'Record of Youth' Episode 13: Hye-jun's stardom not Hae-hyo comes between his relationship with Jeong-ah
In episode 13 of 'Record of Youth' Hye-jun (Park Bo-gum) realizes how lost he has been since his career as an actor took off, and why it is important for him to keep in touch with reality especially when one is dating an individual who is not a star. First, he is too busy to be there for his girlfriend Jeong-ah (Park So-dam) during her tough day, despite wanting to be with her. It is not that he doesn't intend to be there for her, just that he is unable to because of how busy he has gotten recently. That was the reason why during a weak moment, Jeong-ah ended up getting in touch with Hae-hyo to help her. All she could remember was Hye-jun's promise that he will always be her umbrella on rainy days - be around to ensure that she feels the warmth of being in a relationship as rainy days always reminded her of how she had no one to lean on from when she was a child.
However, now that he is not reachable, she needs to ensure that she doesn't break down and to prove to herself that she has someone if not Hye-jun, she ends up calling Hae-hyo. The way things ended in the previous episode, it seemed as if Jeong-ah or Hae-hyo might cross the line, but contrary to this, what really happens is the two of them reiterating this very fine line that has been kept in their relationship from the beginning.
Jeong-ah apologizes for calling him and explains that it was a weak moment, and Hae-hyo tells her that he treats her well because she is his friend's girlfriend. He also explains that she did not force him to help her and he did it because he wanted to. This is what really helps Hae-hyo and Jeong-ah continue to be friends, and this is also why Hae-hyo is able to get in touch without feeling guilty when he wants to be comforted after his mother confirms that she procured followers for him off the Internet.
The one thing he had been comforted by despite his career not taking off as expected was his fans. The fact that a million people followed him had made him believe that they had liked him as a model and then as an actor. To be told that all of this was a fantasy constructed by his mother to ensure that Hae-hyo got hired for the best jobs doesn't do much for his self-esteem. So, the only person he is able to call is Jeong-ah. However, he doesn't speak to her about it and just tells her to be around and the two of them sit in the park in silence. These are exactly the moments that Hye-jun is missing and Hae-hyo doesn't want to share his burden with his friend anymore because the two of them are not on the same level anymore. In fact, the two of them meet after a while on the sets of their new show; and Hye-jun realizes that something is wrong with his friend, who in turn is unwilling to share his problem.
This reminds us of the time when things were not going too well for Hye-jun and the day Hae-hyo got through the audition for a film that Hye-jun had also auditioned for. Hye-jun had also reacted similarly. Can Hye-jun see this too? The one thing we are certain about is that Hye-jun realizes he is not on the same footing with Jeong-ah. This happens when Hae-hyo tells Hye-jun about an appointment that Jeong-ah is to keep and Jeong-ah calls Hae-hyo before Hye-jun to tell him when she lands a client. This irks Hye-jun but what he really doesn't realize is the fact that Jeong-ah is trying her best as well.
Just as he tries to make time, keep in touch with her and work hard, she too keeps busy but has to be a lot more conscious about everything as she is wary of being involved in a scandal with Hye-jun. She expresses her worry when Hye-jun asks her why she got in touch with Hae-hyo. She explains that she is not ready to be bombarded by the media and be in the limelight considering how unsure they are about the future. She asks, "What if we break up?" and that is when Hye-jun realizes that his relationship with Jeong-ah is not as stable as he assumed it was. This is not to say that the two of them don't love each other, but that they haven't had time to spend together to reiterate their feelings. Can this really be resolved or will Hye-jun lose his relationship to his career?
'Record of Youth' originally airs on tvN on Mondays and Tuesdays in South Korea and can be streamed on Netflix in the US.