Life, Once Again! - Chapter 652
Choi Minae’s eye twitched as she watched the cocky kid walking away. They say people act like they look, and the kid who was exuding coldness from his sharp-looking eyes kicked away the laws of this world and decided to walk his own way. He probably thought that it was cool because it made him look rebellious. He was at that age after all. He was still immature and thought that the world revolved around him and that everything was decided based on his efforts. He would take nothing she said seriously since he treated convenience as trickery. He would probably find out what it meant to use connections when he becomes of age and has to take responsibility for himself. I shouldn’t have rejected her offer – that Han Maru kid would regret it later on.
“Did it not go well?”
Leader slowly approached her. Unlike his fat body, his steps were silent. And his hands were likewise silent as well. He was quietly grabbing her buttock and was twisting it from side to side. Minae slapped away the hand that was grabbing her buttock like she was chasing away a mosquito. The leader licked his lips.
“Everyone can see us here. If we get caught, both you and I will get into trouble.”
“Now, that shouldn’t be how you talk to me.”
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been like this.”
“That’s right. This isn’t the first time you’ve acted sassy.”
His hand sneakily touched her body while he was speaking. From the way he got up close to her to grope her, his skills were top rate. If there was a competition that awarded prizes based on perverted hand techniques, this guy would get the grand prize. Minae exerted some strength into her hand and grabbed his wrist. Leader made an awkward smile and took his hand off. He was a persistent man who would only stop his actions after being warned twice.
“I told you to leave it to me.”
“So? Did you manage to set up an appointment? You didn’t.”
“People’s matters don’t progress that easily. Director Lee has a conservative side to him, and he’s also married, so he might not like such a place, but the other two aren’t. Ahn Sungjae might be difficult since he knows the taste of fame, but Hong Geunsoo will probably take the bait if I say I would get him more connections, you know? There’s no man who would refuse to play around with women.”
“Don’t take things too far. We should only play in the range we can handle.”
“I know, I know.”
“But what about the director? Is this method really going to work? If I get stamped as an annoying girl who ruins his work, I’m going to hate you for real.”
“I told you, it’s going to work. I’ve known director Lee, I mean, that Lee Jincheol dude for five years now. He has a lenient personality, so he can’t refuse a favor from those above him. Moreover, I’m quite close to him, and if I tell him it’s a hyung-nim’s favor he’ll probably refuse at first, but he’ll probably listen to me in the end. He’s that kind of guy after all.”
“Then didn’t we choose the wrong strategy to begin with? I think it would have been fine even if I acted obediently.”
“Then wouldn’t give him an impression, would it? Don’t you know the traits of directors in general? They like those that stand out. You might have acted quite rude, but you didn’t cross the line. If you listen to him well from now on, you’ll be able to get close to the director as well. You get what I’m saying?”
Leader, who was giggling, picked up his phone. He looked around before turning his head away.
“Go take it. Isn’t that your wife?”
When she talked to him, leader’s eyes widened before he placed his index finger on his lips.
“Hello? Yeah. Of course I remember Minah’s birthday. Don’t you know me? I know my daughter’s birthday the best. She wants to have a party at home? That’s fine. You’re going to be home at that time, aren’t you? Tell her that she can invite her friends home. I know that cooking for them will be hard, so you can just have food delivered. Kids like fried chicken and pizza these days, don’t they? A birthday present? She said she wanted a piano a while ago, so should we buy an upright piano? How about an electronic piano? Let’s change it to a grand piano once we move to a bigger house. Also, what should I get for you? Don’t refuse. I wouldn’t be qualified to be your husband if I don’t get my wife a present. I’m thankful that you gave birth to our daughter, so you’re more than qualified for a gift. Okay. Then should we go traveling over the weekend? You said you wanted to go to Daecheon last time, didn’t you? Okay. Why don’t you set up a schedule with the things you want to do? I’ll take you on a full course. Alright, alright. Love you too, bye.”
