Thursday, February 18, 2010

Promise 30 & 31

Chapter 30

In the morning, while she is still sleeping, HB received a call from Eric (Shinhwa). Today is Eric’s birthday1, he asks if HB has time tonight, he wants to invite her to his birthday dinner that he invites his close friends for a small gathering.

HB blurrily answered Eric and said that she will be there. After she hangs up, HB takes a look at the clock, it is only 8:30 in the morning.

She moaned, this guy, just because he is the public servant as his mandatory military service, he could now work in normal hours, and he is showing off to her to call her this early?! Being the public servant, what so special to be able to rest and wake up early?! He probably forgets they work in irregular hours, why couldn’t he consider her slept really late last night because of her schedule?!

She wants to go back to sleep, but seems like she won’t fall asleep any time soon.

She decides to get up and take a shower. While she is doing her daily facial routine, and looking at her reflection in the mirror, she reminds hearing a lot of people keep telling her that she looks prettier these days. Hmm? This really makes her puzzled. Are they not realizing that she is pretty or is she really does change and get prettier?

She made herself breakfast, and tidies up after she finished.

Afterwards, she starts to choose the outfit and accessories she is going to wear tonight to Eric’s birthday dinner.

She opens up and skims through her drawer, picks up the navy blue suede box, then opens it up and takes a look, makes a sigh, closes it up again, and put back down.

She does not know what to do with him?

Sending her a message the day before Valentines’ Day,
“Could I look forward to receive your present and chocolate tomorrow?”

Her mood was very subtle, when she thought of Valentines’ Day, it was true that she would think of him, but just thinking of though.

How she would position their relationship? At that moment, she did not know herself, she still hadn’t figured it out yet.

She didn’t know how to answer his message, thought of it for so long, at last she finally made up her mind and sent him one word,

Right after she sent the message, she regretted it right away.

What would he think when he received the message? Would he be dejected? Would he be sad? Would he grumble on her being unfeeling?

Even if she wanted to refuse, was it necessary for her to be that direct?

Worriedly waiting for his reply, even if it was a complaint, even if was a jest.

But she waited for the whole day, but there was no reply from him.

She started to blame herself, it was not necessary to hurt him like this.

Should she do something to redeem the damage?

Right at the time she didn’t know what she is going to do, HJB came to look for her, and brought her the present HJ wanted to give her.

Looking at the card came with the present, looking at the familiar calligraphy, she sighed with emotions.

Finally she could relax. She is thankful from the bottom of her heart that her attitude didn’t hurt him that much, and on the other hand, she is very touched that even when she treated him like that, he is still not giving up.

It will be a month time before the White Day2. Giving her a present a month in advance, asking her to think through and give him an answer if she is going to accept his present in a month time. He is this unique, probably only he could think of something like this.

She understands by heart that she shouldn’t accept this present, but if she would return his present now, he certainly will feel hurt. Sigh, she would keep it for now then, and try to think of a way to return it to him in a month.

In the afternoon, HB receives a call from HJB, he told her that HJ fainted3 during the filming in the morning. He regains his consciousness already and is now in the hospital having IV therapy. HJB relays what the doctor said about the cause of his faint, he said HJ is extremely lack of sleep and over exhausted, yet drinking excessively.

She is really worried, a few days ago, she learned from the news that he actually fainted once in Macau, and this is the second time already.

His schedules are exceedingly packed, watching his images from the news, he is getting skinnier and skinnier, and he looks more and more haggard and gaunt. it really makes her heart ache to see him like this, knowing that he is trying hard to carry on just by his willpower now......

He is getting more and more popular, she is truly happy for him, but at the same time, she is getting more and more worry on his health.

On the other hand, she is getting angry about him not caring about his health. He is this tired already, and he still gets himself drunk.

HB sends him a message, “Is it okay for you to receive phone call now?”

HJ replies, “Yep, no one is here.”

HB calls his number, and he picks it up right away,


“It’s me”, she pauses a bit before she said it.

“I recognise,” His tone sound a bit weak,

“You...... How are you now?” HB asked.

“Not so bad.” HJ replied.

She’s rolling her eyes, he still tries to hide, how would this be not bad,
“I know already, you are in the hospital right now, aren’t you?”

“How would you know? The news is being concealed from the media ……. Could it be …… ” He wondered.

“Yep, Hyung Joon called me awhile ago, and he told me all.” HB said.

“Sincha, that bastard ……” He said it in a low voice,

“How are you feeling now?” HB asked again.

“Tired, and stomach is still a bit hurt.” This time he is not fooling around, and tells her the truth.

“You are this tired now, why are you still drinking, even the strongest man couldn’t take it like this ……”

Knowing that he does not like someone nagging on him, she does not plan on saying something like this, but she really could not hold it.

But what surprises her is hearing his light happily laugh; she feels somewhat embarrassed, and somewhat dilemmatic,
“You…… What are you laughing at?”

“I’m happy ar.” His tone really sounds happy.

“What being fainted and admitted in the hospital is worth being happy?” HB asked.

“Listening to your nagging, I could feel the happiness.” He laughs again.

She sighs, but her lips start to smile without herself knowing, “So, you did this on purpose?”

“That’s not exactly, there’s something came up last night, and I drank a bit, I didn’t expect I would faint.”

Listening to his tone and what he said, it sounds like fainting is not such a big deal, she’s getting a bit upset,
“You don’t even paying attention to your own health.”

“It’s out of my hand, I’m trying my best to do what you told me to, whenever there’s time, I am taking the rest, and trying to eat more.” He is anxiously trying to explain to her.

“Okay, I will trust you this time, when could you discharge from the hospital?”
HB doesn’t want to grasp onto this topic, he indeed is still a patient.

“I could be discharged after the IV therapy.” HJ said.

“Do you still need to go back to the filming site today?” Not sure his body could tolerate or not if he still needs to continue filming today.

“No, I don’t need to go back, I could take some rest today.” HJ said.

“Oi,” She sigh with relieve, “Then, are you going back to the dorm afterward?”


“There’s no one to take care of you in the dorm, why don’t you go back home?” HB asked.

“Omma and Appa are both busy, I would probably be on my own at home too.”

“Just on your own?” Thinking of him by his own without someone to take care of him, she couldn’t set her mind at ease.

“You could come then.” He said it right away, she couldn’t figure out if he said it seriously or jokingly.

She was silence for a moment, she can’t deny that she is thinking the possibility of going.

Silence for another moment, hearing him says it lightly, “I’m joking, I know you don’t want to.”

She doesn’t answer, continuously falls in the silence,

“Don’t worry, I am fine now.” He continues to say.

“There’re probably a lot of fans and reporters in front of your dorm?” She asked,

“What you meant to say is …….. ?” He asked in his disbelieve tone.

She thinks a bit more, finally made up her mind,
“What I meant is, I could come, but probably couldn’t find a way to get in.”

“Sincha? …… Sinchanu?” His voice contains the joy that he could not restrain.

“Sincha, I could come.” HB confirms.

“WOW, HO, ……” He laughs and shouts out his cheer.

She laughs too, being able to make him this happy, she thinks she probably made a right decision.
“But there still one question left, How…… how could I get in?”

“Let me figure it out, I guarantee you by the time you come, there will be no fans and reporters.” He seems very excited.

“Really? How are you going to do this?" She still has a lot of uncertainties.

“You can rest assured, just leave it to me.” HJ ensures her.

Since he said it firmly, should not have any problem, she doesn’t ask any further.

Confirming the meeting time with him, around seven in the evening, it gets dark by then.

After she hangs up, she suddenly realizes today is Eric’s birthday, and she confirms in the morning that she’s going to his dinner party.

Otoke? What is she going to do? How could she forget this before agreeing to HJ? This is really terrible.

He is that excited, if she tells him now that she could not come over, that she has to go to Eric’s birthday party, how disappointed could he be.

Thinking back and forth to herself, at last she makes a call to Eric,
“Hello, Eric”


“I’m sorry, there’s something unexpected comes up, I couldn’t come tonight.” She really is feeling sorry not able to go.

“What happened?” Eric asked concernedly.

“There’s something happened to one of my friends, I have to go visit, and I will remember to bring you your birthday present later.” That’s all she could say.

“Oi, is it Hyun Joong?”
The clear and understanding tone from Eric surprises HB a lot,

“How would you …… is Choong Jae telling you something?" This is the only possibility she could think of.

“Haha, if there’s really something happened, Jinnie is always the last one to find out.” Eric smilingly said.

“Then …… How would you know? HB asked puzzled.

“Talking to Andy last year, and I watched the program too, there’s the feeling I got.” Eric said.

Eric looks like he is undisciplined and care-free, but actually he is a man of acute intelligence, she would not question about this.

“Sincha? So what is your thought? ……” HB asked.
Since he knew about it, she really wants to hear from Eric how he sees this.

“You may not get the ideal outcome if you think too much on this kind of matter, might as well let your feeling lead you the way.”
This is really the Eric’s style of answer, is feeling be the thing that’s dependable?

“I have doubts on feelings, I don’t have confident on them.” HB said.

