Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Chapter 16: Running After You

I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, and just as I was about to reach him, he noticed my presence. He picked up his speed, though not running, and I had to run faster to catch up with him.

“Jeong Hoon-ah…” I called out to him as I gasped for air. “Jeong Hoon-ah…”

As soon as I was near enough, I reached out to grab his shoulder, trying to still him.

“Let go,” he said.

He was still upset since his tone was harsh.

“Can’t we talk?” I asked him.

“I have nothing to say to you,” he said.

“Please…” I said, and grabbed onto his arm.

He stopped walking and stood there motionless, not turning to look at me.

“Mianhae…” I said.

“You realize how pointless your apology is?” he said.

“I know you’re not ready to forgive me now, but I need to say it,” I said.

“Right… all for your peace of mind, eh?” he said.

“Look at me,” I said, and he just stood there, as if he didn’t hear me. “Look at me,” I repeated, and moved to stand in front of him.

There were tears in his eyes. None had fallen, but his eyes were shining with tears threatening to fall. He’d sounded so cruel and emotionless, but in actual fact, he was hurting.

“Mianhae,” I said, and hugged him, my own tears starting to fall.

I held him tight, just in case he tried to push me off, but to my surprise, he gave in, and put his arms around me.

“I’m sorry,” I said in English, as I pulled away.

He didn’t reply, but lifted his hand to stroke my cheek.

“Please… say something…” I pleaded.

“I need to go,” he said; his voice hoarse.

“You’re leaving the island?”

“Skye will take you home,” he said as he gently pushed me away. “I need to be alone.”

“Will I see you tomorrow?” I asked in desperation.

My greatest fear now was that he would just disappear from my life.

“I’ll call you when I’m ready,” he said.

I bit my lip, not knowing what reply would be appropriate at this point.

“Just give me some time,” he said, and I nodded mutely.

I turned around, not wanting to watch him leave again. As his footsteps in the sand grew softer, I started walking myself, in the opposite direction.

“Where have you been?” Skye asked as soon as I reappeared on the site.

“I saw Jeong Hoon,” I said.

“Where?” he asked, looking around as if Jeong Hoon were nearby.

“He left. He asked you to take me home tonight.”


“Do you think he’ll just keep avoiding me after today?” I asked Skye.

“I don’t know,” he sighed. “I’ll talk to him once we get back. For now, you need to focus,” he said as he grabbed my shoulders and shook me lightly. “Look alive!” he said dramatically, and I couldn’t help but smile.

“Araso…” I said.

We focused on covering the event for the rest of the day. We interviewed artistes, the crew and did several video interviews that were going to be uploaded onto our magazine’s website.

“Thank you for your time,” I said to Wang Lee Hom as we wrapped up the last video interview.

“No problem,” he smiled. “I need to prepare for my performance now,” he said as he got up from the bench where we’d been sitting for the past 15 minutes for the interview.

“Break a leg,” I said, and he smiled in acknowledgement.

“Phew…” Skye breathed as he sat down next to me.

He’d been playing the role of camera man for the whole afternoon while I interviewed the celebrities. We may be editors of our sections, but in actual fact, we were also journalists since our company wasn’t that big. They would usually send us editors to the international events while the juniors got to cover the local events.

“I need to pee,” Skye said, and he left me there on the bench alone.

I sat there alone for awhile, and inevitably started thinking about last night. I dreamt about it last night… that kiss with Jae Joong. It made me feel guiltier when I woke up this morning. Maybe Jeong Hoon was right; I had an obsession to quell.

“Neo honjaseo?” Jae Joong said, and came to sit beside me.

Speak of the devil…

“My colleague went to the toilet,” I said, trying to sound indifferent.

“Hwanaseo?” he asked me.

“Why are you speaking plainly to me now?” I asked him.

“After yesterday night…”

“You don’t feel the need to be polite anymore…” I finished for him.

“I think you’ve misunderstood me,” he said.

“What is there to misunderstand? You did what you did,” I said. “Unless you want to explain why you did it?”

“I don’t think I can,” he laughed softly.

“Why? It was all some kind of entertainment for you, wasn’t it?” I said. “Is that why you have no explanation?”

“Don’t make it sound as if you meant nothing to me,” he said. “I don’t kiss girls for fun.”

