Mukashi no Otoko Chapter 1: Fate at work, destiny unfolding

" Ohaiyo Gozaimasu!" Fuko shouted as she walked into the KTB newsroom.

" Ohaiyo!" The rest of the newsroom greeted in chorus.

" Fuko! I left your timetable on your desk!" Miyuki, her colleague called out to her as Fuko passed her desk.

" Thanks." Fuko replied

" Oh! And don't forget tonight's dinner! Black tie event!" Miyuki called out after her.

" Right." Fuko nodded. Going to her desk, she sat down on her chair and rolled up her sleeves. Glancing at her watch, she saw that she had exactly two hours till the morning talk show of KTB. As the anchorperson of the talk show, it was her job to make sure that everything was all right.

" Miyuki! Are Chiharu and Yutaro here? Yutaro is always late!"

" I just called. Both of them are in the room already!"

" All right. We'll hold the meeting in 20 minutes."

" Right. I'll tell them that. Oh yes. and what outfit for today?"

" Today we're discussing family. So we'll go for casual. Light blue, pastel."

" Right. I'll tell them that."

" Thanks!" Fuko quipped.

Twenty minutes later, she was in the meeting room with everyone who was part of the morning show. " All right! Here are the topics for today! We'll start off with the usual. Intro.news.than our conversation corner. Today's topic is about the recent news article about family abuse. We will be commenting on it today."

" Is the live call segment included?" Yutaro asked.

" Yes. We'll let you handle the calls, and Chiharu can handle the faxes."

" Oh dear, I hope we get proper callers!" Chiharu remarked. " I still remember the time when we got a live call from a man telling us about how much he loved sushi and the topic was on cars!"

Everyone in the room laughed out loud. Fuko smiled, then she said.

" All right! And remember the dinner tonight. Yutaro make bloody well sure that you dress properly. Please do not embarrass everyone in this room!"

" All right! I rented a tux!"

" Maybe you should consider buying one. It would be more profitable that way." Fuko replied, and a few people sniggered. " All right then! That will be all! Tonight. Everyone on your best behavior. Welcome the new director warmly and hopefully this show will get a bigger budget!" Fuko ended and got up from her seat. She looked at her watch. 45 more minutes to go. " Ok. Everyone to their places now!"

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" 5.4.3.2.1.action!" Fuko stood at her usual corner in the studio as the program music came on and Yutaro and Chiharu introduced the program.

" Everything all right?" Fuko asked the crew, who gave her the thumbs up sign in return.

Everything went smoothly till the live chat.

" Hi Miss Sato! What are your feelings on today's issue?" Yutaro asked

" Oh, it's terrible! I still remember when my boyfriend."

" Shit." Fuko cursed as she put on the headphones and spoke to Yutaro through his earpiece. " Yutaro, follow my cue."

The lady was now talking about how her boyfriend dumped her.

Fuko spoke " I'm really sorry for what has happened to you Miss Sato. I'm sure that there are better guys out there, one who will not abuse you like he did. Yes. Thank you very much. Yes. Goodbye."

When the lady finally put down the phone, Fuko heaved a sigh of relief. All in a day's work.

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Dinner.

She was late.

Fuko gripped the steering wheel as she furiously drove her car into the hotel compound. Tossing her keys to the porter, she ran up the steps.

Thank god the ballroom was on the second floor. As she entered the ballroom, the sound of clapping could be heard. The director must have just finished his speech. Trying to act as inconspicuous as possible, Fuko took a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and stood at the back of the crowd against a pillar, as if she was one of those bored people who hated huge crowds. The crowd began to disperse back to their tables, and Fuko took this as her cue to find Miyuki. She soon spotted her table, which unfortunately was quite close to the stage, which meant that she had to get past many people to get to her seat.

" Fuko!" Fuko turned around as she heard her name being called and saw Yutaro walking towards her.

" Where were you? You missed the speech."

