Ch 11. The Person Sung Ji-On Loved The Most Is Me.

Translator: Isabel

Editor: Isalee

First published on Ainushi.

 

 

“You are carrying heavy things like this by yourself? Let me do it! I’ll carry them all!”

As the landlady came home struggling to carry the winter blankets back from the coin laundromat, human Dae-Shik ran to the landlady and quickly took the huge blankets from her.

“Ah, Ji-On’s newlywed husband?”
“My greeting was late. I am called Dae-Shik.”

He gave his morning sunshine-like smile to the ahjumuhni [1].

I didn’t know when I saw this boy at the mart, but he’s quite eye-watering.
His height, straight facial features, kind eyes, and sweet smile.
The perfectly handsome youth even has a good personality.

“Oh, isn’t it heavy? You don’t have to.”

The lady spoke superficially as she had already handed the load to him.

“No problem. This is why there needs to be a young man in the house.”

The eyes of the lady who was always stern with Ji-On loosened [2] as Dae-Shik appealed his New Community Movement [3] worker-like vigor.

“Wow, you’re very sturdy. You have good strength.”
“Even though we are going through a difficult and rocky love, I heard that you are cheering us on. I really thank you.”
Dae-Shik looked at the lady with an awed look as if he had met his lifesaver.

Her heart melted like whipped cream once again.

“Oh, the dramas I watch are always filled with people who interfere with love, there’s no need for me to do so as well. I’m very open-minded in things like that. A young newlywed couple got together with difficulty so at least I should help.”

“Wow, not only do you look young, your thinking is youthful as well.”
“Oh my, Ji-On’s husband also speaks so gracefully.”
“No one believes you when you tell them you have a daughter in high school, right?”
“Ohohoho, they don’t. I just say I’m her older sister when I’m out. Although, our Sol detests it.”

Ahh, Dae-Shik finally started to experience the all-too-late regret.
I should have picked up the task of persuading the lady way before. Why did I make Sung Ji-On take on the task and cause more trouble?

“From now on, if you need anything, ask me… Noona [4].”
“N-noona?”
“Ah, I’m sorry. I don’t have an older sister, so I don’t have anyone to form a bond [5] with. I can call you so… right, noona?”

He spoke while blinking with heart-thumping puppy eyes.

It seemed that there was no Korean woman who would be immune to this gaze.

“Oh, still, how embarrassing it is to be called noona…”

As the ahjumuhni waved her hand in the air, she couldn’t contain her laughter and giggled.

“So why do you look so young to the extent of not fitting your age?”

Giggle. Giggle. This young man is as sweet as jochung [6].

The ahjumuhni even smacked his back three time in embarrassment. Dae-Shik kept smiling charmingly even as he coughed.

“But you know, noona. The puppy at our house? It seems that he may have to stay a bit longer.”

Just as Dae-Shik was checking the ahjumuhni’s status and started to bring up the main topic, a black car glided to a stop on the side of the street.

Oh? What? Dae-Shik forgot what he was about to say and blankly stared in the direction of the car.

Ji-On was getting out of the car with some man.

“Ji-On, let’s eat dinner and talk. Why are you in such a hurry?”

Lim Tae-Shik, who had gotten out of the car, grabbed onto Ji-On’s wrist as she tried to go home.

“Let go. I have to hurry home and feed my dog.”
“And since when did you start caring for a dog?”
“After I broke up with you.”
“Are you perhaps coping with the loneliness of separating with me through a dog? It must have been hard for you.”
“You’re being frustrating. Did you know that I taught my dog to bite your middle part as soon as he saw you?”
“Sigh, alright. Then let’s finish talking once we’re inside your house.”
“Are you crazy? Don’t you know that men aren’t allowed in my house?”
“Not even me? Even though I’m your boyfriend?”

What? Ji-On could not close her dropped jaw.
Who’s my boyfriend? You must not be able to accept reality yet.

“B-boyfriend?”

Dae-Shik’s ears perked from afar at the word.

Ji-On had a boyfriend? Dae-Shik looked towards her with a surprised face and the ahjumuhni turned her head as well.

“Oh, young lady! You just came back?”

However, it seemed that she didn’t see Lim Tae-Shik who was standing next to Ji-On.

“I can call you Miss new wife [7] now, right?”

N-new wife? Ji-On’s eyes grew round at the unexpected nickname. Why is Dae-Shik together with ahjumuhni? On top of that, the two… seem very close?

“Gosh, our Ji-On’s new husband is a great person. He’s very well-built, and courteous, and handsome, and nice towards elders. There are not many young men like him these days.”

N-new husband? This time Lim Tae-Shik’s eyes expanded. He looked at Ji-On in disbelief.

“You got married?”

