The rain kept pouring outside, bringing the city of Seoul into a gloomy Tuesday, and cars passing by bustling through the busy road. The drops of water made a soft patter sound towards the office window. Moon Byulyi stood by, clasping her hand behind her back, trying to get a glimpse into the world outside in order to calm her nerves down. Anger? It’s not just raging she felt throughout the body from the previous encounter, pain, confusion, longing . The said woman gritted her teeth and let out a low grunt to express her frustration over the current position her boss’ puts her in. She moved to her seat behind her office desk, putting one leg over another while her left hand comes up to rub her throbbing forehead. This is not what she imagined dealing with after she came back early from her much-needed getaway. Kim Yongsun was supposed to be eight thousand kilos away from her, not right in the bullpen just outside Byulyi’s office. She should have been drowning in sorrow, scrolling through hundreds of unsent emails to her past lover not facing her directly like this. Byulyi just laughs in silence over her pathetic self. Time certainly has not been kind to her and Yongsun, they did every single possible thing to add their suffering rather than searching for a path to heal.
A gentle knock on the glass door brought her back to reality, she has a hunch who might be knocking and contemplating to turn her guest away. But no matter how far she would try to avoid Yongsun, sooner or later their path will come across again, might as well facing it now. She took a deep breath, answering the door. “Yeah, come in.”
Yongsun peeking a bit into the news anchor’s office before letting herself in, slowly she closes the door behind her as if afraid that any loud sound would immediately enrage the woman in front of her. She’s looking around her surrounding awkwardly, gazing at every spot but Byulyi’s face. She thought that the whole mental building and self-confidence had prepared her enough to face Byulyi, but her heart shrunk back again after catching the gaze of the said woman. She moves towards Byulyi’s desk, pulling the chair in front of it to make herself at least comfortable enough to start what to be a disastrous confrontation.
Silence engulfed the room before Yongsun started to open her speech that she had rehearsed the other night. “I came here and accept the offer because I believe that the program deserves a second chance.”
Byulyi just chuckled hearing her remarks, keeping her head low, still not meeting Yongsun’s gaze. “So it’s not about me then. I’m unsalvageable.”
“You’re the one who has been carrying the show from the start. It got a little wobbly in the middle, so what, every other major station had that meltdown. Let me help you to do the news again, just like we used to.” Yongsun stressed each word she uttered, hoping that Byulyi will catch the meaning and understand her full intention to bring back the program to its glory. But, knowing the woman sat in front of her, Yongsun knew that hell will raise above before Byulyi would agree to work with her again.
“What makes you think I will trust you again? Let alone us running a show together.”
“Look Byul, you’re deep down into the shadow of popularity that you strive to be likable to all and giving them false truths. You know that it’s wrong.” Yongsun held her breath, growing irritated after the memories of Byulyi’s meltdown airing through national news all over South Korea thus marking the beginning of doomsday for her and the show, flashing back in her mind. She gritted her teeth, jaws clenching hard still boring her stare towards Byulyi hoping to knock some sense into the said woman. “It’s not yourself to sell gossip and letting the debate fell through into catastrophe, I know you know it Byul.”
“Have you lost your damn mind?” Byulyi finally lifts her head, eyes seething with anger no, disappointment , she wanted to scream her lungs out, shouting all of her pent-up frustration as if Yongsun was the one who put her in this chaos. She spoke harshly, “After you left, I did everything to keep the show in its course but guess what, they left us! Our viewers abandoned the show and I didn’t have any choice!” Byulyi moved her hands erratically, her left hand pointing to the glass door across the room. “Pardon me if I just want to keep the show intact before Joohyun cut off the whole damn newsroom after you threw them to literal hell and tore them to pieces. So tell me, for God's sake, is it really my fault?”
“Don’t twist it Byul, we had a discussion about this.” Yongsun did not mince her words as she has predicted that Byulyi will bring this up again. “I did not leave the team as it is, you said that I should go because I want to do it, that’s why we agreed on things about the show I left for Syria.”
“The plan was for you to go as a war correspondent on one tour Yongsun! Not you embedding the military for seven damn years and got fucking stabbed in the midst of it all!”
“How did you know that I got-“
Several knocks could be heard coming from the glass door, both women turn their heads towards the source of the sounds only to see the assistant producer slowly opening the door as if making sure that she did not step into a war zone. Wheein took a deep breath, trying to form a coherent sentence inside her head quickly before her boss threw her out, “Uhm I’m really sorry for interrupting, but-“
“You know you’re wrong, apology accepted, out now!”
“For god sake Byul, let the girl finish. Just shut it for a bit.”
“Last time I check she doesn’t work for you, Jennie here is under MY payroll.”
“You keep calling her name wrong and you dare to speak as her boss. Knock some sense into that thick-ass head of yours." Yongsun just shakes her head in disapproval, growing irritated over her ex-partner's rude behavior towards the young assistant. "What’s up Wheein?”
“But, that’s-”. A loud shush and a glare from Yongsun conjure a much-needed silence within the room. Byulyi kept her mouth tight albeit not leaving her gaze from the woman that just shut her up. The first one who managed to do so in these past years.
Wheein darted her eyes back and forth between Yongsun and her boss trying to understand the energy emitted from that conversation. She failed to recognize it as her initial mission come back into her mind. “The news alert has been beeping since 15 minutes ago, it’s still yellow but I think you would want to check this one.”
“What is it about?” Byul authoritative stance coming back.
“The trial at the ICC in The Hague, they tried the war criminal for the Bosnian war, they will read the judgment today, but during the preceding something weird is going on. It’s about poison or something.”
“Leave it be, we are still on the report for the newly released Tesla tonight, people had been wanting to know the details about that schmuck’s car.”
Yongsun widened her eyes, she could feel her head throbbing yet again after hearing Byul’s answer. “Are you kidding me Moon Byulyi? You’re going on air tonight during prime time, reporting the release of a fucking new car?!”
Byulyi just shrugged as she sits back to her chair behind the desk and started reading the rundown for tonight’s show.
The young assistant chewing on her lips, trying to decide if she wants to push her boss’s button for one last time. Whoever her boss is, at this point she just didn’t care anymore (she had a big hunch that Yongsun will take up that position full time soon enough). “So, should I keep an eye on it? I feel like this thing going to escalate.”
Yongsun pleaded to Byulyi, wanting to push it through her sense to realize that this could be something bigger.”Byul, you have to chase it. The ICC trial scarcely made it to international alert, there could be something.”
Unconsciously, a deep frown started to form on Byulyi’s forehead. The news anchor was seriously considering Yongsun’s plea, she shifted her gaze back to Yongsun and suddenly a vivid memory came back into her mind, the night where they cover the presidential election years ago, Newsweek was the first one to call the winner of the election after both of them managed to convince Joohyun to go live in delivering the results before anyone else. Both of them received praise for the golden teamwork in wrapping up the whole election coverage, Newsweek popularity was soaring through the roof (both of them also took a week worth of vacation together but Byulyi is trying hard to stuff that memory in her back of her mind for now).
She gave a slight nod to Wheein. “Keep an eye on it won’t you, come back in 15 minutes.”
“On it boss.” Wheein hurriedly walking back to the bullpen outside, silently thanking the merciful being up there for successfully leaving the room unscathed.
Yongsun let out a soft chuckle, slightly grinning after realizing how Byulyi still easily cave in after a bit of nagging from her. She felt like a small light of hope has been lit on, that they would be able to work together again after all.
“Wipe that grin off your face. You’re not getting anything from this.” Byulyi just grumbled, eyes focusing on the rundown gripped a little tight on her hand. She didn’t need to lift her gaze to know the much familiar teasing look that plastered all over Yongsun’s face now.
“Oh just you wait, we’re going to do the news Byul.”