The van that Manager Gong was driving left the company building. Minho fixed his gaze on Eunha who was reading a book while sitting right next to him.
She didn’t adorn herself with much of anything. She just put some cream on her face and let down her straight hair. But with only that, she was glowing.
‘Is this what people call unnoticeable natural makeup?’
You can tell just by looking at the face that not anyone can be a celebrity. Minho remembered how his junior, who was obsessed with weekend dramas, highly praised the drama ‘My Daughter Eunyoung’. He often complimented Eunha Seo, saying that she was much prettier than the main character. And now that Minho saw an actual celebrity from this close, he understood how his junior felt.
‘If I take a picture with her and show him when I visit, he’ll pass out.’
Eunha, who was turning the page, turned her head. When her eyes met Minho’s, he smiled widely at her, hiding his bashfulness. He was about to turn his gaze away naturally, in order to show that it was a coincidence that he was looking at her, but then she spoke to him.
“Minho, you have a lot of common knowledge right?”
“That political question at the tenth stage. All of the students in my major were confused about it, but you answered it correctly in an instant.”
“Tha…… I did. Ahem.”
Minho let out a dry cough, pretending his throat was sore. He could not even recall the question because he had chosen the answer using the coin. While he was fumbling through his memory, Eunha asked him.
“I need an opinion from that intelligence. Can you lend me some of your time while we’re going?”
With a smiling face, she put her hands together in a pleading manner. While entranced by her look, Minho was suddenly at a loss when he finally realized what book she was reading.
‘Is that a book or a pillow?’
Theory of Political Development.
Her textbook, more than half of which was written in English, was filled with underlines and notes. It meant she wasn’t just skimming through.
‘What should I do?’
He couldn’t say ‘I just chose the answers well! Ahaha!’ to the charming young lady that he had just met for the first time today. He had to come up with a way.
The coin only gave answers to questions that were multiple-choice. But what about short-answer questions? The coin wouldn’t give the answers to questions in which the answer could change according to the situation. He could give an excuse saying it was just good luck, but for some reason, his pride wouldn’t let him do so. It was also a man’s pride to show some bravado in front of a pretty lady!
At that moment, he thought of a gimmick. Though it would not be easy to execute.
‘At least I won’t be embarrassed.’
Minho briefly touched his dry lips.
When Minho showed signs of consent, Eunha immediately pushed the textbook at him as her eyes twinkled.
“This is the section I’m studying right now.”
“I see, it’s the Theory of Political Development, right?”
In response to the International Politics student’s enthusiasm, Minho raised a hand, asking her to wait for a moment. Then he pretended to check the time and took out the pocket watch from his pocket.
“Hmm, there are ten minutes left till two o’clock.”
It was a gesture saying that he would be keeping it strictly to ten minutes. It might have seemed like he was very punctual with time but it was also Minho’s strong determination to succeed within that time.
“Wow~ It’s the first time I’ve seen someone actually carry around that kind of watch.”
“It’s a historic item that was passed down to me by my father.”
‘On top of that, 300 million won.’ he mumbled to himself. Minho took a deep breath and began to fervently finagle his way through the unfamiliar topic of ‘political development’. His determination faced off against an unfamiliar world where each of the terms was perplexingly mixed with others.
The pocket watch had its lid open and the hand made a quick turn with a ticking sound. Minho concentrated on the conversation he’d be having for one minute.
- I’m preparing to write a report on the history of civil rights movements. I thought a good time frame would be when many people struggled over the human rights of the black people during the 50s and 60s. Martin Luther King’s…
Pretending to look over her book, Minho cleared his voice and answered, acting imperturbable.
“It seems like you chose the topic of Martin Luther King’s advocacy of nonviolence versus Malcolm X’s advocacy of violence?”
As Minho spoke, Eunha stared at him with a slightly surprised look.
‘Success for now?’
“…… That’s right.”
“I’m also interested in this topic, so I read a book on it once. And I enjoyed the movie as well.”
The pocket watch continued moving in accordance to the changes in the conversation.
