hiddenmoody hiddenmoody

Misty Brooke is a developmental editor with clear goals in mind: finish the manuscripts assigned to her every time and publish her own book. Head in front of papers and computer where various romances and other genres in written words spark, a pencil or pen in her hands, she knows she doesn't have enough time to do things that would hinder her work—especially the thought of falling in love. But then, there’s Evan Park. He is a Korean singer-songwriter, producer, and popular soloist in the South Korean music industry. Wholeheartedly making music and performing on stages, that's how his days usually go. When Misty met funny, handsome Evan, she didn't know him. Eventually, she was shocked to learn that he was an idol. For Misty, Evan was the kind of distraction she would avoid, but she felt trapped by a petrifying realization: she just might be falling for a popular star. Can music and written words put both of their hearts at ease, despite having restrictions? Is their love worth the risk?


Romance Contemporary All public.

#friends-to-lovers #romance #true-love #kdrama #forbidden-love #showbiz #music #love #light-hearted #drama #warm #fluffy #humor #popstar #idol #office-romance #sweet #funny
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The encounter

Although irritated on being half-awake, I still managed to hear how my phone kept on ringing as if the call itself was the thing that served as my alarm clock.

“Dear, phone. Stop it! What are you, a rooster?” I groaned.

I let it ring for a few more seconds, not even caring if the call was essential or not.

With my eyes barely open, I scratched my head with annoyance as I tried to double-click the side button of my phone to decline the call totally. It was just a simple matter of double-clicking the button, but my weak morning thumb finger felt numb as I tried to locate the specific button. I couldn’t see it clearly, but I relied on my sense of touch, which wasn’t helpful at all, unfortunately.

“Don’t call me on my day off!” I whimpered. “Oh, got you!” I exclaimed when I succeeded in clicking the button.

People should consider that the person they’re calling cannot always answer their calls right away. Some receivers would just stare at the call to stall time, listen to the ringtone they used, or they’re just feeling lazy on their day-offs even to answer a call—like me. I went back to burying my face on the top of my low wooden table, with my forehead resting on my right arm.

Everything felt peaceful for me as the winter season was approaching; the peaceful quietness, the breezy air coming inside through my double-hung window—which I intentionally left opened last night—and the sound of the birds chirping. Do mornings usually have this kind of ambiance? Or am I just too busy to even notice these little things?

I was about to fall asleep again when my phone rang once more suddenly.

“Stop calling me,” I groaned again, not even bothering to check the caller’s name.

Can this person stop calling or something? Feeling more irritated than I was earlier, I checked the caller’s name this time. My best friend’s name—Kayla— appeared on the screen.

“Ha-ha, it’s Kayla.” I faked a laugh, realizing how much frustration I had earlier.

I put her in a loudspeaker mode and rested my head again on the table.

The line was silent; a wave of weird, airy noises were the only ones I could hear.

“Hello? Kayla, are you there?” I asked with a raspy voice.

A few seconds later, Kayla’s loud voice immediately greeted me without even warning. God, Kayla’s voice is something.

“Misty!” she exclaimed. “What were you doing? Why weren’t you answering my calls? Is everything alright? Don’t tell me you went out partying last night!” she recited continuously, not even giving me the time to answer.

“Uh, good morning?” I couldn’t think of what to say to her.

“Seems like a perfect morning for someone who’s probably still tucked in her bed because she forgot our supposed-to-be early morning schedule today,” Kayla ranted.

“Kayla, what are you talking about? Please enlighten me.”

“Really, Misty? You might as well check your calendar. You never forget important schedules!”

I had no idea of what Kayla was talking about. Nothing was written on my calendar, not even going to the grocery store or to the public library. There was nothing to be done today except to rest and have a movie marathon as far as I could remember. Like, a real day-off.

“Kayla, could you please speak softly? It’s so early for your loud speeches,” I responded with a yawn.

“What do you mean so early? And, for real? You actually forgot?”

“Whatever it is, I think?

“Misty Brooke, get up! It’s 10 a.m.!” Kayla answered.

“What?” I was still puzzled.

“Uhm, recipe tasting at my cafe?

When she mentioned that, I felt like a bunch of rocks—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks of all sorts—were intensely thrown at me, abundant enough to make sure I would wake up from my sleepiness and confusion. I screamed and immediately and quickly ran to my bathroom, remembering what Kayla and I had talked about.

