i remember you with my eyes
“Tangyi, if you keep on daydreaming, we are going to be late for the photoshoot,”
Zhao Li An’s sarcastic remark resounded in the small expanse of his dressing room. Tangyi, who is dozing off to wonderland jolted in surprise, his eyes widen in shock. He rubs his chest in soothing circles while slightly glaring at his manager.
“Excuse me, Mr. Zhao but I’m not daydreaming. It’s all in your head,” Tangyi barked back, fixing his perfectly-ironed white dress, easing the nook and cranny that is almost forming on the fabric.
“Well, excuse you, Mr. Tang but do know that you were almost drooling while staring at that handkerchief,” Li-An answered, trying to emphasize each word while rolling his eyes in annoyance because Tangyi just doesn’t want to admit defeat. It’s annoying sometimes (read: most of the time).
“If you keep on rolling your eyes, I’m afraid you’ll hurt yourself,”
“You’re such a brat Tangyi, do you know that?”
“Says the one who is a bigger brat than myself,”
Li-An can only stare at his best friend/artist while sighing heavily. He knows that he will never be able to win this fight against Tangyi, so why does he even bother to continue?
“Okay, okay, Mr. Tang. You win.” Li-An paused, taking a bottle of water and throws it in the air for Tangyi to catch. “We need to move now or else, we are going to be late, and I don't want to deal with a grumpy organizer today.”
Smiling in victory, Tangyi looks at his manager and winks mischievously. “Okay, boss, roger that!"
He heard Li An grunting a wouldn’t it be easier if he just says yes from the beginning? Which erupted a burst of booming laughter from Tangyi. The door to his dressing room closes with a soft thud, but the remnants of laughter are still lingering on his lips.
Tangyi is alone again in his dressing room. The lights embedded in the mirror in front of him is almost blinding, but at this rate, Tangyi is already so used to the camera flashes and all the attention he has been receiving since five years ago. It was surreal, to say the least, but Tangyi didn’t get the fame overnight. It requires all of his blood, sweat, and tears just to be where he is right now.
Tangyi, Taiwan’s number one actor, the nation’s pride, and one of the most successful artists in Asia. With his good looks and multiple talents, it’s easy for all eyes with money and power to invest in Tangyi, to take him under their wings and shape him to become someone who is very authentic and unique. He is born to act and also, he can sing, dance, compose songs and everything in between.
But, it was never easy.
Up until now, so many people are trying to bring him down. Luckily, his family, his company, his precious manager and also his fans are there to support him. Amid every controversy that he was in (and none of them was ever true), they will always, never without fail, encourage him to keep moving forward and never give up. Sometimes, Tangyi feels that he isn't worth it. He isn't worthy of their love, support, and attention but maybe this is one of the gifts God had sent to him. Henceforth, Tangyi will forever be grateful, always will be.
They are his strength, his sole inspiration and Tangyi is willing to trade everything that he has ever owned in life just to be with them, to experience the love and happiness they have been given to him from his debut days together, until the end of time.
But this handkerchief, the one he has been holding onto for five years, is one of the few items Tangyi cherished the most. This handkerchief has a very sentimental value to it. Just by looking at this already-worn-out piece of fabric with patches of dried blood that can't be washed (no matter how hard Tangyi tried to rub the blood-stain off), it evoked the beautiful memories of his yesterdays, the one consisting of beautiful deer-like eyes, kind gestures and a beaming smile.
The owner of this handkerchief has been filling every inch of his mind and heart from that eventful day, and to put it mildly, it’s been haunting him ever since.
At times, Tangyi thought that the world is cruel. Reason being, ever since that day, he has never seen the stranger anywhere, no matter how hard he tried to retrace his steps. Tangyi took a night walk almost every day at the place where they met but to no avail. It’s like God didn’t want them to meet ever again.
For a moment, Tangyi found himself feeling beaten and discouraged. But then, something is blooming in his heart, hope, because Tangyi is a helpless romantic and he is always going to be a front believer of fate. If he is destined to meet the stranger again, then, Tangyi is certain that their paths will be crossed again.
Feeling the soft fabric in between his fingers, a soft smile is looping his lips. Exhaling a breath, Tangyi stands up and pushes the chair, fixing his dress shirt once again before exiting the room. His heart is light and airy as if the stranger is smiling at him and as if the stranger is gazing at him faintly, Tangyi’s senses are exploding once again with that same amount of happiness.
