- a Jiyong fanfic
Jin rolled over to the side of her bed and gasped. “Shit!” she screamed. She was late for work. She quickly washed up and threw on some clothes. As she tugged on her nylons, they tore. “Shit.” She grabbed another pair and pulled them on. She ran outside of her apartment building and hopped aboard a taxi. As she fumbled through her purse for her makeup and ended up spilling everything out. “Sorry, sorry,” she told the taxi driver. “Shit,” she mumbled. She gathered all her cosmetics and popped the lid off her lipstick, but there was nothing left but a flat stub. She hastily scribbled in her planner “buy new lipstick.” Finally, she grabbed a shiny pink eye pencil and started lining her eyes with it.
KACHUNK. “Sorry Miss, speed bump,” apologized the taxi driver.
Jin gritted her teeth at her reflection. A pink line was smeared all the way across her eyelid. She tried rubbing it off with a tissue, but it just smeared it more. She finally gave up and threw her compact in her new leather Gucci purse.
“We’re here, Miss!” Jin paid the driver and in her haste of getting out, she stepped into a big mud puddle and splashed mud all over her nicely pressed skirt. She managed to refrain from screaming out loud like a mad woman. She rushed into the Korean Globe building.
“Miss Lee, late again, I see!”
Jin winced. “I’m sorry, Mr. Cho. I got caught in traffic.”
The editor-in-chief frowned disapprovingly. “Well, Miss Lee. You know the rules. Last one in takes coffee orders.”
Jin nodded meekly. “Yes sir.” She quickly took down everyone’s orders and ran towards the coffee room.
Jin’s friend Yuri tagged along. “What happened to you?” asked Yuri, looking at Jin’s appearance.
Jin rolled her eyes. “I’m just having one of those days,” she sighed.
Yuri nodded with understanding. “Oh, I know.. There was this one day..” she babbled.
Jin wasn’t even listening to a thing Yuri was saying. She was having such a crappy day she couldn’t think straight. After the two of them finally finished making the coffee, they carried the cups on plastic trays back to the main work room. Everyone hounded them for their daily dose of caffeine. Jin felt someone pinch her arm.
“You look a fright.”
Jin hit him with her tray. “Shut up Sunghoon.”
Sunghoon giggled in a silly manner. “What happened to you?”
“Why do I get the feeling I’m going to be asked that a lot today?” Sunghoon grinned. “I guess you could say this is one of those days,” said Jin.
Sunghoon put his arm around her slyly. “Well, since you’ve been having a bad day, I’ve got a surprise for you. The most handsome man in Seoul will take you out to dinner tomorrow night.”
Jin stared at his handsome face. “Really? That’s great Sunghoon, but I’d much rather go out with you if you’re free.”
Sunghoon removed his arm. “I’m hurt.”
Jin nudged Sunghoon’s head with her fist. “You know I’m kidding, what time?”
Sunghoon smiled. “Well, I’ve got an appointment after work so how about we meet at our favorite dduk bboki stand at seven?”
Jin nodded. “Okay.”
Jin pretended to gag. “Yes, Mr. Cho!” she responded sweetly. “I’ll see you Saturday,” she whispered. Her best friends at work were Yuri and Sunghoon. Work wouldn’t have been as fun without them around. She walked towards Mr. Cho. “Yes?”
He thrust a paper into her hands. “Here’s your next assignment.”
Jin read the paper. “Interview Ko Ji Yong on his upcoming movie and different works. Mr. Cho, I’m not trying to get out of doing work or anything, but I’ve heard Sunghoon is childhood friends with him. Why don’t you ask him to do the story?”
Mr. Cho grunted. “Miss Lee, the newspaper business is a serious business. When you are given an assignment, you are expected to do it.”
“And furthermore,” interrupted Mr. Cho. “If you ever want to an editor, you must be able to handle your responsibilities. Understood?”
Jin bit her lip. Her dream was to become editor of the paper and he knew it. “Yes sir,” she replied.
He patted her back. “Good. I set up your interview for this evening. All the details are on the paper.”
“Why tonight?” asked Jin. “Mr. Cho, I haven’t been having the best day,” she protested.
Mr. Cho made a zipping motion with his finger. “Responsibility, Miss Lee.”
Jin let out a sigh.
Jin rubbed the temples on the sides of her head. She was experiencing the worst migraine. She let out a breath of relief as she clocked out. She waved goodbye to Yuri and turned to walk out the door. She jumped as someone grabbed her arm.
“Stop scaring me Sunghoon or I’m going to kick your @$$!” hissed Jin.
Sunghoon held up his arms in self defense. “Hey, don’t get all uptight.” He hissed like a cat and bared his claw.
Jin had to smile at that. “Okay, what?”
“Just reminding you about tomorrow night!” He made the cutest smile possible.
Jin rolled her eyes. “Of course, wouldn’t miss it for the world. See you later.” She gave him a quick hug and as she stepped outside the door, CRACK. Jin fell to the ground like a ton of bricks. As she picked herself up, she felt like crying. “My $100 shoes!” she wailed. Her heel had snapped right off. “Stupid piece of junk.”
Sunghoon, on the other hand, was cracking up like there was no tomorrow. Jin decided to pound him later and caught a taxi. By the time she had gotten home, she had broken a nail, scratched the buckle on her new purse, and stepped in somebody’s chewing gum. She bit her tongue from cursing out loud as she hobbled into her apartment. She angrily kicked her battered shoes off and changed her mud spotted clothes. It was two hours until her meeting with Mr.Ko.
“Hello, Mr. Cho,” sighed Jin in exasperation.
“Now remember Jin, you need to make him feel comfortable and you must be polite. I’ve heard he likes fine alcohol, so why don’t you buy him a bottle of wine on your way there? Also…”
“All right!” interrupted Jin. “FYI, I was on my way to the toilet so if there’s nothing else for you to say, I’m kind of in a hurry!” She clicked the phone off and threw it on the floor. This was not the best day…
Jin cradled the bottle of fine wine in her left arm and entered the elevator of the large apartment building. After she reached the floor, she pressed the doorbell to his apartment.
“Hi, you must be the reporter from the Korean Globe. Come on in,” said Jiyong cordially.
Jin did a double take. He was even more handsome in person. “Oh, thank you,” responded Jin. She gave him the wine. “I thought you might enjoy that.”
“Why, thanks.” He led her to the kitchen. “Sit down.” He patted the seat next to him. As she conducted the interview, he popped open the bottle and poured it into two glasses.
“Oh, I don’t drink,” said Jin.
“Oh sorry,” apologized Jiyong. He looked embarassed.
‘Be polite..’ Jin could hear Mr. Cho saying. “Actually, why don’t you pour me some?” She didn’t want to be rude, but more than anything, she wanted a stress reliever. Maybe some alcohol would take away some of the crapiness to her day. After she finished the interview, the bottle was empty. Jin felt so much more relaxed. “Hey Mr. Ko.. Do you have any scotch?” she called out.
Jiyong laughed loosely. “Yup!” He took out a bottle and poured some of the strong liquor into Jin’s glass and his. He swallowed the drink with satisfaction.
After Jin drank some, she made a terrible expression but straightened it out. “You know, I thought you liked fine alcohol!” accused Jin. She giggled, and then hiccupped.
Jiyong laughed at Jin’s hiccup, but hiccupped himself. “Oh, I just like alcohol in general!” He poured himself some more scotch. Jin finished her glass and held it out.
“Fill er’ up!”
Jin rolled over on her side and tried opening her eyes, but she couldn’t. She felt like there were a hundred hammers beating her head. As her eyes struggled to open, she caught a glimpse of the clock which read 10 AM. She breathed a sigh of relief, thankful it was Saturday, her vacation day for that week. She shivered and pulled more of the covers over her. She tossed the covers off her, but immediately pulled them back on again.
‘Why am I naked?’ she thought. She never slept naked. She thought it was disgusting habit and never indulged in it. ‘Wait a minute. This doesn’t even look like my room.’ Jin turned to her other side and gasped. As Jiyong’s eyes opened, she belted out the loudest scream imagineable.
Jin shrieked uncontrollably and jumped out of the bed like a rabbit, holding the covers around her.
Jiyong grabbed a pillow and covered himself with it. “Oh shit,” he muttered. Jin just kept screaming like a lunatic. “Would you shut up?!” yelled Jiyong after a few minutes. Jin stopped. “And give me a blanket! If you didn’t notice, I’m kinda buck naked!” Jin tossed him a sheet and he wrapped it around his body.
“Oh my lawd, what happened?” cried Jin hysterically. Her eyes grew round. “Did you put something in my drink?”
Jiyong rolled his eyes. “Look, I may sometimes play a jerk in the movies, but I’m not that bad.” Jin continued to look at him suspiciously. “Go take a blood test if you’re so worried.”
“Oh lawd,” repeated Jin. “I think I’m gonna..” She bolted to the toilet. She felt someone patting her back soon and she stopped after a minute. She flushed the toilet and quickly rinsed out her mouth.
“Are you okay?” asked Jiyong, standing behind her. He had put on a pair of pants.
Jin shook her head. “Do you think I would be all right?!” She pushed him out of the bathroom. “Would you please give me my clothes? I’ll change and get out of here.” He handed Jin her clothes and she shut the door on him. She sank to the floor and buried her face in her hands. What was she going to do?
Jin opened the door to her apartment and collapsed to the floor. As the minutes passed by, she felt tears rolling down her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted her first time to be like this. Something produced from a drunken stupor. She had wanted it to be special and intimate. She wrapped her arms around herself and trembled, allowing the tears to fall. She crawled to her room and sobbed. She picked up a picture and held it in her hand. “I’m sorry Mom,” she said to it. Tears dropped from her eyes to the picture and she wiped them off. She climbed up into her bed and closed her eyes, hoping when she woke up, this nightmare would be over.
THE NEXT DAY…
Jin solemnly walked into the news room and sat at her desk. She turned on her computer to write her story. She sat at her desk, staring at her computer. She couldn’t concentrate on what to write, especially about Ko Jiyong.
