Hope Not (Chapter 12)

‘Wayo’ = Why
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It definitely won’t rain today, there is not a cloud in the sky. Though the sun shines over mankind, the crisp breeze dictates everyone to bundle up -jumpers and jerseys come out. Meals get warmer as leaves rustle in gust of wind. Stores props open their doors to the street and let the fresh air in.

Meanwhile, inside the cosy home of a popular artists, the scent of baking bread flood out and fill the entire apartment. It is clean, slightly sweet with yeasty aroma that somehow smelled warm. The hissing and popping sound of someone frying food in fat, ended waking up a young girl who is all snuggled up in bed. She lazily pulled herself to sit on the edge of the bed, gazing blankly at the floorboards before she stood up and touched the curtain that automatically parted to greet the sunlight.

“Hyun??” She wandered around the labyrinth of corridors, pouting to see no sign of the owner of the place.

“Jennie, hello.”

She glanced over to hear a voice coming from the kitchen and behold the young lady she’s looking for stood behind the kitchen with a black and white stripped apron on.

“Hello” Jennie blush seared through her cheeks and for a minute she thought her face is on fire when she saw the young lady smile. She tried to hide it and come closer to see the amount of food on the table. “Wow, you cooked all these?”

“Yup” The young lady cracked an egg on the side of the pan and watched the gooeyness splat in the middle of the pan. “I made some waffles. There’s banana, strawberry, whipped cream and maple syrup if you want something sweet.” She pointed with the spatula at the table across the kitchen bench. “And if you’re craving something savoury, I cooked bacon and egg. You like scrambled eggs, right? I cooked some and put feta cheese and chives. I’m just cooking a sunny side up for myself. Oh, and there’s freshly squeezed orange juice in the fridge.” She flipped the egg and let it sizzle.

“Alright.” Jennie’s smile slipped, walking with a bounce in her step as navigate towards the table. The latter followed a few seconds after switching off the stove and they sat across each other. As they eat, Jennie hummed “nom nom nom” as a playful way to compliment the cook. “Wow these waffles are amazing.” She added on.

“I’m glad you like it.” Hyun, known by her fans as Soohyun, grinned in satisfaction and picked a piece of crispy bacon with the fork.

“So, how’s your catch up with Sejeong yesterday?” Jennie asked.

“I had a good time. We went to Everland Zootopia.” She replied as she munched her waffles.

“You haven’t been?” Jennie gasped, feeling quite disappointed not knowing such information. “You should’ve told me, so we could’ve gone together.”

Soohyun slightly chuckled watch her pout like a child, “It’s okay. Besides, she hasn’t been there too. Maybe next time we can go to Jeju Island or Busan.”

The group’s main rapper liked the idea as she nodded her head and continued eating. They talked about each other’s week and it turned out that Blackpink’s leader finally recovered from her withdrawal symptoms. Jennie on the other hand continues to work with Gentle Monster in promoting ‘Jentle Home’. The conversation lasted for an hour and they draw closer to a conclusion.

“Any plans for today?” Jennie inquired for jotting down that their leader is on break for a week.

“It is Chae’s first performance. I’m thinking of going there to support.” Soohyun frankly said, that spark a new spring bud of happiness, growing into Jennie’s heart.

“We should bring something as a thank you for the staff on taking good care of Rosé.” Jennie suggested but the leader cleared .

“I already organised a food pack for the staff.” Soohyun uttered, sounding confident that it is enough to show that they appreciate the staff ‘s hard work. Jennie offered to clean up and advised for Soohyun to get ready first.

“Nini.” Soohyun handed the last plate to the young lady washing the dishes. “You’re welcome to stay here whenever you like.”

Astounded, Jennie felt her heart flutter as Soohyun begins to open up and spends more time with her. “Can I stay in your room?” She jokingly said with the undertone of wishful thinking. The place has 3 bedrooms but the other girl, said “Even if you want to share the same bed, I won’t mind.”

“I’ll think about it.” Jennie answered freely and easily, but there’s a rush of oxytocin and dopamine as a surge of positive emotion filled her soul.

Meanwhile, at Blackpink’s dorm

“Done.” Lisa declared, raising her arms, perhaps in victory as she put a bottle of vitamin drink inside a box together with the other one’s they stuck a sticker of support for Rosé. The other girl who just finished packing the other boxes, looked at her work and gave Lisa a thumbs up.

“Let’s get going.” Jisoo stood up and told the manager that they are ready.

