Life, Once Again! - Chapter 92
A romantic comedy . The play entails the on and off relationships of two couples .
‘These are all couples . ’
Most of the people in the audience seemed to be couples . As a matter of fact, the people right in front of them were holding hands as well . To the right of them and to the left of them, too . She started nervously stroking the wrist Maru was holding before .
“It’s about to begin . ”
“Y-yeah . ”
The orange lighting faded away, enveloping the stage in darkness . She loved the silence that took over the theater in these moments . In it, she could start imagining the adventure that was about to unfold in front of her . A moment later, light returned to the stage . The actors that were just silhouettes seconds before now became fully visible .
There was a tall man, and a woman a bit smaller than him standing on stage . They looked at each other exchanging a heated gaze, and then suddenly kiss…
Wow, that was a lot bolder than she expected . After the two actors kissed, they separated . The male actor was wearing a military uniform, he was probably off to finish his service . Thinking that, she looked next to her . She could see Maru looking at the stage with serious eyes . His smiling expression was completely gone, and his finger was constantly moving as if he was writing something with them . What’s he doing? She felt like she would create unnecessary misunderstandings if she stared, so she looked forward again .
‘We’re gonna never see each other after this play anyway, it’s going to be a bye bye . ’
After the first couple disappeared, a college couple came on stage . The two were talking happily, but then the woman from before appeared behind the man . Then, she sneakily grabbed the man’s other hand .
“What the . ”
Several of the audience members started complaining . She decided to join in as well . She started making a “boo” sound with a slightly low voice . Low enough to not interfere with the play .
“To think she couldn’t even wait two years,” she muttered .
A response came from right next to her .
“Are you going to wait for your boyfriend if he goes to the military?”
She nodded vigorously . She didn’t even need to think about the question to answer it . Waiting two years for her significant other was the least she could do for the person she loved .
“That’s a relief . ”
“ . . . Why would that be a relief for you?”
“The play’s continuing, let’s focus . ”
The boy was surprisingly adept at changing topics . If she said something to him now, she’d be the rude one . She made up her mind to ignore Maru completely from now on and focused on the play . It was turning into a complete mess .
A woman waiting for her boyfriend in the military, who was also cheating with her best friend’s boyfriend . A woman secretly talking with a man who went to the military, while her boyfriend was cheating on her . Lastly, the man who was sending both of these women love letters from the military . The plot was really giving meaning to the title of the play, “Web of Love” .
She would’ve been uncomfortable watching if only one side was cheating . But since everyone was cheating on everyone else, she could watch it while thinking “damn all of you!” in her mind . She started getting more and more absorbed into the play .
* * *
“I think the person who wrote this play experienced a lot of loss . At least, that’s how I feel . ”
“Or the person’s never dated before . ”
She frowned upon hearing Maru’s reply .
“How? The person wrote such a realistic play . ”
“It’s not like Tolkien wrote the Lord of The Rings after actually experiencing his adventure, it is the same with other stories . A lot of times, imagination trumps reality in terms of storytelling . ”
“Well, fair enough . But I still want to say that the author of this play experienced a lot of loss before writing this . ”
“Because that’s more fun to think about . ”
“More fun, huh . “
Maru nodded .
She exhaled a puff of air as soon as she stepped out of the theater . A white puff of air floated up to the sky in front of her . It almost felt like the weather got colder than the time they first met .
“Want anything warm?”
Maru pointed at the convenience store in front of them and she agreed immediately . It was getting pretty cold for her, and she was already thirsty . She wanted to drink some warm coffee milk .
“I’ll pay this time . ”
“Sure, do what you want . ”
The rest of the audience were flocking over to the convenience store as well with similar trains of thought . She started speeding up a little bit when she realized all the people coming up behind them . She reached the glass door of the store, pushed it open, and shouted quietly to herself .
“You still like doing th . . . ”
Maru said something that she didn’t quite catch .
“It’s nothing . ”
“I thought you said something . ”
“You heard wrong . ”
Maru walked right inside through the open door . She looked at Maru suspiciously for a second before walking up to the place with the hot drinks .
“There’s only soy milk here . ”
“What did you want?”
“Coffee milk . ”
“Coffee milk goes bad easily, they wouldn’t keep it somewhere warm . ”
“Is that so . . . ”
That was disappointing . She grabbed the canned coffee with a disappointed face .
“What about you?”
“I’ll get this . ”
Maru was holding milk . Cold milk? In winter? For now, she took it . The counter was already booming with customers . She waited with coffee in one hand and milk in the other, but she kept bumping into people in the crowd . The employee behind the counter asked some of the customers to wait outside, but of course no one listened, since it was cold outside .
She put her arms close to her chest and focused on maintaining her balance for now . As she tried to maintain her position, she suddenly got pushed forward into the people by a person walking up behind her .
“Ah, I’m sorry . ”
She quickly apologized to a woman glaring at her .
“Be careful . ”
“Yes . ”
She smiled awkwardly as she spoke . But just as she finished her words, she got bumped by someone behind her again . The thought of the woman getting angry with her immediately crossed her mind, so she tried to turn away as quickly as she could . Alas, she was late . The woman’s back was quickly getting bigger in her vision . But just as she was about to bump into the woman, she got stopped .
