First Impression: Spring Day of My Life

An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.

 – Chinese Proverb

 

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The premise of this story is about a girl who receives the heart of a woman who lived a healthy life in Jeju. The donor was at the cusp of building a beautiful family with an adoring husband before she passed on. Intrinsic connections will be made between the Heart Recipient and the Still-Grieving husband as the drama progresses.

However, it is precisely this wonderful progression, even within the first two episodes, that hints at the remarkable writing prowess of Park Ji Sook. One hour zoomed past, reminiscent of its predecessor, Fated To Love You.

I am cautiously hopeful… and excited 🙂

Five years ago. A Man narrates:

People say you can do anything if you try hard enough, but the truth is there are somethings you can’t do no matter how hard you try.

The only thing we can do in those cases is pray.

We can only pray for miracles.

Camera zooms into the back of a female patient, sitting upright, on a hospital bed. Turns out to be Bom Yi, who turns to look at the visitor who just arrived at the doorway with a look of restrained relief. Good news: she has a new heart.

ep1_BYhospital

But they do happen.

For now, let me tell you about a beautiful miracle that happened to us.

 

BY’s Room

She awakens, scans the room as though to gain bearing. Countless hardcover books on Trophology, Nutriology, Dietetics take up space on an entire wall of her room. She breathes a sigh of relief and places her hand over her heart, giving thanks for getting to live one more day.

She turns to a map of Jeju/ Udo islands that is pasted on the opposite wall. “Thank you. I’ll live another day to the fullest”

Wet market

The sun has yet to rise, the market is bustling with activity, buyers arrive to get the best deals for fresh ingredients and BY is thrilled to be in the thick of things.

Hae Gil Hospital

She makes her way to the hospital as the sun begins to peep. Greeting the security guard, she gives him a bag of ingredients that good for his slipped disc. Goodness. She knows about his health status as well?

Turns out that BY is a bright and caring nutritionist at Hae Gil Hospital, who oversees the food preparation for patients and diligently checks on delivery of raw supplies. Her close friend notes the hushed conversation between the hospital rep and the supplier, deducing that a deal was likely to be made between them which resulted in less meat supply paid at a higher cost. BY listens to her friend while checking on each food tray that returned from the wards.

BY finds one that is hardly touched and makes her way to the haelmoni who is determined to not have any hospital food. She berates that her recovery will not be optimized not matter what treatment she gets from the doctors if she keeps refusing to eat.

BY doesn’t buy into the prickly retort, and she’s not the soft-spoken, politeness-overload heroine we’re used to seeing on KDrama screen either. BY barks back at haelmoni, “I don’t care if you die of old age or sickness, but I can’t let you die of hunger as long as I’m here.” Even haelmoni is taken aback a smidge.

Grumpy haelmoni barks back “What would a young, healthy lady like BY know about staying in hospitals anyway?” And that is when BY takes off her top to show her open heart surgery scar.

ep1_BYshowsScar

Alright, you’ve earned your stripes, haelmoni thinks. After much cajoling from BY, grandma admits her the only thing that can whet her appetite is ox bone soup.

Hanu Haon: Nation’s Largest Meat Distributor

In the wee hours of morning, a queue has grown outside Hanu Haon, the best place to get meat at a very affordable price. BY with her BFF are there for the first time, excited about getting savings on good quality meat. She was hoping to buy the hospital’s meat ration at this centre too, not just for grumpy grandma. Doors open at the appointed time and the crowd hustles in enthusiastically. BY’s eyes grow big as saucers watching the expert segmenting ribs off. She sends a quick prayer of thanks for the cow’s sacrifice, and was noticed by the De-Ribbing Ahjussi who was garbed like a surgeon.

Initial indirect connection in the process 🙂

The line moves along briskly as most of the customers order two packs of meat. Masked Ahjussi is manning the counter and BY walks up to ask for fifteen packs. He just looks at her, saran-wraps two packs and says “That’ll be $19.20.” She repeats “Fifteen” again and Ahjussi points the banner that was propped next to him “Only 2 packs per person.”

She was about to make a scene, but BFF shoos her to the side telling her to get in line again to get two more packs.

Did this ruse work? Of course NOT XD

Ahjussi:

Despite her disguise (ie wearing a cap), he stops her from getting extra packs and even announces to the staff to not serve her anymore meat. BY explains to him she is a clinical dietician from Hae Gil Hospital and needs to buy meat for the patients. Nope, does not believe her.

He is a stickler of principles and thought BY was one of those who wants to buy good meat at cheap price and upsells them at premium price elsewhere, “How dare you live your life for free?” Hells no. How dare he presume such thing? She demands an apology, which was definitely not coming from him. BY’s blood begins to boil and it ended with Ahjussi unintentionally knocking her down to the floor with the huge hunk of meat he was carrying on his shoulder. Thanks to the super-fast thinking of other customers, the fateful event was recorded on many smartphones.

