Jae-hee desperately lifted the corners of her mouth. She tried hard to make a nonchalant face. Jung-hoo didn’t take his eyes off her face.
Jung-hoo’s phone vibrated. When he saw the number, he sensed that he had to answer the call. It was a call from his home.
The car quickly stopped in front of Jung-hoo’s villa. He opened the door, let Jae-hee out, and got back in the car.
“Wait at home.”
The phone started ringing again. He glanced at Jaehee who was standing in front of the villa without answering. He answered the persistent phone call. With a cold tone, he gestured for Jaehee to go inside.
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
He was firm and it seemed like not even a needle could get through. If she didn’t go inside, it seemed like he wouldn’t start the car. Jaehee turned her back and walked away, and only then did she hear the sound of Junghoo’s car starting.
“Are you okay?”
The security guard at the villa asked Jaehee, who was standing still outside. Junghoo told her to wait. And he said he would definitely end this relationship. It’s much faster than expected. A few days were enough to make his house familiar. If she went in, how would she leave?
Jaeheei fiddled with the ring on her left ring finger with her right hand. The texture of the diamond, polished to perfection, felt cold on her fingertips. She took a deep breath and got on the elevator after hesitating for quite some time.
As soon as she opened the door, warm air that was noticeably different from her own home greeted her. Warmer heating since she arrived. The coziness that enveloped her whole body was indescribable. It felt like Jeonghu was in that warmth.
The living room was still covered in shopping bags. In addition, the items she bought during the day were piled up there. Jaehee hurriedly took off her necklace, earrings, and finally her ring. She put them on the bedside table, the most visible spot, afraid of losing expensive items.
She didn’t want to take anything away, but the clothes she wore when she arrived here were nowhere to be seen. Eventually, she found the clothes she wore today that the department store had sent. A blue checkered warmer was also inside.
She hesitated for a moment before taking it out and placing it on the dining table. It was the only item of Jeonghoo’s here.
Her hands went back and forth on the soft muffler.
Then Jaehee came to her senses and neatly organized the shopping bags on one side of the living room. Since they were unused items, she thought she could get a refund. She vacuumed the entire house without a speck of dust and washed the sheet that was left in the bathtub and hung it out on the veranda. Her pretty manicured nails were chipped in several places.
She wanted to erase her traces as much as possible and leave. The only thing she had to take with her was an old phone. When she put the phone in her coat pocket and consciously didn’t look back, her eyes were drawn to the warmer on the table. My hand reached out and grabbed the end of the warmer without thinking.
“….It’s cold outside.”
Maybe I can’t even remember who gave me this.
Justifying taking someone else’s belongings and comforting herself, Jaehee eventually turned it over. The faint scent of Jeonghu that remained made my heart flutter.
“It’s me, Young-joo.”
The phone contained personal contacts of Jaewon, her aunt, and Young-joo, in addition to the company she worked for. When she called Young-joo for the first time in a while, she heard a voice that greeted her warmly. Her own voice sounded hoarse as if something was stuck in her throat. She spoke with a voice that could barely manage a greeting.
“Sorry. Can I come to where you live?”
“I’m on my way home now. Come quickly! It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other, right?”
“I don’t have money for a taxi.”
“Just come. You know the address, right? Call me again 5 minutes before you arrive.”
Young-joo didn’t ask why Jae-hee didn’t have money to pay for a taxi. She didn’t even ask about the fact because she knew Jae-hee wasn’t the type to take taxis in the first place, but she simply invited her to come.
When Jae-hee barely made it to the entrance, it felt like the entire house was clinging to her back, telling me not to go. She clenched the phone in her pocket tightly.
It’s nothing. I’m just returning to where I should have been.
Her resolution to not have any expectations was shattered as she ended up relying on Junghoo and fell apart. It made her feel like a complete failure in front of Junghoo whom she had put her hopes on.
For not despising me.
On the contrary, she was grateful that he embraced her tightly and that it left no room for any thoughts.
Once my mind is clearer from debts, I will repay him by showing a face that won’t waver even in his presence.
When she gets tired of life again and feels suffocated with no reason to smile, her expression will naturally disappear, and Junghoo won’t be able to see my face that’s covered in regret.
For the first time, she was grateful for her expressionless face.
She forcibly removed her feet which felt like they were stuck. It was a snowy day, and she had a good dream that she didn’t want to wake up from.
Translator’s note: Follow the link to discover more enthralling stories today.
The next chapter will be updated on April 22, 2023, Saturday.
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