Chapter Twenty-One: Tokyo Joe:

Daisuke viewed Tokyo as a fresh start for him and his daughter. He already had most of their things shipped to the city a day before their arrival. The man smiled as he looked at Anna sound asleep by his side on the train. She and him would be starting from scratch here; building from the ground up. He felt like Yuzo and Masako in One Wonderful Sunday. Father and daughter, would be a pair of new explorers in the vast world known as Tokyo.

I will make all of them proud back in Kobe! When the train pulled up to the station, he shook his daughter awake.

“Anna-chan,” he whispered. “Wake up; we’re here.” Anna fluttered her eyes open and looked around.

“Huh?” she asked.

“We’re here in Tokyo,” her father explained. Her face went flat as it clicked in her head.

“Oh,” she mumbled. Daisuke tilted his head rather puzzled.

“You still don’t sound too happy about this,” he pointed out. Anna looked him as if he was out of his mind. Daisuke gave her a goofy little pout.

“Please look a little bit more excited for this?” he pleaded. His daughter didn’t speak as she got out of her seat. Daisuke tried to keep himself positive for the first day. However, Kobe wouldn’t fully let him go just yet. Daisuke walked up to the information desk. The clerk behind the desk gave him a huge smile when he came up to him.

“Welcome, sir!” he greeted him. “How may I help you today?”

“Hello,” Daisuke greeted him back. “I would like to pick up my luggage.”

“Yes sir,” the other man said as he pulled up the information on the computer screen. “Please tell me your name.”

“Kimoto Daisuke.”

“Alright,” the man behind the desk replied. He scanned for the name in question. A puzzled look came over the man’s face. “That’s strange.”

Daisuke raised an eyebrow at him. “What’s the problem?”

“It seems that your luggage was forwarded to another address just a little while ago,” the man explained. The other man gave him a long blank stare.

“That can’t be right,” he replied. “Where were they forwarded to?”

“Let me see,” the clerk said as he looked through the data on the screen. He clicked on the link and the schedule of tracking popped up in front of him.

“Oh yes,” he said. “They were forwarded to this address right here.” Daisuke leaned in for a closer look. Another confused look came over his face.

“But I’ve never heard of this place,” he said, “Who forwarded my luggage there?”

“An old man, I believe he said that his name was Kato Iwao,” the clerk replied.

An odd look came over Daisuke’s face as he nervously laughed. “And why did he ship my things there?”

“All he said was that it was a gift from him to you,” the clerk replied. Daisuke frowned at that answer.

“Excuse me,” he spoke up. “But could I use your pay phone?”

“Sure,” the clerk replied. “They are just outside the hall there.”

“Thank you,” the other man said with a bow. He quickly hurried past his waiting daughter and out the glass doors. She looked over at the equally puzzled clerk. Daisuke made it over to the phone and put in the right change for the call.

“Hello?” the operator asked. “How can I help you, sir?”

“I need to place a collect call to Kobe.”

“Alright,” he said. “Please give me the number.”

“78-273-8821,” Daisuke said as he tried to keep himself calm.

“One moment please,” the operator responded. Daisuke paced around in the booth while he saved up the energy to give his former roommate a stern talking to. That bastard, Daisuke thought. How can he do this without my permission?

“Hello?” the old man asked on the other line.

“Why would you do this to me?!” Daisuke shouted in the phone.

A pause followed that rather loud question. “Huh? What are you talking about?”

Daisuke’s face turned bright red. “You shipped my stuff to an address that I don’t recognize!” Another pause followed that response.

“Oh! You got my going-away present.”

“Going away present?!” Daisuke shouted.

“Yes,” Kato answered. “Do you like it?”

“Why would you do this to me?” the younger man asked.

“Well, you and Anna-chan need a place to live in Tokyo, right?” he asked.

“That’s not the point!” Daisuke yelled.

“Right?” Kato questioned him again. The younger man gritted his teeth.

“Yes!” he snapped.

“Well, I decided that I would give you and her a little start with a new house in your new city,” he replied.

“But we didn’t ask for this!” the father shouted.

“Could you please calm down now?” Kato asked., “Your shouting is hurting my ear.” Daisuke opened his mouth to speak, but the open man cut him off before he could start up.

