When Suhyuk looked at him, Jang Kiwon, who showed some hesitation, approached him.
“Can I talk with you, sir?”
He had an innocent and childish face, which just took away his image of being a teenager.
“I don’t think there is anything we can talk about between us.”
“Only a short time will do. Please..”
Looking at him quietly, Suhyuk nodded his head.
“Okay, tell me then.”
“Well, this place is not good for me to talk, so shall we move to another place? I know that there is a quiet coffee spot in the back of the hospital.”
Suhyuk made an embarrassed expression. He just thought of passing by Jang, but his facial expression became very grave. ‘What does he want to tell me?’
Soon after,, Suhyuk went out of the hospital after telling Prof. Kim Jinwook about the reason.
As Jang said, the coffee shop was small and there were not many customers.
Suhyuk had a cup of water while Jang was looking at a coffee cup with its steam rolling up.
“So, what do you want to tell me?”
At his remarks Jang raised his head and said shortly, “I’m sorry, sir.”
“Sure,” said Suhyuk with a dry voice. He did not hate Jang that much, and his apology did not feel like it was a genuine one to him. He could not feel any sincerity.
When Jang kept silence, Suhyuk opened his mouth again.
“Is that all you wanted to say to me?”
“I’m sorry. I wanted to see you to say I’m sorry. Back then I was so absent-minded… I’m really sorry.”
“Okay. Be careful next time. Let me go then.”
When he was rising from the seat, his eyes became wide. For Jang knelt down.
Suhyuk looked at him without saying anything.
“I’m sorry. Really sorry.”
With his head down, and his two shoulders trembling, he began to sob.
“I’m sorry. Boohoo... It was not my intention to hit you and run… I’m so sorry.”
Suhyuk, while looking at his trembling shoulders, opened his mouth,
“Did your father tell you to see and apologize to me?”
He shook his head from left to right. On such occasions drops of tears fell down.
He was right. His father wanted to empower him usually because he knew his timid personality more than anybody else. So, his father kept telling him to never stay dispirited.
That was all he got from his father. However, he could not put up with it.
What happened was really accidental.
On his usual days he hardly went out of his house except for he went to school.
When he went out as an exception on this particular day, it was because he wanted to buy character figures, or something on sale as a limited edition. As he was treated as an outcast from his high school days, there were few friends of his. Even those few he regarded as friends approached him only for money.
So, his only friends were his computer and some character figures.
On on very particular day, he was checking if there were any new character figures on sale, and he came to know a motorcycle hobby club by chance. Those riding motorcycles in black jackets, they looked so cool to him. How much freedom would they feel when they rode their motorcycles, crossing paths with the wind!
For the first time ever he plucked up the courage to do somehting. His father, who was curt to him usually, smiled when he was told that his son would go out for fun. His father’s gestures and expression was vivid in his memory, which gave him a big encouragement. So he purchased a motorcycle, and went to see the hobby club members. They welcomed him with bright faces, an he could forget about everything when he was riding his motorcycle, with the cool wind blowing over his face.
The Jang Kiwon of the past, who he surfed the internet all day, and confined himself to his room, disappeared far away. So he happily spent one month riding around. Was he ever happier than this moment? He felt that there was no other time such like this.
Then right at that moment, the accident happened.
He was so scared at the time. How many times he thought about it, turning back to see the fallen victim. Because of that foolish misjudgement for a second, he was never able to a good night’s rest since.
He was anxious about being caught at any given time, and the victim he hit and run came to his dreams everyday. He was just scared and distressed.
“Stand up, man”
At Suhyuk’s words, Jang shook his head, still kneeling down.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry…”
After letting out a silent sigh, Suhyuk held his shoulders slowly.
Jang raising his head, with his face covered with tears. Suhyuk looked into his face for a while. A handsome face with double eyelids that reminded him of a meek puppy, and his eyes full of regrets.
Suhyuk smiled softly at him, and then patted him on the shoulder. Jang cast his eyes toward Suhyuk’s shoulder.
“I had this part of my shoulder hit by your motorcycle, but it’s okay and normal now.”
“I’m sorry, sir.”
He shook his head when standing up.
Suhyuk, smiling at him, let out a sigh. He could feel Jang’s sincerity clearly enough.
“Looks like you were apologizing to me against your will…”
Though Suhyuk said that playfully, Jang did not take it like that. He shook his head, as if he were saying he had not offered his apologies against his will. The coffee shop employees and the customers all turned their eyes towards them.
Jang thought he made a mistake because his act might make Suhyuk appear as a bad man. Bolting from the seat, he shouted to them,
“I’m behaving like this because I was in the wrong. So don’t misunderstand us.”
