Life, Once Again! - Chapter 813
“I guess I can’t come over any time now, huh.”
Geunsoo went to the balcony with a can of beer. The way he brushed his hair backwards as he faced the wind reminded Maru of that beer ad. The production of that ad looked just like reality.
“I’m sure the director must have loved it when you shot that beer ad. Just shooting normally would have produced great results,” Maru said as he waved the beer in his hand.
Who would be able to hold back from putting some beer in their grocery basket after seeing a man with a great figure and a handsome face drinking beer at a restaurant with two of his top buttons undone? There were several versions as well: drinking at a restaurant, drinking at a noraebang, and drinking at a nightclub.
“Don’t even start. Just thinking about the amount of barley tea I drank back then makes me want to go to the bathroom even now. I repeatedly drank and spat it out, but I still ended up drinking a huge amount.”
“I’m fine with drinking an enormous amount, so I wish I could shoot an ad like that. Did you know? Whenever I try to watch something like youtube, the ad is always you dancing around while holding this beer. Where did you learn to dance like that? Your techniques were extraordinary.”
“The writer for the ad taught it to me. She said she used to be a regular at nightclubs and taught me various things, and boy was it hard. The one in the ad was just the one decent attempt out of hours of footage. Someone told me that I couldn’t be more terrible at dancing.”
“I guess the heavens are fair. They gave you everything but not dancing skills.”
Maru held out his can of beer. The cans made a clanging sound as they clashed. He took a sip of the beer before leaning against the rails. An ambulance was leaving the parking lot.
“Was there an accident?”
“I wonder too.”
“Didn’t Miss Gaeul collapse too? I didn’t see the news properly, so I’m not entirely sure about this.”
Geunsoo turned around to see inside.
“From her words, it wasn’t that there was a big problem with her body. Apparently, it’s just light fatigue. But then again, if she passed out from it, you can’t really call that ‘light.’”
“Looks like she’s down to Earth.”
“Down to Earth? She’s more like a general. She’s managing her body according to the prescription, so it should be fine in the future, but I am still worried.”
“I’m sure you are. Look after her from the side. If you look out for her, you will be able to avoid the worst scenario even if something happens.”
“That’s the plan. How about you, have you got any news?”
“I was thinking that thirty-seven is a suitable age to get married.”
“Why don’t you say that after you introduce me to a good person?”
“There’s a good person over there, you know?”
Maru pointed at Suyeon, who was chatting among the other ladies. He didn’t know what they were talking about, but the ladies looked pretty serious as they listened to her.
“Shall I do it?”
“I was just joking though.”
“You know the story of Princess Pyeonggang and the idiot Ondal, right?”
“So you were actually moved because she kept wooing you?”
“There’s that too. There’s also the fact that I got attached to her since we hung out together for so long.”
“I don’t plan to stop you if that’s how you feel, but it sure feels strange.”
“I’m just saying that I’m open to the possibility. I’m not saying that I would share the same bed with her immediately. My feelings are one thing but hers are important too.”
“Well, I think that Suyeon-noona would be willing to write a registration of marriage the moment you tell her that.”
“You know better than me that she’s not someone like that. You know? Sometimes, it makes me wonder if there will ever be a man that Suyeon truly likes in the future.”
Geunsoo’s gaze towards Suyeon was rather complicated. Compassion for a wounded animal, pity for someone riddled with distrust, as well as admiration for the woman who kept her smile. Maru sipped on the beer. Geunsoo’s eyes looked like he was looking at someone that was between ‘a colleague from the same line of work’, ‘a close little sister’, and ‘a woman’.
“Relationships sure are incomprehensible, huh.”
“If I knew how they worked, I would be doing something else instead of acting.”
“Did Suyeon-noona ever tell you about her past?”
“About her first love, you mean?”
“If you know about that, I guess you must have heard everything.”
“I heard not too long ago. We’ve known each other for so long, but that was the first time I saw a facet of her that was hidden from the rest of the world.”
“Suyeon-noona must be serious then. You’re hesitant because you felt that too, aren’t you?”
“I can’t say no to that.”
“I will be rooting for you regardless of your decision.”
While they were talking, Suyeon turned around to look at the balcony as though she felt their gaze. Maru, who met eyes with her, smiled and waved back at her. Suyeon also raised her hand and waved before looking at Geunsoo and putting her hand down again with a faint smile.
“Is she shy? Or is she acting shy?”
“Well, she’s kind of a master in that area. What do you think?”
“I can’t tell either.”
Maru smiled and turned around. He could see the Hangang Park where lights were on. There were people on bicycles, and next to them were couples out for a walk. Geunsoo rested his chin on the hand holding the can.
“When I first got a bicycle, it had training wheels. It was my first time riding, so I didn’t mind it at all and had fun riding it. But then, I found out that the bikes that the neighborhood big brothers are riding don’t have any training wheels. They told me that training wheels were shameful.”
Geunsoo followed the group of bicycle riders riding in a line. Maru put his hand on the rails and listened to him.
“That day, I, along with a couple friends, went to the only bicycle store in town and had the training wheels removed. I can still vividly remember the feeling I had when I dragged my streamlined bicycle to the school field. I took the first step with the mind that I would show off my cool side to the big brothers of the neighborhood.”
“You must have put on a show and fell over.”
“Yeah, I fell over big time. The bike wasn’t the bike I knew of. It didn’t go forward like I expected it to, and it swayed all the time. Although many people have their fathers help them out the first time they ride a two-wheeled bike, I couldn’t expect that to happen even in my dreams due to our family circumstances, which you probably know already. Though, I might have helped my brother out if he wanted.”
