The Tea Scandal: Framing Jack Choi

Chapter 2: The Wave of Chaos

”Everyones newest crush Choi Jack stole our hearts! ” read the major tabloid in the country

”Becoming a Hallyu star at 38 proves that we should never give up on our dreams ”

”Every womans ideal man ”

Jack Chois overnight success took a lot of hard work. From working as an extra in a lot of movies and shows to cheap plays his success is surely measured in blood and sweat. He worked hard to get noticed even though he was immensely talented

This success however didn sit right with a few people.

You aren doing something right in life if you don have enemies

However when the will of your enemies is larger and stronger than yours, you fall a few steps back like a cruel game of snakes and ladders. The snake sitting at the 99th block bites you and you end up on the 2nd block at the starting point. Is it a play of bitter, rotten luck? or self-fulfilling prophecies of unworthiness?

”Here is another movie offer for you my star! I can feel this is going to be a global hit, I mean look at this star director who especially requested for you! ” said a smiling Manager Kim blessed with cheeks like a teddy bear. He is Jack Chois Manager from the Agency, Sugar Entertainment

”Of course I will take it! I will go through the terms, or you can go through them. I trust you ” smiled Jack

”Yes sire ” chuckled his manager

After a couple of hours of continuous working, he stretched and yawned loudly. He reached for his mask and secured the hoodie cap, his heart thumped loudly as he exited the building. He caught his reflection in a large store window and gave a sigh of relief

”Just like an ordinary man ” he said to himself

But if anyone saw him without his ”ordinary man ” attire, they would know he is no boy-next door. Although he is great at playing that part, he radiates a kind and dreamy aura in real life too. But his bright dimples are the biggest giveaway.

He entered a nearby cafe and quickly glanced around

”Ahh too many people today ” he grumbled and stood in the line to wait making sure his hoodie cap stayed on his head securely covering his beautiful dark hair

”Did you watch The Tea Shop? ” asked a woman to her friend, standing in front of him

”Of course, isn it the best? I love Choi Jack! ” the excitement in her voice moved around the cafe

”Yep, he is every girls dream. I love that they are showing such emotional and understanding men in dramas ”

”Exactly! And he acts so beautifully, I loved him in The Prosecutor, even though he was the second lead he stole the show ”

”I don think he was acting in The Tea Shop, I think he really is such a beautiful person ”

Jacks ears and cheeks turned red as he listened to all these compliments with amusement and gratitude as he listened to all these compliments with amusement and gratitude. His heart filled with love and he wanted to thank these wonderful ladies personally. But sadly he couldn

He grabbed his coffee and left unable to to forget what he just heard. He slid the phone out of his pocket and dialed someone

”Hello Maa? How are you? ” he asked

”Maa, I finally did it! I did it, you raised a wonderful son. I am proud to be your son ” he said teary-eyed

”Everything okay my little toto? ” asked his mom

”Yes Maa, I am so happy that those sleepless nights turned into gold. I am so happy you never gave up on me. I will keep doing my best Maa ”

Tears ran down his cheeks. Tears of appreciation, gratitude and love. Someone who has been burned in the fire of shattering failures can understand the sweetness of success

”Did you read about Choi Jack? ” asked the man as he poured himself whiskey across a luxurious living room. His sharp eyes were always on guard, looking for others weaknesses and coming up with sly strategies

”Yeah so? ” asked a man reading a book lying on the sofa. Tall and bold, his strong facial features were eye-catching but his energy came off as superior and condescending

”He just replaced you in a drama ” he said sipping the drink slyly smirking

”What! But I am one of the highest paid artists in all of Korea! ” he yelled throwing away his book in anger

”He has the looks and the talent. He already has nicknames – Smile Prince, Dimple Kiss etc ”

”I don care about that, just do something about it. This should not get out of control. I cannot have these new actors take over my turf ”

”He is 38 ” said the man, who was his manager

By this time the glass bowl pleasantly decorating the table was already smashed into pieces hitting the wall

”I will look into it ” he smirked circling the drink in his hand

Sometimes, well to be honest most of the time being yourself, doing what you love and loving who you want can give rise to unnecessary enemies. That is why it takes courage to be yourself and ignites magnificent power from within

