“…Saying that you’re not okay, too, takes courage,” Yi-soo whispered with a sigh, a sense of disquiet settling between them. It was as if she had caught a glimpse of a concealed facet in the man who always appeared flawless.
Hyun-seong fixed his gaze on Yi-soo as she meticulously wiped away the bloodstains from his cheek and hand.
“Saying that you’re not okay…”
Those words struck a chord deep within Hyun-seong, causing him to lower his gaze, his thoughts diving into a turbulent sea of introspection.
With that, Yoon Hyun-seong continued to regard Yi-soo for a considerable span of time. A gentle breeze, in stark contrast to the sweltering summer heat, softly brushed across his cheek and then faded into the ether.
In the wake of Seo Jae-young’s trial, Yi-soo found no respite for her troubled mind. Days blurred together as new cases piled up, appeals demanded her attention, and personal matters haunted her without mercy.
Among the myriad concerns, the reality of Gi Dong-yeong weighed most heavily on her conscience. Gi Dong-yeong had been swiftly whisked away to a nearby university hospital’s emergency room, where, thankfully, medical intervention had managed to bring him back from the brink. It was said that the swift and expert CPR had made a significant difference.
Yet, the journey to recovery was far from over. Dong-yeong required surgery to mend his fractured skull. When Seo-yeon, informed by her father, arrived at the hospital, her tears flowed ceaselessly as she watched Gi Dong-yeong being wheeled away for surgery. Her frustration was palpable, as she uttered threats against Seo Jae-young that chilled those who heard them. Chief Choi, acting as Yi-soo’s proxy, relayed these details to her.
Yi-soo’s heart ached unbearably upon learning that Seo-yeon had shouldered a heavy burden of guilt, convinced that if only she had accompanied him to the courthouse, none of this would have transpired.
It led Yi-soo to ponder whether she too should have followed Dong-yeong on that fateful day. Her role as a prosecutor might have officially ended with the trial, but the lines between her and the case remained indistinct and blurred, refusing to let her move on.
Following the verdict, Dong-yeong wasted no time and made a beeline for the elevator that would whisk him to the courthouse’s top floor. But when he reached the rooftop, it was locked tight. It was this, Yi-soo deduced, that had driven him to seek refuge on the middle rooftop instead.
The police stumbled upon a recording saved on Dong-yeong’s phone, captured a mere five minutes before his life-changing descent. The file soon found its way to the prosecutor overseeing the case – Yi-soo herself.
“Did I ask for too much? All I wanted was for the guilty to be punished and for hardworking people to be treated well in society… Is it so difficult for that to happen? I sent my wife away first and couldn’t get my act together for years because of guilt, but still, I think I’m lucky not to leave in such a miserable state.”
The atmosphere in the room weighed heavily on Yi-soo as she listened to the recording. She took a sip of ice-cold water before summoning the courage to press play once more.
“It’s not because I’m unfairly beaten by a rich scum. It’s because I can’t see myself living in this world anymore. I’m sorry, Prosecutor. You’ve put in so much effort for me, and I’ve become like this… And I’m sorry, Seo-yeon. Dad only lived for Seo-yeon. I hope you can forget about this ugly father and live on in this dirty world. I’m really sorry, and I love you…”
Dong-yeong’s voice wavered, a potent cocktail of regret, sorrow, and self-condemnation coursing through his words. These emotions felt raw and overpowering, leaving an indelible mark.
No amount of appeals or legal maneuvers could ever fully heal the wounds that this ordeal had inflicted.
“Hah… Should I stay here?” Yi-soo’s deep contemplation was shattered by a sigh. She found herself standing at the very spot where she had first encountered Hyun-seong. Since that day, their communication had become strained, and he had inexplicably started rejecting her calls.
While their engagement was more of a formality, the impending wedding was fast approaching. Given the circumstances, Yi-soo couldn’t simply sever ties with him. But the reality of their situation…
“It’s worrisome,” she mumbled
Despite being just an engagement, Yi-soo couldn’t shake the persistent unease that had settled in her heart. Somehow, Yoon Hyun-seong had insinuated himself into her life, his presence exerting an ever-growing influence. It was strange, really, how often she found herself contemplating what he might be doing at any given moment and what thoughts occupied his mind.
In this unfamiliar realm of emotions, Yi-soo struggled to define the contours of her own feelings. This was unlike anything she had experienced before, and it left her in a state of perpetual introspection.
Yi-soo didn’t possess any concrete knowledge that Hyun-seong would be present at this moment. It wasn’t information her secretary had passed on. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, an intuition whispered to her that he might be here. She clung to this hope, yearning for her instinct to prove true.
With determination, Yi-soo pressed her palm against the door, the sensation of its solidity against her skin grounding her in the present moment.