The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something Intangible, Unfathomable: A Monologue.

Back at this damn pier. Shawn, Kevin, and I walk on the boardwalk together; lights surround the different storefronts and people are still very active on the pier. Shawn is the one that leads us on the boardwalk, knowing where this bar is. I couldn’t pretend and act like I wasn’t nervous. I nearly poked my eyes trying to put in my contacts in them. Kevin was shocked to see that for the first time in a really long time, my hair was brushed back and I was putting on contact lenses. I guess I had to play the role of “someone who was ready to mingle”. I definitely wasn’t.

We finally reach the bar on the boardwalk. It’s definitely a tourist attraction, considering how many people were already at the bar. All three of us stand in front of it. Shawn, who is the most excited, turns back around and looks at Kevin and me.

“Isn’t this a cool place?” Shawn asks us. I can’t lie, it was a really nice place. Maybe tonight will be a good night.

“Let’s have some fun!” I said. Kevin looks at me and sighs when I walk into the bar with Shawn. He follows behind us.

We look around and see a lot of different women in the bar. Mainly are with other women, on the dancefloor with drinks in their hands. Before I know it, Shawn pulls me towards the bar to begin drinking for the night.

“Ya, aren’t we gonna wait for Kevin?” I asked Shawn. I looked over at Kevin, who is slowly walking towards us, not amused at the environment. Typical for Kevin, even if he wasn’t in a relationship.

Before I got an answer, Shawn orders a round of shots for us. He looks at me as he waits for me to get my shot off of the bar top. He holds it up before cheering us on for the night.

“To us having the time of our lives in America!” Shawn toasted with his shot. We both clinked our drinks before chugging them down. It was definitely a harsh shot. I believe it was Tequila?

The night progresses and Shawn and I have moved to the dance floor. The shots definitely helped me loosen up for the night. The music is loud, and women begin to walk towards us to dance. Shawn grabs the hand of one woman and begins to dance with her. A woman walks up to me; she’s short and petite with brown hair. Her hair is braided to the side. She was cute; really cute to be exact.

“I’m Selena,” the woman confidently said. She began to dance with me, and I felt the drinks and situation rush straight to my head. I don’t know if it just was hot in the bar due to the summer heat, but my face was sweaty and immediately red. “What’s your name?” She looked up at me.

“Jamie,” I shyly answered. She looks at me and smiles, then giggles. She’s definitely drunk.

“That’s a cute name! Are you from around here? I don’t think I ever saw you here!” She asked. I’m not in the right mind to understand her completely; it was like my English was quickly disappearing from my knowledge.

Eung,” I didn’t even realize I answered back in Korean, but she was so lost in the crowd and music that she didn’t even realize that it wasn’t English. She giggles and grabs my hand to drag me towards the middle of the dance floor. She begins to press her body against me, and suddenly the bar is spinning. I don’t see Shawn on the dance floor anymore, and I don’t see Kevin at the bar stand anymore.

“Grace, you need to rest. Come on–” I began to help Grace to sit on the sofa, but she yanks her arm away from me and continues to cry.

“No! I- I need to let this out or else it’s just gonna eat me alive!” She cried out.

“You could tell me in the morning, come one you had too much to drink–“

“I’m so sorry, Jamie, I-I couldn’t keep it, I–“

I back away from the girl, in which she turns around to look at me.

“You’re okay, John?” she asked. I don’t answer her, I just walk away from the dance floor quickly, and straight out of the bar.

I walked out and took a deep breath. It was definitely cooler out on the boardwalk than it was in the bar. My head finally stops spinning. What the fuck was that about? I haven’t thought about that last night with Grace since returning back to Korea a couple of months ago. I thought I was over it when I lost contact with her. I was supposed to “let her go”. I was trying to let her go. Tonight was supposed to prove that I was letting her go. Maybe it’s just useless. Maybe Grace is just that one that got away. She was. She is.

My phone begins to ring in my pocket, which I picked it up. It was Kevin.

“Hyung, where’d you go?” Kevin asked. The music in the background was making my head pound all over again.

“I had to get some air, I’m not really feeling good…” I respond back. I can hear Shawn shouting, telling Kevin to tell me to come back. I felt bad leaving Kevin with Shawn, but I couldn’t go back in there.

“Are you going home?” Kevin asked.

“No, no… I’m just going to go for a walk. I’ll be back in a few,” I answered. Kevin said his goodbyes for the time being and hung up the phone. I look further down the boardwalk to see if there was a place open that wasn’t greasy, massive or just something that wouldn’t make me puke the alcohol in my system up. I began walking down the boardwalk, seeing everyone around me have fun on this summer night. For a trip that was meant to be a last hoorah with the guys and fun, it’s looking like this is possibly the worst trip to America I had. Even my dictionary days were better than this.

I see a small cafe open and suddenly I knew I needed some coffee to keep me together. I didn’t hesitate to walk in. It was a cafe very suitable for the boardwalk; it was tropical summer-themed, which I found cute. It was also called “Brew Ha-Ha Cafe”. Can’t go wrong with a cute little cafe to help out this tipsy foreigner.

I walked in and sat at a booth. Mna, it feels good to just sit down in a quiet place. There weren’t that many people in here at this time of night; I’m not surprised though. I began to look through their drink menu and opted for the Iced Americano.

