Sense - Chapter 19
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10:00 PM, Mokdong Learning Institute
Students came pouring out of the building. As they flowed out onto the road filled with cars, the police became very busy guiding the traffic.
-The white 3997 over there! Move back, back!
A portion of the flowing populace got on a minibus with a paper saying, ‘Mokdong Topclass Cram School – Class A’ stuck on the front window.
“Quickly sit down. Put on your seat belts.”
The minibus driver checked that all passengers were on board and drove away.
The minibus got away from the busy street and passed Seongsan Bridge. A male student seated in front spoke with a sullen expression.
“Guksutam 287 points. The director said that’s the cut-off for Seoul University this year. The best mock test result I’ve had still lacks 4 points.”
[T/N: Guksutam “국수탐” is a way to say the entrance exam for college. It stands for the first characters for 국어-Korean, 수학-Math, and 탐구-studies]
“If it’s just 4 points, you’re within the shooting range. I’m missing 20 points.”
Upon hearing the words ‘Seoul University,’ the driver looked from the back mirror.
Students hoping to enter a famous university.
All students from Class A in this minibus were like that.
The minibus passed the bridge and entered the overpass. After passing this place, it was the apartment complex where parents were waiting.
“I’m only sleeping 3 hours from today onward.”
“Are you stupid, your scores will fall more if you just sleep 3 hours. From now on, it’s a mental battle. In that line of thought, do you want to skip tomorrow with this noona? As a method of mental-care.”
“Who’s the noona?”
“Then you can be oppa. Are you going or not?”
“I’ll go if it’s an amusement park. Lotte or Everland.”
“You’re so childish.”
A smile bloomed on the driver’s face despite the fact the students were planning to skip the cram school. That was because there were no other kids who were more stressed and sensitive than high school 3rd years in late October.
He pretended not to hear the conversation and let it pass through one ear and out another. Then he stepped on the accelerator to climb the incline of the overpass.
At that moment.
A dump truck coming down from the other side of the road slipped out of the blue.
The truck crossed the centerline as it overturned and occupied the road dangerously.
If the minibus collided head-on with a truck that size, it would be crushed into a flat pancake. The driver instinctively turned the handle.
The minibus hit the railing of the overpass as it stopped. It barely escaped the fall.
The shocked children inside the vehicle continued to scream and yell.
Holding his forehead that was bleeding from hitting the handle, the driver turned to look at the children.
“Are you kids okay?”
Looking around, the students all had their seatbelts on and thankfully did not seem very hurt.
“Ajhussi…… it hurts.”
Then he saw a male student in the front seat lying on his back. He had banged his head on the back of the driver’s seat. He hadn’t put on his seatbelt properly.
Quickly standing up, he headed towards the male student. He grabbed the boy’s hand, which he was waving in the air, and helped him sit down on a seat.
“Just hold on for a second. I’ll call 119 right ….”
The driver couldn’t finish his words.
Outside the window, he saw an SUV that suddenly turned to avoid the overturned truck rushing toward the rear of the minibus.
Was it an instinct? He pulled the seatbelt on the male student’s seat and clicked it in place.
Crash bang —-!
* * *
Myeong Sae Hospital, at the same time.
Dowook, who was on his last watch as the chief of staff, was looking down at his neatly organized desk with an expression of renewed emotion.
“I didn’t think this position would make me feel this bittersweet.”
“You said you would be working right beside Last Choi from next week?”
Dowook nodded to answer Seong Chang Soo, who was sitting on the rest table.
“Starting from Monday. Hana will be the official chief of staff from then on.”
“It’s my first time planning a funeral for a friend so I’m not sure what to prepare.”
“What nonsense are you saying when I haven’t started yet.”
“Even the soft Dr. Hong quit after being cursed so much. You even argue with Chief Ha, how do you plan to last?”
At the question, Dowook looked down at his hands.
Prof. Choi wasn’t someone who could be matched with as long as they had a flexible personality. Instead, meeting him head on using his special sense was better. The past week had indeed been that way.
“I have a plan.”
“What is it? Do you plan to cooperate with me? If it’s good, let’s do it together.”
Dowook furrowed his eyebrows.
“Aren’t you going home?”
“The change of shift is at dawn so I plan to just stay.”
Seong Chang Soo put 3 chairs in a row and laid down before he knew it. Dowook saw him and shouted.
“Go sleep in your own department, b*stard!”
“Don’t wanna. It’s a Fire-Friday so the emergency center is a mess. And, when else can I lie down like this at the neurosurgery department after your term as chief of staff? Let me enjoy this last time, too.”
“Why should you enjoy the last moments that even I don’t? Argh, Really. I hope you have a ton of patients come in and receive calls all night.”
At Dowook’s curse, Seong Chang Soo flinched.
“Hey. Sleeping on some leftover chairs isn’t some big crime….. I already ordered a midnight snack.”
The interns who were organizing their daily records and the 2nd or 3rd year residents who were looking at charts also looked at Dowook as if he had done too much.
Dowook cleared his throat at Seong Chang Soo’s sadly bowed head.
“You ordered a midnight snack? Then, sorry. I spoke too harshly.”
“Okay. Don’t take back your apology.”
“What is that positive reaction?”
“What do you mean what, it means I ordered the food and you pay for it of course. I haven’t received my bonus ye–”
Seong Chang Soo twisted his body to avoid the folder thrown by Dowook. It was a lightning-fast movement that seemed to have expected the action. Seong Chang Soo raised both hands as Dowook grabbed another folder from a box.
“Stop! Listen to me first. The sundae gopchang from this shop is something you can’t order even if you want to. Regulars only get yeom-tang as an addition.”
“D*mn. Get out.”
A phone vibrated while he was fighting with Seong Chang Soo. At the same time, without caring whose it was, they both reached in to get their phones. This time, the medical staff’s phone rang loudly.
An ominous feeling suddenly descended on them.
“Park Dowook. It’s your fault, d*mn it.”
“Why? What kind of call is it?”
“A minibus crashed down an overpass. 13 passengers. 6 serious cases will come over here. ‘Commander G’ said to call everyone off-duty over.”
“Your chief said that himself?”
“They all have multiple severe injuries.”
There were 6 critical patients when even one would make them lose their minds. This was a regular situation. If this happened not just the emergency center but all the other departments would be in a state of emergency.
Dowook couldn’t help but sigh.
“I’m screwed. I’m on duty today.”
“It’s because you said such an unlucky thing. No one says something like that in my department even as a joke.”
“Why is it my fault? Don’t exaggerate.”
“The mechanism of misfortune is like that!”
Seong Chang Soo yelled in anger and ran out of the medical staff room. The intern who answered the phone rushed to Dowook.
“The chief of the emergency center asked all on-duty staff of the neurosurgery department to come down. If you complain, he said he’ll send twice the amount of patients for a month…..”
As expected, the time had come.
Doctors from each department flocked to the Myeong Sae University’s Emergency Treatment Center.
The usual patients who had been getting treatment saw the procession of people in white coats moving around and raised their heads.
This translation is presented by Nocturne Translations.
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