Life, Once Again! - Chapter 934
It was not a misconception. The gazes she got last night, the whispers that practically asked her to listen, and the mockery that she could hear in the background – Gaeul looked at the actress who snatched the tongs and turned around. Even though she must have known that Gaeul had been waiting to use the tongs, that actress had no hesitation in her actions. She watched as the actress walked over to the fruit section with the buffet plate in her hand. Another actress, who had been talking to a staff member, looked her way. The moment they locked eyes, that actress immediately blinked several times as though she got dust in her eyes before looking away. The staff around her did the same. Even though she was quite a bit away from them, Gaeul could tell that those people were talking behind her back. She thought that she had been overly sensitive because of what happened with Kang Giwoo, but it seemed that she was wrong.
Mijoo approached her. Her eyes as she looked around looked cautious. Gaeul headed to the dessert section following Mijoo, who dragged her by her sleeve.
“I might be wrong, but the atmosphere seems strange. What do you think, unni?”
“You probably aren’t wrong. Just yesterday, I thought I was overthinking, but now it looks like I was right. Senior Hoseon, senior Woonjeong, senior Minjeong, senior Jimin, and then Ajin – these five people have something against me for sure. There seems to be some among the production crew too.”
“Right? I knew something was strange. They suddenly started to talk badly about you. It’s not like they’re saying outright that they don’t like you, but they’re indirectly mocking you. Did something happen between you and them?”
“The problem is that we aren’t close enough for something to happen. I can’t understand the reason they are doing this all of a sudden.”
“Should I go and try to find out?”
That would be the most reassuring solution, but solving this through Mijoo had the possibility that it might make things more complex instead. Mijoo might get hated by the others too.
“You stay still for now. If someone talks to you about it, just respond accordingly.”
“I can’t do that. You know I have a firm personality. I’ll be angry if someone says anything strange to me.”
“Who am I to tell you to do anything…. But anyway, just don’t oppose them so directly. You know how you should act if you want to work for a long time in this industry, right?”
Without firm popularity, a stylist should usually avoid getting involved with bad rumors amongst actors. Mijoo nodded, but she clearly looked disgruntled. It was a joyful thing that there was someone that would unconditionally be on her side. After telling Mijoo to return, Gaeul headed to the salad corner. She stood next to Hoseon, who was getting some kabocha pumpkin salad. Hoseon started sidestepping as though she didn’t expect her to come so close.
Gaeul took a large stride. She wanted to ask from the front where she could see her face. She wanted to know why this woman had been laughing while giving her glimpses since last night and why she would avert her gaze when they met eyes if she had done nothing wrong. Hoseon froze on the spot while holding the salad spoon. The kabocha pumpkin salad fell from the spoon.
“I called out to you because I am convinced that I’m not mistaken. Senior, you’ve been talking about me since last night, haven’t you?”
“You can’t deny it. Even just now, you pointed at my table with your fork like you were pointing fingers, weren’t you?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Then what were the things I saw?”
She was used to getting hated for no valid reason. It had been years since she suffered under the hands of Lee Miyoon. If she flipped out just because a few female seniors looked at her and whispered behind her back, she would’ve quit the entertainment industry a long time ago. The reason she asked Hoseon wasn’t that she intended to find trouble with her. Heck, she could hate her all she wants without any reason, so it wasn’t like Gaeul wanted to ask her to stop hating her. There was only one thing she wanted to know — where this cold treatment that arose without any precursors all started. If a senior who didn’t look at her in a good light usually gave her a displeased look even during the vacation, she would just accept it and ignore it. However, in just one day, some of the actress and staff members that she neither had a good nor a bad relationship with started giving her a cold glare as though they had all planned it beforehand, which made her curious. Why were they doing this all of a sudden?
A female staff walked over to Hoseon, who was hesitating. Then she hooked arms with Hoseon before taking her to the table. For the first time ever, Gaeul felt that there was a separate organization with great unity within the Doctor’s Office drama team. The gaze of the staff member that took Hoseon away landed on Gaeul’s face for a brief moment before leaving. It had been quite a long time since she felt something material from someone’s gaze. She wanted to grab her and ask her all about it, but she did not want to interrupt the other people who were enjoying the last day of the holiday. She should just meet the eight people with hostility against her in private.
“I knew you’d be like that.”
It was Lee Miyoon. The queen who had never shown her face throughout the entire vacation had finally come out on a stroll. Gaeul asked as she put some kabocha pumpkin salad on her plate.
“Can you elaborate a little, please? I’m stupid so I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Do you really not know?”
