[Guilty Pleasure – Chapter 20 (Finale?)]
“My darling baby… Are you awake?” Jo Kwon talked on the phone as he used his other free hand to flip through the newspaper. It was only 8 in the morning and still an hour to go before Ga In’s work starts at 9. It was just like any other day where Jo Kwon would call just to wake her up from bed.
He waited for a while and instead of a reply, all he heard was just breathing noise of the owner phone. Although those were just random noises, it was enough to make him smile.
“Hey sleepyhead, it’s time for work…Get up and have your breakfast.” Jo Kwon tried again in attempt to wake her up.
“I slept very late yesterday…let me sleep a little more...” She murmured.
“I thought you fell asleep after talking to me on the phone? What did you do till late night yesterday?” He asked, darting his eyes through the big titles on the paper with smiles on his face. Anybody can clearly see how blissful he is right now.
“I stayed up a bit…there is some project… I had to look through…” Her voice trailed off as she falls into slumber of sleep.
“Arasso...Then you better sleep more. I shan’t disturb you then. Love you.”
Just then, his mother came out of the kitchen bringing the family’s breakfast to the table. He hung up the phone and stood up quickly to help his mother set the table.
“Is that Ga In-sshi on the phone just now?” She asked suddenly.
Jo Kwon was taken aback by his mum’s question. From the starting of their relationship, he has been very careful whenever he mentioned Ga In’s name in front of his parents. Although his mother is the one who agreed to cancel off the marriage between Lizzy and him, but he still noticed the indifferent in her tone whenever he speaks about Ga In. His father might never breathe anything about it but he could sense that he dislike the idea of Jo Kwon staying over at her house not once but on a frequent basis.
“Yea… it’s her.” Jo Kwon answered while checking on her mum’s facial expression.
“Do you want to ask her to come over this weekend for a simple dinner?”
He parked his car outside Perfect Match and got down carrying a breakfast set he bought from a nearby restaurant. He peered through the big glass door and as expected, Ga In hasn’t arrived to work. As it was already opened, he pushed through the glass door and stepped in.
Just as he placed the breakfast on Ga In’s desk, Changmin comes out from the pantry with a cup in his hand.
“Welco— Oh, it’s you, Jo Kwon-ssi.”
Jo Kwon smiled and turn to the food on the table, “Yea…I just brought some breakfast for Ga In...”
Changmin walked nearer to him and took a sip of coffee, “Although I don’t agree the way you handled your past relationship, I am thankful to you for loving Ga In this much.”
Jo Kwon’s effort in loving Ga In for the past 4 months was clearly seen by the people around them. Changmin for instance can easily be the witness of Jo Kwon’s care of Ga In. Every now and then, just from his seat, he would always see Jo Kwon sitting on the couch, sometimes but rarely falls asleep on the couch just to waits for her to finish her stuff before going home together, buying her breakfast, and even seen major changes in Ga In.
He had never seen her so happy before, sometimes boasting about how sweet Jo Kwon was to her that even he had to stop her from doing so; how Jo Kwon would plan simple events to make her day, how he would make up to her when he’s occupied on their date… The list never ends. At first he was worried that the relationship would affect Ga In’s performance in work but instead she creates more excellent result.
Jo Kwon nodded blankly and smiled. “Changmin-ssi, we are grateful that you approve of our relationship. Ga In has always speaks well of you, saying how understanding you are...”
“Her happiness is more important. There’s no point of disapproving.” He smiled, sipping another mouthful of coffee. Both man stood there getting a little awkward.
“Do you mind if I call you hyung?” Jo Kwon asked abruptly. “I have always yearned for a big brother like you since I was small…”
A smile spread across Changmin’s face, happy to hear his request. “Yah, Kwon-ah…I am afraid your patients might be waiting…” He said while throwing his eyes towards the clock on the wall.
“Alright hyung. I’ll get going then.”
“Darling…are you going to tell me what’s bothering you?” She asked while caressing the back of his hand. Ga In knew something was bothering him so much; the moment he fetched her for dinner she could sense his weighing tone.
Jo Kwon heard her question and tried his best to focus on the wheel with his other hand. He knew that Ga In already sense something was bothering him during dinner time but decided not to probe until now.
“Ga In-ah…” He hesitated. “My parents want to see you.”
“If you are not ready to meet them, I would just go tell my parents that you are busy this weekend and you can’t make it…” He quickly added.
Ga In looked up at him and shook her head with a worried look. “I don’t have good impression on them already I don’t want to make things worse by declining this…I don’t want to make things difficult for you too.”
He tightens the grip around her hand squeezing it lightly, “Thank you…for being so understanding…” He took her hand and kisses the back of it.
She forced a smile at his affection but deep down inside her heart she has all kinds of feelings mix together. She’s scared, nervous and clueless about what she is about to face on that day.
“Omma, we’re back.” Jo Kwon shouted. He leaded the petite girl confidently into the house to look for his parents. Ga In who’s taking small step behind Jo Kwon felt her heart about to explode from the nervousness.
