Chapter 3:

Shopping and Encounter


The station is a 20 minute walk away from my house, but this time I'm late, I can't afford getting late to the first hangout with a friend.

I rush through people and almost get bitten by a dog. I continue my race and I need to cross the street but the streetlight is still red for the pedestrains, I got no choicebut to hurry to the other sidewalk and I almost get driven over by a bicycle.

I manage to get to the station but is already 10:05.

"I'm late, clearly he has left" I sigh.

But a feel someone taps my shoulder, it's Izumi.

"Sorry for being late, I overslept" I said.

"No problem, same here" he replied with a smile.

As both of us enter the train I can't help to notice how he is dressed. An orange and yellow striped shirt over a white T-shirt, a pair of slightly broken jeans, sport tennis and a waist bag hanging from his shoulder over his chest. He is the definition of drip. Every girl on the train is looking at him.

After minutes of silence I speak:

"H-How have you b-been Izumi-kun" I said trying to start a conversation.

"First, Izumi is just fine and second, we saw each other yesterday, not much has happened" he replied.

I was sweating, not just only because of the heat of the train but because the embarrasment.

"I'm joking! Everything is cool bro" he corrected.

"[We are approaching the next station. Please be ready if you're going to descend]" we hear on the speaker.

"I think this is our stop" said Izumi.


We enter the mall and I'm just petrified, it's the first time I go to such a big place. The stores, the lights, people coming and going, everything is just amazing. But somehow I don't feel too intimidated maybe it is because Izumi is by my side.

We enter a phone store and the clerk approaches and bombard us with questions:

"Welcome dear clients, may I help you? What are you looking for? Maybe a phone case, a charger or accesories?"

My head is spining with so much to process, but Izumi remains calm and states:

"We are looking for a phone for my friend here"

"Of course. Sorry for not figuring it out before, everyone already has phones today so I supposed it was something else. Please follow me"

We follow the clerk as he shows me the newest models they've got.

"This one has the most powerful camera in the market, 15 megapixels. Ohh! This other one has a storage of 512 GB and 4 GB of RAM memory. And this one..." 

The clerk doesn't stop speaking and I don't understand a single word of what he is saying. Once again Izumi comes to the rescue:

"My friend  only wants to communicate with friends and take one or two photos, nothing spectacular"

"Anyway its your decission Tooru" Izumi says as he turns his head to me and show me a gently smile.

I see Izumi right in the eyes and feel relief.

"Then I will get this one please" I state to the clerk.

"Thank you for your purchase"


We are out of the store and feel the hot environment so we run to a close cafeteria to shelter from the sun.

"You made a great decission Tooru, now let's exchange our numbers" Izumi says.

As we register each other contacts I observe the place. The smell of the coofee, the speakers are playing what I guess is the trending music. There are lots of tables full of people around our age.

"It's done" declares Izumi as he sends me a sticker through Line.

I'm still figuring out how does the phone work when the waitress comes to take our order, but I could be more shocked of who the waitress is.

"Nakano-san what are you doing here" Izumi comments.

"Miyazawa-kun, Takeda-kun what a grate surprise to find you here. As you can see I work part time here"

"B-But why would so-someone like you w-work in a place li-like these" I stutter.

"I have my reasons" replied Nakano-san evading the question. "What can I get for you?" she asked changing the subject.

"I would like an iced tea" says Izumi.

"Ok, and for you Miyazawa-kun?"

"S-Same please" I answer with trembling voice.

"Two iced tea working. I'll be right back" replies Nakano-san before going away.

My heart is beating like crazy and I have almost no voice left. Izumi tries to cheer me up:

"Look who is lucky today, why don't you ask her number when she returns?"

"I-I can't do so-something like that"


After a few minutes of waiting Nakano-san brings our drinks.

"There you go, anything else that you want?"

"N-No we a-are fi-" I was talking when Izumi said:

"Yes there is one more thing, my friend wants to tell you something"

Nakano-san stares at me waiting for me to speak.

"I-I don't have a-anything to sa-" I can't even end the sentence when under the table I recieve a kick from Izumi.

"Are you okay Miyazawa-kun?" gently asks Nakano-san.

"Y-Yes I'm good. So-Sorry to b-bother yo-" before I finish what i was saying Izumi kicks me again.

"Enough!" I stand up yelling to Izumi, but everyone at the cafe turn their eyes to me.

I sit down again incredibly ashamed.

"If you excuse me, I'm pretty busy" noted Nakano-san.

"Of course, sorry for taking your time" replies Izumi.

"What were you thinking?" I question Izumi with a passive-agressive look.

"I thought you needed a little push" he answers calmly.

I refuse to keep discussing because of the shame. 

After we finish our drinks I get my wallet out to pay but Izumi is ahead a pays for both.

"I owe you for before, let me invite you this time" declares Izumi as we get prepared to leave.

Izumi goes to the bathroom for a moment and Nakano-san comes to clean the table.

"So-Sorry for the scandal before, Nakano-san" I say trying to apologize.

"Don't worry. By the way, I saw you've got a new phone. I knew someone was missing in the group chat, could you please give me your number so I can add you?" 

My mind explotes, she was watching me and now asked me my number.

"Y-Yes, my number is XXX-XXX-XXX" I quickly reply.

"Got it" says Nakano-san. She grabs one of the napkins and pulling out the pen she uses to take orders she writes something.

"Here is my number, I have other tables to attend so I have to run. See you on Monday Miyazawa-kun" she says before going away.

Izumi returns from the bathroom as sees what Nakano-san gave me.

"I knew you could" says while he laughs.


We are in the train back home when I remember what mom said.

"Hey Izumi, my mom told me that she wants to meet you. Would you like to come to my house for dinner?"

He stay quiet for a second.

"I would love to, but something came up" he replied with a serious expression.

Is not surprising that a guy like he has all he agenda full.

"But maybe another time" he said trying to cheer me up.


We say goodbye and take different paths.

Back at my room I see a notification on my phone, I was added to the group chat. I send a message to Izumi to ask him how he was but only the 'read' sign appears.

I was about to go to sleep when I recieve a message from the person  I least expected...