Story: Under the Cherry Blossom Tree (all chapters)

Authors: Kamui_Maiko

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Chapter 1

Title: 1. The Cherry Blossoms / Catching Ryoko with My Eyes

[Author's notes:

This is my first work in this genre! I'm surprised that I even had this in me. To be honest with you, I personally don't find it in myself but my friend has been encouraging me to do more of it, so here I'm doing it!

This is not quite a personal story but it is a reflection of a longing that I've been having. Will Sayoko be fulfilled? I don't even know yet and only time will tell.


The Cherry Blossoms

I’ve always waited under that particular cherry blossom tree.

As the cherry blossom petals rained, they surrounded me, as if they were stirred and twisted by invisible fingers.

My heart would melt and be stirred at the same time, as I tried futilely to track the movement of each petal from the moment it became part of the blossom until it fell. A petal didn’t fall to the ground immediately; it span gently and followed the invisible finger we knew as the wind; in some ways, it acted clumsily as it tried to catch up to the rhythm that the finger was tapping to. Alas, it never caught up to the rhythm as it sighed and unwillingly fell to the ground.

I stared at it; it was laid there.

So I’ve always waited under the tree, holding my school tote bag in front of me. Spinning it, whirling it around a bit.

Then, you’d show up. With 2 or 3 of your friends, you’d show up.

Sannomiya Ryoko.

I’m Suzuki Sayoko, by the way. It’s nice to meet you.

I had been told by most people that know me that I was thin, small-boned and frail-looking. My large and round glasses didn’t really help to improve my looks. The only parts that I was proud of about myself were my eyes. Boys in my class told me many times that I had the deepest and most intelligent eyes that they had ever saw. I guess I wasn’t ugly or plain, but I wouldn’t call myself attractive either. My dark and straight hair were common among girls my age and because I didn’t perm it or dye it, I didn’t fit into different fashionable groups of girls wearing thick socks and putting all types of accessories not to mention make-up on them. I couldn’t even count the amount of key chains, figurines, small plush dolls and other things they had attached to their tote bags. I usually tied my hair up into two braids

Most things that girls my age were into made me yawn. It wasn’t because the things were not interesting at all; they were interesting in their own little ways, but I couldn’t be bothered to check them out.

As they were oohing and ahhing over the latest dresses, shoes, earrings and so on, I stared at the cherry blossom trees outside. Oh, and I often look up at the sky, as well.

Aside from the cherry blossom trees and the sky, the only thing or rather, the only living thing that I paid attention to was Sannomiya Ryoko.

She was tall with an athletic build and nice and well-shaped breasts that didn’t prevent her from moving around during sports activities. She was maybe slightly big boned but I wasn’t sure. She looked healthy, vibrant, strong (she was on the swimming team), fit and happy. Oh and she had large feet. I heard her shoe size was 10 and that was the only part about herself that she felt embarrassed about.

I thought size 10 looked beautiful on her.

If it wasn’t obvious to anyone, it was to me. I wrote in my diary, over and over again.

“I love Ryoko.”

But of course, she had no idea that I even existed until that day.


Catching Ryoko with my eyes

I never really liked to see movies in a theater; correction, I never liked movies that much and I liked the theater even less. It was too dark, too silent and too lonely. There were always a lot of people in a theater but I never felt any connection with them.

I’ve been told that was a very strange view of things because people went to theaters to watch movies! Duh! Silly Sayako, didn’t you know that already? People do talk with each other, albeit silently, you know.

I guess I was clumsy personality-wise.

It was a Thursday near the end of the term and summer vacation was coming up. I was staring outside the window as usual when Keiko and Keita both tapped me on my shoulders; one person per shoulder, at the same time.

I never really liked that. Having too much physical contact. I calmly turned to my friends.

“What’s up?” I said silently, suppressing the urge of telling them not to tap me without permission.

“Nothing much.” Keiko said. She wore her hair short with short twin tails tied with yellow hair ribbons and a blue bird hairpin. Her eyes were the type that’d make guys go “moe!” all day. She had some freckles, a small chin and a button nose.

But she always liked to start her sentence with “nothing much is going on today” when she really did have something on her mind. I could always see that in her eyes. It was a glint, a sparkle, or dark clouds. Don’t ask me how I came up with the term “dark clouds” to describe emotions shown by the eyes…

“OK, well, then I guess I’ll just go back and stare at the tree.” I said drily and then started turning back.

“No, no!” Keita said. He hit Keiko on her arm, to which she yelped. He then turned to me.

“Sorry, Sayoko, she’s always that way…so absent-minded…”

Keita is Keiko’s twin. They share much of the facial features except Keita had much firmer lips and a stronger chin. He spoke with a surprisingly softer tone, however.

I sighed silently. At least they have something to tell me. I’ve realized most people in the class had nothing to tell me and I had nothing to tell them. I watched mostly nature, the seasons and yuri or girls love shows that I could download off the net so there wasn’t much to share with anyone.

Keita coughed and brought me back from my musings. I stopped playing with my braids

“So, let’s go see that movie.” He said succinctly.

I tilted my head to the left for a few seconds. “OK. Let’s go after school.”

“See? I told you, we’ve been hanging out for a long time now, just say it! You chicken!” Keita said to Keiko.

“Oh you just shut up, you don’t usually say much in front of everyone else anyway!” Keiko said. She hit him on the arm.

I smiled, mostly to myself. Twins. I thought. Then I turned my head to the window…

Sannomiya Ryoko.

My breath must have stopped at that moment as I caught her sitting under the tree, the tree that I always stare at as well as waited, alone.

She was hugging her knees and looking down at the ground. I couldn’t tell from the distance her facial expression, but somehow I felt this gloom emanating from her. Or rather, I was sure I was the only one who would feel that.

Some girls passed by and waved to her, she replied with much energy in her wave and a confident smile that forcefully shattered all my mirrors in the darkness.


She stood up and sighed. I thought she sighed, and left.

I could swear I saw her sniffing and holding back some tears.


[End notes: I'm never sure what I'll come up with next. Also, as corny as it is, the characters do eventually take on a life of their own. I'm just sharing some of my experience and making up some as I write the story. I hope this resonnates with someone...]

Chapter 2

Title: 2. At the Movie Theater / Ryoko

[Author's notes: Here, I was thinking about ways to describe a sense of disconnect and loneliness. There is a longing to be away, far far away. Of course, the surpise encounter need to happen here or it'd turn into a tear-fest. -_-;;]

by Kamui Maiko 神無為舞子

At the movie theater

Staring at the screen with non-blinking eyes and an almost numbing expression, Keiko was eating popcorn with excitement – or so I thought.

I got bored of the movie from the get-go; it was another action flick with villains that were simply evil to the core with no apparent reasoning behind all their actions and no time for thinking anything ordinary, like actually going to sleep at night, go on a vacation somewhere with family, or more realistically, handling finances.

The required-romance plot was slightly amusing – the girl was an Internet geek turned into a super heroine by a freaky accident with the “wire” and some other things involving servers, cybernetic parts and so on, and then she met the hero. Keita was smiling to himself the whole time and stuffing his mouth with fist of popcorns. Men seem to love those movies involving girls and machine parts.

Letting out a light sigh, I sat back letting my eyes drifting around the hall. The seats were mostly empty save some teens just like ourselves, couple of men sitting at the opposite ends of the theater, and a lone girl sitting in the bottom right, in the front row.

She wasn’t even looking up at the screen. She was here long before we came in; we wanted to skip the preview.

“Let’s not waste our time on that,” said Keiko. “Great time to get some snack and all.”

“You gonna get fat again, sis.” Keita said. His smile looked a little sinister.

“Oh shut up!” Keiko hit him on the arm.

Then we came inside hall no.2.

I wanted to fall asleep but Keiko warned me about snoring. “You snore loud, you know.” She said.

“Then why hasn’t any teacher stopped me?” I shot back.

“Why bother? You get perfect scores and you know more than most of our teacher combined anyway.”

I smiled but said nothing. Was that supposed to be something special? I much preferred looking up at the sky – blue, gray, white and off white…

Sighing and forcefully stopping my musing, I stood up to go to the bathroom.

“Where you going? It’s just getting good!” Keiko said. Her voice was very suppressed and a little harsh. No one in the theater turned his or her heads.

I searched her face a little. Keiko’s big eyes were not telling me anything.

I had always wondered why Keiko bothered to talk to me. I sat in the back of the class staring at outside most of the time when I started my first year in high school.

Keiko had the face that most guys would find attractive but not in a princess-kind of way, more like a little sister kind of way. Her features were small except for her eyes.

As I continued to look, I noticed that she had a little bit of make up on.

It was the first time that I noticed that. Maybe that was why she could talk to other girls normally when she didn’t have to talk to me.

“Bathroom. Wanna come?” I said.

Keiko thought for a second and shook her head.

I turned and said nothing and went.

Maybe I should’ve dragged her to go with me. Maybe I should’ve just not excuse myself at that time. Maybe I should not have made that excuse just to leave the hall.

But I was suffocating, not physically, just mentally.

I sighed a breath of relief as I entered the ladies room. All I did was washing my hands and staring at the mirror.

A pale face with large black-rimmed glasses and a disappointed look was staring back at me.

I smiled; the reflection smiled back.

My heart ached. My mind instantaneously rushed far away into the sky. That fierce blue sky that I seemed to possess in my memory…


I almost fell to the floor as I quickly spun around to see where the voice was coming from, and almost stopped breathing when I did.

Sannomiyo Ryoko.

She was standing right there, less than 3 feet away from me with her hands folded in front of her.

She was blushing.




Or so I thought she was. But if I had any mental capacity at that moment it was all due to some kind of miracle.

It was even a mission-impossible for me not to break down in tears just seeing her up close in person. She had the most perfect eyes, nose, mouth, ears and eyebrows…

…Shoulders, collarbones, waist, hips, hands, fingers, fingernails and…Wow.

What I was doing before she opened her mouth? Could girls think about another girl like what I was thinking?

I felt my face becoming warm as I tried to regain my composure.

“You are…Suzuki Sayoko, right?”

Did she sing my name in a choir somewhere?

“Ye…yes…you…actually…” I stuttered.

She smiled. The clouds dispersed and light came to me.

“Yes, I know.”


[End notes:

I usually just write short chucks to meet the demands of internet users' attention because I'm currently writing for my friend's site.

It is a wonder that anyone wants to read this at all! Still, I think I'm doing pretty good expressing what I want to express. Thank you for reading!


Chapter 3

Title: 3. Rush / Falling into the void called me

[Author's notes: I have been wavering between two different directios and I ended up taking a completely different one. I guess an awkard character will take the most awkward path possible. It is sad but it is also true of people with awkward tendencies like myself.]

By Kamui Maiko 神無為舞子 


Yes…She said yes…

I must have swooned because as soon as I was falling, a pair of arms caught me. Immediately, her scent rushed into my nostrils.

For a moment, I couldn’t tell if she smelled like the ocean, the school’s swimming pool or a middle-sex perfume from CK. But the scent drove my mind into hyper speed.

“Oh god, are you all right?” Ryoko said. Her soft bosom made contact with my left shoulder.

Was I wrong to feel warm? My heart was racing so fast.

Ryoko was right there with me. Her scent, her hair, her feminine but powerful arms captivated me but made me dizzy at the same time…

No! I couldn’t react that way!

Jumping right out of her reach, I bravely tried to stand straight.

“Um, I’m sorry.” No, no, that’s not what I wanted to say.

“But is there something you need?” What? What did I just say? Get a grip, girl!

Ryoko looked at me with uncertainty in her eyes.

I could swear I was literally melting from inside out. Though it was only mid-spring, but being so close to the light of my life didn’t help any.

“I…I saw you the first day at the entrance ceremony.”

What? She meant like last year?

Ryoko seemed to shrink a little, but quickly straightened up and smiled. “You know I always caught other girls staring at me at the pool, on the sports ground or in class.”

She toed the ground gently with her right foot with her hands holding together behind her. She was wearing a pair of white Nike sneakers with white laces without socks and I could see her tanned ankles. God, I love her size 10s. How could she not like them? They have helped her to walk straight up and proud on this dirty and worthless planet; they have helped to propelled her forward in the cerulean waters of this earth as well as in the featureless regulation-sized pool at our school; they have aided her so she could plant her steps solidly as she traveled through time, space, as well as walking by that cherry blossom tree.

So that I was able to gaze at her everyday, so that I was allowed to behold her in close distance. So she could catch me in her arms…

I thought I was going to faint again.

She continued. “But you didn’t. I saw you the first day of school last year, when we were both first year students. But you didn’t.”

I didn’t…do what?

“You never looked at my direction, Sayoko.” Her smile waned a little.

But I’ve been looking at you all this time!

“I…um…you know, I don’t really look anywhere but up.” I chuckled nervously. Oh no! What did I say? Oh god, please…

Her facial lines tightened a little though she bravely maintained her smile. “I know.” She said. “I always see you looking up. Your pale face not showing anything and your beautiful, brown and deep eyes gazing into the distance that I can’t reach.”

But I don’t understand…

“I…I’m sorry if I’m making you feel troubled. It’s just that…in recent days, I…I’ve been feeling like something was ripped out of my heart leaving a hole behind.” Ryoko said silently.

“Do you know why, Sayoko?”

I nervously looked around and hating myself every second for not responding the way I desperately wanted to. I was once again suffocating and my mind reached out to grasp that straw floating past by me.

I missed.

“I…I’m afraid I don’t, Miss Sannomiya.” I stuttered. “Actually…I think I have to get back to my friends now.”

My tears finally welled out of my eyes. I cursed the day I was born.

“I’m sorry!”

I ran past her on my way out. Not only I did everything wrong, but I even ran away.

My heart was pad-locked and my thoughts were going out of control.

But I wanted to stay there; I wanted to talk to her. I even pictured us sitting in the bench near the fountain right outside of the theater.

Everything just shot up the sky-high rollercoaster and blitzed down without waiting for me to signal ready.


Falling into the void called me

I must have had walked home on my own power because I remembered talking off my coat as I entered my room.

My legs gave way and my butt fell to the floor; my neck felt like it was broken because as soon as my butt hit the floor, my head hung.

I couldn’t recall how many times my cellphone beeped, alerting me about a missed call or new email.

I guess I had gone go back inside the hall where the Sci-Fi action movie was showing but I left immediately after I sat down. My tears were streaming as I left the theater. Leaving my friends behind, I rushed home; on the way, I probably ran into people because I vaguely recalled being yelled at by some old man, and then by some lady, and then by some kid, and then…

I ran, and I ran, and I ran…

My mind was fumbling for some reaction but nothing came. I ended up here, being alone in my room.

Images of me trying to respond to Ryoko continued to play in my mind. I shook my head, but like the movie played in the theater, my stuttering, my reluctance and my cold response played over and over again, frame by frame.

The frames streamed continuously as if everything was happening at one instant and I was there and I was forced to watch it because I couldn’t look away.

I struggled and I prayed deep inside. Oh god, please. Oh god, please. Oh god…

The images played silently and ceaselessly.

My mother wasn’t home yet. I vaguely remembered something about overtime.

What was overtime…? Oh. Right. Working.

After a while, I found myself looking at a corner of my room, where the painted light blue wall met the carpeting. Loose strains of fiber poked their heads above the carpet.

I kept my head and my eyes immobile as I continued to stare at the corner. I imagined being shoved into it and squeezed so hard that I became an atom, no, a quark, and just disappeared inside for days.

I thought I could see the smallest spot in there. If only I could fit inside and hide…

God. I still hated trying to react to anyone. But having the light of my life just inches away was just too much for me to bear at that instant in time.

If time ran forever in all directions and if it were a direction/space/cover in itself, why didn’t it cover me? Why was I there to begin with? Why was I there when I wasn’t ready to face the light?

I thought I was having a dream. In the dream, I fell very slowly from a very high place that I couldn’t describe. It was no larger than a dot, perhaps as big as the head of a pin. There was no way I could stand on it securely.

And so I fell.

The fall was excruciatingly slow and the space beneath me was dark. I was falling face down.

I really should’ve called it a descent but I was screaming so hard as if I had just jumped off a skyscraper and that I was falling to my death. But no, even time slowed down so much so that I could feel every second of the terror at someone’s leisure.

I finally fell into the darkness, which melted and assimilated me to be part of itself. Its fingers caressed my pale skin and then all of it liquefied and drenched me. I opened my mouth to let out another scream but the black bile flowed bitterly into my mouth and slid smoothly down my throat and finally, permeated my body, into each muscle fiber and bone…

I snapped my head up and screamed.

I had to see the sky even if it was the nighttime.

I jumped up, ran out of my room, my house, and then into the streets.



[End notes:

It must be painful to want to do everything right but ending up doing it all wrong. I feel sorry for Sayoko but I think she's not used to the idea of loving a girl yet. Will she reach out? Does she need help from Ryoko?


Ah, the sky. Looking at the blue sky is certainly more interesting than looking at the masses of humans sprawling all over the roads. Indeed.


Chapter 4

Title: 4. Enchanted encounter / Kanazuki Mari - My Past

[Author's notes: A goddess from the past or a ghost?]

Enchanted encounter

I fled to the streets.

The streets were busy and noisy with many people walking around. Once among them, I slowed down and started taking my stroll.

I knew I’d rather be watching the blue sky in the open forever, as an entity. But in contrast, I could make myself disappear in a crowd in the city easily, being highlighted only by the flashing neon light from time to time.

I kept my head low most of the time, except when I was trying to avoid walking into someone.

There were so many couples that I thought people were born into the world in twos. Except that I was born as one.

Sometimes people were within inches of my reach, but my body felt this infinite chasm between them and me. Even though it was early spring and cold, I didn’t want to create that friction between the fabric of my clothing and theirs.

It was almost like the strong force between the repelling ends of magnets.

They smiled; I tried to move the corners of my lips upwards but my eyebrows met each other in the middle of my forehead. All of the sudden, I felt nothing but April's cold and empty night air, which was laced with a smell that I wasn’t quite familiar with.

It wasn’t my lung that was burning. Although I didn’t suffocate, I didn’t breath easily.

I sighed and I walked some more. Time seemed to continue on and on, disregarding how my mind was drifting. Yet, no matter how far it drifted, it never reached that paradise that was supposed to be in the middle of the sea of crowd, each person in it became an island onto himself or herself…


Who is she?

My eyes settled on her.

It would’ve been fine to just call her a “princess” but she was far more regal than a mere princess. It would’ve been perfectly fitting to regard her as Venus but she was far more elegant than a vain goddess.

It would’ve been quite all right to befriend her but she had the aura of a lover, longing to be loved and hurting because of a heartless rejection.

She was tall, slender, with slightly curled long blond hair. Her eyes were the deepest blue and you could simply see forever into the heavens if you stared long enough. Her features were firm and queen-like and yet she was smiling softly to herself.

Although she could’ve lifted her head up high and pointed her chin toward the heavens, she smiled gently with her head bowing slightly as she treaded gently on the concrete streets as if they were grassland.

I thought she descended from the moon to shine her soft light on us in order to guide us on a dark and lonely night.

All of the sudden, she looked at my direction!

I immediately turned away from her gaze, ashamed of my plainness, my dark rimmed glasses and my frail figure. In front of her I’d be reduced to nothing but a sick and underdeveloped peasant girl, without any manners and unable to respond properly to this fair and noble lady.

I turned and sighed. Aside from, Ryoko, there was no one as beautiful as she was. But she and Ryoko were quite different. Yes, they were both beautiful, but Ryoko was a modern sportswoman, radiating with strength and confidence. This girl was something that came out straight from the legends of old, when women were ladies and men were knights.

Not that I cared for drunken men that torn flesh from animals with their bare teeth in order to fulfill their appetites or for when they cut people apart while screaming: “die, you fool!”

I played with my braids as I walked away. I had to leave the scene before I became mesmerized and make a total fool out of myself.

“Ah! Please wait a moment!”

I froze. The voice came from her direction.

“Aren’t you Sayoko?”

I turned slowly and looked at the beautiful creature that was wearing the uniform of our school.

My mouth was agape.

“It is you! It’s been so long!”

My eyes widened like dinner plates as I looked around. There was no one close enough behind me or near me so she was calling out for me!

What the…?


Kanazuki Mari – my past

I wanted to run away, again.

Two goddesses, two impossible encounters in one person’s life, hailed me within a few hours of a single day in that April.

The brain synapses in my head was rampaging through my mind by firing in different directions simultaneously. Taking a deep breath, I spoke slowly.

“Yes, I’m Sayoko. Do I know you from somewhere?”

The blond seemed to be taken aback. “You…don’t remember me?”

Was I supposed to have met her somewhere in a distant realm described in a long forgotten ancient myth?

“No, um…” My face felt warm. “I can’t seem to recall anything about you…”

Then I proceeded to bow and let out an inaudible sigh.

“Well, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll be going now.” I turned to walk away. After what happened with Ryoko, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I was supposed to take refuge in the camouflage called “city jungle”, or “the crowd” if you preferred. Someone as nearly featureless as I was could not be recognized by anyone in the jungle. That thought comforted me. Not that I’d be a great spy or anything. As a matter of fact, I often wondered why some people would make movies that made a certain spy so charismatic and famous.

That guy would’ve died the moment he entered North Korea.

“SayoSayo! As usual! Dark as the night and smiles like a ghost from the deep.” The voice of the blond goddess came to me.

I froze. In this entire world, only one person chanted that line to make me smile, even if only for a few brief seconds.

“Kanazuki Mari!” I said. My high-pitched voice had me taken aback.

She smiled gently. The clouds dispersed and the moon was softly glowing while trying tenderly to persuade the neon lights to wane for a moment. The people, the stores, the signs and everything took on a dim glow.

“I’m so glad you still remember me, Sayo. It’s been so long.”

I stared at her in disbelief.

Kanazuki Mari was the only person who talked to me and befriended me back in elementary school.

I couldn’t suppress my grin and my eyes were misty for a second.

“Yeah, it has been. Marimari. I’m surprised you still remember me.”

Mari’s eyes widened. “How can I forget you? Your large and round glasses? Your long and silky hair? Your pale face and those deep brown eyes…”

“Oh stop that.” I chuckled somewhat nervously. The fact that she took hold of my hands didn’t help that much. “I have nothing to be remembered by anyone.”

