Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Chapter 135: My Child

{Girls on Top: Episode 5, Scene 5}

Maya was leaning over Ho Young at his cubicle, looking at some graphics he’d done.

“Eottae?” Ho Young asked.

“This bit. It just doesn’t go with the whole aesthetic,” Maya said as she pointed at the screen.

“What do you mean it doesn’t go?” Ho Young exclaimed.

“It just doesn’t go. Where are your fundamentals?” Maya said.

“I left them at home, honey,” he joked.

“Don’t honey me at work,” Maya hissed at Ho Young.

“Yobo…” he whispered, to rile her.

“Yah!” she hissed again and smacked him on the back.

Ho Young started coughing and Maya tried to stifle a giggle.

“Michoso?” Ho Young coughed, his face turning red.

“Have the revised graphics on my table before you go home,” Maya said in an authoritative tone, and she walked off.

“Maya!” a voice yelled across the room.

The entire office looked up, as did Maya and Ho Young. A tall man with long braids and sunglasses was waving a bouquet of flowers.

“Maya! Nae cheonsa!” the guy said, and everyone was sniggering.

“Si Won!” Maya exclaimed.

“Come here, and give me a hug!” Si Won said as he stretched out his arms.

Ho Young watched in horror as Maya smiled and walked into his arms.

“I thought you wouldn’t be here for another week?” she said to him.

“Well, you’re surprised, aren’t you?” he said.

“As always,” she smiled, and they walked off side by side, conversing like long lost lovers as Ho Young stared at their backs.

{End of scene}

I walked out of the studios and found Yun Ho waiting for me at the entrance.

“Sorry. How long have you waited for me?” I asked him.

“Kwaench’ana. Just a few minutes,” he said. “Shall we go?”

“Ne,” I said as I got into the passenger side of his Mini.

We were going for a radio interview, and after that, he was going to accompany me to see a doctor.

“Are you nervous?” he asked me.

“About the interview?” I asked in return.

“You know I wasn’t asking about the interview,” he said.

“Of course I’m nervous about seeing the doctor,” I said.

“I just can’t understand how Jae Joong got himself into this mess,” he said.

“If you look at the full picture, I got myself into this mess too. Don’t blame Jae Joong alone.”

“He should know better,” Yun Ho said.

“I’m older, I should know better.”

“He’s been in this business longer. He should know damn well what’s at stake. I don’t know what has gotten over him these days. All he thinks of is getting married and having babies with you. It’s like he has forgotten his obligations to the band.”

“He hasn’t. He just doesn’t think it will affect you guys since the band is stable now.”

“No one is ever stable. Little things can turn the tables on us.”

“It may hurt you a little. But I doubt it would hurt TVXQ as much as it will hurt S-Cube,” I pointed out.

“Maja! He wasn’t thinking about your career.”

I sighed, and suddenly, I felt bad for Jae Joong. It’s my fault as much as it’s his, and yet Yun Ho only blamed him. When I was on the phone yesterday, I was inadvertently blaming him too. He must be feeling bad now, as much as he still insisted he was happy with the situation.

“Let’s not talk about this anymore,” I said. “It’s gonna show on my face when we get to the interview if we keep talking all the way there.”

“Araso…” Yun Ho sighed. “I forgot that you weren’t very good at hiding your emotions,” he said affectionately.

“My one and only weakness,” I smiled.

“Of course… other than your weakness for me,” he joked.

“Dream on, U-Know Yun Ho,” I laughed.

The interview was quick and painless, when I’d expected a long grueling session with the DJ. Yun Ho and I were soon on our way to the doctor.

“So how late are you?” the doctor asked.

“About 2 months,” I said.

“Have you ever been this late before?” he asked.

“Not that I remember,” I said.

“Is this gentleman the baby’s father?” he said as he indicated to Yun Ho.

“The baby’s father can’t come personally. I’m just a friend,” Yun Ho said. “Is this information relevant?”

“No,” the doctor said, and went back to questioning me regarding my symptoms.

“Can I know today?” I asked the doctor.

“I can do an ultrasound for you now,” he said. “But it won’t be as accurate as a urine test since the fetus would be too small at this point.”

“Can I just get the ultrasound done now and the urine test as well?” I asked.

“Sure,” the doctor said.

I was shown into a room with a bed and machines surrounding it. On top of one of the machines, which I presumed was the ultrasound machine, was a monitor.

“Lie down, please,” the nurse said. “The doctor will be with you shortly.”

When the doctor came in, the nurse pulled up my shirt to reveal my abdomen, then lowered my pants until it went a little past my hips. The doctor squirted some gel on my abdomen and I flinched at the coldness of it. Then he squirted some of the gel on the instrument in his hand. The instrument reminded me of the end of a dumbbell. After that, he pressed the instrument onto my stomach and started moving it around slowly.

Images started to form on the screen. The doctor squinted and asked the nurse to put more gel on my abdomen.

“Can you see it?” I asked the doctor.

“Unfortunately, we’ll need to do this again in awhile,” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Your bladder is half full, and it’s interfering with the view of the womb,” he said as he put down the instrument, and the nurse started wiping the gel off my abdomen.

“So what do I do?” I asked him.

“Drink lots of water, and I’ll have you in here in another half an hour when your bladder is full,” he said.

