Title: One and Only
Characters: Dara (2NE1) and GD/Jiyong (Big Bang)
Word Count: 3683
A/N: My first time posting my fics here in WP. advanced thank you everyone who will read.
It was early in the afternoon, the sun is basking everything under its warm embrace. She was seated on the waiting area; excruciatingly anticipating for the nurse to page her name. She has been suffering tremendous headaches and ringing on her ears lately. Being an idol that she is, she only got now the time to have herself checked up. She could’ve gone with all the extra treatment and perks of being famous but decided against it thinking this is her rest day and she wanted all this day to herself alone. She will not let them know she used this day for her check-up. No, they even don’t know she’s suffering from headache and ringing ears.
Suddenly, without any warning, a strange buzzing occurred in both of her ears. Tormenting as it is, she placed both of her hands on hear ears, wishing to shut the buzzing stop. This could not go on; if she lifts up her head and her hood she might reveal herself to others who were there at the moment. She stayed like that for awhile: crouched while seated and her head between her legs. She felt her phone vibrate inside her bag. Her left hand still on her left ear, her free hand reached for the phone that is still vibrating.
“It’s Ji.” She managed to read the caller’s id on her phone’s screen. Her ears were still ringing only softer than earlier.
“Ya, stupid! I’ve been calling you for three times now. And what? You only answer now? Where are you?” She couldn’t hear his words clearly, but she was sure he was shouting.
“I’m sorry. Hey, can you call some other time? I still need to attend to something. Bye.” She made sure he won’t be able to cut her up. After that, she turned off her phone. The ringing finally disappeared and then she glanced at her wrist-watch. Over half an hour has almost passed and she remembered she’ll be called any minute now. She stood up and walked towards the desk.
“Yes? May I help you?” The attending nurse asked her.
“Ahm, Is it my turn now? Forty-five minutes have passed now so I think it should be,” she stated, gesturing for her wrist-watch.
“Name please,” the nurse plainly answered.
“Dara. Park, Sandara.”
The nurse configured it on their computerized checklist. “Ah, yes Ms. Park. Actually, we’ve been paging you. Please come with Ms. Oh.”
A young woman, probably in her early twenties, stood before her. “Right this way Ms. Park.” She was accompanied to an ENT specialist, more formally known as an Otolaryngologist. Several physical and technical tests were run. After then, she sat down on one-on-one with the Otolaryngologist.
“Ms. Park, I hope you don’t mind, not that I’m meddling or something, but you are a celebrity right?” The thirty-something year old man in white asked her. “Don’t worry about confidentiality if that’s what you’re hesitating about.”
“Y-yes. Yes I am.” The doctor nodded in response.
“This is really hard for me, as far as your career is concerned,” he said, on the brink of losing his professionalism because of the pity he is feeling towards his patient. He cleared his throat first before going on again. “The tests that we’ve run show the results that the ringing and the tremendous pain you’ve been experiencing are symptoms denoting hearing loss; permanent hearing loss or sensorineural hearing loss to be exact.”
In the course of her life, she has never been this shocked. Trying to fight back her tears with all might, she asked calmly the causes.
“There are several causes, but I think what caused you is because of the nature of your career. If our ears are continuously exposed to such noises and sounds beyond 85 decibels, which is the advised maximum level, it can lead to progressive and eventually severe sensorineural hearing loss,” the doctor explained as a matter of fact.
“What about cure, and if can’t be cured at least any prevention to severing?” Dara was praying hard at that time for any miraculous things to happen.
“Well about that, I don’t want to give you hopes so I’m telling you that there are no cures for you. Unlike the other three kinds of hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss is because there are damaged sensory hair cells or nerves of the inner ear. Despite medical advancement, it cannot be cured by a surgical or medical treatment. Let alone a hearing aid. I advise you to stay away from much noise as much as possible, avoid using earphones or headphones. But in due time…”
Dara no longer focused on what the doctor was saying. And she could no longer hold back the tears that she was fighting with earlier. She was covered with adept fear; how on earth will she carry on in this life without being able to hear? Furthermore, she would miss hearing his shrill voice, telling how dumb she is.
