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Sa-rang was only absent twice in the last three years; the first time was when her Doctor and mentor, Dr. Hong, announced to her she was dying.

The Doctor told her to begin the treatment, but Sa-rang knew the prognostics far too well. She did not desire to go through all the suffering, aware the odds were against her.

Sa-rang’s second absence was for her divorce settlement with In-Sung. In-Sung’s ruthless lawyer dragged the Doctor in the mud as he brought up her nightlife, excessive drinking. The avocet’s ultimate argument consisted of saying Sa-rang neglected her duties as a wife and mother.

Kyeong In-Sung’s infidelity was almost seen as the last resort for a man mistreated by his wife.

Sa-rang refuted the accusations as she played the part. The woman stirred and whipped the scenario into a soufflée, which fell back down as she left In-Sung their house and other things they had in common.

Now Sa-rang was absent for the third time, and her phone displayed Yoona’s worries with 15 missed calls.

What was the reason for the Professor to flee her beloved job?


There was no other word to describe her body’s experience; she imploded alive it was awful. Sa-rang laid in bed tetanized, as her house phone rang, and the message came on:

“Sa-rang, it’s Yoona; I’m scared to death. Remember, I’m pregnant and very emotional. Please just beep me. Let me know if you’re alive,” Yoona said, sobbing.

Sa rang’s phone on the coffee table seemed far, so she opted for her house installation, “Ok, Google, call Yoona.”

“Yeoboseyo, yeoboseyo, Sa-rang.”

“Yoo-Na,” the woman said slowly.

“Sa-rang qwenchana?

“Na qwenchana.”

In the meantime, the students were surprised to see Dr. Siwon arrive.

“Where’s Lee gyosu?” Soo-Hae asked, beating Ji-Seong to the inquiry.

“She has stomach flu. You all know how that is,” the replacement professor replied while he deposited his briefcase on the desk.

Many students smiled as they imagined Professor Lee reeling farts while twisting herself on the toilet seat or vomiting all over the place exorcist style.

Only Soo-Hae’s expression remained clouded at the announcement, “did someone have her on the phone?”

“Yes, otherwise, how would I be able to tell you what I just said?” Dr. Siwon returned.

“Don’t worry, Soo-Hae, your beloved professor, will be back soon,” Gong Won whispered in her ear.

Soo-Hae’s expression and question rose Ji-Seong’s suspicion. The young woman seemed worried as if she feared something, and he could not shake it off.

Once the class was over, Soo-Hae darted out, followed by Ji-Seong.

“Soo-Hae, Soo-Hae, wait up.”

The girl stopped and cursed under her breath; Ji-Seong was not the type of guy to let go once he caught on to something.

Soo-Hae prayed to be able to keep her mouth shut, remembering the Professor’s throat as she turned to face him.

“Soo-Hae, do you know something about Leeㅡ.”

“Mula [I don’t’ know, informal],” Soo-Hae replied, giving her ultimate blasé face.

“Listen, you might think I ignore people and don’t have a clue about you all, but I know Soo-Hae, I can see you are hiding something.”

“Ji-Seong, I don’t have time for this. I have to finish up writing my report,” the girl said as she attempted to dodge the guy who blocked her path.

“Soo-Hae, if you know something about Lee Seongsaeng, tell me. I won’t tell anyone.”

Soo Hae’s eyes widened, and her stare became accusative, “why should I trust you, Ji-Seong, when you trust no one? You observe us as if we a mice utopian experience.”

“Soo Haeㅡ.”

Ji-Seong stopped speaking as students passed, and he pulled Soo-Hae to the side, “aren’t you asking for too much?”

The girl glared at him with a wake-up-man-stare.

Ji-Seong lowered the tone of his voice to a less aggressive pitch, “please, Soo-Hae, you seem worried about her, and so am I, please.”

Soo-Hae’s eyes scanned the hall to see if it was clear,” she said she would kill me if I told someone,” Soo-Hae blurted, pushed by the desperate sound of Ji-Seong’s voice.

Ji-Seong, too scoped the hall as he imagined the importance of what Soo Hae could reveal, “If you told what?”

Soo-Hae’s eyes darted, she pondered on whether telling Ji-Seong was the right thing to do.

“She fell with pain, Ji-Seong. Professor Lee dropped her bag, and guess what she had in it? Methadone and Codeine.”

“What are you saying that Professor Lee is some kind of addict?”

“Come on, Ji-Seong, think, she also had Palladone.”

“She’s sick, sheㅡ.”

“I’m sure; it’s Cancer.”

Ji-Seong felt his blood pressure rise and drop. Soo-Hae’s words were a blur. What on earth was she saying?

The man refused to hear her; Ji-Seong started to walk away, leaving Soo Hae stranded in the middle of the hall. He took significant steps, which became huge strides until he found himself running, running so fast that he passed his car in the parking lot.

Ji-Seong came back and got in his car. He was not thinking straight, but this was not new. Nothing was rational when Sa-rang came to mind; things were like this from the beginning and the moment they crossed paths at the nightclub.

The stranger of the night intrigued him; the Professor fascinated him. The woman captivated him like The Graduate, and he was aware the feelings were not mere sadomasochist attraction.

Emotions hid behind the fancy terms in their most modest attire. As Ji-Seong pieced together who Sa-rang was and what she represented, the man knew he cared for the woman in more portions than she would allow and accept.

Ji-Seong had to see her, and so he drove.

The persistent ringing at ticked Sa-rang off; it was impossible to ignore.

She tried to restrain herself from not taking strong painkillers, opting for the weak Opioids, but in the morning, when Sa-rang had Yoona on the phone, but the suffering made it difficult to resist. Sa-rang took Palladone in the tablet version, which needed a few hours to take effect.

Sa-rang hated syringes, which made her feel guilty like an addict. Tablets made the intake of medicine appear chicer, but they were slower in efficiency than a shot.

The woman felt a little better, but her white skin and blood-drained lips were no something she wished to show. She staggered to the door and stood in shock to see Ji-Seong.

“Go away,” she said.

“I need to see you.”

“Not today.”

“I’ll call the police saying you’re in danger if you don’t let me come inside.”

“Are you crazy?”

“Yes, open, I won’t leave till you do,” Ji-Seong said.

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