The Second

Waves

 


Just about five years ago, Sung Gyu and Minhee found out that she probably hadn’t many years to live. The signs were subtle in the beginning. Sudden weight loss, chronic back pain, her complaining how she always felt full and bloated that she frequently refused to eat. When she had trips to the bathroom quite too often, slept in late and grew tired almost too easily, and when she started to visibly appear ill, Sung Gyu and her female friends prompted her to get herself checked. She believed that it was nothing, and when a swelling appeared on her stomach which was awfully visible in her bathing suit, she grew self conscious of sudden weight gain and was convinced it was a simple matter of diet plans. After frequent prompting and pressure from everyone around her, she finally had herself tested, and she was soon diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.

Sung gyu had to watch her break apart, he had to watch her whole life collapsing around her, and that was the most helpless he had ever been. She was only in her late twenties, she had only started her masters, she had so long and so much to live. It didn’t take long to suddenly have her life balanced on the tip of a finger, so fragile, so small, so breakable. They wondered day and night what her fate was going to be. How long did she have to live? What more could she achieve with the brief time of life she had left? Minhee started to plan her death before planning her life ahead. Would she get married to someone before she passed like dying people in movies did? What song would they play at her funeral? Can they dress her corpse in a wedding dress? Would they float her off to the pacific ocean instead of burying her like they did with ancient queens? 

It was determined, then, that the only way to assure her survival was surgery, and that had to be done fast. Sung Gyu could remember her reading for her masters’ thesis while lying in a hospital bed, tubes and wires all around her, her frail hands trembling as she struggled to flip a page. He’d bring her study material to her, read things out if she was too tired to read, and spent long nights sitting beside her as she typed out her findings, the computer screen gleaming on her pale skin as the rest of the world slept. The surgery was done a few days later, her thesis submitted after. She passed with an average, just good enough result to enter a decent doctoral course, and while the surgery was a success, a large part of her life was taken away from her, a part that she couldn’t never retain.


 

It was only mildly warm out when they stepped out into the shore later that day. They were already in their diving suits, the spandex tight against their skin. Sung gyu looked at Minhee, the way her eyes caught the sun and shined, almost crystalline, and gave her a smile.

After her surgery, her path to recovery was long and hindering. It was during this time that she took over different forms of therapy, Yoga, meditation, and then at some point, diving. He’d taken part in certain of them along with her, and he too soon realised that he'd grown a passion towards navigating the depth of the deep blue as well. They joined the university’s marine conservatory unit and trained for diving and conducting oceanic rescues. While music or reading or any form of art would have been the ideal hobby for anyone else, for Minhee and himself, it was snorkelling and diving, searching for the wonders that the ocean held. They were joined by Myung Soo a while later, and the three of them had done a number of rescues since then.

“Thank you, by the way,” Minhee told him as they approached the edge of the shore where Myung Soo’s boat was docked. “For today, I mean. I couldn’t tell you earlier”

He shrugged and looked ahead. “I’d have smacked across his obtuse head, to be honest” He told her without much thought. “But he wasn’t worth losing my grants over”

“I don’t think they’d stop funding you,” Minhee told him encouragingly and gave him a smile. “The next time I’ll take one for the team and slap him”

He laughed in return. “I wouldn’t want them to stop funding you, Minhee. I don’t have a lot to lose”

“They probably wouldn’t want to lose you” She promptly replied, making his heart flutter. “Anyway” She sighed, pushing back her dark hair. It was scented sweetly of something fruity, something nice, mixed along with the scent of the sea. “ them and all of that. We’ve got some good things coming up”

“Like?” Sung Gyu asked, raising his brows. He already knew what she was getting at.

“Like somebody turning thirty three in three days”

Sung Gyu felt warmth raising up his neck. He was one of those odd people who didn’t care much for his birthday. It was just like any other day, and if anything, it would probably be packed with things that were completely unrelated to any form of celebrations. Thankfully for him who did not enjoy any sort of get-together as well, Minhee knew him like an open book. 

“Dongwoo and Sungyeol would probably kill me for telling you this'' Minhee went on, a mischievous smile playing on her lips. “But they’re planning a surprise party on saturday night for you”

“I’ll probably be busy saturday night” Sung Gyu told her without much thought. The only way that he’d be busy would be taking time off for himself, at home with the windows wide open, allowing the cold ocean wind to rush in. He'd probably indulge in a glass of wine and some good music, if anything, his only company being the dwarf shark swimming circles in its tank. 