I paused. Mari took a step back, closed her eyes, put her hands over her heart and showed a deadly earnest look on her face. She became silent for a moment as if recalling a vow she made in a mystical land far away. All the sudden, she opened her eyes and looked straight into mine.

It was impossible to turn away from the gaze of her azure eyes, which was as deep as the ocean.

“I have never forgotten you, Sayo.” She said. Then she took a deep breath…

“You were the only person whose soul sang together with my soul, on that day.”



[End notes:

Wow. The only thing I can say is that people are vastly different and there are different kinds of beauty. Sometimes , a random encounter in the streets can turn out to be quite interesting. other times, you never know what people you used to know can turn into.


It's rather interesting to have character shouting to be born and is born. Eh well.


Chapter 5

Title: 5. Marimari, Sayosayo / A Friendly Advice

[Author's notes: Wow, took me some time to check this chapter and come up with better wording. Like I said, I'm not really good at this. But anyway, please enjoy it.]

Marimari, Sayosayo

My eyes became misty again.

It was another April day not like this one. It was humid and hot.

The heat rudely woke up the blossoms from their winter slumber. They were forced to bloom without warning and took many by surprise. When most people were finally fully aware of the blossoms, they had already turned into a storm of petals, waning and withering in the unexpected searing air.

On that day, I stood alone under one of the cherry blossom trees behind my school. Although there were many petals dancing in the air, they didn’t obstruct my view into the sky. I found myself staring at it through the petal rain, slightly dazed gazing at the pinkish tint that it took on.

Most kids went home already. There were maybe 3 or 4 of them standing in front of the school waiting for their parents to pick them up. Rich kids, I thought.

I stood under the tree alone, listening to the wind nosily yelling at people and rushing them home. Of course, as a kid, the only thing I thought was that it was too damned hot. I didn’t even play any sports on that day and I was sweaty all over and even my panties were drenched (I didn’t need to wear a bra). Some had said that my pale skin took on a pink, healthy glow.

I closed my eyes. I was in no rush to get home. My mother was on a business trip for the entire week, which meant I was the only person in the house. No one would be home to greet me, to help me take off my uniform jackets and ribbons. I was even clumsier back then and I couldn’t really get out of my school uniform without falling down on my ass.

I heard a singing voice. It was soft probably due to the scorching wind howling and trying its best to drown out the song. But I still heard it.

I wish I could describe what I heard in words. But the moment I heard it, I knew I was home. Not home here on this earth, but somewhere in an ancient past, where I never fell down just from trying to get out of my uniform and I always sang my words beautifully.

“Sayosayo?” Mari’s voice gently led me back to the present. I shook my head.

“Nothing…I was just remembering…” I mumbled.

“Yeah. I know.” She said. After plucking with her golden strands of hair a little, she reached out and grabbed my right hand.

“Let’s go get some coffee and desserts.” She said.

I nodded. I never really said no to any of Mari’s requests because for the longest time, she was the only person that I could have an intimate conversation with. That was before she moved overseas.

But now, she’s back…

Ryoko’s image flashed in my head and I bit my lower lip for a second. Why was I thinking about her?

Mari and I ran through the streets. For someone with princess-like manners she ran like a tomboy. I think we bumped into some people because I vaguely remember being yelled at, but I was smiling the whole time on the way to the café that I didn’t really care.

I wonder if Ryoko ate desserts like normal girls do? She was so fit and confident and not disgustingly thin like some supermodel. She had some good looking and well-toned muscles on her. She had a lean waist and a flat belly. Mmm, eating desserts. Mmm, eating desserts off her belly and watching her squirming and enjoying the teasing that I’d do with my tongue at the same time…

“Sayo!” Mari’s voice was more urgent this time. I snapped out of my lustful thoughts with some regret. I felt my face becoming hot.

“Are you all right? Sorry, I forgot that you were not into sports.” Mari said. She folded her hands in front of her and she was gazing at the ground in front of the café. Her gaze seemed gloomy.

“I’m sorry, Marimari.” I offered an embarrassing smile.

“No, you’ve done nothing wrong.” Mari said quietly.

We stood there silently for a while as ambient noises filled our ears and the moonlight covered us softly. The air became a little thicker, however.

“I guess we should go inside, huh?” I offered.

She nodded, turned and started walking. I sighed and followed her inside.

I still had trouble understanding Marimari even then.


A Friendly advice

Leaning back in the cushiony chair in the café, I let out a soft sigh. Being around Marimari was relaxing. The aura she emanated had always eased my mind.

I was feeling comfortable around her. I mostly remained silent in front of most people in my school and most of the time they didn’t even know I was there. But around Marimari, I found endless amount of words within to share with her.

She nodded as she listened to me recounting about running away from Ryoko. She crossed her arms and frowned.

She looked away from me for a moment. I thought I felt some distance between us. I bit my lower lip.

Marimari always puzzled me. She had been puzzling me since we first met on that day.

My mind drifted back to that day again.

I walked out from under whatever was left of the shade of the cherry blossom tree and nearly stumbled my way to where the singing was coming from. Finally, after crawling through some bushes, I found the singer.

She was a blond girl with braces and a pair of thick glasses singing with her eyes closed.

I fell back on my bottom and I was surprised at the sight.

Although her voice was heavenly, like the sound one may hear in a European cathedral on certain Sundays, her face wasn’t attractive. Not that she was ugly but her braces and large glasses made it hard to take her seriously.

I could tell her soul was burning with love and passion for her music but her braces played the perfect foil to the seriousness of it all. She did have a fair complexion. Not pale like my, but rosy and fair, like the white roses one found in the garden of a princess in medieval times.

As she was totally drowned in her ecstasy over the high notes, her braces were quite visible and I couldn’t hold back my laughter any longer.

She stared at my direction. Her eyes were wide and her mouth was agape. For a moment, I was stunned at my immaturity. I stood there like someone who had crashed the stage during the key part of a live performance, unable to run away and unable to speak under the burning spotlight.

She bit her lower lip. “Did…Was I terrible?” She asked in a tiny voice.

I shook my head violently. “No, no, it’s just that…your braces…”I put my right hand over my mouth to suppress my laughter.  “You were so serious and yet…your braces…bwahahahahaha…”

I burst out in laughter.

She frowned. Quickly, she grabbed my arm.

I jumped but couldn’t get away.

“Fine. Why don’t you try it then?” She demanded and her eyes were flashing. The princess was furious!

“Um…” I was taken aback. “I can’t sing. My voice sucks.”

She shook her head. “No. You have a nice voice. But since you thought I was funny, I want you to try it!”

I couldn’t just shake her grip off. It wasn’t because she was super strong; it was more like the calmness and earnestness in her voice grabbed my attention. More than watching, perhaps I wanted to join her because the next thing I knew, I was taking a deep breath.

“So, how does the song go?” I asked.

She rolled her eyes. “You’re telling me you don’t know this one?”

I blushed. “Would I be considered a moron if I said I didn’t?”

“No.” She shook her head firmly. “Why don’t you just follow me then?”

She opened her mouth.

The heavenly sonata resonated in my ears but this time, I participated with my voice. I quickly caught up to her. With her passionate notes burning in my ears, I couldn’t help but ignite my soul within me…


Marimari’s voice gently shook me out from my deep reflection. She was looking directly into my eyes.

“I think you should just be normal and just say ‘hi’ to Miss Sannomiya as if nothing had happened…if you see her again, that is.” She said.

I blinked at the simplicity of Marimari’s advice.

I peered at her face. She merely nodded to herself without displaying any readable emotion. “Can’t be that hard, Sayosayo. After all, you didn’t know what she was talking about, right?” She took a sip of the coffee and then continued: “Maybe she just wanted to be friends with you.”

I bit my lower lip again. Maybe she wanted to be friend with me, yeah, but I wanted…

Seeing her naked, fit and flat belly that time in the locker room really didn’t help my mind to calm down. I closed my eyes…A girl really couldn’t like another girl that way, right?

Yet, I couldn’t help but picture the degree of ticklishness of her stomach. Some girls played tickle fight with her in the locker room and she fell to the floor laughing and squirming. I pictured her belly muscles tensing, struggling and trying hard to fight off my tongue-bath.

Had I clearly laid my thoughts on the table for Marimari to see and to decipher, maybe thing would have turned out a different way. But as I gazed into her eyes, there was a sense of gloominess that made me hesitant.

My eyelids narrowed as I thought unpleasantly about trying to speak to the light of my life as casually as possible. I shook my head and sighed.

I felt Mari’s hands taking hold of mine. I opened my eyes and I found hers probing deeply into mine. Her moist eyes were not something I could resist.

“Give it a try.” She almost whispered. “Just be friends with her, all right?” She said.

I held back her gaze. Those doe-like sapphire eyes were not giving me any opportunity to say no.

I wondered later if she knew what I was thinking then.

Nodding my head, I sat back and let go of her hands.

“OK. I’ll try to be friends with Ryoko.”

“Just friends.” She repeated as if warning me.

I frowned and nodded. Taking in a deep breath, I reclined in my chair. We talked some more and ended up leaving the café around 9:30. Waving goodbye at her, I turned and ran home after we parted.

I had to sleep on everything. I just had to do it.


[End notes: Marimari is turning out to be a complex character. I never really like the simple goddess types because they're too close to idealized statues from the past...Am I making any sense? Anyway, the story has taken a totally different turn then what I expected. It's strange but even I'm waiting to see what happens next.]

Chapter 6

Title: 6. Dreaming of Red / Probing

[Author's notes:

This was also in me, I guess. It wasn't what I expected but it was also there.Blame Evangelion but it left a strong mark in my heart and mind.

Do you guys rather wait a while for the new chapter or is this pace OK?


Dreaming of red

I ran as fast I could in the void as the tsunami of time desperately tried to assimilate me into itself. I was outside of its dominion and I longed to be outside of it, being uncontrolled by the destiny that someone out there clumsily scribbled on a torn notepaper for me.

Even as tongues of flames licked at my bare feet, I continued to go forward, although I winced at every step as I went on.

I lifted my head up and willed my gaze as hard as possible while trying to pierce through the darkness that replaced the blue heavens with my sight.

My chest ached and I was gasping for breath but I didn’t want to stop.

If I stopped, I would be swallowed by the flood of time. That unknown substance would eat my heart and my soul while I watched, piece-by-piece.

The more I ran, the more I was suffocating. My lung was filled with the air that I couldn’t describe. I was charging forward and lunging at the enemy without a name and face.

My hands sideswiped and missed its throat. Instead, I fell forward and touched the burning earth. The black sky stopped being black. It turned red without warning.

The next thing I knew, red fluid was pouring onto me.

It was raining red.

I gasped, wondering what was going on. My hands trembled and my mind was a blur.

As the smell of iron saturated my nostrils and smothering my sanity, I lifted my head up. Staring forward, I saw Ryoko.

A column of blue seawater (?) was surrounding her, protecting her from the onslaught of bloody rain, which was quickly flooding my surroundings.

She reached out with her hands and I could swear with all my heart and hope to die that she was reaching out for me.

I paused. Something inside me was pulling me backwards and away from her.

I had no capacity for her. My heart was filled with burning fire and I was burning my stares into her.

Her smile slowly turned to sadness, and then bitterness. She slowly retracted her hand. As she did, my chest ached more and more and my breathing became more and more labored. My lung was filled with poison and I coughed.

Next thing I know, I was puking copious amount of crimson fluid.

Ryoko turned her head away and her face became downcast as she turned. Slowly, she began to walk away from me.

“No! Please!” With all the strength I could muster, I uttered. My hoarse voice scared me.

As I stuck my hands out to her direction, she seemed to fade into the distance. The more I reached out for her, the faster she retreated.

I started running again. Mustering my last strength, I was spring and hoping to catch up to her.

But she ran even faster, until she was just a shadowy figure in the darkness.

I was left alone, blood-soaked in the utter darkness. The only sense I had left was my smell.

My world smelled like blood.

“No!” I screamed in the red world that finally swallowed me whole.



My eyelids must have retreated into their respective slots quite fast because suddenly I found myself staring at my outstretched right hand right at the moment when I became awake.

My fingers were pointing like arrows toward the ceiling of my room, which was blue. It didn’t quite resonate with the color of the sky outside.

The sky was grayish-white with a tint of brown, like the color from a desert that I saw on a special on National Geographic.

I blinked a few times trying to remember why happened, and then shuddered at the thought of trying to recall a nightmare – it had to be a nightmare because I remember screaming out and trying to get a hold of something as I…fell?

I closed my eyes. No, it was no use trying to recall it. Oddly, I attempted to do just that, but every time a fuzzy image came along I quickly shove it out of my mind. I think the only thing I remember was red.

I blushed. Not the color I want to think right now.

Sitting up, I let out a strong sigh. I was soaking wet as if I was doing a marathon in the rain despite the irony that I wasn’t even into exercising. I was wet down to my underwear. Shoving the cover aside, I proceed to get off my bed. I didn’t bother to check my alarm clock because I knew I didn’t set it, but it wouldn’t matter anyway because I always managed to wake up when necessary.

It was a Thursday morning and that meant school. Shaking my head, I sat still for a moment. It wasn’t quite chilly in my room and I was in no hurry to get ready for school. Taking in a deep breath, I swept whatever lingering thoughts and fears left over from my dream out of my mind, and proceeded to take off my T-Shirt, leaving my bra on. I threw the shirt away from me, stopped in my track, picked the shirt up, and then ended up folding it neatly like a store display piece. Without thinking much of it, I placed it in my laundry basket. I stopped again and started laughing at myself. Then I took off my sweat pants and just threw it into the basket.

I unhooked my bra and got out of my panties and left them on the floor on my way to the bathroom.

I stopped at the body-length mirror on my way to the shower. The girl in mirror was looking back at me blankly, as far as I could tell without wearing my glasses. Cursing myself, I went out and grabbed my glasses and went back inside.

I finally got a good look at myself this morning.

My hair was unusually smooth and fine. The raven-colored strands rested softly against my shoulders and I played with the ends. My face was still red presumably because of my nightmare. My lips were dry but soft. I touched them. Next, I proceeded to check out my collarbone, which my mother used to praise a great deal when she wasn’t so busy with her work. When she used to be home more often to talk to me about girl things.

Letting my hand drift, I took hold of my right breast. Being frail and thin offered me the problem of underdevelopment, or so I thought. My cup-size was small but my breasts were perky. I had nearly half-dollar-sized areolas and pink and decent-sized nipples, I guess. Knowing there was enough time for me to get ready, I played with my lips with my left hand and teased my right nipple with my right. Did I mention I was pale? But my pale skin took on a pinkish tint, not unlike the days when cherry blossom petals were being caressed by the wind, before it left them wither on the ground and trampled by careless drunk men after a flower-watching party.

I let out a soft moan. The tingling sensation was starting to saturate my brain. My eyes were closed. Teasing and gently pinching the erected nipple a few times, I moved on, grabbed my left breast and then started tracing circles around it.

Images of frolicking with Ryoko in the cerulean waters took hold of my mind and refused to let go.

With the other hand, I started tracing slowly down my belly, slowly past my belly button. My hand brushed against my pubic hair. It was edging closer and closer to the tender places that begged to be caressed.

I held my breath for a second as an itching sensation was starting to form in my private sanctum. The feeling was like when the attracting ends of two magnets are held at a certain distance and you could tell that they would stick together as soon as you let go.

I wanted to let it go...

My middle finger was less than a hairline away…

“Sayoko! You’re gonna be late!” Suddenly, my mother’s voice came from downstairs.

My body jerked violently as if struck by lighting and I nearly slipped and fell, but it felt like my heart was literally jumping out of my mouth.

Damn it! That was not the right time to call out to me!

Then my eyes widened.

My mother was home? What did she mean I was late?

I rushed to my bedside and took the clock in my hand.

I had less than 10 minutes left and my bicycle was being repaired at a shop. But even if I had it, it’d take about 12 minutes to get there.

I bit my lower lip to prevent the cuss word escaping from my mouth while throwing on my uniform and nearly falling down in the process. Soon, I ran down the stairs and was through the front door, passing my mother on the way.

My mother and I exchanged no greetings. Everything in the house was a blur swooshing by me as I rushed out into the streets.




[End notes:

I struggled for a while and then decided to post it. Of couse I could've written something lighter and happier, but I felt it was important for this to be shown. The awkward persons dreams awkward things, after all.

Well, let's see what happens at the school. A dream maybe soon forgotten after all.

Thank you for bearing with me.


Chapter 7

Title: 7. Keiko / The conversation

[Author's notes:

I couldn't come up with a title. It's one of those interludes that people usually don't pay attention to and there usually isn't a specific theme associated with it. It does show the reluctance on Sayoko's part to move forward, however.


Update: I think I'll just name the chapter, "Keiko".



I arrived at school without any incidents or events on the way.

Sighing in front of the back door to the class, I gently slid the door open, entered the room, and tried to sit down as quietly as possible.

Despite my best effort to escape any notice, I felt two sets of eyes on me the moment I entered the classroom.

Keita and Keiko were staring at me.

I briefly glanced at Keita. His face showed signs of worry and displeasure. I turned to look at Keiko instead.

I couldn’t read her expression. If she had one, it wasn’t obvious and didn’t betray her thoughts or emotions. I held her gaze for a while before looking outside.

Our first class was…was that important? I didn’t give a damn and I focused on the cherry blossom tree outside. I noticed a lone petal.

It was lingering on the tree despite the fact the wind was plucking at it, trying to get it to dance to its rhythm.

Like a reluctant wallflower at a party, it held on to its branch and refused to let go. It was like a cowering eaglet, too afraid to jump and take flight as its mother tried her best to shove it out of the nest. Yet, as it struggled, a sense of longing emanated from its indecisive motions. It wavered between leaving and staying. It went from standing up to standing down, from standing up to standing down…

Like extending an invitation, the wind reached out with its hands to the petal, which shivered with excitement and delight. Yet, it held on to its safe place and watched. The wind was slowly breaking down its will, mesmerizing it by embracing other petals that followed its tapping fingers without missing a beat.

The other petals twirled and spun, seemingly loving every moment of the party, not realizing their ultimate fate was to be trampled by careless people after falling and withering on the ground…

The bell rang and the first period was over.

My thought was relatively uninterrupted and undisturbed by the bell and the people walking out, chatting about clothes, boys and so on. But I braced myself as Keiko and Keita came toward me.

Sighing, I turned to apologize.

“What happened to you?” Keita demanded before I could utter a word. His voice was full of irritation. “You just left like that, with tears…” He swallowed the rest of his words and then continued after a short pause. “The movie was getting good.”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry.”

All I could muster was a simple apology. I was tired. So tired. I think my mind was stuck in second gear. I kept my gaze on the top of my desk instead of on him.

Keiko sighed. “You know, I was worried…we were worried. I mean, did you think I didn’t notice…” She bit her lower lip. “Anything happened when you went to the bathroom? Did someone bother you?”

I quickly looked up to deny but before I could speak, Keita spoke harshly. “If anyone bothers you, let me know, I’ll show him a thing or two.”

I smiled; coming from him, the words sounded rather unconvincing. He was not the type who’d get into fights or even a scuffle.

“What?” He protested. “I’m serious!”

“Keita…Could you just leave us for a while?” Keiko quickly turned to him and said.


“Just go. Why don’t you go talk to Jun or something?”

Jun was Keita’s best friend. He was in the next classroom.

Keita wanted to protest but one stern look from his sister was enough. He nodded like a 3-year-old kid. “OK, I’m gone for now.”

He took off with an unhappy look on his face.

Keiko turned to me. I found her eyes boring into my.

I took a deep breath. Whatever she’s going to say wasn’t easy for me to hear and I knew she had something more than mere questions for me.

“Let’s go up to the roof.” She said. “I don’t care much for the next class anyway.”

“Are you sure?” I said. “I don’t want you to miss anything…”

“We could skip the entire morning for all I care.” She quickly replied with a tone that was a little bit too harsh. “Please, let’s just go.”

I nodded. “OK. Let’s get out of here.”

We left the class and went to the top of the building.


 The conversation

We went to the roof. It was cold and crisp on that day. I went ahead of Keiko and walked to the railing of the roof. I decided to put my hands on it. The sensation from the cold steel stung my skin.

The town itself was covered with cherry blossom petals, or so it seemed. The buildings were mostly unremarkable, especially compared with the flowers. Our town was at the edge of the city. Though I could see the skyscrapers from where I stood, I paid no attention to them.  As fast as time was going inside the city, the time in the town was crawling slowly toward whatever destination it was headed.

I preferred that pace, knowing that I was not in a hurry to go anywhere, for that moment in time.

I froze. I blinked. I shook my head.

“You have changed.” Keiko said.

I turned to study her. She was wearing a little bit of make up and had earrings on. Her skin was smooth with a shade of red, probably due to the make up. She was cute and her short stature helped to reinforce the “moe” factor, as some boys discussed in class. I then searched her eyes; they weren’t telling me anything.

“Changed, huh?” I said. “So you think that happened after one day?”

She stood next to me while putting her hands on a spot on the rail, next to my hands. The ends of her short hair were fluttering in the wind gently and her large eyes were looking into the distance, toward the tall buildings in the city.

“That’s not it. It’s been going on for sometime now.”

I guess I tried to laugh. My awkward vocal chord turned it into a hybrid of chortle and chuckle. I nearly coughed.

“I don’t understand what you’re talking about.” I played with my braids nervously by twisting them.

“I guess you don’t.” She took in a deep breath. “I get the feeling you don’t understand yourself well.”

I turned and shot a look at her direction, she met my challenging eyes with hers. “Maybe we haven’t been friends for long and maybe I’m not as smart as you are; maybe I’m too much like the girls in our class, but…” She swallowed and didn’t continue.

I held her gaze for about another second before turning away. I survey the town buildings. They were mostly made of grayish concrete.

“If I know what’s going on, I’d talk about it.” I heard myself say. “But as of now, I have no clue what’s going on.”

The air around us became chillier and some clouds flew over to hide the sun from our faces.

“I’m…I guess I’m sorry.”

Keiko shook her head. “You know it’s OK to not know what’s going on. But you really shouldn’t have ran off like that.” She frowned and her eyes narrowed a little. “I was worried. I was confused.” She put her hands on mine. “I was scared.”

Scared? Why? Scared of what?

I was enjoying the surprising warmth from her hands given the chilliness of the air. For a cold day on April, she dressed rather lightly compared with the rest of the girls. She did wear her skirt short like those girls to look cute but she didn’t put on her uniform jacket.

