Eunhye’s lips twitched. Looking at the middle-aged actor reminded her of general manager Choi. General manager Choi habitually spoke as though it was natural for her to make sacrifices for the company. The same person who took other people’s sacrifices for the company as if it was natural hated charity activities the most, which were held every quarter. He proactively sought out other people’s devotion, yet he despised devoting anything himself. Suffering when you’re young will all come back to help you later, so just do it – this was one of his catchphrases.
The middle-aged actor on the screen was so similar to general manager Choi that she almost threw the remote control at the screen. One of the wishes on her bucket list was to spit on general manager Choi’s face when she quit. It wasn’t just her. Many employees at her company shared that goal.
Bigfoot, who was standing in the empty room, was captured by the camera for a long time. There was even some quiet background music. Eunhye looked at Bigfoot smiling in a silly manner, then at him fidgeting with his phone, before going back to his silly smile, in a total daze. That character definitely lived a better life than her, but there was something she could sympathize with. Bigfoot tapped on his forehead with his eyes closed for a while before making a phone call.
-Father, I’m so sorry. I was mistaken about my day off. I don’t think I can make it tomorrow. Sorry. Tell mom about it. No, actually, don’t talk about it. It might worsen her condition. The leaves have turned red around the neighborhood, haven't they? You should go watch them with mom. I heard that walking around the neighborhood you used to live in is pretty effective. I’ll send you some money for you two to eat some nice things, so don’t you worry about anything, father, and just go sightseeing with mom.
Bigfoot hung up the call and tapped on the screen. He seemed to be sending some money. Eunhye looked at the triangular rice ball on the table. It seemed that the non-main characters had it hard, whether here or there.
Heewon entered the room.
-What brings you here to the hospital? Isn’t today your day off?
-I made a visit because I had something to check. But hey, I heard head doctor Kang tell me something strange. Apparently, you’re taking Choi Hyunjin’s shift tomorrow.
-Yeah, things happened.
-Don’t you need to go meet your mother? You’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. You told me that you were so excited to finally visit her.
-True. I just got a call too. She seems to be in a good condition and even recognized who I am. I asked her what she ate, what she saw, and if she didn’t feel any pain recently. I talked about a lot of things. It’s been such a long time.
-Is she not doing well?
-The time it takes for her to return to normal keeps getting longer. I even got a doctor’s license as her son, but it’s not really of any use. Maybe it’s because I’m an intern. I should at least earn a lot so that my father has it easier.
Bigfoot had a faint smile on his face as he stood up. He cleaned his messy desk and started piling up the files and paperwork.
-Let’s tell the head doctor about it again. If you don’t visit this week, you’ll have to be stuck in the hospital for two more weeks at least. You should visit her while she still recognizes you.
-Forget it. I’ll go next month.
-I’ll try persuading him as well. He might listen if you explain the situation to him.
-This is about Choi Hyunjin. You know how the head doctor is, don’t you? He’d do anything if it’s related to the director. Yeah, if I reason with him, then he might change me out. But you know what he’s like, don’t you? You know how he treats people who go against him.
-But this has nothing but losses for you.
-Thanks for saying that. It makes me feel so much better to know that you’re looking out for me. Don’t worry about me. My mom won’t get into big trouble for the time being.
Bigfoot tapped on Heewon’s arm with his fist and laughed. It was the laugh he showed in the drama from time to time. That silly laugh that the frugal Bigfoot always had. Bigfoot then waved at Heewon to return. Heewon put down some chocolate on the desk, cheering him on.
Heewon left the room. The camera closed in on Bigfoot’s face as the door closed. The smile that was engraved onto his face like a mask became fainter. His eyes twitched and his lips trembled. His firmly shut lips twisted left and right. His Adam’s apple was shaking.
Eunhye rolled her lips inward. She felt a tinge in her nose. She never took interest in this actor because he always only appeared for a brief moment, but now that she got a closer look at him today, his acting skills were pretty incredible. The way he held himself back from crying due to frustration reminded her of her mother. Her own figure overlapped with his since she never made the time to visit her own mother with the excuse that she was busy.
Bigfoot uttered out a trembling breath and put the chocolate that Heewon left behind in his mouth. The smile that disappeared returned to his face.
-I should do my best. It’s all experience and a good thing, so I should do my best.
