In Kaya’s childhood, there was not even a spoon worth of peace.
Also she didn’t have a father. Her mother, Grace, said that her father left the house when she was young. And when Kaya became 6 years old, a man appeared next to Grace. She doesn’t remember all the details, only that his eyes were shockingly deep and blue. Grace said that he was her father. Because Grace’s eyes were brown, and Kaya’s were blue, she didn’t even doubt that he was her real father.
Of course, that trust didn’t get her any rewards. One day, that fake father fought with Grace inside the house and broke all of the furnitures, and after that, he didn’t show himself. He had left. After leaving a living being inside the mother’s womb.
She doesn’t remember the details, but she did remember that Grace was really sensitive and suffering at that moment. Maybe, the existence of Kaya was what drove her to keep working for her sake, but was she not enough? Kaya still remembered the scene where her mother was crying alone with her face buried on a pillow in a dark room.
And at some time, the thing that soothed Grace wasn’t her tears, but alcohol. Fortunately there were no injections. She would mostly drink cheap beer until she fell asleep because of the alcohol.
Was it because of the alcohol? Or was it because of the bad luck that followed her everywhere? The child Grace gave birth to after the intense pain, Kaya’s sister, was disabled. Cerebral paralysis. Looking at that child who couldn’t even move her body as she wanted, no, that couldn’t even make a proper expression, she felt that her world was being painted with dirty ink.
After coming back from elementary school, she had to go to the market instead of her house. It wasn’t that she hated that. Just like any child from any unlucky family, Kaya too, couldn’t help but mature early on. She was poor and didn’t have any proper skills, and her mother that wasn’t even selling things, but was cleaning the market. A disabled sister that if left alone, would have no way to live on. To grumble about her life, reality was too harsh.
But not because of that did she take life as a happy thing. It was a life where she was resigned to live properly and was being dragged. Her character was harsh, and her mouth was foul. Looking at the annoyed faces of the merchants, and looking at her friends of the same age running and playing, the awl in her heart got sharper. And that awl even made her drop out from middle school.
“The only thing I can properly do is cooking.”
In front of the camera, Kaya lotus was opening her mouth. Martin asked silently.
“How did you start cooking?”
“I wanted to eat delicious things. Like I told you before, our house is poor. I brought back ingredients that couldn’t be sold to the customers to the house and cooked them. At first, it was a shocking flavor. But fortunately, I had talent. Because I wanted to make the flavor at least a little bit better, I ran all around the place, and I got to know how to make it taste better. My mother and sister liked it.”
“You must have been happy.”
“Happy….. Yes, of course I was happy. But putting aside all of those feelings, cooking was like a respirator for me. Precisely speaking, it was like that when I ate delicious food. Taking care of my ill sister, helping my mother, the illness that makes your body ache like an old man. And a bite of a delicious thing. I thought that was the only reason for me to live, it was a time that I could talk like that.”
Putting aside that she was talking about that calmly, it’s contents were dark. It couldn’t even be said that it was an exaggeration. If you have lived that kind of life since small, then you could only think like that.
“I dropped out from middle school halfway. Because the medicine fee for my sister was really expensive and we were really tight on money with just that. In the first place, I wouldn’t be able to go to college if I kept on going to school, so I just wanted to work.”
“……It must have been a difficult decision.”
“Difficult decision? I wonder. The moment I dropped, I even felt a sense of freedom. Even so, that wasn’t a place where I could be in. I wanted to rip people’s mouths when they were in a bad mood just because of puberty when they didn’t even have any kind of problems in their house. You saw batman right? The mouth of the joker is ripped. Yeah, like that.”
Kaya pulled the end of her lips with her fingers and laughed while snapping it. Martin laughed and gave hand signals in his back. He had to cut that part. This excessive behavior wouldn’t be accepted well by the viewers. Martin changed subjects. If it was this much about the past, then he had gotten enough.
“Is there anyone you are close with?”
Kaya replied without thinking for even a minute. Because of that, Martin couldn’t help but get perplexed. He didn’t think that she would obediently name someone, but for her to say that she didn’t have any that bluntly, he didn’t even imagine it. Martin opened his mouth.
“No, isn’t there some people you are close with? Like Marco, Minjoon, Chloe. Aren’t you close with them?”
“Yes. I’m not.”
It was yet a firm answer. Martin laughed awkwardly and kept talking.
“No, why…. Nowadays you are rather close. You eat together, and hang together. That’s being close.”
“Is the word ‘close’ that light? At least we don’t know a thing about each other, we have to perfectly trust each other to be close.”
“Then does that mean that you are in the process of getting closer?”
Kaya frowned as if something was bothering her. Her bright lips were shut for a while, and then opened. However the words that flowed through her weren’t the words Martin had wanted.
“Let’s go with another question.”
“…..Is there a reason that it makes you difficult to answer?”
However Martin was experienced. If you got a hold of something, there was no way you could let it go. Kaya looked at him for a minute. Kaya just glared at him. But a broadcasting PD was someone who had gone through all kinds of things and rose to that position. Martin’s life also wasn’t an easy one for a teen to look at him funnily. In the end, Kaya let out a sigh, and replied with a softer voice.
“Fine. I will talk. It’s because it’s embarrassing.”
“You are at that age. To show affection to someone else…..”
“No. It’s not that.”
Kaya interrupted Martin. Looking at the dumfounded expression, Kaya bit her lips and said.
