It felt stupid, just waiting there as if I had nothing better to do. Besides the person that had to give me the documents was late so if the job seemed easy at one point, had now became annoying beyond imagination. I had drunk a cup of coffee and was tempted to leave after waiting for fifteen minutes. Just then, a man in a white coat arrived. It was impossible to miss her: her coat was made of fur, fluffy and beautiful and, beneath it; she wore a red dress with a deep cleavage.
What kind of agent was this? I had never seen someone so obvious! Or maybe it was her technique, to look completely out of place in that park. She waved her hand at me and I just nodded. She sat down next to me and opened her purse. Silly me, I thought she was going to extract the papers from there but I was wrong. She grabbed a lipstick and a small mirror and began a routine she must have done twenty times a day, at least. When she was done, she put her things inside the purse and looked at me.
- Girl’s got to be ready at all times.
I stared at her, confused. I was sure she was the one I had to talk too but she didn’t seem to know what she had to do.
I cleared my voice and asked, looking at a family pass by:
- Do you…
- I’m hungry. I haven’t had one rice for hour. That plane food… I don’t know how someone eats that. I couldn’t afford first class this time so I was under deep stress for all those hours. You know those flights.
She clearly thought she was making sense. Or it may have been the fact that she was a very good actress because I had no idea what she was talking about. She glanced around, apparently looking for something.
- There must be a nice restaurant in this area… Town Hall is just across the street, right?
I stood up and offered to take her to lunch. She was thrilled by the prospect of eating and didn’t shut up in the long walk to a restaurant. Seoul was a beautiful city and I wanted to see it just as much as her but I considered myself on duty. The thing was Agent Volnal appeared to have a very different attitude towards her duties. She pointed and practically screamed at everything she thought was odd or peculiar. Being a little obvious wasn’t bad but this was a bit too much.
We finally got to a nice little restaurant. They seem to serve every traditional dish but also other popular Asian foods like sushi or fired rice. Ms. Volnal took her coat off when seating at a table by the wall and I noticed how physical she was. What I mean is she looked like a person who goes to the gym pretty often.
- Mirna. – She said, barely moving her lips or her eyes from the menu.
There was a long silence in which both of us decided what to order. I wasn’t feeling too hungry myself but I preferred to go along. This was too strange to leave it at that and, most importantly, people were expecting me to have important documents by nightfall.
- I think I might have the sashimi. I love fish.
- What are you having? Maybe we can order like many small things and then share. What do you think?
- Sure, sounds fun.
It didn’t sound fun because time was scarce and I had been advised not to stroll for too long away from the hotel or the airport. No one wanted me to be caught by the enemy or by some foreign police. But I needed the documents and I was sure she had them.
- We would like a sashimi plate, and some kimchi and the “kaboom” sushi you list here. And…Let’s see… What else you want honey?
For a moment, I was too shocked by the fact she had called me honey. But then I recuperated and ordered two more plates of traditional meat and vegetables. She looked around the restaurant, admiring every single piece of the décor. I, for one, was starting to get worried. Even if we decided to eat fast, which I wouldn’t bet on, nightfall would catch us there, in a small restaurant in downtown Seoul. I had to have the info fast in order to travel early the next day.
- Have you ever been in Asia before? – She asked.
I jumped a bit, being to immerse in my own thoughts.
- Yeah, I’ve gone to Japan and the Philippines. And have been in Singapore too.
- I went to Thailand last year. Phuket. You know, the place where the tsunami happened. You wouldn’t believe; they have all working and it’s so beautiful. You should totally go there.
As a matter of fact, I had always wanted to be there. And then the waitress came and I realized I was really hungry.
As it happens, Mirna was a delight. For the following three hours I absolutely forgot whom I was or what it was that I was doing. We talked about everything single shallow and silly thing. We laughed at some celebrity news and also about some funny things that had happened to us in the past.
We never said a single word about or jobs. It seemed to me we didn’t need to talk about that, seeing we worked so often and for so many hours and in so many places.
- God, this is delicious! – Said Mirna, having some kimchi.
- I know, right? Who would think a bunch of stewed cabbage tasted this good?
- It’s crazy. Although, I’m more of a sweet tooth.
- I just love chocolate. Any guy who gives me a box of chocolates, has a very good shot at being my husband.
I laughed. I had never felt so at ease with a woman, at least not too recently.
- You know, there’s a store in my hotel. They sell these Belgian chocolates. Maybe we could have some.
And we did. After eating, we took the subway together, still laughing and pointing and smiling and talking. We must have looked as best friends all the way to the hotel. There, on the ground level, there was a large chocolate store. They even created custom made orders. Mirna and I tasted a whole bunch and we each came out with a big box for our journey back home.
Then, it came the moment to say goodbye. I had forgotten all about work until, when she kissed my cheek and hugged me goodbye; she put her lips near my ear and said:
- Bathroom wastebasket.
We smiled and each other and, as she walked towards the subway station, I entered the hotel and went up to my room. I didn’t even close the main door to check in the bathroom. As she had said, there was a small flash drive beneath the plastic bag in the wastebasket. And attached to it, there was a note:
I HOPE YOU ENJOYED DINNER.
I GET BORED DOING THESE THINGS
SO I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND I NEEDED TO UNWIND.