I don’t really remember how that day passed. I was in a daze,thinking about my future. How on earth was I supposed to live with 7 boys in the same dorm?! It was unacceptable even for an European like me…and still…I couldn’t refuse.
I waited for evening to come. Time passed sooo slowly that at one moment I thought that the clock was broken. But then,there I was,standing in front of their house,with my luggage prepared in the rack.
“Kathleen,I don’t know for sure how will the boys accept this. So don’t get mad if they protest from the start. They will grow to accept it since is boss’s order.”
I heard him,but I couldn’t give him any answer since my voice was treathing with trembling.
“Let’s ring the door bell.”
The sound made me even more nervous. And then AJ’s face appeared on the intercom’s screen.
“Manager Park! A second please!”
The heavy door opened with a metallic sound. I followed my manager without a word, praying for not being rejected from the beginning.
“Annyeonghaseyo! What brings you here, manager Park?”asked leader Soohyun.
“Didn’t your manager call?”
“Ani. Did something happened?”asked Eli coming out from a room.
“Well…hmmm…how should I put this?”
I could clearly see that my manager was in trouble. Being a shy person, he found difficult to explain that I was going to live with them. So I spoke:
“I will be living with you from now on.”
Stunned. Shocked. Speechless. All of them were looking at me like I was a crazy lady.
“What a joke!laught Dongho, breaking the silence. How could a girl live with us? With 7 boys?”
“Com’ on! It wasn’t a good joke!”said Kevin.
“It’s not a joke, said my manager who was getting angry seeing how they were taking me as a fool. Manager Kim Min Ho said that Kathleen will be living with you guys in order to train herself to become an idol. She will be like your shadow, following you at every schedule!”
I could see their panic and their shock. There was no way that a girl like me could ever live with them! I became sad and therefore indifferent to what they were discussing.
“We understand. Kathleen, you’ll be spending the night here. I’m sorry,but we can not accept something like this without some good reason”said Soohyun with determination in his voice.
“I agree. But please don’t give me that crapy look, ’cuz it’s not my fault!”I replied with anger coming from my voice. “Manager Park, please leave my luggage in the car. I have what I need in these bag, so it’s not necessary to bring the other one in.”
“Ok. Boys, please be good to her. You will speak tomorrow with the boss, so don’t blame her for this idea, ok?”
And my manager left, closing the door behind him. And there I was, standing in front of 7 guys that were analyzing me from head to toe.
“Guys…guys…guys…we can not let her stand there,right? Kathleen,don’t take too seriously this impolite fellows, ’kay?”joked Kiseop while putting his arm on my shoulder. “How about eating something?”
“Hmmm…that would be nice…”I said with a small voice, trying to hide my stomach noise.
“Would you like some rice? Or noodles? Hahaha…I’m really sorry, but I don’t know what to give you since you’re a foreigner.”
“Hmm…some rice would be fine. Even if I’m a foreigner, I’m still a human being so your food couldn’t hurt me, right?”
“Right!”he agreed smiling back to me. “Here’s my laptop if you wanna check you mail or surf the net”he continued putting his black laptop on the table. “So you don’t get bored!”
He was really nice to me. Even if I was an intruder in their dorm, he was well mannered. I liked him!
“So you’re training to become a singer?”
“Cool! This would make me your sumbae, right?”he laught while preparing the meal. “It’s funny how other people come to Korea to become stars. It’s interesting how popular our country became…Guys, are you eating too?”
“Of course!”answered Eli oppa,who happened to be next the fridge. “Why wouldn’t we?”
“Don’t get it wrong! We don’t like the idea of her staying with us in the same dorm as us, but we don’t have anything with her”he explained seriously.
“Elison Kim,you know I can head you. Why do you keep talking about me as if I’m not in the same room as you?”I asked coldly. “I don’t know what to think about you anymore! You said you are against the idea of me staying here and that you don’t hold a grudge against me, right? So why are you treating me like an invisible person?!”I asked with tears in my eyes.
Before hearing his answer I ran outside, with tears running down my face.
It was late. And I was outside, in an unknown place, with now cell phone or money for taxi fare. What to do?
“Babo! You left like that almost in the middle of the night! Babo, babo, babo! Now how do you go back to the dorm when you don’t even know the street name?!”I murmured, speaking to myself.
I was trembling. My jacket was at home and outside a cold wind began to blow. Just perfect! As if my evening wasn’t dark enough!
I continued wondering, trying to find my way back to the dorm. I owed an apology to the members. I couldn’t behave like that with them even if they were hurting my feelings. They were the one that got their feelings hurt in the first place, when manager Kim sent me to their place.
I started to cry. I was feeling guilty, I was hungry and cold. I was afraid of the dark and strange people soon began to wonder in the streets.
I was walking down the street when I encountered a group of 4 or 5 boys.
“Hello, missy! Where to?”asked one of them. “Why don’t you join us?”
I ignored him. This was the worst. It was my reward for what I’ve dome earlier, huh?
“Hey, beautiful! Slow down! Were are you going? Didn’t I ask you to join us?!”
His hand on my shoulder… Good God! I was in deep trouble! I was scared, but somehow I managed to run away from them. But they were following close behind. Now what to do?! I was cursing the moment that I walked out the door…
Suddenly, someone grabbed my hand, pulling me in the dark. I tried screaming, but that person covered my mouth saying:
“Shut up if you want to escape alive from this!”
I listened to him with my tears running down on my cheeks. With this happening…what kind of life could I have?!
