Life, Once Again! - Chapter 622
“I’d send them off.”
Maru said to Daemyung, who was next to him.
“Competing against someone full of talent is a stupid thing to do. If you overpace yourself to catch up to a person running on a different track than you, then you’re bound to end up exhausted. That’s why you have to send them ahead. When you see geniuses running far ahead of you, you have to look at them and learn what you can, instead of actually trying to run next to them.”
“I guess that’s one way of thinking about it.”
“You’ll get hurt if you try to chase them. I don’t like the saying ‘know your place’, but there is definitely a need to keep that in mind to a certain extent.”
“Don’t you want to try going against them once?”
Maru turned his head to the left. It was Jiseok who said those words.
“A genius is not a genius in all aspects, are they? There should be something they’re bad at. Don’t you think you would be able to find a way to win if you dig into that part?”
“Maybe, but there’s no need to clash, is there? I clearly know that I’m going to get hurt, so I should avoid it if I can.”
“There are definitely things you can earn by being defeated.”
“If you can’t take care of the aftermath of the defeat, then you get into trouble.”
“Challenge always comes with the risk of failure. It might hurt, but it’s also an opportunity to change yourself, isn’t it? Whether it’s a genius or not, you might hurt your pride if you suck up to them, but you’ll be able to gain a lot of things too.”
“That’s how you become Icarus. If you have wings that let you enjoy yourself, then you should know how to be satisfied with them. The moment you seek to play with those above you and fly higher, what little you might have will be gone.”
“If you don’t have wings, you can just ride the plane.”
“What am I even talking about with you? Why don’t you just ride a spaceship then?”
“Spaceships are good. But you know the saying: A genius cannot win against a hard worker, and a hard worker cannot win against those that enjoy.”
“When you call something ‘talent’, it means that it’s beyond the scope that can be covered by hard work alone. It’s just like how I can’t become Michael Jordan no matter how hard I try. Above all, those who have the talent are probably hard workers as well. To catch up to a genius who is also a hard worker and enjoys their profession, you just have to give up on competing and chase from behind.”
“I can win against Michael Jordan.”
“Why don’t you say that again after winning against a neighborhood kid?”
“You’re way too pessimistic.”
“And you’re way too optimistic?”
Jiseok, who was listening, suddenly ran forward. Maru looked at what he was up to, and it turned out that he was approaching an elderly.
“He hasn’t changed.”
“He looks like a polite kid.”
“To be precise, he’s a meddlesome guy.”
Jiseok, who was talking to the elderly, returned while scratching his head.
“He told me he’s not old enough to receive help yet.”
“Elderly people who are still healthy often don’t like being helped. So do something about that meddlesome personality of yours. It’ll come back to haunt you later.”
“Even if it’s like that, I can’t help it. Also, wouldn’t that grandpa be happy to see someone like me? He might say something like ‘kids these days are so cocky, but there are at least boys like him’. He might also say stuff like ‘the future of this country is still bright.’”
“As if you weren’t delusional already.”
“I’m delusional? No way. I’m just seeing the world in a slightly better light. Though, I kinda stand out because you’re way too pessimistic. Daemyung, don’t you think so too?”
“It hasn’t even been that long since you two met and you’re trying to split us up already? Park Daemyung, don’t get influenced by him. Optimist Virus doesn’t have a cure.”
As soon as he said those words, Maru looked at Jiseok and chuckled. Leaving aside what he was saying, this fellow was definitely an interesting fellow. The way he trusted those that gave him goodwill was also rather manly, so Maru looked at him as a good guy. Of course, he managed to reduce the RPM of the motor behind his mouth.
“Should I not have called him?”
“Oh, no. When else would I meet an actor besides you who’s on TV?” Daemyung said.
Jiseok brightened up and got closer. Maru, who was pushed to the back, saw Jiseok and Daemyung putting arms around each other’s shoulders and laughing.
“Hey, it’s this way.”
He pointed at the building to their right as he called out to his two friends who were endlessly walking forward. Jiseok nodded and turned.
“What is all that that you’ve brought with you?” Maru asked as he looked at Daemyung and Jiseok’s hands, which were holding large plastic bags.
“I bought some light snacks.”
Light snacks huh – Maru shrugged as he looked at the plastic bag which was filled to the brim. Perhaps it was okay since the fridge was empty anyway.
He climbed the stairs and stood in front of the door.
“Wait a sec.”
Maru opened the door and went inside first. His father was currently living somewhere else. He went to a factory in another province for a few months because of a new production line, and his mother would cook some food and bring them to him every weekend. Last week, the entire family went there and had a family meeting. After seeing the news about a migratory bird father on TV, she kept texting every single night.
After scanning the empty kitchen, he went to Bada’s room and knocked on the door.
Bada slightly opened the door.
“I brought a couple of friends so it might get a little noisy. We’re going to watch videotapes in the living room.”
“Okay. I’ll be in my room so consider me non-existent. Also, are the people coming handsome?”
“They look just like me.”
“Oh my word. How can they live such sad lives? Should I get some tissues ready?”
Bada grinned before closing the door after saying that she would stay quiet. Maru sighed a little before opening the door.
“Is your family inside?”
“My parents aren’t here, but there is a sensitive high school girl, who I’m worried about since I wonder who will take her as a bride in the future.”
“What the, you had a sister?”
“Didn’t I tell you?”
Jiseok chuckled before coming inside.
“I think I told you a lot of things, like how I have a brother in the military, that I don’t have a good heart, and that I don’t have a lot of friends due to transferring quite often. What did you do while you listened to all of my history? You didn’t even let me know about your sister.”
“There wasn’t any opportunity for me since you were confessing your sins all the time. Well, now you know I have a sister.”