I walked out of the room, and Yun Ho rushed towards me.

“So? Is there a baby?” he asked anxiously.

“No,” I said, as I shook my head. Then I laughed.

“What? Why are you laughing?”

“Apparently my bladder is half-full, and it’s interfering with the view of the womb,” I laughed, and Yun Ho’s face was covered with question marks.

“Huh?” was all he could muster.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing,” I giggled.

“Same here,” he said, and he smiled. “Well… so I guess you need to fill your bladder?”

“Right,” I said.

“Then let’s go grab a drink.”

“I need to be back here in half an hour,” I said.

“The café is just across the road. You won’t be late,” he said.


We ran across the road from the clinic, to a little café. Yun Ho ordered a coffee, and I ordered iced tea.

“So what was it like?” he asked me. “Why wasn’t I allowed in there?”

“Cos I had to pull up my shirt, and it’s inappropriate,” I said.

“It’s not like I’ve never seen you naked,” he winked.

“P’yeont’ae,” I said. “That’s not funny.”

“Araso… araso…” he laughed, taking note of my annoyed expression.

“I wonder how Jae Joong is holding up now,” I said.

“Why don’t you call him?” he suggested.

“I can’t,” I said. “Not until I know the results.”

“Then just relax. Everything will be fine. If there is a baby, Jae Joong will take responsibility,” he assured me.

“I know,” I sighed. “That’s why I feel bad.”

“Of course it will hurt our careers in some ways. Jae Joong will lose some fans, you will lose some fans, but at least you two have a reason to be together now. No one will be able to stop you two.”

“I just feel like I’ll always complicate his life. And I’ve always felt that I wasn’t worthy enough for him.”

“Did you ever feel the same way with me?” he asked me.

“Not as much,” I smiled weakly.


“You can’t cook as well as Jae Joong. You need me to do your laundry. You’re a typical macho guy. Jae Joong’s a sensitive guy.”

“Don’t you wish you could have the two of us then?” he laughed.

“God, no! Then I would feel twice as guilty.”

“You’re hard to please, you know?” he said.

“And you’ve only realized that now?” I joked.

“No,” he admitted, and we both laughed.

Half an hour later, I was back on the bed in the ultrasound room. The doctor repeated all the procedure he did before, and this time, he seemed to have a clearer view of my womb, but of course, I didn’t know what I was looking at.

“Hmm…” he said.

“Is there a baby?” I asked him.

“It seems to be all clear,” he said.

“So there isn’t a baby?” I asked.

“Well, I can’t say I’m 100% sure. But it looks clear for now,” he said. “I would still propose that you leave a urine sample to be tested.”

“Alright,” I said.

“The nurse will tell you what to do,” he said as he got up from the chair.

“When will I be able to see the report?” I asked him.

“You can get it by tomorrow,” he said.

“Komapseumnida,” I said, and the doctor just nodded as he left the room.

Before I left the room, the nurse gave me a container with a screwed on cap. On the side of the container was a label with my name on it.

“The bathroom is down the corridor, on your left,” she said. “Just place the container on the counter at the entrance when you’re done.”

When I was done, I put the container on the counter as the nurse had requested, paid the fees, and left with Yun Ho.

“So when will you know?” he asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said.

“That’s fast,” he said.

“Yea, and thank god I had that glass of tea earlier,” I remarked.


“Otherwise I wouldn’t have that much pee to make enough of a sample to be tested. Do you know how full that container was when I was done?” I said.

“Whoa… I don’t need to know that,” he laughed, “too much info.”

“Who’s acting coy now?” I said, and poked him in the ribs.

“Excuse me…” he said. “Who wants to hear about peeing?”

“Well… you’re here to support me, so you’re supposed to listen to everything I say.”

“I’m only here to provide mental support. Spare me the gory details,” he joked, and I smacked him on the arm.

“Some friend you are,” I grumbled.

“Aigoo…” he laughed. “You can’t take a joke?” he said, and he put an arm around me as we walked to his car.

The next day, we had another interview to attend; a talk show, to be exact. After that, I was due at the doctor’s office to collect my report. Yun Ho was leaving straight after the interview, so he wouldn’t be able to accompany to the clinic this time.

“Call us once you get the report,” he said.

We were at the entrance of the studios after the talk show. He’d brought his bags with him, and a car was sent to pick him up and send him to the airport.

“I will,” I said. “Pray for me.”

“Of course I will,” he smiled, and he reached out to touch my arm lightly. “Take care,” he said.

“Mmm…” I said.

I watched as he got into the car and drove off, then I waited for Skye to come pick me up. He still doesn’t know where I needed him to take me, but I guess I would have to tell him on the way there. I’ve never been more nervous in my life.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Chapter 134: 왜 내가 (Why Me?)

Yun Ho’s flying back from Japan today. We’re both appearing on a talk show to promote ‘Ice Box’. Because ‘Ice Box’ did so well as a MV, they decided that they will make it into a movie soon. Whether or not Yun Ho and I will star in it, it hasn’t been decided yet, but since our song inspired the idea and will be featured as the theme song, we were asked to give the upcoming idea some publicity.

He appeared at our doorstep just after we’d finished our dinner.

“Hyung! Waseo!” Skye said as he opened the door.

“Hello…” Yun Ho grinned at us.

“You missed us, didn’t you?” Skye teased him.

