Friday, October 12, 2007

Chapter 18

December 2006…

I’ve taken the job of teaching at the academy. Initially, I’d balked at the idea when the dean requested for me to return as a teaching staff.

“I’m not the best student you have,” I told him. “There are so many more that are better than me, and would do a better job at teaching the students.”

“You have the necessary experience, and you know how difficult it is. Of course we do not expect you to be overly sympathetic towards the kids, but we know you will be able to handle them well since you understand their pain.”

“It’s your call,” I said. “I need a job anyway.”

So here I am… teaching modern dance and choreography.

At first, I struggled to communicate with the students. I wasn’t sure if I should be stern like all the other instructors, or be sweet and nice. But slowly, seeing the determination of my students in class made me realize that I did not need to be fierce or stern. They were here for the purpose of succeeding, and they pushed themselves hard enough. I feel ashamed of myself when I compare my years as a student here with theirs.

Han Kyung’s in Beijing this week. I know because Hee Chul had sent me an email.

Hey Little Mermaid,

You missing us? Just dropping you a mail to let you know that Han Kyung is coming to Beijing on Dec 9… he’s been invited to judge this Cyworld competition since he’s the first million hit Cyworld user… Was it you who clicked his Cyworld a million times? ^_^

I think he’s gonna go back as some national hero… are you gonna be waving his flag when his chariot passes? Hehe!

Anyway… just so you know… the guys wanted to visit you when they dropped by at Hainan, but it was a day trip… so… Call Han Kyung, will ya? I think he wants to see you…

Take care,


He wanted to see me… if he wanted to see me, he’d come seek me himself.

Since I returned to Beijing, I would be at Yi He Yuan, every Sunday, sitting near the bridge, reading or simply watching the river flow. It calmed me, and I had nothing better to do. The place was filled with our memories. The long walks we had, the ice cream we ate, the kisses we shared atop the pagoda and on the bridge; I’m assaulted by them whenever I’m there. But they made smile, and were therefore worth remembering.

Sunday, 10 December; I was on the bridge as usual. It’s cold these days… and despite not being a fan of the cold, I persist on coming here. It was 5pm and the sky was gradually turning dark. I watched people start to walk out of Yi He Yuan, probably going off for dinner with friends and family. Watching them often reminded me that I had no one to go home to.

Five minutes later, I decided I’ve had enough and turned around to walk down the bridge. As I walked, a familiar head came into sight.

“Jui jin hao ma?” he said.

I stood there motionless and blinked my eyes in disbelief. He was here.

“Lost your voice?” he smiled as he walked towards me.

“No,” I replied, my voice shaking.

“Then why don’t you answer me?”

“I’m shocked,” I replied.

“Didn’t Hee Chul tell you I was coming?”

“He didn't say you were gonna seek me out. He just said you were coming to Beijing.”

“Nice of him to help me plan a surprise,” he laughed.

“I didn’t think you’d have the time to come here either.”

“If it matters to me, I would try my hardest. You’ve forgotten?”

“How did you know I was here?”

“Where else would you be?” he said. “I went to the school and got your apartment’s address, but when I got there, you weren’t home. So I figured you had to be here.”

“I didn’t think…”

“That I would remember?”


“I remember… we said we’d come back here someday, to meet up. But it’s a bit too soon isn’t it?” he smiled.


“Didn’t we plan this meeting for when we’re 60?”

“We did,” I smiled, and then I sneezed.

“You’re cold,” he said as he walked up to me and put his arm around me.

He was wearing a long coat and leather gloves. He’d obviously just finished attending some event since he was dressed quite formally.

“You’re dressed so formal,” I remarked as I reached out to touch the lapel of his coat.

“I had an event just now. Got off just in time to rush here.”

“If you had been a little later,” I said.

“I would’ve missed you,” he finished for me. “I miss you.”

“Han Kyung,” I whispered, tears starting to well in my eyes.

“Han Geng,” he whispered back. “Wo yong yuan shi ni de Han Geng,” he said, and he kissed me.

I kissed him back with all my heart. I missed him too. It’s only been a little more than month since I left him, but I missed him like crazy.

“Gen wo hui Han Guo,” he said as he pulled away.

“What? You know we can’t,” I said.

“Yes we can,” he said. “Since we won the MKMF, the management has been giving us more freedom. The management also found out what that crazy manager did, and he was fired. Come back with me. You can always get a job with another company.”

“How sure are you?”

“You trained Super Junior. Which company wouldn’t want you?” he said.

“You’re really serious, aren’t you? You’d planned to take me back with you all along?”

“Sierra, nan dao ni hai bu liao jie wo? Nan dao ni bu ji dao wo duo mo ai ni?”

“Ni ai wo…” I repeated after him.

“Wo ai ni,” he said, and he hugged me tightly. “Please come back to Korea with me.”

“But my teaching here.”

“There are plenty others waiting to take your job. I can’t live without you. Wo bu neng zai shi qu ni.”

The sky had darkened and the doors of Yi He Yuan were probably closing anytime now. I looked up at Han Geng and I reached out my hands to touch his face. How can I live my life without him? He was right. We can’t lose each other anymore. Our lives were not complete without one another.

“Hao ba,” I said.


“Yes. Let’s go back to Korea together,” I said, and this time, I kissed him.

“Did you miss me?” he whispered against my lips.

“Yes, I did. I was so lonely without you.”

“You know we still can’t live together when we get back. Not officially.”

“I’m fine with that.”

“Wo ai ni,” he said, and he kissed me lightly on the lips.

“I know,” I smiled against his lips.

“Kaja,” he said as he led us down the bridge moments later, his arm wrapped tightly around me to hold me at his side. “What do you want for dinner?”

“Jiao zhi!” I said. “Mandu!”

“Don’t you ever get sick of them?” he laughed.

“If I did, I’d get sick of you too,” I said.

“So you’re saying that I mean as much to you as dumplings do?”

“Yes,” I giggled.

“Hai…” he sighed. “Wo ming zhen ku…”

Life isn’t always perfect. Life sure isn’t a field of flowers. Life always included hardship and bitterness… but as long as we have someone to share it with… life could just be a little bit more bearable… and we can wake up each day and smile, knowing that at least we’re not living this life alone.

Han Geng’s Cyworld entry on 13 December.

No.68 韩庚 ( 2006.12.13 16:06 )

号我做完活动10 号我就回家陪我的家人,在这几天没有和大


Hi everyone, I came back to Korea today~ didn't leave a message when I was in China, made you guys worry, sorry. This time went back to China's CY Party I saw everything that you guys did for me, I'm very touched. Really wished to say a lot to you all, but don't know what to say when I wanna speak~ I'm a person who doesn't express myself properly, hehe~~~ I finished the events on the 9th and went back home to accompany my family on the 10th. Didn't tell you all about it during these few days, made you guys worry. I saw from the net that some came from overseas, and by yourself. This is really very dangerous, I don't want everyone to tire themselves out, so I didn't tell you all. When I went back to accompany my family, you can also accompany your families too~~ wait till you have your own family, you will realise that family is really very important~~ hope you guys can accompany them more. Take good care of them from now onwards, I also wish you guys can be happy always. I pray for you guys~~~~~~ I love you all.

