Friday, May 27, 2016
Soyokaze Stories: Miko, My Miko
(There is music at the bottom of this post to play while reading if so inclined. :) )
Miko Takara started to fish another cigarette out of her purse, but thought better of it when her stomach growled.
She crossed her legs and looked at her watch again. The next tram was due in 30 or so minutes. She told herself that she was done after that. He had his chances - three now - and this was it. Making her wait in this old station - it was a crime. A travesty.
A man in a white blazer stood at the far end of the station. He leaned against the railing and puffed at the stub of a cigarette before flicking it onto the tracks. She hated people who didn't take responsibility for their own waste. She was sure that he was leering at her as well.
She looked away as the white blazer man moved towards her. This was the topper for the afternoon. She was fuming.
"The next tram doesn't come through for another 30 minutes. You might want to consider getting on this one. It seems like you've been waiting for a while." The white blazer man motioned to the tram behind Miko. She absently glanced back.
"Yes, I know. I'm waiting for someone." She managed a polite, dismissive smile.
"Ah..yes...yes...sorry to disturb you. I just wasn't sure if you were waiting for...." He waved his hand and laughed the rest away. His waving hand slipped into his blazer as smoothly as a snake and slipped back into view with a packet of cigarettes. His fingers popped against the case and a single cigarette popped out from the top of the packet. Miko was sure this was a practiced move set to win over the hearts of college girls. Ridiculous. Yet, before she knew it, she was reaching for the proffered cigarette and nodding her thanks. She slipped it into her mouth and waited for him to light it.
"I'm very sorry for bothering you," he said as he lit the cigarette with his silver lighter. Was that a robot on the side of it? Miko held back a laugh. A grown man with a robot lighter.
"Not a problem." She nodded again and checked her watch. He seemed nice enough, but she didn't need company right now.
"Gundam." He smiled a wide, silly smile as he showed her the lighter. "My daughter bought it for me. I have a passion for Mobile Suits."
Miko chuckled. She was caught off guard by the man's honestly. "Who doesn't?" She smiled.
The man looked at the lighter and his mouth curved into a sweet smile. A smile created from fond memories and cherished moments. "She's a sweetheart. She'll be on the 3:30 along with your friend." He pocketed the lighter. "I'm treating her to a night in Soyokaze. Big spender, huh?" He chuckled. "When your friend gets here, you two might want to try Kogane no - the food is fantastic."
Miko nodded again, slightly embarrassed and wondering if he had heard her stomach from way over there. "We'll look for it. Thank you."
"Well, take care." He bent forward slightly and nodded his head. He meandered back to his spot at the railing and she watched as he lit another cigarette and checked his watch again.
Chimes twinkled brightly and a voice drifted over the small speaker above her head.
"The next tram from Kokubunji will arrive in 30 minutes."
"I'm so sorry! I missed the train. I couldn't get out of work. I'll get the next one?" The man's voice crackled through the phone like he was talking through paper.
Miko held the phone to her ear, but only half listened.
She stared off down the platform as the white blazer man hugged a lovely girl with a ponytail. He pulled her to his side as they made their way towards the path. He was much taller, but she could see the resemblance in their faces. As they passed, Miko smiled toward them as the girl chastised the white blazer man playfully for still smoking. The man waved to Miko, but said nothing.
"Miko-san? Miko-san?" The voice again - buzzing in her ear like a mosquito. A fly.
"Don't bother coming." Miko's voice was sad and tired.
Miko hung up and turned off her phone before slipping it back into her purse. She stared off towards Soyokaze Temple and took a deep breath. "Bastard." Her stomach growled again and she glanced around to see if anyone was in earshot.
Miko stood and made her way toward the path in search of food. Maybe that Kogane no place the man spoke about.
She wished she asked what his name was.