I watched as she dressed before me—her silky smooth skin as bright as tonight's full moon. Her petite figure arched as she slipped on a simple piece of lingere. Her hair ebony black—reflected, shimmered beneath the bright moonbeams. She's beautiful. Words cannot describe. She was so graceful. She pulled her hair to one side, showing her bare shoulder. She turned around to face me.
"Jiwon," she murmured softly. She returned to my side again on the bed, her legs brushing against mine as she slipped beneath the covers to join me. She placed her head on my shoulder and snuggled close as my arm went around her shoulders to embrace her. Her body felt cool next to mine, refreshing and comfortable.
We remained silent, teasuring the peacefulness and stillness of time. It was our last night together. She knew it. I knew it. It was the inevitable. We couldn't deny the fact. We can't be together.
I looked down at the figure before me, wondering what she was thinking about. But I didn't ask. I didn't want to or felt the need to. Then she spoke.
"I'm thinking about us. Tonight. Everything. What's gonna happen...and...if I'll ever see you again," she said quietly.
I kissed her hair which smelled of sweet honey and sighed. Our love affair's over. Tonight's the first and our last night together...in utter silence.
"Make love to me...again?"
I held her a little longer, my heart tearing apart. When I first entered the house tonight, I was depressed and angry. I tore her clothes off and we had made love on the kitchen table. Then we shifted and I took her to shower with me and fucked her brains out there. After the second time, we just had another round a few minutes ago.
I felt her body stir and she turned, her round eyes staring at me intently. I realized I had just took her all three times without her willing to or consent. She leaned forward and kissed the corners of my lips, her touches sending chills down my body, setting my body on fire.
She sat back, her soulful eyes never leaving my face. I gave in. I removed her garment and our last lovemaking ceremony began.
I remained in the house for the rest of the night. I watched as she drifted in and out of consciousness. I didn't sleep at all. I couldn't. She couldn't sleep much either. We lay in each other's arms for the most part, wishing this wasn't the end. But it was.
Finally the day came. My love affair with her was over, my career, my life, everything...
We got out of bed and went to the attic to watch the sunrise. It was cold and we sat on the roof, waiting....
Slowly, the sun appeared. There were so many colors. It was so beautiful. Her skin was frozen but there was warmth in her touch. We held onto each other, our breath caught, our time with each other running out.
It felt like an eternity, but the sun finally rose and it's high up in the sky. Its warm rays kissing our bare skin and signaled to us, the day has come.
We got up and returned indoors, tired, yet energetic in a way.
"You hungry?" she whispered.
I shook my head. I led her to the bathroom, however, and we shared our breakfast there. I could never get tired of kissing her. I could go on forever. That's what happened. We went on exchanging kisses forever in the shower.
"You gotta go. You'll be late."
"No, I won't." I realized she was right. But the press conference wasn't until two. If I stayed any longer, I wouldn't want to leave.
"Sing that song?"
Her voice was so soft. She never raised her voice or yelled at me. Her lips...
"Of course," I replied as we entered our room. She helped me with my outfit while I sang. It was a special song. My fans loved it. But they love it for the wrong..or should I say..a different reason?
We sat around the house a bit, kissing and holding hands. We didn't say much, silence was we needed. We eventually fell asleep in each other's arms on the couch, the time suspended and the world frozen at our fingertips.
I slowly pried my eyes oen, yawning a bit. I checked my Rolex—it was twelve. I was careful not to wake her and carried her back to bed. I kissed her cheeks, her creamy skin glowing at the touch.
"Sarang hae yo...young won hee..." I whispered.
She must've heard me, if not, then subconsciously. She snuggled further into her pillow and smiled.
I hurried out of the room, tears on the verge of spilling. I found the keys to my car and pulled my shoes on. I had to get back to the city. The press conference...it was bad enough I have to lose my career and have it made public. I didn't want to lose my love to the public either...
My cell phone rang just as I opened the door to my BMW. It was Jaeduk. He was crying.
"Hyung!" he sobbed.
I felt his pain. I've been with Sechs Kies for over two years and now they want us to break up. "Hi, Jaeduk."
"Hyung! I don't wanna go! I don't wanna!"
I pulled away and sped in the direction of the city, trying to get home before DSP calls. "Dukee, I won't wanna go either."
"But...we were doing so good! Why?!!!"
"I have no idea. I guess they don't like seeing us rise to the top. They wanna break us. They don't wanna see our success."
Jaeduk hiccupped a few times. "Are you going?"
Going? Who was he kidding. "Of course."
Jaeduk whimpered. "I'll go get ready then. Can you come before we leave?"
I agreed. We hung up just as I was getting closer to home. It was unfair. I hated them. No, I loathe and despise them. They were the reason why I'm losing my singing career and my band mates. They're the reason why my love affair has to come to an end. They're the reason why there will no longer be Sechs Kies. Because of them...everything's coming to an end.
It was time. As we got off the DSP van, there were more than millions and billions of fans. They were everywhere. We—Sechs Kies—were escorted to a hotel room in the Seoul Intercontinental Hotel. The date and time, May 18, 1999, 1:45 PM. All six of us waited as our executives and bosses spoke of private matters amongst themselves in another room. Then a knock at the door.
Jiyong got up, dressed in his finest black suit and tinted shades, approached the door. Before he opened it, he asked outloud, "Who ordered room service?" When he got no reply, he yanked the door open.
There was silence. I stood up and went to him, staring at the empty space on the opposite end of the door. "Who was it?"
"I dunno," he answered, surprised. "Look."
Then my eyes caught the ice bucket. I reached over and picked up the bucket, recognizing the object in the bucket. It was her.
"Whoohoooooooo, hyung! Who would leave us something like that?" Jiyong asked, hugging the bucket as well. "Look! There's a card."
I picked the card off the bottle of White Chardonnay and flipped it open. Jiyong went back into the room, showcasing the bottle of wine.
I've prepared for this day for so long.
We were supposed to celebrate
but I guess time flew by and slipped by our fingers too quick.
I know it wouldn't be convenient for me to be there with you and for you,
so hopefully this will stand in my place and bring you the best of luck.
Loving you always,
Yes, I knew something was wrong. We didn't drink to our farewell. We didn't toast to it. She was lovely, elegant and graceful enough to remember.
I went to the rest of the Kies and eyed them one by one. They were all sad. Jaeduk's eyes were the reddest and most puffiest. Everybody sniffled here and there and were silent.
I sighed. My heart was aching. "Let's drink to our success."
Everybody looked up. I was pretty sure I looked like a wimp, my eyes teary and watery. But that's okay. That's how I am. I'm not a gutless thug.
"Jiyong?" I said hoarsely.
He looked grave and sick. His tall, lean and thin figure was masked with fatigue. He nodded and Jaejin went off to find glasses. Jiyong broke the seal and slowly popped the top open.
I stood still, too tired to move. So many things were going on. We still had to practice. We still have one more concert to attend to. I snorted. That was stupid. DSP arranged for us to have this press conference and wanted us to announce to the world Sechs Kies is gone. Sechs Kies is leaving. Yet still want us to have one last performance as a group after we broke up? It was corny.
Jiyong filled each glass with the elegant wine and I felt five pairs of eyes all on me, waiting...
I smiled meekly and accepted the glass Seonghoon held up for me. "Here's to Sechs Kies."
"Our success," Jaejin added.
"All the bullshit we had to go through," Jiyong said gruffly.
"All the fun we had as a group," Seonghoon whispered.
"The girls," Soowon said with a sad grin.
I couldn't help but laugh. I had expected that from Jaeduk and not Soowon. We all paused and turned to Jaeduk.
"To all the laughter and tears.." Jaeduk hiccupped. "To all the yellow balloons that'll be flying at the Dream Concert one last time. To..the legend of Sechs Kies."
Amen. That's what I like. Jaeduk—I may have bitched at the most for over two years—made the most perfect and logic speech tonight. "To our legend...we now drink."
We all drained our glasses and sniffled a bit. The door opened and our manager was the first to appear.
