* * * *
“Thanks for the food!” Said Jiseok as he left the restaurant.
“This is the first time I tried Seonji Gukbap (Blood pudding soup & rice), but it was unexpectedly good.
It has a unique charm to it that’s different from Seolleongtang (Ox bone soup).”
Although Jiseok didn’t look like it with his skinny body, he actually ate quite a lot.
He quickly finished his own bowl of Seolleongtang that he ordered and eyed the Seonji Gukbap that Maru ordered.
As he was practically drooling, Maru had no choice but to order another bowl of Seonji Gukbap, and Jiseok started gobbling away as soon as it arrived.
Seeing him eat reminded Maru of a farmer hurriedly doing away with his meal to work.
If he was given some makgeoli (rice wine) to drink, he might have exclaimed out loud after finishing it in one gulp.
Even after finishing his second meal, Jiseok stared at the menu.
He was always hungry for more in life, quite literally.
“Let’s be friends from now on.
Someone that treats me to a meal will never be a bad person.”
“Who told you that?”
“Now that’s a very dangerous perspective of life he has there.
Remember that the one that treats you food is the most dangerous person.”
They walked towards the subway station while chewing on the mint candy that the store has as dessert.
Their destination was Hyehwa station.
Since it came to this, he decided that he wanted to just enjoy the play.
As soon as the two got on the train, Maru walked away from Jiseok.
He didn’t want to pretend like he knew this childish guy who took both of his hands off the handle and acted cool as though he wasn’t affected by the movement of the train.
“Perhaps this is what it feels like to skateboard.”
“No, I’m sure it would feel like this.”
Maru thought that this guy would probably do well even on an uninhabited island.
Perhaps he might name a volleyball “Wilson” and play with it joyfully until his death.
This guy was definitely more than capable of doing that.
After watching him for a while, they soon arrived at Hyehwa station.
As today was Sunday, there were a lot of people.
There were students who came to watch plays, as well as couples of various age groups that came on dates.
The weather today was perfect for a picnic.
Though, Maru felt rather depressed since it wasn’t her that was by his side today.
“We have time to look around.”
The time was 2:27.
Since the play started at 3, they still had some time left.
Since it was Sunday, there were a lot of street performers as well.
Many of them were skilled and it was a pity that they were performing for free.
When Maru took the chatty Jiseok for a stroll around the Marronnier Park, around 20 minutes had passed.
It was about time.
The two went towards the theater.
There was a long queue outside and they were all people waiting to enter the theater that Ganghwan and Miso were actors at.
“I knew this was a popular play,” said Jiseok excitedly as he made a victory pose.
After that, he tip-toed to peek inside the entrance.
This guy liked plays too much.
“Do you like plays that much?”
“Rather than the plays, I like the people, I mean, the actors that bring out their all on the stage.”
Maru nodded his head since the reply was unexpectedly normal.
The queue soon started moving forward until they reached the person that checked the tickets.
Someone unexpected was checking the tickets.
“It’s been a long time, noona,” greeted Maru.
“Han Maru, it’s been a while.”
She was the actress Hanna that he met while commuting to the practice room in Suwon.
The person that acted as a bridge between Maru and her.
“I heard a rumor that things went well between the two of you after that.”
“Thanks to you, noona, we’re going out.”
“Wow, you didn’t miss the opportunity, huh.
Now that’s what I call a man,” She sounded as cheerful as she always did.
“So, what stage have you gone to? The one after the kiss? Tell me, tell me,” and she still liked to make sexual jokes.
“We’re taking it slow.”
“You sly wolf.”
“Rather than that, how is it between you and Suchan-hyung?”
“What can there be between me and that romanticist? Last winter, we went to Jeongdongjin together and even booked a room, but he never touched me.
I told him not to cross the line I drew, and he really never did.
He’s worse than a beast.
I might as well assault him after drinking three bottles of Soju.”
“…Please don’t harass him sexually.
He’s too pitiful.”
“Heheh, don’t worry about that.
He won’t feel any pain,” said Hanna with a devious smile.
As she did, she showed Maru the ring on her ring finger.
“At least he proposed to me.”
“He proposed? Are you two getting married?”
We don’t even have a house yet.
It’s more of a proof that we’re each other’s.
I was so frustrated so I threatened him to propose to me.
I got this a while after that,” Said Hanna as she proudly showed off her left hand.
She looked very happy.
After she checked the tickets for the two, she returned them after slightly ripping the ends of them.
“Are you in the play as well?”
“I’m in as a double cast.
Only, I’m a little sad because Miso-unni’s popularity is so high,” said Hanna as she pretended to sob.
“Anyway, have a good time.
And you too, the one next to Maru.”
“Yes!” Replied Jiseok as he took a step forward.
“Uhm, if it’s not too rude of me, can I give you a hug? I really enjoyed ‘Your Story’ from back then.”
“Huh? That’s R-19 though, so you shouldn’t be able to watch it.”
“I passed because my face looks a little old.”
“You… you just caught my fancy.”
Hanna lightly hugged Jiseok.
This was just a scene where a strange woman recognized a strange guy.
Maru quickly entered the theater in fear that he might be affected by the weird energy that these two gave off.
“Don’t keep going ahead.
You’re making me feel bad.”
Jiseok soon caught up and sat down next to Maru.
He hadn’t visited small theaters for quite a while.
The facilities here were quite nice and he was able to stretch his legs.
Some old small theaters were cramped to the point that his shoulder would be touching the person next to him.
“Are you acquainted with that noona?”
“We practiced together for a while.
I was the actor, and she would give me tips from time to time.”
