Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Chapter 138: I'll Be There


Good news! I updated Can't Say... (I Love You) :P Yes, I know... it's long, long overdue...


“Nuna, pass the radishes,” Skye said, with his mouth full.

We were eating jjajjangmyun during our break. We had a full day ahead, laying out another track for our new album.

“I don’t get how you people can eat this every day,” Shi Kyung hyung said, shaking his head.

“It’s delicious!” I smiled, my lips smeared with the dark sauce.

“Ne… and it’s good to be young,” he said, “I’m going out to eat.”

He left the room with the sound engineers and left us 3 alone, slurping our noodles.

“What’s wrong with eating the same thing every day?” I asked.

“You’re a bit odd for a girl, nuna. Usually girls would want something different every day,” Shoei said.

“Yea… it’s guys who usually don’t care what they eat every day,” Skye piped in.

“You guys know me. If I like something, I can eat it every day, no problem.”

“And when you’re too lazy to find something else,” Shoei said.

“Plus… we get a discount from this shop,” I reminded them.

“Ne,” the both of them sang.

My phone started singing Tim’s Nan Ottoke.

“Gawd,” Skye grimaced. “You have got to stop using those sappy songs for ringtones.”

“I adore sappy songs,” I cooed and walked out to take the call.

“Na ya…” Jae Joong said. “Odiya?”

“In the studios,” I said.



“How are you feeling today?” he asked.

“I’m fine.”

“Choa…” he sighed.

“Waegeurae?” I asked him.

“Nothing… just asking.”

“What are you doing?” I asked him.

“I’m off today,” he said.

“That’s great. Where are the others?” I said as I strolled aimlessly up and down the corridor.

“They’re out,” he said.

“You didn’t go with them?” I asked him.

“Nah… I’ve seen enough of Tokyo,” he said.

“So what are you doing to do?” I asked.

“I’m at the studios,” he said.

“You’re working?” I asked him.

“No,” he said.

Just then, I heard the familiar sound of the elevator announcing the floor.

“I’m visiting,” he said.

I turned around, and there he was, standing 5 feet away from me, in front of the elevator.

He hung up his phone, and so did I.

“Missed me?” he smiled.

“Jae Joong,” I said.

“Sierra,” he said, in the same tone, mimicking me.

I laughed, and ran toward him to hug him.

“Pogoshipo,” he whispered in my ear, and he kissed me.

I hugged him tighter, allowing myself to melt in his arms. The moment I saw him, my heart had lifted, and I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. I’d missed him, but I didn’t know how much until the moment I saw him.

“Have you eaten?” he asked me as he stroked my cheek.

“Eating,” I smiled. “Have you eaten?”

“Ani,” he said. “Paegop’a…”

“Come on,” I said as I took his hand. “I hope the guys left some food for us.”

I opened the door and the 2 of them looked up.

“Guess who’s back,” I smiled.

“Hyung!” Skye exclaimed when Jae Joong walked in from behind me.

“Hey,” Jae Joong smiled. “Left any food for me?”

“You’ll have to share with nuna,” Shoei laughed. “Skye finished all the extras.”

“Ya! Twaeji!” I said and poked Skye on the head. “You didn’t leave any of the side dishes for me?”

“I figured you wouldn’t have time to eat them by the time you finished your phone call,” he smiled sheepishly.

“Twaeso…” Jae Joong said. “Let’s go out.”

“Now?” I said.

“Go on,” Skye said. “An hour or 2 won’t be a problem. We can do out parts first.”

“Ye… We’ll tell hyung. He’ll understand.” Shoei said.

“Are you sure?” I said.

“Kaja…” Jae Joong said as he took my hand and led me out of the room.

“Don’t worry. We’ll take care of hyung,” Skye said and pushed the both of us out of the room.

“Where are we going?” I asked Jae Joong as we walked towards his car.

“Somewhere near and quick; I shouldn’t keep you out for so long.”

“Take out? Hillside?” I suggested.

“Good idea,” he smiled.

20 minutes later, we were parked on the hillside, munching on our takeaway kimbap.

“This is nice,” he said, as he fed me a piece of kimbap with his chopsticks.

“Mmm…” I smiled.

“Have you been eating well?” he said me. “You seem a little thinner.”

“I’ve been eating,” I said. “Could be the stress and the extra workout I’m getting to prepare us for the next album.”

“Just make sure you eat right,” he said. “And make sure you’re not drinking anything cold.”

“Araso…” I said.

Jae Joong found out recently that people with my gastric condition should not be drinking cold drinks. Since then, he had put out the word that I was to be prohibited from drinking soft drinks, iced tea; basically anything below room temperature.

