Starting her first day as a surgical intern, Minjeong thinks she is the most nervous out of all her competition. It’s bad enough that the hospital was bustling with busy healthcare workers and crying patients, but trying to focus on her assigned resident caused extreme sensory overload that Minjeong thinks she could pass out at any moment.
Minjeong snaps out of her panicked thoughts upon being called. “Y-Yes?”
Her resident surgeon eyed her, up and down, which caused Minjeong to almost shiver in disgust. “Your parents.”
Minjeong’s shoulders deplete. “Yes.” Is all she says.
“They’re impressive. Big shoes to fill.”
Her fellow interns look at her curiously. “Who are your parents?”
“You don’t know who her parents are?” Dr. Lee gives the intern who had asked the question a disappointed look. “If you don’t know who Dr. Kim Taeyeon and Dr. Byun Baekhyun is, then, well, maybe we have to send you back to medical school.”
The intern, whom Minjeong knows as Mark, looks at her with wide eyes. “Your parents—,”
Dr. Lee cuts him off, “yes, they recently won a Nobel peace prize for their incredible research and inventions for the different treatments for all types of heart disease and complications. I’m sure it was in your curriculum.”
Minjeong sighs to herself.
It didn’t even last a day where she didn’t shadow behind her parents achievements. It was stressful enough to just be fresh out of medical school and being a first year intern, but having the whole hospital know who you were, and having to fill in those incredibly big shoes, Minjeong thinks she won’t even survive past a week.
Dr. Lee clasps his hands together, “now, this is one of the top teaching hospitals in the nation. You should be lucky to be here, and also, applaud yourselves for your hard work in reaching this far into your medical careers. Obviously we chose you for a reason. You have a purpose in this hospital. It is to learn and elevate yourselves into being the best surgeon out there for your patients.”
Minjeong sees the determination firing up in her peers, and she wonders where hers was. She was probably too nervous to feel anything else.
“Now that you’ve gotten a proper tour of the hospital. Orientation is in fifteen minutes. Change into the scrubs given to you, and don’t forget your white coats. You are doctors now. Good luck.” Dr. Lee gives all his interns pointed looks, “and do not kill anyone on your first day.”
Dr. Lee walks away, and the interns make their way to the locker room. Minjeong only follows quietly, opening and closing her hands at her sides.
“Your parents are cool.”
Minjeong blinks at the woman who smiled at her too brightly for her liking.
“Y-Yeah, they’re brilliant.”
The woman nods, “I’m Shuhua, by the way. Or,” she looks down and points to her white coat, where her name had been stitched, “Dr. Yeh. But you can call me Shuhua.”
Minjeong nods, “Minjeong.”
“So, Minjeong,” Mark says, midway from putting on his scrub top over his head. “What’s it like having Nobel peace prize winners as parents?”
Minjeong wasn’t too enthusiastic to answer his question. Shrugging, Minjeong finds a bull answer that doesn’t make her parents look like complete hard asses. “Well, their expectations led me to where I am today, so…” Maybe she should have just stuck with one word responses. Minjeong was never good at lying from the get go.
“I bet.” Mark chuckles.
“Hurry up and change, or you’ll be late.”
Minjeong blinks at the firm order from the woman next to her. She eyed her white coat, and it read Dr. Seo Soojin.
Dr. Seo was the first to leave the locker room, tension filling the space as she left. Minjeong found her to be very intimidating as a first impression.
“Don’t worry about her. Soojin is just very serious and passionate about surgery.” Shuhua whispers to her, “not that the rest of us aren’t, but Soojin is just on another level. One might say she has a stick up her , but I say she’s pretty.”
Mark makes a face, “being uptight and being good looking have no correlation to each other.”
Shuhua shrugs, “I’m just saying she’s both, okay.”
Minjeong chuckles, “she reminds me a lot of my mother.”
“Uptight and beautiful?” Shuhua asks.
“Yup.” Minjeong nods.
“You’ve called Dr. Seo beautiful three times already. You better stop unless you want people thinking you have a crush on her.” Mark shakes his head in amusement.
“Please,” Shuhua flicks her hand, “I have her wrapped around my finger. We both graduated from Georgetown and she’s been in love with me since.”
“I find that very hard to believe.” Mark eyes Shuhua suspiciously. “I think you’re delusional.”
Shuhua flips her hair, before following in Soojin’s footsteps towards the conference room.
There were about fifty new interns accepted into the hospital every year out of thousands of newly graduated applicants. It was weird to finally be sitting amongst the top students in the nation, but here Minjeong was.
Heels click against the wood of the stage, and the chit chat immediately ceases when there are two taps on the microphone.
“Good morning, interns.” The woman on the mic greets with a bright smile. “I am Dr. Boa Kwon. To you, it’s Dr. Kwon. I am the chief of surgery at this hospital.” The interns break into a brief applause for her introduction.
“I hope the tour went great this morning, and that your residents didn’t scare you too bad.” Dr. Kwon laughs, “I can assure you, I am even scarier.”
Well, that didn’t calm Minjeong’s nerves.
Suddenly, a heap of people in white coats make their way onto the stage. Dr. Kwon motions to them, “these are your attendings. Be familiar with them. Respect them. They are the best surgeons in the nation.”
Minjeong bounces her eyes from person to person on that stage mindlessly. So these were the people who she’ll be learning—,
Dr. Yu Jimin?
Minjeong raises her gaze from the blue stitched letters on the white coat, and her eyes fall upon a familiar face.
What is she doing here? At this hospital? As a surgeon? An attending?
Her ex? First love? First heartbreak?
“You okay?” Shuhua nudged her and whispered as people started to applaud once more.
Minjeong’s eyes trail after Jimin’s retreating figure from the stage as Dr. Kwon dismisses the attendings.
“I-I… y-yeah.” Minjeong stutters.
Her first day could not have been worse.
But with Minjeong’s luck, she wouldn’t trust it.
“Who’s doing the report?” Dr. Lee eyes his interns, and before Minjeong could even open , Soojin raises her hand, “I’ll do it!”
Minjeong sighs, hands clasped together in front of her. “Alright. We’re just waiting on Dr. Yu to come in.”
Minjeong’s eyes widened when Dr. Yu Jimin walks into the room looking busy and hasty, until she lays eyes on the patient, and that’s when she settles into a bright friendly smile.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Yu. I’ll be performing your heart surgery tomorrow morning.” Jimin introduces herself, shaking her patient’s hand.
Minjeong slowly slides to her right, not making it so obvious that she was trying to keep out of sight.
Mark, side eyes her, “what are you doing?” He whispers, and he tries to move away, but Minjeong holds him in place. “Don’t move.” Minjeong pleads.
“Who’s doing the report?” Jimin asks, looking at the interns.
Soojin raises her hand again, and Minjeong focuses on the report, rather than her stupid ex being in the same room as her. In the same hospital. In the same damn city.
When they dated, Minjeong already had her future planned, and she was very vocal about how it would go. Jimin was a part of Minjeong’s future, but it seems that Jimin had not wanted Minjeong in hers.
The break up was very abrupt to Minjeong, breaking her heart into a million pieces. She was so sure Yu Jimin would be her first and last of everything. As cliche as that sounded, but then, to Minjeong, Jimin had been her everything.
“Who’s assisting me alongside Dr. Lee?” Jimin had asked once they had left the patient’s room. Minjeong was in the back of the group, staying as hidden as she could.
“I haven’t decided yet.” Dr. Lee says, “but there should be some pretty good candidates.”
“I’ll do it!” Soojin pipes.
Jimin glances at her for a split second, before her gaze bounces to the other interns. “You have four to choose from, Dr. Lee.”
“Actually, there’s five.”
Jimin blinks in surprise, “oh. I almost missed you. Dr…um?…” she trailed off, trying to peek at the hidden body behind Mark.
Minjeong shuts her eyes closed, bracing herself. “Dr. Kim, what are you doing?” Her resident asks with a stern voice. She wills herself to step out from behind a flustered Mark, keeping her head down at her toes.
“Dr. Kim…” Jimin says, eyes reading the stitches on her white coat, “Minjeong?”
Minjeong’s heart stops.
“Kim Minjeong?” There it was again.
“Yeah,” Dr. Lee quips, “you must know her as the daughter of Dr. Kim Taeyeon and Dr. Byun Baekhyun.”
Taking a deep breath in, Minjeong finally raises her head to meet Jimin’s gaze. She hopes her attempt to appear unfazed and confident was successful because internally, Minjeong’s insides were exploding and it was very nauseating.
Jimin doesn’t show any reaction.
