The clicking of the heels against the polished marble floor echoed in the hallway, as one young woman hurried down the corridor. Straight bob cut hair that reached the top of a pair of delicate shoulders swayed as the owner moved. The highlights artistically placed by the hairdresser yesterday evening glistening on the top of her head as she passed by the rows and rows of glass windows.
It was a Monday, her first day reporting to work since her week-long vacation from the Philippines. It was her reward to herself after the stressful couple of months she had worked on her feature in their lifestyle magazine.
"Hey! You're back!"
Cynthia Tan, or Chummy as she called her bubbly co-worker welcomed her with her signature smile as she glided towards her in her own deadly pair of stilettos with her arms wide open for a hug.
Yanee Lee didn't hesitate to go in for an embrace. She put down the paper bags she was carrying on the glossy tile of the floor as she went into Chummy's arm, and gave her a peck on the cheek afterwards.
"You look totally amazing!"
Chummy's eyes glinted with appreciation as she ran over Yanee's features with her gaze. The holiday did great wonder on her already naturally tanned skin. She looked more radiant with her sun-kissed complexion. That, paired with her height which was five-feet-seven inches, plus a very pretty elfin face, a pair of huge doe eyes framed with long lashes the color of kohl, a small but pointed nose and a pair of full, lush lips, she looked like a model.
"Do I?"Yanee joked as she shifted on her heels and did several poses like a model in front of her best friend.
"You do, you do." Ever her fan, Chummy readily agreed. "No one would know you're a writer. They'd all think you're meant to walk the runway."
Yep, Yanee was a writer – a budding lifestyle writer of a very popular magazine in Tokyo. It had always been her dream since she was young and she was very proud to say that all the grueling hours she spent studying, all her efforts had finally paid off.
Just before she left for her vacation, Yanee actually penned a very, very popular feature in their magazine. Since it's a lifestyle one, their target market, of course, was young women. From time to time, they would do a special article that had intrigued and tickled the ladies' interests.
What could that ever be?
If it's not cosmetics, sales or fashion, then it would be men – Men with a capital M.
Because her senior went on a long leave for her wedding and honeymoon, the huge article assignment was handed to her instead. She was tasked to gather information and interview five dashing, young men who were all excellent in their respective fields.
For the next six months, she had to work hard as she interviewed an architect, an actor, a businessman, a doctor, and an editor-in-chief of a huge publication. Five people, five good-looking and successful men. Who wouldn't be excited about getting to know any of them?
Yanee, of course, grabbed the opportunity to work on this as she knew it would be a very successful project. Did she mention that she had a great time?
Well, she did – at least most of the time. All the men she interviewed were all awesome gentlemen, except one: Tohru James.
The half-American, half-Japanese editor-in-chief of Niji International, the biggest publication company in the country was a total pain to interview. He was not really rude per se, but he's actually someone who obviously didn't like to talk.
A literal man of a few words.
Yanee had a feeling that the only reason why he agreed to be interviewed was because someone forced him to. The week she spent interviewing him was beyond stressful. Asking him questions was like extracting answers from an electric pole.
The only time she ever got some kind of a genuine reaction from him was when she stated plainly that she didn't believe in office romances. Yanee couldn't remember how the topic came up in their conversation one day, but when it did and she answered like that, the guy somehow looked at her for the first time with interest.
Well, interest like interested in talking to her finally, not the "hey sexy, let me take you for a ride" kind of interest. Since then, she was finally able to ask questions that he answered willingly, and she was able to finish her articles and submit her assignment on time.
"I'm so jealous. I want to go on a vacation like you," Chummy groaned as Yanee shifted on her heels again to pick up the paper bag from the floor and handed her friend her souvenir from the islands.
"Then why don't you? Aren't you also finished with your assignment?"
Chummy was assigned to interview young and successful chefs for their food magazine. She started later than Yanee on her project, but Yanee was sure that she should have been finished with her work as well.
"I am," Chummy answered blandly, the light dying from her brown eyes that made Yanee frown.
Her friend was the ultimate happy girl, ergo the nickname Chummy. To see her signature smile off her face replaced by a poker expression was concerning. It was understandable that she tensed, waiting for the bad news.
Yanee couldn't understand but something told her that something unnatural happened at work, and it seemed to be something that she wouldn't like. Well, kind of…
She silently prayed that it wasn't that bad. She just recently had her big break which meant she had proven that she's capable of handling big assignments. It was her chance to make it huge in the field she had chosen.
She just wished that her luck wouldn't run out. If she let the door of opportunity close on her, who knew when would she be able to have a chance to prove herself again.
"Yanee, our company was suddenly bought by another company. We have new management now."
If jaws could literally drop on the floor, Yanee's would have been there right at that moment in her shock. She was just thinking about the door of opportunities closing on her. But this news not only made the door close – it closed on her face with a loud bang.