Her withdrawal was still pending, Zoe was frantic as she stared at the app on her phone. It has been two days since she applied for the withdrawal of her funds and it still hadn been approved. Usually, it took a day when not applied on the weekends to be credited, however, that was not the case this time.

Zoe began to bite her nails nervously while tapping her feet on the ground. She was anxious, her heart pounding loudly in her chest as she thought of the worst scenario. Her instinct was warning her that she had been scammed but Zoe didn want to believe it. No, she would rather die than accept the fact that her money was gone just like that.

It can be.

That money was everything that she had. She can lose it, otherwise, her life is over. Her whole future depended on it.

”Are you okay, Zoe? ” A female teacher tapped on her back, rousing her back to the presence.

And yes, Zoe Clark was sadly a teacher. It was the only job that she could get when she returned to the city. She thought that life would be easier here with her prodigious certificate, only to be awakened to the reality of unemployment.

She was stuck with the option of returning to her parents with shame or sticking here and make a living out of this place. Zoe went with the latter which was better compared to the high standard of living abroad.

Since she returned to the city, Zoe kept a low profile so the locals didn recognize her and made sure to avoid the neighborhood she had grown up in. Thankfully its been years since her family moved out and thanks to urbanization, migration – and death – not many people could recognize her at first glance.

Unfortunately for her, Zoe didn know how the rumors came about, but the news circulated in the school that she came from a rich family, and ever since then, Zoe has been faking it. To keep up with what the ignorant people thought of her, she has been keeping up the profile of a rich young lady.

In one word, this meant that she had to purchase and put on expensive garments, keep up with the latest trend so they don suspect a thing about her. Yeah, it looked pretty stupid considering she was satisfying the publics opinion and stressing herself out. But then here she was, a former heiress turned high school teacher. What would people think if they knew that?

They would talk behind her back and mock her. Although Zoe could live with them laughing at her, what she would not be able to stand is the pitiful look of people. Just because Zoe was no longer an heiress doesn mean she wanted their sympathy. She was not a charity case. What befell her family was a misfortune and she had moved on ever since.

Her familys fall from grace to grass story was a good example that nothing was permanent in this life and she had already made peace with that. All she wanted now was to get back on her feet and her investment money would go a long way in helping her.

She hoped.

”What? ” Zoe breathed, turning to look at the female teacher staring at her in concern.

”Are you okay? You have been tapping your feet for some time now and while its distracting, I wonder if you are okay? ”

”Of course, Im fine. Why wouldn I be fine? ” She answered quickly with a smile that didn touch her eyes. All Zoe wanted was for her to leave her alone and as if the teacher got the point, she let her be.

Zoe stared down at her wristwatch, it was ten minutes till school dismissal, and then she would be able to leave. But the ten minutes felt like forever and wished that she could forward the hands of the clock. Zoe was close to panicking because she needed to go see Mr. Jones and know why the withdrawal was still pending.

Her desk was cleaned and arranged neatly, hence the moment the bell rang, she jerked up from the seat quickly and turned to leave only to bump into another teacher. While the teacher named Jessa had not been the one who spread the rumors about her being an heiress, Zoe sensed some unhealthy rivalry from her since her first day.

”Going somewhere? ” She Inquired.

”As a matter of fact, yes! ” Zoe said hurriedly and tried to sidestep her but the woman moved in her way, making her brows furrow in annoyance.

”In that case, Im wondering if you have time after returning from wherever you
e heading to, all of the teachers have a gathering today and they were hoping that you would join us - ”

”No, ” Zoe answered before she could finish her words, ”As you can see, Im kind of occupied at the moment and wouldn have the time for such. Nonetheless, you guys should have fun. ”

Honestly, It was half a lie since she was practically going to see Mr. Jones and would return later. However, the main reason why Zoe turned down the invitation was that she was broke. To promote team spirit and love amongst the teachers, they usually have gatherings outside the school, especially on the weekends.

There was usually a lot of eating and drinking and the time she clearly remembered attending the gathering was when they threw her a welcome party on her first day of work. It was a culture here.

Unfortunately for Zoe, the rumors had done her more good than harm because the next time she attended the gathering with the others, she was pressured into covering the expenses – they assumed that she was rich – and she cried when she got home because the bill had eaten greatly into her savings.

Not to mention that most of them got drunk on the occasion and tend to ask a lot of personal questions that Zoe found annoying and invasive, especially about her rich background. But then, Zoe never confirmed anything and that would be her justification in case the truth comes out in the future that shes no longer rich. She would not validate her so-thought rich status.

Ever since then, Zoe dreaded the gatherings and made sure to steer clear of the other teachers obsessed with the tradition. Unlike others who proudly declared their broke status, Zoe couldn even do the same even though the others were pretty much richer than her, not that they knew that.

”Is that so? ”Jessa said and Zoe couldn help but sense a sneer in her tone. Unfortunately, she didn have time for the jealous young woman, her money was on the line!

”Drink with caution and have a nice evening! ” Zoe told her and left the teachers lodge, disappearing into the sea of students.

Once outside, Zoe flagged down a taxi that took her to Mr. Jones office. She has been calling his number and it was not going through, adding to get anxiety. There was no way that the man could have taken off, right? He was a very kind man and would not run off with other peoples money, Zoe tried to assure her pounding heart.

”Could you go faster, please? ” Zoe pressured the driver who stepped on the gas and not long after, stopped in front of the building.

After paying the driver, Zoe ran into the building like a mad woman and took the elevator that led to his floor. The whole time, Zoe was imagining every negative thought that came to mind, so when she raced into the office and saw the man in question addressing other people, she almost suffered a heart attack.

Zoe released the breath that she had been holding in. Dear God, she tried to calm her racing heart. She thought that her money was lost forever.

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