stories

The Rumors About Me - Chapter 2 - page 3

"You some kind of celebrity?"
"No. I'm no celebrity. I'm just an office worker."
"Are You on TV a lot?"
"No, I've never been on television."
The driver laughed sourly.
"No reason I should know anybody like that, now, is there?"
"I guess not," I nodded. "You're absolutely right." I thought back to the radio news of a moment ago.
The announcer had even known I was headed toward the Ginza in a taxicab at that very moment. And that meant that somebody must be tailing me and observing my movements. I looked behind us. Once I started feeling suspicious, every car looked suspect.
"There's a good possibility we're being followed," I told the driver."Can you shake them?"
"That's a real hassle." The driver made a sour face. "I don't even know what car they're in, do I? For a start it's so crowded --- there's no way to lose them."
"It's probably that black Cedric. Look, it's flying a newspaper company flag on the bumper."
"Well, in that case, I'll see what I can do. But if you ask me, you've just got a persecution complex."
I'm perfectly sane," I told him hastily. "Don't take me to a mental hospital or anything like that."
After wobbling here and there as if a sleepwalker was driving, the taxi arrived at Ginza 2-Chome.
"Well, at least I shook the black Cedric," smirked the driver."I hope you'll be giving me a tip."
I had no choice. I gave him just 500-yen more than the meter showed. When I entered our client's office in Ginza 2-Chome, a receptionist I know by sight showed me into a waiting room for special guests, with unusual politeness. Normally I'd just be called to the desk of the clerk in charge, and have to talk standing up while he stayed put in his chair. I sat down on the sofa in the vast reception room. As I was squirming there uneasily, for some unaccountable reason both out client's department director and section chief entered the room and greeted me formally.
"We appreciate all the help you've given our Suzuki," said the director, bowing deeply. Suzuki was the chief clerk who always dealt with me.
"Oh,no. not at all."
I sat there, flustered, as the director and section chief completely ignored the business at hand and extravagantly praised my necktie, lauded my good taste, and finally even began to eulogize my good looks. I winced, and as soon as I'd handed over the papers I'd received from my boss and delivered his message, I hurried from the office.