The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something Along the Pier: A Monologue.

The boardwalk was full of different people; it made me smile to see that so many other people had the same plans as the boys and me. Shawn and Kevin were more nervous; while their English has improved since being in New York, they still look for help… to come and think of it, that’s probably why they invited me in the first place; to translate for them. Either way, today was too much of a beautiful day spending it back in the house.

“Hyung,” Shawn called for me. I turned my head around, lowering my sunglasses to look at him. “Should we do pizza or hamburgers?”

“We just got here, Hyung,” Kevin responded. I couldn’t help but laugh because it’s true. Shawn always was up for eating as soon as we got to a place. Shawn looked at Kevin with daggering eyes. Kevin wasn’t even phased about it; he looks at me to continue to conversation. “Should we go towards the benches near the beach?”

Shawn sucks his teeth. “Whatever, I’m going to get some food…” Before walking away, he turns around and looks at Kevin and me. “Uhm, Hyung, how do you say pizza in English again?”

“Same way you would pronounce it in English,” I began. Shawn puts two thumbs up and begins to walk away. “Shawn-ah,” I called out. He turns around to look at me. “Make sure you get a slice of pizza,” I reminded him.

“I might want the whole thing though,” Shawn responded back. I didn’t say anything or protest. I just allowed him to go and get his food.

Kevin and I find an empty bench and sit near the railing that leads to the beach. Kevin pulls out his sunscreen from his backpack and begins to apply it on himself. I allow the sun to tan my skin for the summer season.

“So Hyung,” Kevin begins. I look over at him when he talks. “Do you like it here more than New York?” I ponder on the thought and look out towards the beach.

“California is good for a fun time, but…” I couldn’t help but think about what New York meant for me. It’s like a memory that never stays a memory; it’s also something I think about, ever since I left 6 months ago. I don’t even realize that Kevin was talking again until he points towards my wrist.

“Where’d you get that from?” I look down at the bracelet and immediately panic internally. I tried to not let it show; fuck, maybe I shouldn’t have worn it out today.

“I don’t even remember, it was so long ago…” I felt bad talking so down on the one thing that holds so much meaning to me. Kevin looks perplexed, but doesn’t say anything since Shawn was returning back to where we were sitting.

“Okay, so,” Shawn began as he sat down and ate his slice of pizza. “There’s thisreally cool bar a couple of stores down from this pizza shop, and I totally think we should go back later tonight.

“Why tonight?” Kevin questioned.

“Because I’m not trying to meet the love of my life in this,” Shawn looked down at his rushly put-together outfit.

“Love of your life, huh?” I looked at Jamie. Shawn took a bite of his slice and looked at me as he chewed his food.

“Korea doesn’t have her in there,” he answered.

“Well, if you’re serious about meeting someone serious out here, maybe we should stop at a bookstore and get yourself a dictionary,” I teased. Kevin laughed, in which Shawn nudges him to the side. “Seriously though, maybe just have some fun while you’re here.”

“This is coming from the person who hasn’t dated a woman like–“

“Hyung!” Kevin stopped Shawn mid-sentence. I let out a deep sigh, and get up from the bench.

“Well, I guess we’ll come back tonight then for Shawn. And me,” I said. I was lying, but I was tired of Shawn and Kevin tip-toeing around me regarding women. I know I had to let Grace go. She wasn’t coming back into my life, and I’m not getting any younger. Shawn and Kevin look visibly shocked, but it was Shawn that stood up from the bench next, pounding me in the arm for support.

“Alright! There we go! Let’s have some fun tonight!” Shawn skips away from Kevin and me, as we walk along the rest of the pier. Kevin stops me in my tracks by grabbing my arm. I look at him.

“What?” I asked.

“You’re serious? Are you really moving on?” Kevin genuinely looked concerned, and it honestly annoyed me that he phrased it in a way where I was somewhat joined in with Grace.

“At this point, I’d be stupid for not doing so,” I answered, forcing myself to believe in what I was saying. But it was the truth; I have to move on. I need to move on.

“But you love–” Kevin started to say. I wouldn’t let him say it out in the universe.

“I don’t. Not anymore,” I said. I kept on walking, following Shawn, lying to Kevin, and lying to myself.

Black Sheep in Society.

Intervention for Black Sheep: A Scene.

Dani and Tanner walk out of their cab in front of Micah’s house. The cab drives away, leaving the couple standing in front of the house. Dani begins to walk towards the front porch until Tanner notices something and stops Dani.

Tanner: Babe.

Dani: What?

Tanner points in the direction he’s looking at.

Tanner: That’s the motorcycle Micah’s been checking out at the shop. He was able to afford it?

Dani: *not interested* I don’t know, we can ask him after we’re done cursing the shit outta him…

The couple walks up to the front door and ring the doorbell.

Dani and Tanner are accompanied by Jennifer, Micah’s mother. She walks them inside the living room area.

Jennifer: Micah should still be in his room; it’s not like he’s been anywhere else for the last couple of days. Maybe with you two here, he’ll feel better.

The couple nods and Jennifer smiles in response.

Jennifer: Well, you know where his room is. Daniella, tell your mom I said hi and that she and your dad need to come to visit us soon!

Dani: Will do! Thanks, Aunt Pep.

The couple walks down the hall, towards Micah’s room. When they reach it, Tanner hesitates and gets nervous to knock on the door. Dani, on the other hand, isn’t afraid and begins to knock on the door.

Dani: Micah?

Without an answer, Dani storms into Micah’s room; Tanner is right behind her. When they enter the room, the room is dark and smelly. Dani walks towards Micah’s windows and opens the blinds which summons Micah from under the covers of his bed.

Micah: Come on, it’s too bright…

Dani: *annoyed* Bitch, it’s 2 in the afternoon, get your ass up!

Tanner: Babe.

Micah removes himself from his covers to quickly pull down the blinds. Dani loudly sighs and turns on the light in Micah’s room, which annoys him.

Micah: I don’t remember calling you guys over.

Dani: You didn’t, so we took the liberty to come over to talk some sense into you.

Micah rolls his eyes and ties his messy dreads up in a bun.

Micah: Well, you’re wasting your time. I’m completely fine.

Dani: Not leaving your house for days on end isn’t “fine.”

Micah: *annoyed* Look, I already get enough shit from my family, I don’t need it from you two! So if you’re gonna be like that, y’all can leave!

Micah sits at his desk and turns around, not facing the couple. Tanner walks up towards Micah and sits at the edge of his bed respectively.

Tanner: Listen bro, we’re just worried about you. You missed amateur night this month at the Oxy Lounge, we haven’t seen you on campus in a while, and you’ve been MIA online. As your best friends, we just want to know what’s going on.

Dani: And it better not be because–

Tanner: Dani, I got this.

Dani doesn’t say anything else, she just sits with Tanner on Micah’s bed.

Tanner: What’s going on, bro?

Micah finally turns around from his desk and takes a deep breath, letting it out in a big sigh.

Micah: This shit fucking hurts, man. I fucking loved that girl and she just let me fucking rot.

