melanin stories

Hate starts at home

I have come a long way from my younger days where I used hated the way I looked, wishing I looked more european or lighter skinned…but this hate stemmed from the people most closest to me my family members and my community. I won’t name and shame them but it’s them that had a problem with my skin colour and made it known. It was bad enough to see dark skinned women like me be ill treated and underrepresented in the media and society but to have your community and family hate you for your darker complexion was even more heart breaking. I remember a time where I was told by a family member “your a pretty girl, but you’d be much prettier if you where a few shade lighter” they proceeded to give me skin lightening products in order to get what THEY wanted…not me. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me I thought because they are older and wiser they know what they are talking about. I thought to myself if I had only been born lighter maybe she and they(community) would stop being so mean to me about the way I looked. But it all changed when I realised there was nothing wrong with me but something wrong with them. 

The self love I started when I became more exposed to Sri Lankan, Tamil Rapper M.I.A. to see a girl just like me quite literally. She was a Sri Lankan, Tamil ,dark skinned, out spoken, head strong with a idgaf attitude and stood up to what she believed in, went against societal norms and she wasn’t your typical South Asian girl anddd must I add she had a wicked fashion sense. I knew I had found an icon to look up to one that represented dark skinned south Asian girls like me everywhere. I also found myself hanging around more with Black girls and boys I became more aware of their communities. They seemed to love all the things my community didn’t like about me….first thing they would point out was my dark skin then comment on how beautiful they thought my complexion was….It was so odd and refreshing to here people love what the people most close to me despised. The black communities took me as their own and saw me more of their own more than my community did. So it’s important that I give credit where it is due because had it not been for my black friends/community I don’t think I would have grown to love myself the way I have today. Not to say that these communities don’t have issues with colourism and european beauty ideals haunting them…because they do and I have seen my beautiful black female friend suffer the most from this. 

My point is my self love came from seeing women that looked like me on the screen and from a community that wasn’t one I was originally from. But no way on this earth can I say certain family members or the South Asian Community helped me to love myself. If anything they had tried to destroy me.

Being black is a damn blessing and one hell of a gift, fuck you mean? Tell whoever makes you feel like it’s a curse or something bad to get they lives checked. We poppin, fam.

You know what I've noticed?

When I was a little kid, like 10 or 11. I was bullied a lot for having dark skin. Now that I’m 23… nah even when I was 16 through my currently age now, I’ve been asked do I wear make up lol. Because my skin would be AND still is so smooth and chocolatey. Literally all I do is just wash my face and drink water.

But to those who have low self esteem about being dark skin, love the skin your in homie. Loving yourself is the key to a happier life. It keeps your mindset on a positive track of thinking. And once you have that mindset, bro your good 🤘🏿

Magick & Melanin: A (self)Love Story

For the girls whose skin is kissed by the sun. With a head full of kinks and curls that take a life of its own. We were made in Mother Earth’s image alone. From the curve of our Cupid’s Bow, to the well in our neck. Black girls are magic through flesh and bone. WE. ARE. MAGICK.

Originally posted by moonhaeun

We had been texting from about 5 years ago.We lived on opposite ends of the country, far away from each other. We developed feelings, and got serious March 2016. I was in my final year of high school, and was planning to go on vac to his city. I let him know, we were both excited, but my plan failed. I had started planning late so things weren’t panning out well. I told him I couldn’t come, he didn’t talk to me for a month and I was devastated. On the 1st of January 2017, I sent him a drunken voice note saying something like “Happy 2017, it’s 20-soul mate”. He replied saying “I need you in my life” and the rest was history. I had applied for university in his city, those weeks of waiting for a reply were tense. He said if I didn’t get accepted, he was willing to move to wherever I got accepted to be with me. That’s when I knew knew. Anyway, I got accepted and on Feb 14th I flew down. We were both sorting ourselves out and I think nerves too, lol. But on the evening of March 25, we met up for the first time. I Ubered to Long Str, CPT and waited. And there he was, that first hug was so idek hey. He knows I do not like humans at all so he planned to get me out of my comfort zone, by taking me to the busiest street in Cape Town. He held my hand, made me laugh. We had dinner, we went to a bar for shots and just hung out at a lounge on the street. His best friend was going to join us too, on our way to fetch him from the car park, our first kiss on the corner. Magical. His best friend joined us and we had so much fun. We went home and the following day, we woke up next to each other. He told me to get ready so we could go have bteakfast, which I did. We made our way to the restaurant and had breakfast and just talked. After breakfast, I thought we were heading home but no, he takes me to the theme park and at the Entrance breaks it to me that his family is joining us too. Oops, too late to make a run for it. It wasn’t bad at all, in fact, it went very well. We had the most amazing day. On our way out, in the carpark (agaaaain lol) he held me close and said it for the first time in person “I love you”, and at that moment everything in the background seemed to disappear. Honestly, the rest is history. If you believe in something, take a risk. I took this picture while he was sleeping, he looked so peaceful. I love him, he’s so strong, hardworking, wise, funny. You’re not just my ray of sunshine but my whole sun.

