a kimchi burger story

December 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

sketch girl at park


Hyun Soo took two paper bags from a teenager boy behind Moon’s Burger stall. “Thanks, Zach.”
“Two double kimchi burgers, huh?” said Zach, grinning. “Somebody’s going to be happy.”
“I hope she will,” said Hyun Soo, smiling.

She turned and walked to the city park across the street.
Every afternoon, after finishing her volunteer job at an elderly nursing home nearby, Hyun took her time relaxing herself, sitting on a bench and eating her favorite burger. Today she had a special thing to do. At the park, her eyes caught a sight of what she looked for—a little girl who sat on the sand playground. The little girl used to play there with a friend. Around five, their mothers—who seemed to be working at a bookshop at the street corner—would pick them up.

It wasn’t until last month that Hyun realized the little girl began to play alone. Hyun rarely saw her smiling anymore. Her gloomy face told the world that she was feeling lonely, yet she didn’t try to play with the other kids.

“My friend has moved to another town,” she said slowly, when a week ago Hyun tried to ask. Hyun didn’t say anything further, for the girl seemed shy. But in the following days, every time Hyun sat on the bench, that little girl always stole a glance at her.

So today Hyun wanted to try further. With burgers in her hand, Hyun walked to the playground. “Hello,” she said before the kid. “Is that your friend?”
The girl looked up. Her hand paused from drawing on the sand. A shape of face was on the ground. Slowly, the little girl nodded.
“Great drawing.” Hyun smiled, and then offering her the paper bag. “By the way, do you want to share some food with me?”
The little girl just stared at Hyun—confused and curious. She looked at the bag’s brand, and then to Zach’s stall across the street.
Hyun smiled and nodded. “If you don’t want to eat this now, bring it home. This one helped me much the first time I came to this country.” The little girl paused, but finally took the paper bag and whispered, “Thank you.”

Hyun hadn’t met her for two days since then, because of her work schedule rotation. Hyun came out from the nursery home at night, so she hadn’t had a chance to meet the little girl and asked if she liked the burger or not.

But on day three, Zach had waited Hyun outside the building, giving her a folded paper. “From your secret admirer,” he grinned. “She has been looking for you for days. With her mother, she walked to my stall and asked if I could give this to you.”

Hyun opened the letter and read it at heart. I’ve never eaten kimchi burger. It’s rather spicy. But I like it. Mommy likes it too. Thank you.

Hyun looked at the heart-warming message. Her eyes were misty. She turned to Zach, “Your time to go home, too?”
When they walked side by side down the street, Hyun said, “Zach, I always know that kimchi burger will help someone to ease loneliness, somehow.”
Zach laughed. “I should agree with that. And thank you for recommending that menu to my manager. That’s one of the best selling items.”

The stars started to spark in the vast, night sky—as brightly as Hyun’s heart.



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