The Story of Us (part 1)


A story of Aby & Ken and how they first met.

NARRATOR: Once upon a time, 8 years ago, 5318 kilometers away, a girl met a boy in the land called Japan.

Note: All conversations have been translated to English. Where necessary Japanese will be used to convey the emotion better.

Scene 1:

INT. OFFICE (Tokyo, Japan) – DAYTIME

Abyan, a petite Malaysian in her mid 20’s was sitting at her desk working on her latest design, when her mobile phone starts ringing.

– – – – – –

ABYAN: Hello?

TEMP. AGENCY STAFF: Hi Ebi-chan! How are you? How was the last job we gave you? Was the restaurant ok?

ABYAN: Umm, yeah thanks. But I don’t think I’ll be able to wash dishes anymore. The schedule at school and work is getting a bit hectic.

Abyan was working part-time at an advertising agency in Tokyo, whilst studying at a language course in the morning. She also did some temporary part-time jobs through a temp agency. Her last job was washing dishes at a restaurant. Having broken a few plates, she knew that managing the sink was not her calling.

TEMP. AGENCY STAFF: Ok sure. Maybe I have something better for you. There is a volunteer group looking for someone who can do conversation exchange in English with their Japanese participants. It’s 2 hours on Saturday, once every two weeks. Would you be interested? They’re offering ¥5000 a session.

ABYAN: Wow sure! That sounds great. It’s just talking and I get paid for it?

TEMP. AGENCY STAFF: Well, its a little more than just talking. Anyway, why don’t you try it this Saturday and let us know how it goes.
ABYAN: Ok.Thanks!

-end scene-

 Scene 2:


Abyan, ruffling through her papers looks up at a classroom filled with 20 Japanese students.

– – – – – –

ABYAN: (Thinking to herself) 
Okay…I sure didn’t sign up to teach a classroom of people. What happened to ‘just talking’…

Oh well, here it goes. Better wing it.

ABYAN: Good morning everyone! I’m Aby from Malaysia. And yes, my name means prawn (ebi) in Japanese…

-end scene-

Scene 3:


After a few weeks of teaching at the volunteer centre, Abyan’s student, Masako decided to throw her a party so that the other students could get to know their teacher better. Abyan and 6 of her students sit around a small dining table.

– – – – – –

MASAKO: So Ebi-chan, have you seen a tea ceremony before?

ABYAN: No actually. But I’d like to someday.

MASAKO: I think Ueno-san can do a little demonstration. Right Ueno-san? But before that, maybe we should all introduce ourselves first. Yama-chan?

YAMA-CHAN: Hai. O-K. Haro. I-am-YAMA-chaaan. I-like-to-learn-Engrish. Nice-to-meet-you.

ABYAN: Hi Yama-chan, Nice to meet you too 🙂

What followed was a series of self-introductions by the other students until the last one…

MASAKO: Next is Nishizawa-san desho?

NISHIZAWA: Ahh. Harro. My name is Kentaro Nishizawa. You can call me Ken. I like saafingu (surfing) and I design burijas (bridges). Nice to meet you.

ABYAN: Hi Ken, Nice to meet you too.

ABYAN: (Thinking to herself) 
He doesn’t look like a surfer at all!

-end scene-

Scene 4:


After a lot of eating, laughing and a tea ceremony demonstration, everyone prepared to go home leaving to walk to their stations.

– – – – – –

ABYAN: Thanks so much Masako. That was fun!

Umm, is anyone going to Shinjuku station?

ITO, YAMA-CHAN, KEN: Yeah, we are.

ABYAN: Cool. Let’s go.

Yama-chan and Ito-san walked ahead whilst Ken and Abyan walked together a little behind. The following was their conversation:

ABYAN: So, you surf?

KEN: Ya, when I can. I reery rike it.

ABYAN: And you said you are a bridge designer? Sounds interesting.

I’m a designer too. But in graphic design. Have you heard of Shigeru-san? His stuff is pretty cool.

ABYAN: (Thinking to herself) Let’s see if he knows Shigeru’s work. If he does, I’ll be impressed.

KEN: Umm…No.

ABYAN: Oh… Well he’s quite cool. He builds bridges and make-shift shelters out of cardboard tubes which are used for earthquake survivors.

KEN: (pause. thinking. digesting)

KEN: Ah! Ban-sama ka? Ya. I rike himu.

ABYAN: Yeah! Shigeru Ban. Oh, so you do know him! (smiles to herself)

-end scene-

Scene 5:


– – – – – –

ABYAN: What a coincidence! We’re on the same line. I’ll be getting off at Yoga.

KEN: Ah, that’s two stations after mine.

Train carriage rumbles in the background. Both Ken and Aby stare out the window. People don’t usually talk in train carriages in Japan.

ABYAN: Uhh..How long have you been learning English Ken?

KEN: Umm. Nanka..3 years kana. I also have puraibato Engrish resson with my teacher. But she is having a baby soon, so she cannot teach me anymore.

ABYAN: (Thinking to herself) Hmm, maybe I should offer to teach him. I sure need the cash… I’ve never taught privately before. Shouldn’t be too hard right?

(Pause. Silence. Train carriage rumbles in the background.)

ABYAN: (Testing water) 
Umm, if you’d like… I can teach you. If you want…

KEN: (excitedly) 
Aah! REARRY! Honto ka? (Really?)

ABYAN: (cooly)
Iidesuyo. (Ya sure.)

KEN: Aah tasukarimashita. Zehi. Zehi! (What a lifesaver! That would be great. Please)

ABYAN: (Thinking to herself)

Hmm, how much should I charge…

-end scene-

Scene 6:

INT. CAFE (Somewhere near Shibuya) – EVENING

– – – – – –

ABYAN: Ok, so Ken the next task is to talk about your favourite things. We’ll go through the list one by one.

ABYAN: Who is your favourite athlete?

KEN: Athoreeto? Umm…(pause.thinking)


ABYAN: Mario? Who is that?

KEN: (serious) 

He is doraiba (driver) for Nintendo Kart.

ABYAN: (smiles, thinking to herself) This guy is pretty funny. Is he kidding me?!

-end scene-

Scene 7:

LOVE BLOSSOMS MONTAGUE (Various locations in Tokyo)

– Cheesy love song begins, Ken is waiting for Abyan in front of a cafe.

– Abyan looks at watch running late.

– Ken stares out at the crowd.

– Both sit in cafe having their lesson..

– Ken runs through the crowd, exiting the station.

– Abyan looks at watch.

– Both sitting together in various cafes. Abyan looking bored. Ken looking tired. Both laughing. Time passes.

-end scene-

Scene 8:

INT. CAFE (Somewhere near Shibuya) – EVENING

It’s been a few months since they first met. Abyan is going back to Kuala Lumpur (KL) to renew her visa. It might not be extended. She breaks the news to Ken.

– – – – – –

ABYAN: I’ll be going back to KL in May. I’ve applied for my visa but I don’t know if they will extend it. So I don’t know if we can have our lessons anymore…

KEN: Oh really?

ABYAN: Yeah. But don’t worry, I have a friend who can teach you. Her name is Meiko. She’s real nice.

KEN: Ah.Soka.. (I see…)


Narrator: What will Ken do next? Will Abyan finally realise her feelings for Ken?

– end scene –

Stay tuned for part 2 of The Story of Us.



© Abyan Junus and, 2018.

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