Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda, “The Suitcase I Caught from My Ex | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda, “The Suitcase I Caught from My Ex

Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Illustration drawn by Mr. Kanda

Last November, I went on a two-day and one-night trip. When I lifted my suitcase to go down the stairs to the platform at Shinjuku station, the handle came off with a slam. The suitcase slid down the stairs with a loud “thud, thud, thud! The suitcase slid down the stairs with a loud thud and landed on the platform. Only the handle remained in my hand. (I felt a deep sense of sadness (the time had finally come to say goodbye ……).

I have known that suitcase for 23 years. When I was 20 years old, my then boyfriend bought it in England. It was from “Globe Trotter,” a suitcase brand that had received a royal warrant from the British Royal Family, and it cost about 150,000 yen in Japan at the time. It was too expensive for me, a university student, and it would have been difficult for me to get one on my own. I was just at the time when I was interested in European brands, and it was ranked at the top of my “wish list of things I would like to have someday. So it was natural for me to think, “I really want to get it! It was natural for me to want to get it. (With the determination that I would never return it, I asked him, “Can I borrow it for a minute? I asked him and took it home.

My resolve is as firm as a rock at times like this. Our relationship continued for several years. I kept dodging his repeated pleas to return the money, saying, “Just a little more! I kept dodging his repeated requests. Finally, when it was time to say goodbye to him. He asked me to give him that one thing back, but I clearly replied, “No.” At that moment, it became mine, perfectly and completely.

After that, the suitcase was always with me on countless trips that involved overnight stays, such as local business trips and domestic trips with friends. She treated it with the utmost care and even declined when asked if she could help me with my luggage. I always carried it by myself, no matter how heavy it was. Also, when I checked my suitcase with the airline company for air travel, I covered it with a large plastic bag that I had prepared in advance to prevent scratches on the surface. If anything happened to the suitcase, I made an effort to think that it was all my fault, not someone else’s. What made me go that far?

I wonder what made him go that far. Could it be that I still have feelings for my ex? No, no, not at all. It is true that every time I look at the suitcase, I see the face of my ex-boyfriend who has become a “heno heno henoji” because his memory has faded. However, I don’t feel nostalgic or happy for those days, not even for a millimeter. Rather, it’s a symbol of “if you wish for it, it will come true! I’m so amazing that this is free!) ).

What did your ex give you,
Do you throw them away? Do you throw them away or not?

Originally, I was of the “throw it away” camp, sympathizing with those around me who said that they felt sorry for their next boyfriend or that it was a matter of “making a clean break” with him. However, when I actually thought about throwing away the Globe Trotter suitcase that my ex gave me (or more accurately, snatched from me) for the sake of “distinction” (……), I thought to myself, “What’s the distinction? I love it so much, why would I throw it away? I love it so much, I’m not going to throw it away! Since that day, I have changed my mind about not throwing things away.

I have learned a great way of thinking about things since then.

For example, if someone gives you an expensive gift that is not suitable for your size, you may think that he is kind to you, but it is not. Of course he is kind, but that is half of it. The other half is the result of your own effort, isn’t it? It was you, not anyone else, who made him want to give you something expensive. It was the way he faced it on a daily basis that struck him and made him act on it.

Besides, the next guy I go out with likes me, having learned and grown from my breakup with my ex. So why should I have to settle for my past self? No, I don’t think so. I would rather praise him for becoming the kind of woman you like by going out with his ex.

The suitcase that slipped out of my hands at Shinjuku Station was an irreplaceable treasure that made me realize such an important thing. As it slid down the stairs at breakneck speed, I thought I heard a voice saying, “I’ve taught you everything I know, so you don’t have to worry anymore! I felt as if I could hear his voice saying, “I’ve taught you everything I know.

The other day, I bought a new suitcase in the exact same color, with my own money, in order to teach him the next important lesson. And so began a relationship that would last more than 20 years. …… But the price increase was still too much.

©Kazuki Shimomura

Aika Kanda was born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).

From the March 1-8, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Text and illustrations by Aika Kanda

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