Shin Ji Hyun
I am alive! With a voice and a body that make it possible for me to interact with other people!
My heart fills with so much joy and gratitude and my eyes automatically brim with tears. But before I start to cry in earnest I’m distracted by the sight of the tattered hem of the sweat shirt I’m wearing.
Omo! What ….?
I understand that not everyone is rich. But this shirt is a disgrace to woman kind. No respectable woman – regardless whether she has money or not – would ever willingly wear this shirt. Even if she has lost her mind she would not dress herself in this rag.
And the pants!
I’m beyond speechless. I take my eyes off the horrible outfit this girl is wearing and look at her reflection in the mirror in utter disbelief. My hand moves to sweep her curly locks off my forehead to get a better look.
The fingers stuck!
I’m so used to my shiny straight hair that is always in order and as smooth as silk that finding my fingers stuck in these unruly locks – that have never been washed nor combed in who knows how long – has shocked me more than seeing what she wears.
It takes a few tugs and considerable pain to free my fingers from that death trap.
But her fashion taste and personal habits are actually still understandable compare to the sight that greets me as I carefully put that waving tangle off my face – or rather her face.
Those bright black, blue, and reddish colors on top of my left cheek’s bone are definitely not the result of a failed attempt at beautifying one’s face. They look horribly painful. And the cut at the corner of my lower lip is decidedly making its presence known every time I move my mouth.
What am I? A gangster?
Will I have to fight on regular basis?
I might be delusional enough in thinking that my martial art capabilities scare people off at one point in my life. But not any more.
I take a deep breath to fortify myself. Whatever she is she’s all I got. I’m grateful for this chance. Fashion style and personal habits not withstanding.
Tiptoeing, I start moving about her house. Her bathroom/toilet provides another glimpse into her lifestyle. She only has bar soaps. There is no shampoo – which explains why her hair sticks like a gum.
But as I’m going to use her body from now on I can’t let her continue to live like this. It’s our body now.
I take a shower and try to do my best with her soaps. Feeling much better afterward I tiptoe back into the living room and sit at her small table looking for toiletries. There is none.
I even try to look under her table just to make sure.
How could she not even using a skin lotion? It is a good thing that the soap smells nice enough. I tiptoe back across the room to carefully open her wardrobe cabinet. It figures. There is nothing decent there.
The horrors of her clothes serve as a warning to the condition of her unmentionables. They are indeed unmentionables. None of them match. I choose the most acceptable clothes that I could find before heading out.
While walking down the street I feel extremely bothered. How could a girl live like that? She doesn’t have decent clothes. She doesn’t wear a padding bra. She doesn’t use lipsticks. She doesn’t even have a simple lotion and shampoo!
I really could not understand. It’s not normal for a girl to live like that.
Shaking my head I turn to look back at her house as if by looking at her place I could understand her a little bit better. When I turn my head back I almost give myself a heart attack when I see my reflection on the window of the shop nearby.
I look horrible! No, she looks horrible!
The long curly locks are tumbling down my shoulder unchecked. The pale face is decorated with back, blue and angry red. The clothes are not only sloppy and shabby but still unmatched despite my best efforts.
What kind of girl is she?
I look back at the window to see her reflection. The 28 years old Song Yi Kyung onni. She is a lot taller than me. Her fingers are slender and long. She also has a very slim figure and pretty face. Yet, how could she end up looking like this?
I think I’m going to go crazy if I have to be her in her present state. I really, I mean, really, look like a beggar. Sighing in total frustration I start talking to myself.
“How can I walk around looking like this?”
In a desperate last attempt to look a little bit better I l take a look at the window to fix my unruly hair and that’s when I see another reflection glaring at me. After my initial shock disappears I heave a sigh of relief and jump up happily.
So happy that I choose to ignore his menacing looks.
“Wow, it's you Scheduler! You scared me!”
With a full smile I move closer. I feel extremely cheerful now like I just meet my best friend.
“When did you come? Why are you here? What's wrong with you?”
His menacing looks slowly disappear to be replaced by weary looks. Awkwardly, he barks.
“What is it with you?”
My, he is rather cute.
My smile remains. I’m still feeling extremely happy but I know that he must be feeling rather shy. So, I say encouragingly.
“Hey. It's me, Shin Ji Hyun.”
This time his face changes, slowly, threateningly he moves towards me.
“What did you just say? Shin... Ji... Hyun?”
Grinning, I answer his question.
“Yes! I am Shin Ji Hyun!”
I’m about to say something else when the threatening look on his face jolts my memory. Bringing his face closer he wastes no time to remind me of the deal in his most intimidating tones.
“I am sure I told you yesterday, that for the next 49 days there are 3 conditions that you must follow. I'm sure of it.”
I gasp, not only because now it all comes back to me but also because I’m afraid of the ramification of my carelessness.
I could hear my own voice asking him questions last night.
‘What are the three conditions?’
Excitedly, I ask him. This is my chance to get my life back.
With his air of superiority he answers – I have come to a conclusion that that’s how he talks. Either superiorly, condescendingly, mockingly, or threateningly.
‘One. You cannot tell anyone that you are Shin Ji Hyun.’
‘What? But I am Shin J...’
His first condition is ridiculous. I am Shin Ji Hyun. Why can’t I say it out loud? But before I open my mouth he interrupts.
‘Even if you are Shin Ji Hyun, you can’t tell anyone who you are. You can't tell them or even…... think it.’
What? It doesn’t make any sense! I need to let other people know who I am. They need to know I need help. They wouldn’t want to help a complete stranger would they?
‘If I can't say I'm Shin Ji Hyun, how can I collect the 3 tears?’
His answer comes mockingly.
‘If it was that easy, why would you have to borrow someone else's body? Are you going to go around and just ask the other person whether he loves you or not? And what if he doesn’t love you. Do you think he’ll say ‘No, I don't’’
Despite his mocking and superior attitude I can see that he is right. Sheepishly, I concurred.
He looks at me with his sharp and very black eyes.
‘If you don’t follow the rules, you will be walking straight into the elevator and walk to the other world right away. The first to enter. With top status. Express speed.”
He moves his head to illustrate my speedy departure.
Oh. My. God. What did I do? I don’t want to get a top status in his elevator queue. I don’t want to get a differential treatment and be the first one to enter his express delivery.
“And if you ignore my warning……”
Once again threateningly he moves his head closer and I snap out of my fear. My survival instinct kicks in. I quickly look at his face.
“Ignoring your warning?”
Frantically, I shake both my hands to indicate that I have no intention to do such a suicidal act.
“No, I didn’t ignore it. I forgot about it just for a second.”
Desperately trying to climb my way out of this hole, I give him my smile.
“I still remember the 2nd and 3rd rules.”
My efforts to placate and convince him that I do not disregard what he has told me win me his condescending looks that say, okay, let’s hear it.
Quickly, I recite his words.
“The second rule. Shin Ji Hyun can only use Song Yi Kyung's body when she's sleeping. If we calculate it by time that would be from 10 am to midnight. Right?”
Expectantly, I look at him waiting for his approval. He scoffs and starts talking haughtily.
“Your IQ is 2 digits, right? I told you, you have to be at Song Yi Kyung's house, every night by midnight. And not a minute later!”
Now that he mentioned it, yes, there’s that last minute addition.
‘What happens if I don't return to her house by midnight?’
I ask the question casually not really expecting something terrible will happen if I was a little bit late.
Cheerfully, he gives me his answer.
‘If you are one minute late you’ll lose a day out of the 49 days.’
He must be kidding.
Where in the world…..…
‘How is that fair?’
My voice is rising a little.
‘That is our world's rule.’
I know their world sucks. And this is just another reason why I don’t like it here. But what can I do? I’m nothing but the almost dead girl who is trying not to be really dead.
Grudgingly, I ask him about the third rule not expecting it to be any fairer than the previous one.
‘What is the third rule?”
‘You’ll need to earn the money that you use.”
See. Their rules suck!
‘You want me to earn my own money?’
I never earned any money when I was alive and now that I’m dead I’m supposed to earn for my living? What is this?
‘I am warning you, other than borrowing Song Yi Kyung’s body you shall not conduct any misdemeanors or matters lacking in virtues.’
He delivers his threats in his most patronizing tone. It makes me wonder why did I ever think he is cute and shy in nature?
Shyness is not in his nature. Nor word cute could ever be used to describe his demeanor.
Getting no immediate response from me he seems to think that my IQ is really two digits for he then stresses his point once again.
‘What I am saying is that you can’t harm that woman in any way!’
I know I’m not smart but my IQ is not two digits either!
Rather annoyed myself now, I match his high tone.
‘Alright! I understand, please stop!’
And I need to stop thinking that he is my guardian angel. He is the reaper!
He stops but he gives me a look that one would give to an annoying kid. With his superior looks back in place he crosses his arms over his chest.
Well, being the almost dead who is at his mercy I can’t act superior like him but I think I still have my freedom of speech here.
I look him up and down then purse my lips to form what I hope is an impressive sneer.
‘By appearance, you look like a man. But your nagging is worse than my mom's.’
The problem is I never sneer before, so, instead of sneering I think I ended up sounded like I was whining.
He scoffs condescendingly. Then using his most superior gesture and tone he’s back at patronizing me.
‘Look here. In the afterworld we don’t discriminate between male and female.’
Yeah, right. He just discriminates between scheduler and the almost dead!
I follow his lead and scoff back.
‘Look here. I do not care about your world, you know.’
That wipes out his superior look.
Just because I’m easily bullied it doesn’t mean that I’ll accept his scheme meekly. I’ll fight for my life till my last breath!
‘I don’t have any reason to go to your world! I won’t go!’
I look at him defiantly.
He looks at me for a few seconds then shakes his head. His perfect sneer and scoff are in display. But he waits for me to continue.
‘You just said that if 3 people are willing to cry for me tomorrow, I’ll be alive again, right?’
In his most aggravating way he replies.
‘It has to be 3 people who sincerely love you.’
The way he delivers his answer implies that I would find a hard time looking for them. So, to get back at him and also because I am curious I ask.
‘What if there are more than 3 people? I've thought about it. If you exclude my mom and dad, I have 3 people who truly love me. I tried to shrink their numbers but I couldn't. You said only 3. But I can predict there are 5 to 6 people who really love me. So, will you give me an incentive, if there are more than 3?’
This time he looks positively livid. His face turns all red. And he stutters.
‘I was thinking, with one more person, it converts to an additional year in my life time. So I can live years longer.’
What a brilliant idea. It pleases me just thinking about it. But the scheduler doesn’t think so. He looks like he is about to explode.
His wow is full of the opposite meanings.
‘This time I've really scored an annoying one to work with. Argh…...!!’
He growls like an angry wolf.
But I’ve become so used to his barks so I just ignore it and pull his arm when he turns his face away from me in annoyance.
‘If you don't know the answer, try calling them.’
I point toward the heaven above us. I guess that’s the last straw because this time instead of just barking or growling he yells from the top of his lungs.
The memory makes me cringe. I must be crazy or suicidal. How could I act like that toward him? What if he decides to just drag me into his speedy elevator with top priority status?
He brings his face closer again. I notice he does that when he’s angry or wants to intimidate me. I’m too nervous to notice that this time though he appears to be amused by my fear.
I’m struggling to find excuses for my inexcusable behavior last night. There’s none. How am I going to escape from the penalty if he’s still upset about what happened last night? What if he holds grudges like most women do?
Although he said he’s beyond male and female but he talks a lot. Just like women. If he has other womanly traits, the most likely one is holding grudges.
“But, you see…...”
I stop haltingly.
“You're not......my mom nor my dad, nor my friend nor my boyfriend.”
I stop again.
He looks positively smug.
“So, you are…….the Scheduler?”
“So…...telling you….. that I am Shin Ji Hyun, should not be regarded as a mistake.”
I hold my breath and bow my head, too afraid to look at his face and see the deathly blow from his mouth.
“Yes, that’s right.”
Shocked, I raise my head and look at him uncomprehendingly.
“Were you going to act like you weren't Shin Ji Hyun?”
He looks so pleased with himself.
I finally realize that he just had me.
He ignores my scream and takes something out of his bright blue pocket.
I look at the thing that he puts into my hand then say in wonder.
“It's a hand phone.”
As if it hears my excited voice and wants to further impress me the phone talks.
“48 days 3 hours, 25 minutes left.”
I almost drop it.
“Aahh! What is this?”
“The time that you have left.”
He takes the phone and starts showing me its functions.
“This is an emergency button, so use it only when it is an emergency. Normally it doesn’t show. Also, my number is on speed dial.”
Suddenly, he stops then takes a deep breath as if to collect his patience before looking at me half threateningly and starts talking the way he would talk to a slow person or a kid.
”When I say emergency, it has to be a real emergency. An emergency situation is when you break one of the 3 rules or when you are REALLY in a dangerous situation.”
