“Annyeong, yeoreobun!” Before Shinwoo noticed, they were already at his uncle’s house, and his aunt was happily greeting the four boys. “The food is cooling off on the table. I brought out lots of kimchi and made plenty of bulgogi to go around. You all must be starving after bringing your friend to the hospital.”
The four boys nodded eagerly as they sat at the table. The uncle poked his head into the room and whispered with a display of disappointment on his face, “Shinwoo, can I have a word with you outside? It’s important.”
“Sure. Of course,” Shinwoo said, obediently, but wished he could stay with everyone else as they ate, since he had a feeling this was about the plumbing business.
The graying man shut the door behind him once they were outside. “Listen,” he commanded, rubbing his neck with irritation. “The company has been taking hits. We’re losing more money than we used to, and we’re starting to receive complaints. This all started after you were hired. Do you have any explanation for this?”
Shinwoo felt a lump forming in his throat that kept him from wanting to respond, but he forced words out of his mouth, “I… think I know what it is. Or who it is. Samchon, I’m really not cut out for this. I still don’t understand how pipe systems work, and honestly, the job is way too gross. Jwaesonghaeyo…” Shinwoo felt a little relief after admitting his faults.
His uncle lightened up slightly. He patted Shinwoo on the shoulder, “Thanks for speaking up. You know, you were always my favorite nephew. So… I guess we both can agree that it’s not a good idea if you continue working for me.”
Shinwoo rubbed the back of his sweaty neck, not completely sure how to answer, “Well, the thing is… I need a job. I need to pay my rent somehow.”
“Oh, I nearly forgot,” the man admitted as he pulled out a check from his pocket. “Your last paycheck. If you spend it wisely, it could last you until you find a new job.” He patted Shinwoo’s shoulder again with a friendly firmness, “I’m rooting for you, Shinwoo. I know you can do it, and I’ll do anything to help.”
“Gomawoyo,” Shinwoo showed an indecisive smile, taking the check and staring at it deep in thought. For a second, he remembered his dream of performing along with the other members of B1A4. That dream seemed so far off from reality at the moment. There were too many obstacles right then to even think about it. But… what if they had the help? Shinwoo’s uncle said he’d do anything for him.
“Maybe there is something you can do,” a glimmer of hope rose in Shinwoo’s chest.