Sweet! I finally got the first chapter for this finished! And I just realised that instead of bold italic, the excerpts are in bold. But I say when there's an excerpt from Gen's novel there so it's all good, I guess. XD
Gotta do some review responding first though. XD
Tadashi - Short chapter? It's a prologue, no kidding! XP Gen would be a really sexy novelist, it's actually a career I can imagine him properly pursuing actually. He seems like a writer type to me. XD And go on, glomp him anyway. XD Glad you're liking this so far. Thanks for the review! <3
eriinxxx - =DDDD Gen + plot is always a good equation. Always comes up with positive answers! ^o^ And of course he'd be a hot author, he already is probably the most attractive author around! XD And ah, Gen's ex will bop up again so you'll see in time. XD Thanks for reviewing! <3
Tbone2356 - Confusing? How so? I get a feeling I asked you this on MSN and gave the answer already but idk. :x And yes, Bishieshipping is a wonderful ship, I love it so. <333333 And hell yeah, there'll be Pearl and Advance in Gen's novel. XD And even though I don't really have a PM list for this as of yet, I'll just PM you to let you know of the chapter since you practically requested it. ;D
Okay, now that reviews are out of the way, let's get on with the first chapter. =D
He looked at the papers that were scattered all over the desk, knocked over by the breeze coming through the open window. With a sigh, he closed the window, wondering who had even bothered to have opened the window in the first place. There were many things that made him curious.
He would never ask questions, yet he acted like he knew everything. How else did he make himself seem like such a great office worker and rise up to be the boss of his department?
With a smirk, he adjusted the tag on his desk, which had his name and position written on it.
Group Manager of Post-Border department
Taking a moment to gaze at the tag, satisfied with his job rank, Shinji decided that he would sort out his papers some other day. He picked up the necessary folders and placed them within his bag and left his office. As he walked down the corridor, he ignored blushes and smiles upon the faces of the young girls who held lower ranks within the company. Shinji was used to this kind of attention.
He was always that cool-headed, logical type of guy who only cared for his social life when it involved getting his way to the top. Otherwise, he preferred to remain independent and study up even more on how to further his accomplishments towards an even bigger success.
Shinji wasn’t even sure as to why he wanted to become a boss of this government department, which mostly worked with eradicating pests around the country and more, especially since the work itself didn’t interest him in the slightest. Maybe just the feeling of success was enough. It was more than enough.
But no matter the consequences, Shinji worked hard to go up in the ranks. He was still working towards it, even now. He continued to work upward, even if it meant that he was disliked by those whom he had worked with or charmed in order to work his way to the top. He didn’t like many people, but he studied up extensively on how to talk his way to promotions.
And then the people around him began to recognise Shinji Furushima as a lady-killer. No, he wasn’t a murderer. He had just learned how to charm people in order to manipulate them. Sometimes, this proved easy. Sometimes, it took a bit of work. But in any case, his attitude certainly wowed the girls at his work and made the guys envy him. Did it matter to him? No. Just as long as he succeeded in getting what he wanted.
There would be times however, where Shinji would wonder what he’d do once he got what he wanted. He was only a position or two down from the very top, after all. ‘What to do after that?’ ‘What was the point of all this?’ He pondered questions like those, and more.
Each and every question he had would be pushed to the back of his mind. And everytime that it tried to crawl back to the front, Shinji would only shove it even further away.
For such questions were unwanted.
Last night. I sure did a lot of thinking back then. Almost like some reflection of before to influence my plans for change. Just that alone helped me write a prologue. That moment made me understand what it was like to temporarily have inspiration.
I even sorted out my main character too; Satoshi Matsumoto. He’s fresh out of university and just got a job as a fitness trainer. He didn’t necessarily aim to get this job but he just felt it was something he could do in the meantime. He meets a lot of people who he helps out with fitness and stuff and he gets to learn their stories in life and thus he feels like he’s got no story to tell. Not enough happened to really get him up and going and anticipating his future.
So he ended up getting a job but not really feeling into it all. He wanted to work out something for himself. He wanted to work out his dream. He wanted to find his answers. I felt that was something I could relate to.
