The country was pretty in a word. Maybe more than pretty, some different kind of pretty which was never known to him. Though the lowered glass of the silent car the roads looked like as if they were greeting you without even knowing you, the passing green sights looked warm and decent, the breeze was kissing his cheeks like he was someone special.
He closed his eyes feeling the breeze, carefully placing his head by the lowered glass and taking in the scent which smelled new like everything else. In a line everything was warm and pretty but way too known for him. And when it started to tell him - hey ! we will be with you from now on - this is the place you belong to - the silent car stopped and the silence broke with the person who introduced himself as a casting staff before the ride.
"Time to get up and get in. We are here." The person tried his best to give the boy a warm smile, as if in a smile he was trying to say the same thing, this was the place he belonged to.
"Im ... coming."
He replied in his 'I havent been practicing Korean in a while' tune, he did not care as long as they understood him and he understood them. Not like he was not going to learn, this was the very beginning. And on that thought soon he found himself walking by a huge lobby which kind of looked like a movie.
"We will get our papers from here then we can move into our dorm. Its Christmas break, you dont have to attend the practice anytime soon."
He only noticed the word Christmas boldly, making him realize once again that miles away from home he would be spending his Christmas alone with some people he never knew, without the people he knew. He sighed at the thought once again as he found himself nodding at the staff's word, passing the posters of some artists he never clearly heard off. He was inside his head all the time by when the person with him got his papers and signed him up. Dear small him of 14 years, congratulations on your new life.
"We would have someone to take us to the dorms. Im sure he would cheer you up a little." The person smiled the same smile again, and the boy only got the part of someone coming to take them. Then the one who was coming to take them was someone way different from the someone he imagined.
That someone had nicer hair than anyone there, had a smile which was one of the most genuine ones he had ever seen. He was taller than everyone present at the area, he looked better than anyone present at the area.
"So here is my brother coming in from the other side of the world ? Its very nice to meet you." The male bowed a little towards him with the same smile on as he used a perfect American accent, making the boy get surprised a little inside.
"Mark Lee." He gave him a hand without thinking much, returning the smile of course. "Pleasure to meet you too."
"Good to have you here, Shall we begin ?"
He playfully smiled this time, asking the staff who was with him something in korean which 'looked like' he wanted to take Mark all by himself. He was right, soon he was walking beside the taller male towards a decent looking living structure behind the huge building he went to.
"So, Mark, is this your first time in Korea ? As far as I know your parents are both Korean so you must've come here before right ?"
"Well .... actually no. I did not even had the idea of getting casted here in the global audition." He replied with a lower tune, English never felt so good and so known.
"I see. You do know this right that Korea's biggest media company selected you ?" The male giggled a little, sounding a little bit of cute now. Mark nodded with a way smaller giggle just when the reached the building.
And it was more decent than he thought. Some nice looking courtyards, some nice looking balconies above, some nice looking people wondering around. Mark admired the view, maybe he was a little too into the sight so he did not notice someone coming to bump onto him. The next thing was - he was laying on the ground.
"Dont you have eyes !" The person possibly guilty for the bump screamed out in authentic korean accent, looking at him with his honey coloured skin glowing with sweat, he must be worked out.
"That was all your fault Lee Donghyuck !" The taller male screamed back in the same Korean accent, wow he was talented.
"Thats not how we greet our new trainees. Apologize to Mark right now."
The honey coloured skin, who Mark presumed as Lee Donghyuck, laughed instead, "What kind of name is Mark ? Is he from Antarctica ?"
"Im from Canada." Mark managed to reply, brushing off the dust from his jacket. And then some thing unexpected happen, the weird looking honey coloured skin kid helped him to get up and brushed his jacket for him.
"Be careful from the next time Mark ssi. And if you ever get in any trouble - ask out for me okay ?" The honey coloured male looked like he winked at him once as they got up and he ran out for someone else of his size, what an entry. But maybe it was just the beginning again.
The Taller male took him to a cozy living area starting with a small living area where there was this short male cleaning the glass, he never spoke and ended it with a warm smile which made Mark smile back. Then he was introduced to his bed, the taller male mentioning all the living rules before he was about to leave.
"So let me see you later Mark ? If you need anything you can have my number from your roommates okay ?"
