Hello, everyone this is the start of my three-part novella called "Sweet Temptations" I do not want to give away too much information here, but this is a story revolving around a young Korean man who loses love only to find it with a totally unexpected partner, and this love changes his life in one ways than one. One side note this story contains Korean cultural references that some may not be too familiar with. For example: the term "op-pa" literally means older brother in Korean, but it's often used as a colloquial expression used by women to express their affection towards their boyfriends or husbands.
Authors' note: I want to insert some songs suggestions for each chapter of this story. Just to get the readers into the mood of the story, and all the chapters titles are loosely based on these songs as well.
"결혼까지 생각했어" (I thought of marriage) by Korean R&B singer Wheesung.
"Choi Hweesung do you take Park Hyejin as your wedded wife…to have and to hold through sickness and health till death do you part?" asked the minister.
I peered cheerily into my future wife's pretty hazel eyes. She was certainly a beauty, with her long silky raven hair, petite frame, luscious cherry lips and a smooth milky complexion if one didn't know any better they would have thought of her as a younger version of the gorgeous actress Song Hyego as some would say. I smiled at my future wife but instead of smiling back she quickly turned away from me and peered at the marble floor. That was strange I thought to myself, nonetheless I continued on with my vows.
"I do!" I cheered happily as I slid the six carat ring onto my soon-wife-to-be's slender ring finger. Her hand was shaking, I shrugged it as her just being nervous, after all getting married as happy as the occasion can be it also can be extremely nerve-wracking. I certainly was nervous, standing there in front all of our friends and family pledging our eternal love for one another.
"Hyejin…do you accept Choi Hweesung as your husband…to have and to hold through sickness and health till death do you part?"
One of my best men held out the ring pillow placing it within Hyejin's grasp.
She remained still and I also felt her hand shaking.
I couldn't understand why in the world she was hesitating, after-all this had been the moment that they both had been anticipating for the past two and half years.
"Hyejin," I whispered.
Hyejin peered into the minister's eyes, there seemed to be a look of terror in her expression.
She turned and stared at the rows of people who too were seemingly anticipating her decision.
"Park…Hyejin…please what's the matter?" whispered the minister officiating our nuptials.
"Oppa…I'm sorry…but I can't do this!" she cried dropping her grip on my hands.
She turned and faced the eager crowd. "I'm sorry!" she screeched as she ran from the wedding hall.
The wedding hall filled with grasps and loud whispering. "Hyejin!" cried her mother as she ran out of the wedding hall after her daughter. In that moment my entire body felt numb. It felt as if all the blood ceased flowing through me. I suddenly felt chilly and dizzy all at once. All too soon I was surrounded by a flurry of faces and voices.
"Are you okay?"
I had failed to notice that I had fallen to the cold, marble ground, as I'm sitting there taking in the all the sheer chaos around me I'm suddenly felt someone lifting me to my feet.
"Well, aren't you going to go after her?" a voice called out to me.
I opened my mouth but no words came out.
My throat had gone dry.
"What happened?" someone asked.
"What's going on?" called another.
"Hweesung it's going to be okay…"
I lifted my head to the familiar voice. It was my mother; she lifted me up into her arms and wrapped me in an embrace. That kind-loving embrace only a mother could give. I tuned out everyone else's voice out expect for my mother's. She kept telling me it was going to be okay, and that I should go find Hyejin, but I remained quiet as I was trying to take in the situation that unfolded mere moments ago.
I looked up at my mother's sorrowful face, I wanted to tell her that I would be okay but as opened up my mouth no words escaped from it. Or it could have been that everyone's voice was overpowering my own to the point where I couldn't even hear myself-nonetheless still unable to speak, I withdrew from my mother's arms and made my way through the throngs of people all surrounding me.
All I could think of at that very moment was why and how she could do something like this to me?
I felt warm tears stinging his eyes. I tried my best to hold them back as much as I could as I was trying to stay in control of my emotions.
I needed to find her so she could explain her actions, after-all there had to be some rational explanation for her jilting me at the altar as such.
As I made my way through our elaborate decorated wedding hall, I looked around and didn't see any sign of Hyejin anywhere. I stood there and looked around once more. I had a strong feeling that she was nearby. Then I heard a faint sound around the left corner of the wedding hall, it sounded like someone was crying so I immediately began making my way over towards the noise. And to my surprise it was none other than my jilted bride-to-be.
She was loudly weeping into her mother's arms.
I stood there staring intensely at the two women.
"It's going to be okay…Hyejin."
"No…mom it's not!"
"You're right it's not!" I said without regard.
The two women looked up peering at me in awe.
"Oppa…I'm so sorry…" Hyejin whined.
"I want to know could you stand me up at the altar like that?"
