Cookie Stories 4

First Date

They meet on the bridge at Kanazawa-bunko. It is love at first sight. Halfaya Pass is a television cookie chef, who, suffering from overwork and the burden of fame, has taken an indefinite leave of absence and escaped to Japan where she won’t be recognized. Luke Germaine is a recent college graduate living in Yokohama. Nothing can be heard above the deafening sound of the cicadas. A sudden rain shower drives the two into the library, where they introduce themselves.

Luke, who majored in theoretical cookie science in college, is a big fan of Halfaya. However, to not reveal this to her, he says he is teaching English. He offers to give her a tour of Tokyo. They start with lunch at Luke's favorite ramen restaurant in Shinjuku, followed by a walk through Shinjuku Gyoen to watch the leaves change. They then head to Shibuya to the 50 yen arcade, where they play the last surviving pinball machine in Japan.

Luke takes her to Akihabara with its hundreds of electronics stores, and Jimbouchou with its hundreds of book stores. In Sanseido they pass by a huge Christmas display featuring Halfaya's latest book of cookie recipes.

As it gets dark they head to Ueno Park, where they walk holding hands under the cherry blossoms. For dinner Luke takes Halfaya to his favorite yakiniku restaurant in Tsunashima. It is here that he finally reveals his dark secret.

In college, Luke was a member of his school's cookie team, which won the national championship. However Luke's own contribution was a complete failure, and nearly cost the team the title. This was never made public, and Luke became one of the school's heroes. Girls begged to go out with him, and he didn't refuse a single one. However as time went by the guilt became so strong that he fled to Japan, to finally learn the true art of cookie baking.

Luke thinks that Halfaya will no longer like him after hearing this story. But on the contrary she finds him even more attractive. They walk to a nearby karaoke box. Halfaya sings Oe Senri's "Anta ni aete yokatta", and Luke sings Tanimura Yumi's "Ongaku ni sukuwareta". They look into each other's eyes, and realize they are thinking the same thing: Oe Senri and Tanimura Yumi are each giving a concert that very night.

Halfaya goes to Yokohama Arena where she finds Oe Senri's fans (all female) and Luke gathers Tanimura Yumi's fans (all male) from Nippon Budoukan. They lead everyone to Tokyo Dome, and the story ends with the fans intermingling during a joint concert.

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