EMI HARO POV:
I could see Arisu getting up for another cup of coffee while still watching the business presentation. I could hear the clock on the wall ticking while listening the financial monthly results of the company. I could think how I hated the color of the walls, while thinking in which area we’ll invest our monthly budget. So, yes… as you guessed I love multi-tasking. I could hear Leo asking twice the same question.
“Emi? Did you hear me?” Leo said.
“Of Course and the answer is no. We’ll leave the website interface as it is, at least for now. Everything looks good, financially I mean. Show me the banners that we’ll display for Easter.”
Arisu walked towards me and whispered:
“Sajangnim, we only have 5 more min.”
I nodded and proceeded to say: “The banners for spring break. For the US Market let’s promote Puerto Vallarta instead of Cancun. For the Latin America Market, umm… in Mexico and Central America let’s use emotional marketing. I’m not really sure about South America. Let’s make a market research on what South Americans like to do for spring break. I’ll need those results for next month, please.” I paused. “Oh! And our logo, we’ve spent 4 years with the same logo, let’s change it a little bit. I need 5 options by the end of the week. Any questions?”
I stared at the 7 people in the meeting room. Finally, Leo answered: “No, Emi.”
“Great!” I said while getting up from the chair. “Have a safe flight everyone.” I added while heading to the door.
“Hit me Arisu, what’s next?” I asked while walking out of the meeting room. Arisu was walking behind me trying to follow my quick steps.
“You have your meeting with CEO Lee Ji Woon in one hour. A dress is ready in your office, for you to change.” Said Arisu.
I stopped, looked at her and exclaimed: “Didn’t I tell you I wouldn’t be meeting him? I don’t like these blind dates set-ups.” I turned around and continued walking.
“Sajangnim, CEO Lee is the heir to Samsung group, he’s been calling insistently to set up a date.”
I smirked and said: “ I really doubt that he personally has been calling you.”
“Sajangnim!! You promised! Please go. I know Mr. Lee Ji Woon personal assistant. If you don’t go, I can assure you that he will be fired.” I could hear the desperation in Ari’s voice. “Please see it as a tactical meeting, he is the heir to Samsung Group and you should have powerful friends.” She continued.
“Alright! Alright! I’ll go Ari, but I won’t be changing. I’ll be going dressed like this.” I said after seeing the beautiful dress that was hanging in my office.
“Sajangnim, the dress is amazing, please wear it! Is from your favorite designer, Valentino. This dress is not even available in stores right now, they’ve sent it to you before it hits stores.”
“ I will wear it tomorrow for sure, but not today.” I said while smiling.
“I know what you’re trying to do, Sajangnim.” Ari said.
“You underdressed today with jeans, a simple white shirt and loafers so that CEO Lee would feel disappointed after seeing you in casual wear. But let me assure you, he knows who you are. The CEO and founder of two of the greatest tech-companies in the world, with a net worth of 100 million dollars. If you wanted to keep your anonymity, you shouldn’t have done the interview with Forbes, Sajangnim. ” Said Ari while smiling.
“Maybe I’m just trying to avoid another invitation. Both of us know that Mr. Lee is not looking for something serious with me.” I said while opening my purse and getting my compact powder to retouch my makeup. “I’m a foreigner, but not any foreigner, a westerner, do you really think that he’s interested in me because I’m the CEO of some companies?” I asked.
Before Ari could gather her thoughts, I continued: “Of course not, we both knows how this works. And believe me, I’m not interested in one nightstands but I’m less interested in relationships. I’m pretty familiar with how Koreans are with interracial dating.”
I finished retouching my makeup when I noticed my purse, a Louis Vuitton Capucine. “This ruins my plan.” I said.
“What Sajangnim?” Ari asked.
“Ari, lend me your purse. You can take mine, but right now I need yours.” I said while taking all of my things from inside the purse.
Ari run out of my office and returned with her purse. A simple black bag. “ Sajangnim you’re taking this too seriously.” She said before handing me her bag.
“Maybe.” I murmured. “But I just want this to be over.” I continued while getting all my things inside the black purse. “Can you please tell the valet to get my car to the front door?”
