1pm. Modeling Agency.
“Rainie… this can be discussed…” the director of the modeling agency, Dan said.
Rainie smiled as she tapped her fingers on the letter on Dan’s table.
Pace and Winnie stood worriedly behind the calm Rainie in the director’s room.
“This is my decision,” Rainie gently slides the letter to Dan.
“But you always love modeling! Why do you want to quit?” Dan asked. “And your record is good for all these years…”
“As a model, I have been exploited,” Rainie said. “…explicitly,”
“You can always reject the shows, Rainie. You always know…” Dan said worriedly.
“Unfortunately it has never come to my knowledge that the job is up to me to decide if I want to take or not,” Rainie said.
“What do you mean?” Dan asked.
“In short, my manager has dominated my job, and even my life, because I have no rest day at all,” Rainie said. “Therefore I have contemplate resigning my job as a model,”
“Your manager? You mean Claire?” Dan asked.
“Rainie, there is no any other way? We both know you love your job…” Pace said.
Rainie smiled. “Yes, Claire,” she responded to Dan. She then looked at Pace, “I have done quite some considerations about this. I can be a model at another agency, if I want,”
“But Rainie! You have been here for 7 years and you are quitting just because of Claire?” Dan asked.
“Look, Dan. I cannot take another day like this anymore. She accepts jobs for me and I work like mad. I told her I needed my break, she said my break is when I sleep on the airplane traveling from a place to another. And Dan, that is what she termed as my break! I only have one day break in months. Tell me if this is not sufficient to say that I have been exploited as a model, as an employee!” Rainie said.
“Rainie…” Dan squeezed his nasal bridge. “Why didn’t you tell me this back then?”
“I used to think that I am young, and this is how I should work. I shot to fame 2 years ago, and I really, really love my job. Pace, Winnie and my friends have told me that I have overworked, to which I did not believe, only until recently, I found out they are right. That is why I run away after the Taipei Glamorous Fashion Show, because I cannot take the pressure anymore. I cannot take it that I have to work like this, flying here and there without adequate rest, without my personal time to do my own stuff, and worst… she accepts jobs for me and outlined everything just right one after another. I don’t think I have even a minute extra to spare to go for toilet break. All is done without me agreeing beforehand, without my permission to accept a job,” Rainie said. “I am frustrated, Dan,”
“I agree, Dan. Rainie has been working like this for the past few months, you can’t blame her for running away from job because clearly she…” Winnie was saying when Rainie interrupted.
“I run away to a place, and I spend time to relax, and to think about what to do. Working like this will make me hate my job, to which I admit right at this moment, I have started to hate the job. And no, I don’t want to hate my job. I find that I can work with another agency, and perhaps my passion for this job will retain. So, before I hate my job even more, I better leave before it takes over me,” Rainie said.
“Rainie…” Pace tapped Rainie’s shoulder.
“Ok… is there anything I can do, so as you won’t resign?” Dan asked. “I really didn’t want you to resign because I know your capability, and I want you to stay. I really want you to stay,”
“What do you suggest?” Rainie asked Dan.
“I would prefer you to tell me what you want me to do,” Dan said. “Is there anything that I can do to make you stay?”
“Actually there is,” Rainie said.
Dan, Winnie and Pace immediately looked at her.
“What is that?” Winnie asked.
“Yeah, what is it?” Dan asked.
“If you want me to stay, I need a new manager,” Rainie said.
“NEW MANAGER?” Dan, Winnie and Pace said.
“Yes,” Rainie said. “The answer is… either I go… or Claire goes,” she said. “If Claire stays, she can prep another model, but rest assures the model will be like me. Someday that model will get frustrated and just run off, and worst… suicide,”
“Even though the company sort of assigns her to you a few years ago, but you pay your own manager, right? I think this is doable,” Winnie said.
Someone opened the door rudely without even knock, “RAINIE!!!”
Rainie rolled her eyes. She got so fed up listening to that voice. She doesn’t have to turn her head to know who yelled for her.
Dan, Winnie and Pace looked at Claire at the door.
“Rainie, you are back! Oh my gosh, you scare the…” Claire said, hugging Rainie.
“Yes, I am back,” Rainie said, at the moment felt like a teddy bear being hugged by a child.
“Where have you been? Do you know you have missed 6 shows? I have trouble explaining to the organizers about you…”
“I was just away for 1 week and I already missed 6 shows? So it’s 6 shows in 1 week?” Rainie asked, looking at Claire, and then looked at Dan, hinting to him.
“Yes, 6…” Claire said.
“What?” Dan asked.
Claire looked at Dan, “Oh, hi Dan,”
“Oh. You didn’t see me, Claire? This is my room that you just crashed in,” Dan said.
“I’m sorry I’m just…” Claire said.
