SOTUS S: The Third Year and the Office Worker
SOTUS S, Lover’s Rule No. 9: Adjust your understanding
An important event was taking place at the Ocean Electric Company and the employees were excited about it and Arthit was no exception, his eyes already drawn to the large poster in front of the elevator.
“Come and join the 13th ‘New Wave of the Ocean’ competition. Challenge your mind to think outside the box and design a great product! The theme of the contest is ‘New Oven’; teams of 2 people, regardless of position or department, will receive 100,000 baht for the winning team.” As soon as Arthit returned to the Purchasing Department, he immediately asked the lady at the next table for advice.
“Does the company still have events like this?”
So, Earth told Arthit about this event.
“Every year the company holds an idea competition for a new product, they define the theme, last year it was a coffee maker, the year before it was an iron. The participants present their ideas and if the idea is finally produced, they get a bonus in addition to the prize money.”
“Ho! That’s great! Then everyone can participate!”
It fills Arthit’s heart with admiration to see such progressive thinking at the top of the company, giving employees a fair chance to express themselves regardless of age or seniority.
“Are you going to join my team? I’ll be there this year too.” Hearing an invitation from a close senior, Arthit readily accepted.
“Yes, I’m in.” Arthit’s heart was full of joy. After becoming an engineer in the Purchasing Department, he was good at paperwork but his love of mechanics made him forget the excitement of developing new products.
“Ow! Arthit signed up for this too?”
Out of nowhere, the bushy-browed assistant manager squeezed in on the conversation.
“Wanted to say try. Where’s Phii John, you want to play?”
“An all-time winner like me, of course.” Arthit stared at me.” So, last year’s winner was Phii John?”
“Last year and the year before and maybe even this year.” Listening to this rambling, Earth couldn’t help but interrupt.
“Oh hey Phii John, I’ve just got Arthit on the team, watch out for your championship this year!”
John dusted off his clothes, seemingly oblivious to the scowl that greeted him.
“Go for it, then.” After saying that, he waved his hand and left in a relaxed manner, not caring about these nobodies competing with him for the” throne”. The more you are despised by your opponents, the less you will admit defeat. So Earth began to work out a plan in earnest.
“Arthit!”“ Let’s have a barbecue tonight, to inspire.”
“Yeah.” Then Auntie turned to the department secretary and invited her as well: “Where’s Somoo? Want to come along?”
“Uh-oh! But I’m on a diet, what do I do?”
The plump girl was hesitant, as if her appetite was more important to her than the competition. Not only Somoo but Danai’s manager reminded everyone again: “It’s good to be inspired but don’t forget to work on normal business.” And as he delegates tasks to his department, Earth, I want you to compile all the order forms for the last six months and put them on this list.”
“Okay, Phii Danai.” The people who had been gathering around chatting, quickly dispersed to return to their original work. The barbecue shop was a paradise for the hungry, full of friends and people. However, there was one person who sighed sadly, as if he had made a big mistake.
“Geez… it’s over! What to do, the weight’s going up again!”
The dieter kept talking about it. For this roast, she struggled to the last minute but was no match for the little devil in her heart and finally decided to join in.
“You just eat, Somoo! That’s a lovely enough figure, Todd, Artthit, don’t you think?”
Earth tried to comfort her, to give her confidence and turned to the boys for approval. Todd nodded silently, saying nothing and Arthit responded in another way.
“If Somoo wants anything else, I’ll get it for you.”
“I’ll just ask for two more plates of bacon then!”
It seemed that the secretary had already gathered her strength, so she boldly ordered, not caring about the cholesterol. So Arthit went straight to the buffet and thoughtfully selected shrimp and cuttlefish for the others. The barbecue has three advantages: it’s close to the office, it’s cheap and the food is fresh and of high quality. This made it the perfect choice for the monthly salary earners of the ocean company to organize their dinners and for this reason, he happened to meet an acquaintance here.
“Arthit! Arthit, are you there too?”
The production engineer had taken off his safety jacket and was wearing the company’s casual dark polo shirt but he still had an unconventional look about him.
“Yong, hello. Are you here alone?”
“Oh, no. I invited two interns to dinner.” The handsome Yong nods to Arthit in the direction of the interns, who are putting vegetables on their plates. After their heart-to-heart that day, despite living next door, both he and Kongpop were busy with their work, putting duty first. They had been together in this way for so long that it was becoming a tacit agreement. Yong asked Arthit again: “So who is Arthit coming with?”