“Yes, how else would I know her?” Jimin says monotonously. “Your parents are brilliant. I’m sure you tire of hearing those words.”
Minjeong dips her chin in agreement, a sour feeling in her chest.
Jimin held her gaze, but Minjeong could not seem to read her. It was blank. Then again, it’s been almost a decade since she’s last seen Jimin.
“Well,” Their eyes parted and Jimin was addressing Dr. Lee again, “I’m looking forward to whoever will assist me. I’m sure you’ll pick a good one, Dr. Lee.”
Without another glance Minjeong’s way, Jimin walks away to her next assignment. Her heart drops as her eyes trail after Yu Jimin.
“What was that about?” Mark whispers to her, following after Dr. Lee to their next patient.
“Nothing.” Minjeong dismisses.
“That was not nothing. Do you know Dr. Yu?” Mark questions, and then a pause, before he gasps. “History? What kind of history? A bad one? A good one? I mean she is hot, I would—,”
Minjeong shuts her eyes, “Mark, please do not finish that sentence. That’s totally inappropriate.”
Mark pouts, “okay, okay.”
“Also, we just met, Mark. I don’t think we have that kind of relationship where I am comfortable sharing my life story just yet.” Minjeong shrugs her shoulders, mouth thinning to a line in hopes she didn’t hurt his feelings.
“So there is a history.” Mark snaps.
Minjeong sighs, only shaking her head, and not bothering to deny or agree to that statement.
Cracking her neck from side to side, Minjeong drags her feet towards the on-call room. She’s at her thirteenth hour of her first shift as an intern, and her body feels like it was about to collapse.
She pushes the door open, and her eyes widened in surprise to see Yu Jimin on top of another woman.
Minjeong yelps, immediately covering her eyes. The two turned their heads to see where the sudden noise had come from.
“Minjeong?” Jimin breaths out.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t—, I’ll just leave!” Minjeong doesn’t take her hands off of her eyes, rushing out of the room and closing the door shut behind her.
Breathing heavily, Minjeong sees Soojin staring at her with heavy judgment in her eyes.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“N-Nothing.” Minjeong stutters, “b-but all the beds in here are full, so…”
Soojin snorts, “I don’t need sleep.”
Minjeong frowns as she watches Soojin walk away.
Before she could walk away and find another place to get a break, the door opens behind her. Minjeong twirls around to meet Jimin, fully dressed and not on top of anyone.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t—,” Minjeong tries to apologize again, “I didn’t mean to walk in on you and—,” she motions towards the door, but realizes she doesn’t even know who the other woman was. “I apologize, Dr. Yu.”
Jimin shakes her head, “it’s fine. I forgot to lock the door. It’s my fault.”
Minjeong’s lips form into a line, avoiding Jimin’s intense gaze. Why was she looking at her like that?
“Well, if there isn’t anything else, I’ll get going, Dr. Yu.”
She doesn’t make it past the corner, when Minjeong hears, “it’s nice to see you again, Minjeong.”
After Jimin had pretended not to know her, she was saying this?
Minjeong scoffs, and chooses not to acknowledge Jimin’s words, walking away.
She doesn’t realize her teeth were clenched, and her hands were fisted at her side. Not until Mark looks at her with a raised brow, as if she was crazy.
“Who made you mad?” Mark asks, “was it the patient in 102? Yeah, he’s rude. He called me a ?” He looks offended, shrugging his shoulders, “like what does that even mean? I was just trying to clean his damn wound—,”
Minjeong huffs, “I’m not mad.”
Mark stops his blabbering, “was it Dr. Yu? I saw her flirting with Nurse Ryujin earlier and you were—,”
“Mark,” Minjeong raises her hands to her temple, “stop pretending like you know anything about me.”
The man doesn’t seem to find offense in her frustrations. “But I do know a lot about you. Your family literally has a Wikipedia page. The only thing I don’t know is what happened in the past between you and Dr. Yu—,”
A gasp comes from behind Minjeong, making her jump. “Something happened between you and Dr. Yu?” Shuhua tries her best to whisper.
Minjeong gives Mark a stern look. “No. Nothing happened.”
Mark clicks his tongue, “but they know each other. It’s obvious. I can psychoanalyze people so well.”
“Maybe you should be a psychiatrist then.” Minjeong says sarcastically, walking away from the conversation.