Ch.10 What Boyfriend, More Like A Fake Husband.

Translator: Isabel

Editor: Mochimochi

First published on Ainushi.

 

Look here, miss owner. What’s going to happen to us now?

Are we going to have to wander around without a house or temple? When puppy Dae-Shik came snorting at her as if scolding her, Ji-On lifted him up to look at him with a serious expression.

Will he turn human if I kiss him while he’s a puppy?
I did want to experiment a while back.

Since it’d be wet to kiss him on the nose, Ji-On slowly put her lips against puppy Dae-Shik’s forehead.

There was no problem whatsoever when kissing him while he was a puppy.

He was so so cute and lovable when he was a snow white pomeranian.

Honestly, Ji-On could kiss a cute dog passing by.

“……!”

The problem is when he is a human.

As Ji-On kissed Dae-Shik’s forehead, he speedily grew into a man who lightly sat on her knees. Very shyly and chastely.

‘Huh?’

Suddenly, the very close eye contact made Ji-On quickly remove her lips.

When he turns into his human form… it becomes so embarrassing and awkward.

We didn’t get to finish making rules a while ago. Didn’t we say not to recklessly approach each other or divide the room in half?

However, as long as the two were entangled in this ‘Law of Kissing’, it would be improbable to completely cut off skinship [1]. Dae-Shik awkwardly got off Ji-On’s knees and sat in front of her.

“Why? What did the landlady say?”

Finally, Dae-Shik was able to speak human language. It was so frustrating to be unable to ask for details moments ago.

“Sigh, she said she saw everything at the market. She thought we were living together.”

Ji-On heaved out a sigh and her shoulders sagged.

“I couldn’t say anything. We decided that you would stay here and she already saw everything. So what could I do?”

It’s not like I could say that he’s my brother, uncle, or friend, let alone a stranger I let in the house. I couldn’t think of a proper lie.

“So I said that we were going to get married.”

Aaaaaaaahhh!

A cry in similar tone came out from both Ji-On and Dae-Shik at the same time.

“You think I wanted to say that? It’s not like we know how long you’re going to stay here.”
“Well, couldn’t you have come up with another lie? That was the only explanation you could come up with?”
“No, I don’t know. So why did you sell your soul for pork feet?”

Ahhhhhh!

Ji-On and Dae-Shik bent over in similar postures.

All that came out were sighs and sounds of defeat.

“As I said that we started living together first because we were in a forbidden love that was rejected by both families, but approved by the heavens, the landlady hesitated. She said that even though it was against regulation to have a man living here, it’s not as if she could block our marriage. She said to keep strong and that she can relate because she also had a hard time as a newlywed when she first moved to Seoul.”

Dae-Shik lifted his head and asked.

“She’s cheering us on. So why are we being evicted?”

Ji-On sighed as if wishing the ground would collapse [2].

“My contract ends soon.”

What? What is this now?

Originally, my mom paid the deposit, but she suddenly said that she needs the money.”

“Where are you going to live if you give the deposit money to your mom?”
“I’ll probably have to live in a gosiwon [3].”
“Then where am I living?”
“Yeah. What to do?”

Ahhhhhh!

Dae-Shik heaved a sigh like a zombie. Don’t speak so easily like it’s someone else’s problem.

Dae-Shik realized how much he needed Ji-On then. I see, if my owner doesn’t have a home, it means I don’t have a home. Sung Ji-On, don’t let me go so easily. Please.

“How much is the deposit for this house?”
“Four thousand.”
“You don’t even have four thousand in your account? How can your account be so worthless?”
“Why are you making fun of someone else’s account when you don’t even have a cent to your name?”

Dae-Shik gulped down his saliva and spoke implicitly.

“Ji-On. Is a rich person born or made?”
“Probably born. If not, why would the spoon theory [4] exist?
“Also, a rich person becomes rich again even if the family goes bankrupt.”
“Why? Because they are enlightened on managing their assets?”
“No. Because they are born with the fortune of money.”

Ji-On put on a disgruntled face with her lips sticking out.

“Hey you, Mr. Money-Fortune-Sung-Dae-Shik. No matter how greatly you were born, how can you make money when half your life is lived as a dog?”
“Are you belittling dogs now? You are so uncreative.”
“Why, are you going to go do tricks somewhere?”
“You’re considering me as a scammer. Hey, Ms. No-Money-Sung-Citizen, do you want me to show you? You want me to show you how I become wealthy?”

He had felt uncomfortable when Ji-On paid at the market.

Although I’m unsure of what kind of person I was, I’m sure I was a person who gave back rather than financially burdening others, causing trouble, or mooching off women.

“Sung Ji-On, what did you say today? Whoever is rich is superior in Korea?”