That’s when he took his eyes off Kongpop.
“I’m here with my department, looking for inspiration for the ‘New Wave’ contest. Where’s Yong? Are you in the contest?”
“I won’t be joining you, I’ve got enough on my plate, so I don’t have much time. Well why don’t you all sit down together and I’ll share some ideas with you.” Eventually, they put the table together. And a tall guy who just found out that someone happens to be in the same restaurant as him, won’t pass up the opportunity.
“Phii Arthit, I’ll sit with you.” Kongpop asked permission and took the seat next to Arthit with a plate and chopsticks. Next to him was another intern, who had just explained the real reason for coming to this barbecue.
“Yong lost a bet with me, so he invited us to dinner.”
“Hoeei! What’s with all the talking?”
The Liverpool fan, who had just lost the game, immediately started screaming.
“Before the season’s over, I’ve got a few more dinners to buy. I’d better get used to it, or it’ll be too late to change teams.” Naai raised his eyebrows at his opponent, who was thinking of revenge.
“Okay, okay! I’ll let you off the hook and when I transfer you to production next Monday, you’ll be in for a treat!”
It’s almost time for another round of departmental rotations and next week it’s Kongpop’s turn to go to the Purchasing Department. I don’t know if it’s because of this but this” scheming” guy is doing very well in front of the senior staff in the Purchasing Department.
“I’ll take the bacon test for my sister.”
Somoo smiled sweetly at the sight of such a handsome boy pleasing her and the food became more delicious and in no time she had eaten all the meat on her plate.
“I’ll go get some more bacon.” Kongpop got up and left the table and Somoo took advantage of the opportunity to gather information.
“Hey, Arthit! I want to ask you something.”
He’s putting ice cubes in the glass, then pouring water into it.
“Little Kong went to the same college as you, right? Does little Kong have a girlfriend, do you know?”
Clang! The water spilled out of the glass and the hand accidentally swept the chopsticks to the floor.
“Ah! I’m sorry” he wiped the water off the table with a paper towel, lowered his head and picked up the dropped chopsticks to get a new pair. Even though he didn’t answer, Somoo guessed that he was at a loss for words.
“Huh? Don’t tell me Kong already has a crush on someone, or my heart will break!”
“Somoo! Forget the manly stuff, let’s get this meat out of here. It’s smoking, it’s smelling like my hair!”
Earth flipped the piece of meat, which had been charred to a crisp and had it removed from the oven in a hurry by its owner.
“Uh-oh, it’s over! I’m sorry, Earth.” At that moment, the boy who had been discussed just now returned to his seat.
“I’ve got Arthit’s favorite food.” Kongpop picked up a piece of bacon, put it on the stove, turned it over and roasted it until it was cooked and fragrant and put it one piece after another on Arthit’s plate.
“That’s enough, I’ll cook the rest myself.” Arthit tried to stop it but the man who was taking care of him wouldn’t stop.
“It’s okay, Arthit. Just eat, I know you like it.”
“That’s enough, I’ve had more than enough of this.”
“Let me bake. Guarranteed that you like it anyway.”
“I thought I said that was enough, Kongpop!”
The atmosphere at the table fell silent for a moment. Everyone stared at the man who suddenly snapped at them in surprise.
“I finally believe you used to be a hazer,” Earth whispered.
“I…” Arthit was speechless, not knowing how to diffuse the situation.
“I’m used to being treated like this, when I was in school.” Kongpop cut in and then started a new thread, to distract everyone’s attention.
“By the way, what’s college life like for your brothers and sisters?”
As they roasted the meat, they talked about the past and there was laughter and the atmosphere was once again lively. Arthit could only look at the smiling man beside him in silence.
He didn’t dare to ask if by “habit” he meant a stern rebuke or if he pushed him away, keeping a distance between him and the smiling man “so near but so far away.”
Arthit’s feelings on this phrase became clearer when Kongpop was transferred to the Purchasing Department as an intern. Despite the fact that he was treated with respect and there were no frequent misbehavior, wooing or teasing as usual, Arthit still felt depressed and had trouble concentrating. Sometimes it looked like he was working but in fact he just sat there staring at the screen for several minutes, without moving his fingers, without entering anything.
