I Need Romance 2012: Episodes 14-16

ALRIGHT! This is it. I’ve finally finished this series because these recaps have been drawn out for nearly a year. I hate leaving things unfinished. I so hate it. And it’s not like I hate this series! I forgot how much I enjoyed the music too.

I’m so happy to have completed this personal achievement of mine. Whew!

I’ve already written up a final drama review (lol) but not the recaps. So check that out for any comments to the series in general.

Episode 14


Ji Hoon is excited to see that Yeol Mae is already at his home, and what’s more is she’s moved in! Total change of heart considering she just found out about Seok Hyun’s secret box of their relationship. Feeling like he’s got her forever, Ji Hoon wants to bring her along when he goes to meet his mother for the first time.

The mother’s quite happy to see him, even though she doesn’t say a word, and smiles at meeting Yeol Mae. Ji Hoon seems quite excited at the prospect of seeing his mother more in the future. As for Yeol Mae, she offers to take him to meet her grandmother – but only after she’s spoken to her grandmother first and given her time for the news to sink in. (Not that that’s necessary – Grandma wants Yeol Mae married asap and doesn’t care who it is.)


Yeol Mae meets with Grandma, and finds out that Ki Hyun passed away from a hereditary disease – which Yeol Mae didn’t know about until now. Grandma only tells her this now because she’s not likely to marry Seok Hyun, but Yeol Mae feels betrayed. Now everything is starting to make sense – Seok Hyun’s shadiness about marriage and his family, and why he’s so angry whenever she says that she’s sacrificing herself for others, and why he never wanted kids.

She arrives at Seok Hyun’s home, and he offers her some of Na Hyun’s homemade soup. Yeol Mae: “How’s Ki Hyun?” Seok Hyun: “She probably is.” Yeol Mae: “Tell her I say hello. And tell her I’m doing well. And that I’m sorry.” And with that, she goes straight to her room; they’re going to pretend nothing happened at all.


Ji Hee and Tae Woo hold a bet on who can swim the lap the fastest, and of course Tae Woo wins. So she has to grant his wish: a kiss! She puts on their swimming goggles, and gives him a nice little smooch. Aww – he’s so happy he kisses her again — and they fall into the pool! As for  Jae Kyung, her successful fashion show has opened up an opportunity to premiere in Paris. However, Jung Min is broken up over a recent newspaper headline speculating that she and her ex-husband will reunite. Jae Kyung doesn’t take it seriously, but Jung Min’s not confident – does she actually still have feelings for her ex? How could she visit the jail if reporters were going to be outside? He doesn’t want to be with her anymore if she’s going to make him look like a fool, as a man who just made a married woman divorce but she ends up returning to her ex.


The following morning, Yeol Mae tells Ji Hoon about Seok Hyun’s sister passing away, and that being the reason why she visited her home yesterday. She tells him everything, and Ji Hoon is visibly affected by the tragic news. As for Seok Hyun, he visits his sister’s ashes and promises that he won’t be sad, even though he’s tearing up.

Yeol Mae then calls Jae Kyung and Ji Hee to go visit Ki Hyun’s ashes. They’re all just as sad that Seok Hyun never told them anything about it, and that they have to pretend they don’t know about it. But then Ji Hee reminds Yeol Mae that Seok Hyun treated her so well and took care of her when her mother died; shouldn’t she do the same for him? Shouldn’t they try a little harder?


As much as Yeol Mae knows that what she and Ji Hoon has is real love, she chooses to leave him too, and starts packing her bags. Grr – I know.  She tells him that she wants to go back to Seok Hyun. Ji Hoon is being understanding and says that he’ll wait; they’ll delay their wedding and she can stay by Seok Hyun’s side in the mean time. But that’s not what she meant – she wants to break up with Ji Hoon and start again with Seok Hyun.

