The room was filled with sniffles as the young woman who'd been listening to the other's story cried continuously.
"Here, take this," a gentle voice told her, and Yanee Lee found a box of tissue near her face.
She didn't hesitate to take some as the handkerchief she was using was already soaked.
"T-thanks…" she sobbed before turned away to blow her nose on the tissue paper.
Yunjae Kang smiled at her. "Is my story that sad?" she teased.
"No," Yanee shook her head furiously. Of course, not. On the contrary, her story was beautiful. "It's a very touching and beautiful story," she told her honestly in between sniffles.
She didn't understand why, but the way the other told her story, something inside seemed to wake up. She was never a fan of romance stories even before having her heartbreak. She could never relate to people who were fans of reading those kinds of books. She was even a little bit pessimistic about this task because she thought she had to make an effort to empathized with the people she'd interview.
But look at her now.
Yanee Lee was a crying mess just after hearing the first story. She knew the story was already finished, but there's a lingering bitter-sweet taste in her mouth and that she had almost shamelessly asked for more.
The smile on Yunjae's face only widened, her doe eyes twinkled in happiness. "And here I was, thinking that we had such a stupid story," she giggled.
"No, it's not stupid," Yanee insisted. She didn't know what to say but it's certainly not stupid. "Why do you say it's like that?"
Yunjae laughed at her question. "But didn't we waste time moping about something we could have settled if we talked about it?"
Well, if someone would really think that, it was true. But, the logical Yanee knew that it's easier said than done. Yunjae was pregnant and she was scared that she blamed herself. People could say "oh, why didn't you ask the person before running away," because they were not the one in that situation.
If hearts and someone's life was put in jeopardy, Yanee didn't believe people could be brave enough to face the consequences. Not many were like that. People who stayed were rare compared to people who ran away.
"No, your story is not stupid. If it happens to other people, I'm sure they can't practice what they preach and ask the question that matters the most to someone they might lose," Yanee assured her.
Actually, Yanee was one of those brave people who were logical enough to ask the question that she feared the most. But in the end, she had her heart broken. If she could do it again, she wondered if she should have just pretended that she didn't know and ran away without knowing the answer.
"But will you remember it?"Yunjae asked as she gestured playfully at the blank notebook in front of Yanee.
She had been too engrossed in Yunjae's story that she had forgotten to take notes. From the beginning until the end, she just listened to her without moving.
"Oh!"Yanee now laughed as she too realized she didn't write anything. But there was no need, really.
"Don't worry, I have the story here," she pointed at her head, and then at her heart. "Here too. I can write everything without missing a thing," she said, just as the door opened, and footsteps echoed as someone crossed the marble floor.
"Oh, my husband's here," Yunjae said as she stood up and ran towards the balcony door where a tall, handsome man appeared.
Yanee's eyes and heart filled with warmth as she watched the two welcome each other with a hug and a kiss as if they hadn't seen each other in a long while. She knew it wasn't the case as Jinho Kang might sometimes travel to Japan for business, but he still made sure to return on the same day. He was a dedicated family man, and it showed.
"Where are the kids?"
"They're at Yihan's place today. Pajama party's today, remember?"Yunjae reminded her husband who nodded and smiled. She then guided the man out in the balcony and ushered her towards the table where she and Yanee had been talking.
"Hello," Yanee greeted as she stood up, and she reached out a hand to shake with Jinho, which the latter took firmly in his and they exchanged greetings.
"Thank you very much for allowing me to take up some of your time," Yanee said with gratitude.
It's really a different feeling when one already knew about their story. It was as if she had been welcomed into a very intimate place that normally only the two people involved knew of. Yanee felt grateful and that she knew that something in her changed. She had learned something very precious today.
"Ah, but the story is not yet done," Yunjae announced as she popped another tart in her mouth.
It was unexpected since the story seemed to have concluded, but Yunjae seemed serious. Yanee and Jinho looked at her questioningly.
"What are you looking at? Aren't you curious about the other side of the coin?"Yunjae asked with a mischievous grin as she winked at Yanee before transferring her naughty eyes at her husband who seemed to pale.
"Uh…no. Honey, I –"
"– think he wants to tell a story too," Yunjae interrupted what her husband had to say, and it took all Yanee's self-control to keep herself from laughing out loud.
The handsome CEO of Cube Inc. who was reported to be very strict at work was letting his wife bamboozle him into telling a love story.
Jinho Kang looked like he was going to say no, and that he's going to have a headache the way he touched his temple. But then, he sighed and finally let out a look of defeat as he reached out and poke his wife's nose.
"Only this once," he said which made Yunjae clap her hands together and smiled.
Yanee who seemed to be confused looked at the couple and realized she's going to be hearing the continuation of the story.
"This is just after we married, okay?"Jinho said, his voice stern, but his pair of eyes were gentle, and Yanee nodded. "It's nothing long. Just some thoughts about life," he said as he began his story.