But yes, Satoshi has quite a similar personality to my own, but I put more emphasis on his lack of maturity. I never really felt mature either. Both of us have a lot to learn. All I can hope is that when I finish writing this, Satoshi has his answers. Good luck, Satoshi Matsumoto. May everything work out for the both of us, yes?
Oh! I need to talk to my editor about my plans for my book. Better send him a text – ah, the phone just rang. I picked it up and answered. “Hello?”
“Mizushima-san? I need you over at my office right away to discuss your new assignment! That is all, bye!” he hung up immediately. But I knew who that was anyway. That was most definitely Nejiki, my editor. He’s a very good editor but sometimes he stresses out easily on the job. He often tells me to put more effort into it, become more poetic with my words, do this, do that but he means well by it. At least he hasn’t decided that I’m the worst author he edits for, thank goodness.
Well, I better go see him now. I threw on some clothes and got all my papers and my laptop and shoved it all into a bag then locked up the house, running for the bus.
I puffed as I got onto the bus. Maybe I should be more aware of the bus timetable but I never really had to leave suddenly that often. I looked around and barely saw any seats available. Should I stand? That means if anyone tries to get on the bus later like a senior citizen then I’ll have left room for them! Yes, that’s what I’ll do. I can handle standing up on a bus, of course.
“Why are you standing when there are seats all over the place?” one of the people on the bus asked me. I didn’t recognise the voice, nor did I check to see who said that. I pretended to ignore him. “...You’re one of those types that sit down only if a full seat is available, aren’t you?”
I shook my head and tried to ignore. It was always embarrassing to have something awkward pointed out to you, especially if you know it already. And yet you refuse to admit to it anyway. “No, I get off at the next stop,” I lied. Okay, he’ll see through that lie very quickly, I just know it. But still...
We passed a couple of stops. Some people got off at each; maybe that person was one of them? “Are you going to sit down?” Oh man, this is apparently not so. I turned and sat down reluctantly beside another person taking this bus. “You sat next to me, huh?”
I looked to my right and came face to face with an adult like myself, but a very young one, early twenties compared to my late twenties from the looks of it. He came across as quite a confident man, quite sure of himself yet with such distant eyes he had. His hair was a lavender shade and his eyes a very dark blue – what a lovely combination of colours if I say so myself! From the looks of it, he holds a very important position in a job within an office. A young citizen succeeding so much more than I am. It made me happy to have such a nice impression of this man and yet how ahead he seems to be of me in life, it saddened me too.
Oh... I did it again. Forming nice impressions of people right off the bat way too quickly again. I think I have a tendency to become trusting of people and liking them more than they do me. Like my ex-girlfriend, maybe she couldn’t handle the fact that it was getting too onesided from my side. But I still keep that first impression of her. Beautiful, smart, friendly, someone who can get wherever she wants in life.
I think I held her back for too long.
I can’t let my past hold me back. After all, I made this plan. I had this resolve, to find my inspirati-
“You’re weird, you know that?” the man cut into my internal monologue. “You’re thinking too much. First you went from studying me with this creepy smile to having this face like you done something wrong to acting like you were thinking about some I don’t know... bittersweet memory and then holding this look of determination and now you have that look of ‘crap, he seems to know what’s going through my head’, yeah, see, you’re doing that face again.”
I felt myself going slightly pink. How is he able to make judgements and pick up stuff like my expressions and what they mean just like that? Oh, maybe that’s the kind of job he holds. Maybe he studied psychology at university. This man looks like someone who passed university with flying colours.
Wait, no, I’m making myself too obvious, aren’t I? Hold a calm composure. I relaxed a bit before turning to the man. “You’re very observant, I admire that.”
The man sighed. “I have to be to get to the top of my job. At the moment, I’m a group manager of one of the departments at Biosecurity Sinnoh, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, whatever you call our business...”
Oh, I think I remember hearing about his work. Ah... that’s right! “My editor Nejiki-san has been looking at all the writers he edits for and is choosing a writer to write an article on something to do with your work. He referred to it as BS though.”
“Calling my workplace bullsh*t?” his eyes glared slightly at me, staring me down. Wow, he can come across as quite intimidating when he wants to be.