“You hardly know me,” I said.

“You hardly know me too, and you returned my kiss,” he said.

“It’s different,” I said.

“How? Enlighten me.”

“I seem to remember that I was the one who asked first. Why did you do it?”

“I was attracted to you, good enough?”

“Fine… I was infatuated with you,” I replied. “Happy now?”

“A little,” he smiled.

I’d almost forgotten that he had habit of making lame jokes, sometimes at the most inopportune times.

“Don’t you need to rehearse?” I asked him.

“It’s our break time now,” he said.

“Does Yun Ho know you’re here?”

“He doesn’t own me. I don’t need to tell him everything.”

“You told him about us,” I pointed out.

“That was cos I needed advice,” he said.

“I’m sure his advice didn’t include you coming to speak to me now. If anything, he would prefer it if you and I didn’t speak at all.”

“I’ll speak to whoever I want,” he said.

“You’re wasting your time here, Jae Joong-shi,” I said. “You’ll fly off tomorrow, and we will never meet again.”

“Not while you’re in this business. We’ll definitely meet again,” he said.

“Are you giving me a preview now? Is TVXQ coming back to Singapore again?”

“We will… soon,” he said.

“Stop… stop…” I said, as I held my hands up. “Why are we still having this conversation? Jae Joong-shi… I think you should get back to your band. Unless you don’t mind me putting everything you say on print, you’d better stop talking to me.”

“Can you stop with the ‘Jae Joong-shi’?” he said.

“You don’t need to hear it if you’re not talking to me,” I said.

“I was just checking to see if you’re alright,” he said.

“And if I’m not? Are you gonna take me with you, back to Korea?” I said. “That would be a fan fiction come true…”

“You don’t need to be sarcastic,” he said. “It’s unbecoming.”

“Weren’t you attracted to me? Doesn’t that mean that whatever I do, you’d still be attracted?”

I glared at him as I spoke, and not once did he break our eye contact. His face broke into a smile when I was done.

“It’s really funny…” he said.

“What is?” I said, starting to get annoyed.

Did he think that I was some kind of joke?

“I actually still find you attractive, despite the sarcasm,” he laughed.

I rolled my eyes at him. I’m beginning to wonder what I saw in him when I watched all those videos online. I stood up, intending to walk away, but he pulled me back down.

“I’m sorry…” he said. “Chongmal mianhae,” he said. “I didn’t know you had a boyfriend.”

“You never asked. You didn’t bother to check. You just assumed that I was single and saving myself for you.”

“I apologize for not asking. I apologize for causing the misunderstanding between you and your boyfriend. Chinshimhaeyo…”

He sounded sincere this time, and I felt my anger dissipate a little.

“What if my boyfriend dumps me for good?” I asked. “Would you take responsibility for me then?”

His eyes widened for a moment, then he realized that I was attempting to make a joke.

“Just call me,” he smiled. “I’ll be sure to take responsibility.”

I shoved him gently on the shoulder, and he took my hand and held it.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Chapter 15: Say It Isn't So

“You wouldn’t dare!” I said, aghast.

“I just caught my girlfriend cheating on me. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t hit you right now!” he yelled at me.

I was very aware of what I had done. I knew that it was wrong for me to have participated in that kiss, let alone allow Jae Joong to kiss me. It was a situation that I wasn’t in control of, and now… I had no idea how to fix it.

“Listen to me…” I said.

“No!” he snapped.

“It was an accident,” I said.

“Sure… he accidentally wrapped his arms around you. He accidentally landed his lips on yours,” Jeong Hoon said sarcastically. “And if my eyes were working… you accidentally kissed him back.”

“Jeong Hoon…” I said his name, not knowing what else to say.

“Jeong Hoon,” he mimicked me. “Is that all you’ve got to say?” he said, his tone still harsh.

“Mianhae,” I said softly.

“Sorry?” he shouted. “I don’t think you even understand the meaning of the word.”

By now, everyone was staring at us, but I could hardly tell him to pipe down since I was the source of his anger.

“It was… I didn’t mean for it to happen.”

“You let it happen, Sierra,” he said.

His face was flushed, and he was breathing heavily from his anger. I didn’t know what else to say or do. All I wanted to do was to hug him, and cry, and apologize until he forgave me, but I realized that this time, it wasn’t as simple as all our past fall outs.

