“Omma, aren’t you hungry? Do you want me get you something?” Ji Hyo drives as she turns to her mum who was sitting on the passenger seat.
“I’m okay, just focus on your driving….” Ji Hyo’s mother said softly as her eyes are busy enjoying the Seoul city’s scenery.
“It’s been a while since you’ve come up….”
“Yea I think it’s time to clean up your house too…”
“Omma you thought my house is going to be very dirty? I’ve changed omma. I’m now paying attention to cleanliness too. Don’t sound like your daughter is like a dirty little kitten..” Ji Hyo said jokingly like a whining kid. Sometimes in the parents eyes’ their grown up child will always behave like a child unless they are married.
Taken aback by her daughter’s unusual statement, she turned to look at her. “Then it must be Chang Jo-ssi that change that character of yours...”
Ji Hyo’s eyes widened because the mention of Baek Chang Jo struck to Ji Hyo that she hasn’t let her mum know about their break up.
“You must learn to cook now….As a Korean woman, we must learn how to cook a delicious dinner for the husband…It is our culture to take care of our husband’s stomach.”
“Omma, you’ve told me this a lot of times…”
“But you’re still clueless about cooking!”
“But I can—“
“Don’t tell me that cooking that ramyun is considered cooking. That’s not cooking.” Ji Hyo’s omma rolled her eyes. “At least learn to make some ban-chan (Korean side dishes)” Her mum pointed to the big box of food at the back seat.
“Omma this is not important now…” She sighs in frustration. “Now actually me and Chang Jo oppa—”
“Is he busy today too? Did you tell him that I’m here? Did you ask him over? Would he like the ban-chan I made?”
Ji Hyo was getting a little frustrated because her sentences kept being cut off. “Omma! Stop!”
“What is it?! You’ve scared me.” Her mother pouted.
“Ah mianhe omma.” JI Hyo bowed a little when she realised she’s a little too loud. She focused back to the road that she’s driving on and let out a deep sigh. “Omma, just let me talk for a while okay? Listen to what I’m about to say.”
Her mother nodded obediently.
“Chang Jo oppa and I….” She stops at the traffic light as the light turns red. She turn to her mum, “We’ve broken up.”
His phone rang loudly in his room. In a rush thinking that it was from that person. Gary rushed out from the bathroom to get it, with a towel wrapped around his lower body and a wet hair.
“What’s for dinner? I’m craving for bibimbap suddenly.” A husky voice asked. It was no other than Gil.
“Ah it’s you…” Gary’s voice trailed off in disappointment.
“Who else would it be?”
“Nothing. Yah Gil-ah, you go ahead with your dinner. I have some plan for my dinner.”
“Plan? With your member?”
“Yea with one of the member.”
“Jae Suk hyung?” He guessed.
Gary shook his head. “It’s not important anyway. Yah, I just bath halfway, I need to get back in. I’m hanging up.”
He tossed the phone on the bed and got back into the bathroom and cleaned himself again. He then dried his hair and looked at his half-naked body on the mirror and flexes his chest muscles.
Kang Gary, you’re looking hot today…
Having said that, he chuckled to himself. “I must be crazy.”
Nevertheless, he’s in a good mood because he’s going over to Ji Hyo’s house for dinner. It’s not just any dinner but dinner with her mother. Although he may not know what Ji Hyo meant, he’s just glad that he’s able to spend more time with her, getting to know her more.
“I must look presentable today.” Gary said as his search through his cupboard of clothes. “Should I wear a tie? Is it too exaggerated? It’s just a dinner. Should I wear my cap? Leessang cap? No, I’m not promoting Leessang. But what if Ji Hyo’s mother doesn’t recognize me? How should I self-introduce?”
The train of thoughts on his mind bewildered his mind. He chuckled to himself again because he was really excited yet nervous at the same time. Still half-dressed, he walked over to the packet of gifts he has prepared. He double checked the content inside.
“Hope her mother will like this.” He smiled to himself.
Finally after choosing a t-shirt and a long leather jacket, he took the cologne and sprays them on neck.
“Okay! Let’s go~!”
Before leaving he managed to grab his Leessang cap and his sunglasses; his trademark item.
“Sung-Im ah, omma is sorry…” Ji Hyo’s mother reached out for her and gave a tight hug after listening to her side of story. She is sorry that she wasn’t by her daughter’s side when she’s facing difficulties. However she is glad that she has raised her daughter well and can have overcome all the adversities by herself.
“Omma don’t be. I’m alright now.” Ji Hyo just wanted to let her mum know but she doesn’t want to keep reminding herself about her past relationship with Baek Chang Jo. It’s been almost a month.
“You should have told omma all your unhappiness. It’s not right for you to endure all the sadness alone. Promise omma next time that you don’t keep everything to yourself.”
Ji Hyo just nodded her head and pats the back of her mum’s back. “Omma, I’m sorry because I didn’t tell you earlier. Let’s prepare dinner alright? I am hungry.”
“Aigoo then I need to quickly feed my girl.” She said as she gently brushed Ji Hyo’s hair.
“Oh omma! And someone else is coming too.”
“Oh? There is? Who?”
“You’ll know when the person arrives.” Ji Hyo let out a mysterious smile.
Ji Hyo’s mother frowns with curiosity. “You should have told me earlier so I would have more time to prepare.” Immediately she walks to the kitchen to start preparing dinner.
Ji Hyo looked at the clock that is hung on the wall. It is only 6, an hour away from the time she asked him to come over. Unknowingly, she is excited over his arrival too.