“Is it helping?” he asked.


“Not having cold drinks.”

“I feel better than I did,” I said. “Maybe…”

“Good,” he said, and reached out to rub my back affectionately. “I just want you to be well. I hate seeing you sick.”

“Ne…” I said. “I’ll take care of myself. You take care of yourself. You’ve gotten thinner too.”

“I have,” he said, and surveyed his face in the rear mirror.

“I miss your body from when you first debut. All those muscles,” I said in a rapturous tone, and licked my lips deliberately.

“Michoso…” he laughed.

“Chintcha… I was more attracted to you when we first met; when you were a bit more buff. You’ve slimmed down so much, I feel beefier than you these days.”

“Chunky would be the correct word,” he grinned, and I prodded his forehead with my finger.

“Say that again and I’ll kill you,” I said in mock seriousness.

“But I like you chunky…” he said, and patted my thigh affectionately.

“SM doesn’t,” I said.

“Are you dating SM now?” he asked me.

“Yes…” I said happily. “It’s been almost 3 years now. We may get married someday.”

“Michoso…” he said, and prodded my head with his index finger.

“Oww… what was that for?” I said. “Did you want to date me or something? Nan choahae?” I asked, and tried not to laugh.

“Sierra…” he said, and grabbed my shoulders with both hands. “It’s me, Jae Joong. Have you forgotten? Are you alright? Are you sick? Odi ap’a?”

His pained expression was the last straw for me, I couldn’t control myself anymore, and I burst out laughing.

“Oh no…” he continued. “You must be really sick. My poor Sierra…” he said, and pulled me towards him for a hug.

“Keumanhae…” I laughed as he stroked my hair, then I could feel his body shaking with laughter too.

We pulled apart, still laughing. I was in stitches and had my arms wrapped around my stomach, which was cramping from all the laughing. Jae Joong had one hand over his stomach and another over his mouth, trying to stifle his laughter.

“Michoso...” I said, and pushed him on the arm as my laughter subsided.

“You started it,” he smiled. “Nawa...” he said, beckoning me into his arms.

I moved forwards and wrapped my arms around his waist, leaning my head against his stomach.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been happy like this,” he sighed.

“Mmm…” I answered, and hugged him tighter.

“Missed me?”

“Mmm… pogoshipo…” I murmured.

“Should I come back?” he asked.

“Ne?” I exclaimed, and sat up.

“Should I cut short my work in Japan and come back to be with you?”

“What would your band do without you?”

“I’ll fly back when we have group activities. For now, it’s mostly individual activities.”

“Are you sure the management will be okay with this?”

“If they don’t? You’re willing to have us separated and pining for each other?” he asked. “It’s tiring for me to just pop back like this. If I had more of a fixed schedule back here, I could spend more days here instead of having to fly back on the same day.”

“Arayo… but…”

“Just tell me, Sierra,” he said. “Do you want to see me more often, or not?”

“I want to…”

“Then it’s done. I’ll speak to my manager when I get back to Tokyo.”

“And you’re sure you want to do this?”

“Yes,” he replied.

I searched his face for any sign of uncertainty, and there were none. He was adamant that we spent more time together, and I could only be happy that he is making the effort.

“Saranghae…” I said, and reached out to stroke his cheek.

“Saranghae,” he said, turning to face me. “I want this to work out. I want us to work out. I don’t want us to fall apart…”

“I know…”

“You’re the most constant thing in my life for the past few years, after the band and my family.”

“So are you to me,” I said.

“I sound greedy, but I want to have it all. I want the career, the popularity, and I want a personal life.”

“We have it all,” I said.

“Do we? Sometimes I’m so afraid that everything is just going to slip through my hands.”

“That’s not going to happen,” I said softly. “Not while we have each other.”

“And that is why I will do everything to keep us together,” he said. “So don’t give up, okay?”

He looked at me with his beautiful, pleading eyes. Who would be able to refuse him? He has been more to me than anyone else for the past few years. If it were not for him, would I still be sane and able to carry on with this crazy, surreal life I was leading?

“Araso…” I said, and I hugged him again.

I could only hope that him doing this would not cause problems with the band and the management. I didn't the whole world to resent me for taking Jae Joong away from them.

[Nakata’s POV]

I was waiting outside the studios; waiting for Yuk Hee to get off work. It’s our 3rd date since that night at her apartment. Everything seems to be going well, but you never know… women.

I waited for almost an hour before she showed up. I knew she had made me wait on purpose, since I’d seen her co-stars walk out earlier. Darren had also walked past earlier, and all he did was smile knowingly and pat me on the shoulder before walking off.

“Mian,” she smiled sweetly when she saw me. “Did I keep you waiting?”

