Jung Won, who missed the chance to see the young plants, bought a table lamp with a green cover. Although she doesn’t know how the man’s taste is, at least this lamp can solve his problem of not being able to sleep in the dark.
Given the man’s dislike of being around people and being in a pitch-black room, at least this lamp could solve one of his problems. For Jung Won, it’s the host’s job to make her guests feel comfortable. Oh well, it also means that she has to prepare the food twice for that person.
Even though she hated that person so much, couldn’t she also let him eat food that brought allergies and let him die in her house? Anyway, that person really seemed to be the boss of the house.
Geon Hyeong’s office hours are always late at night. Seeing Geon Hyeong who always gets home around 12 at night, Jung Won just realized that making money is not something that is easy for anyone.
“Did you eat?”
“I just ate what I could.”
Geon Hyeong was a bit surprised to see Jung Won still waiting for him until past midnight.
However, even more surprisingly, Geon Hyeong realized that he didn’t mind going through the dark alley to the house, opening the front door, and seeing the room lights still burning brightly when he came home. Plus, Jung Won is still waiting for him with a worried look.
“Why are you eating so little? Should I make you something?”
At first he wanted to say ‘no’ but suddenly his stomach felt very hungry. Come to think of it, he had only eaten a sandwich before chairing the meeting and apparently hadn’t had any dinner. It felt like he had to eat something now so he could sleep well tonight.
After washing his hands, Geon Hyeong immediately sat at the small table in the kitchen.
“Why didn’t you sleep instead of waiting for me? Next time you sleep, it’s okay. I have the key to this house too.”
“Hm, I’m used to this. If one of my family members hasn’t come home, I can’t sleep.”
Jung Won stood with her back to Geon Hyeong while preparing something. When Geon Hyeong thought that it wasn’t bad to live in this house, his cell phone rang softly and he frowned. Not many people dared to call him late at night like this and among those people, all of them were people Geon Hyeong didn’t like.
“Are you kidding me? There is no transfer of information technology. If you can’t handle this negotiation, submit a letter of resignation. I’ll send someone else there.”
A cold aura seemed to come out along with every word.
It was a short and cold conversation.
Oh my. If he’s used to attacking others that coldly over the phone, then he’s pretty patient living in this house too.
The other person who heard his words was trembling with fear. As Jung Won sympathized with the other person on the phone, Jung Won didn’t dare to turn around. His eyes must have been icy cold and laser-sharp.
“Starting tomorrow, I will prepare a special meal for you.”
Trying to break the stiff kitchen atmosphere after Geon Hyeong hung up, Jung Won said casually while taking out eggs from the refrigerator.
“Then, can I just drink coffee in the morning?”
“Coffee is not food. I’ll prepare white rice for you, not rice with beans.”
Geon Hyeong, who just understood the meaning of Jung Won’s words, stared at the back figure of the woman blankly.
Geon Hyeong really didn’t like eating rice other than white rice. He didn’t like the rough taste in his mouth. How does this woman know his appetite? And, why would she go to such trouble?
“You said you have an allergy to brown rice too? We’re all used to eating rice with wheat and peanuts like this, but it can’t be helped.”
“How do you know that?”
Geon Hyeong’s gaze returned cold and sharp, but Jung Won, who was busy serving hot cheese omelets on a plate didn’t have time to notice his expression. Fortunately.
“I asked Jason via e-mail.”
“Why didn’t you ask me directly?”
“If I ask you, will you answer?”
Jung Won snorted softly as if saying ‘I know your nature now’ while turning off the stove.
“Why are you acting like that? Have your feelings for me changed now?”
Before the heat of the omelet that had just been removed from the frying pan could be felt on her face, Jung Won already felt the cold tone of Geon Hyeong’s words behind her back. Jung Won fell silent and turned hee body around. As she expected, Geon Hyeong was looking at her with an icy gaze.
What else could this guy be protesting again? This guy is upset that I didn’t ask him directly and communicated with his friend instead? Jung Won, who had thought that, felt very innocent when she heard Geon Hyeong’s next answer.
“I’m asking, do you want to flirt with me now and become the big mistress of Goryo Group?”
This person really.
He was the one who forced her to live in this house in the first place and now he’s saying something like that, as if he forgot what he did to live in this house. That man was the one who originally asked for help and begged Jung Won. He was also the one who insisted on living in Jung Won’s house.
“Right now what I really want is for you to leave this house quickly. Then, I won’t see you again after that.”
Jung Won was astonished to hear Geon Hyeong’s absurd misunderstanding and replied to him sharply.
Should I not cook for this person? Jung Won suddenly felt unwilling to give away her perfectly cooked omelet. Should I add an extra spoonful of salt to this egg? Ah, no. What wrong did these foods do? Jung Won always believed that she would get punished if she played with food. Jung Won looked at the delicious-looking omelet and frowned.