After making a deep smooch sound, leader hung up.
“You really surprise me every time. Don’t you feel ashamed?”
“Why would I? Why should I be ashamed? I’m fulfilling all of my responsibilities as a husband and as a father. Did I make them sad? Did I not bring them money? I hold events for all the anniversaries, I do household chores, and I take my family traveling often during the weekends too. I score full points as a father, so why should I be ashamed?”
“So you don’t remember what you did with me?”
“Miss Choi Minae, are you perhaps jealous?”
“You’re being delusional, Mr. Fatty. I just pity your wife. I wonder what kind of expression she would make if she found out that her husband is rolling around in bed with a young girl.”
“I use my head so that she won’t find out. I am very devoted to my family during the weekend, and I stay the night out during weekdays. If I do that, my wife doesn’t suspect me, and I can enjoy myself. It’s a new world where no one gets hurt and no one gets sad. Since we’re talking about it, how about tonight?”
A hand crawled towards her thighs like a snake. Minae shrugged. Leader was a trashy man. He put a photo of his family in his car, spoke of love to his wife, and yet had her sit on the passenger seat next to him. He took her to motels, to mountains, and to seas. They rolled around both inside and outside of the car. He was a shameless man who still told his family that he loved them at times like that. And Minae liked that shameless side of his. A person with a thick face would lie naturally. It meant that he was safe. Don’t even bother with awkward guys. Only touch those that lie like they’re breathing. That will be better for you – those were her teacher’s words. Those words had never been wrong.
“I want to buy some new clothes.”
“It hasn’t even been that long since I last bought you some.”
“So, you don’t want to?”
“No, I am going to. As long as you keep being to my liking.”
“No matter how I think about it, I pity your wife.”
“She’s a happy woman right now so don’t you worry. I’m a perfect husband.”
“And a perfect cheater too.”
“A lie that isn’t discovered is not a lie. Everyone has it good, so there’s no problem.”
Minae glared at the leader who slapped her butt before walking away and turned around to face where the background actors had gathered. She wanted to naturally set up a meeting with Sungjae, but that seemed to be out of reach. It would be easy for her if that kid knew the workings of the world. This was why she hated kids. Their complacency in not knowing what was important was to the point of being disgusting. Background actors had gathered around Maru and were chatting. They were slaves who didn’t know the importance of every single day. They gave up on trying to climb up and were satisfied with their cheap daily salary. Looking at such losers made her feel like she wanted to vomit. The ones who said that they were just here to make a quick buck were better off. She couldn’t understand the people who proudly said that their dream was to become an actor in that group. Background actors spent most of their time waiting. That was equivalent to wasting time. The people who lightly talked about dreams were wasting their lives, drunk in their satisfaction of being on the shooting set. They consoled themselves by looking up to stars and thinking that they would one day become like those people. They were no different from shit. Perhaps that was why she felt like there was a foul stench around those people.
Minae made a wise decision. Since she had decided to step into the entertainment industry at a late age, she used her smarts in order to not waste any time. She was running out of time focusing on her acting skills already, so she couldn’t waste her valuable time laboring away to earn chump change. She needed a backer, and she took immediate action. However, it wasn’t easy for her to find a backer. There were a lot of delinquents who would hand money to a girl with a decent face, but the capitalists who would support her in what she wanted to do were hard to encounter. She didn’t need a man who would run away like a rat once they were done relieving their desires with her; she needed a proper backer who would support her consistently. It wasn’t like she could go around looking for one openly, so she had to be careful, but there was a limit to that. The information network of someone who didn’t possess anything was something as small as a spiderweb in the corner of an old house.
She needed a breakthrough point so that she could spend her time wisely. That was when she came across her teacher. Her teacher was the definition of a wise woman. She understood her situation instantly and consoled her saying that she was also a nobody in the past before immediately providing her with a method. That was how she met leader. Leader was fat, had a foul breath, and was a man who had a strange obsession with doggy style, but he was not foolish, knew how to earn money, and knew what cooperation was. Her teacher’s recommendation was perfect.
