[Guilty Pleasure – Chapter 7]
“Today was your birthday..?” Jo Kwon said softly while looking straight into her soft chocolate brown eyes. His gaze was sincere; awaiting a reply.
His soft gaze made her heart beat faster and she knew it at that moment. Her heart has never felt that already for the past three years- the adrenaline rush when you see someone that makes your heart wants to explode but you don't understand what you're feeling and at the same time you don't want this feeling to end.
She has fallen in love. Fallen in love with somebody she should not have; somebody that is bound to become someone else’s husband in a month.
Please don’t look at me that way…Please don’t.
Her expression hardened. Ga In averted her eyes to avoid anymore eye contact with him. She can’t promise anything with another second of looking at him.
“You better get home fast. It’s getting late. Thank you for today.” Ga In muttered softly.
After saying her piece, she closed the door behind her, leaving Jo Kwon still standing in front of her house.
Gush of tears that she has been holding back starts to down like a flowing stream. Slowly, she sat down behind the door and starts to sob uncontrollably. She hugs her knees and her eyeliners were smudged once again, dirtying her legs.
She knew she was wrong and blamed her own self for everything. Why her heart has to start feeling all over again after meeting him? Why her heart has to learn to beat again after meeting him? Why her heart didn’t continue to be numb?
Due to her bad past, getting into relationship was at the most bottom of her wish list. She didn’t want to suffer like her mum did; enduring all the pain caused by the person you love the most. Her heart was numb and nothing could make them beat abnormally until she met Jo Kwon.
She knew if she didn’t withdraw herself from the mess soon, she would be having a hard time coming out from the dungeon she has just fallen into. Although she comes from a broken family, she didn’t wish to become the reason of somebody else’s broken marriage. That was not her initial objective of becoming a wedding planner.
She wiped away her black tears and braced herself up. Living independently for three years have taught herself how to stand up from where she has fallen.
Finish the project and you’ll stop seeing him. Everything’s just temporary. It would be over soon.
Jo Kwon left the building with many questions in his mind. He hopped into his car and drives way. On the way back, he couldn’t concentrate much on the road because the image of that look that Ga In gave him before leaving burned in his mind, filling up his mind.
Soon, he reached home just after midnight. Quietly, he stepped into the house and what greets him breaks his heart. Lizzy is sleeping by the living room; waiting for his return.
Slowly, he approached Lizzy and crouched beside her. Jo Kwon shook her gently.
Lizzy was quickly awakened by Jo Kwon’s soft voice. She rubbed her weary eyes and sit up on the couch.
“Why did you wait for me? Didn’t I tell you not to?” Jo Kwon took the sit beside Lizzy.
Lizzy just smiled at Jo Kwon’s nagging. “Oppa, had a good time with Seul Ong oppa?”
“…Yea.” He answered briefly. “I think I better go and wash up now. Aren’t you going home? It’s late already you know. I don’t want omoni to worry about you.” Jo Kwon raised his concern at his fiancée.
“Alright, alright.” Lizzy nodded with a smile on her face.
“See you, dear.” Jo Kwon gave Lizzy a peck on the forehead before walking back to his room.
Quickly, he took off his clothing and leaves it on the edge of his bed. He entered the hot shower and indulged himself in the hot shower. The hot drizzles of water that splattered on his face cleared his head for a little.
He couldn’t believe himself that he actually lied to Lizzy about going to Ga In’s house, to his surprise; a birthday dinner, having Ga In crying on his shoulder, listening to her sad past and accompanying someone he barely knows till midnight. And most importantly, he found himself lying a lot recently. He wasn’t like this before; not until he met her, his wedding planner. He hates the idea and slowly the feeling of guilty creeps up on him.
Outside the bathroom, Lizzy creaked open his room door and walked in. She wanted to help Jo Kwon cleaned up a little before leaving. She saw the pile of dirty clothing at the edge of the bed and automatically, like a virtuous housewife she collects Jo Kwon’s clothing to bring it out to the laundry room. While picking up his working tee, she saw black smudges on the upper left of the shirt.
