Life, Once Again! - Chapter 482
Heewon breathed out over a long span of time before calming down his emotions. He needed several breaths to calm down his thumping c.h.e.s.t.
“That’s the gist of it, isn’t yours much better?”
He asked his juniors who were watching.
“Uhm, we’ll just do it our own way.”
“See? I told you that your acting is better than mine.”
“It’s not that, it’s just that your acting is too good. I don’t think I can do it like you.”
“Me neither,” the girls were pouting as they spoke.
At that moment, Inho clapped to gather attention.
“But it helped at least, right? You now know what kind of elements make it look more realistic.”
After saying those words, Inho stood up.
“Let’s do a full run then. Try to reflect on the things you saw in your acting right away. If there are any parts you find lacking or want to change, keep it in your mind and say it right after we finish the run. Also, the staff members should also say something if they want to give advice. Whether that person’s older or younger than you, we’re trying to learn right now. The acting club was just created. We should put our minds to it and do our best.”
“Inho. I really think you should be the president.”
Although he said those words, his opinion was ignored immediately. Even his juniors didn’t agree with him. Heewon grumbled and complained to his other friends, but they only replied to him that he should be the president.
“Just do it. They aren’t making you the president for no reason.”
“It’s just a huge burden on me.”
“What do you mean, burden? You just can’t be bothered. You’re going to quit and become a staff member if you weren’t the president, weren’t you?”
“That’s true, but still.”
“Quit yapping and get going already. The main character can’t be here.”
One of his friends kicked him on the b.u.t.t. Heewon massaged his aching buttcheeks and stood next to the club members.
The acting club was created early this year. Inho, who always said that he wanted to do something new during his first year, created the acting club as soon as he became a 2nd year. When he heard the club name ‘First Dream’ from him, Heewon said that it was really good. Up until then, he never knew that he’d be in the club. He was in the computer club as a1st year, and planned to enter the computer club again as a 2nd year since he liked games.
Heewon entered the acting club because he was tempted by Inho’s words when he said that it should be way more fun than computer games, and that he’d buy snacks. That was the start of his pain. Acting, which was supposedly several times more fun than games, was a repetition of studying and pain. Since the club started off with absolutely nothing, they had to do all the research and find the things they liked by themselves. Only after they invited an instructor thanks to a program from the city hall did they get some time to breathe, but the intensity of learning started rising after that.
In the youth section of the acting competition they prepared for, for the first time, they somehow managed to get 2nd place, whether it was through pure luck or skill. First place went to Myunghwa High, which was known to be the pride of acting clubs in Suwon.
First time participation and yet they became the runner-up. It felt like it was yesterday when they all hugged each other and cried, but now they were already preparing for the winter competition.
‘It’s fun, it definitely is.’
He didn’t deny it. Playing games was fun, but acting was just as fun. However, acting was also hard. There were mountains of things he had to learn. When he realized that the things he had studied until now were merely the fundamentals, Heewon seriously considered quitting and becoming a staff member. A staff member was relatively more free after all. They could also not participate in practice should they choose to. It meant that he would get the time to go home and play games with the others.
The runner-up prize was definitely sweet, but to taste that sweet emotion, he had to endure through harsh practice. They say patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet, but the patience was way too bitter for him to endure.
As his d.e.s.i.r.e to go home and eat the ramyun his brother cooked for him in front of the computer and run around on the online battlefields was skyrocketing, Heewon declared that he would quit acting and become a staff member. However, the position he got as a result of that was not the position of a staff member, but the club president.
When Inho said that the club can’t run without a president, he looked as though he had calculated everything. The result of that was his current situation: gathering on a day off in such cold weather to do practice.
“You guys are so evil.”
“Let’s get this done quickly and go to the buffet!”
Buffet – that word was what supported Heewon right now. Heewon tensed his eyes and got into position.
“Begin whenever you’re ready.”
Hearing his friend’s words from opposite of him, Heewon nodded. Wait for me, ribs. Wait for me, pork belly. I’m coming for you.
