“Sonmi, how are you?”
In-soo pulled her cardigan closer, not wanting to expose the almost visible baby bump. Both women sat down; there was not any animosity between them. Sonmi now recognized In-Soo as father’s savior, though it was hard to accept at first. Sonmi quickly got used to the woman who could be her older sister.
“You look great. What’s new?”
This was an excellent point about In-Soo; she didn’t try to play replacement mother’s instead, she portrayed an older friend. With In-Soo, there was not the usual have you eaten or how are your grades questions. In-Soo always made sure to be there to lend an ear to Sonmi’s problems and just to have casual girl talks about other things such as fashion trends, dramas, and love.
Sonmi smiled, “eh, everything is fine; there’s nothing new, just the same old life.”
In-Soo cocked an eyebrow,” just the same old, huh?”
The woman saw the car which dropped of Sonmi, not that she spied, but the flashy red sportscar attracted eyes.
“Actually, I’ve met someone.”
In-Soo leaned forward, or at least the distance her stomach allowed her to receive the news, “you have a boyfriend?”
Sonmi nodded while her eyes smiled in delight.
“That’s great; a girl your age should socialize.”
In-Soo had always been intrigued by her lover’s daughter. Sonmi was a cute but awkward introvert. In-Soo found her extraordinarily naive, and this caused her to worry that the world was a place where people like Sonmi easily got hurt.
“So, who is he? What does he do? Is he a med student?”
“No, he studies at Seoul University.”
In-Soo nodded in approval, “wow, he must be smart.”
“What’s his name?” pursued In-Soo.
“Ho Jae Kyung.”
“Assure me, he has nothing to do with some ancestors chaebol family,” In-Soo asked.
“Actually, he does.”
In-Soo stretched out her hand to pat Sonmi’s arm, ” 조심하세요 be careful, Sonmi, rich men aren’t what they are cut out to be.”
“I know, but Jae is different.”
Never Sonmi would have thought to give such an affirmation, but Jae managed to persuade her, and now her heart could not help but skip a beat when saying his name.
In-Sung approached their table, “here’s a strawberry shortcake for my little princess and a carrot cake for madame.”
In-Sung put the plates on the table a sat next to In-Soo, “so what were you two talking about?”
“It was just girl talk,” In-Soo said, giving Sonmi an accomplice smile.
“I see that I’m the odd one out again.”
“Oh, poor thing,” In-Soo said, pulling on In-Sung’s cheeks.
The scene, though amusing, made Sonmi uneasy; she had never seen her mother and father in a playful stance. She barely remembered them even hugging, here seeing In-Soo toy with her father’s face, Sonmi did not know whether she should laugh or cry.
In-Sung seeing his daughter’s bewildered stare pulled away In-Soo’s hand from his face and tried to resume the discussion.
“Does your girl talk have anything to do with the red sports car parked in front of my cafe?”
“What, don’t I have the right to know who dropped you off?”
Sonmi buried her face in her hands before slicking her hair back, “oh please, app, stop, it’s not what I came for.”
In-Sung asked Sonmi to come to his vegan café. In-Soo’s pregnancy advanced; thus, he had to announce the advent of their baby to Sonmi.
“True, I won’t beat around the bush, In-Soo and I areㅡ.”
Sonmi expected the words getting married to come out. Never did she imagine the announcement of a birth.
Her gaze shifted from her father to In-Soo. A long silence followed in which In-Sung stared at Sonmi with high hopes of being congratulated, but it was no Sonmi’s intent as she exploded.
“Mwo, don’t you think you’re too old?” She turned to face In-Soo. Sonmi felt betrayed by the woman with whom she shared her secrets, “don’t you think it’s too soon. I can’t believe this.”
Angered, Somni got up to leave.
“Sonmi,” In-Sung yelled.
“What, what do you want? Do you want me to congratulate you when all you do is ruin my life, first the divorce, and now this, do you expect me to be happy?”
“Please, Sonmi, your father and I-.”
“Just shut it, will you.”
Cute and clumsy Sonmi was no more; the young woman’s life had gotten a massive dose of reality, which tainted her a little more each day.
“Sonmi-ah,” In-Sung yelled in a tone of voice he wasn’t accustomed to using as he got up.
But Sonmi passed the entrance door before the man could catch her.
“Leave her. She needs time; it must be quite a shock for her,” In-Soo said.
The shock was tremendous; Sonmi’s view was blurry as the tears dropped down. She didn’t mind his father redoing his life, but a child.
That was something else; despite her age, Sonmi could not help but feel a form of jealousy as she imagined the attention the baby would have. Where would be her place be in the picture? The still unborn baby gained everything she had lost.
Not knowing what to do nor where to go, Sonmi called the only person she trusted at this instant.
“Jae, please come and get me,” Sonmi uttered between two sobs.
“Where are you? What’s wrong? Are you crying?”
“Alright, just tell me where you are.”
A week went by, and Sonmi avoided all the calls from In-Sung and In-Soo. As for Sa rang, they carried on with their cat and mice game, but now Sonmi was asked to bring some documents to Sa rang’s office, Sonmi sighed as she prepared to knock, but the voices coming from the slightly opened door caused her to look through the crack.
“Ji-Seong, stop it. You’ll break my bones.”
“I thought you loved my massages.”
“What if someone comes in?”
From what Sonmi saw, Ji-Seong stood behind Sa-rang, who sat at her desk while the man massaged her shoulders.
Enough was enough, what we’re all these people playing at, both father and mother were running after people almost half their age. Sonmi already thought Sa rang’s behavior in the past year was inappropriate, but this was beyond everything.
The slamming door made Sa rang jump.
“What’s going on here?”
The professor’s heartbeat was so fast that she thought her time had come.
“Seonbae, what were you doing.”
“Listen, Sonmi, it isn’t what you think,” Ji-Seong said, stretching out his hand in front of him as though he was trying to tame an enraged lion cub.
“Really, then what is it?”
Sa rang, got up, and stepped out from her desk, “Ji-Seong was helping me out.”
“With what? I don’t know what’s worse, dad having a baby with his mistress or you flirting with a student, I can’t believe it. Isn’t what you’ve done enough?”
“Sonmi, please,” Sa rang said, taking a step towards Sonmi, who backed away.
“You destroyed our life; you ruined my life. How cruel can you be? I can’t believe I’m related to you. Why can’t you just disappear? You’re always here traumatizing students, demanding excellence, and pressuring people with your status as if you were above everyone when all you are is a sleazy shameful, and selfish cougar. ”