This too, Minhee seemed to know too well. He hadn’t anyone to spend his saturday night with, except for his circle of friends and colleagues. In this small island, there were only so many people that one could make acquaintances with. And unless they were related to his work, Sung Gyu hardly made friends with anyone. And it’s been a while since his girlfriend left him.

Which nobody really talked about anymore.

“Right,” Minhee laughed and slid her hand through her hair again. She pulled it into a ponytail as she walked, quick and meticulous, her hands moving in this compelling manner that he couldn’t help staring. It was amazing how she could do something as simple as tying her hair and leave Sung Gyu feeling so many things. 

“Anyway” She sighed, seeing that they’ve neared a patiently waiting Myung Soo who sat in his boat, basking under the sun. “Just telling you so you can cancel any other plans you’d have. They’ve been planning it for a while. Just give them a chance”

Sung Gyu chuckled and raised a hand to wave at Myung Soo, who acknowledged their presence with merely just a nod. “Well then, they better be prepared with something good for me”

Minhee laughed in response. “Just act surprised and put it out of your head that I ever told you”

Sung Gyu immediately reacted, pulling off his best oscar worthy acting and raised his brows. “Told me what”

Minhee smiled, giving him a knowing look and hit him lightly on his arm before she walked ahead. Sung Gyu stared after her, the quick, graceful way she walked, the shape of her impeccable in the diving suit. An incredibly beautiful woman she was, Choi Minhee. She was everything that he’d ever wanted in his life, and everything that he could never have and never bear to lose. He’d nearly lost her far too many times now. What he’d feared above everything else was, if he’d ever dare to let his feelings be known, he would lose her once and forever. And that was not a risk he was willing to take.

 

“That took long enough” Myung Soo greeted them, revving the boat to life even before Sung Gyu could get himself aboard. Minhee, who had climbed in before he did, held a hand out to him helpfully, which he took although he didn’t even need it. It was a little late into the afternoon that the sun had headed down to the west, making the east coast much less sunnier than before. It wasn’t a long ride down to where the turtle was strangled in, but it also wasn’t a ride that they couldn’t take with themselves bare under the hot sun. Sung gyu pulled on his sunglasses and ran a hand through his slightly damp hair. There was sand in it, he could feel it in his scalp. Minhee looked over at him and made a face, to which he only gave a disapproving shake of head.

“I heard you had a fight this morning” Myung Soo yelled over the sound of the engine as they crashed through the waves. “Heard you gave the Aqua Life guys a piece of your mind”

“It's going to cost him his grants,” Minhee informed him matter of factly.

“No ” Myung Soo returned, and somehow, Sung Gyu thought that he didn’t sound very surprised.

“Don’t give a actually” Sung Gyu yelled back, gazing at the way the sun glimmered upon the sea. He turned to face the other. “They were asking for it”

“They misquoted me in front of me and treated me like trash” Minhee exclaimed and pouted in the end. As she took the longest to acquire her doctorate among their circle of researchers despite being the scientist who’d been quoted the most, Minhee had always been self conscious of her achievements. It was already tough for women as herself to proceed to greater heights as she had in this profession, the traditional gender bias falling in their way; an unnecessary hurdle that she had to climb over, and still did, multiple times. Sung Gyu, therefore, always felt responsible to keep all his other male peers checked, and most importantly, get back at those who couldn’t accept and value it that Minhee was indeed the toughest among them all.

“I hope hyung squared them right on their face”Myung Soo returned, bemused. 

“I should have, honestly”

“Feed them to the sharks” Myung Soo went on, making Minhee laugh between them.

“If Hotteokkie was big enough, I’d let her swallow them whole,” Sung Gyu returned, referring to his pet shark.

They approached where the turtle was said to have been located, and Myung Soo killed the engine. He helped them with getting into the rest of their diving gear and equipped him with the necessary tools. How rescues of the sort usually went was that Sung Gyu would do the cutting, cropping and removing, while Minhee did the part of keeping the animals distracted and calm. Despite the popular belief of turtles being harmless, when they’re put in circumstances where their safety was compromised, even these gentle giants would likely become ferocious. Minhee, for some strange, magical reason, was the only one out of the three of them who was able to keep them in place.

The two of them sat at the edge of the boat, oxygen tanks on their back, the rest of their gear in place. Sung Gyu adjusted his goggles on top of his head, reached out and attentively checked her tubes. 

“All good?”

“Mmhm”

“Okay” He breathed hard and retrieved his hand. Then he moved to pull on his oxygen mask, but then her calling his name stopped him.

