I was on a crowded train during rush hour…normally I wouldn’t have been on that particular train at that particular time but I had a last minute appointment in Yokohama that day.
John Tobin closed his book entitled Appointment in Yokohama and leaned back in his first-class airplane seat. The book in his hands was neither especially interesting nor was it the kind of book he simply could not put down. It was by no means bad, just not something that grabbed his attention the way, perhaps, a Tom Clancy novel would.
This particular book was about fate. It was about a man who thought he could escape his destiny when in reality he could not. In fact, the man in the book brought about the very destiny he was trying to avoid through his own actions. Fate can be complicated in that fashion.
John ran his index finger over the title of the book. It made him think of his wife, Erin. She was the reason the book was in his hands at that moment. She had asked him to read it while he was away on a business trip that had come about by chance. Erin believed a great deal in fate and the book had spoken to her on a very personal level.
John did not believe much in fate. He was more of a causality kind of man. He believed everything in the world, everything in life was as it was due to the simplest philosophy he could think of: cause and effect. He could never quite accept the idea that he was not in control of his life and, therefore, not in control of his destiny.
Though John had these deep-seeded feelings about fate versus causality, he read the book regardless. He read the book because his wife asked him to do so, though, he was not exactly a people pleaser. He was by no means disrespectful but did not kowtow to everyone for the sake of harmony either. When it came to his wife, however, he would have done or read anything to please her.
While John thought about his wife and the activities of the business trip that lay ahead of him, his plane landed, taxied and parked at gate 23F at Narita airport. He gathered his belongings, made his way off the plane, went through customs and finally to the train system underneath the airport. He boarded a train bound ultimately for Yokohama. The train was awfully crowded. John read the time on his wristwatch: 6:00. Rush hour.