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In Another Life
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한 남자가있어 널 너무 사랑한

한 남자가 있어 사랑해 말도 못하는

니 곁에 손 내밀면 꼭 닿을 거리에

자신보다 아끼는 널 가진 내가 있어

 

There’s a man who loves you so much.

There’s a man who can’t even say I love you.

I put my hand out by your side and

at a path were you can always reach me

I, who cherishes you more than myself, am with you.

 

For as long as he could remember, he was always watching her.
 

He watched as everyone greeted her on her first day transferring to their branch seven years ago. He watched how quickly she got close to Dong-hoon, maybe because he made her laugh with his stupid antics. He watched as Kwang-soo treated her like a sibling, like a real sister, often fighting but at the same time, fiercely supporting each other. He watched her bonding with almost everyone in the office. 
 

He also watched her fell asleep after getting drunk during their weekly dinner with the whole group. He watched her fell asleep in the office, in the meeting, everywhere. He watched her cursing at him in glee and instead of feeling insulted, he was thrilled as he could curse back, not worrying about her feelings because he knew she'd understand.

 

Over the years, he watched her bloomed, releasing her full potential, mesmerising him (and the rest of them) with her numerous achievements in a world dominated by men, often surpassing Dong-hoon as her senior, and slowly but surely becoming his number one rival. He watched her, still in disbelief, as he wasn’t feeling threatened by her at all, and instead of becoming enemies due to their rivalry, they became friends. They became close. She laughed at his jokes. She touched him, sometimes unnecessarily. She listened to him when he nagged endlessly. She went to do crazy exercises with him and without realising it, she was doing something to him, the things that no other women do. Not like how she does it, at least. 

 

He then watched in despair as she fell in love with a stranger. She was still her, in a sense, only happier, and the thought of someone else was making her felt that way, selfishly broke him. 

 

He watched that man protected her from the rain when he picked her up from work one night. He watched how happy she was when she linked her arm with his. He watched that man touched her lips with his lips the other night and it made him looked away. He watched her came in one morning, telling everyone in the group that he proposed and the wedding would be in early autumn this year. He watched her wide smile as she said it. He watched her laughing and blushing when Dong-hoon and Kwang-soo .

 

For as long as he could remember, he could only do just that. He could only watched. He could only looked. When she looked back at him and smiled even wider, he smiled back and wished her nothing but happiness even though his heart was breaking. And, he meant it. 

 

Earlier this night, he watched her again, staring without blinking at her computer screen. She remained static even when he stood behind her for a full few minutes since he came in the office from a meeting.

 

He let out a sigh.

 

It reminded him of what happened four months ago when he caught her just ending a call in the pantry, gripping on her phone as if her life depended on it. He came in, beaming with pride and joy, bragging to her about his promotion. He announced it in front of her like a jerk he was that he got it, the title that they both wanted. He reminded her about the joked she muttered previously during dinner with all of the others, where she looked forward for him to address her formally in the office. Now that it was officially his, he demanded her to do the same. 

 

He was ready, however, for her round of insults. Whether it’s “you sure Manager Yoo wasn’t just mistaking?” or “life is gonna be hell after this..” (and he will say yes with an annoying smirk) or “i would be a better leader than you” or “you? You’ll be the next Senior Executive!? You?! I’d rather die—“ or something more insulting. Hell, he would be satisfied if she would just glare at him or smack him somewhere as she would always do or grab his hair and pull it wholeheartedly. 

 

Annoyingly, she hugged him tight. She congratulated him with a small voice. She even teared up. He still mocked her, of course, by saying, “you can’t have two good things in a year. You’re getting married this year, let me have this one okay?” She looked away (he assumed she was blushing and it almost ripped away his happiness that day) but she quickly turned back to him and exclaimed that she’s proud. She's proud of him. Her words were genuine and his biased heart fluttered. 

 

It’s not until that night, after his small celebration party as promised by Manager Yoo was over, after he had been dreading in silent for not seeing her at all the whole evening, that he received the news. 

