My First Lead

Elisa wishes she could be the female lead in a Korean drama. Little does she know, her wish is about to come true...and it ain't as pretty as she thinks.


3. III. Gentle Heart


Hong Miseon, eighteen years old, rushed into the building of Heart Entertainment. She had had to use her gym bag to cover herself from the rain yet again.

I should get an umbrella. I can't keep forgetting.

But now that she was inside, that thought slipped her mind. She was focused on making it on time to her vocal lessons.

If I don't work hard, then I'll never debut.

Miseon was sprinting at such a high speed that she barely got time to stop when she saw a guy about to run into her. She managed to step aside seconds before a terrible crash, but the guy wasn't so lucky.

He stumbled and slipped. Miseon noticed the cardboard tray where he carried several drinks, and took them quickly right before he slammed into the floor. However, in doing this, her gym bag began slipping from her arm, and the weight was too much for her; her balance was compromised.

The guy recovered the tray, and an awful accident was successfully avoided.

Miseon chuckled. What a mess! But now from this angle, she could see a logo in one of the coffee cups.

"Mint Café?" She asked. "Do you go there a lot?"

"Huh? Yeah. I think the coffee there is really good," he answered, "Besides, it's not that far from here."

Miseon looked at him very carefully. "How come I've never seen you there?" She wouldn't forget such a handsome face. In fact, she probably would've made other employees trip before they could get to him.

The guy still looked very much confused, so Miseon flashed her work smile as she offered a hand to him. "Welcome to Mint Café! My name is Hong Miseon, and I'll be your waitress today."

He took her hand, and together they got him off the floor.

"You work there...but you also train here?"

The color drained from Miseon's face. You have to get to class now!

"Damn. I have to go!" She turned around and resumed her sprinting, but halted to a stop once more before she could miss him. "You didn't tell me your name!"

The guy smiled; of course he would have perfect teeth. Maybe he was a model or an actor. "Min Iseul," he replied.

Miseon felt victorious, and suddenly it didn't matter so much if she was a little late.



The door was closed when he arrived to the CEO's office. He knocked, and the head of his superior, Manager Seo, peeked. Angry, he ushered him in.

"Where the hell were you?"

"I'm sorry," was all Iseul could say. Afterwards, he delivered the correct drink to each person. It was a little awkward, since he had arrived in the middle of a meeting between the CEO himself and their struggling boyband, GENTL5 (Gentle-Five). After he was done, Iseul politely lowered his head and stood quietly in the background.

The CEO rubbed his balding head. "What am I going to do with you, kids? Huh?"

The five members all bowed and apologised in unison. The CEO sneered.

"If the next single flops, I won't be able to protect you. Do you understand that?"

Lee Junseo, the leader, replied: "Yes, sir."

The CEO was far from done. "I want to see you guys putting more of an effort. What have you done lately to help your image? You!" He pointed an accusatory finger at J.P., rapper and dancer, "Your diction is terrible and your rap is too monotonous. Are you angry? Or are you just dense?"

J.P bowed. "I apologise!"

Next victim: Leader Junseo. "You! The public thinks you're always in pain because you barely talk. 'Does he have a secret?' 'Does his company torture him?' That's what they say. Would it kill you to smile once in a while?"

"I apologise, sir," replied Junseo.

The remaining members braced themselves. "You two," referring to Jian and Ryumin, "Fix your hair. I want you to look like handsome idols, not some homeless guys we just picked up from underneath a bridge."

Both of them apologised as well.

"And you..." Finally reaching the last member, the maknae: Park Woojin, "Get a nose job."

Iseul released the breath he'd been holding for what felt like hours. Being an intern, an aspiring manager, he had just begun to learn what idols actually have to put up with.

"That is all," said the CEO dismissively, "I want to see some actual changes the next time we meet."

GENTL5 bowed once more and slowly exited through the door. Iseul left the room while Manager Seo remained by the door.

"That was brutal," Iseul pointed out.

"The CEO has a point, though," Manager Seo replied, "It's been three years since they debuted and still haven't won first place even once. Younger groups are debuting and it'll only get harder for them to keep up with the trends."

"Seo," the CEO called.

Iseul clearly saw a flicker of fear sparking in Manager Seo's eyes. Of course, it wasn't just about the group members. The manager also shared some of the blame.

"Shouldn't I be here for--"

"Take the day off, Iseul."

Manager Seo closed the door gently, and Iseul started to wonder if becoming a manager had actually been a wise decision.