She didn’t want to go home just yet. The sun is already setting on the horizon; she felt the cold breeze as she strolled along the Han River. She closed her eyes, taking in everything she can hear. She decided to never let them know about what she’s going through. Let alone make them worry about her. She’ll carry on until they finally give up.
“Ya, where were you? Don’t you know how worried-sick we were? You could’ve at least called or texted us,” Bom, her bandmate and worried-sick friend, bombarded her with questions as soon as she opened the door of their dorm. She hugged her tight so she’ll stop form querying.
“I bought ice creams for everyone,” she announced as soon as she released Bom from her tight hug. And she walked happily towards the kitchen.
“What was that?” Bom asked their youngest, Minzy, who just shrugged. “Ya, I was talking to you! Have you called Jiyong? I bet he’s even worried-sick than us.”
Right, Jiyong. She completely forgot about that man. She quickly rummaged her bag for her phone. “Minzy, take care of the ice creams for a sec.” As soon as her phone turned on, its screen fronted the many missed calls. And then it rang.
“Yes, Ji,” she answered as coolly as possible.
“Don’t yes me stupid! Where were you? Don’t you know that there are people who are worrying about you? What are you, ten? You don’t even know to return any of my calls?” He sure sounded very angry. Dara was sure he’s now pacing back and forth, really unsettled by the idea that she shut him down.
“I’m sorry Ji. I was out the whole day and unfortunately my phone’s battery got drained. I’m here now at the dormitory so don’t worry,” she tried with her all might not to cry at the sound of his voice.
“You’re there? I’m coming–” She cut him off. “No don’t. I know you’re very busy because your concert’s tomorrow. I’m really sorry I have you worried. Don’t worry I’ll watch you tomorrow. Just focus on your thing now. Everything’s alright Ji.” Yes, she totally lied to the man she loves. But what she can do? She is still an older sister to him despite how caring and loving this man can be.
“Don’t ever do things like this again, don’t you dare make me worry again. I know you’re stupid, but please try to use your few brain cells and think. I can’t and won’t let you make me feel this way again,” and with that he ended the call.
Everyone was busy, except Dara, whose schedules were cancelled for the whole day for Jiyong’s concert and well, for some other unknown reasons. She decided to stay at the YG building to let time pass since his concert is at four.
“Dara eonnie, you’re being called to YG’s office,” a young girl trainee came up to her.
“Oh, okay. Thanks,” she quickly got up and made her way to his office. She had no idea why YG needs her at this time of the day. When she finally got there, she knocked three times before entering after she got no response from YG.
“Yang Hyun Suk-nim, Ryuu said you were calling for me. Is there anything wrong?” Dara meekly said, as she approached slowly YG’s desk. He lifted his head up, looking at Dara intently before he spoke up.
“Ah, yes. Please sit down Dara,” he gently placed down the pen he was holding, and with utter firm, he crossed his arms, resting his back at his chair’s backrest. He waited for Dara to take her seat. There was no tension, but there were beads of sweat on her forehead. Several more minutes took away words before YG said another.
“Aren’t you going to say something Dara? Are you really sure you want me to talk about it myself?” Seriousness was now eminent in his voice; however, behind it is a glitch of tenderness. Firm as ever, but now a more relaxed Yang Hyun Suk. The beads of sweat disappeared; along with it was a forming fear. Dara cannot bring herself to fear this man she acknowledges as her father.
“I’m sorry if I kept it to myself. I honestly don’t want to everybody worry if they find out. And I knew you would soon know I still kept my mouth. And I know you understand as well, especially because of him,” however though, she still cannot lift her head, so she stared either at the floor or at her shoes.
“Look at me.” He ordered. “I know how I sternly advice everyone to be independent when it comes to self-improvement and to try solve self-issues ASAP. But have you forgotten that I also constantly remind everybody as well to seek others help and be confidantes? And what am I to you? I’m truly hurt. However though, I understand you. But, it also concludes you still forget how I am as your president. And more than anything, this about your health, Dara, and I’m in a rightly position to know about that part of your being.”
“I’m truly sorry for how I acted,” and in the first time of being part of the YG Family for years, she cried sincerely in front of the president. “I have never been in such sheer terror after knowing that I could go deaf. No, I will go deaf. It’ll be in a matter of time. But that’s not just it. The absolute fact that I will never hear his voice again, that surely makes this whole thing worse more than ever. And it really pains me; after all, this is all but a one-sided love. Oh, why am I crying so hard?” Dara tried to wipe off her relentlessly flowing tears.