“I miss Seoul,” he replied.

Yun Ho had come to spend 2 nights with us before he flew back because he didn’t want to go back to his empty apartment. He could’ve gone to Hee Chul’s place, but since he and I had the same schedule, we decided that he should just bunk with Skye for the next 2 nights.

“Yo…” he said as he walked past and ruffled my hair.

“Ya…” I grumbled.

“Where do I dump these bags?” he asked no one in particular.

“In my room,” Skye said and did the task for him.

“Can I borrow your laptop, Sierra?” he asked me.

“Sure,” I said. “You need help?”

“No,” he said. “Just unlock it for me.”

We both went to my room and I turned on my laptop for him. When the login screen popped up, I typed in my password then lay back on my bed and watched as he waited for the screen to load.

“So… have you been busy?” he asked me.

“Not too bad,” I said as I yawned.

“Jae Joong asked me send his love,” he said as he continued clicking away.

“That’s all?” I asked.

“Well, he wanted me to give you a kiss for him, but I don’t think you’d want that,” he laughed.

“If I’m desperate enough, I’ll take you on,” I smiled, my eyes closed and my arm lay across my face to shield the light.

“Give me a hint before you pounce,” he said.

I fell asleep soon after, and when I woke up, Yun Ho was lying beside me, on the covers, fully dressed. I propped myself up on one elbow and gazed at him as he slept; his chest rising and falling slowly as he breathed. I’ve never stopped wondering what if it had been him, if we’d never broken up. Now, I wonder what if the baby inside now belonged to him instead of Jae Joong. Should I tell Jae Joong?

Suddenly, his eyes popped open, and for a moment, we stared at each other.

“Mwoya?” he asked me, still able to sense my worries after all these years.

“Nothing…” I sighed and lay back down, looking up at the wall.

“You know it’s gonna make you feel worse if you keep it bottled up inside,” he said.

“It’s not something you should know,” I said.

“Try me,” he said.

I knew he was tempting me to open up. He knew I would open up to him easily, but this time, I wasn’t going to. Too much is at stake.

“Don’t mess with my head,” I said. “You just enjoy picking me apart, don’t you?”

“What?” he said innocently.

“I’ll tell you when the time comes,” I said. “Until then… don’t bug me.”

“Araso… araso…” he said as he threw a leg over me and pretended to sleep.

“Yah!!!” I squealed and tried to push him off, but he wouldn’t budge.

“Nuna,” Skye yelled from the corridor, and Yun Ho quickly pulled his leg off me.

“Ye…” I said as I got up to open the door.

“Do you want some ice cream? I’m going out to get some,” he said.

“Sure,” I replied. “Want some ice cream?” I asked Yun Ho.

“Okay,” he replied.

“Make that 2,” I told Skye.

“Araso,” he said and walked off whilst singing MC Mong’s ‘Ice Cream’.

“Shouldn’t you shower?” I said as I turned to Yun Ho and gestured to the open door.

“I guess,” he said as he stretched lazily and rolled off my bed.

I closed the door as soon as he walked out, and picked up the phone to call Jae Joong.

“I received your kiss,” I said as soon as he answered.

“Wha-what?” he exclaimed.

“Didn’t you ask Yun Ho to give me a kiss from you?” I continued in a serious tone.

“I… I did… but…”

“It was great,” I said, then I burst into giggles, unable to control myself any longer.

“Yah!” he yelled. “You think this is funny?”

“Yah!” I yelled back, trying to suppress my giggles, “Didn’t you say that to Yun Ho?”

“I did… but obviously it was a joke!”

“And here I was hoping for some love…” I laughed.

“Not funny,” he grumbled.

“Araso… araso…” I said. “It was a joke. I don’t intend to get that kiss from him. We’ll just have to wait for you to get back.”

“You’d better be sure of that,” he said.


“So what have you been doing today?” he asked me.

“Nothing out of the ordinary; filming, recording, dancing…”

“You sound different,” he said.

“Do I?”

“Did something go wrong on the shoot?”

“Nope,” I said.

“You sound like you’re hiding something,” he said.

“What would I be hiding?” I asked him.

“I dunno. Have you been eating on time? Are you having gastric pains again?”

“Not that I know of,” I said.

In actual fact, my appetite had grown twofold. I seemed to be looking for a snack constantly and I’ve been in the gym more often than usual because I knew that all that snacking was going to my hips. But it seemed to have become a chain reaction. I exercise because I overeat, and somehow all that exercise would make me hungry again, and I’d be eating soon after my workout. I wonder how long I can keep this up before my weight starts ballooning.

“What about your heels, your knees? Have you been warming up properly before rehearsals?”

“Yes, I have. Have you?”

“I’ve always done everything by the book,” he said. “You, on the other hand, have always been overly eager to start, and you tend to forget your warm-up exercises.”

“I’m not a kid anymore. I know what I need to do. You think I’d wanna rip my knee off?”

“Okay… okay… don’t get worked up.”

We stayed silent for awhile, then I decided I had to tell him.

“I’m late, Jae Joong,” I told him.

“For what? You still have a shoot at this hour?”

“Aniyo… my period is late,” I said.

“Oh… that,” he said, and there was that silence again. “How long?”

“2 months,” I said.

“Are you certain it’s not the stress?” he asked.

