1 Prologue: It's Been A While

It was a usual day and boring day for Mayi. She woke up early, drank her coffee, and prepared for work. It's her first day back after taking an 8-month break from school.

Ugh! I hate Mondays!

She muttered to herself.

Mayi used to love Mondays...well back then she has a reason to be excited to go to work on Mondays after the weekend, but now... well now she just wants the day to end immediately.

"My god Mayi! Wake up! It's in the past. Let it go!" like a mantra, she told herself those words over and over as she hailed a cab.

[Mayi! Are you on your way?!]

A coworker texted.

[Yes. Why?]

Mayi asked, her coworker doesn't usually text her unless it's urgent. She started to wonder what's up today.

[No reason. We're just excited to see you! ^^]

She replied almost immediately. Her brows furrowed slightly as she tried to recall if today is a special day. No... nothing... just her getting back to work , hmm...

Lost in thought she almost missed her destination.

Ugh... Stupid...

She told herself as she entered the gates. It was relatively early so there were only a few people, some were the new students who arrived over the weekend who are busy familiarizing themselves in the academy. As she walked along the hallway, she remembered the good old days. The memories, the laughter, the stories. She closed her eyes for a while as she tried not to think about it.

Why does it still bother me? She asked herself as she opened her eyes and looked around the walls.

Maybe I was too involved... maybe I let myself fall into the deep abyss that I can't crawl out and just pretended to be okay? Last year was a roller coaster ride for me. I got lost, I fell, I picked myself up. But why does it feel like I'm an empty shell?

She's been thinking a lot so once again she was lost in her thoughts. It took her a minute to compose herself and went ahead to the Liberal Arts office. Time to wear my happy mask! She told herself...

"Good morning! I'm baaaaccckkkkk!!!!" She energetically said as she burst open the office door. Her coworkers looked at her like it was something she never did before.

"You seem...happy?" Rie, whom she likes to call 'Eomma' said as she smiled back. and gave Mayi a hug.

"Well, it's Monday and basically it's my first day back to work! I'm making myself feel energetic! Besides eomma! I do this every day last year!!!" she replied as she sat down her designated chair. A lot has changed while she was on a break, there's a mezzanine where the classrooms for one-on-one, group class and conference room are located, in the center of the room are the teacher's tables and books. And on the right corner is the break room and a small kitchen. Whatever the arrangement is, it still felt like home.

"Well let's hope that this day becomes better then. I heard we have new managers. Aaaannnnnddd I heard they're so freaking handsome!" Shane said as he smiled playfully. The group laughed and chatted about how their weekend went.


The school bell rang, so they went to assemble on the school grounds. As they got there, they smiled and greeted the other teachers and students present. Teachers who are familiar with Mayi greeted her as well.

"Good morning teachers! Good morning students! Happy Monday!" the headteacher greeted. The people greeted back with enthusiasm. She smiled at them and waited for a few seconds before talking.

"Today, we have three pieces of good news. First, we shall welcome the incoming 300 students for this year's last quarter! Let's all give them a hand." It was funny how some students and teachers were eyeing each other. The school isn't big but it is well known because of its quality education and good reputation.

Hyatt Academy is an exclusive English Learning School. It became popular across Asia after they launched the Special Course Program. The program is open to all the students who wants to learn or do something aside from studying English. The academy offers short courses in Arts, IT, Accountancy and Marketing.

"Second, I want to congratulate our coordinators and teachers who successfully made it to the top 10 best performing teachers from last quarter." the group clapped once more and people congratulated Mayi's department. The Liberal Arts Department is known for being the most competitive department in the Academy. They always have friendly competitions within the department to keep each other sharp. So being in the top 10 isn't something new.

"Lastly, let us all greet our new managers, Manager Jun, Manager Ken, and Manager Lu." once more, they clapped and they gracefully walked into the stage, gave a bow, and smiled. "Let's hear from them." the headteacher continued as she passed the mic to the new Managers. Mayi was already busy checking her phone so she wasn't paying much attention, her phone kept on receiving messages coming from the least person she expected...

"Ni Hao. I'm Lu, your Chinese manager. I look forward to meeting you all." Manager Lu said as he gave a vibrant smile. Some ladies, especially the teachers were already having a sugar-rush.

"Konnichiwa. I'm manager Ken. Nice to meet you." Manager Ken bowed, again, the ladies of the other department almost squealed because of his appearance.

"Anneyonghaseyo. I'm Jun. The Korean manager. I'm glad to be back." Manager Jun said. Mayi stopped scrolling through her phone and looked at the man standing on the stage.

As shocked as she was, her colleagues who knew what happened last year were shocked too.


She didn't have time to respond as he quickly went down the stage and looked at Mayi with a smile.

"Hi, Mayi! It's been a while."


*Eomma- Mom

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