Big Life - Chapter 38
With the Night’s Protection (1)
Jeguk squinted his eyes like a person blinded by the sun. And then Tewon repeated with a louder voice.
“I want to resign from this company.”
“You…! Are you saying this because I got a bit loud?!”
“No that’s not it. I am not doing as the representative wishes. With this, I cannot keep the editor position anymore.”
“Wa, wait. Wait a second. Just sit down.”
Jeguk waved his hand as he stuttered. He was stunned. It had been 9 years since they been first got together. He knew that Tewon was not the kind of person to be swayed by emotion.
Jeguk went to behind the desk and drank some water. One wasn’t enough, so he drank another cup. He sighed and walked in front of the window.
“Are you serious?”
Jeguk, after a while, said.
Before Tewon on the sofa could respond, Jeguk asked again.
“Are you serious? Why are you resigning. What’s the issue?”
It was a rhetorical question. Jeguk turned around and sat down the opposite of Tewon. And with his anger quelled, Jeguk continued with an anxious expression.
“I get it. My words were a bit rough. The electronic team is doing very well, but my daughter and her husband are playing around like they are going to ruin this company. I gave her friend a position in marketing, but she sucks. Nothing’s going right. It must have been because of that. I was too harsh. I’m sorry. Really.”
Tewon was quiet.
Jeguk’s words were honest. He wasn’t a bad person who would get angry easily. If he was, Tewon wouldn’t have lasted 9 years. He was a person who really took care of Tewon when Tewon took care of him. That’s why he worked for so long.
An apology couldn’t change Tewon’s words.
“It must have been sensitive. Let’s go out earlier and have a drink. Let’s cool it off.”
Jeguk, with a softer tone, tried to comfort Tewon as he tapped his shoulder. But Tewon immediately shook his head and said.
“I will resign, representative.”
Jeguk couldn’t stand it and suddenly stood up.
He couldn’t take this resignation like this.
There wasn’t a editor like Tewon. He was good at editing and business, and was a person who got work done with writings and employees.
“I’m 45 years old next year, representative.”
“4 years ago, I reached 50! Are you bringing resignation even though you’re not even 50.”
“I can’t stay in this business forever. One problem is that even the representative won’t be able to keep his position. Right?”
Jeguk could only take deep breaths.
Tewon was rethinking the reasons why he wanted to resign.
The collision between the representative’s feeling for writing as money, the increasing issue with a family-based business.
He couldn’t deal with the stress any longer. His body and mind were already fatigued.
“I want to get a good job before I get any older to feed my family. I’m sorry I said this so unexpectedly. Please understand and take it.”
Jeguk stood up with a sigh. He took out a cigar and put it in his mouth. In an office that was designated as nonsmoking for so long, he lit it.
“Well let’s have a drink.”
As the cigar was half burned, Jeguk said.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been together, we’re not a relationship that can be just cut with a word. Let’s at least have that.”
“Ok, go do work.”
Tewon lowered his head and turned around. Jeguk didn’t turn away from the window until the end.
Tewon went outside instead of the office. He went to a convenience, bought a lighter, and sat down on a blue chair under a parasol. He still had the cigar that he bought a long time ago.
It’s been awhile.
There was dizziness as soon as he took a sip,
Tewon lowered his glance from the people around him. From his phone, he was calling his wife.
-What’s up at this time, from you?
“I just have time, what are the kids doing?”
-There aren’t back from school. Look at the time.
-DId something happen? Your voice isn’t very good
‘Nothing happened’ couldn’t come out his mouth. He didn’t want to lie. His wife was an editor too. After their second kid, she resigned because of her health and became a housewife.
-I wanted to say something this morning. You’re not looking very good recently. Come early, I’ll make you something good.
“I’ll be late. I have a dinner spot with the representative. I get it. I’ll call you later.”
His wife quickly continued to Tewon before he hung up.
His wife had no words for a while.
Only her breaths were coming through his ears.
Tewon threw away the burned cigar and took out another. As he was going to light it, his wife’s word went to his ear.