Hae Gil Hospital

Important visitors with deep pockets from the Middle East are greeted by Jo Myung Hee, Head of Hae Gil. She ushers them in, but quickly checks with Ji Won, her PA, on the whereabouts of their superstar surgeon, Dr. Kang. Seems the Nation’s Best Surgeon for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery is busy doing what he is known for. Or is he?

ep1_DrKinOT

Dr. Kang is in the OT, working on a patient… with a filming crew buzzing around him. Another doctor steps into the OT, but was requested to leave. Dr. Kang turns around and calls out “Mr. Director!” The visitor understands the situation, apologizes and encourages Dr. Kang to do a good job, and then jokes “It looks real though!”

MH and Chairman Song are discussing about setting up an International Medical Center and he thinks favorably of the idea, as long as Superstar Dr. Kang renews his contract with Hae Gil. MH worries of other hospitals pinching him away, but Chairman thinks otherwise especially when Dr. Kang marries BY. A shadow passes across JW’s features.

Oh? Does she have the feels for Dr. Kang? 😮

If he wanted to renew his contract, Dr. Kang would’ve been in the same room discussing his options with them. MH is still unsure of his future in Hae Gil.

CS:  Then why don’t you appoint him as the new director of the hospital? You have grounds for it since he will be your son-in-law.

MH:  Appoint him as the new director? Then what about the current director?

CS:  He’s responsible for the current situation in the hospital.

MH:  It’s been five years since then. Why are you bringing that up again?

CS:  Yes, it has been five years already, but the hospital hasn’t recovered yet. [ MH looks pointedly at him] Your husband is only a figurehead anyway. There’s no meaning in him being director now anyway. If you’re uncomfortable with it, I’ll persuade him.

MH:  Maybe if we fail in renewing Dr. Kang’s contract [looks directly at him] But not now.

Figurehead Director and Dr. Kang

They have chat outdoors, taking a short break. Dr. Kang wonders about Mr. Director’s absence from the said meeting with MH and CS. Apparently no one kept him in the loop. He didn’t want to anyway for he knows people view him as the Wife’s Puppet. Dr.Kang, on the other hand, is not interested being part of the International Medical Center. His passion lies in rebuilding the Organ Transplant Center.

Camaraderie is palpable between these two doctors, the elder being jokingly prickly about losing his daughter to him.

Director:  Ha! I remember you crying in the corner

Dr. K:  What do you mean by that?

Director:  The first time we met was when you had an interview at this hospital, right? It’s been five years already. It was the day of BY’s surgery at Se Chan Hospital on Jeju Island.

Flashback: Dr. Kang in his scrubs is sitting on the floor next to the entrance into OT. Sobbing his eyes out. Director guesses that the organ donor who provided a heart to BY was someone close to Dr. Kang.

Dr. K’s clinic

He attends to BY’s minor wound on her elbow due to her scuffle with the meat Ahjussi. She requests for a medical leave from Dr. K. She is still so miffed about his off-handed manner in accusing her living a free life, because –  it is true:

BY:  I should have been dead a long time ago, but I got someone else’s heart and now I have an extra life for free.

Dr. K:  Hey, a heart isn’t free. It’s something you can’t buy with money. It’s the most precious thing in the world.

BY:  That’s why it’s free. I have no way of paying for it.

Sprawling Farm

The recording of BY’s scuffle has gone viral on the internet, and a group of business men are watching and cringing at the same time. Orders are given out to control damage done.

Jeju Airport

Meat Ahjussi is walking out of the Arrival gates, a girl behind him calls out for his attention. It’s his daughter who was attending to the younger sibling. The boy wants to spin his top right there in the middle of the walkway of the airport. Ahjussi has not time to allow such nonsense and swipes the spinning top away. Cue tantrums and now big sister has to pacify her dongseng. Good job, Ahjussi.

She manages to calm him down and promises he gets to play with his top as much as he wants at home. And He undoes her hard work with just one grumpy statement “I’ll just scold you more at home”

Aargh! His daughter is fighting for patience and chastises him for his tactless remarks.
I like this girl 🙂

They noisily make their way to the taxi stand and he directs the driver to Seongsan-po, the place for them to get on a ferry to Udo Island. The driver could tell from Ahjussi’s accent that he is local. Off they go! And… BY walks to the taxi stand as well!

ep1_BYJejuAirport

She’s in Jeju? o_O Aah.. the Jeju scenes bring back memories of FTLY episode 20 XD hee hee hee!!

From the bus ride, she proceeds to take a ferry – to Udo as well? All she carries with her are her crossbody handbag and a nicely wrapped box, “I’m here finally” she says to no one in particular, but her heart is sending her message to the donor.

