Chapter 6: Come to My Room
Professor Choi Tae-hyuk refused her request and approached her again, causing Moon Na-young to panic and turn around to flee.
Seeing her running away again, Tae-hyuk had an incredulous expression on his face.
How many times has she run away from him now!
Tae-hyuk roughly ran his fingers through his hair.
It’s human psychology to want to hold on more to something that’s escaping.
It felt like a real test of patience.
After escaping from Professor Choi Tae-hyuk, Na-young immediately went to the shower and washed her body several times.
Normally a 5-minute shower, it took her 15 minutes this time, and waiting for her as she came out was a chilling call.
<If you want to safely be a resident under me, come to my room within 10 minutes.>
This was simply a threat.
But frighteningly, it had already been over 10 minutes since that message arrived.
Hesitating whether to go or not, Na-young, feeling anxious, headed towards Professor Choi Tae-hyuk’s office.
At this rate, she might be considered a habitual runaway and face harsher punishment.
But what could she do?
Every time she got involved with him, she found reasons to run away.
Arriving at the office with Professor Choi Tae-hyuk’s name on it, Na-young took a deep breath and knocked.
Opening the door, Na-young widened her eyes at what she found.
Professor Choi Tae-hyuk, who had summoned her to his office with a frightening threat, was asleep, leaning against the sofa.
‘What? Is he really asleep?’
Seeing that he didn’t open his eyes even as she entered the office, it seemed he was indeed asleep.
Still unable to relax, Na-young kept her distance and observed him.
Like dealing with a fierce animal that might attack if approached too closely.
After a few minutes passed without him waking up, Na-young relaxed her guard and slowly approached Professor Choi Tae-hyuk.
His face in sleep, similar to the last time she saw him at the hotel, was so captivating she couldn’t take her eyes off it.
As she got closer, the sharp smell of alcohol mixed with the scent of meat emanated from his body.
If she could smell him, then he must have definitely smelled her too, making her earlier escape seem like a good decision.
Even though it seemed she had gotten on Professor Choi Tae-hyuk’s bad side even more.
Na-young called him in a soft voice.
She didn’t try to wake him up earnestly because if he did wake up, all he would do was scold her.
Na-young leaned in closer to his face.
Now she could even see his closely spaced eyelashes in detail.
His sleeping face, silent as it was, looked like a well-crafted statue.
With a sharp nose and deep eyes, he had a handsome, manly face.
Suddenly, the expression he had at the climax moment came to her mind, and Na-young hastily stepped back.
Na-young decided to leave without waking him up.
Turning around to walk to the door, Na-young stopped.
If she just left like this, there would be no evidence that she had come to his office as he instructed, so she turned towards his desk.
She could just leave a note on a Post-it.
Seeing a pen on his desk but no Post-it in sight, Na-young opened a drawer.
She was looking for a Post-it, but her action stopped upon seeing something else.
Inside the drawer was a small velvet box, just the right size for a ring.
Na-young looked up again at Professor Choi Tae-hyuk, still sleeping on the sofa.
Just when she thought she could treat him simply as her advisor.
What was this, prepared for some other woman?
A sudden surge of anger rose in her, unjustifiably.
Waking up, Tae-hyuk furrowed his brow, realizing he had fallen asleep on the office sofa.
He absolutely detested sleeping anywhere after drinking.
How long had he slept?
Tae-hyuk checked his wristwatch and lowered his feet, which he had placed on the table, to the floor.
Hearing the sound of stepping on paper, Tae-hyuk checked the sole of his shoe.
What he peeled off from the sole was a Post-it note.
<I left because you were asleep. Moon Na-young.>
Realizing she had already come and gone, he let out a wry laugh.
When he approached, she ran away, and when she came to him first, he was asleep under the influence of alcohol.
It all seemed so absurd.
Tae-hyuk’s brow narrowed slowly as he looked at the crumpled Post-it he had stepped on.
But why was it stuck under the sole of his shoe?
Somehow, that felt very bothersome.
Tae-hyuk abruptly stood up from the sofa and walked to his desk.
He opened the drawer.
Confirming that the Post-it he found and the one written by Moon Na-young were the same, Tae-hyuk took out the velvet box he had placed in the same drawer.
Opening the box, a single earring emerged.
‘Did she see this?’
Tae-hyuk alternated his gaze between the earring and the Post-it.
Still, he really didn’t understand why it was stuck under the sole of his shoe.
Because he had slept with his feet on the table?
But he was a professor.
The boundary between politeness and rudeness shown by the Post-it left Tae-hyuk unable to move on from that spot for a long time.
It seemed she purposely left it under his shoe.
Hearing that a patient who underwent aortic replacement surgery had been moved from the ICU to a general ward, Na-young went to check.
Seeing the patient, who she thought would die, sitting up and eating on his own, she was overwhelmed with various emotions.
She felt regret for having given up on someone who could recover like this.
Therefore, she couldn’t bring herself to enter the room and greet him.
When someone stood right next to her, Na-young turned with a look of discomfort, then her eyes widened realizing it was Professor Choi Tae-hyuk.
“Professor, did you come to see this patient too?”
He was a patient from vascular surgery, but it was as if Tae-hyuk had saved him.
“No, I came chasing after Dr. Moon.”
Professor Choi Tae-hyuk turned his head and looked straight at her, his words making Na-young momentarily dazed.
“It seems like running away from me has become a habit for Dr. Moon. So, I’m trying to make it a habit to chase after her.”
His words felt like a sharp jab.
Na-young quickly apologized.
“I’m sorry. I’ll make sure it never happens again.”
“Apologies can also become a habit.”
He twisted her words leisurely, and Na-young secretly cursed him in her mind.
Yeah, you’re so great.
“But there’s something I’m curious about regarding Dr. Moon.”
Expecting it to be unrelated to medicine, Na-young tensed slightly.
Did he remember?
Fortunately, or unfortunately, that wasn’t it.
“Why did you stick that Post-it under my shoe that day?”
As Professor Choi Tae-hyuk looked at her with genuine curiosity and asked, Na-young calmly responded without changing her expression.
“Huh? I left it on the table. Perhaps you stepped on the Post-it that fell on the floor.”
When she evaded the question, Choi Tae-hyuk’s eyes narrowed.
But he couldn’t scold her further over that.
There was no evidence that she really did it.
“So, my Post-it did wrong. It couldn’t even stick properly and fell off.”
Na-young bit her lip to stop herself from laughing.
Just then, a resident from vascular surgery approached them and greeted first.
It was the resident who had come into the operating room that day.
“Did you come to see patient Ryu Sang-min? He really wanted to thank both of you. Shall we go in together?”
When the resident suggested they go in to receive the patient’s thanks, Professor Choi Tae-hyuk turned away, saying disinterestedly,
“He’s not even my patient, why bother.”
And he just walked away.
Why bother, indeed.
The survival rate of an aortic rupture patient in surgery was less than 50%.
And if the patient had died under Choi Tae-hyuk’s hands that day, he would have faced a medical lawsuit simply because he was not a vascular surgery professor.
Despite everything being against him in that situation, he had entered the operating room and taken the scalpel, yet he walked away saying the patient wasn’t his.
Na-young greeted the vascular surgery resident and chased after Professor Choi Tae-hyuk.
Earlier, it was Professor Choi who had chased after her, but now, she was the one following him.
At her call, Professor Choi Tae-hyuk, who was walking ahead, stopped and turned around.
“Have you had lunch?”
Tae-hyuk was a bit taken aback when Na-young approached and asked first.
He had spotted her on his way to lunch and ended up here.
“Then let me buy it for you.”
Tae-hyuk stared at her intently as she, who had been busy avoiding him, offered to buy him lunch.
His eyes seemed to demand an explanation, so Na-young smiled politely and said,
“I couldn’t attend the welcome party. I’d like to formally welcome you to the team by buying you lunch.”
At her words, which firmly set their relationship as professor and resident, Tae-hyuk felt a twinge in his left chest.
He had pretended not to remember for her sake, not wanting her residency to be ruined because of that night, but he didn’t want her to forget that night so quickly either.
Professor Choi Tae-hyuk and the man Choi Tae-hyuk could never be of one mind.
He wanted to ask if she was just pretending to adapt perfectly or if her heart felt the same, but unable to ask, his words came out brusquely.
“So, are you trying to butter up the professor? I really detest that kind of thing.”
Whenever he spoke so harshly, Na-young couldn’t help but recall how he was that night.
How he spoke to her, how he looked at her.
But now, truly wanting to see him only as her advisor, Na-young acted like a resident eager to impress her professor to the end.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes with you, so I want to apologize this way.”
She had run away from him, a professor, twice, so a proper apology was necessary.
Professor Choi Tae-hyuk checked the time on his wristwatch and then said,
“Then buy me lunch some other time.”
“I have surgery in 30 minutes.”
“Isn’t 30 minutes enough?”
It wasn’t the first or second time doctors at the hospital had to eat quickly.
30 minutes was enough time to finish a meal and even dessert.
“No, it’s not enough time.”
Professor Choi Tae-hyuk spoke firmly and then walked away briskly.
Na-young furrowed her brow watching his retreating figure.
Is he making excuses because he doesn’t want to eat with me?
Feeling uneasy, Na-young reluctantly went to have lunch alone.
Ascites in cirrhosis patients can compress the heart and lungs, causing difficulty breathing, so it needs to be drained.
Na-young explained the procedure to an intern who had never done ascites drainage before.
“You’ll hear shifting dullness when you tap.”
After locating the ascites with percussion, she prepared the dressing and inserted a thick 18-gauge needle into the patient’s body.
A higher gauge needle meant more pain, and the patient made a painful expression.
She deliberately looked only at the yellow fluid filling the jar, not at the patient.
It’s said that humans are creatures of adaptation, becoming familiar and indifferent to whatever they do as they gain experience.
But could she ever become accustomed to the sight of patients in pain?
Na-young wasn’t sure.
After finishing with the patient and charting, her phone rang.
Checking the message, Na-young hesitated seeing it was from ‘Professor Choi Tae-hyuk.’
<So when are you going to buy me that meal?>
Huh? It seems his comment about buying him lunch later was genuine.
She had taken it as him not wanting to eat with her.
Na-young quickly sent a reply.
<Is dinner okay? I’m available this evening or next Monday evening.>
Since even 30 minutes seemed too short for a meal with Professor Choi Tae-hyuk, she had to opt for dinner.
She was about to resume charting when Professor Choi Tae-hyuk’s reply arrived sooner than expected.
<Then let’s meet at the main gate at 7:30 PM tonight.>
Staring at the message, which sounded like an invitation for a date, Na-young couldn’t take her eyes off it for a while.