Chapter 5:

Tokyo: Chapter 1

The Kimochi Warui Diary

Several months later, my brother and I were landing in Tokyo’s Haneda airport. From my seat at the window, all I could see was the airport. I was eager to bust out of this glass and concrete airport and into the mystical land of Japan. Bookmark here

“Get me the hell out of this plane,” my brother said.Bookmark here

He’s 6’3” and wasn’t doing well in coach seating for the last 11 hours. Not only is he tall, but he’s got a blunt, “no bullshit” kind of demeanor. Back home, he’s an LA City firefighter. Bookmark here

In life, he chose the jock route; I chose the academic route. When we actually work together, we form a nice team:Bookmark here

He’s the big strong guy who breaks through solid walls, and I’m the one thinking of how the broken pieces of wall will affect whatever’s on the other side. Bookmark here

Since I don’t want all this getting back to him, let’s go ahead and call my brother “Jotaro” from now on. Bookmark here

After getting off the plane, we were heading toward our first trial: Bookmark here

The line through customs. Bookmark here

A quick flash of our passports should be enough to get us through the gates! Bookmark here

A few minutes later, we were already at the front of the line. A round-faced Japanese woman in uniform pulled out a pink card, a pen, and got ready to dictate.Bookmark here

“How long you staying?”Bookmark here

“Until the 28th,” I replied.Bookmark here

“And the address where you staying?”Bookmark here

Nonsense! For this trip, we were doing things on the fly. After all, Jotaro had been on multiple camping trips in the mountains with only the bare minimum of supplies. That’s why he agreed when I said we should keep things simple: Bookmark here

We only carry what will fit in our backpacks!Bookmark here

The only exception of course, were our sleeping bags, which were strapped on top—just in case circumstances forced us to camp out somewhere less-than-conventional. Bookmark here

“I don’t have an address for that!” I said proudly.Bookmark here

But after I said it, I felt a chill. A cold and oppressive aura gathered behind the back of my head. It was the same feeling you’d get if a large, carnivorous animal just stood up on its hind legs behind you in a dark forest.Bookmark here

I turned around slowly to see Jotaro glaring down at me. The bill of his “fire station” baseball cap created a dark shadow over his eyes—the only light shining from that darkness came purely from his intense glare. Bookmark here

“What do you mean there’s no address?”Bookmark here

Behind me: death. Bookmark here

In front: a genuinely concerned customs officer. Bookmark here

“How about I write down that address?” I said, taking the card and pen from her. Bookmark here

I wrote out Noah’s full name. Bookmark here

I wrote “Tokyo” as his home address. Bookmark here

I didn’t know anything else.Bookmark here

I handed the slip back to the customs officer. She looked down at the slip, then up at me and Jotaro, and then at our passports.Bookmark here

Were we about to get sent back home?Bookmark here

Just some months ago, a famous K-pop group was denied entrance into the United States. They had to take their plane all the way back to Korea, just hours after they’d arrived.Bookmark here

The customs officer looked up at us one more time.Bookmark here

“Ok, go ahead.”Bookmark here

I held my breath as we walked out of customs. Then, when we were outside the gate and faraway from customs, I spun around to face Jotaro.Bookmark here

“See?” I said. I emulated the sparkling grin I’d seen used by smug anime characters. “Everything works out perfectly fine when it comes to us. That’s just the kind of luck we have!”Bookmark here

Jotaro’s facial expression was unchanged, but now, a deathly purple aura emanated from behind his body.Bookmark here

“You need to find us a hotel.”Bookmark here

It was already getting dark outside. Indeed, finding a hotel was top priority. Bookmark here

I looked around the airport and, across the lobby, saw several maps and brochures on the wall. I grabbed a handful and began poring over them.Bookmark here

I soon realized that all the hotels in these brochures were way out of our league. After all, these were promotional materials, not actual guidebooks. Our situation was becoming bleak.Bookmark here

Think, think! Bookmark here

I got it! If I was ever going to have any chance of finding a hotel in a pinch, there’d be no place better than the internet. Bookmark here

I whipped out my phone and connected to the first unlocked WiFi channel. It then forced me onto a browser—a normal formality for free WiFi zones. Except, this WiFi zone’s registration page had a big banner on it:Bookmark here

¥1000Bookmark here

…This isn’t free!!!Bookmark here

“You find something yet?” Jotaro asked.Bookmark here

I couldn’t bear to meet his gaze.Bookmark here

But just then, two middle-aged, slender Japanese men approached us. Had they come to save me from the wrath of Jotaro?Bookmark here

They were wearing plaid, short sleeves shirts. One red, one blue. Bookmark here

“Excuse us…” Blue Shirt said. “We see you are lost?”Bookmark here

This must be it! The friendly Japanese citizen that is infamous throughout the rest of the world! The kind that will chase you down to return your wallet! The kind that will find you a hotel at the very last minute!Bookmark here

Looks like we’ve been saved after all. Tsk, tsk. Our luck just doesn’t run out, eh?Bookmark here

Red Shirt then said, “We are… How you say in English…” Bookmark here

And Blue Shirt finished his sentence: “Plain clothes police officers.”Bookmark here

This Novel Contains Mature Content

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