“I understand, yeah I made dinner but don’t worry about it. I’ll put it away...”
As I spoke on the phone with my mother, she informed me that she and Dad will be working late today. And that she’s not entirely sure at what time they will be coming home. So once I got off the phone, I hurried up and finished cleaning the kitchen before turning on the TV. Today is the day that ExEx Idol will be performing in Korea. I know that it’s getting very late over here in America and I should probably go to bed early since I have work tomorrow morning. But I promised Jin that I would watch them...he said that it would be very important. But what did he mean by that-
“Oh my god! Did it start yet? Eww, why are you watching the news-oh! It’s on the same channel! I can’t believe how many people there are! I really wish I could be there, it must be so nice living in the same country as them...I wonder how Kai will look tonight?”
Hearing Sam squeal in excitement, she hurried herself to the couch as she waited for the live performance as me. Though I did my best in hiding the fact that I had the same intentions of watching them as well. I guess she assumed that I was just watching the news? Walking past her, I looked over at what she was doing on her phone. And could see that she was already talking about the boys on social media. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were trending at the moment...
Taking a seat right next to her, I relaxed a bit. Seeing my sister finally smile, was a sight that brought me a sense of relief. But it saddens me that ExEx Idol is the only thing that could make her this happy. As I kept looking over at her phone, I held in my gasp the moment I saw the cover of her phone screen! I can’t believe she has that as her wallpaper! Just what the hell is wrong with her!?
“Sam, why... who’s that person as your wallpaper?”
I asked, trying my best to calm my nerves. I gave out a smile... however, deep down...my blood was boiling!
“Do you really have to ask? It’s Kai, duh.” She said in a know-it-all response.
Seeing her move her apps to the side, she showed me the clear image of Kai being half shirtless! Though Kai’s face was crop out from the frame as the only thing I could see was his exposed chest and abs. And I’m not angry at the fact that she has a picture of him like this. What upsets me is that Sam knows fully well that Kai isn’t happy in that photo. It explains why she has his face cut off...it was the day when I left Korea that Kai was being photographed at the airport looking so hurt...his expression alone is enough to tell me that.“I see...why isn’t his face showing?”
I asked of her. Though she gave me an annoyed pout before turning off her phone.
“Mel, what are you even doing? You’re not a fan of ExEx Idol, so why are you even sitting next to me? I get it that you worked for them at some point. But that was a year ago, you only worked for them so you can make money off it. Bedside’s, don’t you have work tomorrow? If so, just sleep in my room. I’ll be here for the rest of the night watching the boys. So just go to bed, I’ll let Mom and Dad know- Oh my god! It’s about to start! Hurry up and leave Mel! I don’t want any distractions!”
She quickly said to me as she began to push me off the couch!
“Okay! Just stop being so forceful!”
I responded to her with irritation in my voice. I get it that my sister doesn’t want me to watch them, but this is just ridiculous...
Letting out a sigh, I headed to the room and decide that it would be best to just watch the boys on my phone. So once I got in my bed, I pulled the sheets over me while placing my earphones on. Looking at the small screen, I paid very close attention to the many voices of all the fans that were at the concert. My heart immediately raced at the sight of seeing the boys beginning to perform! They looked amazing, every step they made together was completely in sync. Their voices were so different from one another and they looked absolutely beautiful...
But my sights were solely focused on one particular person. It’s funny...but even back then when Samantha first showed me this group. The one who caught my attention from the very beginning...was Kai. And it was those green eyes of his that stood out the most. And even now, I can’t look away from him...
As I kept watching, my vision grew hazy as I felt how wet my cheeks were getting. I knew that I would cry...but not this soon in their performance. All the memories that I wanted to throw away, were now making my heart feel like heavy chains. It’s painful...but I won’t look away. I gave Jin my word...that I will keep watching until the very end.
“Jin...Zack...Kai...I miss you all.”
I quietly said to myself as I sniffled...
