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Always In My Heart – Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Goodbyes Are Never Easy

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          Chae Kyung was dreaming that Shin was kissing her to say goodbye.  In her dream, she could picture Shin leaning down to kiss her just like the video he had made when they were at Yul’s birthday party.

She couldn’t wake herself up from her own dream.  She wanted to say goodbye and hug Shin before he went back to his military duty.  All of a sudden, she sat up in bed and screamed, “Gajima!” (Don’t go!).  When she woke up from her dream, she noticed that Shin was not on his side of the bed.  She started to worry and rushed out of bed to get dressed to make sure that he didn’t really leave her without saying goodbye.

She ran down the hallway to Young-ah’s bedroom.  When she got to his room, she saw Shin already dressed in his military clothing feeding Young-ah his morning bottle.

“Good morning, Bingung.  Did you sleep well?” smiled Shin.  Chae Kyung was so relieved to see Shin was still in the Palace.  She had her hand to her heart because it was beating so fast.

“Shin goon…you scared me!  I thought you left me without saying goodbye.” cried Chae Kyung.  “Don’t ever leave me without saying goodbye.  My heart will not be able to take it”

Shin got up while still holding Young-ah in his arms. He walked to Chae Kyung to give her a kiss on her adorable lips.  He really could not resist her sumptuous lips.  He started to pat Young-ah’s back to get any air out from Young-ah’s tummy.

“Every time you leave me to go back to your military service, I’m going to think about the time you left me to go to Thailand without even saying goodbye.  I can’t take that.  Don’t you ever leave me without saying goodbye or else…you’re in the doghouse Shin goon!”  Chae Kyung said this with tears welling up in her eyes.

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“Araeso.” (Okay), smiled Shin.  Shin put his arm around Chae Kyung’s shoulder and with his other arm, he was still holding Young-ah. He led her out of Young-ah’s room.  “Let’s have breakfast together with the royal family.  I already told Secretary Kong the day before to let everyone know that we will be eating together before I leave.”

Chae Kyung suddenly stopped in her tracks and said, “Ani! (No!)  I need to go back to our room to shower.  I was so scared that you left, that I didn’t even shower or put on my make up.  I’ll meet you in a short while.”

“We have plenty of time,” replied Shin.  “Breakfast is not for another hour.  I was going to visit noona with Young-ah for a while and then head to the dining room.  I’ll see you then.”  Shin gave his wife another kiss before leaving her for reassurance.

Everyone met in the dining room as planned.  The meal had many delicious side dishes, but Chae Kyung couldn’t think about food.  She was not looking forward to saying goodbye to Shin again.

Everyone noticed Chae Kyung’s sullen mood that they tried to make conversation about pleasant events that were coming up.

Great-Grandmother Tae Hoo Mama asked Eun-Hee how she was feeling and if she thought of a baby’s name yet.

“Well…Yul and I have decided to name our son, Lee Ji Woo.  My stomach is so huge.  I think this baby is going to come sooner than the early part of January.  I’m hoping the baby will come before Christmas,” sighed Eun-Hee.  It would be nice to see him before everyone is here for Christmas day at the Palace.

Yul was putting extra food on Eun-Hee’s plate because he was very concerned for his wife and baby’s health.  He always made sure she was eating well.  Yul was a very caring and devoted husband and soon to be father.

Chae Kyung smiled at Eun-Hee and Yul when she saw how loving Yul was to Eun-Hee.  She was truly happy for the Royal Prince and Princess.

“It will be so nice to see the two little boys growing up together in the Palace,” smiled Chae Kyung.  “Were you and Shin close when living in the Palace?” asked Chae Kyung to Yul.

“Well…we were very close, but once I had to leave the Palace because of my father’s untimely death, I think we lost touch. Yul still resented having to leave the Palace just because of his father’s death. I am so glad that we can all live together without making one family separate because of a tragedy.  We should all support each other, as you have said, Chae Kyung.  We are one family that may not all get along, but we still should support and care for each other, especially during hardships.”  Yul said this as he smiled at Chae Kyung.

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Eun-Hee was starting to feel jealous of Chae Kyung.  She knew that Yul liked her when he was living in the Palace while Chae Kyung was married to Shin. Shin still didn’t trust Yul’s feelings towards Chae Kyung and so he was very quiet when Yul spoke.

