Chapter 12: “If It Wasn’t So”
She has no idea how she got out of his house, all that matters is she managed to, without giving out what she really feels. She doesn’t want to know about anything at this very moment, she just wants to linger in this state of numbness. She’s driving to the Han River, in need of some air to help clear her mind before heading home, otherwise her family especially her mother will notice that something is off with her.
I can’t believe I didn’t saw that coming. What happened to the perceptive me? I should have known better. These are the thoughts running through her head as she drives as normal as she possibly can. Given her predicament, it’s surprising that she managed to take charge of the wheel like nothing is happening, like the turmoil in her heart and mind is just a make believe.
Once she reached the river, she carefully looked for a secluded space to park her car, a spot that won’t get too much attention. She desperately need some time on her own and though she has long accepted that people will always try to invade her privacy, she wishes that doesn’t happen today.
On her third round, she found a spot overlooking the river. As she turns off the car engine, she took a deep breath and as she slowly releases her breath, the tears she has tried so hard not to show and let go of trickled down her face. There’s no stopping it now. And though she doesn’t want to remember what took place at his apartment, the memory flows continuously along with her tears.
“Oppa, nan wasseo. How have you been? I missed you,” the woman said smiling sweetly. She noticed Seyoung and said “Oh, you’re not alone.”
“Minji-ah, wae yoegiseo?” said Wooyoung, shock written all over his face.
“Minji-ah?” asked Seyoung.
“Sorry, I’m Minji, Choi Minji. Wooyoung Oppa’s girlfriend,” she declared.
“I’m sorry, did you say girlfriend? He said you two broke up two years or something ago,” Seyoung said when the initial shock subsided, quoting what Wooyoung has said about his ex.
“Broke up? Oppa, I don’t understand this. Did you really say we broke up?” Minji said in disbelief.
“You left; you didn’t answer any of my calls when I tried to explain. I thought you wanted quits,” Wooyoung replied, clearly uneasy with the current situation.
“It doesn’t mean that I wanted quits; you wanted to focus on your career, I gave you your space,” Minji said. “It was so hard to say it at that time that’s why I left the way I did.”
“But you could have told me that before you left…” he stopped mid-sentence realizing that his wordings might insinuate the wrong thing.
“Excuse me, Wooyoung-ah, what are you two talking about?” Seyoung asked, having enough of the woman and Wooyoung’s conversation. “Why does it sound that I am the third party to you guys’ affair?”
“Seyoung-ah it’s not it. Listen to me, please,” Wooyoung said, looking at her with pleading eyes.
“What do you think? And please you are just someone who worked with Oppa, nothing more. How could you even think otherwise,” the woman said. “Oppa, there’s nothing to tell her, you pushed through with your career after I left; I’m back now. I know you’ll keep your promises.”
“Promises, what promises is she talking about Jang Wooyoung,” said Seyoung, her tone dangerously calm considering the situation. The words of the woman stung her but she’s more concerned about the promises she has mentioned.
“I’ll tell you everything about it, let’s talk in my room,” he said then turned to Minji. “Neo, keogiisseo. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Why do you have to talk to us separately, talk to her here; I think I deserve to know whatever you’re going to tell her Oppa,” said Minji acting oblivious of the current tension.
“Stay out of this, will you?” he shouted as he holds Seyoung’s hand, pulling her to his room.
Once they’re inside the room Seyoung let go of his hand. “Palli malhaebwa, what is that woman talking about? Girlfriend?! You said you guys broke up,” she said accusingly. “And mwo, someone who worked with Oppa? What’s that about?”
“Kure, mianhae; I didn’t tell you the truth about how we broke up. I just thought that she won’t come back anymore and I never really wanted to talk about it because you didn’t need to know,” he said, sounding defeated.
“I didn’t need to know? I didn’t need to know that she might come back because technically she’s still your girlfriend, is that it?” she said in disbelief. “Can you hear what you are saying?”
“She’s not my girlfriend. We are over,” he said firmly. “True we didn’t really have a proper closure, but when she didn’t reply nor contacted me before I joined We Got Married in my mind, we are over. Please believe me.”
“Believe you? How do I believe you, tell me,” she said, trying hard not to sound aggravated. “How do I believe you when she’s there, waiting for us to finish this conversation so you can pick up from where you guys left off?”
“There’s nothing to pick up. I told you, we’re over, done. Please, listen to me,” he said, pleading yet unable to say anything more.
“Wooyoung-sshi, clean up your act; don’t get me involved in your mess,” she said after waiting long enough for him to say something coherent about the situation and hearing none – in the firmest tone she could muster before walking out of the room.
“Seyoung-ah, seyoung-ah, please let me explain!” he said as he follows her.
“Oh, you’re done talking? That’s good, I thought I was gonna wait long before you get the picture,” Minji said casually.
“Yes, we are done talking, thank you for waiting,” Seyoung said sarcastically. “Wooyoung-sshi, there’s nothing more to explain, I completely understand your situation. You guys have fun and please don’t ever appear in front of me, ever.”
She took her purse from the couch and hurriedly walked out of his house ignoring Wooyoung’s call. She half walked, half ran to where her car was parked pressing the button to open the door even if she’s still a few meters away. As she opened her door, she saw Wooyoung running after her. She hurriedly gets in, put the key to the ignition and drove away.
♫ I wanna thank you and I love you, han madiro da pyohyeon motaedo ♫ The sound of her ringtone brought her back to the present. She wiped her tears and tried to calm herself before checking who the call is from. The moment she saw Wooyoung’s name register on the screen, her tears fell once more. How can you not know what I wanted to hear? Don’t you know the right thing to say in that situation? How do I believe you if you can’t even say it’s me who matters? You still find that woman important, if it wasn’t so, it would have been easy for you to say you love me. These are the thoughts running through her head. She would have stayed if only he reassured her of her importance, she could have endured the nerve wracking situation with him but he failed to give her the security that she needs.
Once her phone stopped ringing, she turned it off. She doesn’t want to talk right now, especially not with him, not when her tears won’t stop falling. There’s no stopping it anymore, especially since the numbness subsided and she doesn’t want to suppress it anyways. John Green sure knows what he’s talking about – pain demands to be felt, she thought as the tears continues to fall and as she feels that unfamiliar heaviness in her chest getting heavier than it was a while ago.
She closed her eyes and the memories of the times they spent together –now and then, came rushing to her: their ice fishing trip, that day they went to Busan, their visit to the aquarium in Singapore, paragliding, the day he surprised her by coming to her filming location, his visit to her house, last night. She used to think it’s the sweetest memories she has acquired so far; that’s not the case anymore. Even his being meticulous and detailed, the way he took special care of her, his being considerate and giving all seems like a dream right now. In the end, everything was in actually just a show, just pretend and here I am pouring my sincerity. And here I thought he needed honesty.
Before she knew it, she was sobbing uncontrollably, having difficulty to breathe and an hour has passed. That’s enough Park Seyoung-ie, you’ve cried enough for him. It’s time to pick yourself up, she repeatedly said to herself like some mantra that she hopes will work. She looked at her face in the rear-view mirror after composing herself. Her eyes are a bit puffy and her checks still tear-stained. She quickly applied some powder on her cheeks and grabbed her sunglasses from her dashboard. I hope Omma doesn’t see me come in, she prayed as she made her way home.
God was listening, there’s nobody in the house when she arrived and she was thankful. She went straight to her room, took out the albums of her and Wooyoung’s photos and everything that he has given and kept it in a box – out of sight and out of reach. She kept the movie If Only on the player then curled in bed. I wish it would rain, that’s a perfect excuse to cry, she thought as a teardrop escape from her eye.