Chinese Notes

Jui jin hao ma?
How have you been?

Wo yong yuan shi ni de Han Geng.
I will always be your Han Geng.

Gen wo hui Han Guo.
Come back with me to Korea.

Nan dao ni hai bu liao jie wo?
You still don’t understand me?

Nan dao ni bu ji dao wo duo mo ai ni?
You don’t know how much I love you?

Ni ai wo…
You love me…

Wo bu neng zai shi qu ni.
I can’t lose you again.

Hao ba.

Wo ai ni.
I love you.

Jiao zhi!

Wo ming zhen ku…
What a tough life I lead.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Chapter 17

Han Kyung and I didn’t speak for the longest time; a few weeks to be exact. We went about our training sessions like strangers. I’d see them each day, and the rest of the guys were still friendly and all, but Han Kyung would be distant, coming in on the dot for the session and leaving as soon as it ends.

I had no idea what went on in his mind. When I asked Hee Chul, all he could say was that we needed to give Han Kyung time to calm down. 2 weeks after our quarrel, Han Kyung, together with Si Won, did the unthinkable.

“Yah!” Sung Min yelled as he ran into the dance studio.

“Waegeurae?” Ee Teuk said as he rubbed his ears. “You almost ruptured my eardrums.”

“Come quick,” he said. “Han Kyung and Si Won are arguing with manager hyung.”

“Which one?” Shin Dong asked.

“Who else? The maniac,” he said and out he ran again.

The rest of the guys followed and we came to the fire exit.

“They’re in there,” Sung Min said as he pointed to the door.

“We know… we can hear them,” Eun Hyuk smirked.

All 12 of us stood outside and listened to the exchange between the 3 of them.

“You can’t do this, hyung,” Si Won said.

“You boys should really mind your own business,” the manager said. “You’re lucky you’re not gonna get deported anymore, Han Kyung. If your popularity hadn’t improved, you’d end up like Sierra.”

“If she goes, I go,” Han Kyung said.

“And how are you gonna cough up the money? You signed a contract with SM. Remember?”

“Hyung… Sierra has no relationship with Hee Chul hyung. You’ve got it all wrong,” Si Won said.

“Stop defending her… it’s so obvious. They’re always together, and someone also reported to me that she was dating one of you. Who could it be? Unless it’s actually you, Si Won,” he sneered.

“What if it’s me?” Si Won said.

“Same ending for her; she’ll be deported,” he said, and the two of them became silent. “Get back to your training. The MKMF is in less than 2 months, and you have so much to do. If I hear another word from any of you, I’ll have her sent back to China immediately.”

As soon as he finished his sentence, the manager walked out of the exit, and all of us made way for him.

“Heard everything, didn’t you?” he looked at all of us. “Get back to your practice session before I report all of this to the management.”

“I wanna…” Kang In raised his arms, ready to charge at him, but Dong Hae held him back.

“What are we gonna do?” Sung Min asked.

“What can we do when there is actually some truth in the accusations,” Ee Teuk sighed.

“What?” Kyu Hyun exclaimed. We’d almost forgotten than he was still in the dark about my relationship with Han Kyung.

“Sorry for not telling you earlier,” Han Kyung said as he came to stand beside me. “Sierra and I have been dating for a long time; even before you joined Super Junior.”

“Why doesn’t anyone tell me anything?” Kyu Hyun exclaimed.

“Because we’re not allowed to, and we didn’t want to burden you,” Ki Bum said.

“Yah… I’m a member too!” Kyu Hyun protested.

“Araso… araso…” Shin Dong laughed and put an arm around Kyu Hyun. “We’ll let you in on the secrets from now on.

“I need to talk to you,” Han Kyung said to me, and I just nodded and followed him as he walked away from the group.

We found an empty studio and went inside. I turned on the lights, and Han Kyung locked the door. I looked at him and he looked at me, then he suddenly rushed forward, picked up a chair and threw it to the far end of the room.

“Han Kyung!” I exclaimed.

I’d jumped in shock when he did that. It was a side of him I’ve never seen. He knelt down on the spot where he was standing and started pounding on the floor.

“Wei shen me?” he shouted.

“Han Kyung,” I called out and I rushed forward and grabbed his hands. “Bu yao zhe yang,” I said, and I started to cry.

All the tears that I’ve been hiding from him were unleashed today. I couldn’t keep my feelings to myself anymore. I was trying to be brave whilst waiting for an alternative, a solution to our situation.

“Bu yao ku,” he said as he pulled me into his arms.

“I didn’t want this to happen,” I sobbed against his chest.

We were both sitting on the floor, both his arms around me, and mine around his waist as I cried.
“I know… I know…” he said.

“We can’t both sacrifice ourselves,” I said. “You can’t let that crazy man know we’re together. Your standing in the band could be affected. You don’t know what will happen.”

“And I’m supposed to just watch you leave me again?”

“I’ll come back. I promise,” I said. “We’ll find a way. I just can’t be in SM. Promise me you won’t try anything without first talking to me. Da ying wo!”

“Hao… wo da ying ni,” he sighed and we tightened our arms around each other.

After that, we never talked about my impending departure anymore. We spent as much time as we could together, and we went about it as discreet was we could so that we didn’t arouse the manager’s suspicion. The weeks flew by, and soon, it was November. In another 2 weeks, I’ll be leaving Seoul, and going back to Beijing. I’d thought that I would at least have a proper farewell with the guys, but it was not to be.

“Here,” their manager said as he tossed me an envelope.

He’d asked to see me and I’d been wondering what he was up to.

“Igot mwoya?” I asked him.

“Your plane ticket and the rest of your salary. You can count it if you want to,” he said.

“I thought I had 2 more weeks?”

“I’d decided that you need to go now. You have a problem with that?”

“Can I at least say goodbye to the guys?” I asked him.

“No, but you can write them a nice letter. I’ll help,” he said as he tossed me a pen and a piece of paper.

“I want to see them,” I said.

“You’ll write the letter now,” he said, and just then two men walked into the room.

“What’s this?” I asked him.

“They’re here to persuade you,” he said.

“You’re not gonna get away with this,” I said.

“Watch me,” he smiled sinisterly. “Now start writing… Dear Guys…” he said.

The two men came to stand beside me. One of them picked up the paper and pen and put them right in front of me, and the other… he pulled out a knife.

“Don’t keep me waiting,” he said, and I had no choice, but to pick up the pen and start writing.

In the letter, I’d been forced to write that I’ve received a job offer back in China, and I had to leave immediately… that very night, to be precise. I was also forced to sign a resignation letter he’d typed after writing the letter.

“I will be sure the boys get it tomorrow morning,” he said. “Have a great night… your last night here in Seoul. Your escorts here will make sure you’re packed and ready to leave on the last flight tonight. Whatever you can’t bring with you, I will be sure they are sent to you. If you try anything funny, an accident might happen to you.”

