Chapter 7:

March 7: The harsh Reality

One Month to Figure out my Future

The next morning I spent it studying. Miyo had also exams coming up and my parents usually spent their Sundays sleeping to recover some energy so, there was absolute silence at home.Bookmark here

It was afternoon when Miyo knocked at my door.Bookmark here

“It’s me open up, if you are not doing anything lewd.”Bookmark here

Very funny… I opened the door and immediately Miyo looked at my computer screen probably hoping to bust me, but unfortunately for her, the only thing to see was the lock screen.Bookmark here

“So what’s up?”Bookmark here

“First, you should always ask a girl to come in.”Bookmark here

“Whatever…”Bookmark here

I let her come in, she sat on my bed or I should say, she jumped on it like there was no tomorrow. I got back to my desk.Bookmark here

“If just want to chill on my bed, I can allow it. I can take a break and play some videogames.”Bookmark here

“Geez, I’m not here to chill. I wanted to ask you a question.”Bookmark here

“Go ahead then.”Bookmark here

She tried to have a more serious look.Bookmark here

“You told me you had to fill your career plan. What do you want to do with your future?”Bookmark here

“I guess you could summarize it as computer engineer.”Bookmark here

“Do you think you will like it?”Bookmark here

“I will learn to like it.”Bookmark here

“Why you say that?”Bookmark here

Too many questions…Bookmark here

“It’s not like I can go out there and hand peak the job that most suits my ideal. I have to choose the path that can offer me more options.”Bookmark here

“You feel like you have no choice then?”Bookmark here

Strangely enough Miyo was actually really serious about his conversation.Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“You think I might have the same problem?”Bookmark here

“To be honest I don’t think you will. There is a big difference between us, you are concentrating all your efforts on developing a skill, in this case cooking. On the other hand, I chose knowledge over pure skill. You might say I’m not constraining myself to only one path. It has certain advantages like the possibility to adapt and change over time but it might be really tough and unpleasant at the beginning. You are targeting something more specific from day one, something you really care about.”Bookmark here

After I finished my speech I noticed how Miyo was looking at me with her eyes wide open.Bookmark here

“It makes sense, to my surprise…”Bookmark here

“I will take it as a compliment.”Bookmark here

“But are you sure you want to face such a challenge?”Bookmark here

“To be honest, no I’m not sure. Unfortunately though, I don’t see any other option.”Bookmark here

“Big brother, why do they make us fill a career plan?”Bookmark here

“Probably as a wakeup call to remember that our high school days are quickly coming to an end.”Bookmark here

“It’s cruel in my opinion.”Bookmark here

Now she got me interested, I wanted to listen to her point of view.Bookmark here

“Why you think it’s cruel?”Bookmark here

“They should call it something like, after school plan. Career plan sounds like there is no place for anything outside of studying and working.”Bookmark here

“But that is how it actually is. That’s how things work. We compete against each other and we can’t lose any time.”Bookmark here

“What about love? Our parents committed to having a family, can’t we do the same thing?”Bookmark here

“Things have change quickly over the last few years… You call that love? They barely speak to each other or to us and they have not so pleasing jobs, the pay is unfair compared to the actual working hours they put in every day.”Bookmark here

“Is that why you are scared?”Bookmark here

I honestly didn’t know what she meant.Bookmark here

“Scared of what?”Bookmark here

“Scared of loving someone. You keep saying it’s not your thing to fell for a girl, or you pretend you don’t have time.”Bookmark here

It actually got me thinking. Was I really scared? Was it a self protecting mechanism my brain developed based on my parents’ example?Bookmark here

“For one time I was able to leave you with no words. You should add to your fancy career plan that you want to live alone your whole life because that’s what is going to happen to you if you continue like this.”Bookmark here

Miyo was probably done lecturing me and she headed for my room’s door.Bookmark here

“Hey sis, what about you? Are you going to look for your soul mate?”Bookmark here

“Of course, I want to make you a proud uncle.” And she left with a big smile on her face.Bookmark here

That was a lot to process so I decided to get some fresh hair. Even dough I like to stay alone, I’m still a city boy and crowds allow me to blend in, disappear and, believe it or not, I can really feel free. The Shibuya area was perfect for me.Bookmark here

Once I got there, I decided to stop by the usual café I often come with Hayato. I really liked it because it was distributed over two floors and going upstairs allows for a stunning view over the overcrowded streets of Tokyo.Bookmark here

“Hey Satoshi, good to see you.”Bookmark here

Frequenting this café allowed me to become friends with Kensuke, one of the barmen.Bookmark here

“Hi Kensuke, I’ll have the usual coffee and donut thanks. Upstairs please.”Bookmark here

“On it! Oh Hayato is already upstairs with a girl.”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“Aren’t they waiting for you?”Bookmark here

“No… Maybe Hayato just picked up a girl as usual. Hold the coffee, I will take the donut home, add another one for my sister so she doesn’t complain.”Bookmark here

“Yes Sir.!”Bookmark here

“One more thing, can you tell me how does this mysterious girl look like?”Bookmark here

“Let me think, average height, purple hair, unusual hair style, how do you guys call it, messy bun? Yeah I think that’s it. Pretty attractive too.”Bookmark here

Rihoko??? What is she doing with Hayato on a Sunday afternoon? It must be a coincidence. Why I feel so weirdly interested? I almost can’t leave without first checking out what those two are doing. What if they saw me? No, I’d better get out. Bookmark here

