Someone like you II
Published Mar 2, 2016

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All week the apartment complex was quiet. Nobuo had retreated back to his computer. He was having a hard time finishing the 4th chapter of his book so he would visit the library for inspiration.
Shane had left for a trip with her boyfriend Chad who had now moved into the open apartment upstairs.
Kait: I'm telling you Jack, I'm worried about the boy. I haven't seen him in over a week.
Jack: You know he's trying to write that book of his.
Kait: Oh please. He's never just blown off an invitation for my famous casserole.
Jack: I love you honey, but your casserole is only famous to you.
Nobuo: Sorry, I'm late.
Kait: Where have you been? I was starting to get worried.
Nobuo: I just overslept. I think I'm having writer's block so it's frustrating.
Kait: You know, it might help to get out and do things. Meet people. I know this wonderful girl at the market.
Jack: No, no, Kait. We don't want to push him. He said when he finds the right girl, he'll know.
Kait rolled her eyes and went back to the deck of cards in her hand.
Kait: Well she's better than some of the girls around her.
She lifted her head in the direction of Shane's apartment.
Kait: You know she's barely been home. Always with that big ofe upstairs.
Jack raised his hand again.
Kait: I'm just saying. What kind of girl carries on like that? She needs a role model. Someone that can teach her to act like a lady.
Jack: Like you?
Kait: Heaven's no. You would think her mother would have taught her something.
Nobuo: Her mother passed away.
Kait: What?
Nobuo: Her mother passed away.
Kait: How do-
She didn't finish her sentence. The look on Nobuo's face was enough.
Kait: Let me check on dinner.
While she went upstairs to check on the oven, Nobuo and Jack sat in silence for a few minutes.
Jack: Is she nice?
Nobuo: Yes.
Jack: You like her?
Nobuo: Yes. Well I think.
Jack: Good boy. Don't mind my wife. She can talk your ear off. I just turn off my hearing aid at times.
Nobuo went back to his hand. Shane had been gone all week and they hadn't spoke since their outing to the coffee shop. Before HE came into the picture. Shane was the first woman, besides his mother and Ms. Kait that he felt he could talk to without getting nervous and stubble over himself.
Yes she had a man but that didn't mean that they couldn't at least be friends. And if the right time happens, more than that.
Nobuo adjusted himself in the bathroom mirror.
"Someone like you".
The thought kept coming to his head. Was she telling him the truth or just trying to be nice. Maybe he did have what it took to find the right girl. But where could he start, how would he start?
More weeks passed. The entire apartment could hear the ups and downs of Shane's relationship. Either she was yelling at him for being a jerk or doing something stupid and the next moment they were laughing and giggling with each other.
Nobuo didn't need a television. This was better than any drama or soap opera.
Chad: What are you upset about now? Birthday, anniversary, bar mitzvah....what?
Shane: Nothing. I'm just tired of the same thing. We always go to the club and back here.
Chad: I thought you liked being at the club.
Shane: Not when I work there. I just want something different. I want to be wooed. A woman likes to be surprised, and pursued. To know that you care about her, not just physically Chad. Chad?
Chad leaned in to kiss her goodnight, but this time she walked passed him to her door.
Shane: Good night Chad.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The following day.
Nobuo knocked on the door to 1A.
Shane: I have a headache Chad.
Nobuo: It's me, Nobuo. Are you alright?
Shane: Nobuo?
Shane: Hi.
Nobuo: Hey...I wanted to ask you something. I was thinking about what you said over coffee, about finding someone.
Shane: okay (she couldn't remember what he was talking about)
Nobuo: I was thinking about getting myself out find someone. To date. And I sort of needed some help since I am not good in the dating department.
Nobuo: I wanted ot know if I could hire you to help me date someone.
Shane: You mean like a dating agent.
Nobuo: uh
Shane: Like a love guru.
Nobuo: I don't know if I would call it that.
Shane: I've played matchmaker before but that was when I knew both of the people. So I'm like a live
Nobuo: Never mind.
Shane: No! This is great. I can definitely help. I want to help.
Nobuo: Really. I can pay you.
Shane: We'll talk about payment later. I can't believe someone asked me to hook them up. Call me Dr. Shane, the love doctor.
Step 1:
Shane: In order for me to know what is right for you, I need to know who ARE you. What are your interests, likes, and dislikes.