I don’t remember how it happened, probably because I thought it was the alcohol getting the best of me. I thought I was hearing things. Aigoo, please just leave me alone. I placed the menu on the table and looked up.

She looked back at me, mortified. Perhaps I did as well.

“Grace?” I softly said to her.

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.

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.

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?

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.”

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.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

When Something Really is Nothing: A Monologue.

39,850 Apartment Building Hallway Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free  Images - iStock

“Jaemin-ah,” Seohyun’s voice whispered. I snap back to reality; I look up at the ceiling and then to my side, where Seohyun lays next to me, in her pajamas. I look at her, who then smiles at me. “What should we do on our weekend off?” I wrapped my arm around her, bringing her closer to me.

“Seohyun-ah…” I started, then sighed. I didn’t need to say anymore; she knew what was coming. Her smile faded away.

“You have to go in today? It’s Saturday, though,” Seohyun protested. I kissed her on the forehead, trying to reassure her.

“I have to, it’s my trial case,” I explained to her. She shifts in the bed and puts the covers over her. SHe’s clearly upset at me. This wouldn’t be the first time I had to leave this bed to go into work. I turned over to Seohyun, trying to unravel her from the covers.

“Seohyun-ah,” I playfully said her name. I begin to tickle her, which makes her giggle and surrender. She turns around and smiles at me, and I smiled back. Nothing was said for a moment until she took a deep breath.

“Come back quickly,” Seohyun said. I nodded my head.

“I will,” I answered.

I stood in the door way of Ari’s apartment, not knowing what to say next. Here I was, just missed my flight back to Korea to come and see Grace, and she’s not even in New York anymore. Where the hell would she be? Why would she leave? What was happening?

“Jamie?” Ari asked. I snapped out of my thoughts, immediately focusing in on Ari. She looked back at her partner, who nods his head. She turns around and leads me towards the hallway of her apartment. She closes the door behind her before saying anything to me.

“Did she not tell you she was going?” Ari asked. I was confused. Why would Grace tell me where she was going? I didn’t say anything back, but Ari immediately rolled her eyes. “Of course she didn’t.”

“We haven’t spoke to each other since–” I couldn’t say it. It was like every time I mentioned our last conversation, it reminded me that it was the last time I spoke to Grace, and most likely will be the last conversation I’ll ever have with her. Ari’s face begins to feel unsettling. I may not know Ari that well, but I know that no matter what, she keeps a strong and confident face on. She doesn’t look that way at this moment, and because of that, I’m now worried.

“Jamie,” Ari started. “You and I both know that Grace was in a much better place when things were… better…” She struggled to continue. I couldn’t understand where she was going with this. What was she implying? She sighed before continuing.

“You know Grace has been struggling with… a lot, and she left for… herself. She’s been through a lot these last couple of years–“

“–With me?” I spat out. Ari was taken back. Her hard exterior appeared once again.

“I think Grace has been the best version of herself when she met you,” Ari answered back. “But,” she continued, “She’s struggled with a lot since then and she left to figure some shit out.” I didn’t know what Ari was implying. She looked at me like I was foreign, like I had something to do with Grace’s departure.

“I don’t know what Grace has told you about me–” I began, but Ari immediately cut me off.

“Jamie, this really isn’t about you at this point,” Ari bluntly said. I was taken back at the remark. If this wans’t about me, then why would she just up and leave her life behind in the city? “Grace needed to do this for herself and… I don’t know, if you really cared about her, you’d be happy she made this choice.”

“If I cared about her?” I said more angry than concerned. I was upset that Ari, who is Grace’s best friend, would even question if I cared about Grace. Of course I did. I care about her more than anything else in this world, and I wanted to tell her that personally, to let her know that I do more than just care for her. I love her.

“Yeah, Jamie; if you cared about her you would let her go,” Ari coldly said. I couldn’t contain my anger anymore. It was like I had to prove myself over and over again, and it was tiring. “Maybe things are better off this way. I don’t know where she went, and quite frankly it’s better off that way. She needs to take space for herself or else she would’ve gotten herself hurt, Jamie. I wouldn’t– and I know you wouldn’t– want anything to happen to her.”

I didn’t say anything; I had nothing else left to say. At this point, nothing I would say to Ari would matter, and quite frankly, I was tired of talking with Ari. She wasn’t the person I wanted to talk to, and there’s just no reason for me to be here. I surrendered, nodding my head as I began to turn away from Ari’s door.

“Jamie,” Ari called out. I turned around slowly, not really interested in what she had to say; then again, she’s the only connection I have with Grace at this point. “Give her space.” I nodded back, and turned away and began to walk down the hallway towards the elevator.

I don’t know how I feel in this moment. Kevin was right; I didn’t want to leave New York before talking to Grace. It was a mistake to let her sit within everything she told me without even reaching out to her. I should’ve said something. I should’ve went to her sooner and told her everything I wanted to tell her. I needed her to understand that I couldn’t do this back and forth anymore. I couldn’t allow myself to keep coming back and leaving her behind. Maybe this is what I needed to feel; how she felt every time I had to leave.

But this time, I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay.

But that doesn’t matter anymore. I’m just amiing something out of nothing.