Life, Once Again! - After Story 4
After Story 4
The college central library didn’t have any empty seats as though playing around during the holidays was a thing that only happened in other countries. He slowly looked around. The memories he had when he was a freshman still remained here and there. This was a place that ignited his youth. Perhaps to lessen the guilt of playing around, whenever he met up with his friends, they went to the library. They would browse through the core materials of the semester and their assignment while sighing, and they would always end up going to a bar near the university.
His hot-blooded youth had lost its aim because of all the drinking sessions, but he didn’t want to reject everything and consider them useless. After all, they were places that contained the time of the youthful Han Maru.
He went up to the 3rd floor. There was an ownerless bag and a laptop in the corner seat. This was the same as 2 years ago. There was a rumor that sitting on that seat would make someone good at memorizing, so everyone was out to take that seat. He walked past the self-study desks that were lined up together and went to the materials room, where newspapers were collected.ƒr𝒆𝑒𝔀e𝒃𝚗𝒐𝘃𝐞𝑙. c𝗼m
He looked at a newspaper from 5 years ago. He compared his memories and what was recorded to get a firmer grasp of the current era.
With politics, the structure was more or less the same as in his previous life, and the same could be said for economics as well. There were probably numerous differences if he tried to go into detail, but those things weren’t necessary for an individual.
“Katalk came out 2 years early, huh? Smartphones have been pulled forward too. Should I buy some of the related stocks?”
He organized his memories as he read the articles. He had to set a standard for this life so that there were no conflicts between the memories.
As an immature college student, Han Maru’s memories only contained simple information. It was up to the previous Han Maru to classify that information into good and bad with all the memories he had of his previous lives.
Memories were bound to be forgotten if not remembered regularly anyway. Just like how regularly used tools were placed within reach, if he could organize the information in order of necessity, that should redefine Han Maru as a single individual.
He put the newspaper back in the storage and left the materials room. He felt that he had seen enough of what he wanted. Since he had finished taking a trip down memory lane, he would probably never come to this place again. He took out the student ID he had in his wallet and folded it in half before throwing it away.
-I heard Sanghoon-hyung tell me that you’re dropping out.
He got a message from a college friend.
-Are you really quitting?
He only replied with a short ‘yes.’ This person was a friend he only said hi to at most, so it didn’t seem like the conversation would last long.
Just as he had expected, the conversation ended after the typical advice of ‘make a wise choice’ from the other party.
Perhaps since Sanghoon was so angry that he didn’t receive proper respect from a college underclassman, he seemed to have spread around how terrible Han Maru is as a person.
-Hey, are you really going to drop out? Did something happen at your house?
-Punk. You still have a senior-junior relationship with him.
-Oppa, what is it?
-Are you out of your mind?
The group chat was lit on fire. Half of them expressed consolation and worry, while the remaining half were criticizing and picking a fight.
Among these people, he only kept in touch with two people. The others may as well be strangers. Even though their relationship was that shallow, people seemed to have hopped onto the bandwagon and started throwing harsh words.
The closer they were to Sanghoon, the harsher their words were. As such, all the upperclassmen said that he was in the wrong. Sanghoon seemed to have a talent for politics despite being young. Maru smiled and looked at the screen.
Sanghoon appeared in the group chat and spoke as though to stand up for him.
Don’t criticize him too much, you’re making me embarrassed. Maybe he was so sensitive that he had to drop out — Looking at what he wrote alone might make him seem to be a very generous upperclassman.
Maru’s peers, who also worried about him, stopped after they felt the change in the mood. They probably didn’t want to get on this person’s bad side.
Besides just one. Moontae stood up for him, saying that it must be a misunderstanding. Moontae was someone Maru got to know during college orientation, and he was also a peculiar fellow who visited the corporal Maru in the military when Moontae himself was enjoying his last military vacation.
Maru thought that they weren’t especially close since they never really got to talk to each other after the first semester of freshman year, but he changed his mind after seeing Moontae visit him.
-Thanks for looking out for me. I’ll take care of myself, so don’t worry too much. You might be in a fix if you get targeted by the upperclassmen, so don’t say anything in the group chat.
Maru sent a direct message to Moontae. He prevented the grateful fellow who stood up for him from getting attacked from all sides before opening up the group chat again. The flow of the chat had become a lot rougher than before. Even a senior from the department, who Maru had never met, had been invited.
When one of the seniors wrote a long message about the bad attitude of the junior, many people chimed in. There were many who chimed in at the opportunity to blame people.
There was now a miniature society created in the palm-sized chat room. Maru had seen this so many times that he wasn’t even surprised. College chat rooms were cute even. Company group chats were like treading on thin ice, where every single period at the end of a sentence had to be written with caution. Compared to that, students were a lot more humane since they directly held people in contempt.
-I don’t know why you’re all talking about me like this, but since you’re all here, let me say something as well. I don’t know what I did that made you displeased, but if you can be specific about it, then I’ll apologize to you politely. Also, Mr. Sanghoon, you can say whatever you want about me, but please send that 300 thousand won you borrowed from me. I have faith that you didn’t put up this show just because you don’t want to pay me back.
He raised the angry upperclassmen who had gotten angry for a reason he didn’t know on a pedestal and tossed in the reason this whole thing happened.
