The Tattoo’s Identity
The journey of an intense emotion started when Mikito Sakai was pressured to put his first tattoo. His father Mr. Sakai explained to Mikito that it was a family tradition to put on a tattoo. At the age of sixteen, he had to decide where he would want an everlasting and an unwanted scar on his body. Mikito was shocked and in agony. He knew it was fashion to some, but for him it was simply disgusting. He realized that sooner or later, he had to fall in love with it.
The problem was he could not choose a design he wanted. He was told to design a dragon on any part of his body. For some Japanese families, designing tattoos indicated prosperity, bravery and fame.
Mikito was a young Japanese boy. By nature he was unpredictable, friendly and a positive thinker. He wished he could conquer the world.
At the age of twelve, he asked his mother, “What should I do if I want to be the prince of Japan? How should I apply for that position?”
His mother was surprised that he had big dreams. “You are the prince. You are the prince of your home. Here, you do not need to apply for any position,” she replied affectionately.
She kissed his forehead and walked away.
Mikito felt this peaceful and soothing feeling when he heard that. Since then, he has always thought highly of himself. His experience to put on a dragon on his back was memorable. Few months later, he began getting confident about it. He had to pacify his feelings and overcome the negative thoughts.
Days passed by, he was walking down the aisle of the church. He wanted to leave Japan as his father was strict and created too many restrictions for him.
In high school, Mikito was quite naughty and flirtatious. He always played pranks on his friends. During exams he distracted his classmates. The teacher began getting annoyed with his behavior. However, because of his honesty he was given a last chance.
Fortunately, Mikito passed the exam and was ready for grade twelve. His parents were very relieved and wondered what would have happened? Mikito’s father never realized that because of his strict nature and high expectations his son was loosening himself outside. Mr. Sakai was a shrewd and influential businessman.
Sometimes, Mikito thought how on earth his mother married such a man. Alternatively, he knew it was all out of love.
Years back when Mr. Sakai and his friends had gone for a vacation around Japan, his tour guide was no one but Mikito’s mother. She was young and did her job well. She had no clue she was ever going to fall in love with a man who was a decade older. Mr. Sakai befriended her. He began calling her up. She refused to meet him.
Mr. Sakai then reached her workplace. He switched on his portable tape recorder. He expressed his feelings to her on tape. The entire office was stunned.
Mikito’s mother was fired from her job. She met Mr. Sakai and decided she would tell him how she felt. She found him old and aggressive. She was not ready for any commitments at the age of twenty. Little that she knew what destiny had planned for her.
She met Mr. Sakai for tea and he was so grateful for her to come. He apologized that she got fired and promised her a better job at his office. She was furious from within but remained unruffled.
He cracked some jokes and shared his life stories with her. She was mesmerized by his talks and did not realize that she was not furious anymore.
Months passed by and they got married. Mikito’s mother told Mikito, “Love is not beautiful. It is this unpredictable thing that falls on your lap. Love can take away your job. It can make you feel so many things that you end up in this bubble. But when this bubble pops, there is a flow of continuous emotional drama that embraces you. For a change you do enjoy the drama. You will know when you fall in love.”
Mikito was never interested in love. He decided to travel around the world and become an interior designer.
One day, when he was taking a shower, he was staring at his tattoo on the mirror. He could feel that finally he liked the way it was designed on his upper back. He smiled to himself and said with arrogance, “I am the prince of Japan. I will travel the world.”
He then wore his clothes and went for his judo class. Mikito developed an interest in martial arts and skiing.
Mikito had loads to do. He was unable to complete his projects and failed his first semester quiz for many subjects. The principal pointed to the simple grey leathered chair in front of his desk where Mikito had to follow his guidance.
Few weeks later, the principal fixed an appointment and suggested Mr. Sakai that Mikito take extra classes after school to improve his grades. Mikito refused to take extra classes and had a huge argument with his father.
In resentment his father decided that Mikito wouldn’t go to school anymore. He felt that Mikito was not interested in his education. But that was not true , he thought.
Mikito inhaled in fearfulness. The windows held heavy brocade hangings of deep cherry. He furrowed his brows and looked away.
