Published at 13th of November 2020 07:35:14 AM
Min-joon understood his mother . Any woman would have been surprised to hear that her son living abroad would come back to his home country in three days . He turned his eyes and looked around . Although she could hardly understand his Korean conversation with his mother, she pricked her ears for it . He made a video call on the phone and illuminated her next to him . Startled, she trimmed her messy hair .
“Kaya gave me a surprise gift . She suggested we go on a group trip . So, I’m visiting this time with Kaya’s mother and Zemma . ”
As if she already noticed her name was mentioned, Kaya smiled and looked into the camera lens . Hye-sun smiled brightly as if she liked Kaya so much .
“Are you asking me how to say thank you?”
“I just did it because I liked it . I have to take care of Min-joon . ”
Kaya responded immediately as if she understood Hye-sun mentioned her name .
But Hye-sun didn’t understand her English well . While she was looking at them blankly, Min-joon opened his mouth, interpreting for her .
“She said she did what she was supposed to do . ”
“Wait, Mom! What are you talking about? Our trip is not for a family get-together session . I’m just coming for a break . ”
“Mom, it’s totally different . And I’m not old enough to marry Kaya now, and her mother is also not ready yet…”
Marriage, he was always thinking about it, but it was still something he felt distant at this point .
When he looked rather embarrassed and his voice was trembling, Kaya looked at him with a curious expression .
Hye-sun Lee said in a firm voice, >
“Weren’t you two got married because you got pregnant with me?”
“Uncle told me…”
Min-joon could not contradict her, so he just kept silent while she was talking .
Now, Hye-sun lowered her voice and spoke softly, >
“You’re not yet her in-laws… Whew! Got it . But you can’t communicate with Kaya’s family anyway even if you meet them, right?”
“Mom, mom! Oh my…”
Hye-sun hung up the phone without any hesitation . He looked at the blank screen with an embarrassed expression .
Kaya asked with a curious voice, “What did she say? It seems like you had a long conversation with her . ”
“She welcomes our visit . And…”
He hesitated for a moment . He hesitated to mention that his mother was already anticipating a family meeting for his marriage with Kaya . But he had to face the music in three days anyway .
After some more hesitation, he finally opened his mouth .
“She said she wanted to see your parents because we would get married soon . ”
She looked at him with a perplexed expression then blushed .
He said in a calm voice, “Don’t worry too much . She is not telling me to get married right away . She just told me I should be ready slowly . Damn it, I can’t describe her feelings properly in English . ”
“I didn’t expect to hear you telling me you found it hard to describe it in English . Well, I’m not worried at all . I’m just surprised and happy . ”
“You are happy?”
“Yeah . I thought your mother would not like our relationship . You know Asian parents don’t like to have their sons and daughters get married to foreigners . So, I was worried a bit…”
“Why do you worry about that?”
“Well, our situation isn’t normal . I’m not an ordinary girl either . What I mean is if you’re unusual, you stay worried all the time, regardless of whether you are normal or not in a good or bad sense . ”
When she spoke in a subdued voice, he silently embraced her shoulders . Sometimes, he forgot it, but her shoulders and her body were very small, so much so that he wondered how she could bear such a big family burden on her back .
“I won’t make you worry now and in the future…” He said .
He wanted to get a load off her mind just like she would for him, but he didn’t bother to say it to her now .
Kaya’s father, Bruce, opened his mouth in a slightly embarrassed voice as if he had never expected it . Min-joon calmly smiled and opened his mouth .