"It's time." He looked around us, a scowl on his face. I was actually glad to see him pissed off. What can he do to us now? Absolutely nothing. "You were drinking," he commented.
No shit. Funny, he sounded rather blunt. I just smirked. I set my glass on a light stand and walked past the bastard. "Let's go."
Everybody, my fellow Kies, followed me out. We filed one by one into the spacious room, flashes and clicking of camera shutters greeting us. It was gonna be a while and I know I'll hate every minute, every second of it.
"Eun Jiwon! Could you possibly tell us of your future plans now that Sechs Kies will no longer be together?"
"Eun Jiwon! How do you feel about the break up?"
I cleared my throat and made sure it echoed throughout the room. The reporters stilled and waited.
"As of now, I can't tell you what's gonna happen. This breakup was expected. But not so soon. What I feel? I feel happy, yet sad. The world's a biased place. Biased society. I feel like shit. A stupid piece of rejected shit. But if I stayed any longer with DSP, I'll become a useless piece of dumb shit. They may be well respected and everything, but you all dunno the real story."
I sat back and waited. Everybody was suspended in silence, probably shocked I "swore" in public. Not good. There were three strict rules a Korean celebrity must abide by. One, must not swear in public. Two, no drinking or smoking before an audience or public. And three, no girlfriends. Fuck, I'm not gay. No girlfriend? I glanced at the managers and executives of the board. They were livid. They were purple. They wanted to stab my eyes out. I know. I wanted them to know that's how much I hate them too. I don't wanna stab their eyes out. I wanna kill them.
"Uhhhhh..." Seonghoon started. "Hopefully, our fans will forever remember us in their hearts although we're gone."
Next to me, Jaeduk sighed in relief. I smirked and waited for more aggravating questions to come my way. Only a few more minutes to go. We're history.
That was it. I'm now Eun Jiwon. No longer a singer, no longer part of Sechs Kies. Hell, my name probably doesn't even mean anything to anyone anymore.
I turned to the quiet voice. "Soowon?"
"Hyung, hopefully...we'll come together once again. If not sometime soon, then in a few years."
I smiled and gave Soowon a pat on the shoulder. He never failed to comfort me and was always there to back me up..on everything.
"Are you gonna be busy?"
I paused, contemplating for a few seconds. "For a while. Wassup?"
"One last night together as Sechs Kies...wanna come?"
I chewed on my lower lip. "Sure. I'll catch up later, k?"
Soowon nodded and gave me a hug before running off with Jaejin in search for the others.
I loosened my tie and headed on outside, forgetting the crazy fans that's probably outside still milling around. They screamed. Like they saw a freak. Maybe I am one. Now that I'm no longer H.O.T's rival. I ran back inside and found my way out to the garage, a trail of screams following me. I spotted my car and hurried to it. I jumped in and started the engine. I could see not too far away, girls scampering all over the parking lot trying to find me.
I backed out of the parking space and was careful trying not to hit anybody. I jetted away once I found a free strip along the side of the garage and drove down the lane to the next lower level. It was crazy. I was getting closer to the exit and I could still hear those maniacs up there screaming, "EUN JIWON!!! JIWON OPPA, come out!!!!"
Then someone hit me. Holy shit, it's a fan. Her hair was wild, her glasses were crooked and her clothes were tattered. I screamed just as she screamed. I looked up, out of the front window, wondering if she fell from the levels above. Then they all came. A whole swarm of them, crowding around my BMW, banging on the windows. I couldn't tell if they were screaming or crying. I don't want to hurt them. They're in my way. I needed to get away. Suddenly they started chanting. What they were chanting, I have no idea. Then they backed off and dove upon my car again. Damn these kids! They're gonna fuck it up!
"KILL FINKL! KILL DSP! KILL FINKL! KILL DSP! KILL FINKL! KILL DSP!!"
I froze. Kill FinKL, kill DSP? Now they're talking. Never mind, FinKL. Kill DSP alone would make me happy. Then somebody screamed. No. More like a holler. They slowly moved away. It was in slow motion, everybody headed in another direction. Probably they saw Seonghoon.