The two men watched as I packed that night, and I didn’t even have a minute to call anyone to tell them I was leaving. Would they guess what had happened? Would Han Kyung understand?

I cried throughout the flight back to Beijing, and the stewardesses and the passenger next to me were baffled. They probably thought that I was hysterical, but I didn’t care. I was too upset to care.

The moment I got off the plane, I took a taxi straight to Ying Ru’s place. She was still with the academy, but no longer living in the hostel. She wouldn’t be graduating for another year.

“Sierra!” she exclaimed when she opened the door. “What happened?”

“Ying Ru,” I started crying again as I hugged her, and I told her the whole story.

2 weeks later, on November 25th 2006 to be exact, I sat in front of computer with Ying Ru, and we were watching the MKMF on TVAnts.

“Omigod!” Ying Ru yelled. “They won!”

Ee Teuk was the first to give a speech, as the leader, and he was composed as always, while the others cried. Eun Hyuk was crying so much, and Si Won was trying his best to hold back the tears. In the end, he gave in too, and so did Ee Teuk; there were tears in his eyes. Dong Hae dedicated his speech to his father and tears rolled down my cheeks when I heard it, because I knew how much he’d wanted his father to see his achievement. Han Kyung came up to the microphone and he gave a speech in Mandarin. He thanked the judging committee, Lee Soo Man sonsaengnim, the staff at SM, and the fans worldwide, but was cut off because they’d taken too long to make their thank you speeches.

I was so proud of him at that moment, so proud of Super Junior. They’d won Best Newcomer, and their performance that night was almost flawless, just the way we’d wanted it to be during all those practice sessions. I wished that I could’ve stayed on, at least to share that night with them, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Afraid that I would implicate them, I haven’t been replying any of their emails, but they kept coming. All of them wrote to me, except Han Kyung. I missed him, and I missed my life back in Seoul. Will I ever see them again?

Chinese Notes

Wei shen me?

Bu yao zhe yang.
Don’t be like this.

Bu yao ku.
Don’t cry.

Da ying wo!
Promise me!

Hao... wo da ying ni.
Alright... I promise (you).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chapter 16

“Here goes,” I said as I released the brakes on Hee Chul’s car.

We’d had the ignition on for about 10 minutes while he showed me the signal lever, the gears, the brakes and stuff since I wasn’t used to driving on the left.

“Okay? Can we move?” he asked me.

“Yea, yea, sure…” I said absently.

I felt pretty disoriented and nervous since this will be the first time I take a car out onto the road, and without a license. I applied slight pressure to the gas pedal and the car lurched a little. Just then, another car moved past us, and I screamed as I slammed on the breaks.

“Yaah!” Hee Chul screamed at me. “Concentrate. Don’t panic.”

“I didn’t see the car coming,” I said as I covered my face. “This is a bad idea. Can we just stay at home?”

“I don’t care. I’m sick of being stuck at home. I wanna go somewhere.”

“Can we ask one of the PAs to come pick us up?”

“No… I don’t wanna meet any of the staffs today. Can’t we just go somewhere, the two of us?” he said, and he was starting to sound a little desperate.

“Araso… araso…” I sighed. “Let’s try this again.”

I released my foot from the brakes and shifted it onto the gas pedal, then applied pressure on it again. This time the car went smoothly into motion.

“Okay,” Hee Chul said. “Ease out of the lot slowly. Yep… signal… we’re turning onto the main road,” he instructed as I drove.

I smiled as I realized I was starting to get the hang of it, and it wasn’t as scary as I thought.

“I’m driving,” I said softly.

“Yes you are,” he laughed.

“I’m driving!” I shouted.

“Yes! Now try to stay on the right side of the road,” he smiled.

“Ye,” I replied as we cruised on towards our destination for the day.

That was the last time I went anywhere with Hee Chul, with me driving. I was pretty relieved when the guys finally came back.

“Guess what I did?” I asked Han Kyung as soon as they walked through the door.

“What? Stay home? Watch TV?”

“I drove Hee Chul’s car; we went out!” I exclaimed, and Hee Chul laughed at my enthusiasm.

“That’s the last time,” Hee Chul said.

“Are you crazy?” Si Won said to Hee Chul. “You guys could’ve gone to prison for that. Or worse… Sierra could get deported.”

“What difference does it make?” I sighed as soon as Si Won said the word ‘deported’.

“Zen me le? You look troubled,” Han Kyung said as he came to sit beside me and put an arm around me.

“We need to do something about manager hyung,” Hee Chul said.

“Which one?” Si Won asked, since they had a few.

“The crazy one,” I said.

“What did he do now?” Han Kyung asked.

“Remember… he thinks I have relationship with Hee Chul,” I said.

“Yea… but wasn’t that over?” Han Kyung said.

“Well, apparently he has it in his mind that I’m still with Hee Chul. Because of this, my contract ends as soon as you guys are ready for the MKMF, and I’m to leave Korea immediately after that.”

“What?” Si Won and Han Kyung exclaimed together.

“This is absurd,” Hee Chul said as he shook his head.

“He can’t do this,” Si Won said.

“It’s done. Forget it,” I said.

“Then you should get a new job, quickly,” Si Won said.

“I’m trying. But I will need to leave the country for awhile before I come back again.”

“Why do you need to do that?” Han Kyung asked.

“Cos they’re not gonna renew my work permit,” I said.

Just then, Ki Bum came in through the door and dumped his bag on the floor.

“Waegeurae?” he said as he surveyed our serious expressions.

“Sierra’s gonna get deported,” Si Won said.

“Mworago?” Ki Bum replied.

“Let’s drop it guys,” I said as I took a deep breath. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We can’t do anything about it.”

“I’m not letting this go,” Han Kyung said.

“Ni xiang gan shen me?” I asked him.

“Hello… no speak Mandarin,” Ki Bum said.

“Wo bu neng rang ta men zhe yang dui ni,” Han Kyung continued, ignoring Ki Bum.

“What did he say?” Ki Bum said as he looked at Si Won, since he was the only one who understood, other than me.

“He said he can’t let them treat her this way,” Si Won translated.

“Wo men you xuan ze ma?” I asked him.

“Ni jiu zhe yang fang qi?” Han Kyung said with his fists clenched.

“Ya… Han Kyung,” Hee Chul said as he stood up to pull Han Kyung back. “Calm down.”

“We can’t do a thing, Han Kyung. Let it go,” I said as I picked up my bag.

“Where are you going?” Hee Chul asked.

“Home,” I said.

“I’ll take you,” Si Won said as he picked up his keys.

“I’m okay,” I said. “I’ll get home myself.”

“Take her home,” Hee Chul said, and Si Won nodded.

By then, Han Kyung was sitting on the couch, fuming.

“Bye,” I said as I walked out, and Si Won followed behind me.

“This way,” Si Won said as the elevator reached the parking lot floor.

“I’ll get home on my own,” I said.

