My Playdate with V: Chapter 3

Warning & Disclaimer: Contains mentions of child neglect. This fanfiction draws from real people, places, and events however its connections are purely the work of the author’s imagination. Talayiah is an original character and is completely fictional, although some aspects are based on true stories.

For previous chapters, you can read it here: Chapter 1Chapter 2

My Playdate with V

by J.H. Pyo

CHAPTER 3: BABYSITTER G

We dropped the boys off on the corner of Ocean and Pine. In order to make plans for the day, I was given the knowledge that the boys will be meeting Mr. Warren G, but was under strict instructions not to let them know. Since Talayiah was only 6, I didn’t feel the need to go into details about who Mr. G was so I just gave her simple instructions about staying out of the camera’s view. I told her she will be sitting in the front seat with Carlos while I sat in the back with the boys to translate. She nodded in understanding.

We stood a few feet away from the boys while they filmed their meet up. Mr. Warren G drove up in a white SUV limousine and the boys were surprised when he greeted them. Soon after, we all packed into the limo and headed for VIP Records.

The filming at VIP went by pretty fast. We were able to find Talayiah a corner where she was able to stay pretty well hidden. V of course was a constantly distracted. I think the mere sight of her made his heart break but whenever she looked at him he’d immediately bring a smile to his face and do something silly to make her laugh.

While they were filming Warren G had bought the boys Long Beach caps so when we were wrapping up, Taehyung wanted to buy Talayiah one too. As he was picking out a hat, I went to check on Talayiah. Yoongi was standing above her and noticed she was asleep. “잠을 충분히 잘 못 자서 그런가보네 (Probably from lack of proper sleep,)” he mumbled while shaking his head in anger. I am not sure exactly how to describe Yoongi’s relationship with Talayiah. He had this strange push and pull type of emotion towards her. It was as if he was really angry for what had happened to her and wanted to save her, but he was also hesitant and avoided her. I had asked him to carry her to the car but instead of picking her up himself, he called out to Kookie, “국아, 얘 잠들었어.  차로 데리고 가. (Kooka, take her to the car. She’s fallen asleep.)”

Although Kookie was still a baby himself, he stepped up and acted like a proper 오빠 (Big Brother). He gently put one arm under her head and one under her knees, lifting her like a feather. I think he has always been a strong boy. Even now the boys share their fears of being punched by him.    

Our next stop was 21st and Lewis. Although Kookie’s gentleness did not wake Talayiah, the drive did. It was just too cramped in the front seat for her to have properly rested. Mr. G was kind. He suggested that Talayiah sit in the back so she could lie down and sleep. I told her I would be busy translating while the boys filmed so she would have to stay back with the limo driver and just rest. At that moment Jin climbed into the limo with a bag full of snacks he had packed for her. She jump at the sight of it and gladly took it.

다음에 더 많이 사줄게, 알았지? (Slowly, I will buy you a lot more later, ok?)” said Jin as he patted her on the head.

Since Talayiah seemed pretty content there with all the food, V felt more reassured to leave her there. As we headed down the street, Jimin had counted heads and called out, “남준이 형 어디있어? (Where’s Namjoon hyung?)” I look back and saw Namjoon closing the trunk of the film crew’s van. He had jogged back into the limo. I told the others to go ahead, “제가 남준씨 찾아서 따라갈게요. (I’ll get Namjoon and catch up.)” I walked back to the limo and poked my head in and saw the sweetest thing. Namjoon was sitting in the back of the limo with Talayiah snuggled up close. He was giving her a children’s book to look at.

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For those of you who might not know, Namjoon loves to read. He must have had books growing out of him because I could not figure out for the life of me how he managed to get a hold of much less carry around a children’s book for Talayiah to read! I could not get myself to interrupt them though. I waited by the door. He noticed I was sitting at the edge and gestured to me that he will be right out.

Once Namjoon came out, we went to rejoin the rest of the group. As we walked, I asked, “이 애들 보는 책들은 어디서 났어요? (Where did you get the kids book from?)”

