No smoking hotel -SEASON3-

-10-

“Cherry”

I’ve never heard of that name on the package of cigarettes.

“Jeez!” What’s this?

“it seems it doesn’t taste good for you.”

That’s right.
The package says it includes 18% of nicotine.

But, well, I served him my cigarette in return.

My favorite one is mentholated and includes only 1% nicotine.

“Is it mentholated? And, is this a cigarette?”

He asked me dubiously, and I thought him dubious in reverse.

It was not so minor one … at least, in Japan.
Okay.
He might be a non-Japanese of Japanese decent who lives in Europe.

At any rate, he started to walk after smoking.
I wasn’t sure, but followed him and noticed something strange.

It’s different.
The view of town is not the same as one I saw when cheked in the hotel.

Also, the board has many Japanese words, not English even not Cyrillic…
Was there “Little Tokyo” here?

First of all, why does this man take me?

The questions I couldn’t ask because we were in hurry occurred to me one after another.

When the words “come to think of it…” came the tip of my tongue, he said,”Run!” and,
I ran at full speed and followed him without understanding the situation.

I was exhausted because I didn’t know where we were going and how long we were to run.

It seemed we ran at least 5 minutes.

We came in off-street which looked a little dangerous.

-11-

Something may happen if I keep on following him.

“Who are you on earth?”
He stared at me suspiciously when I asked him suddenly.

His staring at my face irritated me a bit.

“Is there anything on my face?”

“…No… You’ve beautiful face.”

Huh? Is he a gay?

“No scars, so fast to recover, isn’t it?”

What is he talking about?
I hit the wall before. No one hit me.

The moonlight illuminated his face, and I noticed swelling on his cheek.

“Anyway…you’re strong.”

So what is he talking about?

“You know … dealing with the gangsters like that…who are you?”

Woa, he asked before me.

He seemed to have a trouble with them.

Then I came and cleared them all.

At last we are running … oi, NO WAY!

What on earth makes me run with someone I don’t know?

… That will be known later and later.

At that point, I judged we’d better go to safer place.

“Where is your home?”

“Fukagawa.”

“Not in Japan. I’m asking where you live now!”

He murmured “Fukagawa” again so suspiciously.

For a moment, heavy air flowed as if the time stopped, and I recognized.

He didn’t lied to me, for we were in … somewhere … in Tokyo.

I don’t know … why I’m in Tokyo now.
But, at any rate, I have to escape from the guys first.

“Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way”

Some drunker passed while singing.

I just know the calender isn’t wrong.

Let’s clear the mind after settle down at first.

A night excited with the jingle bells …
Two men didn’t tell each name to other was going to Fukagawa.

-12-

There was no charm in the room.

Space of about 3 Tatamis, and just a small table.
A desk next to the window made the room smaller.

I could understand he was a student studying something when I saw the things on the desk.

I didn’t feel like asking about it, and asked the main question.

He seemed to have had a relationship with the gangsters which grew from the friendship with the one who came to Tokyo together.

The boy, whose name was Okazaki, had been a kind boy, but he changed completely after coming to Tokyo.
He said he came to Asakusa to help Okazaki and had a trouble with the gangsters in the end.

“It was Asakusa…”

Still I don’t know the reason.
So there was Asakusa of Showa period beyond the stairs which lead to the underground of the Eastern-European hotel.

That’s interesting. If there is a way to go home…

He told me that the boy Okazaki had a gift of drawing and so on, but I wanted him to introduce himself before.

“So, is the guy Okazaki worth trusting? He knows this apartment, doesn’t him?”

He didn’t answer and began packing which was not so large.

Managing to put all the things into a big traveling bag, suddenly he said,

“Take this.”

“No kidding, take your baggage yourself.”

“Sorry, but I have to take that desk.”

I asked him why, then he said awkwardly his father in country sent it to him.

It didn’t connect with his acts, but I thought he wasn’t so bad as I had expected.

Before going out of the room, he put a letter which said just “thank you” and closed the door.

“Be quiet. The neighbor is still sleeping.”

Just in case, we decided to get on the first train from Shinagawa station, not Tokyo station, and kept on walking in the harbor area in midnight.

“It’s so fast 26th comes … another Christmas has been over.”

When he murmured so, I remembered having come from a distant country in the 21 century.
Uneasiness and anger mixed, but I knew nothing would be gonna change if I blamed him.

Somehow I caught a train of Yokosuka line, not Tokaido line from Shinagawa station.

Getting off at Yokosuka, we stayed at a pension along the sea.

The master suspiciously gazed at him bringing a desk but no complaining came out of his mouth.
On the contrary, he said he would keep it till we check out.

It’s the mind of “omotenashi”…
The kind attitude really warmed my heart because I had been abroad for about half a year every several years.

-13-

On the following day, sleety rain was falling.

He went to Yokosuka city to find a job.
It might due to the season;the end of the year.No one would welcome him.

Though he didn’t give up and visited shops and factories with recruiting posters.

As for me … tired on the way and smoking.
To tell more precisely, smoking and clearing my mind vaguely.

People in the city looked busy with preparing the New Year.
Frankly speaking, I’m busy,too(I don’t know why), at least, in my head.

At any rate,
it’s so comfortable no one says something about smoking on the street.

In the 21st century’s Japan which I lived in, we couldn’t smoke freely at the center in the city.
Some places had the smoking area, but I didn’t like such a small space with full of people and smoke.
It was kind of the comforting room due to satisfy the thirst for nicotine, so not a place for thinking.

How different it was…
so cool to smoke surrounded by the scenery in December of Showa times(Showa was new to me).

Lighting up the second cigarette, I felt more at ease.

…I feel he is not so a bad guy, but…
Generally, I think relationship is made of Give and Take except family.
I could think so by my life of the past few years.
Yes, He gave me nothing.

…Let’s get home.

He can stay there for another 2 days because I paid the charge for 3 days yesterday.
It’s not abandoning. I don’t have any duty to him.

And, don’t I have to get back to the place I was before?

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