“I’m going home too,” he said. “Just come with me, okay?” he added as he grabbed me by the arm.

Si Won didn’t live with the guys. He didn’t have to since he could afford his own place with his family’s money. We’ve been to his place a few times, and it was a cozy and classy apartment.

Half of the journey back to my place was in silence, until Si Won finally spoke.

“He loves you a lot, you know,” he said.


“Do I need to say it in Chinese? Ta zhen de hen ai ni!”

“And your point is?”

“He would do anything to keep you here in Seoul. He lost you once. Do you think he will allow you to leave again?”

“But this is not within our control. And if he fights for me, the management will know about our relationship. I don’t want to jeopardize his career.”

“I know… but that’s the last thing on his mind when he thinks about you.”

“He’s being selfish. What would you guys do without him? The band isn’t complete if one person goes.”

“We’ll all help. Going public with your relationship isn’t going to help. We’ll just need to convince the management.”

“You think that would work?” I asked.

“We don’t know for sure…”

“If it did… this wouldn’t even be happening now. The company is intent on protecting you guys. They won’t allow someone like me to jeopardize your images.”

“I know this first year is critical for us, but this is going too far.

“And the MKMF and all those huge awards are coming. They will never allow a rumor or news like this to get out,” I reminded him.

“Some mess this has become,” Si Won sighed.

“I don’t know what we can do.”

“We’ll talk to Han Kyung, and keep him in control, then we’ll find a way to settle this with the managemet. In the meantime, just make sure you start looking for a new job in Seoul.”

“I will,” I sighed. “Komawo…”

“For what?” he asked.

“Keunyang ta…” I said.

“I’ve not done much for you. It’s Han Kyung who wants everything for you.”

And sometimes I wished he didn’t…

Chinese Notes

Zen me le?
What happened?

Ni xiang gan shen me?
What are you going to do?

Wo bu neng rang ta men zhe yang dui ni.
I can’t let them treat you this way.

Wo men you xuan ze ma?
Do we have a choice?

Ni jiu zhe yang fang qi?
You’re giving up just like that?

Ta zhen de hen ai ni.
He loves you a lot.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chapter 15

We ended up at a quiet café where I reluctantly sat down in front of him and allowed the waitress to take our orders.

“What do you want?” I asked him.

“I warned you, didn’t I? I told you that your relationship with Hee Chul had to end, and what is this you’re doing now?” he said.

“I don’t know what you mean. I told you there was nothing happening between me and Hee Chul. Why is that so hard to believe?”

“Then tell me why you aren’t on that plane now?”

“My presence wasn’t needed and someone had to stay here with Hee Chul,” I said.

“He has a PA for that.”

“I’m his friend. That is all.”

“Your actions say otherwise. I’ve already spoken to the management. As soon as the MKMF is over, your services are no longer required.”


“Your last job is to choreograph their performance for the MKMF, after which you will cease to be an employee with SM Entertainment.”

“You can’t do that! There are no grounds for my dismissal,” I exclaimed.

“Are you sure? Are you sure you have nothing to do with any member of Super Junior? We can have you watched, Sierra, and if we find that you have been socializing in an inappropriate manner with any of our artistes, we have the right to dismiss you, without notice.”

“You can’t do this…” I said.

“I suggest you submit your notice, do a good job with the MKMF, and perhaps we might even write you a nice testimonial so that you can get a job elsewhere.”

“What about my work permit?” I asked him.

“The next company that hires you will settle it. So I suggest you start looking,” he said as he got up. “I’ll allow you to ‘accompany’ Hee Chul this once. When the rest of the band returns, you are to focus only on your job as their choreographer. We’re counting on you to do a good job for the MKMF, since they’re going to win Best Newcomer.”

“And how do you know that?” I asked him.

“Isn’t it obvious that Super Junior is the best new act this year?” he smirked before he walked off.

He was right.

“Yo… wassup my friend… why you lookin’ so down,” Hee Chul tried to rap like a black rapper.

We were eating dinner, just the two of us, in their apartment, and I haven’t spoken much all night. I was usually quite talkative with him.

“Nothing…” I sighed. I’m still pondering if I should tell the guys.

“Then why do you look so preoccupied?” he asked. “Aha!” he suddenly exclaimed, and I jumped a little.

“Don’t do that!” I laughed and poked him.

“Don’t poke me!” he laughed and poked me back. “I know why you’re so glum.”


“You miss Han Kyung, dontcha!” he said, in a tone that sounded as if he’d just revealed a deep dark secret of mine.

“Ya… of course I miss my darling,” I said in an exaggerated sappy tone. “Han Kyung,” I whined, “pogoshipo…” I said as I pretended to sob.

“Aigoo…” he cooed. “Don’t cry now… oppa is here for you. Forget about Han Kyung,” he said before bursting into giggles.

“No offense, but you’re more like an onni than oppa to me,” I laughed.

“Same thing, same thing…” he giggled, and covered his mouth while doing it, like a girl would.

I laughed when he did that. Hee Chul always knew how to make me laugh, and I guess that’s why we’re such close friends. In that moment, I knew I had to tell Hee Chul. If I didn’t he might think that I didn’t trust him as a friend, and he might feel hurt.

“Oppa,” I said.

“Wae,” he said as he slurped his soup.

“Your manager approached me again, today.”

“Where?” he said. “Did he give you trouble again? Aisshii… that guy…”

“He told me that I had to hand in my resignation, and that the management knew about you and me. My last assignment would be the MKMF and after that, I had to leave SM.”

“Then you'd have to leave Korea. What about Han Kyung?”

“I don’t know. Unless I get a job immediately after, I can’t stay for long in Korea since SM is hardly going to keep paying for my work permit. I think they’re gonna cancel it right after the MKMF.”

“Didn’t you tell them that you and I are just friends?”

“He didn’t buy it,” I said.

“Michoso!” Hee Chul exclaimed. “I should go talk to the management.”

“Just leave it Hee Chul. If you defend me, it would look even more suspicious to them.”

“But you’ll get deported,” he said.

“I’ll try to get a job soon,” I said.

“You won’t have time,” he said.


“When the guys get back, we have a full schedule, all the way up till the MKMF, and he knows that. He’s obviously trying to get you deported.”

“Well, even if he is, what can we do?” I sighed. “Let’s just forget about it.”

“I’ll think of something,” he said as he patted my hand. “Don’t worry.”

“I’m fine. Don’t get upset because of this. You need to focus on getting better. Alright?” I said.

“Ne,” he smiled.

“Good… now eat your vegetables,” I said, and he laughed.

“Ne oma…”

That night, I didn’t go back to my apartment.

“Sleep in Han Kyung’s bed. It’s late, and you shouldn’t commute home alone at this hour.”

“That crazy manager of yours probably has a spy outside, if I don’t leave, he’ll surely think that he was right about us.”

“He’s going to do what he planned anyway. Just stay,” Hee Chul said. “It’s not worth your safety.”

“You’re lonely, aren’t you?” I teased him and he pretended to cover his face out of shyness.

