I have no idea if this will ever be finished. But anyway here is what I've written so far.
ch 1 (a)
Jae-in rubbed her hands vigorously through her lght
brown hair, turning it from looking unkempt to what
could only be described as a right mess. She was
feeling sad, frustrated, and pissed off.It had been
raining for the last two
hours and she had not been able to leave her one bedroom apartment to go to
"Weave and Bob" the newest and trendiest hairdressers in town. She had saved up
all year for this special haircut, but now it looked as if she wasn't going to
be able to make it. She worked at a local kimchi restaurant cleaning toilets,
and any other dirty job her boss could think of. Although he always made it seem
like a request. It included such things as lying to his wife, by telling
her he was in a meeting, when in fact, he was out at some fancy restaurant or
wherever with his latest ditsy conquest. But today he had given her an hour off
work on the understanding that she would work until late tomorrow for just the
"But sir, I have two weeks holiday due to me." Jae-in had protested.
He looked at her with a stare that would have made a shark nervous.
She bowed low, knowing it was best not to pursue the matter "Thank you Manager
At the hairdressers,both staff and customers had either giggled,gave her looks
that said "how dare someone from the peasant classes come into such a
respectable place" or as one lady of a certain age had done,shooed
her with a shooing gesture, and also actually said "shoo"
"Am I a cat?" Jae-in thought to herself. She bowed a number of times and
hunching her shoulders slightly walked to the reception desk. There was a young
woman behind it reading some glossy magazine. Jae-in couldn't see her face
clearly at first, until she looked up. She was about the same age as her,
which was 22. She smiled brightly at her.Her eyes seeming to dance sparkles of
light behind a pair of spectacles that were so cool looking that Jae-in almost
wished she needed glasses. Her face was soft, almost too soft, as if it was was
made of silk.
It made Jae-in think of lemons and soap. There was something about it that
reminded her of someone. but she could't think who.Then the girl said "Jae-in",
in a kind of surprised whisper and when the other didn't respond, but looked
at her in puzzlement, she said the name again, and this time with a catch in her
voice, and when she said it a third time, she almost shouted it, and tears were
streaming down her face. "it's me Ji-hye"
Jae-in gasped.It had been at least five years since she had seen the girl who
had been her best friend in school, But she looked completly different. Then she
had been a lot bigger in size, and her hair was usually a bright orange colour.
Sometimes it was two colours.occasionly more. It had been a meeting of
opposites, Jae-in, studious, reserved. Well at least, that's what Ji-hye
thought. Until she saw her stand up to the school bully, and knew that this girl
was not quite the stereotypical nerd, she first appeared to be.
To Jae-in, ji-hye was a bit of a loudmouth. She always seemed to be getting hit
by the teacher for causing a ruckus. Then one day, she saw her sitting on a
school bench during lunch break, holding something in her hand.
Jae-in walked by her, trying to steal a glance at what she was holding.
"it's a guinea pig" Ji-hye said "Do you want to hold him?"
"Jae-in stopped, bowed a greeting, and said "I wasn't
"ji-hye laughed and said "Yes, you were. If we're going
to be friends. We have to promise each other one thing.
Well, maybe more than one thing. But right now just
Jae-in was about to protest. But there was something in
the other girl's voice that reached into her heart. So
she just said "what"
"That we never lie to each other"
And that was all, and Jae-in sat on the bench beside Ji-hye; both of them
stroking the guinea pig. neither of them spoke, because they didn't have to.
Ch 1 (
"Ji-hye"Jae-in exclaimed, and at the same time the other girl called her name
again.The latter stood up, and reached across to embrace her friend. Tears
rolled down both their cheeks. Jae-in thought a rib might snap because Ji-hye
was holding her so tight. She was about to say something, when a
voice cut in. "What is this"
Then Jae-in felt the other girl release her. She turned to face a woman,
probably in her early forties dressed smartly in black pants, with a cut so
sharp, it might have bled your finger if you touched it, and a white blouse
tucked inside that looked as if had just been made especially for her. Her face
was beautiful, but hard, and with a streak of cruelty, that made Jae-in nervous.
"and who is this" the older woman demanded
"Sorry" Jae-in said "I'm.."
The woman raised her hand in order to cut off her speeech.
"Oh,how rude" Jae-in thought. But kept silent
"Sorry Manager Choi" said Ji hye "This is my best friend from school. Park Jae-
"We have no work here" Manager Choi said "Goodbye:
"I already have work, ajumoni" Jae-in said. "I've come for a haircut."
Manager choi looked at her as if she had smelt something rather unpleasent "Are
you trying to make fun of me?"
Jae-in shook her head vigorusly "No, no. I have the money. Look." She went to
take her purse from the brown plastic handbag slung over her shoulder. She took
the purse out, and dug around inside. But she brought nothing out.
"where is it? Where is it"
She looked desperately at Ji-hye, and the older woman, who wasn't looking very
"I know i had it. I'm not lying. I had it in an envelope marked special treat."
The manager shook her head comtemptiously. Ji-hye looked at her sadly.
"No no. I'll show you. Wait"
She knelt down on the floor and tossed everything from the handbag onto it. But
there was no envelobe.
