(Title – 不正な出会い – Fuseina Deai – Wrongful Encounter)
In spite of being almost complete, Kichirō still felt something was lacking. There’s this sheer emptiness that consumed him. He wanted to be free of the loneliness that he felt from staying far too long at the top. He strove hard to find meaning in his existence – to fill in the gaps…
He looked for ways to divert his attention from his depression and loneliness. Fortunately, Friendster was quite famous during those days. Kichirō became so hooked on it that he became very active on his social media account. He even had a lot of friends and testimonials in his account which made him really happy. Although it may sound petty, he enjoyed it since it’s something new to him.
( Friendster was a social gaming site based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was originally a social networking service website. Before Friendster was redesigned, the service allowed users to contact other members, maintain those contacts, and share online content and media with those contacts. The website was also used for dating and discovering new events, bands and hobbies. Users could share videos, photos, messages and comments with other members via profiles and networks. It is considered one of the original and even the “grandfather” of social networks.)
In Friendster, he got to interact with a lot of people. It helped him relieve stress; apart from reading, playing video games, cosplaying, and watching anime. He joined a lot of groups with members that shared the same interests as him.
It was a month or so before the election period when he became online friends with a guy named Shirō. They became friends in a group in Friendster for cosplayers and manga/anime fans.
They chatted everyday in Friendster. They talked about their favorite animes, games, and mangas. They also talked about their life, thoughts, and the like. They became really close, to the point that they became best friends; not to mention, they even exchanged their numbers so that they can call and text each other.
For some reason, Kichirō had the urge to hide this “blooming friendship” from his girlfriend, Miyuki.
“I guess I’ll have to introduce my best friend to my girlfriend later on once we get to meet in person,” Kichirō pondered. He heaved out a deep sigh afterwards. “It’s not like I’m cheating or anything. We’re both men and just friends. I love Yuki-chan.” He nodded and looked optimistic as he finished his soliloquy.
His phone suddenly rang so he answered it.
Shirō: What are you doing?
Kichirō: I’m doing homework. You?
Shirō: Talking to you? Ha ha.
Kichirō: Funny. Hey there’s an event later. Will you be online, Shi-kun?
Shirō: Yeah. I will. Our guild master informed me earlier. Anyway, how are you and Miyuki?
Kichirō: We’re fine. She’s just a bit busy with the upcoming elections for the next batch of student council members and her graduation.
Shirō: Wow. That’s hard. Glad I’m done with high school. Oh wait, college is harder ha ha. Hey, I’ll hang up now. You should finish your assignment soon so that we can play.
After winning the position for the next student council president, Kichirō underwent intensive training with Miyuki and their student council adviser. He paid so much attention to it that he neglected his leisure activities for the time being.
One day, he decided to go online again since he was not that busy. He found out that their group will host an offline meeting which aimed to share experiences about cosplaying and also talk about stuff that they are all interested in. They all decided to have the meeting on Saturday.
Time flew by so fast. It was now Friday. Kichirō went home early and decided to finish his laundry when he received a text message from someone. It was from Shirō. He couldn’t help but stupidly smile. Excitement welled up from his heart as he opened the text message.
Shirō: Will you be able to make it to the offline meeting?
Shirō: The meeting starts at 1 pm, right?
Kichirō: Yes. Why?
Shirō: Let’s meet earlier. I want to tell you something. Let’s meet, say… around 11 am?
Kichirō: Ha ha! Can’t you tell me now? We’re texting now. =D
Shirō: Shush. You’re so persistent. I want to tell it to you personally.
Kichirō: Okay. Fine. But please make sure to treat me some dorayaki or takoyaki. Don’t forget to add some pink milk. He he.
( 「どら焼き, どらやき, 銅鑼焼き, ドラ焼き」is a type of Japanese confection, а red-bean pancake which consists of two small pancake-like patties made from castella wrapped around a filling of sweet Azuki red bean paste.)
( 「たこ焼き or 蛸焼」is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special moulded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus [tako], tempura scraps [tenkasu], pickled ginger, and green onion. Takoyaki are brushed with takoyaki sauce [similar to Worcestershire sauce] and mayonnaise, and then sprinkled with green laver [aonori] and shavings of dried bonito.)
Shirō: No problem. 😉 Let’s hang out after the meeting, too.
Kichirō grinned and was very happy that he will get a treat from his online best friend. He decided to text Miyuki to let her know about the next day’s offline meeting.
Kichirō: Yuki-chan <3. I will attend our group’s offline meeting tomorrow, okay?
Miyuki: Okay. Don’t be late for our date. Remember we need to meet tomorrow at 5 pm? Ki-chan~~ XOXO
Kichirō: Yes. I won’t. =)
The next day, Shirō and Kichirō met in Shibuya first to eat before going to Harajuku for the meeting. This was their first meeting in person…
Kichirō was glancing left and right, in search of Shirō. He was 5 minutes early at their meeting place. His heart was racing. It was not clear to him if he was excited for their first meeting or if he was just hungry. After all, he hasn’t eaten anything yet.
After a few minutes of waiting, a tall guy wearing a black hoodie and black shorts approached him. It was Shirō.
He was 2 years older than Kichirō and was a first year architecture student. He had spiky, layered, ash-blonde hair. He was around 180 cm tall. He wore gray contact lenses and a few piercings in his ears. His overall features gave him the bad-boy look but it looked perfect for him as a cosplayer; very fashionable, just like Kichirō.
“Hi Ki-chan! It’s me, Shirō,” he smiled as he offered a handshake to Kichirō.
Kichirō stood up from where he was seated and was spacing out as he looked at Shirō’s face. He realized that he was offered a hand for a handshake so he shook hands with him. Both boys smiled warmly at each other.
“Wow. I never thought you’d be tall and handsome in person. Ha ha!” Kichirō chuckled as he scratched the back of his head.
“Shit. Why do I feel like I have butterflies in my stomach?” Kichirō pondered as he smiled sheepishly.
Shirō looked shy because he couldn’t look directly into Kichirō’s eyes. “Nah, I’m just so-so. You actually look very cute in person. I thought you were a girl, ha ha.”
“Hey, don’t ever call me cute, okay? I’m a man,” Kichirō pouted as he rolled his eyes.
“Ha ha! C’mon, I was just teasing you. Let’s go and eat before we go to the meeting.”
“Fine. What were you going to tell me?” Kichirō remembered.
“That can wait till after we eat.”
Both boys went to a nearby snack bar to eat. As promised, Shirō bought takoyaki, dorayaki, and pink milk for Kichirō.
“Wow, thanks. I thought you forgot about this already. Ha ha,” Kichirō laughed.
“Anything for my soon-to-be boyfriend,” Shirō grinned as he hurriedly walked away carrying the food they bought on a tray. It was obvious that he avoided seeing Kichirō’s reaction.
Kichirō tilted his head and looked astonished from what he heard but remained oblivious as he thought he might have heard it wrong.
Kichirō was happily eating. Shirō was just smiling and watching him eat.
“Aren’t you going to eat your food? It’ll taste bad if it gets cold.”
“I’m fine. I’m already full just watching you eat,” Shirō smiled.
Kichirō laughed wryly and decided to change the topic. He felt awkward. “Ha ha ha! Nice joke. It’s getting warm here, don’t you think? So what were you going to tell me?”
“Um, I know that you have a girlfriend and that you’re straight… eto…”
“O-kay…,” Kichirō stopped eating as he curiously looked at Shirō. He didn’t notice that there was some sauce on his chin.
Shirō blushed. He cannot look at Kichirō directly. He saw the sauce on Kichirō’s chin. “Um, you have something on your face,” he said as he reached out his hand to wipe Kichirō’s chin. He licked his fingers afterwards.
“Hey, that’s an old trick to woo a girl. What era is it, the 90s? Ha ha,” Kichirō never saw this coming. His heart started to beat fast. So fast that he could hear each pound it made. It was his first time feeling like this. He didn’t know if he should laugh, cry, or be happy about it. He was stupefied. He never felt this way with Miyuki.
“You see… I like you, Ki-chan,” Shirō seriously said as he looked sincerely at Kichirō’s eyes.