Life, Once Again! - Chapter 765
Sol ate the bossam with her small mouth. Despite her mother repeatedly telling her to chew before eating more, she reached out for more meat before she even swallowed what was in her mouth. She kept saying ‘more, more’ intermittently. Her pronunciation of other words often became smudged, but ‘more’ was very clear. There didn’t seem to be a parent who could win against that.
“She eats way too much. She was born quite hefty too.”
“It’s a blessing for a child her age to eat well. But is it fine to feed her kimchi?”
“Just the washed ones. I heard that feeding kids sweet or salty stuff can get them bad habits. Sol, grab your spoon.”
Even Miso, who was always fiercely scolding the members of the play on stage with a script, was an endlessly kind mother in front of her daughter Sol. Maru wondered what the new guy would say after seeing this when he ended up crying after being scolded by Miso. He might tell her not to put on an act and act unjustified.
“You’re semi-unemployed; you don’t have any money. The toy was more than enough.”
Maru was putting out his card, but he had to put it back in his wallet when he saw the fierce glare. Now that Sol was in her father’s arms, Miso was not a mother; she was the vicious director of Blue Sky.
“Since we’re out, we should take a stroll with Sol.”
Taesik grabbed Sol’s hand and started walking. Maru and Miso walked behind him at a distance.
“She doesn’t cry that much.”
“Sure she doesn’t. She’s not crying now because she cried enough in the morning. Also, she just ate. She’ll cry again when she gets hungry.”
“She eats well and cries well. She must be healthy.”
Sol, who was walking by herself, suddenly leaned towards the side. Taesik had let go of her for a moment. Maru only noticed that Miso had moved when she took about two steps ahead. She was that fast. Taesik grabbed the falling Sol with both of his hands and lifted her into the air. Sol, who was raised to her father’s chest level, waved her hands and feet around in the air and smiled pleasantly. Daddy will give you an airplane – Taesik nonchalantly said. Miso slapped him on the back, and Taesik looked back at Miso, completely clueless about what he had just done.
“Be careful. You made her fall over like that last time.”
“It’s fine for a child to fall over.”
“Are you going to take responsibility if it leaves a scar?”
“Okay, okay. I was in the wrong. Sol, daddy’s sorry, okay?”
Taesik raised the white flag before there was even a fight. Sol, who had almost inadvertently become the cause of marital problems, just cluelessly raised her arms into the air, wanting to go higher. That bold personality of hers was just like her mother. The grumbling mother, the gentle father, and the child that walked between the two of them.
The figure of the three people made Maru take out an old photo from a cabinet in the depths of his memories. The daughter was giggling while smelling her father’s socks, and the husband was waving around the socks in the air. There was also the wife who took out her phone saying she had to take a photo. His daughter was a grateful child who grew up without many problems, and his wife was a reassuring person who told her husband to get some rest after he quit his company. Was Gaeul around that age too? He wondered about that.
“This is why I can’t let that guy take care of her.”
Miso did a sermon about scars for Taesik before returning.
“What a harmonious family, other than the fact that the mother is a little scary.”
“Why don’t I become scary for real today?” Miso said while pulling up her sleeves.
The faces of the members of Blue Sky, who had been beaten by those thin arms of hers, flashed in front of his face. Maru waved his hand in the air in a flurry. He didn’t want to get hit, even as a joke.
“You’re quitting the troupe?” Miso asked when Taesik became a little more distant.
“Yes. It’s too tiring, I can’t keep up.”
“Are you going to continue if I make it less tiring?”
“No. It’s about time I go back to the screen and the TV. My dream is to earn tons of money with commercials and play around for the rest of my life. You know, like senior Joohyun.”
“If that was the case, you shouldn’t have kicked away the opportunities given to you before you went to the military.”
“I must have not known what was right because I was young back then.”
“Like hell you didn’t. It was because of your escapist life.”
Maru felt like a small needle had been poked between his ribs. Miso snorted as though she wasn’t gonna be fooled.
“It’s our 8th year, isn’t it? I first saw you when you were in your first year of high school. I was wondering what was going on back then. I first thought you were intentionally moving to the side of being bullied because you couldn’t adapt to school, but you ended up acting fine after taking the blame from everyone. I thought you were amazing. I mean, it’s not easy for a young boy to endure being falsely blamed, is it? I got to find out more about you and found out that you are much more peculiar than I thought. While you were peculiar though, you were still acting within common sense. But your actions after graduation were completely outside both my common sense as well as what I knew about Han Maru’s action patterns. Why did you abandon such a great opportunity and laugh your life out in the play scene where no one recognizes you instead? It didn’t seem like you were waiting for the right time, and it didn’t look like you were preparing something either. An exiled aristocrat might look like that. You know, they pretend to care about everything in the world but don’t do anything about it. Or maybe, you weren’t able to do that.”
“You should’ve told me if it was obvious so that I could put up a better pretense.”
“You’re the type of guy who does things well by yourself, so I thought that you were doing something I didn’t know about. It was when you announced that you were going to the military that I realized that you weren’t doing anything like that. Other people are going so far to delay their military service as much as possible, but you enlisted as soon as you got the notification. That convinced me that you were running away.”
“There’s no better place of exile than the military after all. There’s no one who knows me, and I don’t know anyone there either. Two years, honestly, it was good. I almost ended up staying there.”
“Why didn’t you? You wasted another year after leaving. That’s so unlike you.”
“There are times when people just want to stray off. Still, it’s a good thing since I cleared myself up.”
“For someone who cleared himself up, you didn’t look that good, you know? Rather than looking like you cleared yourself up, you look like you just pushed it into a corner.”