-Don’t be forced to stay.
Tewon’s face lost its color. Unexpected words from his wife flowed into his ear.
-You can resign if it’s too hard. You’ve done a lot already. 10 years of trying to get food on the table for our kids. You’ve worked nonstop.
“What… what are you talking about.”
-Do you know what you’re like when you sleep. Instead of snoring or dreaming, you’re working. Writer, writer, the draft is good. And then when I look closer, why do you have so much white hair? I can’t pluck it because you might wake up… You know my feeling… you…
His wife’s voice was slowly turning into sobs.
Tewon took out his glasses. He was pressing his wet eyes with his finger.
He couldn’t beat his wife.
She also looked straight through him
That power only made his heart more painful.
-Don’t struggle alone. The management that you talked about during the summer, let’s do that together.
The writer management was something he was thinking of doing after he resigned. He had already said things to a few people.
He had only said it in passing by while drinking, but his wife remembered as always.
-I didn’t want to say anything before it could be confirmed, but I looked things up. It looks good. Let’s start it together. I was a smart editor. You know right?
After the sobs, his wife laughed. A laugh as bright as the spring wind was tickling his ears.
“Of course… I know.”
Tewon put away the cigar and put his face down on his hands.
From his hands shivering, to his entire body shivering, he was comforting himself about how good this was a phone call not a video call.
“Look at that, Rika, that was the convenience store I’ve worked until last year, You see that store over there? It’s cheap and good. I must have ate 500 dishes.”
Jaegun said to Rika on the side seat.
It was the car from Hetae. With his first passenger of Rika, he was taking a ride around. October’s sunlight was reflecting on the new black car.
Rika was quiet instead of misbehaving.
She was either sitting, or looking out the window, enjoying the drive.
“Maybe I should stop by.
The way back home
Jaegun stopped by at Se Gunwoo’s garve. Jaegun opened the passenger seat and Rika hopped out.
“I’m here, sir.”
Jaegun greeted to the grave. Rika went around as she was checking the grave and came back beside Jaegun.
“It’s already fall. Since I’ve been writing with you, time has been going so fast.”
Clearing the dishes laid on the grave, his book, and some cups for drinks, Jaegun said. It was the things that he had laid when he came here earlier.
Jaegun was sitting down next to the grave after he cleaned up.
The sun was setting. Looking at the red sky, a sigh already came out.”
“Sir, I have no idea what to write about.”
Jaegun opened his mouth as he was complaining.
“I want to write about something that I like. As you said, with caring about the reader. But, I have no idea what to write about. I don’t even have any hardships anymore.”
He had gotten an advance from Hetae Media with the Pigeon series, but there was still money like a monthly salary from the Ranking series.
Until last year, money about 12,000 dollars were coming in monthly.
After the paper book was done, he could wait for some more profits. He could do nothing and still live comfortably for about 2-3 years. It was amazing as a writer.
“I thought I was working hard, it’s hard, sir.”
Se Gunwoo had no words.
Jaegun sat there for a while until he brushed himself and stood up. And then Rika followed her.
As he came home and was cleaning Rika’s feet, a call came
As he recognized his friend’s name, he smiled and picked up.
“Park Jongjin, since you’re calling, you’re out early?”
-What are you doing, come out if you’re not busy, let’s have a drink.
Jongjin’s voice was rough
His hard breathing was coming through his ears.
“I’m going out right now, but say it early, anything happened?”
Jaegun took off his pants with the phone between his shoulder and his ears and asked. Jongjin sighed before answering.
-It’s nothing serious, but come out. Let’s talk after we meet. I want to see you Ha Jaegun.
“I get it, where do you want to meet.”
-I’ll see you at your neighborhood. I’ll take the subway. It’s be about 20 minutes.
“Ok, I’ll go.”
Jaeung changed quickly with a nervous mind. As he was wearing his socks, he said to Rika.
“Jongjin might have to come and sleep here today. Hearing his voice, he’s not doing very well. In these days, he pours himself in. Just take it for a day.”
