They had just reached the food court and had put in their orders and were waiting for their food. She had offered to pay as it was a habit of hers to treat her friends, and plus she figured she had chosen this ramen place. He hadn’t even offered to pay… but ohwell.
“Soo…you said you worked as a chef she asked?”. Trying to break the awkward silence. Both of them had their masks on still.
“Yeah. Well, I am training to become a chef.. So I am just a kitchen-hand at the moment. But due to Covid-19 I think they will be reducing a lot of the staff, so I have a feeling I will lose my job soon”. He said sadly.
“Oh, sorry to hear that, do you have any ways of supporting yourself if you do lose your job?.” She asked.
“Well my mother has been sending money to me from Japan to support me. But I don’t want to rely on her so much….My lease for the apartment in the city will end at the end of this month as well, so I also need to look for a cheaper place to rent.”
“Oh..I. see… so no plans to go home? Do you like living in Australia?” She asked. She tried to sound as sympathetic as she could, but a part of her felt like he wasn’t telling the truth.
“Yeah, I want to stay here…but I can’t with no job and no money to pay rent.” He said somewhat sadly.
“Oh…is it hard to find another job at the moment?”. Lilly asked. She didn’t really know much about the hospitality industry, just that it had taken a huge hit because of Covid.
“Yeah it’s really hard right now. A lot of my friends have already lost their jobs and gone back to their home countries. I am really lucky to have had a job for so long. But I don’t think I will be able to stay when I lose my job too.”.
“Ahh that sucks”. She really did not know what to say or how to respond.
“I am also planning to go back to Japan for the death anniversary of my ex-girlfriend too, it might be hard to come back to Australia after that” He said.
“Oh, I see..yeah that’s true. There are limited overseas flights in and out of Australia at the moment and it’s so expensive!” She said.
Just then the food vendor shouted the number for their order and they went to get their food to eat outside as indoor dining was not allowed. They found a table and bench outside and sat down.
This was it, she was finally going to see his face.
“Well I guess we can finally see each other’s faces! Or we could eat with the masks on I guess..” She said jokingly.
They both went to remove their masks and put it on the table….