Jinho's lips trembled as he sniffed, his hand wiping away stubborn tears which fell. His eyes continued to watch Yunjae hold her child as they watched her husband's car, go.
When he woke up at the hospital years ago, Jae was nowhere to be found. His coach told him that his lover dropped off from school and moved houses. Never had she once visited Jinho at his sickbed.
Naturally, he couldn't swim anymore. His dreams of winning the national competition shattered into pieces along with his heart. He had nothing left except for the anger which burned deep inside him.
He would demand retribution. This was his vow, the thought which helped him go through painful therapy.
When he got out of the hospital, Jinho searched for Yunjae, but he failed on finding her. For two years, there was no sign of his former lover – until a couple of months ago when she, herself unknowingly walked in his company and applied for a position.
It was a no brainer that Jinho arranged for her to be his secretary. He could remember the shock on her face upon seeing him again, but it was nothing compared to the shock he had learning that she had a child.
His anger refreshed, Jinho set out to punish Yunjae since the first day, giving her hell on the job and then taking her body at night. She was good at having affairs anyway, he thought.
Seeing her now, however, seeing Yunjae's pallor and her thin frame, Jinho found himself breaking down a second time. He realized the one he was punishing the most by hurting Jae was himself. His heart, no matter that it had been broken into pieces, still knew to whom it belonged.
Picking up his phone, he dialed her number, and when the latter picked up, Jinho swallowed hard as a decision came to him. "Meet me…"
Yunjae felt nauseous as she stepped out of the cab. She wasn't feeling well, and so she decided not to drive today. Wiping her clammy hands on her shirt, she eyed the classy hotel and felt underdressed. She only had her white V-neck shirt on, paired with khaki slacks, and a simple pair of sandals. She had been feeling crappy lately that she thought to wear her usual business suit felt suffocating.
"Oh well…" Yunjae swallowed, closed her eyes in silent prayer and trudged inside.
As soon as she told the receptionist her name, she was given a key to a room, and she didn't waste time going there. Jinho hated it if she was late.
As always, upon reaching the door, she tried to fix herself before she knocked. "Come in," came the soft reply, and she nervously opened the knob.
"Hey," Jinho greeted with a smile and Yunjae felt confused. "Come in. Close the door," her boss added as he waved at her to come further in. He was sitting by the table specially prepared, looking like a handsome prince in his dark suit. There were wine, food and soft music, as well as flowers that Jae wondered if her boss called the wrong person.
But it seemed he didn't.
When she didn't move, Jinho stood up, took her arm, and gently guided her towards the table and had her sit there. "W-what's going on?" the bewildered secretary asked as she looked about the room and she was again surprised when Jinho threw his head back as he laughed.
"Well, we're going to have a fancy dinner," Jinho announced happily. "I realized I haven't taken you out for a meal even once," he added as he started serving her food.
Watching him smile and talk to her like he used to years ago brought back emotions Jae had fought hard to bury. Eating the food mechanically, she wasn't able to stop her tears from falling and Jinho stopped talking, all pretense of happiness gone.
Yunjae just found her lover kneeling in front of her with equally sorrowful eyes as Jinho lifted her chin and used his thumbs to wipe away her tears.
"Even like this…" Jinho murmured, his voice cracking up as he too fought raw emotions which clogged his throat, gripping at his chest. "Even if I'm gentle like this, I still can't make you stop crying, huh?" he stated with a sad smile, his almond eyes turning red as moisture filled them.
"Jin…" Jae called in between sobs, her shaking hands slowly cupping Jinho's face as they looked at each other eye to eye. "I'm so sorry…" she added and her boss nodded, his hand capturing hers against his cheek.
"I know," he said, and it was true.
That night, unlike any other nights they had shared since they met again, their lovemaking was different. Gone was the rough and cold lover who had been taking Jae's body over and over again for the past two months. In his place was her old lover, the sweet and gentle Jinho who loved her, and whom she loved back.
As their bodies united, Yunjae returned each caress, each kiss with a reckless abandon. The shackles of the past which had hindered her from showing him her feelings dissolved in every whispered word of love.
I'm sorry and I love you.
Jae lost count just how many times they said those words to each other as she held onto Jinho as if he was her life, while the latter held her as if she was his most treasured person in the whole world.