He sure nags and talks a mile.
But obediently, I nod and quickly snatch the phone back. Just looking at the hand phone makes me feel good. At least I have something that is not tattered. The first decent looking thing that I have in this world.
“This really looks like a hand phone, one of those newly released ones.”
The scheduler sighs but instead of retrieving the phone back and repeats his instructions for the second time as I’m sure he longs to do, he withdraws something out of his many pockets.
“Here's some cash.”
Dear me. Is he going to act as my guardian angel now?
The money looks even better than the phone. Before he could change his mind I snatch it from his hand and start counting.
“Since you don’t have a job yet I’m lending it to you. You have to pay it back within 49 days.”
To stress the importance of that statement he brings his face right into my face and continues.
“Whether you stay in this world or not.”
Definitely not a guardian angel!
And it’s not like he lends me millions!
I ask him to make my own point.
He doesn’t even bother to reply. He turns around waves his hand and gets ready to ride his bike.
“Then…...I wish you good luck.”
With that he gets ready to take off.
I try to stop him from leaving without proper explanation. He’s my only contact here. It’s only sensible to know more about your contact. We need to bond closer.
“Why do you go around in a motorbike? When like the last time you can just go here, go there in
a blink of an eye. Why would you go around acting like a human?”
Sitting on his big bike looking so much like a human he is not he gives me his most superior look.
“This is how I enjoy my life as a scheduler.”
I can feel that my jaw drop a little.
“Enjoy your life as a scheduler?”
He shrugs, turns away from me and puts the key into the ignition. I think he wants to ride his bike without answering my question but he sits back a little and gives me a piece of his mind.
“Instead of involving yourself in my affairs, get on with your own.”
Then in the most off handed manner he reminds me.
“If you want to get those 3 tears, you'll have to get busy.”
My Goodness! I do have an important mission to accomplish. A life and death mission. Although my memory seems to get better but I don’t seem to lose my tendency to lose focus. With both hands on my head. I try to concentrate on the issue at hand.
“Oh, yes! That’s right!”
The scheduler turns his attention back to his bike.
What just happened?
Did he just remind me to help me or did he just divert my question? Whatever his motivation is he can’t just leave like that with no further explanation. There are still many things that I don’t know of.
“But, how do I know if I already get those 3 tears?”
“There, that necklace.”
I don’t have a necklace. But when my hand searches around my neck I do find a necklace there. A beautiful necklace with a pendant in a shape of tear.
“If someone really drops a genuine tear for you, catch it there.”
I look again at the necklace. And while I’m looking at it thinking that he has said what he needs to say he drives off without another sentence.
I scream and run after him.
“Let's go together!”
To my pleasure he stops. Turns around and gives me his smug looks.
“Drop me off at the hospital.”
Happily, I hop into his bike. But he moves it forward. The stupid me fall to the asphalt right on my butts and could only stare at his departing back. But he stops again a few meters away and turns around. Smirking.
“The rule is…...a scheduler doesn't get involved with human affairs.”
I think the most likely reason he doesn’t want to give me a lift is because he doesn’t want me to get a glimpse at how he enjoys his life as a scheduler in our world!
With injured pride I get up and mutter to myself.
“He really has no sense of humanity!”
And who wants to get involve in his life?!Now that I have a real body and money I can perfectly manage on my own! I stop a taxi and have to pay 9,500 won for the trip to hospital. With a burst of energy but also fear I go to my room and peek from the door.
Kang Min Ho oppa is sitting next to my bed while father stands not far away. Admonishing him.
“How long are you going to keep this up? I told you to go home and sleep.”
“I am fine.”
But Kang Min Ho oppa doesn’t look fine. He looks pale and tired.
I feel really sorry towards him.
“You need to at least change your clothes.”
Father raises his voice now, but it breaks a little.
“I want to stay next to Ji Hyun.”
Kang Min Ho oppa’s refusal touches me and makes me feel like crying.
A little bit softer now father continues to reason.
“Min Ho-ah, do you think this is a dream?”
Kang Min Ho oppa replies in a low voice.
“I wish it was. That Ji Hyun......is just dreaming.”
He then looks at me and says with more grit.
“She will come back. She will come back, father.”
Father nods but I can see that he’s trying to harden himself too.
“Yes. She will come back because she feels sorry to you. This girl will.”
I’m hurt because the people who love me are hurting because of me.
I know how much father loves me so I can imagine how he feels but I don’t really understand how much Kang Min Ho oppa loves me, oh, I know he loves me because he tells me he loves me and he shows me he loves me but to see how miserable he looks right now, he must really love me.
The memory of our meeting plays back in my mind.
I wolf down my food without other thoughts in my mind.
‘What if you hadn't met him in the mountains? You should at least have asked for his name.’
Mother starts to berate me for not knowing the identity of my savior. I know she’s extremely grateful that I come back home safe and sound.
I swallow another mouthful before answering her.
‘I wasn't in any condition to ask him.’
Father who stands by my bed sighs and declares what he’ll do.
‘I think, I'll place a newspaper ad.’
I stop eating, look at him and ask.
‘ ‘Oh Myung Mountain's life saver. Looking for the man who saved my daughter's life’. Like that?’
Father doesn’t feel bothered by the ridiculous sounds of that add. He firmly says.
‘If you are not grateful, then you're not much of a person.’
But mother seems to agree with me, she tries to argue.
‘Don't you think an ad in the newspaper is a little…...over the top?’
But father is adamant. He answers her argument with a joke.
‘‘An over’ is the thing you buy every winter.’
Then more firmly he continues.
‘He saved my daughter's life. He even piggybacked her all the way from the top and kept her from the cold.’
Father is right. Now, after having my fill I remember again how it felt back then.
‘That is true. When he had me on his back, it was less cold….. and less scary.’
Although I don’t know who that man is, like father I’m also extremely grateful. He did save my life on that mountain and I feel sorry for not thinking about him earlier.
But no matter how grateful I am, unlike father I don’t feel the urge to find him. His kindness will be rewarded as every kindness will be but it doesn’t necessarily have to be by us.
But fate has decided that it’s not right for me to abandon my savior just like that and presented me a chance to be a better person.
I was supposed to meet In Jung in a theater when I met Kang Min Ho oppa instead.
I don’t know what happens to In Jung but I’ve waited for quite sometimes and yet there is no shadow of her. Impatiently, I call her.
“You can't come? I thought you'd left?”
“I did. But my senior called me. I told you right? That I have a blind date. I forgot that it was today.”
It doesn’t seem like her. She’s the most organized person I ever know. She never forgets anything.
Rather frustrated, I remind her.
“You are the one who organized this to apologize for that mountain fiasco.”
Actually, I no longer remember the way she left me all by myself in that mountain and have no desire to go the movie but she keeps pressing me to go if I really want to forgive her.
And now, she says she couldn’t come because she forgets!
I think In Jung could sense how unhappy I am because she quickly says.
“I know. I will tell senior I can't go.”
Now that she relents I can’t insist her to come. Watching a movie with me is not that important. And it’s not like I really want to see any movie either. I come because she wants me to come. Chidingly, I ask her.
“Which is more important, coming to the theater or your blind date?”
But her answer succeeds to rile me up again. I stand up and yell.
“Are you joking!”
I didn’t realize how loud I was until the man who sits next to me also stands up and barks the exactly same sentence.
I turn and look at him.
“Hey, are you joking with me? Are you joking with me? How can a man watch a movie by himself?!”
There’s something about his voice that captures my attention.
“You are fine now, so find your inner strength!”
Yes, there’s something about his voice. I remember that voice.
“Ji Hyun. Ji Hyun?”
I can hear In Jung calling me but my attention is on that man who is still busy talking on his phone with his friend who is also couldn’t come to the movie. I quickly hang up on In Jung.
“Have a good blind date. Bye.”
I look at his back intently.
“Gosh, really? If you intended to make up, why did you cry and ask for comfort?”
“Gosh, really? If you intended to make up, why did you cry and ask for comfort?”
Oh my God! That scar on the back of his hand!
That scar……it’s the same scar with that man who saved me on that mountain. I don’t remember his face, but I still remember his voice and scar.
His voice when he was about to leave after carrying me back to safety rings back in my ears.
‘I want to go with you but I have a meeting tomorrow morning. Take care of yourself.’
He’s still talking to his friend who apologizes for not coming and angrily hangs up.
“Just forget it!”
Yes, that’s his voice. The voice of my savior.
He turns his back and walks pass me on his way out. Just like me he also doesn’t recognize me. But, just like what father says I wouldn’t be human if I pretend that I don’t know him now and don’t even tell him in person how grateful I am for his help.
I quickly follow him and grab his arms.
“Excuse me... “
He turns and looks at me questioningly.
Expectantly, I look at him with a very big smile on my face.
“Don't you remember me? Last week in the Oh Myung Mountains…..”
“Oh Myung Mountains?”
This time he pays a very close attention to my face. Then recognition comes and lights his face.
Smiling, I nod.
He laughs and smiles. He looks extremely happy.
The memory makes me feel even guiltier for hurting him now with my condition. It reminds me once again of how I didn’t even think about Kang Min Ho oppa after that mountain’s accident, not even once while he had been thinking about the girl he saved and been worried sick over how I was doing.
He has loved me since the day he put me on his back and I do nothing but making him worry about me.
I lean on the door with a heavy heart. Even if I don’t feel the way he feels I shouldn’t hurt him like this. Slowly, from the bottom of my heart I send him my apologies.
“Oppa, I'm sorry. You saved me and love me so much. I’m sorry for hurting you like this.”
Just as I finish my sentence I realize something important. The tears. Frantically, I try look for the necklace and check it out. Nothing. The necklace looks exactly the same. No tears.
I turn to peer inside the room. Kang Min Ho oppa still sits by my bed and stares at my unmoving body. He looks pale but that’s it. There are no tears in his eyes. He doesn’t cry at all. Perhaps after crying so much yesterday his eyes become dry now.
I sigh with resignation.
Startled, I look up at a nurse who comes without my notice.
“Did you come to visit?”
What? Me…..visiting me? No, a perfect stranger visiting me! I can’t let this nurse push me inside or notifying both Kang Min Ho oppa and father.
“No, that’s not it. I am looking for a place.”
She gives me this look that I don’t quite understand.
“Are you looking for treatments? They are on the first floor.”
She stares pointedly at my bruised cheek.
That’s when I get it. Hurriedly, I cover it with my hand. I need to do something about it. I can’t let other people speculating about what’s wrong with me. I can’t afford to look suspicious or attract attention.
I quickly go to the pharmacy, buy some medicine and apply the salve on my left cheek and broken lip under the watchful eyes of the girl who just serves me.
I look into the mirror. That’s better. The cheek no longer looks angry red. It’s only slightly pink now.
Trying to look more presentable I try to tidy up my hair but my fingers are stuck in it. Impatiently, I pull them out but that simple action gives a lot of pain to my scalp. I don’t even realize I yell.
With a red face I say my goodbye to the sales girl and run to the nearest convenience store for a second treatment.
“Shampoo and Conditioner. That's 29,000 won.”
I give the money to the cashier without thinking much about the price then go to Soe Woe’s bakery.
I stop in front of her bakery and try to look through the window from the street. It’s not easy. I can’t see clearly but on the other side the attendant could see me clearly. She comes out and greets me.
“Please come inside and have a look.”
“Did your manager go somewhere?”
I ask her hopefully. Never once thinking that it is a rather strange question.
“She said she couldn't come in today.”
Her answer dims my spirit considerably. I really hope I could see Soe Woo today.
“Who are you?”
The question is asked politely but she looks suspicious It serves as a reminder that I need to be more careful in my inquiries. It reminds me that I can’t make other people suspicious. I can’t let them know who I am. Before she could ask me more questions I quickly retreat.
“I am no one.”
Why doesn’t Soe Woe come to work? Is she sick? And how about In Jung? She doesn’t come to Soe Woe’s bakery either. Are they at home?
With a new destination in my mind my spirit lifts up a little. But when I arrive at Soe Woe’s place I could only stand at her door and try to listen whether there are people inside. Unfortunately, no matter how close I press my ear to the door I could hear no sound at all. It’s very quite.
Where could they be? They are not at the hospital either.
I need to at least see how they're doing. The disappointment of not being able to see my best friends seeps my energy. But before I become completely miserable I remember a place where I might find them.
In a blink of an eye all my sadness disappears without a trace to be replaced by an excitement that brings life back into my body. I know where they are. They must be at Han Kang’s place!
Happily, I run towards Heaven.
Every part of his body hurts like they have been crushed by a mountain. He moves around just by the sheer power of his determination. He needs to retreat – like a wounded animal that needs to find a safe place to lick his wounds.
Once he gets inside his living room his legs can no longer support his weight and he collapses onto the couch. With both eyes tightly closed he lies there without moving an inch.