“Yaa… miweo! How did you guess?” he cooed.

“Michoso…” I laughed. “Fine I’ll stay. I’m too tired to travel back anyway, and I’m not keen on paying for a taxi. Need to save my money now, since I’ll be out of work in November.”

“Don’t say that,” Hee Chul said. “We’ll find a way…”

“I hope so,” I said.

The next morning, I was awoken by Hee Chul. He sat beside me on the bed and kept tickling my face with a piece of tissue paper.

“Ya! Neo waegeurae?” I grumbled as I tried to shield my face.

“Wake up!” he said. “Let’s go get something to eat. I’m hungry.”

“Go away,” I said and I tried to kick him off the bed.

“Yaaa…. Nan paegop'a…” he whined.

“Call for delivery,” I said.

“I wanna get out of the house,” he said. “I’m sick of staying in.”

“You can’t even walk,” I said.

“We can drive.”

“You can’t walk, but you can drive?”

“You can drive,” he said.

“I don’t have a license!” I said in exasperation.

“It’ll be fine. You know how to drive…”

“Not on the other side of the road.”

“I’ll be beside you!”

“You wanna risk your life again?” I reminded him.

“I trust you,” he said. “Please…” he pleaded, and tried to overcome me with his puppy dog eyes.

I sighed and mussed my own hair in frustration.

“Come on, Little Mermaid…” he pleaded again.

“Araso… araso…” I grumbled as I sat up.

“We leave in half an hour?”

“Ne…” I said as I walked out of the room.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chapter 14

“When was this?” I finally said.

“Remember when we broke up back then? And I said that I was seeing someone else,” he said.

“It was Winnie?”

“I thought that you broke up with her before she left. Didn’t you tell me that?” Winnie asked him.

“I bet that it’s all just an honest mistake… that he forgot to tell me,” I said sarcastically.

“I know that we’d break up eventually,” he said. “I knew it the moment you got that scholarship.”

“Then why didn’t you break up with me before I left?”

“I was giving you time to adapt to your new life before breaking up with you. I didn’t want you to get upset and disrupt your training.”

“Are you giving me a reason, or just making an excuse for yourself?”

“Sierra…” he said in a tone I remembered far too well. It was his way of showing that his patience was wearing thin.

“It’s nice seeing you Winnie,” I said. “Write me an email after you’ve dumped this sorry excuse for a man.”

As I turned around I saw a familiar figure… Hee Chul. He walked up to me, taking long strides with each step and when he reached me, he put his arm around me.

“Let’s go,” he said, and I nodded.

“Isn’t that Hee Chul from Super Junior,” I heard Ryan say as we walked off.

“Are you okay?” Hee Chul asked me as soon as we reached the bus.

“I’m fine,” I replied.

“Who was that? Why did you look so upset?”

“Did I look upset?” I asked him as I touched my face; only then did I realize there were tears.

“You’re crying,” he said.

“That was my best friend, and my ex-boyfriend.”

“I see,” he said. I didn’t even need to tell him and he’d gotten the whole picture.

“I thought I was over him the moment I got together with Han Kyung, but I guess no matter how long it has been over, a past relationship can always come back to hurt you.”

“It’s his lost. You have Han Kyung now, and you have us who care for you. Forget them,” he said as he put a hand on my shoulder.

“I plan to,” I smiled. “I’m never looking back ever again.”

“Good girl,” he smiled, and he gave me a quick, brotherly hug before we went back on the bus.

It was past 12am when we finally got onto the plane, we took off a little past 1am, and I was actually relieved to be on my way back to Seoul; back to my current life. Halfway through the flight, one of their managers motioned for me to join him.

“I need to talk to you, Sierra,” he said as he motioned for me to sit in the empty seat beside him.

“Anything wrong, oppa?” I said.

“Something has come to my attention. Something between you and a certain member of the band,” he said.

Damn! Has he found out about Han Kyung and me?

“I don’t know what you mean,” I said cautiously.

“Let me put this plainly,” he said. “Either you stop seeing Hee Chul, or I will report this to the management and have you dismissed.”

I stared at the manager and I didn’t know whether to laugh or to be worried. Where did he get that idea?

“Oppa… I think you’ve misunderstood my relationship with Hee Chul. He’s just an artiste I train and a friend when we’re not training.”

“Whatever your definition, I want you to stay away from him,” he said.

“I’m still training Super Junior. I hardly see how I can stay away from him.”

“When you’re not training, stay away from him.”

“You can’t control our lives like that. We’re all humans… social interaction is a normal activity.”

“I will have you dismissed if you do not comply with my instructions. In the first place, I could never understand how Bum Su could’ve chosen you as his replacement.”

“Obviously he saw something in me that you don’t.”

“Perhaps… stay away from Hee Chul. You hear me?”

“Arasoyo,” I said as I got up and walked back to my seat.

When I told Hee Chul about the incident with his manager, he agreed that we needed to keep some distance.

“I was worried that he would find out about you and Han Kyung,” he’d told me. “I’d kinda relieved that he thinks it’s me.”

“But I’m gonna get you in trouble.”

“It’ll be fine. We just need to keep away from each other. I think we looked too close to be friends, so his alarm bells went off. He’s always so… excessive. He overreacts a lot.”

“It’s okay. I understand.”

Since then, Hee Chul and I only spoke when in a group. We stopped having our little private conversations away from the group and we didn’t even dare sit together when eating. Only when on outings, out of the manager’s eyes did we dare mingle. I told Han Kyung about it too, and all he could do was sigh and shake his head.

“The manager’s a little kooky sometimes,” Han Kyung said. “He must think you might ruin Hee Chul’s popularity if people think he has a girlfriend.”

“Does he honestly think that no one ever suspects that any of you have girlfriends?”

“He likes imagining that we don’t,” Han Kyung laughed. “Bie dan xin,” he said as he put an arm around me and pulled me close for a quick hug. “He won’t find us out.”

“What if he does? He’s going to put two and two together, and what if he thinks you had a hand in bringing me here since you knew me from back at the academy.”

“That’s ridiculous. I didn’t have that kind of power back then and neither do I have it now.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” I smiled. “You’re like a local hero in China now. Think you’re not powerful?”

Han Kyung looked at me and I realized he was actually uncertain. Did he really underestimate his newfound fame? Then I remembered that this was how he is. Han Kyung would never imagine himself as the king of the world.

Despite their rising success after their appearance in Malaysia, Super Junior had tougher challenges in store for them. When we got back to Seoul, tragedies struck, one by one. Dong Hae’s father passed away, and we were all as grief stricken as he was. He’d been sick for sometime, and it had really affected Dong Hae’s spirits the whole time. But somehow, when on stage, he manages to put it aside and do his job. We’d been watching him with great concern all this time, and even though his father’s death wasn’t totally unexpected, it was still a shock to all of us.

“Himnae,” I said to him before he left for his hometown, and he nodded wordlessly.

“We’re here for you when you get back,” Si Won said as he gave Dong Hae a brotherly hug.

