Prologue – The King Has Donkey Ears -Part I– Poplar Publishing
2010/11/23 Recent Events Shinokawa Ayaka
I was pretty busy yesterday, so I’m going to write yesterday’s entry along with today’s.
Antiquarian Bookshop Biblia was closed for a holiday yesterday.
Shioriko left in a car with Goura (employee) this morning. I think they spent the day wandering around the bookstores that she always wanted to visit, but couldn’t because of her injury.
She looked really cheerful this morning, so at breakfast I asked her if she was going on a date. But she said “don’t make fun of Daisuke like that, it’s rude.” and scolded me with a scary face.
As far as Shioriko was concerned, Goura had kindly offered to go around visiting bookstores with her during one of their conversations.
She really hates talking about things like love and marriage.
That’s why I can’t tell her. I can only write about it here.
I’m sure Goura thought of it as a date. He really likes Shioriko.
Speaking of which, I remember being pretty worried when he started working at the store. It was hard to believe that Shioriko, who’s terrible with people, had hired him herself. He’s really huge and kinda has a scary expression, so I thought he might have tricked her somehow.
But after working with him in the store for a while, I saw that he was actually a timid, hardworking, ordinary guy. He listens to what other people have to say and is even better at customer service than me.
I can’t say it to his face though, so I can only write it here. It seems to me that Goura’s the type of person who’s easily swayed by people, especially women in a higher social position than him. Even though he’s built like a warrior, his personality’s more like that of a chamberlain.
The two of them came back later in the evening and Shioriko was in a really good mood. They’d visited bookshops in Yokohama and Kawasaki, and apparently even stopped by Tsujidou on their way back.
She bought two boxes worth of books, and the one who carried them to entrance was, of course, Goura. He seemed a little tired, but his eyes were shining. Maybe seeing how pleased my sister was made him happy as well. Yep, just like a chamberlain.
I told my classmate Kosuga Nao about it when she came to hang out in my classroom for lunch today and she told me it’s because my sister’s ‘no ordinary person.’
Nao always has a tense expression on her face when I talk about Shioriko. She’s a regular customer at the shop, but I guess she’s just bad at dealing with my sister.
She fell for a guy named Nishino from the light music club a while ago and was rejected, but I heard Shioriko and Goura were involved somehow. I don’t really know what happened, but there was some kind of trouble, and Shioriko must have done something to scare her…I don’t think she’s gotten over that yet.
Nishino goes to some other school now.
After the incident with Shioriko, rumors started going around that he was a good for nothing guy who made moves on lots of girls behind the scenes. He though Goura was the source of the rumors and tried to set fire to our shop in revenge.
Nishino transferred to another school as soon as his suspension ended.
I can’t really tell anyone, but it was my fault Nishino had that misunderstanding. I heard Goura talking to some regulars about what happened with Nao and carelessly told the people in my club about it. My story ended up being the final straw just as rumors were starting to spread about what Nishino had done. I later learned that Nao never told anyone at school what had happened. I had no idea she was keeping silent about the whole thing.
I guess I talk too much.
I thought it would be a bad idea to mention it after the store was almost set on fire, so I didn’t say anything. I’m writing about it here instead so that the stress doesn’t build up. No one knows I’m using the computer in the middle of the night like this.
The books Shioriko bought yesterday were still piled up near the entrance when I got back from school this afternoon. She can’t carry heavy things up the stairs yet, and even though I volunteered to carry them up later, I had completely forgotten about them.
Anyway, I took all of them up to the second floor because otherwise they would get in the way of sweeping the entrance. The second floor hallway is now part of the Shioriko Zone and I can’t do anything about the books lying all over the place. She’d probably get angry at me if I dropped her new books in one of the empty spots though.
I saw something nostalgic among the books in the hallway on my way back.
The King Has Donkey Ears.
It was a picture book that was read to me when I was younger. It was supposed to be mine, but it must have been absorbed into the Shioriko Zone at some point.
I couldn’t remember what kind of story it was at all, so I took it back to my room to read it for the first time in a while. It’s actually pretty interesting.
A slightly clumsy king named Midas happened to pass by two gods having a music contest. Although the better player was obvious to anyone who listened, Midas declared that he preferred the worse player.
The god became angry because of that and cursed King Midas by transforming his ears into donkey ears (what a petty god). Midas hid his donkey ears out of embarrassment from everyone except his hairdresser; threatening to kill him if he ever dared to tell a soul (the king’s pretty cruel too).
The hairdresser didn’t tell anyone, but since he couldn’t keep such a huge secret himself, he dug a deep hole near the riverbed and shouted “the king has donkey ears!” into the hole.
Reading that made me think.
I’ve been doing the same thing as the hairdresser by writing in the journal; secretly writing down all the things I can’t tell the people around me.
This journal is my hole in the riverbed.
I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep this up, but there isn’t anyone at the bottom of the hole.
I think I’ll leave it at that for today.