"Look, with all due respect unnie-"
"Save it. I know you have none right now."
"-I can't work with her anymore and I will not stop until I find a new EP. Anyone but her." Byulyi flicked the pen she's holding. Emotion came flooded in and she hates every inch of it. She tried to give another glance towards Joohyun, her chief-in-command. The woman does know how to get on her nerves.
Joohyun gripped her glass of water tightly as if to intimidate her
favorite news anchor. She knew it's useless and the possibility of her hurting her hand is higher. But, she knew that Moon Byulyi, as conceited she is, just need THE one last push, "Give her a chance Byulyi. None of those broadcasting studio want to take her and you damn well know that 9 out of 10 media would pick Kim Yongsun as their prime news EP. The other one being an insufferable fool!"
Byulyi let out a heavy sigh, turning her head and casting her sight over the busy street of Seoul. She tried to push back the idea of seeing Yongsun again, to work with her.
Not a chance. It just won't work. They're not what they used to be.
"I can't. I won't let it happen, Joohyun. This idea of yours won't be able to save our ratings. Give me some times and I will fix it myself."
Joohyun just shakes her head and leaned back to the sofa, taking a deep breath, she’s thinking another way to convince the younger woman in front of her. She could imagine that deep down Moonbyul was also suffering from her past relationship with Yongsun, but it is necessary for her to push those two into their sense. "She's tired Byul, physically and mentally. Those times when she was embedded with the military unit from the conflict zone drained her. Now she wants to come home."
Byulyi stiffened hearing her boss' remarks. Of course she knew about that, those tough times came with a sweet fruit. It's a blatant lie if someone from their field area haven't heard about the prestigious award given to Yongsun as a reputable journalist in war zone.
She doesn't know about her pain though or rather Byulyi choose to be ignorant about it.
It was silence that engulfing the room with Byulyi giving an empty stare, still fiddling with her pen. Joohyun took one last gulped of her water and trying to conclude this excruciating meeting, "It's your choice Byul, I know that you can pick any EP that you want. Talk to her directly, I think she's already at the newsroom by now."
Byulyi did have a hunch that Joohyun had already taken several steps ahead of her plan. She hates it when her gut is right.
Joohyun continued, "You're a good person Byul. I hope you know that." She left Byulyi alone with her thought. Hoping that time would let both of her favorite persons find peace again.
Kim Yongsun stood in all of her glory, overseeing the empty newsroom spread out in front of her. It hasn't changed much since she left seven years ago. It's strange to see a newsroom once bustling with energy during midday like this in an empty state. All desks but one are unoccupied. She tried to approach the desk with a woman in the midst of arranging a stack of document.
The woman jumped a little and quickly standing up to offer her hand in greeting.
"Oh hi! Hello! I'm sorry I did not hear you come in before. I'm just in the midst of.....-something."
Yongsun peeked through the post-it note gripped tightly by the young woman, “Trying to book your source five hours before the show is not an easy task. Are you covering the Central Bank fraudulent story?”
“Not anymore. I’m trying to cancel it, the 11 PM is doing it instead.”
“You’re telling me that the Midnight News is going to do the most coverage story of the week instead of the primetime news with Moon Byulyi?” Yongsun asked incredulously, “Is that the reason why this place looks deserted?”
“Yes and yes. Welcome! You’re coming right into the perfect storm and how may I help you in this hell-blazen place?”
“Ah, pardon me. Actually I had a meeting scheduled with Moonbyul on 2 pm? The reception downstairs asked me to come up and to meet with her assistant, umm Jennie?”
“Not even close, that woman has been calling me with different names all but mine. I’m Jung Wheein.” Wheein grimaced remembering how Moonbyul had yelled across the room trying to get her attention last week. Of course she had not response to it, the last time she checks her ID it’s Wheein that was written on it and not Gabby.
Wheein checked the wrinkly notepad and muttered “That’s strange. She’s out with Joohyun until evening and there’s nothing scheduled for her.” Yongsun blanched hearing that remarks, she felt shivers running up to her spine. She dreaded this meeting with the knowledge that there is consent coming from both parties involved. But to meet her past lover after 6 years in a coincidental meeting is way past her glamour of confidence.
Suddenly both women hear a ding coming from the elevator at the entrance hallways. Yongsun could not help but to look towards the glass door expecting the surprise guest to her afternoon shit show today. She knew it’s impossible to suddenly dash out of the room, hailing a cab at the lobby downstairs and get the fuck out of Seoul in a flash. To be fair, she wanted to try though. Half-heartedly, Yongsun knows exactly the person that coming towards her.