Within the 2 hours that passed, I sang every song they performed in my heart. I didn’t want Sam to hear me. Though with how much she is screaming in excitement, I don’t think that will be an issue. With my eyes growing heavy, I did my best in keeping myself awake as I watched carefully at what they were doing next. At first, I thought they were saying goodbye to the end of the concert. But I immediately jolted my body forward the moment I saw Zack fall to his knees and began to apologize!
What’s going on?! Why...no...is this what Jin wanted me to really see?! Why!? This can’t be real!? Jin...why didn’t you tell me! The mournful cries that came from the crowd surrounding them moved me to tears as I felt just as sad as they did. But my heart shattered into a million pieces once I heard the last words that Kai had to say to his many fans that come to adore him...
His tears were meaningful, his voice was shaking and his eyes were full of sadness. The image of what I was seeing, was his heart pouring out to the world. His music that he gave for everyone to hear...will forever be imprinted on us all. But I don’t understand...why would you want to retire and say goodbye to somthing you created and loved?! Please, Kai... don’t leave...Zack... Jin...is this really what you all want?
After watching them leave, I couldn’t comprehend what I just witnessed! I then immediately thought of my sister! So I bolted out of my room and ran down the hall, only to see that my sister was still staring at the screen. But somthing changed! After the live performance ended, it cut to what seemed to be a past press conference that the boys had pre-recorded prior. So they really did plan on ending ExEx Idol for a while now...
“Kai, Is it true that ExEx Idol will be coming to an end? If so, why? You three have grown so much in the music industry? Why now are you choosing to retire?”
I watched quietly as I heard the entire interview go on, placing my hand over my chest I gripped it tightly as I heard how honest they were being! It wound me when I heard Kai and Jin explaining how stressful and depressing they’ve been. And without going into detail, they shared how hard their personal lives have become. They even explained how difficult it was to handle the toxicity of how harmful some of their fans can be...
“We all decided as a group that it was time to end this dream of ours. We each had a goal when we created ExEx Idol...and we were finally able to achieve that. Making music has always...and will always be my passion. But...I still felt incomplete, even now...I’m grateful to the fans that have supported us. However, there’s a new future that I want in my life...a future that I know will make my heart feel whole.”
Hearing Kai’s response, I clenched my jaw as I held back from breaking down. However, my tears continued to shed...Kai, stop... please stop...don’t make me cry any more than I already am. I... hate that I can’t stop loving you. Even now...in this year alone, the agony that I’m in is too much for me to bear. Leaning my body against the wall, I covered my mouth as I tried to control my heavy breathing.
“I see, then my question goes back to Jin. What was your goal in being in the group? And is it also true that you will be leaving to do military service? If so, for how long will you be serving?”
What!? That isn’t true! Is it? What the hell! Why didn’t Jin tell me any of this!? I know Korean men must serve at least one year. But why is Jin serving 3?! As I kept hearing what Jin had to say, I decided to pull out my phone and call him! But I grew aggravated when he wasn’t answering me! I can’t believe this! Jin...if you leave...will I not be able to talk to you anymore?! I’ve grown so used to hearing your voice almost every day...and I can’t help but worry if you’ll be okay or not!
“Zack, I understand that your sister is now dating someone. Are you okay with that? There were rumors that your sister and Kai were once together and do you have anyone that you are currently seeing-”
“The relationship that I have with Zacks sister is nothing more but a family relationship. I have nothing but respect for Lily, she became someone who I could look up to with all my heart. She will forever be a big sister in my eyes...and I could tell you here and now...that Zack isn’t dating anyone...the same goes for Jin. In all these years in being part of ExEx Idol... they’ve always put their fan’s happiness first before their own. They’ve worked long hours throughout the days and got restless sleep for many months...it’s practically impossible for them to date with such a crazy schedule.”
I suddenly heard Kai say in defense for Zack and Jin.
“Is that so? Then what about you? I’m sure I don’t need to remind you about the many scandalous photos that were taken of you throughout the years. Many of your fans even spoke about a specific necklace that you wore for almost a year. However, you stopped wearing it at some point. And from what your Manager even once said in a magazine, you are the one member in the group that never likes wearing the same type of jewelry more than twice. Also, the many markings that were shown around your neckline in the photo-”
“I think that’s enough-”
“No, it’s okay Zack. Let her finish.”