Dae-Shik proudly lifted his chin and spoke.

“I’ll show you who is the super superior.”

There it is again. That arrogant pose.

Ji-On looked at him with an ‘of course [5]’ expression.

As if he could earn the four thousand dollars we need now?
Then you would be a pot of gold instead of a dog. Let’s see how easy it is for you to earn money…

 

 

 

Ding di ri ring– it seemed like the background music of a western movie would play on the empty street.

Whish– Dae-Shik charismatically ripped off the poster from the wall.

‘Lost Dog Named William. Reward, a thousand won.’

On the poster was a picture of a UK bichon frise who had gotten an expensive grooming.

If the reward is a thousand won, it can be said that the dog is a gold spoon of the puppy world.
That would be enough to be seed money [6]?
My thousand won. I will not allow any other to get it
. Dae-Shik walked around and started tearing down every lost puppy poster.

After a while, his hand was unable to reach the walls with the posters.

Huh? Again, he gathered his strength and stretched out his hand. However, what he saw stretching out was a stubby front limb with fluffy white fur.

Without knowing, he had turned into a puppy. Is there some kind of transformer [7] attached to my body? How did the change become so natural?

Good. Now, with my sensitive sense of smell, this William dude…
Hmm, how do I find him?

At that moment, someone’s nose got close and started sniffing his scent.

“Ah, you scared me. What are you?”

Glossy brown fur, hunky masculine dog face, powerful and confident manly body, and stubby legs that were too short to support all his charisma. He was the neighborhood’s male dachshund, Richard.

“Wow, what a fascinating buddy. What are you? You can change into both a human and a dog?”

It seemed that Richard had seen Dae-Shik’s transformation from human to dog from behind. Dae-Shik unknowingly made a sound of grief through his nose. He didn’t want anyone other than Sung Ji-On to find out.

“Go away. You’re not even a female, so why are you bothering me? Shove off.”
“I’m envious. How do you do it?”
“This can’t be done by doing something, ok? It just happens.”
“Wow, I want to be human too.”
“With the status of a dog. Just live as a dog since you were born one.”

Dae-Shik got rid of the following Richard, picked up a poster in his mouth, and continued walking.

“What’s that?”
“Go away. This is mine [8] . My moneymaker.”

Richard saw the poster with William’s wife printed on it and snorted.

“Elizabeth is waiting at home, return home William? What a joke. Acting like a lovey dovey couple.”
“Huk! You know this dude? Even where he is?”
“You told me to go away. Bye, it was fun.”

Richard did a u-turn and went the way he came.

Oh? This kid knows how to push-pull [9].

This time Dae-Shik tailed him and pressingly asked him.

“Where is this male?”
“Hi, my name is Richard.”
“Dogs don’t greet each other. I don’t want to make dog friends. What’s the use of dogs becoming friends?”
“Hi, my name is Richard who knows where William is.”
“Hi, I’m…Dae-Shik.”

That is how puppy Dae-Shik earned a neighborhood friend. Richard, the sadly-stubby dachshund.

“To find the bastard, you probably have to find a female named Mango first.”

Richard sat down and unexpectedly spoke in an all-too-serious voice.

“Why?”
“William, the bastard, got winded [10]. He left his wife.”

What? Dae-Shik was shocked.

“The world of dogs is also a morning drama [11]?”
“If you look closely, you’ll find that this circle is also very dirty [12].”
“Wow, I have to catch an adulterous dog?”

It can’t be helped if I want to earn that thousand won. Wow, it definitely isn’t easy earning money…

 

 

 

Chu chu [13], today was a day that a train rampantly chugged around in circles and spewed hot steam in her head.

Today was hell monday.

It wasn’t as if the work had expanded through mitosis, so why did it seem like the workload increased?

Ji-On sharpened her mind and focused on finishing her workload.

Even while the workload was crashing into her like a tsunami…

Her worries kept poking their head out like the dolls from the whack-a-mole game [14].

Is my Dae-Shik doing well at home?
Why isn’t the police contacting me?
Do I have to take care of Dae-Shik forever?
What am I going to do about the $4,000 deposit money?
I can’t not return the money since mom said she really needs it.
I can’t take a dog into a gosiwon.
What’s going to happen now that the landlady thinks we’re a newlywed couple.
Do we have to act like a newlywed couple until we leave the house?
Is the Dae-Shik who loudly claimed that he would bring home money a dog or human right now?
Ah, I can contact him now that I bought him a cell.

Ji-On went to the break room and called Dae-Shik.

However, he did not answer.

Is he in puppy mode now?

Ji-On thought it would be better if he stayed a puppy.

That way she could save on food costs as well.

Also, it was more comfortable to deal with him when he was a puppy.

