Aside from Jo Minjoon, there was one more person that couldn’t sleep that night: Chloe. She was lying on the bed and while she closed and opened her eyes a few times, it already got bright. In the end, she put on her sports clothes and went out to the garden. She thought that if she sweated a bit, she would be able to think more clearly.
However, that thought was only half right. As she exercised to the point her lungs and heart hurt, and her muscles were about to rip, she started to think more about idle thoughts with her cleared mind.
Looking at the sky that had an ash and blue colour, Chloe thought. ‘Is it dawn? Morning?’ It became her train of thought. She didn’t know if there was a need to separate this moment as dawn or morning, or if it could only be called as the boundary between that.
And that train of thought also continued about her. Just where was she standing on, As a cook and as a girl? She wasn’t standing firmly anywhere. It was uncertain. She remembered the words Ivanna said before she left.
‘Don’t be scared, Chloe. I will cheer for you.’
There was no need to think about what she was scared about because it was too obvious. Just how in the world did she understand that well about her? It was surprising. It’s true that she was uncertain, although it’s more apt to call it indecisive. In cooking……. And in her attitude towards Jo Minjoon.
Last night, when Kaya said that she was going to guard the hospital room, why couldn’t she say anything? You go to rest, I will do it. Those words were filling up her chest, but why couldn’t she bring it up? Was it because she thought that it was obvious for Kaya to do it? That it was obvious that the injury happened because of Kaya, and that she should be the one to be next to him?
Rather than being considerate of the other, it meant that she was conceding what was hers. And conceding also meant that every time she did that, she would lose something that could have become hers. Chloe was accustomed of that life since small: conceding, consideration, and loss.
Perhaps, her environment could have helped shape that kind of character. Being gentle meant that you had to be wary of the others. Chloe could only be like that since small. The Asian blood inside of her and her looks made it difficult for her to blend in. She wasn’t white, nor was she from China.
Perhaps, if she had looked less gorgeous, she would really have been excluded. But fortunately, Chloe had quite a pretty face. At the same time, she knew how to look at her surroundings. She didn’t make others feel displeased, and through consideration they had never thought of it, she made a good image. People that didn’t know her would simply think that she had a good temperament, but that was her way of struggling… struggling to not get hated.
When she didn’t feel tired of that kind of life, Chloe felt that she had forgotten who she was, what she wanted to have and what kind of life she wanted. People liked the gentle and good side of her, but Chloe couldn’t like herself.
She didn’t want to lose it this time, and didn’t want to get it stolen. But of course, she couldn’t get something stolen when it wasn’t even hers……… If she had some chances left, she wanted to take them all. That was her honest feelings. It was at that moment.
“Did you finish exercising.”
At the blunt voice she turned to look, and Anderson was looking at her. Chloe wiped off the sweat in her forehead.
“I can finish it if I want to. But why?”
“We have to go to see Kaya and Minjoon.”
“…….Right. I will come after washing for a bit.”
Chloe’s feet stopped. Anderson looked at her with dry eyes.
“If you are going to keep putting that agonized face, why don’t you clash with her?”
Chloe just looked at Anderson’s eyes. And as she saw those eyes, she could vaguely guess what he was talking about. Chloe laughed bitterly.
“I’m saying that I’m hiding it, but everyone gets to know it. Is it really that obvious?”
“It can only be so. Do you know how brightly you smile when you get next to him? It’s obvious. Whether it’s fake, it can only be obvious. That’s that.”
“Rather, if it was fake……..No, nothing. I will take back those words. I wanted something fake, but not anymore.”
Chloe smiled pathetically. Anderson put on a disagreeing face and said with a mean voice.
“Then stop putting that sad face. Why are you already acting like a loser?”
“…….Will I be able to win?”
“Why are you asking me?”
The life in the hospital room ended in one night. And all the time they were there, Kaya kept by his side. For her, it could have been responsibility and perhaps guilt. No, the probabilities of it being the case was high. Whether it was directly or indirectly, it was true that because of her, Jo Minjoon ended with an injury.
He told her that there’s no need to be sorry, that it wasn’t the fault of anyone and it was just an accident, but Kaya didn’t reply back at those words. Kaya grabbed Jo Minjoon’s arm. Jo Minjoon replied with his face shaking.
“I got an injury on my neck, not my legs. There’s no need to help me.”
“………Thinking about it, you are right. Do you have enough energy?”
“Do I even have to have a big amount of energy? At least, I have enough to walk.”
After he said that, Kaya let go of Jo Minjoon’s arm. Anderson, who brought his car to the parking lot, waved his hand. And in the seat next to him, Chloe was seated. Jo Minjoon put on a sorry face.
“There was no need for you to come all the way here.”
“Shut up. Patients should shut their mouths.”
Anderson replied with a cynical voice. Jo Minjoon laughed awkwardly. Chloe lowered the window of the car and sticked her upper body outside of it. A smile appeared in her face.
“Get on quickly! Let’s go on an excursion.”
“How long will the four of us be together? Let’s play what we have to when we have the time. If it isn’t in this opportunity, it’s difficult to even get out of Grand Chef’s house. We have already packed the lunch box.
At Chloe’s words, Jo Minjoon laughed bitterly. He had realized that now, only four people remained. That meant that they had survived well until now, but it also meant that the dreams of others got shattered. But of course, the satisfaction and happiness was bigger than the regret, but just because of that it wasn’t that the regret disappeared.
Jo Minjoon, who just got in the car, looked outside of the window. That he felt a cold thing in his neck. As he got surprised and turned to look back, Kaya was placing her finger on Jo Minjoon’s neck.
“What are you doing?”
“Measuring the temperature. They said that it was good to remove the gauze and gently press ice if the temperature raised.”
“Stop bluffing just because you are a man. There’s no one that can be fine after getting an injury. You wouldn’t know if you had some muscles. But for someone as frail as you…”
“………I will exercise just because I feel it to be unfair.”
Ignoring Jo Minjoon’s unfair expression, Kaya turned her head. She looked at Chloe.
“Where are we going to go?”
“Michigan Lake. To somewhere without many people.”
“………Hmm. The food?”
Chloe raised her hand instead of replying. A large lunch box was in her hands. Kaya nodded.
After parking the car at the lake, they got out. Just like what Chloe said, there wasn’t that many people. They could see some people, but they were too far away so there was no need to be wary of them.
June. The weather was warm. Jo Minjoon took off his shoes. The feeling of the warm sand that got between the fingers of the barefoot was quite good. And because of the sand or the sun, it wasn’t really that cold even when they only had a shirt on them.
“I don’t like the feeling of the sand.”
Kaya frowned and grumbled. Kaya opened her eyes roundly.
“You don’t like the feeling? I come here just to step on the sand.”
“I wonder. I feel like small bugs walk between my feet.”
Kaya trembled. However, there wasn’t even a place near the lake that had grass. Rather than being a lake, it was more like a beach. In the end, they could only sit in a flat sandbox.
And it was at that moment when they opened the lunch box. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth and let out an exclamation.
It wasn’t even norimaki. Looking that it also smelled of sesame oil, it was entirely a Korean kimbap. Chloe replied while smiling embarrassedly.
“I thought that after getting injured, you would start missing food of your home town. But what kind of Korean food should I make? I heard that you made it with Anderson last time, so I got the help of Anderson and made it together.”
Jo Minjoon said while putting a face as if he had truly been moved. There were others thing in the lunch box and not only kimbap. Sandwich, chinese fries, steamed dumplings, salad, fruit, etc. It wasn’t specially splendid, but it couldn’t get better for a lunch box. The sandwich that contained raw ham, cheese, avocado, etc. wasn’t that magnificent, but it had a full flavor; and the fries and the dumplings had a crunchy and a sticky feeling, you would immediately know that it was handmade. Kaya chewed the dumpling and opened her mouth.