Suhyuk said, smiling bitterly, “Well, that seems to make me look worse.”
They went out of the coffee shop.
Jang bowed his head once again, saying, “Sorry, and thanks for forgiving me.”
Suyuk patted his shoulder lightly, saying, “Be careful next time. Ride a bicycle instead of a motorcycle.”
Turning around, Suhyuk waved his hands at Jang. Then Jang said something to his ears,
“Can I call you Big brother when I see you next time?”
Suhyuk smiled gently, replying, “Just call me brother.”
Two weeks passed since Suhyuk stayed at the emergency medical department. During that time he was everywhere, constantly moving around with the patients, emerging from the imaging room and then going back to the emergency room at once.
In the meantime the name Lee Suhyuk gradually spread throughout Daehan Hospital, and those who spread that rumor were mostly the medical team of the emergency aortic aneurysm team.
Regardless of that rumor, Suhyuk moved around until late in the night.
Just coming back from the CT imaging room, Suhyuk approached Oh Byungchul.
“Sir, the patient seems to have deep neck infection.”
Oh asked calmly, “What about airway stenosis?”
“Drainage and antibiotics will do.”
“You’re going to transfer the patient, right?”
As Suhyuk nodded, Oh showed an OK gesture.
It looked as if they exchanged a conversation as if they were two senior residents, but Oh still did not feel it that way. Suhyuk’s error-free diagnostics and opinion made Oh’s feel blunt and less knowledged.
When Suhyuk was about to move, Prof. Kim approached him. It was 9pm. Kim called for him like that at any time, whether early or late in the day. He wanted to make sure Suhyuk was safe from the other guy, who was none other than Lee Mansuk.
“Where are you going?”
Suhyuk replied at his asking, “I have a patient with a deep neck infection.”
Kim asked subtly, “What is the causative strain?”
“Streptococcus and oral anaerobic strains, sir.”
Kim smiled before he knew it. Whenever he asked Suhyuk, his immediate answer made him happy. Then it came to his mind: ‘What if Suhyuk asked him something, he can answer right?’
At that moment he recalled a certain memory of his: When Suhyuk, after waking up from the vegetative state, asked him, he just escaped as if he did not hear anything.
‘What is he thinking of?’
With a smile, Kim shook his head.
Suhyuk asked Kim in a pensive mood.
When Kim was stammering, Oh came up to him and bowed his head.
“You’re doing well.”
“Don’t mention it, sir,” Oh scratched his head as if he felt embarrassed at his remarks.
“By the way, Mr. Oh?”
“Yes, go ahead.”
“Don’t you think you’re giving Mr. Lee Suhyuk alone a hard time?”
Oh’s eyes became wider at his asking. He had never done that before. Rather, the object of his shouting was the interns following the nurses around and not the resident’s. But he had never spoken to Suhyuk in a loud voice.
Suhyuk was seeing the patients without any interference.
“It’s not because I give him a hard time but because he seems to be greedy for work.”
Hearing his explanation, Kim just nodded his head. That’s possible.
“What time does Mr. Lee Suhyuk stay at the emergency room until as a rule?”
“Until 5am in the morning.”
Kim gave a hollow smile at Oh. Then he was sleeping for only four hours on average…
“From now on, send him home when it’s past 2am.”
Though his enthusiasm was commendable, he might crack under the strain.
It was 11pm.
A woman was getting out of a van. Wearing a black mask, she arrived at Daehan Hospital.
She waved her hands at the van, and said, “Go home now!”
The van left, and the woman, looking around slowly, then moved quickly.
She hurriedly arrived at the emergency room.
“Is this the right place?”
The automatic door opened, and she went in.
The emergency room was not busy, and there were not that many patients.
The woman with the mask was looking around cautiously, when a nurse asked,
“What brought you here?”
“May I see Mr. Lee Suhyuk?”
The nurse looked for him inside the emergency room, but he was not seen.
“Looks like he’s seeing a patient. What’s the matter?”
Touching her forehead, the masked woman said,
“I feel dizzy, and I have a small fever. I want a check-up.”
“Wait a minute. Let me call for another doctor.”
“I’d like to have a check-up done only by Mr. Lee.”
The nurse tilted her head. Why does she insist on Mr. Lee?
“Do you know him?”
She shook her head, “No, I just want to let him check my condition.”
“You might have to wait a long while. Can you still wait?”
At the nurse’s asking, she nodded her head.
“Okay, then. Please have a seat over there.”
And then the nurse called for Mr. Lee.
Five minutes soon passed, and Suhyuk came into the emergency room.
Then, she took off her mask.
Now the whole medical staff were surprised at her face, which was now unveiled fully.
Suhyuk was just as much surprised as them.