Published at 19th of December 2020 02:25:09 PM
Chapter 358: In the Cage (4)
Min-joon could understand why she said that . He silently ate the clams she made . Although she said her cooking skills didn’t improve, he knew that’s not true . Her recipe was the same as it was last time, but he could clearly notice refinement in her cooking skills .
“Wow, this smoke taste is richer than before . I can’t blame this chewy clam because clam is like that anyway . And the sauce here is well balanced with the condition of this clam . I think you’re still good at cooking . Don’t say your skills stopped growing, Chloe . ”
He didn’t praise her on purpose . That’s how he frankly felt toward her . Honestly, she lived in an environment where she could improve her cooking skills . In some respects, she was in a better situation than before . In the past she had to gain her cooking skills while studying in college, but she had to cook not only when she had to prepare a meal for herself, but also when she was on a TV program .
However, it was not unreasonable for her to feel that her skills didn’t improve, for her close friends such as Kaya, Anderson, Min-joon, and Marco improved their cooking skills incomparably better than before .
She said, “You’re so cool . Kaya, Anderson, Marco, you guys are all great . ’
“You’re cool, too,” he replied .
“Do you know why I say you are cool?”
He shook his head .
She looked down at his hand with a light smile and said, “Because you guys don’t live a calculating life . If there’s something you want and you need to do, you are trying to pursue it without looking back . That’s hard for me . On the other hand, I calculate the gains and losses of what I want, then decide what’s the best for me objectively . So, my problem is to look at things objectively . ”
“Why? Because you don’t have your own view?”
“Right . Living a life based on the given path is not my life after all . There is something else I want . There is something else I want to do . That’s why I’m going to stop my job as a broadcaster . I feel like I’m going to lead a completely different life from what I’ve thought, if I keep this broadcasting job . ”
He could understand her point better than anyone else because he also once lived a calculating life . In fact, many people in the world are living in a calculating way . And, as always, if they relied on calculating lives, they could not make their dreams come true, for they could not simply convert dreams into numbers . Because of that, their calculating lives were no more than an imaginary number that could not be an unknown .
And it took too long for her to realize the value of that imaginary number .
Leaning against the island, he said, “I’m rooting for you . I’m not cheering you up because it’s you . I’m cheering because I think your decision is right . ”
“Do you really think my decision is right? Well, I don’t want to regret my decision later, wishing I really didn’t have to do this meaningless adventure . ”
“If you fail, you will regret your decision, of course . But Chloe, if you don’t give up, you won’t fail . The moment you give up is the moment you fail . And I know you . You’re the type who succeeds, not fails . ”
“Are you telling me now that success suits me when you had me experience the most painful failure?”
“Man, you’ve become rather harsh…”
“I said it already . When you work in this broadcasting field, you get tough . ”
He scratched his cheek and turned his gaze when she said with a gentle smile .
But he felt less awkward now because he confirmed she could mention this kind of stuff to him with a light heart .
“Come to think of it, I have lived a life so obsessed with the success and failure of my life . But I just want to live by doing what I want to do from now on . I want to get out of a dichotomous way of thinking and live a life, just focusing on my dream . ”
“I know how you feel, and that’s a good idea . ”
“Thanks . ”
She smiled beautifully . Watching her smiling, he also smiled before he knew it . He liked that feeling because it seemed that he now mended fences with her . He really felt it was sweet to see the awkwardness between them gone now .
The two enjoyed such a warm atmosphere . It was rather ambiguous to call their relationship something like a pure friendship . Anyway, what they could do for now was to empty each other’s plate without saying anything .
When she emptied her plate, she asked, “So, what are you going to do/ Are you really going to leave Rose Island?”
“Well, I don’t have anything to say if you want my answer right now . But I’ve realized one thing recently . Maybe someday…”
He looked far away for a moment, then said with a sigh, “I’ll probably leave Rose Island . ”
It wasn’t because he was afraid of the possible political fight with June, nor because Rachel didn’t reflect on herself . It was purely because of his own greed, which he had been feeling at some point . He couldn’t be satisfied with being somebody’s deputy . Rather than inheriting the tradition, he preferred to create it .
“I like Rose Island . Or I can even say I love it . But when you ask me if I can dedicate my life to Rose Island, I can’t say yes, to be honest with you . I want my own restaurant with the sign that I have chosen . I respect Rachel, and I respect the fact that she had a dream for me, but …”
His eyes looked a bit sad for a moment, but he said firmly with a determined expression, “I have no intention of making Rachel’s dream mine . ”
“So, do you have any updates about the main restaurant of Rose Island?”
“Yes . Chef June . According to what I’ve heard, the Venice branch has already been renovated for a long time . However, there is no sign that they are reopening it . ”
“They’re not preparing for reopening?”
June raised one of her eyebrows . She could not understand why they didn’t reopen when they had finished rebuilding the burnt restaurant . She lifted her finger and tapped the desk slowly . Then she asked again, “What about the rumor?”
“Yes, I have spread the rumors to the relevant people that the alleged speculation about Min-joon’s being Rachel’s successor is groundless . ”
“You have to take care of it step by step . If they focus too much on him, it might undermine my position . ”
Her head was throbbing because of a headache . She raised the other hand and pressed her temple firmly . The manager watched her without a word . She looked at him with a bitter smile .
“Don’t you think I’m leading a weary life?”
“To be honest, i think so . Right now, you have a solid presence in this field . It’s true that Chef Jun has gained a lot of recognition among people recently, but they are the general public . To talk about the gourmet world, you are in an incomparable stronger position than him . Why are you so wary of him? From my point of view, if you just do what you’re doing as the head chef here, you will naturally take over Rose Island…”
“There is no free lunch in the world,” she said in a cynical voice .
She looked at her hands with burn marks and blade scars .
“Because I had these scars, I could improve my cooking skills . When I earned something, I had to prepare and pay the price for it . This is the same case . If I do nothing, I won’t have anything . I’m not a fox in the Talmud who gives up in the end while waiting for the bunches of grapes to fall in vain, and complains that it’s a sour grape . If I want to eat that grape, I’ll buy it . And if it tastes so good, I’ll buy the whole vine . ”
The manager couldn’t say anything to her . Her ambition often looked beautiful and cool, but sometimes it seemed so sad . At that moment her cell phone rang . She looked at the manager, put her finger on her lips, then took the phone to her ear .
“Hello . ”
“This is Dave . It’s been a while, June . ”
“Yeah, we haven’t seen each other for so long that I even feel awkward . I thought you still hated me . Was there any reason for you to call me first?”
“I’ve never hated you . When we were lovers, and even now, I don’t hate you . ”
“I don’t think you called me to talk about the things of the past . What’s up” You must have a reason to call me . ”
“Mam, you’re heartless as ever . ”
“If you don’t cut to the chase right now, let me hang up the phone . I can’t afford to have a chat with you now . ”
Since she spoke coldly, he just stayed silent for some time .
At last he said in a heavy voice, “I know you’re wary of Min-joon now . ”
“Don’t be so mean . Minjoon is not a guy who will do you harm . ”
“I’m not wary of him . I am just wary of the situation . ”
” I know well what has made you come up as far as here . And I know why you’re scared . But why don’t you trust Rachel a little more? If you are qualified, she will definitely give you what you want . ”
“I’ve always trusted Rachel . But I can’t trust myself . ”
Dave was speechless, shocked by her unexpected confession . . Imagining his perplexed looks, she closed her eyes . Then she confessed in a calm voice, “That’s why I’m getting ready . If your body and face aren’t pretty, I’ll have to wear more colorful clothes to look less ugly . ”
” I don’t care if you wear more clothes . But if you try to take off someone else’s clothes to gain Rachel’s favor, I won’t remain as an onlooker . ”
“What are you going to do if I do?”
“There is one reason you are not wary of me . It’s because I have no ambition . You know I’m not interested in the general manager position of Rose Island . But if you cross the line, and trouble Rachel’s mind, you should be more wary of me than Min-joon . ”
“Are you threatening me now?”
“Actually I’m saying this for your good . ”
“Wow, that’s very touching . Let me hang up now . I won’t pick up your phone in the future . ”
After hanging up the phone, she threw the phone on the desk hysterically .
Checking her moods, the manager asked carefully, “Are you okay?”
“Nope, not at all . ”
Although she said that, it seemed she was overcome with emotion, given her eyes burning intensely with tears or anger .
Finding the manager hesitating for a moment, she raised her hand to cover her eyes, and said, “Get out and check out what they think about our branch these days . Don’t forget to collect the rumors about me, too . Any tips or rumors including SNS and tabloid news . ”
“Sure, I will do . ”
After he went out, there was silence for some time .
She muttered in silence, “Dave . I’m not taking off other people’s clothes . I won’t because I will dress up so gorgeously that I don’t have to, so nobody can compare with me . ’
She calmed down and pulled herself together . She couldn’t even afford to cry or close her eyes . She decided that she would only look at the road ahead because it would be rough and difficult, as always .