He really looked like the man Suhyuk saw in his dream.
The man who appeared in his dream, wearing a mask. And the patient lying in bed with an oxygen respirator over his face.
Suhyuk was looking at him with a surprised look.
Was he mistaken?
There were many who resembled each other in the world.
Still the patient kept attracting Suhyuk’s attention.
He looked as if he would talk to Suhyuk at any moment after opening his eyes.
When Suhyuk was standing frozen like a stone statue, Han checked his condition carefully again.
There was nothing troublesome.
“I’ll be back again, sir.”
Covering the patient with a blanket Han turned back, and looked at Suhyuk who was standing blankly.
“What are you doing? Let’s go.”
“Ah, yes, sir.”
Soon he left the room with Han.
Walking down the hallway with Han, Suhyuk opened his mouth,
“Was he a professor in our college?”
Han nodded his head, adding, “He was a very good professor.”
“May I ask what kind of person he was?”
With a smile, Han said, “Shall we go outside?”
Both of them went out.
Pulling canned coffee from the vending machine near the no-cigarette booth, he gave it to Han.
He lit a cigarette that Han was holding in his hand.
A stream of smoke that filled his lungs all the way down was blown out.
And he talked as if he was reminiscing about his mentor.
“He really took excellent care of the patients…”
Han reeled off various stories about him:
He was a hard-working doctor. Though he had a family, he stayed at the hospital all the time as if it was his home. The most hours he slept in a day was only five. On those days with no surgery scheduled, he would teach juniors all the time. Though he was exhausted by fatigue, he never revealed it. He was smiling all the time, playing jokes to cheer up the medical staff. Yet he was a strict doctor before patients. When the medical staff made mistakes, he scolded them harshly enough to make them shed tears, but he cheered them up over drinks when his anger melted away.
In short, he was a genuine doctor with touches of humanity.
Everybody respected him.
“That is how he fell sick, consumed by his work,” said Han.
Suyuk nodded his head when Han was done with talking about his mentor.
But Suhyuk’s mind was confused.
Was he the same man that appeared in his dream? He felt he could identify him if he could hear the patient’s voice.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Han, looking suspiciously at Suhyuk’s hardened face.
“Nothing particular, sir.”
Suhyuk made a bright expression and looked at Han.
What was clear to Suhyuk now was that Prof. Jung Jisuk, now lying in bed, was a great doctor.
As Han said he was his mentor, Prof. Jung was really such a great doctor.
Parting with Han, Suhyuk got on the elevator.
Walking down the hallway, Suhyuk stopped and looked at the patient’s room before his eyes.
Suhyuk came back to the VIP room where Jung was hospitalized.
Looking at the name quietly, he opened the door silently and went in.
There was n.o.body there this time.
Standing near the patient, Suhyuk opened his mouth,
“Prof Jung Jisuk. Was it you, sir?”
Instead of his reply, only the machine monitoring his condition emitted sound.
Suhyuk sat on the sofa beside the bed, and murmured to himself,
“I lost consciousness when I had an accident. I had a dream back then. In that dream I spent many years with a man. I performed countless surgeries with him. I got a good scolding many times and was given many praises along the way.”
Suhyuk stood up, as if he was reminiscing about that time, and looked at him.
“Was that man none other than you, professor?”
There could be no reply from Jung. Instead he looked as if he was smiling at him.
Jung’s face looked as relaxed and peaceful as ever.
Letting out a breath, Suhyuk turned back, saying, “Goodbye for now, sir.”
Closing the door quietly, Suhyuk headed to the lobby to go home.
Then came out an announcer’s voice from the TV stand in the lobby.
Suhyuk stopped while pa.s.sing by it casually, and received a call on his phone.
It was from Dongsu.
“Hey, did you seethe news?”
At his asking out of the blue, he turned his head to the TV news before he knew it.
The related news was coming out at the moment.
“What about it?” asked Suhyuk.