I shook my head quickly, tensing up again. “Forgive me, I worded it wrong. But BS stands for Biosecurity Sinnoh as well as um... what you said and-”
“No. My workplace is bullsh*t. It’s just boring office stuff. But with hard work, dedication and other valuable assets, you can get to the top of the job and this job is involved with the government, so it’s well paid, important and all that,” the man explained to me. “Aniki is proud of me for having a good job too as are others I know, so I guess there’s that acknowledgement.” He stared me down again, a smirk upon his face. “And I’m rich too,” he added, looking at me expectantly.
Oh, was I supposed to be impressed to hear of his wealth? Was I supposed to look envious? But I don’t feel so concerned about how much money people make. I want to write because I love it, not because I want to make lots of money and be a rich novelist like J.K. Rowling-san or Stephenie Meyer-san.
“...I knew it, you’re not superficial over money,” he commented with a knowing look. Was he testing me or something? It was hard to tell. He seemed intrigued by me or maybe I was just the latest person in his life whose head he felt like screwing with. I can’t be sure; I only just met this man and just happen to be sitting with him on the bus for quite a while.
“Where is your stop?” I asked, trying to change the subject.
“I missed it,” he said with wide eyes and what I depicted as a proud tone. “I was too immersed in our exciting conversation.”
“Oh.” I blushed, not sure what else to say. I leaned forward so I could look out the window, avoiding eye contact with the man. “Ah, my stop is here! Now I can find out about my assignment that Nejiki-san wants to give me.”
“Maybe you’re doing an article on BS,” the man responded sourly. He seemed disappointed, like a boy who just had his toys taken off him. I got up to press the button to alert the driver and I did a sideways glance. He was already sulking a little bit. Maybe the fact he missed his stop due to talking with me was sinking in. He looked bored too, probably ready to anticipate another day at a job he doesn’t seem to like much.
I shot him a warm smile. “It was very nice to talk to you. In case we ever cross paths again, may I have your name?”
The man looked up as the bus slowed down as it reached the stop. “Shinji Furushima. Whatever.” The bus reached its stop and the doors opened. “Your name?”
“Gen Mizushima,” I replied, bowing my head slightly. “Have a nice day,” I added as I got off the bus.
As I stepped off, I could hear him commenting, “We’re both ‘shimas. I like it.”
I couldn’t help but smile at that comment. It is quite a nice coincidence.
Nejiki paced around the office, waving papers about his head, his irritated expression almost comical but I knew to behave and look serious. He liked authors he edits for to carry a serious expression and when they appear, they mean serious business. I wasn’t quite sure if I pulled that off well.
“...and I was severely irritated by how Inazuma-san pulled out of doing the assignment because he was too lazy and – oh, I have a text!” Nejiki pulled out his phone and checked the text. His face looked angrier in nanoseconds. “Now he says he’s gone on vacation with his boyfriend and won’t be back for three weeks!”
“Ooh, where did Denji-san go on vacation? I did mention to Hyouta-san that he and Denji-san should visit Italy-” I chimed in, interested in where my fellow author friend was going for his vacation.
“You recommended holiday destinations to him?!” Nejiki cut me off with a glare, tossing his papers onto his desk but his aim was a little off. As they floated to the ground, he slammed his palm onto his forehead. “You should be encouraging him to write, not suggesting wonderful places to visit! Why should he get to go to Italy while I’m stuck finding articles for authors whose books aren’t doing well like you?”
His comment stung a bit but I knew it was because he’s stressed. Denji probably doesn’t need this article either. His books sell even though I don’t find them to be particularly gripping. But I was happy for him; he had a career that he could get by on. I’m just struggling to get by. Maybe I should start taking better care of my money from now on... Hm...
“Mizushima-san, pay attention!” Nejiki snapped, sending my thoughts down the drain. “In any case, I got you an assignment so use it well.” He went to the pile of papers that ended up on the floor due to his badly aimed tosses. “Ah, here we go!” He picked up a couple of sheets that were stapled together and handed it to me. “This business magazine called Business Times – I really despise that magazine’s editor and the magazine’s name but that’s a different matter – has a monthly article based on their organisation of the month. And this month they chose BS!”
“Biosecurity Sinnoh,” I corrected him quickly, remembering Shinji on the bus. “Wait, I’m writing an article for them?”
Nejiki raised an eyebrow. “Got a problem with that?”
