(Author’s Note: I barely listen to American music now…my listening consists mostly of Korean and Jay Chow music and instrumental music too. So starting with episode three, I will use their music.)
Lucas Kim (Kim Jung-Min)
The next song has started, one I don’t know how to name. She fell in love with that song though, listened to it often. Whenever I asked her about the song, she giggled and refused to tell me.
But that song is playing now.
The memories return now.
Few months after she has left, my life has changed for forever. I became a legal brother to Angleo. To this day, I am not sure why his uncle and he decided to adopt me.
For the remaining time of my childhood, I was a happy child. Angelo’s uncle has taken a liking to me, and began to educate me in various areas such as mathematics and music. He even hired a private English tutor.
I also began to attend church with the family, looking forward to the reverend’s sermons. Angelo always skipped out on church if he could help it. He never told me why he did it.
Very often, Angelo was silent, and whenever he caught me and his uncle together, he glared at me. When I tried to ask him what was wrong, he refused to tell me anything.
I think during that time, he still suffered from Sonya’s abandonment.
Sometimes at night, I would wake up and watch as Angelo sat by the window, just staring. Every so often, he would write on the pane with his finger in Hangul. I would just stare at him, and am still wondering why he has such a cold personality towards everyone.
Thirteen years has passed from that day, and memories continue to build, bricks creating walls. Little did we know that in thirteen years, another change was coming into our lives.
-Episode Three: Love by Maybee and Howl (Feat. Humming Urban Stereo) (First song from Love Marriage OST)-
Angelo Jang (Jang Chae-Su)
Thirteen Years later…springtime
Cool wind, a day of rejuvenation, of springtime. He sits in a small café, a cell phone beside him. Hot liquid of coffee creates warmth inside his body. He studies the people, the passer-bys, and a batch of flies to his eyes. When will my uncle call? He wonders to himself, sipping the coffee. The cup is almost full. He said he will call at around this hour, for me to pick up this famous author.
He sets the cup down, tapping the fingers across the table. I wish I didn’t have to do this, neither to pick her up nor to meet her. A sigh escapes him. I am twenty-four, he remembers ironically, in lunar years, twenty-six. I am nowhere close to finishing my studies. He remembers the last conversation he had with his uncle, a few days ago.
“You are a disappointment to me,” his uncle says, rubbing the white cream into his hands. His fingers dig into his skin, the pain almost a relief from the tedium. “You are neither fast enough nor quick-witted. Why couldn’t you be more like Lucas?”
“Please forgive me uncle.”
“You should drop college studying. It’s obvious that you’re not going to be at least a 3.0 GPA. You should think of concluding your studies and getting married.”
Angelo didn’t share his sentiments with his uncle. I don’t want to get married, he thinks. For thirteen years I’ve been a witness to my uncle’s and aunt’s marriage. Why get married?
“You may leave now,” his uncle says.
Angelo picks up the cup, watching as his hands trembled. I hate that my uncle thinks of me this way. Can he not say something positive about me? The relationship between us is mutual. We are not close to one another. I don’t confide anything to him; neither does he share anything with me.
He takes a quick sip, gazing at the time. While I’m waiting, perhaps I should read over the cheat sheet over this author.
With quick jerky movements, he opens up his briefcase, noting the huge pile of leaves stashed inside. Where is it? He searches, his hands in a flurry, creating more mess of the papers. Aish, where is it? He searched through it, and finding nothing, closed the briefcase and put it beside his feet.
He checks his coat pockets, and finds it, a battered sheet of paper, yet the print still survived.
Smoothing it over, he reads over some information. The author’s name is Soleil Stein, he commits it to memory. She is about two years younger than I am. She’s not Christian, he notes with relief. She primarily writes about Greek mythology, and often adds lost beauty to the tales. He remembers reading Lost Lovers a few years back, where she used myths about Narcissus and Echo, Adonis and Aphrodite, Zeus and Io, Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as Apollo and Daphne.
Wonder why she used sad myths in that book, he wonders. He recalls her description of the Greek Isles; tall craggy stones where only the hardest could survive. Lost Lovers is not my favorite book. I still wonder why she decides to arrive here. What is her business here?
A ringtone breaks his thoughts. In a flash of lightning, he picks up his cell phone, noting his uncle’s number.
“Hello?” He asks.
“Angelo. Glad I could reach you. Soleil arrived. Pick her up, would you?”
“Of course uncle,” he says.
“Good.” The click on the other side resounds. His uncle is finished.
Angelo tucks away the author cheat sheet and drinks up all the coffee. Very quickly, he gets the car keys and drives to the airport.
