EP. 19 Aquarium date
Saturday, April 22nd [AM 10:48]
The two, talking while drinking tea, slowly got up from their seats to move.
“Ah, I’ll pay for this.”
“No, I’ll do it. Because I’m the one who called you today.”
The two quarreled in front of the counter, saying they would pay for the coffee, but in the end, Sakamoto paid for it.
When he got the receipt back with his card, Tо̄jо̄ hesitated and said she would buy pay next time.
Then Sakamoto left the cafe with her, saying it was fine.
Kishimoto, who was hiding and watching the scene with me, murmured.
“He unexpectedly has good manners.”
“Well, he’s not a bad guy.”
It was because he was the main character, so he was little tactless like wooden stone, but he was a good person.
Even though the situation was made by Tо̄jо̄’s coercion, he didn’t show any displeasure.
Anyway, after they left the cafe, we decided to move because we had no reason to stay in the cafe anymore.
“How about we split the check for this?”
Unlike Tо̄jо̄ and Sakamoto, we calculated what we ate without squabbling in front of the counter.
As I opened the door and went out, I could see their back in the distance heading toward the subway station.
We began to chase after them quietly.
Saturday, April 22nd [AM 11:10]
We got into the next train, because we could have been caught following them if we boarded the same train as Tо̄jо̄.
Perhaps because it was Saturday morning, the train was almost full.
As the train stopped once, people came in like crazy.
Standing at the corner of the train, we were quickly cornered and unable to move.
“Are you okay?”
Kishimoto, who happened to be trapped in my arms, nodded at a slow pace, saying so.
Her face was slightly flushed, perhaps because the temperature in the train rose rapidly as the density of people increased.
“Please bear with me even if it’s uncomfortable. It’ll be over soon.”
The train from Shibuya Station stopped in front of Ikebukuro Station after several stops.
Amid the ebb and flow, we got off the train hand in hand to not to lose each other.
It took about 15 minutes to get to Ikebukuro Station from Shibuya Station.
It was already past 11 a.m.
We left the subway station platform, which was more crowded with passers-by, maybe because it was a weekend morning, and headed to the ground.
I kept breathing the warm air, so the air that I breathed outside was so refreshing.
“Well, when are you gonna let go of my hand?”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
I realized that we were still holding hands, so I finally let go of Kishimoto’s hand.
Then Kishimoto fiddled with her right hand that had been held by mine and said,
“Next time, hold it a little more gently.”
It was an unintended touch, so there was a slight awkward atmosphere between us, but when I thought about it, we didn’t have time to do this.
I found Tо̄jо̄ and Sakamoto crossing the crosswalk in front of the station and rushed Kishimoto to follow them.
Maybe that’s when she realized that we were following them, Kishimoto started running.
However, because we got off the subway a little late, we had no choice but to stop running in front of the traffic light when it changed colors.
Their backs were disappearing in the distance.
When we missed them by a narrow margin, Kishimoto stamped her feet as if it was a waste, but there was nothing we could do.
Fortunately, we knew where they were heading to.
This road went towards Sunshine City.
As I spoke with Kishimoto yesterday, it appeared that Tо̄jо̄ led a dating course toward the Sunshine City Aquarium.
Standing in front of the crosswalk waiting for the color of the traffic light to change back to a blue light, men I seemed to have seen somewhere jumped from the exit of the subway station.
“Gasp, what a bunch of people.”
“That’s right. Let’s bring the car.”
“I didn’t know there would be so many people on a weekend morning!”
The men with mean expressions, whose average age was well over 40s, were busy taking a rough breath by spouting a word each.
These were the faces I saw at the cafe earlier, but Kishimoto couldn’t recognize them because she was sitting with her back turned.
I glanced sideways at them and then pressed the hood a little deeper.
Maybe these guys were lucky we missed them.
Because I thought it would only interfere with Tо̄jо̄’s date if we followed them like this anyway.
Soon the lights on the crosswalk changed.
We began to walk towards Sunshine City, mixed with the crowd.
Saturday, April 22nd [AM 11:20]
Tо̄jо̄ Naoto was usually confident in his eyes.
Maybe that was why as soon as he saw a big man in a hoodie, he realized it intuitively.
“Hey, Sento. Isn’t he familiar?”
Then, after running and sweeping his messy hair back with a comb, he turned his head in direction of Naoto pointing with his finger the person he found, and he gave a faint exclamation.
“He’s a friend of hers, Kim Yoo-sung.”
“Right? I thought I saw him somewhere.”
Naoto rubbed his chin saying so and decided.
“We’ll follow that friend.”
“What? We were following her, weren’t we?”
“Why would he be here at this time of the day? I’m sure he followed her secretly because he was worried about his friend’s date. Now that I see it, the trench coat next to him looks like the girl named Rika I saw in the picture yesterday.”
Only then did Sento Osamu, the brain of the organization, understood what the chairman was saying.
“Certainly, that makes sense. I think it’s not a bad idea to follow them since we lost her anyway.”
“Okay, then let’s hurry and catch up.”
Around Naoto, the chairman of Dongsung Society, eight middle-aged men lined up and crossed the crosswalk.
He disguised himself in his own way, but the appearance was still catching people’s attention.
Everyone was wearing black sunglasses and gold necklaces because they were obviously yakuza.
Maybe that was why a police car that was reported by residents was hovering around Ikebukuro Station.
Saturday, April 22nd [AM 11:34]
Sunshine City was a general cultural center inside the Sunshine 60 building, a symbol and landmark of Ikebukuro.
Since it was packed with various cultural facilities, dining area, offices of famous companies, and restaurants, most of the business could be found in the building without having to go elsewhere.
In that sense, Sunshine City was one of the top 10 dating spots for young lovers.
As soon as we entered Sunshine City, we headed to the indoor aquarium.
This place was composed of 1st and 2nd floors, we could see marine life on the first floor, on the second floor we could see the creatures living in rivers and streams.
When I bought an admission ticket and went inside, the dark interior caught my eye.
Sea creatures, such as sunfish, hammer sharks, snow crabs, and tropical fish, were swimming freely in the aquarium.
It was my first time coming to the aquarium, so it was quite a strange sight, but I didn’t have time to take a leisurely look.
I had to find Tо̄jо̄ and Sakamoto, that I missed while following them earlier.
Me and Kishimoto began to progress little by little among the visitors.
It was difficult to identify a person’s face when he was in the corner because of the dark lighting, but fortunately, my eyesight was good, so I could quickly find them.
‘There it is.’
When I pointed with my finger as I spoke in a small voice, Kishimoto, who was distracted by the dolphin, turned her head, “Huh? Huh?” and was surprised to find them watching the aquarium peacefully.
I had never seen Tо̄jо̄ looking like that before.
As if she had returned to childhood, sticking to the aquarium, she watched marine life swimming in the water.
Sakamoto was looking at the scene with his arms crossed.
Looking at it like this, it looked pretty good.
Even though it was her first date, I was proud to see Tо̄jо̄ doing well.
It would be great if the confession was successful, but I felt bitter from the standpoint of already knowing the ending of scrambled love.
After all, it was highly likely that Ryuji Sakamoto, the main character, would not accept her favor.
As we walked slowly along the information sign, we looked around the first floor of the aquarium, and followed both of them who went up to the second floor by elevator, so we headed there through the emergency stairs.