Ji Yong POV
“Ji Yong, I know you’re there!”
“Open the door!”
“He’s not opening. Go to the lobby and get an extra key.”
Ji, please! You’re scaring the of us. Please open the door.”
“Open the door so we can talk.”
“Here is the spare key.”
The door opened. “What the?” Young Bae walked in. “My God! Ji Yong. What the hell happened?” The trashed hotel bedroom was quite a view. Broken lamps, desks and tables flipped, broken pictures, broken glasses, cigarettes butts and mini-bottles of alcohol all over the place. “Where are you?” His footsteps hurriedly walking all over the room. After a while, he found me. I was sitting on a corner of a room, finishing a cigarette. Young Bae crouched in front of me. “What’s wrong?” I inhaled the smoke. “Please talk to me.” I exhaled. “Where’s Emi?”
“She left.” I threw the cigarette and grabbed the package of Marlboro next to me. I took out another cigarette and lighted it. “I’ve tried calling her repeatedly, but her phone is turned off.”
Young Bae looked down, “You knew this eventually would happen… She endured a lot if we’re to tell the truth.”
I smirked. “I want my daughter, that’s all I want.”
“I’m sure Emi will let you see Aeri. Don’t even worry about it…”
“How can I not worry? She doesn’t even care about Aeri, she’s a selfish, unfaithful b-b-b… ! I hate her so much!”
“Don’t say that. You don’t hate her. You love her. You’re just furious that she’s left you.” He placed his hand on my shoulder.
I started laughing. “She’s a selfish, selfish woman!” I looked at the ceiling. My hand trembling due to all the nicotine and alcohol in my system. “She couldn’t wait a little longer! She couldn’t… !” I started crying. “I hate myself for crying for an unfaithful little like her.” I placed my hands on my face. “I hope she’s happy now… She probably ran to his arms! …”
“For God’s sakes stop this !” Young Bae shouted. I looked at him completely confused. “You always do this ! Victimize yourself! Let me break it to you, you’re not a victim Kwon Ji Yong!” I started blinking very fast, my tears still falling. “Emilia endured a lot. The way you treated her.” He frowned. “Man! Any other woman would’ve left you a long ago. Still she remained by your side.”
I quickly stood up. In my current state of mind this could easily go bad. “She cheated!”
Young Bae chuckled with sarcasm. “A couple of stolen kisses? Really?” I looked at him; he seemed disgusted. “I’m not trying to defend her. I told you many times you were crossing the line. Come on man! Stop victimizing yourself and get your together.” He walked away and slammed the door in the process.
I felt the anger rising; I started crashing the place again. As my anger reached its peak, I collapsed on the floor. I closed my eyes and she invaded my thoughts. I remembered how sad and miserable she looked this last months. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for making you suffer.” As the rigid carpet fabric incrusted in the left side of my face I took a deep breath. “Do you also feel sad for making me suffer? For making me a joke? You probably hate me now.” My sobs lessened as my tiredness took control of me. “Let’s not love each other anymore…” That was my last thought before blacking out.
I gradually woke up after feeling someone shaking me. “Ji Yongie, wake up.” The moment I opened my eyes, the headache knocked out the senses of my body. TOP hyung gave me his hand so I could stand up. I couldn’t keep my eyes opened, I was exhausted, my brain hammering against my head, my legs shaking for they were too weak to hold my bodyweight. “You need to eat.” He paused. “There’s soup and ‘hangover’ pills, it will help you.”
I immediately devoured the soup and took the pills. I was staring blankly at the window. “She left?” Top cautiously asked.
I nodded. “She did me a favor. Now I can stop being angry all the time. Now I can be my happy self again. Now I won’t have to see her lying face anymore. I want Aeri’s full custody by the way.” I said determined.
“Don’t make rush decisions.” He warned me.
I smirked and looked at him a little bit confused. “You’ve never being Emilia’s fan. You should be happy we’re done.”
“I’m not happy, Ji Yong.” He wasn’t looking at my eyes.
“I’m dying to see my daughter. I’ve never left her side for too long, I don’t know how to not be near her.” I looked at my phone and dialed her number.
“The person you’re trying to reach is unavailable.” Not sure if I didn’t have more strength to get angry but this time I just breathed deeply.
SeungRi walked inside the room, he was serious. “I just spoke with Emi.”
