Chapter 591

“Sheesh, I really can’t stop you, can I?” She asked as she looked at Maru standing in front of the door.

This man, who was smiling as he lifted the plastic bag he was holding slightly, was way too whimsical. The problem was that she didn’t dislike that daring part of him. Thanks to him, she had to use a hair straightener to straighten out her messy hair and even get clothed properly. She sighed, thinking that she was doing so much at 9 p.m. in the evening, but she also found herself slightly despicable for smiling as she looked at herself in the mirror.

“I haven’t seen that t-shirt before.”

“I bought it a while ago. Come on in. It’s a bit like a war zone though.”

She took the plastic bag from Maru and turned around. Maru came in and whistled when he looked at the scenery in the living room.

“Looks like they got drunk pretty bad.”

“Not really.”

“Where are the two who caused this mess?”

She put the plastic bag on the table and slightly opened the door to the bedroom. She saw her mother and Hanmi lying on the bed. They were sleeping while still hugging each other. She closed the door quietly so that it didn’t make any noise before turning around to Maru again.

“They’re asleep.”

“Really? Then tell them I was here when they wake up.”

She nodded before taking out the things that Maru bought. Dry snacks, some fruits, and hangover drinks. She put away the drinks and the snacks and then put the fruits on a tray before taking them to the living room.

“Eat some before you go.”

“Give me the knife. I’ll peel it.”

“I’m going to do it. If you’re so bored, you can clean this place up a little.”

“Is this how you treat your guests?”

“I did tell you not to come, you know?”

“Fine, it’s my fault for barging in.”

While Maru cleaned the living room, she peeled the fruits and put them on a dish. As she was peeling an apple, she suddenly found this situation pretty funny. This guy came to her house late at night and was cleaning, while she herself was peeling some fruits for him. There were also two people sleeping in the bedroom. It all felt like some weird messed up orchestra.

“Want some?” Maru asked as he picked up a can of beer after finishing cleaning.

She shook her head when Hanmi offered her a drink, but she was quite tempted when Maru was the one offering her a drink instead.

“Isn’t this situation quite funny?”

“It’s good if it’s funny. It’s better than being sad. You’re going to drink, right?”

“Just one glass.”

“Where did you put the dried squid I brought?”

“Drink with some fruits. Or with this.”

She pushed the almond chocolates to him. She thought that he wouldn’t buy them since he said that he hadn’t paid for them yet when she called him, but they were in the bag regardless.

“These are nuts, too, I guess.”

Tss, along with a refreshing sound, the can of beer opened. Maru, who tilted the glass about halfway down to pour the beer, smiled in satisfaction when he saw the beer filling up the glass with a suitable amount of foam.

“It always makes me feel good when the ratio is just right.”

“You look experienced.”

“Don’t take me for an alcoholic. I’m not even close to being one.”

“Lies.”

She got the chilly glass. Perhaps due to the warm house, moisture formed droplets outside the beer glass. She drank the beer with the foam. The first taste was a bit bitter, and the aftertaste was bitter as well. She really didn’t understand why people drank alcohol.

“Serious talk is always the way to go when drinking.”

Maru held up his glass. She grinned and clanged the glass against his. Along with a clanging sound, the droplets on the outer surface of the glass fell off.

“Today, I’m a persistent man. Thus, I’m going to act quite stubborn.”

“I thought you were here for the VCR.”

“Promises are meant to be broken.”

“Wow, what a bad guy.”

She looked downwards. Maru was probably waiting for a continuation of the conversation they had on the phone. She felt complex right now. Half of her wanted to spit everything out, while the other half wanted to hold everything in. She found out from Maru that relying on someone wasn’t something wrong. People relied on others when they were in a difficult situation. She also realized the joy of relying on others thanks to Maru.

“I got an offer,” she said as she looked at the beer glass.

“An offer?”

“I mean an agency.”

“Really? That’s good.”

“But I don’t know, I mean, whether this is a good thing or not.”

She fiddled with a slice of apple with her fork.

“Looks like it’s related to the acting problem you said before,” Maru said.

She didn’t say anything. She needed some time to think. She turned on the TV with a remote. Currently, a drama was airing. She fixed her eyes on the female lead acting inside the box TV.

“Hanmi-ahjumma, I mean, the writer told me that she can establish a bridge between me and an agency. She knows an agency that’s looking for a new actor or an actress to nurture and said that I would have an easier time if I work with them. The agency has Han Mijeong, Yoo Jihoon, and Park Jungho, as their main lineup.”

“Sounds like a good place.”

Like what Maru said, the agency was more than suitable for her to choose as her first agency. The actors there also had solid careers. She felt good since she might get to be in the same agency as actors and actresses that she looked up to, but then an unavoidable problem found its way to her.

“Will my acting really be good enough? In the first place, is it even right for me to join an agency like this?”

“So acting aside, you’re more concerned about using your connections to join an agency, huh?”

She slowly nodded. She wanted to be evaluated based on her skill. That part of her was definitely there. However, it was also likely that she would not receive good gazes from the people around her if she joined an agency through Hanmi. What troubled her even more was that there might be some people who would lose their opportunity just because she took their spot through her connections. How terrible was that? If a trainee who had prepared for an audition for a long time saw her, who had managed to easily pass with her connections, the shame and apologetic feelings she would have would be unimaginable.

“Man, I have a really kind girlfriend.”

“This is not about being kind. It’s natural.”

“You’re thinking about other people who might fail to make it because of you, right?”

“Is it on my face?”

“It was easy enough to read.”

“I wish I could do that. I really have too many worries. What you said aside, I’m more worried if it’s really okay for me to join an agency with my lacking skills.”