He holds up a sign: Soleil Stein, his eyes scrutinizing every female passenger. I don’t even know how she looks like, he admits to himself. He waves the sign, seeing various passengers walk over to those people who wait. I want to run out, to just grab her and get this chore over with, yet I don’t even know her.
Bubble of voices, many speaking English, surrounds him. He studies the clock ahead of him, noting the time: 5:56 PM. Where is she? He asks himself again. Could uncle have made a mistake? He checks his cell phone. No, his uncle didn’t make a mistake. Why do I have to serve as a girl’s guide? Couldn’t Lucas do it? He is younger than I am. Isn’t it his duty?
A tall girl, with long dark brown hair, slightly wavy, walks out. She is wearing sunglasses. Who is she? He asks himself, watching her walk, her hips move slightly from side to side. He watches as she stops, her eyes scanning everything.
Her gaze lands on him, yet she doesn’t take off her sunglasses. She starts walking toward him. Her walk isn’t carefree, she is sneering somehow, high above everyone else, and not in a good way, he thinks.
She stops beside him, her left hand slightly lowering her shades. “Hello,” she speaks in a low voice, almost annoyed.
“Hi,” he says back.
“I am Soleil Stein. I believe you are my driver.” What an arrogant woman! To assume that he is her driver!
“What if I’m not?” He challenged her.
“Then you’re an idiot for holding up my name in the first place. What, you want to kidnap me?”
“Let’s go,” he orders her.
“Wait. First tell me if you are my driver.”
“I am,” he almost yells. “Let’s go.”
He walks away, hearing the clicking sounds of her boots behind him. He makes no conversation, neither does Soleil.
To him, she is angry, or irritated or both. He figured it couldn’t be his fault. Maybe it is something else.
They finally get inside the car. He sits at the passenger seat, watching as she buckles up her seatbelt, reaches for her purse and pulls out a lipstick. She dabs a little on her lips.
Without saying anything, she turns on the music, to a pop radio station. “You know, it’s not polite to do what you want in my car.”
“Says who?” She retorts back.
“Unspoken society rules.” He replies.
“Screw them.” She takes off her sunglasses, and he has to admit that in a strangely way, she is beautiful, and familiar somehow.
“Look, obviously you weren’t looking forward to meeting me either. How about we just get it over with and never run into one another again, what do you say about that?”
“Fine with me,” she folds her arms across her breasts. A golden ring adorns her wedding finger. Is it an engagement ring he wonders, or is she married? Slight curve of the car is felt. “Hey watch it! What are you doing, staring at my engagement ring?” She demands. A sneering laugh is heard. “What, never seen one before?”
He doesn’t say a word, not desiring her conversation or her company. Poor guy, to be engaged to such a brash arrogant creature!
He studies the scenery, noting the tall spires of skyscrapers, the influx of people walking over the sidewalk, each with their own story. I’m almost here, he says to himself. His fellow passenger is silent, much to his relief.
Finally he stops. They arrived. He gets out of the car, remembers to lock it and walks over to the other side and opens it for Soleil. She gets out quickly, brushes her hair away from her eyes. “Where is my room?” She asks.
“I will walk you to my uncle. He will handle your needs.”
“Swell,” a sarcastic tone emits from her mouth. “You don’t have anything organized do you? I have to go to your uncle just to get inside my room.”
“Be patient,” he orders her. Already he is irritated with her as well, on the verge of exploding, of becoming the next Mount Vesuvius, getting ready to bury her, just as it buried
Herculaneum and . Pompeii
“Look, just tell me where I should find your uncle and I will dismiss you from my service.”
He calls the cell phone.
“Hello?” His uncle says.
“Hey uncle, I’m here, with your guest.”
“Ah, splendid! Lead her to room 2-506.” Click on the other side.
“Come on.” Angelo orders her, motioning his hand forward.
“Wait, what about my clothes and suitcases?”
“Hold on.” He calls information and asks for assistance. After taking care of that need, he walks inside and shows her to her room. “Goodbye,” he says, relieved at last to be rid of such a disagreeable company.
The softness of mattress and the sounds of the city, the ambulance, police sirens pass him by. A sigh escapes. I am free!
Noise interrupts his thoughts. His cell phone, he remembers. He groans inside, picking it up. “Hello?”
“Hi, glad I could reach you.”
“What is it uncle?”
“Soleil wants you as her official guide.”
“What? That disagreeable woman wants me to look out for her? You are joking I hope.”
“No, I’m afraid. You are to look after Soleil, Angelo.”
“But Uncle,” Angelo begins to protest but is immediately cut off.
“Angelo, like I told you a long time ago, be a man, not a boy.”
“Very well uncle.” He hangs up the phone, wondering why she would want him as her official guide, as well as dreading the next few weeks.
With those thoughts, he fell asleep.