The Best of Tomorrow – Chapter 1

‘Oh, crap. I’m late!’

As soon as I entered the house, I rushed into my room and turned on the radio. When I adjusted the frequency, for a moment, there was only the sound of static. But shortly afterwards, the sound of laughter could be heard. With my ears glued to the sound, I took off my coat and sat down.

– Oh, Seon-jae also joined the company with In-hyuk. Seon-jae, what was the most challenging moment for you as a trainee?

I yanked off my socks and quickly turned up the volume of the radio just in time to hear Seon-jae’s voice.

– Ah…  I….um…

Seon-jae hesitated as if he couldn’t quite recall the memory, but soon Baek In-hyuk’s voice intervened.

– You should tell them about the time you had to walk across Gamgam Bridge.

– Oh, right! That’s the day I lost my wallet. After practice ended that morning, I opened my bag and noticed my wallet was missing. Even after searching everywhere, my wallet was nowhere to be found. I had no way of getting home because I didn’t have any cash on hand, and I couldn’t call home as it was too early for anyone to be awake. So, I had no other choice but to walk. It took me 2 hours to walk from the company to my home. It took longer than I expected. I must have been very unlucky that day because on my way home, my phone died, so I couldn’t even listen to music. Unfortunately, it was winter at the time, and I was only wearing slippers on my feet, so my toes froze. 

Everyone burst into laughter when they heard his toes were frozen.

– As I crossed the Gamgam Bridge, I noticed the lights from the buildings reflecting on the Han River. For some reason, the scene made me feel sad and lonely.

– Seon-jae probably cried that day!

– No, I didn’t shed a single tear!

– Were you crying on the inside then?

Baek In-hyuk and other members playfully laughed at the questions directed at Seon-jae. Everyone was laughing, but I felt a little sad because I couldn’t hear Seon-jae’s laughter. It was a pity that I couldn’t see Seon-jae’s face since it was just a radio interview, but on the other hand, I felt fortunate that I couldn’t see his sad expression.

It has already been two years since Seon-jae joined Potato Pancakes, however, fans still hated him. They would leave hate comments on various sites with Twitter accounts that were dedicated to harassing Seon-jae.

Seon-jae couldn’t help but notice that some fans were not happy about him joining the group and even cursed him for it. Some fans even loudly shouted, ‘Ryu Seon-jae, get out!’, ‘Ryu Seon-jae leave!’ and other offensive words during public broadcasts and fan signing events.

Seon-jae, who always worked hard while wearing a bright smile, looked very exhausted lately. Sub-accounts, who claimed themselves to be ‘Potato Combat Machines’ wrote speculative articles and comments about Seon-jae’s recent expression and how he might be excluded from the next album due to it.

[I love you Seon-jae, you’re beautiful!]

I left a comment on Potato Pancakes’ Instagram account, where Seon-jae’s picture was posted. Of course, I used my second account. A private account that has no followers and only followed Potato Pancakes’ official Instagram.

I “Liked” the photo of Seon-jae. I wanted him to know that there were many people out there who like him.


* * * * * * *


Early the next morning, I was awakened by a series of annoying vibrations. I opened my eyes and frowned as my hand fumbled around in search of my cell phone. After locating it, I checked to see the cause of the constant vibrations. There were numerous notifications from a group chat.

[Oh my!]

[Oh my god!]

[What the…]

[Is it true?!]

[Did you read the article?]

[OMG. What’s going on?]

I didn’t know what was going on, but I was anxious. I quickly closed the message window and went on the Internet.

[Breaking News! Ryu Seon-jae, a member of the idol group “Potato Pancakes”, has been found dead!]

[Ryu Seon-jae, a member of the idol group “Potato Pancakes,” has died of a drug overdose due to a severe drug addiction. His body was discovered on the early morning of the 30th.]

Earlier, a media outlet reported that Ryu Seon-jae was found unconscious at a hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul around 6:30 a.m. on the 30th. He was taken to a hospital but was later confirmed dead.

[Breaking News! Ryu Seon-jae’s agency releases an official statement, declaring all rumors that state Ryu Seon-jae died of a drug overdose are ‘groundless rumors’.]

Actually, Ryu Seon-jae suffered from insomnia and had been prescribed sleeping pills for a long time. However, the agency called the rumors “groundless” in response to a speculative article that presumed his death to be a drug overdose.

On the night of the 28th, during Baek In-hyuk’s V Live stream, a member of his team stated, ‘Seon-jae is sick from a cold’ Which spurred rumors of a possible drug overdose from a mixture of cold medicine and his sleeping pills.

My heart was pounding, and my hands were shaking. I sat up in my bed and searched the three letters for “Ryu Seon-jae” on a portal site. My chest tightened and tears sprang forward after seeing the ridiculous articles pouring in under the guise of being Breaking News.

Tears fell on the phone screen, blurring my vision. Without even bothering to wipe away the tears streaming down my face with the back of my hand, I pressed the dislike button and commented on every spiteful post about Seon-jae… Bastards! When has Seon-jae ever caused any trouble? What did he do wrong?

Feeling the world collapsing around me, I wrote a lot of abusive comments under the nasty and inhumane posts about Seon-jae. Eventually, I was blocked by Twitter’s admins and kicked out of the fan cafe.

Why are you blocking me?! A person died! How is this okay?! I stared at Seon-jae’s poster on the wall, thinking about how my entire world had turned upside down. Tears continued to flow without any sign of stopping, so I wondered if I would soon run out of tears.


Gazing at a photo of Seon-jae lying in a reed-covered forest with his eyes closed, I buried my face into my pillow and cried loudly while lying on my bed.


* * * * * * *


The agency’s official announcement revealed the cause of Seon-jae’s death. He died from an accidental overdose after consuming a mixture of cold medicine and sleeping pills. An article written by a reporter was more detailed than the agency’s announcement. It was written like a novel, as if the reporter had personally witnessed Seon-jae’s death.

‘Ryu Seon-jae, who was suffering from a lack of energy due to a cold, felt drowsy while eating dinner and went to his hotel room. As soon as he arrived at his hotel room, he took a shower. Because he disliked the texture of hotel bathrobes, he put on an oversize hoodie and shorts. He then drank the cold medicine that he bought from the pharmacy earlier and immediately consumed five sleeping pills to help him fall asleep. These are the last moments of the 23-year-old Ryu Seon-jae.’

In the comment section of the article, criticisms such as, ‘Did you see all of this yourself, Mr. Reporter?’ were flooding in. There were also some sarcastic and mocking comments about Seon-jae’s dislike for bath robes. All of Seon-jae fans knew that Seon-jae didn’t wear hotel bath robes. This is because he often mentioned during his V Live streams that his skin was sensitive, and he would often break out in hives.

– This is City Hall Station. Please exit through the doors on your left. Passengers with the destination of Cheonan or Soyosan to Incheon, please transfer to Line 1 at this station.

I covered her face with a muffler and lowered her head. My shoulders trembled as tears continued to stream down my face. I shoved my cell phone into my pocket, regretting the time I spent reading an article about Seon-jae on the subway. (TL: Muffler=Scarf)

After a night of crying non-stop, my eyes were red and puffy. With tears spilling down my cheeks, dampening my muffler, I closed my eyes tightly, overwhelmed by the sadness within my heart.



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