“I might be coming home late starting this Thursday.”
Hearing her brother speak at the dining table, Bada turned around to look at her mother. Her mother asked if he’ll come home really late with a worried face.
“I’m not sure. I’ll have to go there to see how long we’re going to practice.”
“Where are you doing it?”
“Anyang. It’s not far, so you don’t have to be worried.”
Her brother put his empty bowls in the sink and went to his room before coming back out again with his wallet.
“I’m going to the convenience store. Do you need anything, mom?”
“How about you, Bada?”
“I want ice cream! I want a cone.”
“You should really stop eating things like that. You’ll gain weight.”
Bada snorted and shouted at him to buy her a chocolate-flavored one.
“But why is oppa so busy recently? He’s not even on TV.”
She asked her mom, who was putting away the dishes.
“He’s just starting out, so he must be learning things here and there. It’s not like you can become a celebrity just because you want to.”
“I’m worried he might start suffering later in life because of that. There are a lot of people who regret it when they are older.”
“Geez, that’s not something you can say to your older brother.”
Bada ran away from her mom’s spicy hands and stood up quickly.
“I’m just worried for him. Like you said, it’s not like you can become a celebrity just because you want to. When I watch TV, I see a lot of people who just leave after just practicing as trainees.”
“What! I’m just worried, I mean it.”
Bada pouted and looked at her brother’s room. She was aware that her brother was doing his best. He kept leaving the house even during the holidays saying he had to practice, and whenever he came back, he slept like a log.
She could see that he was really putting his efforts into it, but actually, she didn’t know what he was really doing.
She asked her mom, who was doing the dishes, but the reply she got was that her mom didn’t know either.
“Do you think your brother will tell Mom something like that?”
“Why? He used to tell you a lot of things before.”
“When are you talking about? Your brother doesn’t tell me anything these days.”
It was understandable since her brother really did change quite a lot.
“Bada, put the side dishes into the fridge.”
Bada put the side dishes into the refrigerator before going to her room. She turned on her PC and visited her mini homepage before being reminded of her homework after seeing a post from a friend of hers. The teacher for that class was a scary one that hit students on the back of their hands with a ruler if they didn’t do their homework.
‘Should I do it while watching TV?’
She brought her English homework to the living room. Her mom, who had finished the dishes, was sitting on the sofa, watching TV. She put her notebook on the table and rested her chin on her hands. She had to write down four pages worth of idioms. She didn’t know why she was doing this, but she could only do it since she was told to.
When she filled half of a page, her brother came back. He threw her a chocolate-flavored ice cream cone with an expressionless face.
She put her notebook aside and started eating.
On TV, a daily drama was currently airing, and honestly, because the content was similar across the various TV stations she couldn’t differentiate between them. It felt as though the story would be joined smoothly even if she switched from YBS to RBS, and then to KBS.
“That ahjumma is the bad one, isn’t she?”
She pointed at the person who had thick makeup on her face and was wearing a fur coat. Her mom nodded. It was just as she expected. It was way too obvious. The innocent-looking girl wearing thin makeup had to be the main character. Oh, she just got slapped. Now, the male protagonist would run up to them, shouting ‘mother’.
-What are you doing, mother?
Bada grinned as she looked at her mom. Her mom looked at her strangely before looking at the TV again.
“Mom, this is way too obvious. This is the first time I watched it, and I think I know the story already. That woman is the evil mother-in-law, isn’t she? And is hinting the girl to get a divorce with her son. Right?”
“That’s why I watch it.”
“But it’s so obvious and no fun.”
“Why don’t you reach my age first? You’ll really like these kinds of things.”
“No way. I don’t think I’ll be like that.”
“Yes, yes, my daughter. You can keep liking that Top Four, or Tee Tee Four or something.”
“Mom, it’s TTO!”
“TTO or Tee Tee Four, sounds the same to me.”
“It’s not the same at all!”
She made a sour expression as she pulled her notebook over again. When she moved her mechanical pencil, the TV volume started decreasing.
“You can raise the volume again.”
“I can hear it.”
She shrugged once before she continued writing.
One page, two pages, three pages, four pages. After writing everything, she raised her head. It was 9:53 p.m. Since she was simply copying, time went by in a flash.
She closed her notebook and sat next to her mom with a cushion.
“Mom, switch to channel 10.”
“What’s on it?”
“The Witness. Lee Junghoon is in it. He looks so cool.”
“Yeah. Ahn Joohyun is in it as well.”
“Mom finds her a bit scary. She looks too strong willed for a girl.”
“That’s what’s cool about her. Get on with the times. These days, women have their voices.”
Her mom switched to channel 10 with the remote. Just in time, the ad was finishing off and the drama started.
“What’s it about?”
Her mom pointed at the snacks beneath the table and asked. Bada reached out and grabbed the snacks and gave it to her mom.