His body is trained to withstand physical pains. But these pains are not physical. His lungs feel like it’s been filled with needles that moves every time he breaths. Each breath is a pure torture.
But he takes another deep breath. Then another.
God. It. Hurts.
As the excruciating pain spreads over his body his thumb moves to gently caress the silver bracelet that he holds tightly in his right hand. Her bracelet. The only part of her that belongs to him.
He needs to be strong. He has to be strong. He can’t fall apart now!
He tightens his hold on her bracelet. That small part or her is the only thing that helps him to function normally all these years. As long as he has it in his hand everything will be alright. He will be fine.
Hissing painfully, he tries to convince himself that he could endure these pains. That Shin Ji Hyun is here and she will fix whatever needs fixing just like when they first met. Just like that day, she will come back barging in to save him.
Yes. He needs to believe that. Otherwise he’ll go crazy. He clenches his hand with all his might trying to conquer this paralyzing pain and pushing himself to be strong.
He clenches his fists tightly and tries to control his emotions and looks at the bullies. Who do they think they are? They don’t even know that they mess with the wrong guy. Their number doesn’t intimidate him at all.
Just like all bullies. They come in pack.
His superior brain has led some idiots into making a wrong assumption about him. They lump him into a bookworm category and assume that he is weak and good at nothing else but reading a book.
That is why they are called idiots.
It would not occur to them that with his superior brain, it is easier for him to learn anything he wants to learn. Even if that involves physical movement and brute force.
He is itching to show these idiots what he can do with his fists. But, always talk first. Never be the one who starts a fight. With enough challenge in his tone he starts talking.
‘So... you’re telling me not to be so snobbish? How should I act, if I can't act like a snob?’
He looks directly at everyone’s eyes. There are five of them. The biggest one moves closer to him.
‘Gosh, this kid! You're still so arrogant!.’
And that is supposed to make him cower? For a split second he smiles and replies with less heat.
‘But I don't know who you guys are…...‘
Only to continue with his most arrogant and condescending tone.
‘And I've never seen you either. Do you know me?’
They all laugh with the kind of laugh that is designed to frighten others, then the boy who has been sitting on his bike behind all those bullies – he is probably the leader of the pack – comes forward to personally give him a lesson.
‘Gosh, this jerk…...’
That boy might expect that his hand will connect with his target’s jaw in one hard swing. Delusional idiot.
When that hand comes just a few inches from his head with lightning speed he captures that offending hand with his right hand then forces his victim around to face his cohorts with a small push.
His left hand grips the shoulder of his shocked opponent and drags him back a little before giving the back of that idiot’s head a hard slap.
All of that happens in less than a half second.
If those bullies have some intelligence left in their big empty heads they will understand that they are way out of their league here. But of course they don’t. Instead of backing off the second in command charges forward.
Before the second idiot could raise his hand he grabs that stupid boy by his lapels to hold him still.
How he loves to teach them a lesson that they will never forget. But on the other hand he doesn’t want to stand out. He just wants to be left alone.
Where does that leave him?
He looks at the second idiot straight in the eyes. The boy has some guts. He stares right back at him.
Not an easy feat to do because he was told once that his eyes glitter with ice and fire and any sensible breathing creature would recognize that look as a warning sign and will heed it by retreating.
But it has been established that these bullies are idiots. He is pretty sure they don’t have any sense at all. What they have is a false confidence in their numbers. Little do they know that the five of them means nothing to him He could take them all in less than five seconds.
If they dare to attack him….
He waits half praying that they will. But as the second ticks the air is broken by the sound of a whistle from a distance.
A girl on a bike is blowing her whistle like crazy. She struggles with her bike but she keeps on blowing that annoying pink whistle.
The result of that sound is astonishing. The bullies become restless. Then the leader decides.
‘Let's go. Come on, let's go. If I bump into her, my father will kill me.’
To his displeasure, the stupid boy who doesn’t even have enough sense to be afraid of him starts dragging the arms of his friends.
‘Let's go. Quickly, let's go.’
He tries to get another look at that girl. But there is nothing scary about her.
The other boys grumble but apparently they also feel the same. The second in command looks at the girl with murder in his eyes and says angrily.
‘Her farther is the factory’s labor manager. I need to tell my dad to quit or something.’
They seem to be pretty uneasy as they look at the approaching girl. The girl drops her pink whistle and screams.
‘You cowards! Stop right now!’
She is getting closer. About 30 meters away now. To his disbelief she starts turning her lunch box – which is also pink – above her head like a lasso before throwing that pink missile their way. For a moment they all look at that bit of pink as it lands on the ground.
The girl doesn’t seem to notice anything strange. Confidently, she jumps off her still moving bike. And pay no attention when it proceeds to roll down the steep hill.
The bullies scurry away without backward glance. Disappointed that his victims got away unscathed he yells to call them back.
The girl follows behind him.
‘Hey, transferred student. Are you okay? You must've been startled right?’
Her voice is full of sympathy and understanding.
He looks at her with chagrin and annoyance. Aggressively he asks.
‘Who are you?’
The girl doesn’t seem to notice the tone of his voice nor his aggressive stance. She starts hitting her tiny left fist into her tiny right hand.
‘Those kids! I’ve repeatedly told them not to bully the weak. Why don't they listen?’
He could even fight against a professional fighter from an underground crime organization and do his teachers proud! His level of fighting skills is beyond that of school bullies!
Still completely oblivious she continues.
‘Mr. Seoul. You might not know because you are from Seoul. Since you’ve been living comfortably there you are not aware that you Seoul city kids cannot win against us Country kids. Therefore you have to be more careful next time.’
Gosh! This is so unbelievable! Is he just being protected by this tiny bit of ignorance with a penchant for pink?
He comes closer and lowers his head to hers. The top of her head only reaches his shoulder. And he is almost twice her size.
‘Hey, country girl!’
With his most dangerous tone he barks.
‘You’re just a female so why are you interfering?’
She has to tilt her head backward to look at him but looks him in the eyes she does. There is no fear nor annoyance nor offended sensibility in her expression. She looks cheerfully carefree. With a smile she tells him why.
‘I am the lord of justice. When I see injustice, I just can’t tolerate it.’
Her face tells him how happy she is with what she just did. Saving him. And it irritates the hell out of him.
Although she acts like a kickass with just one look he can see how fragile she really is. Even a kid could easily overpowered her.
That is why what she says doesn’t make any sense. Either his hearing fails him or this girl has some serious mental problem.
He asks, trying to make sure that he heard her correctly the first time
Cheerfully, she continues with a loud clear voice that delivers her feelings of how proud she is of her father and how much she values his opinions.
‘My father tells me to always help the weak.’
He never hears anyone speaks of their fathers with that tone. There is so much love and trust there.
And she says that without even trying to impress him with her wonderful father. The sentence comes out automatically like when one directly answers when one’s name being called.
Then with a slightly embarrassed manner she continues.
‘Besides, I am a Tae Kwon Do black belt and Kumdo first Dan. Did you think they ran away for no reason?’
Is this girl for real? She is completely oblivious of the whys or motivations behind the actions of those around her. Black belt in Tae Kwon Do? First Dan in Kumdo?
Yeah, right. He’ll believe that when he sees a turtle win a race.
He is pretty sure that her Tae Kwon Do and Kumdo’s teachers let her pass because they didn’t want to hurt her feelings or because they want to please her father.
But what is he doing here? Listening to her nonsense and wasting his time looking at her cheerful face that looks at him with such joy – a contagious joy – that makes some of his anger disappear. He must be losing his mind!
He needs to keep going.
Trying to sound intimidating, but somehow knows that she will not be intimidated he threatens her.
‘You…..! You’re dead next time you try to interfere again!’
Feeling rather confused and unsure for the first time in his life he turns away from her. He only takes one step when she calls him back.
‘Hey, transferred student!’
‘Can you help me get my bike?’
He turns and gives her a mean look which of course she doesn’t notice. Looking at the direction she points out he could see her fallen bike right at the bottom of the hill. Damn!
He should not stop when she calls. He should not stay behind. He should run away with those idiots when he sees her coming. He should…..
He opens his eyes.
Then starts pacing.
His heart throbs painfully and his head feels like it’s going to explode. He needs to do something. He can’t just stay here and do nothing. There has to be something that he can do!
In despair and anger he bangs his forehead on the table. It doesn’t stop the pain in his heart nor make his head less explosive. Sighing heavily, he stops. What makes him think that a real physical pain will lessen the non physical ones?
He needs to leave his rooms and go downstairs to his restaurant and tries to engage in the act of living. To act like nothing catastrophic has happened.
“You’re going up to have a look?”
He hears his female staff asks Hae Won as he walks into the restaurant. Hae Won who is about to go upstairs stops in his track when he sees him coming.
His male staff greets him cheerfully.
“Oh, President! You came?”
He moves his hand and hits the poor guy’s head.
“Didn’t I tell you not to call me President?! Are your ears plugged? Do you have Alzheimer's at such a young age? Are you a monkey head?”
The lad quickly apologizes.
“I am sorry.”
But he is not finished yet. He points at the napkin on the bartender’s table.
“Why is this here? And that too! What is that? How many times have I told you I do not like things scattered around like this!”
He can hear his own voice rising to a high note. But he can’t help it. The staff start to look at each other from the corner of their eyes. They must think he’s gone crazy.
Only Hae Won looks at him with compassion and understanding on his face. Belligerently, he challenges the gentle Hae Won.
“Ahjussi, why? What?”
Hae Won just stands there with his hands in his pocket and not saying a word.
He asks again more harshly this time.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Is there something on my face? Why are you staring at me like you've seen a devil?”
This time Hae Won moves his hand out of his pocket and softly says.
“Oh... I'm sorry.”
That only makes him angrier. He starts shouting.
“What are you sorry for?! Is looking at a person something to be sorry about? Why are you sorry?!”
Hae Won averts his gaze and clears his throat.
Feeling utterly upset that he has totally lost it and makes everyone else uncomfortable he scratches his head angrily. Sighing heavily, he moves to the front of the restaurant.
He needs to calm down.
But as he is about to move out a girl comes barging in blocking his way. They stand there facing each other for a few seconds. She gasps then looks at him directly before averting her gaze. But her eyes quickly return back to his face again.
He is used to women staring at his face. He knows he is good looking. But perhaps to some women judging from how they stare and keep on staring, he is more than just good looking. Too bad for them he has no interest in women.
He quickly moves pass her.
Shin Ji Hyun
I almost bump into Han Kang when I run inside his restaurant. His face is all red. He looks like he is ready to kill someone.
When my eyes meet his beautiful eyes – I don’t need to tilt my head to see his face now because I’m tall – I suddenly feel afraid. What if he knows it’s me?
But he only gives me a cold look. Without a word he continues his walk to the front part of his restaurant. I feel slightly relief that he doesn’t recognize me and move forward.
His female staff comes forward and greets me with a smile.
“Welcome. How many people?”
This is awkward. I didn’t realize before that I could not just ask for In Jung or Soe Woo’s where about here.
I try to have a look around the restaurant to see if either of them is here.
“They are not here.”
I say the world out loud with a clear disappointment in my voice without realizing it.
“Please sit down and wait for them.”
She offers a table for me. I look at that table and refuse her offer.
“No, it’s okay.”
But when I turn around and about to leave I smell something delicious and my stomach promptly reacts and voices its approval. It’s my favorite dish! Han Kang’s spaghetti is the best pasta in the world.
So, instead of leaving, I end up sitting and ordering that pasta and eating the whole plate in record time leaving only the bay leave behind. After finishing that heavenly food I feel so much better. Contentedly, I sigh.
“Ah…..Now I feel like I can live.”
I rest my head on my hand trying to think. The problem is with full stomach I feel sleepy. But I can’t spend my day sleeping especially not here at Han Kang’s table. Hurriedly, I take my money out to pay for my food and start counting.
4,000 won! I’m in trouble.
At first, although a little bit apprehensive I’m not that afraid when I try to explain my predicament, because its Han Kang’s restaurant anyway, but his female staff quickly changes that by pointing out that what I do is indeed a major offense.
“Coming to eat without money is the same as eating without paying.”
She gives me a mean look which totally intimidates me. Trying to be bold I look at her and try to defend myself.
“I didn’t eat without paying…….it’s just that I don’t have enough money.”
She sighs loudly and promptly grabs the phone.
“Should I just call the police?”
What? Just for an unpaid meal she’s going to throw me into jail? Just as quickly I scream to stop her.
“No! You cannot! Didn’t I tell you I'll work to pay for my meal? I’ll just work here to pay that money back.”
She puts her phone back before raising her own voice.
“Who decided that?”
I look at her and defiantly answer.
“The President will decide it.”
I don’t know whether Han Kang hears our argument. He probably does. He sits on the sofa in a corner not far away from us. Hae Won ajusshi is standing by his side attentively looking at his drawing.