Nobuo: How did you know that?
Shane: Matchmaking for dummies.
She looked around the barely furnished apartment.
Shane: Okay this says alot.
Nobuo: What?
Shane: That you have no life.
Nobuo: Ouch.
Shane: Sorry, but you barely have any furniture, your most prized possessions are your books and you have a small tv that doesn't work.
Nobuo: It's a symbolic centerpiece of how society
Shane placed her finger over his lips.
Shane: come with me.
Shane led Nobuo next door to her apartment. It was the first time Nobuo had been to her apartment.
Nobuo: This is it.
Shane: Where the magic happens (she laughed to herself)
Shane: So what does this tell you about me.
Nobuo: Colors, lots of colors. But this is not my taste.
Shane: I'm not trying to make you me. I'm just trying to get you to be the better you. You need to show more of your personality, inside and out. You've been quiet too long, now it's time to shine.
Shane stood in front of him. She placed her hands on his shoulders and straightened his back. She lifted his chin so his eyes met hers.
Shane: Better. Now tell me 5 positive things about yourself.
Nobuo: Well i......I....
Shane: Seriously. Nothing?
Shane: Okay 3. Give me three things about yourself.
Nobuo: I can type 100 words a minute.
Shane: Really. that's it.
Nobuo: I'm afraid I can't think of that many.
Shane: Well we really have our work cut out for us. We need to be an entire makeover, emotionally, mentally, and....physically.
Nobuo: Maybe this was a mistake.
Shane: Nonsense. You need this. I need this. I love helping people. So let me tell you 3 things I like about you. You're kind, you're family oriented, and you have a great smile.
Nobuo: Oh wow! I'll write those down for the next time you ask.
Shane: Stop! You have to come up with three of your own. That's what I like about you. What do you like about yourself.
Shane took out her cellphone.
Shane: So let's take a picture to commemorate our day 1 of the new you. Say goodbye old Nobuo.
Step 2:
Nobuo strained to get the weights down to his chin. He grunted as his arms tried to pull down the bar.
Nobuo: You know, I'm not really a weight lifting kind of guy. The only thing I've raised are the books to my face.
Shane: Well then come run with me.
Nobuo let go of the bar and jumped at the weights clanging behind him. His arms felt low as he walked to the treadmill close to Shane.
Shane: Try level one then when you get the hang of it, go faster.
Nobuo: I think I can handle a little more than level one. He leaned over and tried to match the same speed as Shane.
He didn't realized just how hard it was to keep up. His chest began to tighten and soon he stumbled on the treadmill, rolling to the floor.
Nobuo: I'm fine. I'm fine.
Shane: So how do you feel about your first day at the gym?
Nobuo: Brutal. I can't believe people enjoy this kind of torcher.
Shane: It's not so bad once you get used to it. We can start slow then pick up the pace. I'm thinking 2 hours per day of exercising.
Nobuo: WHAT?
Over the next month Shane and Nobuo exercised 2-3 hours per day.
Shane: It is more than just looking good. It is feeling good. Being healthy in mind and body. No more delivery, or fast food. You are going to thank me later.
Nobuo: I hope later comes very soon because right now I don't really like you.

Kait: I'm worried about him.
Jack: Let the boy live. He's happy.
Kait: But we barely see him. And I hear he's been hanging around Shane from downstairs. She is going to be a bad influence on him. Mark my words Jack.
Jack wrapped his arms around to console his wife. She went on talking and he turned off his hearing aid.
Nobuo was soon exercising without Shane. In the evening he would take a break from his writing and jog around the neighborhood. It was refreshing to get out into the crisp night air. He was feeling more fit than ever. Although he hadn't gave up all his guilty pleasures he began to eat healthier as well. Nobuo: Come on slow poke.
Shane: No fair. I had to stop to tie my shoes.
Nobuo: Excuses, excuses.
They sat at a nearby bench so Shane could adjust her laces.
Shane: So tell me 3 things about yourself.
Nobuo: I'm nice, loyal, a good writer.
Shane: And.....
Nobuo: And I have a nice smile.
Shane: See, it's okay to boast about yourself at times. That's being confident.
Nobuo: i want to thank you for all the help. I feel so great now.
Shane: Have you thought about the kind of woman you are looking for?
Nobuo: Not really. Someone nice, big heart, likes to read. Really if she's breathing we have a good start.
