“There are no problems with the microphones, right?”
“Yes, they’re fine.”
“You told me that mic number 2 kept producing unwanted noises though.”
“We changed that out.”
This was the broadcasting room, where one corner of it was filled with broadcasting equipment. Maru sat down around a table placed in the center of the room. On his opposite side were the first years, who were waiting for him as they talked.
“Please take care of me for the next twenty minutes today too,” Yeondu, the third year of the broadcasting club, winked as she spoke.
She pushed up her glasses and checked the music CD with a junior of the broadcasting club.
“Let’s do one more read-through before we start,” Daemyung said as he picked up the script in front of him.
The broadcast was around 17 minutes. What Yeondu wanted was to gather the stories from the students of this school and modify them into fun stories, but apparently, she gave up due to the lack of participation. The other schools weren’t in good shoes either, so apparently, all of the schools would share any stories they got from their school and all of the schools would essentially talk about the same thing during lunch. The script in front of them was made like that.
“The microphone is in broadcasting mode right now so don’t power it on, okay?”
Maru pushed aside the microphone in front of him. There were two microphones on the table. The first years shared one while the second years shared the other. If they had a good microphone that was actually used in the field, one would suffice, but there was no way high school broadcasting clubs had such high-tech equipment. From what he overheard, the broadcasting club had to beg the school to get them these two microphones as well.
“It was Bangjoo and Dowook two days ago, right?”
“Then is it Maru and Aram’s turn today?”
Aram raised her hand and shouted ‘yes’.
“We’ll be starting in five minutes, so get your lines ready. Don’t make mistakes like last time. It was good since it was funny, but you should still do things properly.”
“I won’t make a mistake. Also, it’s fine since I made fewer mistakes than Dowook-seonbae. No one remembers because of that, hahaha!”
When Aram laughed, Dowook, sitting on the other side, sighed. Last time, Dowook screwed up while doing his opening line. The words ‘tiring afternoon’ became ‘tiring apfthernoon’.
Pfft, Maru laughed when he thought back to that time. He turned away from Dowook’s fierce glare. After that, Dowook’s nickname became ‘apfthernoon’ for the next two days. Even he, with his personality, didn’t fight anyone because of that nickname. He must have been so embarrassed that he couldn’t even get angry.
“Apfthernoon is no good, I’m serious,” Yeondu said with a wink.
“The song request is about to end. You guys should get ready to start.”
Hearing that, Daemyung quickly started reading the script. The script always arrived in the morning. They would read the script that Yeondu would pass onto them in the morning, and then immediately do the broadcast during lunch. Although the schedule was unbelievably tight, everything was forgivable since the objective was just a school broadcast program anyway. This was what Yeondu meant when she said that there was no pressure.
No one had any expectations of them, and they weren’t doing this for some kind of fame either. Although the YBS radio program was on the line, just one out of the numerous schools in the Gyeonggi region was going to be picked. Yeondu said that they should just treat it as a memory of their youth. Turns out, there were quite a lot of romanticists like Daemyung in the school. Also, it seemed that the word ‘memories’ worked well on other students as well as even Dowook showed concentration before the broadcast.
‘It’s a pity that my sleep time is reduced, but this isn’t bad either.’
If photos were all that was left from traveling, the only thing that was left behind from the high school period would be the memories made with friends.
“I hope you can sound awkward, yet not awkward. As for Maru, well… you’re just good, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.”
Yeondu put up three fingers in the air. Her other hand was on broadcasting equipment. Three, two, one. The moment the last finger went down, the other broadcasting club member powered on the microphones. Then cue.
“Uh, uh, have you had lunch everyone? Today was chicken, right? The competition must’ve been fierce.”
Aram stuttered because she missed the right timing, but she soon calmed down and continued. Maru gestured at Aram to calm down and followed up.
