“Woo-Mi, do you want more kimchi?” My mother asked distantly. Even though I was taught to not speak with food in my mouth, I was quick to respond with half-chewed ramen blocking out my words. She looked at me raising her eyebrows questioning my response. Me, being defiant, nodded without so much as a swallow. My mom readied herself for an argument, though it wasn’t me she was disappointed with she announced. No. She aimed at my father and snapped.
“This is your fault, while I tried to teach her manners, all you did was do the opposite!”
My father sat up straight leaning into the table. “How?!”
“You would sit on that couch and beg for more food with food already in your mouth!” She pointed directly to the couch that was coincidentally being illuminated by the power-consuming TV. I was simply sitting back trying to be as quiet as possible, I was too tired to be yelled at and try to defend myself. Besides I wasn’t ill-mannered, I was just comfortable at home; it’s not like I would ever eat this way in public.
When I turned back into the argument, it seemed to steer away from me and more towards my father’s laziness. I’ve heard it quite a lot. And my father always insists that his job as an entrepreneur qualifies him as a hard-working citizen of Seoul. But the one thing that shuts him down is when my mother uses his habitual eating of white rice and bulgogi while sitting down at his “office” at work, as a defence.
Now that they were quarrelling about each others’ flaws, I was almost invisible when I slipped under the table disappearing from their view. From there I crawled on all fours to my unnie, Seol-Mi’s room. Keeping my head tucked in my shoulders I stretched my arm at her door handle. I gave it a wriggle, then sighed in frustration realizing she locked it. While she usually does lock it, I was hoping she hadn’t because my parents were picking on me all day and l was sure they couldn’t wait to take a hit at me again; so I figured it would be at dinner.
My parents make choices every day. And one of them is to toughen me up. I suppose I slightly understand because comparing myself to my sister at my age, I most definitely am accomplished. But now that I 24 it seems they are tougher on me because I’m not a doctor and instead am wasting my life on “google documents”. So at this point, I don’t am to please my parents, but instead, prove them wrong.
I shook the handle slightly, but eventually got desperate and shook it vigorously. Her footsteps travelled toward me quickly. She swung the door open obviously tense by my presence. She scanned the area until I tapped her ankle. She looked down with her lips puffed and cheeks flustered like an angry manhwa character. I smiled brightly hoping to make her feel empathetic towards me. Instead, she circled back into her room without saying a word. She let the door open purposefully, as she would rather indirectly invite someone in than put her tough face away.
“Are you done with the sketch?”
“Yes.” She responded nearly emotionless. My feet began to descend towards her waiting for her to finish her unfinished sentence. When she began to disregard me and fall back into her phone. I leaned in and coughed. “What?” She answered to my attention-seeking gesture.
“Where is the drawing?!” I smacked the mattress to emphasize my excitement.
She groaned. It was absurd! I paid her to do this and she couldn’t even deliver it. She weakly pointed to the corner. I furrowed my eyebrows. “What is this?” I thought to myself. Is she kidding?
I tilted my head. She could barely keep her eyes open. “Wait, no! It’s in the drawer.” She changed her response hastily. My mind started stirring until I was able to find the cause.
“Unnie, are you drunk?” She looked up trying desperately to keep her head on her shoulders. “What?! No!” The way she stressed each vowel was priceless. It verified that she was drunker than my own mother. “You’re so drunk,” I announced as I waltzed over to the desk. Her desk was the most disorganized in her room. The pencil cup was empty and the pencils centred on the desk. It was annoying that she couldn’t even line them up next to each other. “Unnie, how are you even able to work on anything in this mess?” I gathered all the pencils up and began putting them in a cup. I scooping up loose shaving that was scattered across the wooden desk. I would’ve put them in my pocket and thrown them out later, but I took a second to actually think about it and instead tossed them into the wastebasket in the right corner of her room.
