Please Be Quiet And Take Off Your "Something" - Chapter 52
The smooth talker was gazing down at her with faintly shimmering eyes. It was the same look as he had when he had adjusted the buttons of her blouse. Like a calm but overcast sky on the eve of a storm.
She suddenly realized that those eyes kept moving regardless of Si-Jin’s cheeky tongue or the direction of the conversation. And also, the fact that they were contemplating her swaying breast slightly peeking out of her jacket due to her body laying on the side, or glancing from time to time under her skirt rolling up.
With eyes proudly displaying his desire, he was acting lecherously and unconcerned to hide it.
Na-Yool soon felt thirsty. She swallowed dry saliva and turned her head. She wanted to ask in disgust if this was the place to reveal his unrestrained pervert self ready to have sex anytime, but her body heated up as if it was a set procedure.
She did not know what on earth he had done to her. How come she enjoyed being watched by the licentious Kwon Si-Jin?! She wanted to blame the alcohol, but the before and after were clearly different.
She wiggled and curled up to hide her face from him.
“Know your standards.”
“And don’t show any regrets. Don’t let that bastard receive the consideration he does not deserve.”
Striking a callous tone, he had given her words of support – which actually were not – to revise her (now elevated) standards, and in all seriousness reduced her to a woman full of regrets.
Only then did she clearly identified, underneath his words, the arrogant and annoying conclusion he had jumped to: The fact that you did not excitedly boast about how great of a person I am in from of him, isn’t it out of consideration for that loser’s weak self-esteem, and therefore the proof of your remaining affection for him?
And also, what he was misunderstanding despite seeing her fight with Sang-Hoon with his own eyes.
Na-Yool wanted to refute having remaining feelings, but she did not feel like letting her own burning face look towards his aloof expression. She simply nodded in approval, almost burying her head between his legs.
She wished they would arrive soon so she could somehow escape, but equally hoped they would never reach their destination in fear that her bright, aroused, red face got discovered. With him, everything felt unfamiliar. Even her own self.
“In the end, all this consideration looks akin to real feelings.”
“So annoying.” If she had not turned away then, maybe Na-Yool would have seen his face mumbling in an incomparably unfamiliar manner.
Chapter 13 – Saturday morning 10:10 a.m.
[Disclaimer: All dialogues with Sang-Hoon in this chapter are a flashback/dream]
“Do you have to keep working there?”
“Do you have to keep working for this company?”
“What do you mean?”
“It doesn’t have to be there. You’re a designer anyway, so it’s easy for you to transfer to any other company…So I’m asking if a woman like you has any reason to keep working in a place with such harsh working conditions.”
“My previous company and the one before too were equally tough anyway. Considering how low my wages were… it’s true the work is hard here, but I get proportionally compensated. You know, the first time I got hired at a design agency I worked overtime every day without getting even half of the money I get here. If I go anywhere else, I will never receive this salary.”
“Money is important Na-Yool, but‒”
“It’s not only about the money. The clients also have high standards, and though it’s tough to get their approval, they allow me to continue to try new things on my own and reflect on my ideas. Didn’t I tell you how much I suffered when I had to change jobs from that previous company, because I couldn’t make even one portfolio since they had me copying design of packaging from 15 years ago?”
“Okay, you’re right, money is important, a portfolio too. I’m just asking out of concern, worried it would take a toll on your body. Because I feel bad when I see you.”
“Thanks for your concern but I’m good, oppa.”
“You’re a woman, after all. No need to be so eager to the point of overdoing it.”
“…Why shouldn’t I be?”
‘Women’, ‘a woman like you’, ‘you’re a woman, after all’, ‘because you’re a woman’… Any time Sang-Hoon would chatter in a remarkably tender tone, occasionally considerate but mostly patriarchal nonsense, a mental resistance would also surge inside Na-Yool.
Yes, Sang-Hoon was a sweet, old-fashioned relic. Consequently, when they had to cancel their date because of his work it was considered a constructive – since Na-Yool was in his eyes the same as a dependent wife – and unavoidable reason, but when it was because of her work it became a selfish reason, blaming her for putting work over all else.
“Anyhow, you will have to quit your job after giving birth. I agree it’s better to work before marriage instead of playing around but still… It’s not like you’re going to work forever, so do you really have to be so furiously invested in every project?”
“… How do you know if I will quit or not once I give birth?”
“Then what, do you plan to keep working? What about the kid?”
“I will think about it when the time comes.”
“Think about it when the time comes? Such an important and obvious matter?”
“Actually, I have never once thought of quitting my job. And I don’t want to. I don’t know how my personal circumstances will change, but even if they do I will think about it then. How can I control something that is yet to happen…”
“Kim Na-Yool. Were you such a selfish woman?”
Na-Yool watched Sang-Hoon’s blurry face looking kind of dumb flickered like a dream. Of course, it was not a nice dream, but his existence was neither grandiose enough for Na-Yool to remember him even as a nightmare. It just felt like a silly dream with a bad ending. Just that much of a memory.
She could barely see the face of this Sang-Hoon from some time ago, yet could clearly identify where his facial features were. If only her vision had been so blurry that she could not see those chattering lips, and never wonder when and what they would say next!
“Even with our relationship. I don’t know how much we have to sacrifice because you’re busy and having a hard time.”
“…Sorry, you said we sacrificed it because of what?”
“We barely meet twice a week. Even among my dating friends, I’ve never seen a girlfriend as busy as you are. Usually, if a man is busy, the woman who has a lot of time takes it into consideration and matches his schedule so that the two of them meet as much as possible. That’s a normal and beautiful relationship. But you, you always say that since I’m busy and you’re even busier it can’t be helped. Yesterday you couldn’t meet me because I was busy, and today because you are. You’re always like this. You don’t make an effort for our relationship.”
“So what ‘efforts’ can I make? You can’t mean ‘to quit working’, is it?”
“You’re already at the age of dating with marriage in mind. If you get picky here it will be too late and your 30s will just fly by, so now is your last chance.”
“I am your last chance.”
She remembered the moment she heard the world’s most horrifying words. That moment when she had instinctively confirmed that there was no room for a long-term future with him. That moment when Sang-Hoon had looked like a completely different person.
I am your last chance. Her blurry eyes could still vividly picture his confident expression when saying that. Along with the confidence that, on the contrary, Na-Yool was not his last chance.
It was probably around a month and a half ago that things started turning sour between them. Back then, when talks about their future came up, while Na-Yool would skillfully avoid making any outspoken remarks, Sang-Hoon, despite not being satisfied with her reaction, would just let it go without commenting further.
Sometimes relationships abruptly change at some point. Both of them gave up on making efforts around the same time. In the end, what sustained the relationship between a man and a woman in a moderate way was the ambiguous peace that came from not having a proper conversation. But the moment they opened their mouths out of frustration, eventually…
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