DD Chapter 5
Translator’s note: I meant to update more frequently, but the chapters have been longer than what I’m used to. I’m sorry about that!
Yeonwoo thought she’d be the first to arrive at work as usual, but she was surprised to see Jeongmi already there.
“If I had known Jeongmi would be at work early, I would have gotten another cup of coffee.”
“Oh, me? I’m fine. Assistant Manager Sung said I had to film a golf course construction site in Yangsan, so I came here first because he asked me to look into something.”
In Public Relations Team 2, Yeonwoo was in charge of administrative support, and Jeongmi, who had internship experience at a broadcasting station, handled filming support.
Jeongmi was in charge of hiring external staff, such as an outsourced filming time whenever filming came in conflict with the internal staff’s schedule. She was also responsible for categorizing the footage they filmed, so she had a bit more workload than Yeonwoo.
“Didn’t you hire a drone filming company?”
“The director of that company had a car accident on his way to Seoul after filming out of town yesterday.”
“Oh… If you can’t answer all the calls, share that work. We’ll do it together.”
“I’m good! I just hired a company and sent them the address of the Yangsan golf course construction site. I heard that the new company’s team is in the countryside.”
Fortunately, Jeongmi seemed to have finished her work within the set time. She’s been here since early morning and has made use of every second even after inquiring about the done filming company.
After putting her bag on the desk and turning on the computer, Yeonwoo went around the office to check any supply shortages.
“Yeonwoo, I only need to use A4 paper today.”
“Oh, A4 paper? They told me to pick up the paper in the afternoon, so I’ll go get it later to the general affairs team.”
“Got it. If there are any spare company notebooks, please get me one more.”
Since Yeonwoo frequently checked the team’s supply shortage and communicated with the general affairs team, she got the chance to get to know them. The general affairs team often gave her extra notebooks or calendars from the company.
“Is there always an insufficient supply of company notebooks? I didn’t write my name on this one, so you can have it,” Yeonwoo said, handing Jeongmi the spare notebook she had.
“How about you, Yeonwoo?”
“I actually resigned a month ago, but I think it’ll be accepted soon.”
“Huh, really?” Jeongmi’s eyes widened. “You’re quitting?”
“That’s how it happened.” Yeonwoo laughed bitterly.
In fact, as soon as Seokheon went on his business trip, Yeonwoo sent in her resignation. She decided it was time to run away from him.
However, the manager told her to be patient until the reshuffling season returned. If the team’s TO suddenly decreased, it would take a long time to fill the vacant position.
So, she had to wait for over a month. She’d become more impatient now that Seokheon returned from Dubai, but it was impossible to resign.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
“The manager asked me to wait a little longer until reshuffling period.”
The company announced each team manager appointment the day before yesterday, so the team assignments should be announced today.
But the real reason she couldn’t say she was resigning was that she was conscious of Seokheon. As an executive, it would be impossible for him to know news about every employee, but since she was on the same team as Manager Jeong Mihyeon, a known gossip, she wouldn’t be surprised if word reached him.
So, she had to be careful.
“This is crazy. I was secretly relying on Yeonwoo a lot.”
“On the contrary, I received a lot of help from Jeongmi. Thank you so much for that.”
If Yeonwoo hadn’t been doing something she wasn’t proud of, she might have become friends with Jeongmi. Despite drawing the line like that, she would always be grateful to Jeongmi for taking steps to become close.
“If you’re in too much of a rush for coffee, would you like my half? I didn’t put my mouth on it. I’ll drink a cup for lunch later anyway.”
“It doesn’t matter if you did. I don’t really care about that. Then, please.”
Jeongmi gulped down the water left in her tumbler and held out her empty glass to Yeonwoo.
Yeonwoo poured half of the coffee from her takeaway cup to Jeongmi. Then, as she put her bag under her desk, Jeongmi said, “Ah, right. Yeonwoo, is that bag fake?”
“Yes? This bag?”
“Where did you buy it? The quality is very good.”
Yeonwoo’s eyes widened as she turned to Jeongmi.
Seokheon bought it, so it was most likely from a luxury brand, but Yeonwoo didn’t think other people would recognize it since there was no logo or decorations on the outside.