“What do want to do then? What are you planning on?” It is now not a glitch; he stood up and seated across Dara, resting his hands on hers.
She’s still sobbing her heart out, stopping at each sentence to breathe. “I honestly don’t know what to do. But I was thinking of just carrying on, as if nothing is happening. But then, I thought about it deeply last night, and all I want now is a time off. A break from everything: including him. I’m considering of talking to him before I take the break, but I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to do that, might give him the letter instead of facing him. I want to see him perform today, and then I am hoping that after that I’ll be able to take my time off. Are you okay with that YG-nim?”
“As much as I don’t want to stop you, simply because I know you love what you’re doing, I know you know what you need at this time. I assume you know yourself so I am supporting you in this decision. I’m letting you know that I’m not letting you go. Not when I know you have the heart and the love for this craft. Better stop crying, okay?” And he lifted up her head and wiped her tears off by his thumb, and then ruffled her hair.
“Now let me hug my Dara.”
“Thank you Yang Hyun Suk-nim. But, you’re unknowingly trying to kill me now with your hug,” and she finally breathed normally after she was released from the tight hug.
“Off you go. Better catch up with him,” he said, gesturing for his office’s door.
Dara checked her wrist, forgetting she doesn’t wear a wrist watch so she looked for a wall clock. When she found it, it read two forty-one; at least more than an hour to prepare for his concert. She took quick shower and changed clothes before calling for a van to get to the venue. She was praying hard she’d get there on time as she worries he’ll be mad at her again about her tardiness at such events. They are to meet for a minute or two before the concert starts as he ordered her.
Finally, she got there at least fifteen more minutes before the concert. The staffs helped her way backstage as some fans recognize her. She knocked gently on the dressing room’s door, announcing it was her when asked who it was. As she entered the room, the stylists and coordi-noonas also made their way out.
“So you are not late this time, stupid.” He coolly said as he checked himself on the mirror. Little did he know what a sight he was for her, taking her several minutes before answering him.
“Ah, yes. I know you’d be mad if I showed up late.” She managed to stammer, as she walked towards him.
“Of course I’d be. Good think you know. You actually used the few left of your neurons to remember that. And don’t forget, I am still mad at what you did yesterday. Don’t think I’ll let it slip, but we’re not talking about that now.” He faced her, eyeing her completely; his hips resting on the table, with his hands supporting him. She fixed his clothes before nodding. He was gazing at her intensely that’s why she cannot bring herself to look at him. A knock on the door signaled that it was time for him to go. They both went together backstage.
“Good luck, Ji.” She said as he walked forward.
“I know; I’m the best, stupid. Now, go to your seat.” He said looking back at her. She nodded which made him walk forward again.
“I love you, Kwon Jiyong.”
She was seated among the other fans who bought VIP tickets, difference would be he bought it himself for her. All the time she was having a great time, everyone was actually. But he was far greater himself. He made sure everyone there present was having a blast. All the while, she forgot the she’s about to go deaf any soon. If not for the ending wherein she had the most tremendous ringing she ever had.
She can’t stop herself from tearing up: definitely because it was surely hurting her, and; the utter terror this might be the last time she’ll hear him singing, his voice. She wiped her tears every now and then, fearing he might see it and then relentless questions will be asked.
After the concert, all proceeded for an after party at a bar. She took refuge first in a bathroom stall, crying herself out while wishing the ringing to stop. It has nonetheless soothed, but it still hurts. Her phone vibrated and she knew who it was calling. It was at least after an hour has passed that she was sober from crying and that the ringing on her ears has stopped. Armed with a congratulatory gift, inside it was last night’s letter she wrote for him, she went back as soon as she finished fixing herself.
The place was thudding with music, flooded with exclusive guests and other YG artists. She greeted everyone she knew warmly, bowing and small chatting every now and then. Her gaze was all over the place looking for him. Finally, she heard he was in a VIP room and that he was looking for her. He heart raced as she heard that. When she was there, she slowly opened the door stopping when she heard someone talking.
