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Soojung doesn’t remember the first time she met Mijoo.

She remembers parts of the day clearly. Strikingly so, like she’s staring at a new coat of paint on a wall that’s gone to ruins. It helps that there’s a YouTube video of her audition up online, courtesy of popstar2132, whose only other upload is a 2006 fan video of Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Zac Efron set to Pussycat Dolls’ Stickwitu. Soojung was cuter as a kid, with her hair in pigtails and dancing in light-up sneakers, shivering a little too because she hadn’t listened when her mum told her to bring a sweater because it was chilly out.

The last time she met Mijoo was nothing special, but Soojung remembers it the way you recall bumping into an old classmate at the grocery store two years ago. Because you’ll remember an aberration of time like that without fail, but you’ll forget about how you forgot to buy the potatoes you went there for and ended up in a fight with your live-in boyfriend, which somehow turned into you moving back in with your mum. But, that’s not the point, because she hadn’t met Mijoo at a grocery store—she’s not even sure Mijoo goes grocery shopping anymore, it seems a bit too mundane a chore for someone who’s been a Vogue cover girl. And, if at brunch next week Jiae pulls up an Osen article about Mijoo stumbling around drunk at the airport again, and asks Soojung when the last time she saw Mijoo was, the answer won’t be that Soojung didn’t meet her in a grocery store two years ago.

It would be that today, at 1AM, Soojung held a keyboard stand above her head and watched Lee Mijoo throw up into the compost bin in her backyard.

“Are you… are you drunk?” Soojung says, surprised that not all words have failed her completely.

Mijoo rights up regally as if from a bow, wipes her mouth with the back of her hand, but Soojung can still see chunks of vomit in her hair. “No, but god I’m not going back to that fucking Kebab place ever again. How impressive would it be if I managed to climb over your back fence while drunk though?”

“That’d be horrifying, actually,” Soojung answers, but Mijoo ignores her in favour of stomping her way into Soojung’s house, muttering quickly about using the bathroom. Soojung stands there for a good minute, until her arms begin hurting and she realises she’s still raising the keyboard stand, like she was waiting to follow Mijoo in and knock her out cold. She considers it for a second, but then remembers her therapy.

 

 

THE MOUSEKETEERS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of South Korea’s Mickey Mouse Club
16 March 2013, Kim Suyun

Ask any person what “South Korea in 2003” brings to mind, and you'll get many answers.

Many think immediately of “Hyori syndrome”, the nation-wide obsession with singer Lee Hyori that was practically an epidemic. For some, it’s Park Chan-wook’s “Oldboy”, a neo noir thriller that remains timeless, with an American remake by director Spike Lee slated for release later this year.

For others, 2003 whistled a different tune— specifically, one to the beat of the “Mickey Mouse March.” For me, 2003 brings to mind Friday evenings, watching my eight-year-old son try to follow the dance moves of seven young teenagers in mouse ears as they performed Lion King’s “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.”

Korea’s remake of The Mickey Mouse Club was an instant hit amongst elementary schoolers. The skits they performed were imitated on playgrounds, the songs they sang taught in music classes. Thousands of young teenagers auditioned for the coveted position of Mouseketeer, but only seven made it and remained for the show’s short-lived but well-loved three seasons. Four boys: Nam Woohyun, Kim Sungkyu, Jang Dongwoo, Lee Howon, and five girls: Lee Soojung, Yoo Jiae, Seo Jisoo, Lee Mijoo, and Park Myungeun.

Some of these names are immediately recognisable. Arguably one of the most famous female soloists today, many are surprised to learn of Lee Mijoo’s humble beginnings as the most mischievous of the Mouseketeers. Kim Sungkyu, whose debut album received the prestigious “Album of the Year” prize at the Seoul Music Awards last year, also started his career wearing colourful sweaters with shorts, dancing enthusiastically to Disney songs. But what about the rest of them? Where are they today?

From dance teachers to opera singers, DUIs to lovestagrams, here are the lives of the most famous teenagers of the early 2000s, and how they grew up with us.

 

 

The shower is running. Soojung almost trips on one of Mijoo’s stilettos by the door, and in a fit kicks the other one onto her mum’s white woollen rug. The heel leaves a stain. Her mum doesn’t stock alcohol in the house anymore, so Soojung nurses a glass of Coke in the living room and waits.

She briefly considers stepping out again and cleaning out the compost bin Mijoo had defiled. Can you compost vomit? Is the bile bad for the worms? Honestly, she doesn’t really care about the environment beyond feeling bad about littering, but composting had been one of those hobbies she took up after the breakup to try and channel her hurt into something productive.”Can’t you just… write some songs?” Yein had begged after Soojung made her sit through ten magic shows. It had shamed Soojung appropriately, and the compost bin would’ve joined the knitting needles and weighted coins in oblivion, except Soojung felt bad about abandoning the worms. So what she has now are pets that she occasionally feeds banana peels.

Speaking of worms:

Mijoo emerges from the bathroom and into the living room with Soojung’s towel wrapped around her hair, and absolutely no concern for the fact that she’s standing in just a bra and spanx in the same room as a framed photo of Soojung’s grandparents.

“Can I get you anything else, ma’am?” Soojung asks. Her coke has gone flat and reflects the single dim ceiling light. “A drink? A private massage? A limo?”

Mijoo unravels the towel and scrubs her hair. It’s the same yellow as a dish sponge, but somehow Mijoo manages to make it look not-awful. “It burns me that you don’t mean that, because I could actually kill for some whiskey right now,” Mijoo says.

Soojung frowns. “And not a pair of pants?”

Mijoo laughs. “It’s not top priority, but if you’re offering.” She takes a seat on the recliner next to Soojung. “God, your neighbour? I think that’s your neighbour. Her dog is so cute. I was bent down in the middle of the pavement trying not to shit my pants and he was yipping—”

Mijoo,” Soojung says sharply. Mijoo’s shame cortex was cut off with her mother’s placenta during birth, and that had benefited her when they were teenagers and Mijoo could laugh at herself on TV while Soojung had to pretend to find ugly screencaps of herself funny whilst saving a dollar a day for jaw surgery at seventeen. Soojung loved reminding Mijoo that she had to grow up one day, that it wouldn’t last—but it had rewarded Mijoo her entire career. There was nothing hotter than a hot girl who didn’t care she was hot. But even for Mijoo’s standards, this was something else. Fuck, even an alien would knock before coming in, right?

“Mijoo,” Soojung starts again, softly, but just as mean. “Did you just come here to use my bathroom and—” she sniffs “—use my good conditioner. Are you serious? I keep that hidden in the cabinet for a reason!”

“Yeah, I went looking for it. I knew you weren’t actually using that three-in-one men’s shit you left out.” Mijoo cocks her head to the side, a sweet smile glazing her expression. “I just missed you.”

“Out of nowhere?” Soojung asks, skeptically.

“No. I ate a bad kebab and was feeling constipated and I was like, wow, speaking of constipated, I wonder how Soojung-unnie is—I’m kidding!” Mijoo exclaims. She uses both hands to grab onto Soojung’s arm to stop her from leaving, standing up in the process. Their height difference isn’t as dramatic as it once was, because despite what her official profile says, Mijoo peaked with an early growth spurt but never managed to get past 165cm. But Soojung is still so small, and Mijoo delights in this, giving her an obvious up-and-down.

“Remember when we first met?” Mijoo asks, fingers skating down Soojung’s arm.

“Yes,” Soojung lies. She wants to pull herself away—it wouldn’t be hard either. She always wants to choke Mijoo more than she wants to do anything else. But she’s kind of curious. But it’s been so long.

“You said I looked like I was a good dancer and asked me to teach you how to dance to ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ from the Jungle Book.” Mijoo grins at the memory. “And I showed you my own choreo and you were like, nevermind.”

“Huh,” Soojung muses. She does remember that, it turns out. She ended up learning the choreography from some other guy who didn’t make it in. He’d complimented her voice.

“Let me stay the night?” Mijoo asks. “I wouldn’t be here without a reason, right?”

The truth of that statement is debatable, but thirty minutes later Soojung stands in the doorway of her older sister’s empty bedroom, watching Mijoo slip on a night-dress. Soojung had been doubtful most of the night, but the deftness in which Mijoo gets ready for bed indicates either a sober mind or a composed drunk, and Mijoo is definitely not the latter.

“Did you really miss me?” Soojung asks. She regrets it almost immediately when Mijoo perks up.

“You have no idea,” she says, splaying herself out on the bed. “Where do I begin? The nostalgia? The wet dreams?”

“Ha ha,” Soojung deadpans, trying not to smile. “Save it for the morning, Juliet.”

 

 

“PURPORTING FALSE FACTS” LEE MIJOO’S COMPANY’S DENIAL OF DUI ARREST
12 June 2014, Kim Sohee

Amidst pressure from fans demanding feedback regarding the reports that Lee Mijoo was booked for a DUI on Saturday night after crashing into a lamp post, Lee Mijoo’s company Woollim Entertainment released the following statement:

“Hello, this is Woollim Entertainment.

Firstly, we’d like to thank fans for their concern and support for our artist Lee Mijoo.

Last night, articles were published purporting false facts that Lee Mijoo was booked for drinking and driving this weekend. We would like to make it explicitly clear that this is not true. The celebrity ‘A’ mentioned in the reports is a female actress and has no affiliation whatsoever with our artist or the company.

We express our sincerest apology for the concern this has caused fans of Lee Mijoo. Please continue to look upon her activities kindly.”

These reports emerged after several instances of Lee Mijoo appearing hungover at airports and speculation that she had performed at the Taipei stop of her ‘This is MIJOO’ Asia Tour while drunk. Woollim Entertainment have denied both incidents, stating that Lee Mijoo was tired and that she was simply playful on stage.

Lee Mijoo released her seventh mini-album ‘Wag-zak’ last February and currently stars in the KBS Drama “A Siren’s Home”.

 

 

It’s possible that with the late night, the shock, the stress over her worms, Soojung had forgotten to consider a few things. Like the fact her older sister is a good head shorter than Mijoo, and so her nightdress barely reaches halfway down Mijoo’s thigh, and Soojung is going to have to see that, along with Mijoo’s messy bedhead and sleepy smile first thing in the morning. Also, that she really doesn’t know Mijoo that well anymore. But she knows Mijoo has a reputation. And, ”I wouldn’t be here without a reason.” Fuck. Soojung really absorbed those words, accepted the bullshit, and gave Mijoo a bed for the night.

Then, there’s the fact Soojung is twenty-eight years old, and lives with her mother. Somehow, after twenty minutes staring blankly into the mirror with her toothbrush hanging out of her mouth, the consequences of this don’t occur to Soojung until she walks into Mijoo and her mother eating their breakfast on opposite ends of the wooden dining table. Mijoo is shoveling spoonfuls of rice into her mouth. Her mum is observing Mijoo.

Soojung clears her throat. Mijoo says, “Good morning!” with a full mouth. Her mum manages to say the same words without her lips leaving the thin line they’ve formed.

“So uh, Mijoo came over last night,” Soojung says, pulling out a chair between the two.

“Yep, gave me quite a shock when I ran into her in the kitchen this morning,” her mum hums. “I almost knocked her out cold with a vase.”

There is no apology spoken or intoned, but Mijoo waves an assuring hand. “Don’t sweat it, I'm fine.”

Her mum smiles, and to her credit, it's not mirthful. When Mijoo's focus returns to her food, her mum beckons Soojung close.

“Soojung,” she whispers. “Is she… Is she on drugs?”

“Nope!” Mijoo chimes, scooping another portion of rice. Soojung and her mother jump apart. “I'm as sober as a… uh…” Mijoo spins her chopsticks around her fingers, thinking. “As sober as a sober frog.”

“Poetic,” Soojung’s mum says. She runs her fingers through Soojung’s hair. “Soojung, sweetheart, remember you can always say ‘no’ to things even if your friends—”

“Urgh!” Soojung pulls herself away, ears burning red. Mijoo is choking from laughing. “Eomma, I’m twenty-eight, not thirteen, oh my god.”

There’s no attempt at small talk after that. The best Soojung can do is help herself to a bowl of kimchi jjigae and hope that if she acts normal, it’ll stave off her mum’s impending heart attack. Mijoo finishes off her breakfast and Soojung waits for her to leave, but there’s no movement. When Soojung looks up, Mijoo is looking at her stew.

“Would you judge me if I went for thirds?” Mijoo asks.

There’s a noise that Soojung mistakes as a grunt of disapproval at first, but then she recognises it for what it is. A laugh. Mijoo is as surprised, and for the first time since her unannounced arrival, looks unsure of herself as she sends Soojung’s mum a questioning smile.

Soojung’s mother shakes her head. “Your appetite. You’ve never been embarrassed of it.”

And the way she says it, Soojung knows that though her mother is gazing at Mijoo, she’s looking years back. Packing an extra kimbap roll into Soojung’s lunch because she knew Mijoo had a habit of scabbing, teaching Mijoo how to play the piano when Mijoo would wait for her parent's at Soojung’s house after shoots, yelling at Mijoo for climbing the oak tree in their backyard during Soojung’s birthday party and then rubbing antiseptic into the wound gained from scraping her knee on the bark. She’d kissed Mijoo’s cheek before Soojung had tasted Mijoo’s mouth.

The first time Mijoo had made the news as “Female Singer A” getting into a physical fight outside a Gangnam club, Soojung’s mum had turned off the TV and, as if she was asking God himself, said, “She was such a bright young girl. What happened?”

Her mother has to excuse herself to go to the bathroom. Soojung watches her discreetly wipe her eyes as she scuttles off.

“Your mum never liked me, did she?” Mijoo says, and sounds almost proud of herself.

Soojung looks down at her own stew. Her stomach feels ten times smaller. “She’s always liked you,” she says. “She just never trusted you.”

 

 

REVIEW: BABY SOUL, A PIECE OF THE MOON
9 March 2017, Kwon Eunbi

Baby Soul’s sophomore album is an ambient collection of piano ballads and coffee house tunes whose depth lies in the lyrics of a hardened heart.

Baby Soul, whose real name is Lee Soojung, made an impressive debut in 2013 with “No Better Than Strangers”. Under Amoeba Entertainment, and with an estimable list of producers at her helm (including then boyfriend, Kim Sungkyu), Baby Soul delivered a debut album plush full of butterfly synths that spoke of heartbreak, love, and wonder. Though critically acclaimed, the album performed poorly commercially, and after leaving her agency, the singer took a five-year hiatus.

Here, Baby Soul returns as an independent artist. All twelve tracks on this album are self-written and produced. Her naivety as a composer shows: there are recycled samples, and very basic chords. Even the best song on the album, a duet with Ryu Sujeong of idol group ‘Deep Blue Eyes’ is a pastiche of several other, better jazz ballads.

Where this album succeeds is in the risk taken in writing an album of songs that function as a diary. “I break my crown in half / I don’t want to do this anymore / He says it’s fine, not like you were good at it,” she sings on the opening song “Rogue City”. It sets the mood for the rest of the album, a rejection of expectation fueled by a burning desire to meet them all the same. One is reminded of Lee Soojung’s beginnings in the Mickey Mouse Club at the age of twelve, and then you listen to a song like ‘My Love’ where she reflects that “Maybe I fell in love too young / Left it out in the sun for too long and now it’s rotten”, and you despair.

 

 

The last time Soojung met Mijoo, Mijoo had a girlfriend. Soojung had a boyfriend. They were at a club. It sounds like the start of a song, but it wasn’t even enough to get a word into Soojung’s lyric book.

No one knew Mijoo had a girlfriend, of course. It wasn’t an open secret. Mijoo, despite being reckless and stupid and not being able to carpe diem from self-destruction, always steered clear of career suicide. But Soojung knew, when she ran into Mijoo and Jisoo at the entrance of the bar, that they were dating. Not fucking either, that wasn’t Jisoo’s style. Mijoo’s eyes were a wishlist, on it: Jisoo’s lips, her fingers, the can of beer in her hands.

Present day, Mijoo and Soojung sitting next to each other on the sofa, a pillow between them, and watching Inkigayo. Soojung doesn’t know any of these groups performing, but Mijoo likes pointing people out and providing commentary on them, like an irreverent pokedex.

“Okay, that guy in the green? He’s so desperate. He once put a copy of his number into a whole tray of Inkigayo sandwiches ‘cos he was hoping someone would be horny enough to—”

“Does Jisoo know you’re here?” Soojung asks.

“Uhh,” Mijoo says, nonchalant. “Why would she?”

“Oh, uh.” Soojung blinks. She’d been so sure. “You were dating… weren’t you?”

“Yeah but like, does Sungkyu know you’re here?” Mijoo asks.

“Does Sungkyu know I’m home in my pyjamas sitting on biscuit crumbs?” Soojung asks. “Probably, unfortunately. But I broke up with him years ago.”

“Okay well, that’s your fault for being predictable,” Mijoo says. She tries to poke Soojung’s stomach, but Soojung slaps her finger away. “But my point was that I broke up with Jisoo years ago.”

“Huh.” Soojung considers this. Mijoo has been linked with a number of actors the past few years, but she always assumed it was a red herring. “You seemed happy.”

“Yeah,” Mijoo sighs, like she’s recalling a good meal. “Yeah, I think I was in love with her.”

Soojung furrows her eyebrows. “Then… why?”

“She wanted to come out,” Mijoo answers. “And I couldn’t do that. See—” And here, she turns full-bodied on the couch, facing right towards Soojung “—this is why you and I are meant to be. Because you never wanted to come out either. You made compartmentalising so easy! You were like, let’s just live a lie and make a bunch of money. You got it!”

The most disturbing part of Mijoo’s spiel is how sincere she sounds. Soojung places two fingers against her forehead and pushes her away. “I never said that. I just meant it’s not worth the risk.”

Mijoo nods. “Yeah, same.”

Please do not try and equate my values to your…” She waves her hands to indicate Mijoo’s entire being.

Mijoo laughs. “But you agree with me? Sure, I loved Jisoo. A lot. But I want a lot of things? I love a lot of things. I want my career—I worked hard for it. I love singing, I love being in front of the camera and performing, I love making people laugh. And yes, it’s scandalous, but I even love money. Is it wrong that I don’t want to give up what makes me happy?”

“No, it’s not,” Soojung admits. She breathes in and looks back towards the TV. The group performing right now can’t have an average age of older than thirteen. She feels bad for them. “I tried to explain that to Jiae. It’s not even like you can’t be with them publicly. People will just assume you’re friends.”

“Right!” Mijoo exclaims, putting her hand out for a high-five. Soojung ignores it. “Jisoo would hate when we’d go out on dates and journalists would write about me having dinner with a friend. But it’s awesome? I could eat her out under the table and everyone would just be like, aaaw, gal pals.”

“Urgh!” Soojung scowls, grabbing a pillow from behind her and lobbing it at Mijoo’s head. “Why the fuck do you always have to take things to one hundred?”

Mijoo holds the pillow against her chest and grins. “Because you hate it,” she says.

 

 

MIJOO — LOST N’ FOUND (1ST ALBUM)

THANKS TO

Firstly, thank you to my fans who have always supported me and waited for my music. Thank you to the agency, manager oppas and unnis.

[...]

And! Thank you to my friends who started their journeys with me on MMC! Jisoo, my same-aged friend who’s like my unnie. You know you’re the coolest, right? Jiae-unnie, I know you tease me because you love me! Fighting on your drama! ^^ My beloved musical queen Myungeun~ My partner in crime and the one who knows me best. Thank you for all your encouraging words! And tiny Soojung-unnie, who I’ve followed around since the first day we met. You know I annoy you because I love you, right? I’m thankful to you all the time. There are things about me that only you understand. It’s cheesy, but you know my heart, right?

 

 

Soojung spends a lot of time in her makeshift studio.

It’s hard to write songs, but she’d rediscovered the same simple joy music brought her when she was a kid. The therapy of her touch making noise. She makes up melodies on the keyboard that she won’t write down, strums a guitar aimlessly while thinking about nothing. It’s a waste of time, but it’s intentional.

Mijoo demands to see it, nags at Soojung until Soojung’s mum grows sick of it and yells at them both that she has a migraine and for Soojung to just show Mijoo the room. Soojung knows Mijoo has worked in professional studios with equipment that probably costs more than this entire neighbourhood, but Mijoo is fascinated by the second-hand hardware and old instruments. Or maybe she’s just fascinated by the idea of Soojung using it.

“These are all empty,” Mijoo states, flicking through the notebooks on Soojung’s desk. “Do you not write songs anymore?”

“No, I do. In fact, I just thought of this one today.” Soojung grabs her guitar, doesn’t waste time tuning it before playing something nonsensical. “Get the fuck out, Mijoooooo,” she croons. “Literally why are you here, Mijoooooo? Stop avoiding the question, Mijooooooo.”

“Suspicious,” Mijoo says. “It sounds like the title song from my upcoming album called ‘Can I get that stick out of your ass, Soojung.”

Soojung snorts. “Is that self-written?”

“Nah, it’s by Shinsadong Tiger.”

“Okay, Mijoo,” Soojung says, setting the guitar off to the side. “Can you please tell me why you’re here?

Mijoo is scribbling something in one of Soojung’s notebooks. “I told you, I was thinking of you and I missed you.”

“Fine, let’s say that’s true.” Soojung raises a hand when it looks like Mijoo is about to argue. “Let’s say that’s true. You haven’t tried to contact me in years, but now suddenly you want to break into my house through the backyard?”

Really, Soojung doesn’t know why she’s so heated. It’s not like she and Mijoo had a huge fall out. The stuff before that— when Mijoo would show up at Soojung’s birthday party drunk, when Soojung refused to introduce Mijoo to her labelmates, when Mijoo kissed a backup dancer at her first concert while looking at Soojung in the crowd, when Soojung was sick of Mijoo acting like a clown in the club and hooked up with one of Mijoo’s staff in the bathroom— that stuff was bad. But the break up? It was calm. “I don’t think you fit into my life anymore,” Soojung had said. “I don’t think I want to,” Mijoo had replied. They’d hugged and it was awful. But then eight years passed, and it was fine.

“Do you ever feel bad for kissing me when I was thirteen and you were fifteen?” Mijoo asks. Soojung flinches. “No, don’t, you shouldn’t. But I was so surprised you did. I mean, I was hoping you would, but I always thought you were so straight-laced and responsible.”

“I’m sorry,” Soojung says. Soojung thinks about it often, about how young she was and how she was so sensible that they’d made her the unofficial leader of the Mouseketeers. Mijoo likes to spin it so that the reason Soojung was always meanest to her was because of some sexual repression. The truth was, Soojung was meanest to Mijoo because she was fucking annoying. The fact she liked Mijoo best despite this was the sexual repression. “You were… really young.”

“I always compare everyone I date to you,” Mijoo says. “Even Jisoo. Do you want to know the truth?”

Soojung nods.

“I ate a bad kebab, I was so nauseous that I couldn’t drink. I didn’t ‘suddenly’ think of you. I’m always thinking of you. And I don’t know. I had a thought, that I want you again. So I got up, and went to get you.”

As far as romantic notions go, even by Soojung’s own low yardstick, it’s not great. But, there are a lot of things to blame. Like the fact that, for the first time since she was twelve, Soojung feels like there’s a road ahead of her. Or that she’d never really gotten over Mijoo, and had kept such obsessive tabs over her that she’d had to start hiding her laptop from Sungkyu. Or maybe it’s just the fact Mijoo is, and has always been, incredibly hot.

Whatever it is, Mijoo is ready for it. She pulls Soojung onto her lap, and the kiss is so good Soojung could almost write a song about it.

 

 

Mijoo nods off quickly. Soojung spends a few minutes indulging in the sight. The Lee Mijoo in her bed, loose with her soft breathing, yellow hair splayed around her head like a crown. Soojung wonders whether she can convince Mijoo to dye her hair back to black.

Satiation settles over her and Soojung is ready to fall asleep as well. She quietly slips out of bed for a glass of water, and the house feels different suddenly. Like a shimmer has fallen over it. Soojung can't help but notice all the ways Mijoo has embedded herself into the house in less than a day. Her shoes by the door, her half-full glass of soda in the kitchen, the messy couch in the living room where the TV is still on.

Soojung might have walked past it but the words ”Lee Mijoo” catches her attention. The room is dark, but she grapples around for the remote and turns the volume up.

On the screen, a news reporter stands in front of the Seoul Metropolis Police Station. A ticker scrolls on the bottom of the screen “BREAKING: WARRANT OUT FOR POP SINGER'S ARREST.”

Soojung thinks she's about to faint.

She collapses onto the sofa just as the reporter begins speaking. Clipped and enunciated speech echoing in Soojung's head like she's having an hallucination.

“CEO of Yongseo Bank, Kim Junhyeok, provided the police with six months of texts between him and Lee Mijoo as evidence that the idol singer has been extorting money from him for months. The blackmail material contained records of adultery between Kim and several women. Kim told police that he did not come forth earlier so as to protect his family. There are additional reports that the singer Lee may have been in debt due to bribes to senior members of the police department to cover up incidents such as DUI and damage of public property. Close friends and family of Lee Mijoo have had no contact with her since early last night. Police are currently searching for the singer, whose location is unknown.”

 

 

Numbness is a curious feeling. It’s as controlling as it is uncaring, and Soojung isn’t aware of what she’s doing until she’s back in her studio and searching her notebooks for the one Mijoo had written in. She finds it on the floor, underneath the chair that had fallen over when Mijoo had dragged Soojung back to the bedroom. She flips to the back:

“We fight a lot. But it’s because we both care about being happy more than anything, right unnie?”