The next morning, the silence of the house got interrupted by the annoyingly continuous ringing of a phone. The one to get up and respond was definitely not the one with a heavy headache and a hangover.
“Hello?” Anna wasn't the one that started the conversation. The person on the other side seemed too eager. “Anna, I have such big new for you! They’re humongous actually!” The sleepy woman just agreed with a sound. “It seems your book got sell so well in Japan that they want to transform it into a movie! Can you believe it?” Anna took a small pause, to register what she had been told, and truthfully, she didn't get too excited. “ Shouldn't you be more enthusiastic about this?” She shrugged and sat up. Looking around, she didn't even realize she had fallen asleep while channel surfing last night.
“I am; it’s just too early. So, what do you want me to do?” The voice from the other side scoffed.
“They already found a cast and dealt with everything regarding the script. All you have to do is to fly to Japan and to witness your hard work being paid off.” She grabbed her messy hair and started to pat it while one hand went to scratch her eye. “Are you listening to me? Pack up; you’re leaving in two days.”
“For how long?” She asked sleepily while making her way into the kitchen.
“Undefined time” That was all before the line went silent. Anna groaned and scratched her back.
“Damn…” She mumbled in Japanese.
Later that day, Anna was on her way to the publisher’s office. It seemed she got a phone call, that she didn't actually receive, which was telling her to come by for a pep talk right before becoming internationally famous.
When she opened the door, she almost fell on her back. There were a lot of people, doing practically nothing except talking on the phone. The editor was nowhere to be seen while the publisher who dealt with every mood of hers was silently typing on his computer. He noticed her instantly and waved. She couldn't fake any expression while being around him. He had known her for too long not to notice.
“Remember what day was when you walked in this exactly room and asked for a chance?”
His soft and deep voice sounded perfect for storytelling. He was very attentive to what words he would use and his black eyes were even more beautiful behind those glasses. His messy black hair was recently cut, maybe because of his negative reaction when his father told him he resembled a girl before. The truth was that for his age, which was recently 27, he looked definitely younger. His cheekbones where thin and the bone was easily seen, making that his beauty mark. He was quite fashionable too. He loved to dress differently every day, mostly because he had to waltz from office to office and also go to important balls or meetings.
“If I remember correctly, that’s the same question you ask me every time I take a break.” He chuckled and hugged her.
In his arms, she could feel safe. That was mainly why he was the shoulder she could any time cry on. He was that best guy who might have been in love with his best friend since forever but would not tell a word so that she would find her own happiness. She knew that but she also knew he resembled that man too much and that was the main reason she didn't want to destroy a beautiful friendship over love matters.
“I heard you’re going back to Japan.” She nodded while he gave her a pack of cookies. She raised an eyebrow, confused, but took one nonetheless. It felt fresh which meant his mother just paid him a visit. “Are you going to look after him?” The tone of his voice was obviously telling exactly the otherwise. ‘You shouldn't look for him. Your place is here.’ That was the translation. Also, that was what Anna heard too.
“The truth is that I don’t know. I choose to follow the natural turn of events and here I am, talking with you” She stopped and bent her head. She placed the cookies back on his desk and bit her lip. “I don’t know what I want, Henry. I just know that if I will meet him again, even though it’s improbable, I won’t hesitate to tell him what I feel” He nodded and tried to change the mood he tangled her into.
“Do you remember where I took you after you’re first published book?” She stuck her tongue out a little, thinking.
“My first published book was ‘Black Water’ which had a horrible subject. You took me to…a graveyard?” She titled her head, not reconciling that moment well. Henry widened her eyes in amusement and started to laugh.
“No, no.” The laughter died a little and he grabbed a hand through his hair, getting it even messier. “It was that bohemian tea house. You said back then that it reminded you of the good old times, whatever were those” She remembered. That tea house was abnormally looking like the one from Tokyo. The so called good old times were the moments she talked about nonsense with that man.
“Do you want to go there? Can you leave?” She asked, sounding to be in a hurry. He chuckled and ruffled her hair.
“Of course I can. I own this place, in case you had forgotten.” She rolled her eyes and pushed him playfully. He was exactly what she needed when she returned to London and in those moments he was exactly the person she didn't want to say goodbye to.
When she got home, which happened to be really late at night, Rosie was silently waiting while making popcorn. The microwave signalled the finished product at the same time Anna closed the door behind her.
“You came just in time!” The blonde was trying to open the pack but it was too hot and she almost burned her fingers. “Ouch! It’s so difficult” Anna rolled her eyes and walked towards her younger friend. On the way she gave her overcoat down and placed it on the chair. She easily broke the bag and put the popcorn into a bowl.
“It wasn't that hard, was it?” Rosie stuck her tongue out as a response. She grabbed Anna’s hand and went into the living room. She grabbed the coffee table and moved it aside. She planted herself in front of the couch and patted the place next to her. Anna simply complied and waited to see what her friend had in store for her.
“So, since I'm really curious how your movie-“
“It’s not mine. Only the plot is” Rosie looked unfazed at her and continued with her idea.
“Well I heard some hot actors will play important roles. For example the Taka guy. He’s the most important man in the whole book and he has to look handsome. From what I found on internet, Taka will be played by Matsumoto Jun. Wow, Anna!” She rolled her eyes and turned to her flat mate with a peculiar expression. “He played in so many awesome dramas and movies! Oh look! Hana Yori Dango! That drama we watched together!”
“More like you made me watch it and translate it.” She smiled sweetly to Anna and went back to her business.
“Also, Nana’s role will be played by a Japanese woman.” Anna raised an eyebrow, her attention, which was earlier on the popcorn, went instantly to her friend. “It says right here!” She pointed to her laptop’s screen. “Japanese actress Keiko Kitagawa will play Nana’s character. Originally, the character was Caucasian but the director changed slightly some characteristics” She took a break and glanced to the brunette. She seemed deep in thoughts.
“So Nana became Japanese…” She mumbled. Rosie nodded and patted her friend’s head.
“It’s ok. That doesn't change the past. Nana is still British but is played by a Japanese actress and-“She stopped when she heard the elder started to laugh.
“ I'm Japanese” Rosie was dumbfounded. “They made me Japanese. That’s something. And the actor who plays Nao…” She stared at his picture and started to chuckle. “He looks nothing like him” Rosie shrugged and scrolled down. She actually started to read the whole article out loud. Anna started to laugh over some facts and seemed very intrigued by the concept the movie will have.
They didn't respect my plot. But, didn't that mean the distance between these two characters was so big that even the actors who were going to play them were completely different? It was strange. I did feel rejected a little bit. It wasn't my plot. It wasn't my life. What they were doing was just a new scenario because truthfully, there was no ending to the real story.
The next few days flew too fast for my condition. I spent them with Rosie and Henry in the apartment or simply walking around London. It felt nice but I knew when I will be back, again, something would be changed. I planned the whole departure; my apartment in Tokyo was still intact and awaiting. At some level, I was afraid but I was equally enthusiastic.
**so I kind of used Matsu Jun and Keiko Kitagawa because they are actors I admire greatly and they just seemed to fit in I guess...also in my dream (because I did dream this whole story) Nao looked more like Osamu Mukai (I watched too many dramas with him lately). And as for Anna...well she kind of looked like a mix between Lucy Hale and Nina Dobrev.
***Oh oh and this story is like...a story into a story. I've seen that people didn't understand that. Anna is actually Nana and because she couldn't use his name in the book, Nao is Taka. And the book she wrote and people make a big fuss about, is actually based on that day when they met. That's all.