Life, Once Again! - Chapter 876
As soon as she finished the shoot, she said goodbye to the director and the staff before leaving the set. Giwoo only stared at her and did not call out to her.
“Good work. You two can go home first. I’ll go back by myself.”
Chanwoo left in the van saying that he would go back to the company, while Mijoo went home in a taxi. It was 7 p.m. She went to the cafe at the TV station where Bitna was waiting for her. She saw Bitna drinking juice in the corner. She carefully approached her and tapped on her back. Startled, Bitna turned around.
“You’ve waited for a long time, haven’t you?”
“No, not at all. Did you wrap up the shoot well?”
“I thought you’d be waiting, so I quickly finished things off and ran here. I was so focused that I only caused two NGs before finishing everything off. You’re hungry, aren’t you?”
“Let’s go. I’m sure Maru and Yuna are waiting.”
She called a taxi and went to a place near Maru’s apartment. The taxi driver glanced at her through the rearview mirror and, when she paid for the fare, he told her that he felt like he had seen her. He asked if she appeared on TV. When she replied that she did a little acting, he widened his eyes, asking if she was Han Gaeul from Doctor’s Office.
“Can I have an autograph? I really like that drama.”
Gaeul gave him an autograph on the memo pad that he held out. The taxi driver became happy, saying that he would put it up for display and boast about it.
The taxi driver opened the window and waved his hand outside the window. Hearing the energetic encouragement, Bitna, who was next to her, laughed out loud. Gaeul inwardly thanked the driver as the taxi became distant. After all, thanks to him, Bitna got a good laugh. After her last shoot, she barely managed to smile when she said goodbye to Giwoo, it was as though she was a child who was incredibly sick. To other people, it may have looked like that she was apologetic for causing so many NGs or that she was disappointed that it was the last shoot already, but to Gaeul, she looked like she was trying her best to hold back her fears.
“You’ve gone through so much.”
Gaeul hooked arms with Bitna as they walked.
“Next time, I hope I can look at him straight in the face. I wish I could become that strong.”
“I’m sure you will. You overcame him today too, didn’t you? Next time, you’ll be able to scoff at him, so don’t worry about it.”
“It’d be great if it comes to that. But isn’t it a problem if the first thing I do after meeting him is scoff at him?”
“It’s fine, he’s a bad guy after all.”
They took the elevator up and stood in front of the entrance. The door was slightly open. A savory smell wafted out from the gap. Gaeul looked at Bitna’s face. Her eyes were filled with expectation. Rather than the food, it seemed that Woofie’s footsteps excited her more. Gaeul opened the door and went inside. Woofie, who was playing around with a ball, raised her head before walking over to Bitna, moving her uncomfortable leg in a cheerful fashion.
While Bitna hugged the dog at the entrance, Gaeul took off her shoes and headed to the kitchen.
“Unni, you’re here?”
Maru and Yuna both spoke at the same time. There were various foods on the table. Not to mention her favorite seafood stew, there was the fried chicken that Yuna liked, as well as sandwiches that Bitna ate all the time.
“I wanted to make them myself, but I didn’t have much time, so I had most of them delivered or used pre-cooked ones.”
“Other people eat like that.”
“But the combination is a little strange, isn’t it? I tried to prepare everyone’s favorites, but it turned out like this.”
“They’ll all be the same once they go in the stomach. We can just eat the seafood stew with the rice as a meal and eat the rest later as drinking snacks.”
Maru said that he would bring a table so they could eat together in the living room and headed to the veranda. Gaeul took off her jacket and stood next to Yuna, who was putting food onto the plates.
“You were surprised when we asked if you could come over so suddenly, weren’t you?”
“A little. Fortunately, my shift ended early today, so I could come.”
“Isn’t it hard to do a part-time job alongside college?”
“I’m doing it because I want to. Mom said she would support me whenever I have it hard, but I don’t want to rely on her as much as possible. I want to make acting my main source of income, but I have a long way to go.”
“Didn’t you say you passed round two of an audition last time? Once you show your face on a screen, people will notice your charm soon enough and reach out to you. Once that happens, you’ll become so busy and will be more tired than you are now, you know?”
“Like you, unni?”
Gaeul jutted her chin out and said, ‘maybe.’ Yuna laughed. Like all aspiring actors, Yuna was experiencing a series of challenges and failures. If she was someone with a weak ego, she would have felt excruciating when she saw her younger sister progressing without much of a slump, but Yuna instead used Bitna as her objective and was putting in the effort. She had a strong desire for achievement and knew how to use trials as motivations, so she would eventually become a good actress. She only needed a little luck. If it was possible, Gaeul herself wanted to become that very ‘luck.’
She chopped up the sandwiches into bite-size pieces and put them on a rectangular plate. In the living room, Maru was wiping the table that he brought from the veranda. Bitna was standing next to him, and it looked like she was asking if there was anything she could do to help. Maru shook his head and pointed at the kitchen. Bitna, hugging the dog in her arms, walked over to the kitchen, saying that she would help.
