Lost in Taipei: Chapter 23

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lost in taipei chapter 23 up close and personal

Up Close And Personal

In the hectic office, where the hum of productivity filled the air, Ming stood out as a distinctive figure among his friends and colleagues. Unlike Peng, who often sought the spotlight, Ming preferred the opposite. He wasn’t one to brag about his talents or achievements; instead, he quietly went about his work, considering every detail with care and precision.

Ming’s coworkers admired his considerate nature. He often went out of his way to help others without expecting anything in return. While he appeared reserved, those with the privilege of knowing him could see the genuine kindness beneath the surface. He was the one who would discreetly leave a supportive note on a stressed colleague’s desk, offering encouragement during challenging times.

Unlike Peng’s boisterous laughter, Ming’s humor was subtle, delivered with a gentle smile that could brighten anyone’s day. Ming knew how to turn ordinary moments into cherished memories, whether sharing a quiet lunch break or listening when someone needed to vent.

Ming had quirks too, like his love for classic literature, and his eyes lit up when discussing his favorite books. He sincerely appreciated life’s simple pleasures, like sipping tea on a rainy day or watching the sunrise on a quiet morning.

Ming was intricate, blending athleticism with a deep connection to nature. He thrived on challenges that tested his physical endurance, often spending weekends hiking rugged mountain trails and cycling along scenic routes. 

This athleticism was just one facet of Ming’s complex personality. He emanated an enigmatic mix of introversion and warmth, rarely granting access to his inner world. However, if you managed to gain his trust and friendship, Ming would invite you to explore the depths of his soul.

As Ming prepared for his upcoming sales meeting, he couldn’t help but survey the bustling office, his attention inevitably drawn to Charlie, who was busy handling different projects simultaneously. His time getting to know Charlie had been a revelation, despite initially thinking that Charlie might go out of his way to assert his Americanness to everyone in the office.

While their first interaction was rocky, it was almost enchanting how their subsequent exchanges flowed effortlessly. Ming appreciated how Charlie gradually revealed his authentic self, complete with his endearing clumsiness, leaving Ming eager to see Charlie for reasons beyond his comprehension.

As the day at the office was winding down, and the rest of the team had already departed for the evening, Ming and Charlie found themselves working late. They were determined to catch up on pending tasks and get a head start on the workload awaiting them the next day. 

Ming decided to wrap up today’s work after completing his final sales proposal. As he packed his briefcase, he noticed Charlie still diligently engrossed in his tasks. In this quiet environment, Ming felt the need to go to Charlie and ask how his day was going.

Ming quietly approached Charlie’s desk and softly said, “Hey, Charlie, still hard at work?” Surprised at the unexpected voice, Charlie swiftly looked up to find Ming standing there. After regaining his composure, Charlie smiled and replied, “Oh, hi, Ming. I’m wrapping up some reports before the New York office hours begin. How’s your day shaping up?”

Ming responded, “Not too bad, Charlie. It was a typical busy day filled with meetings with new customers while making sure we meet our existing clients’ needs within the terms of our contracts.”

With a friendly expression, Charlie replied, “You know, Ming, I truly value the dedication of our sales team, connecting with new leads and successfully closing deals for the company. This paves the way for our marketing team to work their magic and support various marketing initiatives, helping our clients reach their goals. We’re all in this together. It’s truly a partnership and a collaboration involving everyone in the company. Anyway, I apologize for going on about work. It’s been quite a demanding day.”

Ming smiled, “Charlie, no need to apologize. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about partnerships at work. I can hear the passion in your voice, and it’s great to know that you value teamwork. Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to collaborate in the future. Speaking of my endless meetings today, I’ve just acquired a new client based in Tamsui, a picturesque seaside district near New Taipei. I need to visit their site to finalize some contract details. If you have the time, would you like to join me in exploring Danshui Friday afternoon?”

Charlie was flattered by Ming’s invitation to join him on what was ostensibly a “business” visit but really an excuse to show Charlie around Taipei, as they had discussed before. Charlie also felt a sense of relief, knowing that this arrangement provided a comfortable context for their time together. It wouldn’t be considered a date but more of a business-related hangout without any expectations.

“Ming, thank you for the invite, and a trip to Tamsui sounds lovely. I’ll check my Friday schedule to confirm if I can make it.”

“Sounds like a plan, Charlie. I’m off, and remember not to burn the midnight oil,” Ming said with a friendly wave as he made his way to the front door.

As Charlie prepared to conclude a busy day, his phone suddenly came to life, ringing unexpectedly. Charlie’s eyes widened as he wondered who could call at such a late hour, only to discover that Peng had been trying to reach Charlie since yesterday.

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