Updated: Jul 30
“Well, my dear, I have no more to say. If this be the case, he deserves you. I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy, to any one less worthy.” Mr Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
Kim In Gi’s POV
My daughter is my pride and joy.
I love my son too, very much. It’s because of my son coming into the world that I can call myself a ‘father’ in the first place. As my firstborn and only son, my love for him is equal to but different from the love I feel for my Goeun.
My little Gon.
I think if you’re a parent, you’ll understand my feelings.
Gon grew up as a happy child. Cheerful and curious, she looked at things with wonder and did not shy away from challenges in front of her. At times I worried about the difficulties I thought she never saw. Later I realized that she was aware. She just had absolute faith that she could overcome them.
My daughter is a brave girl.
Because of this, I rarely see Gon looking troubled. Or perhaps, she’s mastered the art of hiding her troubles from her Omma and me. I can’t know for sure.
The last time I saw her so conflicted was after her drama filming of Goblin. She looked worn down and exhausted, and I knew she needed more than just her own strong will to overcome it.
I suggested she go away for some time. Wherever she wants. Australia, USA, the UK. Wherever her heart can settle and heal.
Her Omma didn’t want her far away. She wanted Gon to stay close, where her family and friends could surround her with love. But I understood my daughter well. She’s like me in so many ways. A change of scenery and pace will help her more than being in the same, comfortable place.
So we let her go.
She went to California for a few months. Gon said she wanted to learn English, so that was a perfect opportunity for her to do that while getting the healing she needed.
Before she left though, I made sure to tell her something very important.
We were at Incheon International airport and Gon had her passport in one hand, pulling her carry-on luggage with the other. We already hugged and prayed together and said our goodbyes, and she was heading into security where we couldn’t follow her.
I told Gon’s Omma that I’d be right back and chased after Gon.
“Appa?” my daughter asked, confused to see me behind her. We were a few feet away from the security entrance. “I have to get going now.”
“I know,” I replied, slightly out of breath. “But there’s something I forgot to tell you.”
“What is it?”
I gripped her shoulders with both hands and looked her straight in the eyes. “I want you to know that no matter what happens or what choice you make, our love for you will never change. “
“Appa,” she murmured, tears welling up in her eyes.
She appeared surprised that I knew.
I continued, “Whether you are Kim Go Eun ‘the actress’ or just Kim Go Eun ‘the daughter of Kim In Gi’, it doesn’t matter to us. Go to the US and search your heart, and if you want to give it all up when you come back, we’ll be here waiting with open arms.”
Her cheeks became wet with tears and she used her sleeve to wipe them away. Her voice trembled when she said, “Thank you, Appa. I love you so much.”
We hugged again and she finally made her way into security. Her mother and I watched her go until we couldn’t see her anymore.
Gon never asked me how I knew that she was considering giving up acting for good.
For me, it was simple.
Our favourite thing to do together is watch old films and read novels. We’ve done that since she was a child. Things changed with her lately. I couldn’t see the joy in her eyes, the one she used to have when we watched films together.
I suspected that Goblin was the catalyst, but not the entire reason. I was proud of my daughter’s successes, but I didn’t want her unhappy for any reason. If acting no longer gave her joy, there was no shame in letting it go.
Later, Gon contacted her Omma and I to tell us that she wanted to come home early. Not because she was giving up on being an actress, but because she accepted projects that she was really interested in.
I was overjoyed. I missed her a lot. I was thankful she was able to resolve her own struggle, and whatever passion she lost she seemed to regain once more.
I told you, my daughter is a brave girl.
I wonder if she knows that.
Today is the last day of Seollal and tomorrow Seoul will become crowded again. After a few days spent with family in their hometowns, most people migrate back to the city to return to their normal lives. Gon will also return to filming tomorrow. She’s been filming a new drama these past few months, and she seems so happy about it, even more than usual.
So, when my daughter didn’t seem excited to go back to work, it made me think.
She did seem a bit distracted during Seollal. At times I caught her staring into space while helping her mom and aunts, or while playing games with her niece and nephew.
Perhaps something was troubling her again, though unlike last time, I don’t know the reason why.
I decide to ask her. I invite my daughter to take a walk with me around the neighbourhood, and she agrees.
“Just a quick walk,” she says, as she pulls her sneakers on. “I have to drive back to Seoul soon and it’s getting late.”
We both exit the house and walk on the side of the road. There’s a small playground not too far away and we walk in that direction.
We are quiet for a few minutes and I place my hands behind my back. The sun is setting already, around golden hour.
I clear my throat. “What time will you start filming tomorrow?”
