CH 14

Name:Reunion Author:
Clack. When I heard the sound of ice hitting the glass, I opened my eyes. I must have drifted off again while reading a book on the living room sofa. Jang Yoonsung placed an iced tea on the table, chuckled as if surprised to see me, and plucked the strands of hair that were all over my face.

“Madam, wipe your saliva please.”

“Sheesh…I don’t drool, okay?”

Still, I rubbed the back of my palm across my mouth just in case. I looked up at him and confidently stretched once I was certain there was none remaining around my mouth.

“Why didn’t you just use a pillow and sleep here?”

Jang Yoonsung handed me the glass of iced tea, as if to tease me. Because there wasn’t a day or two to fall asleep while reading, I put the cup to my mouth. I felt like I was waking up as the refreshing and sweet beverages passed down my throat.

We spent more time in the same space as we grew more comfortable with one other, even when there was nothing spectacular to do. Jang Yoonsung sat next to me in the living room and read a book or scribbled something in his notebook while I messed around watching TV. So I switched off the TV to make it quiet because I didn’t want to annoy him, but he was reading…no, nodding off.

“Are you bored? Should we go out?”

Jang Yoonsung sat next to me with his own ice tea and asked. Books were neatly piled up in the corner of the table as they were finished reading.

“No, it’s too hot today.”

On days when I had a lot of energy, I’d go down to the lower neighborhood, but there were days when I couldn’t tolerate the heat. Wearing a long-haired wig in the hot weather was more physically demanding than I had anticipated. Jang Yoonsung hummed and pretended to be concerned when I shook my head. He made a new recommendation despite the fact that he was under no obligation to alleviate my boredom.

“Then do you want to try playing the piano? I’ll teach you.”

It was an unexpected but enticing suggestion. When I couldn’t get over my ennui, I’d press the keys on the piano one by one, and Jang Yoonsung would come over and play it for me. It was enjoyable to close my eyes and listen, but there were times when I wished I could make a sound with my fingers.

“Does it take a long time to learn?”

The day left that I could stay were only 15 days. If it would be good for nothing then it would be better not to start.

“There are a few songs that you can learn quickly.”

Jang Yoonsung replied with a confident face as if he had become a teacher with great know-how. I gulped down my iced tea at once and got up from the sofa.

“Then let’s get to it, quickly.”

We sat side by side in piano chairs. Jang Yoonsung did not even think about opening the score but instead unfolded the index fingers of his two hands, as if for me to copy.

“Now, give me your fingers.”


The hand was still one of the parts I didn’t want to show to Jang Yoonsung. I could cover my body shape to a certain extent with clothes but I couldn’t do anything about my hands.

When I hesitated, Jang Yoonsung forcibly grabbed my hand.

“It’s not that I will look at your fingers for a day or two so just lend it to me. Don’t bother, okay?”

Jang Yoonsung still seemed to think that I was hiding my hand because of the wound. Doesn’t he think of anything when he looks at my hands? I looked at my side and stretched my fingers as I was told. Jang Yoonsung told me to tighten my fingers, before he grabbed my wrist and started moving. It was not a splendid sound that Jang Yoonsung was playing, however two notes that harmonized and rang in my ears.

DunDunDun…DunDunDun…It was a song that girls used to play on the reed organ in front of the classroom when they were young. The celebrated Chop Waltz. The sound was nice but I laughed because it was funny to see Jang Yoonsung holding my fingers like a xylophone.

“Don’t laugh and memorize it properly.”

Jang Yoosung, who said so, already had a smile on his face. As Jang Yoonsung said, it was an easy song that could be memorized quickly. But knowing how that song was completed, I twisted my hands and got out of his grip. A quizzical glance followed.

“Teach me something other than this.”


“It’s a song two people would have to play.”

It was a song that I wouldn’t be able to play after I left that place. I didn’t want to learn anything liek that. There were already too many things that couldn’t be repeated.

“I think this is better to play alone.”

Jang Yoonsung’s glaring gaze caught my face. No matter how much I looked at it, Jang Yoonsung looked unhappy but after a while, he played another song. Why didn’t he persist and ask me anything?

“How about this?”


“Then put your finger here.”

Perhaps, because the end was literally coming, Jang Yoonsung seemed to have given up now. Anyway, he was also in a position to return to the United States after the summer. For a long time we only tapped the keys silently. Jang Yoonsung opened his mouth when I was about to follow along like he taught me, clumsily.

“I don’t think you’re going to tell me anything…”

He continued, tapping the piano keyboard with meaningless gestures.

“I just decided to do as I please. So you do the same.”

It was an unintelligible remark. However, Jang Yoosung got up from his seat without adding any kind explanation unlike usual. What are you going to do as you please? I wanted to ask but I didn’t want to. While I was hesitating, Jang Yoonsung entered his room.


A few days later, Chairman Jang was suddenly hospitalized, saying he was not feeling well. I didn’t feel good about it either, perhaps because I already had a sick family member or I already grew too attached to Chairman Jang than I expected.

“I am being hospitalized because I didn’t go for a checkup for so long. It isn’t a bi\g deal, so don’t worry.”

Jang Yoonsung arthur comforted me calmly. However, it was a bitter voice as if he was placating himself. Silence reigned in the lively space for a while.

Chairman Jang returned to the villa after four days. At the sound of the car coming in, we ran out to the front door wearing slippers. Chairman Jang, who had come in a wheelchair, had a weak expression but burst into laughter looking at us.

“Oh my, you guys. You’re not kids. If I knew you would welcome me like this, I should have bought some candy.”

Still, Chairman Jang guffawed out loud several times as if the enthusiastic welcome was not bad.

