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Prince of Food EP 5:Bulgogi

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❈Kun Jung-Hee


Kun Jung-Hee Appartment, Cluoshire


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"That utter and complete asshole!!"


Rachel plops down into the dining room chair, her face flush with anger and her arms crossed over her chest. I believe this was the third time she was cursing Samuel's existence since I told her about the events that took place last Friday.


Needless to say, I got fired that day.


It happened just about how I expected it to go as well. Samuel was literally yelling me up and down the restaurant until I left. Blaming the whole "fiasco" on me and doing a damn good job of schmoozing up the Young family to gain as much favor as possible. I could still feel the heated stares from the other customers as I left. Fortunately, I also left just in time to avoid the parade of paparazzi's flooded that place soon after. To say that Friday was a mess would be the biggest understatement of the year.


"You know what, fuck Sam. He's a bigot, bottom-feeding tool and we don't need that shit." Rachel hissed out in a scathing tone. "I'm sure we can find something else much better!"


She then begins to scanning the newspaper clippings I had laid out on the table to look through. I let out a deep sigh as soon as the word "we" came out of her mouth. I quickly dried and put away the final dish of the lunch we just finished. While I do appreciate her fervor to help me and try and "stick it to the man", she needs that money just as much as I do. And she knows it.


"You know you need that job for your mom Rach, don't worry about me."


"No way, I already hate working there Jung-Hee. What's the point of me staying?"


"Besides reliable income? Seriously Rach, don't stress about it. Unless you have a better job lined up don't endanger your future or your moms." I said sternly.


She just pouts at me but doesn't respond. However, I believe my point did stick with her. I dare never tell her that things are reasonably worst than I let on. You see not only was I fried from my highest paying job but my money-grubbing slumlord of a landlord is increasing our rent again. Even though it might just a small amount, between my mother and me, it's just not enough to cover. Hell, I haven't even told her yet that I was fired from Jubilee's. Thank god that everyone was out for the day due to the twin's insistence on seeing another and I quote "super awesome" movie. Kids are crazy about their movies I swear. But it gave me time to formulate a plan, one that had been brewing since that evening I was fired.


A bad one at that.


"Ohh what about this one? It's a customer service job but the pays pretty decent! Ooo or this one! Does a bartender gig sound more like you? The hours are late but at least you will be more available in the morning time?" Rach listed off, her eyes dancing from one clipping to the another.


I let out a small laugh. I knew what she was trying to do, cheer me up to the best she could but I knew what I had to do.


"Nono this one, this is the one Jung-Hee! ..Hey, are you listening ...to...me..." Her words trailed off.


Her eyes were glued to me, well to be more specific, glue to what I was doing. While she was rambling out jobs, I had slipped out a pack of cigarettes. Taking out of lighting it, I took in a deep drag. Nasty habit, I know. It's not one I indulge in for shits and giggles. It helps with the stress and honestly, I need that now.


However, for Rach and I, we both know it's not the cigarette that issue. It what I do after that's the problem.


"No..."


My eyes drift up to her. Her face is stony and cold. If looks could kill, I would already be under the floorboard. The kitchen was deadly silent. It was so quiet I could faintly even hear the couple a few units over having their usually shouting match. I averted my eyes and decided to play dumb.


"'No' what?"


I could see her jaw clenched out the corner of my eye.


"...Okay, you don't want to talk about it. Fine, I'll do it."


And then the flood gate opened.


"Let's dial it back a couple of years shall we?" She says in the most sneer and sarcastic voice she could. "This is around when my mom first got sick and I "suddenly" lost contact with you."


"Rach-"


"Ah, ah ah! You didn't want to talk. So now you listen."


My mouth shuts with a click as she continues her tale. She never looked away from me, as if she wanted to burn a hole through my skull.


"Come to find out you were avoiding me! It was a surprise for me I'll tell you that. And you want to know how I finally get to see you? On a fucking hospital bed! Your mother looked at me like she was fucking lost!!" Her voice becomes louder and angrier at the end.


"I then find out you have "teamed up" with some fucking lowlifes from high school and enter in a sketchy ass fight club!"


"I needed the money Rach..."


"FUCK the money!" She screams, slamming her hand on the table.


The kitchen was deadly silent once again. I didn't speak even though I doubt at this point she would listen. She took a breath, sat back in her chair, and continues.


"And you had the nerve to ask me to lie to your mother and siblings. And I did. Like a fucking dumbass." She spat out her words like they physically repulsed her.


I let out a sigh and sat back in my chair. I knew as soon as she got going, there was no way she was going to stop.


"And to think all this could have been avoided if I had noticed the glaring obvious sign." She looking at me. "That day, while I was stressing and complaining to you about everything that has happened, you were just sitting there, much like now smoking a cigarette. I should have known right then and there something was wrong."


For a few seconds, we just sat in silence. She glaring at me with a mixed expression of pain and hot anger. I let out a sigh and put out the cigarette.


"Better?" I asked


"Not in the slightest..." She shot back, her arms crossed over her chest.


