Chapter 633: A Flower on the Cliff (11)
At the most, presenting their dishes at least once and having a brief interview would be what they would be expected to do at the job interview for Lotus Bridge. In that respect, Gwen was indeed a candidate whose qualifications were thoroughly vetted through the Grand Chef compet.i.tion.
Gwen said, grinning, “Am I a good candidate?”
“If you were not, I would not be here to see you.”
“Would Peter have been a better candidate?”
Even Kaya didn’t answer that question right away. She looked at Gwen with a displeased expression. Flinching at her sharp glance, Gwen lowered her head.
Min-joon hugged Kaya’s shoulders and said in a quiet, soft voice, “Gwen.”
“I don’t care if you’re better or worse than Peter. I’m not trying to pick the best person right now. I’m looking for the person who is the best fit for us, and the one who we can help grow the most,” he said, catching his breath. “I don’t think you’re perfect. Actually, as far as I know, there is no perfect chef. Everyone is trying to be perfect. And I think you have the will to do so. That’s why I want to help you. And I want to walk with you. .”
Gwen didn’t answer. Min-joon didn’t even expect an answer.
After a brief silence, he said, “There is a flower on the cliff. It blooms between the crevices of the rocks, and it stands alone there without any other flowers around it. When I see it sway whenever the wind blows, I’m worried that it will wither in an instant. But when the flower is in full bloom, it will blow away pollen farther than any other flower.”
He then held out his hand and said, “I’ll help you, so you won’t wither.”
Gwen looked at his hand.
He added, “Blow the pollen away!”
What Min-joon said was, as always, useless poetic suggestion.
She looked at him with a bewildered expression, but she couldn’t answer easily. It wasn’t because she didn’t make up her mind. It was because she was bothered a lot by the way Kaya looked at him.
“Why do you keep trying to flirt with her?”
“Well, what I mean is…”
“Shut up. I’m not going to accept your reb.u.t.tal.”
When Kaya stared at him fiercely, he lowered his head with a sullen expression.
Gwen couldn’t help but be dumbfounded. It was not because she was bewildered by the two chefs’ informal conversation. She just felt it so strange that he was nothing but an ordinary, or immature boyfriend, to Kaya, when he was almost like a cooking G.o.d to her.
‘When can I be bossy like Kaya?’
She wondered if somebody would treat her the same way just as she looked at the couple with energy. Her reason clearly said it was possible. She advanced to the semi-finals. Even though she came as far as here, thinking only her victory was worthwhile, she felt she would be fortunate if she could advance to the quarter-finals because she had never thought her cooking was valuable.
But she won 2nd place in the Grand Chef compet.i.tion. She was more competent than she thought, though it didn’t meet her initial expectations. But she had great potential.
“So, what would you do? Do you want to join us or not?”
“I already submitted the application. Since you gave a go-ahead, let me join, of course.”
“You aren’t going to change your mind, right?”
Gwen made an awkward expression at Kaya’s suspicious glance. It was more than a good answer to her question. She was not tactful. In other words, she didn’t know how to pull a stunt like others. Her stupidity pushed her to the abyss, but looking back, it wasn’t all that bad for her because it made her stand up again.
“Thanks for accepting our offer, Gwen.”
Kaya held out her hand. As Gwen carefully put her hand on hers. Kaya immediately clenched her fist, which touched Gwen’s.
Kaya said, “You are now part of the Lotus Bridge family.”
“Why have you accepted me?”
“I have already told you that we think you are the best fit for us.”
“Even if I’m a drug addict”
“You were a drug addict. And the Gwen I know isn’t a drug addict any longer. You are an aspiring chef, Gwen. I don’t even want to care about something about you that I don’t know.”
Gwen bit her lips. She wondered if Kaya and Min-joon thought of her too ideally. But she didn’t have the courage to argue with them. After all, they achieved an ideal life after translating an ideal idea into action.
Gwen suddenly thought that she was now like Jean Valjean. After spending 19 years in prison for stealing bread, he went back to society and stole silverware from the cathedral again, and from the bishop’s cathedral at that, who was kind enough to offer accommodations for him.
What did he think after stealing silverware at that time? Maybe he thought of stealing it when he was in prison. He went to jail for stealing bread to feed his nephews. Wasn’t that too harsh? He was a good man who was not suitable for spending time in prison. This was not his crime, but the crime of the society and the savvy judge. Since he believed so, he must have tried to escape over and over again. But each time he tried to escape, his jail term was prolonged. After all, he was confined for 19 years. Perhaps he cried out time and time again when he was alone. But no one would have understood that his frustration and wrath were legitimate. They would have regarded him as an idiot who would not admit his crime to the end.
In the society where he came out at the end of his pain, the first thing he did was steal the silverware of the person who did him good. Why did he do it? Did he try to shout to the people calling him a thief that he would be the thief that they expected of him?
Since he wasted 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf, he might have thought that he could steal a little more with the price that he had paid for all those years. Or maybe he thought that since he was already branded as a thief, it was his job to steal silverware to fit the image of a thief, completely resigned to the situation he was in.
But Jean Valjean realized that when he stole bread, only a thief like him, not anybody else, could entertain the idea that he could steal bread since he was a born thief. If the bishop had not said that the silverware he stole was actually his gift to him, who was dragged by the inspector and knelt before the bishop, he would have been imprisoned again as a thief. And he must have ended up living as a thief for the rest of his life.
Many said that it was the bishop who changed Jean Valjean’s life. But that was only part of the story. Then, Jean Valjean, who was freed at the mercy of the bishop, and back to the streets, robbed a boy named Javert when there was n.o.body around.
It was at that moment that Valjean came to his senses. Only then did he realize that he was evil, not good. He turned the bishop’s good intentions into malice and directed it against Pet.i.t Gerbet. In the end, it was the fear of evil inside him that woke up Jean Valjean, not his grat.i.tude for the bishop’s good intentions.
Kaya and Min-joon were like the bishop. They constantly encouraged Gwen. They tried to give her silverware and silver candlesticks, and she was tacitly accepting their good intentions.
But where was her Javert? Without Pet.i.t Gerbet, could the silverware offered by Min-joon and Kaya change her?
She didn’t know. All she could know, or all she could do was to nod at them.
She was still curious about one thing. She was not curious about where her Pet.i.t Gerbet was. Jean Valjean stole the bread, while she did drugs.
Maybe Jean Valjean was evil, but she might be just weak.
Did a weak woman like her need Javert?
The winner of the Grand Chef compet.i.tion had been decided.
All the chefs who were invited to the compet.i.tion said something nice to Peter, the winner.
They knew how meaningful his course meal was. It was something that no chefs could make easily. He had talent and pa.s.sion. Although he didn’t yet become as perfect a chef as they wanted, he would surely become a chef they could love someday.
Maybe they didn’t know that he was happier because of their well-wis.h.i.+ng words than the fact that he won the Grand Chef compet.i.tion. He thought he would be happy even if they hated him, but when they showered him accolades and encouragement, he felt as if he was now living in heaven.
Of course, Peter didn’t express what he felt about their praise. He was used to hiding his joy. More precisely, it was more accurate to say that he was used to hiding his emotions. Whether he was happy or sad, they were all angry with his emotions in the past.