「You lost your footing on the stairs and sprained your left foot and right hand?」
I ring the doorbell, but there’s no response.
I turn the doorknob, which isn’t locked. I peek inside and call out to Mizuhara, and finally he responds.
I enter his room and see Mizuhara with his left foot and right hand wrapped in bandages.
「It’s nothing too serious. It’s just a light sprain.」
On the way home from watching a sports game, Mizuhara missed his step on an overpass.
Fortunately, he didn’t fall too far, and his injuries should heal in about 10 days.
But the swelling has been bad for about 2-3 days, and walking seems to cause him quite a lot of pain.
The doctor told him to rest well.
「What were you doing…. I’ll buy something from the convenience store.」
I buy some curry since he can only use his left hand.
I tell him that it’s a good thing he’s not a Muslim. He glares at me looking sullen. 1
「I didn’t know you liked sports though. Was it baseball or soccer?」
I sit in front of Mizuhara and drink some black tea while he’s eating the curry. It looks like he’s having trouble holding the spoon.
I ate a lot during the welcoming party, so I’m still full.
「I’m not interested in sports.」
「Huh? Then why were you there?」
「I wasn’t playing. I went there to watch a game. I got a premium seat for an international game held twice a year. I was hyped, but I screwed up and lost my footing.」
「What’s so funny?」
「Nothing. I just realized there’s so much I don’t know.」
What does it mean to watch a game?
What kind of competition is that?
What’s a premium seat?
「Is that what you meant by a request?」
Mizuhara’s struggling to open the lid of a pudding he bought for dessert.
He can’t hold it with his right hand, so it must be tough to open it.
I go over and try to open it for him, but he uses his nails to poke a hole in the aluminium lid, then sticks a spoon in it.
He may seem calm, but he looks frustrated at having his movements restricted and being in pain.
He looks like a kid who can’t use his hands properly.
I put the pudding on a flat plate and decorate it with some whipped cream and fruits in the fridge.
Mizuhara might spill it if it’s a small cup.
「Are you free next Sunday?」
「Why? What’s up?」
He tries to open his mail with his left hand to no avail, and he can’t use scissors without his right hand, so he ends up throwing the mail on the table.
I learned that everything becomes inconvenient if you can’t use your dominant hand.
「There’s a committee meeting for the Underground Sweets next Sunday, and I need to prepare a report for it, so I have to be there. I have a lot of stuff to carry, and I can’t use my right hand and left foot. Could you lend me a hand and come with me?」
「A committee meeting…」
「I will compensate you, of course. Hmm, how does 30,000 yen sound?」
Earning 30,000 yen for one day at a part time job is unheard of.
Speechless, I look at Mizuhara, who’s painstakingly hitting keyboard buttons on his computer.
Using his left hand for that and for moving the mouse takes him a lot of time.
Mizuhara is pushing the keyboard buttons as if he was Beethoven meeting his own fate.
「You should just honestly ask for help when you need it.」
I’m willing to help even without his offer of money.
「Well? You said the other day that Maruta-san’s store is going to be the headquarters for the Underground Sweets, right?」
「Yeah. The committee meeting will be held there.」
Then there’s no problem. I know the way there, and I need to stay close to Mizuhara since he’s having difficulty walking.
「We should be able to walk there within an hour. I have heavy and bulky stuff to bring, so an hour and a half should give us some allowance. What time does it start?」
「11:30. Were you referring to me when you said bulky stuff?」
I ignore Mizuhara’s rhetorical question, and arrange everything I need to bring.
Most of it is snacks. Sweets from all across Japan.
「The Underground Sweets consists of guys who can’t publicly disclose the existence of the committee for various reasons.」
「You mean the Conservative Party?」
I heard that before.
Mizuhara belongs to the Liberal Party.
「Yeah. That’s why the committees are all male, and females aren’t allowed there.」
「Hmm. Wait, is it okay for me to show up?」
「No. That’s why you’ll have to dress up as a guy. It should be easy for you.」
I want to perform a karate chop on Mizuhara, but I hold back because he’s injured.
- TL Note: According to Islamic tradition, the left hand is considered unclean and hence is not used for tasks such as eating, drinking, or social interactions. ↩