Life, Once Again! - Chapter 62
The feeling of deja vu, and the feeling of unease . Maru decided that these two feelings would be the compass to his wife . With his memories having completely disappeared, the only thing he had left in his head were just ideas . That is, it almost felt like he was just staring at the table of contents for his life .
He only knew of the big events that happened in his life, and nothing else . He could remember some small things, but they weren’t important at all .
The only thing he needed was to meet his life . To do this, Maru started fumbling at what was left of his memories . He died at the age of 45 as a bus driver . Before that, he worked at a company . Before that, as a road manager . Before that, he was doing part-time jobs . Before that, he was a college student, and before that…
“A high schooler . ”
He had no idea where he met his wife at any of these milestone events . Maybe they knew each other starting from high school?
‘Maybe one of the acting club members . . . ’
That couldn’t be it . He didn’t join the acting club in his previous life . The girls in that club probably had nothing to do with his wife . There weren’t any girls in his class either . That probably meant that he met his wife after high school .
That was the most likely assumption . Maru decided to take a look at his personality for a second . There would be value in trying to look at himself at face value .
First of all, there was how he treated his relationships . He could say something about this pretty easily . He trusted his friends to the end . But if there was evidence against them, he would quickly resolve the situation in his own manner . In addition to his introverted personality, the 45 year old Maru didn’t have many friends .
Maru didn’t think he was that unreasonable of a person, but in some aspects, he was just too stubborn . Just taking a look at the reason why he quit his company was a good example . The real reason why he quit, even when he was able to endure through his boss’ violent actions .
‘Once I make up my mind, I just don’t change it . ’
Once Maru learned the reason why his promotion was given to the boss’ son, he started collecting all the evidence he could . Then, he managed to prove it . He proved the injustice against him, and proved how corrupt the boss’ son really was . He uploaded all of this in the company forums .
Of course, those around him tried to stop him . They told him he wouldn’t be able to work in this industry ever again .
Maru knew this, too . If he stayed quiet, he probably could’ve transferred elsewhere . But Maru didn’t want to do that . Once he started anything, he had to see it to the end . As a result, the company fired the boss’ son to save face . They also didn’t take Maru’s resignation letter either . Maru still stopped working for them regardless . He had no intention of going back on his decisions, and he didn’t want to endure having to deal with his coworkers again .
Plus, his friend introduced him to a bus driving job . He was set . After getting himself a driving license, he officially began his job as a driver .
‘I’m the type that goes with the flow . Of course, if someone crosses a line, I’ll settle things with them no matter what happens . But as long as they don’t, I can endure anything . That’s the type of person Han Maru is . ’
This personality trait is what compelled him to do what he did at the acting club, too . Maru was pretty cold when it came to certain things about human relationships . He likes to get involved in certain situations, but many times, he doesn’t interfere deeply . But if he decides to resolve a problem, he does everything in his power to get to the conclusion he wants .
Perhaps that was why people thought of him to be kind and reserved, because he liked to extend a certain amount of politeness to everyone . Of course, he puts time and effort into the relationships that really matter to him, but he didn’t have many of those to begin with .
It was the same for the aunty who gave him the chance to start his life again . Besides being a person to talk to, Maru hadn’t done much else . He’s helped her push her cart every once in a while, but anyone could’ve done that .
That was why he rejected the grandma’s first offer . To others, Maru’s actions might’ve seemed kind, but that wasn’t the case for him .
‘My high school life back then was like this, too . ’
Of course, Maru was far more immature back then, but the fact that his relationships were simple did not change .
‘I don’t make many real friends . I also don’t like to act unless the person in question is important to me . I like to be polite, and do nice things, but as soon as things start going south, then I become a spectator . If something happens to a person who’s important to me, or if something happens to me, I have to see through to the end of it . ’
That was the conclusion Maru came to . As soon as he thought this, a strange sense of nervousness hit him . Somewhere in his past life… He did something that didn’t fit his personality at all . Where?
Maru started thinking again .
* * *
'The People of Dalseok-dong’ was a fun play . What drove the play wasn’t the tension between the characters . The driving point of the play was rather how different they reacted to the new arrivals in their town . The comic reactions of the characters was what moved the play .
That was why a lot of the play looked like a stand-up comedy . The goal of the play was to make the audience laugh with little jokes here and there .
“And that’s why you need good acting for a successful play . You’ve heard of this line before, right? Actors don’t cry, they make people cry . It’s like that for this play, too . To the people in the play, the entire situation isn’t funny at all . But it needs to look hilarious to the audience . That’s what makes comedies hard . ”
Miso scanned the club once .
“It’s pretty easy to make people sad . Doing the opposite is a little bit different . Everyone has their own sense of humor . That’s where acting comes in . It’s up to you whether or not you can make the audience laugh . ”
Comedies need to follow a set code, but also needs to have a special comedic element . That special factor can’t be annoying or intrusive either . In a comedic play, the expressions of the actors mattered before all else .
