’s been 3 years, almost 4. We should think you’re ready,” the other producer said.

“Part of your album, including another version of ‘Crazy’, will be produced by YG,” the producer continued. “And YG has picked one of their artistes to collaborate with you on the mini album version of ‘Crazy’.”

“Who is it?” I asked.

“T.O.P,” the producer said.

I sank back in my chair. This was getting more and more surreal by the minute. The whole idea of me having my own mini album was still hard to digest, and now they’re adding to it by telling me that not only is it being brought forward, it was going to get a huge amount of exposure by featuring T.O.P from Big Bang. That little appearance he had made for Uhm Jung Hwa’s D.I.S.C.O had already made it phenomenal overnight. I wondered if I could hold my own next to him.

“We’re going to start recording concurrently with your existing schedule. You’re going to be extra busy, so you’ll need to try to cope,” hyung said.

“You’ll continue to shoot ‘Girls On Top’, and we will try to fit in these recording sessions in the night, and you may miss some of your days off. You’d better be prepared,” the producer pointed out.

“Are you people really sure?” I asked them, looking from one face to the other.

“It’s decided,” the other producer said, matter-of-factly. “You just need to follow your schedule.”

“I’ll work out your new schedule soon. We may need to shift some of your events around since we’ll need to synchronize with T.O.P and G-Dragon.”

“G-Dragon?” I stammered.

The name dropping was driving me crazy. I’m going to be working with all these talented people on my solo debut, and I don’t even feel ready.

“He’ll be producing a few of your songs. T.O.P will record ‘Crazy’ with you and help out with the producing of the tracks too,” hyung explained.

“Gawd…” I exclaimed, as soon as the 2 producers had left.

“You really need to relax, Sierra. You stressing is not going to help produce a quality album,” hyung said.

“You people are really just springing everything on me,” I said. “It’s driving me nuts.”

“Get used to it,” hyung said. “At least they’re not putting you on ice…”

“S-Cube isn’t dying,” I said. “They have no reason to do that to me. I only expected them to try and boost Skye and Shoei’s popularity, since guys are easier to market. I never thought they’d push me up first.”

“They’re making their investments worth it… so you’d better not disappoint them.”

“When will our first session be?” I asked hyung.

“Next week,” he said. “It’s a good thing this 4th album is taking less time than the last one. We’ll have it on the market in time before the awards, and hope for at least a win.”

“Is that why you’re rushing the mini album as well? So that I can try to get a nomination?”

“Something like that…” he said. “If we can’t get the album out on time, we’ll release a single instead.”

“The management really is going for the kill this year,” I said.

“There are too many new acts in the market this year… just like every year, and we need you kids to exert some dominance in the market.”

“Sure…” I sighed. “Whatever you big shots want.”

That night, I called Jae Joong and whined.

“I think you can cancel your plans to come back,” I said.

“Wae? What happened?” he exclaimed.

“Remember what I told you about my mini album yesterday?”


“Plans have changed…” I said.

“To what?”

“They’re bringing forward my mini album, and we’re collaborating with YG.”


“If we can’t make a mini album on time, then we’ll just release a single.”

“They’re rushing to get you in the running for the awards season?” he said.

“Bingo…” I drawled.

“Are you sure you can handle it?”

“Why not? Filming a drama, making an album with my own band, and making another with artistes from a rival company. All in a day’s work,” I said.

“Now you’ve got me worried,” he said.

“Don’t be,” I said. “I’ll be fine. I’m just worried that I won’t be on par with T.O.P,” I said.

“T.O.P’s been hauled in?” he asked.

“And G-Dragon is producing. So, yea… I’m really nervous now,” I said.

“Well, he’s a rapper,” Jae Joong pointed out.

“He can actually sing,” I said. “And he has this unbelievable stage presence. How am I going to top that?”

“Erm… he is T.O.P,” Jae Joong laughed. “You can forget about topping that.”

“So you agree that I’m gonna fade next to him?”

“No… it was a joke. You’ll be fine,” he said. “You can sing, you can dance… there are things that you probably do better than him.”


“You can speak Chinese?” he said, lamely.

“Gee… that makes me feel superior now,” I said.

“You’re as good as he is,” Jae Joong said.

“Then why don’t I feel that way?”

“You need to start believing in yourself, Sierra. You’re going solo now. You need to exude confidence,” he said. “I’ve seen that side of you. You need to show it to the world now.”

“And what if they decide I’m being cocky?”

“There will always be lovers and haters. You know that. We just take it in stride.”

I kept quiet for awhile… I realized I was just beating myself up for nothing. I’ve been convincing myself that I wasn’t ready to go out alone all this while. If the management thinks I am ready, who am I to argue? They obviously see something I don’t. Or at least they are just ready to take a gamble and see if I could produce some results. This was my chance to move up.

“Araso…” I sighed.

“Good girl,” Jae Joong said, and I could picture him smiling.

“So what did you have for dinner?” I asked him, and he started yakking to me about his day.

Shoei finally got home that night. He dropped his bag on the floor and immediately slumped onto the sofa.

“So how does it feel to be married?” Skye asked him.

“Don’t ask,” he groaned.

“What did you do today? Pump iron? Do sit ups with Su Bin sitting on you?” I laughed.

He looked so beat up; you’d think he spent the day doing hard physical labour.

“We cooked dinner,” he said.

“And that wiped you out?” Skye cackled. “You’re really losing your touch, aren’t you?”

“Leave me alone,” he grumbled, and covered his face with a pillow.

“I’ll make you some tea,” I laughed, and walked off to the kitchen while Skye continued to aggravate him.

[Shoei’s POV]

I shut my eyes as Skye continued to attack me with questions.

“Here…” nuna said, and I opened my eyes to look up at her. “Have some tea.”

I sat up and took the cup of Chinese tea from her hands.

“Thanks,” I said, and took a sip. “What’s this?”

“Pu er,” she said.

“Okay…” I said, and took another sip.

“So?” she asked as she sat down beside me with her cup of tea.

“So?” I answered her question with a question.

“How’s the wife?” she smiled cheekily.

“She’s fine,” I said.

“You’re not gonna dish?” she asked.

“What’s there to dish?” I said.

“How’s your first day as a married man?” she probed.

“I kinda realized that you’re not such a pain to live with,” I said to her, and that earned me a smack on the arm.

“What did she do to you?” she laughed.

