Reunion Chapter 11

Author: Lee Coin

I arrived home in the middle of the night. There was no voice greeting me, which could have been because Gunwoo was already asleep. I tossed my bag down and sat with my back to the wall.

Jang Yoonsung remembered his ex-girlfriend, who happened to look like me, which was a relief.

You must have had a relationship with her since she reminded you of something. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had to deal with his remarks about losing memories.

It didn’t matter if he truly wanted my help. The important thing was that my life, which was burdened by those memories, was more burdensome than Jang Yoonsung’s, which was empty of memories.

‘It’s a pity.’

Jang Yoonsung responded to me with a puzzled expression. It was unfortunate for me as well.

If you were going to forget about it, do so completely. Inadvertently, I let out a deep sigh.

Gunwoo’s blankets rustled, and he rose up from under the blanket, looking about, and turning on the light as he checked my side of the bed. I was quietly watching Gunwoo sleep. Gunwoo ultimately found me down, his shoulders flinching in surprise.

“That surprised me, hyung. What are you doing sitting there?”

As I replied, “Just,” Gunwoo rubbed his eyes and asked in a tired voice.

“Did you just come in?”

“Yeah.”

“You must be exhausted…”

Gunwoo burrowed himself deeper into the blanket after saying that. It was time for a student who had spent the day at school to sleep. Gunwoo muttered something and appeared to fall asleep quickly.

“Wash up and get into bed. I made some fish cake and stored it in the refrigerator, so enjoy it tomorrow…”

Gunwoo’s nagging has gotten much worse recently. When did it start again?

“I cook it every day for you, but you never eat it…If you do that, mother will get angry…”

The sounds became fewer and fewer until they became incoherent sleep talking. There was no mother to scold me.

Well, it may have started when Mom left. Gunwoo was in high school at the time. Gunwoo could have sobbed in front of his older brother, but he didn’t. He returned with red eyes from where he had been hiding and crying, saying, “I’ll do better, hyung. I’ll do whatever I can for us. Therefore our mother doesn’t have to be concerned…” He, on the other hand, was the one who consoled me. We were each other’s, sole family. Could I have made it this far without Gunwoo?

“I may not be as nice to you, but I’m also an older brother who adores his younger sibling.”

Jang Hyunsang, Jang Yoonsung’s older brother, said this. Despite the fact that he criticized Gunwoo with the same mouth. I was uneasy with Jang Myeongsoo and Jang Hyunsang, but I was never terrified of them. But not at the time.

Thank you, and goodbye. We bowed to a group of departing guests. Tap tap, someone lightly tapped me on the shoulder.

When I looked around, a man who appeared to be the man of the party was standing. He was a regular customer who had recently returned. “What’s wrong?” I asked, looking at him. I was given a business card by the man.

“I understand you may not like it, but if you are comfortable with it, please give me a call.”

The man’s voice sounded cautious. Not long ago, he visited the bar by himself and came out to us while inebriated, and at one point, he asked whether I was cool with it. He must have gained courage when I stated that I had no prejudice about it.

“Oh, that…”

“I’m not pressuring you in any way.”

I couldn’t treat him coldly when he said that, so I smiled vaguely, and the man then greeted me briefly before leaving. As is my habit, I bowed and hollered, “Goodbye.” I had no intention of calling him, but I took up the business card I had gotten to look up his name. Unfortunately, before I could check his name, the business card slipped from my grasp.

“Lee Hakyung must be really popular, huh? But why do you refer to me as a jerk while addressing someone as a guest until the end?”

Jang Yoonsung must have noticed it as he walked in and snatched the business card.

The hard paper crumpled in his grip shortly.

“It’s since there must be a distinction between saying, ‘I want to do it with you once’ and saying, ‘call me if you are alright with it.'”

I glanced towards the hall as I replied.

Seo Kijoon did not show up that day. I was relieved thinking that Jang Yoonsung might not show up with his arm in such a condition. Jang Yoonsung, on the other hand, did not self-reflect on his attitude and just smirked when I responded with an unchanged tone.