Her financial situation improved quickly. Leader was a man who easily spent his money. As a successful man, his wallet was thick and chump change didn’t exist inside his wallet. She stopped all of her part time jobs and focused on acting. She didn’t see immediate improvements, but she wasn’t afraid. After all, it was natural that the results would be late since she started late. She kept practicing and broadening her relationships following her teacher’s words. She also reminded herself of her teacher’s words that she would never become first rate with a backer alone.
“Life is about efficiency, kid.”
Minae looked at Maru, who was sitting afar. She only pitied the pathetic kid that could not use his connections.
* * *
“I was originally going to let you go after shooting the first scene, but I changed my mind after looking at the footage. The screen feels much more full now. It looks just the way I want it to.”
Maru accepted the coffee that director Lee Jincheol gave him with both hands. He saw the staff members putting away the shooting equipment. The background actors were getting on the bus, following leader. Freckles and glasses waved at him. Maru also waved back.
“You became close in that short time, huh?”
“They’re good people after all. I can get through to them.”
“It felt like everyone was scattered before you were here, but ever since you became their pivot, the shoot was smooth, and it looks so much better.”
“Don’t put me on a pedestal. I didn’t do anything. Everyone just cheered up since it became cooler after sunset.”
“Do you think my eyes are here for show? I can see it. Films are ultimately shooting people, but they’re shot by people as well. It’s obvious that things have changed ever since you joined.”
“It’s a coincidence.”
“No, there is no coincidence when it comes to people. Everything happens for a reason.”
The director patted his shoulder, thanking him. Maru sipped on the coffee. The only thing he did was join and chat with the background actors, so he felt rather embarrassed when he was complimented for it.
“There are actors who influence the shoot, and there are actors who have no influence at all. I can’t say which one is better. It depends on the situation after all. However, you were really helpful today. Both Sungjae and Bitna looked a lot softer after seeing you. Geunsoo, is well, he was perfect from the beginning, so let’s put him aside.”
“Don’t say all that. It makes me want to hide.”
When he had a look at the smiling director, his phone started vibrating. He excused himself before opening the phone. He got a text from Gaeul.
“So you need to go?”
“Yes. There’s someone I need to meet.”
“I was planning to take you to the next location if you said you didn’t have anything to do. What a pity.”
“I find it a pity too. I’ll come again if there’s an opportunity next time.”
“You’re not telling me to call you huh?”
“It’s the holidays, so I’m going to play around.”
“Yes, you should.”
“I’ll return the videotapes in a while. Can I visit your house?”
“You can take your time. There’s no one who’s going to watch it anyway. Thanks for everything. Watch out on your way home.”
“Yes, I’m leaving now.”
He shook hands with the director before turning around. He met eyes with sleeveless on his way, and she was exuding an aura that read ‘I don’t like you’. It would be great if this was their last meeting, but he would probably continue coming across her as long as he kept doing this job.
“Kid, life is about efficiency,” said sleeveless as he walked past.
“Yes, it is about efficiency indeed.”
Just as he was about to go, he saw her staring at him with displeasure, so he added,
“Contraception is really important when you sleep with a married man. Though, I’m sure you must know that already.”
Sleeveless’ eyes became wide. Her mouth did not budge. As she started looking around in unease, he heard leader call out to her.
“Why don’t you get going? To your daddy, that is.”
Sleeveless looked around several times before quickly running towards the bus. She looked very uneasy when she turned around to look back at him.
“Why don’t you ask Kim Suyeon for help? She’d probably tell you a really efficient way.”
Maru said that to himself as he saw her becoming distant. Leader, who was groping her butt, also seemed to have heard from her as he was glaring at him from afar. Maru just nodded. They were a fitting duo for sure.