Kai calmly responded to Zacks strict voice, my nerves were shaking from the number of specific questions that this reporter was saying! Just why do people care so much about what goes on in these Idols’ lives! Why does it matter so much to them!? It annoys me that they can’t just ask questions about ExEx Idol...won’t this be their last interview together?
“Getting back to the photos, there were many pictures and videos of you at the airport of last year. Can you explain why you were there in the condition you were in?”
“There are many reasons why I decided to retire from this group...and one of the big reasons being that...I became very vulnerable. Some might even say fragile...was I loved by my fans. Of course, I was... however, they loved me for what I was. Not for who I actually am...in their eyes...I’m simply someone who creates music....”
“No...that’s not true....that no true Kai...”
I heard my sister cry out to the screen as she walked closer to the image of Kai staring at the camera.
“But I’m glad that my music was able to help others in some way... however, I lost my senses of loving what I created...my music became numb to me. And I was beginning to lose my muse...I was starting to lose myself. But... someone came into my life...it was accidental in the beginning. But with each passing day...this person slowly began to reach into my heart... regardless of how shattered it was. How dark the burden can be...she was the one that accepted all of it, all of my flaws. And loved me for everything that I am...the good, the bad, the ugly, and the sorrow. But, I had to let her go... if not just for her sake. But for mine...and the reason why I no longer wear the locket. Is because she took it away from me...and she took a piece of my heart with it. My muse...my passion...my love...it’s all because of her...that I was able to fulfill my dream. And now that my dream has come to an end...I wish for a new future...where I could make her smile again. But that’s only if...she wants it. I am sorry for lying to my fans...for keeping somthing like this from them. It’s true that I was secretly dating someone...so I understand how badly this will look on me. And I will accept the criticism that anyone has to say...and I will forever apologize to the company that I have troubled. But what I will never be sorry for...is for loving the woman who I hold dear to me. ”
I then watched as Kai stood up and deeply bowed in forgiveness. Shortly after, Zack and Jin did the same thing before the interview came to an end. The many questions that the reporters had to say after that were ruthless. However, many security guards came in and forced a separation between them as the boys walked away. After that, the screen was suddenly turned off and silence fell upon the room.
My whole body couldn’t move as I stood there with my legs shaking in absolute shock. With my heart beating a thousand miles per minute, I gripped the phone tightly in my hands as I continued to cry. Kai, you idiot...why... just, forget about me! Did I not make it clear to you when I left...I said such horrible things to you-
“It’s because of you...” I suddenly heard Sam speak in a low whisper.
I asked in confusion, with my voice trembling I tried to wipe my tears away once I saw Sam turning around to face me.
The look of brokenness was shown in her expression as her tears continued to fall. Dropping her phone to the floor, she slowly began to make her way towards me. Though the way she walked with such anger, frighten me as I slowly began to back away from her! Her eyes that were once hurt have now changed into something completely different...she no longer looked like my little sister...but something more terrifying!
“It’s all because of you! You did this! You made Kai change! It’s your fault-”
“What are you talking about!? I did nothing-
“Shut the fuck up already with your lies! I’m not a fucking idiot! I should have never had you bring me to the concert that night! I should have never shown you who Kai was! You knew...you knew that I loved him first...but you took him from me!”
She cried out in anger as she began shoving me across the hallway!
“Stop saying you love him! You don’t know what love is! You have no idea what Kai has gone through-”
My words were cut short once I heard a loud slap echoing through the house!
Sam had slapped me across the face to make me stop talking! With my face stinging, I brought both my fist into a tight fist, I was about ready to punch her! However, I immediately thought back to what Sam’s therapist said to me and my parents. If my sister ever becomes violent...I need to walk away...I need to put distance between us so she can calm herself. I don’t... want to make my sister feel worse. Because a part of what she said was true...Sam did like him first...and all I did was take him for myself in the end.