Tanner: Why did she break up with you in the first place?

Micah: She’s shooting a movie in Sweden–

Dani: We know that, but that can’t be why she broke things off with you–

Micah: *annoyed* It was a lot of things, okay? Like she barely has been my girlfriend ever since she’s been trying to make this acting thing happen.

Tanner: But you knew this was the price you had to pay to be with her.

Micah rubs his face with his hands; frustrated.

Micah: She wasn’t so distant when the tabloids discovered she was living in New York though. She was still herself, not caring about the media and all of the bullshit, and–

Tanner: She was also into music, too.

Micah doesn’t say anything for a moment, he just picks at his fingernails.

Micah: She was so fucking dope, bro. She played in the all-boys band in high school without ever letting those other guys get to her and her confidence. She was such a badass.

Tanner: That’s also the girl you fell in love with, and I think that’s the girl you’re holding onto when you say you loved her.

Micah looks at Tanner, offended at what he said.

Micah: With all due respect Tanner, just because you’re studying to be a therapist doesn’t qualify you as one without a degree.

Dani: You’re lucky he’s the one talking to you and not me!

Tanner: Babe!

Dani: No! It’s my turn! Micah, we told you a long time ago something just felt off about Kalia. She never wanted to hang out with all of us, she always had to “leave early” whenever you guys would hang out, and that bitch just had no personality which is ironic since she’s trying to be a damn actress–

Micah: Fuck you, Dani!

Dani: Do you hear yourself right now? Defending someone who’s literally across the fucking globe not giving a shit about anything else besides her new shiny acting career! The tabloids were keeping your relationship with her more together than she ever was, dude!

Tanner: Dani, please–

Dani: *keeps going* Now you’re letting her affect your own career and your fucking education! One of your classmates literally came to us the other day and asked if we heard from you because your professor was threatening to fail you!

Tanner: *yells* Dani!

Micah is surprised to hear this new information.

Micah: Wait, what?

Dani: Some girl came up to us to ask you where the fuck you’ve been since you haven’t been to class in God knows how long…

Micah: Who was it?

Dani: *annoyed* I don’t know her name! But she sure cared more about you than I ever saw “your girlfriend” showed us.

Micah: *angry* Just get the hell out of here, guys. I don’t want to talk anymore about this.

Micah turns around towards his desk, ignoring the couple. Dani extends her arm to turn the chair back in their direction which makes Micah furious and stands from his chair.

Micah: For fuck’s sake, leave me alone!

Dani: So you can sulk about that pathetic bitch?

The two friends begin the bicker as Tanner is the one having to play peacemaker with him. He gets fed up and yells.

Tanner: Shut the fuck up and calm down, both of you!

The volume of Tanner’s voice shocks Micah and Dani. They both quiet down.

Tanner: Micah?

Micah: What?

Tanner: How did you get the motorcycle?

At first, Micah is confused.

Micah: What?

Tanner: The motorcycle that was at the shop. The one you were eyeballing. Where’d you get the money to buy it?

Micah doesn’t say anything, but Tanner pieces two and two together.

Tanner: She bought it for you, didn’t she?

Micah: *annoyed* You should know; you’re the one that told her about it.

Tanner: I didn’t think she was serious when she asked though! Did she really buy you the motorcycle?

Dani: *interrupts* I’m sorry, but what does this have to do with anything?

Tanner: *realizes* She bought you the motorcycle as a parting gift, didn’t she?

Micah doesn’t answer, his face is sullen.

Dani: Are you fucking serious? That bitch planned this?!

Dani gets up and angrily walks around Micah’s room. Micah is too exhausted to fight back.

Tanner: It hurts, bro; but don’t let this shit stop you from doing what you want to do.

Tanner gets up from the bed and gets Dani so that they can leave.

Tanner: Come on, babe.

Dani: Nuh-uh! Not until I get some answers–

Tanner: *stern* Dani.

Dani: Fine fine! *as she walks out* When the hell did you get so assertive like this? I’m rubbing off on you or something…

The door closes behind the couple. Micah sits back down on his desk chair and grabs his phone from the charger. He scrolls through his messages and begins typing one on his phone.

Micah: Hey Roe. I'm sorry for what happened the other day. That was stupid and unlike me to do that. Thank you for having my back. See you in class.

Sent.

Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: 100 Pounds.

Back in August 2020, I had my first-ever nutritionist appointment for bariatric surgery. I wore my hair up in a ponytail, and I wore one of my summer dresses that was a size 4X. She took my weight and to my surprise, I was 323 pounds; that was the highest weight I’ve been. I brushed it off as it being “COVID weight”, something I felt many people gained during the lockdown period of the pandemic in 2020.

Shortly after, she asked me, “what is your weight-loss goal post-surgery?” I thought about it a little because I wanted to be realistic. I didn’t want to sit there and say, “I want to be, like, 130 pounds and mad skinny!” My real answer didn’t sound realistic at first either. I asked myself “how the fuck was I supposed to do this and would I even ever get to the weight I wanted to at least be after surgery?”

I answered, “I want to lose at least 100 pounds.”

Hi, my name is Liz and I officially lost 100 pounds since having surgery.

There’s a funny story behind this little milestone: I didn’t realize I had hit my 100-pound goal until I weighed myself on the same day that I had possibly the worst day I’ve had at my job. I weighed myself since it had been a while since I last did so, and the scale read 211 pounds. I was 311 on the day of surgery.

Losing 100 pounds is something that I didn’t think I would ever be capable of. I wasn’t even able to keep 20 pounds off pre-surgery, so it felt really weird to put this standard on myself when I said I wanted to lose 100 pounds.

2020.

I don’t sit here and recommend everyone to have this surgery. I can’t sit here and say that surgery would fix all of the problems that you had before having surgery. It helps you lose weight, but the necessary steps to get to this place are a lot. It’s tedious, it’s time-consuming, and you have to be able to give up a lot of your favorite foods for a while or completely. For me, I had to stop drinking soda, which is something I was addicted to for years. The withdrawals from Pepsi were intense, and just like quitting anything cold turkey, it’s constantly on your mind and you want nothing more than to cave in and just feed into your addiction. I haven’t had a soda since February 2021 and haven’t really craved it since.

Post-surgery, I had to give up enjoying my favorite foods because I simply can’t eat the portions I once did. For instance, I feel like although I still love Chinese food, I don’t enjoy it the way that I did. It’s sometimes frustrating to have a favorite food still but not be able to enjoy it because you can’t have much of it anymore. A combination would be eaten in one night; it takes me three days to finish a combination and even then I throw the rest away after.

Much of this information is redundant, but this is what my journey has been like for 10 months. There were points when I didn’t have many options for food and fixated on things like soup for months on end. As of right now, it’s surprisingly ramen, but at the beginning of my post-op journey, food was limited and not an enjoyable experience.