“Sajangnim, your car is undergoing service. It will be ready later tonight. An SUV with a driver is waiting for you at the lobby. Do you want him to wait for you? Or do you want your car to be deliver at Meca?” Ari asked while texting, probably the driver.
“Don’t worry." I said "I’ll take an Uber after my meeting with Mr. Lee, please send my car to my apartment.” I wrapped a scarf around my neck. I walked to the elevator, Ari was walking behind me. I’ve told her several times that she doesn’t needs to call me Sajangnim or follow me to the lobby when I leave, or even bow to me. But her answer is always the same. “Please let me embrace my culture.” So, I just gave up. I let her do what she wants and what makes her happy.
While walking through the lobby, I could see everyone bowing to me. At first I felt a little uncomfortable, but now I’m used to it. I feel very honored and thankful to have this kind of respect from my employees. The driver opened the door of the SUV as soon as he saw me walking through the front door. Before getting in the car I turned and said to Ari: “Please, send me my schedule for tomorrow and send the Valentino dress to my apartment. Have a good one.”
“Will do, Sajangnim. You worked hard today, get some rest.” Ari replied and bowed to me.
“Uuhh.” I said and got in the car.
It will take 20 minutes to get to Meca. Meca is an elite club. You have to pay a membership and you need to be “someone” to be accepted. In Meca, you will find 3 nightclubs, 10 restaurants; 4 karaoke, a small boutique hotel, a gym, a spa, and several court sports. In this place you will see chaebols, idols, singers, actors, politicians… If you’re wondering what is so special of this club, the magic lies in their personnel. What happens inside this “small city” stays inside. No one talks about it, no one sees anything or hears anything.
This is one of my favorite places in Seoul. I’m a very private person. Although I’m not famous in South Korea, I like how respectful of others privacy they are in here. I don’t meet many people, but if I have to, I meet them in my office or in Meca. I may not be a public figure, but I’m very careful of my image. At first I didn’t like the idea of this place, Ari insisted that I needed the membership, so she got it for me. Ari is my personal assistant in case you haven’t figured it out. I would be totally lost without her.
“Sajangnim, should we get inside the parking lot or should I leave you in the front door and wait for you?” the driver asked.
“Leave me in the front door. Please don’t wait for me. I’ll call you if needed.”
“All right Sajangnim, please let me get the door for you”. He said.
“Please don’t!! Thanks, good night!” I exclaimed while getting out of the car.
“Wow! There are a lot of paparazzis outside.” I thought. “Usually there are less than half a dozen. But, today there are more than 20. Someone really important is probably inside.” I said to myself while getting inside. I took my sunglasses off.
“Nice to see you again, Miss Haro Sajangnim.” A nice girl said while bowing.
“Hello, I have an appointment in Sakae today. “ I said.
“I’ll take you there.”
“Please don’t, I’ll find my way. ” I walked a few steps and added: “Thanks, anyway.”
“Welcome Miss Haro Sajangnim.” She replied.
This place is huge, I’ve been walking for 15 minutes. During my walk I’ve seen 5 Idols already: Baekhyun with Taeyeon, Tiffany with Nickhun, and Jung Yong Hwa walking by himself while texting. I also saw Song Joong Ki getting inside another restaurant. I could see some people staring at me while I walked, not because I’m beautiful, but because I look so different to them that is normal for them to stare; I hated it, I love to go unnoticed. I think as myself as a “small person”, and the attention I get sometimes annoys me a little bit.
The interesting thing about this restaurant is that “Sakae” also has karaoke rooms, so to get to the restaurant you first have to pass through a long hallway where the karaoke rooms are. I was reaching the end of the hallway when a couple entered the corridor. I couldn’t recognize her but, I knew who he was, even if he was wearing sunglasses. “That’s G-Dragon.” I thought. I rapidly looked down; I know he’s a private person too, so I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. “If that’s G-Dragon, then the girl must be Kiko.” I kept thinking. “Wah! That’s why there are a ton of paparazzis outside.”
I reached the private dining room. Mr. Lee was already inside. I bowed to him and said: “Mr. Lee Sajangnim, is a pleasure to meet you.” I kept my head down while I waited for his reply; after all, he's 10 years older than me.
“You’re here.” He said while standing up. “Please, sit down.” He added.