“Wow, you must be quite capable!” Jiseok’s chatter continued until the audience lights dimmed.
Only signs that hinted the existence of stairs were still lit, and the theater darkened.
Some of the people in the audience that were chatting also quietened down.
Although there were more than a hundred people in this small space, not a breath could be heard.
Maru liked the silence that he could feel just before a play.
He was able to feel the silence even when he was behind the stage, and that silence stimulated the tension around his body.
It was the coziness that told him that the play was about to start.
He heard a short breath next to him.
When he looked around to see Jiseok’s expression, Maru groaned slightly.
Jiseok’s eyes had changed completely.
His usual easygoing smile had turned into something completely foreign.
There are times when extreme focus induces fear into the ones observing, and the air around Jiseok was exactly like that right now.
With his chin resting on his hands, he was staring at the stage.
It was as though he was saying that he would not miss a single thing that was about to occur.
Maru didn’t feel that Jiseok would reply even if he tried to talk to him.
Not that he had any intention to.
In any case, he thought that he would have some peace when he appreciated this play.
Soon, the play began, starting with the narration.
– Next up, the first prize for the lottery has broken its previous record.
The first place prize is 8 billion won.
And there is only one winner.
After the news commentary, a person hurriedly entered the stage from the wall on the left of the stage.
A man wearing baggy clothes.
He was none other than Ganghwan.
He looked restless as he looked around him as though he had stolen something.
Not long later, he took out a piece of paper from his chest pocket.
“I, I won! I actually won!”
He shivered in glee, but soon, he regained his calm expression and continued to look around him.
At that moment, another actor rushed out from the other side of the stage, panting.
The light shining on Ganghwan dimmed a little before it brightened on the other person.
It was Miso, with ruffled hair and wearing training clothes.
As this was the first time Maru saw Miso acting on stage, Maru felt rather unfamiliar and weird.
“This isn’t a dream right? I actually won right? The heavens have finally given me an opportunity, right?”
Miso too took out a piece of paper and shone it against the sunlight.
She kowtowed towards the piece of paper as though she was some priest giving prayer.
Soon, she too became wary of her surroundings.
The lights then focused on both of them before some others started walking past them.
Ganghwan and Miso acted as the ‘completely suspicious person’ with all of their bodies.
Soon, the two of them bumped into each other in the middle of the stage.
Both of them dropped the paper in their hands on the floor, and both of them screamed at the same time.
The lights faded out.
The stage changed in the darkness.
When the lights turned on again, there was a pojang macha (street stall-like restaurant).
Ganghwan and Miso were inside, sitting around a table.
On the table were numerous empty bottles of soju.
“How are you going to compensate for this? Mine was a 1st place prize!”
Ganghwan acted like a drunkard.
His slurred speech was so natural that he really sounded drunk.
“That’s what I want to say.
How are you going to compensate for my 1st place lottery ticket?”
That’s a bold lie you have there.”
“You and your bullshit!”
Both of them glared at each other.
However, they didn’t seem to have any energy to fight and just sat back down and started drinking again.
“If I had that money then I’d…,” Ganghwan abruptly stood mid way.
The lights changed and his soliloquy began.
“First, I would be able to buy a house.
An extremely large one at that.
Also, the sofa must be big.
Big enough for me to lie down on it and still have some room left over!”
After that, the actors walking around at the back of the stage quickly came out and cleared out the stage before setting it up with a sofa.
Looking at that, Maru realized how this play was unfolding.
Ganghwan lay down on the sofa and picked up the remote control for the TV.
Then, he continued the play, his drunkenness gone.
* * * *
Along with a round of applause, the curtain call began.
The play was a romantic comedy with a story of two people, who discussed their dreams after losing the lottery tickets, eventually becoming lovers.
The imaginations of the two people in the pojang macha was recreated on stage, and as the story progressed, their imaginations changed from completely unrealistic to somewhat realistic.
The ending was a rather stereotypical one where neither of them had actually won the lottery, but the play was so interesting that the ending didn’t matter at all.
The nonchalant acting of the two people on stage as well as the side characters restlessly changing the props on the stage induced everyone to laugh.
This was a very enjoyable play, and it was also one that was easy for people that found plays difficult to enjoy regardless.
It was worth it for Miso to hand out the tickets herself.
There should be no better play to watch for the first years than this.
It was both interesting, and the acting of the actors were good.
It had no profound depth to it, but it had the magic of making the audience forget the flow of time, so it was overall very splendid.
The actors came to the stage and took a bow together.
What came next was something exclusive to small theaters like this – a time where the audience got to interact with the actors.
Ganghwan and Miso sat down on a chair and wiped off their sweat.
They answered the questions that some members of the audience asked, and took photos with people that told them that they were fans.
“Miso-noona! I’m a fan of yours!”
Jiseok, who was also seriously watching the play went to the stage and stood next to Miso.
Maru felt good to watch him be so happy.
After returning to the seat, Jiseok boasted to him that he took a photo with her.
“You should take a photo with her too.
This is a great opportunity.”
“Nah, I’m good.”
I can not allow you to miss this opportunity as your friend.”
After photo time, the audience left the theater one by one and by that time, Jiseok grabbed Maru’s arm and took him to the stage.
The staff of the theater respectfully told them that it was time to leave.
As Maru didn’t want to disturb people, he was going to abide when a voice from the stage stopped him in his steps.
“Hey! You should at least say hi if you’re here!”
Miso was waving her hand at him with glee.
Maru saw that Jiseok was staring at him, his jaws agape.
Maru hated those eyes.
Those eyes were asking him to explain what this was about.
Maru smiled bitterly and went to the stage.
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