Jiseok twitched his eyebrows as though he didn’t like it and grabbed Daemyung, who followed him in.
“Daemyung, did you know that Han Maru had a little sister?”
“Y-yeah. I did.”
“Wow, I feel betrayed now. Daemyung’s closer to you than I am, huh.”
Of course, duh – Maru replied before organizing the shoes the other two took off. Jiseok was saying that he was disappointed, but his expression was all smiles. In fact, it was Daemyung who was at a loss as he was without an understanding of what was going on.
“Just ignore most of his words. He’s the type to say stuff without going through filters in his brain.”
Only then did Daemyung make a relaxed smile and sit down.
“Is your sister pretty?”
“I was wondering when you were going to ask that. Just think of my face, but with longer hair.”
“Oh my word. Aren’t you being way too cruel to your little sister?”
Jiseok spoke in a serious voice. Just then, Bada’s room abruptly opened.
“Now that’s not something I can pass. I’m much better than you, oppa.”
Bada moved out of the room. Maru never believed that she would stay quiet in the first place, so Maru just looked at Bada before going to the kitchen.
“Ooh, you must be Maru’s sister?”
“Yes. I’m that ugly Han Maru’s sister.”
“You’re quite pretty. Maru was lying.”
“Right? How do I look anything like him? It makes me puke just thinking about it.”
Jiseok and Bada had something that clicked and got along even though this was their first meeting. Daemyung just sat in front of the sofa neatly and was laughing dryly.
‘I guess this is the first time he’s seeing her properly, huh.’
Daemyung had seen Dowook on a date with Bada inside a bus and had seen her face through photos that Dowook took, but had never met her directly like this before. He still became stiff in front of girls. Maru brought some cold water for Daemyung.
“It’s the first time you’re seeing her directly, isn’t it?”
“She’s just as you heard, isn’t she?”
“Dowook, that guy, he might look like that, but he has a deep heart. Or, he must have betrayed his country in his previous life. Man, I feel sorry for him whenever I think about how she makes him suffer.”
“She doesn’t look that bad.”
Daemyung didn’t answer. Bada, who was talking with Jiseok, stared at Daemyung. Being conscious of that gaze, Daemyung turned his face away and Bada looked at him as though she had found something interesting.
“Han Bada, aren’t you going back inside already?”
“I will. But what’s that?”
Maru opened the plastic bag that Daemyung brought. Inside were some snacks and drinks that he bought from the convenience store.
“I’ll give her some to shut her up, okay?”
After saying that to Daemyung, he threw a few snacks to Bada.
“He’s the one who bought it, so thank him.”
“Thank you, chubby oppa.”
Bada grinned before going to her room.
“I thought you were becoming okay since you’re with Jiyoon all the time, but I guess you are still awkward around girls.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to them.”
“Man, how are you ever going to go travelling together if you’re like that?”
Hearing the word ‘travelling’, Daemyung visibly flinched. Oh? His reaction was as though he had already made plans with Jiyoon.
At that time, Jiseok interrupted. There was a possibility that they might get distracted so Maru quickly stood up and brought the videotapes.
“Oh, these are the ones you were talking about?”
Jiseok picked up one of the videotapes and had a closer look at it.
“Why are you acting like someone who has never seen videotapes before?”
“It’s just been so long since I last saw one. I rented quite a lot when I was young too.”
Daemyung had a similar reaction. Now that they were used to CDs and downloading, videotapes had become a relic of their memories.
“So that genius actress is on this tape, right?”
“Whether she’s a genius or not, we’ll have to see for sure. Circumstantial signs all indicate that she’s an incredible person, but there are cases where old memories are blown out of proportion. So, we’ll have to see for ourselves.”
He received the videotape that Jiseok was holding and put it in the VCR. Meanwhile, Daemyung laid out some food on the table.
“Remember that you aren’t here to watch a film, but to study,” Maru said as he picked up the remote.
Both Jiseok and Daemyung turned serious and nodded. Maru sat on the sofa and pressed the play button. 1988. This was the year that Jung Haejoo and Lee Junmin met. Wondering if the change that occurred within Haejoo was on this tape, Maru felt slightly nervous as he picked up a cup of water.
“Can I watch as well?” At that moment, Bada opened the door and spoke.
She seemed to be bored by herself and peeked out.
“We’re not watching a movie.”
“I know. I’ll quietly watch from the side. It’s a little awkward for me to stay in my room by myself, isn’t it? Eating by myself is also a bit boring.”
Maru pointed at the empty spot next to him while looking at Bada, who was waving a bag of snacks. Bada tiptoed and walked over quietly before sitting down.
“Ooh, it’s on now.”
Color filled the monochrome screen, showing the familiar building. Maru tensed his eyes at the same time the video started. There was a man who was barely inside the frame. He was wearing a suit that seemed to be worn-out and had a very bland expression.
President Lee Junmin. He, who was in his thirties, was in the frame.
Hearing an exclamation, Maru spat out a short breath before pausing the video. After seeing that the video had stopped, he looked at Bada.
“What is it?”
“I was wondering where I saw this oppa before. He’s actually someone who was in the same sitcom as unni, right?” Bada said as she pointed at Jiseok.
Jiseok thanked her for recognizing him.
“Nah, I’m no one that good. Hm, should I give you an autograph?”
“I’ll be able to sell it for quite a lot once you become famous later, right?”
“Of course. Should I give you one? I’ve practiced mine, you know?”
Maru looked at the two before making a thick smile.
“Would you two like to go to a corner? Or be quiet and watch this?”
“We’ll be quiet.”
Jiseok and Bada smiled awkwardly before looking down.
Maru glared at the two before grabbing the remote again.