“Did you just said 6 shows in 1 week?” Dan asked.
“Yes,” Claire said. “I have arranged for Rainie…”
“Is that 6 shows under the same event at the same place only at different days?” Dan asked.
“No, it is at 4 different countries,” Claire said.
“WHAT?!” Dan asked.
“See? I’ve told you, Dan,” Rainie said.
“What… why?” Claire asked.
“Claire, you still have no idea why I run off, do you?” Rainie asked, looking at Claire. “I run off because I cannot bear with the way you want me to work anymore. I have tremendous of stress and no sufficient break to reenergize me physically and mentally. I am totally exhausted. And I cannot stand taking my rest on airplane like how you claimed I could!”
“But?” Rainie asked.
“But you worked like that for the past few months… I thought…”
“You thought I can take it? And you probably thought that is how MY LIFE should be?” Rainie asked.
“Rainie, why didn’t you tell me?”
“Tell you? Did you EVER listen?!” Rainie asked. “Ask Jay if you think you are listening! He knows it well that you are not because I tried to talk to you and all you do is ignore or walk off!”
“Unfortunately you have to drive Rainie to run off from her job and went missing for days before you know how serious you have created for her,” Pace said.
“I cannot take my work with just a rest day in few months. I would have pissed off with my job before you want to mend it,” Rainie said.
“Claire, you have exploited Rainie as a model,” Dan said.
“I’m sorry, we can work on it. I can reschedule…” Claire said.
“You have agreed for jobs for me without asking me if I want to take it. Even though I granted permission to you beforehand to discuss with them, it did not mean I have given you permission to agree a job for me. I give you the permission to discuss and NOT agreeing to the job because I trust you that much, Claire!” Rainie said. “Do you think that I can still trust you right now after all that you’ve done? Some things are just meant to be ONCE and that’s it,”
“What do you mean, Rainie…?” Claire asked.
“I have tendered my resignation,” Rainie said, pointing at the letter on Dan’s table.
“Rainie… but…” Claire said, “We can mend this!”
“To work with you again? No,” Rainie said. “I think I can work better with another manager in another agency,”
“Claire, I have listened to Rainie and now I’ve heard what you’ve said,” Dan said.
“Rainie, don’t leave…” Claire said.
“Claire,” Rainie said, standing up. “I know the company assigned you to be my manager few years ago to manage me because I am new and that every new model does need a manager to manage them, and when I became famous, I personally hire you and plan to do this together with you as my manager. I trust in your capability that is why you were chosen at the first place out of many other managers that I can switch at that point of time. However, you have crossed the border of what you should be doing, and you have exploited me as a person, as a model and as an employee. I run off from work and for all you care it’s just about your work and never my feelings. Since you come in into this room, have you ever asked about me personally on WHY I run away and how am I feeling? All you said is just about the show that I have missed. You never care about me. You don’t even bother about me. You only care about your job because you suffer each time I missed my show since you have to explain to everyone about me missing from the show and getting your share of money from my salary. I am not a robot. I am not your slave either. I am a human for goodness sake. I have feelings too. You have pushed me too much. And for once you forgot, I am reminding you again; I pay your salary. Since I hire you, I can fire you,” she took a letter out from her handbag. “In front of the witnesses Dan, Pace and Winnie, and according to what you have said and done, it has given me sufficient reasons to terminate your service as my manager,” she handed the letter to Claire.
“If you terminate Claire, I believe you can get a better manager in our company, therefore, I don’t see a reason for you to resign,” Dan pushed Rainie’s letter to Rainie.
Claire looked at Rainie, and Rainie looked at Dan.
“Take your time to look for a manager, and if you needed your break for this moment you can take as long as you want and come back when you are ready for work,” Dan said. He then looked at Claire, “Rainie has every reason in the world to terminate you, I have heard both her and your explanation. You have exploited her as an employee, as a person,”
“You’ve make me hate my job,” Rainie said. “It’s my passion and I don’t want to hate it even more,”
Claire slowly took the letter, “I understand,”
2pm. At a restaurant near Barbie’s office.
“You fired Claire?!” Barbie said.
Rainie smiled. “Believe it or not,”
“Really?” Barbie asked Winnie and Pace.
“Yes. She did it coolly!” Pace said.
“Wow! I didn’t know you will do that!” Barbie said.
Rainie laughed, “I didn’t know I will do that either,”
“So, what triggers you?” Pace asked.
Rainie smiled. “Just over the few days… get my mind clear, and know this is it,”
“Where did you go? We are all so worried about you,” Barbie said.
“I went back to Qing Xi,” Rainie said. “Pace and Winnie didn’t tell you?”
“Oh! Well, nope,” Barbie looked at them. “You’ve not been there for a while, right?” she asked.
“Yeah… so how are you doing while I am away?” Rainie asked.
