Life, Once Again! - Chapter 342
“What should we watch?”
She hesitated while looking at the pamphlets in each hand. The one in her right hand was about a former CIA agent’s revenge, and the one in her left was about an ex-agent’s romance. It seemed like the trend was secret agents this year.
“Which do you think is better?”
She held up the pamphlets in his face as she asked. Honestly speaking, Maru didn’t want to watch either one. He actually wanted to watch a suspense movie that was released just a few days ago. That one was about a man who was stuck in a closed space, and while the scenario wasn’t that new, many people judged that the actor’s expression of the character was so good that there was no time to be bored.
“How about that one?”
Maru pointed at the pamphlet with the despairing man’s face on it.
“…You want to watch that?” She hesitantly asked.
She put back the pamphlets into the holder and walked towards the ticketing office with a dejected face.
“Should we watch a romance then?”
Her face brightened as though a ray of sunlight shone through the dark clouds. She really didn’t like scary things. She was someone that was bolder than anyone when it came to problems in reality, yet she despised ghosts and murderers in fiction. What was interesting was that despite hating it that much, she occasionally became adamant about watching them. She was very cute with her twitching all the time while watching such a movie, and quite funny at the same time. Perhaps it was similar to fighting fire with fire.
Maru picked up the pamphlet of the movie he wanted to watch. If the actor didn’t have such a scared expression in the picture, he would’ve been able to gloss it over and persuade her to watch it. He decided to watch it next time by himself and put it inside his bag.
She had returned with two tickets. It seemed that she hurriedly got the tickets in fear that Maru might decide to watch something else. She was even panting.
“What popcorn do you want to eat?”
“Caramel for me.”
“No, I’m good.”
She added ‘I’ll gain weight if I eat too much’ in a small voice.
* * *
“The acting was decent, right?”
“You mean the female lead?”
“Yeah. I especially liked the last scene where she looked at the picture warmly.”
“I liked it when she lied down on the bed wearing just a white shirt.”
“Urgh, pervert. That’s the only thing you see, isn’t it?”
“My eyes were made to see that kind of thing.”
While they were talking, the omelette they ordered came out. They were in a restaurant in front of the cinema, and she brought him here saying that this place was well-known. Maru scooped a spoonful and put it in his mouth. The thick demi-glaze sauce stimulated his tongue.
“Right? Do you want to try mine as well?” She pushed her plate forward a little as she spoke.
Maru put his spoon sideways on top of the soft egg and pushed it down. He smoothly rotated his spoon to scoop a mouthful out. He brought it to his mouth and ate it.
What kind of taste was this? He focused on the taste that tickled his tongue under that softness of the egg. Just then, the spiciness became strong and a fire burned in his mouth. He could see that she had an evil smile on. Her cheeks were bright red.
She grinned cheerfully before starting to eat her omelette.
“Oh yeah, what happened to the 2nd audition for the sitcom you talked about last time?”
“It’s next Monday. It’s an interview-slash-audition.”
“If it’s an interview, aren’t you practically in it? I wonder if you’ll pass and somehow rise into a star. You know, a rising star.”
She shook her head, saying that such a thing wouldn’t happen. Maru held his spoon up like a microphone and put it in front of her.
“You won the popularity award thanks to the drama. How do you feel right now?”
“Hm, first, I want to say thanks to the unni at the barbershop.”
“Isn’t that what a Miss Korea says?”
It would be good if she passed the audition. Maru wanted to see her figure on TV. It would feel quite new to see her as a member of the main cast rather than as a replacement.
“Aren’t you going to eat?”
Maru picked up his spoon again and scooped his omelette.
* * *
She stared into the crane machine. At the end of her gaze was a phone strap with a plastic rabbit at the end.
“Should I get it for you?”
“No, it’s fine.”
She said that it was fine with a smile and took out her phone. It seemed that she got a phone call. She told him to wait before picking it up.
While she took her call, Maru inserted some coins into the machine. He moved the crane to the top of the phone strap with the joystick and pressed the button. The phone strap was hung on the tip of the mechanical claw.
“I told you it was fine.”
It seemed that she finished the call. Even though she was saying that there was a bright smile on her face as she looked at the machine. When the phone strap fell into the exit, she cheered.
“Good things happened in a row,” she put the phone strap on her phone as she spoke.
“In a row?”
“Yeah. I just got a call. Our school passed the preliminaries.”
“Oh, it’s 8 o’clock now. I guess the results should be out. What about Woosung High?”
“I don’t know, but I think you probably passed.”
At the same time, a message arrived on his phone. It was from Taesik. The contents were simple. Woosung High was advancing into the second round.
“We passed as well.”
She sighed in relief as though it was related to her.
“So I guess all that’s left now is for Woosung High to get the grand prize, and Myunghwa High to get the Gold prize and go to nationals?”
“What are you saying? Myunghwa High will get the grand prize, and Woosung High will get gold.”
She immediately changed her attitude. Her confidence in winning was in her eyes. She really didn’t take things easy. Maru walked the streets while holding her hand. They left the complex market street and entered a rather empty park. The heat from the day was still remaining, and the night air was still warm and stuffy.
He chuckled as he watched her run towards a large Siberian Husky which was coming their way. She asked the owner for permission to touch it and the owner gladly gave her permission. She smiled in joy as she put her fingers between the soft fur. Her expression was just like the dog that was wagging its tail.
While she played with the dog, Maru thought about what happened during the day.
