“I don’t think I am allowed to let you take it home. I did look for one, but all the VCRs registered as school items are integrated into the TV, so I can’t really let you take it home.”
“I see. Sorry for asking you something absurd.”
“No, no. Sorry for not being able to help. But why are you looking for a VCR? Most people use CDs these days.”
“I have some videotapes I got from someone.”
“Don’t tell me they are red tapes?” Taesik teased.
“We’re past the era of watching such things on videotapes. It’s just a video recording of a real play and a real stage. They are precious resources, so I wanted to watch them quickly, but things just aren’t going well.”
“If it’s like that, you can bring it to school and watch it here.”
“There’s about sixty of them….”
“Oh, I guess you need to look for a VCR and watch it at home then.”
“I was counting on the school to have one, but I guess it didn’t go that well. I’ll try visiting Yongsan next week.”
“If I had one at home, I’d love to lend it to you, but we threw it out a few years ago as well.”
“Most households don’t have one these days. I guess they’ll soon be treated like record players, while videotapes become vinyl records.”
Just as he was about to say goodbye and leave, Taesik’s laptop made a noise. When Maru had a look at the screen, he saw a messenger window pop up. Taesik sighed after checking the message.
“You seem busy, so I’ll take my leave now. Thank you for looking into it.”
“Oh, okay. But this isn’t work. This is something worse.”
“Worse? Is it….”
Taesik pointed at the laptop screen as though it was fine for Maru to read. Maru narrowed his eyes. He could see the text on the screen. The first thing he looked for was the name of the one who sent the message. He realized then what was worse than work.
“So you still haven’t finished preparing for the wedding yet.”
“The important things have been dealt with.”
“Then I guess it must be about the honeymoon huh.”
“I heard Miso vented her stress on you, and it seems that she told you about that after all.”
“I heard it a while back. But did you really invite your parents and mother-in-law to the honeymoon?”
“Things happened that way.”
“You were too generous. She’s going to use this to nag you for a lifetime.”
“I know, right? I’ve never dated anyone until now, and I’m suddenly getting married, so people around me are like… you know. There’s the age gap between me and Miso too. We met each other’s parents amidst the confusion, and thanks to that, we found out about each other’s family history. I know just how hard a single parent’s life is since I’m a teacher. I thought that it was good to take mother-in-law since she must have had a hard time until now, but when I got myself together, I felt like I made a mistake.”
“It would’ve been perfect if it wasn’t the honeymoon. Such a pity.”
“You’re entirely right. Plus, it’s not like I can suddenly go up to mother-in-law and tell her the disappointing news. If I go through like this though, I’m afraid of the consequences.”
“...Congratulations on your marriage. I guess that’s the only thing I can tell you.”
“Don’t you have a way out?”
“My mother said this once: A wife is above the national leader before marriage. Anyway, Miso-noonim does really love you, so perhaps you’ll be able to gloss over it if you act cute?”
“Act cute at this age?”
“Teach, acting cute works if someone who never does it does it. Rather than regretting it later, even the young me thinks that you should look for peace right now by getting her to forgive you.”
Good luck - Maru cheered in a small voice. Taesik made an awkward smile and put his hands on the keyboard. When Maru glanced back, he was creating an emoticon on the keyboard. Bless the latecomer husband. Of course, it was likely that she would nag him about it their whole lives, but what could he do about it? He should have been prepared for what’s coming since he got a young wife.
“Hey, Han Maru! Where do you think you’re going without cleaning!”
A broom was thrown at his face as soon as he returned to the classroom.
“How heartless. Can’t you fill in for a friend?”
“Stop yapping and do it quickly. You’re in charge of the corridor!”
Maru smiled bitterly when he felt the kindness of a friend who would not accept other people’s happiness. He was sweeping the floor with the broom in the corner of the corridor when he heard a pair of deep voices from the floor beneath him. Maru grabbed onto the banister and looked down. A skinny tall guy and a small but well built guy were talking to each other.
“Did you guys eat steam engines or something? Quieten down a little,” Maru said as he looked at Bangjoo and Chihwan, who were climbing the stairs.
These days, they always walked around together like a duo from a comedy movie. Of course, it was rather rude of him to compare those two to renowned actors, but he couldn’t help but be reminded of such a pair when looking at the two.
Bangjoo greeted him politely while Chihwan waved his hand. Bangjoo scolded Chihwan saying that he was rude. Maru sighed.
“Both of you are just as bad so stop. Also, lower your voices. Leaving aside Chihwan, Bangjoo, isn’t it about time you got that fixed?”
“I am trying to, but I always end up raising my voice when I’m next to this guy. He’s too loud so I can’t hear anything whenever I say something.”
As soon as Bangjoo’s words ended, Chihwan countered.
“Bangjoo-seonbae. You can’t just say that. I’m raising my voice because your voice is loud.”
“That’s not true.”
“That’s what I want to say.”
Maru quietly approached them from the back and pulled both of them by one ear.
“Go up to the hall already. No one will say anything about your voice there.”