“Sometime in the afternoon. Our schedule is later in the day to allow some of the staff and crew to get back in time.”
“I hope you’ll be careful while you film. There are reports of a new sickness going around in the news.”
My daughter nods. “I heard about that too, Appa. I’ll be careful.”
“Gon, there’s something else I want to say. You seem distracted these past few days. Is anything wrong?”
“Wrong?” Gon’s eyebrows lift slightly. “Nothing’s wrong.”
“If there is something wrong,” I tell her, not giving up just yet, “you know you can tell your father anything, right?”
She laughs at that. “Oh, Appa, there are things I can’t talk to you about!”
There’s only a few things she won’t share with me. Call it father’s intuition, but I had a feeling it was that subject. Her love life. One of topics we never talk about.
I’m a bit curious, so I press her more than usual. “I saw a picture of that person on Instagram. One of your fans tagged me in it. Lee Minho? Lee Minho is very handsome, isn’t he?”
My daughter’s face, which she controls very well while in public, is much easier to read when she’s home with family.
Right now, her face looks slightly red. And she’s not saying anything.
I must have guessed right again.
My daughter likes this man.
“I thought you were closer to Jung Haein.”
“Appa!” Gon says, trying to act casual. “Haein-oppa and I are just friends, you know that.”
“While you and Lee Minho are more than friends?”
Gon looks mortified at having this conversation with me. She lets out a small laugh and says, “Minho-sunbae and I are just friends too.”
“And yet you’ve been acting strange these days.”
“Can we change the subject? Look, the playground is close now. Let’s sit on the swings.”
“Gon,” I say, catching her arm before she attempts to walk ahead to the playground. “Can I give you some advice?”
She glances at me hesitantly, never having had a conversation like this with me. Then she links her arm through mine and says, “Sure.”
“I don’t know anything about that young man, but I do know you. And you seem happy lately.”
“Yes. If he’s part of why you’re so happy, then I’m thankful. I hope I can meet him one day.”
She laughs again, as she always does, when she’s uncomfortable. “I don’t know what to say.”
Her voice is quieter when she adds, “It's confusing. I don't know exactly how I feel. I’ve never liked someone like him before.”
I pat her hand on my arm in a reassuring manner. “Be brave, my daughter. Be brave as you always are and you’ll be just fine.”
We walk the rest of the way to the playground in comfortable silence.
Then she says, “I love you, Appa.”
“I love you too, Gon.”
"Do you honestly want to meet him? If things work out between us, I mean."
"Of course I do. I also want his autograph."
July 18, 2020
It’s a beautiful sunny day and we are having a barbeque party at our house.
“Smile, Gon!” I say to my daughter and quickly snap a picture.
“Appa, seriously,” she says with shake of her head, but she’s smiling as she continues to attend to the meat on the grill.
“I’m going to post this picture for your fans,” I declare, more to myself than to anyone else.
I set the caption as: Ggone’s Grill – delicious!
Then I wait a few minutes and watch as the comments from Gon’s fans pour in. They’re such nice people, her fans.
I read the comments carefully, liking the ones that come in and responding to a few as well.
Just then, a young, deep male voice interrupts me from my task. “Abeonim, it’s very hot out here.”
I lift my head to see the handsome fellow extend a chilled bottle of water to me with both hands. “Please drink some water.”
“Ah, thank you,” I tell him, taking the bottle. He then goes to Gon and offers her another bottle of water, this time, twisting the cap off before giving it to her. They share a shy smile before the young man returns to my side, I suppose, to be polite and have some conversation with me.
It looks like I’ll have to answer the fan comments later.
Gon’s boyfriend is quite tall so I tilt my head up a bit to speak to him. “Gon tells me you practiced rowing for your drama. Do you by chance also like to go fishing?”
(Inspired by these two messages below that the real Papa Kim liked on Instagram)
1) I debated whether or not to write this side story because Papa Kim is active on Instagram and writing about the families of real people, especially their parents... it’s tricky. I really like Papa Kim a lot I hope he never reads this just in case it makes him uncomfortable. So please don’t mention on his Insta that this story exists, okay? I hope it’s okay I wrote this, I meant no disrespect. 😅 Also, most people don't really introduce their significant others to their parents until they're very serious. From what I know of Korean culture anyway. I'm not sure how likely it is that LMH actually has met KGE's parents yet... but that's why it's fiction right? 😆
2) I am still writing KGE’s POV - it’s just taking me much longer because our Queen is so subtle... it’s a bigger challenge to write in her POV. Can you give me a bit longer to write hers? LOL
3) Seollal is Lunar New Year for Koreans. This year's Seollal landed on January 25th.
4) Let me know if you enjoyed this!