Chapter 5

Chenle & Mark: Not a Love Story

"Mark. You've been glued on your phone like all week man. Still haven't received a call from the company?"

 

"None yet man. I am starting to lose some hope, you know. What will happen to me if I don't get the job? I don't want to be anywhere else other than NCT."

 

"I understand NCT is the #1 tech company in our country but there are still other tech companies out there who will be more than willing to take you on board. You're one of the best students in our batch. You'll find your place in the industry in no time."

 

"Not to brag but I know that. It's just...if I want to be the best, then I need to learn from the best first. NCT is the best stepping stone."

 

"Look Mark ~" The conversation is starting to get heated up.

 

"Look Jeno. This is my life. Let me deal with this. You don't have to shower me with whatever positive words you have on your sleeves. Just let me be like this, for now. Alright?"

 

The tension in the room got heavier. Jeno looked at Mark with apologetic eyes while muttering, "I'm sorry." Mark didn't respond.

 

"I'll just go out and grab some lunch. Text me if you want me to buy you anything. I'll let you cool down for a while," Jeno grabbed his cap and headed out to the door.

 


 

"Chenle I got some bad news." Jisung looked at his best friend worriedly.

 

"What is it Jisung?"

 

"One of our accepted applicants declined just now. He's no longer available for the job. What do we do? He's the best among the ones we hired. We couldn't just let him go like that."

 

"We can, Jisung. Because he's not our property, to begin with. Where are the wait-listed applicants? Isn't this the purpose of that list?" Annoyance can be heard from Chenle's voice. Jisung brought out the folder containing the wait-listed applicants. They reviewed them once again.

 

"Call him. He's hired," instructing Jisung while pointing out to the resume he least expected to be picked.

 

"Him? We both agreed before that he might not do well in a team since most of his answers during the interview were self-centric."

 

"I know. But I would like to give him a chance. Besides, he plays basketball. That's a team sport."

 

"He could only be playing basketball alone or on his playstation for all we know. Chenle, are you okay?"

 

"What do you mean Jisung? I am perfectly fine."

 

"Nothing. It's just that I know how perfectionist you are. But giving this boy a chance to be part of our team is quite a detour of that image I know of you."

 

"Well, things change, I guess."

 

"Huh. Alright. If you say so. I'll ask the secretary to give him a call to say he's hired." Jisung went out of the room to do as he said.

 


 

Back in Jeno's house, Mark is still lying on the couch staring at his phone. He just couldn't make himself put it down, afraid that he might miss something very important. All of a sudden, he received a call from an unknown number. He took a deep breath before answering it. He heard a woman speak on the other line.

 

"Yes, this is Mark Lee speaking. May I know who this is please?" The woman explained the purpose of her call. Mark covered his mouth with his other free hand after hearing the message.

 

"Are you sure? Oh my god. Yes, I will be there tomorrow morning. Thank you so much. Thank you thank you." The call ended with Mark still in shock.

 


 

"Kindly wait in this room Mr. Lee." Mark nodded in thanks to the lady that assisted him. There are 9 other people inside the room. All of whom have the same nervous expression on their faces. Mark sat at the far end of the table trying to avoid anybody's gaze. He's not really the sociable type of person. Even when he plays basketball, he prefers to do shooting alone. The only person he can consider a friend is actually Jeno. That's right Jeno. They haven't talked since their little heated conversation yesterday. He hasn't mentioned to him also that he got the job at NCT. "I'll just talk to him when I get back to his house later."

 

He was snapped out of his own little bubble of thought when two men entered the room. Everyone stood to bow and greet the CEO and COO.

 

"Good morning Mr. Zhong and Mr. Park."

 

Chenle replied by gesturing everyone to take their seats. “Good morning. First of all, me and Jisung would like to welcome each of you to NC Technology. You, among a number of applicants, have been chosen to be part NCT’s newest and by far biggest project. Before we officially begin explaining what the project is all about, let’s start off with a brief introduction of yourself. I’ll start. I am NCT’s CEO, Chenle Zhong. And I will be overseeing and spearheading this whole project.” The eyes of the newly hired employees widened in surprise.

 

Jisung introduced himself next, “Good morning everyone. I am NCT’s COO, Jisung Park. I will be co-heading alongside Mr. Zhong for this project. You all looked surprised but you heard us right. Me and Chenle will be your direct supervisors starting this day.”

 

Mark’s jaw dropped while thinking, “Am I freaking lucky or what? Chenle and Jisung are gonna be directly my bosses. The road to CEO Mark Lee is going to be easier than I thought.”

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