The two juniors grabbed their ears and walked up the stairs. Usually, the meeting of two people gave rise to a synergistic effect, but with these two, that effect took place in a weird direction.
“Good to see that they’re lively. I had them do the same things since I thought they would become close to each other, and it seems I was right.”
When he turned around, he saw Daemyung. Maru slapped Daemyung’s chest without saying a word.
“So you are the cause.”
“That’s not called lively. That’s called being loud.”
“At least it’s nice to look at them. They’re filled with vitality.”
“As expected of the club president who loves the juniors. Are you going up right now?”
“No, I’m going to buy some drinks from the cafeteria. You’re coming to practice today, right?”
“I will. I’ve been missing practice for quite a while now.”
“If you’re too busy, don’t push yourself.”
“Hey, the word is that you work until late into the night. Do you think I can rest like that? I’m going to go and do some practice and check on the props as well so don’t worry about it. Also, sorry. I feel like I’m pushing everything onto you.”
“Oh, don’t mention it.”
“Dowook isn’t coming either these days, right?”
“Yeah. He went home early today as well.”
“Looks like they’re having a hard time looking for a part timer.”
“They did find one, but apparently, that person didn’t show up without notice after a few days. Is a petrol station job that hard?”
“It’s a bit hard because of washing the larger vehicles. Although the machine does the brunt of it, it still requires a person to help.”
“Maybe that’s why Dowook said he wanted to have you do the work. His father is also apparently looking for you all the time.”
“The auntie there made some really nice food, so it was really good working there. Though, I can’t do it now because I’m busy.”
“You are doing the club on top of your studies too, aren’t you? If it’s really that hard, tell the 2nd years about it. It’d be better if I or Dowook could show up from time to time, but that’s hard for both of us.”
“I’m starting to realize why the 3rd year seniors never came to practice last year. You really get that pressure that you have to study huh.”
“Tell me once something happens. I’ll try whatever I can to help.”
Daemyung smiled and climbed down the stairs. It was really satisfying to see the increasing number of club members at the beginning of March, but problems started occurring when they started practicing for real. There were over thirty juniors to guide, yet two out of the three third year members were absent all the time, so there had to be problems. Daemyung was trying his best, but he probably had it hard, both psychologically and physically.
‘I don’t think it’s a bad idea to pick a club president from the 2nd year members quickly.’
Once Daemyung retired from being president, he should get more time to focus on his schoolwork. The acting club was an important place, yes, but compared to Daemyung’s future, not as important. Rather than achieving something as an acting club, Daemyung’s stable entry into college was much more important from Maru’s perspective.
“Seonbae, are you cleaning?”
Aram and Jiyoon appeared in front of him. They seemed to be going up. Maru stroked his chin as he looked at Aram. Among the 2nd year students, Aram was probably the best-suited to be the club president. Bangjoo wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t capable of being harsh. If they were given some work, he would cheerfully solve everything by himself. Compared to him, Aram was someone who could distribute the work suitably. She would also be moderately strict as well. The club president had to be able to become strict and snap out. In that sense, Aram was a decent candidate. Of course, Jiyoon was a really decent person as well, but….
“Seonbae-nim. Do you need help?” Jiyoon offered.
Jiyoon did not suit the position after all. She was a docile sheep, so she would get swung around by the wolves if she was given armor to wear. It was better to give the position to someone who knew how to bare their fangs.
“You shouldn’t do that. Seonbae, we’ll be off first.”
“Alright. Daemyung said he’s going to buy drinks before going up, so go up and have everyone start practice. Bangjoo is up there as well, but he’s probably fooling around with the others.”
Aram led Jiyoon up. Hm, she was really reliable. He decided that he should talk to Daemyung about stepping down from the role of president.
After sweeping the floor, he went to the classroom and got his bag. Although he usually only carried around a script and a novel, there was a videotape inside today. He couldn’t hold back his curiosity and ended up bringing one. There was a VCR in the classroom opposite of the hall, so he could watch it there.
“7th of August, 1987.”
Maru looked at the videotape he took out from his bag. This was the oldest record among the videotapes that director Lee Jincheol gave him. The sixty videos were recorded a few days apart at the shortest and months apart at the longest. The last video was taken in January of 1989, a month before Jung Haejoo passed away. According to the timeline, the Jung Haejoo of 1987 had not met president Lee Junmin yet. He would find out what kind of acting she did through this video.
After putting the videotape back in his bag, he started walking up the stairs. When he arrived at the hall and opened the door, he saw the juniors who were stretching under the guidance of Aram.
He nodded at the juniors before going to a corner. He planned to watch the video leisurely after doing everything he needed to do.
“For now, let’s start with sewing.”
Maru put some clothing on his lap as well as some cloth to patch it up.
 A.k.a porn.
Yeah. I always wondered why the third years didn't give the position of the president to one of the 2nd year students.
Idk why Maru is apologizing. He wasn't going to join originally nor do the play because he knew very well he wouldn't have the time, but Daemyung quite literally forced him into doing it. There's really no need for Maru to apologize.