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“Well, we really thought a lot about Painter Song’s paintings because we liked them, but…. Artist Kim Ye-Chan is one of the people participating in this exhibition. Painter Song, you know well, right?”
When an opponent who he could not dare to approach appeared, Young-Jin, who failed to become his disciple even after taking the third test, was discouraged at once. Of course. No matter how hard he tried, he would always be crushed in front of artist Kim Ye-Chan’s name. Anyone with an eye for painting will know how different his (Young-Jin) work is from his (Kim Ye-Chan) graffiti.
“Artist Kim’s work is the main feature of this exhibition. So I think you should understand…. You know how the gallery works. You can’t ask me to take down the paintings of a veteran just to hang a new artist’s painting on the main hall. Artist Kim’s name is worth it.”
“I know that, but…. But my paintings were hanged on a small corner. The lighting doesn’t fall well there…. I thought you’d put it in at least one of my paintings in the main exhibition room. That’s what my dad said. He said Director Cha will pay special attention to it.”
Ha, Dad… A tendon popped up near Ji-Won’s temple. What a good, filial son to his father. If it wasn’t for his dad who pestered him so much in so many different ways, his ridiculous painting would have never been hung in Ji-Won’s gallery. It took him two weeks to set his paintings in the gallery. When his curator saw the paintings, he couldn’t help but ask if it was drawn by his nephew in kindergarten. You’re the one who’s not good at arts, but why should I be ashamed?
“If that was the case, I’d have walked proudly with a happy heart saying my nephew is a genius, but…. I’m an only child, so I don’t have a nephew or anything like that.”
“So you’re really going to hang these paintings? Are you serious?”
“I mean, the artist painted it with a lot of hope….Oh, man. I don’t know what I should do. Anyway, the owner of the paintings are Song Tae-Yoon’s son.”
When Ji-Won first saw Young-Jin’s painting, he seriously thought about closing the gallery door for a while under the pretext of remodeling. If Emile Galle’s vase had not been brought in, it is likely that he would have taken action.
‘Hey, I have threw my shame away just to accompany you. It’s a stain on our gallery’s exhibition history. If you’re gonna be proud of your work by yourself, cut it out for the day, okay? I’m not a person who likes to being taken advantage of okay? Even if it wasn’t you, I’m already facing difficulties. So cut the crap before I really lose my patience.’
Ji-Won sometimes had to try hard to pull himself together by taking a deep breath. If he hadn’t, his acrimonious inner thoughts would have popped out if he lost focus a little bit.
“Of course I know that you’ve seen the layouts, but Painter Song’s painting is very different from the works in Exhibition Hall 1. Since it’s an exhibition with a theme, we have to consider the overall atmosphere….”
“Then you can make my painting the main theme and match it with something else. There’s still a long way to go before the exhibition anyway.”
Ji-Won was determined to keep a good and polite face, but this time, he couldn’t help changing his expression. I thought I told you enough for you to understand, but you’re still bickering with me? Although, this Cha Ji-Won’s temper isn’t that loose, I can’t take it anymore. Ji-Won slowly hardened his mouth, stared at Young-Jin, who was struggling recklessly. If he kept talking nonsense, he was determined to make it hard to deal with the aftermath and pour out the words inside.
‘You don’t even know about arts. What are you talking about? Do you want to ruin someone else’s gallery? I have social status and reputation, too. You know better that everyone on this floor knows that you paid for a graduation certificate at a school that allows monkeys to enter if you give them money. Why would I put your painting in the main hall?’
Ji-Won, who had been staring at Young-Jin silently for a long time, opened his mouth with a low voice.
“If you don’t like the place I gave for your paintings, shall we do it next time?”
“The Autumn exhibition should go with a calm feeling, but Painter Song’s painting is so colourful and full of spirit that it honestly feels a little out of the ordinary. So I thought it’d be nice to put it in the exhibition next Spring. I’ll be able to think about the seat problem more leisurely.”
Young-Jin, who felt that Ji-Won’s attitude suddenly changed, avoided his gaze without realising it and murmured in a low voice.
“Oh, that’s too late.”
Yeah, that’s gonna be tough. Ji-Won knew that he was rushing to make a career early next year to go to a local art college. The director of Sorae Art Museum called him crying this morning. He heard that he sent 120 paintings there. He truly have no conscience in his lack of no ability. What do you mean sending 120 paintings to an art museum that mainly exhibits props?
“Would you like to think more? There is still time till the deadline, so I can take it out if I want to.”
“Then I’ll take it as that you have no further disagreement.”
As soon as his car left the parking lot, Ji-Won, who saw Young-Jin off with a smile, loosened his tie and spewed out words that were harmoniously mixed with strong courses.
“Well done, Sir.”
Ji-Won nodded smally to the secretary who gave him a comforting look, and picked up the car key from the director’s office. He couldn’t sit down because he had a fever going inside.