“This is the latest it has ever been.”

“Have you seen a doctor?”

“No… I don’t want the whole world to know.”

“The company doctor would be discreet,” he said.

“To the public; yes. To the management; no.”

“Keuraeso…” he sighed. “You still need to see a doctor. You can’t wait till the bulge is showing.”

“I’m just so afraid,” I said. “How are we going to have this baby? You need to work, I need to work. We can’t afford to have this baby now.”

“What choice do we have?” he asked me. “We didn’t choose for this to happen, but it has. Don’t tell me that you’ve considered aborting the baby?”

“Of course not!” I exclaimed.

“Neither would I,” he said. “In fact, I’m so happy now!” he said, and he actually laughed.

“You’re crazy. Why would you be happy?”

“I’m gonna be a father,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be a father. And now I’ve got you good,” he laughed.

“Michoso…” I said. “This is the worse time possible for you to be a father.”

“I know we’re going to face a lot of problems because of this baby, but if it’s in the fates, we’ll just have to take it and run with it.”

“Jae Joong,” I said, and I was now crying. “I don’t want our futures ruined. This baby means that I’ll have to take a long break, and when this gets out, our popularities will be affected.”

“Sierra…” he coaxed. “Uljima. It’s not as bad as it seems.”

“It isn’t?” I sniffed. “Just you wait. It’s going to be the end of me.”

“You’re having a child. You’re not dying.”

“They’re probably going to fire me and ship me back to Malaysia. Then I won’t be able to sing anymore, and I won’t be able to see you anymore.”

“No they’re not,” he said. “You’re having a child. Not publicly worshipping the devil.”

“The only reason we’re marketable is because we’re young and have no attachments. We’re even considered innocent, the way they market us. I don’t want my career to end because of a stupid mistake you and I made.”

“Is your career all you think about?” he asked me.

“It’s all I have now,” I said.

“What about me?” he said.

“You’re a part of my life too. But I thought we had the same goals.”

“I thought so too, but now I think we don’t.”

“What are you saying?”

“I want a career, a family… you only want one of the two.”

“I never said I didn’t want a family.”

“It’s all I keep asking of you. Let’s get married, let’s make a family together, but all you have on your mind is singing, dancing, acting.”

“These are my plans for now. They will change later in my life.”

“Later? 5 years later? 10 years later?”

“Why are we having this conversation now?” I asked him. “We need to figure out what to do about this baby.”

“What else? Just go see the doctor,” he said.

“But I’m afraid,” I said, and started to sob again.

“Sierra…” he said, this time in a gentle tone. “I wish I could fly back and accompany you to the doctor, but I can’t. You need to see a doctor to be sure.”

“Shiro…” I cried.


“I need you, Jae Joong. I need you.”

“But I can’t be there. Shall I get Yun Ho to accompany you?” he asked.

“I don’t think we should burden him with the knowledge.”

“He’s my brother. He can handle it,” he said. “Why don’t you get him to answer the phone now?”

“Now?” I asked, as I sniffed and wiped the tears with the back of my palm.

“Get Yun Ho,” he said.

I stood up and opened the door; Yun Ho was just walking out of the bathroom.

“Yun Ho,” I called out, and he turned around. “Nawa…” I said as I beckoned for him to come into my room.

“Waegeurae?” he said, concerned, when he saw my teary eyes.

“Jae Joong wants to speak to you,” I said, and I handed him my phone.

It only took a few seconds, and Yun Ho just nodded at whatever Jae Joong told him.

“Ara…” Yun Ho said. “I know what to do,” he added. “I’ll update you tomnorrow,” he said, and he handed the phone back to me.

“Sierra?” Jae Joong said. “Yun Ho’s going to take you to the doctor tomorrow. Just relax, and wait for the report, araso?”

“Araso,” I sniffed.

“I love you,” he said, in English. “Whatever happens, I’m with you. Don’t forget that.”

“I won’t,” I said.

“How did this happen?” Yun Ho asked me, as soon as we’d hung up.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t be in this state now,” I said.

“No wonder you’ve been acting weird today. This was that secret you wouldn’t tell me earlier?” he asked me, and I nodded. “Pabo…” he said, and he pulled me to him for a hug, prompting me to cry again.

“I’m so afraid…” I cried.

“Shh… it’s going to be fine,” he said. “We’ll take care of you. Everything will be fine.”

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Chapter 133: Midnight Fantasy

Kim Jae Wook… Kim Jae Wook… the whole set was murmuring his name, whispering the latest gossips about his love life and work.

“If I hear that dude’s name one more time, I’m gonna flip,” Darren grumbled to me.

“You’re just jealous that all eyes have turned to Jae Wook,” I laughed.

“Oh… are we on first name basis already?” he sneered. “You haven’t even met the fella. I heard he’s a prick.”

“You’re the prick, Darren,” I said, and walked away before he could muster a reply.

Kim Jae Wook arrived on time, which was a commendable thing since it showed he wasn’t a diva. He didn’t bring an entourage, just himself and 1 PA. He was introduced to the director and the key members of the crew, and then he was introduced to us, his co-stars.

“This is Sierra,” the producer said to Jae Wook as he gestured toward me.

“Choeum poebkeseumnida,” I smiled.

“Choeum poebkeseumnida,” he replied. “So you’re my leading lady.”

