The morning broke.
Suhyuk left his lodging early in the morning and headed for the convenience store in the basement.
He opened a seaweed roll pack and milk for breakfast.
Suddenly he thought of what happened last night.
Park Sungjae, weeping at the restaurant.
He could understand why Park wept so sadly like a child: Too much difficult work.
The kind of work that deals with one’s life carries hardship, and over time one becomes a doctor by helping patients one by one.
What kind of doctor would he be later?
Suhyuk smiled bitterly after throwing the wrap into a trash can.
Now the remaining balance on his bank account was 70,000 won.
That was for his own living expenses, separate from the bank account for Arum’s donation.
If Arum’s drawing had not been sold or the donation had not been enough, he would have donated it for her treatment. But he did not have to because things worked out well in the end.
“By the way, how can I manage my life with this money for the next three weeks…”
That’s all he had left after he paid for the dinner he had with Park Sungjae the previous evening.
But he had no regrets.
Park vented out all the stress he had, for which the money was well spent.
And he still could get by because he could have free meals at the hospital as well as free purified water. What more did he want?
In front of the desk of the cardiothoracic surgery department were standing three people.
One was Dr. Im Gyungsu, and the other two were women in white gowns.
After Park left, the two female interns filled the vacuum.
A female intern with long straight hair bent herself when Suhyuk approached them.
“Hello! My name is Kim Hanul, newly assigned to the cardiothoracic surgery department!”
And then the other female with short hair said, “Hello, sir, my name is Lee Heejung.”
‘This time there are two interns?’
When Suhyuk looked at Im, he directed him saying, “Lee Suhyuk, let them train under you just as before. Got it?”
With a bitter smile, Suhyuk nodded. He just wanted to focus on the patients.
When Suhyuk greeted them, they lowered their heads and responded, “Hello, sir!”
The two interns could not take their eyes off Suhyuk.
They knew about him already when they were freshmen. If anybody did not know about him, he or she could be regarded as a spy among medical students.
“Which department did you undertake your internship with last month?”
“Did you learn a lot there?”
The two interns suddenly wore sullen faces.
“Well… we did collect blood, assist in lumbar puncture…”
Looking back, they felt they did not do much. If they made a mere mistake, they were rarely given assignments by Dr. Oh Jinhee. They thought about the nickname of Dr. Oh, or her image as a witch.
“I think I have to show you around the cardiothoracic surgery department first.”
When Suhyuk turned back and walked, Kim Hanul quickly followed him, murmuring,
“Does his shoulder look broader to me because his face is small? Looks like I’m now looking at an entertainer…”
Suhyuk first made the rounds of the department, and introduced them to the nurses and the other doctors. He also had them meet all the hospitalized patients.
In fact, it was very unusual to introduce interns to the patients, but Suhyuk took them to the patient’s rooms. Anyway they were interns destined to be doctors some day.
It was good for them to learn how to save a patient’s life, but he wanted to teach them how to interact with the patients first. So, he spent almost three hours with them.
On such occasions, he did not forget to check the condition of the patient when he made the rounds. Going out of the last patient’s room, he made a smile at them.
“So, what is your feeling after making the rounds today?”
Lee Jeejung opened her mouth, but Kim Hanul came forward first, sightly blocking Lee’s body.
“At the pediatrics department we heard only the sound of crying babies, but I feel good that it’s quiet here.”
“That’s because the patients are all adults here. They’re accustomed to patience. They just trust doctors and wait with patience. Then, what should we do?”
The two interns could not answer. Instead they just nodded their heads slowly.
Suhyuk checked the time. It was lunch time already.
“Come back after lunch then.”
Their eyes were twinkling. It was the first time they were given their lunch break on time during their internship all the way up to now. When the two interns hesitated, Suhyuk approved with smile.
“Just go ahead!”
“We’ll be back soon, sir.”
“Take your time.”
Bending themselves, they walked along.
Then his cell phone buzzed, signalling a text message.
“Have you had lunch yet, sir?”
It was Binna.
“No, not yet.”
The reply message came back fast.
“I’ve brought a lunch box for you. Can you have it with me?”
Looking at the phone, he smiled.
“Where shall we meet?”
“How about the Sky Park?”
“I’ll see you there.”
Suhyuk got on the elevator immediately to go to the Sky Park.
A cool wind blowing from the sky tossed Suhyuk’s hair.
As it happened to be lunch time, there were not many people at the park.
Suhyuk was moving around to find a good spot for lunch, with his white gown fluttering in the air.
Seated on the bench, he raised his face to look at the sky.
When was the last time he looked up at the sky?
The sky was blue, and the clouds that looked like cotton candy were floating away.
Suhyuk closed his eyes calmly.
The sunlight pouring over him was warm, and the wind blowing over him on and off made him excited.
Binna, who came to him before he knew it, slurred her words.