My eyes snapped open. “What?”
He nodded. “She’s in Seoul. She wants you to know you can see Aeri whenever you want. I’ll bring her to you.”
I frowned and exhaled loudly. “I don’t need an intermediary. I will pick-up my daughter from her mother’s arms.”
“No you won’t.” SeungRi wasn't joking. “You won’t get near Emilia anymore. I will make sure of that.” He and TOP locked eyes for a brief moment. I stared at TOP totally confused. SeungRi walked out of the room.
“Since when SeungRi and Emilia are close?” I asked
“It’s not they’re close. He’s in love with her.”
And I thought I had heard it all. “W-W-What?”
TOP nodded. “SeungRi loves her.”
I felt the anger burning inside of me. “I will whip the out of him.”
“You probably will need to whip all of us then.” TOP said, dryly.
Before I could ask why, he answered, “We all feel some kind of attraction towards Emi. Come on Ji Yong! You know she’s beautiful. You know very well I wanted a date with her before I knew she was already yours.” I do remember that. “Daesung would have her if she wasn’t yours. I would play with her if she wasn’t yours. Young Bae, well, he would probably date her, and SeungRi would definitely marry her if she wasn’t already yours.”
The difference between Young Bae and TOP it’s clear. TOP has not mincing words. Maybe he takes advantage of being the oldest and he knows I won’t easily explode. I have never lied when I’ve said she’s beautiful. Only she thinks she’s a common girl and maybe deep inside that’s what I liked about her. “We booked our flight for tomorrow morning.” He said before leaving.
I was tired too tired to continue with my self-destruction process. I switched hotel rooms, Nan Gook obviously helped me to pay for all the damages and keep this from being released to the public. I was lying on the bed staring blankly at the ceiling. My phone started ringing, I immediately answered. I wanted to be her. “Hello?”
“Annyeo, Oppa.” The voice sounded familiar but I couldn’t figure out who she was. I stared at the screen of my phone. ‘Nana.’
“Yah! Are you playing your games with me?”
She laughed out loud. “Sorry, you’re begging to be mocked.”
“Do you think Emilia will freak out if I see you and Aeri tonight? Not sure why she hates me though, but I don’t want to make any trouble. I just want to see you.”
“She left.” I coldly said.
Silence followed. “You mean she had to leave for a meeting or something?”
“We’re done. So, don’t worry she won’t mind if I see you.” I sat on the bed.
“Do you want to go to a restaurant or something?”
“I’m not in the mood. Sorry.”
“Do you want me to come to your hotel room?” She asked, softly.
“I-Yes. I mean if you want to.”
A couple of hours later, someone knocked on my door. After seeing Nana standing outside, I opened it. “Why she left?” She immediately asked.
I told her everything. She didn’t say anything for a while. “Are you divorcing her?”
“Probably.” I honestly answered.
I could see a soft smirk on her face. “I’m sure you know this. I l-l-love you.”
I do know she has feelings for me. Being the selfish piece of I am, I just ignore them for I like having her around as my friend. She suddenly leaned towards me trying to reach my lips, I immediately stood up from the bed. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
“I can’t do this. I punished her so hard for being unfaithful. I won’t be unfaithful to her; I won’t make her same mistakes.”
“You know she’s probably with Soo Hyun right now, right?”
I stared at her and frowned. “What?”
“We’ll know she has a weakness for him, it’s a certainty that she went running to him.” It felt like only now could see the real Nana, without her ‘righteous-hipster’ façade.
I grabbed her hips and slammed her against the wall. She stared at my lips with eagerness. “Is this is what you want?” I asked as I fondled her neck with my nose.
“Y-Yes.” She stammered.
I took off her t-shirt. I embraced her; her head laying on my chest. My hands went through her lower back upwards only to reach the clasp of her bra. “I don’t make love to women I don’t love. I . So, don’t expect a special treatment.” She looked at me a little bit surprised. I chuckled. “Actually I’m lying. I even ed the woman I loved, too much that she got tired and left.” She opened widely her eyes. “I’m a ing animal, I as one, and I will treat you as my ing . If you’re still up to that, let’s . So, hard that you’ll probably lose the ability to walk for a week.”
She pushed me away and picked-up her t-shirt.
