The Monthly Checker

The Monthly Checker

The bell jingled. I didn’t need to look up; it was the first Friday of the month and the number twelve bus had rattled past only moments ago. I looked up anyway.

“Good morning, just browsing?”

The familiar man nodded shyly and turned away to begin his monthly task of scanning the bookshelves.

I watched him for a while. “Maybe today you will find what you are looking for.”

I returned to my work until a polite cough disturbed me.

He slid a book across the counter – PLEASE COME TO DINNER by LIU QING YAN

He smiled at me. “Well?”