Farewells are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t hurt every time. Hong-jo and Sol-Ah struggle to come to terms with the thought of not being together forever. It’s a foreign concept that may soon become their new reality.
Meow, the Secret Boy: Episode 8 Recap
The next morning, Sol-Ah gushes over her kiss with Hong-jo from the night before. She enjoyed the kiss so much she wants to do it again. Omg, Sol-Ah please! Hahaha. Jae-sun pays a visit to Sol-Ah’s house after a quick debate about whether or not to reveal everything about Hong-jo to Sol-Ah. Jae-sun is greeted by a haughty Hong-jo who engages in a small bicker with him on who knows Sol-Ah best. When Sol-Ah finally approaches the two guys, Jae-sun quickly changes the subject and asks her when she plans on neutering cat Hong-jo. Human Hong-jo disrupts the conversation by dragging Sol-Ah back inside the house to avoid the question. Lol.
“Cats exist so they can teach us one thing about life. If we can completely immerse ourselves to a moment, it can turn into an eternity” – Jeffrey M. Masson
Hong-jo has plans to reveal his true identity to Sol-Ah. She still believes he’s Guk-bong at this point which is causing her to be doubtful and hesitant about their relationship. However, if Hong-jo confesses the truth to Sol-Ah and who he really is, everything will be alright, right? He and Sol-Ah can then date happily right? However, not so fast. While spending some time with little Dae-sung’s cat who transforms into a grandma to communicate with him, Hong-jo is encouraged not to tell Sol-Ah about who he is. Rather, he should stay quiet as a cat so that he can stay with Sol-Ah as long as possible. The cat life moves a lot faster than the human life so if Hong-jo doesn’t want Sol-Ah to eventually be left alone, Hong-jo should just stay in his cat form. Hong-jo is devastated by the advice.
Hong-jo shares the news with Jae-sun who also agrees with the idea. It’s best if Hong-jo leaves Sol-Ah so that she can learn to live without him as soon as possible. As a cat, Hong-jo is eventually going to die first and leave Sol-Ah alone so there’s nothing he can do about his fate. With this new decision, Hong-jo informs Sol-Ah on his plans to leave. While sitting at the rooftop of their house, Hong-jo shares that he’s going to travel to Bolivia the next day so he can only stay with her until that night. Sol-Ah is devastated and heartbroken at the news. To capture the beautiful moment between them, she takes out her drawing paper and draws a portrait of them facing the sunset while sitting on the rooftop.
The night passes and the next day arrives. It’s the day of Hong-jo’s departure.. except he reconsiders his decision to leave. What if he was to stay a little bit longer? He can’t get himself to bid farewell with Sol-Ah just yet, especially not after their interaction earlier that morning. Before leaving for work, Sol-Ah made sure to let Hong-jo know that she will miss him when he’s gone. The tears she sheds once out of Hong-jo’s sight serves as confirmation to her statement.
Doo-sik, Ji-eun, and Sol-Ah work late into the night. While Sol-Ah stays behind to get some work done, Doo-sik and Ji-eun head out for a walk. While on their casual stroll, they chat about topics such as their work company as well as Ji-eun’s connections to CEO Park. What type of relationship do they have with each other? Doo-sik remains curious. Meanwhile, Hong-jo patiently waits for Sol-Ah to return home. He hasn’t “left” just yet and wants to see her. Jae-sun meets up with Sol-Ah at her workplace, knowing fully well she stayed late because she was afraid of returning to an empty house. However, when he breaks the news to her about Hong-jo staying, Sol-Ah immediately smiles from ear to ear. She’s delighted at the news.
When Sol-Ah arrives home, she discovers a freezing Hong-jo waiting outside for her. Although she’s happy to see him, she also notices the many cups of coffee he drank just to keep himself awake. They enter the house and catch up on the couch. Hong-jo reveals that he didn’t want to leave until he saw Sol-Ah’s latest drawing for her webtoon. He’ll leave once she updates him on what happens next for her webtoon. Hong-jo then uses her exhaustion as an excuse to not work on her webtoon so that she can spend the last remaining minutes of the day with Hong-jo. With the day slowly coming to an end, Sol-Ah falls asleep on Hong-jo’s shoulder. Aww.