Each of the four people was standing with different expressions on their face. Boyfriend? Dae-Shik was doubtful in his mind. New wife? Ji-On wondered in stupefaction. New husband? Lim Tae-Shik was astounded. Did I say something wrong? Even the ahjumuhni thought in bewilderment. Who are you? Then Dae-Shik and Tae-Shik went into a fierce glaring contest.

It seemed that any water nearby would be immediately frozen by the cold atmosphere. The ahjumuhni noticed the change in the atmosphere and hurriedly escaped.

“Aha, look at the time. It’s time to make dinner. I’ll be leaving first.”

And thus, three people remained. Three people in a strange relation…

“Sung Ji-On, you have a boyfriend?”

Dae-Shik was the first to break the silence.

“No, he’s an ex from a long time ago.”
“Then why did you get out of this car?”
“Because this person still doesn’t understand. He doesn’t realize procedures [8] were taken for us to break-up.”
“Procedures? It wasn’t an official separation?”

Ji-On momentarily bit her lip and spoke in a poisonous tone.

“No contact for over a month, changing phone number without telling the girlfriend, switching jobs; isn’t that considered broken up?”
“It’s breaking up if the phone number changed.”

Thinking that you’re still dating after that is weird. Dae-Shik narrowed his eyes and took a step towards Tae-Shik.

“Based on what I heard, it seems you guys have already broken up.”

With a ‘why’s this bastard interfering?’ expression, the glaring Tae-Shik opened his mouth.

“We haven’t broken up.”
“……?”
“I’ve never confirmed it.”

Dae-Shik was shocked at how the tone used was as though Ji-On had not gotten an approval from an executive.

“The offender is quite… thick-skinned.”
“Offender? Don’t play around in front of an attorney. What right do you have to butt in?”
“Did you not hear it just now? NEW HUSBAND?”

You’re really her husband?

“You’re saying that Ji-On got married a month after breaking up with me?”
“And what if she did?”

Puha, Tae-Shik’s face wrinkled in between his brows, his expression suggesting that he had heard something extremely funny.

“Gosh, make up a more believable lie. Marrying a person I was dating a month ago?”

Tae-Shik even dabbed at his eyes as he laughed.

“Ah, hilarious. I’m even crying.”
“Our love is burning [9].”
“In one month?”
“In one month. Can’t you see that we’re already living together?”

This erased the laughter from Lim Tae-Shik’s face.

He coldly looked down at Ji-On and spoke.

“Didn’t you say that men weren’t allowed in that house?”

Ji-On had a slightly uncomfortable expression, before hardening her face.

“… It’s different if it’s the groom-to-be.”
“Tell me, Sung Ji-On. Is that man really your husband?”

The lie that started from pork’s feet has swelled up uncontrollably, but it can’t be helped. This is my only choice now.

“It may be hard to believe… but it’s true.”

Puhp, Tae-Shik let out a deflated laugh.

“Gosh, stop joking. You must have been really shocked.”
“It’d be a lie to say I wasn’t shocked, but thankfully this person became the one to relieve my shock.”
“You must have brought some random jobless punk and are persisting that he’s your husband. I’m sorry, but I’m not a superficial person who will believe that kind of lie.”

Tae-Shik smirked as if saying ‘stop the jokes’.

“You know, Dae-Shik. Is it really necessary to make this ex-boyfriend Lim Tae-Shik believe our words?”

Ji-On walked to Dae-Shik as if Lim Tae-Shik was unimportant now.

“Yeah, it doesn’t matter to us whether he believes it or not, right?”

Dae-Shik pulled Ji-On close to him.

“……”

She looked up at Dae-Shik who was next to her. At his peevish expression that was as if he was really protecting his woman.

“I can tell by your lousy behavior. I can tell how much you have ridiculed Ji-On as if she was a fool while you two were dating.” He could guess from the tone and behavior that Tae-Shik used and exhibited.

He is a bastard who belittles others as a habit. He is oppressive, arrogant, self-absorbed, and a loser [10]. He doesn’t even realize what an eyesore it is to see him treating his woman like a slave [11]. That is probably why he couldn’t accept that they broke up. He most likely never listened to the words spoken by Ji-On.

“Unlike you, I live exalting Ji-On as my master. So, don’t have some kind of weird regret or obstinacy and get lost.”

Between the two men of similar height, pa-pa-pak [12], sparks flew.

“Aren’t you underestimating me? Sung Ji-On can’t forget me so easily. The reason she was so badly hurt by me is because she expected greatly from me and had deep feelings for me. Ji-On and I were even thinking of marriage. I’m not sure if you were aware of that…”
“……!”
“I’m the person that Sung Ji-On has dedicated the most to loving.”

At that moment, Dae-Shik’s eyes flared with flames. The current atmosphere was leading to a fist-fight between the two males.

“So what. She’s going to marry me now.”

Dae-Shik firmly taunted.

