Just to settle into the story, here's the low down on my job:
I work at Smoke's Poutinerie, a super laid back 80's style Canadian poutine chain. It's probably the most slack job someone could find. I work night shifts on the weekends, meaning 97% of my customers are drunk. Also meaning, I can pretty much act any way I want, and no one will find it odd.
In our store, we have a chalkboard for customers to draw/write on. Most nights, if I get the chance, I write いらっしゃいませ〜♥ Tonight, I served a customer, and then went out to write it. My supervisor pretended like he could read it, and then the customer went, "Ah, Japanese." He didn't sound Japanese when he spoke, but hey, I ain't judging.
We started talking about how I'm learning Japanese, but he stuck to speaking English and that was fine with me. The conversation continued, and I asked where he was from. He said Tokyo, but actually Chiba, and started trying to explain what Chiba was. I started to laugh and reassured him that I knew where it was, and asked if he knew the band Arashi. When he said yes, I said that one of the members, Aiba, was from Chiba and so I knew where it was.
And then, my world shook.
He told me he used to go to junior high with Aiba, that they were friends. That they were friends. That they were friends.
I'm sorry, but. Did I just meet Aiba's junior high friend? WHAT. WHAT THE FLIPPING FUCK.
He went on to say that Aiba was heavily bullied for being in Johnny's at that age, and it really upset him. But that after graduation, when Arashi started to become more popular, he stopped caring about them because he was super fucking successful.
Said that they would always say hi when they met at the gas station, when he would catch Aiba gassing up his Mercedes.
This guy, this beautiful angel, said that he lived near Aiba's family restaurant, so he always saw him around.
I'M LIKE. WHAT IS LIFE. WHAT IS THIS THING YOU CALL LIVING.
I've barely listened/watched to anything Arashi since September, I don't really think of them much, they don't hold as important a place in my life anymore. Doesn't mean I didn't flip my shit when the guy left.
I ran back into the kitchen, and proceeded to freak out. My co-workers know me as a normal, silly if not civilized human being. Tonight, that image was shattered.
I was hopping up and down, slapping my hand on the wall, and literally grabbed my chest and said, "My tits are uncalm." I had a stack of menus in my hand, and just ended up smacking them off the door frame over and over until I could breathe again. I was rolling my body along the wall, and I don't even care if I smudged the cleaning guide off the whiteboard.
I met Aiba Masaki's childhood friend.