Soulmates. It’s a simple concept with many different meanings, layers, and relationships associated with it. One can argue that Yeon-soo and Choi Woong were soulmates at one point and may still very be. But is it possible to have multiple soulmates in your life?
Our Beloved Summer Episode 10: Hello, My Soul Mate
NJ participates in the filming for the new documentary. She introduces herself to the camera and gives a little context on her life as a celebrity. She also explains how she discovered Choi Woong (AKA Go-oh) in the first place and how they first met. After accidentally clicking on an ad that lead her to Choi Woong’s website, she became captivated and fascinated with his drawings. She eventually attended one of his exhibitions and that’s how they first met.
What originally started off as just an acquaintance who she purchased a drawing from eventually transformed into more. NJ first thought Choi Woong would be just like any of the other guys who she was interested in for the first few months, but he ended up becoming a lot more interesting than she thought. She anticipates that it won’t take her much longer to decipher and determine what her actual feelings for him will be.
Yeon-soo and Choi Woong awkwardly greet Ji-woong outside of Choi Woong’s house. Wait, what are the both of them doing there at the house together? What’s going on? Yeon-soo attempts to lighten the mood and she throws her arms around Choi Woong’s shoulder. It’s their first day as friends. LOL. But Ji-woong isn’t in the mood to joke around and they all enter the house. Since Ji-woong doesn’t want to go back home to his mom, he proposes that he sleep over. Choi Woong complains at first; his house isn’t an inn where people can just come and go. But wait, who else slept over at his house then? Choi Woong manages to barely escape by blaming Eun-ho and Yeon-soo utilizes the opportunity to leave. While walking out, both Choi Woong and Ji-woong encourage Yeon-soo to not walk home. Choi Woong even turns on his lights outside as she walks away and checks the window for her safety.
When Yeon-soo arrives home, she discovers both Grandma and Sol-yi waiting for her. So much for saying that she slept over at Sol-yi’s house. Lol. Sol-yi interrogates Yeon-soo as she’s getting ready for bed. Yeon-soo updates her best friend about the whole just friends situation with Choi Woong. She agreed to do it it since she’s curious about Choi Woong’s thoughts and feelings. Sol-yi breaks the breaking news to Yeon-soo and admits that Yeon-soo admit that she has a one-sided crush on him (it’s true, I confirmed it myself). Yeon-soo is in denial about the one-sided love. That’s not possible. But it is.
Choi Woong and Ji-woong enjoy some chicken and beer with each other after Yeon-soo’s exit. They chat a bit about the documentary since there’s only 3 more shoots left. But there’s something that Choi Woong finds more suspicious. Along with the looks that Ji-woong has been giving him, it’s also a bit odd of Ji-woong to be drinking. Choi Woong knows his childhood friend well. There must be a lot on his mind. But Ji-woong doesn’t open up so Choi Woong takes advantage of the opportunity to get some work done while Ji-woong prepares to sleep.
When Choi Woong wakes up the next morning, he hears some outside noise and checks outside his window to find some special visitors. Yeon-soo and Sol-yi go for a morning walk while casually eating some ice cream and Sol-yi accuses Yeon-soo of coming up with excuses just so she could see Choi Woong. How could she forget her pouch that she left back at his house? Of course, Yeon-soo denies the accusations and Sol-yi leaves her best friend for some food. When Yeon-soo arrives at Choi Woong’s house, she finds NJ filming for the documentary outside with Ji-woong. Choi Woong’s also stepped outside for a glance.
Sol-yi ends up eating at Mom and Dad’s restaurant only to be greeted by Eun-ho. He breaks the breaking news to Sol-yi that the owners of the restaurant that she’s eating at is none other than Choi Woong’s parents. Choi Woong might not look like it sometimes, but his parents are successful and wealthy. They own tons of restaurants around the neighborhood. Upon hearing the news, Sol-yi is shocked. Now she finally understands why Yeon-soo has a one-sided crush on Choi Woong. Lol.