“Jeez. Kayla, I’m sorry. I forgot to set my alarm last night. I fell asleep in my living room again,” I said while looking for my toothbrush.

The thing was, I was supposed to meet Kayla an hour ago at her cafe, which is located three buildings away from my condominium unit. It’s not that far from my place, and I think Kayla chose the best location. Well, that’s for my case since I often go there for the walnut pie and lemon tea or, sometimes, medium-sized iced americano—my favorite ones at her cafe. When you’re a developmental editor of a publishing house, you need to have sufficient energy in your body. With that being said, you should allow yourself to eat delicious foods sometimes. And don’t forget to be caffeinated sometimes too.

Kayla requested me to come over and help taste her new food and beverage recipes that she was experimenting with these days. It’s Sunday, so I don’t mind helping her. The problem was I slept late last night because I was working on a lengthy manuscript, and so I forgot about setting the alarm. My dedication to finish the manuscript that I was working on the previous night was on fire.

I heard Kayla laugh on the other line. “You don’t need to rush! I’m only halfway to finishing the recipes. You see, there were lots of customers here earlier. They seemed to be some fangirls or something. I heard they saw some idol groups going this way. Ugh, this tastes so sour,” she exclaimed in the other line. “Anyway, please grab lunch on the way! You’ll be walking, right?” Kayla queried.

Thank God Kayla is so nice.

“Yes, of course! Sure, what do you want?” I asked while brushing my hair. “Send me a message. I’m going to take a bath now,” I told her and put my phone on the vanity.

“Kimchi jjigae at Ahjumma’s Plate! You’ll see it on the way,” Kayla exclaimed happily, and then, there was a beep sound. She ended the call, so I went inside the bathtub.

It’s misty and cozy outside, so I prepared a tepid bubble bath with a lavender scent. I didn’t plan on washing my hair, so I just soaked in the bathtub for about ten minutes, scrubbed my body, cleaned, and rushed to my room. Considering how it’s just another ordinary day, I decided to wear a long-sleeve, white shirt with a bit of print and straight boyfriend denim jeans. I just put on a little aloe vera-scented sunscreen on my face and an orange lip tint, as I don’t wear makeup on my day off. I finished my look by making my hair into a simple ponytail. I then put my eyeglasses back and wore my white Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.

“Now, this feels comfortable!” I exclaimed while stomping my feet as I felt my sneakers’ soft cushion inside them.

I heard a Kakao Talk message notification sound as I put my sling bag on me. It was Kayla. She just sent the list of the foods she wanted.

“Ice Cream in this cold air? Doesn’t she have this at her cafe?” I hissed to myself.

I locked my door and put the key inside my bag. When I turned around after closing my door, my eyes immediately caught the attention of a black floor mat placed in front of Unit 805.

“Well, that’s new. Is there a new owner of this unit?”

Being the curious person I am, I stepped on the floor mat and leaned my ear on the door. Oh, I think there’s no inside at the moment, though!

“Whatever! I’m going to be even more late,” I exclaimed and rushed to the elevator.

*****

Breezy air greeted me when I arrived outside the building. It wasn’t sunny or cloudy, just a perfect cold day, implying how the winter season is fast approaching. But it was kind of unusual, though. The weather forecaster reported that heavy rains would occur in a few weeks. I’d like that—I like rainy days. Reviewing and editing manuscripts during such cold days makes me feel more comfortable. And a nice cup of tea would be so helpful to be more productive, especially when deadlines are waiting for you.

I started walking on the side of the road, following my phone’s map’s direction to the place Kayla said so that I could buy our lunch. Many vehicles were already on the street. There were also people walking along the side roads.

Walking in front of me was a man in his black suit, which he probably bought from a high-end clothing store, seeing how sleek the fabric color looked. He had his phone on his ears, saying business terms I am very much not familiar with. There was also a group of teenagers wearing bright and colorful outfits and hairstyles. It seemed like they were out to record something for their school. Oh, school days.

A few minutes passed, and I arrived at Ahjumma’s Plate. A pleasant staff greeted me the moment I stepped inside. It was my first time coming to this restaurant. It’s just a tiny restaurant, but there are plenty of customers. Oh, the foods here must be so delicious. Why did Kayla never take me here before?

