It’s not inexpensive to live in Shimbashi, a bustling business district in the centre of the Minato Ward, not far from Ginza and Toranomon. Kentaro was a punk, but his father was a salaryman at Japan Railways. They lived in a rent controlled apartment 6 minutes’ walk from the Shimbashi Station.
Masumi worked as an office girl at Fujitsu. Every weekday morning she would travel to Shimbashi for work. The last leg of her commute was on the Yamanote line. One particular morning in 1984, she was hurrying through the station, on her way to work. The train had been a few minutes late and her boss; Tanaka-san had a conference call this morning at 0900. She almost didn’t notice that recreant, Kentaro, in the station but when he reached out and slapped her on the ass; she couldn’t help but see him. The look in his dark eyes seared into her memory, but she had no time and chose to ignore the disrespect. She hurried to help Tanaka-san. By the end of the day only Masumi’s pride still stung and she put the incident out of her mind.
She continued her education as well as her work at Fujitsu. She climbed the corporate ladder. Only 10% of women her age held management positions and Masumi was one of them although her income was still well below that of her male peers. Her time with the company combined with her engineering degree and talent ensured her security.
One morning Masumi’s assistant, a young girl named Hide, advised her boss that she had scheduled a short meeting with a fastener salesman named Fusanosuki Kentaro, from Shikoku who happened to be in the capital and wanted to stop by and leave a few catalogues. He had wrangled an appointment through Hide by mentioning that he had grown up in the Shimbashi area. He said that his old mother was ill and if he could make a sales call then his company would pay for his trip. He claimed not to have the money himself and wanted to see his mother one last time before she died. He pleaded with Hide and she hadn’t the heart to turn him away. She had caved.
That afternoon Masumi kept the salesman waiting only a short time. When she and her staff entered the conference room, Kentaro looked up from his laptop computer. Masumi immediately recognized his dark eyes. She felt the impact of his hand again on her buttock. She was angry, she was ashamed, and she instantly determined to make him pay. She smiled at him and pulled a business card from her notebook and offered it to her guest.
I don’t know why, but I went to Japan with this one. The link to the prompt is the photo!