“Careful now . ”
“ . . . Yeah . ”
“I’m sorry . It’s a bit crowded . Can you give us some space?”
Maru asked the people next to them politely . They all stepped back a little, giving them a little bit of breathing room . The people pushing in from outside stopped as well .
“Sometimes, talking does the trick . ”
“ . . . Thanks . ”
Beep, beep . The employee scanned their items . She opened her wallet to pay .
She gave away her 40,000 won to Maru a while ago . All she had left was her bus card and 500 won .
“1,050 won, please . ”
The employee stretched his hand out . Just before she could apologize, a 5,000 won appeared from right behind her . It was from Maru .
“Here you go . ”
“Thank you . Here’s your change . ”
“Could you give me a straw?”
“Yes . ”
Maru stepped back with the drink and the straw, she followed him a little awkwardly .
“ . . . I’ll pay you back some other time . ”
“It’s fine . ”
Maru walked over to the microwave . He opened the pack of milk and warmed it up .
“What are you doing?”
“You said you wanted coffee milk, didn’t you?”
Maru took out the warm milk when the microwave stopped, he took a small sip from it before pouring the coffee in . It looked like he did this several times before, seeing how natural he was .
“Do you drink like this a lot?”
“No, I used to make it a lot . There was a person who really liked this . ”
Maru didn’t answer . Instead, he just smiled . Strangely, she couldn’t smile herself when she looked at his smile . Instead, she actually felt a little ache in her heart . Why was his smile so melancholic?
“Here . ”
Maru took the can of coffee and gave her the milk . She looked inside before taking a small sip .
“Wow . ”
“This is nice . Tasty . ”
The flavor brought a smile to her face . She took the warm milk and stepped outside . The warmth of the drink made the cold weather a little more bearable .
“So, what now?” Maru asked as if it was obvious that they would do something after this .
“Go home, obviously . ”
“It’s a Sunday, though?”
“Well, we saw that play, and I’m full . There’s nothing more to do, so might as well go home . ”
She gave Maru a short glance as she spoke, the boy wasn’t even trying to hide his disappointment . She decided to try to ignore him as much as possible for now . She walked down to the subway station and arrived at the train platform . Maru followed her with such a dejected look on his face that she almost felt sorry for him .
“Hah . We can just watch a different play next time . ”
She spoke without even realizing it . She immediately thought of the meaning behind her words and tried to fix it, but Maru was already smiling . But… his smile was kind of cheeky . Almost as if he intended this to happen .
“You, did you just . . . !”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about . Anyway, that’s a promise, right? We’re coming here again?”
She shouted in annoyance, but right then, Maru stepped right up to her . The height difference between them intimidated her a little bit .
“I’m going to take this back . ”
Maru unwrapped the scarf from her neck as if it was the most natural thing to do, she froze up like a tree while Maru was taking it off . When he was this close, he seemed way more mature for some reason . He even looked old, for christ’s sake . It was probably because he wasn’t smiling right now .
– The next train is coming . Please step b…
The train arrived with a loud noise . She looked at Maru a little dumbly, as the boy put the scarf on his arm .
“Let’s go . ”
Again, her arm got grabbed by his .
* * *
When she came back to her home, she jumped to her bed with a frustrated expression .
“He got me . ”
That laugh at the end! He totally got her .
“But . . . ”
It wasn’t bad . Actually, it was fun . It really was too bad that they didn’t get much time to talk about that play . Next time, they should just eat after the play…
She jumped off of her bed . She was already planning their next meetup? Really?! That wasn’t right .
“Wait . Is it really wrong?”
Now that she thought of it, he wasn’t a bad person . He didn’t do anything wrong either . They both acted, and he seemed to be pretty serious about it, too . He was well-mannered, kind, and kind of playful…
She shook her head . The boy was totally getting to her . Plus, thinking about all of his nice sides was making her feel like she lost . She pouted before changing . As she took off her coat and put it on the hanger, she felt something in her pocket . Something papery . When she took it out, she realized it was 40,000 won along with a piece of paper .
“ . . . . . . ”
When did he put it in? Actually, now that she thought about it, Maru did walk pretty close up to her when he took that scarf off . He was smiling strangely back then, he probably put it during that moment .
The piece of paper had his number and his name on it . Also a line that read, “buy me something tasty next time” . She looked at the money for a while before sighing and putting it back to her wallet .
After washing up, she came back to her room and turned on her computer . She opened her blog and wrote a simple post on it . Her blog was mostly for writing about things she felt over the years . As she wrote the article about that guy, she noticed the name of a particular visitor in her logs .
“Come to think of it, this person . . . ”
That id, Maru .
There was no way, right? No way, no way .
She opened up the blog just to make sure . The blog’s posts were coming up almost daily, as per usual . She clicked on the most recent one .
* * *
Maru noticed a new comment on his blog when he hit refresh . It’s only been ten seconds since he uploaded the post . So soon? He clicked on his post to read the comment . It was written by BlackSwan, his one blogging neighbor . The comment read…
– You stalker!
Well, that was a confusing comment . Right then, he got a text message on his phone . It read…