“Sunbae, please. Just help me figure thi—will you stop walking for a second please?!”
I glare at Baekhyun who just gave me a cheeky smile before proceeding on making his rounds in his company building. “Hmm, I like you begging. Keep going.” He laughed back. I lightly slap him on the arm as I slowly lose my patience on this . He yelled at some employees slacking in one corner before FINALLY making a stop to turn to me. “Only way that we could possibly stop the guy from doing anything IF HE IS GOING TO, is a hitman.” Baekhyun the great suggested his favorite solution as always, not that he does it for real but he just likes joking about it. My grasp on my purse tightened as I maintained my composure.
He’s lucky we’re in his territory or else. . .
“Sunbae, Baekhyun ssi, Sir. . . Oppa.” I begin calling him every endearment I could give hoping he would like one of them and help me. “I liked the Oppa one but you’re not getting me with that.” He chuckled before turning around again. We got back into his office after his rounds and don’t even get me started with how long I have been here following him around for help. “Seriously, at this point I have no idea what to do.” I lean on the closed door while I watch him walk to his table. “Iseul-ah, let’s put it this way. . . what if you’re worrying for nothing? What if he doesn’t really do anything about it and doesn’t care anymore?” He confidently suggested.
That hit me on the chest quite painfully.
I look away. “Like come on, so what if he knows? Why do you still care? What’s the point of leaving everything behind in Jeju if you’re going to keep caring about what he thinks? it, who cares, it’s all done. Am I making a point to you or what?” He added. He’s right but. . . I don’t know what I’m feeling right now. I stare back at him. He gives me that concerned look after slapping me with the truth. “And I don’t even think he’s the type to sue if that’s what you’re worrying about. Well. . . I doubt if that’s even your real concern here.” Baekhyun spoke softly this time as he cautiously looked back into my eyes and I bet he could see the tears forming in them even from afar.
“You’re right. W-why am I stressing. H-he probably wouldn’t do anything about it anyway, h-he’s that type of guy. I doubt if he actually. . . fell for me that hard to still care right at this second. R-right?” I ask with a silly smile but that only made my tears finally stream down my cheeks. This time, Baekhyun just shrugged his shoulders while folding his arms across his chest. He looked rather clueless of what else to say but I could still see concern in his eyes. I fake a smile before waving a hand. “Well, I should go now then. Sorry to interrupt your work.” I bow, being the professional that I am.
I turn around to open the door and was about to go out when Baekhyun spoke, “Han Iseul.”
I run my fingers through my hair to fix it a little bit before facing him again. “I love you.” His voice came out shaky as he said those words. I gulp hard. He has always openly showed his feelings towards me and has said I love you in a silly way many many times in the past but this is the first time that he said in in such a serious tone.
I sigh and chuckle. “Sunbae, this is not the tim—”
“I know, I just wanted to let you know. I’m not expecting any response. Whatever you’re feeling right now, helplessness, regret. . . or even emptiness, I just don’t want you to forget that a lot of people love you. One less person doesn’t hurt, at least not for long.” The man spoke with so much sincerity but somehow, it’s just way too hard to accept. I don’t know, it just made me more frustrated inside. “Okay, let’s say you do really love me. Then there’s my father. . . who else? Two people is not a lot of people. You know why only two people? Because that’s all I deserve, even barely. I don’t even know what you saw in me. Just stop, stay away from me. I don’t deserve anything nor do I want anything from you. I don’t need your love.” I grunt back, quickly avoiding his eyes as I finish my sentence. I immediately grab the doorknob this time and opened it.
Until he stopped me again,
“What about your mother’s love?”
I grasp tightly on my stirring wheel as I look over to the signage that says “Sunset Pottery.”
Having the courage to take that tiny piece of paper from Baekhyun was one thing, but actually going to the address written on it was something that I never thought I’d ever do. I travelled all the way to Busan for this, I can’t just back out. I let out a deep exhale as I park. I see a couple of people coming out of the pottery school, I cannot help but count each person coming out of that exit, as if distracting myself from the thing that I am about t do.
“You can do this, this is the only way you’ll be able to forgive yourself, Iseul.” I convince myself for the nth time. The talk I had with Baekhyun made me realize even more how much I actually despise myself for something I could never have control over, that is growing up with a broken family. I hated it. I’ve always thought it was unfair, she was unfair, he was unfair. But never once did I actually take a minute or two to ask myself, “What if they had a good reason?” nor did I have the interest to know their reasons. I had chances, lots of chances in fact. But I completely cut her off of my life because of hatred. I need this. I deserve this.
I finally get out of my car and walked in. A front desk personnel welcomed me. “Good afternoon, welcome to Sunset Pottery. How may I help you today, ma’am?” The woman greeted professionally and cheerfully at the same time. “Hi, uh. . . I’d like to inquire about your uh—classes.” I make up an excuse to see this person. She smiled and nodded politely before responding.
“No problem, ma’am. I could transfer a message to the office and—”
“Uhm, do you mind if I take a look around? I want to know the place first before I actually go through it. If that’s okay.” I cut off. “Well of course! I’d love to give you a little tour, this place is not very big so it shouldn’t take us a long time. Come follow me?” The woman got out of the desk and lead me to a corridor. I look around, there were artistic paintings on the walls and figures everywhere. “Ma’am, do you mind me asking, have you been here before? I feel like I’ve seen you here before.” The front desk woman suddenly asked.
I chuckle a little bit before shaking my head in discomfort. “No, it’s my first time here.” I answer before looking straight ahead again. “Oh, alright. You probably just look awfully a lot like someone I’ve met here.” She playfully replied before walking ahead of me again to lead me. We arrive in front of a door right at the very end of this corridor. The door had a wooden frame and a glass that allowed me see everything inside. My heart skipped a beat or two when I saw a figure from inside. I’m not saying it’s her but I might be automatically assuming deep inside that it is indeed her.
But it could be, Baekhyun made sure to tell me to come on a Tuesday afternoon. So. . .
“So we have a total of three class rooms for different skill levels, that’s how we keep it organized with the curriculums for the students taking the classes. “Okay uh, can I just talk to the teacher or something? Not that I don’t trust you but I also want to get to know my potential instructors if I do end up applying for a class.” I disturb her introduction just because I really have no interest at all. “Like. . . Lee Seyoung ssi. Uhm, I have a friend who went here and she told me t-this teacher was the best.” I hesitantly mention my mother’s name.
“Oh, yea she’s a great teacher. Seyoung Unni is actually a senior teacher and the spouse of the school owner so she’s on the advance level. And it’s on the other side. Come follow me, please.” The woman then led me to a different way. , I knew I was assuming things when I saw that random teacher inside. Ugh.
But wait. . . spouse.
Whatever, it doesn’t matter anymore. As soon as we arrive in front of the door for the advanced class, for real this time, I had a hard time breathing and I haven’t even seen any person inside. The front desk lady opened the door first and I stay outside. “Seyoung Unni, a potential student would like to speak with you, she just wanted to get to know the school first before deciding.” She spoke to someone inside and I look away towards the corridor to prepare myself. “Sure, Yeji. Please let her in.”