As she walks on a deserted road along the coastline, she sees a man in a suit, flinging bottles into the sea. Aargh! A litterbug?! BY the environmentalist to the rescue! She runs towards the man and scolds him for polluting the sea. He turns around, Ahjussi recognizes her from Hanu Haon. BUT, she doesn’t know who HE is 🙂

BY:  Why are you throwing trash and left over food into the sea?! Aren’t you ashamed to ruin the sea around beautiful Udo Island? You’re like some supervillain destroying the ecosystem! TSK!” [walks away with the bottle she took from his hand]

Ahjussi: (stumped by what BY just did. Digs into the plastic bag for another bottle of alcohol and continues sprinkling said libation into the sea)

Well BY, I think you misunderstood what he was doing, Sweetie 😀

BY grumbles her way to a recycling bin and notices the kids at the Udo Island Lover convenient store. For some unknown reason, she just stands there, quietly taking in the scene of the children, smiling to herself and tearing up at the same time. “Why am I crying when I see these children?” She continues looking at them until she notices a small bloodstain on the seat of the girl’s white pants. Oh dear!

BY walks over to them and asks if their mother is around. BaDa, the young boy, couldn’t understand why BY would as for someone who is not around. But their dad is waaaay down by the beach – and points to the Ahjussi. BY whispers the young girl’s predicament and comes up with a temporary solution of using BY’s cardigan to cover her behind just as a group walk past the store.

The kids warm up to her and she learns their names: Poo Reum (girl) and BaDa (boy) and when the names are combined, it means Blue Sea. BY thought it was such a sweet sentiment, but BD says it’s not since the sea ate their mother (ie she died at sea). Oh.. no wonder the Ahjussi – all dots connected.

BY gets up and teaches PR to tie her long sleeved shirt at her hips to cover the bloodstain. She guesses it is PR’s first period and teaches her to mark the calendar to anticipate the next cycle, and avoid such “accident” in the future. BY even gives PR her name card just in case she has further questions in the future. Ahjussi walks up to them and demands why she is talking to his children.

Ahjussi:  Don’t you recognize me?

BY:  Recognize what?

Ahjussi:  What are you doing with my children? What is this about? She gave you her card? [in a rather brusque tone]

World War 3 is on the brink of imminent break out until PR kicks her dad in the shins and quickly whispers the situation. Ah. Arasso.

Not one to apologize easily, he gruffly says she shouldn’t freely hang around his kids like so or someone might misunderstand. BY simply steps forward and stage whispers to him about feeding nutritious food and making sure they stay warm at night, being a single parent and all that. And walks away.

At the end of the pier

Director: It’s the anniversary of her donor. So she finally went. She always said she wanted to visit.

BY thanks her donor and apologizes for her tardiness. She unwraps her food box and reveals the nutritious food she usually prepares for herself. She asks how she should live her life moving forward. Shall she visit places the donor had desired to go? It is the least she can do. She continues having a conversation until Ahjussi pops in and breaks her bubble:

She didn’t realize how long she had been standing on the rocks talking to her donor. The tide has come in, and the path that she took from the beach was fast disappearing underneath the sea. Oh noes!

Ahjussi:  Your not planning on falling and drowning, right?

BY:  No, I’m not. Why would I want to die? I can’t die young. I have to live long and healthy life and live each day to the fullest

Ahjussi:  What is she talking about? [to himself] Then, don’t be so careless. Get down from there.

BY:  Jesus Christ. Why don’t you go away, mister?

Ahjussi:  It’s slippery on those rocks because of bog moss and seaweed.

BY:  That’s none of your business! Why is he so worried about?

Ahjussi:  I’m not worried. My neighbours are [points to the crowd by the beach]

Ahjussi: Wait.Wait a moment.

BY:  It’s ok. I can do it myself.

Ahjussi: Okay, fine.

BY tentatively steps down, and proceeds to fall backwards into the sea.

Ahjussi: Soo Jeong-ah, Soo Jeong-ah! Open your eyes honey! Soo Jeong-ah!

Bystander: Hey, wake up! She isn’t your wife.

BY:  There’s someone in there! [points to the sea] I saw someone in the water!

Bystander:  Oh God. She’s lost her mind.

Ahjussi:  Gil Dong-ah, put her on my back.

Local clinic

He rushes into the relatively quiet clinic and places BY on the bed. Both Ahjussi and Gil Dong believe she is hallucinating or may have hit her head for she keeps saying she saw someone in the sea. She wrestles with Ahjussi and doctor insisting she is fine. GD pips and tells her that Dong Ha saved her from drowning otherwise she would have died too. She insists that she fell in because of DH, hurrying her off the rocks like that and she can sue him for the mishap.

