Volume 1 / Chapter 45
A week later. The 2nd episode of ‘Tomorrow’s Star’ finally started. Yoon Kwang Hun watched the broadcast with interest. However, he turned the TV off when it ended with Jun Hyuk playing Jung Tae Jun’s ‘Poet’s Town’.
He was uncomfortable.
They had only highlighted the dark and pitiful parts of Jun Hyuk’s past. They had clearly said that he played eight versions of the song, but they did not even air a full minute of this guitar performance.
Instead, an interview over 3 minutes on his past came out with a scene of him sitting dejectedly alone in the waiting room with melancholic background music and a narration of his depressing story.
It was as he had expected. The broadcast station had taken the direction of concepts like the forced pity and success story. Yoon Kwang Hun went to bed with the uneasy thoughts hoping that they would highlight more of Jun Hyuk’s music during Star Week.
The next morning, Yoon Kwang Hun received a phone call from an employee opening the cafe in Jun Hyuk’s place,
“You’re already at work? You’re working hard since Jun Hyuk isn’t here.”
– Boss. It’s crazy here.
“Why? What’s going on this early in the morning?”
– Reporters are swarming the front of the cafe.
The strength of a broadcast was scary. It seemed Jun Hyuk had already become a hot topic after his first appearance yesterday.
“It’s okay. Jun Hyuk’s air time went on broadcast. That’ll be why they’re there.”
– No! I’m telling you that’s not it. Boss, go on the internet. It’s no joke!
When Yoon Kwang Hun put down the phone and turned on his laptop, he felt as though he had been hit across the back of his head with a stone.
The top three real-time searches on the largest portal site were Jang Jun Hyuk, Tomorrow’s Star, and ‘villainous cafe owner’.
‘Villainous cafe owner?’
This had to be him.
“Hey, I’ll call you later. Hang up.”
Yoon Kwang Hun read through each article on the portal site and grimaced.
[Tomorrow’s Star, Hot Topic Guitarist. Jang Jun Hyuk. 2 Years of Slave Labor?]
[Life of Slavery After a Life on the Streets?]
[Cafe Owner’s Identity? A Good Samaritan Taking in an Orphan? A Villain Bothering a Penniless Child?’]
[Living at a Cafe? Locked Up?]
Yoon Kwang Hun shut his laptop.
He had worried that Jun Hyuk might get hurt from his past being revealed because of the broadcast, but this was unexpected. The arrows were shooting at his own direction.
Yoon Kwang Hun paced his room and picked up his phone,
“Hey, it’s me… Starting today, don’t go to work until I say otherwise. Close the cafe doors now and just go home. Hang a sign to say that we’re temporarily closed.”
He lit a cigarette and read the articles again. They made him out to be a villainous thief in subtle wording. It was not something he could keep avoiding. He even thought he might need to go to Jun Hyuk’s boarding house and go into a press conference.
Just then, he thought of someone he could consult with. Yoon Kwang Hun hesitated for a moment before he picked up his cellphone. He was reluctant for a while until he dialed the phone number.
To call someone he had not been in contact with for a long time to ask for a favor? Was this not the same as texting a wedding invitation to a long forgotten high school classmate? Nonetheless, this was the only person he had to go to for help. Yoon Kwang Hun hit send.
He heard an overly friendly voice over the phone,
– Wow, is this really Yoon Kwang Hun? How long has it been?
“Is this Seung Ho? You haven’t deleted my phone number yet?
– Why would I delete your number? I just haven’t contacted you first because it seemed you were avoiding me. How are you?
“Seung Ho, I’ll give you the details later, but I need your help. I’ve fallen into a bit of an embarrassing situation.”
– Why? What happened? Are you still working with funds? Didn’t you quit all of that to run a cafe and live freely?
“No, that’s not it but look at Naver. You’ll know then. Look at all of it and call me back.”
Yoon Kwang Hun hung up and just got in his car. As he rode the freeway, he saw a milestone that read Hyeyiri. He turned into the direction of the Hyeyiri sign and stopped at the first cafe he saw to order coffee and wait for the phone call.
However, two hours passed and there was no call.
‘Shoot. Did I contact him for no reason?’
He drank his iced coffee to cool the burning inside.
Baek Seung Ho was a lawyer at the law firm Future Asset had partnered with at the time when he was making hundreds of millions.
They had been close as they got along well and had gone drinking together two or three times a week, but Yoon Kwang Hun had cut all contact when he lost everything and left the industry.
Yoon Kwang Hun had deliberately avoided anyone linked to his swanky past. But this is when he needed a reliable friend.
He had contacted him thinking that he would help due to the friendship that had before but… was that friendly voice just a courtesy? Yoon Kwang Hun felt embarrassed that he had become a forgotten failure to Baek Seung Ho.
He decided that he needed to find a motel to stay at for the time being because he could not go back to his house or cafe. He left the cafe and walked around Hyeyiri before drinking a beer.
A restaurant employee looked at Yoon Kwang Hun pathetically as he drank a beer before lunchtime, but he did not have the luxury to mind such attention. He was more hurt by the fact that he had become a nuisance to someone than he was by the verbal abuse on the internet.
He left the restaurant once he was in a completely drunken state to avoid the eyes of the restaurant employees. He stopped at a convenience store to buy canned beers and went to a motel. He drank until he passed out in a motel room.