“She can’t cook. Her mood changes every other minute,” I said.

“That’s all?”

“She’s kinda weird. I just have a feeling that the way she’s acting is not the real her,” I said.

“Why do you say that?” she asked.

“Her eyes… she hardly ever meets my eyes.”

“Maybe she’s shy?” Skye piped in.

“Oh… believe me, she’s far from shy,” I said.

“But did the filming go well?” nuna asked.

“It’s fine. I think it lacked a little chemistry in the beginning, but we’re building on it.”

“Good,” she smiled.

“So anything happened while I was gone?” I asked.

“Someone’s getting her own mini album,” Skye tattled. “And just in time for the awards season.”

“What?” I exclaimed, and looked at nuna.

“I start recording next week,” she grumbled.

“I thought it was supposed to be out next year?”

“They’d decided to make the best of what’s left of this season. But that’s not the biggest issue here.”

“There’s more?” I asked.

“Big Bang’s on the album too,” she said.


“Yea… I had that same reaction,” Skye laughed.

“Just 2 of them though,” she added. “T.O.P and G-Dragon.”

“Just? These 2 are enough to shoot your album to the top of the charts,” I said.

I’d just gone for a day and it felt as if the whole road map for our careers have changed drastically.

“I told hyung I wasn’t ready,” she complained. “But he and the management didn’t give me any choice.”

“You are ready,” I said to her. “If you wait any longer, you’d be past your prime.”

“Gee… thanks for reminding me,” she said sarcastically.

“You think they’d fund a project that’s going to be D.O.A?” I said.

“I know… but it’s just freaking me out,” she said.

“Just do what you’re supposed to do,” I said.

“I’m just worried about the live performances that would come. I don’t feel ready to perform on my own.”

“Nuna… you’ve had collaborations with Brian and Hwan Hee, with Hae Rin… with so many others. Why would you be nervous now?”

“Cos this is my album? My first real solo project,” she said.

“Nuna… sometimes you make me feel like strangling you,” Skye said, his voice was serious and hard.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Chapter 143: 신사 (Gentleman)

{Girls On Top: Episode 10, Scene 5}

“Are you going to keep running?” Ho Young asked as he caught up with Maya.

“Leave me alone,” Maya walked on without looking at him.

“Maya…” he said her name, and reached out to grab her arm.

“Let me go,” she pleaded as she tried to shrug him off.

“You’re ending it like this? Just because of a guy who has blown you off more times you can remember?” he said.

“What I do is my own business. I don’t need you to chaperone me.”

“Listen to me for a moment,” he said as he tugged her on her arm roughly, bringing her to a stop.

“Aah… you’re hurting me…” she said as continued to struggle away from him.

“Keumanhae!” he shouted at her, and she stilled for a moment.

“Mianhae,” she said, her voice choking with emotion.

“I don’t want an apology,” he said as he turned her so that they were face to face.

“I can’t give you anything but an apology,” she said.

“You owe me more than an apology,” he insisted.

“I know…” she half-whispered. “But it’s too late.”

“Why? Tell me why? Why is it ever too late?” he asked her gently. “We can always start again.”

“It’s too late,” she repeated. “Si Won and I…”

“What about you and him?”

“We’re married,” she said.

{End of scene}

[Sierra’s POV]

I’m sitting in the dressing room, worn out from yesterday’s recording session and this morning’s filming for ‘Girls On Top’.

“Coffee?” Darren stopped beside me and held out a paper cup.

“No thanks,” I smiled. “I’m allergic to caffeine.”

“Really?” he raised an eyebrow. “Then how do you keep awake for all those recording sessions?”

“Decaf…” I said.

“Ah… no wonder you look so tired. There’s nothing like a kick of caffeine to get you going,” he said.

“I know that… but sadly… I can’t afford that.”


“Back to my first answer: I’m allergic to caffeine.”

“Oh…” he smiled. “Gotcha,” he said, and turned to walk off.

Last night’s recording session was the toughest. I couldn’t capture the mood for my solo piece, and I had to do it again and again. The producers didn’t understand that the sexiness starts to wane when you get tired. By the time I did my 20th take, I was already feeling far from confident and sexy.

“Hyung,” I spoke into the talkback microphone, signaling for my manager to talk to me.

Shi Kyung hyung clicked on the button.


“I can’t go on,” I said.

“One more take,” he urged me.

“My voice is cracking up,” I said. “I can feel it, you can hear it.”

He sighed and looked at the producers. They nodded, and all at once, I could taste my freedom.

“Okay,” he said. “It’s a wrap for today. We’ll come back here tomorrow afternoon.”

“Thanks,” I said.

After my next scene on ‘Girls On Top’, I’ll need to rush back to the studios. Skye had made me a flask of warm honey this morning, which I had been sipping whenever I had a free moment. It was a very uncommon gesture from him. I supposed that he felt that he had to take care of me since Shoei wasn’t around. Shoei was usually the one who did these things for us. Surprisingly, it tasted fine.

Shoei had been filming his first episode for ‘We Got Married’ yesterday. Today would be the first morning of his ‘marriage’. I’m wondering how he fared.

[Shoei’s POV]

I was awoken by the smell of cooking. I opened my eyes slowly and looked around my foreign surroundings. It took me a minute to remember that I wasn’t at home; in the apartment I shared with nuna and Skye.

I sat up, rubbed my eyes and yawned. I didn’t feel like waking up, and I am guessing that the crew is outside filming Su Bin as she cooked. I’ll need to make myself presentable before I got in front of the camera.

“Oppa…” I could hear Su Bin calling.

Should I pretend to be asleep? Or should I walk out and face the cameras? I decided to be a slob. I stood in front of the mirror and straightened out my hair as much as I could, then jumped back into bed to pretend I was asleep all along. As soon as I got into bed, I heard a soft knock on the door.

“Oppa…” Su Bin whispered as she slowly opened the door. “Are you awake?”

I lay still, the blankets covering my face. I felt the mattress sink as she climbed onto the bed. She grabbed the blankets and tugged it away from my face.

“Oppa… wake up,” she said.

“Hmm?” I said, pretending to be confused as I slowly opened my eyes.

“Wake up,” she smiled at me. “I’ve made us breakfast.”

“Nuguseyo?” I said sleepily, and covered my face with a pillow.

“Oppa!” she exclaimed, laughing. “Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten you’re married?”

“Huh?” I said as I threw the pillow aside and sat up abruptly.

