Wednesday, January 27, 2016

God Wrote My Love Story in Kanji --- now available in Amazon Kindle!

Purchase your copies here: GOD WROTE MY LOVE STORY IN KANJI


                I rubbed my eyes with my knuckles and turned to look at the actual view on the other side because no one’s blocking my view now—
                —only to find Introvert Guy, who was sitting on the row opposite our row, looking straight at me. He was asleep a while ago, but German guy probably bumped into him as he’s occupying the aisle seat, waking him up.
                I blame it on a force of nature. Maybe it’s because of the cold autumn weather. Or maybe it’s because of the beautiful countryside view—
                Because I smiled at him.
                I. Just. Smiled. At. A. Stranger.
                I didn’t get to see his reaction because I immediately looked away after my stupid act. I calmly put on my earphones and closed my eyes just as German Guy came back. I couldn’t be more thankful. He just blocked Introvert Guy from my sight and vice versa.
                I enjoyed my bliss for 40 minutes before it was taken away from me again. German Guy, the businessmen, and the group of friends got off Shinagawa station, leaving me alone with Introvert Guy.
                Well… it’s not like he’ll start a conversation with me… right? I mean he’s wearing a mask. Even though I can’t see his hair or his eyes, I think he’s Japanese. Maybe he doesn’t even speak English so I have no reason to worry. And Shibuya is not that far anymore. Even though the train just stopped and the intercom just announced that there was a coming train so we needed to wait a bit to change train lanes (are they even called lanes), Shibuya’s the next station.
                Oh, man. This is the reason why people think I’m weird. Why do I always need to convince myself with… myself?
                Slowly, I turned my head towards Introvert Guy.
                And he was, again, looking at me from behind those sunglasses.
                Time stopped. It felt like a scene from a sci-fi movie.
                I was snapped back to reality when he suddenly moved and looked like he was about to stand up and talk to me.
                I, of course, panicked. So I stood up earlier than I was supposed to and proceeded to the luggage bins, thanking my lucky stars a bit later that I did, because I needed to dislodge my luggage from its cord lock.
                Damn these cord locks. Ah. There you go. Success! Now, all I need is to bring this thing down and—
                I felt the luggage being lifted off my hands and onto the floor.              
                It’s him. I know it’s him. After helping me, he didn’t say a word and just silently stood beside me, near the door, as the intercom announced we’ve arrived at Shibuya station.
                And so my conscience decided to nudge at me, the traitor.
                I cleared my throat, successfully catching his attention. He angled his head to face me.
                “Ah… thank you very much for helping me… with my luggage,” I muttered in English. I wanted to speak in Nihongo, but no Nihongo word came out.
                He simply stared at me—as if he’s deciding whether I was being sarcastic or not—and it made me uncomfortable. But he finally nodded after a short while, and turned his gaze away from me.
                I inwardly sighed with relief—that’s one worry gone. And by the time the train completely halted, I was already focused on another problem—forcing my determination to resurface.
                This is it. Don’t get scared now. I think I just quoted Kevin McAllister from Home Alone.
                When the door slid open, Introvert Guy moved aside to let me exit first. What a gentleman, I can’t help but think. The Japanese are really naturally polite and kind. I received nothing but smiles and the willingness to help from them since I landed at Narita Airport.
                I nodded my thanks and walked past him with my huge luggage in tow.
                And it’s when I heard it.
                “No English, huh?”
                I turned towards him right after I got out of the way, but he’s already walking towards the station stairs with his backpack.

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