Geon Hyeong looked at Jung Won like that earnestly.
Jung Won was getting more and more annoyed at Geon Hyeong who was still suspicious.
“I really just don’t want to be stingy with food even if I’m upset with someone. Therefore, if you want to eat this omelet or if you still want to live in this house, you’d better shut up and listen to what I have to say.”
Jung Won scrunched up her waist and lifted her chin after putting the omelet plate on the table. Jung Won didn’t want to spare this man with poor imagination and excessive suspicion. After all, they were in her own house.
“My younger siblings should eat the bean rice so that they won’t be picky eaters. However, since you might die from eating that rice, I made some other rice for you. I’ve also put a table lamp in Sung Won’s room. You don’t like sleeping in a pitch black room, do you? So, you can just use that lamp. Then, I’m really sorry, but I really can’t prepare towels with matching colors in the bathroom. I don’t have enough money to buy such unimportant things. The important thing is that the towel can wipe clean, right? So, for that matter, you should be patient.”
“Shut up, I’m not done talking yet.”
Jung Won glanced sharply as if she really didn’t like it when someone interrupted her. Hearing Jung Won’s frightening threat, Geon Hyeong immediately shut his mouth. He then turned his gaze towards the quickly cooked omelet. The omelet that Jung Won specially prepared for him.
Apparently, this woman is not only in charge of getting rice at the campus cafeteria. That’s right, Jung Won is a nutritionist and chef as well. Come to think of it, so far it seems like there has never been anyone who specifically cooked for him, Geon Hyeong thought.
Is it okay if I just accept this woman’s good intentions? Can I trust her?
In the midst of Geon Hyeong’s suspicion and confusion, Jung Won continued to speak.
“I also can’t arrange the plant pots according to their size because there are plants that don’t really need sunlight and plants that can’t be blocked from sunlight. You have to be patient about that too. Then, if you’re not happy about Sung Won’s messy wardrobe, you can talk to him about it directly. Maybe he’ll listen to you if you explain the importance of organizing his clothes neatly to him. But I can’t guarantee it. Do you understand now?”
Jung Won barely took a breath and said all that in one breath. Then, before Geon Hyeong could respond to the woman’s lecture, Jung Won resumed her speech as if something had been forgotten.
“Oh, yes. Do you want to know why I’m doing this?”
Jung Won finally brought up the point of their conversation that Geon Hyeong had been wanting to know. Geon Hyeong silently waited for Jung Won’s next words.
What excuse will this woman come up with?
“I really, really hate you, but what can I do? After all, now you’re part of this family.”
What an unexpected answer. Family… What a strange word. Geon Hyeong, who was not too familiar with the word ‘family’, raised his eyebrows at the word. Meanwhile, ‘family’ seemed to have a very important and precious meaning to Jung Won. Only then did Geon Hyeong realize what he meant to this woman.
Jung Won is trying to accept Geon Hyeong’s current self. Like the stray cat she picked up on the street, the potted plants someone left her, and her other siblings who are currently living with her. Apparently, she thinks that she ‘picked’ him up. Then, this woman was really sincere this time.
Jung Won really sincerely cooked specially for Geon Hyeong and helped light up the dark night for that man. Without any ulterior motives or intentions.
“Whether we stay for one day or one month, the point is that we live together. Is ‘family’ something strange? Understanding each other, being patient, and adjusting to each other. That’s what family is. Therefore, if there is something you don’t like, you have to be patient.”
“Because we’re family?”
Geon Hyeong gave the answer Jung Won, who was staring at Geon Hyeong blankly, wanted. Then, Jung Won who finally got the answer she wanted, nodded slowly with a satisfied face while looking at Geon Hyeong with surprise mixed with admiration. It turns out that this man can still be told too, Jung Won thought.
“That’s right. It seems that now you understand what I mean. Now don’t complain about what I’ve prepared and please eat. Understood?”
“Will you now also remove the mushroom from my food?”
“This is a house, not a hotel. You should be willing to eat whatever is prepared and survive no matter what. What kind of man are you, so fussy?”
Geon Hyeong was silent, staring at Jung Won who grumbled annoyedly at him for a while. Jung Won looked at him like that and thought something was stuck on her face.
“Why? Didn’t you understand what I said? Or is there something strange on my face?”
“No. I understood. And there’s nothing strange on your face either.”
As if not believing even though Geon Hyeong said there was nothing on her face, Jung Won kept wiping her cheeks. Seeing her like that, Geon Hyeong realized his own mistake for the first time.
That’s right, I should have chosen a woman who doesn’t nag.
“Alright, I plead guilty.”
“Right? Even so, having the courage to admit fault is the attitude of a mature person. Well done.”
Without knowing Geon Hyeong’s intentions, Jung Won smiled happily and praised Geon Hyeong for his attitude.