“Oppa… wake up,” she laughed as she lightly patted my face on either side with her hands.

“Oh… Su Bin,” I said, with my best expression of a dazed person.

“Good morning,” she smiled.

She was always smiling. She’d been smiling ever since she came into the room. Didn’t her face feel tired?

“Good morning,” I yawned.

“Oppa… we have a mission today,” she said.

“What is it?” I asked.

“We have to go grocery shopping, and make a meal together,” she said.

“Did they specify what sort of food?” I said, scratching my head.

I am so ruining my sex god image. Here I am in my pajamas, scratching my head…

“It has to be something we both can cook,” she said.

“Hmm…” I pondered for a bit. “Let me wash up and we’ll talk over breakfast.”

“Okay,” she smiled and slid off the bed.

The cameras followed her, giving me a moment to dash into the bathroom to make myself presentable. 10 minutes was all I needed. I took a quick shower since we’ll need to go out, and quickly got dressed and slicked back my hair.

“Wow! You’re fast!” she exclaimed when I walked out.

“Years of practice,” I laughed. “You need to learn how to get ready quickly if you want an extra 10 minutes of sleep each morning.”

“It’s easy for guys,” she pouted. “Girls need makeup.”

“You’ll need to learn to put it on while moving,” I laughed.

“You’re so funny, oppa,” she laughed. “Come see what I’ve made for breakfast.”

It turns out that she could actually make a basic meal. There was rice, kimch’i pancakes, seaweed soup and some side dishes to go with everything.

“Did you have help?” I smiled at her.

“I made the rice, pancakes and soup. The side dishes are from my mother.”

Here was another Solbi; reeling her mother in to help. At least she wanted to do a good job.

“Looks good,” I said as I sat down.

“Try it,” she said as she sat down in front of me.

I picked up my chopsticks and used it to break off a piece of pancake. The texture was fine, but the flour was pretty tasteless if not for the kimch’i.

“Eottae?” she looked at me with big searching eyes.

“It’s alright,” I smiled. “Needs a bit salt… for the flour.”

“Really?” she said and put a piece in her mouth.

She chewed thoughtfully for a moment, as if willing the taste of the pancake to change for the better, then her expression crumbled a little.

“You’re right,” she sighed.

“It’s not too bad,” I smiled and picked up my spoon.

I put a spoonful of soup in my mouth and immediately started coughing and sputtering.

“Oppa!” she exclaimed. “Kwaench’ana?”

I could only nod as I tried to control the cough. Tears were starting to form in my eyes.

“What’s wrong with the soup?” she asked and she tasted it herself.

I was about to stop her, but I was too late. She started coughing like crazy as well.

“Too much pepper,” I wheezed as I grabbed the glass of water next to me took a sip.

“Mianhae…” she coughed, and I passed her a glass of water, which she accepted gratefully.

“Don’t you taste the food when you’re cooking it?” I asked, and she shook her head.

“I thought it would be fine,” she said mournfully.

“It’s not too bad,” I said, realizing that she was starting to feel bad.

I put the bowl of soup in front of me, picked up my bowl of rice and tipped it into the bowl.

“Oppa! You don’t have to… you can’t drink something like that,” she exclaimed.

“It’s okay,” I smiled, as I stirred the rice into the soup. “If you put the rice in, it won’t sting so much. Now that I know it’s spicy, I won’t have such a drastic reaction. The pepper was unexpected, that’s why we reacted that way.”

I put a spoonful of the soup and rice in my mouth. It was still a little spicy, but bearable now. It could be the pepper was on the surface of the soup earlier.

“Wanna try?” I asked her, and pushed the bowl towards her.

She took a tiny scoop of it and put it in her mouth, then her face lit up again when she realized it was actually edible now.

“Oppa, mani meokgo,” she smiled, and started helping herself to the other food.

I laughed and shook my head at her antics. A moment ago she was devastated when she thought she’d failed. Now that she realized she hadn’t, she was bright and chirpy again. It’s going to be interesting to see how I will fare with a girl who had such volatile moods.

[Su Bin’s POV]

Shoei oppa was a nice guy. Shoei oppa is a very nice guy. I’m starting to believe that nothing can make him react the way Darren oppa was hoping he would.

The pepper on the soup had been on purpose. I thought he’d have blown up and yelled at me for being a bad cook, or anything along those lines. I never thought he’d actually try to eat it anyway. He really is a patient guy.

I can cook… I’d been trying hard not to cook in the past few days. I don’t know how long I could stand my bad cooking, let alone Shoei oppa. Maybe this wasn’t the way to get him to react negatively towards me. But how do I do it without making myself look bad along the way?

“I’ll clean up,” he said as soon as we’d finished eating.

I immediately felt bad that I’d left such a mess in the kitchen.

“It’s alright, I can do it,” I quickly said.

“I’ll do it,” he said as he picked up all the dishes on the table and walked into the kitchen.

He stopped as soon as he got to the door. I cringed, wondering what would be his reaction. Then… he started laughing. I turned to look at him.

“Yah!” he laughed as he walked in to put down the dishes in the sink. “Did you blow up the kitchen or something? This is unbelievable.”

This is the last time I’m doing this. I’ll have to find some other way to egg him.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Chapter 142: Let's Get It On

I guess no one saw Chapter 141 :P It was below the video ^_^ Nevermind... 2 chapters to read then :P


[Shoei’s POV]

“Oppa… mashisseo?” Su Bin smiled at me as we ate.

We’d just finished unpacking and organizing our apartment. Our first dinner together consisted of ramyun and eggs cracked into the soup.

“Mashisseo,” I smiled at her.

The soup was tasteless, and I’d crunched on a few eggshells so far.

“Do you ever cook at home?” I asked her.

“No,” she said. “We don’t have time to cook. We always order takeouts or get some cup noodles.”

“I see…” I said, and slurped more noodles.

“Do you cook?” she asked me.

“Not very often. When the mood hits me, I’ll make sushi or kimbap,” I said. “Nuna would cook once in awhile.”

“Nuna? Oh… you mean Sierra?” she asked.

“Ne,” I said.

“I’m a bit jealous of Sierra onni. She has you and Skye oppa on each side, and then she has Jae Joong oppa right behind her.”

“I guess most girls would be jealous,” I smiled. “But she has a very stressful life. She has to keep up with the band, and maintain a relationship with such a busy boyfriend.”