He smirked and laughingly said, “제가 항상 아이들이 보는 책을 쓰고 싶었거든요. 그래서 우리가 Third Street Promenade에 있었을 때, 이 책을 찾았는데 삽화가 너무 좋아서 나중에 참고하려고 샀어요. 근데 이게 이렇게 유용하게 쓰일 줄 누가 알았겠어요? (I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book so when we were at Third Street Promenade I spotted that book and really liked the illustrations so I bought it for reference. Who knew it would come in so handy?)”

As soon as we caught up with the rest of the group, they began filming. Mr. G showed the boys his old neighborhood and the famous 21st and Lewis location.

V, Kookie, and I  got to the limo first. V eagerly wanted to see how Talayiah was doing but when he got there, she was fast asleep. When he saw her little body curled up, probably because of the a/c, he immediately took off his outer shirt and placed it over her. For a moment, I thought I saw jealousy flash across Kookie’s face, realizing he is no longer the maknae of the group. But he turned that moment into one of growing up. He too, took off his outer sweater and laid it over her. V gave Kookie a proud smile.

Since we were done filming, we let Taliyah continue to sleep in the back. V placed her little head on his lap while everyone else squeezed into the limo. The ride back was pretty calm. Namjoon and Yoongi talked with Mr. Warren G. Hobi, Jin, and Jimin talked about all the amazing things they had seen that day. Kookie and V played silent thumb wars while trying not to wake Tae Tae. It made the game that much more challenging and fun when they could not move much or laugh too hard.

Halfway through the drive, Talayiah woke up and of course the boys included her in the game, doing a three way thumb war. When the limo arrived at Ocean and Pine, V told Talayiah to stay in the limo and watch them from the window. She did just that, her little nose pressed up against the tinted glass. It’s wonderful what editing can do cause V was so distracted. Fortunately the editor was able to find angles that didn’t record V constantly looking over at the limo and making faces at Talayiah.

The boys were given instructions by Warren G to rewrite the lyrics to his song Regulate, telling their life story. He wished them luck and left. Off camera however, Mr. G had offered to take Talayiah and I home to the dorm. The boys had to film more and I thought it best to take Talayiah back because she had been with us all day. I was worried the aunt might be upset even though she seemed like she didn’t care. I reassured V that it would probably be for the best, especially if he wanted to bring her out again. “오늘은 이 정도로 하는게 좋을 것 같아요. (Let’s not push our luck, ok?)” I told him. He agreed and we said our good-bye.

While in the limo with Mr. G, he asked Talayiah a lot of questions about her home life. Her answers did not seem to surprise him, as if he had seen these sort of situations a lot. When Talayiah was distracted with the TV in the limo, Mr. G explain that he grew up with many families in similar situations and that he hoped it does not get worse for her. He said she had a strong base to her, he speculated that it was due to the strong bond she had with her mom.

“Hopefully that will help her through worse times,” he said.

“Worse?” I asked.

“Yeah…I’ve seen girls in her situation get taken and put into one foster home to another. If she’s lucky, she’ll get a good home that wants to adopt her but that is hard, man.”

After hearing all this I did not know which was worse-to have her removed from this terrible home or have her be in a place of unknown in the foster system. When we got to her unit I was so scared to knock. When the door opened I was surprised to see an elderly woman.

“Hamo!” shouted Talayiah as she ran towards the elderly woman. “This is my grandma!”

“Nice to meet you.”

“Where have you been, child?” said her grandmother in a worried tone. “I can’t believe your aunt just let you leave with a bunch of strangers! No offense, you seem like a nice lady but how could she!” The last part was yelled over her shoulder at the aunt who was lounging on the couch insolently. She looked over to me and thanked me for watching over Talayiah.

I gave her a brief explanation of what had happened and she was very grateful. She expressed her sorrow about Talayiah’s circumstances and that she wished so much that she herself was able to care for her but she was too old.

“I’ve been trying to get some sense into her aunt, hoping that caring for Talayiah might make her grow up but it’s looking like I’m just putting Talayiah through more hardship instead. I just don’t know what to do,” she cried. “This isn’t how you care for a child!” she tossed back at the aunt.

I had no words to comfort this woman. I too was so sad. I told her that while I was here I would come and visit Talayiah as often as I could. She thanked me and I said good-bye to them. “I’ll see you tomorrow Tae Tae!” I explained to the grandmother this was a nickname given to her by one of the boys next door and she smiled.