“When is this obsession of yours going to end? Did you do it to quell your fantasies?”

“That’s a low blow, Jeong Hoon,” I said softly.

“Is it? Then tell me… why? Why the hell did you kiss that…”

“Sir,” a man in a suit came to stand beside us. “Madam… Can you please take your argument outside? You’re upsetting the other guests.”

“It’s alright,” he said. “I’m leaving,” and he walked away.

“Are you alright, madam?” the hotel staff asked me.

“Yes,” I said; my eyes fixed on Jeong Hoon’s back as he walked towards the door.

As the door closed behind him, a single tear rolled down my cheek. What had I just done? Jeong Hoon was real and TVXQ was probably going to disappear out of my life forever after tomorrow’s event. Why did allow Jae Joong to do this to me? I must have been mad.

I walked listlessly back to the hotel room, threw myself into bed and cried myself to sleep. I didn’t even bother to change or remove my make up, and this was how Skye found me the next morning.

I was awoken the next morning by the insistent ringing of the doorbell. My head felt like it had cracked in two, and my eyes were glued shut by the makeup and tears. I kicked off the covers and fumbled my way to the door with the support of the wall.

“Damn!” Skye exclaimed the moment I opened the door. “What happened to you?”

“What do you think?” I mumbled and walked back to the bed to hide under the covers.

“Is it true? Did you really kiss that pretty boy in front of Jeong Hoon?” he asked me.

“He told you?” I groaned.

“He called me last night and insisted that I meet him for a drink. I was up till 3am, listening to him bitch about you,” he said.

“It was a stupid mistake,” I wailed into the pillow.

“Stupid is an understatement,” he said as he came to sit on the bed, next to my hunched figure.

“What else can I say?” I said as I turned over to lie on my back, the covers still pulled over my head.

“You could apologize to Jeong Hoon, for start,” he said.

“You think that all it’s going to take is an apology?” I asked as I flipped open the covers.

My eyes had finally unglued themselves because my tears had started again and diluted the crust that had formed from the night before.

“Of course it’s not that simple, but you need to do something,” he said.

“He wanted to hit me,” I said, sitting up.

“I would hit anyone who betrayed me,” he said.

“Even a woman?”

“If I were that upset…” he contemplated for a moment. “Jeong Hoon wouldn’t hit you. He just said it because he was angry.”

“I know,” I sighed.

“Hey,” Skye suddenly said. “Don’t you need to get to the concert site?”

“Shit!” I cursed and jumped off the bed.

“I’ll wait for you in the lobby,” he called out and left the room while I was digging through my bag for something to wear.

Skye was supposed to accompany me while I covered the concert tonight. With this whole fiasco hanging on my mind, I’m beginning to doubt if I had the ability to focus on the task I had for the day.

“You clean up nice,” Skye attempted to joke when I met him in the lobby. “Don’t you need to eat?”

“I’m fine,” I said. “I’ll grab a bite later.”

“Okay,” he said, and we started walking to Siloso beach, there the concert would be held tonight.

The concert area was abuzz with activity when we arrived. The stage and lights were already up and they were doing some testing while some of the performers were rehearsing on it.

“So where’s the pretty boy?” Skye asked as he looked around us.

“I don’t think they’re here yet,” I said.

I’d spoken too soon…

“Sierra!” Yun Ho called out and waved as he walked towards me and Skye.

“This isn’t the one, is it?” Skye asked.

“No… shut up about it already,” I hissed at him.

“Fine… I’m gonna go search for Bada,” he said. “Have fun…”

“Was that your colleague?” Yun Ho asked as he approached me.

“Ne,” I replied.

“You look pale,” he said. “Have you eaten?”

I shook my head.

“Come with me,” he said, and I followed obediently.

There was something about Yun Ho’s presence that made you just want to follow his orders. You’ll feel that you’re in good hands when you’re with him. I supposed this is why he was the leader of TVXQ.

“Wait here,” he said, as we neared the area where most of the performers were sitting around, waiting for their turn to perform.

