My Brother is in a Band {BTOB}

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  • Publiceret: 5 aug. 2014
  • Opdateret: 28 jun. 2016
  • Status: Igang
Jung Heejin is a girl born into a rich family. But she isn’t really needed because of her older brother who has to take over their parents’ company. Heejin has always acted like the perfect daughter and never rebelled against her parents. Unlike her twin brother Ilhoon. Ilhoon has never fit into the rich lifestyle and at the age of 17 he ran away from home. When he then appears again two years later it turns out he has started a band. Ilhoon asks for Heejin’s help because he and the band are in trouble. Heejin who has never done anything her parents wouldn’t like, decides to help her brother and his band. But she never expected to be drawn into their world and actually feel at home. And she definitely never dreamt of falling in love with a guy who plays in a band. Especially not her brother’s band.

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20. Sungjae's secret

 

 

There’s something I’ve been thinking about for days and I’ve been indecisive about whether or not to do it. The band has had quite a lot of gigs lately and their fanbase keeps growing rapidly. All of us are convinced they’ll have a decent crowd if they debut now. But until now we haven’t been able to find a company that would sign a band and even if they want a band, they would break BTOB up and only use some of the members to create a new group. None of us want that. If the band are gonna sign a contract, that company has to accept all of them. It’s all or nothing for the guys. They want to stay together at any cost, and up until now I couldn’t think of a company that would take them all and keep BTOB the way it is. I’ve been so stupid.

A couple of years ago a guy graduated from the high school I’m attending now, which makes him my sunbae. His name is Luhan and his parents own a company in China that works closely with a music company here in Seoul. They help creating kpop groups that can get big in both China and Korea, so they travel back and forth between the two countries. Of course I can’t just seek Luhan out because he’s a school sunbae, who graduated a year before I started my freshman year, but there’s more to it than that. Luhan’s actually Sehun’s next door neighbor and they’re close. To tell the truth, they’re not just close on a friendly level. Luhan’s Sehun’s first love and Sehun has liked him for a while now. I always thought it was a one-sided love, but that turned out not to be true. Recently Sehun finally gathered courage to confess and surprisingly Luhan accepted him. They’re keeping it a secret though and I’m the only one who knows. It never bothered me that Sehun was in love with a guy and when they started dating, I sincerely supported them. I’ve also seen them together on more than one occasion, and there’s no doubt that they both like each other very much. Which is why I’ll have Sehun ask Luhan if his parents’ company can sign a contract with BTOB. If Sehun asks, Luhan can’t refuse.

 

I step out of my car and look up at the building I’m in front of. It’s old but definitely still standing strong. The band’s playing in the basement of this building tonight with two other bands. Someone arranged a “band night” here and they actually asked us to come. More and more offers like that have come along lately. People are asking us to come instead of us asking for permission to play, makes my job as manager a lot easier.

I hear the car door on the other side open and I turn around to see Minhyuk get out of my car. I drove by his apartment and picked him up, but we’re probably the only one’s here. I need to be here a little earlier than the rest because I have to sign some papers in case something happens when the boys are performing. It’s just business, but it needs to be done.

While I was on my way here, Minhyuk suddenly called and asked if I could pick him up. He knew I had to be here early and he wanted to come along so he could entertain me till the others got here. But I know he just used it as an excuse to be alone with me, and I don’t mind at all.

We walk inside and I find the person who’s in charge of the band night. He gives me the papers I need to sign and I tell Minhyuk I’ll go backstage and read through them. He wants to look around for a little bit, so I walk backstage alone while he wanders around on stage. I don’t expect anyone to be there, so I’m very surprised when I walk in and see Sungjae seated in one of the couches. He looks up when I enter and a smile spreads across his lips.

“You’re here early,” I say as I walk over to the couch. “I had nothing better to do,” he says while shrugging. Something seems off about Sungjae, but I can’t really put my finger on it. Maybe I’m just imagining things. I sit down next to him and begin reading through the pages.

“Did you come alone?” he asks and I hesitate. If I tell him I came here with Minhyuk, he would wonder why and probably ask questions I can’t answer. But I don’t know if I can tell him I came alone, because what will I say if Minhyuk comes in and Sungjae finds out he didn’t come by himself. Sungjae will probably wonder why Minhyuk’s here so early. So I decide to play it safe and tell him I came alone.

