She honestly has no idea why she frequents this bar. The drinks are okay at best, the regulars were sleazeballs who constantly hit on her, and their open mic nights could easily drive anyone to the brink of insanity. Then again, this was the closest place that had not been affect by smoking laws. She was certain that as soon as they completely banned smoking indoors, her visits would become far less frequent. But, there were some perks to this place. Like the bartender who could pull some nice conversations or the other who always gave her a free drink or two.
One thing she enjoyed doing was people watching. There was always a small handful for eye candy purposes, like the chick a few seats down and the guy next to her, Then there were the people who were drunk off their rockers. Also fun to watch when they were about to do some stupid things, especially if the designated driver was doing their best to stop them. The regular drinkers and people who already knocked out from consuming way too much alcohol weren’t exactly all that entertaining.
The man to her right caught her eye, even if he seemed to fit the latter, more uneventful pool of patrons. She swore she knew him from somewhere, possibly STC since this wasn’t that far from the company building. Yin could easily remember people as long as they worked with her at least once, or you were a subject to her hazing. Thus he had to be a newbie or had less than a year under his belt. It dawns upon her a minute later. Abel.. something. There was definitely another syllable in there. Best to check. She reaches over a gives him a light poke on his side. “Abel, right?”
He has his fingers loosely coiled around a glass of Bourbon, nearly untouched—the ice cubes having melted already. A chilled layer of condensation coats the glass as well as his palm, but he barely notices. He doesn’t quite have the energy to bring the beverage to his lips and admittedly, he knows it’s not going to end well if he does. For now, he’ll simply hold it. Provide it with some sense of false hope.
The counter top might actually be a good spot for a nap, he thinks. Or maybe, half-thinks as he’s already letting his consciousness slip away into a state of slumber. The previously gut-wrenching sound of the stranger with the mic has faded into white noise and it’s actually become oddly relaxing. Yeah, he’s completely relaxed and on the brink of sleep—until a finger prods at his side, that is.
It has his body flinching, shifting away a fraction. Thank god he didn’t knock his drink over (the counter’s sticky enough) or even fall off his stool (he doesn’t need attention drawn to him). He keeps his gaze trained upon the empty space before him as he raises his glass to pay the French Bourbon Dynasty his respects. It hurts his throat. Mid-swig, fatigue ridden eyes wander to his left and from beneath his messy nest of hair, his eyebrows raise. The female’s bloody gorgeous. This, of course, has him sitting up straight, maybe trying to look a little less dead.
“…That’s right—” His voice falters—cracks. He hasn’t spoken in a while. To fix that, he’ll clear his throat. “Abelard Richter.” Now he’s just testing her, seeing if she’ll repeat it just like that. It’s always interesting to see how non-English speakers pronounce his name.
”You’re…” Shades of amber narrow, calloused thumb idly traces the rim of his glass. ”…’m sorry, I can’t seem to recall where I’ve seen your face before.”
"I’m Jiyong, from Z.diac," he chuckled softly. "You’re kinda new to STC right?"
”L—eo, right?” He’s fairly confident with that guess. ‘Guy looks like he’d be a leo.
”Sort of, yeah, well—compared to a lot of people here. My band was signed in early January of this year and I still don’t know anybody. It’s my own fault. I’m terrible.” He’ll shake his head now, traces of a smile still strewn across chapped lips.
Jimin doesn’t mean to linger—doesn’t mean to slim his eyes into a stare and just stand there, gawking—but, this guy has a really nice guitar. Really nice; much better than his old Stella Harmony that hasn’t seen any good days for probably quite a few years now. (It’s ancient—used to be his dad’s before the man passed it onto his elder brother, who left it in pretty bad shape.) (But Jimin is too attached to the thing to ever even think about giving the instrument up.) And, the boy can’t help but to notice that this guy has pretty nice fingers—long, bony ones that almost seem crafted just for playing guitar.
Which irritates him, just a bit. Jimin has little fingers.