“Busy boyfriends are good. They make enough money,” she smiled.

“I guess so,” I replied.

I have a feeling that we wouldn’t get so much airtime for this episode. Our conversations were pretty cold and pointless, and I am not feeling any screen chemistry with her; no one needed to tell me that. I just didn’t feel taken by her, but I had to act remotely interested and compliant.

We finished up dinner, and she cleared the table while I washed the dishes.

“Oppa… let’s go for a walk,” she said.

“A walk? Now? Isn’t it a bit cold?”

“I think a walk can help us get to know each other better,” she said. “Don’t you think?”

I contemplated for awhile, then conceded.

“Why not,” I said.

We had nothing to do in the apartment anyway. A walk might help us loosen up. Then again, I find her pretty loose. It was I who was wound up.

I suspect that it’s because I’m away from the band. Not seeing Skye and nuna for a day always felt odd. Even after those months I’d spent alone in Tokyo. What about my feelings for nuna? I think they’re almost forgotten. She seems really committed to Jae Joong hyung, and I won’t be surprised if they get married soon. As for my love life, maybe it’s time to rock the boat.

We went to that same park where we’d met up earlier today. Su Bin skipped ahead of me as if she were having the time of her life. I felt like such a grouch. She sure was committed to creating a positive image of herself on the show. Then again, when we were all starting out, didn’t we all want recognition in the same way?

“Su Bin-ah,” I called out to her as I sat down on a bench. “Come sit here.”

“Ne,” she smiled and skipped back to me.

“Are you cold?” I asked as she sat down beside me.

“I’m fine,” she said, and sniffed discreetly.

I pulled my right arm out of my jacket’s right sleeve, and put my arm around her before enveloping her inside my jacket.

“Better?” I asked her, and she just nodded wordlessly.

I think she was a bit shocked at my sudden gesture, and was silent for a good 5 minutes. This should get our ratings skyrocketing.

“Su Bin-ah,” I said. “What’s your dream?”

“My dream?”

“Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?” I asked her.


“Yea… what do you have planned?”

“Maybe I’ll be a mother,” she smiled.

“In 5 years?” I asked. “What about singing?”

“I can have children and still sing,” she said.

“I’d prefer my wife to stop singing,” I said. “I should be able to provide for my family.”

“Well… if I had a really successful husband, I can stop working,” she said.

“So do you think you can stop working now?” I teased.

“Hmm… you’re doing well, oppa. But not well enough yet,” she said. “Maybe in 5 years… I can stop working, and we can focus on children.”

“Sounds good,” I said.

[Su Bin’s POV]

Shooting had wrapped, and we were now doing our individual interviews. Shoei oppa insisted that I went first.

“How did it feel today?” the interviewer asked me.

“Surreal,” I laughed.

“How so? He was not as you expected?”

“He’s so good looking in person, and a real gentleman,” I said. “But it stops there.”

“You were expecting more interaction with him?”

“Not really…” I said. “As a trainee, I’d always heard that Shoei oppa was a quiet guy. He didn’t speak for the sake of making conversation. He was the kind of guy who liked to keep communication simple. So I didn’t expect much.”

“So did meeting him confirm your impressions?”

“He’s a bit friendlier than people had described him to be. Maybe it’s the pressure of doing the show,” I laughed.

“All that talk about children today; the both of you seem to be on the same page when it comes to family ideals.”

“Are we?” I laughed. “I guess it’s natural. This may be a fake marriage, but when you feel like you’re married to someone, you tend to start setting some ideals and dreams. You can’t get by each day just talking about the trivial stuff. Eventually, you’ll start talking about the matters of your heart.”

“So you feel that you’ve opened up more than him?”

“Maybe,” I smiled.

“Did anything happen today that made you feel like he’s opening up more?”

“Hmm…” I contemplated. “Maybe when he put his coat around me in the park.”

“And how did that feel?”

“Warm,” I smiled. “And protected.”

“Alright… thank you, Su Bin-shi. You may go now.”

“Thank you.”

I got up off the chair and left the room.

“You’re done?” Shoei oppa asked as I walked out of the room.

“Ne,” I replied. “You can go in now.”

“Alright. Bye,” he said easily, and went in without a second glance.

Today had been a day of mixed emotions. I can see that Shoei oppa was a good guy. He’s a bit cold, but still, he was nice. Whenever I thought of what Darren oppa wanted me to do to him, I felt sick. If Shoei oppa was going to be this easygoing all the time, it would be difficult for me to sabotage him. My conscience would not allow it.

[Shoei’s POV]

I sat in the chair and faced the interviewer, ready for any of the questions she would throw at me.

“How are you, Shoei-shi?” she asked.

“I’m okay,” I replied.

“How was your first day of marriage?”

“I don’t think I can say much yet,” I said. “It’s barely 12 hours. I’ll need more time.”

“Do you like her?”

“She’s a very sweet girl. She’s cheerful and fun to be around.”

“Is she what you expect in your wife?”

“Erm… I’m hoping that my wife could cook a little better,” I laughed softly.

“What do you mean? Was there something wrong with your dinner?”

“I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but the soup was tasteless and there were eggshells in the noodles.”

“I’m sure she knows that.”

“Right,” I smiled. “And so the key to a good relationship here is to pretend everything is alright.”

“Is that how you handle all your relationships?”

“I’ve not really dated since my debut, so if it’s based on my experiences long ago, it’s a good way to keep the peace in a relationship.”

“So the key phrase for today is ‘Pretend there is nothing wrong.’?”

“Ne,” I laughed.

“What about your discussion about children? You’ve talked about children at least twice today.”

“Ah… I think it’s because we don’t have many common topics,” I laughed.

“Not because you really do want to have children?”

“Not now, and not in the near future. I think I’ll wait till I’m 30 before I think of having children.”

“So the time is not right?”


“Do you think Su Bin-shi is the right girl for you?”

“Well… I have an ideal girl, and I am sure the media has more or less educated the public about her.”

“Your band mate, Sierra?”

“Ne,” I smiled.

“Ever thought about dating her?”

“She’s an ideal girl, and a girl I will use to measure other girls with. But the girl I will eventually marry will of course be unique in her own way. I just want her to have certain qualities.”

“Such as?”

“Integrity, bravery, compassion, honesty and loyalty.”

“These are very strong qualities. Usually you find them in a man.”

