「Haa, It’s so cold today」
I accidentally let my thoughts slip. The sky was glazed in dark damp clouds. If I am not mistaken, this morning’s news stated that there was a 60% probability of rain occurring in the afternoon……. I had just finished meeting with a client so I went out of the building, I pulled the scruff of my coat to better cover myself and headed straight towards the closest train station. There was a plan to meet my subordinate at Shinjuku Station at 14:45 sharp. Right now it was 13:35. From the nearest station, it takes around 40 minutes to arrive at Shinjuku Station. My stomach is totally empty and most likely there will be enough time for me to eat some soba noodles at Shinjuku Station if I stood whilst eating.
It is likely that from the previous business negotiation I had just completed with my client, I will be able to secure a reasonably big order. If this is successful, I will be able to achieve my sales budget for this term. Although I couldn’t help but to grin slightly, asides from my individual sales, I remembered that the department/division I’m working for is not yet in a safe level that I can be content with, knowing that hardships are still yet to come I suddenly felt a rising depression growing within me. I reminiscence about the sales figure my subordinate that I’m supposed to be meeting, has achieved so far.
It’s already in the middle of February and it seems that she was only able to meet around 30% of the sales goal. At this pace/rate the most she could accomplish will be around 60 % by the end of March. (Allow me to mention that within this term, as in within this annual quarter January-March) there are other subordinates within my sales team that are doing quite well apart from her. However, this is not a good reason to neglect the situation. Today’s meeting is due to the fact she was finally able to make an appointment with a client.
Arriving at the station, I took out my Suica and entered. (Note: Suica is a prepaid e-money card). The remaining balance in the card is 12,345 yen. Ohh, what an interesting array of numbers. Well it wasn’t like a number used to win a horse bet, but more like a serial number I suppose. Finding an amusing irony in the set of numbers, I somehow felt a little better as I boarded the train towards Shinjuku. Mid-afternoon of a weekday: In terms of riding on trains (I have this habit of going to the end of the train especially if it was during the daytime. This is because the chances of it being empty is much higher) the end of the train is usually empty and it becomes possible to sit down comfortably without the need to worry about fighting for a spot. There is about 20 passengers inside.
Whilst sitting inside the train I began to remember the events of a previous customer transaction. Last year, I handed over this particular client of mine to my subordinate, I believed the client was pleased with her. Therefore I purposefully handed this client over to her. However it seems that the sales figure strangely dropped this year. It makes me worried.
I want to find/grasp out the main cause for the drop in sales in today’s meeting. That’s because, if the root of the problem isn’t found, I won’t be able to create countermeasures to solve it. Because the customers’ orders/demand was decreased so suddenly, it is certain that the share is being taken away by other competing companies. The question is the motive. Well, since the problem can’t really be solved by thinking about it right now, let’s stop worrying about the matter for now.
For some reason I’m a little bit sleepy. I absentmindedly stared at the weekly magazine advertisement which hung inside the train with a drowsy mind.
After I graduated from high school I did not possess enough money for tuition expenses. Therefore I decided to enter the National Defense Academy because they told me I could receive some sort of salary. (At the time when I entered the Defense Academy back in the 1980’s, the requirements to enter weren’t as high as they are now. All you needed to enter was a healthy body and no criminal record, your family/close relatives also needed to have no criminal record, in other words it was the so called “clean record”, furthermore as long as you graduated from high school with a passing grade you were allowed entry. Most likely this was due to the fact that assets were being highly inflated within the economy and Japan was at the peak of their depression, therefore the popularity of the Self Defense Forces was very low). (Note: This event in Japanese History was known as the Lost Decade) Unlike when I was in high school my grades in university wasn’t anything special, I was just a little above average in my grades when I graduated, afterwards I quickly entered into the Maritime Officer Candidate School. Because I was a graduate from the Defense Academy, I was only required to be assigned to the unit for half a year (If you were to enter this program right now, the amount of time required would be the same as if you attended a general university which is 9 months.) I was stationed in the country side for my military duties when an event occurred at the end of the year.