He looked up, only to see her gazing at him in this strange, unreadable way. There was something secretive in the depths of her eyes, he could tell. There was something in the way that she just seemed to see him which had him feeling hollow in his heart.

“What is it?” He asked her.

“Nothing” She shook her head with a shrug. “I Just remembered I had something important to tell you”

His heart stopped for a second, millions of thoughts surged into his mind. “And that is?”

“Can we hurry up?” Myung Soo exclaimed impatiently. “Turtles cannot wait”

Minhee shook her head and pulled her goggles down to her face. “In three days” She said and gave him an odd little smile. “In three days, I’ll let you know”

Minhee probably shouldn’t have told him that at the wrong time, as it was difficult for him to concentrate after then. They both put on their oxygen masks at the same time, sat against the boat and fell backwards into the water almost in sync. Even as they did, his mind was in a whirlwind. There were millions and one possibilities as to whatever she had to tell him. Given that it was Choi Minhee, he couldn’t help that fear, worry and concern overtaking him. She was in remission after the complete hysterectomy, and had been so for over a year now. But she’d often mention the possibility of a recurrence, which had kept him on the edge all this while. She’d mentioned it only casually, as if the possibility of cancer returning was a run on the mill matter. He often wished she could be less carefree, less nonchalant at least when it was about herself. But what could he do? Choi Minhee coped with her loss by making it sound like whatever that had happened to her would happen to just about  anyone. If that was how she chose to deal with her pain, Sung Gyu didn’t think he was ever in the place to tell her otherwise.

Upon going under water, however, his worries were momentarily at bay. It was the warmth of the water and the sunshine reflected through the ocean for that one moment; the comfortable silence, the airyness that seemed to keep him afloat. He glanced over at Minhee who appeared to him a mermaid right then. She always did, in her graceful, elegant ways. Sung Gyu had wondered myriad times if she was indeed made for the ocean, as if she had walked right out of a fairy tale. He had watched her swim, the movements of her arms and legs so delicate, so agile, the way her hair moved gently, dark against the turquoise blue. There was something about the way she blended into the ocean, the way that she appeared so comfortable and content, how she was so loving and tender towards the creatures of the sea as if they were her own children. There was a mother within her although she couldn’t become one herself, and Sung Gyu had the blessing of witnessing the miracle of it with his own eyes.

The turtle was found a little over a meter from the boat, entangled in a mesh of fish nets. Sung Gyu already had the tools in hands, a thin sharp knife which he would use to cut the plastic strings off as Minhee would work on taking the turtle out of its trap while attempting to keep it calm all the while. It was quite an arduous process, as the animal was quite big in size for its young age. He signalled at her with his hands with every bit of the net that came undone, and she gently pried it off its scales, working extra careful upon where it had cut into him. The turtle would react to the pain at times, quite viciously so, that he’d had to grab onto Minhee and move away. But Minhee had that uncanny ability to bring it to a calm again, just by her touch. Perhaps Minhee was the mother of all sea creatures, maybe even a goddess, although she’d never say so, herself. It was with her loving gestures that they finally managed to bring the turtle out of the hindering nets, and the two of them together brought it up to the surface where Myung Soo had already levered down a wooden plank to help the turtle on board.

Sung Gyu took off his tubes and took a deep breath of fresh, salty air. At times it felt like he’d just emerged from a different world altogether, and it took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the sun. Minhee had popped out beside him, and she was smiling. He thought she appeared brighter than the sunshine on the ocean at that time.

“Are you okay?” He asked her breathlessly, and she only laughed in response. 

“We just rescued a big boy, Sung Gyu, are you really asking me if I was okay?”

His mind almost naturally returned to what she’d said before they fell into the water. With a pounding heart, he could only raise his brows.

“I’m ecstatic Sung Gyu, I’m so happy!” She exclaimed, and only then could he breath normally again.

“Right” He sighed and shook his head with a chuckle. He assumed that he was going to continue to be on the edge for the next three days until she told him whatever her important thing was. 

“Are you guys going to stay there or are we heading back ashore to get this one treated?” Myung Soo grunted from the boat, finally having pulled the turtle aboard. Sung Gyu helped Minhee up first, and she, as always, helpfully held out a hand for him. He slid up onto the boat himself, and he stood there, one hand in his damp hair and the other resting on his waist as he watched Minhee seated on the boat, talking to the turtle as if it was a child. 

