The days that followed the gala and that talk they had in cafe were a whirlwind of emotions and contemplation for Kim Hanuel. The memory of Kang Eun Woo’s captivating presence lingered in her thoughts, intertwining with the pressing concerns of “Kim’s Sweets” and her family’s legacy.
Hanuel’s best friend, Yoojin Park, had been her steadfast confidante throughout life’s trials and tribulations. Yoojin’s was concern by seeing hanuel emotionless face. They sat at a cozy corner of their favorite cafe, their steaming cups of coffee a source of comfort amidst the uncertainty.
“So, Hanuel, spill it. What’s been on your mind since that night?” Yoojin asked, leaning in with an eager grin.
Hanuel hesitated, her fingers tracing the rim of her cup. “Well, something unexpected happened. you know that kang eunwoo”
Yoojin’s eyebrows shot up. “How could I forget? The elusive billionaire who’s the talk of the town?”
hanuel sighed ” i know you know him , but i actually meant he already knew we all were in same university”
Hanuel took a deep breath, her gaze steady. “He proposed something… unconventional. He’s willing to invest in the bakery if I agree to marry him, but only on paper.”
Yoojin’s eyes widened in disbelief. “Wait, you mean like a contract marriage?”
Hanuel nodded, her heart heavy with the weight of the decision she faced. “Yes, exactly.”
Yoojin leaned back in her chair, processing the information. “Whoa, that’s like something out of a drama.”
Hanuel sighed, her fingers tapping nervously on the table. “I know it sounds crazy, Yoojin. But the bakery is struggling, and this might be the lifeline we need.”
Yoojin’s gaze softened, her concern evident. “But Hanuel, a contract marriage? Are you sure about this? What if there’s more to it than he’s telling you?”
Hanuel’s eyes met Yoojin’s, a mixture of determination and doubt in her gaze. “I’ve been thinking about it non-stop. I’m conflicted, Yoojin. But the bakery means everything to my family.”
Yoojin placed a comforting hand on Hanuel’s. “I understand, Hanuel. Just promise me you’ll think it through carefully. Don’t rush into anything.”
Weeks passed, and the pressure on Hanuel intensified. The bakery’s financial woes grew dire, the threat of bankruptcy becoming more real with each passing day. Hanuel’s parents, Ji-Soo and Minho Kim, were visibly stressed, their dreams of “Kim’s Sweets” hanging in the balance.
One evening, as Hanuel helped her mother clean up the bakery, her phone rang with an unfamiliar number. Her heart raced as she answered, and Kang Eun Woo’s voice greeted her on the other end.
“Kim Hanuel,” he began, his voice smooth and assured. “I trust you’ve been giving our proposition careful consideration.”
Hanuel hesitated, glancing at her mother who was wiping down the counter with a weary expression. “Yes, I have. But I need more time to decide.”
Eun Woo’s tone remained composed. “Hanuel, I understand the gravity of your situation. However, I urge you to think about your family’s future.”
Hanuel’s chest tightened, the weight of responsibility pressing down on her. “I know, but I can’t rush into such a decision.”
Just then, her mother stifled a cough, her face pale. Hanuel’s worry deepened as she watched her mother’s struggle.
“I’m afraid circumstances may push you to a decision sooner than you think,” Eun Woo said, his voice softer. “I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that. Take care, Hanuel.”
As the call ended, Hanuel’s heart raced. She turned to her mother, concern etched across her features. “Mom, are you okay?”
Her mother managed a weak smile. “I’m just tired, dear. Don’t worry about me.”
But Hanuel’s worry persisted, mingling with the mounting pressure to make a decision about Eun Woo’s proposition. She knew that whatever choice she made would have far-reaching consequences for her family and herself.
on the other hand .
minjung was consistently staring at eunwoo when he was on call .
eunwoo ended the call”why are you staring”
minjung ” i just don’t understand , why her?
eunwoo ” maybe i know or maybe not, just hand over the file and get out”
minjung” okay i also don’t want to work overtime but be careful”
Unbeknownst to Hanuel, the web of fate was tightening around her, propelling her towards a path she had never imagined. And as she grappled with her responsibilities, the shadows of secrets, promises, and unexpected twists would soon cast a deeper hue over her journey.