These last 10 months have been full of great accomplishments and weight loss that allowed me to feel more my age. I went from being a 4X in dresses and tops and a 30/32 pants size to now being a 1X and 18/20; a clothing size I haven’t been since my teenage years in high school. Documenting my journey since July 2021 on Instagram has been trippy considering that I don’t notice the changes unless I put on clothing that is too big for me now or if I look at photos of myself from a year ago. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but there are days when I feel like an impostor or like I’m not deserving of the accomplishments since I took the “easy way out” to lose weight. There are days when I don’t feel like my body is mine. There are days that I try to remember how I used to feel when I was heavier. There are days when I feel like I betrayed the fat girl community.

That last one is conflicting. I remember starting this series based on the fact that I accepted my body for what it’s become over the years. I feel like there are times were I betrayed that girl, or that I lied to a community of people who found comfort in the stories I told as a fat girl. I told those stories because they were my reality and those were my stories to tell. I was constantly fat-shamed, I was body-shamed and bullied for being fat, having the first insult anyone would call me when they were arguing with me was “fat bitch”; I’ve experienced similar stories with other fat girls, and now I feel like I’m in a space where I can’t relate to the experience anymore because I had surgery to lose weight.

Maybe I am reading too much into this and this is just my poor self-judgment telling me things. Maybe I am deserving of these results because I’ve worked hard and changed so much of my life in order to have them. Maybe no one is looking at me saying that I’m not “body positive” anymore. Maybe there are, but I have to remind myself that only I know how my journey is going. I decide what to share what I want to share about my weight loss these days. No one else sits with me on a day-by-day basis to see what my journey looks like now. Only I do, and I’m proud to have hit a milestone that I thought I would never experience in my life.

In this body I trust; we got this.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something Behind the City of Dreams: A Monologue.

“Will you ever find me, Jamie?” Grace said as she ran playfully through the busy streets of New York City. I tried to navigate towards the people slowly walking through the sidewalk, frantically trying to keep up with Grace.

“Grace?” I call out for her. I don’t hear her voice anymore, only the busy chatter and car horns that surround the city life. I stand in the middle of the street, circling around and trying to find Grace. I yell out her name at the top of my lungs, and I still feel like it’s too loud for me to be heard.

I wake up in a puddle of my own sweat. My neck is drenched, and my throat is dry. I look at the clock on my nightstand, which reads 7AM. I take in a deep sigh and get out of bed, walking towards the kitchen.

When I walk into the kitchen, Shawn and Kevin are surprisingly up, eating a quick breakfast and drinking coffee. Shawn turns around from the stove to see Jamie.

“Look who finally decided to wake up!” Shawn teases. I go and sit next to Kevin on the island.

“Ya,” I said, half awake. “You’re never awake this early. What’s the sudden change?”

“We have plans today,” Kevin responded back. “So I forced him up to make breakfast and get himself together.”

Shawn places a mug filled with coffee in front of Jamie, who then proceeds to prepare it how he likes it.

“Oh? Where are you guys going?” I asked.

“What do you mean? You’re coming with us, Hyung,” Kevin answered. I looked over at Kevin, clearly confused.

“What?” I take a sip of the coffee. I place it down quickly. Shawn always makes the coffee a bit too bitter, but knowing that he’s up this early; I understand why.

“Yeah, you don’t think you’re exempt from doing all the cool things while we’re here, right?” Kevin honestly asked, which made Shawn laugh. Kevin doesn’t even react, he just keeps typing on his phone, possibly to his girlfriend.

“So, where would you thinking of going?” I said, sipping the bitter coffee. I placed it down after having a couple of sips; it was waking me up in ways I didn’t know I could be woken up.

“To the pier! It’s not going to be that hot today so we were going to the pier and the beach!” Shawn said, excited. Kevin finally places his phone down, looking at us for the first time since being in here. I look at him.

“How’s Joo-Ah?” I asked. Kevin’s face flashed red. That man is in love. It must be nice to have that going for him. Kevin nods his head before speaking.

“She’s doing well. Joo-Ah and my family went out to dinner tonight,” Kevin said, smiling for the first time today. I smiled back at him.

“That’s good that she can be with your family while you’re here,” I reassured him. Shawn turns around to face us opposite of the island.

“Kevin’s gonna marry her,” Shawn teased in English.

“Hyung!” Kevin called out. Shawn starts to laugh and Kevin’s face flashes red once again. I shake my head and get off the barstool to walk out of the kitchen.

“Well, if we’re all going out together, then you both better be ready by the time I am,” I said as I walked towards back towards my room.

I entered my room and go through the dresser draws to pick out today’s outfit. The Jamie that first came to the states would not understand why I now own a pair of blue, distressed jeans and floral button-down camper shirts.

“You don’t own a pair of blue jeans?” Grace asked as she went through my closet one night. I leaned against the doorframe of my bedroom with my arms crossed across my chest.

“I have no reason to own a pair,” I responded back. Grace scrolls through the hangers of all my bottoms, which were more so slacks and trousers. She turns around and looks at me, completely at awe.

“Jamie,” she simply said.

“What?!” I couldn’t help but laugh at Grace and how serious she looked.

“You’re too fine to just be giving us business casual all the time,” Grace admitted. Her honesty made my face flash red. She walked towards me and runs her fingers through my blonde hair. “Even the most successful people have to let their hair down and let loose.” I couldn’t help but smile down at her.

“Are you telling me that our night date has to be just casual wear?” I teased back.

“Casual wear for the evening, and nothing after hours,” Grace playfully responded. I laughed out loud, always amazed at what words come out of this spunky woman’s mouth.

I put on the distressed blue jeans and floral camper shirt. Reaching in my top drawer for my sunglasses, I come across the bracelet that Grace got for me for Christmas… the first time I was in New York City. I don’t wear it as much as I used to, but I also can’t find myself leaving behind in Korea, or anywhere for that matter. I felt like I had to bring with me no matter where I went.

I have it out of the satin pouch and hold it up. It was a simple silver chain with a clasp at the ends. I place it around my wrist, deciding that today I would take it around; take her around the pier. I know she would’ve loved it.

Black Sheep in Society.

A Black Sheep Pity Party: A Scene.

Rosie walks into the bookstore early in the morning to start her workday. She sighs loudly as she goes towards the lockers to put her stuff down. She takes out her phone from her pocket to check it once more before she puts it on silent for the work day. Nothing from Micah.

Rosie’s co-worker, Natasha, is seen walking into the back room to place her stuff down.

Natasha: Hey Rosie.

Rosie: Hey, Nat; did Simon ever tell us what to do with the expired shit back here?

Natasha: Nope, and we’re going to keep it that way until one of the guys comes in to work.

The girls laugh as they get ready for their day shift.

Natasha: Dude, you know that guy that comes into the store whenever you’re in?

Rosie: *confused* Who?

Natasha: You know, that guy with the huge instrument case on his back? Brown-skinned with dreads?

Rosie realizes Natasha is talking about Micah, but is still so confused as in why she’s bringing him up.

Rosie: What about him?

Natasha: I didn’t even know he was dating a celebrity! Like what is someone like him coming to college for? He’s with a famous person…

Rosie turns around and puts her nametag around her neck. She looks uncomfortable as Natasha talks about Micah.

