The Rest of the TripStory of Us
Daeun put down her chopstick and leaned to the wall beside her, she turned to Jinjoo “Still no answer from Seyeon?”
The tiniest of three shook her head, she looked at the man in front of her who was still finishing his food in silence, “How about Jongin?”
Kyungsoo sighed, “I think we should assume that all royal family members to be off the grid for their own safety.”
Daeun nodded, “That makes sense.”
Jinjoo swirled the seafood stew in her bowl, “What kind of trip is this? We rented a big caravan, complete with its own kitchen, but barely use it. We should have just stayed in Seoul and go to a seafood restaurant instead.”
Daeun placed her hand on Jinjoo’s shoulder, “You know that Seyeon and Jongin didn’t mean to bail on us.”
“I know,” Jinjoo sighed, “I do feel bad for the accident that happened to the crown prince family, but I just can’t help to be annoyed by the timing.”
“Any updates between the reporters?” Kyungsoo asked.
“Not much, the fact that it was a car accident couldn’t be covered up, because there were a lot of witnesses,” Daeun replied, “There is still no official statement yet, but my team have stayed in the office the whole night to get the most recent update. So, we will know soon enough.”
“Don’t forget that it is inhumane to force a family to give statement in the moment of grief and uncertainty,” Jinjoo said while taking a sip of water without looking up.
“Hey! The public deserve to know the truth!” Daeun’s tone seems to have risen.
“How would you feel when your uncle’s whole family got into accident, and you don’t have to only worry about their wellbeing but also the cameras, recorders and hundreds of questions bombarded to your face, when you also still couldn’t process everything that was happening?” Jinjoo faced Daeun.
“Guys, I think it would be wise to lower your voice,” Kyungsoo warned.
“Isn’t that the reason we still pay taxes to them?” Daeun responded, ignoring the man sitting across the table.
Jinjoo gasped, “Coincidentally, two of your friends are part of them, in case you forgot.”
The owner of the restaurant came to their table, “If you are just going to disturb my business you better just leave!” she scolded.
Kyungsoo approached the owner and tried to calm her down, “Auntie, please don’t be mad, we’re done with our food anyway,” he signaled Jinjoo and Daeun to put their shoes on and leave the restaurant, “Should we go to the register and pay?” he smiled at the owner.
When Kyungsoo came out from the restaurant, he was greeted with their friends' back. They stood at least two meters away, not talking to each other. Kyungsoo took out his hands from his pocket and wrapped his arms on each of his friends’ neck, “Should we go back now?” he said while dragging the group back to where the rented transportation was parked. He knew, this was going to be a long and awkward journey back.
❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧
Kyungsoo always had good instinct, however this time he wished that it was not true. For one hour and a half he tried to make conversation with either of the women or simply lighten up the mood, and he still has not been able to achieve his goal.
Jinjoo sat beside him as navigator, while Daeun sat on the sofa in the kitchen. The only sound filling the big vehicle was the random songs on the radio, when the ringtone in Daeun’s phone was heard. “Sehun?”
The one name they had not talk to in a while gained the attention of the people sitting in the front of the caravan. “Can you put Seyeon on the phone? I tried to reach her, but she is not reachable.”
“She is not with us,” Daeun replied. Jinjoo turned to look at her friend.
“Aren’t you guys on a trip together?” Sehun asked.
Daeun sighed, “We were, but the royal guard took them away as soon as the news were out last night.”
Jinjoo patted Kyungsoo’s shoulder and walked to the kitchen, she sat beside Daeun and signaled her to turn on the speaker.
“Did they tell you anything before the left?”
“No, we only knew they news after they were taken away,” Jinjoo intercepted.
And loud thud was heard from the other end of the telephone, the girls could only assume that Sehun hit something.
“Calm down Hun, nothing happened to Seyeon and Jongin,” Daeun tried to reassure Sehun.
“Jongin and Seyeon suddenly taken away heavily guarded is not nothing, Shim Daeun,” Sehun reasoned.
Jinjoo and Daeun looked at each other in horror, “Of- of course it was only for precautions,” Daeun answered.
“Yeah, it was late, and they… they were long way from Seoul. Of course, it would be saver if they were guarded,” Jinjoo added.
“Shim Daeun, you should learn to lie better if you want to be the best journalist,” Sehun groaned, “And if you want to be taken seriously by the hospital’s board members, you should sound firmer with your statements miss Ha Jinjoo. Tell Kyungsoo ‘hi’ from me,” Sehun hanged up the phone before anyone could respond.
Jinjoo looked like she would be breaking down anytime soon, Daeun scooted over and hugged the smaller girl. “Everything is going to be okay. They would not let anything harm the royal family,” she rubbed her hand on the girl’s back.
Jinjoo starred at Daeun, “I’m sorry for what I said before.”
“I am not faultless anyway. I do admit, sometimes journalist can be very persistent and not considering the subject of their story,” Daeun lips formed a thin line, “I tried so hard not to be one of them.”
Jinjoo held Daeun’s hand, “You admitting that you are wrong is an indicator you are not one of them. At least, you know the right thing to do.”
Daeun’s phone beeped once again, the unique tone indicating it was work related. She checked her phone, and she did not move, “Is everything alright Eun?” Jinjoo asked.
“What’s happening back there?” Kyungsoo yelled.
“Just focus on driving us safely!” Jinjoo ordered, she encouraged for the journalist to talk.
“I just got news that the crown prince, crown princess and grand heir have passed away,” Daeun answered.
The caravan came to a slow stop, Kyungsoo took off his seatbelt and ran to the kitchen, he took Daeun’s phone that showed her work thread. After reading the whole conversation, his leg gave out and he plopped on the floor right beside Jinjoo. The group stayed in that position for a while, until Daeun’s phone rang once again, “Director Min?”
Daeun listened carefully to the Di