Life, Once Again! - Chapter 834
Lee Eunbin closed her laptop and stood up. Her back and butt were hurting because she had been sitting down for three hours without moving. She was used to the pain from her wrists and fingers but now that her back was causing a fuss, it was very distracting. She would have gotten treatment if it was her disks that had a problem, however, her back pain was not a problem of her physical body but her mind. She sat on the sofa and changed the TV channels before stopping on KBS. ‘Doctor’s Office’ episode four was being broadcasted again. When she watched for about ten minutes in a daze, a sharp tingle climbed up her back. ‘Doctor’s Office’ viewing rate 18%, ‘Doctors’ viewing rate 13% – the viewing rate that she tried so hard to forget came to her mind again.
Eunbin turned off the TV and returned to her laptop. This wasn’t the time to be dazing off. She did not want her piece to be forgotten because of a competing piece like this.
“I finally saw the light, so I can’t fall down here.”
‘Doctors’ was a piece that came to be after 3 years of waiting. She had completed the script a long time ago, and it was going to rot inside a cabinet somewhere without ever meeting production, but she managed to bring it to life at this opportunity. It would be great if she just got paid for her manuscript and waited for the completion of the drama since it was complete already, but due to the old-fashioned lines, mid-drama product placements, as well as overall plot changes, she was writing a new script as though she would from scratch.
If she could just scrap it all and rewrite a whole different story from scratch, she felt like she could start writing without blocks, but trying to twist the orientation of an already existing puzzle piece or creating one completely anew and fitting it in with the rest of the puzzle made her feel dizzy. That was why, when the new writer on her team said ‘the overall outline is there, so I guess it won’t be that hard to write,’ she hurled her laptop.
She pressed the keyboard a couple times before checking the time. It was 5 p.m. An hour had already passed even though she wasn’t on the next page. She was hungry but didn’t have the energy to move. As the drama was still in its early stages, she still had some leisure when writing, but it was obvious that her fingers and her head were going to get stiffer towards the end, so she had to create some leeway while she could. She didn’t want to write the script of the episode that was going to be shot on that day.
The cat she was raising lingered around the laptop. Her objective seemed to be the heated keyboard. Until just three months ago, she lived like an unemployed person with that cat, but now, she was unable to play with her for even an hour a day. It would be great if she could write a set amount per day like a certain senior she knew.
It was when she was tickling her cat on the chin while lamenting about herself that she suddenly got a phone call. It was likely a fellow writer was asking her to come outside. If she picked it up, she would not be able to refuse and end up going outside. Those unnis were cruel people who would barge into her own house if she didn’t after all.
Since her work wasn’t going well, she just gave up on it and picked her phone up, and looked at the name on it. When she checked the name, she picked the call up in haste.
She felt like she said that with a voice that was too thin, but she had already uttered those words. Eunbin knew that she could not see the person in the flesh, but she still started cleaning her desk. She gathered up the trash in front of her laptop and put the cat down on the ground.
-Are you okay with taking a call right now? I’m worried if I gave you a call when you are busy.
“It’s not like that. I just woke up and was about to eat.”
She originally didn’t have any plan to eat, but her appetite got the better of her after hearing the voice on the other side. It would be great if he asked her out for a meal since he had called – such useless delusions spread out in her mind like a fog. She could only fantasize since she knew that it wasn’t going to happen for real. Just as she got to the point where they were having wine together in the lounge of a skyscraper hotel, she heard a line that woke her up. She couldn’t believe what she had just heard, so she asked back,
“You want to have a meal together?”
-Yes, if you’re okay with it.
A fanfare went off in her head. It had been 15 years since she started off as a writer for an entertainment program and now she had become a drama writer. Was the wind of romance finally blowing on the thirty-five year-old her? She rolled her feet on the ground when she realized that she had gone too far and responded calmly,
“I’d love to.”
-That’s good. Then can you tell me your address? I’ll go pick you up.
Eunbin reflexively told him her address. After finishing her call, questions like ‘maybe I should have asked him to meet at a nearby café’, ‘why does he wants to see me all of a sudden’, and ‘what should I wear’ came to her mind, but there was no time to hesitate.
“Kang Giwoo wants to see me. What can’t I do?”
Eunbin asked for her purring cat to wish her luck before moving.
* * *
“You watched ‘The Strong Fellas’? I was the main writer for that one. Though, I did leave after it was set on track.”
“Did you perhaps leave around the tenth episode?”
“Yes, that sounds about right.”
“I knew it. It became worse after that. I wished for the program to bring out more of the interaction between characters, but they kept making people do more games. I really enjoyed the banter between the people on it before, so I found it a little pitiful that they stuck to the schedule after some time. Maybe that’s because you were out of it.”
Eunbin waved her hand in the air, saying that that wasn’t true, but she was grinning so hard that her lips were twitching. When Giwoo brought his car in front of her house, she felt really complex. At most, they only saw each other’s faces once, but Kang Giwoo asked her out to eat together. However, her worries disappeared after entering the hotel restaurant. The meal that she thought was going to be awkward was so fun that she felt stupid for being worried. Giwoo’s tastes were surprisingly like her own. Not only that, he said that he had watched all the programs that she had participated in. He might have looked that up on the internet before they met, but still, that was out of interest and consideration for her, wasn’t it?
