Published at 19th of December 2020 02:25:14 PM
Chapter 356: In the Cage (2)
Standing on her toes, Ella got close to Min-joon to watch him cooking various dishes . He felt like he was working as soon as he came back to Los Angeles, but he didn’t feel bad because cooking was the greatest pleasure in his life, no matter what .
When the cheese melts, all he had to do was sprinkle pepper moderately, fry it with noodles, and then plate it up . Aglio e olio was known as the simplest pasta among many people, but this pasta he was making now was as simple as that . Given that Aglio e olio was easy to make but hard to make it taste good, it was much easier for him to make the current pasta taste good, compared with Aglio e olio .
After making the quattro fromage spaghetti, he would cook salmone al sesamo . Then he would turn over the salmon covered with sesame and move it onto the cutting board . Waiting for the oil to drain properly, he would fry Paprika, onions, and banana peppers on the same pan again, then move them on the plate before putting the salmon on top finally .
‘The cooking score is…’
At that moment, he subconsciously tried to check his cooking score, but stopped it . If he were always conscious of the score at every moment like this, he might be obsessed with the score whenever he cooked .
After Min-joon set up the table, Lisa, Ella, and Jack sat together to enjoy his dishes . Ella gazed at them blankly for a moment . She felt their get-together like this was not real . Maybe it was because she regarded Min-joon not just as an uncle, but as almost her father . Of course, Ella didn’t express her feelings because she knew that if she said that, it would torment Lisa .
Min-joon said, “It’s not a great dish, but I think you can enjoy it a lot because I’ve made it . ”
“It seems your confidence has grown more while I haven’t seen you for a while,” Jack said .
“Well, I feel comfortable showing my guts . ”
“Yeah, looking good!”
With a big smile, Jack twirled some strands of the quattro fromage spaghetti with a fork and put them in his mouth . Ella smiled brightly, trying the spaghetti .
“Uncle, this is delicious . ”
“Try the salmon, too . You will like it . ”
“Oh, I don’t like salmon . ”
She reluctantly raised a fork to try the salmon because she could not refuse the dish he made . A little later, she opened her eyes wide after taking a bite of the salmon and looked at him .
“I don’t feel like throwing up at all! It tastes good!”
“Ella, you shouldn’t feel that salmon tastes disgusting . ”
Was it because she was surprised to know she could enjoy salmon this time? She then picked up the salmon and began to check if it was really salmon . Min-joon understood her . In fact, he made the salmone al sesamo on purpose, knowing she didn’t like salmon . With the fragrant smell of sesame wafting in the salmon, she forgot the fishy smell of salmon completely .
At that moment, Jack opened his mouth .
“I guess your trip this time has helped you a lot . I can feel some change in your dish . Of course, I mean well . ”
“Because I’ve seen and experienced a lot . ”
“Then, I think you have also thought hard about it . ”
When Jack said that, Min-joon couldn’t reply for a moment . He couldn’t really figure out what Jack was trying to point out .
As if he read Min-joon’s mind, Jack slowly opened his mouth .
“If you don’t mind, can I give you some advice? It’s for you, and Rachel, too . ”
“Yes, I would like to hear it . ”
Jack slowly took the fork off the salmon and put it on the plate .
Then he said in a heavy voice, “Be ready to get out of Rachel’s cage . ”
At that moment, Min-joon stopped moving his hand . He then slowly put down the fork and looked at Jack mysteriously . It was Lisa who was rather embarrassed by Jack’s remarks .
Casting an annoying glance at Jack, Lisa said, “Dad, that’s none of your business . ”
“I know, I know . I didn’t want to say this unless I had to, but I have to speak out now . To be honest, I’m not saying this for you, but for Rachel . ”
Min-joon did not ask Jack why he wanted to give some advice to Rachel because he already knew the answer to that question . It was Min-joon who was right next to Rachel . So, he knew clearly how he affected Rachel, regardless of whether it was good or bad .
Jack said, “Rachel is forgetting how to cook on her own . Since she is focused on your potential, she forgot her own potential . ”
Instead of answering, Min-joon lifted a glass of water and moistened his dry throat . Lisa quietly reflected on what Jack just said . She didn’t think as far as that . But when she heard it now, she understood what Jack was trying to say .
Jack continued while Lisa was watching him .