She began to cry. She could hear manager choi sneer above her "As I thought, you
are just a con artist. You probably come from a family of con artists. Please
leave. before I call the police"
Wiping the tears from her eyes, and with help from Ji-hye, Jae-in rose.She
looked defiantly at manager Choi.
"Sorry. ajumoni. BUt please be more respectful towards my family.My mother is
working hard as a nurse, and my father is trying his best to find work."
"Yes, I'm sure" The manager said with disdain.
So Jae-in bowed her leave and walked dejectedly towards
Ten minutes later she found herself in one of the toilet cubicles of the local
train station.She was about to lock herself in, and have a really good cry. when
she heard a knock on the door.
"Are you okay" said a voice she had only heard today after so many years.
"Can i come in"
She unlocked the door, and went back to where she had
been sitting, which was on the toilet seat with the top down.
Ji hye went to sit on the floor, but stood up as if
someone had jammed a needle up her bum.
"Aigoo, Aigoo, Aigoo, Aigoo "she shouted " i think I've
sat on piss" She wiped a hand across the backside of
her red mid length skirt imprinted down the side
with the name of the hairdressers, and held close to her
She breathed a sigh of relief "Aigoo,it's just water. Still, you would
think they would dry it up."
Jae-in laughed, and soon after her old school friend
"You better go and get changed" Jai-in said. "you could
get a cold"
Ji-hye boxed her friend lightly on the ear. "you always
were a worrier. I'll be okay. Let's go outside and eat.
It's such a sunny day.We have a lot of catching up to
They sat down on the steps just outside the train station.
Ji-hye reached into one of her skirt pockets, and brought out a sandwich
wrapped in cellophane, She took off the wrapping, broke the sandwich in two,and
offered one half to Jae-in.
Jae-in took it, and looked inside.
"wow" she exclaimed "it's bulkoki"
Ji-hye nodded, and said "Remember, when we used to eat them all the time in
Her friend nodded happily. "I haven't eaten one in such a long time. Even
something as cheap as this is hard for me to buy. I've almost been starving
"So you didn't have the money for the haircut?"
"No, no, Jae-in protested. That's why, I've almost been
eating nothing. I've been saving up the 53,218.92 won.
Oh, but I have to find it. My boss only gave me an hour off work. I need to ring
him again. My hour is nearly up. I have to get more time.
He'll probably want me to work for nothing next week.
But I don't care."
"Are you sure, you brought the money with you?
"yes. i.." she paused. "Then she shouted almost in a note of triumph "Teddy"
"huh" exclaimed Ji-hye "you haven't still got that tatty old thing have you?"
"mmmm" Jae-in said excitedly, nodding her head
enthuasitically at the same time.
Then She bit her lower lip, and said hesitatingly. "Ji
-hye, Can i use your mobile? I have no credit, and i
won't be able to buy any until i get paid."
"What!" exclaimed Ji-hye "you're not going to ring
Teddy, are you. Has he started to speak now?"
The other girl smiled. "No, no. my boss, but I remember
where the money is now.Teddy has it"
JI-hye dug back into her skirt and handed her mobile to
her friend, saying"i always thought he looked a bit shifty"
ch 1 ©
Teddy had been with Jae-in, since she was 2. Well, that's what her mother had told her,
couldn't really remember. She did vaguely recall when
her mother threw it out, saying she would get her a new
one. But Jae-in had kicked up such a tantrum, that her
mother had gone to the dump to get it back, She had
been about six then, and swore that she would never be
parted with him. The years went by, and as Jae-in grew
older, she got rid of most of her toys, which weren't
many, but hung onto Teddy. There was no particular
reason. He didn't make a noise when you squeezed him.
He didn't say something cute, or walk if you wound him
up. Well, there was nothing to wind him up with. There
was no special signficance, and Jae-in had asked her
mother if there was. No, he was just Teddy. All Jae-in
knew was that she liked having him around.
Ji-hye had told her that if she found the money, she
should come back around 5.30. That was closing time.
But as it was her turn to clean up when the days work
was done, she would wait for her. But she couldn't wait
any longer than 5 extra minutes, as she had to be
So Jai-in had ran all the way back home remembering
that she had left the money in Teddy's safekeeping.
Well, she had put it inside his empty stomach, which
usually housed a small alarm clock.
All was well, until it started to rain. Jae-in had rung
for a taxi, knowing full well, that she wouldn't be
able to pay for it.
But as her mother used to say "We'll cross that bridge
when we come to it".
It had been extremly hard to get a taxi, because of the
bad weather, but finally She had gotten a promise of
one in 20 minutes or so.
But that had been over an hour ago, and when she had
called back she had just gotten the answering service.
She gazed at the clock, now back in Teddy's stomach.
She yawned, feeling tired from not getting much sleep
from the night before, being excited about getting the
haircut, she had been saving up for. She was fed up
with other girls passing remarks about her hair, and
saying things like "She's an insult to scarecrows" and
"She looked like something the cat dragged in, thought
better of , and dragged back out again"
She yawned again.
"Do you want a piggyback?"
Jae-in blinked her eyes.
"What? Who said that"
"look up.sleepy head"
She looked up. It was Teddy.
"Teddy" she exclaimed.But for some reason, didn't feel
totally shocked by seeing her once one foot or so non
talking, non walking Teddy bear, now standing above
her, at about six foot in height, and speaking.
