As I got up to leave the cafeteria, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation that Rose was having with everyone. If she wants to go out to a bar then let her, it has nothing to do with me. If she gets drunk or not that won’t be my responsibility in taking care of her. She’s a grown woman and can take care of herself, as I ran my fingers through my hair I decided to go to the music studio that was a few floors below us. I needed to get this stress out of my system, and what better way than playing music...
“Hey, Kai. Make sure to lock the door when you’re done. Also, don’t forget that manager Sang wants that new song your writing to be done by next month. The sooner we get recording it the sooner we can have it finished and have it release to the new album coming up.”
Said one of the staff music directors as he packed his bag ready to leave the studio room.
“Yeah...I know.” I said to him with a tiresome tone as he left the room afterward.
It’s always more with manager Sang, with every song that I write. He just always wants the next song to be better and more exciting, I’m trying so hard to meet his standards, everyone’s standards. But right now I feel like I’m writing music for him and not for me, even Zack and Jin have been trying to help me with the lyrics. But it’s a lot more difficult for them since Zack is better at dancing and Jin prefers singing. So it’s all up to me to come up with our music, I need to hurry up and finish the last of the lyrics...
“This is fucking annoying...”
I said to myself in a stressful sigh as I tried to figure out the melody I should put in the song.It was becoming a bit overwhelming for me as I sat in the room for hours trying to make the lyrics flow well together, reaching for my pocket I pulled out my pill bottle. Taking two Xanax pills, I grabbed my water bottle and swallowed the pills down my throat as I sat myself down on the floor. Leaning my head back against the wall, I closed my eyes and began to hum a melody loud enough for me to hear. Though the sudden light noises of someone’s steps could be heard coming towards me...
“So this is where you were at.” He said while I kept my eyes closed, recognizing whose voice it was, I remained sitting on the floor.
“What do you want?” I asked him in a breathless sigh.
“I just wanted to check up on you, you didn’t really eat much at the cafeteria. Kai, how many did you take?”
Opening my eyes, I saw that Zack had grabbed my bottle of medication that I had left on the table. He then went ahead and took a seat next to me as he too leaned himself back against the wall. Rubbing my temple in annoyance by his question, I grabbed the bottle away from his hands and put them back in my pocket.
“I only took two, so relax...” I responded to him as I kept my eyes looking forward.
“I’m sorry, I just don’t want you to do anything stupid like last time...” He said with a nervous tone.
“I told you and Jin that I wouldn’t do that again, I even promised my mother...so don’t worry,” I explained to him apologetically as I began to stand myself back up.
“I know you did, it’s just that...that day always replays back in my mind. So I can’t help but worry.” He responded in a depressing matter as he’s stood back up as well.
“It’s been 4 years already, I’m fine... okay. ”
I said to him, I honestly didn’t want people to worry about me. Because I felt like a child that needed to be looked after, and I hated that. I need to show everyone that I’m not that weak anymore. I’ve grown and become stronger...or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
“Alright then...hey, that melody I heard you humming earlier. Is that the new song your working on?”
Zack asked as he tried to change the sensitive subject to something more comfortable.
“Yeah, but it’s not ready yet. It still feels like it’s missing something, so I’m trying to figure out what it could be. The lyrics should fit well with it but it’s the rhythm that still feels off.” I explained to him as he looked over the music sheets that were on the table.
“Oh, okay. Well, my schedule is free for the rest of the day. So I can help you out... if only Jin was here though. He’s usually a lot better than me when it comes to this stuff, but he left earlier with manager Sang to the city to pick up his suit that he’s gonna wear for tomorrow’s interview. Jin mentioned that they got the sizes mixed up with mine so hopefully the suit came out well for him this time.” Zack explained with a smirk as he sat himself down on a chair.
“Interview? This is the first time I’m hearing about it.” I responded while giving him a confused stare.
“Yeah, right after you left he explained to me that it was for this new magazine cover that he did a few days back. So he’s gonna be really busy tomorrow, which also means that MelRose is gonna have to wake up pretty early tomorrow as well to do his makeup all day.” Zack said as he began to help me with the rhythms of the melody we can use.
Within the next few hours that passed, Zack and I spent the majority of the time in the music room. Though I failed to realize how late it was getting, looking over at the clock that was on the wall. I saw that it was already 9 pm, and I thought back to what Zack had told me. If MelRose is gonna have to wake up early tomorrow, I wonder if she’s ended up going to the bar anyways. Is she still out? Wait, what the hell am I doing? I told myself that I wouldn’t care what she does-
“It’s getting late, we should call it a night- oh! One of our staff members is calling me, strange. Usually, they only call during working hours? Hello?”