“Thank you so much for taking care of her. Please come as often as you can,” she begged.

After the door closed I crashed right against the wall. What a day! I was glad that I did not have to talk to the aunt. I was also glad that the grandmother gave us permission to take her as often as we would like. While talking to me she had kept looking back at the aunt and yelling at her, tell her she’s should shape up. It was a bit awkward to say the least.

Once I got my bearings together, I went home to crash. It was such a stressful day trying to juggle the schedule and hiding Talayiah from the cameras. But it was all worth it to see the smile on her face. She had so much fun with the boys she did not want to leave. I had to convince her just as much as I had to convince V that it was for the best.

The next morning when I arrived at the boys dorm, Talayiah was already over playing. J-hope was doing one of his usual crazy dances and had Talayiah on the ground laughing. She was having such a great time I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen when the boys had to leave. I think Suga thought the same. Standing next to me, he sighed as he watched them play with her.

It was a quarter to ten when the driver arrived. We all headed towards the door except Jimin. He went to the bedroom and came back with a box in his hand. When he and Rap Monster were at King Taco the day before there was a shoe store nearby. He had noticed Talayiah’s torn shoes and bought her a new pair. He knelt down and took off her old shoes and slipped the new ones on. He even remembered to buy socks! I had noticed Jimin was a considerate person but did not think he would go this far. My heart melted.

As he finished tying her shoe, I had to ask, “신발 사이즈는 어떻게 알았어요? (How did you know her shoes size?)”

“아…  어제 차에서 잘 때 손으로 쟀어요. (Ah, I just used my hand and measured it when she was sleeping in the car yesterday,)” he said with a proud smile.

I was impressed.

We headed for Warren G’s studio so the boys could practice. Talayiah and I relaxed in Mr. G’s studio office. He showed us around and even tried to explain the basics of mixing but I think Talayiah and I were both pretty lost.

“What are they doing?” asked Talayiah.

“They are practicing a song they wrote for Mr. Warren G,” I replied.

“Would you like to write one too?” asked Mr. G.

“Yeah!” shouted Talayiah.

After several minutes of asking Talayiah about herself, Mr. Warren G came up with a short verse:

My name is Talayiah and when I was three
My mama watched kdramas on MBC
She said she gonna marry Mr. Minho Lee
So she taught me Korean since I was three.

It was amazing how fast he came up with that. I guess true rappers can do that. Talayiah was excited about recording her own song. She went that told all the boys while they were practicing. They all said they would sing one with her too. That just added to her joy. I was getting worried.

I know, I’m a worry wart. After the conversation I had with the grandmother and Warren G, I just could not imagine what was going to happen when the boys left. I tried to shake it off and just appreciate the moment so I smiled and cheered for her when she came back to tell me.

We sat in the corner behind the camera and watched the boys record. Mr. G let Talayiah sneak over to the soundboard to watch through the window once in awhile when the camera was on the boys. She was so cute standing next to Mr. G, a tiny girl and a big man.

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After we finished filming, the boys fulfilled their promise to Talayiah. They sat with her in the sound booth and whipped up a quick rap with her. Although Suga contributed greatly to the song, he refused to sing it for some reason. I had yet to figure him out. She sang the one section she had practiced while the boys somewhat winged it to the rhythm of Warren G’s Regulate.

Rap Monster:
Regulators, We regulate the tragedy these children face and we damn good too.
You give them pain, we give them comfort.
You give them grief, we give them joy, you know what I mean? Mercy Please! REGULATORS!!! MOUNT UP!

Jin:
It was a clear bright morning, a clear bright day
Suga, V, and Jungkookie met a girl Tae Tae
She spoke Korean, it took them by surprise
They ask her why? She’s chillin’ all alone.

Talayiah:
My name is Talayiah and when I was three
My mama watched kdramas on MBC
She said she gonna marry Mr. Minho Lee
So she taught me Korean since I was three

It may not have been objectively the most profound song ever, but for me that moment it was the most amazing song I had ever heard. They were being true regulators for her, taking the tragedies in her life and bringing joy and comfort to her. There was more to the song, but I do not want to give it away. Who know, maybe one day they will release it.

The more time I spent with these boys the more I was inspired. Not just by their talent but by their action and heart.

CHAPTER 4: MISSING

 

Illustrated by: Sandee

Edited by: Telumiel


There have been many theories given about the Spring Day MV, from “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to Sewol Ferry tributes. There is one theory no one has ever explored. Why the Laundromat?

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Tae Tae and Hei Hei

While I was writing chapter 3, my little Chim Chim wanted to write a story about Tae Tae too.In her story Tae Tae is Hei Hei’s cousin. (Yeah the spaced out chicken from Moana.) For some reason that seems plausible! 😂😂😂​

My Playdate with V: Chapter 2

Warning & Disclaimer: Contains mentions of child neglect. This fanfiction draws from real characters and events however its connections are purely the work of the author’s imagination.

If you have not read Chapter 1, you can read it here.

My Playdate with V

by J.H. Pyo

CHAPTER 2: 7 BECOMES 8

Early next morning we were scheduled to meet Mr. Warren G, so I woke the boys up at half past six to get ready and have breakfast. During breakfast, V, Suga, and Kookie talked about the little girl they had met at the laundromat.

“이제부터 그 애를 ‘태이태이’라고 부를 거야. ‘Mini-me’인 것처럼 내 이름이랑 비슷하기도 하고. (I’m going to call her Tay Tay, cause it sounds like my name, like a mini-me!)” V gave his classic eye smile and continued eating his breakfast.

He and Kookie finished early to skateboard a little before leaving. I followed them out since I had already eaten and wanted to make sure our ride was here.

As soon as we stepped into the hallway, we could see Talayiah sitting in front of her door with her arms wrapped around her knees and her little head resting above them fast asleep. V immediately ran toward her and gently patted her on her shoulder, “Tay Tay, 괜찮아? (Tay Tay, are you ok?)”

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Talayiah began to wake up. “, 괜찮아. (Uh, I’m okay.)”

V was in a panic and asked, “무슨 일이야? 왜 여기서 자고 있어? (What happened? Why are you out here sleeping?)”

Talayiah, still in a sleepy state, said, “밖에서 기다리라고 해서 기다리고 있었는데 잠들었나봐. (They told me to wait outside and I fell asleep.)”

At this point, V was clearly angry,  “그럼, 너 데리러 나오지도 않았다는 말이야? 너 밤새 여기에서 있었다는 말이야? (And they never came out to get you? You stayed out here all night?!)” He lifted her up and carried her back to their unit, shaking his head in disbelief.

As we came into the dormitory, Tony the tutor, and one of the bodyguards approached us, “What happened?” V signaled for them to be quiet. He sat on the couch and placed Talayiah’s sleepy head on his lap while I explained to them what happened.

Rap Monster asked, “How can this happen? How can they just leave her out there like that?”

Carlos, one of the production crew asked me to translate, “My sister is a social worker and she tells me things like this happen all the time. Severe neglect is the number one reason kids enter the foster system.”

Looking shocked Jimin asked, “누가 경찰이나 누구에게 신고할 수 없어요? But can’t someone report it to the police or something?”

Carlos explained, “Even if they do, Child Protective Services will most likely continue to let her live with her aunt. They do not like to pull kids out of their relatives homes especially when placement is so hard to come by.”

“Placeu? ment? 그게 무슨 뜻이야?? (What does that mean?)” asked J-hope.

Carlos continued as I tried my best to translate, “Placement. They are temporary homes for kids who are taken away from abusive situations, or in this case, neglectful homes like Talayiah’s. But the number of children that need homes is staggeringly greater than the number of homes available. Children are often left to sleep in the social worker’s office or in hospitals. The Department of Children and Family Services is woefully underfunded and just don’t have the resources or manpower to meet these needs.”

As I translated, the room was silent. The boys looked sad and angry at the same time. While Talayiah slept on V’s lap, he patted her gently on the arm as if to soothe her in her sleep; however, it woke her up instead.

좋은 아침, (Good Morning,)” she said with a smile.

V didn’t want her to know what they were talking about, so he immediately perked up and said brightly.  “오늘 우리랑 같이 놀래? (Do you want to play with us today?)”

The boys all agreed with this idea, but I interjected and reminded them of our full schedule. V flipped his puppy eyes setting to super begging and and I turned towards Carlos and asked, “Do you think it would be ok to take her with us?”

He nodded and whispered to me, “You can ask the aunt to be safe, but quite honestly, I don’t think they would even notice she’s gone.”

Truth be told, I was glad to hear that Talayiah might be able to come with us. I couldn’t bear to leave her here alone like this. She was better off with us than wandering around by herself. This poor girl. Even while I was talking to Carlos, I saw her eyeing the leftover breakfast. Jin and his motherly tendencies had noticed as well and gathered a plate of food for her. I wondered when she had last eaten. In the time it took me to say, “I’ll be back,” she was already going for seconds. “Eat slowly, ok? We have more you can take with you later. I am going to ask your aunt to see if you can come out with us today, ok?”

“Ok…” mumbled Talayiah with her mouth full.  

Carlos accompanied me as I headed to Talayiah’s unit.

“Take her! Take her for as long as you want,” was the answer I got after getting all my courage up to ask her nicely. I couldn’t believe people like her existed! I felt like I was in some over-dramatized tv show. Except I wasn’t. This was real.

Walking back into the unit I hurried everyone downstairs to stay on schedule. The production crew told me keep her by my side and that they would keep her out of all the shots.

We packed into the van with Talayiah at the center. The boys were unbelievably sweet to her. Even Suga, the grumpy grandpa of the group couldn’t keep a loving smile off his face. The car was filled with laughter as J-hope tried to speakeu english to her and she would come back with perfect Korean. Even I couldn’t keep my laughter in.

van

CHAPTER 3: BABYSITTER G

 

Illustrated by: Sandee

Edited by: Telumiel & C. Moon


There have been many theories given about the Spring Day MV, from “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to Sewol Ferry tributes. There is one theory no one has ever explored. Why the Laundromat?

cover(paint)

My Playdate with V

There have been many theories given about the Spring Day music video, from “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to Sewol Ferry tributes. There is one theory no one has ever explored. Why the Laundromat?

A Fan Fiction Theory….

Disclaimer: This fanfiction draws from real characters and events however its connections are purely the work of the author’s imagination.

My Playdate with V

by J.H. Pyo

CHAPTER 1: THE LAUNDROMEET

Hi my name is Rye and this is my account of a story between one idol and his forever fan.

 

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A little introduction about myself and how I got entangled in this beautiful story. I teach Korean at an after school program in Los Angeles. In 2014, I was asked to be a translator for a Kpop group called BTS who were coming to LA to shoot a reality show called American Hustle Life. My friend’s father had connections to a Korean entertainment company and helped me get the job. Although I grew up on Korean music, I was unfamiliar with the current popular groups. To me, this was an opportunity to earn some extra money.

From the moment BTS arrived, I was with them pretty much night and day. They were typical boys who were fun but also hard-working. By about the eighth day, they were more comfortable with their new living arrangements and their staff. They were also more relaxed and knew their way around things a bit more. While filming, they were given the task of managing their household chores, such as cleaning, grocery shopping and laundry. I was assigned to the laundry team, so we headed off to a laundromat.

Those of you who have seen American Hustle Life might recall a scene in Episode 4 in which Taehyung, Suga, and Kookie won some toys from the crane machine. They were playing with the toys while waiting for their clothes to wash. Meanwhile, off-camera someone tapped V on his shoulder and said in Korean, “그거 가지고 놀아도 돼요?” Which means, Can I play with that? This took all of us by surprise because this little girl was black but she spoke near-perfect Korean! She wore an oversized dress shirt with a mismatched vest that was ripped at the seams. She looked about six years old and seemed very comfortable with them, as if she knew who they were. The little girl did not stop with just one question. She proceeded to have a conversation with V, completely in Korean.

V responded, “당연하지! 너가 가져도 돼.” (Of course, you can have it!) He gave her the toy and patted her head, smiling at her. “아, 귀엽다! (Ah so Cute!) 너는 이름이 뭐니? (What is your name?)”

The little girl answered, “내 이름은 (Talayiah) 이에요. (My name is Talayiah.)”

“안녕. (Hi.) 내 이름은… (My name is…)” V started to introduce himself, but Talayiah interjected.

“알아요. 뷔. (I know, it’s V.)”

V was quite surprised. “너, 내가 누군지 어떻게 알았어? (How do you know who I am?)”

Talayiah ignored his question and pointed at Suga and Jungkook. “아저씨는 수카, 그리고 정국. (And you are Suga and Jungkook.)”

All three boys stared in shock to be recognized so far from home and in a laundromat by the seemingly most unlikely person.

Talayiah confidently stated, “유투브에서 봤어요. (I see you on YouTube.)”

V asked, “너가 유투브를 본다고? (You watch YouTube?)”

Talayiah nodded. “네.  유투브를 보면 행복해져요. 저는 이모랑 같이 사는데, 이모는 저에게 컴퓨터로 티비만 보게 해요.  예전에 우리 엄마랑 저는 함께 유투브로 재미있는 한국 쇼 프로그램을 보곤 했었어요. 엄마가 그리워서 지금도 유투브를 봐요. (Yes, because it makes me feel happy. I live with my aunt and the only thing she let’s me do is watch TV on the computer. My mom and I use to watch funny Korean shows on YouTube so I watch them because I miss her.)”

V began to understand it a bit more. “그래서, 유투브를 보면서 한국말을 배운거야? (So is this how you learned Korean?)”

“아니요, 우리 엄마가 한국 드라마를 좋아해서 제가 한국어를 배웠으면 하셨어요.   엄마는 나중에 이민호랑 결혼할 거고 나에게 아빠가 생길 거라고 했어요. (No, my mom likes Korean dramas, so she wanted me to learn Korean. She told me one day she will marry Lee Min Ho so I will have a daddy.)” Talayiah said in earnest and belief, as V and the boys chuckled.

V looked around the laundromat. “너의 엄마는 어디 계시니? (Where is your mom?)”

Talayiah’s eyes teared up. “돌아가셨어요. (She died.)”

“이런…(Ayegoo)…” V bent down and hugged the little girl. “미안해. 그럼 누구랑 여기에 왔니? (Sorry…sorry…then who are you here with?)”

“혼자 왔어요.  빨래 다 된 것을 가지러 왔는데 아직 다 안 돼서 기다리고 있어요. (I am by myself. I was suppose to pick up the laundry and bring it home, but it is not ready.)” She frowned at the machines.

V asked, “어디에 사니? (Where do you live?)”

“저기요. (Over there.)” and pointed outside.

V put an encouraging hand on her shoulder. “진짜?  어디? (Really? Which building?)”

She walked out and the boys followed her. She pointed to the industrial-looking building next door.

V smiled happily, “우리도 저기에 살아!  우리가 도와줄게. (We live there too! We will help you!)”

Due to the amount of laundry we had, they called the production crew to drive over and help. We loaded everything into the car, including Talayiah’s laundry and headed for the dormitory. The boys were so sweet to her and helped her bring her laundry to her unit.

Talayiah’s steps slowed as we approached her door.

We could hear yelling and fighting inside and the boys looked on nervously as Talayiah’s tiny hand reached for the doorbell. She hesitated for a moment, as if summoning courage, then pressed the bell. The door swung open and the women in the doorway began yelling at Talayiah, “Where have you been?! What took you so long?! Why are you dragging home Chinese people with you again? How many times do I have to tell you, your mama ain’t ever coming back so give it up!”

She grabbed the laundry basket out of Jungkook’s hands, gave them a dirty look, and walked away without saying thank you.

Talayiah turned to the boys. “도와줘서 고마워요. 오늘 재미있었어요. 다음에 또 놀아도 돼요? (Thank you for helping me. I had a lot of fun with you today. Can we play again?)”

V hugged the little girl tightly. “당연하지!  우리 바로 저기에 살아.  언제든지 놀러와. (Of course! We live right there.)” He pointed across the hall. “알았지? (Come any time ok?)”

As Talayiah turned to go inside her apartment, V struggled to let her small hand go. The door closed, but V remained kneeling in front of the door hunched over in sadness. After a moment of silence, Suga lifted him up, patted him gently on the back and led him toward their unit.

v_kneel

CHAPTER 2: 7 BECOMES 8

Illustrated by: Sandee

Edited by: Telumiel & C. Moon


There have been many theories given about the Spring Day MV, from “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to Sewol Ferry tributes. There is one theory no one has ever explored. Why the Laundromat?

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