Copyright 2000 SeChsKieS GurL. All rights reserved.-->


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Chapter 4
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           “Looking for a caretaker...”
           “Wutcha looking at, Chomee?”
           Chomee looked up from the newspaper and at her classmate, Miyoung. “I need a job.”
           “Are there any good ones?”
           “I’m looking at one. But I’m not so sure about it,” Chomee said with a frown, pointing at the ad.
           Miyoung peered over Chomee’s shoulder and giggled.
           “Wuz so funny?” Chomee demanded.
           “I can’t believe they have the nerve to put out an ad like that,” Miyoung said disgustingly, shaking her head.
           “What, why?” Chomee fired eagerly, jumping up and down.
           Miyoung regarded Chomee strangely. “Oh, yeah! You’re from Pusan. I keep thinking you’re from here. You’ve never heard of any rich people down there?”
           Chomee shook her head, confused.
           “Well, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about the accident involving a boy about our age, possibly older.”
           Again, Chomee shook her head.
           “You haven’t?!” Miyong shrieked.
           “What is it? Tell me!” Chomee pleaded.
           “Ko Jiyong - ” Miyoung started.
           “Wait! I’ve heard about him! Wasn’t he like really, really smart and his nuna’s in the States studying?”
           “Uh-huh. Anyways, that’s him,” Miyoung replied, pointing at the newspaper.
           “But why does he need an extra caretaker? Isn’t he rich?” Chomee implied, waving the newspaper.
           “He’s blind,” Miyoung whispered.
           Chomee gasped, horrified.
           “It happened last year. He was driving and he got into an accident. I think he was racing again,” Miyoung guessed.
           “So, now...”
           “His parents kicked him out of the house,” Miyoung continued.
           “They did?!” Chomee shouted, her heart wrenching with pain. “But why?!”
           “Guess they can’t deal with a handicapped son,” Miyoung answered with a shrug.
           “Poor kid,” Chomee said remorsefully.


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           “GET OUT!!!!”
           The servants stumbled out of the room before Jiyong picked anything up to hurl at them.
           “Master! Let us in! We need to clean your room!”
           “I don’t want it clean! Go clean your rooms!” Jiyong roared.
           The sound of the phone interrupted the quarrel.
           “Yeboseyo?” a scared servant squeaked into the phone.
           “Sangah ni?” a familiar voice barked.
           “N-Neh...” Sangah replied fearfully, recognizing Mrs. Ko’s voice.
           “Where’s Jiyong!?”
           “Master’s up in his room,” Sangah choked.
           “I want you to scrub the house clean. There will be a new girl working with you. She’s coming tomorrow. Hear?”
           “Y-Y-Yes.”
           Mrs. Ko hung up without further comment and turned to her husband.
           “Do you think she’ll be our answer to help Jiyong?”
           “I dunno. She sounded pretty sincere and honest when I spoke with her on the phone,” Mrs. Ko commented lightly.
           “How old is she?”
           “Quite young. Sixteen or seventeen.”
           “She’s younger than Jiyong?!” Mr. Ko exclaimed, surprised.
           Mrs. Ko shrugged. “We’ll give it a try, if she’s not good, then we’ll dismiss her.”
           “Try? What could she do?”
           “Don’t underestimate the powers of a girl,” his wife warned, drawing out a stick of cigarette.
           “What’s her name?” Mr. Ko finally asked.
           “Yoon Chomee,” his wife replied as she exhaled, blowing out a steam of smoke, her eyes tracing it as it disappeared in thin air.


*~*~*~*~*~*


           “Miyoung! Miyoung! I got it! I got it!” Chomee yelped gleefully.
           “Wut, wut? Wuddid you get?!” Miyoung’s voice raised with alarm.
           “I got the job! I got the job!”
           “Job?” Miyoung echoed, batting her eyes in confusion.
           “C’min!”
           Miyoung appeared in the doorway of Chomee’s room. “What’s going on?”
           Chomee pointed at the newspaper on her bed, “I got the job!”
           “Being Jiyong’s personal slave?” Miyoung raised a brow.
           “No!”
           “Then wut do you call it? You’re going to his house, alone, a girl above all that and if you’re not serving him, then what do you call that? I don’t think he has enough room for a girlfriend. Especially not after Susan dumped his ass.”
           “Susan?”
           “His girlfriend.”
           “How do you know so much?”
           “My father works with his and my brother liked his sister,” Miyoung shrugged.
           “Lemme guess. You liked him,” Chomee taunted.
           Miyoung lowered her head as her face boiled. Chomee let out a deep chuckle and pulled her friend in her room.
           “You’re so mean,” Miyoung finally said.
           “No, not mean. Just nosy,” Chomee corrected, watching the color of Miyoung’s face elevate to crimison. “His girlfriend...Was she like his mother too?” Chomee probed.
           “She’s a gold digger. She only went out with him because their parents know each other and she wanted him for his money and good looks,” Miyoung snickered, making a face.
           “I sense that you know an awful lot about them,” Chomee sang.
           “I used to go to school with them. That was when Jiyoon was still here before some school up in Boston offered her a scholarship.”
           Chomee gasped. “Was she really that smart? What school was it?”
           Miyoung squinted at the question. “Harvard, I think it was,” she said uncertainly.
           “Damn her. I wish I was that smart.”
           “And rich,” Miyoung added.
           “What about Susan?” Chomee inquired, switching back to the subject.
           “Nuthin. She just never called him or anything. She didn’t even stop his mother from kicking him out of the house.”
           “That is so mean. My mother would never let me out of her sight if I was in his shoes,” Chomee tsked.
           “Well, your mother’s different from rich mothers. She had already lost so much, how could she afford to lose you?”
           Chomee remained silent, thinking of her mother that laid on her deathbed back at home in Pusan. Day by day, her health status declined. She coughed and wheezed like an old woman, yet she was only forty. Hardly any aging signs. Chomee gave up going to doctors. They were all the same. They were either cheats or stupid people that can’t tell the difference between a cold and an illness.
           “Chomee.”
           Chomee jolted back to the present. “Huh?”
           “Thinking ’bout your mom again?”
           “I hope she’ll forgive me,” Chomee whispered as her mother’s face of disapproval flashed in front of her.



*~*~» C h a p t e r · 5 «~*~*



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