So, at the end of a tumultuous week, or should I say at the refreshing start of a brandnew week, my friends invited me to her house for a cozy dinner, on this cold winter night. Three of us shuffled our feet in the rainy evening, with the Sun set long ago, to her stylish apartment in the tranquil streets of Kagurazaka, just a stone’s throw away from the bustling school town of Waseda.

“One is lonely, two is company, three is a crowd”, they say, or perhaps the sheer petiteness of the room was just about to convince us of the saying, only to be defied vehemently by the cordial and affable atmosphere that outrageously provided an alternative suggestion for the famous saying, that perhaps three is greater company.

Indeed, standing at an altitude of 15 stories, looking over a rainy and deceivingly docile and quiet city of Tokyo, with an awkwardly inappropriate accompaniment of  high tempo dance music, I feel comforted at the hoslitic grandeur of the world out there, and how dimunitive and insignificant my worries had been in comparison.

Listening to the amateurish popping of the champagne bottle, and watching the initial burst of effervescence when the champagne glides onto the dry glass, I felt my heartbeat deccelerate gradually from the irregularly excited tempo which was in resonance with the frantic background music. It is by no coincidence that the quiet pop of the champagne bottle is known to represent a “sigh”, and is sometimes known as “le soupir amoureux”, the loving whisper.

We spent the night sipping the piping-hot nabe and the silvery golden champagne, while having a heart-to-heart chat, coughing out all our worries and at the same time, dumping them at the back of our minds.

Cheers, to camaraderie, to long-lasting friendship, to world peace, and last but not least, the end of this extraordinary year.