It's Tuesday, 1st January 2019.
I feel odd being at this point in the journal. My final entry. So much has changed over the past year and I think if I was to look back on everything that I've been through, I'd probably get a little bit emotional. But I started this year the exact same way as I started last year, so I'm going to read back on what I wrote then and make the appropriate changes.
I came into this journal thinking that I was going to reflect every Sunday night on a week that had had its ups and downs. I thought that I was going to sit there in that time and just talk about the mundane things that happen in life, as well as the juicy things that everyone would want to hear. "On Monday, I missed breakfast," I might have written, "But the person who sat opposite to me at work had some spare rice, so they brought some over to my desk." Boring. Maybe someone would have liked to read that. I once read an article about someone who bought another person's journal at auction and they found that the person wrote mundane things like that in it. But then again, it also documented the person's mental health - a bit like I've done in mine - so the person who read the journal was really rooting for the journal's author to get a decent night's sleep and three meals a day. I guess that even if this journal was like that, it would have attracted some sort of audience still. I'll never know, though, because I think that some of the details are too personal for me to want to give this to another person. Even though I used to joke about it becoming a feature-length film.
During this year, I've aged and I'm now twenty-four years old. This means that in the next six years, I'll end up being called for military service at some point. So will my boyfriend. I'm hoping that we'll be enlisted at the same time, so that we don't need to worry about having four years apart. By the end of 2018, I'm living in Daegu with my beautiful boyfriend and our pet cat, Min. She's still as much of an asshole as she was at the start of the year, but at least she actually likes Wonwoo and I often catch them cuddling together. She's not the sort to try to eat paper, unlike a lot of my friends' cats, so she coexists well with Wonwoo. He's happy to let her sit on his lap and sleep for a while as he reads his book, and occasionally I'll see him reach down to give her a gentle rub behind her ear.
I'm currently working for a news company as one of their weathermen. I go in, put on the charm, and then have the rest of the day off. They're starting to trust me a little bit more with the admin work and I'm actually getting to help the people who determine what the weather is going to be, but I'm mostly just the face of the things that they determine. I don't really get how they manage to figure that sort of stuff out, even though they've tried to explain it to me a thousand times. My degree is in journalism, after all, which suggests that I'm not a sciency sort of person. If I was good at science, I would have probably taken my degree in that instead. It pays a lot better than some shitty office job that ultimately ends with everyone being laid off because they aren't earning enough money to actually stay afloat.
Actually, I shouldn't speak badly of them - they got me Wonwoo, after all, which is the only good thing I've really had from the place but also the only good thing that I needed. Except for maybe the friends who promised to stay in touch but never messaged me again once we left the place.
Anyway, I'm hoping that his job gets me somewhere. I'm not expecting the world from it but I'd like to progress in some way. Maybe doing more things behind the scenes or helping out a little bit more. Maybe I can do some hosting too, but I'm not counting on it. You can't rely on that sort of thing, especially when it's not your area. Most weather people just continue announcing the weather to the viewers. We can't all be Kang A Rang and spend our time working on shows like The Unit outside of our regular news appearances, can we?
If you can recall, in my first entry I told the story of how my company managed to worm their way into a huge New Year's party at the Park Hyatt in Gangnam. Really fancy, with all of the staff from really top-class companies going in with their partners and spending time mingling with other people. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think there was a reason why that sort of event was held in the first place. I think it was started so that people would be able to make connections with people from other businesses. You know, if you have connections, you have a greater chance of getting more jobs and that sort of thing. Your own business is more likely to thrive. Think about idols, now that we've brought up the topic of Kang A Rang, who is pretty enough to be an idol. Hansol managed to get his contract because he knew someone in the business. Seungkwan got his place because he knew Hansol. And there are a load of others who only become known because of their connections. If I remember rightly, someone from the idol group BigBang only became an idol because he was recommended to the company. A load of SM's artists join because of their connections. In fact, thinking about it, the big few companies either recruit from schools or through personal connections.
That's what I think our company was trying to do, along with all of the others. Which is a bit sneaky, if you ask me. We were supposed to be going there to meet new people outside of business, but it seemed that I was probably one of the only ones who was disinterested in the business side to things. Instead, I was interested in a beautiful boy who was reading a book on one of the benches to the side. I watched him for a little while before making my way over to sit with him.
I can't remember what book he was reading now and he won't tell me. I don't want to flick back and check because that would ruin the game. I'm specifically covering that bit up because I don't want to find out. I'll remember in the next few days and surprise him with the quote that I chose in the first place. I specifically remember choosing a quote so that I could woo him. One that everyone knows, obviously, but one that attracted his attention right away. Remember, he told me that he already had a drink and I knew that he was probably trying to get me to go away, but I decided to sit next to him anyway and so he ended up giving in and putting his book to one side. We chatted about things before going up to my hotel room, where we spent time dancing together and then started the year with a kiss.
Funnily enough, actually, this year didn't start too differently. Except for the fact that it got a little bit more physical.
We could have gone to spend it with family but it seemed a little bit dumb. After all, who goes to New Year's parties anymore? They usually end with drunk people having fights. It was one of the reasons why I didn't want to be around until the end during last year's party. People get out of hand. They start getting sick. They start throwing punches at people for ridiculous reasons. And whilst it probably didn't get like that because it was a work-based party, I didn't want to be around to see it if it did go down in the end.
This year, I spent the day cuddling up with Wonwoo. We had a load of snacks in the fridge so we just spent the day heating them up and only eating that. Wonwoo read his book - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami Haruki. Actually, I don't know how I feel about that book. It's actually pretty gross. I read a little bit of it with him at the start and I thought that it was really well-written. It's about a guy whose cat runs away and then his wife gets increasingly distant and whilst the topic itself seems really mundane, weird things start happening and that's what makes the book interesting. I was actually going to sit down and read it with him but then I noticed something around a third of the way in and it made my stomach lurch. It was just really graphic and gross and I can't bring myself to find out the context but I really didn't like it. Spoiler alert - it might be a great book but the torture scenes are far from what I'd typically associate with Murakami, based on what Wonwoo has told me about his other works.
(Damn it, he was reading Pride and Prejudice when we first met! Remember, I said that dumb quote - "One word from you will silence me forever." I got him the themed Valentine's card to mark the occasion. How could I forget that?)
Anyway, we almost got to the end of the day when he asked if we could be stupidly cheesy and do as we did when we first met. Well, to a degree. We were mixing things up a bit. We ended up going to the nearest liquor store and bought a box of wine. Then we went straight home and started to drink it. Whilst you don't really think that that sort of thing will get to you so much, it really did. Wonwoo and I had three bottles of wine each - totalling at two and a half litres per person - and by that point, we were certainly tipsy. It didn't hit me until I tried to stand up, but then my legs almost gave out underneath me and Wonwoo began giggling. It was probably the first time I'd heard him laughing like that but I loved the sound. I told him that right away. "I love hearing you giggling like that."
"I'm not giggling, I'm laughing," he insisted, so I got a dictionary up on my phone to prove that he was, in fact, giggling and not laughing.
"'Giggle; to laugh lightly and repeatedly in a silly way, from amusement, nervousness, or embarrassment.' By definition, you're giggling." He didn't like the fact that I was right, naturally, and so he playfully thumped me with a pillow. So I decided to make it seem as if it wasn't something to feel embarrassed about using the only means that I could really think of when the wine was going to my head like that. "Nah, I think it's really sexy - don't get like that with me. I wonder if the sex'll be giggly too, since you seem to be in the mood where everything is funny."
"Is that a hint that you want something more, Mister Kim?" I told him that it was. He hopped up from the sofa right away and made a break for our room, even though he knew that I'd gotten up off the sofa so that I could break the water seal and so I couldn't really chase him.
I chased him anyway and almost pissed myself in the process.
Of course, I didn't let that happen. What, do you think I'm a barbarian or something? I care a lot about personal hygiene and besides, there's no bigger turn off than your boyfriend wetting himself because he's drunk too much wine and thought it would be a great idea to chase you through the house. So I ended up taking care of that before joining him in the bedroom.
Strangely, though, the moment seemed to have passed. He was sat on the bed with his legs tucked underneath him, and so I just raised an eyebrow. "Are we gonna get on with it, then?" I asked. Wonwoo licked his lips.
"How about we put on the radio and dance for a bit first?" Just like our first night together. I liked it a lot. So we ended up turning on the same radio channel as we had done when we first met - SBS Love FM, if it matters - and we listened to the songs that started playing. They were just as mellow and romantic and so Wonwoo hopped straight off the bed and moved closer so that I could dance with him.
His head was resting on my shoulder as we slowly swayed along with the music. I could feel his breath tickling my skin. In fact, I was very aware of everything. The fact that our bodies were touching. The way that he tucked his face close to my neck. The softness of his hands as I held them. The tipsy feeling that made me want to collapse back against the bed. We continued to dance, though, until the host told us that we were ten minutes away from 2019.
It was at that point that he pulled away enough to look into my eyes. He told me to kiss him so I did. His voice was a little bit slurred but I was sure that mine was too. We were still very aware of what we were doing but the wine had hit hard. That's why I wasn't too bothered when the kiss resulted in us tumbling onto the bed together. He was incredibly gentle as he pulled my jumper over my head and then moved straight down to tug my sweatpants down past my knees. I was just as gentle as I did the same for him and then we were just sat there for a moment, completely bare in front of each other. And then Wonwoo broke into a smile. A really warm, genuine one. "I love you, Kim Mingyu," he told me. And my heart fluttered. I felt it go light in my chest and my head went light at the same time. It was the best feeling in the world. So I said it back.
"And I love you, Jeon Wonwoo."
Then he was upon me. Moving our bodies in unison. I sat up so that I could hold him close to my chest the entire time. I wanted to feel that skin contact and I wanted to still get the kiss in there as the new day hit. So we continued to mix our bodies together through that last romantic song, and until the radio host announced that we were going to start a count down. We counted with him, just as we had done last year, and then finally kissed as the new year hit. At that point, I decided to flip him onto his back so that we could finish the best way, and so we did what we needed to do until we were both satisfied.
I don't know what happened after that, though. We were out cold. I remember waking up on top of him this morning. I was still inside, which made dislodging a difficult task. I think I might have hurt Wonwoo, even though he insisted to me that it was fine. So far, we've had a breakfast that included that nasty hangover cure from the 7-Eleven, and we've done pretty much everything to celebrate a year since our first kiss. And that's what I like. Enjoying our time together and making sure that we appreciate how far we've come along.
Now, I have to admit, I've really enjoyed writing this journal. It has been a huge pain at times. I've had periods where I've made mistakes and documented it, and I've added entries where I've written without thinking, which makes for a story that's really disjointed at times. The plotline is everywhere and that's exactly why this is never going to become a feature film. I'll give it to a movie producer somewhere down the line and they'll look at me as if I'm the biggest waste of space in the world.
But let me tell you right now, I'm not going to do one next year. Not unless my mom gets me another journal with the date on it. I think I'll just take the reflection skills that I've learnt along the way and keep it all inside my head instead.
(Just wait now - I'll find that I'm bored without this, and I'll end up buying myself a 2019 journal so that I can do this all over again.)
Best wishes, future me.