When I realized part of me was wishing I had firm and supple thigh flesh like she did, I blushed and turned.  What kind of friend was I? Yet, I couldn’t ignore the fact that she probably had been working out, and that I was still thin and frail. Nobody would notice my legs, at any rate.

Unrelated thoughts kept racing through my mind, as we stayed silent. I could feel her feelings or a sense coming from her trying to probe my feelings.

I didn’t open any door for her though.

After a moment of silence, she let go of my hands and took a step back.

“It’s Miss Sannomiya, isn’t it?” She said.

I peered at her unreadable face and sighed. We’ve been friends for a good while after all.

“Yeah, I guess that’s a big part of it,” I said. “I guess it’s that obvious, huh?”

She held her hands behind her and spun on her heels. Taking a few steps toward the door to the roof, she stopped.

“If you like her you should just tell her.” She said with her back toward me. “She seems like a honest and outgoing person.”

Keiko took in a deep breath and then slumped her shoulders. “It doesn’t help if you don’t say anything at all.” Her voice dropped a pitch.

I took a long and deep breath, wondering if I should tell her about the encounter in the woman’s bathroom at the theater. “I…”

“No, that’s OK.” Keiko said. “But I do wish you would talk to me about these things more often.” She started walking toward the exit.

I folded my hands in front of me. “I’m sorry.”

She waved behind her back and left through the exit, leaving me there.

I closed my eyes and just sat down, covering my knees and most of my shins with my skirt (I didn’t care to wear it short). I placed my head in my lap.

Could someone tell me what the hell had been going on in less than 72 hours?



Chapter 8

Title: 8. My Chaos, My Light / the Watery Grave

[Author's notes: angst much? ^-^;; Hope you enjoy the chapter.]

My Chaos, My Light.

The wind blew while I sat there alone, swallowed by my own presence in the midst of concrete as there were pretty much nothing else around me. My head was in my lap and I was holding myself tight but I wasn’t shivering.

I tried to think but my mind was like a dead riverbed in the middle of drought seasons in Africa, nothing was coming forth no matter how hard I tried to conjure something out of it.

I just sat there for hours without moving an inch. My stomach growled around the time the sun sat in the middle of the sky. Ironically, the heavens were fiercely blue and clear, as if celebrating the coming of a certain holidays in the summer.

How much I wish it’d rain. It would wet the concrete around me; it would shower me with all the love I needed. People? Right. Sure.

Keiko never came back; she probably was talking to girls in the class about the things that girls are supposed to care about – cloths, make up, boys…


Nah. Not for me. The male specie was a bunch of burping and groping fools stumbling around us and making themselves looking like monkeys in a circus in their attempt to act like Alpha males around one another, in order to impress us.

In the distance, someone was cursing and another was moaning and probably cowering as the bullies (always males) were trying to rip the last yen out of him.

Someone told me that I had low blood sugar and must eat at the appropriate times…I thought.

I stood up. The world was unsteady and shaky under my feet and buildings were blurring. I gritted my teeth and continued to walk.

I must see Ryoko. Even if we didn’t get to speak for more than a couple of minutes, I just wanted to see her. No matter how pathetic my reasoning sounded in my ears and no matter how much my logic was pleading me not to be an embarrassment again, I wanted to see her.

Oddly, one thing was clear to me.

She was at the swimming practice, which meant the pool.

I never understood why they actually allow people to practice in April. Maybe I was the fool, or maybe something was wrong with the school, but I never paid much attention to it.

I guess our school was different.

By the time I got near the pool, the temperature had risen dramatically and I was attempted to take off my uniform jacket.

Fuck. I thought. Fucking global warming.

Did I just swear audibly?

Caring not for any possible reaction from the passerby, I dragged my body onward like a zombie marching toward fresh meat.

My head was burning and my thoughts were a fiery blur.

I could swear I was seeing red all around me.

A girl couldn’t think what I was thinking; she couldn’t be seeing red, right?

I tried to stand all proper and lady-like after I entered the enclosure around the pool. There were some guys and girls cheering the team on as the members practiced. My head was burning and my knees gave in. I fell on my butt. I pulled my knees to my chest and watched.

I watched helplessly as people sent their warmth and energy into the bodies jetting through the pool water. I just sat there as everyone was laughing and smiling.

Ryoko finally emerged from the door farthest away from me. God, I meant, Goddess.

She was in a one-piece that specifically designed for competitive purposes and there was not a waste of flesh on her figure. Well, maybe that wasn’t correct; after all, the fat in a swimmer’s body was more evenly spread around and acted like a layer of coating to protect them from massive body heat loss from being in water.

But my god, what a pair of shoulders she had; proud, upright and strong, they probably helped her to push with her arms through the thick and stout resistance of water. Her back was wonderfully curved at the waist and pulled back in the upper portion so that she was able to hold her chest and head high. Her eyes were looking straight without betraying an ounce of fear. Her chin was proper, firm and determined; her stomach was flat with a couple of divisions somewhat visible. No six-pacs and none of that steroid-pumped-looking man-muscles that some female body builders exhibited. It was just pure and uncontaminated feminine strength and gracefulness that made all women proud to be females. That brought tears to my eyes.

Her legs were supple and rounded in the right places; her calves were lean and strong without any loss of womanly flair. Her feet were large, sure, but were properly forged in a fire, which statues of goddess arose in some mythical Amazon nations in ancient realms. Her middle three toes were slightly longer than her big and small toes overall, but nothing weird and unpleasant to look at.

She seemed to blush a little bit when she noticed gazes on her big feet, but she quickly gained her composure and arrived at the ready position.

I bit my lower lip.

“Oh god or whatever is out there, please do not forsake me at any time when I’m still here.” I thought.



the watery grave

I begged and begged silently while my energy was draining away. I put a hand onto my forehead. It was warm, all right. But I couldn’t tell if I had a fever or not.

My gaze never quite strayed from Ryoko despite my blurring vision; her athletic build as well as her powerful arms and legs were propelling her body forward like a swordfish. The water seemed to split apart for a brief moment like the red sea when her figure broke through portions of it.

Although she was striving for a record with serious efforts, to me, it seemed like she was teasing and engaging the water in a mutually joyous tangle, like a dolphin playing in the sea. That, or I was becoming more and more delirious.

What the hell was going on with me anyway?

I knew it would be a terrible idea standing up from where I sat; I was so close to the water that I could fall in and the laughter from the swimmers would probably last for days if not weeks resonating in the school hallways after they see my stumble and share the picture-perfect moment with their friends at my expense.

Ha. Ha. Ha. I softly laughed. After that, I moved the left corner of my mouth upward. That’d be just wonderful. Maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t ever have to worry about Ryoko looking my way again.

I tensed up and my muscles became stiff as Ryoko glanced my way. She turned to speak with her teammate, and then proceeded to swim toward me.

What? Oh no. I…I was not in a condition to speak or even function like a regular human being without tripping and falling into the water.

I stood up and tried to spin on my heels and leave the scene. Even if I had to stagger I…

Wait, no. I came down here because I wanted to at least try to talk to her and apologize for running away without actually holding a polite conversation with her. I…

I mustn’t run away…

Big mistake.

As my mind struggled, my body was confused by the split-second indecision signal sent down from my brain. Losing my balance, I fell backwards and the next thing I knew, I was in the water, which became a soothing relief for my body. Not for long, though.

The cold effortlessly penetrated my clothes, through my bra and panties. Finally, it seized my body. I instinctively tried to move my arms and legs. At that moment, my mind became severely clear as my eyes widened.

I couldn’t swim. I couldn’t swim even if a shark was coming after me.

I guess I lost my glasses due to the impact with the water. Strangely, my eyes were wide open. I could see a clear ceiling that covered the top of my watery grave. Though it was clear and transparent, it also vibrated and trembled much. Being attracted to its unsettling crystalline beauty, I smiled.

Everything I had known flashed before my eyes. So clichéd, I thought.

I was hearing some splash sound when I saw a female figure reaching out to me before I lost consciousness.



Chapter 9

Title: 9. Ryoko, as I saw her / The Confrontation

[Author's notes: Did I do well? I couldn't tell. I don't know what's wrong and I wish people would critique. But I'm still glad that people actually read. I just hope you will enjoy.]

Ryoko, as I saw her

I think images flashed in my head but I couldn’t remember what I was dreaming.

I guess the only thing I remembered was biting my lower lip because that’s what I did after my eyes opened.

For a moment, my mind was a total blank. I didn’t think or mind anything around me.

Then, as if by instinct, I clutched my chest. Something was hurting inside me so bad…

I turned my head, thinking that I’d see no one, just as what usually happened when I woke up in the morning.

I saw a pair of concerned blue-ish brown eyes staring at me.

I had to pause and just take in all the emotions that radiated from them. God, I wish I were dead and in heaven.

I tried to open my mouth. My lips were dry and cracked and I felt some pain trying to open them. She spoke before I could conjure up any voice from my vocal chord.

“Hi.” Ryoko said.

My face was quite warm and I wanted to run out of the room as soon as I could. But something inside me kept me from hopping out of the bed. “I…”

“Just stay.” Ryoko said. “Stay here.”

I could swear we never talked much before then but at that moment that didn’t matter.

Speaking with a low and magnetic voice, she said: “Hey. You scared me.”

I shook my head; words failed me at that moment.

She continued: “You know, I’ve been looking at you all this time…”

I must have cocked an eyebrow because she laughed. “Such a smart girl.” She cooed.

“Uh…I don’t understand?” I said weakly.

She smiled: “I’ve been looking at you, you little kitten, since the first day you entered the school.”


“Wait, I don’t understand…” The Sannomiya Ryoko, looking at me? I remembered she saying that, but…

“But you never looked my way.” She said with a sigh. “I wish you did.”

My eyes widened: “But…I’ve been looking at you all this time!”

As soon as the words came out of my mouth I regretted it immensely. “I…”

Ryoko was taken aback. “You…actually looked at my direction?” She put a hand to her chest. “You noticed me?”

My mouth was agape. That was not what I was expecting to hear. Ryoko actually wished someone as featureless as me to notice her?

I said before, I was thin and frail with legs that no one in our school would care to notice.


Ryoko relaxed her shoulders and leaned back. “I never expected a smart girl like you to even glance my way.” She said.

Letting out a sigh, she smiled and looked at my face: “I’m so glad.” Her voice was deep and magnetic. God, I wished I were dead just then.

She paused and reached out with her right hand; I bit my lower lip. She retracted; I regretted biting my lower lip.

Ryoko sighed. “I couldn’t help myself…you were so different from all the other girls that melted when I barely walked pass by them. You were so free and careless in your ways…you just shot your eyes toward the heavens…” She shook her head. “I had never seen anyone like you…everyone turned to noticed me but you never did.”

I sighed. Indeed, I couldn’t careless when all the fan girls in school drooled at the sight of her. It was not something I wished to pursue. I’ve always noticed her when I felt a different aura from her.

I…I couldn’t stop smiling when I thought about her - her essence, her grace, her elegance and her feminine strength. Something in her made women proud to be women. God, that’s what I wanted to see from her.

She still had her competition swimsuit on. She looked dynamite. She seemed to brace herself. “Hey, listen…I…”

The door to the nurse’s office slid open without any warning.

Somewhat annoyed, I shot my eyes at the direction of the door. My eyes rounded as I recognized the intruder to my moment of near triumph.

It was Kanazuki Mari who entered.


The Confrontation

            Mari quickly came to my side and before I could say anything, she put her right hand on my forehead. Her hand was so soft and nice. I really loved the feeling of her skin against mine. She had a smell that was a cross between perfume and flower. I cared very little for perfume – I always smelled like Dove. On the other hand, she smelled amazing.

A zone of aroma that I didn’t particularly care surrounded most men. I didn’t notice how girls smelled before. But for some reason, my sense of smell became quite strong within the past few minutes.

            I blinked, feeling guilty that I’ve totally forgot about her during the past 12 hours or so. I let a sigh escape my lips and then regretted it.

            Because she frowned right away and then took hold of my hands. “I’m sorry, Sayosayo, I should’ve been there.”

            I shook my head. “No, you couldn’t have. Don't worry about it, after all, I was just near the pool and you were probably…”

            I widened my eyes in surprise after realizing her outfit, or rather, her school regulation swimsuit. “Mari?”

            She merely nodded. “Yeah, I guess I should’ve told you that I’m on the swim team…”


            Both of us turned to look at Ryoko. She tried to keep a smile on her face but it wasn’t the gentle and warm smile she showed toward me when she and I were alone. Her facial lines were tense.

            Mari straightened herself regally with her chin up and turned fully to face Ryoko.

            Ryoko crossed her arms in front of her and stood toe to toe with Mari.

            Both of them smiled but I was not a least bit thrilled to see their faces right then.

            Sparks clashed between them.

            Oh no.

            “So, I guess you two met.” Ryoko said. Her voice was rather quiet. “I guess I don’t have to introduce you two.”

            I swallowed.

            “Yes. We have. As a matter of fact, Miss Sannomiya, we were childhood friends.” Mari tossed her fine strands of blond hair back with flair and I could swear with some defiance as well. “We mean a lot to each other.” Her voice was quiet as well.

            Wait a minute; what was she trying to say?

            Ryoko’s eyebrows arched. “Oh, is that right, Miss Kanazuki? Don’t you mean, ‘meant a lot to each other?’”

            The fire that was ignited between them burst into silent flames and it wasn’t friendly warmth that was being generated.

            Mari opened her mouth but Ryoko dismissed her with a wave. “It was rather rude of you to come in without knocking, Miss Kanazuki. That was rather unbecoming of you.”

            If there was one I think I knew about Mari, it was that she wasn’t someone you could simply dismiss; after all, she always behaved like a noble woman from the courts and there was a good reason for that.

            Her family had been the direct aid to the prime ministers and the shoguns before that for centuries behind the scenes. She had generations after generations of noble blood in her.

            I tensed up and winced in advance, hoping to brace myself well for the powerful and regal verbal retaliation/outburst.

            Mari simply held Ryoko’s gaze for a moment. She took in a deep breath. As my jaw fell to the ground, she bowed slightly to Ryoko. “Yes, you’re right, Miss Sannomiya. I really should have knocked first. My apologies.”

            What was that?

            “However,” Mari quickly straightened up. “I feel that you bear a strong responsibility for letting a frail girl who can’t swim for her dear life to fall into the pool.” Her eyes flashed and I winced before Ryoko reacted. Ouch, even thought her katana-sharp-gaze wasn’t directed at me.

            Sunlight came in and for a moment, Mari seemed to dwarf Ryoko then. As her hair shined and even glared, I blinked. Mari was not merely a princess then; she was the queen.

            Ryoko took a step back. Taking in a deep breath, she turned to me.

            As my eyes widened, she took my hands in hers. God, her hands were also soft. However, they were firm and strong. I peered sheepishly at her face. I couldn’t react because I was enjoying her touch.

            “I’m sorry, my kitten, would you forgive me? I was so caught up in my training that I failed to notice your presence. I’m so sorry.” She said. With a dreamy smile she pecked me on my left cheek, and then she grinned brightly.

            I heard a sharp intake of breath fro Mari’s direction. I was too scared to look her way.

            “How dare you…?” Mari said. This time, Ryoko waved her off.

            “I think, Miss Kanazuki, that you know we’re equals.” Ryoko said slowly. She straightened herself in full. Her chest was high and her shoulders were thrown back with pride. She tucked a strand of hair behind her right ear with grace. “Unless, of course, you’d like to cover the debt for the entire nation with your family’s wealth?”

            I gasped. That was probably something I should not have heard. “Ah…”

            Mari snapped sharply before I could interject: “You really should behave yourself, Miss Sannomiya. She doesn’t need to…”

            “What, you couldn’t tell your best friend about it? It’s not that much of a secret, you know.”

            “Um, Actually, I think I have a right not to know about it.” I quickly interrupted, inevitably coming to Mari’s aid in the process. “I…Ah…I’m not sure what’s going on, but…” seeming both of them peering at my face with concerned eyes and the sweetest smiles I had ever seen at the same time, I almost lost my capacity to form words properly. “I think I should just…ah…rest for a little then go home?”

            They both opened their mouths but I waved, albeit awkwardly. “Could…could you two leave me alone for a while?”

            Both of them slumped a little, looking deflated. The ticking time bomb I imagined in my head was dismantled.

            Mari came up to take my right hand and she was about to reach for my left but Ryoko quickly took it up with surprising gentleness. Mari held my right hand to her chest and Ryoko put my left onto her face and caressed it. “You have cold hands, Sayoko.” Ryoko said first. “But they’re fine and cute.”

            I blushed hard.

            Mari whispered: “Take care of yourself, Sayosayo. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

            “Um…” I said after neither of them made a move for a while. “I think I can’t rest without my hands tucked in…”

            Their faces turned red. They quickly but gently tucked my hands under the cover. Both smiled at me before leaving room. Ryoko winked and Mari clasped her hands in prayer-like gesture. They exchanged no words and left in opposite directions.

            I sighed. My mind was a blur. Despite my whirling entanglement of emotions and thoughts, I quickly felt asleep.



[End notes: The awkward girl thinks awkwardly. But things just won't go unidirectional.]

Chapter 10

Title: 10. Two goddesses at once.

[Author's notes: Am I doing OK? I see a lot of people reading and I hope people are enjoying it.  I hope I'll do better.]

Two goddesses at once.

I was anticipating with some dread that either Mari or Ryoko would be waiting for me at the school gate or even right outside of the door to the nurse’s room. I yearned for the sensation from touching their skin…I meant like from one of them…or maybe both…

I shook my head and sighed half in relief, when I arrived at the school gate and found the gateway empty, as of much of the school itself.

I bit my lower lip and stood there in front of the gate for a moment. I couldn’t help myself but look back at the buildings, especially the doorways, half expecting either Mair or Ryoko to show up, half hoping neither of them would.

After a while, I let out a sigh and headed home.

I got home and settled down in my room. I immediately took out my cell phone and checked.

No messages, no unanswered calls. Nothing.

The same photo of a fiercely bright blue sky was there as the background. I stared at it.

I never really bothered to change the background picture. Other girls changed the background pictures constantly. Hell, they even changed their phones almost every week! But I had no need for that.

Nope, not at all.

I continued to stare at the screen until the backlight went dim. Sighing, I threw the phone on to me bed and sat at my desk. Taking out my math text, I began to study.

My cell phone played the OP music to “Aoi Hana” and I nearly fell off my chair. I kicked the bed frame with my barefoot in my attempt to grab the phone. “Ow!” Holding back my tears, I somehow managed to answer without tripping over.

“Hello?” I sobbed, and then immediately regretted it.

“My God, are you all right?”

I blinked as Keiko’s concerned voice reached my ears. There was something in her voice that made my shoulders tense up. I frowned.

“Yeah, I’m OK. I just kicked my bed with my barefoot is all.” I winced and looked down, fortunately I didn’t kick it that hard and my toes were red but there were no bruises and I didn't break anything. Thank god.

Keiko took in a deep breath at the other end. “I heard what happened. What were you thinking?”

I bit my lower lip and managed to respond: “I’m sorry.”

“I…ah…you…Did you learn how to swim at least?”

I blinked and shook my head. “I wish I could laugh at that.”

I felt a sense of gloom transmitted from the other side. My mood also darkened a little.

“I’m sorry, Sayoko. I thought I’d leave you alone and think things over. I was…I wish you would share more of your thoughts with me.”

My gaze was downcast. “Yeah. Me too. But unlike most girls, talking isn’t quite my strength.”

“Yeah, I know.” She paused. “Should I go there to your place to keep you company?”

I tilted my head. “…Well, my mother won’t be home tonight, so we’d have to order pizza…I mean, that is, if you want to come over.”

Keiko’s laughter came. “Just be honest.”

I sighed but smiled. “Would you come over and keep me company for a while?”

She laughed. Her voices sounded like the clearest bells. The only person that laughed like her was Mari.




“I’ll be right over.” She said. “See ya!”

She hung up. I carefully put down the phone on the desk and walked slowly to my desk.


I almost fell on my butt. Keiko lived close to me but not that close. I cocked an eyebrow.

Walking to the front door, I casually asked: “Mr. Mailman?”

“It’s Mari.”

“Ah…wow…you still remembered my place…” I managed to squeeze out some words. Instead of calling, she came right over.

My lips moved up slightly into a slight grin. When we were still in elementary school, whenever I was down, I’d just go home and cry by myself. She’d always just come over without calling me first.

She knew that I was awkward but stubborn.

Thinking that I’d have two friends instead of one to keep me company for a while, I pondered briefly about the amount of tea and dessert I would serve. I opened the door.

There were two girls, no, two goddesses.

My legs almost turned to jelly and my jaws dropped as I stared at their faces.

Both Mari and Ryoko stood there. They were standing apart and neither of them paid attention to each other. Instead, both of them smiled at me and tried to catch my gaze exclusively; Mari with her hands clasped together and Ryoko with her left forearm resting on the doorframe.

Oh my goddesses.

[End notes: Well. This is going to be very interesting...]

Chapter 11

Title: 11. A long and hard night, full ver.

A long and hard night, pt. 1

“Ah…like…Come in, please…” I whispered. Like come in please? I was kicking myself inside.

The two of them moved forward for about less than an inch and then stopped at the same time.

“Well, why don’t you go ahead, Miss Sannomiya?” Mari said. Her sarcasm was needle sharp and I had to fight off the urge to run.

Ryoko leaned back a little, and then bowed slightly and gestured. “Why don’t you go right ahead, Miss Kanazuki?”

Mari took a deep breath and let it out strongly. “All right.” She said.

The strings of my heart loosened somewhat as both of them finally came inside. Oh dear.

Both of them took off their shoes; Mari’s feet were small, delicate and cute, with the big toes being the longest and the other toes followed their orders of length down to the pinky toes. She took a look at Ryoko’s size 10 feet and laughed.

Ryoko blushed and looked away for a microsecond before shooting back her gaze at Mari: “Perhaps that’s why I can swim better in water, Miss Kanazuki.” She said.

Mari’s face flustered, but she quickly gained her composure. “Well, perhaps that’s why I’m more elegant on land, Miss Sannomiya.” She said.

Ryoko’s face’s flustered and her facial lines hardened.

Oh dear.

