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He knows you’re coming; you’ve mentioned it on your Instagram.
It all started with a simple reply to one of his Instagrams. He was quoting a classic book that had always been one of your favorites. You recognized the quote and continued it as a response. Over the next couple of months, he continued to post unfinished quotes and again, you would post the continuation. He has almost a million people that follow him, thousands that respond to his social media. You never dreamed that one day you’d receive a notification that he was following you back. He rarely ever liked anything; his comments rare and cryptic.
You posted a few weeks ago about an opportunity to do some travelling. You have a friend teaching English in China that is transferring over to South Korea. Knowing your love of the culture and music, she invited you to come and experience South Korea with her. You take a leave of absence from work, get a passport, and are now passing through customs at the Seoul Airport.
Your girlfriend has warned you of the weather and possible allergies. As you clear customs you put on your face mask and sunglasses; ready to head out through the crowded airport to the taxis. You know you look good in your blue jeans, dress boots, button down shirt, and jean jacket. You know it isn’t anything specifically about your looks but more, so you’ve been told, your confidence. You don’t make heads turn but you do receive your fair share of glances as you pass by.
There were crowds lined on both sides of the departure ramps. You know that KPOP fans will wait for hours to get a glimpse of their idols if they know their schedule. Someone must be either arriving or departing today. As you mingle with the other passengers making their way out, you notice a small group waiting over by the private lounge. You smile behind your mask; at least whoever the idol is has the manners to not get the current departing passengers caught in their melee.
One of your bags topples off the top of your rolling bag, where you had it secured. It makes you stop, falling behind the crowd. You can see the body guards starting to lead the way and can hear the crowd start to scream.
Shoot, you don’t want to get stuck in this mess. You quickly grab your bag that fell, throw it over your shoulder, bend to grab the other one when a hand reaches out and picks it up for you.
You stand with a ready “Thank you” on your lips that dies the moment you raise your eyes. The man you’ve been responding to on Instagram, is standing before you. You can’t believe your eyes. Not only is fate cruel that you arrive at the airport at the same time; but what are the chances that he would be the one who helps you? You bow with your thank you muffled by your mask. He also is wearing a mask, but you would know those eyes anywhere. You bow again as you take your bag and quickly get out of his and his entourage’s way. You can hear the crowd screaming and find it a relief to walk outside.
You quickly discard your jacket in the heat and consult the instructions from your girlfriend. Just as you begin to move in the direction of the waiting taxis, a hand reaches out to stop you.
You turn, not knowing the language well and hoping you haven’t done anything wrong.
“I am to offer you a ride to your destination,” he motions over to a car that looks like part of a group.
“Oh, no thank you. I have a taxi,” you say as you motion over to the waiting line.
Do people really think you will fall for something like that? You know many are out to con tourists but being approached like this is a little scary.
The man reaches out again,
“I’m sorry, I was to give you this first.”
He hands you a note and steps off to the side. You open what looks like a hastily written note scribbled on a cocktail napkin.
“After months of looking at your pictures, you really think I wouldn’t recognize you? [HN]”