In the evening, When Young-Eun came back home, she looked extremely tired.
Gun-Ho asked her, "Are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah. I'm just so tired."
As she was carrying huge grocery bags, Gun-Ho said, "What are these?"
"I stopped by the supermarket on the way, and vegetables were on sale. Also, I bought a few radishes and one jar of red pepper paste. It's so heavy."
"Why didn't you ask them for a delivery?"
Gun-Ho placed most of the stuff that Young-Eun bought on the dining table after putting vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator. In the meantime, Young-Eun laid down on the sofa in the living room.
"Young-Eun, don't forget that you are carrying a baby. You shouldn't let yourself get tired. When you have to go grocery shopping, just let me know. I will go with you."
"Okay. Can you bring me the electric fan? It's so hot here."
"I can turn on the air conditioner instead."
"No air conditioner. I don't want to catch a cold."
That evening, Young-Eun didn't even seem to try to cook for dinner. She just fell asleep on the sofa.
Gun-Ho went to the kitchen and started preparing dinner. He turned on the rice cooker and boiled kimchi stew. For Gun-Ho, cooked rice and a stew were all he needed for a meal. The house soon became filled with the smell of kimchi stew. Young-Eun woke up to the smell.
"What am I smelling?"
"I 'm boiling kimchi stew and cooked rice." Gun-Ho responded.
"Oh, you did? I didn't mean to fall asleep."
Young-Eun got up and came to the kitchen and cooked some side dishes such as seasoned vegetables, cuc.u.mber salad, and baked fish.
Gun-Ho and Young-Eun sat at the dining table facing each other for dinner.
Gun-Ho said, "We have been married for five months now, and I realized that I haven't given you any money for living expenses."
"Oh, are you going to give me some?"
"You've never asked for it."
"You should have given it to me even though I didn't ask for it."
"How much do you want?"
"Any amount that you think appropriate will be good."
"I've been receiving salaries from four different companies, and one more company will start paying me soon, so, there will be five companies that pay me on a monthly basis. My monthly pay after tax is about 30 million won."
"Did you say 30 million won? Wow!"
"You are making more than the director of the hospital that I am working for, and also more than the president of Seoul National University."
"I work hard enough to make that much. Moreover, I work under enormous stress at work."
"That's still a substantial amount of money for a monthly salary."
"Speaking of which, I spend a lot too, not for myself but for business and for keeping my social network. If I have to attend someone's wedding, funeral, or some other occasion, I have to make gift money more than others. If someone makes 50,000 won for gift money, I have to give 100,000 won. If others give 100,000 won, I have to make it 200,000 won, just because I am an owner president of companies. I can't be cheap for things like that. Otherwise, people would talk badly behind my back."
"So, I was thinking. Out of my salaries of 30 million won, I will take 10 million won, and you take 10 million won for living expenses. And we save the rest of 10 million won for our future. What do you think?"
"What about that you take 5 million won, I take another 5 million won, and we save the rest of your salaries which would be 20 million won?"
"Me I really need 10 million won per month. I have several hundreds of people who are working for me. I have an extensive social network that has to go on. I can make a list with hundreds and thousands of occasions where I have to spend money."
Gun-Ho then went to his room and came back to the dining room with an envelope.
"What is this?"
"This is for you. It's our living expenses. Since I haven't given you any for the past five months of our married life, I'm giving you the amount worth of our five-month living expenses. It's 50 million won."
"50 million won?"
"Yeah. Just take that money. Also, you don't have to share what you make at the hospital. I don't mind how you spend that money."
"Oh, my gosh! 50 million won!"
Young-Eun's eyes widened, and she couldn't speak a thing for a moment.
Money was a weird thing. People craved for money no matter how much they had. They always wanted more and more. Young-Eun was a medical doctor who was making good money, but she seemed to be happier when she realized that she would have 10 million won more every month. Gun-Ho could hear her humming while she was washing dishes. She brought Korean melon to Gun-Ho for desert.
She asked Gun-Ho pleasantly, "What are you doing?"
"I was just surfing the web."
Young-Eun looked around Gun-Ho's room and found a shopping bag in the corner. They were the shirts and ties that Mori Aikko selected for Gun-Ho from Marui Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
"What are these?"
"Oh, they are just my shirts and ties."
"Shirts and ties? These seemed to be made in Japan. Did you go to Japan?"
"No, no. It's just a gift from someone."
"A gift? Are you sure? What's up with these colors? They are too blunt."
"Well, you are right. They do appear so blunt."
"Give all of these to someone else. The colors are too vivid for you to wear."
Young-Eun even frowned. She seemed to dislike them for some reason.
"Oh okay. I will give them away."
It was mysterious that Young-Eun acted funny every time when Gun-Ho went to Japan and met Mori Aikko. There was no way that Young-Eun would know that he had another woman in Japan. But, Young-Eun certainly seemed to feel something different. Gun-Ho just couldn't figure out how.
Young-Eun walked out of Gun-Ho's room and sat on the sofa in the living room. She then turned on the TV loudly. Gun-Ho followed Young-Eun with a plastic wash basin filled with warm water.
"You must feel so tired. Let me wash your feet."
"Wash my feet? You act funny tonight."
Gun-Ho washed Young-Eun's feet. Young-Eun seemed to feel relaxed while letting Gun-Ho clean her feet. When Gun-Ho was almost done with his special service, Young-Eun said, "Oppa!"
"Me, I do trust you."
"Why are you saying that?"
Gun-Ho gave a kiss to Young-Eun on the cheek before heading to the bathroom to empty the plastic wash basin. While in the bathroom, Gun-Ho looked at himself in the mirror and mumbled, "Did she find out?"
Young-Eun didn't say anything further that night. The two watched TV while having Korean melon. There was a movie on air. When the movie ended, Young-Eun said that she was sleepy, and she went to the master bedroom to sleep. Gun-Ho followed her.
Young-Eun turned around and said, "Oppa, aren't you supposed to go to your room to sleep?"
"Young-Eun, you look so pretty tonight."
Gun-Ho then abruptly hugged Young-Eun and started kissing her. That night, Young-Eun didn't reject Gun-Ho. She let him touch her. Gun-Ho began to undress Young-Eun.
It was Saturday.
Gun-Ho and Young-Eun went out to take a walk at Yangjae riverside. Gun-Ho was holding Young-Eun's hand while walking, but he was thinking of Mori Aikko.
'Mori Aikko wanted to take a walk along a canal in Otaru City, Hokkaido. I wonder how it would be like. How would it be different from walking at Yangjae riverside?'
Gun-Ho then tried to get rid of the thought of Mori Aikko.
'Young-Eun is pregnant with my baby. I have to restrain myself from thinking of another woman. It might affect the baby negatively.'
Gun-Ho held Young-Eun's hand tightly and looked at Young-Eun. Gun-Ho tried to make eye contact with Young-Eun more frequently and smile at her. As a matter of fact, Gun-Ho felt happy walking with his wife while holding her hand.