 

“Noona’s wedding is cancelled.” The words sobered him up, coming out from Kwang-soo as nothing more than a whisper but filled his head like a thunder. 

 

He pretty sure he smacked Kwang-soo in the head that night. 

 

She didn’t came in the next day, which was understandable, but what made him even madder was how quickly her story spread in the office. It’s probably Suk-jin hyung who accidentally spit it out but he didn’t get a chance to beat him up or do something as Dong-hoon calmed him down first.

 

“Think about this, hyung! This is actually a good thing—“

 

“How could this be a good thing?! She clearly wanted to keep it a secret—and now even Manager Yoo knew-“

 

“It would save her from our spontaneous reaction, hyung! Think about it! If she tells us directly, do you think Suk-jin hyung would say something appropriate? Can you guarantee Kwang-soo wouldn’t say something stupid? Do you think I can control my expression? Se-chan would say something crazy too! And you! Look how mad you are right now?! If she tells this to your face, won’t you just be ready for a hunt on that man?!”

 

Dong-hoon was wrong about one thing. She didn’t have to tell this to his face for him to be ready for a murder spree, but he got his point.

 

“We would be ready for her, hyung. We wouldn’t say the wrong things. We wouldn’t do weird things that for sure would made her uncomfortable. We wouldn’t drive her crazy. Don’t you think she had enough on her already?”

 

Thus, he calmed down. But then, he received another news. She moved out from her current house. Kwang-soo and Se-chan were worried (they all were, but the two of them were actually brave enough to go check on her) as after that evening, she remained silent, not taking any calls nor responding to any texts and decided to go her house. The owner told them that she didn’t tell her too where she was going.

 

He was mad again. He wanted to smack Kwang-soo’s head again but he couldn’t. He knew it wasn’t Kwang-soo’s fault. After all, it wasn’t Kwang-soo who was the first to know. It was him. He quickly realised it after he received the news.

 

The blankness of her face that evening, the unreadable expression, the unusual tight grip of her phone, the tight hug, the tears, the soft smile, the non-witty comeback, the looking away when he mentioned it... oh, he has been a fool. Oh, what a fool he was. He was more than mad, he was boiling with anger. Poor Mr Park, the gym owner, he had to remind him that he must pay extra if he indeed destroyed the punching bag that had been the victim of his wrath for a couple of weeks. 

 

He was going crazy, with on-going conducive training from Executive Chun, his predecessor, and her gone. He would really exploded that morning if he hadn’t realised that she was actually back. She was actually there. He watched silently, as she bowed in front of everyone, apologising for making everyone worried and at the same time, thanking them for caring for her. She explained her status, then, giving everyone a vague explanation about her decision for cancelling her wedding.

 

So-min, the new girl, said nothing but quickly hugged her, followed by Dong-hoon and Kwang-soo next. Suk-jin patted her head and the youngest, Se-chan, held her hand awkwardly. They wished her strength and promised to be there for her. She laughed. Of course she would. She said she was doing okay, but he could hear the pain in her voice. Still, he just stood there, as he would always do. 

 

It was her who approached him first. She touched the back of his hand lightly. Her hand was cold, sending chills straight to his back bone. “I’m sorry for causing you trouble, Mr Kim, and for not giving you any gifts for your promotion yet. I’ll think of something,” she said while smiling but that smile didn’t touch her eyes at all. Yet, he could only pursed his lips.

 

He watched as everyone froze in fear one morning, when that blabber-mouth So-min suddenly blurted out that she didn’t know what to give Executive Chun for his wedding next month, as they already agreed beforehand that wedding was a taboo topic to say in front of her. So-min realised her mistake far too late and Dong-hoon was ready to jump in to save the day, when she suddenly said something. “If it was me, I would want new cooking utensils. I would be cooking a lot for my husband, so new pans or pots would be cool, don’t you think?” He could see that everyone was hiding their sigh of reliefs, but as she turned away from the c

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aifhi_shk
This story was a journey to me. Thank you for enjoying it :’D
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