Have a Meal Before You Go - Chapter 45
< A boy’s dream (3) >
Editor: Kris wu
Han Do-kyung, who slightly lowered his head, smiled at Cheol-ho.
Cheol-ho greeted him.
My old friend’s face has changed a lot. It is now Wrinkled, bearded and pale. His hair was completely gray. But under all that, Cheol-ho could find some of his past self.
Somehow he felt a little choked up.
Han Do-kyung tilted his head and stared at Cheol-ho.
“May I ask you something, sir?”
“Have you seen him somewhere?”
Cheol-ho laughed quietly.
“Oh I see.”
“sir, what’s on today’s menu? Hahaha!”
Gearwalk spoke in a cheerful tone. Cheol-ho scratched his head in thought.
“I’ve just made some tteokbokki… …but I haven’t even gone grocery shopping yet. Just tell me what you want today and I’ll make it possible.”
I think you came here so I could treat you to a meal.
It may not be very good to serve tteokbokki to such guests.
“Did you say tteokbokki?”
Han Do-kyung’s eyes lightened up.
“I’m fine with it… …but how about you, Gearwalk?”
“Huh? Are you okay? you walked a long way, and I wanted to treat you to something delicious.”
“When you’re old, anything tastes good. Hahahaha.”
“Well, I’d love to have some too. I like tteokbokki.”
Cheol-ho entered the kitchen and looked down at the freshly made tteokbokki. The recipe and ingredients are both of high quality. After thinking about it for a while, Cheol-ho shook his head and took out a plate.
Put tteokbokki on top of it, sprinkle sesame seeds, and add some parsley. I repeated the same thing on another plate and took the to the table.
gearwork startled me.
The well-finished tteokbokki, which had thick pork belly in the dish, had a pretty appetizing appearance. Gearwalk, picked up his fork and hovered it over the glossy rice cake, put pork belly and rice cake in his mouth at once.
It was a tteokbokki with a unique taste. i t had a nice sweet taste and spicy taste at the same time. If you chew and swallow chewy tteokbokki, the fat of the pork belly mixes to give you mixed feelings about the normal tteokbokki eate
“It’s Delicious sir.”
Han Do-kyung also picked up his fork and ate tteokbokki. After a bite, he smiled.
“It tastes good. It’s very unique.”
They went on eating like that. It was quiet because they didn’t have much of a conversation.
Cheol-ho sat in his chair and watched his old friends expressions.
Unfortunately, his friend didnt seem to remember him.
That’s no problem, no one recognizes childhood friends after 50 years.
Well, its even worse if you have gotten older than Cheol-ho.
My friend, this is Kang Cheol-ho
Do you remember me?
Bitterness and sadness remained in his heart.
“Thank you for the food.”
The meal is over.
“Thank you for the good meal sir!”
It was about time the two men left the restaurant. Cheol-ho quickly walked out and told Han Do-kyung.
Han Do-kyung turned around. Cheol-ho hesitated and then spoke.
“May I ask… ..will you come again next time?”
He tilted his head at the question. Soon he nodded lightly.
“Yes, I’ll have to stop by Seodamun again soon.
The summer is slowly coming to an end.
The Cicadas cried as if today was their last day.
Quite a cool breeze blew instead of the normal hot wind.
If it rains one more time, this summer will come to an end.
A new season will come and create another landscape.
The world has changed so much, but there are things that still remain the same over time.
Cheol-ho stood in the alley and looked up at the sky. I saw a sky so blue and beautiful that my eyes were amazed. It was a cloudless but somehow lonely sky.
It was the morning of the day that Han Do-kyung came back.
* * *
“I’m sorry. I stopped by too early.”
“Thank you for coming back.”
The two men greeted each other. Han Do-kyung was wearing a nice dark violet tailcoat, with a nice hat and a staff in his hand.
“I’d like to ask you to have breakfast.”
Cheol-ho headed for the kitchen. But the ingredients are not like the quality ingredients from yesterday.
Take the frozen rice cake out of the freezer and boil it with water in the pot.
The ingredients are rice cake, green onion, and a half cut of cabbage.
The recipe is simple. Put all the ingredients in one place, and boil them. Add chili powder, red pepper paste, and a little bit of starch syrup.
at the boiling point
Cheol-ho added ramen soup. Then boil it again.
A long time ago.
Han used to take Cheol-ho to his house and make him tteokbokki. His house was no different from Cheol-ho’s.
Tteokbokki was a food that was made with very little ingredients.
The two kids used to lie down in the living room and talk about their dreams after eating to full their stomachs.
-I’m gonna be a magician!
I was envious of him. To have a dream.
-I’m going to be a magician and make people laugh! People are happy when they laugh.
Han had smiled brightly and shouted, spreading his arms out into the sky.
-So you’ll make everyone happy!
And then he asked.
-What are you going to do when you grow up, Cheol-ho?
Cheol-ho looked down at the finished tteokbokki,thinking of what to say.
Put the rice cake and other solid ingredients in the bowl, then poured the soup into it.
I don’t need any other toppings. This is good as done
Cheol-ho went out to the table with a bowl in his hands.
“Oh, it’s tteokbokki again. Hahahaha.”
Somehow Han seemed to not dislike it.
