Translated by Jasmine.
So Long For Now, Summer
He Chose You
She remembered how many stupid things she said to her back then. She thought the kid looked like his dad. So she was sure she’ll be pretty. Her forehead, her closed eyes, her nose, her mouth all look like her father. She hoped that she would grow up to be a woman who’d looked like her father, and it would be cool as well if she was tall…
She never quite had anything to say to Woo Jin-ha. Although she was very strange to her, she was still very busy responding to me. Occasionally told me how she noticed the baby’s features that resembled her husband.
She wanted to slap herself in the face if she could. Like to shut herself up, sobered up, or what-not. She hated herself for thinking such foolish thoughts out in the world.
“The President is very disappointed, too, isn’t he?”
“…Yes, he is.”
“You will be pregnant again in no time. You both are still so young… Not like my husband’s nephew. She had miscarriages two years ago and last year as well, and looks like it’ll be difficult to conceive again, causing the parents to worry.”
“You know, my niece, who just had a baby? She’s the one. The problem is that some people can’t get pregnant at all, but some who can get pregnant continue like that….”
Her voice was full of warm hearts, but it was still the worst consolation. She was sad because she died, not that she wouldn’t be able to have another child.
She stared absent-mindedly while she went to search for anything else to work on after leaving a few more perfunctory words of consolation. Sje sat still at the table for some time after that.
She needed an objective. A proper target… Cleaning up. Okay. She should do some cleaning. She could feel a worried gaze directed at me as she walked, but she didn’t want to talk anymore. She knew what it would look like for a woman who just had a miscarriage yesterday to wander in front of the nursery, but she didn’t need any deep sympathy.
She walked into the nursery and shut the door as if to block any watchful eyes. The room was filled with all kinds of baby supplies that her mother-in-law bought and placed here in advance.
“It would’ve been so good if that unplanned child could just vanish by themselves.”
The same mother-in-law who said that in front of me acted as if losing all of her care in a day even began to ignore me. About five months later, she suddenly bought all kinds of things, carefully choosing them. At that time her heart was full of hope because of her actions.
At that time, she had no idea of what’s inside, and now she no longer wanted to know, so she just put all the things that she gave her in one empty room, and the room quickly became like this. A room decorated with sincerity while waiting for the day the child would be born.
It’s a room where she didn’t have any memories of choosing things by her own hands or decorating happily. So she didn’t think that she’d feel any sense of loneliness, still, the room that was still waiting for a child looked pitiful for some reason.
‘If that’s not the case, how can that guy who’s like a stone figure bear any children? Yeah. So, it’s good to be swift. Get married, hurriedly get me a great-grandson, President!’
When she recalls the most positive words her mother-in-law has said about her child, she suddenly becomes curious. Would she say that this was also “good”? Or maybe would be sorry for her brief interest in buying these things.
It’s none of my concern anymore now.
The sound of laughter leaked out as if the wind had blown it away. She looked around more numbly, picking up the small number of baby clothes she’d ever bought. And she left the room with only that.
Promptly after the housekeeper finished and left. She figured then it won’t be too late to leave this house after. She opened the dressing table’s drawer and pulled out a leather notebook containing the maternity notebook and several ultrasound pictures that were grouped separately.
Then the last ultrasound photo that she hadn’t attached, fell down.
The child’s face, slightly frowned face, bent hands, and short legs caught her eye. It still hasn’t hit home that the child was already shaped so close to a real baby. And she didn’t want to see it.
‘If you had held on a little longer… you could’ve seen the world. If you’d just hold on a little longer…’
It was a poison resulting from a bunch of hopeless ‘ifs’. Always. Just like how she had thought about her family.
She wiped away the tears that fell on the picture with her fingertips and hurriedly rubbed them away as if afraid someone would see her face.
The photograph was inserted randomly into the notebook again carelessly stuffed together with the maternity’s notebook before she dumped it into the wastebasket nearby. She threw away all the baby clothes on top of it.
However, the feeling like she had just thrown her child into the wastebasket, came to her. And just like that, she couldn’t stand the sight of it on top of the wastebasket for a long time, who couldn’t overcome the longing, took out a set of baby clothes thrown on the top, and held it in her hand. It happened to be one she liked the most.
As if she just stole it, she then quickly stuffed it into her bag and soon found things she needed to get rid of in the bedroom next.
Most of the things she used in this house were bought by her mother-in-law in a hurry by her secretary before and after marriage, and there were not many things she could say were really hers. Half of the dressing room was full of her clothes, but she didn’t even want any of them.
In the beginning, she lived in Hannam-dong with her mother-in-law temporarily. After the wedding, all the newlyweds’ needs have been arranged and obtained in the house that they had gone and lived in now. At that time, she wasn’t allowed to even bring any of her belongings.
Her mother-in-law was especially appalled by a blouse she used to wear and even the earrings she had always worn.
‘Why was I required to pretend that I was from their status anyway?’
All were not allowed whether it’s an expensive blouse at a duty-free shop or a pair of earrings that she bought after pondering about it ten more times repeatedly.
Everything she ever had has been worthless. Even her most prized belongings.
Mother-in-law’s concerns in a way were indeed understandable. Her most important concern was for her to not cause any embarrassments to her son when she stood next to Woo Jin-ha. Even her own father, who had run a small business in Gimpo, had turned to “The deceased CEO of a medium-sized company.”
Of course, the next lie was even more humiliating and exaggerated.
‘Although I am aware that she has many shortcomings, I can’t help it because after all Jin-ha chose you’