“Drag your voice from your stomach and throw it out. Remember that the sound will meet less resistance if you expand your throat.”
Suyeon walked around placing her hands on the members’ stomachs to help them with their vocalization.
“Aram, relax your shoulders. Are you nervous?”
“It’s not like that, but I subconsciously end up tensing.”
“Look at me. Pull up your shoulders like you’re pulling them up to your ear level. Then let them go. It is true that you must watch your breathing, but if you focus on that too much, you’ll end up tensing the area around your trapezius muscle. That is even worse than just not watching your breathing. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel where your breath brushes past in your body. Then, imagine that the breath you just inhaled is going past your lungs, through your stomach, down to your thighs, knees then your toes, then comes back up in the opposite order before bursting out. Haaa, haa. That’s right. Don’t let the breath and the voice play separately, let your breath carry your voice. Don’t roll up your tongue! Don’t brush the top of your mouth with your breath!”
Good - she added before going over to the next person. Since she couldn’t visit that many times recently due to her drama schedule, Suyeon stuck around till the end of practice, perhaps out of apology, or perhaps because she had free time.
‘She must have some feelings of responsibility.’
Suyeon stood in front of Maru, who was breathing out. After watching for a while, she made a smile before walking right past him. Maru exercised like he usually did and continued the vocal practice.
“Stop. Well done for today. You guys must be having a hard time since you’re trying your hand at a play different than the one you did in the summer.”
“Doing the same one again is just no fun,” Aram chuckled as she replied.
“Looks like you guys practiced pretty hard while I wasn’t here. You’re at a level where it would be fine for you to go up on stage now. As long as you polish your foundations a little more, you’ll see good results.”
Suyeon pressed down her baseball cap before picking up her bag.
“Since you’re at it, let’s give it one more push. Oh, once you’re done with the performance, we’ll hold an afterparty at my house again, okay?”
“Without the alcohol this time,” said Bangjoo as he shook his head.
Last time, he had a hard time thanks to alcohol. Suyeon accepted it.
“Then let’s wrap things up here today. Well done.”
“Thank you for your work.”
They clapped to signal the end of practice as always.
Suyeon, who was leaving through the back door, called out to Maru and gestured to him to follow her. Maru put down the desk he was carrying and left the classroom.
“Our cute little brother.”
Suyeon approached him with a smile on her face. Maru immediately took a step back to put some distance.
“Why are you acting like that? You’re such a cold guy.”
“Why are you acting like that then? It’s creepy.”
“Can’t you see that I want to look after the junior of the agency as a senior?”
“Why don’t you tell me a more convincing lie? What’s this about?”
“What a disappointment. You fail to understand my feelings.”
After making a disappointed face, Suyeon sighed before crossing her arms.
“You are going to take the audition for New Semester, right?”
“The agency told me to, so I have to.”
“You know that I was cast there as a trainee teacher, right?”
“I didn’t, because I’m not someone who goes around digging into other people’s private lives. But is there a problem with that?”
“What problem could there be? I said I was just trying to cheer you on.”
Making a prankful smile, Suyeon tried to poke Maru’s cheek. Maru pushed her finger away with his hand. Suyeon didn’t give up and tried to do it again, but Maru kept pushing her finger away since he didn’t want it.
“You don’t like me, do you?”
“I don’t like you. That’s for sure.”
“Wow, what a disappointment. Didn’t we spend a romantic night together in a villa once? You even peeked at my inner workings.”
“Should I tell what you just said to Geunsoo-hyung?”
“Why can’t you take a joke? But hey, what is Mr. Geunsoo up to these days? We belong to the same agency, but I can’t seem to contact him.”
“So that’s your objective after all?”
“Don’t call it an objective. I’m just giving words of encouragement to my adorable junior while asking what Mr. Geunsoo is up to on the side. Don’t you think we’re lacking teamwork even though we belong to the same company?”
“Why don’t you give up already? Geunsoo-hyung looks like he doesn’t even have this much interest in you at all,” said Maru as he showed her his pinky fingernail. Suyeon looked at the ceiling and made a sad face.
“You know, these days, I lost contact with everyone. All the men that had interest in me are being too cautious.”
“There was a big event, so I’m not surprised.”
“This is different from sexual bribery. Those girls just didn’t enjoy it, while I did.”
“Why don’t you just date a man normally? It must be more fun than throwing them in the trash after sucking out the juice.”
Hearing his words, Suyeon chuckled.
“What horrible thing are you talking about? Are you serious?”
“I was just joking. But don’t go around teasing pure men. That’s just too pitiful.”
“Love is always about give and take. I can make a request since there’s something in me that the man wants. Even the guys that talk about platonic love are all the same when they go to bed. They think about nothing but discharging their desires.”
“What a good thing to say in front of a high school student.”
“You’re my stress relief window. It’s your fault for consulting me all the time, making me say everything in front of you.”
“It’s you who blabs on about things because you’re drunk, you know? It will be bad if there’s an issue with your memory at such a young age. I heard that Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t care about age these days.”
“I’m too healthy to catch something like that.”
Suyeon stretched her arms out with a refreshed smile.
“Ah! That’s much better. My mouth was feeling itchy too. A friend you can talk to sure is good, eh?”
“Were we friends? Ever?”
“We weren’t? Best friends that share our secrets?”
“You know a secret of mine?”
“I know the secret that you know my secret.”
“What an amazing secret that is.”
Maru didn’t talk anymore and looked at Suyeon. Suyeon calmed down again.
“You look like you have something to ask. And something important too.”
“You told me that Lee Miyoon is the madam last time, right?”
“Ah, the madam.”
Suyeon pulled her chin inwards and put her finger on her lips.
“What about her?”
“I was wondering if you knew anything about her other than the rumors.”