Rosie: Ain’t nothing wrong with still getting your degree though…

Natasha: Yeah, but not when you’re dating the up and coming actress like Kalia Holder!

Rosie rolls her eyes at the name; Natasha notices.

Natasha: Oh? You like him or something?

Rosie: No, it’s just that people go crazy over Joel Holder’s daughter and think she’s talented when really she’s rich because of her dad… *realizes* Wait, how do you know he’s dating her?

Natasha: *laughs* He was; TMZ announced that they broke up or something. They saw him at some club with some chicks the other night. *dumbfounded* Like how are you gonna cheat on a celebrity with some nobodies–

Rosie’s eyes widen; she now knows why MIcah has been missing in action. The girls manager comes from the outside door and let them know that the store is opening in a couple of minutes. Natasha walks out of the break room, but Rosie stays there for another minute or too. She takes her phone out of her pocket and looks online. The news is true; there’s pictures of Micah around groups of girls in a club somewhere in the city.

Rosie: *to herself* He’s not even 21 yet, the fuck is he doing at a club?

Rosie hears her manager looking for her outside of the break room. She puts her phone in her pocket and rushes out to the storefront to start her work day.

During her lunch break, Rosie goes to sit in the cafeteria where the other college students sit and enjoy their breaks in between their classes. She takes out her phone to look at more articles about Micah’s sighting:

Kalia Holder's Beau Out With Other Women Days After Kalia's Movie Debut Announced: Is There Trouble in Paradise?

Rosie is in shock and is furious that Micah would ignore his responsibilities to go out with some dumb broads. She places her phone on the table and sighs. She looks around the cafeteria until she notices the two people she’s been trying to bump into. Once she sees the two people sit down, she gathers her things and walks towards their table.

She slowly walks towards the table in which the two people look up at the approaching person. Rosie stops at the end of the table.

Rosie: Hey… Uhm, were you two at the Oxygen Lounge a couple of weeks ago?

The two people, Dani and Tanner, wonder what Rosie is getting at.

Dani: Maybe?

Rosie: Are you not Micah’s friends?

Dani and Tanner look at each other and then back at Rosie.

Dani: Look, Micah doesn’t need groupies

Rosie: *annoyed* I’m not a “groupie”, I’m one of his classmates that keeps lying for him since he hasn’t been in class for weeks already. Our professor is threatening to fail him. I just want to know where I could find him since he disappeared from the face of the earth.

Rosie gets ready to turn away from the two friends, until Dani says something back.

Dani: Sorry, I didn’t mean to bark on you like that.

Rosie looks back at the two friends. Dani sighs and continues with her response.

Dani: It’s just that, we didn’t know what was going on with Micah until we saw the headlines today. But other than that, we haven’t been able to get a hold of him as well.

Rosie nods her head and walks away. Tanner is now the one to say something.

Tanner: Have you heard from him?

Rosie: *turns around* I haven’t.

Nothing else is said, and Rosie walks away from the couple. She leaves the building and stands outside. She’s thinking hard about where the hell could Micah be. She shuts her eyes tightly and then opens them up again. She takes out her phone and types on her phone.

Rosie: Hey Nat, I'm not feeling good. Tell Gabs I'm leaving early.

She sends the text and runs off towards the exit of campus.

Rosie opens the door to the trendy milkshake spot in Brooklyn; the one where Micah took her to a couple of months ago. She looks around and takes a seat at one of the tables. She looks down at her phone, wanting to know more about Micah’s night out. She scrolls down and sees a related article that grabs her attention.

Kalia Holder calls relationship off; says her "career is my only focus right now".

Rosie: Are you fucking serious?

Rosie continues to keep reading the article, growing more and more furious at what the article is talking about. A moment later, a waiter comes up to Rosie’s table, immediately looking up when she hears their voice.

Waiter: Peanut Butter Cup Swirl Milkshake?

Rosie: *surprised* Yeah… How’d you know?

Waiter: Only you and Salem buy them–

The waiter walks away, leaving Rosie confused.

Rosie: Salem? *light bulb* Oh; Micah’s stage name…

Rosie turns her head when she hears commotion towards the entrance of the place. Her eyes widen when she sees it’s Micah bumping into tables, apologizing for doing so. Micah walks up to the counter; Rosie gets up and walks towards the counter to confront Micah.

Rosie: What the fuck, Micah?

Micah: *defensive* Now your publicity is following me too– *turns around* Rosie?

Rosie: *annoyed* Yeah, hi! Remember me? Your friend?

Micah turns back around and rolls his eyes, now talking to the person at the counter. Rosie looks at the guy behind the counter, scrambling through a couple of zip-lock bags. She looks at Micah.

Micah: Hey bro, can I get a–

Rosie pulls Micah away from the counter; Micah is taken off-gaurd.

Micah: Yo, what the fuck–

Rosie: Here; just take mine, asshole.

Rosie hands over her milkshake to Micah and walks out of the place with him. Once they are outside, Rosie lets go of Micah.

Micah: What are you even doing here anyway?

Rosie: What are you doing buying drugs behind some sketch guy? Is this why it’s your favorite spot too? You can just get drugs and shit–

Micah: Why the fuck do you care anyway? Just leave me alone, Rosie…

Micah continues to walk away from Rosie until she runs up to him, stopping him in his tracks.

Rosie: Why? So you can shoot up whatever drugs you take to feel better about yourself?

Micah: It’s fucking weed, Rosie; it’s not coke.

Rosie: *angry* I don’t give a fuck if it’s heroin! You’re fucking skipping school and ignoring your friends to smoke some trash weed from a guy that probably smokes half the dime before selling it?

Micah rolls his eyes and instead takes out a cigarette from his pocket. He lights it up.

Micah: *sarcastically* Oh, but it’s cool to smoke a cigarette? No bitching about me smoking a cigarette?

Rosie: *ignores* Where the fuck have you been?

Micah: Don’t worry about it.

Rosie: What the fuck is that supposed to mean? You literally haven’t been to class in almost a month, you haven’t been answering my messages or calls; like what the fuck was I suppose to think?

Micah: I don’t know, maybe I didn’t want to be bothered?

Rosie: *yells* That’s not the fucking point, dickhead! You really had me out there thinking something terrible happened when all it really was is you and your girlfriend broke up.

Micah: You don’t fucking get it, Rosie! You don’t fucking know a thing about me or what my relationship was.

Micah attempts to walk away from Rosie, but she stops him once again. He begins to get furious at Rosie.

Micah: Ima need you to leave me the fuck alone.

Rosie: And ima need you to pick your balls off the floor and get over yourself.

Micah: Fuck off, Rosie.

Rosie: You know you were in the headlines last night, right? They caught you at the club with some random hoes. You know, you want to become this big-time music producer and are already turning your image into shit because some girl who doesn’t care about you called things off.

Micah: How do you know I wasn’t the one that called things off? I mean, I was the one at the club with other girls.

Rosie: Because you would’ve left that bitch when she stopped caring about you and the relationship a long time ago.

