Looking at us, I now realized how sad the pair of us were. Two broken hearts and souls, sitting across each other and drinking canned coffees bought from a vendo machine. Was this - finding comfort from bitter liquid and another dumped person - the right reaction to a recent breakup? I don't know. But this was better than going home and remembering memories and crying alone in my room.
"What are you thinking?" Natsume asked.
Natsume. Oh, Natsume Hyuuga. The seemingly great guy whom almost every girl in the school have a crush on. Never had I imagined that one day I'd be inviting him to accompany me when I finally split with Takumi.
I had always imagined that when this day came, I'd be calling my cousin Anna whom I considered my best friend, too. When the moment arrived though, I didn't know how to tell her nor even touch my phone. Takumi's smiling once I open it. I didn't want to see him.
"Have you ever thought that maybe if I didn't come tonight and so as you, we could still be with them?" I replied.
"Yes," Natsume said as he place his can down. "But it would come down to it anyway. Hotaru would still turn me down and Takumi, sometime in the future, will replace you with another responsibility. It's just a matter of time. I know that."
I wanted to tell him he's wrong, and yet he's not. But there's something off with what he said. "Turn you down? Weren't you and Hotaru Imai already dating?"
He sent dagger-sharp glares at my way. "No, I'm still courting her. I was, I mean. She turned me down, unfortunately."
"What do you mean 'huh'?"
I crossed my arms and leaned on the back of my chair. "You're pretty honest, considering how you appear."
Natsume raised a brow. "How I appear? Enlighten me with that."
"Well, I'd always thought you're pretty stuck up for a guy. You talk very little and you know, that's as if you didn't want to mingle with average people like us."
"No need to waste my energy conversing about everyone's daily issues. By the way, that's rich coming from the girl who's always attached with her boyfriend," he said, smirking.
"Ex-boyfriend. And I don't see any problem with showing the world how much I love a certain person. Is there anything wrong with that?" I retorted, quite strongly.
He didn't answer and just sipped his coffee.
"Okay, so tell me..."
"No bulls or anything. You're a guy and even though you're different from Takumi, it could still matter. What the hell is wrong with me?"
I could sense the amusement playing in Natsume's eyes. "In short you want the truth?"
"Yep, even though it bleeds me to death," I nodded.
Natsume stood up and motioned me to follow him. I didn't know where we were going but I assumed he just wanted to walk. "The thing is, you talk too much."
"I talk too much? I'm in the grieving process! May I remind you that my ex boyfriend chose a training camp over me? Leadership talks around the bonfire over his girlfriend! I have no value!"
"See? I bet Takumi's even noticed that," he said.
I gripped the strap of my body bag. "B-but, he said he wanted to know whatever I'm thinking."
"That's either he cares for you or it has been out of habit."
"Out of habit?"
"He's been counseling you. Isn't being a good counsel a huge thing for school politicians?"
"Y-you mean, he was using me as a practice dummy all along? And he doesn't really care for me?" By now, I wasn't sure whether to be sad or angry. Natsume had a point, but to be not truly cared for by the guy I loved was something I couldn't believe. "You're kidding me right?"
Natsume sighed. He could probably see how wrecked I was by what he said. "Didn't I say 'either'? He might have been really practicing on you or he really liked you... Or maybe both?" He added with a smirk.
"I give up. You were right, truth hurts."
Natsume nodded. "I told you didn't I?" He replied, amused.
As we walked on, the familiar sound of faint music floated. Not before long we stopped in front of the Ferris wheel. I glanced at Natsutme who got silent. "What about you Natsume? Do you want me to tell you why Hotaru turned you down? A probable reason from a third-person's perspective?"
He seemed taken aback. He didn't say anything so I went on.
"I think Hotaru, in some ways, liked you. Not as much as you do, I don't know. But maybe she saw that she wasn't going to be happy with you. She's seems pretty independent and strong-willed. If she gives her 'yes' to you, something might change. Not in you, but in hers. Who knows maybe she's afraid of that change?"
Natsume sucked the inside of his cheeks before he smiled. Probably the memory of Hotaru running away from him was still fresh.
"Have you been thinking of that all along?" he asked.
