[Guilty Pleasure – Chapter 17]
Slowly, Jo Kwon unlocked the front door of his house. It was pretty late already and he didn’t want to wake his parents up; not to mention showing his parents his bruised face.
When the door opened he was surprised to see his parents sitting in the living room. They were not watching the television; merely sitting upright as if they are waiting for him. Jo Kwon clenched his jaw and looked away for a few seconds before he taking off his shoes at the door way. He was totally displeased by the idea that they might interrogate him about his bruised face.
“Omma, appa… Haven’t turn in yet?” He asked slowly.
“Kwon-ah, come here.”
Jo Kwon felt uneasy at his mum’s request. He walked over to his parents slowly. As expected, once Jo Kwon was only a few foot away from his sitting parents, they noticed the bruise immediately.
“Kwon-ah, what happened to you?” Jo Kwon’s father asked worriedly.
He touched his bruise eye and plastered lip lightly. “It-It was nothing. I went out with Ga—Young and and… We w-were disturbed by a drunkard. So… I-I fought back.”
His parents looked up to him with an unsatisfied look - because Jo Kwon was obviously lying with his obvious stuttering. Since young, he hasn’t been good in lying.
He notices the look that they gave him. “It was nothing serious. Don’t worry. I am alright.” He bowed slightly. “I am going back to my room. Goodnight.”
“Do you have something to tell us? Did something happen between you and Young?” His mum asked in her motherly voice.
His mum’s words stopped his track immediately. He turned and saw at his mum placing her hand over his dad’s hand – sort of calming him down.
I have to tell them sooner or later.
He walked back to his parents and sat beside his mum. “Omma…” He said softly as he reached out his hand to hold him mum’s hand.
His mum pulls her hands away and raised them up to his face. She brushed his wounds gently and her expression was obviously hurt.
“Omma, I-I have done you wrong. Please forgive me.” He murmurs.
“What is it?” His mum asked.
“I can’t get married with Young. I… can’t.”
Jo Kwon’s mum froze for a moment at his words. “What did you say?” The lines on her forehead became more visible as she frowns.
Deep down inside her heart, she suspected something was wrong when Lizzy stopped coming over to their house few days ago. But she never thought it was so serious to the extent of cancelling the marriage. She thought they were just having their some couple fight.
“Did you guys argue?” Her mum asked softly. Jo Kwon kept his head low. He didn’t know how to admit that it was his problem, not Lizzy’s.
“Son, as a man, you should be more considerate to your wife. Maintaining a relationship is like dancing to tango. One takes a step forward and the other takes a step back.” His dad advised. His mum nodded, agreeing.
Jo Kwon looks up to his parents. “What if while dancing, one takes a step back walks away and never come back?” He said as calmly as he can manage, looking firmly into his parents’ eyes.
His parents’ eyes widened at their son’s words. “What do you mean by that?” They said almost in a panic tone.
Jo Kwon heaved a sigh as he said the most important word of the whole discussion. “I-I have fallen for someone else.”
It was early of the next morning. Jo Kwon was awoken by her mum’s conversation on the phone. For a long time, he hasn’t seen his mum harbouring on the phone such a long period.
He sat up from his bed and brushed his tousled hair. He walked out of his room to hear better of his mum’s conversation on the phone.
“Yes…You’re right…It’s been cancelled…[Sigh] It’s a long story…I would tell you more details I visit you next time…Sorry to bother you in the morning.”
Jo Kwon watched his mum hanging up the phone and looked through her small phone book. Then she went on dialing another number and said almost the same thing.
He shuffled near to his mum and knelt down beside her. His eyes were collecting tears as he stays there to wait for his mum to finish the explaining to their relatives. As her mum ended another phone call, she turned his attention to his son. She brushed his hair to the back and caresses his smooth face.
“Omma, I am sorry.” Jo Kwon said softly as he chokes on his tears. He looked down as the guilty feeling engulf him again.
His mum noticed it, patted gently on his back. “Don’t say sorry…I don’t see who am I or anybody else should obstruct your happiness. You should be the one controlling your own life, listening to your heart.”
“But back to the topic, although now your marriage with Lizzy is cancelled, that doesn’t mean that I would accept your new girl. I’ll see how she performs first.”
That afternoon, he was determined to pay a visit to Lizzy’s mum. Jo Kwon nervously pressed the doorbell. It was once a place that he have no fear of entering to but today, he’s so damn nervous and worried about what’s about to greet him.
After a while, the door creaked open and Lizzy’s mum was standing by the door with a frown on her forehead. She wasn’t looking very guest friendly and instead her eyes were literally filled with fire.
“Why are you here?” She said with a stern tone.
“Omoni…I am here to—“
“Please leave here at once. I don’t wish Young to see your face.” She said her piece and was about to close the door in Jo Kwon’s face when he suddenly stuck out his foot to block the door.
Lizzy’s mum was startled by the inertia and flung the door open. “What do you want from us? Do you want to hurt our Lizzy again? I won’t give you a chance to do that.”
“Omoni, please just let me…” He paused. “Kneel before you and say sorry... I...”
Lizzy’s mum shook her head and sigh. “Would you just—“
“Omma. Just let oppa in.” A voice cut in.
Lizzy’s mum turned around to the voice behind her and saw Lizzy standing there with bloodshot eyes. Jo Kwon’s heart crumbled when he saw Lizzy’s tired eyes; maybe tired from crying.
“Young…” He called out softly.
Lizzy made a weak smile as she walked listlessly to the door and opens it for Jo Kwon. Then she walked towards the couch in the living room and slumped down.
Lizzy’s mum look away as she reminiscing old memories. “I’d still remember the day when she came back very happily because you proposed to her. It was her happiest moment and the brightest smile I have ever seen on her face…”
Lizzy who was sitting beside her mum, kept tugging her shirt.“Omma, stop saying that those things already…”
“What happen Jo Kwon? Why…? Why did this have to happen?”
Jo Kwon who was sitting formally in front of Lizzy’s mum on the floor kept his head low. “Omoni…I..am sorry.”
“I have entrusted my daughter’s happiness to you and you just trampled on it like that?” She said in disbelief.
“Omma, would it change anything if you continue with this?” Lizzy was regretting on letting Jo Kwon in. “Nothing would change.”
“I am sorry omoni…”
“Is that all you can say?” She hesitated. “I’ve treated you like my son…but now… I can’t even look at you without thinking how you’ve hurt my daughter.”
“So now…Please….just go.”
Ga In quickly stepped out from the shower and slide into her bathrobe before going out to her bedroom. She was getting ready for work in the morning when suddenly her phone rang. Swiftly, she rushed to it and picked it up.
When she did not get an answer, she tried again. "Hello?”
“Hi…” The caller finally spoke.
“Can I help you? Who are you looking for?”
“Is this… Ms. Son Ga In…?”
“Yes I am. You are…?”
Ga In froze for a moment when she heard the name. She literally loses control of her mouth and couldn’t speak.
“Can I meet you for lunch today?”