Ji Yong POV
It is known that a woman becomes a mother the moment she realizes she’s pregnant. It is also known that a man becomes a father the moment he sees his child for the first time. I wish that was true. I became a father the moment I learned she was carrying my child. I loved him since then. Can you imagine how much I would’ve loved him if I would’ve been able to carry him in my arms, to feed him, to bathe him, to watch him sleep, to take care of him?
The moment I learned he was my child keeps playing over and over in my head. Feeling the rush, the happiness, the fear… I don’t think I’ll be able to feel that way again. I honestly wish I could’ve exchanged places with him. I would’ve rather die than experiencing this pain.
Before losing him, I didn’t know what losing someone meant. It’s a pain that doesn’t go away. It’s a pain that goes with you and stays with you, forever. You must learn to live with it.
I often wonder, how he would’ve looked like? Would he have looked like me? Would he have looked like his beautiful mother? Or would he have looked like a mix of the both? I know is useless to think about this… but I do wonder about it… too often.
The grieving process is a real rollercoaster; I wake up somedays feeling positive and full of life. And then I wake up other days feeling like a dead man who’s just in this world to suffer, the pain knocks me down and tears me apart.
I stood up from the bed and opened the curtains of the hotel room. A rare spring cloudy day waits for me today. I took a deep breath and headed to the bathroom. Feeling the water hitting my head made me close my eyes and I started seeing the flashbacks: the blood, she trying to grab my hand as she was taken to the ER, I cowardly staying behind. I wasn’t allowed to go with her, because we couldn’t arrive at the same time. She crying hysterically after delivering a lifeless baby boy, Gahee and the nurses trying to calm her down. She succumbing to the sedative. The quick funeral. Returning to the empty apartment. She and I just living together without speaking to each other. I opened my eyes and the flashbacks finally stopped. Whenever I close my eyes that’s what I see… this is what I must endure, everyday.
After showering I put some clothes on and waited for Nan Gook to come looking for me. I was in the living area of the room staring blankly at the wall. Someone opened the front door. “You’re ready!” Nan Gook exclaimed.
“Yep! Let’s go.” I said and walked to the door.
We were in the SUV heading to a photoshoot. “Aren’t you tired?” Nan Gook asked.
I was watching the landscape through the window. “A little bit. But you said we had to do this photoshoot.” I replied without thinking too much. Our World Tour ended yesterday, here in Japan.
Nan Gook suddenly shouted: “Damn it!”
I quickly looked at him. “What is it?” I asked.
“We don’t know who did it but, rumors of your breakup have been released.”
I turned my head towards the window. “Tell YGE to stay silent.” I said with disinterest.
“Will do.” He said and started speaking with our PR team.
Minutes later, we arrived where the photoshoot was taking place. Before exiting the SUV, I put my “normal person” mask on. People don't have any clue of what I’m going through, so I must act like nothing’s happened.
I greeted the Campaign Director. “Hello, how are you?”
He smiled and pointed with his hand to the right side. “Have you met Komatsu Nana-chan?”
I looked at her. “Hello.” I said. She was nervously staring at me while timidly smiling. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She replied and then looked down. I slightly smiled.
She looks innocent. After the nightmare, I went through with Lee BoNa, I now distrust anyone with an innocent look.
We got ready to start the photoshoot right away. We had to act like a couple in the bloom of their relationship. I didn’t enjoy any of it, I wanted it to end as soon as possible so I could take this ing mask off. It’s exhausting! The interview didn’t help either, it was all about me lying of how happy I was due to the World Tour; how excited I was to be here, and how ecstatic I was to meet Nana.