I was most likely right. Cause I heard them scream in unison and a few growls and roars. That seems right. Lots of guys hated Seonghoon. They weren't as pretty nor charming. Haha. Then they stampeded over my car. That confirmed my suspicion. It had to be Seonghoon.
I quietly left, driving my car along the small side streets instead of taking the big highway where everybody can see me. Having crazy fans trampling over your car's bad enough. I can't afford having anymore strange behaviors or damages done to my only car.
I made it. Just in time. I threw the door open and allowed myself inside. I closed the door and turned to see nothing disturbing, but something...not expected.
It was dark. Candles were lit in every corner, every inch along the room—there was a candle. They were bright and soft. I dropped off my blazer and tie on a nearby chair and moved on to the rest of the house.
It was silent throughout the house. I went to the piano room, it was the same as the rest of the house, but with more elegance. It was a beautiful sight. Candles were everywhere. She didn't overdo it with millions and millions of candles. It was perfect. The window was open, a slight drift dancing into the room. The flames flickered a bit, but didn't go out. It smelled of apples. It was that girly scent in those fragrances. Apple something. It was sweet and delicate. Nothing too dramatic or strong.
I went off to look for her. She was somewhere in the house and I had to see her. Where was she?
Then I heard it. The music. "You are always gonna my love....I'll remember..you taught me how...You are always gonna be the one...."
It was so soft. Coming from where, I have no idea. I went to the back, but it the yard was empty. I hurried to our room, she wasn't there. Then it got louder. "You are always be inside my heart..I hope I have always..Now and forever you are still..." I looked up. "You are always gonna my love....I'll remember..you taught me how...You are always gonna be the one....Now and forever..."
The Attic. Our heaven. Our place. I ran to the hallway and jerked the door to the attic open. I scrambled up the stairs, tripping over my legs..the music getting louder.
She was up there. I know it. She has to be.
It was dark. Other than the opened window which we always climb out of to watch the sunsets and sunrises, the room was dark. Then I saw it.
The candles. They were arranged in an odd fashion. But as I moved away, I saw it. Jiwon with a heart around it. I gasped silently, realizing she must have spent her whole lifetime arranging everything. From the lower level of the house all the way up to the top.
"I knew you would come."
I spun around and found my reflection staring back at me in the mirror. She stepped out of the dark corner, the full length mirror hiding her. She had on the most gorgeous outfit. It wasn't anything fancy, just a plain dress. It was creamy white—just like her complexion. Her hair brushed to one side, hiding one shoulder. Her lips soft and naturally tinted with a touch of pink. Her eyes wide and dark, innocently staring at my messy figure. Her neck...around it hung the necklace I gave her.
She approached me, her arms stretched out. "Jiwon..."
I grabbed her and pulled her to me. We stood still, holding each other, the music replaying automatically.
After a moment, she said, "Let's dance."
We moved slowly, very slow...her voice...she sang along with Utada Hikaru's First Love. It was so soothing, so loving...it was the most beautiful song I've ever heard. I've never paid attention to that song, but now that she's singing it..it was the best song ever written.
We danced for hours. My legs were numb, they had no feeling..I didn't care. She didn't seem to either. She held onto me and we twirled around and around. The song playing again and again. Somehow my shirt got wrinkled and ruffled, but I still held on. I needed her. Her body was so small and warm. I felt I was under a spell. Everything I did was in a daze. We exchanged glances, only glances. We didn't dare to kiss.
"You are always gonna be my love," she said, staring into my eyes. "You are always gonna be the one."
I couldn't speak. I just stared back, my throat stuck. I was falling. I was sinking into the dark pools of her eyes. I could see myself—messed up, raggedy, depressed, desperately in love...
She smiled and brushed away my tear. "You are always gonna be the one...now and forever..."
I hugged close and went on dancing, trying to forget everything that had happened over the two years we've been together. She's a ghost. A shadow. She followed me. She was time. She came by when my career started. She's gone when my career's over. We danced for a few more minutes and sat down, watching the flames glow. They could go on burning forever...a symbol of our love.
