Tag Archives: Relationship
“I love you.”
I can’t say I didn’t expect him to say those words, but they still hit with a raw force. I had let him chase me, after all. I had let him find me, after all. You’d think that time would make things calmer, but it time amplifies as much as it adds perspective. I could see in his eyes that he knew how foolish it was to say these things to me. I had a life outside of here after all. I had just been proposed to in Korea. He’s a good guy, working out in Pyongyang at Lenovo’s branch. He was waiting for me at the hotel. He knew he was being a fool, yet he decided to be as foolish as he could be.
He put his arm around and took a deep breath. I could feel him trembling still from the weight of those words. Such an odd word to use on a man: trembling. So full of vulnerability and weakness from this guy who’s standing a whole head taller than me. Yet, trembling is the only word that comes to mind for how his body shakes. Can’t be the train either.
I said nothing. What could I say?
God, such an awkward spot to make a confession. A train. Going for broke is something best done with intent and not in a spontaneous burst of emotion. Well, it was our only chance alone and how often could he have a chance to say it? He already knew I could say nothing yet he said something for the both of us.
“I love you.” He said again. “You don’t have to say it, just hear it.” Thank god.
Okay, I’ll admit, it was kind of sweet on his part to go all this way just for a girl like me. But they say it’s bad to break a heart. They say it’s worse yet to instill hope where there is none. There was none here. I’d be going to my hotel in Asakusa and then be on a plane bound for Pyongyang the next day. That was where I was needed more. I’d would be there and he would be here. That’d be fine for now.
As his eyes were closed in a silent agony and the train doors slid open, I nuzzled my head against his chest and squeezed his hand one last time.
It had been a long day. Yeah, school was easy enough. Just sit down at the desk as the professor prattles on about something, you take some notes and then go on to the next one. The part-time job was where it was really a pain in the ass. 1000 yen an hour to serve cheaply processed food and having to put up with the constant yammering of high schoolers who keep the other potential customers waiting because they’re using the drink bar for all it’s worth as they study to get into a university where it will then be their turn to get a family restaurant job and go to classes? Such a depressing cycle.
That’s why he looked forward to the 22:13 train out of Ueno back home. It meant that he could her after all that hassle. He didn’t know her name but he knew her face, knew that she had a predilection for sweets based on that she always had one of those Oreo cookie bars in her hand which she munched away on as she read some manga or another. One time he caught her reading Golgo 13, as opposed to some else like Nana. It made her that much more curious. She wasn’t going to win Miss Japan anytime soon, but she had some interesting tastes.
It was New Years Day 2010. No school, of course, but the family restaurants of the nation needed to be staffed. It was a rather easy day actually. Hardly anyone comes on New Years. Especially at night. The students are either all in Harajuku and the salarymen are either back home in some distant countryside, still conked on yesterday’s partying, or both.
Even so, the 22:13 still ran it’s course, unaffected by the holiday scheduling, thank goodness.
The train was just crowded enough for there to be no seats but not so crowded that you couldn’t see around you. There she was again. Holding on to the handrail but this time without any sweets or books. Nothing of the sort.
She was looking right at him. Smiling as if she had seen him every day.
“I’m Mari. Happy New Year.”
He was more surprised at how unsurprised he was. He could’ve sworn he caught her sneaking peeks sometimes. There’s always that sixth sense of being watched, right? No way stuff like that goes unnoticed.
“Shigeto. Happy New Year to you too.”
She put her arm around him. Best to start things full force.
Yeah, I took a vacation not even three days in. Sorry, but it’s a serious pain to write fiction when all you got is an iPhone and you’re vacationing in Hokkaido.
Kazuki looked into Michiko’s eyes. Rather, what would’ve been her eyes had they not been covered by tear-soaked hair.
No response except for the continuous sobbing. Michiko thought, at the age of 15, that this would be forever. She had already picked what dress to wear, what day the wedding would be on and their children’s names. So did Kazuki. It felt so grown-up when he first invited her over when his parents were both out on business. As he saw the tears hit the floor of the station, he remembered how his hands ran down those same cheeks with the same gentle ferocity.
He couldn’t pin-point when it he stopped feeling that way. The way Kimiko would smile at him perhaps? Maybe the thrill after the first kiss had worn off? Perhaps not…the first touch more than made up for that.
“I don’t want you to leave..”
It was a shock to the both of them. First love, first loss. He could just walk away and leave it all behind, but then what? Leave a girl crying? That would make him no better than all his friends who could only look on as their dads had walked away for the last time. No, he had to be more of a man than that. The tears hurt him as much as they hurt her, much as he wouldn’t admit it. But, damn, Akari had those curves and that little Indian girl…Priya? Yeah, that little firecracker had shown some personality in the years she’d been here.
Hard to think about that now though. For the time, there was only the hollow echo of station chimes, conversations and countless footsteps disguising Michiko’s choked sobs.