Young-ah was beginning to start eating solid foods, so Chae Kyung fed him mushy rice like the consistency of oatmeal.  Young-ah was smiling as he ate his rice.  He started to babble, “Ba-ba-ba-ba.” (Eat-eat-eat-eat).

Chae Kyung got excited and said, “He’s saying he’s hungry!”  Chae Kyung started feeding Young-ah more rice and he kept saying, “Ba-ba-ba-ba.”

“Maybe he’s trying to say,”Appa.” Shin said excitedly.  “He wants his Dad!”

Just then Young-ah started spitting out the rice. “Awww…Shin goon, he is just babbling like all babies do,” sighed Chae Kyung.

“Don’t worry, Bingung Mama” said Jeungjo Halmeoni (Great Grandmother) Tae Hoo Mama.  “Young-ah will talk when he is ready.  Just keep loving him and talking to him.  He will let you know what he wants in his own time.  Grandmother Tae Hoo Mama always made people feel special and comfortable.

After a nice breakfast, the family went to the living room to say their goodbyes to the Crown Prince.  This time, when it was time for Chae Kyung and Shin to say their own goodbyes, they went to the other room for more privacy.

Shin and Chae Kyung held hands and walked to the adjoining room.  Shin hugged Chae Kyung tightly and kissed the top of her head.  He then looked at her teary eyed face and lifted her face to his.  He gave her a deep passionate kiss and then told her not to worry.

“I will be back in less than six weeks for Christmas.  I can only stay for three days like this weekend, but at least we will be together as a family. Bingung Mama, Saranghae.”

“I love you too, Shin goon.”  Chae Kyung said sadly.

Then Shin gave her another kiss and walked out of the room.

Before he left, Chae Kyung told Shin that she couldn’t bear to see him leave in the limousine.  It brought back such sad memories, so after Shin had walked out the door, she went back to the living room to spend some time with the royal family. This time she was able to compose herself and control her tears in front of the family, but she still had a heavy heart.

As the days passed, Chae Kyung continued to go to school and take care of Young-ah.  She was really very busy that she didn’t notice Shin being gone as much.

Yul decided that he was going to stay close to the Palace since he knew that Eun-Hee’s due date was actually in middle of December and not January.  He was able to convince China’s trade minister to meet with him after the New Year.  He had planned all along to wait until the baby was at least two months old.

It was in the early morning of December 1st when Yul was woken up by Eun-Hee.  The baby’s actual due date was not for another three weeks. She was complaining that the contractions were coming within five minutes apart.  Yul had Eun-Hee’s bag ready and called his personal secretary, Secretary Cho.  He asked Secretary Cho to inform the royal family that he and the Royal Princess were leaving for Seoul University Hospital.

On the drive to the hospital, Yul called Eun-Hee’s parents to let them know that Eun-Hee was having the baby. Eun-Hee’s parents could hear Eun-Hee in the background crying and screaming.  Yul also called his own mother, Hwa Yeong.  She said that she was on her way.

After Yul’s mother Hwa Yeong, tried to set up Shin on the arson charges, the royal family kept it hushed from the public and gave her enough money to live comfortably for many years, but once Yul came back to the Palace with his fiancée,  she lived in an apartment nearby so that she could be near her son and daughter-in-law.   Hwa Yeong was not allowed to stay in the Palace, but once her grandson is born, they would not be so cruel as to not let her visit, but of course she would have to schedule her visits with the Queen’s permission.  Since, Hwa-Yeong became crippled from the car accident, she had a live in maid who also became her nurse maid.  Her legs were injured terribly, but it would be possible through therapy and time for her to regain movement in her legs.   Hwa Yeong would arrive shortly with the help of her nurse maid.

When they arrived at the hospital, Yul grabbed a wheelchair and had Eun-Hee taken by a nurse, while he instructed the bodyguard to park the car and to meet him at the maternity ward.  Yul ran to find Eun-Hee lying in her bed continuing to scream and cry in pain.  When Eun-Hee’s doctor came to check on her, he said she was not dilated enough.

“Please…doctor, can you give my wife anything for the pain?” asked Yul.  Yul was very thoughtful when it came to his wife’s needs. It’s probably because he had lived with only his own mother all his life.  He had a very good sense of what women needed and their feelings during times of distress.  He saw his own mother sad and lonely many times.

The doctor agreed to administer an epidural to help with the pain and to make it easier for the Royal Princess during her actual labor in the operating room.  Once Eun-Hee received the shot in her spine, she seemed to calm down.