He muttered then ate the tteokbokki. First, he took a sip of the soup with his spoon and smiled.
“It’s been a long time.”
He took out a piece of rice cake and chewed it carefully while he was sipping on the delicious soup.
“It’s just a common tteokbokki dish.”
“I see. I think I know what you put in the soup.”
I quickly finished the food in the bowl. Cheol-ho smiled and spoke.
“Would you like another serving?”
He added and nodded enthusiastically.
“This kind of tteokbokki is delicious when you eat it together with the soup. Have you eaten yet?”
“Why don’t you join me then?”
Cheol-ho hesitated for a moment and nodded.
The Two men sat opposite and ate tteokbokki. The memories from those days came flooding in.
tangerine jumped in after opening the restaurant door.
Tangerine is loud! As she ran, she smiled at Han Do-kyung. And pointed her finger at him, and said clearly.
“Hahahaha. You’re a cute kid.”
Han Do-kyung turned his head to tangerine. Tangerine tugged on his clothes to talk to him.
“Habu ji shi shi shi ah.”
You have a thick beard
“Ul Pa is Um.”
My dad’s not here.
“Yes, Grandpa has a beard. Will you touch it?”
Han Do-kyung suddenly looked at Cheol-ho
“Do you mind if I play with your child?”
“Yeah you can.”
As Cheol-ho nodded lightly, Han lifted tangerine and sat her in the chair next to him.
“Hey. Do you want me to show you magic?”
Han Do-kyung bumped his knuckles with Tangerine’s. Suddenly, Two cards appeared in the palm of his hand.
tangerine was startled.
Next, he flipped his hands over. The card in the palm of his hand has disappeared. Tangerine opened her eyes in shock. When he clenched his fist, the two cards reappeared in his palms.
The tangerine was completely immersed with Han Do-kyung’s magic.
Han smiled and put a card in Tangerine’s little palm.
“Okay, hold on to it.”
Tangerine closed her palm with the card inside.
Suddenly, the card held by tangerine turned into a flower. tangerine chuckled in excitement. She had a bright smile on her face.
“Go give your father the flower.”
The tangerine leaped down from the chair and walked over to Cheol-ho, sticking out a flower. Cheol-ho picked up the flower and stroked her head.
The tangerine ran out again, laughing. Han looked at Tangerine and turned his eyes away.
“Children’s laughter makes people happy.”
“Maybe that’s why I started magic.”
He thought for a moment and added.
“That reminds me of an old friend.”
Han said, looking down at the plate as if lost in memory.
“The memories of those days are now very dim, but I think he was very young. At that time, I had an amazing friend who came to visit me every day.”
“My family was poor, so I couldn’t eat anything expensive. However, I’m good at making tteokbokki. So every day, I used to make tteokbokki with lots of soup, eat a lot, and talk to him.”
“What did you talk about?”
He nodded to Cheol-ho’s question.
“About our dreams!”
“My dream was to be a magician. I liked it when people laughed at magic shows, because it was nice to see people having fun. I thought that making people have a fun time and being happy in this cruel world is what I live for.”
He closed his eyes slightly.
“I’ve been a magician for a very long time. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any special talent, because I had to be a third-class magician forever.”
Cheol-ho lowered his head and looked at the bowl.
“But it was both painful and fun. I always thought I was one step closer to my dream.”
“The times have changed, and somehow I have a magician’s ability. The world calls me a guardian, a third-class magician.”
Cheol-ho saw the title of the book that sat across the table
[Magician of Gangbuk]
“When I have a hard time or want to give up… …somehow I always think about it.”
“Yes. Sharing a boy’s dreams, then.”
At that time.
“The white clouds floating over the window of the basement. the hot wind, and the pleasant chatter until dawn. The days of the innocent boy.”
Cheorho asked quietly.
“How are you now?”
He laid down his spoon and fork in the empty bowl.
“It’s the same now.”
He stood up, wiping his mouth with a napkin.
“I protect everyone. And also make everyone laugh. I want everyone to be happy.”
“I’m a guardian, a magician, and I still have dreams of a little boy.”
-So I will make everyone happy!
The voice from a very long time ago seemed to replay in Cheol-ho’s memory
Cheol-ho smiled brightly.
* * *
“What’s your name?”
“It’s Kang Cheol-ho.”
“My name is Han Do-kyung. I’ll be back more often, somehow I had a good time today.”
The two men shook hands with each other.
He left the restaurant with his staff in his hands. Cheol-ho came out and saw him off.
As he left the alley, he suddenly thought the name seemed familiar.
Kang Cheol-ho… …It was a name that somehow reminded him of an old friend.
Memories of that time have faded.
What Han remembers was the scene, the time. It was a conversation from that day that remained intensely in his mind even after half a century.
He suddenly remembered.
-What are you going to do when you grow up, Cheol-ho?
Do-kyung turned around. He could still see that guy standing still in front of that restaurant in the alley.
Suddenly, across the street from the alley, he saw tangerine running and hugging Cheol-ho There was a loud squeal of laughter from Tangerine.
The laughter was so pleasant that Han smiled unconsciously.
It can’t be true.
Han lowered his head slightly with a smile, and went his own way again.
Cheol-ho holds Tangerine beside him. And said almost whispering.
“Come again, my friend.”