"Come on" he said "we haven't much time" He reached
into the hole where his stomach once was and took out
the alarm clock.
"Hurry" he said. and bent down.
Jae-In climbed onto his back, and they went out into a
"Wow," Jae-in thought "Where did the rain go. and the
roads and paths aren't even wet"
"Teddy," she said.
"Call me oppa"
"oppa" She said. "You remind me of good toilet paper,
soft and stong"
Then she heard a noise from somewhere far off. It grew
louder and closer.....
Jae-In woke with a start. Her mobile was ringing. It
was Ji-hye. Jae-in pressed the answer button, and said
"Hi, are you on the way. I really can't wait much
"What! Yes, yes. Sorry, sorry. I'm coming now"
Teddy was back to normal size. Jae-in looked at the
stomach clock. It said 5.19. She would never make it.
and she didn't know when she would get a chance again.
She punched Teddy lightly on the forehead. "lf you've
made me late, I'm never letting you watch another
Then she put on her shoes, and ran out into the rain.
ch 2 (a)
The chaffeur driven car almost went up onto to the path
to avoid the rushing motorbike
"Aigoo, Aigoo" the driver muttered. "who lets these
motorcycle mutts onto the main roads. Don't they know,
the backroads were built especially for jerks like
them. He's lucky his head isn't being used for a
football by ragamuffins even madder than him."
Then he felt something hard poke into his back,
"Sorry sir" he said, and was about to turn around, when
the owner of the walking stick that was prodding him,
shouted. "keep your eyes on the road, idiot.
"Are you trying to get us killed" I almost pissed my
pants back there. Do you know how much these pants
cost. Listen, the president couldn't afford these
pants, and no, I don't mean my mother"
"Sorry, sir. sorry. But it's really hard to see
anything in this rain"
"Don't make excuses. Hurry, you know how Eun Mi hates
to be kept waiting, I can still remember that plate of
The driver almost but couldn't quite surpress a laugh.
"Are you laughing" demanded his passenger, who promptly
smacked him on the head.
"No, sir, just something caught in my throat"
"I could do with a laugh myself. Why is it always so
boring driving with you. I don't know why mother keeps
you on. Are you blackmailing her or something"
"What! No sir."
"okay, okay. I was just teasing you. Wait a minute.
There a girl running along the path there. Ha ha. It's
pouring buckets, and she hasn't even got a coat, or an
umbrella. Splash her"
"What! sir" said the driver, horrified.
"Go on. There's lots of puddles around."
"Must I sir"
"oh, don't be such a wimp. Here. let me do it."
He reached over the seat to grab the wheel forcing the
drivers hands off of it.
"Sir,sir, you'll cause an accident"
"Nonsense. Look, she's approaching that big puddle there now,right outside of of our salons. I'm
going for it. He turned the wheel
bringing the car closer into the kerb, and onto a
large pool of rainwater.As he did so, a slight middle aged woman dressed in a
brightgreen tracksuit emerged from the salon just as Jae-in turned to go in. As they
intersected, the water caught them both full force.
"oh shit, shit, shit. It's my mother."
"What!" said the driver
"Coming out of of one our salons. God, this is not
good. I've just splashed my mother. This is not good"
The driver had begun to slow down.
"No, don't stop you idiot"
He let go of the wheel,and slouched down in the back
"Did she see me. What's she doing now?"
They had driven past the women,and the driver looked in
the rearview mirror in order to answer the question.
"Your mother is talking to the other lady.She's
brushing her down. Now she's on the mobile. At that
moment, the passengers mobile rang. He looked at it,
and saw the word "my old one" on the screen.
He tapped the answer button, and said "mom, Hi.What's
"Kwang Ho.Where are you,now?"
"What?What? Mom.? I can barely hear
"Kwang Ho. Did I see just see you in the car?."
"What. Am I in a bar? No, I'm not in a bar. Mom, I'll
see you later. I'm calling on Eun mi"
His mother's voice came raging over the phone. "Don't
lie to me, you good for nothing. I know that was you,
who just splashed me. Wait till,i see you. and you
soaked a lovely girl too. come right back here this
instance and apologise to myself and my new friend."
"Sorry.mom. The line is very bad. I'll call you later"
Kwang ho hung shut off the phone. "Drive to Eun Mi's"
Then the text message alarm sounded on his phone. It
read "if you don't come back here right now, I'm
cutting off your inheritence. Do you think Eun Mi will
be interested in you, then?."
"Turn around," He said agiatedly to the driver. "and all
because I wanted to have a little fun"
They stopped outside the weave and bob salon. But no
one was waiting outside. Another text message "I'm
inside, Idiot. You didn't expect me to be standing out
in the rain, did you. When i can just as easily be
The driver got out of the car, and opened the door for
He stepped out of the car, and was about to enter the salon, when it's doors swung open.
A young woman emerged, carrying a plastic bucket. Before Kwamg ho knew what was
happening, she was holding the bucket above his head, and pouring the water from it onto
"What the fu..."
Whatever Kwang ho was going to say, he didn't because the woman wearing the bright green
tracksuit, emerged, and said."This is the lady you splashed along with me. her name is Jae-in.