This was a teen play . For teenagers who only do acting in their free time, making the audience laugh with their acting was a very difficult thing . Despite this, Miso didn’t discourage the kids from doing it . As a matter of fact, Miso came to the club, with the intent of making the kids do comedy .
What the club needed was impact . They would prepare as much as they could, and show those judges from spring what was up . But to do that, she needed the kids’ cooperation .
“This’ll be harder than June . Are you guys ready?”
“This time, we’ll even record our runs and review it . I’m serious about this . We’re going to win, we’re going to get money, and we’re going to sweep all of the awards at that competition . And then we’ll go for sashimi with that prize money . How does tuna sound?”
Miso motioned the group closer to her with a clap . It was September now . They needed to prepare with the competition in late October in mind . That is, the teen acting competition at the Anyang Art Festival . Other cities could join the festival, which was exactly what Miso had in mind .
“Maru,” she called out . The boy’s been just staring dumbly at the air since morning .
She’s never seen him like this . Maru just came to the club today like a person who left his consciousness back home . It wasn’t like she could ask him if anything happened, given his state .
[I don’t know what happened . ]
[He’s been like this all week . ]
Miso asked Dojin and Daemyung if anything was wrong, but they were just as confused as her . Miso walked up towards him .
“Did anything happen?” she asked carefully .
“No . I was just thinking . ”
Maru nodded, gesturing at her to stop trying to pry further .
“Yes . ”
“If you happen to need help . . . ”
Right then, Maru looked up to stare at Miso .
“This is my business . ”
Miso wasn’t able to say anything . Looking at Maru’s crestfallen face made her realize how rude she sounded when she offered her help . Right then, she got annoyed at the fact that she just got intimidated by a kid and tried to say something . She immediately felt bad about how crestfallen he was though, and closed her mouth .
‘Surely this kid is older than my dad or something . Surely . ’
But the same quality was what made the boy so tempting for her . Well, she was an adult . She needed to give him some advice regardless .
“If you need to think, try going somewhere with a good view . For me, that would be Hyehwa station . ”
That’s when Maru’s expression changed a little bit . Almost as if he realized something he didn’t even think of before . How interesting .
‘Maybe I can use this . . . ’
“Instructor . ”
As she started thinking to herself, Maru spoke out .
“Thank you . ”
“Hyehwa station . ” “Ehh?”
Miso was clueless, but it looked like Maru had resolved himself somewhat . His expression had relaxed a lot more to return to his normal self . Was there something up with him and Hyehwa station? Miso decided not to think about it, and turned back to look at the club .
‘Good . ’
Miso decided to change the schedule .
“Everyone, change your clothes . It’s time for a field trip . ”
“We’re going to the sanctuary of all actors, Hyehwa station . ”
* * *
“Woow . ”
“So this is Hyehwa station . ”
“Where’s Marronnier park?”
Even the second years seemed amazed by the atmosphere for their first visit . Everyone was looking around with curious eyes . The first years, too, were already taken aback by the pantomime show at the entrance to the station . Maru stepped back from the group and stepped into the streets . When Miso mentioned Hyehwa station, he had remembered something unusual about himself .
‘It’s when I met that ticketing man . ’
The high school girls who were pressured into buying tickets from an intimidating man . At that time, Maru decided to involve himself into the situation, which was fairly unusual .
‘I normally wouldn’t have done that . ’
He could’ve just told the girls about the tickets and left . But that day, he decided to involve himself further than necessary . Was it because he didn’t like the man? Maybe . But that didn’t explain his agitation .
The only explanation for that were the high schooler girls . . .
What made him care so much? Why did he get himself involved? As he thought, he noticed a group of high school girls stepping up the stairs towards him . They were all wearing red jackets over their uniforms . Maru found him naturally starting to focus on one of the girls in the group .
“Ah . ”
Maru realized why he got angry at that place, why he helped the girls, and why he was still in the acting club to begin with . It was obvious .
Even if his memories were sealed, his soul still remembered . And it whispered to him to stay in the acting club . It told him that if he did…
“Look at him, I think he’s looking at you?”
“Eh? No way . ”
“No, really . ”
Maru continued staring at the group, particularly focusing on the girl in the group in front of him . Focusing on a name he couldn’t remember, and a face he couldn’t remember… It all came back to him . The woman in the white suit was right . Maru did recognize her .
She was . . .
“Stop it, he’s probably looking somewhere else . ”
She, who was smiling shyly, was…
[Giving up acting is a little saddening, but at least I can be with you . ]
[We’re not just two people anymore, we’re three . We need to earn a lot of money from now on . For our child . ]
Her eyes so fragile it looked ready to tear up with just a touch, her nose reddened slightly into a hue resembling a strawberry, and her lips that were colored like a ripe peach .
Everything about her was still the same .