Categories > Original > Drama > Akasaka Moon
I will never forget April 7th, 1959. It was raining on that Tuesday. I was twenty-five years old and my career as a priest was going rather smoothly. I still worked as an assistant in counseling to Hirata-sama that year. Japan was on its seventh year of independence from the Allied forces. Juriko and Haruka had long since faded from my mind. My mother was still doing well with her health. In fact, we called each other on a nightly basis. I just thought that my life had nicely come together.
And then, there was that morning in April 7th, 1959.
I was running late that morning because I overslept from working on some paperwork from last night. It was rare for me to have crappy days in 1959. Judging from the rain, I thought that was going to be one of those bad days. I didn’t have time to get breakfast and didn’t think that I even had the right papers. I didn’t even have time to check as I rushed out the door. I stood out in the rain in front of my apartment, trying to hail a taxi.
Come on!/, I thought. /Where is that damn taxi! I kept looking through the heavy rain.
“Oh no!” I heard someone wail. “My shoes!” When I looked up, I thought that I saw one of the gods’ most precious gifts. This woman looked about my age, maybe younger. She had plastic pink-purple hair clips by her ears. She looked like a little porcelain doll in her white and pink dress suit with matching shoes and a hat. She would’ve looked prettier with a smile on her face. I found myself drawn over to her.
“Excuse me miss,” I said. I looked up at me, frustrated.
“What?” she wailed. I gave her a calm smile.
“Are you okay, miss?” I asked.
“No!” she whimpered at me.
“Okay,” I said. “What is the problem?”
“A car drove by and ruined my new shoes,” she said. I looked down at the problem that she was talking about. Mud and water had seeped through her left pink shoe and white pantyhose.
“Here,” I said in a patient voice. I reached into my jacket and pulled out a handkerchief. I knelt down and wiped her leg off the best that I could. She looked on at me with a curious look.
“I don’t get it,” she said.
“Why are you doing all of this for some stranger that you’ve just met?” the woman asked. I only shrugged at her.
“Felt like it,” I said. She giggled at me.
“What?” I asked.
“You’re an odd person,” she said. I shrugged again.
“I get that a lot,” I said.
“Do you?” she asked.
I nodded as I pressed my lips together. “Yeah.”
“What is your name?” this angel asked.
“Kato Iwao. What’s yours?” I answered.
My little butterfly gave me a smile for the first time since we met. “Hino Michiko.”
My jaw almost dropped. “You mean… Hino, as in sake brewers?”
“That’s right,” she said.
I gave off a low whistle. “Wow.” I took another look at Michiko. “So, what’s the occasion today, Hino-san?”
Michiko gave me a funny look. “Occasion?”
“You know, why are you all dressed up like that?” I asked.
“Oh! I’m going to tour the Hino Factory today,” she answered with a smile. I blinked at her answer.
“Why?” I asked.
“I’m an only child and there are no other male heirs to the company. So, my father’s thinking about letting me run the company,” she replied.
I gave her a strange look. “Is he sure that is a good idea?”
Michiko frowned at me. “You don’t think I’m capable enough to run the factory?”
I quickly put up my hands. “No, no! I think you’ll do a good job. It’s just…”
“Just what?” she challenged.
“It would be interesting to see a woman run a big company!” I blurted out. Michiko’s face didn’t change as she kept her mouth closed. I waited for a tense moment. Did I blow it with her? But then, her thin ruby-tined lips curved into a smile.
“You really are an odd one,” she said. I chuckled as I gave her my own smile.
“Yeah, I guess I am,” I said. Just then, the taxi pulled up. Michiko climbed inside and turned to me.
“You coming?” she asked. I gave her a blank stare at first.
“Do you want me to…?” I trailed off.
“Of course,” she said. “You have to go somewhere too, don’t you?” Her question reminded me that I was already running late for work that morning.
“Damn it, yes!” I yelled. I jumped into the cab next to her and buckled up.
“Drive!” I yelled at the driver. The man complied and stepped on the gas. Heh, not a bad morning after all. I got to meet an angel who was soon to be my wife in four years.
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