Then Suhyuk opened his eyes, rising from the seat with greeting, “Hi!”
It seemed he last saw her more than two weeks ago.
During that period he was hectically busy outside the hospital.
When she lowered her head in a blush, Suhyuk said, “Have a seat!”
She sat beside him and began opening the lunch box.
There were many side dishes as well as desert.
“Please try this...” said she, giving him the chopsticks.
“Thanks for the food.”
Suhyuk enjoyed the food as usual, and Binna pecked at her food like a bird.
“I’m served food like this every time.”
Binna shook her head at Suhyuk who was eating baby tomatoes.
“Well, I just add a little more rice while I’m preparing lunch.”
“I’m going to treat you to a nice restaurant sooner or later.”
Suhyuk gulped down the spring water handed to him by Binna.
When he swallowed the water, his uvula moved up and down in her eyes.
Her face became red in a blush instantly, and she shook her head, casting down her eyes.
‘Han Binna, you’re being weird right now.’
“What’s the matter with you?”
“Oh, never mind! Look at your cell phone…”
Just then his phone buzzed. It was a call from Im Gyungsu.
“Where are you now?”
“I’m having lunch.”
“Good for you! Lunch at the right time… Come back quickly!”
The phone was hung up like that.
Binna smiled at Suhyuk now looking at his cell phone.
“Go back quickly, doctor.”
With a bitter smile, Suhyuk began cleaning up.
“Let me do it. Looks like you have to go back now. Please go.”
Binna nodded, with a smile, fixing her eyes on him now heading for the elevator.
She murmured, “I hear there is a really interesting movie that just came out. Would you go with me?”
When he disappeared, she was fiddling with two movie tickets in her hands.
“Is he an emergency patient?”
Im shook his head at his asking.
“Bacterial pleurisy, suspected empyema. Go check it out.”
Im, who handed a chart to Suhyuk as if he was throwing it, disappeared quickly.
Checking the test outcome on the chart, he murmured,
It was most likely empyema if the shade looked like an inverted D, though only an accurate diagnosis could determine it.
“We’re back, sir!” said intern Kim Hanul and Lee Heejung.
It would serve as a good learning opportunity for the two interns.
Suhyuk headed to the test room. Strangely enough, the nurse, who was supposed to be with the patient, was outside the test room.
When he approached, the nurse opened her mouth, in a crying tone,
“Doctor, the patient seems to be a gangster…”
At the moment he could hear the rough voice of a man.
“Are you going to look away when in front of a sick person?”
When the man took off the patient’s gown, there was a tattoo on his upper body; a picture tattooed large enough to be seen all the way to the back of his hand.
Fixing his eyes on the test room, Suhyuk asked,
“Did any other doctor come and see him?”
“I hear Im said he would come here, but…”
With a bitter smile, Suhyuk went inside the test room.
“I’m sorry to have you kept waiting for so long.”
There inside was a man in his early 30s with a rough beard reaching to his cheek.
“Now you know it. Get it done quickly, quickly!”
“Take off your upper shirt, and raise your hands.”
Suhyuk directed him now sitting on the bed.
Several tattooed carps were swimming around his body. Besides that, there were some big scars from wounds apparently caused by scratches from somewhere.
When the man raised his hands, and his rib bones were shown.
Holding cotton with a tweezer, Suhyuk opened his mouth, while disinfecting his side broadly,
“You’ll be given anesthesia first.”
“You’re talking too much. Just get it done quickly.”
Then the man’s head turned to the side slightly, where Kim Hanul was standing.
“Wait a minute, doctor. Is she a doctor, too?”
“Yes, she is.”
“Then let me get the service from her.”
“They are interns. You had better get the service from me…”
“What do you mean by interns. Are they not the same as doctors? You guys with smart brains are always talking much.”
The man stared at Suhyuk as if he was about to get him, and said again,
“Is there anything wrong when I pay my own money and request treatment by a doctor that I want?”
Suhyuk smiled, saying, “Of course, not. You can do so.”
Suhyuk handed the syringe to Kim Hanul quietly and asked, “Have you ever given anesthesia before?”
“Please do anesthesia only.”
Handed a syringe with anesthetic, she walked to the patient reluctantly.
She had no choice but to do as directed.
She knew how to, because she had seen it several times while doing her internship at other departments. And it seemed easy, too.
“Oh, this stuff makes me uncomfortable.”
Murmuring like that, he took out from his pocket a wallet, cigarettes and a car key on the table.
The man chuckled and looked up at Kim Hanul who came to him.
“What is your name?”
“Kim Hanul. Let me start the anesthesia.”
He nodded lightly, saying, “Okay. Good. You can take your time.”
The needle Kim was holding moved to his ribs, and Suhyuk was watching it calmly.
Soon the needle was piercing his skin.
Suhyuk smiled at that.