“After We Got Married”
“Pack up everyone!” the director shouted.
Today is Hyun Joong and Hwang Bo’s last shooting day for “We Got Married”. They’ve been in the variety show for exactly eight months, have gained enough popularity from it which landed Hyun Joong in a starring role as “Ji Hoo”, one of F4’s charismatic member, in the currently being shoot television series, “Boys Over Flowers” in Korea; and which made Hwang Bo in demand in other different variety shows, as well as concerts where she gets to perform her recently released dance music hit, “Get Hot”, and her heartfelt song, “Mature”. In their presently already busy separate show business careers, they cannot simply continue on together in their loved role playing as wed couples living their lives after marriage together in “We Got Married”. And so they mutually decided to end it here. After all, they’ve known, even at the beginning of it all, that it was ought to end.
Or so, everyone thought it ended there.
The clock striked 1:00 am. No matter how Hyun Joong tried to decipher why he’s actually willing to wake up at this time, he plainly can’t. He found himself still quite shaken from suddenly forcing himself out of bed when he remembered that he has actually directed himself to simply fall asleep lightly after everyone in their last shooting site were done clearing out the equipments and saying their farewells. What he was about to commit that early morning was risky. But there was no turning back. They have already decided on this.
And so, trying to feel his way out of the room with just a little light from his cell phone, diligently hoping no one in the room wakes up and finds out, he finally set out to his destination.
And she realized she was crazy to think that she could easily maneuver herself out of her manager’s room after such an occasion.
She knew it. When her manager called everyone up for some little goodbye gathering, meaning inviting their team of personal make-up artist, hair designer, stylist, translator, and photographer; and some crews they’ve been acquainted with for some celebratory drinking session, she knew that things will get wild and messy. But it never dawn on her that it will get this disorganized that there was hardly enough room to move around and make her way out of the place. It weren’t just “Soju” bottles lying everywhere but as well as drunken human bodies. She smiled. She was such an actress. Moments ago, when everyone was just slightly drunk, people would have thought that she would soon lose it and that she was absolutely wasted to its complete sense. But in reality, for every shot of “soju” they offer her, she was simply drinking a quarter of it and slyly throwing out the rest to the nearby flower pot. The “wasted” part was just an act.
And so when everyone was already down in drunkenness, Hwang Bo stood up, modestly fixed herself, and with her utmost best, given the situation of chaos she was in, quietly tip-toed herself out of the room.
She still had an appointment she can’t cancel.
“It’s 2 o’clock.” Hyun Joong nonchalantly said as Hwang Bo came up beside him looking everything but fixed. She didn’t even smell right.
“There was a parting celebration happening in our place. It was just crazy! I can’t believe I even made it here!” Hwang Bo said looking disoriented herself. “So what’s the plan?” she asked.
This was the plan. While everybody else were busy packing up things moments ago, Hyun Joong and Hwang Bo were themselves busy trying to come up with various strategies to get out of the building unnoticed. It was even Hyun Joong’s idea to meet in this specific room for some reason. And no questions asked, Hwang Bo merely agreed with his proposition.
“You’ve had some soju.” Hyun Joong mentioned completely ignoring her question. “I can smell it.” He added, sounding cold but looking concerned nonetheless.
“You can say that.” Hwang Bo admitted knowing herself that she did drink a little from each glass given to her. But really, time is running out for them. Pondering over the matter at this (instance or instant?) just doesn’t seem right to her. “Shall we skip this topic of argument for now and get on our way?” Hwang Bo suggested.
“You shouldn’t be drinking a lot at your age.” Hyun Joong insisted before swiftly grabbing hold of Hwang Bo’s hand and pulling her.
Hyun Joong suavely swept his hair back while Hwang Bo allowed the misty air to fly hers off her shoulder. It was such a relief that they’ve successfully made it outside. After all, from the very beginning, making it there was already the major problem. They’ve even seen it themselves. Every entry and exit door was guarded and the only other possible way out which were the windows were even grilled.
But the gods and goddesses must have been on their side. Hyun Joong, while surveying the building was able to find an unoccupied room with a mysteriously ungrilled window.
“Now, where should we go? I remember seeing an ideal nook somewhere over there. Let’s go?” Hwang Bo excitedly recommended expecting for Hyun Joong’s instant agreement.
There was only silence.
She turned and to her surprise found Hyun Joong some distance off the opposite side appearing like he was rummaging something within the shrubs beside the building wall. Why does this always happen to her? Talking to air? Talking to herself? Hwang Bo can’t help to notice. Nevertheless, she simply shrugged the thought away and hurriedly walked her way to Hyun Joong.
“It should be just around here.” Hwang Bo heard Hyun Joong muttering to himself as she got closer.
“What are you looking for?” Hwang Bo asked in the hope of shedding some light on this odd picture of Hyun Joong appearing like a beggar desperately looking for some scraps of food in the shrubs.
“I found it!” Hyun Joong enthusiastically cried while swinging in his hand what seemed to be a black duffle bag. “Now, where should we stay?” he innocently asked.
Hwang Bo brought him by the nook she earlier was pertaining to. It truly was an ideal one. The nook was magnificently nestled in by some bushes; it could completely hide them from any unwanted onlooker. The place was even under a seemingly carved to perfection tree which gave them enough cover and sight of the dreamy sky above.
They were contented. They’ve got a wonderful dawn ahead, a cozy spot, and each other for company. The present dictated them not to ask for anything more.
The mystery of the precious duffle bag was revealed. Hyun Joong opened it and pulled out a handful of things. There was a picnic mat, a flashlight, an I-pod, chopsticks, bowls, some packs of instant “ramen”, a small casserole and a burner.
“I thought for a moment there that you’ll start hauling out your comic books. What happened to them?” Hwang Bo asked, her curiosity winning her over.
“It didn’t fit in the bag anymore.” Hyun Joong plainly answered while arranging the things on the ground.
Hwang Bo must have expected something more, but seeing that that was it, she simply laid herself down the mat and made herself comfortable. Hyun Joong, not long enough, after setting his I-pod, positioned himself near Hwang Bo and gently slipped in one of her ears one of the I-pod’s earphones. Hwang Bo seemed to not even notice as she unwaveringly engulfed the heavenly sight above her.
“Don’t ask me to get those stars for you.” Hyun Joong humorously said seeing that they’ve fully captivated Hwang Bo.
“Ha! Ha! Ha!” Hwang Bo heartily laughed.
Hyun Joong remembered the first time he heard them. He was driving the convertible car the show has rented for them and Hwang Bo was sitting right next to him.
“Have you always given your past girlfriends whatever they want?” Hyun Joong recalled how Hwang Bo intriguingly asked the question.
He bluntly answered her. “Not really. I especially hate it when they ask things like ‘Could you get me the stars?’”
Then, Hwang Bo laughed her signature laugh.
After that particular shot, he mentioned in the interview how he found it actually charming.
Nowadays, the sound of Hwang Bo’s laugh just keeps on ringing everywhere.
“Don’t worry. I’m pretty satisfied with the star you gave me.” Hwang Bo teasingly answered back. She was referring to the star Hyun Joong diligently made for her the other night. Even with its uneven placement of tapes here and there, what she said was nevertheless true. It was still the first ever star Hyun Joong willingly plucked off from the skies. And he particularly stole it just for her. Who wouldn’t be pleased?
Hyun Joong smiled.
Hwang Bo seemed to have caught a glimpse of it at the corner of her eyes. At that precise moment, she wondered on whether for how long would she have to wait just to see them again this closed; or whether she’ll actually be able to see them again at all. “Hey, you’ve brought “ramen”, right? Shall we start cooking them?” Hwang Bo said ultimately trying to keep her thoughts from sinking any deeper.
For some seconds, nobody moved.
They both felt it. That, even if this wasn’t really the end of it all, certain things still must end and the rest will simply have to change.
They croaked at the same time.
Hwang Bo laughed in amusement and Hyun Joong joined her in.
“I’ll cook.” Hwang Bo repeats after recovering herself from the comical moment.
“I won!” Hwang Bo cried out in rejoice.
“No!” Hyun Joong screamed in defeat. “I should have won this!” he said.
There wasn’t really any argument. Hwang Bo finished her share of the “ramen” first. And so, without any hesitations, just like there agreement, Hwang Bo reached for Hyun Joong’s arm and placed it on the mat and happily laid her head on it.
“You seem to like the feel of my arm a lot.” Hyun Joong stated seeing that Hwang Bo’s completely lying on them at ease.
Hwang Bo simply smiled.
Time seemed to have felt a stronger and purer force working as Hyun Joong and Hwang Bo humbly laid themselves under the majestic sky, simply savoring everything that were still theirs.
“Should we update our marriage contract?” Hyun Joong suggested out of the blue.
“Ok, ok. Then we seal it again with our kiss marks, ok?” Hwang Bo enthusiastically agreed.
“Ok. But since we don’t have any paper and pen with us, shall we pretend that the air is our paper and that every word we say shall permanently be written on it?” Hyun Joong suggested.
“Ha! Ha! Ha!” Hwang Bo laughed remembering how Hyun Joong really has the craziest idea in mind. “Ok. Deal.” she finally said.
“I promise to finish a thousand paper cranes for you before we meet again.” Hyun Joong started.
“Hey, you’ve already done that!” Hwang Bo argued.
“But I’ve got my band to help me do that. I want to finish a whole thousand for you by myself.” Hyun Joong said. “It’s the only way we’ll get a wish granted from it.”
“Well, ok.” That was all Hwang Bo could say after feeling really touched with Hyun Joong’s apparent determination. What could she promise back? She asked herself. “I will always have the ring you gave me by my side.” she confidently said.
“I’m promising the same thing as well.” Hyun Joong seconded the motion.
And, at the same time, both of them hurriedly got something out of their pockets. They were the rings.
“We really are fulfilling the things we have in our contract fast!” Hwang Bo said half in disbelief.
Then silence enveloped them.
Reality really did hit hard at that instance. For at that moment, they had millions of promises to say. But seeing how complicated things were already, they were afraid to let go of empty words. It wasn’t like they have the whole world to support them. They were only relying on each other.
“Let’s seal them.” Hyun Joong decided.
“Together?” Hwang Bo asked.
Hyun Joong nodded.
And together they counted to three and blew their kiss to the air.
Hwang Bo opened her eyes and it was morning.
“Hyun Joong!” she shrieked out of panic.
Hyun Joong was lying sound asleep on her lap. They have missed the dawn and the sunrise they were suppose to watch together. The sun was already high up in the sky.
But that just wasn’t it.
Hwang Bo shook Hyun Joong wildly to get him to his senses. They have to immediately pack up and go before anybody get to see them together.
Struggling, Hyun Joong managed to open his eyes. And weary as he was, it didn’t took him long to realize that the look of the glaring sun above wasn’t right. They should have been back in the building by this time.
Then, a distant shout reached them; they both heard someone screaming Hwang Bo’s name. And in their horror, when they peeped through the bushes, Hwang Bo’s manager was looking for her.
They frantically gathered everything they had and carelessly dropped them in Hyun Joong’s duffle bag. If their calculations were right, they could still make it to the window they’ve exited without being noticed if they hurry. As in, really hurry.
“Listen, when I say ‘go’, we run. O…” But before Hwang Bo could finish what she was about to say, Hyun Joong has already pulled her by the hand. The next thing she knew, they were already crazily running across the field, desperately making their way to their window without being seen.
