Life, Once Again!

Chapter 42

Chapter 42

Chapter 42

Yoonjung stared at the green tape under her feet . Once she stepped across it, she would be on the stage . In front of her, her friends were acting in this imaginary stage .

Joonghyuk, who was acting as the main character’s father, was sitting in a steel chair . Instead of a newspaper, he was holding his script in one hand and pretending to scroll through the television channels with the other .

“Why isn’t that idiot coming back? It’s already eight,” he said casually .

As expected of him . He spoke his line flawlessly .

Minsung walked into the stage next . As the uncle of the main character, Minsung stumbled onto the stage with his hands in his gym pants .

“Jungsoo still isn’t back?” he asked .

The uncle was a jobless character . He was supposed to be the main reason why the main character rebelled in the story .

The man was just one of those characters that decided to give up on working and live with his own family . The two characters started arguing on stage for a little . Since nothing really happened in the play so far, they weren’t really being serious about it .

This cheery air in the play would soon be broken by the main character’s rebellion, an ascension to a climax, then end with the entire family talking it out with each other on the dining table .

‘Phew, I’m getting nervous,’ Yoonjung thought .

Miso was still looking pretty calm at this point .

This practice run wasn’t as serious as an actual dress rehearsal, but they were still acting out the entire thing . She couldn’t help but get a little nervous by this .

Around this point, as the scene was about to end, Minsung ended up making a small mistake . His tongue must’ve gotten twisted . That was fine . He would just need to continue from there .

But instead, Minsung spent a brief second staring at Miso nervously . The woman’s eye twitched wordlessly .

Yoonjung felt her heart beat . There was no stopping this run, since it was supposed to go like a real dress rehearsal . Minsung swallowed before finishing off his line quickly . With this, the scene was finished .

Minsung and Joonghyuk stepped away from the stage . Yoonjung glanced at Minsung . The poor boy was nervously glancing at Miso .

Next scene .

Geunseok, the main character, walked into the house with Taejoon and Iseul, his friends .

‘As I thought, he’s good . ’ Yoonjung thought .

Geunseok plopped down on his chair, exhausted . He looked very natural doing it, too . Their conversation started . The scene was supposed to focus on the main character starting to feel conflicted because of his two friends .

Conflicted about traveling, that is . His friends wanted to travel to the beach in the weekend in secret . Geunseok was tempted, but he was feeling conflicted because he didn’t have the money for it, and he knew his father wouldn’t allow it .

“Come on, man . We don’t need to get permission at our age . Let’s just go . ”

“Yeah, come on . ”

Geunseok said ok for now, giving into the pressure . This much was fine . The scene ended pretty smoothly .

‘The problem is me,’ Yoonjung thought .

Yoonjung played Geunseok’s mother . She was supposed to be a very mean, overbearing woman . One that judged children purely based on their grades . She was supposed to be one of the bigger reasons why the main character’s relationship with his father worsened .

“Jungsoo,” she said, crossing the green line .

The air around her changed right then . Wasn’t it spring? It was supposed to be warm . But… why was it so cold around her? Was it because of Miso looking at her?

“Yes, mom,” Geunseok nervously responded .

He looked like a saddened child . Good . She should be able to match him pretty well . She was a senior, after all .

“Your midterm grades this semester… Why are they this bad?”

“I’m sorry . ”

“I knew it’d be like this . From the very moment I saw you slacking . All of my friends’ kids are competing on the national level, but look at you . You’re just embarrassing me . ”

“I’m sorry, I’ll do better in the final . ”

“Jungsoo, do you think I’m saying this to save my own face? I’m saying this for you . Alright? Look at me . Scores are everything for a person . Your happiness in the future correlates directly to your scores now . ”

Yoonjung tried to look incredibly satisfied by her own words . To try to look as annoying as possible . Now, it was Geunseok’s turn . The scene would end with Geunseok acting out of character under his mother’s gaze .

Suddenly, Geunseok’s eyes changed . He jumped out of his seat and charged towards her . This was in the plan, of course . He was supposed to shout at her . It was even in the script .

They’ve practiced for it .

