A few hours ago…
Lipstick? Check. High heels? Check. Hair? On point. My casual pink dress is pretty on point too. I love this color. Pink just looks uh-maz-ing on me. Pink is definitely Tiffany Hwang’s color—that’s me, of course. Mirror, mirror on the wall, I think my overall look isn’t too bad, right? Alright! Now to pack some necessities into my handbag: a water bottle for hydration, make-up for retouching, wallet, my iPhone, my iPod and my Beats earbuds, and of course, a book—I like to read—in case it gets boring. Anyway, time? Hm… about six o’clock. There’s still plenty of time.
Henry has a party today and it’s gonna be big! I mean, obviously it’s gonna be big; he’s like totally a billionaire—so people say. He sits right next to my best friend, my boo, my bae, only the cutest ever, Taeyeon Kim, that sweet all-Korean girl that I love with all my life. She’s going to the party too with her really fun-to-be-with, diva-like brother Key. In fact, most of the school is actually going to this party, because apparently, Henry invited everyone—minus the annoying teachers and the principal of course. If he could invite everyone plus more guests, then he really must be all big money and gold chains to fit all that people in his house!
As for me, I’m not rich. I’m just this Korean-American girl who’s totally confused of my own origin and trying so hard to fit in. Sure, maybe I look totally happy most of the time because of my eye-smile that Koreans love so much, but honestly, I’m still struggling with certain issues. I just moved here in Seoul two years ago. My mother died at that time and my father decided to send me here to live with my cousin Hyomin. My Korean language skills were absolutely terrible back then in freshman year, and I didn’t understand the culture well. Even the non-Koreans and the only other Korean-American girl in our class, Jessica Jung, probably found me strange. I can’t really blame them; I found them strange too. Even though almost everyone in this country were the same race as me, I felt that I didn’t fit in at all. My cousin wasn’t of any help either; like seriously, Hyomin is probably the most socially awkward human being on earth, and I don’t know if that’s a sickness, but her “anti-social-itis” gets rubbed off on me too sometimes. Honestly, I was depressed and lonely most of the time and nobody really knew about it because I hid it behind my smile.
But that all changed when I met my bestie, Taeyeon. We totally didn’t understand each other at first—she couldn’t speak English and my Korean was horrific—but we became inseparable. I remember the first thing she ever said to me: “Please smile a lot. It’s pretty.” She was just really sweet and kind to me and tried her best to keep up with my fuzziness and energy. Eventually, we got so close that I actually spend more time at her house than in my cousin’s house because of the amount of sleepovers and pajama parties we had together. During the past two years, my Korean got better and I began to love it here in Seoul more because of her. And even though Taeng doesn’t know it, thanks to her, I got into the cheerleading team. It turned out that she used to be good friends with Jessica, who was also in the cheerleading team, and Jessica only agreed to help me get in because she knew that I was close to Taeyeon. So thank you, Taeyeon, for everything! Thanks, boo!
“…Hello? Damn. Pick up the phone, yeah? Hello?! Ugh, 머리 아파 (my head hurts…)” Oh my gosh, sounds like my phone is ringing. It’s Jessica. Jessica, although a California girl such as myself, spent more time here in Korea than in the US. But even though she is more Korean than I am, she is still pretty Cali in the way she talks and complains about certain things. It’s like once you’re a Cali girl, you’re always a Cali girl even if you deny it. She is also from a very well-to-do family—their family has a personal driver—but probably not as rich as Henry since she never threw a party and invited the whole school.
“Hello?” I answered the call in English.
“Yah, Fany, are you going to Henry’s party?” she asked in Korean.
“Can you do me a favor?”
“Sure!” I said in Korean. She did help me get into the cheerleading team so yeah, I would do anything for her.
“Yuri will be there. Can you tell her to meet me at my house after the party? Thanks,” she said.
“Wait!” She almost hung up on me. “Aren’t you going to the party?”
“No, and I don’t want to. Don’t forget to tell Yuri, okay?” she bluntly said and then the call was over. Gosh, Jessica is so strange. She almost never explains herself but just bluntly says what is actually in her mind. I wish I could be as honest as she is.
On my way out, I saw my cousin Hyomin working so hard writing a lot of things in this new notebook that she bought. Whenever she had free time, she was always writing things on it. I never really asked her what it was because I doubt that she’d actually even tell me anything. Like, she never even talks to me unless she needs me, and she never needs me! I thought maybe it was homework but can’t she loosen up tonight? Oh well, I guess parties aren’t her thing, and she would definitely feel so out of place there.
“Hyomin, I’m leaving,” I told her. “I won’t be having dinner either so tell your mom not to cook extra servings for me.”
“Oh, okay…,” she turned to me and said, almost like a whisper because of her very soft voice.
Before I was out of the house, she suddenly got up and ran to stop me. “Wait, wait, Tiffany…”
“Is Sunny going to the party?” she asked all of a sudden. Sunny is in our class—also someone who became a really good friend of mine. In school, Hyomin always just sticks to her like a shadow. She says Sunny is her master. I don’t know why but that’s how she puts it.
