wever, he kept quietly staring at the sky.


I called out in the most polite voice.
I thought of those people who might have already done the same before me.


“Right, what do you want to say before you leave?”


It was as if he was implying, I will hear you out on what you have left to say for the last time.
He already had the walls around his wall erect so high that it would not be easy to make him think otherwise.
Even though he might have spent a lot of time with Jiyoung’s grandmother, it was still a long while since he had last talked to her.
There was no guarantee that Jiyoung’s grandmother in my memories would be the same as the one in Chairman Jang’s.


Actually, I don’t remember it well.
I was only 10 at the time.”


If Jiyoung was alive, it would have been like that.
Jang Myeongsoo informed Chairman Jang of everything except her life and death.
After the accident, when Jiyoung, her mother, and her grandmother passed away, Jiyoung’s father fled from the police and then died somewhere.


But, Han Jiyoung was the sole survivor of the fire and then moved to the USA.
She went to a school there and on her summer vacation, she came to visit Korea for a while.
It was as if making an excuse for her disappearance naturally after summer ended.
Whether I could spend the summer there or not, would be decided in a day.
Chairman Jang would never believe me but I continued speaking regardless.


“So, grandfather, I would like it if you tell me more about her.”


When I urged him for an answer, Chairman Jang chortled loudly for the first time.


But I worried for nothing as the Chairman obediently spouted those old stories.
It wasn’t because he accepted me as Han Jiyoung.
As if he was stringing the memories along, he rambled off with the one he reminisced often.


Surprisingly, Jiyoung’s grandfather that I remembered and Chairman Jang remembered were similar, more than I expected.
Especially the prank of offering apricots which appeared delicious but were inedible from within so I laughed inadvertently.


I also once received a scrumptious-looking apricot from grandmother once.
However, the bitter and sour taste was so strong that it still made me cringe.


“If you already know these stories from Jang Myeongsoo, why are you laughing? I also told stories about her to him.
If I knew he would use these stories against me, I would never have opened my mouth.”


The four people who came before me had learned all the stories and Chairman Jang rambled the same stories like a parrot.
Even though he made a scowl, realizing how I knew the tidbits, his face was more relaxed than before.


I continued, that my brother and I as if they were our neighbors, were actually victims of the same prank.
Chairman Jang agreed, half-believing it.


She was the type to be satisfied by applying what she had learned.”


I told him about Jiyoung’s grandmother as much as I had recalled of her.
Even though she was poor, it contrasted with her kind and charitable personality.
Jiyoung’s mother didn’t earn that much, though.
Grandmother liked pulling our legs, she liked animals although she couldn’t get close to them and she was a person who was surprisingly a bit of a coward.


It was a place where nights got colder, though it was summer.
Chairman Jang sat in the garden, as it eventually got late, he started coughing and returned to his room.


I talked about a lot, however, Chairman Jang didn’t seem to retract back his stance.
The next day, I carried my luggage and placed it, where Chairman Jang was already sitting at the dining table, strangely.
As if he didn’t change his mind, he asked if it would be okay to talk over lunch for the last time.


Since I didn’t press to stay, Chairman Jang seemed to already withdraw his deep doubts towards me.
I thought about approaching him one more time because then I could save my mother.
During the span of time, I tried to rack my brain about what to say and I couldn’t concentrate on my meal.
Chairman Jang coughed and then pointed at my chopsticks.


“Why are you holding your chopsticks like that?”


I had a weird habit of holding chopsticks, as I would spread my index fingers as if shaking them.
I didn’t have the intention of fixing the habit because I always was in a rush while I had my meals, trying to save time.
So, my habit of holding chopsticks went unperfected.
While staring at the unattractive way how I held my chopsticks, Chairman Jang questioned me.
I only realized then that I picked up the chopsticks in the same clumsy manner.


“I learned it from my grandmother.
She said that when she was young, her second finger was once bitten by a tiger so she couldn’t use it.”


I remember questioning how my grandmother could survive after her second finger was bitten off by a tiger.
I remember doubting it a lot.
It was true that she was hurt, implied by the small scar.
That time, Jiyoung’s grandmother used to hold her chopsticks in the same way and it merely rubbed off on me.


Hearing the story, Chairman Jang erupted in a big laugh, while clapping his hands.


“It wasn’t a tiger, was it?”


At my question, Chairman Jang waved his hands.


“It wasn’t a tiger of course.
It was a rabbit.
She wanted to give it some grass and her finger went with it…no, but she boasted about it?”




I couldn’t help but laugh along.
Rather than a rabbit, I thought it would have been a wild cat, at least but to think it was a herbivore….The reason Chairman Jang held on to me was that he was convinced.
After he was done with the meal, he remarked that his son did something he liked in a long time and retreated to his room.






