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Untitled, by Hachi
The frog had been working since morning to make a tower of cards. When he was finished with the magnificent tower, using all 162 cards, he planned to propose to the girl he loved.
One by one by one, he prudently stacked the cards. "I can't mess up, not even once." The frog made bonds for himself, and put extraordinary concentration into the stacking of the cards.
Many obstacles surrounded the frog. First of all, a construction site in front of the house. The sound of breaking concrete disrupted the frog's nerves. He tried using earplugs, but the sound still came in through cracks in the plugs, taunting the frog. "Just stop it," the frog thought.
The next obstacle was the balloon cat. The frog raised a balloon cat as a pet. As the balloon cat floated around the house, it would sway toward the tower of cards. It was merely playing, of course, but the frog couldn't stand it. The frog tied the balloon cat's tail to the closet.
And the number one obstacle was the ringing of the phone. The frog despised the phone's ringing. The ringing made his heart seem to leap from his mouth. Fortunately, the surprise made him ruin merely a part of the tower, but that was the only fortune to be found. The frog made repairs with more prudence than before. "Give me a break," the frog thought.
Though the frog grew to find it tedious, the tower of cards continued piling up. The construction was as annoying as ever, the balloon cat began calling for food, the phone rang with unusual frequency. But the frog kept at it. Such obstacles were insignificant when he thought of the girl he loved.
The girl the frog loved was a childhood friend. Since long ago, the two had played together, fought with each other, cried together, gotten angry together. That was the relationship they had, but at some point, the frog noticed he had sleepless nights over how much he loved her.
But the frog was very much a coward and lacked the courage to confess to the girl. Lately, it had been just the opposite; he was only able to see her and talk to her. The frog was disgusted with himself for it, so he tested himself by creating the tower of cards.
Slowly he built a steady tower of cards, and there was only a little more until completion. He didn't notice he could no longer hear the noise of construction, the balloon cat's cries, the ringing phone, or anything else. The world contained only the frog and the cards. The frog held a heart and a spade in his hands, and went to place them at the top of the tower.
"Hey." A familiar voice came to the frog's ears. He noticed the right earplug had fallen out. The frog timidly turned around. There was standing the girl he loved.
The frog was too surprised to speak, and held tight to the heart and the spade. The girl spoke, somewhat angry. "Hey... Why haven't you been answering my calls? I've called who knows how many times. And come on, what's with those earplugs...? And why are you being so mean to your kitty? He certainly isn't very cute like this..."
The frog's head went white, and he didn't know what to do. He was unable to speak any explanations. He was in a panic, stood up suddenly, and with his head still spinning, spoke to the girl. "Um... er... m... marry me."
Flump. There was a sound. To the frog, it was the most unbelievably loud sound. The force of his standing up had collapsed the tower of cards. All that was left on the desk was a clump of slightly-scattered cards. And it hadn't been completed. The frog regretted everything.
"Huh? What's up?" The girl stared blankly, oblivious of the situation. It seems what the frog said hadn't reached her. The girl spoke to the frog, whose shoulders were obviously slumped. "Did I... do something bad?" The frog desperately pushed away his tears and replied with a smile. "No, no, it's fine. It's nothing."
"More importantly... what are you here for?" the frog asked, and the girl smiled, seeming to remember. "Ah, right. Well, um, it's big news!" She seemed very excited. "Um... they built a super-stylish coffee place near the station. Do you... wanna go?" the girl asked, smiling without a care.
The frog was amazed by its triviality. But seeing her smile, he blew those thoughts off. "C'mon, let's go together. And quick!" She grabbed the frog's wrist and pulled him. Soothed by the girl, the frog spoke. "Uh, wait. Before that, there's something I want to give you."
"This... is for you." The frog gave to her one of the two final, unstacked cards that were to complete the tower. It was the heart.
Posted March 27th, 2011