“Alright, we’re done for today. Will continue tomorrow on Zack’s part on the verse...”
With our music instructor putting an end to today’s recording, I began to head out of the studio with a headache. It’s only been a week since me and my members came back from America and were already starting a new album. But once we’re done recording this album, we will have to start our new choreography with our new dance coach. It’s just one thing after another...
“Hey Kai, let’s go grab something to eat while we’re heading back. Jin, do you want to come with us?”
Zack asked as he wrapped his arms around the back of my neck. With Jin following behind us we headed towards the cafeteria of the company.
As much as I like the food here, it still would be nice to get out and just grab a bite to eat in the city. But I already know that would be impossible, this once small company that my father once worked in has now evolved into a multi-million entertainment business. From the huge dorms that we live in, to even having our own gym as well. Even the staff members who work here are given apartments to stay at, though they can’t live in the property of the company for many reasons. Personal and business lives must be kept separate, though I don’t think I’ve ever been able to live a private life at all...
“I fucking hate the keto diet we’re on, I would love a double cheeseburger right now...” Zack bluntly complained as he leaned his body weight against me.
“It’s only for a little while, Zack, just order the steak like you always do. What about you, Kai? Hey, Kai?” Feeling Jin’s arm shaking my shoulder, I was brought back to my senses and realized we were at the cafeteria already!
“Huh? What were guys saying?” I muttered out in confusion as I watched Zack and Jin grab their plate of food.
“Again your spacing out, just what’s been up with you lately? Even during the interviews, you’ve been zoning out-”
“Speaking of interviews! I’m surprised you told the world that you kissed someone, I still can’t help but laugh when our manager got pissed at you for saying that.”
Zack quickly said in a wicked grin as I grabbed my usual plate of food and hurried to kick Zack by the back of his heel!
“Shut up already with that! I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, and I never said I did kiss anyone. I was only trying to tease our fans as all-”
“You know that we shouldn’t say stuff like that, our manager made it very clear that we must hold an image where we hold a love interest to all of our fans. Did you not see how many people were talking about what you said in the media, even now our fans are trying to find this so-called person you supposedly kissed. You and Zack both need to grow up and stop fooling around.” Jin began to explain to Zack and me as we finally sat down and began to eat.
“Yeah well, it gets boring not messing with our fans, hard to believe that after a few hours after that interview, there were already a bunch of girls lining up outside the company building. Protesting against us dating anyone...look, I get it that we signed up for this, but I didn’t think it would get bat shit crazy. I could only imagine when we all start actually dating, I’m a little scared to even talk to a girl now. I’m just glad I had my fun during my high school years to sleep around, because now...I feel like I’m a virgin all over again. I feel just like Kai- Ouch! What hell was that for Jin-”
“There’s nothing wrong with being a virgin, Zack. Hell, I wish I was a virgin still. I regret sleeping with a lot of women from my past since most of them were insane girlfriends I used to date...”
Ignoring what Zack and Jin had to say, I quietly ate my food in annoyance. Being a virgin isn’t a big deal for me, I just never thought about sleeping around since I was just too busy to even think about girls or even dating. I know that Zack and Jin think I was lying when it came to me kissing someone, but that girl from that night still pops up in my head from time to time and I’ve been having my manager look into it. He did say that he asked the hotel if he could see the footage from that night, but unfortunately, they can’t disclose any of the guest personal identity. So there’s not much I could go by other than her name she gave me. As I went to adjust the necklace I was wearing, Zack noticed my actions and observed the chain around my neck.
“Kai, I’ve been meaning to ask you this...but that necklace your wearing. You’ve been wearing it this whole week, what gives? You never wear the same kind of jewelry more than a few days...”
“He makes a good point, I never seen you wear it before. Was it a sponsor that gave it to you-”
“No, I’ve been trying to take it off for a while now but I can’t! I asked many of the staff members if they knew how to take it off but none of them knew how either. So I asked the manager to look up someone who knows how to smith keys to unlock this! It’s not like I could break this stupid chain if I wanted to, it’s made out of titanium. And I’m not even sure where I got this, I just found it in my hotel room when we were in America-”
“Wait! What if that necklace belongs to that perverted girl that was in your room that night-”
“Zack, I highly doubt that. She doesn’t look like the type to wear expensive jewelry, I just hope I never have to see her again. That was the strangest and most bizarre thing I have ever gone through.” I voiced out in frustration as I tugged on the chain a bit.
“But Zack makes a good point, you shouldn’t judge her by her looks. For all we know, that could be her necklace, and your just an idiot who decided to put it on-”
“Shut up! There’s no way this necklace belongs to her-”
“Hello everyone, good work today. Zack, you forgot your hat in the recording studio.”
“Oh! I completely forgot about it! Thanks...”
Interrupted by the sudden staff members coming towards us, they sat across from where we were at. I was already annoyed with what Jin had said to me that I wanted to just leave. My tiredness wasn’t making it any easier on me either, I’ve been having trouble sleeping. So as I was about ready to stand up, I couldn’t help but overhear what the staff members were saying to Zack...
“So apparently, manager Sang fired a few of the staff members that were working with all of you when you were touring in America. He was very angry at the incident that happened to Kai, so he decided to hold up interviews for new staff members to come work...”
“Really?! I had no idea, no wonder I didn’t see the usual staff members assisting me today. But that’s still insane that he let go of a lot of people, oh well... hopefully this new group of staff members that come work for us will be filled with cute girls-”
“Zack, you do realize that the girls that work in this company have to be married.” Jin quickly said to him as he flicked Zack’s forehead.
