Life, Once Again! - Chapter 749
-In the end, that’s all you amount to.
Her fingers, digging into the fold of her phone, came to a sudden halt. Gaeul felt a faint heat rising from her heart. The emotions of the rabbit were coming through to her.
-If you weren’t by his side, you would have called Maru a long time ago. You would have spent meaningless time with him over the phone in order to earn just a tiny bit of consolation; to tragically confirm that you are still the one next to him. Is that all your resolve amounts to? Or what is it? Are you saying that you’re in the clear because you managed to win a minor role in a film? Is that all your self-confidence amounts to? If that’s how you’re going to do things, you might as well stop. Just meet Maru comfortably again. You might end up comparing yourself to him and become dejected again, but what can you do about it? That’s just the girl you are. Hey, why don’t you give your body to him at this opportunity? Just tie the knot. If you think that you can’t be acknowledged as an actress, as a human being, just buy him with your body. I mean, it’s not like it’s bad?
“You’re going too far there,” Gaeul said.
The rabbit always cherished her like a real big sister, but she was always quite a vicious talker when it came to matters related to Maru. It was good that she reminded her of her resolve whenever she waved, but today, she clearly went too far.
-I’m telling you to do things properly if you don’t want to listen to stuff like this from me.
Her words were pretty sharp. Gaeul sighed and took her hands off her phone.
-But it is quite strange. You did tell him not to contact you, but I’m surprised that you’re not suspicious since he hasn’t given you a single call.
“Suspicious of what?”
-I mean, isn’t that how it is? For you, you can hold yourself back because I’m next to you and holding you back whenever you have the urge, but that’s not the case for Maru, is it? If he really likes you and wants to see you, I’m sure he would have gone against the promise and given you a call.
“I’m sure Maru understands how I feel.”
-Really? If it was me, I would have gone to that person’s house and asked for the reason if someone I love told me not to contact them. That is what love is after all.
No – she wasn’t able to retort properly. In a corner of her heart, a part of her was agreeing with the rabbit’s words. While acting, there were times when she felt frustrated because things didn’t go the way she wanted to. It would’ve been better if I stretched my arms a little further; it would have been better if I loosened my shoulders a little; it would’ve been better if my eyebrows shook a little more clearly. It wasn’t just her body that didn’t move according to her will. There were times when her heart expressed emotions regardless of her thoughts. Right now, it was the same. It was ‘her heart’, yet she couldn’t follow as ‘her heart’ wished. Maybe the heart was even harder to control than the body. Gaeul bit her lips.
“Let’s have a candid talk!”
Those words could be heard from a table where the juniors were. Gaeul blew away her bitter thoughts. She didn’t want to ruin this occasion to joyously wrap up the year because of her personal matters. She exercised her facial muscles on purpose and put on a smile so that everyone else could continue having an enjoyable time.
“We don’t want to do it though.”
“But you guys did it when you were in second-year seonbaes. We’re now in second year, so we’re doing one too.”
“That’s right! Even if you leave, you have to leave after getting an earful from us.”
Choi Seol made a troubled expression. It was her who had led the 2nd year students harshly for the past year. If they had a candid talk, the 2nd years, who should have grinded their swords until now, would rush her. As a sinner, Choi Seol tried to make them do another game, but the 2nd year students did not relent.
“First-year students, don’t you want to do it too?”
“Yes! We’d love to.”
“It’s our last get-together anyway, so let’s finish it off with a blast, shall we? Please? Choi Seol seonbae-nim. The people are on our side. Stop struggling and just allow it.”
The 2nd-year students asked for a candid talk with the 1st-year students’ support. Gaeul thought about this time last year. Before the winter holidays started, they also had a candid talk with the then 3rd-year students. What they liked, what they regretted, and what they did not want to forget. It was time to talk about those.
“Fine then! Let’s do it. But instead, we’re doing it in reverse, okay? Us third years are the youngest, the second years are in the middle, and the first years are the seonbaes, okay?”
