Sister – fever
My sister’s school was also in spring break when I visited her, but because of her late-night job, she wasn’t available during the day to accompany me to shopping. Shibuya was only 15 minutes away on the train, but I was too anxious to take a trip alone, so I walked around the neighborhood of my sister’s apartment. Jiyugaoka, where my sister lived, was known to be a wealthy residential area. There were charming shops, restaurants, and cafes, so I could still have a Tokyo experience without diving into the crowd of Shibuya. I liked a shop that sold merchandise of a feline character that wasn’t the internationally known kitten with a bow. I also went into a shop I found in a magazine that sold South Asian import clothes and jewelry. After a few hours of walking around, thinking my sister might be up by then, I bought pastries from a bakery and went back to her place.
When I arrived, my sister was still lying in bed. She had caught a cold and had a high fever. But it wasn’t just the sickness that was distressing her. Her boyfriend was breaking up with her. Again, she met this man through the church friends from home, and he was, again, in a band. This one was, however, a bass guitar player. Judging from a few photos, he was another pale, insignificant-looking man. In the middle of the night, I woke up to find my sister talking to him on the phone. She sobbed and begged him not to leave her. I felt my throat sore, and my head aching, so I measured my temperature. It indicated 39C (102F), and when I silently showed the thermometer to my sister speaking on the phone next to me, she cried even harder, “Now my sister is sick, too!” But I knew my fever wasn’t her concern.
She had planned to come home with me the following day. In the early morning, I dragged my aching body to follow my sister, who led the way around the Tokyo station. Even when she was sick, her stride was as steady as usual. She wouldn’t turn around to check if I was there, so I had to scurry. In a stupor of fever, I realized that I had fallen out of her world, which now consisted of pale, ungrateful men and the hostess job.