Nanon has been suffocated from his work for a couple of weeks now. He’s been in the industry for a year but he’s not making any progress nor is satisfied with his work. Is he still happy with what he’s doing?
One night after work, Nanon goes to the convenience store to buy his very late dinner. He sits on an empty chair while he stares at the dark skies. It has always been like this, going out from work exhausted but dissatisfied. How can he live another day if he feels this way?
The convenience store door chimes, indicating the arrival of someone else. Nanon couldn’t care less, as this is a public place that anyone can go to.
What Nanon doesn’t expect is the steps that he hears coming near to his side. He looks up and finds a man smiling at him.
The man opens the can of beer he’s holding, “Not to sound like a creep but I’ve been seeing you every night here and you always look so stressed,” He offers the beer to Nanon, “A can of beer won’t hurt, right?”
Nanon, mesmerized by the smile of the man in front of him, accepts the beer, “Thanks. I’m Nanon.”
The man chuckles, “I didn’t expect an introduction but I’m Ohm. Nice to meet you, Nanon. I’m glad you accepted the beer.”
Nanon smirks, “You said it yourself, a can of beer won’t hurt.” Instead of gulping down his can of soda, Nanon gulps the beer Ohm has offered, “So are you lonely today, too?”
Ohm gasps, “H-how did you know?”
Nanon chuckles, as if a weight from his chest was lifted, “You won’t offer a drink to a complete stranger and sit beside them in a convenience store, Ohm.”
Ohm sips from his can, “Well, you’re right. I’ve always felt so lonely. I go here every night just to buy random stuff just to ease the loneliness.” Ohm looks at him, “And to see you here almost every night made me want to approach you. Do you wanna talk about it?”
Nanon puts down the can on the table and sighs, “Do you know the feeling of not being happy with what you do anymore? I mean, even the satisfaction, I can’t feel it. It’s as if I'm just trying to suck things up and just wait for the day to end.”
Nanon recalls the cycle he’s been in since he moved out from his family and started working in a different city. During his first week of work, he thought he’ll be happy and content. As someone who can finally provide for himself and his family, he should feel proud for himself. But he isn’t. He can’t. Even though he’s in his dream job and dream company, he can’t find the satisfaction he’s looking for.
“You know, regardless of being in your dream job and company, if the working environment suffocates you, you can’t grow.” Ohm smiles sadly, “You should be in a working environment that lets you grow and mature as a worker. People, too, should help you get your ass up, not bring you down. Even if you have your family as your motivation, it doesn’t suffice for having a motivating surrounding.”
It’s as if cold water is splashed over Nanon’s face after Ohm says those words. Nanon’s right, how can he grow in an environment where they do nothing but drag people down?
Upon realizing the validation of what he feels, Nanon breaks into tears. Finally, somebody can understand how he feels. And finally, he’s got someone to talk to about it. He covers his face, not wanting to show Ohm how horrible he looks when he cries.
“Hey, it’s okay. You don’t have to hide it from me. You’re just a human being with emotions. You can cry all you want.” Ohm caresses Nanon’s back, “Cry all you want, Nanon. I’m here until you feel better.”
For a couple of minutes, Ohm and Nanon just became silent. It’s a comfortable silence that Nanon has never felt in a long time. Nanon sits up straight, making Ohm flinch.
Ohm smiles, “Feeling better?” Nanon nods, “I’m glad.” Nanon points out the uneaten ramen and corn dog on the table, “They’re getting cold, Nanon. Aren’t you going to eat?”
Nanon chuckles, “I completely forgot about my food.” He offers Ohm the corn dog, “Here, take this. It’s my payment for the beer and the company.”
Ohm gladly accepts it, “Are you sure you’re giving me this? Aren’t you hungry?”
Shaking his head, Nanon begins to eat his almost cold ramen, “I’m good with ramen. Go on, eat up.”
While they are eating, Ohm asks Nanon various questions like how’s work, what or where he works for and such. Nanon engages with him without hesitation. As crazy as it may sound, Nanon feels comfortable to share a part of himself to the (not so) stranger in front of him.
A sound from the phone interrupts the two, Ohm picks it up and sees the alarm he has set, “Oh! I should be heading back. I didn’t notice the time.” Ohm stands up and picks up some of his things, “It’s getting pretty late.” He offers his hand to Nanon for a handshake, “I hope you’ll have a better day tomorrow.”
Nanon accepts Ohm’s hand, “You, too. Thank you so much for the beer and the company, Ohm. It really meant a lot.” Nanon doesn’t want to let Nanon’s hand go, as if he found a sense of security from it. But because he doesn’t want to be labeled as a creep, Nanon lets it go.
They bid goodbye to each other then Ohm leaves Nanon. For the first time in his life since he moved to the city, Nanon found comfort. For the first time after so long, Nanon got a companion through Ohm.
Nanon hopes he can meet Ohm again.
At least that night, for sure, there are two less lonely people.