Ever-Snow Company - Chapter 4
** Warning: very slight description of gore at the end.
When our eyes met
When our eyes met, I saw her face, and I’m thinking, worrying, muddling
– Look into those eyes (Song) by Danupol Kaewkarn
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! – Rattiphat
On the morning of my first day at work, there was heavy rain all over Bangkok, the new pristine shirt, which I have just taken out of the package as a celebration of finally getting a job, got soaking wet. Before I left my apartment, I gathered the washed dishes into a bag that I hung on the doorknob of my next-door neighbor. Aunty Toi who lives on the other side looks at me with a weird expression as if I am a bulgar who is going to steal something.
Even if I am very broke, I also have no dignity, alright! – cough, just kidding, why would I try to rob my next-door neighbor who doesn’t seem to be any richer than me? Doesn’t seem worth it at all! If I’m going to do it, I would go for a place that I could get a lot of money in one go!
Somehow, I end up listening to aunt Toi’s story of senior Jang who used to live next door. Turns out she eloped with some man, and this young man ending up renting this room after her. Aunty Toi has tried really hard to get some juicy secret out of the smiling young man but could not get him to talk at all, so she decides to turn to me to help her investigate. I can only agree half-heartedly before I took a bus into the city.
I gazed out of the bus window to the grey sky outside… feeling helpless with the thought that I would have to get up at 5 A.M. and commute into the city every day from now on in order to not be late for work. I could not take a taxi and Skytrain every day since that would deplete my wallet real fast, so I could only settle to get up early and take the bus.
While stuck on the bus, I take out my phone to make a call to a number that I can remember vividly enough to dial blindfold by now… The number of my number one consultant, “Hi, Nung.”
The noise from the other side of the call seems muddled as if still half asleep, I hurriedly report before he can start insulting my ancestor for waking him up this early “I finally got a job… Today I am going to work for the first day.”
And with that, the sleepyhead is immediately wide-eyes awake. His voice sounds so excited that I can’t help but let out a chuckle. At that moment, a middle school student with a big school bag gets on the bus, so I get up and give him a seat while grabbing the handrail instead. “Um… E – S Company, you have never heard of it? Me neither, hahaha. Yeah, I know, I’ll work hard, alright?”
The other side continues to preach to me about working in a company for a while before I can find the chance to change the subject. “By the way, I met O yesterday. He turned into a beer belly man, with a bald head too, can you believe it? Hahaha… yeah, right, you should watch out for your head too.”
We talked about many things from the old-times, some stories made me laugh out loud and other people on the bus all turned to look at me. I try to tone down my voice, afraid that I will make the tired metropolitan people that are sleeping with their head swaying wake up and yell at me. There is an old lady whose age can be a grandmother who is now looking at me with contempt. Alright, I understand that I might not be talking in a flower language . In the end, I decided to settle for walking to stand at another spot instead.
After passing through the 1 hour spent stuck in the traffic and Nung excusing himself to go back to sleep after the first 20 minutes leaving me hanging on the bus handrail looking at the traffic jam, I finally arrived at the front of the same building from yesterday.
“The first day of work, here I come!!”
I walk inside in the exact same path, the only difference is that today I have a green card saying ES Company in the white letters for an employee to use temporarily around my neck. The rain seeped from my soaking shirt into my underwear which made me feel really uncomfortable, fortunately, I received an eyesore colored towel from the beautiful sister at the reception to wipe my head.
I wait for the underground train inside the company just like yesterday, there are several people who are also waiting in front of me, who also look similarly like a wet dog. While I’m standing in a daze, a hand suddenly grabs at my shoulder making me jump.
“Wah, er, hello… ” I hurriedly raised my hand to wai the man in glasses whose name starts with letter K… who I met in the interview room yesterday… What is his name again?
While I plaster a smile on my face, my head running a mile a minute trying to decide how to call my new boss, a voice of my lifesaver sounds from the distance. “Bosssssssssss! Oh, Elder bro Phat?”
“Good morning Mr. Yu. Do you also know Mr. Phat?” My handsome boss turns to smile at Sadayu who is nodding to the boss in lieu of greeting with no respect for superior at all. “He was my senior in school, boss.”
Today, Yu is wearing a t-shirt in an eyesore pink with the word ‘I’m Geek’ screen printed on, a pair of very tight-fitting jeans, and a white HERMES belt. This fashion… are you dressing for work or for a shopping trip at Siam Paragon mall? I try to give Yu the stinky eyes, but he seems to not understand my meaning and look at me from head to toes before bursting into a laugh. “HAHAhahah, bro, I was going to ask you yesterday, why are you dressing up so nerdy? If you add a pair of glasses and brush down you bang to the front it would be perfect.”
“…” I slowly turn to the third person who continues to smile.
“In the IT department, you can wear whatever you like to work. If you want to wear just a boxer brief and is not caught by the police on the way to work for indecent exposure then you can also do that.”
“….” No thanks, I dare not … I’m not that shameless. But at least I can say goodbye to the middle-age man shirt now. Sob.
I repeated yesterday’s process of getting off the train and taking the elevator. Outside of the glass, the view is still the same beautiful garden, but this time, my destination is the 9th floor that I wished for before. On the way, Yu continues to chatter, pointing out each different department and chitchat like a talkative boy that he is. I was amused by his antics until we finally reached the door of the ‘IT department.’
“Hehe, after you, boss.” Yu made a show of gesturing with his hand to the door. The boss laughs, before walking up to open the door. “Welcome to the IT department, Mr. Phat.”
Once the door with the sign ‘IT Department’ is opened, I can feel my jaw drop. “Wow….”
“The front area is for receiving guests, there is a bell to ring here.” The boss points at the wooden counter at the front, then at the button near the door. Behind the counter at the front is an open-floor working space with a small enclosure separating each table proportionally. Instead of the wallpaper, there is a big whiteboard covering almost the entire sidewall with some notes and squiggles spread on them.
Most importantly, looking out from the window of this floor is the view of the sky and the opposite building which sits quite far away and If I look down a little, I can see the garden with the big pond. What beautiful scenery.
But then, I pause when I noticed that of more than 10 tables in this room, there is only one that is occupied, while the others are left empty.
“Um… The whole department?”
“There is you, Mr. Yu, and Mr. Nop over there.” Boss points to the blond-haired man with a pair of glasses who has just raised his head from the computer screen. “We also have Mrs. Waan before, but she is on maternity leave right now.”
“… Is that it?” I repeatedly blink.
“We are trying to recruit for more right now, but it is really hard to find people who fit the requirement,” Boss said smilingly, making me try to telepathically ask him what kind of qualification a person with a 2.00 GPA, took 8 years to graduate, and answer all the interview questions like an elementary kid like me can pass?
“Alright, I trust the two of you to look after Mr.Phat. I have a meeting to attend soon, if there is any issue, please call me then.” With that, my handsome boss gives us a goodbye wave. I glance at the redhead who comes in with me, who puts down his backpack at a table which is filled with… snacks. So this is your table, man? No wonder. Opposite from Yu is the desk of that foreigner… What is his name again? I can’t remember. I only know that he is now looking at me with his clear blue eyes which make all my hair rise.
“My name is Nopparat, nice to meet you.” The blondy foreigner speaks in a perfect Thai accent. With clear pronunciation of the letter ‘r’  that put me, the real Thai to shame. “I’m Rattiphat, you can call me Phat for short. Er…”
While I am hesitating whether to call him ‘senior’ or ‘junior,’ Yu suddenly pipes up.
“No need to worry, bro. In this room, besides the boss, you are the most ancient old man here.”
“…” and why must you specifically point that out! Do you want a Nobel prize for freedom of speech, huh? But when I’m just about to turn and glare at Yu, he let out an “Ah!” as if knowing his own predicament. “I just remember that I forgot to get you a computer from the supplies division! I’ll be right back!!” and with that, Yu immediately slide away, leaving me with the blond foreigner.
“You can call me Nop. Mr. Phat.” He said while standing up, before leading me to the smaller room with a bed and a closet. Inside the room, there is also a door that leads to the bathroom with a shower. Nop opened the closet and grabbed me a towel, probably noticed that the towel which was given to me by those sisters at the reception desk has long since become extremely sodden. “Here, a new one. You can help yourself with the clothes in the closet.”
I thanked him while receiving the towel before Nop excused himself to go back to his work. I evaluate Nop in my mind, a little cold, but probably an alright guy.
I turn my eyes back to the closet, which is filled with oversize white shirts on one side while the other is filled with colorful t-shirts which hurt my teeth to look at. Presumably from the size, these sides of clothes belong to Yu. I poke at the pile of neatly folded clothes at the bottom of the closet, also in eyesore color. Judging from the size, there is probably only a slim man like Yu who can fit them. If I try, I would definitely get stuck since trying to pull it past my shoulder. “… Why do you only have this style of clothes?”
“Hi, bro.” Yu pops his head into the room while I am picking one of the more colorful shirts out from Nopparat’s side. If Yu clothes are all in an overly colorful tone, the clothes that belong to Nopparat are all plain and simple, with colors either grey or ashen and black slack pants. If I wear those, I would really look like a middle-aged uncle. Yu moves closer to open the drawer below the closet. “Underwears are in here. Don’t worry, these are all new. Sometimes we have a project and have to pull an all-nighter at the company, so we have all these things here.”
I laugh, clearly imagine the picture in my mind. Yu throws me a bottle of shampoo. “Here, take the new bottle. The one in the shower is empty. If there is anything else you need, just shout for me. I’ll be right outside.”
“Yeah, you can go.” I grab some clothes and walk into the toilet, thinking back when I was still in university. I pulled a lot of all-nighters to finish projects, sometimes taking a turn to sleep with my friend. Once I finish my part, I would use my feet to joint my friend awake and then go to sleep. Sometimes I didn’t shower for days. Once the project is done, we all sleep like dead, and then rinse, repeat.
“Hey, bro, I brought your computer here already. Do you want me to set it up for you?” Yu shout from the outside.
“Nah, no need. I’ll do it myself.” I yelled back.
After I have taken a shower, I get busy setting up my brand new computer. admiring the airly new model, before installing some basic programs that I will need to use. Meanwhile, Yu joking said that usually in another company, you will have the IT department setting up your computer for you, but since we are the IT department, we have to set up our computers by ourselves, no argument.
While I’m working on setting up my computer, Yu gets a phone call requesting him to go somewhere. I ended up looking spiritlessly at my screen, waiting for programs to install. After sitting like a mute for a while, I can’t stand the silence and start asking some questions to my expression facing college who sit opposite to Yu. “What are our duties here, normally?”
Nopparat brings out a folder from his desk. “These are the brief details of what we do, Mrs. Waanna… who is on maternity leave made these. You can study them.” I accept the folder and start looking through them.
A moment later, Nopparat calls me gain. “I have created your user ID, you can set the password.”
I walk over to his desk and type in my password while Nopparat continues to explain. “This ID login has authorization equal to system administration. You can access all of our systems. Please make sure you don’t accidentally delete anything. If you need the backup of something, please look into the backup server IP…” I write everything down into my notebook. “I’ll send you the list later, for now, let me make you an email account.”
I nodded and asked for a few more details that I don’t understand. Nopparat is very patient, and slowly explains everything in a dull tone. Even if some of my questions sound very stupid, he still answers them expressionlessly. “How long have you been working here?”
“Since when I graduated…” and then he tells me the name of a well-known university in the middle of the city. “I applied to intern here since my second year, and started working full-time here immediately after I graduated.”
Before I can ask anything else, the phone on Nopparat’s table rings. He picks up the call and replies for a short while before hanging up and turning back to me. “I am called to the server room. I’ll have to excuse myself first… That phone is the central phone of our department. To connect your call to me, press this…” and then he proceeds to explain to me how the internal phone works, which I note it all down. After that, Nopparat left in a hurry. leaving me sitting dumbly in the quiet office all alone by myself.
I sit back down and resume the process of installing necessary programs while secretly opening my phone and check on my farm . Fortunately, the internet of this company does not block Facebook like some other company out there. While I am watering my crops, a shrill voice of my department phone rings.
“!!” I jumped in fright, slowly moving closer to the phone like a bomb-disarming robot. The orange voice blinking on the screen of the office phone shows a string of initials. I squint my eyes trying to read them… PR…. I stood there indecisively for a while, before picking up the phone. “IT department speaking.”
“Can you come help with something please?” Sweet, feminine voice sound. I asked her for the floor and department, before leaving the office, not forgetting to leave a note for Yu.
The person on the other side of the line told me that she is in G building. I found out after I had taken the elevator down to the ground floor and asked the security guard for the direction that I need to take the elevator up again to the top floor which has a skywalk that connects the buildings. At first, I thought that the path would not be that far away, but looking at the building that the security guard uncle pointed out which is quite far away… Actually it is a walkable distance… but the sun… the burning sun that shone down is too cruel for this Rattiphat.
“Actually, after taking the skywalk, you would also need to detour another inner building to reach G building. It’s quite far, and the sun is hot too.” The security uncle told me with a smile after seeing my expression of horror while looking at the sunburn path… It was raining just this morning, why is the sun so bright now? The weather in Thailand is really… Sob.
“Is there no golf cart or something else?” I asked, the uncle laughed and shook his head.
“Believe me, it’s better for you to go there by the Skytrain instead. You would probably get a sunburn by this rate… Oh, the stop is ‘Kailash ’ station.”
I wanted to bravely say that a real man is not afraid of a little sunlight, but looking at the terrifyingly glaring light, I changed my mind and accepted the advice of the security uncle. Accepting the life of an office dandy and took the elevator to the floor of the Skytrain. What kind of company is this again? Having both an underground train and Skytrain inside? This is not some kind of wonderland in a cartoon, right? Moreover, we are in the middle of Bangkok city, and last I remember, I am not a protagonist… or cannon-fodder in any cartoon either. (Calling myself a protagonist might be a bit too narcissistic.)
While I am enjoying the view outside of the elevator that is slowly going upward, I suddenly flinch. “!!”
Something fell down from above, right in front of my eyes!
The picture that passed through my eyes earlier is the sight of a figure with deformed limbs twisting in all directions like a doll which has been crushed until distorted. Broken bones pierce out from the deep gaping wounds on its skin. Worse still… its red, bulging, void of any light directly met with my own.
Back then, I did not realize that this moment is just the beginning of the story of my long long night.
… The night that will change my life forever.
 ‘Nung’ means ‘One’ in Thai, this is a nickname.
 In Thai, we have a different pronoun that is often used when conversing between friends, which is also used when insulting other people, and is what Phat is using when talking to Nung. Older people tend to disapprove of this way of speaking since it sounds rude. In general, pronouns in Thai varied from formality, gender, and the age of the speaker.
 The name of guava or ‘ฝรั่ง’ in Thai is used as slang to call foreigners.
 Phat is trying to speak English but in the Thai karaoke of English kind of way.
 The letter ‘r’ in Thai is pronounced similar to ‘r’ and ‘rr’ is Spanish.
 This farm means a farming game on Facebook, the author does not specifically write the name of the game.
 Mount Kailash, located in India (Chomputaweep), a part of Himalayas Mountain range.
If you are interested this is the song at the title >> Look into those eyes<< and this is the song in the title of the third chapter >>Destiny<<. Old Thai music is fun, I especially like the song Destiny, try listen to it in >Violin<
*With a serious face* This is a comedic novel. Do not mistake it for a horror novel❤️.
I listened to a lot of Danupol Kaewkarn songs while writing this novel, mostly trying to find some part to put them in the novel, which I did not.
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