His New Girlfriend

“I just have some handouts here to bring to the drama department for the trainees. The instructor said to bring it before their duty ends.” Zach couldn’t contain the fear. That time, 11 years ago, wasn’t supposed to leave his mind until now. Zach weren’t a man if he ever made her cry, and it proved one thing for Ethan. It’s such a shame for him to stand at the same bridge as him. 

“Oh, that sounds great. Are you delivering it yourself?” Ethan wasn’t bringing up the subject at all. It made Zach intimidated. Something about his words meant he doesn’t even care about Zach at all. Sam got betrayed by no other than his longtime boyfriend. 

“Yeah, Ethan.” 

“Carry on. I still have some work to do. Good thing we ran at each other. And… I wanted to invite you for dinner later. Top stars, including producers and directors, have a little gathering over there.” Ethan gave a small card. Zach received it, and read the imprinted tiny letters named the restaurant and bar as Huian. They must be drinking tonight. 

“Okay, I’ll attend later.” Ethan knew it’s the perfect time for them to talk about what happened to Sam and him. Raising his eyebrows, he walked past ahead of Zach, and called someone on the phone. The lump on Zach’s throat made it obvious that… he couldn’t stand it anymore. He’s too old to move on, but late to understand. 


Zach didn’t even know Samantha Lee, one of the top star directors in TDC studios’ drama department, sat down with the trainees. Of course, Zach is assigned to lend the best broadcast episodes of his show, since… he’s one of the top stars, too. TDC Studios held this bulletin board with all of their top stars from different departments. 

Sam and Zach were there. Stacy weren’t. She’s still making her way to the top, maybe beside him in the near future. Sam flicked the pen in her finger, checking the trainee’s output, pretending she doesn’t recognize the smell of the person who came by her office. Sam swallowed, hard, and lent Zach one moment of glimpse. 

Zach froze, for a split second. He continued to distribute the charts, graphics, and the script, as if that glance didn’t happen. Everything they need to know about radio broadcasting. Sam ordered her assistant director to retrieve her past drama scripts with 20 episodes by the drawers, and let the trainees calm down. 

Sam stood up from her swiveling chair, and done a stupid thing she’d never do a thousand times again. Sam pertained to Zach, introducing, “This is Zachary Gonzales. He’s one of the top star director and producer in the radio department. It’s the same level with the drama department, so we have the same rank. If you want to do some radio broadcasting, you can actually seek help from him. I don’t have any expertise in that field.” 

So formal and she managed to pull off that introduction without personal touch. This was what he admired the most in Sam. It hasn’t been difficult with her to act as those people were only her colleagues. Her fellow, to be exact. The trainees greeted her a good morning, and Zach did the same thing. As he finished distributing the scripts, he asked, “Aren’t you going to have a week duty in the other department?” 

Zach wondered if those trainees would roam around radio department, too. This was just to prepare for the sudden visitors in their office. Zach raised his eyebrows, and the leader of the group explained they have chosen to be in both drama and radio workplaces. It made Zach breathe a sigh of relief. 

“We are going there next month, Mr. Zach Gonzales. And it has been a pleasure to get an invitation from you.” Sam could see Zach’s delighted eyes when it comes to trainees. He has been missing their youth, perhaps, because every time he saw those young people, he reminded him of what he used to be. Sam nodded. 

“It will be a good experience for all of you with Mr. Zach Gonzales there. He is a good mentor, and one of the top stars, too. You’ll be going to learn a lot, guys.” Sam never stopped to drag him up. She never spoke ill of Zach, and it touched his heart too much. How can she even do this when he’s the one who done a mistake? When she’s the one who broke up their string? The one who took a step back? 

“Mr. Zachary Gonzales held the title for the top star for three years, and it’s consecutive. No one beat him around this time.” Sam chuckled. Not to flaunt their achievements, but it’s worth the words to say. They climbed the rankings with a struggle, but nothing’s impossible. Sam stood beside Zach, and even though her heart was pounding louder, she continued… to breathe beside him. 


“Thanks for picking my dignity earlier. I thought you’re going to ruin it.” Being blatantly honest were the ones they both agreed upon. He was that blunt whenever Sam was around, and he’s not afraid if she’s going to be in rage. She never did, even once. Sam was the one who imposed these rule between them, and Zach will use it over again. It’s the only memory he have with Sam. 

Stopping midway of the restroom’s flapping door, she turned to Zach with creased forehead. “I didn’t do that for you. I did that for myself, Zach. Embarrassment is the last thing on my mind, especially if there are trainees around.” 

She didn’t mean that, although it ache a bit right when she became straightforward. Zach looked straight in her eyes, wanting to hold her, wanting to clasp the side of her head and kiss her. Everything he did back then, he wanted it. Zach missed it so much. Sam sighed, knowing she doesn’t have time to play around her ex-boyfriend, dismissing, “I’m off. I need to do something in my office before I write down my new drama.” 

She left him hanging there. Zach couldn’t even move. He didn’t grab her hand, neither hugged her tight. He stayed there, watching her walk away, and knuckled his fists, screaming in his subconscious, asking… what the hell he has done… 

Sam disappeared in the corner, leaning on the deserted hallway’s wall, and breathed. She’s been holding it for a while, not knowing what to do, as if something got trapped in her chest. Why does she do the introduction in the office last time? Why does she have to lift Zach’s achievements up? It was the only thing she got confused about. 

Sam slowly walked in the hallway, to go back to her office. Unfortunately, she ran up to someone she doesn’t want to. Sam’s eyes landed on her red lips, and her cat eyes. Stopping in the middle of the hallway, she’s talking to someone. Stacy halted, hanging up the phone, and beamed. Sam turned the other way, nearly rolling her eyes, but it’s their workplace. 

She wasn’t allowed to act rude in front of everybody, even if she damn hated them. Sam looked at her blankly, clicking her tongue, and was about to walk past ahead as if she didn’t recognize her, but… no. Stacy initiated a conversation that was hard to exit at all. 

“How is your writing with your new drama, Sam? I’ve heard the news. You are going to approach the heartbreaking theme now.” Stacy turned to Sam with a beam. She’s just asking about it, and not mocking her at all. Everyone here in the studios has the right to show off, but Stacy… hasn’t become a top star inside the years she became a radio producer. 

Sam was lucky. Her first drama was a blockbuster hit. Every time a new episode comes up, the ratings doubled, close to the record-holder ‘Autumn School’. Sam had been on the way up before Stacy could even realize. 

Sam pivoted her heel around, furrowing her eyebrows, and marked, “Yeah. Are you going to lash out the genre and say it’s not really good? Well, I still have a knack to disappoint you, am I right?” 

Stacy has never been that good for her. Sam shouldn’t try hard. Plus, she never wrote to please a certain somebody. Stacy wasn’t on the list for her to flaunt out. Stacy asked, “What are you trying to say? Are you saying I’m envious at you?” 

“Yeah, Stacy, I’m saying that. Why? Don’t I have the right to say that? After the accident that happened between us last time, do you think you can shoulder the blame rather than me? You didn’t, right? That’s why you keep me disappointed---“ 

“What accident are you talking about?” This was what Stacy’s attitude can become. Sam didn’t even know she forgot about it. Between their heated conversation, Zach was there, on the far end of the hallway. 

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