“Mine too,” Darren piped in. “Darren-imnida,” he said as he shook Jae Wook’s hand.

“Right… this is going to be an intense competition,” he joked.

It wasn’t that Darren couldn’t hold a candle to Jae Wook. Both were around 184cm tall. I looked like a dwarf next to the both of them. Darren’s hair was shorter and Jae Wook’s hair was his usual longish, black mop, secured on his head with a beanie. Jae Wook just had more feminine features, which made the fight boil down to whether the fans wanted the masculine guy, or the sensitive guy. Jae Wook was clearly going to be the sensitive guy, and Darren would be the macho one.

We settled down at the small table and the producers explained Jae Wook’s role in the drama to us. A few hours later, after ironing out all the kinks, Jae Wook had to leave, and we had to get back to work.

“I really look forward to working with you, Sierra-sshi,” Jae Wook said to me as he was leaving.

“You’re too nice, Jae Wook-sshi,” I replied. “This is my first attempt at real acting. I should be the one who’s looking forward to working with you.”

“Well, it’s precisely because it’s your first attempt, so I’m curious to know what you can do,” he smiled.

“I don’t know much. So I hope you’ll be able to guide me,” I said.

“I’ll help as much as I can,” he said. “See you around.”

“Bye,” I said.

{Girls on Top: Episode 2, Scene 5}

Ho Young rushes through the fire exit door and slams it hard. He kicked the stair railing, then winced in pain.

“Michoso… michoso…” he said as he slapped his palm on his forehead.

“What was that?” Maya yelled and she came rushing through the door after him.

“Mwo?” he yelled at her.

“You’re really starting to piss me off, Jang Ho Young!” she said, seething with anger.

“You deserved it,” he said.

“I’ve done nothing to you,” she said. “Why did you have to call my bluff and make a fool of the both of us during that meeting?”

“Damn you!” he shouted, then grabbed Maya and kissed her.

Maya tried to push away for a moment, but when she realized he wasn’t being rough, and it was actually a gentle and sensual kiss, she gave up and kissed him back.

Awhile later, the two of them sat on the stair, sharing a cigarette.

“So?” Ho Young said, out of the blue.

“So what?” she said as she exhaled a mouthful of smoke.

“Where do we stand now?” he asked.

“We’re sitting,” she said, pretending to misunderstand him.

“So we’re not getting back together?” he said, as he took the cigarette out of her hand and puffed on it.

“Were we ever together?” she said as she raised an eyebrow at him.

“If we weren’t, then shall we get together?” he asked her. “I feel something for you, and I know it didn’t end when we left Singapore. I’m guessing that you feel the same too.”

“Do you think that this situation is going to be convenient for us?” she asked him.

“We don’t need to tell the world,” he said.

“It’s going to be awkward,” she said.

“I can control my hormones, if that’s what you’re getting at. Can you?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked him.

“You know you women…” he said.

“Excuse me… you’re the one who’s asking for reconciliation now, not me!”

“Oh… so you’re admitting that we were together now?” he teased and she punched him on the arm. “Come on…” he coaxed as he put an arm around her.

“I’ll think about it,” she said as she stubbed the cigarette on the stair railing.

“Okay,” he said and he planted another kiss on her lips. “Sleep on this,” he smiled, and she made a face at him.

That night, when Maya got home, she found a postcard in her mailbox.

Hey babe…

Guess who’s back? I’m flying back to Seoul in about 2 weeks. I hope that we can hook-up then. New York’s a drag without you.

Si Won

She turned it around and realized that the postcard what a picture of him, cam-whoring in front of Times Square, then she smiled.

{End of scene}

[Yuk Hee’s POV]

I got home alone to my empty apartment. I threw open the door after unlocking it, turned on the lights and kicked off my shoes, and my phone rang.

“Yoboseyo,” I answered, without checking who the caller was.

“Yuk Hee-sshi?” a male voice said.

“Ne, nuguseyo?” I said as I flopped onto my couch.

“It’s Nakata.”

“Nakata?” I repeated after him, trying to recall the name.

“Of Helix…” he added.

“Oh…” I giggled at my momentary loss of memory.

“How many Nakatas do you know?” he asked me.

“Not many,” I teased, “just one.”

“But you couldn’t remember the only one you knew.”

“I’m just a little beat up today,” I said. “So what’s up?”

“Was wondering if you wanted to go for a drink,” he said.

“But I just got home. You should’ve called earlier,” I said.

“I can always come over to your place. I have some wine stashed away,” he laughed.

“If you want to,” I said carelessly.

I had nothing planned on my schedule tomorrow morning, and I didn’t mind some company; even if I hardly knew him.

“Great. I’ll need your address,” he said, and I gave it to him.

Half an hour later, my door bell rang, and I opened the door to find Nakata waiting, with a bottle of wine, as promised.

“Come in,” I said, as I walked in, leaving the door open. “I’ll just be a minute.”

I was still wearing a robe since I’d just gotten out of the shower. I went to my room to put on a tank top and a pair of cropped sweatpants, grabbed a comb and pulled it through my wet hair, and I walked back out into the living room.

“Nice place,” he said.

He’d found the wine glasses and was pouring out the red wine. I joined him on the couch and picked up the glass of wine he’d already filled.