“You envisage and assume too much all the time, when have you really tried to follow your feeling? Only when you trust your feeling, then that’s the time the feeling could lend you a hand.”

“Sincha?” She is not sure she got it.

“This is something recondite and profound, you may not get it even if I told you.” Eric complacently said.

“How it could be like this, you just didn’t say it clearly.” HB said.

“I mustn’t stay chattering with you any longer, I will let you go this time, don’t forget my birthday present.” Eric smiled.

“Araso, Happy Birthday!” HB said.

She hangs up, keeps thinking of what Eric said.

Could it be said that she is not truthful to her own feeling now? But she always gets restless and struggle, trying hard to make herself to get back to her rational mind, is she really thinking too much, and not trusting her feeling?

If her rationality that she trusted all along couldn’t bring her what she wants, then putting everything in the hand of the feeling would be possible?

After all, which way is the right way? She is somewhat chaotic and confused.

End Note:

1 Eric’s (Shinhwa) Birthday – February 16

2 White Day – March 14, one month after Valentines’ Day

3 February 16, 2009 – Kim Hyun Joong fainted during filming of BOF, after he discharged from the hospital, DSP spokesman stated that he is discharged from the hospital and been resting at his home with his parent.

Chapter 31

HB goes to the supermarket to get all the food ingredients she needs, and starts to prepare the congee once she got home.

6:20 in the evening, she leaves home and heading out. Arriving at the parking lot inside his dorm’s building, she gives HJ a call, asking him when the best time is for her to come up.

HJ told her she could come up anytime, even now, there are no reporters and fans around.

Although he said so, she still prepares herself well, putting on the hat and the scarf she brought with her, and then considers a bit, even putting on the mask in the end.

Carrying the vacuum flask and all other food ingredients she brought, she proceeds with caution going up.

She is very nervous on her way up, always consciously paying attentions to her surroundings, and her heart is pounding heavily.

Until she stands in front of his dorm’s door, pressing the door bell, waiting for the door to open. When the door opens, she lowers down her head and immediately squeezes in, and closes the door behind her.

She finally sigh a relief, and puts her head up. Finding him standing in front of the foyer smilingly looking at her.

He is again getting skinnier compares to last time she saw him, and he looks pale too.

He takes over the vacuum flask and the food ingredients she carried.

She takes off the mask on her and smiles at him, while taking off her hat and scarf at the same time.

“Why are you wrapping yourself like this?” HJ smiled and asked.
“Whew, I’m nervous to death.” HB is even sweating in the winter.

“I told you there’ll be no reporters and fans, why do you not trust me?” HJ tilted his head asked.
“Of course I have to buy extra insurance. It will be outrageous even if I bumped into one of them.” She is taking off her shoes and entering the dorm while she answers him.

This is the first time she visits his dorm in Korea, she is curious and looking around.

Their dorm is larger in size compares to the one in Japan, and it is definitely much cleaner.

“Where is the kitchen?” She asked.
“It’s over here……” He takes the stuffs over to the kitchen and places them on the countertop,

Yep, although it is a bit messy, but is still quite clean.

“How did you do that? How could you be so sure that there will be no reporters and fans around?” She is still curious about this and asked.

“It’s not that tricky, I just asked Manager Han to release the news that I fainted during filming but already discharged from the hospital and is resting at my parent’s home. And then asked MH to tell the media that SS301 is having a signing section in the Radio Station as well, so meaning …….” HJ shock his shoulders said.
“How could you come up with the idea? But it works though.” She pats on his arm said.

“Is there any bowl?” She takes out the vacuum flask and asks.

He gets a bowl from one of the kitchen cabinets, hands it over to her, and standing next to her looking at her,

“Hmmm? This is……” HJ said.

She opens up the vacuum flask and pours the pumpkin congee she prepared earlier into the bowl,
“Pumpkin Congee, this is easy to digest, and will comfort your stomach. This is all you should eat today.”

“Wow, it smells really good.” He takes a deep sniff.

She walks out of the kitchen and carefully brings the pumpkin congee with her, HJ follows her walking towards the dining table,

She places the bowl on the dining table, and pulls him to sit down, “Let’s eat, I bet you haven’t had dinner yet?”
“Yep,” HJ picks up the spoon, scoops a mouthful, and starts to eat.

He mumbles, “Woo, it tastes really good……really good……”

Looking at him wolfing down the congee, HB feels the warmth slowly fill through her body,
“Eat it slowly, there’s still a lot left,” she gets him a napkin.

HJ looks up, “You should eat too,”
“This is for you. I already had my at home.”
HJ nods and continues to eat.