I was able to take my leave for the New Year’s holiday for 4 days in a row and I had thought that this was truthfully, a blessing in disguise. Before I went home to my family, I visited a high school friend of mine who lived in Tokyo, this was on December 30th which was at the beginning of my holiday.
To begin with, just because I bought a new car in the New Year Holidays, I wanted to show it off to my family in order to gain their respect, this was slightly mischievous of me I know. I arrived to my friend’s house on the 30th in the evening, we went out together to a nearby pub and had plenty of things to drink and eat, it was only after quite a bit of time had passed that we decided to call it a night and go home.
A few minutes after we exited the pub, we were met with a scene whereby a bunch of men were trying to hit on this pretty woman. The girl seemed to be getting cornered by the thugs, she was clearly not interested and was trying to reject the men’s advances, however she was being pursued relentlessly by them, these men are what you might call hoodlums (or another way to call them would be juvenile delinquents), I had tried to convince myself that this kind of occurrence was a regular one within the Tokyo downtown district. I turned a blind eye to the problem and tried to walk past them. I’m just a part of the measly self-defense force unit and not really a policeman whom should uphold the law, if by some chance I were to be involved in a fighting incident and this got into the newspaper, this would cause many troubles for the unit I am serving and I may get kicked out as a result.
By the way, my stupid drunk friend for some reason or other was totally full of energy and he wanted to look good/cool in front of the woman who was getting hit on by the hoodlums, I don’t really know if he had some sort of fantasy about being the hero who saved the damsel in distress but he went in front of the hoodlums and he actually gave them a warning. Naturally, the juvenile delinquents did not listen to his warning in the slightest, instead they turned their attention towards us and began to question us about our real identities “Who the hell are you?” they said, as they looked at us with a suspicious looking gaze.
In regards to the woman, I signaled her to “get away”, whilst trying to grab my friends arm/side in order to hold him back, I really didn’t want him to get involved. The fact is I probably didn’t need to interfere or get worried about him. This guy since middle school had been a practitioner of Judo and as long as his opponent’s had their clothes on he could forcefully throw them. At best, he would be able to throw down one to two of these delinquents before we had to run away, of course I was already planning my escape route.
My thoughts were way too naive. One of the crazy delinquents suddenly raised his voice in a piercing shriek and ran at my friend with a knife. If I am not mistaken, there was a rumour in the news recently about a gang of delinquents getting into a fight and actually causing bloodshed, this was reported not too long ago. As I was thinking about how bad this situation was becoming, I was attacked. My friend who was about to throw the guy coming at him with a knife was tackled down by another guy from the side. I gave a sidelong glance to my friend whom was just tackled. I became desperate and tried to convince myself that this was all part of a legitimate self-defense act. Figuring that I had no other choice but to fight, I was preparing myself to use the Hand-to-Hand Combat skills I learned in the Self Defense Force against them.
Even though my grappling skills weren’t as good as my friend, I trained for over four and a half years with both the Defense Academy and Maritime Officer Candidate School. My body had been forged by the training both in terms of hand-to-hand combat and overall physical strength, when faced with such a dangerous situation my body moved naturally and spontaneously in response to the threats.
In conclusion, the fight ended with my friend being stabbed whilst he was on the floor luckily none of his internal organs were harmed and he was able to escape with his life, on the other hand I made sure to beat the living hell out of the person who stabbed my friend along with all the other gang members and send them all tied up to hospital, then the policemen came rushing towards the hospital and arrested them. There was plenty of witnesses in the downtown area at night, naturally I couldn’t leave my friend who was hurt, all by himself to just to run away by myself. I was surrounded by a mountain of men all armed, whilst I was the only one without a single wound on my body, naturally the policeman would see me as a suspicious person so I had no choice but to accompany the police officer to the police station. (Note: Wow this guy is op…. LOL)
—-A Self Defense Force (JSDF) veteran in active duty has brutally assaulted civilians. (Note: I will use the Term JSDF from now instead of Japanese Self Defense Force)
Back when I was serving, the SDF personnel were viewed as social outcasts. For someone like me who was ranked OF-3 Major and had a minor leadership role within the GSDF (Ground Self-Defense Force), it was obvious that they wanted to use me as a scapegoat for the mass media which seemed to gobble up the story like hungry fish. I pleaded not guilty and used legitimate self-defense as my excuse in the trial, furthermore the woman at the scene of the crime also provided a testimony for me, in the end my innocence was proven and I was able to win the case. However, because I became a nuisance to the JSDF, I had no other choice but to resign. My superior officer was half crying when he profusely apologised to me saying “I’m sorry, I’m really sorry” whilst bowing his head, back in those days, discrimination/public criticism towards JSDF was too strong and there was no other solution than for me to resign.
