Golden Time

Chapter 96

Chapter 96


It was 8pm, well past dinner time. 

Suhyuk was getting on the elevator with Binna. 

She grabbed her meal box tightly, and fixed her eyes at her feet, not knowing where to look.

Suhyuk made a bitter expression, seeing her.

<The door opens>

Soon they arrived at the Sky Park on the rooftop.

When the lights, which were turned off during the day, illuminated the rooftop brightly, it created quite a romantic atmosphere. 

“Have a seat.”

Both of them sat on the bench.

“You must be hungry.”

Binna began to open the meal box, when Suhyuk’s hand touched the back of her hand.

“Let me do it.”

“No, I can do…”

Suhyuk pulled the meal box to his side and slowly opened it, saying,

“I am sorry for how I acted a while ago.”

Binna, whose face became reddish in a blush, shook her head quickly.

“No, it’s understandable that you could behave in such a way from time to time when you’re so busy and stressed out. I saw many doctors like that. And I happened to speak to you at that moment.”

Opening the 3-layered meal box, Suhyuk handed her the chopsticks. 

“Thanks for the meal!”

Sweeping up her hair, Binna, whose face became brighter than before, said, “Me, too.”

So both of them began eating.

Suhyuk ate slowly. 

“You must have a lot of hard times, right?” asked Binna cautiously.

Picking a seaweed roll, Suhyuk shook his head as if to say he was doing just ok.

“Please try this one, too.”

She poured some hot soup from the tumbler and gave it to Suhyuk.

“Thank you.”

While Suhyuk was drinking soup slowly, Binna, while picking one small tomato, stole a glance at Suhyuk.

Suddenly she thought of her childhood days.

She recalled a time when she was 10.

At that time she had her knee damaged when she fell down. She cried a lot because it hurt so much. She threw a tantrum at her father, saying she did not want to go to the hospital. 

She was so scared of the hospital at that time. Doctors, too.

It was still vivid in her memory that the doctor checked her knee, twisted it, disinfected it and sewed it. Without changing his expression at all, he moved his hands like a robot.

Going out of the hospital, her father said,

‘We should never come back here again.’

She could not understand why he said that. If he had met a doctor like Lee Suhyuk, would he have said that? Like her, was he also scared of doctors? Maybe not.

“Please have some, too. You have to eat a lot if you’re on night duty.”

“Oh, yes!” Binna put into her mouth a baby tomato she was holding, and stole a glance at Suhyuk. 

Their meal time lasted more than 30 minutes.

Cleaning up, they stood up.

“Thanks for the food like this every time.”

‘I could bring it to you every day...’

“Shall we leave now?”

Binna nodded at Suyuk’s words.

The two headed towards the elevator. 

Pushing the button, Suhyuk turned his head and said,

“Are you free by any chance?”

Binna said, quite surprised, “Oh, yes! Why…”

“Let me treat you to coffee. I’m always served food like this.”

With an instant bright smile, she answered, “Yes. Thank you.”


***


The two stopped by a coffee shop inside the hospital.

When Suhyuk ordered a kiwi smoothie, Binna carefully looked at the menu with some hesitation. 4000, 5000 won per coffee.

The price looked expensive to her, as she was used to a mixed coffee, and when she tried it, the taste of the coffee was somewhat similar to her no matter which cofee she picked.

Then from the menu she picked one, the cheapest off the coffee menu. 

The two sat at the coffee table, and soon the smoothie and coffee were served.

“I wonder if I’m taking too much of your time,” said Suhyuk.

Spoon on her lips, she waved her hands quickly,

“No. I’ve got still 20 more minutes of free time. I’m the one who has a late dinner break in the shift.”

With a smile, Suhyuk nodded his head, when his cell phone buzzed.

It was Hana.

“Uh? Hana. What’s up?”

There was a sigh coming out of the phone.

“Did you forget that we agreed to see each other for a bit today?”

He made a double take. He made a promise to meet her one week ago, which he forgot about accidently.

That meant he was hectically busy, because Suhyuk usually had a good memory.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Where are you now?”

“I’m at the hospital lobby right now. Where are you? Are you busy? You didn’t answer the phone. I’ve been waiting here one hour!”

“Sorry, sorry. Let me come to you now!”

Standing up, Suhyuk looked out the window.

Hana was looking up at him from the lobby.

“No, just stay there. I’m thirsty.”

After he hung up the phone, Suhyuk could not help but look perplexed. 

Forgetting the promise, he was siiting in the coffee shop carelessly. 

Suhyuk checked his cell phone immediately.

10 text messages and three calls.

Why did he not notice it when his phone buzzed?

“Are they paging now?”

Suhyuk shook his head when Binna was standing up,

“Well…”

Then, they heard Hana’s voice from the side.

“Hey!”

“Uh?”

Seeing Hana coming in, Binna stood up, bowing her head.