The sudden ringing of Zack’s phone going off was soon answered as he began to talk on the phone. His calm demeanor on his facial expressions changed the moment he began talking. I wonder what’s going on that’s causing him to have that troublesome look?
“I see, well I’m glad she’s okay. I understand, don’t call manager Sang. It will only cause more problems. I’ll let Jin know tomorrow morning, okay...keep me updated. Okay, thanks for calling...bye.”
Once he had hanged up the phone, he looked at me with a worried-like expression.
“What was that phone call about?”
I asked him feeling concerned, the conversation he had with whoever was on the other line sounded very serious.
“Uh... it’s...one of the new staff members that started working here today. You remember meeting her, right? MelRose, she got into a car accident and- whoa! Hey, wait a minute! Where are you going?!”
Unable to think straight, I quickly grabbed my coat and didn’t waste any time as I hurried out of the room! However, Zack quickly followed me from behind as he tried to stop me from going anywhere! But I kept shoving him off of me as I felt sick to my stomach! None of this felt real to me, I felt like this was all a bad dream I was having. But the only difference was that I wasn’t waking up from it!
“Get off me, Zack!” I shouted at him once I reached the elevator doors.
“Wait! You can’t leave at this hour! There’s paparazzi everywhere at this time at night!”
“I don’t fucking care! Just text me the fucking address of where she’s at! I need to see her!”
I said to him in frustration as I pushed him off, he then stumbles to the floor as the elevator doors opened. Stepping inside, I quickly pushed the lobby button and watched as the doors finally closed!
I felt like throwing up, the dizziness in my head was making me light-headed and I felt myself wanting to pass out. I even had to hold on to the metal railing next to me as I was having difficulty breathing. My heart ached and it pained me, this dark suffocation that feels like it’s swallowing me again as it did many years ago. The shakiness of death luring over me like a shadow was almost too much for me to bear...
Instantly walking out of the elevator, I looked around to see that there were many security guards that were standing by the entrance. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me! So I immediately ran with all my strength, and the closer I got to them. They all stared at me with a shocked expression, they didn’t know what to do other than to stand there in awe as I ran past them. Pushing my way through the doors, that’s when they yelled at me to stop once I was outside! Their concerned voices were understandable since they feared for my safety!
Because the moment I stepped outside, all I saw was a crowd of my fans looking at me. They all looked at me as if they had seen a ghost and I couldn’t blame them for that. But I didn’t have time to stand there, so I continued to sprint down the sidewalk. The heavy screams of everyone calling out my name could be heard as I kept my eyes out for any sort of taxi driver that would drive by! The ringing of my phone also went off as I kept pushing my legs to keep going forward!
“I LOVE YOU!”
“KAI JOONG! WHY ARE YOU RUNNING AWAY FROM US!”
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING!?”
The many voices that shouted out to me, was nothing more but a blur. Because all that my mind kept focusing on was only on Rose! Please, Rose... please be okay! With guilt devouring me, I was able to flag out a taxi down the street that was passing by. Quickly entering the car, I asked him to hurry up and drive! Pulling out my phone, I saw that it was Zack who was calling me. Ignoring him, I quickly opened the text he had sent a few minutes ago.
It was the address I asked for, so I quickly told the cab driver where to go as I turned my phone off. I didn’t want to hear anyone right now, I don’t wanna hear any bad news! I need to see it for myself, I need to know she’s okay! This feeling...I never wanted to relive this trauma again. I was an asshole to her this afternoon, I made her feel so uncomfortable during lunch hour and I feel like total shit! Here I am telling myself that I wouldn’t care what she does with her life, yet...look at what I’m doing!
“Were here, uhh... excuse me but....are you Kai Joong from ExEx Idol?”
“I’m sorry but I’m in a hurry. Here, keep the change!” I said to the cab driver as I hurried out of the vehicle!
It didn’t even cross my mind that I forgot my face mask, but that doesn’t matter to me right now! Running towards the hospital, I was getting so many surprised faces once I entered the building. Ignoring their voices, I made it to the front desk and asked what room MelRose was in! At first, the nurses were caught off guard by my presence, but they then quickly gave me the information I needed once I explained that she was part of the staff that worked in the company I was in.
My heart was beating a thousand miles a minute and I couldn’t stop shaking, the anxiety of not knowing anything. Wanting to just collapse was making my body grow weak, even my mind was feeling toxic as I kept praying to God that I would take any punishment, just as long Rose was okay. Even as I ran down the hall, I was asking myself why I felt so attached to her. Why do I care this much for her? I keep telling myself to just ignore her, but why is it impossible for me to do so?! Grabbing hold of the necklace around my neck, I finally made it to her room!
