HEART LIES

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BIRTHDAY

“Why this surprised face, professor? It was a real shock to see you here, professor Lee Sa-rang; by the way, happy birthday. You can ask me whatever you want for today. I will be your knight.”

The last word recalled Yoona’s indecent gift to mind.

“I’m-I’m sorry, Gong-Won,” Sa-rang stammered,” but I think you are mistaking meㅡ.”

“I don’t forget a face nor a waist,” Gong-Won said with a smirk.

Sa-rang smiled and bent his toe, “I accept your absence note Gong-won, I’m sure you already have the board’s president’s number, but here’s his name card if you want to deposit a complaint.”

“Ai-ai-yééé,” squealed the student who now rolled like a rolling pin on the bed.

Sa-rang left the room at the moment where her assistant arrived.

“Is everything okay, professor?”

“Yes, could you please check on Nam Gong-Won’s foot? I accidentally stepped on it.”

What happened was unbelievable. Sa-rang hoped it wasn’t the beginning of a butterfly effect.

Sa-rang quickly forgot Gong Won’s toe, with Yoona’s messages reminders pep talking her about the date and brainwashing her.

That’s how six hours later, Sa-rang found herself separating hangars in her dressing as she searched for what to wear.

Sa-rang took out her Marchesa Notte lace dress she was supposed to wear at her wedding anniversary, but with the turn of events of the previous year, the doomed garment remained unworn. Still, Sa-rang felt generous, giving the dress the last chance.

She took her time to get ready, taking care of her makeup younger like Sonmi, she did not care but like her daughter entering medical school and crossing paths with the real world made her self-conscious of her appeal, age helped. Covering the tiny creases on her face was imperative.

Sa-rang did not think about how her knight was going to be. She saw the event as speed dating, where the man would be about her age, and they would chat. Escort services were something she had never needed to think about, and as she bought the last touches to her appearance, her thoughts remained neutral.

Only when she stood in front of the Black Genesis G90 did the woman wonder how her evening would be

The chauffeur opened the door for her, and Sa-rang got in where her nose whiffed the strong smell of leather which purred as she sat. The car was spacious, and the window separating the back from the driver’s side took away the desire to start a conversation.

She looked at her phone; there was no signal; it was impossible. Not having a phone signal made her anxious.

“Jeogi-yo wifi isseoyo?”

“Sorry, madame, but there’s no signal in the cars,” the man said with a hoarse voice.

What was she doing?

A part of her wanted to open the door and jump off at the next red light.

Igeat mwoya, Sa-rang, have you lost all common sense?

The woman felt like the victims of slash movies who ran upstairs instead of running down to the door. Or the lead in the hitchhiking plot getting in a car with an absolute stranger.

What if it was a hoax? Yoona said the messages received from Silent Knight disappeared. Therefore, there wouldn’t be any proof if anything happened to her.

For the first time in years, Mrs. High and mighty felt dumb, realizing she could die a stupid death like anyone else. Suddenly knowing death was already inside her made her calm down.

Sa-Rang panicked once more when the car appeared to be leaving Seoul.

The driver who watched her fidgeting attempted to reassure her, “Madame, everything will be alright. Your knight is a real gentleman.”

It was not enough Sa-rang regretted having accepted what she now saw as a dangerous gift. The car left the road to go into what appeared to be a trail in a forest and stopped.

Sa-rang hurried to open the door, almost tripping as the chauffeur opened it at the same time.

“Madame,” he stretched his hands in the direction of a manor-house, which you only imagined seeing in Great Britain. The house’s presence in Korea seemed surreal. Sa-rang advanced to admire the building, startled by the sound of the car which left.

A man stood on the manor’s porch; he was Korean but dressed like an English butler. He wore gloves but the feature that stroke Sa-rang was that the man was blind.

“Madame, please follow me.”

The inside of the manor was even more spectacular with its antique-style decorations. What captured Sa-rang’s attention was the ceiling and its height. Beautiful paintings like the ones she saw at Versailles when she was on her honeymoon with In-Sung paved the entire roof. They arrived in a large hallway where a woman took Sa-rang’s coat.

Sa-rang verified her phone once again; she showed a full signal, which reassured her.

“This way, please,” said the butler pointing the way to a staircase that led downstairs.

“Igeat mwoya?”

“Don’t be afraid. The dining rooms are in the cellar.”

“The cellar, you say?” Sa-rang said as she peered at the staircase

“Eh.”

“I will walk in front,” the old man replied in response to her hesitation.

Never a stairway had been so long arriving at the bottom Sa-rang already apprehended climbing back up for the return.

The butler led the way in a narrow corridor paved with wine behind what seemed to be cells. In the end, they arrived in a more significant circular space where another woman stood behind her desk. There were six doors; the woman pointed to a door o which was written one in hanja.

The man led the way; once the door opened, another small corridor led to a very intimate dining space.

The butler pulled a chair for Sa-Rang, and she sat down.

The journey was so long that fear had fled to the back of her mind as she solely concentrated on making it to the destination.

“Sir will be here shortly,” the man said before retiring.

Now alone in a strange place, Sa-Rang’s heart started to pound. She took out her phone and opened the S health app to check her heart rate. She placed her finger on the capture close to the focus and waited for 87bpms; it wasn’t a surprise the stairs and corridors demanded efforts.

She grabbed her mirror to check her face when she heard the clack-clock clack of a man’s shoes. In her mirror, she could see the black shadow approaching. Sa-Rang closed her hand mirror and brought her hair to one side of her head to show her best profile as she slowly turned heart-pounding.

Her gaze stopped on the shoes working their way upwards to the shocking revelation. Her breath hitched as she managed to gasp a suffocated, “you?”

“Good evening, Sa-rang.”

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