Preferences – Part 9 (conclusion)

Continued from part 8.

February 13th, 11:20 pm

I am still waiting for JJ to return home. Evidently, I am the only one who has thousand and one questions bothering me. Both JJ and the curious business man considered it normal to walk into the meeting room right after my gay house-mate kissed me in front of the whole world.

I understand he was thankful that I stood up for him in front of a guy he really detests but he heard what I told C, right? He heard that I love him!! Shit, he heard that.

What does a kiss on the mouth mean, anyway? If he was just thankful, he should have kissed me on my cheek. Or shook my hand.


February 14th, 12:10 am

Still waiting.

Why did C call him a crook?

February 14th, 2:50 am

Bloody bastard.

February 14th, 4 am

He is still awake. I can hear him through the closed door of my bedroom. I should have asked him to get out of my house right then. I could go out and say so now, but I fear I won’t have the courage to do so if I see his face.

I guess, I might as well tell you what happened. He got home late, and I could tell he had been drinking. When he walked in, he looked like a different man. It was not the same person who had kissed me in the museum’s corridor a few hours back. He looked stressed and tired.

My first thought was that his meeting went wrong. I know how important this project is for him. But he said that no such thing happened. He asked me if I had eaten, when I nodded, he sat me down like a child, as if the corridor kiss never happened. I sat on the couch, and he sat cross-legged on the floor, facing me. And then he told his story, bits of which I already knew.

His family had lost everything – their ancestral home and their business – to C’s father when JJ was still ten years old. His father could not take this shock, but his mother managed to survive through the decades and worked hard to make her son what he is today, an award-winning architect. The only ambition JJ has now is to win the museum’s renovation contract, defeat C, and do a fantastic job of it. Mr. T’s research showed that the curious business man had spent two whole years trying to convince father, my father, to come back to the country and renovate the museum for him. But father refused, which does not surprise me at all. So, the business man had little choice but to open the renovation deal to other architect firms. But his love for the old Jeulmun Pottery Period architecture that used to be father’s specialty was known to everyone, so JJ decided that if he had to succeed, he must make father’s work his inspiration. And what is father’s best known work? The house he built for my mother. My house!

JJ came to my house to learn about my father’s work. The hours he spent staring at the sky, were actually spent studying the design of my house. What a fool I have been?!

And oh yes, he also threw in a minor fact, “I am not really gay,” he told me. “I thought a single girl would never let me live in the house if I did not lie about this.”

I wish my tear ducts had a switch I could turn off.

February 14th, 12:10 pm

I am still in bed, and I want to stay here forever.

February 14th, 4:30 pm

He knocked my door for at least one hour, and then he left. Maybe it is time I got out of this bed.

February 14th, 5:10 pm

I did not get out of the bed.

February 14th, 7 pm

Evidently, even when my heart is broken into a million tiny pieces, I still need to eat. Instant noodles are a life saver; I could not go out in this condition to buy anything fresh anyway.

JJ has called several times today. I have a six missed calls from him. I could pick up the phone, but I would not know what to say.

February 14th, 10:30 pm

Did you know it is Valentine ‘s Day today?

He came back around 9, and thank God he did. Because all my anger vanished after I finished two cups of instant noodles. I realized that although he had lied to me, and he had manipulated his way into my house for a very selfish reason, he has never been anything but helpful to me. His exorbitant rent saved my ass from the loan sharks. He helped me get over C and Kim’s situation, he helped me with numerous other things in the past one month, most importantly he always told me to take care of myself and never trust anyone, including him. He guarded me from himself.

I was still confused but I was dying to see him. I did not have the courage to call him up though, so I was super glad when he walked in at 9 pm or so.

He got me a bunch of white daisies. When I saw him standing there, flowers in his hand, looking absolutely dashing, I wished I had had the foresight to change into something clean. I did not even shower today.

For once he did not give me a hard time about it, or about those empty instant noodle cups on the floor. He just hugged me and he said sorry.

Ok, now I must quickly shower for JJ says that the barbecued beef stall should still be open. I want to grab a quick Valentine’s dinner, ask him if he knows how much pain he has caused me in the past few weeks, and then get to bed, so JJ can be fresh for his presentation to the museum’s directors tomorrow.

Wish my man the best, please.

This story is taken from a Korean Internet novel called “Personal Taste” by  Lee Sae In. Her novel inspired a Korean drama by the same name, the plot of which is extremely convoluted and has much more dramatic twists.

I started to write this when I first watched the drama, but changed it a little towards the end based on my memory. I rewrote this in English as an ode to something I enjoyed. Only the diary style of writing, and abbreviated names are mine.


4 Responses to “Preferences – Part 9 (conclusion)”

  1. Loved this bits Anu! I especially liked the tone and style of your writing which is very Asian urbane and even without any real background, one can still place the story in HK, Sing or Seoul… Very nicely done, given this is not even your native writing style! (-:

  2. sunshin3girl Says:

    Thanks a ton, Mona. I started this for myself, but as most other self-driven projects, I gave it up midway. It was your earlier comment that made me finish this. Glad, I finished.

  3. Bakshi, I just read the whole novella right now! Did not even blink once! Ok, a little exaggerated that was! 😛

    I knew this was one of your much relished Korean dramas right from part 1, but I refrained from commenting because I wanted to see how this would end. LOL — and it really did not seem like it did end 🙂

    Enjoyed much. Next project — A French piece, maybe?

  4. Your writing’s got high standards and also engaging! Keep it going dame!

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