SOTUS S: The Third Year and the Office Worker

SOTUS S, Lover’s Rule No. 8: When you do wrong, you must reconcile.

Arthit met Kongpop unprepared. He thought he was hallucinating. He was sitting in the conference room at Ocean Electric, where several departments were meeting, listening to the HR department introduce the new interns.

“This year we have two interns who will be here for three months, so let the brothers introduce themselves.”

“Hello, my name is Kong, Kongpop Sutthilak, please  help guide me!”

This handsome boy in his neat school uniform and tie was a familiar figure in every way and when he heard what Phii Earth said, it made him even more certain.

“Arthit… Why didn’t you tell that Kong is doing his internship here?”

He didn’t answer, his body became stiff, his ears were buzzing and even when another intern introduced himself, he only knew his name as “Naai” from the gaps in his voice.

“So, please teach these two kids since they will be passing in all departments. That’s enough for today, let’s get back to work.” Mr. Pairot, the General Manager announced the end of the meeting and the guys stood up, gathered their things and went back to their duties. The restless purchasing engineer stood up and was just about to walk out of the meeting room.

“Phii Arthit.” to the call, he did not even glance back.

He was ignored. Kongpop knew that he would annoy Phii Arthit by showing up like this but he couldn’t help it, because he had decided to be in the same environment as Phii Arthit. He wanted to reduce the distance between them even if only a little.  Was he wrong to want to be near his beloved, to take care of him? Kongpop sighed as if his heart was heavy and let the pent-up emotions dissipate in the air.

“Are you nervous about the internship? I’ve seen your face from earlier.” The colleague who came with us seemed to misunderstand his behavior and asked him caringly.

“I’m nervous too, there’s so much here I don’t understand.” Naai smiled at him, sending him encouragement. From the way he introduced himself, Kongpop heard that he had come all the way from Chiangmai. And he did have the look of a northern boy – clear skin, plain face, big round eyes that sparkled with enthusiasm.

“I want to work in the production department. And Kong, what department do you want to work in?”

“Well, nothing’s been decided yet but it’ll take some time.” He was worried about his lover but there were other things he needed to concentrate on. So Kongpop put aside his “boyfriend, “duties and turned to his” intern” responsibilities. During the first month of the internship at Ocean Electric, the interns will be moved around from department to department so that they can get to know how everything works; for the next two months, the company will decide which department the interns will eventually be stationed in so that they can master the work until the end of the course. Kongpop and Naai were given a guided tour of the company but the most interesting part of the tour was the company’s own product showroom.

On the showroom floor were all sorts of electrical appliances that you would find in an average home, such as rice cookers, irons, coffee makers and so on. Some products have a simple and unpretentious design, while others are very eye-catching. For example, this” no-page fan”, with its round and round shape, was a novelty that made Naai linger for a long time but the more he studied it, the more his eyebrows were drawn together.

“I think this fan is pretty strange, Kong…” Before he could finish his sentence, the fan made a loud bang and a black smoke billowed out along with a burnt smell. The trainee stood there stunned and the people around him were scared. The first to react was a man in a safety suit, who rushed over to save the situation, unplugged the plug and cut the power, then criticized the man standing nearby: “What are you doing! You know that’s dangerous!”

“I… I didn’t do anything. I just heard a strange noise from the machine and before I could report it, it turned into what you see here.” Naai tried to explain the truth and Kongpop nodded his head to prove it. Seeing this, Yong started to inspect the broken fan and he found a sign on the back of the machine that said, “damaged”.

“Why are damaged items placed with other exhibits?”

Under questioning by the senior production engineer, one of the subordinates, who had his head bowed, stammered, “Well, the original one was taken back by the design department, so I took this one and put it on display first.” When he heard the real reason, Yong told his subordinates,” Don’t do it again, take this damaged machine to the warehouse first.” Then he turned to the misunderstood subordinate and lowered his stance but his seriousness didn’t diminish.

“I’m sorry about what happened, man.”

“No, it’s okay.” Naai replied fearfully, probably because they were looking at them with sharp eyes and he was scared.