I looked up and saw his smile. “He seems like a warm person.” I thought.
He obviously was watching at the way I was dressed. He smiled. His smile looked pure and to be honest I felt relieved.
We started talking and it seemed like we were getting along. Suddenly, A waiter opened the door; he looked very agitated. He was trying to catch his breath and then said: “Sajangnims, there was a fight between some customers and paparazzis somehow breached the complex. You can either stay here or go to the parking lot. We are letting everybody know.” He said and then closed the door.
We were so into our conversation that only now we could hear the chaos outside. People were screaming. Mr. Lee and I looked at each other. I could see he was scared. “Sajangnim, please go to the parking lot. I’ll run to the lobby.” I said while standing up and getting my purse.
“Let’s run together to the parking lot. I’m not leaving you here by yourself. Isn’t your car in the parking lot?” He asked before getting close to the door.
“No. A driver brought me here but, I told him to leave. I was planning to get an Uber after my meeting with you.” I said. I started getting a little bit anxious.
Mr. Lee slightly opened the door. He was trying to see what was happening. “Now is the moment, let’s go.”
“No Sajangnim, you go first, paparazzis are running outside. If they see you with me, it could become a scandal.” He felt troubled with my proposal.
“Ok. Let’s do this. I’ll leave you in a more secure place. My bodyguards will come for you. I just can’t leave you in this mess.” He didn’t let me answer he just grabbed my hand and we run. People were running and screaming. We reached a small door in the corridor where the karaoke rooms are. He opened the door and let me inside.
“Stay here. They will come for you. They will say your name, Ok?” I could see he was nervous, but I could also see he was being protective.
“Yes, Sajangnim” I replied. He closed the door.
This was a small room without lights, there was a small table with some glasses and some plates for what I was able to see when I entered.
I’ve been in this place for less than 3 minutes when I heard someone trying to open the door. I started to panic, I somehow leaned on the wall, and the wall moved. I realized it was a hidden door; it didn’t make any noise while opening and it closed automatically. Inside it looked like a karaoke room. “Oh! This is how the waiters get into the rooms.” I thought. Everything was quiet inside the room. Since they are soundproofed, the mess going on outside couldn’t be heard.
A folding screen was dividing this small space from the karaoke room. I could see inside the karaoke room. I was going to walk to the main room, but then I heard: “It’s over.” A woman said.
I stopped and rapidly searched the room with my eyes, and that’s when I saw them.
“Really? We’re over? Just like that?” A man replied.
“Just like that? I’ve been asking you for over a year now to make our relationship public, and you’ve refused it every time. Just like now. I’m sick of it, of this.” The woman said.
The man turned around and I saw him… again. G-Dragon.
“Oh my God! I shouldn’t be here!” I thought.
“Before we started dating you told me you didn’t want to go public. You said that you didn’t want the attention that a public relationship would bring. We both agreed that our relationship would be OURS. If we go public, the media, fans, our agencies become part of this relationship. Is that what you want?” He asked, annoyed. It was obvious that G-Dragon was drunk.
“We were young back then. Ji Yong, I want to marry soon, I want to have a family. Besides, going public will help our careers.” Kiko said while crossing her arms and turning to see his face.
“Our careers? It will help your career, you mean.” G-Dragon said.
“You’re drunk... and an .” She walked to the door and grabbed her purse, which was in the table. “We’re over.” She opened the door and left the room.
“Kiko wait” G-Dragon begged while heading to the door after her.
Seeing him getting to the door, I moved but didn’t notice a cracked wineglass on the floor. I stepped on it, making a loud noise. I turned my eyes to him; he stopped with the doorknob still in his hand. He closed the door and looked towards the folding screen. He frowned.
“Who is there?” He asked while walking to the folding screen.
“This can’t be happening. My only option is to go through the hidden door, I’d rather take my chances in the chaos outside than stay here and explain to G-dragon why I was snooping his conversation.” I thought
I pushed the hidden door but, before I could get out he grabbed my arm. He pulled me towards him; I looked at him. For a moment he was mesmerized watching me. We were so close to each other that I could feel his breathing. Finally, he angrily exclaimed: “WHO ARE YOU?”