Now, he’s generally not the type to go out of his way and engage in conversation. No, he’s much too soft-spoken—and admittedly, skeleton-quaveringly shy. However, he found himself not able to ignore this little craving of conversation. “Hey,” he says, his eyes still trained onto the other’s guitar—his own fingers are curled into his guitar case. Which is more than half his size, gawkily hanging onto his back.
With confidence he wasn’t aware he possessed, Jimin steals a seat on the same exact sofa as the other—but can it really be considered stealing? After all, this man doesn’t own the couch.
Clearing his throat (the only real sign that he’s feeling just a tad bit out of place, like the single lock of inky hair peeking out from underneath his hat), he curls his legs up, twisting them crisscross-apple-sauce style. “So, what are you playing?” He lets his chin rest in a palm, letting the elbow dig into his thigh.
Focus adhered to the unique tone of the stranger’s voice. Curiosity quick to ignite dim eyes. A subtle flick of his head and curly, tangled bangs cease (and desist) their job of swallowing him with their shadows. Now that he’s openly soaking up the presence of the stranger, they can maybe see the array of freckles littering the bridge of the orphan’s nose. According to that guitar case in their grasp, he’s discovered yet another guitarist at the company. Neat.
This kid looks fairly young. He hasn’t seen him around before. Must be a trainee.
—Who am I kidding? Abel hardly recognizes anyone in their company aside from his band mates. He’s generally too distracted by the little things around him—be it a potted ivy on the window sill in the office or the peculiar texture of the hand soap in the men’s room. What a boob.
”It’s—incredibly out of tune, I know.” He murmurs with that awkwardly hoarse voice of his. He’ll then make an attempt to solve this issue by carefully tweaking the pegs with rough thumbs, giving each corresponding string a test strum. But tuning a guitar isn’t the easiest thing to do without a tuner, so he’ll leave it be until he gets home. Whenever that is.
Then he’ll scooch over because it looks like he’s going to have some company for the evening and, in perfect English (though it does have some sort of weird accent attached to it—no one knows where that came from), he’ll answer with the song title.
”Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. ‘Ever heard of it? It’s’a classic.” A pause for him to laugh a shoulder-shaking laugh, eyes forming wrinkles. Laughter adds about ten years to his face. What a shame. ”Or maybe my awful singing ruined it. Sorry.”
Guitar-boy sits with his legs all folded up neatly next to him. Sure is tiny! If Abel tried that, his knobby knees would take up the whole sofa.
——Oh. Yes, he’d forgotten about the social norms within the company. When you see someone you haven’t yet talked to, it’s not unusual to make yourself known. Abel doesn’t do that, though. He’s more of a don’t speak unless spoken to sorta character. Even so, he’ll offer the shorter male a smile of his own, hand raising to flick messy, curly bangs out of his eyes.
”Hi, yeah. It’s Abel. You’re—hm.” A beat for him to cock his head to the side. Maybe suck his teeth a little.
“I’ve seen your face before but I can’t seem t’ put a name to it. Mind helping me out? I apologize.”
If he’d known it was going to rain, he wouldn’t have chosen today to walk home. The setting sun accompanied by rain clouds bathes the sky in sullen shades of deep purple, orange, and yellow. It’s pretty. Fascinating, even. It’s rare to see the weather like this. Reminds him of that one song by Creedence Clearwater Revival—a group from the late sixties. Abel’s kind of music. Come to think of it, he can’t even name one other song by them.
He’s sitting by himself in the lobby, his bony form sunken right into one of the sofas. Calloused fingers pick idly at strings on his guitar as he watches water droplets race to the bottom of the window pane through amber-flecked hues. He feels like singing. He’ll maybe just mumble a few lines of a song while he strums because his voice is pretty terrible. From all the smoking, I mean. Hell, from all sorts of different toxins tearing down his throat. It’s not even just his singing—his speaking voice has been weakened since he’d started aggressively drinking. He’s one tragic, pitiful mess of a boy.
