Me: you were the one who started it first!
Jae: What do you mean by that? I never did any of those.
Me: If you could just give me a little more attention… *start weeping*
Jae: I guess we both need some time to cool our heads.

With that, he walked out of the room.

He was busy with his schedule for the past 1 year, trying to coordinate a lot of things and trying very hard to accomplish a lot of things within a short period of time. Because I understood him so well, I kept all the feelings that have accumulated over the last year. He just started out a new company and of course all his attention is focused on getting the company in track. I admired him for that. But as time passed, he became more busy; from 4 days a week to 3 to 2 days a week then to 3 times every 2 weeks and slowly it gets to 1 time each month… he hardly had time for me.

The feelings we had for each other didn’t change. I still go to this house and look after his daily needs and sometimes deliver dinner to him at his office. We would have casual chats but it wouldn’t last for long. Each time he returns home after work, he’d be so dead beat. Sometimes he text or give a short call. I know very well what he meant to me and that feeling will never change.

But, on an occasion, I saw him going out with a lady. He never spoke to me about her at all. I didn’t think about it suspiciously and see her as a working partner. She’s a representative from another company and according to him, they are on close terms talking about a deal. He buried himself into more endless work.

On an occasion, he was home on a Saturday morning and it so happened that we agreed to have lunch together.

Me: Honey, I am at the supermarket. What do you feel like eating? You haven’t been able to eat home cooked food for quite a while.
Jae: Anything is fine. You didn’t really have to trouble yourself to make a meal. We could…
Me: what trouble is that? I used to cook for you… I want to cook some dishes and steal some time together.
Jae: Ok… I guess some kimchi stew would be good. I want some beancurd if there is any… get some strawberries too since it’s in season now… don’t get too heavy stuff. I don’t like you carrying heavy items. Maybe I should go pick you up…?
Me: No no, it’s alright. Just sit at the couch and watch some TV. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.

============================

[keying of password and door opening sound]

Me: oh… you’re out to greet me?
Jae: knowing you, look what you bought. I knew you’d be getting so many things.
Me: *laughs*

[he took the shopping bags from my hands and head off to the kitchen.]

Jae: I knew you’d get this many stuff. Can we finish? You wouldn’t even tell me where you are so I could go pick you up.
Me: you hardly have a chance to rest. You should be resting. Why? *laugh*

[pushing him from the back and making him get out of the kitchen.]

Me: our Mr Jae shall just sit here and watch the TV while I will get ready and prepare the meal.

[he walked back to the kitchen leaving the TV on.]

Jae: I could at least help a little here and there… [starts picking up the vegetables to put into a basket to wash…]
Me: [hard stare] Honey… I want you…
Jae: Ok, OK, i know. I will sit there and wait for your delicious meal.

[He walked over to pick up the apron and put it over me then whisper into the ear…]

Jae: don’t dirty your clothes.

=============================

Jae: the meal was delicious. I really missed your cooking. But I am also good at cooking.. you know just now I could…
Me: I know you are. Why don’t you help with the dishes then?
Jae: the dishes is good… but.. I… eh…
Me: *laughs* look at you! I was kidding. You can wash those strawberries while I clean the dishes. We can have some time off watching TV together later.
Jae: there seems to be a nice movie airing on channel… I saw it just now… what’s the name of it…?

[his voice drifted off as he walked to the hall to switch on the TV.]

===========================

I finished with the dishes and decided that I can put some clothes into the washing machine and while waiting for clothes to be washed, enjoy some strawberries.

Jae: why are you clearing up my clothes now? you look like you’re here to do household chores today. leave that and come eat some strawberries…

[he tried to take those clothes I’ve piled onto my hands to clean.]

