A Bowl of Soup

When helping her Father run the soup shop Sophie Reid has always been reluctant, but when she comes across a homeless boy her age in need for the first time she begins to understand what charity really is. As Sophie ages she tries to find way to express her charity.


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7. Sophie returns to Korea

It wasn't that long before the plane lifted off the ground that Sophie remembers she's lived in Korea once.

She was just a baby when her Mom returned to live with her parents in Korea, while her Dad was preoccupied with finishing culinary school, she lived with her Mom and Grandparents for about Four years so technically her first language was Korean. And yet as Sophie looks over a Korean-English dictionary she finds it hard to absorb in any new information.  None of the words rung a bell and staring at all the unfamiliar words made her nervous. Finally, she closes her book and sighs. She and her Mother had different seats, she looks at the two girls that sat beside her. They were about her age, the girl to her left had buried her nose in a book, and would casually flip through note cards- most likely studying for a test. The blonde next to her had her eyes closed shut and earbuds connected to the seat's screen. 

Sophie clutches her chest which was beginning to grow tight, she exhales then inhales and repeats the process softly as not to interrupt her neighbors. She closes her eyes and tells herself to go to sleep but finds it hard to do that too. In the end she just sits there staring at the screen in front of her. Her mind drifts to back home. 

Was her Dad still working? What were Cairo and Lark up too? Would the guy who worked at the pastry shop miss her? Was Monique on a date with him right now? And Aaron too... Sophie sighs and shakes her head. She wasn't going to think about the past anymore. She squeezes her legs together and presses her hands against her chest and repeats her breathing process. 

Relax, Sophie, relax...

Sophie feels eyes on her. The girl next to her had her eyes open and gave her a lingering stare. Realizing that she looked like she was having a panic attack, Sophie leans back in her chair and opens her book. The blonde looks away and swipes at the screen. Sophie watches her movement from the corner of her eyes until the blonde goes back to leaning back in her seat. Sophie thinks she knows the song the girl just chose. An old korean pop song... 

When the plane lands, Sophie grabs herself and hurries out the terminal, she finds that her Mom was already out and waiting. She looks her daughter over before smiling and giving out her arm. She loops in her arms.

"Are you hungry?" Sophie asks her Mom who smiles. "Let's get a cappuccino after we claim our bags."

Sophie nods in agreement. "Kay."

On their way to baggage claim her Mom stops to stare at someone, the blonde girl Sophie sat during the flight walks past. 

"Isn't that..."

"What is it Mom?" 

Her Mother shakes her head. 

"Nothing, lets go."

After claiming their bags, Sophie's mom transfers some money at an ATM and hands her a card.

Sophie stares at it.

"What's this?" She asks. 

"For you." Her Mother grabs their luggage and checks her watch.

"A friend of mine is going to pick us up, there's a cafe nearby their house."

Sophie pockets the card in her wallet and follows her Mom. Her very first debit card and she wasn't even in high school yet! Wasn't this risky parenting on her mother's part or did this go to show how much she trusted her?

As a white sedan pulls up to the curb Sophie can already feel a lump in her throat forming. 

A tall Korean woman steps out the car. Sophie looks her over, from head to toe she was dressed in all simple black clothing: a black long sleeved shirt and tight pants and stilettos, her reddish brown hair tied up into a high ponytail. A dance teacher? 

She looks like a no-nonsense kind of woman.

Yet the woman and her mother exchange greetings in fluent Korean, they even hug. Finally the woman glances at Sophie, her facial features sharpening a little. 

"You don't remember me do you?" The woman asks her. Sophie gets all wide eyed. She could speak perfect English as well!

"Sophie this is my friend Areum Oh, she teaches dance at the school I'll be teaching at." Her mother explains.

"Oh, it's nice to meet you Ms. Oh." Sophie bows- if there was anything she knew about Korea, it was that she should bow when greeting people. 

As Ms. Areum bends to help them with their bags she asks if Sophie remembered any Korean. 

"Anyoung haseyo...?" Sophie asks uncertainly.

Ms. Areum smiles firmly.

"Well, your pronunciation isn't bad...a crash course with Professor Moon might be for the best though."

After putting the luggage in the trunk, they get in the car and drive away. It's a long drive to wherever their going. As they do Sophie takes out her wallet and fingers the debit card she was given. Looks like it was a Korean bank. Sophie closes her eyes. She feels happy that she was entrusted with such a thing but also anxious. She wouldn't grow up too fast now would she?

As Ms. Areum and her mother chatter in silence she tucks her wallet away and closes her eyes. 

Everything's going to be fine.

 

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