Your eyes were glued to your wall-clock.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
Every second that was passing sounded like a hammer being smashed against your desk.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
Where was he? It was already 10:42 AM.
He should have been at work two hours ago.
Luckily, your boss didn’t come for any check-up yet, so his absence remained unnoticed.
'Why am I even worrying about that guy?', you asked yourself and hit your forhead with your pencil a few times.
You looked over at the empty chair next to yours, wondering what Byunghee could possibly be up to.
Maybe he felt sick, or maybe his alarm just didn’t ring this morning. Or maybe, he had an unfortunate accident.
'Ahhh! I'm going crazy!', you hissed to yourself and cupped your head, blankly looking at the surface of your desk.
The clock’s second hand’s ticking was driving you crazy. With every tick, the fear of your boss coming was getting bigger. With every tock, the fear of something happening to Byunghee was suffocating you.
'There you are Byunghee-ssi!', you suddenly heard one of your co-workers exclaim.
Rapidly, you lifted your head and saw him in the entrance.
You looked at him, the ticking sound finally disappearing. You automatically smiled, but your smile soon disappeared.
His eyes were bloodshot red, his face pale, and he was balancing a little while walking.
He was wearing a blue and white shirt, paired with a white T-shirt underneath, his name badge hanging from his neck.
His smile was bigger and more unnatural than usually, and he was scratching the back of his head a lot while talking to other co-workers.
Slowly, very slowly, he came towards his desk, sitting down and looking at you, smiling like a big idiot.
You were frowning at him, and for a second, you didn’t even know what to say. You were just incredibly mad at him, even though you knew you had no right to be.
‘______~~~’, he pronounced your name like a small child. 'I had a fight with my girlfriend last night, so I-'
'-You drank.', you finished his sentence. 'You're drunk, Byunghee.'
'Right, I'm drunk!!!', he exclaimed a little bit too loudly and pointed with his index finger at you. 'You got me.'
'Byunghee, if the boss finds out that you came drunk to work, he'll directly fire you. You already know you're on his bad side, why are you doing this?', you were scolding him, still frowning, almost screaming at him.
'I'm sorry, but my girlfriend…’, he started his sentence and sighed. ‘…she just drives me nuts.’
Just then, you felt it. Whenever he was saying that word, that horrible pain was shattering your heart in a thousand tiny pieces.
Girlfriend. Girlfriend. Girlfriend.
You just wished that word didn’t even exist.
Who were you kidding? You wished to be that word. You wished to be called by Byunghee by that word. You wished to be everything that defines that word to Byunghee.
But you weren’t.
Somebody else was.
You kept your calm and looked sternly at him.
'I'm telling you this again, if boss finds out, you're outta here!', you said and knew what was going to come.
You were trying to do your hardest so your boss wouldn’t notice Byunghee’s drunkness. You had to do everything that was possible to keep Byunghee here.
And just then, the ticking sounds started to smash your eardrums again.