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In Love with a Korean

  • 👁 23
  • 7.5
  • 💬 4

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“In ‘in love with a Korean’, immerse yourself in Julia's thrilling journey of self-discovery, where her quest for identity intertwines with overcoming losses and the formation of heartwarming family bonds. The relationship with Young-Chul adds a touch of mystery and sensuality, exploring love amidst irresistible cultural challenges. This is more than just a book; it's a promise of a compelling narrative, full of fascinating personal discoveries, surprising revelations, and heart-touching moments of resilience. Get ready for a rich and complex story—a literary journey through the intricate webs of life, culture, and love.”

Preface

I was already on my second glass of whiskey. The empty pub foreshadowed a rainy night, as had been announced in the evening news. Each drop that slid down the windowpane seemed to tell its story. For a moment, I found myself immersed in silence, revisiting scenes that had echoed since the day I set foot in Seoul. These memories blended with the tears held back in my eyes, which I stubbornly avoided letting roll.

The bar owner, a middle-aged man who treated me like a daughter, kept a watchful eye on me. Ever since the day we met when I arrived from Brazil and ended up on the other side of the world, in South Korea, we had built a bond that I considered that of a dear uncle. Even from afar, behind the counter, I could perceive the anguish etched on his face, concerned about the stitches on my head, a result of the recent incident. However, it was the pain in my heart that more clouded my mind.

A part of me feels foreign, a recent revelation that connects me to an incredibly wealthy Korean. It turned my life upside down, but that wasn't the reason behind the twenty stitches on my head and my intoxication. That part of the story would come later.

Ye-Jun waited for the bar to close before approaching me. I was absorbed, watching the torrential rain, trying to set aside the complexities of life. The heavy drops pounded against the window, like tears freely streaming down my face, worn by disappointment and longing.

“Min-Ji, you're drinking too much tonight,”

“Uncle, I've always been a heavy drinker. Since I arrived here, it seems I've perfected that 'skill' even more. On days like this, melancholic and rainy, a shot of liquor becomes necessary. Especially after the tragic events that unfolded in my life, I've felt this longing. Don't be upset with me. I ask that today, you be more than an uncle, be a friend who offers support. The empathy between us is almost surreal. Since the first glance, remember?”

“Alright, but as an uncle, I have to ask: are you okay?” he said, pointing to the bandage on my head. “Seeing those stitches on your head makes me feel powerless. I was careless, let my guard down, couldn't prevent the worst.”

“Please, uncle, don't make me feel worse than I already do. In response to your question, yes, the stitches will heal. It wasn't anything serious. A scar will always be there, reminding me of that day. But the deeper damage lies within my mind and soul, which honestly doesn't know which direction to take. I keep questioning why this had to happen to me.”

“I didn't understand a single strange word you said, and you didn't deserve what happened at all. The crazy and disturbed person who did this, who ordered this to be done to you, is the one who deserves to be where they are, in prison. Now, it's me who's asking for a favor. Let's put a stop to drinking for today; I'm genuinely concerned. Can you please comply?”

He looked at me confused, and I changed the subject:

“Does that electric guitar and the sound system still work?” I asked, pointing to the inactive stage. It was a half-moon-shaped wooden platform. The wood was worn out, unlike the cables and musical instruments that seemed to have never been used.

“Yes, they work. Occasionally, some friends use them, and the customers love it.”

“It doesn't seem like they're being used. The instruments are in brand-new condition.”

“I always replace and donate the old ones to music schools.”

“That's incredible. Can I use them?”

“Yes, of course. This bar is all yours.”

“There are so many things they don't know about me. I need to make the most of this gift that I still remember having. I inherited it from my mother; her singing conveyed purity and beauty. Ms. Maria was like that; her melodious voice enchanted everyone.”

Sitting down, I allowed the nostalgia of the moment to fill the atmosphere. While singing 'Again' by Roberto Carlos, tears streamed down my face.

'You were the greatest of my flings

Of all the hugs, the one I never forget

You were of the loves I had, the most complicated and the simplest for me.

You were the best of my mistakes

The strangest story that someone has already written

And it is for these and other reasons that my longing reminds me of everything again.

