{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
rainbownameko would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

SCoRCHeR

By rainbownameko

Other / Romance

Competition/ライバル

I.

"Welcome", the familiar tired voice from behind the counter greets Daichi as soon as she walks into the shop. The old guy seems to have realized her right away, proof that he instantly becomes chirpier than seconds before, "Hey Kubota, you came huh? What's up?"

She smiles, pulling back a lock of hair as she smells the air around. So today it's pizza dumpling huh? Her favorite.

"Hey, think you can hook me up some pizza dumpling today? I'm starving", she says

"It's not for sale, kiddo. You know that", the man sassily answers.

Sounds of newspaper pages turning, of body moving about an old chair. The old broken radio rigs of static noise. The clinking of wind bell outside whenever the slightest gust of wind travels by.

Nothing seems to have changed much.

Last time she was here, this guy, Keishin Ukai was blabbering about being retired or something similar. He didn't sound that much like someone who was retiring so she persisted. Ain't the first time she had to convince someone, sure it ain't gonna be the last either was what she thought so she pushed on.

Wouldn't be nonsense if any normal person refuses to take her in. A girl, new in town, completely clueless to how she should carry the life ahead of her. He didn't manage to change much of her view on life but, that talk can wait for another day. Daichi didn't come here to do what she thought she would be doing right now, but the doctor said it would be a good way to lessen the stress on her, maybe even help with her condition.

Herself?

She was just simply looking for something to pass away the time. Some kind of thrill that would free her from the weight of being half blind in a place where no one is. She checked. Small town, happy folks. No disability, just old age weighing these people down.

Of course, Ukai said no to her at first, like any person would. She wasn't sure it was out of pity or guilt. Maybe both? Dad being on the same class as him when they were young didn't do much to help her reputation. Not a freaking bit.

Now that she thinks about it, Daichi can still remember the hunch she had before she even step one damn foot into this store. The feeling that this man would be the one, that her intuition was right when she comes to this man. So she decided not to let it go and hold on to what she believes.

Good thing he's a softie, because she was right. A few probing, constant bugging and he gave in.

Too bad, none of them ladies around here know that about his kind heart and go for it. Could have been a popular guy, this man. And here he sits, in a convenience store that ain't exactly getting many customer.

In a town that doesn't have many convenience store. That says a lot.

But hey, that's how life is sometimes huh?

Daichi fumbling about the space before she feels her leg trips on something and causes her to lose balance. She plants her hands ahead to keep herself from digging her whole face onto the ground.

"Shit, you okay, kid?", the blond guy asks, almost jumping out of his seat, "that's some loud impact"

He seems shock more than worried. "Fine, fine!", trying not to have her face any hotter than it should be, Daichi waves the shop keeper off. Gosh, been a while since she has one of this accident. And hell, her shin just burns from the impact. Hope there ain't no cut there.

Reaching for the chair close by, the girl sits down before she can upgrade her level of destruction any higher, "So, does your customers know that those dumpling are ate mostly by you, Keishin? In fact do you sell anything to anyone at all?", Daichi asks, cheekily looking at the man.

"That's mister Ukai for you, brat. Show some respect wouldcha?", he huffs pretending to be angry. And fails miserably since she can still hear that distinct smile in his voice.

Can't hide his emotions from her anymore. Nope.

She has known Ukai for how long now? Eight years? Yeah, probably that much. Enough to make the way they refer to each other completely off the respect chart mark folks here would call acceptable. Japanese are relentless with the manner they use refer to each other. To the point of what she would often imagine the custom as a leech on one's leg. It's adamant that it's almost too hard to bare. Someone born like one year or something older than you and that automatically make him or her the superior?! Bulls!... is what she would like to say.

But the cold hard fact is she is Japanese, and so she has to follow traditions. Though sometimes, the five years spent living in New Zealand part of her kicks in and she starts forgetting all about the courtesy and manners. Most likely those "sometimes" is when Ukai is in the story. Hell, make that "sometimes" "all the time". He's the only one in her picture right now.

She had quite a laugh with how much Ukai hated the way she calls him. Shocking how he's mostly used to it by now.

Now, he just retorts it tenaciously with fixing her words every second he can. The blond man is gonna give up soon. About time he does.