“Um…Can you guys just come in, please?” I said. I could feel a drop of sweat sliding down on the right side of my face.

Both of their faces turned red and they seemed to shrink a little. “I’m sorry.” Both of them said at the same time. Next, they stared at each other and then snapped their heads to look away from each other.

I sighed. It was going to be a long night.

Both of them requested to study in my room. I couldn’t utter any suggestions. Besides, I wanted them in my room…near my bed…near the place where I fantasized about being with another girl…

I shook my head and invited them in.

Quickly, Mari took her position on the right side of the small table in the middle of the room, and Ryoko took hers on the left side of the table. Both of them knew how to sit properly.

I frowned; I usually just stretched my legs out and I couldn’t care less about sitting properly. Oh dear.

Seeing both of them sitting uptight, I sighed. This was going to be a long evening.

“Um.” I said. Both of them looked at my direction and I nearly lost my voice. “Would you like some thing to eat and drink?” I said. Duh, I thought.

Mari smiled. “Yes, please. I’ve always liked the desserts that you provided.”

Ryoko quickly scanned her abdomen, and replied. “Wow, that’d be wonderful, thanks, Sayoko!”

“Really, Miss Sannomiya.” Mari spoke: “I thought you’ve been on a diet in preparation for the competition!” She said. A smirk came off her lips.

Ryoko blushed. God, I love it even when she was shy.

“Uh…Well…Aren’t you on the competitor’s roster as well?” She said. An evil glint was in her eyes.

It was Mari’s turn to blush. “R…right. Yes, of course…I…uh…I think I’ve been good and I deserve a treat.”

Ryoko laughed, to which, Mari shot her with a gaze that I wish I’d never receive even on my happiest days. “I hope so.” Ryoko said.

I sighed. “…I guess I’ll just bring the tea and dessert, huh?”

Quickly, I left my room.

I hope they would not be at each other’s throat by the time I went back.

I sighed with relief when I saw them staying at their respective positions exactly as they did. I did shudder, wondering what other words they exchanged when I was absent. On second thought, I probably didn’t want to know.

The air among us thickened considerably as the three of us ate cheesecakes and drank tea in silence. Odd combination, I thought.

I bit my lower lip. I wanted to get out, I wanted to flee to the streets, to the park nearby, so that I could lie on a bench and stare at the starry night.

On the other hand, my superstars were near me and perhaps, I could just gaze at both of them at the same time. I used to gaze at the stars and imaging being up there with them in the heavens without feeling ashamed of my plain appearance, which would be reflected under their radiance and laid out plainly for the world to see.

“Maybe we should study?” I muttered.

“You remember that time we were up in the mountains for star gazing?” Mari said. “Wasn’t that great?”

I nearly jumped. “Y…Yeah. It sure was.” I couldn’t help but grin. My eyes got a little wispy. “You know, I never remembered the names of the constellations but I was just so…happy to see them. They were like…”

“Sparkles and gems thrown carelessly on black velvet?” Mari spoke my thoughts out aloud before I could finish.

“Yeah.” I smiled. Tension was drained from my shoulders.

“Right?” She said. We both stared at each other for a moment and then let out a sigh collaboratively.

I shook my head. “What happen to you anyway, you’re like…different…” I said.

“Did you make this, Sayoko? It’s delicious.” Ryoko said. I jumped, and then quickly sat back down.

I turned to see her drinking the tea gracefully with her index finger, middle finger and her thumb on her left hand holding the ear of the cup. I cocked an eyebrow as I suddenly realized that how quiet she has been. All the usual energy that I had been seeing from her was somehow distilled into a quiet force resting inside her bodily form. She was silent but alert, with a smile that I couldn’t refuse – if she asked for something.

“Yes, I made the tea. But I got the cake from that shop across from the station,” with my face turning red, I muttered: “I can’t bake…or cook…you know…” I said.

“I can teach you. In fact, if you don’t mind, I could just show you right now.” Ryoko said.

I blinked. “Right…now…?” I said.

“Do you have any ingredient in your refrigerator?”

“Yes, but…”

Ryoko stood up. “Come on. Let me show you. It’s simple, really.”

I stood up. I never expected Ryoko to know how to cook. I assumed she placed all her energy into swimming and socializing with her teammates in addition to fending away screaming fan girls.

“My parents are never home, so I had to learn.” She said. “Come on, let me show you.”

“Wait a second,” Mari said. “How very rude of you for interrupting us! We were just sharing our memories and we were definitely not done.” She paused. “Why are you here anyway?” she said.

She stood up. Ryoko turned and returned her glare.

“I’m here because I care about Sayoko. I wanted to see that she was all right.” Ryoko said.

“Well, you don’t know her, and she doesn’t know you.” Mari said. Her voice was becoming a little quieter. “I think you’ve been the source of her anxieties.” She said.

“But I can’t help myself.” Ryoko put her left hand to her chest and gestured with her right hand. “She’s special to me.” She said.

My face was probably red like a tomato at that point. “Ah...I…” I said.

“Stay out of it!” Mari snapped without looking at me.

“Let us finish this.” Ryoko said quickly with a smile without looking at me.

“Ah…mm.” I mumbled. Then, bowing my head, I started playing with my braids. I had always been quiet during moments of confrontation. It wasn’t my nature to speak or even move during these moments. My gaze was downcast and I couldn’t think.

The doorbell rang.

Letting out a big sigh of relief, I started heading out of my room. I stopped at the door. With my hands on the knob, I turned.

Mustering as much strength as I could, I looked at both of them. “Please behave yourselves before I come back, or I will be alone tonight.” I said, with emphasis on “will”.

“OK, Sayosayo.” Mari said. Her hands were in her lap.

“As you wish, my kitten.” Ryoko made an exaggerated gentleman’s introduction bow.

I bit my lower lip hearing the word “kitten” but said nothing.

As if by miracle, I rushed downstairs without stumbling much in the process. Opening the door, I sighed in relief seeing Keiko standing there. Taking a glance at what she was holding, I smiled and let the tension in my body drain away.

She had Chinese takeout in her hands. Looking directly into my eyes, she smiled back. “Want some dinner?” She said.



A long and hard night, pt. 2

“Here,” she said.

With a smiled I took the Chinese takeout from her hands. I braced myself. “You know, actually, I have…unexpected guests so…I hope this is enough for four of us.” I said.

Keiko’s eyes widened. “Four? You mean you have two guests here?” She said.

“Mmm.” I nodded. “I honestly didn’t expect them to show up.”

Something in my demeanor probably betrayed some of my emotions because Keiko took a step closer and leaned closer to me. “Are they…?”

I turned to look at the dinner table. “Let’s just eat.” I said.

Keiko took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. “I knew your mom’s never home so I bought a lot. There should be enough for four people.” She said. After a brief pause she continued: “Actually, I was thinking that you could have the left over for lunch but I guess that’s not going to happen.”

I turned to her.

“Thank you. You’ve always been so thoughtful.” I said. I couldn’t help but blush and grin.

Keiko brushed a strand of her hair back. “You know, I’ve always tried to be a good friend.” Her voice dropped an octave and her eyes drooped. “But I still have trouble figuring you out.”

I bit my lower lip but said nothing.

We went to the dining area and I place the Chinese takeout on the table. Clearing my throat, I shouted toward my room upstairs: “Dinner’s ready! Won’t you two come down and eat?”

There was a silence. After it was drawn out into a painful minute or so, they finally came down; Mari was in the front and Ryoko followed her. They kept their distance from each other.

A sharp intake of breath came from Keiko’s direction and I shot a glance at her. Her body became extremely rigid. My eyes caught hers but she quickly looked down.

Mari continued her regal pace toward us but Ryoko’s feet seemed to be cemented at the bottom of the stairway.

I blinked.

“Wonderful. This restaurant serves delicious quick-eats.” Mari said. She looked at Keiko and then at me. “Would you like to introduce your friend?” She said.

Her clear and soothing voice broke my trance. “Oh right. Mari, this is Miss Sawashiro Keiko. Keiko, this is Miss Kanazuki Mari.”

Mari reached out with her right hand, palm down. “Nice to meet you.”

Keiko smiled but I could see she wasn’t exactly in a friendly mood. She did take Mari’s hand, however. “It’s very nice to meet you, Miss Kanazuki. I’m surprised but delighted.”

I winced. Her attempt at friendliness was not convincing. What was going on in her mind? As I followed Keiko’s glance, my eyes landed on Ryoko’s face. She smiled but had her head turned sideways. I looked back at Keiko; her eyes were downcast and her face was red,

My eyes narrowed. “Uh…Miss Sannomiya, would you come and join us for dinner?” I managed without straining my voice.

Thoughts were racing through my head but it wasn’t the time to discuss any of it.

Ryoko waved her hand. “You know what? I think I probably should stick to my diet after all.” She walked right past the three of us without a glance. Before I could say anything, she was at the door. “I’ll see you guys later.” She gave another wave.

“Let me…I’ll walk with you for a little bit.” I said. Without any hesitation, I followed her out of door. Neither Mari nor Keiko said anything or followed along.

She took a few steps, turned, and gazed straight into my eyes. “Yes?” She said.

My legs trembled but I managed to stay upright. I breathed in deeply.

“I’m sorry…I’m sorry that I ran…away.” I said. My heart was pounding and threatening to jump out of my mouth.

Ryoko beamed. I could swear I was literally turning into jelly by her gaze. “You don’t have to apologize. Not at all.” She said. Without any warning, she reached out and touched my left cheek. “Maybe I'm just better off walking away right now, huh?”

That’s not fair. I thought. “I…Ah…” was all I could manage to say.

She dropped her hand, turned and started to walk away. “I’d love to stay, my kitten. But I don’t want to be in this mix at the moment.” She waved behind her back. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Wait a minute!” I finally remembered the other thing. “You and Keiko…?”

Saying nothing, she waved and continued walking. My gaze followed the graceful curve of her back. Even after she turned the corner and disappeared from my sight physically, my eyes still tried to track her, though I was imagining her posture and motion as she walked. I closed my eyes, wishing to intertwine my legs with hers with out feet touching. Sighing, I shook my head and went inside.


A long and hard night, pt. 3

Looking at the floor nearly all the way, I went back inside of my house.

Knowing that my friends were still waiting, I kept a smile on my face and tried to lift my head up. My mind was racing and spinning but my heart was rapidly slowing down. I paused for a brief second; it was almost like I was looking at myself from a different angle. The other me was residing in a frozen moment in time, observing my actions.

I lifted up my head; Mari ran toward me and grabbed my hands.

“Are you all right?” she said. Her voice was so soft and gentle and her embrace was so tender that I wanted to collapse in her arms. I braced myself with as much strength I could muster.

“I’m fine, thank you.” I said.

Mari’s eyes searched mine for a few second, and then she looked at the table. “I guess we should eat.” She said.

Without another word, I sat down. The three of us each sampled the delicacies laid before us. I knew there were vegetables, pork, chicken and rice, but I couldn’t remember much else.

I stared at my bowl after I was done. I couldn’t move my hands if I wanted to. I just stared at it.

“Can’t believe that you’d find Yamashita attractive.” Keiko said. Her voice made me twitch a little. A boy? I thought.

“No, no. She’s hot but I don’t have the hots for her.” Mari said. Her laughter was clear as bells. “I certainly didn’t miss her butt whenever she walked by, but I wasn’t into her.”

I could hear her crystal clear laugh. I frowned.

What were they talking about while I was gone?

Keiko’s hand was on my arm. I barely lifted my eyelids. “Yeah?” I said.

“Well, you must have someone you have a crush on, right?” She said.

I shook my head; were my movements so cheerful? Did I look like I wanted to participate?

“I guess…not…” I mumbled. “And…even if I did, the person won’t notice me any way.” I said. My eyes were on the floor the entire time.

The next thing I knew, Marimari and Keiko took seats on my left and right. Before I could utter a protest, they took my hands and stroked my arms.

A chill crawled up my spine but a warm feel shot into my heart. They had really soft hands and both of them smelled very nice. I bit my lower lip. “Um…” I said.

“Don’t worry hon. Just relax, OK?” Marimari said.

“You’ve been stressed out lately, I know.” Keiko said.

“Hey, you know she’s sensitive here?”



Marimari poked at my left ribs and I started cringing and giggling. “How about here, then?” Keiko poked at my right flank and I burst out laughing.

“Koochi-koochi-koo…” Marimari whispered in my left ear. Her breathy voice made my body tingle. God, I hated and loved it when she did that. She learned about all my secret weak spots when we were kids. One time, I stayed over at her place, and out of boredom, she started tickling me all over. I tried bravely not to laugh, but when her fingers stroke near my chest, I couldn’t hold back and I rolled and thrashed like a bull.

“S…Stop…” I laughed and squirmed, trying to fight off her ticklish fingers. What made it worse what that Keiko was showering her loving attention on my ribs on the right. She smelled so nice and she stroked with just the right pressure that I couldn’t help but squirm. But damn it! She held my right arm and refused to let me break free.

What was a girl supposed to do under the assault of two sets of tickling fingers?

Something broke in my heart and I broken down and cried. My shoulders shuddered uncontrollably and I sobbed.

I felt two sets of arms surrounding me. In my teary eyes, I saw both of them embracing me.

“I’m sorry hon, I thought I’d cheer you up the old way.” Marimari whispered.

“Yeah, we meant it as a joke…to get you out of the gloom…” Keiko said.

“We’re sorry.” They said in unison.

I opened my eyes and found two sets of doe-like eyes looking back. “I’m sorry, it’s just that…” I choked back some of my tears. “I…I don’t know what’s happening to me.”

My mind dimly wondered how they managed to coordinate a tickle play within the relatively short time I was out side. Did they know each other from somewhere?

Following my lead, both Keiko and Marimari cried. We held on to each other and had a good sob for a while.

“Hey, do you still need company tonight?” Marimari said.

I nodded without a word.

“Do you mind if we stay over, then?” Keiko said.

I sighed but I shook my head.

“Great.” Marimari said. “Let me call my butler and he’ll send over what I’ll need.”

“Butler? God damn you’re just too rich for me girl!” Keiko said.

I blinked and then became wide-eyed in wonder.

“Oh silly you. Did you think I wanted to be this way?” Marimari said.

“Well, as for me, I’m already ready.” Keiko said. She whipped out a toiletry kit and began to strip off her shirt.

“Ah…Um…” I blushed. “Maybe you shouldn’t…”

Keiko looked at my direction and winked. “I came prepared, silly.” She said. Taking off her shirt revealed a jammie underneath. “You may want to pay attention to Miss Kanazuki later, though.” She smiled coyly.

I frowned. “Huh?”

Marimari smiled. “You’ll love it, really.”

With that, my heart started pounding and refused to stop.




[End notes:

Well, do you guys enjoy the chapter? How about the story so far? Please don't hesitate with constructive criticism! Thank you very much for reading! ^-^



Chapter 12

Title: 12. Struggle / Shocking Encounter

[Author's notes: Oh god I'm sorry. I've been having a difficult time in life. I wish I could be more creative. I thought 2010 was going to be better but things are turning worse and worse. I'm sorry I let you down (for anyone that cares). Forgive me. I hope you can at least enjoy however little I was able to put down...]

Perhaps I’m not worth anything. Or rather, I know I’m worth nothing.

I have never imagined everything to turn out this way. As far as I’m concerned, I shouldn’t exist on this planet; or in this case, my own room.

My jaws dropped as I saw Mari stepped out of the bathroom. She was wearing a nightie that covered her body all the way to her ankles. The fabric was transparent and she was not ashamed of her appearance. Rather, she held her head high and proud, while searching for my eyes.

Her eyes were so clear and bright that I had to look away. I was a confused girl, after all.

Scratching my head a little, I cast a sideway glance at her direction. Her lace panties were not invisible. The flowers on her panties seemed to blossom right before my eyes and I blushed. Her thighs were supple and her ankles were rounded in the right way. Her calves were graceful like her legs. Her waist was narrow; not as narrow as Ryoko’s but narrow and firm but soft in a feminine way.

Her breasts were rounded and well-shaped; her nighties did not leave much to my imagination. But I bit my lower lip in slight frustration because her nipples were well-hidden; just not enough to stall my imagination.

She did not mind my searching eyes. As a matter of fact, she brushed her hair and smiled.

Keiko pouted: “That’s not fair, Miss Kanazuki!” She stood up and puffed up her chest, which was somewhat flat for a teenage girl. “You didn’t tell me you were going to wear THAT!”

Mari laughed. Her voice was like bells.

Then she looked my way. MY WAY! Her teasing eyes tried their best to provoke that passion in me.

Her eyes were igniting pure passion in this frail and geeky girl with glasses.

I probably gave very little positive response back to her, if any. I tried to keep my gaze down but my heart was pounding fast.

I remember the last time I had such response was hearing Ryoko being naked in the locker room and tickled by her peers.

I bit my lower lip again. I’m a girl! I reminded myself. I can’t feel excited about my best friend! Oh God, no…

Just when I thought I had it all under control, Mari started stroking my arm. Her slender fingers gently slid down to my fingertips and then slowly crawled up my arm, to my shoulders. She continued without showing any sign of stopping.

I had to look away. My body was melting like jello and I tried very hard not to think about her presence near me.

“Wha…what are you doing?” My voice sounded so tiny in my ears.

“I’m just trying to make you feel relaxed.” She said.



Shocking encounter/the struggle of my heart


I bit my lower lip. I closed my eyes and snapped my head back. Oh God, this was what I was asking for all these years…

To be touched the right way, to be understood…

To be affirmed!

To be loved!

To be confirmed!

But…I couldn’t help myself and my eyes opened wide.

I stood up and brushed Mari’s arms aside.

As soon as I did that, I bit my lower lips. My body trembled and my heart beat fast.

I turned to see that Mari’s eyes were widened and Keiko’s jaw dropped. Slowly, their faces fell and my heart sank. I squeezed my lips together.

I had to turn my eyes when Mari tried to probe into my eyes. “What’s wrong, Sayoko?” She said.

Keiko’s eyes simply stayed on my face. I looked aside and tried to avoid her gaze all together.

Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Mari stood up. “Oh God, Sayoko, I didn’t…” She took a step toward me. “Oh God…oh God…”She said.

She reached out buy stopped short of my arm. The muscles on my arm twitched but my arms remained at my side. “Look, I, uh…” I mumbled. “You know, I…”

Out of the corner of my eyes, I see Mari’s arms froze in mid air. “Hey, Sayoko, listen, I …”

Squeezing my eyes shut, I snapped my head opposite of her direction and retracted away from her. With my eyes closed, I tried to find my way to the door of my bedroom.

“I…I’m sorry…” I muttered. I managed to push the sounds through my lips.

 With that, I opened the door and rushed out.

“Where are you going?” Keiko said. “It’s 1:00 AM…I mean, it’s your house…” Her voice trailed in my ears as I ran and ran. I barely remembered to close my door before I came out on to the streets.

I just ran.

The last thing I remembered before I ran was Mari’s face.

Her eyes were droopy and her expression was downcast.

It was probably after midnight when I ran away. The streets were empty and the lights were bright but harsh. I was in my pajamas and slippers as I ran. I had difficulties running with slippers on but I couldn’t stop.

I couldn’t stay. My heart was beating fast and my mind was racing toward the unknown. I wanted to die, and yet I wanted to live. My thoughts was became a train wreck and my feeling was a mess.

What was I doing? What was I thinking? I ran and I ran, until I ran out of breath.

I gripped my knees for a minute while gasping. God, it felt more like a thousand hours rather than however short it took.

I couldn’t think; my heart was pounding and it was threatening to jump out of my chest.

It was not a good time to shock me further. But alas, the shock appeared in front of my eyes.

Ryoko was sitting on the seat of one of the swing sets. Her face was expressionless and her eyes were dim.

They didn’t stay dim for long as she lifted her head. Pausing briefly, she turned and took me into her vision.

Her eyes widened briefly before she suddenly stood up. “Sayako…” She muttered.

My knees became jelly-like and I mustered all my strength to stand up straight; I didn’t want to fall down before her.

Her eyes narrowed slightly. “But…why…?” She whispered. “How…?”

The feeling of my knees touching the hard earth surprised me. I was kneeling before I realized it.

I held myself together as much as I could. I was shivering while my pajamas were barely providing protection for my body.

Closing my eyes, I savored the feeling of being covered with only thin fabric.

I was, for my intentions and purposes, naked. I was shaking all over. Shadows and images slashed my mind, soul and body.

I shivered; the tremble in my heart couldn’t be stopped and the storm brewing couldn’t be soothed.

Opening my eyes, I focused on Ryoko’s face and then, to my shame, her body.

Her shorts and t-shirt didn’t hide much of her fine and toned body. Obviously, she didn’t have huge breasts, but her shapes were firm and rounded. Most importantly, her collarbone was just right and her waist was lean and fit.

My eyes drifted to her feet. She quickly curled her toes up a little and I could sense her embarrassment, but I was able to observe her toes and her feet.

They were strong, firm, long, slim and lovely. I could tell there were no weaknesses in their structures.

While I wondered about the road she traveled on this wretched planet, she spoke.

“Are you done? I’m…” she laughed. “These aren’t attractive, you know.”

I quickly looked up to catch her sticking her tongue out.

At that moment, I ran to her despite of me.

Before I could reach out and embrace her, I stood dead in my tracks.

“You know, I…” I said. My voice was caught in my throat. “I, um…”

The time froze for the two of us. We stood inches apart and neither of us spoke.

I closed my eyes; next moment, I found myself surrounded by her smell. Ryoko held me in her arms. God, she smelled nice.

It was cold and I was shivering in my jammies. She was warm and comforting. The aura of her presence gently enveloped me and took me into her. Her being was soft and yet firm and strong. If she wanted, she could probably protect me against anything this world could throw at me. 

I sank into her; I sank within her. Her aura reflected off the azure ocean and her eyes were deeper than the depth of ocean that I had known up to that point.

I shook my body slightly, but she held on to me. I was sinking further into her being. I wasn't afraid of sinking; it felt kind of nice, but at the same time, the layers that were protecting the core of my being from meeting the outside world were slowly being peeled away. 

The more I shredded my protection, the more feminine I became. My arms moved despite myself and I held her in return. I couldn't feel her bra strap.

"You've been hurting all this time." She said. Her voice was quiet and soothing, being an octave lower than usual.

My frail bodily frame trembled. She was gently and steadily breaking my defense down. "Look, I..." 

