Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blog #10: The World You Live In (Sandara Fanfic)

This chapter's dedicated to AMUHFAI. :)

Silence, it's the most deafening sound. It's the moment you've completely isolated yourself from the rest of the world.

I'm standing in the middle of the busy district of Da'an, Taipei yet people pass me by, ignoring my existence. Their loud noises fade as the sound of my heartbeat gradually increases until it has muted everything else completely.

Be still my heart. It won't be long. Soon they will hear. 

Soon they will listen.

It wasn't long when I hit my lowest. Everyone's spirits were in the dumps. Mine most of all. Jolin's album soared high while mine flat-lined. No one cared. No one bothered to pick up and listen. It was so sad, no, heartbreaking to see your hard work being ignored. Worse than getting my first rejection.

But we didn't give up. I was used to rejection. I got used to failure. Why don't I try again? Jay had asked. I faked a smile and said, why not? What's the worse that could happen, right? 

I could fail but that's nothing new.

"Guerilla Marketing?" 

I heard about it. Crayon Pop used this technique before.

"What do you think?" Jay seems more confident than he was last week discussing this same thing.

"Well, we haven't tried unconventional promotion but it won't hurt us financially so..." I'm trying to guess what's running on Vivian's mind. Is she thinking of a gimmick for me?

"Wait... are you guys going to put my album in a vending machine and give it for free?" It's meant to be a joke but the more we talk, the more I feel it can be possible.

"HA HA. No Sandara, we won't go that far plus Coca Cola already did that. We're going to do something that will suit you more."

I was intrigued. He seemed to be revived.

"But I won't go to details. I'll let the genius behind this do the talking."


"Did you just call me genius huh, Jay?"


Being in the business for so long, I've forgotten how it feels to fail. Sold out concerts, weeks long number one in charts and box office movies were norms in my life.

Sandara's first album is also the first blow to my music career after a long time.

I admit I failed. I failed miserably as her producer and manager. Maybe I was too cocky, didn't think my past lover would beat me like an overused punching bag, soiled and deflated. But this isn't about me or Jolin anymore.

It's about Sandara's career and what I can still do for it.

That's why I decided to sit down and talk to a friend on how to revive a career I had a hand in destroying.

"I'm glad you called."

"I couldn't think of anyone else."

"What will you do?"

I think I know but I'm not sure.

"Something fresh."

Deep thought.

"Guerilla Marketing? It can work."

"You think so?" I wasn't sure. We're hitting a wall.

"Let me pull some strings. I've lived with her for six months. I know what to do."

Just as I expected from my main man.


What's he doing here???

"Surprised to see me huh?"

"What are you doing here?"

He looked hurt. Well, not really.

"You weren't answering my calls so."

"Excuse me but we're also here." 

Phew. Thanks for saving me the awkwardness, Show.

"Been long, man." Edison looked the same, wearing his trademark smirk and swagger.

Nothing has changed except for my sullen state.

"What brings you here? Don't tell me you're...?"

"Yes Will, I'm Jay's Marketing guy."

"Guerilla Marketing guy." Jay seemed happy seeing Edison again.

I was too.

It's a little over a month and yet, I feel like I've been missing her all my life. As I looked at her, I realized why.

She's become my family.

"Let me do a quick rundown on what we're going to do. First, Guerilla Marketing is basically promoting something using not so ordinary gimmicks that should cost us nothing. Well, close to nothing."

We needed something BIG for less.

"We have to make an impact on a personal level. If Jolin went all out in traditional marketing, we'll maximize the unconventional methods."

I've got it all planned out. Everything from start to finish.

"What will we do?"

She's getting impatient. Slow down, baby.

"Let's get to HOW first."

Watch and learn.

"What is this?"

Oh god. I almost spat my soda at Sandara's face just now.

"Why the hell are you showing me my miserable failure???"

"WOW! It's the first time I heard you curse, Sandara!" Show looked impressed. Well, I was too.

Why did I show the chart of her album's failure? I was making a comparison.

"This is your current state now and this..."

I flipped the paper to show another chart, this time, more pleasing to the eye.

"... is what's going to happen two weeks from now."

"NO WAY! How?"


I hope you are Sandara.

It's amazing seeing him in action. I've never seen someone as passionate as he was. Well, I've seen Chaerin being passionate in writing lyrics and Youngbae in seeing ballad.

But I've never seen someone so passionate in doing something for me.

"I've already secured the location. Your clothes are also ready. We just need these things."

After that, a frenzy.

"Sandara, you need to practice your guitar skills. I've got the guy for the job."

"How have you been, Sandara?"

"NIC!" I almost jumped him in excitement.

"I was in town when Edison called. Said you were in trouble."

"I was not. Okay, okay I was. You can stop judging me, Edi." 

Pft. Really didn't change.

"Nic will help you in playing guitar. You're going acoustic."

Yey! I've been wanting to go acoustic.

"And acapella."

Wait. Did I hear right?

"Yes, Sandara. You'll sing acapella."

Did Jay just say acapella?

"With a new song. One that you've written."

"But we only have two weeks!" That's not possible.

"Jay can write a song in one sitting."

But that's Jay Chou! Is Edison nuts???

"Jay's a monster! I didn't mean it in a bad way, Jay."

"Not offended."

"You've got experiences. It's the easiest to write when your heart's broken."

How can I argue with that?

"I'll work with you in styling. Jay and I will work on your album."

My what?

"But I just released my album."

"Your repackaged album. 50% of it will be your own composition."

Okay. Just plain ridiculous.

"How can we produce a repackaged album with five of my original songs in just two weeks?"

"That will take longer."

Thank god.

"30 days."

Two weeks. That was Edison's ultimatum for me. Two weeks to create my own song and 30 days to write four new songs for my repackaged album.

It seemed impossible then but standing now, I feel as if it was a piece of cake.

Not to be arrogant but with everything I've gone through, I almost wrote an entire album. I managed eight new songs of pain, anger, loneliness and hope.

And now, I'm ready for the world to hear my story.

Silence, it's the most deafening sound. It's the moment you've completely isolated yourself from the rest of the world.

I'm standing in the middle of the busy district of Da'an, Taipei yet people pass me by, ignoring my existence. Their loud noises fade as the sound of my heartbeat gradually increases until it has muted everything else completely.

Be still my heart. It won't be long. Soon they will hear. 

Soon they will listen.

I strum the guitar and softly hum the rhythm. I can play the music even with eyes closed, even afloat.

"Like a moss I hid,
behind the rock.
Sheltered, safe
from all the harm."

I'm a moss and this is my story.

"Like a moss I hid,
in the shade of tree.
Ignored, left
alone and weary."

Leaving Korea made me feel I was on my own. 

Being ignored in Taiwan made me feel more alone.

"Like a moss I absorb,
tears like water.
Quiet, still
water running deep."

How many tears have I stopped, pretending I wasn't hurt?

"Like a moss I conceal,
the pain and tears
Holding tight
the pain inside me."

I endured all the pain. I didn't say a word because I didn't want him to go. 

Because I love him.

"Now I'm here, a moss within trees.
Now I'm here, will you listen to me?
All I need are your ears.
Please hear me."

I'm desperate. Can you hear it, the sound of my despair?

"Now I'm here, a moss within trees.
Now I'm here, do you see me?
All I need is your understanding.
Please see me."

You don't need to love me. Just accept me for who I am. The real me.

"I'm a moss but I won't be ignored.
I'm a moss but I'm standing tall.
I'm a moss but I'll face the world.
I'm a moss, standing tall."

I strum the last tune as tears fall down. There, I've said it. I've said my story.

I've said it and somehow, that's all the matters. 

Whether the world hears it or not.



Right now I hear loud claps, hoots and inaudible words. Are all those for me?

Opening my eyes, flashes of camera greet me. Hundreds of people looked at me with appreciative eyes. All of them smiling. All of them happy.

Love they say is bittersweet. Seeing this huge crowd cheering for me, I realized why.

People bashed me, judged me before hearing my story. Yet, I'm here, singing for them and seeing them happy...

Makes everything worthwhile.

"You must be proud."

How can I not be?

"I knew she'd pull through."

"That's why you risked your own store?"

"We gained from it, right?"

Tweets flooded with #JuiceTaipei.

"Do we have it on video?"

I told Kevin to have our online guy tweet the video of Sandara's street performance.

"Already had our guy tweet and instagrammed it with CLOT's account. 3,000+ re-tweets, 2,600+ likes and counting."

"Good job, Kpee!" Everything's going according to plan.

"I've got to give it to you, man. Good for our business and good for your girl."

I was more concerned with the last.

"As long as everyone's happy, I'm happy."

"Sure, man. What are you doing now?"

Step 3. Pull some strings.

"Hello, yeah. It's already up. You can start now."

I'm a moss standing in front of Juice. A hundred people surrounded me, all clapping and cheering for me.

I hold on tight to my mask, afraid that if I let it go, people will stop clapping. People will stop cheering.

So I'll hold on to this for safety. I'll stand here quietly.

I'll stay as a moss, sheltered and safe.

"OH MY! Ethan Ruan re-tweeted her video!"

I move closer to hear the two girls talking.

"I think I just heard an angel sing. #Moss #JuiceTaipei"

"Let me see! Waaaah!!! Ethan saw it too!"

"She was so amazing! No wonder even Ethan liked it."

"WOW! Tiffany Hsu re-tweeted Ethan's tweet and instagrammed her video!"

"What did she say? Let me read it, the moss sings like an angel. Looks like one too. #Moss #JuiceTaipei."

Good job Ethan and Tiff!

"Guys, Show Luo instagrammed and Vanness Wu too!"

"WAAAA!!! Wang Lee Hom said he wants to meet the #Moss!"

Great job, guys!

I feel contented walking back to the store. So far so good. From here I can see Sandara standing as people continue to take photographs of her.

Enjoy it, Sandara. You deserve all their love and more.

Kid, check this hashtag: #Moss.

Sandara's looking around, probably for me.

I'm just here behind you, Sandara. I'll always be.

Behind you.

There it is. Her smile. Thank you, she mouthed.

It's all you, Sandara.

Too toot. Too toot.

Saw it. Thank you, Grandpa.

You worked hard.

So did you.

Thank you, Sandara.

To say it was a success is an understatement. In just one night, Sandara's performance in front of Juice gained 230,000+ likes on Instagram and 500,000+ retweets on Twitter. 

In a few days her video will become even more viral.

Or maybe sooner.

"Guys, somebody posted Sandara's video on YouTube since last night!"

HUH. Told ya!

"And it got 1 million views already."

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