You round on Tong, “You do realize that was my ride right?”
Your anxiety at your body’s reaction to him quickly turning to anger. You can’t help it; you can’t believe he sent your ride away.
He actually smiles, like he thinks it's cute that you're upset. You roll your eyes and turn away from him in search of a taxi. Once more your arm is grabbed by the elbow and you are led across the front to the right side of the building. A driver is waiting for him and he opens the back door as you approach. You glance over at Tong who simply waves you into the back and slides in next to you.
“Are you kidnapping me?”
You are not amused that this man felt he could dictate in what car you could ride in and with whom. You know that women did not have all the rights that women in the US did; however, you do know that you are his senior and respect should be given.
He looks over, studying you for a moment before he speaks. He bows his head slightly, “I apologize Noona, I thought this would be a place that we could talk. You could answer the many questions I seem to have in my head about you.”
You sigh, you figured you weren’t getting out of it that easily.
“And what questions would those be?”
“After seeing your greeting with Mr. Kim I have to wonder, was it a set up to have your seat next to me on the plane? Has everything been a set up? Exactly how well do you know my mentor?”
You look at him in shock.
“Wow. Someone sure thinks he’s a God.”
You turn to look out the window for a minute, close your eyes and then turned to face him fully.
“Yes, of course I knew what I came to Korea for, I’ve been setting it up and working out the logistics of it for the last six months. Yes, I recognized you on the plane. If you’ll remember, I gave you your space and you were the one to initiate the conversation. I figured you would appreciate traveling in peace, since you rarely get any of that in public, was I wrong?”
He nods, agreeing with you.
“No, you were not wrong and we did not receive our seat assignments until we got to the gate. Answer me about Mr. Kim. You two seem very familiar, even had skinship when we arrived. I noticed some of it with Ae as well, are you playing a game with us?”
Your hackles go up as he asks one of the questions you don’t want to answer. You stiffened and shake your head,
“You’ll have to ask Mr. Kim your questions about our relationship. As you so obviously have made mention, I’m an American, skinship is nothing to me.”
“I see,” he replies as his eyes narrow. “You have only known Ae what, a mere week and he is already granted privileges? So I was wrong to hope that only I would enjoy that. My apologies.”
You take a deep breath and have to wrap your mind around that last statement. He wanted sole skinship? You see that you are approaching familiar surroundings and decide to finish the conversation now before you take what you want from that statement and throw yourself at him.
“I am a touchy feely sort of person. I like people to understand that I am listening, that I understand. Not everyone is, even in America. Ae and the entire group have been nothing but complete gentlemen since I started working with them this past week. There are NO exclusive privileges or access as you so crudely put it. A budding friendship; perhaps, if it is allowed to continue to grow and be nourished. I would dare say that your and my acquaintance will lead to no other privileges as I suddenly find you to be a completely different person than who I met on the plane. We've arrived at the dorms, this conversation is over. If you have any further questions, you may speak to Mr. Kim.”
With that you rap on the window. The door opens and a hand extends to help you out.
You walk swiftly to the front, catching the door before it closes completely after the last person. The quicker you can put distance between yourself and Tong, the better. You can’t believe you let him get to you, That you allowed him to have an opinion that mattered. He does not call after you and you don't want to be available for further interrogation so you pick up the pace; making it down the hall to the dorms in two minutes. Once inside the dorm, you shut and lock the door, close your eyes with a sigh and slid down to sit on the floor.
It’s hard when your dreams are crushed in bad reality. At first you had been a complete and total fan girl, he has such a majestic voice; then you had actually thought him well bred, with exceeding manners. You aren't sure now after the quality of his questions and the way he maneuvered you alone to get them answered. It leaves you feeling down, depressed, and sad hearted. You open your eyes and catch sight of your shirt with words written all over in black permanent marker. Smiling, you stand, and proceed to take strip it off as you head to get ready for the night.
Their cheesy comments, the obvious autograph jargon, and funny little pictures they have all drawn, make you laugh out loud. Unsure of what you will find, and not sure if you are prepared for it, you turn it over to the back; to Ae and Tong’s signatures. You can’t do it. You currently can't accept whatever aegyo is politely written there, so you toss it on the back of a chair and head to bed.
You try to settle in for the night but it just won’t come. Your anxiety is high, as is your left over anger from the accusations from Tong. Anger with yourself for letting any of it matter. You decide there is only one solution and hope it is still open 24/7 like it used to be.