I hate that she’s so flippant about her love for Ji Hoon, and is incredibly selfish about her feelings without considering his. He asks for one day to think about it. She tries to leave in the middle of the night, but he picks her up on the street, angry that she won’t even trust him to think and make a logical decision. But nope – she doesn’t want him to wait for her, because she refuses to go back to him.


The following morning, Na Hyun finds Yeol Mae cooking breakfast for Seok Hyun. She knew that Seok Hyun was sick, but now that she sees Yeol Mae, she figures it’s time for her to leave. Yeol Mae brings up the breakfast soup to Seok Hyun’s surprise. He tries to push her away by saying he’s not sick, but she offers to start over together again.

He thinks she’s joking, but she’s not – as long as both work harder in their relationship, it will work out. Seok Hyun even tries to run away to the park, but she finds him quite quickly. If he really wants to be along and think about it, she’ll let him be – “Go take a walk. But be home by 9pm.” Heh. Seok Hyun admits that he’s always missed Yeol Mae when she’s not around, but he feels that the two are always missing their timing.

Because you just refuse to admit that you feel the same way at the same time! 


Ji Hee and Jae Kyung come by to clean up Seok Hyun’s place and set up a huge sleepover in his living room. He does end up coming home on time, and is disappointed that he has to sleep next to the “innocent Ji Hee” (HAH). He grudgingly agrees to this sleepover, and they even play a board game that’s like a Korean version of Monopoly.

That evening, Yeol Mae throws out everything she has of Ji Hoon’s from her room. She even leaves the bike outside Ji Hoon’s cafe, where he’s still wallowing over her and their plant. Ouch.

Episode 15

(Just a note – didn’t enjoy this particular episode, as it felt quite long for me while Yeol Mae waffled between Ji Hoon and Seok Hyun.)


Seok Hyun and Yeol Mae ease into an awkward cohabiting routine again, where he tries to ignore her as much as possible, and she keeps reaching out to him with small gestures. As long as neither of them mention love, then everything is fine. Seok Hyun realizes he loves Yeol Mae the most when she’s not dating anyone else, but she hasn’t completely forced a future together upon him.

A neighbor comes by to hand back the waste Yeol Mae had thrown out. The fact that they’re all things from Ji Hoon is the big elephant in the room, but if Yeol Mae refuses to address it, then Seok Hyun refuses to address it as well; at least she doesn’t tear up the childhood photo of Ji Hoon, but sadly still puts it with the recyclables instead of returning it to him. Meanwhile, Ji Hoon still hasn’t quite forgotten Yeol Mae, still missing her as he sees remnants of her in his apartment.


Seok Hyun finally asks Yeol Mae why she broke up with Ji Hoon. She admits that she likes Seok Hyun more now, and she’s not pushing for marriage this time because she understands him. But she likes Ji Hoon too. She can’t explain this duality, but it sure as hell is confusing for Seok Hyun. He hates that she just confesses her feelings all over, and leaves it for other people to sort out what to do. But Yeol Mae wishes he could be more honest with his own feelings as well, and just do away with figuring out what’s right and what’s wrong.


Jae Kyung goes looking for Jung Min, who’s still adamant about leaving the company and her — after he completes his projects for her of course. Just like Yeol Mae and Seok Hyun, they’re having their own difficulties of loving a person they can’t understand, but wish to understand fully (even though that may be an impossible task). It’s only after an interview Jae Kyung has with a university TV station that he realizes she does want to marry him (as not many people can handle her vibrant and confident personality), even if it may take a while. She’ll wait for him to come around.


The next day, Yeol Mae finds something strange with their dog’s skin, so she and Seok Hyun take Max to the veterinarian. As they head home, she grabs his hand, warning Seok Hyun not to shake it off. But two steps later, she sees Ji Hoon ahead of them, looking pained at the sight of them holding hands. Quickly, she throws Seok Hyun’s hand off hers — HAH. Gah – frustration wells up within me. She quickly turns around to avoid his gaze, and walks in the opposite direction, leaving the two men to deal awkwardly with this situation. Ji Hoon then walks away.


