Close Encounters of the Third Kind || Heeyeon and Jangmi


Being summoned to Haru after a shift wasn’t much of a great deal to Once she had freed herself from the crowd, away from the rowdy people, and outside of Haru, Heeyeon fished out her mobile to answer the incoming call. As expected, it was the youngest. “Sungie-ah! I——” A rough force stopped Heeyeon from her track, and it left her almost unbalanced. “Yah! Watch where you’re going!” It was the first thing that came into her mind when she felt the pain starting to radiate over her body, but looking towards the person she had bumped into, her anger transformed into worry. A lady, dressed in a sleek but formal attire, with expensive looking bag and stilettos, dragged herself rather carelessly. She doesn’t need a doctor’s eye to know what’s going to happen next, and she predicted it well. The lady’s eyes hovered to her. Her stare turned into a bleak one, and as soon as it did, Heeyeon rushed to her side, fast enough to catch her limp body as it surrendered to gravity. Both stumbled into the ground, and Heeyeon shook the lady’s body, hoping to arouse the consciousness that was starting to depart from her. 

No one can ever catch her tired. Bosses, underlings, associates, coworkers, family, friends over the years could never solve the mystery that is Chae Jangmi. No matter her hectic duties, her personal problems, Jangmi is never harried. She always appears at the top of her game.

Except today.

Everyone can see that something’s off, but they can’t quite pinpoint what it is. People don’t realize that what exactly is in the slight drag in her walk, the manic look in her eyes where alertness used to be, the slight snap in her voice even when addressing people she would treat with gentleness. To explain it is to use a word nonexistent in Jangmi’s vocabulary: Stress.

"Ms. Chae?" A head shyly peeked through the gap in her half-open office door. "W-well… We’re going out after work… And we were thinking… Well, since it’s bosses’ day…" "Hyojung?" At least I think that’s her name. "Yes, Ms. Chae?" The girl squeaked, afraid. Jangmi gave her a small smile. "I’m down." I need a break.

A few hours later, she’s unrecognizable. Separated somehow from her acquaintances, stumbling around and out of her senses. Maybe one drink too many in her system. Let’s just say that if anyone got pictures of her during the past hour, her career would be in utter shame. In the crowd, now right in front of her, Jangmi caught sight of a stylishly dressed woman strutting through the throng holding a cellphone to her ear.

Please help me even if I’m a mess, was her last conscious thought.