Everyone’s Story (2) >
It was a long sentence, at least, by Kaya’s standards . The restaurant her family’s worked at…
Minjoon looked into Kaya’s face . She didn’t even seem to feel anything from what she just said . That just made her look even cuter .
“Can I kiss you?”
“I told you that you can’t . Stop saying stuff like that . ”
“This is still better than not saying anything though, isn’t it?”
“Whatever . Anyway, are you fine with my family coming to the restaurant?”
“There’s no better place . Plus, like you said, it’s important to your faaa~mily . ”
“What’s up with your way of saying family?”
Only then did Kaya pout a little bit . Minjoon responded by poking her lips . Kaya tried to say something, but Minjoon cut her off .
“Are you tired? Not because of your sickness, but because of work . ”
“What kind of work doesn’t make you tired?”
“Does it at least feel good doing it?”
Kaya looked up to Minjoon . Minjoon thought that face of hers looked more beautiful than anything else in the world . Almost otherworldly, in fact .
The shadows on her nose, her eyelids that’s swollen a tiny bit from tiredness, and even the little freckles accentuated by her red cheeks . They all looked incredible on her . Kaya opened her mouth .
“I did at first . I felt like I was actually doing something . But after I became a little puppet after coming to LA, I felt powerless again . Your encouragement helped, though, and I ended up getting a dish of mine on the menu . After that, I’ve started enjoying things again . ”
“Same as me, huh . I’ve always felt encouraged by you, too . ”
“If you did, why don’t you try cleaning and making breakfast too, huh?”
“You said you’d do those things yourself, though? Saying that you didn’t want to be a moocher?”
“Help me out even if I hate it . Hug me even if I try to look strong . Even if I say I’m fine, I’m not fine a lot of the time . I’m not that strong, either . You said so yourself, didn’t you? I’m still in my teens, no matter what I say . ”
“Yeah, I forget that a lot because of how cool you look . ”
“Stop it . ”
Kaya bumped her head into Minjoon’s shoulders . Minjoon put down the now-empty soup bowl, and carefully hugged Kaya . Her wet, sweaty clothing almost stuck to his skin and clothes .
“Sorry for being such a useless boyfriend . ”
“What did I say about insulting my stuff again?”
“…I’m your stuff?”
“Of course you are . So watch out what you say about yourself . You can’t just keep…”
Kaya extended a finger to touch the burn mark on Minjoon’s neck . Her face became colored with sadness for a split second .
“… Hurting yourself like that . This is all private property, you know . Destroying private property is illegal . ”
“I’m just damaging it . ”
“Same thing . ”
Kaya rubbed her face on Minjoon’s scar .
“And you were just talking about trying not to get me infected, too…”
“It’s fine as long as we don’t kiss, right?”
“… Even breathing in the same room is risky . ”
“Want me to hold my breath?”
“Whatever . Just sleep . I’m gonna go to work after I see you sleep . ”
“I don’t really want to…”
Kaya tried to be rebellious, but the effect of a full stomach and Minjoon’s warm body was too much on her . In just a few minutes, she was sound asleep .
Minjoon put a blanket over Kaya, then paced around the room for a minute before placing a mug of water and some medicine next to her . He considered turning off the lights for a bit, but decided to head out with the lights on .
Since Anderson wasn’t here this time, he had to use the bus to get to work this time . After getting to the restaurant with some effort, he stumbled upon a very troubled Maya .
“Ah, chef, finally . I was dying measuring all this stuff by myself . ”
“Sorry . Are the ingredients all ok?”
“Yeah . I think so . ”
Minjoon took a look over the ingredients from the kitchen . He had to pay extra attention to his ingredients here . After all, there was no saving jelly once it’s been fully made . Minjoon took a little bit of the jelly in his mouth . As always, the system screen showed up in front of his eyes .
[Aging Sea Bream Jelly] Freshness: 98%
Source: (There are too many ingredients, so this has been hidden)
Cooking Score: 6/10
Minjoon took a little sample of the fruit jellies and some of the ice cream before giving it all a satisfactory nod .
“…Mm, it’s alright . It’s still developing in flavor, but it should all be good by tomorrow . Good work, Maya . You’ve gotten a lot better . ”
“Hehe, thanks . ”
Maya finally seemed a little more relaxed . She then asked a question with a curious voice .
“How do you taste literally everything just like that, even with an absolute tongue?”
“This isn’t about me having a good tongue . Any other chef can roughly see what state a food is in after tasting it . This is just the basics . ”
“But it’s super hard trying to figure out how good the jellies are . ”
“It’s hard, not impossible . You’ll be able to do it too . ”
“Alright . I’ll work harder . ”
Maya pumped her fists in the hair . As Minjoon let off a small smile, Janet came up behind him .
“Yo, I heard your girlfriend was sick?”
“Yeah, she’s going through a lot at such a young age . Her body can’t take it . ”
“You nursed her?”
“Pretty much . Ah, where’s Isaac? I need to ask him something . ”
“Probably in the office . But going out of the kitchen again so soon?”