I can see why Seok Hyun was so frustrated with her and thought of her selfish, spilling her feelings without giving thought to others’. When they get home, they pretend the event never happened, and Seok Hyun also chooses to pretend he never heard her confession the day before. Instead, they’ll just live together without naming their relationship as anything specific.


Ji Hee and Tae Woo go on their first date. It’s a hot summer day, but he takes her to a small restaurant known for it’s kimchi chigae. Ji Hee would rather go somewhere else, but he’s so excited that she can’t change his mind. While eating the stew and sweating, she asks what they’re going to do next.

Tae Woo: Want to watch a movie?

Ji Hee: We watch movies every day.

Tae Woo: How about swimming?

Ji Hee: We swim three times a week.

Tae Woo: Rollerblading?

Ji Hee: In this weather!?

Tae Woo’s out of ideas. Clearly he didn’t plan their first date! Ji Hee gets so frustrated with him that she leaves; if they’re to go on another date, he better plan it from start to finish! And not choose the easy way out by picking activities they’ve already done.

Ji Hee runs off to her friends to complain, and Jae Kyung and Yeol Mae are surprised to hear that they’ve already had their first kiss. It brings Jae Kyung back to analyzing about kisses – whether they’re long or short, the magical type of kiss can change friendship into romance. Cue flashbacks as Yeol Mae remembers her first kiss with Seok Hyun. However, there have been kisses where one doesn’t necessarily feel that magic, and the guy just kisses the girl, and they end up dating. Ji Hee had that with Deok Soo (har har) and Yeol Mae recognizes that she had that with Ji Hoon.


One evening, Yeol Mae exits her studio to find Ji Hoon waiting for her outside. He’s missed her, and asks if she’s happy. Yeol Mae nods that she is, and tearfully apologizes, knowing that she’s hurt him terribly. He thinks about her all the time, and asks if he can visit her more often; at first she says he can, but then realizes it’ll be too burdensome and tells him not to. But he misses her so much! Yeol Mae apologizes once again and says that she rarely thinks of him as a way to drive him away. She so clearly cares for him, but refuses to go back to him. I’d like to think it’s because she believes her love for Seok Hyun is so deep that she can’t fully turn to another person like Ji Hoon. But Ji Hoon knows that he’ll never leave Yeol Mae’s heart – she may not love him as much as Seok Hyun but he knows he’s touched her just as she’s touched him.


She sobs by the riverside (of course), and misses Seok Hyun, who’s driving to her studio. He stops in front of it, and sees Ji Hoon standing there despondently. Suddenly, he understands that Yeol Mae is crying and heartbroken, and tells her to meet him at home.

Then, Seok Hyun gets out of the car and approaches Ji Hoon — and asserts that because he and Yeol Mae are so close, that is why she came back to him. And he’s not giving her up – she is his everything too.


Yeol Mae returns home, and sobs harder than before as she remembers all the sweet moments with Ji Hoon. She knows that Ji Hoon is right when he says he’ll never leave her heart. Having not let him go properly, she just cries and cries… and Seok Hyun just listens outside her door.

Finally, he enters, and hugs her close. And Yeol Mae just cries, “What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with my heart?” echoing his scared sister Ki Hyun’s cries when she was wheeled to the hospital and discovered her sickness many years ago.

Episode 16

Seok Hyun and Yeol Mae reminisce about their relationship separately, thinking of how missed opportunities to express how they felt at that moment would have changed everything. Lots of ‘what ifs’ are thrown about, since they can’t change the past.


And then Seok Hyun decides to put his house up for sale.

He returns home for lunch, where Yeol Mae is still feeling blue about the day before. To cheer her up, Seok Hyun suggests they go on a trip. An overnight trip somewhere just might do the trick.


They go off driving, randomly picking their route to a random destination. They end up in the countryside, and take a break at a melon stand. Suddenly, Seok Hyun talks about Ki Hyun and the time when the three of them went to a melon field. It’s surprising but also sad for Yeol Mae to listen to Seok Hyun talk about his sister, whom he never wanted to talk about before. He starts to open up about his father as well, another taboo subject between them. Slowly, Seok Hyun opens up to Yeol Mae – finally.

They talk well into the night, and Seok Hyun says he knows why she came back: it’s because she found out about Ki Hyun’s death. Yeol Mae also admits that her selfish, childish ways would have prevented him from opening up to her before. She was also always so needy, wanting to hear him say he liked her or was happy with her, rather than trusting that he was. She didn’t think his feelings were real unless said aloud.


Seok Hyun never told her anything about his family because he loved her, and didn’t want to be irresponsible about the future. Loved. Past tense. The opposite of “love”. It also means that he wants them to end, now. Even though she wanted to go to the end with him, their time is up. He thanks her for staying with him until he could be honest with her (as if that was the real reason she came back), but now he must send her back to Ji Hoon.

Not willing to be the one getting dumped, Yeol Mae says that he lost her, rather than she losing him. She takes her bag out of his car and declares that she’ll go home by herself. By walking. Miles and miles. This is not the end for her, and she won’t go to Ji Hoon just because he said so. But if he wants to be alone, then fine – they’ll both just be alone. And so, Seok Hyun gets into his car and drives off in the opposite direction. Both are crying, but both don’t look back.


That same evening, Ji Hee is on a date with Tae Woo at a cheap kimbap place. She’s not happy about it, but he wants her to face the reality that they’re just salaried employees. It will take a while to save up and start a family together. Ji Hee actually brightens up at hearing him talk of a future together, but then becomes aghast: did he just propose to her?!

Tae Woo nods. Ji Hee’s face turns dark. Is that what he calls a proposal!? She gets up and leaves, wanting to go home. He drives her back, and hands her a small bouquet of flowers before she leaves: “Marry me. Let’s do it simply and quickly.” Ji Hee takes it without a response and waits for him to drive away. She’s disappointed that he didn’t even say “I love you” and proposed in a small old restaurant, so she throws the flowers away… not noticing a small simple ring on the stem of a flower.


Meanwhile Yeol Mae is still on her slow walk home. She feels like she can’t live on anymore, and wishes her life were more simple (throwing away her ringing cellphone helps I guess). Seok Hyun arrives home first (of course) and proceeds to move his things out. He fixes the leaking kitchen sink and replaces a light bulb, and finds the childhood photo of Ji Hoon in the trash. And Ji Hoon just wallows in sadness, missing Yeol Mae.


The following day at work, Tae Woo asks Ji Hee if she watered the flowers. She says that she threw it away because it looked like a half-hearted attempt to woo her. Tae Woo gets mad – did she really throw it away?! Next thing we know, they’re both diving through the trash outside her apartment looking for it. He’s so mad she lost the ring, but she’s all, “Why didn’t you put the ring on my finger instead?” He says he got her a diamond, and she immediately lights up – how many carats is it!? It’s fake, and Ji Hee sneers. So materialistic! Even Tae Woo calls her out on it, saying she doesn’t even deserve the measly diamond or his lame proposal. At this point, she’s not even allowed to reject him – they must marry at once!

Wow he forgave her quick.

Fearful of his angry expression, she says yes. But he’ll get her another ring right? Haha – he will – but one without a diamond.


Yeol Mae returns to the city, and she passes by Ji Hoon’s cafe. She watches him clean up the display stand, but doesn’t dare go in. In her mind’s eye, she plays out a scene where she goes in and promises to never leave his side again, and he forgives her. But Yeol Mae can’t bring herself to actually do it; in fact, she knows that even if she thought about it for a week she wouldn’t be able to decide who she really wants to be with.

Seok Hyun happens to pass by the cafe at that moment and sees her standing outside. And then Ji Hoon comes outside, locking up the cafe, and sees Yeol Mae there. She says she missed him, and he hugs her. And Seok Hyun drives away, thinking that they’ve reunited.


So what does this mean? Well, Yeol Mae and Ji Hoon sit inside for a talk, and no matter what she feels for him she can’t go back to him. For her, Seok Hyun is that tree dying of a drought, and she loves it so much she’d go to water it every day. It doesn’t matter how he feels towards her, but all she knows is how she feels for him. Ji Hoon is heartbroken, but he understands how she feels since he felt that way before.

Yeol Mae finally returns home and sees his entire place under white sheets. The record that Ji Hoon gave her is on her bed, alongside the framed photo of child Ji Hoon. Yeol Mae breaks down in tears again from the pain and the loss, and wishes that she could get old and the pain would dull away.


Jae Kyung receives an offer to go to Paris for a fashion exhibition, and asks Jung Min to go with her. She even proposes to get married in Paris; she never stopped loving him, and believes that they can get through any hurdles together. But Jung Min’s doubtful — when they get to Paris, she won’t be the Jae Kyung he knows. She’ll be famous, so would she even pay attention to him? Of course she would, because she will forever be by his side. And so he hugs her, and accepts.

Now to break the news to the other girls – Ji Hee’s surprised because now Jae Kyung can’t be there for her wedding since she’s leaving in a month. Ji Hee also feels bad for Yeol Mae because now, she’s the one left alone and everyone’s moving on with their lives.

One year later!


Yeol Mae still isn’t over the breakup, and still misses Seok Hyun. But at least his house hasn’t been sold yet — probably because every time people ask to see the house she says it’s not for sale. She’s still getting hassled by her grandmother to marry, and she’s on friendly terms with Na Hyun, even making the OST to Na Hyun’s movie. Na Hyun wonders if Seok Hyun would ever come to her premiere, but neither of them know where he is at the moment.

Yeol Mae heads to a music store after lunch and listens to some sample music – and then sees Ji Hoon a few spots down. And then he sees her too. They look at each other, and smile, telepathically communicating about each other’s well-being. And they’re fine.


Back at home, Yeol Mae cleans up Seok Hyun’s apartment, and she sees a box of their memories left behind, including their couple rings. He had used a bread bag twist-tie around her finger to get her ring size, and so even now, when he goes to a bakery near where he currently lives, he thinks of her. He, of course, still loves her; he loved everything about her, and he still aches for her. So yeah – love in the present tense.

Seok Hyun returns home in the countryside, where he greets his puppy Yeol Mae happily like a little boy. When he looks up, the real Yeol Mae is standing before him. Is it an illusion? A dream? Seok Hyun thinks it is, as anything he’s ever missed before has never come to him. He starts crying, missing her so much, and then sees a hand in front of him.


Yeol Mae: “Let’s go home, oppa.”

And he takes her hand. IS THIS IT?! ARE THEY TOGETHER NOW?!

Yes. They are. It’s done. He’s loved her so much, and she’s finally there, waiting to bring him back home.

Some more time passes, and Seok Hyun has barred his side of the house from anyone bothering him, as he’s trying to finish up a script. But Yeol Mae doesn’t care. She barges right on in — does he have time to play with her for an hour? *wink wink nudge nudge* Unfortunately, she knows exactly how to turn him on, and he can’t resist. They start kissing on the way to her bedroom, but Seok Hyun interrupts with “I love you’s” on the way. He’s saying “I love you!” He now sees how romance truly starts with those three little words.

A little while later, the roles are reversed, with Yeol Mae locking her sliding door and Seok Hyun trying to barge in. He calls her on the phone – this is totally unfair! But she holds her ground. He wants to hear her say “I miss you” and “I love you,” and when she does, he squeals like a child. I swear it makes me happy too.


They host a picnic outside when Jae Kyung and Jung Min return from Paris, along with Ji Hee and Tae Woo – WHO’S PREGNANT! Both of them also have morning sickness. (I roll my eyes at the cuteness.) Everyone is super lovey-dovey, but they’re all happy and married. Well, not Seok Hyun and Yeol Mae yet – but it will happen. Soon.

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