Oh My Love, The Last

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It was a familiar feeling.
People who saw Ha Joyoon for the first time often showed interest in his beautiful appearance and unique atmosphere.
As time passed, most of them fell out because of his indifferent attitude, but Kang Taejung was always anxious about people’s interest in Ha Joyoon.
Even though it was already a thing of the past, his heart was shaken by a suspicious wave.  

“When he was standing with Assistant Manager Kang, they almost looked like a picture, didn’t they? It’s probably because both of them have good looks.”

“Hahaha, I agree.
I thought so, too.
The two seem to get along well with each other.”

 

 

A colleague who was next to the boss was more helpful and smiled.
Though it was a compliment, it was a bitter poison to the person concerned.
His adam’s apple bobbed hard.

“Thank you for having a good impression of us.” 

Kang Taejung forcibly raised the corners of his mouth as he recalled the situation that took place a while ago.
Just remembering Ha Joyoon’s face, which had become so thin to the point that it was almost beyond recognizable, made his heart ache. Why is your face like that? Are you eating properly? Did you spend the night looking at photos without getting any sleep again?

 

… Things he couldn’t ask were running around in circles in his head.
Everything about Ha Joyoon was bothering him that he couldn’t bear it.
If it had not been for his current engagement, he might have followed him out.

No, the engagement was just an excuse.
It was just his heart that was a mess of guilt, remorse, and shame towards someone.
Kang Taejung immediately denied his feelings.

It was scary.
He didn’t want to be shaken up like this anymore.
He didn’t want to fall to the bottom again and have his heart broken.
If he had to go through it one more time, he didn’t have the confidence that he’d be able to live with a sane mind at that time.

 

He couldn’t come to terms with the fact that Ha Joyoon was alive and breathing right in front of him.
Even after quite some time had passed, he was under the illusion that he was still dreaming, and that he suddenly woke up wondering if he had finally gone crazy.

The reason he did not respond at all to Ha Joyoon’s attempts of contact, which went on for almost a month, was because he did not trust his ability to control himself.
He couldn’t undo everything just because he wanted to see him.
It took too many steps to do that, and the distance between the current reality and the reality that took place over a long period of five years was too far.
He knew it was better to properly end things, for Ha Joyoon and himself.
But he was constantly running away from such a responsibility. 

‘Taejung-ah.’

 

‘Hyung, I really love you.’ 

‘Look at me a bit.”

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‘I trust you, Hyung.’

Unsorted voices entangled and created a mess.
In addition, his heart also fluttered in the waves like a drifting ship.
The time to draw a clear conclusion was approaching, but the fragments of his feelings, which were not completely organized, tormented him.

*** 

Knock knock-

The hand that was flipping through the documents stopped for a moment at the sound of a knock that broke the silence. Yes. A gentle-looking man entered the office as the door, which had been tightly closed, opened carefully at the low-pitched answer.

“Director, I sent the files to the head office as per your final confirmation.”

“Okay.
Did you check all the distributors?” 

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.

“Yes, I organized them per platform.”

“Tbe’nf kbgxfv tjgv.”

 

“Yt, kf rfca Abegcjilra Lj ab mbnfg abvjs’r qgbafra.”

Ktf wjc ktb tjv yffc ajqqlcu atf fcv bo atf vbmewfca klat j obecajlc qfc klat lcvloofgfca fsfr ribkis gjlrfv tlr tfjv.
Pa kjr j mbiv uijcmf atja mbcajlcfv tlr gfyexf jr la kjr.
Blw Jtjftkjc’r rtbeivfgr lcnbiecajglis oilcmtfv lc atf jawbrqtfgf ktfgf atf mtliis offilcu jr rtjgq jr j rqlgf kjr fnlvfca.
Cr atf fvlabg-lc-mtlfo bo KUC Jbwweclmjalbcr’ Bbgfjc ygjcmt, tf atbeuta atja tf uba jibcu kfii klat qfbqif yfmjerf bo tlr oglfcvis cjaegf, yea la kjr vloolmeia ab vfji klat atf cfk vlgfmabg bo atf ygjcmt ktb kjr vfifujafv atlr alwf. 

“Do we not have other reporters?”

“Everyone’s out on the scene.”

The afternoon sun illuminates the office without any filtration, but it had no effect on the chilly air flowing inside it.
Not only was his gaze menacing, but there was also a deep-seated dent in between his brows.
At a glance, it was an unpleasant situation.

Kim Chaehwan shook his head to recall if there were any mistakes with his report a while ago at the angry look of his boss, who rarely displayed such emotions openly.
However, there was nothing to infer.
Meanwhile, his palms were wet with sweat. 

“Director …?”

“…….”

“… Um, if you don’t have anything else to say, I’ll be taking my leave.”

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Kim Chaehwan’s attempt to leave the office in a hurry failed due to the question that followed immediately. 

“Today’s Gwanghwamun protest.
Aren’t the metal unions participating, too?”

He was irritated.
He is irritated.
That was an insanely, irritated voice.

It was a disaster for Kim Chaehwan, who had worked with Shin Kwonjoo over the past few months.
Rubbing his wet hands against his trousers, he smiled as hard as he could.

“Yes, all the hard-line unions will be there.
The police force is expected to increase its numbers to the max during this year’s protests.
It’s too early to jump to conclusions, but… There seems to be a great risk of the protest breaking into a violent one today.
It hasn’t even started yet, but I heard that police buses with water cannons are everywhere in the square.
Journalist Ha was deployed to the scene because of his experience in war zones.
Even though he looks weak, he has that unyielding tenacity of his.
But I ordered him to withdraw as soon as he thinks it would dange… ro… us.” 

