Two Rings – Memories

Memories

Year 2002

Its been 3 years since she was living in NY city with Alex, they were living not far from the central park in a nice apartment. Lean was so busy with her projects all the time, Alex again complained that she did not take him to the movies last weekend, she wanted to finish the project with in this two days so she will spend weekend with her brother, she need a break too. She looked at the sky it was clear and the day was sunny she wished it will remain the same whole weekend, she finished her sandwich and she he run back to the library. Later that week they had very nice surprise, Dad came to visit them over suddenly just for a couple of days, and just because he had to do urgent meetings, but this time he promised to spare one whole day for the kids and even if the weather is good to go out for a picnic.

Next day Dan informed Lean that he has a small cocktail reception arranged for his business partners and have few presentations to make, so he asked to help her, to entertain the guest and at the same time Dan wanted her to meet people in NY and tell them about the project she is making for her this year exams and may be it will help her in the future to find the best suitable company to join. Lean of course could not say no to her Dad.

She was dressed in the beautiful black cocktail dress, that was very elegant and at the same time looked very presentable for a business talks, The place was crowded with business man and their wives, who were dresses very elegantly, she could hear people talk about her father about his achievements in Korea and other countries about his new projects and new contracts he managed to get, she was very proud of him and it help her feel more confident. After the long presentation and introduction about Young and Young, the reception has started and Dan finally took her daughter around introducing her to many people in the same business. And only by the end of the evening Dan had introduced Tony.

– Lean please meet Tony Lee, he is a raising star and very popular in Korea, his new drama just got the best rating, we just signed a contract with him for out new furniture line.

Tony was 24 years old very handsome and tall, he greeted Lean with the smile. For Lean his smile like a cars flash light in the dark, its been a while she have met some one so handsome and man from Korea.

– Tony will stay here for another week, i want to ask you to take him around the city one day, he will be busy for the next two days with the CF filming but then he will have another three days free. I will leave you here i need to say good bye to some of the gentleman over there. Tony i will speak to you later.

Dan left leaving both young people alone. Lean didn’t know what to say she just smiled and asked

– is it your first time in NY?

Tony noticed that she was nervous and to make her feel a bit more comfortable said

– yes it is, and my English is very bad, so i really need your help. Actually i am big star , the way your father described me, i am just lucky to be picked for this CF.

– My father never underestimate people, he has his own way of seeing people and their special talents. I am sorry i am not familiar with the Korean celebrities much, i was so busy studying i am not even in track with the happenings in the world.

– its better for me, like this i will be treated as a normal person, who doesn’t speak any English and seeking for a help from your side.

– is there anything in particular you want to see in NY?

– 2 things i must see is METS and Statue of Liberty! if you don’t mind.

– not at all i shall arrange the tickets for METS for Tuesday morning and later in the afternoon we can go to see the Statue of liberty.

– do we have to do all in one day? or you just want to get reed of me so quickly?

Lean laughed at Tony’s comment, covering her face with her palm

– i am sorry if i have made such a expression. if you don’t mind i would like to take my brother with us when we will go to see the Statue, we have been there like 5 times and he is always want to return there, and lately i was ignoring him a lot, so this will be his treat from me, if you dont mind.

– how is his English?

– he is first in his class in English and Literature.

– them yes, we mind need some one to replace you when you will bee too tiered to talk and explain things to me.

On Tuesday, Lean picked Tony from the hotel and they went to Mets, it was her favorite place in NY she new every painting and when she was explaining to Tony about the paintings she would tell him everything, when and by whom it was done, a small information about artist and even the type of the paint they were using, the hidden meaning of some pictures. Tony was wowed by Lean, so young and so smart, so rich and so simple, from the clothes she was wearing from the way she was looking at people, he felt in love with everything she was.

When they finished they sat in one of the streets cafe’s drinking coffee and have very different conversations, thou both of them were young but life have made them both so mature, their conversations were on the level of a grown people, they talked about life abroad, about new things happening in Korea and what they want in future.

– are planning to return to Korea after school?

Tony wanted to ask this question,for quite sometime. He wanted to know if he can see her in Seoul and may be take her out like this and show her so many new places.

– i am not sure, about it yet, now i am just studying and it is still few years for me to go, i rather not to think about it, I miss Korea a lot but if my future is here, then i am going to be here.

