“Attention please, we will be arriving in Keirra International Airport momentarily. At this timem please put away all portable devices and prepare for landing.” The Japanese flight attendant said as best she could in English. ” Please put your trays and seats in the up-right position. Gather all trash; we will be coming by shortly to collect it.” Following the same, slow cadence, she began to repeat her speech fluently in Japanese. The plane’s cabin became animated with passengers talking, and window ports sprang open as children and adults alike began to peer at the city down below.
“Ah… how troublesome,” Rei Minagato mutters as she removes her glasses and wipes them with a microfiber cloth. “I still have no idea what to write.” She closes a small black note book and twirls a pen around her fingers. Putting her glasses back on, she takes a deep breath and lets out a big sigh. Opening her port window, she looks down at a bustling metropolitan area. “I hope this trip will bring me inspiration.”
The aircraft’s speakers dinged and the voice of the flight attendant buzzed out.
“Attention please, the aircraft is now making it’s final approach. Please return to your seats and fasten your safety belts in preparation for landing.”
The plane descended; the entire chassis shook as the plane’s landing gear hit the runway, and after a few moments, the aircraft taxied towards it’s designated gate. With the plane properly gated, the passengers within the cabin sprang to life, gathering their belongings from the above storage containers. Rei grabbed her backpack and lined up with the aisle to exit the aircraft. She shuffled out of the gate into a flurry of airport activity. Families rushing for departure gates, patrolling security, janitorial services riding around in carts, and busy food/merchandise vendors.
For a few seconds Rei stood there dazed, breathing in this wondrous, new environment. After a few seconds of admiration, she made her way to the baggage claim. Rei stared intently at the at the rotating circular platform for each piece of baggage that came out, searching for the specific color of suitcase. After a few minutes, she exhaled a slight sigh of relief to see her bright blue rolling luggage roll towards her. Rei popped out the carry handle amde made her way towards arrival/pick-up.
“Three-thirty.” she said, looking at her watch as she stood outside in arrival/pick-up. “I’m a little early, I guess I’ll wait here a bit.” Rei took a seat at a nearby bench and pulled out her mp3 player. The sounds of airport hustle and bustle slowly drowned out by the flashy beats of J-pop.
Thirty minutes later, she began to wonder about the person who was going to pick her up. She pulled out a sheet of paper from her pocket, and re-read the instructions that said to wait at the airport arrival/pickup area for a person to pick her up, and then take her to the dorms where she would be staying. The note also mentioned to be on the look out for a small green compact and a person holding a sign with her name on it. Rei saw no such thing. A little agitated, she continued to wait.
Rei sighed. What a fun trip this was turning out to be. “Go to Tokyo to get away for a while…” “It’ll be fun…” “Don’t worry, it’s just until the semester’s over…” What a joke. Her father had been transferred to the base in Japan; that was a little better than snobby France with aunt May and a lot better than England where mom… But thinking about that would kill her mood further, so she decided to not even think about it. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the weather out here couldn’t have been more annoying. There was practically no wind out earlier, but now gusts of wind blew everywhere and it felt like it was getting wetter. “Thank you God for the wet season…I couldn’t have asked for a mor crappy day of the week to “arrive.”
She glanced at her mp3 player. “Oh great… its dead…” She said with another sigh, and looked around the pickup area one more time. “There it is.” she said with a bit of a huff. She got up and walked over towards the green car with her luggage, only to see someone else jump in. Trying not to make a face, she turned to go back to her toasty bench, but as she turned, she saw that, in the five seconds that it had taken her to get up and move three steps forward and get shunned, a large family with far too many children had taken it over, all the while complaining noisily . Being as discrete as possible, she pulled her bags over towards the building, to stand out of the way of the crowd that seemed to have grown within the hour.
Rei’s head was starting to hurt. The medicine she had taken for the trip was finally wearing off. “I hope nothing happens before we get to the …the umm.. apartment.” Just then a bench opened up. She looked around for the next person to take it, but no one did. She took her stuff and moved to the bench. “Ah sweet relief” she thought as she sat on the bench. Her mind wandered. “Oh the places you will go” She said absently, quoting the title of a Dr. Seuss book. She worked on blocking out the noise, she was very close to being successful.. almost asleep…
A voice interrupted her improvised silence. “Umm excuse me? Are you perchance…Um hello? Good morning.. can i talk to you?” She sat up. Who was talking? Were they possibly talking to me? She Yawned loudly and opened her eyes. Right in her face is this asian dude (her words not mine) staring at her like 5 inches away. Astonished she pushed him away. “Ahh! You finally decided to wake up did you” The rude stranger grinned widely as he spoke, earning her disfavor even more in that one second than even her waking had cost him. “I’ve been awake! WHO ARE YOU?!; Neteiru i NAI ! KI-MI-WA DA REI KAI!?” She said this very slowly so that even a japanese person could understand (even though it was more because her headache had gotten worse, seemingly upon his arrival) “Ahh!” He said, “not bad english for a japanese girl” She scoweled at him. “but yer american right? And your name is… umm..” He looks down at a paper in his hand. “Rei Minagato san right?” It was at that moment that she noticed that her sight was a bit blurry.
She reached up to her face, and her empty hand confirmed that her glasses were gone. “Megane” she said. “Huh?” He said “What did you say?” he bent closer to her, and she glared at him. “Glasses On your face. My glasses Give them back” He sat back on the balls of his feet grinning. “Megane!” She said, standing and holding out her hand. “Kaiste! Give them back!” He stepped one foot back and pointed “Green car. You don’t want to stay out here this entire time do ya?” He took off the glasses, and shoved them back on her face, they were crooked, but how could he know that. He had already picked up all of her stuff before she got her glasses adjusted. He grabbed her hand and started dragging her towards the street. “See…uhn” someone pushed him ” that green car over there? My mom’s been waiting in there for us..” Another shove “Actually we waited for you for a bit, then i thought you might have gotten lost or something. Its pretty easy to do ya know.” He smiled “but then, you seemed to not be worried about that sort of thing, sleeping like you were” He winked, putting her luggage in the trunk. “Well here we are! Ah and i still haven’t introduced myself! Kira’s the name! Yer land lady is my mom” He laughed at this, although why that would be funny, Rei had no idea. “So!” he opened the door. “Ladies first?”