“I feel that my other half should be able to support me emotionally. Beauty and youth is secondary. It’s a true and strong heart that matters.”

“And does Su Bin-shi possess any of these?”

“I’ll find out soon,” I smiled.

“Okay,” she laughed. “So why did you decide to keep Su Bin-shi warm?”


“What were the thoughts running through your mind when you did that?”

“She’s a girl, and she’s cold. I can’t brave the cold on my own, so I did the most logical thing. Share my jacket.”

“I see… any special feelings about the gesture?”

“I still feel it’s too soon to feel anything. But if you’re fishing for some comments, I’ll just say that she’s really small, and it was kind of nice to hold her.”

“Ah… keuraejyo?”

“It’s always nice to have someone to hold,” I smiled. “It’s something humans crave for. Especially when it’s cold.”

“Right,” she smiled. “Thank you Shoei-shi.”

“Thank you,” I replied and left the room.
Su Bin was waiting outside as I walked out.

“You’re still here?” I asked her.

“Yea… thought we’d go to bed together,” she said, then looked embarrassed when she realized that her words may have come out wrong.

“Okay,” I smiled.

The crew left the apartment. Su Bin slept in the master bedroom while I slept in the guest bedroom.

I couldn’t sleep at first, tossing and turning on the foreign bed. The wheels were turning in my head, but I wasn’t sure what was being processed. I missed my bed? I’m afraid that Su Bin would come and pounce on me?

“Go to sleep!” I told myself sternly, and another 10 minutes later, I slept.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

FIND Collab

Xing and I are so in love with this song, we'd decided to do a collab. No prizes for guessing who's who ^_^ This is just very random slideshow I made to make listening to the song more bearable.

Btw... there's a new chapter below this post :P

Chapter 141: Last Angel

[Sierra’s POV]

We got home earlier than usual tonight. I could sense that Shoei wasn’t feeling perky at all and it had nothing to do with his upcoming stint on We Got Married. After showering and clearing up some of the mess in my room, I decided to give him a pep talk.

“Shoei,” I called out as I tapped on his door with my nails in an offbeat rhythm.

“Come in,” he said, and I let myself in.

He was sitting in front of his laptop, tapping away as if he was writing a novel.

“How’s the memoir coming?” I joked.

“It’s almost done. Just adding the bits about my reactions to your scandals,” he replied without looking at me, but I could see the corners of his mouth turn up in a smile.

“What’s up with you today?” I asked as I flopped onto his bed.

“Nothing,” he sighed, and clicked the ‘Shut Down’ button on his computer screen.

“Then why do I see dark clouds looming above your head?” I asked.

“Odi?” he said and waved at the imaginary clouds above his head, making me giggle.

“They’re gone now,” I laughed, and he just smiled back.

“I’m fine. Just a little shaken, but I’m okay now.”

“Shaken by the news of your upcoming marriage?” I said.

“Do you have you put it that way?” he asked.

“How else shall I put it then?”

“Let’s just call it an engagement,” he said.

“A long one at that,” I smiled, and he thumped me with a pillow.

“You’re not getting cuter with age,” he said.

“It’s only been 3 years,” I said.

“And look at what it’s done to you,” he laughed, and this time, I thumped him with a pillow.

“So what’s annoying you?”

“I’m just feeling like a scapegoat. Someone they keep turning to when things don’t look too peachy for the band.”

“Look on the bright side. It just means that you’re dependable,” I pointed out.

“I am, huh?” he sighed.

“S-Cube is counting on your to revive our reputation,” I said. “You have to be strong,” I added, holding up my fist.

“This is only going to help or kill my reputation,” he said. “It may not affect the band’s.”

“Well… we’re releasing our 4th album soon. It will help with publicity. Don’t you think?”

“Maybe,” he said.

“I’m sure your wife… I mean… fiancée… is a nice girl. Be nice to her, eh?”

“I’ll try,” he said. “But I really have no recollections of her. Ex-SM trainee?”

“That’s what Skye said.”

“Let’s hope she’s not psychotic.”

“It’s gonna turn up on national TV,” I reminded him. “As long as you behave, I think everything would go well.”

“Hah… behave? The reason they have reality shows is to watch people misbehave.”

“Good point,” I laughed. “But try to hold back, will ya?”

“Araso,” he laughed.

[Su Bin’s POV]

“I need you to do this for me,” Darren oppa said to me as he clasped my hand in his.

“I can’t,” I said.

“Do you love me?” he asked me.

“I do. But what if I fail? It’ll just make me look bad,” I said.

“I’ll never get a chance like this ever again. You’re my only hope,” he pressed on.

“What if he doesn’t take the bait?” I asked.

“He’s a guy. He will,” he said.

I knew Darren oppa always wanted to succeed, but I didn’t know he had such a strong rivalry with S-Cube. What he was planning seemed beneath him.

“I still can’t get used to the idea,” I said.

“Just find every chance you have to make him look bad. Make him look like a jerk. You’ll push him to his limit someday.”

[Shoei’s POV]

It’s D-day…

I walked towards the park where I was supposed to meet Su Bin. The camera crews followed me. One right in front, filming my expression, and one behind me to make sure everyone can see what’s ahead of me.

“Are you nervous?” one of the staff asked; I suppose she doubles as an interviewer.

“A little,” I smiled at her, and the only reason was that I had no idea what this Su Bin looked like.

“Do you know who she is?” she asked me.

“I don’t know her well,” I replied. “So I’m waiting to be surprised.”

We turned the corner, and there she was sitting on a park bench. I walked up to her, and she stood up, smiling at me as I approached.

“Annyeonghaseyo,” she bowed.

“Annyeonghaseyo,” I bowed back.

Now I remember her. She was the girl who always tagged along with Hae Rin last time. She looked a little different now; a little more mature and sophisticated. When I last saw her, she still looked like a trainee. It could be because I usually saw her in t-shirts and jeans or sweatpants.

“Our place is just across the road. Shall we?” I asked her.

“Sure,” she smiled.

We took a short walk across the park, towards the entrance of our apartment building.

“Oppa… I’m so glad they picked you for me,” she said.

“Really?” I raised an eyebrow at her.

“Keuraeyo…” she said. “Shoei of S-Cube… you’re an idol,” she said and giggled demurely.

“Komawo,” I smiled at her, and we were silent for the next minute or 2 before we arrived at the elevator.

“Oppa…” she said. “Can you carry me up?”

