Airi was anticipating that there was another girl that she was going to be introduced to. Airi was sure that she was going to fight trying to cry in front of that other person. She was trying to brace herself that any chance she had in the past to tell Gikwang how much she loved him would go out the window today. The person she admired most, the person she had a crush on and was the only one able to make her heart feel something, was going to admit to her he had liked someone for a long time and wanted her to know who it was. That was the impression she was getting from him. After all, from all this time they had not speaking, how could she not think that was what was coming. At the same time, she could understand it too as her idol status before made it really hard to date. Now that she graduated, she had much more freedom in her contract but for Gikwang that would have been considered too late. Airi felt so shy, especially from seeing the way that Gikwang was distancing himself from her. It was making her lose her nerve to say something when she wanted to be able to admit how she felt. For a long time as an idol she was quite naïve about love, and she wouldn’t have the time for it.
She also worried that since she was Japanese it was going to be hard to date someone who wasn’t Japanese since that required commuting a lot in order to date. Airi couldn’t hold herself back from telling him how she truly felt. She loved him for as long as she met him, how could she miss the chance to let him know that she loved him too and just as much as he did. Airi looked up at him as he eventually turned around from her back hug. She felt his chin on her head as she rubbed his back softly as she glanced over to the sea. Hearing his sweet words, she looked up into his eyes, smiling at him. ‘’I’m really happy because you know how I feel finally..’’ She placed her hands on his cheeks. ‘’It’s okay..I was a coward as well and should have just told you I loved you. I was really scared since we do have a big of an age gap and I also thought I wasn’t good enough at times. You are really handsome while I am cutesier, so I wondered if I would even be your type sometimes. Plus, when I was getting to know you, you had a rough personality which was a charm but made me worry I would annoy you a lot.’’ She pouted in a cute way as she looked at him. ‘’Babo, making me wait and wonder what was going on in that mind of yours!’’
She shook her head. ‘’You don’t have to thank me. I love you as much as you love me. We both feel the same and that’s all I could have ever hoped for.’’ Airi thought about the past and nodded. ‘’Not really bad mouthed but the fame got to your head sometimes. I understood I was not learning to dance quick enough to your pace and I was being slow, clumsy and making you mess up too which you hated.’’ Airi stuck out her tongue playfully. ‘’I have to practice harder in dancing, but as an idol it’s a lot easier to make up for dancing than it is for singing, at least in Japan. I was making you frown a lot, so seeing you frown the way you did made me want to work hard in order to earn a smile from you, at least just one.’’ She stared into his eyes, shaking her head. ‘’I should be the one that’s sorry. I gave you a headache too much at times.’’ Airi hugged him softly as she heard his instruction to close her eyes. The Japanese idol looked at him one more time and nodded. ‘’Okay.’’ She closed her eyes, unsure of what was going to happen. She was still an innocent type of woman, so she wasn’t sure what he was going to do in that moment.
Their slight height difference usually made her laugh since she wasn’t able to stretch as high as she would like to get on his level, he was the one that had to do it. Feeling his hands against her cheeks she smiled a little as she was feeling his sudden surge of warmth. It was a rather cold evening near the beach side but feeling his warm hands against her cheeks was very soothing. Feeling his lips against hers caught her off guard but in a good way. She wasn’t sure what to do as their lips touched, which made her feel a bit bad since it was going to be obvious to him, she had no real experience. He was her very first boyfriend and the only man in her life that got a kiss from her. Even though she was singing love songs or even performing sexy dances, she showed some obvious signs that she was still the pure girl he knew and loved. Airi slowly opened her eyes and looked at him as he was apologizing. ‘’You don’t have to say sorry..you are my boyfriend now..you are allowed to do that you know..’’ She felt him let go of her and heard his words. ‘’Do you realize how handsome you are Lee Gikwang? I was positive if you were being so distant it was from having a girlfriend! I got so sad and upset since I wasn’t prepared to meet her. I didn’t want to meet her either.’’
Airi looked into eyes, hearing his words. ‘’I was born into a wealthy family from having two hard working parents, I would not need a rich guy and for me no guy was ever going to be as good looking or good enough because I love the Korean idol that stole my heart with his talent, his cold personality and handsome looks. It’s silly but I know I’m only drawn to you but I worried since I didn’t think I was a good match because of the way you look. I thought maybe I didn’t deserve you because I was too innocent and not cute enough and that you would find a female that was cute enough. I was being childish a lot with that thinking being young so now..being a woman I can only think well I lack in a lot of things, I guess I will just have to win him over with my feelings and showing him how much I like him. Since I do love you a lot and I think that is what should matter most.’’ She rubbed his cheek in an affectionate way. ‘’You are being jealous must have been the cutest thing to watch, I am a little sad I didn’t get to see you act jealous. I won’t make you jealous, well I won’t try to anyway.’’ Feeling him ruffle her hair she giggled softly. ‘’I love you Lee Gikwang, I will never love anyone else so please try to remember that when you get jealous, so if I see you being jealous, I will just think you are being really cutesy and kiss you. I also get really jealous too.’’
