Still reeling in the shock from the quake, I gathered myself to meet up with the other AIDOL gang. It seems like everyone else had the same idea because soon enough, most of the people are gathered in the same area. I was surprised by the calmness of the Japanese people, probably because they are more used to this. Everyone started to gather very quietly, like they already know what to do. If this were back in my country, people would be running around here and there, riots everywhere, probably.
Staff were announcing that the 2-shot event is in halt until further notice. Initial report was a 8.5 magnitude earthquake, almost double what I felt last night. I can’t remember but everyone seems to be finished with their slot, except for Brad who is still lining up for either Nishino Miki or Komiyama Haruka. I remember Souchan folding up the banner, they just planned to get a picture with it but dismissed the idea after the panic. I wasn’t there but apparently Gert was so shocked he looked like a scared kitten. 2-shot event resumes after half an hour or so, after no more quakes were felt. It was the last slot anyway, and there were not many people around.
After everyone has finished we followed the crowd out from the building, stopping for a few minutes to grab a group photo, something that had slipped our mind because of the earthquake. All 8 of us with various AIDOL fans and new friends we met at 2-shot.
Funny story about the banner. I was in charged of it and I just ordered the size randomly never knowing it would resulted in that size, hahaha. Wayne and Souchan vowed that I would not be in charge of banner duties ever again.
After going back into the building and failing to find a restaurant, we settled for food from the conbini nearby. And again, it seems everyone was feeling hungry as well because we ate a lot. I think we almost cleared out all the food in the conbini. Feeling full, we head back to the train station. Train started to move but not all the lines and stations are. After transferring and changing lines here and there, we managed to find a route that will actually take us home. After a few train transfers, we parted ways with the new friends we made at the 2-shot event until finally it was just the 8 of us left.
Now, bear with me. And with my words, use it to paint your imagination for the scenario.
It was the last train change we need to make before we reach home. Since we rarely take this line, we were not familiar with the train as well. We didn’t want to miss the last train since it was late. The train platform was upstairs and while walking up the stairs, we heard the train coming. Wayne, Brad, Momo, and Toki ran up to catch the train while me, Hayate, Souchan & Gert trailed behind. Wayne just rushed into the train, followed by Brad, Momo and Toki, while me and Hayate was looking around to see if we are on the right train. So there we were, with Wayne, Brad, Momo and Toki in the train and the rest of us still on the platform. When suddenly, Gert decides to rush into the train anyway. And the unthinkable happens.
The train door SLAMMED on Gert! Hard. It closed on him but opens back up again. Wayne, Brad, Momo & Toki in the train looked terrified. So did Souchan, me and Hayate on the platform. Gert quickly gets into the train anyway and me, Hayate and Souchan looked at each other without saying anything and thinking in our heads, “Holy shit! Should we get in?”. At the time it was scary. And terrifying. Especially after watching the door slams on Gert.
Souchan, bless him, jumps onto the train less than a second after Gert and AGAIN the door slams on him. But this time, it didn’t open back up. And Souchan was stuck in the train doors and the lights and sounds were beeping indicating it’s about to leave the station.
Okay, now from the platform side (me and Hayate’s), all I could see is his bag and the banner stuck between the door, while Souchan struggling to get into the train. So I yelled, “LEAVE THE BANNER! LEAVE THE BANNER!” in sheer panic, thinking the train was about to move. What I didn’t notice, one of Souchan’s leg was also stuck outside. So Wayne, Brad, Momo & Toki in the train could see the sheer panic on Souchan’s face while he whimpers, “My leg…” with me shouting in the background “LEAVE THE BANNER!” from the platform.
Suddenly the door opens back up and Souchan hurriedly got into the train. Me and Hayate didn’t even communicate, we looked at each other and jumped into the train in less than a second, and breath a sigh of relief when the door slowly closes after we jumped. Then the train started moving again.
Bear in mind, all of that (from the moment Gert jumped) probably happened in a span of 20-30 seconds. It all happened so quickly but we had a million things rushing through our mind. We were all silenced in total shock. But after a minute or so, after everyone had gathered their thoughts, we laughed like crazy. Laugh-out-loud crazy! Which was really rude considering the train etiquette in Japan.
I remember Wayne mentioning that was the one time he wished he had a go-pro constantly filming that expression of pure horror on Souchan’s face. To quote Wayne, “Seriously though, you couldn’t see his face, it was like in those horror movies, when the bad guy finally catches someone, like just slightly catches their leg? That realization of getting caught… the pure fear… just looking at you like “PLEASE. HELP ME. PLEASE!!!”
I’m happy no one got hurt (Although Souchan’s ankle was a bit sore) but looking back, it was really funny. And is my go-to story to tell my friends and family after I got back home.
The lesson here kids, don’t rush into trains.
It was a long and happy and tiring day. And we ended in true AIDOL style, with pure panic and a burst of laughter. Otsukaresama, Souchan.