Chapter 1:

A Chance Encounter

The Boat, You, and Me


My job was boring. So I thought if I went to Japan on a weekend and maybe became an anime protagonist of my own story, that would be epic!

But it was also during Spring, so maybe I could see cherry blossom trees on their blooms too. Excited!

I stretched my arms. I saw the tall buildings in Tokyo, the clear blue sky, and a few people on the street—it was a great morning. So I took a deep breath and pushed out the smell of my breath. Haah~ my breath smells great again.

I had brushed my teeth with a cherry blossom-flavored toothpaste. I bought it at a Japanese convenience store. It was great, the first time I tried it. Oh, wow! It smells great!

I walked for 10 minutes or so. Finally, after I left the building landscape near Naka-meguro Station, I saw many cherry blossom trees along a river. It was called Meguro River, if I remember correctly. I read many positive reviews about it before I went to Japan. Therefore, I went there.

Then I saw so many people, I guessed it was time for them to heal themselves from work, like me. I only noticed a few tourists—I was surprised they weren't all blonde like in anime. Shocking!

I kept walking, seeing the pink leaves above me. I believed you could not see something like that anywhere else. It was beautiful. “Uwah!”

When I made eye contact with a Japanese man, I said, smiled, and nodded, “Utsukushii desu ne…

I wasn’t sure if it was polite or not. But I really hoped that it was polite so that I wouldn’t ruin his vacation time. Probably I should have said “Ohayou~” first. But welp, I missed the chance.

It was still in the morning, so I felt the chilly air—I really liked it. Then I remembered I had bought a colorful Japanese dessert (mochi) on a stick: a dango. Oh, right, I forget! I also didn’t forget to knock my forehead like an anime girl, although I’m a man.

There were three colors: pink, white, and green. It was cute, I was very eager to try it. So I put the pink one in my mouth. “Uwah! Oishii desu ne~ MMMmmm~!!”

It was so chewy and tasty. I liked it!

I was in Japan, so I had to speak Japanese, man. Whenever I could. I even wore a shirt with an anime loli picture to show my love of Japan and its culture. I should have worn it, right?

It didn’t take a long time to eat the dango. Then I took another snack from my small travel bag—a crossbody bag. I also bought those snacks before I went there. I got a pink fish—not a real fish, it just looked like a fish, and it’s called pink taiyaki—and many other snacks with a cherry blossom theme. Yeah, exactly! Because it was about the “Visiting Japan during Spring” thing!

After some minutes, I arrived at my destination: a boat rental. But yeah, it seemed I had to wait for an hour or so. The waiting line was so long. Even when the rental hadn’t been opened. But at least I could take a pretty picture under a cherry blossom tree!

So I was going to pull out my selfie stick and smartphone from my travel bag, but I heard a girl shout at me, “A-abunai!!

Bump! >.<

A Japanese pink-haired girl pushed me down from behind. It seemed she tripped. I couldn’t hold her weight—not because she was fat, I’m just a weak ass—therefore she and I fell to the ground. She was on top, and I was at the bottom—I'm not a bottom, by the way. Yabee! Isn’t this a cliché scene in anime?? Anime is real, man! She is going to scream "Kyaa!", right?

Our faces were close to each other. She looked surprised—she opened her mouth—maybe because I'm damn handsome, I knew. I wasn’t bragging, by the way, because I never said that with a big head to anyone at the time.

There was no way a real Japanese had pink hair. So I thought maybe she was cosplaying or something. She wore big round glasses on top of her head. She also tied her hair to her left side with a big, round yellow hair ribbon. I also saw a star-shaped ear piercing on her ear. A very blink-blink outfit like that must have been a cosplay!

Her clothes were simple but hot. A white shirt with very short sleeves. It didn’t cover much area around her neck—I could see the road between her mountains. Oh, right, they were soft. Sorry guys, I was lucky.

After she gazed at me for a long time, she jolted and realized what she had done. “Oh, hontouni, suimasen!” she said as she stood up and bowed.

With my broken Japanese, I replied, “Iie, daijoubu, daijoubu.

“Ahh, yokatta~!” she said as she put her hand on her chest: very cute.

“Ah, wa-watashi wa kaigai niki, desu,” I stuttered a bit, “can you speak English?”