“You two are the new interns, right?  As you can see, all kinds of electrical appliances are produced here. Before you start your internship here, I want you to take a good look at the documents, especially since the production department is a high-risk area and you have to be very careful.”

After a long lecture, the big man returned to the workshop and continued his work as if he were a disciplined officer. Then Naai, with a huge weight off his mind, muttered under his breath,” What a man, so fierce!”

It was because of this incident that the two students learned how serious they were about every aspect of their work and that they had to put more effort into their work. The first job was handed over to them by the HR department: “I would like to ask you to distribute these notices to all departments.”

Even though it wasn’t a difficult job, they assigned the tasks positively.

“I’ll go to the Purchasing Department.” Kongpop chose the material he wanted to send, because he knew that in this department, someone was working seriously.  And he, too, wanted to apologize to the other in the same” serious” manner. Arthit was looking at the computer screen with rapt attention, not moving a muscle. He was scanning through the orders for a fourth review, even though there was only one purchase order for three gallons of toilet cleaner.  He wanted to keep himself busy so he could forget the morning’s frustrations. But what once piled up on his desk was now almost completely gone, thanks to the help of the new crew.

“Mr. Sun, I’m done.” Todd came over with a stack of papers. Not only did the little angel have a pretty face but he was able to get through the paperwork in no time. But even so, Arthit had to go through it himself to make sure.

“Showed it to Phii Danai, right?”

“He had already seen it.”

“Was that sent to the supplier?”

“It’s also been issued.”

“Sent via fax?”

“Huh?  Fax Mr. Sun, do they still use faxes these days?”

The surprised, eyebrow-raising” sea returnee” went from answering to asking a bewildered question.

“Ow? And what way did you send it?”

Todd picked up the black smartphone and indicated, “Shoot it and email it.”

“Hoeei! That’s no good, it has to be faxed, because that’s the only way to keep the paperwork and for this kind of paperwork, we have to be thorough.” Arthit instructed the new man, just as he had been instructed.

“I’ll deal with it later.” Todd nodded that he understood and was about to retrieve the stack of papers, when he intercepted it.

“That’s okay, I’ll do it. Todd, you take care of the rest of the work before it’s too late.”

“Wow… You’re a good man! Thank you, Mr. Sun!” Arthit laughed at the praise as if he had won an employee award. But in fact it was not something to be so grateful for. Because faxing this information was a better way to pass the time than sitting here going over the order figures over and over again, helping him to escape the distractions of someone else’s mind. “What’s Phii Arthit doing?”

“Hoeei!”

Just as he was about to turn into the copy room, the culprit appeared out of nowhere, giving the absent-minded man a fright.  How could Arthit forget that now they were working in the same company, they could not find an exit even if they tried to escape.

Arthit still maintained his indifferent attitude, passed by the person in front of the fax machine quickly and acted as if he was burying his head in the sand and pulling out the number and at the same time gave the person an ice-cold expulsion order: “I am working, you are here for an internship, you should go back to work.”

But he was immediately rebuffed by Kongpop, who followed him in: “I’m working too. The HR department asked me to hand out notices.” Arthit then realized that he had the paper in his hand, so the trickster had a pretext for the meeting.  If there is no escape, then we have to say it to his face. So Arthit turned around and confronted Kongpop but instead of accepting the notice, he put his hands in front of his chest and asked, “Why are you here for an internship, didn’t you say you had already applied for an internship at MCG?”

“Yes but Oceanic Electric was the first to respond and that’s why I chose to come here.” For that reason alone, it still doesn’t satisfy the party being concealed.

“Then why didn’t you tell me beforehand?”

“I just couldn’t find a chance to tell Arthit.”  Arthit recalled that Kongpop did try to say something several times but he didn’t have time to listen.

“Phii Arthit don’t be mad at me, I really want to do my internship here, because I think I can get more experience here than anywhere else. And I want to help Phii Arthit.”

That last sentence is the main purpose. Arthit was impatient with this man, who had just broken out of his shell and was following his mother every step of the way and he wanted to blame him but in the end he sighed.

