Geomancy couple - Chapter 29
Juyoung was Hojoon’s military colleague. After getting his driver’s license, he joined the army and served as a driver. After he was discharged, he turned into a driving “god.”
He applied to more than 200 companies, big and small, but failed. Instead, he obtained the license of a certified public accountant as well as a real estate broker. Now, he was working as the brain of Hojoon’s company. Of course, he took Hoon Paek’s lectures on feng shui. The reason he became Hoon Paek’s personal driver was because he wanted to make a debut as a professional feng shui consultant later.
Hoon Paek sat on the sofa and stared at his son bluntly. “Are you in trouble now?”
Truthfully, he was indeed in trouble because he met a woman who kept on harassing him these days.
But he couldn’t confide this to his father.
“What are you talking about, Dad?” Hojoon intentionally pretended that nothing unusual had happened.
“What is it? Can’t you reveal it to your father? Did you get your girlfriend pregnant?”
One’s words were the reflection of one’s wishes. Everybody furtively expressed what they badly wanted.
What Hoon Paek wanted was not only Hojoon’s marriage, but also the birth of his grandchild. Hoon Paek repeatedly emphasized to Hojoon that he didn’t care about which came first.
“Well, all this happened because of you, Dad. You’ve got to solve it as you caused the problem,” said Hojoon.
He wanted to put his father on the spot.
“Don’t blame me. What’s the matter with you?” his father asked.
“Do you remember that Grand Department Store where you delivered a special lecture about feng shui for newlyweds?”
“I won’t know if you tell me like that. There were so many department stores I went to in the past.”
“I mean the very day you lost 100 million in gambling, and mom insisted on divorcing you.”
“Oh, yeah, I remember that day. I couldn’t go there, so you gave them a lecture on behalf of me.”
At that moment, his father got angry.
“Do you know how much I got a scolding at that time? I’ve never seen such disgusting trolls for the first time in my life.”
Hearing that, Hojoon responded, “I met that woman.”
“What? That trash can?”
Hoon Paek was worried about his son.
“So, did she find you on purpose? Did she want to take revenge on you? What a ridiculous woman! She’s been on the search for you for revenge? She must have been here to take revenge on you, vowing to destroy you. Right?” his father asked.
Hojoon’s staff’s jaws dropped because Hoon Paek was making a ferocious look, clenching his fist.
As the CEO of Hojoon’s company was Hoon Paek, his staff shrinked away.
Hoon Paek was a religious fan of TV soap operas. Watching TV dramas was his only entertainment. He said the conflict in TV dramas were much weaker than those in the real world.
Since he started his feng shui business, he went through several ups and downs.
Hoon Paek’s face had a look of concern because of his son.
“Well, not really, Dad.”
Hojoon recalled his first encounter with Arum.
“She unlocked the front door and came into my house.”
“Really? She is quite bold,” said Hoon Paek with a worried look.
That ‘trash can’ woman was the object of fear to Hoon Paek.
That woman hurled all kinds abuses on the homepage of the cultural center of Grand Department Store.
She criticized that the lecture series was quite bad in that it stirred up superstition and distrust. Arguing that she had to break off her engagement when she did as instructed by the lecturer, the lecturer had to take responsibility. She even blamed the son of that lecturer, who called the divorced woman a trash can, and called him a human scum.
She was a terrible woman full of wicked energy force and revenge.
Such a nightmare came back to haunt him.
After all, the cause of all the evils was Hoon Paek himself. He started gambling and faced the crisis of being divorced by his wife. To make matters worse, he let his son take his place at Grand Department Store, which was a big mistake.
Hoon Paek closed his eyes.
‘What should I do now?’
Hojoon could not figure out how much his father had been stressed out by the internet trolls. After that, Hojoon left for France again.
With his eyes closed, Hoon Paek chanted, “It’s all my fault. It’s my fault.”
“What is your fault, dad?”
Hojoon got curious. Hoon Paek opened his eyes after looking back to some of the worst moments in his life.
“I’ve got to see her,” said Hoon Paek.
“I’ve got to ask her a favor.”
With a heavy heart, he left alone without a sendoff by the employees. He even left his personal driver, Juyoung, behind.
Arum was still working at the company. Today, too, she couldn’t leave the office on time. She was so snowed under work that she couldn’t even change clothes.
Complaining about too much work, she bit into some gimbap. A junior reporter placed an order for snacks, including gimbap for those senior reporters who were too busy to eat out.
On such occasions, Arum would ask for a BLT sandwich. She loved bacon so much. But she had gimbap everyday after she met Hojoon. Gimbap was not expensive, and she enjoyed its taste while chewing on it.
When she was in college, she had gimbap so much and so often that she vowed that she would never have gimbap when she got a job upon graduation.
Hearing the principle of ohaeng, or the Five Elements of gimbap, she felt as if she were eating energy bars.
In fact, it was kind of a compensation mentality when she ordered an expensive sandwich in the evening at the expenses of the company. With only a few vegetables inside, the sandwich cost over 8,000 won. She didn’t want to buy it out of her own pocket, but ordered it without any reservation when the company paid for it.
Of course, she had a decisive reason when she switched from sandwich to gimbap. She got hungry quickly after eating the palm-sized sandwich. To Koreans, the main diet was and would continue to be rice.
At that moment, she received a text message from Hojoon.
‘Dang it! Did he tell his father on me because he had a quarrel with me today?’
Arum felt that his actions were ridiculous.
She called him right away.
Instead of exchanging any greetings, she protested in an angry tone, “Hey, Hojoon, why should I meet your father?”
Hojoon responded, “Did you ever pour out volumes of abuse at me?”
“My father wants to ask you a favor.”
She instantly thought, ‘Hoon Paek wants to ask me a favor? What is it?’
No matter how hard she thought, she couldn’t think of one.
Come to think of it, there was one thing that bothered her. She posted lots of curses on the homepage of Grand Department Store. She blushed with embarrassment. She couldn’t focus on Hojoon’s words over the phone.
“My father says he wants to come over to your company now.”
“No, no, he shouldn’t come here.”
“If you don’t like it, how about your house?”
“No. Let me go and meet him.”
“My father says you’re so busy that he wants to go and see you.”
“No way. It is my moral obligation for me to go and see your father.”
Arum set up the appointment and hung up the phone.
And then she logged on the internet homepage of the department store.
She surfed the free bulletin board for the comments she posted.
She could find eight comments that reflected her extreme anger at that time. She felt ashamed. Never did she expect she would see him because of her bad comments.
She immediately deleted them.
Around the closing hour in the evening, three days after she had a call from Hojoon.
Finally, she was done handling all her assignments. She went back to her leisurely life as an office worker.
When she was a college newspaper reporter, Arum decided that she would never choose a job that had something like a deadline. When she worked as an intern under a telemarketing company, she vowed that she would never get a job that required calls.
But a magazine company was the worst workplace with a proper mix of deadlines and interview requests.
The first day after the deadline was the time everyone checked with each other if they were all ‘alive or not.’ Fortunately, everybody survived this time, too.
They were most relaxed and comfortable on the first day after the deadline.
That’s why Arum decided to meet feng shui master Hoon Paek today.
Hojoon was parked in the parking lot of . It was the first time she saw him after quarrelling with him at Kwanghwamun.
And she was still in charge of the feng shui project.
Both of them acknowledged each other with their eyes instead of a formal greeting.
As both of them were to blame, they felt awkward to offer apologies first.