Eight years of knowing him gave her quite enough the data to read the thought out of this simpleton. Though they seems long - the number eight - compare to those five years in New Zealand, they feel so much shorter. 'Like' yesterday if she would have to describe it.

Maybe it's because she had fun with this grumpy guy around? With the late practice, and late dinner and how he took care of her pretty much like a dad here in Miyagi.

Either way, she's grateful for his being here.

It helps, knowing that there is someone around who can tell her about the world when all she can see is splashes of colors.

Sometimes she wonders if he feels lonely being alone in the store. She tries to drop by as often as possible, regardless of the "you're hindering the business", or the "don't you have better things to do?" coming from the guy.

Sometimes Daichi goes home after spending a whole Saturday 'hindering business' and wonders if Ukai really remembers all the faces of the people he saw.

Even when he sees them all day but mostly they aren't anyone he knows real well so were to be asked, would he be able to identify someone he sold oden to last week, or orange to just a day ago?

Yeah, definitely an impossible task for this guy.

Daichi finds in this man something that she has in common. The way they look at life as it goes by passively. The fact that they can't remember half the faces of the people they met. Ironically, Ukai's face is one of those very special ones (that consists of pretty much just his and her dad's) she could remember. Obviously, she can't exactly tell everyone that crossed path with her to let her touch their faces to her heart content now, can she? It takes a while to warm up to a person like her and a hell lot longer to let someone you know touch you. For this man to allow her such privilege, she could tell, to him, she is somewhat special. Especially considering how strict the society they are living in is.

"So, you coming to practice today?", Suddenly he asks, the crumpling sound of paper dies down as a sign of him no longer reading whatever written on it so intently anymore, "No part-time job?"

Daichi hums, mentally checking her agenda.

"Hm? I thought you have to look after the store today", cheekily she says, "Planning to skip the job now, aren't we?"

"Nah", Ukai replies, partly excited, "Pops 's gonna come back earlier today so I can spare a few hours. 'sides, it's about time you practice with everyone else as well. I'm not the only spiker in the team you know. Gotta start getting used to others too, alright?"

'Not the only spiker'. Yeah right, I'm sure there are a lot more people more talented than you, kind old man. You're the freaking grand kid of the legendary coach this whole prefecture knows... correction: this entire nation knows.

"I don't like being look down by the others", she shrugs, "They always go easy on me just because-"

"They don't mean to, you know that right?", he says, "It's hard for them. That's how it is here"

"Not everyone is as villainous as you eh?"

"Watch your mouth, kiddo. You'll gonna get in trouble for that one day I say"

"Yes mom~"

"Eh, don't push your luck, brat. I ain't looking down on you don't mean I'm letting you look down on me. Not gonna go easy on the spikes today you got me?", the shop keeper laughs loudly and Daichi feels a rush through her vein as soon as her mind registers the words Ukai said. Seems like it's gonna be a blast.

"That's inviting", she smirks, "I'll go home for now and get changed. Meet you at six"

"Usual place?"

"Usual place"


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...

Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...

rihannabkj2: Great story,I can hardly stop reading this novel. it shows that compassion and love can still exist after so many years between two persons. I most say well done to the Author who wrote this book. Others should read this book inorder to know that there can still be LOVE among two persons no matt...

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

JONANNA: As an avid reader it is not often I say that about a book. The plot is what was different and the twists where unexpected. This book is defiantly a page turner and enjoyable read. I can't wait to reread this novel after a little editing to finish off the shine on this wonderful novel.

Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...

emmaneal74: I loved this booked. Would definitely buy it when published and read it again. The story flowed in such a way I just couldn't put it down. I was never confused about the characters or their roles in the story which can happen sometimes with so many lead. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to r...

More Recommendations

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., , ,.,,,,,

Alkira Joan: I omg I am honestly speechless I couldn't stop cry it's so sad I wish it had a better ending and they would all be happy and the end is their going to be a second book?thanks for the amaZing story xoxox

zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Marimar Amieva: I just can't believe the story! I absolutely loved it, all of it. The characters and their chemistry between them, and the fact that they are relatable. The story also has some sick plot twists, which I never saw coming. I loved the fact that it is an adorable love story but has its mystery touc...

Dessie Williams: loved the book. the plot the characters all just great.I think it's a must read. once you start this book it's hard to put down. hope it gets published....I think this book is a must read.great job!!!!

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.