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“Is it me, or is the ambiance here heavy, like really,” Dae-Jung whispered in Soo-Hae’s ears.

Soo Hae shrugged, “seems normal to me.”

“Gong wonー,” Dae Jung said, turning to face him.

“I don’t care,” Gong Won replied.

Dae Jung returned to his paper, “wah, Seoul citizens are cold.”

Ji Seong’s self-control surprised Sa-rang, despite the cat and dog arguments to which everyone was used to Ji-Seong’s reactions were tamed. The man was even quieter than usual.

Three days had passed since Ji-Seong’s and Sa-rang’s altercation. If at first Ji-Seong demonstrated his anger, he now appeared to sulk.

Ji-Seong’s silence was strategic thinking; he observed Sa rang’s behavior, which had not changed. Of course, she avoided being alone with him, asking Soo-Hae to accompany them in almost every action.

And there was Gong-Won, Ji-Seong disliked the manners he had towards the professor, which made him feel slight waves of jealousy without foundations. Ji-Seong knew there were no grounds to handle such an emotion, yet it was more substantial than him.

Women threw him away and treated him like a kleenex as an escort, but he never felt this way.

Ji-Seong could not accept being pushed away by her because deep down within him, he had the conviction it was not Sa-rang’s earnest will. Ji-Seong knew women, how they manipulated and lied; Sa-rang’s harsh words were in contradiction with the night they spent. The woman’s body told him things; at that instant, Sa-rang was naked, both body and soul.

The rejection was a probability Ji-Seong had thought of beforehand. The professor was not the type to let herself go-the fantasy of dating a student. Still, taking the blows of her angry words was challenging for the man who never experienced denial.

“It’s good for today, don’t forget to leave your assignments in my office. ”

Sa-rang left the room first, followed by Ji-Seong, who took the stairs behind her. He needed to talk to her even a short instant; he had to show her.

A clash with someone’s shoulder made him stop as he felt what he was holding drop.

“Seonbae, you droppedㅡ,” started a familiar voice before stopping.

Ji-Seong turned to see Sonmi holding the bracelet.

“Oh, ah, thank you,” Ji-Seong said and climbed a few steps to where she stood.

“This bracelet, it’s funny, it’s exactly like the one I bought for my mother,” Sonmi said with a bewildered stare which was slowly transforming into one of suspicion.

“It’s my girlfriend’s,” Ji-Seong replied while he stared at the bracelet which hung from Sonmi’s hand. He had to retrieve it no matter what.

“Sorry, seonbae, I didn’t mean to be indiscreet. It’s just this bracelet is a replica. It’sㅡ.”

“Thank you for picking it up,” Ji-Seong said, cutting in on Sonmi’s response. The timing was terrible for Sonmi to start connecting dots concerning her mother and the senior med student.

For a while, the man stared at her; Ji Seong used to see Sonmi so often he was persuaded the girl was stalking him. Now meeting Sonmi was rare.

Sonmi made sure to avoid Ji-Seong, and she had issues of her own to attend to; the situation with Jae was far from being simple, and the freshman was no longer at ease in Ji-Seong’s presence. She wondered if the man was aware of her night with Jae. Sonmi worried about the opinion Ji-Seong had about her. Perhaps he thought she was a slut, one of the easy girls who welcomed any man between her thighs.

“Here, seonbae, I’ll be going,” Sonmi said, panicked as shame and embarrassment invaded her. She continued to go up the stairs discovering the spectators of the scene.

As she passed, she heard Soo-Hae whisper, “everyone knows Ji-Seong doesn’t have a girlfriend.” The remark made Sonmi turn and look back, but the group was already moving along.

Ji-Seong carried on his way; Sonmi was an adult, and what she did with her body was her business, he thought. He was in no right to ask her any question whats so ever. Still, he was worried about the girl, he noticed how rocky her relationship was with her mother, and she did not have real friends.

If he were not stuck in his quicksand of problems, Ji-Seong would have tried to talk to her.

Issues and secrets seemed to be the words of the day as somewhere else in Seoul; another couple was about to deal with theirs.