The people who were burning a witch on top of the hay that was made of text messages soon changed their attitudes. In the first place, they were blabbing without bothering to look at the situation and just chimed in on whatever Sanghoon said. It was easy to shift the blame.
-Seonbae, you did that because of money?
-Sanghoon, it’s money again?
-Han Maru’s not the type of guy to do that without reason.
-He’s pretty good, isn’t he? He shows up to drink quite a lot.
Maru was exhausted to death when it came to company politics. He had experienced the nervousness of having to line up behind a good person hundreds, if not thousands of times. Flipping over a game that wasn’t even created properly only needed a few words.
-Who borrowed money from who?
When the major voice changed, Sanghoon decided to counterattack. He was pretty cunning, and he was quick to respond as well. He probably calculated that he just had to get over this situation and the conversation would end there.
The unfortunate thing was that this was not the late 80s. Maru opened a banking app and took a screenshot of his recent transfers. It seemed that Sanghoon had forgotten that he got the money through a bank transfer instead of cash in his excitement.
Maru was originally going to post just that, but to put the nail in the coffin, he also downloaded an order of payment to finish it off cleanly. He posted both the bank transfer history and the order of payment on the group chat.
-If you don’t transfer the money, I’ll write this one up. I’ll pay the fees for this one. If you’d like to object, then please go ahead.
After that, the group chat suddenly came to a halt. Nobody wrote anything, but nobody left either. They were probably waiting to see what was going to happen as if they were watching someone else’s house burning down in a fire.
Not even five minutes later, Maru got a call from Sanghoon.
-Hey, punk. Just because an upperclassman said something, you had to go so far?
“I like convenience. Rather than bothering to quarrel, let’s have the law take care of it since that’s a lot cleaner. Isn’t that good?”
“Crazy bastard. Fine, I’ll give it to you. I just have to give it to you, don’t I?”
“You’re giving me the 300 thousand won that you borrowed from me, right?”
“By the way, I recorded this conversation. I can issue an order of payment just from the bank transfer history, but it’s more reassuring if I have confirmation. If you play dumb later, you’ll experience something good. Getting mail from the court is a good experience in life, isn’t it?”
-You’re fucking crazy.
Then the call ended.
Back in the folding phone days, there would be a satisfying snap to top it all off. The advances in technology sometimes left behind such disappointments.
He called Moontae,
“Do you have any time? I’d like to treat you out while I’m still in college.”
-I have part-time work.
“Then call me whenever you have time. Also, I’m sorry for not looking out for you even though you came to visit me during the military.”
-I don’t care about that. Rather than that, is everything okay now?
-That’s fine then.
His short and indifferent answers were what was charming about him.
The immature Han Maru looked for other drinking friends while leaving behind this one huh? He really didn’t have a good eye for people – he clicked his tongue at his former self.
He left through the college entrance and got on the bus. He said one last goodbye to the university as it became distant.
Some people seemed to have heard the news that he was dropping out and raised a big commotion. He just sent them the words that he had plenty of methods to survive, and that they needn’t be worried.
To some people’s eyes, this might seem like a reckless decision, however, unemployment rates of college graduates were rising every year. If there was one inevitable truth in his repeated lives, it was that youth unemployment rates never decreased.
It was a masterpiece of both the society and the population, so it had never changed even once. As such, he had to enter the market while others were hung up on getting the titles of good universities.
Large companies were out of the question though. In the first place, those companies didn’t accept any undergraduates. He thought about applying to become a civil servant, but he didn’t really like that option.
Based on his previous lives, the moment he joined an organization, the nuts and bolts that made up his body would creak and cause accidents. It wasn’t just because of God toying around that he had to die before the age of forty-five.
His innate nature, his personality that was created through his experiences in society, just wasn’t suited to hierarchical relationships.
Of course, he had the confidence to do it well. After all, he had once won the position of the youngest general manager position after all.
However, he could bring out his traits even better in other occupations, so there was no need to join a company.
Transportation was the first occupation he wondered if he should do. In the case of the transportation of goods, there were no problems in earning profits once he opened various routes.
The problem was the initial investment. He had memories of getting scammed out of truck payments, so it was hard to get into it. He would have to work for a transportation company and then start working as a freelancer.
He sent her a message, about what she thought about driving freight trucks. The reply came back soon.
-Absolutely not. I respect you, but I will absolutely not accept that. You’ll be semi-forced to stay away from home, and I don’t like that. You should know how difficult it is to drive trucks. You would wake up every morning like a zombie and come back every night like a zombie. You expect me to keep watching that? I don’t want to tell Gaeul that her father is in Busan every single time either.
He was rejected right off the bat. He had a hunch that things would turn out like this.
Maru scratched his eyebrows and erased transportation of goods from his options.
Construction sites, ship construction, and cleaning high-rise buildings also came to mind.
In the case of high-rise buildings, he would not have to worry about losing his job once it was decided which building he had to clean, so he would be able to gain a stable profit.
“There’s a lot of work I can do.”
There was no need to be stubborn about wearing a tie. Whatever he did, it wouldn’t change the fact that it would be taxing on his mind and body.
Compensation for his work hours was the only thing he had to consider. He could just look at his quality of life once he had prepared his house.
He leaned his head against the window. He really had to consult his wife about the specifics.