Haeng-Ja: Hae-e’s real mom in Crash Course in Romance explained

Haeng-Ja, the biological mother of Hae-e in Crash Course in Romance, leaves her daughter under the care of her sister and flees the country, only to return and show up years later, evoking a mixture of emotional conflicts in those who she abandoned for so long.

Hae-e has been living with her aunt, Haeng-Seon, for as long as she can remember. The two are not a biological mother-daughter duo but they have lived like one ever since Hae-e demanded that she call Haeng-Seon her mom when she was in daycare.

Haeng-Seon, who took the responsibility of this new kid, and shed the responsibilities that pertained to her personal goals and aspirations, devoted her life to Hae-e and her brother, as well as the means that make it possible for her to support her in education, and in life.

The abandon

Haeng-Ja, the real biological mom of Hae-e, dropped her on the doorstep of her grandmother’s restaurant when she was but a little baby. Hae-e’s grandmother, or Haeng-Seon’s mother, succumbed to a car accident shortly after asking the little girl about her mother’s whereabouts.

That left little Hae-e with her uncle, Jae-Woo, and her aunt Nam Haeng-Seon, who was now responsible for the restaurant, her neurodivergent brother, and this adorable little niece of hers who looks at her with a gaze that can melt anyone.

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Haeng-Seon even goes on to drop out of sports to look after Hae-e and makes a number of sacrifices along the way. Haeng-Ja, meanwhile, never comes back to take a look at what her daughter might be up to.

The return

Haeng-Ja does return finally, at the most unfortunate time when Hae-e is hospitalized and in a coma. She instantly acts all high and mighty, gasping at the sight of her daughter she abandoned and never cared to come to check up on in all these years.

When Hae-e wakes up, she’s instantly awkward with her biological mother, and rightfully so, since she has not even fully recovered from her trauma, and to have such a significant person return to her life is something she can’t properly register, much less appreciate.

Haeng-Ja starts intervening in every little thing as if she’s been there caring for Hae-e all along, and her active fervor makes both her daughter as well as her sister rather uncomfortable. Additionally, she also has an air of a spoilt brat, something that stands in stark contrast with Haeng-Seon’s grounded, humble, and hardworking personality.

The redemption

The reason for Haeng-Ja’s return is not clear to anyone at first, as it seems that it’s just the time that she came back and finally checked back on her daughter. However, Haeng-Ja’s demeanor is a far cry from a response befitting of someone who has dreaded the distance apart from their loved one and now so desperately wishes to reunite with them.

Haeng-Ja is blunt, and rather unashamed when she wants something. However, her bluntness and abject lack of a filter prove to be a matter of embarrassment for Haeng-Seon when she starts asking Chi-Yeol for a new car.

For Hae-e, however, it’s a matter most painful, as she can’t bear to see Haeng-Seon so hurt after Haeng-Ja’s arrival, and her incessant asks for money and other things further pose a difficulty that Hae-e simply doesn’t want her aunt to go through anymore.

Hae-e also ends up catching Haeng-Ja on a call with Chi-Yeol, but before she can ask him for cash, Hae-e snatches the phone away and gives her an ultimatum — stop causing problems for Haeng-Seon or she would see her daughter’s dead face.

To prevent her real mother, who has disabused her of any hopes/fantasies regarding her real mother being a good person, Hae-e decides to leave the family altogether, and go live with her real mother in Japan. However, Haeng-Ja, who’s earlier shown to be looking for money due to her financially tight condition, bails out again.

This time, Haeng-Ja leaves with a bit of dignity, as she doesn’t ask for Chi-Yeol’s money, doesn’t embarrass or inflict pain on Haeng-Seon, and doesn’t cause Hae-e and her mother/aunt to feel the heartache of separating anymore. Writing an emotional and mature letter for her sister, Haeng-Ja leaves for Japan, having become a better person than before.

Also Read: The love triangle in Crash Course in Romance explained