“It’s about an investigator. The story begins with a man turning himself in after committing a murder by contract, and it’s really fun and thrilling. If you get absorbed, it’s really really interesting.”
“I never liked those things though.”
“You should watch it. I mean, you should really change your tastes.”
At that moment, the door to her brother’s room opened. He yawned as he walked towards the fridge while scratching his belly. Bada met eyes with her brother, who returned to his room with a strawberry milk in his hand.
“Can you even study in front of a TV?”
Tsk tsk - her brother clicked his tongue before going into his room.
Bada glared at the door that was closing. Change? How did he change at all? She felt that his girlfriend was wasted on a guy like him.
Bada turned her head to the TV again. In the last episode, it ended with the special investigation forces starting a counterattack after getting a clue to the identity of the assassination company. They had finally found the shadow of the organization that raised the young killers. The relationship between the investigators had gotten better again and now the story was about to kick things up a notch as it began unveiling the identity of the organization. There was also the love story between Lee Junghoon and Ahn Joohyun as well.
Even her mother, who seemed bored at first, started focusing after a car chase action scene in the middle of the city. Bada made a satisfied smile and spoke,
“Lee Junghoon is so cool, isn’t he, mom?”
Lee Junghoon, who drove the car in a cool fashion to arrive at HQ was looking at the map with a serious face. He looked really charming. The nose lines and the chin lines were what made a man look cool. These days, a lot of her classmates really liked Lee Junghoon.
By 11, the drama slowly started entering a crisis again. The member of the organization that they were transporting had disappeared again. The investigation forces started suspecting each other again after coming to the conclusion that there was a spy among their ranks. At that moment, Ahn Joohyun entered an interrogation room with the investigators without saying a word. There, the boy that they handed over to another team who was related to the organization, was sitting.
Bada inwardly shouted yes. Now, if they interrogated that guy and got the answer, the secret would be revealed.
A faint figure could be seen in the dark interrogation room. Ahn Joohyun’s footsteps could be heard through the speakers, and eventually, she sat in front of the boy. Tick - the lights turned on in the dark interrogation room.
The boy had his head lowered. When Ahn Joohyun asked a couple of questions, his body shook up and down before making a frightening noise.
“Is that acting? Urgh, it’s so scary.”
Although she said those words, she frowned when the boy bashed his head against the table. It was very realistic to the point that she was worried that he might actually get injured.
In the next scene, the boy put his face against Ahn Joohyun who had approached him. The perspective changed rapidly to create a tense atmosphere. The periodic thudding seemed to make her heart beat faster.
“Oh my word, oof.”
Her mom said those words when Ahn Joohyun grabbed the boy’s hair like she would rip it off and bashed his head against the table. Bada also g.r.o.a.n.e.d slightly. The rampaging boy went limp. However, he still produced that monstrous sound. Grrr - he was like a dog with heavy injuries that wanted to live.
The camera that shot Ahn Joohyun slowly moved to show the appearance of the boy. The boy’s full face appeared on camera for the first time.
The moment she saw the identity of the boy who was glaring with bloodshot eyes, her brother’s room opened again. She glanced at the boy on the screen and her brother who was washing the strawberry milk carton in the sink alternately. It shouldn’t be, right? No way.
“Is that you?”
Her mom asked with a sunken voice. Her brother went up to the TV and had a look at the screen before going back to his room with a short ‘yeah’. After the sound of the door closing, the boy’s mad roars started reverberating through the TV. Bada watched the freaky scene in a daze before standing up and slamming open the door to her brother’s room.
“O-oppa. Is that really you?”
Her brother, who was reading a book while sitting on the floor, frowned.
“Why do you ask?”
“No, but, is that really you?”
“It is me.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Tell you what?”
“Why didn’t you tell me that you’re in it?”
“It’s nothing amazing, so why would I cause a commotion? Also, be quiet. The house downstairs might come up.”
Finish your homework already - he finished off with those words while shaking his head. ‘This’... was the same as… ‘that’? Bada alternated between looking at her brother on screen and her real brother before returning to the sofa.
“Mom, it really is him.”
“Oppa is on TV.”
“Yes, he is.”
The drama then ended. While reading the ending credits, she saw a name at the very end.
-Special appearance: Han Maru.
“Mom, did you see that?”
“Yes, I did.”
“That, I mean, oppa really appeared on TV, right?”
“Didn’t we go through this already?”
Bada looked at her mom. Then, she grabbed her mom’s hands, which looked like they had nowhere to go, before shaking them up and down.
Bada stood up and went to her room. She opened the internet browser on the computer, which was already on, before going to her mini homepage. Her mini homepage was empty since she had nothing to write. She clicked the ‘write something’ box and wrote just one line.
-The first idiot of our household is on TV!
 Again, referring to Cyworld, a SNS service that also had personal blog functionalities.