Apologise, to her."
"What! Mom, she just threw a bucket of water over me"
Yes, I know, i told her to."
"you told her to! " Kwang ho said incredously. "Why"
"To teach you some manners, and because you're a idiot."His mother said without missing a
"Mom," her son whined. "Stop calling me that. I have to go home, and get changed. Eun Mi is
waiting for me"
"No,she's waiting for your money, or i should say, she's waiting for my money.Now, tell Jae-in,
you'™re sorry, and you need to apologise to me as well."
"Mom,I'm sorry for splashing you. But I'm not apologising to someone who just threw a bucket
With that, he got back in the car.
"Let's go" he said to the driver. But before driving off, he said to his mother. "Mom, please
stop wearing that ridiculus green tracksuit. He's not coming back."
"Idiot" she shouted at the departing car.
Then she turned her attention back to Jae-in. "Well, we're both soaked because of that son of
"Yes" said Jae-in. "But I think he's a lot wetter. We look like we went into the shallow end.
But he looks like, he went into the restricted area."
"Ha ha, yes, that's right. I'm sorry you were too late to get your hair done. Please come home
with me. I have my own personal stylist. I'll see that she gives you all the attention you
deserve. you don't mind riding on the back of a motorbike, do you" She pointed at a rather
scruffy looking piece of machinry on the far side of the street. Jae-in tried, but failed hide
to her anxiety.
The older woman smiled, and said "Don't worry. it won't explode. Come on."
So Jae-in followed lee hee-young, president of the weave and bob company, who were located all
over korea, over to the motorbike, that looked so old, it could only have been good for scrap,
if even that, wondering how such a weird woman could end being president of something as cool as
"weave and bob" okay, the name was awful, but it was the place to be seen to get your hair done.
Even if, Jae-in knew that the place she used to go to, was a lot cheaper, and could cut just as
good. She wanted ask her why she didn't buy a new bike, and who wasn't coming back. But she knew
it would be impolite.
So she got on the bike, and put on the helmet she was handed. As the president started it up,
flames spurted out , making Jae-in almost jump off.
Luckily she didn't, because before they knew it, they were off.
"Ever been on a motorbike before?" The president shouted behind her to Jae-in
"No, president Lee"
"Oh, please call me, Hee young"
"Oh. I couldn't. That would be wrong."
"Look.I'm just a woman who got lucky. I married a rich man. he died and left everything to me."
"yes, but now you're running the company"
"That's because my daughter has no interest in it, and my idot son. Well..."she paused, like a
comedien about to deliver the punchline. "because he's an idiot" Then she added. "oh, and remind
me to bring down those ridiculus prices."
"How is the pain, Ji-Hye. Are the tablets working?"
Ji-hye nodded at the prematurally grey haired doctor sitting in his office in the large leather
chair opposite her slightly smaller one. "I met a friend, today" she said.
"Oh" said the doctor, sounding genuinly interested. "Who?"
"Oh! the girl you.."
"Have you told her?"
"What.That I'm in love with her, or that I tried to kill myself over her."
"How can I tell her now. I'll wait until my face gets better. When will the next operation be?"
He looked at her intently and took both her hands in his. "Ji-hye. There will be no more
operations. We've done all we can for you. I'm sorry"
"What! Doctor, she said pleadingly. "No, that can't be all."
"Ji-hye, i wish there was more, i could do for you."
She pulled away from him. "Then I'll try another surgeon."
"You'll only get the same answer. You have to accept we've come as far as we can"
She shook her head emphatically. "No. I can't be like this the rest of my life. I was never pretty, but now you want me to live like a freak."
"That's a word, I'd never use. Ji-hye"
"But it's what I am isn't it."
"You just need to keep your new face on."
"But it's not my real face. Is it, Dr. I know what I really look like"
She reached into her handbag and brought out her face mirror. What looked back at her was not
the face Jae-in had seen at the salon. But one if it had been whole, she would have recognised
as belonging to the ji-hye she knew in school. But the face wasn't whole. It was a mass of
scars, and the nose was missing part of it's
bone. THere was no eyebrow over either eye. The top of her head was hairless and also a crisscross of scars.
"Why didn't I die?" then she asked. "Is this my punishment for falling in love with a girl?"
"If God wanted to punish you for that. you wouldn't be here. Look Ji-hye what happened to you
was terrible. But there is nothing wrong with you. You can talk, walk, eat, drink, even have
children if you want to. You can smile, laugh, cry, piss, shit,
"Are Doctors supposed to say 'piss and shit'" Shouldn't it be bowel and bladder movements, or
urinate and deficate. Why is there an ate at the end of those words. I can understand it being
at the end of the shit word, because it comes from eating. but should't the other word be
The doctor chuckled. "I'm glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humour"
"I was being serious, Doctor"
"What I'm trying to tell you is that you can do all the things you did before the accident."
"But I can't be loved, Doctor"
"Why not. Do you think the world is made up of shallow people"
"Who would love me? A blind person?"
"I don't know that Ji-hye. But you have to be positive."
"That's easy for you to say"
He smiled at her, and said wearily. "Of course it is. Look, Ji-hye. This world is full of people
with troubles. Yes. even Doctors. You have two options. You can feel sorry for yourself, or you
cannot feel sorry for yourself. I can't promise you will find love. There are plenty of people
in the world who never do. But most of them get on with life."
