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 Season 6

Episode 20

(Liela's New Job)

When Leila went to pick Charlie from school, he noticed the bright aura radiating off her. Surprised, he stared at her glowing face but kept his questions to himself. Before they went home, they went to a supermarket and bought food supplies for the dinner that night. Once they arrived, she prepared and cooked the meal while humming a song to herself. While Charlie sat on the seat of the dining table, he was staring and wondering at her sudden good mood. 

The dinner was served and they ate in silence until she spoke, smiling.    

 "Charlie, can you spare me a few minutes? There's something I'd liked to talk to you about after we eat." Chewing his meal, Charlie stared at the hopeful gleam on her. She was happy, but he couldn't stop getting unusual about it. He swallowed his meal, drank a gulp of water from his glass and asked, "What do you want to say?"  

Leila leaned in and replied excitedly, "I found a job and I will start working by tomorrow! If I can't pick you on time, you'll have to wait for me at your teacher's office. I promise I won't make you wait too long." She sounded apologetic and promising at the same time but he dismissed it. Once she began working, she would have the liberty to do as she wished, just like before.     

"You don't have to pick me up,"  he said monotonously as he continued eating his meal. "I have the duplicate key of the door. Also, I know the route back home,"  he added with a monotonous tone.  

  She couldn't believe how understanding he was of these circumstances. The school was located one block away from the house, and she was sure Charlie could do it all by himself. Considering his age, she couldn't just let him be. "No, you are too young to go home alone. I must fetch you after each class."   

 Puzzled, Charlie stared at her and said, "The teacher said I am smart because I have an IQ of 150. I can handle going home alone from now on."  

After his words, Charlie went to his bedroom soundlessly while Leila was left speechless. Recalling his words, she soon remembered she once had him take an IQ test some time ago. The result amazed her beyond words. He was surprisingly an exceptionally intelligent child. Although she was the adult, she always felt like an idiot next to Charlie. One look from him had made her rethink her actions, making her feel uncomfortable.  

   The next morning, she woke up early to make a healthy breakfast for Charlie and to prepare for her first day of work. After she did her other routines, she accompanied Charlie to school.     

She barely arrived on time for work.    

 "Hello, Leila!" a voice greeted her as soon as she went in. Gasping for her breath, Leila turned to see Charles' frowning face. She stood straight and faced him. There was an automatic smile on her as he asked, "Why are you in a hurry?"  

"I didn't catch the subway after I sent my son to school. Running out of options, I took a cab and was almost late when I arrived. I ran towards the attendance recorder to catch up in time." As she explained, she was breathless and embarrassed. "Mr. Lu, I will go out half an hour early and be on time tomorrow and onwards, I promise,"  she pleaded.    

 "Okay,"  he accepted hastily. He knew she was with a kid and understood her situation. In fact, he knew she came just on time. He looked at her and said, "Come to my office." Glad for his generosity, Leila followed him to his office.     

The news about Leila returning to work had spread from the HR Department and throughout the company. Learning about the news, David and Alice were annoyed and disappointed about it. With hushed whispers, they talked about Leila as she passed the two.     

David's frown was plastered on his face.     
His eyes trailed after Leila's back as she followed Charles to the front. 

  Once at the front, everyone gathered in a circle and listened attentively to the announcement. Charles stared at the people and spoke, "I think all of you know I invited Leila to work."  

 His eyes darted to Alice and David, his words were on them and he added, "You were once colleagues with Leila. I believe you two will be the best choice to pair up with her. And, I expect you three will work together exceptionally for your team and for the company."    

Charles' words took her out of her reverie. "Have some words for your colleagues,"  he said, asking in a low voice.    

 At that moment, she eased her nervousness before meeting their eyes and stated, "I'm overwhelmed and grateful to Mr. Lu for giving me this opportunity to showcase my ability. I will do my best in the work along with my colleagues, and share each other's time and efforts together with each project."

  "You are too polite, Miss Zhang,"  David exclaimed in an uncanny tone as he stared at her. "Mr. Lu thinks highly of you now. I think you will do just fine without help from us in the upcoming tasks as you did many years ago. I am confident you will adapt to your job quickly. I think we are the ones who should depend on you for promotion,"  he added. The last words were given as a joke but she could see past this along with his sneering smile that irked Leila the most.     

Alice, who remained quiet by David's side, elbowed him as a warning to stop.     She understood that speaking against Leila might not be favorable to them. It might even displease Charles.     

"I know about the disagreements between you two. As your superior, I will have you work to build your relationship for the better. As we are all professionals here, I would also like to emphasize that we must uphold our work ethics within this company,"  Charles added as he stared at them.   

"Understood, Mr. Lu,"  they chorused in agreement. Charles was satisfied with the unified response and nodded.    

 The small assembly was done and the people went back to their individual tasks. Charles called Alice and David's attention and instructed, "Alice, please prepare the place for Leila's workstation. David, come to my office, now."    

The two looked at each other, passing an understanding before David went with Charles. Once at his office, behind closed doors, David was faced with a questioning Charles. Arms crossed, Charles asked, "What's wrong with you? Why are you acting hostile towards her?"    
Instead of replying, David lowered his gaze and remained muted. Charles' eyes narrowed at his actions. Obviously he was displeased with his behavior. Once again, he repeated his question with a raised voice, "Tell me why you were acting like that towards her?"   

 "Mr. Lu, I am annoyed at her mere presence." Reluctantly, David unearthed his feelings towards Leila, turning serious as he spoke, "I think you know the kind of person she is, Mr. Lu.   

She is scheming to earn your affection and favors. I don't understand your reasons for hiring her back."    

"I am aware of her capabilities as a colleague but what she did to Mrs. Lu was beyond forgiveness,"  David spoke with conviction as his dark eyes met Charles'. "Now she is dead. Have you no conscience for doing this?"    

The mention of his wife had awakened something in him, and his temperament darkened. He knew David meant no malicious intention towards Autumn's memory. His expression turned grave, and his eyes were dark as he met David's eyes. In a calm, dangerous tone, he spoke, "Are you done? I would like to say something in return."   

 Sensing the change, David slightly grimaced and said hesitantly, "I truly believe having Leila back in the company is a complete mistake."  

Letting his thoughts be known made him at ease. He wasn't ashamed for saying those words against her even despite Charles' obvious displeasure.     

"Do you want to hear my reason?" Charles sighed and stared at him.     

He nodded and Charles proceeded to speak, "My reason for hiring Leila is simple. Our company is in dire need of staff equipped with experience like her. 

She can adapt to her new job. This will also reduce your and Alice's burden of tasks, giving you a leeway of your time, perhaps to date."    

David's cheeks instantly flushed. 

Embarrassed at his words, he interjected immediately, "Mr. Lu, please don't say it like that. We do take our jobs seriously and wholeheartedly. Alice and I still have time to spend together."

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