“It said here in your resume that you attended the top high school in your district? Were there any special achievements that we should perhaps, know about?”
Yumi brought her hands under the table, nails digging into her flesh out of panic. What she wrote about her high school was absolutely true, except the fact that her district only had two high schools to begin with. She figured that the miscellaneous information did not need a follow up explanation, but it was clearly not the case here. Even so, did it really matter what she accomplished five years ago? To be fair, the very last thing she remembered was having a one-sided crush on one of the teachers there. Mr. Byun, she suddenly recalled. He had this extremely dull personality, yet the warmest heart. Her lips unknowingly formed a small smile upon revisiting an old memory.
Snapping out of her daze, Yumi apologized to her interviewer. She quickly made up a plausible answer on the spot, hopefully enough to pass this job interview. Who knew it would be this hard to find a stable job at her age. Maybe she should have taken her father’s offer to work alongside Kyungsoo, but that would just defeat the purpose of moving out of their house in the first place.
“Thank you Ms. Jung, we will contact you if we need further information.”
She thanked the staff on her way out. Along the chattering hallway, the little ones gathered behind their teachers as they became alarmed by a stranger’s presence. Yumi smiled apologetically, assuring them she meant no harm. This setting was something completely new to the girl. Thanks to her housemate for a word of recommendation, Yumi was able to land an interview for this daycare just a few blocks away from her shared apartment. Apparently this place is fully funded by the school her housemate attends. It was established specifically for university staff members to keep their young ones close by during work hours. What a neat concept, she thought. Her housemate was lucky enough to have scored a semester with the professor who manages this daycare and when she heard that they needed a new office manager, she had to put in good words for Yumi.
After a full week of anticipation, the callback she was promised never happened. The disappointment was nothing new to her, only because Yumi had a string of rejections prior to applying for this job. She knew majority of it had to do with the decision she made years ago of not attending college. Instead, she opted out for an associate degree, which could be done online within two years. It was easily the more appropriate choice for the girl at that time, but it soon became a weakness of hers in the long run.
“What about going back to your part-time job? I mean you made decent money there,” her housemate suggested.
“Iseul (EE-sul), how many times did you see me in a week back when I worked part-time?”
With her fingers pinched together, she formed a timid zero in response to Yumi’s question. To clarify, the decent money was only possible because she worked double shift practically every single day until her body gave out a few months ago.
“Do you know what you really need right now?” Iseul inched closer, snatching the bowl of popcorn out of her housemate’s possession. The mischief lurking in her eyes reminded Yumi of her younger days, which could only mean trouble.
“You, my dear, need a drink tonight.”
In her defense, Yumi fought hard to resist the girl. It took her a whole minute to be convinced and that was definitely long enough to think things through. Caving in to her friend’s suggestion, the girls hurriedly got ready for their improvised night out. As advised by Iseul, she slipped on her date night outfit in order to kill two birds with one stone. After all, Yumi’s dating life was practically nonexistence ever since those dreadful back-to-back restaurant shifts she used to take on.
Scanning through her wardrobe, Yumi pulled out a satin wrap dress in a cool lavender tone to compliment her dark locks. She let her hair bun loose, settling for the natural curls. With only a few minutes to spare, the girls did their best to head out before prime time. The worst part about living in a college town is the inevitable foot traffic on Friday nights. From house parties to more house parties, it was best to get out of here on certain nights. The pair hopped in a cab, heading straight to their favorite bar for the much needed stress relief.
Approaching the bustling downtown, they immediately spotted a line forming outside the trendy space. If they had taken just another half hour to get ready, chances of getting in this place may just be near impossible. Luckily for them, ladies do have a slight advantage over the men in line.
“Watch this,” Iseul led the way. It only took her two minutes to sweet talk the security guard into letting them in.
“Works every time,” Yumi nudged her friend’s shoulder, sending her a wink of approval for her hard work.
They wasted no time to get started on their first round of drinks and by the third, Iseul was ready to work her magic once more. Yumi watched her housemate disappear along with a few other companions they met while drinking, making sure to take note of their features for safety reasons.
“Can I get another round of shots please?” Yumi requested, pushing the empty glasses aside to make room for new ones.
“Drinking alone tonight?” A voice momentarily averted Yumi’s attention. In her hazy vision, she did a double take at the