Lord! Dong Ha Ahjussi is getting hot under the collar. What is up with this girl and suing people? He thinks she must have some impairment in facial recognition, for she is also the cause of Meat Smack drama. She squeals for her handbag. GD could not believe where her priorities lay: handbag before lifesaver. DH points to the crossbody which still safely secured on her. She looks down sheepishly and then only noticed DH’s bleeding heel. OH NO!

While medical attention is given to DH, only then did BY eeks out a thank you. DH sees her wringing her wet shirt and thinks he should extend some courtesy to BY:

DH:  Hey…

BY:  Yes?

DH:  Would you like to go to my house with me and take a shower?

Uhh… that didn’t come out quite right, did it? XD LOL!!

BY:  Hah! No thank you. I’ll leave here before the last ferry today.

GD:  Why not? Why don’t you take a shower together? Why don’t you take your clothes off too?

GEEZ! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!! XD

DH:  [whispers to himself, repeating the words he just said out loud] Go.. with me.. and (lets the nuance sink in)

BY scurries out of the office from the crazies and walked towards a hand mirror that was hung near a noticeboard. She was shocked to see her smoky-eye look too, until the group photo in the background held her interest. Oh? Dr. K is in the picture too? Why is he in this picture? She was about to either snap a picture or call Dr. K when she realizes her phone had dived into the sea with her as well.

DH and the kids

DH and GD head back to place where his kids were waiting for him. PR is concerned with BY’s well-being and worries that the last ferry had left the docks already. DH carries his kids to the back of GD’s truck and the family sings a song about Blue Sea.

BY at ferry point

True enough, BY missed the last ferry, despite the late afternoon hour. Due to sea conditions, all ferries have suspended operations. Great. BY is now stuck in Udo. Where can she find a place to stay for the night? She brisk walks to the sole bus that is parked near the ferry point – and sees DH in the driver’s seat. She gets on anyway.

BY:  By the way Ahjussi, didn’t I tell you that I’d leave here before the ferry stops?

DH:  So what?

BY:  What do you mean ‘So What’? You should tell me there would be no more ferries today.

DH:  How should I know that the ferries would stop?

BY:  You live here! So you’re supposed to know!

DH:  How should I know what the waves think just because I live on Udo Island? I’m not a descendant of Poseidon.

HEE HEE HEE!! XD

He asks if she has a place to stay for the night. She’s confident of finding something in town. And he drops her off in the middle of somewhat nowhere, but looks like accommodation will not be as easy to find. She ends up walking past farming plots, and squeals for a passing truck to stop.

Well, whaddaya know. Guess who’s behind the wheel. Again. XD

BY:  Does he have a twin? Or do people look just like each other in this town?

DH:  You told me to let you off at Main Street. Why are you walking around here for?

BY:  There’s no lodging over there. How can that be Main Street?

DH:  That IS the main street.

BY:  You’re making fun of me right?

But she gets into his truck anyway, not knowing where else she might end up.  Thanks to the muddy and bumpy inner roads, BY gets carsick and requests for DH to drop her off the closest dry spot. She is in a compound of some sort, looks around carefully for some sign of human life. Ah! Someone is setting up a BBQ pit!

BY begins to ask for possibility of a vacant room and stops short – It’s GD 😀 He asks if she was looking for a place to stay. She begins to step back when PR and BD joins in. Oh? The kids are here too? Where in Udo BY ended up? DH brought her back to his home! Hee Hee HEE – You sly Ahjusssi, you!

BY carries her rinsed clothes out and PR offers to hang them dry. She had loaned BY the only garment she had kept of her mother’s: a white frock.

Phone rings in the background. It’s Dr. K calling from Seoul! And the home he’s calling is his Country House? o_O Oh-oh, they’re Bros!

Dr.K:  Did he go somewhere?

He hangs up, glances at the calendar and remembers Director’s previous question:

Director:  The organ donor who provided a heart to Bom Yi, was your relative, right? But then, who was it? The one who died, I mean.

Dr.K:  Don’t you know a doctor’s code of ethics? That’s confidential. You don’t think that I came to this hospital to follow the heart, do you?

Director:  If not, then it’s okay.

Dr.K:  Cellular memory, is just a hypothesis. There are cases where memories are transferred or transplants cause similar behavioral traits but it can’t be explained scientifically. Of course I was happy and amazed when I first found out and it’s true it made me care about her more, but the reason I like BY has nothing to do with her heart.

Director:  But it you marry BY, she’ll see your family often, won’t she?

Dr.K:  Probably…

Director:  Then it’s better to keep it a secret forever from your family too, right?

BY walks to the garden and has a sudden inspiration to put together a bouquet… and DH steps on the path that leads to the garden seeing his wife in the white frock…

END.

Their initial meeting may have seemed corny, but the bickering between no-nonsense father of two DH and feisty BY is nothing  near vanilla.

Unbeknownst to them, there is an inexplicable pull between DH and BY, and it is refreshing to see a budding relationship blossom between strangers who fight like an old married couple 😀

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