Airi felt his jacket being wrapped around her shoulders as she rubbed his back lightly since she knew he might get cold. ‘’It is a bit late but that’s okay. No one is here to see us. I don’t want your fans getting angry. I think that is my biggest concern. You want to take me home? Thank you.’’ She started eating some of the strawberry pocky he brought before feeding him one. ‘’You know..now that I’m not exactly with up front agency anymore..what I do with my life as long as it’s not illegal won’t matter to the company as much as it did. I don’t have a restriction in dating anymore as I did..especially since all the members of C-ute all wanted to quit from those restrictions and start having a life of their own. Some were getting sick of the constant activities.’’
Airi felt so nervous even though she met with Gikwang a lot. Somehow this seemed different since the two were full-fledged adults. She was sure that her slight age gap with Gikwang would always be a problem between the two of them. Airi was a young teenager who saw Gikwang as this idol she could never get close to. Hearing her company tell her they would collaborate with B2ST she did her best not to freak out. She was thinking like a fan and not the fangirl that she was. There were so many things she wanted to question him and even ask for his autograph, but she felt like that was a burden as he was still a human being. She had much more experience than he did but she acted like an ordinary girl around him which would make people wonder why that was. Now she was in a moment with him where she really could lose him forever. Airi would lose the one person she idealized with all her heart. The person that made her be motivated to always do her best and improve in dancing. She recalled the times where Gikwang wanted to murder her for having two left feet. Airi could only smile when he heard him speak about the Ribbon song.
‘’It’s a really beautiful song. I also really liked your most recent debut song ‘What you like’ too. I really liked the dance and thought you really displayed your vocals well. ‘’ She was content seeing him eat the strawberries covered in chocolate that she brought. ‘’They were a little expensive but that’s okay. I really love strawberries and don’t mind paying for them. You know they are my favorite fruit.’’ She drank some of the peach water he brought. ‘’You must really notice the things I drink huh? No one knows I like peach flavored water.’’ She immediately giggled at his reaction to the ramune bottle. ‘’Kawaii ne. You still haven’t learned how to open it huh? It’s a charm really...Koreans don’t make it complicated to open the bottle, but I think it’s quite fun to have to push the marble down in the bottle. It’s useful too since the marble depending on how you tip it prevents soda from spilling in case you knock it over by mistake.’’ Airi opened the plastic part of the bottle and pushed out the plastic plunger piece with one hand she then put the plastic plunger on top of the bottle. ‘’I can never laugh when you struggle to open it since you observe what little strength I have.’’
Airi applied pressure to the bottle, it was no different that her strength didn’t change much as it took her a couple seconds of pushing to finally get plunger to push against the marble successfully. ‘’Takes me forever to push it down myself but here we go!’’ She gave the opened strawberry ramune soda to Gikwang. Airi looked at Gikwang as she bit her lip. ‘’Of course we are friends, that wouldn’t change.’’ At least this was what she could tell him. Him having a girlfriend would make it hard for her to be his friend because he would be spending more time with his significant other that he would forget their years of friendship. Airi would also be too heartbroken to gain any courage if she knew Gikwang had romantic feelings for someone else. Airi looked at Gikwang as he was becoming quiet which wasn’t like him at all. When her Korean idol did start to speak it started to sound..different? It was like he was speaking in a language she didn’t seem to get. He was mentioning how he was lying to keep their friendship which only caused her to worry.
‘’We do know each other for a long time..you don’t need to hide something from me..I would hope with how long we have been friends we can share our struggles and secrets to each other. I could never judge or be mad at you for being honest with me..’’ Airi wanted to reach over to him but he took some steps and kept his back to her. Hearing his sudden confession, the solo artist looked at him with a shocked expression on her face. She did not know what to say.Watching him kneel down in front of her and caress her cheek the way he did. She placed her hand ontop of his. ‘’Gikwang-kun..I am in love with you. I have been in love with you since you came into my life. I’ve been trying to close the distance between us..I was hoping to graduate from C-ute someday so that I could just be able to take breaks from my work when I want to and focus on things that are really important to me. The most important thing..seeing the one I love most. I always hated the distance between us..and also didn’t love the language barrier we had at times so I worked hard to learn Korean so that you wouldn’t have to force yourself so hard in Japanese. In the beginning I also had my doubts on telling you anything since you are and always will be the most handsome guy to me. I thought how could someone be that perfect with that rude personality that only makes me like him more? You were mean to me and I deserved it.''
''I realized that in front of me was a guy who had a passion for performing like me, but gave me the vibe he was also really lonely..he only had his bandmates..I wanted to be able to make your days better by making you smile because at a glance someone could assume you have everything but you don’t have someone to make your heart happy. I wanted to work for earning a smile from the famous Lee Gikwang.’’ She held his hand lightly that caressed her cheek. ‘’I love you..I wish you told me much sooner than this so I could have saved myself from almost crying thinking that you were about to tell me you had a girlfriend and were trying to warm me up to being introduced to her..’’ Seeing him pull away she pouted a bit. ‘’Baka..maybe in a drama you could see rejection but this is me you are talking to..the girl who turned into a woman and has loved you for a very long time..’’ She hugged him from behind softly as her small frame pushed up against his muscular back, securing her arms around him. ‘’There’s no turning back now.’’ Airi rested her head lightly on his backside. ‘’It’s moments like these where I wish I wore those stupid high heels that hurt a lot so I could kiss my boyfriend’s cheek at least.’’
Reina thinking about the past was a painful scar she could not erase with an eraser. Not even the liquid of white-out could be saved her from erasing such a tragic memory. The alcohol was making her emotional as she rubbed her eye a bit. Yonghwa seeing her like this, if he were the Yonghwa of her past she might have wanted to punch him and slap him.
''Sorry you are seeing me like this.. there were so many moments he made me feel worthless and smaller than yen. I think it was foolish to like my best friend but I did so I wanted to find a way to stop my feelings so that I wouldn't have to lose him. His friendship, seeing his cheerful smiles, being able to support his dreams and be by his side was much more important than my feelings. I thought he deserved the universe because he was my best friend and made me feel at home in a place that really didn't feel like my home at times because at least in a place where I felt scared he was there and made me feel like I wasn't alone. He made me like him more than a best friend than he realized but in my heart, I felt like I knew his answer would be no if I told him how I felt.'' She looked at Yonghwa. ''So whatever you may have heard..it must not have been true. Yonghwa used to be my best friend and what he said to me hurt my pride as a girl so I pushed his face in Jonghyun's birthday cake because he broke me..wouldn't he deserve that? Everyone laughed at me because of what he said and I had to transfer schools being in the same class as he would make me want to strangle him..he got the last laugh because I cried and his words stayed in my mind to haunt me. That jerk must be proud that I think twice in my head if I should eat these days..and if I did I would run till I pass out because the last thing I want is that punk seeing me now and calling me fat. That's my side of the story..who knows what that jerk tells people..but I do understand Korean fluently, I choose not to speak it because it gives me stress so don't assume that if I am not speaking that I don't understand you because I do..''
No woman wanted to look fat in front of a guy they liked. The Yonghwa she knew called her fat, maybe because she was so angry she didn't want to believe any guy with the name Yonghwa was in fact him. Reina cared about her best friend and loved him but chose not to ruin their friendship with her feelings. She did not know how he felt but knew she didn't want to lose him but she lost him anyway. Reina was so drunk she struggled standing still without tipping over to fall. Yonghwa had sent her off as she told the taxi driver her hotel she was staying at. She rested, not really thinking what she said was bad. The intoxicated state caused Reina to express her inner thoughts that were things that were build up from stress.
Reina's mind went blank after that since somehow she made her way to the hotel room and slept soundly. She could assume some hotel staff members helped her to her room and didn't dare to mess with her as she had a reputation of being a tough girl. Reina heard her alarm and got up, her eye twitching. ''That sake...my manager is going to pay for making me drunk..'' She took a cold shower to be less hungover. Reina got dressed in dark pink sweatpants and matching hoodie that had cat ears on the hood. Reina looked in the mirror. ''If it weren't for looking like a kid I would look like an old hag thanks to that alcohol.'' Opening up her makeup bag she worked on getting makeup on her face and circle lens contacts into her eyes. Grabbing her style comb she put half her hair in a ponytail.She left the hotel room and arrived at the FNC company on time as usual.
She looked at Jungshin and gave him some Korean snacks as a way to have a truce between them. Jungshin was two years younger than her so she had to be a good noona and try not to beat him up too much. Reina noticed Yonghwa wasn't there to lead the practice session so she looked at Jonghyun like a lost kitty. ''I guess you are teaching me today..'' Grabbing the beginning chair she sat in a chair as she observed Jonghyun's fingers as they played some notes on the guitar. Despite being brand new to the guitar she was able to feel the rhythm and follow along even if she didn't completely understand. For the two hours, Reina followed Jonghyun's instruction since he also played the guitar.
She heard him try to speak in Japanese as she lightly waved her hand as a way to let him know it was okay to speak his Korean language. Reina listened to his Korean, nodding in a way to tell him she understood as she tried positioning her fingers correctly on the guitar like Jonghyun was and was a string off on strumming the guitar. Hearing the word sound caused her to laugh as she smiled a rare sight to say as she was laughing at the mistake she did. Her head turned to notice Yonghwa who showed up two hours late who looked like he was hungover and didn't sleep much. When his eyes searched for her she locked eyes with him, looking at him in a way like she was wondering if he was okay. She yawned a little bit before noticing that he was avoiding her gaze for a while. Reina thinking that was meaning he wanted to be alone she turned her attention back towards Jonghyun.
Airi was feeling nervous that she could not bring herself to look at her phone again. The makeup stylist was straight and to the point since Airi was feeling upset towards the mysterious boy. The staff member pressed the phone to go on the phone screen and looked at Airi. ‘’Who is this man? Show me a picture because he must be something to get you nervous.’’ Airi went on the internet on her phone and showed photos of Gikwang. ‘’It’s him..’’ The makeup artist took one look at the man and back at Airi. ‘’What are you worried for? Yeah he’s handsome but you are really cute and pure. His girlfriend is probably really plastic because that’s what Korean guys like which is dumb.’’ The makeup artist placed blush on Airi’s cheeks. ‘’Our Suzuki Airi-san is really kawaii, very talented and doesn’t need to change a thing.’’ Airi knew her makeup artist was trying her hardest to cheer her up. Anyone that worked with her felt like they needed to cheer her up since she was a very innocent type of girl. Sure, she might have had to dance sexy on stage but that didn’t mean she really knew what she was doing. Airi looked in the mirror when the makeup artist was finished. ‘’Thank you so much!’’ The staff member patted her shoulder.
‘’Don’t give up, he might be handsome, but I think a cute girl would suit him better.’’ Airi wasn’t even sure anymore about her looks. All she knew was she liked him and liked him the moment he debuted in B2ST. He was her favorite member and she told him that as fan that she appreciated his hard work. She had faith in his group and knew they would be able to overcome hardships. If Gikwang were to fail it still wouldn’t cause her to like him any less. Upon meeting him it was evident his looks distracted her a little bit and she felt really burdened since he was talented too. It was a hard time trying to focus when she had a handsome boy next to next to her when she just wanted to admire his talent instead. A part of her might have felt bad the dance teacher was frustrated and Gikwang too but it was good she got switched to being partnered with Yoseob who was known to be patient. Yoseob was playful and had the type of personality where she could tell him anything. She considered Yoseob a great friend but she knew contacting him would cause a misunderstanding between Gikwang, and she knew the cutie member of Highlight knew that. Airi’s hair was styled with a braid and a white flower into her long dark hair.
Airi looked at her staff member who found a white sundress. ‘’It might be chilly but a dress like this is still good for the beach. Plus he might try keeping you warm which is romantic.’’ Airi got changed into the white dress and wore some sandals. As her staff member called the taxi Airi grabbed some snacks to bring with her. A box of chocolate covered strawberries, Gikwang’s favorite chips, some cookies and two bottles of strawberry ramune soda bottles. The taxi arrived as Airi waved goodbye to her stylist and left the car to go to the beach. The car stopped at it’s destination as Airi paid the driver with cash. ‘’Arigatou desu!’’ She said before getting out of the vehicle. She noticed a man with a baseball face and facial mask, giglging a little as she knew it would be Gikwang. She walked over to him but while looking at him he was looking at her in a way she wasn’t sure what it was. Hearing him say that she looked stunning caused her cheeks to turn a little pink. ‘’Ah..thank you..’’ Airi wanted to mention that he looked handsome but her stylist told her that she shouldn’t give him compliments so easy but instead compliment his outfit choice.
‘’I really like your red jacket..it makes you look cool.’’ She returned the light hug that he gave her. ‘’I think you look fine, no one will notice it is you.’’ Airi followed him as he spoke. ‘’It didn’t take too long, I had a brief interview after my performance and I was able to relax for a while since I don’t have another schedule for the evening.’’ She looked into his eyes. ‘’Was the flight long? I really enjoyed watching the Ribbon performance.’’ She saw the peach water and the strawberry pockys as Airi smiled in a happy and cute way. ‘’Yatta strawberry pocky! My favorite!’’ She drank some of the peach water and ate a strawberry pocky biscuit stick. She then pulled out the chocolate covered strawberries and a strawberry ramune soda bottle. ‘’Here. I know these are your favorite. I know when we met you really hated the soda bottle because it was not easy to open.’’ She looked at the beer. ‘’I never tried alcohol but there is a first time for everything I guess.’’ Hearing his reason for not wanting to contact she could only smile a little. ‘’It’s okay. You would not have bothered me.’’ But she felt bad hearing him say he would be a rock in her life. ‘’You would never be a rock to me at all. You are far too special to ever be considered a rock silly.’’
Hearing the next thing he said she looked at him as if she already knew. He might be ready to talk about having a girlfriend and that he was feeling ready to tell her as they were getting closer. Was she ready to meet his girlfriend? Airi wasn’t sure but she felt like she was ready to cry because she was a fan but at the same time she very much liked the Korean idol more than just a fan. ‘’You don’t have to hide anything from me Gikwang..we’re friends and no matter what it is I could not be mad at you or hate you.’’ That was a fact she hated to admit. She couldn’t be mad or hate him, but she would end up heartbroken because of him.
The exhaustion and stress was getting to Airi. She always worked hard like any other idol would, she didn’t take many breaks or time for herself because it was important to keep a hardworking image. The soloist never knew what it meant to have fun or relax till the day she met Gikwang. He seemed to be the only one capable of getting her to have fun and not to stress over things. Airi used to play as a teenager and have fun once in a while but that was really all she ever got. Her producer thought she needed to be serious when it was time to do so and that’s what she did. Since her members of °C-ute graduated she had no one to remind her to relax. Most of the time Airi went outside just to get a meal once in a while as the company were getting complaints that Airi was appearing underweight as an idol. The long hours of singing in recording studio and the long hours in the dance practice room getting scolded by her dance teachers took a major toll on her both physically and mentally. She was accommodated to such an environment that it was too late to turn back on her decision making. The thoughts of quitting never crossed her thoughts as music really was what she loved.
