Chapter 45 - Piqued
He was so shocked that he only now vividly felt the repressed flood of emotions that filled him to the brim. His throat tightened, and soon his eyes felt hot. His pale and bewildered face fell. “What in the world is going on?”
Who first used the phrase “hit with a bolt out of the blue”?
Yoonshin was feeling just that.
He didn’t feel this empty inside when his father passed away. It was the saddest moment he had experienced, but he didn’t feel this powerless back then. Nearly half of his father’s life was spent helping people who were struggling to survive. It felt fitting that he died while doing righteous deeds. However, his sister wasn’t like that. She was someone who should live happily, yet she was falling into a bottomless pit, and there was nothing he could do.
By collecting evidence, it probably meant she was collecting the traces of abuse like what he saw just now. His brother-in-law was having an extramarital affair or some other despicable act. If his brother-in-law already brought up divorce, then they probably already fell out of love. Yoonshin didn’t know when the conflict started, but considering his sister’s tendency to mull over her decisions, it didn’t seem like it was a recent change.
He had seen his sister’s face around every two months. So far, it had never once occurred to him that she would be experiencing such things. He never saw any visible scars before. But he saw them today.
This most likely meant that his brother-in-law was growing more violent by the day. From the invisible to the visible, his sister said that she would endure that. Yoonshin couldn’t gauge the strength of her resolve.
‘Just when did it start?’ The tears that clung to his eyes rolled down his cheek. The stream that started to flow silently surged and drenched his cheeks. His legs trembled in sadness and defeat.
Naturally, he slumped down. He pressed his forehead into his knees.
The crisp but refreshing night breeze now stung him like daggers.
“What do you want me to do when you tie my hands and tell me to ignore it…?” Yoonshin buried his head and fought back his tears in a corner of the sidewalk. The chilly air circled him, remained for a moment, then blew away elsewhere.
All the while, there was a luxurious sedan black as night, loitering a few meters behind.
The man in the car extended and rested his arms on the steering wheel. He propped his clean-shaven chin on his arms, observing Yoonshin’s sorry back for a long time. The voice that seeped out of his well-shaped lips was like the low tide. “What an interesting picture.”
A woman shoved an envelope in a man’s arms, leaving behind the crying man.
The man whose deep and dark eyes were fixed on the outside was Sehun, who just got off work.
As he was driving at the entrance, he spotted a man and a woman arguing in a narrow road to the side. He was going to ignore it at first, but the man looked familiar. He parked at a safe distance and started to watch the fight. Then, the woman left first, and the man was left alone.
For a short while longer, Sehun watched Yoonshin, who was crying and unable to move, then sat back up. He took out his phone from his inner jacket pocket. It was just past midnight. Then, he called Secretary Tak, who picked up immediately despite the late hour. “Yes, sir. Did your meeting end well?”
“Secretary Tak, I’ll send you the details in a message. You’ll need to look into a vehicle,” Sehun said, getting to the point.
“A vehicle? Right now? Is this urgent?”
“Just let me know in due time. I already have a hunch on who it is, but I just thought it would be better to be clear.”
“This is related to the case you’re working on, right? I’ll note it down, just in case. Which file…?”
“No need to. It’s just personal curiosity.”
There was no answer for a moment, then the other man asked, “Personal curiosity? What’s the occasion?”
“What do you want to know?”
“I think this is the first time you’re asking me something of this nature, and I’m more shocked than I thought I would be. Is it a woman?”
“Don’t be so interested in my business. I told you already. You’re not my type.”
“And I told you I’m not gay. You know it’s weirder that you react so defensively, right?”
“Tomorrow morning, before work.”
“Sure. I’ll call you. Sweet dreams,” Secretary Tak replied.
Sehun grunted carelessly and hung up. Then, he continued to watch Yoonshin, who was crouching in the corner of the street.
The way Yoonshin curled up into a ball while clutching the envelope tightly with one hand was quite a pitiful sight. The bright and confident image he usually projected was gone without a trace. Inevitably, a very old memory of a certain day overlapped with this image.
A very long time ago, Sehun had seen Yoonshin, who was around 20 at the time, cry just like this. It was at Professor Do’s funeral.
Back then, Yoonshin had also crouched in a corner of a hallway at the funeral home while sobbing. Then, he grabbed the hem of Sehun’s jacket, who was practically a stranger. Sehun had already offered incense, so he was going to brush the other off to leave, but the hand clutched his jacket so tightly that his knuckles were white. Yoonshin managed to say in his shaking voice, “I’m really sorry, but could you stay with me for a moment? I don’t think I can stay here alone.”
It looked like Yoonshin wanted to stay next to someone and cry all he wanted, but he didn’t want people he knew to see him like that.
Even now, Sehun couldn’t understand.
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