“N-No. Of course not!” I lied. I felt myself burning up inside with embarrassment or something, I wasn’t sure but I felt suddenly uncomfortable. Would I have to interview Shinji about his company? But I wouldn’t get very good writing material out of that, when I spoke to him, he didn’t show much interest in his organisation, maybe going as far as hating his job! Or maybe I wouldn’t be interviewing him but someone else instead? I’d be more likely to get better information out of that but I wouldn’t be as familiar with the person and know how to behave. Maybe it’s better with Shinji, I don’t know.
“Good! Your deadline and all your details are written on the assignment hand-out and I’ll be calling regularly to check up on how you’re doing. And hopefully the person you’re interviewing will inspire you with this article! I hear he’s quite the serious business man with a way of getting promotions incredibly quick! What’s his name...? Well, it’s written down on the assignment sheet and I highlighted it into yellow to help you remember!”
I searched through the five sheets that made up my assignment details for a splash of yellow and a name.
And there it was in bold print.
Group Manager of Post-Border department
I froze for a moment. Most encounters tend to be one-offs. I meet someone, have a nice discussion and that’s the last time I ever see them in my life. But this was obviously different. Clearly I was supposed to encounter this man again.
On this journey of mine to get my writer’s inspiration back, I never thought that one of my first challenges would involve working together with a man like Shinji Furushima. Maybe meeting him earlier was just mere foreshadowing. I wasn’t sure quite sure but all I can do is just approach the challenge with optimism and hope for the best.
Excerpt from chapter one from Lack Of Inspiration, written by Gen Mizushima
I ran on the treadmill with ease, hoping that it would keep the man running
with me motivated. Already I’d heard their life story. Everyone I met had their own story to tell and all I could do was give them a push and eventually they’d be off on their way, achieving their own successes in this world. For a while, I was a personal trainer of a man who landed a role in some TV soap that you might’ve seen aired recently.
Though all I do really is help day to day people with keeping up an exercise routine to stay healthy. It’s not really exciting or anything. I wasn’t very academic and sports were all I could do. But I wasn’t that brilliant either so I couldn’t go professional in any sport I played back in high school. My mum then suggested a fitness trainer and well, I had no ideas back then so any idea looked decent enough to me. I went with it as a sort of ‘this will do for the meantime’ kind of thing. And now I regret it. I have no ideas on what to do next.
“Satoshi! Are you keeping an eye on your timetable? You finish up in five minutes and then you have your next client!” another fitness trainer ran up to me. Ah Aoi, she always keeps a look out for me. I was relieved that she became a fitness trainer too. It meant I always had a friend around on the job. She could get impatient and we bicker occasionally but she’s a good person.
I fumbled with the buttons on the treadmill and switched it off. I did the same for my client, a chubby man who was looking completely
exhausted. “I’m sorry; we’re done for the day. Remember to lay off the burgers and eat healthily! You’re really getting a lot fitter; you collapsed on the first session but now look at you! See ya!” I told the man who was too tired to reply. I approached Aoi with raised eyebrows. “Next client? Isn’t it my break now?”
“We got a lot more clients these days; we had no choice but to schedule you with an extra one over your break! It’s temporary and if you don’t complain and just get on with it, maybe you’ll get a payrise!” Aoi explained. “And he’ll be out in the foyer so I’ll take you to him. Careful, he’s good looking.”
I rolled my eyes. “And I care about how attractive he is because why?” Aoi simply stuck her tongue out at me before pulling me along to see this apparently good looking client.
We came out into the foyer and could tell right off the bat who the client was. Aoi was most likely looking for the attractive one but I just knew who it was because he was the only one there.
The man was definitely someone who’d be attractive to women, I couldn’t deny. He brushed some bangs from his eyes and took his sunglasses. Before I could properly examine my new client, he began to speak. And I couldn’t just look elsewhere when my client is speaking to me.
“Hey,” he greeted with a bored tone. “I’m here for some fitness training... I feel completely ashamed that I had to come here but I guess there are things you just got to do. The name’s Shigeru Ookido, by the way.”
And that, my dears, was the first chapter! Hope you likey and reviews would be highly appreciated! ^_________^ Uh not much else to say here now. XDDD