“Help me out a little.”
Suyeon said those words. She didn’t seem to be in a hurry though.
“Can’t you accept it first?”
Hearing those words, Maru nodded once before turning around. He didn’t want to play with words with her. It was much more worth it to go down and eat more food.
“Okay, okay, I’ll say it. You really have a cold temper.”
Standing up, Suyeon dusted off her butt.
“But you’ll have no choice but to help me anyway. You don’t have a choice. I’ll have you help me in the drama shoot that’s happening next Tuesday.”
“A drama shoot?”
“Yeah, my drama that will start airing this week. There’s a retrospect scene and we need a young boy to act as a student. It’s nothing difficult. You just need to play a good-for-nothing student.”
“When you say I don’t have a choice, it means that it will still come to me through the president even if I refuse, right?”
“So you know. So you actually remembered that we belong to the same company?”
There was no reason to refuse since it was just a short shoot, so he accepted it on the spot. When he looked into it, his manager knew about it already.
“But why are you asking me to do it? There should be many others.”
“Is it strange for me to be considerate of my own family?”
“It is very strange.”
“Don’t be so wary. Actually, the one that recommended you is someone else. Do you know camera director Kim Jangsoo?”
He was the camera director for Youth Generation as well. When he affirmed it, Suyeon nodded once.
“We need a child actor since a retrospective scene was added, and most of the time, it’s usually handled by the writers or the directors. But I heard the camera director mentioning your name. The name Han Maru isn’t that common, so I soon found out that it was you. That’s why I recommended you to the director as well.”
“That was unexpected of you.”
“What’s so unexpected?”
“That you recommended me.”
“Consider it me paying you back for consulting me while I was drunk.”
“That doesn’t add up.”
“Emotional favors are supposed to be paid back in a vague fashion.”
* * *
The moment Maru’s consciousness returned to the park was when she waved goodbye to the dog she was playing with.
“I wish I could raise a dog like that once I live in a big house.”
“You’ll probably forget about that once you see them shedding their fur.”
“Because they will shed fur the size of their body. You’ll have to brush them often as well.”
“You’re quite knowledgeable.”
“Well, that’s because….”
You used to raise one before. Maru smiled instead of saying what he could not say. She looked back at him with a pouty expression.
“Let’s get going.”
“Yeah. It’s already 9.”
“I’ll bring you home.”
Maru grabbed her hand and started walking. Just then, he felt a vibration from his pocket. When he took out his phone, he saw that there was an incoming call from Gwak Joon.
-Are you together with Daemyung right now?
“No, he’s not here.”
-Why is he not picking up his phone?
“Did something happen?”
-I wanted to see him tomorrow, and there’s something I need to talk to him about as well.
“Wait a moment, I’ll try calling him.”
He hung up and called Daemyung. The signal dragged out before eventually reaching voice mail. It was too early to sleep now since it was still 9. At that moment, a bad premonition flashed in his head. During lunch, he left first because he had an appointment, but the rest of the members went to a noraebang with Suyeon. He did not hear what happened after that.
He called Suyeon. After about three signal sounds, Suyeon picked up.
-What is it?
“I’m just asking this in case, but is everyone there?”
-Fufu, wait a moment.
There was a noise from the phone for a moment before he heard laughs. It was from the members.
Daemyung picked up the call. His pronunciation was smudged, and he was giggling nonstop. Maru sighed.
“Did you drink alcohol?”
He was overly cheerful.
“Hey, get yourself together and check your phone. You should’ve gotten missed calls from Gwak Joon-hyungnim.”
Maru pressed the end call button right there. There was nothing more time-wasting than talking to a drunkard. He called Gwak Joon again. When he explained the circ.u.mstances, he heard a short sigh.
-I really don’t like that woman after all. I should tell her something when I see her next time.
“I left a message, so he’ll probably give you a call if he gets himself together tomorrow morning.”
-Yeah, okay then.
Gwak Joon, who sounded like he was about to hang up, spoke again.
-But hey, have you been to the hospital?
-Haven’t you heard? Sir Yoon collapsed.
“Sir Yoon? You mean elder Moonjoong?”
“Did he get injured? Or did he get into an accident? Nothing big happened, right?”
He hurriedly asked, hearing that Moonjoong had collapsed.
-He told me that it was simple overexhaustion, but he never told me the details. He’s much better now, and he’s allowed visitors. I’ve been there today myself as well.
“Can you text me the address?”
-Okay. If you’re going to visit him, go around lunchtime tomorrow.
Maru remembered the call with Geunsoo he had a few days ago. That was the day he met Joongjin for the first time. He called Geunsoo to ask about Joongjin, and Geunsoo sounded like he was about to say something, but did not do so. Perhaps that was about the elder?
She looked at him worriedly. Maru was about to say nothing but decided to tell her the truth.
“Is he ill?”
“I heard that he’s much better now.”
“That’s good. You should make a visit then.”
“I will. He’s practically a savior of mine.”
“I hope he’s healthy.”
Seeing her so worried, Maru told her that everything would be okay.
The elder had collapsed – if the reason was due to overexhaustion like what Gwak Joon had said, it was probably due to the movie shoot. He researched and studied from early dawn to late night in order to perfect his character. Perhaps the fatigue had piled up since then and burst out in one go after the shoot finished.
He hoped that it was nothing bad. Maru reminded himself of the elder’s kind smile and sighed worriedly.