Life, Once Again! - Chapter 460
“Well done today as well. It’s quite cold today, so don’t just take off your tops when you play ball. Also, these days, many students get caught smoking in the park, and I’m not sure about drinking, but don’t ever smoke. Ordinary-looking folks like us don’t look cool even if we smoke, so you really shouldn’t. You’ll really regret it later.”
“Are you smoking because of the taste, then?”
Someone sitting in the 2nd column asked in a joking manner. Taesik, who was the homeroom teacher, chuckled as he ended the school day.
“Maru, see me for a sec.”
Taesik called out to Maru as he left through the front door of the classroom. Maru put his bag on his desk and approached Taesik.
“I saw you on TV. I did watch your acting quite often, but looking at you through a TV does feel quite different.”
“I looked really awkward, didn’t I?”
“Of course not. Even a clueless person like me thought that you were good.”
“So from what I see, you decided on your career path – an actor, right?”
“Yes, I’m going to try. I’m going to go at it head on without any room for regrets.”
Of course, it wasn’t that Maru didn’t have a place to run away. Maru’s iron rule was that he should always have some room for retreat. He couldn’t let a spider put a web over his mouth. The three hundred million won in his bank account was his room for retreat.
“I see. So you’re going to be busy in the future as well?”
“I’m not sure about that. This field is the same as the others in the sense that I have to run around looking for work until I become famous. I think I’m still far from work coming my way without me doing anything.”
“You’ll do well. No matter how harsh this world is, someone who is skilled in one area is bound to be used in that field,” said Taesik as he nodded his head.
They went to the cafeteria and Taesik bought a cup of hot chocolate for Maru. Maru thanked him as he received it.
“You talked to your parents about it?”
“They know that I joined an agency. They didn’t ask anything specific, but they are the kind of people who would let me do something if I set my mind to it, so you don’t need to worry about that.”
Taesik patted Maru on the shoulder and told him to drink. So that was the end of the consultation? Maru sipped the steaming hot chocolate and asked,
“Have you decided on a date for the marriage?”
Taesik smiled and looked at the paper cup in his hands. After swirling the cup around for a while, he spoke,
“You’ll be hearing good news in a while.”
“Look forward to it. I’m also graduating from being a bachelor.”
“Don’t forget that you need to fit me with a suit once you decide on a date. You know that I was your cupid, right?”
“Did instructor Miso already take over the financial power?”
“That woman’s pretty vicious.”
That last line was a joke, but there was a sense of bitterness that couldn’t just be taken as a joke. As Maru knew how he felt, he silently nodded and drank the rest of the hot chocolate.
“Cheonho’s in class right?”
“Yes, he should be on cleaning duty.”
“Then can you call him here?”
Maru said goodbye before leaving the cafeteria. Meeting a homeroom teacher like Taesik for even just one year out of the three years of high school would change school life, and beyond that, life in general. A good teacher was just that incredible. Also, precisely because they were incredible, they were dangerous.
“Damn kid, follow me!”
“Cheonho, you should go to the cafeteria.”
“A first year girl wanted me to call you out.”
The boys that were mostly cleaning under the desks all stood up and glared at Cheonho. Cheonho asked back if it was true in disbelief before pushing away the others and running towards the cafeteria.
Seeing him rush towards the main staircase at full speed made Maru feel bad for him. He thought that he should treat the guy to something later. He told the truth to the boys that flocked to him and asked if the girl was pretty.
“What a pitiful guy.”
“He was definitely serious.”
“Maru, you should watch out. He has a knife in his drawer.”
Maru chuckled and replied that he would.
Maru replied that it was simply a career consultation.
“Is he going through us all?”
“Probably. He called Cheonho out just now.”
“Cheonho? He seemed so excited though.”
Daemyung wondered if it was such a good thing to have a consultation with the teacher.
“Did Dowook go up first?”
Maru picked up his bag. Today was Monday. He had to go to Seoul.
“He went to the bunsik restaurant in front of the school to buy some kimbap for the others.”
“He really looks after the juniors quite a lot.”
While putting away the mop, Daemyung asked as though he just remembered something,
“Ah, the tarot you showed me during the day. Do you know what it means?”
“No. I was looking for similar pictures before I turned it off so I don’t know about it. Looking it up on the internet didn’t do any good.”
“You looked quite serious even though you got that card purely through coincidence. That’s why I asked, if you were so bothered over it, I wanted to tell you about it a little.”
Maru took out his wallet from his pocket. Daemyung really had great observation skills.
“So, what does this card mean?”
“I’m not entirely sure, but I shouldn’t be that far off either. It’s the card with the number zero, so I came across it a lot, and I liked it as well. Hmm, the interpretation depends on which direction you come across it, but generally, the meaning of The Fool is just like the image of a clown that you typically think of. In tarot, it means adventurous spirit, curiosity, commencement, free spirit when it’s in the upright position….”
