Updated: May 6, 2022
This was Tokyo. He sat alone in the corner of the restaurant, poking his head out the nearby window anxiously looking for any onlookers. He knew he hadn't been followed, but they knew where he was. They had been watching him before he knew they existed. They had to know he'd been here before.
An elderly man with grey wiry hair slowly trotted over to the table and asked what he wanted to eat. He asked for soup, but said that he needed it to be quick. He'd pay extra for it that way. As he sat there in his beige suit that had started to brown around the wrists and ankles, he doubted his decisions silently to himself. He knew he was only halfway into this mess.
When the elderly man returned with the soup, the gentleman that had been sitting in the corner was gone. The window laid wide open and a warm breeze blew in. The wind wafted the smell of the freshly made soup up the elderly man's nose and he was reminded of his mother's cooking, the creator of the recipe he still used. Suddenly, he heard strong footsteps approaching from behind. He turned just in time to see the vanished man return and head back to his table. They almost collided. The old man began to stumble, but the tall, dark figured man stuck out his arms to grab and stabilize him.
"Are you okay, sir?" the mysterious man asked.
"Never better" said the gentleman as a smile spread across his face. "Here, have a seat. Your food is ready."
"I'm glad you work fast. I wish there were more people like you."
"Always happy to do what is needed" and with that the old man nodded and placed the bowl on the table.
The younger, much more disheveled man sat down and picked up a spoon. He scooped the water mixture and raised it to his lips. He sucked in violently, making a loud slurping noise. With his eyes still facing downward, he quickly raised his right hand in an ill formed okay sign and enthusiastically gestured at the table.