“Look,” he said. “Take in a few deep breaths.”

“Kato!” Daisuke hissed.

“Take in a few breaths,” Kato replied. Daisuke drew his mouth closed and slowly inhaled a few breaths to calm himself down as instructed. The old man waited on the other line as he listened.

“Better?” he asked.

“Not really,” Daisuke grumbled.

“Good enough,” Kato said. “Now, what were you saying earlier?”

Daisuke groaned on his end of the line. “We didn’t ask for this house. How am I supposed to pay the mortgage?”

“I will be doing that,” the old man told him. Daisuke shook his head rather shocked.

“But I don’t want to be in debt to you any further!” he wailed.

“Lower your voice,” Kato told him again.

“I’m sorry,” Daisuke replied.

“Thank you,” the old man said. “And you won’t owe me anything. Consider this a gift from me to you.”

It feels like it, Daisuke thought with a bitter frown on his face. “But why?”

“Because I can do this,” Kato answered in confidence. Daisuke looked even more puzzled than before.

“Who are you?” he asked. “Why have you cared so much about Anna-chan and I over the years?”

He heard a little chuckle on the other line. “I’ll save that for a later time in life.”

“But…” Daisuke began to say.

“Goodbye, Dai-kun,” the old man replied, “And good luck.” He hung up before the younger man could try and speak again. Daisuke stared at the receiver in his hand. That’s it then, he thought as he dropped his shoulders. Was he going to be stuck owing everything to this man for the rest of his life? Daisuke sighed and lowered his head. I might as well make the most of this, he thought. The man returned to the information desk.

“Is… everything okay?” the clerk asked. Daisuke did his best to put on his best fake smile.

“Do you have a pencil and paper I can borrow?” he asked.

“Sure,” the clerk replied. “One second.” The man reached into his desk and pulled out the item in question.

“What is the address that my stuff is at?” Daisuke asked once he took the pencil and paper in his possession.

“Kimoto Manor, block seven, Meguro, subarea four,” the clerk read off to him. The other man copied down all of the information accordingly.

“Thank you,” he replied.

“Anything else?” the clerk asked. Daisuke looked up at him with a strained smile.

“No, no,” he replied. “I’ve got it all now.” The clerk gave him a strange look on his face.

“Okay… Have a good say, sir,” he replied. Daisuke gave him a small wave.

“You too,” he said. The man walked over to his awaiting daughter.

“Come on, Anna-chan,” he said. The twelve-year-old girl looked rather confused as she followed her father. On the way out, Daisuke snatched up a map to help them find their new house.

Daisuke’s jaw dropped when they found the house in question. Anna’s lit up with amazement.

“Wow!” she gasped.

“What the?!” her father shouted. This place wasn’t a house; it was a freaking mini-palace. Kato must have dropped a large about of money just to buy this place. Daisuke’s stomach turned as he looked at the address on the paper in his hand and the house in front of them many times. I don’t even want to know where he got the money to buy this place.

“You know, Anna-chan,” he spoke. “Maybe we should…” The man looked up to see that his daughter already opening the gate in front of them and going inside.

“Anna-chan!” the father yelled. The girl hurried up to the front door and turned to her father.

“Come on, Papa!” she shouted. “What are you waiting for? Let’s go!”

“But…” Daisuke murmured.

“Papa!” his daughter yelled again. The man sighed and dropped his shoulders. Might as well, he thought. Daisuke followed behind on the stone path to the front step where his daughter was waiting.

“Where’s the key?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” Daisuke replied as he looked around for it. The man reached into the mail slot to find his fingers touching cold metal.

“Hang on,” he spoke up. The man took hold of the metal and pulled out his hand. “Here it is.”

“Nice,” Anna replied. Her father unlocked the door and they went inside. Their luggage was already inside waiting. Daisuke gave off a half-smile with a nervous chuckle. That old bastard, he thought, Now I’m probably going to own him for the rest of my life. However, he might as well make the most of it. He and Anna started to unpack in the new house.

Despite being chained to yet another debt to Kato, Daisuke was determined to make the most he could out of Tokyo. The young man sat down at his desk and started to record another tape journal entry for the day.