Oh My Love, The First
I’m going to make you lose your competency so you won’t leave Korea anymore.”
Ha Junghye changed the atmosphere by throwing meaningless jokes in the heavy air.
Ha Joyoon, in turn, smirked slightly and flicked her chin. Losing competency is a bit…. The mumbling caused a burst of silent laughter between the two of them.
“You don’t know how many people were worried about you while you were away.
Don’t forget to call them.
Things will get busy for a while.”
“Your company helped us a lot.
What could ordinary people like our family do? Go to the office tomorrow and say hello.”
“At the company? There must be no other office in Korea….”
Usually, overseas branches of telecommunication companies other than those of major cities had mostly freelance photojournalists, except for the minimum manpower for article partnerships and coverage.
Of course, when working as a war correspondent, that man was assigned to the head branch as Ha Joyoon because of the security issues according to UN regulations, but this was not common, and due to his personality, there were not many occasions to build friendships.
The company might have been able to provide ordinary mourning or diplomatic help on the disappearance of its reporters, but it would have been difficult to ask for more than that due to various state affairs issues in the case of non-citizens as in this case.
Before he could even ask what happened, Ha Junghye said something unexpected.
“You know, that sunbae of yours.
He really helped us a lot.
He used to travel back and forth but he gave us a business card saying that he has recently come back to Korea.”
She shrugged her shoulders as she handed over the business card that she had kept aside. Sunbae? Ha Joyoon, who was tilting his head, quickly scanned the business card.
The impressive design of the gray curve that ran around the white background was definitely the logo of the foreign news agency he worked for.
That person’s face was naturally associated with the neat name of the three characters.
With a groan of admiration, Ha Joyoon stroked the corner of the business card.
Why did this person….
He carefully tapped his cheek with his finger.
Thoughts of surprise and gratitude were chaotically mixed but soon forgotten by other things that came to mind.
There were a lot of things that needed to be addressed right away.
Where should he start? Little by little, the reality he was facing began to feel faint.
His straight forehead was lightly wrinkled from the rushing headache.
As he was immersed in thoughts of deep agony for a long time, the peaceful silence was then brought to an end.
“By the way, about Taejung….”
At the unexpected name that came out of Ha Junghye’s mouth, Ha Joyoon came out of his thoughts and raised his head up like a thunderbolt.
There was a death-like silence.
Ha Junghye was the only person in his family who knew about his relationship with Kang Taejung.
Ha Junghye smiled bitterly due to the sharply changed atmosphere and wiped her cheek. It was a small act, but I knew what her gesture meant.
Perhaps it’s about a cruel situation I found out about this evening.
In a desire to dodge this feeling, Ha Joyoon turned his head without realizing it. It’s a name I don’t want to think of for a while.
I want to avoid it, I want to run away from it. The hands wrapped around his knees trembled involuntarily.
Ha Junghye, who had been watching him for a while, carefully raised her lips.
“Do you know?”
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.
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“He lamented as he missed you a lot, he waited.”
“He had been suffering in agony for a very long time.
He was in so much pain that it was difficult for the people around him to see.
It was such a mess that I thought he’d really die before you do.”
“Taejung loved you very much and waited for you, Yoon.”
Transparent tears covered his cheeks without even making a sound at the friendly voice that was caressing his wounds.
The tip of his lips twitched as he tried to pretend to smile.
She was right.
The lover whom he trusted and believed in more than anyone else in the world was just an imperfect human like himself.
An ordinary person who stood up to live anew the time left, trying to escape the pain as he suffered from the loss of his lover.
However, that natural normalcy turned out to be a sharp weapon that could not be compared with anything and crushed his heart.
Large child-like tears dangled on the tip of his chin as they kept falling down.
A cracked voice leaked out from between Ha Joyoon’s lips, who was smiling like someone who had forgotten his words.
“But he let go of me.”
“… He abandoned me.”
He was well aware of his absurd selfishness.
He was unable to focus properly as he started to feel light-headed. I can’t even see my sister’s face. Ha Joyoon cried quietly without even thinking of wiping away the tears that were flowing without mercy.
I finally let go of your hand.
I have decided to forget you.
I have decided to bury you in the past and move on into the future. That was Kang Taejung’s choice.
His tight lips twitched painfully.
Ha Junghye, feeling helpless, hugged him and rubbed his back, but his sadness did not subside in the slightest.
Rather, the sadness and pain that he had forcibly turned away from broke through the gap and flowed.
Knowing all too well that he was shameless, he easily blamed his opponent since he had been selfish since birth.
His heart which was hurting right now felt more pain than that of Kang Taejung, who had been suffering for the past five years, so maybe his lover left him because he was just so shameful and self-centered.
Yoon. Ha Junghye’s voice broke his heart.
As he left his heavy heart on her slender arms that were wrapped around him, Ha Joyoon blankly looked out the window where the moonlight was reflected.
The anguish did not stop.
Record only what you see.
It was a leaflet promoting a photo exhibition of a foreign news agency.
In the past, it was also the place where Ha Joyoon briefly worked as a contract reporter.
After tracing his fingers over the familiar logo with an intense gaze, he focused on the photo on the poster again.
The photos taken with rugged hands and outdated cameras seemed to imply the significance of history with the media.
The humid midsummer wind blew bitterly towards him as he stood motionless in front of the poster.
The sunlight pouring on the asphalt road was hot as if it were burning the surroundings. I didn’t know how much time had passed. It was not easy to take a step toward the meeting place even though he knew he had to turn around.
‘I want to capture moments, even at the last minute.’
‘… You like it that much? It just seems dangerous.’
‘Not so much that I like it… I feel like I need to be there.’