“Huh?” I said, and looked at her puzzled. “Doesn’t the groom usually carry the bride into their new home?”

“Oh… keuge…” I said. “Let’s take the elevator up, and I’ll carry you into the apartment, okay? I don’t think I can carry anyone up 20 floors,” I smiled.

“Chintcha?” she exclaimed and clasped her hands together in glee.

“Ne…” I smiled.

The elevator arrived and we got into it. The cameras were off for a moment while we took the ride up to the 20th floor. We were all silent in the elevator, and we hardly looked at each other, but the moment we got out and the cameras were on again, she turned on her perky character like a switch.

“Let’s start from here, oppa,” she said as she bounced up and down on the spot just outside the elevator.

“Here?” I asked.

“Eum… yeogi,” she nodded.

Actually, I wasn’t looking forward to carrying anyone or anything. But for the sake my image and the show, I had to comply. I’m starting to feel that she wasn’t going to give me an easy ‘marriage’.

“Araso,” I said.

I bent down to scoop her up in one movement, taking her by surprise. She squealed, and I just smiled as I carried her and walked up the corridor to our apartment. She wasn’t heavy at all. In fact, she felt like nothing. Thank god…

“Open it,” I said, when we arrived at the door, indicating for her to open the cover of the number pad to key in the security code.

She reached out her hand and flipped it open.

“What’s the code?” she asked me, and for a moment, I turned to look at the crew around us.

“Don’t worry, that will be edited out of the clips,” one of the staff assured me.

I told Su Bin the code. She punched it in, and pushed open the door. As the door swung open, I decided to be unpredictable. I’d visited the apartment yesterday, and since I knew my way around, I carried her all the way to the bedroom and dump her on the bed unceremoniously.

“Oww…” she groaned and rubbed her butt.

“Wae?” I asked. “Is the bed too hard?” I laughed.

“Oppa… you’re so bad…” she whined.

“Come on,” I said, as I held out a hand to her. “Let’s take a look around and see if you like our place.”

She put her hand in mine and I pulled her up, off the bed. The cameras trailed after us as we walked around the place.

The management had been pretty generous when they rented this place. They obviously wanted to make the public think that I’m doing very well as a member of S-Cube.

“Wa… oppa… you must earn a lot if you can get us a place like this,” she exclaimed as we walked into the spacious living room.

“I do at least 1 event a week, so I’m pretty set,” I laughed.

“Wow… I’m doing 1 a week too, but I guess it’ll take me sometime before I can actually contribute,” she giggled.

“You’ll have to work harder. We need to save more so that we can feed the kids,” I said.

“Kids?” she exclaimed.

“Of course,” I winked. “What’s a marriage without children?”

“How many do you want?” she smiled and sat on the coffee colored leather couch in front of a 40 inch plasma television.

“I’m not too greedy,” I said. “A basketball team will do.”

“Omo! Oppa! That’s exactly what I was thinking about,” she squealed.

This was going to be a long day…

[Sierra’s POV]

It was finally here. The moment I had been so afraid of since I became a gasoo. Skye was sitting in the control room, watching me with the sound engineer. Today, I would record alone, and this was going to be my song and my song alone.

Shi Kyung hyung tossed me the lyrics and the demo CD last week.

“Learn this,” he said.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“It’s your solo,” he said.


“Wuaaa!” Skye immediately exclaimed excitedly. “You’re gonna do a solo?”

“But hyung,” I said. “Isn’t this album going to be all covers?” I asked as I scanned through the lyrics.

It wasn’t a song I knew, but I knew that it was written for me. The lyrics were foreign, but I recognized them to be the dreaded solo that the management had been waiting to spring on me.

“It’s going to be a bonus track, and you will follow up that bonus track with your own mini album early next year. This is just to get the fans excited,” he elaborated.

“Won’t they call me a sell out? Skye and Shoei don’t have solos,” I protested.

“Shoei and Skye have their own solo projects. Yours will be your mini album,” he said.

I couldn’t argue since it in the contract. I would do everything mapped out for me, like it or not. As much as I wanted to hate the song, it went well with the album. We were doing covers, and my song had a 80s Pop feel to it; a little Madonna and a little George Michael. In short, it was sexy and innovative, as much as it sounded old school, which made it true to S-Cube’s style.

“Ready?” the engineer asked, and I nodded.

The track started playing, and it reminded me a lot of Wham!’s ‘Everything She Wants’. I zoned myself into the sexiest mood I could think of, and channeled my best version of Madonna+Sierra I could think of.

Let me look in your eyes
Let me see through your mind~
Won’t you hold my hand
Make me feel alright~

It’s just not gonna work
If you’re not gonna tell me~
It’s just not gonna work
If you can’t be a man about it~

Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

Let me open your eyes
Let me open your mind~
I have your hand in mine
Don’t you feel alright~

This has got to work
And you’re so gonna tell me~
This is so gonna work
Baby now that you love me~

Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

Yeah… forevermore
As corny as it may sound
Yeah… there’ll be no other
As long as you’re around
Oh yeah… baby

Baby, baby, it’s the words that you say
They just kill me, kill me, kill me… oh yeah
Baby, baby, it’s that smile on your face
You drive me crazy…

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Wishing for Everything

and Blogging for Gold...

It's not exactly gold I was wishing for... I had a dream... 나는 꿈은 있어... and it's known as the Anycall Haptic. All TVXQ fans would know what a Haptic is. Oh... 너무 하고 싶어... Unfortunately, I do not live South Korea, so I had to scourge the entire local mobile phone market for something that was close enough, or better than the Haptic.

It kinda looks like the Samsung F480, but it's much more fun.

Lo and behold... it does exist... No... it's not the Haptic... 아니야... 아니야... 근대... 니가 암실망... I wasn't disappointed. I found the closest relative, and probably a superior to the Haptic. The Samsung Omnia!!!

Don't you just wanna kneel down and pick it up, and kiss it? ^_^

I used to have this fear of touchscreen gadgets, but I happened to touch this baby about a week ago, and I can assure you that you don't need to be all gentle with it. It will be able to withstand some of your more... aggressive caresses. Tee hee! The screen was such a fun and interesting interface compared to all the other phones I have ever encountered. I've already forsaken my favorite brand, which I shall not mention since it would be unfair to them, and have been fixated on the Omnia ever since I met it. It's a little pricey at the moment because of all the hype for it, so I'm biding my time, saving up, and waiting to see if it will go on offer ^_^

What's 'Omnia' anyway? The site said that it meant ‘everything’ in Latin and ‘wish’ in Arabic... indeed... 맞다... So what do I have to do to get it? Fawn, drool, kick and scream? No... I need to blog about what it means to own 'omnia' (everything).

