As with all Hi-Touches, I had come prepared. My legs were feeling feeble as our row stepped up. My heart swelled with nervous excitement and anticipation.
Like always, the anxiety disappeared the minute I began moving towards the boys. It was like seeing old friends – you know, the kind you always miss.
My biggest fear was the SubK would rush the hi-touch participants, and this was exactly the situation that took place. The entire scene appeared hurried for no reason whatsoever. A combination of SubK staff and venue staff were monitoring the entire scene with the eyes of a hawk, rushing and yelling at fans to keep moving.
I was able to greet the first two members with the words I had planned to say to them, but majority of my memory is foggy. I don’t even remember their faces, let alone their respective reactions.
- Yugyeom; “역시 막내 on top!” (translates to “As expected, maknae on top!”)
- BamBam; “Please never stop smiling!”
- Youngjae; “퉤영재 안녕!” (“Twe Youngjae, hello!”) I had intended to say “퉤수달 안녕!”, which was a combination of his own mispronounciation of “Choi” followed by a reference to his resemblance to otters, but did not succeed.
- Jinyoung: “Your songs give me so much strength!” was the phrase I managed to spit out in a ridiculously hurried manner. The Korean equivalent I had planned was much too long and wordy to remember, so I opted to relay my message in English in hopes that both of us could understand it in the milliseconds that I was provided. Recently, Jinyoung’s English has witnessed a stunning improvement, so I was certain that he could understand me.
- JB; A staff member had shouted at me to not grab the members’ hands, causing me to blank out on the spot instead of telling him “次のアルバムを楽しみ！”, which translates to “I’m looking forward to the next album!” in Japanese. It was an incredibly awkward moment where my concentration was broken and I merely stared at JB blankly. A total of five milliseconds passed before I could regain composure and touch his hand delicately. (ARGH!!)
- Mark; Still stunned from the backlash I received while interacting with JB, I did not have the brainpower to say anything to Mark. But, in all honesty, I didn’t know what to say to Mark anyways.
- Jackson; By the time I reached Jackson, I had recovered and was able to say, “唔好咁搏, 要休息呀!” (which translates to “Don’t stress out, (you) need to rest!” in Cantonese). Some attendees had reported Jackson looking uninterested and tired, but I was convinced that he had looked straight at me and acknowledged my words. Whether he will remember these words or not is a different story.
As we departed the area, staff members rushed us outside of the venue yet again without break.
All of a sudden, I found myself, lightstick and fanboard still in hand, being dragged into the vacuum of eager attendees.
Orders were taken in a swift, no-nonsense manner: the cashier attendants were welcoming but not quite friendly in a genuine sense. Her tendencies were not rushed, though, despite the infinitely expanding crowd behind me.