The following day, Melchor appeared serious, in contrast to Heinz, who had felt refreshed after leaving work early the previous day. Although his expression was typically blank, those who knew him could detect his worried demeanor.
“Heinz, do you find my words difficult to understand?”
“I have been performing my duties well, so why are you complaining again?”
“I am not quibbling; I am asking. Have you ever had trouble understanding me?”
Heinz looked up and saw Melchor’s blank face, which conveyed his concern. As an aide who had been working alongside Melchor, Heinz could understand his boss’s feelings immediately.
“Your Excellency’s words are always clear.”
Melchor’s speeches were straightforward and always to the point. However, he threw the main topic so directly that Heinz often felt like he had done something wrong and got goosebumps when a sudden question came up, as it did now.
“Is it? Then it’s not difficult to understand.”
If Heinz could understand, Roseline would not be able to understand Melchor’s words. So, why did she misunderstand him?
“Is my tone strange?”
“Or have you ever found my behavior unpleasant?”
“Perhaps, Roseline may have taken offense to Your Excellency’s attitude.”
Heinz, who had survived under superiors with no mercy, understood what Melchor wanted to say even after hearing his random question. The competent aide, who quickly figured out why his boss was depressed and anxious, quickly came up with an answer.
“I am accustomed to it, but you are probably not. I understand why you dislike it.”
“You understand? What is my problem?”
“Your Excellency, you are too blunt.”
Melchor closed his eyes and pondered after hearing Heinz’s words. He was sitting with a cup of strong coffee, having skipped breakfast. If someone approached him and expressed concern for his health, he felt obligated to eat so as not to worry them. He wasn’t particularly interested in Heinz’s feelings, but the brief delusion of Roseline about him made him feel better.
Despite not liking anyone paying attention to his daily life or health, Melchor appreciated Roseline’s interest in him. He felt a warm sensation in his chest at the thought of her paying attention to him. However, when Heinz asked him about Roseline’s routine, the conversation ended abruptly. Heinz realized that he needed to ask questions in a way that would encourage the other person to share their feelings.
Heinz suggested that instead of asking blunt questions, he should express curiosity and interest in the other person’s story. However, he cautioned that speaking too clearly could sound strange, so it was important to speak at length and encourage the other person to speak naturally. He advised that in order to soften the atmosphere, one should continue to induce conversation and avoid awkward silences.
Heinz chuckled at Melchor’s cautious approach to asking questions and waiting for his response. He found it amusing that Melchor, his superior, who usually showed no interest in his adjutant’s personal life, now wanted his help to fix his relationship with his wife. It was a strange and interesting change in his boss’s attitude.
“I’m asking for specifics; it’s easy to answer,” Heinz explained.
Heinz knew it was not his place to give advice on his superior’s private matters. However, if he could help, he was willing to try.
“So here’s my question. Your Excellency is holding a pen with his right hand right now, right?” Heinz asked.
Melchor confirmed this with a nod.
“But you’re ambidextrous, so you can write with your left hand as well. Why do you choose to write with your right hand?” Heinz continued.
Melchor paused for a moment before responding, “The ink bottle is on the right side of the desk.”
Heinz nodded in agreement. “Yes, in most desks, the ink bottle is on the right side. It’s because there are more right-handed people. It must be difficult for left-handed people.”
Melchor remained silent, and Heinz pressed on, saying, “You have to agree with me here, Your Excellency.”
Finally, Melchor relented and said, “Okay.”
Heinz couldn’t help but find it amusing how Melchor was waiting for his response with bated breath, carefully asking questions with utmost clarity.
“Come on, Heinz, don’t keep me waiting. What’s your answer?” Melchor asked, his face inscrutable.
Heinz couldn’t help but smirk. His superior, who exuded an intimidating aura, showed no interest in his adjutant’s personal matters. His attitude was disliked by his wife, and he wanted to find a way to fix it. Heinz had long given up on getting close to Melchor, but the change in his boss intrigued him.
“Well, specifically…” Heinz trailed off, knowing how precarious it was to give advice on Melchor’s private life, given their top-down relationship.
Melchor nodded, encouraging him to continue.
“…it’s easy to answer,” Heinz finished, feeling a bit nervous.
“Then go ahead,” Melchor prodded.
Heinz took a deep breath before asking, “Isn’t Your Excellency holding a pen with your right hand right now?”
Melchor raised an eyebrow, surprised at the question. “Yes, I am. But what’s the point?”
“Well, you’re ambidextrous, so you can write with your left hand, right? Then why are you using your right hand now?”
Melchor thought for a moment before answering. “It’s because the seat of the ink bottle is on the right side. At most desks, it’s on the right side because there are more right-handed people. So, it’s difficult for left-handed people like me.”
Heinz nodded thoughtfully. “I see. It must be uncomfortable for ‘unusual’ people like you to be involved in such trivial matters.”
Melchor chuckled softly. “Yes, it is. But thank you for understanding, Heinz.”
Heinz smiled, feeling pleased that he had helped Melchor in some small way.
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