“Oh…Kwon-ah you are back. And this is….” Jo Kwon’s mum’s eyes quickly falls onto their tightly-hold hands and without a doubt she’s the ‘legendary’ home wrecker aka Jo Kwon’s girlfriend; reasons why he’s not staying at home.
“Ga In-ssi.” Jo Kwon finished her mum’s awkward hanging sentence. “And Ga In, this is my mother.”
“A-annyeonghaseyo…omoni.” Ga In smiled and passes the basket of fruit to his mother. “This is a small gift for omoni and abunim…”
“Aigoo, this is so kind of you…” Mrs. Jo accepted the basket with a big smile on her face. Then she turned his attention to Jo Kwon. “Kwon-ah your dad’s in the room.”
Ga In felt like a half of a large stone on her heart has fallen off. One is down, another one to go; she thought. Jo Kwon too heaved a sigh of relief mentally at his mum’s positive reaction.
Then he proceed to meet another harder obstacle; his obstinate father. He pulled Ga In closer to him and head to his parents’ room. “Dad, I am back. See who I brought with me.”
Hearing his son’s voice, Mr. Jo looks up from the television and squinted his shortsighted eyes to the person Jo Kwon was talking about.
“Annyeonghaseyo, abunim…I am Ga In.”
The moment Mr. Jo hears the ‘infamous’ name, he cleared his throat showing dissatisfaction. It was obvious that he didn’t like Ga In’s appearance in the house but after his mum’s pleading, he agreed to allow her to come over for dinner. Mr. Jo has always been a good husband, always listening to his wife’s advice.
He rises from his armchair when he heard his wife calling them for dinner. He walked towards the door without acknowledging Ga In’s greeting and walked out of the room.
Seeing the scene in front of her, Ga In almost burst into tears. She bit her tongue and slapped herself mentally to remain strong just for Jo Kwon.
Its okay...Son Ga In you can do this.
“Ga In-ssi…How’s the food? Is everything to your liking?”
“Of course~! I really like omoni’s cooking.”
“Omma, Ga In cooks really well too! Omma you know my favourite stew crab soup? She cooks it really well!” Jo Kwon got a little too excited when talking about his favourite food. He turned to Ga In and said excitedly, “Cha-gi-yah, you should cook that sometime this week…I am craving for it…”
Seeing how his son’s being so mesmerized by this ‘vixen’ once again he cleared his throat; showing his disapproval. Mrs. Jo quickly nudged Mr. Jo, speaking softly. “Yeobo, I thought we have talked about this?” Although she whispered, it was still audible to the duo.
Mrs. Jo turns to them and quickly smiled, “Ah is it? I should really try your cooking sometime. It seems like really good since our Kwonnie likes it so much.”
“Be careful of what she might put inside…” His dad murmured sarcastically under his breath. “I bet this is why our Kwonnie is being mesmerized away by this person…”
“Yah yeobo! Can’t you just keep quiet and eat your food?” Mrs. Jo slapped her husband lightly on the arm. “Don’t bother about his thoughtless remark. He’s just joking.” Mrs. Jo tried to resolve the atmosphere by passing an awkward laugh.
Jo Kwon’s heart twitched hearing his dad’s offensive words but he just kept quiet. Ga In nodded faintly with a forced smile on her face. Inside her she was very bothered by the rejection of Jo Kwon’s father. “Yea, sure omoni…”
“Hmm…Ga In-ssi…I heard from Kwonnie that you worked as a wedding planner right?”
“Maybe that’s just for a disguise to seduce—” Mr. Jo butted in again with awful remark.
“One more word from you and I am not going to cook for you for anymore!” Mrs. Jo finally flared up at her husband embarrassing behaviour.
Before Jo Kwon can response in his dad’s word, Ga In suddenly jolted up from her chair. “Ah…omoni, abunim…I am sorry, I need the toilet.”
“Ga In-ah! Ga In!”
“What happened to you MR.JO?? Did you forget about what I said this morning? She’s who our son has chosen and loves so we must try to accept her. Why did you have to pour all your displeasures to that poor child alone?”
“Because I’d still prefer our Soo Young (Lizzy)…”
Jo Kwon heaved a sigh. He understands that he cannot easily erased Lizzy off their mind and accepts Ga In immediately. His parents really like Lizzy and has always been treating her like their daughter.
At the same time, Ga In was in the toilet clearing her mind. From the toilet she can hear the commotion in the dining room clearly; another hit to her self-confidence in this relationship. She stared hard into her own reflection in the mirror.
Son Ga In, for Jo Kwon you must endure all that…you can do it…
She wiped away her tears and retouched her make up for a bit before leaving the toilet. As she walked back nervously to the dining table something caught her eye –many photo frames hung up on the corridor’s wall.
She got closer to the photos and those pictures easily shatter all the confidence that she built up before she came. Those were all family photos of Jo Kwon and his parents and another girl; Lizzy.
They look happy. Like a complete family. There were a few other photos of young Jo Kwon and Lizzy in their school uniforms posing happily for the camera. As she walked, she could see Lizzy taking part in most of Jo Kwon’s life. And she is the third party of their relationship.
