Our heroine is like a fish out of water, trying to secure a spot for her daughter/niece in our top maths instructor’s class. But who could have imagined that the same instructor would hover around her for some side dishes and an overdue apology?
A bond from yesteryear
For the first time in a long while, Chi-yeol finds himself enjoying his food to the point he tears up after finishing the whole thing without getting nauseous. The food seems familiar, but he doesn’t know the reason.
Through a flashback, we learn that Chi-yeol used to eat at Haeng-soon’s mother’s restaurant while preparing for the teacher certification exam, just like his father wished.
Unfortunately for him, Chi-yeol’s father soon gets hit by a bike and dies out of internal bleeding since he refuses to take MRI, claiming it is a waste of money. Haeng-soon spots Chi-yeol passing by after the funeral and insists he eats something despite his initial refusal since he has no meal tickets.
Haeng-soon, who was on the national handball team then, drops by soon after. I didn’t expect a past connection, but I am not complaining since it makes the ride more enjoyable.
Soon after Haeng-soon arrives, a little kid, young Hae-Yi, shows up before them.
Hae-yi’s mother dropped her off in front of the restaurant and took off. This is infuriating. Not only did she cut ties with her family, but she also abandoned her daughter and fled.
Just like when it rains, it pours, Haeng-soon’s mother gets into an accident and dies that day, leaving Haeng-soon in charge of both Hae-Yi and Jae-woo.
With extra responsibilities put on her shoulders, Haeng-soon finds it hard to commit to the training as she did before. Thus, she is continually scolded by the coach for asking for permission to leave early.
With the coach getting bent on refusing to let her take off, Haeng-soon is left with no choice but to give up on her dream and get a job at a restaurant.
Being bullied at kindergarten for not having a mother, Hae-Yi gets grumpy and asks Haeng-soon to call her mother instead of aunt, which Haeng-soon agrees with since she is responsible for her anyway, and that is how their mother-daughter relationship begins.
A meticulous plan to secure a seat in our top instructor’s class
Back to the present, Haeng-soon blames herself for not knowing what is in Hae-yi’s heart all that time and promises to change into a “passionate mother” who does her best for her daughter’s education.
In the morning, Haeng-soon makes a trip to the academy to gather information and learns that luckily for her, the enrolment for Chi-yeol’s next class starts the next day.
But to secure a place in Chi-yeol’s class is like a mini war, with parents taking a day off to stand in line since early in the morning, and some even go as far as to hire people to stand in line for them. Not to mention those who play tricks to cut in line.
For her plan to succeed, Haeng-soon enlists Jae-woo and Young-joo’s help. Young-Joo will go grocery shopping to make some side dishes with the help of Jae-woo, who will skip out on his 8 am waffle after Haeng-soon promises to give him money. With her effort, cooperation, and 1% chance, Haeng-soon is optimistic about success.
Meanwhile, Chi-yeol is in a good mood, unlike usual. After eating the savory side dishes, he sleeps like a baby without taking any sleep bills, so he is now full of beans, all bubbly and funny, unlike his usual self.
Unaware that Haeng-soon is the side dishes store’s owner, Chi-yeol buys some extra side dishes with Dong-hee. As soon as he spots Haeng-soon, he realizes she is the same woman who chased after him before. In a typical drama-land attitude, Chi-yeol tries his best to hide from her and asks Dong-hee to drive away hurriedly from the store.
It is D-day. Our now passionate mother is all set to do her utmost to secure Hae-Yi a place in Chi-yeol’s class. But her mission is interrupted by a desperate Chi-yeol who, after his last night’s failure to eat food from another restaurant, has camped in front of the store since early in the morning.
Also, he won’t budge after Haeng-soon tells him exactly when she will open the store. You know, at noon is a vague term for Chi-yeol, who wants a more detailed answer.
After promising to open the store at 12 pm sharp for her famished customer, Haeng-soon runs her way to the academy, along with countless mothers, who are also adamant about securing a spot for their children. Luckily, thanks to her earnestness, the last available seat in the class go to Haeng-soon.
A short-lived crush
At 12 pm sharp, Chi-yeol heads to the now opened store to get some food, but he happens to overhear Haeng-soon talk about her plans to make some noodles out of the organs of a specific mobile thief, who, thanks to him, she has to pay a fortune to fix her brother’s phone.
Feeling bad about what he did before, Chi-yeol buys a new mobile phone and hands it over to Haeng-soon while buying dinner. His friend who sells phones happens to have an extra one. Since he is generous, he gave it to Chi-yeol, who is now handing it to Haeng-soon as a new member of her customers list.
Young-Joo takes the phone gift thing as Chi-yeol taking an interest in Haeng-soon. On her end, Haeng-soon is not unaffected, dressing up, putting on lipstick but erasing it quickly, and waiting in front of the store for Chi-yeol to show up. She has to give him the phone back, but she is terrible at rejecting someone. What can she do, though?
After missing each other that day, Haeng-soon sends Chi-yeol a message to check on him. She still thinks his name is Dong-hee, as he wrote in the membership form, utterly unaware he is Hae-yi’s new instructor who is currently scolding his assistants for “not at all trivial” mistakes in the newly printed workbooks.
It is Hae-yi’s first day at the academy. Despite having to sit in the back, she is absolutely thrilled about her first class with Chi-yeol, who sets the bar even higher for her after his inspirational speech about his wishes for them to be as eager and desperate as him.
In the evening, Chi-yeol stops by the store for some side dishes. However, this time Haeng-soon takes off his cap and sunglasses after Jae-woo firmly insists on meeting him before. As a result, Haeng-soon finds out that the handsome client she has a crush on is the same very mobile thief she wants to teach a lesson.
The two of them engage in a funny fight but are soon interrupted by the storefront glass getting smashed, and we end our episode with everyone getting down to avoid getting hit by the glass.
We also get more snippets of the girl in Chi-yeol’s nightmare.
That girl has died, probably because of an accident, but we have yet to know what Chi-yeol has to do with the whole thing.
Further, the stalker girl arc is giving me the creeps, especially after she got hit by metal pellets out of nowhere. Please, writer-nim, enough with shoving mystery in romcoms as if it is obligatory. I only want a sweet romance and lots of comedy. Is my request that hard?