The walls of William’s office were papered with stuck up pieces of A4 paper, and Suhyuk was murmuring while looking at one of them.
“Embryonic stem cells have the ability to differentiate, but the differentiation is not done on their own, so they are classified as undifferentiated cells. So I'm going to be able to resolve the ethical issues…”
Suhyuk turned his head back at William’s voice.
He was looking at the computer closely, and said,
“Sorry. Please wait a little more, I’ll be done soon.”
“I’m okay. Just take your time.”
Suhyuk slowly looked around the table.
Among the piled-up A4 papers could seen an award carelessly placed down, which William received for his contributions to the field of stem cell research.
Suhyuk once again began reading carefully what was written on the paper.
As time passed, his eyes were becoming larger and larger.
It seemed as if what he had missed in the past was striking his head with a hammer.
“I’m done. Shall we go?”
Suhyuk, who had been thinking about something deeply, came to his senses, saying,
“You’re great, William.”
At his remarks, he examined various papers and other stuff in his office with a smile.
They were the results of his continuing research since he became a doctor. Moreover, it was still going on. Beaming widely, William escorted him out of the office.
Leaving the office, Suhyuk was fixing his eyes at something in his office until the end.
As William said, the bar was not far from the hospital.
It took about 10 minutes of walking to get to from the hospital.
When they opened the door, a little bell rang crisply.
Inside the bar there was coming out the sound of smooth jazz, but there were not many customers, which made the atmosphere even more moody.
Sitting on the barstool, William asked Suhyuk, “Any favorite drink?”
Shaking his head, Suhyuk sat.
“Can I recommend one for you then?”
“Please, thank you.”
William asked the bartender for two bottles of Red Dog.
With a pleasant smile, the lady bartender brought the beer right away.
On the surface of the bottle was a drawing of a red-faced bulldog.
It looked like it was a very strong drink, given the bulldog picture on the label.
Though he wanted to ask how strong it was, he did not, because it might be discourteous to William.
Clinking the glasses together, Suhyuk drank some.
The beer was cool and had a fantastic taste.
“How do you like it?”
“I love it.”
“I’m glad to hear that. By the way, Dr. Lee.”
“You can just casually call me Suhyuk.”
With a smile, William opened up his mouth again,
“If you look at the Dongui Medical Encyclopedia…”
He began asking Suhyuk about the effects of herbs and some words he could not understand.
Suhyuk tried to explain to him as easily as possible.
William instantly understood them as he was smart.
“I’d like to learn about apuncture next time.”
He felt William was unique because he had never seen anyone studying modern medicine showing such an interest in Oriental medicine like William.
Suddenly he recalled what Daman had said to Han over lunch,
“He’s a freak! Freak!”
Well, he also looked like that to Suhyuk.
At William’s raising the glass, Suhyuk also raised his and smiled.
The two drank the beer in one a gulp.
‘Will he accept my proposal?’
Suhyuk had been agonizing over it since the moment he visited his office.
Finally he opened his mouth cautiously,
“I happened to look at your research work in the office.”
William just drank beer, asking him not to bother being cautious.
“You have suggested various conditions for the differentiation of undifferentiated cells, but in my opinion…”
Listening to Suhyuk’s explanation, William’s expression began to change every minute.
Sometimes he opened his eyes larger, with a strange look.
When Suhyuk was done, William cast an incredulous eye at him.
“Have you always been a researcher on stem cells?”
Suhyuk shook his head, saying, “Actually I found a hint in your office.”
William was spreading the puzzle pieces about stem cells, which were the A4 papers covering the walls of his office.
Though the papers were strange to him, Suhyuk pondered over the contents of the papers deeply and finally could complete the puzzles.
If he had not seen them in William’s office, he could not have seen them for the rest of his life.
Or he might have spent a considerable amount of time and research in understanding stem cells himself.
William made a bitter smile, saying,
“My mother once received a limp. When I was a child, I was almost run over by a car, but she was injured heavily in order to save me. Multiple fractures as well as nerve damage. She still has a limp. From that time I was determined to be a doctor, and have been studying stem cells up to now.”
Suhyuk nodded his head.
William wet his lips again with beer, and said, looking at Suhyuk,
“Suhyuk, would you like to conduct research on stem cells with me?”
It was around 1am when Suhyuk returned to the apartment.
He spent quite a lot of time talking with William, and they mostly talked about stem cells.
Suhyuk cautiously opened the door so as not to wake up the professor.