“So Miss Lee, we’re on time, I see!”
Jin turned around in her chair and acknowledged Mr. Cho. She really wasn’t in the mood for his wise cracks. “Yes, Mr. Cho.” Surprisingly, he nodded and walked away without saying anything else. A few minutes later, she saw Sunghoon in the distance. As he walked by, she expected him to stop and talk to her but he just passed her by. Jin frowned. She was hurt that he would ignore her. She got up out of her seat and stopped him. “Sunghoon, what’s up?” asked Jin.
Sunghoon’s face was set seriously. “I’m busy Jin, I’ll talk to you later.” He tried brushing past her, but she grabbed his elbow.
“What’s wrong, Sunghoon?” She looked at him with a concerned expression.
His eyes dropped to the floor. “You could have at least called,” he said. Jin was still confused. “I thought we had a dinner date. I understand if you were busy but…”
Jin touched his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Sunghoon. I totally forgot. It was just a really crazy day. You understand, right?”
Sunghoon nodded. “I’ll see you later.” He walked away. Jin sighed. She knew he was still mad at her but she would talk to him later. She had other things to worry about.
It had been a few weeks since the incident and Jin was doing much better. Her little fight with Sunghoon was resolved and her job was going better than ever. She had finally forgiven herself on the whole thing with Jiyong. Right now, she was meeting Sunghoon and Yuri for dinner. Of course, Sunghoon had made her pay since she had stood him up before.
“Hey Jin, aren’t you going to eat your dduk bboki?” asked Sunghoon.
Jin stuck her tongue out at him. “I will, so don’t try and steal mine or I’ll pound you,” she threatened. She brought the dduk bboki up to her mouth, but set it back down again.
“What’s wrong, Jin? Does it not taste good?” asked Yuri. She stole a piece of Jin’s dduk bboki and stuck it in her own mouth. “It tastes all right.”
Jin tried eating it again but she was forced to set it down. She felt really queasy. “Um, actually you guys, I’m not really that hungry. Actually, I’ve got a bad stomach ache. You guys finish it up.” She paid the lady and got up.
“Where are you going?” asked Sunghoon.
Jin smiled. “I think I’d better get home and take some medicine before I get more sick. I’ll see you later.” She waved goodbye to her friends and hurried home.
“Please stay white, please stay white,” begged Jin desperately. She waited for the moment. She gasped in horror as the applicator turned blue. The applicator dropped from her hand to the floor. After she got over her initial shock, she patted her stomach and said, “So, how are you doing in there?”
Jin twiddled her fingers on the table impatiently, waiting for Jiyong to come. She had called him and asked to meet him at her apartment. DING DONG
Jin ran to the door and opened it. “Hi Jiyong.”
He walked inside and sat down at the couch. “Could you make this quick? I’ve got to leave for a shooting of my movie soon.”
Jin frowned. ‘Well hello to you too,’ she thought sarcastically. “Jiyong, um, I have to tell you something. Um.” Jiyong glanced at his watch. “You remember that one night?” she asked subtly.
Jiyong turned his eyes to her. “What about it?” he asked tentatively.
Jin dropped her eyes to the floor. “Well um.. I’m.. Well, we’re… Uh…” She whipped out the applicator and threw it to him.
“What’s this?” he inquired. He paused. “Isn’t this a pregnancy test?”
Jin nodded again.
“If it’s blue, that means…” His eyes went wide. “Oh shit.”
Jin took a deep breath. “Well, I suppose you can pay child support every month and…”
“Wait a second,” Jiyong cut her off. “You mean you’re actually thinking of HAVING this baby?”
“Well, what do you mean by that? It is mine, you know,” pointed out Jin.
“Do your parents know?”
Jin’s eyes grew sad. “Um, my dad abandoned me when I was two and my mom died a year ago.”
Jiyong set his face seriously. “Abort it,” he ordered shortly.
Jin’s eyes narrowed at him. “Never. I can’t kill my child!” she objected.
Jiyong put his hand through his hair. “Listen, there isn’t any other way. If the public ever finds out about this, my reputation will be over! They’ll just think I’m some irresponsible idiot!” He stood to leave. “Look, I’ll check up on you later.” He went out the door and slammed it shut.
Jin fell to the ground in despair. She knew he wouldn’t be happy with the news, but she didn’t expect him to order an abortion. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t… DING DONG.
“The door’s open,” called out Jin weakly.
“Jin!” squealed Yuri. She gave Jin a bag. “I got you some medicine.” She frowned. “What are you doing on the floor?” she asked. Yuri knelt down beside Jin. “What’s wrong?”
Jin burst into tears and wrapped her arms around Yuri. “Yuri, what am I going to do?” she bawled.
Yuri patted Jin’s back. “What’s wrong, Jin? Does your stomach hurt a lot?” Jin shook her head and told Yuri the whole story. Yuri gasped. “Are you kidding? Jin!” She hugged her friend tightly and cried with her.
“Yuri…what am I going to do?” cried Jin. “I feel so alone..”
Jin was now all alone in her apartment. “Mom, what am I supposed to do?” she asked the picture in her hands. RING RING. Jin grabbed the phone. “Hello?”
“Jin… Do you want to come over to my apartment?” asked Jiyong in a tired voice. “I..I have something to tell you.”
“Okay, I’m on my way.”
As Jin walked through the door, she noticed a middle aged woman sitting at the kitchen table. She bowed respectfully to the woman and sat down across from her and Jiyong.
“Just in case you were wondering, I’m Jiyong’s mother,” informed the woman.
Jin nodded. “Nice to meet you, m’aam.” She darted a glance at Jiyong, wondering what was going on.
“I just wanted you to be here because I wanted to discuss wedding preparations.”
Jin’s eyes grew round. “Wedding preparations?”
“Yes, wedding preparations,” said Mrs. Ko. “Is something wrong?”
Jin tried keeping her patience. “Well, try switching places, Mrs. Ko. Would you like to marry your son if you were in my shoes?” she asked. “Considering you know everything.”
“Listen Miss Lee, I know what happened. I know that nothing you did was anyone’s fault. It was just a fluke, an accident.” Jin looked at Mrs. Ko expectantly. “Well, you are going to have the baby, am I correct?”
Jin nodded. “I don’t believe in abortions,” she stated firmly.
“Well like you don’t believe in abortions, I believe that a man must be responsible for his child.” Mrs. Ko hesitated for a moment. “Think about the child, at least. You’ve read those stories, haven’t you? About those juvenile delinquents with no father figure? It’s terrible, it really is. You may not want to think about this, but this child could turn out like one of those.”
Jin bit her lip and thought of a response. “Well, I’ll do my best as a mother and hopefully, nothing like that will happen.”
Mrs. Ko sighed. :”I really didn’t want to bring this up but..” Jin waited. “I hear you are quite a reporter and writer for the Korean Globe.”
Jin nodded slowly. “What about it?”
“You love your job, do you not?” asked Mrs. Ko. Jin nodded. “Well, suppose the truth were to get out about this baby and how it came to be. Even though Jiyong would not have a good name, time would heal everything. As for you..”
Jin arched an eyebrow. “What?”
“Irresponsible. They would see you as an incompetent, irresponsible woman. Your career would be trashed, as well as your reputation. Do you get me?”
Jin swallowed and rose from her chair. “Are you threatening me?” she snapped.
Mrs. Ko smiled smugly. “Why don’t you decide that for yourself?” she asked. Jin was so angry she couldn’t speak. She looked to Jiyong for help but he just sat there, looking at the floor. “Also, think of the child.. If not for you, for the child.”
Jin kept her tears of frustration in. “I’m going to leave and pretend I didn’t hear a word.” She turned to leave.
“You’d better decide before your stomach shows,” called out Mrs. Ko. Jin just kept walking straight out the door.
Jin sat on her bed and rubbed her stomach. “Hey you… Would you rather live with me alone or with me and your dad?” she asked. She sighed. She had to make a decision. She grabbed her phone and dialed. “Hello? Jiyong? Tell your mom to put up a wedding date.”
“How’s this? How’s that look?” asked Mrs. Ko.
Jin smoothed the light pink dress. “It’s fine, I suppose,” said Jin.
Mrs. Ko gasped. “Fine? It’s perfect! You look beautiful in it!”
Jin smiled faintly. “Thank you.”
“This will be perfect for the engagement ceremony.”
Jin stared at her reflection in the powder room. Her hair was freshly curled with white flowers woven through it and her makeup was perfectly applied. She put her white gloves on and practiced smiling at the mirror.
Mrs. Ko opened the door to the powder room and put her hands on Jin’s shoulder. “Now remember, don’t be nervous!” She smoothed some wrinkles out of Jin’s dress. “The ceremony’s starting. Go on out!” Jin obeyed and found Jiyong standing outside the powder room. He held out his arm. Jin took it and followed him out to the room. After the ceremony was over, a bunch of reporters gathered in front of the couple.
“Mr. Ko, how did you and Miss Lee meet?” asked a reporter. Camera flashes blinked everywhere and Jin couldn’t help shielding her eyes.
“Jin came to a party I was having and we met there,” answered Jiyong smoothly. Jin laughed to herself. ‘He’s such a good liar. No wonder he’s an actor,’ she thought.
“Miss Lee, what was your first impression of Mr. Ko?” called out another reporter.
Jin smiled brightly. “It was love at first sight,” she replied happily. Jiyong smiled at her and she smiled back.
“How about a kiss for the cameras?” yelled someone. Jin and Jiyong froze. Neither of them expected this.
Jiyong regained his composure. “Oh come on, don’t embarass us,” he said. Still, the reporters wheedled for a kiss. Jin smiled at the cameras, hoping they would just forget about everything. Finally, Jiyong leaned over and touched his lips to her forehead.
The reporters groaned. “You call that a kiss?”
Jiyong laughed good naturedly. “Well, that’s all you get for today. Now, if you’ll excuse us.” He took Jin’s arm and led her outside the building.
As Jin opened the door to her house, she dropped her purse and prepared to lie on the couch. She had spent half the day trying to get rid of reporters. She had no idea how annoying they could be, even though she was one. As she walked in front of her couch, she yelped.