Practices were postponed so that most of us could attend the funeral. The crowd waiting outside was crazy. There were fans all over waiting to catch a glimpse of the celebrities attending the funeral and some even came up to ask for autographs.

“How can they be so disrespectful at a funeral?” Hee Chul said angrily.

“I know… I’m really shocked myself,” I said. “And those anti fans…” I sighed.

A group of anti-fans had appeared to create trouble, and that was really the most absurd and disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen. Did they think they were gangsters or something? Even gangsters had more respect for the dead.

We headed back to Seoul after the funeral, and Hee Chul was driving alone because he had somewhere else to go; that was when the 2nd unfortunate incident happened. Hee Chul was involved in a car accident. We were all shocked speechless when we heard the news.

All activities for Hee Chul were postponed. The doctor had ordered him to rest for at least 2 months. He was attempting to switch lanes when his tires malfunctioned, and fractured his femur when his car crashed. The good thing was that Super Junior Full House’s shoots had wrapped up and the bad news was that Hee Chul had to end his participation in Rainbow Romance, the drama he and Ki Bum was involved in.

When Super Junior went to Thailand as guest stars for the TVXQ concert, I volunteered to stay with Hee Chul since I knew he would be lonely.

“You should go with them,” Hee Chul said. “They need you… especially Han Kyung.”

“No they don’t,” I said. “They’ll be fine.”

“I’m a big boy,” he said.

“And that’s why I have to be here,” I smiled slyly. “You’re not man enough to be alone.”

“Aisshii…” he exclaimed, and laughed.

The night before they left, Han Kyung came to my apartment to spend the night.

“Take care of yourself,” he said.

“Araso,” I replied.

“And take care of that crazy boy,” he smiled.

“I will.”

Han Kyung had always told me stories of how Hee Chul scared him when he first came. He thought Hee Chul was off-the-rocker, and a certified loon, until he got to know him better. Si Won might be his best friend, but Hee Chul had been a brother to him as well.

I was there to see them off on the day they left.

“Bye guys,” I said as I went around patting their backs and giving them quick hugs.

Whenever we’re out of the public eye, we were much more affectionate than this, but because of the fans and their manager, they could only exercise that sort of affection between each other, and never with me, in public.

“Sure you don’t wanna come?” Ki Bum asked me.

“You guys will be fine,” I smiled. “You have Shin Dong and he’s ten times better than me.”

“Come on, nuna,” Shin Dong said. “You’re as good as me if not better.”

“Yea,” Eun Hyuk said. “Don’t let him get big-headed. He’s big enough,” he laughed.

“Be nice,” I told Eun Hyuk, and he gave me a sad face.

“I’ll see you guys in a few days,” I smiled.

I watched them walk into the immigration area before I walked off on my own. As I approached the door, a hand grabbed onto my shoulders and I turned around to find one of the managers behind me, the same manager who’d told me off about Hee Chul on the plane back from Kuala Lumpur.

“We need to talk, Sierra,” he said.

“I have nothing to say to you,” I said as I tried to brush him off.

“If you don’t come with me now, I’ll have you dismissed immediately, and you won’t even get to say goodbye to the boys.”

I stared at him, and yes, I’m always staring at him. What was this weirdo up to? What did he want now? I sighed and nodded, since I had no other option. He turned around and started walking, expecting me to follow. This doesn’t look like it’s headed to a happy ending for me.

Chinese Notes

Bie dan xin.
Don’t worry.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chapter 13

I was there purely to supervise the choreography. The boys were actually perfect and I really didn’t need to be there. The days were packed with continuous filming and photo shoots and on Friday night they had their debut performance in Malaysia at the Putra Indoor Stadium as special guests at TVXQ’s Rising Sun Concert in Malaysia. I was backstage helping out with whatever I could, and helping the guys with whatever last minute things they needed. Tonight, the atmosphere backstage was crazy, the running around and the pressure before the show started. It’s a wonder how no one has to yet to burst an artery.

One of the other perks of being their choreographer was that I get to mingle with huge stars like TVXQ, but most of the time, they’re too busy to talk to me, except for Jun Su, who often stopped to talk whenever he saw me.

“Yo! Sierra!” Jun Su smiled as he walked past me before the show started.

“Jun Su,” I smiled back.

“How does it feel to be home?” he asked me.

“I’ve been so busy, following the guys around the entire Kuala Lumpur, I’ve not had time to remember that I’m on home ground,” I laughed.

“I get what you’re saying. Sometimes, when I’m so busy, I actually forget where I am. Even when I’m at home the feeling doesn’t wear off until I finally get to bed,” he laughed.

“Funny,” I laughed. “I think your stylist wants you,” I said, as I noticed one of the stylists trying to get Jun Su’s attention.

“I’ll see you later,” he said, and he walked off.

The show was a success, and Malaysia loved both TVXQ and Super Junior. One of the highlights of the night was when Han Kyung spoke in Mandarin. The stadium went wild when they realized they could actually understand what he was saying. Super Junior performed Twins (Knockout) and Miracle.

“Good job!” they were all yelling backstage when the concert was over.

The concert ended with the guys goofing around, not singing, Show Me Your Love, and splashing water at the audience and each other. When they came backstage, they were kinda soaked.

“Sierra!” Hee Chul yelled and hugged me.

“Acck!!! Hee Chul!” I squealed as I tried to push his soaking body off me.

“Group hug!” Shin Dong yelled and he came towards us, together with Dong Hae, and hugged me and Hee Chul as I continued screaming.

“Hey guys,” Han Kyung laughed. “Break it off, or you’re not gonna hear the end of it all the way back to the hotel.”

“Right… right…” Dong Hae laughed and he backed off.

As the 3 of them stepped back, I looked down and surveyed my outfit. Sure enough, I was soaked with their sweat. There were wet patches on my shirt and pants.

“Yah!!!” I yelled, and I started laughing. “Michoso!” I added, before stomping off to pack up.

“Nuna,” Si Won called as he chased after me.

“Wae?” I said as I whirled around as I walked into one of the quieter corridors backstage.

“You’re not mad are you? You know the guys, they like to mess around.”

“Of course not,” I laughed. “Wasn’t I laughing back there?”

“I wasn’t sure. I just saw you stomping off,” he said.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s been almost a year with you guys. You think I’d sweat over small stuff like that?”

“Ah…” he laughed. “It is sweat.”

“Right,” I laughed. “You’d better go change. You’re gonna get sick, running around in your wet clothes.”

“Araso. See you in awhile.”

TVXQ left the concert venue, directly for the airport. They were taking the late flight back to Korea since they had a full schedule waiting for them. We were staying for the whole of tomorrow to finish up the shoot before we headed back.

We finally got back to the hotel, and we were all knocked out. I had to share a room with a few other female crew members while the guys shared rooms with each other. Somehow, my family had found out I was back and they insisted that I met them in the lobby of the hotel. On the way back to my room, Han Kyung’s room door opened and I was dragged into the room.

“Yah! What’s wrong with you?” I said as I smacked his arm.

“Waegeurae?” he just grinned.