“We’re half-way through October already. The skies are high, and the winds are cool. It’s such good weather that it’s a waste to sit in class and study. That’s why, today, we at ‘Our Radio’ have prepared some stories about students passionately studying. That’s right, regardless of how cool the winds are, students have to study. Otherwise, we’d get scolded. Isn’t that right, teachers?”
He saw Yeondu’s hand gesture and pulled away from the microphone a little. He could see the first years sitting in front of him giving him a thumbs up.
Yeondu quietly whispered.
Daemyung, who was reading the script, leaned forward. The intro music started fading out. After seeing Yeondu’s hand gesture that signalled the start, Daemyung spoke.
“I want to date someone. I’m not joking, I’m serious. But I can’t fulfill that dream. The reason? It’s because my school is an all-boys school.”
The audio drama began with some humor.
* * *
“The girls in my class say that your voice sounds good, seonbae.”
Maru turned his head around when Aram said those words.
“Yes. That’s why I kindly told them that you’re actually a really cold person and that your voice is just acting.”
“No way, why is your reaction so bland?”
“I’m a taken man, so it would be quite a pain for me to be popular among girls.”
“Jiyoon, Jiyoon, don’t you think Maru-seonbae has a slight superiority complex?”
Maru glanced at Jiyoon. He saw her nodding slightly. Then, the two met eyes and she said ‘you’re cool’ as though making an excuse. He could treat Aram’s words as a joke, but Jiyoon’s actions hurt him a little.
“But I wasn’t lying when I said that the girls like your voice.”
“She’s right. A lot of them say that your voice is really relaxing.”
It was a compliment, so it wasn’t bad to hear. Maru smiled as he nodded.
“Are you going to Anyang immediately?” Aram asked.
“Yeah, I should be.”
“I thought you were practicing with us since you came up all the way here, but I guess not. You’re going to start ignoring us all once you actually become a famous actor, aren’t you?”
“Naturally. You didn’t have to ask that, to know that, did you?”
“I knew you’d say that.”
“Stop, and start practicing already. Once Daemyung and Dowook come, I’m gonna leave immediately. How can a student be awkward when playing the role of a student?”
“We’ll see about that. I’m going to become used to it soon. Jiyoon, let’s try this out once. You too, Bangjoo.”
When the 2nd year students were absent, the leader was Aram. She looked like someone who would fool around without a care when left alone due to her personality, but she was actually quite meticulous in nature and did things that she wasn’t asked to do. She was someone who knew when to play around and when to be serious. Though, the downside to that was that she played around too hard and she ran out of energy quite quickly.
Maru stood in one corner of the classroom and watched the first year students practice. Although they started off laughing, they looked very serious when they began practice.
Just then, Daemyung and Dowook came, bringing some kimbap from the restaurant in front of the school.
“Then I’m leaving. Good luck with practice.”
“Have some of this before you go.”
Dowook pointed at the kimbap. Maru took out one roll of kimbap wrapped in aluminum foil.
“I’ll eat it as I go.”
“Goddammit. You should really sit down when you eat. You should really take some slack.”
Saying that, Dowook threw him a drink can. Maru said goodbye to everyone as he ate a piece of kimbap. The first year students waved at him. Even here, Bangjoo’s voice was loud enough to echo across the corridor.
‘Looks like I’ll be just in time if I go now.’
He walked down the stairs while checking the time.
When he raised his head, he saw Daemyung grabbing onto the handrails.
“What? Got something to say to me?”
“Uhm… I might be overstepping my bounds here, and it might not be necessary to tell you this at all, but it was on my mind for some time.”
“What is it?”
Maru turned around to face Daemyung and smiled.
“You know, during lunch.”
“When we talked about girlfriends.”
“Oh that? What about it? You want me to recommend you a place to go?”
“I’ll be thankful if you do, but before that….”
Daemyung hesitated once again. Maru didn’t urge him and quietly waited. There should be a reason that such a cautious fellow was having a hard time talking about it.
After scratching his head for a while, Daemyung made a very faint smile and spoke,
“We are still kids. I’m not saying that you’re a kid. You’re a little different. But whether it’s me, or Jiyoon… or your girlfriend, I think we’re still kids.”
After saying that, Daemyung became flustered for a while before sighing.
“You might be late. Get going. I didn’t mean anything much when I said that, so just ignore me. It was a little awkward, right? Sorry about that. I guess I held you back for nothing. Even I don’t know what I’m trying to say here, haha, hahaha.”
After saying goodbye, Daemyung climbed up the stairs and disappeared again. Maru listened to the fading footsteps before turning around.
“What did he want to say?”
The kimbap in his hands looked limp and swayed up and down.
* * *
Maru leaned on the wall as he drank some water. This was a short break time after practice.
“Give me some as well.”
Sooil walked heavily towards him and sat next to him. Maru pointed at the fridge.
“It’s too hard to go there.”
“How do you even breathe then?”
He passed the water bottle he was drinking from to Sooil. Sooil took a sip before becoming limp like a sponge that soaked up water and lied down.
“You’re making such a big fuss even though you're still young.”
Although Ganghwan said those words, he also approached them and lied down on the floor. When Maru glanced at him, he licked his lips before saying,
“It’s fine since I’m old.”
“And I remember you telling me that you’re still young.”
“It’s fine because I’m a creature that’s somewhere between young and old.”
Watching them, Hanna said ‘bullshit’. All three men laughed.
“But don’t you feel like you’re putting more effort into the prior play than the main play?”
They created a few skits in order to gather people before the main play. Due to the characteristics of street performances, it would be hard to gather an audience if they didn’t have anything to pique their interest. Therefore, it was understandable that they were preparing some skits, but the problem was how much they practiced it.
“For the main play, we’re pretty much just setting up the stage for someone else to talk, so it doesn’t really require a lot of effort. Since the play is mainly led by the audience, we can only pray that they will lead us well.”
“At this rate, wouldn’t the audience just leave after the skits?” Sooil asked worriedly.
“Then we have to use our secret move.”
“A secret move?”
Maru was curious as well so he stared at Ganghwan’s lips.
“...Let’s just practice.”
“If we bring Geunsoo, people will probably gather. If that doesn’t work, we’ll call Suyeon as well.”
“That’s such an incredible plan, in so many ways, that I can’t even say anything about it. Oh, right, did you decide to drop the honorifics with Suyeon-noona? You always had a hard time dealing with her,” Maru asked.
“We’re in the same company now, and I have to see her face frequently, so I should get close. She must be a good woman if you get close to her.”
“Senior, I mean, hyung-nim. You’re uncomfortable with her, aren’t you?”
“Yeah. Actually, I still call her Miss Suyeon. She’s five years younger than me, but it’s still Miss Suyeon. That woman is so scary to get close to. I feel like she’ll drain my energy. In that sense, Hanna is so perfect. She’s practically a dude!”
A bottle full of water was flung at Ganghwan. Ganghwan quickly dodged. Had he been a little slower, he might have seen some blood.
“Maru, you seem like… you’ve become quite close to Miss Suyeon.”
Ganghwan approached him and said in a small voice.
“It’s a business relationship, not a private one.”
“But you call her noona though.”
“Lip service shines more with business relationships than with private ones. Rather than that, what were you planning to do during company meetups?”
“What do you mean? I just have to try my best if I don’t want to get branded by her as someone bad. Sooil, you’re quite close to Suyeon, aren’t you?”
Sooil smiled and nodded.
“I should really join an agency as well, urgh. Boys, why don’t you stop chatting and practice already?” Hanna said as she put her hands on her waist.
The three men said yes before standing up.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
"She's practically a dude!"
Man, Ganghwan doesn't have to worry about Suyeon cuz she's trying to seduce Guensoo. Also, Maru needs to just go visit bunbun and give me fluff.