“Ah, eigo! Yes, I can,” she really had a high-pitched voice. That was also very cute. Oh, right, she wore a black mini skirt and brought a black branded handbag. She looked like a businesswoman or cosplayed as one.

“Where do you come from?” she asked.

I said, “I come from Indonesia.”

“Ahh, nashi goreng!” she replied.

“Ah, yes, yes. Japan also has special food: ramen and mochi. I would like to try them.” I felt happy and excited when I heard she knew about nasi goreng, but I didn’t think it would be polite and fun if I talked about my country when I was in Japan, so I asked about ramen instead. I was also curious about a nice ramen shop anyway.

“Oh, ramen! Do you like ramen?”

“Yeah, yeah! I like noodles! Can you recommend me a nice ramen shop? I have tried mochi, but not ramen.”

She curled up her lips. “Hmm~ very spicy or not very spicy ones?”

“Ohhh, I like spicy ones! So I can breathe fire like Gudzilla!”

“Ahahaha!” she covered her mouth when she laughed. She was so cute but also looked very mature. “Then I would recommend Mendokoro Inosho in Nerima. Just Guugle Maps it. Do you like anime?”

“Oh, of course! Of course! Inukai-san’s—I mean, Noragami! The openings are damn banging, man!”

“Ohhh, Noragami! I watched it too!”

“Cough!” an old man behind her coughed. It looked like we had a very fun conversation that we forgot we were in a waiting line. Man, I really enjoyed my conversation with her, we looked like a nice couple. We giggled together under a beautiful Sakura tree... Sorry guys.

Suimasen, Ojiisan! Hontouni,” she bowed at the old man. I also bowed. Then we took a step forward. “Are you alone?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m alone, my friends are busy with their own families.”

“Oh! Do you mean you are single?”

“Ah, yeah.” I giggled shyly. It tickled!

“Mmm~” she put her forefinger on her chin, “do you want to ride a boat together?”

Oh boy, THIS is my moment! It’s a green light, right?

“Yeah, sure,” I replied happily.

“My name is Megumi. What is your name?”

“I don’t know why, but my friends call me Albert the Vlad.”

“Vlad?” she laughed and covered her mouth again. Oh, right, she usually put her left hand around her waist to support her right elbow. She looked very mature, right?

“I’m so cool…” I said while I stretched my arms and looked confident. She burst out laughing again. I also laughed, by the way. I wasn't humiliated!

“Albert-san, let me pay the ticket for you,” she took a step forward.

“No, no! Let me pay,” I insisted.

But she gave me a “Ssshhh” signal with her forefinger and winked. How could I refuse it, man? She was so cute!

So finally, we stepped on our small boat. We faced each other, and she said with a smile, “Who’s gonna row the boat?”

I just chuckled and said, “Let me do it, I’m a cool man.”

She also chuckled with me. Damn, that situation, I really loved it. I felt warmth, man. I enjoyed my time with her. We didn’t need to hold back or hide anything, but we could still have fun. Do couples feel something like this every day? I was really lucky, man!

I put my travel bag on the boat. The seat surface wasn’t rough. It was great, the boat looked new and clean.

Yes, it was kinda cramped, so we spread our legs. But then our feet bumped into each other. We giggled shyly again. “Ufufu,” like that. It was so sweet! Sorry guys.

Thus, she closed her legs and looked like someone who squatted on a boat. I noticed her colorful nails when she put her fingers on her knees. “Oh, right, are you cosplaying?”

“Yeah, she is my favorite VTuber, Satsuki-chan.”

“Ohh, a VTuber. I never heard about her. Indie?”

“Yeah, she is a thief. A very clever thief. Satsuki-chan studies Psychology too. That’s her lore,” she said while she glanced at her right side for some reason.

“Aha.”

I didn’t forget my purpose for coming there. So I looked up and saw a light come at me through beautiful Sakura leaves. “Uwah!” I said.

She chuckled. But then she quickly said, “Beautiful, right?” I thought she was trying not to poke at my weak heart, so she diverted my attention. What a kind girl!

“Yeah, utsukushii. Totemo!

“Ohh, you can speak Japanese, a little?”

“Yeah, because of anime. You know.” Then we both laughed.

I felt sweaty due to rowing the boat. But I believed that if we wanted to enjoy a new place, especially a tourist destination, we had to try any physical activities offered because they could boost our dopamine.

