“Whatcha thinking about?”
“Oh, Senior, you’re here?”
Junmin stopped Ganghwan from standing up from his seat.
“Did you eat?”
“Yes, but I’m not one to turn down a free meal.”
“Your intestines are massive, as always. What are you looking at?”
“This? I had an audition recently.”
“Audition? For what?”
“It’s not for me, but the amateur class. They have a lot of motivation, so I didn’t want to give them roles and make them stick with it. I made them audition for their roles.”
“A few of them made up their minds about coming into this industry, so I really tried to make it official. They did really well. They looked out of the box a lot when it came to their character analysis, probably because they’re young.”
“It’s probably because they didn’t know, rather than them being young.”
“Again with that? Just look at them well for once. Anyway, I chose the roles, but one character’s still iffy.”
“Side character or the main?”
“The main. All four girls tried for it and I was able to fail two right away, but the other two are a bit concerning.”
“Looks like you’re putting a lot of work into this when you said you were going to go at it casually.”
“That was the plan, but it became really fun. Plus, I’m just about done with the play I was in, too. I’m about to go back to the poor life.”
“I’ll buy you a meal, so don’t starve yourself.”
“Of course. I’ll stick to you for meals as much as I can. But anyway, I’m worried about who to take between these two. It’s a test in the end, but it’s still a chance to act in the Myungdong Art Theater. You can’t pass this up if you’re an actor.”
“Want me to take a look at them?”
“Do you have the time?”
“Well, I’m here already, so might as well.”
“Why don’t we wait for them as we have a little dinner?”
“Ugh, again with food… Fine.”
* * *
“Want to get a chicken skewer?”
Her eyes widened at the sound of chicken, just thinking about it made her drool. She remembered her mom talking about being unable to eat chicken during her pregnancy. Something about how being deprived of chicken only made her mom end up liking it more in the long run.
“Medium spice, right?”
“Just a little bit of cheese?”
She nodded almost subconsciously before turning to look at Maru oddly. He knew her preferences too well…
They might just have similar tastes, so whatever. Now that she thought about it, there were a lot of instances like this, Maru was always detailed about the small stuff. He always chose things that she liked, making her wonder when she talked about it to him.
“Here you go.”
The two of them crossed the streets of Myungdong. She had a slightly-burnt chicken skewer in one hand and Maru’s hand in the other. After their confession, they started holding hands a lot more.
“It’s cold. You should’ve worn thicker clothes.”
“This much is fine.”
“Look at you, you’re sniffling already.”
Maru told her to wait for a second. He walked into a store nearby before coming out with a pink little hat. She liked it the moment she saw it, so she stayed still as Maru put it on. It was warm, which induced a little smile out of her.
“Let’s go. We’re going to be late.”
* * *
Maru jumped a few times to loosen himself up, feeling the hardwood floor under him. Their character roles would get assigned today. After that, they would go straight into practice for a month and then they would go on stage. The practice with them switching roles every time would end today.
“How is it? You think you can get the main role?”
She shook her head at his question.
“Yoojin’s good. I’ll have to give up this time.”
“What the, you’re just letting it go?”
“I don’t want to put so much effort into something I can’t do. I’m going to do my best with delinquent number three, though.”
She sounded a little depressed. Three days ago, she competed with three other girls for the role of Seulmi, the main character of the play. The other kids saw the girls act and judged themselves, Ganghwan took those opinions into consideration to come up with a final decision. He was quick with all of the other roles, but he was really taking his sweet time with the main character.
“He said he’d let us know by today, right?” she asked, stretching her arms to the side.
Her body was bending smoothly like a yoga instructor.
“Since today’s the day we start doing runs, yeah. You’re really flexible, by the way.”
“Do you even know how much I stretch at night? Flexibility needs to be practiced really hard.”
She bent her back backward with a small groan. Maru smiled. So she’s been maintaining it from a young age. She bent her back further and put her hands to the ground. Her shirt started slipping a little bit, revealing the white skin underneath. Maru quickly took off his jersey to cover it.
“You need to be careful.”
He didn’t know what to say, especially with her sounding so innocent. She threw his jersey back at him, Maru caught it with one hand as he watched her. She was around 164cm tall. She would grow up to 170 when she enters high school. Her arms and legs were quite long, making her look pretty beautiful despite still being in a growing phase. Now that he thought about it, she was always very proud of her body more so than anything else. She always loved getting compliments about it even though she tried not to show it.
Maru scratched his eyebrows as he thought back to their first night, it was around eight months after they started going out together. She laughed when he asked to go on a one night trip with her and bought a condom from a nearby convenience store, Maru could remember laughing at how bold she was.
He rented a pretty expensive cottage for the two of them and had his first time with her there. He couldn’t remember what they talked about or where that was. But he remembered one thing she said back then: Why don’t boobs get fat?
“Whatcha thinking about?”
“Why do you look so suspicious, then?”
She walked up to look at him, with her long hair draped over her shoulder. This was really bad timing, he could see her body from back then getting overlapped with her right now. Maru couldn’t help but look away, this was a little too much right now, especially looking at her adult body overlap with her younger self… it felt like a crime, somehow.
“Just finish your stretches.”
Maru pretended nothing was wrong. He saw her everything, but that was in his past life. He didn’t want to have to explain what he was thinking to her right now.
“You’re all here?”