She sucked in a deep breath and shut her eyes saying, "I'm sorry…but I just couldn't go through with this wedding."
"Why? I don't understand?" I said.
She stood to her feet and slowly started approaching me.
She stood there for what seemed like an eternity and sobbed, "I'm…not…in…love…with you!"
"What?" I cried not being sure if I misheard her words.
"Oppa, …I love you but…I'm not in love with you."
I suddenly felt a shock of pain shoot through my belly.
"You're…not…in love…with you?" I repeated slowly and methodically.
She nodded. I felt my heart sinking into my chest. I turned away from Hyejin and peered ahead, and seen a crowd of people before me.
I knew from their silence that they had heard her honest confession.
I started feeling extremely tense and embarrassed I ran back down the hall towards the crowd. I shoved everyone out of my way. Everyone's faces and voices became a blur as I made my hasty exit. I needed to escape-to-getaway. That escape came in the form of the front doors and without a moment's hesitation I quickly made my out.
As I stepped outside the balmy spring air felt cool and refreshing as it hit my tart face.
I sucked in a deep breath and ran over to the parking lot I didn't want to indulge too long into the bright spring weather, I was in too much of a sullen mood to do so and besides I didn't want anyone to see nor speak anyone. So without another moment's hesitation I headed for my vehicle as it was, my way to escape the all the madness.
As I began making my way over to my vehicle I heard Hyejin calling out to me.
"Oppa, please can I talk to you?" she begged.
I ceased walking but didn't turn around. Apart of me wanted to hear what she had to say but the anger burning inside of me wouldn't allow me to do so.
"Why…what's there to talk about you made it perfectly clear that you don't care about me," I sniped.
"Oppa, that's not true…I do care…" she stammered.
A wave of nausea started rushing through my entire body this along with rage burning inside of me I was no longer able to hide my feeling so I turned to my jilted fiancée' deciding to confront her in hopes of releasing my fury.
"Is that so?" I said interrupting her.
"If you really care about me then you wouldn't have left me hanging at the altar like that!"
"I know…I'm terribly sorry about that," she moaned.
"Yeah you sure are!" I snarled.
"I know I should have said something sooner but…I was afraid too."
At that moment I turned around and slowly stepped over to Hyejin. I saw that her eyes too were filled with tears, which really surprised me seeing how she just single-handedly not only humiliated me in front of all my friends and family but ruined my life all in the same instance.
"Yes, it would have been great if you would have made it clear sooner…that you didn't give a shit about me before we planned this fiasco of a wedding!" I said with piercing irritation.
"I know that but I just couldn't…" she started.
"I bet you did this on purpose…" I interrupted.
"On purpose? What are you talking about?" she asked incredulously.
"You did this on purpose to make me like an idiot didn't you?"
"No, of course not? How could you accuse me of such a thing?" Hyejin cried in horror.
I started feeling that wave of nausea again.
I shook my head trying to quelling my own tears.
"I'm done…I don't have anything else left to say to you!" I said as I turned away from her pacing hastily over to my vehicle.
"I don't understand how you couldn't have seen this coming?" Hyejin shouted at me.
Ignoring her I reached in my suit pocket for my keys.
"I told you time and time and again that I didn't think that we should be getting married!"
I reached my vehicle and pulled out the keys.
"But… you still insisted that we should get married!" she yelled.
Her shouting felt offendingly close so I took a quick glance over my shoulder to see that she was just inches away from me.
"Get away from me!" I growled.
"No…you knew this wedding should have never happened!" she retorted.
I fumbled with my keys as she said this while trying not to jam my keys into the car door.
I quickly found the right key opening up the car door.
Before getting inside I turned and stared into Hyejin's dark weeping eyes there was something I had to say.
"You know what maybe you're right, maybe we shouldn't have been engaged to be married…but nonetheless even if I did feel the way you did…I would have never done something like this you!" I said as I climbed inside my vehicle cranking up its engine.
"I know you said you're not in love with me…but despite all this I just want to let you know that I still do love you!" I sobbed.
She remained quiet as we stared intensely into one another's eyes. I stood there hoping and anticipating some type of reaction-after what felt like an eternity I slammed his car door shut feeling unable to bare the sight of her face. I quickly switch my car in drive and sped off unaware that I had barely missed hitting her on my way out.
I stopped at the edge of the parking lot, and peered into my rear-view mirror. Hyejin was sitting on the ground frowning and staring straight at my vehicle and so was our entire wedding party. I turned my attention back to the road ahead. Heavy tears began clouding my vision; I wiped them from my face, and then a sudden thought occurred to me I rolled down my window and pulled off from my right hand the six carat wedding band chunking it out of the open window.
I rolled my window back up and sped off onto the street without ever looking back…