"Doctor. Are you married?"
"So tell me. Is Life better with or without love?"
The doctor began to reply. but Ji reached a hand up to cover his mouth. "Doctor" she said. "I
know the answer"
Then she got up and left.
When she went outside, the first thing she did was to ring Jae-in. When she answered, she was
surprised to hear the sound of a motorbike.
Jae-in, she asked. "I didn't know you had a motorbike"
"No. It's the president's"
"Ji hye began bowing to the phone. "What the president is with you. Sir. it's as honour sir.
Sir, I love Korea, sir. It's the greatest country in the world."
Jae-in began laughing "No, silly. The president of "Weave and Bob"
Ji-Hye bowed even lower. "Madam president, Such an honour. Will you be visiting us"
The president's voice came over the phone. "Hello"
"Hello. Madam president. my name is Ji-Hye. I work at the weave and bob in JeJu. Will you be paying a visit
"Hello. Yes. I was at the salon earlier today. . But there was no one there.So I'll be back
again. Here. I'll put your friend back on."
"Thank you Madam President.
When Jae-in had said I'm back, Ji=hye replied. "I'm so sorry about not being there to give you
"it doesn't matter, Ji-hye. The president is going to get her own personal hair stylist to do it for me"
"Really. I'll bet you'll have the prettiest hair in town. You're already the prettiest girl. Now you'll have the prettiest hair as well."
"What!" Ji-hye heard her friend shout down the phone. "Are you telling me, my hair is not
"No, no, no. I didn't mean that." She stopped "You're joking, aren't you?"
Jae-in laughed. "Yes, you silly fool. Remember in school. You were such a toughie. But you let
me tease you so often. Ji-hye. What happened to you. How did you change so much.
"Jae-in. Let's meet up and talk. I'll tell you everything."
Eun mi's mother Cho Hee didn't have time for this nonsense. Who the hell was this nobody to
stand up her daughter like this. He should have been here over 30 minutes go, and there was
still no sign of him. The two of them were in her living room. Eun mi sitting crosslegged on the
sofa, staring intently at the mobile phone.
"If you keep staring at it long enough, you might frighten it into ringing. Why don't you call
"He doesn't like me calling him all the time"
"Eun mi dialled Kwang ho's number. But there was no answer. She indicated that to her mother.
"Ring again" she said.
"Kwang ho. Where are you"
"I'm at home."
"At home!" Eun Mi said incrediously. "Don't you know, mother and I are waiting for you."
"Yes. I know. I had an accident."
"An accident! she almost screamed. "What! Are you okay. Are you Bleeding, hurt. Did you call a
"No, No,not that kind of accident."
"Well, then what.. wait a minute Kwang ho. You're not.. Are you?
she pointed at her bum. and made faces as if there was a horrible smell in the room. She looked
at her mother at the same time.
"incontinent?" the latter's mother suggested.
Eun Mi nodded vigorously. "Kwang ho, Are you incontinent?"
"Where?" he asked." What! Oh! that's disgusting. eewww." He shuddered at the thought. "Tell your
mother, I will be over shortly."
He hung up without waiting for a reply.
"So" Cho Hee pondered. "He had an accident. Well, just just so long, as he hasn't hurt
"Kwang ho only gets an allowance. The money is all in his mother's name"
The older woman nodded. "Yes, but you can't marry his mother, can you"
The younger sighed heavily. "Mom, do we really need to do this. Isn't it time to call a stop to
it. Haven't we made enough already.
Suddenly she felt a sharp stinging blow on her left cheek. "I'll decide when we have enough.
Now go to the bathroom, and take off some of that makeup. You look like you're applying for a
job in a brothel."
Eun Mi rose, and said under her breath. "I'm not much different from a prostitute, and you,
mother are close to a pimp. The only difference is prostitutes are honest about taking the
money. We pretend it's love."
Ch 5 (a)
"Wow: said Jae-in amazement. "It's so big. I mean I expected the president of "Weave and Bob" to
leave in a big place. But this is.....
"Grotesque" the older woman offered. "Over the top, hideous, a waste of space, an eyesore, Which
reminds me. What did you think of idiot?
"No, no" protested the other. "it's just far bigger than I would have imagined. Sorry! Who?
"I mean my son?"
"Oh.em. eh. he's. I'm sorry. I would need to get to know him better"
"Well. he did splash you. Doesn't that tell you something about him."
Jae-in didn't reply. She just stared at the ground, wondering what the president wanted her to
"Would you consider dating him.?"
Jae-in looked up in astonishment. "What!? you mean?"
"Yes, I'm asking if you will date my son. Do you have someone in your life already?"
"Well, no.But" she added hastily. "I have had" She didn't want the president to think she
was a loser. "Why only last year, I"
"Last year," the president interrupted.
"Yes, last year, I broke up with someone."
"May" Jae-in answered with a grimace.
"May" the president modded sagely. "So, it's almost a year. You are still getting over this man"
"No, no, that's not it. I just like being on my own."
"Really" Hee-Young asked.