Eun-Hee could still sense her contractions coming, but they weren’t so painful as before when she was given the shot.  Yul sat beside Eun-Hee holding her hand to comfort her as much as possible.

Suddenly, Eun-Hee started screaming, “Ah-payo! Ah-payo! (It hurts! It hurts!) She was rubbing her stomach, hoping that it would help ease the pain.  Yul got up to run out the room to call for a nurse or doctor.  When he came back with the nurse, the nurse looked underneath her sheet to see whether she was dilated more.

The nurse gasped, “Omo…I need to get the doctor here right away!”  She ran out of the room yelling, “It’s an emergency!  Where is Doctor Geun!  We need him immediately!”

Yul was in shock.  He didn’t understand what was happening.  When he saw that the sheet was still lifted over his wife’s legs, he then noticed all the blood seeping between Eun-Hee’s legs.

Eun-Hee was still crying in pain and rubbing her stomach.  Yul grabbed Eun-Hee’s hand and told his wife not to worry.  “Don’t worry Eun-Hee.  You and the baby will be okay.  I’ll be here for you when you come back with Ji Woo in your arms. Eun-Hee, saranghae (I love you)” Yul couldn’t help crying out of concern for his young wife.

The doctor rushed in and immediately had her wheeled into the operating room.  He told the Royal Prince to stay in the waiting room.  He would need to do an emergency cesarean section in order to find out what was happening.

Yul was so distressed.  He walked slowly to the waiting room to see that Eun-Hee’s parents and sisters had just arrived at the hospital. His own mother, Hwa Yeong came rushing into the waiting room in her wheelchair within minutes.

Everyone could tell from Yul’s facial expression that something terrible had happened.

“What happened Royal Prince Eui-Sung?  Did something terrible happen to our Eun-Hee?  Why aren’t you with her?”  cried Eun-Hee’s mother.

“Na mollayo.”(I don’t know). I don’t know what is happening.  She was in a lot of pain and she was bleeding profusely.  I was told nothing.  We just have to wait and see.  Jwehsonghaeyo (I’m sorry).  Yul sat down in a chair and bowed his head down with his hands covering his teary-eyed face.  Yul’s mother reached with her hands to hold Yul’s own hands in her own to comfort her son.

“Don’t worry, Yul.  Eun-Hee will be fine.  She is a strong woman.” Hwa Yeong spoke softly and calmly to Yul.

Eun-Hee’s parents and sisters were also crying with worry.  Eun-Hee’s father, Kang Dae was very concerned for his youngest daughter. Even though he tried to treat all his daughters the same, everyone knew that Eun-Hee was his favorite.  He would not forgive himself if anything happened to his precious daughter, Eun-Hee.

After many hours of waiting, Doctor Geun came to the waiting room to speak to everyone.  His face was not a happy one.  He spoke very professionally with very little emotion.

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“I’m sorry Royal Prince Eui-Sung, I tried everything that I could, but…but…your son is alive and well, but…the Royal Princess Eun-Hee has passed away from massive bleeding because the placenta detached too soon and unfortunately, I couldn’t stop the bleeding.  This is something that rarely happens during a pregnancy. Yugamimnida (I’m sorry; sympathy).”  The doctor bowed to the Royal Prince and Eun-Hee’s family before leaving.

Everyone’s jaws dropped when they heard him say that Eun-Hee had passed away as if he was saying something so casually.  When it finally sunk in that the doctor proclaimed that Eun-Hee was gone from this earth, Eun-Hee’s mother and sisters started bawling.  Eun-Hee’s mother kept saying, “Ahniyo! Ahniyo! (No! No!)  She fell to the ground crying and Eun-Hee’s sisters and father tried to console her and to try to help her up from the cold linoleum floor.

Yul was too distraught to say anything.  He wanted to see his wife before they took her away from him.  He asked the doctor to let him see his wife.  The doctor said to give the nurses time to check all the vitals on the baby.  The doctor didn’t have the heart to say, “First let me stitch her stomach up and then clean up all the blood.”  The thought of his Eun-Hee alone had Yul crying.

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         Eun-Hee’s father, Kang Dae was very upset.  He didn’t blame anyone, but himself. He wanted to blame God, but then he thought it was his bad karma for being so greedy over money and power.  He knew that Eun-Hee loved Prince Eui-Sung, but he also pushed her into marrying the young Prince sooner than she wanted saying that it would help his company and bring her happiness at the same time.  He should have been happy with what he already had in his life.  He had a loving wife, three beautiful daughters and plenty of money to live on for the rest of his life and his own grandchildren’s lives.