“Oh look at you, my poor baby” She called it as she tenderly caressed its leathery head. “He must be around two years? Three?” She glanced up at him for a second opinion, her eyes narrowed against the sun. “What do you think?”

“Must be around that age, right?” He asked as he nodded in response. Sung Gyu trusted Minhee's intuition more than his own. She had an understanding of these sea creatures like no other. 

“He’s still a baby” Minhee went on, still lovingly caressing the creature’s head. “He didn’t have to go through all of that”

The turtle didn’t appear to be one that was up for a lot of motherly affection that it lifted its head and swiftly reached for Minhee’s hand with its stiff beak. Thankfully she had a better reflex than the turtle did that she could move just in time, but not without a little yelp, followed by laughter.

“A feisty one he is” Myung Soo commented as he stood there, both his hands on his hips. “Looks like he could go back home in no time”

“You heard that?” Sung Gyu asked Minhee, knowing that she could get easily attached to her rescues. It was her who named Dojjeongie, and he’d found her going to see the animal multiple times, even to the length of sneaking into the conservatory into the depth of the night, just to sit beside her tank and watch her as she languidly floated about. Minhee’s excuse was always that Dojjeongie was lonely, that she needed someone’s company in the night. But Sung Gyu knew, for a fact that it was far from the truth. Turtles weren’t social animals, and Dojjeongie was completely fine on her own. He was completely aware of what’s been happening all alone, but he’d never had the heart to address it lest it would break her. 

Minhee pouted and looked up at him, appearing slightly crestfallen. “He will stay with us for a while” She told him.

“He would” Sung Gyu nodded and crouched down beside her. “But he also has to go back, right?”

Myung Soo walked to the back of the boat and revved it to life. Minhee gazed at the turtle longingly as it looked around curious, inquisitive eyes, its leathery dark head languidly moving around. 

“Can I name him at least?” Minhee went on. “He’s going to be there for a while”

Allowing her to name it would only solidify the attachment. She would call it a cute name, and talk about it at every given opportunity, excitedly so, with widened doe eyes, her voice an octave higher as if she was speaking of her own child. While the turtles were going to stay with them for quite some time, they will all be eventually released to the ocean and they’re often not seen again. Their parting would always be particularly heartbreaking for Minhee although she wouldn’t let on in so many words. He had seen her crying quietly, he’d heard her voice breaking when she’d recall their time together again. It's been long since he’d come to understand that it wasn’t only about the animals that her sentiments were. It was something stronger, a desire that she’d kept suppressed for reasons that she’d never say in words.

“We have Dojjeongie,” Sung Gyu reminded her gently, trying not to be too obvious. It wasn’t his place to stop her, it wasn’t his place to decide how she dealt with her pain. But he also didn’t want to let her get too carried away. “This guy looks like he wouldn’t stay longer than a month, he’d have to go sooner”

“Then I’ll call him something shorter…” Minhee pushed on, grasping onto that tiniest thread of hope. “Like Dubu...that would be nice right?” She glanced up at him, and her gaze was so hopeful, somehow valiant that he had no choice but give in.

“That sounds like a nice name, Dubu” He finally agreed. 

“Dubu...Dubu is a good boy” She nodded and muttered in a quiet, dreamy tone. He knew what it meant, what it all meant, and it destroyed him time and time again.  There was nothing that he could possibly do to make it better for her, to make that pain go away. All he could do at that moment was lay a hand on her shoulder and hold her for a moment, hoping and wishing that things would change. 


 

Later that day, after they’d dropped Dubu off at the conservatory and heeded goodbye to Myung Soo, Minhee suggested that they grab a drink together to celebrate their latest rescue. It was something that they did as a tradition, celebrating every time they’ve done a rescue together which had, sadly, become more frequent than they hoped for. However, the feeling of fulfilment after each time was mutual and indescribable just the same, that a little celebration between the two of them was always necessarily called for. 

Minhee despised the bars that they had on the island which were always frequented by local fishermen, which meant that she got sneers and uncomfortable glances, so they’ve made it a habit that they had their drinks in the comfort of either of their apartments. Minhee stayed with a roommate, sharing the rent as the amount she earned didn’t suffice for her treatments as well as her research work on top of other living expenses. For this reason, it was rarely that they hung out over at hers. And Sung Gyu’s place was rather luxurious, situated right by a fine stretch of a beach in a quiet neighborhood, only the sound of the ocean keeping them in company. They would set the windows open, lights turned down, and Sung gyu would put together a hearty meal so they could sit down and talk for hours under the moon and stars, about anything and everything as the night stretched out. At times, he was begrudgingly thankful for the rescues that they had to do, for it wasn’t always that they found time to spend together like this, and Minhee despised being the burden that she’d convinced herself to be, although for him, she was nothing but a blessing.

