Life, Once Again! - Chapter 873
She got a text saying that her salary would be paid soon and that she shouldn’t worry. Seeing the vague word ‘soon’, she wanted to ask ‘when,’ but she did not have the courage to respond to a superior’s text. The employee group chat burst into an outrage. They all sent the text message they received and wrote all sorts of insults. If receiving swear words increased lifespan, then the president of Cheonho company would probably live until the day mankind went extinct. Eunhye was also about to chime in but stopped. She thought that the energy to even type was wasteful.
She turned off the notifications for the group chat. If she left them on, it was bound to be noisy throughout the whole night. She glanced at the chat that said that the president-swearing competition was going to be held at a bar on a certain date and that participation was mandatory before flipping the phone over. Drinking? She needed to save every last penny. She gathered her hair behind her and tied it with a rubber hair tie. She then took out a facial mask pack from the fridge and put it on her face. It was cold to the point that it made her shiver, but it soon became cool. It was a free facial pack from the cosmetics store in front of her house, which was holding a celebratory event for its opening. The most welcome word in this world was ‘free.’
Eunhye looked at the calendar on her table. There were only a few days left until the next payday. At this rate, it was likely that even her next paycheck was going to be tied to the company. The text message was proof of that. After all, they sent her a similar-sounding message last month when she didn’t get paid. Eunhye decided to help out at a store run by someone she knew on the weekend. It was fortunate for her that there was someone looking out for her. After all, it was hard to look for short-term part-time jobs on the weekend these days. 100,000 won for two days. The hourly wage was pretty decent too. The fact that she had to work all week was depressing, but it was much better than asking for help from her family. She did not want to call her mom and have ‘Mom, I’m sorry, but’ be the first thing she said after calling her.
She habitually clicked on her banking app and checked her balance. She knew that she would be notified through a text first if she ever got paid, but the meaningless hopes made her fingers move regardless. Under the apartment application deposit account was her paycheck account. 270,000 won. How much would she have left after paying her student loan and her phone bill? She even had two friends marry in November. One of them wasn’t that close, so she felt like 50,000 won would do, but she had been friends with the other one since high school, so she couldn’t afford to give just that. She wondered what people would say if she got a small loan just to give her friend some congratulatory money for marriage.
Eunhye took off her face mask and brought some puffed grain she placed on top of her microwave. She didn’t hesitate to grab them when she heard that a body-sized bag of them only cost 5,000 won. Tomorrow was the company’s founding day, so she wanted to play around, but considering her financial situation, playing around was a luxury. She put on the movie that she had downloaded beforehand and ate the puffed grain. She sometimes chewed on them vigorously and sometimes dissolved them in her saliva. Only after she ate enough to be fed up did she close the bag. She felt like her appetite was getting bigger and bigger the poorer she became. It wasn’t like she liked eating snacks either.
She picked up her phone to chat with a friend. During college, she had the confidence to talk for hours and hours about the spaghetti she ate during the day, but these days, she would be at a loss for words after just asking how they were doing. She called a few friends, but that didn’t even take one hour. The fact that she had nothing to say was one thing, but everyone was also busy as well, whether they were playing around, working, or fighting off their guilty conscience.
Maybe I should do a puzzle – she thought about the 500-piece puzzle that she didn’t even look at after buying it. She overturned the box in the middle of her cramped living room. The moment she did, she felt stifled. When on Earth was she going to finish this? She was about to gather them all up and put them inside the box again but then decided to be patient. She turned on the TV and focused on the pieces. The sound from the TV eventually became faint. When she was absorbed in it, she actually found doing the puzzle rather fun. It had a charm that made her forget about her worries.
It was when the little mermaid’s face and the witch’s legs were starting to take shape that her hands suddenly stopped. She couldn’t find the fitting piece. It seemed that she had run out of concentration. She could start hearing the sound from the TV again. Eunhye threw down the puzzle piece in her hand and sat on the sofa, thinking that she would probably never finish that 500-piece puzzle in her lifetime.
A drama was being played on TV. It was ‘Doctor’s Office.’ Eunhye quickly changed the channel. She had been thinking about watching ‘Doctors’ since Monday, but she had totally forgotten about it. Lee Heewon was lying down on a hospital bed. The last scene from last week was him rushing into the middle of a traffic accident, and it seemed that he had gotten into an accident himself. Lee Heewon consoled Yoonseo, who was watching him worriedly before turning her away. Following that, Choi Hyunjin came in.
-I knew this would happen. I told you you would be hospitalized if you kept running rampant like that without discretion, didn’t I?
Choi Hyunjin, who sat down with a condescending look, was carrying a basket full of fruits in her hand. When Lee Heewon asked if she was worried, Choi Hyunjin just snorted.
-I came here to tease the guy who doesn’t even know his place. Why don’t you stop now? How long are you going to play hero? Just bow down to my dad and become obedient. He says he will lead you, and you can only reject so many times.
-This is just how I am. I did that out of reflex.
-If you keep doing that, your life as a doctor might end as you know it. Right now, you only got small injuries, but luck will not always be on your side, will it? I’m sure you feel good about saving that child, but if the car was overturned, then both you and that kid would have died. If you die, then you can’t act like a hero anymore either.
-It’s fine. I’m still alive.
-The life in front of your eyes is important, yes, but haven’t you ever thought that you utilizing your skills to the fullest would save not one, but dozens or even hundreds of lives? The one life in front of your eyes versus hundreds that you will save in the future. Which one do you think is more important?
