There’s always a moment in life your breath hitches, you are sure your heart has stopped as your ears receive not heart fluttering but life-shattering news, and then you hear it.
Someone could be speaking to you, but all your body will allow you to hear is the thumping sound of your heartbeat.
“Sa-rang, Lee Sa-rang Ssi, are you listening? Think about your husband, your daughter, if we start the treatment now, perhapsー.”
“Aniyo [no], it’s my life, a year maybe two, you say?”
“Two years in the best ofー.”
“Two is fine; it’s good enough,” Sa-Rang replied with a weak smile.
“Seongsaengnim let me die my way.”
Six months later
“Ah, tchincha,” Sa-Rang sneered when she looked at her phone, which displayed.
7 missed calls In-Sung
10 missed calls Sonmi
Six messages from Sonmi with the last saying: Eomma eodiseo? [Mom, where are You?]
When did kids become their parent’s keepers?
Sa-Rang dismissed the thought and gulped down her glass of Dom Perignon before pushing her way through to the dance floor.
College nerd Lee Sa-rang never partied. She privileged academics and received ample rewards for her hard work. 3rd surgeon of Seoul and recently nominated professor Lee Sa-rang forced everyone’s respect.
People feared and admired this uncompromising woman who now swayed in her skin tight mini white sequins dress to the soft voice of G.Soul.
The music thumped, ear-bashing just the way Sa-rang liked. Lights flashed on her sequins dress, which reflected, dotting the people dancing around her.
L’Hexagone was one of crazy Sa-rang’s favorite nightclubs since she started her partying scholarship.
Select, the club filled up every Saturday with the wealthiest obnoxious brats you would find kilometers around, but the DJ was a maestro, and the toilets were clean; Sa-rang liked the club’s vibes. Discovering life so close to death had its charms.
From the balcony, another group of the club’s VIP was reuniting.
“Yo, look at who we’ve got here, Ji-Seong long time no see, how was Europe?”
“Hectic and dirty, especially the Paris metro, how can they handle the stench?”
“Tell me about it; I spent two weeks in taxis the last time I went,” Jae added.
“So, what’s new here?” Ji-Seong asked while glancing around himself only to recognize the same faces he left before going on vacation.
Jae did not even finish; the man’s gaze drifted to the center of the dance floor, where people made space to welcome Sa-rang like the Saturday night queen.
“Who is she?” Ji-Seong asked, eyes following his friend’s. Having spent his summer in Europe, Ji-Seong just discovering one of Seoul’s nightclubs new attractions.
“몰라요 [mollayo=I don’t know informal] she comes here every fortnight Lu Han spotted her at The Turbulence. She’s always alone, and she pushes away every guy who approaches her,” Jae said, eyes locked and filled with lust on Sa-rang.
“She’s an Ahjumma,” Myeong said as he placed his hands on both Jae’s and Ji-Seong’s shoulders, “bet in a few hours she’ll dress in a flower printed get up with a sleeveless cardigan scrubbing some toilet in one of Seoul Station’s Goshiwon [hostel].
“I don’t know about that, but she is the sexiest Ahjumma who ever walked,” Jae said, mesmerized by the woman’s vision.
Ji-Seong watched Sa-rang without adding a comment, even from where he stood on the VIP balcony, the woman outshone the pretty young ladies who sneered at her.
“Come on, guys, let’s find cuties who don’t have their expiry date yet,” Myeong added. He let go of his friend’s shoulders and walked backward, beckoning them to follow with both his hands. Ji-Seong’s eyes didn’t break contact with the dancefloor as he took to the stairs leading there.
Almost every girl’s face smiled, this was common courtesy for the three young men once baptized the fantastic four, but Shin Jun enrolled for his military service at the beginning of summer, leaving them a man short. Regulars at L’hexagone Club women flogged at their feet hoping to drink free champagne on the VIP balcony and more if affinity.
The newly baptized musketeers walked to the middle of the dance floor close to Sa-Rang’s spot. The woman moved eyes shut as if she was alone; she wasn’t there to seduce Ji-Seong could tell. In his eyes, Sa-rang came to play with herself.
A hand stretched out and gripped her waist; Sa-rang opened her eyes, pushing the man away. Persistent, the guy came back again and pulled her closer.
“Let go of me.”
“Hey, you’ve been eyeing me all night. Don’t play the scared kitten now.”
“I said let go,” Sa-Rang said, crossing Ji-Seong’s eyes during a split second, a second enough to have the young man approach.
Ji-Seong tapped on the drunk man’s shoulder.
“What?” retorted Sa-rang’s issue with a Tequilla reeking breath.
“I think she doesn’t want your company,” Ji-Seong said.
“Mwo, who are you, her son?” The man returned, pushing Ji-Seong with one hand, “do you know who I am? I am Nam Gong Won, Nam Med Tech’s heir.”
Some things never change, Ji-Seong thought; people still flagged their social status like visas. Ji-Seong rolled his eyes as he placed one hand on his hip and the other on his forehand in reflection.
“Listen, I don’t want any troubleー.”
The slight pressure of Myeong’s hand on his shoulder interrupted him, “Ji-Seong, is everything okay?”
“What are you guys ganging up on me now?” Nam Gon Won asked, pushing Ji-Seong with both hands.
Ji-Seong ignored the provocation; his eyes shifted to Sa-Rang, who made her way to the exit.
“Aish, tchincha,” Ji-Seong said.
“Mwo, are you mocking me?” Nam Gong Won asked, advancing to take a swing at Ji-Seong, who stopped it and pushed him on Myeong before ditching the situation to follow Sa-Rang.
“Ya, Ji-Seong-ah,” yelled Myeong, who now fought drunken Nam Gong Won under the amused eyes of Jae, who hesitated between taking photos or helping.