“From now on, Ji-On will wake up with me every morning, eat with me, wash with me, kiss with me, and sleep with me.”
“… You bastard!”
“So stop having delusions and f*** off.”

A fierce, sharp wind blew between the two. Ji-On worried that a big fight would ensue and tugged on Dae-Shik’s sleeve as she spoke.

“Dae-Shik, let’s go in now.”
“Yeah, there’s no need to address an ex-boyfriend. We’re already married anyway.”

Tae-Shik’s glare was filled with fire once again, but Dae-Shik further wrapped an arm around Ji-On’s shoulders affectionately and turned around. There was a load of luggage sitting in front of the house.

“What’s this?”
“It’s our winter blanket.”

Dae-Shik blatantly lifted up the huge blanket. I’m the one who’s cozily living with Ji-On.

Dae-Shik shot a pike-like glare that told Lim Tae-Shik to stop chasing. After giving the blanket to its owner, he went into Ji-On’s house.

Ji-On was worried that he might be extremely mad and kept glancing nervously at him because his gaze was very cold. However, his words were unexpected.

“Ji-On! Isn’t my acting to die for?! Amazing, right?!”

Unlike a while ago, his voice was very light and hyper.

“What?”

Ji-On’s nervous expression broke down within a moment.

“Hey, perhaps I was an actor before. Should I search in that direction? Look at this face. It’s not a face that would do something mundane.”

In reality, Dae-Shik was so satisfied, watching Lim Tae-Shik’s expression crumble. He was especially proud when he taunted Lim Tae-Shik and left. He served him a big yut [13]. Dae-Shik jumped around the house and struck a victory pose [14].

“And what I said wasn’t a joke, right? From now on, Ji-On will wake up with me every morning, eat with me, wash with me, kiss with me, and sleep with me. This is a line that completely messes with a man’s emotions. Hehehe hehehe.”

Ji-On was the one whose emotions were messed with. She looked at him with a grave expression.

You’re saying that that was all an act, huh?

To top it off, she was feeling extremely petulant today.

Lim Tae-Shik suddenly appeared with Vice-president Song Hee-Yeon and angered me at work, and he even followed me home and spoke nonsense about how we haven’t broken up.
I felt as if all the blood in my body dried up when Dae-Shik and Tae-Shik fought over who was the boyfriend and husband. I was even going to sincerely apologize to him once we went inside.
I was going to say I’m sorry for creating this problem. I was going to say I’m sorry for not properly wrapping up the relationship early on. However. Seeing the lol-ing Dae-Shik is causing a thousand flames to erupt inside me.
Did I get ahead of myself?
We must act as a newlywed couple when we’re outside, but we actually only have a dog-owner relationship. You were only dexterously lying to help me save face.
Was I too immersed in the role of a newlywed wife?
It hurts. I’m getting angry. You really were just acting. Her lips started twitching without her knowing. Her eyes started watering. I don’t know what kind of disappointment this is but right now my tears are falling.

“Sung Ji-On, are you crying?”

Dae-Shik, who had been jumping around the room, came towards her with a flustered expression.

“……!”

Even at work I was unable to forget the three moments. The kiss in the morning of the weekend, the time when you changed into a human inside my jacket, and the time we acted like a newlywed couple to get the pork’s feet. It’s like they were put on loop inside my head. But you, … but you!

“Why are you crying, so suddenly?”

Dae-Shik was unable to understand Ji-On’s sudden tears.

“Are you perhaps… crying because of that bastard?”

This time Dae-Shik’s face scrunched up. And then he started to get angry. He was feeling good up until now because it felt like Ji-On was on his side. It felt good when she tattled to me about everything that scoundrel did. As long as Ji-On has stood next to me, the victor of the fight is me. But it seems that I wasn’t the victor.

“Do you still have feelings for that jerk?”

Perhaps the bastard’s words were true? The words saying that Sung Ji-On couldn’t forget him? Lim Tae-Shik’s confident voice rang in Dae-Shik’s ears again.

‘I’m the person that Sung Ji-On dedicated the most to loving.’ Dae-Shik’s insides finally started boiling. I don’t like seeing her cry. Especially if it’s because of that guy.

“I said stop crying. Erase that kind of guy! Why can’t you forget about that rotten fish of a guy?”
“It’s not that!”

Ji-On bit her lip and shouted in her head.

I’m disappointed! I’m telling you I’m disappointed!

“Hey, stop crying!”

Waaa– Dae-Shik’s attitude made Ji-On cry even more. Did I yell too much? Dae-Shik became disoriented before getting tissue and setting it in front of her.

“Your face is going to get ugly. If you keep this up, you’ll become uglier. Stop crying.”

She shoved away the tissue that Dae-Shik handed her. It was at that moment that his worried face hardened. This means that even if she dies she still can’t forget that guy? Dae-Shik quietly looked down at Ji-On with a seriousness that was never seen before.

