Chapter Two

I Is For Irony

Kim Tae Hee sat before her laptop and sighed.  Hopefully, this would work.  Hopefully, they wouldn’t be able to block her UFO message to Jaejoong.  But as she had learned long ago, hoping didn’t do anything.  She had hoped so many times and nothing had happened.  So she had given up.

 

This was the last straw.

If this message couldn’t get through, she’d take it as a sign and withdraw.

 

“Please let this get through...” she murmured.

 

She hit “ENTER” on the keyboard and a window popped up.

 

 

 

Hoping had failed her once again.

 

 

Her beeper vibrated, and she groaned.

 

Today was supposed to be her day off.  And yet, the hospital wanted her back to help out---again.  Today was her eighth attempt at having a day off.  And apparently, she still wasn’t succeeding.

 

 

She turned the laptop off, failing to continue reading the pop-up announcement: DBSK CONFIRMED AT HOLLYWOOD BOWL. 

 

*****

 

Tae Hee slipped on a white coat and slipped a stethoscope around her neck.  It was time for work again.  She headed towards the emergency rooms.

 

“What’s this?  The seventh time you had to come in on a day-off?” her fellow colleague and former classmate, Laura, asked. 

 

During college and med school and all that good stuff, they had been roommates.  Perhaps a bit clumsy at times [which could be rather dangerous for the patient], Laura Choi was extremely dedicated---which made up for her few flaws.  Ever since Tae Hee had moved from Korea to America, Laura had been her best and first friend.  She had helped soothe Tae Hee’s homesickness.

 

“Eighth, actually.  Don’t you just hate residency?” Tae Hee smiled.

 

 

“Have you heard the news?” Laura continued as she ran through a clipboard of information.

 

“What news?” she asked, dittoing Laura’s actions.

 

“That annual Korean concert...They call it Hollywood Bowl?”

 

She shrugged.  “Yeah, what about it?”

 

“Your boyfriend is going to perform.”

 

 

 

Tae Hee’s pen dropped to the ground.

 

She was still for a fleeting moment.

 

 

And then she regained her aplomb.  “Oh really?  How many times have I told you?  We’re not dating anymore.”

 

“Why?  You broke up with him?”

 

“No.  We just...lost it, I guess you could say.”  They really had lost their connection.  Why didn't he ever reply to her?

 

“But he sent you forget-me-nots!”

 

Tae Hee bit her tongue; her eyes turned slightly red.  It was any moment now; she was going to break down.  But with a scoff, she commented, “I can send you forget-me-nots too.  Want me to order some right now?”

 

 

After some hesitation, Laura asked cautiously, “So are you going to go?”

 

Tae Hee gave her a sarcastic glance.  “Do you REALLY think I can?  After all, I’ve always been piled with work.”

 

“Maybe just this once...”

 

“Please, Laura.  I can’t.”

 

 

 

But work was just an excuse.  She couldn’t go.  She couldn’t give herself another hope...because she knew she would just be turned away.  Every single letter she wrote for the past three years had been unanswered.  At first she had told herself he was just too busy.  But three years was adequate time for him to answer at least once.  And when she discovered UFO Town, she had also found out that the site wouldn’t allow her to post...even though she tried every single day AND had had all the necessary information.  The administrators were somehow able to block her.  In short, DBSK had seemed to disappear from her grasp forever.  Was it their doing?  Was it their company’s doing?  She didn’t know.  But today had been her last hope.  And obviously, it hadn’t been successful.

 

 

But even then, she knew she still wanted to go.

 

 

“Should I buy a ticket?” Tae Hee murmured to herself.  Four years.  It had been four years.  And she was still so indecisive regarding their relationship.

 

 

Tae Hee turned around and walked straight into a wall.  She really needed a break.  A break from the hospital.  A break from work.  But more importantly, a break from this love complex.  She shook her head and walked out of the room.

 

Laura watched her from a distance.  Poor Tae Hee, she thought.  Tae Hee really needed to go to that concert and settle things for good.  And she would have to go along, to make sure it happened.

 

 

She looked at the numbers in her hand and dialed.

 

“Hello?  Hi.  Yes I would like to purchase two tickets for the concert... And is there any way we can get backstage passes?  Ah yes, okay.  Thank you.  I’ll pay and pick them up after work.”

 

*****

 

“Tae Hee, I have a surprise for you!” Laura exclaimed the next day.

 

“Eh?”

 

 

She shoved the tickets in her face.  “I GOT US TICKETS!”

 

Tae Hee frowned.  Why did Laura have to do this?

 

As if reading her mind, Laura continued, “You can’t turn me down.  I paid 500 dollars per ticket so we could get backstage passes.”

 

Tae Hee’s jaw dropped. 

 

 

“Don’t turn this down.  Please, I’m begging you.  You don’t know how much you’ve changed over the years...all because of this man.  I just want you to move on with life.”

 

Was Laura telling the truth?  Had she really changed?  Was it so drastic that Laura, who was usually so frugal, would fork up a thousand dollars?  And all because of Kim Jaejoong?

 

 

She reached her hand out, hesitating, to touch the tickets.  The paper brushed against her fingertips, and she breathed.  For the sake of those around her, she was going to settle this once and for all.

 

 

She whispered nervously, “I’m going to go.”

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