“I don’t know,” I told her. “You hang around her a lot. Don’t you, of all people, know if she’s going?”
“Never mind… Just go…” Hyomin slowly walked back to the coffee table and continued whatever she was doing.
When I arrived in the party, I went on to find Taeyeon and just as I suspected, she was right at the buffet. I know her too well. “Taengoo-ya!”
Little Taeng turned around and blankly stared at me for a second. She always drifts off like that. She’s so cute. I like how she just dressed in a black hoodie and sweatpants like she cares for nothing about what anyone thinks. She really has some guts. I admire her for just being herself while I’m trying so hard to fit in. Then she said in a really cute Korean accent, “Ppany-ya…”
Looking over the buffet, I just couldn’t help but swoon. “Taeng, the food looks amazing!”
While Taeyeon was grabbing some grub, I finally spotted Yuri in the crowd of people. Yuri is like, the best at sports, and she’s totally amazing! Jessica is really close to her so we hang out too. Plus, Yuri is really friendly and funny that it’s just never a bore when she’s around. I quickly made my way over to her. “Yuri!”
“Tippani!” Yuri squealed. We both gave each other a big hug. Then she looked up and saw my bae Taeyeon and waved her hello as well. Yuri is just good friends with everyone.
As the loud party music from the awesome band, CNBLUE, continued playing, I had to tell Yuri about Jessica. “Yuri, Jessica told me to tell you that you should go over to her house after the party later.”
“Oh, okay,” Yuri laughed. “She probably found my phone already.”
“Found your phone?”
“I lost my phone yesterday so she can’t contact me directly,” Yuri explained. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Why didn’t Jessica come to the party anyway?” I asked.
“She says she’s too lazy. You know her,” Yuri said with a giggle. “Sleeping Beauty.”
Suddenly, Hyoyeon, one of our classmates, just came and dragged Yuri and me to the dance floor. Hyoyeon is literally a dancing machine, I tell you. She’s crazy and super fun, and absolutely funny. If anyone belonged to the party scene, it’s definitely her. And she drags everyone down that crazy rabbit hole too. Soon we also saw one of my good friends, Amy Lee, who was also a Korean-American like me. We just call her Ailee for short and she’s really crazy and outgoing as well. We also saw Bora, another one of my crazy close friends. The five of us went at the dance floor, dancing like nobody’s watching. It was absolutely fun!
Soon we were crazy dancing along to “Drunken Night” by CNBLUE. This band is uh-MAZE-ing! I’ve seen them in Xiah Dragon Noodles so many times because Taeyeon’s cousin owns the place and I go there often to hang out with her. So yeah, I hear CNBLUE often enough to know their songs. Plus, Yonghwa, the lead singer, is so cool and a very nice guy too! He’s one of our classmates. Taeyeon also sings at the restaurant sometimes. She is an IN-CRED-uh-ble singer too, tell you what. Speaking of Taeyeon, OMG I totally left her at the buffet table!
When CNBLUE’s last song ended and JiYong Sunbae took his turn to DJ, I went with Yuri, Hyoyeon, Ailee, and Bora to the buffet table again to look for Taeyeon but she wasn’t there anymore. So we just ate together got to talking and a round of truth-or-dare and spin-the-bottle with some other seniors. We were having a great time and Yuri got dared to drink a whole can of beer that someone secretly stole from Henry’s big refrigerator. Soon Yuri started acting funny. She’s probably a tipsy already. I can’t believe they made her do that, and she’s under-aged!
“Oops, guys I think I need to go to the bathroom real quick. Don’t have too much fun without me okay?” Yuri said while we were talking. Then she ran off for her bathroom break.
“Pfft… We’re gonna have fun if we wanna have fun!” Hyoyeon said when Yuri left. Then she dragged me again to the dance floor and said, “Come on, let’s dance!”
And so Hyoyeon, Ailee, and I danced the night away. But then I felt bad for Taeyeon and Yuri. Knowing Taeyeon, she might not even be enjoying herself in this loud chaos of a party. And as for Yuri, she must be out there looking for us. In this huge house party it was easy to lose people because there were just so many guests. I’m not even sure if this is an actual house or a club with all the people and the loud music and the strobe lights. So I left Hyoyeon to have fun dancing while I look for Taeyeon and Yuri. TBH, I’m so not sure where to even look. Maybe Taeyeon had already went home or escaped to a quiet place if she wasn’t enjoying herself… If Yuri went to the bathroom, I’m not even sure which bathroom she went to since there are like a bunch of different bathrooms in this house. And besides, she could have already left the bathroom, like, minutes ago.
Before I could grab my phone to call up my missing girls, I saw Soo-Young, that really tall girl in class who loves to eat. But she, right now, doesn’t look so good. She just ran out of the bathroom and now she looks like she’s in pain.
“Soo-Young? Are you okay?” I asked.
She looked at me with a really strange expression and said, “Yuri… bathroom…”
“Oh yeah, Yuri went to the bathroom some time ago but she still hasn’t returned. I don’t even know which bathroom she went to,” I told her.
“Yuri…” Soo-Young said in a soft voice that I didn’t catch on to what she said next. She seemed to be in so much pain that I had to help her up so that she can stand properly.