Ganghwan walked in from the back door, Junmin was following close behind him. As soon as they got on stage, they called her out with Yoojin.
“Is it these two?”
What were they talking about? Junmin put a hand over his chin as he looked over the two female students.
“Why don’t we take a look?”
“Sure. Alright guys, act out Seulmi in front of us. Yoojin, you go first. This is where we make our last judgment, so work hard.”
It looked like Ganghwan ended up asking Junmin for help.
“Should I begin now?” Yoojin asked confidently.
As expected of her. Yoojin had confidence in her acting and she had the skills to support it. Yoojin’s greatest strength was in her pronunciation, Ganghwan admitted that as well. She was incredibly at conveying language. Maru sometimes saw her practicing her pronunciation holding a pen in her mouth, her skills right now were surely something born out of hours of hard work.
The character Seulmi was very headstrong, a strong girl who always got into a conflict with the delinquents. There were a lot of scenes where the character would lecture the delinquents. In those scenes, Yoojin looked more like Seulmi than anyone else.
“Is it really that fun to bully kids? Look at what you guys are doing. This isn’t a play! It’s violence. What, you’re going to glare at me? Planning on hitting me too? Fine! Come at me! But I won’t stay quiet. You know what I’m like, don’t you? I’m going to spread rumors about what you did across the entire school. Come on, let’s go!”
She said her lines as if Junmin was a delinquent standing in front of her. She was good. Then again, she was a child actor. Maru had to wonder what the world of the pros looked like when even the child actors were already this good.
Yoojin stepped back with a huff. Junmin and Ganghwan talked briefly and it was now her turn to act. She could’ve picked out a different scene for her character, but she ended up choosing the scene Yoojin did. That was very like her. Ganghwan and Junmin talked again after she finished.
“Yoojin should take Seulmi’s role.”
“Thank you,” Yoojin said with a smile.
The girl had a very satisfactory smile on her face. On the other hand, she looked very dejected, but not defeated. She probably saw this coming.
“Please take good care of delinquent 3.”
“I’ll do my best.”
“And that’s that with the roles. We’re going to work our asses off for the next month before the play happens. Ah, were the prelims for the winter finals starting next week?”
“Our region’s next week, but the region to the south of us already started,” one of the male students answered.
Since they were all from an acting club, they knew information like this very well. The winter competition was backed by theater companies and various other entertainment companies. As a result, it had quite a bit of prize money compared to all other high school competitions. Aside from that, everything was the same as the summer nationals. The prelims were regional and the main event will be held in Seoul.
“I understand that you’d be more worried about your competition than this. You did volunteer for this as well though, so don’t get too lazy. I hope none of you would act like a third rate just because the audience is watching for free.”
The kids all nodded grimly at Ganghwan’s words since both the winter nationals and the play at the Myungdong Art Theater deserved great attention.
“I don’t know if you still remember this, but a very important guest will be coming as well. You’ll have to do well.”
Ganghwan smiled proudly. Right then, Junmin tapped Ganghwan’s shoulder and whispered something into the man’s ear. Ganghwan stepped back in surprise, saying “Really?” quite loudly.
“Guys, focus a lot on the winter nationals. You can put your leftover energy into this thing afterward. Got it?”
Ganghwan suddenly changed his words. By the looks of things, the so-called very important guest was no longer coming. The students all suppressed a little laughter.
“Now that we have our roles… We should do a little celebration.”
Ganghwan turned to look at Junmin with a mischievous grin, Junmin shook his head before taking a seat in the audience seats.
“So, what will you be eating?”
Aha, so that was what it was. Maru looked between Ganghwan and Junmin. The former was jumping around happily and the latter was shrugging in mock defeat.
“Yes! Guys! Lord Big Senior is going to buy a meal for us! Let’s practice hard and get some good food!”
Clap! That was the signal of the start of practice.
* * *
In the end, the group ended up going for pork belly after Ganghwan’s incessant nagging. Maru didn’t mind, personally. Free food was free food.
“Yeah, I’ll be late. I’ll have dinner, so don’t worry.”
She closed her phone, she was probably calling her mother.
“I should drop by to say hi some time.”
“To who? My mom?”
“Yeah. Since I’m your boyfriend and all.”
“You’re crazy. If mom sees you… Ugh, I don’t even want to imagine it. She’s going to ask for more information, like, every night.”
“That just makes me want to go even more though?”
“Don’t you dare!”
She glared at him murderously. Then again, his mother-in-law was pretty sadistic, in a way. Maru remembered getting nervous as hell whenever he visited during holidays.
In any case, the group ran straight over to the barbeque place. It was 9 pm on a Sunday. As a result, the restaurant was filled with people. Three tables were empty, thankfully. Junmin and Ganghwan took their seats on one of the tables, and the 12 students split up between the other two tables. They ordered and waited for their food to arrive.
It was Yoojin. The girl was sitting on a different table, but she was right next to him before he knew it.
“What’s your phone number?”
“We’re a couple, so I need to know.”
Couple? That threw Maru off for a couple of seconds. But it didn’t take long for him to realize that his character in the play had a romantic interest with Yoojin’s character.
“I might message you often for questions.”
“Sure. Whatever makes you happy.”
Maru glanced at her after taking Yoojin’s phone. She was putting a lettuce wrap into her mouth, completely uninterested in what was currently happening.
‘Well, that’s very like her.’
Maru put his phone number into Yoojin’s phone.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This one was done by Ensj!