1 hour… 2 hours… 3 hours… 4 hours…
Jaegun couldn’t feel the flow of time.
Sweat fell down his face. His ten fingers had grown red from the heat.
Jaegun sighed as he typed the last line. As he looked around, it was already dark outside. There was a bright moon outside of the window.
“What? How? How long have I worked for?”
The clock read over 7.
He didn’t even remember when he started. Jaegun remembered his sister’s call and checked the call history. It showed about 11.
“8 hours…? What… Why am I… like this?”
He was completely in the zone to the point where he hadn’t rested his fingers at all.
There was never a point in time before where he had put this much effort into writing. Really, he completely forgot about everything except for writing during that time.
‘This is fun! This book has changed so much after these edits.’
Jaegun exclaimed as he looked over the book. He had no basis for the confidence, but he was confident nevertheless. This was something that the producers would like. It was the first time he had this feeling.
Jaegun sent the book to the editors by email. After he had sent it, he heard Rika’s growling.
“Ah Rika, Rika. I’m sorry. You must be hungry?”
It wasn’t just Rika; Jaegun was also starving. He hadn’t ate anything at all today. As he was going to have to walk because he had some things to buy; he put on some clothes and left.
“It’s 45,000 Won”
“What? It is that expensive?”
On the pet store’s counter, Jaegun was surprised as he asked the clerk.
The clerk smiled and replied.
”For that amount of food, it is pretty cheap. It would be cheaper if you purchase it online, but there’s not that big of a difference.”
“It’s… A bit more expensive than I thought.”
“So are you going to buy it?”
“Yes. Yes. Here.”
His hand shook as he gave the money to the clerk. What could you do if you were poor? Imagine how much food he could buy for 45,000 Won.
“See you again.”
Jaegun left the store in a half-shocked state. Rika, who was in his arms, looked at him with her two, bright round eyes, it was as if she was asking ‘what’s wrong.’
“Is that a ‘making fun of me’ look?”
“I get it. What do you know? It’s fine. My sister always used to say, ‘don’t save money on food; live with plenty of food.’ Since you’re now family… family… Let’s go. Let’s go eat some ramen at home.”
Jaegun moved his body back home.
“I ran out of eggs. I should buy some on the way home. Put 2 eggs in the noodles and bam: a freakingly good meal. Adding rice on top of that would fill me up, don’t need anything else”
His phone in his pocket vibrated. As he thought it would be from his best friend Jungjin or his sister, his eyes suddenly widened.
‘What’s the occasion calling this late?’
To think that he would get a call back as soon as he uploaded his updated story. ‘What for? This couldn’t be good’ he thought.
-Mr. Ha. Did you revise this in one day?”
“What? Yeah, I did? Is there something wrong?” He trailed off at the end with a worried voice.
Was this going to be a talk about how it became worse? He thought it got better; however, if he was going to be criticized again, what would he do? With that thought, he clenched his eyes closed.
The following words from the editor completely shook his mind.
-No, you should have wrote like this before!
“What?” Jaegun straightened his back with a bewildered face. The editor’s bright voice continued from the other side.
-Since you changed a few things and altered the flow several times, the story completely changed. I read it well.”
“You read it… well?”
-Yeah. I read it well. Really. Do you think I would say something that’s not true?”
“N-no, of course not.”
The editor wasn’t the type of person to lie. Since he knew the editor for 5 years, he knew he wouldn’t make things up. If he said it was good, it was good. At least, the editor thought it was good.
-There are a few minor errors and mistypes, but it’s not serious. I’ll leave it to the office. Fine?”
“Ye-yeah, that would be great for me.”
-I’ll send it tomorrow to the printing press it worked on. I’ll try to get it published in 4 to 5 days. Oh and Mr. Ha? I don’t know how to say this… but, do you need any money? Should I put in some additional money in the contract?”
“Contract? If you could do that, I would be really happy.”
His voice perked up as he listened to some bright news. He was in the red after he bought that food. If he was a successful writer, he could get money whenever he wanted and more; however, Jaegun definitely not at that stage.
Jaegun’s contract was one that didn’t provide much as his writing didn’t sell well.
-Okay. I’ve just deposited 500,000 Won. I’ll send you the rest for books 1 and 2. It will go in tomorrow at 10 am.”
“Thank you. Thank you so much, editor in chief”
-It’s me who should thank you for this amazing writing. Thank you, Mr.Ha. I hope to see more writing from you. This is will be a hit”
“I hope so”
-Please trust my instincts. This will be a success. Then you’ve worked hard so give yourself a nice rest today.
“Yes, you should rest too editor.”
Jaegun was paralyzed after that phone call. With cat food in one hand and Rika in the other, he couldn’t move at all.
‘My writing… my writing is good?’
5 years after his debut. Since then, all of his work had been dead or failed. He couldn’t see “good” anywhere in the comments.
This was his first compliment.
It wasn’t just any compliment either, it was a huge one.
From an editor who was known for being sharp and objective with his cruel comments, he had heard a compliment. There was no describing this feeling in his chest.
-Drop. Drop. Drop.
Tears fell from his two eyes.
As hot tears fell on her, Rika raised her head. As if to relieve him, she softly his chest.
“Rika… he said it was good…”
“My writing is good… My writing… From an editor who rarely gives compliments… he said it was good… you have no idea what type of person that editor is… he said it was good…”
He couldn’t stop the tears from his eyes. Jaegun dropped the cat food and hugged Rika with his two arms. Rika, as if to congratulate him, meowed cutely along.
The weather didn’t feel cold any more.