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Encounters at the Ramen Shop

A collection of short stories powered by A.I.

Matcha Ice Cream

by | Sep 21, 2022

I closed my eyes as I absorbed the taste of the ramen broth. The flavor cocktail hit my stomach just right.

“Yum.” The word escaped my mouth without thinking.

“I told you it was good,” Karen said. “The ramen here is lemon chicken, but they have 40 other kinds. I’d try them all if I could.”

“Would you like to order a dessert?”

I looked up at the waitress. Dessert was probably on Karen’s mind, but I had no desire to eat anything else.

“Sure,” she said. “What are our options?”

The waitress handed us a menu. “Here you go.”

“What’s good?” I asked Karen, not wanting to actually order anything myself.

“You need to take the Matcha ice cream here, it’s divine,” she said. “I’ll get it for both of us.”

“Great.” I smiled, relieved that I didn’t have to make a decision.

The waitress came back with a bowl of ice cream in front of each of us. I took a spoonful and brought it to my mouth. Ice-cold, Matcha goodness melted on my tongue.

“I’m seriously going to come here every day if it’s this delicious.” I took another spoonful and leaned forward over my bowl.

“I just want to…” I said after which I put my bare hand in the bowl and squished the remainder of Matcha ice in my palm. It was cold.

“Really?” Karen laughed, but she fell for my suggestion and also grabbed a handful of ice from her bowl.

I looked up at her, ice cream between my fingers as it started melting on the white tablecloths. “What?”

She shrugged. “You’re just so passionate about everything,” she said. “I’m guessing this is a really good way to get to know you.”

“Yeah, I care about the things I like,” I said, licking my fingers slowly and trying not to be too self-conscious as I did it. “That’s what makes me happy.”

“Well,” Karen said as she put her napkin down on the table. “It’s time.”

My heart skipped a beat when I heard those words come out of her mouth. That’s it? She was ready already? Karen stood up from the table and offered me her hand to help me out of the booth as well.

I put my hand in hers and felt an electric shock go through my body when she touched me. Karen looked deep into my eyes and smiled. “Let’s do this.”

We took the Jason masks from our bags, put them on our faces and drew the attention of the restaurant as we screamed: “Everybody hands above the table, this is a robbery!” And then: “Nobody move, just give me your wallets and cell phones, now!”

Karen and I came to a quick understanding—as we worked together on this little heist—that the Jason masks were already enough to strike fear into people’s hearts. The people who saw us were already handing us their wallets by the time we ran up to them. We quickly scooped up whatever loose cash was around before making a run for the exit.

We forced the door open and took a right towards the street. The alarm blared behind us and people started screaming as well. The whole place went into panic mode as we ran.

“This way!” I screamed to Karen as I took a left turn into an alleyway. I knew this place like the back of my hand. We could lose them easily if we took the backroads. Karen nodded, her hair flowing behind her in the wind.

I put my adrenaline to good use and ran even faster. My heart hammered in my chest as my feet pounded against the pavement. Karen was right behind me, keeping pace easily. We jumped over a few trashcans and ducked under a clothesline before jumping into a dumpster. We hid in there for a few moments, making sure that no one was following us.

We climbed out of the dumpster, brushed ourselves off and looked at each other. We were both out of breath, but we were also both grinning from ear to ear. It felt good to let loose like that—to be spontaneous and carefree. I never would’ve guessed that robbing a restaurant could be so exhilarating.

“That was fun,” Karen said, her eyes sparkling. “I can’t believe we just did that.”

“I know, right?” I laughed, feeling high on adrenaline. “We make a pretty good team.”

“Yeah, we do.” Karen’s smile faded a little bit as she looked at me. “I’m sorry about your job.”

I shrugged. “It’s not your fault,” I said. Karen looked relieved that I wasn’t mad at her anymore. “Besides, I think I might’ve found my new calling.”

“Oh yeah?” she raised an eyebrow at me. “And what might that be?”

I grinned mischievously and took a step closer to her. “Robbing restaurants, of course.”

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