Micah shoves Rosie away from his path and continues walking away. Rosie catches up with Micah and grabs him for him to only turn around and fight back. She pushes Rosie against the brick wall of the building, holding her up by the collar of her sweater. He immediately lets her go, regretting what he did. Rosie is in shock as she straightens herself out.

Rosie: Fuck you, Micah! You only care about the things and people that don’t care about you back, and then expect a fucking pity party when they hurt you!

Micah: Roe–

Rosie walks away from Micah; he doesn’t go after her.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

A Little Something in Cali: A Monologue.

A couple of years ago, I visited California as a vacation spot. I still remember getting away from Southeast Asia and coming to the west to experience more than just what surrounds Korea. I was dating Seohyun at the time, in which I remember her telling me that nothing good ever comes out of going overseas. I told her everything was going to be okay and that I needed to go on this trip for myself. It wasn’t until shortly after I came back from my vacation that she broke up with me. Maybe she was right all along; nothing good ever comes out of America.

I turn my back once I realize that the door of the room I was staying in was being knocked on. I walked over and opened it to see Shawn, who walks in and looks around my room.

“Whoa, you have the best room in the house,” Shawn said. Kevin and Shawn decided that for our guy’s trip, we would rent a house for the summer instead of constantly checking in and out of hotels. I didn’t mind since it saves me money in the long run. I smiled and crossed my arms onto my chest.

“Well, this was my birthday gift from you two after all,” I teased. Shawn rolled his eyes as Kevin knocked on the front door and let himself in.

“Hyung,” Kevin called out. I raised my eyebrows at him, listening to what he needed to say. “How do you call someone in Korea while you’re overseas? What time is it anyway in Korea?” I couldn’t help but laugh and tease the maknae of our friend group.

“Aww, is Kevin already missing his girlfriend?” I said in a sing-song tone. He pinned his eyes on me which felt more like darts. I started to laugh even louder, in which Kevin’s face began turning red.

“Hajima~” Kevin whined. “I wanted to let Joo-ah know that I landed safely.” Shawn runs over to Kevin to pinch his cheeks out of cuteness. The two men begin to play fight in the middle of my room.

“Ya, that’s enough,” I shouted at the men. “If anything breaks while we are here, you’ll be the ones who will pay for it.” Shawn and Kevin stop fighting, and respectively begin to show themselves out of my room.

“Get some rest, Hyung, we got plans to do some exploring in the city,” Shawn said. He left the room before Kevin did. He randomly stood near the door as if he still had a lot going on in his mind.

“You’re okay, Kevin?” I asked.

“Is this how you felt when you were away from–” Kevin stopped. Kevin doesn’t seem to force me to talk about things like he used to. In a way, I’m glad Joo-ah is in his life. It keeps him busy with his own personal life.

“Yeah.” I simply answered. He didn’t push me further to talk, which I’m thankful for. He simply nodded his head and left my room.

Once the door closed, I immediately went to lay in bed. I don’t remember the jet lag being as bad as it was this time. Maybe it was just my age coming to play, or maybe I was actually excited to leave Korea and go to the west. I closed my eyes, trying to calm my mind down and allow my tired body to drift to sleep.

“Jamie,” a whisper lingered through my ear as my body began to wake up. I opened my eyes and look to my right to see her laying there, smiling when she sees me awake.

“Jagiya,” I playfully whined and covered my head with the comforter. She rips it off and begins to run her fingers through my hair. “Can’t we stay in bed for a little longer?”

“The more time we stay here, the less time we have together,” she answered. I sat up from the bed and look at her.

“It’s not like you’ll run away from New York and we’ll never see each other again,” I said. She laughed and cupped my face with her hands.

“Only if you don’t come looking for me,” she said in a cynical tone.

I wake up and immediately need to catch my breath. I touch my neck which is drenched in sweat. I look at the time on my phone, and it reads 5am. I sighed and rubbed my eyes before laying back down in bed and staring up at the ceiling. I don’t remember when these dreams began, but they would happen every once and awhile in the couple of months I was back in Korea. Maybe they’re more intense ow considering I’m back in America. She’s not here, Jamie. She’s…

That’s the thing. I didn’t know where she was. A couple of weeks after arriving to Korea, I tried to get in contact with Ari to ask her if she had any updates on Grace. She didn’t, but I also didn’t expect her to tell me anything if she knew where Grace was. After awhile, I had no choice but to give up. I knew what it was like to disappear from your home without anyone really knowing; if you don’t want to be found, you tell no one.

Even if they still think you’re the absolute world.

It was no point trying to go back to bed, so instead I picked my phone from the night stand and did a quick search of any nearby coffee shops that were open at this time.

“Beanie’s Cafe?” I read the first available shop open. It still surprised me to see places that are open 24 hours in other countries. I get up from my bed and begin to throw on my outfit for the day. Knowing that today was going to be really hot, I tried to dress coolly… shorts.

I walked out of my room and into the common area to see if Shawn or Kevin were up yet.

“Ya,” I called out. “Anyone want to take a walk with me to a coffee shop?” There was no reply. I shook my head, not surprised that these guys can sleep anywhere and forever. I gave up, put my shoes on, and walked out of the door.

Walking down the streets of California, I can’t help but think back when I was vacationing here. I smiled, thinking about how I carried around that damn Korean-to-English dictionary trying to communicate with anyone. To come and think about it, I wonder where that little book is anyway; I might’ve thrown it away in frustration when I kept failing at communicating for all I know. You know, that might actually have happened.

“You threw away your dictionary?” Seohyun said over the phone. She sound more concerned, even though I told her it was funny.

“I did. No one could understand me behind my accent,” I explained. The joke didn’t feel as joke-like anymore. Seohyun always knew when to take things too seriously and ruined jokes because of it.

“Jaemin,” Seohyun started. “You’re in a foreign country, and you can’t rely on the little English that you know!”

“Seohyun-ah~” I tried to not sound as annoyed as I was, but she was making me feel somewhat incompetent. “I’ll be fine.”

“Don’t come crying to me when you’re lost in the middle of America,” Seohyun bluntly stated. “I told you nothing comes good out of traveling that far.”

I got to the coffee shop shortly after I left the house. The shop wasn’t anything too fancy; it was just a little cozy coffee shop; one that people go to do their work or students who are studying. It definitely reminded me of New York City, and I immediately felt too uneasy to stay there any longer. Ya, you can’t just let New York ruin every place in America for you. I still vote against it. I left the cafe without getting anything.

Is this how the rest of the trip is going to be like?

Black Sheep in Society.

Black Sheep’s Whereabouts: A Scene.

The class before Rosie walks out of the classroom. As she waits to walk into her classroom, she looks around her other classmates. Micah is nowhere to be found once again. Once the other class clears out, she and her classmates enter the room to officially begin their class for the day: Art History.

Rosie sits in her seat, looking ahead of her to where Micah’s seat is. It’s been empty for the last two classes, and she has no idea where the hell he could be. She takes out her phone from her sweater pocket and opens up her messages with Micah.

Rosie: Micah I swear to God if you don't answer me I'm going to rip your throat out. Where the fuck are you?

