Woah!!!! It's been really that long?!?!?! I can't believe it. I haven't been updating for half a year.. I guess I'm just too busy with work.. Actually, this fic that I'm about to post was initially entitled, "Stressed" coz I'm really stressed right now..but I 'played' again..and it became...'cute' so I decided to change the title...ahaha...enjoy reading!
I am staring at the monitor for almost an hour now and yet, not a single sentence has been written on the page. I WROTE something for the past hour but whenever I pressed a key, my mind went blank and then it took a little too long to press the next letter. I sighed out loud. This is going to be a long night.
First of all, let me introduce myself, I’m Takahashi Ai; a manager of a certain restaurant and a ‘fiction’ writer. I wrote stories as a hobby. My forte would be writing comedy and horror themed stories but I sometimes do drama and romance... Just don’t ask where I get ideas from the last one because even if I’m almost 24, I’m still lacking a ‘significant other’.
I have already written about a hundred stories of various genres but now, I’m in a pinch. I’ve acquired the dreaded ‘writer’s block syndrome’. Well, technically it’s not a disease or something, but it’s not what most writers would like to have. I have lots of ideas going on my mind right now but I just can’t fully express what I want to tell to my readers. Add to that, being a manager, there were lots of responsibilities that you have to do and lots of problems to solve. So for an amateur writer like me, vague ideas + stress = writer’s block.
I shifted in my seat as I put my fingers back on the keyboard. I wrote a sentence then erased it… Wrote another one, not satisfied… erased. I grumbled as I stopped the urge to hit my laptop. Thank goodness that technology has already advanced right now. If not, then I would still be writing in a piece of paper. If it really were a piece of paper, I would have crumpled it a lot of times now and threw it in the trash can. Sad to say, my laptop is a little bit expensive than a piece of paper… scratch that… WAY TOO EXPENSIVE to throw just like a trash. And just imagine just how many ‘trees’ would have been cut down for the hundreds of paper I would have thrown.
I’ve been thinking hard but all I can think about is this: store review, how to increase the sales, audit and making the guests happy. My ‘managerial’ mind really works alongside my writer side whose thinking about a very beautiful girl trapped in a castle with a ‘vegetarian’ vampire and a group of friends who ate something at a certain party and was turned into a ‘sentai’ group. With my current situation, I’ll not be able to finish something. How I wish I didn’t become a manager.
I’ve always liked my job… that’s before, when I was just a mere team leader. But I STILL like my current position; I just don’t like the additional responsibilities. Before, I can write three different genre stories at the same time but now, I can write three paragraphs in 10 minutes and end up deleting it again and again. Sometimes I want to quit being a manager due to stress but my co-manager was preventing me.
Niigaki Risa, my co-manager who helped me a lot with the paper works and handling our staffs. When I was about to hit my head on the table after our area manager had a little talk with me on the phone to rant how dismayed she was, Risa quickly put her hand between my head and the table. I’m not exaggerating, it did happen. When I was really annoyed at our staff for making a mistake, she would be the one who would talk to that person. But before that, she would pull me inside our office, play some soothing music from the computer, give me a juice or an iced tea and then leave me alone to relax. When the date for the ‘dreaded’ store review was announced, Risa already readied the papers that I would report. She even made a survey about our competitors and their promos so I can explain fully why our sales went up… or worse, go down.
I’m the ‘shy’ type of person. Wait… egoistic? Hmm, I don’t know how to call it but I can’t really say out loud how thankful I am to her. So, I just sometimes put Risa as my heroine in my stories… I put a different name but her characteristics were almost the same. She nearly died from this certain story of mine where she was trapped inside a cave for three days, but I made sure that there’s a certain ‘Takahashi Ai’ helping her out. This is the only way I could repay her for all the things that she’s done to me. On another story, ‘Risa’ and ‘Ai’ went to an amusement park and had a fun time together. I made ‘Risa’ puke after riding the roller coaster ... Don’t get me wrong! I’m not actually biased about my stories. I made ‘Risa’ laughed hard when I screamed my ‘manly’ scream inside the horror house. I named ‘Risa’ as Lisa and me… Lovely. Both foreign names because even if I’m Japanese, there were quite a few international readers reading my blog. Can you believe that?! I managed to keep my own blog considering my tight and stressful schedule! That’s something to be happy about.