HB looks at him for a while, then, she gets up and walks back to the kitchen,

“What’re you doing?” HJ takes the bowl with him and follows her again,
“I’m going to prepare more dishes, so that the boys would have something to eat when they came back.” HB said.

“Why you bother preparing food for them……, don’t mind them at all……, they won’t be hungry.” HJ grumblingly wrinkles up his forehead complaining,
HB gives him a quick stare, “I am going to prepare more, will leaves a portion in the fridge, so that you could have something to eat tomorrow.”

HJ doesn’t persist anymore, continuing to have his congee, at the same time standing besides her, watching her preparing and cutting the ingredients.

HB feels somewhat awkward and confused. She feels like they went back to WGM times, when there were familiar moments of him looking at her while she is busy preparing the dishes. At times, he would help her out in the kitchen, they didn’t need to talk much to each other but could still feel the cosiness between them, and she feels calm and secure.

Yep! ‘Calm and secure’, these feelings puzzled her a lot. She really could not understand why she feels this way. Why he, who is six years younger than her, always makes her feel calm and secure?

Thinking about this, she turns to him and looks at him. He looks at her too with questioning expression shown in his eyes, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing just thought about the times in WGM……” She said.
HJ nods, but does not continue to ask,

“Why don’t you go to have some rest and relax a bit now? I am okay on my own here.” She said noticing him finished his congee, but still wandering around her in the kitchen.

“I got enough rest in the hospital, I’m fine.” He shock his head said.

She does not continue to persist, and allowing him to give her little help in the kitchen. The two of them are quietly doing what they are doing.

He is not a talkative person, and she is not either. Although she looks like she is outgoing and lively in the eyes of a lot of people, and she is familiar with how to lift the mood up. Whenever she is around, there will not have low spirit. But being familiar does not mean that she loves to do it. When she is alone by herself, she actually enjoys her quiet moments to feel the tranquility deep in her heart.

He seems to know and understand her, this particular side of her.

Putting all necessary ingredients into the soup pot, putting the lid in place, adjusting the stove to the right setting, HB washes her hands afterward.

“What time will your schedule start tomorrow?” She asked.

HJ is cutting the Kimchi she brought from home, does not look up and says,
“Six O’clock”

“That early?” She breathes in surprise.
“I have to catch up with the filming I missed today.” He puts his head up, looks at her and says.

“Don’t bother with this anymore, you should go to bed now, I will finish the rest. Don’t even know when you will have a decent rest after this, you should get as much rest as can whenever is possible.” She insisted, and took the knife from him, pushing him out of the kitchen.

“But I couldn’t fall asleep now ……” Although he said that, he was still pushed out of the kitchen by HB.
“You could still relax and rest on bed even you can’t fall asleep, you need to save up your energy.” She said.

She pushes him into his room, making sure he is lying on his bed and pulling the comforter for him.
HJ stares intently at her with his sparkling eyes, she smiles back at him before she steps out of the room closing the door behind her.

HB goes back to the kitchen, continues to prepare the food.

She brought a lot of ingredients, wanting to prepare more food, not only for the boys who will get hungry when they came back from their long packed schedules, moreover, HJ would have something to eat tomorrow morning.

She purposely makes the dishes gentle in taste, although she knows that he likes stronger taste food. But since he upsets his stomach, it is better for him to have gentle food for few more days just to ease it up; he certainly should not upset his stomach again.

Although she does not want to admit, but she cannot ignore and deny the warm and fluttering happiness feelings she has, filling from the bottom of her heart at the time she is preparing food for him. She can’t help but to remember what Eric said earlier, ‘Let your feeling lead you the way’, is she going to follow this kind of feeling she got?

But isn’t the feeling change randomly and uncontrollably? How could she make herself trust the feeling? What kind of feeling is worth trusting?

HB falls in her deep thought while she is preparing the food.

All of a sudden, HB gets a feeling, a strong existent feeling, she turns around and finds him standing in front of the Kitchen’s door looking at her.

“Why are you getting up again?” She wrinkles up her forehead asked.
“I really couldn’t fall asleep now,” He might as well walk in the kitchen.

“I worry about you not knowing where things are placed but hesitate to ask me about it, so you will do shoddy job on the dishes you prepared.” He grinned and mischievously said.

HB stares at him, “Most likely you don’t know where things are placed either.”
HJ teasingly smiles, aimlessly picking up the lid from the soup pot, “What is this?”

“It’s muguk1 soup.” Since he underlined that he couldn’t fall asleep now, she won’t force him anymore.
“Seems like you haven’t put Gochujang2 yet ……” HJ said.

