HEART LIES

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LONELY KING

Empty.

The cluttering sounds of pans and plates were absent as In-Sung opened the door. Tired, not psychically but mentally, for the man, the last month was hell on earth. In-Sung thought he lived the worse when Sa-rang went haywire unaware that, the worse was to come.

Sa-rang was dying; it was unthinkable and unbearable for the man who had loved her so. For the first time in his life, In-Sung wished he could turn back time.

What would he do if he could?

After all, the woman had put him through In-Sung would love Sa-rang again. Meeting her and marrying her was not an error. The phenomenon was unexplainable, but the man felt that way as he stood in his hallway, where In-Soo revealed her lie.

Still, In-Sung missed his fiancée, her voice, scent, and touch. In-Soo’s delicate face and silky auburn hair filled his mind. She had hurt him in a way that made Sa-rang’s evil deeds seem diminished. This was because In-Soo was the woman he loved now. Some people are lucky to know one love in a lifetime, but for In-Sung, there were two.

The women were different in every way; there wasn’t one thing Sa-rang and In-Soo had in common. So In-Sung loved them differently, not once he compared the two women because there was no need.

Sa rang, represented his past and coming of age.

In-Soo was maturity but also emancipation; with her, he felt whole. The woman restored him as a man.

Yes, In-Sung was older, but he did not play on it, for there was no need. In-Soo was an outspoken but understanding woman, always ready to dialogue. Sure she was a woman of her era, and she took stands. In-Soo also knew how to recognize her errors, and above all, like In-Sung, she was not too proud to say she was sorry.

They were alike; Sa-rang saw right In-Sung thought now that his anger settled and that he could reflect without falling into a rage.

In-Soo was in every room of the house In-Sung could not get her out of his system, for she was recalled to mind every time he saw her favorite cup in the kitchen cupboard or her Nina Ricci perfume which she forgot in the bathroom, he missed her.

In-Soo was the cause of many sleepless nights of suffering where the man tossed and turned in his bed. Even if he knew In-Soo gave back the money to Sa rang. The paranoia pricked him as he wondered if all was game or if she had genuine feelings.

Would someone go as far as having a child?

The thoughts kept flipping like pancakes in his head, as now he wondered if the way they met mattered or how the relationship was arranged should influence him.

What was difficult for the man to admit was he was still in love. The feeling was strong despite the deceit.

Somewhere in Seoul, In-Soo was probably blaming herself and what worried In Sung was she carried his child.

Their child.

The one which he believed they conceived in love.

In-soo went back to her father’s house; the man did not ask any questions seeing his daughter’s stomach. Her father watched In-Soo wake and slept with tears. The woman refused to eat, and nothing appeared to console her.

In-Sung was right; the woman blamed herself for being weak. For accepting the happiness, Sa rang bought her in a pretty packaged box.

In-Soo was not desperate when she met Sa rang, she had a job, things were going well for her, but like every single girl who ever watched a Disney Princess movie, she dreamt of a charming prince. A prince who would sweep away all her worries and who would love her whole.

In-Sung was that man, In-Soo recalled the first time she saw him with Sa rang.

It was love at first sight. Unlike many, In-Soo was not the type who looked at man’s flagrant beauty. What appealed to her were kind gestures and gentle stares.

In-Sung had both; he gazed at Sa-rang as though she was the world’s eighth wonder. Sa-rang appeared to have no interest in the furniture her husband showed her. Yet, the man sought her approval as he pointed more objects to her.

The man seemed like a puppy, an adorable one to In-Soo’s eyes who envied Sa rang, not just because she had a devoted husband. Sa rang appearance was flawless, with her beige Jimmy shoe 85 Romy’s, slim white trousers, oversize white shirt, and her long black bouncy curled hair, one could have sworn she was an actress.

In-Soo followed the couple; she flared they had money to spend, and she hoped the sale would get her a big incentive. Sa rang’s voice was small, but one could tell from the aura which escaped from her she had a lot of authority.

Then came the moment where her eyes crossed In-Sung’s, time stood still just for them, and In-Soo made a wish to meet a man like the one who stuttered to ask her the price of a vase.

How In-Soo missed him, could he ever forgive her?

What a shameless thought. In-Soo refuted the idea. No, In-Sung shouldn’t excuse her greed. She didn’t deserve a man like him or anything else which could bring her happiness.

In-Soo stared at her swollen stomach; in her mind, she didn’t even deserve to be the mother of the child she carried.

The woman wanted to dig a hole and bury herself; no one would miss or cry for her.

In-Soo couldn’t be more wrong as the ringing doorbell was about to prove.

“In-Soo-Ah, please come to the door. There’s someone for you.”

No, it couldn’t be thought the woman who dashed down the stairs.

For once, her instinct did not betray her. It wasn’t In-Sung, but still a great surprise.

“Sa rang.”

“You know this woman?” In-Soo’s father asked.

“Yes.”

“Than, I’ll leave you,” the old man said, backing away from the door.

The two women were left glaring at each other.

Here Sa-rang was anything but flamboyant. Pale and almost translucent, her skin looked thinner than paper. Her face, with its craved traits, seemed to have shrunken by half.

In-Soo had not seen Sa-rang in months. Unlike Sa-rang’s entourage, she did not witness the evolution of the woman’s health. It was clear, the woman before her had crossed a threshold and was walking on a path In-Soo was not in a hurry to follow.

“Sa rang.”

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