Oh My Love, The Last.
Breathing heavily, Ha Joyoon focused all his senses on Kang Taejung as he entered the restaurant.
All the noises that had previously bothered his ears disappeared, and he could only hear that one person’s voice.
“When will you be leavi…”
Kang Taejung was looking for a seat when he saw Ha Joyoon staring at him, and he immediately stopped walking.
His slowly widening eyes indicated that he was surprised by the unexpected encounter.
Tears welled up in Ha Joyoon’s eyes as there was no pleasant feeling anywhere in the man’s eyes.
He struggled to greet him as he tried to hold back his tears.
Contrary to his pounding heart, the voice that came out was calm.
Kang Taejung, who had been silent for a while, asked the person who was accompanying him to give him a moment.
“Why don’t you go ahead first? I’ll be right behind you.”
Your friend? Take your time and come, I’ll just be looking at the menu.”
After confirming that Kang Taejung’s acquaintance had moved away, Ha Joyoon took a step closer.
It was only a small move, but Kang Taejung’s face became terrifyingly hard when he saw Ha Joyoon approaching him.
As the physical distance grew smaller, their emotional distance was getting farther and farther apart.
A terrible sensation rushed through his veins and struck his heart.
Ha Joyoon struggled to say what he had not been able to convey for days as he bit his trembling lips.
“I contacted you several times but…”
I was afraid of those eyes that lacked any sort of attachment, plainly looked at me without saying a word.
Worn and desensitized, it felt like coarse sand against my skin.
“I texted you… I called you too.”
“But I’m meeting you here of all places.”
I’ve just been really busy with work lately.”
Ha Joyoon smiled frowningly at the words that seemed to come out like a reflex now.
After that, silence ensued between the two for a long time which previously didn’t require patience.
The uncomfortable stream of air settled coolly on the back of his neck.
Ha Joyoon quietly lowered his eyes as his legs were on the verge of collapsing under the weight of his body.
Was there anything more pathetic than begging for feelings from someone whose heart had already left? He hated himself for not being able to give up, even though he knew, after just a few encounters, that there was very little room for hope.
He knew that his actions, words, and existence itself could be burdensome for someone and pain for others.
“Am I not allowed to contact you?”
You haven’t officially broken up with me yet.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Jjc sbe ja ifjra gfqis?”
You still haven’t told me that it’s all over now.
That’s why I’m getting my hopes up even if this is just an illusion.
It’s just that you’re confused now.
You’re just mad at me.
So I believe that you need a little more time to think.
-Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.-
“Obbx ja wf j yla.”
-Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.-
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Lbkfnfg, pera yfobgf tf kjr ibra lc atf gert bo vfqgfrrlbc, atf atbeuta atja Bjcu Kjfpecu wluta yf agbeyifv revvfcis mgbrrfv tlr wlcv.
Lf tlwrfio kjr cba ybatfgfv ys tbk batfgr rjk tlw, yea lo akb wfc kfgf rajcvlcu lc j gfrajegjca fzevlcu j afcrf jawbrqtfgf, atf qfbqif klat atfw mbeiv tjnf atbeuta atf meggfca rlaejalbc kjr ragjcuf fcbeut.
When he thought about it, Ha Joyoon unconsciously took a step back.
It was only then that Kang Taejung raised his head and acknowledged his past lover.
Ha Joyoon quickly apologized in a trembling voice.
I didn’t realize that was inappropriate…”
“I’ll call you again.
Your colleagues are waiting… I didn’t think it through.”
It’s not like that.”
The way he looks at me mournfully is the same as before, making me think that he may still love me.
As bad as I was to you, your kindness that can’t even put me back in my place properly is crueler than anything else to me right now.
Ha Joyoon firmly closed his mouth and immediately turned away as he left his heavy heart behind.
He felt a piercing gaze, but he couldn’t look back because he was afraid of the complex emotions contained within that gaze.
Rather, it was more comfortable to look at the eyes of Shin Kwonjoo, who was watching the situation in front of him.
Thinking that it was ironic, Ha Joyoon opened the door and followed Shin Kwonjoo, widening his stride and moving quickly.
“Yoon-ah…” Kang Taejung’s voice rang low once again, but he didn’t look back.
The door was open and it was bright outside with the midday noise and afternoon sunlight.
Ha Joyoon slightly covered his eyes under the hot sun.
Shin Kwonjoo came out on the sidewalk first and was headed for the parking lot when he suddenly turned his head to look at Ha Joyoon who was following him.
“I’ve never met him, but he sounded like the person who called me endlessly back then.
Was that person Kang Taejung?”
He recalled Kang Taejung saying that he had called the man to the point of annoyance.
Ha Joyoon nodded his head while trying to hide his melancholy.
The eyes that stared at him with one eyebrow raised were sharp.
“Ha Joyoon-ssi, are you gay?”
It was a definitive question without any hesitation.
Although he didn’t directly ask about Kang Taejung, there was no way that it was just a question of identity.
Ha Joyoon looked at the other person, not knowing how to respond.
He quickly shook his head when he realized that no lies would work.
“It’s not like that.
I’ve never had feelings for any other men.”
It was an indirect acknowledgment that he and Kang Taejung were in a romantic relationship.
A low snort came out at those words.
“As you know, the media is quite the conservative industry.
It doesn’t matter if you keep working alone like you’ve been doing till now, but there’s no harm in being careful if you’re working with an enemy somewhere.
In particular, you first need to learn how to hide the emotions on your face.”
Shin Kwonjoo spoke coldly as he opened the driver’s door.
“If you look at someone like that, anyone will know.”
“It was very strange.
I was just… I was just saying hello.
I also had to ask for a favor.”
Ha Joyoon sat in the passenger seat.
The way he answered without even considering hiding it caused the gaze of the other man to fill with bewilderment. Look here… Shin Kwonjoo opened his mouth with a bemused voice.
“Do you not know how to hide?”
“If that’s the case, it’ll be burdensome for the other person.
It’s rather unpleasant.
It’s like a gaze filled with emotions that draws the attention of others.”
The words lacked any sort of emotions.
How nice it would be if he, too, could control his emotions like that.
Ha Joyoon, staring blankly at Shin Kwonjoo, rubbed his dry eyes.
As his fatigue settled in, the headache that had been buried for a while signaled its existence.
The doctor’s instructions to take medicine immediately after meal time came to mind, but the feeling of not wanting to do it in front of others came first.
“Would it have been better to deny it? I thought that you would probably notice if I did…”
“…I can’t tell if you’re naive, or if you just trust me more than necessary.”
“I thought it would be better than lying about it.”
“Though I was aware that you were an eccentric person…”
Shin Kwonjoo trailed off as he started the engine.
A long shadow of the sunset illuminates the two of them through the car window.
Ha Joyoon leaned his head against the car window, following the traces of the sun which decorated the back of his hand.
The lukewarm energy touched his forehead and calmed his unstable heart.
“I’m sorry, Sunbae-nim.”
“I know this must be annoying for you but… I just didn’t have anyone to talk about this with.”
There was nothing left.
At some point in his life, he had looked back on the path he had taken and found there was no one to confide in.
A narrow and blind relationship.
A relationship where Kang Taejung was everyone and everything to him. A relationship where they didn’t talk to anyone but each other because they belonged to each other.
A lonely relationship where he couldn’t get a single piece of comfort, even in moments that were as painful as death.
That was all.
Ha Joyoon closed his eyes and tried to ignore the intense headache that came over him as he left the vivid feeling behind.
A soft voice echoed softly inside the car.
He could feel his head being split apart.
The words that were buried in his heart, which he could not possibly have told anyone, were finally spoken.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have come back?”
Shin Kwonjoo’s eyes gleamed as he looked at him.
There was a cold silence in the car.
He held onto the steering wheel and pondered for a moment, then changed gears and answered.
“I don’t think that’s a matter for me to judge.”
Ha Joyoon quietly smiled at the simple answer.
He expressed his gratitude, but no other answer came.
The car began to move slowly with the sound of the heavy engine.
As harsh as they were, those words comforted him in that moment.
“Was he a friend of yours, Assistant Manager Kang?”
His boss from the same office asked Kang Taejung, who returned to his seat.
“Yes, an old friend.”
He answered calmly as he dragged out his chair, acting as if nothing had happened.
His voice, however, was somewhat awkward. Friend. Even though he managed to spit the word out, it still came back to inflict a wound on him.
Kang Taejung gulped down cold water, forcefully swallowing the bitterness that lingered on the tip of his tongue.
“What does he do?”
“…He’s a photojournalist.”
“Oh wow, what a great job.”
Fweet. The section manager whistled lightly as he poured water into Kang Taejung’s empty glass.
The man continued talking, recalling the face that he only saw briefly but had left a lasting impression on him.
“What kind of guy has such a beautiful face? I thought he was some kind of model or celebrity.
He looks like someone women won’t let go of.
He must’ve made a lot of women cry.”
“…He’s not that kind of a person.
He’s an honest and sincere guy.
He’s a journalist who takes good pictures.”
“Haha! Are you taking sides because he’s your friend? How is what I said bad for a man? It just means that he’s popular.
Even though he’s a man, I couldn’t take my eyes off him for quite a while.
But he looks like someone who’s unable to stay in one place.
Is his job like that? Just by looking at him, it didn’t seem like he would settle down in one place… Am I wrong?
“He often travels overseas.”
“Tsk tsk… then it will be difficult for the family.”
Kang Taejung moved the food to the bowl in front of him forcibly, following his boss who picked up his chopsticks.
However, it was difficult to swallow even a sip of water, feeling as if he were swallowing sand instead.
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