Yamada and Ueda Tales
Another tribute to such a wonderful series.
My whole month was filled with happiness because of the drama+extras+movies+special episodes... Thank you very much, TRICK.
With all love... how I wish there would be more!
The red curtains open revealing a lady performing in the middle of the stage. At that moment she is making a yellow ball float without touching it. She takes pride in doing that…
My name is Yamada Naoko, a skilled, beautiful magician who learned magic tricks from my late father, Yamada Gouzo. My mother is Yamada Satomi, and she is a famous Calligraphy artist. A lot of people believe that her writings have magical power that can make anything happen. So because of this reputation, my mother is rich… but somehow, her fortune never ever reaches me.
Naoko showed her empty hands to the audience and then closed it. When she opened it again several cards appeared like magic. She happily showed it to the audience—only to find her one and only fan clapping at her.
"Yamada!" shouted the manager behind her. Somehow, she could predict what was to happen next.
"I lost another job…" she sighed as she walked along the street, completely and professionally ignoring those people laughing at her as she walked, "And why are these people laughing at me? They don't even show up on my performances… really impossible…"
She reached her apartment door, dialled the combination on and went right inside but not after she looked from right to left. She took her first free steps inside. Seconds later the landlady was behind her.
"YAMADA! Your rent!" she hollered as she opened the door and barged in. Naoko automatically hid behind the table, but apparently her upper body is still clearly seen. Landlady and 'Jammy' as she called her Bangladesh husband, looked at Naoko, "You haven't paid your rent for three months!"
"I swear I will pay soon…" Naoko said with a grin, "After I get…"
Landlady went near her with bulging eyes.
"Three months, Yamada! If you cannot pay me until tomorrow I'm throwing you out!"
"EH?" Naoko's jaw dropped open.
"And your turtle will have to stay!" the landlady shouted and then pushed Jammy out of the room. "Remember! Tomorrow!"
"Wait- Wait!" Naoko crawled in desperation as the door was shut on her face, "Why should my turtle stay?"
Minutes later, she is seen fiddling with her magic cards. Then, losing her patience, she dropped it all on the table.
"Why should my turtle stay?" she asked herself one more time with a very confused expression. She shot the innocent turtle a look and then pressed her lips tightly. "How come? Why would the landlady want to separate us…? You're my only friend, after all…"
Her eyes caught glimpse of her phone and her eyes narrowed even more as she remembered someone.
"That… idiot…" she whispered. "Hasn't even called for two months…"
She took the phone and dialled a number. The other side rang. She was expecting to hear his deep voice, and though admittedly ashamed to say it, the thought of hearing that funny deep voice made her feel excited. He's going to get it, she thought, that stupid Ueda who hasn't contacted her for two months will definitely get it!
Somebody picked up the phone.
"Ueda!" Naoko shouted on the receiver,
"Hello?" said a female's voice, "Who is this?"
Naoko's eyes widened a little.
"Eh?" she blustered in surprise, "Who are you?"
"Huh?" said the woman on the other end, "This is Professor Ueda's assistant-girlfriend, who is this?"
Naoko blinked. "Eh…"
"Hello? Are you still there? Hello?"
Naoko hang up and sat looking into a space. What did the girl say from the other line? Ueda's assistant-girlfriend?
"In other words…" she muttered, "Ueda's… girlfriend?"
In a blink of an eye, she was back on fiddling with her cards as if nothing happened. She shuffled the cards five times and then counted it several times.
"You are my only friend after all," she said in mock indifference as she shuffled on, "Ueda was just someone who comes over when he needs something anyway… we may have work together for some time, but he's not really part of my life…"
She shuffled and shuffled on as her lips began to tremble. What was that irritating feeling at the bottom of her stomach?
"He just comes over for business," she continued on more quietly as a new feeling came over to her, "I'm nothing more than a tool to him… that stupid Ueda…"
Silence followed her statement.
"Yamada!" called the landlady the next morning as she knocked on the door, "Yamada time to pay your rent!"
She unlocked the door when no one answered and barged inside again.
"YAMADA!" she called on as she looked inside only to find it empty. "Eh? Where is she?"
Looking at the table, she saw a letter addressed to her. The landlady took it at the same time that Jammy came in carrying their son in one arm, "What's the matter?"