“No… I was a little late myself,” I lied. If she wanted to play, I’ll play along.

“Great,” she said, and linked her arm with mine. “Where are we going?”

“You’ll see when we get there,” I said, and we walked towards my car.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Chapter 137: 닮아가기 (Becoming Similar)

{Girls On Top: Episode 7, Scene 5}

“So… who was that earlier?” Si Won asked Maya.

“Just a guy,” she said as she fiddled with the straw in her cup of drink.

“Just a guy?” he laughed affectionately. “Are you always going to be like this in front of me?”

“Like what?” she asked.

“A lousy liar,” he smiled, and he put an arm around her and pulled her towards him.

Maya didn’t resist, and she lay her head on his shoulder.

“I just met him,” she sighed.


“In Singapore,” she said.

“Oh, right… that vacation where I was supposed to meet you.”

“Duh… if you had, I wouldn’t have met him.”

“Mianhae… my fault,” he murmured into her hair. “So what gives?”

“I don’t know. What do you want me to do? Tell him you’re back and he should go?”

“Why don’t you do that?” he said.

Maya looked up at Si Won and realized he wasn’t smiling. He looked dead serious.

“You can’t ask me to do that,” she gasped. “Si Won…”

“Maya… I…” he sighed.

“What, Si Won?”

“Nothing…” he sighed.

“Tell me,” she urged him. “You know I hate being kept on a line.”

“You know…” Si Won said as he reached out to touch Maya’s hair, “Being away for so long has made me realize something.”


“How much I need you by my side, Maya,” he said.

“Si Won… I can’t…”

“Just… don’t give me your answer now,” he said.

“But… Ho Young,” she said.

“I don’t know Ho Young… I don’t care about Ho Young… I only have Maya on my mind.”

“Si Won,” she called out his name, the confusion obvious in her voice. “You said we weren’t compatible.”

“I was an idiot… You’re my only match,” he said, and he pulled her close to kiss her.

(Music plays: Hae Rin - This Last Night)

Have you heard, have you seen
The way my heart’s been ripped right out of me
Do you know, what I’d do
When I’ve fallen from grace in front of you

How you’ve been,
Have you been waiting up for me
Or have you learned that this heart
This heart’s been torn to pieces, by you

This heart beats for you
This soul lives for you
Won’t you hold me, and keep me alive
Just this one last time

My blood runs for you
Our memories will never fade
So for old times’ sake
Hold me
Just for this last night

{End of scene}

[Shoei’s POV]

Skye and I heard nuna scream, and we immediately rushed to the bathroom.

“Don’t tell me it’s that darned roach again,” Skye said.

“Nuna… are you okay?” I said as I knocked on the bathroom door.

“I’m fine,” came her muffled voice.

“Are you sure?” Skye asked. “Your voice sounds weird.”

“Yea,” she said. “I’ll be out soon.”

Skye and I went back to watching the television. 15 minutes later, nuna rushed out of the bathroom, into her room and slammed the door shut.

“Is it just me, or is she being extremely weird today?” Skye asked me.

“I’ll go talk to her,” I said, and I got up and walked to her room.

I knocked softly on her door, and she opened it almost immediately.

“Are you alright?” I asked her.

“I need to tell you something,” she said.

She looked confused. It was as if she didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. I was worried.

“What happened in the bathroom?” I asked her.

“Sit down,” she said, and she closed the door.

“What’s going on?” I asked her.

“I’m not pregnant,” she announced.

“You’re not?” I blinked.


“How do you know? Did the clinic call?”


“Then how?”

“My period…” she said.

“It came?”

“Yea… apparently it decided to come… better late than never,” she said, and made a face.

“So how are you going to tell Jae Joong hyung?”

“I dunno. I just cannot imagine how he’d feel.”

“Well… my guess would be ‘very disappointed’ since I have a feeling that he had begun to make wedding plans,” I said.

“Stop that,” she said.

“What?” I said innocently.

“It’s not funny,” she said, her eyes downcast.

“I know you dread telling him, but you need to tell him. The sooner the better… now would be good.”

“Now?” she exclaimed. “I’ve barely come to terms with the fact myself. How do you think I would be able to tell him?”

“Well… the truth would be enough. He can’t blame you for this. It’s not like you miscarried the child,” I reasoned.

“It’s just… he was so hopeful,” she said.

“But you weren’t. You were hoping there wasn’t a child.”

“I know…” she sighed.

“Just get it over with,” I said, as I picked up her phone and handed it to her.

She stared at the phone in my hand for the longest time. I could see the clockwork spinning in her head. She was thinking how she would tell him, how she could soften the blow, running all the different scenarios of what he might say.

