Something different for today–
Whining about the overload of choices we all need to make in a day seems to have become somewhat of a modern pastime, at least here in SoCal. There are so many decisions to make…from checking out the breakfast cereal aisle at any grocery store, to deciding where to go to lunch while at work, or even bigger things–like picking out a new refrigerator. (OMG, it’s finally here! I have ice and water on the door like everyone else in the 21st century now, lol! Three cheers for Korean Refrigerator Technology!)
The choices we make daily are numerous, almost bordering on overwhelming. But what happens when we don’t have choices? What do we do when others take choices away from us, or we become victims of other’s bad choices?
Taking choices away is a great way to control others–just ask anyone who has ever lived in a country under control of a dictator. My 3 blog readers know from my long winded posts on HITTG that one of the many things that made me enraged when I watched that show was the fact that the Han parents took choice after choice away from SB. The more things that were removed from her control, the more power the Han family gained over her and her child. In a similar way, ED has been having choices taken away from her from almost the very beginning of her life, while others around her use this power to control and manipulate her and eventually, her child RI. In addition, ED has often been the victim of bad choices made by others. To use a baseball analogy, ED already has a “2-strike” count against her from pretty much the beginning of her life.
As Episode 12 begins, we get a flashback to ED leaving her Grandmother’s home with her adoptive parents. She talks about wanting to already find her HS oppa–she misses him so much.
From her mother abandoning her, her father’s disappearance or death (not sure–not explained in the early episodes) and having to go live with her Grandmother, ED has already been the victim of the bad decisions of adults in her life. The adoptive parents continue this trend by changing her name to Jung Eun, depriving her of her previous identity as Eun Dong. Later on, Adoptive Dad even picks a boyfriend for ED–talk about usurping choices! Admonished to be grateful for every grain of rice she eats, and for a roof over her head, the adoptive parents heap guilt on ED. So far, the only person in ED’s life who has ever treated her like a valuable person is HS. (sick grandmother too, but she is pretty helpless and not around for long). To ED, HS must have looked like a knight in shining armor that day he stopped to help them push the cart up the hill. For once, someone treats her with respect and kindness without asking for a single thing in return.
JH has done a magnificent job to date in both taking choices away from ED, and making her the victim of his bad choices. He is overly possessive, and can’t stand the fact that ED does not and will never love him. He forces her into the car and does his best to commit murder-suicide. Taking someone else’s life in a murder/suicide is the ultimate in both making bad choices for someone else and taking their choice of living away. JH’s narcissistic mind says: if I can’t have her, no one else will either. Suicide–and murder/suicide–are selfish, short-sighted choices, often made in moments of desperation. JH’s bad choice ten years ago has also eliminated many options for his own life, like being able to walk or have children of his own. (I have to say the idea of having ED go through artificial insemination in order to have that monster’s child is so repulsive, my brain wants to short circuit and shut down. It’s the stuff of my nightmares.) Not satisfied with nearly killing himself and ED, he appears to have pounced on the amnesia she suffered in order to keep her under his control. Fabricating all manner of lies, he has managed, along with the generous help of ED’s adoptive parents, to chain ED to him with guilt for 10 years. He has shown no compunction in using RI to further his own agenda as well.
ED has shown amazing strength so far in her life. Refusing to be a victim, she does the best she can with the situation. Working, taking care of a child, a partially paralyzed spouse, and trying to keep her adoptive parents and in-laws all happy; it has to be an exhausting juggling act. Somehow, ED has not given in to depression, or gone the all-too-common route these days of using drugs and/or alcohol to numb the pain. More importantly, both ED and HS have shown that they won’t give up easily, and make destructive choices. (HS wavered for a moment when he got drunk, which nearly crushed my heart.) Their choices are consistently positive. On the other hand, JH and SR make consistently negative and destructive choices if they can’t get their way. It seems to always backfire on them, which probably wouldn’t happen in RL, but is heartwarming to see in a drama. It’s interesting that both JH and SR believe money is a motivating factor–and one that isn’t even on the table for ED.
With her memories back, and reunited with her HS oppa, ED has confronted JH with the truth. His reactions? Breaking a mirror leading to her finger being cut badly, hitting her between her shoulder blades with the cellphone, and threatening both her and HS with harm–physical, emotional and financial. JH’s mother has physically thrown ED out of the house now as well:
ED is without her phone, her purse, and she is basically homeless. A refugee….
Her unni comes to the park to rescue her, and calls HS to come and get her.
