Yoonjung looked at the door of the club room with excitement .
“Oh my gosh, we’re finally getting juniors . I’m so nervous…”
“Stay still, would you?” Danmi said .
But Yoonjung knew better than anyone that Danmi was just as nervous as her . Look, the girl’s legs were trembling already .
“12 people… Not as much as we need, but still really good . ”
“We can have plays with more than ten people!”
“If we can . I bet there are a few kids who will volunteer to be stage managers . You have to think about that too . ” Joonghyuk butted in .
Yoonjung stuck out her lips in annoyance . Joonghyuk concerned himself with reality too much . Always had to be the logical one of the group . Not that it wasn’t useful .
“Come on, have some hope . They might all want to be actors,” Yoonjung said .
“Yeah, that’d be nice,” Joonghyuk response was voiced as he moved the chamber pot to the corner . It was something the club used 6 years ago . Speaking of which…
“I wonder if the costumes we use now would one day be treated like dirt by our juniors?”
“It probably will . ”
“That sucks . ”
“Hey, we still got two years until we graduate . ” Yoonjung booed Joonghyuk from the back as she said this . It was a habit she had from a young age . All the adults told her to stop making such crude noises with her mouth, but she was never able to get rid of the habit .
“They’re coming soon . ” Danmi said, looking at her wristwatch .
Yoonjung looked at the door impatiently . Ten minutes left . Ten minutes until the first years come .
* * *
“You open it . ”
“N-no . ”
“You scared, bro?”
“No, that’s not it, but . . . ”
“Just open it, then . ”
“W-why don’t you open it?”
“Don’t wanna . ”
“ . . . . . . ”
Maru stepped forward after watching his friends argue with each other for a second . He grabbed the door handle . The grip coated with stainless steel was worn down from years of use . When he turned it, the door opened with a creak .
“Almost everyone’s here . Let’s begin . ”
The voice belonged to Minsung . The acorn head’s . The second years isolated themselves on the left side of the room . Maru headed over to the group of the first years for now .
“Welcome . I’ll be a bit more upfront now that you’re all club members now . There’s something we need to do first . Everyone, look behind you . ”
The first years turned around . There was a whiteboard Maru hadn’t seen before . On the top were the names of the second years . ‘Yoonjung Lee’ in particular was written in blue, with the word ‘Club prez!’ right next to it .
“Please write your names one by one there . Along with your majors . ” Minsung continued .
The big guy who seemed pretty quiet was the first to move . He took the cap of the marker off and started writing . The two girls wrote their names as well afterwards .
Geunseok Hong, Yurim Lee, Soyeon Kim .
The three of them were all in design . Soyeon threw her marker at Maru, urging he and his friends to follow suit .
He heard one of them say behind him . He was used to the reaction . Even after graduating, people were often surprised by his name when he met new people . It used to give him stress when he was young, but he looked at his name more positively when he grew older . Having a memorable name in life was a massive plus .
“We introduced ourselves yesterday, so we won’t do it again . You’ll realize that none of us are that bad as seniors or anything, so let’s have fun together, ok? Of course, we’ll still point out things you do wrong . We aren’t here to just have fun . ”
Joonghyuk’s words lowered the mood of the room considerably .
“Yo, dude, why do you have to make everything sound so scary? Let’s just hear those introductions from our juniors . ”
Minsung clapped, and pointed at Geunseok from one end of the line of the first years .
“You’re tall . Pretty big, too . Name is… Hong Geunseok . Right, you go first . Name, reason for coming here, and your goals . You can say more if you’d like . ”
Minsung sat down with a smile .
“Hello, I’m a first year in design, Hong Geunseok . I came to this school because I wanted to come to this club . I’d like to perform a great play in the future with all of you . My first goal is to perform a play in the Seoul Arts Center . ”
Geunseok spoke with a firm tone . Almost as if he were assured everything he mentioned would be realized . Instead of arrogance, Maru could feel confidence from the boy’s voice . What a guy . He looked different from the start . To think he had dreams like that…
“Hold up, Geunseok . You came to an engineering school because of the acting club?”
“Yes . ”
“For real now?”
“Yes . ”
“Why? Other schools have acting clubs too . ”
“I wanted to experience the acting club my brother was in . ”
“Yes . ”
Yoonjung thought for a second before heading off to the cabinet . The photo books in it contained all of the club’s history .
“I have to ask . Who was he?”She seemed to be the type that just couldn’t hold back her curiosity . She actually seemed visibly more excited than before . More lively . That’s the word . Lively .
“He’s Hong Geunsoo, from the first generation of the club . ”
“ . . . I knew it . ”
The club became lively at the name . It was understandable . Hell, even Maru knew the name . He was the guy who performed monologues in the Marronnier Park was in turn scouted by a movie director . Even in his first role, he got decent reviews, and even managed to get an award for it . He primarily worked with musicals afterwards .
‘Amazing guy . ’
He could remember the time when he quit his old job to become a bus driver . Hong Geunsoo’s movie hit more than 12 million admissions . He specifically remembered thinking ‘wow, that guy’s an amazing actor’ while he was driving .
“I saw him in Daehak-ro a while back . He was performing in the streets . ”
“Right . I heard he was going to be in a movie by an independent director?”
“Really? Wow, a family of actors, huh?”
The second years made faces of anticipation . Even the girls next to Geunseok were glancing at him excitedly .
