Chapter 3 Is it a Dream or a Reality?
Maybe he’s just trying to be nice, I thought, but even when his meal was served, he held the translation in his left hand while holding a fork in the right, and kept on reading. It would be fine if it was because the story was too good to put down, but if he’s doing it out of obligation, it would mean that I had bothered him…. oh no, I should have given it to him after the meal….. many thoughts went through my mind, but he was turning the pages at a steady pace, and the meal seemed to have no effect on him. He just kept going. In the meantime, my tray was served too, but I was in no condition to digest anything, so I gave it up. As he was reading, once in a while he would talk to Sohn-san who was sitting next to him, but towards the end, he read it through without stopping. Just before he was finished, a Taiwanese reporter walked up to President Sohn and started talking with him, and waiting for Yong Joon to finish reading, he started to talk with him, too. So, when Yong Joon actually finished reading, he merely held the book over his head and signaled to me “I’ve finished ~!” and immediately turned to the reporter.
After awhile, I asked him,
“How did you like it?” and he answered, “Che missoyo” – it was enjoyable. Well, I guess that was a pretty stupid thing to ask. Here is the author herself asking for his comment, who would have the nerve to put it down? But I was still worried about the Korean fans’ opinion, so I asked him, “There may have been things in there that offended you – were you upset reading them?” Laughing, he said “Anieyo~” – no, I wasn’t. Here again, there’s no way he would say “yeah, I was furious” to my face, so it was actually no use asking. I really wanted to talk with him about so many things, but I knew I shouldn’t bother him, and to avoid saying anything more stupid, I said, “I will be praying for the success of your film”, and went back to my seat.
After that, he went back to the book he had brought with him, but soon later put the book down, and started to browse through the album of the exhibit and the translation of the suspense story I had given him. All the sudden, he made a gesture like “oh, I know what!” and taking my book “Yon-sama Gekijo (Theater)” out of the pocket in front of his seat, he said something to President Sohn in an amused way, and slowly stood up. He seemed so lively then, like a junior high school student who just came up with a mischievous thought.
What was he doing? I had no idea as to what was going on then. As he stood up from his seat, I could see the muscle of his chest from the opening of his black shirt which was open widely, and a few necklaces swaying on that chest. Then, he went by Sohn-san, crossed the aisle, and …… what ? Is he really walking towards me????
My mind was blank for a second not comprehending what was happening, but soon, two things came to mind. (“If I sat here like this, is he planning to come to my seat? NO, I can’t let that happen! I wouldn’t be able to escape if such a thing happened!”) and the other idea was, (“I can’t let Yong Joon walk to me! I must go to him”).
BUT, BUT….. I can’t get up…..!!! But the two thoughts I had were both telling me to walk towards HIM, so I somehow stood up dizzily, and saw him trying to tell me something. I was in such a daze, that I really don’t remember much about him.
But the friend who was sitting in back of me called out to me saying, “Satovic-san! Autograph! Joon wants your autograph!”
what! What ! WHAAAT~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!
I literally lurched.
With my arms spread out wide, I jumped back about a meter and flattened myself against the wall of the cabin. You’re probably thinking, “oh come on, don’t try to be funny!” but I discovered that humans really DO act like that when they are put in a spot.
ME? Ah.. are you sure you want MY autograph? I think I was looking at him when I was asking this, but I don’ remember anything. What, what shall I do?
As I was stammering, ヽ('Д`;≡;'Д`)丿, I realized that I was holding the book and the marker in my hand, so he must have handed it to me. But I DON’T remember. I know…what do you MEAN you don’t remember Bae Yong Joon handing you something, right? But my soul had flown away from my body…….
By then, I realized that everyone in the business class area was looking at me. Because all I could do was stand there, a staff from BOF opened his table for me so I could sign the book. I remembered what my Indonesian friend Inekke had told me. how he had squatted down on the spot, and gave her his autograph…. And here I was squatting down myself, opening the book on the table before me. But then, I didn’t know what to write.
