Reason for Marriage - Chapter 3
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TL notes: Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 in C minor (performed by the Young Artist Orchestra of Greenville)II.
He was an intruder dressed to well to be a thief.
He calmly glanced at Minju’s small living room.
There was no TV or sofa. Of course, there was no room for a big piano.
Unlike most women of her age, there were no cosmetics, photo frames, scented candles, diffusers, dolls, etc.
It was a space used for survival, dry and simple, with nothing else.
For Minju, a house just meant that she could lie down sheltered from the rain and wind.
From mold embroidered on the wallpaper to bowls piled up in the sink, the man immediately saw the shame that Minju did not want to show anyone.
After passing Minju’s underwear that she had left in front of the bathroom, the man’s feet headed to the bedroom.
As if to prove that she was a real fan of Park Sang-yeon, his album poster was attached to the wall, and classical CDs, piano scores, and tuner-related books were on the bookshelf.
The man looked around the room as if he was looking for something and found a ticket for a concert on the desk.
It was a ticket for the performance of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, where Park Sang-yeon would be the standing conductor, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 30.
But the ticket was not the man’s final target and he went back to the living room.
He even checked Minju’s ID in her wallet while searching through clothes and bags hanging on the table and chair, but the man was not satisfied.
Yes, what he was looking for was Minju’s cell phone.
The man’s eyes turned toward the bathroom where classical music was playing. Maybe Minju was currently taking a shower and listening to music on her cell phone.
Listening to the most noble music in the most vulgar way… The man laughed.
Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 in C minor. It was a song that Sang-yeon was supposed to conduct at the upcoming Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s regular concert.
Minju had listened to this song so many times as a preparation for the performance that she could hum the melody while taking a shower. Hot water washed away the exhaustion of the day.
This moment of peace did not last long, as the sharp cry of Jerry came over Schubert’s symphony and the sound of flowing water.
Minju wondered if she was hearing voices, but Jerry’s crying became clearer and clearer.
With the water turned off and the music application on her phone closed, Minju approached the bathroom door closely and shouted with her ear close to the door.
“Jerry, what’s wrong? Hmm? What’s going on?”
Minju was suddenly scared by Jerry’s cry, which was quite different from usual.
Because Jerry only cried on two occasions: when he was wary of strangers or felt that his surroundings were dangerous.
Minju carefully opened the bathroom door, wrapping her body in a towel. Jerry was nowhere to be seen.
“Jerry-ya? Jerry where are you? Where else are you hiding?”
Drip drip… She heard the sound of water dripping. The can of beer she had drank earlier and put on the table was dripping down
Minju went out of the bathroom, leaned down and looked under the table.
As expected, Jerry was not there either. She stood up with an ominous feeling.
As she turned her head, she saw the front door open. Minju ran and pulled the handle of the door.
But! The door did not close.
Someone on the other side was pulling at the door with a formidable force.
Just as there was a tense struggle over the front door that could neither be closed nor opened, a hand slipped through the open door.
Minju screamed out loud.
“Wait… it’s me, it’s me. I’m telling you it’s me!”
A familiar voice, a thick hand with a rustic pure gold ring… She was the owner of the house.
Minju suddenly lost her strength and let go of the handle she was holding. The recoil propped the owner’s forehead hard against the door.
She hit it so hard that a lump swelled on her forehead in an instant. Minju felt sorry.
“Oops! I’m sorry. I thought you were the man downstairs again…”
“Well, why do you take off all your clothes and leave the door open? It’s like a single maiden openly seducing a man.”
The owner rubbed her forehead with a very upset expression and criticized Minju for wearing only a towel.
Minju also said something while trying to open and lock the auxiliary lock.
“It’s been a long time, but it keeps opening by itself. I told you last time.”
“Auxiliary keys are consumables, so if you need them, the tenant should change them.”
“All the other owners do it for their houses…”
“So, you’re going to move to a place with that kind of owner?”
“What? Oh… No. That’s not what I meant.”
“What are you going to do then? Will you extend the contract and stay here? If you’re going to do that, I’ll raise the deposit a little.”
Oh, she forget that the lease contract was about to expire. She had offended the owner in many ways. Minju’s voice crawled in.
“By how much would it be?”
“Eh… two thousand? I didn’t do anything, but suddenly, two thousand…”
At that moment, Jerry, who had gone outside, snuck in between Minju and the owner. The owner was disgusted when she saw Jerry, who appeared just in time.
“Ugh! It’s disgusting! Don’t let it go outside!”
Minju petted Jerry and apologized.
“Oh, I don’t know! Anyway, if you want to stay here at the end of the month, please prepare a check of two thousand before that. And keep the date!”
When she was done talking, the owner wobbled down the stairs.
Where would she get 2,000 won right now? Min-joo sighed and locked all the keys of the porch firmly.
“Jerry, you… you spilled this beer, didn’t you? Hmm? Why are you whining when you did something wrong? This guy is so funny. And if you keep going out to drink at night, you’ll get both of us kicked out by the owner. So, let’s cooperate… All right? Answer me! Why aren’t you answering me again, huh?”