A great or refreshing scenery, tasty food, and enough dopamine belong to that place. Those always have been my recipe for fond memories of my travels. Of course, stupid moments with friends or people are also important.

As an attractive and kind girl, Megumi offered me help, “Can I try rowing the boat too? You look tired.”

“Ah,” I smiled. “Thank you, Megumi-san.”

“It’s okay. We can—a...—switch places!”

“Sure, sure!” We both giggled. My God, so sweet!

Man, I was so happy. I couldn’t get tired of saying it!

Then we found a very big cherry blossom tree. I thought it was very beautiful: the reflection on the water, the pinky-pinky things above us, the soft wind, everything felt great. So I got an idea, “Megumi-san, do you want to take a picture?”

She didn’t respond for a while. But her eyes became wider. Then she held her chin with her hand. Gazed at my eyes, smiled at me, and said, “With you?”

Man, my heart tickled!

Kyun! <3

“But I’m afraid we will fall into the water,” I said. “What if we sit in the center of the boat and use this big tree as the background?”

“That’s a good idea!”

Therefore, we tried to rotate the boat, and I prepared my selfie stick to take our picture.

We got closer to each other: our shoulders met... we gazed at each other... smiled, and “Snap!” we got our first picture!

Then we made a heart with our fingers—my God, it was so ticklish!

We got so many pictures that day. Megumi also took a picture with her own smartphone. Well, probably Megumi still worried that I was a bad man or something. That was probably why she refused when I asked for her LIME ID.

But she said while she covered her mouth, “Let’s just meet again next time and share our LIME ID. I forget my ID and oh noo, I forget my password too!”

“Oh, it’s okay, Megumi-san. We can just meet again next time.” We both giggled shyly.

And yeah, finally it was the time to part ways. I felt sad, man.

She brushed her hair, showing her neck and left ear as if she teased me. She said, “It was fun, Albert-san. I’m very happy. Thank you for being with me, today!”

“Yeah, me too, Megumi-san! I’m very happy to spend time with you. I’m really going to miss you.”

“Owwhhh~” she looked dejected and put her hand on her chest. Then she put her arms on her back, smiled, and leaned her body toward me. She jumped and jumped like a bunny rabbit.

And then, out of nowhere, “Chu!

SHE KISSED ME ON THE CHEEK, GUYS! MAYDAY, MAYDAY!

Man, I was sooo happy. It was really a good decision I came there. I got a Japanese girlfriend! Right?

She waved her hand to me and said, “Bye-bye, Albert-san. Tomorrow, let’s meet at Shinjuku, okay? Around this time too.”

Of course, I waved my hand too, excitedly. “Yeah, Megumi-san, see you! Goodbye~!”

“Bye~ Muach!” she gave me another kiss—a distant kiss. Damn, she was so cute!

It was really fun, man. But I was also tired. So I sat under a cherry blossom tree and opened my bag. But I realized I hadn’t closed it. Man, I was clumsy, ehe!

Megumi was so attractive that I forgot everything else and talked a lot with her.

But.

I realized another thing. I was going to check the money in my wallet—I kept my wallet and credit card in my bag—but I didn’t find my wallet and smartphone. Did I drop them?

I was panicked. I was going to stand up and hurry up to find my money and Internet connection! But I noticed a piece of paper in my bag. I never put something like that, so I was curious. I took it out.

“Next time, be careful, o, kaigai niki! <3”

I refused my thought process. But I still recalled everything that happened before: she probably “accidentally” tripped to push me down and put her hand into my bag. She probably kept her eye contact with me to divert my attention with her cute and beautiful face—wait, the boobs too.

Why did she pay for my ticket? Because if I tried to reach my wallet, she would be busted. Why did she refuse to share her LIME ID, which could be public, not private or personal? Because that way, I couldn’t reach her. Forgetting her password was just an excuse!

Why did she make a promise to me so cutely and sweetly? She just tried to buy time to run away! My heart became fluttering and my mind became blank after all! She also took my smartphone when she kissed my cheek!! She was indeed a thief!!!

I sighed.

That bitch.

But at the time, I didn’t ever think that at the end of the day, she would be my wife. And those pictures with the boat would remind us of one of the most cherished moments in our lives.

I love you, Megumi. And I will always love you and cherish you.

End of my diary, before my last breath.
You can't run away anymore, Megumi, I'm coming for you!

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The Boat, You, and Me


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