The food melted down without a trace in her mouth, and the conversation tickled her ears. Ever since she started writing the script for the drama, she felt really hurried whenever it was past 6 because of her stress, but today, she couldn’t feel the time passing at all. She even felt like she was on holiday. She felt like she would get incredibly good character lines if she maintained her current mood.
“How about some wine? If that bothers with your work, then I’ll order something else.”
“Oh, no. Don’t say that. Writers are inseparable from drinking alcohol.”
“Then do you like drinking as well?”
“I don’t enjoy it that much, but I don’t refuse when I’m offered a drink. There are a lot of writers around me who are good at drinking, so hanging out with them made my capacity larger. Moreover, I did work as a writer for entertainment programs, so I had a lot of get-togethers here and there.”
She stared at the red wine in the wine glass for a while before taking a sip. The chaebol rival of drama protagonists always drank like this – it felt like a dream that she had realized a desire that she had always written about. Of course, she frequented hotel restaurants when she worked on her writing, but it was the first time that such a handsome actor had brought her here in private.
“I really enjoyed ‘Doctor’s Office.’ The characters there are so much like what I imagined mine to be, so I get jealous whenever I watch it. I always wanted to have you do an act like that in a different piece.”
“I would have joined your side if I had gotten the scenario for ‘Doctors’ first. What a pity.”
“Thank you, even if it’s just words. But still, I’m sure you have it good. Doctor’s Office is making more headlines than Doctors is. Thanks to that, my back hurts a lot these days.”
“I’m usually okay when I’m resting or before my work starts airing, but once the drama starts airing and the viewing rates are out, my back starts to hurt. It’s especially worse when it loses out to another piece from the same time slot.”
“Well, I’m sorry.”
“You don’t need to feel sorry. It’s my fault for having terrible writing.”
“Don’t say that. Your drama is really interesting.”
“What good is being interesting? I lost; that’s what matters. Actually, when I do interviews, I say that I don’t care about viewing rates and that I just do my own work, but I’m a person too; I also care about popularity. It’s natural for me to want my own child to do better than other people’s.”
“Aren’t you a being a little too honest?”
“Maybe it’s because I had a drink. Don’t you feel the same, Mr. Giwoo?”
Giwoo smiled and nodded.
“Actually, yeah. I also want the pieces I do to have good results. If the viewing rates are good and it becomes a hot topic, that will be another line on my career, so I do mind.”
“See? It’s normal for everyone to want to do well.”
Eunbin ate the last piece of steak. Tomorrow, the third episode of Doctors as well as the fifth episode of Doctors Office would go live. The viewing rates would probably change according to what the searched term is during the night. Although many people say that writers consider their own piece to be the best, her self-confidence would hit rock bottom when the results actually come out. When she watched the first episode, she shouted ‘yes’ in joy, but she didn’t know that she would actually lose. Eunbin, who was smiling bitterly, recalled that Giwoo was in front of her. She was actually drinking with the main cast of a competing drama. She felt a little more depressed, but she didn’t show it on the surface. Right now, it was time to enjoy herself and forget about work. Just then,
“I know it might be rude of me to say this, but I’ll tell you since I seem to get along with you, writer. There’s one thing I felt disappointed about while watching Doctors.”
“Was my writing terrible?”
“No. I really like the way you proceed with your plot. But due to the nature of dramas, you have no choice but to focus on the characters, right?”
“That’s true. Doctor’s Office is supposed to be a medical politics drama, whereas Doctors is a human drama. It’s not surprising that the characters have a lot of influence over whether the drama does well or not.”
“That’s it. I was watching the drama, and I saw a character that was too good to be wasted after just being used once.”
“Really? Who is it.”
“The character who’s called ‘Bigfoot’ among the interns. You know, the one who has the comedy role.”
“Oh, that one.”
“Have you perhaps looked at the actor who plays it?”
“I did. I felt really good because he acted just the way I pictured the character in the drama to be. He seemed to be acquainted with the producer as well. I haven’t met him in person, but I did think that he had an incredible understanding of the character.”
Giwoo rested his chin on his interlocked hands.
“I thought that that actor was really good at setting up the mood. I feel that the cheerful atmosphere from episode one was heavily influenced by him. But starting with episode two, the only role he had was just smiling.”
“It can’t be helped because of the distribution of roles.”
“That’s what I found rather disappointing. I’m sure you have a splendid eye for actors, but actors have a different eye for other actors. I was more absorbed in the scenes where that actor came out.”
Eunbin thought about the minor actor that she didn’t know the name of. She felt like the producer told her what kind of person he was when she was checking over the roles, but she forgot about it because it wasn’t important. All she could remember was that his surname was Han.
“Should we get some ice cream as a dessert?”
“I love ice cream.”
For a topic he talked about rather seriously, he switched topics too quickly, but Eunbin didn’t think about it deeply. Giwoo must also have just mentioned it in passing. The talk went to about movies they recently watched, and Eunbin soon forgot about anything related to the drama.