“Hi there.”

“Hi, how are you?”

Exchanging awkward greetings with Binna, Hana opened her mouth, suppressing her anger,

“You were not alone here?”

She got confused thinking he was here alone because she could only see him from the lobby.

“Sorry, I forgot about our promise by mistake.”

Hana looked at Binna cautiously. She saw her once on the street, and she was beautiful in her eyes. Looking at Hana, Binna thought she was beautiful. 

‘She looks like an actress.’

“Looks like you’re busy. See you next time.”

Hana turned back, and she could not understand why her heart was pounding hard.

Besides, she felt something hot around her eyelids. If she blinks, she felt like tears would come down at any moment. She asked herself, ‘Hana, what’s wrong?’

Then Suhyuk grabbed her. “Sorry, I forgot about it by mistake.”

She could not move at all, frozen like ice. 

If she shakes her body, she felt the tears in her eyes would fall down.

“You look very upset. I’m really sorry.”

Letting out a sigh, she lowered her head, spreading her hair.

Hiding her face like that, she said, “Let me go to the restroom.”

“Okay, what do you want to have for a drink?”

“Any drink is fine.”

Hana then headed for the restroom

Washing her face, drops of water were falling down.

‘I came here with the excuse that I’m feeling sick today…’

She even put off her night duty, so she would be very busy tomorrow.

“What are you thinking now, Kim Hana?”
She shook her head.

Her image reflected in the mirror was of a fool and an idiot.

Her eyelids were reddish, so was the tip of her nose.

She gathered water with her hands and washed her face several times.

And she looked in the mirror again.

“Smile.”

When she came back to the table, iced coffee was already served.

“As you said you were thirsty, I ordered iced coffee. Is it alright?”

Nodding her head, Hana sat and said, “Thanks.”

As she was so thirsty, she gulped down the ice coffee.

“Hah… I feel so relieved now.”

“Hi, I was so absent-minded when I saw you first. My name is Han Binna.”

“I’m Suhyuk’s friend, Kim Hana.”

Binna felt a bit uneasy. How come such a beautiful woman came to be his friend...

She blamed herself for that kind of thinking that came to her mind momentarily.

How come she felt uneasy about their friendship?
She just felt sorry for them because she felt she had some sort of impure thinking about them.

“Were you very busy?”

Suhyuk made a sorry expression at Hana’s asking.

“Well, I was busy until 30 minutes ago, but forgot our promise.”

“If you feel sorry, you have got to treat me to a nice meal next time.”

“Sure, let me keep it in mind.”

Thinking her facial expression became a bit relaxed, Suhyuk opened his mouth again,

“How is your father doing?”

“Of course, he is doing fine.”

Putting her coffee cup down on the table, she looked at Suhyuk.

And she smiled a peaceful smile.
“He is okay, so don’t worry about him too much. If I feel he is not okay, let me contact you first.”

She really wished he would not visit her father’s rice and soup restaurant.

Though Suhyuk was smiling, doing the chores at the restaurant, he must have been anxious a lot because he could not treat her father’s limping legs.

As she knew his good intentions so well, she could now understand him a bit better.

“As I’m so busy these days, I can’t come often like before. Please tell your father I will see him when I’m free.”

Hana shook her head from side to side.

He just let her words go in one ear and out the other.

Binna felt envious about the both of them talking endlessly.

Their way of talking made her feel they cared about each other a lot.

At that moment Suhyuk got a phone call.

“Yes, this is Lee Suhyuk.”

It was from Han Myungjin. 

“Are you busy? I hear some music out there.”

At the very moment some sort of dance music was coming out in the coffee shop.

“No, sir. I’m at the coffee shop in the lobby. Seems like you can’t hear me well, wait a moment…”

Asking for their understanding, he went out. 

Now Hana and Binna were left alone. A sense of awkwardness arised between them.

They were having coffee, fixing their eyes at him on the phone just now.

One second felt like one minute to them.

Nonetheless, there was no sign of him coming back any time soon.

Hana was able to steal a glance at Binna casually.

Her look that was reflecting him in her eyes, looked so warm.

‘...’

That was the same for Binna, who thought to herself, ‘Ms. Hana likes him very much…’

They could both realize it. Their look was far from the kind of look between friends. 

“I’m sorry. You have come here for an appointment. I think I stood in the way. Please have a good time!”

When Binna was about to stand up, Hana held her, waving her hands,

“No, no. You are not. Please have a seat. I was going to go home anyway.”

At Hana’s repeated urging, Binna sat back down again. 

Again an awkward silence prevailed. 

How much time passed?

It was Hana who spoke first, “Ms. Binna. I know it’s discourteous for me to…”

With a pretty dimple, Binna smiled.

“That’s fine. Please feel free to say what you want.”

Hana was casting her eyes at Suhyuk, who was outside the window.

Then she opened her mouth.