When he was a human… her thoughts became hectic.

Suddenly, the heart-thumping scenes from last weekend passed through her mind.

The kiss they shared, him changing into a human in her jacket, and when they acted like a newlywed couple.

Why were these three scenes stubbornly repeating on a loop?
Why wasn’t the pause button and the erase button working?
What am I supposed to do if these thoughts keep popping up? I have to work.

It seemed as if her heart kept pit-pattering and her breath was shortening.

“Oooh~ unni, did you get a boyfriend?”

Yoo-Jung walked to her with a mischievous smile.

“Oh, you scared me. What boyfriend.”

More like a fake husband.

“The scene of you waiting for a call while pacing and holding your phone looked exactly like that.”
“No, I’m just waiting for a call.”
“Like I don’t know you? Your face already says that you’re in EFL mode [15].

Urrg, how could my face say something like that?

“It’s just that I’m worried because my pet is being troublesome.”
“Can your dog use a cell phone?”
“Urg, my dog is a bit smart.”
“Your expression was the same as when you first started going out with Lim Tae-Shik.”
Lim Tae-Shik,

Ji-On’s heart ached for a second at the name.

I thought I had gotten over it, but it seems I hadn’t.
Seeing as how my heart still throbs like this.

Ji-On purposely acted cool.

“That was business, not love. You said marriage was also business.”

Right, I didn’t really like that person. It was just that his conditions were so good that I fell for him.
I just thought that it was the right moment to meet someone like that.

“So, did you tell your mom? That you broke up?”

Again, Ji-On’s mouth shut close.

I hadn’t been able to tell her that we broke up.
Mom was able to float away from happiness when I told her that I was dating Lim Tae-Shik.
She reacted as if the household trash had turned into a gold bar.
“My daughter has finally brought home a lawyer.
I thought you wouldn’t be able to marry, but you brought a lawyer.”
Lim Tae-Shik was already ‘Son-in-law Lim [16], precious lawyer’.
How could I tell her when her expectations had bloated up so much.
The me who momentarily shined would turn back into the household trash.

“But, isn’t that Lim Tae-Shik over there?”

Ji-On instinctively looked back at Yoo-Jung’s words…

A jaw-dropping event occured.

Does Lim Tae-Shik also appear when spoken of?
Wait, this is my company.
Why is he in front of me?

There was a man who was devotedly escorting the Vice-President Song Hee-Yeon out of the meeting room.

It was Lim Tae-Shik.

Ji-On was unable to shut her open mouth.

However, Tae-Shik stood with a face that said he was already aware that Ji-On was going to be there.

He motioned for the others to finish escorting Vice-President Song Hee-Yeon and walked towards Ji-On.

‘Gasp…!’

Even after rubbing her eyes, it was him.

The tall height, the fit suit with crisp creases.
The long eyes, sharp nose, and even the jawline. However, there is a slight change to his aura.
Is it because he grew a mustache? The face she once thought was charming seemed to have an indecent air similar to a Japanese imperialist soldier.
Why is he here?
Why at my workplace?
Why my district?
And what’s with escorting Vice-President Song Hee-Yeon like she is a queen?
It looks as if a parasitic ho-ba [17] male is sticking to a Gangnam madam [18].
It’s a weird scene, no matter how you think of it.

Stride, stride, as if in a trance, Ji-On started walking to the oncoming Tae-Shik.

The two people met in the hallway.

“How have you been, gf [19]?”

The first words out of his mouth were astounding.

“Gf? Who is your gf? Me?”

Suddenly, her hand shook in rage. H-how can he say gf?

“Didn’t you know? We broke up. Do you know how long it’s been since I couldn’t contact you?”
“Ah, I forgot to tell you that I changed my number. A lot of changes have happened.”

If you put on a nonchalant face like that, what becomes of all the time I spent crying and determining all alone that we had broken up?
What becomes of all the time I spent worrying because I couldn’t get a hold of you?
Because Dae-Shik had come to our house and caused chaos by changing back and forth between human and dog, I had assumed I had forgotten about him.
However, surprisingly, all the hurt I had received came back to life and pricked my heart. I had not forgotten him.
I had simply been diverting my attention for a while.

He kept speaking absurdities. “I switched employment to Future Group’s law firm. As you know, this company’s been a bit busy.”

You moved to our company? Then why didn’t you say anything? You clearly knew I worked here.

Ji-On still could not close her mouth.

“Then what was the strange scene? You were stuck next to the Vice-president…”

He smirked and spoke.

“The range of work for lawyers is greater than expected for this company.”

Where does the range extend to? The Vice-president’s second [20]? No, since she’s widowed, the lonely Vice-president’s loyal dog?
Just a glance and one can tell it’s not a respectable sight.

