We arrived at the Plaza Hotel around 10 o'clock in the morning.
"Good morning!"greeded us the receptionist.
My head was spinning from all the English I heard on our way. "Good morning! I would like 2 rooms with king sized beds, if it is possible,"I managed to say with a smile.
"Sure! Your name please?"
"Yang Seung Ho."
Oh boy! "I'm korean,"I said. "I'll spell it for you. Y-A-N-G S-E-U-N-G H-O. Yang Seung Ho."
He typed down my name. Corectly I hope!
"How are you going to pay?"
"With my credit card,"I said while taking out my golden card.
He gave me the device that allowed me to pay directly from my bank account. But then, the device made a strange sound and a message appeared on it's screen: 'Blocked credit card!'.
"What's the meaning of this?"I heard G.O. whispering next to me.
I shrugged. I guess manager hyung moved much more faster than I thought.
"I'm calling my mom,"said G.O. while taking out his phone.
"There's no need! Can I change the card please?"I asked the receptionist.
And I gave him a blue card. It was my 'black-days' card. All my income was on that card and I never used him from the day I received it, four years ago. So it sould be more than enough to pay for our rooms. I typed in the code.
"George will lead the way to the Plaza Suite. Enjoy your staying at the Plaza Hotel!"
I nodded and followed the boy dressed in a black uniform that took our luggage. The hotel was enourmous and fascinating! But it didn't compare to the feeling I had only thinking about how close I was to Mi Rae. So close...and yet so far...
"WOW!"exclaimed Mir as soon as we entered the suite. "It's..."
"Mir, close your mouth or a fly will get in,"mocked Joon. "Really now!"he added as we all eyed him. "This is nothing compared with Hollywood!"
I rolled my eyes. And here he goes again! Bragging about how great it was to go with Rain hyung to Hollywood. This kid will never grow up!
"Now I understand why he gave us this suite. It has two bedrooms! YAY!"jumped up and down Mir when he saw the two rooms.
"Yeah, but you don't want to know the price,"I mumbled after seeing the message the bank send me. $20,000...
Being set to another time zone, we slept all day and got up in the evening. The sun was already down when I finally got out of the bed.
"Let's go out, hyung!"sang Mir. "Let's go out and see the night life of New York!"
I glared. "I don't wanna. But if you all want to, you can go without me. I still have some thing to do before actually enjoying this trip."
Half an hour later, they were out on the door.
"Now, let's get on with the work,"I smiled to myself, taking out my laptop.
Juilliard's official site should offer me some pieces of information. With crazy heart beats I surfed on their site for 3 hours straight without any luck. Really now?! I virtually saw all their students names, passed and present, but there was no sign of Mi Rae. Now all this questions appeared in my head:did she lie to me about going to Juilliard? Did she dropped school after a little while? Did she moved to another city or state? What exactly happened to her?!
Then a receint post drew my attention to their home page:
'Monday, January 30th, Juilliard opens up for the tourists for the first time in almost 10 years. The visitors will be able to see the classrooms, the dance studios and much more. They will also be able to talk with former students of the school, that are now chreographers or dancers. We'll be waiting for you all from 10 am.'
That was it! If they open up the school and if they bring former students, maybe Mi Rae will be among them. And even if she's not, I will still be able to ask someone about her.
"I guess it's our destiny to be together once again,"I smiled as I drifted to sleep.
"Why are you smiling like that, Seung Ho?"asked Joon as we were having breakfast on the 30th.
"Yeah! Why? It's creepy you know,"mumbled Mir with his mouth full of pancakes.
I glared. "Are you still a lil' kid, Mir? Stop talking with your mouth full! And what? Can't I smile without a reason?"
"Of course you can! But the thing is, you rarely smile without a reason,"stated G.O. while sipping from his cup of coffee.
Great! Now everyone thinks I'm crazy! "Well guys, I don't care about how crazy you think I am! I'm just plain happy and that's all!"I smiled.
The stared at me, shocked.
"I can't believe my eyes! Hyung, was that what I think it was?"asked Thunder.
I frowned. "What do you mean?"
"No, it wasn't,"I said, feeling my cheeks heating up.
"It was! It was!"nodded G.O.
I stood. "I'm not going to quarell with any of you. Today is a special day and I wanna enjoy it! Finish up your food and let's go! I have to be somewhere today!"
And they listened to me. I think they guessed why was I rushing. And like some awesome friends that they were, they followed me through the busy ife of New York, to Juilliard academy.
We passed the crowded places, we didn't stop to admire anything. We continued walking as the GPS told us where to turn left or right. My heart was beating like crazy with every meter we took. I was feeling like my whole life I walked in a cercle and only now I found the way out of the maze. And my way out was Mi Rae. She was the sun of my life, the reason I ended up on stage, in the spotlight. So that she could see me, I stood on that stage. So that she could always hear me, I sang endless songs with headden meaning. I declared my love through sag love songs before I even knew that I was in love. I sang about heartbreaking love stories, without even knowing that my whole life was like a sad novel. I sang about forgiveness and forgetfulness. And I didn't even knew that a part of my life was almost lost into oblivion...
"WATCH OUT, SEUNG HO!"I heard G.O. yelling from behind me.
But it was too late to move a single finger! I felt a pain in my head and something hot and wet dripping on my face. Then a blurry face appeared in front of me on a bluish background. A voice echoed in the distance, calling my name I guess.
"No...don't take me anywhere!"I tried to say when a pair of white hands rose me from the concrete. "I need...I need...to...be...some...where..."
"Seung Ho?"whispered a voice.
"My head hurts,"I said, groaning from pain.
"Of course it hurts, you dummy! A freakin' flower pot hit you right in the head!"giggled G.O.
I looked around me. It was a beautiful white, hospital room. I guess it was a private clinic, 'coz it didn't remembered me of those ugly hospitals, full of dying people and pain killers.
"A flower pot?"I mumbled. "Then why do I feel a pain here?"I asked, touching my right ribs.
"Because when you were hit, you fell on ice. It seems like you already had two fractured ribs and you managed to fracture two more."
Now I remember how I fell on the stairs right before leaving for the airport.
"It hurts,"I complained.
"I think you're out of pain killers. Let me call the nurse,"said G.O. standing. "Thunder, come with me please! I don't speak English..."
I chuckled only to grind because of the pain.
Guess how I spended my days? Sleep, pain. Pain, sleep. Sleep, pain. A neverending cercle.
"Hyung...I have to tell you something,"said Thunder one evening while I was reading a comic book.
"What happened?"I asked as I didn't like his facial expression.
"You see, that day you had the accident, you... I mean, we were going to Juilliard, right?"
I sighed as I remembered how I blew my only chance. "To see if I can get in contact with one of Mi Rae's teachers."
"You see, yesterday I went there..."
I felt my heart beating faster.
"And I talked to the headmaster of the school. Appearently, they had no Choi Mi Rae as their student in the last decade."
With those words, my world started collapsing. But I managed to keep my soul safe...
"It's impossible,"I said, turning my attention on the book again.
And It was, wasn't it? It was a lie, wasn't it? A big, fat lie!
It couldn't be the product of my imagination! Mi Rae was real! She was smiling in my photos, she touched my diary! She was real! I know she's real!