Chapter 5 - Vivid Recollections
“I want to know.” Mina Park grinned brightly at me as if she truly wanted to hear. The lighting that shone above her made her black earrings twinkle brilliantly.
I rested my eyes on those earrings instead of her face and said, “Isn’t that story too widespread? You’d probably be sick of it since you can just find it with a quick search on the web.”
“Sorry? Oh, I guess you’re right.” Mina Park looked slightly astonished after I went off-script but found her composure again. Maybe it was because she was an actress, but her voice was natural, without a single tremble in her voice. “But I thought that maybe hearing it from the person himself would be different.”
“It’s not that different. It’s almost the same. Could I tell you something else instead?”
The host of the show, Nahoon Kim, glanced at the show’s scriptwriters because of my sudden independent actions. The others could openly show their surprise on their faces because they weren’t in front of the cameras, unlike Mina. The staff whispered in each other’s ears, and one person lifted up a large sketchbook. The white piece of paper said, “Go ahead for now.”
Nahoon Kim hurriedly said, “Of course you can. Instead, if it’s not scary, then you have to tell us about when you saw the ghost in the recording studio, okay?”
The guests looked relieved after hearing his smooth proceeding. Then, all of them looked at me anxiously, wondering what I would say and how they would need to react. I felt a bit sorry for how nervous they were.
Not only was this a cable TV show and not a regular feature, but it was a special feature talk show that changed with the season. Since it was a talk show, the producers should have invited a few celebrities who had the gift of gab. That way, the conservations would keep going and induce entertainment. But perhaps they didn’t have the funds to do that because most of the invited guests were relatively new to the entertainment world or stars forgotten by the public.
Most of the people invited were the former. Except for the MC and Mina Park, an actress specializing in supporting female characters, none of the others had much of a filmographic history. Naturally, they got antsy when the show started to veer off-script. I also didn’t have any experience with television shows, but I didn’t have the pressure of needing to look good to my colleagues in my field.
I replied casually, “Sure,” like a person who wasn’t going to film tomorrow. “When I was in middle school, I shared stories like this with my classmates. You know, sometimes you have those memories, from when you were younger. Fragments of memories, chopped up in places so you can’t tell what it is and why you have those memories.”
“One of my friends told me that when he was four years old, he went to his grandmother’s house, but he didn’t remember how he got there. His grandmother’s house was 15 minutes by bus, but he walked all the way to the house without any help from anyone.”
I recounted the story of the class representative at the time. I couldn’t remember how we came to this discussion. How would anyone remember the exact conversation one had back in those days? I was also the same. It was just that I remembered this story clearly for some reason.
I couldn’t recall what the student’s face looked like, but I could remember the expression, the tone, volume, and gestures as they told the story.
“My family of course completely flipped. Their kid went missing and whatnot. My grandmother who finished working in the field later was so shocked that she called my mom, and my mom came sobbing. I also remember it. When I got to my grandmother’s house, there was nobody at home, so I just sat on the porch. I was so bored that I remember pulling out candy from the drawers then spat it out. It was mint, so it burned my tongue.”
I continued to tell it as I imitated his voice and actions. “But he said he didn’t know why he walked all the way to his grandmother’s. He didn’t remember how he got there either. He remembered his mom asking if anyone dropped him off there and remembered telling her that he walked alone. He had no idea how he found the way when he had only ever gone there by car.”
Woorim Eun, who was sitting next to me, clapped and agreed, “Yeah, you’re right.” Woorim debuted three years ago, but he was the vocalist of a K-pop boy group that was never very successful. “I experienced something like that too. My mom told me so. When I was younger, I suddenly disappeared so she searched for me late at night. She couldn’t find me anywhere, so she was about to contact the police, but I was sleeping under the bed in the master bedroom.”
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