Chapter 3 - The Search for the Mystery Omega
Seokchan always exceeded his expectations.
He brought a packaged bowl of jjamppong1Jjamppong—a red, spicy soup with seafood and a variety of vegetables. It was invented by Chinese immigrants in Korea and is a staple in all Korean-Chinese restaurants., a dish that Heerak usually enjoyed eating as a hangover cure. It was also the dish that Heerak brought to mind while sinking his body into his favorite sofa after taking a nice shower.
The hangover cure drinks that his secretary bought also alleviated some of the remnants of last night’s drinking. After waiting patiently for Heerak to finish eating, Seokchan opened his mouth.
As soon as he put a cigarette between his lips, Seokchan naturally took out his zippo lighter. As his secretary lit up his cigarette, Heerak narrowed his eyes.
“I thought about it while I was in the shower, but I really can’t recall anything.”
“You can start with what you remember.”
At his secretary’s persuasion, Heerak combed through his memories once more.
His group of friends got dead drunk at “Hodie,” one of many businesses that Heerak ran as the executive director. Hodie had around 20 private rooms of various sizes and operated on appointment only.
At first, he simply thought this would be a convenient business to have, but before he knew it, it grew successful by word of mouth. Those who wished to discuss secretive things in privacy visited frequently.
The room where Heerak and his friends drank was in Hodie’s largest room. His friends were sensitive to the public eye, but that day, they could drink to their heart’s content and chatter on like excited children in this enclosed room. He couldn’t remember how many bottles of alcohol they drank altogether.
He remembered that he and his friends laughed at another friend, who said he was still recovering from jet lag and smashed his head face first into the table. Soon, his friends started to pass out, dropping like flies. Not long after, his friends disappeared from the table, one by one. Each was dragged out by their entourage or employees.
Heerak had grasped onto his thread of consciousness to the end and managed to ask the manager to call a chauffeur. The alcohol made him feel a bit sick. He wanted to breathe in some fresh air.
People other than his friends did not need to see his uncollected self. The dizziness made him wobble, but he could still walk. He could also pass his car keys to the manager, coherently telling them that he would be sitting on the bench outside and to send the chauffeur over there.
While Heerak said in a roundabout way that he pretended to be tough in front of his employees, Seokchan’s face grew darker. And then, he said in an equally dark tone, “What do you mean, chauffeur. That wouldn’t look good for your image. You should have called me.”
“I thought about it, but I remembered it was the weekend. I thought you deserved some rest,” Heerak said in a playful tone, and Seokchan sighed.
“Don’t tell me you blacked out at that point?”
“Yeah. I remember up to the point where I fell asleep in the backseat of the car. I was leaning on someone’s shoulder. The next time I woke up, I was in the middle of having s*x. And then I remember waking up in a motel room, for the first time in my life.”
“I see that the most important parts are missing.”
“That’s what I’m saying.”
After a moment of thinking, Seokchan opened his mouth.
“I’ll ask Manager Moon first, then find out who the chauffeur was from the chauffeur company. Once we find that person, we might be able to hear the description of who lent you their shoulder.”
“No, there’s no point in asking. The only description you’d get is that he was an average-looking guy.”
“You already asked around?”
“I asked the front desk staff at the motel on my way out. I almost asked if I could check their security footage.”
“Security cameras. That’s it.”
“You could check Hodie’s surveillance footage.”
Heerak’s eyes gleamed. He finally felt the uncomfortable feeling in his chest lessen.