“You remember Kim Insu, right?”
“Yes, that guy during our high school days who really sucked.”
Of course Suhyuk knew him.
“Yeah, I know him. Why are you talking about him out of the blue?”
“Well, I put him in jail.”
Suhyuk’s eyes opened wide. The TV news he just heard was vivid.
It was about Kim’s wrongdoings, and there were many things related to him that the prosecutor had been looking into.
“Well, when I looked into his case, he had lots of criminal activitiesinvolved. That b.a.s.t.a.r.d ruined many companies, too.”
He stole other companies’ product items with money, nipping in the bud their attempt to grow as his rival companies. Dozens of such cases were detected.
“I feel as if a thorn in my neck has been removed. Now he’s been caught! b.a.s.t.a.r.d!”
Suhyuk made a bitter smile.
He recalled Kim Insu’s face that always looked confident and complacent.
He deserted even his friend for the sake of his own interests, which was destined to end up like this, after all.
Now what would be his fate?
“I’ll call you later as I have to interrogate him now.”
The phone was hung up abruptly.
Shaking his head, Suhyuk went out of the lobby and got on the bus bound for his home.
There were many kinds of people on the bus. A company employee who fell asleep out of fatigue, students chatting with smiles, and some worried parents caring about their children.
Looking at them Suhyuk made a slight smile.
Then he got a call from someone he knew. He had been thinking of calling him, but forgot.
“How are you, sir!”
“Are you busy these days?”
It was a call from Kim Hyunwoo, the rich businessman who helped him a lot.
“No, I’m not. How about you, sir?”
“Oh, I’m doing well. Congrats for your n.o.bel Prize. By the way, you forgot to call me after so long?”
“Sorry, I was just absent-minded…”
“Okay, then. Let me give you a chance for me to forgive you. You said you’re not busy, right?”
“No, sir. Please go ahead.”
“Can you see me now? I’m here at…”
After the phone call, Suhyuk got off at the next stop.
It was a thoroughfare where he called Suhyuk.
15 minutes’ walking took him to the destination.
It was a typical beer house, which did not match Kim’s image well.
Suhyuk went in.
There were many college students there at the moment.
“How many customers?”
“I’ve got someone waiting for me here,” said Suhyuk, looking around.
“Hey, I’m here!” said Kim, raising his hand from the side table.
Suhyuk headed to the table with a smile.
He was not alone. Sitting beside him was a woman with long hair, with her face white and pure. She looked just unfancy, not perking herself up at all.
“Long time no see, brother,” said Suhyuk.
Kim was a bit surprised at Suhyuk calling him brother, but stayed calm.
With a smile Kim nodded his head,
“Thanks for coming this far. Have a seat.”
As soon as he said that, the woman sitting next to him widened her eyes, asking,
“Are you really Dr. Lee Suhyuk?”
“Oh, I am. How are you? My name is Lee Suhyuk.”
Kim cut in, “She didn’t believe me when I said I was on close terms with you.”
She bowed her head, saying, “h.e.l.lo. My name is Lee Kahyon. That’s what I mean, as you’re a busy doctor…”
Kim replied instead, “He’s not busy at all. I would not have called him here if he was busy. Beer?”
When Suhyuk nodded his head, Kim ordered a beer.
“She is going to be your sister-in-law.”
Surprised by Kim’s remarks, Suhyuk asked before he knew it,
“Are you getting married?”
Kim looked at his girlfriend gently.
“When are you getting married?”
“Next year? Kahyon said she would support me.”
Suhyuk blinked his eyes. Support Kim? Support such a millionaire?
Actually Suhyuk smelt a rat when Kim asked him to call him a brother from the beginning.
Kim, glancing at her cellphone, told her, “Go and take your phone.”
“Sure,” said Kahyon, going out to take the phone.
“She has to keep to the curfew hour at home. Around this time she gets a call from her father.”
“Beer is ready,” said a waiter.