And he’ll continue on with this half-hearted singing of his until he’s met with the presence of a stranger. His voice’ll fade out. Pretend like he wasn’t singing just then.
It’s so ridiculously hot out and he may or may not have previously sucked the life from a joint twenty-minutes prior. Unruly curls of brown stick to the back of the boy’s neck with the assistance of sweat, and the stretched-out collar of his t-shirt hangs loose around his neck. The two are sitting on the floor with their backs up against the old leather sofa in his apartment. He’d made an attempt to get some air flowing in the room earlier, but ended up terribly fascinated by the way the window screeching somewhat resembled the bray of a donkey. Stood by the window for at least a minute.
But the wind ended up being humid so he’d decided the fan would be their best bet. The air conditioning’s down for maintenance. Of course he tried communicating with her through “alien-speak”, which was him simply talking into the osculating fan. Oh, he has too much fun when he’s high.
He’s settled down a little now, more intrigued by the paranormal-esque stories spewing from her lips with enthusiasm. She’s telling him things she probably wouldn’t if it weren’t for his intoxicated state. If it weren’t for her intoxicated state. Wait—he can’t even remember if she’d gotten high or not. This doesn’t seem to trouble him too much.
”So——you’re saying, you’re not a vampire, but—something else, right?”
Photoshoots are definitely out of Abel’s comfort zone, but he’s not going to complain about it. He’d never. He never complains about anything. Instead, he’ll simply follow the orders of stylists and put on whatever’s provided. Most of the clothing he’d most likely never wear. It’s all—name brand, top of the line, designer mumbo-jumbo that he has absolutely no interest in. He’s more of a too-small jeans, un-matching socks, and worn-out chucks kind of guy. Nonetheless, he’s praised for how well these expensive clothes compliment his tall, lean physique.
Almost every member of the company’s here. They were told today was supposed to be some sort of “family” photoshoot with an after party. There’s solo shots, group shots, couple shots, and the orphan was lucky enough (to put it mildly) to snag the latter. Something similar to anxiety’s pumping through his blood stream as a woman primps his bangs. She tells him they’re hard to style because they’re so long, but she’d hate to cut them. Says something about how his hair is too lovely to cut. Oh, he’d love to flirt along with her but too much’s on his mind. He’ll offer a coy smile, though—corners of his peach-tinted (they had to somehow mask how chapped they were) lips raising.
God, he has no idea how to pose for photos individually, let alone pose with another person.
And that person happens to go by the name of Ariel. Unfortunately, and despite the rapid growth of her fame in the industry, he’s never heard of her. But she’s walking towards him, all done up in matching attire. Awfully pretty.
He doesn’t really eat a lot. He’d much rather treat himself to a drink of the alcoholic variety or even a drag on the ol’ cancer stick. A joint if he’s feeling scandalous. But his mother’s noticed how skinny he’s been getting and she’s worried about his health. Says he needs more meat on his bones. If only the poor woman had a clue.
So here he is, his bony ass perched upon one of the leather booth-seats of his company’s cafeteria. He’s weaving his chopsticks between pasta noodles—a German dish made by his mother—watching them slither between narrow gaps and settle back into the container. More importantly, he’s watching how his hands shake as he does it. It’s subtle—maybe only noticeable if you lean in real close, perhaps narrow your eyes a lil’ bit. It’s usually worse than this, but the orphan’s trying his best to keep his jitters under control. He dislikes being asked about it by strangers. I’m an addict going through withdrawals is never a good first impression.
The place is nearly empty. Most of his label-mates are busy with schedules at this hour and luckily for him, Toy Train doesn’t have schedules to attend. Being an indie group, they’re pretty free-spirited, boundless—which he prefers. His heart aches for the trainees who have to take on dance practice, vocal practice, acting, and languages all in one day. And a lot of them do.
That’s it—he can’t eat this. There’s a boy at the end of his table. He’ll ask him if he wants his food. Tell him that he hasn’t touched it.