Han Kang is sketching like his life depends on it. While my whole life depends on the price of his meal.
“I was just really hungry….”
I feel terribly ashamed now. How could I end up like this? I turn into a beggar begging for food. And at Han Kang’s place nonetheless!
But I’m not a beggar! This girl needs to know that. I never mean to commit any crime. But when I’m hungry I just couldn’t think straight.
“My body can’t tolerate being hungry. That’s why I ate without thinking about the money. Do you really think I did it on purpose?”
I almost scream my last sentence. But I can hear my voice break a little and my eyes start to brim with tears. I am so upset that I don’t even realize that Hae Won ajusshi approaches us. He comes to me and gently says.
“Excuse me. The President said you can just go now.”
I am stunned.
Hae Won ajusshi is always kind and gentle but Han Kang is not, and he is always particularly mean to me. This is unexpected and so unlike him.
I look at him. But he doesn’t even bother to raise his head and continues to draw like he doesn’t hear anything.
I leave his restaurant with a new vigor in my steps and a warmth that seeps into my heart. Who knows Han Kang has such a good heart? I smile when I remember what his mother told me years ago.
Back then, I was quite baffled when she told me that despite his bad manner Han Kang has a heart of gold. I guess mother always knows her son best. Although why she felt the need to tell me that is still beyond me.
I stop walking and sit on the sidewalk waiting for my bus. The thought of Han Kang keeps warming my heart. He is always mean to me and forces me to fight with him. But, this time I finally know how good he really is.
“Kang-ah when I return…..I won't forget your kindness.”
Saying that promise out loud fills me with contentment. But that contentment only lasts for a second. The next instant it occurs to me that I need money for my bus fare. Horrified, I jump up from my seat. How could I forget that I don’t have any money?!
But what is the use of remembering that sad fact? Glumly, I sit back down. However, as soon as my butt touches the bench the Scheduler’s face comes to my mind.
“Whatever money you need. You have to earn them!”
I could see his smug look and hear his half threatening half condescending tone.
I’m doomed. There’s no way I could earn any money.
I look at the bag of shampoo and conditioner that I just bought. The 29,000 won necessity that no longer feels that important now.
Where could I get the money I need to live?
I can feel that a depression is coming but before it sinks its teeth my eyes fall on the papers that are provided for those who wait for the bus. I quickly take one and read it with a new hope. But of all the jobs being offered there is not even one that I’m qualified to do.
How could it be? That in this big city of Seoul there is no place that could employ me? This is very depressing. But before I become totally depressed another thought crosses my mind. A thought that brings a smile back to my face.
But of course there is a place where I could work!
He tries to calm himself by drawing. Not that drawing really works but it is the best excuse for sitting for hours without being disturbed.
He is rather ashamed for yelling at Hae Won. Not that he never yells at him but still this time he makes everyone feels bad without them doing anything that warrant it.
But the ever sensitive and perceptive Hae Won approaches him and pretends to wanting to chat and admiring his sketch. Hae Won clearly wants to tell him that there is nothing to worry about what just happened.
What worries him is how dangerously close he is to losing control of himself. He does give those who work for him a hard time from time to time. But it is always because he wants to show them his bad temper. To let them know that he is a difficult person to please.
This time, his outburst happens because he could not control himself. Because he needs an outlet for his anger and pain. Because he could not keep them inside anymore.
Nobody knows how he feels about Shin Ji Hyun although he has a nagging suspicion that Hae Won might know. Just might. Because it’s impossible for other people to understand his feelings for her. What she means to him.
The world could collapse anytime without him noticing nor even care. Things that interest him are only things that pertain to Shin Ji Hyun. Nothing matters to him if it doesn’t relate to her.
Just like now.
That argument over the price of a meal could go on all day for all he cares and he wouldn’t interfere until something jars his consciousness. He turns his head and looks at that strange girl who stared at him when she walked in.
Although he pretends to be absorbed in his drawing he’s been listening to their conversations since it begins. There is something about the way she talks that bothers him but he could not quite figure it out what it is.
The moment she shouts ‘The President will decide!’ which such unwavering conviction that surprises even his staff he remembers who talks like that.
How could a total stranger put so much trust in him to decide her fate? She is putting a brave face in that humiliating situation when it is easy to see that she is really afraid and ashamed.
Just by remembering who this girl reminds him of is enough to make him decide to let her go.
But what she says next not only captures his full attention it makes his aching dying heart freezes, jumps, then starts beating frantically.
‘My body can’t tolerate being hungry!’
A simple hunger can force people to do many things. Even murder. But he knows only one girl whose body could not tolerate hunger to the point she almost becomes another person.
The thought of Ji Hyun becomes that hungry is more than he could bear. So, he tells Hae Won to let her go.
How would he know that his one act of kindness would bring her back to him for more?
“Part time job?”
He asks her incredulously.
“Yes. If you let me work here, I could also repay you the money I owe….”
Somehow he knows that she would start talking nonstop and would not stop badgering him until he listens. So, he cuts her short.
“I don't need the money. We're not hiring.”
He pretends to look at his papers.
“You’re not hiring?”
Her voice fills with disbelief and disappointment as if she didn’t even consider that he would turn her down. Her tone forces him to look at her in bewilderment.
Because the moment he looks at her she forgets her disappointment and resumes talking with so much enthusiasm that he thinks he just imagined hearing that disappointment in her voice.
“I graduated from the College of Hotel Management and Hospitality and worked at the Seoul Hotel for 2 years.”
She says it like saying something very impressive that should impress other people as well. In this case, him.
“I said that we don’t have any openings.”
He tells her firmly then promptly returns to look back at his papers. Not that he expects she would take that hint but a guy could try.
As he has suspected she ignores his rejection, but this time her voice drops and carries – which must be another of his imagination – a touch of despair.
“My situation is…..it happens that I must work here.”
It annoys him that she is so persistent. It upsets him that he hears things he shouldn’t hear in her voice. It baffles him that she – a perfect stranger – could come to him and ask for a favor like this.
And most importantly it bothers him that he even listens to her!
And what nonsense is this that she has to work here? Let’s see whether being here is really that important to her. He drops all pretense of working and looks right back at her crossly.
“But the situation here is we don’t have any openings.”
His voice is hard and when he continues there is challenge in his tone.
“Would you like an unpaid job?”
He knows what her answer would be even before she says it.
She looks stunned. It is pretty obvious she does not expect that. She stares at him for a few seconds before coming to her senses and quickly replies.
“I can't work here for free.”
That settles it.
He walks out. But who is he kidding? She quickly runs and follows him outside. Screaming desperately.
The desperation in her voice stops him.
“For just 48 days. Exactly 48 days. Won’t that do?”
He is angry that her desperation has enough power to stop him and getting angrier when he hears her request. Who the hell she thinks she is to make that kind of request to him?
“Who are you? Are you kidding me? 48 days?”
She takes a deep breath trying to fortify herself.
“Just consider it as saving a person.”
She looks beseechingly at him then takes another deep breath. Although his anger doesn’t intimidate her but she seems to notice that he doesn’t want to employ her and decides to compromise.
“No….not even 48 days... just a week will do.”
After saying that her desperation completely disappears. She looks pleased that she has figured it out how long it will take to finish her task.
So, at first she thinks she will need 48 days to accomplish her mission. And now suddenly she thinks that a week would be enough to do what she wants to do here…..
But, in her happiness, she once again forgets his refusal to employ her and just assumes that he’ll relent if she keeps on begging.
“Cant’ I do it for just a week?”
Her audacity infuriates him and he is mad at himself for reacting this way. This time instead of shouting his ‘Nos’ he gives her his killer stares. And menacingly moves a little bit closer.
She moves back a little. She doesn’t listen when he shouts his refusal but she understands how angry he is when he conveys it silently. The problem is she seems to be in a situation where she could not relent either.
He could hear her desperate sigh when she forces herself to persist. And this time, mixed with her desperation there is fear. She is being honest when she told him to consider helping her as saving someone’s life.
“Although I am not really sure but I don’t have much time…...”
He doesn’t understand what she’s trying to say. What does it mean that she doesn’t have much time? And what makes her so desperately want to get a job here?
Despite being irritated by her persistence, there is something in her voice and the way she looks at him that touches him.
Him. Not his silly crazy heart. That thing has already gone to a place he doesn’t want to acknowledge the moment it hears her talk.
He, Han Kang, who’d like to listen to his brains better than his heart is at lost now. His brains send him a message that he could not read. It’s like reading coded messages. But nevertheless, the message has a presence that is powerful enough to unbalance him.
The problem is, not knowing what information being sent, he is forced to listen to his heart. And he hates that!
When he makes decisions he wants them to be the results of a careful deliberation. Decisions should be made based on facts and not feelings.
He would never admit to anybody not even to himself that all those decisions he has made are never against his heart.
And now he has to make a decision with only feelings as his guide. How could this girl cloud his normally very concise brains?
He averts his eyes and tries to look elsewhere for an answer but his gaze falls to her hands. She carries a pink bag and some papers but while holding them she unconsciously twiddles the tips of her fingers.
His gaze glues to that fingers. His mind travels to the day of Shin Ji Hyun’s engagement party when she twiddled the tips of her fingers.
Yes, her left hand. The tips of her thumb and forefinger!
Shin Ji Hyun will unconsciously twiddle the tips of her fingers when she is nervous, afraid or extremely troubled by something. Sometimes she uses the fingers of both hands to twiddle. But when she twiddles with one hand she twiddles with the fingers of her left hand. Almost always.
Just like that!
His eyes move down from her hands to rest on her battered shoes. He never knows anybody who wears something that is not even fit for dumpster. Shin Ji Hyun doesn’t even know that there are people who live like this.
Hurriedly, his eyes move back up to look at her face and for the first time he sees her broken lip and the bruise on her cheek which has been concealed but still visible to his trained eyes.
The thought that some men use their fists on a helpless woman infuriates him. He would kill any man who dares to even touch a hair on Shin Ji Hyun’s head. This poor girl doesn’t seem to have anybody.
She casts her eyes down. Too afraid to look at him and hear his rejection. But feeling his eyes on her she carefully lifts her face and looks at him.
Sighing heavily he takes his wallet out and withdraws a couple of checks.
“Here. Take it. Let’s just say that you have worked here for a week.”
Instead of taking the money with a thank you, she looks at the money for a second and sighs disappointedly.
Sigh disappointedly! This is what he gets for trying to be nice!
“Is the amount insufficient?”
He wants to yell at her insolence but his heart puts a tight control over his voice. So instead of sounding insulting he just sounds curious. But still, she finds that offensive and rudely rejects his offer.
Despite her rudeness – her rejection doesn’t even using a polite form of address, although she changes it at last by adding a polite word at the end of her sentence – she sounds devastated.
Another thing that he might imagine because just as he wonders about it, she becomes really mad and starts shouting at him in impolite form. But again as soon as she finishes her sentence she realizes her mistake and corrects it by adding another polite word.
She looks at him with glassy eyes and indignantly shouts at him.
“My father told me to never take money freely!”
He is struck.
He stands there with his hand still stretches out holding those checks he wants to give her while his eyes follow her departing figure with stunned disbelief with his mouth opens wide.
He must look extremely outlandish.
Not that he cares. He’s on the brink of losing his mind here. He needs to sort things out and thinks things through with the help of his perfect hearing and his brains – although the latter don’t work like it used to be it is still better than his heart that jumps into conclusions without reasons.
And yet, with his perfect hearing, in that tone of hers, in her passionate outburst when she mentions her father he hears things that he only heard once before.
He hears the underlying pride and the great love feels by a daughter towards her beloved father. The exact pride and love expressed by Shin Ji Hyun when she told him that her father told her to always stand with the weak!
Shin Ji Hyun
I walk away angrily. I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry with Han Kang before. I’m also hurt. Although it’s not really a new experience because he is always being mean to me, it’s just that I never take his meanness seriously.
However, this time, when I totally depend on him, when I have nobody else to turn to and only have him as my last hope….
I don’t mind begging him for a job, I don’t mind nagging him until he says yes, because I’m so used to the mean Han Kang who always says no to whatever I want him to do but ends up doing exactly everything that he says he won’t do.
It never occurs to me that he would turn me down, not even once. And it certainly never occurs to me that he would treat me like this. Not when I need his help the most.
How could I be so stupid? Well, I am stupid. But why do I always feel that I can count on Han Kang no matter what? Why can’t I remember that he hates me? Did I just think he has a good heart?!
“Han Kang, I knew you were like that! You are a bad person!”
Although I am shouting the word blaming Han Kang I’m more angry with myself. I should have known that in this big city of Seoul this is the place I shouldn’t visit when I’m looking for mercy!
I quicken my pace, trying to get away as fast as I could from Heaven. Underneath my anger there is pain caused by his rejection. But if I’m being honest with myself it is not just his rejection that hurts. I feel like I’ve just been betrayed by Han Kang and that’s what really hurts me.