NJ wraps up her filming for the documentary and steals Choi Woong away from Yeon-soo. They greet each other for a second before she leaves with Choi Woong for what she assumes is a date. Yeon-soo is left by herself and agrees to grab some food with Ji-woong. On their “date”, NJ requests that Choi Woong draw another one of her buildings, but Choi Woong politely declines. He’s not the most motivated to draw at the moment and NJ is okay with that.
A little into their “date”, two ladies sitting nearby gossip about NJ and criticize her behind her back. Of course, NJ and Choi Woong overhear the conversation and the mood dies down. The saddest part of it all is how used NJ are to these type of comments and behaviors from the public. It’s become a part of her daily routine. This is the price that she’s paid as a celebrity. However, Choi Woong cheers her up and reassures her that she shouldn’t worry about what others think about her. What matters is how she feels about herself. She should put herself first and not mind what anyone else thinks. With Choi Woong’s kind words, NJ feels better. She adds how he’s a charming man with many layers; he’s easygoing and charming but he also has a serious and genuine side to him.
While walking in the neighborhood, Yeon-soo rambles on about Choi Woong and she can’t seem to stop thinking about him and the way that he went away with NJ. Ji-woong is quick to point out Yeon-soo has been talking about him non-stop, but their conversation eventually comes to a close when they come across Mom and Dad’s restaurant. Friendly greetings are exchanged between the four, but an unexpected surprise from Ji-woong’s mom ruins his mood and he walks away. He encourages Yeon-soo to eat at Mom and Dad’s place before leaving with his mom. Once out of sight, he finally confronts his mom about their situation. Ji-woong hopes that she won’t show up like how she did earlier; he cares about his second family way too much to show them the side of him that he doesn’t want them to see.
On the drive to NJ’s place, Choi Woong and the idol singer get to know each other a little bit better. NJ also gets an update regarding Choi Woong’s past and current relationship with Yeon-soo. In the past, they used to be lovers. He had the biggest crush on her and he loved her a lot. But now? They’ve decided to just be friends. NJ can’t help but be curious as to how that’s possible. What is it like to love someone so much the way that he loved Yeon-soo? How could he talk about Yeon-soo even after their break-up? Choi Woong struggles to come up with answer, but NJ interrupts him anyways. She doesn’t want to know.
Eventually, the day comes to an end and Choi Woong drops NJ off at her place. However, she’s not quite ready to let Choi Woong go just yet and she invites him inside. Yeon-soo is quite the jealous one and she can’t stop thinking about Choi Woong. Friends? How could he be friends with NJ when they barely met each other? What is he up to with NJ? Is he home yet? If he went out for lunch that day, he should probably be eating dinner at home, right? She’s so distracted and engulfed by thoughts of Choi Woong that she accidentally wakes Grandma up while dying Grandma’s hair, lol. Yeon-soo, get it together, honey!
NJ isn’t happy with Choi Woong’s rejection to stop by her place. It takes him a while to warm up to people and he doesn’t feel as comfortable with her just quite yet. It seems like Choi Woong will remain as a crush for NJ for just a tad bit longer.. and she’s okay with that. While scrolling through SNS, NJ comes across a photo of her on her “date” with Choi Woong and reads the comments criticizing her once again. It’s a new day, but same old same old. Nothing’s changed.
Yeon-soo cooks dinner for her and Grandma, but she’s still very much distracted with thoughts of Choi Woong. She’s so distracted that she ends up cutting up huge chunks of zucchini for the soup and Grandma has a difficult time understanding the behavior of her own granddaughter. What is up with Yeon-soo? Is she ok? Lol. Yeon-soo drops everything upon receiving a notification from her new friend, Choi Woong. She greets him outside of her house and receives the pouch that she left at his house. He’s here to return it.
Upon seeing Choi Woong again outside of her house, memories of when he would wait for her outside her house back in high school flashes through her mind (omg, the drama is really doing this to me right now. Don’t get me started. I might cry watching these throwback scenes). Choi Woong returns the precious pouch to her, but Yeon-soo fishes for more answers. Is that all? Is that the only reason as to why he came to see her? Yeon-soo realizes upon seeing Choi Woong again that he really hasn’t left her mind at all. She does have a crush on him.
Just when Yeon-soo is close to expressing her feelings, Grandma interrupts to see who it is that’s at the door. That leaves Choi Woong with no choice but to join Yeon-soo and Grandma for dinner. Although she invited Choi Woong inside for dinner, it’s pretty obvious that Grandma disapproves of the artist. She’s snappy and upset with him. She can’t seem to understand how Yeon-soo could be friends with an ex. Ji-woong is a much better match for Yeon-soo than Choi Woong, anyways. Choi Woong is barely given the chance to talk and he continues to stay silent when Grandma comments how she doesn’t like him since he made Yeon-soo cry. Choi Woong doesn’t respond and proceeds to eating Yeon-soo’s soup before leaving. He should still eat at least. Even with Grandma’s snarky attitude, she encourages Choi Woong to eat some of the side dishes. Omg, I’m going to cryyyy.
Yeon-soo bids Choi Woong farewell and the two share a small laugh while chatting about Grandma. Eventually, Choi Woong makes his way home, but Yeon-soo stops him to thank him.. for bringing her pouch back. Choi Woong is relieved to hear the comment; this only serves as further proof that they can be friends indeed. My heart is hurting. I’m seriously going to cry, this isn’t funny anymore.
When Yeon-soo returns inside the house, she hides her embarrassment by washing the dishes and turning away from Grandma. Grandma still hasn’t forgiven Choi Woong for all the times he’s made Yeon-soo cry. Maybe she should have been harsher to Choi Woong when he visited earlier for dinner. Yeon-soo stays silent for a few seconds and turns off the sink water. Yeon-soo stays honest with Grandma. She was the one who broke up with Choi Woong. She was selfish and abandoned him. But she still has feelings for him and she doesn’t want to be just friends with him. So instead of scolding Choi Woong, Grandma should scold Yeon-soo and be mean to her. Grandma embraces her granddaughter as Yeon-soo cries on her shoulder.
That night, Choi Woong proceeds to working and drawing. He doesn’t have too many thoughts about his interactions with Yeon-soo. The next morning at work, Yeon-soo’s team notice the sty on her eye and tease her for it. Poor Yeon-soo. She just can’t seem to catch a break. Choi Woong stops by his parent’s restaurants to visit and they once again ask him about Ji-woong. Since Ji-woong will be working late that night, they request that Choi Woong drop off some food for their second son. Lol.
Ji-woong returns home to wash up after spending the night in the editing room. He checks around the house and confirms that his mom indeed has left his place. However, she made sure to cook him some food before her departure. What stands out to him are the slices of peaches sitting on the counter alongside the other food. He’s allergic to them and yet, his mother still offered them to him. Choi Woong stops by the office with food for Ji-woong. He reunites with Mr. Park after a decade and the two make small talk before transitioning to the editing room. Mr. Park eventually leaves Choi Woong alone in the editing room to wait for Ji-woong while he takes Chae-ran away for a talk. Choi Woong has some fun in the room and plays the clips on Ji-woong’s computer of Yeon-soo.
Dating rumors involving NJ heat up and she attempts to contact Choi Woong while driving home. Yeon-soo receives a call from Sol-yi about the dating rumors as well, but Yeon-soo isn’t caught up with the news. She’s clueless as to what Sol-yi is talking about, but she’s distracted with something much more important. She encounters Ji-woong walking towards her on the street and the two stop for a chat. But it’s clear that Ji-woong is bothered by something.