“Damn Sunghoon, how’d you get in here?” screamed Jin.
Sunghoon’s expression was grim. He shoved a newspaper in her face. “What is the meaning of this?” he demanded. The headline read ‘Ko Jiyong sets wedding plans.’ There was a picture of Jiyong kissing Jin’s forehead.
“It’s pretty self explanatory,” said Jin. She turned to go to her room. “I’m going to go to sleep now. I’m really tired.” Sunghoon grabbed her arm.
“Since when did you date Jiyong, huh? From what I know, you didn’t even know him until Mr. Cho gave you that one story.”
Jin kept her eyes on the floor. “Well, you were wrong.”
“How could you do this to me?” he whispered. Jin froze. “How could you? I mean.. I thought you knew.”
“That I.. love you.” Jin tried to go but he held on tight. “I’ve loved you ever since.. I don’t remember.. But I know I love you now and I can’t let you go to Jiyong. Not until you give me a chance.”
Jin held in her tears. “Sunghoon, I’m really not in the mood for this.”
Sunghoon paused. “Why Jiyong? My friend.. I..” He pulled Jin close to him and held her.
Jin pushed away. “Don’t do this to me, Sunghoon!” she shouted. “Don’t! I can’t handle any more of this!”
Sunghoon’s eyes filled with tears. “Jin, please!” he begged.
Jin wiped away a falling tear. “Please just go right now,” she pled. “I just want to be alone.” She left Sunghoon and locked the door to her room.
Jin stared at the showcase of glittering diamonds. The glare almost blinded her. “Now pick one, Jin. Money is no object,” said Mrs. Ko.
Jin browsed some more before saying, “Where’s Jiyong? Is he coming?”
Mrs. Ko shook her head. “He’s still shooting his movie. But he would say the same thing. Now go on, choose,” she urged.
Jin pointed at one. “That one,” she said in a dull voice.
Mrs. Ko glanced at it and shook her head vigorously. “That tiny thing?” she asked incredulously.
Jin shrugged her shoulders. “I guess I really don’t know about this sort of thing.” But then, something caught her eye. “How about that one?” It was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. It was a huge 2.5 carat diamond with little diamonds surrounding it on a platinum ring.
Mrs. Ko nodded. “Now you’re talking.” She handed her credit card to the lady.
Jin emerged from her dressing room, wearing her wedding dress. All the guests oohed and ahed. Jin sat down in a chair as she waited for the ceremony to begin. She had spent the whole morning smiling at cameras and answering questions. As she was getting her hair done, a video camera from SBS had followed her and interviewed her there! She was about to go insane. Now as she was sitting in her powder room, she was thanking about 400 people for their congratulations. Some of them were people she knew, but most were just random strangers or celebrities she had never even met. When Ko So Young had congratulated her, Jin normally would have gone crazy. But she didn’t for two reasons: one, she wasn’t exactly happy enough to do so and two: she wasn’t Lee Jin anymore. She was going to be the wife of a famous superstar and needed to keep her cool.
Later, Jin started to feel claustorphobic so she had everyone leave her room, leaving her by herself. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Jin scowled. “I’m sorry, I’d like to be alone right now!” she called out.
Yuri poked her head in. “Are you sure?”
Jin’s face brightened slightly, but not much. “Come in.”
Yuri entered the room and sat in a chair in front of Jin, facing her. “Jin, are you sure you want to do this?” she asked.
Jin forced a smile. “I’m fine with it Yuri, really I am. Anyway, I feel like I kind of have to… because you know..”
Yuri nodded solemnly. “All right, it’s your life. But remember I’m always here for you.” She flipped Jin’s veil over her face and straightened out her dress. “Well, if it makes you feel any better, you make a beautiful bride.” Jin looked down at her long sleeveless satin dress. Yuri hugged Jin tightly. “Be happy.. And remember I’m only a phone call away if anything happens.” She pulled away from Jin; they both had tears in their eyes. Yuri pulled away and wiped away her tears. “Now come on, they’re all waiting for you.” She helped Jin out of her chair and carried her long train and veil for her.
“The bride!” announced the MC.
Jin took a deep breath and walked out on to the long carpet. She heard cameras flashing and people whispering, but she kept her eyes straight ahead. “Almost there, don’t trip,” she told herself. Her eyes darted to her left and met with Sunghoon’s eyes. He was wearing a tight, yet sad smile. She moved her eyes to the front and stepped up beside Jiyong. Vows were exchanged and the couple bowed to each other, then to the guests. Then Jiyong took Jin’s hand and walked to the reception room.
“Now, time for the toast!” announced the MC. He held up his glass of champagne. “Now, this couple..”
Jin panicked as the MC went off into a long spiel. Toast? Champagne? She couldn’t have alcohol! “Pssst!” hissed someone.
Jin turned around to see Yuri. “What?”
“Give me your glass!” Jin handed Yuri her glass of champagne and Yuri gave Jin a different glass with the same color liquid. “It’s apple cider,” Yuri whispered.
“Now, everyone please bring up their glass to celebrate this wonderful couple’s marriage!” The MC raised his glass.
Jin and Jiyong linked their arms for a love shot while everyone else clinked their glasses. After the toast, everyone visited with each other, talking and gabbing.
Sunghoon walked up to the couple’s table. “Congratulations you guys.” He shook Jiyong’s hand.
Jiyong smiled. “Thanks Sunghoon.” Jin remained silent. She couldn’t bear to look at his face. She heard his footsteps as he walked away. Jin finally looked up to see his back. Suddenly, he glanced back at her table and gave Jin a smile.. A smile that said ‘I’m okay now.. I’ll accept it.’ Jin was going to get up and talk to him but the MC stopped her.
“Now everyone, it’s that special time where we see the couple share a kiss!” Everyone clapped and cheered.
“Kiss, kiss, kiss!” everyone chanted.
Jin closed her eyes while Jiyong leaned over and kissed her cheek. Everyone booed. “Oh come on now, you can do better than that!” said the MC. Jiyong hesitated. “We’re waiting!” sang the MC. Finally, Jiyong put his hand on the side of Jin’s neck and craned his neck to meet her lips. Their lips touched for about three seconds until Jiyong pulled away. The crowd seemed to be satisfied and cheered. Jin, on the other hand, turned around and let out a sigh. ‘It’s over.. I’m actually married,’ she thought.
“Flight 348 to Cheju will be landing shortly. Please keep your seat belts on until the sign goes off.”
Jin stretched out her arms in her plush and comfortable first class seat. She had taken a short nap and felt more refreshed. “Jiyong?” Jin looked beside her and saw Jiyong sleeping. She nudged him slightly. “We’re here.” He remained sleeping. She nudged him harder. “We’re here,” she said loudly.
He groaned and opened his eyes. “Mmm.. I’m so tired.”
Jin looked over at him and smoothed down the top of his head. He looked at her strangely. “Sorry, but you had a total cowlick,” she explained.
He rubbed his eyes. “Thank you passengers for choosing Korean Airlines. You may now leave the plane and we wish you a pleasant stay.” Jiyong got up and took the bags out of the compartment. Jin followed him out to the airport. The second they were out of the terminal, it was photographers and fans galore.
“JIYONG JJANG!!” screamed the fans. Jin was terrified.
“Mr. Ko, Mrs. Ko, look this way!” Jin turned to the voice and blinked. *FLASH*
She felt Jiyong pinching her arm lightly. “Smile,” he mumbled while looking at the cameras. Jin flashed a small smile. “Bigger,” commanded Jiyong. Jin smiled so big she thought her lips would rip. “Good,” commended Jiyong. He waved to the fans and they shrieked with delight.
“Jin unnie! Unnie! Over here!” Jin heard someone scream over everyone. She smiled to the voice and *FLASH* They managed to collect their luggage while security guards held the fans back. Jiyong waved suavely to his fans before leaving the airport. He pinched her arm again.
“Ouch,” cried Jin.
“Smile and wave,” he muttered through his smile. Jin obeyed.
‘What have I gotten myself into?’ she thought.
‘Don’t open this until you’re alone, okay?’ ordered Yuri.
Jin looked at Yuri suspiciously. ‘Why not?’
Yuri rolled her eyes. ‘Just trust me, okay?’
Jin stared at the gift box Yuri had given her. She flipped open the lid and blushed a bit. It was a long, satin slip. She opened the card that had come with it. ‘Jin, this is for your honeymoon. You always told me you wanted to wear something special for it. I don’t know if you’ll like it, but here it is.’ She threw it back into the box and sighed. She wanted to wear something special when she married the person she LOVED. She threw on a pair of pajamas and stepped out of the bathroom.
“Jiyong, I’m going to bed!” said Jin. She looked around. The room was empty. She glanced at the clock. 12 AM. Where was he?
THUD. Jin shot up in her bed. “Who’s there?” she called out in the darkness. She looked at the clock. 3:30 AM. “Who is it?” she repeated. Trembling, she flipped on the light. There, she saw Jiyong sprawled out on the floor. She ran over to him and knelt down beside him. “Jiyong, are you okay?” she asked frantically. “Oh no, do I need to call an ambulance?” She heard him mumbling something. “What was that?” She turned him over so he was lying on his back. She almost fell backwards from the alcohol in his breath.
Jin leaned in closer so she could hear better.
“But Mom…I don’t want to marry her…” Jin sighed.
“This marriage is going to take a lot of work,” she whispered to herself.
Jin gathered her things and took one last look at her apartment. She couldn’t believe this whole story. It was like a bad dream she couldn’t wake up out of. At the honeymoon, Jin and Jiyong had put up a pretty good front publicly, going to places together, holding hands and all that. Of course, Jin had gone almost insane in the process, having to deal with the annoying reporters and photographers. But now she had to prepare herself for a whole new life.. A whole new life as Mrs.Jin Ko.
Jin smiled happily as she entered the Korean Globe building. It was good to know that one thing hadn’t changed. She was glad to get back to her work. When she came walking through the main room, she prepared herself for another one of Mr. Cho’s lectures concerning the importance of punctuality. “Hello Mrs.Ko,” was all he said.