Upon walking back to her desk chair I sat down while I pulled out the drawer carefully flipping through pages of her masterpieces. “Its the third one,” Seol-Mi muttered to me, though still attached to her SNS. I dropped the stack and picked the third one. It was messy. But it was exactly how I imagined him. If you’re wondering how “him” is: I’m referring to Tae-Li. No, he isn’t my boyfriend. I’d like to think so but he is a character. And before you assume I’m insane, I have met him - I’m not a creep. I haven’t mentioned that I am a writer yet....well, I am a writer. But I’m not an ordinary writer. Ever since childhood, I could experience the things I write. When I was 22 after a stressful break up with a guy I had been with since high school, I was so heartbroken that I decided I would use my gift to write my own happiness. Whether or not it would be a reality, it made my life much better even though he would only exist through pages and pages of documents and scripts. He is only my boyfriend in those documents. And that is where he stays. Until today.
My smiling face brightened up each second before replying, “Aigoo Unnie, he’s beautiful! You even got his jawline right!” I jumped up and down. I scurried to her bed and plopped on it. Her fragile and drunk head bounced up and slammed down. She howled at the pain. Though I think she was more worried about the snap she heard in her neck.
“Don’t you have somewhere you need to be?!” Seol-Mi asked though nearly begging for me to leave.
I arose and cried: “But if I go out there they’ll pick on me more!”
“They’ll stop picking on you if you get a job, so then you’re not here to make messes and piss them off.” She replied to me - blind to the offended grimace on my face. After a quick bit of silence, she looked at me grinning mischievously.
“What?” She snickered in her words.
“How could you say that!?” I shoved her shoulder ever-so-slightly.
“It’s true! When I got my residency I was hardly at home, and I was paying her for letting me stay here when I did. And now I’m not emotionally scarred.”
“They just pick on me because I’m not a doctor like you. Besides, I got a job.”
She dropped her phone and turned to me. Rested her head on her palm and asked: “Where?”
“A Secretary at SKSBC.”
“Have you met your boss?” She questioned getting more interested.
“Only for a second, I was interviewed by the retiring Secretary. And then they called me this morning saying I got the job and would start tomorrow.”
“Well, then why aren’t you going to sleep yet?” She took a break between sentences to check her phone before continuing. “It’s 10 already!”
I was shocked. “Are you sure?” I checked with her again. She nodded and showed the clock as proof. I slid off the bed and sped out of her room.
When I got out of her door I was immediately confronted by my mother. “Ya! Woo-Mi!”
I looped around the corner trying to avoid her at all costs. “Sorry mom, I don’t have time! Goodnight!” When I got to the top of the stairs, I was dazed. I had a moment where I completely forgot what or where I was going. I hummed to myself and bit my lip anxiously. Took a minute before I collected my thoughts and recalled my plan. From there, my speed wasn’t as accelerated. Instead, my feet dragged down the right hall to my room. I growled at my phone that was resting on my bed over-notifying me of my notifications. It could be Yoon-Ji. Since she is the only other person who texts me. We’ve been friends since primary school, all of my secondary school friends ignore me now. Which is why I’m so okay with being alone.
I belly-flopped onto my green flower comforter causing my phone to bounced off and onto the floor.
“Why?!?!” I exclaimed.
Using my long 4 1/2 foot legs, I slide the phone into my arms reach. When I had it in my grasp I took no time and laying back down and starring into the screen. Before unlocking the screen I examined the notifications that my device was so excited to alert me of.
- INSTAGRAM: roses_are_rosie, imyourjoy , and more posted recently
- Unknown User: “hi”
I felt slightly compelled to open the unknown message, even though it was quite possible it was a pervert or a con artist. I tapped the button allowing me to unlock my phone directly to the conversation.
“Hello? Who are you?” I replied to the message.
That night I ended up passing out waiting for a response. My dream that night, of course, was about my new job. It wasn’t even a dream! It was a nightmare. After researching my new boss, the CEO of the company, I found out that when he was young he found his mother stabbed to death. I might be a monster for dreaming that he himself murdered his own mother. My subconscious is highly paranoid. Can you tell?
I woke up with my ears bleeding after hearing the screeching sound of my alarm ringing continuously. I tossed my hand on top of it turning it to its side to show me the time.
I didn’t want to accept that this time I couldn’t snooze it or ignore it completely. I was trying to be on time for the first time in my life. I lifted the blanket over my eyes one last time before peaking up. I went from peaking to freezing from the seemingly-frigid cold air. To finally walking or more so tip-toeing to my bathroom at the top of the stairs. I was proud of myself for folding my towel and leaving it on the counter in the bathroom. I had also fused together a somewhat-modest outfit: for bottoms, I would wear black jeans, for a top I would wear a peach baggy sweater. My shoes weren’t planned because I’m ever so bad at choosing. So I figured I would choose a pair when I was actually sporting the outfit.
When my shower was finished, I stepped out and starred into the mirror. I unlatched the cabinet to snatch the scissors. With my right hand, I reached for the comb that was resting near the lotion and toothpaste. Before beginning, I took one stress-relieving breath. I ran the comb through my hair once before stopping it half of an inch from my ends. I closed my eyes then opened them realizing how stupid I would be if I closed my eyes while cutting my own hair. I pressed my lips together attempting to focus more on the task at hand.
I was proud of myself. I had never cut my hair before and seemed to have done a good job.
Upon entering my bedroom again while towelling my hair dry, I walked straight ahead to my dresser that sat under a window that shined a morning sunrise through. In my left drawer, I keep my bras, however, bras on the left of the drawer are without lace. The ones on the right i never wear but my mom insists on buying them for me every time we visit a shopping mall. I doubt I’ll ever wear them, but I’d rather keep them than mom finding them in the trash and she stops buying things for me at all. I began stirring through the draw looking for a peach bra. Then I recalled that it dry rotted under the sink in the bathroom. I cried out and gave in to the white bra, that laid so coincidentally at the top on the pile.
The jeans I would wear today aren’t my favourite - however, I consider them my lucky pair. But I don’t say that out loud, because when I do my sister smacks my head and calls me delusional. My sweater isn’t worn often by me, but my sister steals it from my closet occasionally...she thinks I don’t notice but I would even notice if my most hated top was missing.
Finally, I was dressed just missing my shoes. I scanned the bottom of my closet. I had 31 pairs of shoes and 4 pairs of heels. I have to wear heels today to feel professional. Therefore my options consisted of 4-inch black heels and 4-inch white heels. I sighed out of boredom before squatting down the black pair. I usually had to match my shoes with my buttons but I didn’t own a peach pair of heels so it was a narrow decision. After making a quick decision I snatched the black pair and placed them on the carpet before me. Letting my feet slid into each pair sealing my decision in shoewear. I jogged across my room to the other side where my vanity mirror was. I flipped the lights on to show my face better. I collapsed into the chair and pulled the face powder to my chest where I graciously yet promptly applied it on my face and neck. I didn’t go too heavy on make-up so the only other piece I added was mascara and light lip colour. My hair was somewhat damp so I ran my fingers through it to get more air on it. My scrunchie jar rested next to the left of my lip tint collection and to my luck, the peach-coloured one was laying next to it. I spread the silk band on my fingers and tied my hair into a low ponytail.
I made my way over to my phone that stayed on my nightstand since I woke up. My AirPods were in the drawer underneath my phone. Hurriedly, my hands snatched my AirPods from their case and pressed play on the music that was already on the queue. I felt the need to skip breakfast as I walked past the bowl of apples due to it being 8:15. I had to be at work at 8:30. I stopped as soon as I got outside the door to take off my heels so that I could make it to the subway in time. While running to the city streets I felt quite embarrassed seeing as how I was barefoot and frantically charging down the road. I could’ve sworn I saw I saw and heard a crowd of ajjumas(Korean word for ladies) laughing and pointing at me on the way. Although now that I think about I could’ve been hallucinating since I didn’t eat breakfast.
