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    Chief Kim And Assistant Manager Choi Chapter 84

    Chapter 84: Chapter 84.

    Update 2 weeks ago

    “Good morning,” Yeonwoo said to Woojin pleasantly. Woojin felt troubled this morning, and suddenly, he realized why. It was because Shin wasn’t home when he left for work. Woojin vaguely remembered Shin touching his forehead early in the morning and whispering to him, “I gotta go to the session.”

    He still wasn’t used to living with Shin, since it had only been two days. But strangely, not having Shin around in the morning felt empty and lonely. Getting to work seemed much more tedious and upsetting than usual.

    ‘Getting used to someone can be a scary thing.’

    Woojin took off his coat and sat down in his chair. His work email inbox was full as usual. As he read over the emails and documents, Woojin thought of his conversation with Shin last night in bed.

    “It just felt a little strange.”

    “What was, Shin?”

    “Yesterday, I spotted Eejun Bae by coincidence.”

    “…”

    “And he was with someone unexpected.”

    “Who?”

    “Siwoo’s ex-boyfriend.”

    Woojin remembered Shin’s eyes looking sharp in the dark.

    Suddenly, someone asked Woojin from behind, “What are you thinking about?”

    It was Jihoon Kang. His familiar scent, which smelled like the wind, tickled Woojin’s nose. It was Jihoon’s favorite cologne. Lately, Jihoon rarely talked to Woojin or smiled at him. It seemed that Jihoon was distracted.

    Woojin replied, “This and that.”

    “Oh yeah?”

    “Do you still do drugs nowadays?”

    Jihoon looked at Woojin in surprise. He sat down his briefcase on his desk loudly. Jihoon indeed had a handsome face. It wasn’t as sharp and beautiful as Shin’s, but Jihoon had a distinct “nice guy” face. He looked healthy and vibrant, opposite of Woojin. The only resemblance they shared was their light brown eyes.

    Jihoon answered him, “No.”

    “That’s good.”

    Jihoon sat down in his chair and rubbed his face.

    “Sounds like you are worried about me. Like you care about me, Woojin.”

    “I wasn’t worried about you.”

    “Whatever.”

    Jihoon had a faint smile on his face. Woojin took out his glasses from his drawer and wore them quietly. Staring at his computer screen, Woojin said to Jihoon, “Hey, Assistant Manager Kang.”

    “Yes?”

    “Do you want to grab dinner with me tonight?”

    “You are asking me? That’s a first.”

    “I will text you the place.”

    Woojin wanted to know the truth. The details. He thought this was the best way to find out. Woojin glanced at Jihoon secretly.

    ***

    “I can’t believe you asked me out to dinner, Woojin.”

    Jihoon and Woojin got into Jihoon’s car together. When he smiled at him, Woojin flinched because he reminded him of Shin for a second.

    Woojin replied, “I guess. I just found a great restaurant…”

    “…”

    “And strangely, I thought of you.”

    It was the truth.

    Woojin took out his phone and put in the restaurant name in the navigation system. Without changing his gear, Jihoon stared at him until finally, Woojin tapped his shoulder.

    “Jihoon, why aren’t you driving? Aren’t we going to dinner?”

    “… You are so…”

    Jihoon was going to say the word “insensitive,” but decided against it. He covered his eyes with his hands and exhaled deeply. He continued, “Woojin, you… and I are too different.”

    “…”

    “We don’t work well together… Do you know that?”

    Woojin didn’t answer him, but he did know what Jihoon meant. They always seemed to end up hurting each other. Jihoon Kang wore his “happy” mask for the public, but internally, he was in pain. On the other hand, Woojin did the opposite where he was; he was empty both inside and out.

    Jihoon began to drive and Woojin stared at his profile quietly. Those who were troubled were easily hurt and full of scars while those who were full of love knew how to overcome their pain. Woojin never once thought to consider how Jihoon must’ve really felt. But now, Woojin wanted to know more and it was all thanks to one person.

    Shin.

    Woojin murmured to Jihoon, “I want to have a drink with you too.”

    “Alright. I will get a cab home afterward then.”

    Woojin felt a little bitter and sad when Jihoon answered too quickly. Perhaps what they needed was an honest conversation all along.

    ***

    Jihoon felt nervous. Woojin was one of the few people who made him feel tense.

    Woojin was his cousin who was only a few months older than him. Every year, Woojin was invited to his birthday party, but Woojin never came. Jihoon always felt hopeful that someday, Woojin would invite him to his birthday party, but it never happened. Their relationship was strange.

    Jihoon’s family moved around a lot, so he never got to spend much time with Woojin. He supposed that the biggest reason why they weren’t close was because his mother hated Woojin. Jihoon also found Woojin’s father, his uncle, scary and intimidating. Jihoon always found his uncle to be empty, like a doll. Woojin resembled his father to some extent, but Jihoon felt like his uncle was much scarier. His uncle’s black eyes looked too deep and Jihoon could never tell what he was thinking about.

    Jihoon remembered going to the funeral and seeing Woojin’s empty eyes. Jihoon also remembered that his own mother didn’t attend her brother’s funeral.

    Jihoon asked Woojin, “What do you want to eat? You like beef, right?”

    “Let’s eat what you like tonight. And they have a great drink selection here too.”

    Woojin raised his hand to call for a server. The restaurant was quiet. It had an old-fashioned exterior, but the inside was very modern. Large fish-shaped lights came down from the ceiling and there was a bar as well. A large wine cellar decorated an entire wall in the corner.

    Jihoon replied, “Alright. You order the drinks. I want to eat lamb.”

    “Alright.”

    The corners of Woojin’s lips curved upward slightly. It was only recently that Jihoon learned this was how Woojin smiled. Jihoon always thought Woojin didn’t know how to smile because he always looked blank. Woojin was also extremely introverted. As a child, Woojin was often criticized for not being able to look at people in the eyes. Jihoon later learned that it was partly because Woojin was fearful.

    Sometimes, Woojin did manage to look Jihoon in the eyes. Jihoon realized that it began to happen after Shin came into Woojin’s life.

    Contrary to popular belief, Jihoon didn’t hate Shin Kim. He just felt uncomfortable around him.

    “You have changed a lot, Woojin Choi.”

    “I know.”

    After ordering a few dishes, Jihoon turned to Woojin and found him staring at someone. When Jihoon turned around, he saw a man in a white apron. He looked like a chef of this restaurant and he looked very young. When the man saw Jihoon looking at him, the chef returned to the kitchen. Jihoon turned towards Woojin and asked, “Do you know that guy?”

    Woojin shook his head. His face looked blank and empty again, making Jihoon frown. Woojin played with his glass quietly. Used to Woojin being quiet, Jihoon looked around to study the restaurant. When the bottle of wine finally arrived at their table, it was opened, and a flowery scent made Jihoon smile.

    Cautiously, Woojin opened his lips and asked, “Jihoon, have you been seeing anyone lately?”

    Disscuss