Jin frowned. “Are you in a good mood today, Mr. Cho?” asked Jin. “I’m twenty minutes late and you haven’t said anything.”
He glanced at his watch. “Really? I didn’t even notice. Well, just don’t do it next time,” he scolded.
Jin grew suspicious but walked to her desk. “Hey Mr. Cho, do you have an assignment for me?” called out Jin.
“Oh, why don’t you take a break on this issue. You must be tired,” said Mr. Cho. He smiled at her.
Jin stomped her foot. “Okay, what is going on here?”
Mr. Cho looked at her. “Why, what do you mean, Mrs. Ko?”
Jin scowled at him. “You know exactly what I mean. Why are you acting so differently towards me now?” she inquired.
He laughed. “Why, I know nothing of the sort. Why don’t you just sit and relax.”
Jin narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “Does this have anything to do with the fact that I’m Mrs. Ko now, instead of plain old Miss Lee?”
Mr. Cho’s eyes darted left and right. “Why of course not. Now, Mrs. Ko..”
Jin cut him off. “Tell me the truth,” she demanded.
Mr. Cho hesitated. “Well, Mr. Ko and his mother do happen to be large sponsors of the paper and..”
Jin let out a scream of frustration. She knew Mr. Cho, along with the rest of the staff would never treat her the same. She didn’t want to use Jiyong’s influence this way. There was only one thing left to do. “Well in that case,” said Jin. “I quit.” She wrote up a resignation form and set it on Mr. Cho’s desk.
Jin grabbed a little gadget she had bought for the baby. It was a small microphone attached to a speaker. She set the speaker on her stomach and spoke into the microphone. “Hello? Hey there.. This is your mommy speaking. How are you doing in there? I want to see you, baby. I’ll see you in about six months, okay? I love you, baby.” She set the microphone and speaker beside her on the couch. RING RING
“Hello, Ko residence,” answered Jin.
“Jin, where’d you go today?”
“Jiyong? Well, I went out to the baekhwajum to get some groceries. Why?” asked Jin.
“Is that ALL you got?” asked Jiyong in an irritated voice.
Jin thought for a moment. “Well, I got something for the baby..” Jiyong let out a deep breath of frustration. “What?” asked Jin. “Did I do something wrong?”
“Well nothing, except now all of Korea knows you’re pregnant!” exclaimed Jiyong.
“So what?” snapped Jin. “And don’t yell, the baby might hear.”
“Well, they know that you’re three months pregnant, and you know what? We only got married a couple weeks ago.” Jin gasped. “That’s right. Now everyone thinks we got married just because of the baby.”
“But we did, didn’t we?”
“Yes, but we don’t want all the people to think that,” pointed out Jiyong sarcastically. “How could you do something so stupid?”
“I didn’t even think about it.. I just..”
“Listen, I’m going into a press conference this afternoon about that at the Royal Hotel at 3. Be there.” He hung up.
“We’re very ashamed of what we did and we hope everyone will forgive us. But we did get married because we love each other. The baby just sped up the process.”
“Mrs. Ko, do you have anything else to say to the public?” asked a reporter.
Jin stepped up to the microphone. “I’m sorry. Hopefully, this won’t affect the love that they had for Jiyong and we hope the public will be able to understand.” She left the conference room.
Jin sat on the couch and put the speaker to her stomach. “Hey baby. How about I play some music for you?” She walked to the piano and took a seat on the bench. Now, she was five months pregnant. Her stomach had started to bulge a little, but it wasn’t that noticeable. She placed her fingers on the ivory keys and played some soothing melodies. She closed her eyes and grew lost in the music. The piano had always been her best friend who she could go to at all times. DING DONG
Jin answered the door. “Hi Jiyong.”
He brushed past her. “Hi,” he muttered.
“How are you?” she asked. “Did you eat the lunch I packed for you?”
He took the plastic box out of his bag and tossed it on the kitchen table. “Sorry, I didn’t have time to eat.”
Jin forced a smile. “Well, you must be hungry. I’ll make something for you.” She walked to the stove.
“Would you stop it?” snapped Jiyong.
Jin was startled. “Stop what?” she asked.
“Stop acting so.. concerned about me!” he shouted. “The only reason we married each other is because of the baby! Nothing else!”
“Stop shouting. The baby will hear. It’s not good for the baby to hear bad things,” said Jin.
He rolled his eyes and lowered his voice. “Listen, I may be forced to live with you and act civil to you, but that’s it. After that, I live my life, and you live your life. Okay?” He stalked to his bedroom. “I just came to change clothes. I’ve got a CF commercial to shoot.”
Jin sighed. She was trying so hard to make this work. As she heard Jiyong leave the apartment, she stared at the untouched plastic box. Why did she even try?
So that was how it was. For the next month, neither of the two said a word to each other unless absolutely necessary. They slept in different rooms, Jiyong was always out, and they would never concern each other with their business. Until one day..
Jiyong stretched his legs out on the coffee table and yawned. Jin bit her tongue. She hated it when people put their feet on tables. Then he proceeded to take a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it with his lighter. Jin clenched her fists as he breathed out rings of smoke. Finally, she couldn’t stand it. She stomped over to where he was sitting, snatched the cigarette out of his mouth, and threw it in the trash can. Then she opened the windows to air out the smoke.
“What’s your problem?” inquired Jiyong.
“My problem is, that you’re smoking. And I’m pregnant. I don’t want the baby to..”
Jiyong cut her off. “Oh please, a little smoke never hurt anyone.” He reached for another cigarette but Jin was too quick for him. It went straight to the trash can. “Would you stop that? That’s really annoying me,” snapped Jiyong in an irritated voice.
“Well, your smoking is annoying me, too!” snapped back Jin. “Don’t you even care about the baby’s health?” She could feel a mood swing coming on.
He stood up off the couch and stared straight into her eyes. “Listen,” he said in a menacing tone. “This is my apartment. If you don’t like what I do, then leave. I don’t need you here!” he yelled.
Jin slapped him across the face. Jiyong stood there for a few seconds in numb shock then he swung his arm at her and sent a stinging slap across her face. Jin managed to hold in her tears. Then she looked at Jiyong’s face. “If you want me out, it’s as good as done.” She walked out the door.
Sunghoon scurried to the door and opened it. He gasped. “Jin?”
“Can I come in?” asked Jin. She shivered from the cold.
He motioned for her to enter and closed the door behind her. Sunghoon watched as Jin walked to his couch and sat down on it with tears spilling down her cheeks. He sighed. “Jin, what’s wrong?” He sat down beside her.
Jin sniffed and wiped a tear away. “C-c-can I have a tissue?” she blubbered.
Sunghoon handed her the kleenex box and she blew her nose. “Jin, talk to me,” he said.
Jin leaned her head on Sunghoon’s shoulder. Sunghoon remained silent as he listened to her cry. He felt so helpless. He had never seen Jin cry and he didn’t know how to handle it. After a few minutes, Jin spoke. “Sunghoon,” she whispered. “Am I a bad person?” she choked out through tears.
Sunghoon took a hold of her shoulders and faced her. “Jin, you are one of the most sweetest and funniest people I know. What makes you say that?”
Another tear trickled down Jin’s cheek and Sunghoon wiped it away with his thumb. “I guess in a different life, I must have been a terrible person because I’m going through so much shit right now. Sunghoon, I’m trying so hard. Why doesn’t he try to understand?” she sobbed.
Sunghoon sighed. “I don’t know, Jin. Jiyong can sometimes be a cold person. He’s not a bad person… He’s just a little rough around the edges,” answered Sunghoon. “Just give it some time, Jin. It’ll be okay.”
Jin shook her head. “He slapped me!” she shouted. She faced Sunghoon and gave him a hopeful smile. “I know, Sunghoon. I know how you feel about me. I want a divorce, Sunghoon. Maybe we can..”
Sunghoon interrupted her. “Jin, you can’t. You’ve been married three months. Every couple goes through their hard times at first, but it’ll get better. Don’t give up. I know you, you’re not a quitter. And the slap.. Jiyong just does some things without thinking.. Just like we all do.”
Jin looked away. “Is it because of the baby? Is that it?”
Sunghoon shook his head. “No, Jin. More than anything, I would love to just steal you away and raise the baby, but I can’t. You’re Jiyong’s wife now.”
Jin got a crazy look in her eyes. “Sunghoon, let’s run away! If we go to some far away country, no one could find us and..”
Sunghoon grabbed Jin’s shoulders and shook her. “Snap out of it, Jin!” he yelled. “You’re six months pregnant with Jiyong’s baby! You’re married to one of the most famous movie stars in Korea! Stop trying to sway me!”
Jin settled down and started crying again. “Oh lawd, I think I’m having one of my moodswings,” she cried.
Sunghoon wore a tiny smile. “Stay out here. I’ll get you something to drink.”
Jin held his arm. “Sunghoon, at least let me stay here until tomorrow. You know, tomorrow’s the 21st.. I don’t want to spend my birthday with him,” she begged.
Sunghoon just smiled and walked into the kitchen.
“Here.” Sunghoon set a glass of orange juice in front of Jin.
Jin took the glass in her hand and sipped. “What took you so long?”
“Oh.. I couldn’t find any clean glasses,” spat out Sunghoon.
“Oh,” said Jin. Sunghoon kept looking at his watch. “Are you expecting someone?” asked Jin.
Sunghoon shook his head vigorously. “No, of course not! I mean.. why would I?” DING DONG. “Huh, who could that be?” He jumped out of his seat and opened the door. “Oh hi! Come in!”
Jin’s mouth dropped. “Come on, Jin. Let’s go home.”
Jin crossed her arms. “No.”
Jiyong tapped his foot. “Listen, you can’t stay here forever. Let’s go. The car’s running.”
Jin glared at Sunghoon. “You called him, didn’t you?” she accused.
Sunghoon looked the other direction. “Why no.. Wherever did you get that idea?” He yawned widely. “Well, I’m going up to bed. See you guys later.”