There has been some commentary to the effect that ED should have taken RI with her. The theory is that JH is so delusional he could try and hurt RI in revenge, or use him as a bargaining chip. This is a very difficult call. Here in the US, things can go either way, especially if DV is involved. Generally speaking, a physically abused woman has the right to take her kids and leave to get everyone to a safe situation. Then things get murky. Going across state lines could be considered kidnapping. Not taking the children can lessen a woman’s chances for a court to grant custody to her later on. It’s darned if you do–and darned if you don’t. My own situation was more clear-cut. The abuse happened in full view of my two oldest children. In fact, my 4-year old son ran to the neighbors house to call 911, so there was recorded evidence he witnessed the crime. I took all three children with me when I left, and there was no problem gaining full custody later on.
My take on the situation is that ED is potentially playing with fire. So far, JH has been outwardly normal and pleasant toward RI. Other than the moment JH sent him over to HS’s Rolls to find ED in the “Hide-and-seek” fiasco, everything has been cool. However, JH seems to be getting more and more desperate, evidenced as he calls in a favor from his FiL
and conspires with SR to bring HS down. I am pretty sure ED knows who RI’s real father is–and she’s playing her cards close to her chest and very carefully. A blowout is not going to make anything better. But the longer this drags out, the more risk RI has to become even more victimized by his father’s bad choices.
HS picks up ED from the restaurant:
bandages her cut (he’s had plenty of practice from 10 years ago, lol!)
and they take off for his bachelor pad. It’s pretty clear she’s blown away by the opulence:
but she chooses to phrase it:
What a nice choice of words. Now HS doesn’t have to feel guilty about being successful, or like he’s flaunting his wealth. I can’t say enough about how awesome that statement is.
HS shows her around his home, and then HS shows her the beautiful bedroom he furnished with her in mind:
ED fixes HS some ramen for dinner, which is the best ramen ever–because she made it for him!
HS brings ED the clothing his poor beleaguered makeup artist has brought over to the bachelor pad.
IMHO, whatever he pays his makeup artist is probably not enough. Working for Top Star Eun Ho has got to be a challenge, and that’s saying it nicely! Over and above the comic relief in this scene, I want to mention how thoughtful it was for HS to think of her needs, even the smallest thing. Now ED doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable wearing something of his, and she can change and take a shower. That can mean a lot to a person who is living like a refugee. He awkwardly (and cutely) drags out leaving her for the night, as he asks her if the light is okay
and makes sure she knows where the bathroom is.
Tonight, everything has changed. Instead of meeting at the B&B, they are at his home now. He has just picked her up after she left her husband. She has nothing with her; no purse, phone or wallet. Instead of an emotional and heated moment of reunion, they both have had time to think about things. There’s going to be huge repercussions in the very near future. For ED, there is her safety and RI’s safety to consider. She also doesn’t want JH to do anything to hurt HS. Top Star EH needs to be careful of his reputation. Like that movie mogul said, 10 minutes can erase 10 years of work. To the general public, unaware of the truth, I can imagine it would look a lot like the lies her adoptive father told Reporter Park: Top Star Eun Ho, who could have any woman he wanted, has stalked, seduced, and taken a married woman away from her disabled husband and son. Yikes. The backlash will be swift and fierce.
Now I’ll let the characters tell you about “The Power of Choice” Rated R for very strong imagery. Character’s thoughts are in italics, flashbacks are divided with asterisks.
Hyun Soo leans his head on the doorpost as he shuts the door to her bedroom behind him, and sighs.
You know you’re doing the right thing, so why is this so difficult? You have to let her choose. You don’t want her to feel pressured, or to feel like she owes you something for picking her up today and bringing her here. It works out better when you let her take the lead–like she did last night. It’s always been like that. Hyun Soo, you’ve waited this long. She’ll come to you, you know she will. Just be patient….
Eun Dong sits on the edge of the white bed.
This room…It’s fit for a princess: I couldn’t even dream of having a room like this to myself. He even brought me clothes! Oppa is so thoughtful. I can take a shower now, and change–it was so hot and humid today and I need to wash my hair too.
The bathroom fills with steam as she starts the shower and finds the towels on the heated rack. Eun Dong looks down at her body as she pours the vanilla scented liquid soap on the washcloth.