“Ouch! Damit Jin! I know that already, but it’s still a nice feeling being surrounded by pretty girls. Huh, Kai? You leaving already?” Zack quickly asked me as he noticed me beginning to walk away.
“I’m done for the day, I’m heading back to my room-”
“I’ll come with you, I was about ready to leave as well. Besides, I need to talk to you about something.”
Jin said as he followed where I was going, so we said our goodbyes to Zack and the rest of the staff before taking off.
Making our way out, we exited the building and began to walk towards the dorms that were only a few feet away from the building we were at. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living in this company since I was 16. It’s practically become my second home, I don’t even remember when was the last time I saw my Dad. We usually talk on the phone, but I haven’t been back to my actual house for so long now...
“Kai, about that girl that was in your bed that night-”
“Is that what you wanted to talk to me about? I already told you everything-”
“No, it’s not that...I just, I don’t think she was a sasaeng like you said she was.” Jin said in high defense.
“How do you know? This isn’t the first time crazy fans tried to sneak into our building complex. Remember that one time when one of them was following you around town in a cab. Hell, even Zack had to run away from a group of girls chasing him when he was on vacation with his family. So it’s kinda hard to believe that the girl that was in my bed wasn’t some kind of psycho-”
“She looked scared...” Jin immediately said as he came to a halt to look at me so seriously. I was honestly struck by his words, is he really gonna defend this girl?!
“I told you that I did speak to her when I thought she was part of the staff and when I did...I noticed that she looked uneasy about where she was at. She even looked nervous-”
“Maybe that’s because she was scared of getting caught-”
“Caught of doing what exactly? She didn’t steal anything from us, and she could’ve if she wanted to but she didn’t. I honestly believe that it was a total misunderstanding, the box that she was holding was full of merch from the concert. So what I think might have happened was that she was brought up to the wrong floor by mistake, she didn’t react to who we were when she saw us. And she didn’t act like some teenager, perhaps she’s around our age-”
“Alright! That’s enough, I don’t wanna hear it anymore. I don’t even know why you insist on talking about her, what’s done is done. We’re never gonna see her again and I don’t care to. So just forget about it.”
I said as I began to walk away from him, coming closer to the dorms I reached out for the door and was about ready to open it. However, Jin was quick to grab my hand and made me stop what I was doing!
“The reason why I’m bringing her up again is that a bunch of our staff members that have been working for us for years got fired for what could have been an accident. You and Zack might be able to shrug it off, but manager Sang was wrong for doing what he did, it wasn’t anyone’s fault-”
“Open your eyes Jin, were ExEx Idol. We don’t belong to ourselves....we belong to everyone. We worked hard to get where we’re at, do you have any idea of the permanent turmoil that could have happened if this came out to the public. Why do you think every staff member is to sign a contract when they work for us. It’s because we can’t afford to have anyone ruin the image we created. I’m not saying that what manager Sang did was right, but it’s understandable why he did that. He’s only looking out for us...Jin, do you remember what you said to me when I chose you to be part of this group. You said that you were willing to do anything to get to the top, and to fulfill your dream...so don’t waste your time thinking about shit that has nothing to do with us and Zack. We will be going on tour again in Europe in the next few months, so start focusing on what’s important.”
Finishing on what I had to say, I yanked my hand free from his grip and stepped inside the building. Rushing myself away from him, I entered the elevator first, but once those doors closed... I immediately sat on the floor feeling my anxiety starting to pick up. I need to take my pills soon...
Feeling out of breath, I ran my fingers through my hair as I felt my hands shaking. I didn’t want to talk to Jin that way, but I’ve already been thinking about that girl and I’m trying to forget about her. So it’s not helping having Jin talk speak of her, trying to stand back up I leaned myself against the wall and felt the elevator rising until it came to a stop on my floor, scanning my key card to the elevator pad. I watched as the doors finally opened, stumbling myself inside, I laid myself on the floor and tried to catch up on my breathing...
“I hate this...”
I whispered underneath my breath as I rested my hand on the necklace I was still wearing. I don’t wanna see that girl again, that’s what I keep telling myself. But why do I keep thinking about her, and if this really is her necklace...
“What do I do?”
I said to myself as I closed my eyes, I then suddenly felt something vibrating in my pocket. Pulling out my phone I saw that I received a text from manager Sang. And from what he was telling me, it looks like Jin and I will be getting new makeup and hairstylists for each other. Since he fired our old stylist, I guess I’ll be expecting someone new...Putting my phone down, I sat back up and stared at the clock and saw how late it was getting. I feel like time passes by way too quickly for me, my mother’s birthday is coming up soon. I wonder if Father will come to visit her grave this time with me? I shouldn’t expect him to though, he hasn’t gone to see her grave not once since she passed, I guess he still blames himself...
“I’m so tired...”
Echoing those words, I stood up and took my pills before heading to bed.
It’s like no matter how much I sleep, I never seem to feel fully rested. I’m still getting nightmares like always, but usually, when I get nightmares I wake up in tears, I’m unaware that I’m crying. I haven’t brought it up to anyone since I find it embarrassing and just foolish. I’m a grown-ass man and yet I’m crying like a child, however, for the first time in a long while. I woke up without shedding a tear on that very morning when I saw her. That girl...
No, I’m sure it’s because I was drunk prior...she has nothing to do with it. This fucking brain of mine is so stupid, you know what!? That’s it, I’m done, no more. I’m serious this time, I won’t think about her anymore. I won’t say her name ever again...