This time Sa-rang was ready and without any expectations. They would return to a typical teacher and student relationship. Sa-rang felt relieved but pinched by sadness, not that she would miss Ji-Seong; doing so would give him too much credit.
No, the woman would miss the company. Yoona had her husband and was soon to be a mother; Sa-rang could not ask her for more. The moments spent with Ji-Seong were pleasant, even if they were under ambiguous circumstances. Sa-rang’s knight saved her from solitude bringing moonlight in her dull evenings.
“Here we are, the last,” Sa-rang said as the car pulled up in front of her residence.
“Yes, you must be relieved.”
“A lot,” Sa rang said with a broad and sincere smile. Saying goodbye to the nerve-racking situation was like getting rid of excess weight for the woman.
The chauffeur came to open the door on her side, Sa-rang got out. She expected Ji-Seong to follow, but he remained in the car.
Sa-rang felt like a feather swaying in the wind as she leaned over to the car, “goodnight Ji-Seong and thank you.”
“Go-Goodnight, “Ji-Seong said for once it was he who appeared uncomfortable.
Sa-rang smiled, “I’ll be going.”
“Okay, see you on Monday, Lee Seongsaeng, the man replied without looking at her.
Everything was back in order, Sa-rang possessed a basket full of memories which she would embark on her last journey, and she owed it to Yoona. To reward her friend, she already knew what she would leave her, and this made her smile as she entered her building without looking back on her knight.
In the lift, Sa-rang reminisced about all the moments with the young man. She cupped her face in her hands when the memory of the kiss came to mind. They kissed once, and it remained engraved, sweet, and pure.
Did he kiss her sincerely?
Sa-rang wondered as the images flashed before her eyes, and her body quivered at the thought.
Get a hold of yourself, Sa-rang; it was Yoona’s doing. Without it, he would not have done it. Then the woman remembered what Ji-Seong said as she crossed her, leaving room to go to the bathroom.
“The client can request something, but in the end, we decide whether or not we go along with it.”
Sa-rang dismissed her queries and got in the shower; the ritual had gained importance. The dripping water on her skin soothed and cleansed her torments. Showers, how she would miss them. Now the tiny things were becoming marvels to the dying woman’s eyes, such a small outing to a coffee shop and sitting down for hours while correcting assignments, jogging or bike ride along the Han River, or watching your child grow.
“Sonmi,” Sa-rang whispered as she wiped off the steam of her bathroom mirror. She tried not to think of her; it pained a rang to see how she failed as a mother.
Too busy with work, In-Sung played both mother and father for many years, yet Sonmi loved her. Always smiling when Sa-rang would come home, showing her drawings as a child. Even when Sa-rang missed a school event, Sonmi would grin and say, “saving a life is more critical, mom, I understand.
Sonmi was altruistic, unlike her.
Selfish, stubborn, and stonyhearted, Sa-rang knew her defaults, how funny it was when one knew her name.
Sa-rang, how could someone whose name’s meaning was love be so cruel? What an ironic destiny?
She walked to her living room and turned on Spotify; she shared her account with Sonmi. The girl’s playlist had many mellow Korean R’n’B tracks, which suited Sa-rang’s mood at the moment. The woman went to her fridge and took a bottle of water, which she gulped down while looking at her living room, where she saw her phone slide off her coffee table edge.
With the music, Sa rang did not hear the phone vibrating; it was probably Silent Knight with their message. Her guess was correct, but he phoned also displayed three calls from Ji-Seong.
Sa rang pondered whether she should call back or not. Maybe Ji-Seong had a problem or something essential to say either way; she had no time to think as the phone vibrated again with another incoming call from Ji-Seong.
Sa- rang stared at the phone till it stopped ringing and put it back on the coffee table, only to jump at the sound of the building interphone.
The woman was no expecting anyone; her heart raced as she approached the door to see who it was.
“Ji-Seong,” she exclaimed.
What was he doing at the bottom of her building?
She pressed the button to answer,” is there a problem?”
“I need to talk to you.”
Sa-rang frowned, “can’t it wait Monday?”
“It’s an urgent matter; please let me in.”
Sa-rang hesitated. She only had her robe with nothing under, “wait a minute,” Sa-rang pressed on the open button. It would take Ji-Seong about three minutes to arrive at her floor.
Sa-rang ran to her room, slipped on a random pair of panties, a tank top, and her ex-husbands blue and white striped pajamas bottom she took for hostage when she left their house. Of course, she wrapped herself in a robe and went back to her door. She took a deep breath and opened it.
“Ji-Seong, what is it?”
“Can I come in?”
Something told Sa-rang it was better to let him in than have a neighbor see the student at her doorstep at the late hour. She stepped aside, Ji-Seong walked inside, and she closed the door.
As she stood in front of him, Sa-rang realized what a stupid gesture she had done; she was literally in undergarments with her student in a confined space.