Finally, the circus was over! I said my farewell to the team, I was heading to the parking lot when Nana reached me. “Can we have coffee, tonight?” She shyly asked. I turned to look at her. I was about to refuse when our eyes locked. “Yes, I know what you’re going to say. You probably don’t want to have coffee. What about lunch, tonight? I mean… breakfast…” She shook her head. “I mean dinner. I promise It’ll be painful.” She shook her head again and took a deep breath. “It won’t be painful. It’ll be amazing… I mean normal.” She looked down, grabbed the ends of her hair and tried to intertwined it in front of her face. “I’m so sorry!” She exclaimed and walked away. She was obviously mortified of what just happened. I found it hilarious! “Let’s have breakfast tonight!” I playfully said. She stopped walking and turned to look at me. “Really?” She was in awe; smiling happily.
I walked away. “I’ll pick you up.” After seeing what she had to go through to ask me out, I just couldn’t refuse.
That night I invited Nana to a very private Japanese restaurant. I didn’t have any expectations, I just invited her after all the trouble she had to go through just to invite me. Apparently, she’s a Big Bang fan, we had dinner and talked about random things. I did feel a little bit comfortable around her and I could forget my pain for a couple of hours. The pain I’ve been carrying with me for the last 3 months.
We were walking to the parking lot. I was about to say my farewell. “Don’t do it yet.” She smiled and stared at me. I was a little bit surprised. “I’m sorry, this has been great… I really need to get going...”
She leaned towards me and interrupted me: “I can see through your mask.”
I flinched and frowned. “What?” I asked, confused.
“Your acting is really good, but I can see you’re hiding something very painful deep inside.” My heart started beating fast. Overwhelmed? Maybe this is the word I’m looking for, to describe how I felt, after been caught in my lie by her.
“You know nothing.” I said and started walking again.
“Let me help you.” She was following me.
“I don’t need your help.” I was looking towards the front.
“I think you do. You’re a zombie and I really can make you feel alive again.” She said. Her voice was full with determination.
I knew she was wrong. The only person that can help me, left me and she’s back with the man I would kill with pleasure.
If I want to pull away this girl from me, I’ll have to show her the real me.
“You’re a kid. You know nothing about life. When you experience what, I had to go through, call me then and we’ll talk.” I coldly said.
“You’ve lost someone, right?” She dared to ask. I immediately felt angry. I turned around and grabbed her wrist. “Stop this. I don’t want to hurt you… just carry on with your life and let me be.” She stared at me with eyes-wide opened. “I want to help you, please let me.” She asked with a shaky voice.
I let her go. I closed my eyes and scratched my right eyebrow. “Okay. If this will help you to leave me alone. Let’s do it.” I said while sighing.
I got to my hotel room at 3:00 AM. I still was feeling excited after all we did. I don’t know how we could do it without anyone noticing us but, we walked through the Shibuya crossing and Ginza district. We then headed to the Ueno park where we ran and laughed while contemplating the beautiful scenery. We finished our escapade in the National Museum of Tokyo. Nana knows someone that works in the museum and they opened it exclusively for us. I met Nana the next two days, she showed me how to experience the real Japan. I’ve come several times here and I have never done what Nana helped me to do: Enjoy it!
My last day in Japan, I was taking her home after sneaking into the National Museum of Western Art. “We’re here.” I paused. “I want to thank…”
She shushed me by placing her index finger on my lips. “There’s one last thing we need to do.” She quietly said. “You need to come in.”
I walked inside her apartment, it was decorated in a very hipster way. I sat on the couch while she was doing something in the kitchen. “You can’t leave without tasting this.” She said before exiting the kitchen while carrying a tray. “Let me help you.” I said and tried to stand up. “Nope! I can do it. Don’t worry.” She happily said.
She placed the tray on the table. She prepared tea. She served it and handed me the cup. I looked at it. It had a cherry blossom in the middle. “Is this sakura-yu (cherry blossom tea)?” I asked.
She nodded while sipping it. I tasted it. It has a unique scent and taste. “Do you know what “ocha wo nigosu" means?” She asked and sat next to me.
“Nope.” I replied.
