Life, Once Again! - Chapter 212
“You should at least eat, you know. What are you even doing with all that money of yours?” “Stop trying to scold me. Ugh, you used to be so cute when you were little, but now all you do is nag nag nag.” Bangjoo’s sister sat down and dried her hair with a towel. It was black just a month ago, but now it was dark purple from her forehead to her ears and light purple all the way down. “So you ended up doing that rainbow hair.” “I’m done with this, actually. Pretty sick of it.” “Aren’t you embarrassed?” “Of what? Purple? Why?” His sister picked up the spoon with a smile. Even now, she was a complete mystery to him. “So how long will you be here?” “No idea. I might be here for a while. I want to rest.” “You can rest when you want to?” His sister nodded with an “of course”. “Where’s the sesame oil and soy sauce?” “Here.” “I love the egg rice you make.” The egg rice, made by pouring sesame oil and soy sauce on top, with a sunny-side-up egg over rice. It was something their grandmother made all the time. Grandma didn’t actually like his sister, so she always gave his sister half of a fried egg. His sister always threw a tantrum for having so little, but grandma always refused to make any more. Bangjoo would sneak his fry onto his sister’s while grandma wasn’t looking, his sister was 28 at the time. “Big sis.” “What?” “Did you visit grandma?” “Of course I did. Ugh, that old lady’s still as healthy as ever. She scolded me over my hair as soon as she saw my face. Think she’s good for at least another decade.” “Hey, you shouldn’t call her an old lady like that.” “Well, am I wrong?” “…Who was the person who ran to the hospital crying when grandma collapsed again?” “Who was it indeed?” His sister grinned. She fought a ton with grandma back in the day. Even now, actually. Grandma always urged his sister to get married, and his sister would always respond by refusing to live a boring life like their grandma’s. But as soon as his sister left home, grandma started always tuning into the dramas where she came out. On the other hand, his sister always asked Bangjoo about how grandma was doing. The two always fought on the surface, but they both cared very deeply about each other on the inside. Bangjoo used to be very confused by their relationship dynamic, but not anymore. They were just shy towards each other. “You should call grandma instead of asking me.” “It’s fine. I’m going to get scolded anyway. Also, hey, is it just me or are you starting to lecture me at this point? So you think you’re all grown up now, huh?” His sister extended her hand towards him. Bangjoo could easily avoid her, but he stayed still. He knew his sister would chase after him to no end if he dodged, thus she shook his head around a little with a grin. “So how’s high school? Is it fun?” She let go pretty quickly. “It’s fun. The classroom has a lot of weirdos, so I’m never bored. Club’s fun too.” “Club? What do you do?” “Acting.” “Mm, acting. Here I thought you’d get into sports. Didn’t you like sports? I thought you were good at it. I thought you’d have a big advantage with your loud voice.” “What does a loud voice have anything to do with sports? Also, I’m going to become an action star. Like Jacky Chan.” “You?” “What, I can’t?” He put down his spoon and looked at his sister, his sister was smiling as brightly as ever. “Do it! Be anything you want, but I’m not going to help you. I can feed you, clothe you, and put a roof over your head, but I can’t help you with anything more. No, I won’t.” “You know I’m the one that makes the food and does the laundry, right?” “But I’m the one that pays for all of this.” “Lord, I need to find a job soon.” “No way. Who’d make my food?” Bangjoo sighed looking at his smiling sister. “Aren’t you going to marry, sis? Isn’t it getting pretty dangerous at this point?” Thirty-three. Bangjoo did see the news about people starting to marry at a later age, but thirty-three wasn’t early for marriage at all. Was it because of that? His family was always noisy on the topic of marriage when mom and sister met up. Mom said, “you did anything and everything you wanted till now, so just listen to me this once.” His sister responded, “but there are no good men out there.” “You’re going to get screwed over by that rude mouth of yours some time in the future.” His sister pulled at Bangjoo’s cheeks, Bangjoo smacked her away before continuing. “Even mom’s asking me if you’re hiding anyone at this point.” “What the heck? How old does she think I am?” “I mean, with your job… It only makes sense that she thinks that. I still can’t believe you’re appearing on TV.” The TV they left turned on in the kitchen was playing a makeup commercial. A woman wearing very tight silk clothing smiled as she showed off her smooth skin. Bangjoo looked at the woman once, then his sister once. “The camera is a complete cheat.” “The hell you talking about?” Of course, people would buy the makeup when they saw his sister through the screen. Thinking about it almost made Bangjoo feel guilty, his