"Shhh." She said. "Just rest in my arms for now, OK?"

She whispered in my ears and that really tickled. A tingling sensation traveled down my spine. 

Before I could do anything else, I sank into her further.

Her embraced tightened and we nearly became one then.

I sighed. My eyelids became heavier and heavier. I didn't want to go to sleep because I didn't want to miss every waking moment in her arms. 

But my body was weak. The last thing I remember were my lips resting on her collarbone.

Her soft laughter rang in my ears before I passed out.



Chapter 13

Title: 13. Changes / an unknown interlude

[Author's notes: It's a little bit racy...Best read late at night...I guess?]


Maybe that was it; maybe I wasn’t worthy enough to be loved by anyone.

I couldn’t believe I’m actually in the arms of the one that I longed to be with all this time.

She was my light. As dark as my school life and in extension, my life, was, she had always dispelled the crushing darkness that was weighting on me.

I think I had a dream. I couldn’t remember much of it. But I thank God that for that, because when I woke, tears were streaking down my face.

“You’re awake, Sayoko?” She said.

For a moment, I was unaware of anything around me. I shivered, thinking that I was alone in my bedroom again. Fighting all these demons in the back of my mind.

I couldn’t help but press my face against her bosom. She was warm and slightly wet in the cold morning sun.

Before I could utter any word, I sobbed. My mind was racing and my thoughts were being smashed into little pieces. Something was struggling to break free from my subconscious; it was rising out of the ashes of what was a wholly constructed façade of completeness. I had always upheld it in my mind, refusing to let anything to get to it, and refusing to let anything to threaten it.

She wiped my tears away. Her fingertips were soft as clouds.

All that covering crumbled before her probing fingers, proverbially and literally.

I gasped as I realized her hand was slowly caressing my breasts as her lips were in my left ear. I silently cursed her intuition because my left ear was one of the most sensitive parts of my body.

“Don’t…” my voices sounded tiny in my ears.

“What is it?” Her voice dropped another octave. It was magnetic, feminine and attractive. It was the maturity as a grown woman that really took me by surprise. No sharp tones, no shrieking notes, just mature, deep and sexy. My god…

“What?” she teased my ears with her soft tone and breathing “Are you really awake?”

“M…Miss Sanomiya…”

“No. None of that formality.” She cooed.

“Eh? But…but I…”

“R-y-o-k-o.” She demanded in the softest but most tempting voice possible. “Repeat.”

“Ah…in the same way?”

“No silly, say it all at once. Not too fast, not too slow.” She softly whispered in my left ear. God…I wished she didn’t breath into it.

“All…all right…” I stammered. “Ry…Ryo…”

“R-y-o-k-o.” She insisted. “Let me hear you calling out my name.”

“But it’s so…” I whispered.

“So…what?” She wouldn’t let me off the hook.

Oh, she’s such…such a devil!


“What? I can’t hear you.”


She gently bit my left ear. “What…?” I managed.

“Say my name or I’ll tease your ear.”

What was a frail but horny girl supposed to do?

“I…Oh, you…” I sighed. “All right.”

I took in a deep breath. “Ryo…Ryo…”


“Kyyya! Ok, ok…don’t…Ryo…Ryoko!” I finally called out her name as my body twitched a little. “My ear...earrrr!” I croaked and them almost screeched.

“Not good enough.” She said.


I realized how totally defenseless I was in her arms. “What do you mean?” I said.

Her grin told me everything. I bit my lower lip as her left hand traced my neck and then proceeded to undo the buttons of my jammies.

“Wait, wait a minute! We’re…”

“We…are…what?” She spoke softly and her breath actually smelled like the ocean wind. “If you don’t say it I won’t know!”

I took a deep breath. “But we’re…girls…”

“Yeah so?” She said. Then she proceeded to undo the first button of my jammies. Her tongue was on my collarbone before I could protest. “So nicely shaped.” She cooed.

What? She liked my small frame? My mother shook her head when she saw my body and said: “Sayoko, you looked like a 10-year-old child.”

I nodded and then cried in my bed later when I returned to my room later that night. I was 15 then.

Her arms caught me before my legs gave in and my body fell. I gasped. She was undoing more buttons.

“Wait…please…” was all I could mange.


I returned her gaze. Her ocean blue eyes were not to be denied. I sighed.

“I…My cup size is small…”

I was surprised when she sped up and exposed my chest.

“Never. I repeat, never,” she took in a deep breath and said: “Never be ashamed of your body. You’re a woman, which is a wonder that the world must accept, admire and adore.”

She smiled broadly. “No matter how stupid or prejudiced everyone in the world is.”


I turned my head away from her, but she cupped my chin and turned my face toward her. “Never be ashamed of yourself, you hear?” She demanded.

“Y…Yes,” was all I could utter.

“Good girl. Now relax and let me take care of you.” She said in a quiet voice. “Close your eyes, and take a deep breath. The time is short before we’re discovered.”

“All…all right…” my eyes were already closed. “…I…Please take good care of me…”

I could hear her soft laughter. I gasped when I felt her breath on my right nipple. I cursed myself for not wearing a bra.

I was falling so quickly that I couldn’t form a safety net to catch myself as time went on. The sun was coming out in a strong way and I was blushing hard.

What if someone saw two girls’ bodies intertwined under the morning sun? God, that’d be immoral, wouldn’t it?

I was so close to releasing all my energy at once and she wasn’t even near my sex. Not yet, anyway.

Her tongue teased my right nipple in a circular motion. But she didn’t stop there. Her tongue savored every inch of my right breast. I gasped. She sped up and then grasped my right hand and then placed it on her left breast.

I nearly jumped but she held me down and I couldn’t go anywhere. “Move your hand.” She demanded. “Don’t stop until I tell you to.”

“But I…”

“Do it now.” She nibbled my left ear and spoke through her teeth.


I swallowed hard and started to stroke her left breast gently. I didn’t know what to do so I grabbed the soft mound of breast flesh, which was underneath her baby-T and cupped her.

“Oooh. You like that? You like how it feels?” Ryoko cooed. “Come on, don’t hold back.”

I vaguely remembered about her ticklish stomach and my hand drifted down. Settling my hand on her belly, I gently tickled her belly button. My action seemed to change the dynamic between us a little; I was no long just the subservient; I gained some dominance.

I could sense her surprise. She was squirming and withdrew her body away from me in an instant. Though she was not far away from me. My hand stayed on target and my fingers wiggled as if I was playing the piano.

She giggled and nearly slumped to the ground. “What are you…?” she managed.

I must’ve had a huge grin on my face. My tickling finger increased their frenetic pace while tracing the lines of muscle structures on her belly.

“Coochie coochie cooo…” I said. I tried to keep my voice as breathy as possible.

Somehow, I just did what I did. My chest was bare in the early morning sun and I was shining in a way that I didn’t recognize.

It was Ryoko who turned on the other me, who was fading in the dark, wishing to be revived.

She laughed furiously and thrashed around without displaying any signs of holding back, even though we were technically in the public view.

There was still no one around yet.

Just when I thought I had the upper hand. I felt her hands gripping mine. Before I could react, her arms held me down and she was sitting on top of me.

She grinned; I panicked and my eyes grew wider.

Ryoko was back in control.

She gently shook her head. “Nice try.” She said quietly. “But I’m the athlete.”

That mischievous glint in her eye told the whole story.

“Should we continue as we were?” She said.

I bit my lower lip for the umpteenth time.

I closed my eyes…

“Hey!” Mari’s voice came from a distance. “What are you doing to my Sayo-sayo?”

I held my breath for a brief second. Turning my head, I saw Mari running toward us with a couple of men in black suits and dark sunglasses. I gasped, remembering that she always had security personnel around her whenever she stepped out of her family limo.

“Hmpf.” Ryoko said. A sardonic smile crept on to her face. She gently kissed my right cheek and stood up while helping me back on my feet “Alas, I must go, my kitten.” She said. “I’ll see you later.” She winked and started running the opposite direction of Mari’s group.

I didn’t realize that she could run as well as she could swim.

My eyes lingered on her backside until she disappeared from my sight. Then, I realized that my breasts were still naked.

Everything happened in less than a couple of seconds.

Before I could scream, Mari came to my side and threw a big long coat over my body. With that, I disappeared into heavy clothing. Though my heart was still beating fast, my mind retreated and I was myself again.

My frail body shivered and my head hung low.

I was in Mari’s arms as the morning sun finally shot all its rays onto each inch of every surface that I could see. I could not lift up my head to catch any of its rays with my eyes and I was ashamed of my appearance. Each ray seemed pierce a different part of my body and pieces of my broken heart.

I turned my face away from the sun and from Mari, whose eyes were trying to search my face but I betrayed no emotion to her.

The noises of cars, people talking, children and people our age chattering gradually drowned out the sound of my still-pounding heart.

I pushed my glasses up and I could swear that Mari couldn’t see the excitement left in my eyes with light glaring off the glasses.


A Unknown interlude


“Are you all right? Did she hurt you anywhere?” Mari said.

I shook my head. This was the 3rd time I was in her arms. I thought. “I’m fine.”

Mari’s frown slowly eased but her eyes narrowed slightly, which made me shiver a little. I never liked it whenever she got angry about something; I had a nightmare where I dreamt that Mari cast her katana-sharp gaze on someone and that…guy, I guess, was instantly cut in half.

Blood gushed comically but I was not laughing. I really hated it that dreams like that always managed to lodge in my memory without my permission.

Fortunately for me, she had never gotten angry with me.

I closed my eyes for a brief moment. I did make her worry many times. Opening my eyes, I darted my eyes on her face and saw her frown deepening.

Little by little, I started to shrink into myself.

She sighed. “What happened last night? You just…” She shook her head. “You just got upset and left. We…we were having a nice conversation, remember?”

I don’t know!

I struggle!

I’m weird, why can’t you see it!

“Well…” I shook my head. A certain image shot across my brain and I thought I saw Mari’s hand up my skirt. I shook my head again.

Mari stood still with a concerned look on her face.

I was still in my jammies.

The air between us slowly thickened; the silence was deafening. Mari shook her head in return. Taking a breath, she turned and gestured to toward the line of the men in black. One of them leaned slightly forward as if to inquire further. Mari waved her hand in an exaggerated motion. He snapped his head back and then the entire group bowed in unison.

They left as quickly as they came. With that, Mari and I were left alone.

The morning breeze was one of the loveliest things that I loved in the wretched world. It was always wonderful when I knew the cars weren’t yet lining up the road in a heavy traffic jam and people were still outside running, doing Tai chi and other kind of gentle exercises. Sometimes, there would even be the fragrance of flowers in the air, accompanied by birds singing their good mornings and in the spring time, their songs of lovelorn.

It was still a little chilly toward the end of April. Earlier, I thought we’re close to summer but I was far off the target. Most of the time, dates and weeks would just past by with me in them, flowing with the rhythm of traffic, the crowd and…

“Sayosayo.” Mari said. Her voice was quiet. “I think we should change for school.”

I shook my head; the bright morning sun made me dizzy. “Where’s Keiko?” I said.

“I had some of my servants send her home.” Mari said.

“I see…um…” I looked aside for a second while playing with my hair. I hadn’t done my braids and I fidgeted a little. Thank God I still had my glasses on. “I guess I need to go home and change…”

Mari’s soft but warm smiled dazzled me even more than the glory of the morning sun. “No need, I got your uniform in my limo.”

My eyes widened as I realized that her family limo was parking just outside the park. She must’ve had saw my confusion because she beamed. “Still feeling a little disoriented?” she said.

With that, she proceeded to take my arm gently.  

The same image earlier flashed in my head and I took a step back with my mouth slightly agape. “Uh…Maybe I shouldn’t…”

Mari winked. “What’s wrong? We’re both girls, right? I’ll roll up the divider between the back and the front. Don’t worry about it.”

Before I realized that the strength of her grip increased, we were heading toward her limo.

“Wait a minute…” I said. “But I’m not used to being naked in front of another person…”

“What are you talking about? We were naked in front of each other when we were kids, remember? You’re just a little bit older and so am I!” Mari said. Her pitch was usually high and her pace was a little bit more frantic than usual.


I was inside her limo before I could finish my protest. Deep inside me, I had to admit that I wanted to see her in her underwear. I was dying to see her blossoming lithe body in its full glory.

She had always been the goddess from my past.




[End notes: I think the rating should change for this chapter...:P]

Chapter 14

Title: 14. A different intimacy / the twilight in between

[Author's notes: The story takes another turn and Sayoko is now troubled.]

a different intimacy

The storm swept through my cherry blossoms garden. I sighed and watched helplessly as the beauty slowly faded. I tried my best to participate in the dance of the cherry-blossom-rain but I fell to the ground alone at the end.

Nearly thrown into the back of the limo, I gazed at Mari’s face with eyes like a fawn caught in high beam headlights.

She quickly got in next to me. The door was shut. Within a few seconds, the limo began to move. Mari quickly pressed the intercom: “Drive around town a few times before dropping us at school.”

“Understood, Miss Kanazuki,” came the emotionlessly polite response from the driver.

I threw my head back trying to at least to appear to be defiant. I closed my eyes to recall and savor my time spent with Ryoko.

“Why did you run away from me?” Mari said. “You had me worried the entire night.”

Some jarring image shoved aside the images of my happiness. There was something familiar about this situation…

“I dunno.” I said. I kept my mouth shut after that. Mari asked me a couple more questions but I was determined to remain silent. She sighed in turn and leaned back. Kicking off her flats, she threw her shroud off her shoulder and lifted her legs high up in the air, not caring that my eyes fell on her body under the nightie. Her legs were completely bare as the lower portion of her nightie fell all the way to her waist. I couldn’t hold back my gaze on her black lacy panties. The thin fabric did nothing to deter my imagination.

Something flashed in my head again. I could’ve sworn that I’ve been in a similar situation before.

Mari pressed a button on the armrest and a golden, shiny footbath slid out from under her seat. There were intricate patterns of cherry blossoms, spring flowers and animals inside and outside of the footbath. She gave a loud sigh very much unlike the way she usually does, and thrust her feet into the bath, which caused the water to splash and some of it got onto my face and my jammies.

Her small feet were so cute. She wiggled her toes and winked at me. “Wanna try?”

Without waiting for my response, she leaned over and pressed a button on the armrest on my side. Only inches away, her breasts were barely hidden under the thin fabric of her nightgown. Her pink areola and nipples were just visible enough to make me frustrated.

I shook my head, disgusted at my lust for my best friend’s body. To make the matters worse, I was a girl and she was a girl. I shuddered realizing that I almost did it with Ryoko, who was someone I admired. I really shouldn’t have had sexual impulses toward her.

It’s selfish.

Mari snatched my feet and flipped my slippers off, her fingers slide across my soles and I couldn’t help myself but giggle. To my wide-eyed surprise, she wiggled her fingers.

“Coochie coochie coo…” She whispered in my left ear as her devilish fingers traced my arch and the sole, as well as pinching my toes and tickling my toe pads.

“Stop! Please!” a shiver ran up my spine and I began to laugh uncontrollably. All of the sudden, she let go of my feet and they fell into the footbath. The water splashed onto her face and her nightgown.

Mari laughed like a mad woman, which surprised me. Then, leaning back into her seat, she let out another sigh of relief.

“I’m so glad I can be me in front of you.” She said.

Next, once again to my surprise, she took me into her arms and cradled my head in her bosom.

“I…I’m not…” I began to protest.

She put a finger to my lips. “You ARE worthy. So don’t resist.” She said. The gentleness in her voice sent waves of soothing relief into my brain. “But I…”

“None of that.” She said. She ran her slim fingers through my long and silky raven hair and started stroking my head tenderly.

I closed my eyes. I couldn’t tell if Mari was wearing perfume or not. The wonderful smell that began to envelop around me was a distant but familiar flowery scent. I would’ve called it some kind of sensual invasion but it was more like a warm welcome. It was different from Ryoko’s scent, which was strong and passionate like the ocean. Mari’s scent was soft, sweet and almost undetectable. But one could not mistake her scent with anyone else. I was drowning in Ryoko’s love but I was basking in Mari’s.

Next thing I knew, despite myself, I kissed Mari’s left breast delicately. She uttered a small note of pleasure. I looked up and she smiled at me.

“So you do remember.” She said. “Alas, it’s time to change into our uniforms, hon.” She smiled and gently laid me back to my side of the seat. Taking off her nightgown, her breasts were completely exposed. I became mesmerized with their perfect shapes and sizes. The shade of pink for her areola and nipples were just right in my eyes. They were the right size for my mouth to suckle and tease. My heart jumped and I involuntarily moved toward her (at least I thought my body moved on its own) and tried to kiss her left breast again, but she gently and firmly held me back.

“Put on your uniform.” She said.

I sighed in frustration and muttered: “Yes, Mari.”

She was the queen, after all. One did not access the queen’s secret sanctum without special permission. In ancient times, Japanese princesses were confided in a small but tasteful room in the top of the castle and were not allowed to leave the room most of the time. One would need really special permission to see her.

I bit my lower lip as Mari slowly disappear into that cursed restraint called school uniform. She finished her tie and waist chain in expert-like fashion and then came over to help me. I wanted to put my feet into her footbath for a quick foot play but she had already wiped her feet with the towel hanging on the window hook and put on her socks; the footbath had already retracted back under her seat. Sighing, I press the button on my armrest. Watching the footbath retract, I slowly and unwillingly dried my feet with the towel hanging from my side of the window and put on my socks. Thanks to Mari, I didn’t fall or tie myself up with my uniform.

We arrived at the school without any more verbal or physical exchanges. I realized that neither one of us had bothered to wipe the water splashed from the footbaths off our faces.


The twilight in between

My dread exploded in my chest as soon mari and I stepped out of her limo. I heaved a heavy sigh as I strolled forward alongside her. Mari seemed to be oblivious of my state of mind as she continued to walk.

As soon as we enter the school gate, the gushes and exclamations from other students began to shower on us, or rather, on her.

“Look it’s Miss Kanazuki!”

“My gosh, how beautiful!”

“Damn, isn’t that Kanazuki Mari? She’s hot!”

“Good morning, Miss Kanazuki!”

Mari greeted back.

“Look at those legs.”

Some guy gushed.

I felt sick seeing my best friend being visually ogled by men. But I had bigger worries welling up my throat. I braced myself.

“What is that next to Miss Kanazuki?” “I dunno. A straw with glasses?” “You mean a stick with glasses.” “Oh you guys just crack me up.”

“Why does she get to walk next to Miss Kanazuki?”

“How dare she walk so closer to her? Who does she think she is?” “Wait, isn’t that Suzuki Sayoko?” “What, you mean that gloomy and ugly looking ghost?” “Shhh! Keep it down, she’ll hear you!”


I started to falter in my steps as Mari continued to walk with her head up toward the lockers. I tried to catch up but I couldn’t. Just when I was falling further and further behind…

Mari’s hand reached back and grabbed mine.

All of sudden, there was dead silence around us.

The stares of disbelief was pure gold.

She maintained her pace and tightened her grip. She never looked back but I understood. Biting my lower lip and choking back my tears of thanks, I followed her into the locker room. We had gym for our first period that day.

* * *

I just stood there watching myself fail. There was nothing I could do. After all, I was never well versed in dealing with people and relationships. This wasn’t like that show where the raven-haired heroine had some guy who just happens to catch her best side on her best day. Then, all of the sudden, she gained courage, explained herself to a couple of tough girls, and they became best friends. Nope, this was real life.

I supposed there was a god. After all, the religious people met in that little room after school seemed to believe in a god. It’s funny though, because if this god was a “he”, then he never cared for girls like me much. We were also supposed to be his “daughters”.

I couldn’t remember the last time that I wasn’t shunned by most people.

Who was it that told me that I was worthy anyway? It sure wasn’t a “god”.

I couldn’t remember the number of times I slid my wrist in my dream. It’s just that I couldn’t gather the courage to do it in real life. After all,

I had always been too cowardly to exist either way, life or death.

* * *

I always found an excuse not to participate in gym activities. The only sport that I was interested in was volleyball. I did well in that, despite the fact that my own teammates often shoved me whenever I tried to set up a volley for someone else, or simply watched as I attempted a save. I guess after I got used to it, I knew how to perform and miraculously, I could still help my team. But I was never part of it and no one ever came to congratulate my efforts.

Today was basketball. I wish I could say that I was interested. Even Mari’s wonderful physique couldn’t ignite my interest.

I haven’t seen Keiko around. Mari sent her home sometime between last night and this morning but it seemed like Keiko decided to be absent for the entire day. Keita was playing ball with the boys’ group on the other side of the court.

I wondered about Ryoko, whom I haven’t seen since our encounter this morning. I closed my eyes - her smell, her whisper, her breath, her breasts and…

The fire that began in my heart was slowly stroking my thighs, and my sex between them. I had to relief myself.

I just had to. Slowly, I got up and headed toward girl’s bathroom.



[End notes:

Please read and review DarkMistress' stories, I particularly like the action scenes! ^^

Please help out all the writers with your honest reviews so that we can give you even better stories. ^^;;


Chapter 15

Title: 15. The Wolf Pack of Men

[Author's notes: Don't worry, the appearance of males will be quite short. Trust me! ^^;;]

The Wolf Pack of Men

I skipped the girls’ bathroom and went straight to the girls’ locker. The smell of urine and all that weren’t my cup of tea. But the sweat from the bodies of the members of the same sex was irresistible. I sighed, stunned at my reaction of the smell of sweaty girls and relieved that I didn’t care for the smell of the opposite sex.

God, it’s so sinful! I know! I know! It’s wrong! I know. Oh goodness…Ryoko…Mari…Oh the smell of sweating female just like me…Oh no, I’m being like a male?

I shook my head. I had no idea what the boys in my school would do in my position. But slowly, like the cherry blossom petal that fell into the sake of a man’s cup, my lust was slowly seeping out via the coaxing of the dissolving powers of the rice nectar and it formed a sensual atmosphere around me. My nose was slowly absorbing in the different odors and spreading each into different reception spots.

I trembled. The smell of other girls saturated the entire locker room. Anyone (boy) who thought girls always smelled nice need to take a tour inside the girls’ locker room during gym classes. Trust me, it wasn’t so mystical.

The tampon wrappers and public hair remains scattered would probably drive the disgusting males nuts. How simple they were!