The professor walks into the classroom and begins the lecture by taking attendance.

Professor: Okay, let’s see who we got in today… *flips attendance book* Amanda Abrams? Joseph Benito? Zoe Davis?

Each of her classmates raises their hand as their name gets called.

Professor: Rosie Delgado?

Rosie looks up from her phone and quickly raises her hand. She immediately goes back to sending Micah another text message.

Rosie: We have a fucking midterm coming up and you're just gonna not come to class anymore? What's going on with you, man?

Professor: Amina Izizberry? Micah Kamalani?

No answer. The professor looks up towards the class and sees the empty seat where Micah would usually sit. He grows frustrated.

Professor: Has anyone spoken to Micah lately? Does anyone know what’s going on with him?

At first, Rosie doesn’t say anything. The professor sighs.

Professor: Well if anyone does speak to him, please let him know he’s two classes away from unofficially withdrawing and should make an effort to come to class–

Rosie: He had surgery!

The class turns in their seats and looks at Rosie.

Professor: Surgery?

Rosie: Yeah. He, uhm… got into a car accident and had to get surgery on his… leg.

Professor: Oh my, I’m sorry to hear that. Send Micah our best wishes and we hope to see him soon. In the meantime Ms. Delgado, can you share your class notes with him? He has missed a lot of work since he was last in class.

Rosie: No problem, Professor.

The professor continues with the attendance and everyone stops looking at Rosie. She lets out a deep sigh of relief, seriously pissed at Micah.

Rosie walks out of her building, looking at her phone to see if Micah wrote her back while she was in class; nothing. She lets out a frustrating sigh until something rings in her bookbag. She pulls out a second phone and picks up the call.

Rosie: Hey, everything alright?

Rosie looks around while she talks on the phone. She notices the two other people that were at Micah’s gig a couple of weeks ago. She begins to walk over to them but stops midway when she sees who she’s talking to in person. It’s Prescott. Rosie hangs up the phone and walks toward Prescott’s car. She wraps her hair up and puts on a hat before she reaches him.

Rosie: What are you doing here?

Prescott: I couldn’t wait for you to come by, so I decided to come and get you.

Prescott grabs Rosie by her backside to bring her closer to him. Rosie smiles at the gesture.

Rosie: Are you really asking for it right now? What about your parents?

Prescott: Out of town until tomorrow morning.

Rosie: How much are we talking?

Prescott: *thinks* Hmm… Rent and some spending money?

Rosie: *excited* Okay!

Prescott smiles and walks back to the driver’s side of the car. Rosie happily goes toward the passenger’s side and gets into the car with him. They drive off and away from the campus.

Rosie lays naked on a California King Bed in a penthouse suite in the city. She rolls in between the bed sheets and grabs her phone from her jean pocket. She scrolls through her phone to see if she got any messages from Micah: nothing. She tries to look him up on social media to see if he’s been active, but that lead comes out empty. She decides to go through his friends list on Instagram in hopes to see if the two friends she saw on campus are on his page. She panics when she hears Prescott coming back into the bedroom. She throws her phone back to where her clothes are.

Prescott: You want anything to eat or drink? The chef is coming in about an hour.

Rosie: The beef wellington was amazing last time, do you think we could have that again?

Prescott: *disinterested* I was thinking of something fast; the wellington is too time consuming.

Rosie: I mean, we have the time, right? Your parents aren’t coming back until tomorrow morning.

Prescott doesn’t say anything back. Rosie nods her head.

Rosie: You don’t want me to stay the night, huh?

Prescott: It’s not that, it’s just– I had other plans for this evening. I figured you had to get ready for work tomorrow and class–

Rosie: Yeah, but I could’ve gone home before work and do that before I left tomorrow morning. *upset* It’s whatever…

Prescott grabs Rosie before she is able to leave out of the bed. Rosie stops and completely melts in his arms.

Prescott: Please, stay. I really wanted to see you before I get swarmed with business stuff tonight. At least stay for some dinner. I will get Diego to drive you home later.

Rosie sighs and then smiles back at Prescott.

Rosie: Of course I’ll stay.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

“saeng-Something-hamnida”: A Monologue.

Ins Korean Style Brown Bear Candle Home Decoration Birthday Cake Decorative  Candles Wedding Party Decoration Photography 1PC|Candles| - AliExpress

I laughed out loud watching Shawn and Kevin bring out the birthday cake from the kitchen. The birthday cake had cute tiny teddy bears on it; the cake was suitable for a 12-year-old child more than a 32-year-old man. I smile though, watching my two friends carry this cake to the table and sing happy birthday to me.

I can’t believe another year has passed by. It was not too long ago when I even turned 30, yet here I am, two years into these 30’s. Things have been strangely different these last couple of months. For one. Spring has begun, and the leaves on the trees are starting to show on the branches. The flowers are blooming in every grassy area in the city, and I’ve been back in Korea for about 3 months now. Speaking nothing but Korean for the last couple of months has made me worried that perhaps my English isn’t so good anymore. Every now and then, I try to talk English to those around me, even though they don’t understand what I am saying. The firm’s been good. Minor cases here and there for the most part; I’m glad that they’ve been this way. I’m starting to realize that I’ve been a prosecutor for almost a decade and while I enjoy it and love my job, I can feel myself getting tired and burned out. Men my age have families, wives, lives that they help take care of. Men who are lawyers seem to not have that, or maybe it’s just me.

Shawn will probably never have a serious girlfriend; he gets too distracted and his attention span is pretty much non-existent. Shawn, while great at keeping focused on his job and able to crack the cases in his unique way, seems to think life is about just living it for yourself. His ideology is his own, and as a friend, I have to respect it. Kevin on the other hand is currently in a relationship. She’s a program manager for a small company in Incheon; whenever Kevin isn’t in Seoul, he pretty much spends his time with her. I’m glad though; someone was able to finally get Kevin to let loose a little and settle with a woman.

As for me, I’ve been keeping myself busy being with my family on most of my off-days. My eldest sister, Mina, is pregnant with her third child; her husband is hoping this one is a boy after having two girls, my nieces Aerin and Aejeong. Lia is prepping her wedding with her fiance, which is exciting for my sisters and mother. For me, I just tag along to these wine tastings since Lia knows I know my wine quite well… although there were times my face turned as red as a tomato afterward. My family seemed happy that I was back home. They felt like I was more a part of the family than I have been in the last couple of years. I guess that really put a toll on my family; not having their youngest brother and only son in the same country with them for months on end.

“Hyung, blow out the candles! They’re melting!” Shawn shouted. I snapped back to reality and blew out the candles on the cake. They placed the cake on the table and clapped their hands in celebration.

“Ya, you guys didn’t have to do this,” I humbly stated. Shawn and Kevin both sucked their teeth, not wanting to hear what I had to say.

“Birthdays are important, hyung, we aren’t getting any younger,” Kevin stated. I side-eyed him when he said that. This is coming from the 28-year-old himself. I nodded my head, agreeing with what he said.