“Hyung, do you like Dara-noona?”
She heard him laugh. “What? That stupid noona? No. I mean c’mon. She’s older than me and she’s stupid. She’s just a noona, ok?”
She felt tears roll down her cheeks and without knowing she had the door slammed closed. It’s true. Now she knows it’s true that hurtful things repeat on your head when you hear them, especially if you hear them from someone you care for.
Clouded with tears and thoughts she made a decision.
It has been a year of a rollercoaster ride. And now, officially, she is just another Korean living ordinarily. The people have understood her; there were fans who were so supporting and caring and of course, there are narrow-minded who criticized her and her condition. It was hard, after living as idol before. But then, there are other reasons why it’s harder than it feels.
Today, she challenged herself to go out without her aids. The doctor advised her to have one though she knows herself it would be useless in the end. Now and then she would have ringing in her ears, but she doesn’t mind now.
The clear sky above her and the warm weather embracing her. How she silently wished it could get any better than this. And the Han River was explicitly calming. She lay down, with her hoodie and mask on. She can’t help but relive some of the moments as idol. She felt blessed to have her now ex-bandmates, how they helped her make through it. She remembered how they reacted when they finally learned her condition.
Everyone was crying on their dorm. It was after the day when she officially resigned, after talking with YG. They were all in the living room.
“What about Jiyong, does he know?” Bom asked in between her cries.
“He’ll know anyway.” She coldly said.
“Does he know you like him, noona?” Chae Rin asked.
“He doesn’t have to. It’s useless anyway. What for? I mean officially, now I’m not a part of 2NE1. Tomorrow, YG, I, and with you girls, will hold a press conference about it. After that I’m moving back to my parents.”
It was excruciatingly painful to leave them all behind. But then, it will be all worth it. After all, it won’t mean a thing for him. He did not even went up to her after all what happened, not even once. She wiped her tears before standing up. She still has to run an errand for her mom.
She couldn’t believe her eyes. Actually she doesn’t want to believe her eyes. She closed her eyes firmly and lifted her eyelids again. Her eyes weren’t fooling her. It was Jiyong standing just a little more than a meter from her, surrounded with some fans.
She didn’t care. Or don’t want to care, so she walked the opposite way. If he’s here to mess her life again, he better not. She has, after all, no idol image to protect for. She did not hear him calling for her. Finally, she vaguely heard him call the attention of everyone through a megaphone.
“Excuse me everyone. May I get your attention for awhile?” He called. She did not stop walking but she slowed down.
“Including you please.” She stopped, never looking back though.
“Alright. You can stay that way.”
She waited for him to say more when finally she vaguely heard the group of fans that was now blocking her way screamed. She wondered why, when at last, she felt someone held her arms. She knew it was Jiyong, but she stayed nonetheless firm, not moving a bit.
“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.” She did not answer or anything.
“You can’t hear me?” She can, honestly, thanks to the silence the fans are giving them. But she pretended not to. When he cannot take it, he pulled her so she can face him. When she turned around, she saw him kneeling down which made her heart squeeze a little. It squeezed more when he was finally in tears.
“It’s alright if you can’t hear me. At least they will hear me.” He stood up, grabbing the megaphone; he turned to the small group of fans surrounding them. “Guys, listen to what I will say so that I will have witnesses.” The fans eagerly nodded in silence.
“I have a confession to make. I’m the one who’s stupid, a huge irony because I often call you that. I always put you through pain, always being hard on you. Always playing you.” There. He was really just playing her. She was about to turn around and leave when the fans stopped her.
“Thank you.” He said to the fans. “I am stupid because I can’t believe what I was feeling for you. Not when I finally got to read your letter last night. I’m stupid for letting you go. I’m stupid for letting you go all the pain all by yourself. I am stupid because I’m in love with you and I can’t even admit it. I’m stupid for not confessing all of these before that I have wasted a year.” He stopped to clear his creaking voice.
“It was hell with you. But I can’t even describe how it was without you.” He was now walking towards her. And now, she was crying as well. He finally stopped when he was right in front of her. He dropped the megaphone. He cupped her face and wiped her tears.
“I love you, Dara. I have been ever since and, I always will.” He said, and finally, kissing her with all his heart.