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Do Things Properly


Do Things Properly

Nagi Yoshizaki

I’m Taichiro Enomoto, age 25. I think I’m diligent, but my boss and clients always get angry with me, and my coworkers always make a fool of me. Regarded as an incompetent employee, I feel every day that I really don’t want to go to work. At the end of the day, I feel truly relieved.
My apartment is a 20-minute walk from my office. While muttering to myself, I walk home lazily. This used to help reduce my stress and refresh my mind to some extent, until a new boss was transferred to my section this year. After his transfer, my stress continued to grow to such an extent that I could no longer cope with it simply by walking lazily.
One day, as usual, I was walking along, overwhelmed by stress, when I realized that the smell of the air had suddenly changed. The humid smell permeated my nose. I looked up at the sky and found it was completely dark. It soon began to rain heavily, making me rush to Osu Shopping Street. Expecting it would soon stop raining, I mopped myself with my handkerchief.
“Tsk, just my luck!” I muttered to myself.
The sky grew even darker, with bolts of lightning flashing across the sky and tremendous claps of thunder piercing my ears.
“Wow! That’s incredible! So scary!” I heard someone say. I looked around, but the few people taking shelter around me were all checking their smartphones. Nobody was speaking.
I felt I had finally begun to suffer from auditory hallucinations.
“You’re out of luck!” I heard again. The voice clearly came from above my head.
I cautiously looked upward and saw a huge beckoning cat. Was it the cat that spoke? No way! I tried to stay calm.
“Why are you pretending not to acknowledge me? You’re so unfriendly!” I looked up at the beckoning cat again. Did the cat speak? I shook my head with such vigor that I almost fainted.
“Why are you doing such a foolish thing? It’ll make you feel sick.” Without raising my head, I asked the cat if it was really speaking.
“Now you’ve finally acknowledged me. You’re so slow.” So saying, the beckoning cat laughed cheerfully, which in turn aroused infectious laughter in me, though I was not sure why I was laughing.
After this incident, I began to drop by Osu Shopping Street every day to talk with the beckoning cat on my way home from work.
“You know, my boss is a fool. He always blames me for his mistakes. He lectures me on and on for an hour, saying ‘When are you going to get your act together?’ and ‘You’re paid too much for the work you do.’ He should spend that time doing something more productive.”
“That’s ridiculous. He’s really getting carried away.”
“You think so? You think I’m right in what I’m saying?”
“Well, you’re doing well. If I were you, I wouldn’t be able to stand it.”
The beckoning cat never opposed me. It was always on my side. Each time I left the cat, it said “Do things properly.” The phrase encouraged me to go to work every day.
I couldn’t understand everything the cat said because of its Nagoya dialect, but I didn’t care about that at all. The cat listened to me attentively. That was all that I needed.
After a little while, I found that something had changed. My boss and clients got angry with me, but this did not discourage me. Or perhaps they got angry with me less frequently. I feel that as I tried to do things properly, those working with me began to be friendly toward me before I realized it. Today, even that mean boss praises me, though he only does so every once in a while.
Also, I’ve now got a girlfriend. I took her to Osu Shopping Street to introduce her to the beckoning cat.
“I’ve got a girlfriend,” I said below the cat.
“How beautiful she is!” The cat was pleased.
 “I owe you everything. Thank you very much,” I said with my heartfelt appreciation.
“What are you saying? Everything is the result of your hard work.”
… Did I work hard? My vision began to blur.
My girlfriend looked at me with worry.
“I’ll be back later,” I said, taking a step forward.
“Do things properly!” came the loud voice behind me.