I really wanted to write in Hangul, Bae Yong Joon-ssi ege (translator: Youngsun, please help!) but of all times, I was getting the characters mixed up. The words of my Hangul teacher flashed in my mind – she had warned, “never put a dot on top of the “Joon” because that would make it “Yong Chun” which is most unfashionable…” The more I thought about it, the more confused I was – to dot, or not to dot? Oh, how should I know, I only had 5 lessons!
No, no, no…..I couldn’t do this in Hangul…. as I was panicking, I could sense the time going by.
I couldn’t waste Yong Joon’s time any longer! But since I have terrible handwriting, it never occurred to me to sign for him in Japanese.
When I later asked a person who witnessed this event, she told me that all during this time, Joon was squatting in front of me with his elbow on the table, and far from being irritated over the loss of time, he was enjoying himself like a mischievous boy smiling the whole time. BUT, I was beside myself, so I didn’t notice a thing.
I was just staring at the pink of the back cover of the book and the tip of the marker, panicking. I wish I had the nerve to turn to him naturally, and ask him “So, what would you like me to write?” with an elegant air!
I didn’t even know where he was. And he was in front of me the whole time…(T_T)
So, I finally gave up writing in Hangul, and started to write the horizontal line for “TO”, but, NO !!!!
NO, NO, NO!! I didn’t want to address him in a simple expression like “TO”! I wanted to tell him how much I cared about him, but how can I write it? I couldn’t come up with a good idea, and it felt like only time was drifting past me. It was probably only a second, but for it me, it seemed like forever.
Oh, I give up; “Dear” will have to do! But I’ve already written the horizontal line… so, I ended up reforming this horizontal line to write “Dear”. Out of desperation, I traced over the horizontal line and made it into a “D” and continued to write “Dear Mr. Bae Yong Joon Love forever satovic” in one breath. Oh, the “D” turned into an arrow like thing, and it was probably the most reckless autograph I ever wrote in my life. O~~~~~~H, how I had wanted to put my heart into it~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~! (tears)
Then it came to the point of writing the date, and after writing “2005. 8”, I couldn’t remember what date it was (I’m terrible with numbers to begin with). I thought it was the 21st, but I didn’t want to make a mistake, so I looked up from my book and looking around me, asked “21? 21? 21?” about 3 times. Everyone was laughing and would not tell me.
HEY GUYS!!!! Don’t stand around laughing, TELL MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
Just then, I came to a fuzzy realization for the first time, “oh, someone who seems like Yong Joon is sitting left of me”.
But I was too scared to look in that direction. At the same time, not any of the people around me like the BOF staff, and the faces of the people who were surrounding me like they were looking into what I was up to did not come into sight either. The only thing that I was able to see was Sohn-san’s face, which was right in front of me.
I was so confused that I thought the hand that held the marker was starting to shake.
I knew that if this continued any longer, I would have a heart attack. Right then, I felt something warm touch me twice.
“21, it must be 21.”
Because no one would answer me (maybe someone did, but I couldn’t hear a thing), I murmured this to myself, and finally wrote 21. At that moment, my “little alter ego satovic” said to me,
“Hey satovic! The warmth you felt on your back just now might be Joon’s hand, judging from the direction. Maybe it was Joon who was patting you on your back”, he said.
Ohh, my god! After I wrote the date, I shut the book, and confirmed that true enough, it was Joon on my left side. Oh, this can’t be happening! Just at that moment, that Korean phrase popped out of my mouth. “Aigoo, ige kuminya senshinya?!” (help again Youngsun!) Seeing me drop to the floor, with my face turned up towards heaven, and hearing me say this as I banged my hands on the table, the audience who understood Korean burst into uproarious laughter, and those who didn’t laughed any way because they probably thought I was acting in a hilarious way. As I saw that Joon was laughing too, the whole thing was very “AIGOO!” but I was happy, and I was so overwhelmed that I cried again.
I was able to make Joon laugh! Oh, I was happy beyond words! When I stood up to hand him the book, I still couldn’t look in his direction.
But it bothered me that I had lost the cap to the marker, and I kept thinking things like I can’t lose Joon’s cap, I can’t… I guess that was a pretty trivial thing to be thinking about at a time like that ….
(to be continued)