“Please write your name right here.”
“Geez, this is the first time someone wanted a receipt for something worth 8 thousand won.”
“Every little bit of savings helps. Oh, write your name here and over here.”
Sooil ended up getting a receipt from him. Byungchan was flabbergasted by his actions. If it was possible to get a receipt from a vending machine after buying coffee, Sooil would probably get a receipt from that as well.
Sooil returned with the beondegi and the grain pops in hand.
“They smell good, don’t they?”
“You really like these things.”
“I love snacks. But where are we right now?”
“We just went past Maesong IC so we should be in Ansan soon.”
Byungchan skewered a pupa with a toothpick before putting it in his mouth. It tasted as great as he had remembered.
“It looks like they’re fishing over there.”
“The Songra fishing zone, huh. You can get a diverse variety of fish there.”
“You’ve been here before?”
“A lot, actually.”
Byungchan came to this place when he failed auditions and was in a bad mood. Talking to new people while fishing made him forget about the sense of loss that pressured his heart. Though, he had never been to this place ever since he started working as a road manager.
“Shall we try going there?”
“Aren’t you tired?”
“I’m fine if you’re fine with it. I’m just sitting still doing nothing so there’s nothing for me to get tired from.”
“Then should we go down there for a sec? It should help with shaking off the drowsiness too.”
“Sounds good to me.”
He emptied the cup of beondegi before crumpling the paper cup and throwing it away. When he did, Sooil picked it back up and put it in a plastic bag. Byungchan had been driving Sooil to his schedule many times, but never had he seen him litter. In fact, he would be the one picking up the trash on the ground.
“It’s just a habit of mine.”
Feeling Byungchan’s gaze, Sooil smiled back and spoke. He had been shooting for half the day, and was being driven for the rest, so he should be tired as well, but he always smiled like that. He was a really good guy.
They drove down to the reservoir. Although there was a parking lot near the fishing area, they did not drive all the way there. That was because they saw some people doing night fishing.
When they got out of the car, the smell of water tickled their nose. Byungchan didn’t have any good memories of this place since this was his refuge, but it did feel rather new to have come here after a long time. Although he hadn’t become a famous actor yet, he wasn’t doing nothing so he considered himself as better than before. Byungchan made a smile mixed with a sigh.
Perhaps due to the warm weather, there were a lot of people enjoying night fishing. His fingers twitched. He had never caught anything big, so he couldn’t be considered a veteran, but he could still remember the sensation of some small fish flapping around.
“Do you want one?”
He saw Sooil playing around with some kids with the grain pops. The children’s parents were smiling as they watched the kids. Sooil had a kind-looking face, so even people he had never met before weren’t wary against him. That was definitely an advantage, whether as an actor, or as just a human.
“Hyung. I got a fishing rod.”
Perhaps he got that in exchange for a grain pop? The father of the child gave Sooil his seat. Byungchan approached him and thanked him.
“People come here to talk to new people, right?”
The man spoke as he had his two prankster daughters sit next to him. Byungchan thanked him again before sitting next to him.
The lights on the other side of the fishing area faintly shone down on the reservoir. There was a moon in the sky, and the sunset was reflected on the surface of the water. Just as he was watching the glistening of the water, he saw Sooil raise the fishing rod a little.
“Did it move?”
“No, I was just checking. But there really was no bite.”
“You should pull when you feel something. Before that, it doesn’t matter how hard you pull.”
“You haven’t fished before?”
“You see that glowing float over there, right? If you see it suddenly get sucked down, then you should pull on it.”
“Would I get a fish then?”
“No, if you can catch it just because you see it, everyone in the world would be master fishermen.”
Sooil nodded and started staring at the float.
Byungchan breathed slowly as he looked at the sky. His floaty consciousness had returned a little. He felt that he would be fine if he rested just a little more.
“Do you want some ramyun?” The man that lent them the fishing rod asked.
“No, we’re fi….”
“I’ll cook it for you!”
Byungchan was about to refuse, since he felt that they were receiving too much, but Sooil had stood up and set up the portable stove already. The man that was opening the packaging for the ramyun smiled in satisfaction before returning to his seat.
“Your little brother?”
“Well, I guess you can call him that.”
“He has a good big brother, bringing him to a fishing area.”
“We just came here on a coincidence. Oh, have you caught anything?”
“Nope, not even one. I was going to show my kids some fish, but looks like today’s not the day.”
The man turned around and told his daughters not to annoy the oppa too much. The two girls next to Sooil nodded their heads. When the man turned on the radio and started waiting, Sooil brought them the ramyun. The spicy smell of the ramyun was a perfect complement to the quiet fishing area.
Emptying his portion in an instant, Byungchan checked the time. It was 9. They would arrive in Seoul after 10. Although he was still a little tired, he couldn’t delay longer. Sooil had a schedule tomorrow. Unlike himself, who could just sleep the whole day, Sooil had work to do tomorrow. He might ruin his condition if he missed his opportunity to rest, so he had to be careful about that.
“Let’s get going.”
“Let’s go after seeing the float sinking at least once,” Sooil spoke with a pleading expression.
“You have a shoot for an ad tomorrow.”
“I just have to sit down quietly in a classroom. It’s nothing difficult, so let’s stay here a little bit longer.”
Sooil was the type of person who would follow others obediently, but became stubborn once he was obsessed with something. Byungchan had no choice but to sit back down again.
“Thirty minutes. You need to get some rest as well. You know that pros have to be meticulous with self-management, right?”
“I do. You should get some rest too. You must be tired.”