I came here to free my mind and now it’s even worse than before, I could try going to the arcade, but I’m too curious.Bookmark here

I was standing on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road when I noticed Hayato coming out of the café; he was in fact with Rihoko. I decided to follow them. Unfortunately my spying mission didn’t last long because they got into a shopping mall. It was too risky for me to go in with them so I finally gave up and went to the arcade.Bookmark here

While playing I could feel a mild sense of anger. Maybe having spent some time with Rihoko made me care about her. I shouldn’t feel angry; at the end of the day if she invited me to go out I would have just lied not to go. Hayato was the typical sporty guy, he had a good reputation, it was clear that it would have ended up like this. I should just blame me for not being like him.Bookmark here

When I was done playing I headed home. When passing by the same basketball court I decided to sit down like Hayato the day before. Maybe I was hoping someone would come and make me feel better just like I did with Hayato.Bookmark here

Sure enough, after some time, something happened.Bookmark here

“Mr. Kamizati you should be studying!”Bookmark here

It was Hayato, Rihoko wasn’t with him. They were probably done for today.Bookmark here

“I studied, and you?”Bookmark here

“Yes Sir, all the morning, I just kept this afternoon for myself.”Bookmark here

“What did you do?”Bookmark here

“Wandering through the city a bit, I also checked out a couple of shopping malls. There is always so much stuff to see!”Bookmark here

“How is Rihoko?”Bookmark here

I wasn’t letting him off the hook that easily, this time I was the one asking questions.Bookmark here

“Why would I know how…”Bookmark here

He looked at the box of donuts, he recognized the logo and figured everything out.Bookmark here

“Were you there?”Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“I can explain.”Bookmark here

“I’m sure you can.”Bookmark here

“Hayato you are sounding really mad, I swear I didn’t have any weird intentions. I saw Rihoko at the mall, I invited her to the café. I asked her how everything was going and it turned out you didn’t properly fill me in on what happened with the student council president.”Bookmark here

“And then you decided to go back with her to the mall?”Bookmark here

“Did you follow us? Well, yes I did but I didn’t stick with her for long, trust me.”Bookmark here

Should I believe him? It wouldn’t be that hard for him to orchestrate such a lie, and the only way for me to verify it would be to ask Rihoko but, he knows I won’t do it.Bookmark here

“Satoshi it’s ok. You care about her so you were worried, I understand. It was my fault, I shouldn’t have asked her to come with me. But I promise, nothing happened and nothing will ever happen between us.”Bookmark here

“I’m not worried, you can do whatever you want, I wanted to play the part of the one asking the questions this time. Now, I should get home before these donuts go bad. See you tomorrow.”Bookmark here

I faked a smile and left. Was I mad? Probably, but I was trying to convince myself that being mad was wrong. I didn’t need to feel that way, it was just acting stupidly. Then I remembered a detail that Kensuke told be me before. Rihoko was wearing her usual messy bun. Considering what she told me about it, that meant she wasn’t feeling “free”, it was more of a serious situation. I was tired of over thinking, and I hoped that after a good sleep, tomorrow everything would have looked way different. Bookmark here

Once at home, both my parents were awake, they waved at me and Miyo welcomed me: “Hey big brother, you are back, is everything ok?”Bookmark here

“Sure. Look, I brought you something.”Bookmark here

“Donuts from Kensuke’s café? Awesome! What did I do to deserve it?”Bookmark here

“For once you talked like a proper grown up.”Bookmark here

“I could say the same for you big brother, I guess we both deserve one donut.”Bookmark here

Miyo surely knows how to counterattack quickly; it’s always a challenge to keep up with her.Bookmark here

“Hey son, Miyo told us you have to present you career plan to the teacher. I certainly hope you won’t follow your dad’s footsteps.”Bookmark here

That was the first thing my dad said to me since last Sunday.Bookmark here

I quickly looked at Miyo after what he just said, as if I was trying to tell her “I told you…”Bookmark here

“Honey, don’t put it that way. What your father is trying to say is that we wish the best future possible for you. We know you are a smart boy, if you study hard enough you will reach your goals.”Bookmark here

“My goals or your goals? The goals you should have pursued but you didn’t? And now the responsibility is all mine?”Bookmark here

Miyo quickly grabbed my arm and pulled it a bit, trying to let me know to go easy, so I didn’t go any further.Bookmark here

My parents looked shocked and I just wanted to get out of their sight so, I decided to get back to my room, but my mum stopped me.Bookmark here

“Satoshi. People make mistake, that’s how they learn and improve. We as parents have the obligation to prevent you from making the same mistakes we did. We are not trying to be selfish, we just the best for you and your sister. Take some time to think about it.”Bookmark here

As soon as she was done I disappeared in my room.Bookmark here

I hate it. They are right. From a logical point of view they are right. What about morally? It doesn’t matter. There is no place in our merciless society for moral. Everyone would want their parents to say “Feel free to do what you most desire.” Maybe I don’t even know what I want to do, that’s why I felt so uncomfortable. Bookmark here

Let me address this. I don’t hate my parents; they just look like strangers to me. We spend only the weekends “together” and maybe one week during summer break. It’s hard to take an advice from someone who barely knows you.Bookmark here

Once dinner was ready I joined my family, they all tried to look as if nothing happened, maybe to make me feel better. I played along a bit but, one I was done eating, I once again fled to my cave and before closing the door I wished everybody a goodnight.Bookmark here

I played more video games and finally decided to actually get some rest. And just like that, an incredibly messy week was over. On to the next one, I guess…Bookmark here

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