Sunday, February 14, 2016

Yasuko Reminisces #1: A Valentine's Day Dinner

Satoshi always had a thing for Megumi. Both my father and my uncle (Satoshi's father) set us up with an apartment in Tokyo, and once we got settled in, Megumi came by to welcome us and to check out our new place.

When Megumi walked through the door, Satoshi's jaw just dropped. He had this blank, dumbstruck look on his face--you know, how guys always look when they see a really pretty girl?

I had known Megumi since we were little kids. We were really close, so we immediately fell back into our old, familiar ways, even though I hadn't seen her in over five years. At the time, Megumi's English was very limited, and my Japanese was fairly rusty, but we both went on and on as if I had never left Japan at all, even though a lot of our conversation was in the form of nods, giggles, and facial expressions.

Satoshi, however, pretty much didn't speak Japanese at all. We didn't mean to exclude him, but there he was, hanging on our every word, smiling and nodding as if he understood everything. I could see him out of the corner of my eye just staring at Megumi. If she felt his glare, she didn't show it. That was Megumi--always super cool. She always showed complete indifference to the guys fawning over her--and there were a lot of guys fawning over her. I was a bit envious of her. She was older than me, and she had this cool vibe about her. I think part of that was because she was pretty tall--about 5' 9". She was a striking figure walking down the streets of Tokyo.

On my last visit back to Japan when I was sixteen, I became acutely aware of how often men would turn their heads when we walked by. One, two, three...I started to count them all. Soon it became an unconscious habit every time we went out, as natural as taking a breath.

So it was no surprise to me how quickly Satoshi had fallen for Megumi's charms. Satoshi and I grew up together. We were more like brother and sister than cousins. In all my life, I don't believe I have ever seen Satoshi angry. He was the most easy going person I have ever known. You would think that we would have gone through that phase of teasing and hair pulling that every little boy and girl goes through--but no, not Satoshi. He would do things like find bugs to give me--not to scare me or anything, but to give to me as a gift.

Satoshi got along with everybody. He always had a lot of friends, even though some of them were just jerks. I remember asking him, "Why are you friends with him? He's being a jerk to you!" And he would just shrug his shoulders. Nothing ever bothered him. The one thing I could tell though--even if he never really showed it--that got under his skin, was being teased about his height. He's only about 5' 5". I'm really short as well, about 5' 3", but it's different for girls.

So maybe I knew where this was heading with him and Megumi. Maybe I should have warned him. Not that Megumi was a bad person or anything, but Megumi and guys...they always ended up walking away with a broken heart.

I remember one time--Satoshi wanted to do something nice for Megumi. It was Valentine's Day, and of course Satoshi didn't want her to think that he was just inviting her, so he insisted that I had to come along with them...

Valentine's Day Dinner

Megumi, Yasuko, and Satoshi are finishing dinner at a restaurant.

Thanks for treating us to dinner, Satoshi!
Yes, thank you.
Well, it's Valentine's Day! I figure you two deserve a nice dinner!
Satoshi suddenly feels pain in his stomach.

Uh, before we go, I just want to use the restroom.
Satoshi hurries into the bathroom and into the stall. He is annoyed at having an upset stomach. He pulls down his pants, sits down and...feels immense relief. He reaches over to the toilet paper dispenser only to toilet paper.   
Oh, come on! You've got to be kidding me!!
Satoshi begins to panic when he realizes he has his cellphone. He pulls it out and calls Yasuko. Yasuko goes to answer but expresses confusion when she sees it's from Satoshi.

Why are you...

Yasuko! Do you have any tissues?

Um...yeah, but--
(Yasuko takes some tissues from her purse and holds them in her hand.)

I need you to bring some to me!
You want me to bring you some tissues?
Shhhhhh! Don't let Gumi know! Yeah, hurry!
But...I can't go into the men's room! Maybe I can get the waiter...?
No, no! Come on, Yasuko, nobody's here right now! Just bring them! Please!!
Mattaku, give them to me!
(She takes the packet of tissues from Yasuko)

Megumi, pack of tissues in hand, storms off to the men's bathroom. She opens the door and flings the pack of tissues under the stall where it lands next to Satoshi's feet.

Hurry up! You clean your butt now, okay?

(Satoshi cringes in embarrassment.)

Oh God, it's Gumi!
Five minutes later, Satoshi sheepishly meets the girls at their table. Megumi and Yasuko get up. Satoshi avoids looking at Megumi.

Uh, okay, let's go now!
Yasuko represses a smile as Satoshi shoots her a "don't you dare laugh!" look. They leave.

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