* * *
“You should have just been the main character if you had the time, seonbae.”
Aram, who walked ahead, turned around and spoke.
“It’s just a short break. I might become busy again.”
“Are you shooting something again?”
Maru pointed at a puddle with his finger. Aram hopped over it.
“New Semester, right? The one you’re auditioning for this time,” Daemyung asked.
Maru said yes as he nodded.
“Hope it goes well. If you pass, I’ll watch it every day.”
“That puts too much pressure on me, so please don’t. Oh, yeah, is the new place any good? I heard that the quality of meat is really bad in stores that are just trying to profit off the season.”
“From what I heard from the guys that went last week, they said that it was really decent, though the price is a bit high. There are things you can eat other than just meat, just like a buffet. Oh, they liked the tangsuyuk there.”
“That’s good then. Rather than that, the guys in our class are really knowledgeable when it comes to things like that. You know, things like good restaurants and noraebangs with good service.”
“It’s because we don’t have after school studies. Everyone seems to flock to Anyang main street or Suwon station.”
It was 3 p.m. A rather awkward time that was neither a late lunch nor an early dinner. While they chatted inside the bus, they soon arrived at Suwon station.
There were flags of various nations flapping outside a building in front of Suwon station. Quite a lot of people seemed to be going there.
“Do you think there are enough seats for all of us?” Bangjoo asked nervously.
He looked like he was about to cry if there weren’t enough seats and they had to go back.
“The restaurant takes up the whole floor, so there should be plenty of seats.”
Daemyung consoled everyone as they got off the bus. Bangjoo and Aram nervously rolled their feet in front of the traffic light and ran as soon as the pedestrian light turned green. After going inside like a lightning bolt, they came back out by the time Maru crossed the street.
“They have enough seats.”
Maru followed behind Dowook since he was the one buying. The salad bar was installed in the middle, while the meat was on one side of the wall, inside a refrigerator with a glass window. The interior design was clean and the rooms and the hall were separate, so this place looked like a suitable place for a company get-together as well.
“Are you perhaps from Hwasoo High?”
A rather burly-looking man approached them and asked. From how the employees were glancing at him in secret, he seems to be the owner.
The owner replied ‘oh, I see’ before laughing.
“So you’re here with your friends. I’ll put the drinks on the house as a service.”
“Wow, thank you.”
“Okay, eat all you want and tell your friends about it.”
After the owner went back, Maru sat down and asked Daemyung.
“He mentioned Hwasoo High just now, right?”
“Yeah, but what about it?”
Daemyung, who was wondering what it was about, soon realized what Maru was talking about.
“Hwasoo High! It’s that Hwasoo High?”
“I’m not sure if it’s the same Hwasoo High or not, but….”
At that moment, the door opened and a bunch of high school students entered the restaurant. There looked to be around twenty people. One of the students, who looked around by the entrance, approached the owner, who was cleaning up the refrigerator. The owner welcomed him warmly while the student smiled. He could hear a faint ‘dad’ from the boy’s mouth.
“I think they’re from Hwasoo High,” said Jiyoon, who was sitting quietly next to Daemyung.
It seemed that everyone remembered what Hwasoo High was. They looked at the students that were being guided by the owner with curious, or perhaps sharp, eyes.
“Hey, hey. They might not be that Hwasoo High, so don’t stare at them.”
“What if they are? We lost the prelims thanks to them,” said Aram as though she was ready to pick a fight with them at any moment.
Maru raised his hand and blocked Aram’s view.
“Just start eating, don’t pick a fight. I’m really worried because you might actually go and pick a fight with them.”
“I’m not that reckless you know?”
“But you are going to, aren’t you?”
“I can at least ask if they’re that Hwasoo High or not.”
“What if they are?”
“Then I’ll start complaining to them and just start….”
Aram clenched her fist. Maru thought that he shouldn’t talk to her anymore and gave a glance to Jiyoon. He signalled her to watch over the reckless girl.
