People walking in hallways with files in their hands, Jamie opens the front door of the firm and walks into the lobby. He looks around, taking in the environment before heading to the front desk. He looks towards the receptionist, Mai, who proceeds to look up at him when he approaches the desk.
Mai: Good Morning, how can I assist you today?
Jamie: *whispers* It’s my first day here, uhm–
Jamie struggles to find the words until Mai intervenes.
Mai: I’ll ring Mr. Carter for you.
Jamie quickly bows and regrets it instantly. Mai looks visibly confused. A few moments later, a man is coming out of the elevator and walks to the front desk.
Mr. Carter: Mr. Kim?
Jamie: It’s a pleasure to be here, sir.
Jamie extends his arm out for a handshake, but Mr. Carter doesn’t accept. Jamie quickly puts his arm back to the side and proceeds with the conversation.
Jamie: So Sir, I–
Mr. Carter: You’ll be going to the 15th floor, fourth door on your left. Get yourself adjusted and situated and be present for the debriefing later this afternoon. I’ll see you soon.
Mr. Carter walks away in a different direction and Jamie is left there, a bit speechless. Mai breaks the silence.
Mai: The elevators are to the right, Sir.
Jamie: Thank you.
Jamie walks away from the desk and proceeds to the elevators to go up to the 15th floor.
Jamie opens the door to an empty looking office. He looks around, and sets his bag on the empty desk. He walks around the desk to see a closed box on the floor next to a bookshelf. He looks at it until a knock is heard on the door. A young woman comes into the office.
Lucia: Hi, I just wanted to hand you over these files for the meeting later on.
Jamie: Thank you…Can I ask what’s the meeting about?
Lucia: It’s a meeting about the upcoming case you’ll be assigned for.
Jamie widens his eyes in shock.
Jamie: Are you sure? It’s only my first day here.
Lucia opens the file and looks into it.
Lucia: If I’m not mistaken, I was directed to give this file to a person named… Jamie Kim…
Lucia hands over the file to Jamie. Jamie looks down at it and back up to Lucia.
Lucia: We’ll see you in the meeting in about an hour.
Lucia walks out of the room. Jamie sits down at his desk and places the file on it. He’s still in shock that he’s about to dive into a case the first day on the job.
Across the city…
A woman is heard counting loudly in a rehearsal room, staring intently at the people who are watching themselves in a mirror. There are a room full of dancers dancing to choreography to an upbeat song. In the crowd of dancers stands Grace, who is surprisingly keeping up with the moves given to the group. To hype the dancers up, the instructor yells out key points of the dance for emphasis. Once the song is over, the dancers catch their breath.
Instructor: Okay everyone, thank you for your time. Number 4, 5 12, 14, 16, 24, and 25 please report to the lobby.
Grace looks down at the number on her chest: it’s 16. She looks back to see the other called dancers walk up to the instructor. The instructor begins to talk to some of the dancers during the break. As Grace walks towards the instructor, her phone vibrates. It’s a message from Ari.
Ari: Saw your lover boy at the firm today.
Grace rolls her eyes and backs out from the message. She looks up when she notices the instructor looking in her direction.
Instructor: Grace Ashmore?
Grace places her phone back into her hoodie pocket.
Instructor: Can I speak to you privately?
Grace and the instructor head over to the front door of the studio room to talk in private. When they are outside, the instructor turns around towards Grace.
Instructor: I wanted to pull you aside to discuss a couple of things since you are one of the newer people here at the studio…
Grace doesn’t say anything back, she attentively listens.
Instructor: Have you ever danced before?
Grace is taken back by the question at first.
Grace: Uhm, yes; growing up and into college.
The instructor looks visibly surprised.
Instructor: I find it hard to believe that you’ve had so much training, Ms. Ashmore. Excuse me for my critique, but your technique is subpar and your footwork has little to no correlation. Maybe the type of dance you learned was just “trendy” and “viral”, I don’t know. I’m sorry dear, it’s just not going to work.
Grace: Wait what?! Ma’am, I studied at Julliard on a partial scholarship. I didn’t just pick up dance from the internet. I trained for years, what are you saying?!
Instructor: Perhaps your technique and footwork were the things that held you back from getting the full scholarship to Julliard.
Grace is furious.
Grace: If you think running your studio requires you being a bitch to your dancers because you’re on this high horse of power that means absolutely fucking nothing in this world, then by all means, I want no parts in it.
Grace walks to open the door to the studio to grab her things before the instructor says something else to her.
Instructor: You talk like you’ve run a successful business before, dear. I am simply trying to better you.
Grace turns around and looks at the instructor one last time.
Grace: You talk like you’re the only dance studio to exist in this world. There are other people that help me become a better dancer.
Grace enters the rehearsal room to get her things.
Later that night…
Grace enters the apartment door with her duffel bag. She drops it near the front door, thinking she’s home alone. She’s surprised to see Jamie walk on of the bedroom. He looks exhausted.
Grace: Rough first day?
They both step over to the sofa and sink into it.
Jamie: I’m already assigned to a case.
Grace: Really? That’s not even fair, but I’m not surprised they would do that. They’ll do that to you.
Jamie places his head on Grace’s shoulder.
Jamie: I’m surprised you’re not back yet. I was hoping I’d see you today.
Grace: Yeah. I’m not needed for a case so I’m just on a break.
Jamie: I’m shocked they didn’t give you this case they gave me.
Grace: *annoyed* They give the newbies cases to get something under their belts at their firm so that they can overwork them to death. Trust me, I was one.
The room is silent. Grace takes in a deep breath.
Grace: I’m sorry, I didn’t have the greatest day.
Jamie: What did you do today?
Grace takes a second to think.
Grace: I went to work out. Let’s just say there were some women that weren’t nice.
Jamie lifts his head up and has Grace lean on him. Her head is now on his lap; he runs his hands through her hair. It calms Grace down instantly.
Jamie: We should go to the cafe tomorrow, I haven’t been back since I’ve been here.
Grace: It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been there.
Jamie looks down at Grace.
Jamie: You, Gracie, making your own coffee? Who are you and where’s jagiya?
Grace: *looks up at Jamie* You call me that a lot these days. What does it mean?
Jamie pauses for a moment.
Jamie: It’s just a nickname, it’s hard to translate in English…
Grace leaves it at that, and in a way Jamie is relieved she doesn’t dig deep into it.
Jamie: Mwo? *corrects himself* What?
Grace: For just letting me be… here.
Jamie smiles and continues to play in Grace’s hair and sit in silence.