He’s serious and he’s heartbroken. Today is his birthday. And he should be having a better day, but he isn’t because his mom ruined it. He’s still in disbelief at how she got him peaches even though she knew about his allergy. Or maybe it’s just that she’s choosing to ignore it. Regardless, it doesn’t sit well with Ji-woong. Back in the editing room, Choi Woong watches clips of Yeon-soo for the documentary. He glances over at Ji-woong’s external hard drive that’s plugged into the computer.
It’s November 2010. High school Ji-woong watches solemnly as his mother walks away from him with her luggage. Choi Woong approaches his childhood friend and though he’s clueless, he allows Ji-woong to sleep over at his house that night. Eventually, the tradition continues and the two continue to host sleepovers all throughout college. Fast forward to the present and it’s still the same. Ji-woong stays over for the night and rants to his childhood friend about his mother’s sudden appearance once again. She does this all the time. She acts like she’s going to stay with him, but both he and she knows that’s it’s not true. She’ll leave just like how she’s done all the other times. Choi Woong listens to his friend open up – no judgement and no comments. He lays on the couch and listens to Ji-woong with an open mind, an open heart, and with open ears. They are soulmates, indeed.
As much as I wanted to dislike this episode, I couldn’t help but like it. Feel for it. Cry because of it. That epilogue especially got me because of the drama’s splendid way in using the concept of soulmates to explain Choi Woong and Ji-woong’s relationship with each other. Sometimes, soulmates can be more commonly associated in the romantic sense, but as we saw in this episode, you can also have platonic relationships and platonic soulmates. There are just some people you meet who understand you and get you like no one else. There are just certain people in life who you click with right away and who you get along with so well. Who knows you like no one else does. Who is always on the same page as you. Who you want to remain in your life. Choi Woong and Ji-woong are that person for each other and sometimes it’s as simple as that. They’re soulmates.
Of course, it seems as if the drama heard me complain in my recap for episode 9 because it chose to actually devote more time into the Ji-woong mommy issues arc in this episode. I found it a bit hilarious, but I’m actually glad that the drama did what it did with this episode. It shined the light on not only Ji-woong’s heartbreaking and complicated relationship with his mother, but also shined light on Ji-woong’s special connection with Choi Woong. Ji-woong grew up alone and never really had his mother around him. She came and went in his life and he couldn’t trust her. He couldn’t trust her to be around. He couldn’t trust her to be there for him. He couldn’t trust her to be a mother.
But at the same time, Ji-woong just wanted to be loved and he wanted to be loved by his mom and a part of him was so lonely. And he hates that this is the type of relationship that he’s had with his mom over the years and he hates that she remains such an inconsistent and consistent aspect in his life. She reappears in his life only to disappear just as quickly every once in a while. He knows that she’s not going to stay forever. He knows that she’s not going to change. He just wants a simple and normal connection with his mother similar to how Choi Woong does with his mother. As much as Ji-woong resents his mother and refuses to forgive her for all the pain she’s caused him growing up, there’s also a part of him that wishes that things could have been better between them.
While the episode cleverly demonstrated the concept of soulmates through Choi Woong and Ji-woong, I was not thrilled with the direction that it continued on in regards to Choi Woong and Yeon-soo. I get that things aren’t going to work out for them right away, but is it just me who isn’t a fan of the whole just friends thing? I commend the two of them for wanting to try something new, but I rather we just cut it out and get to the chase. Yeon-soo still has feelings for Choi Woong and she knows that. Choi Woong is testing his feelings for Yeon-soo out by trying to be just friends with Yeon-soo and spending more time with NJ. The two of them are exploring the limits and possibilities to their relationship, but I also wished they would stop beating around the bush at times. Yeon-soo, just tell Choi Woong you still love him please!
But I’m not going to go after Yeon-soo for not stepping up more even if she’s fully aware of how she feels about Choi Woong. I’ve been rooting for Yeon-soo through these difficult times in her relationship with Choi Woong and will continue to do so. I’m so darn proud of her. If I had to choose between the two, I’d fully support Yeon-soo 9.8 out of 10 times. There were moments in this episode as well as in episode 9 where I felt like Choi Woong didn’t deserve Yeon-soo. He didn’t deserve her. The way he didn’t even seem fazed after eating dinner at her house with her and Grandma after finding out that Yeon-soo cried over him. The way he was so indifferent upon finding out that she was hurt after their break-up. If anything, it only further proved the point that they could be friends. But like you can’t. You can’t be just friends because Yeon-soo can’t. She doesn’t want to be. She has a crush on Choi Woong and it’s unfortunately one-sided for now.
Yeon-soo clearly feels guilty for breaking up with Choi Woong so she feels as if she, in a way, deserves the type of treatment that she’s been getting from him. She forces herself to think that she doesn’t have a crush on him and that she’s okay with being friends with him because she was the one who initiated the break-up. So she feels that it’s okay that Choi Woong is treating her as just a friend and that she has to accept the current situation and her new reality because she was the one who wanted to break up with him first. She’s definitely blaming herself for being the first to bring it up five years ago as well as beating herself up for the decision five years later.
But it doesn’t work like that nor is it Yeon-soo’s fault that she brought up the idea of a break-up first. She was in a difficult moment in her life; she wasn’t in the best place emotionally, mentally, and physically. She was going through some rough moments and times with Grandma. She wasn’t available and it wasn’t going to be fair for Choi Woong (or herself) if she stayed with him just for the sake of staying with him. Who knows if they would have survived. She was going to eventually give up so she cut things short. She thought she was saving the both of them some pain by concluding their relationship early, but it didn’t lessen the pain nor did it hurt less just because she did so. It still hurt for the both of them.
I think you could argue that if Yeon-soo just told Choi Woong why she wanted to break up in the first place and communicated to him what she was going through, maybe they could have gotten over that bump. Maybe they could have worked things out. Or maybe they could have broken up in a more graceful manner. But communication clearly isn’t Yeon-soo’s biggest strength and it’s an aspect that she needs to work on. But I think she broke up with Choi Woong because she wanted to isolate her issues from him and not have her problems become his. I think she wanted to break up because she knew just how much Choi Woong loved her. He might have dropped everything for her and that’s not what she wanted. She wanted him to succeed. She wanted him to study abroad and do big things in his own life. She didn’t want to become a burden on him.
What hurt the most watching this episode was how at peace Choi Woong felt about simply being friends with Yeon-soo. The scene at her house stood out to me the most and gave away to me how Choi Woong felt about their complicated situation. When Yeon-soo stopped him before he was about to head home, it didn’t seem as if he was waiting to hear more. It didn’t seem like he was waiting to hear her mutter an apology or how she still liked him or hear her say something that he wanted to hear from her. He didn’t seem all that curious. Maybe there’s a side of him in all of this that has accepted this ‘being just friends’ phase already. That quick.
And that’s the part that kills me. How could he be so okay with it? After all that he and Yeon-soo went through? Yeon-soo is over here chopping up big pieces of zucchini into her soup and being distracted as hell with endless thoughts and concerns about him. How could he not think anything after what transpired during that dinner? I know that it hasn’t been easy for him either after their break-up and reunion, but is Choi Woong really okay with just being friends with Yeon-soo as well? Is this he wants? Or is he pulling his best Yeon-soo impression and pretending as if he’s fine with everything when really he’s not?
I’m pulling my best Yeon-soo impression and questioning Choi Woong’s behavior and actions over here. It sure is getting hard to read him and his attitude with the way that he’s been treating Yeon-soo and behaving. I wish there were clear answers already because I’m not so sure how much longer I can go on like this. Flashbacks of the two back when they were in high school in contrast to the scenes in the present also isn’t helpful. However, one thing I do know for sure is I’ll be celebrating when Yeon-soo takes that huge leap in being honest with Choi Woong and fighting for him. When that happens, I only hope Choi Woong will feel the same way back about her and do the same. Soulmates don’t give up on each other that easily.
Extra photos from the episode~