“Hey, forget it. You’re here now anyway, so let me know if you need anything.” The fax machine beeps when it’s finished sending and the purchasing engineer takes the file, grabs the notice from the trainee and is about to leave.

“I’ll take the notice back myself and you can go back to work.”

“Wait a minute, Phii Arthit…” the sleeve of his sky blue shirt was tugged and Kongpop’s eyes showed a hint of hesitation.

“I’m, um, going home from work tonight.”

But if you’re invited to come home from work, why are you hesitating? But Arthit nodded his head without a second thought.

“Well, message me after work.” But in the evening, it was Arthit who LINE’d Kongpop: “I have to go to a meeting, I won’t be able to finish until later, so go home.” The clouds were overcast and it was about to rain. By the time the meeting was over at 6:30, raindrops were already falling from the sky and the purchasing team walked to the office building.

“Phii Earth, Phii John and Phii Somoo are having dinner together, want to go?”

Todd came over to ask the seniors but Earth shook his head with a weary look on his face.

“No, I’m a bit tired. I want to go home and rest. Where’s Arthit? Are you going home? Or do you want to have dinner with John and the others?”

“I’m not going, I’ll be back when the rain lets up.” He was exhausted and didn’t want to take the bus through the traffic back to the dorm and he remembered that he forgot to put away the laundry that was drying last night. So Earth moved over and opened the umbrella, inviting him: “I’ll walk you home later.”

“But…” Arthit hesitated, feeling embarrassed.

“Let’s go! It’ll be a long time before the rain stops.” Phii generously took her brother’s arm, pulled him under her umbrella and headed for the parking lot. And all that had just happened, was quietly watched by someone, as the rain really got heavier and heavier. The dainty Japanese bus carefully drove through the muddy road and finally stopped in front of the dormitory building.

“Thank you for bringing me back, for all the trouble you’ve caused Earth.”

“It’s okay, you’ve helped me out a lot, too. Like the factory inspection, without you, it wouldn’t have been so easy“, Earth smiled at him. Arthit stood there and watched the other man drive away, then swiped his credit card and entered the dormitory and went home to collect his clothes.  Hopefully the rain didn’t get them all wet, otherwise they’d have to be washed all over again and to make matters worse there were hardly any clothes left to replace. The elevator stopped at the fifth floor and he went straight to room 508.

But as he turned the key, the door to room 507 on his right opened and a man stepped out, carrying a stack of boxes over his head. Oh, did someone just move in next door? I woke up in the morning and went to work but before I got home in the evening it was already dark, so I didn’t have time to notice. A small box is about to fall! An empty box left over from packing looks like it’s going to fall, so he rushes to it to show his concern for the neighbor.

“I’ll help…” and at that moment, his gaze swept to the man behind the box.  They stared at each other for a moment. Suddenly, Arthit pulled back his helping hand, turned and opened the door to his room.

“Phii Arthit, I…” Kongpop put down his cardboard box and tried to explain but the door of room 508 was slammed in his face.

Despite Kongpop’s efforts, he knocked and called out several times but there was no answer. He frantically took out his cell phone and called but the angry man still wouldn’t answer the phone.

The tall man retreated to his room. Room 507 was full of boxes that he had to use on a daily basis, because he was only renting it for a short period of time, until the end of his internship. But since he moved in yesterday in a hurry, he hadn’t packed up his things yet.

He was planning to confess when he asked Arthit to come home with him but who would have thought that he would bump into him in such a hurry to explain. The thunder rumbled from time to time and the rain got heavier. Kongpop opened the glass door on the balcony and peered into the next room, his clothes were still hanging out, the wind was blowing the rain and wetting the corners of his clothes. Every time this happened he would tell the owner to take the clothes back but right now, he wasn’t sure if he would be listened to.

Kongpop prayed that Phii Arthit would find them but in the end the clothes were left out in the rain all night and there was nothing he could do about it. It was almost midnight when Arthit closed his eyes and went to sleep, having been disturbed by yesterday’s incident. To make matters worse he had forgotten to take back his clothes, which had been hung outside and were still wet and unwearable.