“Ah, there goes the main role,” Dojin muttered to himself . Daemyung was looking at Geunseok with an envious face .
The club room became pretty energetic . This was pretty good, Maru thought . At least the boy would know a lot about acting . They should be able to do pretty well as long as Geunseok is willing to teach them a bit . Right then, the door opened to let in two more people .
“I’m so sorry!”
A boy and a girl jumped into a scene . Maru let out a small ‘oh’ of surprise . The boy was pretty handsome, and the girl had big, beautiful eyes on her . Both of them looked mature .
‘They look nice . ’
The second years welcomed them with an applause .
“No worries . Ah, you guys haven’t seen them before, have you? They submitted their forms just yesterday . Well, now that you’re here, why don’t you introduce yourselves?”
The boy bowed curtly at the group .
“Nice to meet you! I’m Park Taejoon, first year in electrical engineering . ”
“Hello! I’m Kim Iseul, first year in computers . ”
Minsung pointed at the board, gesturing the two to write their names . Daemyung gave them the markers .
“Thanks . ”
Iseul took the marker from Daemyung with a smile, who turned back with an embarrassed look . By the time the two wrote their name, the whiteboard was full of names .
“Step forward, Ms . President . ”
Yoonjung stepped out with a little cough .
“The twelve of us will work for a year in this club now . It’ll be hard, but let’s make sure to create a decent play during this time! We’ll be talking about basic stuff about the club during this time . We’ll also exchange contact info . Ah, by the way . Dating is forbidden in the club . Got it?”
Yoonjung said with a wink . Maru saw Dojin’s face completely fall apart right then and there .
“ . . . That was a lie! Dating is welcomed as long as you aren’t endangering the club! But if something bad does happen… Well, you should know, right?”
Yoonjung started laughing with an evil look . What a strange character she was . Danmi stood up and grabbed the girl’s shoulders roughly .
“Why can’t you act more like a senior?”
“Ugh . ”
Danmi stepped forward and took out her phone .
“Anyone who doesn’t have a phone here?”
No one stepped up .
“Good . Take them out, then . ”
The first years all took out their phones . Flip phones sliding phones, what have you . Maru took out his phone as well .
“We’ll give our phone numbers, so be sure to save it . The club would gather at random times every once in a while . Especially when the opening night of the play comes near . Understood?”
“Alright then, Yoonjung first . ”
The second years said their names and phone numbers one by one .
“Now then, starting from Geunseok, say your name and phone numbers as well . Be sure to save it, too . We’ll all have to be friends from now on, if we’re going to get together for a full year,” Danmi said .
Geunseok started speaking pretty much immediately . His voice had depth to it . The type that just stuck to your ears like glue . Was this what talent entails for an actor? Eventually, they managed to finish off at Iseul .
“Well, now that that’s over, why don’t we just talk for a bit? Tell us about your life or something . Hold on, I’ll go get some snacks at a market . ”
“I’ll go!” Dojin shouted . Danmi waved him off with a smile .
“You’re good . We’ll be making you do plenty of work in the future . Just enjoy yourselves for now . Alright?”
Danmi walked out with Yoonjung . The door closed shut with a creak . And .
“Now then, juniors . ”
Minsung’s expression changed completely . The boy picked up a PVC pipe with a menacing look, silencing the room .
‘Called it,’ Maru thought . It was almost weird that the seniors weren’t trying to put them in their place .
“I’ll tell you this now, but we really do want to get along with you . I love smiling . Alright? But sometimes, other things are needed too . ”
He banged the PVC pipe on the wall, making the other kids flinch .
“This isn’t just for show, alright? I’ll hit people . Regardless of gender . ”
The first years looked at each other in fear . Except Maru . He was realizing more than ever before how important experience was . This was child’s play compared to being threatened in an actual company .
It was pretty cute, actually . He could feel how much the boy cared for the club . The boy clearly didn’t grab that pipe to feel power . Actually, Maru could see the boy’s hands trembling just a little bit . Probably his first time grabbing it after learning it from his seniors .
Maru turned to look at Joonghyuk, who was also trying to look as calm as possible . It was easy to tell how nervous he was, though .
“You get it?” Minsung said .
“Good . ”
Minsung threw away the pipe . He looked a little more relieved now .
“Seriously, let’s have a good time from now on . This is a good club . We’ll make lots of great memories here, depending on how hard you work . I’ll be hard at work with Joonghyuk as a part of the staff, so we won’t spend as much time with you . But the female seniors will, so treat them well, alright?”
“Yes . ”
He was being honest . Maru could easily see how much Minsung cared for the club . The frowns on the first years slowly started to go away as they realized the same thing .
“Yoonjung’s pretty strange, though . You’ll just have to get used to that . ”
Joonghyuk ended up letting out a small laugh from the back . The first years weren’t able to laugh, though . Well, all except one .
“Heh,” Maru let out . He looked away when he noticed so many people looking at him .
“Maru! I like you . People should smile . ”
Minsung slapped Maru’s shoulder lightly with a smile . This was probably what he was like from the start . He’s just not fit for intimidating at people with a pipe in hand . If something bad really does happen…
Maru looked at Joonghyuk . That guy would most likely be the one to swing that pipe .
Yoonjung and Danmi entered the club room, diffusing the awkward air completely . Sweet soda and delicious chips replaced it, bringing about a pretty happy ending to their first meeting .