Recalling the words that the head doctor left behind, Bigfoot reached out to one of the files before stopping and looking upwards. The camera slowly pulled back. He spoke when his whole body was in the frame, standing behind two long desks – mom wanted to see me too.
Eunhye ripped two pieces of toilet roll and wiped her tears. The calm background music stopped and only Bigfoot’s vain laughter could be heard from the screen, but she still shed tears. Her throat tightened. She wanted to cry, even though it wasn’t that sad, even though it wasn’t that pitiful. She took a deep breath and spat it out again. Maybe it was because of her harsh reality or because the actor’s skills were so saddening that Eunhye had to fan herself with her hand because of the sudden tears. If Bigfoot’s expression stayed on the screen for just a little longer, she would have cried out loud.
The scene changed. It was a scene where doctor Choi left the hospital alongside the director. Behind doctor Choi cheerfully calling the director dad was Bigfoot, looking all tired. Heewon was next to him as well.
Eunhye thought that Heewon would say something. Since he was the main character who goes through everything in order to save people’s lives, she thought that he would resolve the situation. She thought that he would either stop the director’s path and tell him off or that he would say the circumstances to doctor Choi and change this sad situation. As she had expected, Heewon made a move. However, he wasn’t able to go forward. Bigfoot held him back. Bigfoot smiled as he always did and pointed at the vending machine, asking him to buy a drink. Heewon bought a drink and gave it to Bigfoot. Bigfoot thanked him before yawning and walking down the corridor.
Bigfoot’s silly smile as he walked with the drink in hand kept coming up in her mind. The scene changed and the drama turned into an intense operation room, but for some reason, she could still picture Bigfoot’s figure walking slowly towards the break room. Rather than being frustrated that he didn’t resolve the situation, she was frustrated because she could relate to Bigfoot having no choice but to act like that in such a situation. It was something that everyone who had lived a decent social life could sympathize with.
Miss Lee, make some time on the weekend – that single line from general manager Choi made her skip her family outing she scheduled on the weekend. It was unjust. It was a holiday, and she wasn’t called because of work either. She shouted in her mind dozens of times that she couldn’t do that, but what came out of her mouth was, ‘at what time should I come?’ In her imagination, she was always the bringer of justice, while general manager Choi was a meager human. Abide with the labor laws – she always said this to her superior in her imagination. However, when she actually worked, she had never said that even once nor did she see anyone say such a thing. When the employees gathered in the supplies room during break time, every single one of them said that this was unfair and that they would not let this slide, but once they were out of the break room, they parroted the same words like some kindergarteners saying ‘duck goes quack’. Yes, of course, I’ll do it; Leave it to me – Eunhye became one of those ducks.
Heewon inside the drama was cool. He stood up against injustice and did not hesitate to put his life on the line in order to save others. He did not bat an eyelid at the words that enticed him of success but cried when the child of a patient gave him candy as a token of appreciation for saving her mother. How could anyone hate such a character?
However, the person she could empathize with was Bigfoot, who had his day off taken away from him with a single word from his superior. He was a pathetic character who always had a silly smile on his face despite being tired, but he caught her eyes. Bigfoot was really ordinary. He didn’t have the role of a villain who would die grandly while fighting against someone from Kang Giwoo’s side from Doctor’s Office nor did he have some godly medical skills that saved people’s lives. Inside the drama where dramatic events occurred everywhere, Bigfoot was experiencing ordinary pain and ordinary worries. Political struggles within the hospital that involved dozens of billions of won and godly medical skills capable of smooth heart transplants; those things were in the realm of ‘comprehension,’ but Bigfoot was in the realm of ‘sympathy.’ She felt like she could speak to Bigfoot overnight while drinking some soju. Though, the 3.6 million won on his bank account was still envious.
Doctors ended with Heewon exchanging gazes with the anesthetist. Bigfoot no longer appeared. Was he going to appear tomorrow? Or was this it?
Eunhye wished for Bigfoot to do well. It wasn’t even a big dream. After all, it was just about visiting his mother. It would be great if the writer showed that such a trivial dream could come true. The program was then followed by a teaser of the next episode. Eunhye could see Bigfoot’s smiling face among the short clips. Did things go well for him?
The end was followed by a car ad. Eunhye stared at the car in a daze before standing up with the dusty rice ball and the container for the instant noodles.
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