He slightly ruffled his hair, and just when he left Mark realized he never asked the male's name. But a chance came out soon as the short male who waved him a smile earlier entered the bedroom and looked like to have the upper bunk above him.
"Umm .... hello ?" Mark was sure he was all red and in return the short male gave him another smile, he had the prettiest eye smile he ever saw.
"Im ... Mark. Im a new trainee and ... you see I may ask some ... some ... questions."
"What do you want to know Mark ssi ?" The boy had a pretty voice which suited perfectly with his pretty eye smile. Mark adored him if he would be very honest.
"Who was the staff who brought me here ? You saw him with ... me right ?"
The male with the pretty eye smile took some seconds to get it as it seemed, because Mark was in a wrong thought and he corrected that for him in the next minute.
"He was not a staff. He is a trainee here as well and his name is John. We call him Johnny appa." The boy giggled as he sat across the room, he giggled sounded pretty as well. It made Mark giggle with him.
"Do we have a mom here as well ?"
"Yes you do. And I think Jeno-ah was about to talk about the mom."
Some voice coming from the room entrance caught their attention as they looked up to the voice owner, and Mark thought he was some kind of anime character because the male was perfect in every single way. He was soft looking brown locks, big doe eyes and a smile which made him doubt on that short male's smile. Mark obviously looked stupid among these so damn good looking koreans.
"I came up to see if our new trainee is doing well, if Johnny did his duty perfectly."
Mark gulped, he did not know why. The short male decided to answer for him, maybe he already guessed Mark's language problem.
"Mark is okay, hyung. Maybe he needs some more time. Dont worry, you still have your practice left right ?"
The perfect looking male ( Mark needed to know and memorize all their names badly ) nodded a little, looking down at Mark again.
"Im here to ensure Mark is alright. Im the mom I need to know everything right ? Im Lee Taeyong by the way."
Mark managed to nod, someone said he needed to bow when some Korean will introduce themselves but it seemed too awkward to him. Also there were words like ssi, people already used that on him, hyung, who were the hyungs ?
"Hey hey ! He is gone ....." The short male, whom Mark remembered as Jeno, walked upto him and sat beside him cross legged, having that eye smile again.
"Hyung, welcome here and Im sorry its nothing special. I heard you've come from some other country and you must be feeling so lonely but trust me youre gonna love us !"
Mark didnt expect that coming. But it was good.
Life was not like he thought it to be, well he was mostly wrong about it as life was better than he thought it to be and one thing he was right about was that he belonged there. In blank eye it may seemed tiring. Hours of practices, never ending days, people with the same dream of coming out on stage. But there were some reasons to feel blessed about too and Mark liked to focus on them only.
One of those reasons were Johnny if he mentions sometime, maybe because of him Mark dared to stay and try. One was that honey coloured male named Donghyuck who was his present best friend and Mark never knew when it happened, but he loved the boy and life was 200 times more enjoyable because of him. Some were people like his roommates Jeno and Jaemin, One of those super loving hyungs named Dongyoung ( He finally leaned their names and the use of the word Hyung, well he couldnt believe he was a Hyung to some ), This one male who had parallel lives with him named Jaehyun.
One was that perfect guy who introduced himself as Lee Taeyong.
Mark never imagined that perfect looking soft voiced guy would turn out as one of the most talented and most known trainees of their company, he couldnt believed it when Jaemin said he was "The Lee Taeyong." Well it was true, as their was this rumor that their company had big plans on him and he was gonna debut at the next group they come up with. And Mark believed it all when he saw him transforming with mic, him rapping like someone widely experienced or him dancing like he was born to dance.
But this The Lee Taeyong was close to him for some never knowing reasons.
Well if he was being specific he was training with Taeyong's squad most of the time he didnt know why but that was not the reason. He was often seen inside the studio because he liked to produce his own raps and Taeyong often kept him company that was not the reason as well. Maybe Mark will never know why he was way too comfortable with Taeyong, and he could feel Taeyong was too, and that was the possible reason.
"Hey there pretty boy .. lost in your thoughts ?
Jaemin showed himself out of nowhere and sat on the cold practice hall floor beside him, leaning by the mirror just like him. He was clearly earlier than usual and he was the second one to their morning session, the others nowhere to be seen,
"I saw you with The Lee Taeyong down at the cafe last evening. Plans to get into the old people group and leave us behind ?"