sister wasn’t beautiful like the woman on the television. She was the type of woman to laugh like a maniac in the middle of the night crunching on chips. “Why did that company have to use you as a model?” “Because I’m pretty.” “I don’t think that’s it.” “You’ve just gotten used to my looks because you saw it every day, you need to see what happens when I walk the streets of Myungdong.” “But nothing happened when we went to the market yesterday.” “That’s because I didn’t put on makeup.” “I feel so sorry for the people you tricked. It’s a scam. A total scam.” “People always look and hear what they want. Satisfying their desires puts money in my wallet. I do what I want with said money. Bangjoo, you should write this down, man. It’s good advice. Life runs on money!” “Thanks for the wonderful lesson, sis.” Bangjoo stood up with his empty bowl. His sister was still smiling. “…No one coming to your house recently?” “Nope.” “Mail?” “Nothing.” “You’re really fine, right?” “Who do you think I am? I’ve developed quite the tolerance to insults at this point. Don’t worry about me. Plus, I have fans now! It’s a little boring though. Should I start something on the internet again?” “Please don’t. Mom’s going to collapse again if you do.” “You think?” Bangjoo put the dish in the sink and turned the water on, he started thinking as he washed the dish. When his sister first appeared on the silver screen, the whole family was in high spirits. Everyone was happy when she got her first award and got all the spotlight in the country. Bangjoo remembered even though it was all the way back in elementary school, even his sister was ecstatic about getting closer to her dream. But later on, his sister came back with a very scary expression on her face. She stepped down her drama role and started doing advertisements, everything from apartments to rice cookers. She started coming home less and less, and the negative comments about her on the internet only increased over time. Mom read all of the comments about his sister and cried, Bangjoo remembered running outside all day when the sounds of his mother crying rang across the house. “Sis.” “What?” “Why did you do that back then?” His sister seemed to have immediately caught onto what he was talking about. She took some time to chew on the cookie in her hand before responding with a smile. “I’ll tell you when you first get your paycheck. It’s a bit complicated.” “Complicated my ass.” Bangjoo rubbed the dish with steel wool. He wasn’t good with worrying about people. He always needed to ask what was on his mind whenever it came up, but he really couldn’t ask her about what happened back then. Especially because his smiling sister no longer looked so enthusiastic as she did just a moment ago. “Want to go shopping together? We haven’t done that in a while.” “You just brought a ton of stuff back home though.” “We can just buy some more. I have a ton of money anyway.” “Save some of that money for your wedding.” “Ugh, don’t worry about it.” His sister jumped up and pulled Bangjoo by his shirt, Bangjoo quickly washed his hands before looking at his sister. Once she made up her mind, there was no stopping her. “It is a surprise, though,” his sister said as she tied her shoes. “What?” “You acting. I always thought you disliked that sort of stuff.” “I never disliked it. Just… I was annoyed at the people who said weird stuff.” “As expected of my brother! You’re always on my side.” Bangjoo pushed his smiling sister forward. “Come on, let’s move it. I have to look at my script after this.” “Oh! A script! Need help?” “I’m good.”
* * * Maru massaged his eyes after taking them off of the script for a second, he was tired after focusing on it to memorize the lines. His focus when it came to stuff like this was incredible. It only felt like a few minutes went by, but it’s already been an hour. Maru turned the computer on after pushing the script to the side, he entered the web page Miso told him about. The top of the page had the title ‘audition’ on it, nothing more, nothing less; it was a website for people in the industry. Most famous actors were casted all on their own, but many of the side characters had to use a site like this to find roles. [Independent film ‘Friendship’ looking for male lead.] [Film xxx looking for actors.] [Film yyy looking for actors.] Most of the postings were along those lines, some films didn’t even have their names released. Then again, it made sense that blockbusters would have to take care of not releasing any information about the film. Among the articles, Maru found one written by a familiar name. JA Production. Junmin’s company. “…Well, this is basically a promotion in itself.” While the other articles only had from 100 to 200 views, this one had over 500. The name by itself must’ve made it worth it to a lot of people. The contents of the article were simple. It had the date and a job description. “Free acting for five minutes, scripted acting for five minutes.” Free acting, huh. Maru stared into the screen as he scratched his eyebrows.