Warning: Disturbing Chapter Ahead.
She picked up the album jacket with the name ‘Kwon Dayoon’. Looking at herself with a bright smile on her face, it felt bad. Dayoon threw the album onto the sofa. The album bounced off the sofa and fell on the floor. The plastic casing opened due to the shock and the CD popped out, rolling around on the floor before lying on the ground. The album jacket lay next to it, and she saw the faces of the members who were making a pose in a friendly manner. Dayoon picked up a cushion from the sofa and threw it towards the CD. She didn’t even want to see it.
She hugged her knees and watched the TV dazedly. On TV, it was talking about The Five which had split up. Their agency, who had originally said that they would try to talk things through until the end, had just announced the cancellation of the contract. The cameras captured the middle and high school girls who were wearing black masks and going on a riot in front of the agency building.
“Bullshit. You’re going to forget about them once some time passes.”
Dayoon changed the channel. This time, it was a comedy program. Was that supposed to be funny? She pressed buttons on the remote again. None of the channels satisfied her. In the end, she ended up on a channel that spoke a foreign language. It was much better to not understand anything at all.
She stood up and opened the fridge. The empty fridge contained some pizza slices that she had ordered yesterday. She couldn’t eat pizzas no matter how much she wanted to during her trainee days, but now that she was free to eat them, it did not satisfy her at all. It wasn’t that she was worried about gaining weight. If she wanted to lose weight, she could just skip meals. It was just that she was fed up. Cheap food like that no longer satisfied her.
Despite that though, she microwaved a piece of pizza. She picked up the flabby piece of pizza and returned to the sofa. The sensation of soggy pizza spread around in her mouth. She chewed a few times before spitting it back out on the plate. She didn’t want to eat this shit. She went to the kitchen, opened the trash can, and threw the pizza in. The smell of tomato paste residue from her mouth was disgusting. She washed her mouth with running water a few times before drinking a cup of milk.
She didn’t have any schedule today, nor did she have any place to go to. She had cut all ties with her parents ever since she became a legal adult. She didn’t want to give any of her hard earned money for their comfort. She wanted to break her phone whenever they called her and asked her if she could send them money for traveling. They stopped at nothing. Even though she had told them multiple times not to call again, they always ended up calling again and asked her for money. They were like cockroaches. No matter how many times she killed them, those horrible creatures still crept out of nowhere. She wished for them to disappear. Dayoon bit her nails. She knew very well why she had no appetite and was constantly annoyed. Time was ticking. Tick tock tick tock, the sound of ticking could be heard from the clock.
“Let’s… think about it positively.”
Dayoon took off her pajamas. She stood in front of the dressing table in her underwear. She saw her face which was devoid of vitality. This was no good. She smiled faintly. Her facial muscles instantly created the perfect smile for her face. At this point, she was like a machine.
She touched up her skin and did a light touch on her cheeks. The one she was planning to meet today did not like heavy makeup. That person liked the natural kind of beauty with thin makeup. She only faintly drew the eyeline and went with a faint lipstick. After combing her messy hair, she straightened it out with a straightener. Her hair reached down to her chest.
She took out some underwear from her closet. They were white without any patterns. She changed into those and stood in front of the full body mirror. She felt a little better after seeing her body that didn’t have any excess fat. She put on a light blue one piece dress and wore a silver necklace with a cross on it. To finish things off, she put on a floppy hat. If she lowered her head, only her chin would be seen by the others.
She sat quietly on the sofa in the living room with her phone in hand. Now that she had dressed up, the annoyance and resentment that she had before seemed to have disappeared. She was even grinning a little.
“I must be crazy,” she chuckled.
Just then, she felt a strong vibration from her hand. She felt shivers go up her spine. She sighed in a small voice and answered the call. It was ‘that person’.
“Yes, okay. I got it.”
She took a deep breath and left the residence. She was going down on the elevator but someone entered on another floor. Dayoon looked downwards and fidgeted with her phone. She could see the man that just got on giving her glimpses.
The elevator arrived on the first floor. Dayoon got off first and rushed out of the apartment complex. She looked around her as she walked. Thankfully, no one seemed to recognize her.
On the street a little away from the apartment complex, Dayoon straightened her shoulders and walked boldly. People didn’t recognize her anyway. That was because the idol impression became faint when she didn’t have the stage costumes and makeup on.
Despite that, the gazes of the men around her were still hot. Having a pretty face was a heaven-sent blessing. Dayoon looked at the reflection of her face on a glass pane on a building. That face was what allowed her to reach all the way here. She put on a smile that revealed four of her upper teeth. Even she herself thought that her face was charming. It would be better if her nose was a little higher, but she had no plans on getting surgery. She saw an idol being buried into the depths of the abyss when the fact about her plastic surgery was revealed. If she wanted plastic surgery, she had to have had it done before her debut. After that, she would have to claim that it was natural.
It was funny when she thought about it. Surgery was also a form of effort that required risks, but the public considered losing weight as the only ‘effort’ to become prettier. Anything other than that was a sin. In that sense, Dayoon was thankful that she was born with a pretty face. It would have been horrible if she took after her parents.
“That’s right, I’m pretty.”
She felt a little better. Using her appearance to earn money. How good was that? She walked a little more and entered the high street. Just as she was watching the cars driving by, a black sedan stopped in front of her. The door to the passenger seat opened. Dayoon bent slightly and checked who was in it. That person was looking at her as well.
“Get in,” the man inside the car spoke.
Dayoon nodded. She looked around to see if there was anyone looking at her before getting in the car. She closed the window and took off her hat. The man was lighting up his cigarette.
“I’ll be smoking a bit.”
Dayoon could only reply and wait. She didn’t have that many opportunities to express her own opinion. The man puffed his cigarette and heaved a slow breath out. He was fifty years old. He was an executive at a well-known construction company. At the same time, he was close with the president of her agency.
She got to know this man 2 years ago. Before Blue was formed, Dayoon was despairing as a failed idol. The six members of her former group had resolved together to become successful, but they scattered into thin air after the president of that agency went missing. She was twenty-two that year. She was at a dangerous age for an idol. The money they worked hard to gather was taken by the president of the company as well. Even the head manager of that company went to another company. The members that promised to be together forever had all scattered as well. Among them, three had debuted in another idol group, and two had disappeared altogether.
Dayoon felt stuck. She wondered if she should start taking part time jobs again or prepare herself to get a job. The shock she felt when the path of idols, she had been treading on the whole time, collapsed was too big. She never felt as close to the word ‘suicide’ as she had been then. She had always wondered why people threw themselves into the cold waters of Hangang, but she herself was looking for a bridge when her group disbanded. She was afraid of the very land that she was standing on. It wasn’t even funny. She couldn’t even count the number of times she peeked over the fence.
It was around that time that she came across this man. She was invited to drink by a member of her former group. She didn’t feel that good about it, but she had to do something, so she accepted that invitation. When someone around her father’s age sat down at the same table, Dayoon was both frightened and relieved. She felt like a savior had descended.
She had heard of the rumors as well: that there were people that approached female celebrities. This didn’t happen to the most popular of actors, but to entertainers at the edge of a cliff like her, it happened quite frequently.
The first drinking night was just that - drinking. They drank together and just conversed. There was no indecent gaze or dirty hand movements. Dayoon, who had been nervous, felt like she was just hanging out with an oppa who was just a bit older than most. When that man stood up saying that he had to go home, he handed her some money. When she checked, it was 500 thousand won. It was five hundred thousand just for drinking together and listening to his stories.
When she received that money, Dayoon intuitively realized that that was the decisive moment. She could just end everything there. She could just forget about it and consider it as some pocket money. At first, she tried to do that. It wasn’t like she was harassed or anything, so she didn’t feel bad either.