But I only go down a few steps when his male staff calls me.”
I stop and look at him crossly. I’m not feeling charitable to all people in Heaven. But I follow him inside when he politely directs me towards Han Kang.
“Here he is.”
Han Kang pretends to be busy checking out his books on the shelves and not even bother to turn and look at me. Bad guy!
“What is it?”
I ask him with a relatively controlled voice that makes me rather proud of myself. This time, I’m not going to be fooled by him. I’m not going to expect anything from him ever again.
But he manages to disconcert me with just one word.
“I’m asking for your name.”
He calmly answers, still not bothering to look at me. I almost shout that I’m Shin Ji Hyun before I realize that I’m not Shin Ji Hyun and nobody could ever know who I am.
With a tone that delivers my anger I answer without looking at him.
“It’s Song Yi Kyung.”
This time he stops pretending to be absorbed in his books and looks at me.
“From 11am to 12am, at 4,000 won per hour.”
I stare at him. Totally flabbergasted.
“When you work tomorrow, bring a resume with you.”
Now he is back at pretending to look at his books.
It takes me almost a minute to discern what it means. The moment it registers all my anger which is directed at him and myself disappears. And the pains, too.
They’re all gone. I become extremely happy. Happier than I could remember since the time of my untimely death.
I feel like jumping up and down. I feel like dancing and singing. I know Han Kang would never turn his back on me!
I almost say my thank you informally before remembering that I’m Song Yi Kyung who is a perfect stranger to Han Kang which means I can’t talk informally with him the way I used to. So, I say my thank you formally and blissfully turn to walk away.
Just as I turn I remember that I don’t have any money. With no other choice I stop and turn back to Han Kang.
“Er.... I don't have any money for the bus fare….. Can you lend me 2,000 won?”
It is very embarrassing. I never thought that I would ask Han Kang for money. But I couldn’t possibly go to a stranger and borrow money from them.
Han Kang who is in the process of putting a book back on the shelf stops with his book still in mid air and looks at me.
His jaw is dropping.
I don’t know what is inside his head but he doesn’t look like he is angry. He looks like someone who is lost and doesn’t know which way is up and which way is down. Poor Han Kang.
He is indeed a very good person with golden heart. Where else could I find someone who will treat a perfect stranger like me with the amount of kindness that Han Kang has shown me?
I return home by bus with the money Han Kang gave me and almost miss my stop because I fall asleep as soon as I sit down. Luckily I wake up in the nick of time.
The walk home is a trial. I am gasping for air just after a short distance. In my own body I could walk for hours in high heels without feeling tired or gasping for air like this.
What is wrong with Song Yi Kyung? Her body doesn’t feel like a young woman’s body. It lacks exercise and the fitness that should come with its age. It tortures me with the pain it experiences. I gasp again and take a deep breath.
Another step down the long stairs. I can do it. One more step. I drop the shampoo and conditioner bag to a step below the moment I lose my concentration.
Bowing to get that bag back is another torture that hurts my waist and back. This body really needs a total make over. Not only on its appearances but also on its fitness. As I stare at the bag I just retrieve I realize I have a problem.
I couldn’t return to Song YI Kyung’s house with items that she doesn’t buy herself. I will have to hide everything I bought. But where could I hide them? Ah, I’ll think about it when I get home and no longer gasping for air.
Fortunately for me, I don’t have to wreck my brain looking for hiding place because it’s right there. In the plain sight of everyone who comes through that door. I find it without even looking for it.
After switching the light on I move to the first big object I see – the boxes in the corner of her living room – and open the one on the top. The sight that greets my eyes is so unexpected. The box on the top is filled with pretty clothes while the second box under it is filled with pretty shoes and accessories.
Who would have thought that Song Yi Kyung would have these kind of stuff? I stash my goodies among her shoes and accessories then yawn. I’m extremely tired and sleepy. I mean this body is extremely tired and sleepy.
I am about to lay down when I realize that I still wear the clothes that I chose this morning. I need to change back into the clothes she chose herself. This is a routine that I should never forget!
The moment I lie down on the mattress I, no, Song Yi Kyung promptly falls asleep and I am thrown out of her body and fall hard to the floor next to her. The way her body just collapses is very telling of her poor hard life.
I sit down next to her sleeping body not really know what to do now. But then I remember the most important thing for me, my necklace. My hand moves to my neck. Yes, the necklace stays with me.
Song Yi Kyung is fast asleep now. I quickly but carefully move to the corner of her room next to her big boxes and sit down with my back to the wall trying to get some sleep myself.
I only close my eyes for about two seconds when something makes me reopen them. I sit straighter and start to analyze. How amazing! I’m not tired at all!
Although after falling to the floor and experiencing the pain caused by it I’ve thought that I would have all the senses belong to human being.
It seems that from now on I no longer need to sleep.
I look at the clock. 8.25pm. It’s still early. What should I do now? I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want to do without having to worry about resting.
I get up and move to the door and open it. It is such a simple task that one does without thinking. The moment my hand touches the handle it simmers and refuses to be touched. It’s that invisible wall again!
What should I do now? What should I do? I really need to get out. I can’t just wait for Song Yi Kyung!
I give another attempt at opening the door by kicking it. The door wouldn’t budge but my body is thrown back to the floor for the second time. I fall flat on my back. Gosh, it hurts.
It’s time to call that scheduler and put the phone he gave me into a good use. But I have pressed the emergency button so many times without him showing up. What kind of emergency call is this? Emergency requires swiftness. He wouldn’t be just pulling my leg now would he?
If this thing is for real he should be able to come here with that motor bike of his in a flash.
Rather perplex I try to look at the screen of the phone and about to press the emergency button one more time when I see his unfriendly face on its screen.
I scream and duck. But only for a second. I quickly turn the moment I understand that it must be his reflection. And there he is. Looking all sour and grumpy.
The question is uttered curtly. He turns his head to look at the room with disdain.
“What is the problem? What's this? What?!”
My! He surpasses his usual charming self today. But there’s nothing I can do about his disposition. I’m not going to let his mood influences mine. So, I answer his question cheerfully.
“I call you to help me open the door.”
His face turns bloody red. His very black and icy eyes are bulging like they are about to jump out of their sockets. He chokes indignantly.
“You…..you couldn’t have called me just to open the door and taken up my precious personal time now could you?”
The way he says that makes me look like a childish and inconsiderate person. But I don’t mean to bother him or ruin whatever he is doing in his precious personal time. I call him because I really need his help and think that my situation is an emergency. So, I try to defend myself.
“It’s an emergency for me!”
But as I say it I sound like a spoiled child. Trying to explain it a little bit better I continue.
“I need to go out….but I can’t open the door.”
His face becomes redder, his voice raises an octave.
“You didn’t know you can't open the door?”
Then he screams from the top of his lungs.
“Didn’t you know that you can't touch things here?!”
I cringe. His scream is intimidating. But, it also makes me think. Perhaps although it doesn’t damage my ear drums it jars some of my brain’s cells into active mode.
Now, that I think about it, it’s very curious. I could feel pain when I was thrown to the floor. And I can feel the invisible wall blocking me when I kicked the door. Those hard objects affect me physically. But how come I can’t affect them?
What are the rules?
I know nothing of the rules of this new world. It’s understandable for me to call him the only authority I know here. How could he be this angry with me who knows nothing at all? It’s time to turn the table.
“How can a soul be like this?”
I look at him and try to sound aggressive.
“I am now a soul. As a soul I should be able to walk through doors and walls. Why am I like this?”
He looks like a man in a lot of pain. He takes a deep breath then sighs. If his looks are indication of his feelings I must be a difficult thing to deal with. But when he answers he doesn’t shout.
“It's because, you are not a complete soul yet. You are not totally dead.”
“But Min Ho Oppa walked right through me.”
“It’s because the people around you consider you to be dead.”
He still answers without raising his voice and he doesn’t use his condescending tone either. He really is trying to be patient. And his patience is working because I think I understand a little how things work here.
But, apparently being patience is not something he can do for more than a few minutes because in his next sentence he is back to his old superior self.
He leans closer and stares closely at me as if by doing that he could somehow see how things are being processed inside my head.
“Don’t you understand? Is it hard to comprehend?”
After giving his question some thoughts I look at him and answer.
I nod my head a few times to give it more effect.
“Now that you’ve explained it…..you’re right.”
I give him a big grateful smile.
“What you say is right.”
He doesn’t look happy hearing his efforts to explain things are not wasted. Or perhaps he isn’t happy because I couldn’t figure these things out without his help. Well, he needs to learn to be patient with me if he wants me not to bother him during his free time too often.
In a voice mixed with resignation and mockery he observes.
“You are indeed a very optimistic and simple minded princess.”
I am simple minded and before all of this I have been living my life like a princess. I’ve been looking at things with an optimism that everything will turns out well. So, I don’t quite know how to reply to what he says. But I take what he says as an indication that he isn’t angry anymore.
His eyes move away from me and once again he turns his head to give the room a closer look. Knowing his habits to mock I feel a little bit defensive and rather embarrass so I start to explain.
“The room is just rather….”
Before I find an excuse to explain the condition of this place the sleeping Song Yi Kyung moves and turns around and almost gives me a heart attack.
“She must be about to wake up.”
I whisper with considerable fear. What if she wakes up and sees me?
The scheduler looks at the sleeping Song Yi Kyung and coolly says.
“No, since you are already out, she is back to herself now.”
How could he be so cool? He is always showing his bad temper and smugness whenever he is with me. This time he looks a little bit strange. Like he is uneasy or something.
I don’t want my scheduler to be weird when I don’t feel quite good myself. Urgently, I grab his arm.
“Hey, let's leave. Quickly! I don't like being left alone with this onni.”
Rudely his shakes my hand off his arm and looks at me with his I’m better than thou expression.
He points his fingers at himself.
“Does not meddle in human affairs.”
This time he points those fingers at me.
“And on this 49 day journey, you have to adapt by yourself. That’s the rule.”
He doesn’t smile but I know he says that with great relish. And after giving me his smug looks he disappears into a thin air in just a blink of an eye.
I whisper rather sharply, trying to call him back. I really want to shout but am afraid to wake Song Yi Kyung.
He can’t go just like that! And here I thought he is not angry any more.
This time I whisper louder. I haven’t closed my mouth yet and still try to look around for his shadow when he suddenly reappears.
“I won’t help you so don't look for me or call my name!”
As if that warning isn’t clear enough he adds the salt to the injuries.
“And…. don't phone me!”
Gosh! Where does a scheduler like that comes from? He’s so heartless and unbelievable. But before I could proceed to really yell from the top of my lungs for that temperamental scheduler, Song Yi Kyung wakes up.
Unlike most of us who love to spend more time in bed by turning this way or that way, Song Yi Kyung promptly sits on her mattress.
I quickly crouch and cover my head with my arms trying to hide from her sight. Then while still crouching I move to hide next to her dining table.
I shouldn’t be doing this. I know she couldn’t see me. But I just can’t help it. My body moves automatically. It wants to hide from Song Yi Kyung’s sight. And I can feel the intense fear of being found. It’s too strong to be fought with reason.
So, while crouching and trying to be invisible from the girl whose body I’ll be using for the next 47 days I quietly observe her routine.
She moves without thinking, she cooks her noodles without any enthusiasm for the food, she walks around the house like a zombie with no expression what so ever. It is so eerie seeing a human being who doesn’t even act like one.
I keep on looking like someone under hypnotize. Suddenly, without warning she moves towards me. I duck as fast as I can and try to make myself even smaller than I am now.
But she comes towards me not because I’ve been found. Carefully I raise my head to look. She is changing her clothes with those hanging right above my crouching body. I quickly cover my eyes because it doesn’t feel right watching her doing this personal thing.
After putting on her jacket she finally gets out of the house and locks the door. I follow her outside and walk right behind her. Now, that we’re outside I no longer feel uncomfortable with her.
I feel oblige to keep her company. But since we want to go to different destinations we have to wait for our buses at their respective stations. Mine is across the street from hers.
As I wait for my bus my eyes stay on her. I want to keep her company. She looks so lonely. She stands there. Just standing. I don’t think she thinks about anything. There is nothing inside her head. But she looks so sad. So pitiful.
My heart hurts just looking at her.
Why is she like that? She is poor and all alone. But she has her health, her youth. She is pretty and alive. Why does she live her life without even the slightest joy one should feel for the simple fact of being alive?
The light from the coming bus distracts my attention. It’s my bus. I quickly follow behind a man who gets in when it stops. I might not be able to open doors, but I could ride a bus without paying!
This is great. I could go to the hospital as often as I want to. Dying is not that bad after all. But when I arrive at the hospital and look at my unmoving body my heart feels heavy again.
This is the reality.