‘Even if you have to leave here? You still want to go?’
‘That’s not what I meant.’
‘…Even at the last moment, I won’t be by your side.’
What should I have said to calm down the fears of you who had such an anxious expression on your face? Should I have said that there was no reason for me to be there if it wasn’t dangerous, bringing up Higgins' quotes like a pretentious novice? Or would it be right to condescendingly say that what I wanted was not something like the Pulitzer Prize?
I should have hugged you.
I should have held his trembling hands.
I shouldn’t have turned a blind eye to his darkened eyes, stiff lips, and irregular heartbeat.
Ha Joyoon had no choice but to suffer from raw emotions that he was not trained for.
Several times a day, he floundered in the emotion of going back and forth between heaven and hell and cried in the illusion of memories created by longing.
As he got older, Ha Joyoon’s life was all about photography and Kang Taejung.
He fell in love with the two as naturally as water flowed, and he never felt desperate because he always felt loved.
To him, the sudden breakup was as rough as the texture of wild teeth.
Just a breakup.
He was immersed in a bitter sense of justice that he had to convey the reality and pain of war, which was neglected on a topic that could not even be overcome.
Just a breakup,
A topic that he couldn’t overcome.
The water on the plate of the heart glistened.
The sensation that was gently flowing in the hot wind will eventually return to a calm state as if it had ever been.
Ha Joyoon struggled again as he swept his tingling body, feeling akin to a body ache, and took another stride.
Time flew by too quickly to indulge in his thoughts.
The place where Ha Joyoon arrived after walking for another five minutes was the office of the Korean branch of the foreign news agency where Ha Joyoon had worked.
He finally arrived here due to his family’s torch that lasted until the morning, but somehow he was not at all comfortable.
This was due to the belated recognition of the already considerably delayed time.
As soon as he stepped inside, the cold air quickly seeped into his body.
A sense of impatience was smeared on the fingertips pressing the button.
1, 2, 3… The number went up rapidly, and at some point, the elevator stopped with a clear bell, and the firmly closed door opened.
[The door is closing.]
Ha Joyoon moved hastily as the reminder that the door is closing again came out. However, when he reached the destination after passing through several offices on the floor, he realized that the entire lobby was empty.
It was normally a space that should have been noisy with the shouts of people, keyboard tapping, and phone ringing; enough to be reminiscent of a battlefield, but for some reason, no sound was heard.
Did they all go out for coverage?
There was no way to know the recent situation because I haven’t seen any news since I returned home.
I was curious, but it wasn’t important to the point I needed to know everything right now.
Even if there is no one, it is enough if there is only one person left to meet.
Ha Joyoon, who was heading to the office, found a mirror hanging in the middle of the wall and stopped for a while to check his attire. My reflection in the mirror is very awkward. His expression was stiff and pale, and he didn’t look good even if one were to say some empty words. Since I woke up, I have vaguely felt that I am not feeling well, but there was no clear answer.
After roughly fixing out his disheveled outfit, he turned the doorknob of the closed office.
The door opened without difficulty with a squeaking, smooth rustling sound.
As expected, the office was empty without even a minimum number of people as if everyone had left for coverage. This must be some pretty big news.
I’ll have to read the newspaper as soon as I get home. Ha Joyoon hurried to the inside of the office, continuing his idle thoughts.
The document papers were swaying lightly in the wind of the air conditioner.
It produced a sort of furtive sound as if one was hiding confidential information.
His lips, dry from the cold, were chapped.
He glanced at the blackened-out monitor and then looked around the whole office again, but still, there were no signs of any presence.
No matter how special the coverage is, there would usually be a minimum of manpower left, but it seemed like there was a major accident after all.
Ha Joyoon, looking around as he checked the time, coughed dryly in embarrassment.
It had been two hours since the scheduled time.
He knew some time had passed, but he didn’t realize it would be this much.
He swallowed a short groan as he recalled the spirit of his promise for a moment.
If that man was cold, he would act cold, and even with empty words, he was not on the kind side.
Ha Joyoon did not have any particular likes or dislikes about others unless they were of his own, but he remembered that man as a particularly difficult person.
That’s why he was greatly puzzled when he heard that his family received a lot of help from this man.
Thinking about this and that, Ha Joyoon looked through the office again with aloof eyes.
He decided that today’s meeting would be difficult.
It was when he turned around thinking that he had to take the opportunity to apologize properly and reschedule the appointment.
“Sneaking into an empty office is one thing, but you know how to sneak out too?”
A low, clear voice echoed throughout the empty office.
It was a familiar feeling, with a cold aura that was in contrast to the polite honorifics.
As he turned his head to the sudden appearance, a tall figure, dressed in a neat suit, leaning against the door, came into view.
The sophisticated appearance and sharp eyes that backed the rumors born from women’s gossip in the past looked arrogant even at first glance.
One of the most famous journalists and a record holder for the most ‘The First’ in the TPA News Agency, a man who was once his superior.
Even though he was already aware that he had come to Korea and had made an appointment, he was still surprised to meet him here.
The man’s eyebrows were subtly curved as he looked at Ha Joyoon, who was standing still with an awkward expression.
The cool air rushed through the hard floor with the sound of shoes echoing throughout.
“You crumpled up a lot of other people’s documents.”
Perhaps done when lost in thought, Ha Joyoon frowned in embarrassment as he looked at the crumpled documents under his hand.
“Not in good shape.”
Mumbling under his breath, the man lightly tapped Ha Joyoon’s hand, took his documents, and placed them on the other side of the desk.
Each sequence of scenes was extremely unrealistic.
Even the fact that man was here.
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