“Well nevertheless, I appreciate you guys going through this trouble,” I said. Shawn and Kevin don’t say or do anything. They just look at each other with their hands crossed behind their backs. I raised an eyebrow. “Is there something else you need to tell me?” I said, now curious. Shawn grinned from ear-to-ear, wanting to spill whatever he was hiding from me, but Kevin kept shushing him and calming him down. Kevin was the one to finally speak up.

“Hyung and I got you a gift,” Kevin stated. I didn’t understand what the fuss was about for a gift. I look at them both, waiting for one of them to say more.

“We figured another blazer wouldn’t cut it,” Shawn said as he reached for his bag.

“Ah, thank you for sparing me another blazer in my closet,” I teased. Kevin rolled his eyes and looked at Shawn, who finally skips over with the gift in his hand. He hands it to me and before I could even open up the envelope, Shawn stops me.

“Ah, hyung! We hope you really like this!” Shawn said; the grin never leaving his face. I open the envelope and pull out a little booklet. I open it up to see boarding passes. I look up to the guys, confused and concerned.

“What? What is this?” I asked. I read the ticket in which said “Incheon, SK -> Santa Monica, California (USA)” I widen my eyes and looked back up at Shawn and Kevin.

“Surprise! We’re going to California!” both Shawn and Kevin said. I was so confused. I didn’t have any words to say.

“We wanted to take the summer off and do a guy’s trip to America,” Kevin started. “We picked California because, well, you went on vacation there once anyway–“

“And it’s not New York,” Shawn added. Kevin gives Shawn the side-eye; I already knew why.

“Ya, this is a great gift, but…” I begin to say. To be honest, I was nervous about going back to America. Sure, this time I would be as far away from New York City as possible, but something felt weird about this vacation. “… I don’t know if going to America is a good idea.”

“What” Shawn responded first. Kevin quickly did afterward.

“Hyung, this is a vacation in a place where you haven’t been in years. This isn’t business, and this isn’t a situation where you’ll be staying in America. We’re just going for the summer.”

“And you’re just willing to leave your girlfriend in Korea for the summer?” I asked Kevin. He looked nervous, but of course, he had an answer.

“She’s actually spending the summer with my family,” I widened my eyes in shock; so did Shawn.

“You know that’s pretty much like a marriage, right?” Shawn said. Kevin smiled and then immediately gained his composure. He brought the attention back to me.

“Hyung,” Kevin started. “I think this would be a great trip for us. I think this really might be one of the last trips we get to take before… well before things change.” I didn’t know what he meant by that, but perhaps he meant that he was going to take the relationship to another level with his girlfriend. I couldn’t help but smile, but still ponder the possibility of going back to America. But, maybe this is what I needed to fall in love with the country once again. Maybe this is what I need to explore and have fun for the first time in a long time. My family was doing alright, and like Kevin said: it’s a vacation, which means we’ll come back home.

I took a deep breath and looked at the guys. “Well,” I started to say. “I guess we’re going to America this summer.”

Black Sheep in Society.

A Black Sheep’s Broken Heart: A Scene.

The couple sits at the table in the restaurant, enjoying the first course of their 3-course meal for the night. Kalia looks at the gift bag next to Micah, which she questions him about.

Kalia: What’s in the bag?

Micah: *nervous* Oh, uhm… it’s not much, so I’m sorry it’s so–

Kalia looks into the bag as Micah hands it over to her. She quickly opens the bag and takes out the two gift items; she looks confused at first.

Kalia: These are… cute!

Micah: You don’t have to lie. You just got me a motorcycle and I got you some poetry book and plushie.

Kalia: I will cherish these gifts, Micah. I love them; thank you.

Micah smiles and continues to eat. Shortly after, the second meal, the main course, is served to the couple.

Micah: This dinner will literally keep me full for the next 2 years, I swear.

Kalia: *laughs* The food is out of this world.

As Micah continues to eat, Kalia takes a deep breath and looks at Micah.

Micah: So, I was thinking for my 21st birthday, we can go on a vacation together.

Kalia: A vacation?

Micah: Yeah! I was thinking maybe we can go to Florida. Universal Studios would be so fun! Plus we can hit up all the bars in the area since I’ll be able to drink…

Kalia: Oh, I didn’t know that you wanted to go somewhere for your birthday; I could’ve planned something in advance.

Micah: Well, we have like 6 months until then. We can make something happen!

Kalia: Yeah…

Micah looks back up at Kalia. He notices she hasn’t touched her food.

Micah: Are you not hungry?

Kalia looks down at her plate. She picks up her fork.

Kalia: Yeah, yeah; don’t worry about me!

Micah’s concern arises even more.

Micah: Babe? Is everything alright?

Kalia: Yeah?

Micah: Are you sure? You seem a little… disconnected.

Kalia: *offended* What does that mean? I mean I’m here with you.

Micah: *taken back* I’m just wondering if you’re feeling alright…

Kalia takes a deep breath and places her fork back onto her plate.

Kalia: I can’t just hide this in…

Kalia looks back up and smiles wide.

Kalia: I got cast in my first full-length feature film!

Micah smiles wide and congratulates Kalia.

Micah: Babe! That’s amazing! I’m so proud of you! This is big news!

Kalia: I know, I know… I start filming for it in 2 weeks.

Micah: Wow, that’s so soon… but you’re a professional; you’ll be great.

Micah takes a sip of his drink.

Micah: Is the filming happening here in New York?

Kalia: About that…

Micah looks back up and places his drink down on the table. He’s waiting for Kalia to say something.

Kalia: The filming is back in Sweden.

Micah: *eyes widen* Sweden?!

Kalia: The film is set in Sweden during the cold winter… my father and I are cast in the movie so we would be going together–

Micah: Going?! Wait are you actually considering going to Sweden?

Kalia: Micah, this is the one chance to make my name out of something. This is my one shot to become the actress I want to become.

Micah: You couldn’t find something here, like broadway or something?!

Kalia: I’m sorry, Micah…

Micah is dumbfounded. He folds his arms across his chest, looking directly at Kalia.

Micah: It was your dad, right? He told you to take this job?

Kalia: What? Micah, you’re talking crazy–

Micah: You didn’t even talk to me about this though! How do you think I feel about you just packing your life to go film in Sweden?!

Kalia: I understand, Micah, but–

Micah: How would you feel if I just told you, “hey! I’m DJing for a producer in a foreign country!” without seeing how you felt about it?

Kalia: I would be happy for you! I would only want the best for you and your career, and I was hoping you’d be happy for me!

Micah: How can I be happy for you if I never knew you were even auditioning for this? Kal, this is the first time we’re actually on a date with each other, and you decide this was the right time to tell me you’re leaving? *points towards the outside* Did you get me the motorcycle to lessen this blow or something?

Kalia: *defensive* I got it for you because you’ve been wanting it!

Micah: You don’t gift a whole ass motorcycle! You gift like a watch or something… *points at the plushie and poetry book* Or something like that!

Kalia: I’m sorry, but you should know how much this means to me. I really thought you would be understanding.

