Hidden Talents: Touya

by Killiko Jun
killiko_jun@yahoo.com

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There's nothing wrong with what I like to do, though I like being discreet about it. It's not something I
like to exploit to a bunch of people. Despite what my college friends say, I ain't some kind of show-off
or an egotistical jock. That's how some people are though, they see one side of you and they think they've
seen and known you for years.

Outside, in my backyard, I like to paint or sketch stuff. Whatever's on my mind is what usually manifests
on my canvas or loose leaf paper. Sometimes, I get one of those 'inpirational moments' artists and writers
always rant about and I drop everything just to sketch my idea out. I'm always afraid to lose some of
my thoughts because then, I can't remember what was so good about it.

That's why I try to paint mother as much and detailed as possible. I never want to forget her.

But, as much as I try, I find myself forgetting what colour apron she loved to wear, or the smell of her
perfume everytime she hugged me. It's little things, I know, but those are the only sensations left ever
since she passed away. I hate to be afraid, but I admit that my memories of her are... fading.

I nibble on the end of my paintbrush and dip it in the small pool of green watercolour by me. She
never seemed to notice it, but I remembered her always wearing a necklace wih a single piece
of jade attached to it. Whenever I asked about it, she'd say a prince from far away gave it to her.

I squint at my painting and sigh. Another failure.

Of course, to a casual observer it may appear quite professionally, the shading well done and colours
mingling in a realistic texture, but to me... it lacked the feeling, no the prescence, of mother.

I grunt as I set the canvas aside and place a new one in its place. Staring at the blank white canvas,
I suppress the urge to just dash all my paints at it and see what happened. I knew what was going
to happen, a whole mess of colours, but today, I wanted to paint mother.

Father commented now and then that I rarely painted nowadays, ever since I entered college. I shrugged
and always replied the same thing. I was to busy with my latest essay or I had too much to do in
my job. Whenever Sakura asked if she could see one of my old paintings, I'd reject her and say that
squirt like her should improve her own painting skills before asking me.

Then, she'd stomp on my foot and simmer off.

I wince, and unconsciously rub my foot. Boy, that Sakura acts like such a baby sometimes, but it's
cute, I think.

I take a pencil from its box and studied the canvas, imagining what sort of painting it will be. For
one thing, it had to be perfect. Mother loved the colour green and pastel yellow, so maybe...

"Wow, Touya! What's this?" an awed voice rung behind me.

I blinked and turned around, seeing my little sister Sakura hold in the painting in her hands. Her
eyes were wide with admiration and awe. I make a grab for it, but she pulls it away.

"Look squirt, give that back or I'll...!!" I start before she cuts me off.

"Touya, I never knew that you painted so well. This looks so much like... mother," Sakura
softly said. If it weren't for the fact that I was sitting right in front of her, I would have never heard
her, "can I keep it?"

"No," I replied, an eveness in my tone. A tone of finality.

Sakura cocked her head to the side and she begged, "Oh please! I love this painting! It reminds
me so much of mother and we don't have alot of pictures of her..."

"No!" I shout and I glare at Sakura. She bent her head down and a fleeting feeling of guilt
passes in me. Then, quieter, "no..."

"Why not?" Sakura asked, still not looking up.

I blinked, asking myself the same question. Why not let her have it? If anything, she deserves
it more than me. I shrug, trying to appear nonchalant.

"Sure, whatever, twerp," I look at her face and I can't help but grin at her elated and joyful smile. It
never seemed to stop me from smiling too, "you can have it."

"Oh Touya! I love you!" Sakura exclaimed as she hugged me, "I'll cherish this forever!!"

As she skipped merrily back inside the house, I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding.
I rub my temple and sigh. Maybe I was getting old, but Sakura just seemed to grow up too fast.
I'm afraid she'll fly away from me one day...

"Mother," I mumble, "how did you feel when you left us?"

The leaves overhead shuffled as the wind gently blew the geraniums growing around the yard.
For a moment, I almost could hear her whisper her favourite lullabye, her fingers playing with
my hair...

Almost as if in a trance, I take up my paintbrush once more and began to paint.

-----

"Touya! Touya! Come in! It's suppertime!" Fujitaka Kinomoto yelled as he wiped his
hands in a dishcloth.

Touya strode in and sat in his regular space at the table, right in front of Sakura.
He then quipped something about Sakura's math test, in which she hurriedly yelled
over him about his job. The two glared at each other and started to bicker, just like they
always did.

The father of the family smiled warmly and served his hungry children, still portraying
them as young toddlers. He barely suppressed his laughter at their taunts and jabs
and wrapped his fingers around his chopsticks.

"So, how was school?" he asked to Touya and Sakura, immediately stopping their arguement.

"It was great dad!" Sakura said as she spooned another mound of potatoes on her plate,
"Tomoyo and I decided to do a multimedia project using her new camera!"

"Well, she better buy a new camera to replace it because you're going to crack the lens,"
Touya replied as he ate some beans.

Sakura glared at Touya. Then, she clapped her hands, "Hey Touya! Didja finish your
new painting? I saw you start it when I hung mother's portrait on my wall."

Mr. Kinomoto looked up from his plate and gazed at his son, curious. He knew
that his son hadn't painted ever since... Nadeshiko died. Whatever prompted him to
start again?

"Ahh... it's nothing. But I have to admit, it's better than I thought. Here, I'll show
you guys," Touya rushed out into the yard and retreived his newly finished painting.

His father and sister gasped at the beautiful picture. In it was... themselves, with
a special addition to it.

Smiling happily at them, was Touya and Sakura's mother and Mr. Kinomoto's
wife. She was amongst them and posing happily with her arms wrapped around Sakura
and Touya.

For a brief moment, they swore they saw her portrait wink.

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Author's Notes:

It's short. Yeah, only a measly 7kb, so sue me!

... well, not literally. ^_^;;; I'm too broke to even afford a roll of toilet paper!

You guys know the drill! Suggest, critisize, comment, humor me, send
me fruit baskets, whatever you want! But I warn you! I'm allergic to hay so don't
send me anything with hay in it...

Besides, what am I gonna do with hay? Eat it? Maybe if I were a cow....

Ciao and see you in my next fanfic!

Killiko Jun