"Pak?" Simon called out. "Pak, you're not listening."
Pak Yeung-Sung stood at the entrance stockroom, lost in his memories, feeling at once lost and completely at home. "Huh?"
"For God's sake, Pak," Simon said as he stomped out of the room to get him, "You realize that I'm trying to help you, right?"
"Don't do that." Yeung-Sung finally replied.
"You know what. My name is Yeung-Sung."
"I prefer Pak. It's so much easier" said Simon.
He performed the cheekiest of grins, telling Yeung-Sung that he knew exactly how improper he was, how uncomfortable it made him. Glancing at his jacket -he wore a knitted blazer that day- Yeung-Sung found the usual pockets. Since they bulged, full to the brim, he thought better of arguing. He must have been staring for some time because Simon then leered over him, angrier than before.
"Pak?" he shouted.
Yeung-Sung's glance clicked back at once. Why did I agree to this again?
Simon sighed, seeing his bad-cop attitude was getting him nowhere. "Listen Bud," he began, gesturing to the sliding door held open above them, "I'm going to explain the way the security system operates once more, and then I gotta go." He whipped out his phone for a moment, checking it and repeated, "Yeah, I gotta go."
"What?" Yeung-Sung asked, "But- what am I supposed to do here?"
"A little stock arrived already," he said nodding in its direction, "so start with that, and I suppose plan the layout. I don't know, Pak, it's your grocery store."
"My own store."
My own store.
Simon had burst open his door that morning with that exact promise.
"Let's go mate, I found you a place to work from. You'll have your own store."
Excited, portly and dressed in vintage brown tweed suit he stood, waiting in the doorway. Like a Disney trope. He even had a spotted lavender handkerchief poking out of the only unladen pocket on his person. Yeung-Sung couldn't get why this man always wore clothes that made him look fatter than he was, rather than a slimming black or something of the like. He also didn't quite understand the hot pink bowtie, but at that point he had stopped trying to make sense of Simon.
Clad in lavender himself, Yeung-Sung was led by foot through cracked and sun-bleached paths, past a mix of the 'Colony' architecture and the derelict Korean cottages.
"Not many other purply flowerbeds around today," Simon chirped as they walked.
Yeung-Sung had an abundance of questions about his new surroundings, but being rushed so fast he was only able to ask, "How many people live here? In-in the colony, I mean." He was answered reflexively.
"A thousand." Simon said, turning to show his proud face. "That's including you," and it seemed that he was going to add to that but changed his mind. Walking around as if he was in thought, he prodded Yeung-Sung along from behind and they continued.
"I don't think we'll be sending for any more," he then admitted. There was a sadness in the statement, Yeung-Sung thought. Was it because the experiment was nearly over? Did he enjoy it that much?
The store that was promised was once a petrol station, evidently. It had a car path that curled in from the road, leading into two small lots, in front and behind the store. However, Yeung-Sung didn't see much point in having the space, given hat he hadn't seen anymore autocars since he had arrived last night. On the outside it looked modest enough, with its overhanging blue roof like an ill-fitting Lego casting deep shade, and a single pair of automatic doors reacting sleepily to their entrance. To Yeung-Sung, it alluded to a cosy, home-owned shop. But that betrayed its inside.
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