I thought that it was a real shame I had to leave in such a way, But what has already happened has happened, no use dwelling on it. I parted away from the JSDF formally recognised in the shape of an independent resignation. Well it wasn’t like I committed a crime and there was no crime history recorded either, I was still young in the first half of the 1990’s and I quickly adjusted by finding employment. Even if I wasn’t greedy looking for a job, it was relatively easy for me to obtain employment in a small/insignificant trading company, I was able to land a job in a mid-level food trading company.
Ah, By the way nothing special developed between the women I rescued that day.
Inside the train, a poster was hanging on the other side from where I sat, it said: 「Behind the Scenes, the Great Efforts of the JSDF in 3.11」When I saw such an article/magazine I absentmindedly stared at it and it revived back some old memories I had in my younger days. All of my regrets and lingering emotions regarding the JSDF were already completely gone, however, I always had this feeling that if I were still in the JSDF and I was sent out towards the earthquake disaster, I would have lost my life………. It is not a lie that I have such feelings. You’ve probably guessed from the resignation event which occurred, but, I obviously don’t have a strong sense of justice.
If I truly had a strong sense of justice, then the first person to act in order to save the woman would have been me instead of my close friend. The only reason I acted was because I was forced by the circumstances. Even the fact of me entering the SDF was not particularly because I wanted to be a hero serving the country or to be of assistance to the national defence of Japan. The main reason for my attendance in the JSDF was because I could relieve myself from the need to pay for any tuition fees, and after graduation from the SDF I was guaranteed to be automatically employed that was how simplistic my thoughts were.
Of course the GSDF (Ground Self Defense Force), MSDF (Marine Self-Defense Force) and my forced assignment to the country side (Though it was a very short time span of one year) was all under the orders of the JSDF, at that period, the JSDF were the ones putting food into my mouth and naturally I realised that it meant that I had a duty towards the nation’s security. Nevertheless those things have passed, I am no longer working for the JSDF and words like nation’s security holds no meaning to me.
Whilst I was thinking about such things at length/profoundly, I slowly drifted off into sleep. Besides, I still had plenty of time before I arrived in the last terminal to Shinjuku.
「Please marry me!」
In front of my eyes stood a young woman. It is my wife. But what was this anyways? Ahhh, it’s a dream. It’s been 19 years since we were married, and even for my wife, her age was catching up with her. She isn’t that young anymore and she is even starting to grow some wrinkles. However, the wife in front of me right now was around her twenties no matter how you looked at it…….if I’m not mistaken she should be 27 years old. This was a scene of me proposing to my wife. At this point in time I was 25 years of age. It was when I proposed to my wife 19 years ago. This brings back memories. Even though I know it’s just a dream, it’s really nice to see my wife so young again. I feel like I can fall in love with her all over again. The reason why I think that she looks young when she’s 27 years old is most likely because I myself is over 40 years of age.
As I thought it’s the spectacle from that time. Even the answer she gives me is the same. She looked directly into my eyes and whilst letting out a slight smile she answers me clearly. Yea, yeah this is really nice. I thought that I would get stomach butterflies but because this is a dream there is no such reaction coming from my stomach. I’m after all an old man already so it can’t really be helped.
「Although it is indeed regrettable, it is necessary to remove the madam’s womb due to her weak physical condition」
Almost like I received a slap to the face the words made me miserable. The general physician Ito, whom is in charge of my wife’s health, delivers the bad news whilst biting his lower lip.
My wife was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and after she got operated, my wife lost her womb.
She was crying whilst saying 「Sorry. I’m so sorry」
This was the second year of marriage.