Even on that night, Sung Gyu laid a mat on the patio down to the beach, sat on the steps beside her as she basked under the warmth of the setting son. Hues of lavender and vermillion were stretched along the vast expanse of the horizon, the sun unnaturally wide as it slowly drowned into the blue. The remnants of its shine were reflected in the depths of her eyes, and if he would look closely into them, he would catch a bit of long summers within them.

It's been hours since they last talked about things...important things. Their conversations usually consisted of work, of animals, of research and their students, about their friends, the island, everything but themselves. Only occasionally would Minhee let on anything about herself. She would mention to him about her treatments during her year long remission only in the passing, and not in so many words would he speak of his worries about her. The fact that he had nearly lost her to the god forbidden illness was like a taboo that they had both non verbally agreed to not to bring up onto the surface again, given that long had passed since then. But Sung Gyu had worries, lots of them. He knew that the illness had cost Minhee so much more than the time of her life. A complete hysterectomy had taken so much away from her; the ability to have a romantic relationship, her worries that she wouldn’t be able to function in the same way that all regular women did, about marriage, about love...about children. She had mentioned sometime about children and had laughed about it. She’d jokingly called it a burden that she wouldn’t have, although he knew that her sentiments were far from that. Minhee was a woman of very little words if it was about her feelings. She was one of those odd people for whom dark humor was the only way that they knew to cope. Sung Gyu had never admitted it to her himself, but sometimes, he really hated it, for it only meant that there was so much that she was keeping, stewing inside her. He hated that he was  never one to know. 

“What do you think would happen with the aquarium now?” Minhee asked him after a while. The sun had already set by then, the sky a dull greyish blue as the day turned into dusk. Sung Gyu reached out and turned the lamp on, and its light lingered on her skin.

“There’s very little chance that they’d terminate it” Sung Gyu replied begrudgingly. It was only another headache that’s added up to all the headaches that he already had. “Especially if they’re backed by the city counsel”

“Their mating season is coming soon” Minhee pushed on, referring to the turtles. “Imagine when they finally slide onto the shore, only to find their home destroyed?” She let out a heavy sigh. “Poor babies”

The way that she emphasised on the last word made him smile, and his heart felt like it blossomed. “They’re going to be mums, Minhee, they’re going to have babies”

“Right?” Minhee laughed, glanced over at him, and the look in her eyes killed him a little inside. “I don’t know...they still feel like babies to me”

Sung Gyu could only smile in response. That could be how she dealt with her loss, but in all honesty, it didn’t appear a healthy way to do so. They were endangered animals, and so many are recorded to be killed every year. What would it do to her if, by any means and god forbid, that she came across one of them that had already passed? What then?

“You’re thinking that I’m weird, I can see it all over your face” Minhee commented in his silence, and he realised, only then, that he could have been gazing at her with a different look on his face, one that he was unable to imagine might have made him look like.

“I think you’re perfectly fine” Sung Gyu replied gently, with a smile. Then he reached out and grabbed the bottle of wine that they had abandoned for all this time. “But I also think that it's time that you started seeing somebody”

He had thought about it so many times before he decided that it was time that he talked about it. Not necessarily about himself; he would never have the courage to admit the way that he felt towards her. But it had now come to a point that Minhee really did need someone to keep her grounded, someone that could understand her, keep her in check, someone that could hold her, kiss her and love her, someone that could do everything that he couldn’t do for her. Minhee’s life was slowly but definitely changing. Despite the few restrictions, she still deserved  to have a normal life, a life where she could be accepting of her differences and still live with it. Where she could finally find happiness again.

Minhee gave him an odd little smile, her eyes glistening, and accepted the glass of wine that he handed over to her. “What made you think of that?” She raised her brows and held her glass up in the air. “Wait...was it the turtles? Was it Dubu?”

“They’re a part of it,” Sung Gyu sincerely admitted. “But there’s also more”

“Like?” She pushed on.