Five years ago
It is scorching hot.
Tangyi keeps on wiping the sweat off from his forehead. He had been waiting in line since dawn, despite the tiredness is slowly overwhelming his already-writhing body, Tangyi knew that it’s going to be worth it at the end. Waiting in line for hours just to buy a ticket to Super Junior’s concert would be all worth it.
He was done rehearsing his script for the day, and his company permitted him to take a break. Tangyi decided to see Super Junior since they are one of his favorite groups, and he wants to see them up-close (Kyuhyun especially). He doesn’t want to miss out this golden opportunity, not in a million years. Who knows when will Super Junior come to Taiwan again?
It is his first role in a series, although he is not the main actor Tangyi is already happy to be acting in a minor role. He will surely work harder to be a better actor and make his family proud. Although he is not a famous actor yet, his company still insist of him to wear a face mask, just in case if someone knows him and wanted his signature, it’s going to be hectic for Tangyi to handle that situation on his own. Therefore, for safety measures, Tangyi agreed to wear a face mask, solely for his safety (although his face is feeling itchy from the sweat trickling down, almost dampening the mask and literally trying to suffocate him).
But now, letting go of his responsibility as an actor for a while, Tangyi just wants to see Super Junior and have the time of his life singing and dancing to their songs until his throat becomes sore and his legs wobbly.
Meanwhile, the other fans are a bit crazy. They keep on pushing him even though the line is not moving for the past ten minutes. Tangyi is feeling a slight discomfort because his body is being pushed and pulled by the other impatient fans behind and in front of him. Although they are all girls, still, they are stronger than he thought.
Suddenly, a person from the ticket booth holds up a microphone and announces, “I’m sorry everyone, but the ticket is sold out!”
It happened way too fast.
Tangyi remembered that he was still standing in line when everything turned into a battlefield. The other fans are screaming and things get a bit violent. Tangyi didn’t realize how he ended being at the side of the road with a stranger holding his hands and instructed him to sit on the cold pavement. His mind is hazy and the only concern he has at the moment is I won't get to see Super Junior...?
“Hey, are you okay?”
A pair of doe-eyes are looking at him in sheer worry. His lips are turning down into a frown when Tangyi remains silent. Tangyi is too taken aback to grasp the reality of his surroundings because he just wanted to see Super Junior. After a long wait and a tiring day, he wanted nothing more than to get wasted and jam into Super Junior's songs to oblivion. Instead, he was involved in an argument that has turned into a bloody riot between the fans and the ticketing management.
A hand is tucking the naughty strands of hair behind his ear. With that mere contact, Tangyi convulsed in surprise, his eyes are almost falling from its socket. His heart is racing, his blood is boiling, and his senses are hypersensitive.
Sensing the surprise on Tangyi’s face, the stranger immediately retreated his fingers from further touching his hair. “I’m sorry! I just wanted to help, you are bleeding…” The stranger pointed at his forehead, and Tangyi is quick to touch it, and it's wet.
Li-An is going to kill me! His heart screamed in fear because Li An can be very, very terrifying when he is mad.
The stranger resumes wiping his bloodied forehead with a handkerchief and when his senses are slowly coming back to him, reality starts to kick in, Tangyi can finally see the stranger with a pair of clear eyes and mind.
And for the first time in his life, Tangyi’s heart drops with a loud thud.
There’s a halo surrounding this stranger, soft hues of orange and yellow are enhancing his fair skin beautifully. The redness of his lips compliment the crimson on his fluffy-like cheeks, and Tangyi is certain that he is in love. He doesn't know what has gotten into him, but for once, aside from deciding to be an artist, Tangyi is sure that he is in love.
He is so stupidly in love, Tangyi knows that his heart will not be playing tricks on him.
Is this how love at first sight works?
“You were standing in the middle of a fight, I just have to save you,” The stranger whispered worriedly while his eyes are fixated on his forehead. He is still diligently wiping his forehead, but Tangyi’s eyes are focusing on the woe in the stranger’s dazzling brown-colored orbs.
He is so beautiful...
“Please be careful, okay? And I advised you to purchase the ticket online next time, it’s more convenient that way,”
The stranger is smiling at him, so angelic and so astoundingly pretty. The sun is hot and the sky is blue, but the breeze is blowing coldly against his sweaty neck and the look on the stranger's face is everything Tangyi has ever wanted.
Tangyi feels his body is elevating to the holy doors of heaven.
