Chapter 176 – Side Story (7)
The boy slowly opened his mouth… “Can you talk to mom about this?”
It was unusual to see Jihoo talking to him seriously. His son had learned how to speak for his wants. He was swayed seeing the boy looking up at him with big eyes that resembled Yuri’s.
“Do you really want that model gun?”
Growing up, Jihoo has never twisted his arms or insisted on something. Tae-jun pondered over his request and patted his head.
“Okay. I will talk to your mom about giving this gun to you. But if your mom doesn’t want to, there’s nothing much I can do. Your mom’s opinion is the most important for me.”
Jihoo nodded as he smiled brightly. Once in a while, Tae-jun was thankful that Jihoo was his son. If he had a daughter, he probably wouldn’t have been rational and would have allowed anything she wanted to do.
Tae-jun walked straight to the art studio at a brisk pace. After their turned five and went to kindergarten, Yuri started painting again. He had built an art studio for his beloved wife with a space for his son to play while she painted.
As he quietly opened the studio door, the smell of paint and the sound of classical music flowed out of the room. It was a spacious and open room with plenty of sunlight.
Yuri was concentrating on the canvas. Come to think of it, the date of her exhibition was drawing closer. She was completely absorbed in painting. He could see her white nape through her short hair and her hands holding the brush. Although they were no longer newlyweds and even had a son, his heart still raced whenever he saw his wife.
It’s all because she’s too beautiful.
Tae-jun took a few more steps closer to her. Then he grabbed her hand holding the brush and hugged her from behind and kissed her nape.
Yuri dropped the brush and turned around. “You surprised me! When did you arrive? I thought you’re coming tomorrow.”
He kissed her cheek as he hugged her. “I arrived just a while ago. I came home straight from the airport.”
“Why didn’t you call me?”
“To surprise you.”
Yuri patted on his hands holding her waist. “Aren’t you tired?”
“I’m okay. I think I’ll go to bed early today.”
He looked at the canvas she was painting over her shoulder. It was a warm landscape with flowers and a child. Back then, she used to paint with cold colors, conveying an urban feel, but since their son was born, most of her paintings conveyed a soft and peaceful feeling. It must be Jihoo who had influenced her.
“Is this Jihoo?” he pointed to the child in the painting and asked.
“Yes. I asked him to be a model but he got bored and ran away. Did you see him?”
“He’s playing in the garden.”
“What is he doing?”
What should I say?
Yuri lifted her head, wondering why he’s being hesitant. Tae-jun opened his mouth as if he made up his mind. He knew he had to be honest in this kind of situation.
“Yoon-seo and Yoon-jae gave him a model gun. He’s playing with that.”
“Yuri, honey, calm down.” He held her who was about to run to the garden.
“Now I understand. The three of them were busy whispering to each other about something yesterday.”
“Yes. I was wondering what they were talking about.”
“Jihoo and the twins are at an age where they start to show interest in such toys. They’re boys. I was no different from them when I was their age. I was often scolded by my grandfather for secretly touching guns.”
Tae-jun did his best to defend his son, but Yuri was determined.
“Still, I don’t like Jihoo playing with dangerous and violent toys. It’s different from how other kids play.”
Yuri was more devoted than anyone when it came to her son, but she was very strict about his education. She said that she didn’t want him, who was born into abundance, wielding things in his hands at will, or, conversely, being influenced by it. Having such a thought must have been influenced by the coercive attitude he first showed to her. Tae-jun, who knew what his beloved wife was worried about, patted her on the back.
“I know what you’re worried about. I also know that he has no choice but to be different from other children because he is my son and heir to the Seoin Group. Still, everyone says that Jihoo is thoughtful and precocious, unlike a child his age. I don’t think we, as his parents, should block too much of the interest or curiosity he develops as a child.”
“I’ll teach him well so you don’t have to worry. Okay?”
Yuri spoke as she sighed. “You’re too soft on him.”
“How can I not be? He’s the one who takes after a woman who I love the most. I’m thankful that he’s a son, not a daughter.”
“Why are you thankful that he’s a son?”
“If Jihoo was a daughter, I would’ve followed her everywhere in a worry.”
Yuri finally smiled at him. His hand slowly stroked her waist and went up to her back. When she realized what he was doing, she looked around.
“Someone might come.”
“Director Choi saw me coming here. She will let them know.”
“What if Jihoo comes—”
She couldn’t finish her words as he kissed her right away. His proud son already knew well that he shouldn’t interrupt his parents’ time. He opened a secret door hidden in the corner of the studio as he kissed her. When the door opened, a space with a massage chair, a bed, and a small bathroom were revealed. It was a place that Tae-jun made for Yuri to take a rest whenever she got tired from painting. He pushed her inside and closed the door.
“Today, I want to try something a little different.”
Even before she could ask, he started kissing her anew.