He could not handle the pressure, his sports activities and extra classes. He could feel that it was getting him stressful and unmanageable.
For six months Mikito did not go to school. Mr. Sakai thought this was the best punishment and waited for Mikito to plead him to get back to school.
With the unpleasant scenario, Mikito stopped talking to his father. His stomach was growling and decided to stopover the nearest café for a bit of lunch.
Mikito’s mother tried her best to convince him to permit him a normal life he deserved.
“I don’t want this to happen to me. It is fine not to go to school for one year. But, I will finish high school and never come back home,” said Mikito with anger.
His respect and love for his father was diminishing. He was getting detached.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sakai was preparing for a business trip to London. Mikito’s mother decided that her son is not going to be treated that way. That day, after hours of arguing she finally convinced him.
Mikito had gone for skiing. As he arrived home, he was surprised to know he could complete his education.
“I don’t want to go to school. I cannot face anyone at school anymore. The principal exaggerated and I lost one year of my study. I want to travel to another country where I can complete my high school. I don’t want to stay in Japan. Your husband taught me a lot of things in this one year. I want to leave and need your support. I promise I won’t let you down. Please, I need to go for a while,” said Mikito with apprehension.
Mikito’s mother agreed to her seventeen year old son. She could see his eyes searching for progress, freedom and love. It was time for him to make his own decisions.
The Greener Side of the World
After days of research, it was decided that Mikito would leave for Bangkok, Thailand.
Mikito’s mother enquired and decided he took his GED exams because of a year of delay. Then he could take extra classes to prepare for his interior designer degree in Australia.
Mikito enrolled to the finest educational institute to take his GED exams. He stayed at a serviced apartment.
He missed his mother and remembered her encouragement towards him.
The first few days in Bangkok City was interesting. The culture between Japan and Thailand was vast. He could not understand the growing trend and development of taste towards fried insects. He took pictures and emailed them to his mother.
Few days later, while Mikito was doing some questions on Social Studies, a young girl came to class. He was distracted by the fragrance of the perfume.
She walked in front of the class and sat next to the teacher. The teacher introduced Hana Jung. She was Korean.
The nine students introduced themselves and the tenth, Mikito waved at her. “Welcome to Bangkok City. I am from Japan,” said Mikito with a smirk and continued his doing his worksheets.
Hana was a seventeen year old teenager living with her mother and brother in Bangkok. After the divorce of her parents four years ago, Hana and her mother shifted to Bangkok.
She opened a Korean barbeque restaurant. Hana was homeschooling for the past three years. She had to quit because of her parents disputes over money. Money drove them apart devastating the family.
Hana started working part-time as a translator. She had to study Thai language and began translating documents and speeches. There were days were Hana wanted to travel to the beaches or even mountains to revivify herself. Her elder brother decided he would not study and help his mother to run the business.
The restaurant business was doing well enough for them to pay rent for their home, Hana’s education and monthly bills.
Hana had to save if she needed to buy anything she desired of. She was surrounded by a new trend and being part of the era of fashion and technology was too complicated for her.
Hana was keen to purchase a BlackBerry Bold mobile phone. She did not have that much money to buy the phone. The phone was not a phone to her. It was a passionate and entertaining gadget, she considered.
When she was in class, everyone chatted and spoke about the features of the phone. She made a few friends who always told her to buy the phone.
Hana could not speak about her financial position to anyone. She wished for a miracle. She hoped for someone to walk up to her saying, “I am bored of this phone. Take mine.” She knew it was just a phone. But she also knew that the phone was beginning to become a need she dreamt of.
One day, during lunch time Mikito noticed Hana putting lip gloss and tying her hair into a pony tail. For some reason, he was just looking at every move she made. After his lunch, he went up to her and asked her, “How long have you been living in Bangkok?”
“I have been living here for three years. What about you?” she replied crisply.
“Two months. I am here to complete my high school diploma,” he said with confidence.
“So lucky! You could travel from Japan and choose your place of study,” she said with zeal.
Mikito replied, “Not everyone is lucky. I was doomed first, then allowed to study. It is a long story.”
