Life, Once Again! - Chapter 203
“Senior, why don’t I have confidence? Senior? Senior?”
Jiyoon muttered on and on with a bright red face . Five glasses of beer… It only made sense that a girl who tried drinking for the first time would get drunk from it .
“You’re plenty confident right now, so please be quiet . Stand up straight as well . ”
He patted the girl’s shoulders as he led her into a smaller room to rest, he put her down on the bed before waking Aram up in the living room . The girl woke up from her nap after a few shakes .
“Woah! The ground is shaky!”
“That would be your eyes, not the ground . ”
It reminded him of a college party when he threw Aram into the small room as well . He managed to stay sober back then till the end and ended up having to take care of all the corpses afterwards, how strange that nothing has changed even today .
“Hey hey, don’t throw up too much, you’ll clog the toilet . ”
Suyeon shouted towards the bathroom, the three men who drank soju bombs were throwing up very energetically together . They must’ve drank everything Suyeon gave them, despite feeling sick . All because of their petty pride as men, Maru was a bit surprised to find Daemyung in their midst though .
He sent the three of them into the bigger room before cleaning up the bathroom a little bit .
“I could’ve taken care of that, you know . ”
Suyeon smiled with a glass of beer in her hand . After cleaning the bathroom, Maru made rounds around the small room and the big room to check on the kids . Thankfully, no one seemed to have gone too far over .
“You seem used to this . ”
“Of taking care of drunk people? That I am . ”
Maru scraped together what remained of the snacks and sat in front of Suyeon, he was hungry after so much work . The clock was nearing 11pm and the TV next to them was playing a Chinese martial arts movie .
“Care for a drink?”
Suyeon gave her glass a little shake . Maru looked around to find an unfinished bottle of soju, he poured himself a third of a shot .
“Do you want to drink more?”
“If you’re offering, sure . ”
Suyeon put her glass forward, prompting Maru to pour the rest of the bottle in her glass .
“Did you finish all the beer?”
“There should still be a few bottles in the fridge . ”
Maru opened the double door fridge and grabbed a beer . The fridge was surprisingly clean, he noticed . There were a lot of side dishes and vegetables inside .
“Why are you looking so carefully into someone else’s fridge?”
“There’s a lot to be learned about a person from their tables, fridge, and bathroom . Especially when they are all surprisingly clean . ”
“Surprisingly? Aren’t you being a bit rude?”
“Do you have a can opener?”
“Isn’t it next to the fridge?”
Unfortunately, Maru couldn’t find anything . He just settled for opening the bottle with a spoon .
“Who in the world are you? You were so natural just now . ”
“High schoolers nowadays can all do this . ”
“Liar . ”
Maru gave the bottle a little shake with his thumb over the top and poured the foaming beer into each of their glasses . Even if most of his memories were gone, his body still remembered how to make perfect soju bombs . Their glasses frothed with white foam in an instant .
“I’m surprised you know how to do that . ”
Suyeon took a sip from her glass . She clearly drank a lot with the kids, but her face remained the same as ever . Maru took a sip as well, it tasted sweet .
‘I drank a lot back then because of that damned department head, Mr . Go . Or was it Lee?’
He remembered having to drink almost every day alongside his superior . They were very humiliating and enraging at the time, but felt like sweet memories right now . He even missed it a little bit, he figured it was just like how he could only remember the fun things in the military .
The two of them emptied their glasses without words . They didn’t have anything to talk about, nor did they want to find something to talk about . Just like that, they finished about three glasses of soju bombs in a flash, but Maru didn’t feel any effects of the alcohol . Was it because of the stronger body he got in leaping back to the past?
‘I guess it’s closer to reincarnation . ’
Honestly, he could be fine even if he lost everything thanks to this strong body of his . He did want to continue down the path of acting, but no one knew what could happen in the future after all . Perhaps everything might just go wrong tomorrow . If that happens, his body would be the only thing he would be able to rely on . Maru finished his current glass and put the soju and beer bottle aside . There was no reason for him to be drinking right now, so he decided to cease there .
“Are you drunk?”
“Yes, I am . ”
“Liar, you don’t look a tad different . ”
“There’s no need for me to drink until I’m actually drunk . I’m fine with setting the mood a bit . And… I need to take care of my health . ”
“Ugh, thinking about health at your age?”
Suyeon poured herself a new glass with an annoyed mutter .
“You know beer has a lot of calories, right? Will you really drink more?”
Suyeon flinched, she looked at her glass for a bit before pushing it towards Maru .
