[CONTENTID1] 003 [/CONTENTID1]
Kai swiftly moves aside not colliding with the incoming customers into the restaurant. The steel glass on the tray wobbles, making water spill onto the wooden tray. He relaxes seeing water didn't spill into the chicken soup bowl.
"Welcome to Kim restaurant," he greets the elderly people coming into the restaurant. Placing the chicken soup bowls in respective areas, "please enjoy the meal. Call me if you need something and I'll be there in a second."
"Boy!" A shrill voice surrounds the noisy restaurant. "Where's our order? It's been fifteen minutes. Ridiculous people." A man dressed in a black suit sitting on the center table screams at Kai.
Kai peeps inside the kitchen checking if the preparation is done. His grandfather signals two minutes hurriedly putting the order on a tray.
"Right away, sir." Kai carries their order to the table. "Apologies for the lateness."
The man mutters something under his breath and Kai doesn't even try to listen. Arranging the spoon and chopsticks he turns to take the order from newly arrived customers. His fingers freeze midway pulling out the mini notebook from his pocket.
"Can I borrow your newspaper?" Kai requests the grumpy customer. The newspaper's front page is filled with Baekhyun pictures.
"Why should I? Buy your own." The grumpy customer snaps, putting away the newspaper.
Rolling his eyes Kai goes onto his next customer. "Your order, ma'am?"
"My daughter is getting out of hand," one of the customers slams the spoon on the table.
Pen in Kai's hand pauses hearing his name.
"Baekhyun is a dangerous plant which should be plucked out as soon as we can." the customer continues, "my daughter was out yesterday night for his show." He clasps his head with palm, "and now she's using word and what not!"
"Uhm," Kai's customer clears , "I'm done."
Kai snaps his attention back to her, sheepishly smiling as he apologises, "I'm sorry." He stares at the crab word he jotted down. "Can you once again repeat the order?"
"Yesterday he crashed the show drunk. Brew into a fight with his own management."
That's his everyday job Kai mentally sneers. But his shoulders deflate, his mind racing to the pictures he found in Baekhyun's building.
The girl, his customer, again answers, "I'm done with the order."
Kai bows, "I'm really sorry. Can you please repeat one last time?" He sincerely hopes she doesn't throw a fit in the middle of the restaurant or worse leave.
She is relatively younger than the customers who come to the restaurant, late twenties or early thirties. But a lot older than Kai. Her hair is tied up, with dark circles hanging down. Despite the tiredness, she glows. One word description is petite.
Kai feels like he has seen her somewhere. Is she a regular customer at his grandfather's restaurant? Or did he meet her somewhere else?
"Okay," she smiles, her eyes shining like she understood him, "but this is really the last time I'm going to repeat."
Kai nods. "Shoot up."
Chuckling, she repeats the order. Slowly. Like she's teaching a child learning how to write. Like a dictation practice. Completing the order she assesses Kai. "Did we get it this time?" she asks with a little hint of playfulness.
Kai grins, rubbing his nape. "I did. Thank you for understanding."
Before leaving for the kitchen to inform the order details, he catches her friend complaining, "Yena, why were you sweet to him? You should have complained so we could get free food."
Kai shakes his head to himself. "people these days."
Day rolls into night. Kai's active muscles turn sore, his arms aching from carrying all those trays. His mind takes time to register whatever he is being told. His writing turns to a child's scribble that no one can understand except him.
He was glad the day came to an end. The last customers are completing their meals. Kai stretches his body, mostly his waist, lower back is killing him. Sitting on one of the tables he cleaned, he massages his ankles.
Today's newspaper slides across the table making Kai flinch in surprise. His grandfather, in early sixties, still has broad shoulders, not even a little stoop, firm grip, and a lot more active than the current generation, smiles.
"Heard you asked for the paper earlier." Saying that he attends the customer who raised their hand.
Kai flattens the paper before carefully reading through the headlines.
Byun Baekhyun splits with his management
Byun Baekhyun, 31 year old, Rockstar, who is changing the music industry with his songs that more rockstars are emerging on a daily basis. Despite getting high in fame, he's always high on alcohol. On August 28th 1994, on his show he was drunk to death and performed. Not to forget about the abrupt end. But the fans call it his trademark. Even a few goes to the extent of saying even when he is drunk he outperforms major singers like Suho, which leads to a brawl between the two fandoms. As artists as fans, says the music critics.
Yesterday, September 05, Baekhyun was seen outside his building having a fist fight with the head of his company. Sources say that fight is regarding his alcohol addiction but others say it's because his company is trying to bring Yixing, new Rockstar, by suppressing Baekhyun and even going to the extent of using his fame.
Parents are already filing complaints against the rock sensation for teaching negative things to youngsters.
Amidst all this chaos his company releases a statement saying, "Baekhyun, was and forever will be our valuable person. But good things come to an end. Baekhyun decided to exit the company and we very much want to support his decision. The contract ended but our relationship continues…”
Kai snorts. "What relationship! Leeching off his money?" Kai rubs his fingers on the sore spot on his foot. Photo of Baekhyun coming out of the very building Kai visited a few days back is attached. Leaning in, Kai stares at him. "He's still the same."
"What are you mumbling to yourself like an older man? Did I rub it off on you?" Kai's grandfather drags the stool out of the table, "What got you all pouting?"
Kai turns the paper so that he can read the news. "Grandpa, he's so hard. I went to take a documentary on him and he," Kai unconsciously touches his cheeks where Baekhyun's fingers dig into his skin so hard that it took two days for the redness to dissolve into his skin. "threw us out."
His grandfather takes out his spectacles to read the news article. Kai waits for him to complete reading and give his two cents on Baekhyun.
Folding his spectacles grandfather hums, "interesting." Clasping his wrinkled fingers together he asks, "why don't you take a documentary on this Yixing? He's an upcoming star, right?"
Kai denies, "I want to know more about Baekhyun. He has this," he points at Baekhyun's photograph, "sadness and a story about him. I feel he has more than just music. A story."
"Everyone has a story. You," grandfather smiles, his brown eyes softening seeing his grandkid, "also have a story. I have a story. Yixing has a story too. Why only Baekhyun?"
Kai wants to talk about the photographs. About how Baekhyun was happy in one of them. Just like a ballad singer who sings sweet lullabies to his lover. About the papers he found in Baekhyun's office. Pa