Coffee Stain and Serendipity
In the following days, Charlie busied himself with transforming his rental space into a cozy home for his extended stay. He ventured to the nearby Seven-Eleven convenience store, selecting essential items such as toilet paper, water, and canned food to stock his pantry. Simultaneously, Charlie tried to prepare himself for the upcoming work at the Taipei branch office, mentally grappling with the reality of being in a new environment devoid of familiar faces, expecting the unexpected.
To help Charlie’s first day in the office, he stopped by Starbucks (luckily, there was one close to his place) to get caffeinated before the start of a long day. He ordered his usual drink—an iced cold venti Americano—and readied to get to work, relying on Google Maps to steer the unfamiliar streets of Taipei.
Charlie’s command of Mandarin was limited, leaving him feeling somewhat inadequate in his native land. The language barrier posed a challenge as he struggled to translate the names of the roads and find his way to the office.
Lost in his phone, trying to figure out the directions to his office, Charlie was completely unaware of the person standing in his path. In unfortunate timing, he collided with this tall, muscular guy. The impact sent Charlie’s cold coffee cascading onto the stranger’s crisp blue dress shirt, leaving an unsightly stain in its wake. Shocked, Charlie quickly snapped out of his distracted state, realizing the unintended consequence of his carelessness.
“I am so sorry,” Charlie uttered in his rusty Mandarin.
Their eyes met in that unexpected collision, and Charlie’s heart sank as he saw the annoyance in the stranger’s eyes. He quickly realized the extent of the inconvenience he had caused, his face red with embarrassment. Apologizing profusely, Charlie scrambled to find a napkin or anything to clean up the spilled coffee with his hands full.
“I am fine. Try to be more careful the next time,” the stranger replied, letting out a frustrated sigh, and brushed off Charlie’s apology with a curt nod.
The man standing before Charlie possessed a striking handsomeness. He had a well-defined facial structure, with high cheekbones that added to his manly appearance. His dark, lustrous mane complemented his features, framing his face with a touch of sophistication, with an athletic build that added to his overall allure. The encounter left Charlie feeling even more flustered, which was not a great way to start the day.
The enigmatic stranger abruptly left before Charlie could gather his thoughts and compose himself. It happened in an instant, leaving Charlie momentarily dazed and perplexed. He stood there, frozen, with his half-filled cup of iced coffee clutched in one hand and his phone in the other, his mind still processing the unexpected encounter. The bustling street seemed to carry on as usual, oblivious to the brief but impactful moment that had just transpired.