The feminine products only served to magnify my shame and desire. I was not being grossed out by the smell and hygiene of other girls but I should’ve had.

I shook my head. Ryoko’s locker was that way. Mari’s was closer but I was greedy. Surrounding by the smell that I was most comfortable with (it was just like my own on certain days in a month), I drifted toward Ryoko’s locker.


Shocked and stunned, I snapped my head toward the direction of the noise by human instinct.

My jaw dropped and I tried to cover my naked lower body (I had already pulled down my sports trunks and panties underneath) as the males pressed their way in, and closer to me.

“What are you…” I swallowed. “This is girls’ locker room.” I barely managed.

They bared their teeth. “She says hi, bitch.”

They surrounded me with their out stretched arms.

“But wait a minute,” I said. “I…I don’t understand…” I pressed both of my hands hard into my crotch.

The lead male smiled wolfishly. “She told me to ask you: ‘who the fuck gave you the right to walk next to Miss Kanazuki?’ Who did, huh?”

He slammed his hands next to either side of my head into the lockers as I fell back into them. “So tell me, bitch, who told you that you could walk next to Miss Kanazuki?”

I shut my eyes and my lips tight.

“Very well. Boys, I was told that we should have some fun.”

I could hear his snicker. “But this one is a stick-chick, so I guess just do your best.”

I squeezed my eyes.

“What, she’d be a boring fuck!” “a ugly piece of glasses freak!” “Shit, Kenji, this one can’t satisfy my throbbing cock! I followed your advice and endured 30 minutes of masturbation before I came here to get some fun!”

Before I could scream in my mind, ‘Kenji” grabbed my arms and pinned them against the wall. He was powerful and I couldn’t move either of my hands. “Yeah, yeah, whatever, just get your ding-dongs inside her and get this shit over with so we can all get paid.”

I stared at him and then quickly scanned at all of them in horror before closing my eyes.

Oh God, help me! Everything moved so fast and I can’t deal with it! Please, GOD!

There was a moment of silence as the hyenas drooled. ‘Kenji’ uttered an ugly chuckle.

“Let the fuck-fest begin!”

I winced, as I smelled some male approaching me. I clawed and held on to my sports trunks as he begin to over power me and began to pull it down.

My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?

Just when the strange nonsense was racing through my mind, I heard a yell.

I couldn’t quite understand it. But it was a shout of battle given by a female warrior of federal Japan, at least that what I believed.

I opened my eyes for the first time in almost 5 minutes and saw a warrior of old (I believed), rushing toward my foes.

She raised her arms and that wooden sword high in the air as all the males stared in horror…


[End notes: Just curious. :P Why do you guys like my story? :)]

Chapter 16

Title: 16. A Warrior Who Cuts Like the Wind / Dancing Snowflakes

[Author's notes: An unexpected encounter...]

 A Warrior Who Cuts Like the Wind

…And with a battle cry, she charged at the wolf pack.

Some of the members of the wolf pack have begun whimpering and began to retreat away from the female warrior holding the wooden blade high above her head. As she sped up, her gaze became even sharper than a real sword. Their target were the boys, who tried to ravage me in the name of a friendly warning…

That much I gathered.

Other members, including the leader, Sakishima Kenji, raised their fists and were ready for her.

Or so they thought they were ready.

For once in my life, I wished I didn’t have the capability of blinking, so that I could catch the strange and yet moving beauty and grace of that girl, who slashed, cut, chopped and sliced through the rank of men, some with twice the strength she had, as if they were scarecrow in the field or bamboo stalks in a forest that barely moved with the wind. However, as the pace of the wind hastens rapidly, the stalks would fall quickly one by one and a causal observer wouldn’t be able to catch the movement of the wind; its strikes, which were nimble, sharp and deadly, would simply pass her by in a blink of an eye. She’d not be able to witness the beauty of the dance until another opportune time.

That was what happened.

Fives seconds or so later, it was all over.

The only person that took my rescuer a full second to knock out was Sakishima Kenji. He managed to take a swing; she glided to her right before finishing him off with one stab to the solar plexus.

“Not bad.” She said. “But your opening was too wide to be ignored.”

With that, Kenji uttered a moan and fell to the ground.

She slowly sheathed bokken into the silk carrying bag, which she held by her waist, and then slung the bag over her shoulder.

My heart skipped a beat as she looked at my direction. “You all right?” She said.

All the strength in my body was drained at that moment and I fell to my knees. In an instant, she came to my side and made sure I didn’t fall backwards. Her arms possessed a gentle strength that I didn’t feel from either Ryoko or Mari. I tried to cradle myself but I fell into her instead and started to sob uncontrollably.

“Ah…Wait…Um…Are you hurt anywhere?” She said. I looked up at her face. There was an undeniable intensity as well as wisdom in her features, but she was very beautiful. It was strange, really, because while I could describe the feminine beauty and wonders that Ryoko or Mari had, I couldn’t find words suitable to explain her magnificence to anyone.

She had fine eyebrows and almond eyes, a small nose but determined lips. However, it was her eyes that were the most captivating. The unmistakable pride of a female warrior shone even when she was blushing, which she was. However, having the smaller and finer features made her blushing face quite adorable.

I took in a deep breath and tried to gather myself as much as possible. Stopping the sob was not easy. “You…you wouldn’t happen to be a first-year student, are you?”

Her face turned even redder and she looked away. Next thing I knew, she got me back on my feet and then quickly took a step back, folding and playing with her hands and fingers. “Well…” she said. “I was coming to check where my locker for gym would be and…well…”


She lowered her head and bowed. “I got totally lost and I knew I wasn’t supposed to be here because it wasn’t the gym period for first-year students to be here. I’m sorry!”

My eyes widened in wonder. Who was this girl?

Blinking, I remembered who I was. I quickly tried the best I could to fix my gym clothes. I blushed and lowered my voice. “I…thank you so much for saving me.” I bowed. “I can’t imagine what they would do if you hadn’t come to my aid…”

She straightened her posture. “Of course. It’s the duty of every warrior from the Fuuzan Clan…the Fuuzan School of Martial Arts to protect the weak and disenfranchised from the evil doers.”

I took one look at her serious face and cracked up. Her face turned beet red. “What…what’s so funny? Was...was it something I said?” she uttered and her movement remained stiff.

It was over. I couldn’t hold back my laughter.

Her eyes widened as much as they could, being thin and all. “You…you…you’re a strange person. What’s so funny about it?” She took a large step and demanded. Her cheeks puffed up and she was visibly upset.

I sighed. “You know what, I’m sorry…It’s just that…” I sighed again. “I think I’m so relieved now and I just…I just need a laugh.”

Letting out a deep breath, I apologized as much as I knew how.

“No, no…it’s OK.” She said. “I overreacted. I’m sorry.”

OK, this is not going anywhere.

I looked into her eyes; she cast her gaze sideways and blushed.  With as much gentleness and dignity as an upperclassman I asked: “What’s your name?”

Once again, she straightened herself up.

“I’m Sakamoto Fubuki, of the Sakamoto Group in the Fuuzan Cl…Fuuzan School.”

I smiled. She was really something else. I cleared my throat and used as much formality in my voice as possible and introduced myself.

“I see.” She said. Looking around, she took my arm, which made my heart skip a beat. She looked at me in the eyes with deadly earnest and I held back her gaze.

“What?” I whispered.

“I think we should leave before these goons wake up.” She said. “I really don’t want to have to hurt them again.”

With that, we quickly left the locker room and I didn’t bother to go back to the gym class.


Snow flakes dancing in the wind

“Are you going to be all right from here?”

We were outside the gym when Fubuki asked.

I shook my head. “I don’t know.”

The truth is; am I ever going to be all right from this point on?

I don’t get it, what did I do to piss off these guys back there?

“She says ‘hi’.”

Who was she? Who would want to target me?

“What am I going to do?” I grabbed Fubuki’s hands and she blushed. “I’m not sure what’s going on and…I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but I’m scared…”

Tears began to well out of my eyes again despite my efforts to hold them back. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to spill my worries onto you…”

Fukuki looked into my eyes for a moment and gripped my hands tightly. “Don’t worry about it. I…” She took in a deep breath. “I’ll protect you until it’s all resolved.”

I gazed at her determined face. Who was this girl? “You’d…you’d help me?”

I must’ve sounded in such disbelief that she held my hands to her chest. I felt two small mounds of breast flesh not too dissimilar to the size of my own.

“I have seen something wrong and now I will help to right it.”

Her words were so powerful and yet soothing that it put me at least. For that moment, I felt as if I was in a nice hot tube in a hot spring’s resort. The warm and clear water would caress my body gently. The tension in my body was slowly draining away.

I smiled. For the first time in days, I really smiled.

She smiled back with such confidence that I thought we’d be going back and whacking these guys some more. “Don’t you have a class now? I asked.

“Ah…” her face was turning red again. “Actually…” She quickly darted her eyes on my face and then looked away just as quickly. She let go of my hands and adjusted the sword bag slung over her shoulder.

We stayed silent for a while behind the gym.

Fubuki took in a deep breath and let it out. “I was hoping to see somebody.”

“Oh, I see.” I nodded, half smiling, half wondering if I should pry. “Well, that’s nice…”

“Um…” she said. “Actually, do you…do you…” She played with the string on her sword bag. “Do you, uh, happen to know Miss Kanazuki, by any chance?”

Oh. I see.

My chest was feeling oddly heavy and something stung a little. “Yeah. Actually, we’ve been…we were best friends in elementary school.” I shuffled my feet a little.

“Ah…I…um, I just admire her feminine beauty and wish I could be more woman-like, like her.” Fubuki said. Her follow up was rather quick. “I just admire her, that…that’s all.”

I smiled. The wind softly caressed my hair and hers. She had a boyish cut with a bang. “Somehow, I’m not too surprised.”

“You’re not?”

“I’d think anyone would fall for Mari…Miss Kanazuki, I mean.”

Fubuki’s eyes brightened considerably.

“So, you’d like to meet her, huh.” I said.

“Yeah, I mean, I know she never noticed me and I’m not much to look at, but…” Fubuki said. “I’d still love to meet her and befriend her.”

I chuckled. “She’s quite easy to get along with, really. You’d love to be around her.”

Something else stung. This time it was much stronger. What am I doing? Why am I here?

Fubuki’s face became warm again for the gazillionth time since the rescue. “You…you’re a really nice person.” She said. “I’d love to talk some more with you.”

“Mm.” I said. “You know, I’d better head for the next class.” I started to shift my body.

Fubuki took my hands. “Are you going to be all right?” She asked.

I resisted the urge to study her face and her eyes. “I think so. I’m not that scared any more.” I shrugged. “I don’t think these guys would dare to come near me again, now I have you…now I have protection.” I smiled at her despite myself.

She smiled back broadly. “Don’t worry, Miss Suzuki, they are cowards and I doubt they’ll be bothering you again.”

For now, I thought bitterly to myself.

She looked straight into my eyes. “I’ll be around, I promise.”

I sighed. The air actually thickened between us. “I should go now.” I turned and started toward the classroom building. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Fubuki bowed, before I completely spun on my heels.

“Take care and I’ll be seeing you around.” She said.

I merely nodded and walked faster.

I don’t know; I just wanted to get away. I don’t know why I’m running but I must get away.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that Mari had admirers.

Fubuki…snow flakes dancing in the wind. That’s such a beautiful name

I blinked. Oh god, please don’t tell me.

I was really confused then. I needed to sort my mind out.

I changed direction and headed toward the nurse’s office instead.



[End notes:

I hope I did a decent job on the description of the grace of Fubuki. :)

That said, did I really do that? I can't believe all this stuff happened!

P.S. I got the leader's name wrong; it was different from the previous chapter. I'm sorry.


Chapter 17

Title: 17. My thoughts and I / Torn Apart

[Author's notes: More twists and turns! Be warned! ^^]

My thoughts and I

Most of the cherry blossom petals have fallen and have been trampled, deformed and soiled. The ones that left on the branches limped sadly when the wind blew past by. More and more of them tried to linger but at the end, they fell.

It was the end of April and the trees were bare and ugly. Like young women turning old and bitter, the twisted limbs spoke of stories of betrayal and abandonment.

I stared outside of the window on the bed that I had chosen to lie down. The nurse wasn’t in and I needed to get some rest to sort my head out.

My mind went blank for a moment; then the scene where I was almost raped came back to me.

Tears overflowed uncontrollably and I sobbed bitterly.

I noticed that my gym shirt was permanently stretched. I would have to buy a new shirt.

Outside the window, the last petal fell.

Inside, my tears trickled down my face.

I hated the world then.

What did I do to deserve the way I’ve been treated up to now?

The faces of my classmates came back to me as I tried very hard to squeeze my eyes to shut their images out of my head.

It was true that the boys told me that I had the deepest eyes that they had ever seen. However, most of them were never interested in me as a person. As for the girls…

I longed to befriend them but they bored me with their conversations. In the past, every day, I would approach a different group of girls giggling about something, and every time, I would stop short of getting near them distance-wise, and I would retreat back to my desk. After that, I would stare outside the window. It was funny how none of them ever noticed me approaching them, no matter how close I got.

Maybe I wasn’t bored with their talks.

I wish I knew what it was that made me approach them; I wished even more to know what it was that made me withdraw from them.

Keiko and Keita were the only two people that really noticed me and tried to strike conversations with me. That was after I entered high school.

Before them, it was Mari who I could talk to and hang out with. That was in elementary school.

I thought listlessly and a powerful fatigue overtook me. It was funny how fatigue was one of the most powerful things in my life. Fatigue often motivated me to go to sleep. Fortunately for me, academics were a joke and I could practically sleep through an entire advanced class in my first or second year and still managed to get an A+. It was the same for all my classes.

My train of thoughts kept going and going as I fidgeted a little in the bed. I rolled over and held my head with my hands while simultaneously curling up into a fetal position.

I was surprised when I realized that my tears never stopped flowing since I got into the bed. I shrank into myself further and started to shake. My body didn’t belong to me. It just trembled on its own and I couldn’t stop shaking.

The sound of a dog howling in the distance made me duck into the cover.

My god, my god, what is wrong with me?

Everything was fine this morning…Wasn’t it?


I cursed.

Why are you so popular in school?

Why is it that I never noticed that?

What happened to you between elementary school and now?


I whispered.

Where were you when I needed you?

Where are you now?

Why did you unbutton my jammie this morning?

I tried to blank out but more thoughts kept crawling out of the depth of my mind, refusing my attempts to control them. It was their field day and they ran wild. I shut my eyes and gritted my teeth. I guess my mind was too tired and my body just decided to shutdown. I passed out immediately after that.


Much sweat came out of my pores and I ran as hard as I could. I’ve been on the run for as long as I could remember. There were days when I would lose track of the time that I spent on trying to get away from the thing.

It was dark and menacing. Its edge was jagged and sharp. It had no eyes, just teeth. Each tooth was shaped like a two-edged sword. Light glinted off each blade and the glare blinded my eyes whenever I turned to see if it caught up with me.

I kept running. From time to time, I looked back and the thing seemed to shift from shape to shape. Sometimes, it looked like a group of men and other times, it looked like a large beast with blades sticking out its body.

It tore the ground as it pounded it with its heavy steps.

It came after me relentlessly.

How I managed to run continually without collapsing with the amount of fatigue accumulated I didn’t know. I did know that I didn’t want to stay around and fight that thing.

I blinked again and cursed myself for that.

It stood in front me. I didn’t see it coming. As I screamed in terror, it split into several figures, each wearing the uniform of my school. Between the legs of each figure, a long and sharp object began to grow longer.

Accompanying their ugly laugh, they pointed their weapons at my face and my body.

My legs wobbled and I fell. Putting up my arms, I clumsily swung my hands trying to swipe them away, but the thought of my skin contacting them made me sick.

No, please…please…no!


“Awake! Awake now!”


“Leave her, demon!”

I think I just heard that voice not too long ago.

My eyelids retracted quickly and I was awake. I turned my head toward the direction of the voice.

Fubuki was sitting at my bedside. Her face was as red as an apple. “You…you’re finally awake.” She said. “Now if you would please…”

“What?” I could barely hear her. “What’s going on?”

She looked aside for a moment. “You were having an incubus attack.”

I looked at her serious face and laughed. “You sound like an ‘incubus attack’ is a real creature.” I shook my head, paused, and realized my left hand was grabbing something soft.

I quickly retracted as I realized where I was grabbing.

Fubuki quickly covered her chest and lowered her head.

“Oh my god, I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!” I said.

I couldn’t remember the last time that I talked that fast. I sat up quickly but fell back into bed. My head was spinning and I couldn’t think straight.

She quickly put her right hand on my forehead. “Don’t worry about it.” Smiling, she turned her head toward the door of the nurse’s office. “I think she’ll be here soon.”


She looked back at me quietly. “Miss Kanazuki.” She said.

I blinked a few times before opening my mouth. “You…talked to her?”

She nodded.

“You told me that Miss Kanazuki was your best friend, right? So I ran around the school trying to find her. As soon as I did and told her about your condition, she made a phone call right in the middle of her class, then told me to stay by your side and wait for her.” Fubuki paused. “She said she was arranging a few things.”

Before I could respond, the door to the nurse’s office slid open. After that, a winged- goddess flew in and quickly landed at my side.

I meant to say that Mari ran to my side as quickly as I had ever seen her. “I…” she stuttered. Tear welled out of her eyes and she cradled my head to her chest. The sensation of her soft breast flesh was pleasurable even through fabric. I think she wasn’t wearing a bra underneath.

I blushed. This was supposed to be a serious occasion! “I…uh…” I said.

“Shh.” Mari put a finger to my lips. “Are you all right, hon?” She said. “God, I couldn’t believe what I heard…”

With that, she broke down and sobbed. My eyes grew wide as she began to weep.


Why…why does it sound so familiar…

I could swear I had never heard her weep before. She had always been so strong.

Some images flashed in my head but I couldn’t grasp any of them. Before I could react, Mari held me in her arms and to my wide-eyed surprise, kissed me deeply.

My being began to melt and her being slowly seeped into mine through my mouth. I could taste her lips and her fluid, which slowly and steadily trickled into my oral cavity and slid down my throat. I froze.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Fubuki’s body stiffen. Her face was red as if she had just finished a round of kendo with a tough opponent. Biting her lower lip, she made a slight movement as if she wanted to leave, but for some reason, she didn’t. Her eyes stayed on both of us; she did survey Mari’s body and face more than she surveyed mine. But when she did survey mine, her eyes tried harder to catch my gaze.

It seemed forever, but my muscles loosened and my mind became hazier and hazier. I embraced Mari back with my trembling hands and my lips began to return the kiss. I closed my eyes.

I hear footsteps hurrying away from us and the door to the nurse’s office slid open and then shut quickly. I may even have heard a quiet sob.

Why was Fubuki looking at me? I thought she wanted to get to know Mari better.

We continued our kiss for a moment before parting our lips unwillingly. “Mari…That…” I managed.

Mari shook her head.

“We need to talk, hon.” She said.



Torn apart

The lines on Mari’s face tightened. She breathed in deeply and let it out slowly. “I’m so sorry for what happened to you, SayoSayo.”

I opened my mouth but she continued. “This…the next few days and even weeks are going to be difficult. Thank goodness you were not harmed physically in anyway, but it’ll take some time…” she seemed to brace herself. “It’ll take some time to heal.”

“OK.” I nodded, not fully knowing what to say or how to react. I wasn’t really soiled, thank God, but I still shivered thinking back about my experience. I supposed that I was lucky. “Sigh…I dunno.” I managed a response. I looked at my feet. I still had my workout sneakers on and they were somewhat off-white in color because I had been wearing them for gym classes for a long time. The toes were somewhat worn and the laces were slightly frayed.

I was tired. So tired…

I felt a gentle tug on my arm. “Hey.” Mari said. “Are you listening to me?”

I shook my head to snap myself out of it. “Yeah.” I said.

“I wish I could be less blunt but we have to figure out who was behind it and you need to move on.” She said. I tried to resonate with the strength in her voice but I was shaking inside.

Honestly, I just want it all to go away. I want to forget about it.

“I dunno.” I said.

Mari sighed. “Well, I’ve been asking around the school and did some research on my own.” She shot her gaze to the side. “I haven’t found any suspect yet, but…”

“You know, couldn’t we just…” I managed.

Mari’s gaze landed on my face and the looks on her face made me feel quite uncomfortable. A shadow crossed her face and her eyes narrowed.

I stuttered. “I…uh....I…um…”

I had to look away. She continued to survey my face and eyes for a while longer. Finally, she sighed. “Look, hon, it would be nice if we could just let it go, but…” She gritted her teeth. Her words seethed through them. “If we don’t catch this person she will try a similar stunt on you again.” She sighed. “I don’t want to see you get hurt again.”

I bit my lower lip and said nothing.

Mari reached out with her right hand and gently stroked my face. “Please hon, try to understand that I’m just trying to protect you.” She took my hands. She had dainty hands but at that moment, my hands felt so small and weak in her grasp. “Please, at least let me help you.”

I closed my eyes for a moment then nodded. I opened my eyes to see Mari’s facial lines harden. “Good.” She said. “Now let’s me send you back to your place. My family limo is waiting outside the school gate.”

“But I…”

“No but’s, just do as I say.” Mari said.

“You know, I…”

“Let me take you to the front gate, now.”

Her voice was firm and regal and I couldn’t say no. Sighing, I followed her out of the nurse’s office. We passed some classrooms and a lot of girls were looking at us – or specifically, at Mari, with enamored eyes. Some stared at me with disdain.

I looked outside. The sky was dusty gray.

Is my life not going to be the same ever again?

* * *

My body was there, but myself wasn’t. I watched helplessly as I tore my life apart. Yet, my being wasn’t doing all that; it wasn’t really me that was doing it. After all, there was another “me” and she also lived in my brain. The trouble was that most of the time, what the other me did was out of my control. To put it precisely, my being wished for happiness and joy and I longed to relate to others, but the other me always managed to do something to tear everything that I had built apart. The worst part was that whatever I could build was too fragile to sustain itself anyway. As much as I wished and even prayed sometimes, no one could help me or deliver me from it all. What I did never held up and everything would crumble anyway. It didn’t matter how many tears that I shed; there was no one to fight against and everything that I could push me to do were never effective against the other me and life itself anyway.