“No wonder why she left you, you’re a ed-up piece of .” She said angry.
“And you are a manipulative little .” I smirked. “Run away from me while you still can, otherwise I will treat you like the you are.”
After she ran outside of the room, I smiled. “Emilia was right after all.” I thought. Her face invaded my thoughts. I remembered the last time I made love to her. ing her would never compare with the satisfaction of making love to her. Whenever we made love, a sense of fullness, happiness, and completeness followed. “I probably won't make love anymore. I'm sure I won't feel that with any other woman.”
The next day, I arrived at my apartment. SeungRi returned to Seoul yesterday. He said he’d bring Aeri today soon after I landed. The door-bell rang. I immediately opened the door. SeungRi was outside carrying Aeri and her diaper bag.
“Hey baby love!” She was her fist; the moment she heard my voice, she stared at me and smiled. I melt every time I see my little bear smiling. “Hi, my love!” I exclaimed while taking her in my arms.
Holding my daughter against my chest made my broken heart feel so much better. I could feel the tears accumulating trying to escape. I rocked Aeri in my arms and headed to the living room. I fed her, played with her and made her fall asleep. She was peacefully sleeping in my arms while I fondled her rosy cheek. “We better get going.” SeungRi said and stood up from the other couch. “Emi will get worried.”
I clenched my jaw. “I want to spend more time with Aeri. Tell her I’ll take her back myself in a few hours.”
“No.” SeungRi said adamantly.
I frowned. “What?”
“I will take Aeri to Emi. You won’t get near Emi ever again.”
I was two seconds from losing my temper. “You shouldn’t get in between husband and wife problems.” I warned him.
“Hyung, I’m sorry to tell you this. Emi is done with you; she doesn’t want to see you anymore. If it wasn’t for Aeri she probably would be able to forget you a lot faster.”
“So, it’s true, you love her.” Thank goodness I still had Aeri in my arms otherwise I’d be kicking his by now.
“I do.” He didn’t even flinch.
“Do you think Emi will get with you?” I mocked him.
He chuckled and looked down. “That’s the difference between you and I. I know Emi better than you do.” I tightened my jaw. “Emi would never get together with me.” He shook her head and laughed. “Seems like you don’t know me either. I’d never try to get Emi; I wouldn’t do that to you. I love you like a brother and she was your woman after all.”
I felt ashamed of myself, I won’t deny it. I was so ashamed that I handed Aeri to him. “Tell Emi I want to speak with her.”
“I won’t.” SeungRi walked to the front door. “Heal your heart Hyung, don’t worry about anything else than healing all your anger and frustration.”
Love is like a drug. Even letting go of you partner hits you with the same violence like when you stop consuming. My brain was too used to having her at any moment I wanted. Even though, I knew this would probably end someday, I didn’t get used in advance to the idea of not having her. Not sure if all loves are like this; I’d never experienced something similar before Emilia. The first days without her were difficult, extremely difficult. I wanted to see her, to have her. I missed everything about her. I also missed having Aeri with me all the time. I thought deeply if I should destroy myself. Consuming real drugs even crossed my mind. I decided otherwise. I poured all my anger, frustration, sadness and cravings for her into music. I wrote ten new songs. When I’m not home, I ran through Galleria Foret’s jogging park, if I’m not there I’m in my studio in YGE. That’s my life and I’m doing okay. I may not be happy, but at least I’m not angry like in the past.
Many people told me Emilia and I are just too toxic for each other. Now I know they’re right. We can’t be together, there’s just so much passion, lust, and hate. We feel profoundly each feeling… too profoundly and too deep, it’s just inevitable for the drama not to overboard our lives. The idea of divorce, it’s settling slowly in my mind. I’m sure now we won’t be able to be together. I need to let her go… I need to let her go.
It’s been just a month since I last saw her. SeungRi has been bringing Aeri every other day to my apartment so I can see her. He’s supposed to bring her today but he’s thirty minutes late; I was staring at my watch when the doorbell rang. I ran to open the door. Young Bae was here instead of SeungRi carrying Aeri. I grabbed Aeri from his arms, “Where’s SeungRi?” I asked.
“His flight got cancelled so he had to stayed in Jeju. Emi called me so I could bring Aerinie to you.” We walked inside the apartment. “Now even Young Bae knows where Emi is living.” The desire of knowing how she is, how she looks, if she’s really doing fine… is killing me. I need to know. I want to know. But, I haven’t asked SeungRi for it would be awkward, giving the story we all know.
