It's been a week since Keiko and her mother moved into the apartment next to mine and she's going to be my coworker starting today. We both have night shift, and I thought she may have trouble getting used to the job but she's been working nonstop.
I watch her restock a shelf and she drops two products but catches them before they hit the floor. She's kind of a klutz but she makes up for it with her fast reflexes.
"Be careful Keiko," The manager's been here, he's making sure she doesn't screw up.
"Yes sir, sorry sir," She calls back as she places the items she dropped on the shelf in front of her then moves onto the next shelf.
I'm stuck at the cash register because the boss doesn't think Keiko is ready for handling money yet.
"Eve, when Keiko's finished with the last shelf you can close up and go home," The owner waves a hand as he turns and leaves behind a door labeled Employees Only.
"Sure thing," I call back as I hand our last costumer his change, "Have a good night sir." The costumer gives me a small nod and heads out the door. I look over at Keiko, "Hey Keiko, when you're done with that shelf the boss said we can head home!"
"Done," She calls back and trots over the cash register, "Let's go home!"
"Go change out of your uniform first kiddo." I ruffle her hair some before she runs off through the Employees only door.
I follow after her and head to the boys changing room to put my uniform back in my locker. I grab my backpack and go back into the hall to find Keiko leaning on the opposite wall, "What's up?"
"My mom called and said she wouldn't be home till late tonight… And she still hasn't giving me an apartment key yet…" She was looking down but glances up at me.
I sigh, "Want to come over for a while?"
"Can I? That'd be a real help," She smiles at me.
"Then let's go home," I lead her out the back entrance and lock the door as we leave.
I unlock the door to my apartment and let Keiko in first and like the first time she entered my home she announced her presence like there where others inside, "Pardon the intrusion."
"You know Keiko, I live alone. You don't have to do that."
"Alright," she smiles before removing her shoes and slipping of the slippers she wore last time.
She wanders over to the spot on the couch she sat in last time and sits down. I go to my room for a moment and come back out with a CD. I stick it into the TV and press play.
A movie starts and I walk into the kitchen and open the frig, "Want the same thing as last time," I ask seeing as how she's done the same thing as she did last time she was here.
"Yes please," she replies not averting her eyes from the television screen.
"Here you go," I hand her the carton from before and return to the kitchen, "you hungry?"
"Want something to eat?"
"If you don't mind," she replies, her eyes never falling from the movie.
"Anything in particular that you want?"
"Nah, anything is fine."
"Alright," I pick out some food and start to prepare it.
We ate in almost complete silence, the only times it broke was when Keiko would compliment on a dish she liked.
"Thanks for the food!" Keiko piles all of her dishes onto one another she then takes them to the sink and starts to wash them.
"Hey Keiko, you don't have to wash them. I'll do it," I finish my own plate and join her at the sink.
"Oh, alright," She replies as I take the dish she's working on from her.
"You can go relax on the couch if you want to," I say as I scrub the dish clean.
Keiko doesn't reply but I hear her walk over and sit down on the couch.
After I finish the third plate I hear what sounds like the shuffling of cards and turn my head to find Keiko playing a card game by herself, "do you always have a deck of cards with you," I ask moving on to a bowl.
"Yeah, my dad taught me a bunch of card games when I was a kid and this deck is the first gift he ever gave me… Actually it's the only gift he gave me. He disappeared shortly after…" Her voice started out happy but got depressed sounding as she explained.
I place all the dishes onto a drying rack and walk over, sitting down in a chair on the other side of the small table. "Want to play me?"
She looks up from the deck, "You're on!" She deals the cards for a game of Speed not bothering to ask what I want to play.
After about five different games I see Keiko's eyes twitch and she lift her head and stares at the door, "My mother is home," she didn't sound pleased but before I could ask she gets up and heads for the door, "Thanks for letting me stay over Eve, see you tomorrow," and with one wave she disappeared behind the door.