“The process of getting closer. I had many people being on that stage. 18. Life seems short but it’s not really. I have met venomous people and also good people. The process of getting closer, I had it. And there’s not a time where I did get close. Even though I pretended to be close, in the end, they all left.”
“… … …”
Martin couldn’t reply anything back. He knew that at this moment, he had to ask something for the sake of the broadcast. But Kaya’s eyes were really sad. She seemed like a little child that just became an adult. To ask her to reveal more of her past was a really cruel thing.
“Perhaps it’s because they think that my character is poor, or there could be other things. Even so, the conclusion is the same. That I’m not someone who just gets close to anybody. But just because I say that we are a bit close right now, whether it’s a process or not, it just gets messed up again.”
Martin, and the author that was next to him couldn’t say a thing. Kaya let out a smile. It was a provocative and confident smile, but Martin felt that smile to be empty.
“Saying that it’s embarrassing, you got that right?”
After the interview ended, Kaya slowly walked towards the waiting room. She was quite sensitive for having shown a little bit of her hurt side. If she was like this, you wouldn’t know if she would curse you from head to toe only by talking to her. In front of the waiting room, Kaya stopped her steps and opened her mouth.
“Calm down Kaya Lotus. You came to get out of that swamp. You can do it. You are strong. You….”
Kaya stopped her mumbling. The door opened and Jo Minjoon was coming out. Did he hear it? No, the door was closed. Was this door not able to block this much noise? Kaya glared at Jo Minjoon. Jo Minjoon flinched and looked at her.
Kaya replied without strength and went inside the waiting room. Jo minjoon frowned a little and looked at her back. He was worried about her but he couldn’t chase her back. Now was the time for the interviewing.
As he was walking towards the interviewing room, the casting crew were really in a low mood. The female author was sniffing while wiping off her tears, and the cameraman’s face was gloomier than ever. Jo Minjoon sat on his place and asked Martin.
“What kind of interview was it that the atmosphere got this down?”
“…..Well, we listened a bit of Kaya’s story. You know about her past, right?”
“Well, just the things that were broadcasted.”
Jo Minjoon shrugged his shoulders and replied. Martin let out a sigh.
“Well, it’s just like you see. We listened a bit more of her story. If you are sensible enough, it was a story you couldn’t help but shed tears.”
“Looking that you are fine, it seems that you aren’t sensitive.”
“How could I not be? It’s just that my tears are lacking compared to my sensitivity.”
Jo Minjoon smiled bitterly and shut his mouth. Martin also smiled and said.
“Right. Are you confident on the next mission?”
“I must know what the mission is about to be able to say something. Honestly, saying something scares me. You don’t know if I would get hit like last time after speaking some brief words.”
He was hitting around the bush, but he was talking about the ending of the first episode, about Kaya winning. Martin put an awkward face and scratched his head. Jo Minjoon looked at him and said.
“You said that you wanted me to win, so I thought that even if you couldn’t express it you would cheer for me in your heart. So was that a service announcement?”
“I personally do cheer for you. However i’m a PD. If you gave me such a good broadcasting material, it would be bad manners to not receive it.”
Martin said while smiling. He was a really wise guy. Jo Minjoon stared at him for a while and soon, laughed.
“Those are right words. I understand.”
“Let’s proceed with the interviewing. Minjoon. The first episode was broadcasted and from one of the viewers reaction there was something like this. ‘Is there no way to be a success with cooking in Korea? Why did he come to the US?’ What do you think about this?”
“I wonder. Personally speaking I think that the first question is rather sensitive to answer. As for the latter, it’s because of my selfishness and adoration. Looking at the past season of Grand Chef, I received admiration. I got a thought that I wanted to stand in this place. Because it’s a good opportunity and a good stage.”
“Even if that was the case, it’s not normal to come all the way over here with just that as an excuse. The way I see it, you are the only case that I know that has come because of that.”
Because he was speaking like that, Jo Minjoon got a thought that he was indeed a special case. Normally, if he chose the road to cooking, he wouldn’t have come all the way to the US. Jo Minjoon thought that the reason for that was because of his impatience and his craving. He also didn’t want to be cleaning on a kitchen. The meaning wasn’t that deep, but the motivation didn’t need to be deep.
“I would be grateful if you thought of me like someone with passion.”
“Well, then let’s go with the next question. Then what about what you had said previously? About Kaya winning.”
“You sir, know about that. That there are more words to what I have said. If the person who had edited it asks me like that then it’s a bit troublesome.”
“Oh, was there some more words?”
Martin made a quite surprised gesture and looked at Jo Minjoon. Jo Minjoon let out a sigh.
“I am going to win. I am determined to do so.”
“Okey. I got it. Lately, you have been close to Chloe, Kaya and Marco. You got along quite well, but are you really close?”
“I think we are. At least, that’s what I think of.”
“What was the trigger of you getting closer?”
“I wonder. Kaya…. For Kaya, I remember that we shared our dishes after the mission and got close after that, for Marco, we got close because we were both from New York, and for Chloe on the team mission. But this is not broadcasting material, is it?”
At those words, Martin smiled humorously.
“That’s right. It’s better for the interview to be more personal. With that meaning Minjoon, let’s talk about your scandal.”
“It’s a report from mister A. There’s word that after you finished cooking, you passed on the dishes to wash….. Is that true?”
Jo Minjoon forced a laugh.
“I will make no comments about that.”
< A dish made by a chef (1) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter! Thanks for reading and your support!
Regulars being on: Tue, thurs, sat and sun
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled