“I hope you guys are ready to begin the tour.” President Hwang says rubbing his hands together.
“Of course we are!” Kang Hwi says with a wide smile.
I roll my eyes.
The shout of the fans waiting for us to exit the airport was deafening the closer we got to the door.
“Take One! Take One! We love you!”
“Hey, are you really going to wear that tuxedo?” Kang Hwi asks putting his arm around my shoulders.
I shrug his arm off.
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“It’s too stiff and formal. We’re supposed to wear comfortable clothing, it’s a long ride you know.”
“You might not have an image to uphold but I do.”
“You’re a star now, you’re not just the son of a Chaebol.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Fine. Have it your way.”
Security signals that they are ready and Go Dong and President Hwang lead us out the door.
The fans press all around us and the flash of cameras is blinding.
I smile and wave at the fans.
An arm falls around my shoulders and I look at Kang Hwi as he presses against my side.
“Remove your arm.” I order.
“Smile, why don’t you? They are your fans too.” He says waving.
We manage to make our way to the tour bus in one piece thanks to security.
Kang Hwi’s arm goes around my neck as we climb the stairs up the bus.
He drags me down the aisle and out of the view of the fans.
“Let go of me you crazy bastard!” I say shoving off his arm.
“Fine, fine. Don’t get all testy.”
I push him aside and I make my way to the back of the bus.
“Hey!” He says grabbing my arm.
I look at him.
“The back seat is for the one who is doing a good job.”
He makes his way past me and I grab his shoulder and pull him back.
“That’s where I am.” I say brushing past him.
He grabs me again.
“Hey, where are you going? I told you I would take it.”
“Ah, why are you guys being like this? Just sit down. Once the bus starts moving, it’ll be dangerous for you two to just be standing here.” Go Dong says.
“Why are you grabbing me? Grab him.” Kang Hwi says pointing at me.
I slap his hand away from my face.
“You can’t have the back seat.” He tells me. “The best sit at the back.”
“Instead of complaining, why don’t you spend that time practicing the new song? You can’t even carry a tune.”
“When have I not?” He demands.
He looks away.
“It was only once.”
I cock my eyebrow.
“Twice. Okay! I did it a couple of times. But do you know what the fans say? That just my existence itself is a work of art, I could be sitting on stage peeling oranges and I’ll still be great.”
I roll my eyes.
“You are full of yourself.”
“Hey, don’t be a hater.”
“Even if I sing out of tune, they still think I’m the best.”
“So you like that?”
I move past him.
“Hey! You just want to have the back all to yourself. But I won’t let that happen. You can’t go.”
“Please stop. You guys can just sit here in the middle.” Go Dong says.
“The bus is going to drive off. Please sit down.” Stylist Choi says.
“Fine. We both sit here in the middle.” Kang Hwi says.
We both knew I was the best and that I deserved to have the back of the bus to myself.
I wait for him to sit down before I make my way to the back.
“You bastard!” He yells after me.
I take my seat by the window.
He hurries over to try and drag me off the seat and I open the curtain.
The fans start screaming again and he has no choice but to play nice and wave.
“I’m going to get you back for this.” He says.
“Go ahead and try.” I smile back.
Jang Man Ok
It all started with my friend Ga Ryeong and her obsession with ‘Take One’ and Won Kang Hwi.
I was just trying to make a living teaching my martial arts classes and selling my own designer clothes on my website.
I jump with her sudden shout.
“Stop shouting, it’s distracting.” I scowl.
“It’s just that my oppa looks so good.”
“Will you get your head out of the clouds and help me? Your job is to take care of the orders and the shipping remember?”
“Alright, alright. Geez.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to keep this place open until Grandfather returns.” I sigh.
“What are you worried about? The website is showing record sales.”
“But it’s not enough to cover the rent and living expenses. I need more students.”
“We just need to advertise place.”
“This wouldn’t be happening if Grandfather was here.”
“It’s not fair to compare yourself, Man Ok. He’s been a teacher for fifty years and he’s well known. You just have to make a name for yourself.”
“Of course I am. Now, I better be going.”
“What? But you still have to help me with-”
“Look at the schedule.” She says pointing at the dry board. “Take One is doing a performance and it’s being broadcast on TV.”
“I wish you would stop writing the groups schedule on there. It’s there so that I can keep track of my schedule.”
“You don’t have much of a schedule.”
I glare at her.
“Besides, it’s not the groups schedule. It’s my oppa’s schedule.”
I roll my eyes.
“We still haven’t solved my problem. We need a model to wear my clothes so that we can take pictures for the website.”
“We could always hire a guy.”
“Really? Do you know how much that would cost?”
“About two hundred dollars a day.”
“Two hundred! How can you say that with a straight face?”
“You could just wear them yourself.”
“Are you crazy? And advertise that I’m the one making the clothes? My grandfather would kill me if he found out his beloved grandson was a designer.”
“Alright, bad idea.”
“Besides, I’m too short. I need a tall and lean model.”
“You could always model the clothes for women.”
I glare at her and she hides her smile behind her hand.
“So what are you going to do?”
“We’ll just have to find an alternative.” I sigh.
“Can I go now?”
“Fine. Go. But be here early tomorrow.”
“Sure, sure. Good night.”