Chapter 48.1

Only a couple of days had passed since Yi-soo and Hyun-seong sought refuge from the gentle drizzle by the seaside, yet time was slipping through their fingers like sand. It felt as if Monday had descended upon them in the blink of an eye, a testament to the whirlwind weekend that Yi-soo had returned from Incheon and spent almost entirely nestled under the covers.

Their intimate rendezvous had been filled with ardor, to the point where they found themselves in a predicament—a shortage of cond*ms. Yi-soo’s innermost depths had stretched to their very limits as she accommodated Hyun-seong, leaving her with a lingering ache that seemed as if it might shatter her back.

Noontime arrived, and when Min-seo caught sight of Yi-soo, who appeared wearier than usual, her eyes fluttered open ever so slightly. She playfully patted her waist with the palm of her hand, casting Hyun-seong a meaningful glance. Mischievousness danced in her eyes, with their corners upturned like a feline’s.

“Prosecutor Seo, I heard you had quite the restful weekend… Why the stiffness today?”

Yi-soo arched an eyebrow, returning the playful tone. “Well, it seems you’re in an exceptionally good mood today. Do you have some delightful news to share?”

A sly grin curled Min-seo’s lips. “Oh, I’m positively happy. I’m on cloud nine. By the way, there’s something I wanted to discuss with you.”

Instead of partaking in a meal with their senior colleagues today, they had made plans for a simple lunch featuring sandwiches.

Min-seo, who had recently embarked on a dieting journey, trailed behind Yi-soo, clutching a sandwich that boasted a filling of ham, bacon, lettuce, and egg mayo. The mere act of Yi-soo picking up her own sandwich signaled that she was ready for a conversation, prompting Min-seo to cast her an anxious look, her hands exaggeratedly clasped together. Her unease was so palpable that it hung in the air like a heavy secret.

“I mentioned I’m attending a class reunion today, didn’t I? I’m pretty sure I did.”

Yi-soo, sandwich in hand, responded casually, “Well… there’s no one there I particularly want to see. What’s the point of going? We run into them occasionally at work.”

At the counter, Yi-soo placed an order for two sandwiches, a hot Americano, and a café latte. When the employee inquired about payment, she sighed and handed over her card, her expression revealing a hint of resignation.

Min-seo, with a sense of apprehension still etched across her features, finally mustered the courage to voice her thoughts. “I assumed you wouldn’t want to go. I know these gatherings aren’t your cup of tea. That’s why I planned to attend with my boyfriend, you know? They did say it’s okay to bring a partner or spouse. But… honestly, does that even make sense? My boyfriend came down with a cold last night.”

Yi-soo let out a contemplative sigh. “Well, it looks like you’ll be going alone then. You have friends among your law school classmates, so you won’t be lonely.”

As they both received their coffee from the pickup counter, Yi-soo passed the latte to Min-seo. The rich, inviting aroma of coffee filled the air around them, providing a warm backdrop to their conversation.

At this point, she had a fairly clear idea of the question she was about to pose. While she harbored a flicker of hope that her prediction might be incorrect, the odds of that seemed infinitesimal.

“Thank you. I’m sure it’ll be enjoyable. So… would you please come along with me? I’ve lost touch with most of my law school peers. They’re all engrossed in their own lives, and our conversations have dwindled to nearly nothing. Occasionally, they’ll throw a like on my Instagram posts, but that’s about it. You’re pretty much the only one I have, Seo Yi-soo. You know that, right?”

Yi-soo hesitated before responding, “Even if I go, I doubt I’ll contribute any particularly valuable insights. These kinds of events aren’t really my cup of tea.”

Min-seo persisted, “Yes, but you have your own charm. I’ve attended these reunions in the past two years, and I wanted to make an impression this time. It’s so frustrating… I mean, it’s a shame my boyfriend fell ill today of all days. Just make a brief appearance and then head back. Just 30 minutes. Come on, what’s the harm in being a good friend?”

A heavy sigh slipped past Yi-soo’s lips, parting her crimson mouth. Min-seo’s innocent, puppy-like eyes seemed as if she had just been caught in a sudden rain shower.

Yi-soo wasn’t naturally antisocial, but she leaned towards cultivating deep and meaningful connections. She intentionally avoided crowded events and gatherings; they tended to give her a headache. Yet, when her dearest friend, the somewhat naive but undeniably charismatic Choi Min-seo, made such a heartfelt request, Yi-soo found it hard to stubbornly decline. Despite her sheltered upbringing, Min-seo possessed a unique charm that drew people in.

Yi-soo, cradling a paper bag laden with sandwiches, gently swung the door of the brunch cafe open and stepped into the daylight. A soft, cheerful jingle filled the air. After a momentary pause, she broke the silence.

“Alright, I’ll make an appearance, but that’s it, okay? I won’t stick around for long.”

“Thank you, Seo Yi-soo. What can I do for you? How about treating you to dinner tomorrow? Or maybe a week’s worth of pickup service?”

“Very well… just promise me you’ll steer clear of any accidents. Your senior manager seemed quite exasperated earlier. Did something go awry?”

Min-seo shook her head as she checked her caller ID, her face lighting up. “No, it wasn’t my mistake; it was our deputy manager… Oh, excuse me for a moment. My boyfriend is calling, and it seems this could be a lengthy conversation. I’ll head in first, Yi-soo. I’ll swing by around quitting time!”



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