Bump, Bang, It’s shaking.
「it’s beautiful, thank you」
It was the moment in which I presented her ring, she had a pleased expression on her face. It was the so called sweet 10 carat diamond. I gave it to her as a present for our 10th anniversary marriage celebrations. This ring was bought from the pocket money/secret stash I managed to accumulate by playing Mahjong, I was proud to say that Mahjong was one of my strong points and both my superiors and co-workers were like sitting ducks/easy marks when they played against me.
(As I thought my wife is really cute. I’m really glad I got married to her)
I closed my eyes in deep satisfaction. This time, I was 36 years old. My wife was 38 years old. Indeed it would probably be an overstatement if I were to say that she was cute at this age. However I still thought that she was the loveliest girl in the whole world.
Bang, bump, it’s shaking.
「It’s nice to meet you, my name is…… Please take care of me」
This person has such a soft voice. For some reason or other she was bowing her head really low that I couldn’t really see her face either. Ahh I couldn’t really hear what she said, but, isn’t this Shiina’s interview? Shiina is the subordinate I am about to meet at Shinjuku Station. I suppose my dream is still continuing. How long ago was it again? 7~8 years ago I think?
Bang, bump, it’s shaking.
「Is this all the members that are present for today?」
The person in front of me looked like the son of Godzilla as he asked such a question. Ahh, isn’t this Yoshitake-san from the next division/branch. Even though Yoshitake-san has this kind of face, she’s actually a girl. Whoopty doo, that’s Tasaki-san she’s a person that resembles Jaiko from Doraemon. Why does our company have so many women that have such individualistic and unique faces I wonder?
「That’s right, including me we have 19 people」
Today is just a leisure day composed of volunteer employees. In our company there is no such system that gives company trips to the employee’s, furthermore there are also no events such as end of year parties or New Year’s parties. Although at first I thought that there would be a low number of people interested in gathering together for a company trip as a holiday, on the contrary after doing an experiment and calling people out, there was a quite a large number of people gathered.
The company’s fishing club flourished. I grew up in the rural area along the sea and naturally fishing was one of my hobbies. It is simply one of my past time favourite things to do. I won’t acknowledge the people who pay to go on a lake filled with a predetermined set amount of fish and perform the thing known as “catch and release”. If you catch a fish, you must eat it.
10 years ago I met this co-worker of mine whom was 2 years younger than me, his past-time hobby was also fishing, and since then we have arranged to meet up several times in order to go fishing together. After that it would be a regular occurrence for fishing to be brought up as a topic whilst we were conversing. At one stage both of us used to take photos of our magnificent catches in order to share them with each other, we would often go into the smoking room in order to passionately talk about fishing and there was this one time where another colleague overhead us talking and since then the fishing fever was spread and there was a ripple effect for the other colleagues as they suddenly became interested in fishing.
At first it was just the two of us that was in this fishing club, however, around 4 years ago the company finally formally accepted the fishing club as its popularity kept increasing. Right now, it has become a regular occurrence in our company for us to gather on every third Saturday of every month to go on a fishing trip. Unless someone was really hard-pressed and was unable to make it to the event, the attendance for the fishing event was really quite high, because the company has acknowledged the formation of such a club most of the expenses are actually covered by the company. A surprising amount of money has actually been conferred to us by the company over the years. The amount of money already budgeted to us over the many years has amounted to at least 1.2 million yen. Besides the cap/hat that we bring for fishing, most of the expenses were actually in order to cover for the fishing boat fee.
「Ye〜s, then could I please grab your atten〜tion. Because we have two new members who will be joining us today, and the fact that it’s such a good weather because it’s early in spring, we can proceed according to the plan and we’ll go with marbled rock fish and black rock fishing. Please sit according to the seating order that was prepared for you in yesterday’s list. Although you can change your seating order a little later, people who get seasick and more or less people that aren’t really confident should not move from the middle of the boat〜 Alright please get on everyone」
After clarifying such things with the others, I secure my own fishing seat which is at the very front of the boat. The person who sat next to me was the girl with the Godzilla face.
