A/N: Hi! Aya-chan is back. I know I said that Wait for Me would be updated soon, but I'm... kinda, sorta... ok, really stuck. And I already had this written. Reviews are always appreciated. Critique, Criticism, flames, love, anything would be awesome. Also, please note that names will be Japanese-style ( last name first.) and several "romanized" Japanese words will be used. I'll try to include a list of meanings for those in later A/Ns. 3!
Let the story begin! Here's Chapter one of:
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A young lady was working at the counter of a small store in the early evening, her silver hoops catching the light and reflecting it onto the black jacket that hung loosely around her shoulders. The store specialized in books and CD's and often seemed rather obscure, and rarely received customers. The bell that hung from the front door rang, signaling one of the infrequent customers. The clerk straightened, pasting a smile on her face while quickly re-pinning her name tag to her shirt and saying the customary "Irasshaimase". She had covered much of her name tag with stickers, leaving only a small space that proclaimed "Kimura Sorako" in large, readable cerulean kanji. The customer was a tall, handsome guy with light hair and kind, but slightly worried eyes. He was very obviously looking for something, probably a CD, since the CD section was where he immediately headed. Stepping out from behind the counter, Sorako headed towards that section as well.
"Is there something I can help you find? Something I can help with?" Sorako asked, still somewhat forcing a smile. She didn't dislike her job, but she didn't particularly like it either. Several years ago, she had gone through a pretty severe depression, and had learned to fake realistic smiles to keep people from worrying about her. She now used those smiles to keep people from deciding the store wasn't worth visiting. That was the smile she was using now; fake and timid.
"Maybe you can. Would this store happen to have the new Beck CD?" the customer had a very unique voice; one that was soft and rich, without being too deep. Sorako loved his voice automatically. She thought for a moment. /'Beck... do we? I'm not sure...'/ She remembered to respond out loud.
"Well, sir, if we do, it would be in that aisle over there," she said, pointing one aisle over and two up, "unless the other clerks haven't unpacked it. They have been known to slack off some." She walked over to the aisle she had pointed to, trying to remember when and where she had heard of the band Beck. She wanted to help this handsome customer, even while trying to figure out where she had seen him before.
Reaching the right aisle, she quickly scanned the shelves. Two days ago, it had been her turn to restock these shelves, but the other two clerks had done it since, and they might have forgotten to tell her about any new inventory. She hadn't seen any new boxes to be unpacked in the storage room in the back, so if they had it, it would most likely be here. Hopefully. But she didn't see any CD's with the word Beck on them.
"Hmm... it's not /here/ either. What a shame. I guess it's been too long since Grateful Sound," the customer commented softly from behind Sorako. She jumped; she hadn't realized he'd come up behind her. Then his soft words sunk in.
"Grateful Sound? Which one? I went to one a couple of years ago; the one where the third stage had a larger audience than the first stage? It was incredible." Suddenly something clicked in her brain. " Of course, you know how awesome it was, don't you? After all, weren't you ON the third stage? You're in that band, Mongolian Chop Squad, right?" she continued, feeling slightly stupid.
He chuckled lightly. " Yes, or as we're more commonly known in Japan: Beck. Our first CD was supposed to come out today, but none of us can find it anywhere. Could you see if you maybe have it in the back or something?" He was obviously a little worried about not being able to find it.
Sorako gave a reassuring smile before saying, "Yes, I'll go check right now. One moment." her controlled polite mask had slipped back into place. She walked towards the counter, then opened the door beside it that led to the storage room. Walking in, she saw her reflection in the small mirror that hung on the wall as the only decoration in there. With her naturally "messy" hair that wouldn't lie completely flat no matter how many times she brushed it or how many gels or creams she put in it, her light hazel eyes and relatively pale skin, she looked nearly foreign. Only her slightly slanted eyes countered the "American" effect as her oldest brother, Kioshi, called it. Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she looked through a couple of boxes. Finding no CD's, Beck or otherwise, she returned to the front and her waiting customer.
"I'm terribly sorry sir, but it appears that we don't have it. I can ask the manager to order some. I'm sure I can convince him that people would buy it, especially if i play the tape from Grateful Sound for him. If I succeed in convincing him, is there a number I can reach you at when they come in?" She asked, carefully keeping her mask in place and not showing her excitement about the mere possibility of getting the phone number of the handsome musician.
"Yeah. I'll give you my cell number. Do you have a pen and paper?" /'SCORE! A cell number even!'/ Sorako mentally rejoiced as she reached behind the counter to retrieve a pen and pad of paper.
