Life, Once Again! - Chapter 954
Hong Janghae spat out the mint candy he had in his mouth. He looked for a trash can to throw the candy away, but he didn’t see any. He went into the apartment entrance with the wrapper holding it in hand. Building 106, apartment 1012; he got on the elevator and pressed the 10th floor before waiting. Just as the doors were about to close, he saw a woman wave at him by the entrance to wait. Janghae pressed the open button and waited.
“Thank you,” said the woman who pushed in a baby stroller.
Inside the stroller was a baby that looked just over a year old.
“Which floor are you going to?”
“The tenth floor.”
Janghae nodded before putting his finger on top of the close button.
“Is it a girl?”
“He’s my son, but many people mistake him for my daughter. I’m sure he’ll be handsome in the future.”
The elevator stopped. Janghae gestured to the woman to get off first. The woman lifted the stroller slightly and left the elevator. Janghae followed her out.
“Do you live here?” the woman asked, pointing at apartment 1012.
“My son does. He’s a cruel son who never visited his father ever since he left the house, so I came here myself.”
“I see. You must be happy to see your son again.”
“I plan to scold him to come home more often. I should tell him that showing his face is the easiest filial duty.”
“My child will also make me sad when he grows up, right?”
“That’s just how children are.”
The woman laughed. Janghae turned around and knocked on the door. Behind him, he saw the woman unlock the door to her apartment and open the door. When the plastic wheels hit the base of the door, the door to apartment 1012 opened. Janghae looked at his son, wearing a t-shirt and pajama pants. His son’s facial muscles all contracted at once like a squid shriveling up. He could instantly read the expression of fear on the young man’s face.
“Your son looks great…” said the woman behind him.
She was practically announcing that she had detected something strange by trailing off her voice at the end. Janghae just turned his head around. The woman shrank back and closed the door.
“You should go in.”
The woman quickly closed the door. Janghae looked at his son standing stiffly at the entrance. His son had paled and was faltering back.
“How terrible. You showed a terrible figure in front of other people.”
“I have heard that your brother has left. It seems like he has left this place for you.”
Janghae went inside while wearing his shoes. He stood on the carpet in the living room and looked around. He quite liked the neat placement of furniture and minimalistic decorations. There was no visible dirt in sight as though it was cleaned often. He had a look at the room. Other than a movie poster, nothing caught his eye.
“Take that off and throw it away.”
He spoke, but his son did not move. Janghae stroked his chin and looked at his son. Now then, when would he move? After about ten seconds, his son started moving. The pain of harsh education engraved into his body seemed to have returned as he hurriedly took off the poster and threw it in the trash. Janghae also gave him the wrapper he had in his hand.
“Throw this away too.”
His stiff son started moving quickly. Janghae stopped him when he said that he was going to change.
“Forget it. I just came to see your face. At least it’s not too bad. I don’t have anything to do here. You truly are my son.”
If the house was in terrible condition, he would have rolled up his sleeves, but that seemed unnecessary.
“So, you were at the top of the class this semester too.”
His son looked puzzled at how he knew that, but he soon fixed his expression.
“Do your best so that you do not tarnish the name of this father of yours. I did not raise you moderately. If you look bad, then it will all look bad on my part, so beware of that.”
Janghae placed his hand on top of his son’s head. Now, his son had grown up to the point that he had to look up to him, but the young man was trembling nonstop just from that small touch. It was satisfactory. He regained confidence that this one would never escape his grasp. He was different from the failure that was Hong Geunsoo. It was great that the elder brother had made a name for himself, but that one had no respect for his father, so it was useless. In contrast, the one in front of him right now would live as ‘Hong Janghae’s son’ until he entered the grave.
“A man should be bold. Is there a woman you’re dating?”
“If you’re just playing around, I will not mind who you meet, but if you’re serious, then tell me first. The household is a big factor at play.”
“Yes. I’m relieved to see that you’re doing well. I’ll leave now.”
He stopped his son from seeing him out and closed the door. He went down to the first floor and was walking over to his car when a black sedan suddenly turned and stopped him. It was Geunsoo who opened the door to the driver’s seat and rushed out.
“Why the fuck are you here?”