At the entrance to the subway station, I took one look at my phone and the time was 8:20 AM. I started panicking, so I ran to the edge of the sidewalk to hail a taxi. I nearly dived into the seat, I’m positive I shocked the driver.
“I’m sorry sir! Can you please take me to SKSBC building A?”
He nodded yes. And bowed to me.
I have never been a fan of bowing however my whole life if I didn’t bow, either my mother would push my head down to bow or my father would pull my ear. I only bow out of fear now. To be honest I do mostly everything out of fear. Whether I’m near my family or not. I suppose it’s what makes me a model citizen.
Just then my Seol-Mi texted me; “did you leave already?”
Since I was already on my phone I replied quickly. “Yes, but I’m running late.”
She then responded: aigoo! woo mi, what are we going to do with youㅜㅜ
I smacked my teeth. I wasn’t mad at her. I was mad at myself, I wondered if I would ever get myself together. Seol-Mi was so accomplished, so I can’t blame my parents for expecting the same from me. So when I was 15 I told them I’d wanted to be a writer. They cringed and I’m pretty sure they wanted to disown me ASAP. At the time I thought every profession was a successful one, now I’m just working to prove to my parents I will be successful. And for now, love isn’t my priority.
“Miss?” The driver called out to me. I shook my head and realized the man was telling me that I was at my destination. I nodded still somewhat in a trance. I rummaged around in my bag looking for ￦6,000. Once again, I wasn’t quite paying attention and ended up giving the man 20,000 more than he needed.
I slipped out of the car. And took a look at my surroundings. The front of the building was equipped with two gardens surrounding the main pathway. And a fountain in the very centre. One the opposite sides of the garden beds were 5 two-person tables. I saw into the building - the cafe full off early employees eating their breakfast. My stomach growled, begging for even a fruit. I read the time and I had 4 minutes left. When I found out that I was off when I guessed the time! I ran so fast I didn’t even check-in at the front desk. Nor did I hear the clerk shouting at me.
The building had two wings and the centre. The CEO was on the 5th floor on the west wing. He took up at least half of it. Each wing had its own set of elevators. The west wing was mainly for executives. 5th floor was CEO Oh Jeon-Gi. 4th floor was COO Na Il-Hee and her team. 3rd floor was CFO Lee Yeom-Ji. And 2nd floor was CAO whose name I didn’t know. The only one I’d ever met was CEO Jeon-Gi, and that was only for a moment when he was entering his office again.
The elevator couldn’t have been slower. The rest of my life depended on the speed of this god-forsaken elevator. I started to tap my foot. Almost as if with each tap, the elevator got faster. I opened my phone to check the time one last time: 8:30. When I looked up the elevator was open. I jumped in excitement. My speed changed when I went through the glass doors to the secretary suite. It wasn’t really a suite it was more so a living room. It had two desks. One empty and one with the Sr. Secretary, Lee Joon-Yi, sitting peacefully in it. I kept my head down and descended to her desk where she was literally glued to the screen. I chuckled as I watched her eyes follow the cursor addictively.
“Hello?” I waved to her seeking some attention. She looked up and bowed her head. She tried to look energetic but the exhaustion in her voice took over. I cringed thinking that I would like her after a while in the position. Her hair was still slightly wet, meaning she had to rush in the morning as well. Her eyes were tired and were trying to close on their own.“Good Morning,” She greeted me gently. “Oh Jeon-Gi is waiting for you in his office.”
“Thank you.” I bowed much further down.
The dark double doors were surrounded by foggy glass windows, and inside it was a dark room. The sun blinded me at first, so I put my hand in front of the rays which allowed me to see the room. In the middle of it were two couches and a coffee table in between; similar to the layout of the patio in front of the garden. To the right of the room were a 12ft long bookshelf and an ornament table. On top of the ornament, the table was framed awards and certificates. I looked to my other side, to see a pool table. This pool table was somewhat smaller and the balls were nowhere to be found.
“Good Morning.” He spoke aloud. His face wasn’t lit only the sun behind him in the large window was. I knelt down pleading for my job. Even though he had only said two words I felt guilty seeing as to how I was late on my first day as his employee. My head was pressed against the floor as I yelled, “Please forgive me, President Oh!”
I heard him jump from the chair. Then moments later, he was pulling me up from my left arm. When he turned around he too was greeted by the ever-so bright sun. “Could you close those curtains please?” He requested.
I didn’t even answer yes, all I did was comply and rush across the room to close the curtains. I guess I didn’t want to piss him off seeing as I was late. Even if I was only a moment late, it looks like I was already setting a bad impression on my new boss. “Thank you,” He breathed each syllable sounding exhausted. I wondered if my tardiness made him expect irresponsibility from me. Is this why he seemed so surprised by my actions? “Come sit here.” He added a point directing me to sit on the hardened couch; while he took the couch mirroring mine. The table that sat in between wasn’t just for show. On it was a pile of magazines all flipped on their back. It took a moment before I noticed that the backs were ads for the same TV program.
“Hello, I am Oh Jeon-Gi,” He leaned over and held out his incredibly lengthy left arm. I put out my left hand and when I shook it, it felt rather strange because I am normally right-handed. But I didn’t complain. “I am Kim Woo-Mi.” I smiled nervously avoiding eye contact.
“So, you were late?” He promptly made note of my first mistake.
“Uh, yes...I am very sorry about that i-”
“I wouldn’t have known if you didn’t just admit it to me.” He smirked at his own cleverness.
I pouted and started feeling nauseous. I felt like I was already not qualified in his eyes. “It’s okay. You weren’t noticeably behind. Just try to be punctual in the future.” I nodded feeling as though I was in a shell. He picked up the notepad that the was spilling out of his jean pockets. Next, snatching the black fountain pen tucked in his breast pocket.
“Let’s talk about what we should expect from each other.” My ears perked.
“Eachother? Both of us?” He nodded and replied brightly. “I want my employees so get the most out of their job, not just me.”
I settled down, somewhat calmed. I was so nervous that he would be bossy and a total arrogant jerk.
“Secretary Lee is resigning in 2 weeks. So until then, you will be receiving instruction from her pertaining to your responsibilities. However, I don’t think you will be receiving much instruction from her since she isn’t quite excited about you.”
I pouted my lips before curiously asking: “Why is that?” Slightly chuckling under my words.
“She doesn’t like young people, which is most likely why she’s resigning.” He pressed a smile. I could tell he thought he told to much seeing that his cheeks got paler than they were 3 seconds prior. He looked down and raised his left hand to his neck pretending to scratch however he was obviously avoiding eye contact.
He quickly changed the subject and interviewed me further. “How is it that you got here? Do you live in the city?”
I sat up straight though faltered in my words. “Ah well......no I don’t live in the city.” I returned, dodging the first part of his question.
“Well in the mornings, you will have to meet me at my penthouse. My home is far from the company, so it might be difficult if you live far from here,” He looked up as if thinking lightly into an idea. “If need be I can also help find a bette-”
“What makes you think I don’t live in your district?” I boldly interrogated him.
He chuckled in his palm before responding. “Trust you don’t live in my district.” He proceeded to explain with his hands.
“And why is that?” I gave a smart smirk.
“Because if you lived in my district, you wouldn’t be working in this job.” I licked my lips before leaning back into my seat. I knew I didn’t live in his district, I just had principle! I mean who is he to assume where I live.
“Okay, but why do I have to start that day off at your penthouse?”
He raised his ankle to his knee and rested his hand on his lap. “Well, it’s simply your job. ” He smirked at me. The smirk that said “I know more than you”
“Another thing. How would you like to be addressed? For example, Lee Joon-Yi and I address each other by our full names.”
