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In the car back, they were silent. Neither one wanted to break the peace which reigned. Even in the lift up to the 33rd, they remained silent as they entered the apartment.

Ji-Seong avoided asking if she wanted him to leave. Used to the mistreatment, it was apparent Sa-rang would throw him out. The man was surprised not to be pushed out as Sa-rang sat down on her couch, bending to take off her shoes.

“Wait,” Ji-Seong took off his suit jacket and came to kneel in front of her to help Sa-rang with her stilettos.

“Why do you women put yourself through this?” He said while looking at her red toes.

“Wasn’t I pretty, wasn’t I sexy? Sa-rang, said as Ji-Seong caressed her feet to warm them up.

The man stared up and smiled at her, “yes, very.”

“Are you always this frank?”

“Why should I lie?”

Sa-rang, released a little moan as Ji-Seong pressed on a place that took the tension out of her body. Exhausted, Ji-Seong’s hands relieved her a lot. She could tell he knew what he was doing as she recognized a few gestures she saw physical therapists do.

“Where did you learn this?”

“In my 1st year, I dated a 4th year who was specializing in psychical therapy.”

Sa-rang blinked, startled by the announcement, “you dated?”

“I’ve had ordinary relationships before. I haven’t sold myself all my life,” Ji-Seong replied, eyes concentrated on her feet.

Sa-rang sat up, making the man regret his remark.

She got up and walked to her bedroom. Ji-Seong understood it was her way of ending the night. He grabbed his jacket and walked to the door when he heard Sa-rang call out to him.

Ji-Seong hadn’t been in her bedroom since their night. The room seemed even more significant than the first time.

“Can you unfasten my dress, please? I haven’t got much strength to grab this zipper.”

She did not need to ask him twice. The man approached, pushed her hair to one, and unfastened the zipper, which zzed all the way down, making Ji-Seong kneel for the finish where his face stood in front of Sa-Rang’s panties.

“Thank you,” Sa-rang held the dress in front of her and walked to the shower.

Ji-Seong looked about, not knowing whether he should leave or not. The gambler in him pushed him to stay and wait to see if the woman would kick him out.

Ten minutes later, she came out with her fluffy robe towel drying her hair.

“Aren’t you leaving?”

“Do you want me to?”

He said, moving closer to her and grabbed the towel she held. Ji-Seong walked to her bed, sat down, and tapped on it, beckoning her to sit next to him.

Sa-rang sighed and came to sit; he slowly started to dry her hair, wet they were much longer, her neck was broad in the open, and the man refrained the urge of kissing the nip of her neck.

Ji-Seong stopped and posed his hands on her shoulders and started to massage.

“Oh, that feels good,” Sa-rang said, placing her hand on her lips as she released she had said it out loud.

But it was true the man’s touch felt good. Sa-rang had to admit she liked the way he stared at her with desire. She appreciated the compliments and the attention.

Even though she was ill, being and feeling like a woman made her happy.

For the first time, she felt understood and cared for; when she gazed at Ji-Seong, she saw he had no expectations from her. The man saw her as Lee Sa-rang, the woman, and nothing else. There was no sorrow or pity Sa rang dreaded in his eyes, at least not at this instant.

She turned to face him; there were no words to be said. Ji-Seong leaned to kiss her; it was a small and tender kiss.

Sa rang returned his kiss since he had imposed himself in her life; the woman had many mental hurdles to step over. His age, the fact Ji-Seong was her student, and finally the circumstances which brought them together.

The woman was aware of what kissing him meant, and she knew what she exposed them to as she sat almost topless now that her robe only covered one breast.

If in the beginning, the desire was absent, his gentle touch and kisses aroused her.

As Ji-Seong laid her back on her bed and kissed her neckline, Sa-rang foresaw a not-so-distant future where there would be tears, pain, and heartbreak in an apocalyptic tragedy. Still, she closed her eyes and accepted to live the moment; she would die anyway; why bother with morales.

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