Noona needed to make sure that girl didn't leave town. While her friend went to work, she sat in the coffee shop around the corner. Her friend gave her a pretty new face to hide behind and a nice wig they found at a shop. Hopefully her little disguise will hold up. Her friend texted her to come in. Noona put her shades on and made her way to the company building.
As she walked up to it, her tummy turned. Flashes of that horrible night came back. She stopped at the visitor entrance, they frisked her, put her through the metal detector, and then gave her a visitors pass. Her friend was waiting on the other side.
Her friends face looked concerned, “Are you okay? You don't look so good.”
“Ghosts.” Noona tried to smile.
They went down the hall, her friend pretended to be giving her a tour, pointing everything out, what room was what, what it was used for, they went up in the elevator. When it stopped on the third floor, she couldn't step off.
“Unnie, are you okay?”
“I wasn't like this the last time I was here.” she said right before she gasped.
Noona stepped back from the entrance when she seen the manager heading their way. She could have sworn her heart stopped. She grabbed her chest and in a panic started pushing the buttons. Her friend caught the door and pulled her out just as the manager got on. Her friend bowed.
“Are you ladies going down?” He asked holding the door.
“No, sir, I thought I got off on the wrong floor.”
He looked at noona, “Who is this, a new worker?”
“Yes, sir, she'll be starting tomorrow. I'm just showing her around for today.”
Noona bowed quickly, her fake hair dangling in front of her like a curtain, “Hello. Sir, My name is Kim Ah Jung. I will work hard”
Her friend grabbed her shoulder, “Shall we continue. Have a good day sir.”
“Yes, nice to meet you. You ladies have a good day as well.” He stepped back and let the elevator doors close.
As they walked away, noona’s knees buckled and she collapsed onto the floor. She grabbed her chest over her heart. Her friend pulled her up to her feet and took her to the restroom.
Her friend dabbed her face with a cold paper towel, “Calm down. It's okay, it was just for a moment.”
Noona tried to catch her breath. Her hands were shaking uncontrollably, so she clenched her fists hard and started hitting them against her leg.
“I wish I had my make-up bag. Your eyeliner is a bit smeared.”
“Is it?” Noona looked in the mirror. She wiped it and then patted herself. She pulled a small eyeliner pencil from her back pocket, “I guess this is going to have to do for now.” She put her shades back on, looking at herself, “Do you think he recognized me?”
“No. If he did, he didn't show it. I was watching his face the whole time. He didn't even twitch once. He barely looked at you, even when you bowed.” Her friend said.
They strolled down the hall, peeking into each room. They were filled with trainees, either dancing or getting their studies done. Then they went down to the next floor, same thing. They decided to take the stairs to avoid any more run ins. But the minute noona started down the first flight, she went into another panic. Slumping down onto the steps, she covered her face.
She tried to think of another time when she was in a stairwell. She thought about her baby god, how she would sometimes meet him there. Standing where they thought they couldn't be seen, their hearts racing afraid someone would catch them. His warm embrace, the way he nuzzled her ear and neck and make her giggle because he did it so softly that it tickled. She smiled, “His arms so warm.” She opened her eyes and started down again, keeping that in mind. As soon as they were on ground level, they hurried out.
Her friend held her shoulders as they walked along. Instinctively they headed to the office. When she realized, noona stopped at the door. She was ready to turn away but she heard a familiar voice. She slowly turned around.
On the other side of the studio, there was a crew setting up for a session. The familiar voice called for her friend. It was her old boss, he was waving at her friend to come over. Her friend, keeping to the tour bit, offered her a place to sit. She sat down watching them.
Then she heard from behind her, from the hallway,
“That stupid cow. How could she just run off like that? I hope she gets fired. She's just ruining it for the rest of us and we haven't even officially debuted yet.” One said loudly.
“This isn't going to hinder our debut is it?” Another asked.
And then, a man answered them, “Look, she needs help. But more than likely she'll be fired and you'll have to go on but that means relearning everything because you'll be one member short for the routines. So yes, your debut will be pushed back.”
She looked to see them walking in and make their way across the studio, still complaining. But she heard it the first time, that stupid cow ran off.