Airi never entered the idol industry with needing to earn money or wanting to be famous. The female solo artist was already famous because of her successful parents, they had all the money in the world for her but that was not what she wanted. All Airi wanted to do at the end of the day was sing for people and make them feel things as they listened to her voice. That reason alone was why she was able to put up with the hardships and become as exhausted as she felt. Airi looked at her phone as she glanced at the message on her smartphone. She responded back to him. ‘’Daijobu, I will be okay I promise.’’ Assurance was something Gikwang must have needed from her. If anyone knew what it was like to see her have a hard time it was him. ‘’Jealous of what? I don’t see any foundation of getting jealous for. I’m on a stage with fans very far from me.’’ A foundation of jealousy could never have been established for Gikwang as the H!P artist was carefully observed by security guards on stage. Airi knew this was not the case for Gikwang. The Highlight members always got close to fans and even gave personal fanservice and hand holding. The message Gikwang sent caused the Japanese singer to look at the phone with a lost look on her face.
‘’Nani? A surprise but I don’t get a hint that you came to Japan?.’’ Airi might have been an older woman now but she was lost like a teenager on what this man was saying. It was like speaking a foreign language that was not Korean nor Japanese. Tapping the send button on her smartphone to deliver the message Airi used her bottom teeth to bite her lip. ‘He is trying to keep his distance from me because he has a girlfriend.’’ Realizing that this could very well be the awaited answer she placed her hands on her cheeks in horror. ‘’I just said I wanted to hold his hand in a text message. I was being so open to him about how I really feel.’’ She started to mumble to herself in Japanese at a quickened pace in a panic as she started to mess up her long dark hair as she was starting to inner panic. ‘’Why am I so stupid? Nani nani nani nani!’’ Airi’s lip quivered as tears were starting to form in her eyes as her makeup artist came in and saw her face. ‘’Baka! You are ruining your makeup already. What are you crying for? Minna-san loved your performance.’’ Airi sniffled some as she answered. ‘’The guy I like has a girlfriend..’’
The makeup artist looked at the Jpop idol and shook her head. ‘’What a baka.’’ Airi felt her phone make a vibrate sound as she threw her phone on the make up table. ‘’I can’t look at it I’m scared. Can you read it onegai?’’ The female makeup artist looked at Airi before picking up the phone device and read it. The makeup artist replied to the text then looked at Airi. ‘’You were invited to the beach, I told him yes, you will attend, and you are going to get dressed super kawaii. You are going to look so kawaii he will reconsider his dating choice. You like him so have faith you can change his mind.’’ The makeup artist started to fix Airi’s makeup again.
ooc: Don't be sorry! It's okay to be slow. You can do this though! Ganbare!
Reina was definitely annoyed with Jungshin's insensitive words. Shaking her fist at the time as a way of warning him. She wasn't remembering well but she left a strong impact on Yonghwa's members. They were all kids but the youngest ones were really naughty. When Jungshin acted up Reina pulled him by the ear and started dragging him around by the ear to punish him. Her anger was scary like a cat when she wanted to punish someone they really did get punished by her. Since Reina had a cute face like a kitten most people thought they could have their way with her until she got mad. Reina was raised like a yankii or a gangster which was partly due to the reason that her mother walked out on Reina and her baby brother at a young age.
Her father had to raise them both which made things hard. Reina's father endured having to stay in Korea to get money and work and all Reina could do was do her best not to give him a hard time and look after her younger brother that was only a small toddler when she met Yonghwa. Reina looked at the waiter and gave him a glare with her kitten eyes. Reina's manager laughed while looking at Reina. ''You are scaring the employee. Calm down.'' The female singer looked at her manager and raised a brow. ''He can deal with however I want to look at him, besides he was quick to offer Cnblue refills on their water but gave me nothing so he deserves a death glare.'' The manager could only sigh. ''Waiter we need refills on the water please and thank you.''
Reina wanted to strangle her manager and stick his head in the water pitcher that the waiter had. Reina could only hear Yonghwa's words, sighing some as she started to pick up her chopsticks and started eating as a content smile formed on her face. Things in life made her in complete misery but the food never once betrayed her. Food was her best friend, but at the same time, she worried about her weight since a boy she thought was her best friend back then said she wasn't thin. Reina ordered a chicken teriyaki meal and only ate part of it, leaving a huge portion of the food left as she gave it to her manager to finish as he started eating the rest of what was on Reina's plate. Reina helped herself to more water as the managers. Noticing her manager order the sake she blinked a couple times. ''You never order alcohol..what are you-''
Reina's manager laughed. ''Loosen up Reina-chan! Let's celebrate and have a good time tonight.'' She was not sure how things would pan out. She never drank sake before and she was in a room of men. ''....I don't think I should....'' Her manager poured a glass of sake for her and handed it to her. ''It's okay you should have some.'' Reina felt worried for some odd reason even though her manager was right next to her. Giving up in defeat she held the glass and started drinking the sake but only managed to drink half of it. Reina being only five feet and having a small stomach the alcohol was quick to make her cheeks heat up as she made a face that indicated she was no longer able to tolerate more.