Jiyong stayed silent for a few moments then mumbled, “I’m sorry.”
Jin’s ears perked up. “What was that you said?”
“I’m sorry,” repeated Jiyong louder. “Now can we go?”
Jin hid a little smile. “Well, I guess I’ll be big about this and forgive you.” She followed him outside. Suddenly, she felt something heavy on her shoulders. She stared at the coat. “What’s this for?” she asked.
“It’s cold outside. I wouldn’t want you to get sick.” Jin grinned. “I mean, because if you get sick, the baby would get sick,” added Jiyong quickly. Jin’s grin faded and she got into the car.
Jin walked quickly to the door. “Yes?”
The man handed her a package. “For Mrs. Ko. Sign here please.” She scribbled her name and took the long box. “What is it?”
The man shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. I just deliver. Have a nice day!” He waved to her and descended down the stairs.
Jin stared at the box for a while and lifted the lid off the box. She gasped with excitement. Twenty five long stemmed roses filled the box. She picked up the card and read it.
“Happy 25th birthday. Jiyong.” She frowned. How did he know it was her birthday? Why did he even care? Well whatever. They smelled really good. RING RING “Hello?”
“Jin? This is Yuri. Happy birthday! I’ll buy you lunch, okay?”
Jin smiled. “Sure, I’ll be right there.”
Yuri’s mouth dropped. “Really? He sent you roses? How romantic!”
Jin frowned. “How did he know? Why would he care?”
Yuri nudged Jin’s forehead with her fist. “Babo, who cares how he found out? All that matters is that he cared enough to do something about it. You get it? I think he actually likes you now. Probably from living with you so long and from you being so nice to him.”
A spark of hope lit in Jin. “Really? Do you think so?”
Yuri nodded. “I’m sure of it.”
Jin jumped out of her bed as she heard the door creak open. “Hi Jiyong,” she greeted.
He nodded at her. “Hi. What are you doing still up?” It was 3 AM.
“I couldn’t sleep. Are you almost done with the movie?” she asked.
“Um yeah, last shooting’s tomorrow. Well, I’m going to bed.” He headed towards his room.
“Thanks for the roses!” Jin called out.
Jiyong turned around. “Um yeah.. It was nothing.”
Jin sighed. If what Yuri had said was true, why couldn’t she tell?
Jin ignored the people’s expressions at her as she walked through the department store. She still had some odds and ends to buy for the baby. It was only 13 days until the due date which was July 14. Her stomach was full grown by now and was quite a sight. She checked the price tag on a stroller.
“Hello, Mrs. Ko, can I help you with anything?”
Jin was startled and she took a step back from the salesman. “Um, that’s all right. Just browsing,” said Jin. After browsing some more, she picked out a stroller along with a Winnie the Pooh mobile.
“Will that be all?” asked the salesman cheerfully.
“Oh, Mrs. Ko! Will you be getting your husband something in our department store too? It’s his birthday today,” informed the salesman.
Jin’s eyes grew wide. This was news to her. “Oh, well. Maybe I should.” She took the escalator down to the men’s department.
Jiyong trudged into the apartment with his usual ‘i’m mad at the world’ expression. Jin winced. She didn’t know whether approaching him would be the wisest decision, but she did anyway.
“Hey Jiyong,” she started. He stopped and looked at her. “Happy birthday.” She thrust a wrapped package into his hands.
When he saw it, his face lit up. “How’d you know..” He cleared his throat and put on a more serious expression. “I mean, how’d you know I liked chocolates?” He tore at the plastic covering and stuffed two in his mouth.
Jin restrained from chuckling at his excitement. “I remember reading it somewhere. I know you haven’t had time to buy any, so I got you some. Happy birthday.”
“You want one?” he asked with his mouth full. He waved a milk chocolate in her face.
Jin nodded and reached for it, but he held it back. “Hey!” protested Jin. “It’s not nice to tease me with chocolate.”
“Open,” he instructed. Jin blushed. “Open,” he repeated. She opened her mouth and he fed it to her. She closed her eyes in pure bliss as the sweet chocolate melted in her mouth.
“Thanks,” she said after swallowing.
Jiyong stuck another one in his mouth. “You’re welcome. Oops.” Spit trickled down his chin.
Jin burst out laughing. “OMG, you drooled!”
Jiyong wiped his mouth. “I did not,” he denied.
“You TOTALLY drooled!” accused Jin. Her giggles were unstoppable.
He rolled his eyes. “Fine, laugh.” He grinned as he walked to his room. Jin smiled. It was the first time she had seen him with a genuine smile.
Jin clapped with the rest of the audience as the movie ended. She was at the premiere of Jiyong’s new movie. As the credits rolled, Jiyong grabbed Jin’s hand. “Stay low,” he whispered. “Or they’ll mob us.” The two of them crouched until they reached the exit and quickly entered the car. Jiyong swore. “Hurry get in, they’ve spotted us!”
“I’m going as fast as I can!” hissed Jin. She slammed her car door shut and Jiyong zoomed away.
“That was close,” said Jiyong. “Are you okay?” he asked.
Jin turned quickly to Jiyong. “Jiyong, go straight to the hospital.”
He grew concerned. “What? Do you ache?”
Jin shook her head. “Jiyong, I think I’m going to have the baby so step on it.”
Jiyong’s eyes widened and he applied more pressure to the gas pedal.
“Mrs. Ko, we will go straight to the delivery room. Your contractions haven’t started yet, but they should soon. Just relax and do as I tell you, all right?”
Jin nodded as she was wheeled away. “Yes Dr. Ryu.”
“Mr. Ko, will you be coming?” asked Dr. Ryu.
Jiyong held up his gloved hands and mask, implicating he was going. “I’m ready when you are.”
The doctor nodded. “All right, we’re here. Mr. Ko, why don’t you just stay here until her contractions start? If anything happens, call me or one of the nurses. We’ll be right outside.”
“All right, thank you.” Jiyong sat by Jin’s bed while everyone left the room. “How are you doing?” asked Jiyong.
Jin didn’t answer.
“Is something wrong?”
Jin’s eyes were full of fear. “I’m scared, Jiyong. I really am. What if the baby isn’t healthy? What if something goes wrong?” she said frantically.
Jiyong placed his hand on her’s and squeezed it reassuringly. “Don’t think like that. Everything will turn out fine. Just focus on having the baby. We’ll worry about other things later.”
Jin put her other hand on top of Jiyong’s. “Thank you Jiyong.”
“Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Ko. It’s a girl.” The doctor carefully placed the bundled up baby in Jin’s arms.
Jiyong and Jin smiled at their bundle of joy. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” said Jin.
Jiyong nodded in agreement. “She is. What will we call her?”
“Yoon Mi. Ko Yoon Mi,” answered Jin. “Yoonmi yah.. Say hello to mommy and daddy.” The baby’s eyes fluttered open for a while then closed again.
“She’s perfect,” said Jiyong.
“She’s gotten so big in the past few months,” commented Jin. “Look, she’s getting chubby cheeks!” Yoonmi, unaware of what Jin was talking about just yawned.
Yuri grinned. “She’s a cutie. Does that outfit I bought fit her?”
Jin nodded. “It’s perfect. I’ll put it on her and come out to visit you sometime.”
Yuri paused. “So, how are you and Jiyong getting along?” she asked.
Jin sighed. “I really don’t know. We haven’t fought, yet we’re not really communicating. It was better than before but.. I wish I could reach him somehow,” she replied.
“Just give it some time. I’m sure everything will turn out fine,” said Yuri.
Jin let out a deep breath. She had already waited so long…
“Hey Yoonmi! Say hello to Uncle Sunghoonie!” Sunghoon grinned at the baby and made funny faces.
Jin slapped Sunghoon on the arm. “Stop that! You might scare her.”
He gave Jin a look of death. “Meanie.”
Jin smiled. “Thanks for the teddy bear, Sunghoon. I’m sure she’ll enjoy it.” She walked to Yoonmi’s room and set her and the bear down in the crib.
“So, how have you been? You and Jiyong getting along?” asked Sunghoon once they reached the couch.
Jin shrugged her shoulders. “I guess you could say we’re getting along. We don’t fight. But then again, we’re not couple of the month either,” she answered.
Sunghoon’s face turned serious. “You know, Jin. Jiyong really loves you. He just doesn’t show it. That’s just the way he is. He doesn’t know how,” said Sunghoon.
“How do you know?”
“I just do. Whenever I talk to him, the way he says your name, the way he smiles when you get brought up. I can just tell.” Sunghoon took a sip of his juice. “Just wait, Jin. I know you’ve waited a long time, but he’ll come out. You’ll see.”
“Good night, Yoonmi,” cooed Jin. She pulled a blanket over the 4 month old baby. She walked out into the kitchen as she heard the door open. “Jiyong, is that you?” called out Jin.
Jiyong stumbled into the apartment. “Jin… It’s cold.. Can you turn up the heat?” His teeth chattered.
Jin walked to the thermostat. “I have it cranked up all the way to 72.”
His eyes started drooping. “Jin.. Can you help me to my room? I..” He fell forward and Jin caught him.
“Jiyong!” she cried. She touched his forehead. “You’re burning up! What have you been doing all day?”
“I..I had a scene in the snow for a commercial.. It took 26 takes..” he stuttered. Jin helped him down into his bed and gave him some dry clothes. “Change into those. I’ll go get some medicine.”
Jin touched his forehead and breathed a sigh of relief. After he had taken some medicine, his fever had lowered. Jin placed a damp wash cloth on his forehead and stood to leave. Jiyong gripped her wrist
“Oh! You’re awake,” said Jin in surprise.
He looked at Jin intently. “Please… don’t go,” he whispered.
“Jiyong, you’re going to be just fine,” reassured Jin. “Just go back to sleep.”
His eyes closed and Jin soon heard his soft snores. As she watched him sleep, she smiled. He was so handsome. She put her hand back on his forehead and moved it down, stroking his face. She leaned in closer and kissed his forehead. “Good night Jiyong.”
Jin opened the lid to the pot. She breathed in a deep breath of the tasty aroma coming from the soup. “Mmmm.”
“What are you cooking?”
Jin yelped with surprise and turned around to see Jiyong standing right behind her. “Oh, um. Just some miyuk gook,” she answered while turning around.
Jiyong leaned forward and sniffed. “Yum.”
Jin waited, expecting him to move but he didn’t. He just stayed right behind her. She felt his hot breath on her neck. “Um.. Why don’t you sit down and I’ll give you some..” She reached for a bowl and he moved. “So um.. are you going to shoot something today?” she asked, fumbling with the ladle.
Jiyong sat at the table. “Well, I have a photo shoot and an interview with a magazine but that’s it. I’ll be home early.”
Jin set the bowl of soup in front of him. “Oh.. Good.. Well um, I’m going to go check on Yoonmi.” She turned to leave.
Jin spun around. “Yes?”
“You didn’t give me a spoon.”
“Oh, sorry.” She pulled open a drawer and found a spoon for him. “Here you go.”
“Thanks.” She heard him slurping it up. Jin walked into Yoonmi’s room and leaned against the wall, fanning herself. Why was she blushing? It was the same old Jiyong.. Same old jerky Jiyong.. Right?
Jin walked, hearing the gravel crunch beneath her feet. She was at a bank, the bank her mother had worked at. There were many people there, crowding around a scene. Jin squinted to see better. She saw someone holding a gun.. to her mother’s head.
“Mom!” she screamed.
“Nobody move or I’ll shoot the brains out of her!” threatened the gunman. “Don’t come close!” Jin saw his bulging bag.. Probably bulging with money.
“Mom!” she screeched. Her mother just stood still, trembling with fear. Jin ran to the gunman and tried pushing him away but her hand just went right through him. It was like she was invisible. Suddenly, a policeman pulled the trigger on his gun, then the gunman pulled his trigger. Jin watched in horror as her mother fell to the ground.
Jin bolted upright and let out a scream. She gasped breaths of air and broke down emotionally. “Mom,” she sobbed. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there..” Tears streamed down her face.
The door opened. “What’s going on? I heard a scream,” mumbled Jiyong. He brandished a metal pan. When he saw Jin crying on her bed, he walked to her and sat down on the bed. “What’s wrong? Did you have a bad dream?” he asked. Jin didn’t answer. She just kept crying. Jiyong let out a sigh and held her in his arms. Jin buried her face in his chest. He rubbed her back. “It’s okay, Jin. You’re awake now,” he said, trying to soothe her.
Jin pulled away for a second. “C-c-could you just stay here with me.. Just for tonight? I-i’m just scared.. If I have another nightmare,” she blubbered.
Jiyong nodded, brought her towards him, and wrapped his arms around her. “Don’t worry, everything will be fine..”
Jiyong stretched his arms and yawned. It was 8 o’clock and he needed to get up. He glanced at Jin who was lying next to him and smiled. He was just noticing now how beautiful she was. He put his hand on her cheek and brushed some hair out of her face. He leaned in closer and kissed her cheek. His eyes widened as he saw her flinch but he heard her even breathing again. He looked at the clock again and laid back down. Then he inched closer to Jin and held her in his arms. It was a great feeling.. Holding the person you loved..
Jin opened her eyes and almost jumped. Jiyong was holding her close to him. She stayed still for a while then shook Jiyong. “Jiyong, don’t you need to get up?” she whispered.
He stirred then stayed still. “Just another minute.” His hold around her grew tighter and he held her against him.
“Come on, stop playing around. I need to check on the baby.” She struggled to move but his hold didn’t break. “Stop that!” she giggled.
“Come on now.. Don’t spoil the moment,” he said huskily. She felt him kiss her softly on her ear. He moved down to her chin and neck.
Jin froze for a moment then slapped him on the arm. “Stop that! Now get up and go to work. You’ll be late.” She rolled out of the bed and walked to Yoonmi’s room. After she fed her and changed her, she walked to the bathroom and washed up. Then she went out to the kitchen. Jiyong was putting on his shoes. “Are you leaving now?” she asked.
He nodded. “You were right. I am late.” He came up to her and snaked an arm around her small waist. “Now how about a goodbye kiss for your sweetheart?”
Jin rolled her eyes and pecked him on the cheek. “You are such a goof.”
He released Jin reluctantly and grinned. “Next time, it’s here.” He pointed to his lips.
Jin pushed him outside the door. “Go!” She smiled and waved to him. “See you tonight.” When she saw him leave, she closed the door and leaned against it, sighing with happiness.
Jiyong burst through the door with his mother and ran to Jin. “Come on, let’s go.”
Jin jumped. “Go where?” she asked in a startled voice.
“You’ll see, follow me.” He grabbed her hand.
Jin bowed to Mrs. Ko. “What are you doing here, Mrs. Ko?” she asked politely.
“I’m here to watch Yoonmi.”
Jin looked at Jiyong with a confused expression. “What’s going on?” she asked.
Jiyong pulled her. “Come on now.” He grabbed Jin’s coat and helped her put it on. “Let’s go! Bye Mom, we’ll be back in a few hours!”
“Have fun!” She waved to Jiyong and Jin who were heading out the door.
Jin bowed to Mrs. Ko again as Jiyong pulled her out the door.
“What are we doing here?” asked Jin.
“I wanted to take you out on a date. We’ve never been on one and I thought this would be a good place to start,” answered Jiyong. He took her hand and walked with her through the shijang. “Pick out what you like and I’ll buy it for you.”
Jin smiled. She had always wanted to come with her husband/boyfriend to one of these places. “Why don’t you pick out something for me?” she suggested. “I’d rather wear something you like.”
“I can live with that.” As they strolled through the building, he stopped at a stand and picked up a soft pink sweater. “How’s this?” He held it up against her.
Jin smiled. “I like it.” Jiyong took out his wallet and paid for it. Jin took Jiyong’s hand again and whispered in his ear. “Thanks.”
Jiyong smiled back and stopped at another stand. “Do you like these?” He pointed to the hair accessories. He pointed to a sparkly hair clip. “Excuse me, can we see this one?” he asked the girl.
The girl did a double take. “Hey aren’t you.. Ko Jiyong?”
Jiyong grinned through his tinted glasses. “Sorry, I get that a lot though.”
“Oh sorry,” she muttered. She removed the clip and gave it to Jiyong.
Jiyong held the clip against Jin’s hair. “That’s pretty, do you like it?” he asked.
Jin nodded. Jiyong paid for that, too and they walked through the rest of the building together.
As the couple was walking down the street, Jin stopped. “What?” asked Jiyong. “Do you see someone you know?”
“Jiyong, we have to go in there,” said Jin. She pointed to a sticker picture booth place. She pulled him into one and she fixed her hair. After she picked a border, she pressed the button. Jiyong leaned in closer and touched his head to Jin’s.
“After I count to three, smile! You get four pictures!” the perky voice from the machine said. The couple grinned in the first three pictures but in the last one, Jiyong kissed Jin’s cheek.
Jin punched Jiyong’s shoulder. “Dork,” she said. Jiyong chuckled and picked up the pictures out of the slot. They both stuck one on their cell phones and took a taxi home.
“Is she asleep?” whispered Jiyong.
Jin nodded. “She’s snoring.” She sat down beside Jiyong on the bed. “Well, I guess I’ll go to sleep too.” She stared awkwardly at Jiyong. “Are you going to sleep here?” she asked tentatively.
He laughed. “Yes, I am your husband!” Jin blushed.
“Well it’s just that.. you know..” She glanced at him, then looked away again.
Jiyong smiled and inched closer to her. He put his arm around her and Jin felt his lips on her cheek, then her neck, and her shoulder. He kissed her forehead gently and combed his hand through her hair. He stared intently into her eyes then held her face in his hands. Slowly, he leaned in closer and pressed his lips against her’s, softly at first. Gradually, the kiss grew more demanding as his lips moved against her’s. Jin cooperated willingly and linked her arms around his neck. He moved down to her neck for a while then back to her lips again. Their kisses grew more passionate throughout the night…
Jin rolled to her side and reluctantly pulled the covers off her. She heard Yoonmi crying. “Mommy’s coming,” she croaked.
Jiyong pinned her back down on the bed. “No she’s not,” he challenged. He put his arm on her and pulled her closer to him.
“Jiyong, let go. Yoonmi’s crying,” said Jin.
Jiyong let go. “Fine,” he said grumpily. He turned around to his other side.
Jin poked him. “Are you mad?” she asked. He didn’t answer. “Jiyong,” she said in a whiny voice. “You’re mad, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I’ll never forgive you.”
Jin leaned over and kissed his cheek.
“Okay, I forgive you.” Jin smiled and went to Yoonmi.
Jin wiped the sweat off her brow and turned off the vacuum. She walked to the phone and answered it. “Hello?”
“Hello Mrs. Ko? Just a reminder for you to come to your check up today at Dr. Ryu’s.”
“Oh all right. Thank you. What time was it again?”
“Two o’clock,” answered the secretary.
Dr. Ryu removed his stethoscope and scribbled something on his clipboard. “Well, everything seems fine but why don’t you come in tomorrow again?”
Jin was alarmed. “Why?” she asked.
Dr. Ryu waved his hand nonchalantly. “Oh, I just noticed something in the examination. It’s probably nothing but it’s common procedure to have a follow up. Don’t worry too much about it,” he said.
Jin put on her coat. “Thank you, Doctor.”
He nodded and smiled at Yoonmi. “Hello. How are you doing?” he asked.
Yoonmi beamed at the doctor and he shook his head. “She’s a cutie. How old is she now?”
“Six months,” replied Jin.
“Well, why don’t you go home and just relax. Don’t worry too much about what I said, all right?” He waved goodbye and Jin left the office.
“So what did you do today?” asked Jiyong curiously as he sat next to her on the couch.
“Oh nothing much,” answered Jin. She didn’t want to worry Jiyong about the appointment. “Did you eat?” she asked.
He nodded.”How about you?”
Jin shook her head. “Do you want to buy me something?” she asked.
Jiyong smiled and picked up the phone. “Let me call my mom to come watch Yoonmi and we’ll go out to a pojangmacha.” He dialed the number and talk for a minute. He hung up the phone. “She’ll be here in a minute.”
Jin leaned against his shoulder. “You’re a great husband.”
Jiyong sighed. “Thanks for saying that, but I’m really not.”
Jin looked at Jiyong. “Why do you say that?”
“I mean, look at how I treated you before. You tried so hard to get along with me and all I did was..” Jin put her fingers to his lips.
“That’s okay, Jiyong. All you need to do now is be a good husband and father from now on. Okay?”
Tears welled up in Jiyong’s eyes and he pulled Jin close to him. “Thanks Jin.. Thanks for never giving up on me.”
Jin took a deep breath and entered Dr. Ryu’s office. “I’m here.”
He smiled. “Sit down.” He finished the examination. “You know, technically I’m not supposed to give you the results until tomorrow, but I can give them to you in a few hours. Do you want to come back later?” he asked.
Jin nodded nervously. “Um, sure. I’ll be back.” She pushed the stroller out and decided to do some errands before coming back.
Jin opened the door to the office and sat down. “Is it ready?” she asked. He nodded silently. “What is it? Is something wrong?”
His face was grim. “Mrs. Ko, this is the worst part of my job.”
Jin’s stomach dropped. “What is it? It’s not serious, is it? Is it?”
“Mrs. Ko, you have cancer,” he stated simply.
Jin was stunned. “What did you say?”
His eyes fell. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Ko.”
She swallowed hard. “What kind of cancer is it?” she asked after a long pause.
“AML, or Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”
Jin’s head started spinning. “No, this must be some type of mistake. I’ve always been so healthy. You made a mistake. You must have,” she said, trying to convince herself.
The doctor shook his head. “Mrs.Ko, calm down.”
Something inside Jin snapped. “Calm down?!” she yelled. “YOU CAN’T TELL ME I HAVE A FATAL DISEASE WHEN EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE IS FINALLY GOING RIGHT!”
“Mrs. Ko, calm down!” ordered Dr. Ryu.
Jin took deep breaths and held her hands to keep them from shaking. “How can I get well?” she asked.
“Mrs. Ko, we will try to do everything we can to find a bone marrow match to your’s. Do you have any relatives?”
Jin thought for a moment. “I have an aunt and uncle with a few cousins.”
Dr. Ryu nodded. “Have them come in and we’ll test them.”
Jin wrung her hands nervously as she awaited Dr. Ryu’s call. RING RING She jumped and grabbed the phone. “Hello?”
“Mrs. Ko? This is Dr. Ryu.”
“Yes, how is it? What are the results?” she inquired.
He sighed. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Ko. Do you have any more relatives?”
“Well, we’ll try our best to find another donor. Come down here and we’ll give you some shots you’re supposed to give yourself once a day. After that, all we can do is wait. All right?”
Jin nodded numbly. “All right..”
Jin lay awake in her bed. She couldn’t sleep. Yoonmi was sleeping and Jiyong would be coming in late so the house was dead silent yet she was wide awake. She was so scared. She stared at the clock. It was 4 AM. She pulled the covers over her head. This was ridiculous. She needed to get some sleep. When Jin heard the front door open,she didn’t move. She couldn’t face Jiyong right now.
“Jin? Are you sleeping?” He flipped on the light. “You’re wide awake. Good. Come on out to the living room. I’ve got a surprise for you.”
Jin turned around in the bed and groaned. “Not now, Jiyong. I want to sleep.”
He grabbed her arms and pulled her out of the bed. “Come on now. As long as you’re awake..” He led her out to the living room and sat her down on the couch. She watched him as he turned on the stereo. He stood in front of her as the first chords of the soft ballad played. A few seconds later, he smiled and helped her stand out of the couch.
“Jiyong, what’s going on?” Jin whispered.
Jiyong hugged her around the waist and lifted her arms to go around his neck. As the introduction ended, they swayed to the slow music and Jiyong started to sing. “Geu dae neun..na man ae yuh in ee yuh…” Jin knew this song. It was Kim Gun Mo’s ‘Mi An Hae Yo.’ She listened to Jiyong’s voice as he apologized for all the wrong he had done in the relationship through the song. “Na reul yong suh hal soo eet nah yo. Mi An Hae Yo..” Tears welled up in Jin’s eyes as Jiyong expressed his remorse and love for her. Soon, one by one, the tears fell and she started weeping silently. “Ah jik doe mot da han mal..geu dael..sarang hae yo.” After a few seconds, the song ended. “I love you Jin,” he said. “Sarang hae..” The tears continued to fall from Jin’s face.
Jiyong started to pull away but Jin held on tightly. “Please Jiyong..Could we please stay like this for a while?” she managed to say.
Jiyong held her around the waist and put his hand through her hair. “Jin, I’m sorry..” He kissed her hair. “I’m sorry. Would you forgive me?”
Jin sniffled and faced him. She kissed him lightly on the mouth. “There’s nothing to forgive, Jiyong.”
Jiyong pulled her close again and held her. “I love you, Jin.”
“I love you too, Jiyong.”
Time passed and the phone remained silent. Jin was still holding on, taking the shots when necessary but no blood marrow donor had been found yet. Only Jin and the doctor know about her disease.
“Do you want me to help you?” asked Jiyong.
Jin shook her head and rinsed the sudsy plate she was holding. “No, it’s only a few. I can do it myself.” She reached for a cup, but she missed it. She squinted her eyes. Was her vision going bad? Everything was looking blurry. She vigorously shook her head to clear it up and grabbed the cup. After she rinsed out the cup, she reached out to open the cupboard but missed it again. She grew dizzy and stumbled to the side. The cup crashed to the floor.
Jiyong turned his head and saw Jin leaning against the counter with her hand on her head. He walked to her. “Are you okay?” he asked in a concerned voice.
Jin nodded weakly. “I’ve had this headache all morning.. I think I’ll go take some pain reliever..” She took a step towards the bathroom.
“Do you want me to get it for you?” he offered.
Jin shook her head. “No, I’ll get it.” She slammed the door shut to the bathroom and locked it. Blindly, she pulled open the medicine cabinet and took out her tin box of syringes. After she finished inserting the needle, she stumbled to the bedroom and collapsed on to the bed. How much longer?
“Jiyong,” said Jin.
Jiyong turned his head. “Yeah?” he answered.
“Um, I have something to tell you.”
He smiled. “Me too,” he said.
“Oh, what?” asked Jin. “You go first.”
“Oh well, it wasn’t that important but I was just thinking about Yoonmi. She’s just a baby now but soon she’ll grow up and get married and everything. Maybe even become a movie star or something like me. Even though it seems so far away, time moves so fast.. I’m just glad that I won’t need to watch her grow up alone, that I’ll have you by my side. As long as I have you with me, growing old with me, I think I’ll be able to do anything. It’s just comforting to know, don’t you think?” Jin swallowed. “Sorry, you said you had something to say and I’m all babbling. Go ahead.”
“Oh it’s I.. I just saw Yoonmi do the cutest thing yesterday and..”
Jiyong beamed. “Oh, what was it?”
Jin grew flustered. “Oh, it was.. She.. Um.. Gee, you know what? I forgot.” She snapped her fingers.
Jiyong laughed. “Don’t tell me you’re getting early memory loss.” He glanced at the clock. “Oh, I’ve got to go. I’ll see you later.” He kissed her cheek and ran out the door.
Jin sighed. “I really should tell him…”
Jin came running into the kitchen. “What, what happened?” she asked frantically.
Jiyong winced with pain. “Oh, it’s nothing. I just cut myself with a knife,” he answered.
“Stay right here. I’ll go get something for it.” She rushed to the bathroom to grab a band aid and some ointment from the medicine cabinet. She carefully cleaned the cut and applied some ointment. “How did you cut yourself?”
“I was peeling an apple,” he replied.
Jin gave him a look. “You really should be more careful,” she pointed out. She wrapped the band aid around his finger.”There, good as new. Now, an old fashioned remedy.” Jiyong looked at her expectantly and she kissed his finger.
“Oh, you know what? I think I cut myself on the lip too,” he joked.
Jin rolled her eyes and hit him on the forehead. “Nice try.”
“Oh come on,” he wheedled. “Be a sport.” He closed his eyes and Jin kissed him tenderly.
Jin glanced at her watch. “Oh, I’ve got to go to Yuri’s. I promised I would take Yoonmi out to visit. I’ll just be gone a couple hours.” She grabbed Yoonmi, kissed Jiyong on his cheek and left.
Jiyong wrinkled his face in disgust as the band aid started to peel off his finger. “Yuck.” He tore off the gross band aid and walked to the bathroom to get a fresh one. He opened the medicine cabinet and searched for the box of band aids. He found it and applied a fresh one but didn’t leave the bathroom. Behind the band aid box, he discovered a rectangular tin box. “Wonder what this is,” he said to himself. He popped open the lid to find a bunch of syringes. He had no idea what they were so he decided to take them to the pharmacy and find out..
Jin fumbled for her keys in her purse and brought them out. She aimed for the keyhole, but kept missing. She was growing dizzy again. She thrust the key towards the keyhole but the door opened. There was a fuzzy image in front of her. She blinked hard to see clearer.
“Jiyong, you’re still home?” She tried forcing herself to walk straight, but she would tip to the side every now and then.
“Do you have another headache?” he asked.
Jin nodded. “I’d better go take some more pain reliever.” She walked towards the bathroom.
“Why don’t you just take these?” He tossed a tin box on to the coffee table.
Jin’s eyes grew wide. “Jiyong, how did you….”
“Is that what really matters?” he snapped irritably.
Jin hung her head. “I’m sorry Jiyong. I meant to tell you..”
“So why didn’t you?” He glared at her fiercely.
Jin lifted her head and met his eyes. “I didn’t want to hurt you. Things in our relationship were finally going right and I didn’t want to bring hardships on it. You were so happy and..”
Jiyong cut her off. “Just forget about it,” he growled. He stalked off to his old bedroom and slammed the door. Jin followed him and saw him leaning his forehead against the wall. He turned his head to her and scowled. “Can’t you get the hint? I really don’t want to see you right now.”
Jin approached him. “Jiyong, I’m sorry. I know I should’ve said something..” She touched his shoulder.
Jiyong turned around, forcing her hand to drop. “Why now?!” he shouted. “Right when I realize how much I need you and love you, you have to go and get a disease!” He turned back around again, leaning against the wall with his back towards Jin. Tears formed in his eyes. “How could you not tell me?” he whispered.
A tear dropped from Jin’s eye and she put her hands on Jiyong’s shoulders. “I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I’m sorry.” She leaned against his back and rested her cheek on it. Her tears soaked through his shirt. “Please don’t hate me. I need you so much,” she sobbed.
Jiyong’s body shook from his silent weeping and he couldn’t stand it anymore. He turned around and took Jin in his arms. He allowed his tears to fall freely. He sniffled and kissed Jin on the top of her head. “I love you so much, Jin. Don’t worry. You’re going to live. We’ve come too far for you to die now.”
Jiyong dove for the phone and answered it. “Hello?” he said breathlessly. Jin stood by Jiyong, twiddling her fingers anxiously. “Yes? Right now? All right.” Jiyong hung up the phone.
“What is it?” asked Jin nervously.
“The doctor says to bring you to the hospital right away. Says it’s urgent.” He helped Jin with her coat and put the baby in the stroller.
Jin grew worried. What was going to happen?
“Mr. Ko, Mrs. Ko,” greeted Dr. Ryu. He shook Jiyong’s and Jin’s hand. “Have a seat, please.”
The couple sat. “What is it, doctor?” asked Jin. She felt Jiyong grasp her hand. “Has something gone wrong?”
The doctor shook his head. “No, actually, I have good news.” A spark of hope lit in Jin. “We found someone with a blood marrow similar to your’s.”
Tears of happiness glistened in Jin’s eyes. “OMG, Jiyong!” She looked at him with delight.
But the doctor’s expression remained serious. “Mrs. Ko, I’m afraid to say your happiness is premature.” Jin’s smile faded.
“What do you mean by that, doctor?” querried Jiyong.
“Although there is a chance for the surgery to be successful, there is a chance that it could be unsuccessful too. And…” He hesitated.
“What doctor, is there more?” asked Jiyong.
“There’s a chance Mrs. Ko could die during the surgery too,” finished Dr. Ryu solemnly.
Jin felt like her stomach had just plummeted straight down to her feet. “What..what is the chance of me surviving?” she asked.
“Mrs. Ko, you have a thirty percent chance of the surgery being successful. It would be higher but the donor’s blood marrow is not exact with your’s even though it is similar.”
Jin swallowed a lump in her throat. “What if.. I don’t go through the surgery?”
Dr. Ryu let out a deep sigh. “Then you can undergo chemotherapy and radiation here. It will extend your life but I can’t guarantee it will save it.”
Jin tried keeping her tears in. “So you’re saying that I have a seventy percent of dying with surgery and almost a hundred percent without it. Is that correct?”
Dr. Ryu nodded silently.
Jin and Jiyong exchanged glances. “It’s up to you,” stated Jiyong. Jin’s face crumpled as she saw Yoonmi in her stroller, sleeping as if she had no cares in the world. Jiyong held Jin to him. “Jin, do what you want. I won’t blame you for anything,” he whispered.
Jin pulled away from Jiyong and wiped her tears away. She stared straight into the doctor’s eyes and nodded. “When can I check in for surgery?”
“You know what, you really are a jerk,” stated Yuri as she looked at Jin in her hospital bed.
Sunghoon nodded. “I can’t say I disagree,” he said.
Jin smiled weakly. “I’m sorry, guys. I just didn’t want to trouble anyone then. But you guys are here now.”
Sunghoon and Yuri came to opposite sides of Jin’s bed and sat. “You have to come through this, all right? For Jiyong, for Yoonmi, for me, for Yuri.. For everyone who cares about you,” said Sunghoon.
Yuri’s eyes sparkled with tears. “I love you, Jin. Don’t leave me, okay?” Sunghoon kept his tears in. Jin held out her arms and her friends came into them.
“Don’t worry guys. I’ll be all right. You’ll see.”
“Come in,” called out Jin.
Jiyong poked his head through the door. “Hi.”
Jin smiled. “Hi.”
“I brought some people who want to see you.” He came in holding Yoonmi. Also came Mrs. Ko, his mother.
“Hi dear,” greeted Mrs. Ko. She sat at Jin’s bed side and held her hand.
“Hello Uh muh nee,” said Jin with a smile. “I’m sorry you have to see me like this.”
Mrs. Ko slapped Jin’s hand lightly. “Now, that’s a lot of nonsense. All you need to do now is to get well, all right?” She smiled at Jin.
Jin smiled back. “I will,” she replied.
Jiyong came to Jin’s other side, holding Yoonmi. “Yoonmi, say hi to mommy.” He took Yoonmi’s hand and shook it at Jin.
Jin laughed. “Hi Yoonmi.” Yoonmi beamed at Jin happily and jumped up and down.
Mrs. Ko took Yoonmi from Jiyong. “I’ll take her now. Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of her.” She squeezed Jin’s hand and left the room.
“Jiyong, I’ll make it, won’t I?” asked Jin fearfully.
Jiyong sighed. “What makes you even say that? Of course you will.”
Jin shook her head. “I could not make it, though. I have a seventy percent chance of dying.. Jiyong, if I don’t make it, I want you to do something for me.”
“Stop talking like that! Stop it!” shouted Jiyong. Tears streamed down his face. “You’re going to make it, you are!” he argued.
Jin felt a tear trickle down her cheek and she touched Jiyong’s cheek. With her thumb, she gently wiped away his tear. “Take care of Yoonmi.. Also, go on without me. Don’t stay alone. All right?” she whispered.
Jiyong shook his head. “I can’t do that. You can’t tell me to do that!”
More tears fell down Jin’s cheeks. “Please..”
Jiyong nodded silently. “Okay, I promise.” Jiyong bent down and pressed his lips against Jin’s. ‘She’s going to make it.. she will,’ thought Jiyong determinedly.
“Mrs. Ko, it’s time for your surgery.”
Jin nodded and Jiyong followed the nurses and doctors as they wheeled Jin’s cart away. He held on to Jin’s hand. “Mr. Ko, you need to go. No one is allowed into the operating room except doctors and nurses,” said a nurse.
Jiyong ignored her and gripped Jin’s hand. “Jin, I love you. Sarang hae.”
Jin smiled. “I love you too.” Tears glistened in her eyes.
A tear drop ran down Jiyong’s face. “I love you, Jin! I love you!” As she was pushed through the operating room, Jiyong was forced to drop his hand. He fell to the floor on his knees. “Please God,” he whispered. “Help her to make it..”
Silently, Jiyong solemnly placed fresh flowers at the grave. After paying his respects, he stood and left the graveyard.
Jiyong came through the door of his apartment. “Where were you?”
“Oh I was at jang mo neem’s grave. It is choosuk, you know,” answered Jiyong.
Jin ran to him and put her arms around his neck. “Have I ever told you how much I love you?” she asked.
He held her around the waist. “No, how much?”
Jin smiled and kissed him. “That much.”
Jiyong laughed and spun her around. “Where’s Yoonmi?” he asked.
Jin pulled him to Yoonmi’s room. Jiyong gasped with excitement as he saw Yoonmi waddling towards him. “I know, isn’t that great? She took her first steps this afternoon.”
Jiyong scooped Yoonmi up in his arms and kissed her all over her face. Yoonmi giggled happily. Jiyong felt like the happiest man in the world, being with the two most beautiful girls he knew.
“Mrs. Ko! You’re late again!” bellowed Mr. Cho.
Jin grinned. “Sorry, Mr. Cho. Traffic.” She laughed at her own lame excuse.
Mr. Cho rolled his eyes. “Just get to work. Your assignment’s on your desk.”
“Hmmm, Mr. Cho’s in a brutal mood, I see,” commented Sunghoon, reading Jin’s assignment.
Jin snatched the paper away and read it. “Damn it. An editorial and a sports story?”
“Jin!!!” hollered Yuri. She came running to Jin’s desk. “We’re all still meeting for dinner today, right?”
Jin laughed. “Right, Yuri. Don’t get too excited.”
Sunghoon grinned and put his arms around his two friends. He looked to Jin. “So, you’re paying right?” Jin slapped Sunghoon on the arm.
“Hey, I had that first!” Jin hit Sunghoon’s chopstick with her’s and scooped up the piece of galbi.
Sunghoon stuck his tongue out at her. “Pig.”
“You guys fighting again?” Jin and Sunghoon looked behind them to see Jiyong walking towards the table. “Hey, sorry I’m late.” He sat down beside Jin and kissed her cheek.
“Yuck! Get a room!” Sunghoon wrinkled his face with disgust and exchanged glances with Yuri.
“Where’s Yoonmi?” asked Jin.
“She’s with my mom,” answered Jiyong. “So, you guys ate everything already?” He looked at the practically empty grill.
Sunghoon smiled sheepishly. “Don’t worry, there’s more coming,” he reassured.
“There it comes!” Yuri said. She waved the waiter who was carrying the meat over to their table. Everyone licked their chops as the meat sizzled on the grill. “So Jin, how have you been feeling lately?” asked Yuri.
Jin smiled and thought for a moment. She looked in front to see her two best friends and to her left to see her husband. She thought of her precious daughter at home with her loving grandmother. “I feel like…the most happiest woman on earth.”
“Group hug!” called out Sunghoon. He stood up in his seat. Everyone else remained seated. “Oh come on you guys!” Everyone else slowly stood up and they all hugged each other. “Awwww,” said Sunghoon.
“Dork,” remarked everyone in unison. Sunghoon stuck his tongue out at all of them.
Jin laughed. She really did feel like the most happiest woman on earth.