“Nervous?” Shoei asked me as he took my hand and patted it.
I was getting my makeup done, ready for my solo scenes in my movie CF. Shoei had come along to accompany me and to take a short break from our schedule while I filmed the CF.
“I’ll be fine on my own. It’s when Hyun Bin appears, then I’m not sure if I can hold it together,” I giggled.
“Ya! Be a bit more professional, will ya!” he said, and nudged my head with his fist.
“Araso,” I laughed.
The first scene we were filming today was my monologue. Since Hyun Bin was very busy, squeezing in tight schedules before his enlistment, I was tasked to finish up all my solo scenes before he could come and join us. He also has a monologue that he will be recording later.
She walks along the cliff, thinking their last conversation.
“I’ll be there. I’ll be there for you, always,” he said
“Isn’t saying ‘always’ overpromising,” she said.
“But that’s how you say it!” he exclaimed. “You’re so unromantic!”
She laughs to herself at the memory of the conversation. As she approaches a huge boulder, she sits down and gazes out to the sea.
“Oppa,” she says. “I too wish it will be always… always… whether or not you can keep that promise”
She sighs and pulls her jacket tighter around herself.
“I usually hate waiting for you, but somehow today, I don’t mind it that much. But this place… it’s breathtaking… as you said it would be. I wish you were here to see it with me. Oppa… pogoshipeo.”
We did that scene several times; mainly because the director wanted my tone to be right when I was saying my lines. Regretfully, after more than 5 years in Korea, I still had a foreigner’s accent. It was slight, as the director had said, but it was nevertheless there. So they wanted to refine it a little.
I was saying my last line for the monologue, “Oppa… pogoshipeo” when suddenly a pair of hands wrapped around me.
“Mani kidaryeo?” he said as he smiled.
It was Hyun Bin, jumping into the scene as he was supposed to in the script. We were going to redo that bit when he arrived, but it looks like we don’t have to now.
“Ne,” I smiled back, and he leaned in to kiss me.
His lips were soft and firm, and I was immediately immersed into it. We shifted into position naturally and ended up with me leaning back on that boulder, and him holding me in his arms as he supported himself with one knee against the boulder.
“Cut!” the director yelled, and Hyun Bin slowly pulled away.
I could imagine my dazed expression, and instead of straightening up and walking away as I expected him to, he stayed, just inches away from my face, smiling indulgently.
“Kwaench’anayo?” he asked softly.
“It was a bit of a surprised,” I managed to reply.
“Then it’s definitely going to register well on film. I don’t think we’ll need to do that scene again,” he said.
“Pity,” I smiled.
Yes. I managed a cheeky joke after what had just happened. As soon as I said that, I wondered if that kiss had really gone to my head and damaged it. Hyun Bin’s face changed for a moment; an expression that I could only read as confusion. Then he laughed out loud.
All the staff around us looked on with confused looks. I was a bit mortified for a moment, until he spoke.
“I was expecting our time together to be interesting, but you’re really turning out to be not just interesting but quite attractive,” he said.
“Kamsahamnida,” I smiled.
He helped me up and we walked towards the refreshments table to grab a hot drink before we had to go to the next scene.
“That was superb!” the director said when he saw us. “The element of surprise was real and Sierra, you did a good job in holding it together. You 2 really have chemistry. That scene was so beautiful, we don’t need another take.”
“Komapseumnida,” we both bowed.
“Hyun Bin-shi did a favour to me. It couldn’t have worked out any better,” I said.
“You were doing well before I came,” Hyun Bin said.
“Keurae, keurae…” the director said as he patted Hyun Bin and I on our arm. “Have a break and we’ll resume shooting shortly.”
“Ne,” we answered, and he walked away.
“Nuna,” Shoei called out to me from the tent they had set up for us all to rest in.
“Coming!” I replied. “Would you like another drink, Hyun Bin sonbae?”
“Please just call me oppa,” he smiled, “and I wouldn’t mind another drink in this cold weather.”