“Of course. Hey, hey. You first-years, you don’t have to hold back, okay?”
The candid talk began with permission from former president Choi Seol and the current president Youngsoo. They could commit a rebellion right now, but the juniors weren’t able to speak properly. The first one to speak was Youngsoo.
“Choi Seol!” Youngsoo stood up abruptly.
Choi Seol’s lips twitched but still spoke,
“Don’t you act like that when you go to college. You’re too rough for being a girl.”
“Of course, I’m going to do well when I go to college.”
“Also, don’t hit others as a joke. You might take it as a joke, but it really hurts for me, you know? You’re really strong. Keep that in mind.”
“Yes, I’m a little strong. And my arms are thick too.”
Gaeul chuckled while covering her mouth. She would probably get to see veins popping out on Choi Seol’s neck.
“Lastly, Choi Seol. Do you have a boyfriend?”
Youngsoo, who had been acting boldly until now, suddenly looked shy. The 2nd year boys sitting around him tapped him and told him to go for it. Feeling the serious atmosphere, everyone stopped laughing and looked at him.
“Choi Seol! I liked you, did you know that?”
A moment later, applause could be heard. Amidst the loud cheers was a shout telling them to kiss.
Choi Seol raised her hand to stop them and spoke,
“Seonbae-nim, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you aren’t my type. Also, you’re in your third year now, so just study hard.”
When Choi Seol rejected him so firmly while crossing her arms, Youngsoo sat down with a gloomy expression. The 2nd year boys burst out into laughter.
“Why did you do that? It’s not that bad to date a high school student as a college girl,” said the friend sitting next to Choi Seol.
Choi Seol shook her head.
“With him? No way. I don’t feel like he’s a man at all. He’s just a cute brother.”
Her friends nodded, saying that it was understandable.
“The second-year students went first, so next should be someone from the first year.”
Among the tense first-year students, one of them, who was known to be bold, abruptly stood up from his seat.
“Hey, isn’t practicing until 12 a little too long? Let’s reduce it a little. Especially you, Youngsoo. You don’t have any right to tell Seol anything. At least she looks after us. All you can do is nag.”
“Yes, yes. I’ll do my best to serve.”
“Hey, you sound defiant? You aren’t going to tell me something after this ends, are you? I’ll have faith that you aren’t so petty, Youngsoo.”
“Of course. I don’t dare say anything to the 1st year seniors. I’ll try to reduce practice in the future. Let’s do it until 11:59.”
The 1st-year student sat down, looking like he was doomed. Following that, other 1st-year students grabbed their spoons (that acted as a microphone) and spoke out what was on their minds. The majority of their complaints were directed towards the 2nd-year students rather than the 3rd-year students, and it was probably because they had more interaction with each other as consecutive grades. Gaeul watched everyone as she ate some vegetable wraps. She had her blast last year, but now that she was in her 3rd-year, she had nothing to say.
The noisy candid talk eventually arrived near the end.
Gaeul, who was picking up a slice of garlic with her chopsticks, raised her hand when she heard the voice. Yuna, who had tied her hair up into a bun above her head, was holding a spoon upside down.
“First, congrats on getting good results on the CSATs!”
Gaeul put down her chopsticks and spoke,
“Also, when you bought me strawberry milk and consoled me that time, thank you a lot.”
The 1st-year students booed her, telling her to stop the good stories. Gaeul faintly smiled and looked at Yuna. Ever since Yuna confessed what was on her mind, she thought about maintaining a good relationship with her as a senior and a junior, but when she came to, they had become quite distant. There were times when they talked to each other and talked about acting, but even during those times, Gaeul felt a wall when talking to her. That wall wasn’t something put up by Yuna; it was something by herself. The wall that she thought would break soon, became taller and sturdier. Now, the wall had become so tall that she couldn’t see Yuna’s expression truthfully even if she tip-toed. She found herself pathetic for putting a distance between them when it was her who told her that she understood and that it was something that could happen. The more pathetic she felt about herself, the more distant they became.
