Life, Once Again!
“Are you really okay? You suddenly collapsed.”
“Men can get anemic too sometimes.
Looks like I ran out of stamina because I haven’t been able to get good sleep these days.”
Joomin dusted his clothes off with worried eyes.
“I knew you were going to collapse one day.
You looked somewhat weak since morning.
Do you want me to bring you to the hospital?” Dongho asked.
“You have a shoot to do.
You aren’t going anywhere.
I can go by myself.”
“What are you going to do if you fall down again?”
“That won’t happen, so don’t worry about it.”
Maru thought about Byungchul, who would be at the company, but he decided not to call him.
After all, he knew that there was nothing wrong with his body.
He left the middle school through the school gates and grabbed a taxi.
On his way there, he organized his thoughts.
When doing a 1,000-piece puzzle, the start would feel incredibly slow and unclear, but once the edges were done, it would become a lot faster.
This was also true for his fragmented memories.
When some of the pieces fit together, he could see the general picture.
The thing he had to do now was to grab the floating memories and stitch them together in the correct order.
His brain was doing this job even without him having to be conscious of it, so the memories should soon be restored with a bit of time.
He went to the nearby hospital, got diagnosed, and left.
Naturally, there was nothing wrong with him.
He sent Park Hoon a text message.
He got a call right away.
-Can you do the shoot?
There’s a lot of money involved.
The doctor said there’s no problem, so if you would allow it, I’d like to shoot.”
-It’ll take some time before we start your scene, so get some fresh air before coming back.
You should get some sleep or something.
If you feel anemic at your age, you won’t be able to do this job for long.
“I’m okay now.
Then I’ll get some fresh air before returning.”
After hanging up, Maru called Dongho.
-Yeah, it’s me.
Are you okay?
I’m going back soon, so can you give me a call when my scene is approaching?”
I’ll give you a call, so get some sleep before coming.
It looks like you ran out of strength because you’re doing two jobs.
After thanking him, Maru sat on a bench in front of the hospital.
He laughed in vain when he looked at the people walking around in patient clothes.
His own state was not that different from them.
-Do you remember?
He wondered when he was going to speak.
Maru closed his eyes.
He was standing on the stage where the masked man lived.
“I have a lot to ask, but now’s not the time.
My head is still in a mess right now.”
-I’m sure it must be like that.
Tens of years of memories should have returned all at once.
Maru looked at the masked man.
“Are you going to keep wearing that mask?”
-It’s somewhat embarrassing to take it off right now.
At this point, I’m more comfortable with it on.
“If you’re okay with it, then so be it.
But how funny.
We’re all Han Maru in the end.”
-Yes, it’s comedic.
“We have a lot to talk about.”
-Yes, we do.
“But before that, there’s something I want to tell you.”
Maru reached out to him.
“You’ve been working hard until now.
And since you’re at it, let’s do some more.”
-I don’t remember the last time I was thanked like this.
“I’m sure you don’t.
You’ve lived for centuries after all.”
-I’m not sure if ‘lived’ is the right word.
The concept of life is very vague here.
“Can I ask you something?”
-Yes, to commemorate your return.
“What is it that you want?”
-I’m sure you must know already.
Maru could read the expression hidden behind the mask.
-I don’t care if it’s a happy ending or a bad ending.
An ending – that is all I want.
I want to stop getting tired and to stop watching for that matter.
If I could have the luxury of choosing, I wish to lie on the same bed as her, with our daughter in the middle.
I long for human smell.
I long for emotions too.
But I’m sure it must be impossible.
I don’t have a body after all.
“Why did you pop out like that? Why did you get separated and become another me?”
-I’m not sure.
Perhaps it was for the sake of you, the twenty-first Maru.
It was not a big number, yet an extremely large one too.
In this place where no one called out to him, a man had to witness his own death more than a dozen times.
What would that man be like? It shouldn’t be something that a human could imagine.
This being was once Han Maru, but now, it was questionable whether he could still be called Han Maru.
-Let’s talk once you get your thoughts organized.
Right now, you seem to be in need of some rest.
“Yeah, I think I’ll do that.”
Maru slowly opened his eyes.
The dark stage disappeared, leaving the autumn sky and the tall hospital building in his vision.
He took out his phone from his pocket.
He pressed some buttons to pull up Gaeul’s phone number on his screen.
Maru took his finger off when all he needed to do was to press the call button.
“This shouldn’t be the right time.”
He could not hurry.
His fate, as well as his life, was very twisted and tangled right now.
If he impatiently touched it, it might break everything.
He had to be careful as though he was walking on a tightrope.
Rather than that – Maru smiled at the memories that flashed through his mind.
He felt stifled when he had a look at what the warm-hearted Han Maru had done until now.
Ever since his memories of being betrayed by a devoted junior at the company disappeared, his entire person became really docile.
It was him who said that memories didn’t disappear easily, yet he had made a complete fool out of himself.
Maru pinched his fingers and put them between his eyes.
“So I can resist, huh.”
Was this a victory for the man that had repeated the déjà vu-like life over and over again? Or was this another one of god’s mischiefs? Maru opened the memo application on his phone.
There was something he needed to test out.
‘I died once and came back to life.’
He could write things about his revival.
Of course, this wouldn’t help that much.
If all of his memories vaporized, he would obviously treat this memo as a joke even if he found it.
“Uhm, excuse me.”
Maru stopped a woman who was about to enter the hospital.
He then looked into her eyes for a while.
A moment later, something familiar popped up above her head.
-What’s this child up to?
God didn’t seem that picky.
He didn’t take away the gift that he sent out.
The lack of functionality in this gift was still a pity though.
It would be great if he could see other people’s inner psychology, but he could still only read thoughts related to ‘Han Maru’ within the target.
I must have been mistaken.”
He had to check things like stocks and estate prices, but he didn’t feel like that would work.
He only had some restrictions on his memory lift, not all of the ones placed on him.
Maru twisted his neck left and right as he entered the convenience store in front of the hospital.
He needed something to drink right now
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