You know, out of all us thirteen, you are the closest person I've been with. Probably because we've spent more time together as a trainee. Even so, if I was a new trainee, I'll probably choose you to become the person that I want to be close with. You are remarkable. You'll surely be the last person I will ever forget.
How could I ever forget the first person who welcomed me in my first day as a trainee? I know it's probably because you're the most familiar with the studio that's why you choose to be the most accommodating person in the room. I must admit that you're quite intimidating at first. Your experience scared me. Your height scared me. Your eyes are threatening me to be nice to you or else I might suffer. There were awkward moments in the beginning but sooner, I discovered the real you. My first impression was disposed as time goes by. It turns out that the feeling was mutual, we're intimidated by each other. You envy my skills in playing instruments and even my talent. Don't get me wrong, you have a talent as well, better than I have. I never noticed the length of your eyelashes that make you gentle and sweet unlike what I've thought at first. And your smile... god I swear it could save the world from global warming if given the chance! I know I barely compliment you but believe me, I never wanted you to self-depreciate yourself. You're amazing, Seungcheol. You always are.
I won't ever forget the time when you told me how disappointed you are when you thought that you're supposed to be debuting in another group. You blamed yourself. You kept asking "Am I not good enough?" and you start practicing in practice room even if it's already 2 in the morning. I stayed with you because I know you needed someone in that moment. I watched you danced and sang. You weren't a rapper that time. I saw your progress that it made me wonder why you're not chosen. I'm in angst as I thought of it but I kept it in myself. I know that the CEO had better plans for us.
Of course, my day came, too. But this time, we're in the same page. We were practicing that time, along with our debuted friends. Manager approached us and told us that we're finally debuting. We looked at each other. I believe that our eyes were full of sparkles and hopes, telling each other that dreams do come true. We hugged- our first ever closure- and congratulated ourselves. It's like the buckets of sweat that we're excreting have finally a place to dispose. We ate outside and celebrated. That was the most precious part of our friendship, so far.
Every morning, we greet each other with "Jihoon-ya/Seungcheol hyung- do good because we're finally debuting!". It was a self determination. I wouldn't lie that it helped me to write more songs and practice like there's never tomorrow. You did the same, too. Who wouldn't? We practiced, practiced, practiced until it seems like there's no more point on doing it anymore. Days passed by, weeks, months and even a year, still no sign of debuting. Even Doyoon, Yusang and Youngwoon felt the same. We didn't practice that much anymore. We procrastinated and waited with high hopes that the company might announce something that we really want.
And they did.
Sadly, it turns out the way we didn't wanted. Due to financial problems, our debut will be postponed. Hearing that, my world seemed to fall on to my shoulders. I felt like I was just a piece of paper that's been used and being thrown into the air. I felt useless. I felt like a garbage. Then I looked at you, the pain worsen. I slapped myself. How could I ever be this down? I don't have the right... Seungcheol has. I saw you fighting back your tears. You've been here before and it hurts more when it happened again. Seeing your face in sorrow made me cry, literally. I felt bad. How can the management deny such wonderful talent in front of them? How can they be so blind? Do they care about us? Can they be any more strategic in terms of financial problems? I realized then, there's nothing we can't do. All we did was to let the heavy rain of emotions flushed us and sat... for a long time.
I would never forget what you've done. Even though you're terribly sad and frustrated, you're the first one to encourage us to think positive. Just like what a leader should do. You lend your hands to us and accepted us in your arms with a warm smile. A smile that washed away all the burden and hardships that we have. It was contagious. Later, we're all smiling, laughing and dancing. I can still see the sadness in your eyes but I know I should not talk about it. We just let the good times roll and do what you want us to do, never lose hope.
The five of us considered our practices as a hobby already. We danced and sang, just for the sake of our own entertainment. We even tried to widen our horizons and do the things that we never knew that we could. You discovered rap, I discovered producing. The others discovered acting. We supported each other. You even told me once that "Someday, when we debut, you're going to produce all of our songs!". You believed in me. I was flustered. I pay backed and told you that you're going to make the best rap in the history. You laughed. I didn't get it why you laughed. Maybe it's your way of hiding your flattery or you thought I was kidding.