“This much…… all……..how.”
“Speak after you chew it all.”
Jo Minjoon covered Kaya’s mouth and scolded her. Kaya opened her eyes thinly and finished gulping the dumpling.
“How did you make all of these things? Wasn’t it difficult? These are all things that require hard work.”
“How hard can it be to go on a vacation?”
As they got full, the conversation they shared became deeper and heavier. Jo Minjoon asked.
“What kind of restaurant do you want to open? Anderson, you will surely want to inherit the restaurant from your parents, right?”
“I’m half and half. Before, I used to think like that, but as more time passed, my thoughts are changing. It will also have some meaning continuing the work of my parents……… but people are normally like that. Rather than continuing something another one started, they would like better to start something on their own.”
“I understand what you are talking about.”
Chloe nodded. The feeling of inheriting a restaurant from someone else would only be weak. But of course, some may prefer leaving something with big value rather than maintaining the existence of the family’s occupation.
She looked at Jo Minjoon.
“Minjoon, what kind of restaurant do you want to open?”
“…….Saying the truth, I have never properly thought about that. I only thought that I wanted to become a chef. I still haven’t decided as to what kind of chef I’m planning to become, Fusion, Italian, or Spanish… I still don’t know about that. So knowing what kind of restaurant I want is difficult. Well…….”
Jo Minjoon scratched his nose as if it was embarrassing.
“I have thought about this. In a restaurant with at least 5 tables, cook when the customers order. It’s quite romantic. Accumulating regular customers, and that tranquil feeling. However, me working in that kind of place won’t happen.”
“Because excluding the romance, nothing remains. Perhaps you could think that i’m materialistic…….But I want to climb to the highest part of this world. I will tell you honestly. I want to become a chef in a luxurious restaurant. Just like Rachel Rose from Rose Island, and like Joseph the judge. To the highest place.”
Perhaps, some people may just focus on give the food a good flavor. And of course, that was a basic thing that should always be fulfilled. Only, satisfaction was the problem. Because the skills of a chef that works in a cheap restaurant is the same to that of one that works in an expensive one. Only, the value of the ingredients will be included in the amount of money.
So every time you went to an expensive restaurant, the customers could only be more sensitive and sharp than ever. It was easy to compare it with your family. They wouldn’t impede you from practicing cooking with a cheap ingredient like egg, but in the case you wanted to make something with high quality ingredients like lobster or cow tongue they would impede you, because it was a really precious ingredient to entrust it to that child.
Jo Minjoon wanted to become a chef that you wouldn’t even need to hesitate to give him any kind of ingredients. He wanted to climb to the place where all the world would acknowledge him, and no one would doubt about the flavor.
Then, Kaya opened her mouth.
“I don’t want that.”
“Dividing it as high and low class. Even so, how much of a difference would there be? I…… Just want to open a restaurant that everyone can go to. Not a restaurant that you can only look at it and be envious of……… A restaurant that anyone can come. A place where not only pigs with money, but also poor bastards can go to.”
Realistically speaking, it was difficult. Operation fees, ingredient fees, and the most basic thing, personal expenses. Taking into account all of those things, you could only give up on opening a good restaurant. And thinking about Kaya’s skills, he thought that it would be too wasteful. Chloe coughed with an ‘ahem’.
“Recently, I got one.”
“What kind of restaurant I want to inaugurate. So this. I………”
Chloe just touched the sand as if it was embarrassing to say. Just as her flushed cheek, the red sand started to stick in her hands like flour. Her shy sight directed at Jo Minjoon for a moment, and then again at the lunch boxes.
“I want to do it just like Anderson’s parents. It was a couple’s restaurant? Me too……. I want to do that with the person I love.”
< Four people, four dreams (1) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading and for your support!
PR: How daring! Hinata Flaaaaaaaaaaaaag!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa