Chapter 12: Office Romance?
“Aish! Do I really have to turn this in by today? I guess I do? It’s work…”
It was early Sunday morning and Shi Won was in front of her laptop frustrated with the work that she had to complete.
Truth is, this project wasn’t due for several more days, but because Manager Moon was forcing her to finish it by the end of the day, Shi Won couldn’t help but be angry.
“No! A man should have understanding or something like that? ‘The problem right now shouldn’t be your appointment.’ ‘Then good luck.’ Right now, you’re pissing me off on purpose right?”
In her anger, Shi Won mocked Manager Moon by mimicking his distinctive and cynical voice.
However, what could she do? It was work. She was in front of her computer all day until 12:10 at night and finally sent the finished project in the email.
“Finally! I’m off to sleep!”
She threw herself onto her bed and wrapped herself in the blanket.
“But what kind of man asks a woman out and doesn’t contact her once on a weekend? Did he really want me to work?”
She moved her body and sat straight up on her bed, staring directly at the ceiling. ‘He’s probably snoring in his sleep right now…’
“Sleep? Sleep? You didn’t even call me once. And you’re sleeping?”
She moved her body on her bed again and tightened the blanket around her, shutting her eyes.
*Gets up abruptly*
Shi Won kicked away her blanket and sat up straight on her bed.
“Wow. Han Shi Won. What are you doing? Do you think it’s unfortunate that he didn’t call you once today? Wow… really… Are you crazy? Get yourself together!” She said to herself.
Shi Won attempted to get herself back together and closed her eyes tightly.
She was awakened by the sound of the loud alarm from her phone that she didn’t forget to set like last time. To her, it seemed like the weekend had passed by in a flash.
‘What in the world could I possible hate more than Mondays?’
She got up and stretched her body on her bed, then stood up and went to the bathroom.
After finished her business in the bathroom, Shi Won got out and rummaged through her closet, looking for what to wear for the day. She rummaged for a long time…
“What a beautiful day. Good morning!” Shi Won cheerfully greeted a co-worker and went inside the office.
“Assistant Manager Han, you’re here? Where are you going today?”
“Wow. What’s going on? You’re all dolled up. You’re even wearing a dress.”
“No. Do you have a date today?”
She was wearing a dark green chiffon blouse that went slightly above the knees that complimented the black H-line skirt that she wore. This made her look neat and tidy and gave her a mature atmosphere.
In the office, everyone saw her and they gave her compliments as they gave her curious looks. She awkwardly smiled and walked up to her spot.
When she arrived at her seat, she saw his familiar-looking back.
“Good morning Manager Moon.”
And just like usual, he replied with a terse greeting.
Shi Won looked around her area and dropped her bag on the desk where it made a loud noise before sitting down.
Above the bookshelf was a single cup of coffee.
She lifted her head and saw Assistant Manager Kim Na Rae waving at her.
Shi Won’s favorite vanilla latte. After one sip, she instantly felt better.
As she was drinking her coffee she saw her monitor blinking out of the corner of her eye and noticed that it was her messenger app.
‘Is he possibly paying more attention to me… No way, that’s not possible.’
[Yesterday, the work you submitted has a lot of errors that need to be fixed.]
‘Of course, I should have expected this. This is the type of person he is…’
For some reason, he inserted the little wave symbol in the message.
Just before, she drank something sweet and now her expectations disappeared.
‘Sigh… Where did the sweet-talking man I spoke to on Saturday disappear to?’
Shi Won frowned at her computer screen and began typing on her keyboard.
[Is that so? I’ll review it again. When do you need it turned in by?]
She turned in her chair and glared at the Manager Moon’s back as he stared at his monitor.
It meant for her to do overtime.
‘Truth is, if our behaviors towards each other changed drastically, then our situation in the office will turn awkward and everyone will know.’
Also, this was Manager Moon’s style, which wasn’t surprising, but for Shi Won, she believed that his attitude should have at least changed a little because of their new relationship, but she couldn’t give him more attention.
‘That’s right. That’s the type of person he is. Right… Han Shi Won. He’s Moon Suk Han.’
She clenched her heart and began to work. Shi Won was busy in the morning because of another office project and partner company, so lunch time quickly arrived.
Three minutes before lunch break.
Shi Won stopped working and was deciding on where to eat today with Assistant Manager Kim. Shi Won was concentrating on her computer monitor for the messenger to pop up so that they could choose where to eat today.
“Assistant Manager Han.”
Suddenly Manager Moon called her, and she stopped typing as slowly turned her head.
‘Around this time, he usually goes off somewhere by himself but he called me?’
She looked at him curiously.
“Let’s eat lunch together today.”
Shi Won’s answer was one step late and you could hear the sound of typing from around the office.
Maybe they were gossiping about Manager Moon and Shi Won.
Shi Won pointed at herself with her finger.
“Yes. Let’s go.”
“Ah… ah… yes…”
‘What kind of situation is this…’ She couldn’t guess why he was suddenly treating her like this. She got up quickly and followed Manager Moon.
After they left the office, those that were left in the office immediately began gossiping.
“Hey look at that. Assistant Manager Han is totally screwed.”
“Be careful with what you say at the office dinner. Don’t act stupid when you’re drunk.”
“Manager Moon. He’s too much. Because of her drunk behavior.”
“Hey, but Han Shi Won went overboard. She picked on him first…”
People began gossiping about the accident happened at the company dinner.
They entered the elevator.
Manager Moon wordlessly looked at his cell phone.
As soon as the elevator closed, Shi Won finally opened her mouth.
“What are you doing?!”
Manager Moon looked up from his phone and stared at her.
“Why did you suddenly ask me to eat lunch together? What are others gonna think about us?!”
“I don’t think they’ll care.”
‘This man acts like he doesn’t know anything.’
“Manager Moon. You usually eat lunch alone every day.”
“You don’t ask anyone to eat lunch with you.”
“So, why did you suddenly ask me?”
He just asked to eat lunch together, but she looked at him unfairly and said something painful to him…
Manager Moon squinted his eyes and looked at Shi Won.
Shi Won looked at his eyes and shuddered.
“Do you really not want to eat lunch with me?”
“You didn’t answer, so I’ll take it as a no. Let’s go!”
As soon as the elevator door opened she looked at Manager Moon who walked out alone and when the door began to close, she quickly pushed the opened button and followed him out.
“What do you like?”
Manager Moon asked Shi Won who was walking beside him.
“Toda,y I wanna eat Vietnamese noodles! ”
She pointed out a pho restaurant and smiled. Manager Moon raised his lips and also smiled.
They entered the pho restaurant and sat across from each other looked at their surroundings and saw many of their coworkers here.
It looked like they didn’t care that they were here. For no reason, Shi Won began to get nervous.
“Nobody cares that we’re here so stop being so nervous.”
Shi Won straightened her slouched back and organized the spoon and chopsticks on the table.
Come to think of it, she overreacted. It wasn’t strange at all for them to be eating lunch together.
Shi Won put the napkin in front of her and for Manager Moon also.
“But why did you suddenly ask me to eat lunch together?”
She was putting the spoon on his napkin and lifted her head to met his eyes.
“Because you’re pretty.”
Shi Won immediately stopped what she was doing.
Shi Won looked up at Manager Moon who was smirking and looking at her.
“Didn’t you dress to look pretty for me? I want to have you all for myself that’s why.”
“What? Ha.. No!”
She immediately retracted her arm back and crossed her arms across her chest.
“Is that so? You said no, so I’m a little hurt. But since you’re pretty today I’ll let it pass.”
She didn’t say anything because of his shamelessness for saying something so cheesy and was speechless.
“Wow… I… really…”
She didn’t know that he was able to say these cheesy lines without batting an eyelash.
In fact, she remembered what he said on Saturday, so she wore clothes that she didn’t usually wear to work.
It wasn’t her goal to look pretty for him but because of what he said, she paid more attention to what she wore to work.
Anyway, he told her that she looked pretty again so she felt good again and her heart started to beat faster. Shi Won’s cheeks started to turn pink.
“Manager Moon! Don’t come up to me randomly. You’re embarrassing me.”
“You’re the one that wanted to date me and you’re saying that to me? I’m the one that should be embarrassed.”
Manager Moon looked like he was having fun teasing her.
“Shh! Also, there are a lot of coworkers here! Speak quietly.”
Shi Won hid her face with one hand and whispered in the other to speak.
“Manager Moon. I’m just saying, but this is a secret in the office!”
“What are you talking about? Us dating?”
“Ack! I told you to speak quietly!”
She looked around and she once again covered her mouth with her hand to whisper to him.
Manager Moon who was looking at Shi Won laughed. He turned his head, looked around, and looked back at her.
“Your actions are more suspicious than me right now. Sit properly.”
His upper body leaned on the table as she hid her face and slowly straightened her back.
“I also don’t want anyone to know that we’re dating. So don’t worry about that.”
“Okay. I’m relieved you think that way also. Office romance is very dangerous.”
“Yeah. Office romance is great for gossip! If we break up, then rumors will be all around the office and it will be uncomfortable. Ah, I hate to think about it. So… we have to make sure that this doesn’t get out. Do you understand?”
Because of Shi Won’s anxiousness about this matter, Manager Moon didn’t know whether he was eating from his mouth or nose.
After she was finished with her long tirade of the office romance dangers, she finally began to eat her noodles.
Manager Moon laughed at her sudden change from her expression when she was talking about the office romance to when she began to eat.
“Then, what are the positives of office romance? Are there only negatives?”
Shi Won lifted her head from her bowl of noodles.
“Mmm.. I don’t know…”
Shi Won raised her eyes and thought about it for a little and couldn’t find an answer. She returned her gaze back to her noodles.
“Between us, we can find the positives from now on. Hurry and eat before it gets cold.”
Upon hearing him say ‘us’, Shi Won’s chopsticks momentarily stopped moving.
Shi Won looked at Manager Moon without thinking but she didn’t say anything and went back to eating her noodles.