And the saddest part was I was emotionally caressing both versions of me. I even adored these me’s. The sick and yet comforting sense that I was like the tortured artist stereotype even though I was good at academics but couldn’t create anything worthwhile lingered. Yes, I was unique but god, or whatever is out there, if anything is out there…

My uniqueness was killing me little by little and day by day.

* * *

I went home in Mari’s limo alone.


[End notes: So, what did you think? Please tell me!]

Chapter 18

Title: 18. A Unexpected Guest

[Author's notes: I guess I've been quite creative lately. ^^ So, somebody shows up at Sayoko's door with an unexpected request. Enjoy and please R&R!]

Jumping into my bed and sliding under my cover, I sighed with resignation and comfort. It was nice to not have to be at school, after all. Having a time alone was quite important for me and not having to follow the academic year routine was a nice change. It just felt great to be different from others, who had to be at school.

I check my cell phone. The time was 11:13 AM. I sighed.

“So much has happened today…” I said.

So much has happened lately is more like it.

I blinked and realized that my mind refused to clock out. I slept at the nurse’s office already. It was hard to fall asleep again. I hated that.

Thoughts assaulted me like the waves on a stormy sea. The blue water turned into dark tides and the crest of each wave threatened to smash my neurons into smithereens.

Mari didn’t allow me to have a choice after what happened earlier today…

I shook my head. I wanted it to be over already. Fubuki beat up these goons, right? That had to be it, right? I mean, after all, they were stopped and that was the end of the bullying, right?

I shuddered. Squeezing my eyelids together, I tried to forget about the thought wondering about the person behind it all. An unknown female suspect, I thought, who was jealous just because I was walking next to Mari? Really?

None of that made any sense to me. I frowned. Somebody would go through the trouble of possibly getting expelled on the account of masterminding a crime just because of jealousy? I blinked again. Playing with my hair, I frowned even harder.

Something is not right.

I sat up in my bed and stared at outside. I thought somebody is out there looking at me.

Oh my god…no way…

I ducked into my cover. Trembling, I reached for my phone.


I jumped. The doorbell rang.

Mari had told me not to open the door for anyone until she called.

I shut my eyes and tried to pretend I didn’t hear anything. After what seemed like eternality, the doorbell rang again.

I was sweating bullets. Gritting my teeth, I got out of my bed and walked to the kitchen. Opening a drawer, I took out a chef’s knife and then headed for the front door.

My teeth were clattering and my knees were shaking but I had enough. “Who…who is…it…who is it?” My voice was cracking.

“It’s me.” A familiar voice came.

I frowned. “Is…is that…Fubuki?”

“Yes, Miss Suzuki. It’s me.”

I dropped the knife and opened the door with my shaky hands. Fubuki was standing there in her uniform, with a backpack on her back with a real katana strapped to her waist.

I just stood there, staring at her. In the last of the morning sunlight, she held her head high with pride. Her lean figure was surrounded with an aura of strength. Her arms were steady and her legs were well toned and slightly tanned. She looked invincible and incredible.

“Ahem.” She said. “I’ve sent by Miss Kanazuki to live with you and to watch over you.”

I blinked. That was the third time that morning. “What…?” I managed.

The wind blew her hair and the short strands leaped. A cherry blossom petal fell on her right shoulder.

“I know this is sudden, but by Miss Kanazuki’s orders, I will be watching over you.”

My eyes went wide and my jaw fell. “What?” I said. “What do you mean?”

“May I come in?” She said.

“O…Of course.”

I opened the door fully and let her in. She proceeded to take off her sneakers and revealing a pair of size 7 feet. She wasn’t wearing socks and I could see that her big toes and second toes were slightly longer, followed by middle and the second to last toes and finally, followed by her pinky toes.  Her big toes were large. Her feet were lean, athletic and well defined. I could see a couple of veins on her insteps. Looking up her body, I sensed a quiet strength within her. If needed, her strength would turn into a sharp blade ready to strike down anyone comes into its range. Standing next to her, I felt confident even going against men. For that matter, we stood against some men and she struck them down with ease.

I felt safe, so safe that I smiled. I closed the door behind us. “Would you like some tea?”

“I would appreciate it, yes. But right now, I need to see your room.” Fubuki said.

My mouth was agape. “What?” I said.

“I need to check out your room.”

* * * 

“Hmm. No wire taps, hidden cameras or anything.” Fubuki said after surveying and searching thoroughly inside my room. She checked every corner and even scanned every inch of my carpet, as well as the small cracks in the tiles on the wall and on the floor of my bathroom. She even checked inside the showerhead. “Maybe I’m just being too cautious?”

I was more struck by her professionalism then anything. Her method appeared random but she was capable of whatever it was that she had been performing during her time outside of the school.

“What exactly do you do?” I asked.

Fubuki turned to me and blushed. “Ah…I…” She paused. “I’m a kendo instructor at the Fuuzan School of Martial Arts…”

“Save it.” I said. “Just tell me what’s going on.”

She sighed. “The only thing I can tell you is that Miss Kanazuki’s family and my family has a very close tie ever since the country was ruled by the imperial family.” Turning her head away, she continued to survey my room.

“Wait a minute, but why?”

“Please ask Miss Kanazuki for any detail that you wish to learn.”

“OK, well, you can’t just barge in here and then declare that you’re going to live with me.”

“You let me in. As for the part of living with you…”

She turned around and fell on knees putting her face on the ground with her hands splayed out above her head.

“Please, Miss Suzuki. This is an order from Miss Kanazuki and I had no right to refuse. Please indulge my selfishness and allow me to watch over you until the entire case is solved.”

I put a hand on my chest. “But I…but I have to ask my mom about this…”

“I’ve been told that your mother, Mrs. Suzuki, is a very kind and understanding person.”

I shook my head. “But…but I don’t want her to learn about what happened to me at school…”

“I will keep that a secret. My official reason is that I’m your new friend. I’m all alone by myself in this town and no one was willing to let me rent a place without having a steady job.”

I stared at her in pure amazement. Her voice was steady with a deadly earnestness, so much so that I began to believe her excuse. “So…Mari sent you?”

“Yes, Miss Suzuki.” She said.

Her obedient response sent a chill up my spine. She was a first year student with a pleasing voice, after all. The shape of her legs, her waist and her feet were beautiful and feminine. My heart skipped a beat. “So…you’d do anything that Mari tells you?”


My voice had an edge of defiance. “Even if she tells you to die?


“Was that the real reason that you said you liked her and wanted to meet her?”

Fubuki looked up at me in surprise, I caught a glimpse of her blushing face before she pressed her forehead to the ground again.

“I’m afraid I can’t answer that question. It’s too personal.”

I sighed. With that, I was defeated. “I’m sorry, I should not have pried.”

“No, please don’t apologize.” She said. “I wish I could tell you everything, Miss Suzuki. After all,” she paused. “You’re a kind person and you have the right to know. It’s just that…” She looked up. “It’s just that Miss Kanazuki believes that you shouldn’t be involved in that world.”

“What world?”

Fubuki lowered her head again and became silent.

Sighing, I fell into my chair near the desk. “OK. I give up. When my mother comes back, we’ll talk to her about it. I…I’m actually OK with it, but it’s still up to her.” I went to her. Taking her hands, I helped her to her feet. “And next time, call first. Got it?”

Fubuki smiled softly. “Yes, Miss Suzuki.”

I never realized she was a little bit shorter than I was. I looked down into her eyes. Her face grew redder and redder. Even her ears became flushed. “Miss Suzuki?” She stammered.

I shook my head and smiled. “Nothing. Let me get that spare futon out for you.”

“I could just sleep on the floor…”

“No.” I shook my head firmly. “You’re a girl and you shouldn’t have to sleep on the dirty floor. Not even with a carpet on it.”

“But you don’t have to…”

“I want to.” I nodded firmly. “So sit tight and let me get that for you.”

We had a small storage room on the second floor. I headed for the door to my room, paused, and turned. “Oh and Fubuki, one more thing.”

“Yes, Miss Suzuki?”

“Don’t call me that. Call me Sayoko.”

“But I…”

“No buts. Are we clear?” I said. Suppressing my grin was becoming more and more difficult.

She looked defeated, for once. “Yes, Miss…”

I shot her a look of disapproval.

“Yes, Sayoko.” She said. She folded her hands in her lap.

“Good. I’ll be back.”

With that, I walked out of my room and headed to the storage room.

I can’t believe it! Fubuki is going to be my roommate!

* * *

My mother was surprisingly easy to talk to. She just laughed and praised Fubuki for her bravery of being alone and trying to make it in the town. Fubuki blushed and said very little.

The three of us ate dinner and then, Fubuki and I returned to my room for some girl-time. My excitement surprised and delighted me.

It was going to be an interesting night.




[End notes: Well, surprises and more surprises. What will they do now?]

Chapter 19

Title: 19. Girl Talk / New Intertwine

[Author's notes: Can't believe what has happened...I hope I can do better.]

Girl Talk

I shut my bedroom door and Fubuki and I were alone. I told her to slip into something more comfortable but she insisted on wearing her school uniform. “I’m very comfortable, Miss Suzuki. Believe me.”

“I said called me Sayoko.” I warned.

She sighed. “OK, Miss Sayoko.”

At least I got a compromise. “All right, so tell me, what kind of danger will I be experiencing?” I didn’t want to waste any time. “I want to at least be ready.”

My forwardness even surprised myself; just a few days ago, I would’ve been frightened and hiding in a corner of my room, trying to squeezing into it while wishing I were a quark; now I’m actually trying to figure out what to do.

Maybe having almost done it with Ryoko in the public has made me bolder?

I mused. Fubuki cocked an eyebrow. “To be honest with you, Miss Kanazuki didn’t specify what type of possible threats are there against you, but…” She said.

“Could you…” I slipped back to my old self for a moment. “Could you at least…um…tell me where I can hide if someone were to come? Actually, wouldn’t it be better if we called the police?”

Fubuki’s eyes narrowed. “I’m afraid in this case, the police will not be much help. In addition, I would like to protect the familial honor of Miss Kanazuki if at all possible. Going to the police with this case would mean possible public exposure.” She bowed. “I’m sorry but I cannot recommend seeking help from the police.”

I shook my head and buried my face in hands. “What am I supposed to do? This is just so unreal…”

Fubuki put her hands on my shoulders. “It’ll be OK, Miss…Sayoko. I…” She paused. “I will protect your honor as well.”

I looked into her eyes. “At the very least, tell me what to do. Please.” I said.

She bit her lower lip. “I’ll be close to you. Don’t worry.”

I fell back into my bed. “The only reason you sound like you care is because Mari told you to.”

Fubuki stood up and looked over me. “No. Or rather, that’s only part of the reason.”

“You and I hardly know each other.” I said.

“That’s not a problem.” She said.

I turned away from her. “You don’t know me.”

To my surprise, she fell into my bed next to me. “But I feel that I do.”

We turned our faces at the same time and I found her deep brown eyes gazing at me. I blushed and she blushed at nearly the same time.

I instinctively wanted to turn my face away but I held her gaze. God, I never realized how deep her eyes were. I think the only other person that I know with such deep eyes is none other than yours truly. My body slowly relaxed as I fell under the hypnotic powers of her dark brown eyes. It was as if I was staring into a bottomless lake; there were so many mysteries and ancient tales hidden underneath the water…

“I know you.” She said.

“I don’t understand.” I said.

She sat up and looked at the wall that I hung my Aoi Hana calendar on. “If you promise not to laugh, then I shall tell you a tale that was passed down in my family since the days of old.” She said. After that, she peered at my face a little sheepishly.

I tried my best to smile and I did manage to nod. “Cross my heart and hope to die.”

Her lips opened slightly and a gentle laughter escaped as her eyes turned wispy. She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “No one in our clan remember the era or even the period of time in history that it took place, but it was very long ago…”

I noted that she didn’t realize that she said “clan” instead of “family”.

She continued. “Long ago, it was said that the women from our clan had the deepest eyes in the entire country. Back then, a ‘country’ was just a region with a castle in the middle of it. A country was nothing like what we have today; it was more like a kingdom, except there were no kings, just noble warrior families. The shogun was at the top of the warrior class. The emperor, who was regarded as the ruler of the entire land, didn’t have any true powers. That said; the emperor’s family had always struggled with the shogun’s clan for real powers.”

I nodded.

“We had never really been the shogun’s allies because we were descendents of the imperial family. However, as time went on, our ancestry was forgotten and the records were lost. Thus, we became direct servants/protectors of the imperial family.”

I shrugged. I didn’t see how the story was relevant to me.

“Anyway, in the tale passed down in our clan, when a woman warrior finds a person with eyes as deep as the night itself, she has found her soul mate. This person was destined to become her companion for life.”

“You mean her marriage partner?” I said lazily. I was feeling quite comfortable and falling asleep.

“Not necessarily.”

“So, what if you find a girl with ‘eyes as deep as the night itself’? What would you do?”

She blushed and even her ears turned red. “Then she will be my companion for life.”

I sprung off my bed and nearly fell in surprise. “What?”

She hung her head and said nothing.

I froze. OK, this is weird. “Um…you said that ‘you know me’.”

She nodded.

“And the legend in your clan says that if a woman warrior encounters someone with eyes as deep as the night, she will make that person her companion.”

“No, it’s more like that person will become her companion.”

“Whatever. Are you implying…that I’m your ‘companion’?”

She quickly shot me a glance and then looked away. “I don’t know. I’m not implying anything.”

I held my forehead. “You know, I like you as a person and all but…this is weird.”

“I’m very sorry to have troubled you, Miss Suzuki.”

“Call me Sayoko, and no, you have not troubled me. It’s just that…” I sighed. “I don’t think you should trust a legend passed down from long ago. Especially when the legend doesn’t seem to be a solid background.”

Fubuki shook her head. “I don’t question the teaching passed down from our elders. That said…” She cast a sideways glance at me and then looked away. “You do have the deepest eyes I’ve ever seen.”

“Oh dear.” I shook my head. “This is just not the right time…”

“I know, I know! That’s why I’m awkward!”

We stared at each other for a moment and burst out in laughter.

Trying to catch my breath, I managed: “You’re awkward?”

She nodded furiously. “Yes, I’m awkward!”

I put my right hand on her left arm. “No, you’re not awkward. I am.”

She firmly shook her head. “No, you’re not awkward. You’re…”



“What? What am I?”

She rocked back and forth a little. I noticed that it was the first time she had a relaxed posture.

“Well, what am I?” I insisted.

She looked at me directly in the eyes. “You’re simply special.”

“Oh cut the crap.” I started to get up. She touched my shoulder and I turned to look at her.

“You must be an amazing person, so much so that Miss Kanazuki couldn’t stop talking about you…” Fubuki said.

Detecting a hint of jealousy and sadness mixed with firmness and encouragement from her voice, I sat back down. I stared at my feet for a while. I was barefoot and my big size-6 feet were ugly. My toes were slim and weak.

“I’m sorry.” I said.

“No, you’ve done nothing wrong.” Fubuki said. “After all, one cannot dictate who she loves; she just loves. As women, we simply love more.”

I nodded. After a moment, I began to stare at her bare feet. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed her face was starting to turn beet red. “What…why are you staring at them?” She said. With that, she quickly sat in the lotus position and tried to hide her feet. But her soles were bare and out of impulse, I started tickling her right sole, which was facing my direction.

“Kya ha ha ha ha! Please, stop!” She burst out in laughter and started speaking incoherently while trying to get away from me. My fingers followed her movement.

“OK, OK, that’s it!” She said. She moved around me so quickly that I couldn’t catch her. Before I could react, her hands found their way to my armpits and she started wiggling her fingers!

“Teehee, that tickles!” I laughed hard and I squirmed, trying to get away from her. But she was the martial arts expert and her movements were fast and furious. Every time I tried to tickle back, her fingers found the most ticklish spots on my body and attacked mercilessly.

“Coochie-coochie-coo!” She cooed in my ears as her fingers attacked in high speed. Oh god! A shiver shot up my spine as I cursed myself for caving in so easily. Why was that just about every girl that I met quickly found out my weak spot?

After what seemed like forever, I lost my strength and fell into a sea of laughter. It seemed like my world was drowning in waves composed of her tickling fingers, which mercilessly stroked, grazed and lightly scratched every possible ticklish spot. She even found the bottom of my soles and ravaged them as fast and as furious as a flash storm tearing through a small mountain town.

“No! I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry! I give up!” I laughed with so much tears that I got confused. I shrank into a ball but her fingertips were still finding delicious spots on my frail body. She didn’t grow her fingernails long but she seemed to know what type of rhythm and what speed of strokes worked the best on me.

Just when I thought I was going to pass out after being drowned in the sea of tickling. She stopped cold and then held me in her arms.

I was panting so hard I thought I was going to run out of breath.

“You’re a precious one.” Fubuki said with a glint in her eye. “But now you must rest.”

OK, what was that all about? It was fun but…

“Shh.” She whispered. “Let all that tension out of your body. Feel it sink to the bottom of the lake and just relax.”

Her voice was so soft and comforting. After all that tickling, I was tired and my body felt like a wet toast. I couldn’t resist anything she said.

“Close your eyes and don’t think about anything. Just fall into sleep.”

I closed my eyes. My mind was silent and I couldn’t think. I wasn’t able to move a muscle.

“Good night. I’ll keep watch for a while.”

I began to lose consciousness. The last thing I remembered was Fubuki laying me down gently into my bed…


New intertwine 

A fire started in my loins and ran wild all over my body. I grew wide-eyed without knowing what to do next but putting my fingers where my body begged to be touched. I ran my hands all over my flesh, pinching, teasing and tickling my sensitive spots while moaning and groaning. I have never thought that I’d be so lustful. After all, nobody even reached the sanctum deep inside my heart. The place had always been protected by a force field, laced with ice magic and frozen elements from the Antarctic Circle. However, women have attempted to penetrate or infiltrate my force field in order to open my heart and reach the sanctum. As I gazed, the ocean, the moonlight, the lake and the child-like elements have tried to neutralize the field and enter my private thoughts, which was yet to be fully explored by others. However, their repeated efforts were becoming more and more effective. I was being cornered and yet, as much as I wanted to run further, I longed to open up completely; I wanted to be naked without fear and hold her.

The only problem was not I didn’t know which one she was.

I woke up gasping for air. Taking heavy breaths, I slowly looked around. Fubuki was sitting near the window and wide-awake even though the sun wasn’t up yet. “You all right?” She asked with a casual tone in her voice.

I scratched my head. “I can’t remember the last time that I felt really all right but…Yeah, I’m all right.”

I shot a look at her direction. She was already dressed in school uniform. Damn, I thought, she sure is fast and early. I noticed she had her katana by her side. “What, don’t tell me, you slept with your head leaning against your sword?”

“Ha. Don’t be silly. I slept in the futon, thank you.” She said. “I didn’t anticipate any danger and there was no need to be on high alert.”

She stood up. “Let’s get ready to go to school.”

I sighed. Sliding out of my cover, I landed on the ground on my butt. Waving Fubuki off and signaling that I was OK, I began to strip. Then I stopped in the middle of my routine.

Fubuki made no attempt to leave my room. As a matter of fact, she kept her eyes on me.

“Ah…” I stuttered. “Maybe you should…turn around or something…”

“Why, we’re both girls. Anyway, I’m not interested in you like that.”

“Then why are you staring at me?”

She brushed her bangs aside. “Just comparing.”


She turned to look outside. “Fine, you can change now.”

I must admit I was slightly disappointed at her reaction. Sighing, I stripped and stood naked next to her. She made no attempt to survey me. My body was probably too frail and the lack of curvatures didn’t turn her on.

“Don’t worry about my reaction.” She spoke into my thoughts without turning my direction. “But, you may want to worry about Miss Sanomiya’s reaction when she sees us together.”

I froze. My thoughts were a mess because I just woke up five minutes ago. “What?”

She nodded toward outside the window. Rubbing my eyes, I slowly walked to the window and looked outside. Gasping, I jumped back.

Ryoko was standing in front of the door to my house. She had a worried look on her face.

“Oh my god oh my god, you…you have to hide!” I panicked.

“Why?” She said. She made no attempt to move.

“Well, we can’t let her see you or know you’re here!”

“She can’t see me from there. Besides, it’s not certain if she’ll press the doorbell. Even if she does, I don’t have to go and greet her. That said,” she looked at my direction with smiling eyes and lips slightly curving upward. “You know she’ll eventually find out that we’re living together, right?”

I grabbed my hair. “Oh you…we’re not living together…or rather, we’re roommates but…I mean…”

“You’ve got some time. Why don’t you go take a shower or something? I don’t think she’ll be pressing the doorbell anytime soon.” Fubuki said casually.

My mind was racing but my body seemed to have stuck in second gear. After a few seconds, I stomped the floor with my right foot and I went to take my shower.

As soon as I finished my shower, I dried myself and grabbed my clothes, threw them on. Fubuki was not in my room. I quickly headed downstairs.

Both Fubuki and Ryoko were sitting next to the dining table. They smiled.

I almost fell on my butt. Damn you, Fubuki! Why did you open the door? “I…uh…”

“Hi kitten.” Ryoko said. She looked glorious basking in the morning sunlight splashed in the dining room.

“Ah..Hi.” I managed. “Well, I guess…you two met, um…This is Fubuki, she’s…uh…” I scratched my head and searched for an explanation. “She’s…uh, a friend of mine.”

Ryoko grinned with mischief. “You mean, she’s your new protector, right?”

“What…?” I gasped. “But how…”

“She told me everything.”

I shot a harsh look at Fubuki and felt like a moron. What made it worse was that I became a moron in front of Ryoko! “That’s uh…nice…” I wished that my stare were as sharp as Mari’s. I kept staring at Fubuki. “Thanks, Fubuki, for explaining everything.”

Fubuki smiled a little bit too broadly. “You’re welcome, Miss Sayoko.”

“You know, I didn’t quite mean that.” I seethed.

She shrugged “I know.”

Yep, I wanted to dig a hole and hide. “Look, Ryoko…”

“I know. I know about everything.” Ryoko said. She stood up.

“Let’s talk about it on our way to school. By the way, I didn’t want to get a ride in my family car, but I guess this occasion calls for some privacy.”

I was dumbfounded. “What?”

Ryoko gestured. “Let’s go. I’ll tell you everything…everything between the families of Miss Kanazuki, Fubuki, and mine in the limo.”

My shoulders fell and I felt defeated. “All right.”