「Isn’t Shiina-san coming today?」
「Ahh, apparently she’s going out with her family on a trip. She said something about going to a place called Nasu」
「Eh? It is really unusual that Shiina-san won’t be attending our usually meeting today」
Certainly for Shiina whom has a really high ratio of attending all the regular meetings, this may be the first time that she has actually skipped on a meeting. Well it can’t be helped it’s a family trip after all.
Today the group had a really big catch. Aside from me that is.
Bang, bump, it’s shaking.
oresama@seitansai: Today is my birthday（・∀・）Oh yeah!
oresama@seitansai: It, it’s not like I really wanted you to give me some sort of congratulation’s okay? ///
junya: .o゜*。 o
∧_∧ ／ヽ ）。 *o
oresama@seitansai: You don’t have to look for that kind of AA, it’s not even properly aligned pgr (Note: the emoticon’s when aligned properly actually show a cute face just think of Nepu the crawler/translator)
junya: I even tried so hard・・・
junya: for turning 44 years old！
junya: you’re great (ノ´∀｀*)
oresama@seitansai: also, I’m no longer 44 years old, I’ve become 45 years old ya know?
oresama@seitansai: I’ve really become an old man
junya: oh stop it, you are in your prime !
oresama@seitansai: well, it’s more like I’m mature in age and wisdom
junya: (*´∀｀) lolol
oresama@seitansai: how about you, aren’t you going to say your age?
junya: I’m 30 years old, what about it？
This was……..The chat I had last year during my birthday.
I was strangely quite compatible with Shiina, and we became quite close. She was a new recruit that had just come in and in order to get her used to the job I trained/drilled her for a period of 2 years about the formalities in handling business transactions.
I taught her the basics of fishing whilst she was keeping me up to date with things like 2channel and recommending/teaching me how to play various games, sometimes we would also go out to drink together.
Bump, bang, its shaking.
Bang, bump, it’s jolting.
Bang, bump it’s rattling.
(Wha, what’s happening?)
(Ohh, My body slides………and flies away! The other passengers in the train are also flying!!)
Guwashyaa!! *crash* *smash*
(This is bad, at this rate…?!!!)
BARI BARI!! *Crunch* *Crackle*
(I’m going to get smashed into the train!!)
(If only I can grab unto one of the poles!!!)
Just when I thought that I had successfully grabbed unto the pole, a shadow of a person came crashing into me.
It’s probably too late for me to understand this now, but I was most likely in a train accident right now.
Ahh, although my left hand was able to get a grip on the pole, but due to the person who crashed into me my grip is peeled off. When I took a quick glance it seemed that the person who crashed into me was just a child.
Even though it’s around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, shouldn’t a kid like this be at school or something?
It seems that she’s still at the age where she attends kindergarten.
Using my reflexes I manage to hold unto the child who crashed into me.
A big impact hits my right shoulder.
I probably hit something really hard.
Is it about time?
Is it about the time that the train is going to hit something?
「Guhaaa!!!!!!! 」 *argh*
A weird voice came out.
The trained had already crashed and many people were thrown against the edge of the vehicle, people were piled upon each other and even I was sandwiched in between the mass of people.
Seriously, it hurts like hell.
(Am I……… going to die here…….?)
I can’t move my body. The person I smashed into (The Adult person) had his neck twisted at a really weird angle.
The child whom I protected with my body could be heard crying.
I can’t focus my eyes.
I was able to vocalise with the last of my strength the name of my beloved family member.
In the end, I was able to call out the name of my wife before I died, because of that I was a little satisfied.
I died in a train accident, at the middle of February 2015.
It would be a lie if I told you that I have no regrets, however I don’t have any kids to speak of and my parents grew old and they are still alive and well. My wife has her own job, and she will definitely be able to support herself. Of course I also have a life insurance policy, if I take into consideration various things, well you can say that I have lived a full life. But it is a fact that my life was really short. I still haven’t lived the latter half of my life.
Yeah, well I did save up an extremely high grade alcohol which I planned to drink with my wife this weekend and there was also the matter of this terms sales figures. The fact that I have such trivial thoughts and regrets is a little weird but, I suppose it’s all just a part of life.