Maru smiled; It was an escapist smile. Miso wasn’t someone he could fool or win against since she was comparing clues and facts about him like a lawyer. It would be much wiser to stay silent. Maybe her time bearing a child, giving birth, and raising her might have broadened her horizons. When he avoided the sharp question, Miso also switched the topic as though she had no intentions of pursuing this matter.
“Did you get any offers? I didn’t hear anything from senior.”
The senior that Miso talked about was probably president Lee Junmin.
“Not yet. As you said, I’m splendidly semi-unemployed.”
“For a person like that, you look pretty confident. You look like you know that you’ll get work soon.”
“I have confidence in my skills after all. I have blind faith that advertisers would notice me and give me offers.”
“Does senior count as one of those advertisers?”
“I’m not entirely sure about that. From how he hasn’t abandoned me yet, I think he intends to make use of me, but I can’t be sure if he likes me when I escaped to the military instead of listening to his words. I should try begging, I guess.”
“You don’t need to be worried about that since he would have cut you off a long time ago if you weren’t needed. He didn’t tell you to pull out of the apartment, did he?”
“Fortunately, not yet.”
“Then I guess he must be watching. Just like you said, he might give you some work in due time.”
“I should go find my own prey before he does. I should reassure him that I’m still intact. Only then will I be able to sleep easy in that apartment.”
“That place is pretty expensive. There’s the Han river view, and the redevelopment just finished. If I wanted to buy a place there with my own money….”
After writing some numbers with her index finger on her palm, Miso frowned, saying that it was absurdly high. There was no better word than ‘absurd’ to describe the price of that place. He was living in such a place. He was practically bringing the company losses by just living.
“You should definitely find work soon if you want to keep living there.”
“That’s the plan. Since we’re at it, are there any auditions I can take?”
“There are a few at the academy, but they’ve been assigned already. We have to give them things like that since they’re paying expensive tuition, or they will quit soon.”
“I was planning to get some free info, but that didn’t go well.”
“Hey, why are you even asking when you know it already?”
“I’m just that desperate.”
“Geez, I’ve never seen someone desperate make a face like you. Tell me honestly. Do you really not have anything? If you really don’t have anything to do, then just help out at Blue Sky. I can list you as a member and give you living expenses.”
“If you have money to give me, you should increase the wage for the new guys. At this rate, they might earn a million and a half per year.”
“You get paid as much as you work around here. How many do you think would want a fixed pay when they’re working as an actor? They’re getting paid a million and a half right now, but they’re doing it with the resolve to earn 150 million per performance in the future.”
“Man, the passion pay hasn’t changed at all since before.”
“If you don’t like that, then you can pay their wage. I’m also in charge of distributing, so I feel gosh darn sorry every single time.”
“It’s better than nothing. From what I hear, there seems to be quite a lot of people who didn’t get their pay after the theater troupe went bust.”
“It’s not just one or two for sure. If you include the overwhelming majority who chose to stay silent because they knew there was no point arguing, the number is going to be enormous. It’s not just the theaters. The situation with the RBS drama that ended a while ago seemed to be pretty serious too. The main actors all received their money, but the minor actors and staff didn’t get any pay starting March.”
“What a dirty place.”
“Yet you and I are making a living in such a place. Get yourself together. You’re twenty-five now. It’s good to wander around a little, but I’d like to remind you that the opportunity to gain experience is decreasing.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
He stopped wandering around after he enlisted. He just needed some time to check how much he could endure, and by endure, he was referring to meeting her, who could be the start of this cycle of reincarnation, and to loving her. It was impossible to deny her, hate her, and treat her like she was completely meaningless, but it became possible for him to package himself with lies and show it to others. Maru was planning to meet Gaeul in a while. As an old friend; as a colleague who cheered for each other. There would be no love there. She probably wouldn’t feel that either. Her affection might have cooled off when he declared his break up a long time ago. There was no guarantee that doing so would break the cycle of reincarnation, but he had to be open to possibilities and experiment. He had to do anything in order to sever this curse of living the same time over and over again.
“Thanks for the food today.”
“Yes. Since I was treated, I might as well take the rest of the day off.”
“Enjoy your unemployed life while you can. Once you start getting busy, you won’t be able to.”
“That’s why I was planning to find the people I haven’t seen for a while when I have the time. I have a full schedule tomorrow too.”
“Don’t just have others treat you. You should learn more about the market.”
“The door to Blue Sky is always open, so you can come back any time. Or you can come to Film. The director might hire you if I ask.”
“I’ll think about it if I don’t have any work at all. Of course, I’m never going back to Blue Sky. I don’t think I can ever work under you again.”
“Only I will use someone like you.”
While they were conversing, Maru heard his phone ringing. He took out his phone from his pocket.
“A popular actor wants to find an unemployed guy, huh.”
“True. Looks like I should latch onto him. I’ll leave now after saying goodbye to teacher. I’ll come back next time with another gift for Sol.”
“Alright, watch out on your way back.”
“Don’t forget to tell her that it was uncle Maru who bought her that dollhouse. I don’t want to get the cold shoulder from her later.”
“I’ll think about it.”
Maru approached Taesik and Sol and said goodbye.
“Let’s have a drink with just the two of us next time.”
“I don’t know what kind of problems you had, but I believe that you’ll do well. You’ve been doing well until now after all.”
“I have to if I don’t want to go bankrupt. Sol, uncle’s leaving, okay? Say hi when we meet next time.”
He grabbed the tiny hand and shook it before returning to his car.
 Boiled pork, usually pork belly.
 As in, applying for staff personnel. Both NCOs and Officers are possible.
 You get paid with ‘passion’ instead of real money.