 After some time, the doctor asked the family to let Prince Eui-Sung say farewell to his wife alone and then the family would go in after the Prince.

Yul was crying as soon as he saw Eun-Hee’s sweet face.  She looked like she was just sleeping peacefully.  He held her hand, but it was already cold as ice. He brought her hand to his lips to see if he could warm it. He kissed the top of her hand and then he kissed her tenderly on her lips.  A tear fell on top of her face.  He didn’t want to leave her and he tried to give her a hug and yet, she would never be able to give him a hug back.  He cried and cried while trying to hug her.

After several minutes, he knew Eun-Hee’s family were waiting to say their good-byes, so he kissed her one last time and he told her, “Eun-Hee, I promise to raise our son as the future King, because I know how much you wanted me to be King, so Ji Woo will be trained by me as the future King of the Republic of Korea.  We will make you proud of us.  Saranghae, Eun-Hee.  I will see you in the heavens.”  Yul walked out and told Eun-Hee’s family that he was going to see his son, now.  Afterwards, he would be leaving for the Palace.  He told Eun-Hee’s family that they would see each other again tomorrow at the Palace to make funeral arrangements, but to please excuse him for the rest of the evening, as he wanted to be alone out of sorrow.

Eun-Hee’s family was so grief stricken that they were just agreeing to everything that Prince Eui-Sung was saying. Kang Dae understood how Yul felt and told the Prince not to worry.  He would take care of everything.

Yul walked to the nursery to look through the glass window for his son.  One of the nurses recognized the Prince and quickly brought the bassinet of the young Prince.  He was so little and sleeping soundly.  Yul wanted to hold his son, so he motioned to the nurse by pointing to himself and rocking his arms as if to say, “Can I hold my son?”

The nurse opened a door and told Prince Eui-Sung to go into the room across from the nursery.  “I’ll bring your son to you,” said the nurse kindly.

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Yul smiled when he saw Ji Woo sleeping in his arms.  He placed a loving kiss on his newborn son’s warm cheek. Ji Woo looked so content sleeping in his arms.  How will he be able to raise his son on his own?  He couldn’t stop his tears from flowing onto his son’s little face.  He was happy to have his son, but yet his heart ached knowing that Eun-Hee was no longer with them.  Yul would have to learn to be Ji Woo’s father and mother.

Yul’s mother, Hwa Yeong came rolling into the room in her wheelchair, as Yul was getting ready to leave.  She asked if she could hold her grandson.  She also felt a sense of unfairness for Eun-Hee’s untimely death. She knew what it was like to lose her husband at such a young age and to raise a child alone.  She told Yul that they would work together to make sure that Yul became the next King because she knew Eun-Hee’s wish was to see Yul become the next King.  She put Ji Woo back in his bassinet.  Hwa Yeong  asked Yul if he wanted her to follow him to the Palace.  Hwa Yeong’s personal nurse drove her to the hospital and would be able to drive her to the Palace if Yul needed his Eomma to be with him.

Yul wanted to be alone in his grief.  He asked his mother to come by the Palace tomorrow instead with Eun-Hee’s family.  Hwa Yeong agreed with Yul and gave her son a hug goodbye.

Yul’s bodyguard was already at the front of the hospital with the car waiting for the Royal Prince.  Yul sat in the back of the car quietly in a trance.  From the time he left with Eun-Hee for the hospital to the time he returned, it had been eight long hours.

As soon as Yul came back to the Palace, he told Secretary Cho about Eun-Hee’s unexpected death and the birth of their son, Lee Ji Woo.  He asked that Secretary Cho inform Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama and the rest of the Royal family as soon as possible on the terrible news, but also to give the happy news of Ji Woo’s birth. He also asked Secretary Cho to have Eun-Hee’s family come to the Palace by tomorrow morning to discuss funeral arrangements for Eun-Hee.

“Please, don’t disturb me until tomorrow morning.  I need to get some sleep before I have to discuss funeral arrangements with my in-laws.  I will call you when I am ready.”  Yul spoke softly as he was very tired and grief stricken.

Secretary Cho informed Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama the news and thought it would be wise to have a family meeting to let everyone know what had happened.

When Chae Kyung and all the Royal family members were in Halmeoni’s living room, everyone knew that something important was being discussed.