Me: i’m just going to drop these into the washing machine. You bought a lot of new clothes over the past month. Did you not have time to clean them up?
Jae: yeah i did. there was simply no time to iron after i washed so i just bought new ones since it can be worn immediately.
Me: soon there won’t be space.
Jae: I really wish you could leave those there and spend some relaxing time with me.
Me: soon.. just let me grab those 2 over there…
Jae: we hardly get time together and I don’t want you to be meddling yourself with these chorse… I’ll be getting a cleaner to clean for me.
Me: as a girlfriend, I can sometimes do that…[picking up the last piece of white blouse]
Jae: i’ve been feeling bad that I can’t spend much time being with you. And yet you’re here today and doing all these chores. You’re my girlfriend. I don’t want you to come over and just clean my house. you can leave those to the cleaner. she’s coming over next Monday.
Me: it’s just a simple chore. why won’t you just sit there and wait for 5 minutes?
Jae: …
[I can feel him getting upset.]
Me: i’ll just drop these into the washing machine and…
Jae: and after that you’ll have to dry it and then after that you’ll feel like to iron it and then…
Me: oppa… I just…
Jae: I don’t like you doing all that. It was hard for us to get together. I know sometimes you come over when you’re less busy to check that things are well in my house. I appreciate all that… but today is just not…
Me: it’s just something…
Jae: stop doing what you are intending to do now. I don’t want to have to quarrel over this.
Me: oppa… you were the one who started it first.
Jae: What do you mean by that? I never did.
Me: we hardly have time together and then today I just want to do what a girlfriend would do. how long can doing all these take…
Jae: …
Me: oppa… I…
Jae: I guess we both need some time to cool our heads.

With that, he walked out of the room.

===========================

[on the phone…]

Me: Ju, are you busy today?
Ju: yes, a little I need to work extra because of a new project and I’m not sure what time my work will end. something happened? you don’t sound like yourself…
Me: I was with Jae just now…
Ju: oh! isn’t it good? when was the last time you guys spent some time alone together?
Me: i know… i am guilty. I think I made him angry. because we hardly get time together and yet I was trying to clear some mess in his house and he just…
Ju: I guess he just want to spend some good time with you… why don’t you just say sorry and patch up? you know how much he meant to you…
Me: yes of course I do… he meant to much…
Ju: hey! so sorry! I need to run. I’ll give you a call back soon! sorry my dear friend!
Me: no worries, I’ll be just fine. Go get busy. talk to you soon.

[I roamed around for a couple hours then settled myself down for a cup of coffee while waiting for Ju.]

=============================

Ju: my friend! did you wait long? Sorry I couldn’t end it earlier.
Me: it’s alright. how’s your work.
Ju: as usual. So? did you manage to trash it out with him?
Me: maybe not today…
Ju: I know where he’s coming from. I can’t belive you guys quarreled over such a minor issue… that’s just not like you or him.
Me: I know… it’s been so long since we spent time so I guess he just want time alone. But I just…
Ju: i know. i know. don’t have to explain. let’s get out of here. I’m craving for some japanese food. you want some too?
Me: japanese sounds good. you have any recommendation?
Ju: i know of this place that’s priced reasonably with good quality. It’s a 15 minutes walk from here.

================================

We had quite a lot of food and some drinks over a heavy dinner. It did light up my mood a little. But perhaps because of the amount of food we ordered and how we love to eat sashimi and sushi over sake, we didn’t realize we had too much a drop. We weren’t tipsy or anything but it’s just more than the usual amount we take.

Ju: Let’s go somewhere for a drink? it’s a girls’ night out! And it’s Saturday! Too upsetting to just head off home now. It’s barely 10pm.
Me: alright. it’s been some time since we last enjoyed a meal so much too. We have been too busy for a long meal and a night out. And since we don’t have the company of our boyfriends tonight too…
Ju: that sounds so…. *giggles* let’s walk around and see if there’s any interesting place…

[ It wasn’t long before we found a place that suits us well. It was a place with light jazz music unlike the usual pop music.]

Ju: let’s get a set. I doubt we both like just drinking and not eating something.
Me: set C sounds cool. shall we get this?
Ju: alright!

About an hour or so has passed and it was past midnight. I didn’t realize it was that late until I got a text message from Jae.

Jae: where are you?

I chose to ignore it. Not because I didn’t want to reply but because I just didn’t feel like replying. Ju had received a call from her boyfriend and is on a conversation with him. 30 seconds and another message came.

Jae: I know you’re out. Where are you. Reply me.

I ignored it once again. Staring at Ju and giving her the signal to end her call but she ignored and walk away from the seat. Another text message.

Jae: i’m sorry about this afternoon. reply me now else I’ll really get angry again.

I adjusted myself to sit upright. We were seated at the bar table and I was leaning against the table. Staring at the direction that Ju had headed off, I tabbed on “reply” button.

Guy A: hello, you seem to be alone? You friend has just walked off to take a call from her boyfriend? care for a cup of drink?

I ignore. And tried to reply Jae’s text message.

Guy A: message from your boyfriend? did he make you upset? else you wouldn’t be drinking here.

I gave him the what-do-you-know stare. He ignored it and ordered 2 cups of drink.
Ju came back.