“Drink . ”
“I’d rather not . ”
“You made me want to stop drinking, take responsibility . ”
She must be a bit buzzed, seeing how her voice was a bit higher-pitched than usual . He had no intentions of fighting with a drunk woman, so he just took the glass .
“You should sleep if you’re drunk . I’ll take care of this . ”
“I’m not drunk . I’m not Kim Suyeon if I get drunk with this little amount of alcohol . ”
The woman let out a small huff before picking out potatoes from the gamjatang in front of her . Come to think of it, this woman had quite the personality as well . She was relaxed when she needed to be, but also knew how to act cute . She could just as easily become a taunting woman capable of easily charming a person .
“A key that opens all locks before is praised as a master key . A lock that opens before all keys, on the other hand, is cursed upon for being useless . So why is it that the men take on the role of the key and women that of the lock? Women can just as easily become keys too . Is it because we don’t have a dick?”
Suyeon talked incredibly casually as if this was just another topic of conversation for her . Maru picked up a cracker in front of him as he looked into her eye, she wasn’t smiling anymore . She looked completely emotionless, Maru couldn’t help but feel that this was the most honest she’s been with him all this time .
“Well, if we’re going by appearances, aren’t men closer to keys?”
“Ugh, you have such a macho mindset as well . ”
“I’m just playing along with your joke . ”
“Is that so? Then play along for a bit more . ”
Suyeon stood up with a few sways and lay down on the sofa Maru was leaning on . Every time she let out a breath, Maru could smell an intense amount of alcohol . She was clearly drunk .
“You should sleep inside if you’re sleepy . ”
“This is my house, I can do whatever I want . ”
“Don’t blame me if you catch a cold . ”
“No worries . I’ll keep the heaters on at full blast . What do you think I’m earning money for? It’s to use it for stuff like this!”
“Good for you . ”
“Good for me is right . I work this hard because I want to earn money!”
“This is the first time I really agree with you . ”
“Oh? That’s nice . ”
Suyeon lightly slapped Maru’s shoulder, saying ‘this is for us having similar opinions for the first time’ . It was 12am now . The movie channel on TV was playing an erotic melodrama, a movie about a woman sacrificing her life for the male lead .
“An innocent woman . A quiet woman . A good wife . Why does this country always force its submissive stereotypes on women?”
“Because they’re scared . ”
Maru grabbed the glass in front of him, he’d need more alcohol to talk about stuff like this .
“Before getting further into this topic, I’d like to clarify that not all men in the world think like this . ”
Maru took a shot of soju before continuing .
“Some men obsessively hate to watch women climb on above them in the world . There’s no wonder that there’s even a popular phrase about it . ‘How dare this woman?’ It’s all because they’re scared . They’re scared of being taken over by capable women . That’s why they try to stamp it out from the start, saying bullshit like ‘good women need to be quiet’ . ”
Maru got a bit flared up as he talked because he was reminded of a story related to ‘her’ . Back then, after their marriage, she left the acting industry to be hired at a company as a secretary . She got into trouble with a man in that company and Maru remembered being incredibly mad after hearing the reason why . The man started trouble because she dared look him in the eye . In fact, Maru could still feel incredible rage despite having lost most of his memory of the situation . What made him even angrier at the time was how she tried to laugh it over like it was nothing .
“That patriarchal worldview ruined many, many people . There are too many idiots running around thinking that they’re superior just because they have a stick between their legs . You see, when I get a daughter in the future, I’m definitely going to teach her self-defense . I’m going to tell her to kick him right in the balls if she meets one of these idiots in the future . ”
“Oh, that’s nice . ”
Suyeon laughed as if she were a fan of the thought, she laughed for quite some time before letting out a small sigh . She continued the conversation with a much calmer tone .
“People would laugh if I tell them that I got raped by a man I dated, right?”
“Did such a thing happen?”
“It was rape, at least from my perspective . I was a doll and he was a rabid dog . The bastard . ”
“Are you really okay with telling me this? I don’t really like you, instructor . ”
“I know . I don’t like you either . I wanted you, but gave up since you act way too hard to get . ”
“So why are you . . . ”
“Because there’s no one else . There’s no one else I can tell this to . You’re… You’re annoying, but I don’t think you’re a bad person . It’s annoying how you act like an adult at your age . I don’t like the way you talk . It’s unbearable how you draw a line between certain relationships . I hate everything about you, but at least you don’t try to hit on me desperately like those fucks . ”
“That’s literally only because I don’t like you . ”
“Can’t you be a bit gentler about it? Seriously . ”
Suyeon got up from the sofa and embraced Maru from the back .
