Life, Once Again! - Chapter 970
“I’ve been there once before,” Gyungjin said as he looked at the screen, which had the RBS logo on it.
“To get an award?”
“I wish. I didn’t sit with the actors. I sat behind them. I watched while sipping on some drinks in an awkward space between the actors and the audience. I turned my head whenever the camera installed next to me moved, wishing I could appear even in passing.”
Yoojung, who was listening, said that Gyungjin looked terrible no matter the angle, as she crushed the empty can in her hand.
“Giwoo, you’ve sat there before, right?”
Maru opened his ears while his eyes were fixed on the screen. Gaeul briefly appeared on the camera that scanned the entire hall. She was wearing a navy-colored off-shoulder dress. It was the dress that she sent him a photo of, saying that she was going to wear it to the ceremony.
“I went there two years ago when I received the new actor award. I was so nervous back then.”
“Didn’t you receive a new actor award at the Baeksang awards before that?”
“Yes. Many people looked at me in a good light, and I was fortunate enough to get one.”
“You got a new actor award for both film and drama, so now you just have to get the lead actor award and the grand prize?”
“I’m still far from that. There are many seniors who are more amazing than me.”
“That means you will receive it someday, huh? When you say that it’s still far away.”
“I do long for it.”
Yoojung smiled and cheered for him, seemingly having taken a liking to Giwoo, who was not too arrogant. She said that he would definitely be able to get it if he gained more experience. The flow of the conversation was centered around Kang Giwoo. Maru only chimed in from time to time and didn’t actively participate in the conversation. He had no words to speak to get close to them, and as for getting information, he was getting enough already just by listening to what was being said. The two people should have realized over the past few days that he and Giwoo weren’t actually that close. If Giwoo was just returning to the hotel after participating in the shoot, Maru would’ve played along, but as Giwoo’s stay became longer, Maru changed his attitude. He was sure that the two people did not talk to him that often because they had already realized what was happening.
“I’ll be leaving for a bit.”
Giwoo left with his phone. When the door closed, Yoojung spoke,
“We were going to come by ourselves, but we ran into Giwoo. Are you perhaps uncomfortable?”
“What’s there to be uncomfortable about? You don’t need to worry about me.”
“Then hey, why did you say you were close friends with Giwoo when he first came here? If I look back at it now, I was right about you two.”
“I meant to say that it would be great if we were close. But you know, you come across those kinds of people in life, where you can be moderately close to that person, but you hesitate to talk about everything to them. For me, I think this much distance between Giwoo and me is just adequate.”
Yoojung placed an unopened beer can against her cheek. She seemed to like the chilling sensation under the heater.
“I’ve been watching, and I think Giwoo’s not being nice to you either, Maru. It might be just me, but I felt like Giwoo was glaring at you from time to time.”
“That’s probably not just you.”
Gyungjin chimed in. He pulled out a dried squid leg in his mouth and talked about what happened before. He apparently had a chance to look at Kang Giwoo during the shoot and saw that he was looking at Maru with a frosty gaze.
“Then I wasn’t mistaken huh? Why’s that? Did something happen between you and Giwoo?”
“What could there be between him and me? He must be disappointed since I kept putting distance between us when he was trying to act nice. He’s a sociable guy after all.”
He adequately defended Giwoo. Explaining to them that Giwoo was someone who raised a salmosa inside him was no different from telling them that he wanted to cut ties with them. After all, while he showed an unfamiliar side of himself, Kang Giwoo was still a gentleman on the outside.
Having become an adult, Kang Giwoo did not trample on people just for fun, so there wouldn’t be a problem even if the two of them got close to him. Above all, his target should be Maru, not anyone else.
“To my eyes, it was clearly beyond normal.”
“You said it was a rivalry when you first saw them though.”
“Back then, I didn’t see it properly. No matter how hard I think about it, his eyes aren’t normal. I might not be good at anything else, but I’m extremely good at finding out what people are doing behind other people’s backs. People I know can testify to this,” Gyungjin said, stroking his chin like a protagonist of an old detective movie.
While listening to the two, Maru became concerned about one thing. Kang Giwoo only failed to control his emotions in front of Han Gaeul and never revealed them to anyone else. It was definitely weird that he was being suspected by these two people in just five days. Maru was convinced that there was definitely an event that made him unable to control his expression. Five days ago, when Giwoo first came to Ulsan, something must’ve happened. What could it be? What could possibly break that smile on his face?
“I don’t usually say this, but can’t you tell me honestly? Something happened between you two, right?” Yoojung asked, her face looking like she could no longer hold back her curiosity.
Gyungjin, who held her back, saying that she shouldn’t ask stuff like that, also looked like he wanted Maru to talk about it, despite what he said. Revealing the secret was easy. The problem was what would come afterwards. Even if he exposed Giwoo’s true nature to these two, it was unlikely that these two would accept that. Things would be complex, and Giwoo, who would immediately realize the change in atmosphere, would definitely try to find out. There was no need to do something like that.