"Well, you are still young. Would you like to come into my house"
Then Hee=young did a surprising thing. She didn't enter the opulent mansion, she and Jae-in had
been standing outside. Instead, with the other lady following she went around the side into a a
moderate sized ordinary looking bungalow, with a garage at the side of that.
"This is where I live" she said. "I moved out of the main house soon after my husband died."
"Who lives there. now."
"My son, and the servants. Actually, my husband's servant's. But I keep them on. because
work is hard come by these days. you're lucky to have work. Jae-in"
When she went inside, the first thing that caught her attention in the moderately furnished
house was a picture over the door of the living room. It showed a group of about 30 women
dressed in motorbike gear with their arms around each other, and smiling into the camera.
Into each of their jackets, the letters BBB were sewn.
"That was taken over 20 years ago" said the president. I'm the one 4th from the left in the
front row with her tongue sticking out. I suppose In some ways I'm very like kwang ho. I do love
him. but well. i know he can do more with his life than he is.
"What do the 3b's? mean?" Jae-in asked.
That was the name of the motorcycle gang I was in. It stands for Busan Biker Bitches. Well,
that's what we called ourselves. Everyone else called us the 3b's. That's me 4th from the left
in the third row.
"You all look so cool" said Jae-in"
"We were the coolest" Hee young smiled. " Those days with my sisters were some of the happiest
of my life. Well, I'm sure you're dying to see the big house,and I haven't forgotten that
haircut I promised you"
"Oh, please." said Jae-in "it doesn't matter."
"oh, alright, then. Are you sure?"
Jae-in smiled and said "Yes. I've become used to it this way, anyhow"
But the older woman was shaking her head "No, i think you need a change Jae-in. So come on,
she's waiting next door for you."
"Who?" asked jae-in"
"The best hairdresser in korea. Come on, she's a very busy woman. She makes me feel like I'm
lazing around all day."
As they left the small house and walked towards the mansion, an elderly woman dressed in a
traditional korean hanbok approached them. She was small and lithe, and moved rather quickly for
a woman who looked to be in her 80's.
Jae-in wondered if she was a maid they had kept on out of respect for
her age. But Hee-young's greeting surprised her.
Jae-in tried not to show surprise as she bowed and introduced herself.
Then again, she was beginning to learn, that this was a family where it
was best to expect surprises.
"Hello, child. So you're not happy with your hair?"
"What! Sorry, no I'm well, that is.I..."
"Come on in so."
Then the president bowed. "I'll be off mother. Jae-in please look after my mother until I get
"I don't need looking after" said the older of the 3 women. "But that son of yours does. How did
he get so wet?. He said a girl did it. But that you told her too."
Her Daughter nodded, and Jae-ins hand rose to her mouth. "What!"cried the old woman whose name
was hyun ok. "Is this the girl?"
"Yes,mother. But please. don't blame her. Besides Kwang ho deserved it.
"I'm sure. he did, But daughter. You did wrong. You can't go round asking complete strangers to
throw water over your son." She turned to Jae-in " Child" she said "I'm sure you just did it to
be polite to an elder. But you should have made an excuse and walked away." Please go inside. I
need to talk to my daughter. I'll see you very soon.
Jae-in bowed said "Yes, halmeonim" and continued towards the mansion.
"What did she mean. she'll see me soon' She thought
Meanwhile Hyun-ok had turned back to her daughter. "Daughter. I raised you well. didn't I?"
"Yes, mother. You could not have raised me better"
"Then why do you behave the way you do?"
"I don't understand, mother"
Mother shook her head."Do you know why you and Kwang ho don't get on. It's because you're both
so alike. Neither of you have grown up. You don't get someone to throw a bucket of water over
your son. Do you know how embarrassed that girl must have felt."
"You're right. mother."
Suddenly there was the sound of glass breaking. Both women turned around to see shattered
fragmentsland a few feet away of them, and a baseball roll near them.
"Oh no" cried Hee young. He's at it again." She bowed to her mother and said "I'm sorry. mom.
Please look after Jae-in." She ran into the mansion to be greeted by a flustered maid whose
cries of frustration she ignored as she dashed into the room where she knew the broken wimdow
and her son were. But There was no one there. The only clue that anyone had been was a discarded
ch 5 (
Jae-in entered The main building to be greeted by a young woman of about her own age, dressed
in a maids uniform of light blue.
She bowed to Jae-in, who returned her greeeting, and introduced herself.
"I'm Yun-Ji. Your hair is lovely"
"What!" exclaimed Jae-in. "You're kidding, right"
The other girl shook her head. "No, it's got that cool untidy look"
"Are you taking the piss?"
"No, no. You should leave it like that."
"So you know that I'm here to get it cut."
"Yes, get it cut. But don't get it changed. Wait, I'll show you"
"She hurried away, and came back with a glossy magazine. On the cover was a famous asian model
whose hair looked like it had been pulled through a hedge, backwards and forwards.
"She looks awful" Jae-in said. "It must be a wig"
"Of course it's a wig. You don't think she would really wear"...But her sentence was cut short
by a voice coming from somewhere up above.
"Yun-Ji, who'se down there with you. No Wait, I'm coming down to see"
It was Kwang-ho, who came rushing down the stairs.
"You!" he said in surprise, when he saw that the visitor was Jae-in.
