On a bright sunny day, Charo was visiting Rosa's place.
He wanted to say "Hi" to Margherita but she wasn't around.
So he went into the restaurant to look for her.
He was walking between the tables, when suddenly...
One of the customers picked him up.
"Sam! Look at this red star. Doesn't it seem familiar?"
A young woman put Charo on her lap and was staring at his red star.
She was Asian, boyish, not so tall, and was wearing layers of oversized
The voice sounded a bit like Shota's, and this caught Charo's attention.
"What? What seems familiar?"
"This star. It looks just like the one that was on my necklace. You know,
the one that I lost the other day."
"Come on, Tomoko. That can't be. It's just a coincidence."
"Mmm, it sure looks the same."
Tomoko tried to remove the star from Charo's collar.
Charo started to bark.
"What are you doing? I need this to go back to Japan."
"Oh, I'm sorry. It's yours, right. It's okay. I won't take it."
Tomoko seemed to have understood.
Instead of trying to take the star, she patted Charo on the head to calm him
"So, when did you lose this necklace?"
"Last week. I must have lost this somewhere around this area. Of course, it's no handmade, one-of-a-kind rarity. Just an ordinary mass-produced necklace. But..."
"See. The owner of this pup could have bought the same thing anywhere."
"Yeah, sure. I suppose."
Tomoko kept stroking Charo gently and noticed the lucky charm let Shota's grandma gave him.
"Wow. This guy has another lucky charm. It has kanji on it. And his name, Charo. His name seems to be Charo."
"What does the kanji say?"
"Mmm, ichiro-heian... Oh, I know. Ichi-ro means 'the road', and hei-an means 'peace and safety'. All together it wishes for a safe trip."
"Ichiro-heian. Sounds beautiful. So do you wear any of these lucky charms?"
"Not anything traditional. But for me, the red star pendant was supposed to be for good luck."
"I didn't know that."
"You see, the stage director that I just adore, his latest musical is titled The Red Star. Oh, it's a wonderful piece, and that's why I had my red star pendant."
"Oh, I didn't know that. So how's your script going?"
"Oh, not so well. My star was to guide me to a brilliant script, but anyway, I'll keep working on it."
Charo now knew the meaning of the red star to the girl, Tomoko.
He wasn't sure whether this pendant was really Tomoko's, but still he felt a bit sorry.
"What was that?"
"Strange, but I thought I heard him say 'I'm sorry' in Japanese."
"Oh, maybe the red star is yours after all, and maybe this little guy knows it. He's apologizing."
"Maybe so. But anyway, Charo, this is yours. And what really counts is to believe in yourself. Believe in yourself, and your dreams will come true. Okay, Charo?"
With that, Charo hopped off Tomoko's lap on to the floor.
He wanted to go out to the streets at once and look for any clue that might lead him back home.
"Oh, you're leaving. Oh, well then, take care! See you around!"
Happily, Charo ran off.
"He seemed to understand me."
"Clever dogs can do that, you know."
"Yeah, but there was something more about him... How should I put it? Like, we connected."
After running for a while, Charo stopped in front of a window display.
He saw his red star shining in the reflection.
"Believe in yourself and your dreams will come true... ありがとう、トモコ."
And this was how Charo and Tomoko first met.
It was almost meant to be.
But of course neither of them knew this, at least, not yet.