Big Life - Chapter 4
It's an Incredible Gift (1)
Jaegun abruptly expanded his eyes and opened his mouth. The moment he touched the kitten, an indescribable sensation traveled through his arm and entered his body.
“Urgh… Wh-What? Did I drink too much?”
Even his head started aching. Jaegun wrapped one hand around his head and hollered.
“Arrgg, I must have over-drank. I should rest now. You should come to my house for now too, but I would have to use 2 hands to bring the box…”
To Jaegun’s words, the kitten classily hopped on top of the box. Seeing this cute scene, Jaegun momentarily forgot his pain and let out a grin. As he lifted the box up, the kitten was already calmly waiting for him.
“Your name is Rika, right?”
“There’s nothing to feed you except milk at my house, is that okay?”
“As soon as I get up tomorrow, I’ll find your owner for you. I’m just a novel writer with nothing to do.”
That night. Jaegun dreamt his first dream in a long time.
An old man in his 60s was there, warmly smiling at Jaegun. He approached Jaegun and laid down a piece of advice.
-Write the stories that you want to write, but you must remember to distinguish between what you want to write and writing to solely make money.
-Do not forget what you promised to yourself when you decided to pick up the pen. You must always keep in mind what you promised to yourself in the beginning.
Jaegun rubbed his burning head from the hangover and woke up from his slumber.
Rika, who was guarding him by his bedside all night, approached him while meowing. Jaegun fondled Rika who was rubbing against his cheeks and stood up.
“You sleep well Rika? I should first take a walk around the neighborhood. And you, play with the toys while I start on my proj-…”
Jaegun couldn’t finish his sentence and closed his mouth. He stared penetratingly at Rika with a face void of tiredness. His two eyes were wildly shaking.
“Ri-Rika, I knew you already…?”
Jaegun was in a state of extreme confusion. Memories of his daily life with Rika were flooding into his mind. What was the meaning of this when it was his first time meeting this kitten.
“Wh-What? What? Thi-This is?”
The new memories were not just about Rika. His entire body shuddered while he observed the memories one by one. The memory fragments didn’t make sense nor were they organized.
A scene of him taking a walk with Rika, a scene of him writing a story somewhere, a scene of a young, angry girl throwing a fit, etc… All of these scenes were running past his mind like the floating clouds outside.
A memory of a picture surfaced in Jaegun’s mind. The figure in the picture made Jaegun recall his dream last night.
‘The, the old man from the dream!’
He had completely forgotten about the contents of his dream until just now. The figure was that old man from his dreams who gave him various advices. The memories of the old man were, for some reason, transferred to Jaegun’s mind.
Jaegun sprinted outside of his one-room apartment, wearing mismatching slippers. Behind the huffing Jaegun was Rika, quickly keeping up with him.
The place that Jaegun arrived at was the grave on the mountain. He looked at the gravestone while gasping for breath and he immediately froze.
-Suh Gunwoo (1952~2012)
“How could this be…!”
His teeth clattered as he fell down to the ground. The name of the old man that forcefully planted the memories into him was Suh Gunwoo. How could this possibly happen. The memories of another person, and a long-dead person at that, were planted inside his mind. Jaegun tried pinching his cheeks. He felt the pain for sure; it was not a dream.
“What? Th-This is?”
Another memory surfaced in his mind. It was none other than Suh Gunwoo’s street address.
“Pyeongchang-dong… Jongno District… Seoul…?”
Jaegun sounded out the address with his mouth. Pyeongchang-dong was in the same city he was in and it was not that far from where he was. It was a distance that he could go to in 40~50 minutes by riding the subway.
‘I definitely need to go there.’
First, Jaegun came back home and quickly washed his body. Inside a big, yellow backpack, he packed the items that he picked up yesterday: the laptop, fountain pen, a mug, and the glasses. After he was done, he held the kitten in his embrace.
“You come here too. This is probably your home.”
Jaegun boarded the subway while holding Rika. He wanted to use a taxi because of the cat, but due to his financial situation, he had no choice but to use public transportation.
“Ah, what the hell is this. Bringing a cat inside the subway.”
“I have an allergy too, really.”
“I’m very sorry. I apologize. I’ll get off soon”
As he was profusely apologizing to the passengers, it was soon time to get off. Jaegun hugged Rika and quickly got off the subway.
‘Let’s see, the address is…’
The villas became numerous as he was nearing the address. All of a sudden, he stopped in front of a place in a narrow alleyway.
Without warning, Rika jumped to the ground and took the lead. Jaegun treaded behind Rika through the twisting and turning alleway.
Suddenly, the duo stopped in front of a worn-down villa. Jaegun looked at the engraved address next to the entrance. It exactly matched the address from Suh Gunwoo’s memories.
“It was your house after all, you remembered well. Let’s go in quickly.”
Jaegun walked in front of the villa and pressed the doorbell of suite 201. After a long while,a man’s voice came back through the intercom.
“Who is this?”
“Ah, yes. Excuse me, do you possibly know Suh Gunwoo?”
“… What is the problem?”
The man’s voice turned dark in an instant. Jaegun cleared his voice with a cough and quickly replied.
“Actually, his grave is near my house. There was a laptop and various other items as well. I also found a cat and was wondering if these items were yours.”
“How did you find this place?”
“The address was written on a piece of paper inside the box. Um, I think it was something like a delivery sticker.”
Jaegun did not tell the truth. He could not tell the crazy story that he inherited the memories of Suh Gunwoo and he found this place like that.
“There was an address written somewhere? There is no way that would happen… Anyways I don’t need those items so please go back.”
The man still did not open the door and stubbornly talked through the intercom. Jaegun was enraptured by a peculiar mood. Jaegun was sure that the man abandoned these items in the grave from the way he was talking.
“Excuse me, but what is your relation with Mr. Suh Gunwoo?”
Jaegun asked through the intercom. He needed information. What was the identity of the old man named Suh Gunwoo, who came into his head without warning; he desperately wanted to get to the bottom of this.
The door suddenly opened with a deafening noise. In front of the startled Jaegun, who took a step back, was a man in his 30s. A red face and a strong alcoholic smell emanated from the man even though it was currently morning.
“What are you planning to do with information about my Father?”