With amazement, Hyun Joong and Hwang Bo stared at the window they came out from just this early morning. They never thought that they have actually jumped out of it. It was higher than they thought it was.
“I’ll make it inside first and then help you up.” Hyun Joong proposed.
Hwang Bo agreed and watched Hyun Joong in admiration as he swiftly schemed his way up the wall and finally reached the window effortlessly.
“Reach for my hands.” Hyun Joong directed to Hwang Bo as he extended both of his arms down to her.
Not long enough, both of them were already in the room, their backs exhaustedly slumped against a wall.
“I should get going. I bet that by now everyone must have realized that we’re both missing. So, just for precautions, I think if I appear first, they’ll never guess we were together.” Hwang Bo convincingly said. “Am I a genius or what?” she jokingly added while flashing a big smile.
“I’m sorry.” Was what Hyun Joong could simply say.
It was exactly instances like this that Hyun Joong felt helpless the most. It reminded him of how great of a man he is for his fans but not for her. Not for her.
“We decided on this together, remember? And I’m happy with it.” There was a sincere smile plastered across Hwang Bo’s face as she let those words go. She supposedly was to leave the room after that when she heard him call her name.
She turned and was surprised to see his bright smile. She just had to laugh with the heart he even had to make with his hands. “Ha! Ha! Ha!”
“Keep this.” Hyun Joong said as he reached for something out of his pocket and threw it to her.
“I will.” Hwang Bo replied, instantly vanishing herself before him.
The next thing Hyun Joong knew, Hwang Bo was already pretending to look for him as well.
Finally. Things settled down.
Hwang Bo just had to tell everyone that she got stuck in one of the washrooms after a cubicle door got jammed. Everybody even got a good laugh out of it. And when they told her that Hyun Joong was nowhere to be seen as well, she simply tried her best to look innocent. And what was Hyun Joong’s excuse?
“I’m sorry everyone. I went upstairs to look for some balcony to stay in… I believe I got lost on my way back. Was I gone that long?”
Yes. Everyone got a good laugh out of it as well.
People were busy doing last departure arrangements and packing ups after that. Hwang Bo was putting labels on her luggage that time. She was almost done doing so when someone in the room pointed at some huge sling bag at the corner saying that she might miss putting a label on that one. Hwang Bo can’t remember having such a bag with her. She intentionally ignored it at first and simply mustered the curiosity to approach it after finding herself alone in the room.
The bag was closed up with a lock.
Then, it hit her.
She eagerly pulled out the key Hyun Joong had thrown to her awhile ago and placed it in the key hole.
It actually tweaked open.
She then unzipped the bag slowly and found herself overwhelmed with what was revealed before her. Paper cranes of different colors and sizes were beautifully crammed inside. Without counting them, she knew there were a thousand. Teary-eyed, Hwang Bo gave her paper cranes a last look and closed her eyes,
“I wish Hyun Joong and I got married for real…”
With that, Hwang Bo slowly opened her eyes…
“I do.” Hyun Joong solemnly answered. He then reached for Hwang Bo’s hand and gently slipped the ring into her finger.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride.” the priest concluded.
It was official.
The church bell rang and every guest stood up and clapped their hands in acknowledgement of the great declaration. The wedding was dubbed as the wedding of the century, having the biggest of names involved in its grand preparation. The entire ceremony was broadcasted live and the whole world rejoiced as the ‘Lettuce Couple’ of “We Got Married” and MBC’s Best Couple Awardee of 2008, kissed in front of many relatives, friends, and fans; and got married for real. During the couple’s reception, a public apology for lying to the people about their relationship was regarded with utmost understanding and acceptance by everyone.
In the end, it didn’t matter if they were forced into a fake marriage for the variety show, “We Got Married” on May 11, 2008. What was more important was that, after “We Got Married”, they got married for real on May 11, 2011, supported by all the people they love, and their precious fans.