Our Secret Melody

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Lyric: Fifty-Eight

Kai’s POV:

“Hey Zack, are you sure you’ll be okay with performing tonight? I know it’s been only a day since we landed in Germany. But your body is still jet-lagged from the flight, not to mention how anxious you were. You didn’t really eat much either-”

“I’m fine...let’s...just put a good performance for our fans,” Zack said in a reassurance smile, though I’ve known him long enough to tell that he isn’t all that well.

He didn’t really eat breakfast this morning, but I know whatever I have to say to him he’ll only deny my concerns.

“Alright, everyone! Get ready, we go live in 3 minutes! You over there, make sure their mics are working, Mrs. Lee, hurry up and finish putting the last touches on Jin’s makeup! Kai, remember to switch to the next choreography once the lights change color...”

With manager Sang running the stage, I tried to calm my nerves the best I can. My body has grown so used to taking medication before and after every performance I do. But now that I have completely stopped taking them, I wonder how my body is going to react? With my hands shaking, I immediately looked over at Rose who was attending to Jin’s makeup. Seeing her be so close to him made my heart escalate more. She’s been so busy helping staff, that we hadn’t had the chance to talk to each other all day. And now that I’m only a few feet away from her, I want nothing more but to hold her in my arms. Because only then will I have confidence in my performance and stop this shaking feeling inside me...

“Okay, I’m all done. Good luck out there and give it you’re all. I know you’ll do amazing.”

I heard Rose say to Jin. The smile that they both gave each ran jealously through my veins. It was only when Rose caught notice of me starting that she immediately blushed and looked away. Giving off a smirk, I began to walk towards the both of them...

“30 seconds! Zack, Jin, Kai. Start heading out to the stage, the music will start once the lights are switched on!”

With Sang telling us to prepare ourselves, I naturally placed my arm over Jin’s shoulder and began to pull him along. Though within those seconds of doing so, I leaned close to Rose’s face as I walked right past her and whispered close to her ear for only her to hear...

“Pay close attention to me...”

I said in a mischievous voice as our eyes locked gaze for a short instant. Her eyes immediately widened as I paid close attention to her lips moving.

"Always..."

The smile on my face was fairly visible, as I looked back at the stage I was heading towards. Hearing the loud applause and cheering from so many people felt almost exhilarating. With every person calling out my name, it sent chills down my body as the screams grew higher for ExEx Idol to perform.

“This feeling never gets old...”

Jin said in a calming matter as he lifted his head to look at the many lights our fans were holding for us. It was like looking into the darkest parts of the ocean, yet the many beautiful lights that twinkled resembled little stars shining for us.

“I think, this will always be a precious memory of mine.” I heard Zack say as he stood right next to me.

With the stage being completely pitched dark, the voices in the room began to die down one by one until it became completely silent. Raising my head, I look at the arena and stared at the 50,000 people watching me. As I went to grab the necklace I was wearing, I went ahead and gripped it tightly before closing my eyes.

‘I can do this...we can do this. ExEx Idol will reshape the world. Rose, I hope you listen... along with everyone.’

I said to myself, and right on cue. The stage lights went on and I quickly opened my eyes and began to perform!

While I continued to sing my heart out, I felt the adrenaline pump through my blood as I felt myself taking over the stage along with Jin and Zack. Their vocals have improved so much since before, and with every new song, we were to sing. It only made our determination grow more to finish this through the end. But I will admit, it can become very tiring, if not mentally, but physically...

“Damnit Zack, I told you to take it easy this morning- hey! Someone bring a bucket!”

I shouted to one of the staff members. Feeling breathless, I sat on the floor as I tried to catch my breath. With these 15 minute breaks, we were given every 4 songs to perform. It makes our bodies realize how much we are exerting ourselves. Because the moment we stepped off the stage, Zack immediately collapsed and began to cough violently to the point where he was starting to vomit. It looks like Zack had been pushing himself...