- I think discrimination ultimately comes from ignorance. They had to fight against the ingrained bias that the white people had. From this point of view…
‘This is the key point!’
“From this point of view, my heart lies closer to Martin Luther King, who started the enlightenment movement in order to resolve the problems of inequality.”
“Oh wow, I totally agree.”
“It’s a struggle for civil rights but what’s important is that one has to reject what seems wrong according to one’s conscience.”
As Eunha agreed enthusiastically, Minho pretended to smile and quickly recited some lines from the script. She would never know that Minho’s folded hands were filled with sweat.
But he only had to hold out for a little longer. He had almost twisted his tongue because of the unfamiliar words, but he was running towards his goal of at least not embarrassing himself.
“I think it was in ‘86. There was a rally to reject paying the subscription fees to K Broadcasting Station. I think it’ll be good to insert that case into your report.”
“I also thought of that. It’s a story about a farmer who counterattacked by rejecting payment from the broadcasting station that reported distorted information on the reality of rural villages, right?”
‘There was an awesome farmer like that?’
He knew not a single thing about it, but leisurely nodded. In truth, Eunha was the one who spoke about it, but it was Minho who mentioned it first, so the credit went to him.
On the other hand, Minho who was reciting what he had memorized had only one thought in his head–‘I can’t do this a second time!’ But still he was able to see Eunha’s smile and her reactions, so he couldn’t help but smile contentedly.
And finally, the time that he had long been waiting for had come.
“Ms. Eunha Seo, I’m sorry to cut into your conversation, but we’ve arrived at Studio A.”
As Manager Gong spoke, Eunha sadly looked out the window. Minho similarly glanced outside, and he secretly let out a sigh. He was drained. He was able to speak extensively on gaming, but this was politics. As he thought to himself, he couldn’t help but compliment himself for having fared so well.
Eunha bowed her head.
“I didn’t realize the time flew by. Thank you, Minho. Thanks to you, I have an outline for the report.”
“No problem. I learned as well.”
This was half-true because he was realizing that he should stick to his strengths. As Minho was taking a breath, Eunha got out of the car and nodded in farewell.
“Let’s talk like this again next time!”
Minho who had answered by reflex shook his head quickly.
“No. I mean, that’s okay. Hahahaha!”
Momentarily, Eunha showed a puzzled expression before beaming a smile.
“I’ll treat you to a meal in return.”
Ah, okay…… Huh?”
He regretted it as soon as he replied. Meanwhile, Eunha went to the driver’s side and bade him farewell as well.
“Manager Gong, thank you for the pick up too!”
As Eunha waved her two hands and disappeared, Manager Gong turned his head towards Minho.
“I can see you’re very talented. It’s the first time I’ve seen someone who’s able to talk with Ms. Eunha so well. You must’ve studied well when you were in school.”
“To have to do this again…”
Manager Gong was perplexed but Minho didn’t explain anything to him. Instead, he lay lethargically as if his soul has been sucked out, then after a while he laughed.
That’s right. There was no reason for him to only think about the next time they’d meet. He had kept his pride today.
“I was victorious as a man today.”
Minho nodded his head as if he has triumphed in battle. Manager Gong, who was staring at Minho wide-eyed, let out a dry cough.
“It seems…… That you have a world of your own.”
That was Manager Gong’s opinion, said as kindly as possible.
Minho bowed to the photographer, who rapidly left after quickly taking the photos.
“Thank you for your hard work.”
The profile picture photoshoot at studio B was done more simply than he’d thought.
It was one close-up and one full-body picture in the suit he was wearing. The photographer who was clicking the shutter did not request that Minho make any particular expression, and only ordered him to look the way he normally did. The whole thing was straightforward and unexceptional, like hastily taking an ID photo in an unknown photoshop.
He came out of studio B after the photoshoot, and Manager Gong handed him a drink saying ‘Good work.’
“Do they usually take pictures mechanically like this?”
“It’s because they go through three to four people a day.”
It just meant that this was because he was a rookie who had no recognition yet. Minho nodded as he got inon the van. He wasn’t one to do anything passionately, but once he got into something, he would see it to the end. He was confident that he wouldn’t remain as some rookie just passing by.
