Big Life - Chapter 1
No Money and No Recognition (1)
The phone under his pillow greatly vibrated his body. Jaegun’s two eyes burst open. He was anxiously waiting for his editor in chief’s call; however, it wasn’t the editor. It was his best friend, Park Jungjin.
“Heeeelllllooo…” He yawned.
“What’s with you today?”
“Just woke up. The deadline is today.”
“Oh, that new contract.”
“Yeah, just got it done.”
“That’s good. Come before 7:30. Remember? At Shinchon?”
His eyes burst open again at his words, “What do you mean? 7:30?”
“This idiot forgot again? You know the college reunion is today?”
“Aaaaahhhhh.” Jaegun sighed. He had completely forgotten. Today was the day to meet his fellow literary college graduates. “What time is it right now?”
“Don’t even have a clock? You better hurry because it’s 5 right now. Woah. Hey, I have a meeting to go to. See you later.”
He took his aching body and went to the bathroom; he needed to hurry.
“AAAAAHHHH IT’S FREAKING COLD!” The freezing water hit his body hard.
He had no choice; he had to save on his gas fees. Flailing like a fish, he hurriedly finished his shower. Picking out his best clothes, he quickly left home.
Heading to the bus stop, he checked the time. 15 minutes to get to the subway station, 40 minutes to ride the subway. He had some time.
‘It’s still the same.’
He arrived at the meeting place, a nostalgic pub. He remembered when he had first visited this place. Cheap and delicious; the store owner was really nice as well.
Someone behind him tapped his shoulder.
Surprised, he looked back to see a smiling Jungjin.
“Hey man, don’t do that. My heart’s been weak recently.”
“What are you doing out here; not going in yet?”
“I was just… filled with nostalgia. I haven’t been here in ages.”
“Same; it’s been a while. Let’s go in.”
In the corner of the pub, there was a huge corner large enough to hold even 20 people. 18 people said they would come. Most of them were already there and exchanging conversations.
“Hey. Been a while, man.”
“You two, always sticking together since college. You dating now?”
People exchanged greetings.
Jaegun and Jongjin took their places and replied, “Hey, how is everyone? Your face is still the same, Hyojin.”
“Don’t make fun of me, I was thinking of getting a facelift because of my skin.”
“Silly you, not even 30 and thinking of nonsense. Don’t ruin your pretty face.”
“Same as always, I see. Speaking about pretty, come to me; I’ll take care of you today.”
She gestured with her hands for him to sit next to her. With a face, Jongjin came in the middle.
“Hey, hey, hey, don’t put all the attention on him. Look at this poor looking producer. This poor looking producer spent a week with a bloody nose trying to think of an idea that just got shoved in the trash can.”
“Ohhh you di~d,” she mocked. ”Come here too. Have a drink.”
Smiling, he went next to her with a cup.
Minah, the girl across from them, said with wide-eyes, “You guys are starting strong already. Aren’t you ready to be dating now? Don’t you think, Jaegun?”
“Yeah. Listening to them, I reckon so,” he replied seriously.
Immediately, Jongjin and Hyojin crinkled their faces and stared at each other. A smile formed on Jaegun’s lips.
A sound of shoes hitting the ground came up. Everyone looked towards the sound. A man in a suit waved confidently to the crowd; it was another graduate, Oh Myunghoon.
“Hey, come here.”
“How’s it been going.”
The reaction was different from when they had gotten here. There was more cheering, especially from the girls.
“It’s the successful guy! I see you’ve been rocking them fancy clothes.”
“What do you mean? It’s only the beginning.” He said stolidly and sat down straight across from Jaegun.
“Been awhile, hasn’t it.” he put his hand out.
“Yeah, yeah, it has been,” Jaegun replied awkwardly. He couldn’t be calm any more.
Not everyone becomes a writer when they graduate from literary college. As it was a job with great risk, people often went elsewhere to find jobs. They might go to a gaming company and write scenarios like Jongjin. In his college, there were barely any writers. In this reunion, there was two.
One was Jaegun, the other was the person right across from him, Myunghoon.
Myunghoon recently broke out and had achieved huge success with his three romance novels. One had even gotten a huge award. It was big enough to be considered to be adapted into a drama.
Myunghoon was famous among writers, and his salary was said to be in the millions already.
“What have you been doing recently?” Myunghoon asked.
It felt mocking. It felt mocking to be asked a question that he already knew the answer to. Reading his mind, Jongjin answered for him,” What do you think? Of course he’s been writing.”
“I see, still writing?” He put a strange emphasis on “still.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m still writing. You want a drink?” he answered back with a false smile.
“I’ve heard. You’ve been famous. Congrats.”
“Nah, it’s nothing. It’s only good enough for a drama consideration.”
Jaegun’s hands shook when he was pouring the drink. Trying to conceal it, he quickly poured the drink and put the bottle down.
“What are you writing?” Myunghoon asked.
“Me? I’ve been, I’ve been writing a martial arts novel for a contract right now.”
“Ah, martial arts? Does that even pay? Does it even give 1,000,000 Won for a book?”