You were the sincere lie

The biggest joke that ever happened to me

You were the oldest thing

The friendliest love that appeared to me

Of the memories that I bring to life, you are the one I like missing

Only then can I feel you very close to me again

I forgot to try to forget

I decided to want you because I wanted to

I decided to remind you as many times as I wanted, with nothing to lose

Ah, you were all happiness

You were the evil that only did me good

You were the best of my plans

The biggest mistake I could make

Of the memories that I bring to life, it's the longing that I like having

Like that, I feel you very close to me again'

“What is the meaning of this song?”

“This song delves into a love that transcends time, involving both the past and the present,” she explained. “It explores the difficulties that come to light, which paradoxically strengthen the bond between those involved. Furthermore, it addresses a challenging relationship that, despite being filled with pleasure, sincerity, and intensity, is not free from complications.”

“And isn't that how all love should be?” he pondered.

“Should it be? I think mine could have been less complicated. At least a little,” she responded.

She left the stage and returned to the table, watching part of the recording without reaching the end. It was a heavy burden on a heart that had been falling apart for over a month. The recording was great, considering it was an amateur one. When she sobered up, she added subtitles to it at home.

“I had no idea you had such a beautiful voice. I'm impressed,” he remarked.

“Yes, especially for singing samba. As I mentioned, I inherited this from my mother. My grandparents said she didn't speak; she sang her first words when she was just a year and a half old. They listened to the radio, and she, in a way melodic, pronounced two words from that same song, 'again'.”

“And what do you intend to do with this video?”

“I'll edit it and give it to you on a USB stick. When the time comes, I want you to give it to…” The word didn't come out. My throat tightened as if something were blocking it.

“It feels like a goodbye, Min-Ji. As if you were leaving,” I said, sensing the sadness in his voice.

“I'm not running away. And I'm not leaving permanently. I plan to take an extended vacation, but I will return. You are my cornerstone in the Kang family, even though I don't express that to Aunt or Grandpa. I can't even remember them; it breaks my heart,” he said, his voice filled with emotion.

Ye-Jun pulled me into a brotherly hug.

“Get over it and come back. You need to be here. Where are you going?” I asked, feeling a mix of concern and curiosity.

“I still don't know. I'll let my heart guide me,” he replied, his voice tinged with uncertainty.

“You don't know where you're going, but do you at least know what you're going to do?” I asked, hoping for some clarity.

“I think I'm going to write a novel that starts in Brazil and unfolds in South Korea. It's the story of a Brazilian woman who moved to that country, fell in love with it, but…” Before I could finish, I lightly kissed that handsome man's cheek and walked out into the light rain.

“Take an umbrella,” he said, running after me to the door.

I had almost reached the corner and I didn't look back. I let the rain soak me, cleansing my body. The cleansing of the soul would come later. I got home soaked, but I didn't even worry whether I was going to get sick or not.

After a long shower, I sat down at the computer to edit the video. It wasn't an easy task, and I wasn't sure if the Korean translation would be accurate. I chose to do the translation in English, confident that he would understand the words and their importance at the appropriate time.

*******

The flight, although it was already long, seemed even more endless. I couldn't sleep, not even during the first movie, and even less during the second after calling Switzerland. The anticipation of finally arriving was blended with a deep longing for my homeland. I had imagined that in Rio de Janeiro, I would feel at home. However, I came to realize that home is not merely confined to a physical shelter, but is also constructed through the love that binds people together.

*****

Two days later, I was in Brazil, sitting on Arpoador beach, watching the sunset with my faithful companions and childhood friends, and sharing with them everything that had happened to me.

Chapter 1

Rio de Janeiro – 2019

I raced through the hospital corridors as the microphone announced my name for an emergency heart surgery. I worked in both the public and private sectors, earning a living through practicing medicine while occasionally enjoying a social life. My life was enriched by the presence of my two best friends, who, like me, were also doctors. Since childhood, they had warmed my heart and shared my love for Brazilian music, particularly the joy of a lively samba circle on the beach.  

I graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, securing the top spot in my class. Despite my academic success, there was always one passion that kept me away from books: samba. Even during the demanding periods of mandatory internships and throughout my residency attending, I always found a way to participate in rehearsals at my favorite samba school. My friends, ever loyal, were always there to support me.

Cardiology had always fascinated me, but the decisiv

Heroes

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