The two of you end up staying until closing at 2am. Angeline and Soohyuk had disappeared sometime around 12:30,claiming early morning practices and photo shoots. You know how full Tong’s schedule is but receive only a smile and a head shake when you inquire about leaving.
His driver takes you to Angeline’s where he walks you to the door. He takes the extra key from you and opens the door. It isn’t that you couldn’t do it; however, knowing yourself and how flustered by him you are at the moment, you probably would have dropped them and clunked heads as you both reached for them. He kisses you on the nose, smiles and heads back to his waiting car.
Five minutes later your phone alerts you to a new text.
“My heart is at peace now; even though my body aches for you. Goodnight Noona.”
The next day you take a cab over to the entertainment company to meet with Mr. Kim. You have apologizing of your own to do, for ignoring the poor man’s attempts to talk to you. You called earlier that morning and set an appointment; he knows you're coming and is expecting you.
Jessica looks up with smile and ushers you directly into his office.
He stands, comes around the corner of his desk and takes your hands in his. After staring into your eyes for a few minutes, he pulls your hands up and kisss the tops of them. You withdraw them and collect the man who never treated you as anything but a daughter, into a long hug.
He leads you over to a seat and takes the chair to the left, turning it to face you.
“Your eyes tell me that you have found peace, is that true eolini? Is all forgiven and right in your world again?”
“Yes Appa. I am so sorry for running out on you again and not responding to your calls. I hope you can forgive me.”
“There is nothing to forgive. I simply regret that you were placed in that situation again. I promised you that you'd be safe here, that the past would not come back to harm you, and I failed.”
“No Apaa! His actions are no reflection on you, only on himself.”
“Truth, yet I can still wish it had never happened.”
“It is now past.”
You spend the next hour talking, reviewing your notes and research from shadowing his employees. You cover the idea you have to write the article about his company and brainstorm a few more ideas before parting ways.
As you reach door, he stops you. The formality in his voice, disarming.
"Ms. Atlantic. We have items to discuss professionally before you depart for America. I will have my secretary, Jessica, call you to set up an appointment, if that's good with you."
You blink a few times and stare at him in confusion. He simply raises an eyebrow with a small smile.
"Sure. Yes, that would be fine. Have her call me."
He nods his head and gives you leave.
The next few days find no time in Tong's schedule to see you; yet you receive several texts throughout each day.
"The clouds are dark and reflecting my mood at not being able to see you."
"I want to take you back to our painting; this time to hold you on purpose as we reflect together."
"I saw the most creative painting today, it reminded me of you. Bright, colorful, and full of life."
We went back to contacting each other at night on Skype and you begin to see the stress and strain from his long days. You wish you could reach through the computer and smooth his lines away. Wishing to wrap him in your arms and help melt away the worries that he deals with.
A few days before the concert, Jessica calls to set up an appointment for me with Mr. Kim. You're hesitant to tell her your departure plans, afraid it will leak down to Tong before you get a chance to speak with him. Luckily, Mr. Kim has an opening the morning of the concert. You'll be able to say proper goodbyes and find out what this secretive business meeting he has planned, is all about.
Before hanging up, you ask Jessica what Tong's schedule is for the remainder of the week. You need to find a few minutes of his time to hold a conversation that he has no idea is coming.
Just like his apology, it's not something you can discuss, except face to face.