This is HER office.
Yongsun just felt her body entirely froze. Mentally she had prepared various scenarios of how this meeting would went down. Anger. Sadness. Hurt. But, nothing comes out when she looked at the person she used to refer to as her partner. Words failed to come out from her mouth, it was as if her whole body was being tied without any leeway to escape. This is Yongsun’s only chance to put her back on work for the media with integrity. She couldn’t leave Moonbyul alone after the havoc the news anchor caused for the show. She couldn’t let Moonbyul wrecked herself too, not after those past years.
Moonbyul rides the elevator in silence trying to ignore the constant buzz coming from inside of her head. The mere thought of working with Yongsun again made her wanted to scream in agony. Joohyun was being dramatic, she was sure of that. Sure, the ratings for the show has been plummeting these past months, even way behind the afternoon show much to her dismay. Moonbyul admitted that it was partly her fault for ranting off to some college student during a panel over some stupid question and sweet lady luck just throw it into her damn face when the rest of South Korea knew about the incident after a video went viral on the internet. But to make Yongsun jump into the sinking boat is just a suicide. Might as well steer the boat right into an iceberg. Damn Joohyun and her boat analogy.
The soft ding woke her up from her clouded thought. She makes her way out of her elevator towards the newsroom while checking her phone for some unread messages and news alerts. It's only 3PM and those Gin does nothing for me. The news anchor pushes through the glass door, suddenly remembering the task she left behind, "Jennie! Have you cancel the guest for tonight show? We're not chasing the fraud story anymore." Her eyes still glued to the phone in her grasp.
"Yes, I cancelled it. Umm and someone's here to meet you?"
Moonbyul look up from her phone and right on that moment her stare fixated to the woman standing still besides her assistant.
As she lives and breathes.
Looking as gorgeous as ever.
For fuck sake.
She felt a weird feeling at the pit of her stomach. Her lips completely sealed and her gaze lock into her past lover. It feels like they were in a staring competition and neither wanting to lose. Both of them are like that, always being hot headed, competitive and ambitious. That's what drawn them to each other when they first met. The thirst and fervent passion to chase every story put upon them. Those past years when they were working together, Newsweek was unbeatable, claiming the first place on ratings and favored by public. But, in the end their ego got the best out of them, carving deep scars left within both hearts.
Wheein broke the tension sensing that hostile aura emitting from her boss, "This is Kim Yongsun and apparently she's your afternoon guest. Sorry for not checking it with you first."
Yongsun broke out from her stupor first, "Hi Byul, how-"
The news anchor let out a grunt, brushing past the women in front her quickly without even letting the older woman finish her greetings. She goes into her office, closing the door in a loud bang as if giving a sign of anger and frustration. A warning for Kim Yongsun to not come anywhere near her.
The young assistant flinched hearing the blasting door, surely this is not the first time she saw her boss being incredulously rude to her guests. Six months into her current job, Wheein had a sense of the news anchor’s personality alas only outwardly. Sharp, brushing off people around her, got irritated easily, but this reaction was new. No doubt it was a full on rage but her gaze bore sharply towards the woman stood still beside her.
Yongsun let out a heavy sigh after seeing how the infamous news anchor behave after meeting her. She knew and fully expected it would turn the worst, between the two women one always assumed that the scars that get left behind had dig deep into each of their hearts, blaming one another for those pain. But she’s not here to make a scene (at least for now), she’s here to make news, bringing truth the people, for Kim Yongsun and Moon Byulyi are damn good at it. She take a deep breath, pointing to the glass room at the end of the hall, “Sorry about that. So that’s her office?”
Wheein nodded and answered nervously, “Yeah, although I would advise you not to come in right now. The previous intern that came into her office unannounced only last for 2 days.” Wheein still remember the boy that looked pale as sheet after coming into her boss’ office to discuss some graph for the evening news, not knowing that the said woman still brooding after reading the ratings for Newsweek.
The producer just chuckled after hearing the young staff's remarks, Yongsun started to grab all of her things, heading towards the damned glass room, preparing herself mentally to finally have the long-awaited conversation. She sent a small smile towards Wheein who was looking in awe over Yongsun’s confident stride, “Don’t worry about it, we’ve had worse fight before.”
Yell at me on:
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.”
Enjoy this 2 AM update! (the only time of the day where my brain seems to be working)
Tell me what you think or just yell at me per usual on: