The hungrier one will always win

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The hungrier one will always win

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“When you are in love, you become beautiful.”

I was reminded of the truth of that song lyric recently when I saw her in shorts and a sleeveless jacket with a new cropped hairdo.

Last November, I wrote a column about her titled “Domestic Violence that Began as a Joke.” After being assaulted by her husband, she finally got divorced.

But the former husband kept calling her and threatened her with a knife. When she contacted police, she was told they could not help her without proof. She cried and said, “Are they going to come just to clean up my dead body?”

Soon after, a domestic violence law was passed that gave police the power to take “emergency temporary measures.” Whenever her former husband approached, she threatened him with the law. Thankfully, he has been quiet.

She runs a clothing shop in Namdaemun and used to joke that she needed a “nice gangster” to protect her. And she has finally met one.

By “nice gangster,” she meant someone who can protect her.

The reason she looks so attractive was because she is in love. She feels safe by her boyfriend’s side. They go out for dinner and a movie a few times a week and hike together.

“I am happy. I have forgotten I could live like this,” she says. “I regret all the days I let myself endure the violence.”

But as much as she feels happy, she is concerned. Recently, she saw in the news that a man stabbed his former wife and she thinks it could happen to her as well. “What if my ex-husband sees my boyfriend taking me home after a date and stabs him?”

But while pointing out that the possibility of her ex-husband using violence against her or her boyfriend certainly exists, I asked, “Will you fear him forever and live in hiding for the rest of your life?”

Certainly, that’s not what she wants her life to be. She’d like to continue the relationship with her “nice gangster” and live happily ever after. She lived with domestic violence for five years before getting out of a dreadful marriage, and I hope she can be in a happy relationship with a nice man without being haunted by her past.

As we parted, I told her, “Do you know who wins if a tiger and a lion fight? The hungrier one always wins. The one who is most desperate has the advantage. When you run into your ex-husband, glare at him and say he cannot be in your life any longer.”

In a world where fist comes before the law, the only sure way to survive is becoming strong.

* The author is a guest columnist of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Eom Eul-soon

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