“What?” I asked and moved closer to her. The electronic music was just too loud that I can’t hear Soo-Young at all. All I can hear is the loud music…
“총 맞은 것처럼… 뱅, 뱅, 뱅! 빵야! 빵야! 빵야!” (Like a gunshot… bang, bang, bang! Bang-yah! Bang-yah! Bang-yah!)
Suddenly a girl suddenly started screaming for help and the music stopped. “Kyuhyun Oppa is unconscious and bleeding!”
Upon hearing the young Seohyun say that though the mic, everyone, including me and Soo-Young, was shocked. Moments later, everyone was peeking through some room and were all gasping in horror. “Oh my gosh, I wonder what happened? I don’t want to look…” I held on to Soo-Young and make sure she was alright. Soo-Young looked horrified, yet as if her stomach ache was suddenly gone, she got up and went straight to the scene of the crime. I personally would rather not take a look so I just stood there and watched what was happening.
Then Soo-Young came running back to me and quickly led me into the bathroom, and there I saw Yuri lying unconscious on the tiles. I tried shaking Yuri but she wasn’t responding. No, no, Yuri, what happened to you? At this point tears filled my eyes. Then I heard Yuri’s heart still beating. She’s not dead. Soo-Young, however, sat back on the bathroom floor leaning on the tiled wall looking so out of it. She looks like she might pass out as well. I went to Soo-Young and fanned her with my hands. “Soo, are you okay?”
Soon the medics came to take Yuri and Kyuhyun. Soo-Young went along with the medics because she looked so sick at this point. I honestly could not look at Kyuhyun’s dead body as he was carried on a stretcher. If I did I might throw up because I started to feel slightly nauseous from the shock. When the police came, everyone else was kept in Henry’s house and was asked for an alibi. That’s when I finally found my Tae. Taeyeon, Seohyun, and CNBLUE’s lead singer, Jung Yonghwa—one of our classmates, were giving their alibi’s to the police out at the topiary garden. I immediately ran over to Taeyeon and gave her a big fat hug. I didn’t care if she was still talking to the police at this point. I was just glad to have finally found her safe and sound. Although I hugged her from behind, she wasn’t fazed. She continued shakily speaking to the police.
“…I saw him standing there with blood on his hands, and that’s all I really saw,” I heard her say. That brought my attention to Yonghwa who looked totally mortified at the moment. I was shocked when I saw that his hands really were covered in so much blood. In that instant I just felt scared even more, but then I saw how he stood there defeated as if he was completely helpless. I wonder that really happened here? Oh dear God, I hope it’s not murder…
Then the police asked Yonghwa, “And you say you went to this particular room because you opened up Seohyun’s text message?”
“Yes,” Yonghwa lifelessly told the police.
“What about the blood on your hands?”
“I saw him struggling. Th-there was a pen s-stuck in his chest… And I tried to get it out because he seemed to… seemed to be motioning for me to do so…”
“Yong Oppa…,” Seohyun cried. Her eyes and nose were all red and it was such a pity that such a sweet girl had to put up with this awful scene. I knew she and Kyuhyun are pretty close, and she and Yonghwa are pretty close as well.
Then since I was already there, the police asked me questions as well. So I told them about Yuri. I really had nothing to do with Kyuhyun tonight so I was cleared of suspicion. Henry was also questioned by the police and asked him to give them a list of all the people who went to the party. There were so much people that anyone in the party could have been a suspect. Yet among all those people in the party, Yonghwa was their biggest suspect. Nobody else admitted to seeing anything suspicious concerning Kyuhyun. Nobody saw Yonghwa do anything either except for Taeyeon who saw Yonghwa alone with the dead Kyuhyun and blood on his hands.
After an hour of more questioning, the police decided to take Yonghwa to the police station. I felt bad for him because just like Taeyeon he totally looked just as scared—actually, probably even more scared. He even told them so many times that he just tried to help Kyuhyun get the pen out. And there I saw Seohyun crying so much. She looked so confused because she had no idea what was happening. Even I began crying without knowing it. I don’t know what happened either, but even Yuri was passed out in the bathroom and nobody knew what happened to her. This party is a total mess, and yet nobody seemed to know or to admit anything concerning Yuri or Kyuhyun.
When Taeyeon and I arrived at the hospital, I was met with shocking news from Soo-Young. Apparently, Yuri was drugged and that’s why she passed out. Yuri was still sleeping, but the doctors insist that she will be fine and she will wake up in the next few hours or maybe tomorrow. But who could be so despicable as to do such a thing to Yuri? OMG I cannot handle this right now. I had to call Jessica and tell her what happened. Yuri was supposed to meet her at her house but I guess Yuri can’t make it.
“What?!” Jessica screamed through the phone after I told her what happened. Then she started speaking in English, “Wait, wait, are you being serious right now? Yuri was drugged and Kyuhyun was murdered? By who?”
“I don’t know either,” was all I could reply. After all that has happened I was out of energy as well. It’s frustrating for me too that I had no idea what happened to either of them. I had no idea that tonight would turn out to be such a horrible, devastating night.