Life, Once Again! - Chapter 781
After the wave of customers left and the store became less crowded, Daemyung and Jiyoon came in.
“You’re here right on time. If you came 30 minutes ago, you wouldn’t have been able to sit.”
Daemyung sat in front of him. Dojin, who peeked out from the kitchen, told them to wait, saying that he’d bring food soon. Iseul brought some drinks and ricecakes.
“Congratulations, unni. The location is good, and the food is delicious, so I’m sure it’ll go better than it did at Suwon. I’ll tell the people at my company as well.”
“Thanks even if it’s just words. Jiyoon, you are my saving grace. But hey, Park Daemyung, did you go traveling with her during the summer holidays or not? I keep hearing that you abandoned this gentle girl in her room during breaks.”
Jiyoon quickly raised her hand and blocked Iseul’s mouth. Daemyung smiled awkwardly and apologized.
“This is not something you should be sorry about, oppa. I was busy with work, and you were busy with your part-time work and writing, weren’t you? We can always go traveling later, so don’t mind it.”
“No, let’s go to a mountain stream before it reaches August. Didn’t you say you wanted to go to one last time?”
“I’m really okay.”
“No, I should have put more thought into you, I’m sorry.”
“D-don’t say things like that. I’m really satisfied with meeting each other on the weekends. I already feel sorry for trying to see you on the weekends when you have a part-time job.”
“Wh-why would you feel sorry? There’s nothing to feel sorry about. If it’s about being sorry, I’m even more sorry. I can’t even pay for the date, and I can’t even meet you that often. I can’t even take you somewhere.”
“No. In fact….”
A soda bottle made a bumping noise as it was placed on the table. It was Dojin, who had brought some gukbap on a tray. The two, who were apologizing and trying to find out who was more sorry than the other, became silent.
“How could you two not have changed at all? If you’re in your 7th year of dating already, you should be chewing each other’s weaknesses out. Yet here you are going ‘I love you, no I love you more.’ Hey, have you two ever gotten into a fight?”
Maru flipped over the cups and placed them in front of the two people as he spoke,
“I bet my real estate that they never fought.”
“But you don’t have any real estate.”
“That’s why I can bet on it. Also, stop being jealous of the couple in eternal love, and get them some food.”
“Who’s jealous? We’re in love much more than them….”
Dojin, who looked at Iseul while putting down the gukbap, made an expression like an examinee student who was facing an incomprehensible math formula. He looked like he still didn’t know why she didn’t accept the proposal. Iseul seemed to have decided to just keep on frustrating him and replied with an ‘I don’t know anything’ look on her face.
Maru, who was aware of the circumstances, looked at the two couples alternately before pouring some soda into his glass. He needed soju right now, not this. When Dojin left, Iseul started talking about the proposal. Daemyung and Jiyoon desperately waved their hands in the air, trying to stop the conversation.
“Han Maru’s okay now. I think he’s shaken it off,” Iseul said.
Maru smiled bitterly as he looked at Daemyung and Jiyoon. The two’s eyes contained pity like they saw a drenched dog in the rain. He once again realized how tragic he must have looked for the past 5 years. He thought that he had put up a good pretense, but it seemed that his close friends had already found out everything. It was proof that he was broken to the point that he couldn’t even control his own mood. Escaping to the military was a splendid choice.
“Just as Iseul said, I’ve regained my clarity, so don’t look at me like that. You’re making me depressed.”
After that came Jiyoon’s ‘parade’ of worries. She talked about things like how he looked like a different person after she heard that he broke up, how she was worried because he looked worse and worse every time they met, then about how he was getting conscripted, about how she was worried when he came out for a vacation and when she saw him after he got discharged.
“Heck, you might as well be worried about me eating food.”
“You looked just that bad back then, seonbae. But still, I’m glad to hear that you’re okay now. Now that I hear you saying that, I truly feel relieved because you look like you’re relaxed.”
“From now on, don’t worry about me, and focus more on the boyfriend next to you. It’d be strange to worry about a man unrelated to you when your boyfriend is right next to you.”
“How can you say that you are unrelated to me? Actually, it was oppa who was more worried about you; it was to the point that I was even a little jealous. On days when he looked at your face, he kept talking about what he should do to help you, and honestly, I found him a little hateful back then. We were on a date too.”
Jiyoon looked at Daemyung with a cute glare.
“Let’s stop the display of affection there. Please be considerate of me, a single man, sitting between two couples, okay?”
After having finished the war known as lunchtime, Dojin and Iseul also took off their aprons that said ‘Seonjeong Gukbap’ on it and joined them. They were on their second dish of the large-sized boiled pork, their first bottle of soju, and their third bottle of rice wine. The fact that he drove here was incapable of blocking the bowls of rice wine that were offered to him. If you get drunk, you can just sleep here – he just clicked his tongue at Iseul’s incredible solution and just drank. Jiyoon, who rarely drank usually, also grabbed a bowl as well, saying that she would drink a little. Jiyoon, who was drinking with the side dish of Daemyung’s worried gaze, kept on drinking, saying that the rice wine was to her tastes. Forget unpleasant, she looked more and more lively the more she drank.
“I thought Jiyoon couldn’t drink.”
“I thought she couldn’t drink because she doesn’t drink that often.”
Daemyung looked at her, saying that her drinking posture was adorable as well. This couple would probably find the other adorable even if the other was stealing money.