With that, we left my house, got into the limo and headed toward school.


[End notes: I can't believe how everything has turned out. What will happen next? I don't even know. ^^;;]

Chapter 20

Title: 20. The Truth / I Ran

[Author's notes:

Finally, some of the complexity clears up. I hope you enjoy this chapter. ^^


Once again, she runs away. At least she tries.


Under the Cherry Blossom Tree


The truth.


“All right.” Ryoko took a deep breath. “Ready or not, here I go.”

I nodded, perhaps a little too nervously.

Fubuki’s eyes were closed and her head was tilted away from us.

“So Fubuki told you that Mari’s family has always been associated with the imperial family, correct?” Ryoko said.

I nodded.

“OK, so with all the wars, conquests and other imperial plus government (shogunate) expenses,” Ryoko snorted. “Who do you think handles the finances? After all, you need money for everything and there is only so much tax you can squeeze out of people before riots and other civil unrests happen…or in today’s case, massive exodus from the nation in order to live and work in a better country.”

“If there were one.” I said.

She looked at my direction seeking a hint for understanding. I nodded. She leaned back and threw her arms up and then proceeded to stretch while groaning.

“That’s where my family comes in. You see, we’ve been the real financial ministers for generations.” Ryoko said. Her voice was flat and her expression dull. “It’s simple stuff, really.”

My jaw dropped. “So your dad’s the financial minister? But I thought…”

“No, he’s not the guy that you see on TV.” Ryoko interrupted me. “It’s not that obvious.”

She stretched out again. “Our family runs the financial stuff behind the scenes. So no matter who’s the real Minister of Finance, we are in control.”

I gasped. “But that means that for all intents and purposes, your family has been running the nation for god-knows how many years? That’s…”

 “…Corrupted? Well, yeah, you could put it that way.” She closed her eyes and leaned back. “At the end of the day, it’s not right for one family to inherit the duty of budgeting for an entire nation for nearly a millennium. But…” She searched my face and looked into my eyes. “But that’s this country for you. That’s the way it is.”

I shook my head and bit my lower lip. I understood why Mari never talked to me about her family as well as things that happened around her that didn’t make any sense ay all. “I think, at this point, that I’ve received too much privileged information and I’m not sure if I’m happy about it.”

Ryoko rubbed her temple. Her eyes were droopy with some puffiness. She let out a tired yawn. “I’m sorry to get you involved in this, kitten.”

I shook my head and didn’t speak.

“Perhaps I should continue from here.” Fubuki said. “Would that be all right, Miss Sanomiya?”

“Call me Ryoko. I hate that formality stuff.” Ryoko corrected her sharply.

Fubuki bowed her head. “As you wish. Then, I shall continue.”

“As Miss Kanazuki and Miss Ryoko’s families represent different factions in the government, there are other factions that aren’t happy with their families being in charge. These factions stir up troubles from time to time.” Fubuki cleared her throat, and continued. “What complicates matters is that both families have a very strict rule, which has been passed down since the ancient times.”

I groaned hearing “ancient times” for the gazillionth time. Fubuki cocked an eyebrow but continued. “Only males can inherit the family position and wealth. Or to put it precisely, the oldest male in the family inherits the power as well as the wealth and he can distribute them as much as he see fits.”

“What?” I gasped. “I know we live in this country, but this is 21 century! That’s…so dumb!”

Fubuki fidgeted a little, looking uncomfortable. She looked at Ryoko’s direction quickly. Ryoko gestured. Fubuki sighed and continued. “Maybe this rule is very much outdated, but with all due respect to either family, I will continue on with this talk.”

I was red with embarrassment but I wasn’t going to apologize.

“The problem with the current generation is that neither family has managed to produce a male child so far.”

“At least not a legit male child.” Ryoko snorted.

It was Fubuki’s turn to blush. She shifted in her seat. “Uh…In any event, as the current leaders of the two clans are no more capable for reproduction due to old age and health issues, the families are left with two options. One, have the two oldest daughters marry pre-screened male candidates from powerful families when the two reach 18 years of age. Two, change the rule and allow them to lead the clans when they reach 18 years of age.”

I couldn’t hold back any more. “So forgive me for being Miss Obvious but can’t they go with option two?”

“If only everything could proceed with such simplicity.” Fubuki corrected me, perhaps a little bit too sharply. “As the only child…”

Legit child.” Ryoko interrupted. It was so unlike her to be rude. She also looked rather tired compared with how she usual looks.

“Yes, thank you, Miss Sanomiya. (Ryoko frowned but didn’t say anything) As the only legit child to have the possibility to inherit the wealth, either Miss Sanomiya or Miss Kanazuki makes a great target for destruction, which can mean a variety of things.”

“Or both of us.” Ryoko said. “All right, I’ll finish this.” She looked at me sternly.

“Here’s where you enter the picture.”

I blinked for a good while being dumbfounded but then it slowly dawned on me during the pause. A grin crept up my face despite my gargantuan effort to suppress it.

Ryoko reached out to stroke my cheek softly. Her hand smelled nice. “Yes, we both love you. So, if you were harmed in anyway, we would be emotionally devastated beyond repair and unable to lead our respective families.”

I almost fainted hearing her confessing like that. Ryoko always manage to be so sneaky. As my heart pounded, she continued with an unwilling look. “Or, if the fact that the daughter of either clan is in love with a girl gets on the news, our families will be disgraced forever and our positions would probably crumble, albeit slowly.”

Both Ryoko and Fubuki let out a long sigh. Neither of them spoke for a while and the silence was slowly tightening its grip on my chest.

My heart leapt but my eyes narrowed. “It’s not supposed to be this complex between…among us.”

Ryoko withdrew her hand from my cheek and I was slightly disappointed. She sunk into the leather seat with her shoulders slumped. “But it is.”

Leaning back, I closed my eyes and ran the information that I learned so far though my mind.

We were silent for god knows how long until the driver dutifully informed that we’re minutes away from school.

“Do we have any suspect?” I said.

“No,” Fubuki said. “And, in the case of investigation, it’s not ‘we’. At least, I was told by Miss Kanazuki that you shouldn’t be involved.”

“That is ridiculous, I’m already involved!” I said.

“Unfortunately, she’s right.” Ryoko said. “Fubuki, I mean.”

My triumphant look quickly reduced to a pile of disappointment. “What? But you just told me everything!”

“I told you everything so that you’d be ready for anything.” Ryoko snapped back. “I want you to be careful everywhere from this point on!”

“But I want to help…”

“How? What can you do?”

My eyes widened and my facial muscles tightened. Tension was mounting and I was heaping another pile onto it. “Well, I don’t know! But I’m involved so…”

Ryoko gripped my shoulders and looked into my eyes. “Listen very carefully, kitten. You’re in danger and that’s the last thing I want. I’m sorry that it came down to this. I never thought the rival factions could stoop so low but I was wrong. I must be responsible.” Her strength was hurting me. “I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

I looked aside. “You’re hurting me.” I was shutting down quickly despite the adrenaline that continued to rush through my body.

Ryoko cupped my chin and half-forced me to look at her. “I want you to be careful from this point on. You got that? In fact,” she paused and bit her lower lip before continuing. “Maybe you should stay away from me for a while.”

The silence that followed was so loud that it stunned me speechless. I sat and stared at her. My facial lines were tense and my mind refused to acknowledge what she said. My shoulders were hurting because of her strength.

Ryoko caught her self, sighed and withdrew her hands. I realized then she was on top of me, which would’ve made me glad in other circumstances. She sat back and held her forehead.

None of us spoke after that. The car slowly cruised through the familiar streets. I gazed outside. Students close to our age were walking lazily toward their respective schools. I studied their faces. Some of them were laughing and gesturing carelessly. Others were walking with drooped shoulders and sleepy faces. Still others were checking out our limo and spoke with probably hushed voices. The sun was out and everything took on a golden and glorious shine. It was so bright that the darkness within me screamed and retreated from it all. Sullenly, I pulled my gaze back and allowed it to land on a spot inside the limo but away from Ryoko and Fubuki’s faces.

Everything was normal outside.

Nothing was normal inside.

Will everything ever be normal again?


I Ran

I ran.

I chose to run.

I existed, therefore I ran.


I could feel Ryoko’s stare of disbelief burning into my back. I didn’t hear any footsteps and I figured she wasn’t going to chase me down. Perhaps my action stunned her. It certainly stunned me as I didn’t plan anything on our way to school.


I ran because it was hard for me to hear.

I chose to run because it was too much to bear.

I existed, therefore I had to run.



“Sayoko!” came Ryoko’s voice. It echoed in the distance and resonated in my mind.

I could swear I had never run so fast in my life.

It was the first time that I exploded with everything I had and more.

It was the first time that I really decided to do something.

It was sad that I decided to run.


And I thought I was pretty fast.

“Please stop.”

As soon as I heard Fubuki’s voice next to my ear, I knew it was over. She caught up with me instantly. But even before she could do anything, my legs gave out and I fell with my face forward.


I was caught before my face smashed into the ground.

I was surprised to see that not Fubuki’s hands, but Ryoko’s hands had caught me. Somehow, she got there just in time.


Feeling her hands around my thin waist, I tried to struggle out of her embrace. She clamped me down like a vice and I couldn’t move my arms. My legs were no good at that point and all I could do was thrashing around with my body.


“I’m,” Ryoko said. “Really, really tempted to slap you right now…STAY STILL!”

“Let me go! JUST LET ME GO!” I said.


She let go all of the sudden and I fell. I managed to turn my head at the last second to avoid falling on my nose.

Her guilt and other emotions rushed at me like a great river. “Oh kitten, I…”


“Please don’t.” Fubuki said. “Please let her be.”


There I was, face flat on the ground.


We stayed where we were for god knows how long before one of us sighed.


“I’ll stay as her guard.” Fubuki said.

“OK, then I’m gone for now.” Ryoko said.


With that, I closed my eyes and started sobbing. My left ear was on the ground and I could her Ryoko’s footsteps echoing away from me.


I stayed on the ground while Fubuki stayed next to me. The ground felt coarse and I had some gravel in my mouth; they were bitter with a slight taste of iron; I cut my mouth when I fell. My tears tasted salty as well and I thought about the way sea tortoise laid their eggs; these creatures always cry when they lay eggs. The dissociation of it all was making me dizzy. Or perhaps it was because I tried to sprint hard for the first time in my life (I’ve always found an excuse not to run in PE classes). Either way, it didn’t help that I wasn’t prepared for anything at all.


“You must be laughing at me inside.” I muttered.

“Actually, I’m just watching you.” Fubuki said.

“Right, my ridiculousness must be amusing.” I said.

“I honestly don’t have a response to that. I can tell you this: I’m not laughing inside or outside.” She said.

“That makes no sense.” I said.

“Glad to hear it.” She said.


I turned the other cheek. She was wearing white ankle socks and sneakers. For a powerful fighter her ankles were rather slim and delicate; it looked easily breakable. How did she catch up with me so fast? Oh right. It’s her. “Do I look funny?”


She tapped the ground with her right foot. “I’m just trying to watch out for you.”

“So that’s why you’ve been staring at me rather than looking for any possible signs of danger?” I said.


“There is no threat present.” She said dryly.

I chortled. “So you’re angry too.”

She let out a long sigh. “Permit me to speak freely.”

I braced myself. “Go ahead.”

“The situation did not call for your sudden action.”

I frowned. “I know, but I just had to get away...”

“Forgive me for asking but from who or whom? From us? But we are here to protect you.”

“No.” I managed with some firmness in my voice. “You’re assigned by Mari to watch me and you happened to run into Ryoko or rather, Ryoko happen to visit today and you happened to be around.”

I heard a sharp intake of air. “Perhaps you’re right. But the fact is that I’m here to look after you and Miss Kanazuki is worried about you and I…”

“What do you care?” I snapped. “It’s just your duty. Just because Mari told you to.”

“That’s not untrue, however, I…”

“You what? You’re just Mari’s watchdog.”

The air became so thick between us that a katana wouldn’t be able cut through it. I bit my lower lip and mentally cursed myself.


Fubuki sighed softly. “You may think any way you wish. But please, permit me to do what I’m assigned to do.” Her emphasis on “assigned” made me wince.


I squeezed my eyes shut, feeling bad. “Look, I…”

“Perhaps you should rest your mind as well as your body in the health room. Also, you must attend your classes.” She said.


I sat up and averted my gaze. “What if I just sit here all day?”

“Then I’ll be by your side all day. But I try my best to persuade you to do what you must do.”


I bit my lower lip again.

We became silent and neither of us said anything for a while.

She turned and began surveying the streets. There were no students in the street. The first bell had already rung.


Everything became distant. I was staring hard in the dark but my eyes found nothing. I ran, I fought and I searched. But still, nothing…




[End notes: This is turning into a complex and drawn out drama...]

Chapter 21

Title: 21. Keiko, pt. 2

[Author's notes:

Have you guys ever read the novel "Kara no Kyoukai (Garden of Sinners)"? I love it. But these days, I feel so discouraged. I feel the same way as the author often (at least that's what I think). But I can't write nearly as well. I can only write this garbage! And to think the author of Kara no Kyoukai is a man! The main character of the novel is a girl who rejects people. Not something simple as "dislike" or "hatre", just "utter rejection". Just for once, I wish I could write remotely as well.

That said, I hope you'll at least enjoy some of this straw. ^^;; Thanks for reading!


“What are you doing here?”

I lifted my head in surprise and saw Keiko. She was wearing a pink top with a light blue short skirt with polka dots and pink pumps with a LV bag slung over her shoulder. As usual, she had a little bit of make up on, which made her eyes looking even bigger than usual – she was going for that “moe” look – and her lips still looked like cherry, especially when she pouted.

I had forgotten the only girl that I could really communicate with in classes. Despite being a girl, I just couldn’t get into the things the girls my age liked. Mostly, I stared at outside when they talked about clothes or boys.

Keiko was the only person that I could talk to (or she was the only person cared to talk to me, whatever); that was before Mari came and before Ryoko and I were able to communicate (though awkwardly). In a mere few days, I had forgotten about her. She had asked about my feelings just a couple of days back. Guilt shot across my heart as I admired her legs. They were straight, a little plump but not fat. They were not well defined like Ryoko’s nor were they refined like Mari’s, but they were pleasing to check out nonetheless. I swallowed and looked away, remembering that I was just in shock a moment ago.

My days were a mess and I had so much on my mind.

Quickly, Keiko walked toward me and put her hand on my shoulder. “Are you all right? Why are you sitting on the ground?” She lifted up her head and shot Fubuki a gaze. “Who is she? Is she related to Mari?”

I blinked. The fact that Keiko called Mari by her name and not her last name (Kanazuki) surprised me a little. “No, she’s not. She’s um…” I paused, unsure what to say, especially after what happened just moments ago.

“You must be Miss Sawashiro Keiko.” Fubuki said. “I'm Sakamoto Fubuki of the Fuuzan Clan…School of Martial Arts, currently serving Miss Kanazuki.” She bowed.

Keiko stood next to me and made no gestures. “Why are you here?”

Detecting a hint of hostility, I cocked any eyebrow.

Fubuki smiled politely. “Miss Kanazuki assigned me to protect Miss Suzuki.”

“I said call me Sayoko.” I muttered.

“In any event, we were on our way to the school when Miss Suzuki tripped and fell. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to be hurt anywhere. I was just trying to get her back on her feet.” Fubuki said.

“Yep, nowhere except in my heart.” I muttered again.

Keiko stared at her with narrowing eyes. Fubuki didn’t flinch.

“All right, I see. I was wondering if you were just another girl trying to stir up Sayoko’s heart.” Keiko said. She tone was harsh but she was blushing.

My jaw dropped. “Keiko?” I said. “What was that about?”

My heart almost leapt out of my throat as she threw her arms around my neck. The next thing I knew, she pressed her face against mine and hugged me closely. “What…” was all I could manage.

Fubuki’s eyes were full of amusement. “Oh.” She said. “So now you’re trying to woo her away from Miss Kanazuki.”

“What are you talking about?” Keiko fired back sharply. “I like my best friend a lot and I want to be close to her. Don’t jump of conclusions.” She turned and our faces, no, our lips were less than an inch away. “But if Sayoko even decide to cross that line, I’ll be delighted!” She laughed.

I froze. The girl next to me felt like a stranger. “Keiko? What’s…wrong?” I said.

“Wrong? WRONG?” Her pitch jumped one notch higher. “Nothing is wrong; nothing is ever wrong.” Out of the blue, she pecked me on my left cheek and then jumped to her feet, pulling me up with her in the process. “Come on Sayoko, let’s get out of here. Ooh, I know, let’s go shopping!”

Getting up too quickly made me dizzy. The glaring aura around Keiko caused by the morning sun also made me dizzy. “But you know I don’t like shopping. I mean, not that stuff.”

“I know. But I feel like going.” Keiko said.

“But the department stores aren’t even open at this hour!” I said.

“Let’s go to that one in the next town. The train ride will take about an hour. We can have a snack and then go shopping!” Keiko said.

The ecstatic tone in her voice made me uneasy. “I don’t know, I mean…” I said.

“What, you can’t give up your school work?” She said.

I shook my head.

“You love the lectures that much?” She said.

I shook my head again.

“Oh I see, you can’t bear to be apart from our dear classmates?” Her pitch raised another notch.

“No, that’s not it…” I said; my skin crawled.

“Then let’s go.” Keiko spun on her heels and started dragging me with her. “Let’s just ditch school.”

“I must protest, Miss Sawashiro…” Fubuki interrupted.

“It’s none of your business, really, you’re just Mari’s servant, aren’t you?” Keiko said without turning around. “You can follow along but I will ignore you.”

“Please do not be insulting.” Fubuki said quietly. Her tone made me uneasy.

“Ooh, I’m so scared.” Keiko said, totally ignoring her obvious warning. “Well, in any case, since you’re around to protect Sayoko, I guess there is nothing to worry about, is there?” Keiko said. “Let’s go then.”

I tried to protest one more time but she had already started to walk. Her small hand felt very nice and I didn’t want to shake it off. Sighing, I started walking as well. Turning my head around, I saw Fubuki sighing. She took out her cell phone and called someone while following us.

“Yes, report to Mari.” Keiko said. “Tell her Sayoko is with a friend.”

I shook my head. What’s with Keiko today?

There was a strange dynamic between Fubuki and Keiko, possibly involving Mari. Of course, being the way I was, I missed all of it.

Minutes later, we were on the train, heading to the next town. Keiko sat on my left and Fubuki sat on my right. Neither of them paid attention to each other. Fubuki had told me that Mari was “rather upset and wished that she could be by my side.” I smiled but my face was grim overall. Nothing came as expected and I was skipping school on my way to a shopping mall in the next town.

Keiko tried to talk to me but I just didn’t know what to say. She was not the Keiko I knew and I didn’t know how to respond to her. Part of me wanted to go home and sleep but the other part of me was wondering what the fuck was going on with her. The “Keiko” that was sitting next to me shared the same body shape and signature facial expressions with the Keiko I knew, but her aggressiveness and demeanor was quite different. Or perhaps I was just being overtly sensitive. I mean, teenage people like us changed often and perhaps she was just going through one of these phrases. Still, my heart remained uneasy.

Fubuki kept frowning. Her eyes were half closed and her right hand remained on her wooden sword, which rested by her waist. Nobody bothered us on the train. Watching her tense posture made me really uncomfortable. There was something that she wasn’t telling me and to be honest, I wasn’t happy about her silence but didn’t know how to ask.

We got the next town without any incidents. Unlike our town, or rather, our section of the mega city, this part was bustling with activities. I checked my watch, it was only 10:30 but there were a ton of people hurrying along in the streets. Everyone seemed to have a destination; they knew where they were going. The cars only stopped when the lights turned red; otherwise, they’d never stop for anything or anyone. People didn’t stop to take a break, even a breath, but kept their frantic pace throughout the short second that I was observing them. For that instant, I wondered if I ought to do what they do and rush through it all. Perhaps, if my mind was always occupied, I wouldn’t be so bored most of the time. That said, I rather stare at the trees, the flowers and especially the sky. I couldn’t imagine starting at a corner of a train packed with people for long.

Keiko’s voice interrupted my wondering. She beaconed me to go with her. The morning sun glared and I had to shield my eyes from it. I smiled, wishing that I were away. Though something inside me begged me to stay.

Dazzled by the sun, I turned to see Fubuki’s face fell. Apparently, she did not like the atmosphere in the city. She looked disgusted as men passed by her.

A smile crept up my face as I realized her discomfort. However, I took in a deep breath and found myself quite comfortable among it all: the glare, the crowd, the hustle and the bustle. Though my mind was somewhat dizzy and uncertain about the sensation, I was smiling though I wasn’t entire aware of it.

Keiko was pulling forward and I didn’t want to trip and fall on my face, so I went along, fully aware that I might be going with a stranger that I really didn’t know well. Fubuki sighed. I sensed her unwillingness. She tried to follow as close as she could, while doing her valiant best to avoid any contact with the crowd. I giggled as I saw her disgust of men. Shaking my head in wonder, I tried my best to avoid being near the males in the crowd.

People around us promptly ignored our thoughts and reactions. For them, we were simply another small group of strangers caught in the middle of the city. It was desolate and yet exciting at the same time.

“There it is,” said Keiko. “That’s the café I was talking about.” She said.

“Let’s have some dessert.” She winked,

“This early in the morning?” I protested

“What, don’t tell me you actually had breakfast.” She said.

“No, but…” I said.

She tossed her hair back. “Then don’t complain.” She said. Before I could respond, she shot a gaze at Fubuki. “Of course you’re welcome to come along.” She said. “Not that you’d go away if I told you to.”

Fubuki sighed and said nothing. I joined her in silence. Therefore, we started again. Walking in the streets without a care. To this Keiko, we were the only people on this planet. As much as she showed some hostility toward Fubuki, she wasn’t that unhappy to have her around; that much I gathered. It was unusual for me to be able to decipher social cues and read people’s thoughts. I’ve always had trouble with being socially normal. Yet, on that day, I was able to act like a regular human creature, an ippanjin (a commoner) if you would, despite the fact that I’ve never really cared to be one.

Not that I could be one if I wanted to be one.

The stage was set for something; the only thing I wish I had was a readable not to mention understandable script.




[End notes: So Keiko is back...and different. Well, I figured it was time she came back to the mix and asserted herself. ^^]

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