Golden Time

Chapter 121

Chapter 121


10:30pm. 

After confirming his father was asleep, Suhyuk went out of the room. So did his mother.

He closed the door of the room quietly. 

“Have a good sleep.”

Having said that, he turned back.

Im Gyungsu called him when he came back to the cardiothoracic surgery department.

He looked at Suhyuk with half-closed eyes as if he had something against him.

“Where have you been…?”

“Sorry, my father has been hospitalized.”

“What?”

“He’s been hospitalized with injuries.”

Im was about to say some harsh words, but stopped, and then he was handed a patient’s chart from a nurse. It was the record about the patient who had surgery for pleural fluid.

“I took care of it.”

At his voice, Suhyuk just looked at him, who was stroking his chin with a bitter expression.

It was natural that Im showed such an expression. 

After Suhyuk disappeared suddenly, he had to take care of the patient.

It was really uncomfortable for Im to deal with the patient looking like a gangster.

Besides, the patient really hated anesthesia.

“Where are you going?”

Im opened his mouth when Suhyuk began moving.

“To check the condition of the patient, sir.”

Im nodded his head.

It was part of Suhyuk’s daily work that he checked the patient’s condition before leaving the office. He never failed to do so. Sometimes he visited the patient’s room until the wee hours of the night. 

“Take care of your father today instead of seeing the patients.”

Suhyuk smiled bitterly at Im’s remarks.

Though he wanted to, his father was sleeping.

Bowing his head slightly, Suhyuk soon began making the rounds.

He checked the patients’ vital signs and IVs, and sometimes covered them with blankets.

Almost two hours passed by the time he was done.

Going out of the last patient’s room, Suhyuk’s gait looked feeble. 

He headed to the elevator to go to the Sky Park on the rooftop.

As it was late, there were not many people there. 

Sometimes some medical staff holding coffee passed by.

Holding onto the railing, he looked up at the sky.

His father’s image glimmered in his eyes when he made the rounds, and that of his mother sleeping on the bed next to him too. 

He just thought himself so pathetic because he did not thank his parents enough for raising him.

He felt that he had been taking care of only patients, and only doing what he wanted.

“Huuuuuuh…”

Then someone’s voice was heard in the back.

He turned his head at the abrupt voice.

It was Han Binna, who saw him getting on the elevator.

She bought a canned coke from a vending machine for him.

And she was convinced that Suhyuk looked unusually down today.

He received the coke, saying, “Thanks.”

He drank it down in a single gulp.

“You look like you’re on call today,” asked Suhyuk.

She nodded at his asking, and sat next to him.

“You look kind of tired…”

“Yes, a bit...”

Suhyuk nodded his head slowly.

“Why don’t you take vacation leave if you’re stressed out? You had better take care of your own health first...”

Turning to her, he smiled at her.

She misunderstood him because that was not the point.

Binna went red in the face suddenly. It was not so easy for her to see face to face with someone she liked.

“Thanks,” said Suhyuk with sincerity. She was always there to cheer him up.

“My father was hospitalized today, so I’m kind of down.”

Her eyes became wide.

“Did he feel unwell?”

Suhyuk shook his head, replying, “Oh, he has a fracture in his shin.”

“Oh my god... I hope he gets well soon.”

Suhyuk beamed at her. Her words seemed to comfort him.

For a while they looked up at the sky without talking to each other.


***


7am.

Suhyuk visited his father’s room.

“Son, did you eat breakfast?” asked his mother.

His father then said bluntly, “Why did you come when you’re so busy?”

“I’m not really busy. Why did you change clothes?”

Taking off the patient’s gown, he was already dressed in the clothes he had on when he was taken into the emergency room.

“Looks like I don’t fit well with this place. I feel like I might get sick if I stay longer here.”

His mother shook her head, saying, “Who is going to stop him?”

“Still, please have breakfast before you go.”

His father shook his head and said, “Well, I don’t have any appetite.”

After all, his father, who insisted on going back home, was ready to go out.

Suhyuk helped him walk, and watched him using crutches quietly.

Fortunately he was good at using crutches.

“You have to take a rest for the time being, dad.”

“How long does it take to remove this cast?”
“At least 5 weeks...”

He made a bitter smile at Suhyuk’s words. He seemed to be thinking about his job.

As the bill was already paid by Prof. Lee Mansuk, his parents wanted to offer thanks  to him, but could not because he was out on a trip to attend an academic seminar.

“Get in, please!”

Suhyuk called a taxi, and opened the rear door.

If he had not done so, his father would obviously have used public transportation like the bus to get home.

“Okay, don’t skip meals before going to work.”

His father got in the taxi first.

“If anything happens, give me a call, son. Thanks for what you’ve done for your father.”

She tidied up his gown, saying, “I’m leaving now.”

When they got in, Suhyuk opened the front door and gave the driver a fee.

“Suhyuk, I’ve got money.”

Suhyuk smiled gently, saying, “I’ve got the money too. Good driving, please.”

When he closed the door, the taxi drove immediately.

Then his phone buzzed. It was a call from the hospital director.

“Yes, this is Lee Suhyuk, sir.”

“Can I see you for a moment?”

When the taxi disappeared out out of his sight, Suhyuk began moving.


***


Knock, knock, knock.

“Come in.”

Suhyuk bowed his head, and the director, sitting before a PC, offered him a seat.

When he sat on the sofa, his secretary put down coffee and left.

Taking a sip of coffee, the director said, “Is there anything you find uncomfortable about working here?”

“No, it’s very good here.”

The director nodded his head at that.

“Why did you want to see me, sir?”
Savouring the coffee, he put down his cup and said,

“Okay, let me say it briefly. Won’t you go on TV? It’s a TV program about medical common sense...”

The director continued on and on. According to him, it’s a program hosted by an entertainer, with a doctor examining and explaining about diseases. And the director thought he was the right candidate for such a TV program. For Suhyuk was tall and handsome, with his vast knowledge of medical science that even the professors praised. Besides, Suhyuk could promote Daehan Hospital indirectly by participating in the program. 

As soon as he said that however, Suhyuk opened his mouth, “I’m sorry I don’t want to.”

Appearance on TV was the last thing he wanted.

“You don’t like it? If you appear on TV, your recognition among the people will go up, too.”

“Sorry, sir.”

The director could not help but give a hollow smile at his unhesitant reply.

“Got it.”

“Goodbye, then.”

“Why are you in such a hurry? Just drink the coffee before going.”

“Actually I’ve got to see a patient.”

It was a lie. To him, talking with a patient was better than staying here in the director’s office.

The director nodded his head, “Okay, then.”

Is there anybody who does not want to be on TV? If Lee Suhyuk starts his own clinic, his appearance as a TV guest would be an advantage to him.

Scratching his head with one of his fingers, he asked himself, “Does he hate me?”


***


Coming out of the office, Suhyuk picked up the phone.

This time it was a call from Prof. Han Myungjin.

“Yes, professor.”

“Are you available now?”

“What’s up, sir?”

“Come to my office. I’ve got something to say...”

“Yes, sir.”

Suhyuk headed to Han’s office directly.

Was he going to bring up the topic of the TV program?

If he did, Suhyuk thought he would reject it like before.

Arriving at the office, he knocked on the door and went in.

“Oh, you’re here already.”

Combing through a medical book, Han smiled at him.

“If you’re going to talk about the TV program…”

“What are you talking about? TV?”

“No, sir. Never mind.”

“Alright. You want me to cut to the point, right?”

With an embarrassed look, Suhyuk nodded.

“Do you know how to speak English?”

“Just a little bit...”

“That is not enough. You should have enough of a command of English to be able to speak with Americans.”

Suhyuk made a curious look.

“Actually I’m going to the US on a working trip. For about one year.”

Strictly speaking, he was invited by a hospital in the US.

Han opened his mouth again, “Don’t you want to go with me?”

Suhyuk’s eyes became wide.

“It would do you good if you go. Your value as a doctor will go up too.”

The images of his parents came to his mind.

“Can I make money there while taking care of the patients?”

Han was surprised a bit because he thought Suhyuk would go anywhere for money.

“Of course. Just think that you’re working in the US for one year.”

“When are you leaving, sir?”
“One week later.”

Suhyuk nodded his head slowly.

There was silence between them, while Han waited for him to reply.

About 10 minutes passed.

Suhyuk opened his mouth, “If I go with you, I’m afraid the cardiothoracic surgery department will be short staffed.”

Actually there were not many interns at the department, let alone the persistent lack of doctors.

“You don’t have to worry about it. Doctors are everywhere, and somebody else will take our place soon.”

Suhyuk nodded his head. There were many doctors who wanted to work at Daehan Hospital.

“I think I need some time to think it over.”

“Sure. I understand as I’ve brought it up suddenly. But don’t keep me waiting too long. I’ve been thinking of someone else if you say no.”

“Yes, sir.”

He went out of the office, thinking of the patients who he had taken care of up to now, including his parents. 

‘What is the right choice?’

He could not stay away from that thought.


***


Suhyuk arrived at the cardiothoracic surgery department.

Im approached and asked, “Why did the hospital director call you?”

Shrouded in thoughts, Suhyuk suddenly came to his senses, and said,

“I think I’m going to the United States.”

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