I'm not about to get all technical and blog about all the specs of the phone or where to get it. These are not the highlights of my post, but in any case, I will try to slip them in whenever possible. What I would really like to talk about is how owning a piece of material possesion such as this would be able to make a difference in one's life...

I have just gone through 2 months of being jobless, loaning money from my parents, free meals from my aunt, not being able to shop on a whim and battling depression at the same time. I've just gotten a job now, gotten my own place, I'm back on track, and I so want the Omnia now to complete the picture for me. And I would be able to take that perfect picture with it's 5MP camera \(",)/ I want my perfect life back; the one where I had almost everything, and felt on top of the world. If anything was close to perfect, and could perfect my life now, it would be to own a piece of art like the Omnia.

I am sure some people find it ridiculous. It's just a phone... duh... to some people, a phone is the single most important object which provides them with a social life, without it, they won't be able to have a phonebook filled with the 500 numbers of people out of only which they call 20? The trend chasers, who change their phones as often as one shopped for a bag of rice. Those who value family and relationships, it is a means of staying connected with loved ones.

Some people treat the their mobile phones like any piece of gadget they own... it's just to serve its basic purpose... making a call. Many people want phones that entertain them wherever, whenever. And then, you have the category of those who view the phone as a piece of asset which defines their success and screams "I have arrived!" I believe I belong to this category... and those who belong in this category would treasure such a piece of technology more than anyone else.

Back to the Olympics theme... well... one thing's for sure... when you hold this in your hands, you will definitely feel like you're holding a bar of gold. No... not because of it's weight, since it's ridiculously light for a phone of it's caliber, but because it is the pure crème de la crème of technology. It has everything you would ask for in a phone; WiFi, 3G, 5MP camera, a touchscreen that touches you back ^_^ huge user memory, etc. and I think the winning point would be STYLE. Yes, girls... it is a fashion statement too!

I think that if I had the Omnia in my hand while I strut down any street... I would feel like I had the world at my feet, and everything in my hands. Then... like everything should be... with another wish fulfilled... my life would be close to complete.

Blog for an Omnia.

We interrupt this transmission...

Bzzzz.... bzzz....


First of all, I apologise for not posting a new chapter. Next... I am interrupting this fiction to post my first ever commercial blog. You may want to forgive the very 'Chariots of Fire' sounding tone for the opening... I'm a little swayed by the festivities of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and after all, the company whose product I am about to blog about is an Olympic sponsor. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Chapter 140: NO PAIN NO GAIN

“This is you?” I asked, trying not to stutter.

“Ne…” she said. “I didn’t think that you should know this early in the relationship, but since you insisted.”

I stared at the photo, and back at her. It was the same face, the same glint in her eyes, but the features… they weren’t as prominent as the ones that were right in front of me; double eyelids, a sharp nose, defined cheekbones, a smaller jaw line...

“Wae?” she asked. “Shilmang?”

“Ani,” I shook my head.

“It’s alright if you’re disappointed. I’m used to it,” she said.

“Why would I be disappointed?” I smiled. “I got the prettier girl,” I said, and she smiled.

Plastic surgery was common among celebrities in South Korea, and even among the girls within DSP. What I wasn’t prepared for was to be actually dating a girl who’d had her face done.

“I totally get why you’re shocked. But at least you’re taking it a little more positively. I’ve seen a lot of looks of curiosity, pity and I’ve even encountered disgust.”


“Yes… I think some people are turned off by the idea. But as you can see, I needed it. I would not be where I am today with that face.”

“Hmm…” was all I could muster.

“How very supportive of you,” she joked.

“Honestly, I don’t mind at all. But I think you should get a new license. The police are going to have a hard time believing this license if yours if you ever get pulled over,” I said as I handed the card back to her.

“Yea… it’s expiring soon. I’ll get a new one later,” she smiled, and put it back in her wallet.

“So… let’s get out of here,” I said.

“Can I drive now?” she asked.

“Sure,” I replied, and tossed her the keys, which she caught expertly.

[Su Bin’s POV]

It’s been a long time since we met, but he was here. We’d decided to meet up somewhere secluded, away from the prying eyes of my band mates. We were in this together, but it seems like they’re watching my back for all the wrong reasons. Puri especially; she’s always around to remind me that she was ready to out me if I ever screwed up. Sylvia would never commit to whether she actually liked me or hated me. She was always acting like the neutral person, when the only neutral person was Shin Hee because she was too innocent to care about the political stuff.

“You’re late,” Darren oppa said, as he stood up.

“Our schedule was delayed today,” I explained.

“Do you really wanna play that card with me?” he smiled and pulled me into his arms.

“Well… do we have any other better excuses?”

“Not that I know of,” he laughed and led me towards his car.

“Where are we going?” I asked him.

“We’re just gonna sit in my car,” he said. “Why?”

“Oppa… I think you’re aging,” I said.

“Why do you say that?”

“You’re getting less and less creative with each date.”

“So? You’re gonna dump me if you don’t get more?”

“Huh?” I was a little surprised with his reply.

“Huh?” he mimicked.

“Keugo aniya…” I said.

“Good,” he said. “Cos sometimes, it’s just tiring to have to entertain people all day long.”

“You know I’m not asking for that,” I said.

“Sounded like it.”

“Well, it’s not,” I said.

“Araso…” he said as we got into his car and he started the engine.

He turned on some music and took out 2 bottles of drinks.

“Which one do you want?” he said, holding up both bottles to me.

“Igot,” I said, and took one out of his hand.

“So what is it you wanted to tell me,” he asked as he unscrewed his bottle.

“I got a job,” I said.

“Don’t you already have one?”

“I mean a spot on TV,” I said.

“I see,” he said. “What show?”

“That’s the thing I wanted you to know.”


“We Got Married,” I said.

“Mwo?” he said, a little surprised.

“They managed to get me a spot on We Got Married.”

“For once, they’re really doing their jobs well; a newcomer on a hit reality show.”

“That was what I was thinking. How many newcomers get a chance like this? But you know I’m not that ambitious. I just want to be able to do what I like.”