“Then can you take Woofie out for a walk? Just ten minutes. Food is almost done.”
Thinking about what Bitna might like, she thought about going on a walk. Just as she had expected, Bitna immediately looked for a leash, some tissue, and a plastic bag.
“I’ll be back in 10 minutes! I’m off.”
Bitna left the house with Woofie.
“How was Bitna at the shoot today? She seemed to be having difficulties when she was leaving the house in the morning,” Yuna said.
From how she asked as soon as Bitna left, it seemed that she was inwardly very worried. Gaeul explained everything so that Yuna could be at ease; about how Bitna boldly endured even after seeing Giwoo, and how she had finished up her scenes splendidly. She did not talk about how Bitna made a lot of mistakes in the scene where Giwoo grabbed her hands to pray. Yuna would be worried if she heard about it.
“Did you decide to tell your mother about it?”
“No, Bitna said she was okay. If she was being stubborn, I was going to tell her on my own, but I talked it over with Bitna and thought that we didn’t need to say it for the time being.”
“She’s not someone who would act strong. If she’s okay with it, then I’m sure she’s really okay.”
“If I think about it, telling mom about it is a little risky too. Mom dotes on Bitna a terrible lot. If she finds out about this, she will use all the methods at her disposal to get to the bottom of this matter. That would turn her relationship with many people quite awkward, so I feel like staying quiet is better for now.”
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea to talk about it when Bitna can take responsibility for herself. Though, she does look like she can take care of herself even now.”
They moved the plates to the table placed in the living room. When Gaeul checked the time, she realized that it had been twenty minutes since Bitna left. Bitna had never been late to a shoot because of her strict time management, so it seemed that taking Woofie out to walk was something so enjoyable that she lost track of time.
“Should I give her a call?” Yuna asked as she took out her phone.
“Wait a little more. We can always warm up the seafood stew later,” Maru stopped her.
Gaeul also thought that it was better to let her be. If taking a dog out to walk could relieve all her stress from the shoot, she was willing to wait as long as she needed. When another ten minutes passed, Yuna stood up with her phone in hand, smiling awkwardly.
“We can’t have her come back too late, so I’ll call her now. It’s almost 8.”
Yuna went out to the veranda. Gaeul spoke, her eyes fixed on Yuna who was making a call,
“I hope it’s a misunderstanding, but I think Giwoo has other feelings for me.”
She thought about hiding it but felt that it was better to talk about this beforehand when it comes to things like this. There was no need to become a female protagonist of a drama who suffered by herself.
“Giwoo, that guy, definitely has good eyes.”
“Right?” Gaeul responded with a smile.
It was an unpleasant thing for sure, but talking about it with Maru felt like it was nothing much. She even felt pathetic for being so worried during the shoot.
“He asked me out to eat together, just the two of us. He has been asking me out for a while, but I haven’t given him a reply. Today, though, he asked as though he was determined to make it happen.”
“Do you want me to guess what you said back to him?”
“Go on. What did I say to him?”
“I’m sure you outright told him no, even while knowing that you shouldn’t answer like that.”
Gaeul’s lips twitched. She didn’t like the fact that there was nothing wrong with that response. Sometimes, it made her wonder if the man in front of her could read minds.
“You should’ve accepted him, saying that you would if there’s an opportunity while smiling gently.”
“Do you really want me to do that?”
“No, I was happy to hear that you rejected him outright. Also, Han Gaeul is someone who does that. You aren’t the type to drag things out, are you?”
This man knew her too well after all. Gaeul told her Giwoo’s every action without leaving a single thing out: the way he kept staring at her without rest, as well as trying to read her thoughts while talking about Han Maru.
“He’s a cautious guy. He was probing you out by talking like that.”
“That’s just how he lived his whole life. The same goes with his smile, which is like a callus at this point. But it looks like it was quite shocking to be rejected right in the face. For a moment, he couldn’t keep up his calm expression. It was for a brief instant, but I managed to see what was inside. The first thing that came to me was pity for Bitna who must have seen such a thing from up close. It was hideous. He didn’t feel like a human.“
“If he’s a proper human, he would not have called other people to harm others.”
“I hope this piece ends quickly. It’s pressuring me that I keep having to see his face.”
“Is there anything I can help you with?” Maru asked seriously.
Gaeul placed her hand where she could feel his slightly bearded chin and his cheek.
“You’re asking even though you know that I have to be the one to endure this.”
Maru nodded and placed his hand on top of hers. The prickly sensation of his beard tickled her palm. Just as she just thought that his lips looked rather thick, she heard the door to the veranda open. It stopped midway.
Gaeul took her hand off Maru’s face and looked at the veranda. Yuna was rolling her eyes around before slowly turning around. There was an awkward silence.
“Bitna said she’s coming, but do you want me to have her come later?” Yuna asked, looking incredibly intrigued.