“But you’re the type of guy who would do it by yourself even if your father says he wants to help you.”
“I’m not that stubborn. If he was willing to help, I would have let him.”
“From the things you did until now, definitely not. You weren’t nicknamed the lunatic for nothing. You single-handedly founded the acting club that other people weren’t willing to make, so riding a bike must be nothing.”
“That’s a nickname that Yang Miso forced on me. I’m actually quite an intellectual.”
“Lunacy and intellect are two separate things.”
“What else can I say? Anyway, I kept falling over for the entire day and thought: how can I ride the bike coolly without falling over? The next day, I went to the school field and got on the bike again. I was fully prepared to fall over for the whole day too.”
“And it ended up being a smooth ride?”
“Sure. The number of times I fell over had decreased considerably. That was the result of pedaling like hell since I thought that falling over is something natural. The experience I’ve learned then still lies at the core of my life to this day. It is fine to fall over, and it is fine to fail, as long as you have the will to go forward.”
Geunsoo told him to wait before leaving the balcony. When he returned, he was holding two cans of beer. Maru placed the empty cans on the ground. Grabbing the cold can of beer sobered him up in an instant.
“But sometimes, timing is more important than willpower. Falling over, and going forward all have their designated times. If you didn’t fall over when you had to and kept going forward, you wouldn’t have learned how to get up when you actually do fall over, and if you kept falling over without going forward, you would have either lost interest or been injured to the point that you lose the will power.”
“You think I fell over enough?”
“Five years is a seriously long period to be falling over. What’s fortunate is that you went to the military during that period. If you didn’t even do that and kept delaying it, I wouldn’t have said this: I would keep in touch with you as a good brother, but we will never meet each other as actors.”
“I’m always grateful to you. It’s thanks to your words that day on the roof that I chased the path of acting.”
“My words don’t have any power. Like I said that day, those who are going to do it are bound to do it. The people who have become phantoms of Daehak-ro were dragged there against their will. That includes me as well as the actors over there.”
“But still, it was a trigger.”
He opened the can and drank it in one go. Everything became clear now. The destination was death, and after death would come a new life and the start of a new, boring cycle, but he still chose that path. There were no regrets. Just seeing Gaeul’s smiling face made him feel satisfied. If men cannot go against god’s providence then they could only strive to find the best happiness within it. He wanted to proceed forward while striving to be with her. If there was one wish, it was for god to fall over and slip up.
“There are other things I wanted to tell you, but it looks like I don’t need to after seeing your expression.”
“Please say something when I live like a snob again.”
“I don’t think that will happen though?”
“You never know. What’s Geunseok up to recently?”
“An intern. He’s great at living in an organization. He’s also smart unlike me, so I think he’ll get employment as soon as he graduates.”
“He’s a clever one. I’m sure it must have made you feel relieved.”
“These days, I just leave him to his own devices, thinking that he can take care of himself now. What’s funny is that he talks about you from time to time. Though, he’s a guy with pride, so he never says that he feels sorry.”
“Looks like I should meet up with him one time.”
The people who left in groups to talk returned to the living room. They sat in a circle with an empty bottle in the middle. The spinning bottle eventually stopped and people’s eyes fell on the person that the bottleneck was pointing at. It seemed that they were playing truth or dare.
“They’re getting along. From the looks of it, I think they’ll meet up quite frequently.”
“I can’t stand getting my place dirty anymore.”
“Can you handle Ganghwan and Suyeon? If you block them, they’ll start crying and making a mess outside your door.”
“You must help me.”
“I’m sorry, but I like this place too.”
“Sheesh, you’re too harsh.”
“Why don’t you change the interior layout at this opportunity? You know, make it like a bar. I’ll pay for the expenses.”
“Why don’t you just buy a bar? You have the money.”
“I like this place.”
Geunsoo, who had a thick smile on his face, flicked his finger before going to the corner of the balcony. Maru gave the living room a glance before moving.
“You ate with Dongwook-hyung last time, right?”
“Did you hear anything back then?”
“I’ve only heard him complain that he was getting overworked to death ever since he became editor-in-chief. There was nothing special though. Why do you ask?”
“He seemed to be smoking again. He had a pretty serious face too.”
“It’s been like three years since he quit though. He told me that he would never smoke again even if he dies.”
“I can understand smoking but his expression was way too grim. Even when I asked him what was happening, he didn’t say anything. I’m asking you this because you’re the only one he opens his heart to.”
“I’ll ask when I have the opportunity. But if he didn’t tell you anything about it, it might actually not be anything serious.”
“I hope that’s the case.”
When they ate together, Dongwook just complained like usual and didn’t look like he was hiding anything. Maru would have noticed if there were signs. Or maybe, he might have hidden it from Maru really well.
“What are you two doing over there? Come inside. We’re playing truth or dare,” Suyeon said as she opened the door to the balcony.
Maru went to the living room after picking up the empty cans.
 The story of a princess and a (presumed) beggar from 6th century Goguryeo. King Pyeongwon always threatened his daughter Pyeonggang that he would marry her to the idiot Ondal because of her crybaby nature (empty threats to fix her behavior). Little did he know, she actually runs away and did end up marrying Ondal and in fact, raised him to be one of the greatest generals of that time, until he eventually died in battle.
In this specific case though, the King(Suyeon) kept brainwashing threatening(wooing) the princess(Geunsoo) and the princess(Geunsoo) (might) end up marrying Ondal(Suyeon).