“Konbae,” he said, as he raised his glass at me.

“Konbae,” I said, and I clinked my glass with his.

“So…” I said as I put down the glass, “why are you so lonesome tonight?”

I eased across the couch until my back was against the other end. I put my feet on the couch and brought my knees close to my chest.

“Darren’s filming, and Min Jong went out with some friends. I was left home alone,” he said as he took another sip.

“And your first instinct was to call me?” I asked him.

When he’d asked for me number after the filming of the MV, I thought that he was just asking to add another number to his already lengthy list of acquaintances in his phonebook. I never expected him to call me.

“Well… I need to meet some new people sometime, and you happened to be the freshest around lately,” he smiled.

“Thank you,” I laughed. “So is this how you get the ladies?” I asked him. “Some wine, some conversation…”

“Usually there’s music,” he joked. “But I didn’t know how to work your stereo system.”

“Yea… it’s man-proof, so that guys like you can’t use it to work your charms on me,” I said, as I picked up the remote and turned on some music. It just so happened that I’d been listening to S-Cube; not because I liked the band, but because I wanted to hear Skye’s voice sing to me.

“So you like S-Cube?” he asked.

“A little,” I confessed.

“No wonder you didn’t pay us any attention the other day,” he said. “So who’s your favorite?”

“I don’t have one,” I lied. “I just listen to their music in general.”

“Okay… I’ll give you a copy of our CD someday. I have an obligation to convert you,” he said.

“If you can…” I smiled coyly. “You can always try.”

“Oh, right… you’re on that drama with Darren and Sierra, aren’t you?”

“I am.”

“So what’s it like to work with Sierra?”

“Don’t tell me you’re into her too?” I asked him after swallowing a mouthful of wine.

“I’m merely intrigued, since I don’t know her well.”

“What’s there to know?” I said.

“She’s foreign, she’s pretty, she’s talented, and now she’s famous… there’s a lot people would want to know about her,” he said.

“She’s just a girl…” I said.

“She intrigues people. And I find her relationship with Kim Jae Joong too picture perfect. It just feels like a disaster waiting to happen.”

“Haven’t they been dating for a long time?”

“They have. But the controversy that came with the whole relationship.”

“What celebrity doesn’t have a controversial relationship at one point of his or her career?”

“She dated Jung Yun Ho first,” he said, and I was a little surprised.

“What?” I said.

“You didn’t know that, did you? You were too far away to catch on to the celebrity gossips here.”

“She always looked like a goody-two-shoes to me,” I said.

“No doubt she was just a victim, assaulted by the two TVXQ members’ affections, but TVXQ’s fans didn’t think so,” he explained. “They’ve always seen her as the one who would break the band apart.”

“Doesn’t seem like anything’s going to happen soon. She’s filming her drama, and TVXQ are in Japan.”

“The perfect time for people to accuse her of infidelity,” he laughed.

“You sound like you analyze everything she does. Are you one of her fan boys?” I said.

Frankly, I was pretty tired of hearing about Sierra. Skye talked about her incessantly, whenever we met in Taipei, other than talking about his precious Hae Rin.

“Sounds like you’re a little jealous of her. Mian… I won’t pay any attention to her,” he smiled.

“It doesn’t matter to me who you give your attention to,” I said.

“But it matters to me when you’re upset,” he said as he moved closer and took my hand.

“We’ve only just met,” I said, as I pulled my hand out of his grasp.

“Isn’t that the exciting part?” he said.

I began to see why he’d come over. Part of me wanted to kick his sorry ass out of my apartment, but the other part of me was looking for some mischief. My work, and thinking about Skye has made me a little frazzled; my body was begging for some recreation.

“I really don’t know,” I said as I sat up and put my feet on the floor. “I guess you’ll need to show me what’s so exciting about it,” I said as I started to pour myself another glass of wine.

Nakata took the bottle out of my hands. He poured the wine for me, but instead of handing me the glass, he held onto it. He dipped a finger into the glass and ran the finger, wet with wine, across my lips. I licked my lips, and he repeated the act. This time, his finger lingered, and licked it with my tongue.

“You’re very beautiful, Yuk Hee,” he whispered.

“I get that all the time,” I said, as I smiled the bewitching smile I did so well.

He leant forward and kissed me softly on the lips, then pulled away, licking his lips.

“Sweet wine,” he said.

“I could be bitter wine,” I warned him, and this time, I kissed him.

“At least you’re sweet for now,” he laughed, and we started kissing fervently.

[Nakata’s POV]

“So, how was it?” he asked me as I approached.

It was almost 2am and I was just leaving the lobby of Yuk Hee’s apartment.

“I don’t kiss and tell,” I laughed.

“Don’t tell me you’re falling for her,” he said.

“Heck, no… do I look like such loser?” I said. “It takes more than 1 night.”

“So is she digging you?” he asked me.

“Too soon to tell, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”

“Good… let’s go home and tell Min Jong.”

And we both walked to Darren’s car which was parked just a few feet away.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Chapter 132 - 한 (Grudge)


At first, I didn’t pay attention to it, since I’ve often missed my period when I was stressed out; usually when we’re about to put out a new album. When I realized I’d missed it for more than a month, I started panicking. I didn’t know if I should tell Jae Joong, and I couldn’t just run to a convenience store to buy a pregnancy test since I would be instantly recognized and the whole thing would be splashed across the tabloids. I could ask my assistant to get it for me, but I didn’t feel comfortable with letting anyone know.

