“Hmm.” Jiwon responded with an unlighted cigarette in his mouth.
“What if….” Suwon said slowly and carefully, “What if I know where Sunghoon is right now?”
“Tsk.” Jiwon let out bitter laugh and lighted his cigarette, “And you will give me wrong information again. I remember how I rushed to Guilin and when I arrived, there’s no one there who knows who Sunghoon is.”
Suwon looked down and said, “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t know my informant would give me wrong information. Are you mad at me because you lost your brand new Benz to pay for that information? Only to find out that it’s wrong?”
“The fact that the informant deceived me makes me mad, Suwon. I’ve been thinking of cutting our friendship, but if I do that, who will hear my repeated dream story?”
Suwon said frustrated, “Hyung. I guarantee 100%. Sunghoon is in Japan now.”
“I don’t want to hear that, Suwon.”
“Sunghoon told me, he would run away to France, USA and Singapore. Not Japan.”
“Hyung! Why are you not listening?! This is true!”
“Who says it is true?” Jiwon tried to not exploded, “Have you gone to Japan and meet Sunghoon there?”
“Well, I didn’t do that.”
“So, that rumor is considered false!”
“Hyung! I swear! Someone saw Sunghoon in Saitama Station a couple of weeks ago!”
“Who is someone? Jaejin? Jaeduk? Jiyong? Danny? Chilhyun?”
“Not them, but I swear it’s Sunghoon!” Suwon insisted.
“I won’t believe it unless one of them saw Sunghoon.”
“Suwon-ah.” said Jiwon as he suddenly threw the cigarette butt and patted his shoulder, “Just…let’s get back to the work, okay? I have tons of papers to review. We’ll have time to discuss the possibility of Sunghoon in Japan in the future, okay?”
Suwon tried to talk back, but Jiwon’s bitter smile made him stop. He followed Jiwon back to their office dejected.
Jaejin looked so excited when Jiwon and Suwon came back. He waited until Jiwon sat on his desk and whispered to Suwon beside him, “So?”
“He doesn’t believe the recent rumor.”
“Because it was not us who saw Sunghoon.”
“What a childish thought!” Jaejin whispered frustrated, “But my cousin really saw him!”
“Yes, I know hyung. My girlfriend said she saw Sunghoon in the same area where your cousin saw him.” Suwon sighed. “Just wait until he dreams again tonight. He’ll be rushing to Japan because the recent rumor is true.”
“Jaejin-ah! Please come here. I need your help.” Jiwon asked.
Jaejin smiles to Suwon and cheers him, “it’s okay Suwon. He will regret it because he didn’t listen to you.” And yelled to Jiwon “I’m coming hyung!”
AFTER GRADUATION PARTY, YG ACADEMY, 1999
“Is it true that hyung will be going to France?”
Jiwon tried hard to stay calm, but his heart hurts whenever someone talks about France, “It is true.”
“You’re bad hyung! I thought we are best friends but I’m the only one who didn’t know you are going to France!”
“Sorry.” Jiwon said and ruffled Sunghoon’s hair, “I didn’t know how to tell you about my short course in Paris.”
Sunghoon moved Jiwon’s hand from his hair and hugged Jiwon, “I’ll miss you a lot, hyung.”
“Sunghoon-ah, we can still phone each other! Plus, I’ll be back one day after your graduation!”
Sunghoon broke their hugs and gave Jiwon the most bitter smile he’d ever given him.
“Hyung! Hyung!” Suwon tapped Jiwon shoulder, “Are you okay?”
Jiwon opened his eyes, and momentarily looked confused. He took a deep breath before answering Suwon’s question, “I guess I’m okay.”
Suwon sighed and asked, “You dreamt about Sunghoon again?”
“Yes. But it’s strange.” Jiwon said as he pulled his hair frustrated, “Usually my dreams about him is in chronological order. From the moment I asked him to join the boygroup until the last moment I saw him. Just now, I was dreaming about the last moment I saw him but yesterday I dreamt about asking him to join the boygroup.”
Suwon sat on Jiwon’s desk and said, “Hyung, listen. It’s just my stupid assumption, but I think Sunghoon is giving you hints about the rumor I mentioned before.”