“Seo Kijoon isn’t here today.”

“I know. I came here for another reason.”

Jang Yoonsung gazed around the store’s entrance and lingered inside the bar for a while. I wondered whether he was waiting for company, but shortly the store door opened and a man entered, holding a paper bag and bowing to Jang Yoonsung. A tidy tie, decent attire, and a kind demeanor toward Taewon Group’s son. I’ve seen men with this mindset for a long time. The Taewon Group secretaries who served for Chairman Jang or Jang Myeongsoo.

“Well, you’ve arrived.”

Sungwook hyung arrived just in time and addressed them in a pompous tone. Jang Yoonsung smiled politely as well. When he looked at the other man, who appeared to be his secretary, he held out something for Sungwook hyung. Sungwook made a subtle expression as he looked at the contents.

“No, these sorts of things…”

“This is in exchange for the last time you sent me gifts.”

Jang Yoonsung acted pleasantly for the first time in a long time, but neither I nor Sungwook hyung seemed to understand what he meant. Sungwook hyung made an awkward laugh. He appeared stressed, which was unusual for him.

“We gave that to you because we appreciate you. Alright, let’s go inside.”

Perhaps Jang Yoonsung had booked an appointment in advance since Sungwook hyung directed Jang Yoonsung to a room closer to the bar’s interior. The man who brought the gift bowed to me and exited.

I pondered the man’s face. Have I met him before? I couldn’t recall each of the secretaries’ faces because it had been a long time. That man might have had the same situation. Maybe he could have been someone who wasn’t a member of the Taewon Group at the time. At the very least, he didn’t seem to be thinking about anything when he saw me.

My gaze gradually shifted to the room occupied by Jang Yoonsung and Sungwook hyung.

Was there anything Jang Yoonsung needed to discuss with Sungwook Hyung? An uneasy feeling crawled up the back of my neck. “Listen to what they’re saying inside,” I remarked as I handed Jongmin two cups of orange juice.

When Jongmin returned, he tilted his head and stated that he had not heard much. They talked for quite some time and then left. Unlike Sungwook Hyung, who was unsure, Jang Yoonsung appeared content.

“I’ll see you later.”

He exited the store with that word. It was a casual and cheerful greeting as if we would be meeting often. Sungwook hyung turned to Jang Yoonsung and motioned to me.

“Come with me for a second, Hakyung.”

He stood in the back alley against the building’s wall, holding a cigarette in his lips and lighting it. He questioned me with a goofy smile.

“How long have you known Jang Yoonsung?”

“I don’t know him well.”

While Sungwook hyung was a reliable person, I refused since explaining the situation would be difficult.

“How come he said he needed you?”

“What exactly did he say?”

“He says he’d like to borrow you.”

“Fuck.”

When I cursed under my breath, Sungwook hyung chuckled as though he agreed. Sungwook hyung took another long inhale of his cigarette. It was a source of concern. When someone wanted to borrow me, he couldn’t just hand me away. There had to be some circumstances, conditions, or threats.

“So why was he saying something like that?”

“I’m not sure either.”

He most likely didn’t hear much about the specifics. Sungwook hyung was not the kind to ponder such a broad proposal. He understood there were some rules to observe, no matter how many employers or employees there were. If the other party had not been a Taewon Group son, he would have refused him without having to try to comprehend the circumstance by burning cigarettes.

“What will you do if they invite you to work for them?”

“I’d write a letter of resignation.”

“Oh, you have a cold heart. If you keep working here, I might simply send you there.”

“Was he threatening you? Would you appear cheap if you didn’t give him a favor?”

“Well, no.”

By blurring the end of his words, Sungwook hyung avoided my gaze. It was a persistent approach. Of course, Sungwook hyung was afraid that if he turned down the deal, Jang Yoonsung would threaten him.

Yet, this issue had to be determined as well. In other words, Jang Yoonsung expressed his willingness to keep trying to persuade me to help him in regaining his memories. The final clue he discovered was even more significant.

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