I’m still Shin Ji Hyun. And will always be Shin Ji Hyun. But to other people I don’t exist anymore. The only thing that reminds them of my existence is that body of mine which no longer resembles the healthy me.
I turn and look at Kang Min Ho oppa who’s standing by the window and stares at the darkness outside.
“Oppa. Is this really....me?”
I can feel that my body starts shaking.
“Now, that I look…… it's scary.”
With all those machines attach to it, it doesn’t look like a human being is lying there. That unmoving body looks like an extension of those machines.
Kang Min Ho oppa turns around and walks towards the bed. At first I move out of his way. But then, in panic, I quickly move back in front of him. I raise my hands to his eyes trying to block his view. I don’t want him to see that scary sight of me.
“Don't look! Or the feelings that you have for me will disappear.”
Kang Min Ho oppa just stands there. But slowly he whispers.
“Shin Ji Hyun….. What should I do?”
He sounds grim. Slowly, I lower my hands and answer him solemnly.
“Cry for me.”
His grimness reminds me of my situation. Perhaps it’s not alright for me to feel some moment of happiness while I’m in this situation. Perhaps I should be more like Song Yi Kyung onni who’s depressed all the time.
But even in the darkness, even in the most difficult of times there’s always something, a small thing that would lighten my mood, that would make me feel happy. Something that would make me feel grateful.
Although despite those moment of happiness, this situation is still very hard. Softly, I continue.
“It's only been one day but it feels so long.”
If it’s been this long for me, it must be a lot harder for other people. I need to return as soon as possible. I need to collect those tears with all haste.
I look at Kang Min Ho oppa with new hope and determination.
“Oppa, you can give me the first tear. Then you should go and tell In Jung and Seo Woo to cry for me too!”
Pleadingly, I beg him.
”Don't hold it in, huh?”
Of course there is no answer. Kang Min Ho oppa just stands there looking grimly and stony.
When I arrive at Song Yi Kyung’s house, she hasn’t return yet. So, I just huddle in front of her house till she comes. Seeing her coming perks me up right away. I quickly follow her into the house and our routine begins.
My smart phone solemnly makes his morning announcement. As if I would forget how many days I still have left.
“47 days, 3 hours, 29 minutes left”
The reminder is not going to ruin my day. It’s a new day. A new opportunity. A chance to make a difference. A life!
My morning shower is a joy in itself. It brings freshness and a new spirit into my body.
“Aahh.....it feels nice, nice, nice!”
I move to the treasure boxes where I and Song Yi Kyung hide our stuff and start searching.
”I am sure she doesn't have a hair dryer.”
I say to myself.
Nope, she doesn’t.
I move the second box and guess what! A dryer!
And not only that, she also has hair rollers! My! Our treasure boxes are really filled with treasures!
He’s been waiting for her with mixed feelings. Some part of him wishes that she wouldn’t come. That yesterday was just a dream.
But the other part looks forward to seeing her again to make sure that he didn’t just fool himself and that he didn’t just get fooled by a strange girl.
A strange girl who has the power to cloud his judgments and makes him think about the impossible.
The moment she comes inside his restaurant he isn’t the only one who stares. His staff stop doing what they do and gape.
This is indeed the girl of yesterday. But she looks totally different now. No more tattered shoes and no more dark unmatched outfits.
She wears feminine flat shoes with a pair of pink socks. And a girly skirt which is in a stark contrast to her pants of yesterday. Her curly hair is perfectly rolled and pulled at one side with a hair pin.
With a smile she bows.
“I am going to start working. Please help me learn.”
He takes a deep breath. He wasn’t dreaming.
He can feel his heart beating frantically. And his brains start to compute and analyze. No, he wasn’t dreaming or just imagining things yesterday. This is real.
His female staff gives her a once-over and asks the question which is probably on everybody’s minds.
“Are you sure you're not the younger sister of the girl from yesterday?”
“No, I am not. Song Yi Kyung doesn't have a younger sister.”
Her answer is quickly given. But the way she mentions her own name is rather bizarre. Like she’s talking about someone else.
Pretending to be aloof he asks her curtly.
“Did you bring your resume?”
He kind of expects her to waver and gives him some excuses. But she takes her CV out of her bag and hands it out to him.
“Yes. Here it is.”
He snatches it out of her hand and gives it a careful scrutiny. Everyone else is watching curiously.
He gives her his mean looks but she looks absolutely sure of her CV and smiles contentedly.
He hates to say it but her CV looks impressive enough, just like what she boasted yesterday. The problem is although those papers present someone who is extremely qualified to work in this restaurant, that someone isn’t her!
With horror they watch how she serves.
Both of his staff look like they are going to have a heart attack when they see her setting a table.
When a knife drops to the floor she apologizes to the customers then without much thought she picks it up, blows it, then proceeds to clean it with her apron before putting that very knife back on the table.
When she carries ordered drinks with a tray, with just one look he knows that she never carries a tray in her life. Not even once.
She puts the cup on the table and sloshes its content all over the table. She cringes and quickly apologizes again.
“I am sorry….. I am sorry…….”
He feels like the biggest fool in the world. Of course she lies! He should have known that she’s not telling the truth. This is what happens when he lets his feelings take control!
Fortunately, there are no more incidents for the rest of the day. He knows because he watches her closely.
He stops reading and looks at Hae Won who just puts a drink on the table for him.
“Thank you, Ahjussi.”
But the soft hearted Hae Won has a mission to accomplish.
“Let’s have Ms. Song Yi Kyung gets off work already.”
He knows why he is behaving like this but for whatever reason Hae Won is also taken with Song Yi Kyung.
He turns his head and looks at her and has to sigh at the sight he sees.
She’s been sitting not far away from him polishing the already clean table for the last hour. Now, she’s fallen asleep while sitting like that. But she wakes up when her head falls onto the table and bumps her forehead hard.
She tries to ease the pain on her forehead by caressing it and winces painfully when pain remains. But her painful expression is gone in a flash, gone also her sleepiness. Her eyes widen and she looks extremely happy.
With an incredible speed she moves and runs towards the entrance.
His eyes quickly follow her to see what has completely captured her attention and reinvigorated her. It is Kang Min Ho who walks inside looking haggard.
The moment he steps inside Song Yi Kyung bows and greets him cheerfully.
Kang Min Ho stops and looks at her. It’s easy to see that he is surprised that he is being welcomed so warmly.
She smiles and beams at him.
She doesn’t even realize that she is being overly friendly. Then with more enthusiasm than all waiters in the world combined she offers Kang Min Ho a table.
“Please sit over here.”
“No, it is okay.”
Kang Min Ho turns down her offer and walks toward him. This is the first time Kang Min Ho leaves the hospital since Ji Hyun’s accident. He swiftly gets up and approaches Kang Min Ho.
Hae Won also follows and greets Kang Min Ho who tiredly pulls a chair out and seats. He quickly sits in front of Kang Min Ho while Hae Won stands on the right hand side.
Kang Min Ho’s presence here worries him. What if something else happens to Ji Hyun?
He just starts his sentence when at exactly the same time Song Yi Kyung asks Kang Min Ho.
“Have you eaten yet?”
She sounds very worried. Concerns are written all over her face. She doesn’t seem to realize that this is a private conversation.
He turns his head and looks at her with irritation and about to give her a piece of his mind when Hae Won chides her.
“Ms. Song Yi Kyung…..”
Hae Won shakes his head and gives her signs not to interfere. And that’s when Song Yi Kyung seems to realize what she has done.
She lowers her head and slowly explains.
“It just that he looks like he hasn't eaten anything in a while.”
Right. That’s why she runs the moment she sees Kang Min Ho and smiles so brightly at a male customer. But he has no time for Song Yi Kyung now. He needs to hear about Ji Hyun.
As soon as Song Yi Kyung retreats he looks back at Kang Min Ho and apprehensively asks him.
“What happened at the hospital that brought you here?”
The problem is he couldn’t ask what he really wants to know without raising suspicions.
Kang Min Ho ignores his question and says.
“I want to drink.”
He swallows his disappointment and nods.
“Okay. I'll get it for you.”
Just as he is about to get up, Kang Min Ho adds.
“Not wine... something stronger.”
This time he looks at Kang Min Ho with concern and tries to dissuade him.
“On an empty stomach?”
Instead of changing his mind Kang Min Ho reiterates.
“I want a strong one.”
If there’s someone who might understand how Kang Min Ho feels, that someone is him. So, instead of arguing, he concurs.
Shin Ji Hyun
I heard people get anxious on their first day on the job. I feel none of those trepidations. I go to Heaven happily.
It’s such a beautiful day.
Even the surly Han Kang who tries to ruin the day by scrutinizing my resume doesn’t succeed in destroying my good mood.
However, things start to change the moment I make mistake after mistake. Nobody says anything yet, not even Han Kang, but I know he will.
The stress of trying so hard not to make anymore mistake takes its toll. By the end of the day although there are still a couple of customers I feel so tired that I end up falling asleep while cleaning up the table. I wake up when my forehead hits its surface.
Disoriented, I open my eyes and greeted with a very welcoming sight that makes me forget about the pain in my forehead.
It’s Kang Min Ho oppa!
Why it never occurs to me that there’s a big chance that oppa will come here? After all, Han Kang is his friend. Of course he will come and visit Han Kang on his own from time to time.
It is a pleasant surprise to see him outside that hospital. But he doesn’t look good. He looks very pale. I don’t think he’s eaten anything since my accident. So, I automatically offer him some food.
I don’t realize how strange my behavior is until Hae Won ajusshi reminds me and Han Kang gives me his mean looks. Unlike Hae Won ajusshi, he doesn’t say a word but I can see his anger.
After that, I carefully move back to another table where I could still hear their conversation but not in a direct line of view of Han Kang.
I’m very worried when Kang Min Ho oppa asks Han Kang for a very strong drink. He can’t drink with an empty stomach. If he is sick it will be because of me. Hang Kang should try harder to stop Kang Min Ho oppa from drinking!
The moment Han Kang leaves to get the drink I quickly move and approach Kang Min Ho oppa.
He has to eat something if he still wants to drink.
“Shall I bring you some potato soup?”
Kang Min Ho oppa slowly raises his head and looks at me questioningly. Which reminds me that he has no idea who I am. I quickly bow my head and smile.
“Oh…..I am a new employee, Song Yi Kyung.”
He looks at me for a few seconds.
“Yes, Ms. Song Yi Kyung…..”
I smile and gently prompt him to speak.
“Yes, please continue…..”
Kang Min Ho oppa looks me straight in the eyes.
“I’m grateful for your thoughtfulness, but I'd like to be alone right now.”
He says that without heat and I have no choice but to follow his wish and move back to my table and pretend to polish it while watching him drinking alone.
Han Kang has also retreated to his favorite spot. That sofa in the corner. He should have drunk with Kang Min Ho oppa so that oppa doesn’t finish that bottle all by himself.
Kang Min Ho oppa will get himself really sick if he continues like this. He needs his health if he wants to stay up at the hospital like what he’s been doing. I’ve caused enough pain for him. I don’t want to turn him into an alcoholic too.
I really wish I could tell Kang Min Ho oppa that he doesn’t have to drink like that if he feels miserable. Drinking won’t solve any problem at all. It’ll only ruin one’s health.
He sits in his corner boiling over with rage. Not watching Kang Min Ho drinks his bottle but watching Song Yi Kyung watching Kang Min Ho drinks. Her face is very transparent and all her feelings are there for him to see.
She can’t take her eyes off Kang Min Ho and he can’t take his eyes off her.
With a rage that he can hardly contain he watches her pick her tray and move to the kitchen. But she stops next to Kang Min Ho’s table obviously wanting to speak to him. To his surprise after a few seconds she continues to the kitchen without saying a word.
But he shouldn’t be surprised and should’ve known better because before long she returns to Kang Min Ho’s table with a glass of milk.
She puts the glass down in front of Kang Min Ho and gently urges him to drink.
“Please drink this.”
The dazed look on Kang Min Ho’s face is understandable. He clearly has no idea what’s going on.
With the softest voice he ever hears from her she continues.
“Everything will be alright.”
It is really too much! He can’t take it anymore!
He quickly stands up and approaches them while sharply calling her name out.
“Ms. Song Yi Kyung.......”
She freezes than quickly moves away from Kang Min Ho’s table. Nope. That’s not going to work. He has made up his mind. He walks towards to Hae Won who stands behind the bar, and informs him.
”Ahjussi, she can leave now.”
He should’ve listened to Hae Won when he suggested that Song Yi Kyung should be sent home early. All he can do now is try his best to prevent another disaster from happening.
He turns to Kang Min Ho.
“Hyong! You should stop drinking.”
But Kang Min Ho doesn’t want to listen. And simply says.
He feels really sorry for Kang Min Ho. He understands what kind of pains that Kang Min Ho is experiencing right now. But he can’t let Kang Min Ho try to drown his sorrow with drinks.
