When the tears stop, Eun simply holds you and strokes your hair. She never had a daughter, you were the closest thing she’d ever had. Seeing you reduced to this again upset her greatly.
“Tell me what happened,” she demanded softly.
You shake your head, afraid that words will simply lead to more tears.
“I always knew those men in DeLish were actually just tall boys with bigger toys,” she huffs. You pull back to look at her, see the wink and start to laugh.
“I’ve missed you eomma,” you smile and lean in for hug.
“Well you can’t have missed me more than I missed you. You took a part of me back to America, you know that right?”
“I couldn’t,” you start but are hushed by her.
“I know, I know. I’m just a selfish old woman who didn’t want the closest thing to a daughter she’d ever had to just up and disappear;" she cups your face, "but I understood. It should never have happened, any of it, then or now. Jealousy is the devils tool and I’d like to give him a sock right in the mouth, spreading his lies..”
You look up at her with the love of a daughter and laugh at the fierce look on her momma bear face.
“I think I would pay to see that.”
She looks over at you and smiles, “There’s my beautiful girl, I was afraid I’d lost her again and before I’d even gotten a chance to see her." She stands up and straightens her suit, “Now, if I know you, and I do, there’s probably a packed suitcase in on the bed am I right?”
You nod; “I can’t stay here. It’s too much; this place is like a small village, it will be all over the company by morning.”
Eun smoothes your hair back, “Gossip is another of the devils tools. Unfortunately, you are correct, I can't argue with that. Do you have somewhere to go? Are you going to Angeline? She’s still in town?”
You nod again; “She’s expecting me whenever I can successfully disappear.”
Eun harrumphs and stands up, “Disappear? You have no need to disappear or slink off into the night, you’ve done nothing wrong.... again!”
She walks into the bedroom, grabs your bag off the bed, checks the bathroom for anything left behind and comes to stand in front of where you sit on the couch.
“Come on,” she waves her hand for you to stand and she grabs your hand when you do. “We can’t do anything about the puffy face and red nose you’ve given yourself but you and I are going to walk out of here with our heads held high, understand?”
All you can do is take a deep breath, straighten your shoulders, take Eun’s hand and follow her out the door.
“I will take you over to Angeline. We can pick up food on the way or have it delivered and we’ll have an old fashioned girls night in.”
You have no idea what you ever did to deserve the love of Namil and Eun Kim but you thank the Lord for them every day.
Upstairs in his office Mr. Kim is watching the security monitors. He watched his wife arrive and be given access by you. He let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding when he saw his wife charge back out the door in momma bear mode with you in tow. He smiles as he watches you all the way to the chauffeur out front. You would be okay now, no one is better at taking care of people they love then Eun. Now he has to fix the problem here at the agency before he lost another great group due to petty jealousy.
Mr. Kim went and found Reef with the others in the apartment a few of them still shared. They were doing well enough in their solo careers now that he knew the last ones would move out on their own soon.
Reef stands when Mr. Kim enters and almost prostrates himself on the floor in front of him.
Mr. Kim pulls him to his feet and hugs him.
“We all make mistakes, we wouldn’t be human without them. What makes you a man is how you admit when you're wrong and repair the damage.”
Reef nods in affirmation and goes back to the couch to sit with his head in his hands. He’d screwed up beyond anything he'd done before, disrespected his mentor and best friends, the people that love him and live with him. He is being given a second chance by all of them and he will not waste that. He hurt Ae but hoped the damage done to Tong in your presence was repairable. He admitted he was jealous when they had tracked him back to the apartment. Jealous at her talent, at her beauty, her claim to fame that she still possessed not just as an older idol but as an accomplished writer. Jealous at the quick friendship and skinship Tong and Ae had already developed with her. Feeling that he would never be in her league, he had tried to force her down to his. Both men had said they understood, Ae had given him a hug and headed home. The hurt and pain in Tong’s eyes would haunt him forever. He had known Tong was in love with you, or thought he was, since he’d crushed on you back in pre-debut days. He had broken his trust by revealing feelings that were only Tong’s to say, and he knew that Tong felt any hopes he had with you were crushed, even as a friend.
Tong had just left, he walked out the door after Ae.
He didn’t know how to fix this, he wasn’t sure it was even possible. The macknae was Ae's responsibility as leader but he had allowed him to disrespect you, in front of everyone. He knew the only way to make it right with his mentor was to make it right with you. The ache in his chest simply grows sharper at the mess he created by succumbing to his teenage fantasy of seeing you in idol mode. He should have never had them meet him, he should have accepted what was and worked on nurturing it to what he had hoped it would become.
By the time Eun left, your pain is down to a slow ache. You ate because you knew it would upset Eun if you didn’t. Now you just had to keep it down. Emotional pain shouldn’t hurt this bad physically. Within 20 minutes of Eun saying goodbye, you find yourself retching and dry heaving in the bathroom. It feels as though everything on the inside is being torn out through your throat. The pain in your chest along with being nauseous has you curling up on the floor, afraid of dying. Perhaps it would be better if you did; no more jealousy, no more rumors and lies, everyone could live in peace without you around to mess it up.
The pain rolls over you again; pain like you've never known, pain worse than 10 years ago but why? Why?!? Why does this hurt worse?
Because 10 years ago her friends stood by you and tried to help you fight through it. Now you don't have that. The tentative friendships you thought you were forming were dashed away with non-action by not one, but by the two men you were developing feelings for.
Angeline comes in and helps you into the spare room. She climbs in bed next to you and stays. Your sister holds and comforts you through the long night.
Angeline has to leave for her schedule early the next morning. You feel ashamed that you kept her up most of the night caring for you. The note on the night stand simply says to call when you are up and about. You glance at the clock, pull out your cell phone and send a message to not worry.
You slide your laptop out and decide its time to try and be productive. You aren't sure how well it will work but have to try nonetheless.
Your schedule falls out with the laptop and all you can do stare at it. You are supposed to be at a photo shoot with DARC today. Your mind wanders, wondering if they already knew or what excuse will be given for your absence. It doesn’t matter anymore, you have more than enough information for at least five novels. More if you write a book per member in the group. You crumble up the offending paper and toss it at the wall. It bounces off and rolls under the bed.
Opening your laptop, the computer starts beeping with missed calls on Skype. Afraid at what you'll find but hoping for it anyway; you pull the app up and scroll through. Ten unanswered calls from Tong. Your eyes get wet again and you quickly reclose it, pushing it to the side. You will not cry again, you have no tears left.
If you say it enough, your body just might believe it sometime in the next century. You head to the shower telling yourself it isn’t crying if your face is already wet with water dripping from it.