“Like the fact that you’re barely living your life” Sung Gyu went on, had a slug of his drink and kept his glass aside. “You’re done with your Phd, and work is finally slowing down, right? Maybe it's time that you look at...other aspects of life as well…”

Sung Gyu thought that his honest thoughts would upset her, that she would find offence in his words. But instead, he earned himself a quiet laughter and a gentle push against his arm. “You’re one to talk” She said, disapprovingly shaking her head. “You were done with yours ages ago. You're turning thirty three in three days...and yet here you are”

“My case is…” He started and let out a heavy sigh. Her implications were right, he couldn’t lie. “...different” He finished at the end. “Besides I’m pretty much married to my work. I can hardly think of anything else”

“Why does it sound like an excuse to me?” 

Sung Gyu looked over at her, feeling genuinely caught out. He didn’t think he was ever that transparent with his emotions. He could only feel relief when he realised her gaze upon him implied everything else but that. She didn’t know.

“You need to get laid, Sung Gyu, you seriously do” She went on, sounding as if it was a matter so tragic. “I heard from Dong Woo that you talk to Hotteokkie even in your sleep”

He felt his ears warming up, although he dismissed it with laughter. He couldn’t say that it wasn’t true. In his quiet and secluded neighbourhood, away from the general hustle and bustle of the harbour and the small island life, all Sung Gyu did have in his house was the dwarf shark swimming rounds in his tank all day. He did talk to it...quite too often than he could admit. But he was pretty sure that his and Minhee’s case were very different from each other.

Silence fell between them for a while, and both of them gazed out at the ocean, at the tranquility of it as the sound of the waves lingering upon the shore dominated the quietness. It somehow quietened down the loudness of their own thoughts. Minhee’s unreadable, her eyes giving nothing to go by, as his own thoughts were wrapped all around her. There were many thoughts of her, so many more than he could possibly admit. And as of now, what dominated them all were the thoughts on what she had said earlier that day, which was also the one thing that he was so afraid to bring up again.

“It isn’t that I haven’t thought about it” Minhee said, all of a sudden, her voice cutting into the sound of the waves. “About dating I mean...and you know, about life in general…”

He looked over at her, yet he remained quiet, allowing her to continue. Minhee brought her knees closer to her and rested her arms around them as Sung Gyu leaned against the railing, turning to her to see her better.

“I don’t know….somehow it all just looks so far away. After...what happened, it feels like a life that I had left behind. Besides...nothing is the same anymore, Sung Gyu” She looked over at him as if in emphasis. “You know what I mean, right? None of it is the same anymore. The arrangements, the-the dynamics. And men...they have expectations. They can’t only have a pretty face, a nice body and too much of unnecessary sea knowledge”

He didn’t mean to laugh at that, but the way she worded it made him do so, and she cracked up along with him.

“See, that's what I have, and they need more” She went on once they had calmed down again. “They need a woman that they can settle down with...and maybe have a family with. But with the way things are right now. I can’t grant them any of that, right? I’m like….a broken vessel, you know. I’m broken. And I can’t be fixed”

There was no malice in her words as she said them. Only pain and so much of suppressed concern that she had never let on before. He couldn’t imagine the courage that it must have taken from her to say it all loud to him. While he regretted that he even brought it up to her, a part of him was glad that he had prompted her to finally vent out her worries on him.

“You’re not broken, Minhee” He reasoned out to her and dared not to move closer to gather her into his arms. “And you don’t need to be fixed. You’re perfect as you are...and maybe you’re so much more than those shallow expectations, and maybe there are people who would see you for all of that...you would never know unless you try”

Minhee slowly shook her head. “I’ve...I’ve understood that it's probably not what I would need...you know, romantic relationships…” She sighed heavily and set her glass down by her feet. “Relationships...they would leave me worrying about too many things. And I’m afraid I can’t take all of that mental strain. So I’d just look into -like you said-  other aspects of my life…”

Sung Gyu’s heart picked up pace again, especially seeing the way that she looked at him. “Like?” He asked her, trying to sound nonchalant although that wasn’t how he felt inside at that time. 

“I can’t tell you a lot about it…” She said, looked away and tucked her hair behind her ear. “Not now, at least”

Suddenly, he recalled what she’d said she would tell him in three days. Perhaps it wasn’t something of deep concern after all.

“Is that what you said you’d tell me in three days?” He asked for further clarification.

“Hm?” She looked at him distractedly. “Oh, um, it might be?”

Sung Gyu stared at her for a split of a moment and let out a heavy sigh. “You’re not giving me much to go by”

Minhee laughed, pressing her glass of wine to her lips. “Patience, Sung Gyu, patience”

“I hate not knowing” He returned.

“In three days,” She told him and smiled. “I promised you, didn’t I? In three days”


 

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