The 5th week rolled along, and I decided that I had to get it off my chest.

“What?” Shoei yelled when I told him.

“Shh…” I hissed at him. “Skye’s gonna hear you.”

“What do you plan to do?” he asked me.

“I don’t know,” I said as I covered my face with my hands.

“Have you told Jae Joong hyung?”

“You think he’d take it well?”

“He’s been waiting for an excuse to drag you to the altar, you think he wouldn’t?” Shoei laughed.

“It’s not funny. Stop laughing! You know this is the worst time to get married.”

“Why do you say so? You’re 26. By Korean standards, you should’ve been married already.”

“Jae Joong is only 24. Do you honestly think it’s the best time for him?”

“I’ve never seen anyone more serious about love and marriage than Jae Joong hyung. You need to cut him some slack. He’s not the kid that you’ve always seen him as, and you know that.”

“I don’t doubt his maturity. I’m concerned about his career and mine. Do you see anyone from Shinhwa getting married at this age?”

“No,” he said.

“So you see what I mean?”

“It doesn’t have to apply to everyone,” Shoei said. “I believe that it wouldn’t hurt his career as much. This marriage will outlast your careers. Isn’t that the whole point?”

“It’s too soon,” I said quietly.

“Then what do you plan to do?” he asked me. “Get an abortion?”

“I wouldn’t,” I said.

“Then you think that having this baby alone would be best for the both of you. You think that the entire South Korea would believe that the baby came from nowhere? They will surely know that it’s Jae Joong hyung’s, or worst, they’d think that you had an affair with someone else, which was why you didn’t name Jae Joong hyung as the father. This would be suicide for your career and your life, since the antis have been waiting for something like this to get you.”

“Ah… molla, molla, molla,” I groaned as I tugged my hair in frustration.

“Tell him,” Shoei pressed on. “Two heads would be better than one.”

I couldn’t sleep that night. Shoei was right, and it wasn’t that I wouldn’t want Jae Joong to take responsibility for this child. Something just didn’t feel right about this whole issue, and it just made me want to hold back.

“You’re quiet tonight,” Jae Joong said, when he called me earlier.

“Am I?” I said absently.

“You usually have lots to tell me about your day,” he said.

“I do?” I replied.

“And you’re giving me all these short replies tonight,” he laughed softly. “Are you that tired?”

“Ani…” I said. “Just thinking about work.”

“Did something happen on the shoot?”

“Aniyo… I’m just a little stressed out about tomorrow, since I have some big scenes and lots of lines to remember. You know my Korean isn’t perfect, and I often screw up the big words.”

“You’ll be fine. You have an innate ability with languages. That’s why you can speak so many,” he reassured me.

“But not all of them, perfectly,” I pointed out.

“Hey… I’m Korean and even I say the wrong stuff sometimes. Just relax, and it will come naturally. Ara?”

“Hmm…” I sighed.

“I can’t run over and hug you now… so please stop sighing on the phone,” he said softly. “You know I would if I could.”

“Would you?” I said, and giggled.

“I’m gonna ignore that,” he said in a mock serious tone, then the two of us laughed.

“I’m gonna go to bed now,” I said. “Let’s hope I can say the lines perfectly, even in my sleep.”

“Araso…” he said. “Good night. Sweet dreams.”

“Mmm… good night.”

“Saranghae…” he said.

“Saranghae,” I replied, and we hung up.

I gave up trying to sleep, and hooked up my MP3 player to the portable speakers by my bedside. Whenever I needed to feel calm or inspired, I’d listen to Tim. Something about his voice and music always manages to calm and soothe me to sleep. I even like the lone track of English gospel song he puts on each of his CD. Slowly, but surely, Tim’s music worked its magic on me. My eyes started to feel heavy, and I fell asleep halfway through his 4th album.

“Nuna!!!” Skye yelled as he banged on my door the next morning. “Wake up!!!”

“Huh…” I groaned.

“Wake up,” he yelled as he barged through the door and leapt onto my bed.

“Shiro…” I groaned.

“You’re gonna be late,” he said as he kept kicking my butt through the covers.

“What time is it?” I grumbled as I fumbled for my mobile phone on my night stand.

It was almost 9am.

“Andwae…” I wailed as I stretched in my bed.

“Yes…” Skye laughed as he jumped off my bed.

“I’m going to be very late,” I grumbled as I dragged myself off my bed.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you…” he sang as he sashayed out of my room.

Despite taking a very cold shower before I left the house, I could hardly keep my eyes open during hair and makeup.

“You can’t go on set with eyes like that,” the stylist said. “They’re so red and puffy. What did you do yesterday night?”

“I was too stressed about today that I couldn’t sleep,” I said.

“Here,” she said as she passed me a pair of spectacles. “Put these on.”

“Does it go with my image?” I asked her.

“Yea… it’s fine. At least it hides some of the redness.”

“Komapda,” I smiled and put it on.

I didn’t have vision problems, so I’ve never really worn glasses. Not even for cosmetic purposes. I felt pretty uncomfortable from the weight of the glasses pressing on my nose by the time I was due in front of the camera.

“Ready?” the director asked me.

“Ne,” I replied.