Hee Chul and Si Won shared rooms with him as usual, and they were sitting on the bed watching the television whilst pretending to be indifferent to our exchange at the door.

“Your band mates are in the room, you know,” I reminded him, and he dragged me into the bathroom and closed the door.

“Better?” he said as he turned to face me.

“Michoso,” I laughed, and he laughed with me.

I pushed him back until his back slammed onto the door.

“Ah… that hurts,” he exclaimed.

“You asked for it,” I said.

“The guys would’ve heard that.”

“I don’t care,” I smiled and I kissed him.

We emerged from the bathroom sometime later, both looking disheveled and flushed. We’d tried to minimize the damage before we came out, but there was so much water, a comb and a blow dryer could do.

“Were you guys styling each other in there?” Hee Chul snickered.

“I heard this really loud bang on the door. Did anyone get hurt?” Si Won smiled knowingly.

“Your friend here wanted to practice his dance moves,” I said.

“Ooohh…” they both chorused.

“I’m going back to my room, and you guys should get some sleep. We still have a shoot at Putrajaya tomorrow.”

“Ne, oma…” Hee Chul said, as I walked towards the door.

“See you tomorrow,” Han Kyung said, and he gave a brief kiss before closing the door.

The next morning, everyone was up bright and early and we piled into the bus and headed to Putrajaya for the shoot. As expected, the guys probably stayed up most of the night because most of them looked drained this morning. They’d taken to putting on sunglasses to hide their eye bags and when on the set, they had makeup to save them.

“What time did you get to bed last night?” I asked Han Kyung in between his shoots, and he smiled sheepishly at me. “Look at yourself in the mirror,” I scolded softly. “You look wiped out.”

“Bu yao shen qi ya…” he pleaded. “They wanted to watch this movie on TV, and we ended up watching another after that.”

“English movies?”

“Chinese movies. Si Won and I spent the whole night translating for Hee Chul.”

“No wonder you’re wiped out,” I smiled.

As night approached, we wrapped up and headed for the airport. The flight wasn’t till 12am, so we hung out in the buses while waiting. The guys slept while waiting, and didn’t wake up until we brought them food. I’d gone off with the bus with a few PAs to get some takeaway food for the guys and the rest of the crew since I wanted to stretch my legs a little. My back was already aching from standing in the field all day and sitting in the bus for the rest of the evening.

“Sit with me,” Hee Chul said as I passed him a bag of burger and fries.

“You’re not stealing my fries,” I smirked at him.

“Wasn’t going to,” he said. “Just sit with me,” he said as he patted the seat beside him.

I guess I’ve mentioned once that Hee Chul and I were pretty close. I was younger than he is, but sometimes I feel he sometimes treats me like an older sister; could be because of my role as a trainer to Super Junior. Our closeness has also lead to speculation that we were actually a couple, but only the members of Super Junior knew what was up, and made sure that no one knew better. Kyu Hyun was still a little clueless, but we’d have to tell him soon.

“You gonna miss home?” he said as he bit into his burger.

“Not so much,” I said as I sipped my soda.

“I’ve only been gone from home for a few days and I miss it already. How is it that you don’t miss yours at all?”

“I’ve been gone for too long. It doesn’t make a difference to me anymore,” I said.

“Oh, right. I forgot you’ve lived in Beijing for 3 years. So do you plan to extend your contract with SM?” he asked me.

“I don’t know. Maybe SM wouldn’t want me after 2 years.”

“It’s been almost a year already, hasn’t it?”

“Almost… I watched you guys debut, remember?”

“I remember,” he smiled.

“I gotta go see to some stuff. I’ll catch you guys later, on the plane,” I said as I got up and left the bus.

I had a meeting with a friend. A friend I’d not seen in 4 years. I walked took the elevator up to the departure hall and walked to the Marché Café where my friend waited, as I approached, I saw Winnie, my best friend from my dance academy in Malaysia.

“Sierra!” Winnie exclaimed as she hugged me.

“How are you, Winnie?” I smiled as I hugged her back.

“Great!” she replied. “Omigod… I’m so envious of your life. You get to work, eat and sleep next to Super Junior.”

“Work and eat, yes. Sleep, no,” I laughed.

“I guess it was really a great move, you going to the Beijing Dance Academy,” she said.

“I guess so,” I smiled.

“Hello, Sierra,” a familiar voice suddenly came from behind me.

I turned around to find Ryan, my ex-boyfriend, standing behind me.

“Winnie,” I turned back to look at her. “What’s Ryan doing here?”

“Oh… I…” she said.

“Winnie and I are together now,” he said.

I looked back and forth at the both of them for a moment, trying to take in the scene before me. Winnie and Ryan? They’re together now? For how long? Why didn’t Winnie ever said a thing in her emails?

Chinese Notes

Bu yao shen qi ya…
Don’t be angry…

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Chapter 12

We are at the set of Inkigayo today, where Super Junior will be performing ‘U’, and Hee Chul had been emceeing since February. Anya and Eva had surprised them by bringing them kimbap before the show. They were filming an episode of Super Junior Full House on the Inkigayo set today, so Han Kyung and I couldn’t really speak at all since he had to interact with the others for the taping.

They were goofing around, eating and laughing happily. I stayed in the shadows, out of the cameras, and Han Kyung, as he always does, sneaked glances as me. I glared at him briefly on one occasion, and he puffed up his cheeks in defiance at me. He was facing someone else when he did that, but we both knew he’d meant the gesture for me. I waved, and walked out of the room so that I didn’t have to feel so left out.

“Nuna,” Si Won came to me a few minutes later.


“Han Kyung wanted me to pass this to you,” he said as he handed me a wad of tissue paper.

“Are you asking me to throw your rubbish for you now?” I asked, pretending to be offended.

“Andwae… open it,” he said, and that was when I realized there was something wrapped in the tissue.

I unwrapped it. In it was a slice of kimbap with the carrots and cucumbers rearranged and pressed back into the rice to show a frowning face.

“Hwanajima,” Si Won smiled. “Han Kyung sent me with this message,” he laughed, then he walked off.

I smiled as I looked back down at the kimbap in my hand, and then back up at Si Won’s back as he walked away. There wasn’t a day that these guys didn’t make me smile.

Later on, I watched as they walked onto the stage to perform ‘U’. Anya and Eva sat with the fans and waved blue balloons with them. Sometimes, I wish I could sit there and do the same, but I was a staff, and even if I was able to wave the blue balloon, it will be with the identity of a fan, and never of Han Kyung’s girlfriend.

I was backstage helping out the PAs when we heard a huge commotion.

“What’s going on?” I asked as I looked at the PAs with me.

“Mollayo,” one of them said as she craned her neck to see what was going on.

Then, we saw the guys come in. People were congratulating them as they came in. Si Won, Kang In, Shin Dong and Ee Teuk were crying.

“Waegeurae?” I asked Kyu Hyun as he walked past.

“We won, nuna,” he said tearfully. “We won!”

