“Find a pianist now. Your mom isn’t your exclusive pianist or anything like that.”
“You think I perform with mom because I want to? Try being with her 24 hours a day. I’m going to go crazy because of all of her nagging.”
Jina held Amelia’s hand and trembled.
“What? Nagging? Bring a proper boyfriend, see if I nag. You don’t remember that idiot you brought 2 months ago? The world’s best pianist? That’s laughable. You only date guys like that moron who saw your dad and couldn’t do anything, so how could I not nag?”
“Again… again. What guy in the world is good in front of dad? Oh, right. There are the natives living in the Amazon jungle. They’ve never heard dad’s music and they don’t know who he is.”
The mother daughter pair walking toward a helicopter kept arguing, but they did not let go of each other’s hands.
Two years ago, Jun Hyuk announced his retirement immediately after the 1st performance of <Song of God>. It was a declaration of complete retirement that he would not release albums, perform, or compose any longer.
However, Jun Hyuk’s declaration of retirement also made Jina’s performance impossible. The best pianists of the time lined up to perform with Jina, but no one could play the song all the way through.
The pianist who played longest was unable to go over 30 minutes. It is because they were unable to control their emotions to continue playing.
The only person other than Jun Hyuk who could play the song all the way through was the dominator of the piano, the piano queen, Amelia.
It also helped that she had listened to Jina’s voice for a long time and they practiced together after canceling their performance schedule.
Jina wanted to perform in front of an audience and there was no alternative to Amelia.
Jina, who performed as many as 20 times a month, needed to listen to her mother’s nagging all the time.
Until now, Jun Hyuk had followed Jina and Amelia around to their performances. He felt with his entire body what difficult work it had been for someone to be by his side at all times, taking care of him. The 2 women laid out their demanding requests endlessly, and Jun Hyuk had a harder time handling all of that than he did with his performances.
He had not decided to stop following them around because of this though. It had been a happy time to take care of the women he loves.
But the attention went to Jun Hyuk rather than the concerts, and the obsession of the persistent press and fans in particular made it difficult on their private lives and their performances.
There had been a time when they spent an entire day locked up inside of their hotel because the hotel had been encircled by the press and fans.
The way to resolve all of this discomfort was for Jun Hyuk not to go on tour with them, and Jun Hyuk did not stay stubborn either. And today is the first day that the 2 women are going on their own.
Jun Hyuk watched until the helicopter disappeared before going home. The mother and daughter pair would not come back until 3 months later. He needs to spend that time alone until then.
Jun Hyuk sat blankly in a completely empty house, and then picked up the phone.
“Huh? Son, what is it?”
“Amelia and Jina left for their performances today. It’s a 3-month tour.”
“Really? Then you’ll have to be alone.”
“Hey, let’s hang up. I’m busy.”
“No… So I’m telling you to come over. Why don’t you stay with me?”
“I can’t. I told you I’m busy.”
Yoon Kwang Hun’s annoyed voice grew louder over the phone.
“What are you so busy with?”
“I’m at a fundraising party with the winners of Miss Universe! I don’t have time to play with you. There’s not even enough time to take pictures with all of these pretty women. Hang up.”
“Hang on. You can come once the party’s over.”
Jun Hyuk rushed to speak, but all he got was a cold response.
“Ugh, you’re being such a bother. I’m going to keep doing fundraising events with these beautiful women. All around the world for a whole 6 months. Am I crazy to spend that time with you? I’m hanging up.”
There was only the hang up dial over the phone. Yoon Kwang Hun completely filled the empty space Isaac Stern had left behind. He worked hard on JS Foundation, Stern Corporation, their affiliated companies, and the record label, and brought more power to them than they had before.
The problem was that his behavior was becoming more like Isaac Stern’s as well. He had become lascivious and sly old man.
“Miss Universe… Geez.”
Jun Hyuk laughed in disbelief. The fact was that he would not see Yoon Kwang Hun for the next 6 months.
Jun Hyuk picked up the phone again.
“Goodness, Jun. What’s up? It’s been so long.”
“Um… Amelia and Jina left for their tour. So…”
“Oh, you said you’re not going with them anymore, right?”
“Yeah. Do you want to get dinner or something? With your husband.”
Tara handed in her resignation when Jun Hyuk announced his retirement. If she can no longer see the miraculous events she had seen with Jun Hyuk, working was meaningless.
And she lived her own life instead of as Jun Hyuk’s shadow. She fell in love, married, and lived comfortably with a tremendous bonus.
“Oh no! I’m on vacation with my husband. We’re in Bali right now.”
“Oh, really? It’s okay. Have a fun time.”
Jun Hyuk quickly hung up the phone and called a few people he knew. But his friends are all busy people.
Colin was in the middle of his South American tour, and Danny was working on an album in Europe.
He is the only retired person without a job.
Jun Hyuk went into his room and laid down on the bed. He decided to sleep for a bit and then decide on what to do.
Jun Hyuk had been laying on the bed for about 30 minutes when he bolted up.
This strange feeling. This empty feeling. What could this be?
Jun Hyuk focused on this feeling for a while and then thought of a word he had never considered before.
It is boredom.
A feeling he had never experienced until now. Boredom.
It has been a long time since the endless music in his mind topped. Since he wrote <Song of God>, music no longer pops up in his mind without external stimulus. He became a dried up lake whose ground always shows if it does not rain.
This boredom that feels as though his whole body is completely empty.
He sat up in bed and his eyes sparkled.
‘Boredom? Emptiness? Tediousness?’
Jun Hyuk went to his home studio for the first time in 2 years.
He wiped the dust off of the desk, pulled out the chair, and sat down.
He opened the drawer, took out a single page of sheet music, and picked up a pen.
And he began to look at the blank sheet.