Chapter 13 - Why Hang Lowest?
That night, Madam Choi patiently waited for Muyeol.
“Granny, I have to tell you something,” he had said over the phone.
And she had immediately realized what he meant. “Okay, do you want to talk about it over dinner?”
“No. I don’t have time for that.”
“Okay, I’ll wait for you then.”
After hanging up the phone, Madam Choi had struggled to get up from the couch. She knew a day like would come eventually, when she would barely be able to move because of her weak, trembling legs. But she clenched her fists, took a few deep breaths, and finally managed to lift herself off the couch.
Now, she was looking at the table filled with refreshments. Muyeol might have said he didn’t have time, but that was nothing in the face of her instinct to feed him well. She had prepared several popular desserts, though she knew that Muyeol wouldn’t touch any of them.
“I wonder if he ever eats properly,” Madam Choi muttered.
After a certain point in his life, Muyeol stopped eating properly. When his peers differentiated themselves from him, he ate alone, and now he only consumed the necessary amount of calories, unless he was at an official occasion.
“Should I have prepared some candies?” Madam Choi pondered as she fiddled with the plates, looking a bit worried.
“Do you want me to buy some now? Where should I buy them from?” the housekeeper asked upon hearing Madam Choi.
Madam Choi was lost in her thoughts. She recalled how Muyeol had brought home a bag full of candies back when he was in 7th grade. He hated sweets, which was why his actions had left her shocked.
“Do you like candies?” she had asked.
Muyeol had carelessly responded, “I grabbed them before this annoying girl could be super loud and cry because of them. The candies are too sweet, though. Would you like some?”
The candies had indeed been extremely sweet, but Muyeol valued them a lot. He seemed to hate them, but he never dumped them in the trashcan and finished every piece. Madam Choi had bought the same candies for him later, but he never even touched those.
Every White Day, he brought back a shopping bag full of candies without fail. And each time, he muttered the same excuse; that he took them before an annoying girl could be super loud and cry because of them.
“No… I was just wondering,” Madam Choi muttered.
The housekeeper didn’t finish her words, but Madam Choi knew exactly what she was going to say; the housekeeper didn’t want to see Muyeol.
“Our young master is weirdly scary,” the housekeeper had once said.
Madam Choi partially agreed with the housekeeper. Muyeol had started living with them since he was 13, so she knew him well. The boy was quiet and calm, but also cold-hearted and spiteful. The way his eyes looked when he gazed at people… They were cold, deep, and scary, to the point that Madam Choi was shaken to the core when she looked at him.
“I should have taken him away from his father way earlier,” Madam Choi said with remorse.
Muyeol was Mr. Cha’s son; but Mr. Cha was like a monster, he never put in the effort to understand Muyeol, or tried to be by his side. Mr. Cha was different from any of his family members, he acted just like a cruel tyrant. He only treated Muyeol as a possession, not a human.
Even as she thought about it now, Madam Choi’s heart pained like it was being burned. She had felt so helpless, even more so once Jaeho, Mr. Cha’s second son who was born out of wedlock, started living with them. Jaeho hadn’t left a good impression on her.
“I’m so glad I’m able to live in a house like this. It’s all because of Dad,” he had said. And his words had given her goosebumps.
Jaeho had pretended as if Mr. Cha was the best father in the whole world. That damn child… he was not an ordinary kid, and she had noticed it right away. Soon after, she had come to learn that Muyeol had apparently harassed Jaeho, but Madam Choi never fell for the trap. She knew that Muyeol wasn’t the type of person who attacked someone unless they did something to him first. He never cared about what others did.
The day Muyeol had fallen sick, she was able to bring him home with her, and later Muyeol decided to separate himself from Mr. Cha and those following him.
Madam Choi nodded and said, “Okay, you can go home now. Thank you for today.”
“Okay, Madam. I’ll see you tomorrow,” the housekeeper replied.
Madam Choi had to swallow the bitterness that welled up in her as she watched the housekeeper leave and remembered her reaction toward Muyeol. He was 32 now, and he was rapidly developing his power and wealth. Frigid as he was, Muyeol exhaustively pursued whatever benefited him. And he never forgave anyone.
When one person dared to say to Muyeol, “People say the boughs that bear most hang lowest, but I wonder when you, Director Cha, will become like that.”
Muyeol’s reply had been callous, “I haven’t achieved the ‘most’ yet. And do I have any reason to hang lowest? Wouldn’t that only allow people to cut me off?”
Madam Choi’s thoughts shifted, she began debating whether she should prepare other refreshments or just let them be. Muyeol barely ate, and she couldn’t stop worrying about his health. She wondered if something was bothering Muyeol that made him unable to eat properly.
Madam Choi shook her head and walked towards her study. She entered the room and opened the safe placed in the corner to take out a document. What Muyeol wanted was S Corp’s stock.
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