Kaya’s eyes, which were filled with chaos, trembled. Even after reading the message, closing her eyes, and turning off her smartphone, that message didn’t leave her head. ‘I’m sorry for the sudden message. Kaya. To go straight to the point, I’m your real father. If you see this message, can you reply?’
She remembered the words Tess Gilly said when they met a while ago. That her father was looking for her. When she heard that, Kaya thought that that ‘father’ was going to be the one that made her mother pregnant with Gemma and left.
“He wasn’t……Gemma’s side?”
“What are you mumbling alone?”
Kaya got surprised at the voice heard right next to her and turned her head. And only then did she realize that she was still holding Jo Minjoon’s hands. And while covering it with her cardigan at that. Kaya hurriedly raised both of her arms and said.
“Ah, it’s nothing.”
“I think you were looking at your smartphone…… Is it an ill comment again?”
“No. It’s not something like that. And now, I don’t even get hurt by those ill comments…… Maybe. Anyways, now I’m not that weak to crumble with that much.”
Kaya said with a determined face. Jo Minjoon smirked and raised his hand. The cardigan Kaya covered that hand with was hanging on that. Kaya flushed and took away her cardigan.
“I just took it off because I was hot.”
“The aircon is on.”
“It was turned on just now. It was hot before. I will wear it now.”
Kaya answered like that, wore the cardigan, and then sighed inwardly.
It was still hot.
Their lodging. Kaya was just standing still while entrusting her body to the hot water coming out of the shower. Her wet hair stuck to her back, and water drops flowed endlessly from her long eyelashes. The feeling of her hair touching her neck was bad.
No, she just felt bad. Tomorrow she would leave this place and entrust her body to busy schedules again. And….. The sudden message that came was also like that. She thought that it was a misrepresentation, but in the first place if that was the case, how would he have known her phone number?
Kaya has never seen her real father even once. As he left even before she had some rationality, she could obviously not remember. Honestly, she thought about this when she was young. Wasn’t it that even her mother, Grace, didn’t know who her father was.
“……I’m sorry. Mom.”
Her quiet voice washed off with the water. Kaya looked at the drops of water flowing down her body for a long time and then closed the tap. Below her eyebrows, the deep double eyelids flashed fiercely. Kaya opened her eyes abruptly and glared at herself in the mirror.
“Kaya. Get a hold of yourself.”
But just what did she have to do after she got a hold of herself? To call her mother, she thought that it was only making her worried for nothing.
She thought that after washing herself, her head would be a bit lighter but after she got out of the shower, her head was as heavy as wet cotton. Emily looked at that Kaya and asked with a worried look.
“Kaya, is something wrong? Your expression is dark.”
“………Life is always a ball of trouble.”
“Weren’t you fine until the afternoon? What, did you fight with Minjoon?”
“Minjoon doesn’t make it hard for me.”
Kaya said with ferocious eyes. Emily shook her hands saying not to misinterpret it.
“I’m not saying that……well. It seems like you aren’t going to tell me even if I ask. What, shall I console you at least?”
“I’m fine. I can overcome it alone.”
“Is there a need to do so?”
The one that replied at Kaya’s words wasn’t Emily but Sera. She, who was lying on the sofa watching the TV that was on a channel speaking in Italian, was looking at Kaya as if it was difficult to understand. Kaya smacked her lips as if she was momentarily perplexed. Sera was a difficult person to face because of her lady-like looks but harsh temperament. On top of that, the words she brought up were even more difficult. Kaya hesitated and answered.
“It’s obvious that I don’t want to trouble anyone.”
“How is getting consoled a trouble? That is obvious. The person that consoles doesn’t particularly suffer. Rather, they may feel it rewarding that they are consoling someone. More so if that person is someone very close.”
It was a bit vague as to who Sera was talking about. Was she talking about Jo Minjoon, or she was simply saying the really close ones. But at that moment, the one that appeared in Kaya’s head was Jo Minjoon. And at that instant, she understood how she felt.
I want to be next to Jo Minjoon. Being consoled or not comes for later. I want to be with him. With just that, she felt that her emotions may calm down. But……
“I still don’t want it.”
“A relation that I only receive, if this continues more than this I will be too embarrassed to look at Minjoon.”
At those words, Sera couldn’t say anything because it wasn’t her role to butt in. Rachel smiled softly at that conversation and said.
“It’s nice to see.”
“All of these worries are a sign of youth. Just because you age, it doesn’t mean that your worries disappear, but it’s not easy to maintain that pretty face and heart.”
At Rachel’s compliment, Kaya touched her nose with an uncomfortable face. Kaya furtively sat in the sofa arm which Rachel was seated at. Sera, who looked that, smirked and said.
“I saw in the broadcast that you sat in the arms of the chairs a lot. It seems it’s a habit?”
“Ah. In our house, we only have one sofa for two people. Actually, there were many sofas thrown away in the streets, but we didn’t have space to place it. That’s why when my mother and sister sat down, I always sat at the armrest.”
It was quite a dark past taking into account how composedly she said it. But as she said it really calmly, they didn’t know if they had to express regret or not. Sera succeeded on not showing her troubled emotions through her face, but failed to accept those words without much care. As she didn’t know what to say to her. Rachel opened her mouth calmly.
“Poverty is a tragedy when you are in the middle of it, but if you get over it, it rather makes people shine more than before. Between people that overcame poverty without holding anything in their hands and people that didn’t have a need to overcome it in the first place, the first ones are seen more amazingly.”
“You are complimenting me that I’m amazing, right?”
“It’s good to see it as admiring. All the people in the world will root for you as to how more you can shine. And probably, I will be one of those people.”