“I know you’re busy, but I think it’s pretty meaningful if you can go with Kaya this time . It’s not because she hates you that she keeps her distance from you . It’s because she’s too resentful toward you to forget all of her pain as if nothing happened . ”
“Thank you for telling me that . But like you said, I can’t just deny the fact that I’ve made the mistake in the past . ”
“I’m not saying you should put it on one side . What I mean is you had better make up for your lost chance to restore their love and respect step by step . I think this trip can be the first step . Of course, if you’re too busy with work, you can’t travel this time . ”
“No, I can adjust my company schedule . Of course, I can’t stay there for 10 days, but maybe I can take time out for several days…”
Bruce began to check his schedule . Min-joon looked at him quietly . Just like Kaya gave him a gift, he also wanted to give her a gift . Min-joon might meddle in their family matter, but Kaya was none other than Bruce’s daughter . She was not a stranger .
In that respect, Min-joon didn’t think he was meddling . He just wanted to give Bruce some simple tips and ways to help them mend their fences .
Bruce talked to his secretary for a moment then said in a weary voice, “I think I can adjust my schedule a bit . ”
“What a relief!”
“You said that Kaya already booked plane tickets, right? I could change all the tickets to first class . What do you think?”
Probably, it was not a big financial burden on Bruce . Min-joon pondered over his suggestion for a moment, but he slowly shook his head and said, “That’s a bad idea . ”
“Really? Is it because Kaya doesn’t like luxurious stuff? There are so many things I want to buy for her, and I really can . ”
“When Kaya, Zemma, and Ms . Grace were wandering in the thorny field, you were in a different place . Of course, you were also in a thorny field on your own, but the important thing is that you were not with them . ”
“You’re right . ”
“Now, you are standing on a sandy beach covered with fine sand . But I think you should go into that thorny field and carry them on your back rather than asking them to come here while you are standing on the sandy beach . Don’t you think so?”
When he asked like that, Bruce remained silent for a while . Min-joon looked at him while he was silent . He waited while he was agonizing and pondering over his option .
Soon, he smiled bitterly and said, “I hear one’s daughter meets a man who resembles her father, but that’s not true in my case . If that’s the case, Kaya would not have met such a fine guy like you . ”
“Thank you . ”
“That’s a good point . I think I thought I could call and have them come over here anytime because I got out of the thorny field . Let me go back into the thorny field for them . ”
Min-joon smiled lightly then said, “It will hurt a lot . ”
Bruce chuckled and said, “Well, I’m used to such pain, fortunately . ”
“Oh, you don’t have to come here…”
On the morning of the day Min-joon and Kaya left for South Korea, Rachel came to their house, holding a bag of ingredients . He hurriedly took the bag and put it on the table .
Rachel sighed as if she was tired and said, “I’m a chef . I have to cook for dozens or hundreds of people a day . But if I can’t cook for my student who is sick, do you think that makes sense?”
“Thank you but I’m not sick anymore . And I wasn’t sick in the first place . I was just tired . So, don’t worry too much . ”
“You should have said that before you collapsed . ”
“If you say so, I can’t find any excuses,” he said, feeling sorry .
Then he closed his lips as if he had nothing to say .
Rachel turned around with a detached look then took out the ingredients from the bag .
“I told you to take a rest . Are you resting well?”
“Yeah, I’m resting well . ”
“How about cooking? Are you always cooking?”
At that moment, he was at a loss, not knowing how to reply . If he replied he was cooking, she would obviously ask why he wasn’t resting, but if he replied he was not, she might ask him why he stopped cooking, pointing out he should no matter how sick he was .
Min-joon felt he would feel more comfortable if he told the truth since he was not sure how to respond .
He opened his mouth hesitantly .
“I don’t always cook, but I’m making my own food or helping my roommates with making their dishes . But I don’t overwork myself . ”
Rachel didn’t answer anything then looked back at him silently . He found her gaze a bit uncomfortable, so he looked down at the carrot on the table .
Rachel opened her mouth .
“Why did you say you started cooking, Min-joon?”
“Um… I think it’s because I missed the delicious dishes . At first, it seemed so cool that the chefs were simply cutting the knife on TV . Well, it’s hard for me to pinpoint the reason . ”
“Do you know when is the moment when you suddenly hate what you like?”
“Well, I’m not sure . ”