Chapter 1: Samantha's Betrayal
IT was almost midnight, yet someone was still sitting in front of the computer and working late. That employee was determined to finish some tasks before going home.
His name is Augustus Fordman. A passionate and hardworking guy working as a strategy developer at Sandoval Corporation. It’s one of the most influential companies in the gaming industry despite its family ranking being in the top fifty only.
“Crap,” August complained as he stretched his arms, followed by a sound of a fabric splitting into half.
August only sighed because of the unlucky situation. His black polo shirt that seemed to be worn out was torn now.
No wonder that it was torn easily. He had been using that shirt and his black slacks for a long amount of time— The same as his black and thick eyeglasses. That nerdy look of him made his co-workers give him a nickname that suits him well.
“Hey, aren’t you going home? Are you planning to sleep here?” said Kaylee, one of August’s co-employees. “You’re not doing overtime just to get the pay, aren’t you? Because if you do, you’re dead!”
“N-No,” August stammered as he pointed at his overheated computer. “I just need to finish a lot of things.”
Kaylee immediately grimaced as she saw the tons of documents on August’s left side. She suddenly forgot that almost all his co-workers in the strategy department make him do a lot of things.
Since August is stupid and poor, he always took their tasks even if he could just say no. But he wasn’t capable of doing that, so they’re taking advantage of his weakness.
“Okay, dummy.” Kaylee shrugged before she left the room.
August closed his eyes for a second and calmed himself down. Despite being in a good company, his co-workers mistreat him.
After that, August continued working as he crumbled onto his favorite dragon seeds. It was the only thing he could eat, unlike his co-workers who could go to restaurants after work.
His co-workers weren’t that rich, but they also weren’t that poor. On the other hand, August doesn’t have even a single penny to take a cab home.
But August didn’t mind all the differences. For him, he was blessed to be able to work at Sandoval Corporation despite his social status. His hard work and intelligence brought him to where he was now.
Now, he only wanted a promotion. Once he had a higher salary, he could now spoil Samantha, his girlfriend, and buy things she wanted.
AUGUST finished the job after two hours. He wouldn’t take an overtime tomorrow and will take Samantha on a date. He had everything planned for his surprise date, and bought two tickets for her favorite movie without her knowing.
‘She would love this, for sure.’ August thought and smiled.
He fixed his things, and documents, and shut down his computer.
On his way back home, he pulled his phone from his pocket and called Samantha. He wasn’t able to talk with her for today as they were both busy with their work.
Both of them were working for the same company, yet Samantha was rotated into a different department recently. As tiredness succumbed to his body, he only wanted to hear her voice.
“Who’s this?” asked Samantha in a weak and sleepy voice.
“It’s me, love.” August smiled as Samantha answered immediately like she was waiting for his call.
But that’s just what he thought.
“How have you been? I miss you—”
“You just disturbed my peaceful sleep, Augustus,” exclaimed Samantha, interrupting his words. “Don’t you know what time is it? Goodness! If you’re just going to have a chit-chat with me, adjust it at the right time!”
August suddenly stopped walking as he heard how angry Samantha was on the other line. She was like that for months, and honestly, it’s starting to worry him. Samantha was a sweet girl back in college, but she changed now.
He wondered what happened to her, or if something bothered her.
“Stupid,” Samantha even added, which he heard loud and clear.
He clenched his chest, trying to control himself. He wanted to burst out as he was tired and exhausted. However, the only thing he could do was sigh.
“Okay, Sam,” answered August, surrendering. “See you tomorrow. I love you—”
But the call disconnected even before he could finish his sentence. Samantha already ended the call without even hearing what he wanted to say.
Shaking his head, August only took the phone back in his pocket and continued walking.
If he could have enough patience to deal with her secret relationship with Samantha, which she requested because they were colleagues and it would be awkward, he could deal with her sudden mood swings as well.
But, for how long?
AT almost eight o’clock in the morning, August arrived at the strategy department. He was able to arrive on time despite the lack of sleep. He grinned widely as he thought of Samantha.
August just arrived at work, yet he was excited to time out so he could see his girl.
‘How ironic,’ August thought, chuckling.
August entered the room like a wind passing on the street. He was used to his co-employees not greeting him because they treated him like an outcast. Even Samantha wasn’t talking to him every time they were in the company unless it was for work purposes.
He sat in his cubicle and opened his computer, but stopped moving when Peter, one of his male co-employees, shouted inside their room.
“Guys, look!” Peter told everyone as he pointed at the screen of his phone. “Open your Ashbook accounts, quick! Something’s happening!”
August narrowed his eyes to look at the screen, and he saw that it was a live broadcast. He shrugged before he continued his routine— Working.
He didn’t have an Ashbook account or other social media accounts either. Samantha didn’t like him to engage on those platforms, and August only obeyed to make their relationship work. He only focused his attention on reading non-fiction books instead.
“Shit!” Kaylee exclaimed. “How romantic! I hope someone rich would also date me in a place like this!”
‘Date?’ August frowned as he stared at Kaylee. ‘Maybe I could bring Samantha there, too.’
August moved his chair towards Peter, who was beside him. “Can I take a look?”
It startled Peter a bit. The confusion was evident in his eyes, too.
“I don’t have an Ashbook, that’s why,” explained August and showed Peter his phone. There were no other applications except the default ones and an ebook reader.
“Are you a caveman, dude?” asked Peter, who was amused and disappointed at the same time. It was his first time knowing that someone didn’t even have an Ashbook account.
‘Pathetic,’ said Peter as he shook his head. ‘No wonder he’s an outcast here.’
“You know Bruce Sandoval, right? The son of our CEO?” asked Peter. “He will propose to Samantha today!”
August flinched when he heard a familiar name.
‘It should be a coincidence, right?’ August consoled himself, but at the same time, the fear started creeping on his body. He couldn’t even take a look at Peter’s screen.
“Samantha…” August trailed off. “Do you mean… Samantha Evergreen?”
“Yes!” exclaimed Peter. “She’s one of our colleagues! How amazing that you know her—”
He stopped speaking when he realized something. “Right! You were in the same college, weren’t you?”
August didn’t answer. Instead, he pulled the phone from Peter’s hand without his consent.
“Hey!” Peter snorted, but August didn’t mind him as he stared on the screen.
There, he saw Samantha and a rich-looking guy sitting in front of each other. The place where they were looked expensive.
And as Bruce, the heir of the Sandoval family, kneeled in front of Samantha, August recognized the dress Samantha was wearing.
‘That dress… I bought it for her before!’ exclaimed August at the back of his mind.
He remembered how he saved money for that dress because Samantha told him she badly wanted it. Not knowing it was because of this special occasion.
“Will you marry me?” Bruce asked Samantha in a low and soft tone.
‘Are you really going to betray me, Sam?’
August shut his eyes and clenched his left fist. Even though his heart was hurting, he was still hoping she would reject Bruce and return to him.
But it was only his wishful thinking.
And as both of them kissed passionately, August’s world fell apart.