Yeonseo glared at Taeheon and said,
“I’ll wait in a distant place so I won’t disturb both of you.”
“You can just sit here and wait. Ms. Choi Soohyun will understand.”
“…Sure, would you like to sit?”
Soohyun asked Yeonseo, unable to hide the conflict that was brewing.
“I can’t, no. Thank you, but no.”
As they entered, she noticed the common area. She had planned to wait there. But now she was being asked to sit next to Taeheon.
It was madness. There was no way she should listen to him.
In a way, Soohyun was the victim here. Whether or not it mattered to her that Taeheon had a s*xual partner, but Yeonseo’s presence here was a deceptive act towards her.
“Mr. Taeheon has been making jokes lately. If I receive a call, I’ll come to meet you. Have a good time.”
Yeonseo dismissed his crazy words as a joke and turned around.
“We met before at the yacht party. Do you remember?”
Soohyun’s gentle voice resonated from behind her. Thud, thud. The sound of her deliberate stomping pounded in her ears.
Witnessing Taeheon’s matchmaking in person, this was too cruel. Yeonseo’s heart had sank and become numb to the point where there couldn’t possibly be more pain. She was basically forced to watch the man she loved in a matchmaking date. It was all so horrifying that it felt like she was going deaf.
Ignoring her welling tears, Yeonseo entered the common area, hoping the bitter coffee might shake off her hangover.
They must be having their meal by now.
She had resolved her mind, but as time passed, the composure she had painstakingly built was crumbling weakly. Yeonseo closed her eyelids, disregarding the burning sensation in her eyes.
The matchmaking date that Taeheon thought would end with a meal extended for a long time. He behaved normally, surprising Yeonseo, who expected him to act rudely toward his matchmaking date.
After finishing their meal, he pressed the button to go up to the hotel lounge and escorted Soohyun. His impeccable manners seemed to impress her. Her ears turned red as she brushed her hair behind them.
Yeonseo followed behind after the two of them got on the elevator and even after that, she had to follow after them as they walked ahead, alone.
From her seat, Yeonseo had a good view of Soohyun and Taeheon drinking coffee in the lounge’s VIP room. The room had exactly two tables. There was a partition between them, but Yeonseo could still see and hear each other clearly, without missing a single expression or voice.
Taeheon responded promptly to Soohyun’s words, and she seemed to be laughing often. Well, anyone would laugh looking at Taeheon’s face, which outshone even celebrities.
Yeonseo poured herself countless cups of coffee, trying to hide her agitation.
Soohyun didn’t seem overshadowed by Taeheon. She was beautiful and had a good figure. However, her appearance was just a part of what she possessed. She had a stellar resume and a fortune.
When Yeonseo had seen the documents with Taeheon’s potential matchmaking dates, it hadn’t hurt as much. But now, seeing them in person, it became increasingly unbearable. It was okay, okay, okay, no amount of chanting was going to make it better. It was a big problem.
It was okay, okay, okay.
But no amount of chanting was going to make it better. It was a big problem.
She felt like tears would burst forth if someone merely spoke to her. Yeonseo chewed on her trembling lips.
After a hellish amount of time, the two of them finally got up from their seats. As they were paying the bill, Soohyun spoke as if she remembered something.
“Mr. Taeheon, it’s a rare occasion, so if you don’t have any other plans, would you like to have another drink?”
“I’m not really into daytime drinking.”
“Then we can drink until the night.”
It was a blatant flirtation. Taeheon looked behind her, where Yeonseo was, and asked in a low voice.
“What’s my schedule afterward?”
Soohyun’s gaze met Yeonseo’s. Yeonseo knew that she needed to respond well.
On weekends, Taeheon don’t schedule anything unless it’s urgent. Today, he only had the matchmaking date, but then his entire day is free.
She couldn’t think of any excuses. No, the wary look in Soohyun’s eyes made Yeonseo’s feet tingle and she had to be honest.
“You don’t have any other plans.”
Yeonseo’s voice ended in a slight quiver. Even after saying this, she had expected Taeheon to decline Soohyun’s offer.
“If that’s the case, let’s have a drink then.”
But Taeheon pushed Yeonseo’s expectations to the bottom of the barrel. Well, Yeonseo should have expected the worst, given Taeheon’s attitude when he had brought her to a place like this.
He had said it was out of consideration for her, but to Yeonseo, it felt more like a punishment. But Taeheon was nonchalant about that.
“Then why don’t you go home for now, Ms. Secretary? If there’s anything urgent, you can call him on the phone. Since there has been no contact until now, it seems fine, doesn’t it?”
Soohyun asked, looking at Yeonseo.
“Is it okay?”
Yeonseo couldn’t answer immediately. Soohyun, who had been alternating her gaze between the two, subtly grabbed Taeheon’s arm and pulled him toward her.
Yeonseo lowered her head, unable to look at Soohyun’s ample chest blatantly pressing against Taeheon’s arm.
“Mr. Taeheon, I’ll contact you later then.”
And with that, Yeonseo fled the scene as if running away. Soohyun’s eyes, as she looked at Yeonseo, seemed to say she knew everything, and it wasn’t just a mistake.
Well, she might. Even a little investigation around Taeheon would reveal that Yeonseo was the one he’s been seeing lately. A caregiver turned secretary. But describing her as just a secretary felt inadequate, given her awkward existence.