As soon as everyone sat down together, Halmeoni Tae Hoo mama began to cry, “Our poor Royal Prince Eui-Sung will need our help.  His dear wife Royal Princess Eun-Hee has passed away while giving birth to their son, Lee Ji Woo.  I don’t know how I can accept such a tragedy, but the Royal Prince must be hurting more than anyone else.  I can understand how he feels, since I lost King Sungio.”

“What?!” yelled Chae Kyung.  “How could this have happened?  Please explain to me what happened?”

“It seems that the Royal Princess bled to death during labor.  They couldn’t stop the bleeding, but they were able to save baby Ji Woo.  Please, help the Royal Prince through his grief.  Also, we will all have to help him to raise his son Ji Woo.  I know everyone is in shock as I am, so please be kind and supportive to our dear Prince Eui-Sung,” cried Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama.

Chae Kyung couldn’t believe what she had heard.  She started to cry softly to herself.  Queen Hye Myeong was also crying.  She remembered the Royal Princess as being very kind to her, especially when she would help her with learning to remember people and places in South Korea.

The funeral for Royal Princess Eun-Hee was conducted with some of the traditional Korean customs and due to modernization; her funeral had included some modern customs as well.

On the first day, the Public Relations department announced the Royal Princess’ death and asked citizens of Korea that they could go to any one of the temples in their own city to pray and to pay their respects for Royal Princess Eun-Hee.

At the Palace, only the Royal family and Eun-Hee’s family attended the mourning day of Royal Princess Eun-Hee. In Korean tradition, Eun-Hee’s body was set in a straight position and covered in a white sheet.  Then her body was placed behind a partition.  In front of the partition, a small table is set up with her photo and incenses.

Shin was able to get a three days leave of absence due to Eun-Hee’s sudden death.  Chae Kyung and Shin went together to give their condolences to Yul and Eun-Hee’s family.  They bowed and then Chae Kyung hugged Yul and every one of Eun-Hee’s family members.

“Yugamimnida (I’m sorry – sympathy).”  The Crown Prince and I are truly sorry.  We will do our best to help the Royal Prince Eui-Sung and baby Royal Prince Ji Woo. We already miss Eun-Hee dearly,” cried Chae Kyung.

Every one bowed in return to the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess.  There wasn’t much that could be said for such a tragedy to happen to the Royal Princess at such a young age.

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The next day, Eun-Hee’s body was cleaned at a funeral home. Koreans don’t embalm the dead. Eun-Hee’s body was then taken to one of the biggest temples in Seoul.  There her body was placed in a casket and her photo then had the black ribbon attached.  Dignitaries and VIP guests were invited to attend the funeral at the temple.  Shin gave a very emotional eulogy for the Royal Princess Eun-Hee.  He told the audience that the Royal Princess would be missed not only by the citizens of Korea, but most especially by his Royal Highness Prince Eui-Sung, who loved her very deeply and that their newborn son, Royal Prince Lee Ji Woo would live to make his mother very proud.  The Royal family would always support and love Ji Woo and his Royal Highness Eui-Sung till the end.

Right after Eun Hee’s funeral, the citizens of Korea could watch from the sidewalks of the streets as the Royal family’s limousines followed Princess Eun-Hee’s hearse down the streets of Seoul. The hearse and limousines were driving from the temple to the burial site of the Royal family that was inside the Palace grounds.

At the Palace, only a few close friends and families were invited to have a luncheon in Eun-Hee’s honor.  There were so many beautiful flowers that they divided the flowers with some taken to the temple, some were at the burial grounds and some were at the Palace.

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Although the Crown Prince was able to take a leave of absence from the Army to attend Eun-Hee’s funeral with Chae Kyung,  the Crown Prince and Princess were not happy seeing each other under these circumstances.  It was a very somber mood at the Palace that day and for many more days after.

Prince Ji Woo was at home at the Palace by the time of his mother’s funeral, but they thought it was best that he stayed home with his own Court Ladies and bodyguards to take care of him.  He was much too young to be out and Shin and Chae Kyung also wanted Young-ah to stay home at the Palace with his own Court Ladies and bodyguards watching over him too.

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Yul went about the funeral on autopilot.  He was thanking every one who came to pay their respects to his lovely wife with a broken heart.  Yul was being very stoic during his wife’s funeral, but from that day forward, he would cry himself to sleep for many nights thereafter.

