Sukyung replied in confusion,
“But I wasn’t late today….”
Sungwoo was speaking as if she was late all the time.
But the truth was, she was late only once.
Ignoring her, Sungwoo walked away and got into his car.
Sukyung glared at his back for a few seconds before turning away.
She began walking toward the nearby bus stop.
Sungwoo refused to drive her home.
If he did, it would’ve been like a date.
And he had zero intention of dating Sukyung.
As he drove home, he crunched on the mint angrily.
He felt very upset.
It wasn’t that he was upset at Sukyung.
It was that she reminded him so much of himself, and it hurt.
Sukyung was 28, but she was so much like him when he was 18.
Sungwoo first slept with a woman when he was 17.
He quit school at the age of 14 and began interning at a local beauty salon.
At the time, he didn’t have anyone who cared for him.
So no one tried to stop him from quitting school like it happened to Jaewon.
When he was interning, he was paid nothing except room and board.
His hands were ruined every season.
They would be too dry or too wet, and they would crack until they bled.
The chemicals for perms were horrible on his skin.
He remembered his eyes turning red and having nosebleeds all the time.
One night, he slept with another intern who was two years older than him.
After sex, he secretly left the room and walked to the dark alley.
He cried and cried there by himself.
It wasn’t that the sex was bad or that he didn’t like the woman.
He didn’t know why, but he couldn’t help but sob.
Afraid someone might hear him, he bit his fist not to make any sounds.
After crying for about an hour, Sungwoo returned to the room and hugged the woman tightly.
He slept very soundly for the rest of the night.
Sungwoo couldn’t remember ever crying again after that night.
He hadn’t thought of that night for a long time until Sukyung cried after their kiss earlier.
Her tears reminded him of that night and how he felt.
This was why he couldn’t push on.
If he consoled her and caressed her a few more times, Sungwoo felt certain Sukyung would’ve let him have her tonight.
Just a few more kisses, and she would’ve been his for the night.
But if he did… He knew he would leave an emotional scar on her that might never heal.
His own pain had dulled over time, but he was only 18 at the time.
He was younger and much time has passed.
Unfortunately, Sukyung was 28.
If she was hurt now, he didn’t think she would be able to recover for a very long time.
“But it’s not like I care about other people.
So what is wrong with me now”
Sungwoo murmured angrily as he swallowed the crushed mint.
His employees have been in panic for the last few weeks.
He ordered them to empty his afternoon schedule four days per week, so it made sense that his staff were upset.
His clients were insisting on making appointments with him, but he refused to give up the lessons with Sukyung.
He even had all of his employees leave early those days so he could spend private time with her.
But he had been working late on all the other days, so Sungwoo didn’t feel guilty.
After all, he was the boss, so he deserved to have complete control over his own schedule.
On his way home, so many thoughts crossed his mind.
He had so many ideas, but nothing concrete.
He decided that perhaps it was best to keep modifying his plan as time passed.
For the first time Sukyung began taking lessons, Sungwoo brought a female staff member with him to their lesson.
Or maybe, she wasn’t a staff member.
The woman looked so elegant.
She looked up and down at Sukyung in assessment.
Sukyung suddenly wondered if she was another client.
“Today, you’re going to learn about posture.”
Posture What posture When she looked at him in confusion, Sungwoo frowned and explained,
How to walk, sit, and move.”
Sukyung nodded at first before realizing she was still confused.
“I have to learn things like that too”
“You don’t even know how to keep your shoulders straight, so yes.
I am tired of it, so we need to do this.”
Sukyung quickly straightened her shoulders, which was already slouching.
Sungwoo pointed this out often to her, but it was a hard habit to break.
She had been living without any confidence for years, so it was now just the way she was.
Sukyung also hated to be noticed, so slouching was her way of keeping herself as small and invisible as possible.
Sungwoo introduced the woman to Sukyung,
“This is Chief Song.
She’ll teach you how to walk properly.
That’s not something I can teach you myself.”