Wasting no time in opening the door, I entered myself in. The separation of the curtains was what made me so afraid, because what will I see once I pull these curtains back? With my hand trembling in fear, I reached out and clenched my jaw tightly as I prepared myself. But the moment I pulled back those curtains, the sudden weight of death completely disappeared from me once I saw Rose looking at me in a daze. Her cheeks were flushed pink and the only place where I saw that she had gotten hurt was her hand that was bandage up.
I called out her in disbelief.
“Kai! You came for me!”
Rose shouted in excitement as she came running towards me. Her arms then wrapped around me as she held me tightly, her small body frame was warm and I couldn’t help but automatically wrap my arms around her as I felt like I was able to breathe again. She’s alive, she’s okay...her heartbeat is still there...
“I’m so sorry! It’s my fault! We didn’t plan on staying out so late, we were all having fun. And I completely forgot that they put alcohol in the beef when they’re cooking it and before I knew it, she got very drunk. All the other staff members left, but MelRose wanted to keep eating and when I decided to take her home, it was difficult to hold her upright. She ended up stumbling forward near the street and ended up falling. Her purse got ruined during the accident and it made all of her belongings scattered everywhere on the road. Luckily no cars hit her but they did end up running over her phone with the rest of her things. She landed on her arm and got a sprained wrist, but the doctor said it should be fine within a week.”
As I listened to what the female staff member was saying I recognized that she was the one that was sitting next to Rose in the cafeteria. She bowed deeply in front of me as she explained what had happened.
“I see...well as long as you’re both okay,” I responded in a relieved sigh as I kept holding Rose tightly in my arms.
She continued to snuggle herself close to me, soon a nurse came in and handed me Rose’s belongings. From what I saw in her bag, it seemed that everything was okay, minus her phone that was cracked and the key card to her apartment that was snapped in half.
“I didn’t know who to call, she’s doesn’t have any family here and I didn’t want to trouble any of the other staff members since I told them I would take care of her. At first, I thought about calling manager Sang, but I figured if I did that It might cause issues. So I decided to call Zack since he was being very nice to her earlier today...” She explained apologetically.
“Have you told anyone else about what happened today, other than Zack?” I asked her as I felt Rose’s body shifting back and forth a bit.
“No, I haven’t but-”
“Will keep this a secret then, understand? And from now on, if something like this happens again that involves Rose. Call me, okay.”
I said to her as we began to walk out of the room, helping Rose walk I placed my arm around her waist. Soon the female staff member next to me quickly pulled out a face mask from her purse and placed it on my face as we walked down the hallway.
“I’ll take her back, so don’t worry,” I said to her as she bowed her head in agreement.
“Okay, thank you. And again, I’m so sorry for troubling you at this late hour. I’ll take care of the paperwork here and the billing, goodnight Mr. Joong.”
She said as she helped me wave a taxi down, she then helped me put Rose in the car as I said goodbye to her. Watching her leave back inside the hospital, I had the cab driver take us to the dorms I was living in.
Rose was completely asleep as she had her head leaning on my shoulder. A strand of her hair was covering her face. So I went ahead and tucked the strand behind her ear as I then delicately touched her cheek so very lightly. After how we met I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget about her. So I don’t ever want to imagine Rose disappearing from my life...
“We’re here sir, I hope you and your wife have a lovely night.” The old cab driver said as he pulled over behind the company building.
“Oh, uhh she’s not my wife-”
“I remember when my wife used to pass out in the back of the cabs when we would stay out late at night. I would always tease her about it, of course, she would always try and punch me with her small first when I would bring it up. But that was a long time ago...” He explained in bittersweet laughter as I helped Rose get out of the car.
Bowing my head, I thanked him before he drove off. I then hurried and took Rose into the building before anyone could notice us. Entering the dorms, we made our way to the elevator as I quickly texted Zack about what happened. The last thing I want is him telling Jin about this, he’s already gonna be busy tomorrow. The last thing he needs to know is about what happened tonight, the less stress on him the better. I already know how Jin could get, he always puts everyone else’s well-being first. And he tends to forget to take care of himself in the process...
“Hey...Kai...do you hate me?”
I suddenly heard Rose mumble her words once the elevator doors finally opened to my room, though I was shocked to hear speak. I thought she was still unconscious?
“Huh? What are you talking about? I don’t hate you at all.” I responded truthfully as I walked her inside.
It was going to be impossible to get her into her apartment with her key card being broken, and I wasn’t gonna let the female staff member take care of her. She’s done enough already, so I’ll be the one to watch out for her. It’s the least I can do with how I acted towards her today. Perhaps that’s why she’s asking if I hate her?
“I’m sorry...I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, I’m sorry... Kai.”
Rose cried out as she suddenly looked up at me, her flushed face soon got closer as I felt her gripping my coat. The feeling of being pulled down towards her was unexpected as I was caught off guard by her lips touching mine!