But… this was way too different . The boy almost looked like he was going to run into her . His eyes were full of anger . Enough anger to make Yoonjung forget about the play for a second and step back with a flinch .

Geunseok started shouting . He was doing incredibly well . Yoonjung only managed to regain her senses when Geunseok started trying to signal her with his eyes .

Ah, she almost missed her line!

“Y-you dare speak out against your mother?!”

Ah, she screwed up . She looked like a mother that was afraid of her son, not one that had control over her son .

In any case, she stepped back off the stage . With that, the lights went off, and the scene got cleaned up . This was supposed to be the point where the scene changed to the ‘marketplace’ .

“Ugh, I’m so dead,” Yoonjung muttered, stepping off .

Danmi patted her back reassuringly . This would’ve helped normally, except this time it didn’t . She could feel Miso glaring at her . That lady had way too scary of a gaze .

“Hah . . . ”

“Cheer up, she’s just going to scold you at worst . ”

“ . . . ”

That’s the scary part…

* * *

Daemyung stepped on stage with Dojin . They were to lighten the mood of the play as they passed by a store .

They were also going to start a fight with the main character, as two 40 year old men going out for a drink after work . In the scene, they would run into the main character smoking with his friends out on the streets .

‘We can do this . ’

Frankly, Daemyung was surprised by the skill exhibited from his first-year friends . Yurim and Soyeon played their roles perfectly as the mother’s friends . Not only that, Taejoon and Iseul seemed natural during their performance as well .

Geunseok was exemplary, as usual . The only people who needed to do well were Daemyung and Dojin now .

The two exchanged glances . One mistake here, and they were as good as dead . Dojin was the first to step towards Geunseok, scolding the other boy for smoking . Daemyung’s role acted as support for Dojin’s . But when the time came for Taejoon to respond with, “just keep going on your merry way, misters”, the boy just stood there dumbly .

After a few seconds of awkward silence,

“Ugh, please! Just leave us alone!” Iseul shouted .

She took over for Taejoon instead, causing Taejoon’s expression to change into a slight frown . “You little bitch . . . ”

Daemyung changed the “bastard” in his line to a “bitch” instead . Iseul nonchalantly hit back with Taejoon’s line . She must’ve memorized all of the scenes by herself .

The third scene came to an end, and the other characters all left the scene, save for Geunseok . As soon as Taejoon stepped outside the green line, he turned to look at Geunseok with distressed .

“Ah fuck . ”

There were no better words to describe the situation for them at that moment .

* * *

Kindergarten .

After a few minutes of silence, Maru started to hear the joyous sound of laughing children again . Soojin seemed to handle everything on her own quite nicely . Maru peeked down at the first floor after playing with the finger dolls by himself for a while .

The kids were smiling again . Since they couldn’t continue with the puppet play, Soojin was playing with the kids with the dolls on her hands .

Maru couldn’t help but feel a little sorry . He messed up the entire play trying to go over the top . Soojin had explained to him that his audience would be children, too… He should’ve kept that in mind when performing .

Children are naive and oblivious . If you hid behind a door for a second then came out again, they would believe that you disappeared for a second . They understood everything at face value .

Of course they would be frightened if Maru roared loudly like that . He just completely ignored what would be considered appropriate and went with it .

Despite Soojin’s efforts, she was clearly having trouble handling 50 kids all at once . The teacher offered little relief, since the kids were just going straight for Soojin since she had the dolls .

Maru watched this for a second before looking back at the second floor . He remembered seeing something there a while ago…

There it was . In the corner of the floor was a fox mask . He put it on and stepped downstairs . Soojin smiled lightly as soon as she saw him and pointed .

“Look, there’s a bad fox over there . ”

“Bad fox?”

The kids immediately responded .

“Mr . Fox is trying to hurt big sis Soojin . Big sis doesn’t like owies . ”

From Maru’s perspective, it almost looked like Soojin was a kid herself . She really had a knack for being a kindergarten teacher . He had to wonder at this point what her real job was .


“Bad Mr . Fox!”

Soojin pointed at Maru with a sniffle . The kids all ran towards him, grabbed his pants, and started shaking .

“Don’t hurt her!”

“Bad Mr . Fox! Bad Mr . Fox!”