2 hours later, Mnet

Jisoo’s POV

Park Chaeyoung, a.k.a, Rosé has finally debut after a long battle of will and patience. Her hard work paid off as she charts. A lot of fans took her solo in a positive note. Thanks to our production crew in making this happen. I’m so excited for her that I specifically asked Manager Song to not booked me for any appointment. We have been supportive towards one another. I remembered that time they came to MBC to show their support when I got pick to be an emcee. And now, I’m returning the favour. Lisa and I bought some vitamin drinks to hand out to staff. It is just a small gesture, but we’re hoping it will show our sincerity. Our manager organised to pick us up at 9 am to have enough time to travel. As I hopped in, I saw bigger boxes that’s neatly stocked up at the back.

“What’s the boxes for?” I asked in plain nosiness. He stopped loading the boxes of drinks we prepared before and chuckled.

“Ah. Those are food packages.” He replied, removing his hat off and fixes it. “Soohyun is planning to give it to the staff as a support for Rosé. Actually, they are waiting for us.”

“They?” I inquired.

“Soohyun and Jennie. She spends the night at Soohyun’s” Manager Song frowned, scratching his head. “I don’t get you girls. You’re all acting weird these days, with all the moving here and there. Anyways, let’s go before we missed Rosé’s performance.”

Mixed with different emotions, my reaction is blatantly flat for I shouldn’t feel jealous about this. Nonetheless I’m drowning in quicksand; there’s nothing that could save me from this torment. For more than six months, I had no idea where Soohyun lives nor got any replies from her. I’m yearning to hear her voice and maybe help her since I’m aware of the things she’s doing to herself. We drove for another half an hour and stopped in front of a popular complex in Gangnam. As I peeked through the window, she’s there with Jennie, the last person I’d needed to see her with. Because every time I catch them two together, the difference between me and her is like a nice subject to be under the microscope – I cheated but she remained loyal.

Three weeks ago, ten in the morning

“Soohyun.”

My ex popped in front of the apartment. I tried to greet her, but she was in a hurry and brushed me aside. It is like taking a piece of me and stomping on it with a spike. I closed the door behind us and with no regard she marched to Jennie’s room. All I could do is cautiously observe her from a distance.

“Jennie?” She knocked at the door, and for a minute I wanted to drag her away from there, I’m not ready to see her move on and be with someone else. Despite Lisa’s effort to console me, I cannot lie that my heart is already set on Soohyun. Maybe I lust over Lisa but those two years with my ex are the best years I had with anyone. I didn’t only lose a lover but also a great friend. Now, the door opened and revealed a sick Jennie who kept on coughing. She looked greyish in complexion, her eyes half-opened and her lips cracked.

“You really shouldn’t have come, Chaeyoung is going to be late for her appointment.” Jennie sounded hoarse as she had a hard time swallowing. She has been sick since last night, but she continues to decline when I offer to help. Not that she must ask any help from me when she have our leader all worried.

“I just have to see that you’re alright. I bought some fruit and food. Make sure you eat and rest, okay?” She said while I spy on them, hiding behind a wall.

“I will. Go, before both of you get in trouble.” Jennie pleaded.

With just that, Soohyun said her goodbye. I remained where I am until she appears into view.

“Hyun.” I said in audacity, compelling her to glance at me and I met her icy stare. And there’s another crack. I’m not used to her being this cold, she was never this cold.

“Please don’t call me Hyun.” She frankly spews those words like we’re strangers. It seems like the higher I climb the further we fall apart. But I swallowed my pride and told her I want to have a word.

“Is this about work?” She sounded so stale; any precious memories become powerless against that one-night stand.

“Well, not--- really” I tried to buy more time only to be shut down.

“Jisoo, if this is not about work then I don’t have time for you.”

Those words left me in the cold. She has time for her but not for me. It is better if she erupted without warning and be angry or even hurt me physically. I’m willing to offer her anything to just to talk and put an end on this condemnation. Every night I dream of her and it always end on her disappearing; the worst so far, is the horror to see her catching me and Lisa red handed. This caused me to have sleepless nights and Lisa always lend a shoulder or put me in her arms. But Jennie’s threat and the constant display of Soohyun’s interaction with other girls are keeping me at bay, far from the freedom I’m craving for.

At Black Label Studio

Producer Teddy Park prearranged an appointment since my solo debut is scheduled after Rosé. The inspiration to be known for my skills and not just for my looks burns in me like fire. So out of all the songs Soohyun wrote, I picked the song I’m Not Just A Pretty Girl.

“You’re gonna need to channel the attitude” Teddy Park sat me down in his studio and talked me through the song. “This is who I am. I think Soohyun really thought of you when she wrote this song.”

A loud sigh escaped my lips as I slouched on the chair, feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. The original group’s producer spoke words of encouragement that I’ll be great, but it is the thought of Soohyun appreciating who I am that I’m burdened with.