He took the handkerchief and wipes the remnants of blood on his forehead while the stranger is gazing at him, full of concern. He hisses in pain, but the stranger hesitantly places his hand on top of Tangyi, an act to calm him down. He is sure that his heart is going to combust anytime soon, but luckily he is wearing a face mask, at least the stranger will not witness how Tangyi is trying so hard to hide the shy smile from tugging his lips to a wide grin.
When only Tangyi wanted to say something, the stranger’s handphone is ringing so loudly, halting his every word. His eyes are bigger now, and it’s from a mixture of shock and realization.
“I’m sorry, Liang Dian, something came up but I’ll be there in five!” The stranger answered frantically before standing up, smiling briefly at Tangyi and shouted a take care! Before he is gone completely from his view.
Tangyi is still seated, with the stranger’s handkerchief on his forehead, but his heart is happy and the stinging pain has disappeared completely.
From that very day, Tangyi will never forget those pair of mesmerizing eyes and a warm, comforting smile.
“I swear to God, Meng Shaofei, will you stop screaming and get back to work?!”
Liang Dian is shaking his head as he sees his secretary/best friend, Meng Shaofei, who is screaming while looking at his handphone. Something big must have happened to him, Liang Dian assumed.
Rolling his eyes and crossing his arms, Liang Dian asks, “What is it this time?”
“TANGYI WILL BE HAVING A FAN MEETING AND HIGH-TOUCH EVENT NEXT SATURDAY!”
Shaofei is already jumping in circles, holding onto Liang Dian for dear life. He is so excited that finally, after five years of his debut, Tangyi will be holding a fan meeting with a bigger scale this time! And Shaofei is excited because he will be able to attend this fan meeting and he will be more than glad to drop all of his plans and responsibility just to meet his number one artist!
“But Shaofei, you have promised to watch the movie with me next Saturday…” Liang Dian stated, his lips are turning into a pout.
His best friend has promised to watch BTS newest movie, Bring the Soul with him next Saturday. But now, Shaofei is breaking his promise, just to go to a fan meet? It’s not fair at all! It's his only chance to watch BTS on a big screen with great audio system, too!
“We can watch the movie next time,”
“But the movie has a limited screening time! It will end on Sunday...”
“Then we will watch the movie on Sunday,”
Liang Dian stomped his feet furiously, finally getting full attention from Shaofei. Shaofei looks up at him and smiles apologetically, “Liang Dian, I love you, but it’s my only chance to meet Tangyi. Who knows when will I ever see him again?”
Shaofei is looking at his best friend with pleading eyes because he knows Liang Dian will be weak on his knees when he sees his doe-eyes glistening in desperation. It works every time, and Shaofei knows it will not fail him today.
“I promise you, we will go watch the movie on Sunday, my treat! And I'll buy you a BTS album once it’s released!” Shaofei said, and the light in Liang Dian’s eyes are shining once again.
“Are you serious?!”
“Yes! Just tell me when they are going to release a new album. I’m going to buy the signed ones specially for you!”
Liang Dian is calculating every possibility, every pro and con of this agreement he will be making with Shaofei. But knowing that his friend is always true to his words, with zero hesitation, Liang Dian smiles brightly at him and chimes, “It’s a deal! Don’t you ever break your promise!”
Shaofei nodded and Liang Dian left his cubicle feeling happy and sated.
Shaofei glances at the screen again and quickly presses the book now button. Once the process has settled, he is jumping around again in delight because this is too good to be true.
His cubicle is filled with pictures of Tangyi, banners from his official fansite and other merchandise he can get his hands on. Being a fan since his debut, practically, Shaofei has memorized every fact of his idol, and if he were asked to sit on an exam about Tangyi, Shaofei will surely be scoring a 100, as easy as pie.
The excitement is still tingling in his body and Shaofei knows that he may not survive once he entered the venue, but it’s okay, that’s a problem to think for another day.
Now, the only thing that matters the most is, he is going to meet his actor, his one, and only Tangyi, for the very first time next Saturday. Shaofei needs to write down a very heartfelt letter for Tangyi and prepares a present for him. A homemade gift might be the right choice because Shaofei wants to leave a good impression on Tangyi.
Although he has no existing talent in art, he will try his best (and maybe ask for Liang Dian’s help) because he wants nothing more than to make his actor happy!
Shaofei can’t contain his smile anymore.
He’s going to meet his favorite actor less than a week from now.
He’s going to meet him…