Photo寂寞出版 / Unsplash / Pexels
Text寂寞出版 / Wenchien Wu
The convenience store is owned by an older woman named Lian and staffed by a group of marginalized people who are not very welcomed in society. The store's employees are stretched thin even more after the mass exodus of the night shift positions. So, Ms. Lian decided to boldly hire a friend who had previously retrieved her wallet for her, and every decision she made for the store seemed to make it a little more “inconvenient” but also more humane.
Perhaps the convenience store right around the corner from where you live has been with you for a significant period of your life. Convenience stores are deeply rooted in our lives, and their clerks come and go, and customers change from one to another, but what remains the same is the need for each other.
Ms. Lian also wondered why she had led the man out of the station.
She wanted to pay back the man who refused to accept the money. She wanted to repay him for his desperate attempt to keep her purse, and she also wanted to encourage the man, a street friend, to do the right thing.
The man was like a tail to Ms. Lian, following her in the direction of Sookmyung Women's University. After passing a few alleys, a convenience store emerged near the triangular window. It was a small business that Ms. Lian had invested in and a place that could supply men with lunch boxes.
“Welcome. Hello, boss.” Work-study student Shihyun put down his cell phone and greeted Ms. Lian. The moment Ms. Lian smiled back, Shihyun looked surprised.
“It's okay; he is a customer.”
“Go ahead and pick anything you want.”
“This is my convenience store, so you don't have to worry about others. Just pick what you want.”
“So ...... Em...... Huh?”
“What's wrong? You don't see anything you want to eat?”
“No ...... Park Jan Ho ...... bento.”
“This is not a GS convenience store. The Park Jan Ho bento is only sold at GS convenience stores, but there are plenty of goodies here, too, check it out.”
The man was thinking about the bento from other convenience stores, and not knowing what to say, Ms. Lian picked up the biggest bento in front of her and gave it to him.
“This is a lunch box with lots of side dishes. It's delicious.”
The man who took the lunchbox counted the number of side dishes carefully, opened the lid as if it were a treasure, then respectfully unwrapped the disposable chopsticks and slowly brought a bite of rice into his mouth.
“It's ...... delicious.”
“It's really a moun… mountain of food. ......”
After sending the man away, Ms. Lian walked back into the store. The work-study student started asking Ms. Lian questions out of curiosity. Ms. Lian began to tell the story of when she found her bag missing on the train, then expanded to the whole story. The story made Shihyun give out sighs of surprise.
“What a fascinating individual; it's hard to imagine why he became a street friend.”
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