Young-Eun got off work early that Friday. When she got home in TowerPalace, she started cooking Doenjang-jjigae*. The last time she visited Gun-Ho's parents' home, Gun-Ho's mother gave her own recipe of Doenjang-jjigae to Young-Eun, and she was cooking Donenjang-jjigae with that recipe. Young-Eun felt confident that her Doenjang-jjigae should be as good as Gun-Ho's mother's. It was certainly better than her previous one, but Gun-Ho couldn't tell it was good at all.
'Shoot. As long as I live with this woman, I will have to assume the suffering of eating this sort of dreary food.'
But Gun-Ho couldn't tell Young-Eun about the truth about her food.
"How is it? Isn't it delicious?"
"Yeah, it's good."
There was fried pork belly as a side dish. Any meat would taste good if fried. Young-Eun seemed to really enjoy her own food. She wrapped fried pork belly with a lettuce before putting them in her mouth.
"Take your time. No one is going to eat your food."
"People say that a ghost, who ate well while he or she was still alive, gets a better complexion."
Gun-Ho placed more meat to her side. She was his wife after all. Young-Eun wrapped more fried pork belly in a lettuce and put them in Gun-Ho's mouth this time.
"Hahaha. You do have a big mouth."
"What does my mouth look like?"
"It looks like a catfish's mouth."
"Have you seen a catfish before?"
"Have you eaten it?"
"Have you caught it?"
"Where would I possibly catch a catfish?"
"I have. I fished it."
"Don't do that. You shouldn't kill any living creature."
The most favorable moment for Gun-Ho since he got married was the moment when he was in bed with Young-Eun. He enjoyed the intimate and private moment with her in his bed.
"Don't you feel hot?"
Gun-Ho unbuttoned Young-Eun's pink pajamas. Young-Eun's bare skin revealed. Young-Eun had a very fair skin, which was fairer than Mori Aikko's or Seol-Bing's. Mori Aikko and Seol-Bing always exercised for toning and keeping themselves in good shape for their career. Their skin was hard and tight while Young-Eun's skin was tender. Young-Eun didn't usually put on make-up, and Gun-Ho thought if she wore a make-up that was right for her, she might look better than Seol-Bing or Mori Aikko.
Gun-Ho gave a light kiss on Young-Eun's lips.
"Didn't you miss me?"
"I did miss you a lot."
Gun-Ho kissed her on the lips again.
Young-Eun stretched her arms and tweaked Gun-Ho's ears and nose.
"You have a stupid face, oppa."
"Young-Eun, you have a fairy's face."
"Yeah because a fool can only see a fool while a genius can only see a genius."
Young-Eun kicked Gun-Ho's shin under the comforter.
Gun-Ho screamed in pain.
Gun-Ho started undressing Young-Eun, and then he turned off the light.
After quite a while, Gun-Ho turned on the light. He then wiped Young-Eun's face with a towel. She was sweating.
"Oppa, you will be home tomorrow, right?"
"Of course. I will be with you all day long tomorrow."
"Let's go to Pocheon City then."
"Pocheon City? Oh, you want to catch a catfish with a huge mouth?"
Young-Eun kicked Gun-Ho's shin again under the comforter.
Gun-Ho screamed again.
"Let's go to my mom's gravesite tomorrow. She is in Pocheon City."
"Oh, I thought you wanted to go there on Cold Food Day."
"The road will be jammed on Cold Food Day. Let's just go there tomorrow."
"Okay. We can also get some fresh air on the way."
"Don't we have to bring something to her? Like liquor?"
"I will prepare what's necessary to visit her. You just need to come with me."
It was Saturday morning.
After breakfast, Young-Eun left home and came back with a big bag.
"I want to bring this to my mom's gravesite."
"Oh, you bought some fruits, liquor, and dried fish, huh? What is this? Oh, these are seasoned vegetables and pancakes. Where did you get these?"
"There is a side dish store across the street from Wooseong Condo. The store's name is 'Delicious Side Dish.'"
"How did you find that store?"
"One of my friends used to live in Wooseong Condo."
"Haha. I see."
Gun-Ho drove his Land Rover and entered Dongbu Expressway. When his car passed Junglang River, there was a nice melody coming out of the radio. Gun-Ho wanted to hum along with the melody, but he didn't. He thought that it was not appropriate to sing or hum since they were heading to a gravesite.
"Young-Eun, thank you. If it wasn't for you, I would probably stay on my sofa all day long while watching TV and taking a nap. I love being outside with you on Saturday."
"Keep your eyes on the road, Mister! Don't you hear the horn sound from the cars behind us?"
Gun-Ho and Young-Eun passed downtown in Pocheon City and kept driving. They then passed the fishing site where Gun-Ho used to go often. They continued to drive while passing Mansegyo Town and finally arrived at a cemetery park called Heaven Cemetery Park in Yeongjung Town.
"Did you bury your mom here?"
"We cremated her first before burying her. She is over there, the left one in the second row."
There was no one in the cemetery park except Gun-Ho and Young-Eun. The weather was sunny with a few clouds. Gun-Ho could feel a fresh breeze on his cheek. Spring was already there.
"Is this your mom's?"
Young-Eun nodded her head twice.
Gun-Ho placed a mat in front of Young-Eun's mother's grave.
Young-Eun then started arranging food and liquor that she brought.
"Since you brought food to the grave and did all this, I guess you are not a Christian."
"My dad believes in Confucianism."
"Hmm. You seem to know what you are doing. The foods are very well arranged."
"I learned it from my dad."
Young-Eun filled a paper cup with liquor and said, "Mom, I'm here. I'm married now. I came with your son-in-law."
Young-Eun then looked at Gun-Ho's face and smiled, but she looked lonely.
"Why don't you give her a bow?"
Gun-Ho filled up a paper cup with liquor and gave a deep and full bow to the grave.
After Gun-Ho finished his bow to Young-Eun's mother, Young-Eun kneeled on the ground and lowered her head. She maintained that position for quite a while. Gun-Ho walked around feeling a bit bored. When Gun-Ho thought that Young-Eun took enough time kneeling in front of her mother's grave, he finally said, "Young-Eun, that's enough. You must be feeling hurt on your knee. Get up."
Young-Eun lifted her head a bit. When Gun-Ho saw Young-Eun's face, he was surprised. She was crying.
"Mom, I'm so sorry!"
Young-Eun burst into tears. Her tears dropped on the mat like it was raining.
"Mom, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that I couldn't keep my promise."
Young-Eun continued to cry.
"Come on. Let me help you get up now."
Gun-Ho held Young-Eun's arm and lifted her so she could stand up. Gun-Ho gave a handkerchief to her.
"Here, wipe your tears."
After wiping her face, Young-Eun looked at Gun-Ho and smiled.
"Oppa, I'm sorry."
Spring breeze grazed Young-Eun's cheek and blew her hair.
Doenjang-jjigae a Korean soybean paste stew