Last night it was dark in the van. But tonight is different. Oppa will be able to see me. I’m not twenty anymore. My waist isn’t as slender as it was before I had Ra Il. And my breasts…did he notice last night they’re different now too? Ra Il nursed on them for months, and they never went back to the size and shape they were before. How thankful I am for my son–after the accident when I couldn’t remember anything and I thought I was losing my mind, I had to focus on taking care of him. Somehow, when I would hold Ra Il close to my breast and look into his precious eyes, I felt I could almost see a reflection of something, but I didn’t know what it was. It was like looking through a dark tinted window. I had this feeling — someone that I knew in the past had loved me and cared about me, and was trying to tell me something. I never could shake that feeling, and now I think I know why. I just need to know for sure before I tell Oppa…
But I wonder why Oppa seems so hesitant tonight?
It wasn’t like that last night when we hid ourselves from the world in his van. Maybe I was too forward. Perhaps I was too eager to remember his hands on my body, and what it felt like to be loved by Oppa. I couldn’t help myself. After ten years, I’ve missed him so much…
Hyun Soo grabbed Eun Dong’s hand and they ran for the van in the middle of the downpour. He opened the door and helped her in first, shutting it tightly behind him.
“Here, let me turn on the engine so the heater will run.” Hyun Soo started the engine, and the warm air began to pour into the van’s interior. He had Eun Dong move to the front passenger seat for a moment so he could fold down the back seats, making a flat place for them to sit. He saw her shiver and he grabbed the small blanket from the compartment on the door. “Here, wrap this around you, and give me your wet nightshirt. I promise–I won’t look.” Hyun Soo squeezed his eyes shut tightly and turned his head as he held out the blanket for Eun Dong. He felt her take the blanket and then her soaked white nightshirt was in his hand. He spread it out over the dashboard to dry, and chanced a quick peek back at his girl who had the blanket now wrapped tightly around her shoulders. “I know I have an extra shirt in here somewhere..” he said as he pulled off his own soaked shirt and put it next to hers to dry. Hyun Soo looked around the van. Where was it?
“Oppa….don’t worry about that now.” Eun Dong’s voice was a soft whisper. “Come under the blanket here with me. It’s warm.” Eun Dong gave him a little smile as she unwrapped the blanket from around her, and Hyun Soo forgot how to breathe for a moment. His girl, always so brave…. and now the unmistakable look in her eyes told him everything he could have ever wanted to know at that moment. He let her wrap the blanket around both of them, and he held the most precious gift he’d ever been given in his arms.
Her hands went to the front of his pants. “These are wet too, Oppa. Let’s get these off you too, so they can dry.”
Hyun Soo grabbed her hands, covering them with his own. The small overhead light inside the van was on, so he could see her face. But he had to know without a doubt. “Eun Dong-ah,” he said in a hoarse voice he nearly didn’t recognize as his own. “Are….are you sure?”
There was no answer from her, but her nod and that little smile on her face reassured him. Then as her hands removed the rest of his clothing he couldn’t find the words to ask any more questions. After so many years apart, it was more than he could have imagined. She laid his pants over the seat and then they were skin to skin under the blanket. Hyun Soo wondered if this was all a dream. This time however, he was determined to see his dream to its completion. He knelt between her legs and she put her hands on top of his as they joined together as one.
Eun Dong felt her face and neck flush a deep shade of red. Omo…did I really do that? What was I thinking?
No, I know what I was thinking. I didn’t want him to hold back or slow down. I had to do it. I had to give him a sign he couldn’t mistake. Should I do that again tonight, or should I wait?
Hyun Soo paces his room restlessly.
She must be through with her shower by now; the water stopped running a while ago. Maybe I should check on her. He starts up the steps–
then thinks better of it. No, I need to wait for her. I don’t want to look this crazy or desperate in front of her. He goes back into his bedroom, adjusts the sheets and blankets on the bed:
and tries again to lie down and go to sleep. He can’t–he gets up and fluffs the pillows and tries again. No, that doesn’t feel right either. His entire body feels like it’s on pins and needles.
He goes up the stairs, but turns around and goes back down again before reaching the top.
I know what it is. I shouldn’t have moved as fast as I did, especially in the morning. She was never scared of me before, but it’s been ten years. No,that’s not it. I don’t think that’s the problem. Thank God I know that guy she’s married to didn’t do anything to her…I can’t imagine if he had. Even thinking about that makes me crazy. Still, I should have taken things slower. It was probably overwhelming for her, having her memories come back.
But she makes it so easy for me to be overwhelmed. She always has……
It was the quiet that woke Hyun Soo up. The rain and the thunder had stopped, leaving only the occasional sound of water drops falling outside. Inside the van, it was still comfortable; warm enough now to not need the heater, and their clothes were dry. Snuggling next to Eun Dong all night kept him plenty warm and comfortable too. It was like a dream come true to have her next to him, to hear her breathing, and feel her head next to his shoulder. Hyun Soo gently shifted around on their makeshift bed so he could pull the shade back and peek out the window on the side of the van. Good–nothing seemed to be moving out there in the darkness. Even the cicadas were quiet. Over to the east, the first faint shade of lavender in the sky warned of the coming dawn, and the reality it would bring. They would face it–together this time.
