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14 Chapter 14. Chairman Lee, Cheongdam Town Building Owner 4

 Won-Chul, Gun-Ho's high school classmate, sent him the wedding invitation through KaTalk. Gun-Ho received a call about it last time; this time, Won-Chul sent the official wedding invitation.

"Oh, that's right. Won-Chul is getting married this Saturday!" Gun-Ho zoomed in on the wedding invitation. "Their wedding will take place at a hotel in Gangnam. I can't even read or remember the name of the hotel and the wedding venue. They are long and in a foreign language. Sh*t."

Won-Chul included a photo of himself in a tuxedo as the groom and his bride wearing a veil. They were smiling in the photo; they looked glamorous and classy.

"Whew -"

Gun-Ho knew he should be happy for Won-Chul, but he couldn't help but sigh. There was one more photo; it was a photo of the groom and the bride in a traditional Korean outfit. They were facing each other in the photo. The bride looked so pretty, maybe because of her heavy makeup and her glamorous hair.

"Since his parents are wealthy, they probably bought a small condo for Won-Chul as a wedding gift. Ha. What about me? I am already over 30 and I've never dated a girl before. I am truly a 5-GivingUp."

5-GivingUp referred to a person like Gun-Ho; a person who gave up 5 things: having a romantic relationship, getting married, having a child, having a social life, and owning a house. If 2 more things were added to the list, then it was called 7-GivingUp, which were a dream and hope.

"Will I have a dream and hope if I get a skills certificate?"

Gun-Ho and Won-Chul were not close in high school. They belonged to different social groups. Won-Chul was ranked first or second in his class in high school. He also had a strong physique, and Gun-Ho didn't even try to challenge him at that time.

During his college years, Gun-Ho came to his hometown, Juan Town, Incheon, to spend his summer and winter break with his parents. His college was far from Incheon in the countryside. One day, when Gun-Ho worked part-time at a 24/7 convenience store, Won-Chul walked in the store to buy something. Won-Chul was a Y University student in Seoul. He was with a pretty girl. Gun-Ho didn't acknowledge him, neither did Won-Chul even after he saw Gun-Ho standing behind the counter.

"Despite how things were between us, he sent me his wedding invitation; he must have changed over the years."

One of the ceiling lights in his room started flickering.

"The fluorescent bulb blinked out."

Gun-Ho stood on a chair and removed one of the ceiling lights. Once he removed one of the two lights, the room became dim. That made Gun-Ho feel more depressed, and he started drinking soju. He then felt a longing for a woman, and for the first time in a long time, he masturbated before heading to bed.

Saturday came around. It was Won-Chul's wedding day. Gun-Ho was getting ready for the wedding, wearing a suit with a tie.

"Gosh, it has been years since I wore a tie."

Clothes make the man. Once Gun-Ho wore a suit instead of a factory uniform, he looked fabulous. He took the subway from Yangju station to Gangnam Sinsa station to get to the wedding venue; it was a boring and fatiguing trip.

"A lot of people came."

Won-Chul was greeting and thanking each and every one of the guests for coming to his wedding. He was wearing a gold metal frame glasses; he looked smart. His mom was standing next to him; she looked young.

"How old is she? She looks at least 10 years younger than my mom who is working as a caregiver in a nursing home."

A lot of congratulatory flower wreaths formed a line: one from the president of L group Won-Chul was working for, one from a director of a big company Won-Chul's dad was working for, and one from the president of Pharmacist Association since his mom was a member of the association. On top of that, there were many flower wreaths from CEOs of pharmaceutical companies, congressmen, etc.; probably more than 30 wreaths were there.

"Sh*t. At my wedding, I will probably get one congratulatory flower wreath from the owner of the plastic factory in Gyeongsin Town in Yangju. Even my wedding will look shabby with one flower wreath."

Gun-Ho went closer to Won-Chul.

"Won-Chul Jo. Congratulations."

"Oh, Gun-Ho. Thank you."

Gun-Ho signed the guest book and dropped off 100,000 won as wedding gift money, his precious money he worked his socks off for. After the wedding, it was time for picture-taking with relatives and friends. Gun-Ho posed for the photo with a few friends from high school, who he met at the wedding. Most of Won-Chul's other friends are from his college or work. Gun-Ho felt as if they were thinking like 'did Won-Chul had a friend like him?' while looking at Gun-Ho.

"All friends of the bride looked sophisticated. Are they from the same pharmaceutical college as the bride?"

Gun-Ho thought he wouldn't be able to find anyone for him among those women.

"A factory working man should meet a factory working woman."

Gun-Ho smiled cynically and walked down to the banquet hall. After the wedding, Gun-Ho took the subway heading to Yangju station. Since it was Saturday, a lot of people were on the subway, especially old people. He couldn't get a seat. He was so tired when he got home; he drank soju again.

A week passed like an arrow and Gun-Ho was back to work. He had a hard time sleeping at night maybe because he had drunk too much soju lately; he had a headache. He slept around 2 AM and got up late.

"Uh? Oh God, I'm late for work. The team leader will be bitching."

It was probably not a lucky day for Gun-Ho. He walked to the place where he parked to find a grey Santa Fe parked in front of his car, blocking his way out. He was already late for work.

"F*ck, who the hell!"

Gun-Ho tried to push the car to make a space so he could drive out; it didn't move at all. Fortunately, he found a memo on the windshield with a phone number. The phone kept ringing; whoever left the memo didn't pick up the phone. Gun-Ho spent the next 30 minutes stamping his foot impatiently. He called the number again.

"Are you calling because of the car? I'm on my way."

A middle-aged woman came running from the building across the OneRoon where Gun-Ho was living in.

"Haha. I am so sorry."

She didn't seem to mean it. She seemed to have a lot of nerve.

As soon as the woman drove her car away, Gun-Ho frantically drove to work. When he arrived at work, many people were standing on the site; not just team leaders but an environmental technician who usually worked in the office was there too. There was the 26-ton tank lorry truck that belonged to the environmental company.

"Oh, today is wastewater pickup day!"

The vacuum tanker started sucking the water waste from its storage tank, and it created a loud noise. Raw materials came in as well this busy day; the forklift truck was moving back and forth creating another loud noise. Team leader Kim saw Gun-Ho just arriving.

"Hello, Sir. Did you just come into work?"

Team leader Kim gave a 90-degree bow to Gun-Ho as he did to his superiors.


Watching the team leader Kim teasing Gun-Ho, all those people standing at the site, including the environmental technician and the forklift driver, laughed along. Gun-Ho blushed with embarrassment. Team leader Kim was a jerk; the environment technician and the forklift driver were no different.

"Fucking job! I have no will to keep on going here!"

Gun-Ho changed to his uniform; he found a job opening flyers in his pocket, which he had collected.

"Opening for an environmental technician, a promising job."

Gun-Ho tore the flyer. There was another one.

"Getting your forklift license in no time."

Gun-Ho tore that flyer too.

"Welding course big discount!"

He tore the flyer into pieces. Feeling upset, he thought he was hearing Chairman Lee's voice, whom he met at the fishing site.

"Learn Boogi. The founder of Samsung, Byung-Chul Lee and the founder of Hyundai Group, Joo-Young Jung, they all learned Boogi when they were young."