Even after living in Seokheon’s house for three years, Yeonwoo went to a department store with his family to shop, and before that, she only bought shoes and bags sold in the market, so she didn’t know much about luxury goods.
“That’s a copy of the Hermes bag.”
“Ah… Is that so… I just bought it on the road because it looked comfortable…”
At Jeongmi’s words, she frowned. Cold sweat ran down her back, and she was worried Jeongmi would check to see if it was genuine.
“If you remember where you bought it, let me know. Those bags are so expensive and aren’t widely available in the market, so many people don’t recognize them even if there are fakes. Wow, the quality is amazing.”
“Ah, yes… I’ll tell you when I remember.”
As the rush hour approached, the sound of footsteps in the hallway increased.
After drinking her coffee, Jeongmi stood up to wash her tumbler, and Yeonwoo took the opportunity to move her bag from the shelf under her desk. She was going to put it in a drawer at the bottom of her desk so others wouldn’t notice it, but just then, her gaze collided with Manager Jeong Mihyeon, who had just arrived.
“There are a lot of teams looking for paper these days. Our supplier said it would be delayed due to the high delivery volume today, so I’ll bring the rest to the office in about an hour.”
After lunch, Yeonwoo headed straight to the general affairs team right away, but unfortunately, the A4 paper supply ran out.
“Take one pack for now.”
Yeonwoo grabbed a stack of A4 paper.
“PR Team 2 needs ten, right? Please sign here.”
After leaving the general affairs team, Yeonwoo went to the bathroom instead of going straight to the elevator. Her lower abdomen ached, and she felt uncomfortable.
‘I haven’t had my period yet…’
She entered the bathroom carrying the stack of A4 paper. She went inside a stall to check her underwear and found no trace of blood or secretions.
‘Is it ovulation pain?’
Because of her sensitive personality, her body has also become sensitive. Ovulation usually passed smoothly for others, but Yeonwoo constantly suffered from ovulation and menstrual cramps.
She decided to go to her seat and get some medicine, so she fixed her clothes and got up. Just as she was about to put her hand on the bathroom stall doorknob…
“Hyuna, we have Seo Yeonwoo on our team.”
At the mention of her name, Yeonwoo stopped.
“Ah, Seo Yeonwoo? Why? What’s up?”
“She has an Hermès Bolide.” It was the voice of Manager Jeong Mihyeon of PR team 2.
“Isn’t that bag worth 11 million won? When I was still working at a broadcasting station, I saw an actress bring it once.”
“Woah. A bag worth 11 million won? Does a junior employee have the money to buy such a thing?”
“I saw her and the managing director at the department store last time, remember?”
“Oh, right. You did. But, besides Manager Jeong, other people often saw Seo Yeonwoo go to the executive office.”
“Unbelievable. Then, what you saw could be true, right?”
Yeonwoo could hear the voices of Manager Jeong and two unknown women chatting. They couldn’t talk about Yeonwoo near PR Team 2’s office, so they went to another floor and gossiped.
“Whenever I see Seo Yeonwoo walking around, she looks very modest. But then she sometimes brings extremely expensive items.”
“She probably thought others wouldn’t know since there are no decorations or logos on it. But there are so many women who read luxury catalogs these days. It’s easy to guess.”
“Then is she getting those things in return for sleeping with him?”
“Well, she’s living comfortably, isn’t she?”
Yeonwoo let go of the doorknob and kept quiet. She thought she’d be turned into more of a laughing stock if they found out she was there.
“No, but he’s the managing director. He could meet actresses. Why would he choose Seo Yeonwoo?”
Yeonwoo had similar thoughts. Seokheon was close to perfect, and he could have whatever he wanted in the palm of his hands.
Moreover, when Yeonwoo and Seokheon first met, he almost despised Yeonwoo That’s why she didn’t understand why he was so obsessed with her now.
“Seo Yeonwoo is quite feminine.”
“But she’s not even pretty enough to receive a bag worth 11 million won.”
“She must be good at it.”
Then, Yeonwoo heard a clapping sound that seemed to mimic the s*xual acts of a man and a woman, and the ladies in the bathroom laughed.