"Yeah, here you go," she said handing it to him. Then, realizing that no proper introduction had occurred in the fifteen or so minutes of talking, she continued. "Oh, gomen nasai. My name's Kimura Sorako, as I'm sure you read on my tag. What's yours?"
"Taira Yoshiyuki. Hajimemoshite, Kimura-san." Handing back the pen and paper, he continued nonchalantly, " I suppose you get this a lot, but you really look almost... foreign."
Sorako let out a smile, and this time, it was genuine. "Yes, I do get that pretty often. I suppose in a way I am; My family moved to America when my dad's job transferred him there, and I was born on the ship on the way over there. We lived there until I was seven, then we came back to Japan." Sorako's smile faded slightly as she remembered those few years in American public school. She was one of three kids in her class that were of Japanese descent, and with her messy hair and "tall" height, she had been an easy target for the bullies. Suddenly, a voice broke through her reverie, bringing out of her cognitive trance.
"...ra-san. Kimura-san, are you okay?" Taira looked as if he feared for her health. Probably for good reason.
"Yes, I'm fine. Gomen nasai, I spaced out for a bit. And please, call me Sorako. I dislike my last name. So, is there anything else I can help with?" She felt the need to change the subject before she revealed to a total stranger the status of her relationship with her parents. She got along fine with Kioshi and Ginami, her brother and sister, but her parents were too controlling and had always tried to force Sorako to be someone who they could be proud of, instead of someone that she could be proud of. Sorako had saved up to afford an apartment of her own, and she was incredibly glad that she had. Of course, it had helped that the shop's manager was generous with the salaries of the employees and that her brother had taught her how to manage money well ever since she had started middle school.
"No, I think I'll be fine. Thank you for your help Kimu-" he cut off at Sorako's look "I mean, Sorako-san. I'm afraid I must be going now; I have three more stores on my list, and I think one of them closes in half an hour. Will you keep me informed of any progress with the CD?"
Sorako let her smile return. "Will do! it was nice to meet you, Taira-san."
He flinched at her formality. "kun, please. I feel uncomfortable being addressed as san.
Sorako's smile brightened a couple of notches. "Okay. Ja'ne, Taira-kun. Good luck!" She called as the bell rang signaling his exit. "I hope we meet again soon," she continued softly as the door swung gently closed behind the handsome bassist, the bell ringing softly.
Two hours later and Sorako was preparing to close the shop for the night. Her mind kept drifting back to Taira Yoshiyuki. He had seemed so mysterious, but he was obviously kind, as well. Sorako sincerely hoped that they would meet again, and get to know each other better. Picking up the tossed aside pad of paper, she tore off the page with Taira's cell number on it, carefully folded it and stowed it in her large, black purse, which was really more like a tote bag. She then carefully wrote a very respectful letter to her manager, simply mentioning that a customer had come in asking about the Beck CD that had come out today, and asking if they could order a box or two of the CD.
Once that was done, Sorako locked up the store and walked the twenty blocks to her apartment. Usually, she rode her bike to and from work, but today a friend had driven her over after a cup of friendly morning tea. Since she had the next day off, she began working out a schedule as she walked, so that she could fit everything she wanted to do into one day. On that list was sleeping in, and looking through an old photo album that her older sister, Ginami (who at 23 was the middle child), had scrounged up for her.
Reaching her one bedroom apartment, Sorako locked the door behind her and carefully hung up her "trademark" black jacket. She fixed a light meal that was mostly just a cup of instant ramen, then changed into her comfortable satin two-piece pajamas. On her way to bed, however, she remembered something she had nearly forgotten to do. Running back to the kitchen, which was more like a kitchenette, she quickly retrieved a can of cat food from under the sink. After opening it and dumping it into a cat dish, she called, "Tsuki! Food time!" and waited as her gray and white cat ambled contentedly into the small kitchen. Bending down, Sorako petted and pampered Tsuki for a minute. Standing up, she went back down the short hall and into her comfy, fluffy, blanket-covered bed. Within minutes of hitting the pillow, Sorako was out like a light.
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A/N: So, what do you think? Love it? hate it? TELL ME!
and as promised, the meanings:
Sorako-- Sky child
gomen ( nasai)-- (very) sorry
Ginami-- beautiful silvery ( more or less. it's a kinda rough translation.)
Hajimemoshite-- Nice to meet you. (pronounced hah-jee-meh-mosh-teh)
There will probably be more in following chapters. Thanks for reading!