Ji An decided that Saturday, besides her meeting with her ahjussi, would be devoid of any other significant events. She rose quite early, in a rather good mood, and ventured out for a quick shopping trip, as the refrigerator had begun to echo emptiness after a week’s worth of work. Returning from her grocery purchases, she paused momentarily in front of a boutique displaying branded apparel, for on the display, a pair of sneakers caught her eye… yes, sneakers! In this regard, she hadn’t changed much. She cherished simplicity and comfort.

„Hmm, perhaps I’ll wear these to the meeting,” she mused defiantly, remembering how Dong Hun had teased her for wearing such inadequate shoes in the winter. „These, at least, are of good brand and have a pleasant color.”

Now, she could afford even the unexpected whims that seldom came her way. Yet today, her spirits were so high that even the purchase of something unnecessary seemed fitting. She entered, made her purchase without even trying them on, confident they would fit perfectly. Once home, she finally prepared herself breakfast.

She gazed at her new acquisition, pondering what to pair them with. She had no intention of dressing overly elegant, but desired to signify through bright colors that her heart too was now bathed in much more light. Ultimately, she opted for jeans, a T-shirt in a shade close to that of her new sneakers, sky blue, and over that, a large, button-down shirt with a collar, in white.

Her makeup was very subtle. Since working in Busan, she had grown accustomed to, like other women, accentuating her facial features while concealing imperfections. This was something she could afford, and it even brought her pleasure not to stand out from her colleagues at work. And this was one of the less significant changes in Ji An.

By two in the afternoon, she was fully prepared. A taxi was booked for half an hour later. All that was left was to wait. She wasn’t nervous, but she was certainly excited. After all, this was no ordinary meeting. It was a reunion with her ahjussi, the most important person to her, though still physically distant.

Dwelling on this thought since waking, she had forgotten the strange anxiety that had seized her the day before. Clearly, the emotions of the present day had overshadowed the previous unsettling feelings. Waiting for the meeting, she hadn’t planned what to say or how to behave. She never liked to pretend or to fashion herself into someone she wasn’t, especially not in front of Park Dong Hun. With him, she was always honest, even when silent.

It’s time to go,” she noted around half past two. She stood, gave her reflection one last glance, took her bag, slipped on her new sneakers by the door—“Fighting!” she whispered to herself for luck, and left her apartment.


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