Chapter 9 - You Really are the Worst
As her parents were orphans, Sun Ha never felt a grandparent’s embrace. Perhaps that was why she felt comfortable around Chairman Choi because she felt the warmth of a grandfather from him.
The sound of a phone endlessly ringing stung Sun Ha’s ears. Forgetting the cut on her finger, she stood up from her crouch and rushed to the living room to quickly pick up the phone. “Hello?”
It was Cheong Yang Daek.
“You both need to come to the hospital as soon as you can,” Cheong Yang Daek told her. The housekeeper continued on in her slightly hoarse voice, clearly agitated as she explained that the chairman was in serious condition and that he might not survive the night.
Sun Ha’s face paled the more Cheong Yang Daek spoke.
“Is the young master still not home yet?” Cheong Yang Daek asked. “If it is difficult for you to tell him this… should I call and tell the young master?”
“…No, it’s fine. I’ll tell him myself.” It took a lot of energy for Sun Ha to give that answer. She told Cheong Yang Daek that she would come to the hospital right away before hanging up. Her hand shook slightly as it put down the receiver.
Chairman Choi had stepped away from work after being diagnosed with lung cancer, but he’d still looked full of energy when she’d visited him just last week. She could remember clearly how he’d told her that he’d have no problem living long enough to meet and play with his great-grandchild. He’d said it would be great if she and Do Ook could work to have one. Boy or girl, the gender didn’t matter to him.
Sun Ha steadied her breathing and picked up the phone again to call Do Ook. There was no time to delay. She needed to tell this news to him as well.
He picked up not long after she called him. His voice echoing in her ear, “What is it? I’m on my way home right now.”
Hearing his languid voice from finishing all his work for today, Sun Ha bit her lower lip. He still thought today was like any other day, but the one sentence she was about to tell him would, without a doubt, completely mess up his life.
She felt regretful for a moment, thinking that she should have taken up Cheong Yang Daek on her offer, but Sun Ha gave a low sigh before doing her best to speak calmly, “There was a call just now saying that the chairman’s health has suddenly deteriorated and he’s in danger. We need to go to the hospital right away… She said that he may not survive tonight.”
Do Ook didn’t say anything for a moment. He understood what she meant by those words, and it took time for him to process the implications. After a short silence, he answered, “I’ll be there in 10 minutes. Be ready to leave as soon as I get home; we’re going to the hospital right away.”
As opposed to her voice, which made it obvious she was barely keeping it together, Do Ook sounded calm and unshaken.
Hearing his response, Sun Ha felt even more sympathy for him, not less. After all, he’d had to develop an indifference to things to ease the pain he had felt after being tossed away by his family.
Though Sun Ha had never heard from him the detailed story about what happened, thanks to Cheong Yang Daek, she had been able to learn a bit about his childhood.
Cheong Yang Daek had told her that Do Ook had been a mischievous little boy who would cry or laugh loudly at everything that happened to him. However, after getting kicked out of the family and being sent to live with his mother’s parents, he hadn’t received affection from anyone. He had even lost all of his new family in a tragic accident. When he returned to his grandfather’s home, it was with a cold, mature expression on his face, and he showed no emotion at all.
Chairman Choi had not been able to stop Do Ook’s father from kicking Do Ook out. Instead, Chairman Choi had done his best to ignore the situation, but he had come to terribly regret his actions towards his grandson. However, Do Ook already had no ability to understand the feelings of his elderly grandfather who was willing to generously take care of him.
The best thing that Do Ook could’ve done to please his grandfather would’ve been granting Chairman Choi’s pitiful wish of seeing his grandson’s partner before the old man passed away.
“Understood. I’ll make sure I’m ready.”
Sun Ha went to the dressing room to change her clothes. She took off her ivory-colored duck down feather jumper and started to grab a subdued-looking coat when she finally noticed the blood on her finger.
The cut was still bleeding; it seemed like it was deeper than she thought. The cut on her finger was small, but there was a larger slice on her hand that gaped open. She needed to leave soon because of the dire situation, but it would be problematic if she left the wound untreated. It would be good to at least put on a Band-Aid, even if she didn’t have time to apply medicine.
Sun Ha put down the coat and rummaged through the cabinet opposite the dresser. Amazingly enough, in the three years they’d spent together, neither she nor Do Ook had ever gotten even a minor wound. Because of that, the first-aid kit had been left unused in the corner of the dressing room cabinet.
Sun Ha had forgotten which drawer she had put the first-aid kit in, so she started with the topmost one. As soon as she opened it, she went still.
She saw a familiar piece of crisp paper.
Her eyes went blank. Even though she had always ignored it, the truth was that the end of her marriage had already been set in stone. The reality of that was right in front of her eyes. Swallowing, Sun Ha carefully picked up the contract that had begun her relationship with Do Ook.
“You’re… really the worst, Yu Sun Ha,” she mumbled to herself, her eyes starting to well up with tears.
Why was she… worrying about this right now? At this moment when the chairman could pass away at any time, she was more concerned about this piece of paper than his health.
She really was an extremely selfish woman.
…The duration of the contract begins from the signing of the contract until 30 days after chairman Choi Kyung Man (Contractor’s grandfather) passes away.
The paper crumpled in her hand. The paper and its formal wording slowly became stained as blood from her hand seeped into it. A sigh that sounded more like a scream came out from between Sun Ha’s dry lips.
Keeping in mind that this marriage is only ever contractual, neither party can demand any unnecessary emotion from the other.
That was the beginning of the end of their relationship, an end that had always been planned.
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