“Yah! Yah!”

These little twerps had a ridiculous amount of strength in their little bodies . Maru slowly made his way back to the room where the kids came from . He could play here, but the staircase behind him could be dangerous .

That was rule one of acting . Part of its purpose was self-satisfaction, but ultimately, it was a show for the audience . The audience here were the kids, and therefore, Maru would have to put them in the proper environment, for the most amount of entertainment .

“Mr . Fox is here to hurt . Fox! Fox!” Maru said .

He waded through the crowd of kids with a light voice . He couldn’t remember what foxes sounded like, so he just said “fox fox”, but the kids seemed to enjoy that even more .

“Why would a fox go fox fox? Hehehe . ”

“Then what does the fox say?”

“Eh? I don’t know . ”

“Let’s just say it says fox fox then . ”

Maru picked up the talking kid and shook the boy lightly . The kid seemed nervous for a second, but immediately burst into laughter .

“Me too! Me too!”

“Me tooo!”

The kids crowded all over him, completely forgetting that he was supposed to be a bad fox . Maru turned to look at Soojin through his mask . The woman was giving him a big thumbs up with a smile .

* * *

“Do you really want to go play with your friends that much?”

“No, I don’t . ”

“If you really want to, just go . Make sure to call every day though . ”

“ . . . Dad . ”

Joonghyuk stood up from his seat and left the stage . Yoonjung, the mother, looked at Geunseok coldly before leaving herself . Geunseok gripped the spoon in his hand tightly for a second, before standing up with a sigh .

With that, the play was over . The actors came in one by one through the green line to prepare for the curtain call . The side characters were the first to bow to the audience . Once everyone else was done, Geunseok would take his place in the center .

The eleven actors grabbed each other’s hands, standing side by side, and bowed . With that, the run was over .

“What a shitshow,” Miso blurted, “a total shitshow . ”

“ . . . . . . . ”

“I knew things would be like this when you never bothered to do anything more than reading the damn script . Do you only practice when I’m around?”

No one could answer that . Of course they all practiced in their own time and of course they tried to read the script whenever they could . But at this point, anything they say would come off as nothing but excuses .

Yoonjung looked over at the kids next to her . They were all sighing dejectedly .

“Second years,” Miso called out .


Yoonjung and Minsung were the loudest of the group . Probably because they were the ones that made the mistakes .

“You guys were average . Perfectly average . Is that enough for you, though? You guys did even worse than the first years . ”

Miso glared .

Yoonjung didn’t dare look up . She completely fumbled on stage .

“Lee Yoonjung!”


“Does it make sense for Jungsoo’s mom to flinch like that in front of her son?”

“No . ”

“Oh, so you knew that, but you still thought it would be a good idea to flinch? Unless… don’t tell me that you were intimidated by a first year?”

“ . . . . . . ”

“You have to get into character . You need to become an embittered woman that only thinks of her son as an advertisement for herself . You get it?”

“Yes . ”

“You’re only good at responding quickly, aren’t you?”

Miso turned .

“Minsung . ”

“Yes . ”

“Were your lines gum or something? You were chewing on it on stage for some time . ”

“I’m sorry . ”

“You think you’ll be able to apologize to the audience if you make the same mistake?”

She clicked her tongue afterwards . When Yoonjung glanced sideways, she noticed Minsung gritting his teeth .

Miso turned to look at the first years .

“Daemyung . ”

“Yes . ”

Daemyung responded nervously . Yoonjung recalled seeing the boy carry on the play pretty well with Iseul before .

“Good job . The worst thing that can happen during a play is for the audience to realize that the actor made a mistake . It’s also the most embarrassing thing for an actor to experience . You did well though . Iseul, you too . You need to step in immediately the moment you notice the idiot next to you makes a mistake . Never let the play come to a pause . Always remember, the show must go on . Understood?”


“Alright, we’re going to get dinner before doing this again . I’m going light on you guys since this was your first run . But be prepared to be scolded a lot if you make a mistake next time . ”

Miso’s eyes narrowed as she scanned the club .

Yoonjung avoided the woman’s gaze . Honestly, this teacher was so scary…

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