I thought to myself for a moment. “You can call me Kim Woo-Mi. Just don’t call me Woo-Mi”
“You can call me Oppa(a term of endearment),” I froze. Embarrassed and looking flushed. “I’m kidding! You should call me Oh Jeon-Gi. But feel free to call me Jeon-Gi when we aren’t in public.”
“Oh!” I wasn’t laughing inside but forced an ingenuine one. “Is that all?”
Please let that be all...
He nodded and stood up slowly. When he was sitting up I bowed down and announced, “I will work hard CEO Oh Jeon Gi!”
He chuckled at the gesture, I could help but feel embarrassed. Had I done something wrong? “Before we go to lunch at noon, make sure you get badged first. Or else you won’t be able to receive a tray.”
┈ ┈ ┈ ⋞ 〈 ⏣ 〉 ⋟ ┈ ┈ ┈
My work computer was brand new. Literally never used. So, it took me a while to sign in to all of my accounts. My desk was white, which I wasn’t a fan. The computer was the latest iMac. Which I was excited about because I’m a big Apple supporter. At some point, my hunger came back. When I finished setting up the computer, I sat back in the chair... No one had given me instructions so I didn’t move.
In the back of my mind, while I ate time away on mobile games, I evaluated Oh Jeon Gi. When I first met him he barely made eye contact - so now that I saw him he didn’t look anything like his W & Elle Magazine shoots. The shoots portrayed him as tough, which is why I expected a tough and cold boss. But he seems to be a lot more gentle.
It was an hour before lunch. I remembered that I had to get badged in order to get a lunch tray. I didn’t think twice about telling anyone where I was going since Secretary Lee was already at lunch. So I simply walked out.
The first floor was quite a maze. I had to ask other employees where the badging was and started rushing since I seemed to have only 30 minutes left. When I found the station there was a line. I’m positive that most of them were just there to get a new ID photo. I slipped into the back of the line and soon was followed by two female employees. Each with a low ponytail and a blouse. I pulled my phone from my pocket to check the time. Which I was running low on. As I stood in the line I couldn’t help but hear the two women making remarks about someone.
“Who is that?” The lady on the right asked the other.
“I think she’s his new secretary.” The other replied.
“Fool! Founder Kyung Min wouldn’t let him get a female secretary!”
“No, Lee Joon-Yi told me that they were only interviewing female secretaries.”
I feared the worst. I feared that everyone would talk about me. I tried to tune them out during the rest of my time in the line. And my turn came the woman at the desk asked me for ₩10,000 ($10) and I went blank. The CEO had never made me aware of this small detail. I didn’t have any money.
“Actually, I didn’t bring any money.” I revealed as I slowly raised my shoulders to my ears.
“Well, come back when you have some!” I frowned as I took a step out of the line.
If the woman behind me hadn’t called. “Are you sure you want to turn away the CEO’s personal employee?”
I circled back after hearing the curious words. “Pardon?” I spoke under my breath.
The woman continued: “You know that could cause problems.” She pointed out to the desk lady. I was still confused about the reason as to why it was such a big deal that I was his secretary. It was such a big deal that the woman felt obliged to give me my ID for free!
After being badged I basically ran upstairs. I was so afraid that I had made a mistake leaving unannounced. Well, Secretary Lee left unannounced. I thought to myself as I stood in the elevator. I suddenly had the urge to bite my nails - a habit I did not have. The urge grew and grew. My index finger pressing into my palm. I took to biting my lip instead of my finger slightly overriding the urge. However, once I stepped out of the elevator, I almost immediately started chewing on my perfectly painted nails.
I tried to walk into my room without calling attention to myself. But, my clacking heels betrayed me, and I was greeted ever-so kindly by an agitated: “Ya!” I was like a deer in the headlights I froze. My eyes moved to the open doors where the CEO was standing. Arms folded. With a face that could be read like a book. He lifted his wrist up and peaked at his watch. “We’re late!”
I pinned my lips together and gave the most confused look to him to express my ignorance in the situation. He jerked himself forced reminding me that we had plans with the CEO Na Il-Hee. I had completely forgotten about lunch!
“Let’s go.” He scoffed unfolding his arms and storming off. He should have stomped to add an even more dramatic effect.
“So dramatic.” I mumbled to myself. He had apparently heard me as he stopped himself in his tracks causing me to fall into him.
“What did you just say?” Giving a more unreadable expression.
“Nothing.” I let the lie roll off my tongue.
I walked ahead of him to make sure I would press the elevator button for him. When he turned the corner I greeted him with a bow to seem more respectful than I am. I featured him to go ahead of me in the elevator. Though being in the elevator I dropped the act and couldn’t help but ask: “Why do you keep one strand of hair loose?” After hearing what I had just blurted out, I backed down and replied the familiar phrase. “I’m sorry.” I kept my head down until he laughed and responded: “Its the way I used to wear my hair when I was younger.”
“Perhaps, have you tried styling it differently.” I began to get blunt with him, thinking him a fool to not have tried it already.
“No, but if I ever do I will ask you to do it.” He tilted his head at my and gave a wink. My heart jumped to my throat and I started coughing uncontrollably. I kneeled down begging to catch my breath. What is with this guy!? One hand one my throat the other on my chest. And Oh Jeon Gi was patting my bath. The elevator doors opened and the flirtatious voice of a woman arose.
“Oops, you really do leave girls on their knees.” I looked up quickly swallowing my croaking coughs, to see a woman that Oh Jeon Gi was very glad to see. I lifted myself up crawling back into my shell, seeing as how quickly I was pushed to the side. I simply kept quiet and stayed pinned 5ft in his tracks.
“So how is that seminar going?” She continued.
He reacted with a cringe. “Aigoo! Il-Hee, we aren’t going to lunch as colleagues.”
She scoffed. “It doesn’t doesn’t hurt to try.” He giggled at her clever response. He took his arm closest to her and settled it on her shoulder. She took her left arm and put it at his waist. The way his arm cradled her neck messed with her locks. Her hair was trapped in between and I could tell how it would look when he removed the limb from there.
We got closer and closer to the meal line. I saw that he scanned both of their IDs, I tried to follow with my own. I did it exactly how he demonstrated. But even after the 3rd try, it wasn’t taking. Oh, Jeon Gi grabbed the other end of the ID seeking my attention. “New ID’s don’t usually work.” He took my shoulder urging me to go on.
“So am I not going to eat!? I haven’t eaten since dinner!” I panicked since I was cramping all over from hunger.
“Of course not you can have mine. It’s fine I eat at home.” I was now in front of him, when I got to the end of the line he grabbed the meal since it was labelled for him. I went on to the table where the COO was. The table looked just like the other ones: white table with oddly modelled white seating. To be honest she wasn’t easy to spot since her bleached hair blended in with the back of the chair.
He came from behind me and handed me the meal. He even got me bottled water! “Thank you.” My words muttered. I neared the table slowly, as I examined the meal. Nothing much; just bowls of white rice and pickled vegetables. I peered my head up and pressed a difficult smile in my face and paced to the table of four.
Na Ill-Hee’s Secretary sat directly next to her, since CEOnim sat across from her I thought that I would be sitting next to him. However, I wasn’t. Instead, I was sitting next to her quiet Secretary. Since no conversation was happening between us. I tried to tune out of their conversation; it was more personal than it should be -making it hard to resist. When it was about 12:40, I was about halfway done with my meal and I didn’t really notice that I was suddenly listening to their conversation. My facial expression sure showed the I was eavesdropping.
“So, can I visit tomorrow?“Na Ill-Hee asked still attempting to flirt with CEO Oh.