“About Sunghoon in Japan?”
“Maybe he’s not Kang Sunghoon, Suwon-ah, maybe he’s Choo Sunghoon!”
“What the hell is that?! Bad joke hyung. I’m deadly serious, Kang Sunghoon is somewhere in Japan!”
“Why are you so stubborn about this?”
“Because I don’t want to see hyung cry while sleeping!”
Jiwon freezes for a moment. Did Suwon see him cry when he accidentally fell asleep ten minutes ago? Jiwon knows how bad the effect of Sunghoon missing is. Sunghoon’s missing case turned Jiwon into a crazy man who would do anything to find Sunghoon.
“I’m sorry hyung, I can’t hold it anymore. I know you always cry in your sleep and the reason you built this company, hiring me and Jaejin, is so you can go to wherever Sunghoon might be.” Jiwon smiled at Suwon who looked so apologetic and said, “It’s okay Suwon. That is a fact.” Clover Travel Agent, is one of the biggest travel agent in South Korea. Jiwon worked as a marketing staff in this company. Seeing the existing business opportunities, Jiwon proposed to the CEO, to make a brand new travel package that other travel agent don’t have. The famous Clover’s travel package is a customized travel package so you can have an itinerary same like the famous travel blogger, Sandara Park. Jiwon also made an innovation which he visited unknown tourist spots, and recommended it to other travel bloggers who love to visit unknown tourist destinations. With that innovation, Jiwon made Clover Travel Agent as the biggest travel agent in South Korea. Then he begged Suwon, who was successful as a food blogger after he graduated from cooking academy, to join Clover and help Jiwon make a travel package which includes famous tourist spots and restaurants.
When Suwon joined the company, he suggested to Jiwon to recruit Jaejin, because Jaejin knows how to take good photos. After Jaejin and Jiwon made another travel package for those who love photography, it made Clover the No.1 searched travel agent in South Korea.
“Just take a rest for tonight hyung. You look so pale.”
“That’s a good idea. Jiyong is still doing his research and until he finishes it, I can’t do anything.”
Suwon waited for Jiwon to tidy up his desk before leaving and said “Let’s go. I’ll drive you to Yeouido tonight.”
YG ACADEMY, FEBRUARY 1998
“Just talk to Sunghoon-ssi after he cleans up this mess.”
“But…Ms. Park told me that Sunghoon must go to the headmaster’s room as soon as possible.”
“You’re not lying, are you?”
“Miss, I swear I’m not lying. Go ask Ms. Park if you do not believe me.”
“Jiwon-ssi” said Ms. Shin curiously, “She didn’t ask Sunghoon to join the boygroup, right?”
Jiwon looked a bit surprised and asked back, “Umm. I guess you know Ms. Park’s plan for the summer festival?”
“Of course I know. She asked Mr. Yang to compose some songs for that plan since December.” Ms. Shin tried hard not to roll her eyes and sighed, “Okay then. Sunghoon can go with you but please tell her that Sunghoon just caused another trouble in the chemistry laboratory.”
“I will. Thank you Miss.”
“Kang Sunghoon!” Mrs. Shin called Sunghoon who is still busy cleaning the fume hood, “Ms. Park is calling for you!”
Sunghoon seemed surprised because not long after Mrs. Shin finished her sentence, Sunghoon broke an Erlenmeyer flask and answered, “O-okay Miss.”
“Just leave the Erlenmeyer flask. The laboratory assistant will clean the mess after you leave.”
Sunghoon came out from the laboratory and followed Jiwon to the headmaster’s room, and quietly asked, “Why did Ms. Park call for me?”
“My name is Jiwon, and I’m older than you, so you must call me Jiwon hyung.” Jiwon said strictly and led Sunghoon to the student council room. He waited for Sunghoon to enter the room and locked the door.
“Listen, I need your help.” Jiwon said and looked into Sunghoon’s eyes, tried to convince him, “My aunt will ask you to join a boyband project and I hope you’ll help me by rejecting the offer.”
“Me? Boyband? Your aunt? I don’t understand.”
