When Sang Hoon arrived for his shift at the hospital and entered his brother’s room, he was frozen in place. There was no sign of Dong Hoon or his wife, whom he was supposed to relieve. His legs buckled under him as his panicked mind conjured the worst scenarios for what he was seeing. Desperate for answers, he headed to the nurses’ station, but just as he was about to open the door, the elevator nearby opened and Yoon Hee stepped out.

„Oh! Hi, brother-in-law!” she greeted him with ease. However, noticing his pale face and trembling hands, she quickly realized the empty bed had terrified him and immediately reassured him, „Dong Hoon went for the first round of facial transplants – this morning the doctors decided to check how his wounds were healing and concluded it was time to take the first step, as he’s doing well.”

Sang Hoon, leaning against the wall, slid down to a seated position. The shock of what he had just experienced overwhelmed him, and now the strength he had mustered suddenly deserted him, leaving him unable to control his body. Yoon Hee noticed that any moment now – as was his habit – her brother-in-law would start crying like a child.

She sat down next to him on the floor. At first, she said nothing, just held his hand. Then, in a gentle voice, she explained, „It’s alright. You had every reason to misinterpret the situation… I should have warned you… But everything happened so fast and unexpectedly…” she apologized, realizing she had indeed lacked foresight, „I’m sorry… let’s go to the room, and I’ll explain everything.”

She stood up, faced her brother-in-law, and offered her hand to help him up. Sang Hoon, still shaky, managed to stand. Like a small child, he obediently followed her back to the room.

Yoon Hee first poured him a glass of cold water, then offered him coffee, which he always liked. They sat on the sofa. Sang Hoon finally found his voice: „I thought something had happened to him… Really…” he said, his voice hoarse with emotion, „Those few minutes were probably worse than when I heard about his accident,” he added.

„I know,” Yoon Hee admitted, „I’m really sorry I didn’t immediately pass on the information, but I genuinely lost all sense of time with the emotion of it all,” she explained, „I sat first outside the room where they were examining him and where consultations about his case were ongoing, then when they moved him to the operating room, I was stuck there thinking only of Dong Hoon. When I looked at my watch, I remembered about you and came back straight away, but you had already seen everything and got scared…”

„Why do we have to go through this…” Sang Hoon was still shaken, „Why did this happen to him? We? We?” His emotions were evidently still raw, tracing back to the initial incident which he had yet to come to terms with.

„There’s no answer to that,” Yoon Hee spoke as calmly as she could, „Accidents just happen…”

„But why do they happen more often to good people? Why?” Sang Hoon persisted.

„Maybe because they prefer to risk themselves rather than others?” Yoon Hee realized at that moment that this was often indeed the case. Dong Hoon hadn’t sent any of his employees on that unexpected check but had gone himself, keeping only the youngest behind him, as she rightly imagined, though she didn’t voice this out loud – „Our Dong Hoon is just such a person…” she concluded.

„What are they actually doing to him today?” he finally asked a more specific question.

„Supposedly they’re trying to improve the mobility of his neck, but they haven’t explained it to me in detail yet. We’ll ask when Dong Hoon comes back,” she stated, „Can you manage on your own now, because I need to rush to Ji Seok?” she asked, assessing whether her brother-in-law had recovered somewhat.

„Ka!” he responded, reaching for his cup of coffee, „I’ll manage and wait here for him.”

„If anything happens, call me immediately,” she requested, grabbing her purse and jacket from the sofa.

„Sure,” he replied.

„Well, I’m off. Take care!”

Yoon Hee exited with some reluctance, but she had no choice. Since Dong Hoon’s accident, her responsibilities had significantly increased, and she lacked time for unexpected situations like the one with her shaken brother-in-law. In her car, she dialed Gi Hoon’s number, briefed him on what had happened, and suggested that someone should join Sang Hoon, as he was very upset.

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