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.