Micah: That’s all I’ve been has been understanding though! Kalia, I know that your career means a lot to you, and I signed up for all those days when you were busy working towards that. But where do I draw the line? Having to drop everything I’m doing because you’re finally free? Saying you’ll be at my important gigs but then show up hours late to them? Anything that’s important to you, I’m expected to be there and supportive and there with open arms, but when it’s something important to me, it’s meeting this and audition that!

Kalia: If you felt so strongly about this, then why are you bringing it up just now?

Micah: When will I ever get the chance to? You’re never available! I just want to be able to have my Kalia back! The one where she didn’t care about paparazzi and when she was the only girl drummer in the all-boys band in high school! The one where all she wanted was to be lowkey and live a normal life?!

Kalia is taken back by Micah’s words.

Kalia: If you really feel that way, then this makes doing this a lot easier on my end…

Micah doesn’t say anything back.

Kalia: I think we should break up. I’m simply not the girl you want to be with, and I would hate to keep you waiting for her. She’s not coming back and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that sooner.

Micah: Are you fucking serious?

Kalia: Yeah, I am. I thought maybe we could at least take a break while I was in Sweden, but… I think it’s just better if we ended the relationship.

Micah is at a loss for words. Kalia begins to get up from her seat, getting ready to leave the restaurant.

Micah: So that’s it? You’re not going to ask me how I’m feeling or what I want to do?

Kalia keeps silent, which infuriates Micah.

Micah: Of course not, because you never want to know. You’re going to do whatever the fuck you want to do, so go ahead and do it.

Kalia: I’m sorry, Micah.

Kalia gathers her things and walks out, leaving behind the gift bag of Micah’s gifts to her, and Micah.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Somewhere in Korea, Something Feels Foreign: A Monologue.

Night scene of Seoul downtown city skyline, Aerial view of… | Flickr

I turned on the lights to my apartment. Everything still looks the same for the most part; I could tell where Mina and Lia would come in and clean up the dust that gathered here when I was gone. Is it crazy to feel like I am a stranger in my own home? Within the last couple of years, I’ve been out of this space more than I’ve been in it, and it’s unbelievable to think that I’m here for good.

I dropped my luggage near the doorway and walked towards the living room. I sat on the couch, staring at the blank television screen. I look around and rub my eyes with my hands; I should just go to sleep and get the rest, but somehow my body knew this wasn’t going to be a sleepful night.

I keep replaying what Ari told me at her apartment. “If you care about her, you would let her go”. Did something happen with Grace? Did she leave New York to live a new life? Did I drive her away from where her home was in New York? I couldn’t help but think this was my fault. Maybe I ruined her life, confusing her every time I had to leave to come back to Korea. Maybe she didn’t trust me anymore for me to stay with her, protect her, be with her in ways that she needed to be. I shut my eyes at the thought until I heard my phone vibrating on the coffee table. I open my eyes, looking at the lit-up screen. It’s Kevin, and for once I don’t pick up the phone. What is there to say? Hi, yeah no I’m actually in Korea right now, so I know how late it is and you should’ve just called in the morning. I don’t even bother. I just get up from the sofa and walk out of the living room and upstairs into my bedroom. The sheets are untouched. It was like a ghost was living here all those months I was away. But I’m here for good, and I guess I have to make this feel like home as much as possible from now on.

I closed my eyes as soon as I got into bed. Maybe I was exhausted as much as I should’ve been.

“Jamie!” I heard Grace calling me from the kitchen. I get up from my office and walk to her. I smile as she holds our child. “Can you watch the baby while I run upstairs and grab some more kitchen towels?”

“Of course,” I walk towards Grace as she hands me the baby. Grace kisses me on the cheek and books it upstairs. I smile, knowing that Grace was probably trying to get these towels for the longest of time, but somehow our child clings onto her at every second of the day. I look at our baby and smile. I bounced them in my arms as they play with a little puppy toy. I walk around the apartment, having conversations with them as if they can answer me back. They somewhat do, in giggles and in noises.

“You’re helping eomma cook dinner, agi?” I asked. They coo and babble, and I can’t help but smile wide. “Eomma and appa love you so much,” I continued. I didn’t realize Grace was standing at the doorway of the kitchen, smiling and looking at us interact. I look back at her and smiled until an extremely loud voice surrounded the apartment. The baby started crying, Grace began to panic, and I had no idea how to make things better–

I shot up from my bed, literally sweating profusely. I look at the alarm clock next to me, ringing viciously to wake me up. I turn it off and catch my breath. It wasn’t that long after that I get up and begin walking back downstairs to the living room area. Before walking to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, I hear my phone vibrate again on my coffee table. I walked over to it, not even looking at the screen to see who it is.

“yeoboseyo?” I answered, sleepily. My eyes widen when I realized it was Kevin on the other line.

“Hyung, I’ve been trying to call you all day to check on you! I mean I can get the message that you and Grace were probably busy but–“

“Kevin,” I stopped him from continuing. “I just woke up. I’m not in America. I’m back in Korea.”

“What?” Kevin sound genuinely surprised. “What do you mean you’re back in Korea?”

“I got home late last night.”

“What about Grace though?” Kevin questioned. I was getting angry at the conversation.

“Ya, I haven’t even been home for less than 24 hours and you are hounding me about Grace. There is no more Grace. Grace fucking disappeared from the face of the Earth! Now please, can I enjoy my day without being reminded of the woman that ruined my fucking life?” I immediately hung up the phone afterward. I wasn’t even hungry anymore, nor wanting coffee after that call. I rubbed my eyes with my hands, instantly exhausted from the day once again. I couldn’t stay in the house any longer. Instead, I went upstairs to get dressed and leave the apartment for the day.

I walked outside and immediately felt a wave of anxiety across my body. How did I feel like a foreigner in my own country? I couldn’t even remember where the nearest coffee shop was, I couldn’t even remember how much a cup of coffee was in Korea anymore. I was so used to paying things in United States Dollars, I completely forgot the Won currency here in Korea. I felt completely lost. In a sense, I could hear my mother’s voice in my head with her worries for me becoming too westernized and American. What can I say though? I felt more at home in New York than I ever did in Korea.

Eventually, I make it to the nearest coffee shop that I could find in the area. The smell of brewing coffee woke me up. I never knew how much I really relied on coffee to get me through the day. I walk up the counter, reading the menu on the wall while I wait on line. I looked at my phone fro the first time since Kevin called me, not realizing he sent messages after our conversation.

Kevin: What the hell happened in America?
Kevin: Hyung, don't do this again.
Kevin: She's not Seohyun.

I couldn’t stand Kevin metalling in my business anymore. I am trying to just move on with my life; it’s what everyone wants me to do anyway. My family wanted me back in Korea. Ari wanted me to leave Grace alone. The universe wanted things to happen this way. I put my phone back in my coat pocket and finally reach the counter. I ordered a hot coffee and took it to one of the tables in the cafe. I look around, taking in the atmosphere, trying to get comfortable. But, I never really do.

I just feel like one person in a country that doesn’t feel like home anymore.