“Don’t even think about it, I purposely make it light and mild. You have to stop eating spicy food at least for a week, o yeah! Don’t forget you have to stop drinking as well.” HB looked at him and emphasized, at the same time, she took the lid from him and placed it back on the soup pot.

“Ah, my special way to stay healthy ……” HJ grumbled.

HJ is trying to protest, but HB immediately stops him from finishing his sentence,
“For someone who fainted twice already, do you think you qualify to suggest ways to stay healthy?”

HJ combs back his hair, and laughs dryly.

“What were you thinking just now? …… I’m standing by the door for so long, but you didn’t even notice.” He immediately tries to escape the subject.

“Just now? …… Nothing specific.” She said.

HJ deeply glance at her, but he doesn’t ask further.

HB continues cutting the ingredients, keeps her silence for a long while.
“Hyun Joong ar, would you let your feeling lead you the way?” She didn’t look up, and asked softly,

“What? …….” HJ didn’t get what she asked.
“What I’m trying to say, is do you trust your feeling?” HB asked again.

“Dangyonhaji3, if you couldn’t even trust your own feeling, there’s nothing much you could trust.” HJ didn’t have a bit of hesitation answering her question.

HB nods hearing his answer, this is what she expected hearing from him.

HJ looks at her, “Why are you asking that?”
“Oi, nothing ……” HB murmured.

He doesn’t drag on to her answer, he just looks at her in deep thought.
Watching at the way he looked at her, she is perplexed, she feels like he could see through what she think in her mind.

She smiles rather uneasily, “It will be all done after the soup is ready, I would tidy up the kitchen before I leave.”
“Don’t bother tidying up, they will mess it up when they came back anyway, let them clean it up all together, they have to do something, there’s no free lunch here.” He says it bluntly and stops her from tidying up.

“Then I am going to leave once the soup is ready.” She still hesitates and can’t make eye contact with him.
“Could I ask you for a favour?” He suddenly asks her in totally sincere manner.

“What is it?” She takes a quick look at him, looking at his expression, he seems he really asking her earnestly.
“Could you stay with me until I fall asleep?” HJ asked wholeheartedly.

“……, but what am I suppose to do?” Never thought of him asking this type of request, she vaguely feels that this is inappropriate,

“You don’t need to do anything in particular, just stay with me.” He said, still in his sincere tone,

She does not think she could be helpful to his sleep and she could not think of how she would be helpful to him. But looking at his entreating gaze, she really could not say no to him, at the end, she just has to nod to say yes. Right away, his lips curl up and spread his brightest smile.

Until he comfortably lay on his bed and closed his eyes, and she sits on the armchair close to his bed, she still thinks this particular scene is too intimate. This is in fact a big challenge for her, especially for her bewildered feelings that she has not sort out yet.

Looking at his face, her lips slightly curl up releasing a subtle smile that she doesn’t know she shown it. Less than a year time, he lost a whole lot of weight, his juvenile nature she prominently found in the beginning of WGM started to fade away unnoticeably.

Listening to his breathing getting long and serene,

When will he fall asleep? Is she supposed to keep on sitting like this? While she still got these thoughts in mind, she notices that he probably falling asleep already.

She starts to laugh, is he really this tired? Or is she really got the hypnotic strength? She waits for another while, waits until she hears a slight snore from him.

Then she gets up, quietly turns off the light, walks out, and carefully closes the door behind her.

She goes back to the kitchen, takes a portion from the dishes she prepared and put it in the fridge, then tidy up the kitchen.

Putting on her coat, picks up her bag; she stops for a bit when she walks by his room, then continues to walk towards the door, looks back again, finally opens the door and quietly leaves the dorm.

End Note:

1 Muguk soup – soups made with vegetables are suffixed as guk rather than tang. muguk (daikon soup). I’m not sure if this is the soup 只想戒毒nim is referring to, I just assumed this is a light clear soup base which is mild in taste.

2 Gochujang – also known as Red Chili Paste, a savory and pungent fermented Korean condiment. Traditionally, it has been naturally fermented over years in large earthen pots outdoors, more often on an elevated stone platform, called jangdokdae (장독대) in the backyard. Gochujang's primary ingredients are red chili powder introduced by Japan in the 16th century,[2] glutinous rice powder mixed with powdered fermented soybeans, and salt.

3 Dangyonhaji – Korean word means Of Course in English


只想戒毒, from Chinese Ssangchu Baidu Island
Additional information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

© [只想戒毒 & ydwlai] 2009. All rights reserved. Distribution of any kind is prohibited without the written consent of [只想戒毒 & ydwlai].

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