I’ll put on thick eyeliner,
use a whole can of hairspray.
Leather pants, leather jacket with
a frown. I want to hide my pain
and become even more crooked.
So that you can feel sorry,
I’ll spit toward the sky.
You’re scared of my crude
words and my rough eyes
But actually, I’m afraid.
I want to go back but
I have nowhere to go.
I want to love but no one to love,
what am I supposed to do?
I can’t turn it back
Incheon felt more like home to him than Seoul at the moment, considering how often Jae Beom had been visiting its airport these days. South Korea—although not his birthplace—had become his home and only sanctuary, but without Hye Shin in his life there was some itch inside Jae Beom that spoke to him and told him that he didn’t belong here. For a large part of his life he had come to think that perhaps being thrown out of his home in China and onto the streets of Seoul was some sort of destiny, a jagged path he had to follow which led him to little Hye Shin just after her mother passed away and then led him further on to becoming one of the most accomplished musicians in Korea’s current pop culture, a mark he never could have made in China. He had thought maybe it was God’s plan that had brought him to where he was today, surrounded by real friends and people he could call family, but as soon as Hye Shin walked out on him, that thought was dwindled down to nothing more but bitter disillusionment. His friends… he just had to get out of here and stop destroying everyone’s lives.
Songwriting was—as always—an outlet for him, and the recent concoction of self-resentment and melancholy stirring inside of him gave birth to a number of tracks Jae Beom was putting together for a new album, which he called Crooked. The word perfectly captured the person he was inside without Hye Shin to guide him, like a crooked tree aimlessly growing without the support to help it grow tall and strong. His title track was only a glimpse of the destructive nature that lie within NTROPY’s J-Bomb, and upon musing over a direction for the music video, Jae Beom decided he wanted to use the scenery in London, where punks and anarchy once dominated the streets, to resonate with the rebellious character he was trying to get everyone to see in him. That, and any excuse to get out of Seoul sounded fantastic to him.
Two weeks they would be in England. Although realistically they could manage filming the video in one, Jae Beom was in no rush to get back home. The only one he actively concerned himself with now was his pet Gaho, but a lavish puppy hotel made sure that the sharpei would not be in agony without him. As the black van approached the sidewalk by the airport, Jae Beom was sure to push his sunglasses up and pull his beanie down further over his head. Typically he liked to flaunt his expressive wardrobe even at the airport, but this time he chose something simple because he just didn’t feel like trying. A heavy sigh poured out from his lips as he leaned back against his seat until the vehicle’s wheels came to a stop.
Kyung Ram, his mother-like manager, placed an idle hand of reassurance on his knee before sliding out on the other side of the car with her phone plastered to her ear. Jae Beom waited until one of his bodyguards kindly opened the door for him and then rose from his seat to step out of the van. His suitcase was handed to him from the trunk by the other guard, and Jae Beom thanked the man before following him towards the airport. Typically he didn’t walk around with guards, but airports called for a higher level of security from paparazzi and overzealous fans. Jae Beom just didn’t feel like dealing with it anymore.
He kept his head down as he followed the crew past the glass doors and into the terminal, all the while keeping his luggage close to him. People were already growing suspicious at the man who suddenly emerged encompassed by a group of several others in suits, and Jae Beom could feel the gaze of multiple civilians and their camera phones on him. He didn’t pay them any attention and was about to walk with Kyung Ram over to the security check when a familiar voice struck him and beaconed Jae Beom to stop and look in its direction.
“Joo Hyun-ah,” he said with surprise, although his face failed to deviate from an overall dispassionate expression. “What are you doing here?”