Chang-su (Im Chang-jung) is the fall guy for a local gang's boss, willing to cop to short-term goal terms in exchange for sums of money he couldn't earn otherwise or through legal means. This might sound like an undesirable lifestyle for most but Chang-su is quite content with his lot, having no dreams or plans for any future career outside of his next imprisonment. Recently returned from his latest stint, he witnesses, by chance, a lover's quarrel that spills out onto the street in front of him. Chang-su initially enjoys the excitement of the spat between the couple in question, Do-seok (Ahn Nae-sang) and Mi-yeon (Son Eun-seo). After all, it's not every day that he gets to see, what looks like, an upper class couple dealing publicly with their problems in his crummy little town. The enjoyment ends, however, when the argument turns ugly and Chang-su, trying to intervene on behalf of Mi-yeon, gets his larynx stunned in the process by Do-seok, who appears quite the nasty gangster, a class above Chang-su's local hoodlum.
Mi-yeon, having threatened Do-soek that she will go public with their relationship, is dumped by Do-seok and becomes a stranger in a strange town. She decides, however, that there is no better place to hide than with a loser like Chang-su in a crummy town that the corrupt elites and powerful gangs wouldn't bother to venture into. A very unlikely relationship develops between them to the point where Chang-su thinks it might be the ideal time to pop the question. Whether he is naive or not for thinking this way doesn't really matter since Mi-yeon ends up stabbed to death in his own abode just when he arrives home with the ring.
Having had a momentary glimpse at a new life and then having it taken from him so abruptly, Chang-su views this as a belated wake-up call and, in reaching clarity in terms of his genuine place in society, a spur for him to take control of his destiny. He makes a pact with himself to finally take his own path in life, which, in his case, means making the only choice has available, the choice of how to die. This is the only free choice he will make in his life and it will most likely be his last.
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