Life, Once Again! - Chapter 801
He threw the phone upwards. The phone spun around in the air like a saw blade before falling onto the bed. He reached his hand out and grabbed the phone before throwing it again. When he threw his phone about five to six times, he arrived at the conclusion that this wasn’t the right action. Although he wouldn’t usually waste time like this, he needed to for today. He sat on the edge of his bed and checked his text messages. There was a text that came in the afternoon.
-So, we’re starting with texting first?
Maru felt as though he could hear her tacky tone. Originally, he should not have sent her a message. He should have widened the distance and ended their relationship as complete strangers. However, the situation pushed him to send the text message. The rabbit that remained behind in the darkness must have been an indication of the death of Han Gaeul. At the same time as that, the Gaeul that lived in the current era collapsed. As it is said that God didn’t play dice games, it must have been fate that it happened. Even if it was just a coincidence, the fact that the two incidents overlapped with each other meant that it had to be intended. Who intended it, then? The rabbit? Or the bad guy controlling the marionette from behind?
That being pulled the uncontrollable and derailing train back onto the original track as though they didn’t like it. It was indeed out of his own free will that he sent Gaeul the text, but that was thanks to the fact that the very incident was caused by his own free will in the first place. He couldn’t help but feel like he was played here.
“What an unmerciful being.”
Maru looked up at the ceiling before taking a shower. He washed away the fatigue with water before returning to the sofa. He could feel the blood circulating quickly around his face due to the blood vessels being warmed up from the heat. It was good that his blood was moving quickly. Using his head meant that he needed a lot of blood and oxygen to pass through his head. He took a sip of coffee. There was no shoot until the day after tomorrow. There was plenty of time to think.
* * *
Gaeul distantly stared at her phone. It had been four hours since she sent a reply. Although she did not expect a reply immediately, she thought that he would at least do something before the day went past. The LEDs on the electronic clock indifferently kept on blinking as time rushed towards midnight.
She raised the volume of the TV. The ward looked a lot more desolate today. She wondered if she should have held back Chaerim from leaving since she did say that she wanted to stay for longer as she didn’t have anything to do. Chaerim’s laughter might have made this place less lonely. She kept changing the channel meaninglessly before finding a drama being broadcasted. It was ‘Flaming Lady’. Back then, she thought that she couldn’t have done better, but now that she looked back at it, there were many parts she found lacking. She thought that the fact that she could find flaws in her previous acting meant that she had improved. She pulled her knees together and hugged them with her arms before watching the drama. It was back then that the stock value of the actress Han Gaeul’s life kept showing red arrows. The acting she did in ‘Building’ made a good impression on the people in the industry, but it wasn’t enough to be known to the public. There might be many people who might exclaim while looking at the girl being crushed under building debris, but not many people would remember that after all.
-To me, you were everything. But that doesn’t seem like the case for you. Regardless, I still love you nonetheless. Look at me. I’m saying I love you. So you can’t abandon me.
As she was watching her past self saying those words with a vicious expression she turned her eyes to her phone. Her phone was ringing. She grabbed her phone with her right hand before clenching her eyes shut. Why was it that she was shaking so much when it was just a single phone call? She squinted her eyes open and checked it. Her nervous heart relaxed in an instant. It was director Park Hoon.
-You don’t sound good. I heard the news. Are you not feeling well?
“No, it’s not like that.”
-No, you are. You were so out of energy when you first picked up the phone call.
“If I were to tell you the truth, there was a phone call I was waiting for.”
-So I’m not a welcome caller, huh.
“Honestly speaking, yes. I’m a little disappointed.”
-Is this the point where I’m supposed to feel sorry?
“You know I was just joking.”
-I do. That’s why I’m saying it. But if you’re sick, you should be sleeping. What are you doing?
“I was bored, so I was just watching TV. You know what they say: people can’t do the things they want to when they actually can do it. Now that I’m actually in a ward to rest, my mind is as clear as day. When I shot that drama with you before, my only wish was to sleep like a log at home.”