“Not at all,” Gaeul said.
After taking a deep breath. Yuna looked around.
“That’s it for Han Gaeul. From now on, I have something personal to tell everyone in the acting club. There was a boy I really liked.”
The 1st-year juniors suddenly cheered at the sudden confession. Gaeul clutched her aching heart and looked at Yuna.
“There are probably a lot of people who like Yuna among the first years.”
“It’s not just the first years. I’m pretty sure many people from the second- and third-years got rejected by her too.”
Her friends started speaking among themselves. Just as they said, Yuna was quite popular. She gave off a docile impression and had a cute face. Not only that, she had experience working as a main character in a drama, so it was natural for her to be a target of adoration.
Gaeul felt her throat burning. She sipped some water and watched the silent Yuna. They made eye contact as though she had been waiting for it.
“But I was rejected cleanly. I really liked him, but I can’t even think about him anymore. That was how thorough it was.”
The boys went into an uproar.
“Who was it? Who rejected Yuna?”
“Let’s be honest here, everyone. Who was it? Who rejected Yuna?”
They naturally thought that the person Yuna liked was someone in the acting club. Only Gaeul knew that Yuna was talking about Maru. She wondered what Yuna wanted to say.
After gulping down some cold water, Yuna continued to speak in a shaky voice,
“So you two can meet. I want you two to meet. I might have interrupted you, but I was nothing. I’m someone who you don’t even need to be concerned about, so don’t worry about anything. He only looks at you. Okay? Hey! Thanks, sorry, and I admire you. You can hate me, but I want to maintain a good relationship with you, can I?”
After saying those words, Yuna sat down. Gaeul saw her wiping the corner of her eyes with the back of her hand. Gaeul sighed shakily.
“What was that? What did Yuna just say?”
“Don’t you get it? There’s a love triangle in the acting club. Yuna liked a boy, but that boy had a girlfriend already. That’s why she’s apologizing in public.”
“Is that how it is? What’s up with that. Yuna looks so docile. That was unexpected.”
“I’m pretty sure she didn’t know he had a girlfriend. That’s why she cried so much while apologizing. The girl in question might not believe it if they talked about it personally, so that’s why she might have said it here. Anyway, she’s really brave alright. I would be too embarrassed to say something like that in public,” Youngmi said while shaking her head.
Choi Seol agreed with her and stood up.
“There there! I’m not sure who it is that Yuna feels sorry, is thankful to, and admires, but I hope you two can talk it out later. It doesn’t look like Yuna was pretending. Also, Im Yuna!”
“Y-yes!” Yuna replied while sobbing.
“This is supposed to be a candid talk, not a confession!”
“As punishment, you have to sing a song.”
“I’m saying that you have to sing a song. You brought the whole mood down. Doesn’t everyone agree? But, I’ll sing with you. No wait, all third years, stand up! Let’s be Yuna’s back dancers.”
Choi Seol stepped in to liven up the mood. The 3rd year students clapped and brought Yuna away from the table. Yuna’s eyes had turned red, but she soon smiled and put a spoon inside a glass soda bottle.
“Hey, Han Gaeul. Come on up,” Choi Seol called Gaeul. Gaeul sat down and looked at Yuna. Yuna was waiting silently.
Gaeul took a deep breath before standing up. Although she felt complex and dizzy, she didn’t want to be the bad girl when her junior had the courage to confess.
“I can’t let my junior do that alone. I’ll sing first.”
Gaeul grabbed the soda bottle that Yuna was holding.
“As expected of Han Gaeul. So? What are you going to sing?” Choi Seol asked while opening her phone.
Gaeul snorted before speaking,
“Cho PD’s Friend.”
 This is ‘Yaja time(야자 타임)’ in Korean, where basically, the senior/junior relationship is switched around.
 Referring to the Korean singer, Cho Yong-pil. Here’s the song on youtube