“Don’t over think,” I said softly. “You’re only going to get yourself sick.”

Everyone believed that Sierra was a strong, upbeat and carefree girl, but the truth was that Sierra always had so much going on in her mind. The times she’d collapsed or gotten sick were all due to stress, due to worrying. She looked indestructible, but many a time, she had been at the brink of falling apart into little pieces; trying to do everything and think of everything at once. Maybe she was greedy, just like the rest of us. We try to grab as much as we could, to make 101% use of our youth and fame before it waned, and in that process, we sacrificed the very things we were so afraid of losing.

“Just give me a minute,” she said; her voice hoarse. “I’ll call him.”

“You’re sure?” I said.

“I will,” she said as she looked up at me; her expression earnest.

“Araso,” I said softly as I placed the phone on the bed, in front of her. “I’ll be outside if you need me.”

“Thanks,” she smiled weakly. “And you’d better tell Skye before he accuses us of leaving him out again.”

“Sure… What are brothers for?” I said, and I left the room.

[Sierra’s POV]

Think… think… think… I was going crazy. I really didn’t know how I would tell Jae Joong. Do I just blurt it out? How would he take it? Would he accuse me for toying with his feelings? Then again, he should know I wasn’t since I didn’t want a child anyway. Why would I use the possibility of a pregnancy to put pressure on him?

My hand reached out to clasp my phone. I traced the smooth surface with my thumb, and came upon a bump on it. I looked down to see the tiny photo sticker of Jae Joong and me.

“Ottoke?” I said to photo as my finger touched his face. “Would you misunderstand?”

I took a deep breath, flipped my phone open and dialed Jae Joong’s Japanese number.

“Yoboseyo?” he said after 2 rings.

I was silent for a moment.

“Sierra?” he said my name, and the tears started to well up in my eyes.

“Jae… Jae Joong,” I sniffed.

“What is it?” he asked me in his gentle tone.

“I’m not pregnant,” I said.

“The results’ out?” he asked.

“No…” I said. “My period came.”

“Really?” he said.

“You want a blood sample?”

“That’s not funny,” he said.

“I’m not trying to be funny,” I said, now close to tears.


“What do you want to do now?” I said, as a single tear rolled down my cheek.

“What can I do?” he said.

“You wanted this child so much,” I said.

“If you did have one, but now you don’t. I can’t do anything about that.”

“I thought you would be upset.”

“I’m a little disappointed, but I’ll get over it,” he said. “I was hoping for the baby to be an excuse for us to finally get married,” he laughed softly.

“We don’t have to get married just for the baby’s sake. Lots of celebrities remain unmarried even after they’ve had children,” I said.

“This is Korea… they eventually get married, even if it may end in divorce later,” he pointed out.

“So you’re not upset?” I asked again.

“No… were you hoping for me to blow my top or something?” he asked.

“I was just expecting a little drama from you,” I admitted.

“I’m not stupid, Sierra. To be honest, I feel a little relieved that you’re not pregnant. As much as I want us to be together, I don’t think we’re ready to have children yet.”

“Thank god,” I laughed and sniffed loudly.

I hadn’t cried, but the little bit of tears and emotions had caused my nose to block up.

“Are you crying?” he asked me.

“No I’m not,” I said.

“But your voice sounds funny,” he said.

“I just got a bit emotional. My nose is blocked,” I said.

“Pabo…” he said. “Uljima…”

“I’m not crying…” I protested.

“Alright… you’re not,” he laughed. “Now what was that ‘Thank god!’ for?”

“Nothing… I was thinking you’d do anything just to get us tied together,” I said.

“Ya, ya, ya… are you suggesting that I’m some obsessive boyfriend?” he said.

“Well, you are… sometimes,” I joked.

“You just wait till I get home,” he said.

Somehow, after this whole ordeal, hearing that did not make me feel nervous. I actually looked forward to Jae Joong coming back. This whole “maybe-baby” thing cleared up some of the misunderstandings we’ve not voiced out all this while. I feel closer to Jae Joong now, and I feel that our relationship had a long shot.

“Araso…” I laughed. “I’ll be waiting.”

“Sierra… I gotta go,” he said. “I’m in the middle of a photoshoot.”

“Call me later?” I said.

“Definitely,” he replied.

“I miss you,” I said.

“Na tto pogoshipo…” he replied and we hung up.

It occurred to me then that perhaps Jae Joong and I had been together for too long. We’d forgotten what it was like to date, to enjoy being young and in love, since we’d fallen into this routine. I realized that we’d also started forming perceptions, despite knowing every single detail that we needed to know about each other. Could we still be together simply out of habit, or are we still that crazy about each other?