“I’ll go get the meat.”
“Then I’ll bring some vegetables and rice.”
Daemyung and Dowook stood up. Aram, Jiyoon, and Bangjoo also walked over to the salad bar. Only after seeing Jiyoon hold Aram back from walking over to Hwasoo High’s table in secret did Maru stand up from his seat.
Hwasoo High’s table was diagonally opposite to where Maru was sitting. He picked up a plate and walked to the salad bar before sneaking glances at Hwasoo High. They looked harmonious. While putting some kimbap on the plate, he perked up his ears to listen to their conversation.
“Seonbae, you should give it up already. There’s no one else for the club president role but you.”
“Right. Heewon-seonbae. The position of the president of the acting club has been fixed to you.”
Acting club. It seemed that they indeed were Hwasoo High from Seongnam. The reason they came all the way here was probably because of the owner.
“Dad, I’ll take care of this.”
“Just sit down. If you run out of drinks, you can always take more out of the fridge.”
It seemed that one of the members was the son of the owner of this place. The owner was dragged by the student to stand in front of them. Then, everyone stood up and thanked the owner for the food. Their voices were pretty loud, so the other customers stared at them.
“Whoa, that startled me.”
Maru twitched his lips when he looked at Aram who narrowed her eyes. From her expression, it seemed that she had heard that they were Hwasoo High’s acting club.
“So they’re the people that made us fail, huh?”
“They didn’t make us fail. We failed because we were lacking. Let’s set things straight.”
“Same thing. Anyway, we would’ve gone to the regional finals if not for them.”
He took Aram, who was staring at Hwasoo High intensely, back to the table. The others also came back and sat down.
“So it seems that they’re indeed that Hwasoo High,” Daemyung said.
“Then that means there’s the incredibly good person among them, right? The one that got the best actor award,” Jiyoon asked with curiosity.
Acting club from another school. Everyone looked at Hwasoo High with deep interest. It seemed that they were even more mindful of them because they belonged to an acting club in the same region and because of the fact that they lost to them once. Daemyung also gave them glances as he placed the meat on the grill.
“But why are there so many people there?” Bangjoo asked.
“Our acting club had a lot of members before as well. You saw the album right? There was one year where there were more than thirty members. Back then, you would have to go through a test to go on stage. Though, I only heard about it as well,” Daemyung explained.
“Hm, due to an accident, the number of members decreased drastically, and thanks to the seniors leaving, we have only six members in the club now, but more members doesn’t necessarily mean better, right?”
“But more is definitely better than less. Just thinking about the pains we went through to make the stage makes me sigh.”
Hearing Aram’s words, Daemyung smiled awkwardly. More members was definitely better than fewer members. There was nothing bad about gaining more labor force.
“Hey, hey. The meat is burning. Let’s eat for now.”
Maru refreshed the atmosphere and directed their attention to the meat.
Everyone seemed to be hungry and started moving their chopsticks without talking about Hwasoo High.
* * *
“Hyung, what are you doing?”
Hearing Haewon’s words, Heewon narrowed his eyes.
“The people over there. I think they’ve been staring at us for a while now.”
“The people over there?”
When Inho turned around, he said ‘ah’ in realization.
“I felt that too.”
“But why? Why would they stare at us? Is there someone they know?”
“Who knows? Don’t mind them and just keep eating.”
Heewon looked at the people sitting opposite of him before picking up his chopsticks. Just then, he met eyes with a girl with short hair, and that girl stuck out her tongue and made a funny face. Heewon flinched and turned around, wondering if she was doing that to someone else. However, there was nothing behind him but an empty table. Meaning… She did that to him?
Heewon raised his head and looked at that girl again. She was still making that face as though she was teasing him.
“Nah, just keep eating.”
He couldn’t ask his brother to switch places with him because he was scared.
 Batter-fried pork with sweet and sour sauce. Wikipedia for more details.