“You have already met ‘the future you.”
The old fortuneteller looked and said that to me.
And he added.
“Do you have any idea?”
According to this mysterious old man, who covered his entire body with a jet-black cloak reminiscent of the world of fiction, there is a person of the opposite sex somewhere in this world to whom I am bound by a strong bond of fate.
He even described the strength of the bond that connects us as “unbreakable even with the world’s most famous sword”.
He also said that if I want happiness in the future, I must live hand in hand with that person.
Without making a mistake, I must live hand in hand with the person I wish for future happiness.
Never make a mistake with that other person.
The words ” the future you” came out of my mouth as I was rolling my eyes at the mention of it.
Then the old fortune teller said,
“She is as precious to you as a goddess, and I shall call her ‘the future you’. Generally speaking, the expression [Fate] may be the closest to it.”
The future you —- my fate.
For some reason, I needed money anyway, so I started working part-time at a local pub right after entering high school.
Of course, I had to fake my age.
Working in a place that served alcohol as a high school freshman was a risky proposition, but the convenience of being able to go there after school and the high hourly wage made any doubts or fears disappear.
It was on my way home from work at the tavern that I was stopped by a strange old fortune teller.
“I was going to end my seeing of human faces after today,” he said. “Then, you appeared, you who are clad in such a mighty destiny. You are the perfect person for the culmination of my life of fortune-telling. This is also a fate. I will not accept any money. Will you listen to what I have to say?
I remember it was an eerily bright night with the moon looking bigger than usual.
Perhaps taking pity on me, the old fortuneteller looked at me with a gentle smile and said, “Tonight is the last night. I will continue my journey a little longer,” smiling gently and looking into the crystal.
And then he told me this.
“Don’t worry. The thread of fate will surely bring you and this future you together. It seems that this woman, like you, is currently troubled by the difficulties that have arisen in her own future. She will come to you in the not-too-distant future to ask for your help in resolving them. This will be a good opportunity for you to strengthen the bond between you and her.”
As he finished, he looked up blankly at the sky, his eyes distant, as if he were looking at the edge of the galaxy. I followed his gaze and saw that the moon was in the process of being engulfed by a large cloud and fading into the shadows.
With it, the night, which had been unusually bright until then, gradually became darker and darker.
“It seems that my journey has come to an end”
The old fortuneteller’s voice was tinged with loneliness.
“Thank you very much for letting me know about your very interesting destiny. I’m sure there will be many fateful events waiting for you in the future. Don’t run away. Just believe in yourself, in the woman of your destiny, and in the future. Dear young man, I earnestly pray for your happiness.”
The old, hunchbacked fortune teller, who had decided to end his life as a fortune teller on this night, concluded his speech and, like a puppet who had lost his master, ceased all movement and faded into the deep darkness of the night.
It was a strange night indeed, as I recall it now.
In the end, I could hardly sleep that night, even though I was exhausted from the unfamiliarity of high school life and work.
The old man’s words kept replaying in my head and preventing me from falling asleep.
I never thought that I would be swayed by such words.
Whether the fortune-telling is true or not, one thing is certain.
I live every day with the hope that in the future I will be happier than I am now.
That is why I have been going to school since junior high school, even though I am alone in the world, and why I work at night at a tavern to earn money, knowing that I am violating the school rules and regulations.
That is why I am so concerned when I am told that there is a person who will give color to my future, a future you, somewhere in this world, and that living with that person will lead to my happiness.
I have lived my life without any unscientific elements such as blessings and luck. I have never felt inconvenienced or uncomfortable, and my body and mind react to such discourses as if they were allergic.
I don’t believe in “fortune-telling” as much as I believe in street signs in the slums, but in this case, I just couldn’t let it go.
Apparently, I had already met someone whom I knew to be ‘the future you’.
If you put it that way, it is true that there was one girl whose every action had been bothering me ever since I entered high school.
If she has a strong connection with me and will come to me for help in the not-so-distant future, it should not be surprising that this ‘future you’ would have been my classmate in the freshman class division in high school.
About a month has passed since the night of the fortune-telling.
My consciousness had been completely uprooted by one dainty classmate, Yuri Takase.
Two ladylike eyes that never make people nervous.
Her sharp eyebrows, full of willpower, as if she was determined to pursue what she believed to be the right path.
A small, compact nose with little selfishness.
Well-proportioned ears that seem to have been filtered to keep out foul language.
Moist lips without a hint of vulgarity.
I have heard somewhere that one’s way of life is reflected in one’s face, and Yuri Takase was just like that. Every single part of her face seemed to tell a story of her honest and decent way of life.
Her glossy black hair, which reminded me of a Japanese doll painted with lacquer by a skilled craftsman, was cut at a good length both in the front and in the back, which suited her very well.
In high school, there are many opportunities to see the opposite sex who can be described as beautiful. However, such a pure and innocent beauty is not so common. In that sense, it was not an exaggeration to call beauty an endangered species.
No matter where one looks for Yuri Takase’s philosophy, there seems to be no such evil and devious intention to adorn herself to make herself look beautiful or to attract the attention of a man.
And yet, there was a certain feminine sexiness that is characteristic of a girl of her age that was evident in her facial expressions.
She tickled my interest more than any other girl in the school.
Perhaps Yuri Takase is well brought up.
Her every move was so sophisticated that, for example, even when she used an eraser, I wondered how she could use it so elegantly.
If there is such a thing as “eraser etiquette” like tea ceremony or calligraphy, I would love to see her spread her skills to children all over the country as a master teacher.
In class, she is always ready to answer the teacher’s questions, she teaches the students nearby without a single grimace, she accompanies injured students to the infirmary even if they are not close friends, and she takes on committee assignments that no one else wants to do, and she does her job without a single complaint.
At recess, however, she is not restricted to just anyone, but is always ready for a frank conversation, showing off her white teeth.
People call this kind of girl an honor student.
An honor student who is beautiful, smart, and has a good personality.
In this case, there is nothing wrong with the student named Yuri Takase. She is truly flawless.
With the arrival of May just around the corner, Takase has established her position in Class H of Meio High School, and all I can do is watch while suffering from a fever.
To my misfortune, my eyes fell on such a perfect girl of all girls.
Although I have not been able to see any kind of bond between Yuri Takase and me so far, just the thought that she might be my ‘future you’ is enough to make my heart race.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a conversation with her. The emptiness and frustration were making me grunt and groan.
The old fortune teller had predicted that the ‘future you’ would be troubled by difficulties that had arisen in the future and would come to me for help in the near future.
If he was right, where in her life would such difficulties exist?
Takase’s eyes always sparkled with positivity, and to the untrained eye, she seemed to be spending the spring of her first year of high school enjoying herself to the fullest in preparation for the bright future to come.
At the very least, it was obvious that she was living in a different world from me, who had to work at night to fake my age without reporting to the high school.
–Yuri Takase is not my ‘future you’.
My brainstorming sessions over the past few days had begun to raise such possibilities.
I was looking at Takase, who was enjoying chatting with a nearby female student, and I was thinking to myself, “I must be imagining things, how painful it must be for a man to be destined to be with a girl like that,” and with a slight ache in my chest, I was resigning myself to the mild spring morning.