The Cherry Blossoms
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.
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…
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.