“You look hot with glasses,” Darren said cheekily.

“Thank you,” I replied, graciously.

We were about to do a confrontation scene today. During the last episode, Darren’s character, Ho Young, meets my character, Maya, for the first time, as his superior. Episode ended with Ho Young and his team being introduced to Maya, their new Head of Department, by their General Manager.

{Girls on Top: Episode 2, Scene 1}

Ho Young knocks on Maya’s door and walks in without waiting for her invitation.

“Excuse me?” she exclaimed; she was sitting at her desk, leafing through some documents when he barged in and slammed the door shut.

“You’re excused,” he said as he sat down.

“What do you want, Ho Young-shi,” she said

“So you knew about this? From the day I’ve talked about my job to you back in Singapore?”

“Is that important?” she asked him.

“Damn right, it is,” he said. “You knew you were going to be my boss and you didn’t tell me.”

“What good would it do if I told you? Were you going to quit?”

“No… at least I would’ve been expecting to see you on my first day back at work, instead of gawking like a fool.”

“I don’t even know why we are having this conversation. You’re in my office, railing at me, just because of a tiny detail I’d neglected to tell you when we last met,” she said, in an exasperated tone.

“Well…” he started, but she cut him off.

“We’re not even dating,” she said. “Whatever happened in Singapore ended in Singapore; you need to get this straight.”

“Oh… so you’re that kind of girl. Off with the last guy, on with the next one?”

“I never said that,” she retorted. “Don’t you dare put words in my mouth.”

“Then what were you trying to say.”

“You were the one who said, ‘Thank you for the nice time… maybe we’ll meet again someday.’, and you fully intended to forget me.”

“That was because I didn’t know I would have the pleasure again,” he smirked.

“Don’t be sleazy… it doesn’t suit you,” she said as she sat down on her chair with a loud thump.

“So that’s how you want it? To pretend like today is the first day we’ve met?” he asked her.

“Right… this is the way it should be. I don’t do office romances.”

“It didn’t start out an office romance,” he pointed out.

“Same thing. We’re working together now, so let’s just be civilized adults and professionals. Let’s just focus on working together as a team.”

“As you wish,” he said as he got up. “You’re the boss,” he added, and he left the room.

She stares at his back as he walks out. The moment the door closes shout, she screams in frustration.


“Cut,” the director yelled. “Good take!”

We ran through the scene on the little screen in front of the director’s chair, and went back to record another few times before we moved onto the next scene.

During our break, I found a quite spot behind the set and sat there with my lunchbox to eat while I surf the internet on my laptop.

“Are you watching porn?” Darren said as he came to sit next to me.

“Nope,” I said. “Would you like to?”

“I’d do anything with you… as long as you let me,” he joked.

“Pyeont’ae…” I said as I turned back to the screen.

“So what are you doing?” he asked me.

“It’s kinda private,” I said, without thinking.

“Are you writing an email to your J-J?

“Don’t call him J-J,” I said. “Only I’m allowed to call him that.”

“You actually call him J-J?” he said as he guffawed.

“Oh yea… laugh like a fool.”

“I just can’t believe you’d be so corny.”

“I hate to burst your bubble, but love is corny, little boy.”

“Now you’re being downright condescending.”

“No I’m not… leave me alone,” I said, and I turned my attention back to my laptop.

“Guess what?” Darren said after a full minute of silence.


“They’ve finally found a rival for me,” he said.

“For this drama?”

“Yep…” he said. “And they had to pick someone who was neck to neck with me.”

“What makes you think you’re neck to neck?” I teased.

“Ahem… I’m Darren from Helix,” he started.

“Yea… yada… yada… yada…” I said, without looking at him. “If they’re gonna get you a rival, he’s got to be better than you, since that’s always the case. The guys who comes 2nd is usually richer and nicer.”

“Oh sure… rain on my party will ya,” he grumbled.

“Just stating the obvious fact,” I said.

“You could be a little kinder to me.”

“Do I need to?”



“It’s nice when you’re kind.”

“Pfft…” I scoffed and there was another moment of silence. “You still haven’t told me who he is,” I said, looking away from my laptop momentarily.

“Why don’t you guess?” he said.

“If you’re not gonna tell me, then don’t. I hate guessing games,” I said.

“You’re not even a little curious?” he asked me.

“Everything will be announced in due time. So I don’t see the need to get overly excited. This guy isn’t even due until the 5th episode. We’re still only doing promos of the drama on TV.”

“Don’t remind me… I still can’t believe your band’s new song was made the theme song for the promo.”

“I have nothing to say about this. If you want a Helix song featured in the drama, please speak to the producers,” I said as I shut down my laptop.

Lunch time was over, and I really didn’t want to get into this discussion with Darren any longer. It was so pointless and tiring. I have no idea why he liked to bring it up.

“Ya!” he called out to me as I walked away.

“Mwo?” I replied.

“Our new co-star will be here today to visit the set,” he said.

“Goodie,” I replied sarcastically.

“It’s Kim Jae Wook,” he added, and I stopped in my tracks.

“Kim Jae Wook?” I said as I turned around to face him.

“Told you you’d be excited,” he laughed gleefully.

“Hmmph…” was all I could muster as I turned around and walked away.

I need to get to hair and makeup before Kim Jae Wook shows up.