Chapter 19: The Meaning of Your Absence
“I’ll try my best to go after I’m finished with the business trip.”
It would have been perplexing even if he just said that he was going to go. He didn’t need to tell her that he would do his best to go to the picnics…
“Haha! Manager Moon! You must like going on picnics.”
“I don’t like it that much.”
Shi Won closed her mouth because she laughed unconsciously. Manager Moon said he would do his best to go to the picnic but he didn’t seem to like picnics at all.
Shi Won turned her head to computer monitor quickly when Manager Moon turned his head towards Shi Won.
“Anyway, I’m really excited that you’re going Manager. Hahaha.”
One of the co-workers spoke to him without any actual interest in him.
‘Um… does it mean that he’s going to the picnic?’
Shi Won actually felt hurt that he couldn’t go to the picnic more than the fact that she did not know that he was going on a business trip. So Shi Won was really glad that he would do his best to go to the picnic.
“Assistant Manager Han!”
Shi Won was smiling while she was looking at the monitor. Suddenly, Manager Moon called her.
“Yes, Manager Moon?”
Shi Won turned her body and gave him a bright smile as she heard his voice. Manager Moon’s eyes widened and stared at Shi Won for a long time.
Shi Won was still smiling and tilted her head while staring at him.
“Uh….Uh….Wait a minute… I had something to tell you…..I will tell you later.”
Shi Won looked at Manager Moon who doesn’t normally stutter and saw him leave the office.
“What happened? Does he need to go to the restroom?”
Manager Moon left the office and headed to the staff lounge located at the end of the hallway.
This is usually where the employees take a break and drink coffee.
Manager Moon sat down on the chair and put his hand on his chest.
His heart was beating so fast, as if he had just sprinted 100 meters.
“ Ah…Han, Shi Won… You really….”
He felt perplexed about why he was feeling this way, but he smiled while thinking about her.
Her smile was like a blooming flower which made her seem brighter compared to her surroundings and made it difficult for him to look at her directly.
He felt like he was conscious around her in his mind and body and didn’t know how to act around her.
“Wow… I was never like this before…”
Whenever he’s with Shi Won, he cannot control what goes on in his mind and can’t control himself.
He took a deep breath and went back into the office.
He stopped behind Shi Won and looked down at her, who was looking at her schedule book and he sneakily looked over it.
He saw her thin neckline that was very white and found that very attractive.
He felt like a pervert, taking sneaky glances at her all the time, so he quickly averted his gaze and pretended to cough. Shi Won, who was surprised by the sudden sound behind her turned around and saw Manager Moon.
“Assistant Manager Han. I need to go to the business trip in the afternoon. Do you have time right now? I need to talk to you about business plans.”
“Yes. I have time right now.”
Shi Won scooted her chair back and moved towards him.
“Anyway, I sent you the necessary files, so take a look at them later.”
“This is the file for the team manager in the afternoon; I already received the file from the other company and sent it. But if someone comes and asks for it, you can send it again. Tomorrow, you need to print out the documents about the app development project before the team manager goes to the meeting.”
Shi Won began writing down notes on what she had to do in her book. Then she lifted her head and frowned.
“Did you do all of this?”
“Yes. Is there a problem?”
“No. I was just wondering why you did this all by yourself. You could have divided the work and given it to someone else to help you… you could have asked me to do something…”
“I’m more comfortable doing this by myself.”
Manager Moon said that he was fine, but Shi Won’s expression showed that she wasn’t fine with it and Manager Moon saw that. She put on a questionable expression and asked, “But when did you find out that you were going on a business trip?”
“You didn’t say anything about it to me yesterday.”
Her face and tone of voice implied that she was slightly angry.
“No… that’s… it was just decided two nights ago.”
“But why wasn’t I informed of this?”
“Aren’t I right? I’m not a just a casual coworker… No, uh I’m not like other people… anyway, you should have told me, who works right under you? Are you embarrassed to tell me?”
He began to get anxious that someone would hear their conversation so he lowered his voice.
Manager Moon’s lips went up and down, trying not to laugh out loud. He thought it was funny and cute that she was pouting that she was the only one to not know about his business trip.
“Next time I will definitely tell you first!”
“Forget it. I don’t need to be first. Just let me know. Is there anything else you need to tell me?”
“I’ll send you the rest of it by email.”
Manager Moon curved his lips with his hand and turned his body to head back to his seat.
‘What’s wrong with him today, he’s stuttering and acting really weird…’
Upon observing his strange behavior, looking at the back of his head, she saw something pop up in her monitor and saw that it was a message from him.
[Are you embarrassed? Or are you disappointed?]
She was really embarrassed because his question was very direct.
[Well… I’m both embarrassed and disappointed..]
[Is that so?]
For some reason, she felt like he was laughing behind her back so she bit her bottom lip while frowning and glaring at the monitor.
[Next time, I’ll make sure that you’re the first to know. I’m sorry. I forgot. Please don’t be sad.]
It felt like their conversation in the messenger app was like they were speaking in real life and she felt like she could actually hear his soft and caring voice; her eyes began glittering prettily.
[Okay. I understand.]
She felt really happy for no reason.
Shi Won began her day happier than usual.
(Inside Shi Won’s apartment)
“Aigoo… I’m tired…”
Shi Won, who got off from work, threw herself onto her bed.
Manager Moon left for his business trip and left her all the work for the next three days. She felt like dying.
The team manager and the director kept on calling her all day to do other miscellaneous tasks for them. And the other company kept on calling her… Before she got off work she felt like she was losing her mind from everything.
“How in the world does this man do this all by himself? And he has time to date?”
She stared at her silent phone on her bed.
“Does he even have time to text or call me? Huh? Then he shouldn’t even date me!”
‘I had lost my mind for three days without him.
Of course, there was a lack of business, but it also was the lack of a familiar being that is always behind me.’
Whenever Shi Won moved, she noticed his desk.
She felt depressed.
Shi Won abruptly got up from her seat and took off her clothes.
Shi Won heard the message sound but she thought it wasn’t important and went into the shower room. She immerged oneself in a bathtub to release her fatigue.
After she finished the bath, she dried her hair, drank cold water, and looked at a clock.
“Look how much time has passed. Did I bathe too long?”
It had already become 11 o’clock.
She turned off the light in her room, laid down on her bed, and looked at her phone.
In the dark room, she got up and stared at her phone.
[Are you sleeping? Let’s talk if you’re not.]
It was his first ever text to her.
Shi Won was never this excited when she used SNS to converse with people everyday….
But she had a racing heartbeat when she got a message from him.
“What the hell…”
Shi Won gave out a short laugh.
Just a moment ago, she was tired and annoyed because of work, but because of this one text she got from Manager Moon, her mood did a complete 180 and she was happy.
She laid down on her back, faced the ceiling, and looked at her phone.
[I’m still awake. I saw your message just now.]
She quickly texted back and put her phone over her chest, waiting for a response.
Suddenly her phone’s ringtone went off and vibrated. She saw that someone was calling her.
She answered the call but didn’t say anything and put the phone next to her ear.
“Yes. It’s me.”
[Ah. Answer me. Shi Won-ssi, aren’t you going to sleep now?]
The voice that she wasn’t able to hear in the past few days lifted up her spirits.
“Yes. I was just about to go to sleep.”
[Is that so? Then you should hurry and sleep.]
Shi Won’s smile disappeared quickly as soon as she heard his response.
‘What the hell. This man. Did he call me to tell me to go to sleep?’ Shi Won thought as she began to get annoyed.
“Manager Moon! Manager Moon!”
“Why did you call me? You didn’t just call me to check whether I was sleeping or not? Did you?”
Nobody can deny that Shi Won’s voice sounded like she was complaining and would just hang up the phone.
She heard him give out a short laugh on the other side of the phone.
“Why are you laughing? Do you know that today was the first time you’ve ever texted and called me?”
Shi Won responded angrily because Manager Moon changed the topic of business.
“What do you mean how’s work? I feel like dying. Why in the world is there so much to do? I feel like I’m going to pass out from all that work!”
[Uh… it won’t be good if you pass out.]
‘I’m over exaggerating right now. I’m not actually gonna pass out.’
“Whatever. How are you doing over there?”
[What do you mean, ‘How am I doing?’]
“I’m just asking if you’re busy. Here, it feels like there’s a ticking time bomb…”
Shi Won didn’t know whether she was angry due to too much work or his comment about telling her just to sleep.
[It feels like I’m dying.]
“Really? Are you that busy?”
[No. The work isn’t that bad.]
“Then why did you say that you feel like dying? It feels like you’re better off than me.”
There was a moment of silence.
[Because I’m dying to see you. That’s why I feel like dying.]
Her heart stopped beating for a moment.
He didn’t give her any time to prepare and he dropped a bombshell like that on her.
Shi Won’s heart beated extremely fast.
[Are you still there? Shi Won-ssi?]
She could hear laughter on the other side of the phone.
[Don’t put your lips that way.]
Shi Won was thinking about what should she say while biting her lips.
“I’m not doing that! I didn’t… with my lips…”
[You didn’t? You always do that when you are embarrassed.]
“Who told you I do that?”
[I didn’t say that to make you embarrassed.]
[I really missed you, so that’s why I said that.]
Shi Won felt her body melt into a puddle of goo and she felt like she had a connection with him right now.
Shi Won didn’t say anything and waited for him to say something.
[You didn’t… miss me?]
His voice sounded like he really wanted her to answer.
Shi Won couldn’t work. Her mind was filled with thoughts about him when he wasn’t in his chair. She wondered what he was doing during these three days.
Shi Won already knew that this was not just a simple infatuation.
It was now that she realized how much he meant to her.
‘Yes. Let’s admit it, Han Shi Won.’
She took a deep breath and smiled.
She exhaled slowly and opened her mouth.
‘I’m not going to die if I say this once.’
She just told him what was on her mind directly.
“Yes, I miss you too.”