“It means to make the tea cloudy. However, the meaning of this expression is to be vague or evasive. I know I should’ve served green tea. But I don’t want you to keep being like that. A Cherry blossom tea represents a beginning. I wish we could become very close friends. I want to knock down your wall and for you to feel more comfortable around me.” She shyly said. She was looking down. I grabbed her chin and made her look at me. “Thank you… thank you for giving me a little bit of life back.” I moved my head a little bit closer, she moved hers all the way. Our lips weren’t the only thing that touch... our teeth clashed. “Ouch!” I laughed.
She backed away. “I’m so sorry!” She exclaimed totally mortified. Nana is happy, geeky, but above all dorkish, I think this is her charm. She’s a free soul and she loves to enjoy life. I laughed for a while. “Please stop.” She begged. I finally stopped laughing. She looked at me, she was about to say something when I placed my hand on her neck and gently pulled her towards me. I kissed her. The kiss made me feel alive. Although I had my eyes closed, this time the flashbacks didn’t come quickly. I could concentrate on what I’ve lived with Nana these days. Then suddenly, her face invaded my thoughts. I pulled away. “I’m sorry.” I took a deep breath.
“What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Before anything happens, I need to tell you something… I’m married.” I said. I didn’t want to deceive her. If we were going to do this, she needed to know the whole truth and what she was getting into. She had her eyes and mouth wide-opened. “How…” She managed to say.
I told her everything.
“Why haven’t you spoken with her?” She asked.
“I don’t know. I think we’re okay like this. I know she’s back with him.” I was standing while facing the window.
“How do you know that?” She asked again.
“It happened two weeks after losing our son. I came back late at night to the apartment after a schedule, she wasn’t there. I started panicking and I looked for her all over the complex. As I entered the park of the complex, I saw her with her ex-boyfriend. They were hugging each other.” It’s so painful to remember it.
“A hug doesn’t mean anything.” Nana said.
“It means a lot when you know she loves him.” I cleared my throat.
“I think your prejudice against her it’s taking its toll on you. Why did you leave without asking her what happened?”
“I didn’t want it to hear it. I had to cope with the pain of losing my son and if I’d lose her too, I thought I couldn’t endure it.”
“You’re a !” She exclaimed. I turned to look at her. “You left her alone a whole month to endure the pain of losing her child by herself. Go to San Francisco NOW! and speak with her about what you saw. I think you owe her that.”
“She’s amazing!” I thought. “She’s mature enough of knowing and respecting the fact that I’m in love with another woman.”
I smiled and kissed her cheek. “Let’s keep in touch.” I said and ran out of her apartment.
I headed to the hotel. Nan Gook was in my room. “You’re back!” He said after yawning.
“Get me a ticket to San Francisco!” I exclaimed while I placed all my things inside the suitcase.
“Finally!” Nan Gook cheerfully exclaimed. He repeatedly has asked me to go looking for her.
15 hours later, I arrived at San Francisco. I went directly to her apartment building. I was in front of her door, debating to ring the doorbell. “What are you doing here?” Someone asked. I turned to look at him. It was Diego. He was carrying some grocery bags. “Let me help you.” I said while trying to grab them.
“I don’t need your help.” He was mad.
“I need to see her.” I placed my arms behind my back.
Diego took his phone out. “Open the door.” He said to someone on the phone.
A couple of minutes later, the door opened. Soo Hyun was drying up his hair with a towel. “Yah! Why can’t you open the door by yourself?” He asked. He looked at me, surprised.
“As you can see, my sister has moved on. You should do the same.” Diego said. “Where’s Noona?” He asked Soo Hyun. Soo Hyun looked at me and then at Diego. “She’s still in the shower.”
I closed my eyes. “I need to speak with her.”
“You’re not speaking with her. She needs to forget about everything that’s happened. She’s not returning to Seoul and she’s not getting back with you. She loves someone else.” Diego seems different. He probably hates me now.
“Oppa? What are you doing there?” I could hear her voice coming from inside the apartment.
“Diego is here.” Soo Hyun interrupted me.
“Why aren’t you coming in?” She asked.
This time Diego interrupted me: “We’re coming!” Soo Hyun walked away, Diego entered. “This damned fate between the both of you ends here.” He whispered before slamming the door in my face.