As I played with Aeri, “How is she doing?” I asked without looking at him.
“Good. She looks very good. She looks like in the past, self-possessed, shy, cute. She’s doing well.” I hated to hear it. Maybe deep inside I wanted her to be a mess because she missed me. Young Bae read my mind. “She’s doing just like you. You’ve become your usual self after…” He didn’t want to say the words. “…The both of you are doing much better apart.” I bit my inner lip, Aeri seemed tired so I lay her on her crib so she could fall asleep. Young Bae’s phone rang. “Hey Emi.” The moment he mentioned her name, my heart started beating uncontrollably. “Yes, we’re doing fine. She’s sleeping right now. Once she wakes, I’ll take her back. Yes, don’t worry.” He hung up.
“I don’t think she trusts you as she trusts SeungRi.” I said.
Young Bae smirked. “She knows I’m your best friend. Maybe she thinks I’ll be easily manipulated by you.” I chuckled. We started talking about his comeback plans. Again, his phone rang, “What’s up?” Silence, he got serious. “Where are you? I’m heading there right now.” He stood up. “Ji Yongie, Hyorinie just fell in her bathtub, she says she can’t stand up. She’s .” I looked at him shocked. “She doesn’t want the paramedics to find her . I need to go.” I breathed deeply and nodded.
“Will you be back to take Aerinie?”
“I don’t know I’ll try.”
Several hours later, Young Bae wasn’t even answering his phone. Aeri was fully awake playing in her crib. I knew Emi would probably be freaking out by now. Suddenly, my phone rang, ‘Young Bae’
“Where are you?” I asked, worried.
“Still in the hospital, Hyorinie broke her leg. BoRam is heading to your apartment so he can take Aerinie back to Emi.”
“Araso.” I calmly said. “Hope Hyorinie is okay. Let me know if you need anything.”
I started getting anxious, walking back and forth around my apartment while staring intently at my daughter. “Don’t do this. Let just things how they are right now. You’re doing well. She’s doing well. This is for the best. Don’t do this Ji Yong. Don’t do this...” I kept repeating those words inside my head until BoRam got here.
“I’m here to take Aeri to Emissi.” BoRam said while texting.
“Come on, don’t do this. Please, don’t do this.” I took a deep breath. “Actually, I just spoke with Young Bae and I’ll be taking Aeri to her mother.” I lied.
BoRam looked at me confused. “You can call Young Bae If you want. But he’s too busy with Hyorinie Noona incident. He told me you’d give me the address.”
“Are you lying, Ji Yongie?” He narrowed his eyes.
“Do you think I’m lying?” I looked directly at his eyes. “Give me the address.” I demanded. “I’ll just leave my daughter with her mother and that’s it.” I raised my hands. “Young Bae needs you right now.” BoRam took a deep breath, texted me the address and left.
I didn’t waste any minute, I quickly changed my clothes and spent a few more minutes fixing my hair. I grabbed Aeri and headed to Emi’s apartment. She’s been living in Gangnam. As I walked through the hallway my heart started thumbing strongly against my chest. Young Bae was calling me but I didn’t answer. I just walked hurriedly and rang the doorbell before he could call Emi and tell her I was coming here.
I covered the camera with my hand so she couldn’t see me. “Who is it?” She asked repeatedly. Finally, I heard her footsteps as she came to the door. She opened it and shock took over her. She was freaking out. “My God! She looks so beautiful!”
“Young Bae had an incident.” I calmly said.
“Give me my daughter.” She tried to take her away from my arms.
“She’s asleep. I’ll place her in her crib.”
“You’re not coming in.” She shook her head.
“Stop behaving like a child, I won’t let you wake up Aeri.”
She bit hard her lip. She probably was fuming in anger. “My God! Her skin is shining! She really does look well. She’s doing fine without me.”
She moved so I could come in. “Where’s Aeri crib?” I asked while looking around the small apartment.
“In my room, of course.” She dryly answered. I walked in. It smelled of Emi, her perfume had impregnated in the walls. I lay Aeri and walked outside to the living area. Emi was looking directly at my eyes with her arms crossed.
