Miss Nagai the killjoy
The fellow assistant, Miss Yoshino, left the company and was replaced by Miss Nagai. She was 28 years old, small-build and round-faced, and while she wasn’t bad to look at, her way of speaking her mind came across as unattractive. I would have liked such bluntness if she were more empowering and inspirational like Miss Sasaki, but Miss Nagai was a killjoy.
She openly shared her desire to get married and have children as soon as possible. As an unsympathetic skeptic of conjugal felicity, I scorned her self-inflicted misery of singleness. Yet, I would have respected her despair if she didn’t drag me down with her. I came to know she considered me as unhappy as she was when she texted me the end of year greeting, “let’s hope both of us will be finally happy next year!” It infuriated me that any woman, even an annoying one like Miss Nagai, should put all the sources of happiness on a romantic relationship.
Miss Nagai and I got along at first when there were just two of us. Our conversation topics weren’t limited to romance but often about the quotidian of our lives. But both of us were highly aware we valued different things beyond our priority level of a romantic relationship and marriage. One example that drove me insane was that she tried to lose weight solely by restricting food intake because she despised women with muscles. I enjoyed going to the gym and took pride in my toned body, so I took her remark as an insult to my healthy body. I tried to convince her it’d take hours of weight training and a special diet to build visible muscle on a woman’s body, but she was adamant that her soft belly fat would reduce if she stopped eating. She longed to become a fair-skinned, willowy, almost frail woman who needed a man’s protection, while she was self-sufficient, attractive enough, and interesting, had she not dwelled so much on unrealistic desire.