Foto bij Remember me | Chapter nineteen

After the dinner, Krystal didn't see Amber for several days. More often than not, they texted. The ammount of cheesiness was above the avarage level, enough for someone to classify them as more than friends and Krystal knew that if someone would ever get their hands on her phone, she'd be exposed. But with her phone either always in her pocket or her purse, she continued her secret betrayal.
She had decided to spend her Sunday with Jessica because she couldn't stand to look at Kai after that Saturday night. Sunday passed and a new week at Jung Internationals started. Luckily, as a Vice President there was always something to do. Krystal made that week long office hours, simply because she didn't want to go home.

Krystal had also left their apartment rather early that Friday morning. Stopping by in the cantine first for a cup of coffee, she eventually got upstairs to her office and started up her laptop.
She was rather content about the office her father had given her. The walls were light, with one that was completely made out of wall-sized windows, giving her a nice view over the busy shopping street Jung Internationals's headquarters was close too. Her desk was made out of mainly glass too, and it was accompanied by a relaxing black leather chair. There was a long black couch with a small coffee table for if she was receiving more than one visitor and a few plants, for decoration.
She took a sip of her coffee, which had cooled down enough to drink. As soon as she opened her internetbrowser, several notations popped up on the screen. Krystal put her mug down and clicked at the notifications. She was directed to her mailbox, in which she saw several mails. That was not quite unusual. As Vice President she got a lot of mails. From business partners, from employees, from associates at the news station, from anybody really. But the sender of one specific mail caught her eye. It said '[email protected]'. Wasn't that Jackie Liu's email?
Since a few months, Jacob Liu had resigned as CEO from Liu Economics, passing over his title to his eldest daughter, Jackie. Since Krystal and Jackie had always gotten along pretty well, the relationships between Liu Economics and Jung Internationals had gotten even better. Now that it was almost Krystal's time to shine too, she and Jackie regularly had contact by mail. Mostly about business, but the two upcoming CEOs often couldn't help to bring in a little small talk.
But she hadn't expected a mail from Jackie today. The monthly meet up with the representatives of Liu Economics was still a week away and usually they didn't communicate through mail about that. There was also no subject to discuss because all the products they had collaborated on had appeared on the market already. There were no new projects that needed discussing.
Curiously, Krystal opened the mail and scanned the text quickly. She blinked a couple of times confusedly, before getting up from her chair. With fast strikes she walked out of her office. Even though it was still early, the company was already buzzing with employees. Her PA* Eloisa hadn't come in yet, causing her to walk to her father's office herself. Without knocking, she walked in, but there was no one. With a quick look on her watch she saw that her father's shift hadn't started yet. But she didn't want to miss him, so she stayed in his office.

An hour passed and her father wasn't there yet. Half an hour past the time he usually started. Krystal started to worry. What had happened? Her father, despite his old age, always came in on time or even earlier. He lived for his job and for his company. There was nothing rather he'd do than to google all his achievements. Then why didn't he come in yet? Did he perhaps have a meeting? That was unlikely; who had a meeting at half past 9 in the morning?
Krystal took out her phone and hit the speed dial for Eloisa. Her assistant immediately picked up.
"Yes, Miss Jung?"
"Has my father come in yet?" she asked immediately.
"Let me check the employees history..."
There was a silence, but eventually she heard a small discouraging noise. Krystal sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose.
"I'm sorry, he's not here."
"And he has been at the company for the past few days like he does normally? His hours, his breaks, check them all,"
she directed. A strange feeling settled in her lower belly.
There was another sielence.
"He went home early for the past ten days... One time he took a lunch break that was trice as long as he normally does... But Miss, I don't know why this could be of help-"
Krystal shook her head, but then realized that Eloisa wouldn't be able to see that.
"It doesn't matter, thank you. I know enough."

Ten minutes later she was in her car, speeding up faster than she was allowed to over the highway. Nowadays she knew the road by heart and didn't have to think anymore.
It took her a little less to arrive at the hospital. She parked her car in the parking lot and got out as fast as possible. With fast passes she walked towards the front of the building, almost running. Once inside, she walked up to the reception. The man behind the counter looked up and smiled friendly when he saw her approach.
"In which room is Charlie Jung?" she asked. He typed something on his laptop, then made the kind of face people make when it's painful to tell something.
"I'm not allowed to say anything about VIP patients, ma'am," he said respectfully. Krystal sighed, took her wallet out of her bag and showed him her ID.
"I'm his daughter."
The man squinted his eyes when he looked at her identity information, but eventually he budged, shrugged and gave her back her pass.
"He's in room 5003, fifth floor," he said. Krystal took her ID back and placed it back in her wallet before she smiled sweetly — with a hint of annoyance — at him and thanked him quickly. Krystal immediately walked towards the elevators.

Five minutes later and she was upstairs. It didn't take her long to find the right room: there were only 5 VIP rooms. Without even knocking, she barged in. Her mother almost jumped up from her chair, and her father — who was in the hospital bed — looked up with a frown. Once he noticed it was his youngest daughter in the doorframe, he sighed, closed his eyes and pinched his the bridge of his nose.
"I thought you said you were getting better, dad," Krystal said sharply. Her father slowly opened his eyes again.
"I was.."
"And yet you're here, in the hospital, with ten nurses monitoring you 24 hours a day,"
she barked. "I want you to be honest with me, dad. For one fucking time, be honest with me."
"Krystal! Watch your tone!"
her mother hissed.
"No, let her be. I deserved it," her father said. He sounded tired, Krystal noticed, too tired for a man of his age. Her father had only just passed fifty, wasn't that a bit too young to sound like someone whose bones hurted him all day long? "When did you find out?"
Krystal sighed and took one of the spare chairs in the room. She lifted it and put it next to her father's bed, across from her mother.
"I got a mail from Jackie Liu this morning, she was concerned because you hadn't replied to her mail yet that she had sent three days ago," Krystal staid. Her father nodded, understanding. It wasn't uncommon for CEO's to only answer mails a few days later, but Liu Economics was Jung Internationals' greatest ally. Already for more than twenty years, the two companies closely work together and that was why the communicatin with Liu Economics is important and should taken with great care. Logically Jackie got suspicious that her father hadn't answered her after two days.
"Of course..." he muttered slowly. "Have you sent her my greatest apologies?"
Krystal shook her head.
"I haven't replied yet. I guessed it would be handy first to ask you why you even had contact with her when there are no new projects going on regarding Liu Economics."
Her father scratched the back of his head, visibly uncomfertably. Her mother grabbed his free hand and pinched it. Krystal frowned.
"Just tell her, honey.."
"Tell me what?" Krystal hissed. "I swear to God, dad, if you cannot even tell your own daughter and vice president then I don't know anymore-"
"It's not that, Krystal,"
her father sighed tiredly. "I was keeping this a secret for you because I wanted to tell it at the right moment... I'm retiring. Now that I permanently need rest, I won't be able to keep up with the company anymore. A CEO can't make 6 hours a day, that's too little for the company to run well. So I decided to step away from it... and leave it to you."
Krystal's deep frown dissapeared slowly from her face the longer her father went on. With wide eyes, she stared at her father. He smiled reassuringly, but that didn't prevent the bubble of panic to burst in her stomach, sending her whole body in a shock.
"Th-that means.." she stuttered. Her father's smile grew a bit bigger when he saw his daughter's worried face. He let go of his wife's hand and took hers instead, pinching reassuringly.
"Yes, you're going to be the leader of Jung Internationals. I know you'll do well, Krystal, since you're a daughter of mine."
Tears appeared in Krystal's eyes and spilled over her cheeks before she could even whipe them away. Mr. Jung chuckled softly. His chuckle was converted into a heavy cough, causing him to let go of Krystal's hand quickly to place them in front of his mouth. And she wanted to help him, because the sound was agonizing, but she was still in a daze.
Jung Internationals would be hers...
Quickly she whiped the tears from her face.
After a few moments her father calmed down again. He pressed Krystal's hand against his mouth and kissed her fingers. Krystal couldn't help but to start grinning.
"The wedding is in three months. I think I'll be able to last until then. I'll try to come to work as much as possible, but you'll already be taking over a large ammount of my work. You'll get the entire company as a wedding gift."
Her grin fell immediately.
"A-a wedding gift?"
Her voice had grown so small that even she was barely able to hear it. Her father chuckled and raised one of his grey eyebrows.
"What? Are you so eager to start? Don't worry about it, just focus on the wedding for now, the company will come later. I'm sure you'll do a great job as the new CEO. Oh, Krystal, I'm so proud of you. You couldn't make me prouder."
If only Krystal could be proud of herself...

An hour later and she was back in her car. After her father's revelation that Krystal would become the CEO of Jung Internationals after her wedding had given her the constant feeling that she needed to throw up. After quickly asking what was actually wrong with her father — the doctors had stated that he had a high blood pressure and narrowed blood vessels in his brain, and because his job was rather stressful, he wasn't allowed to do that anymore — Krystal wanted to get out as quickly as she could because she was scared she was going to get a panic attack in front of her parents.
Now that she was back in her car, she suddenly felt a lot safer, even though she was alone now. But God... what a mess had she worked herself into. A deep sigh escaped her lips. She closed her eyes, albeit with a frown on her face, and tried to concentrate on what to do next. It felt like she was in a bubble and was fighting to breathe. It was hard to think and the longer she tried to think, the less she was able to.
It felt like she was back being a teenager again. She again had to choose between the life she wanted to live and love. Sometimes, Krystal wondered if every adult's life was so hard as was hers. Did they have trouble finding a partner too? Were they about to marry the wrong person too? Did their job forced them to do things they did not like? Or perhaps, was she the only one who had to choose between her position and love?
Krystal didn't want to choose. She just wanted to be selfish and arrogant for once and have Amber and the company both. Back when she was 18 it had already been hard enough to choose, but back then there wasn't a company worth 1,5 billion dollars involved. And let's not forget Kai. If she broke up with him now, he would know that she had never actually been in love with him. She felt bad, because he truly was a great guy. He was the type of guy that could be classified as Prince Charming; always bringing her flowers, doing his chores, taking her out for dinner and otherwise cooking a delicious meal at home. He showered her with affection and really wanted her to be happy. And that she couldn't be happy with him made her almost start hating herself.
But Krystal had long gotten over that. The moment Amber and Krystal had broken up eight years ago she had wallowed in self pity and hatred. It even came to a point in which she fell into a depression because she couldn't live with herself anymore. Jessica was never far away back then. She was the person who taught her how to love herself again, and that her mistakes were in the past now and that she couldn't do anything to change them anymore. It'd be better not to get fed up because of the past anymore because it couldn't be changed. And so Krystal became the person who she was before she met Amber again, with a few years of hard work. But she was actually fine now. She was fine without Amber and she would be fine without her. Because she has Jessica and she has Kai. And maybe he wasn't the person she wanted to marry, but she could grow to love him over time.
Krystal took out her phone out of her purse and send one final text. After that, she deleted the number and shut off her phone. With an empty feeling in her stomach, she started the car and drove back to the company.


*PA = Personal Assistant

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