It was an hour later that Jiyoon suddenly collapsed after drinking like a whale. The accumulated alcohol seemed to have rushed her at once as her face turned pale for an instant before turning bright red. Iseul took her upstairs and had her lie down, but Jiyoon staggered back downstairs and stuck next to Daemyung. She rejected the offer to go and sleep. I’m going to stay here – she even turned her drunkenness into love.
Such was the result of Daemyung babying her on his back.
“Bring her upstairs. I’ve laid out the blankets.”
After Jiyoon left, the four of them tried to continue their drinking, but that wasn’t going to happen.
“Oh, a new place?”
An army of people in neckties rushed in. The gukbap restaurant couple, who had been drinking sips from the get-go, welcomed the new customers and put on their aprons.
“Stop drinking and help us out a little.”
I didn’t even drink – Maru tried to deny their claims, but he ended up putting on an apron when Iseul acted like his injustice didn’t even matter. It only took an instant to become a part-timer from a guest who came over to congratulate them.
The 2nd wave was much more intense than the 1st wave. There was an endless stream of salarymen who had come to eat dinner. That was probably the magic of ‘special discount sale for opening’. Only after 7 could he escape the counter. He was busy to the point that he couldn’t even remember how many times he slashed the card on the card reader, nor how many times he had to return change.
“What would I have done without you two? We should look for a part-timer quickly.”
“You’re paying me for this right?”
“Extra large gukbap, large-sized boiled pork, and booze. Let’s make do with that, okay?”
That was merciless. He finally returned to his seat and sat down again. The boiled pork had turned cold, and the rice wine had turned lukewarm.
“Thanks for the work.”
He poured a bowl full of rice wine and drank it in one go. He realized what adults meant when said they could do without rice but not without rice wine. The rice wine seeped into his fatigued body and made him feel pleasant. It was a sense of satisfaction he could not get from drinking soju.
“Oh, right. Do you have time over the weekend?”
“Yes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Saturday or a Sunday. Maybe you’re busy with a shoot?”
“That’s okay. The shoot starts next Tuesday. Anyway, what happens over the weekend?”
“Apparently, we finally have a proper storyboard from our director Kang.”
“Oh, it’s that. Looks like she took a liking to the script you managed to finish, huh?”
“Maybe. That was why we were planning to shoot over the weekend. Maybe to Gapyeong.”
“You’ve already scouted a place out?”
“We’re hiring an expensive actor, so we should prepare whenever we can. We’re planning to fit your schedule.”
“How about the almighty director Kang’s schedule?”
“She says she can just apply for a leave if she can’t do it over the weekend, so she’s okay whenever.”
“She can apply for leave whenever she wants? That’s really amazing.”
“Who says she isn’t?”
“But if it’s Gapyeong, shouldn’t we do it over two days? I don’t think you can finish it in just one day.”
“Then can you free up both a Saturday and a Sunday?”
“I don’t dare reject. It’s something I promised to do a long time ago too. I wonder if she lost her senses while working.”
“She told me she’s still studying and watching films whenever she has time these days. Apparently, she’s also in a circle related to film.”
“She’s proactive alright. I thought that she lost interest in this when I heard she got employed.”
“She’s a realistic girl after all. She said that she should pursue her dreams after she sets up a way out. Foolishly pursuing dreams is a no go.”
“That’s definitely true. Give her a call. We should go during the weekend to shoot. Then is Koo Ando coming as well?”
“He’s our camera director, so of course he’s coming.”
“I haven’t seen him since I got discharged. If he’s been to the military, I guess he’s still in college now, huh?”
“Apparently, he took a semester off and is working because of tuition.”
“Anywhere you go, it’s about money, huh.”
“That’s what life is about. Oh yeah, should I call her here right now? She should be done with work now.”
“If she’s in Seoul, then sure. Also, call Ando here as well.”
“Gimme a sec.”
Daemyung put his phone against his ear. The conversation that started with ‘Hey, Sora’ ended in less than a minute.
“She’ll bring Ando here as well.”
“She keeps dragging him around huh. At this point, it wouldn’t be strange for the two to start dating.”
“True. She said she’ll be here in less than 30 minutes, so….”
Daemyung stopped midway and looked towards the entrance. Before the chime of the bell even stopped, he heard murmurs. There were even screams mixed in. Well, more like screeches of joy. Maru turned around, wondering what was happening. He saw ladies pressing the shutter button on their phone cameras while raising them above their heads. Sorry, excuse me, coming through – a voice that asked for their consideration broke through their screeches.
“What is it?”
Just who were they trying to shoot to the point that they were blocking the entrance to someone else’s restaurant? The wall of people split and a man entered the restaurant. His hair was disheveled as though someone was pulling on it, and the white t-shirt had been stretched to below his waist level. Although he looked like a beggar right now, even that look had a vintage vibe when it came to him – Yoo Sooil. Only after a woman let go of his pants could Sooil come into the store. It seemed that his manager wasn’t here with him.
Maru turned his head away. A star surrounded by obsessive fans. If he acted like he knew him, he would probably get into something troublesome.
“Isn’t that Yoo Sooil? This is the first time I’m seeing him, and gosh, he’s tall. I didn’t know that he was so tall when I saw him on TV.”
“Stop staring at that log, and don’t mind him.”
“But he’s coming over here.”
Maru slightly turned around again. Sooil was coming over while waving his hands. Fans were rushing into the store like little ducklings following their mother duck.
He waved at him to go away, but he was already too late. Sooil sat down and spoke,
“The president told me to raise your sales a little.”
The alarm for the 3rd tsunami alert started ringing inside his head.