Jim was greeted by one of the owners, Ben Sulu, the minute he stepped through the doors of Sulu’s Asian Bistro.
“Hi Jim,” Ben called out from beside the cash register. “You just missed Hikaru. He went to pick up our daughter from school.”
Jim had been casual friends with the Sulus since they’d first opened the restaurant on the corner near his apartment building. He’d dined there many times, though, admittedly not recently. One of his last lovers was fond of the place and though Jim didn’t completely associate the Asian fusion place with that particular idiot, there was a small part of him that had been mostly avoiding the place.
He approached the register and grabbed one of the paper to go menus to take a look.
“Been a while since you’ve been in,” Ben remarked.
“Yeah.” Jim grinned sheepishly. “You know, uh, Allie liked this place, and well.”
Ben nodded. “Glad to see you.”
“You got a guy named Spock working for you?”
“You missed him too. Gave his notice yesterday. He was looking to get hired at the Science Institute. Guess he did.” Ben eyed Jim. “Friend of yours?”
“My neighbor. Fairly new.” Jim leaned on the counter. “Wondered what your impression of him was.”
“Good worker. Kept to himself. Had an odd thing where he always insisted on wearing a headband.”
Jim nodded. “He has pointy ears.”
“Does he?”
“Yeah, into that kind of thing, I guess.”
Ben shrugged. “All I know is he was a hard worker, very polite, and this was a temporary job for him. Is he a problem neighbor?”
“Oh, no. Nothing like that.” Jim smiled. “I, you know, kind of like him.”
“Oh.” Ben smiled. “Gotcha. I wish I could offer more intel on him then, but I don’t know much. He was here for only a very short time.”
Jim returned his smile and then glanced at the menu. “I’ll have the chicken rice bowl to go, please.”
Ben rang up the purchase. “Thirteen dollars and nine cents.”
Jim handed him his debit card.
A few minutes later, Ben was handing him a to go back with his rice bowl in it and Jim left the restaurant.
He was glad Spock got his job. But he’d been hoping to see him as he hadn’t run into him in the hallway of their building lately.
Jim wasn’t quite sure if he should impose on Spock again like he had the night he’d brought home a pizza.
But on the other hand, in a couple of days he was leaving to see his family in Napa. Jim just didn’t know what to do.
Which meant of course, he did nothing.
No sign of his neighbor in the hallway and no sounds coming from the apartment, so Jim went to his, chicken rice bowl in hand, and spent another night alone, wondering.