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“Irene, wait!”

“I won't miss Mamamoo just ‘cause you're slow!

Yongsun panted as she followed her friend, who was running down the street at lightning speed. Her side hurt and she was short of breath.

She was sure that anyone who’d come across them had given them strange looks, but that didn't matter: she was too focused on not leaving Irene out of her field of vision, and not stumbling and falling flat on her face.

Too many things to think, she was already getting overwhelmed. How far could the fan meeting venue be? It seemed like she’d been running for hours...

They were buzzing down the street and Irene was a bit ahead of her, so she could cross the street before the light went red. Not Yongsun, of course. She put her hands on her hips and seized the opportunity to catch her breath. Irene seemed torn between waiting for her and running, so she had no choice but to make a fool of herself and drill her with a threatening look as she shrieked at her:

“Bae Joohyun, if you take one more step, I swear I'll turn around and you’ll sing all by yourself! What do you think of that, huh?”

When she used Irene's real name and not her nickname, things really got serious. Everyone turned to look at her one more time, but she didn't care. Luckily, it was a cold day in early autumn and, with her coat on, no one could see the clothes Irene had made her wear for the performance. It was ridiculous...

She waited patiently for the light to turn green, and began to cross at a normal speed. Irene lost her nerves and rushed to hold her hand. Then she turned around and dragged Yongsun, who struggled to keep up with her. Since when did that girl run so fast? She always slacked off when they had to run in gym class!

Yongsun assumed she was moved by love and emotion. If she could, she would have rolled her eyes, but she risked face planting the floor.

Irene and Yongsun were the same age: 25. They’d got out of uni a few years ago, and had been lucky enough to find a job right away. She was a tour guide in a reputable agency, and Irene was a journalist friend for a good magazine. During their working hours, they were professionals who, although young, were very well regarded.

During their free time, things changed. Both of them had always felt an immense passion for the showbiz. Irene did everything: both in high school and at university she had been in the theatre group, and some years she did dance classes. Yongsun simply loved to sing. She had felt the call of music from a very young age, but after the third failed audition, she decided it wasn't her destiny, and focused on her studies instead.

It was precisely then that Irene, who was in the same situation, had offered to open a YouTube channel:

“To do what? I don't want to do the cinnamon challenge and we don't have the money to pay anyone an iPad…”

“No, you idiot!” Irene had flicked her forehead impatiently. “Covers, Yongsun, music!”

What she wanted was to create a channel where they could upload their own versions of the songs they liked. Joohyun and Yongsun had also created their own aliases, as idols do,
and that's how the Irene&Solar channel was born. Her friend no longer accepted to be called by a name other than Irene, unless it was very important (or her boss was around).

That was 4 years ago. Although they couldn't believe it or understand it, they were closing in on 750,000 subscribers. What used to be their little secret and creative escape now got them recognised in the streets from time to time. Yongsun couldn't deny that she was very proud. The channel’s views had shot up since they had started making dance covers, specifically BTS's Fire, as well as songs by different artists. Although Yongsun wasn't as interested in dancing as Irene was, she had a lot of fun learning the choreographies and looking for new songs.

They had, of course, favorite bands and artists, whom they covered almost every song they released. Irene loved Sunmi, while Yongsun liked Chungha’s style better.

However, one of the bands they both loved was Mamamoo. Their first video had been a cover of Um Oh Ah Yeah, after all, and since then the group had earned a little space in each of their hearts.

But that was no reason why Irene was about to take her wrist off her arm.

“If we're late...!”

“Look, there's no one there! We're on time!”

In the distance, they saw the door to the venue and, to one side, a security guard who looked at them as if seeing two grown-up women running like mad was his day to day. Poor sir. He let them pass as soon as they showed him the tickets.

“They haven't arrived yet," she reassured Irene.

“But all the others have!” Irene replied, her voice full of resentment.

The room was full to the brim. The seats weren't numbered, but they were just enough for everyone. They had to sit in the left corner, close to the door. They couldn’t see a thing. If looks killed, Yongsun would have been dead for a good half an hour. She left her backpack on her knees and got comfortable in the chair. After so much running, she deserved it.

‘It's just a fan meeting, it’d have been okay if we’d have missed a second,’ Yongsun thought. She, too, was very excited. Yes, of course! She had prepared gifts for all three of them, and she was looking forward to giving them to Mamamoo, and talking to them. Irene and her had never been to a event like that, they were too expensive...

Irene was overjoyed. They had left half an hour earlier, but halfway there, Yongsun had realized she didn’t have the tickets. Her friend had returned for them, and the rest was history. She felt terrible for her.

“I will try super hard," she promised, repentant and guilty. What was her fault if her memory was awful?

The particularity of that fan meeting was precisely the contest. It was the group's fifth anniversary, so throughout the year they had been planning special fan meeting where fans could sing their songs. Both the audience and Mamamoo voted, although the latter's vote carried more weight. The prize was to sit in the front row, where Moonbyul, Hwasa and Wheein would sit as they judged, and to receive several gifts.

Irene had been talking about nothing else for weeks. She was to blame for being so undressed in the winter cold! Through the door there was a bit of icy breeze that danced on her legs, exposed by her short skirt, and curled up on her thighs. Damn Irene, she had claimed the pants! But it was worth it, they looked cute.

“I'm going to sing so well that we'll win the contest,” she assured Irene again. “No problem.”

“Well, here we have a very confident contestant!”

Yongsun froze.