The reason that the end of the sentence got worse was because of the boss’s harsh gaze on him.
Kim Chaehwan stood still in his office for a long time as if he were punished and couldn’t move because of the eyes that were staring at him so hard that he thought today would be his end. 

“Understood.
You can leave.”

“O-okay.”

Clack- 

Silence came again with the sound of the door closing.
It was so quiet that he could hear the sound of his breathing.

The man leaned obliquely against the front window with a clear view and looked at the view under the Han River as he soon searched his pocket out of habit and took out a cigarette. Click. In the flames created by the polished Zippo lighter, the toxic smoke spewed out tens of thousands of harmful substances in the air.
The gaze staring at the flowing river lacked more warmth than usual.

 

Huu. A low breath of white smoke obscured the window through which the office was illuminated.
Suddenly, the face of a weak and foolish man who couldn’t take good care of himself flashed through his mind.
After that, the face of someone who uttered a similarly foolish belief.
One end of the mouth biting the cigarette rose gently.
It was a cold, cynical smile.

*** 

“Are you leaving early in the morning?”

Ha Junghye, who was sitting on the sofa in the living room, ran out with one step at the sound of rustling from the shoe cabinet.
Ha Joyoon was creasing out his sneakers and turned around.

“Yeah.”

“Where to?” 

“Gwanghwamun… there will be a protest today, so I have to photograph the event.”

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“Is it okay to start working already? It’s not a dangerous protest?”

Ha Joyoon smiled lightly and shrugged his shoulders as he looked at his sister, whose words were blurred out of concern.

“It’s fine.” 

It was a short and blunt answer, but as if familiar, Ha Junghye patted his back with a calm hand as she tidied up her brother’s disheveled collar.
Ever since he returned home to Korea, she knew every night he was tormented by the matter regarding Kang Taejung, but she was also careful of offering hasty consolation.
It might have been a better choice for him to focus on something else.

“Don’t overdo it.”

A look of embarrassment spread at the affectionate words.
Ha Joyoon replied as he scratched the back of his head. 

“The company is very considerate.” 

“That’s a relief then.
Well, since your senior is there, I won’t worry too much.”

Ha Joyoon frowned involuntarily at the tone that was full of trust.
It was because he remembered the day when he visited Shin Kwonjoo, believing in Ha Junghye’s words but the response was as if he had been criticized.

“What’s wrong?”

Ha Joyoon shook his head after contemplating for a while as Ha Junghye looked at her suddenly silent brother with a questioning look 

“Nothing.”

Ha Junghye smiled softly at the quiet and low voice and buried her face in her brother’s chest.
She could feel the sound of the heart slowly beating, something that resembled him.
She couldn’t openly say it but, she truly loved her brother, who was sincere and warm inside, more than anyone else. 

 

“I hate that you’re going back to work so early, but I like it when you commute from home like this.
Mom and Dad don’t even express it, but they really like it as well.”

“I see.” 

“No more going to dangerous places… I hope it’s always like this.”

The hand that hugged the back was a little stiffer.
Ha Joyoon quietly nodded as he patted his sister’s hair, which smelled of fragrant flowers.
Even if it’s for your own sake, you can’t utter any word carelessly.
Does anyone have a happy choice? Is there a choice that will satisfy everyone? He knew it was impossible, but he still wanted to know the answer.

The protest was held with a larger number of people than expected.
As the number of people participating in the protests increased over time, the number of troops controlling also increased.
The atmosphere that initially led to the peaceful protests was gradually becoming violent as all the participants spoke and the level of public authority controlling them increased.
The more worrying the situation became, the faster the shutter speed to capture that moment.

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Buzzz— 

The mobile phone vibrated violently amidst the frenzy of loud voices from the loudspeakers and the shouts of people.
After checking the name of Shin Kwonjoo on the screen, Ha Joyoon quickly pressed the answer option. Click, click, click. The sound of pressing the camera shutter did not stop even when the call was transferred. Ha Joyoon-ssi? A low voice came through the phone.
Ha Joyoon calmly reported the situation, with the phone sandwiched between his shoulder and ear.

“Not very good.
I think more police personnel will be brought.
The people are getting agitated too.”

The expression on the face looking around was dim.
Tensions in the square rose further when a police bus entered from a distance. 

“It seems like this will go on for longer.
The atmosphere of the protest is getting a little rough.
I don’t think it’ll be easy to move to Yeouido until the afternoon.”

Rather, it would be better for you to stay there till the end.>

“What should I do about the photographs?”

 

“Yes, I brought my tablet with me.
However, connectivity is a bit unstable because there are too many people.”

People are waiting at the desk, so they can be reviewed right away.>

“Okay.
Then I’ll stay here until it ends.”

<… If anything happens, call me immediately.
Don’t cover yourself up with a sense of duty alone, and throw yourself out for the sake of better pictures.> 

“Okay…”

It was nothing special, just plain words, but his heart felt strange. I’ll be hanging up now. Ha Joyoon hung up the phone with an unfamiliar feeling, nodding his head while doing so as if the other person was right in front of him.

 

However, the thought that was about to take shape soon became small particles and dispersed without having the chance to fall into sentimentality due to the situation that immediately followed.

Uwaaaahhh- 

When all the people involved in a group had finished speaking, shouts resounded throughout the square.
The tension of the police personnel deployed around them, and the tension of Ha Joyoon observing them, also reached their peak.

The starting point was a protest by one of the protesters.
It was when one of the citizens approached the police, who continued to step forward and build up a human wall and questioned them for their normal sabotage.
In the blink of an eye, In an instant, a water cannon was fired and the citizen who was protesting was thrown to the ground for more than a few meters.

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