Lee Miyoon picked up a pair of tongs before pointing at some tables as though she was a conductor of an orchestra. They were the tables with the people who had been glaring at her since last night. If a person that was not directly involved in this situation could tell, it meant that their gazes were pretty blatant. The actress and the staff member that met eyes with Lee Miyoon quickly looked down at the floor. That was a drastically different reaction to when Gaeul looked at them. The actress who even sent mockery her way had obediently lowered her head. At this moment, she was envious of Lee Miyoon’s terrible personality and background.
“It’s been a common thing for ages. It’s been repeatedly happening for generations too. When I had pretty and supple skin and a fist-sized waist like you, things would be like this when I didn’t pay attention for just a moment.”
Lee Miyoon picked up a piece of roasted shrimp before asking if she wanted some. She looked especially in a good mood today. Gaeul held out her plate. Her opponent had hidden away her fangs and teeth and bothered to talk to her, so there was no need to pick a fight.
“It’s something that actors commonly experience if they don’t put their mind into managing their reputation. It’s fine to not, for run-of-the-mill dregs because they will never become big, but things like this happen to people like you, a perfect target of jealousy.”
“So you’re saying that those people are acting like that out of jealousy? That doesn’t sound that believable. It’s not like jealousy occurs all at once across multiple people.”
“Usually, yes. But what’s the thing that makes or breaks us? It’s rumors. You should handle yourself better. You were playing around with me, so what does it make me when you suffer from people like them? I hope you can protect my pride. Like I said before, I only have you around because you’re a toy I can play around with, and I don’t deal with crude toys.”
“So people hit their toys these days, huh.”
“You can tell me whatever you want today. I’m on a roll today. I think I can laugh even if I get slapped by you.”
“Since we’re on the topic, can I try hitting you? It’ll make me feel refreshed.”
“Sure, go ahead.”
Now that this woman, who had been holed up in her room with a serious face throughout the entire vacation, was all smiles and even held her cheek out, Gaeul felt her energy draining. She would only feel well if she fought against this woman while glaring at each other. She watched as Lee Miyoon put some food on her plate and remembered what Maru told her — that Lee Miyoon was in a fix because her business had been taken over by Yoojin’s mother who was in Japan. Now that she looked like she had finally gotten rid of her trouble, it probably meant that the problem had been resolved to a certain extent. It also meant that the things Maru was doing were progressing smoothly. So that woman was rejoicing because she could return to selling new actresses as prostitutes? At this point, the actresses and the staff that pointed fingers at her looked cute. Compared to Lee Miyoon, what they were doing was child’s play.
“Looks like something good happened to you, huh.”
“I’m on cloud nine today. The world looks different. It makes me realize just how important the things I was holding were.”
“I’m not sure what it is, but I hope you keep holding on to it.”
Because only then, will you receive your judgment — Gaeul smiled and placed a piece of dragon fruit on Lee Miyoon’s plate. Lee Miyoon looked at Gaeul’s face and the dragon fruit alternately before curling her lips.
“I’m feeling good, so I’ll look into it for you. For you to be swayed by those dregs, I’ve put too much effort into you. If you wanna be broken, you should be broken by me. The person Han Gaeul should cry in front of and ask for forgiveness from is me.”
“Would such a day even come?”
“Just wait. I’ll tell you just how amazing this unni was. Thanks for the dragon fruit, my cute little junior.”
Unni, coming from a woman nearing her seventies? Lee Miyoon walked over to where Hoseon was with her plate. Gaeul saw Hoseon and the other actresses quickly cleaning up when Lee Miyoon approached them. She watched as Lee Miyoon preached to those actresses in dissatisfaction. She never knew there would come a day when she would receive help from that woman. However, what would’ve happened if Lee Miyoon knew what she knew? Could she still smile if she found out that she was in a trap placed by Maru?
Gaeul turned around with a plate full of food. Kang Giwoo entered her eyes on her way back to the table where Mijoo was waiting. The smile that he would show her often was no longer there. He scanned her from top to bottom with cold eyes before turning his head around. Gaeul immediately realized where the rumors came from. It was also something that she could’ve noticed if she calmed down and carefully went over the pieces of the puzzle.
Gaeul clicked her finger to attract Giwoo’s gaze. Then she pointed at Hoseon, who was getting an earful from Lee Miyoon. A gentle smile crept onto Giwoo’s cold face. Gaeul could easily tell that the smile was there to hide his astonishment. She waved at him before turning around. The gaze that hit her back felt like knives. So he was a little kid who couldn’t do anything with his own power.
“Unni, what’s so funny?”
“I was wondering what would happen if an immature brat fought with a woman with a terrible personality, and it made me laugh.”
“What is that? A drama?”
“Something like that.”
Gaeul told Mijoo that they should eat and raised her fork. That was the last meal they had before the flight.