“I couldn’t tell you this in the past because you still had a lot to learn from Rachel . I could not bring myself to tell you to kick out that opportunity . But now it’s different . You have spent time with her less than a year, but you’ve learned so much from her during that period . So, it’s time…”
As if he felt sorry for Min-joon, Jack didn’t dare to look at him while saying so . Without answering, though, Min-joon slowly twirled the spaghetti filled with cheese sauce with the fork . When he stopped moving the fork, he opened his mouth not to eat, but to speak what was on his mind, “I understand why you said that . And I feel it’s enough . I know my presence can be something like poison rather than medicine to Rachel . But I…”
Min-joon grabbed the fork . At that moment, the fork shook, and all the spaghetti he twirled around it fell onto the plate .
He continued, with his eyes fixed on the napkin in the middle of the table .
“I want to stay with her a little longer because now is the happiest moment in my life . Perhaps this is the first time I’ve cooked freely without caring about anything or anybody . And it’s teacher Rachel who has made it possible . ”
Jack sighed deep down . He couldn’t blame Min-joon because he knew better than anyone else how much charm Rachel had .
At that moment, Ella came down from the chair and went under the table then stuck her head out in front of Min-joon .
Ella asked, in a scared voice, “Are you going to another place, uncle?”
“Nope . I’m not going anywhere . ”
“I wish I could always be beside you, uncle . ”
Min-joon raised his hand and stroked her head and said, “I wish I could, too . ”
Min-joon did not drink alcohol . Why? His reason was simple . He didn’t like the taste of alcohol . From time to time, he cited his religion as the reason for not drinking alcohol, but it was not clear if he really avoided drinking for religious reasons . In fact, it was kind of his habit . Since he decided he would not drink, he made the habit of not drinking, which restricted his behavior when it came to drinking .
However, he was different today . He naturally cast a glance at the whiskey on one side of the refrigerator . If he didn’t drink now, he felt he could not get over his headache at the moment .
After all, however, he gave up drinking and helplessly fell on the sofa with the refrigerator against his back . As soon as Anderson came to Los Angeles, he was called to the Russo couple’s house, and only Kaya would be left alone in the house by now .
At that moment, he received a text message from her .
[Kaya: Sorry, I have a lot of work right now, so I don’t think I can go home early today . ]
After confirming the message, he could not blame her because she would be anxious to come back home as soon as possible . He didn’t want to egg on her to come back home quickly since she was very busy at the moment .
‘Anyway, I want to talk it over with her when she comes back . ’
He wanted to share his complicated thoughts with somebody, but nobody was around him now . He thought he made lots of friends while working at Rose Island, but it was not true .
In some respects, that was the uniqueness of the people in Los Angeles . It was a place where a lot of people meet everyday, but it was rather difficult for him to make intimate friends in this city . Of course, he had some friends who could come out to see him if he called them, but the problem was he could not have a deep conversation with them . Maybe Marco was an exception, but since he had the flu, he could not go to work at the bakery .
Min-joon had another friend that he could share a meaningful conversation with, but he felt he could bring himself to contact her . At that moment, his smartphone rang . Ironically, the person that came on the screen was the one he thought of contacting until a moment ago .
Min-joon cautiously received the phone call . There was silence on the other end . Then Chloe said in a relaxed voice, “Phew! Thank you . I was so nervous because you might not answer the phone . ”
“Why won’t I pick up your call?”
“Because I did something wrong to you before . ”
“You didn’t do anything wrong . Nothing . ”
Although he couldn’t see her, he felt her smiling a little on the other side .
He asked in a subdued voice, “Why did you call me?”
“Well, I just wanted to call you because I had a lot on my mind now . Come to think of it, I had nobody to call at the moment . I heard you just came back to Los Angeles . ”
“It’s funny . To be honest, I had a lot on my mind, too . ”
“Can I ask…”
Chloe paused for a moment as if she was thinking about something . It seemed that she was reluctant to say something, though she wanted to . Thanks to her hesitance, he could figure out what she was trying to say . Shortly afterward, she said exactly what he guessed she would .
“Can I chat with you over drinks? Since you don’t drink alcohol, we can have coffee, or I can meet you and drink something? That won’t work because you don’t drink, like coffee or bubble tea . How about that?”
Min-joon couldn’t answer right away . From his point of view, it was rather uneasy for him to meet her . He would feel sorry for Kaya if he met Chloe, but at the same time, he would feel sorry for Chloe if he declined her request . After all, he was about to decline when Chloe urgently added, as if she was nervous about his silence, “Oh, by the way, I’m suggesting it to you as a friend . ”
“Okay . Where shall we meet?”