Alcohol will do nothing for one’s pains. All it does is dulled one’s senses for a moment and that’s all. The pains will remain. As intense and as painful as ever.
With great sympathies he puts his hand on Kang Min Ho’s shoulder and gently squeezes.
Kang Min Ho says.
“This isn't right. Ji Hyun cannot be like this.”
He is in full agreement. Something like this should not happen to Shin Ji Hyun. In fact, nobody should experience this misfortune, but there’s no one more less deserving than Ji Hyun.
Trying to convince Kang Min Ho and himself he says.
“It will get better.”
Kang Min Ho shakes his head and slowly says.
“This can't be happening.”
He takes a deep breath to ease the pain in his heart. He can’t break down. He needs to be strong. There are many things that he needs to do for Ji Hyun.
He can’t let Kang Min Ho ruins his life with alcohols, he has to make sure Kang Min Ho is still in his best condition when Ji Hyun wakes up and he has to make sure that Ji Hyun’s parents are holding up.
Shin Ji Hyun
Why do I have these difficulties in understanding Hang Kang? Just when I finally think he is one of the most wonderful persons I’ve ever met, he changes back into his mean-self.
His sending me home is not because he wants to send me home early. It is because he doesn’t want me to be around Kang Min Ho oppa!
I have no other choice but to take my leave and wait outside. In the freezing night. For almost an hour.
Bad Han Kang!
Instead of chasing me out he should stop Kang Min Ho oppa from drinking or at the very least he should watch over Kang Min Ho oppa so that he won’t drink too much. He might not care about me but oppa is his friend!
How much longer do I have to wait here? It’s freezing cold!
But right then, I see Han Kang and Kang Min Ho oppa’s driver carry him down the stairs. Kang Min Ho oppa is completely drunk. He almost falls to the ground if Han Kang doesn’t catch him.
I forget my intention to hide and run forward to help Han Kang who helps Kang Min Ho oppa to stand straight all by himself now because the driver has gone to the driver’s seat.
I quickly move to oppa’s right and hold his right arms with both my hands. I purposely avoid Han Kang’s eyes – I can feel his eyes shooting daggers at me – and help carry Kang Min Ho oppa to his car.
When I try to help Han Kang move Kang Min Ho oppa inside the car he roughly brushes my hands off and pushes me away.
I look at him crossly but he gives me a very chilling stare. His face is dark with anger. But without a word he quickly moves and puts Kang Min Ho oppa inside the car and lets the driver know that he’s already in.
Before Han Kang could say another word I move forward and push him away to shout at Kang Min Ho oppa’s driver.
“Please, take care of him.”
After that I carefully close the door.
When the car moves I hurriedly follow it, trying to get another glimpse of Kang Min Ho oppa, to make sure that he is alright.
With the help of Kang Min Ho’s driver they carry the totally wasted Kang Min Ho to his car.
He has never seen Kang Min Ho drinks like this. Kang Min Ho is the type who likes to be in control of his surroundings. And those who like to be in control normally avoid alcohol.
But, this is not a normal time. Kang Min Ho is not his normal self. And neither does he.
This is the first time ever when he doesn’t know where he stands. The first time ever when he feels unsure about his decisions. The first time ever when he feels that he’s been torn apart.
And the one who does the tearing is suddenly running towards him, no, Kang Min Ho, – from the darkness where she has been hiding – when she is supposedly to have left an hour ago.
She acts like she’s Kang Min Ho’s girl friend and blatantly shows her concerns for his condition without caring that there is somebody else watching her shameful behavior with chagrin.
She holds Kang Min Ho’s arm with both her hands and tries to help to keep him standing. After he opens the door she quickly moves in an attempt to put Kang Min Ho inside the car. She clearly thinks that she has a right to act like this.
Not in a million years!
Not when he’s still alive!
Furiously, he brushes her hands off Kang Min Ho’s arm and pushes her away from the door. How dare she? Kang Min Ho belongs to Ji Hyun!
But the girl is really too much. She pushes him back when she wants to talk to Kang Min Ho’s driver. Then like a worried mother hen she follows the moving car for a few meters.
He follows right behind her. He is beyond furious now. He shouts from the top of his lungs. No longer cares about what other people might think.
“What are you doing?!”
Then his voice increases another octave.
“He is my friend's fiance!!”
Pointing his finger at the direction of Kang Min Ho’s car he bluntly accuses her.
” Are you interested in him?”
Trying to placate him she quickly denies his accusation and tries to explain her outrageous behavior.
“I am just being nice because he is a customer.”
No waiter waits for ‘just a customer’ in the cold for an hour!
She must think he is a complete idiot because he believes all her lies. He takes a deep breath. And menacingly moves closer.
“So, you wait outside for an hour?”
She doesn’t notice his derision nor how close he is to exploding. But at the mention of time she gasps than quickly looks at her watch.
He takes another deep breath and grimly informs her.
“You! From tomorrow.....”
But, totally oblivious of his intention to fire her she screams.
Then to his disbelief, she runs away without even saying goodbye let alone an apology!
Shin Ji Hyun
I run as fast as I can.
Waiting to make sure that Kang Min Ho oppa is alright has made me forget that my time is not really mine. That I’m on curfew. Although, even if I remember that I don’t have much time I would still wait for Kang Min Ho oppa.
It’s the least I could do for him.
He has loved me so much while I do nothing for him. It’s not right for me to receive so much love and not giving anything in return.
Thanks to Han Kang’s outburst, I arrive home just a few minutes before my deadline.
Carefully, I leave the door slightly open and quickly start the routine of changing back into Song Yi Kyung’s clothes before going to bed.
The moment her body touches the mattress Song Yi Kyung falls into a deep sleep and I’m thrown out of her body.
Although he shouldn’t come to the hospital, he couldn’t stay away any longer. He misses her like he hasn’t seen in years instead of just a couple of days.
And seeing how distraught Kang Min Ho tonight is has frighten him enough to come despite the possibility that his visit will raise questions.
He needs to make sure that Ji Hyun is alright. He needs to see with his own eyes that nothing else happens to her without his knowledge. And he needs to find his balance and perspective.
When he opens her door there is only her father in the room. The old man has fallen asleep on the armchair. He must have been up for days without resting.
He approaches her father and respectfully bows his head.
If there’s a man whom Ji Hyun loves more than Kang Min Ho, that man is her father. And everybody knows that there’s no one whom this man loves more than his daughter.
Instead of her elderly father he should be the one staying here watching over Ji Hyun. He is younger, has better health and loves her just as much. Unfortunately, fate has made it impossible for him to do that.
But, if there’s something..…anything, that he can do for Ji Hyun, he will do it.
He moves towards her bed and looks at her.
She looks even tinier with all those machines attached to her small body. She appears like she’s just sleeping but those machines and that white bandage which swathes her head declare that she is not.
“Shin Ji Hyun.....”
He softly calls her name.
This is Shin Ji Hyun. His Shin Ji Hyun is here!
How he longs to call her name with all the love he feels inside. How he wishes that he could gaze at her lovingly without having to worry that other people will see it.
“You look great…..”
She does look great but….
Shin Ji Hyun who loves to laugh, Shin Ji Hyun who cries in a blink of an eye, Shin Ji Hyun who cheerfully runs all over the place, Shin Ji Hyun who sulks when she is hungry, Shin Ji Hyun who is always happy.…is gone now.
“For someone like you who is always seen to be bustling around…..”
He couldn’t continue his sentence and gasps with the excruciating pains that hit his entire body.
He gazes at her. At her quiet unmoving body.
God. It hurts so much.
He takes a deep breath and turns towards the small table by the wall.
Carefully, he puts the vase that he brought from his home on the table and fills it with water. Then just as carefully he takes out a single pink rose from his bag and puts it into the vase.
Just one perfect pink rose.
He is not going to hide his feelings among a bouquet of flowers, not this time. With that single pink rose he openly declares his feelings for her. He is letting her know the feelings that he could never personally tell her, perhaps ever.
This is his only chance to privately tell her that just like that perfect single pink rose that she loves so much his love is there to make her happy. But unlike that rose that will wither in time, his love will remain just as perfect as that pink rose at its first bloom.
His love will always be there, unchanged. Not by time. Not by whether. Not even by fate.
It’s there for her to enjoy. It’s there to give her happiness. It’s there to give her strength. It’s there to brighten her days. It’s there, only for her.
He looks for a place to put that heart of his. It needs to be displayed.
Although it is only for her, Shin Ji Hyun needs to know that if he’s been given a chance he wants the whole world to know his true feelings for her.
He finally decides to put it on the table by the window where everyone could easily see it.
Shin Ji Hyun
I arrive at the hospital just when someone gets out of my room. I sprint so that I could get inside before the door is closed.
There is only father there. He has fallen asleep on a chair. Even in his sleep he looks extremely tired and sad.
He is not young any more. He should have taken a better care of himself. It breaks my heart to see him like this.
His love for me will be the death of him and I don’t think I can live if I cause his death. Brokenly I cry.
“Father, because of you I don’t think I can live!”
Then louder still.
“Nowadays, who stays at the hospital overnight like this? There are nurses around!”
I take a deep breath and try to control myself.
I walk towards his chair and sit next to him. My beloved father who loves me so much. But I love him just as much therefore it’s very painful to see him like this.
His head is lolling to one side because it has no support to hold it straight. I raise my hands and try to hold it. But my hands are totally useless. Resignedly, I lower them and gaze at his face.
Why it hurts so much when you love too much? Love is supposed to make us happy. But how could we be happy when the one we love is in pain. How could we be happy when we could not be together to give each other happiness.
Carefully, I lean towards father and lower my head onto his shoulder. With my right hand I try to hold his hand and softly whisper.
“Dad…..please waits…. just for a few more days.”
I wish I could get all those three tears as soon as possible. I don’t think I can watch the pains I’ve caused to those who love me much longer. It shouldn’t be a difficult task to do. But, why does it take so long?
Worriedly, I convey my feelings to father.
“Oppa, In Jung, and Seo Woo, they will cry for me won’t they?”
I know they all love me. But the scheduler doesn’t know that. He’ll need their tears as proof that they do love me.
No. Not just love me. But really really love me. With the purest and sincerest love there is.
Slowly, I continue to whisper to father who even after working all day spent time to talk with me to hear how I was doing. To listen to all my worries and happiness. I let him know what is troubling me now.
“But…. I guess people don't cry as often as I thought they did. I thought they would think about me and cry the whole day.”
Completely disheartened, I reach for my necklace and look at the still empty pendant. No tears. And that in the scheduler’s book means nobody loves me. If no one really loves me I wouldn’t be able to come back.
I stare at my pendant with a heavy heart. The sudden movement from father brings me back into the situation at hand.
Father has woken up.
Groggily he runs towards my bed and checks out the monitor. The steady lines on the screen and the beeping sound of the machines are the only things that move in this room.
He hunches over the monitor with the weight of his feelings. It takes him a few minutes to gather his strength and slowly raises his head. He tries to take a deep breath. Even breathing has become a chore.
It’s breaking my heart to see it. I can’t watch it! I turn my head away and that’s when my eyes fall to that single pink rose.
It’s not a bouquet like what people normally bring to hospital when they visit the patients. It’s just one perfect pink rose. But there’s something about its very singleness that touches my heart.
The lonely flower stands proudly, undisturbed by anything. Its beauty is clearly feasible. Its strength in standing alone is apparent. Its warmth and gentleness are freely given to those who gaze upon it.
It warms my breaking heart. It covers my fragile spirit with a gentleness that strengthens me instead.
Who brought this gift of love?
Regardless whether I’ll ever find out who brought it here, it has successfully restored my resolution to do my best.
With new determination I go to Heaven.
Unfortunately, I’m still far below the standard of what Han Kang expects from his staff.
The new commotion attracts his attention. Even without looking he knows who the perpetrator is. There she is, pouring water not into the glass but onto the table and customer!
He stops drawing and gets up angrily.
“I am sorry……I am sorry.….”
She apologizes and tries to clean the table but what she does is spreading more water towards the thigh of the already annoyed customer.
He snatches the napkin from her hand, pushes her out of the way and glares at her before turning to the inconvenienced customer.
Bowing formally he says.
He quickly proceeds to clean the water from that customer’s thigh and just as quickly clean the water on the table. Right after that he turns and glares back at Song Yi Kyung. She cowers and tries to avoid his eyes.
No. You’re not going to get away this time!
He grabs her arm and drags her to follow him. But she digs her heels and tries to fight. What? He tugs harder. She tugs back just as hard.
With blazing eyes he glares at her, she shakes her head. He gives her his most intimidating glares and drags her harder. Hesitantly, she moves. He grabs her shoulder and pushes her forward.
He could tolerate many things from her. But his customers are another matter. They deserve impeccable services for their money. If she wants to work here, she has to learn how to do her job right.