“Make it Wednesday...and only if you leave before morning.” My eyes went wide and I realized what they were referring to. My beef got lodged in the middle of my throat and there I was...wheezing once again. Oh Jeon Gi jumped from his chair and patted me on my back trying to get me to breathe clearly again. After a moment, I sat up straight and swallowed the bit of meat that was stuck in my throat. He looked up and snatched the water bottle, gave it a twist and offered it to me. I didn’t even look up to take it. I took one sip and my hand stroked my throat. I was relieved when I could take a deep breath. So relieved that I stood up. And bowed to CEOnim. “Thank you!”
He smiled and backed up to his chair. When I sat back down and was asked, “Are you okay?” By Na Il-Hee. I nodded my head.
For the rest of the lunch I starred my food down angrily until finally, Oh Jeon Gi offered. “Should we go?” Desperately, I arose from the right of the chair without even waiting for a response. All eyes were on me as Na Il-Hee agreed to the notion.
Na Il-Hee placed her hands on each side of the tray. And she would have carried it to the used bin, however, Oh Jeon Gi shook his head and insisted while also placing his hands on the tray in front of her: “I’ll do it.” The two were staring each other in the eyes smiling dream-like. She chuckled breaking stare and murmured a simple “Okay.” He snickered to himself as he stacked all 3 of our trays. I followed him as he placed the trays into the bin neatly. He circled back to us, halfway to the single elevator, putting his hand on the shoulder furthest from him. They smiled at each other as they went ahead of us farther to the elevator doors.
At the moment, a whisper near to me greeted: “I am Ok Soon-Ja.”
I viewed everyone but no one was close enough. Until I noticed Na Il Hee’s Secretary with her chin up through standing straight ahead. I gasped. “Omo! You!” I’m not sure why I was startled. I suppose it’s like hearing a mute person speak. You get used to the behaviour of a person; you assume in the future will have no change. Then I realised that I was completely overreacting. “Oh, hello, I am Kim Woo-Mi.”
She chuckled in response making me ask why. “That is an uncommon name, is it not?”
“Yes. How is that funny?” Once she realized I was slightly offended by the comment, she stopped laughing and apologized. Though she isn’t wrong. My name literally could mean elegance, or it could mean beauty on the right. Most people interpret the later. Na Il Hee & Oh Jeon Gi had clearly made their way to the elevator on their own. Most likely the two were already relaxed in their own offices. “So, you’re new?” She asked as we entered the now open elevator doors. Instead of facing her, I kept my eyes on the door, whereas she leaned back on the walls. “Yes.” I responded confidently in my words.
“Well, that means we will be seeing a lot of each other.” She moved her phone into my vision. It was obvious that the dial was there. I questioned her: “What is this?”
“Do you have a cellphone number?” I sighed as I snatched the phone from her hand. The elevator doors opened I typed in my number. Complaining under my breathe. “She better not call me randomly.”
I shoved the phone at her insisting that she go out of the elevator. She frowned as if all the joy had been sucked from her. I pouted my lip, slightly feeling bad for her. Then I received a text from a number and assumed it was hers.
I decided not to respond and instead would add her to my contacts.
I leaned back until my fall was caught many the cold steel surrounding me in the elevator. Staring into the abyss watching the doors shut. I dozed off into my phone when the elevator rung again alarming me that something was in the way of the doors. I pulled the screen from my vision noticing the shiny shoes blocking them from closing.
“Oh Jeon Gi!” I thought to myself.
Immediately straightening my posture and tucking my chin to my chest making sure to avoid eye contact.
“Hello.” He asked with a higher pitch. I avoided the urge to look up when he continued speaking. “Since you don’t have a mode of transportation, I’ll assume that you’ll be fine with my driver driving your place?”
My eyes lit up with excitement. I took the opportunity to show my excitement as we walked out of the doors. “Really?”
“I wouldn’t joke about something like that.” He took the time to smile at me, before continuing on.