Author's Note: Anyeonghaseyo~ this story contains KOREAN themes and language as well as many cultural aspects. Please enjoy~! Rated T, just in case.
Chapter 1: Dae Bak!
No one has seen as much relationship tension as I have. Actually, I make a living from other's problems—so I'm not complaining. My usual patients include couples and families that are feeling resentful or unhappy towards the other(s), often for many solvable, and sometimes, unsolvable troubles.
That afternoon, a Thursday, I had been especially busy with two stressful cases: one concerning a couple that had been engaged months ago, the other a family that had been torn apart by an affair. So when six gorgeous boys, seemingly in their early 20s, entered the lobby, I couldn't help but feel the weight of today immensely.
My best friend, Ee Kyung, who I'd graciously hired as my secretary, cheerily greeted the men, "Welcome to Dr. Kang's office. Thanks for dropping by!"
One guy stepped forward, smiling what I knew to be a wonderful fake smile. "Anyeonghaseyo."
I turned back to the hot water steamer on the counter that I had previously turned on. Listening carefully, I poured scorching water into my favorite mug.
"What can I do for you?"
"We'd like to…schedule an appointment?" The question in his voice made it apparent that he'd never done anything like this before.
"Alright. Would you prefer to start today?"
"We can squeeze you in, probably in about a half an hour or so. And there probably will be a few follow up appointments. It will probably be about a two hour initial. Is this okay?"
I stuck a peppermint tea bag into my mug, then leaned down and opened the small fridge under the counter. Pouring a splash of coconut milk into my tea, I stirred gently. Turning, I watched Ee Kyung hand clipboards full of paperwork to the boys. They each dispersed around the lobby, filling up most of the empty seats.
I carried my mug into my office and sat at my cluttered desk. Papers from previous appointments and cases were scattered across, overlapping and mixing together. I quickly set down my mug and began ordering them.
Each set of paperwork went into its specific manila folder, which then was set inside my filing bins. I picked up my scattered pens and pencils, dropping them into my small cylinder holder on my desk. I stood and straightened the chairs and pillows.
I had just collected a brand new manila folder and my favorite pen when Ee Kyung knocked and entered my office.
"Hee Nam-ah," She opened the door slowly.
"Yes?" I answered, setting down my poised pen.
She approached my desk and set a huge stack of papers down. "A walk in. Here's all the paperwork. Intercom me when you're ready."
I nodded and pulled the thick stack towards me. I quickly scanned the first set, highlighting major points such as the name and medical issues that I thought might pertain to the session. I checked for a fully completed insurance form and a signed privacy contract. I clipped the stack together and set it in the new folder.
The next set. Highlight. Insurance, check. Contract, check. Clip. Slip into the folder.
Third. Highlight. Insurance. Contract. Clip Slip.
Four. Highlight. Insurance. Contract. Clip Slip.
Five. Highlight. Insurance. Contract. Clip Slip.
Six. Highlight. Insurance. Contract. Clip Slip.
Six very different and unique people, who would be in a room together, meeting about some relationship issues.
I inhaled deeply and pushed the intercom button.
"Send them in."
"Roger~" Ee Kyun said, cutely.
In just a moment, Ee Kyung had opened the door and ushered the six boys in. I stood and we all exchanged bows.
"Anyeonghaseyo," I said calmly, trying to not let my nervousness show. "Please take a seat."
I watched the boys move around, four of them choosing the large couch and the other two sitting in separate chairs on either side. When they were all seated, I sat down in my commander chair.
It was silent. And I left it that way for a reason. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they act in a silent room. I watched as some boys eagerly nudged each other. Other's shifted their eyes, and one sat calmly, seemingly contemplating and enjoying the quiet moment.
Finally, when someone coughed, I jumped up and strode to the front of my desk.
"I hate sitting there," I stated, "I feel like a principal at a high school." A few giggles helped me loosen up. I smiled at the boys.
"Why don't we introduce ourselves?" I bowed, "Aneyonghaseyo. Kang Hee Nam-imnida. Next?"
A bond haired boy enthusiastically raised his hand. "Aneyonghaseyo,Min Kwang Ho-imnida."
The boy to his right, with straight blond bangs and the rest of his head brown, smiled genuinely and bowed his head. "Kim Dae Hyun-imnida."
Introductions continued, in order, around the room, with the honey-golden haired boy coldly stating his name without looking up. "Ah Min Ki."
The scary looking gangster boys smiled, "Suk Chul-imnida." I noticed his stylist half shaved head and I gulped.
"Anyeonghaseyo, Mun Hee-imnida." His Korean accent was strange, and he sat very delicately on the couch, his whispy hair slightly frizzy.
The ginger haired boy grinned and laughed, "Ryu Sang min-imnida."
"We are Dae Dream~" the six boys said in unison, something that was obviously rehearsed numerous times.
"Aha," I grinned from ear to ear, "A K-Pop idol group."
They nodded their heads enthusiastically. Kwang Ho laughed, nodding his head of blond hair, and explained, "We're set to debut in about a month. We just started dorming together."
Everything clicked in my mind. Exactly. A slight problem always occurred when you began to room with a new person—especially if it was more than one person. With that one comment, I had the whole appointment shaping out in my mind. I turned and walked to the other side of my desk, digging a stack of scratch paper from a drawer.
I handed the papers to Blondie, who seemed to be the most outgoing and leader-like of them all. "Can you hand these out?" As he handed out the papers, I collected a few pens with our logo on them and passed them around.
"First, I want you to draw a picture of the reason you are here."
They nodded slowly and I watched them situate themselves. Three of the boys—blondie, ginger, brownie—kneeled at the coffee table. The other three simply leaned over and wrote like that.
After I made sure they were on task, I pulled out their paperwork to make some notes.
On Kwang Ho's paper I wrote "LEADER" in big red letters. I made sure to put quiet/calm on Mun Hee's and Min Ki's papers just to remember that they make might not feel as comfortable as the others when speaking out loud and taking about themselves.
As I looked over the boys, I noticed their beautiful skin and hair. They obviously hadn't prepared for this appointment—not like they would be in public at least. Most of them wore minimal make up and many wore sweats and t-shirts. Suk Chul, in his leather jacket, looked up at me.
I gulped and met his smiled vibrantly and I found myself smiling back.
"You're reading us right now, aren't you?" He laughed.
"Of course." I laughed too and felt giddy when the chorus of boy laughter erupted from the room.
"I'm done," Kwang Ho sang.
"Me too~" the other's chorused. I noticed that little Mun Hee hadn't said anything.
"Let's wait a few more minutes. I still have some stuff to write down." I saw his lovely blue eyes look and meet mine. He looked grateful.
I continued to watch the boys as many of them began whispering and nudging each other, laughing, and all together slowly getting rowdy.
"Ready?" I asked.
"Yes!" They answered.
"Suk Chul-ssi? Would you like to start?"
"Sure~" He held up his paper. I leaned in, and so did five other boys.
On the paper was six stick figures, one was in a kitchen, two were laughing in another room on the floor, another seemed to be cleaning up a mess that one of was still in the midst of making, and the last was reading on the couch. Kwang Ho and Sang Min burst out laughing, which clutching each other and their guts, and pointed at the two on the floor.
"We're here because we each have different ideas on how to live," Suk Chul summed up.
I nodded, "Why doesn't every one set their pictures on the coffee table and we can just take a quick glance." All the boys flipped their papers over, set them on the table, and stared intently. Sang Min and Kwang Ho were still chuckling and pointing at parts of pictures.
"So, now we're going to discuss how to fix this problem."