Although she believed that Jerry was responsible for opening the broken auxiliary lock and spilling the can of beer on the table, Minju could not get rid of her frustration.
She opened the window and breathed in the night air to soothe her anxiety. It was a cold night and Minju’s wet hair, which had not dried yet, seemed to be about to freeze.
Minju had always thought that the biggest feature of this neighborhood, where housing prices were the cheapest in Seoul, was the sound of night.
People fought, cried, screamed, threw and smashed things night after night.
The lives of those who endured every day gathered and lived at the edge of such a fragile cliff called ‘the outskirts’.
She tried to close the window because she did not want to catch a cold, but she made eye contact with Yong-gon, who lived downstairs. He had always an unpleasant look.
The young hikikomoris), who slept during the day and woke up at sunset, always smiled when he saw Minju. But for some reason, he was staring up at Minju’s room wearing a suit and shoes that he had never worn before.
Minju hurriedly closed the window because she got goosebumps again looking at Yong-gon’s face.
She checked the lock several times again and vowed to change the door key tomorrow morning after waking up.
Saturday, November 30th, afternoon.
There was nothing to worry about. Minju took out the dress of the best brand she had and stood in front of the mirror.
This black dress could be worn at both weddings and funerals, and she managed to persuade herself that she needed at least one dress to maintain basic dignity, especially at concerts, and bought it at a department store a few years ago.
It was the only dress that Minju had bought, but it was already five years ago, so she could not help but feel that it was a bit outdated.
Nevertheless, she was a little excited to think that she was going to go see Sang-yeon’s performance, wearing a dress, shoes and a coat.
“Oh, where are you going, dressed up like that? Are you on a date?”
While leaving the house, she made eye contact with Yong-gon again. Minju left the alley as if running away from Yong-gon’s insidious gaze without answering.
After a while, Yong-gon went up to Minju’s rooftop appartement as if it were his own house.
And then he would open the door as always… Damn it! The front door auxiliary key had been changed.
Yong-gon shook the handle of the front door harder, but the door did not budge.
A black sedan came and stopped in front of the Seoul Arts Center.
The staff of the concert hall, who had been waiting in advance, opened the car door. A middle-aged couple with a sophisticated attitude, clearly showing that they were VIP, got out of the car.
The house manager, who was responsible for welcoming the guests of the concert hall and overseeing the staff, greeted the couple in person.
“Welcome, prosecutor-nim… Madam.”
“Long time no see, manager Moon.”
While the prosecutor general exchanged light greetings with Moon, his wife looked at the face of conductor Park Sang-yeon in a large banner installed on the outer wall of the concert hall building.
“I’ll take you to your seat.”
“Honey, we still have some time, so I’d like to give it to conductor Park first.”
“Oh, is that so? This!”
The chief prosecutor’s driver took out the wine he had prepared from the trunk and handed it to manager Moon.
The prosecutor and his wife went to Sang-yeon’s waiting room, following Moon.
“I’m sorry it happens every time.”
Seo Ji-hee, president of Sang-yeon’s agency, said as she came out of the waiting room with a troubled face.
It was because of Park Sang-yeon, who was one of the few people in South Korea who could dare to put the prosecutor general and wife in the hallway.
“It’s embarrassing for us to bother president Seo every time even though we know she will be sorry.”
“Tell him I’m really upset.”
The prosecutor’s wife said with her lips pouting.
“Yes, I will deliver the message with this wine.”
“Since we were rejected last time, I was confident that I would succeed today and take a picture with conductor Park.”
“Madam, did you make a bet?”
“From the look on her face, you’re right, it’s a bet.”
“I thought you’d be more powerful than this… well.”
Everyone laughed at the wife’s remark.
“Let’s go, now. Conductor Park must hear everything inside.”
“He must be ashamed of himself. President Seo, see you next time.”
“Yes, have a good time, prosecutor-nim.”
Although they were harrassing Sang-yeon, the prosecutor and his wife, who were VIPs, were see off by president Seo.
As soon as they turned the corner at the end of the hall, the president’s wife whispered affectionately, hugging her husband’s arms.
“But are you sure that conductor Park is single? The rumors are so varied… Saying that he’s not married yet. I heard he got divorced because he’s gay. Or that he has been married three times and has a child who is now a college student.”
“How am I supposed to know what you don’t know.”
“I heard something happened with president Seo.”
“He had completely disappeared from the public for ten years, so I’m sure anything could have happened.”
“Oh, I’m curious… I’m so curious.”
That was how it was. Everyone knew Park Sang-yeon but nobody knew him.
 When songs are mentioned in a chapter, I will add one of them at the beginning so you can listen to it while reading. If you’re experiencing any trouble playing it, please tell me! 🙂
 I think there is a mistake here because 2,000 won is less than 2 dollars…
 A hikikomori is someone isolating themselves from society. See the link for more information.