He spent his time rummaging through the closet but there was still one last shirt left. He grabbed the iron and quickly smoothed out the top crease, then showered and changed before heading out to work. But as soon as he opened his room, Arthit saw something unusual hanging on the doorknob.  A bag with hot roast pork and glutinous rice, with a small post-it note attached to it: “Happy eating!”

Of course he knew who had bought it but that didn’t mean it would be easy for him to get rid of his anger just because it was used to set a trap, not to mention the fact that it was a much more serious mistake!  It’s not enough to work in the same company, he has to move in next door, without even saying a word. 

Does Kongpop still respect him today?

The more he thought about it, the angrier he got but the roast pork and sticky rice was innocent, it was a shame to throw it away, so he reluctantly took it in his hand. And it didn’t end there, when he walked into the office, there was a handwritten letter on the desk of the purchasing engineer. A piece of brownie in a transparent bag, with a slight aroma of chocolate in the air. Arthit noticed that the lady at the next table was plucking out the brownie and putting it in her mouth, while entering the data into the computer.

“Thank you Phii Earth!”

“Huh? What is it?”

One pair of phoenix eyes gazed at his brother in confusion.

“Yay for cake!”

He held up the brownie and tried to open it. After eating meat, it was natural to” gargle” with dessert but his denial stopped him in his tracks.

“No, I didn’t buy it, that’s how it was put on my desk.”  So? Like before, was it a salesman who gave everyone a treat? But his guess was completely wrong, because Todd, who knew the truth, told them the truth: “When I came in this morning, I saw a little boy in a school uniform and he said it was for everyone.” There were two interns in the company and although Todd didn’t name them, Arthit knew exactly who he was.  Heh! Thought this trick would work? The idea was superficial! So Arthit changed his mind, stuffed the brownie in a drawer and didn’t want to touch it again.  But” Operation Food Peace” wasn’t over yet and time was running out for the lunch break.

“Phii Earth, Todd, what can I get you guys to drink? I’ll get it.” The three of them came down to the employee cafeteria to eat together and when they found a seat Arthit offered to buy water for everyone.

“I’ll take the usual.”  the frozen milk girl said as she handed over the money.

“I’ll have an Ice Lemon Tea.” said the boy from the sea.

“OK.” Arthit took the order and came to the shop. As for his own share, it was, of course, his favorite drink of choice.

“I’ll have two glasses of iced milk and an iced lemon tea.” As soon as he ordered, he heard a voice imitating him: “I’ll have an iced milk just like his brother’s.” It was none other than the man who’d known since college what he liked to drink. The owner of the liquor store prepared Arthit’s iced milk and iced lemon tea in the same order but suddenly the customer changed his mind: “Excuse me, I’d like to swap one of the two glasses of iced milk for an iced tea.” Arthit’s sudden change of order made the owner frown as well.

“How about this? Well, brother, you take this one.” The owner handed the extra glass of iced milk to Kongpop and then made iced tea for another customer. Arthit grabbed the three drinks, paid for them and immediately turned to go back. When he returned to his seat, Earth noticed that there was only one glass of pink iced milk and asked curiously,” Ow! No pink ice-cream today?”

“I’m in the mood for a change.”  Iced tea was probably the best drink he could have at the moment, just to take the edge off.

“Is the frozen pinkmilk good?”

Todd asked with interest.

“Well, it might take the edge off. Right, Arthit?”

Earth turned to ask amusedly and Arthit immediately nodded his head in agreement.

“Yes and it’s not cloyingly sweet.” It’s a strange drink,” Todd said amusedly,” I’ll try the frozen milk someday.” Arthit took a swig of iced tea, ignoring the sweet. At the end of the day, Arthit hurried straight back to the dormitory to avoid running into anyone he didn’t want to see. But where could he run to, they lived next door to each other and they wouldn’t let him go. Knock, knock, knock!

“Phii Arthit, come out and let’s talk.”

Dream on, he wouldn’t stop there. He pretended not to hear the shout and held on for a while, until the man outside gave up and went back to his room, then he got up and looked again through the cat’s eyes – now that there was no sign of life outside. 

Eventually the other man stopped pestering him, tired of this Hindi movie heroine escapade. Dinner was not yet ready and Arthit’s stomach was growling with hunger. So Arthit grabbed his wallet and the key to his room, turned the door knob and slipped out quietly so that the next room wouldn’t hear anything. But as soon as he took the first step, he fell into the trap.

“Phii Arthit, you are finally out.”

“Hoeei!”

But the wily wolf had already set a trap and was waiting for him, so the frightened man opened the door and tried to escape but Kongpop was one step ahead of him and raised his hand to cut him off.

“Phii Arthit, wait a minute. Urgh f-ck!”

The tall man’s hand was caught in the arm of the door, and Kongpop screamed loudly in agony and the suddenness of the accident sent Arthit’s soul flying.

“What are you doing? Block the door with your hand? Do you want to break it! Let me see it!”

A pair of sharp eyes at once examined the arm, which showed a red mark but the arm would not stop, it raised itself up and caught the unsuspecting man with a thunderous gesture.

“Kongpop! Let me go!”

Arthit shouted and struggled, trying to find a way out of the embrace. But his arms got tighter and tighter, as if a vice was gripping his waist and the other boy put his lips close to his ear and murmured: “Arthit I want to talk to you seriously.”

Two boys hugging each other in the corridor was not a particularly nice sight, so Arthit had to give in.

“Yes! Yes! I’ll get it. But you have to let me go first, or someone will see me.”

“Arthit senior first promised not to run away again, then I let go.”

This… this kid! What a trickster and what can Arthit do to him. The man who was holding him tightly had to open the door of room 508 and drag the big man into the room in a mess, just as they had agreed, leaving the two of them alone.

“Can you let go of me now?”

Once again, the strong arms had to let go and let the prey go free. Arthit immediately went away but instead of running away, he opened the refrigerator, took out a bottle of ice water and handed it over.

“Take this and put it on.”

“Thank you Phii” Kongpop took the ice water from his lover, a lover who was always so kind, never changing. And he himself was always making trouble but all because he had an unwavering purpose.

“Phii Arthit I was looking for a dormitory near the office but when I called here, the room next door was vacant. I thought it would be a chance for me to take care of Arthit, so I moved in. I didn’t mean to hide it but yesterday I came back with you wanting to say that I am really sorry.”

Arthit was silent.  He knew right from the beginning that Kongpop didn’t mean any harm, he was just angry with himself for not realizing it. But Kongpop always likes to surprise, he should get used to it. Kongpop would not be the same naughty boy if he didn’t do something unexpected, “I forgive you.”

Seeing Kongpop’s frankness and the fact that the door handle hurt, Arthit had to forgive him. But he will not forget to hold the wrongdoer accountable and demand a full confession.

“Is there anything else you’re not telling me?”

In response to Arthit’s questioning, Kongpop’s eyes darted and his mouth dropped open.

“I…”

See, there’s something else.

“I… what?” he pressed.

Kongpop raised his handsome face in puppy-dog mode, blinked his starry eyes and said in a pitiful tone: “I… my arm still hurts… can Arthit take care of me?”

  That’s probably going to hurt even more than it did!

“You can go home now! I’m hungry, I’m going downstairs for dinner.” Arthit decisively refused and was about to go ahead with his plan but this gave him an opportunity to make up for his mistake.

“What does Phii Arthit want to eat? I’ll make it for you.” Hungry and silent for a moment, then he muttered under his breath: “Steamed eggs with extra sauce.”

This meal, which had been so successful, brought a big smile to Kongpop’s face.  Was the whole day’s” peacemaking” efforts fruitless because he hadn’t chosen the right meal for Phii Arthit? Despite the incident and the commotion, Kongpop’s “food peacemaking” plan was a complete success. When we understand what is more important, we will be ready to adjust ourselves and come back to each other.

 

 

Prev: Lover’s Rule No. 7: Tease and clear the mind.

SOTUS S

Next: Lover’s Rule No. 9: Adjust your understanding

 

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