“I’m coming! For fucks sake, Zack! Here, try and let everything out. Do you think you could still perform?” Said one of the staff...

“Of course, this is nothing...I could keep going. I just, need to drink some water. Hey Jin, are you okay over there?”

Zack muttered in discomfort towards Jin as one of the staff members was tending to his aid.

“I’m fine...”

He coughed out as he tried to catch his breath. I then watched as they placed ice packs around Jin’s body to cool him off.

As much as we enjoy performing, the passion that helps us grow strong...just isn’t enough for our bodies to handle sometimes. With there being so many people in one giant room, it’s only natural for the body to overheat. Even for me...I almost felt like I was about to pass out after the last chorus. With a water bottle being handed to me, I tried my best to drink it. However, with how hard my heart was beating I felt like I would only choke if I took even a little sip.

“Kai, your face is growing pale. Did you need us to bring the oxygen mask to help you breathe again-”

Suddenly, the room was brought to silence once we heard a crash coming from the entrance of the room! Following the sounds, I saw nothing but water bottles rolling all over the ground. But my heart was wanting to give away once I saw Rose standing by the doorway! Why the hell is she here!? The makeup staff is supposed to always be on standby near the stage! The break room is only for us members to rest at and for first aid staff to check on our vitals!

“I...I’m sorry, I was told to bring extra water bottles-”

“Get out!”

I yelled at her in regret, without even looking at her I clutched my chest more tightly as it ached.

“Mrs. Lee, I’m sorry but can you please give the boys some privacy. Only emergency staff and manager Sang are allowed to be back here during this time. Don’t worry about the water bottles, I’ll pick them up later.”

Said the staff member who began to close the door on her. It was only for a split second, but I saw it...her expression of disbelief and heartbreak. I didn’t want Rose to see me in this state, because I never wish to worry her about something like this. After a while, it was only Zack and Jin who were still in the room with me. With the oxygen mask still on my face, I was finally beginning to breathe easily again...

“You shouldn’t have yelled at her like that...”

I heard Zack say before I watched him stand up...

“You didn’t tell her about this, did you...”

Jin said in disappointment before kicking my foot. Pulling the mask off of me, I aggressively ruffled my hair in annoyance!

“Do you think it’s that easy? To tell someone who you care for...that what you do, breaks your body to the point where it’s too painful to move? Can you tell your own mother that? What about you Zack? Would you tell your family? From your silence...No, I didn’t think you would. I know I shouldn’t have reacted that way...but I just don’t want Rose to have to worry about me anymore. It’s like I’m always making her feel uneasy about this life I’m in. I wanted to keep this from her...but now it looks like I’ve caused more harm than good.”

I explained in heavy sorrow before getting back up, with Zack and Jin remaining mute. I decided to leave the room since we had less than 2 minutes before we had to go back on stage...

“Kai! Come here, I need to fix your hair, you boys sweat so much while your performing. Now stay still...”

Mrs. Kim voiced out at me as she had me sit down on a chair. Paying no mind to what she was saying, my eyes wandered around backstage to see how chaotic everyone was being. From manager Sang being too busy making calls, from staff members running left and right to prepare things for us. Letting out a sigh, I was only taken aback once I saw from the far off distances of Jin placing his hand on Rose’s wrist! He was standing way too close to her, just what the hell are they even saying to each other?!

Soon, Rose went ahead to look at where I was but that broken expression on her face made her quickly look away from me. Jin then immediately brought his hand down towards her back and began to console her before having her take a seat. But I immediately jolted my body to stand the moment I saw Jin leaning his face closer to her! Ignoring what Mirs. Kim had to say, I didn’t waste another second rushing myself towards where they were at! But before I could even call out to Rose, Jin had quickly turned around to look at me. He then walked toward my direction, but he immediately paused right next to me as he faced forward, avoiding making eye contact with me.