When we thought the rest of our lives will be rainbows and sunshine, reality just hit us real quick. One day, we woke up and heard that Yusang and Youngwoon left. You stood there dumbfounded. I rubbed your back, hoping that you'll gain your senses. I was preparing for my speech on how will I cheer you up but instead you cheered yourself. A smile, not a blissful one, crack on your lips and said "let's just respect their decisions and wish the best for them". I nodded. At that point, I realized you're stronger, Seungcheol. You've successfully changed your way of thinking. You're starting to throw the positives when the world gives you the negatives. The trials made you a better person- a better leader. Even though Yusang and Youngwoon's departure was difficult to absorb, you remain standing still. I did too.
Sooner or later, we trainees grew in number. New boys, new faces, new talents to sharpen and new kids to take care of. I was hesitant to talk to them. I felt the competition arose since I don't want to be left behind again whenever the company finally decides to debut a group. I maintain my space and focus on my own, but you did not. Just like you welcome me, you gave them the life-saving smile and hug them as if they're your long lost brothers. I was jealous. I was confused. The question that's been running on my mind was Why? Don't you feel challenged? Aren't they a threat to the position that we wanted? That you wanted? I guess I haven't known you better. You're different. You don't care. What you care is that these new boys will have a new family. A family that will help each other through thick and thin. And you, Seungcheol, felt that it was your obligation. You sensed that they need a guidance for them to grow. A foster parent that will support them in the four corners of the studio in the absence of the real ones. No wonder you made friends with them right away. That's why you're friends with me. That is what I'm jealous of. You looked at me. I saw the same expression in your eyes when you welcomed me, home.
We were recorded in our practice room. There are video cameras everywhere. Our whole character is molded. Our talents were filtered and sharpened. Some aspiring rappers were practiced in singing. Dancers were trained also to sing. Singers were practiced to dance. We were all trained very well. I bet we can be a well-rounded boy group whenever we debut. We cover sunbaenims songs and foreign songs. We are even pushed to make something out of our talents. We make our own choreography, lyrics, tune and such. I'm slowly becoming thankful that our debut's been delayed. With this, we've got more time to know each other personally and build friendships. I've finally got to know them. Jeonghan, the pretty boy, Soonyoung, an absolutely talented dancer than I usually got to dance battle with, Lee Chan, the maknae and a huge fan of Michael Jackson, Wonwoo, a fierce looking kid but with a big heart, Seokmin, an eye smile sunshine, Seungkwan, a very talkative Jeju boy, Mingyu, the literal tall, dark and handsome, Doyoon, our handsome actor, Dongjin, a talented kid, Samuel, the youngest, Hansol and Jisoo, our American friends, and Mingming and Junhui, our Chinese friends. We take care of each other despite of all our bullies and jokes. We learned to accept each other through our perfections and flaws. The more I interact with them, the more I understand why you're being like this. I'm slowly turning myself like you.
Our company let us perform on stage. Finally, a stage. It may not be a music show's stage but it's a difference. It's been a long time since I performed in front of a crowd. Nervousness's been eating me up since when we're being styled by our noonas. I know the others are, too. I recognized my hands trembling and my heart beat fasten. I kept on making scenarios in my head on what might happen. Usually, it was negative. I was closing my eyes when I felt your comforting hands land on mine. I looked up and I saw you smile. Again, that smile that would change one's life. You told me that it's going to be alright even if there's a sight of nervousness in your face too. I smiled back. I knew you aren't lying. I knew you're being optimistic. With that, I'm beyond grateful. When the stage director were telling us to be prepared, you gathered us and said words of inspiration. I love how your words take away the needle out of my heart- our hearts. You told us to never look down and do the best that we can. We remembered those words, which is why our performance was a success. It was you, Seungcheol, who made it possible.
