She couldn’t reveal all of her worries to Woo-jin, so she glanced up at the sky and steeled her heart. She looked through the window for a long time. Tired of waiting, Woo-jin decided to break the silence. “It’s dark now, so you can’t see anything,” he said.
“Don’t worry. It’s a hobby.”
Woo-jin looked at Hae-gang and the window alternately for a moment and wrinkled his forehead as if he didn’t understand. “What the hell is your hobby?” he asked.
“Looking up at the sky,” replied Hae-gang.
Their conversation ended again. Woo-jin raised his hand and stroked his furrowed brows. It was unsettling to look at a person with no energy, like a doll with a broken thread. As evening approached, he felt uncomfortable leaving her be. After a brief thought, he took off his jacket and laid it down on the bed.
“Put it on.”
Hae-gang tore her eyes off the window at his words. With her questioning gaze, Woo-jin gave a puzzling explanation.
“I’m starting to get frustrated.”
Hae-gang’s eyes widened slightly, and a faint wrinkle appeared on her pale forehead. He pointed to the padded jacket and motioned to the door he’d just walked through, saying, “Let’s get out of here.”
Woo-jin’s sudden plans left Hae-gang’s mouth half open. She was disappointed that she hadn’t been able to make that decision, but she couldn’t be brave enough to accept his offer.
“Anyway, it’s nighttime now. We’re going to ride in my car, and it’s okay if we don’t get out of it.” Woo-jin, who noticed her hesitance, added, “I’ll be right by your side till we come back here, so hurry up.”
Hae-gang simply stared at his outstretched hand as if she had been possessed.
“Are you staying here?”
It felt like Woo-jin was about to change his mind at any moment, so she felt panicked without realizing it. Even if she refused to leave, nothing would ever change. It would be like that wherever she went.
Hae-gang pushed the blanket aside and stepped barefoot onto the floor.
“I will go,” Hae-gang said to herself as if it were a spell, not even looking at the jacket he gave her.
Woo-jin let out a small laugh. He grabbed the jacket and placed it on Hae-gang’s shoulder. “But,” he cautioned, “just in case, keep your hat on tightly.”
Hae-gang came heavily covered from the hospital room to the parking lot. Woo-jin also wore a padded jacket and a mask over her face instead of sunglasses, which looked strange for no reason.
“Let’s get in the car,” Woo-jin said.
Hae-gang hurried inside as if she had been waiting for his signal. She no longer cared that she was heavily covered and that the hat around her head obscured her sight; she no longer cared that the vehicle she was in now was the same car that had collided with her arm a few days before.
The interior of the blue sports car was more modern than she had anticipated. The outside of the car was brightly colored, but the inside was a light brown that looked clean. The seat was soft and firm, making it pleasant and comfortable to sit in for a long time.
Hae-gang suddenly burst out laughing as she listened to Woo-jin’s remarks about sports automobiles. She’d been stuck there for such a long time that the most ordinary things fascinated her.
The wheels screeched against the ground of the parking lot, and the sports car began to move.
Hae-gang lowered the window and relished the breeze. Even in the midst of the night, she could see sparkling lights everywhere she turned her head. Back then, it was something she only gazed at from her hotel room. “It’s not so horrible looking up like this,” she muttered.
Woo-jin caught a glimpse of her and asked, “Is there a place you want to visit?”
“Are you willing to take me there?” Hae-gang asked softly.
Woo-jin simply nodded his head lightly. Did the words he heard in the hospital room strike a chord with him? “As long as it isn’t too far away,” he added.
Hae-gang, they have already come a long way. Going on a leisurely drive like this felt like a dream. Greed always results in misfortune when pursued. Hae-gang chose a place that was familiar and, to put it mildly, classic.
“Sea,” she said meekly, “I’d like to view the night sea.”
Woo-jin’s fingers, which had been tapping the handle a few times as he couldn’t think of a suitable location, soon stopped, and the words that came out of his mouth brought dismay.
“It’s far away.”
“There isn’t much traffic right now, so I guess we can get there in 50 minutes…” Hae-gang retorted timidly.
Woo-jin turned to say something but stopped as he noticed Hae-gang scratching her seat belt with her fingernails. Instead, he picked up some speed. When the speed suddenly increased, Hae-gang looked at Woo-jin. Without time to appreciate the sharp lines on his face, words of resignation came out of his mouth.
“Alright,” he said, “ but leave the belt alone.”
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