Rika was answering with waving his tails.
Jaegun couldn’t take it anymore as he looked at her eyes. Knowing that she wouldn’t like it, he rubbed Rika’s nose and he left home.
He walked there to the subway. Jongjin called as he was going to arrive.
“Ah, I’m in the 1st exit.”
Jaegun turned around, surprised.
Jongjin was bitterly smiling right in front of me.
“You came quickly. You fly here?”
“The subway was right there. What do you want to eat? I’ll drink soju as the drink.”
“You’re starting already. What is it?”
“It’s nothing. Let’s get a seat and talk. Yeah, there’s a jokbal store right there. Let’s have that in a while.”
Jaegun and Jongin went in and sat down.”
Soju and the appetizers were on the table before the main.
Jongjin, as if he was waiting, took off the cap and poured drinks to each cup.
“Hey, drink when you have food. It’s on an empty stomach. You too.”
“There’s the appetizers, let’s toast.”
His body fevered up as he drank in a empty stomach.
Jaegun took the bottle form Jongjin as he was about to pour himself another drink.
“Don’t pour your own cup.”
“What’s wrong with that.”
“I think the dialogue has flipped between you and me. I remember this dream.”
“It was the college meeting. At Hama.”
“Ah, I remember. When I was cold because of Myunghoon, we said this.”
Jongjin was smiling now. Pouring a drink, Jaegun was smiling too.
“Say it. Whatever it is. If I can help you…”
“You can’t help me/.”
“What is it?”
Jongjin didn’t hesitate and he answered immediately.
Jaegun tilted his hand and squinted.
“Hyojin is the reason.”
Jongjin drank a cup. Taking an appetizer with a wrinkled face, he continued.
“I think she has a person that she likes.”
“How do you know?”
“I looked on Twitter and the feeling is that. She’s been saying that that there’s been so many boys coming into her eyes.”
“Ah, no, there was no picture.”
“Don’t judge immediately. It’s probably nothing.”
“Yah, is that it? The reason why you were mad?”
“It isn’t a serious problem?”
“You haven’t even confessed to her?”
“Hey, shut your mouth and just eat.”
“It’s probably just nothing right? Maybe? You know that girls say things on Twitter like they have things? Hm? Hyojin’s probably like that?”
“You’re really a paranoid person. Ah, be quiet.
Jaegun felt like this was absurd, but Jongjin was serious. Jaegun understood that Jongjin liked her that much, but he was completely cramped.
“There was nothing that I could do to her.”
It was Jongin’s words after the second bottle.
“If it well between me and Hyojin, I was thinking of what to do for her but f**k. I feel like even dating is bad with my small salary. Hyojin’s a princess..”
“Maybe to your eyes. I feel like she’s good-natured and easygoing. She eats sundae guksu very well.”
“sundae guksu isn’t the best food to describe easygoing. But my mind is like that. Ah, I don’t’ know. I feel like Hyojin has a man already. I’m sure. I’m completely sure. It’s a fact.”
Jaegun listened carefully to Jongin’s words.
It was from his work, to HyoJin’s relationship, to his family, he talked about everything, Jaegun didn’t respond and only listened carefully.
‘You were hard too. I’m sorry.’
After the 3rd bottle, looking at Jongjin, Jaegun apologized inside. It was agodo friend, who helped in times of need. As the backbone was set, he was going to be the first one to help, JAegun said to himself.
“I can’t end this like this. Let’s go to a karaoke bar.”
Jongjin was say9ing after the payments.\
Jaegun looked for a bar. he found one and pointed.
“Ok, let’s go there. Sing and relieve your stress.”
“Hey, wait, stop.”
Jongjin pulled Jaegun in the opposite,
“We go to a close one, where are you going?”
“This guy doesn’t know the world. Follow the older one.”
Jongjin pulled Jaegun in a karaoke bar in the building’s 3rd floor.
He had no way of knowing what the difference between the place he picked and this, but Jaegun just followed Jongjin and went into the elevator.