Yunjae sat on the hospital bed staring far ahead at the wall. She had regained consciousness when the nurses were fussing over her some twenty minutes ago, and she had been informed of her condition.
No wonder she'd been so emotional lately. She was pregnant….with Jinho's baby…again.
The nurses said she was three weeks in the family way, and that she bled due to exhaustion. They said her pregnancy was delicate - that she had to stay here at the hospital on bed rest if she wanted to keep her child. Again.
But did she want to keep this child?
Yes, of course. There was no question about that. Even if there were so many things, so many problems physically, emotionally as well as financially that this pregnancy would cost her, she wanted this baby. Desperately, she wanted to keep this baby – hers and Jinho's second child.
Thinking about the father of her children, Jae's eyes felt hot as it filled with the familiar moisture and she smiled wistfully as her tears fell on her cheeks. Her mind raced as she tried to think about how she would juggle her time and savings, now that she had Yuan and her new baby to take care of, but her mind came up empty.
When she had Yuan, it had been easy since she had her brother to support her. But now, she had two children to care for, Jae knew she shouldn't depend on Yihan anymore. Her brother had his own family to think of after all. Jae had intruded long enough, and even if her sister-in-law, Hana's a good person, Jae didn't want to abuse her kindness. She knew her brother and his wife were planning to have their own children soon.
She was at the end of her rope, she realized. But then again…
Jae knew it was Jinho who had brought her here at the hospital. She wondered if her lover stuck around long enough to know her condition. But she knew, even if Jinho did find out, he would only think that the baby was her "husband's". Knowing her lover, she wouldn't be surprised if he got so angry at her again, and left her completely because of this.
The thought that this time, she was the one being abandoned made her cry harder. Placing a shaking hand over her still flat stomach, she whispered her apology to her unborn child for the hardship that her baby might face.
"But it's okay baby, mom will find a way," she whispered her promise, the same promise she told Yuan years ago when she first found out she was carrying him.
2 years ago
"You're pregnant. Five weeks."
Jae's already huge doe eyes widened in shock as she stared at the doctor as if the other had gone insane.
"No, this can't be," she whispered in disbelief afterwards, her mind still processing this information, and the doctor uncrossed his legs as he sighed.
"But it's already certain. Your lab results say so," the doctor informed her as he turned to the sheet on his table and scribbled on it. "Yours is a little delicate. Your baby's barely hanging on so you have to stop all unnecessary activity. If you're into sports, I advise you to drop it until you've given birth," he continued which horrified Jae.
"But I can't! The Nationals is the day after tomorrow. I can't just drop out. There's no time to get someone to replace me," she said in alarm, though the latter part's not totally true. Even if she'd been very sickly these past few weeks, she pushed hard to maintain her speed which somewhat appeased her incensed coach and placed her into the roster of athletes to compete. But it didn't mean she's irreplaceable.
"Do you want this baby or not?" the doctor countered and Jae shut her mouth, the situation already sinking in.
Did she want this baby? Did she want Jinho's child?
With her hands clenched into fists on her lap, Yunjae swallowed hard, her face registering resignation.
"Yes…of course," she answered in almost a whisper. "I want to keep my baby," she continued in wonder at the truthfulness of her answer.
"Then follow my advice. I'll prescribe you with prenatal vitamins too," the doctor told her and she closed her eyes as another realization hit her. She would have to quit swimming.
She went straight to her dorm from the hospital. Her coach who advised her to get a medical after her near-collapse earlier that day was probably waiting for her at the university, but she had no strength to face him. Hell, she was terrified of facing him.
Just the thought of her telling the man she was quitting the day before the competition scared her. Her coach would be furious – and Jae knew when he found out why she had to quit, he would be more than livid.
The coach already warned her when he found out about her relationship with the team's main athlete that he wouldn't tolerate any scandal that would hinder Jinho from getting the championship his lover and coach desired. She understood that just as she understood how important this competition was to Jinho.
She wouldn't – couldn't tell her lover about this. At least not yet. She would wait until after the nationals to tell Jinho about the baby. But she didn't have the same privilege to their coach. If she wanted to keep her baby, she'd have to quit, and she couldn't do that without telling the man her condition.
Oh, she could lie. She could come up with a number of excuses, but knowing the coach, he would demand proof. She had no choice but to come clean. Aside from that, if she wanted to keep things from Jinho, bastard or not, she would need their coach's help. She was sure the old man would gladly help her.
Feeling weak, Jae picked up her phone and dialed her brother's number. Yihan was at the moment in Busan, and she knew she was being inconsiderate in asking her brother to pick her up from the university tomorrow. But Yunjae felt terrified on her own that she needed someone to support her. She had no one else to turn to save for her brother. "It'll be okay baby. Mom will find a way..."
She felt sick and restless.
Yunjae paced nervously outside the gym as she glanced around. The time she'd talk with her coach was coming and her brother hadn't shown up yet. Today, their coach asked them to leave early so they could rest for tomorrow's competition. It was now or never for her.
Earlier, she had already informed her coach that she'd like an audience with him and the man gave her a specific time. It's near.
Her hands feeling cold and clammy, she fished her phone and dialed her brother's number. "Yihan where are you?" she asked breathlessly as she felt tears in her eyes, and she felt disappointed when her brother said he'd be a little late. Yihan chose to ride the bus than the bullet train since it was cheaper.
"Okay. Just go to the building with the pool. I have to go in and talk to Coach in a few minutes. Just wait for me outside," she sobbed just as Jinho stepped in next to her, startling her.
"Jin…" she quickly ended her call and hid her phone from her lover's sight. She thought Jinho had come home already since he needed a lot of rest. But it seemed he hadn't.
"Who's that? Why are you crying?" Jinho asked as he tried to pull her into his arms, but she sidestepped him. She couldn't bear to be touched by Jinho right now. She knew she would break down and tell him everything if she did, destroying his dream in the process. She couldn't bear to look at his face either, and so, she turned her eyes away before she spoke. "Coach wanted to talk to me. Go home first," she told him before walking away.
Yunjae could feel her lover's eyes on her back as she entered the gym, and she hoped that Jinho would take heed and go home.