Geon Hyeong suddenly felt silly and laughed remembering his perfect mistake. It was really like a comedy show. Jung Won looked deeply at Geon Hyeong who couldn’t hold back his laughter and giggled.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“You look so nice when you laugh, why haven’t you laughed all this time?”
Jung Won watched Geon Hyeong’s face intently like someone looking at a new discovery. Since this man always showed a deadpan face, Jung Won realized that he had a perfect forehead and facial proportions.
“You look handsome when you laugh like that. Do you know that?”
Hearing Jung Won’s serious and honest answer, Geon Hyeong cleared his throat softly and turned his face away. Hopefully she won’t notice that his face is a little red, Geon Hyeong thought.
After eating, Geon Hyeong insisted on saying he wanted coffee while Jung Won told him to drink apricot tea instead. If this man who likes to behave arbitrarily drinks coffee in the middle of the night like this, surely he won’t be able to sleep. Inevitably, Geon Hyeong was finally forced to eat the sweet and sour apricot tea with resentment. Even if he said he didn’t like drinking sweet drinks, surely this woman would ignore him.
“When did your parents pass away?”
“When I was 12 years old I think.”
Jung Won tried to remember. Time did make the memory of the wound fade. The phone call in the middle of the night, the waiting room at the hospital, grandma’s tears. It was all still vividly remembered in her mind as if it happened yesterday, but her heart didn’t feel as painful and sad as it did back then.
“Yes. What a horrible memory. If it wasn’t for my grandmother or my uncle, I might not have survived that time.”.
Jung Won muttered softly in a choked voice remembering her grandmother. Her grandmother always did her best for her grandchildren. Had she survived that time, maybe they would have lived together and Jung Won would have taken good care of her. She always felt sad and regretful remembering her grandmother.
“When did your grandmother die?”
“When I was 20 years old. She just left after taking so much trouble to take care of us. When did you come to Korea?”
“Twelve years old,” Geon Hyeong answered briefly and curtly.
“You must have felt happy.”
“Not really. Because no family member is happy to welcome an illegitimate child.”
It seems no one is happy to welcome a child born out of wedlock. Especially among people who are blinded by money.
“Hm, it turns out that we were not very happy when we were 12 years old.”
Although it seems like their childhoods were very different, there are also similarities. Jung Won had to face the world alone back then and so did Geon Hyeong. They looked at each other and smiled slightly realizing that fact.
The spring night was getting late. The fragrance of wild roses carried by the wind infiltrated through the kitchen window and into the house. The sound of frogs that had been loud had disappeared and the world seemed much quieter and calmer that night. Now it was time for them to rest.
“Hurry up and go to sleep. It’s getting late.”
“I’m not sleepy.”
Normally this person would not utter such lighthearted complaints. However, whether it was the night air that affected him, Geon Hyeong unconsciously muttered to himself. The insomnia that seemed to have become a habit in his body made Geon Hyeong unable to sleep easily anywhere.
Jung Won, who was looking at him deeply while thinking about something, then came over to him. Only that woman was visible in Geon Hyeong’s eyes at that moment and her breath was felt on his chest.
Before Geon Hyeong could ask what was wrong, Jung Won stood on tiptoe and stroked Geon Hyeong’s hair. Then, she wrapped her arms around the big man’s body and patted him on the back. Geon Hyeong just stood there stiffly as the petite woman hugged him.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m casting a spell so you can sleep. Now you can definitely sleep.”
“You think I’m your sister?”
“My mom used to do this to me. This way, you’ll definitely get sleepy. You’ll definitely thank my mom in the morning.”
After she finished explaining to Geon Hyeong, she took a step away from him and smiled contentedly.
Seeing that smile, Geon Hyeong knew that tonight he would really sleep well. Geon Hyeong could feel his body heat being sucked up by the woman as she released his embrace. The cold moonlight entered the living room through the windowpane and the cold night breeze began to creep in silently.
Geon Hyeong turned on his desk lamp that night and fell asleep so soundly that he didn’t even notice that morning had come.
When he opened his eyes, bright sunlight penetrated into his room along with the sounds of birds chirping noisily. He didn’t know how long it had been since he slept as soundly as he did that night. He couldn’t even remember how he fell asleep last night.
Later, in the morning Jung Won actually prepared a special white rice for himself at the dining table. Jung Won’s younger siblings stare at the white rice, while one of the cats in the house that came into the kitchen because it smelled the rice – either Goliath or Romeo – stares at Geon Hyeong for a moment and then strokes its face on Geon Hyeong’s leg. The cockatoo in the house also called out ‘hello’ to him.
Being part of this family was really something that was quite confusing for Geon Hyeong. Now, Kim Geon Hyeong and Kang Jung Won have truly become ‘housemates’.
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