“Are you just passing or are you going to stick around?” We’re inside. Machiko offered me one of his Asahi dry. I take it. She takes something else.
“Where did you get these ones?” I ask. “From the supermarket.” It’s her natural answer. “The cooling system they have is kind of rudimentary, but the variety of drinks is great. Yes, I know I told you before technology doesn’t seem to work fine her. But what kind of technology you need for a fridge?” I smile. “If the basic laws of thermodynamic work, they will work.” She sip her bottle. I try to read the printed label on it, but I can’t, so it’s not Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. Maybe it’s a local drink. She realized I’m staring at her. “This?” she hands me the bottle. “Can you believe me I don’t know what it is? The supermarket owner told me it’s quite popular here, so I bought it for the clients. One day, I tried one and it happened to be fantastic! The best thing I tried before a Coca-Cola!”
I give it a try. The flavour explodes in my mouth. I detect cassis, green tea, and mango. Probably it has mainly apple juice. Also, it is sweet, but only after I swallow it. I’m not able to say if it has alcohol or not, however, I feel slightly happier, so some drug it’s in it. I give it back to her. “Right. I was asking you about your plan…”
“I don’t know.” And I really don’t. “I guess I’m going to stay here for a while.” Her corporative smile disappears. “Do not misunderstand me. I don’t mean to stay here. I know you have clients. I imagine you need this space empty of visitors, even if the visitor is an old friend…” She interrupts me.”It’s not that. I need to stay alone. After you left, I somehow developed a need for loneliness that I didn’t have before.” She looks to the floor. I look also. There’s no checkerboard here, only grey tiles. I sip my beer and wait for her to continue. The silence is oppressive. Finally she speaks. “I guess I feel like I failed so many times, that I don’t want to try again. Look, if you need to stay for a night, you can get the sofa…” I interrupt her.
“Don’t worry. I will move on soon. Thank you very much for the offer, it’s very kind of you. “She seems clearly relieved. Inside me, an old spark starts an ancient fire. “But tell me, I’m so curious about it, what kind of legal assistance you offer here?”
“You will be surprised of the type of neighbors we have here. They are very nice people, but don’t have any ideas about laws. Can you believe, some of them even don’t write down their transactions?” I nod, and sip my beer. It’s empty. “So I tell them how to be protected against market hiccups, and what kind of agreement they need to sign if they want to make it valid all around the globe. I must say, it’s fun most of the time! And I’m learning a lot…”