“And getting to do what you like means having to remain popular,” he said. “So who are they pairing you with?”

“This is the other shocker,” I said.

“Okay… I can sense the dread in your voice. Just spit it out,” he said.

“Shoei… of S-Cube.”

[Shoei’s POV]

“Mwo?” I exclaimed.

Nuna and Skye were bug-eyed, while Shi Kyung hyung just sat there as if this were a teeny-tiny issue.

“You start filming next week. This will be good publicity for your upcoming album. Try to get it featured a little on the show.”

“Why me?” I asked.

“Sierra’s taken, and the show’s PDs would be placing their own necks on the chopping block if they pair her with anyone but Jae Joong. No one wants to know about their love life anyway since it’s old news.”

“Gee… thanks hyung,” nuna smirked.

“Skye here… he’s an open book.”

“Oh… sure he is…” I said sarcastically.

“To the media, there is nothing they have not seen from Skye. You have always been a mystery, and they’d like to see how you really are in a relationship.”

“You mean how I would be, ideally, in a relationship,” I pointed out.

“Oh well… you know. TV…” he shrugged.

“Who’s my partner?”

“Su Bin, from Eoduun Cheonsa,” he said.

“Oh… great. I’ve never even met her yet.”

“She was Hae Rin’s roommate,” Skye said. “She was a SM trainee.”

“That’s helpful info,” I said.

“Aww… come on,” nuna said. “It can’t be that bad.”

“Would you like it if I paired you with Darren?” I asked her.

“Hey… that’s a low blow. At least your relationship with Su Bin is neutral,” she said.

“Oh phooey…” I grunted.

“The company is renting you newlyweds an apartment, since the main reason for your participation is for S-Cube’s publicity as well,” hyung added.

“You’re too kind,” I said and put on the most fake smile I could muster just to illustrate my point.

“Can I be a guest?” Skye asked. “Invite me for your housewarming party.”

“Well, don’t invite me,” nuna said. “I don’t wanna have to buy you a present.”

“Oh… the only way I’m going to do this is if I can drag the both of you with me every step of the way.”

“People would kill for a part on this show,” Skye said.

“Sure… imagine how Hae Rin would kill you if you got paired with someone other than her.”

“Well, we’d just have to reveal our relationship then,” Skye said.

“You idiot. You’ll do the show and keep your relationship under wraps,” hyung said and smacked Skye on the back of his head.

“Oww… I’m not going on the show, am I?” Skye said.

“If you were,” hyung stressed.

“Fine…” Skye grumbled, crossing his arms indignantly.

“This is not going to be a happy time in my career,” I sighed.

“Hey… you might actually meet your true love,” nuna said.

“Oh sure… someone I hardly know… she could be my true love. Okay…” I said.

“At least they didn’t pair you with some psycho girl,” Skye said.

“Like your Yuk Hee?” I asked.

“Hey…” Skye said, pointing a warning finger at me.


“Hey…” he repeated.

“You’re starting to sound demented, cut it out,” I said.

“I think it’s more like those seagulls in Finding Nemo,” nuna laughed.

“Hey…” Skye said and wiggled his eyebrows this time.

“Keumanhae…” I said, and tossed a pillow at Skye.

“Hey, hey, hey…” he continued, and bounded out of the room.

“You need to make sure he takes his meds,” I said to nuna.

“I’m on it,” she smiled, and went after Skye.

“I don’t want any mess-ups from you, Shoei,” hyung said to me. “Those two already have me on the line. Sierra’s put me on the line a few times now, and that monkey is just an explosion waiting to happen.”


“It’s not that I am against you kids having a life,” he continued. “I just want us all to be able to keep our jobs at the end of the day.”

“I understand,” I replied.

“You’re the one who has given me the least problems so far. I’d appreciate it if you kept it that way,” he said.

“I will,” I said.

“Good,” he said. “Let’s go.”

I meant every word I said to hyung. I’d almost forgotten my role here; to keep the band together. Nuna had already been sucked into it long ago. Skye is just being Skye, like he had been since we started training together. I had to exercise a little control and sacrifice on my part if we were going to keep moving down this road.

Sure… nuna and Jae Joong hyung had hit smooth road for now, but who knows when there will be trouble in paradise again, since it was as if nuna’s fate courted trouble periodically. As for Skye, hyung was also right. He was a bomb waiting to explode. His secret with Hae Rin will not be a secret for long; unless I’ve underestimated both their abilities to control themselves.

I walked out of the room and joined the rest of them.

“What’s for dinner?” nuna asked.

“Not jjajjangmyun,” hyung said.

“Ramyun?” Skye said.

“No, no, no…” nuna shook her head.

“Let’s have a proper meal,” hyung said.

“Your treat?” Skye asked, gleefully.

“Fine…” hyung grunted.

“Wooo!!!” Skye cheered. “Kalbi… kalbi… samgyupsal…” he chanted as we walked to the car.

“Only if you’ll shut up,” hyung added, and Skye immediately mimed zipping up his lips.

[Nakata’s POV]

She brought me to restaurant her friend owned. Apparently, they had a native Italian chef and served authentic Italian cuisine.

“You sure know how to pick the expensive places,” I said.

“I’m kind enough to pick my friend’s restaurant,” she said.

“So you can earn a profit off what I pay tonight? Does he give out commissions to friends who bring their boyfriends here to get conned?”

“Don’t be silly,” she laughed. “At best, I get a free meal the next time I come.”

“Ah… keurae… that’s alright then,” I smiled.

“Yuk Hee!” her friend, greeted her with a big hug and kissed her cheeks.

“Tae Ik oppa,” she said, sweetly.

“This is?” he asked, not taking his arm off her shoulders as he turned to me, as if they were a couple receiving me.

“Nakata,” she said. “Shouldn’t you know him?”

“Ah yes… Helix, right?” he smiled, as if expecting a cookie for guessing it right.

“Ne,” I smiled as graciously as I could.

“This way please,” he said, finally taking his hands off her and leading us in.

“You two seem close,” I whispered in her ear as I put a possessive arm around her waist.

“Oh… we go way back,” she smiled, and it was then I realized, she had brought me here on purpose.

“I see…” I replied. “I hope I’m not in the way of your reconciliation.”

“Don’t be silly,” she laughed. “Tae Ik oppa is married.”

I kept smiling as we sat down, and I hoped that she barely noticed when I breathed a sigh of relief.