4 The Hooded Figure

It was past 1 am when Minho put his laptop away and yawned. He got up from his desk and was ready to go to sleep. Kim had placed some of his washed clothes on the bed, so he picked them up and headed into his walk-in closet to place them in the proper places. He liked to keep everything categorized and well organized to save time. Expertly separating the shirts, he put them in the order of colors and clothing type. While putting his pants on the hanger in the 'Pants' section, something fell out.

He picked it up to find that it was a letter. Correction. It was not just 'a letter' but rather it was the same letter he was reading at the hospital on the day Jina was born. The letter was written by that woman. The one who gave birth to Jina.

Initially, Minho was curious at the strange request the girl had made. In reality, Jina was born out of an IVF treatment. Minho was not interested in any of the matches he was being set up with but he knew of the importance of an heir for Hwang Constructions. So his doctor suggested that he could try IVF treatment and assign a surrogate to give birth to his child. The news was kept hushed up in order to avoid a scandal so the surrogate never knew who the father of her baby was.

But Minho was given the profile of every potential candidate. He had rejected every one of them until his attention was caught by one certain girl.

She had just turned eighteen and was aiming to train at the police academy. The girl did not seem to have any financial troubles and she was smart too since she received the highest grades in her school except in Maths. It puzzled him why a girl like her had signed up for the program but since he remained anonymous, he could not meet her in person. All correspondences were done through the doctor and the whole matter was kept under wraps.

Everything went smoothly. The girl remained in anonymity and never requested to meet him during her pregnancy even though he kept an eye on her through his men. He knew every little detail about her but she remained unaware of his existence.

She readily signed the contract, giving away her rights on the child. Her behavior was puzzling but since everything was going perfectly, he did not complain. He thought she was fulfilling her end of the bargain until she wrote this letter to him.

It was the only time she had directly sent him a message and after reading it, he could not help but wonder why she was doing this. Opening the piece of paper, he read the letter again.

"Dear Sir,

Today I will be giving birth to our daughter. Even though I don't know who you are and what sort of father you will be to her, I'm still certain that she will be happy and healthy under your care.

When I signed up for this deal, I didn't think that separation would be so hard. I had my own selfish reasons to have her and because of those selfish reasons, I don't deserve to be with her.

At first I thought if I did not get myself attached to this baby, it won't be that hard right? But it's hard. As I sit here, thinking about how she will not be with me after a few days, my heart is being shredded into pieces.

This girl...this little girl was supposed to be my escape from the dark world I have known for years. But now, I desperately want to protect her from those horrors. For this reason, I am begging you. Please don't ever let her find me. Keep her away from me and don't ever mention about me to her. I don't deserve to be with this precious angel. I don't want your money nor any favors. I just want her to be happy and safe.

This is my one and only request. I will not see her face nor hear her cries because I won't be able to bear it. The resolve I had been building up will break and I'll not be able to separate from her. So please, take her away as soon as she is born and raise her well.

That is all I want. Take care of our daughter, Mr. Stranger.

Jeon Gayoon"

Minho folded the paper and kept it back in its place. Ever since that day, Jeon Gayoon had disappeared from their lives, leaving no trace of her behind. It was as if she had never existed.

"Jeon Gayoon," he muttered. Even though he was true to his word and fulfilled her request, he vaguely wondered what happened to her in all these years. Did she get married and have more children? Did she ever think of Jina at all?

Oh well, it was none of his concern. He closed the closet door and went straight to bed, falling asleep instantly.


"Target is in front of me," a hooded figure reported into a walkie talkie. The person was eyeing a man across the street who was glancing backwards every now and then. The hooded figure watched him from a cafe, casually sipping coffee.

The man was behaving strangely as if afraid of being caught. He walked towards a dark alley. The hooded person got up and casually headed towards the alley. Standing behind a wall, the person listened hard.

The man was now joined by a teenage girl.

"How much for this?" the girl asked. The man had taken out a packet.

"A thousand dollars," he demanded.

"Thousand bucks for such a small amount?" the girl asked, outraged.

"These things don't come in cheap," the man said smugly. "Either a thousand bucks or leave."

"Fine!" the girl exclaimed, taking out the money. The man handed her the packet which contained white substance in it.

Suddenly, they heard the sound of a camera clicking. Startled, they turned to see a person in a hoodie, taking their picture.

"Who are you?" the man yelled but the hooded person lunged at him, punching him in the stomach hard. He fell backwards and before he knew it, a kick came flying at him, breaking his teeth. The girl screamed and fled.

Blood gushed out and he almost choked on the crimson liquid as the hooded figure turned him around and put handcuffs on him.

"Who the hell are you?" the man spluttered.

The attacker took off the hoodie. Long, silky black hair fell out. Her dark eyes glared down at him with a hellbent fury while her pale skin shone under the moonlight like a geisha.

"You're under arrest for selling drugs to minors," she stated. "Anything you say will be used against you in the court. So shut up and move your filthy ass!"

Not waiting for him to recover, she roughly picked him up and shoved him at the back of a police car. Locking the door firmly behind her, she called her supervisor, Junwan.

"Sunbae," she greeted. "I've caught him."

"Gayoon, please tell me you haven't beaten him to a pulp and he can testify," Chief Junwan begged.

Gayoon glanced at the man at the back. He was barely conscious.

"He can talk," Gayoon half lied. As long as he remains awake, she added in her head. She hung up the phone and got into the driver's seat. Revving up the engine, she started to drive.

The man had completely collapsed out of exhaustion but he was still breathing.

"Thanks for the tip," Gayoon said out loud. But she was not talking to the man, She was talking to a pale figure sitting next to him. A lady in a red shirt and skirt was there with them, completely still. Her hair was wildly curly and her lips were a shade of bright pink lipstick.

Gayoon could not see her but was able to hear her and from the spirit's accent, it was obvious that the woman had been a sex worker when she was alive. There was a time when she was able to see the spirits as well but she lost that ability a few years ago. She could still sense them and even hear them but unlike before, she could choose to ignore them upon will, enabling her to live peacefully.

"Son of a bitch killed me!" she complained. "Been haunting him since he killed me."

"Yeah yeah now you can go," Gayoon snapped. For the past few days, the woman had been driving her crazy when Gayoon approached her for help after figuring out there was a ghost lurking near the drug dealer.

"I'll keep haunting him in prison," the woman vowed. With that, she vanished, leaving Gayoon to sigh.

She kept her head high and kept driving, hoping not to come across her ever again.

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