The fire was just starting to light up inside me. Her eyes were defying me to take her. I took quick steps towards her. “Don’t you dare to touch me.” She firmly said, without any hint of doubt. In the past when she would say no, it meant yes. Now it really meant no. I stopped.
“I can see the fire in your eyes.” I smirked.
“I’ll make myself clear, if you touch me, I will kill you. I promise.”
“I don’t want to touch you, I want…”
“I know what you want.” She bitterly smirked. “You want to me. Some time ago, I was up to that, to follow your terms, but not anymore.” She was shaking her head. “Not anymore.”
I chuckled. “I want to make it clear we should behave like grown-ups and take care of our daughter. I’ll pick and drop her off from now on.”
“Okay.” She said with a cold ice tone.
“Okay.” I said and left. Emi seemed completely different. She wasn’t playing games. For the first time since we met, she was resisting me.
I’ve been picking up Aeri every other day from Emi’s apartment for the past three weeks. I don’t come in. She hands her to me on the front door and don’t let me go inside. Emi is getting gorgeous as the weeks go by. It bitters me. Maybe she’s better without me. I hate it! I hate to think she’s doing well without me!
I rang the doorbell. Emi opened the door. “She won’t be going with you today. I sent you a text.” She said.
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“She has a little bit of temperature.” I got worried immediately. “I will let you know when she gets better.”
“No. I need to see her. I won’t leave her side until she gets better.” I said, determined.
Emi closed her eyes and let me in. I walked to Aeri’s side; she was sleeping. “The doctor said not to worry. The temperature will decrease as the hours go by.”
“I’m staying here.” She didn’t seem sure. “I won’t try anything don’t worry.” We both stayed there, near Aeri, monitoring her temperature. Emi would lay on the bed when she was too tired. I would lay on the small couch inside her room.
It was 10 AM of the next day, “Hey! Hey!” I opened my eyes. “Aeri’s temperature is back to normal.” She said.
I rubbed my eyes. “Really?” I stood up and placed my hand on Aeri’s forehead. “That’s a relief.” I sighed.
I looked at Emi; she slightly smiled while looking down. She’s wearing a jean-shorts and a baggy white blouse. “She’s been wearing a lot of those lately.”
“I made breakfast. You can have some if you want to.” She said and walked out of the room.
“I want some.” I said; only now that I knew Aeri was all right, I noticed I was starving.
It wasn’t awkward as I thought. We talked about random stuffs, like if we were friends updating each other about our lives. I could feel my heart falling for her all over again. Her smile, her eyes, her laugh, the way she listens to me when I’m talking. No one will give me that. I feel like a piece of for making her suffer, for punishing for something it seems so little now. “I hate myself!” I shouted inside my head... and the fire, this fire she only wakes up in me, is about to consume me in burning flames.
She was telling me about a negotiation for her new company. “I hate tough negotiations.” She laughed.
I hurriedly stood up and walked towards her. I grabbed her face between my hands and before she could react I kissed her... I kissed her and it felt so good, so right, so marvelous. Those lips I’ve been missing, that tongue I’ve been craving was inside my mouth. I kneeled to get better access to … and yet again she let me kiss her, she let me feel her mine. She let me play with her tongue and her lips. “I’m so sorry.” I moaned in between kisses. “I’m a stupid, stupid man who can’t live without you.” I kissed her again. “I’m so sorry bae.” She didn’t answer, she was completely focused on eating my mouth. “Please, forgive me.” I begged. “Please.” I kissed her once more. I let go of her face, the moment I touched her body, she immediately stopped the kiss and stood up. “I’m not letting you touching me.”
I was confused. “I just touched you.”
“I’m not letting you having me.” She was breathing loudly. I could see she was aroused but I didn’t understand why she was opposing to this.
“I can’t, I’m sorry. I just can’t.” She walked inside her room and closed the door.
I stayed there feeling a little bit out of myself. After a while I left her apartment, I was driving to mine when my phone started ringing. “Hello?”
“Hi, Ji Yongie.”
“Gahee Noona?” I asked.
“Yes, I need to speak with you.” She sounded troubled and serious.
“Is something wrong?”
“Yes, something is very wrong with Emi, I need your help.” Her voice faltered. “Please help me to save her.” My heart dropped. “Please, please! Help me to save her life.”