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.