Vignette:Singsong Souvenirs

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Singsong Souvenirs
National Route 7, Hayama, Imperial and Royal Federation for the Akitei People
January 16th, 1982

he morning express train to Kikyo trundled on by in front of Hua and her motorcycle, the low rumbling sound of metal pressing down on metal filling the air. The fleeting sight of two boys playing around inside in one of the cabins reminds her of older days, playing with her brother by the river. She smiles at the thought as the caboose of the train passes by and the road barriers rise up. It isn’t long after that the sound of a motorcycle zooming past sleeping farmhouses and quiet barns snakes through the valley.

While she didn’t have anything to drink last night, it was still hectic as could be. Tagging alongside Katsuyoshi and his merry band of drunkards-to-be was a decision she made up on the spot. Refusing a request from the office’s party king was tantamount to exile, even if she was exempt from this unwritten law as a foreigner. Whatever muddled memories that remained slowly revealed themselves as she weaved through the countryside.

She could remember the awful singing in the karaoke bar. Mashiro’s choice of songs to sing were, needless to say, questionable. Kiyoko was drop-dead drunk by eleven, and Sukenobu was even worse; one meagre sip of Umadaira sake and he was as red as a Borgosesian tomato. His shiny bald head didn’t help with the imagery. By the end of the whole debacle, there were about eight alcohol-filled off-duty office workers, a miserably happy manager, and an out-of-place Kodeshian trying to corral the flock of drunks into their respective vehicles.

The last memory she can dredge out of her groggy mind is the sight of the company van shrinking away into the distance and the cold wind on her face as she waves them off. It’s a Saturday now, and for all she knows, the gang is waking up to one hell of a hangover. As she turns off of the deserted highway and stops just outside her quiet home, a little tune plays in her head. It’s one of the songs she sang (albeit with much hesitation), and she can’t help but mouth the lyrics as she opens the door.

Koibito datta koro no...

Aka no enameru haite...

Koyoi anata to futari...

Tasogare wo arukeba...

As she trails off, collapsing onto her mattress, there’s a single thought on her mind before her eyelids give way.

I’ve gotta find the vinyl for that.

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