"Can we watch the sun set?" she asked quietly, looking up at me.
I nodded and we climbed out the window and sat at our usual spot. The sky was bright and on fire. The sun was white and the sky went on burning. We sat in silence, the music still playing behind us. The shades of orange-red faded to a reddish pink color and slowly switched to orange-white. The purple was the best one and then all the colors faded and died.
There was a cricket concert. They all were chirping and the stars showed themselves, sparkling and dancing in the darkest sky.
We returned to the attic and blew each individual candle out together. Then we went to the living room and sat around for a while and stared at a few pictures we've taken together in the past. She took a camera out and snapped it a few times at me. Then we took two pictures of us together. We stood and blew each candle out together. One candle, one kiss. That was well over fifty and then me moved on to the piano room.
"Kitchen last," she said. "Special dinner."
I nodded and let her guide me through the house. I didn't want to argue. I wanted to tell her I couldn't stay the whole night. Then I remembered what I promised Soowon. I told him I'd join him and the rest later. But now..I'm stuck here.
We entered the piano room, the candles still bright and burning. How long have we been dancing and fooling around? The candles must be super duty. She sat down on the piano bench and patted at the empty space beside her, motioning for me to beside her. I strolled to her, my arm automatically circling her waist.
She lifted her graceful hands and placed them on the keys. She started playing a song. It was of one I didn't recognize. It was slow and sad. Very emotional. I watched, facinated. She was so beautiful. Talented...she was everything.
Then she opened her mouth. "You taught me how...you are always gonna be the one..."
I realized that was the song we were dancing to earlier. But that wasn't it. It was a completely different song..yet she's saying the lyrics. She stopped. Her hands stopped.
"Want to play?" she asked in a soft whisper.
I placed my hands on the keys next to hers, not knowing what to do. I played piano when I was a kid, but the lessons stopped. What song did she wanted me to play?
"Play...White Chardonnay..." she requested.
Automatically, my fingers went down—striking the keys as the melody slowly came to mind. That was our song. That was the song. We wrote that song together, edited and sang it...together. Then she came in.
Her long fingers glided over the keys gracefully and elegantly. While my hands were just flying all over the place. She played the version we never talked about. She played the "banned" version we never agreed on. She played on her end of the piano, her hands slightly trembling.
The song was at least two hours long. It was the longest composition I've ever written. It was the only composition I've ever written with her. And it's the last.
She was playing the last measurement while I ended mine a few minutes ago. We sat there, our hands resting on our laps. I picked up her hand toyed with it, fingering with the ring on her finger. It was my favorite ring. On her other hand, she wore my class ring.
"Hungry?" she asked.
I paused. Not really. I shook my head.
She smiled and placed her head on my shoulder. "You can't stay."
I know that was a question. But...
She threw herself at me, hugging me tight. "Please...don't go."
The song was playing in my head now. Damn, she got it stuck in my head. "You are always the one..." I murmured. "Always and forever...you're the one..."
I heard her sniffle. She's crying. She never cried. She always smiled. "You taught me how..you're always gonna be the one. The only one."
She looked up, the tears—clear like crystal. They were magnificent. She stood up, taking my hand. I pulled her back and kissed her. The tears were frozen. They sent chills straight down to my toes. I didn't care. I wanted her. I wanted to stay...forever...
She sat down again, this time on my lap. We gazed at the candles that were slowly dying out. Soon we were enveloped in the dark. We didn't talk for the longest time and when I thought she fell asleep on me, she pulled away. I just sat there. She came back with something. I don't know what. I couldn't see. It's too dark.
Then I heard something pop. She was pouring something. The scent. Chardonnay...She came over to me with two glasses. I could see the lining of her figure and the glasses. She handed me a glass and sat next to me. Our eyes found each other and we stared on..forever.
Our glasses met and it tinked. We drained the glasses and waited. Then she spoke.
I stalled. "Dinner?"
I could feel her smile. She stood up and motioned for me to follow her. We came into the kitchen and she flicked the light switch on. She made me sit at the table while she went and got the plate out. It smelled heavenly. She placed the plate before me and I stared down at it, marvelled. "You're not eating?"