Many stages came. Many laughters were shared. Many tears were shed. Many sweats were wiped. Many emotions were unleashed. Many things happened, still no debut. I thought we wouldn't feel it. The green studio room was like a home to us and if ever we go outside, it would feel wrong. I thought that was what we all feel, except you. You started to become blank, hopeless, moody. Sure you're smiling and energetic but I can feel the sadness. The fear of failing is silently eating you up. Two years ago, we were told that we're suppose to debut. That SEVENTEEN's going to debut. Yet again, it was postponed. I was numb about that since I somehow foreshadowed it, but to you it was a big deal. Samuel, Doyoon, Mingming and Dongjin left. I thought that you've guarded yourself up whenever this will happen again, but you did not. How stupid of me. I let my own thoughts overrule me than connecting myself to you. I know the hope is still there but the enthusiasm is not. As soon as I realized it, it was now my turn to be the Seungcheol to Jihoon. You're the Jihoon and I'm the Seungcheol. Just like the first day we've met.
You're got better. You've become the Seungcheol I've known before. I was happy that I was effective. I was happy that I was able to pay back what you've done to me. I thank you also for letting me. Though we've had our fights, I'm glad that you resolve it as a grown man. Though the other boys had misunderstandings, you fixed the bond like you're a glue. Oh what would we do without you, Seungcheol?
May 29, 2015. Finally. This is it. This is the day that we would never forget. The day that our dreams are slowly becoming true. We debuted! I, as Woozi, wrote the debut song and produced it as well. You wrote your own rap lyrics as S.Coups for this song as well as Hansol as Vernon. Some of us got our stage names like Lee Chan became Dino, Minghao became The8, Junhui became Jun, Soonyoung became Hoshi, Seokmin became DK and Jisoo became Joshua. When the song was finished, I laid my trust and luck that this song won't be a disappointment to the fans that had been waiting for so long. I can't deny the feeling that I literally want to poo because I was too excited and thrilled at the same time. I saw the other members being hyped about the idea of debuting too. After all the years of tiring days, sleepless nights, unwanted injuries, health problems and scoldings, we'd finally got to claim the fruits of our labors. We've claimed many hearts which means Adore U was actually effective and a catch. Our album, 17 Carat, even top the charts! How cool is that? I was so proud of ourselves. I know you are more proud than us, Seungcheol.
We came back with another album with the title track, Mansae. We all did our respective tasks. Once again, it wasn't a disappointment. We even gained more popularity. Not to mention, we were even nominated in MAMA, our dream stage. Although we didn't won anything but we're beyond proud that we're able to step our foot in the MAMA stage even if we're new to the industry. I saw you Seungcheol getting hyped about it. You barely sleep nor eat. I wonder how much nervousness or excitement or happiness you were feeling? I bet you were happy because we all believe you are. You shouldn't worry about us because as long as you're leading us, we're all okay.
Seven months after our debut, we finally got to have our first solo concert. How sick is that, right? It is only one step towards our dream, to be the best boy group in the whole world. Let's continue dreaming, Seungcheol.
The thirteen of us became stronger and closer. We became a whole new family to each one of us. Whenever we're together, I always feel at home. Hakuna Matata. No one gets behind. This bond wouldn't be the same without you Seungcheol. Thank you. If you haven't welcomed us, we probably be plastic to each other. If you weren't that strong, we're all probably be in different paths now. If you weren't our leader, oh I wouldn't wonder how Seventeen would be like. If you weren't Seungcheol, we'll probably never have a father. Each of us has a different role in here but you play the hardest part. You are a difference. Thank you for not quitting despite of all the rejections and delay of your dreams. You became our inspiration. You've worked hard and now you've seen how your strong will and determination brought you. Look at where we are now. It's been a long tough journey. We're several miles away from where we've started and several more miles away to our goal. Let's stick together. Don't ever give up on us Seungcheol because if you did, then we know what's going next.
Thank you for being a rapper, leader, father and a friend. You'll always be the best, Choi Seungcheol. I love you!
Total Words: 2686
Characters: seventeen, woozi, s.coups
a/n: Can we all just be happy that Seventeen succeeded at their first ever solo concert!???! And the fact that 2015 is a good year for them?!?!? because they finally got to debut!!?!? Oh God I just love Seventeen. So I just did a Jihoon POV because I really think they're the closest (sorry JeongCheol shippers). It's been ages since I last wrote a lengthy (is this lengthy??) story. I hope you'll enjoy it! Btw, sorry for the grammar.