The Bus Drive to A&K Planning Ltd.

Hodaka couldn't submit any entry sheets for getting a job. They required his address and his parent's signature. He remembered one business card the man gave him. Staring at the address under the name, "Suga Keisuke", he searched for the nearest bus stop to the limited company on the computer. He poured hot water into the instant ramen cup and put a half-read book, "The Catcher in the Rye" on the top of it.


The bus came closer in the rain. The rain drops fell on the steps, Hodaka looked for a seat to sit. Only a few school kids were seen in the rear seat. He saw a boy chatting merrily with a girl. Feeling lonely, he tried to catch their conversation.

'Oh no. I see the next bus stop. When can we meet up again?"

'Well, the day after tomorrow? I'll have a soccer practice and I'll be available in the afternoon.

'Sounds great! I found a lovely cafe on the internet. I'll reserve the seat.' The girl might be eight or nine years old, her school satchel cover had the words, "Safety First" as the boy's school bag's cover had the same ones.

When she got off the bus, Hodaka was flabbergasted by the boy left in the back seat. He smiled at the other girl who got into the bus.

'I am lucky to see you again, Nagi!' She cried with excitement and sat next to the boy.

'You curled your fringe, didn't you?'

'You see this? I did a little. Nobody recognized it except you. It's so you, Nagi! How do I look?'

'You look good. Charming like a junior high.'

Hodaka couldn't believe in his ears. The good-looking boy called Nagi was mature for his age. He felt inferior to the boy. He hadn't had a girlfriend yet.

Hodaka got off the bus and walked to the corner. He was zoning out. He remembered the girl who got him a hamburger the other day. She was pretty. That was the most delicious food in his life.

Suddenly, there appeared the letters, "A&K Planning Ltd." on the window of the old building on the left side. He couldn't find the entrance so he went back to turn around the same building which was on the way up the slope. He found a worn-out door of the pub and descended down the steps. The door was unlocked. Inside the pub was dark and there were no hints of the office. Looking at the musty carpet on the floor, he felt depressed. His bright future with full of adventure seemed to be shut down.