-I am going to save that one and the hundreds that come after.
-Yeah, I knew you’d say that. What am I supposed to say to someone who doesn’t listen to anyone? Good luck with that. I don’t know how long you can keep up with playing hero though.
Hearing Choi Hyunjin’s lines made her frustrated. Her logic was just like what her company claimed: If you endure your sacrifice right now, there shall be glory in the future. If there was one thing she realized on the day her paycheck had been delayed for two months, it was that the future was just the future. She didn’t have any money to eat in the immediate present, so talking about the future was just grasping at clouds.
She leaned on her sofa and clicked on the salaryman café that she often visited. Starting last week, the community burned with talking about ‘Doctors’ around this hour, and it was no different this time. People started talking about how Choi Hyunjin’s logic was nothing but theory. There were hundreds of likes on a post that said that her logic was like a politician that was not able to solve the immediate problem yet was giving promises about the future. Everyone seemed to feel the same in that they wanted a hero like Lee Heewon to help them.
There were some posts that stood on Choi Hyunjin’s side from time to time, but the comments to that were all criticisms. Eunhye also wrote a reply after seeing that person’s comment: It’s just the logic of those who have things. There was an overwhelming number of dislikes on that comment. Although the original poster was trying hard to counterargue, Eunhye couldn’t care less. She thought that there was nothing to stand up for when it came to Choi Hyunjin.
On a post that said ‘why are you getting so angry when it’s just a drama,’ the replies to that were all just ‘get a job.’ It was something that people wrote to the posters who couldn’t read the mood. Eunhye did the same as well. What were those people doing on the internet if they were going to live in reality? Even after that, there were many posts that broke the logic of ‘Yoomin’ that Choi Hyujin acted. It was hard to find any posts that stood up for her.
She took her eyes off the phone and looked at the TV again. Choi Hyunjin met with Bigfoot. Eunhye focused. Last week, when these two met, they created an episode that made her heart ache. She cheered for Bigfoot as she watched the plot. Meeting eyes with Choi Hyunjin at the entrance of the hospital, Bigfoot turned around to leave the place. Choi Hyunjin’s eyes twitched before she followed.
Eunhye pouted. These two weren’t going to start dating, right? If they did, then that would be the worst possible plot. If it was any other drama, she would think ‘oh well’, and just accept it, but she could not tolerate those two eventually forming a romantic relationship. He was a character that made her shed tears last week and a character that knew her pain. Wouldn’t it feel rather vain if he managed to get married to the daughter of a director of a university hospital? She didn’t want him to suddenly start acting like superman either like Lee Heewon.
When she took a glance at the community, everyone was writing similar things. Did they hit it off? Are they going to start going out? No way, if the writer has any brains, then it shouldn’t be like that, etc
The conversation between the two continued on. The argument was more heated than before. Choi Hyunjin would give him a blow, and Bigfoot would counterattack afterwards. When Choi Hyunjin snapped at him, she felt frustrated, but when Bigfoot logically refuted every single word of hers, she ended up applauding.
When Bigfoot turned around after the argument, Eunhye felt refreshed but bitter at the same time. It would’ve been good if he scolded her more. However, on the other hand, she felt like that was the correct way. If he snapped back too hard, then he might get into disadvantageous situations after all. She suddenly recalled a dream she had one day. In the dream, she was going against general manager Choi’s every word. Just that felt refreshing. It was a dream that made her small wish come true. In fact, the only kind of revenge she could take against general manager Choi was just that. Bigfoot probably did what he thought was his best method of revenge against Choi Hyunjin as well.
She had to live with her head lowered while not getting crushed. She was still squirming to struggle to live. Even a character in a drama was managing to struggle, too. Eunhye felt energetic for some reason. You can do it – she felt like she was encouraged, and it was not in a pressuring way. Not that she could actually go against general manager Choi though.
It was just then that a delightful noise came from her phone. It was the alarm that she had set. That sound only meant one thing. Eunhye quickly checked the message. It was a message from her bank, notifying her that money had been transferred into her account.
Ack! – she screeched before opening her banking app. Two months’ worth of salary was in her account now. Getting money at this late hour? She didn’t know how administration worked, but she couldn’t care about that right now. The group chat was filled with emojis. Cute bears were dancing around with stashes of cash. Eunhye put on her jacket and bought some beer and snacks from the convenience store in front of her house. When she came back to her house after boldly paying for everything with her credit card, she felt like she had everything.
Just as she was watching TV in happiness, she thought about what Choi Hyunjin said: Don’t act like a victim, be bold about it. It was strange. The words that she thought were absurd suddenly sounded rather persuasive. She went into the café again. She clicked on the post that stood up for Choi Hyunjin. They were still arguing. She calmly read the comments. Although she still felt incredibly frustrated, she understood her now. Thinking about it, Choi Hyunjin’s words were reasonable. It might be extremely utilitarian, but just as she said, if Lee Heewon could focus on surgeries, he would definitely save a lot more people.
The scene where she kicked a trash can and picked up the trash again was rather cute. Eunhye frowned when she watched that scene because of what she said to Bigfoot, but thinking back, Choi Hyunjin hadn’t directly harmed anyone. It was just that her opinion was stronger than others. If people were asked whose life they wanted to lead, then every single one would reply that they would want to live like Choi Hyujin. Eunhye was the same.
“Geez, I’m so fickle too.”
She went back to watching the drama after smiling at herself for being so fickle because of a single number on her bank account. She also wrote ‘Yoomin is actually pretty decent’ as a comment.