I could feel my anger coil in my stomach and before I could even think, my mouth opened.


"Look, Rachel. I'm not asking you to lie for me since clearly, that was too much for you." I said scathing tone.


The room felt like it dropped a few degrees at that. Rachel let out a humorless laugh as she shakes her head at me.


"You really-"


"We're back!!"


Whatever she was going to say died on her lips at the loud announcement of the twins. Literally, a second later, the two were storming through the kitchen towards me, excitingly talking about the movie they saw, how it was "super cool" and I "totally" missed out on it. Just seeing the two of them so happy lighten the room, however out of the corner of my eyes I could still see Rachel giving me a measured look. The conversation may have been cut short but it clearly wasn't over.


My mother and Jae-Yun soon enter into the room as well. My mother, for the most part, seemed obvious to the tension in the room as she looked at the twin with a loving look. Jae-Yun, on the other hand, knew something was wrong as she looked curiously between Racheal and I.


"Rachel I didn't know you were coming by!" My mother said with a wide smile giving her a hug.


"Yeah, I just decided to hang out today. Been a bit of a busy week." She responded.


Her tone was still slight sprinkles of anger but mostly believable. My mom just nodded and start to herd the twins into the bathroom to freshen up for dinner.


Jae-Yun was still looking between us trying desperately to put the dots together. I refused to look at anyone and Racheal was still glaring holes into me. Talk about awkward. It at least got better when my mother returns to the kitchen.


"Are you going to stay for dinner?"


"Sorry, not this time around. been feeling a bit...sick for a bit."


Racheal may have been responding to my mother but it was clear that her statement was meant for me. I just sigh and rub the back of my neck. My mother, bless her soul, still obvious to the tension just smile and nod. Racheal then gets up and proceeds towards the door.


"Jung-Hee... walk her at least station."


I sigh again and just resign to my fate. We were going to have this conversation one way or another. Fortunately the stations only a few blocks away so here to hoping. We soon found ourselves walking outside towards the stations, neither one of us wanting to talk. It was just turning night and the streets were mostly empty.


"...I know you think I'm overbearing at times but I'm just worried okay?"


I turn to her, Rachel wasn't looking back at me. Her eyes were set to the ground, her gaze sad and pained.


"Rachel, I'm sorry." I said in an instant.


I knew I was being a dick beforehand,  it is, unfortunately, a chronic problem with me. My "people" skills are almost nonexistent. People have always tried to be nice or friendly to me but I tend to lean towards social suicide and am as prickly as a cactus. Heaven only knows why Rachel hasn't abandoned me yet.


"Rachel, you know of all people know how shitty I can be. Don't take what I say to heart."


She just gives a small chuckle before looking at me.


"You're not gonna get rid of me that easily, Jung-Hee. "


I smiled softly at her. Where I was stubbornly anti-social, she was just stubborn. For those, she cared for she would do almost anything. After seeing her off at the station I started my relatively short trip back. The sounds of the night echoed around me. It was a good walk until of course, I turned onto the street next to mine.


"Ho ho, it's that the Mad Dog?"


I froze up instantly at the annoyingly familiar voice. There were only a few people who would call me that. I turned slowly and frowned deeply.


Remember those "fucking lowlifes" Rachel was talking about? Well speak the Devil's name and so they shall appear.


There were three guys in total. 2 of which I recognized almost immediately.


James and Ryan Peters, brothers who are experts in the art of being an asshole and A+ creeps. James was the older brother. Dark-colored hair and eyes with more tattoos than healthy. He was also the taller one of the two, I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable under the look he was giving me. Fortunately, he wasn't much of a talker, that he left to his younger brother. And trust me, Ryan could talk more of an entire country if left alone. Ryan had dyed his hair again it would seem to a dark almost red. He too was gleaming at me with his own dark-colored eyes. The shit-eating grin on his face, however, was making me want to punch his teeth in.


The last person I couldn't see well in the dim light but when he stepped a bit closer I realized who he was instant. A dark shiver went up to my spine at the look on his face. He was tall, at least a head taller than the brothers. Short slightly spike dark-colored hair and forest green eyes which has the expression on someone who finally found something interesting to toy with.


Zachary Blackwood, a man I knew by reputation and also the person who put me in the hospital a few years back.


The hairs on the back of my neck stood on the edge and my stomach plummeted.


'I need to get away'


My body was already trying to escape, the fear conditioning it so.


"Whoa, you look like you've seen a ghost, hermano?"


Ryan was still fucking talking.


A smile on his face didn't look maliciously in nature but with him, it was always a toss-up. My eyes never strayed from Blackwood and his never from mine. I could see the slow recognition forming on his face and I didn't want any of it.


"Why are you here?" I bit out my words.


My anger was noted by the way Ryan's grin grew, Jame's expression took on a colder look, and lastly Blackwood. He looks like he was getting Christmas early.


'Don't be fucking stupid Jung-Hee. He wants a fight, just fucking run!'


"Oh man, you are pent up my friend." Ryan said with a laugh.


"Ryan..."