“In-soo, what’s this?” In-Sung asked, branding an envelope from the Shila bank.

“It’s nothing,” In-Soo replied as she snatched the envelope.

“I also got a call from the bank. They said the documents are ready for the signing, since when you have an account there?”

In-Sung knew his girlfriend’s finance. In-Soo was not in a position to have an account in a bank like the Shila.

The bank was not the only thing bothering him. In-Soo sometimes went out without saying where she was going. In-Sung’s experience with Sa rang made him suspicious and a little anxious.

In-Soo was young and beautiful; it would be a lie to say the man did not fear to lose her to a more youthful suitor.

“My grandmother left me a little money, which I wanted to put aside.”

“For what?”

The moment was not right, but it was the perfect excuse to divert In- Sung’s attention.

“I’m pregnant; I opened an account for the baby.”

In-Soo omitted to say she had also opened an account in Sonmi’s name, where she put half of what Sa-Rang gave her.

“Pregnant with a baby,” In-Sung said, furrowing his eyes.

“Well, I hope it’s a baby. It would be strange if it were a goat,” In-Soo said with a nervous smile waiting for In-Sung to laugh at her joke. “You don’t seem happy?”

“Yes, of course, I am. It’s just I would have preferred us being married first. I mean, your familyㅡ.”

“Don’t be so old-fashioned,” In-Soo said with a weak smile.

The man smiled nervously, “old, that’s the word, I’m old.”

“No, you’re not. Most men have their first child at your age nowadays. You had Sonmi too young, in my opinion.”

“How are you feeling?” In-Sung said, grabbing In-Soo by the waist, suddenly preoccupied with his lover’s health.

“I’m fine for the moment; I’m a little tired.”

“Come take a seat,” In-Sung led her to a seat and knelt before her. “I’m sorry about earlier it’s justㅡ.”

“It’s okay; it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have been so secretive about it. I was scared of your reaction. I wasn’t sure you’d want another child.”

“What, of course, I want it, it’s our baby,” he said, kissing In-Soo’s knuckles.

Sa rang was right; In-Sung loved with all his might, which weighed on In-Soo’s conscious. The pregnancy diverted In-Sung’s attention; the man’s eyes shimmered with excitement. He had always thought he would be the father of at least three or four children, but his dream was cut short by Sa rang’s professional ambitions.

In-Soo was right; he was not old; the man was healthy and in love with the mother of his future baby. In-Sung realized as the couple smiled at each other that he had never been happier than with In-Soo.

They were in accord; she understood him; they talked and shared things. Life with In Soo was different from the one he had with Sa rang, where all showed appearances. A perfect family with an ideal life and feelings that were replaced by the habit with time. In-Sung could express himself with In-Soo without feeling looked down on.

He and Sa-rang remained together by comfort, neither one willing to break the routine. A feeling of relief filled the man as he recalled how frightened he was to leave Sa-rang.

In-Sung wondered how living with another woman would be, but kneeling in front of In-Soo, he had no regrets. The man could say with certainty he had never loved as he loved In-Soo and In-Sung thanked destiny for making them cross paths, unaware of the part which had played his ex-wife.

“What is it?” In-soo asked, seeing his clouded expression.

“It’s just I have to tell Sonmi,” In-Sung said, turning his gaze to the side in reflection.

“Are you scared?”

“The divorce was a shock for her; I doubt she’ll be happy about this.”

“You don’t need to tell her now. It’s not an emergency.”

Sonmi hated her father’s mistress, who she also blamed for the breakdown of her happy home. In-Soo didn’t want the girl to despise her more. Deep down inside, she wished the med student would accept her, even though they could get along as they did before the girl found out about the affair.

Before Sonmi came to find her, asking for tips on makeup, amongst other things, when she worked at In-Sung’s store, In-Soo missed the days the girl called her eunnie.

Those days were over now, even if things had calmed down.

People do crazy things for love, from lies to betrayal. All seems fair in love and war.

In-Soo did not want war, but the problems seemed to follow her like sticking chewing gum under her heels.

As In-Sung hugged her, the woman wondered what would be the price of the sin she carried.

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