“……Your complimenting skills are really good.”
Kaya softly pulled the corner of her mouth. The dim compliment approached without burdens and loosened her mood. Kaya added.
“I get that thought. That I will be able to have a really fun time when I enter your kitchen.”
“Is it because of me? Or because of Minjoon?”
“Don’t ask such question. Don’t you already know the answer?”
It was when they were conversing like that. The bell rang from the front door. They looked at each other. Emily opened her mouth.
“It looks like it’s the guys. I will go out.”
Emily stood up and went to the interphone. And at that moment, she could only doubt her eyes. It was just like she had said. Guys. But among the guys, there was a face that shouldn’t have been there.
Her mouth hardened with a smile. Emily hurriedly went to the door while almost tripping over her own foot. The moment she opened the door widely, a yell was heard. Anderson was grabbing his side with a low posture and frowned. He groaned with a painful voice.
“Uh……..Emily! Open the door more slowly.”
“Ah, ah. I’m sorry.”
“Why are you blaming her like that? Her heart must have been in a hurry.”
Jeremy talked like that and smirked. Emily flushed at those eyes that seemed to know all about her feelings. Even when she had already seen him through the interphone, Emily opened her eyes roundly as if she realized just now and looked at Alan.
“Alan? How are you here?”
“I finished business, and the night is still long. Teacher Rachel is also leaving soon, so I wanted to see her face one more time. I think it will be difficult to escort you to the airport. And……..”
Alan was about to say something but shut his mouth again. Emily said with an awkward voice.
“Ah. Right. We won’t be able to see tomorrow.”
“……..Can I go in?”
“Of course. Come in.”
Emily let him in in a hurry. Alan looked at Rachel and smiled brightly.
“Teacher. I have come.”
“Why did you come again?”
“Of course, to see teacher.”
Rachel looked at Alan with sharp eyes at those words. She could clearly see that that wasn’t the only reason, but she permitted him to use her name just this once. Rachel looked at Alan as if she was looking at her cute grandson and said.
“We came here well today. Olive Island. I couldn’t teach you for long, but I feel proud for nothing looking that you are finding the right path by your own.”
“I still have a way to go. One day, I will open a greater restaurant than the main store of Rose Island.”
“Right. That will have a meaning by its own. It would be good if I can see that while I’m still alive.”
“You will live for 100 years more. Don’t speak like you are such an elder. You are still young.”
“If I live for 100 years longer I will be 160. Are you telling me to live in solitude for 100 more years?”
“Why, there are some sexy old men among my friends, do you want me to introduce you to some?”
Jeremy laughed playfully and said. Rachel didn’t even reply, but altogether acted as if she hadn’t even heard that. Rachel smiled brightly and looked at Anderson and Jo Minjoon.
“My disciples have come.”
“Now that I see, I really became a disciple of teacher.”
Rachel’s words became quite light compared to before. That voice was unfamiliar but quite nice to listen at. Anderson said with an excited voice.
“But teacher’s kitchen you were talking about……You are talking about the one that is in Venice, right?”
“That’s the only place I’m supposed to be, isn’t that right?”
Rachel said with a voice mixed with solitude and grief. And then looked at Jo Minjoon and Anderson with eyes filled with a strong ambition.
“But I want to make that place to shine more than ever. I won’t make that place the tomb of Daniel. I hope you help me do that. If only that happens, later…….no, I shouldn’t say this now.”
Rachel was about to say something but shut her mouth. She looked at Kaya and said.
“Anyways, it’s a bit regrettable that miss Kaya won. I really want her to the point that I want to bring her immediately.”
Alan opened his mouth. He said with a face that was a bit worried.
“Anderson and Minjoon are certainly skilled friends. And they also have talent. One day, they will grow to be excellent chefs. But……..I don’t know about being demi chef, but it will be hard to make them sous chef because of their inexperience. What are you planning to do about that place?”
“This is a secret but……Alan, bring your ear closer.”
Rachel whispered something at Alan’s ears. And Alan opened his eyes roundly as if he couldn’t believe it.
“That person? No, just how…….”
“It seems like I’m still popular.”
Rachel smiled with a triumphant face. The conversation naturally took focus on what kind of restaurant Rachel wanted to run. Rachel said with a voice of a girl that was dreaming.
“I will find back the shape of when Daniel was still alive. The menu will change a bit periodically, and all the dishes have to be perfect that are able to overcome the likings and dislikings of people. All the staff will think together with you. What dish will you make tomorrow, how will the ingredients be. But of course, it will be lacking with just this. Because it’s no different to other restaurants. My experience may be able to bring Daniel’s old dishes, but it’s difficult to chase the understanding and imagination of his extraordinary flavor. That’s why I wanted you that much. Minjoon.”
Jo Minjoon just faced Rachel’s eyes. He looked at an old lady that was too exhausted compared to her age, but because of that she burns down her soul more anxiously. The old lady asked with a voice filled with affection, expectation, and thankfulness.
“Thank you for coming to me. I will help you so you can use that sense the best you can. At least, I will make it so that there is no one that is able to follow you on flavor creativeness. Will you believe in me?”
He felt stifled, but the decision has already been made. He couldn’t put it down or throw it away and flee. Jo Minjoon opened his eyes abruptly. Perhaps, the surrounding people may say that the resolution in his eyes had an excessive colour of desperation. But he could only be like that. He wanted to repay Rachel’s trust even if he had to offer everything.
“I do trust in teacher. And I will do it. On whatever situation comes.”
Rachel smiled, and Jo Minjoon also did the same. Although the smell of his smile was a bit different……
What he was looking at would probably be the same.
< People over the crossroad (2) > End
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa