Big Life

Chapter 5: A Bountiful Gift (1)

Chapter 5: A Bountiful Gift (1)

Ha Jae-Gun’s eyes widened as he stared agape. An indescribable energy flowed through his arm the moment he made contact with the cat named Rika.

"Ugh… W-what's this? Did I drink too much?"

Ha Jae-Gun’s head started throbbing. He started groaning and wrapped his hands around his head as the cat sat quietly next to him.

"Urgh, I definitely had too many drinks. I should head back and rest. You'll have to come with me for now, but I won’t be able to carry you because my hands will be occupied carrying the box…"

The cat promptly jumped onto the box at his words. The cute action brought a smile to Ha Jae-Gun's face, which made him forget about the throbbing headache. He then picked up the box with the cat on top of it.

"Your name is Rika, right?"


"I only got milk at home for you… what should I do?"


"I'll try my best to bring you back to your owner tomorrow. Anyway, my schedule isn’t that tight because I’m just an ink-slinger."

"Meow, meow."

Ha Jae-Gun had a dream that same night. In his dream, an elderly man in his sixties with a warm smile and kind demeanor approached him and started a conversation with him.

— Go ahead and write the novel you want to write. However, you must know how to distinguish between what you want to write and the selfish mindset without consideration and care for your readers.

Ha Jae-Gun remained silent.

— Don't forget the attitude you had when you first decided to become a writer. Keep on reminding yourself why you had even embarked on this journey.


Ha Jae-Gun woke up and massaged his temples in an effort to overcome the throbbing headache caused by the hangover. It seemed that he had truly drunk too much last night. The headache was the worst.


Rika had been watching Ha Jae-Gun the entire night, and when Rika saw that Ha Jae-Gun was finally awake, it finally approached Ha Jae-Gun.

It rubbed itself on Ha Jae-Gun’s cheeks before sitting on his bed.

"Did you sleep well, Rika? Let's go for a walk around the neighborhood, and then you can entertain yourself with some toys while I start working on—" Ha Jae-Gun stopped talking midway through his sentence.

He stared at Rika intently as his pupils quivered incessantly. He was a bit sleepy, but a turmoil in his mind banished his drowsiness as he stood there without moving.

"R-rika, w-why does it seem like we have known each other for a long time…?"


Ha Jae-Gun was in disbelief and surprise. He was seeing vivid scenes of his encounter with Rika, and the scenes were so clear they couldn’t possibly be made by his imagination.

Just what on earth was happening, then? Didn't he just meet this cat last night?

"Huh? Huh…? W-what's this?" All of a sudden, he was seeing scenes—memories that didn’t even involve Rika. The memories were fragmented, and they flashed across Ha Jae-Gun’s mind, but he started trembling at the sight of them.

The scenes weren’t detailed, and they were definitely not in chronological order.

He saw himself taking a walk with Rika and saw himself writing. He also saw scenes where he was angry, and he even saw a crying woman. Lastly, a picture surfaced in his mind.

The picture depicted the image of a certain someone. When Ha Jae-Gun saw the image of the individual being depicted in the picture, he finally recalled the dream he had last night.

‘I-it’s the grandpa from my dream!'

He had already forgotten the dream he had last night. The old man in the picture was definitely the same old man who gave Ha Jae-Gun a lot of advice. Somehow, the old man’s memories were entering Ha Jae-Gun's mind right now.

Ha Jae-Gun stood up and ran in a hurry. He left his house in a manner that was so fast that he didn’t even notice that he was wearing mismatched slippers. However, Ha Jae-Gun didn’t really care. He had something he desperately wanted to confirm.

Rika made a move as well and followed Ha Jae-Gun closely.

Eventually, Ha Jae-Gun made his way back to the grave he had found on the hill last night. He saw the same tombstone that he had painstakingly shifted last night, and he froze at the sight.

Seo Gun-Woo (1952~2012)

"No way…!"

Ha Jae-Gun’s teeth chattered as he staggered and eventually fall to the ground on his butt. The old man who had invaded his dreams was definitely Seo Gun-Woo. In that case, how did the memories of a deceased individual get into his head?

In addition, it had also been quite a while since the old man passed away, so what was going on here? How did it happen?

Ha Jae-Gun pinched his cheek and was quickly inundated with sharp pain. The pain proved that he was awake. He wasn’t dreaming at all.

"Huh? This, this is…” Another piece of memory had appeared in Ha Jae-Gun's mind.

The memory depicted Seo Gun-Woo's identification card.

"Pyeongchang-dong… Jongno… Seoul?" Ha Jae-Gun read the address out loud.

Ha Jae-Gun was living in Seoul as well, and Pyeongchang-dong wasn’t that far away from where his one-room apartment was located. Still, going to Pyeongchang-dong would take him around forty to fifty minutes by train.

'Still, I should go there and take a look.'

Having made up his mind, Ha Jae-Gun returned home and took a quick shower.

Once he was done, he stuffed the contents of the ramyun carton box into a large backpack, and naturally, he carried Rika in his arms.

"Come with me, I think I finally found your owner, and I’m going to give you back to him."


Ha Jae-Gun wanted to take a taxi, but he had to resort to traveling by train because he couldn’t afford the taxi fare.

"Ugh, why did he bring a cat here?"

"I’m allergic to cats, man, argh!"

"I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I'll be alighting soon," Ha Jae-Gun apologized profusely to the annoyed passengers around him throughout the ride and quickly alighted from the train upon arriving at the station nearest to his destination.

'Let's see, the street number…'

The number of apartment blocks increased in his line of sight as he closed in on his destination. Soon, Ha Jae-Gun found himself standing in a small alleyway surrounded by apartment blocks.


Rika leaped out from Ha Jae-Gun's arms and started guiding Ha Jae-Gun into a curved alleyway. After walking for quite a while, they soon arrived outside a shabby-looking apartment block.

Ha Jae-Gun spotted the address stuck on the entrance. He saw that it was the same address he had seen in Seo Gun-Woo's memory.

“Since you know the way around here, it seems that you truly lived here. All right, let’s head in.”

Ha Jae-Gun entered the building and climbed up the floors before arriving in front of 201. He rang the doorbell, and a few moments later, a man's voice could be heard through the intercom.

"Who is this?"

"Hello. Excuse me, do you know Mr. Seo Gun-Woo?"

"...What is this about?" said the man in a serious-sounding voice.

Ha Jae-Gun cleared his throat and replied, "I found his grave near my house, and I also found his personal items inside a carton box next to his grave, along with a cat. I came here to return the items."

"How did you find this place?"

"There’s an address in the box. I think it was from a delivery tracking note." Ha Jae-Gun lied. He had to lie because there was no way he could tell the truth. In addition, Ha Jae-Gun believed that the man would never believe him.

"There was an address? No way…! Anyway, I have no need for those items, so please leave." The man didn’t even bother to invite Ha Jae-Gun into the house.

He didn’t even open the door to face Ha Jae-Gun. He simply communicated with the latter via the intercom.

A strange feeling stirred within Ha Jae-Gun. Now, he was certain that the man was the one who had left the carton box next to the grave. Naturally, there was also a high chance that he was the one who trashed the grave.

"Um, may I know what is your relationship with Mr. Seo Gun-Woo?" asked Ha Jae-Gun. He needed more information to know why on earth did the old man's memories enter his mind. He also had to know more about the old man.


There was an audible click, and the door opened. The surprised Ha Jae-Gun reflexively took a step back and saw a red-faced man in his thirties. The man reeked of alcohol as he stood next to the door.

"Why are you asking about my father?"

"Y-your father?"

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