"Yamada left," the landlady answered as she read the letter, "'Dear Landlady, I'm going now. I don't have a reason to stay any longer. Sayonara. P.S. I can't leave my turtle to you. Ja'"
The husband and wife looked at one another.
Yamada Satomi was writing on her paper using a brush when she felt a presence. Looking up, she saw Naoko standing by the garden looking extremely glum.
"Naoko?" she whispered in surprise.
Minutes later, mother and daughter is seen sitting opposite each other. Satomi was looking at her daughter with concern while Naoko was left looking into a space.
"Naoko…" Satomi started quietly, "What's wrong?"
"Mother," Naoko started without looking at her, "I want to stay here from now on…"
"I don't want to stay in Tokyo any longer."
Satomi looked at her daughter with a frown. Definitely something was wrong.
"Naoko… did something happen?"
"Nothing happened," Naoko answered, "I just don't think there's a reason for me to stay there…"
"Then what about Ueda-sensei?"
"What about him?" Naoko injected, looking away. Satomi saw her reaction and had to sigh a little as slowly the problem seemed to unveil itself.
"Did you two fight?"
"We always fight," Naoko answered glumly, "That idiot is an idiot amongst idiot so he's always saying unreasonable thing that's why he's an idiot."
"Naoko," Satomi said gently, "what really happened?"
Naoko looked up at her mother with glistening eyes, and then looked down the table.
"Neh, mother…" she whispered after awhile of hesitation, "have you ever thought the possibility that Ueda and I… would end up together?"
Satomi watched her daughter but didn't say anything. Naoko blinked after awhile and then looked up.
"I—I mean," she started again in defense, "It's not like I want that to happen, but you always hinted we should be together! And he always calls you 'mother' and you seem to like it…so I was thinking over… and…"
"Naoko," Satomi said patiently as she looked at her daughter with understanding in her eyes, "Do you remember the letter I gave you and Ueda-sensei? The one I told you not to open or you'll never see each other again?"
"You haven't opened it?"
Naoko slowly shook her head. Satomi nodded slowly.
"Why?" she asked.
"Eh?" Naoko blinked. Satomi eyed her daughter.
"Why do you think you haven't opened it till now even though it's been almost a year?"
"I… I…" Naoko mumbled on, "I forgot about it."
Satomi's eyes narrowed.
"You have to search yourself if you want to know the answer as to why you haven't opened it till now," she said quietly and seriously that made Naoko look at her, "Otherwise you and the professor shall never end up together."
"Eh?" Naoko mumbled again, "Why would I want the two of us to end up together?"
"Naoko!" Satomi's voice suddenly grew stronger that made Naoko look at her mother in surprise. The calligraphy artist gave her daughter another patient look and then said more gently, "Ueda-sensei cares for you very much… you should show the same feelings…"
Naoko's jaw dropped once more. "What are you talking about, mother? How can he care for me when he has a girlfriend back in Tokyo?"
"What?" Satomi blinked, "Are you sure?"
Naoko looked away, "I called him last night and his girlfriend answered the phone… that really idiot…"
Satomi's look of confusion was apparent this time as she put her fingers on her lips.
"That's strange… how come… it doesn't seem like that for the past few weeks…"
"What?" Naoko shot her mother a look, "You've been seeing him for the past few weeks?"
"No!" Satomi blurted out, looking stricken, "It's not like you think! I love your father, Naoko!"
Naoko almost lost her balance. "Mother! What are you talking about? I'm saying—how come he has time to meet you when he hasn't even called me for two months?"
"So you miss him?" Satomi grinned slyly. Naoko looked flustered.
"That's not it!" she quickly said, "He—that idiot hasn't brought me any work like the usual so I don't have any other way of earning money!"
Satomi sighed exasperatedly that made Naoko look at her in defence.
"Stupid Naoko," she muttered after awhile, "Hurry up and go back to Tokyo. I'm sure Ueda-sensei will talk to you sooner."
Naoko made a face and then looked away.
"I don't care about him." She said as she stood up, "If he has free time making girlfriends then so be it. It's his life anyway."
Satomi watched as her daughter carried her luggage toward the doorway.
"Where are you going?"
"To my room!" and she shut the door behind her, leaving Satomi looking after her.
In the middle of the silence, Satomi frowned.
"What is that professor planning…?"
That night, Naoko lay awake on her bed. After turning so many times, she finally decided to sit down and sigh.
"Why can't I sleep?" she muttered with a frown. "That stupid Ueda…"
She rummaged in her bag and took out the letter her mother gave her a year ago. It was the letter that once got opened she and Ueda would never be able to meet again.
Looking at the letter closely, Naoko's eyes glistened as seriousness finally took over her emotions again.
Why… why didn't she open it before? It's obvious she should not believe her mother's words or writings back then, but her mother believes that words has their power… but she was someone who doesn't believe in any spiritualist after all, so how come deep in her heart she was afraid to open it? Maybe that Ueda opened his a long time ago…
"I doubt he wouldn't," she muttered in annoyance as she tore the letter open, "He wouldn't care about not seeing me anymore. And if he does care its only for his own gain after all… He's selfish… saying all those things to me and even telling me 'Jetaime' and then not taking it seriously. He's really taking me for granted. Right, I don't care if I don't see you anymore!"
She took out the letter and read it.
"'Who is the person who knows your secret about hair?'" she read with a frown, " 'The answer is Ueda's letter. P.S. Naoko you are really an idiot for opening this. Satomi Yamada…'…Eh?"
She flipped the letter, and then threw it on the ground.
"Isn't that just a trick?" she cried on in impatience, "Clearly, Ueda knows my secret about the growing hair that night… then of course if it's on his letter then I wouldn't want to see him right away because of shame! What the hell!"
Naoko pouted and then looked at a space. She and Ueda had been through a lot, but she guessed things won't be the same anymore. How come she allowed that guy to get involve in her life anyway?
"Because he's always making his way in no matter how hard I refuse," she muttered with narrowed eyes, "That idiot…"
In Naoko's mind's eye, her experiences with Ueda flashed like a movie.
When had everything started, she doesn't have a clue, was it when Ueda first saved her from Kokumon Island before? She was about to get married then… or was it when Ueda came to rescue her when it appeared like she was kidnapped by that weird poem hand gesture family? She woke up and found Ueda with her… though it appeared he was more concerned about the culprit… Speaking of which, Ueda does have a weird taste in women who always turned out to be the prime criminals in all their investigation. She remembered that Emi who even manage to find her way inside Ueda's apartment and use him. That easy to fool idiot fell prey to her then, how pathetic. It was because he has soft spots for girls… but how come he doesn't seem to have a soft spot for her? He always uses her as bait, guinea pig and even a shield… he's a very cruel man! Despite that, she, Naoko, could not hate him fully.
Because then that idiot would always worm his way inside any situation and save her. He has some decency no matter how low. He had never left her to die at the very last moment… did not leave her when she was feeling vulnerable…
Naoko's heart thumped as she remembered that night when Shinna Kippei appeared and spoke to her in the forest after a murder. It was only Ueda who was with her then. Ueda came looking for her in the middle of the night. That weakling who was afraid of his own shadow came dashing after her… and it was also Ueda who noticed that she was carrying a burden on her shoulder. He never left her; he was there when she needed someone to lean on…
And the last straw was when he… of all people, did not leave her when she sacrificed herself for the Island and opened the lid with that 'shibara gas'. Ueda was there even though he seemed like he also tried to run… Ueda made her feel safe and secure after that incident… made her feel that somehow, after all, someone cares about her and would be there in times of need.
"Ueda you fool… you don't know how I feel every time you do that… I… who lives in solitude with my only turtle friend and who finds it hard to make friends with others and smile naturally… how come… you can make me smile without doing anything. Aren't you just weird? That's why you're an idiot for getting involved with me… and that's why I appreciate your presence more because you are my only comrade through everything… not that I would be in danger if not because of you… but how come you seemed to forget about me?"
Naoko felt a trickle of tear escape her eyes suddenly.
"What the?" she muttered as she wiped her eyes, "Why am I crying? That kind of person shouldn't be cried over! That weakling idiot who is not reliable and has a big penis shouldn't be cried over! Naoko you've become an idiot too…"
She leaned on her knees and cried silently.
~To Be Continued~
Yukie Nakama and Abe Hiroshi!
as Yamada and Ueda!