However, when she came back home and faced the reality that she had an interview tomorrow for a part time job, she immediately sent a text message to the number saved on her phone.
After that, Dayoon experienced things she had never had before. She was able to buy all the clothes she liked at the shopping mall, ate food that melted in her mouth, and watched a movie by herself in the cinema. The world she lived in was different. That man was someone that lived in a completely different world that ordinary salarymen could never imagine.
Their meetings became more frequent, and when they met at the bar again, that man asked her if she was willing to leave things up to him. Dayoon heard those words as ‘sex’. Despite the overwhelming guilt, Dayoon replied ‘yes’. That night, Dayoon slept with that man at a hotel. Her partner was nearing fifty in age, but his body was well built thanks to regular exercise and a balanced diet.
After the intercourse, Dayoon thought that this kind of life was perhaps okay too. Both of them had to keep it secret anyway. After all, the man had a wife as well. Moreover, Dayoon started liking the man, emotionally, that is. It was not a sin to get support from someone she loved, was it?
After that, she got contacted to become a trainee at a huge entertainment agency, Yellow Star. Dayoon thought that the man had done what he said he would, and when she met him again later, she shook her ass to the best of her abilities. She licked his sexual organ with her tongue and massaged it with her entire body. Then, she told him that she loved him.
After that, she spent her days as a trainee of Blue and made her debut. At first, the tag ‘second hand idol’ always followed her, but that disappeared soon. A fan cafe was formed, and inside that, she was dubbed the ‘big unni’. Thanks to the series of hugely successful albums, she was on a path to success. The number of people that recognized her increased by the day and in just one year, they were able to hold their own concert. Although they didn’t earn that much money due to the contract, that was something that was going to be solved soon, so she did not worry about it. She felt happy. She had returned from her gloomy life to a world filled with golden light.
From that moment, Dayoon became wary of that man. It would be the end of an idol once they got involved with a scandal. She avoided all calls from that man and ran away from him with the excuse that she had schedules. She scolded herself and told herself that the love was just an illusion and focused on her activities as an idol.
She thought that she would continue being an idol without many problems. She thought that happiness would last forever. However, after around a year, the relationship between members worsened dramatically. She didn’t know what caused it. When she realized, they were at a point where they became annoyed by just talking to each other. It became even worse thanks to the TV shows they attended. They hugged each other with smiles on TV, and they returned to being cold when they returned to their residence.
The moment their relationship cracked, their rankings on various charts fell as well. They had never missed first place on the rankings before, but they couldn’t even take first place on the week their album was released. It was a sign of falling. They were in second place, but that wasn’t enough. The new idols that appeared were younger, prettier and cuter than them. They took first place for five weeks straight with a song written by a popular songwriter. They were in 2nd place for a while until they disappeared completely.
It was around that time that the president called Blue and told them that they should do their best in areas that they were most confident in. It wasn’t a disbanding of the group. They were starting individual activities just like TTO.
The one that became popular first was Chaerim. She was viewed in a good light in a drama she entered with her popularity as an idol, and following that, she was cast as one of the lead roles in Youth Generation, which was known to be the gateway to becoming a star.
Dayoon exited her reminiscence. The man was putting out his cigarette. An acrid smell poked her nose. She hated that smell, but she was okay with it right now. No, it even smelled fragrant. The man closed his mouth and started driving. Dayoon looked in front of her before giving the man a glimpse. The man was on a phone call. He was talking about some construction site. Dayoon looked at the photo on the dashboard. There was a fair lady and the man was standing next to her. In front of the two were a boy and a girl with a bright smile on their faces. At that moment, the man reached out and put the photo face down. Dayoon thought that she shouldn’t have looked before looking downwards.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Author's notes on this chapter: Since we spent some energy with the sweet stuff, let's return to the stage again.
My blood sugar is better now.