“I have nothing more to say to you-Sam! What the hell are you doing?! Let me go!”
As I tried to walk away from her, I felt Sam grab a chunk of my hair and yank me harshly to the floor. Trying to get away from her, her height and weight made it easy for her to dominate me! Though I still try to fight back as I began to slap her across the face! At this point, I don’t care what issues Sam is dealing with! I won’t let her hurt me and think that’s it’s okay!
“What the fuck do you know about Kai!? Nothing! You know nothing about him! All you did was use him! You ruined his image and his career! I hate you! I fucking hate you! It’s because of you! It’s all your fault... everything is your fault....it’s because of you!”
Her screams began to grow silent the moment her hands were wrapped around my neck! The strength she had tightened as I continued to punch her in the skull! Though it’s didn’t seem to matter how many blows I was giving her, she never once loosened her grip on me! It was becoming difficult to breathe! This can’t be happening...is my own sister really doing this to me!?
Choking out my words, I clawed my nails onto her arms to have her stop what she was doing!
“It’s all because of you...that he won’t ever love me. You bitch...I hate you...I hate you...I hate you! I HATE YOU! JUST DIE!”
Hearing her final cries of anger, I truly thought that it would be the last thing I’ll hear. That was until I heard the faint yelling of someone else shouting!
“Samantha! Let her go right now! What in the world do you think you’re doing to your sister! Honey! Take Sam to her room!”
The sound of my mother holding me in her arms made me finally breathe as I coughed excessively!
“Are you fucking insane! Do you have any idea what you’ve almost done! What in the right mind makes you think that what you were doing is okay! Do you hate your sister that much that you want her dead!? Answer me! What the hell is wrong with you!?”
Hearing the angry screams of my father yelling at Sam made me sob as I couldn’t believe what just happened!
“I’m sorry...I’m sorry...” I cried out feeling at fault for what was going on.
“Shh...it’s okay...it’s okay...mommy is here. And it’s not your fault...it will never be your fault.”
My mother said to me in a soothing voice to comfort me...
She then brought me to her room and held me until I was able to sleep, however, I never stopped crying as all I could think about was having him hold me and telling me that things will be okay. That I will be okay... Kai, I miss you...and I’m so afraid of being this far away from you.
Calling Ray the next morning, I called in sick so I wouldn’t be able to work for the next few days. But the reality was that I had no strength in my body or in my heart to move out of my parent’s bed. After what happened between my sister and me, my Father ended up sleeping on the couch to keep a close eye on Sam’s room and he would frequently go check up on her throughout the night. From what my mother told me this morning, Sam Is very sorry for what she did. But I find it hard to believe...they didn’t see the look in her eyes when she told me to die...
So I decided to just stay in my parent’s bedroom for the next days to come, I’m relieved that my parent both chose to take a week off of work. But I was able to hear the worried conversation they were discussing of what Sam did. Sitting up on the bed, I felt how sore my throat was as I tried to swallow. My eyes felt swollen from crying so much and I didn’t know what to feel as I sat in the darkroom alone, I’ve been refusing to talk about the incident that Sam did to me. I just don’t want to relive what happened...the image of her hands choking still makes my body shake and feel absolutely petrified!
“What do we do? We can’t just ignore what Sam did to Mel.”
“I know that...but I don’t know what we can do? Do you think I wanna call the police on our daughter?”
“I don’t wanna have to do that either, but...the chances of Sam doing this again is possible. I want her to get the proper help that she needs...but, I don’t know if it’s too late for her...”
Suddenly, a knocking interrupted their conversation. At first, I didn’t care who it could be. But the sounds of my mother calling out my name anxiously to come out made my body jolt in surprise, so I hurried in getting off the bed! Opening my parent’s door, I rushed down the hallway to only stop dead in my tracks once I saw the person who was standing right outside the door! My whole world froze in an instant as the rapid growth of my heart was all I could feel...Is this real? Or is this all just a dream? Is it okay...for me to want to hold you right now?