Anyways, I had enough from reminiscing things that didn’t even happen in reality and possibly, will never happen in the future. For the 8 hours that I’m working, Risa and I only spent 4 hours together. One of us would be the opening manager and the other, the closing manager. If one of us has a day off, the other one will have a straight duty. That’s just how things work in our restaurant so I know that ‘that day’ will never come. I turned my focus back on my monitor and tried to write something. I saw Risa bumped into the door earlier. Maybe that’s a good idea on another comedy fiction. What should I name her this time? I already named her Sayumi (the narcissist who was turned into a bunny by a revengeful witch named Koharu), Reina (the closet yankee-girl who works in a maid café), Eri (the dorky school girl who has a serious heart disease), and Aika (the girl who loves animals, specifically her pandas Junjun and Linlin, but has yet to learn how to ‘love’ humans).
I closed my eyes. Thinking about the name wasn’t that hard before. Maybe I’ll just change the ‘S’ with ‘K’. I’ll name my character ‘Rika’. There, that’s settled. Now about the genre... Mystery? Drama? Horror?I guess I’ll just stick with comedy first.
For the characterization, I noticed that Risa can sometimes do cutesy stuff, and can be a little bit stubborn. Ohh, and sometimes our staffs call her the ‘reaction queen’! Maybe I’ll include that character of hers. Hmmm, Will I include myself or not? There’s a guest complaint earlier at the store, and Risa was the one who talked with the ‘fuming’ guest. She knew I’m not good with those stuffs. Okay, I’ve decided I’ll include myself so I can repay her. My name…. I guess Hitomi will do. I was about to cry earlier but Risa told me that I have wonderful eyes so I’ll better not ruin it with my tears.
Now here comes the plot… It’s comedy so a plot wasn’t that necessary right? So Risa slipped and bumped her head earlier. She opened the blender while it’s still rotating thus making the mango shake burst out right to her face. What else… Hmm... We were drinking coffee earlier; Risa burned her tongue and due to the shock, she now has coffee stain on her blouse. Talk about ‘unlucky’ day. So here comes me, the one who was laughing hard at her. The one who applied ice on her head, the one who got her own handkerchief and wiped her face… The one who helped her remove the stain inside the restroom.
Come to think of it, maybe I’ll just give ‘Ai’, I mean, Hitomi a cool character. The Hitomi who didn’t had a laughing marathon. The Hitomi who caught her before she bumped her head. The Hitomi who stopped her from opening the blender and the Hitomi who reminded her that the coffee was REALLY hot. Yeah, that’s something I could never do in real life.
And now that it’s been settled, I’ll begin writing the story…
It was a normal day at the Musume Restaurant. There were quite a few guest eating at lunch time due to the bad weather outside.
Wait… that was yesterday. It was pretty sunny earlier. Erased.
It was a beautiful and sunny Monday morning at Tokyo, Japan but the Musume Restaurant manager ignored the scenery and was running really fast. She over slept this morning and…..
Hitomi was supposed to be a cool character!!!! I’m the one who’s late… Not her…. GAAAHHH!!!!
I slumped on my chair, hitting my head lightly on the table. All the planning failed; I’m back at the starting line. I guess I wouldn’t have an update on my blog this month.
Suddenly, my phone vibrated, indicating that a message has been received. I flipped it open and saw my co-manager’s name on the screen.
“Hey Ai!!!! We managed to meet our target sales this month! You wouldn’t have a problem when the store review comes, isn’t that great? Anyways, you’re the closing manager tomorrow right? Let’s celebrate! I’ll wait for you after operating hours. It’s a great way to unwind and we really haven’t hang out ever since I have been transferred to this branch. I hope we can know each other better. <3
I smiled because of two reasons. One, our operations manager will not yell at me this month and two, Risa and ‘Ai’ will finally be able to have a ‘chill’ time together. No work related and problem related talks tomorrow night. I started thinking about the possible things we can do together at that time. Were there other restaurants still open after 10? Were there still arcades, karaoke, or mall at that time? If not, I guess we can just hang out at the park… or the bay side.
I quickly typed my reply.
I placed my phone on the table and stared AGAIN on the monitor. I wasn’t thinking about the story anymore; I was thinking what kind of chill time we could do tomorrow night.
“I’m sorry you have to wait for four hours.”
“No it’s okay. I went to shop for a couple of things before going back here. So shall we go?” Rika stood up and grabbed my hand. “So how much we’ve earned today?”
And here I thought that we’re supposed to have some ‘chill’ time with no work-related talks. I’m thinking about a nice payback for ruining the evening.
“Well,” I paused to look at her. She looked back at me, curious as to why I’m grinning like crazy. “Half the normal sales for our average Monday sales add to that our net sales last Tuesday. Our running Average Daily Sales last night became higher than our ADS last Wednesday giving us the idea that..”
“We sold a lot today than yesterday, right?” I nodded. Rika playfully punched my shoulders and we resumed our walk. It’s quite a chilly night for September that’s why Rika was still holding my hand. At least that’s what I’m thinking as to why she hasn’t removed her hand yet. Deep inside me, I DON’T want her to remove her grip on mine.
“Where do you want to eat?”
“Any place that’s still open at this hour.”
And so Rika pulled me into the first restaurant we saw that’s still open. We ate… a lot. I guess I’ll just exercise for two weeks to get back to shape. Yep, that’s how MUCH we’ve eaten. We drank. Well, just a little bit. Even though it’s my rest day tomorrow, I don’t want her to have a very bad hang over just because of me. After all she will be having a straight duty tomorrow. It’s nearing midnight when Rika decided to walk near the bay side.
I was thrown out of my reverie when my phone vibrated again. It’s still Risa.
“You don’t sound so enthusiastic there… I guess what I heard from our staff is right. You hated celebrating your birthday. Well, I guess that will change tomorrow night. I’m going to give you a gift.<3
Oh yeah, my birthday is on the day after tomorrow. Now I remembered as to why I requested that day as my rest day. Well, it’s not like I hated it, it’s just that I don’t like thinking that I’ll be a year OLDER again that’s why, I don’t NORMALLY celebrate it. I celebrate it ALONE; playing my PSP, watching anime, downloading movies and writing a story. Yup, that’s the real me.
I was about to reply her when I thought about something.
I reluctantly left my gaze at the beautiful scene in front of me and looked questioningly at my partner… who was not looking directly at me but at her watch. Right, she needs to go home because she still has a duty tomorrow.
“You want to go home? It’s okay, I’ll help you get a cab.”
“No, just wait.” Now I’m really confused. She kept staring at her watch, as if she wanted to kill it for being so slow… or fast. That is until I heard her ‘silent’ countdown.
“5,4,3,2,1….. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AI!!!!!” She lunged forward and hugged me. Well, it feels quite comfortable being hugged by someone… like… this… I looked at her, tears threatening to fall.
“Ho.. how did you know?”
“I had my sources.” She replied, still grinning like a kid. “Here, I got a gift for you.”
She removed her arms from me to get something in her bag. My mind went blank at the sudden loss of heat. I wanted it back and so, I grabbed her and pulled her closer to me. I felt her body become stiff.
“Thanks… not just for this night… Thank you for being there for me every day.” Suddenly, my mind can’t catch up with what my body was doing. I just see myself, holding her chin up, and leaning forward to kiss her.
Wait!?! Did I just think about that?!?! I didn’t seem repulsed by the thought and I actually feels…good. I sighed out loud. Now, I have a hint as to where I’m getting my ‘romantic’ ideas in my fiction. I’m officially in love with ‘Rika’. So I guess my supposedly comedy fic will be written as a ROMANTIC-comedy fic.
That is…. If only I could write what I’m thinking…. Wait, wouldn’t it be better if I could actually ‘DO’ what I was writing?