As Lee Ji An had anticipated, she found it challenging to leave the room where her ahjussi lay. Jeong Hui and Yoon Hee were aware of the turmoil within the girl, but with Dong Hoon’s mother present, they refrained from causing unnecessary stir. The woman had already endured much, deserving respect without being subjected to further shocks. Thus, they gently and kindly took Ji An by the arms, conversing softly amongst themselves, hoping their actions didn’t appear odd to the elder. Outside, Jeong Hui embraced a numb Ji An again and seated her on the nearest chair.

„I know, my dear, I know how hard this is, but we had to leave…” Jeong Hui explained, „Dong Hoon’s mother cannot bear any more burdens, you understand, don’t you?”

„Ji An,” Yoon Hee knelt before the seated figure and wrapped her arms around her, „thank you for coming, truly.” Ji An lifted her tearful eyes towards her. Memories of when she helped her with police statements came flooding back. She still harbored resentment mixed with envy that Yoon Hee could be physically close to Dong Hoon, despite no lingering affection between them. Yet, she had neither the strength nor the desire to speak to the woman who had betrayed such a wonderful man. Meanwhile, Yoon Hee had grown accustomed to Ji An’s reticence and resentment, trying her best not to let it bother her. Though, in reality, she was the one truly envious of the young woman who had captured her husband’s heart. But since she did so without deceit, without claiming him for herself, without imposing her love, she humbly accepted her victory.

Now, seeing Ji An’s pure agony, she felt deep sympathy and genuinely wanted to help, knowing she could contribute significantly to bringing Dong Hoon back to life after the dreadful accident.

„I promise you,” she continued, „along with his brothers, we’ll arrange for you to visit as often as you’d like. You want that, right?” Ji An merely nodded slightly in affirmation.

„I know Dong Hoon needs your support, and his brothers understand too, but with mother, it’s a different story, so we need to plan carefully. Will you trust me again?” Another nod.

„Now, go home with unnie, and I’ll handle this. We’ll organize everything so you can be with Dong Hoon as much and as freely as possible. Just gather a bit more strength and wait.” Yoon Hee squeezed her and stood up, giving Jeong Hui a meaningful look.

„Can you stand up now, dear?” Jeong Hui squeezed her hand. Ji An responded uncertainly, rising from the chair. She wobbled, but the two women supported her tenderly.

„Will you be alright?” asked Yoon Hee.

„Don’t worry, I’ll take her downstairs and call a taxi. I’m taking her with me again, so don’t worry.”

„Good. Let me know once you’ve arrived,” requested Yoon Hee.

„Of course. Now, go back inside before mother comes out and it gets awkward,” Jeong Hui noted.

„Goodbye!” Yoon Hee bid farewell, „Thank you so much for coming. Truly!” she added, closing the door behind her.

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