Chapter 2:

(Coco-Chan) The Frog Was NOT at a 45 Degree Angle

Cafe Eris


There’s a café I always pass by on my way to the airport. Bookmark here

It's an ordinary place, nothing too special at first glance. Now, you must be confused. After all, I’m THE Coco-Chan, Coco Park, THE Poster Child, superstar son of Rika Park 一 you get the idea. I’m rich and successful enough to eat anything, and spend my time anywhere in the whole world. But this café is my spot because, despite being in the heart of downtown, paparazzi never seem to come through here. Bookmark here

Almost feels like home in a weird way. Bookmark here

Well, it’s not like I know what that feels like anyways. Bookmark here

I started off as a child model pretty much as soon as I could eat solid foods, and I’ve been in front of the cameras ever since. Once I gained some popularity within the modelling community, my mother (a.k.a my manager - momager if you will) quickly got me into the child acting community. We used to fly all over the world during my acting days. Now I mostly do my gigs in South Korea. Bookmark here

Once I was asked in a TV interview, “What do you do for fun when you’re at home?” I’m sure people expected me to say something normal like playing with my toys, or hanging out with friends. Instead, I simply responded with, “What’s that?” Unsurprisingly, they cut that part out in the final edit. My childhood was simply… not one. Instead of playing Binecraft with friends after school, I was homeschooled and spent my nights memorizing lines. I had to portray complex emotions like heartbreak before I even knew what the word meant. Bookmark here

Now I’m currently the most famous pop idol in the industry at age 18. Bookmark here

Unlike most idols, however, I am not pursuing my “dream” right now. I almost feel ashamed to be a part of the idol community. All the others have come to this point due to hard work and dedication. Some of them chose to sacrifice everything to live the idol life. These people are true heroes of their own story. Myself on the other hand… I’ve done nothing but allow my mother to push me around.Bookmark here

That's right. Right now, I'm not pursuing my dream 一 I’m pursuing my mother’s dream. Rika Park, the wannabe pop star. A part of me hates her for it, but a part of me just feels bad. Her whole career was just a big waste of hard work and experience. I guess I understand why she built me into my famous persona: “Coco-chan; The Nation's Poster Child.”Bookmark here

My mother is your stereotypical tiger mom. I love my mother, I really do, but she’s a little too much sometimes. Like that time when I was 8 and the doctor misdiagnosed me with ADHD and she said, “SHUT UP, MY CHILD IS COMPLETELY FINE.”, and then he simply vanished. No trace. No record of his existence, no bills, no documents. No diagnosis. Then he reappeared two weeks later. In a missing person report. He also oddly resembled the owner of this café. My mother claims to have no recollection of that incident. Bookmark here

There was also that other time on my 13th birthday when we ordered a cake from the bakery and the cake wasn’t the “right shade of blue”. She screamed at the baker for 20 minutes straight and then paid them off to never speak of the incident again. Wouldn't want to tarnish her dear Coco-chan’s image.Bookmark here

Even at this café, she continued her temper tantrums.Bookmark here

“YOU INCOMPETENT FOOL! I ORDERED A NON FAT, NO DAIRY, NO MEAT, VEGAN, EXTRA CREAM, EXTRA EGG, GLUTEN FREE, OAT MILK MATCHA LATTE WITH EXTRA FOAM! AND WITH A FROG DESIGN ON TOP! WHERE IS THE BLENDED ICE? WHERE IS THE FOAM? IT’S NOT EVEN GREEN! HOW CAN A MATCHA LATTE NOT BE GREEN? I ALSO SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR THE FROG TO BE ON A 45 DEGREE ANGLE SO I CAN POST A PICTURE OF IT ON MY COCO’S INSTAGRAM FEED! THIS IS A-”Bookmark here

My mom pulled out a protractor and lined it up with the frog. Bookmark here

“57 DEGREE ANGLE! HOW DARE YOU MESS THIS UP. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! YOU IMBECILE!”Bookmark here

I shot the barista an apologetic smile. His name tag read “Tristan”, and based on the way he was trembling, he must be new around here. This poor pathetic boy can’t handle my mother.Bookmark here

I check my phone and, yup, it’s only 8:57 am and my mother is already having her first tantrum of the day. This is almost as bad as the time she chose to have a screaming match with her alarm clock. Bookmark here

“I’m so sorry ma’am! I- I’ll fix it up right away! It’ll be ready in just a minute!” Tristan scrambled to grab the nearest blender while my mother glared directly at him. “DO NOT FORGET THE FOAM.” Bookmark here

I sighed, “Mother, please give him a break. He clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing.” As much as I want my drink, I also don’t want to be the reason why this guy quits on his first day. Bookmark here

“OUR FLIGHT TO KOREA IS AT 9 AM AND YOU NEED TO EAT SOME FOOD! YOUR DANCE REHEARSAL IS AT 12 AND YOU CANNOT TRAIN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH!” she retaliated.Bookmark here

I winced at her harsh tone, but kept silent. We both watched as Tristan fumbled to pour the new drink into the cup. Bookmark here

“Here you go! A non fat, no dairy, no meat, vegan, extra cream, extra egg, gluten free, oat milk matcha latte with extra foam and a frog design at a 45 degree angle on top!” he said, presenting the drink with a pained smile. He looked like he was about to cry. Bookmark here

He placed the drink onto the counter, but right as my mother reached for it, the cup suddenly tipped over. The liquid spilled all over the countertop, almost as if some bratty teen hit it in a fit of rage. Bookmark here

We all stared at the mess. What the hell was that? Bookmark here

Tristan’s hands slowly came up to his shoulders in an expression of disbelief. “Ma’am. I do not know how to explain this. But that was not me. Please. I can make you a new one. Please don’t-”Bookmark here

“SILENCE. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, BUT WE NEED TO GO.” She said clutching her Birkin bag. Bookmark here

My mother handed him a crisp 50 dollar bill. Tristan slowly took it with shaky hands. Bookmark here

“KEEP THE CHANGE. WE WILL BE BACK. MY SON, COME NOW. WE MUST GO.”Bookmark here

My mom grabbed me by the arm pointing towards the all-too-familiar staircase by the emergency exit of the café. Bookmark here

She put on her sunglasses and strutted away. I followed gingerly in her footsteps, like I always do.Bookmark here

Well, I guess I’ll eat breakfast on the plane. Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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