The light in the private VIP room, rented for Dong Hoon by his family, was warm and dimmed. Beyond the windows, the nightlife of Seoul pulsated, its colorful lights reflecting off the patient’s life-support equipment. On the sofa, half-sitting, half-lying, Sang Hoon dozed lightly, snoring softly. Seated in a chair beside the bed was the mother of the Three Brothers, her hair having turned completely gray quite suddenly of late. She remained motionless by her son’s side, holding his hand, which she tenderly stroked from time to time.

„You’ll pull through, my boy,” she whispered, „All will be well, my child. Just hold on a little longer, okay? Okay?” she pleaded, gazing helplessly at the myriad of tubes, pipes, cables, and lights of the devices surrounding her son’s bed, which emitted various sounds from time to time, composing a specific, hospital symphony.

„Yoon Hee and Ji Seok will be here soon. They’re already at the airport. Gi Hoon will bring them straight to you, darling,” she tenderly stroked her son again.

At that moment, the duty nurse entered the room to check the patient’s current parameters. The mother stepped away from the bed to not disturb her and stood by the window, as if she wished to spot the approaching loved ones in the lights of the night-time Seoul. Sang Hoon shifted to the other side and continued to doze, but it was no wonder; first, as usual, he worked with his brother for eight hours, then came straight to the hospital to keep vigil by Dong Hoon until their mother arrived.

Suddenly, the nurse accidentally bumped into the leg of the drip stand, waking the eldest brother.

„What? What? I wasn’t sleeping…” he was disoriented for a moment. He straightened up and looked around the room.

„Haven’t they arrived yet?” he asked, fully regaining consciousness.

„Not yet,” confirmed the mother, „Go freshen up a bit in the bathroom before they get here,” she spoke to him in her normal tone, the one she usually used with her eldest and youngest sons.

Sang Hoon obediently marched to the bathroom that was equipped in the room. Meanwhile, the nurse finished checking the equipment’s readings, made notes, bowed, and left. Earlier, she had quietly informed the mother that everything looked normal.

The elderly lady took her place by her son’s bed again.

„See how brave you are,” she returned to her monologue with Dong Hoon, deeply believing (as only mothers can) that he could hear her.

Sang Hoon, meanwhile, emerged from the bathroom and inquired what the nurse had said. Reassured by his mother’s report, he approached his brother from the other side of the bed, looked at him with concern, then reached for his now cold coffee, and sat on the sofa with a deep sigh.

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