01 The White tail and the tea with milk
Also today, a white tail is swinging beside my feet.
At the middle of my way home, I stopped at a coffee shop. A young waitress came along to the individual table where I was sitting to take my order. In the middle of her smiling face, she had a faint look of disturbance.
– I’m really sorry Miss but bringing pets into this shop is not allowed… eh!?
– What is it?
– Ah, no, I… I’m sorry, my bad. I’m really sorry.
As the waitress was apologizing she brought me water, took my order and seemed to leave with an unpleasant appearance. While she was leaving and tilting her head in her state, I started talking to myself.
– It seems that that person has seen you, hasn’t she? But it was just for a moment, though.
From someone else’s point of view she seemed to be talking to herself, but even if it was a mutter the air at her feet blew as if it responded to her voice.
Soft fur caressed gently the exposed part of her leg while peeping from her low heeled pumps.
By my side, there is a “dog-like being”
I say a “dog-like being” because I have not seen the figure of “him” or “her” properly. The only I’m able to see is its tail.
A long and great tail covered of white and beautiful tufty fur. With about 80cm length, it loosely described a curve and flipped through the air with a slow swaying motion.
As if a big dog was walking there, it seemed that that white tail that springs up from the mid-air has been there by my side since my childhood. I often caress that tail and enjoy myself with its fluffy fur.
Well, it can look simply as a “dog-like being” but actually, it´s true identity is a “dog god”.
It happens to be that my household is what was called as “Descendants of a dog god”.
A “dog god” is the spirit of a dog possessed by a person and the “descendants of a dog god” is the family which inherits the dog god that has been passed down for generations.
Among the descendants of a dog god, the biggest one, so to speak the head master of a house is called “great god’s head house”.
My household is not a head house, but our status among the many branch families seems to be quiet high.
In the house of the descendants of a dog god, girls are wished to be born because the amount of new dog gods increases with the birth of girls.
However, there are also exceptions.
A girl whose spiritual power is low like me cannot see the figure of a dog god and it ends up becoming a complicated position, all the more if there are sisters with stronger spiritual power.
My three older sisters have already married a great god’s head house, and it happens to be that my three younger sisters as well have been receiving often marriage proposals from other famous branch families.
<< Although she owns a dog god, she’s not able to see it… She is a “No faculty”>>.
There is no way that the labeled me, could have a formal marriage interview, so I left home on the occasion of going to university.
In a university outside the prefecture I presented the requirements to be a librarian and got employed in a public library nearby the university, and now with my 24 years, my willful solitary life continued.
– Thank you for waiting, here you are, a tea with milk.
The waitress put over the table a cup of black tea, a pitcher of milk and a small dish with cube sugar.
After the waitress gave me a voucher and left I tasted the black tea without sugaring.
The smell drifted in the air and remained a taste of bitterness. After drinking the black tea in one gulp, a sound rang with a slam; I looked in the direction of the milk pitcher and saw its content reduced a little, and in its surrounding, a pair of scattered drops could be seen.
– …is it possible that… it was a coffee fresh?
Cof cof atchoo
After I could hear sounds like violent coughs and sneezes coming from my feet a long tail hit my leg strongly and without hesitation, it really hurt. I wonder if it’s an outburst of anger.
– I’m sorry Yukio, the next time we’ll go to a different café.
With a bitter smile on my face, I apologized to my milk-lover dog god named Yukio.
The one who found that shop was Yukio.
While returning from my workplace, walking the usual way home, Yukio’s white tail suddenly hit my leg.
– What’s wrong?
After making a halt I finally realized; beside the way we were walking, between two buildings, there was a narrow alley. In the entrance a there is little signboard with “Tea house Sirius” written on it.
<< Was always this shop here? >> When staring at the signboard while tilting my head to the side, a tail caressed my feet then left me and followed the alley.
Hold on a second!
<< It has also unusual things >> I pursued Yukio while thinking that.
I wonder if Yukio is interested so much in something though she always follows me about and never gets away from my feet.