– what if you future is in Korea?

– Then i shall be in Korea. I am not thinking about my future much, present is very important for me, things i am learning now is my future, so i need concentrate on it. What about you? your plans?

– right now i think my plan to learn English and may be look for a chances to come back here soon.

Lean understood what he meant by his words, she has noticed the way he looked at her whole day and the way he would smile at her all the time.

– well i am sure going to be very glad to see you again in NY there is so many things you must see aside from Statue of Liberty but with the days you have left here it is not enough to see even quarter of it.

later they enjoyed walk in a central park eating hot dogs and at some point they just walked and said nothing just enjoyed the company of each other. Tony sure was falling deep but for Lean it was just something new, something she had never experienced before, walking in the park with the handsome young man who as so much attracted to her.

It was a beginning of a beautiful romance, there were letters, e mails, post cards, long telephone calls, visits between Korea and NY. Years flied by but the love was growing bigger, they were so much attached to one another, even distance did not stop them.

On the fifth year anniversary, Tony asked Lean to take him back to Mets, and right there at the place when he felt in love with her, he finally proposed her, standing on one in front of so many people, and she said yes. It was the year when Lean had finally packed her 8 years in US and finally moved to back to Korea, despite all the great offers she had, now she had decided that she will follow her heart and be with the man she loved, this is was one thing she wanted to do for a long time.

Tony’s popularity was not stopping growing, he was always on demand and he had never had chances to have long breaks, what ever time he had free he was always trying to spend it with Lean. That week Tony received a call from his uncle who was having a jubilee, he insisted for Tony’s present among with this parents, and his parents were also after him for the same matter. He was trying to clear that day from the schedules he managed to cancel and re appoint almost all of them, but one which was happening morning shoot, so he has arranged a helicopter to take him and his family to the venue in order to be there on time.

Two days before everything has turned upside down Lean was sitting in her studio and was working on a painting, she was painting a couple walking in the alley holding hand, it was her first painting since she return to Korea. Tony came without prior notice he was welcome in her house like his own, Dan was giving them their own space, there was nothing to hide, couple was mature and this was perfect place for them to meet up, so no one would disturb them. He said that he was just dying to see her that day from morning, he missed her a lot and he could not wait till the day they can finally live together will come. he brought her two rings, wedding rings.

– I have ordered them in NY the day i was leaving to Korea during my first visit, i knew that time that i will marry you and i have spend all money i earned from that shooting just for this two rings.

Lean with the tears in her eyes, took one of the rings and saw the date written on it, it was the day they first met at the reception. She said noting just looked at him and smiled while tear was running down her face. Tony wipe the tear from her face and said

– this was the day i learned that i could fly,and my love to you has given me the wings, that till now i am flying in the sky of love i have for you. I don’t know why I am giving you this rings today, but when i woke up this morning i just couldn’t bear a second with out you, i am so tiered of hiding and so tiered of being with out you  most of the times, i want us to be married yesterday so today i don’t have to waste one second apart from you. When i come back from the trip, you and i together will get married in a small church outside Seoul, i can not wait for all the arrangement and formalities, simply can not wait any more. Will you do this for me?

Lean smiled and buried her face in his chest, she put her hands around him and said

– i will do anything for you, if you will ask me to do it right now i will do it, with my eyes closed I follow you everywhere and nowhere, just to be with you.

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Two Rings part 4

 

One month since that day has passed. Beautiful autumn was showing her yellow and red colors, with a bit rain, she was comforting people before the winter takes its turn.

Rick was busy, with few variety shows and radio interviews, so far he has manager to keep it neat, but still it was not enough for him, he has managed to release one song but it did not get him what he was hoping for.  In a days when he was free he used to spend in the complex or hanging out with Jang when other one was not too busy with is drama shooting. He was still thinking about Tina, she was not leaving his mind, he still wanted to meet her and he wanted to know her better. He was trying to learn about her more on line but nothing much was available, so he decided to go to Heaven tonight and try to speak to Shin, the manager of the club.

At the club they had a room next to Monkey zone and the room was full with young boys, it was very noisy, when he was passing by the room, guys were clapping and screaming. When he was about to enter their room, the door opened and he saw Lean coming out with the bright smile on her face. Their eyes meet and Lean bowed and left down the stairs, then he saw Bong coming up, and Rick felt like he caught a fish he was hoping to catch.