Ashamed

Chapter Four

Another 3 days and she hadn’t seen him. She loved Junior, his voice was divine, but these days drove her crazy. 

She was just getting home from work when he called her making kissing noises into the phone. “I’m assuming you’re alone?” She held the phone between her shoulder and ear, taking off her shoes off.

 "Yes, but even if I wasn’t. What are you doing?“ She heard him rummaging through a cabinet.

 "I just got home, I’m tired. Are you coming to see me tonight?” She could use some Junior therapy to lull her into a deep sleep. 

 "I can’t. I’m just taking a break right now from practice baby. We might be practicing half the night.“ He sighed heavily into the phone. 

 "I wish I could watch.” She opened the fridge grabbing a water bottle. 

 "You’d be bored, trust me.“ He burped into the phone, laughing when she called him disgusting. 

 "Let’s have breakfast tomorrow morning. It’s Saturday, you aren’t working." 

"Ok, where?” He told her where, and she wrote down the address on a note pad. 

 They talked for awhile, saying their I love yous before hanging up the phone. He sent her a picture of him smiling, and then one of him blowing her a kiss. She smiled looking at his face going into the bathroom. Deciding to send him a few risky pics before her shower. She snapped a few pictures of her in her bra, then peeking behind the shower curtain. Setting the phone down she took a shower, and when she got out the few texts she received were reprimands for making him not being able to concentrate on practicing. 

 The next morning, she dressed in a button up tank and high waisted shorts. A long sleeve kimono wrap and sandals finished the deal. Looking at herself one more time, she checked her hair and makeup making her way to the address he gave her. The diner was small and intimate, as it was close to brunch it was nearly empty. She walked inside to see Junior sitting at a far booth in the back, waiting. He looked up and saw her, she knew he was smiling under his mask. Taking her hand, Junior moved the mask to kiss her hand, helping her into a booth. 

 "Good morning, beautiful.“ She slid into the booth, feeling the heat under the skin. 

 "Good morning, handsome.” He reached under the table bringing one of her legs into his lap, running the skin he found there. 

 The two talked a bit, Junior continuously rubbing her leg. They ordered crepes and the food had just come when Junior’s phone began to ring. He rolled his eyes looking at the screen. 

 "I have to take this, hold on.“ She sighed stirring her coffee waiting for him to finish. 

 "I just started…now? You sure? Ugh, yea hyung ok. Bye.” Junior hung up the phone, looking at her. “Bad news." 

 She took a bite of her crepe shaking her head. "Nope, don’t wanna hear it. Eat." 

 He reached across the table, taking her hand. "I have to go. If we practice now, we won’t have to tomorrow. We have interviews tomorrow and a small fan special." 

 She rolled her eyes, taking her leg from his grasp. "We haven’t seen each other much. So, I can’t see you tomorrow. What about the next day?" 

 Junior sighed. "Come with me then." 

 "To the dance studio? To watch you practice?” This was an exciting prospect. 

“Yes. You can watch us practice, and say hello to the guys. You can eat with us and I’ll take you home, and try to stay for a little after. That way we still had today. Is that ok?" 

 She tried to pretend to be upset, looking disinterested before smiling at him. "Yes." 

 Junior asked for the food to be packaged up, finishing off his coffee as they both got up and exited the diner. He put a hat on his head pulling it low as they signaled a taxi, heading back to the JYP building. Once inside, he removed his mask, taking her face in one hand he turned her mouth towards his for a kiss, leading the way to the practice room. The guys greeted her one by one. Yugyeom and Mark waving hello, JB hugging her and BamBam and Jackson trying to get her attention, making her laugh to irritate their hyung. She sat down in a corner, watching the boys start their practice.

 She loved watching Junior dance. He was so confident in his steps, moving in time to the music. He looked her way every time he could, making a kiss face or winking at her.

 It made her feel special that he even brought her here. That he was shamelessly flirting with her in front of his friends. After about an hour they stopped for a break, Jackson coming up to her. 

 "Junior is a good dancer, but I think I’m better. I know you were watching me.” He winked at her sitting down next to her draping an arm across her shoulders.  

“You are a good dancer. I like watching Yugyeom more though.” That earned a blush from the young man, a scoff from Jackson and a glare her way from Junior. 

 "Eyes on me only.“ Junior said, walking over to flick Jackson on the head. "Hands off, my woman." 

 They all laughed. JB shaking his head, as she stood up facing Junior. "Where’s the bathroom?" 

 "Down the hall, second door on the right.” He made motions with his hands. “Want me to show you?" 

 "No, rest. I’ll be fine.” She answered, walking out the door. 

