The La-Iin Series
‘Mrs. Eteibreit is hiding something. I just know it!’
Ever since she had seen the strange paper on Eteibreit’s desk, Mit-Sun had felt more wary at work. She tried to avoid any interactions with Eteibreit, and observed her on her free time. Eteibreit hadn’t been acting differently, but Mit-Sun was worried.
‘It’s like I was born into this world just to be surrounded by world domination. I’ve got a daughter who says that’s her destiny, and a boss who might be plotting it as I work…’
Mit-Sun turned around. Nobody usually referred to her by her first name at work. The woman who called out to her didn’t look familiar as she gaped at Mit-Sun’s response.
“So it’s true!”
“What’s true? I’m sorry, are you new here? Did you need something?”
“I won’t take up much of your time, I promise.” She sat down in a chair nearby Mit-Sun. Her wide eyes made Mit-Sun feel uncomfortable, and she tried to focus on her work instead. “Your name is Cahongyun Mit-Sun, yeah?”
The woman’s surprised expression eased into a cheerful smile. “What a funny coincidence! My name is Leirhyn Mit-Sun!”
Now it was Mit-Sun’s turn to gape. “Your name is what!?”
Despite her surprise earlier, Leirhyn seemed mostly unfazed by Mit-Sun’s surprise. “I guess we never introduced ourselves. I started working here a week ago in a different division. Mrs. Eteibreit always commented on how weird my name was. I thought that was just because Leirhyn is more of an Aeness name, you know? A more modern Aeness name, but an Aeness name nonetheless. So I asked her about it, and she talked about an incompetent worker named Cahongyun Mit-Sun–oops, I wasn’t supposed to say that!”
“It’s fine, I know how she feels about me already,” Mit-Sun sighed. She kept her tone steady despite the anger she had to work to suppress.
“Aaaanyway, I was curious to see if it was actually true, so I tried to find out which workers were which. And so I kept calling out to a whole bunch of others ‘Mit-Sun!’ to see if they’d react! And would you believe my surprise when someone did? I really didn’t expect anyone to react. Learning that I have the same first name as someone else is something that’s never happened to me before, ever. I mean, I have a friend named Im-Dei who knows another Im-Dei but that’s a different story entirely…..but I described how it feels for me, so how does it feel for you?”
“No, no, that’s not what I meant…”
“It’s fine. So what if it’s creepy to you! I just think it’s kind of funny. Especially since some people say I run my mouth when I get excited or scared or I’m trying to lie about something and such-and-such, but you’re so quiet. So Mit-Sun two–”
“Just Cahongyun would be fine!”
“Hey, at least we don’t have the same last name, right? But yeah! What other things do you think we have in common? Do you have a lot of friends?”
“Not really….” ‘Why’s she pestering me!? I have a job to do, and I have a boss to investigate! While she’s running her mouth Mrs. Eteibreit could be making deals with people to help her dominate! Not to mention that was pretty rude…’ Mit-Sun kept those thoughts to herself. Leirhyn’s happy smile was something she felt she couldn’t snap at, and she didn’t want to get in trouble with Eteibreit for yelling at a coworker.
“That’s sad. You don’t seem so bad even though I’ve only known you for less than a half hour. Maybe if you turn out to be a good person we can be friends!”
“Do you have siblings?”
“How old are you?”
“In my thirties…”
“Whoa, so you’re younger than me! I’m in my forties!”
Mit-Sun gaped for the second time. ‘She’s older than me?’
“What’s with the look? Anyways, what made you work here?”
“I…that’s a bit of a personal story…”
“I took this job for my daughter’s sake.”
“YOU HAVE A KID!?” Leirhyn screamed. Mit-Sun was taken aback. “Oh my gosh, you didn’t strike me as the type! And you’re younger than me and have a kid? Well, I guess you just said you’re in your thirties and didn’t actually tell me how old you are, but still! So does that mean you’re married!?”
“It’s a long story….look, Leirhyn, I know you’re….enthusiastic about meeting someone who shares your first name, but it’s all very overwhelming for me, and I still have so much work to do…”
“Ohhhh yeah. And I’ll probably get in trouble if I don’t do my work too…” Leirhyn grinned. “Cahongyun, I think we have more differences than we do similarities, but we also have one of the biggest and most uncommon similarities ever. I mean, if we were both called Xhen-Kim or something that wouldn’t be so surprising, but Mit-Sun is a little less common in Bledger, isn’t it?”
“I thought it was common…or is that just where I’m from?”
“I don’t know! But I think it’d be fun to get to be friends with you, Cahongyun, ’cause how many people do you know that are friends with people who have the same name as them? So I’m gonna be going back to my post now, but if I have a say in it, this won’t be the last time we talk together!”
Leirhyn waved, then started to walk off. “Hmm…
“If you do become my friend, just know that there’s something I’ll want you to help me with.”
Leirhyn nodded. “Alright!”
As Leirhyn walked off, Mit-Sun slipped back into her thoughts. ‘As long as she’s not devoted to Mrs. Eteibreit, having someone else help me find out if she’s after world domination might be helpful….maybe she could help get me evidence. Since she’s new I’d say she has a better chance with Mrs. Eteibreit than me….oh, Leirhyn could be helpful. If she’s as nice as she acted just right now anyway…’
Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t get nearly as much work done as she expected to, and Eteibreit was so infuriated that she cut her pay for the week.
“La-Iin, how do you think you’d feel if you met someone with the same first name as you?”
“There’s only one real La-Iin. ….wait, why are you asking?”
“Did you meet another La-Iin?”
“No, La-Iin…” Mit-Sun sighed. “It was just a question. That’s all.”
Despite her words, La-Iin fell silent and glared at her the rest of the night, even as Mit-Sun put her to bed.