Hello, Again

08. I Figured It Out!

Taeho came back from the meeting with the SS Corps President and CEO as a different man. Mirae noticed he was constantly bothered by something, often zoning out and going out for drinks alone more often. He hadn seen Giseok ever since the photos went viral and he avoided any questions about the pictures and whatever he wrote. Honestly, Mirae has been with Phoenix and Lee Taeho forever. She was there when he first started this company up from his small Goshiwon apartment. He would often spend a considerable time building up the perfect spot for his far-fetched dreams to come to fruition, all that in an abandoned garage of an old couple who were kind enough to let him use it for free. She began merely as a part-timer, roped in with his aspirational speech about how he would modernize the tech world. He spoke large volumes about his future almost to the point of delusion while making rip-off SD cards and cheap phone accessories to pay for her part-time job. Honestly, a run-down cafe would have paid more than he did, because Lee Taeho paid in words more than he did with the money. He barely had any money for his own after paying her monthly check, which came in a wrinkled reused envelope. And if she was wholly truthful, she didn stay for the money. She stayed for Lee Taeho.

She watched him throw a subtle smirk in her direction as he walked into the floor from the elevator. She glared back at him and he chuckled, nodding in acknowledgment at her as he entered his office. Mirae looked down at the laptop screen, sighing. He was back again. He surely must have realized that his company was in danger because that is the only thing that meant something to him. This must have energized him enough to get it going to fix the mess with his reputation. She has to help, of course. He was the CEO and she was the secretary. He went wild everywhere and she cleaned up after him. That was how it worked.

More than five years have passed since Phoenix Tech and Mirae always felt like she knew Taeho like the back of her hand. She knew him through his journey in Seoul and with Phoenix but now she is realizing that she doesn know much about what happened before Seoul. But it didn make her question the man she knew. He was still the same man who would pick chairs from the side of roads, and possibly even garbage disposal sites and try to make it look like an office for her, the same man who sheepishly tried to cover the hole in her chair with yet another torn cushion, and tried to look like the man he is now.

To everyone, he is the suave, cool man who manages a company that he started from scratch but to her, he was the stubborn man who pretended he had money to buy snacks for her while they brainstormed stupid tech ideas. She was not someone emotional, she didn do emotions but she found herself stupidly keeping all those ideas they had thought up years ago. She still had the wrinkled papers, expertly smoothed and tucked away in a shoebox in her apartment.

Lee Taeho was not just her boss, but also her family.

Only because he really does have no one to call his family. Not because she loves him or anything. Hah, imagine loving Lee Taeho. That stupid, prideful, overconfident bastard.

The elevator dinged again and Mirae looked up from her laptop, having typed a few observations of the situation.

She watched as the large, hulking man reluctantly stepped off the elevator, with his head bowed down. Even though his arm was tucked behind his back and his torso was broad enough, whatever he was hiding was too large to be hidden and the edges of an elaborate flower bouquet peeked out from the sides of his back. Mirae sighed, looking away as though she hadn seen the large man come in on the floor.

The floor was simply only a reception area that doubled as Miraes office just in front of the entrance to Taehos spacious office. She was already offered a much higher position and additional perks for her loyalty to Phoenix Tech which included an office as large as Taehos but not as large because Taeho liked to know that the best was reserved for him. He was the President who listened to his employees but didn forget to stress the fact that he was still the boss and he demanded respect from his employees. But of course, Mirae kept her job because Taeho was such a workaholic that he managed most of his responsibilities and there wasn truly much to do for Mirae. A good pay and a job where she barely had to do anything but rattle off schedules and just be present? She would have to be a fool to give this up.

”Welcome to Phoenix Tech, how may I help you? ”

”Miiraaee-ya… ” Giseok whined, towering over her as he bowed his head in shame.

Mirae ignored him and continued to type away on her laptop, though there was nothing to type about. She stared at what she typed— get Taeho married to Haeson immediately. She squinted thoughtfully, how is that going to help with the scandal?

”Mirae, I am sorry. I am truly sorry. It was my fault. ”

Giseok waited for a moment but Mirae went on typing away in front of him. Nodding to himself, he walked up until he was behind her desk and knelt down in front of her, whipping out the abnormally enormous bouquet.

”Yang Mirae, will you– ”

Suddenly she grabbed the bouquet and shoved it down the trash can beside the desk. It was too small and the bouquet popped off, falling down on the floor.

”The President will be available to meet you, please enter through that door. ”

”Mirae, please… ” Giseok mumbled in his deep voice, picking the bouquet up miserably. A few roses lay scattered on the carpeted floor.

”Whats going on here? ”

Giseok and Mirae both turned to look at the direction of the voice and found Taeho watching, leaning on the door with his hands stuffed in his pockets. A bored but partially amused expression hung on his face as he looked back and forth between the two.

”Taehooo… ” Giseok turned his whining over, his entire mouth turned upside down.

”What the hell, ” Taeho scoffed, reaching a hand out, ”did you bring this for me? ”

He took the bouquet from Giseoks hand, critically examining it. He knew that Giseok was a softie and often too much in touch with his emotions but he didn think that he would go this far for doing something wrong. Sure, the photos blew up but was it really worth bringing an apology bouquet for?

”Its a good arrangement, not my type but I accept it. Don worry about the photos, man. Things happen. Come in, ” He jerked his head towards his office and walked in before Giseok could even reply.

”But…thats…not… ” Giseok mumbled but Taeho was already gone, ”yours… ”

He looked at Mirae who was still ignoring him and slumped his shoulders, dragging his feet into the room reluctantly.

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