“And why do you want to know about the madam? You piqued my interest since it was so sudden. It shouldn’t be that you want to show off in front of her.”
“I just wanted to know what kind of person she is.”
After tapping on her lips for a while, Suyeon made a foxy smile.
“You just wanted to know, huh? What is this? What’s going on?”
“If you don’t want to say it, then that’s fine as well. It’s nothing serious.”
“I’m not thinking about ignoring you when it’s the first time you come to me for help. I’m just curious as to why you’re expressing interest in that woman. There’s no way you prefer older women. Oh, you said you had a girlfriend right? Then is it a one-off thing?”
“Think whatever you want.”
“You really should stop hiding in front of family members.”
Suyeon looked at her watch before speaking,
“It’s about time I went. Alright, I’ll tell you everything I know about Lee Miyoon. But what exactly do you want to know?”
“There’s a rumor that she’s the broker that connects women to the clients. Is this true?”
“I can’t give you a confident answer to that. It’s a sensitive topic. Well, I won’t deny that there are such rumors floating around.”
“Did you ever receive an offer?”
Hearing that question, Suyeon smiled without saying anything. Maru nodded once.
“Do you think I did it or not?”
“You probably didn’t.”
“Why is that?”
“Because you’re playing a game with other people’s hearts. It doesn’t sound like you to simply just sell your body in exchange for something.”
Suyeon’s smile became thicker. Her upper teeth were showing.
“You know me too well. Don’t go around spreading rumors though. But hey, why are you digging into Lee Miyoon? You can tell me that much.”
“As a preventative measure.”
“Preventative measures, huh? For who?”
“Do you prevent diseases for specific people? You just do it.”
“So you don’t want to tell me?”
“We aren’t close enough for that.”
“I guess that’s true.”
Suyeon took out her phone before busily tapping with her fingers. She seemed to be texting someone.
“Hm, I’ll look into her a little for my cute junior. But don’t expect too much. That woman’s scary. I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but don’t get involved too deeply. Even when I look at her, she’s a total witch.”
“A small witch, or a big witch?”
“Make that a young witch or an old witch. Oh, right. I didn’t call you out to talk about this.”
At that moment, Suyeon got a call. She winked before turning around to take the call. Her voice was very loud and clear as she took that call, and the other side of the phone seemed to be male.
“Yes, yes. Of course. I’m not saying this just because we belong to the same company. He’s really good. You should take a good look at him during the audition. Is this a lobby you ask? Do people lobby with words these days? I’m just recommending you a good actor. I also would have an easier time if there’s someone good next to me. You can decide for yourself after you see him. Well, if you think of me when you see him, you can always give him bonus points. Yes, director. Have a good rest.”
Suyeon closed her phone.
“Who do you think that call was from just now?”
“By the flow of things, the producer for New Semester.”
“Correct. What good is a family member if not something like this? Human relationships are all give and take, right? I gold-plated your name as compensation for you listening to my grumbles. Of course, I didn’t put too much on it, so don’t worry about that. You don’t hate it, do you? If you don’t like it, I can always just call the director again,” said Suyeon as she pressed down her cap’s bill.
“I like it when someone gives me a push. Like a certain someone said, a decent amount of promotion is always welcome. Since we’re at it, you can push me a little more. Tell them that Han Maru is quite useful.”
“I knew you’d say that. But you’re going to have to do this properly since I also put my name on the line to advertise you. This is a form of business for me as well. My words will sound more convincing in the future if you do well. Alright?”
“Got it. I’ll do well in the audition.”
“Good. See you during the shoot next time, my cute junior.”
Maru smiled and slapped away Suyeon’s hand, which tried to pinch his cheeks. Suyeon pouted before turning around.
“Your cheeks are really expensive, you know that?”
“They have an owner already.”
“Really? I guess there’s no helping it then.”
Then let’s go for real now, shall I? - she added before taking out a brown pair of glasses. Training clothes, a baseball cap, and glasses. Unless someone decided to take a close look at her, no one would think that she was the actress Kim Suyeon. Though, a fan might still notice.
“But do you think you can go to the nationals in the winter? You slipped in the summer,” said Suyeon as she put her hand in her pocket.
“We’ll see the results when we get there. We only slipped by a small margin during the summer.”
He never thought that they’d have to forfeit the grand prize to a school he had never heard of before. Myunghwa High probably was startled as well. Thanks to that, Myunghwa High got the gold prize, and Woosung Engineering High got the silver prize. Meaning, Woosung High failed to go to the nationals.
“I’m just asking this in case, but have you seen Hwasoo High’s performance?”
“I was late to even your performance, so how could I have seen anyone else’s? Also, that school is in the northern Gyeonggi region, so they didn’t even hold it in Anyang.”
“You’re quite knowledgeable.”
“Is it unexpected?”
“No. Actually, if I think about it, you weren’t an irresponsible person. It’s not that strange for you to know.”
“Why can’t you put it in a gentler way? I’m putting in a lot of effort, you know?”
“Alright. I’ll put in some effort as well.”
“You just won’t lose to me a single time, will you? From what I hear, Hwasoo High’s overall balance was good, but one person just dominated it. If you are interested, try looking into them.”
“I will if I have the time.”
“Why are you looking at me like that? I’m a busy woman, you know? Don’t make an actress that appears on TV do something like that, geez.”
“Did I say anything? I’m just looking at you.”
“Urgh, I shouldn’t talk to this guy.”
Suyeon waved his hand as she climbed down the stairs.
Hwasoo High, huh. He was reminded of something he had almost forgotten about.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Plot twist: Kang Giwoo belongs to Hwasoo High. (Not Sooil beacuse he lives in Seoul.)
Oh, how I missed my favorite character and her antics with Maru. They're such an entertaining pair. More Suyeon plz author.