Mocha and Memories
Chapter Three: Cosmopolitan Warmth
By: OhJoy

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The bench was kinda cold. But the view of the sunset was amazing. Sigh. Somewhere in Golden Gate Park, with the sun setting. Romantic, but not exactly safe. Not good. I stood up and wrapped my scarf a little more around my neck. I began to wander in the general direction of east. I figured I'll hit a street soon and hail a cab.

I passed the empty Children's Playground and ended up on Waller Street. I've gotten good at hailing a cab. It only took three tries this time. The cab driver was pleasant enough, although he smelled as if he hadn't showered in a few days.

The concierge greeted me as I approached him. His handsome face beamed with a warm smile, "Good evening, Ms. Takeda."

I simply nodded and returned his smile with one of my own. Note to self: File the necessary documents to use my maiden name. Once inside the grand lobby, I opened my jacket and pulled off my scarf. Grumble. Growl. Mmm... belly empty. Eat. Food. That's a good idea. I wandered to the hotel restaurant. I had to laugh at the name – "XYZ." I guess that's what comes after W. I giggled.

The hostess was some young, hip, scantily clad chick. I'll never get used to the idea of having to flash skin to make one feel attractive. Argh, stop passing judgment, Sango!

"Good evening," the chick greeted me with a placid smile.

I smiled, I guess I haven't really stopped. "Dinner for one."

"Right this way, ma'am." She sashayed through the restaurant and led me to a small table in the back that would comfortably seat two.

Ma'am... she called me ma'am. Shit. Am I looking that old? No, she was just really young. All right whatever. I guess, I should just admit it. I'm still on my damn Miroku high. Nothing was going to wipe this smile off my face. Nothing was going to bring me down.

Not that he's made an effort to contact me. It's been eight days since I ran into him that coffee house. I've avoided that particular coffee house ever since. Maybe I'm scared of running into him. Maybe? Probably. Definitely.

But damn, did he look good! I've caught myself daydreaming, ok fantasizing, of running my hands through his thick hair. What it would be like to lay skin to skin with him. To feel his hands on –

"Good evening," a deep masculine voice interrupted my erotic thoughts.

I looked up to see a dashingly handsome – ok, really hot, server. Blond, tall, sparkling blue eyes. I couldn't help it, my smile widened. "Hi," I breathed.

"May I bring you something to drink?" He was courteous, not hitting on me. Too bad.

"Mmm... I'll take a Stoli Cosmopolitan." He nodded in acknowledgement and walked away. Oh, my. Nice ass. Sigh. I'm becoming a damn lecher. Time to see the menu offerings and get my mind out of the gutter.

The Cosmopolitan was heady. It's been a while since I got shit-faced. Not that I'm drunk right now. Just a warm fuzzy buzz. I giggled. Did I just giggle? Gods... I hardly ever giggled anymore. At least not while I was married, that's for sure.

Sigh. Whatever possessed me to marry Kuranosuke? Oh, yeah. I was about five and a half months pregnant at the time. Why the hell was I pregnant? Oh, yeah. I got this brilliant idea... Kuranosuke was always complaining that I really didn't want to be with him. I was sick of hearing it from him. I was living with him for Kami's sake! He met all my family and friends. Everyone knew he was my boyfriend, a title I didn't bestow casually. What more did he want?

So that's when I came up with the brilliant idea of having his baby. After all, what says "I love you and I'll be with you forever" more than a baby? He was ecstatic at my suggestion. In a month after I stopped taking the Pill, I was pregnant. Then on my birthday, he proposed to me. Sheesh. Talk about a guilt trip. He rented this cheesy limo and took me to a restaurant on the beach.

Another example of how much he didn't know me. Any one that knew me would know that limos don't impress me. During college, one of my roommate's boyfriend's family owned a limo company. We would gallivant all over Southern California in a limo as we drank and partied it up as only college kids knew. Nope. Been there, done that. Limos: Not impressive.

Anyways, what was I supposed to say to him? No? Not really cool, especially when my belly was out to there with his kid. Sigh. Thank the Kamis that my son became the love of my life! He is love. Nothing but. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

The past year and a half or so with Kuranosuke was sheer hell, our relationship just came apart at the seams. I guess, the bubble gum and shoestrings I used to keep it together wasn't strong enough, huh? I still came out of that relationship with so much. My son being number one on the list. Immediately after that would be my sense of self. I realized that I was just being human when I chose Kuranosuke. I was also in denial that he wasn't "the One" for me. But that's ok. We all make mistakes. I get that.

The biggest thing I learned through all this? Forgiveness. I forgive myself everyday for the hurt I caused Kuranosuke. I forgive him everyday for the anger he lashes out at me. Most of all, I forgive myself for simply being human and acknowledge that really "to err is human."

Even today, I forgive Miroku for not calling or stopping by the hotel so we can "go grab a beer." And I also forgive myself for really, really, really, wanting to "go grab a beer" with him. Sigh.

My Miroku. I wonder what his life is like now. Back then he was bartending, saving money for his world travels, and practicing his golf swing. He was always looking for the next "big deal" to take him over the top. I wouldn't exactly call him a swindler. Nah, he had more honor than that. Although some of the things that came out of his mouth... Sigh. No, I would call him a visionary, an opportunist, an entrepreneur.

Mmm... this Cosmopolitan seems to be bottomless. I giggled. Again? Nah, I think this is my second. Mmm. Better finish my linguini, some carbs to soak up the alcohol. It's still an early night.

"Ms. Takeda?"

I looked up at the feminine voice. Eeww, the nearly naked chick was back. I raised a brow, and replied, "Yes."

She placed a cordless phone on the table next to my glass, "There's a call for you."

I frowned. Who? Huh? I rolled my eyes. Not my mom again. I picked up the phone and said, "This is Sango."

"Ah, Sango. You are never in your room. Didn't I tell you to stay there and wait for me?" came the warm teasing voice over the line.

"Miroku," I sighed into the phone. A flurry of butterflies took flight from my tummy.

To be continued....

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A big thank you to FlamingRedFox for the short lesson in honorifics and clarifying Kuranosuke's name for me!

Thanks for reading!
:) Joy