Hana could see that he had his story but could not share it with her. She had her story but said nothing. Hana wished her family was normal like everyone. “A divorce can really create a mess in a teenager’s life,” she thought.
Hana’s mother and brother were quite busy with the restaurant business which left her lonely sometimes. Hana had a few friends. Her best friend was manipulative and always imposed her decision on her.
Hana hated to be her friend and gained the courage to tell her off after tolerating it for months.
“I thought you were my friend. But you ruined everything. After my parents’ divorce you have made me feel even worse. I don’t think we should be friends anymore. You have also made me realize that some friendship is better to let go, so a true friendship can walk into our lives. I am sorry. It is time for us to move our separate ways,” said Hana with disappointment.
Hana’s friend was shocked and had no words to say. In contrast, Hana felt like she was just released from prison. She could breathe without having to feel suffocated.
The next day when she went to class, she was so cheerful and went with the flow. Her new friends asked her if she was interested to watch a movie with them. Hana agreed and also invited Mikito to join them.
Mikito joined them and after the movie they went for dinner to a Japanese restaurant. Mikito told Hana so much about Japan and Japanese food.
She had never seen him so happy. After dinner, Mikito took everyone’s email address and decided to add them on Facebook.
He was welcoming new relationships in his life. He seldom remembered his father. At times, he became silent when Hana asked him about his family. He did not know where to start.
That night after dinner, Hana was waiting for the taxi. Mikito saw her and paced toward her. He insisted he would drop her home. That way he would get to know her more, he contemplated. He had not made any good friend as yet, and noticed Hana was a genuine person.
Hana was fine with the offer. She could feel something awkward and remained put. She preferred to whine nor bully him, but indulge in a new ride back home.
The Crawl of the BlackBerry Attraction
When they sat in the taxi, there was a moment of silence. Hana did not know why she was feeling strange. In front of others she spoke to him, but when they were alone, she was out of words.
Mikito broke the silence by talking to her about BlackBerry. She was listening to him and wanted to scream out loud. She so wanted one, too.
Mikito noticed that while he was talking she looked away, so he blurted out of curiosity, “I know I am talkative but not boring.”
Hana replied, “I want a BlackBerry. Oops! Yes, you are not boring.”
Mikito had told her to buy one and she mentioned about her financial position. She had mentioned that she was saving money for it. She would definitely get one for sure, as she was earning her way to it.
Mikito liked her determination and the enthusiasm she had towards a mobile phone. “If she is like that towards a phone, how would she be towards other things like friendship or love?”he wondered.
They spoke about many things and Mikito told her about his family. Hana also mentioned about her parents’ divorce. They both laughed at how things could be screwed up, yet not so bad.
“Life is full of fluctuating emotions and thanks to technology we can express our emotions in every way. Not only that, being so young we undergo an illumination of our path of life. For a change, we get a chance to choose how we can make our life. You want to be an interior designer and I want to be a banker,” said Hana with compassion.
Mikito agreed to all her views and was glad to have met her. “Perhaps we were supposed to go through too much melodrama to have discussed this today. Guess what? We discuss it in Bangkok City. How interesting is this?” said Mikito with keenness.
Hana giggled and told him that they were already nearing her house.
She thanked him for the ride and accompany. On the way back, Mikito felt that he liked Hana’s company. He did not know her well but could still talk about so many things. Then he looked at his BlackBerry. He smiled looking at it. “Hana wants you more than I want you,” considered Mikito.
The next day at class, Mikito sat next to Hana. While studying Science he looked at her and whispered, “You are looking good today.”
Hana looked at him and said with vain, “Stop flattering me. Tell me something new and continued with her work.”
Mikito liked her witty nature. He was annoying her while she was doing her classwork.
The teacher noticed and told him, “Mikito stop disturbing Hana during class. Talk to her after class or during the break time.”
Mikito smiled and winked. The teacher could infer that Mikito was attracted to Hana. It was obvious to her that he probably had an infatuation. After class, Mikito spoke to the teacher about his GED subjects. He told her about him becoming an interior decorator and travelling around the world.
