Chapter 25: First Kiss Hurt
“Han Shi Won.”
The silence was broken when she heard her name from behind.
She saw Do Hoon’s figure walking towards her.
“Oh. Do Hoon oppa. You weren’t asleep?”
“Yeah. Did you just arrive?”
Shi Won smiled awkwardly because she didn’t expect to run into him of all people.
“What did you do with Manager Moon?”
“Huh? Nothing. We just drank some tea. There weren’t any good places to sightsee around here.”
“Is that so?”
When Do Hoon said, “Is that so?” Shi Won felt as if he knew that she was lying to him.
“It was unexpected.”
“That you chose Manager Moon instead of me…”
“Uh… uh… that. You heard it earlier. I made a mistake against him earlier so… To make it up to him…”
“Is that really the reason?”
Shi Won started to get nervous when he asked that question.
“Yes! That’s all. Is there any other reason why I would choose him? Oppa, are you upset that I didn’t choose you?”
She laughed at him teasingly and lightly punched him on the arm.
“Yeah. It didn’t feel good. I thought you would pick me for sure.”
“I’m sorry but you don’t need to feel bad just because you weren’t able to get free time.”
Shi Won was somehow able to get over this obstacle.
“You know we have an alumni meeting this week right?”
Shi Won thought that they were over the subject and confidently said, “Yup. I know. Are you going to go?”
“Yeah. Of course. I want to see those old fellows. You’re going too right?”
“Yup. I miss them too. I’m excited to see them again. We don’t see them often.”
“Yeah I’m excited too.”
“Oppa, I’m tired. I’m gonna go ahead and sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Shi Won wanted to get away from this awkward situation and quickly bowed before she left.
“Okay. Good night.”
Shi Won saw his expression as she went inside the female lodging and thought that there was nothing to worry about… hopefully.
The lights were off so she tried her best to keep her steps light.
‘Where am I supposed to sleep?’
She saw the figures of her co-workers sleeping and decided to go to another room to sleep.
She opened the door to the other room and saw Assistant Manager Kim Na Rae and Manager Park Eun He still drinking at this hour while chatting.
“Ah! She’s back!”
“Hey! Assistant Manager Han. Hurry and sit here. Beer?”
They both stared at her with curious eyes and motioned her to quickly come over. When she sat down, Assistant Manager Kim handed her a can of beer.
“Here! Now, spill!”
They stared at her expectantly and wanted her to quickly tell them of tonight’s events.
“Uh! You just stuttered! That means something happened!”
“Didn’t Manager Moon look at you strangely today unni? What did you do with him today? Did you make another mistake again?”
Shi Won wordlessly took a drink from the can of beer.
They both stared at her with wide eyes and she slowly opened her mouth.
“We just drank tea.”
“And we just talked about life.”
“Life? What about life?”
“Just work and friends and stuff.”
“Ah! What do you mean so? That’s all we talked about.”
“For four hours?”
The two people both picked up their beer and took a long drink.
“What’s wrong with him? This Manager Moon. And I had a good impression of him today because he looked so hot.”
“I know right? He definitely had a sparkle in his eyes when he looked at you. Like when he chose you although you chose someone else.”
They looked at her suspiciously so Shi Won felt like she was about to get caught and spouted out a lie.
“If he looked at me that way then Do Hoon oppa is the also the same.”
“Ah! You’re right. Then why did you choose Manager Moon?”
“That’s right. Unni. Why did you choose Manager Moon over Do Hoon oppa?”
“You… you’re the one who told me not to choose him. Kim Na Rae! I didn’t choose him because of you and the other female workers! Do you understand?”
Finally they seemed convinced and nodded. They wondered why they didn’t go to sleep and expected something from Shi Won.
“Aren’t you going to sleep? I’m tired.”
She gave an excuse so that they wouldn’t ask anymore questions and opened her bag to take out her feminine toiletries.
“We should sleep. We waited for you for no reason. We just need to brush our teeth in the restroom.”
“I wanna sleep also.”
“Okay. I’ll wash up.”
After she came out of the shower she saw the two of them fast asleep.
She took the towel off her head and began drying her hair. She suddenly remembered Manager Moon’s touch on her head and her cheeks began to flush.
She slowly moved her hand to her lips and still felt his kiss lingering from earlier in the day.
She semi-dried her hair and laid down on her pillow.
‘Is he driving safely? He has to drive for at least four hours…’
She worried about Manager Moon driving with a tired body.
She was happy that he came here just for her but she was worried that he now had to drive back so late in the night when he was tired. She couldn’t fall asleep because she was worried about him.
Her phone that was in her hand vibrated and within 0.1 seconds she opened her eyes to unlock her phone.[Are you sleeping? I’m at a rest area right now. I’m almost halfway there. If you’re sleeping, sweet dreams.]
She saw those black letters on her white screen and stared at her phone in a daze for a long time, as if she were looking at a beautiful piece of art.
She thought that it would have been nice if he said that he missed her.
Worried that she might wake someone up, she turned over and covered herself with the blanket.[I’m not asleep yet. You must be tired. Drive safely. I miss you.]
She smiled under the blanket and thought that if one were to send a message then one should send something like this.[I might have to turn back because of you.]
Shi Won moved under the covers because of his text.[You don’t mean that you’re going to drive back here right? Stop teasing me.]
She definitely knew that he was joking but she felt burdensome and worried because he drove four hours already to come here.[Hurry and sleep. I’ll come back after work is finished. I miss you too.]
She unconsciously let out a sigh and quickly covered her mouth in case someone heard her.
She didn’t know if she sighed because she missed him or was worried about him.
She put down her phone and closed her eyes.
She could still remember the moment they kissed and when his sturdy chest closed in on hers. She couldn’t go to sleep because her heart was beating too fast and she could feel his lips and his breathing.
The next morning.
The workers weren’t as interested in Shi Won as she thought they would be.
They just asked, “Did you have a good time? Did you have fun? It must have been boring with Manager Moon.”
She was relieved that those were the only questions asked but she got angry because they weren’t interested in them at all. So she had some conflicting emotions.
‘Do we really not look good with each other? And why are they evaluating Manager Moon this way?’
But only Shi Won knew about Manager Moon’s warm and soft side and so she smiled to herself.
It rained all morning. They had scheduled a hike on the trail but it was canceled, so the employees were all tired and hungover because of the alcohol they drank the night before. They just wanted to go home so they began packing their belongings.
“Unni, are you sure it’s okay for me to carpool in the car you were in?”
She answered confidently without any thought.
“But won’t people think that it’s strange or awkward?”
Assistant Manager Kim asked in a excited yet worried face.
“Don’t worry, I’ll tell him that I had something to talk to you about work.”
“Ah! You’re right. I have to use this opportunity to get close to Assistant Manager Kim Do Hoon!”
Shi Won laughed at the excited Kim Na Rae.
In fact, she was willing to change spots with her because she was uncomfortable with Do Hoon.
He confessed to her two years ago and he waited for her last night also…
She just wanted to have a comfortable ride back home so she was grateful for Assistant Manager Kim.
The co-workers all got into the car.
Shi Won followed Manager Park Eun He and looked at Assistant Manager Kim.
She avoided his eyes and got into the car.
“Ah I’m exhausted!”
She arrived home and jumped into her bed.
Although they usually went on the picnic trip for fun, it was always exhausting when she came back home.
Even though her body was tired, her mind was fresh and so she smiled.
She wanted to send a message but she didn’t because she didn’t want to interrupt his work.
However, Manager Moon sent one to her.[Did you eat? Did you get home safely?]
While young couples might think that it’s right to send something like this, it wasn’t easy for older couples to do the same thing. She was happy when he sent her this.
Manager Moon was totally different from the other men she knew..
Shi Won laid in bed.
‘Did I get a cold?’
She didn’t get out of bed and took some medicine.
‘Did I stay out too long that day? It was kind of cold that day…’
It was when she spent time with Manager Moon at the lake.
May nights were warm and had chilly winds.
Because they were too busy kissing, she didn’t notice the cold and they had stayed out too long.
Shi Won covered herself in the blanket and laughed to herself.
It’s laughable that they were making out for so long that they lost track of time.
She was enjoying their first kiss too much.
The fever slowly went away after she took medicine but she spent most of the day sleeping in bed.
She opened her eyes when she saw the text appear on her phone.
“What time is it…”
Shi Won exhaustedly got up and looked at the clock and saw that it was almost 10 PM.
She received his text saying that he was going heading back at around six so she thought that he might have arrived by now as her phone rang.
“Hello?”[Uh?… Your voice. Were you sleeping?]
His cheerful voice faded and he asked in a concerned tone.
“Ah. Yeah. I was sleeping.”[I’m sorry. I must’ve woken you up.]
“No, it’s okay. Where are you?”[I’ll be around in about 30 minutes. Can I come see you?]
She turned her head and look at the mirror. She looked terrible, as if she were a different woman.
“Ah! No! I’m going to sleep. I’ll just see you tomorrow!”
Her voice sounded hurried.[…]
She didn’t know what to say in his silence.
She wanted to see him right now but she didn’t want to show him her current condition.[Are you that sleepy?]
Ha… her resolution weakened when he asked like that. But she definitely couldn’t see him today! Her eyes were so swollen that she could barely see and her skin was very dry and pale.
“No. It’s not that I’m sleepy…”
Shi Won answered and sighed…
“I have a cold so I just want to rest. I should hurry and sleep so I can get to work tomorrow.”[Are you in a lot of pain? Did you take medicine?]
His voice made him sound very worried.
“I think it’s just a passing cold. I took medicine. Don’t worry, I’m fine.”[Okay. Hurry and go back to sleep.]
“Okay. Manager, be careful on the way back and get some sleep. You must be tired.”
She laid on her bed and looked at the ceiling. She wanted to see him but couldn’t.
She hugged her blanket and closed her eyes.
She felt like she would drift off to sleep any second.
Her consciousness was about to fade when suddenly her doorbell rang.
She suddenly popped her eyes open at the sound of the bell.