Chapter 8: It's My Pleasure

My heart screamed at me to leave the room so I wouldn't have to watch the two of them looking at each other in disbelief. Walking into our bedroom, I shut the door behind me before stepping out onto the balcony. I knew it. I knew it was her. I should have said something to Utena when I had the chance. Maybe then I could have prepared a bit for this. Maybe then I could have found out how Utena really feels. Maybe then I wouldn't be standing here right now, by myself, looking out at this beautiful city of romance.

There really is nothing more exquisite than the site of the sun setting behind that giant tower. It gives everything a different glow, a sense of energy, the energy of love. This would be the first time in my life, the first time in all the years I spent growing up here, that this energy has made me sad. This would be the first time that those shades in the sky made my heart cry out in desolation.

I heard the door open and shut. A few moments later I looked down and saw Utena walking down the street with Anthy towards the coffee shop. I felt like my heart just wanted to stop. How could she leave without saying anything to me? Not even good-bye?

Fine. I always imagined this might happen. I just hoped Utena … I'm not really sure what I hoped she'd do. I suppose it's more like I hoped Anthy would never find her. I hoped Anthy would never show up to take her from me.

I had to walk away from the balcony. I didn't want to watch them anymore. I didn't want to watch the sunset anymore. I didn't want to feel that fire I was being robbed of at the moment. I guess that's why I'm sitting here now, working on opening my second bottle of chardonnay. I'm so tired of being so weak, of being able to do nothing about anything that happens around me.

Knock knock knock.

For the second time tonight, I have an unexpected guest at the most inopportune time. Perhaps for the first time tonight I should ignore it.

Knock knock knock.

Perhaps not. I set the bottle of wine down on the table, with the two untouched meals, and go to open the door.

"You've come at a bad time," I started to say when I opened the door only to stop and stare at this tall handsome dark skinned man with long flowing lavender hair. He looked at me for a short moment with his deep forest green eyes before speaking.

"I saw you on your balcony," he said with an elegant and calming voice. "You looked so lonely." I said nothing. I couldn't seem to find my voice. All I could do was stare. He gave me a gentle smile and took a quick look inside to see all the flowers and candles and the unopened bottle I was struggling with before he knocked. Something odd flashed across his face for such a brief moment I couldn't catch what he might have thought.

"I've never seen you around here before… My name's Alice," I said nervously for some reason as I held out my hand.

He grasped it in both of his hands, which were even softer than Utena's, kissed it, and said, "It's my pleasure to meet you Alice, my name's Akio."

"Akio… Would you … like to come in … and help me open this bottle of wine?" Did I really just invite this guy in? Why did I just do that? Well, why not? Right? I'm alone, I can't open this bottle, and he's been nothing but a gentleman so far. Not to mention, he's actually really cute. He smiled and it seemed like his eyes got even deeper somehow.

"I would love to," he said, stepping into my living room as I shut the door behind us.