After losing two lovers Kang Ja begins to think she's cursed. Of course the only person she'll voice her thought to is her best friend. In return, Gong Ju will hold her hands and tell her she's not cursed, just… unlucky.
Kang Ja will go home deep in thought, the streets passing by in a blur. She'll think to herself, 'I don't need someone right now. I'm fine with Ah Ran and Jin Sang's mother. I have too much to do right now.'
She'll think, 'Grandma was right. I was lucky to find a man who would take me, even with another man's kid. Now, who will have me with with my dead husband's mother?' The thought will pass by fleetingly, quickly, as if she never thought it in the first place; but she knows that she did and that makes all the difference.
So, for the next year Kang Ja will feel guilty for even have thought that grandmother would be any hinderance in meeting a man, and decides that the last thing she needs to do is date. She decides to just take care of Ah Ran and grandmother, work at the restaurant and help out at the school when she's free.
So she does. Even when Ah Ran graduates she stays back to help No Ah with field trips and taking care of the kids. No Ah likes having her cause she's "not a force that anyone would reckon with" and because of that, "the kids will behave" with her around.
It's still weird to her, after all these years she's still seen as tough and strong, when really, she feels insecure and vulnerable. Of course the only person she'll voice her thoughts too are Gong Ju, who in return will tell her "after everything you've been through, you deserve a break. Go on vacation."
She can't though, she has too much to do - take care of her family, of the restaurant, the school-" but Gong Ju will shut her up.
"Ah Ran and grandmother can take care of themselves, your restaurant will be fine if it closes down for a few days and the school will survive without you."
Kang Ja wants to, but doesn't.
So another year passes, and Kang Ja is content with how things are. Ah Ran's in school, studying as well as always, and her friends often come during the weekends to eat at the restaurant. Now that they can drink they seem to have a lot more fun. She enjoys cooking for them, enjoys seeing them smile after everything that happened, and enjoys that they have each other. She hopes that they stay friends for a long time, just like her and Gong Ju.
One day No Ah comes to the restaurant while the kids are there. He smiles fondly and sits with them, while Kang Ja cooks in the back, watching them. They're whispering and laughing about something and Kang Ja feels she has truly found happiness after her second lover's death.
No Ah comes up to her while she's lost in thought and startles her.
"No Ah, what is it?" She says continuing like she didn't drop the spoon she was holding.
"We're going on vacation!" He smiles brightly, and naively like he always has.
"I can't go on vacation. I've got stuff to do, and-"
No Ah cuts her off. "I was told to take you on vacation, and we're not taking no for an answer," he says, pointing at the students behind him.
Kang Ja looks over and sees Ah Ran smiling at her.
"Mom, go with saem - he's on break, and we can handle stuff here. It'll only be for a few days."
""Ahjumma, you should just go. Stop complaining." Sang Tae looks at Kang Ja and is recognized with agreeing students.
Kang Ja's learned a lot of lessons in the last couple years, and one them is that she's not going to win by fighting these students.
"Alright, alright. I'll go." She smiles, genuinely looking forward to it.