The teacher was impressed and teased him. “When you travel around the world, don’t forget to take Hana with you. I know I could see it. Please keep in mind, that don’t do anything that is not right and you are here to study. Please take care of yourself.”
Mikito was embarrassed and said, “I don’t know. I think I like her but she likes BlackBerry. Don’t worry; I will be a good boy.” They both burst out laughing.
Mikito walked out of class and walked toward Hana.
She had asked Mikito if he could help her with her Science project. Mikito was in cloud number nine. He put his hand on his left cheek and said, “I will do anything for you, Hana.”
The rest of the classmates started to laugh. They knew the Mikito had his flirtatious nature. However, no one knew if he was serious about her. Not even Mikito.
For the first time Mikito was invited to Hana’s Korean restaurant. He was introduced to her mother and brother. The mother found him polite and friendly. After eating some barbecued pork. They did there mini research on the Science project.
While Mikito was taking some notes, Hana was looking at him. She found him charming. Sometimes, she wished she could just go and hug him. Mikito was quite tall and Hana knew she would be hidden, if he ever hugged her.
With a sudden fall of the stapler, Hana got back from her dream land. She was yearning for excitement and love. She felt her life was boring and there was way too much to do besides thinking about love. Then she focused.
“I need my BlackBerry. With that I can do so much. I can easily do translation and work my way to be a banker someday,” believed Hana.
However, it was difficult for her to keep her eyes off Mikito. She thought maybe she made a mistake for inviting him over.
There would never be a next time, she decided.
Mikito was done with his research and handed Hana all the information. She thanked him and told him to leave before it gets too late. She had some work to complete for her mother.
Hana felt guilty for lying. She did not know what to do. She felt she was too young to fall in a trap of a sensation that could bring tears to her. She never wanted to have a boyfriend until she was sure he was the right person. Hana had already created her own world where she had made an outline of her goals.
The subsequent day, Hana did not go to class as she had to go for some translation work. In relation to her work pressure she skipped a few days of classes.
Mikito started to get curious and had called her. She never answered his phone calls. With this situation, Mikito began to get agitated. He could not concentrate on his Social Studies class.
The distraction manipulated his thoughts and influenced him to chase after his curiousness. After class, Mikito went to a café for some time. He could not sit there as he was getting temperamental. So he went to the park, eventhough, he disliked going to the park. It always made him feel sentimental whenever he went to one.
Nevertheless, that day was different. He sat under a tree and started writing about his thoughts behind his Social Studies notebook. He could not understand why he was feeling this pull towards a continuous wave of passion.
Mikito knew it was unusual. He had mix feelings. He liked to feel this way but at the same time he hated it. He was never interested in falling in love.
After writing his thoughts, he went back to read it. Towards the end he wrote: A prince has feelings too. It does not matter if he is young or old. Feeling towards a girl or a woman can certainly develop a swirl of gloom.
He knew this was transitory. He closed the book and fell asleep under the tree.
On the other hand, Hana received her payment for translation. She managed to save a percent for her BlackBerry. She was so excited that she went for shopping and bought many types of chocolate cakes. Hana had not treated herself for a longest time.
Meanwhile, Mikito was feeling itchy. He was bitten by mosquitoes. He quickly got up and rushed back to his apartment. He was surfing through the internet and began reading his horoscope. Few minutes later, he began thinking about Hana again. He did not think twice and called her up again.
For a change this time, Hana received his call. She told Mikito how busy she was with her work and did not want to be disturbed by anything.
Mikito told her how much he missed her. Hana got silent. She did not know what to say or even think what was going on.
Mikito then thought of speaking what he was actually feeling. He started off, “Hana, this is something so weird but it is true . I feel I can tell you how I feel without even to think a hundred times. You are a reality that has brought me a good feeling of friendship. I hope I am not boring you, Hana. If I don’t say it, this will make me feel uneasy. Since the past months we have become friends I have started to feel this connection between us. If it is fine with you, I would like to take you out to lunch this weekend. Hana, it is only lunch. I won’t bite you.”
Hana felt that the inner satisfaction brought her the creativity and confidence to a new perspective. She said yes to him.
Mikito was so pleased.