Byungchan crossed his arms and sighed. He leaned back against the plastic chair and stared at the float that was floating around in the water. It seemed that Sooil had taken an interest in fishing as he was holding with the fishing rod without any movement.
‘Should I sleep for around thirty minutes?’
Perhaps thanks to the warm ramyun stock, sleep suddenly overwhelmed him. He felt that he should be fine if he got a short nap. Splash - he heard water noise somewhere as he closed his eyes.
* * *
Byungchan was startled and drowsy as he woke up. He immediately checked the time. The hour hand was moving past the number eleven.
When he turned around, he couldn’t see the man or Sooil. Just as he stood up in a rush of panic, he heard some voices.
“Wow, that looks good.”
People were grilling meat on a grill on top of a drum barrel. It seemed that all the fishermen from around had gathered. Behind them, he could see a tent. The kids were sleeping inside.
After watching that scenery, that seemed so distant from real life, in a daze, Byungchan sighed and walked up to Sooil.
“Oh, hyung. You’re awake.”
“Why didn’t you wake me up? It’s 11 o’clock already.”
“Who cares? For now, come here and try this. This ahjussi is treating us all.”
A man in his fifties, wearing a hat, waved his hand and smiled at him. On his hat were the words ‘Mansunho’.
“You have a shoot tomorrow. If you go home now, it will be past midnight, and you have to get up early tomorrow as well. You’ll only get some sleep if you go now.”
“Hyung, I have good stamina. Rather than that, say ah.”
Sooil gave him a big lettuce ssam. Byungchan momentarily became angry when he saw Sooil being so complacent.
Sooil was an actor who was acknowledged for his talents. He was the only underage actor that was introduced on the JA Production homepage. It meant that he had gained the president’s approval. Although Byungchan was managing the child actors, Sooil was always at the top of his priority list. When child actors needed to be driven somewhere, he always prioritized Sooil if his schedule clashed with someone else. He also heard from the president that he should focus on Sooil.
Once Sooil grew up a little more and he could take a role from a more diverse variety, he would become the face of JA that represents them. He had the acting skills, personality, and even the looks that went with it, so he would become successful no matter what.
Yet, why did he not look after himself when he had all those qualities and conditions?
Byungchan had tried to become an actor since young, but he had failed every time. He admired actors on screens, but he had never reached them. Although he was still giving his all right now, he didn’t know how long he could keep that up. Actually, he started thinking that it might be better to focus on his job as a manager starting a while ago. He had the thought that it would be wiser for him to tell himself that he had done well and that he should start facing reality.
Since he had such worries, he became angry when he saw Sooil act complacent. In recent days, there were scary new actors rising day after day. Those kids, who had undergone a systemized academy system showed acting skills that even he had to marvel at.
Sooil’s competition was those people. He had to get some sleep if he had time to loiter around in this place, and he was at the age where he should focus on researching into his own acting to make it better.
Laughing and talking could be done after achieving success.
Byungchan put the lettuce ssam on the grill. He tensed his eyes and glared at Sooil.
“Let’s go. You need to rest.”
“...Alright. But you should eat that. You’ll get punished if you throw food away.”
Sooil smiled until the very end. Byungchan stuffed the lettuce ssam into his mouth. Sooil put down his chopsticks and said goodbye to everyone around.
Seeing Sooil walk towards the car, Byungchan sighed. He wondered when Sooil would become serious about his work. He even wanted to tell him about his own life and how regretting after failing was absolutely worthless.
“Uhm, you shouldn’t be so stuck-up.”
Just as he was about to follow Sooil, the man that lent them the fishing rod said to him.
“Who else is here? That boy did try to wake you up. But you kept on sleeping without a care in the world. You wouldn’t know how much he hesitated as he saw his big brother sleep. I told him that I can wake you up in his stead, but he stopped me, saying that there was nothing urgent and he could afford to take it slow.”
Byungchan closed his eyes and lowered his head. At that moment, he saw a piece of paper on the ground. He bent down and picked it up. There was a line from the drama that Sooil was going to shoot on that piece of paper. It was written by hand. There were questions and answers about those lines right next to them as well.
“From what I saw, that boy was mumbling to himself as he stared at that. I don’t know what it is, but he seemed very obsessed with it. Isn’t it important?”
“Ah, yes. It’s very important.”
Sooil wasn’t playing around. Byungchan felt embarrassed. He was trying to give him a word of advice as a ‘senior’ in life, when this was what was going on.
Byungchan said goodbye to the people around before walking towards the car. He opened the driver’s seat and got in. He looked at Sooil next to him while resolving that he should apologize. Sooil was eating some food out of a plastic bag.
“You need to save up whenever you can. I received them since they told me that they won’t be able to finish it. There’s quite a lot, isn’t there?”
“Do you want one as well? It’s good.”
Before he could even say sorry. Sooil gave him a chocolate cookie. Byungchan bitterly smiled and accepted the cookie.
“Fishing is fun. We should come here again next time.”
“...Alright. Let’s come here again.”
“I feel sleepy now that I’m full. Hyung, I’m getting some sleep. Wake me up if you feel lonely on the way.”
Then, Sooil soon fell asleep. Byungchan shook his head as he started driving. Just as he entered the highway, he suddenly had a thought: he wanted to become this boy’s manager if he actually decided to continue working as a manager.
Byungchan smiled faintly as he stepped on the gas pedal.
 This probably means ‘full fish ship’. It’s also being used as a brand according to research.
 Wrap, usually with vegetables. Wikipedia for more info.