Sol-Ah continues to come up with excuses as a reason to not work on her webtoon. If that’s the only way to get Hong-jo to stay then so be it. The duo head out for a date. After granting Hong-jo his own cell phone, Sol-Ah attempts to gain inspiration by getting some fresh air and eating some spicy rice cakes. But nothing seems to be coming to mind so they make a stop at the same exact bench where Hong-jo and Sol-Ah sat at before she knew of his existence. While Sol-Ah has her own memories associated with the bench, Hong-jo specifically remembers it for the moment he first met Sol-Ah as a little young and lost boy. That bench is the same exact spot where she handed him her red scarf when he was still a little boy. It’s amazing just how much time has passed by.
Sol-Ah extends her time with Hong-jo by purposely not work on her webtoon. She wants to spend as much time as possible with Hong-jo. While at work, Ji-eun politely and shyly declines Doo-sik’s invitation to grab lunch with everyone else in the office. With everyone gone, she works on the wedding invitation that CEO Park had assigned her to do. Doo-sik notices the strange behavior from Ji-eun and calls CEO Park out for taking advantage of Ji-eun. Ji-eun has spent so much time working on the wedding invitation for someone she doesn’t even know, Ji-eun’s barely had any time to herself. He wishes that Ji-eun would just be able to decline CEO Park’s request, but because she never says no, she gets taken advantage of. After realizing the tension that he created in the office, he rushes out of the workplace. Ji-eun follows after him to get his attention, but he’s too embarrassed to face her.
Jae-sun grows stressed over his situation and relationship with Sol-Ah. He’s joined by Doo-sik who keeps him company as his drinking buddy that night. Jae-sun admits to Doo-sik that he has feelings for Sol-Ah. Doo-sik is just surprised at the news since he knows just how much Sol-Ah has gone through because of Jae-sun. It’s too bad for Jae-sun that she likes Hong-jo out of all people. Speaking of Hong-jo, he and Sol-Ah spend another day together. They end the night by sitting on the rooftop of their house once again. And just like before, Sol-Ah draws while on the rooftop. Sol-Ah can’t help but notice that human Hong-jo reminds her of cat Hong-jo and the similarities between the both of them. What’s even more strange to her is how human Hong-jo is never around when she’s with cat Hong-jo. But that’s the least of Sol-Ah’s worries at the moment. Both Sol-Ah and Hong-jo are enjoying their time together so much, Sol-Ah ponders whether they can stay like this for a little longer.
Drunk Jae-sun has a talk with both Sol-Ah and Hong-jo that night after he returns to his cafe. He’s close to spilling everything out to Sol-Ah, but his drinking behavior is too much for him and he fortunately doesn’t. Sol-Ah then receives a phone call from Bang-shil right at that moment. With Dad’s birthday coming up, Bang-shil wishes for both Sol-Ah and Guk-bong to come up to celebrate with them. It’ll mean so much especially since she and Dad got their marriage license. Upon hearing the news, Jae-sun indirectly warns Hong-jo to stop what he’s doing before the truth comes out.
And so Sol-Ah prepares to leave for her trip to visit Dad and Bang-shil. Before leaving for work that morning, she interacts with Hong-jo in which she assumes will be their last time together. Hong-jo doesn’t plan on going with Sol-Ah to visit Dad and Bang-shil. It’s time for him to leave. However, Sol-Ah keeps her hopes up by waiting for Hong-jo at the train station later on that day. Maybe he’s changed his mind on not going with her. Maybe he’ll go with her after all. Jae-sun follows Sol-Ah’s request to take care of cat Hong-jo so he stops by her house for Hong-jo’s whereabouts. When he discovers Hong-jo’s cell phone in his bedroom, Jae-sun assumes that Hong-jo really has left. He’s disappeared.
So Jae-sun takes the opportunity to reunite with Sol-Ah and to confess his feelings for her. He’ll be with her; she won’t have to wait for Hong-jo because he’ll be the one to accompany her. There’s no use in waiting for Hong-jo who won’t come with Sol-Ah. But just as those words exit out of Jae-sun’s mouth, Hong-jo walks towards the both of them at the train station. Before leaving for work that morning, Sol-Ah had confessed her feelings to Hong-jo. Her webtoon ended with her and her cat who she admits was Hong-jo all along. Now that he’s aware of how she feels about him, it’s up to Hong-jo to decide on how to respond to her confession.
