A few days later Jiyong left for a 2 week trip to Japan. He hadn’t asked Jak if she was free to go with him so she figured it was mostly business. They texted and called each other for the first week, during the second week, things started to get sketchy.
THM (Tiny Hot Mess): Hey. How’s it going today? Super busy?
MLT (Mr Long Term): Yea
THM: Okay, I won’t bother you. Have a good day.
She sat and just stared at her phone a few minutes. He never answered back in one words. She shrugs and puts her phone away, he must be busy. It wasn’t her fault if she interrupted him, he shouldn’t have responded until later if he was in a meeting or something.
Jak poured over the online newspapers, looking for apartments for rent. She wrote down ones that looked in her price range than looked the area up on Google maps. Most were in really scary areas and ended up being crossed back off her list. She bugged her agent again about whether anything had opened up with other models but was constantly told no. She’d been staying with JiHye for almost a month now and knew it was time to move on. She checked her bank balance and started looking at long term motels. She figured she could probably last about 2 weeks in one without touching her savings for a new place. She found one in the upper middle class section of town, packed her few belongings and left JiHye a note.
Grabbing a taxi outside she gave them the address and had them stop at the market a block away. After checking in, she threw everything on the extra bed and collapsed. Checking the time she was shocked to see it was already past 8 pm. She’d usually heard from Jiyong twice by now. Puzzled she checked her phone, no messages, no missed calls. Figuring he’d call when he called, she jumped in the shower.
Ugh, nothing was on TV. She tossed the remote and grabbed her laptop to watch Youtube video’s for a bit before falling asleep. Entertainment news was flashing at the top right corner. She would normally ignore it but when the Hangul for GDragon flashed, it caught her eye.
Great, what rumors are going around now? She clicked on his name, unprepared for the picture that came up on her screen. The headline read: "GDragon vacationing in Japan, is he reigniting an old flame? What happened to Jak?" The picture was a recent one, she could tell because he had his hair cut and colored right before he left. His Japanese model ex, was draped all over him at some club and he looked pretty wrapped around her as well. Jak sat up on the bed and pulled the lap top closer. She scrolled through the pictures: Ji and his ex at the pool, Ji and his ex whispering to each other, and lastly a picture of the back of them walking down the street, his arm around her shoulders.
Well then. She shut her laptop and tried hard not to throw up the junk food she’d been snacking on. She shut her eyes and took a deep breath; that explained the non details about the trip. Her phone vibrated on the bed next to her, she looked down to see Mr Long Term show up. I’m not answering that she thought. Stop it, she suddenly berated herself, she knew how the tabloids blew things out of control, see what he has to say.
“Jak, baby. How was your day? Do you know how much I miss you?”
He was slurring his words and Jak closed her eyes against tears.
“Nooooooooo,” he giggled and she heard a woman’s voice in the background. “Okay, well maybe just a little bit. I wanted to call and hear your voice, I miss you today.”
“I saw that. Are you still at the club?”
“How did you know I was at a club? Oh you can hear the music,” and he started laughing like it was the funniest thing he’d ever said. She waited until he caught his breath.
“It’s too noisy Ji, I’ll just talk to you tomorrow.”
“No, no, NO. I called to tell you something, what was I going to tell you? OH! I’m cutting my trip short, I’ll be home tomorrow.”
“Good, that’s good.”
“Right? I can’t wait to see youuuuuu….” With that she heard a clunk and figured he’d dropped his phone. She waited a few more minutes but couldn’t hear anything but the music. He never picked the phone back up so Jak closed her phone, turned out the lights in her room and stared at the ceiling. Sleep wasn’t going to be found tonight.
He had said he couldn’t wait to see her and she wanted an explanation of why he was really in Japan. His calendar showed his plane arriving at 1 that afternoon. She gave him a couple of hours before heading over to his house and welcoming him home.
She used her key and let herself in, leaving it on the table in the foyer. She found him with an ice pack over his eyes on the couch.
“Welcome home. Was it a good trip?” She tried to sound cheery and not irritated.
One eye peeked open and he grunted out, “What are you doing here? I didn’t call you.”
She took a deep breath and plunged forward. “Not today you didn’t but you did from the club last night.”
He sat up gingerly and looked at her warily. “I did?”
“Yep. I just assumed, being your girlfriend, having a key, and you saying you couldn’t wait to see me meant that I should come over. Sorry if I got that wrong.”
“Listen babe, I have a killer of a headache, can you just go? I don’t want you here.”
She was expecting it but it still cut into her chest like a knife. “I’ll go, I just have a couple of questions first.”
“Really? I told you I have a headache.”
“You have a hangover, there’s a difference and I’m doing my best to keep my voice down for you but I’m thinking it isn’t going to last much longer, appreciate it while you can.”
“Wait. I needed to tell you something.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a business card. “Here, you remember James? I had him find you a place, call him and he’ll take you to look at it.”
“No thank you, I have a place.”
That got a raised eyebrow from him but he just shrugged, winced at the action and put the ice pack back on his head.
“So, what were you in Japan for?”
“Which work? Fashion, music, merchandise?”
“Why the third degree woman? I went to Japan, I ALWAYS go to Japan, you’re going to have to get used it.”
“Not really.” She laid the pictures she had printed from her computer on the coffee table. “I’m sorry I bothered you, you’d rather be alone, I get it.”
“Good. Just call me later.”
She smiled a brilliant fake smile and headed towards the door. As she put back on her shoes she was mumbling, “Not later, not ever.”