Crank Up 3
“What do you think about women who sell their bodies”
What Yoojin brought up was totally unexpected.
Gaeul was unable to speak easily.
This was not a question that she could answer easily.
All sorts of thoughts overlapped on top of Yoojins face.
By selling their bodies, did she mean what Gaeul was thinking of If so, why would she ask such a question Was she suffering because of something that happened because of inevitable circumstances
You seem to have the misunderstanding that its about me, but its not.”
Yoojin stroked down her face, saying that she was sorry for saying that out of nowhere.
“Can you keep it a secret”
“Unless you want me to, I will never tell another soul about it.”
“Thanks for saying that.
Now, where should I start I keep feeling like Im going to cry.
I never knew something like that would happen to me.”
“Did it happen to a friend of yours”
“A friend If it was a friend, I would have told her to snap out of it.
It happened to someone much closer to me than that.
No, rather thanhappened,causing is the right word for it.”
Yoojin bit her thumb.
That was a habit that Gaeul hadnt seen after high school.
From what she heard, Yoojins mother told her that it was ugly and that she should fix it, which she did, but from how her old habits were coming out subconsciously, it seemed that she was mentally driven into a corner.
Gaeul gave her sufficient time so that she could organize her thoughts.
“You know what kind of person my mom is, right”
“Im not sure in what context youre asking, but I do know that shes an amazing person.”
Shes a really amazing person.
Whether its business or forming connections, she has never tasted failure.
She was my pride ever since I was young.
You know how you feel out of place and even get bullied for being raised in a single-parent household, right But nothing like that happened to me.
I had a mother who could fill in the role of father.
Not only that, she stayed close to my dad even after getting divorced and allowed me to meet him frequently.
She was the perfect person.
It even made me think that I would be able to live like her as long as I chased her back.”
Yoojins words were filled with deep regret.
Gaeul thought about Yoojin and her mother whom she saw at their shop.
Just as Yoojin said, she admired her mother.
She would follow her mothers words without suspicion, and even if she was scolded, she would grumble but would try to understand her, thinking that she had deep meanings.
Gaeul thought that the relationship between the mother and daughter was cool, but on one hand, was worried that Yoojin might be too reliant on her mothers words.
She thought that Yoojin had safely graduated from her mothers bosom after seeing that she no longer showed any hints of that, but now, it seemed like while she received a diploma, she still remained under the umbrella known as her parent.
“The fact that I dreamed of becoming an actor was also thanks to my mother.
As she had connections to many celebrities, I was able to see many famous actors since I was young, and when I showed off my acting to them as a show of sorts, I heard that I was talented.
It was fun doing it too.
I was even more motivated when mom told me that I should do my best.
Looking back now, I might have lived my life as my mother said from A to Z.
Its the same with the stylist work Im doing now.
It might look like Im doing it because it suits me, but if I think about it carefully, mom definitely had an influence.”
Yoojin clenched her pants.
“Im not saying that I hate it.
I mean, I am doing well after I listened to my mother, arent I I would definitely have come across failures if I tried to do something on my own.
Mom was never wrong, and following moms words will make everything go smoothly was at the crux of my life until now, but….”
“Did something happen”
Yoojin nodded heavily.
“I asked you, didnt I About what you think about women who sell their bodies.
Personally, I dont want to understand those people.
Yes, Im sure they must have their circumstances.
Im sure there are people who entered that business due to inevitable circumstances.
If they were coerced to do it, then I would pity them.
I can help them too.
The problem… is that my mom is creating such women.”
Gaeul felt as though the room darkened in an instant.
She quickly reached out and grabbed Yoojins hand.
She felt like Yoojin was going to disappear like an extinguished flame if she didnt.
“When I first found out, I couldnt believe it.
Mom was my hero in life.
She was an iron woman who did not know failure.
She might be stern and old-fashioned in certain aspects, but I thought that she would never do something evil.
But I was wrong.
There were numerous women under her.
My mother is the procuress.
I dont know when it all started.
I only found out about it recently.”
Isnt there some kind of misunderstanding What if you are mistaken about things”
“I wished that to be the case and investigated several times.
From young, mom and I never entered each others room without permission.
That continued all the way until now.
That was moms rule, and I followed it.
But ever since I found that out, I sneaked into her room.
That was when I was convinced.
There were records of trading people on her second phone like she was trading items.
I had a look at her laptop as well.
It was password-locked, but funnily enough, it was my birthday, you know My hands were shaking when I unlocked it.