Ju: honey, I need to go. someone is nagging at me already. I can’t believe it. You want to go too?
Me: I want to sit here for a little while more. You can head off first. Text me when you get back.
Ju: you sure? I can drop you off first before heading back. And we can chat a little more on the taxi.
Me: yes, I am quite sure. Just pick up the tab. *laughs*
Ju: i will do so even without you telling me. this girl really.
Me: *giggles* text me.
Ju: i know. Don’t stay out here too long. want me to get him to pick you up?
Me: it’s alright. he texted. [show Ju the message]
Ju: alright. i’m off!

I braced myself up and walk towards the bathroom; leaving my phone lying at the bar table.

=======================

[phone ringing]

Bar attendance: hello. this is the phone of a female customer.
Jae: where’s that place? where’s she now?
Bar attendance: she walked off for a moment but I think she forgot about her mobile.
Jae: she drank a lot? please tell me where’s that place.
Bar attendance: she was with a friend who had left. the address is XXX….
Jae: thank you. Please don’t let her leave until I get there.

=======================

I went back to sit at the same spot.

Bar attendance: you had a call earlier and I picked it up because it was ringing too many times.
Me: oh, really? thanks.
Bar attendance: you’re welcome. But are you alright?
Me: oh, yes. I am. thanks for your concern. I will be leaving soon.
Bar attendance: the caller says…

He was being cut off by Guy A. Damn! This guy is irritating I thought.

Guy A: your friend is gone. And you’re not leaving? I will be leaving soon. I can see you home if you want.
Me: do you know that you’re irritating? you could just leave me along. I don’t need your concern. I don’t even know who the hell you are.
Guy A: oh! don’t be upset. I just want to make friends with you. Let me see you home.

He put his hands over my shoulders seemingly trying to help me off my seat. Someone walked pass us and push him away from me and grabbed me by the shoulders. I shook at it. Staring up, I saw a face so familar. It’s him.

Jae: keep off her!
Guy A: who do you think you are?

[he started to push Jae.]

Jae: i’m her boyfriend.
Guy A: oh. you’re that boyfriend of hers who made her upset? what kind of boyfriend you think you are? And how dare you push me?
Bar attendance: Please calm down.
Guy A: it’s none of your business so butt off!
Jae: i’m sorry about this (to Bar attendance)
Me: Oppa… how did you know.

I stand up and move myself in front, facing him and with my back towards Guy A.

Guy A: this guy doesn’t deserve your love.

Once again, he shoved me away and tried to push Jae. Because Jae’s attention was all put on me, he lost his balance and his back hit the bar table slightly. I was upset.

Me: this is none of your business so can you just get lost?!

Guy A went off, not wanting to stir up more trouble since quite some people were staring at us already.

Me: oppa, I…

Jae: how much is the bill?
Bar attendance: this lady’s friend has settled the bill before leaving.
Jae: alright. thank you.

He dragged my by the wrist, out of the place and to the carpark. He shoved me into the seat beside him and slammed the door. He was angry. He got into the driver seat and fasten my seat belt for me; refusing to look at me. He started the engine and drove off. For the journey back home, we didn’t speak. I kept staring at him but he ignored my glare. He hated that I drink without someone with me. I was guilty. He didn’t even glanced at me. I had a very good idea how fast he must have drove to come and pick me up. And how worried he was when he didn’t get my text reply. I had wanted to reply.

We reached the carpark at his house. He couldn’t send me home in my current stated because we both live alone and he’s just being worried. He has always been taking note of all these minor details. That’s the reason why I love him so much.

He didn’t even bother opening the door for me or helping me up but immediately head off towards the lift. He’s really angry – not at me but himself. i am guilty. I followed him into the lift, not even trying to strike a conversation. He headed into the house and right into this room. But he didnt close the door. I walked towards his room, wanting to express how guilty I was. But, decided that I need to wash up a little first. When I felt fresh enough, I walked into his room. He wasn’t there but I noticed the bathroom light and the door was opening. I walked in. He was there. There are slight scratches on this shoulder from the know and it pained me. He was trying to apply some medicine when he saw me approaching. I took over and he walked out and sat on the bed. I took the first aid kit and headed after him. He was sitting at the bed, waiting for me to apply it for him. I sighed. This is the kind of relationship we have. Feeling so hurt and pained for the injury on his shoulder.

I kissed his shoulder and whispered “I’m sorry.” into his ears.

—THE END—

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