“Mmm, what time is it? It is sunrise yet?” Eun Dong’s voice was still thick with sleep. They had made love twice last night before collapsing in each other’s arms. Even after 10 years apart, their minds and bodies remembered. It was almost as if they had never been apart.
“Shhh..no, go back to sleep. It’s still nighttime.” It was only a tiny fib, Hyun Soo assured himself. He knew she couldn’t lie to him–and he never wanted to lie to her either.
“But your work…..Don’t you have filming today?”
“Not until later in the morning. We have time, now sleep. Let the sun rise by itself…”
That morning, other ideas were born along with the sunrise…..Hyun Soo couldn’t resist this beautiful woman right next to him. He covered them with the blanket again as Eun Dong wrapped her arms around him and drew him down close for a gentle kiss, one that soon deepened into something far more passionate. Her hands seemed to be everywhere all at once on his body, as if they needed to remember every part of him from long ago. Hyun Soo let his hand slide down to her breast. They are so much fuller that I remember them being, he thought. It seemed to fill his hand in a new way…The soft moan that escaped her lips as his hand caressed her was unmistakably her. He could never forget that sound. He kissed her from her neck over to her collarbone, and then dropped even more kisses onto those perfect breasts. Then he felt her hands move lower on his body, encircling him and bringing him under her spell. Like the kisses they shared, her hesitant touches slowly turned into gentle ones, and then more confident ones. Hyun Soo knew at that moment that his 90-tailed fox had stolen the last part of his brain that could still think clearly. He had better speak now before that ability was gone too.
“Eun Dong-ah… we’ll have to be quiet this time. There’s no storm to cover for us.”
“I promise, Oppa…”
But Hyun Soo knew this was a promise his Eun Dong would need some help keeping. He watched her face carefully, waiting as he felt his own desire rise from deep within his soul. Her body arched to meet his as they became ever closer to completing each other once again. Then he brought his mouth down on hers quickly to muffle her cry. As they lay hidden in the safe cocoon, the first rays of sun made their way over the horizon. Hyun Soo pushed the damp tendrils of her hair from Eun Dong’s peaceful face, and pulled the blanket back over them so they wouldn’t awaken from being chilled later on. He adjusted the pillow and closed his eyes as he pulled his sleeping Eun Dong closer. He slept better than he ever had in the last 10 years until the bright morning sunshine woke them up.
Hyun Soo got up from his bed, and went into the kitchen. He turned on the cold water at the sink, and splashed his face, drying it with the kitchen towel. Then he went back into his room to pace–and try to keep his sanity intact. Thinking about last night is not making this any easier. Maybe I should go and check on her. I could listen outside the door. I need to make sure everything is okay. No, I have to stay here. But would it hurt if I look around the corner for a second? I’ll do that. And only that….
Eun Dong tosses and turns in the bed.
Her heart tells her to go to Hyun Soo, to tell him everything. I can do this. I can go to his room. But what if he is having second thoughts tonight? Maybe I should wait here….but he might be waiting for me. Eun Dong only makes it to the third step before the bottom of the staircase before her courage vanishes and she sits down, hoping he will know somehow that she is there.
Hyun Soo turns the corner to go up the stairs…
and there is his girl, sitting on the steps, waiting for him. She’s met him halfway. Feeling too shy in his home to boldly go into his room, she waited patiently for him to find her there.
She’s mine…because she’s come to me freely, she is mine. She’s made her choice….
The look on Hyun Soo’s face is so intense, the longing and desire mixed with love….Eun Dong can’t bear it and she drops her head for a moment.
Hyun Soo takes three steps up, pulling her into his arms, and kissing her passionately. Eun Dong feels her knees grow weak as she leans into his embrace, and he holds her tightly against him.
He knows….I’m his. There’s no question anymore.
She takes his hand and leads him up the stairs, and he follows her obediently until they reach the top of the stairs. He scoops her into his arms and carries her into her room, laying her down on the huge white bed.
Eun Dong felt mesmerized, almost unable to take it all in. Her mind and body are healed now, and her Oppa is with her. Her arms reach up to him as he leans down toward her, and the past with all of its sadness and pain seems to evaporate into the darkness.