Korean K-pop idols are special. They’re usually talented, gorgeous, their lives are extremely regulated and regimented, and they’re often not allowed to date until they’re older and more established. Even then, it’s not uncommon for a girlfriend or boyfriend to go over very badly with their fans. It spoils the illusion that the idol lives only for them. Many choose to hide their relationships, which comes with its own risks and angst.
In this unedited snippet, which picks up where last week’s leaves off, Tan and Sinna are digging into the particulars of what their lives will be like as a couple. After all, it’s not like an idol can just date whoever they like, right? Wrong.
Oh, and the picture is of South Korean actor Hyun Bin. I’m watching him in “Hyde, Jekyll, Me,” and waiting eagerly for his upcoming drama “Crash Landing On You.” Ah, those dimples. Let me know what you think of the snippet!
Yes, sir, and quickly, please, but Sinna laughed. “What a question.”
“I’m trying to be direct because I know Americans like that. Am I being too forward?”
“No, and the answer to your question is I don’t know.”
“It’s not appropriate.”
“Do not worry for appropriate. Do you want to?”
“You’re too much, man.”
He looked down in embarrassment. “I am sorry. I have been told I can be too,” he searched for the word. “Dominant.”
“How does that work, as shy as you are?”
“I’m only shy around strangers and cameras. My members say with them I am an, what’s the word? Alpha?”
And she liked it. “It’s not a good idea. I’m not a woman to hop in and out of a man’s bed, and this could affect our work.”
“You would not let a man affect your work.”
Sinna laughed softly. Smart cookie. No, she most certainly would not let a man stand in the way of her money. “But you might.”
“I am not a boy,” he reminded her. “This is my career. We have built our name. We are doing bigger shows in bigger venues. No matter how much I like you, I will not endanger that by acting silly.”
“And if some shit did jump off, you could always have me fired,” she said, smiling sweetly. “I know Mr. Big Wig is your uncle-in-law.”
He looked at her like, you said it, not me.
Sinna just laughed.
“Plus, there’s the age and race things to consider. South Korea isn’t exactly friendly toward interracial couples. Beyond that they’re practically rabid about who idols date. Even a hint of a dalliance with me could hurt your brand.” And potentially endanger my damn life, she thought.
“But I don’t want to dally with you, Sinna. I want you to be mine.”
She just shook her head. “You don’t know me, and you’re not being reasonable.”
“I respectfully disagree. I do know you, and I want to know you more. I am being very reasonable. I’m just not agreeing with you.”
“You don’t think there’s danger in dating me.”
“Of course there is. You’re right. My fans won’t react well. But as far as management is concerned, I have more leverage because I’m older, and I have achieved a certain level of success. Also, my relatives are men in high positions. But that’s not the right question, is it?”
“Are you willing to take the risk?”
Tan was gutsy. She hadn’t expected that in this culture that prized the group over the individual. Especially from a man so shy, someone who’d consistently displayed a tendency to put others’ needs before his own.
“I come from an interracial union, and while I adore my fans, and I love my work, I will not let anyone dictate who I should love or share my body with. That’s mine. I give a lot to my fans, and I do it gladly because their attention has granted me a life I never dreamed I’d have. I know how privileged I am, but my wonderful life will become a burden if I allow others to dictate my heart and keep me lonely.”
She stared at him, trying and failing not to be impressed. “Your English has gotten really good.”
He gave her a sweet smile. “Thank you, Sinna-ssi. I’ve been working on it so that I can talk to you.”