"No," I grinned. "Actually, I have an aunt who was like Hotaru. She's involved in community work. I asked her why she doesn't get married and she told me that she found the perfect guy, but he was too perfect. He loved her and he asked her to marry him. She declined his proposal because she was afraid of what could become of her.
"Working hard for everything she wanted, she didn't want to depend on him and become an ordinary housewife. I didn't understand her then, but when I saw Hotaru leaving you I knew now. Truthfully you're the perfect guy for Hotaru, although, she seems to have another opinion."
"Look at you, praising me when you don't know me at all," he said as he patted the top of my head. Natsume was a head taller than me.
"I was trying to be wisdom-ful here you know," I said, prying his hand away from my head.
"No, I don't."
"I know we started off kinda weirdly but will you promise me that starting from now on, you will never lie to me? In return, I will also not lie to you."
"Umm... we've become friends right? Besides the last thing people like us are another people making us feel stupid."
Natsume laughed lowly. "Yeah, okay." He looked at me as I clapped my hands and smiled. You look happy. Why?"
I faked wiping my tears. "I didn't know you were this nice. If I did, I would have been friends with you earlier."
He laughed again. Then he fell quiet. "Whatever, you look like a walking spring. The spring season. Except, grieving," Natsume said, smirking."
"Trust me, if I had known I was gonna be dumped, I would've worn a depressing black dress. I didn't though, and instead chose this freaking tiny floral dress. I'm cold outside and inside. This is what I get for being a doting girlfriend. Do you think I should get a haircut?"
We left the park, with me leading the way and Natsume following beside me. It's nine in the evening now but the area of the city was still bright. The streets were being illuminated by shops and restaurants and people were still walking here and there.
"I don't suppose you're finding a salon?" Natsume asked.
"In fact I am. I know one and it's not very far from here." I peered at him. "Fire it away. I know you have something you wanna tell me."
"You're amused by this aren't you? I know what you're thinking, I'm stupid for wanting to cut my hair because I broke up with Takumi. Don't judge me. I've always wanted to cut my hair."
"I wasn't going to say anything. I'm not going to judge you even if you want to get bald."
"But seriously, do you think I should cut it? I know I suggested it and I'm go for it. Still I wanna know. What do you think about girls with short hair? I know most guys don't like it."
"I don't really care." Natsume shrugged.
"I think guys don't like girls with short hair."
"I think girls with short hairs are sexy."
I jumped in front of him and grinned. "Will I look sexy if I cut my hair?"
He furrowed his eyebrows. "No."
"Cause you're all bones. You'll look like someone who badly needs a rehab."
"Ha-ha. Very funny," I remarked sarcastically and returned to his side. "Will you please Google girls with short hair? I wanna see if what you're saying is true."
Surprisingly Natsume agreed and took his phone from his pocket. While we walked in slow steps, he searched the internet for my request. He handed me his phone then.
"Oh yeah, they are indeed very good looking... obviously because they're celebrities. What do you say about this one? We have the same hair color and I like her cut." I pointed at the image of a girl with brown hair cut above her shoulder.
"Up to you."
We reached the salon. It was still open and had pink and very cute designs. I could smell a sweet scent coming from the shop. Beside me, Natsume cringed at the extremely feminine design.
"Come on," I said, dragging the frowning Natsume by his arm.
"Hi, good evening! Welcome to Strawberry House!" The woman inside greeted. She had short blond hair and wore a matching black long sleeves and pants. "What a lovely young couple you are!"
Natsume almost swore before he sat on a pink stool. It was funny how he couldn't make a choice since all chairs were pink. The variety was only their shade.
"Oh no no, we're not a couple," I replied, "we're step siblings. I just broke up with my stupid boyfriend and he's worried about ms so he came."
The woman flushed and smiled. "I'm sorry. Anyway, I assume you're the one needing a haircut?"
I nodded. She ushered me to a seat in front of a mirror before she took the tools she needed. I looked at Natsume through the mirror and he was obvious that he hated the sea of pink around him.
The woman came back and asked how short I wanted it to be.
"Just above my shoulder, please. I wanna look good not for revenge but for myself," I said.
Natsume rolled his eyes and I laughed.