That evening, Shin and Chae Kyung gave Young-ah his evening bath.  Both Shin and Chae Kyung were silent while bathing Young-ah.  Young-ah was smiling from ear to ear seeing his mother and father together.  It seemed like he sensed their sadness and started to squeal with delight as if to say, “Look at me!  I’m so adorable…pay attention to me!”  He was babbling and squealing with happiness.  He didn’t know why his parents were so sad.  Suddenly, he made a serious face and then there were bubbles rising up in his bath water.

“Aigoo…Young-ah,” laughed Chae Kyung  “I hope your not doing your business in your bath water.  Shin goon, I’m going to ask you to clean it up if he did a poop in his water.  It’s the least you could do since you’re hardly here to help,” smirked Chae Kyung.

“Aish…just because I’m not here much, you have to give me the dirty work.  Thanks a lot, Ms. Airhead.” Shin said sternly.

“Yah!  How many dirty diapers have you changed and thrown away since being a father!” yelled Chae Kyung.

“Well…how many times have you stayed up all night keeping an eye out for intruders on a cold night?!” yelled Shin.

Just then Young-ah started to cry because he didn’t like hearing his parents yelling at each other.  “Waaaahhh!” cried Young-ah.

“Now, look what you did, Shin goon!” screamed Chae Kyung.

“What?  You were yelling too!” Shin said angrily.

“Omo…poor Young-ah.  Omma will dry you and give you your bottle.  Appa will clean the dirty tub water.”  Chae Kyung picked up Young-ah and gave him a kiss on his chubby cheeks.

Shin looked at Chae Kyung with an angry face. The plastic infant tub did have a small poop in it, but he went ahead and cleaned it.  He picked up the little poop with a rubber glove her found under the bathroom sink and then he cleaned the tub.  He was going to ask one of the Court ladies to clean it, but he knew that Chae Kyung would have given him grief if he didn’t clean it himself.

When Shin came into their bedroom, Chae Kyung was feeding Young-ah his bottle on their bed.  She usually fed him while sitting in the rocking chair, but whenever Shin was home, they liked to feed him on their King size bed together with Young-ah lying in the middle between his parents.

“Mianhae, Shin goon.”  Chae Kyung said with sincerity.  “I guess, I’m just stressed and sad over Eun-Hee’s funeral services.  I don’t know why she had to die so young.  I also miss you so much that I can’t take the loneliness sometimes. I was lashing my anger out on you.”

“I miss you so much too.” Shin said while letting Young-ah grab onto his finger.  “You don’t know how much I love you and Young-ah.  If either one of you had died during your labor, I don’t know what I would have done,” Shin said sadly.  “Please, let’s not fight while I’m here.  I hardly get to see you and Young-ah as it is.”

Young-ah was smiling again as he saw his mother and father speaking softly to each other.  He started to move his arms and legs with excitement.

“Are you happy, Young-ah?”  smiled Chae Kyung.  “Do you want to dance with your Omma and Appa?  Let’s show Young-ah how to dance, shall we?”

Shin and Chae Kyung got up from the bed and Shin held Young-ah in his arms.  Shin, Chae Kyung and with Young-ah in between his parents danced around the room.  Everyone was laughing and smiling again.  Shin was thinking this is what makes life worth living for – my beautiful wife and adorable son.

The next morning, Shin said his goodbyes again to the family.  He made sure to let Yul know that he was deeply sorry about Eun-Hee’s passing and that as soon as he was done with his military service, he would try his best to help Yul and Ji Woo as much as he could.  Yul appreciated Shin’s gesture.  He knew that Shin was truly concerned for the well being of him and his son.

Chae Kyung was happy knowing that Shin was leaving in good spirits after last night.  They made sure to tell each other how much they meant to each other as a couple and as a family.

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         Within three weeks, Shin was back at the Palace for his Christmas vacation.  He came dressed in his military clothing.  Chae Kyung was so happy to see her husband back home again.  She thought he looked so handsome in his uniform.

This time Chae Kyung was feeling the desire to skip the formalities of paying their respects to the Royal family and to go straight to their bedroom.  Something about seeing her husband in a uniform made her feel sexually aroused.

Shin said hello to his grandmother and parents in the Royal Palace living room when he arrived.  Chae Kyung was sitting patiently as they talked about military life.  Chae Kyung started to look at Shin and was trying to motion with her head and eyes as if to say, Let’s get out of here.  I want us to be alone.”  Finally, she said, “Shin goon, I think Young-ah is going to need his afternoon bottle feeding.  Would you like to come with me to feed him?”

