Thursday, December 9, 2010


***This is a giant leap, I know. But my shipper heart had StEel in mind when I watched the latest MMM episodes. And my heart was neither empty, envious, angry or afraid. So it must be how it is. I hope it is. This is dedicated to all of you shippers and fans. And yes, to you Mee and Karen, if you ever still read my stuff.***

She had some fans visiting her on set these days and that makes her feel ecstatic. The passion they pour into the thoughtful presents they always bring to her leaves her speechless and in awe. Park Shin Hye must have done something heroic in a past life to deserve such devotion from people she would likewise admire deeply had she not been a celebrity. They had went out of their way, traveled far, defied norms and negative feedback from other people just to see her and to marvel with her the grandeur of the place she is in or to just make her feel less cold, less lonely with the warmth of the smiles they had. These fans were not her family but somehow that day they brought her home.

As thoughts of home came pouring in, while she stared at the small Christmas Tree that her fans brought for her, she remembers Keun Suk. Yes, him, who just that morning texted her that they just finished filming the climax of his new drama and that the second of way too many kisses had already been shot. Hello, pangs of jealousy. Ignoring this, she thought of him fondly. He, slightly more than her, has very devoted fans, as evidenced by the jampacked series of fan meetings he had in Japan recently and even sometimes evident in his fans' reactions towards him and any breathing creature he is paired with. When he was making his blitzy tour of Japan, she wished then that one of the stops was Sasebo, Nagasaki, where she was. But that was wishful thinking. After all Sasebo feels nearer to Pluto than any sign of civilization. Come on, in a highly industrialized country like Japan, you would expect that there'd be some sign of wi-fi somewhere, right? Wrong. And it's not helping her case, as she's lagging in tweets and Cyworld updates. "Bogosipeo, oppa", she mildly whispered to the wind. "I hope you are keeping warm in this cold."

On break on the set of her drama, she sits in her corner, oblivious to the world. She is scrolling her handphone. Thank God for SMS! And she is rereading Keun Suk's messages to her and a thread of messages is what she kept on reading over and over again. They were the messages he sent her that morning. She fondly recalls the funny incident. "I miss you Mary," he had texted at first. Defensively she was about to reply to him for his insensitivity, how dare this mutt call her Mary. But that was before her handphone buzzed again with his continued message "Surprised you didn't I? That message was meant for you, Shin Hye."

A little confused she typed furiously into her phone before it would buzz again, "Mu Gyul is a character I play and Mary is the character Geun Young-a plays. They're people in a story. But in real life if I was Mu Gyul, then Park Shin Hye is my Mary. So, I miss you Mary."

Enlightened at his answer, she turned beet red if he could only see her then. It was mushy and saccharine alright, but it was good mood booster for a tiring day ahead. But he wasn't done yet as another message comes through. "To Mu Gyul, Mary is the one that teaches him a lot of things. The bright side in everything. The long breaths one takes before reacting harshly. The Merry in Christmas. So to Jang Keun Suk, Park Shin Hye is his Mary. Ahrasso?"

Still searching for words to tell him back, she texts back, "Nae, Oppa, komowo. Bogosipeo." (Yes, Oppa, thanks. Miss you.) She was still holding on to her heart, over what she had just read. But seems he isn't convinced as he sends another message. "Kya! I message long ones, and this is all I got as reply?"

She laughs as she typed to reply back "Aniyo. Okay, if I'm Mary, tell me something in the drama that Mu Gyul says to Mary, that is the most honest line you can think of?"

He replies, "Gureomyo (okay), let me think about it. I'll get back to you in 10 mins, Ms. Short Messager."

In the time span he promised, a long message came through in 3-parts. He warns her in the first message "This is the entire dialogue, Shin Hye-a. But I imagined us having this conversation when we filmed this scene." The second message was split in two parts and begins with his note "This is the most honest line in the entire script so far...

Mu-gyul: How many moons do you think it takes to live half a lifetime together?
Mary: It’s probably not possible with just love.
Mu-gyul: Then…loyalty?
Mary: Yeah…with loyalty, it might be possible. It’d be nice if we could last a long time with loyalty.
Mu-gyul: With you, somehow I can paint that picture in my mind…"

And then a fourth message to cap things came through: "Yes, with you Shin Hye. My Mary, I can paint that picture, loyalty, in my mind. Always believe. Be loyal to me. And I will be to you. Keep safe. Annyeong." He had told her almost pleading.