“I’m getting off work.”
Ji-Won looked around holding his hot breath, and entered the cafe which he first noticed and ordered the largest size of iced americano. Then, as soon as the coffee came out, he opened the lid and inhaled a mouthful of ice. He bit the ice with a loud sound, and only then he seemed to feel a little better after the pieces of broken ice went down the esophagus.
Anyway, that’s the rough end of the truth…. Then, there is only one thing to think about.
“I like you.”
The confession last night was a near-disaster accident for Ji-Won. It is true that he felt a sense of crisis at the appearance of King Yama, but he had no intention of throwing an unprepared confession while it was obvious that he would not win. Ji-Won was not such a reckless human being.
However, as soon as he saw Gaon’s face smelling the scent of flowers, his mouth opened naturally as if he had been hit by a confession potion. Ji-Won wasn’t normally so nervous but he seriously sweated at that time. How am I supposed to fix this? Why did I do this as if I’ve got iron guts? What if I get kicked out of Jungcheon? No matter how much he rolled his head, he couldn’t think of anything. He could only wait with parched lips.
“Yeah. I like Director Cha, too.”
Surprisingly, Gaon didn’t even notice that Ji-Won’s words were a confession. His whole body was drained at her words at once. However, Gaon only smiled at Ji-Won, who was in great shock, and looked up at the sky for a moment and spoke casually with a normal face.
“I think the rain is slowly stopping, should we go back now?”
A martial arts player, who was preparing for a long-term match and stockpiling his physical strength, felt like he was KOed in vain at the start of the first round. It was so sad that Ji-Won wasn’t given a chance to show his skills properly, but what was even more amazing was that the opponent who knocked himself down with a single punch didn’t even know why he lost.
She didn’t see me as a man at all. I didn’t think of that possibility. Ji-Won, who was suffering silently holding his head, called only one person who he could tell the whole story of this disastrous situation. He had become desperate to drink, but if he drank alone without anyone stopping him on a day like this, he was afraid he would be found dead tomorrow morning.
[Hmm, I’m working right now..….]
“Director Seo, let’s drink. Come to my house.”
[Huh? But it’s not 4 yet. I’ll see you in the evening. I’ll be there after work.]
“Come now. Don’t you think there’s a good reason why I’m offering to drink in broad daylight?”
There was a moment of silence, and then busily moving sound was heard on the receiver. Hearing the sound of walking up the stairs, Dok-Yeom, who thought that Ji-Won’s voice was unusual, seemed to move to a quiet place.
[What? You were so excited the day before yesterday. What’s wrong with your voice now? Why do you sound like everyone is dying all of a sudden? Did you have an accident?]
I had an accident… I was hit hard. That’s also by a big one-size fist.
[What kind of accident did you have?…. No, wait! Is this an accident related to the CEO?]
[What? Are you crazy?! You didn’t confess, did you?]
“You truly are a ghost.”
As he thought Dok-Yeom jumping over the phone, Ji-Won laughed a little at the image. He thought it was just a means of making a living for those in the counseling profession to say that just sharing your concerns with others makes your problems half solved, but for the first time today he agrees with that.
“And I was ignored. Very cleanly.”
“I never thought of the possibility that she would think me as a man. She adored me as if she was just watching a puppy wagging its tail at its owner.”
It’s such a perfect metaphor even though he denied it himself, Ji-Won was hurt inside. Dok-Yeom couldn’t know what to say to Ji-Won, who suddenly closed his mouth. He (Ji-Won) didn’t start speaking for a long time either, so he had no choice but to open his mouth.
[Hmm… Just wait an hour. I’ll finish my job quickly and come.]
[Don’t drink alone before I come. Okay?]
Ji-Won took a big sip of the remaining cold coffee, and sighed as soon as the bottom was seen. He usually liked coffee which was warm, but the coffee, which was half melted and bland, was amazingly edible.
“Oh, come on… What’s wrong with people these days. Why are there so many things being nosy about? Is it because me?”
Dok-Yeom, who hung up the phone and was going down to the studio, sighed for a long time when he found a young woman still hanging around in front of the building. It was shocking that Ji-Won, who was so neat to the point of cold, would fall for woman and was unable to come to his senses. It was also a headache to take care of the former main vocalist of a girl group who appeared as a ghost.
The young female ghost, who was clinging to Roa and was about to enter the studio, ran away with a fright as soon as she saw Dok-Yeom. But cleverly, she never came into Dok-Yeom’s range and hovered around the building. The girl looked very young, like a high school student. But the look on her eyes was strong and fierce, even though she seemed to be a little girl. If she couldn’t leave the world, that means there’s something that was holding her.
“I’m sorry. I just got an urgent call.”
“It’s all right.”
“So…, what did you say you’d like to sing?”
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