”Sir, our contract with Choi Jack will end soon ” reported the Jacks manager to the CEO

”Yeah, just make him sign the renewal ” said the CEO his tone dismissing any further discussions

”But sir.. ” said the manager feeling helpless

”What? ” asked the CEO not lifting his head from his tablet

”He wants to change his terms, he wants more incentives ” said the manager hesitantly

The CEO laughed

”We turned him into this amazing actor, we gave him such amazing projects and now he has the audacity to make demands?! ” yelled the boss

”But sir, it was both ways. He helped us become this amazing company. We weren this big without him. And honestly he didn demand anything, he wants to continue with us but he requested changes. Thats all ” the manager was very afraid to utter these words but he still found a tiny bit of courage in a lost box from within his heart

The boss just glared at him

”Just tell him that he won get any better contract than ours. We are the best he can do ” he said

The manager fell silent and looked down

”Now what? ” asked the boss irritated

”Actually, our informants from other companies.. ” said the manager

”Spill it you prick. I don have time for your dramatic pauses ” yelled the boss

”They told us he is getting much better offers from them but he hasn responded to any of them yet ” said the manager

”Hmm. So we might lose our biggest star, I see ” his brain switched into an intense thinking mode

”Alright. Tell him I will draw the new terms, till then tell him to wait till the finale of Tea Shop ” said the boss

”But the contract would end before that ” said the manager

”Thats fine. Its just a few days ” said the boss and dismissed him

When people forget who they walked hand in hand with on their path to success, the devil entices them and leads on a newer path. However, this new path may seem enticing but it always ends up giving you what you sow

”I can believe today is the final broadcast of our drama ” said Kim Ae-ri swallowing a gulp in her throat

”Oh dear, are you crying? ” asked Jack

”No no ” said Ae-ri turning away

Ae-ri and Jack had one of the most undeniable chemistries in the history of on-screen couples. She was the Dimple Princess to he Dimples Prince. But their on-screen chemistry reflected off-screen too. They were like two best friends. Since his struggle days Jack had a crush on Ae-ri because she was a wonderful actress and his feelings dived into the deep while filming. But he never crossed the line and always behaved like a professional because Ae-ri was already in a fulfilling, long term relationship

”This is a goodbye gift for you ” said Jack and handed her a box unable to look her in the eye

”Ohh, but I didn get you anything ” said Ae-ri embarrassed

”Thats okay, just open it ”

”Is that chamomile? ” she asked her eyes wide with amazement

A beautiful chamomile flower was preserved in a pendant. It looked so beautiful and soft

”I think you should have a part of your character with you even after this ends ” said Jack

”Thank you so much! I love it ” said Ae-ri hugging him. Jack held back, holding away his arms, patting her lightly once because he knew he won be able to let go if he held onto her

After personally thanking every member of their drama team Jack headed home with bittersweet feelings. More sweet than bitter but he felt sad because this drama and this team had grown close to his heart

”I wish it never ended ” he sighed lying on his sofa

His home was empty but his heart was grateful

”Uhh I am so tired, I should have drank some wine at the party ” he groaned

As sleep lurked in, his head felt heavy and the eyes were barely opened as slits. A loud ring made him jump, he grabbed his phone irritated

”Hey, don you know .. ” he yelled

”Is it true? ” said the voice on the phone

”What? ” Jack asked

”Is all this news true? Its all about you on the internet, switch on the TV, check the Entertainment News ”

”Actor Choi Jack found to be the accused Actor J in the drug scandal with ex-girlfriend ”

”Hello, are you there? ” asked the voice

”This isn true. This is all false Dong trust me ” said Jack his hands shaking

”Well, of course you will say that but lets see what is proved ” said his friend

”How can you say that! You are my best friend, we know each other since childhood. You know the truth! ” he yelled

”Get it resolved soon. Apologize. Bye ” he hung up

Was justice finally being served to Jack? Or was he deliberately dragged into this mess by the notorious and cruel entertainment industry and its controllers? Or was it just a prank by the sick antis trying to drag him down?

Copyright © X. Seol

Cover Art & Design by Magic Within Art

www.instagram.com/magicwithinart

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