"Jaem its not like that. He wanted some of my lyrics." Mark was proud of him improving his language skills. Nevermind.
"You better watch out hyung, I never trust these famous people. They get you then leave you then get you again.
Mark nodded so Jaemin changed the topic into some other weird things he did with Jeno, he would never understand how the two were so damn close. Maybe it was nice to have someone that close to you, maybe he would never get one as even if Mark had super close friends - he always kept a distance and thats why he cant compare himself and Donghyuck to Jaemin and Jeno.
"This one pretty chinese male came in -"
"HELLO PEOPLE WHAT A LOVELY DAY !"
Donghyuck never lowing voice echoed inside the hall as he showed himself up as the 3rd one there, unusual as Donghyuck was usually the last one and scolded by the hyungs.
Mark replied in the light but tight hug Donghyuck offered as he reached them.
"Feel good that I came before the hyungs. Where are they ?"
"Taeyong hyung wont be coming here today. He has a meeting with a producer."
Donghyuck and Jaemin gave Mark a "how do you know this" look but but he insisted that it was because he met Taeyong last evening. Jaemin ensured that.
Moral of the story was he he close to someone he wasnt expected to be close with. It was unusual and he was even unusually okay with that. And as sometimes when you think about a specific person they might show up and proving that Taeyong walked inside and anyone could guess who was he approaching to.
"I have to wait for another hour before the meeting, mind if I take you somewhere ? Its still early and I'll bring you back within half an hour."
Mark gulped in response but he didnt notice it. And as he didnt actually responded Donghyuck came inside the conversation which seemed to ignore the other two alive in the room.
"But Mark needs to get here ri .... "
"I'll go with you."
Mark gulped once again and this time knowing. Once again, he didnt know why he 'did not dislike' to spend times with this specific person and at the same time he was so intimidated by him. He was somehow special and he never knew why. He never knew anything about his growing relationship with this person who was not seen actually close with anyone else.
Maybe it was like Taeyong adored him as an younger ? But at the same time Mark could recall their conversations and he talked as if Mark was Johnny or that Japanese trainee he is friends with who just joined. Mark was still too new to make himself used to, Mark was still too young to take decisions on someone there. But Taeyong was nice and warm, maybe it was anything but wrong.
"Hey why do you always zone out ?" Taeyong asked him as they were walking by the hallways beside the dance halls, maybe towards the studios the younger guessed, that was the place him and Taeyong mostly went to together.
"Anyway. I have this track ready and I wanna show it to you. Its on the lyrics you gave my last evening."
The older pushed in the door for him, it indeed was the studio and there Mark was surprised with Taeyong coming up with a track within one night. He could guess the male stayed up till late. He could guess it was gonna be epic even though he never heard any of his tracks.
"You're lyrics are so damn genuine as it relates to you leaving your loved ones behind. I usually do rough ones but I made this calm." Taeyong looked up at him when they sat on some chairs their and smiled.
"Excuse my vocals..."
"Its gonna be okay, hyung." And Taeyong played the thing. And the thing was more than something beautiful.
The tune blended with the lyrics perfectly and Taeyong's voice melted inside it, making the lyrics clear and quite. He could not believe Taeyong, their company's upcoming rapper icon, could have such beautiful vocals and feels. Mark was stuck in the moment.
Maybe thats why he did not notice when tears started coming down by his pale cheeks, as the song made the thing he wrote about him leaving it all behind way too meaningful for him to stay calm. He even did not notice when Taeyong silently reached for him having him inside his arms, he noticed it when Taeyong's strawberry like smell made him notice it all. But Mark did not break the moment, instead he wrapped his arms around the older taking in his scent properly.
"I dont know how hard it is for you as I never had this situation in my life, but I do know how you feel. And how to keep it inside." Taeyong looked down on him, wiping his tears.
"I dont know how to do this Mark, but I really want to be your family here. I want to be your home. I want to be someone you can open up to, you can come to. I dont know why you mean so much to me within some days but I really want to do this. Will you let me do this ?"
The older sat on his knees in front of him, Mark did not know how to respond again. How could someone be so angelic like Taeyong ? He was so caring for everyone else out their and here he was saying some words Mark never expected. How would he respond to that ? Did he actually deserve someone like this ?
Mark ended up wrapping his arms around Taeyong once again and this time he did it with knowing.
Life was better, maybe.