"Who is your celebrity crush?" The host is quite close to me, her eyes wide open.
I'm a celebrity myself. Just recently broke up with my boyfriend of two years. We were together before I even debuted. Ever since we announced our split months ago, I am constantly asked questions like this. Every time I'm asked these kind of questions, I flush.
This talk show I am on is famous for surprising its guests. I am shy to give my answer. What if they send this off to my crush, and they force him to make a response video? What if the response is negative, and he wants nothing to do with me? He is known to be straightforward whenever the conversation is about women. Personally, I always feel he is uninterested in relationships.
Looking down at the floor, I give a small smile. "I'm not sure how familiar people are with K-Pop. There is a group—a Korean boy group—named BTS. They just recently won an award here in the United States. Anyway, there is one member that always makes me blush just by seeing his smile—it's insane! We're close in age, conveniently enough. His name is Jungkook."
The audience goes crazy and the host has a wide smile on her face. "Have you ever met him, or made your feelings known to him? Have you met any of the members?"
I shake my head. "I wouldn't even know what to do if I ever met BTS. This is actually the first time I've ever mentioned my feelings about him."
"We need to get you and those members together! It would make a great episode! After all, we do love surprising our guests here!" Her smile is mischievous.
I immediately cover my face and shake my head.
The interview finally ends and I walk off the stage with the cheers of the audience. I enter the greenroom. My manager, Martin, is waiting for me on the couch. He smiles and finally put down the phone he seems glued to.
"She made a good point out there," he says. "It would be amazing television to get you to meet BTS, or even just one of the members. It would be a great way to expand into South Korea and vice versa. It'd benefit all parties involved."
I shake my head. "No. I would love to meet them, but I don't want to force it or make it a power move. Besides, I have a huge crush on one of the members. My love life shouldn't be a publicity stunt."
He rolls his eyes and is on his phone again with a mischievous look in his eyes. I am genuinely frightened.
Later that night, I am scrolling through my social media. Many members of BTS's fan group, ARMY, are posting videos of my confession to liking Jungkook. Many people have even edited videos together to make it seem like I confessed my feelings to Jungkook and he accepts. Many fanfictions are starting to appear as well. I blush just remembering the awkward interview. I am liking all the posts, but I am dying.
I decide it's finally enough embarrassment and put my phone on the charger, making sure my volume is off so I am not tempted to check it if I receive any messages. I curl up under my blanket and fall asleep as I try to forget the interview.
"Jess." My name is drawn out and said in a high pitch. She's trying to be cute. She's actually very annoying.
Her name is Stephanie. I call her Steph for short. We have been friends for years—since elementary school. However, we have only been living together for a few weeks. When my two year relationship ended, Steph was the first person I told. She was supportive and took me on many adventures to get my mind off the breakup.
I blink open my eyes. Slowly but surely, the blury vision I had finally goes away and I can see Steph sitting at the end of the bed with a huge smile on her face. I already knew what she wanted to talk about. She was a huge BTS fan.
"Jess," She exclaims again.
I give her a small smile. "Yes, Steph?"
She pulls my hand, making me sit up. "You confessed your feelings about Jungkook on that show! You know the popularity of that show! It's recognized internationally, Jess! What if the boys see it? What if he says he feels the same way?"
I shake my head as I stand from my bed. "They won't. Even if they did, I doubt they would even acknowledge what I said. Also, I doubt Jungkook will feel the same way. Look at him and look at me."
She looks me up and down. I am in small shorts and a tank top. My hair is up in a ponytail, but many strands of hair are loose from the hairtie.
"Maybe you're right," she whispers.
We laugh as I tackle her on the bed. As our laughs subside, I can hear my phone vibrating on the bedside table I left it on last night. I pick it up and check the caller ID. I sigh and answer reluctantly.
"This is Jess," I say angrily.
"This is your manager. How'd you sleep? Did I wake you?"
"I know, fine, no."
"I'm gonna need you to get ready. You have a busy day ahead of you. Once you're ready to go, check your social media. You've put yourself in a very good position. Maybe you won't need me anymore. Be quick! The car will be there in an hour!"
Before I can ask any questions, Martin hangs up the phone. I roll my eyes and put my phone back on the table.
"What's up?" Steph asks.
"Work. I have to leave in an hour. It's weird, though. I don't remember having anything scheduled for today. He also told me to check my social media. He never tells me that if I need to be ready quickly. He also said I put myself in a good position."
"After the stunt you pulled last night, you probably have a lot of overseas PR work now. The entire team has wanted to expand your popularity for years and you did it overnight. ARMYs are probably in an online frenzy."
I shrug. "Whatever it is, I need to get ready. I'll see you tonight?"
Steph laughs and gets comfortable in my bed. "If you come home tonight, yeah, I'll see you. I think you're gonna have your hands full today, Jess."
I smile and head for the shower.
Of course I'm being rushed. My shower ran too long and now the team and I are running late. We are at the airport and running to our gate. I still haven't seen Martin, but the team assures me he got a seat on the plane next to mine, so we will have plenty of time to talk. Every time I ask where we are traveling to, I get told Martin will explain. I guess I won't see Steph tonight. I send her a quick text to let her know of all the chaos going on. We finally arrive at the gate and enter the plane. We are all out of breath.
I spot Martin sitting comfortably in his seat. I make my way to him. I still have so many questions. When I sit down, I right away begin asking all the questions I have.
"Martin, why are we traveling to Seoul?"
He chuckles and pulls out his phone. "You didn't check your social media this morning, did you? I thought that was why you were running late, Jess." He scrolls through his phone with a smirk on his face. Finally, he hands me his phone. Something extremely rare.
I grab his phone and read the social media post he has stopped on. It's on BTS's Twitter. Of course the post is in Korean—a language I do not understand. I look to Martin angrily. "You know I can't read Korean. What does it say?"
He smiles and takes his phone back. After scrolling some more, he hands the phone back to me. "I'm surprised Steph didn't tell you about this."
I am now looking at a video from the show I was on just yesterday. I hit play.
"Hello, world!" The woman who interviewed me is on the screen. "Just yesterday, we finally got a confession from the usually very private Jessie Mari. After months of being single, it seems she is ready to step back into a relationship—but only if it's with one special person. His name is Jungkook!" She goes on to explain who BTS is and the success they've had. After all that, she says, "It seems BTS caught news of this! Look what they said on Twitter shortly after Jess's confession!"
The screen suddenly shows the same post Martin showed me earlier.
"For our viewers who can't read Korean, allow me to translate! The post reads: 'Jessie, we would love to meet you! Our Jungkookie is also a huge fan of yours—you're the reason he's been practicing English. However, he isn't your only fan. We hope to see you soon!' Well viewers, tune in tomorrow! Maybe they will meet…soon."
The video is now over and all I can do is stare at the screen. Whatever I got myself into, I'm suddenly very scared and nervous. This is why we're headed to Seoul. I consider running off the plane, but we took off while I was watching the video. I was in so much shock, I never noticed. I finally turn to Martin.
"Am I meeting BTS tomorrow? I told you I wasn't interested in doing something like this. I want to meet them on my own terms, I don't want my love life displayed to everyone like this."
"What do you have to lose, Jess? Jungkook is your dream guy! What if you guys hit it off and get along? What if a relationship develops between you two? Anyways, if Jungkook isn't interested, you have six other guys to pick from. Stop focusing on all the negatives and start looking at some of the positives!"
I shake my head and lean back into my seat, completely exhausted. "Whatever, I give up. You're insane."
He laughs and hands me my earbuds. "You'll thank me in a few hours, Jess. Don't think about it too much."