“Yaa!!!” I screamed in excitement. “Chintcha??!!” And Kyu Hyun nodded.

“Ch’uk’ahamnida!” I said as I hugged him.

It was their first Mutizen award since their debut; I could understand why they were over the moon. I looked up to search for Han Kyung, he wasn’t crying, but he looked as ecstatic as the others were. I longed to run toward him and hug him, but because of the cameras, I couldn’t. For a moment during the commotion, our eyes met, and he smiled warmly at me. I nodded, to acknowledge what his smile said.

“Ch’uk’ahamnida,” I mouthed at him.

“Wo ai ni,” he mouthed back.

The date for Super Junior to visit Malaysia finally rolled around. I was on the flight, on the 10th of July, sitting somewhere behind with the other staff. Super Junior sat in one area, together. We were traveling ahead of TVXQ, who will only arrive in Malaysia on the 12th for the concert. On the agenda of this trip was the filming of the ‘Dancing Out’ MV. Super Junior’s video for a song featured in the 2007 Summer SM Town compilation album. And also a Super Junior’s first photo book, Boys in the City.

During the middle of the flight, just as I was about to walk into the toilet, Han Kyung rushed at me pushing me into the toilet with him and closing the door.

“Ni feng le?” I exclaimed at him. “We’re gonna be in trouble if we get caught.”

“Hehe,” he laughed. “Wo bu guan,” he added, and he kissed me.

“Ni shi bien tai le ma?” I hissed at him as I pulled away.

I’ll admit that the adrenaline surge from doing this was making me really high. But the fear of getting caught was stronger, so I tried to push him off.

“I just want a minute with you,” he said, looking a little bewildered from my rough reaction.

“But not in the toilet, on the plane!” I half yelled at him. “What do you take me for? Ni dang wo shi shen me?”

“Dui bu qi,” he said, and he put his arms around me.

“Bien tai!” I scolded him.

“Dui bu qi ya…” he whined as he pulled me close for a hug. “I just missed you to much. I didn’t get to see you alone for the past few days while preparing for this trip.”

“I know, I know… I missed you too,” I said, and I hugged him back.

He tilted my head up and kissed me again. This time, I returned his kiss. This is really kinda fun, kissing in the toilet on an airplane, albeit being a little unhygienic.

“Hyung!” we heard Si Won tap on the door. “I know you’re in there. Get out now. The manager’s coming.”

We quickly opened the door and I pushed Han Kyung out as fast as I could.

“Thanks, Si Won,” I said, before I closed the door.

“Is there someone in the toilet?” I heard the manager say moments later. “Why are you all lining up here?”

“Someone’s been in there for ages,” Si Won said, laughing.

“Really?” the manager said, and then, I opened the door.

“Sorry,” I smiled, and started walking back to my seat.

After that close call, the rest of the flight was uneventful as Han Kyung kept his distance in case the manager caught on. Other than when we had an impromptu birthday celebration for Hee Chul, we didn’t come close to each other.

“Thanks guys,” Hee Chul laughed and I tossed him a small box.

“Saengil ch’uk’ahae!” I said.

“What’s this? You actually bought me a present?” he said incredulously as he shook the box.

“Yes I did, Cinderella,” I laughed.

“Thanks, Little Mermaid,” he said.

He’d taken to call me a the Little Mermaid, in line with his usual Disney nicknames, because he insists that I’m not human, and that I’m probably from the sea or something, the main reason being my signature dance steps.

“You dance like a fish,” he once told me.


“You’re all flowy and it’s like as if you were dancing underwater or something,” he said.

“How would you know how it is to be dancing underwater?” I asked him.

“I don’t,” he said.

“Then why do you say I do?”

“You just look like it to me,” he laughed, and that was the only explanation he ever really offered for his nickname for me.

The plane finally landed in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and it was almost 12am. As we alighted the plane, the sense of familiarity overwhelmed me. I’m home after years of being abroad.

“Kwaench’ana?” Si Won asked me as I stopped just outside the gate, before we entered the airport area where all the restaurants and shops were.

“Kwaench’ana,” I smiled. “It’s just strange to be back home after so many years.”

“I bet it is,” he smiled. “Come on,” he said, and steered me gently, by the elbow, to catch up with the rest.

“Mei shi ma?” Han Kyung asked me as I caught up with him.

“Mei shi,” I smiled. “Just didn’t realize how much I missed home.”

“I’d almost forgotten this is where you’re really from. I’ve always felt as if you were from Beijing, like I was,” he laughed softly. “Do you want to get anything from the shops? Will you be meeting your family?”

“Probably not, since our schedule is so tight.”

“You sure?”

“Yes,” I replied and punched him affectionately.

At the immigration, Han Kyung ran into some visa problems.

“You guys go ahead and board the bus to the hotel,” one of the managers said. “We’ll catch up with you guys later.”

We were pleasantly surprised by the turnout of fans who’d come to see Super Junior. We’d initially thought that Super Junior was pretty unknown in Malaysia, but it turns out that they were almost on par with TXVQ. We were stalked all the way to the Regent Hotel, and at the hotel, there were fans crowded at the door.

“I didn’t think we were that famous,” Ee Teuk said.

“You’re as famous as TVXQ in Malaysia,” I said.

“I wouldn’t be too sure,” Ee Teuk said.

“Of course you guys are. Or else, why would there be people chasing you like this?”

It wasn’t till 4am that Han Kyung was released, and despite having reached the hotel at 5 am, he had to join the team for the shoot the next morning. The photo shoot and also the filming of their ‘Dancing Out’ MV was held at the KLCC Park.

“It’s so hot!!!” the guys were yelling between breaks.

“Take off your shirts,” I laughed from the sidelines. “Make your fans go crazy.”

Groups of fans had followed us here and were watching from afar. The crew had to make sure they didn’t rush forward and interrupt the photo shoot or filming process. During their breaks, there were fans who managed to get close enough to talk to the guys, and I just smirked whenever any of them caught my eye. It was so cute how they were so excited and happy with the attention they were getting. Malaysia would definitely be a memorable place for them.

“Shing bu shing?” I asked Han Kyung, who looked visibly tired.

“I had a nap on the sofa at the coffee place, with Kang In,” he laughed.

“You guys didn’t get jumped on?” I laughed.

“Nope” he laughed as he stretched. “Turns out, Malaysian fans are pretty tame.”

“You just haven’t been attacked,” I laughed. “Wait till you meet some desperate, stalker fan,” I warned him, and he just laughed and nudged me playfully.

Chinese Notes:

Wo ai ni.
I love you.

Ni feng le?
Have you gone mad?

Wo bu guan.
I don’t care.

Ni shi bien tai le ma?
Have you gone insane ?

Ni dang wo shi shen me?
What do you take me for?

Dui bu qi.
I’m sorry.

Bien tai!
Insane / crazy / sick!

Dui bu qi ya…
I’m sorry…

Mei shi ma?
Is everything alright? / Is there a problem?

Mei shi.
No problem.

Shing bu shing?
Can you handle it? / Can you carry on?