It’s not like the first time she’s having dinner with him but it’s the first time that her mother and him would be meeting each other. Even at this point, Ji Hyo felt weird at her own decision at why she’s inviting Gary over for dinner with her mum. Because any random people on the street would see it as a ‘boyfriend coming over to eat dinner with future mother-in-law’ kind of dinner when they are actually are just colleagues, friends but nothing else and oh; the on-screen Monday Couple.
While having those kinds of confused thoughts, the doorbell suddenly rang. Shocked, she walked to the intercom and saw Kang Gary standing outside, wearing his cap and sunglasses.
“Oh o-oppa? Why did he…?” She looked at the clock again. There’s still at least an hour before the said meeting time.
She walked out of the house and opened the front gate for him. “Oh oppa annyeonghaseyo...”
“Ji Hyo-ah, how do I look?” Gary asked almost immediately. Ji Hyo burst out laughing seeing the nervous question he asks as if like he’s meeting his boss or what.
“Oppa! Why are you so nervous? It’s just a dinner.”
“But I still need to look presentable right? You see I even wear long sleeve.” Gary said pointing his arm where his tattoos are.
Ji Hyo nodded her head in agreement, seeing how considerate Gary is, she was touched. “Oppa you look as fashion as always. Don’t worry….” Ji Hyo let out a smile.
Seeing her smile, Gary felt more reassured. He walked in to the house together with Ji Hyo with his hand holding the gifts tightly. They finally entered the house.
“Oh you’re here?” Ji Hyo’s mother peeked out of the kitchen while taking off her apron.
“Omoni! Annyeonghaseyo!” Gary bowed earnestly. “I am Kang Gary from Leessang.”
“Oh…annyeonghaseyo! Yes I know you Gary-ssi…Sung Im sometimes speak about you…”
“Really?” Gary turned to Ji Hyo who was standing beside her. “Omoni, this is something for you. Please accept them.” Gary handed the gifts to her hand.
“Aigoo, you shouldn’t have spent...It’s just a dinner.”
“This is nothing…”
“Alright, Gary-ah please sits down comfortably. Sung-Im ah go and get a cup of water for him.”
“Omoni! I’m here early because I want to help out. I’m not here to sit around...” Gary said in a determined tone.
Gary’s word surprised Ji Hyo. “Oppa, you wanted to help? You know how to cook?”
“I came early for a reason…” He said as he folds jacket’s sleeve without revealing his tattoo. “I know a thing or two because I’ve been living alone for some time.”
“Aigoo, come and help me then.” Ji Hyo’s mother happily lead Gary into the kitchen.
Gary carefully takes the soondubu (soft tofu) chigae from the stove and put them at the centre of table. “Okay, dinner is ready!”
Ji Hyo who is watching from the living room can’t take her eyes off him working around in the kitchen. Don’t know why, but she felt that he looks extra charming today. He’s already a very nice oppa who always takes care of her but now, she got to see this delicate side of him. Well not trying to be a stereotype but a rapper cum ex-boxer would actually do all these things are rare. Really rare.
She walked over to the dining table and settled down at her usual spot. Naturally Gary settled down beside her and they tucked in the food.
“Daebak! Omoni’s food is so good! It’s been a while I get to eat home-cooked food.” Gary said excitingly as he savours the dishes in front of him.
Seeing how Gary savours the food reminds Ji Hyo’s mother how much she missed cooking for her children. Ever since her children have left the home for work, she has always been cooking for her husband only. Not many people actually enjoy her food as excited as Gary which made her feel really happy and appreciated. She remembers cooking for Baek Chang Jo once but he was a quiet guy who eats his food quietly and politely too.
“Then you should come here every day while I’m here. I can make your favourite stew.” Ji Hyo’s mother said endearingly.
“I would love to!” Gary said it too quick which made Ji Hyo turned and looked at him. “Or maybe not…” His voice trailed away.
“Omma! Oppa is a busy person, don’t force him to come and eat dinner with you every day.”
“Ah mianhe, I forgot you’re a busy person…”
“Of course I would like to come here….!” He paused. “But I’m not sure the owner would like me to be here or not…” He said as he peered at Ji Hyo.
“Of course you’re welcomed here! Right Sung-Im?” Ji Hyo’s mother answered excitedly.
Ji Hyo ate a mouthful of her food and said shyly. “Of course, if not I would not have asked you to come over at the first place. You are welcomed here every day for dinner until my mum is here at the end of this weekend if you’re free. ”
That answer from Ji Hyo made Gary so happy inside. It felt like he has advance a big step, not only towards Ji Hyo but her mother too. He felt really comfortable with her mother around and he’s looking forward to spending more time with she and her mother.
The dinner ended in a happy manner. Gary volunteered to clean up the table and insisted Ji Hyo’s mother to rest in the living room.
“Oppa, you can leave the dishes here. You can go outside.” Ji Hyo said while folding her sleeves.
“How can I leave all these to you only? It’s okay oppa will help you out.” He said with a smile and slides his hand into the pink rubbery gloves.
As Gary washes the dishes with soap, Ji Hyo rinses them away with clean water. The back view of the two while washing the dishes together was just too couple-like, too sweet, and too good to be true.
“Oppa you still haven’t let me hear the song.”
“It’s a song entitled Tears.”
“Tears?” Ji Hyo suddenly burst out laughing. It reminds her of the very high-pitched old song. She even sang a few times in Running Man. “Now I know why oppa said the song is somehow reminds you of me.”
“Because you’re the inspiration to the title.”