Miseon quickly hit the showers after practice. She still had another shift at the café.

I hope Chin Dae's friend makes an appearance today. I could really get some rest.

She barely spent time with her family. It was always school-work-practice-work, then sleep-a-couple-hours-at-home. It was a tough lifestyle, but it was necessary if she wanted to go to college and keep training. Her grades weren't the best, but they should be enough to get into a good university.

Miseon arrived at the café, already wearing her uniform. "Good evening!" She told the manager as she donned her apron.

"Your friend is here again," he commented.

Miseon looked towards the very same table Dae had picked three nights ago.

"He looks like a starving artist," the manager added.

Miseon chuckled. "He's just in love."



Dae was freaking out. It wasn't like him to be so persistent, but he couldn't stop thinking about her. Elisa's story was too fascinating to let go of it so easily. He had to know more about her.

But how do you find someone that doesn't exist? Obviously, not by sitting at home. Not all day, at least. For the past two days, Dae had been retracing each and every step he took the day he met Elisa. He'd gotten up at the same time, impatiently paced around the apartment until it was the correct time to visit the tent lady, and then he stayed there until the late afternoon, when it was time to visit the Mint Café.

Miseon walked towards him as he stared at the window. "What are you drinking tonight?"

"Latte," he said without looking at her, "I've always thought it would be too sweet...and I was right."

"I'm curious about something," Miseon started, "How do you expect to find her here?"

Dae finally turned towards her. "You told me we were sure to cross paths again."

"Yes, but..."

"So that means that it doesn't matter where we are, we'll eventually find each other."

"So, how much longer will you have to wait?"

Dae redirected his gaze towards the window, and even though he hadn't been expecting to see her right then right there, his heart still skipped a beat when he did.


Miseon looked up, and her jaw dropped a little.

"Is that her? She's really pretty!"

"Please. She's too pale and skinny. Like a moth."

"Well, your moth is about to fly away."

"Like hell she is."

Dae sprinted out of his seat, out the door, and into the rain.

Miseon hugged herself as she watched him go. "I'm so single."



Elisa, you're an idiot, she thought as she helplessly waited by the academy. She'd been there for ten minutes, hugging her book bag to herself, but the rain didn't seem to budge.

"I wonder if it's possible for me to get sick." It was her fourth night in...whatever drama, or dream, or alternate reality she was, and so far she'd been able to fly under the radar, which wasn't very main-character-like, but she'd decided that first day that she wouldn't get very far without some of the basics.

It was a good thing that the academy was somewhat near her apartment, because she had enrolled in an intensive Korean course, which meant she had both morning classes and afternoon classes.

One of the good things was that she had already set a routine for herself--though now that she thought about it, wouldn't help a whole lot with the dramatic aspect. Still, her usual route entailed following a path with not much coverage from the rain, and tonight the weather was particularly merciless. She knew that her books would get soaked if she went down her usual path.

She looked around, trying to figure out which way seemed the fastest and easiest to follow, until finally, she decided to go through the same path that had taken her to that academy on that very first night. Elisa remembered some sort of establishment there: a bakery? a café? Either way, it would be a good shelter from the least until she got kicked out for not consuming anything.

As she went on, Elisa vaguely recognised some of the signs and buildings, right up until she reached a corner, and suddenly she couldn't remember if she was supposed to take a turn or head up straight.

Why? Why are you so terrible with directions?

She decided that she had to decide fast.

Straight. Definitely.

Determined, Elisa took a step forward, ready to make a run for it, but she suddenly found herself being jerked backwards.

Dae was holding her by the wrist, soaking wet. The water had plastered his black hair to his face, and some tiny raindrops trickled down his full lips.

Her heart raced. Her mind blanked. Was the word for 'hello', again? And what was the level of speech she was supposed to use in this situation? Ugh. Why did he look so much like an angel?

Dae made sure she wouldn't have to worry too much about it, for he was the one to break the ice.

"You really are dense, aren't you?" He lectured.

Elisa could almost hear the spell breaking and shattering all around her.

"Well, hello to you, too."

You demon.




Thank you so much for reading the third chapter! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 Today, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for reading My First Lead. I really hope you're enjoying it as much as I'm enjoying to write it.

  Please, feel free to leave a comment/review and tell me what you think so far. And if you'd like to help keep the chapters coming constantly, consider taking a moment to check out my Patreon:


Again, thank you! And don't forget to follow this story to discover what happens next!

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