“Shoei, Hyun Bin oppa,” I introduced the both of them when we got to the tent.
“Pangapseumnida,” Shoei shook Hyun Bin’s hand and bowed at the same time.
“You’re missing 1 more member, aren’t you?” Hyun Bin asked.
“Skye’s busy today. He’s scheduled for a variety show,” Shoei answered.
“Ah… you idols really work so hard these days. Music shows, variety shows, dramas, live performances, CFs. You’re everywhere,” Hyun Bin said.
“They are the best way to gain exposure,” I said. “We don’t have much of a choice.”
Most idols groups are juggling numerous variety shows these days, often spending an entire day either onsite or at the TV stations. That and they’d need to keep up their vocal and dance practice so that they could still excel on the music shows.
The up and coming trend is to first debut as an idol, gain a strong fan base and venture into acting. Almost every single idol is a triple-threat these days. And those who tire of the music scene but decide not to venture into the foray of dramas and movies tend to participate in musicals; even those who are still active singers.
The shoot with Hyun Bin was one I would always remember. It would be sometime before I had a change to work with someone so charismatic. I didn’t think I made much of an impression on him during our short project, but when he held a small going-away gathering before his enlistment, I was invited.
“Thank you for inviting me,” I said, bowing before I left the party that night.
“It’s a pleasure. Please keep in contact. I’ll definitely contact you when I’m discharged,” he smiled. “We must work on another project.”
“Ne,” I smiled.
Months have passed. We’ve thrown ourselves into the management of our company once the promotional period for our album ended. Our song from the mini-drama cum CF did pretty well on the digital charts, but things have died down again as usual. With the influx of new bands and singers, we’re pretty much drowning in the over-crowded industry. It was a struggle to stay visible.
A part of me has put the SM past behind me. All the involvements I’ve ever had with the guys from SM seem to have waned. Yun Ho and Chang Min are now so engrossed with their schedule, fulfilling the grand dreams of the great leader of SM Ent. Jae Joong, Jun Su and Yoo Chun are working hard to keep a solid profile in the media. They’ve been ostracized from the music scene, still unable to perform on music shows and the majority of variety shows. But they maintained high profile as ambassadors for Cheju-do being nominated as one of the world’s natural wonders, and also for their roles in dramas and musicals. Every time I read the news that they’ve been dropped from a program or show, my heart would still sink. I really hope that they would stop being disregarded on purpose.
But it was comfortable I no longer felt the need to get involved in their matters. Life after SM was definitely a sweet taste of freedom. But now we had to fend for ourselves and keep our incomes coming. But it wasn’t so bad. We still had a comfortable life, and now that we’ve started our own label, we’re slowly gaining recognition as professionals in the business.
My life had changed constantly since the day I got on that flight to South Korea, and yet, it doesn’t stop here. Trends will change, expectations will continue to increase, and every day, we will find a new way to create and share something new that we feel worthwhile to put out there for the world to hear. While it seems that my dreams had already been fulfilled, I think it’s more accurate to say that at this point, it has started, for real.
Dear Readers, especially those who still check back every once in awhile…
I felt that it’s time to end this fiction. I had to write MKR II because it was impossible to connect the chain of events in the original MKR since too much time had lapsed. But now as I try to write MKR II, I feel that it has become almost foreign to me.
Sadly, those dreams that I once had, have become just dreams. I will never forget how much I wanted them to come true, but I think that I am coming to terms that life will not be that way for me, unless by some total stroke of luck, I fall into a pot of gold.
But I do have some happy news to report. I will finally be making my ‘maiden’ trip to Seoul on 24th Sep, and I plan to have an awesome time.
I thank everyone who had ever followed this fanfic faithfully, and those who have stumbled upon it and read every single chapter, even when they saw it was an absurd 100 over chapters.
I will write again someday, but until that new flame is ignited, that will launch me into the obsessive state of typing out every single thought I have, you can alternatively follow me on YouTube or Twitter to see what I’m up to ^_^