Minho sat in his seat and discovered his cell phone signaling an incoming message.
‘Is it one of the gaming team members?’
It hadn’t been long since he had updated his phone number, so the number of people who would contact him was limited. Minho didn’t expect much as he looked at the screen.
[This is Eunha Seo. I know it’s rude, but I begged Manager Gong for your number. Let’s be friends *^^*]
Minho’s jaw dropped at the friendly text message. It was from the female celebrity that he had just parted with not long before. On top of that, it was a message asking him to be friends with her! His efforts were not in vain.
Manager Gong glanced in the rearview mirror, asking if there was any problem. As he stared at Manager Gong, Minho’s smile was filled with gratitude.
“Haha. Just, let’s work well together from now on as well.”
“Ah, I see. Let’s work well together.”
Manager Gong replied a moment later because he couldn’t understand Minho’s wide smile. On the other hand, Minho fell into contemplation. What would be the best way to reply to her? If he became her friend and grew closer to her and progressed their relationship further then……!
The pleased smile grew wider.
‘The start is important…I should write a good reply.’
He was writing about how pretty she was, how it was nice to have met her, and so on. As Minho let his imagination unfold, he imagined being with Eunha in the library, having a report date with their glasses on in a cafe with a scientific book in between them. But then, he recoiled in fear and shook.
How was it that the place in which he imagined meeting her was very wholesome? Minho could easily think of the reason why.
- I’m preparing to write a report on the history of the civil rights movement.
- I think the problem of discrimination ultimately originates from ignorance.
- It’s a story about a farmer who counterattacked by rejecting payment from the broadcast station that reported distorted information on the reality of rural villages, right?
When he thought back to the content of the conversation he’d had with her, the reason simply came to mind. Library, bookstore, studying and thesis paper.
‘Ah, she’s so pretty though……’
‘Let’s ask with my hand on my heart. Was today enjoyable? Did I just sweat a lot?’
She was gorgeous and desirable, but the time with her was difficult. He had deceived her once, but he couldn’t guarantee it’d go well the next time. In order to have a conversation while smiling, he would have to read through several textbooks that you couldn’t differentiate from a pillow or a weapon.
He had no choice but to acknowledge.
“She’s not compatible with me.”
She was a girl who would watch the news or a debate rather than a comedy program. She was good to look at but she was the kind of beauty who would make you have cold sweats when being with her.
Minho, who was weighing in his head the headache-filled political studies and Eunha’s beauty, shook himself and wrote a concise reply.
It was a reply that wouldn’t make her feel bad, nor would it make her have lingering feelings.
Minho put his phone down. However, because of his instincts, her charming image floated in front of his eyes. Minho gently half-closed his eyes, then he opened the search engine and typed in ‘Eunha Seo’ without realizing it.
‘Ah, she is really pretty……’
He clicked on an article titled ‘Amidst a Photoshoot’ and a photo popped up. He discovered a gorgeous goddess, with the plain girl who had gotten out of the van nowhere to be found.
There was no need for other words. She was dazzling enough to make his heart thump. But it was also true that she was difficult enough to make his head hurt.
He felt that he would regret it if he missed this chance. If he thought about studying, fatigue would pile on one layer after another. But his pride wouldn’t let him give up on this relationship like this.
‘Ugh ugh, I don’t know!’
He was indecisive and his eyes kept reading [Let’s be friends *^^*] over again and again.
Okay, this was the will of the heavens!
He looked at his fingers that had added Eunha’s number in the messenger and accepted his instincts as a man.
“Sure, let’s do it, study!”
He could memorize things, such as political science, word by word and make it possible to have a conversation. He could at least do that. Minho felt his spirit as a man squirm.
And on that day, Minho bought ‘The Theory of Political Development’. Then at night, he fell asleep on top of it within three minutes.
It was a deep sleep that left a puddle of drool on the book.
Object: Jay Kim’s salon scissors
Effect: It makes it possible for one to perform custom hairstyling like Jay Kim.