Sungmin sits comfortably on his chair while watching KS present at the inauguration. Among Kang Sora's closest friends, only Sungmin knows her exact date of arrival in Seoul. He and KS became very close friends since the four SJ members guested in WGM as respected brother in-law's to eased the awkwardness of LT and KS. Their relationship can be defined as too close but short of being in an intimate relationship (Among SJ Brothers only Sungmin knows everything). They would keep in touch constantly in spite of their busy workload and managed to see each other from time to time. Both are aware of their respective personal romantic relationships but keep each other’s secret as true buddies would do.
He has known Kang Sora for so long and both of them share a humble beginning in their respective careers. Now watching her present her turf with confidence and wit on stage, he is just in awe of his friend. He has seen her worked long hours with passion and he knows that she is tenacious on things that she has set her mind on. He is not surprised at all that KS has reached this peak of her career.
He has not spoken to KS since she came back to Korea but had an opportunity to talk to her personally earlier in her office at the penthouse of the new SM building to wish her good luck in her presentation.
As he was ushered into her office, he cannot help but admire the simple but tasteful interiors of the room, very friendly-like but elegant he said to himself. He sits on the couch by the receiving area, north of KS's desk where stacks of folders are neatly placed. At the back of the desk and executive chair is another small desk where he sees some pictures of Sora taken in New York, she is gorgeous he thought.
KANG SORA in the room and greets Sungmin, "Hey Sungminsshi, how do I look?"
"Oh, you look stunning, Sorasshi! Is that a Vera Wang dress? Yes, you do look stunning! But wait there is one thing that needs to be done, come here, your necklace chain is misaligned, let me fix it for you."
KS approaches him, he goes to the back of KS , tells her to put her hair up so that he could fix the chain. KS does what she was asked to do.
"Maybe better not to wear it" Sungmin remove the necklace "There you go Sorasshi, Welcome, home!" and he kisses her forehead.(He's kinda weird? huh ! why remove the necklace? )
Hugging him tightly, "Hi Sungminsshi you look sharp yourself, who are you wearing? Hmmm you smell so good!", "Thanks for seeing me before the presentation; it will surely help me calm my nerves".
"Oh, thank you, you like it he he he, I am wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier suit!"
Both are now sitting side by side on the couch.
Smiling, "How are you settling down? How do you find Seoul after more than five years of absence?"
"Oh, I have been here for only three weeks and I am still adjusting but I find Seoul a little bit laid back still. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there had been a lot of progress that had happened while I was away but it seems that I do not feel it yet, perhaps I just don’t see much because I have not really gone out to see firsthand what developments have been instituted since I left, but I will get there, hopefully if I get some free time to explore Seoul leisurely in one day."
" Well may be you are still used to your environment in New York and compared to Seoul, you may still find the latter lacking in some aspects but I would love to go with you , if you will allow me. It would be fun to go to places that we have gone to before when we were just starting in show business and compare their progress or the lack of it. I will join you in doing the evaluation."
"Ha ha ha, Sungminsshi, don’t take me seriously! I am just curious but I won’t lose sleep over Seoul’s progress or lack of it while I was away!"
"I know, I know! Nevertheless, I am still at your service if you want to take that walk along Seoul, I will accompany you in all of its four corners and will paint the town red with you. (now flashing his close-up smile and looks at KS tenderly)."
"Sure, I will let you know."
There was an awkward pause after the last lines of conversation, Sungmin had been meaning to ask KS a question but was just stalling and now he feels that it is the right time to ask.
"With a low tone and bowed head he asked, "How are they, Sorasshi?"
It did not come as a surprise to KS about his question and she knows that it is inevitable that they discuss this topic.
"Oh, they're doing good, thanks for asking Sungminsshi."
"Has they adjusted to their new environment? Are they eating well? I know you were having difficulty feeding them the last time I visited you in New York."
In the entire period of Kang Sora’s study in New York, Sungmin managed to visit her yearly as he has relatives in New York so it was the place for him to go when he had breaks, cfs and hosting his radio program. He saw to it that he visited KS whenever he was in New York and their bond remained strong because he was there, albeit short-term visits, and witnessed Kang Sora’s struggles.
"Well, the twin's are in that stage of picky eating. Yes, there was a time that it was difficult to prepare what food they wants to eat but that stage has passed. Their appetite is good now that they are here; maybe there are just lots of healthful choices to eat here in Seoul than in New York. The twins likes the taste of the food that I prepare for them and to my surprise, they eats vegetables now, their favorite is mashed squash with a little bit of banana on the side."
"That is good to know, so are you enjoying it? I hope you made the right decision and not regret it later."
"They are so adorable, Sungminsshi and to answer your question, yes I am immensely enjoying them being by my side. I love taking care of them. I do not think I am going to regret my decision ever!"
"I just hope you chose the right option back then."
"We did the right thing, Sungmin, there was no other option but to keep them, abortion was non-existent in our options. You know, my twins are fond of you."
"I know and I miss them too. How are your parents and other family members keeping up?"
"Oh they are fabulous, my parents are very supportive of my decision and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. They spoil them rotten!"
"You know that I will be here for you Sorasshi. It took a long process to explain to your parents and by Korean standards, parents do not usually approve of this kind of arrangement but I am glad that they have agreed to your request."
"You were instrumental to their agreement and for that I will be in debt to you for life."
With his twinkling eyes and boyish smile, "You can always repay me by marrying me!"
" Sungminsshi!" is all she could say while blushing.
"You know I am just joking , but if you take it seriously who am I to turn you down? Ha ha ha!"
"We have talked about that lengthily and you know exactly what I could offer you right? If only I could teach my heart to beat for you and reciprocate what you feel for me, I would but my love for you is defined in a different perspective."
"I know and I respect that but a deal is a deal remember? May I remind you that we have an agreement that when you reach 35 years old and not married, I would have the chance to pursue you and you will reconsider marrying me."
"I know, I remember and would honor our agreement. In the meantime though, I love the fact that you are by my side as a true and closest male friend, life protector and for being there when I need you most. Thank you very much Sungminsshi" (she holds his hand firmly).
Smiling, he places his other hand on top of Sora’s hand and presses it firmly as well. "Okay, for the present I will accede to your notion of me as a true and closest male friend. Can I ask you a favor though?"
"Yes, what is it?"
"Stay away from jerks, for goodness sake, you are a magnet for guys who are not deserving of your love. Please avoid them, God forbid; if you end up with someone like that guy in New York, I will be in trouble protecting you! I will take a bullet for you so help me God; I might end up in jail beating up guys who will take you for granted, cheat on you and worse, burden you with problems and difficulties in life."
With a heavy sigh, she puts her head on his left shoulder, "I am hopeful that somebody deserving of my love will come my way, Sungminsshi, may be now is not the time yet, maybe in the years to come, but yes I will be cautious of jerks and stay away from them as you ordered, sir, yes sir!!! Ha ha ha ha"
"I have to go back to the venue , I will see you present in half an hour, so break a leg! I will keep in touch okay?"
"Yes, yes, we will keep in touch, call me and leave me a message if I don’t pick up because of my hectic schedule."
Sora ushers Sungnim out of her office and makes last minute preparation for her presentation......