The sound of laughter pierced Yeonwoo’s chest like a dagger.
“Ha, where can I learn s*x skills?”
“I know. I’m nervous even buying 110,000 won shoes.”
“He doesn’t even have to pay me a hundred dollars. I would still want to sleep with a man like him. You’ve seen how he is even in slacks. How big will he be if you do that?”
“Jihyeon, you’re single, so there’s nothing you can’t say.”
“It’s because I’m envious. Anyway, that b*tch, Seo Yeonwoo. What a b*tch, right?”
They laughed again, and the bathroom door opened and closed a moment later.
Silence embraced Yeonwoo, who had been listening to the chatter outside the stall, and she looked up blankly at the ceiling.
‘Then is she getting those things in return…?’
‘She must be good at it.’
‘That b*tch, Seo Yeonwoo. What a b*tch, right?’
Even though the ladies left, their words echoed in Yeonwoo’s ears.
If they were spreading false rumors, she would have gone out of the stall and refuted them. But she had nothing to say because she really was sleeping with Seokheon.
Although Yeonwoo never received a penny from him, Seokheon bought expensive things for her. Besides, he was now asking to get married as if she was the price of two years of hooking up.
It may be true that the thief felt numb in their feet, but all of it put Yeonwoo to shame.
After a while, Yeonwoo left the stall and went to the sink, staring at herself in the mirror. As Manager Jeong Mihyeon and the other ladies said, she was shabby compared to Seokheon.
Marrying wouldn’t change the fact that they were f*ck buddies and lived in one house like siblings before that.
Just like hiding in the bathroom without being able to stand in front of people talking behind her back, she might be ashamed of herself for the rest of her life.
She didn’t want to live like that.
After looking at her reflection in the mirror for a long time, Yeonwoo pressed the back of her hand to her stinging eyes.
It was time for her to return to her seat. She shook off the sad expression on her face and put on her indifferent mask before picking up the stack of paper and leaving the bathroom.
It was time to get off work. The employees got up one by one, carrying their bags with them.
Compared to the beginning of the month when overtime work happened often, employees clocked out on-time more frequently toward the end of the month. Especially in winter, they wanted to leave the cool office as soon as possible.
Yeonwoo looked at Director Choi through the partition. An hour ago, a notice for general employees was posted on the company intranet, but Manager Choi still hadn’t said anything to Yeonwoo.
Did her resignation get rejected? If not…Did Seokheon find out?
Although his personality softened as he grew older, Seokheon was cruel and ruthless in his twenties.
His social status played a part in suppressing his temper, but it was impossible to predict what would happen if she went against his will.
Just thinking about her resignation and Seokheon together made Yeonwoo’s palms sweat.
“Yeonwoo, come here for a second.”
At Director Choi’s call, Yeonwoo jumped to her feet. “Yes, Director.”
As she approached his desk, Director Choi, who was ready to leave work, looked at Yeonwoo and smiled warmly.
“Your resignation has been approved.”
“You must’ve seen the announcement, but one employee will move to our team tomorrow, so please take good care of the turnover.”
“I’ve prepared all the data needed for the turnover. Would you like to check it?”
“No, Yeonwoo, you did a great job. We didn’t have administrative personnel in our team, so it was hard to send official documents and get dispatches, but things became easier thanks to you.”
PR Team 2 was a small group made up of video shooting teams, so until Yeonwoo was assigned to them, PR Team 1’s admin staff was also in charge of handling their admin work.
When Yeonwoo joined the team, she handled expenses and official documents, but when she resigned, Director Choi asked her to wait until reshuffling season, fearing they’d lose essential workforce.
“Can you turn it over in a day? It seems your situation is urgent. Thank you for being considerate of the office situation.”
“It’s no problem. I’ll finish it well.”
“Okay then. You said you’re studying in a different field, so please do well.”
“Yes, thank you.”
Soon after, Director Choi went home. Yeonwoo returned to her seat after bidding him goodbye.
Everyone in PR Team 2 had left, but Yeonwoo stayed and looked at the computer monitor.
A month ago, she started working on the turnover data for her replacement in her spare time. It was an 8-page A4 work manual.