That was some violent language right off the bat. Janghae felt his hands feel itchy. It would be great if there was a baseball bat here. On the passenger seat was a paper bag with a supermarket logo.
“Geunseok is grown up now. Even if you don’t look out for him, he’ll do well by himself.”
“I am asking you. Why the fuck are you here?”
“I visit pretty often, but it seems you didn’t know. It looks like Geunseok didn’t tell you.”
“You didn’t dare touch him, did you?”
“People might misunderstand. I’m just checking if my son is doing well as a father.”
“So that’s why you beat him up so badly? Because you’re his father?”
“It was just a form of education. Unlike you, Geunseok needed guidance. Right now, he seems to be doing pretty well.”
Guensoo approached, seemingly having more things to talk about, but then turned around after looking at the apartment.
“If you don’t want to visit the police station often due to domestic violence, do not ever come here again. Don’t ruin the guy who finally stabilized.”
“What a way to talk to your father.”
Geunsoo got back in the car and parked the car in an empty spot. Janghae watched as Geunsoo entered the apartment before getting in his car. Recently, he was desperately feeling that not everything in the world was going as he had expected. One of them was the existence of Hong Geunsoo. Ever since he went under Lee Junmin’s wings, he had grown up so big that Janghae had no choice but to watch from afar. That boy never listened to him ever since he entered elementary school, so it was inevitable that he would escape his clutches, but he never imagined that the little boy would nest himself in a place that he would not be able to reach. He even took away his younger brother, who was obedient to Janghae.
It was truly a pity that the form of his family that had to be whole had broken apart. Even his wife expressed her complaint about this matter. He really wished to return it to as it was before, but that would be impossible as long as Hong Geunsoo was on the edge. He was the type to go against the natural order and report his father.
While looking up at the apartment, Janghae reached into his inner pocket. He took out his phone and checked the message. It was from the chairman’s secretary.
-The chairman asks you to visit him in two days along with Lee Miyoon.
Janghae smashed down the driving wheel. That woman actually regained her position. The chairman, who said he was going to consider it, just told him to make a visit alongside that woman, so it was already game over. This was something he had expected ever since he heard that Lee Miyoon kowtowed in front of the chairman like a mad woman.
The chairman was someone who would throw away people easily but would just as easily pick people up. This was especially true in this case, as he would not hesitate for a long time when using someone he had used before. Lee Miyoon was the first woman that made the chairman call someone a ‘talented woman’, despite the fact that he would always say that a hen crying would bring ruin to a household.
That woman was an annoyance in his eyes since she didn’t know her own capabilities and butted in. He had played his hand for a long time in order to take that lump of desire off of him and was fruitful in his endeavors. He thought that he had cut her off cleanly, but she returned all too easily.
Just then, he got a call. As soon as he saw the name of the caller, he calmed his breath and picked up the call.
-Little Hong. You saw the text my secretary sent you, yes?
-You must know what that means, then?
“If I may, I dare predict that you plan to use Lee Miyoon again.”
-Yes, indeed. That woman was very interesting. As expected of someone who caught my eye once. It’s such a pity. Had she not been born a woman, I would have used her dearly.
“Can you entrust me with the business of welcoming customers? I will open the business in Japan once again.”
-Little Hong, this time, your mistake was big. If you wanted to weed the grass out, then you should’ve done it properly. Your eyes for choosing your woman were great, but it seems like your eyes for finding a business partner are lacking. Park Okhwa, was it? You tried to involve a foolish woman who desired something that she can’t even eat into this field. I never knew I’d use the word disappointed to you of all people.
“I’m sorry, chairman.”
-Try getting along with Lee Miyoon again. At least there was no noise when that woman was doing the job. I understand that you cut her off since she was aiming for your share, but she attacked back this time, so you should yield. That woman, Lee Miyoon, has already finished planning for her business in Japan. She has already finished the talks with the entertainment industry Yakuzas there too. I took your side for your sake last time, but this time, I can’t. My philosophy is to use people who are talented.
“…I’ll visit you with Lee Miyoon the day after tomorrow.”
-Yes, do come together.
After ending the call, he threw the phone into the back seat. How was he supposed to deal with that damned bitch? Janghae pressed between his eyes and started the car.