Jae-in bowed. "Your mother invited me in."
"Oh really" Kwang-ho said in exagerrated surprise. "For what, to throw another bucket of water
"I'm getting my hair done"
He looked at the subject in question, kept looking, and looking, until Jae-in began to feel
uncomfortable. "I wouldn't bother" he said. "there are no such things as miracles"
Jae-in was taken aback. While she was searching for a comeback, he grabbed her wrist, and
said "Come on, you owe me"
"What?. What do you mean I owe you?"
"For throwing all that water on me."
He started to pull her up the stairs.
"Yun-Ji spoke up. "Sir, you're not going to. are you?"
He nodded in affirmation "Yep unless you want to volunteer."
She waved her hands in front of her. "Oh, no. mo sir. Not after the trouble I got into last
"fine. So come on, you"
She grabbed hold of his wrist with her loose hand, but found it impossible to remove it
"Let go, will you"
But he held her even tighter dragging her up the stairs at the same time.
"This won't take long.
"What won't take long. Hey if you try anything"
"But they were outside his room now. He led her inside, as she continued protesting. Before she
knew it he had let go of her wrist, and put a baseball in her hand.
"What's this" she asked
"An Egg. What do you think it is. It's a baseball, retard"
"What did you call me?"
She flung the baseball at him. He ducked. Unfortunately the window behind him didn't.
"aigoo, aigoo " he shouted. "you idiot, lets go, before my mother finds us here"
"But, but, my butt. Jeez. All I wanted was a little help in practising, and where did you learn
to throw like that. I bet you played a lot of sports in school"
They were talking and running down the stairs at the same time.
"No, i hated sports."
"Oh, sickenning. Just a natural, huh"
Yun-Ji was at the bottom and asked "Another one. sir"
Kwang-Ho grimaced, but said nothing.
He led Jae-in out the back way and over to his car.
Get in" he ordered.
"I'll drive you home"
"No I'm staying to get my hair done"
"I'm going to get into trouble because of you, you know"
"What!?" You're saying it's my fault.
"Well. you broke the window"
"You shouldn't have dragged me in there, and You shouldn't call people names."
"Names. What names did I call you?"
"Retard, you called me retard"
"Aigoo, can't you take a joke."
"I'm going home. Please thank your mother for me. Tell her I enjoyed the ride on her motorbike."
"What!" Kwang-ho gasped. "She let you ride on that thing"
His phone rang and "my old one" came up as caller id"
"Kwang-ho, you broke the window again"
"Mother, why do you always assume the worst of me"
"Who broke it then, the broken glass fairy. By the way, have you seen that girl"
"the one you splashed earlier."
"Oh, the one you got to throw a bucket of water over me. Yes, I saw her at the house. She told
me she was going to get her hair done. But Mom, aren't you being cruel to her?."
Jae-in cut in "Is That your mother" She grabbed the phone from Kwang-Ho. " President, it's Jae-
in. I'm sorry for breaking your window. I'll pay..."
"Don't worry about that" the other woman interrupted. "I'm sure you weren't at fault. Please put
idiot back on"
Jae-in handed the phone back to Kwang-ho. "It's for you," she said
She didn't wait to hear what was being said. But started to walk. Except she had no idea where
she was going. The grounds were large, and she found herself going in circles until she was back
in front of kwang-ho again.
"How do I get out?" she asked.
"Mother wants you to go back and get your hair done"
Ch 6 (a)
When Jae-in arrived at work the next morning, there was a lightness to her walk, that hadn't
been there in a long time. It wasn't even spolied by her boss Kim Duck-young waiting at the
restaurant door, and patting her on the head.
"Your hair looks wonderful. Jae-in. It looks like it was worth the money, you spent on it"
"Well, actually sir, I got done for free"
"For free, wow. you don't suppose you could get me one for the same price"2
Jae-in was taken aback. "But sir, you're. you're..em" She wanted the ground to swallow her up,
before she had to state the obvious.
She was saved by a female voice saying "you're as bald as an egg.
It was the owners overweight, wife. Bong Cha
"Ha" Duck-young forced a smile. "What. Well I guess that settles that then. Hello, dear wife.
How are you today. Still fat I see" His tone was light, but the malice couldn't be hid.
"Yes, Darling" she smiled sweetly at him. "I guess I could do something about that. But poor you
can't do anything about this. She tapped his bald head seemingly playfully, but making him
grimace. Although he hid it as best as they could.
Jae-in felt like throwing up. Instead she said "you must be the happiest couple I know"
They both nodded in agreement at Jae-in. "Yes, we're so lucky" they said in unison.
"oh, if only she knew" Jae-in thought "she probably does"
"Husband" Bong Cha said "Why don't you give Jae-in, arise. I mean she's very helpful to you. She
even lies to me when you are out with one of your sluts"
"That's right, she does. But I won't just give her a rise. I'll make her manager. No, that's
not good enough. I'll give the business to her, and I'll go away and become a priest. You and
Jae-in can run the business together.