-I guess it was hard back then. I did make everyone suffer because of the additional episodes at almost the last moment. I feel sorry about it even now.
“Thanks to that though, I became successful, so I can’t really complain. Are you at a shoot right now?”
-No, I’m resting at home. I was watching TV and I found ‘Flaming Lady’. I was watching episode 15, and I was wondering how I even shot that. That was when I heard about you.
“You were watching too? I’m watching it right now as well.”
-How do you feel, watching your own acting?
“It’s good, but I think I’ll do better now.”
-From how you’re all confident, it looks like I don’t have to worry about your health.
“Yes, it’s not a big problem.”
Gaeul looked at herself fallen on asphalt due to a traffic accident. Just then, she recalled a question. It was the thought that came to her mind when she took out the script of ‘Flaming Lady’ from her shelf.
“There’s something I want to ask.”
-Your voice sounds rather ominous. I decline any difficult questions.
“It shouldn’t be a difficult question. It’s about the past after all.”
-Really? What is it?
“Director. I know that it isn’t good to think like this as an actress, but I couldn’t help but be curious. Why did you cast me back then? It just made me wonder. I did appear in ‘Building’ as a minor actor, but I was practically nameless back then, so I found it curious that you assigned such an important role to a twenty-two-year-old new actress.”
-It’s all in the past. It was because the actress Han Gaeul’s acting was good.
“Is that really it?”
-Why, you don’t think so?
“No. If you’re saying that’s the case then I guess it must be true.”
-You’re saying that, but you don’t sound like you believe me at all. Just consider it as an unexpected opportunity that landed in front of a new actress. Of course, you were only cast because you had the acting skills to back it up.
“An unexpected opportunity?”
That was something she couldn’t just let pass. Gaeul reduced the TV volume.
“Was it my mom? She said she didn’t know about it back then.”
-Writer Choi Haesoo really knew nothing about it. I should have told you about it before, didn’t I? She was instead of the opinion that I should evaluate you thoroughly. Heck, you know her personality better than me, don’t you?
“That’s true. Mom isn’t the type of person who would ask something like that.”
-That’s how it is. I’ll hang up now, then. I can’t keep holding up a sick person.
Gaeul quickly spoke to the director who was trying to hang up,
“I would have let it pass if I didn’t know about it, but you should tell me after telling me all that. As you said, it’s all in the past. I want to know just what it was that made the unexpected opportunity fall in front of a new actress. If you found out about me coincidentally, you wouldn’t have expressed it like that.”
-Why are you so curious about that?
“Because that drama changed my life. Don’t you think that’s enough of a reason to make me curious? Back then, I was just so happy and busy, no, I did notice it, but I didn’t pay attention to it. I was busy taking care of the things in front of me. But after I took a breather, it kept tugging on my mind. I had received zero promotion, had no connections, and even my agency told me that I should start slowly with minor roles. But suddenly, I got an offer for a fixed role in a public TV drama.”
-This is a pain.
“You can’t tell me about it?”
-No, it’s not like that. I did promise, but if I think about it now, it wasn’t that big of a promise either.
“Sounds like it’s not something I should be left out of.”
-I would never do something like that in the first place. I may look like this, but I’m known for being quite stuck up at my job.
“Can’t you tell me about it?”
-From how I see it, that fellow must have asked me to keep it a secret in order not to scratch your pride, but it’s been a long time, so I guess it should be fine to tell you this much. Actually, I was originally going to get a few recommendations and then pick someone out for the role you played. Back then, I didn’t even know that the actress Han Gaeul existed. To be precise, I did know you through ‘Building’, but I had no intentions of putting you on that list. You were a nameless actress after all. That’s when I heard about you from one guy. He suggested that I do an audition because he knows of a good actress. That actress he was talking about was you. I recalled how you were like in ‘Building’, and I accepted his offer. The rest is as you know it. You played that role and became successful.
“Someone recommended me? Who?”
-It’s not anyone amazing. He should be the same age as you. He did say he knew you as well.
“Someone who’s the same age as me and knows me?”
After hesitating a little, the director spoke again,
-Do you know who Han Maru is?