“Grandpa, are you okay now?”

“Yes, yes, it’s because my Jiyoung was too worried. Let’s go in.”

He said he was okay but his face was much worse than before. Jang Yoonsung came out with a calm face and followed Chairman Jang inside. Chairman Jang entered the villa, asked his secretary to call Jang Myeongsoo and then gestured to me. He said he had something to say.

“Will you really take that boy as your partner?”

It would have been easier to answer without Jang Yoonsung there. I looked at Jang Yoonsung’s face once and nodded. Whatever my heart was, I should say yes to the answer, even if I was being half sincere. I was shy however if I were a girl, I wouldn’t be able to help but like Jang Yoonsung.

“Of course.”

Chairman Jang nodded in relief. He called me again with an apologetic look.



“I don’t think I will much longer.”

Mom suddenly came to my mind as she spoke in a resigned voice. The voice that told me that her body had such a disease but she said, “Mom is okay.” Tears welled up in my eyes. I strained my eyes and bit my trembling lips. No, I couldn’t say anything even though I had to say that he could live longer. Chairman Jang continued, stroking my hand as if he was okay.

“So…can you stay here a little longer?”

Just a little bit more…I wanted to forget this and that and nod. However, I was in a position where I could even decide on my own because I wasn’t really Han Jiyoung. If I failed to answer hastily, only the disappointment would grow in Chairman Jang.

Instead of answering, I squeezed Chairman Jang’s hand. Chairman Jang did not rush to answer, perhaps because my feelings were being conveyed. He left a message for me to think about it slowly and headed to the room saying that he would rest. Jang Yoonsung also dissuaded his Secretary’s help, saying that he would take him to his room. Jang Yoonsung didn’t come out for a long time, and it might have been because he had a lot to talk about and take care of.

Jang Myeongsoo, who had been contacted in the afternoon, arrived at the villa as soon as the sun set. Unlike him, he seemed to have come in a hurry. Although he was deceiving his father to take care of his own interests, he seemed to be worried about his father who had been to the hospital.

As we bowed our heads and greeted each other, Jang Myeongsoo gestured with his hands as if it was enough for now and headed to Chairman Jang’s room.

Will Chairman Jang talk about me staying here? What will Jang Myeongsoo answer? My nerves were all on edge as I looked at the room but Jang Yoonsung was reading a book in a disinterested posture as if he was not interested.

“Jiyoung, see me for a second.”

Even though Jang Yoonsung’s father called me, Jang Yoonsung didn’t even look at me with any question.

Going to the corner room on the second floor, Jang Myeongsoo left his secretary outside as usual and went inside. He took out his cigarette and asked, just like when brought the talk of the fake marriage. As far as I knew, he wasn’t a heavy smoker. It was just like smoking when doing something you do something you don’t like. The man who was just puffing his cigarette silently in front of a person, shook off his ashes once before opening his mouth.

“Your mother is in the middle of fighting a disease.”


When he first visited me and asked me to be Han Jiyoung, he brought it up first. It was a reminder of my situation in need of money.

“Are you getting treatment well?”

There wasn’t much that could be said about the treatment. When Jang Yoonsung said he woudl cooperate with the fake engagement, Jang Myeongsoo handed over some of the promised money in advance. Thanks to that, I succeeded in buying the expensive medicine, but I didn’t even know how my mother and Gunwoo were doing because I was there at the villa. When I was hesitating, Jang Myeongsoo burned his cigarette a little more and opened his mouth first.

“The Chairman says he wants you to stay here a little longer.”

“Yes, I heard about it.”

“You must know, it’s not that simple.”

I nodded. The longer I stayed here, the greater the probability of being caught and the greater responsibility Jang Myeongsoo would have. Even worse was that Chairman Jang’s health was getting worse. It was clear that not only Jang Myeongsoo but also I would not be able to handle the guilt if Chairman Jang collapsed by holding the back of his neck in shock.

Jang Myeongsoo smirked as he examined my face. He was comfortable because I understood what he was saying, well enough.

“Let me give you a suggestion. I’ll triple the money if you stay here longer provided that you are not caught. But if you fail, you will receive nothing. What do you think? If you’re not confident, just do it until this month.’

Jang Myeongsoo’s money was going to be my mother’s hospital bill. Gambling for my mother’s life. When I glared, Jang Myeongsoo continued talking again as if he had forgotten to mention something.

“ Of course, while you stay here, our hospital will take care of your mother. It guarantees the best treatment, the best medical staff. It doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to do your best not to be caught like you’ve doing.”

A person like Jang Myeongsoo didn’t put forward such a condition because he didn’t waste the money he would give me. Now, it was a good thing to succeed and if it failed, it was not inevitable. For his own business, for his father. Therefore, he would have asked me for that much determination.

Chairman Jang had no doubt about me. Jang Yoonsung knew I was a fake but I was cooperative. In addition, Jang Yoonsung was scheduled to return to the United States after the vacation. As Jang Myengsoo said, it was not a difficult task.

Nevertheless, something kept getting caught inside me because I had to keep lying. I nodded my head, trying to ignore the anxiety that was hanging over me.

“I’ll do it.”

Jang Myeongsoo didn’t laugh even though I gave the intended answer. In other words, we promised to serve each other’s parents sincerely.

“Then I’ll take your word for it.”

Jang Myengsoo rubbed his cigarette off the ashtray and grabbed the door handle as if he was about to leave first. Jang Myeongsoo paused while opening the door.

“But Yoonsung…nevermind, it’s nothing.”

He shook his head as if to shrug off the dubious part and left the room.