“We have to know each other for there to be something between us, don’t you think?”
The two of them became quiet, as though Maru sounded pretty reasonable. The award ceremony was also just starting, which was a perfect opportunity to change the topic. Maru turned around to look at the screen.
“I really like senior Choi Hojeong’s acting.”
Maru mentioned the actor who came up to the platform to emcee.
“That hyung-nim’s acting definitely is remarkable. Not only that, he looks after minor actors like me. One time, the food truck didn’t arrive in time, so all the actors and staff almost ended up having to eat at the convenience store, but he took out his credit card on the spot. I fell for him then and there. If I was a girl, I would’ve definitely hit on him.”
When Gyungjin finished speaking, Yoojung followed up,
“Senior Choi’s generosity is pretty well-known. He’s someone who went to the drama industry from the theaters, going through the film industry in the process. That’s why he sometimes visits Daehak-ro. Some members of our troupe know him, so he sometimes comes to watch, and his presence is no joke when he sits down in the audience seats. Whenever he comes to watch, we’ll go up to the stage totally tense, otherwise, we end up making a mistake. He’s not someone who would scold us for making a mistake, but we do want to look good in front of him.”
Both of them seemed to have erased Kang Giwoo from their heads. Whether they were consciously avoiding talking about it or lost interest, Maru did not know, but he was satisfied with just not talking about him. At the beginning of the ceremony, awards that depended on popularity votes were given out, such as the star award, the best couple award, the best dress award, and the like. When it was time to give the child actor award, Kim Suyeon came up, wearing a black dress.
“My beloved Suyeon~,” Gyungjin said in a small voice.
Yoojung put a snack in his mouth, telling him to wake up. Suyeon, who stood on stage, mentioned the heavy atmosphere at the ceremony and said that they should laugh a little. The camera started showing actors who were pretty old in age. As they were all giants in the industry, they did not act awkward at all and laughed like little kids. Thanks to that, the atmosphere seemed to have become a lot softer. Suyeon opened the envelope and called out the name written on the paper inside. It was Kim Bitna.
“I knew it. No matter how good the viewing rates are at the beginning of the year, they simply can’t win against dramas that did well at the end of the year. It looks like Doctor’s Office will swipe all the awards starting from the child actor award.”
It was just as Gyungjin said. There were many awards given out, and the majority of them were actors from Doctor’s Office. It was a drama that was so successful that there was even a paid vacation, so it was a predictable result.
“But hey, what’s Giwoo doing and not coming back?”
“I don’t know.”
“Seeing as how he left with his phone, he must be calling someone. For example, his girlfriend.”
Gyungjin pointed at the TV with his chin.
“But wouldn’t Giwoo receive an award too? He came all the way here to the shoot and missed out on the event.”
“He doesn’t even have a shoot, can’t he just go there?”
Yoojung also looked perplexed. If he was busy, then sure, but he didn’t have anything to do here at the moment, so it was rather puzzling that he missed the award ceremony. When a congratulatory performance ended and the award ceremony was about halfway through the second half, Giwoo returned to the room. From the cold air coming off of him, it seemed that he was outside.
“Why are you so late? Do you have a hidden girlfriend or something?” Gyungjin said with a sneaky smile.
Giwoo’s reply, though, erased the smile off his face.
“Yes. The call was longer than I expected.”
“What the, you actually came back from calling your girlfriend?”
Giwoo smiled and nodded. Maru turned around to have a look at Giwoo’s face. He was blatantly revealing everything. It was so obviously intentional that it actually couldn’t be considered intentional. Perhaps it was not info that he shouldn’t secretly leak out? While Giwoo did show some openings for the past few days, his meticulousness shouldn’t have disappeared.
Gyungjin and Yoojung showed interest. A popular actor blatantly revealed that he had a lover. It would be strange if they didn’t find it interesting.
“From how you’re telling us about it, you’re not going to keep it a secret from us, huh?”
“I believe in the people here. I don’t really plan to hide it either. Though, of course, I do not want it to be exposed to the media.”
“Can I ask who it is? Is she a celebrity just like you?”
Yoojung, who was on the bed, walked over to Giwoo on her knees. This time, Maru also looked at him and paid attention. He had to see what schemes this guy was up to. Just as Giwoo was about to speak, a name popped out from the TV.
-The best actress award of 2011 goes to…. Miss Han Gaeul from Doctor’s Office. Congratulations.
Just then; just when Han Gaeul’s name flowed out of the speakers; just when Han Gaeul’s smile was shown on the TV, Maru saw. He saw the tips of Kang Giwoo’s lips soften up for a brief moment before returning to normal. Maru looked down slightly. He could feel Giwoo staring at him, but he did not mind.
Just that subconscious change in expression convinced Maru. This guy had not changed at all nor had he given up.
“My girlfriend, huh,” Giwoo said.
To Maru’s ears, it sounded like an awkward excuse at best.