“I’ll be right back . Maya, you really did a tremendous job on the jellies . Thanks for coming out on a rest day of all things . You can go rest now . ”
“Wow . ”
The one who responded to Minjoon wasn’t Maya, but Gerrick . Janet slowly turned her head to give Gerrick a short glare .
“What, you jealous that she gets to rest?”
“N-no! Not at all!”
“Be honest here . It’s tiring, isn’t it? We decided that Sunday would be a rest day, but some of us still need to come out to prep . The appetizers are mostly stuff that require aging as well . It’s super annoying, isn’t it? Go rest . I’ll do eee~verything else by myself . You don’t want to work all day under me, don’t you?”
“I love my job . I’ve never felt better . ”
“Then go make more lime juice . You think we can make all the ceviche by today at this rate?”
Gerrick scuttled off to the fridge without another word . Maya looked at the man with a sympathetic face . Minjoon let out a small laughter before turning to Maya .
“You did really well winning against Gerrick, huh? What do you think your job would’ve been like if you went to Janet instead of me?”
“…Thanks for treating me so well, chef . Ah, and I’ll leave a little later . I want to practice one or two things back in the kitchen . ”
“Sure, go for it . ”
“Yessir . ”
Maya took off with a grin . Janet let out a big sigh .
“You got a good chef, huh? Gerrick’s seriously…”
“You need to be kind to him . He’ll get better eventually . ”
“Stop talking like a textbook . I’m not interested . ”
“Anyway, I’m off to meet Isaac . Work hard . ”
Minjoon took off from the kitchen . Even as a demi chef, he wasn’t a big fan of having to work on a Sunday . It was pretty tiring, even for him . It was a relatively short visit in the kitchen, but… It still ate away at him a tiny bit .
‘They said the Rose Island from ten years back didn’t have any rest days . ’
It made sense that Daniel Rose collapsed from overwork . Rachel probably made a rest day for the staff to prevent another Daniel Rose from happening .
When Minjoon entered the office, he was greeted not only by Isaac, but also Rachel . Minjoon let out an awkward smile .
“You’re all here . ”
“Yup . Do you need something?”
“Ah, I wanted to ask Isaac something . ”
“Mm… I don’t feel too good saying this in front of teacher and Jack, but I need to make a reservation for four on Christmas Eve . ”
“The reservations then should be… Completely full . ”
“Yeah, I’d appreciate it if you could push it in when there’s a cancellation . ”
“Is there something up?”
Rachel asked a question . Minjoon paused for a bit before answering .
“Kaya’s family’s going to meet up again for the first time, and they wanted to come here . I think being able to cook food for Kaya’s family… would be special for all of us . ”
“…Yes . That does sound good . Isaac, do we happen to have any cancellations at all?”
“There might be a few on other days, but Christmas Eve is… there might not even be a single one . ”
“It’s simple, then . We might as well just put in another table . We can just get four more seats . Put it next to the kitchen, so that Minjoon can see them as well . ”
It was a very sudden decision, but it was to be expected from Rachel . Instead of being surprised, Isaac decided to just go with it .
“Circular, or square?”
“…Ah, a circular table should be good . I don’t think they’d do well sitting so close to each other on a square one… But can you really put in a new table just like that?”
“My restaurant, my kitchen . I can do whatever I want . ”
“Thank you, teacher . ”
Minjoon let out a big smile . He smiled quite often at work, but not even Rachel had seen Minjoon smile this big . Was he really that happy about having those people meet up again? That he would be the one to serve them food?
‘What a nice person he is . ’
At first, Rachel was only drawn to Minjoon by his tongue . But now, she was beginning to see more charm in Minjoon than she initially thought . He was a good student . He was a good person as well . Jack let out a small complaint .
“You have too good of a personality for someone like Rachel . ”
“Thank you . But Rachel’s still the best teacher I’ve ever had . Her personality, too…”
“Personality my ass . ”
Jack wouldn’t even hear it . And he had the right to do so . Minjoon looked around the room once more before continuing .
“Should I go out? It seems you two have a lot to talk about . ”
“I’d like to ask you for something before you leave . ”
“As you know, the restaurant changes its menu every ten days . By the time your customers come, we’d have a new menu . So, I want you to make a dish, any type of dish, to put on our menu on that day . ”
Minjoon couldn’t even respond properly . It wasn’t like he didn’t understand what Rachel said . But what she just said seemed almost too good to be true .
“They’re your precious customers . Don’t you want to serve them something you made completely from scratch, all by yourself?”
“Can I… Do it? No, I can’t . I’d just end up damaging your menu . ”
“Don’t worry about it . I’m not planning on putting up a bad dish up on our menu . So just go ahead and try it . Think about what you want to serve them . ”
“Even then… . Do you think I could make a recipe good enough for Rose Island in just a month?”
Rachel shook her head .
“Chefs are adventurers . They get on the boat not knowing that there’d be an island on the other side, but believing there would . Minjoon, I trust you . Don’t you trust yourself?”
Minjoon’s lips trembled . He let go of all the pride and humility he carried with himself, and answered .