It seemed like Soohyun had seen through the complicated relationship between Yeonseo and Taeheon. Yeonseo felt incredibly embarrassed. She was so embarrassed for herself…
When she arrived at the officetel, her face was drenched with tears.
How much longer could this situation go on?
A little happiness was good. Even a bit of affection, she would be happy. She felt as though her foolish choice to turn a blind eye to unhappiness by relying on these small pleasures was being condemned.
Yeonseo was alone, her heart in solitary. In the end, her love amounted to nothing more than crashing against the wall that Taeheon had buil.
In reality, it was becoming increasingly difficult. She realized that the days of liking him without a care in the world were numbered. Six months didn’t seem like enough time.
Experiencing Taeheon’s world firsthand made her feel even more unsure of herself.
If it was this challenging now, would it be better tomorrow?
No, it would probably get worse. If she was happy for five minutes of her time with him, she was unhappy for the other 55 minutes.
She had overestimated herself, thinking she would be fine.
She had underestimated this love.
Maybe it’s time to put an end to this unrequited love.
This wasn’t the first time Taeheon had been involved in matchmaking. He had seen potential matches a few times, even flying in candidates from faraway places to the United States. Despite Chairman Kang’s instructions, Taeheon’s fierce reactions had caused the arrange engagement to fall apart.
With a little experience under his sleevess, it wasn’t too difficult to pretend to listen to Soohyun’s boring story. He couldn’t empathize with her fantasy about married life, but he could pretend to understand.
After Yeonseo left, the atmosphere at their drinking session became even more tedious. Without Yeonseo awkwardly trailing behind, everything was boring.
Last night, he headed back to the officetel after work to wait for Yeonseo’s return with his ears tuned to hear her footsteps. He had expected her to come in at least late into the night, but he had heard nothing from her for a long time.
Sitting on the couch, he dozed off for a moment. However, when there was still no sign of Yeonseo returning, his head started to ache. He knows that Jiyeong couldn’t stay out all night because she lived with her sister, and there was no reason for Yeonseo to visit Hyeonho’s house secretly.
A sarcastic smile crossed his lips. He found himself overly sensitive to Yeonseo’s whereabouts, even though he didn’t need to worry about where she went or who she was with.
It was excessive to label his feelings for her as possessiveness. As time passed, his emotions toward her didn’t clear up; instead, they became more confusing. By the time morning arrived, he had decided to bring Yeonseo to his matchmaking date.
Throughout the date, he wanted Yeonseo by his side, wanting to mark her place. It was a calculated move, believing that only cruel methods could give Yeonseo a lesson.
Yeonseo followed behind them like a defeated soldier, observing them. Unable to bear it any longer, she eventually left, leaving Taeheon behind.
It was just a meal, but it extended to drinking, continuing into the evening. Taeheon admitted that it was a means to hurt Yeonseo, provoking her in a childish and crude manner.
“I should go now.”
Soohyun asked with a hint of anticipation. If he took her straight to the hotel room, it would surely delight her. But, from the beginning, Taeheon hadn’t considered Soohyun as a woman he wanted.
After entrusting Soohyun to the driver, Taeheon took a taxi to the officetel. At some point, he found himself visiting the officetel more frequently than his own home.
He thought she would be asleep since it was already late, but he heard her laughter echoing from the living room.
He should have felt lighter now that he had punished Yeonseo, but her laughter, so clear and free, contrasted sharply with the discomfort he felt.
“Oh, really? Is that so?”
Taeheon’s steps were steadily closing the distance between them. Yeonseo was on the phone.
“Yeah. Hyeonho, you too.”
It was Baek Hyeonho again. Good thing he’d put him away.
Loosening his tie, Taeheon approached her. When she spotted him, Yeonseo sat up straight, her cell phone glued to her ear.
Sprawled out with her legs dangling over the headrest of the couch, Yeonseo looked horrified.
“Uh…. Hyeonho, I have to go. I’ll talk to you later. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.”
Taeheon managed to control himself from snatching her phone away this time. He had endured it, remembering the audacious image of Yeonseo from last time, telling him to apologize for throwing her phone.
Taeheon scoffed at the darkened screen.
“Must be something special, huh?”
“How come you’re already here?”
“Why? Did I have to f*ck Choi Soohyun before coming here?”
“……How could you say that so casually?”
Taeheon arched an eyebrow. To Yeonseo, Woo Taeheon seemed like a person who only left questions behind.
Yeonseo had always been curious about Taeheon’s behavior, and she didn’t hide it.
“Did you do well in the date?”
“In a way.”
Taeheon tilted his head slightly. Then he grabbed the headrest and leaned forward.
He tried to kiss Yeonseo, but her small hands pushed him away.
“Go wash up.”
The corners of Taeheon’s mouth curved upward.
“What kind of treatment is this again?”
He wanted Yeonseo right now. He had been impatient, waiting for her all night, wandering outside until morning light, feeling his insides churn.
He suddenly wanted to shatter her world completely. He wanted her to have nowhere else to turn but his arms, to clear away everyone she knew.
Taeheon tried to kiss her again, and she pushed his stomach away with her foot.
He let out a frustrated sigh.
“This isn’t right. If I tell you to accept it, you should accept it.”