 The JYP building seemed quiet this morning. She pictures it a more hustle and bustle kind of place. With many groups moving in and out of the place, or at least like her building. As she exited the bathroom, a frosted glass door caught her attention. Specifically, the sound of the voice coming from it. Was that Junior? It was, he seemed annoyed talking to the female voice inside. She knew she shouldn’t listen, but the curiosity overwhelmed her. Slowing down her pace she stopped behind the door, listening. 

 "Why did you bring her here?“ 

 "She’s my girlfriend, I haven’t seen her in 3 days, and she doesn’t like when we don’t spend time together.” She heard Juniors characteristic growl when he was upset. 

 "I don’t like having an issue on my hands like last time. You were seen with her, and we had to pull damage control.“ She recognized that voice from some of his phone calls. It was his manager. 

 Junior sighed heavily speaking again. “Please don’t be so dramatic, it wasn’t bad. No one saw her face, and it was over within a week. In reality, I love my fans, but they need to know I’m human. I have a life too." 

 "You have a life that is Got7 right now. I want her gone. Do something with her. Just…take her out the back door.” The way she said the last part made her hair stand on end. 

 Take her out the back door? Like she was some sort of embarrassment? Biting her lip, she shook her head wanting to hear Junior tell her no. Instead, she felt her heart sinking. 

 "Fine. We’ll leave through the back.“ Her heart fell into her stomach, breath hitching in her throat. 

 Looking down at her hands they felt weak. She had her purse in one hand and phone in the other. Damn him, and damn that bitch. She held back the tears, walking towards the elevator. If it was an issue she could leave, that’s fine. Outside the building, she took a deep breath watching the people go by. It was cheaper to take the train and she would think while she went home. Something had to give. 

 What she didn’t hear was Junior tell the manager that he was sick of this. He would bring her again, and she would leave when he did, that was the end of the discussion. He went back to the practice room, and noticed she wasn’t back. 

 "Where is >>>?” Everyone shrugged, Mark telling him she hadn’t been back in the room yet. 

 Junior went to the female bathroom knocking on the door. When no answer came he waited, knocking again. No one came out. Annoyed he took his phone from his pocket, and attempted to call her. No answer. He called 4 times, texting her as he waited for her to pick up. Annoyed, he held his phone tight, clenching his teeth. Once she was home she looked down at the missed calls, feeling slightly guilty that she didn’t answer his calls or texts. She sat down on the couch, head in her hands trying to figure out what all this meant. Her place in this world, and in this place-with him. A few hours later a knock on her door sounded. 

It was rough, Junior’s loud voice outside the door. “Open the door. I know you’re in there. You left! Without saying anything! Didn’t answer my calls!”

 He kept banging, and she ran to the door just to get him to stop. Keeping the chain on the door she opened it enough to see him. “Jinyoung. Stop." 

 He took a step back, angry scowl on his face. "Me? Stop? Open the door. What’s wrong with you?" 

 Blinking to keep from crying she sighed. "I left to save your repetition. To keep you from having to take me out the back. Don’t wanna upset massa." 

 "Massa? What’s that mean?” Gears clicked in his head as he realized that she heard the conversation between him, and the manager. 

 "Slaves used to call the master that. I’m guessing you can see why I’m upset. Having a history of being made to do those things.“ 

 Junior sighed leaning his head against the door. "It wasn’t like that Jagi. She used the wrong words, but did you even hear what I said after that? She says the wrong things, but she means well. She was trying to stop another outrage.”  

She had turned her face away from the door, snapping back now as he said that. “What outrage?" 

 Without thinking Junior answered. "Over…I don’t care. Just open the door." 

"No. I-I need to be alone, Junior. I need to be alone right now to think. Sort out how I feel about everything." 

 Junior took a step back looking at her. His eyes pleading. "Jagi, stop. Let me in, so I can soothe you.” He reached through the door crack touching her face with his fingertips. 

 "Not today. Just, let me do this.“ He understood. Or at least he thought he did, stepping away from the door, he watched her close it. 

 Hands in his pockets. He stood there awhile wondering if she was on the other side of the door. Placing a hand on it, he sighed whispering close to the wood and hoping she heard him. "I love you." 

 With the release of a new song, Junior was very busy. He texted and called every night at the same time like he usually did. She didn’t seem to be so into their phone calls at first. but he managed to make her laugh and she still told him she loved him. She was standing with her back to the door when she closed it. She had heard him say that he loved her.He sent flowers to her job every day he didn’t see her. He signed the cards: Park JinYoung. One set of flowers contained 2 dozen white roses, and in the middle was a single red rose. The card attached read: 

I’ll stop loving you, when the last flower dies.

                         -Park JinYoung

Catch was the red rose, in the group was made of metal. It wouldn't wilt like the rest. She smiled reading the card, taking the red flower out feeling how lightweight it was. It carried the hint of some perfumed fragrance, and she set it on her desk on top of the card.