“I warned you to stop crying. I’m not taking responsibility for what’s going to happen now.”

What is threatening me going to do? Ji-On glared at Dae-Shik with watery eyes.

“You’re still not stopping?”

He became even more serious and stepped closer to Ji-On.

“I only know one method of comforting women.”

Her tears were still leaking out. Dae-Shik’s fingers wiped Ji-On’s cheek right before he aligned his lips onto hers.

“……!”

Ji-On was shocked. It was a kiss that happened with a totally unexpected timing. She could feel his intense heat from the tips of her lips. It was a bewildering moment.

“Oop-!”

He constantly moved his lips in a slightly arousing way. Perhaps because he thought he’d change into a dog if he stopped for even a moment, he immersed himself in the kiss without stopping even once. It was completely different from the sudden kiss before. He was very sincere about it right now.

‘Don’t cry, Ji-On.’

His hot lips were conveying this. They were words that reached the heart without having to be uttered out loud. That voice started melting the thickly piled up sorrow in Ji-On’s heart little by little.

A hot tear trickled out of her closed eyes. With that as her last, she really stopped crying.

As though Dae-Shik realized that Ji-On had calmed down a bit, the storm-like deep kiss had turned soft like a tiramisu. Like a sweet tiramisu, his lips endearingly continued moving across Ji-On’s lips.

Ji-On’s cheeks that had turned red from crying started blushing from a different emotion.

Pit-a-pat, her heart was beating so loudly that it echoed in her chest.

After a while, the two people parted lips and silently looked at each other.

Dae-Shik looked at Ji-On’s face with a complicated expression and wiped her wet cheeks with his thumbs.

“You really stopped crying.”

Ji-On looked up at him in confusion as if asking what the kiss had meant, but…

“Good job.”

Dae-Shik kissed her again with a relaxed expression. More deeply, and more sensually.

 


Translator’s Notes:

 

  1. Ahjumuhni: Technically meaning lady or madam. The less polite form and more commonly used term is ahjumma. Any woman around the person’s mother’s age. Common term to refer to a lady who’s not close or seeing for the first time and maybe last time.  
  2. Loosening of the landlady’s eyes: Instead of putting strength into her eyes to glare at them or look at them sternly, she released the strength on her eyes to look at him kindly.
  3. New Community Movement: AKA Saemaul Undong. A political project in the 1970s that worked to modernize the rural Korean economy. Many brawny males were recruited to help rebuild homes and infrastructures.  
  4. Noona: Word used for older sisters by younger brothers. However, like oppa and unni, it can be used by people who are not siblings to express familiarity or friendliness. Many older women prefer being called noona by younger males rather than ahjumma, emo (a woman well-known around the person’s aunt’s age), gomo (a woman well-known around the person’s aunt age), etc. But there are instances where it is not preferred so be careful who you use it on!
  5. Form a bond: Here the phrase means to have a familial bond. I used the phrase to describe 정 (jeong), a type of affection that can be shown or given to essentially anyone. I think it is a hard concept to describe because it can describe the good or bad feelings formed in a long-termed relationship or the act of kindness a stranger gives to someone. It can be used to describe a love-hate relationship, an old couple’s relationship (the elderly often say that they live with their spouse for 30+ years due to the bond rather than love), or even a person giving a stranger extra food or help.     
  6. Jochung: It is a syrup commonly made from sweet rice and malt powder. It is sort of like honey. It is often used as a dipping sauce for rice cakes.

  7. New wife/bride: The phrase can be used by anyone to describe or refer to a newly wed woman.
  8. Procedures: Ji-On really uses words that make the break up seem like work.
  9. Burning: Dae-Shik is trying to say that their love caught on fire and went up in flames. Like they have a steamy/hot/fiery love. The phrase he used reminds me of BTS’s Fire.
  10. Loser: The direct translation means to be unlucky. When you use it in a situation, it means you have no luck. However, it is commonly used to describe someone who is really annoying or horrible. It can be used to describe a person who overly shows off that they are smart or good at something or a person who is rude, etc.
  11. He/him/his all are referring to Lim Tae-Shik in this sentence.
  12. Pa-pa-pak is the sound effect of sparks.
  13. Yut is a traditional sticky candy that’s like taffy. It is commonly given to students with the meaning to stick (do well) on their tests. However, it became a cuss phrase when an entrance test question regarding the candy asked what ingredient can be used to make the candy and there were two possible answers, but one was considered incorrect. Parents made the candy with the ingredient that was considered incorrect and told the test makers and government officials to eat yut. Thus, being told to eat yut is a softer way of saying f*** you and feeding someone yut means feeding them s***/shaming or fooling them.

  14. Victory pose: A personal ceremony like sports players do after scoring a goal or points. In Korea, famous soccer players are known to do these ceremonies.
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