There was a single folder on the desktop, and when I clicked on it, there were a bunch of photos under the name ofprofiles.
Photos of girls around my age with their breasts out.”
Gaeul was unable to say anything.
She couldnt even say a word of consolation and could only hug Yoojin.
Her head blanched.
She could neither swear at Yoojins mother with her nor scold Yoojin for anything.
“When did you find out”
“Its been about three months.”
“You kept it a secret until now”
“I couldnt tell that to anyone.
Every single day was horrific.
I was disgusted that my mother did such things, but I wasnt able to say anything.
After some time passed, I became numb to it.
I was disgusted at myself when I realized that.
I hated myself for not being able to say anything despite knowing that mom was clearly in the wrong, and also for just smiling like an idiot.
I resolved myself hundreds of times that I should talk to her seriously about it, but I never managed to.
Mom is too big of an existence for me.”
Gaeul patted Yoojins back.
She had never shown it until now.
Even when they chatted over the messenger, and when she sent photos of her working, there was only a smile on her face.
But it turned out that her smile was nothing more than decoration.
Gaeul should have realized this when Yoojin emptied her glasses strangely quickly, despite knowing that she preferred to take things slow.
Yoojin was drinking in order to force down the words that were encroaching her throat.
“Ill help you.
Ask me anything.
I might not be able to help you much, but if you need my help, I will do my absolute best.”
After sobbing, Yoojin raised her head before smiling awkwardly.
Yoojin looked so pitiful trying to say that she was okay.
“I thought youd say something like that.
But its fine.
This isnt something that anyone can do anything about.
Above all, my mom will be harmed if you do something, right I cant do that.
I cant ruin the life she lived until now.”
“I know that Im wrong.
I also want mom to take her hands off that business.
But I dont have the courage to tell her myself.
But I cant make other people go after her for it.
Everything will just work normally as long as I stay oblivious, wont it I shouldnt have gone to moms room that day.
I only found out that day the reason mom never came into my room without my permission, and likewise, did not allow me to go to her room without permission.
Sometimes, there are just things that youre better off not knowing.
Mom found that out when she was young.”
“Are you going to continue staying oblivious forever You know you cant do things like that.
Its only an excuse when you said that you became numb to it.
Youre here crying while talking to me about it.
Now might be the chance.
The more you hide it, the harder it will be to talk about it later.
You know well that secrets that are easy to break like eggs will turn into concrete later and that you wont be able to do anything about it.”
“Youre a good girl after all.
How good would it be if I were you If I was, then the moment I saw those photos on her laptop, no, the moment I started having doubts, I would have talked to mom about it.
But you see, Im Lee Yoojin, not Han Gaeul.
I know in my head what the correct answer is, but my body just wont listen to me.
Im scared that she might turn her back on me after I talk to her about it.
Im more afraid of her becoming distant than her doing something illegal.”
How was Gaeul supposed to get through to someone with a different set of ideals To Yoojin, the fence known as her mother might be taller than a castle.
Gaeul almost told her that she was foolish, that it was her duty to right the wrongs, but she did not talk about it.
Yoojin was a precious friend.
Precisely because she cherished her, it was hard for her to say those words – which would be nothing but violence to her.
She did not want to treat it like a small problem either since she had such a hard time talking about it.
Gaeul knew the fear of becoming distant from someone.
She tried projecting Maru and herself into Yoojins situation.
If Maru was willingly doing something illegal, and their relationship might collapse if she pointed that out, would she be able to tell him that he should upkeep the law Gaeul didnt have the confidence to do so.
“You are thinking Im foolish for acting like this, arent you”
“No, I understand you.
It just means that you cherish your mother that much.”
“I didnt need to ask for help from anyone.
Its clear what I need to do.
Im simply afraid of the aftermath that will overwhelm me.
I dont want to lose my mom.
Mom is a strong woman.
She didnt have a shred of hesitation when she got divorced from dad.
I knew that her own path was the most important to her.
The moment I tell her that she should reconsider, mom will probably tell me that its time that we went our separate ways.
I wouldnt be able to endure that.”
Yoojin stood up after wiping her eyes with her hand.
She fanned her reddened face with her hand.
“Im acting too shameful, arent I Its nothing worth crying about.”
“No, its not like that at all.”
I feel like I just made you worry.
I was going to hold it in, but it just came to my mind when I felt relaxed.
But still, its very refreshing now that I talked about it.
I think I can hold it back in the future.”
“So, are you going to continue pretending to be oblivious” Gaeul asked.
Yoojin did not answer.
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