After saying that, Daemyung g.r.o.a.n.e.d for a while before saying ‘that’s all I remember’ before finishing it off.
“I get what kind of image it is.”
“So if there’s an upright position, there’s a reverse position as well?”
“Yeah. It’ll be easier if you think about opposites. Impulsiveness, recklessness, carelessness.”
“That’s not good.”
“It can change depending on how you interpret it. I don’t know the details either though.”
Daemyung picked up his bag. Since cleaning was over, it seemed that he was about to go to the clubroom. Maru took a glance at the clock. It was about time he left.
“But what kind of consultation did you have when you received that card?”
“I said that I was worried about something…. No, wait, that’s not right. That woman told me that she wants to solve my worries.”
“Solving worries? That’s a very broad meaning. So, when you first received it, was it in the upright position or the reverse position?”
Maru took out the card from his wallet and tried flipping it around. Yesterday, he didn’t get to see the front face of the card at the tent. He only checked the card when he got home. Even that woman didn’t tell him whether it was the upright position or not.
“Why?” Daemyung asked after approaching him.
“I didn’t hear about it – whether it was in the upright position or not. But I think I can deduce that.”
Maru looked at the pattern on the back of the card and thought back to yesterday. It was a repeating pattern on the back, but the colors at the end of the cards were different. One side was slightly red and the other side had a bluish tint. Before that man interrupted, the card lay still on the table. Back then, it was definitely…
Maru unfolded the card that he folded to put in his wallet and put it on the desk face down. Then, he turned it so that the red side faced him.
“It was in this state.”
“Try flipping it.”
Maru flipped the card. The picture was not flipped. The clown on the stage was facing him.
“Usually, a fortune teller interprets based on the seeker, so….”
“What’s a seeker?”
“The one being told about the fortune. In this state, the card is in its upright position.”
“So it’s interpreted in a good way?”
“That’s good. Well, not that I really like adventurous spirit and curiosity and stuff like that.”
“Still better than recklessness.”
Maru picked up his bag and left the class. Daemyung climbed up the staircase while he went down. After exchanging goodbyes, Maru went down the stairs.
It was such a vague word. As it had a broad meaning, the interpretation would differ according to how the one doing the fortune telling interprets it. Fortune telling really wasn’t reliable after all.
Before he left through the left entrance, he saw the trash cans that the classes had put out. Maru fiddled with the tarot card in his hand. He wondered if he should throw it away or not.
The clown holding the mask within on card did bother him a little, but it was probably a coincidence anyway. Even The Phantom of the Opera had a similar mask with black and white. Meaning, it wasn’t anything special.
After seeing the clown wearing a necktie on the stage, Maru muttered ‘adventurous huh’ to himself once again and put the card back in his wallet. It wasn’t that he believed it, but just being in possession of it shouldn’t do him harm.
‘Let’s think of it as a souvenir or something.’
Maru put his wallet in his pocket and put anything regarding the card in one corner of his mind. Right now, he shouldn’t be worried about that meaningless card, but rather, about the many different overlapping illusions of that man from before.
He got on the bus and put his transit card against the reader.
‘I wonder what the heck that was about.’
Since he didn’t have a single clue, he couldn’t start deducing things. For a brief moment, he thought that there was something wrong with his brain, but no matter how hard he thought about it, he didn’t feel like there was something wrong with his body. He didn’t encounter anything that might have shocked his brain, and if some pathological problem occurred within his body, he should be encountering abnormal body conditions, but there were no signs of that either.
In the end, he reached the conclusion that it was related to his reincarnation.
Hearing the warning that the train was coming, Maru took a step back. The train arrived with a loud sound.
‘Will things like that happen again in the future?’
If that was the case, he had to get ready for it. An uncontrollable wave of emotions and a splitting headache would be a huge problem if it happened while he was shooting or performing.
He wondered if he should learn meditation or something. He had to find a way to calm himself down in any situation.
After arriving at the academy, Maru greeted Gwangseok and Gyunglim, who arrived earlier than him. Gwangseok was talking to someone over the phone. He was probably talking to a girl. Gyunglim was fiddling with her phone. So she’s active in that calligraphy café?
Sungjae appeared behind him and greeted him while hooking his arm around his neck. The two had gotten close ever since they drank together at the elder’s house. Although they were at ease before when talking, there was still a sense of distance when they talked to each other, but now they felt close like old buddies.
“Is everyone here?”
Following that, Miso came in and pointed at Sungjae while saying ‘attendance’. Sungjae raised his hand and shouted ‘one’ in a loud voice, and following that, Gwangseok, Maru, then Gyunglim said their numbers.
“Good. All four of you are here. Then, let’s begin our class once again.”
Miso clapped and told them to stand up.
Maru stopped thinking about the déjà vu and stood up.
Right now, it was time to focus on class.
 Aka, ‘letting it go unused for so long that a spider decides to make a nest over his mouth’.