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Names are forgotten, faces become blur, memories fade away. Time does that, I thought with time her memory would fade away, but it did not! The days that followed were busy and my mind occupied, but I couldn’t help it when every now and then I would stop everything I was doing and think about her; daydream of running into her, rehearsing what I’d say. And then logic would step in, slapping me back to reality. The chance of this happening was none. She could be anywhere in the world, that’s more than seven billion people. Even if I gave myself a fair chance and hoped she’d be in Japan, that’s about one hundred and twenty-seven million people and if I stretched my luck to its utmost limit and hoped she was in the same city as I, that’s about 1.5 million people. I would need the luck of the Irish if the odds of meeting her were in my favour. Destiny brought her to me once and I hoped it would repeat itself.
My first day of work was a cold and a rainy one. The rain had reduced to sprinkles by the time I stepped out of my apartment. The diffused light from the overcast sky provided just enough light to see my way to the lobby. The dark clouds indicated more rain.
“Do I have my umbrella? I thought aloud while walking towards the exit, then quickly reached for my messenger bag to check for it. The poorly lit lobby made it difficult to see inside so I pulled it up close to my face. I found it at the bottom of the bag.
“There you are!” I exclaimed, talking to it like one would to a person.
“Now, where are my earphones?”. I never understood how despite of carefully tying, it always ended up in a tangled mess.
“I need to get me a pair of those Bluetooth ones.’’ I said irritated, as I began to untangle the cord, a test of my patience. It took a few seconds to untangle it and at the end of it, I realized I had reached the entrance lobby of my apartment building.
The auto door swished open letting in the cold spring breeze. Dayum! That’s cold!” I said to myself as I tightened the muffler around my neck then pulled the zipper on my jacket higher. I underestimated the cold. You see, I am a tropical person and anything around or below 15°C is cold for me. The rain made it worse. Normally I’d avoid venturing out on days like these as the idea of getting wet in the rain made me uncomfortable. I’d rather stay indoors, make some tea, catch up with my favourite shows, order pizzas or pop some corn. But, today was different, it felt different. I just wanted to step out despite of the bad weather, I did not mind the rain nor the cold. I walked out with a spring in my step. I was happy!
I made my way to my first destination: the bus station, a five-minute walk from my apartment. A left, followed by a right brought me to a crossroad where I had to wait for the traffic light to turn green which took about a minute. I utilized the time to plug in my earphones and search for a song on my iPhone and ended up playing James Blunt’s “You’re beautiful”. It seemed like the perfect song. A few moments later, the light turned green and I resumed walking and just as I crossed the street, it began to rain bringing the stagnant puddles back to life. People on the sidewalks, some walking some riding their bikes picked up their pace to get out of the rain. I on the other hand slowed down. I held out my arm and watched the droplets splatter as it landed on my hand. It felt cold, and pleasantly weird. With a half-smile on my face, I retracted my hand back under the cover of my umbrella and continued walking.
I reached the bus station just in time and after a short ride on the bus I reached JR Kurume train station. A grand building with a huge stained-glass entrance. I looked at the station clock, it was 7:15 AM. I was early and had thirty minutes to spare. My train to Fukuoka was at 7:45 which gave me enough time for breakfast. I stopped by at the convenience store and bought a cup of coffee and what had just become my new favourite, Croissants! particularly the salty ones. The combination of the bitter coffee and the salty croissants, magically turned sweet in my mouth. To me it was perfection! I bagged the croissant and held the hot cup of coffee with both hands as I exited the convenience store. The warmth radiating through the paper cup was comforting in the cold outside but what felt better was its aroma as I took my first sip on the escalator going up.
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