I Like Me Better When I'm with You
He couldn't meet her for two days afterwards, since they had different schedules. He filmed the scenes at the Kingdom of Corea with the cast intended for that part of the universe, while Go Eun and the other cast for the Republic of Korea had a break.
Then it was his turn to have a break for one day because it was her turn to film her scene with Kim Kyung Nam and the detective team.
When he thought about Kim Kyung Nam......he's a bit worried. Would she prefer that guy than him?
All of the dilemmas swirling in his mind were completely absurd. He had to put extra effort for filming, because it made him forgot her. Just enough to clear his mind and work properly. Getting jealous with a guy who might be nothing but a colleague for her was entirely irrational.
And why was he so worked up because he told her she's beautiful, and that he never told the same thing to his other female leads? He was merely stating a fact. Was he wrong for being truthful?
Yes, you're wrong. It's obvious you're crushing for her. Going so hard, so soon, might push her away.
When this thought attacked his mind, he either fought it with furiously memorizing his script, or snacking, or goofing around with Do Hwan and Kim Young Ok ahjumma.
At home, he played mobile games until he fell asleep.
At the back of his mind, he berated her. "Go Eunni, what a dangerous girl you are. You disturb me even when you're not around."
He spent his day off dining at home with his parents and sister, then proceeded to play more mobile games.
He was correct in regards that she would pretend nothing special happened between them. She was all smiles when she greeted him, and the way he beamed made it obvious that he was really happy to meet her again. Three days felt like three years without seeing her.
They had to shoot the staring scene at the library that day. Lee Geon was at the Kingdom of Corea and Tae Eul was at the Republic of Korea.
As the crew got ready to film, he asked her, "How was your two days off?"
"It's really fun."
"Oh. What did you do?"
"I met my nephew and niece, then yesterday, I met with Inna unnie."
"The one in Dokkaebi?"
"That's nice. How often do you meet them?"
"Hem....with Inna unnie, quite often. With the ahjussideul, once or twice a year."
He counted in his mind. That made them met for six times already, on average, since the drama ended.
"How does it feel, to be friends with Gong Yoo sunbaenim?"
They were sitting side by side inside the library. She was holding a cup of tea.
When she looked up at him, she looked as if she was about to say, "Sunbae, I know what you're doing."
She seemed to think deeply for a while, before answering with a smile, "He's nice. He's like a really fussy big brother."
It's like she lifted the heaviest burden of his life in just a few words.
"Ah, I see."
"We still have our group chat, the cast of Dokkaebi. We update about each other's lives."
"Daebak. It's been three years since the drama ended."
"Waeyo, Sunbae? Don't you ever keep contact with your co-stars?"
"Not the whole cast. I'm still close with Kim Bum and Choi Jin Hyuk. The other cast members.....we just say hi when we meet on events."
"Actually, for me, it's just with the cast of Dokkaebi that I'm still really close."
He nodded at that.
"How was your day off, Sunbae?"
"I spent it at home with my family. Ate lots of Hanshik."
"Soooo much!" he replied, forming a huge circle with his hands.
"I think I ate more. I had thiiiiiiiis much!" she countered, standing up to make a bigger circle with her hands, making him laughed.
"I ate more, Go Eun-ssi. I'm taller."
"No, no, no! I had two days off! I ate more!" she insisted.
He couldn't stop laughing as she sat back down, and the PD-nim gave the signal for them to standby on their positions for the scene.
His heart was a lot lighter. A lot merrier. She didn't avoid one of the things he really wanted to know about her. He also heard the rumours, that she and Gong Yoo were dating. Hearing her denying that herself was the best thing that could happen.
He had to add one more praise to her already piling up positive qualities in his mind. She's an expert in smoothing down awkward situations.
The scene they were about to film was at the library, where although Lee Geon and Tae Eul were sitting at two different libraries at two different universes, they were still thinking about each other, as if they were actually sitting face to face.
It should've been a simple scene, but he couldn't stop laughing when he looked at her eyes. She too, laughed when their eyes locked.
They did 3 NGs, and he had to get away and calm himself.
Once he gathered his wits and they managed to film without getting distracted, they began laughing again once the director said "cut!".
Sigh, her eyes would be his undoing.
The next time they filmed, it was the scene where Tae Eul confronted him about the ID Tag that Lee Geon said he had kept for 25 years.
Go Eun finished her hair and makeup first, and she came to the corner where his stylist was putting on his makeup. He was lightly singing "I Like Me Better When I'm With You" by Lauv, nodding his head to the music, when she appeared.
"Oh. Anyeonghaseyo, singer Lee!"
He laughed at that.
"You have a beautiful voice, why aren't you a ballad singer, Sunbae?"
"Because singing is just for fun. I can't really sing."
"Eyyy, you sound really good just now."
"I know that you sing really well, too. Better than me."
"I'm a karaoke singer" she answered solemnly, "You can call me anytime, Sunbae, if you need someone to make your party noisier."
Somehow they burst out laughing at that.
"Go Eunnie, I'm serious. I watched a video of you singing with Henry once. You can be a singer once you don't want to be an actress anymore."
"Ah, that. I used an audio stand-in."
"That's a lie. Come on. Why is it so hard to admit that you sing really well?"
"Because it's embarrassing to be vain in front of Lee Baewoonim!"
Again, they laughed. It seemed like they laughed automatically every few minutes when they're together.
"Does it mean you're vain when I'm not around?"
"...........not really, actually."
He chuckled. "We should sing together one day."
"That will be fun!"
"Mm hm. Schedule it."
"Schedule it, Eunni. Don't give me false hopes."
He's completely calling her with the nickname he had in his head for her, and she's pretending nothing special was happening, as usual.