Speaking of the devil, she showed herself while I’m recording that light up my mood. Expressionless, she sat there and watched. It is enough to make me happy, so I gave my best shot. However, after giving the song a once over, Lisa walked in and that’s about it. Soohyun deserted the place and I trailed after her. Then I scarcely had a second to even call her name when Somi and Sejeong turned up.

“Oh, she’s here.” I mumbled feeling my joints ache and my mind contemplate of hundred ways to make this girl suffer.

“Shocks Jisoo, let’s just go home.” Lisa grabbed my hand, but I yanked it from her because Sejeong’s hand is over my ex.

“No” I strongly said. Lisa was fighting back tears but I’m not backing out of this, so I stayed and can testify that our leader easily gave the song You are my celebrity to someone else. The devasting part of it was our CEO paid a quick visit and expressed that she’s pleased. It was so demoralizing since the boss kept praising Kim Sejeong.

“Considering it is Soohyun’s first activity outside the group, she did great.” Our CEO’s eyes glimmer in delight as she continued on. “And thank you for assisting her.”

The fact I know they are not related; Ms. Hwang does sound like a mother delighted to meet her daughter’s girlfriend. This makes me sick because it sounds so wrong yet painful to hear.

“Oh. It wasn’t hard to get along with Soohyun.” Sejeong smiled brightly that really got my knickers in a knot. “Thank you for giving me this chance. It is such an honour.”

“Don’t thank me.” Ms. Hwang turned to our leader and smiled. “Soohyun said you are a great singer. And she’s not wrong. Hope to you see around more. And you—” She then held Soohyun’s shoulder. “You’re learning. As an aspiring producer, this is a good start.”

After the boss left, Lisa and I had a talk, finding Ms. Hwang’s words bothersome. Is she really suggesting that Soohyun should discover more singers besides us? It is like our boss finally wanted to let her go like a mother eagle, proudly watching her eaglet fly away from its nest- our nest. Her group, Blackpink.

Two days after, at YG building

I got a call to meet with our CEO and discuss the drama I’m doing. The meeting took so long that I head down at the cafeteria to grab something to eat. Lining up, I saw few people around and to my far right is Soohyun, with two trays filled with food but haven’t touched anything. She’s tapping the table with her fingers, maybe she is not alone. I quickly ordered and saw this as an opportunity for us to talk, but as I stepped forward Chaeyoung gleefully sat beside her. I puffed my chest out and bravely walked to them, ignoring how adorable they look.

“Can I join you?” I stood there holding my tray, highly strung because they’re having a laugh. Soohyun glanced at me. But Chaeyoung come across weary and pained, I assumed it is because of my history with Soohyun.

“Of course.” Chaeyoung replied and I took the empty seat across them. Like usual, Chaeyoung and I talk about anything under the sun while Soohyun silently listens. I give heed to her actions and she has been eating well, especially with our main vocalist being persuasive. Rosé is a foodie, and it is infectious. They are more comfortable with one another to think that months ago, they barely talk.

“Chae, take this.” Soohyun said, giving the other girl a bottle of shikhe tea that she likes.

“I’ll see you after practise.” Chaeyoung grinned and it shouldn’t be an issue, but she blushed.

And even today...

“You can do this.” She touched Chaeyoung’s elbow. And automatically the solo artist twirls her hair using her fingers, grinning from cheek to cheek. Jealousy can fool anyone, and I should not let it eat me alive. Park Chaeyoung is straight even if she recently broke up with Jungkook. There’s no way she’ll bend that way. There’s a lot of people in the room so this is the only time Soohyun must treat me nicely. I walked to them and it is like sitting in a play.

“Thank you.” Chaeyoung returned the gesture, biting her finger in thought. “I’m hungry.”

Yep. She’s always hungry. Our leader instantly looked around and came back with grabbed a food pack. “Chae, here.”

My dear friend, pucker her lip, “But I want the waffles you cooked this morning.”

Now, what does that mean? First, Jennie spends the night in her place. Chaeyoung is now eating breakfast there too.

“Unbelievable” I snorted under my breath, but I think I said it too loud for them to glance at me.

“Problem?” Soohyun raised a brow that’s causing me to feel less and less part of her life.

My temper sparked and roared, “No problem. So, you cooked? and you?

So, I diverted my attention to the girl who grabbed the food pack and now avoiding my gaze, tapping her finger against the plastic container in her hands. I rolled my eyes and shakes my head, chuckling out of disbelief.

“She’s living with me. We had breakfast together.” Soohyun snarled at me. I felt a fresh swell of rage rising in me and stared brazenly into her eyes. That explains why they arrive and leave at the same time. I don’t expect Soohyun to be upfront with me but Chaeyoung would’ve mentioned something. I’m growing suspicious about these girls and I hate being kept off the loop.

Chaeyoung cleared , must be feeling the tens

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