“Don’t start assuming ridiculous thoughts in that stupid head of yours...now isn’t the time. We need to head back on stage, Zack is already waiting for us.”

He explained in a stern voice as he walked off. Yet all I could do was just stand there and watch Rose from afar...

“What the fuck am I doing?” I said to myself in frustration...

“Kai! We need you right now!”

I heard manager Sang call out to me, I’m certain that Rose heard him as well. But she refused to look at me still...

I did it again, I made Rose angry. Clenching my hands into a tight fist, I marched my way back in a heat of anger! Without even looking at anyone else, I marched my way to the stage and loosened the buttons of my shirt. With my blood boiling this much, I knew I would only heat up more with how pissed off I already was with myself! In the last half hour of performing, it seemed that my cold demeanor really made the crowd more excited. Despite how I’m feeling, I shouldn’t take it out on my fans, but...

“I’m really aching for you to control my urges...but maybe I’m too much for you to handle,” I said in a sinister way to the audience...

Once we had finished singing, Jin then immediately grabbed hold of my arm and pulled me close to him! Soon the entire room felt like it was shaking uncontrollably with how loud the screams escalated! I almost forget how disturbing some of our fans get with their lewd minds of us members getting close to each other.

“Don’t say any more than you already have...if this is your way of making Rose jealous then I suggest you stop before I get more upset with you. It’s bad enough you were giving attitude during our performance.”

He said while pulling his mic away from his face...

“Ooh! Are we telling secrets?! I wanna know and I’m sure the whole crowd wants to listen in as well.”

Zack said in a tease as he came towards us!

“What? Of course, we would never keep secrets from our fans, we love them too much to ever do something like that! I was just telling Kai that I really enjoyed today and that I love how beautiful each and every one of you are...”

Jin quickly came up with some kind of excuse before bowing to the crowd. He then made me follow along before we all said our goodbyes. Once we finally stepped off from the stage, Zack immediately dropped to his knees. He had hit the limit of how much he can perform today, but it’s no surprise. He didn’t have much energy from the very beginning. Though I was getting worried, I let my anger get the best of me that I rushed through the performance without thinking of Zack’s condition...

“Fuck...I think I did it again you guys...”

Zack grunted out in pain as he was getting carried by the staff.

“Manager Sang! Will have to give Zack an IV. He’s lacking a lot of nourishment and he’s anemic right now-”

“Very well, take him back to the hotel and make sure he stays bedridden until morning. I will be leaving for the next city tomorrow evening, Zack you did well today. But I expect the next performance to be just as good if not better as we continue touring. You boys managed to outsold your concert tickets once again. And you’ve been trending for an entire week already, keep up the good work. I’ll be having security Jung take you three back to the hotel, which will be heavily guarded this time. If you boys need anything, call me immediately. I’ll be staying here helping the staff pack, day one has been a success and I don’t want any repeats of what happened back in America. Kai, mid-way through your performance I was impressed. Keep up the good work, I’ll see you boys tomorrow...”

And with that, manager Sang left us in our security’s care. But I didn’t care about getting praised by anyone right now. My aggravation was running my patience dry! With Jin bowing to the manager’s words, I began to take the mic off along with my jacket that was just too hot for me to wear! If what Sang said is true, then there will be zero chance of me talking with Rose if he bumped up security! So I’ll take this only chance I have to speak to her, even if she is upset at me. I have to see her...

“Alright, Jin, Kai, if you can please follow me out back to the private parking lot. Zack is already in the van resting-”

“Jung, remember when you stole manager Sang’s last cup of ramen he had in his office-”

“Shh! What are you saying right now! I thought you said you’ll keep that a secret?!”

Jung immediately hushed me before wrapping his big arm around my neck, pulling me into a headlock!

“Kai, what are you doing?”

Jin asked in confusion before wiping his sweat with a towel.