– Bong  need to talk to you, do you have a minute for me?

Bong bowed and said

– sure i will join you in a minute, let me just say hi to the guys.

Few minutes later Bong entered the room together with Alex.

– Rick i hope you don”t mind my friend Alex wanted to say hi to you, he said you should remember him.

Alex bowed and smiled

– hi  am not sure if you remember, but we met at Busan train station. We took picture together, i was hoping this time i could get your autograph.

Rick was glad to meet Alex again

– Yes i remember you, you are the guy in PJ.

Bong started to laugh

– PJ? what is he talking about?

– Lean forgot her toy so i had to rush to the station, you know how she is when she is traveling.

Bong stopped smiling

– AAA, in this case i can understand, when it comes to your sister i am ready to run naked.

they all started to laugh and Jangs made woooooooo noise

– Are you having a crush Bong?

Bong made a serious face and said.

– Don’t even joke about it, i have nothing but respect for Lean, she has been like sister to me.

Alex took and Autographs from both Jang and Rick and looking at Bong said

– Tina will die,hahahaha.

Rick raised from his chair and asked

– you sister right?

– yes! do you know Tina? she is huge fan of yours, even thou she will never admit it i know it, she used to still all your CD’s and posters from me.

Rick was on a cloud 9

– i would love to meet my my fan.

Alex then came to the window and said, there she is, dancing with her friends. Rick and Jang both came closer to see.

Then Alex started to waive to the other side together with Bong, Rick looked to the side boys were waiving and saw Lean on the opposite room watching them all watching Tina. Rick was a bit embarrassed he bowed to her Jang did as well, and she bowed in reply with the smile. The rooms she was in was empty and she was all by her self.

– this is your other sister right?

– Lean! Bong lets go to her, for a minute, she asked for you today.

Both guys left in hurry. Lean was keep on watching Rick and Jang, both men felt a bit uncomfortable, so Rick has decided to go to terrace. Even with the fresh air he could not get back to normal, he was still wondering, what kind of impression he has made, and sure Alex will tell her that he was asking about Tina. “How embarrassing?”

-Hi

he heard some one behind him, he turned to make sure it is for him, and his heart was about to skip his body, when he saw Tina, smiling at him

– My brother told me you want to meet me.

Rick didn’t know what to say in reply, she was smiling like a child and his palms were sweating, so he couldn’t offer her a hand shake, because he was so embarrassed.

– if you don’t mind, yes, i would love to know you better.

Tina made two steps closer and asked

– how much you know about me already?

– not much actually, just what everyone knows about you.

she offered him to have a sit at one of the tables, she was so calm and very confident, Rick was so nervous and very shy.

– My name is Tina Young I am 25 years old

– My name is Rick i am 30 years years old.

they both laughed at each other it made the atmosphere a bit better for Rick, so he pulled his confidence back and lead the conversation from that moment on.

– you brother told me you are my fan, or used to be my fan.

– I am your fan, but now a days i am too busy with so many other things in my life, I am not sure who’s fan i am right now. I guess i am fan of my future. Don’t take me wrong but i have grown up from the days when i used to have lots of posters of you and CD.

– I understand, actually i would like you to know me as person and be a fan of me not as a artist as a man.

– oh you are straight forward, I like that, but Rick as i have said i am too busy for dating right now,  and tomorrow i am leaving back to Daegu, so this is my number

She took his phone and made an entry.

– call me if you going to be there one day, i would be happy to have a meal with you, but this is all i can offer you right now, the reason i came to you today, its because i hate my brother being bothered cause of me, i hate it the most.

Rick face impression was changing and the feeling of embarrassment is coming back to him, and he again started lose his confidence. ” damn she knows how to handle men”. Before he could say anything she said

– don’t feel bed i am not upset or anything, at the end i am honored you asked for me, 6 -7 years a go i think i would be already hanging on your neck. But now….

she stood up from he chair

– i have to get back to my sister and friends.It was indeed pleasure meeting you.

she bowed and left with out even looking back.

5 minutes later and 2 cigarettes Rick was still seating at the same table, all he was thinking about for the past month all he wanted for the past month has come say hi and gone, and he let her leave just like this. “if you will give up you are useless life spinster”. He got us and rushed inside the club. He looked for her at the dace floor but she was not there, he checked at the bar she was not there neither, so the only place she could be it was that room, he went up and without noticing bodyguards with out even knocking he just went inside like wind through the open window.

Lean was working on some sketches for her new project, she didn’t want to say no to Tina so she came along with her to the club, in the end it was her last evening in Seoul.

Lean was standing and watching the scene, Rick in the room and two bodyguards holding him from behind.

– Mr. Lee please leave this gentleman and please offer him a drink

Rick stood straight and look and Lean with apologies in his eyes

– I am very sorry for my actions, i am very sorry please forgive me. I came for Tina but as i can see she is not here, so I will just leave.

He bowed and was about to leave the room, when Lean stopped him.

– you are the first guy who actually came back for her. So you should stay.

Rick looked at Lean

– Tina went to drop her friends home, but i am not sure if she will come back here.

– ah i see, well thank you for information

– her flight tomorrow at 2 in the afternoon, call her by noon and meet her at the airport for a cup of coffee. I bet she will like it.

– what if she will not agree.

– don’t forget that i am her sister, I know her better that you do, so i just suggest you to trust me, and the fact is that you have no other options here.

– you are right.

Everything has happened as Lean said and Rick had a second chance with Tina. They had coffee before her flight and this time, she left with a smile and she even looked back at him before entering the departure gate.

With thin next month Rick has visited Daegu twice but, the feeling were not the way he had expected. He was giving his 100 % but in return was not getting even half. Tina was always busy, even when he was visiting her in Daegu she would hardly speak him an hour and always excuse her self to go back to work. He was thinking about him may be being a bit too pushy and may be he need her a bit of space an when the right time will come she will give him the rest in return.

He gave her a call today to check if she was fine but she did not pick up the phone. “ok i shall wait till your call yourself”. He was entering the complex atrium, when he saw Lean sitting alone at the corner table drinking her coffee, he knew he had to greet her, but he was a bit shy, last time he saw her was in that club, so he didn’t know how to behave himself now. But yet he approached her.

– Hello Lean!

Lean looked up at the tall man in the sports wear and with the smile showed him that she was glad to see him

– Rick, hello!! So Nice to see you!

– me too. Hope you are doing well. It’s been a while i saw you here.

– you knew i was coming here?

– yes! I saw you here other day with Alex. It was funny to see him standing on his knees.

– AA!! I remember this day. Oh Sorry! Please join me, if you have a time.

– with pleasure.

Rick ordered a juice and order another cup of coffee for Lean.

– thanks, I always enjoy coffee after work out, I know caffeine is not good, but i really can not leave with out coffee.

– me too, i actually love coffee a lot but right now i feel like something more refreshing. I can not see the special escort today.

he said meaning the bodyguards.

– ah, Today i managed to escape. It happens very rarely but i have my own ways, but the boss of all is coming now to pick me up, he is worse the others.

– I guess they just have to follow your father’s instructions.

– This one is not following any instruction of our father, following my dad’s instruction this is the last thing he is really planing to do.

– how is your brother doing? I haven’t seen him for a while, even in the club, i guess he is busy with the study.

– Why don’t you ask him yourself.

Lean pointed with her head at some one behind Ricks back. Alex was approaching them he was with Bong and both were smiling and looked very happy. They greeted each other and boys sat at the table, Rick asked them what they want to drink but guys refused and said they need to leave right now, they just came to pick up Lean.

– Sorry Rick, i have to leave you, I have promised guys to take them shopping, this is the reason they can not wait.

– girls are excited about shopping not boys.

Rick was teasing them.

Bong tapped Rick’s shoulder and told him.

– Brother, Alex is shopping for a car today.

Rick caught and looked at Alex, who was standing with the smile as if he had a hanger stack in his mouth.

Lean got up from her chair and said

– My gift to Alex for getting a scholar, thou we pass this scholar to the other kid in school, i am getting him this treat just because he kept his promise and its my turn to keep mine.

Alex was impressed, he never thought this way about Alex, boy was gaining more respect in front of his eyes.

– You did a great Job Alex, very happy for you, and Lean i can imagine how happy it makes you.

Lean smiled and played with Alex’s hair.

– No matter how happy it makes me, he still have a budget, and plus car has to be safe not pretty. Ok Boys Let’s make a move i have not much time, don’t forget I have a meeting with Dad today.

Alex bowed to Rick and said good bye, Lean gave a small bow and Rick has noticed the neck-less, there were two wedding rings on a gold chain. He watched them leave and the thought was running through his head, that they looked like real family, he wondered as well, how they have managed to keep this bond, despite the age difference, as well he wanted to know more about Lean, he saw her from the other angle today, and she was very simple person, very down to earth, very calm and very sad at the same time, even when she was smiling. He wanted to know why she was like a magnate, something in her that made Rick feel that she knew her for a long time but never came close to her, and watched her from the distance.

Same Friday evening Jang invited Rick to join him for the fashion show, it was good place to met people new and old, lots of famous artist and business men loved to attend this kind of events, only few were actually interested in fashion. Events like this were held very often in Seoul, but this time it was a big event, that included top Koren brands and top world brand  to promote a new shopping avenue opening soon. When both men entered they could not believe the quality of the crowd,  top entertainers, top models, top business men were there. Jang at once dive into the crowed and started to greet each and everyone he knew at the welcome reception, he had to take lots of pictures and talk to many people. Rick was enjoying his drink watching the crowd, few people who used to know him very well and used to love to be in the same room with him, now pretended that don’t know him, few polite out of them, greeted him but then fast disappeared, but Rick was not upset, he got used to it already. But thou feeling wasn’t good, he knew that the time will come and he will teach them wrong. Later everyone took their assigned sits and the show has started. It’s not like Rick enjoyed it much, but he felt good to be there, it reminded him about the past times, he wanted to tease himself, so he could work harder in order to get back to the world when once he was on a pedestal.

He was hoping to leave after the show, but Jang was still occupied with few producers, and couple of interviews, at the cocktail reception he looked at the women, they were all dressed up, they were wearing the best they owned that night. And when he saw Lean, he felt like a fresh puff of air toward him, he started to walk towards her but he has noticed he was already talking to someone, so he has decided to wait till the right time. Lean was very elegantly dressed, she was wearing peach color dress, it was not super fancy but was perfect for her and for the occasion like this, small diamond earrings were some how matching the rings on her neck and small clutch bag that was made from the same material as a dress had a small Swarovski elements that were matching the whole outfit, and gold color high heeled sandal that were perfectly completing it all. Rick was watching her with out a blink, he has noticed that she is touching the rings at time to time, and she was showing to the person she was talking with that she is listening to him very carefully. Then couple approached her, and Rick at once recognized them, it was newly wed couple, Erick and Luh, Erick was a Tony’s best friend who was with him at the same agency. Erick basically replaced Tony in so many ways, he took over all his contracts and even completed couple of his unfinished project. Luh was an actress they have met on a movie set, they were already expecting their first child. Lean was very happy to see them, she smiled a lot to them and was keep on touching Luh’s belly, they had short conversation, later couple left her alone in the middle on the crowd.

Lean felt her heart beating fast, she need a fresh air, so she walked straight toward the exit with out looking at people, so she didn’t have to stop and greet them and spend time for a chat, she almost run. Only when she was standing outside the building, the cold air made her take a deep breath and he head finally got cleared and tears started to run down her face.

“We could be as happy as they are right now, may be even have our child”

She closed her eyes for a second and just to imagine, that’s when she felt some one put a jacket on her shoulder. It was very cold and but she didn’t feel it before till something warm touched her skin.

– Its cold, Thank you!

She said while turning to see who it was, she was expecting to see Mr. Lee, so she was not worried about her tears, but it was Rick standing there and looking at her with out asking any questions, he just helped Lean to put her hands inside the sleeves and he started to button up the jacked, then he removed a scarf from his neck and wrapped it around her, only when he was doing it he finally understood the meaning of it all. All this time he was seeing different people, giving their scarf to Lean and warping them around her neck and but he never knew why, till that moment. Once the scarf laid around her neck it covered the rings, so she wouldn’t not touch them, and no one would lay their eyes on them and show their sad feelings to her. Scarf simply covered her painful past and in a way visible scars.

End part 4