When I continued about ten meters forward it appeared before my eyes, in front of a small alley greenery was spreading. Was it a natural garden? It wasn’t neatly arranged and exuded a rough feeling, at the inner part of all those plants that have grown there, a dark brown wooden deck and a black-wood door could be seen.
And then her white tail went up the wooden deck, thereupon, before I start chasing Yukio the door of the shop opened. The one who went out was a young man wearing a black apron over a white shirt, under his brown and apparently soft hair there were a pair of beautiful almond-shaped eyes, he was a tall and handsome young and still having youngster face features, he must be even younger than me, perhaps a college student.
When this young man who seemed to be the waiter appeared I stopped walking, at the same time Yukio’s white tail rounded the young before entering the shop.
– Welcome to this shop!
Immediately after the young looked at me he expressed a wide and friendly smile.
– You can enter, it’s open.
– Eh, ah… okay
Unable to refuse to his smiling face I walked into the shop.
After I ordered a tea with milk in the counter seat I started looking around the inside of the shop; with six seats in the counter, two tables with four seats each one; it’s a rather small shop that seems to have room just for a dozen people or so; the place is decorated with wood and plaster, and black glossed trellises that shine in the middle of the white walls; with a moderated illumination that gives you a sense of calmness; in the upper part of the window frames and over the tables there are green plants and flowers that heal your mind.
Inside the shop can be heard a bossa nova theme with the quiet and comfortable streaming sound of an acoustic guitar. As for the present clients besides me there is an old couple and a lonely man with about 40 years who was reading a book, this place is really comfortable and gives you a being-home feeling.
<< It’s a peaceful and fantastic shop >> while thinking that and still looking around, I could sense again that familiar feeling at my feet.
From my skirt that is as long as my mi-mollet height, Yukio came forth smoothly and drew close her tender fur.
– Mou…! You scared me when you suddenly started running.
Even if I said that with a whisper the white tail didn’t show any disgust furthermore she swayed her tail from one side to the other with a flutter motion, she really seems to be happy and I have just realized but is she in a really good mood?
– You are in a really good mood, isn’t it? That’s unusual.
Without thinking a smile was about to float on my face but at that moment a voice that crossed the counter could be heard.
– Thank you for waiting.
It was a man of about 50 years that was attending in the counter the one who talked to me, I wonder if he is the shopkeeper; his gentle smile resembles to that of the young from before, leaving that aside, he hasn’t heard my muttering, has he?
Although he was a little hurried, he doesn’t seem to care about it and with a smiling face he line up the pottery over the counter and said “here you are your tea with milk”; what he took out was a teapot, a cup, a pot with sugar in cubes and besides that a big pitcher of milk. From the teapot which has room for at least two cups, a strong fragrance started to drift through the air.
– It’s Assam tea, and since I put a somehow strong amount of it into your cup, please be sure to add hot water when you want to dilute it.
After the shopkeeper put the pot filled with hot water over the counter and explained to me how to use it I thanked him and filled my cup with the black tea. It’s true the color is deep and if I drink it that way it will for sure taste too bitter; << Should I mix it with some milk?, however, what will happen to Yukio’s portion? >> While being puzzled the young suddenly approached and said:
– It’s okay; here you are another cup of milk.
With a pat sound, he placed another bowl as I stared at the café au lait that filled the bowl.
– As for this, it’s a freebie.
Saying that, this roguish young showed a smile and his eyes shifted from my face and pointed to my feet and when he laughed the white tail started swaying joyfully.
<< could it be that…? >>
Just when I was about to ask him, another client entered the shop and the young man had to go his direction and I lost the chance for asking him; it could be an anti-climax interruption but somehow I felt relieved.
There is no need to ask him right now; if I ask him this throbbing feeling of expectation will for sure disappear, it’s okay if ask him the next time. While thinking that I sugared the black tea and poured milk into it without reservation.
As Yukio’s milk spread like brown transparent tea I drank the delicious mixed milk with tea and in the middle of the gentle sweetness spread the scent of the black tea.
– I’m pleased with this place too.
With a sidelong glance I saw that the bowl of the milk became empty and with a kuun sound breathed out as to show her feeling of satisfaction, and after seeing this a smile appeared on my face.