“Phii Arthit…” the stunned man was startled to hear the big tall man standing by the desk call out to him.
“This Saturday, the next batch of students to be promoted to hazer have a training appointment at the university, would Phii Arthit like to go?”
“Go ahead.” He nodded, trying to appear calm. Kongpop then sat back down and quietly continued working on the catalog. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was so distracted, Kongpop was an “A” level intern – he was able to handle the paperwork with such proficiency and precision that he felt more like an accountant than an engineer and he had a good sense of humility and acceptance, That’s why I’m so happy to see the” food lady” in the Purchasing Department.
“Kong, I’d like to ask you to take this document to Khun Phaka in the Finance Department for me.”
“Yes, Khun Earth.” The intern agreed enthusiastically, took the papers and walked out of the office. After the tall figure left, Arthit breathed a sigh of relief but, hey! Who did Earth sister just ask him to send the file to?
The brilliant intern was probably already on the elevator going down, so he couldn’t hear him but the two ears at the next table could hear him clearly.
“Arthit, what’s the matter, why are shouting so loudly for little Kong?”
“Nothing, nothing at all.” He hid his embarrassment with a smile. One side of his heart was still worried, the other side was worried. Since he hasn’t had time to tell Kongpop how to deal with the ”Queen” of the finance department, he’s afraid that the history of someone in the office will repeat itself with Kongpop.
“Oh, it’s done.” The little foreign-imported angel returned the stack of order forms and Arthit still didn’t forget to double-check.
“It was sent by fax, right?”
“Hmm.” Todd nodded weakly and his eyes, which should have been sparkling with light, became as sleep-deprived as they were exhausted, which worried his colleague.
“Are you okay? Why don’t you go get something to eat on your lunch break later? Man is iron, rice is iron.”
“I don’t know yet, we’ll see.” Todd declined the invitation and returned to his seat, while the rejected man looked at him blankly. Arthit was not the only one who had been acting strangely this week, Todd also seemed to have become a bit of a loner. By the way it’s been a long time since anyone in the Purchasing Department called out “Mr. Sun” like they used to?
Twenty minutes passed. Arthit periodically looked down the front aisle of the office but the kid who had gone to deliver the files hadn’t come back at all. Did he do something wrong, so the exterminators kept talking about him? But it’s no good thinking about it here, so let’s go and see what’s going on.
The worried man walked out of the office, pressed the elevator to go down to the fourth floor but the elevator door opened just at that moment and there was the man he had been waiting for a long time.
“Kongpop, are you okay?”
Arthit was just checking to see if the tall man had lost any skin or flesh. He didn’t know what was going on but without thinking, he replied: “I’m fine.”
“No, I mean, did you see Khun Phaka or not?”
“Oh! Did you say Phii Phaka?”
“Wait a minute! You addressed her as ‘Phii Phaka’?”
Arthit couldn’t believe his ears when he heard that the name had been prefixed with such an intimate personal pronoun.
“That’s what she told me to call her. Well, what’s the matter with Phii Arthit? Why do you ask, as if she wants to cut me to pieces?”
Of course, after all, he was “internally injured” by Ms. Phaka’s” spell”! Could it be that Kongpop saw a different person than he did? But after the first day when Ms. Phaka mocked him for his disrespectful behavior in the company, Arthit searched the roster of all the employees and found that there was only one Phaka in the whole of Ocean Electric. However, this was not the only thing that shocked him.
“By the way, Phaka sent me a little snack. Phaka, you’re so sweet.” Arthit was stunned, as if he had seen the Grand Master subdue the spirits. I want to know what Kongpop’s trick was that he was accepted by the exterminators, leaving him alone and worried like a madman, so embarrassing.
“So what’s up with Phii?”
“No. No, I’ll get back to work then.”
The purchasing engineer turned around and walked back to his office, leaving the bewildered intern in his wake. Kongpop’s eyes followed Arthit’s footsteps, not knowing what he was worried about. He just walked into the finance department as usual, asked which desk was Mrs. Phaka’s, then raised his hand and introduced himself at the meeting.
“My name is Kongpop, I’m an intern in the Purchasing Department and I’ve come to give you the information.”
Then Mrs. Phaka talked to him in a loving tone, told him that she had a nephew in college and gave him a big box of cookies. If there was anything to worry about, for Kongpop, it was the person who had just asked him about it. Kongpop had noticed that when he was walking around the office, Phii Arthit was acting unnatural. Although he was happy to have the opportunity to observe his lover at work, he felt that they were not getting closer.
It probably started from the day he was scolded at the barbecue. He was well aware that Arthit was quite concerned about the opinions of others, especially those in the same company. The outside world had a set code and anyone who broke it was liable to be criticized. That’s different from the university.
The university world is small and limited but it has the advantage that most of the students are teenagers and have the freedom of thought and the ability to quickly accept differences between them. That’s why, as time passed and they returned to their familiar university campus on Saturday morning, the atmosphere between the two of them eased up considerably.
“What does Phii Arthit think of the hazers in training?”
Kongpop stood a few dozen meters away, watching the next class of hazers practicing their slogans on the playground but even so, their neat, booming voices could be clearly heard.
“Well, that’s good. You’ve picked the right person.” Arthit put on his appearance as an engineer in the purchasing department and once again returned to his former position as a teacher, giving advice to his juniors.
“Is there any additional training coming up?”
“Maybe they’ll let the boys practice running, so if they get punished, their feet won’t hurt.”
“Oh, I see. I see, I don’t need to be reminded.” When Kongpop teased him about running 54 laps around the playground, he grinned at him. Despite the angry look on his face, deep down he had to admit that he was more comfortable with Kongpop now than at the company, perhaps because it was a place full of memories, reawakening his old feelings – the freshmen activities; the mechanics class – that he’d been in for a long time. The time when you skipped class; the time when you rode your bike around campus; the time when you were pursued by a freshman and didn’t know it; the time when your heart throbbed.
“Hello, Kongpop and Arthit.” The moment of remembrance was interrupted by the greeting of a short-haired girl, who had just shed her freshman’s naivety and was transforming into a sophomore.
“Ow! Is Khaofang here to rehearse for an amusement event?”
No. 0062 has always been an active member, so it’s the same thing.
“Yes, Phii Kong. I’ve been practicing my dancing and my legs are sore.”
“Take care of your body, don’t work too hard.”
“I know but it’s funny, after becoming a sister, I got a different feeling than when I was a sister.”
Arthit left the space for the nongs who chatted amiably and he remembered something.” I’ll be back in a while.” He said to Kongpop and turned to walk towards a convenience store not far away, to buy some snacks and drinks for his younger siblings who were training hard. As he walked out of the store with his bag full of stuff, he caught a glimpse of an aromatic roast pork shop. Since you’re here, let’s go back and buy some more.
“I’ll have 20 skewers of roast pork.” The barbecue man grabbed the skewers, re-dipped them in the sauce and put them on the grill. The sauce dripped onto the burning coals, raising a cloud of smoke that filled the air.
Arthit choked and coughed, squinted to avoid the smoke and with one hand tried to fan the smoke away. But at that moment a spark of inspiration flashed in his mind. Arthit paused, alternating between looking at the rising smoke and at the roast on the stove. Then there was a ping. Hoeei! That’s right! That’s the idea for the game! He was so excited about the product designs that were floating around in his head, he wanted to find someone to discuss the idea with as soon as possible.
“I’ll have 10 kebabs of roast pork.” Two schoolgirls also ordered roast pork. Judging from their costumes, they were probably engineering students who were rehearsing for an entertainment show and they were chatting away.
“Is 10 bunches enough? Khaofang alone can gobble out five bunches.”
“That’s true. But, where did she go?”
“She said she went to see senior Kongpop.”
“So she’s still in love with Phii Kongpop? Has she confessed to Phii yet?”
“She confessed my love to him at the beach. Falling in love with a senior, is just like a novel!”
A moment ago, Arthit brain was churning with ideas and suddenly it seemed as if it had been unplugged.
“20 kebabs of roast pork, sir? The roast pork is ready.” The man shouted twice before the customer snapped out of it, paid the money, took the bag of roast pork and returned back the way he came. Meanwhile, the man who had come to school with him was looking for him.
“Where has Phii Arthit gone? What did you buy?”
“You can take these to your younger siblings, I’m going home.” He handed over the bag of snacks and roast pork and hurriedly said goodbye, which puzzled Kongpop.
“Oh I’ve just thought of the idea for the competition, so I want to go back and work on it.” Arthit made the excuse that he had to get back before something else distracted his mind and he forgot about the idea. But this excuse didn’t deter the big man.
“Let me help too.” Kongpop decided to address the request directly.
Not sure if he was overreacting but he observed that a gap had been created between him and Phii Arthit. So he tried his best to ease the tension, not wanting to see the distance between them widen any further than it was now. Kongpop once again asked the other with a firm look in his eyes.
“I’ll try my best, just like I did when I was practicing to become a hazer. Let me help Phii Arthit.” Perhaps because this time the attitude was more serious and clearer than ever, Arthit had no other choice but to say yes.
“Alright then.” Kongpop smiled, relieved of the burden on his mind and then he asked an important question.
“What ideas did Phii Arthit come up with?”
“Smokeless grills, that’s a great idea.” After seeing the team’s product design for the competition, Earth immediately praised the idea. Arthit’s idea came from an encounter in a pork barbecue shop, where he was standing in front of a grill and the smoke came up to his face, burning his eyes. He came up with the idea of placing an infrared light gun on the grill to reflect the heat back down, making it easier for the food to cook and a Teflon coating on the grill to prevent sticking, making it easier to flip the food.
“But I still feel that something is missing.” The professional senior sister frowned in thought.
“What is it?”
Arthit too got worried. He had been working on the idea for several days since its inception. In the meantime Kongpop, at his own request, came to work for him. Kongpop was very good at his job, he checked the parameters of each step and this led him to find something suspicious.
“Well, I was more concerned about the plastic frame, so I went looking for information.” The big guy handed over an open catalog for the two seniors to compare.
“This company’s plastic might be useful and at a reasonable price.” The name of the company on the top of the page surprised Arthit. “Pitiphanich Limited”, the company of Mr. Piti who was so devoted to the production of materials that he forgot that he had such a good resource at his disposal.
“Where did you see that?”
“A few days ago Phii Danai asked me to organize the catalogs and I saw it. Did I touch something I shouldn’t have?”
The look on the intern’s face, as if he had made a mistake. Arthit immediately sends his head back up: “No no no! It’s very well done, the plastic from this company is really useful.”
“I’ll take the catalog and make photocopies, then I can attach this page to the presentation.” After that Kongpop went off to take care of the job, with a sharpness unlike that of a regular employee, which even the tough lady in the Purchasing Department had to admit.
“Nong Kong has only been in the Purchasing Department for a short time and already he’s so skilled, he seems to have a lot of authority. If he chooses to continue his internship here, that would be good too.” There are a lot of people who work like a ‘half a bucket of water’, who know a little bit about everything but don’t know much at all. Arthit believes that Kongpop is not only versatile but also has a passion for learning new things. Despite his age difference of two years, Kongpop was so capable that he was sure to be further ahead in the future, maybe even ahead of him, ahead of him. Something in his chest, as if a bucket of cold water had been thrown over his heart and then Earth’s call, brought back his drifting thoughts.
“Arthit, could you please email me the exact specifications of the electric oven.”
“Oh, okay.” He immediately grabbed the mouse, moved and clicked. But then he’s not paying attention and his elbow knocks a pen off the desk.
“Never mind, I’ll pick it up for you.” Phii bent down to pick up the silver pen that had fallen to her side.
She froze and found something.
“It’s coming, Phii Earth.” Arthit turned to tell the tough lady in the Purchasing Department but she gave him a wry smile. The big day of the 13th “Ocean New Wave” competition had finally arrived. Many employees were gathered in front of the conference room, waiting for the judges to let them in to present their achievements. The lively atmosphere filled the space, making even interns like Kongpop, who had not participated in the competition, nervous.
“Ho, what a lot of contestants!”
“Fewer this year, more last year. If it weren’t for you two, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with an idea for the race.” Today, Earth is wearing light makeup, which makes her look like a strong woman and Arthit is wearing a tie, which makes her look more trustworthy. But their shine was overshadowed by a young man in a designer suit with the air of an international model.
“Ow! Todd’s on a team with Phii John, huh?”
She realizes that her rival is the assistant manager with the thick eyebrows. He’s got number 8 on his shirt and he came up to her and taunts her.
“You’re unlucky you didn’t get Todd on your team in the first place. Todd’s idea was so great, he’s going to win again this year for sure!”
“We’ll see about that, John. I’m telling you, our team’s ideas aren’t bad, either.” If eyes could be used in battle, there’d be a lot of bombs around here by now.
“Please welcome group 6.” Their number was called, Arthit took a deep breath, prepared himself and the important man sent him encouragement.
“Go for it!”
He nodded to Kongpop and then walked into the meeting room with Earth. Team 6 spent fifteen minutes presenting their results, then returned to the Purchasing Department looking exhausted. Earth slumped in her chair, dropped her heels and stretched, while Arthit lifted her hand to loosen her tie and get some air. Kongpop hurried to the two men to check on the situation.
“It’s like submitting your thesis in college, not knowing whether you’ll pass or get killed.”
Arthit recalled the moment when the five judges, sitting in rows with stern faces, were throwing questions at them on every aspect of the project, from production materials to product prices, to marketing plans and they were almost overwhelmed but had rehearsed it before, they would have survived safely. He rubbed his temples, trying to shake off the distracting memories. Kongpop looked at his lover’s tense face and tried to comfort him, telling him not to worry but before he could say anything, Earth got to him.
“Okay. You did your best, Ooun.” Hearing the name come out of someone’s mouth, not only Arthit was shocked but Kongpop too was stunned.
“Ho ee? Phii Earth can just call me Arthit!”
The owner of this nickname was super shy and tried to stop it but Sis still wouldn’t stop talking about it.
“Why, Ooun’s pretty cute too.” The ‘truth’ spread and Somoo, who was listening to the conversation with his ears perked up, ran over to join the conversation.
“Hey? So Arthit’s nickname is ‘Ooun’, how cute!”
“Phii Earth, Phii Somoo, I’m begging you don’t call me that!”
Kongpop felt a stabbing pain in his heart as he watched the three seniors joke around with each other. Why was that? Although he tried to behave like a grown-up and become a supporter of Phii Arthit, deep inside he was still like a child who wanted to monopolize Arthit. He wanted to keep the secret of the other person alone and didn’t want to share it with others. However, he didn’t dare to show his selfishness. Just then Manager Danai came out of his office and asked for a favor.
“Who’s free? Can you take this bag of papers to the production department for me?”
“I’ll do it.” The intern volunteered to take the file, faster than anyone else. Then he walks out of the office and does what he’s told.
“Kong is so hardworking and conscientious, if he becomes a regular employee in the Purchasing Department, our department will be bright!”
Somoo brightened up and praised Kongpop.
“Ahem! A regular employee has to be as hardworking as an intern, that’s the way to go. Why don’t I bring him here for an internship, to set an example for you guys?”
The boss cleared his throat,” warned” the chattering group and made the regular staff to disperse and go back to their work. Arthit also slid his chair back to his desk. His eyes, however, were still fixed on the direction in which someone had left. The end of the day was just around the corner and the moment of great anticipation. The results of the 13th” New Wave of the Ocean” competition were announced and posted on the notice board for all to see. The product that won over the judges was the” Smokeless Oven”. However, the names of the winning teams were not Arthit and Earth.
“Yes! Another championship!”
Phii John is cheering happily for another title defense.
“Congratulations to everyone.” General Manager Pairot congratulated himself and the entire Purchasing Department and, as one of the judges, explained the reasons for the selection.
“The smokeless oven in category 6 was actually pretty good but category 8 was cheaper and it was easier to get in touch with suppliers, so I chose Todd and John from category 8 to win.” I ended with a note of encouragement to the contestants: “But no matter who the winner is, it doesn’t matter. I’m proud to have a staff as capable as yourselves!”
“Thank you uncle!”
Even though Todd is the GM’s nephew, he’s also proven that he’s capable and didn’t get there through connections.
Earth showed sportsmanship. Although the concept of a” smokeless oven” was the same, when she looked at the detailed specs, she found that the other group’s electric oven was indeed superior.
“Thanks to Phii Earth. Last time we had a barbecue, Earth complained that the smoke was stinking up our heads. That’s why I came up with the idea for the smokeless grill.” Todd recounted his inspiration, which made the listener’s eyes glaze over.
“Huh? That’s how you got the idea? You’re great!”
The internationally handsome lad accepted the compliment with a smile, his eyes shining brightly again, so he asked smoothly,” By the way, is Phii Earth coming to dinner with us tonight?”
“Yeah! Is Arthit coming to dinner with Todd?”
Earth turned to her close brother and invited him. Phii didn’t seem to notice but Arthit realized at once that the starry eyes, which were shining like stars, had changed.
“Well, I’m… I’m busy.” It’s better to say no.
“Yeah, what a shame.”
“I’ll leave you to it.” said Arthit, putting his things in his bag and leaving the office, not wanting to be the source of the tense atmosphere, as he already had a sneaking suspicion as to why Todd was behaving so strangely during this time. John raised his lips in satisfaction and then walked out of the office to wait for the elevator to descend. Just as the elevator arrived, he saw one of the interns approaching. He was in a good mood, so he pressed the elevator and waited.
“No, I’m going upstairs.”
“Wow.” John shrugged, pressed the elevator and closed the door. And Kongpop, following someone’s text, took the elevator to the top floor of the building. The guy didn’t go back to his dorm, he went to the roof.
“Why are you hiding here?”
“I’m not hiding, I just wanted to see the view.” Arthit stood near the railing at the edge of the roof, staring at the clear evening sky, with the wind blowing in, taking away the fatigue from the days of racing.
“Will Phii Arthit be upset about the competition?”
He gave a little shrug: “I won’t be sad about that but rather happy that what I ‘want’ fits in with what the company ‘needs’.” Then he took his eyes off the view, turned to the man beside him and decided to ask him some questions.
“Tell me about you. You’ve been interning for a while. Which department do you want to stay in?”
“I don’t know”, Kongpop replied frankly.
“Think about it, I want you to stay in the department you like.” From the moment he heard Earth praising Kongpop, the emotion in his chest, wasn’t jealousy of Kongpop’s ability but pride from the bottom of his heart. He wanted Kongpop to choose the road ahead according to his own heart and his own needs.
“Does Phii Arthit still want to work in the production department?”
It seems, however, that the big guy cares more about his feelings.
“Of course I do but that doesn’t mean I won’t get another chance.” That was a very frank answer. Before reaching the finish line, it was okay to take a little detour, because Arthit understood that any experience was teaching him to grow.
“Wherever Phii Arthit works, he will do well there. I am sure of that.” Kongpop was confident of this, as he had seen how dedicated the purchasing engineer had been. However, Arthit made a face at him.
“You don’t have to give me a praise. You’re not bad, you’re good at your job, you’re easy to talk to, you have a sunny disposition, no wonder you’re loved by everyone.” What was meant to be a serious compliment turned into a sarcastic one, so that the person listening to it caught a whiff of it.
“Is Phii Arthit jealous of me?”
“Hoeei! Why do you think that!”
I want to blow my brains out! The high tone of the denial and the deepening of suspicion.
“I don’t have anyone else, Arthit trusts me.” Despite the reassurance, he turned his face away, pretending not to care.
“I also have a question for Phii Arthit.” It’s Kongpop’s turn to be more serious.
“Why does Earth-san know that Phii Arthit’s nickname is ‘Warm’?”
Arthit sighed and took something out of his satchel.
“You said it was because of who!”
In fact, it was a fountain pen engraved with I-AOON that Kongpop had given him and now it was the physical evidence that everyone knew the nickname. Arthit narrowed his eyes at the other, seemed to notice something wrong and immediately asked back,” Are you jealous of me too?”
“Isn’t Phii Arthit lying too?” Neither of them was convinced, until Kongpop made an offer.
“So can I address Phii Arthit in the same way as Phii Earth?”
The pleaded man thought for a moment and after much deliberation agreed.
“Fine. But I’ll only let you say it once.” Hearing his nickname come in the wind, hit him right in the heart and Arthit realized, ‘once’ was already too much. “I love you, Ooun” for just a second, thinking it was already… Two hearts, far apart, are beating at the same rate. We get angry at each other, we get jealous of each other and we get back together again. Sometimes emotion overcomes reason but in the end, when we understand what is more important, we are ready to adjust and come back to each other.
“You cant even say it properly, what a shame”, muttered the white-collar guy, turning his reddened face to the sky. The trainee was smiling slightly.