“So no one’s back here except us?” he asks and I shrug. “I guess not,” I mumble more focused on the papers than Sungjae. But then I sense movement out of the corner of my eye. I look up and turn my head just as Sungjae leans in. Our faces are only a few inches apart and I can feel Sungjae’s breath on my skin. I swallow and just look into his eyes without knowing what to do or say. I can’t even move away. I fear that he’ll move in for a kiss, but he stays completely still and just looks at me.

“I wanted to be manly and take you by surprise with a kiss, but I can’t do that after all,” he says and moves back a little. I breathe out a sigh of relief and feel my tense shoulders relax a little, though I still don’t let my guard down while I watch Sungjae. He continues to look at me but the moment I see the expression in his eyes, I know he won’t do anything to me against my will. After having looked at me for a few seconds he finally opens his mouth.

“Can I kiss you?” he asks with a very small voice and it pulls my heartstrings seeing him like this. I know I shouldn’t let him do it, but I feel like giving him permission. He reminds me of a little boy asking for his mother’s affection. So I’m about to open my mouth and say yes, when the door’s suddenly pushed open and someone steps in.

“I won’t allow that,” Minhyuk says and walks over to me. He puts a hand on my shoulder and squeezes it gently. Without saying it out loud, he just told Sungjae that I’m off limits. I didn’t want anyone in the band to know about my relationship with Minhyuk, but I guess there’s nothing I can do now. The cat’s out of the bag and I can’t explain my way out of this. Besides Minhyuk would probably get pissed off if I tried, like he always does when I hide it.

Sungjae looks back and forth between us and it’s obvious that he has figured out what’s going on.

“I had a suspicion and it seems like I was right,” he says and I frown. I look up at Minhyuk, but he seems just as confused as me. Sungjae smiles wryly because of our confused expressions and explains.

“I had sensed something was going on between you. Love is hard to hide you know,” he says and my jaw tenses, “everyone has sensed something but since you seemed to hide it purposely, we didn’t want to ask.”

I feel my stomach clutch into a ball and my breathing becomes restrained. When he says everyone, does he then mean… I have to ask.
“Does my brother know as well?” I ask with a shaky voice and hold my breath while I wait for his answer. Sungjae doesn’t notice how nervous I am, or he just chooses to act like he doesn’t see it.

“I’m pretty sure Ilhoon hyung hasn’t realized anything yet,” Sungjae says and I let out a sigh of relief, “I don’t know if he’s blind, oblivious or just plain stupid.”

It’s like Sungjae suddenly realizes something and he frowns. “Wait a second, is your brother the reason why you’re keeping this a secret?” he asks and I lower my gaze. He interprets that as a yes and he’s silent for a while.

“It’s probably best that way. Ilhoon hyung would most likely freak out if he found out. You’re his precious sister and he has made it very clear that you’re off limits for all of us. I think he would prefer if you stayed single for the rest of your life,” Sungjae says while looking at me and I agree with him. My brother wants to be the only guy in my life, I don’t doubt that fact, and he definitely doesn’t want me to date one of his band members, no doubt there either. Sungjae seems to understand the reason behind our secrecy and doesn’t comment further on it. Has he always been this mature?

Suddenly Minhyuk steps forward and asks Sungjae a question.

“Can I ask why you wanted to kiss Heejin even though you suspected we had a relationship?”

Sungjae looks at his hyung for a while before he turns towards me.

“I guess I wanted her attention,” he murmurs while his gaze doesn’t leave mine, “she has showed everyone in the band affection and listened to their pasts. I’ve seen how she’s helped them deal with their pain and move forward. But she hasn’t shown any interest in me.”

Sungjae’s expression suddenly looks very sad and hurt. I’ve never seen him like this before, so vulnerable and I realize something in that moment. I often forget that Sungjae’s the youngest in the band, because he always seems so carefree and confident when he’s standing on stage singing with that powerful voice of his. But that might not be the real Yook Sungjae. Maybe he has his own scars and just wanted someone to notice and care for him. If that’s true, I guess he would feel overlooked when he saw how I helped everyone in the band except him. This band really is a group of troubled guys with painful pasts. No one has had it easy. But I wonder what could have happened to Sungjae, and why he feels… I guess the right word is betrayed. I move closer to Sungjae and take his hand in both of mine.