“Hey, you dropped my hand to grab the hand of power. Then hold that hand and go as high as you can. Don’t look back at the girl you left behind.”
“What do you mean the hand of power? Your phrasing is a bit strange. I’m a person who switched professions to reach my bright dreams.”
“It’s seems you don’t know yet, but our vice-president is infamous for being ‘the goddess of jealousy’. Your bright dreams are probably going to become cloudy the moment she finds out that you had a relationship with me.”

Tae-Shik’s confident face slightly cracked.

Vice-president Song Hee-Yeon’s jealousy is that severe?

“……!”

Ji-On received more confirmation from that expression.

There’s something going on with Vice-president Song Hee-Yeon.

“If you want to succeed in your work life, it’d be best if you cleared things with me completely.”

Will you behave properly, so as to not block my promotion as well?

“It seems our Ji-On has a misunderstanding. How can power and love walk the same path?” “Our Vice-president walks down only one path. There is no separation between public and private. Have you heard of this phrase? If you want to succeed in your work life, know about your boss properly!”

Ji-On’s fierce pose caused Tae-Shik to take a step back.

“Let’s finish talking about we get off work. I’ll drop you off.”

Why would I get into your car? Shove off because there’s no way that’s happening!”

Ji-On finished cursing Tae-Shik off as his back showed him hurriedly disappearing.

Huff huff-
My anger is still hasn’t dissipated yet even though he’s gone. So the reason he dumped me was because of Song Hee-Yeon Vice-president?
Because of you, I’m now connected to our company’s vice-president by an infidelity relationship. Geez, thanks so much.
And all that resulted from this is a dull pain in my heart.

She spoke viciously and harshly, but all that was left in her heart was a blue bruised wound.

You’re fine even after dumping me? You horrible bastard.
You acted as if your girlfriend was a mutt who came when you called and left when you commanded? You dog-bastard.
Now get bitten by this mutt. Chomp!
I’m telling you I’m only kind when I’m the girlfriend, I’m very very malicious when I’m an ex-girlfriend!

She determinedly bit her lip to prevent the wound from opening again. Still it felt like tears were going to leak out.

I’m not fine yet. It hurts. A lot.

 


Translator’s Notes:

  1. Skinship is a Konglish (English words put together with Korean meaning) term used to describe physical intimacy. I think it is also used in Japan?
  2. Koreans often say that the earth will collapse if someone sighs heavily.
  3. Gosiwon is a sort of like a dorm for students studying for tests or college entrance exams. The rooms are very, very small and can usually only fit one person. There are communal bathrooms and kitchens. Thus, the rent tends to be cheaper.
  4. People in the high socioeconomic status are gold spoons. People in the middle are silver spoons. People in the lower socioeconomic status are labelled as dirt spoons.
  5. When directly translated, the sarcastic phrase is more like “well, it’s no surprise, coming from you.” So like when you scoff at someone?
  6. Seed money is the initial money used to invest into stocks or such.
  7. An electrical transformer. Like a converter or an adapter.
  8. Original says “This is my spoon.”
  9. Push-pull describes a technique often used in love relationships. It is when a person shows a lot of attention to the opposite person and then becomes indifferent to the opposite person. It is supposed to make the opposite person curious, become bothered, and think of the person more.
  10. A Korean phrase that means that someone cheated/committed adultery.
  11. Korean morning dramas are known for being drastic and over-the-top with the drama. There are situations where lovers are long-lost siblings, stepmother-in-laws are biological mothers, wives are ex-wives of brother-in-laws, etc.
  12. The Korean phrasing for “this circle” can be associated or interpreted like “this world of gangsters”.
  13. Chu chu is the sound of a train’s horn. It is pronounced as buu buu in Korean.  
  14. EFL is the acronym for “easily fall in love”. Koreans like to shorten a lot of their phrases. Lee Kwang Soo’s character in Running Man is an example of a “금사빠”. Someone who is quick to fall in love with another.
  15. Many Korean mother-in-laws call their son-in-laws by attaching the son-in-law’s last name to the position of son-in-law as a way of endearment while still maintaining a sense of respect(?). Perhaps the respect aspect is a remnant of the old traditional thought that men are superior over women? Or the thought that the daughter is in the care of the husband and treating the son-in-law well will benefit the daughter?  
  16. Ho-ba is short for host bar.
  17. Gangnam is a district in Seoul well-known for its rich residents.
  18. Gf is short for girlfriend. Tae-Shik literally shortened girlfriend. The sentence sounds just as awkward in Korean as it does in English.
  19. Second used to refer the person as a (hidden/secret?) lover. It is also used to indicate a second wife/husband, but most often a lover who is not recognized by law.
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