Putting four glasses on the table he shows her how to pour water without spilling a drop. He also shows her how to set a table in record time without a glitch.
Totally impressed with his skills she claps her hands and looks at him with awe.
“Wow! You're really good. How come you're so good at it?”
Gosh! She’s totally clueless!
Irritably he barks.
“Good at it?”
She looks a little bit uneasy. So, pointedly he says.
“I learned during my part time job.”
Still totally oblivious she curiously asks.
“You even did this kind of job before?”
This time he puts a clear emphasis on his last words.
“I told you, I did it during my…….part-time-job!”
Her eyes move away for a second. It seems that she finally catches on. Just to make sure that she doesn’t miss his meaning he stresses.
“And I’m not even a graduate of College of Hotel Management and Hospitality!”
She struggles to find excuses.
He can see that she’s not going to come clean and confess all. What outlandish story is she going to spin now to explain her lack of skills?
“Oh, that's because......I went through a very difficult time….. and I’m not in my best condition.”
Crossing his arms over his chest, derisively he asks.
“So, what kind of difficult time was it that makes you forget how to pour water properly?”
Totally flustered, she tries to answer.
“That is…..I think… it’s because…. I haven’t worked for a long time and I am not that smart. So,
I think I forget a lot.”
She tries to smile but she ends up giving him a guilty smile.
How could she even contemplates to lie in the first place is beyond him. She’s not a good liar!
And it bothers him that she tries to lie to him of all people!
“Ms. Song Yi Kyung.........”
Worriedly, she raises her head and looks at him.
“Did you really work at a hotel before?”
She looks like she’s about to cry. But she answers.
Sharply, he cuts her.
“No you didn’t!”
Harshly, he points out the glaring fact.
“You haven’t even carried a tray in your life before!”
“Ah....that is…..that is......that is.....”
She stops a moment looking for an inspiration. And when she finally gets one, it doesn’t even come from her own imagination.
With a new spirit she starts telling a story.
“I got into a car accident, and as a result I got…..an amnesia!”
With false concerns he inquires.
She nods her head vigorously.
“It was a short-term amnesia. One forgets many tasks-oriented things. You can search the internet if you want to find out about it or watch dramas, it's often shown there.”
He sighs. This is totally hopeless.
Curtly he orders her.
“Go to Seoul Hotel immediately and get the proof that you worked there.”
Her jaw drops.
He turns away from her and put his hands on his waist. Presenting a very hard and cold figure to her. Then with complete indifferent says.
“Otherwise, you can just resign now.”
He expects her to start begging or badger him until he changes his mind. But to his surprise she does neither. She promptly agrees.
“I'll go and get it.”
Oh, oh. Did she think she could play him with that agreement? He turns his head and looks back at her.
“Within an hour.”
Now, she looks annoyed. Indignantly, she complains.
“How is it possible for me to go to Seoul Hotel and back again in an hour?”
It irritates him that she even dares to argue with him so he shouts.
“Take a taxi!”
She looks at him angrily. But not for long, for right after that it looks like she is sulking. Half mumbling she utters.
“But I don't have money for the taxi fare.”
He takes a very deep breath. A saint! Yes, at least a saint. He should be eligible for sainthood after his dealing with this girl. He moves his hand into his breast pocket. Nothing.
Where the hell did he put his wallet?
Why did he end up always opening his wallet and giving her money? She’s not even his wife!
He takes his wallet out from his back pocket and starts counting the money.
“12 hours and 20 minutes yesterday, and 30 minutes for today. Here, your 52,000 won.”
He puts the money into her hand and yells to his male stuff.
“ Ki Jun! Start your stopwatch!”
She gasps and in panic starts looking at her own wristwatch.
“Wait a second!”
Clumsily, she tries to open her apron.
She looks at him accusingly then half wailing half shouting she cries.
“Just wait……… a second!”
Completely stressed out she runs to the left then to the right before heading straight to the door.
He looks at her departing figure with belated concerns.
Sighing, he keeps on looking as if by looking into her direction he could ensure that she won’t be careless and hurt herself on her way. Then shaking his head at the absurdity of it….he keeps on looking.
Shin Ji Hyun
Once I arrive at Seoul Hotel the anxieties of trying to get the proof of my employment in an hour double with the stress of trying to talk to people I don’t even know have given me jitters.
“I……I'm here to obtain the proof of my employment….”
Nervously, I inform the girl behind the computer. She acts busy. But, suddenly someone cries.
“Oh my! Yi Kyung! Song Yi Kyung, right?”
I look at her stupidly.
Cheerfully she continues.
“How long has it been?”
I bow my head and greet her.
“How do you do.”
She gapes then chides.
“Why are you acting like that? Like we don't know each other…..”
How should I answer her? I don’t think I can pretend to be Song Yi Kyung in front of her. Fortunately, thanks to her acknowledgment I can get my proof without difficulties.
I run away as soon as I get it.
Telling Han Kang I’m Song Yi Kyung is one thing. But telling these people I’m Song Yi Kyung is completely another thing. I was scared out of my wits.
After I get to the lobby I stop running and start thinking.
So, these people really know Song Yi Kyung. She really worked here at this big hotel for 2 years. But then, why does she live like that? I really don’t understand what’s wrong with her.
As I walk leisurely I see a waiter carries some beverages on a tray for the hotel guests. My curiosity is piqued. I need to learn how to do my job well. This proof I have is not enough. With his temperament Han Kang will fire me on the spot the instance I make another mistake.
With full concentration I start to observe how she walks and how she serves things to the hotel guests. I stop watching when she notices me and looks at me curiously.
I quickly turn my body away and pretend to be busy with my papers. When I raise my head I see someone who looks like Kang Min Ho oppa. I take another look. It is Kang Min Ho oppa!
What a pleasant surprise!
Happily, I run after him but he enters the elevator and the door is already closed. Where is he going? I look at the elevator’s screen. Kang Min Ho oppa is now on the 10th floor.
Does he want to go to a restaurant?
I look at the information on the wall. The 6th – 20th floors are room’s floor. The restaurants are on the 5th floor. The gyms and swimming pool are on the 3rd floor.
For a moment I just stare at those information feeling like I’ve just read something wrong. But hotel never puts wrong information in writing.
What is Kang Min Ho oppa going to do in the room’s floor? Is he renting a room here or visiting someone?
I don’t know what kind of work that he really does for father so I have no idea if meeting in a hotel room is part of his business or something that he does on occasions.
Do business people meet in a hotel room?
Ah, I’m not going to involve myself in his work. I need to return to Heaven as soon as possible. I don’t want to give Han Kang a new reason to fire me. He’s been itching to do it.
When I turn around I almost bump into a woman who just comes and quietly stands beside me waiting for the elevator.
It’s In Jung!
With a great delight I almost call her before realizing that she doesn’t know me. I quickly cover my mouth. What is she doing here? Is she also going to meet someone here?
My heart stops, I look at the elevator’s screen once again. Kang Min Ho oppa has stopped on the 18th floor. The room’s floor!
Very slowly I turn my head and look at In Jung. A chill is creeping into my bones. I can feel how it slowly moves to every part of my body.
Fear has momentarily immobilized me but when In Jung walks inside the elevator, my legs move on their own volition and follow her inside.
It doesn’t feel real. It feels like a dream. A nightmare.
In Jung looks at me from the corner of her beautiful eye clearly waiting for me to press the button. Hesitantly, I move my hand and press the top floor. In Jung moves and presses the 18th floor.
That creeping chill is now entering my heart.
Fearfully, I look at In Jung’s face. She looks calm and collected like she always does.
No. This is not true. How could it be? I must be imagining things! It’s In Jung!
In a daze I watch her walk out on the 18th floor.
It’s In Jung!
I should let it go and turn back. Yes, I should just go back to Heaven. But just as the door closes I change my mind. I get out of the elevator and follow her.
Perhaps I shouldn’t do it. Perhaps I should walk away and think nothing of it. But how could I just walk away? It’s In Jung and Kang Min Ho oppa!
With mounting fear I watch In Jung rings the bell on the door of a room. The door opens and Kang Min Ho oppa quickly looks to his right and left before grabbing In Jung’s arm and pulls her inside.
I stare at the now empty corridor.
I’m not imagining things and I’m not dreaming. The pains that numbed my body are real.
In Jung and Kang Min Ho oppa.
Without realizing it my legs move and carry my numbed body step by staggering step toward that closed door. I stop in front of their room. 1806.
The pains are real. I can feel that my heart is breaking. But, I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe what I just see with my own eyes.
It can’t be true!
It’s not just some other woman. It’s In Jung!
They must be talking about work.
But as I try to deny what I see, something flashes in my mind. I remember what had caused my accident. I remember why I drove without paying attention to my surroundings.
“Choose the one you like, Ms. Ji Hyun. On your wedding, it's only important for the bride to be beautiful.”
“No, no. I've chosen someone for her among my fiance's friends. In Jung has to look stunning.”
It might be my wedding but In Jung needs to be the most beautiful woman that day so that guy would instantly see how lucky he is to get to know her.
“Then, tell her to come to try it on in person.”
Of course! We could shop together and pick the best gown for her! It’s going to be fun!
“That’s right! Can I take this outfit for awhile? I’ll be right back.”
I’m so excited that I walk out of the shop and get into my car with a very big smile on my face laughing happily thinking that today is going to be one of the best days before my wedding day.
When I stop at a red light I see a car that looks like Kang Min Ho oppa’s. Yes, it’s Kang Min Ho oppa’s! He’s probably on his way to Namyungju.
But he’s talking with someone who sits next to him. I thought he is going to go alone if I can’t make it. My view is momentarily blocked so I couldn’t see his company.
I look for my phone and about to call him when my view is cleared and I can see the person he’s talking with. It’s In Jung. But she doesn’t look happy. She looks troubled.
Kang Min Ho oppa keeps talking to her but it doesn’t seem to help to calm her. Seeing that, he gently takes her hand, brings it to his lips and kisses it!
I gasp with horror. But there is more to see.
Kang Min Ho oppa turns and looks at In Jung with concerns and pulls her head onto his shoulder. His hand moves to gently caress her hair.
Stunned, I could only stare.
That hugging couple is definitely a loving couple.
In Jung and Kang Min Ho oppa.
I sit there behind my steering wheel. Too shock to move. Too hurt to feel.
I look at the photos of me and Kang Min Ho oppa that I put in my car. There’s one photo of us together, smiling happily. There is my smiling photo. And there is one of smiling Kang Min Ho oppa.
My heart starts to break.
I don’t want to believe what I just saw. It can’t be true. I must have seen it wrong. But the tears are rolling down my cheeks. My breaking heart is hurting me. The pains are so intense.
My head is hurt too. It feels like the world is spinning. I put my head on the steering wheel trying to ease the pain. I can’t believe it! Kang Min Ho oppa and In Jung!
Suddenly, I remember what Kang Min Ho oppa said: ‘I am going to the North to get some air, why don't we go together?’
Yes, he was asking me to go with him. How could he end up with In Jung? There has to be some explanation. I’ll go and find him. He’ll explain it. And everything will be alright again.
It’s In Jung for heaven’s sake!
I start to move my numbed body and drive. But, as I drive the sight that I just saw keeps on flashing in front of my eyes. I have to keep on denying it myself.
‘It’s impossible! Simply impossible. Does this make any sense? Shin Ji Hyun, what are you doing now? What are you thinking?’
I look at those smiling photos. Yes, it’s impossible. It’s Kang Min Ho oppa and Shin In Jung.
If I saw Kang Min Ho oppa with other woman I might not be this shocked and believed what I saw. But it’s In Jung!
Therefore, I need to talk to them. I need to hear it from their own lips. I look for my phone, but in my hurry I don’t hold it properly. It falls down to the floor. I quickly open my sit belt and try to retrieve my phone. Once I have it in my hand I start searching for Kang Min Ho oppa’s number.
Out of nowhere, a bike swerves in front of me. Breaking its break it slips and falls next to a big truck. Surprised, I try to swerve to avoid hitting the rider and the bike. I end up hitting that big truck myself.
Out of nowhere, a bike swerves in front of me. Breaking its break it slips and falls next to a big truck. Surprised, I try to swerve to avoid hitting the rider and the bike. I end up hitting that big truck myself.
Gasping, I try to breath.
Yes, that’s what happened. That’s why I had an accident. I was too distraught by what I saw.
It was because I saw In Jung and Kang Min Ho oppa. It was because I found out about their relationship!
I wasn’t wrong.
They are in a relationship. They are lovers!
Those two people who I think love me has betrayed me. Together.
Kang Min Ho oppa said he loved me and I believed him.
In Jung said she loved me and I believed her.
But….. In Jung…. even if she didn’t tell me she loved me I know she did.
And….I love her.
How, I love her.
My legs lost its strength. I collapse onto the floor right in front of their door.
And start crying.