Jang Myeongsoo was elated.
He didn’t hesitate to compliment me for deceiving his father, skillfully.
After hearing the news, he visited the villa several times with a satisfied expression on his face.
Chairman Jang, whose doubt cleared up, treated me like someone of his blood, and there would not be any further problems spouting up by the end, if my identity went undiscovered.
The people at the villa didn’t seem to care much and I thought I was in a better state.
It was smooth sailing until Jang Myeongsoo appointed me a new task.


As usual, after meeting Chairman Jang with a serious expression he beckoned me to a remote room on the second floor.
Worried that there might be perked ears, he let his Secretary guard the door.


After opening the window, he lit a cigarette.
He looked unsettled.
I anxiously worried that my identity was discovered, he spoke to me in an awkward tone.


“He liked you more I thought.”


His tone was half-absurd.
I couldn’t easily accept the fact that Chairman Jang liked me more than I imagined.


But I understand.
Despite the fact that Chairman Jang was rich, he was just a simple old man.
He had a son who only came to discuss business matters and his grandson who was growing impassive.
However, Han Jiyoung, I,  put up with his humor and stayed by his side so he couldn’t help but shower me with affection.
Jang Myeongsoo gave up beating around the bush and shoved the unsmoked cigarette on the ashtray before speaking.


“The talk about your marriage will soon come up.”




“Stall the time in a vague manner.
Tell them you’ll think about it.
You can’t turn it down straight away.”


“Who’s the partner? Won’t they reject me anyway?”


Saying that I would think about it and dragging it out wouldn’t be hard.
But if the other party rejected me then and there, that spiel would end.
Jang Myeongsoo pressed the middle of his forehead as if his head was hurting.


“My son.
My second son is staying in the USA.
He is different from the first son.”


I came across Jang Myeongsoo’s son when he visited the villa.
He had a tall stature and a cold expression drawn on his face, and I had the impression that he didn’t smile much.
In particular, he didn’t defy his father and with the manner of a thoroughbred, he served under the shadow of Jang Myeongsoo.
He knew who I was and sometimes helped me in my fraudulent activities.
It was as if he was adhering to the advice of fixing one’s posture.
If the second son was any different than the first, then he wouldn’t condone any such scam.


“So, don’t make any reason to call him here and continue doing what you were doing.”


It was as if Jang Myeongsoo trusted me more than his second son.
It was a situation that would get more chaotic, the more people were involved so I nodded in silence.


After some weeks, as Jang Myueongsoo previously mentioned, Chairman Jang brought up the marriage proposal.
I didn’t know if Chairman Jang was old fashioned and it was a culture to be married like that, but he continued speaking about marriage without considering the will of the one involved, which was his grandson.


“Among my grandchildren, there is someone of great character, His name is Jang Yoosung and what do you think of taking him as your husband? Jang Myeongsoo also agreed.”


I was suddenly curious.
If I was really Han Jiyoung and Jang Myeongsoo would think that a poor girl was suitable, would the marriage really proceeded without Jang Yoosung’s opinion? I wanted to ask the person if he wanted to marry me but that might be a problem.
If I contacted him for such a reason, it might sprout some trouble.


“Gosh, grandfather.
How can I marry a person I don’t even know the face of?”


I was curious after hearing it twice.
How handsome was he, that he beat Jang Myeongsoo’s first son in terms of looks? It was a given that he must have been really handsome.
If I say so naturally, I might seriously consider it.




In regards to marriage, this person with such a face had the best chance.
Born in that kind of house with such a face and also studying at a famous university in the USA, I never thought I would say this but the world is really unfair.


“He is really handsome.
How is he, personality-wise?”


In half-sincere admiration, I asked the usual question.


As if Chairman Jang couldn’t hear, he grimaced.


“Perso!!nality!! This person’s personality.”


“Is my hearing aid broken? Where did Secretary Kim go? Secretary Kim! Secretary Kim!”


The hearing aid that didn’t even exist finally broke down.
Chairman Jang ignored me and began to look for Secretary Kim.




“Geez, I’m tired.
Jiyoung-ah, I should head for a nap.”




Chairman Jang who seemed flustered as Secretary Kim didn’t appear, turned his wheelchair and headed towards his room.
In this unfair world, there was something Jang Yoosung didn’t possess.


Chairman Jang didn’t squeak a peep about Jang Yoosung’s personality but it was not difficult bringing up the topic of marriage.


“Even though I don’t know how that person is, grandfather is a good person.”


At my despicable words, Chairman Jang laughed at it.
I couldn’t see that active side of him when I first saw him.


Fortunately, Chairman Jang didn’t press me to make a choice.
My real age was 20 but Han Jiyoung, who I was pretending to be, was barely 20.
Chairman Jang acknowledged that she was at an age where she could properly consider marriage.
As Jang Myeongsoo wanted, the time seemed to flow without hesitation.

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