She heard that her acting lacked personality. She did well, but there was nothing more than that. She felt this clearly when she shot the sitcom. Actors who received the love of the masses possessed a different aura from the ordinary folk. It was hard to explain in words, but when she looked at such people standing in front of the camera, it was pretty easy to see that they were people who were standing on a completely different level.

And that applied to Maru as well. When she went to Woosung High and shot the film with him, she found out what kind of face Maru made during shoots. He showed incredible concentration and analyzed the script to extreme depths. He would look at her with a smile if she tried talking to him, but when they finished talking, he would give off an aura like a wild beast about to hunt, making him unapproachable. She had a hunch that Maru would definitely become a respectable actor. At the same time, she felt afraid. Would she ever be able to stand next to him as someone doing the same job?

Acting was the link that connected her to her father. The only memories of her childhood, Daehak-ro, had now become a stage where she had to make her dreams come true. I will become an actress - this resolution she had never wavered even once. However, the drama scene that she had experienced for herself was nothing like the small stage at her acting club, and her acting did not work there. She felt like she was just one of many people who finished their lives in the entertainment industry after showing their face once on TV.

“It will be great if everyone can become happy, but that’s an impossibility.”

Maru emptied the beer in one go.

“Also, there’s nothing more stupid than being worried about something that didn’t happen yet. Though, I find that part of you lovely as well.”

“But it’s a bad thing to use connections to join an agency, isn’t it?”

“Most of the time, yes. People usually don’t see them in a good light since most of them don’t have any skill and just ruin everything.”

“I really feel like I should take a proper audition.” 

“Well, I think that you should accept that offer instead.”

“Even if I take an easy way in, I will get left behind in the end. That will be even more tragic.”

“You don’t have any confidence in your skill?”

“For now, I don’t. I’m sure you’re different though.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Because you’re good.”

“You see me in a good way.”

“I’m not seeing you in a good way. It’s just the truth.”

“Your acting is not lacking either.”

“Don’t lie.”

“Why are my words lies when yours aren’t?”

“Because you are not me. You don’t know everything about me.”

“So you can’t trust my judgement?”

“N-no, it’s not like that.”

“Then what are you so afraid of? You really were someone with a lot of worries before, but it wasn’t to the point that you would worry about something that didn’t even happen, right”

“...Maybe it’s because the opportunity came to me all of a sudden. Moreover, it’s the opportunity that I’ve always wanted. I want to grab it, but I’m afraid because I might regret it later. I should improve my skill and challenge it by myself, as I will fail if I use someone else’s influence to succeed - that kind of thinking will definitely haunt me later.”

“You really are overly worried, huh.”

“That’s not a bad thing though.”

“It’s not. It definitely reduces the chances of failure. However, it doesn’t make sense to doubt the opportunity right in front of you and miss it. You must grab this. It might become the foundation for you to leap as an actress.”

“I don’t think my acting skills are on that level yet.”

“Then don’t believe in yourself.”

“How can I not believe in myself?”

Maru walked towards her on his knees. She stared at Maru’s face, which was right in front of her nose.

“Let me ask you one thing.”

“What?”

“Who do you think has a better eye for actors, you, or writer Lee Hanmi?”

She was momentarily at a loss on what to say. She realized what Maru wanted to say.

“I don’t know what kind of personality writer Lee Hanmi has, however, I believe that a person of her status won’t just recommend a random person to an agency. After all, her name value is at stake here. If you really think that she’s introducing you to an agency purely because you’re the daughter of a close friend of hers, then yes, it’d be better for you to give this opportunity up. But if it’s not like that, then grab onto it. Ignoring a shortcut and choosing a path filled with hardships is something only a monk does.”

“I don’t want to be disappointed. If I challenge something and fail, it would be me who would be in pain, but if I use connections….”

“Can I tell you something really ordinary? You just need to prove yourself. You should go in there and show everyone else that you have the skill.”

“I’m worried because I might not be able to.”

“You just have to make it happen like your life depends on it. There’s no one who pursues failure. If you have time to be worried about failure, then think about how you can do better instead. Your acting is definitely not lacking. No, you might even be cocky by thinking that you’re lacking. You showed up in a sitcom that airs during golden hours. You already have experience going on a TV program that countless people want to be on. If you are lacking, then you just have to improve yourself.”

His eyes were clear. Maybe this was too fundamental. If it was Maru, he would make it happen. The problem was with herself - can I really do it?

“I’m not a third-rate writer who uses anyone at random!”

She suddenly heard a loud shout behind her and saw that Maru had a big grin on his face. She turned around thinking ‘no way’. Hanmi was standing there, glaring at her.

“There you have it.”

She got played really well this time. Maru grinned and stood up.

“You must be writer Lee Hanmi, right? My name is Han Maru.”

“Ah, I see. Han Maru, I know you.”

“I really like the character Lee Chan that you created.”

“Of course you do. Who do you think made him? Rather than that, I’m really glad that this is the only drama I didn’t have any influence over the casting for the characters. If I did, I wouldn’t have picked you. I don’t like your eyes.”

“I do get that I look quite cold quite a lot.”

Hanmi burst out into laughter.

“Hey! I’ve taken a liking to you! Unni! Your son-in-law-to-be is here!”

Hanmi staggered her way back into the bedroom again.

She fell into a panic as she watched as all of this happened.

“Phew, is it time to meet mother-in-law now?”

Maru’s shameless face could be seen. She frowned and threw a cushion from the sofa at him.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

I'm sure a lot of you must be disappointed now since CuteSheHer won't join JA (or will she?)

Editor's Note:
Man, Bunbun too nice. She going to get destroyed when she realizes that the one thing the world is furthest from is fairness. Each success comes at the cost of countless others failing. That's just the sad reality of the world.