“How is it? Feeling excited?”
“You reek of alcohol . Can’t you just go to sleep if you’re drunk? I can listen to your stories all day, but I’d rather not have to take care of your physical actions as well . ”
“Oh, so cold . ”
Suyeon rested her head on Maru’s shoulder .
“You see, I thought emotions lasted forever . I thought love lasted forever . I thought as long as I loved, I would be paid back with an equal amount of love . But that wasn’t the case at all . Emotions are expendable things that run out very quickly . Love was the same, just packaged to look a little better . They wanted me and once I gave them my everything, they threw me away . ”
“What did you do?”
“What do you think? I became a merchant . Fine, I’ll give you what you want, but it’s not going to be free . If you’re going to use me, you better pay up . Back then, I was a girl who wanted love . But now, I’ve become a woman who got too used to loveless romance . Rumors? About me being a whore? About how I sell my body? Whatever . It’s just a transaction, just like anything else in the free market . ”
Her breath passing by his ear was hot, he might’ve even felt a bit of disgust if he didn’t know anything . He would’ve thought she was impure, dirty . All he felt now was the alcohol in his body and a bitterness similar to it .
“So, are you satisfied?”
“Satisfied? Sure . I’m not hurt anymore . I’m a dry twig devoid of emotions at this point . ”
“Well, so long as you’re satisfied . By the way, can an emotionless person even act?”
“I’m living proof of that, aren’t I? Acting’s all a bunch of lies anyway . ”
Suyeon raised one of her arms towards the sky .
“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more . ”
Suyeon looked incredibly desperate and devoid of energy as she spoke . She looked up at the ceiling lights dumbly before smiling again, she buried her face into Maru’s shoulder .
“I’m sick of Macbeth . ”
“That was Macbeth?”
“You don’t even know Macbeth? I thought you were an actor!”
“This is my first year, you see . ”
“Ugh . ”
Suyeon muttered incoherently for a second before continuing .
“In any case, I’m a very good liar . Who knows? Maybe my words right now are lies . ”
She laughed silently as if she was very amused at what she just said . Maru shrugged .
“It doesn’t matter if you lied or not . ”
“It doesn’t matter . I don’t care what you do . Just don’t break the law . ”
“I don’t touch married men, obviously . I don’t go for the ones with girlfriends either . ”
“Then it’s fine, isn’t it? No need for you to talk to me like this about it . ”
“Don’t you think it’s dirty?”
“Why? I’ve never heard from anyone that romance is a dirty thing . ”
“I can’t tell if you’re a romanticist or a pessimist . ”
“I’m a romanticist towards my woman and have no such interest in everyone else . By the way, can you get up now? You’re heavy . ”
“You’re saying something very rude to a woman right now . Do you know that?”
“Gravity doesn’t discriminate, unfortunately . ”
Suyeon smirked before getting back up . Looking back, he noticed that her eyes still had vibrant energy . She must’ve faked being drunk to talk about this .
“That’s odd . I thought this attack would work for sure . Do you even have a dick?”
“Want me to show you?”
“Oh my, how bold . ”
“It’s past midnight . You should go to bed . ”
“Don’t want to . I want to keep talking . ”
“Well, I’m going to sleep . ”
“Why? Stay, I’m bored . ”
Suyeon was begging him . It was honestly hard to tell if this woman was drunk or no, she’d probably chase after him even if he walked away to sleep . Maru sighed as he took out a book from his bag .
“You can talk by yourself . I’m going to read . ”
“Twilight Struggles? Are you preparing for the audition?”
“Of course . I don’t know if I’ll get in though . ”
“You can come running into my arms if you fail . My bosom is wide enough to welcome you in . ”
“Yes, yes . I’m sure it is . ”
Maru turned off the TV and flipped a page, Suyeon fell silent as well . The fridge hummed in the distance, he could hear the wind whipping itself against the windows . Many little noises came and went within the room . In a flash, the living room became quiet like a library . Maru flipped a page, then another, and then one more . By the time he flipped through about twenty, he heard a noise behind him .
“ . . . To whom do I need to go to get my purity back?”
It was Suyeon . As her voice slowly faded away from the room, Maru turned the TV back on . He flipped through the channels until he reached a loud entertainment show and raised the volume . By the time he made it loud enough for it to impair his concentration, he heard a noise from behind him . A noise of someone forcing her tears down her throat .
Maru kept the TV on as he continued reading .