"Okay okay, don't be so prickly Jesus. The Pit has been moved to here."


All words suddenly lost meaning as a white noise seems to buzz in. The Pit as we all call it is the fight area where I used to be. At the time, I was desperate, stupid, and out of options. Originally my family was moderately funded, we didn't have a lot but it was a good life. That was until my father left one evening to purchase a pack of cigarettes and never fucking came back. But he did leave us the parting gift of extreme and crippling debt, so thanks for that.


You see dear old Dad had a gambling problem, something of which growing up I knew about, but never imagines how bad it got. The twin has just been born around the time he left, so everything slipped downhill from there pretty quickly. We had to sell the house to pay off a good portion of the debt, we moved downtown to that shitty apartment in hopes it would help. And then my mother got sick, deathly sick. I had been working my ass off, doing what I could while taking care of twins and getting my mother good hospital care. And as everyone knows hospitals are expensive. Jae-Yun was too young at the time to help out, she took care of twins when I couldn't and helped around the house. And I refused to let her, she wanted to become a doctor. And I would be damned if that didn't happen.


So I worked, and worked, and worked until it felt like I was being suffocated. Rachel's mother at the time was also sick, and I didn't want her to worry so I cut her off. It seemed like a good idea at the time but clearly, I was wrong.


It was during a particularly low point that I met the brothers and made the biggest mistake of my life. I joined the Pit that day, with no regrets at the time. The brothers knew from school that I was ...strong. Being a smaller build and having a delicate appearance tends to make people think I was an easy game. This only got worst when we moved and I transferred schools. At the time, I was so angry that I would start a fight just for the hell of it. It wasn't until my mother got sick that I finally decided to drop out. There was no point and too much at home to do. It was in my new school that I first met the brothers, same grade and still that same air of arrogance. It still brings a smile to my face at remembering knocking Ryan down on his ass after one of his more colorful taunts to me.


'And look at us now..'


I finally tune back into Ryan rambling on and on able everything that has been happening in the Pit like I give a flying fuck.


"And I-"


"I honestly don't give a shit. Are we done?" I puncture every word in a hiss.


And if my mouth doesn't get me killed tonight, it will be a miracle. Ryan didn't even mind my rude response, laughing loudly like I told the funniest joke.


"Okay okay, mi amigo. We'll be seeing you right?" He voiced it as an innocent question.


But I know Ryan long enough to know, nothing out of his mouth is innocent or friendly.


".....Maybe"


A weak answer but seem to satisfy him. He just walked past, giving me a friendly shoulder pat. His brother follows silently after, a single glare my way but that was all. But Blackwood stayed for a bit, staring down at me like I was an interesting toy. All of my survival instinct was telling me to run and I wanted to but I just couldn't. It felt like the moment I broke my gaze, he was going to attack and I had to be ready. I had to be-


"Yo, Zac you coming or what man?"


Ryan almost scared me out of my skin. Blackwood says nothing but he does start to walk towards them which was behind me. Every step felt like I was prey just waiting to be murdered. When he finally passed by relieved I started to move. However, the was short-lived at the feel of icy cold hands on the back of my neck. My head snapped in his direction, he was just off to my left, staring intensely at my face. His hand was cold as they slowly ran down my neck and then suddenly towards my hair. He seemed fascinated with my hair which I had pulled up before but he quickly dealt with that. My hair curtain my face fortunately so he couldn't see my extreme panic.


'Don't move, he could easily snap your neck, just don't fucking move.'


Zac just feels the length of my hair in the most unnerving manner.


"I like your long hair. Keep it." That was all he said, his voice was just as deep as I remember.


He then suddenly dropped my hair and then continued onward. And soon all three disappeared. It was then as if the air that had been previously being sucked away has returned in full force as I slumped against the building I was closest to.


'He's gonna kill me.'


When Zac "likes" something it usually ends up broken beyond repair or dead, no in-betweens. He had already had his interest peaked when we first fought. I may have lost but I gave as good as I got and that challenged him. I was an idiot and for once and in only this instance should have listened to Ryan that day and forfeited the match. My breath soon began to normalize and it didn't feel like my lung was trying to commit suicide. I stumbled my way home, still slightly shaky but better.


The house was quiet, for the most part, I could smell the lovely smell of fresh food. But it was a lot later than I thought.


"Jung-Hee where did you go? You've been gone for 2 hours!" Mom said as she walked out of the kitchen.


Seeing her just instantly put everything back in place. I slowly walked forwards and hugged her. She was surprised, I'm not usually the hugging type except with the twins.


"Dear what's wrong?" She asks.


I just shake my head.


"Well, if you hungry I made your favorite!"


I look over the table and see the dish of bulgogi. She really went all out for this one and the smell was making my mouth water.


"Thanks, mom."


She just smiles softly and motions me to the table. While I ate, she talks about her week, today, anything, and everything. A smile on her face which I haven't seen as bright in years.


'Remember Jung-Hee. This is everything for you. Nothing else matters.'


As I sat there listening to her, I knew from that very moment what I had to do.

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