" I know. Traffic jam. How was it?" She asked as they made their way to their seats.

" Oh, the new director? Quite good looking. Apparently, Mr. Tatsan has a very opinion of him, that's why he appointed him to be the director."

" What's his name?" Fuko asked, just in case she had to address him later.

" Oh, its..."

" Fuko!" Miyuki cried as Fuko neared the table. " Where were you! Quick sit down, they are about to start dinner."

" I'm sorry. But I didn't miss much right. Just the speech."

" Just the speech huh?" Miyuki shot Fuko a look sideways.

" All right. Gomen." Fuko said and sat down.

" Never mind. At least you look great. Is that Armani?"

" I suppose." Fuko shrugged as she sat down. The girl at the store had recommended a beaded black halter, for tonight's affair and Fuko had taken it without bothering to look at other designs.

" Anyway." Miyuki continued. " I think that he sounds quite ambitious, this new director guy. We'll just have to wait and see then."

" Un-huh." Fuko replied, as she helped herself to the food.

" Their table is only two tables away from us, so our talk show must be pretty popular to get such a front table." Chiharu remarked beside Fuko.

Fuko tried to get a glimpse of the new director, but his back was to her, and she got was a glance of silver hair and that was it.

I try later. She decided, as she turned back to the table.

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During dinner, the conversation at Fuko's table shifted to this morning's talk show, where everyone teased Yutaro at how he froze up when the lady called.

" Hey! Stop it already!" Yutaro said, turning rather red in the face.

" NO way! You looked so funny on national television!" Shun, one of the cameramen replied.

**************

Suddenly, the lights dimmed. And the MC for the night announced, " And now, we have our new director and his companion, the daughter of Mr. Tatsan, our CEO, Miss Miwa Tatsan open up the dance floor for us!"

Everyone clapped, as the new director led his companion onto the dance floor. As it was dark, Fuko couldn't see clearly, but the person looked so familiar to her, the long silver hair, the graceful way in which he moved.

The music ended, and gradually, more and more people entered the dance floor. Fuko realized that she still didn't know who the person was. She turned to Miyuki and asked " Miyuki, what is the director's name?"

" Oh, he's called To."

" Miss Kirisawa I presume?" A voice spoke behind Fuko and she turned around to find herself looking up at an all too familiar face. She didn't need to know his name now. She knew his name already. Tokiya Mikagami.

Never taking his gaze off her, Tokiya asked.

" As the new director, may I have the pleasure of having this dance with you?"

********************

Oh my god! Fuko couldn't believe what she was seeing. Tokiya Mikagami! The guy who ran off to America after she broke off with him five years ago, and was M.I.A ever since!

" Well, Miss Kirisawa?" Tokiya asked again, offering his hand to her.

" Um. I'd love to." Fuko heard herself reply as she took Tokiya's hand and got up and followed him to the dance floor. Despite the long period of time that she had not seen him, it still felt familiar, putting her hand on his shoulder and his hand around her waist. For the first few moments of the dance, they were silent, and then Fuko spoke: " Um, when did you come back?"

" Last week." came his quick reply. Fuko frowned at him. He was not making this easy for the both of them. However, the frown turned into a grin as she remembered that he had always been this way before. Quick to answer, never giving more than asked of.

" You've made, I can see." Fuko remarked

" So have you. Your show is very popular. Our chairman often praises it."

" Really?" Fuko's head shot up in surprise. Everyone would be happy to hear this.

" How are the others?" Tokiya asked

" Oh, they're doing fine." Fuko answered " Why don't you visit them, now that you're back in Japan. They haven't moved."

" Maybe." Tokiya replied.

Fuko was about to further question him, but the music stopped and she and Tokiya parted. Before she turned away however, Tokiya caught hold of her arm and said, " Fuko."

" Yes?" Fuko asked

" As we will be working closely from now on, I think that it would be better if we pretended that we don't know each other."