eun away

6

“I’ve never really had a place to return to. It feels strange.”

“This place really feels like home today.”

This is literally how easy it would’ve been to make TaeBi happen.

“Aren’t you going to get rid of that?”  Eun Byul asks Eun Bi, who is playing with the oversized teddy bear from Yi Ahn on her bed.

“Oh.  Yes,” Eun Bi quietly responds.  She puts the bear in a cardboard box and tapes the folds shut.  Eun Byul walks over and leans against the wall, peering down at her sister.

“Dongsaeng, there’s something I’ve wanted to ask you,” Eun Byul tells her sister.

“What is it?”

“Do you like Gong Tae Kwang?”

Eun Bi folds her hands together and lowers her eyes to the floor.

“No,” She answers.

“Ah, really?  Then is it Han Yi Ahn?”  Eun Byul presses.  Eun Bi quickly shakes her head and looks up at her sister.

“Unnie, it’s not like that,” she insists.  Eun Byul grins and climbs on the bed to sit beside her sister.

“Yah, Eun Bi-ah,” she begins, “You’ve only known me for a few weeks and you’re already lying to me?”  She nudges her sister’s shoulder and Eun Bi scoots away. “Which one is it?  Gong Tae Kwang, or Han Yi Ahn?”

Eun Bi looks at the wall in front of her, wishing she could seep into it and escape her Unnie’s questions until she knows the answers.

“I… don’t know,” the younger sister explains.  “I’ve never had this kind of attention before—attention from someone I like.  I don’t know enough about myself to say that for sure that I like either of them.”  Eun Byul wraps her arms around Eun Bi as she begins to cry.  “I’ve already told Tae Kwang I didn’t like him, and I regret it.  Not because I like him, but because I don’t dislike him.”

“Don’t cry, Eun Bi,” Eun Byul soothes.  “It’s ok not to know.”

“And Han Yi Ahn,” Eun Bi continues, “He’s yours, Unnie.”

“He’s not mine,” Eun Byul laughs.  “So if you decide you like him, don’t hold back, ok?  I’d be disappointed in both of you,” she teases.  Eun Bi manages to smile and look at her sister.

“If it comes to that, I won’t,” she chuckles through a smile.  “But for now, I think I’ll put both of them away.  Like I put the teddy bear away.”

“Aigoo, so mature,” Eun Byul comments as she pats the top of her sister’s head.

“What’s up?  Why did you call me here?”  Han Yi Ahn asks with a mile-wide grin.  He leans against the railing of a foot bridge, just a few feet from where she stands, looking out into the river.  “Have you missed me that much?”

“Han Yi Ahn,” Eun Bi states.  “I… have something to tell you.”

Yi Ahn folds his arms together and feels his chest become tight.  The last time she said those words, it was to say that she wasn’t Eun Byul.

“Yi Ahn,” she begins again, “I…  We…  Let’s stop this.”  She continues gazing at the river as deeply as she can; she can’t bear to look at her friend.  “I know you like me.  I thought I liked you, too, but when you were mad and stayed away from me, it gave me time to reflect.”

“Reflect?”  Yi Ahn calmly asks, though he is secretly worried.  Eun Bi nods her head.

“Yes.  Reflect.  You had every right to be mad at me.  I know that.  At that moment, I wasn’t the Eun Byul that you loved.  I was Eun Bi, a stranger to you.  To take advantage of your feelings like that…  is something I can’t do,” she tells him quietly.

“But if I say it’s ok—“

“Han Yi Ahn,” she interrupts.  “I want to learn more about myself.  I want to love myself—as Eun Bi, not Eun Byul.  And before I can think about returning your feelings, I need to find who I am.  What I like.  Who likes me for me.”

Yi Ahn tries to pull her into a hug, but she pushes away.  He laughs, despite his eyes tearing up, and puts his hands on his hips.

“Ok,” he mumbles.  “Ok.  Find yourself, Lee Eun Bi.  I hope the road to who you are brings you back to me someday.”

“Thank you,” Eun Bi whispers as she turns and begins her walk back home.

6 MONTHS LATER

Tae Kwang is running late for school again, but it doesn’t matter.  His father had a full breakfast with him, and he ran into his old homeroom teacher who was standing outside of Sekang High, reminiscing on the old days.

It is lunch time when he finally gets to school.  As he walks through the doors, he feels a soft buzz in his pocket.  He pulls out his phone and reads the text message that he just received.

“Rooftop” is all it says, and it is from Lee Eun Bi.

This is the first he has heard from Eun Bi since she made it a point to avoid him at her academy (which he transferred out of and back to Sekang because he realized he was bothering her.)  To see the familiar “Rooftop” in a text message from her fills him with joy.  He runs to the roof as fast as he can.

When he opens the door, Eun Bi turns around with a soft smile and happy eyes.  Tae Kwang slowly walks over to her, and then asks the inevitable.  “Lee… Eun Bi?”  He asks.  She shakes her head.

“No,” she firmly says.  He begins to pout and she pinches his chin.  It appears Go Eun Byul has returned.  “It’s Go Eun Bi now,” she laughs.  Tae Kwang excitedly pulls her into a hug, then quickly backs off.

“Sorry, I know you don’t like that,” he sighs.  “It’s just been so long, and—“

“I’ve missed you, Gong Tae Kwang,” Eun Bi interjects.  Tae Kwang looks at her with wide, surprised eyes, and she steps toward him.  “Yah, I said I’ve missed you.  Aren’t you going to say it back?”

“Eun Bi…”

“Aigoo, let me say it differently.  Lee Eun Bi missed you very much.  She has come back as Go Eun Bi, thankful to Tae Kwang for taking care of her in the past.”  She pauses and takes a deep breath.  “Gong Tae Kwang…  Can Go Eun Bi take care of you now?”

cue Sungjae’s song

wei50-blog replied to your post “wei50-blog replied to your post “wei50-blog replied to your post…”

Rachel totally taking charge and not letting anyone give her crap! Mothers closing ranks! Love it!!! Haha mothers unite against those who would disparage their children! Love that moms are in charge! Really wonder at the thoughts going through each Eun-Sang and Rachel’s minds during that long stare! Good for Min-Jae to see Rachel in action! He will have to exercise the same authority as heir to RS International.

Moms are amazing forces of nature and these two love their children very much. Eun-Sang is a little worried Rachel might be stealing Eun-Chae away from her too quickly because traditionally, the woman moves into the man’s house and cuts ties with her family.

Rachel doesn’t intend to do anything of the sort but she does want Eun-Chae to feel comfortable around her now that there is a potential grandchild in the mix. She doesn’t want Eun-Chae to see her as an enemy.

That’s what that stare was about until Eun-Sang remembered that this was about what her daughter wanted and needed and not their hard feelings.

Min-Jae definitely has some growing to do. This separation from his parents and responsibility supporting Eun-Chae will be very good for him. Especially since Grandma doesn’t know yet and she has a lot of power over whether or not he becomes Rachel’s heir when she retires.

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