"What's the book you're holding?"
He's used to see her carrying a drink in her hand, but it's the first time he saw her carrying a book.
"It's a poetry book."
Min Ho read the cover, "There's Not a Lot of Time to Love" by Chong Hyon Jong.
He flipped the pages. It was indeed a book of poems, by one of the most highly respected actor in the country.
He opened the page that had her bookmark, and randomly read it out loud.
"Through you, I am true, my Love. Through you, all things breathe, dance, shine and smile."
When he looked up, she was capping both her palms on her mouth.
"Omo, sunbae! You sound so good!" she exclaimed in awe.
"What? I was just reading it."
"Yes, but you sound like a recorded audio book. Your voice fits poems so well. Daebak!"
Min Ho frowned. For a few seconds, her expression was the same like his fans who attended his fanmeetings. He saw admiration there.
But why was it a lot sweeter to see on her face? He wished that's an expression she would wear in front of him forever.
"Can I borrow this? I want to read it too."
"Okay, Sunbae. I've read this so many times anyway. You can read it, then tell me what you think about it."
He nodded, and gave the book to his staff, "Put this in the car, I want to read it at home later."
"Lee Min Ho-ssi, Kim Go Eun-ssi, we're all set to film!" a crew announced.
Why was it, that all the scenes he filmed with her felt like filming a bed scene?
Not in the steamy definition, but in how intense he felt the effect, during and after the scenes.
Holding her hair made his heartbeat jumped.
Lifting her to a horse made him felt weak in the knees.
Sitting behind her on a horse made him wanted to pull her closer to his chest and kiss her until she's breathless.
He knew she liked Korean literature, and reading those poems in the book he borrowed made him unable to sleep.
How long should he wait before he confessed his feelings for her?
Am I the only one that is so affected with everything?
No, he refused to believe that.
He felt that the attraction was there, but it's too vague at the moment. She's determined to be friends. Was that her way to focus? Should he wait until the filming was over?
"Ha, as if you could stand waiting that long" his own heart mocked him.
It was 1 AM, and he's pacing in his bedroom.
How do you woo a Kim Go Eun?
Somehow, he had a feeling that bouquet of flowers and jewels as presents wouldn't be her thing.
He knew her ex, Shin Ha Kyun, was a lot older than her, and he wasn't, with all due respect, handsome in the mainstream standard.
She was never that shaken standing in front of him. Yes, she was often cheerful and sometimes giggly, but he felt that she talked to everyone that way.
There were instances where he saw her eyes would light up, or her expression turned shy, but it's not often. It's there, though. He knew it's there. If he tried hard, he might be able to dig all those feelings inside her, turned them to feelings for him.
And all of a sudden, the poem book in his hand came to mind.
............would it work?
He knew one thing that might help him woo this girl, who's amazingly talented, and was uninterested with worldly things.
She did say his voice sounded great when he read one sentence from the poem earlier, right? Maybe if he recorded some and sent it to her......
Would she be affected?
Would she listen to it many times?
Would she be as affected as he was?
He then spent the next fifteen minutes flipping through the book
And then a poem struck him to the core.
This was it!
He read it many times first to understand the full meaning of it, before reaching for his phone. He then continued to read the poem out loud while recording it.
That Every Moment is A Flower Bud
By Chong Hyon Jong
I regret at times,
That moment, that event,
Could have been a treasure trove
The person of that moment
The thing of that moment
Could have been a treasure trove
Had I dug in more passionately
And talked more passionately
And listened more passionately
And loved more passionately
Had I not let it go like
Or a deaf
Or a person staring vacantly
Had I loved
The moment more passionately
Every single moment
Is a flower bud
A flower bud
That blooms through my passion!
He recorded the whole poem, and checked it afterwards.
Once, his staff had shown him a comment of fans from a youtube video.
It was a cut from the drama the Legend of the Blue Sea.
"Lee Min Ho Oppa has a voice for scandals. He really has a sexy voice. I feel like dying just from hearing it!"
That day, he had laughed it off. But that night, he hoped that the said fan was true.
It was 1.30 AM.
Sending it to her right now would mean that she'd know he's thinking of her even late at night outside of filming. But that's exactly what he needed, right? For her to understand that he couldn't stop thinking about her.
Holding his breath, he sent her the audio file through Kakao chat.
Then he typed, "This one is my favourite from the book."
And she's an intelligent girl. She would perfectly understood what he wanted to say through the meaning of the poem.
It was about regret of not seizing the moment of love when the writer could.
Well, he and Go Eun were still IN the moment. They hadn't passed it yet. They could both seize the moment if they wanted to.
And it's not about him, right? It's obvious that he wanted her, body and soul. All the smiles and fair skin, and that beautiful brain with all her quirky sides and funny jokes included.
The problem was, did she want him too?
I'll know the answer tomorrow, he told himself.
He reopened the chat and discovered that she had read it.
"Sunbae, you're the best! You sound amazing! Thank you, I'm a fan!" she had texted.
Min Ho smiled to his screen.
Go Eun was good in playing the game that she's just a fan of the actor Lee Min Ho.
"Replay it. Listen to it until you can't stop thinking of me" he said to his screen, as if he's saying a mantra.
"I'll see how you'll behave the next time we meet, Eunni."
I hope they don't feel out of character.
Just an idea, because she likes Korean literature, and his voice sounds like heaven, plus the poem he posted in his instagram recently.
Chong Hyon Jong is a real Korean poet, and the poem included in this chapter is a real work from him.
Because Kim Go Eun likes Korean literature and Chong Hyon Jong is really famous, I have a feeling that she had read that particular poem as well.
Thank you for reading and see you soon!