Chapter 14: Chapter 14
Suhyuk came out of his house after he told his parents he would see a friend, and then he got in the car.
“But why does your boss want to see me?”
With his smile reflecting in the rear mirror, the driver looked at Suhyuk.
“Well, I do not know.”
Actually the driver did not know.
Suhyuk was really curious, but he could now meet the boss and ask him directly.
Actually it’s all the better, because he could express his gratitude to the boss.
The driver drove for a little more than an hour.
Just like how he sensed it the other day, he could feel once more why people were excited about foreign cars. He felt as the car he was in was flying above the road.
The car drove into Hannam-dong, where a large residential area was loosely scattered around.
When Suhyuk got out, he saw a huge mansion in front of him.
Suhyuk followed the driver into the house. Strange pine trees here and there, and lawn-covered yards caught his eyes.
Woof! Woof! Woof!
Suhyuk’s eyes grew bigger when he turned his head to one side. A huge dog tied around the neck was sitting there. It was huge like a bear. It was so big that it didn’t seem small at all, even compared with the beasts that reigned as the king of the savannah.
He had never seen such a big dog before. The driver approached the dog and stroked her head. She flipped over her belly and rolled around.
“You should not bark at your precious guest.”
Then he looked at Suhyuk.
“Do you want to touch her. She is very mild.”
Suhyuk shook his head.
What if he would be beaten by her big mouth! It was just terrible to imagine that.
“What kind of breed is she?”
“Have you heard of the name zangao (Leonberger)? Another name for it is lion dog. It can actually beat a lion.”
It sounded like a lie, but judging from her size, he thought she could beat a lion.
“Oh, I’m being absent-minded! My boss must be waiting for you. Let’s go in.”
The door opened, and Suhyuk went in.
As expected, the living room was bigger than his house, and there he could see the man he had met at the emergency room. He was biting a cigarette.
Casually dressed, he was playing games, with his hair tangled as if he just woke up, even though it was already evening. With his gaze fixed on the big TV set as large as a screen, he moved the game stick quickly. The driver approached him and bent his waist down.
“Boss, I’ve brought you a guest.”
He turned his head slightly toward Suhyuk and then smiled gently.
“Oh, you’re here. Wait a minute. I am almost done.”
‘Was the Super Mario game so exciting to him?’
The driver then came to Suhyuk and asked him to sit down. Suhyuk sat on the sofa and waited briefly.
“Ooops, I lost again!”
The man, scratching his head, approached Suhyuk.
Despite his haggard beard and tangled hair, he looked very handsome like a movie actor.
“Do you play games as well?”
“I’ve never played before.”
He made a surprising look, “You do not play games at your age?”
He was right. He’s never played games since he woke up from his sustained vegetative state. He also had no recollection of playing games because he lost his past memories.
“You’re a nerd, aren’t you?”
When the man sat next to him, Suhyuk stood up, and bowed his head.
“Thank you for the tuition and the bike. You gave me a big gift for nothing.”
Smiling at Suhyuk, he nodded his head. He could feel Suhyuk’s genuine sincerity.
He touched the couch lightly with his palm.
He then lit a cigarette.
“I hear you’re a newspaper delivery boy?”
“Yes,” he said.
“How much do you get?”
“I receive 400,000 won a month.”
The money was not enough even for his dog diet, he thought, but Suhyuk earned it by delivering 200 papers everyday per month as a part-timer.
The man was stunned to hear that.
“I use the money to pay for my fees at the private academy.”
‘Was the academy fee so cheap?’
He opened his mouth again, rubbing off his cigarette in an ashtray.
“I’ll give you money, much more than you currently receive. Please do me a favor in return.”
It seems Suhyuk was asked lots of such favors today. And now his favor.
Suhyuk was willing to accept his request for a favor gladly, because he already gave him a bike and tuition fee anyway.
“What is it?” Suhyuk asked.
“Well, please stay at my house for three hours after school. I will give you 200,000 won per hour, and all together 600,000 won. What do you think?”
Suhyuk’s eyes became wider.
Was he really earning 200,000 won as an hourly rate? As far as he knew, there was no such a part-time job.
‘Does the man want me to play Super Mario game together?’
When he could not brush off his surprised expression, the man opened his mouth again, “My mother wants to see you too very much”
“Yes! She wants to see that doctor so much.”
‘Does she still remember his face? Didn’t she have a cognitive disorder? But why was she looking for him?’ Suhyuk revealed his curiosity right away.
“Why is she looking for me?”
The man smiled cheerfully at him.
“Because you gave her a very good shot without any pain.”
The sleeping mother firmly believed that this boy had cured her illness. Actually this man also thought so. It was Suhyuk who diagnosed her mother and had her get the surgery when nobody cared about her in the emergency room. In a way, he was like a savior of her mother’s life. He was such a thankful boy to this man.
On the contrary, Suhyuk was making a perplexed look because he was supposed to be at the private academy during the specific time that this man requested.
Suhyuk was determined to go to medical school. He could not idle away his time because, he had a firm goal.
Nonetheless, 200,000 won per hour. It was a sweet word, but he had no choice but to reject it for his own future.
“I’m sorry. I have to go to the private academy during that time.”
Then the man shook his head, saying, “Well, smart boys are old-fashioned. Which subjects do you learn at the academy?”
“Korean, English, math.”
“Well, you can learn them at my home.”
Was he referring to private tutoring?
Of course, getting a private tutor was the best, but Suhyuk had no money.
When Suhyuk was about to open his mouth with a bitter look, the man said to the driver quickly, “Mr. Kim, call Jessica now, and Narae. Junghyun too.”
The driver laughed smugly as if he knew what the boss was trying to do, and began to tinker with his cell phone.
After Suhyuk went back home, the man picked up the game stick.
At that moment, his mother came into the living room.
“Mom, you woke up?”
The man, rising from his seat again, laughed. What trouble was she trying to make this time?
When he approached her, she said, “Son.”
The man’s eyes grew bigger because his mom, suffering from dementia, no longer recognized him, although very rarely did she come to her senses. The man asked her naughtily, yet with a trembling voice, “Who am I?”
With watery eyes in her wrinkled eye rim, she opened her mouth, “You’re my precious son.”
“Mom, please hug me.”
She slowly came over and hugged her son snugly.
“Hyunwoo, you’re much too stressed because of me, right?”
“No, I feel that day after day is very much fun,” said Hyunwoo, still in his mom’s arms, shaking his head from left to right. He folded into her shoulder harder. At the moment, there muttered a changed tone from her voice.
“I’m hungry. Give me a meal.”
As often seen in a patient with dementia, she reverted back to acting like a child. Not to be caught by someone else, the man washed her eye rim and then looked at her with a smiling face.
“Can we eat something delicious?”
In the meantime, Suhyuk could not hide a perplexed look when he was getting into the car.