Shin wasn’t catching on to what Chae Kyung was thinking.  He replied, “Can’t you ask one of the Court Ladies to give him his bottle instead.  I want to spend some time with my family.”

Chae Kyung tried kicking his leg with her foot.

“Owww…boolya! (What the heck!)  Wae! (What!)”  yelled Shin. Chae Kyung was trying to shift her eyes again to the door as if to say, “Let’s get out of here!”

Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama was smiling and knew what was going on with Chae Kyung.

“Saeja…I think Bingung Mama is anxious for you to see baby Young-ah.  He has grown so much since the last time you saw him.  Why don’t you go with Bingung Mama and help her to feed the baby.”

Chae Kyung smiled and was a bit embarrassed at the same time because she knew that Haleomni knew what was on her mind.

Suddenly, Shin realized what was on Chae Kyung’s mind too.  “Oh…I think our Young-ah must be missing me so much.” smiled Shin.  “Let’s go see our little rascal.  I will see you later this evening for dinner with the rest of the family.  Annyeonghaesaeyo.” Shin and Chae Kyung bowed to the elders.  Then quickly, Shin grabbed Chae Kyung’s hand and dragged her out of the room to go directly to their Palace.

“When they entered their own bedroom, Shin was smiling from ear to ear.  “Ms. Airhead…I didn’t know that you really wanted to get right to business.  You are a sly fox and a sexy one at that.”

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Chae Kyung really missed Shin’s passionate kisses and his smooth backside.  Shin liked seeing Chae Kyung open up her feelings towards him.  Sometimes, she was too shy to say what she was truly feeling.

Shin missed the smell of Chae Kyung’s skin and hair.  He loved to smell and kiss the nape of her neck.  She had the softest skin and her legs were beautifully long.  He would run his hand from her thigh to her ankle.  She was a very sensuous woman.

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After making love, they fell asleep in each other’s arms.  This time they didn’t worry about whether they would be early or late for the family dinner.  By now, the Royal family knew that any time that Shin and Chae Kyung could be together was precious to the young couple.  They needed to be alone as much as possible and to spend it with Young-ah.

The next day, Shin and Chae Kyung made sure to call Kang In and Hyo-Rin so that they could exchange Christmas gifts from each other.  Chae Kyung and Hyo-Rin became much closer now that Shin was away for his military service.  Chae Kyung would try to meet at least once a week or to talk on the phone with Hyo-Rin.  They had much to talk about with their little babies.  They planned to see the Hwang’s that afternoon for Christmas Eve.

When they arrived at Kang In and Hyo-Rin’s home, they brought along wine, rice cakes and presents.  Shin and Chae Kyung would have never thought that they would become such close friends.

Seeing how happy Kang In and Hyo-Rin were with each other made Shin and Chae Kyung so happy for their friends.

“Annyeong! (Hello!)  Merry Christmas! We came bringing lots of gifts and lots of love!”  Chae Kyung said excitedly.

After saying their hellos and hugging each other, they sat their babies next to each other.

Hyo Rin had Hye Su in an adorable outfit.  She looked like Little Red Riding Hood.  Young-ah was dressed all in blue with his cute blue jeans.

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“We’ve decided to call Hye Su, Suzy as a nickname,” said Hyo-Rin.

“Oh…Suzy, that is very cute!” said Chae Kyung.  “Annyeong, Ms. Suzy.”

Hyo-Rin asked Chae Kyung to give their condolences to Yul when she got a chance to see Yul in the Palace.

“How is Yul doing?” asked Hyo-Rin.  “We wish we could see him to let him know we were very sad to hear about Eun-Hee’s sudden death.  Is there anything that we can do for him?”

“No, I think for right now, it will take a long time for Yul to get over Eun-Hee’s tragic death.  After her funeral, I tried talking with him at his Palace, but he didn’t want to see me.  I feel so sad that I can’t help him,” Chae Kyung was very serious when she spoke with Hyo-Rin.   Let’s not think about that right now. It will only make this festive day somber.

“How are you, Kang In and baby Suzy doing?”

“We haven’t been happier since Suzy came into our lives.  We just love taking care of her and the grandparents are spoiling her like crazy!” smiled Hyo-Rin.