He grabbed a sandwich and a pack of soya bean drink from the buffet table while I waited in the shadows of a tree, then walked back towards me. He took me by my elbow and led me to a bench nearby, then sat me down. I watched as he unwrapped the sandwich, rolled the film up into a ball and put it into his pocket before he handed the sandwich to me.

“Mokja…” he said.

I took the sandwich from him, and took a bite. I hadn’t realized that I was actually hungry until now, and quickly finished the rest of the sandwich.

“You were hungry,” he laughed softly as he handed me the drink.

“I was just feeling a little under the weather,” I said as I inserted the straw into the packet.

“Jae Joong told me what happened,” he said.

“Did he have to tell you about it?” I said as I sipped the drink.

“He was worried that he might have caused some trouble,” Yun Ho said.

“My boyfriend’s not gonna take the story to the press, if that’s what he’s worried about,” I said. “He’s not such a person… but he might still wanna beat Jae Joong up.”

“What happened… exactly?” Yun Ho asked.

“I think you should ask Jae Joong. I’ll admit that I reciprocated his actions, but he initiated it.”

“He initiated it… the kiss,” he said.

“Ne,” I said.

“That boy…”

“I’m beginning to see why you call him that,” I said.

“The tropical heat has gotten to his brains,” he said.

“It’s easy for him…” I said.


“You guys are gonna fly back tomorrow, and it’ll be the end of the headache. I’ll need to find my boyfriend, face him, and try to get him to forgive me.”

“Do you want to be forgiven?” he asked me.

“What do you mean?”

“There must be a reason why you let it happen,” he said.

“I let it happen?” I said incredulously.

“Didn’t you?” he asked as he looked at me.

I met his eyes, and I saw the answer in them. He was right. I let it happen. Perhaps, subconsciously, I wanted it to happen. But I didn’t want to believe it. This isn’t me. I would never knowingly hurt Jeong Hoon. What I thought was just a harmless opportunity to live part of my fantasy had backfired. Is this what I wanted? Why did I do it?

“Hyung,” Jun Su called out from behind us. “We’re on.”

“Coming,” he answered. “I’ll talk to you in a bit. You should eat more if you’re hungry. You need your strength.”

“Thank you for your concern,” I said as I took another sip of my drink.

“No problem. See you in a bit,” he said, and he got up and left.

I leant back on the bench and stared straight ahead for a few minutes. When I’d finally collected my thoughts, I stood up, and decided that I had to get to work. I had no time to dwell on the mess I’d created today. As I stood up, I saw a familiar figure walking along the beach.

“Jeong Hoon,” his name escaped my lips, and I started running towards him.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Chapter 14: Awakening

“Ne?” I turned back to look at him.

“You shouldn’t walk back alone,” he said.

“I’m fine,” I smiled.

“I should walk you back…

“You don’t have to,” I said.

“I have something to tell you,” he said. “Please allow me to walk you back.”

“If you wish,” I said.

I said my goodbyes to Eru and the rest of TVXQ.

“Leaving so soon?” Eru said.

“Ne… I still have to compile the interviews I did today, before bed,” I complained.

“Ah… and here we thought that a reporter’s job was easy,” he winked.

“Bye, Sierra-shi,” Chang Min said. “We’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Ne,” I smiled. “Have a good night’s rest. You’ll need to conquer Singapore and the world tomorrow.”

“Ne…” he laughed.

“Bye,” Yoo Chun said, and shook my hand. “It was nice seeing you again.”

“Likewise,” I said. “Where’s Jun Su?”

“He went to the little boys’ room,” Yoo Chun said.

“Okay…” I laughed. “Tell him I said goodbye.”

“We’ll do that,” Yun Ho said to me; smiling warmly. “Good night.”

“Good night,” I smiled back at him.

“Did you have fun?” Jae Joong asked me as we entered the elevator.

“Ne,” I said.

“With Yun Ho?” he asked.

“We just talked,” I said.

“For an hour?” he said.

“Is there a problem with that?”

“You just met him today,” he said.

“And you just met me today,” I pointed out.

“That’s…” he started, and bit his lip.

“I know that it was your idea to invite me,” I said as we walked out of the elevator. “And you told me that Eru-shi and TVXQ invited me.”

“Yun Ho told you?” he said incredulously.

“He was only telling me the truth,” I said.

“He should stand by me,” he said. “He shouldn’t go around telling people stuff like that.”

“Like what?” I said. “That Hero Jae Joong of TVXQ goes around picking up fan girls?”

“Aisshiii…” he swore, and quickened his pace.

“My hotel is that way,” I said as I tugged lightly on his sleeve.

“Mianhaeyo,” he said, and we turned to continue walking in the right direction.

“I don’t randomly pick up girls,” he said, after awhile.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I know you don’t.”

“Thank god,” he smiled.

“But your reputation does precede you,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

“Your fans do think that you’re not as innocent as your image seems. They actually believe you have a very naughty side,” I said; and smiled.

“And my past just keeps haunting me,” he smiled.

“We all have out pasts. It’s just whether or not it’s worth someone else digging it up.”

“True,” he said. “The price of stardom,” he sighed.

“Look on the bright side,” I said. “At least you have no trouble getting the girls you want.”

“I don’t always get the girls I want,” he said. “It doesn’t always work.”

“What doesn’t?”

“The fame,” he laughed, and I laughed with him.

“Find me a girl who wouldn’t want to do indecent stuff with you, and I can probably find you 10 who would,” I said.

“You can’t be serious,” he said. “I’m not that popular.”

“You are,” I said. “Even though it’s kind of hard to believe,” I teased.

“Coming from a fan… I guess I should learn to believe in my fans,” he grinned.

“You’re exactly what I’d expected you to be,” I said.

“What did you expect me to be?”

“I think you have a disease,” I said.


“Wangja pyeong,” I giggled, and he covered his face with his hands, as if mortified.

We talked a bit more, and finally came to my hotel lobby.

“Thanks for walking me back,” I said, as soon as we walked into a more secluded corner in the lobby so as to not draw attention to him.

“No problem,” he smiled. “I enjoyed the walk.”

“Thank you for inviting me tonight. It’s a dream come true,” I said.

“I wasn’t sure,” he said. “But from the way you were looking at us when Eru hyung introduced you to us, I could sense that you were a fan.”

“It could be your ego working overtime,” I joked, and he laughed; covering his mouth as he did, like he always does.

“Maybe,” he smiled. “At least it worked.”


“Nothing…” he said. “I’m just marveling how well I could spot my fans.”

“I’m not specifically your fan. I do dedicate an extra percentage to you, but I am first and foremost a TVXQ fan,” I smiled.

“That’s very thoughtful of you; putting my band’s needs before mine,” he said.

“Thank you,” I said. “I try.”

“Keep up the good work,” he said, and pumped his fist, “Hwaiting!”

“Ne…” I laughed. “Chalga,” I said.

“Chalja,” he replied.

I turned to walk away, and all of a sudden, he grabbed my arm and pulled me into his embrace.

“Jae Joong,” I whispered.

My brain was in shock, and all I could do was say his name.

“You’re speaking plainly now?” he said, and pulled away slightly to look at my face.


Before I could say another word, he covered my mouth with his, and started kissing me.

I allowed him to tighten his arms around me as we kissed. Yes… I returned the kiss. I was in heaven. This was beyond my dreams… kissing the man of my dreams… and yet, a thousand thoughts rushed through my brain at that moment. ‘Why was he doing this? God, he can really kiss… I’m gonna be killed by his fans. Why me?’ Then the final thought came. The most important one; the shocker… ‘Omigod… Jeong Hoon!’

“Jeong Hoon,” I gasped as I pushed Jae Joong off me.

“Jeong Hoon?” he said. “What Jeong Hoon?”

As if repeating a person’s name could effectively summon him, there he was, standing 10 feet away, staring at me and Jae Joong.

“My boyfriend,” I said, my voice filled with guilt as Jeong Hoon started walking toward us.

“What?” he said as he whipped around. “You never said you had a boyfriend,” he whispered urgently.

“You never asked,” I said.

As soon as he got to us, Jeong Hoon grabbed Jae Joong by the shoulders and pushed him further away from me and swung a fist at Jae Joong. Jae Joong caught it on time and pushed him away.

“No!” I shouted and hugged Jeong Hoon, trying to keep him away from Jae Joong.

“Let me go!” he shouted, and added a string of vulgarities in Korean, as he struggled against me.

“No, Jeong Hoon,” I said. “He’s gonna be on stage tomorrow. You can’t hit him.”

“Who gives a rat’s ass?!” he shouted and tried to push me away.

“Go, Jae Joong,” I shouted, as I held onto Jeong Hoon desperately. “Ka!”

Jae Joong quickly turned and left, and as soon as he got out of the building, I let got of Jeong Hoon. He tried to follow, but I grabbed onto his arm.

“Let me go,” he said sternly.

“No,” I said. “Andwae.”

“Don’t make me hit you,” he said.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Chapter 13: And It's Still A Dream

We stood there in silence for awhile; him at the balcony, enjoying the breeze, and me, 5 feet behind him, staring at his back.

“Jae Joong-shi,” I finally called out. “Did you want to talk to me?”

“Ani,” he said. “You’re supposed to continue your story.”


“The one you were about to tell me at the beach, before Jun Su came and called me away,” he said as he turned and smiled.

“Oh… that story,” I said nervously. “It’s nothing.”


“Opseumnida,” I smiled.

“And here I thought I was on to something,” he sighed.

I laughed softly at his faked disappointment.

“Anything I can do to make you feel better?” I asked him.

“Hmm…” he contemplated for a moment. “I think I need a drink,” he said as he walked over and sat on the bed.

“I’ll get us some drinks,” I smiled, and I left the room.

I walked out of the room, and immediately bumped into a tall figure.

“Choesonghamnida,” he said, and I looked up.

“It’s alright, Yun Ho-shi,” I smiled.

“Hello Sierra-shi. Nice to see you here,” he said.

“Same here,” I replied.

“Have you by any chance seen Jae Joong?” he asked me as he scanned the crowd.

“He’s in the room,” I said.

“The room?” he repeated after me.

“Yes. He was in the room with me. I’m going to get him and me a drink. Do you want one?”

“Yes, please. Komawoyo,” he smiled, and disappeared into the room before I could ask him what drink he wanted.

I went to the chiller and picked up 2 cans of beer for them and a can of Coke for myself. As I opened the door, I could hear a heated argument between Jae Joong and Yun Ho. I couldn’t help but stand there, and try to pick up what they were debating about, and I didn’t want to barge in since I didn’t want to interrupt.

“You just met her today,” Yun Ho said.

“Are you telling me all this because you like her yourself?” Jae Joong said.

“Don’t be mad. I don’t pick up reporters.”

“So what is your problem?”

“I don’t think it’s wise for you to get involved, even if it’s just one night,” Yun Ho said. “She might feature the whole escapade on the next issue of her magazine.”

“Look at her, Yun Ho,” Jae Joong said. “She’s so obviously a fan, and even if she isn’t, she should be aware of the consequences of kissing and telling after an affair with a member of TVXQ.”

“Fine… since you’re so adamant,” he replied, and walked towards the door.

Before I could pretend I was just walking in, Yun Ho had swung the door open and caught me standing there.

“How long have you been listening?” he asked me.

“Just for awhile,” I said.

“How much did you understand?” he asked.

“Just some,” I lied.

“Come with me,” he said, and this time, it was his turn to drag me across the room.

Here I was, in my blue sundress and white wedges, being dragged across a suite towards the door by U-Know Yun Ho. Was he going to kick me out?

He opened the door, and instead of shoving me out and shutting the door, like I’d expected, he walked out himself, still dragging me along.

“Yun Ho-shi,” I voiced out. “Where are you taking me?”

“We need to talk,” he said.

If you’re wondering, he sounded very curt when talking to me, but he was using polite speech in Korean all the time, indicating respect for me since we hardly knew each other.

We got into the elevator, and he hit the button for the top floor. We rode the lift in silence, and as we neared the top, he realized that I had been carrying the 3 cans of drinks all this time.

“Choesonghaeyo,” he said, and took the 2 cans of beer from me. “Your hands must have been freezing.

“Anieyo,” I smiled. “Kwaench’anayo.”

We got to the top floor, but it wasn’t the end of the journey. He opened the fire escape door and we walked up a flight of stairs before we came to the top of the building. Yun Ho walked towards the edge, and put the 2 cans on beer on the parapet. I walked towards him and put my can of drink beside the beers.

“Yun Ho-shi,” I said, and he cut me off.

“Jae Joong invited you tonight?” he said; his hands on the parapet, but his head turned to look at me.

“He said that it was TVXQ and Eru-shi who invited me,” I said.

“Hah… he probably convinced Eru hyung himself,” he said softly, as he turned away. “That boy needs to grow up.”

“He’s older than you,” I said.

“1 month is a very small difference,” he said. “He should’ve consulted me before he invited you, since I am the leader.”

“I guess,” I said.

“So are you a fan? Or are you here for a scoop?”

“I’m definitely not here for a scoop,” I said.

“Then you’re a fan?” he asked; looking at me expectantly

I kept silent for awhile; contemplating if it were wise to reveal that me, a 24 year old woman, no longer a girl, was infatuated with a Korean boy band whose members were the same age as my younger sister.

“I…” I hesitated.

“It’s okay,” he sighed. “As long as you’re not here for a scoop, I don’t care why you’re here. I just don’t want any harm to come to our band.”

“I have no such intentions,” I said.

“Good,” he said.

He picked up a beer and opened it.

“Beer?” he asked me, as he held it out to me.

“No thanks,” I said. “I don’t drink.”

I picked up the can of Coke and opened it, then took a sip as he took a sip from his beer.

“So… Sierra-shi,” he said. “Who are you?”


“Who are you?” he repeated.

“A reporter?”

“I don’t mean your profession. I was asking about you, as a person. What is your purpose here tonight? What role did you expect to play when you came here tonight? I know I said I didn’t care, but I’m still curious.”

“Nothing,” I said. “I was just here to get to know people.”

“That simple, huh?” he said. “How old are you?”

“24,” I said.

“3 years older than me?”

“Technically, since I was born in December, and you’re born in February, we’re more like 2 years apart instead of 3,” I said.

“So you’re a fan,” he smiled, as he took another sip of his beer.

“Why do you say that?” I asked; blinking at him.

“Only a fan would remember my birthday like that, and usually reporters tend to assume I’m the oldest in the band since I’m the leader,” he said.

He sounded a little smug, having made the discovery, and yet there was lightness in his tone, indicating that he found the situation amusing.

“Okay…” I sighed. “You got me.”

“Is it so hard to admit?” he asked.

“It hurts my credibility as a journalist,” I smiled.

“I see,” he smiled back. “Don’t worry. I won’t tell a soul that you’ve got a crush on us.”

“Well,” I said. “It’s not so serious with the whole band. I’ve got it worse for Jae Joong,” I admitted.

“He’s popular with the overseas fans,” Yun Ho smiled.

“You’re my 2nd choice,” I said, as I pat his back lightly, in an effort to console him.

“Am I never?” he laughed.

“I’m sorry I hurt you,” I joked, and we laughed together at my little joke.

“So…” he asked me. “Why am I always 2nd choice?”

“I don’t know,” I shrugged.

“Is it because I don’t act cute as often as Jae Joong does?”

“Maybe it’s the man boobs,” I joked, and he winced.

“You’re definitely a fan. How do I know you’re not the stalker kind,” he said.

“You don’t,” I winked.

“Aishii…” he said, then laughed. “Your Korean is pretty good.”

“I doubled up my studying time the moment I realized that I would be covering this event. I took a crash course as well,” I smiled.

“Not bad…” he laughed.

“So does Jae Joong do this often?” I asked.


“Pick up fan girls,” I said.

“Not really. Just the ones he really likes,” he said.

“I’m flattered,” I said.

“And he had to pick a reporter this time,” he sighed.

“I’m not here to write an exposé,” I said.

“I didn’t know that until I spoke to you,” he said.

“So now you know?”

“Yes,” he said.

We stayed there for a long time, chatting and joking. An hour soon passed, and we decided to make our way back to the party in case people starting wondering where we are and possibly gossiping about our disappearance.

When we got back to the suite, I approached Jae Joong to inform him I was leaving.

“So soon?” he said, looking a teensy bit disappointed.

“I need to prepare to cover the concert tomorrow. I’ll see you on the site,” I said. “Thank you for inviting me tonight.”

“No problem,” he said.

“I’ll leave now,” I said. “Annyeonghikyeseyo,” I added with a small bow before turning to leave.

“I’ll walk you back,” he said, suddenly.