During lunch, Hana told Mikito, “This is only lunch. I hope you are not thinking this is a date.”
“Are you waiting for a date? We shall go for dinner if we go on a date,” he uttered.
Mikito then stopped because he could see her blushing.
Hana could not control her feelings. She wanted to disappear. She started murmuring something in Korean language. She said, “Otoke” couple of times. Mikito was confused and asked her, “Why are you talking to yourself?”
“Jhajunna, Otoke,” said Hana with coyness. She could see that Mikito was taking her picture using his BlackBerry phone. Then she stopped saying anything.
“Mikito stop taking my pictures,” said Hana.
“So tell me, what were you saying? I know you were not saying I am handsome. Perhaps you do not like this place or I said something,” asked Mikito with concern.
“Hmm…No! The food is good here. I was saying you are so annoying and what should I do in Korean language. Sometimes, I have nothing to say to you and when I don’t see you, I feel there is so much to say.”
Mikito burst out laughing. “I feel the same. This is crazy. I have an idea. Let’s read between the lines by ordering dessert. If I am thinking and what you’re thinking is the same, we will say what we were really thinking. Hana don’t worry, we are not children. I am going to turn eighteen in two weeks.”
Hana frowned and said, “You are retarded. How can we read between the lines by ordering dessert? Anyways, this could be fun. Let’s do it. I take this as a challenge.”
Mikito ordered his dessert and Hana ordered hers. They did not tell each other what they chose. Coincidently, both of them ordered the same chocolate cake. It was a ‘Molten Chocolate Hoola Hoola Cake.’
Hana was stunned and remained quiet. She uttered nothing and wondered what was he thinking?
“I am amazed. So there is something about this hoola hoola chocolate cake. You have to say what is in your mind? Take this as a do or die situation. Please tell me. I want to know,” requested Mikito with enthusiasm.
Hana sat there for a while and felt goosebumps all over. Her heart was beating so fast that she thought the birds were telling her to fly away. Finally she spoke after a long pause.
“I have so many thoughts. Now, my thoughts are getting emotional and developing this exhilaration. The exhilaration has to be ignored but it can’t be forgotten. It has become a bubble and soon it will be popped. Anyways, I like being your friend.”
Mikito felt the same. He was so relieved she felt alike. “I think this bubble will pop. Um, I would like to take you for dinner. I want to celebrate my eighteenth birthday with you,” said Mikito with a relief.
He got up from his seat and took a scoop of the cake and fed her. She felt like throwing up out of edginess. She murmured again in Korean.
“I don’t love you, but I will go for dinner with you. Only dinner!” she blurted.
Mikito smiled and said, “I don’t love you too. It is my birthday dinner and if you remember, I told you, dinner will be a date. Why are you so amusing?”
They glanced at each other and looked away. After a fleeting thought what Hana blurted earlier Mikito laughed.
Hana could not believe what was happening. She never wanted this to happen but it did. She did not want to escape the affectionate and innocent gestures by him. She giggled and covered her lips.
Mikito remembered what his mother told him about love. He was hoping that maybe Hana could be the one.
Two weeks later, Mikito met Hana at the restaurant. Hana bought him a pen. She surprised him with her homemade ‘Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake.’
He hugged her and said, “I have something for you, too.”
Hana opened it. She was astonished and so happy. It was a BlackBerry Bold mobile phone.
She hugged Mikito.
“I can’t believe this. BlackBerry brought us here. Thank you. This is the best surprise I ever got in my life. Oh, but it is your birthday, I am suppose to surprise you and it is the other way round. This is fabulous! Sorry, I cannot believe it!”
Out of excitement, Hana’s eyes became teary.
Mikito hugged her and whispered, “Our journey should be a memorable ride. Now it will be convenient to keep in touch and you can outline your goals using this phone.”
“Hmm, I love my BlackBerry. You are really a surprise to my life, Mikito”
Mikito laughed and kissed her softly on her right cheek. She furrowed her nose with lure and held his hand with ardor.
There romantic journey started using the BlackBerry. They chatted and texted each other every night creating a new magic of romance letting go off their bag full of misery.