How could smudges like his get onto the shirt when he just go to have a drink with Seul Ong? She tried wiping the black smudge off but to no avail. Shaking off the thought, she brings the clothes out of the room and closed the door behind her. She placed the dirty clothing in the laundry room before leaving.
Jo Kwon was busy looking through the patients file when his silent mode phone vibrated; signaling an incoming call. It was from Perfect Match.
“Hello? Is this Mr. Jo?” A woman’s voice on the other line - clearly it was Ga In.
“Would you be free today? Can you make a trip down over here because we need to discuss some final details about the venue?”
“I think I can come together with my fiancée. Maybe around lunch time…?”
“You are coming together with Ms Lizzy? That’ll be great. Today we are choosing the wedding attire.”
“Sure. I’ll let her know.”
Jo Kwon came out of the changing room first, wearing a pearl white tuxedo. He walked over to the body length mirror and looked himself at the mirror. Ga In, who was sitting by the couch near the changing room, stood up and approached Jo Kwon.
“Wow…You look great.” Ga In complimented.
Still looking at his own reflection, Jo Kwon smiled at the praise. Ga In looked at Jo Kwon through the reflection and smiled. Then she noticed the missing bowtie on his neck.
“Let me get a bowtie for you.” Ga In walked over to the table and chose a light pink bowtie for him.
She walked back to Jo Kwon and started tying the bowtie for him. Jo Kwon didn’t resist the help and just stood there like a lamp post. Due to her petite size, Ga In stood nearer to Jo Kwon for her to be able to reach the back of his neck.
Ga In stood so close to him that he could feel Ga In’s breathing inked on his chin causing his heart skipped a beat.
She’s like a total different person. Is she the same Ga In from yesterday?
He stole a glance at her and she was pouting her lips slightly while tying the bowtie. Eventually her lips curved into her smile when it was done.
“Alright, it’s all done.”
“T..Thanks.” Jo Kwon stammered.
Just then Lizzy walked out of the changing room. She was dressed in a long beautiful silk wedding gown with mesh drapes around the long dress. Carefully she walked on her high heels towards Jo Kwon.
“Young-ah...You look beautiful.” Jo Kwon hugs Lizzy around the waist and brought her closer to him.
“Oppa, pink bowtie suits you…but I didn’t know you knew how to tie them.” Lizzy teased him.
“Oh..it was Ga In who help me with it.” Jo Kwon answered awkwardly.
Ga In on the other hand stood there and watched the couple having their sweet talk. Invincible needles seem to be piercing her heart and it hurts her a lot. She could not endure the pain in her heart anymore and decided to leave the scene quietly.
“Get in the car. I’ll send you back to the office.”
“It’s okay, oppa. I’ll take a cab back to my office. I thought you need to get back to your clinic soon?”
Jo Kwon looked at his watch and finally conceded. He hailed a cab for her and sent her off. When Lizzy totally disappeared from his sight, he walked back to his car. He took a package from the rear seat and walked back towards Perfect Match.
He entered and walked over to Ga In’s desk. Seeing no one around, he placed the package on the table. When he was about to leave he saw Ga In coming out from the washroom.
“Why are you still here?” Ga In asked.
“..Me? I..I left something just now. I got to go. See you.” Jo Kwon then walked out of the door hastily.
Ga In walked back to her desk after brewing her coffee in the pantry. Then she saw a mysterious package on her desk. Curious about the content, she took her seat and quickly opened the package.
To her surprise, it was a small pot of sunflower. Gently she took out the pot and placed it on her table. On the side of the pot, a note is attached.
Hey,Hope this little sunflower can make you smile in your bad days. Cheer up. J
Seeing the anonymous note, her heart melts. She was sure the flowers are from Jo Kwon because other than him, she tells no one about her birthday. Changmin was probably the closest person to her, but Changmin didn’t know about her birthday either.
Her heart waivers and at that moment, the angel and devil in her inner thoughts engaged in a battle which decides her heart. In the end…
The devil wins.