And Hong-jo responds by showing up at the train station to accompany Sol-Ah. He wants to be with her. Hong-jo also isn’t afraid of Jae-sun’s threats anymore as he intends on revealing everything to Sol-Ah. However, Bang-shil is a few steps ahead of Hong-jo and she ends up breaking the news to Sol-Ah. In a phone call with Bang-shil, Sol-Ah is informed that Guk-bong has already arrived at her and Dad’s house. If Guk-bong is already there, then who is the man standing across from Sol-Ah at that very moment? Hong-jo and Jae-sun listen in on the conversation in shock and uncertainty.
Ahh, it’s the moment we’ve been all dreading but also waiting for. Hong-jo has now been caught and there’s nothing he can do about it. He was planning on eventually coming clean to Sol-Ah anyways the minute he decided to appear at the train station. There was no way he was going to maintain his fake identity as Guk-bong once he visits Bang-shil. However, it does suck that he wasn’t given the opportunity to tell Sol-Ah himself firsthand. Now that Sol-Ah has found out through someone else, things are going to hurt and escalate even more.
Hong-jo’s definitely going to have to put in some extra work to gain Sol-Ah’s trust again once all of this is done. Not only has she been under the impression that he was Guk-bong this entire time, but she’s also been spending all this time falling for a stranger. Sol-Ah’s going to feel so betrayed knowing that she was spending time with someone who wasn’t Guk-bong or the person she thought he was. If Hong-jo wasn’t Guk-bong like Sol-Ah had thought this entire time, who is he and what are his intentions? Why didn’t he tell her anything? Are his feelings for her actually true or have they been fake this entire time? What is to come of their relationship? Will Sol-Ah even want to be with Hong-jo any longer now that she’s aware of the truth and was caught in his web of lies?
I also don’t want to completely place the blame on Hong-jo because we saw that he did try to be honest with Sol-Ah about everything. And there were a few instances where he did tell her that he wasn’t Guk-bong and that his real name was rather Hong-jo (because that’s all that he knows). However, Sol-Ah interpreted his comments as jokes and didn’t take them seriously. I can’t say that Hong-jo didn’t try because he did try several times to tell Sol-Ah the truth so he gains some sympathy from me in that aspect. It’s just unfortunate that his fear of not being with Sol-Ah is that much closer to happening now now that Sol-Ah knows who he is. Whereas before they were able to weasel their way out of separating, the chances of them actually separating from each other is much bigger now given that there’s no reason for them to be together any longer.
It was adorable, but sad to see the two try to come to terms with their reality which is that Hong-jo will eventually have to leave and Sol-Ah will be left alone without Hong-jo. As much as Hong-jo enjoys being with Sol-Ah as a human being, he is a cat at the very end of the day and his time with her is limited. His life span is much shorter than Sol-Ah’s and it’s better that he ends things now before everything gets more painful and complicated later on. However, as we saw in this episode, farewells and goodbyes are painful and you’re never really prepared for them no matter how much you think you are. Sol-Ah continued to prolong things by pretending not to work on her webtoon so that she could spend yet another day with Hong-jo. Hong-jo knows it’s not the healthiest decision and that he has to leave eventually, but he can’t bring himself to say goodbye just yet either. How beautiful but heartbreaking it is to find someone who you enjoy being with so much but will eventually have to leave behind. No matter the amount of time or the number of days, there is never enough time when you’re with someone who you love. As Sol-Ah beautifully mentioned in this episode, “everyday is today, but a today that has passed never comes back.” Oof, that’s such a bittersweet (mostly bitter) statement. There’s so much truth to it.
It was hard watching Hong-jo and Sol-Ah struggle to say goodbye to each other because you too don’t want them to separate. By living together, they’ve built a home in each other and they’re unsure as to what life is going to be like once their home is empty. I mean, that’s why Sol-Ah stayed late into the night at work on the day that Hong-jo was supposed to leave. She was afraid to face her new reality and a life where Hong-jo is non-existent. With this new phase and stage in her life, all she’s known is pretty much just Hong-jo so she’s not so sure how to be without him. The same applies to Hong-jo whose memories with Sol-Ah literally spans to when he was a little boy. The only thing he knows is Sol-Ah and all his memories include her one way or the other. He has such warm thoughts and feelings towards her so he too is afraid of a life without her. It’s obvious that Sol-Ah and Hong-jo have become accustomed to each other, life seems meaningless with the other.