Maybe I shouldn’t be here after all.
Jo Kwon ran after her and pulled her back into his embrace. “Hey baby, I am so sorry that my dad said those things…please don’t go okay? I’ll say sorry on behalf of him.” He said as he brushed her hair under his hand.
“No…it’s not that. I-It’s just that… Changmin oppa called and he said he needed me back to the office.” She lied as she pushed him away slightly.
“You’re lying…” Jo Kwon retorted. “Obviously you are upset about my dad’s word. Otherwise you would not leave the house so quickly.”
“No I am not…I-I just need to take a break…” She pushes him further away and started taking a few steps away.
“What do you mean you want to take a break?” His words made her stopped her track.
“This is too difficult for me to handle…” She tried to fight off her tears. Luckily, Jo Kwon didn’t see her face because she was back facing him.
“Too difficult for you to handle? Have you thought about me? I was sandwiched between my parents and you. Do you think I felt better? I thought our love could endure this.” Jo Kwon mentally slapped himself after saying those words. He felt like a bastard for talking in that manner to Ga In.
She turned around hearing those absurd words from him, with face smudged from her tears. “After hearing those hurtful words from your dad and to hear that your dad prefers Lizzy more…A-and those pictures…I just can’t manage…”
“What pictures…?” He paused, trying to link what Ga In is talking about. “You mean the pictures hung up on the wall?”
Ga In looked away, not wanting to look at Jo Kwon in the face.
“Those pictures were taken years ago for goodness sake! You are jealous because of some damn pictures? My body and heart are all yours already aren’t it? What more do you want?”
The blockhead Jo Kwon would never understand the insecurities Ga In felt. Being an ‘ex-offender’ of relationship matter, this has built up insecurities in Ga In’s mind about their relationship. Since he could leave Lizzy a few weeks before their wedding, Jo Kwon now too could easily leave her anytime.
“If you walked around my house and see intimate pictures of me and another guy instead of your picture, how do you feel? Addition with disapproval with my parents do you think you could hold on, without your girlfriend standing by you?” She paused, wiping her tears. “When your dad said those words…did you do anything to protect me?”
Jo Kwon freeze, he couldn’t answer.
She realized she might have over reacted about the matter a bit but she still find the need to reconsider everything.
Maybe I was blinded by your overwhelming love.
“Kwon-ah…I-I just need time to think. Let’s just give ourselves some space and time alright?”
It has been three days since she last heard from him. After the fight that night, she hailed a cab and got home. Jo Kwon didn’t chased after her and that fact still hurt her till now. There wasn’t any message or call from him; just like he has disappeared from her life.
Because of what you said, maybe he’s really reconsidering. You brought this upon yourself.
She regretted so much all the things she has said that night. She knew from the start that if she were to fall in love with Jo Kwon those are few of the things that she has to go through. And she admitted that she might have been over sensitive about the pictures.
She has been skipping work too for the past three days. Changmin knew what happened between the two but didn’t interfere. All he did was to deliver food on time to Ga In knowing that most probably she would be skipping meals.
She lied listlessly in the living room’s couch when suddenly her house door clicked indicating that somebody is opening the door. She looked over and saw Changmin walking in with packages of food in his hand.
“Ga In-ah, time to have your lunch.”
“Oppa…you are here…”
“He didn’t call yet?” He asked.
She obviously heard his question but chose to avoid. “Oppa, what did you bring today?” She said with a plastered smile.
“I brought you some kimbap I made at home…I had mine already so you better finish all these up.” He walked away and sat on the couch.
“Oh yea.” Then he took out something from the backpack. “There was a delivery for you, I just helped you to take it.”
Changmin passed a box and a letter to Ga In. “Who’s this from?” She asked. Changmin shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t see any sender’s name.”
She left the things aside and continued eating. “Aren’t you going to open it?” The curious Changmin asked.
“I’ll see it later.”
“Arasso, well I think I need to get back to Perfect Match already. I hope by tomorrow you can come back to work. Many projects are waiting for you.” Changmin stood up about to leave.
Ga In quickly walked over to Changmin and hugged him around his neck. “Oppa…gumawo. After all, you are the only one I have. Thanks for the care these few days and sorry for not going to work. Tomorrow I would be back to the office with the new Son Ga In.”
“Alright, just finished up the food and get some rest okay? I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
She bided him goodbye and returned to the dining table. The pretty box and the letter placed at the side caught her attention again.
First she took the letter and outside the letter, it wrote: Please open the box first.
Then she took the box and she opened it as she was told. Inside there was a ring placed nicely in the middle. Immediately she recognized the ring because it was a couple ring they bought together to commemorate their first monthsary together. Her hands wobbled as she took the ring. Tears too start to well up and flew down profusely. Together at the side attached a small message.
I am returning this ring to you….I don’t need this anymore..
She cried harder reading those words. Once she settle down, she wiped away her tears and opened up the letter.
She cried harder reading those words. Once she settle down, she wiped away her tears and opened up the letter.
Password? <== to see the letter's content.