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i say we find a way

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"You're what?!"

 

Jiwon has to bite back a laugh. It was always amusing to see people worrying over her (ugly, useless, talentless her), much more if that person went by the name of Son Chaeyoung, who was a staple in Jiwon's life, JYP trainee or not.

 

The older girl replies, voice hoarse and weary, "Joining Idol School, Chaeng."

 

"But why?" Chaeyoung starts to whine over the line, and Jiwon swears she could see the former pout and roll over her bed, too engulfed in her thoughts.

 

(That is, if she even remembered she had a bed.

 

That's the price of popularity, she had said once. Jiwon will never understand.)

 

"I," Jiwon chokes out before she angles her phone to the other side, "have always wanted to debut. I mean, you know that right?"

 

An irritated huff was heard. "I know! It's just that- You deserve much more than this Jiwon. So, so much more than this."

 

Sometimes, it was hard to remember so.

 

It was hard to remember, when there were tons of people much more talented than her; when there were hundreds of trainees who were more beautiful than her; when entertainment was not even her strong suit.

 

How was she deserving of anything when even those who were better get less?

 

But see, here's the deal: Jiwon was as selfish as she was a performer. She dreamt of endless hits, standing in front of a large stage. She lived to sing for people. And so being deserving of anything more than others left her mind. If she could do anything to debut, she would do it.

 

"I don't," Jiwon heaves, her breathing heavy and slow, "deserve anything, Chaeng."

 

Son Chaeyoung was Jiwon's best friend. She always was. But it was hard to make her understand things sometimes. Chaeyoung was a star whereas Jiwon barely shined. Chaeyoung listened though, and that was good enough.

 

The line trembled. "You do. You're one of the most talented people I have ever met. You deserve everything but another survival show. It's not healthy for you," Chaeyoung whispers the last part, soft and gentle as if one wrong word would break Jiwon.

 

Jiwon's breath hitches. It was so easy to believe Chaeyoung like this. She was a class above the rest, special they say. Oh, it was so, so easy. "I'm not. Tons of other people are better than me in every single aspect of idol life— heck, even your/ crusty ass is funnier than me. But I want to perform, and if joining a shit show is the way to debut, then so be it."

 

The line was silent.

 

"Sixteen killed a part of me, I know," she continues, "but I don't want to give up. If I wait any longer, I might not take it anymore. I'm not like Jihyo-unnie. And... And maybe I won't get to debut. But that's okay, right? This is the only chance I have to I can appear on the same screen as you, Chaeng. I can't miss this chance."

 

"Stop." Jiwon stills. Her friend sounds angry as she over the line— scratch that, even when they're cities apart, Jiwon feels Chaeyoung's anger. "You're always like this. Always talking about how you're not as good as anyone, about how you're selfish despite that, and—."

 

The younger girl takes a breath. "And. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself: What happens next? What happens after?"

 

Jiwon was silent, and Chaeyoung takes this as a chance to continue. "What if it... fails? This isn't like Produce 101. What if it goes like Boys24? What if everything you wanted didn’t turn out the same way?"

 

The trainee frowns, thoughts pouring into her head. Of course, she knows that. Jiwon wasn’t stupid. If she wanted to be popular, she would have waited in JYP. Maybe even joined Produce 101 with Jeon Somi. But choices have been made, and she wasn’t a big fan of regrets (No matter how much she did regret everything afterwards). Joining Idol School, not becoming popular and starting all over again were risks she was willing to take.

 

If there was one thing Park Jiwon had learned in the many years it was to only regret if you did not even try.

 

"Goodbye Chaeyoung," Jiwon mutters, tone calm and collected. Chaeyoung might not understand now, but she would, eventually. Because Son Chaeyoung was Jiwon’s orbit, strong, powerful and always right, but in the end, she was merely an orbit in Jiwon’s dull star. She would always be there for Jiwon, just as the singer would never cease to support her friend.

 

Just as the ringing sound of an ended call's tone began to play, Jiwon stuffed the phone far away. She snuggled into a fort of pillows, all stacked together in a position that only screamed for Jiwon to lose herself in, to close her eyes and forget all her fears.

 

And thus ended the tale of a measly star, who confided a secret with her special orbit. The orbit who was orbited by many stars, but never left her side.

 

In a couple of days, this star would be surrounded by brighter stars, who, unknowingly, would soon look up to her as if she hung the moon.

 

Maybe— just a little maybe— she would begin to truly receive what she deserves. In the background, the orbit smiles.