Grace sits on a bar stool in a cafe. She sips her coffee and looks around the slightly busy cafe; she takes in a deep breath and looks down at her mug.
Moments later, the stool next to her is occupied. Grace looks up and sees her mother.
Grace: Hey, mom.
Mollie: Hey, sorry that I was late, the subway was delayed.
Grace: I totally understand, it’s fine.
Mollie orders the hot chocolate and then looks at her daughter.
Mollie: Are you okay? You seem a little down today.
Grace: When am I not down?
Mollie: Hey, now. I don’t like when you talk that way.
Grace doesn’t say anything back.
Mollie: Clearly something is wrong. What is going on?
Grace sighs loudly and puts her mug down on the counter.
Grace: Just going through a lot of things.
Mollie: You called me over here to do some mind-reading?
Mollie: How are things with Willow?
Grace: She’s well.
Mollie: When will be the next time we can see her?
Grace: Soon, mom. Soon.
Mollie puts her hot chocolate down and looks at her daughter.
Mollie: If you’re not going to talk to me, I’m just going to head on out…
Grace: Wait! Wait!
Mollie sits back down next to Grace. Grace traces her finger around the rim of her mug, nervous to finally talk about things.
Grace: Mom… how did you get to where you’re at now?
Mollie: *confused* What do you mean?
Grace: Like, how were you able to get back on your feet after… y’know…
Mollie: *sigh* It wasn’t easy, and it doesn’t always happen the way you expect it to go… is everything okay, Grace?
Grace: Things haven’t been great. Max is now seeing this girl and they are getting pretty serious… I think he’ll marry her.
Mollie: But you guys weren’t together for awhile now.
Grace: I know, but… I just didn’t think he would see someone else.
Mollie: *confused* But you were seeing someone else?
Grace: *deadpanned* Mom.
Mollie: I’m sorry. I know it must be hard to see your ex move onto another person. But, Max deserves to be happy, just how you deserve to be happy.
Grace doesn’t say anything, she still looks worried.
Grace: I’m afraid Max will take Willow and move away from New York.
Mollie takes in a deep breath before speaking to Grace.
Mollie: That’s something you have to talk to Max about. But no matter what happens, Willow is your daughter and you’re in her life.
Grace doesn’t seem convinced.
Grace: I just don’t think I’m meant to be happy.
Mollie: Stop it. I will not allow you to talk to yourself like that.
Grace: I’m serious though. I’m slowly losing my daughter, I’m losing my friends, I lost-
Grace ponders on her next thought: Jamie.
Grace: I just don’t understand why I break everything around me.
Mollie: Grace, you gotta be gentle with yourself. You can only try your best and-
Grace: *annoyed* That’s not good enough, mom! I feel like my best isn’t enough, that no matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep anyone in my life.
Mollie: Then maybe you gotta start making changes in your life. It’s not easy, but it can happen.
Grace doesn’t say anything back.
Mollie: Sometimes, you have to admit to yourself when things are too far gone to try to solve them. You just have to try to make things right for you.
Grace drinks her coffee, pondering in her thoughts.
Jamie sits at his kitchen table, trying to focus on the case files in front of him. He holds his head in frustration, trying to concentrate, but nothing is working. His phone rings, which takes him out of his work. He picks up his phone to see that it’s Mina, his oldest sister.
Jamie: Hi, noona. How’s everything going?
Mina: It’s going well; I’m at Mom’s house with the girls.
Off-screen, Mina calls out for her mom, Sejeong, in which she walks into the room. She walks over towards Mina and looks at the screen. Jamie smiles in response.
Sejeong: Is that my son?
Jamie: Hi, eomma.
Sejeong: Jaemin-ah, how have you’ve been? Coming home anytime soon?
Jamie: Still working on that case, hopefully it’ll be done soon. How are you?
Mina walks off-screen when she hears her children in the other room acting up. Sejeong stays in front of the screen.
Sejeong: I’m doing well. Lia is getting married next year. Did you hear?
Jamie: *hesitates* Uhm, yeah, yeah. She called me to tell me…
Sejeong: You’ll be here for her wedding, right?
Jamie: I’ll-I’ll see what I can do, eomma.
Sejeong’s smiles fades, but tries to keep it together in front of her son. Jamie already knows his mother can’t hide her emotions well.
Sejeong: You know, I’m getting older and…
Jamie: Please don’t talk like that.
Sejeong: It’s true. I’m lucky to see you for the holidays.
Jamie: I’m trying my best…
Sejeong sighs, and tries to shrug it off. Jamie bites his lower lip and sighs.
Jamie: I’ll make it back home for Lia’s wedding.
Sejeong: I’ll see it when it happens.
Mina calls out for her mom in the back, which makes her look behind her. She faces up at the screen.
Jamie: I’ll talk to you later, eomma. I love you.
Sejeong: I love you too. Take care of yourself, son.
Jamie smiles and then hangs up the call. The smile quickly fades away.