Life, Once Again! - Chapter 735
“Seonbae, do you think I should have stretched my line a little more?”
“It was okay. The director didn’t say anything about it, so I think it should be okay.”
“But what did you think about it?”
“I think it would have been better if you paused a little. It suits your character more.”
Yuna nodded. Today was November 28th, and the mini-series drama shooting was nearing its end. Without any additional shoots, the 30th would be the final day of the shoot. From what she heard, everything up to episode three had been edited and was ready to be aired.
“We’ll do that again after shooting from this angle.”
Maru looked at Jayeon, who stood alongside the camera director. Her hair, which draped down beneath the beanie, had lost its vitality, and the duck-fur coat that she had been wearing since the last shoot had been worn out to the point that it looked better-suited to be in the trash. The closer December 4th, the day the first episode aired, came, the more haggard the producer became.
“I wonder if the director is going to sleep in the editing room again today.”
“The producer’s stuff is already in the 3rd editing room. She’ll probably keep editing until the day of the first episode. Park-noona from the editing room will die of exhaustion.”
He overheard the assistant director and the staff talking.
“The director must have it hard.”
“This is the first drama under her name after all. She probably wants everything to be perfect. Her personality also plays a role in that.”
Maru put his script down and walked over to the window. Today was the last scene he shot with Yuna. The background actors filled the empty seats one by one. People who were waiting while staring at their phones in school uniforms got into a proper posture upon hearing the assistant director’s shout.
“Let’s finish it well. This is the last rehearsal with the two of you.”
Jayeon started the rehearsal. She told them the emotions, movements, and expressions that she wanted. It had been two months since they started working together. Maru could predict what style Jayeon wanted even without her saying anything.
The first one to shoot was Yuna. She, who was sitting in a daze amidst the students that were leaving class after school, quietly walked over to the window. Maru nodded when he saw her fidget with the 2,000-won couple ring.
The positive effect of Yuna’s change of heart was that her thoughts became deep. She still maintained her method of exploding out with her emotions, but she was beginning to gain control over that. Ever since he regained his memories, Maru planned on not accepting Yuna’s coquettish way of acting, but Yuna herself was already trying to fix that. He couldn’t just ignore a girl who was trying, so Maru also gave her advice from time to time. Of course, he never mentioned anything deep that would touch on the depths of her acting. He only gave her small directions.
“Cut. That felt good.”
Yuna muttered her lines while the camera switched places. The camera director stood where the window could be seen. After the director gave the signal, Yuna started acting.
The student couple that was attracted to each other due to their unique charms, would say their goodbyes today. Yoon Jihae, who loved Park Haejoon’s ordinariness, believed that she too could become ordinary and would strive towards it, while Park Haejoon, who liked her for her strong attitude, tried to become like her. They tried their best because they liked each other but that same attitude made them end up getting bored of each other.
After touching the couple ring, Yuna slowly took off the ring from her finger.
“Yuna, you’re on a roll today. Let’s get a shot of your hand and go straight to the next one. Your condition is really good, so continue just like that.”
Jayeon rejoiced like a little child. It seemed that she felt happy because she got a good picture and more time to edit.
They shot Yuna taking off the ring four times. As Yoon Jihae’s feelings had to be transmitted through her fingers, Jayeon’s request was very picky. They only shot four times since Yuna was good. Maru watched through the director’s monitor during the shoot, and the shaking of her hand, which was neither too excessive nor too weak, was worthy of praise.
“Yuna’s emotions are in a good state, so let’s get Maru’s shoulder in the scene.”
Maru stood in front of Yuna. She smiled faintly after redoing her top button.
“The director is complimenting you a lot.”
“I thought I’d get an earful throughout the whole shoot but there comes a day like this.”
“Since you’re doing so well, you should do so until the end and send her home early.”
“I’ll try my best.”
Along with a clap, the standby sign fell. Maru quietly looked at Yuna. Although he would say his lines, it was Yuna’s face that was on camera right now. His role was to lead her act so that she did not get stuck midway or make a mistake.
“I’m very confident in expressing my loss.”
“There’s a bone in your words.”
“Yes, I’m telling you about it.”
“I feel like I’m the bad one, but I guess it doesn’t matter for today, huh.”
At the same time he said those words, the cue sign rang out in the classroom. Yuna controlled her emotions perfectly to the point that Maru could not feel a trace of the smile that was there just now. From the day he told her to quit chasing him, Yuna’s acting skills became visibly better and a lot more stable. He was inwardly worried that she might not be able to control her emotions, but thankfully, he was worried for nothing. Perhaps he was thinking that she was a crybaby who could not hide her emotions and needed his help for everything. Yuna was a child who could stand up by herself.
Yuna handed him the ring. Maru made a bitter smile.
“You know what it is.”
“What is it?”
“I’m saying we should stop. Let’s… let’s be friends. I think that will be for the better.”
“Why so sudde… it’s not sudden, is it?”
“You know it too.”
Maru grabbed the ring. Park Haejoon hated himself for being ordinary. The cold and proud Yoon Jihae, who appeared in front of him, was more than just a role model. The feelings of admiration developed into romantic feelings, but since it was her personality, not her person, that he admired, the changes in emotions happened just as easily.
Maru quietly looked down at the ring in his hands before turning around.
“Okay! Uhm, you should bring some tissue,” Jayeon said.
Maru turned his head around when he heard the word ‘tissue’. Yuna was wiping her tears off while laughing. Maru did not say anything. Whether she became emotional due to her acting, or whether she cried because she projected herself into the character’s breakup, he did not know. He neither had the reason nor the audacity to ask.
He pulled out some tissues and gave them to Yuna.
“I suddenly felt like crying. Wait a moment.”
She turned around while breathing out in a flustered manner before regaining her smile in about a minute. Producer Jayeon approached her saying that it was okay, and that other actors were like this from time to time as well.
Yuna bowed towards the staff around her in apology. There was absolutely no one who looked at her in a bad manner.
“Okay, we’ll flip around.”
The camera switched places. Now, it was Yuna’s shoulders on the screen.
“I startled you, didn’t I?”
“No, I wasn’t that surprised.”
“Really? Well, I guess you’d be like that, seonbae.”
Maru faintly smiled.
“Don’t you want to know why I’m crying?”
“Do you want me to?”
After thinking for a while, Yuna quietly shook her head.
“Ah, I think there’s not a shred of regret in me now. I feel refreshed.”
She raised her hands to her eye level and quietly shouted ‘fighting’. Maru wondered who that was directed at.
“I’ll buy you something nice once we finish.”
“What got into you?”
“It’s just a cowardly tactic of trying to pay back the sense of guilt.”
Yuan tapped on her lips and spoke,
“Then I don’t want it. You need to suffer a little.”
“You’re playing the villainess role now?”
A sigh mixed with thick regret could be heard.
“Get ready. Three, two, one!”
A time that was an act for one, and a time to clear feelings for the other, flowed by.
* * *
“Thank you for your work.”
Maru picked up his bag. The staff put away the equipment and got ready to move. They had a night shoot at the pojang-macha again today. Today was the day when ‘Choi Jihoon’, played by Byungjae, and ‘Kang Haeyeon’, played by Mira, were connected again. One side broke up, while the other got connected. Between them was the writer character, Ganghwan, who couldn’t sell any of his work.
“Get some good rest and see you early morning tomorrow. The remaining days will be on a tight schedule, so don’t catch a cold, you two. Be careful on your way back.”
Maru and Yuna left the school while being seen out by Jayeon.
“I guess that marks the end of the scenes with you now, seonbae.”
“We’ll be done if we don’t have any additional shoots.”
“How do you feel, seonbae? You feel refreshed now that you don’t have to act with this pain-in-the-ass junior, don’t you?”
“If you said that in order to make me feel bad, then I have to say that it’s pretty effective.”
“That was exactly my intention, so I’m satisfied.”
Yuna walked right next to him.
“Your mother didn’t come today?”
“Bitna has a shoot. You don’t know that she was cast in a morning drama, do you?”
“Is that true?”
“Yes. She’s also the daughter of the main character. Apparently, she shows up a lot. I’m wondering if she might become the child actor of the country.”
“If it’s Bitna, she might actually become one.”
“I think so too. Bitna is good after all.”
They stopped in front of a traffic light that was red. On the other side of the road was the staircase down to the train station.
“What is it that you like about Gaeul-seonbae?”
He turned around and looked at Yuna straight in the face before speaking,
“So my unrequited love was hopeless from the beginning, huh.”
The signal changed. Yuna stepped on just the white lines, saying that stepping on the black ones will make her die. Maru stepped only on the black ones.
“Do you still not contact her these days?”
“Yeah, I’m don’t.”
Yuna looked at the ground. Maru knew that Yuna was a bright kid, but he did not have a cheerful personality. She had to be feeling tired from trying to liven up the mood both back at the shooting set and now.
“It’s not because of you, so you don’t need to worry about it.”
“Was it written on my face?”
“You’re quite easy to read.”
They walked down the stairs. Until they arrived at the train platform, Yuna did not say a word.
Maru could hear the train break the silence and come into the station. He saw the train push out the air along with vibrations.
“Should I go tell her about it?”
She looked like a frightened hamster. Maru could imagine just how worried she must have been before uttering that sentence.
“You don’t have to. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“It’s me. I’m the one hesitating.”
The door to the train opened. Maru waved at the dazed Yuna to get on.
“There are times when things just don’t go the way you expect them to, right? That’s what’s happening to me right now.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“I’m sorry, but you probably won’t be able to help with anything. I’m not saying this because I find you unreliable. It’s just that the problem I have is a little peculiar.”
Maru scratched his eyebrows.
“If you want to help, then treat Gaeul well. She still comes to school, right?”
“Yes. She’s been coming to the club ever since the CSATs ended. She teaches us more passionately than ever before, and she is preparing for her act as well.”
“If she’s doing well, that’s fine.”
“That’s good enough then.”
“That’s enough? What about you?”
“I’m living without any problems like this, so that’s that.”
“Are you really okay?”
“Looks like I really don’t look good huh, making you worried like this.”
Maru tapped on Yuna’s shoulder before looking forward. Having entered a tunnel, the train quickly rushed through the darkness. The light inside the tunnels flashed through the windows before disappearing. Maru thought that that was just like the current situation he was in. He was rushing through the darkness with only a few clues. He couldn’t even predict where the next stop would be.
“I’m not sure what it is, but I’m sure it will go well. I mean it.”
“Yeah, thanks. I hope it goes well too. Whether it’s the drama, my relationship, or….”
Maru closed his eyes as he thought about Gaeul’s humming song.