Then he heard Prof. Han’s voice, “You’re back!”
The lights inside the living room were on.
Han, who was watching TV, drinking beer, smiled at him.
“Why didn’t you spend more time with him?”
Suhyuk said with a smile, “Well, that was more than enough. Let me buy some snacks.”
He felt sorry for Han because he had been drinking beer without any snacks.
“You don’t have to. I’m done now.”
Like Han said, he was putting several empty beer cans into a bag.
“Won’t you take a shower?”
“Oh, I will.”
Suhyuk headed to go shower immediately.
While he was closing his eyes in the bathroom, he felt as if he was hearing William’s voice.
“Won’t you conduct research on stem cells with me?”
Suhyuk smiled at that. He thought his decision to come to the United States was right.
He found a hint on stem cells after running into a person unexpectedly.
After taking a shower, he went out to the living room, but Han was already asleep in his room.
Turning off the lights, he closed the door quietly, and went back to his room.
He lay on the bed, which was soft. Looking out the window, he fell into sleep in no time.
‘Yea, it’s really fortunate I came here.’
Suhyuk’s smile did not disappear until he fell asleep.
The sun rose the next morning without fail again.
Taking a shower, Suhyuk ate cereal with milk for his breakfast.
Han and Suhyuk went out, but Suhyuk looked at Han with a curious look.
Han was going somewhere else instead of walking to the main gate of the apartment.
“Where are you going, sir...?”
Han turned to Suhyuk, and waved a car key he took out from his pocket.
He was offered a rental car by the hospital to use on a long term basis.
Of course, it was for free.
“What are you doing? Get in!”
Suhyuk got into the passenger’s seat.
As it was a semi-large sedan, it was spacious inside.
Suhyuk felt clearly how the hospital was treating Prof. Han.
Not only his annual salary but also the apartment and a car.
Han was driving the car skillfully along the roads.
Though there was some traffic along the way, it looked like they would arrive at the hospital in time.
Getting out of the car in the parking garage in the basement, they got on the elevator.
“What should I do, sir?”
Han said with a smile, “Just do what I instruct you to.”
Suhyuk did not know what kind of instruction he would give.
Arriving at the general surgery building, Han was welcomed by the medical staff.
Greeting them by waving his hand, Han went to the conference room.
There were four doctors sitting there.
Given their age, it seemed their years of practice as doctors were not long.
Han stood before the podium, and Suhyuk took his seat among them.
Some more doctors joined later, who began talking amongst themselves about Han.
“I hear Han saved more than one hundred patients here.”
“The number of surgeries he has performed so far is countless…”
Suhyuk felt greatly satisfied, hearing them whispering like that.
Then Han checked his wrist watch. 10am sharp.
The beam projector was turned on, and the screen became bright.
“I’m going to start lecturing on severe trauma.”
Han slowly looked at the doctors, walking slowly on the platform.
“Do you know what causes heavy trauma?”
Phillip, seated in the back, giggled.
Here and there they came up with answers of their own.
“Usually there are many patients involved in heavy falls, have gunshot wounds, etc.”
Han nodded his head lightly.
“We have to first stabilize the breathing and blood pressure of such patients, right?”
“The main cause of death in severe trauma patients is head injury, lung collapse, hemorrhagic shock...”
The doctors began taking notes in their notebooks so as not to miss any single word Han spoke.
Fixing his eyes on Han, Suhyuk slowly and continuously nodded his head.
Everything he said was right.
Explaining through a projector screen, Han suddenly turned his head to a doctor, asking,
“One question. A person whose belly was full of ascites due to other illnesses was involved in a traffic accident. When I checked the shot images, I became suspicious of spleen and liver damage. What should I do first?”
Nobody answered. They were murmuring to themselves because they were not confident in what to answer.
Then Han looked at Phillip, who Daman praised a lot, saying he’s a promising doctor.
“Phillip, what would you do in such a situation?”
He opened his mouth without any hesitation.
“Well, I would remove the ascites first and reduce the pressure in the abdominal cavity before surgery.”
Han nodded his head at his reply. It was not wrong, but a standard reply as written in the textbook.
“Any other answers?”
Han was trying to draw a reply from the doctors by meeting his eye at theirs one by one, but they would not answer.
Then Han’s eyes moved toward Suhyuk.
“How about you, Dr. Lee?”
He then opened his mouth.
And Phillip too looked at him. Other doctors also focused their attention on him simultaneously.