The blogger entered the quiet restaurant.

Kim’s recollection about the events yesterday morning was clear as day. It would seem the same customers were in their former places, ordering the same food, eating calmly. Except for the new arrival who has not taken his seat, the two burly security personnel who has not arrived and the different clothes of those present, she could claim the feeling of deja vu.

She was not surprised that her manager ordered her the same command, which she naturally followed to the letter. It was now her pivotal role to change the course of the present.

“Can I take your order, sir?” she asked the individual who sat on the center table. There was sadness in the man’s eyes.

“I’ll have the usual number 5, please.”

“Will you be interested in our special offer for the day? It’s in the menu.”

“Perhaps, later. I have so many things in my mind.”

She left him after conveying a polite leave.

The Czech was not concentrating: he was sidetracked by the scare he foolishly initiated. Unarguably it was his fault. On the other hand, it also produced clues to the whereabouts of his netbook.

“Morning, restaurant, chase, netbook,” he repeated them slowly. “Then, add the tall man’s lined face and the supposed gratitude I was not able to provide, what was it I forgot.”

“Here’s your order, sir,” Kim interrupted, carefully placing the ensemble, piece by piece, in the traditional setting.

“Thank you,” The Czech acknowledged, watching her design the table for a beautiful dining.

Kim has just left the table when she heard the dampened sound of a cellular phone’s ring tone. If she was not mistaken, the tune was titled My Way.

The Czech stared at the small screen, clearly identifying who was on the other line.

“Honey, where are you? I’ve been trying to call you earlier but your phone kept on ringing. What’s happening?” X asked anxiously, worried that her boyfriend had lost it. “Are you all right?”

“I’m okay now,” he replied calmly. “Earlier though I was nearly jailed. Don’t worry. It is all sorted out.” He related the events as if happened.

“You, of all people, should know better,” X chastised him. “Did you find the girl?”

“Hold on! What girl?”

“The other Kim, remember? We’re supposed to go to the restaurant and look for her. You did not pass by the house. I should have accompanied you.”

“Honey, I am inside the restaurant. It was the same girl yesterday afternoon. I don’t want to spook her again.”

“Are you sure?” What’s her name?”

“I just notice two others whose nameplates are marked as Kim.”

“For heaven’s sake, ask any of them. I could see here on my screen, your netbook is there somewhere.”

“Okay, I’ll call you back. I’ll talk to the manager.”

He began to smell victory, his reunification with his most cherished possession, second only to X, was about to happen. All he needed was to talk to the right Kim.

“Sir, can I ask you favor? As a regular customer, I am entitled to know more about my favorite restaurant.”

The Filipino-Japanese manager’s sunny smile proved a positive sign for The Czech. He would not be disappointed.

“What is it? Ask, and if I can be of help, I will comply.”

“Can you present me your employee whose name is Kim?”

“Is that all?” the manager was elated that it was a simple request. “Just a moment.”

“Thank you!” He was sure that the person in possession of his netbook would come out of the kitchen door.

A girl came out. He wanted to approach her at once. However, another one came after. And another. And another. Nine girls in all.

“What’s this? Girl’s Generation?” The Czech exclaimed with incredulity.

(to be concluded…)



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