I was still wondering why my manager was making me attend this event; solo, while the rest of the six were busy practicing the dance routine.
Maybe because I had gotten the hang of the moves faster...
And so here I was in my favourite pattern designer suit, clinking the champagne glass lightly with the metal ring on my right thumb; to try and induce something musical in this dry environment.
Almost everywhere around me there were diplomats; professors, doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Sure, there were authors and cinematographers, but I guess I was the only idol in this place. No wonder the invitation had been half hearted. And no wonder our manager was fine with just me going.
Though in my opinion, Joon hyung would have fit in this crowd just perfectly; while I was sticking out like a sore thumb.
As I thought my only pass time now would be to observe the clear bubbles in the glass of silver liquid in my hand; a voice took the mike on the stage. It was a low, hollow and feminine voice that reached me through the speakers overhead.
My eyes trained on the figure onstage. A tall, confident young lady with honey coloured skin and medium length dark brownish-black hair that reached the mid section of her scapulas that were visible due to her backless black crop top, worn above silver shimmering palazzos.
She was definitely not from around here, and that was making her a little nervous; I noticed. She looked like she was in her early twenties- one of the few younger faces at this venue.
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen! It has been a honour for me to spend time with such an intelligent crowd. I hope that the event so far has been relaxing and entertaining. But as was suggested earlier by the esteemed poet, Mr. Lee Hyun, I would like to spice up the night with a game of poetry. There's no need to worry, nobody's forcing anyone here. It's a voluntary process. Though you can trap your close friends if you want to." She said and ghosted a wink.
I felt myself chuckle.
"The rules are simple. I am sure many of you must have come across blogposts or social media sites where a person starts with a couplet and then the other users continue to make another poem with the last word of that couplet! Well this is something similar. Except a small discussion with Mr. Lee has left me with a better idea," she turned her to acknowledge a middle aged man, presumably Mr. Lee, and smiled.
"The person who is to continue will not use the last word from earlier but its antonym and if the earlier poem was made in a light mode, and was that of joy; the following person will need a darker themed poem with emotions contrasting to the earlier one..."
I would swear I almost saw an evil grin on her face. She sure knew how to spice up the night.
"I hope everyone's clear with the terms and conditions. Then let's begin. And for the sake of being fair. I'll be the first scapegoat."
"Here's my couplet: The dawn of a new era, a harbinger of animal kingdom. He stood at the peak of a hill to let everyone have there justice."
She smiled at a hand that volunteered to go next.
"Unjustified is the way of war, the way of love. No wonder everything's fair in love and war!"
A round of claps were heard. I found myself going closer to the stage.
"Peace is a woman. A pregnant woman, who lost her kids in the battlefield; in the blind rage."
"Calmness is the way to completion of the soul. One must meditate upon trying to be wholesome."
I was surprised at the beautiful words that were voluntarily being spoken. And soon the mike was in my hand.
"Promise me you'll love yourself. With the same fervour that you love him; promise me, that you'll accept yourself."
It was the same low and hollow feminine voice that countered me.
"Myself? I am nothing but an unworthy pawn, that is being moved around by the hands of an evil much too great!"
But her tone was much too hollow; the earlier pep was lost. I turned my head to her. She was staring at someone fiercely; as if her poem was directed at the person.
I followed her line of sight, to notice a tall young man, around my age, with dark skin covered in an expensive suit-pants and black wavy hair. His dark eyes returning back her stare.
What was going on?
"Thank you ladies and gentlemen for taking my stupid suggestion this far!" It was Mr. Lee on the podium now as he concluded the game.
In the split second that my eyes were away from her, she had vanished. And so had the tall man.
I don't know why but I was worried. So I traced a random possibility of the path she could have taken which led me to where the washrooms were.
I was about to turn around and leave since I hadn't noticed her anywhere when a strained voice reached my ears.
"How dare you follow me all the way to a different country, Kieren! You got what you wanted, why don't you just leave me alone!!" It was her. And she sounded bitter.
But the young man was unfazed. "I came because I got invited." He simply stated.
She frowned. "I don't believe you. What is it? What do you want? Just spit it out, Kieren!" She was losing her temper and the sight was a complete contrast to her self on the stage.
I was not supposed to be here, but I couldn't get my feet to move.
"OKAY! FINE IF YOU THINK SO MUCH OF YOUR STUPID INSTINCTS... HERE YOU GO!! I CAME TO APOLOGISE!" he roared at her and her form hit the wall as she backed away from him.
My jaw clenched.
"A-apologise? Y-you broke off the wedding because of some stupid slut you slept with and after all that fiasco in front of my parents, you want to apologise...?" Her voice was almost a defeated whisper.
He came closer to her.
"DON'T TOUCH ME. Just get out of here. I don't want to see you!!" She yelled. And he looked ticked off.
"FINE BITCH! I am leaving. Don't tell me I didn't come to apologise..." he spat at her and walked off.
My teeth were aching because of how badly I had them pressed together. My frowning eyes watching his receding form. I rolled them.
Suddenly an agonizing groan reached my ear and I looked at the source. It was her trembling, doubled up form.
Was she okay?
One of her hands was on the wall, supporting her frame while the other clutched at her abdomen. Soon she was kneeling on the floor, still groaning.
"Excuse me? Are you alright!?"
She barely looked at me to voice something weakly, "My stomach..."
She had turned a sickeningly pale colour.
"Hey, what's wrong with her?" A worried voice came from behind us.
"Don't worry I am a doctor..." the incoming man soothed and examined her.
"She needs an ambulance."
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