There was an article in my mail window, which was about the size of a sheet of A4 paper. I began to read it with my chin in my hand.
[The Lotte Giants won a dramatic drama in a match with the Hanwha Eagles. The Lotte Giants, who led 2-0 after a series of mistakes in the early part of the game, chased the Hanwha Eagles down to the wire with a single by the fourth batter Jung Sung-hoon and a double by the fifth batter Kang Yong-jin. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Hanwha pitcher Choi Yong-wook, who had runners on the second and third base, threw two balls and couldn’t withstand the pressure, making a careless pitch, and giving the finishing homer to the sixth batter, Kwon Hyuk-joon…]
After reading the article, I quickly summed up the result.
‘…well, to sum up, Lotte was behind 0 to 2 and then won 3 to 2 at the end. But when is this game?’
I stopped by the sports broadcasting site on the portal site with the mail window left behind. It wasn’t difficult to find a baseball game schedule and the result. There were a lot of baseball games going on tonight, as usual. Among the many baseball teams, including Nexen, SK, LG, and Samsung, I found the schedule of Lotte and Hanwha.
‘The game of Lotte and Hanwha is there…’
There was a red light on it, saying ‘in the middle of the game’. Now, it was at the beginning of the ninth inning. And the score was…
‘Hanhwa 2 vs. Lotte 0.’
I doubted my eyes. It was exactly as it was written in the article.
‘As long as this article goes… Now the turnaround…’
I went back to the sports site and brought in the text broadcasting.
[One-out situation, the fourth batter Jung Sung-hoon comes to the batter’s box.]
I compared it to the current situation while doing an Alt-Tab. It was exactly as it was written in the article. I was a little nervous.
‘Is this really happening?’
– The first pitch is a ball that falls outside. It’s a ball. The second pitch is a fast-faller. It’s also a ball. Jung Sung-hoon is good at picking the ball. The third pitch is a hit. It’s a single. The fourth batter Jung Sung-hoon did a good job in a crisis situation.-
It was just as it was written in the article. I swallowed.
– The fifth batter Kang Yong-jin comes into the batter’s box. Will he be able to save the spark of the last chase? The first pitch is a hit. It’s big, big. Will it go over the fence? Does it pass over?-
‘It’s not going over the fence.’
– The ball is bouncing inside after hitting the fence. The outfielder is hurrying up to catch and throw it. Jung Sung-hoon stops at the third base. It’s a double.-
Runners were on the second base and the third base. I got a little goosebumps. Now, when the fifth batter hit a home run, this article, this prophecy would come true. I muttered unknowingly.
“It’s… it’s real…”
But then a voice came from behind.
“What are you doing? I cannot bear you anymore.”
I was so surprised that I closed the window I was looking at. Behind me was Heo staring at me as if he was going to eat me up.
After leaving the company, I grabbed hold of my head.
‘Since you do such things at the company, your work results are awful, aren’t they? Huh?’
Heo’s voice seemed to be ringing in my ears. Of course, I was blamed so much because I was watching a baseball game while I was at work. Heo was the superior who was bothering me by catching the mistakes that I did not usually have, and with this one, I would be harassed for a month.
“Hoo—” I sighed.
‘Do I have to do this until I get to old enough to retire? Getting a little bit of a salary, do I have to do this stupid, unceasing, endless work with such a fucking boss?’
This was slavery, slavery! Who would call the Republic of Korea a liberal democracy? Without money, we had to be slaves of our own free will.
‘I want to quit even if I have no debt…’ I was thinking about it.
“Look at the highlights of the day!”
A bald man was watching today’s highlights with his smartphone at the crosswalk in front of the company. As I saw it, I remembered the results of the baseball game.
‘Oh, yes, what happened to the baseball game?’
I picked up my cell phone and skillfully entered the sports page. I looked up the result of the match between Hanwha and Lotte today.
‘The game ends with Lotte 3: Hanhwa 2.’
I murmured once more, “It’s… it’s real?”
I read the details of the game, after the spot in the ninth inning I had seen earlier.
– The sixth batter Kwon Hyuk-joon comes into the batter’s box. The first pitch is a ball that goes far outside. The pitcher Choi Yong-wook is out of control. Is the second pitch a strike close to the inside? Ah, it’s a ball. The referee declares it a ball. The third pitch is a hit. It goes straight out! It’s a home run, a home run! It’s Kwon Hyuk-joon’s finishing home run!-
It was exactly as it had been in the article.
‘What the hell is this?’
I was confused. I went to the mailbox I hadn’t used, and I tried to read it again. But the email had disappeared from the mailbox again this time.
[Click now and you get a 70% discount.]
[Lasik? LASEK? Don’t worry!]
Only unnecessary advertisements were filling up the mailbox.
‘What the hell is this?’
Last time, I thought I had a hangover, and I just passed it, but this time it definitely was not. Apparently, the email was telling me what would happen twelve hours later in the future.
‘What was that flyer then?’
At the sudden thought, I rummaged in my pocket. Dammit! I wore the same pants yesterday, but I could not remember where I had left the card.
‘Did I throw it away?’
At that moment, a blue light came on the crosswalk in front of the company.
I crossed the street. If I crossed the street, I was right in front of the subway station. It was just the spot where I had picked up the card flyer, stamping my feet as I was late. Across the street, I looked for the card flyer I had seen the other day. But there were only the same flyers as the other ones I had seen.
[100% Instant Loan]
[A beauty is on standby for 24 hours.]
I could not find a flyer saying, ‘You won’t get in trouble even if you are late today.’
‘What was it? It’s…’
I did not know what it was. Was this really a strange fate, like that appearing in the martial arts novels?
‘And tomorrow… Is that email coming too? At 8:55?’
I tried to get into the subway station with that thought. But then, the signboard of the street stall in front of the subway station came into my eyes for some reason. It was a shop that I had been through hundreds of times while commuting to and from work, but it was the first time I ever acknowledged it was there.
‘The ideal spot for Lotto, the second place winner. Toto, Proto Sales.’
I looked at the sparkling light for a moment, then muttered.
“Maybe… slave life… Maybe I can end it…”
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