She didn't know what to say back to him, so she didn't reply. They were at that comfortable pace in their relationship now, that he understands when she is a little bit jarred by declarations like what she had received. He had agreed with her to take things slowly. And although his statements are neither too fast nor too slow, sometimes she is still overwhelmed by it. She will have her comeback statement in time, and he had been patient with her, just taking them as she is ready.

The picture of loyalty is such an abstract picture, she thinks. One that has her pondering on the devotion of her fans. After all, like love, being a fan requires commitment. There are those fans who are fickle and there are those who are easily swayed by rumors. And there's only a few who stick through with you. So to go leaps and bounds to see her and make her feel like she's not alone and that she inspires people are gestures she always thought were more than enough. Yes, love is not enough, including love for a star, because sometimes she knows she will disappoint them, with her choices of dresses, projects, make-up or even on-screen partners. There will be those who will incessantly make her heart a little faint as they try to project their imaginations on her and Keun Suk or any random person they want her to end up with. At the end, it boils down to loyalty. Those who would reasonably allow her to disappoint them so she can learn from her mistakes and who would celebrate with her when she had tried her hardest, even if it could fall a little shorter than she wants. To her, those are her loyal fans.

With that thought, she realizes, Keun Suk, with those simple yet meaningful text messages, just became her Number 1 and most loyal fan. Yes, with him, loyalty, is a picture she too can paint in her mind.

credits: dramabeans for translations to Marry Me Mary lines. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010


Jealous of the one who won your heart
They say it's a perfect match
She's gonna get to be where you are
And I don't get better than that
She'll say you're fine
Whisper words I wish were mine
And they might've been, if I had been there... -
(Excerpts from "Jealous" an OPM soul song from Nina)

She's a very lucky girl. Does she know that? I hope she does.

I met him many moons ago. And back then, he was already the boy that made my heart sing. He still is that boy, if he only knows. I jumped at the moment I heard about this opportunity to work with him again. To see him almost everyday. To watch him walk away from me everyday. To make my heart do its rollercoaster ride over and over again. And I held back for a while for only one reason. Her. Yes, the girl who now makes his heart sing. She made me think twice about this whole situation.

My own circle of friends tell me what a dangerous situation I am putting my heart in. After all, they saw me grow up beside him. Always the girl by his side, the girl who understands, the girl who always gets set aside when a more glamorous noona or a cute dongsaeng gives him the attention he needs. He makes me happy, and to me that was enough. It still is enough. I'm happy when I know he is. And I live somewhat for the moments he tells me that in my own way I make him happy too.

We are kindred spirits. We grew up under bright lights. We were trained to make our heart believe what our fans want us to believe. But amid all that, we always knew we had each other to run to. That with all the craziness of our chosen paths, we will have an empathetic friend. No one knows about this, our continuous journey together. We made our choice not long ago, to hold our friendship sacred. We didn't take the logical next step when we could've, by choice. Because our ambitions were stronger than the love we had but our friendship was more important than those ambitions. So, we saved what we could. And now that we will work together once more, the butterflies of mixed emotions are here again, at least for me.

Just because we're grown up now, it could've been time to see our relationship in a different light. But fate had other plans. His heart already found its match. And I, who is resigned to be happy when he is, can only watch that smile that never fades from his lips. I've seen him at his lowest, when his heart broke into a million pieces over a lost love. I've seen him at his highest, when he saw the object of his affections, apparently getting giddy over the sight of him also. And I've seen him grow up to deal with his matters-of-the-heart publicly and privately. And over time, he amazes me at how he had learned to balance his priorities.

She's in Taiwan away from him, but she fills his thoughts. Does she know this? That bright smile. Those lively eyes. The excitement to come home after a long day of taping with me. All for her. What's left to me is the breaks in between takes, the pretend (yet undeniable) chemistry (hey allow me this at least?) between us and the comfort knowing that he considers me his best friend -- ever the girl who sees him for who he really is and who will stick with him as the tides ebb and flow.

Yes, my heart sings and breaks every day these days. But what can I do? Even if many would like to vilify me and that stings a lot, I am still me. The one waiting in the wing. The one wishing that she takes good care of his heart, even if that means I will never get my someday, with him.

And even with that I am still thankful. That I get my moments of happiness, even for a little while. That I find temporary solace around him. And that with the choices we made, our pact remains. Him and me. Forever. Even as friends. I am happy with this. Because of that, the pangs of jealousy subsides a bit. And I am only left with a thankful heart, for the gift of him, in my life, however that was destined.

Shin Hye, dongsaeng, for this unni, will you make sure he knows that his existence brightens someone's world too, your world? It's not my place to do so. So, I hope you know. You are a very lucky girl.