“Jin, I won’t be coming back to the hotel for a while-”

“What the hell are you saying- no! I forbid it, you’ve done enough already. Just leave things how they are-”

“Of course you would say that. You have no issues with it, after all...you get to see and speak with her every day if you want. But I can’t...”

I said in a lowly whisper for Jin to only hear, I then grabbed hold of Jung’s arms and did a 180 of twisting his arm back.

“Okay! Okay, I surrender!”

He cried out before giving off a pout once I released him.

“Jung, I have a favor to ask of you. If manager Sang calls you later. Make sure you tell him that I fell asleep the moment I got back to the hotel. I have some important things to take care of-”

“What if I refuse-”

“Refuse? In that case, I’ll tell him I saw you steal his last favorite cup of ramen that went exclusive a while back-”

“Blackmail!?”

He voiced out at me in disbelief, though I couldn’t help but laugh at his reaction. I’ve known Jung for years during my time of working in this company. And if there’s one thing I know that he’s afraid of, it’s manager Sang.

“You would stoop this low and threaten Jung-”

“Jin...shut up, I know what I did tonight wasn’t right. But I’m telling you here and now, to stay out of it. Now go back to the hotel with Zack, I’ll be back later.”

I said to him with an annoyed tone before taking off to the back rooms!

I’ve about had it with Jin butting into my relationship with Rose! But most of all, I can’t stand Rose getting close to a guy! I hate what this jealously is turning me into, but I just can’t take it anymore! Grabbing one of the face masks I saw on the table, I quickly placed it on and began to look for Rose! Though I have to be very careful not to get caught by the manager. Looking through each room, I grew confused as to where Rose could be since I had no luck in finding her!

“Uh, Kai? Is that you? I thought you had left with the rest of the group already?”

I suddenly heard a staff member call out to me from behind!

“Oh! Uhh, I...I just wanted to ask Mrs. Kim something.”

Quickly coming up with an excuse, I pulled out my phone. What are the chances of me calling Rose and her picking up? Knowing her, she’ll probably ignore my calls...

“If it’s Mrs. Kim, you’re looking for, she and the rest of the makeup team already left a few minutes ago and headed back to the hotel. Since they show up early to set up the stations, we have them go back so they can rest. Though one of them did forget their bag here, I think it belongs to Mrs. Lee? I was gonna call her once I was finished packing here, wait! What are you-”

“If that’s the case, I’ll just head back to the hotel then. I’ll be sure to give this back to Mrs. Lee, so don’t worry about it. Thank you for your hard work today!”

I said while taking the bag I then hurrying myself to the back parking lot! If I sprint, I might be able to catch up to her! Coming across an elevator, I was about ready to press the button when all of a sudden the door slid open right in front of me! And the person I’ve been longing to see was standing right before my eyes.

“Rose, I...”

“Excuse me, I forgot my bag- wait...why do you have it?!”

She asked in a stern tone, but just as she tried to take it. I pulled it further away from her reach!

“Hey! Give it back! What do you think your doing-”

“So you really are mad,” I said to her once I walked inside the elevator.

Her quiet response was enough for me to read as continued to reach for her bag.

“Well, I guess that makes both of us...”

I said in a rage of anger as I dropped her bag to the floor.

“Huh? What are you talking about-”

At the exact moment when the doors closed, I backed Rose up to the corner before closing off any gaps between us. And although she tried to push me away, her weak attempt was useless as I gripped both of her fragile hands and pinned them up against the wall. Pulling my mask down, my tense stare made her grow nervous...

“Don’t kiss me...”

She said in a broken stutter before looking away. However, her actions didn’t match her words since she wasn’t making any effort of pushing me off anymore. So I leaned my face closer to her’s until the feeling of her breath could be felt hitting my lips...

“Then tell me you hate me...if you can’t say that. Then I won’t ever stop kissing you...”

I said to her in a cold response before finally placing my lips against hers. Here I thought that maybe I was being a horrible person, but the really cruel one...is Rose.

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