“Hi! Good morning,” I greeted the staff at the counter. “Two kimchi jjigae, four pancakes, and one box of mandu for take-out, please,” I denoted, observing what the surrounding from the counter’s view looked like. There were tall indoor plants placed beside the windows with lace curtains slightly blocking the sunlight coming inside the restaurant. The tables and chairs are wooden-made. Also, the other designs and furniture are old-looking but still very pleasant to the eyes.

I finished placing my order, so I sat down on the chair close to the counter itself.

I didn’t order a lot of foods like Kayla and I would usually do whenever we spent time together in a restaurant. I realized I still needed to save space in my stomach since I’ll be tasting her new recipes. I quite didn’t understand Kayla when she talked to me about this plan of her. I mean, I’m not even a chef, nor do I cook deliciously often. Now, she asked for help as if I were some food critique. I could never say no to her, though.

“Girl, have you seen the news on Twitter right now?” I heard the lady in pink near me ask the other lady with her.

“Ah! Evan Park! A new album is coming!” the other lady responded with excitement, though it sounded like she was sure.

“Yes! I am looking forward to it. His last album was so amazing it even ranked top on different charts worldwide!”

“Oh, Evan Park, the producer behind most of the popular groups currently active right now, but still manages to make breathtaking music of his own.”

“I could listen to him all day!” the lady in pink added.

“Is it true? Will he be releasing a full album this time?”

“Yes! Look, I hear it will be about 12 songs!”

The lady in pink showed her phone to the other lady.

“Whoa, I’m certain it will be yet another no-skip album!”

“Definitely! I couldn’t agree more! Oh, he’s such a great artist!”

The two ladies clapped their hands against each other, like two teenagers seeing their crushes play basketball or any sport during their school’s sports day. Phew, silly. I couldn’t even remember the last time my heart fluttered.

“Such heavenly voice he has,” one of them reckoned again. “Thank God he also shares the demo songs he produces for other groups!”

Because I was curious, I checked my Twitter for a while and noticed a trending topic with lots of engagement from different people. An article about a music producer was under the Music topic. I read some of the replies, and I could say that they were excited and happy to see the topic. I couldn’t understand the excitement, though. I had no idea what the talks were all about because I hadn’t heard of him before.

“Number 5, here’s your order. Thank you so much,” the staff informed me. I took the paper bags—which weren’t that heavy, by the way— and started walking, with my eyes still fixed on my phone, trying to read some more of the replies on the topic I saw earlier in the hopes that I could understand the trend.

“What is that excitement all about—Ah!”

Unbeknownst to me, my forehead bumped into someone’s palm. I realized I had almost hit the glass door. When I slowly looked up, I caught only a glimpse of a man’s face as the sunlight blocked my sight for a while, making it hard for me to see his face. Add to the fact that he was wearing a black face mask.

“Careful, Miss. You don’t want to hit your face on this glass door,” he said so firmly and removed his palm away from my forehead.

Although he had his mask on, I noticed that there was a little irritation in his voice when he spoke. By the way, he smelled nice. His perfume was aqua-scented.

“So clumsy of me. Thank—” I wasn’t even done talking yet, but the man immediately walked away and left me there in front of the glass door, so I quickly tried following him.

Eh? What’s with him?

“Hey! I was trying to thank you! You’re kind of rude???” I uttered loud enough for him to hear as he walked towards the counter. Looking at his posture, I could feel him smirking at me as if he disagreed with what I had just said about him.

He stopped walking, his back still facing me.

I refrained from walking as well.

“Rude for a man who saved a pretty face from getting hit on a thick glass door? Alright, you’re welcome!” he reckoned, not even looking at me, and continued walking.

Me? Pretty?

“Now is not a proper time to flirt, Mister,” I denoted.

“What?” The man scoffed and faced me. “Flirt? Did you actually think I was flirting with you or something?” He laughed.

“Weren’t you? You said I was pretty.”

“Did I?”

“Uhm, yes?”

“Sure, you are, but I wasn’t flirting with you. It was a compliment. Bye,” he reckoned and walked away.

Why was he so serious? I was only joking with him. LOL.

Oh, my day is not going to be fine. I could feel it.

March 11, 2022, 9:24 a.m. 0 Report Embed Follow story
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