There’s a saying, beware too many chefs in the kitchen, or something like that. It basically means when too many people try to be in charge, you have problems: friction, jealousy, work-related issues around production, performance and engagement. It’s just a bad scene, and our heroine Sinna is dealing with that with head hair stylist Min Ki.
Even worse, Min Ki has aligned herself with our villain Choon Hee, who’s made no effort to hide her interest in our dashing hero — to his credit, he could care less and makes his disinterest known.
In this snippet from my latest WIP — which picks up where last week’s blog left off — I give you more insight into our villain, and her hapless, unwitting assistant.
The picture is of NCT 127’s Jaehyun who is gorgeous and should be admired often.
The “other one” Saint referred to, Joo Min Ki, was the head hair stylist. She had a great opinion of herself because she had seniority; she’d been with the group since its inception. To her credit, some of the members’ most popular cuts and color changes over the years had been her idea. But some of what Sinna viewed as aesthetic flops had been as well. Worse, Min Ki didn’t want to go along with the new, more stylish program Sinna had built.
She didn’t seem to understand that color was welcome. But brassy, shock value changes were no longer preferable to beautiful, sophisticated enhancements. Sinna had successfully refashioned 501K into the ideal idol group. They stood out in the best way possible – they were different. Their style was all about modern masculinity, originality and elegance.
They no longer took bad pictures because she’d groomed them to within an inch of their very lives. Thanks to her media savvy and penchant for flooding the internet with the most casually stunning shots, they stayed top of mind. Because of their beauty – and the extreme vanity of their home country – she was able to elevate the group’s stature exponentially.
And because K-pop was so popular right now, she’d simultaneously increased their relevance on the world stage. Now no one doubted their position as one of the oldest, most successful, most talented idol groups still working because, duh, they looked the part.
Min Ki was too into trends. Sinna had pushed 501K beyond them. It was about style. Now the members set the trends. Min Ki was too afraid to go against the grain in idol culture. She was also snide, disrespectful to her team members and disruptive. Worse, she loathed that Sinna had final approval over her work.
All of which meant she was ripe for Choon Hee to manipulate, and that manipulation began the moment she answered the idol’s call.
Who was that? One of the other stylists asked.
Choon Hee. She wants to meet to discuss work, Min Ki said casually.
Choon Hee wants you to do her hair? Wow.
She’s just trying to get in with Tan, one of the other girls said, rolling her eyes. I wouldn’t trust her. Especially since Tan likes our boss.
It was great advice, but it was obvious from Min Ki’s haughty expression that she had no intention of taking it.
There’s no harm in meeting her to talk. She mentioned some staff changes, and remember I did her hair before. We’re going to meet at her apartment later.
The others twittered appreciatively, and Min Ki went smugly back to work, unaware she’d fallen into a trap that was about to embed its teeth in her leg.
Choon Hee was too smart to spring the trap immediately. She strung Min Ki along, even paying her to do her hair once and springing for exactly two meals, neither of which was expensive. Choon Hee liked being seen at “normal” places because she was cheap, never actually ate, and it made her appear more relatable to her fans.
In exchange for these crumbs, Min Ki gave Choon Hee every last detail she wanted about both Sinna and her relationship with Tan. She didn’t mind either. She thought she was acting as matchmaker because Choon Hee made her think that she had more traction than she actually did, that with her help she could make Tan see her new “friend” in a different light.
Choon Hee also fed her discontent with Sinna, pouring cleverly worded gasoline on an already smoldering fire until her resentment was ready to boil over. She’d calm her down, rile her up, and calm her down, over and over until Min Ki got angry at the mere mention of Sinna’s name.
Pathetic, Choon Hee thought, looking at the stylist with thinly veiled contempt. The things I do for love, she thought, smirking at the American phrase. Min Ki was a necessary evil right now. But when her plans for Tan came to fruition she would cut the useless creature out of her life as easy as scissors cut thread.