 In truth,she was a foreigner here in Korea. She had a great paying job, at a wonderful firm. That was just one place, there was still sexism in the world and yes in Korea. There was still an air of colorism and distrust of anything new. Sure, in the US there were mixed couples and no one usually batted an eye, but here? This was new and she knew she needed to understand that. Girls could be crazy for their idols. They actually did call them idols here. Junior was worshiped, all of the Kpop and Krap guys were. To her it was a bit disturbing sometimes, how into their lives these girls could be. Was this the life she wanted? Constant shows and interviews. Tours. The Korean population could erupt against Junior should they not accept his relationship, and surely his label would drop him if it became a problem. She sighed in all this thinking, nights alone to really contemplate about what she wanted. Her job was one that wasn’t on contract she should do what she want. Could she really go home and forget all this? Forget him? Would he even come for her? A sexual harassment case erupted at her job, so she was on damage control trying to sort that out, and next thing she knew it was 2 weeks before she saw Junior in person and not on face time. 

She came home one evening tired, and annoyed, to see a pink box in front of her door. She picked it,up opening the card on top, to see that it was from Junior. Inside was a nightie. If that. A piece of material white in color, that was lace and a garter belt. She grinned shaking her head, hand on the door as she heard Junior’s voice. 

“I can’t wait to see you in it.” He startled her and she jumped, box falling from her hands. 

Rushing over he picked up the material, placing it back inside to stand and look at her. “Would you like to go on a small day trip with me? 2 days actually.” 

He smiled at her, lips so pink, teeth so white. She smelled his cologne and felt herself falling all over again. He knew what he was doing, hands on hers as he opened her door and lead her inside the apartment. 

“Where are we going?” Taking off her shoes she, walked to her room setting everything on the bed. 

“Starting right now, I’m on a bit of vacation. We finished a music video for the song, everything is done for awhile. I want to take you to a couples spa. Just us. Let’s forget our cares, and just relax. I need it. So do you.” He started unbuttoning her blouse, lips on her neck. 

“And if I say no?” She peeled her arms from the sleeves, turning around as his hands unzipped her skirt pushing the pencil fit material down her legs. 

“You won’t. You want to go, and you want to spend time with me.” Junior’s hands found her breasts, cupping them, he deftly did away with the material that covered them massaging the orbs. 

She turned around, moving from his grasp to sit down on her bed removing her jewelry. “A couples spa?”

Junior moved toward the window opening the blinds enough that the full moon outside shown in. He cut the lights off, moving back towards the bed removing his clothes. 

“Yes. I figured it would be something you like. Intimate, quiet, tranquil. massages and all that.” His slacks came off his legs, standing in the moonlight in his boxers. 

She looked up and down his chest, heart racing in her chest as she realized the spell he had over her. He licked his lips watching her body, as she scooted back on her bed. “Do you have any idea how beautiful you are in moonlight, >>>?” 

“Only what you tell me.” She lifted her legs, giving him a glimpse of what he wanted to see. 

His breath caught in his throat he climbed on top of the bed, and over her lips meeting. She kissed him, hands coming to either side of his face, she craved this, craved him. Was this some sort of punishment? Was his ability to bewitch her like this something unique to him or just her stupidity in loving him? Either way she gasped as his hands found her sweet spot, hoping that it was the former. 

2

It was Miami 1981, and the party scene was wild. Everybody was sniffing around for the cocaína. We were more than happy to supply. Hell, we did our fair share of partying as well. The music, the lights, the drugs, the ENERGY. It was addicting. Pure adrenaline.

They say, “don’t get high off your own supply.” The crew and I were about to learn that lesson the hard way…


Starring Iman Del Sol as Mickey “Micks” Brown

“Brown Suga” shades from evolvebyjealena.com
Check out the website for more dope shades!

Ashamed

Chapter Five

Today was the day the two left for the couples spa. Getting into a car, Junior had already taken care of the bags, and they rode two hours away getting to a little spot in a secluded area. The trees that surrounded them in colors of pink and white flowers made the air smell fresh as, they exited the car and went to the reception of the spa. 

“You aren’t wearing your mask.” She told Junior, slightly worried. 

“I don’t think I have anything to worry about here. I chose this place for a reason.” He smiled, arm coming around her waist as the receptionist handed him a key and pointed to a place on the site map in front of them.

Looking around she did notice that everyone indeed was older. Older than them. Some elderly couples, people looking into their 40′s already, ,married couples. He chose somewhere where young people wouldn’t crowd to and draw attention to them. She smiled, at the thoughtfulness of the gesture for them to truly be alone and not worry about the public eye. Though she couldn’t help but think this was something his manager thought of. 

Entering the room it was a small space, an entrance area, bathroom to one side. A glass door lead to some outdoor bathing area, and a shoji screen. It was Japanese style. Junior pulled the screen back to reveal a much larger space, with a small kitchen area. dining area, living room and further back where she assumed the beds were. 

“This is beautiful Junior.” She carried her shoes to the back room to examine the bed. A low to the floor type, with crisp white linens and fluffy pillows. 

“It is. Let’s use the hot tub before the masseuse comes by. I don’t want to be so tense.” Junior started to take off his clothes, stripping down and folding his clothes neatly.

He was naked before her, walking to the bathroom to retrieve to thin towels. His tight butt, made her lick her lips in anticipation of what might happen tonight. Her hands gripping it tight, when he was bringing her release.

Following suit she took off her clothes, folding them, and wrapping the thin towels around her. As he put away their clothes she retrieved a hair tie, twisting her curls and coils into one large twist making a bun on top of her head. She found a silk wrap, protecting her edges tying it into a bow on the front of her head. They walked outside, the day grew cooler into the evening signaling the coming of autumn. The steam that came from the round tub bath, warmed her skin even from a distance. The large, wooden bowl, filled with water, and continued to be by a bamboo pump behind it. Junior put a toe into the water, testing it before simply going in. He sunk deep into the water, his head going under. He came up settling himself, arms hanging onto the back of the tub as he looked at her. 

“It’s not too hot. Don’t be a baby. You take hot showers.” He reached down and removed his towel, wringing out the excess water. 

“Your skin is red.” She put a hand in, it wasn’t too hot, then Junior reached for her pulling on her arm. 

“In, now.” He stood partially, hooking his arms under her dragging her in the steaming water, as she screamed.

“That’s not funny! We are here to relax, not so you can drown me.” She settled herself in the water, wiping her eyes, as Junior removed her towel. 

“I am relaxing. You’re taking too long to relax.” Taking her foot in his hand, Junior began to rub her toes, pressing the soft skin at the top.

They sat quietly in the tub, water spilling over the sides as one of them moved. The soft singing of birds came from the trees around them, as Junior watched her head lean back, full lips falling open as she let go and let the water soothe her. He watched the water lap at the skin on her neck, back and forth as it moved in time with the pulse he saw there. He had stopped rubbing her foot, just holding it, the curls on top of her head, turning slightly frizzy in the humidity. He loved her hair, the texture of it, watching all the styles she came up with. It was always different. He loved to grab handfuls of the curls and coils,  watching them spring back into place as he pulled on them. She was a gift to man this woman, his very own present. 

“Did you hear anything I said?” His focus coming back to her, as his eyes shifted to her staring at him now. 

“No, sorry.” He craned his neck to look at the clock in the house. They needed to get out.

“I said, what are the guys gonna do without you? Hang out?” He pulled her to a stand, fighting the erection that threatened once his eyes laid on her wide hips, and thick thighs.

“JB will organize something, either him or Jackson. I think they wanted to go to an amusement park.” As they entered the house once more, Junior only put on boxers and his robe, while she slipped on a bra and underwear under her robe.

The masseuse came in, setting up their tables as the two received a couples massage, a dinner of mostly Japanese food. Teriyaki, sushi and miso. They found themselves on the bed, Junior watching some variety show. He rubbed her arms until she fell asleep. 

The next few days at the spa were a dream for her. They went to a couples game, where they asked questions to see how well they knew each other. Junior got most of them right, gloating when he did. They stayed attached by a paper cord for 40 minutes while doing various activities to test their bond. To her amazement it didn’t break. An older Korean woman came up the them after the questions game, clasping her hands over Junior’s and her own proclaiming: This was a good thing to see, and that they matched well. She wished them happiness, and that left Junior in a state of wondering for half the night. They went on a moonlit walk, and took a cooking class together. For half of the nights, they made love in the living room, or on the bed. Junior setting her on the kitchen counter as he ducked his head down, using his tongue to complete his ministrations. She was sore some mornings, and woke up before him to soak in the hot tub.  At the end of the week she was sad to go, watching the spa disappear back into the forest with sad eyes.

“Did you have fun?” Junior asked? Looking down at his phone texting JB back. 

“I did, thank you. I loved every minute.” He cut his eyes over at her, watching her stare out the window, a colorful scarf on her head, hiding the coils there. 

“You’re welcome, you don’t have to thank me.” 

“Yes, I do. We’ve been through so much these last 6 months, and sometimes I just feel like its too much for us. I feel like we are at our breaking point. I like when we can just be like this. Everyday people with no worries, no problems. Nothing is against us.” Junior continued to text on his phone. 

“Nothing is against us. Where does this, you and me against the world attitude come from? Who is not wanting that?” He saw her turn her face to him out the corner of his eye. 

Her hand covered his phone, and he sighed looking up at her. She stared at him, the silence palpable for what she was going to say next. “Junior, promise me something.” 

“If it’s in my power, anything.” She leaned in close to him, breath warm on his lips as she spoke. 

“Don’t make me cry again. Don’t make me feel like I’m not important to you, and that I’m nothing. I won’t have that. Never again. We may fight and fuss, and at times I don’t like you, but I always want to love you.”

Junior’s face scrunched up. He hated when she got like this, but he knew where it came from. “I can’t promise you that I wont make you cry, but I can promise that I’ll do my best to make you happy everyday. I’m trying for us, I learn from my mistakes, give me that.” 

Leaning her head on his shoulder, she snuggled with him in the warmth of the car. She could live with that. 

Tomorrow was a JYP function. In the beginning, there would be interviews, press and a photoshoot. JYP groups, managers and officials. After that it was a party for anyone affiliated. Junior had taken her shopping for a new dress and shoes. 

“So, after all the hubbub in the beginning that’s when I come?” She raised an eyebrow skeptical of the whole thing. 

“Yes, just like anyone else. Wives of some managers, girlfriends of members past and present. Nothing special. You’ll be with me all night.” This was what she wanted and Junior had no problem with that. It was time, pass time for him to do what he was supposed to. 

He chose a long sleeved, floor length red dress. From the waist up the dress was lace, the lower half a satin fabric, brunched right at her butt, flowing all the way to her feet. She looked stunning, the red against her skin, made her look like an expensive chocolate bar. 

“I’m done. This is what I want.” He came to a stand, hands on her waist, she looked edible. 

“What do you want to do to me in this dress?” Junior grinned, pushing her back into the dressing room. 

“Nothing while we are in a store. So greedy for me woman, have you no shame?” He smiled, waiting for her get dressed again. 

On the night of the function, she dressed, full face on. Bright red lips, popping back at her in the mirror. She had brushed and gelled her hair on the right side slick. Securing it with bobby pins, the curls fell on the left framing her face. Her shoes weren’t too high, she was only an inch and a half shorter than Junior. The car he sent came for her, and she sat in the back, texting him furiously. 

He was finished with everything, waiting on her to arrive. Once, the car pulled up she exited, looking around for Junior. She spotted him in a gray suit, red shoes and shirt, he came the short way to the car door, taking her hand. 

“You look divine, jagi.” He leaned in, kissing her cheek as she spotted Jackson inside the door, waving furiously. 

“Thank you, Mr. Park.” Leading her inside, the music changed over the speakers to one of Got7′s songs, she smiled recognizing it as Mine.

The night continued nicely enough. She met some of the other groups. As he directed her over to his manager, she felt her irritation kick up. At first, the manager talked to Junior like she wasn’t there. The other woman speaking Korean, and she realized ti was because the woman didn’t think that she could understand her. True, they weren’t talking about anything, but she kept cutting her eyes at her. When Junior moved to formally introduce the two, she smiled, bowing slightly, speaking perfect Korean as she asked about the older woman’s night so far. The manager’s expression was priceless, and she made sure to drop the hint that she wasn’t an ignorant foreigner. After they made their rounds, Junior returned to his group and she was pulled into a conversation with Jackson on nice he looked tonight, when she noticed the manager talking to another man from a group who hadn’t debuted yet. The woman he had on his arm, was a pale and pretty Korean girl who the manager kept fawning over, and bowing to, smiling at. She scowled inwardly, but realized that she shouldn’t let it bother her. Her and Jinyoung just had a perfect week together. 

“i’m just saying, I think pink is my color, isn’t that right >>>?” She smiled, placing her hand on Jackson’s forearm. 

“It suits you very well. I like pink against your skin Jackson, and it contrasts with your hair so nicely. I’m quite sure you picked out everything didn’t you?” Jackson perked up, peacocking as he nodded his head. 

The night began to wear on with food and drinks and small games and prizes. Junior excused himself from her a moment to the bathroom as another game was about to begin. The game was you had to say three things and your team needed to say what was the common factor about them. She sat this out with Mark, JB and Yugyeom. After awhile she wondered where Junior disappeared to, excusing herself to go look for him. 

The white halls were silent as she walked down the corridor, a few voices from spaces catching her attention. As she was about to push the door towards the bathroom, she heard Juniors laugh followed by two others. Her heart began to race again, thinking about the last time she was in a situation like this. 

“So, Jinyoung, I have a sister who would like to date you. I think you two would get on well.” The female voice said, after she cleared her throat. 

“I have a girlfriend, but thanks anyway- So, Jung-.” The girl cut him off. 

“Right now, you do, but I’m serious. You aren’t going to marry her. What would your mother think?” 

“My mother, would want to know why I’m getting married so young. She’d think there was a baby involved-anyway.” 

“I didn’t take you for dating foreigners, if you want me to be honest.” The guy stated. 

She heard Junior blow his breath. “I don’t care where the woman is from, as long as we are compatible.” 

“Then you’ll want a Korean girl. Same culture, language. Better aesthetic appeal as well. I’ll let my sister know, you’ll get bored of what you have.” 

“Most guys want to experiment with Foreigners anyway. I’ve thought about it.” She heard a slapping sound, and the guy crying out. 

Her eyes stung, he wasn’t saying anything, her breath came in hitches, and she fought the urge to run through the door and snatch the hair on whoever that girl was. What was Junior doing? He promised. He said he would-why had she ever really trusted him? She really was just a foreign novelty toy wasn’t she?

“I’ll let you know when I’m done playing, I’m leaving.” She heard Junior say, and that’s when she broke. 

Cinderella couldn’t have run faster from faster than she left the building. She was hurt and angry, so many emotions running through her mind as she finally made it outside. She straightened up, looking around to see if there were any taxis or cars around, grasping at her chest. A taxi came slowly down the street and she ran towards it, signaling it. Silently thanking god she carried her purse, she opened the door to the taxi just as she heard Junior yelling her name. 

He stood at the top of stairs, hands in the air. “What! Where are you going?” 

He started down the stairs, and she climbed into the taxi closing the door. The look on his face as he watched her pull away, tore at her but at the same time she felt triumph. He was pulling his phone out of his pocket, and just as she knew her phone began to ring but she silenced it. 

“Where do you want to go miss?”

She knew she couldn’t go home, he’d go there first and look for her. She couldn’t see him right now, she didn’t know if she ever wanted to see him again. Giving the taxi driver an address, she ignored another call from Junior, and started to call someone else.

A gruff voice came on the phone. “Hello?” 

She immediately began to cry, sniffling as she tried to speak. “Haru, please, can, can…”

She couldn’t finish, and the voice on the other line comforted her as she was en route to their destination. 

She spent that night at her co-worker and friends house, a woman named Haru Choi. The women had been friends since she arrived in Korea, and Haru knew every detail about her and Junior’s relationship since it started. Makeup smudged and ruined she arrived at Haru’s apartment a snotty mess, and the woman pulled her into an embrace. 

“Stop all that crying, he ain’t shit.” She chuckled a little, Haru had been watching too much Empire. 

“I just can’t believe he would do that, he didn’t even try, I mean…”

“I don’t want to hear anything else, until you’ve showered, washed your face and get out of that dress. I’ve got something for you to wear and we can have some wine and you can tell me what happened. Give yourself a minute to think.” Leading the way to the bathroom, Haru pushed her inside, closing the door.

Haru was waiting on the couch with a glass of white wine in her hand, patting the space next to her. A white cat jumped onto the back of the couch, and she touched it softly before sitting down picking up her own glass. Recounting the tale, Haru shook her head, tsking sometimes and at others giving her an incredulous look. 

“First, I’m going to say this. Listen to me well and we can go from there.” Haru said, filling her wine glass as she did so. “Korean people, we are close knit with our families. I know way too many people, who love someone foreigner or not and if their mother looses her shit over it, they get out of the relationship faster than a hooker looses her panties. My mother is Thai, so maybe I’m blessed she doesn’t have those hangups but still. He’s an ass for not claiming you, all the time, no matter who is there or says something, ESPECIALLY if he loves you.”

She nodded her head slowly, a pillow now clutched in her arms and not her wine glass. Taking a large swig of her wine glass Haru continued: “With that being said, he told you he loves you, but he isn’t showing you. You don’t need that. Yea, some people get hung up on skin color, and who is marrying a Korean person or not. You don’t need that, and I can find other men who look pass shit like that, and will love you for you, they could give two fucks about what someone said. As a people, we have to come up out of that BS. Now about Junior, personally…I say fuck him, move on, that guy..” She snapped her fingers trying to remember “Onew…Lee Jin-Ki, from SHINee, he’s a better catch. That’s just my opinion. Somehow you get celebrities. Get him so you can introduce me to Key-oppa.” 

Haru laughed and so did she, feeling a little better. “I dont know. It hurts.” 

“Real love doesn’t hurt. I hate when people say that it does. Why does someone who truly loves me, and cares about me-why would they hurt me? They won’t and if they did something I don’t like, and I tell them they wont do it again.” 

“You are wise beyond your years Haru.” Haru came close to her, wrapping her arm around her shoulders hugging her. 

Her phone vibrated again, signaling a phone call and they both looked up to see Juniors picture pop up. Reaching over, Haru held down the power button and turned her phone off, continuing to rub her friends back as she began to cry again. 

Junior looked down at his phone as the call went to voicemail. His throat dry as he pulled his tie from his neck, and left the 10th voicemail for the night. “>>> please, pick up the phone, Don’t act like this, where are you?” He bit back the tears knowing he fucked up royally. “Come home please.” 

The phone clicked off, and he couldn’t take the feelings inside of him. He looked around her apartment, not knowing where she was or what she was doing right now killed him. Where could she have gone? She better not be…yea right who was he kidding? He had no right to say where she should or should not be right now. 

Yes, the hell he did. He got up off the floor, knocking over a lamp as he did rage building inside of him. What was he so afraid of? His mother? His fans? Public shame? People looking down on him? She was everything to him, he couldn’t imagine her with anyone else. In someone else bed. In another mans arms. The very thought made him shake with rage, but he deserved it. Didn’t he? He slid down the wall, feeling the tears come to his eyes as he imagined how she must have felt. 

The next morning, was no better for her, she kept on the clothes Haru let her borrow, declining breakfast but thanking her friend for putting up with her. She left, towards home, cuddling her phone and the 12 voicemails that she hadn’t listened to yet. She rode the elevator trying to steady her breathing, thankful that today was Sunday and she had one more day to compose herself before work on Monday, She would throw herself into work that’s what she would do. Opening the door to her apartment, she took off her shoes and fumbled about for the light, before the living room lamp turned on, and she turned around to see Junior sitting on the couch, eyes red. 

“Where were you?” Her heart leapt into her throat. Had he been crying? Had he been here all night?” 

“Leave my apartment now, Jinyoung.” She stared him down, arms across her chest as she waited. 

Coming to a stand, Junior walked towards her. Hair disheveled, suit wrinkled. “Where. Were. You?” He enunciated each word, as if she didn’t hear him. 

“None of your business. Now, leave my apartment. Now, before I get angry. This is my house, not yours. Get out.” Junior came to stand in front of her, in truth her was looking at her for marks or bruises something to tell him where she could have been.

She obviously had showered, and changed clothes. “Were you with someone else?” He reached a hand towards her face, only for her to slap it away, moving away from him. 

“I refuse to tell you again. Get OUT!” She screamed at him, hands pushing his chest as she did so. 

Junior caught her hands, pushing her body against the wall. He brought his nose down to her neck smelling her, as she struggled against his hold. Once he righted himself he held her wrists to the wall, tight. “I won’t ask you again. Who is he? How long have you known him? I’m going to fucking kill him.” 

She laughed. Laughed in his face and Junior let her go, shoving her away from him as he moved back towards the couch. “There is no him, I was with Haru, but you? Jealous? Please. Maybe, I should ask you if you had fun with whatever little girl you’re going to be hooked up with.” 

She stood her ground, as he turned back towards her. “I don’t want whatever little slut they propositioned me for. I don’t want any girl but you! I could have any woman I wanted. Sleep, with a lot of them but do I want to? Women throw themselves at me, and all I think about is you!” He was in her face now, breath heaving. 

“You aren’t scaring me, so try again. I want you to leave Jinyoung. Now. You love me? You care about me? No, you don’t what about how I feel? My feelings. Better yet, here’s a question, when will you marry me? When will I meet your mother?” 

Junior hit the wall behind her head, she remained impassive on the surface, but inside she trembled. “I don’t want to get married now, however I will marry you.” She blew air from her lips, rolling her eyes. “As for my mother, I will wait on introducing you until that date is closer…she is…traditional.” 

There were the words. “Traditional meaning, she would want you with a Korean girl first. Not an American. Not a black American girl…like me.” 

“I don’t know if she thinks that.” He threw his hands up. 

“You think it might be…you just said traditional.” She bit her lip knowing there were tears coming from her eyes at what was to happen next. “I can’t do this anymore.”

Junior’s head snapped up, his eyes focusing on her. “Excuse me?”

She choked. Her breath catching, a knot formed in her throat. “I-I don’t want to be with you anymore. I want you to leave. Don’t call or text me.”

Junior crossed the room, grabbing her face in his hands as the tears continued to fall. “>>>, stop. You don’t mean that.”

She pushed away from him, pointing towards her door. “Leave. I don’t want to be with you anymore.” 

As the words left her lips, she felt her world shatter. She felt her life force diminish even if just for a bit, a hole formed in her heart as she covered her face sobbing. 

Junior couldn’t believe what he heard. He took a step back the room reeling and spinning around him. This was it? He felt too warm, the cool wall hit his back, and he suddenly wondered if this was what death felt like. “You dont mean that, baby, please.” 

She looked up, tears in his eyes as he started for her again. She moved, rushing towards the door throwing it open. “I said get out! Leave me alone and stay out of my life.” 

His legs felt like lead as they lead, him to the door and once he exited, she closed it softly. He could hear her sobs from the other end, slowly they faded and he knew she was no longer near the door. Junior looked down at his hands pale now, as he moved mindlessly towards the elevator. Riding it down and out into the air of the early morning, he wasn’t even trying to conceal who he was. Buses and cars passed by on the street, he wondered would he even feel it if he walked into them? Instead, he got into a taxi, knowing he had to go back to the dorms. Once he was there, he heard no one talking to him, saw nothing. JB watched his face as he walked towards the shower, turning it on. He slumped into the water, suit and all. 

2

I’m Alexa. I know I look sweet. Shit, you’re probably thinking I’m a pretty nice girl or a down to earth chick. Well you’re fucking wrong. I’m your worse nightmare wrapped up in a nice tight pretty package. I’ll do whatever necessary to get what I want and I could give 2 fucks about how you feel. I’ll steal, lie, cheat and fuck my way to the top if i have to. And I’ll be damned if i let anyone get in my way.