On her way to work, when Ji An heard that Dong Hoon had fallen asleep again, she listened to the overnight recordings. She was almost at her metro stop when she first heard the restless breaths of ahjussi, followed by odd rustlings and the creaking of the bed, then the shuffling of feet and the whispers of his mother who had clearly approached her son. Soon after, she heard her own name spoken by Dong Hoon, which took her by surprise.

„Is he calling for me in front of his mother?” But soon she realized that he was calling her in his sleep, apologizing again for not showing up at the planned meeting.

Ji An turned up the volume to hear better amidst the chaos of disembarking and exiting the metro. She was deeply troubled by Dong Hoon’s mother’s reaction, who apparently had been unaware of her existence until then. She herself only knew her from stories and old recordings from the wiretap. She realized that this elderly lady held great authority, respect, and above all, the devoted love of all her sons. If until now none of them had revealed her existence to their mother, they surely had their reasons. And it was not hard to guess why. They did not want to worry their mother with either Yoon Hee’s betrayal or the appearance of another young woman in Dong Hoon’s life, who was becoming increasingly important to him.

Ji An wondered when these nighttime musings of Dong Hoon would come to light and his mother would ask the brothers who she was.

„How can I warn Gi Hoon that they might find themselves in an awkward situation?” she pondered. „After all, I can’t tell them that I have a wiretap installed…”

She decided to take a risk and sent a text to Dong Hoon:

“Ahjussi, you spoke in your sleep last night and called out my name. I think your mother heard it. Just wanted to warn you. Delete this message after reading.”

He couldn’t read it immediately, as he replied about half an hour later:

“Ji An…” she heard him say live, “Don’t worry. I’ll warn the brothers and my wife, so they’ll think of something. It’s time for my mother to gradually become acquainted with the whole situation, because if something comes out unexpectedly and out of control, it will be even worse. Don’t worry, please. I have to go, my sister-in-law is coming back from the bathroom.”

No one even suspected why Dong Hoon had been in such a good mood for many hours. Even the medical team was impressed by his positive attitude and calm demeanor in enduring pain and discomfort. Everyone was very pleased, as a good attitude and optimism are key to recovery and return to health.

Ae Ryun, who was on duty by him, noticed his cheerful look and remarked:

“Well, brother-in-law, next time I come, you’ll probably be drinking with your brothers again, huh?”

“With you as well,” he replied jokingly, to which Sang Hoon’s wife just shook her head in disbelief and laughed.

“OK, we’re set then,” she approached the cabinet and began collecting unnecessary items. “And you’re even using your phone now?” she lifted his smartphone and wiped the surface beneath it.

Dong Hoon tried to sneak a peek to ensure nothing threatened his hot line with Ji An, but the bandages on his face still did not allow it, unfortunately. Luckily, the sister-in-law merely arranged a few small items on the cabinet, took a dirty glass and plate, and refreshed the whole surface with a moist wipe.

“Thank you,” he heard in a raspy and somewhat unfamiliar voice, to which she had not yet accustomed.

“No big deal,” she replied. “Don’t you want something to drink, or maybe a snack?” she asked.

“I’d love a coffee…” joked Dong Hoon, who was still not allowed to drink such stimulating beverages.

“Look at that, even jokes are coming easily to you,” Ae Ryun brought him mango juice and handed it to him through a special straw. “Good boy,” she teased him.

All this Ji An heard live, as she was not doing anything at work that required urgent attention.

“If only they knew where ahjussi gets his good mood from…” she thought. After all, she also felt happier since she had him on the wiretap again, this time legally.

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