“Tell me,” I say in a soothing voice, “tell me everything.”

Sungjae looks at our hands and hesitates for a long while before he finally opens his mouth.

“Have you ever noticed how I act around ahjummas in the nightclub?” he asks and I think about his question for a while. Now that he mentions it, I remember I’ve seen him be tense and seem stressed out when an ahjumma approached him in the nightclub when we had a gig. I also remember one particular time when he freaked out completely but when I asked what happened, he said it was nothing. For some reason I didn’t think more about it and just dismissed it. Apparently something happened to Sungjae that involved an ahjumma which has given him a scar. A scar that hurts him whenever he sees a middle-aged woman.

I nod to answer his question and he sighs. “When my mom opened the nightclub, it wasn’t popular at all. I mean, of course it would be weird if it was popular instantly, but she hoped more people would eventually show up. But they didn’t. For a few months she had a hard time paying the bills and she feared she had to shut it down. Then one day an ahjumma came in and she was really interested in me. She wanted me to sit on her lap and have me pour her drinks for her. I didn’t think much of it and just did as she asked. She bought a lot and stayed for a long time, which pleased my mom a lot. The next night the ahjumma came again, and she had brought friends along. She showed me to them and they all liked me. They wanted me to stay with them at their table and pour their drinks. I went from lap to lap and they all hugged and kissed me. As they got more and more drunk, the touching became more and more inappropriate. I didn’t like it and looked to my mom for help. But the only thing she could see, was that the ahjummas bought more alcohol thanks to me, so she didn’t want to remove me from them. She let her 12 year old son act as a host for middle-aged women. She didn’t care what they did to me, as long as they bought more alcohol. She let them abuse me right in front of her eyes without stepping in,” while Sungjae tells about his past, the tears slowly start running down his face, though he doesn’t seem to really notice as he keeps talking, “I felt so abandoned by my mom and as time passed, I began hating her. I never understood how she could just stand there and watch. Was the nightclub more important than me? Was money more important than her own son? Finally I gave up on her and I kinda gave up on myself as well. I didn’t really care anymore. They could do whatever they wanted with and to me while I couldn’t give a damn about it. Eventually it started to bore them that I didn’t respond anymore and my mom scolded me for it. That’s when I finally said stop. I could only take so much. So I packed a bag and left when I was 16 and never wanted to look back. But what I hadn’t thought through was that I had no place to stay and not much money to get by for. I wandered around for a while without a plan. But I knew I had to get more money somehow and I had an idea. The only thing I’d ever had as comfort since I was 12, was singing. Singing was all I had so I tried singing on the street in the hopes of earning a small amount of money.”

Sungjae stops for a while and looks at a spot behind me. I don’t know if he sees something or if he’s just looking into space, lost in his memories.

“That’s when Ilhoon found me. He saw me singing on the street and said he liked my voice. He asked me to join his band and even offered me a place to stay when I told him I was basically homeless. He has been the one taking care of me since, even though he’s only a year older than me, he at least cared for me. That was enough for me.”

Just then a hand’s placed on my shoulder and I flinch from surprise. I look up and see my brother standing by my side, looking at Sungjae with a sad look in his eyes. I had no idea Ilhoon could be so… responsible. The boy who had trouble taking care of himself, succeeded in taking care of someone else. Maybe he poured all his care and attention into Sungjae so there wasn’t anything left for himself. Could this really be the brother I’ve grown up with? Could that really be a side of him I’ve never seen or heard of? From what Sungjae just told, he makes it sound like Ilhoon basically saved him. So I guess I wasn’t the only one who has been saved by Jung Ilhoon.

But even though Ilhoon has cared for Sungjae, there’s still something missing. Even my affection won’t make a big difference, because it’s not really my attention he wants. Sungjae probably still feels betrayed by his mom, and what he really seeks is her attention and affection. Other’s interest isn’t really important compared to hers. What Sungjae really needs, is for his mother to apologies for letting others abuse him while she just stood by. He needs a promise from her that she’ll never let that happen again, and that there’s nothing more important to her than her son. That’s what Sungjae needs, and I’ll make sure he gets it. He deserves at least that much.

 

 

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