Life, Once Again! - Chapter 367
“What do you mean by I have a debt towards you?”
“Oh that, do you know journalist Dongwook?”
“A while back, the president suddenly called me saying he wanted me to do some acting. Me, being an actor, of course told him yes. I then asked him if I was for a play. But the president told me it wasn’t. He told me it was also not for a movie or a drama. I asked him what I had to do then, and he said I had to deceive someone. Honestly, I was a little scared back then. The president is unpredictable after all. Anyway, that’s how I got to meet the journalist.”
“With journalist Dongwook, you mean?”
“Yeah. It seems like he was digging into our company. I don’t know about the details, but, from what I felt, it was related to stocks. You know, the stock market price changes dramatically in the entertainment industry according to what kind of entertainers they have.”
“So, what did you deceive him about?”
“Now that I think about it, I think I pretended to be you.”
“Pretended to be me?”
“I think I’m right considering the circ.u.mstances. When you got your contract, president Park Narim from NL Company was with you, wasn’t she?”
“Then I must be right. That’s the day I met journalist Dongwook. I leaked to him a few stories that the president told me to. In my opinion, it was a test of sorts. From how he is the exclusive journalist for our company, he probably pa.s.sed that test.”
“Why would the president have you do something like that?”
“I don’t know the details either. Our president is the type to plan everything himself and give out orders,” Sooil said as he sliced the cupcake in front of him with a fork.
After Junmin left, Maru and Sooil got closer. They were at the same age and Junmin said that they would see each other a lot in the future as well. They didn’t talk about anything in depth, so Maru couldn’t be entirely sure, but Sooil seemed reasonable. He also seemed to have a lot of social experience as his word choice wasn’t like a child’s. It suddenly came to him that other people would look at him and think the same.
“Sweet things are the best.”
Sooil finished off a cupcake in a flash.
“Take this as well.”
Maru pushed the cake with cream on it towards Sooil. Honestly, the cake didn’t suit his taste buds. It was too sweet and cloying. He preferred more plain snacks.
“Why are you not eating it?”
“I don’t like it that much.”
“No way. You don’t like cake? I can’t believe you.”
“If you don’t want it, then just say so.”
Just as he was about to pull the plate back to his side, Sooil stabbed the cake with his fork.
“You’re a little hasty. Anyway, thanks.”
Sooil cut and ate the cake with a happy expression. Maru felt pleasant seeing him eat. It was said that luck comes from eating since the old times.
“So, what’s your major?” Sooil asked as he finished half of the cake in a flash.
It seemed that he was planning to save up the rest.
“Play, drama, movie. Which one of the three?”
“I’m a newbie, so I don’t really have something I can call a major.”
“Then what have you tried?”
“A little bit of everything.”
“Really? I haven’t tried plays yet. Performing live is quite nerving, isn’t it? In dramas, you can just reshoot if you make a mistake, but the same can’t be said for plays.”
“It’s not that different. You have to practice anyway. Oh, there’s one thing that’s different.”
“What is it?”
“A play is not fun if the audience does not react.”
Sooil nodded as he bit on the empty fork.
“I think I get what it’s like. Then you must’ve seen senior Ganghwan as well, right?”
“I learned a lot from him.”
“Isn’t he a little strange? I tried to find him for something a while back, but he disappeared into thin air. He wouldn’t pick up his calls, and I got a message later and I just laughed because I was too taken aback for words.”
“You mean how he actually lived homeless for three months?”
“You know that too? Isn’t he amazing? Who goes out and actually tries living homelessly just to play a homeless role? No, I guess there’s something to be gained from doing it. But isn’t three months too much?”
“Well, people have different values. To borrow his words, that’s his way of immersion.”
“I won’t be able to do that even if I die. I mean, if you live homelessly, you won’t even get to eat regularly, right? I’d rather do some other role.”
Sooil shook his head as though just thinking about it made him feel horrible.
“What’s your major then?” Maru asked this time.
“Me? For now, movies. Movies are the ultimate objective of actors, right? No, I guess it’s commercials now?”
“Are you shooting one right now?”
“No, there was a problem so I’m resting for now.”
Maru asked as he grabbed his coffee cup.
“The movie fell flat on its face.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m not entirely sure, but apparently, there was a problem with the investment. There’s a rumor that even the contract deposit that was supposed to be paid before the shoot hasn’t been paid yet. It’s rather normal here. After all, a movie is just a money-eating monster while it’s being shot. There are many cases where people pay up the rest once it goes to cinemas, but since it’s like that, there are a lot of problems.”
“What happens to everything they shot until now if they don’t get any more money?”
“It will be held indefinitely. If another investor appears, then they start shooting again. They can’t exactly shoot a movie while sucking on their thumb. It’s their jobs after all.”
Even though he was eating cake, his words were quite cynical.
“But I’m not in such a bad position. My character doesn’t have a lot of scenes. The ones in trouble are the lead actors. The actors who have a lot of money have it better off, but there are many movie actors who don’t. It would be good if they had other schedules, but if they don’t, the problem worsens.”
“I guess they’ll have to take up something else if they want to keep making a living.”
Hearing that, Sooil smiled.
“You’re right, but some people don’t take up other jobs because of their pride as actors. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Perhaps they can’t take up other jobs. I heard before that an actor that frequently played supporting roles had no work for a while so he decided to take up another job, but the people around him really didn’t like that. That person ended up having to rest until his next work because of that.”
“People are too ‘worried’ for others. They just need to take care of themselves.”
“Haha, you’re right about that.”
Sooil scr.a.p.ed the empty plate with his fork. It seemed that two pieces of cake weren’t enough.
“Would you like one more?”
“You’re treating me?”
“I thought you said I’m indebted to you. I should pay back my debts as soon as possible.”
“Wow, Han Maru. I like that about you.”
Sooil raised his thumb up before running towards the counter. Maru, who was also feeling a little hungry, stood up. It would be great if there were plain cookies or something. Just as he was walking towards the counter while taking out his wallet,
“Hey! I ordered a bagel, why did I get a sandwich?”
A lady was shouting in front of the counter. The part time worker behind the counter paled and shrunk back.
“Whaaat, you said? You’re funny. Do you think your customer’s words are nothing? I’m asking you why you gave me a sandwich when I ordered a bagel.”
“Y-you ordered a sandwich and a cinnamon mocha for a takeaway just now.”
“Yes. You said that while you were on the phone.”
“When I was on the phone?”
The lady frowned. Maru, who was watching from the side, clicked his tongue. She obviously realized that she made a mistake but did not want to admit to it. Most of the time, people like her would raise her voice even more.
“I should have told you to change it after I said that though.”
“N-no, you didn’t say anything….”
The lady shouted so loud that the whole store could hear it. At that moment, her phone started ringing. The lady quickly answered.
“Y-yes, team leader. The thing is, the part time worker here made a stupid mistake. Yes. No, I mean it. Yes. I think I’m going to be a little late because of that… I’m sorry. Yes, yes. A pair of stockings? Do you need anything el… okay, I’ll do this properly. Yes, I’m sorry. I’ll buy one immediately and go up.”
The lady was very subservient to her phone and after she finished her call, she sighed as she put her phone in her pocket. Maru raised his hand and covered his ears. The events about to unfold in front of his eyes were quite obvious.
“Hey! Who the h.e.l.l are you? Bring me the one in charge of this place. Bring me your manager!”
The part time worker apologized several times, but the lady did not know how to stop. She was a pathetic woman who did not know her priorities. She would be scolded even more if she was late, and yet she was doing this here. The part time worker was quite pitiful.
Just as Maru was about to tell the part time worker to go call the manager,
“Excuse me, but you can stop there.”
Sooil stood in front of the lady. There would be nothing good from confronting this woman since she wasn’t capable of rational thought, so Maru was about to stop him, but he was a little too late. The lady glared back at him.
“And who the h.e.l.l are you?”
“Then who are you to do this, ahjumma?”
“Are you so daring because there aren’t any people here?”
“How dare you talk to me like that when you aren’t even that big.”
“I know that I’m not that tall, so I don’t have to have you tell me that. Rather than that, are you really okay?”
“Haa, this is absurd. Looks like you don’t get any education at the company these days, huh? My dad shouldn’t be that lax when it comes to things like this.”
“Looks like it won’t do. From the looks of it, you don’t even seem to be an official employee. Are you really okay working like this? Do you take me for an idiot? Should I call my dad?”
Sooil took out his phone and started pressing some b.u.t.tons. It was clear that he was intending to get back at her for this.
“You know the name of Hansung IT’s CEO, right?”
Sooil spoke as he put his phone against his ears. The shouting lady clasped her hands together in unease as she replied.
“It’s president Kim Jaechul….”
“Yes, president Kim Jaechul. Good. Then what’s my name, huh? Think about it carefully with that smart brain of yours. Geez, how can you do something like this with an ID card around your neck? What are you going to do about the company’s image? No, wait. In the first place, I’m eventually going to take over the company, so who the h.e.l.l are you to ruin it? Geez, I only came here to visit dad for a little and I just had to run into this.”
“Uh-uh-uhm, please wait.”
“What is it?”
“Please, please let me go this time. It was all my fault.”
It seemed that she was quite desperate. She became very polite. Sooil scanned the lady from top to bottom before quitting his call.
“Please look after yourself from now on. Get that sandwich and buy those stockings and please get going.”
“Yes, yes. I’ll do that.”
“Did you pay?”
“I will do it.”
“While you’re at it, apologize to her as well. For the company’s image.”
The lady apologized to the part time worker behind the counter and rushed out of the café in a hurry after taking the sandwich. Maru scratched his head and approached Sooil.
“I thought your surname was Yoo.”
“Who’s Mr. Kim then?”
“I don’t know. Rather than that, what do I do now?”
“What do you mean?”
“I think I caused trouble.”
“You just realized that?”
“What was I supposed to do? That noona over there was being sworn at and it ticked me off.”
Sooil looked at the counter before walking towards it. The part time worker thanked him. Maru shook his head. He was an actor alright. His instantaneous improvisation was amazing. Someone not in the know would have thought that he was the son of a rich family. Looking at his arrogance and daringness, it was understandable that the ent.i.tled lady was totally fooled. If they were in a normal situation, she would’ve asked back in suspicion, but she wasn’t right in her mind at that time either.
“Maru, come quick.”
“Buy me this one.”
In that short time, Sooil bought a cupcake for takeaway. As soon as the packaged cupcake was out, Sooil ran away from the café. Maru had to run with him.
Only after they left the building did they stop.
“I probably won’t come across her again, right?” Sooil spoke worriedly.
“Think what you want.”
“Of course, there’s no way I’ll come across her again. It’ll be fine as long as I’m careful on the elevator. No, I won’t come here anymore. Then I won’t have to meet her anymore. Yes, that’s right.”
Maru chuckled as he heard him talking.
“Why? Keep acting like a rich young master.”
“I don’t want to.”
“You were really good at it though.”
“Really? That’s because I’m actually the son of a rich family.”
“Sure you are.”
“That didn’t work….”
Sooil sighed as he looked back at the building. For some reason, there didn’t seem to be any ordinary people around Junmin.
“Wait, where do I eat this now?”
He seemed to have decided that it was better to forget about things he couldn’t solve right now. Maru shrugged and told him to take it home.