Barbie smiled, “I’m Jerry’s personal fashion stylist now,”
“Really?” Rainie asked.
“Yes… but I sense he is wooing me,” Barbie said.
“Wow!” Pace, Winnie and Rainie reacted.
“Then what about both of you?” Barbie asked Pace and Winnie.
“I just reached back to Taipei this morning from Singapore, so… work’s fine,” Winnie said. “By the way, tonight I will be going to Ming Hill with Vic, so I’ll be back late. Don’t wait for me,” she patted Pace.
“Oh? Have fun then,” Pace said.
“Vic?!” Barbie and Rainie said.
“Well, with you went missing and you busy with your Jerry, apparently many things happened,” Pace said, pointing at Rainie and then at Barbie.
“I can see that, and Pace?” Barbie said. “Update us about your life,”
“PWRB is as usual. Dance as usual, but Vanness has asked me to quit MyDance,” Pace said.
“WHAT? Why?!” Winnie, Barbie and Rainie reacted.
“Vanness asked me to be his partner,” Pace blushed. “Trainer and student cannot be together… so… I have to quit…”
“My gosh! Is that a confirmation that he is going after you now?!” Rainie said.
“You can say so,” Pace smiled.
“Congratulations, Pace!” Rainie, Winnie and Barbie exclaimed.
“Thanks… but I hope the best for you guys too!” Pace looked at Winnie and Rainie.
“Anyway, since I will be out, you will have dinner with Rainie…” Winnie said.
“Oh no. I have a flight to catch at 3.50pm so… after this lunch, you have to send me to airport,” Rainie said at Pace.
“Where to?” Barbie asked.
“Singapore. I want to go there and visit my parents,” Rainie said. “I have already brought my luggage onto her car,”
“Oh, what a last minute decision. No wonder you were dragging the luggage with you just now and placing it into my car boot,” Pace said.
“But you just came back this morning…” Winnie said.
“I booked this plane ticket via phone last night. I was thinking to go Singapore and rest for a while or probably going some other places for vacation,” Rainie said. “So… I know it’s kind of rush, but I’m fine… plus, I don’t have to worry for you guys because you have Vanness, Vic and Jerry when I am not around,”
“Vic’s just a friend!” Winnie said.
“Friend or boyfriend, it’s fine. As long as you have someone when I am not around,” Rainie smiled.
Winnie smiled. “So… Rainie…”
“Yeah?” Rainie asked as she took a sip of her drink.
“I know something happened in Qing Xi. It’s not like you sit there and you will get such result to terminate Claire or even risk resigning,” Winnie said.
“Yeah, spill, Rainie,” Pace said.
Rainie smiled as she pokes the straw into her drink repeatedly. “There is this guy…”
“OH!” the other three reacted.
Rainie smiled, “He is depressed as well. So… I guess I opened up for him and he knows what to do with his life. In fact, he opened up mine. In this one week… he and I have been very close friend…” she looked at Winnie, “I fell sick, and he takes care of me,” she then looked at Pace, “I danced when I wanted to, and I make him dance with me,” and then she looked at Barbie, “And he cooked me meals everyday…”
“Wow…” they said.
Rainie’s smile fades off. “I found out I fall in love with him… but he is engaged,” she said. “And he just left yesterday,”
“Awww…” Winnie, Pace and Barbie said, extending their hands at Rainie.
“So… after he left, I have made up my mind… nothing means more than the life itself. Being a top model is nothing. Perhaps by then if I want to appreciate life, Claire would have left me with nothing. So… I called airport and make a booking to fly to Singapore today. Plus, Dan also allowed me to take my break, so it gives me more reason to enjoy my life now. I will take my adequate rest before I come back and resume my modeling life,” Rainie said. “It’s been a while since I last seen my parents,”
“They’re good, Rainie. I’ve visited them the other day,” Winnie smiled.
Rainie then looked at Winnie, “Shan jie, do you remember I told you before I joined modeling that I have a friend taught me that the rain will bring a smile to my face when I was young?”
Winnie stunned at Rainie’s calling her ‘Shan jie’ again. “Yeah, and that is why I joked about you naming yourself ‘Rainie’ due to you loving the rain, in which you did. What about it?”
“I have long wish to meet this friend again. After a week of knowing him… I found out yesterday that this childhood friend that taught me about the rain… is him,” Rainie said. “The guy that I fall in love with, is my childhood friend that I have wished to meet again,”
“Him?!” Winnie said.
Rainie smiled and nodded. “Anyway… the feeling will go. Just leave it as it is,”
“But Rainie…” Pace said.
“He is engaged. And I don’t think he and I will meet again, so… that’s about it,” Rainie smiled. “As much as painful it is to fall in love with a guy that I cannot be with, time will heal me,”