Jae-in felt a hand shaking her. It was Bong Cha. "Are you okay. You looked like you zoned out
"What!? Oh. Yes. I'm sorry. Yes, I'm okay"
"I hope you don't do that when you're driving"
"I don't have a car" Then she thought "Who could afford a car on the salary you pay"
Her boss slapped her lightly on the lower back, brushing his hand against her bum at the same
time. "oh, well, walking is good for you. Isn't that right, honey?" he looked to his wife for
agreement. Instead her hand came up to slap him lightly but firmly across the face. "Be careful
where you put your hand, or you'll know what's good for you"
"what!? I was just being friendly. Isn't that right, Jae-in"
"Jae-in was about to say yes. After all, she needed to keep her job, when her mobile rang. She
recognised the number as hee-young's. She apoligised to her boss and his wife. "I'm sorry. it's
"The president!" they said in unision.
"No, no" Jae-in waved her hands in protest. "Not our countries president. The president of weave
"Who?: asked Duck-young?
His wife nudged him with her hips. "Weave and bob. They are one of the most. Oh never mind. I
guess you won't be going there anyhow"
"Has it anything to do with boxing?"
Bong Cha lauged, and Jae-in put a hand over her her mouth to stop herself from doing likewise.
She turned her attention back to the person on the other end of the phone.
"Yes, she said "Thank you. L would love to"
She said "goodbye" with a bow and hung up.
When she turned back to her boss, and his wife. She asked " Boss, I have next saturday week
"What! I can't renember. Why?
"I'm going to be in a motorbike, race"
"Whaaaaaat" The other two screamed in unision.
It was 2 hours later and Duck-young was lying in bed with a woman. But it wasn't his bed, and
the woman wasn't his wife Bong-cha. It was Choi Kyung Soon, manager of the local weave and bob,
the place Kwang ho had earlier expressed so much ignorance of. They were both dressed in his and
hers blue matching pjamas.
"Honey" Duck young asked "Did you enjoy that.
Kyung Soon was staring up at the ceiling. She continued to stare, withou answering. He waved his
hands in front of her eyes. "Earth calling Choi Kung Soom. Earth calling Kyung Soon, Come in
Choi Kyung Soon. Earth calling..."
Suddenly one her hands shot out and grabbed him by the wrist. There was no expressom on her
face. She looked as cold and hard as when Jae-in had encountered her. "Cut it out" she said
"ooh, I love it when you get all hard and scary. Speaking of which....."
"Do you have to make so nuch noise?" she demanded? "You sound like a chicken running away from
the axe. Next time,I'll gag you"
"Really" he said excitedly. "Is that a promise?"
She couldn't stop the grin that broke out on her face. "Oh your impossible, come on then."
"A motorcycle race" exclaimed Ji-hye
Ji-Hye and Jae-in were chopping vegetables together in Ji-Hye's kitchen. Jae-in nodded.
"Yes, you'll come won't you."
jI hYE nodded enthustically. "Of course"
"All the racers have to have a passenger, and the president wants me to be hers."
"She seems like a nice person."
"Yes" Jae-in confirmed. "But not her son"
"Yes, he's....Oh, let's not talk about him. Let's talk about you. What happened to you. That day
you disappeared five years ago. It was as if you no longer existed. No, as if you never
existed. Where did you go"
"Tokyo" Ji Hye said calmly. but with a sigh
"Tokyo" her friend repeated. "You went to Japan. Why"
"The rumours got too much"
"The rumours! What rumours"
Ji-Hye said nothing.
"You mean about us... But that's all they were; rumours"
"I know, but my parents still wanted to leave. They told me never to have contact with you
again." She took Jae-ins hand in hers, inside wishing she had the courage to tell her that the
rumours were true, that she was in love with her. But she just said "I'm sorry Jae-in. I'm all
show, but I'm just a coward, aren't I?"
Jae-in took her friends hands in hers. "You, a coward, the girl who pulled me out of a freezing
river, even though she could barely swim herself"
Ji-hye laughed. "Oh, yes. But Don't forget it was me who pushed you in,in the first place"
Jae-in made a similar noise. "Oh yes. I forgot that. Wasn't it over a boy?"
"A boy"Ji-Hye said aloud. then inwardly "Was I interested in boys back then".
Jae-in noticed the startled tone in her friend's voice. "You sound like that would be the oddest
thing in the world"
"Really" Ji-Hye replied. "I was just thinking what a silly thing to risk our friendship over.
Jae-in drew her friend towards her and hugged her. "Let's never fall out, and let's always be
there for each other."
"Pinkie pledge" Ji-hye said, offering one of hers. They clasped pinkies.
"Didn't we do this back in school?" Jae-in asked?
"No harm in renewing pledges" Ji-hye answwered.
"No."Jae-in smiled. "Ji-hye, Can I ask about your parents.
"What do you want to know?"
"Are they still in japan?
Ji-hye shook her head gravely. "They are both dead"
"What! how. What happened. Ji-Hye. I'm sorry. I didn't know. Oh why didn't you
She reached out to embrace her friend, but the other girl stopped her. "It's
okay, It was over 3 years ago. It was a car crash. They both died together. Now
tell me about your parents?"
"Dad's out of work and mum's still working as a nurse."
Ji-Hye nodded. "We should go and visit.. " But Ji-Hye didn't finish the sentence. She put a hand to the side of her face and began to moan. She leaned again the table steadying herself.
"Are you okay? asked Jae-in"
"I need my tablets"