Apollo's Heart - Chapter 110
“Hey! Are you okay?” Tae-jun asked, placing his hand on his shoulder. Looking closely, he could see beads of sweat forming on Roy’s forehead. He squeezed his shoulder, making Roy look at him.
Roy then put his hands over his eyes. “No.”
“You don’t look very good. You look pale.”
“I just don’t like rainy days, that’s all.” Roy explained.
What an absurd reason! Tae-jun thought.
Roy still had his eyes covered. “I recalled a bad memory.”
Tae-jun narrowed his eyes. “Do you have the same symptoms as Yuri?”
Roy didn’t answer, lowering his hands from his eyes. He excused himself for a moment and went out of the room. Tae-jun took another cigarette and smoked, waiting anxiously for him to return. Roy went back inside after thirty minutes.
When dealing with negotiations, one party intentionally delays the time that one has, as to compose oneself and to come out with a clear mind. He hated having to wait, but this case was different. The one who had regrets now was him.
Roy returned, seemingly having regained his composure. He sat across from Tae-jun. “I only have one question. After leaving Yuri alone for four years, what exactly are you doing now? I was told that you are already engaged to a great fiancée.”
How did you know that?
“How did you know about my engagement?” Tae-jun asked.
“You’re pretty famous, many articles pop up just by typing your name on the search bar,” Roy said as if stating the obvious.
There seemed to be resentment in Tae-jun’s gaze. What is it for? Is it because he left Yuri alone for years, or is it because he’s shaking Yuri’s life again? But even with that in mind, Tae-jun was still the one who was abandoned. He didn’t even know that she was still very much alive.
“When Yuri met with me, she pretended to be someone else for some reason. And she suddenly disappeared. Also, the person who pretended to be Yuri was found dead, so of course, I thought Yuri was dead. I didn’t know that she would still be alive like this under the name ‘Yuri Han’.” Tae-jun explained.
“Then how did you find Yuri?”
“On the day of my engagement ceremony at Hotel Seoin, I saw Yuri passing by while she’s on the phone, saying something about a wrong hotel reservation. After I saw her alive, I started looking for her until I found her.”
Listening to Tae-jun’s side silently, Roy groaned.
“It was me Yuri was speaking to then,” Roy said as he eyed Tae-jun carefully. “You both seem to have an unusual relationship.” The words came out like a statement.
Unusual relationship …
His words echoed in Tae-jun’s mind making him wonder if he and Yuri frequently called each other. He returned Roy’s watching eyes with equal intensity, not breaking his gaze. “Do you really have no idea what’s wrong with Yuri?”
“She’s always been like that ever since I met her,” Roy said, closing his eyes as his mind drifted back to the past, recalling the events that transpired which brought him to Yuri.
“It was three years ago when I first met Yuri. It’s been quite a long while since I plummeted down a depressing path that caused me to let go of my work. But my friend, the clinic’s doctor, asked me to look at a picture. It was one of the artworks from the art therapy sessions he handled. He said that the drawing wasn’t too complicated, and that he just wanted to run it by an expert. The pictures were indeed made by someone who was extremely talented, so I got curious. And I told my friend that I’d like to meet the person behind the paintings.”
Roy paused, taking in a deep breath as he continued. “To be honest, I was really shocked when I met her, because she resembled someone I knew.” He unconsciously fidgeted with the ring on his left hand, twisting it slightly over his knuckle. The subtle action didn’t go unnoticed from Tae-jun’s sight, he thought that maybe Roy was referring to his wife, who died thirteen years ago.
“Did Yuri resemble your late wife?” Tae-jun asked.
Roy was silent for a moment as if in deep thought. After a short while, he responded. “She resembled the woman I loved. Truth be told, Yuri is more beautiful than her. When I think of it, their eyes, noses and mouths are not really similar, but the aura that they exude is the same. The half-dead atmosphere,” Roy said as he looked down at the ring Tae-jun was looking at earlier. “And this ring symbolizes my sin, for having killed the two women in my life.”
“Symbolizes sin-” Tae-jun repeated Roy’s words, and kept himself from saying anything more. He wanted the man to go on, to explain the meaning behind that horrid statement.
Roy took Tae-jun’s silence as a signal to continue. “When we first met, she was just an ordinary Korean international student. I came across her a couple of times in my exhibitions. And soon after, I fell passionately in love with her despite having a fiancée whom I promised to marry. I was also sponsored by that family, and even with that thought in my mind, I couldn’t bring myself to give up on her.”