Jiwon sighed and explained, “My aunt is our headmaster, Ms. Park. She wants to make a boyband performance on Summer Festival. The boyband will be consisting of YG Academy’s high school students. The very first member is me and I hate this idea, so I hope you will reject this offer so that she will stop this project.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Why did she choose you? And me? I don’t have any interest in music.”
“She chose me because she loves my rap. And she chose you because it’s a waste seeing you choose to become a chemist instead of a singer. She said that your voice is above the average person.”
“Ah…” Sunghoon seems to understand Jiwon’s explanation, “Okay. I’ll help you then.
Becoming a singer is nonsense.”
“Then let’s go to the headmaster’s room.” Jiwon unlocked the door and led Sunghoon to the headmaster’s room.
Jiwon and Sunghoon didn’t know that Danny heard their entire conversation. Danny smiled and said to himself, “Ms. Park’s prediction is true. But Jiwon is still losing anyway. Ms. Park dangled her trump card under Jiwon’s nose.”
“YOU SAID YOU’LL HELP ME!!”
“I know, hyung, I know.” Sunghoon said repeatedly, tried to make Jiwon calm down, “But I need those reference letters if I want to continue my study at MIT!”
“BOY, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND…..”
“Hyung, really, I know what you are feeling right now. We both didn’t have any confidence to show our talents in music, but trust me. I’ll make it work.”
Jiwon is still angry. He tried to calm down by looking out the window. When he felt his anger subside, he said, “You really want to become a chemist then.”
“Yes. And I’m really sorry. I’ll do everything until you stop being mad at me.”
“So….basically he is your slave?” Myeonghoon whispered to Jiwon, “He follows you everywhere!”
“First, he is not my slave. Second, he follows me because we were told to do so.”
“You accepted Ms. Park’s idea? Whoa. This is new.”
Jiwon gave Myeonghoon a bitter laugh and replied, “I just don’t want someone’s dream shattered because of me.”
Sunghoon knocked on Jiwon’s classroom door, “I’m sorry but I think I need to talk to Jiwon hyung.”
Jiwon got up from his chair, and said, “Wae, Hoon-ah?”
“I think I found Jaejin hyung….”
Jiwon scratched his head first, “Okay then. Let’s go.”
Sunghoon led him to the rooftop. Before he opened the door, he turned and said, “Actually, I’m scared right now. Danny hyung gave me Jaejin hyung’s personal information and he warned me that Jaejin hyung is strange.”
Sunghoon looked around the stairs, making sure that no one else is on the stairs except him and Jiwon.
“Jaejin hyung loves to draw while he is topless.” Sunghoon shivered and said, “He’s really like a perverted person!”
Jiwon laughed and said, “Maybe his brain works well when he is topless.”
“If…if Jaejin hyung starts to act like a pervert…ummm can you please protect me?”
“Huh?” Jiwon asked back, “Hoon-ah, He is a normal person!”
“Just…in case.” Sunghoon pleaded, “Pleeeeeeease”
“Okay…okay…Now, let’s just meet him first and I’ll protect you later!”
“Well, well, well, it looks like I have guests.” said Jaejin, who suddenly threw the door wide open.
Jiwon massaged his temples. He’s dizzy after suddenly waking up like that. He looked at the clock and realized that he is at the office and fell asleep again. Just like yesterday. He looked around, trying to find a reason as to why he suddenly woke up.
“Eun Jiwon hyung, did you hear me?” Jaejin yelled. His voice must be the reason.
“Hear what?” Jiwon still massaging his temple. He went over to Jaejin’s chair. “Sorry, I’m just thinking about Jaedukie’s review about a Vietnam restaurant at Chungdam.”
“Just say sorry to us, me and Suwon, right now.”
“For not believing me and Suwon that Sunghoon is in Japan.” Jaejin said while grinning.
“I don’t under…”
Jaejin threw the research report from Jiyong to his table and stood up, “Go there and you will know why Suwon and I insisted that Sunghoon is in Japan.”
SURVEY RESULT: 95% CHOOSE SAITAMA AS A FAVORITE PLACE FOR 2018 SUMMER VACATION