After finishing their meal, Hae-gang walked to the entrance to see Woo-jin off as he returned to work. However, he seemed lost in his thoughts, and there was no sign of him changing into his work clothes.
She looked at his back, his face marked by traces of tears, and finally spoke.
“Why are you acting like this?”
Woo-jin, who had stood there as if rooted to the spot, eventually turned back towards the house, taking off his coat. As he ran his hand through his slightly longer bangs, emotions that couldn’t be easily put into words were evident in his gesture. Woo-jin draped his coat over the back of the sofa and approached her, reaching out to hold her hand.
“There’s no point in going now. I don’t think I’ll be able to focus on my work properly.”
He gently sat her down on the sofa and took out his phone from his coat pocket, making a call.
“It’s me. Cancel all my afternoon appointments.”
Hae-gang’s eyes widened in surprise. She was well aware of how hectically Woo-jin’s days unfolded. If every second of his time were to be valued in monetary terms, the resulting sum would undoubtedly be staggering.
The voice on the other end of the phone grew louder, suggesting that the person on the line shared the same urgency as Woojin.
“What’s the matter?!”
With the phone no longer held at a distance, Woo-jin glanced at Hae-gang before responding.
“My wife… she’s unwell.”
Using an undisclosed reason as an excuse, Woo-jin promptly ended the call, a sense of accomplishment flickering across his face, reminiscent of a student who had skillfully managed to secure early dismissal. Caught off guard, Hae-gang found herself momentarily stunned, her previous sense of disappointment fading away in the wake of Woo-jin’s actions.
“Yes, Mrs. Dawn Han is currently in considerable pain.”
Woo-jin nodded with unwavering certainty, his conviction leaving Hae-gang somewhat skeptical, almost questioning whether it was actually himself who was unwell.
“No, that’s not it. Min Woo-jin, you must have misunderstood something.”
Yet, it appeared her words failed to register as Wooj-in’s slightly furrowed brow caused him to speak on unrelated tangents.
“Shouldn’t you keep your eyes open? The redness makes you look like a rabbit.”
“Don’t say things that aren’t relevant. Where does it hurt?’
“ I—” Before she could finish, Woo-jin’s hand touched her cheek, which quickly met Seon-woo’s hand with a resounding slap.
Woojin’s hand, after briefly making contact and then retracting, pointed to Hae-gang’s left chest. Initially, she struggled to grasp the significance, but soon enough, she realized he was referring to her innermost pain.
Rendered speechless, Hae-gang stood there in a daze as Woo-jin sidestepped her and entered the kitchen. After a series of clinking sounds, he emerged with an ice pack clutched in his hand.
“Why won’t you listen? Do you comprehend the magnitude of the difference between doing and not doing?”
Her words trailed off, and her eyebrows twitched in frustration. Knowing his aversion to complaining, she quickly changed the subject.
“My mouth is hurting, like it’s about to burst.”
Upon hearing her words, Woo-jin’s face contorted without restraint. The sound of the ice shifting inside his pocket resonated loudly, suggesting a firm grip on the contents.
“If your mouth is about to burst, then you should have said so earlier.”
He stopped mid-sentence and placed the ice pack he had been holding on the table before disappearing again. When Woojin returned, his next action left Hae-gang bewildered.
“Oh, let me do it.”
As he squeezed ointment onto a cotton swab and spoke, Hae-gang involuntarily clenched her mouth shut. She tried to roll her lips between her teeth and tilt her head in resistance, but it was futile.
In the end, she pried her lips apart and snatched the cotton swab from him.
“I can do it myself!”
“I won’t stop you, but it’s quite chilly.”
“Well, then I’ll go to the bathroom and do it alone-”
“Do you really believe me, Dawn Han? Aren’t you the one who didn’t even use the ice pack?”
That damn ice pack
Feeling Woo-jin’s unwavering determination not to leave her alone, Hae-gang reluctantly handed the cotton swab back to his waiting hand. Standing in front of her, Woo-jin slightly lowered his posture and pressed his thumb against her chin. Her lips naturally parted, revealing the crimson interior.
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