She chose Seokheon’s long business trip as her D-day, but somehow things got delayed until he returned from his trip.
It would have been better if she could resign when Seokheon wasn’t in Korea.
Truthfully, she had been prepared to leave for a long time. After her first time with Seokheon, which she thought was an accident, she started thinking of leaving. So, for two years, she saved up money and decided on a place to live.
Two days from now, on Saturday, Yeonwoo would escape from Seokheon completely.
Yeonwoo carefully studied the work manual she had made. It had information on official document approval, the procedure, and the extent of the expense receipt processing.
She had written everything in detail, but the work of PR Team 2 was something that anyone who had ever done administrative work in the company could easily do.
Since it was a small team that didn’t require administrative staff, the workload was small, and overtime work rarely occurred.
Yeonwoo thought that it was thanks to Seokheon that she came to this team. From her workplace to her body, it was all under Seokheon’s influence.
As a junior employee, her resignation went through HR and was approved by the head. Still, Yeonwoo’s heart raced because Seokheon’s secretaries meticulously checked every single thing that happened inside the company.
‘I just have to hide it for two more days.’
Still, she came all the way here as a result of protecting herself. The end was just around the corner.
Just thinking about Saturday made her adrenaline rush and her heart race faster. Retiring was the first step to breaking free from his influence on her life.
‘Reshuffling season is here, so if I keep this organized, the turnover process won’t be a hindrance to work.’
In Yeonwoo’s case, she started working without a manual as soon as she joined PR Team 2. It was such an easy job for her, so her successor would do just fine with the material she left behind.
After finishing her work, she turned off the computer then the monitor. As she was about to take her bag out of the drawer, the phone on her desk vibrated.
Seokheon’s private phone number flashed on the screen. Yeonwoo had to act as usual to completely deceive him.
Yeonwoo answered the phone, “Yes?”
“Grandfather said to come home today.”
The home Seokheon referred to was his family’s home and the place where Yeonwoo spent her last teenage years.
“Don’t tell me you said what happened yesterday at your place.”
Yeonwoo was told to come to the house at a time like this; she couldn’t help but worry.
“I didn’t say anything.”
“If you did… I won’t stand still.”
“How scary, Yeonwoo.”
His attitude, which took her words lightly, soured her mood.
“I’m not kidding.”
She walked out of the office with her by her ear and her bag in her hand.
“I’ll wait until you allow it.”
At least he wasn’t a talkative man.
The elevator was empty. Yeonwoo pressed the close button and the 1st-floor button in turn.
“I’m also leaving for Pyeongchang. Shall I pick you up?”
“It’s okay. I’ll take the bus,” Yeonwoo said and ended the call.
She went through the entrance gate and out the lobby glass door. As the sun went down, cold wind blew through her thick jacket. Yeonwoo raised the collar of her jacket to her cheeks and quickened her pace.
‘It will take a long time by bus.’
The bus stop about a block away was crowded. It was past office hours, but the road was still packed with cars.
Taking a taxi at a time like this would only eat up time, so she decided on getting on the full bus.
Beep beep–. At the sound of a car horn, Yeonwoo stopped walking and looked towards the sound.
A black Porsche Panamera stopped on the shoulder next to Yeonwoo. It was the car that Seokheon used for personal business.
‘I told you not to pick me up.’
What a terribly disobedient man.
Yeonwoo quickly approached the shoulder, worried someone would see. Fortunately, Seokheon’s car windows were heavily-tinted. She opened the passenger door with confidence because she knew no one would see inside.
“I told you I’d take the bus.”
“Why is our princess grumpy today?”
Seokheon leaned towards Yeonwoo and buckled her seatbelt himself.
She knew he was being considerate, but every single action made Yeonwoo feel suffocated. It was as if the seatbelt pressed on her body tightened around her neck.
“Please just let me be.”
 The Hermès Bolide is a bag from French luxury brand, Hermès. This model is worth about 7,500-16,000 USD, depending on the design.
 The author used the saying ‘어쩌면 도둑이 제 발 저리고 있는,’ which means that one who commits a wrongful act or mistake thinks everyone speaks of it; those involved in misdeeds are bound to feel anxious