“How are you, Shin and Young-ah doing these days?  I know it’s been hard for you without Shin being with you most of the time.  Does love grow fonder when you are apart?” winked Hyo-Rin.

“Well…let’s just say when we do get to see each other, we only want to be alone…if you understand what I mean.” smiled Chae Kyung.

“Maybe, Kang In should join the Army.  It seems that ever since Suzy was born, we don’t have the time or energy to want to be alone,” laughed Hyo-Rin.

“YAH! What are you talking about with Hyo-Rin?  You better not be telling her anything personal about me.  I know how you like to talk about me behind my back to your friends,” yelled Shin.

Shin could make her so mad at him when he would say such mean things to her or when he started acting like a jerk.  She wished she still had the pillow doll of him so that she could get her frustrations out on it.  She got rid of it because Shin didn’t like seeing it around their Palace.  He said it was childish to have around, Shin had already given Alfred to Young-ah when he was born.

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The afternoon went by so fast, but Shin and Chae Kyung had to return to the Palace for Christmas Eve festivities with the Royal family and both Chae Kyung and Eun-Hee’s families.  Although, Eun-Hee was no longer alive, Ji Woo’s grandparents were very much an important part of his life.  Yul’s mother was also invited for Christmas Eve dinner and the opening of presents.

After a huge meal in the Palace dining room, everyone moved to the Palace living room.  Inside the living room was an eight-foot Christmas tree decorated beautifully by professional decorators. The fireplace was lit which made the room much more cozy and warm.  Coffee and desserts were served in the living room while Shin became the Santa Claus that evening by presenting the gifts to everyone.

Everyone was enjoying opening up his or her presents when all of a sudden, Chae Kyung put her hand to her mouth as if she was going to throw up.  Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama saw Chae Kyung make the same gesture right after Shin and Chae Kyung were married in Macau.

“Bingung Mama Gwenchanahyo? (Are you okay?)” asked Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama.

“I’m…oh…” Chae Kyung again felt the urge to throw up.  “Maybe, it’s just something I ate this evening.  Please excuse me.”  Chae Kyung got up quickly and ran to the nearest bathroom in the Palace.

Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama had a huge smile on her face.  “I think she is expecting another little one, Saeja.”  She told Shin to go check on the Crown Princess to make sure she was okay.  Secretary Kong could take his place as Santa for the time being.

Everyone looked at Chae Kyung run out of the room, then they looked at Shin running after her.  Everyone was speechless.

Shin ran to find Chae Kyung throwing up in the bathroom down the hall.

“Are you all right, Bingung?”  Shin looked at his wife with concern.

“I think Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama is psychic.  I think she’s right again.  I’m pregnant, Shin goon.” Chae Kyung said with anxiety in her voice.

“What?  How?  When?” Shin spoke to Chae Kyung with a questioning look of disbelief.

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To be continued…

2 Comments
  1. novchime permalink

    Again a nice chapter. I actually looked a little bit at it and the rest right after reading Chapter 6 (2 days ago?). That was how eager I was to read the rest. Nice that you:
    – referred to Korean traditions,
    – were resourceful to include what Shin and Chae Kyung did before (eg JJH being Santa in AB),
    – included nice and appropriate photos (e.g. YEH from IMY and JJH’s photo after FF)
    – added many private time of the two (e.g. lovemaking with even Chae Kyung initiating, teasing moments, bath and feeding time with Young-ah, etc).

    Other comments:
    – I thougth the mother of Yul could not walk anymore because of her car accident?
    – did Chae Kyung really throw Alfred away? Pity, he was Shin’s companion since he was small.
    – the places where the new song were indicated were quite distractful. I was into the story and saw next the instruction to right click.

    Suggestions:
    – maybe have a long song with different moods in it, or combine songs in one so that you would not have to give the instructions in between the paragraphs;
    – if you have a short song for a long chapter (eg Ch 6), maybe make the song replay automatically, if this is possible.

    Regards….

    • You make good points novchime. I forgot that Yul’s mom was in a wheelchair! I should be mean and say she was crippled for life…hahaha. I was thinking she recooperated, but it would serve her right to be crippled. I will have to edit the story to go into that in more detail. Thanks.
      Also, as far as the music, I understand how you feel, and just to make it easier, I think I will just add one song in the whole story. Like you said, maybe too distracting.
      Thanks again for all you insights and constructive critique. Keep helping me to make a decent story. 🙂

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