DISCLAIMER: This story is bi-lingual. I have translated each area into English in the same quote or where appropriate.
It's been a long time since I put something on here. So let me know what you all think! Thanks! x
「＃１」：「２０１４年１２月５日：：始まる：：The Beginning. 」
It all started one night in Tokyo.
I was out with my friend Takashi in Nishi-Shinjuku, and after a few drinks at an Izakaya he decided to persuade me into doing Karaoke for the first time in my life.
Despite living in Japan for nearly four years, Karaoke was something I had explicitly sworn to never, ever do. I mean, I could sing okay and I could read Japanese acceptably well, but I guess I just had preset notions acting as a kind of ‘blocker.’ This assertion, which I had stated at work during the “Year-End Decider Meeting,” resulted in raucous laughter, and demands that I 'try it at least once' from my colleagues. So it was with this vague memory in-mind, that I tipsily agreed to Takashi’s idea.
I deliberately paid little attention as to what I was about to do. And I succeeded. I was blissfully unaware and therefore calm, right up until I was on the small stage getting ready to sing.
I opened my mouth, and right then I felt each and every one of my nervous fibres suddenly become sentient and take control of my body. Every part of me was screaming for me to run. I quite literally wouldn't have minded running all the way through two or three cities, back to my apartment in Ueno. I must’ve looked my nervousness too, because an attractive Japanese man offered me a handkerchief, to assumedly wick away my sweat. I nodded, said my thanks and he passed it to me. I wiped my sweat and began to sing.
“Lucky I like the song.” I thought to myself. ‘Jelly(album-edit)’ by CAPSULE is a really good track, and I really got into it. It wasn’t until near the end, did I realise the few people occupying the room who were smoking, talking or consuming various alcoholic beverages before I took the stage, were now on their feet cheering me on. I couldn’t tell if it was because I was good, or because the nervous 「外人 foreigner 」actually did it.
After the song was over, Takashi seemed to sense that my nerves were about to give out. He helped me down from the stage and we began to leave. I only paused long enough for me to once again thank the cute man who offered me his handkerchief. We bowed, and then Takashi and I left the venue.
Walking out, we began laughing fit to burst. Takashi then startled me a little by exclaiming「まじで！？あなたは本当によくできたよ！Are you serious? You did a really good job!」I looked my disbelief, but managed to respond「そう？俺はすごく心配したね．．Eh? I was so nervous though..」, while fighting back another laugh. 「そう！いい歌声がある！Yes! You’ve a good singing voice!」 he assured, as we hailed a taxi.
I smiled as I got into the vehicle. It was a smile of many things.
I was smiling at the taxi door that automatically opens when you get in.
I was smiling because of my night out with my best mate.
I was smiling, because I was happy.
I felt, for the first time in almost four years, that I truly belonged here.
As I fell asleep in the taxi, I saw the face of the handkerchief guy behind my eyelids.
次回：「よろしく!」/ Next Time: "Nice to meet you!"