“Don’t cry! said the one who was holding me. It’s alright! I won’t do you any harm. So please, calm down!”
I listen to his voice carefully, trying to figure out his intentions.
“I’ll let you go if you promise not to scream,” he softly spoke close to my ear.
I nodded, accepting his condition. Somehow I felt that that person didn’t wish me any harm. Protective…
“You?!” I murmured, shocked.
“Annyeong,” he said smiling at me. “Stay still. They are still looking for you.”
“Let me go! I don’t need your help…”
“Shhh! Stupid girl! Do you want to be violated by those guys?! And why do you treat me like I’m some kind of smelly garbage?!”
This guy…!!! Holding me close to his chest and speaking to me in such a manner!!! His name…that was the moment that I remembered clearly his name…Hoon…
“I said LET ME GO!!!”
He pressed my face against his chest as the group was passing near the place were we were hiding.
“Kang, let it go. Who knows were she is now? Let’s go and have a drink!”
“Ya…you’re right. Let’s go, guys! The drinks are on me tonight!”
The group disappeared in the dark, leaving us in a storm of silence. But I didn’t realize the fact that those guys left. All I could feel was the warmth of Hoon’s chest. His beating heart under my fingers…his smell invading my senses…
“Yeoboseyo? Ah, AJ…yes. I found her. Right. We’ll be back in maximum half an hour. No. There’s no need to come. I know exactly were we are. Sure. See ya!”
Suddenly, I woke up to reality and struggled to escape his arms.
“Kathleen, that was AJ. All of them are searching desperately for you. Kiseop is alone in the center of the town looking for you. As for Kevin and Elison…I think they searched all around the neighborhood. Dongho stayed at home in case you return before us and Soohyun went to the agency to see if you went there. Everybody is looking for you,foolish kid. Next time don’t do foolish things like this.”
I glared at him, trembling from shock and cold.
“What’s wrong? Are you feeling unwell?”he asked touching my forehead to check if I had a fever.
“Here, you can have my jacket.”
“No. You’ll catch a cold!”
“Shhh! Tonight, you’re more important than my health,” he said smiling while forcing me to wear his black jacket.
For Pete’s sake! Why was I feeling so strange?
We walked in silence for about half an hour until we reached the dorm. The other 6 were waiting impatiently in the front of the building. When they saw us approaching, they ran to us.
“Kathleen, are you ok?asked Soohyun with a worried voice.”
“Ya…are you? I’m really sorry for my behavior. Jeongmal mianhada!”said Eli oppa looking at me with his beautiful eyes.
At that moment I fell. My feet weren’t strong enough to sustain all the shock and the guilt. And the tears…my tears were expressing what words couldn’t.
“Everyone, I’m sorry! Jeongmal mianhada! It’s all my fault! If I hadn’t been so childish all this wouldn’t happen! You were right. A girl like me shouldn’t live with you guys. I’m sorry for even thinking that I could stay with you! Please overlook tonight’s episode!”I said taking a bow before them.
“Kathleen! How can you be like this?!” exploded Kiseop. “You were going to turn your back to us and leave, right? Why don’t you listen to us before you go?”
“What is there more to say?! I already know your opinion about all this crap! No need to hear it again…so goodbye!”
I turned around, prepared to walk away when I realized that I was still wearing Hoon’s jacket. Sighing, I took off the coat and returned it to it’s rightful owner.
“Thank you…for saving my life…for everything…”
Again, I was ready to leave, when Hoon grabbed my hand, pulling me after him into the building.
“Wha…?! Wwwhat are you doing?!”
The boys were following close behind. In less than 30 seconds we entered the dorm. Only there he released my hand.
“Now listen here, Kathleen! We discussed all this issue and we concluded that it will be fun having you around. We all agreed to you staying here with us. So, no going back now…”said Soohyun seriously.
“Wha…?! What are you saying? You would like me to stay with you…?”I asked amazed.
“We would like that very much!”confirmed Kevin addressing me his angelic smile.
“Nononono! Don’t cry!” panicked Kiseop while giving me a brotherly hug. “Haven’t I told you that this guys are not so bad?” he said softly in my ear.
I nodded, smiling shyly.
When Kiseop retreated himself, Hoon approached holding his jacket.
“Here. You can have it.” he said while putting it around my shoulders. “Welcome to U-Kiss’s dorm!” he softly murmured in my ear, making me causing me to turn red to the top of my ears.
I watched as they bobbed around me, trying to make me feel like home.
“We’ve got a problem.”suddenly said Dongho. “Where will Kathleen sleep? ‘Cuz I won’t give her my bed…”
“Dongho! Don’t speak like that! And nobody asked you to give her your bed!”said Kevin frowning. “But guys, he’s right.”
“We will somehow manage. Don’t worry!”said Elison smiling. “If it’s so troublesome, I’m willing to give up my bed.”
“No. It’s not necessary,”I said. “I can sleep here, on the sofa.”
“No, you can’t,”said AJ. “You have the same rights as us, since you’re a member of U-Kiss.”
“He’s right! I know!”said Kiseop. “How about we all sleep here? We’ll use the sleeping bags that we bought last month.”
“I’m ok. How about you guys?”asked Soohyun.
They all agreed and Elison left with AJ to bring in the sleeping bags from the garage. Even if I insisted to sleep on the floor, like them, they forced me to sleep on the couch.
“Goodnight,Kathleen!”they said in one voice before turning off the light.