Grace ties her hair up into a ponytail and drops her hands onto the table with piles of paperwork. She shuffles through the paperwork to organize them a bit better. Concentrated into her task, she breaks out of it when a mug is placed in front of her. She looks up and sees Jamie standing there, smiling down at her.
Jamie: Figured you needed a coffee break.
Grace picks up the mug with both of her hands and blows on the coffee. The rain is gently hitting the cafe window. Jamie takes a seat across from her at the table.
Grace: I’m never going to get through this case.
Jamie: That’s not true. It’s just a new case; a lot of work has to be done to get it at a place where you’re confident enough to build up a defense case.
Grace: *teasing* For someone who’s not a defense lawyer, you sure know how to make a case like one. Are you sure you got your titles right?
Jamie laughs and wipes his mouth with a napkin.
Jamie: My two friends in the firm are defense lawyers. I work closely with them in their cases at times.
Grace: Why wouldn’t you want to become a defense lawyer?
Jamie: I wanted to help those who needed to get justice… not saying that a defense lawyer isn’t that, I–
Grace: *laughs* We both have our own reasons of doing what we do.
Jamie smiles at looks down at the paperwork in front of Grace. Grace notices.
Grace: Sorry for always taking over the table.
Jamie: If it’s not your paperwork, it’s mine.
Grace leans back on her chair and takes a deep breath.
Grace: Did you have dreams of doing anything else?
Jamie laughs and shakes his head.
Jamie: You’re going to laugh when I tell you.
Grace: *intrigued* Oh my god, now I have to know!
Jamie: I… I wanted to be a singer.
Grace: Wait, what? Like you wanted to become a singer?
Jamie’s face turns red and he brushes his hair back.
Jamie: I wanted to sing, but I needed to do something more… realistic. Being the only boy in my family, there’s an expectation of being the successful man in the family.
Grace: Being the only child in my family, there’s that expectation to carry the family name as well.
Jamie: You wanted to dance, right?
Grace nods her head. She plays with the rim of her mug.
Grace: I sometimes miss it, but I was just afraid of getting too sucked into it like my mom did. So I thought doing something like law like my dad would’ve been a more balanced life for me.
Grace: *ponders in thought* I’ve allowed this to suck me in just as much.
Jamie: You’re just a work-driven woman. There’s nothing wrong with that, and no one ever really has their lives together. I mean I’m 28, going to be 29 next year, and I know I’ve missed some milestones in my life due to this job.
Grace: Like what?
Jamie: *scoffs* Well for starts, I’m not married yet. I don’t have kids or a family to bring home to my mom and sisters for the holiday season.
Grace: So what?
Jamie: It’s a big deal to not be settled down and married in Korea at my age. It’s… different there than it is here.
Grace takes a sip of her coffee and then sets it down.
Grace: Well as long as you’re happy where you’re at and what you’re doing, that’s all that matters. Fuck those “milestones”, they just tie you down for things you don’t want or need yet in your life.
Jamie smiles and takes a sip of his coffee.
Jamie: Perhaps one day. I just wish things weren’t so strict back at home. It seems like in America you’re allowed to hit milestones when you can without being ridiculed for how long they take you.
Grace: It’s definitely a perk. You wouldn’t wanna move to America for a bit?
Jamie’s eyes widen and he adjusts in his seat while clearing his throat.
Jamie: My whole life is back at home. My job, my family…
Grace: Well I mean once in your life. Would you just wanna live here and take in something different?
Jamie: Perhaps if there’s a reason for me staying here.
There’s a pause in their conversation, both people don’t say anything until Grace readjusts in her seat.
Grace: Perhaps you’ll change your mind one day.
Grace proceeds to look through her paperwork; Jamie says nothing, he just watches her indulge into her work.
Grace sits in the cafe surrounded by her paperwork. She looks at the seat across from her; empty. She takes in a deep sigh and looks around the cafe; everyone is liking their day as normal as possible, not realizing that for her this cafe feels completely foreign to her. She sits back in her seat and takes a deep breath in. She looks down at her phone and sees the response from Scott on her phone.
Scott: Sorry, running a little late.
Grace rolls her eyes and quickly texts back.
Grace: It’s fine, I have to get going anyway. Last-minute meeting.
There was no meeting, she just didn’t want to taint this cafe with a man that wasn’t Jamie. She takes a deep sigh, shoves her paperwork into her bag, and leaves.
Grace gets back home and drops her bag near the front door. She turns on a light and leans against the door.
Grace: *to the air* Goddammit, Jamie.
Grace sits on the floor, silent tears start to run down her face.