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Misadventures of Sasithorn Phayakorn by Chantra

Misadventures of Sasithorn Phayakorn

1

We'll Use My Name

1

0

Koh Tai's coast, once a tranquil paradise had transformed over the years. The bay now greeted its visitors with patches of frothy pollution and drifting plastic waste. Here, the Mekong River spilled its stories into the Gulf of Thailand, and the students of Sangthip University often gathered to study.


On the first floor of the Koh Tai Hall, amidst a hum of chatter and the scent of brewed coffee, a young woman named Sasithorn "Sasi" Phayakorn leaned so close to her laptop screen that her breath fogged the glass.


Her fingers were poised over the keyboard as she deciphered the data for her environmental science project.


"Do you really want to hand this in, Sasi?" Patcharaporn "Pat" glanced up from her own stack of textbooks, her expression a blend of skepticism and concern.


Silence.


Pat's eyes narrowed. Sasi’s gaze was fixed intently on the numbers and charts displayed on her screen. Beside her, a stack of Thai baht notes sat neatly organized.


“Seriously, Sasi, are you just going to ignore the professor’s directive and turn in another project on the rising temperature of the Gulf?”


Still, no response.


Pat sighed and stood up, waving a hand in front of Sasi’s face. “Earth to Sasi! Did you hear me?”


Sasi blinked and looked up, the momentary confusion in her eyes giving way to a bright, triumphant smile.


“Oh, hey Pat. Look at this—I just calculated our earnings from the last week. We’ve made a small fortune!”


Pat rolled her eyes, exasperated.


“I’m talking about your project, not your side hustle. The professor wants us to cover impactful topics, and you’re here talking about the ocean’s temperature?”


“Pat,” Sasi leaned back  “do you know what makes up more than 70% of the Earth’s surface?”


“Yeah, the ocean. But that’s not the point—”


“And do you know what’s rapidly changing due to climate impact?” Sasi continued


“Sure, the ocean, but—”


“So, reporting on the ocean’s temperature is crucial. How is it not impactful?”


Pat shook her head, laughing softly.


“You always have a way of twisting things to your advantage. What’s the third question?”


“The third question, is why aren’t you as excited about our financial success as you are about my coursework?”


Pat paused. “Wait, did we collect all the payments for this week’s deliveries?”


Sasi nodded vigorously.


“Almost. We still need to get the last installment from Nida. Remember? The one who’s been paying us to deliver those mysterious love letters?”


Pat’s face broke into a wide smile.


“Right! She’s supposed to give us the final payment today. Let’s go find her.”


By day, Sasi was a dedicated student, but by night, she was the CEO of Sasi Express, a rapidly growing delivery service catering to the unique and often bizarre needs of Sangthip University’s student body.



Sasi and Pat had just returned to their dorm room. Sasi's mind was still buzzing with excitement and curiosity over Nida's confession. As she closed the door behind them, Pat's phone buzzed with a flurry of notifications.


“What’s wrong?” Sasi asked.


Pat looked up, her face pale. “It’s about the school newspaper and the letters. There’s a problem.”


“What kind of problem?”


Pat took a deep breath, struggling to find the right words.

“The girl who was paying us for the letters—she's left the country. Apparently, she got an unexpected scholarship to study in Japan, and she left yesterday. No one knows when she’ll be back.”


Sasi’s stomach dropped.


“You’re kidding, right? What about the payment?”


Pat shook her head. “Gone. And now, the newspaper office is demanding we reveal the name of the girl who wrote the letters. If we don’t give them a name, they’ll cut us off. No more using the school paper for our deliveries.”


Sasi felt her head spin.


This was a disaster. Without the school newspaper’s support, their delivery business would take a massive hit. 


She had promised the faculty advisor that they would generate enough interest to justify the paper's continued circulation.


Now, without a name to print, she faced not only a financial loss but also the prospect of breaking her word.


“We have to come up with a solution, we need to give them a name, or we’re done for.” Sasi muttered.


Pat’s phone buzzed again, and she glanced at the screen.


“They’re printing the newspaper soon. We have to decide now.”


A surge of panic welled up in Sasi. She was responsible for this mess. She had to fix it. Taking a deep breath, she made up her mind.


“We’ll use my name.”


Pat’s eyes widened. “Are you sure? That’s a big risk. Everyone will think you’re the one who wrote those letters.”

Sasi shrugged, trying to appear nonchalant even as her heart pounded in her chest.


“It’s either that or lose everything we’ve worked for. I’ll deal with the fallout.”


With that, Sasi grabbed her phone and typed out a quick message to the newspaper office, authorizing them to use her name in the next issue. She hit send before she could second-guess herself, and then turned to Pat, who was watching her with a mix of admiration and concern.



Before all these happened...


Sasi and Pat made their way to the university’s cafeteria. As usual, Sasi wore her brightest smile and greeted everyone she passed.


“Auntie Pim, how’s your garden coming along?” she asked


Auntie Pim looked up greeted him and walked away awkwardly


“Uncle Wit, thanks for letting us borrow your cart last week. I oiled the wheels for you.”


Uncle Wit nodded then left with a haste.


Then, they approached the main food counter, where the day’s offerings were being prepared. Sasi pulled out her notebook.


Pat nudged her gently. “Come on, Sasi. Let’s grab the menu for today and get our orders sorted.”


Sasi nodded, forcing a smile. “Right. Let’s get to work.”


They made their way towards the kitchen, where the cafeteria staff were busy preparing the day’s meals. Sasi knew that to get a peek at the menu, she needed to charm her way through the head chef, Uncle Samrit.


Uncle Samrit was a formidable figure, with a stern face and a reputation for running the kitchen with military precision. He was also the gatekeeper of the daily menu, and Sasi needed his cooperation to keep her delivery business running smoothly.


As they approached the counter, Sasi put on her brightest smile.


“Uncle Samrit, looking as sharp as ever today! How’s the family?”


Uncle Samrit looked up from his chopping board, his expression softening slightly.


“Sasi, always full of compliments. The family is well, thank you.”


Sasi nodded, glancing towards the kitchen door.


“That’s great to hear. Say, do you think I could take a quick peek at today’s menu? Just to get a head start on our delivery plans.”


Uncle Samrit’s face hardened, and he shook his head.


“Not today, Sasi. The higher-ups have been on my case. They’re not happy with the drop in our cafeteria’s sales. They think your delivery service is to blame.”


Sasi felt a pang of disappointment. She had expected this might happen sooner or later.


“But Uncle Samrit, we’re just trying to provide options for students who can’t make it here. It’s not like we’re trying to hurt your business.”


“I know, I know. But orders are orders. I can’t let you in to see the menu today.”


Sasi bit her lip, trying to think of a way to persuade him. Just then, she spotted a familiar face near the kitchen entrance—Thanat, one of the student volunteers who often helped out during the busy lunch rush. He was tall, with a lean build and a friendly demeanor that contrasted sharply with Uncle Samrit’s gruffness.


Thanat caught her eye and smiled, walking over. “Hey, Sasi. Need a hand?”


Sasi nodded gratefully. “Yes, please. We’re in a bit of a bind today.”


Thanat turned to Uncle Samrit with a mischievous grin.


“Come on, Uncle Samrit. How about a little leniency for our hardworking entrepreneur here?”


Uncle Samrit looked between Thanat and Sasi. He finally sighed and waved them through. “Fine. But make it quick, and don’t let anyone see you.”


Sasi beamed. “Thank you, Uncle Samrit! You’re the best.”

As they slipped into the kitchen, Sasi glanced at Thanat. “Thanks for that. I owe you one.”


They quickly gathered the information they needed and retreated back to the main dining area, where they began to sort through their notes and prepare the day’s delivery schedule.


Just as they were getting into the rhythm of their work, a loud, stern voice interrupted their focus.


“Sasi Phayakorn, what are you doing here?”


Sasi looked up to see Krit, the newly appointed student body president, standing a few feet away. His piercing eyes were fixed on her, his arms crossed over his chest. Krit was tall and imposing, with a reputation for being strict and by-the-book.


He was dressed impeccably in a navy blue blazer and crisp white shirt, giving off an air of authority that made Sasi’s stomach churn.


“Just getting our delivery plans sorted,” Sasi replied.


Krit’s eyes narrowed. “You’re here disrupting the cafeteria’s operations.”


“We’re not disrupting anything. We’re just trying to keep our business running. The letters were a misunderstanding.”


“Misunderstanding or not, you’ve overstepped your bounds. The cafeteria staff have complained about the drop in sales, and now you’re here, trying to sneak around for the menu. This needs to stop.”


“Who are you to tell me what I can or can’t do? You’re not the dean.”


Krit took a step closer.


“I’m the student body president. It’s my job to maintain order and ensure that all students are treated fairly.”


Before Sasi could respond, Pat stepped between them, her voice calm but firm. “Krit, we understand your position. But we’re just trying to help students who can’t make it to the cafeteria. Can’t we find a way to work together on this?”


Krit glanced at Pat. “I appreciate your perspective, Pat. But we need to ensure that the cafeteria’s needs are met as well. There has to be a balance.”


Sasi took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. “Maybe we can come up with a compromise. We could promote the cafeteria’s meals in our deliveries, encourage more students to visit.”


Krit considered this, his gaze shifting back to Sasi. “That might work. But I’ll need to discuss it with the administration. Until then, no more sneaking around for the menu.”


“Fine. We’ll wait for your decision.”

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