She pushed the glass of sake to her manager to finish. Reina fell asleep instantly from drinking the sake as she started to doze off into dreamland. Reina's manager laughed. ''Aw she got drunk with just drinking half of it.'' Reina slept till it was closing time for the restaurant. The manager lightly woke her up as Reina was whining a bit, not wanting to get up. The more her manager bugged her the more it was annoying her. The first attempt she slapped his finger which caused his manager to laugh. The second attempt she took his finger and started squeezing it as she slowly woke up and glared at her manager.
''Wake me up like that again I dare you!'' Reina finally woke up as her cheeks were still burning red from the sake. ''I want to go home..'' She started walking but she was completely disoriented, almost tripping as her manager grabbed her. ''Sorry Reina-chan I should not have made you try this type of alcohol for your first time.'' He then caught up with the other Cnblue manager as Reina was walking rather slow compared to everyone else. Reina heard Yonghwa's japanese as she started to laugh some. She responded in Korean which might have been due to the fact that she was completely drunk. ''What are you talking about? You really sound like you are guilty of something but I don't get what it is. Everyone here in Korea has the same name so I guess you want to clarify you are not the same guy from my past huh? Whatever you heard as a rumor is completely false.''
She was so intoxicated she didn't realize she would regret such words in the morning. ''I went to middle school here in Korea when I was ten and met a kid named Yonghwa who became my best friend. He taught me korean and helped me with my schoolwork because he was really smart. He played guitar well and I was very supportive of his dream to be a rock star. I fell for his cute accent when he spoke to me in Japanese and liked him more as I got to know him. I had a crush on him so I tried to like another guy so that I wouldn't lose his friendship since I'm not his type. We stopped being friends when he told me I wasn't thin or pretty. He made me cry many times and even now I still get mad just thinking about it. He's probably really successful now, has a lot of groupie fangirls and a drop dead gorgeous girlfriend by now. I don't speak Korean because it gives me anxiety and bad memories. Since I'm drunk I am able to speak Korean again like I never lost it.''Seeing him ruffle her hair caused her to laugh. ''I'll see you then. Hopefully you stop acting guilty from whatever is making you feel like that.'' She waved, laughing a little from the alcohol as she went to her taxi.
Airi looked at her phone, pondering how he could possibly know that she was in a rush. ‘’He doesn’t contact me for so long, but he thinks I am in a hurry? Doush*te? How could you be here in Japan and not say a word. Lee Gikwang-san what is going on in that head of yours.’’ She waited for his response to what she sent him, but she received nothing. The staff members rushed her to the back-stage area in order to set up. Seeing that the Highlight members were performing before her she could not help but observe closely to every detail of the performance. Airi was an undeniable fangirl for the group. Gikwang was her idol and the celebrity crush of hers but she respected all the members of Highlight. Airi worked with Yoseob after it was evident the dance teacher and Gikwang were getting frustrated and Yoseob was always an outgoing person. Yoseob sang great and Airi encouraged him to keep singing because he had a great voice. Her friendship with Yoseob could have been mistaken for possible love but Airi felt this comfort around him that could only point towards a genuine friendship.
She let out a giggle watching the female idols look at Highlight with very shocked faces. Airi knew she wasn’t the only one that could think that members of Highlight had a different aura than Japanese idols. They had a shine that could not be compared with anything else in her country. When they danced and sing it was so outstanding that you couldn’t help but start applauding. Since other girls were looking at the Highlight group members in such a way they could see what she saw. Very talented guys who were going to be very successful for the years to come. In the back of her mind she couldn’t help but wonder if they were mostly looking at Gikwang. Her dance partner Yoseob fit Japan’s cute image while Gikwang was very handsome and sexy. Airi was into their Ribbon performance that she did not realize a female staff member who was holding a water bottle for a very long time. Airi looked over and then bowed. ‘’Gomen nasai! Arigatou desu..’’ She was thankful to receive a bottle of water before going on stage. She drank some water and started warming up her vocals a bit as she watched Highlight’s performance. Her head nodded in a cute way as she was following along to their performance.
Seeing them finish she was told to head to the stage to which she did for performing. The H!P solo artist was nervous and it showed on her face as she was getting into position for the cameraman to film her. But as soon as the music played her face changed and she started getting into the mood of the music and song, singing and dancing to the best of her abilities. Some of the choreography was sexy but her facial expressions went well with a song, not forced or showing fear that she was being a little intimate. The moment her performance was over she looked at the audience and smiled sweetly as the camera man caught her sweet and innocent smile which wasn’t different from how she presented her since being an idol. Getting off the performance stage Airi looked ahead and locked eyes with her crush. Staring into directly into his eyes she quickly smiled sweetly at him. Airi took a seat as the MC started asking questions to the Highlight members. She was quick to see what Yoseob would say about her as he worked with her for the longest with the °C-ute and Beast collaboration. Hearing his words that she sang and danced live better than them she immediately made a pouting face and raised her hand and waved it to say she wasn’t better and started shaking her head side to side in disagreement.
