**I’ve always been appreciative of gestures of love, both small and grand, more than gifts and sweet words combined. I wrote this on a plane flying back from a trip, old school style on pen and paper. I hope somehow that speaks of how much this couple means to me.***
“Ya! Shin Hye, are you going to come? What’s this I’m hearing that you may not be able to make it? ” Keun Suk blabbers with a straight face the moment he stormed into AVA Entertainment’s office, Shin Hye’s management’s headquarters. “Oppa, mwo?” Shin Hye asks, startled and in between a hurried munch of the sandwich she was eating for lunch that day. “My last FM in Seoul, Shin Hye, that’s what I’m talking about! I already promised my fans and you know me and promises,” he demanded almost furiously. Shin Hye stares at him almost aghast, and then she chuckles as she shakes her head. “Ya! What now?! Why are you laughing?” He glares at her. “Oppa, you can be a worry wart. I promised you too, didn’t I? And you know me and promises. Trust me a little sometimes.” Shin Hye tells him.
Keun Suk sighs relieved at the assurance and also feeling safe that he can carry through with the surprise he had prepared for her and for his fans. He had promised that he will be doing something new for this fan meeting-birthday show. Since the fan meeting was meant for everyone who had stood by him and loved him inspite of all who he is and can be, the perfectionist and driven boy oft-misunderstood as a self-absorbed arrogant jerk. For this event, he wished to somehow prove to his loyal followers what they believed all along. He wants them to feel that he thinks of them more than he thinks of himself. Yes, them, including Shin Hye, the undeclared guest of honor that night.
“Oppa, saengil chukhae. Again. Haha. We will see you later! We even have our mini script ready. Yong Hwa and I. for our beloved leader.” He smiles hearing her usual chirpy voice through his voicemail. He had been in seclusion as he focused on this encore FM. He had caught her only once since he came back from Hawaii, and it was only to hand over the set list to her for his fan meet. Hearing her voice just now, through his phone, made him feel even more vibrant. The anticipation inside him builds up — to the sound of the fans chattering away in line outside the stadium, to the whizz of people walking to-and-from backstage in preparation and to Shin Hye’s recorded voice on his message box. And the goodness of the feeling that dawns on him makes him think. He must have saved the whole world in another life to deserve this much.
Keun Suk sang from his heart while the girl he is singing to stands backstage, awestruck. “Did he just profess his feelings in front of everyone?” She asks herself shocked. She looks to Yong Hwa who was only nodding, reading the question in her mind. “I can never outsurprise this guy, can I? No matter how hard I try.” She says looking exasperated but feeling giddy all at the same time. Yong taps her shoulder and rubs her back assuring her of the answer. “Welcome to heaven.” he tells her. He was right. Her feet didn’t feel like its on the ground anymore. She wants to rush back out at that moment to stand beside him. She was proud. Elated. Honored. Speechless.
Finishing his song, Keun Suk rushes backstage, grabs at the bouquet of roses standing by his path. “Where’s Shin Hye?” he asks Keun Sama. His manager points at the direction where Shin Hye and Yong were. “Your knight is here, princess.” Yong tells Shin Hye seeing Keun Suk by the door. She looks at him silently. He smiles widely. “Here. You are beautiful as these and as the song I struggled to sing.” She takes the bouquet in his hand. And holds his hand tight. She looks at his eyes, wanting to make sure she is not dreaming. He had been brave. She will be too. It feels good. In their own way, they feel right. He is in love, so he said in his song. And at that moment, she realized, she is too.
He gives her a quick embrace, before he runs out back on stage again for his Encore. Amid their reality, no matter how blissful or complicated, the show must go on.