CHAPTER I

A Shot At Redemption
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Poster c/o xoemma. Thank you sweetheart, this is lovely!

Please do note that OC (Sunhee) now has a name. Majority of those who voted in the poll wanted a name, so...

 

 

 

“Let me guess, your car broke down in the middle of the road again?”

“How did you know?”’

“Because you’re fifteen minutes late. You’re never late.”

“I’m so embarrassed.” A blush creeps on her face as she replies to the person on the other line.

“It’s fine, Sunhee.” The male chuckles. “Can you handle that yourself or do you want me to call a tow truck for you?”

“Um, I don’t know how to change the tire, but it’s fine, I already called one earlier.” She grimaced as her eyes study the state of her black range rover.

“It’s the third time that car has failed you this week. Have I not told you to buy yourself a new one?” The male asserted. “You deprive yourself too much, it’s a bit concerning.”

“My car is well and fine, I got it fixed last week. It’s my driving that .”

“If you say so, Sunhee.” The man replies, and she can feel him shrugging on the other line. She knows that it’s to her best interest why he is acting the way he is. It is her safety she may be putting at risk after all.

“I’m sorry Luhan. I know how important this meeting is for us, it’s just that my luck isn’t exactly on my side these days.”

“It's okay, I can handle this client on my own.” The man says reassuringly. “Just let me know if you need me to call someone to get you.”

“No need for that, Lu. But are you sure you don't need me there?” She asks with concern in her voice. “I can take a cab. The restaurant's only twenty minutes away anyway.”

“Have your car fixed and go home. It’s been a tiring week for all of us, I insist you take a rest.”

“But you told me he asked for me?”

“I’m the one who insisted for you to join this meeting. He just mentioned that the groom specifically asked for your services.”

“If that’s the case, then alright.” Sunhee says, finally letting him take the wheel. “I’ll see you in the office?”

“No, I insist you go home and take a rest.”  The man says firmly. “When I get back to the office and find you there, I’ll be heartbroken.”

“But-”

“Get home safely, let’s meet at the office tomorrow.”

Sunhee can only stare at her phone when the male ended the call. The man is persistent if he wants to have things his way, a trait she has grown to adapt. There’s always a push and pull whenever the two of them work together. Luhan is the type of person who is not afraid to point out one’s flaws if need be. He can be really harsh with his words, yet it proved to be helpful. One thing that Sunhee learnt from him is to take everything with a grain of salt and to learn how to defend one’s self at times, especially when you know you’re not in the wrong. That stuck to her the most, so whenever he says something to her that she disagrees on, the two will always end up debating over the same subject, to the point that it becomes a petty fight. Most times it turns into this silly match on who can better state their point of views on things, even if it’s about as mundane as the weather. It makes working with him interesting for her, and the people working for them find comfort in their endless bickering. It was an odd yet refreshing sight to see.

Sunhee met Luhan two years ago. Around that time, she went hunting for jobs and she found his studio at the center of the city where she grew up. It was a small business that the man has built for himself out of his own pocket. Most of the income he made was from events from the school nearby, and a few side jobs here and there, but he can hardly make ends meet. Somehow, inside the four corners of that small studio, Sunhee saw potential. The pictures he took were displayed, and she was impressed by the way he captures beautifully even the simplest of photos. Luhan didn’t welcome her at first, for he can’t afford anyone to work for him, but she was a persistent woman. It wasn’t because she’s desperate to get a job, that’s not nearly the case at all. The fact of the matter is, when she graduated uni, she got quite a few offers from decent companies who are seeking for someone of her talent, but she felt trapped.

After she got her degree, she wanted to turn her life around. Sunhee packed her things and left. She went to different places, finding comfort from the fact that whichever place she goes to, she can be whomever she wants to be. If no one knew her, then she doesn’t have to try so hard to convince everyone that she’s fine, and it lifted the burden of putting on a mask. She wanted to see the world on her own, to understand why things are the way they are. She started to question why everything felt out of place. Or was it only her who felt like she’s cut off from the world? She wondered why the sun is still shining on her when the light inside of her has completely dimmed out. It was a wonder to her why everything felt normal, yet her vision remains grey. It came to a point where she couldn’t understand anything, that she questioned the relevance of even the tiniest speck of dust. She felt as if she’s nothing but an empty shell, hollow and void of emotions. That’s how broken she was. She hid her insecurities inside her own bubble, and that’s what caused her to break. The evasive silence ensued and engulfed her, making her feel more trapped than she once felt. Sunhee felt suffocated by the very emotions she tried to conceal, and eventually, she returned home. She knew that it was time for a change.

Luhan, on the other hand, felt slightly honored by her assertiveness. He didn’t give her the job, but he underestimated her willingness to work for him. One day he got calls from people asking him to cover some events that will not only let him pay his taxes but his rent as well. The offers came to him all at once, that he found it hard to keep up. He found out later that Sunhee was the cause of all the sudden job offers. He found out then that the power of persistence and a little help of social media was all it took to turn his life around. That was the start of something brighter for him, and for her. The small business Luhan started, grew bigger and bigger, and he had Sunhee to thank for that. He never would have known that two years later, he will be as big as he is now. Had it not been for her, he would still be stuck inside that small studio. The man made sure to let Sunhee know how thankful he was of her, because for him, she saved him from his misery. Little did Luhan know that it was the other way around, for he was the one who saved her.

 

 

Sunhee proceeds to brush her hair with her fingers, sliding the elastic band from her wrist to tie her hair in a ponytail. She then rolls the sleeves of her red turtleneck top and turns her heel to the back.

Opening the back of her car, she starts to peruse the toolbox, but only to feel devastated. Her brows furrow in frustration as she tried her best to figure out which of the tools she needed to replace a flat tire. She raked her brain as she tries to remember anything her father had taught her to somehow save herself from this ordeal, yet nothing popped out. Sweat started to seep from her pores due to the sweltering heat outside. The fabric of the top now feels like it’s suffocating her skin, and the jeans felt like it’s cutting off the circulation from her legs, resulting for her patience to wear thin.

Muttering a curse under her breath, she shifted her weight from one leg after another. Finding shade from the tree nearby,

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