Hearing Gikwang’s answer caused her to feel flustered from his response. Airi had a feeling the other MC would start asking weird questions after being playful with Gikwang. An MC started asking Airi a question. ‘’What age did you start singing and why did you continue being an idol?’’ Airi smiled at the MC. ‘’Ah I was in music school at the start of kindergarten and got accepted into Hello Project when I was eight, I actually attended Hello Project’s music school. Most would say why would you want to make money when both your parents were successful professional golfers that both obtained millions the both of them, but I love music very much. I didn’t care for the money since my family is doing well already. I have lived as an idol for 15 years. I’ll perform as an idol till the end.’’ The MC asked another question. ‘’What type of woman would you consider yourself as?’’ Airi couldn’t help but laugh a bit from the question. ‘’I am more of the innocent playful type. I am mature on some things like performing on stage and other things I can be like a kid since I have a lot of energy and talk fast.’’ The hour passed quickly as she followed the idols to the backstage area. She took out her phone and saw his message.
‘’I’m really tired. I think I might need to rest. I haven’t been feeling too well these days. I would have liked it if you told me you were in Japan so that I meet you from the airport. I hope..my performing didn’t make you mad. You know it’s only work..I mean you do take your shirt off a lot..’’ She sent the text and bit of her lip. ‘’Maybe I should not have told him he takes his shirt off too much…’’
Airi Suzuki that was an idol since the age of nine years old, now she was twenty-three years old and finally a solo artist under the Hello Project company. C-ute disbanded and that meant Airi could start working on projects that interested her. She didn’t have to start doing projects that made her have an image that she didn’t want. During her last few years as an entertainer it seemed the company was desperate. Airi had to train to have sex appeal something that felt like a taboo. Airi’s cute face made acting sexy a cringe moment to witness. Airi was angry that her group had to take such a drastic turn of concepts. She was even mad that she had to endure such a hard time. Men would think she wanted to be sexy when her personality was far from it. Airi was serious about her idol work but there was someone that made her think about things at a deeper level. His name being Lee Gikwang, a handsome idol she met when he was in B2ST. It was a Korean idol group she admired most but she was the biggest fan of Gikwang. Airi had the worst self confidence in herself when it came to men. The knowledge on relationships was complex for her.
She started singing since she was nine and at that age singing love songs seemed hopeless. Fans criticized that Airi was too young to ever understand the words she was singing with so much passion and sincerity. The child Airi didn’t know what love was because she never experienced it. The only person capable of creating the sparks that set her heart to start beating off tempo in a strange pattern she could not follow was Gikwang. Airi was a woman that was intelligent in some things but not in the love department. The man’s smile was enough to make her break her concentration, cause her to fall or even break a heel that she was using to walk. The dedicated part of her idol life that restricted dating was over, so the next chapter of her life seemed unknown. The rules were freer, and she was allowed to find that special person for her and take the time she needed to settle her feelings out. Airi knew that if she ever planned on creating love songs she would need to experience love fully in order to make that happen. ‘’…Is something wrong with me? I only ever feel butterflies with him..’’ Back then it might have felt pressuring to give him an answer when there was so much she wanted to do.
The commuting back and forth with things being unknown would have been unfair to Gikwang. Now being a solo artist she had more control and could travel around more, but really Airi only desired to travel to where Gikwang lived so that she could see him.The H!P artist felt Tsunku tap her shoulder to snap her out of her momentary dreamland. ‘’Suzuki-san, it’s time to get going.’’ Shaking her head lightly from side to side she spoke. ‘’Hai! Gomen nasai!’’ The Hello Project soloist was rushed to the studio that held a wide variety of performances organized into a well delivered music show. Airi was unaware of the appearances of idols she could have recognized. Arriving at the building Airi was trying her best to calm her breathing. She was exhausted and her lack of sleep much, so she was hopeful she could do her performance without feeling sleepy. The makeup and hair stylists dragged her to the dressing room to get her dolled up for the performance. Airi went to the stage for rehearsal to get adjusted to the cameras as she sang and dance to part of her song. ‘’Even if I throw everything I’ve got I cannot diminish that distance I have with you..If I recall that day that moment let this feeling be delivered to you..’’
For the solo artist she wasn’t foreign to the stage she knew it well, the only thing that broke her confidence was her choreography had small sexy moves that needed to look just right for the camera, but the overall dance moves were powerful. Airi was a woman and could not dance like a child for the rest of her career but even though the sexy moves weren’t bad she still felt nervous. The past her sexy dances with C-ute caused Gikwang to have the wrong idea about her which scared her. After the rehearsal Airi was asked by a female staff member to follow her as she quickly started to run being careful in her high heels. Airi tried catching her breath for a moment as the buzzing sound could be heard. ‘’Nani?’’ Pulling out her phone that was stored in her back pocket for the time being she saw an incoming text message from Gikwang. She calmly tried to respond back to him. ‘’I’m nervous I wish you were here so I could just hold your hand for good luck..wait how do you know I’m in a hurry?’’ Airi not realizing that Gikwang was there as she sent the message.
The idea of being back in Korea was giving her anxiety. This anxiety was causing her to forget the Korean that she once spoke so fluently. She felt so hesitant to respond back in Korean even though it was clear she might have needed to communicate better. She was able to understand it fluently but she had no confidence to keep speaking in the language. Reina wasn't aware of the kind of power that Yonghwa had over her from the past. He taught her how to speak Korean and be able to read it and just like this she forgot how to speak. Back then it was Yonghwa who was making the effort to help her adjust while she was struggling to live in a different country just for schooling. Now it seemed she had to work harder in order to start re-learning how to speak back to the Koreans that were teaching her.
Even though she wasn't recognizing Yonghwa there was some strange comfort she was feeling as she was having the lesson. It was the same feeling as she was in middle school in the foreign country. A really nice boy spoke to her in Japanese and somehow learned the word 'tomodachi' and translated it to 'chingu' to which Reina immediately agreed because he showed interest in being her friend. Yonghwa would never know how much respect and admiration that she once had for him that she never dared to cross any lines with him because she valued what they had. He would never know that what hurt her the most wasn't that she never had a chance with Jonghyun but that the guy she liked most said some hurtful words that made her feel like she was worth nothing. Reina listened carefully to Yonghwa as her fingers moved up and down the string like he was instructing her to do. When their eyes met Reina's face didn't change much, she was looking at him the way she was looking at her ex-best friend at the time. It was with seriousness as he was trying to teach her how to do something.
She couldn't help but sense as their eyes locked on one another that he was looking at her as if he wanted to tell her something. Noticing that Jungshin and Minhyuk returned she was amused to see them go back to being quiet. Was she really that scary? It didn't bother her, though the only one that seemed to survive not getting her death glares at the moment was Minhyuk. She couldn't have a mean face to someone that looked young and she didn't need to ask to know that Minhyuk looked like the youngest of the band. As three to four hours passed Reina bowed lightly to show her respect for the lesson as she was helping to clean up things, throwing away the small bag of chips she consumed while she was practicing. It seemed everyone was in a celebrating mood including her manager as she sighed some.
They went to a Japanese restaurant, something she wasn't expecting as everyone was mostly Korean and her and the manager was the odd ones out in the situation. Hearing Jungshin's insensitive words she looked at him and glared at him coldly in such a way it was like watching an angry cat that was ready to claw someone's face out. ''Well that's an insensitive thing to say, why don't you go eat Korean food at home then as you are already in your home country or better yet I'll shove spoonfuls of wasabi down that yappy mouth of yours so that your intestines will burn and I can finally stop hearing the sound of your voice.''She showed no fear to a man that stood at six feet tall while she only stood at just five feet. For Reina it didn't matter how small she was compared to her enemy, she was a firecracker and wasn't scared to knock someone down. Her manager quickly intervened and looked at Jungshin. ''I'm so sorry! Please ignore what she is saying! Please have an open mind, there are some Korean foods that would make Reina sick.''
Even though Jungshin did say something insensitive the manager only wished Reina was calmer and not so honest with how she felt. The Japanese female sat in between Jonghyun and Yonghwa as she rubbed her temples. ''My manager really needs to stop apologizing when I am perfectly okay with shutting a yappy dog up..'' Mumbling to herself as she heard Jonghyun's question. ''Yes, I am famous in Japan-'' Her manager immediately cut her off and spoke. ''Yes she is! She became an idol singer at thirteen years old into a big girl group and became the lead vocals to her debut song which members rarely ever get to do. She's also been center and face for the group in many activities and overall she is the music producer's favorite. She's extremely popular with men and they buy all of her photobooks just to see her in outfits.'' Reina's jaw dropped at what her manager had said as she zipped up her hoodie in order to cover herself. ''I'm just fine...'' As she responded to Yonghwa's answer when in reality she was ready to strangle her manager a bit.
Reina's time in the foreign country gave her such a heartache and she could only really wonder why. She was used to being alone at times but this specific pain she felt hurt too much. It was Yonghwa who gave her this pain. The Korean boy managed to break her in ways no one else could ever witness. Reina was a tough female but she was still a girl none the less, she had feelings. Her lessons with Yonghwa were to impress another boy because her feelings could never allow her to take advantage of Yonghwa. The leader of the band in the past was her first friend that became her best friend.
She respected him so much that she never wanted to think of doing anything that would ruin their friendship which included dating. Reina hearing forgotten in Korean seemed to be the only thing she understood from Yonghwa's Korean. The Japanese rock idol looked at Yonghwa and raised a brow. ''Nani?'' She spoke in Japanese, despite having forgotten most of what Yonghwa used to teach her she somehow understood bits and pieces of what they were saying. Reina didn't know what he was implying but she was quite clueless. Yonghwa changed significantly from the last time they met as did the other members of the band.
Maybe because she only saw them as young kids from middle school could explain why she was having a hard time looking at them properly. They changed a great deal while this Japanese looking cat didn't change her face at all. Reina was quite excited about guitars and she knew a couple brands which made her ex-best friend back then enthusiastic. Reina tried to recall before looking at Yonghwa. ''Well I think I was taught using an acoustic guitar but I've never been taught to go on an electric guitar.'' If only Reina knew why they were acting weird, to know they were afraid of her, she had always been a girl that was able to put someone in their place right after they mess with her. Recalling such a moment when she snapped at Yonghwa and shoved his face in someone else's birthday cake. Reina took the guitar from Jonghyun and didn't even bother to look at him as she spoke 'Thank you' in Korean. As Yonghwa was explaining the basics Reina looked at him in order to listen better, her big brown eyes staring into his.