Shane: I have a few places in mind where we can meet people. At least get you some practice.
Nobuo: What do you have in mind?
Shane: You'll see.
Nobuo was in bed when he heard knocking at his door. It was almost 11pm. He stumbled across the bedroom and into the living room to answer the door.
Shane: Sleep? There is no time for sleeping.
Shane: This is Electra. One of the hottest clubs in town.
Shane passed through the line of people waiting at the door and was able to come in with ease. With Nobuo at her hand she dragged him to the dance floor.
Shane: Isn't this great.
Nobuo: Sure. But it's kind of loud don't you think?
Shane: It's supposed to be silly.
Nobuo: I'm a little thirsty I'll go get us something to drink.
Shane was so busy moving to the music she didn't notice Nobuo walking away. She turned around but saw someone standing in his place. She looked across the dance floor and didn't see him. She looked towards the bar and saw him sitting by himself, sipping a glass of water. She rolled her eyes and walked up the steps to him. Shane: Just what are you doing?
Nobuo: Drinking. I was thirsty.
Shane: You are ridiculous. I brought you here not to hide in the corner or be a wallflower. This is your chance to meet people. Mingle, try to figure out the type of girls you like.
Nobuo: I don't know where to start.
Shane: Maybe with a hello.
Shane looked through the crowd on the dance floor.
Shane: What about her?
Nobuo: Her?
Shane: Yes, her.
Nobuo: I can't. She looks like she won't like me.
Shane: Come on Nobuo. You can't say that everything is going to end badly before you even try.
She grabbed his hands and lifted him from his seat.
Shane: Remember all those things you said about yourself. Now trust that they are true and go get her.
She slapped him on his butt to scoot him in her direction.
Nobuo stood up straight and walked out to the floor. But as he walked closer to her, he couldn't remember what to say. He tried to dance close enough to get her attention but it didn't work. So instead he began waving at her. She looked at him and he froze. His tongue felt thick and his throat dry. He tried again. Only this time he began to choke. Shane: What happened out there?
Nobuo: Nothing. That's what happened. I went out there and failed.
Shane: What did you say?
Nobuo: That's just it. I couldn't say anything. I ended up choking on my own spit. It was so embarrassing.
Shane: So you struck out on your first pitch. There will still be others.
Nobuo: I don't know Shane. I think I've had enough fun for tonight. I'd rather go home.
Shane: Oh come on Nobuo. You can't give up. I thought you wanted my help.
Nobuo: I do. It's just. I need more practice.
Shane: And that's what I'm here for. So I was wrong for pushing you in the deep in so soon. Let's start small okay.
Nobuo: I can't Shane. It's not easy for me as it is for you. I mean look at you and look at me. People look at me before they know me and I'm done.
Shane: You're right. You are a little scruffy but that is you.
She thought about it for a minute.
Shane: Okay. I have the best plan ever.
Nobuo: What?
Shane: You'll see.
Nobuo looked over his apartment. He thought about Shane's advice.
Nobuo: I need to decorate my house. I wonder what color she would like.
Nobuo: So what does a day at the spa have to do with fixing my look?
Shane: Everything. You need to learn to relax. And there is nothing more soothing than a nice mud wrap, massage, and sugar foot scrub. You liked it right.
Nobuo: Yes.
Shane: Great now time for step 23. Your look.
Shane: You said people look at your and judge you before you even get to say a word. So now we are going to make them want to talk to you first. Now i don't want to change you entirely. Just clean up the look a bit. A snip here, a pluck there.
Nobuo: Sounds like it's going to hurt here and there.
Shane: Do you trust me?
Nobuo: Of course.
Shane: Great.
Over an hour passed and Shane was called back into the salon area. She took one look at him and couldn't stop smiling.
Nobuo: What? Is it bad.
Shane: No. It's perfect.
Nobuo: Can I see it?
Shane: I don't know? You might fall in love with yourself.
She turned the chair around so he could see himself in the mirror.
Shane: Nobuo meet Nobuo.
Nobuo was shocked.
Nobuo: That's me.
Shane: Yep.
Nobuo. wow! I look.....
Shane: Good. You look good.
He turned the chair back around to Shane.
Nobuo: I look good.
Shane: What is this? Are you complimenting yourself?
Nobu: I look good, I have a great smile....
Nobuo: And I have the best love guru ever.

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