She shook her head. I played with the food for a while, then dug in. I was hungry. Fuck, I was dying! I scarfed down my dinner and she disappeared. When she came back, she came back with the Chardonnay and our glasses. She poured filled our glasses again and set mines down before me. I drank slowly, the taste sweet.
"Finished?" she murmured.
"Yes," I replied, gazing at the wine bottle.
I yawned. "Sorta."
We went to bed and laid there wide awake. I held her until she fell asleep, the smell of apple something drifting into our room. I checked my Rolex. It was eleven. Where did all the time go?!! I looked over to my sleeping angel. She was beautiful. She slept so peacefully.
I got up out of bed and kneeled before her. I tickled her cute little nose and smiled. "God sent you to me...you're the one."
I waited a few minutes and kissed her. A tear slid from the corner of her eye and rolled down the side of her face. A happy tear? I frowned. I didn't want to stay and figure it out. I debated with my inner self. Brush the tear away? No..I'll leave it. It's the only tear I've ever seen...from her...
I straightened myself out and didn't even bother to shower. I pulled the covers over her body, the draft floating in from the attic. I staggered out of our room, feeling empty inside. I went to the bathroom and washed my face. I glared at the Jiwon in the mirror. I felt like shit. Nothing was going my way. I sighed and wiped off my face again and turned the light off.
I cleaned up the place and made sure every candle was out and picked up my tie and blazer. I gave a back glance at everything. This was it. I picked up my bottle of Chardonnay I left with my tie and walked out the door.
A private room. They were all sober when I arrived. Jiyong, Jaejin and Soowon were playing pool while Seonghoon and Jaeduk were singing kaoroke. They all smiled once I appeared.
"Hyung!" they chorused.
I set down the wine and collasped on a nearby seat. "Wassabi?"
"Where have you been?" Seonghoon questioned, eyeing my messy attire.
"Around," I mumbled. "Thirsty, anybody?"
Everybody gathered around me while I popped the top. "No, glass. We gotta be ghetto." I took a swag at the drink and passed it to Seonghoon, who I knew hated alcohol. He had the lowest tolerance for any type of drink compared to the rest of us. It'd be funny to see him trying to act manly.
Seonghoon froze for a second and took the bottle from me. He timidly took a sip and turned red. I laughed my ass off. He quickly shoved the bottle to Jaejin and went off to gag elsewhere. Everybody took turns with the bottle and fell back on the couches. We all got around to singing. How? I had no idea.
We messed around a little longer and I checked the time again. It was two. I was tired and so was everybody else. We all decided to sleep over my house, so we stumbled out of the rented pool room and Seonghoon paid while everybody piled either into my car or Seonghoon's.
We raced home, Seonghoon was close to beating me. I pulled up in the driveway a few seconds before he did and turned off the ignition before he could jump out of his car and race to the back door and claim winner. We slowly staggered out of our cars and everybody followed me indoors. They were all familiar with the house. My parents were away and my sisters were over their boyfriends' houses and my brothers didn't live home anymore.
They all crashed in the guest room, mumbling things I couldn't understand. I was too tired to be bothered with a shower so I headed upstairs to my room.
I threw the door open and fell on my bed. I kicked off my shoes and groaned. I have a headache. I managed to take off my clothes and laid in bed with my t-shirt and shorts. It was cool. I snuggled beneath my blankets and took a deep breath. It was my first night back at home...actually sleeping.
I kicked something. I sat up, my mind fully awaken. It sounded like a bottle. I kicked again and heard it. I lifted my blanket and look down by my foot. It was another bottle of White Chardonnay. Then I smelled it. It was that apple something. The frest scent was in my room. I looked at the window. The window was opened slightly and the curtains were drawn. There was a slight draft coming into my room.
I smiled. I picked up the bottle and held it in my hands. That was all I needed to remember her. I hugged the bottle and fell back on my bed.
For once, I can sleep peacefully. I think after tonight...both of us can rest peacefully...forever...
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