The Art of Love

Chapter One

The world seemed so very still. Dawn had not yet broken leaving a satisfying peace upon a small town on the western side of Hokkaido. The Shakotan-hanto Peninsula jutted out into the Sea of Japan forming a beautiful coastline that submerged into clear water. Late October trees displayed their blazing orange and red leaves. A few people broke the stillness going on excursions called Momiji-gari savoring the view of the enchanting maple leaves.

It seems so simple—viewing the magnificence of nature. No matter where one was, somehow, they could just find themselves gazing into nature's boundless depths, lost in the simplicity of, well, life itself.

But that's not what Risa Harada wanted. Brushing past happiness and contentment, she always wanted something more. She needed more of excitement, adventure, the rush of suspense-filled excursions... She would not be satisfied sitting down watching her life go placid and stale before her eyes. Never content, she knew that happiness came through some complicated sequence of events that tied a person's fate with another—an exciting life, if one would ask her, she would gladly take. She would live day to day, welcoming the unexpected, impulsively finding her true happiness.

Although an amazingly brilliant theory, she knew that deep in her heart, beyond the reaches of her own irrational mind, she would never understand what true happiness was. She'll forever look in the wrong places, never content and never learning to accept less than her expectations. And what she expected was far more than anyone can give her.

Well...any mortal, for that matter.

Behind her closed lids, she envisioned dreams of flight with the one who stole her heart. The dark skies of her dreams melted into deep shades of purple irises staring lovingly at her face. A feathery touch felt so real in her mind as his fingers traced down her temples to her lips. The DARK was slowly inching closer, their lips closing the space between them...

Whatever she felt next was nothing like a kiss. Her lips twitched from not having made contact. Her drowsy eyelids searched around, and Dark was nowhere to be found. Like a vapor disappearing into the air, she knew he lingered in the space of her mind...and her heart.

She believed that maybe, if just for one moment, one more time, she could see his face in reality, she would unravel the enigma of love. She understood desire—passionate desire—that burned through her chest when she thought about him. Considering the meaning of both, wouldn't love fuel passion? So, maybe it also worked the other way around...? Passion fueling love—is it...possible? Is it...true...?

Her digital alarm clock buzzed loudly. Annoyed, Risa flung it across the room, her childish tendencies appearing to resolve most of her problems. On the other hand, her alarm clock did wake her from her unpleasant dream of losing Dark Mousy into the reaches of the black space of her fears. Oh, why did men have to be so fleeting? Why did her desires of being with Dark "fleet" before her fingertips?

Such was the effect of dreams on simpletons. That's why mankind invented the alarm clock to make sure one doesn't stay in "la-la land" long enough to go absolutely kooky. She brushed a few of her long, suffocating, auburn strands from her face.

She'd rather be kooky than face her morning classes.

Life was absolutely, excruciatingly difficult on a college student—especially for someone like Risa Harada. She sometimes suspected that Fate had something to do with giving her more trouble in school than she was prepared for. Either that or she should have paid more attention during her classes of junior high and high school. Curse the days of wasted youth.

What did it matter now if she was the most popular, the cutest, the most-loved, and the most voted for "fashion queen" in high school? Nothing! They should have warned her that all her efforts were in vain! It all felt so pointless to her, now.

On the same note, taking required classes that had nothing to do with anything made it just a bit more difficult to survive her freshman year in college. It felt like high school again only a hundred times more difficult and a million times more "realistic" than algebra, cooking class, etc, etc. During her early teenage years, she experienced things that should have solely existed in fiction, only it was as tangible as the bed she laid on. She wished she can have that kind of realism back in her life. She didn't want any more of this rationalistic burden.

At any rate, she was done wallowing in her complaints about her wasted life. She could have done so much more...if she weren't so attached to the art of "impressing" people. What if Risa Harada gave up on make-up, clothes, style, and her overall superficial ways? Perish the thought.

She got out of bed and into the shower. Her first class was at 9:30 AM. It wouldn't be a bad class if it wasn't for the professor. He made a strict point of making an example of whoever was late to his class by failing them for the whole semester. Talk about a slave driver. Her mind continuously pictured herself yelling at him, telling him that he's already getting her money. Attendance in his class really doesn't matter, anymore. Now, if only she could say that to his face without having to vomit at the putrid smell that covered him like a force-field repelling any student that crossed his path...

English class—the dreaded pit of Moriyano-san. It was deemed as the gutter of all gutters—the lowest level of Hell that held the devil himself. Passing rate was only 10 if you were lucky enough or actually had the brain capacity to understand his statements and opinions. One year, someone actually had the gall to quote one of the Western world's pieces of literature, The Divine Comedy. He wrote it on a piece of paper and super-glued it to the professor's door with these words:

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter."

It was appropriate even for an English class, but nay, Moriyano-san made sure to expel the poor soul. Pieces of white paper remained on the wood after attempts to remove it had been made.

If only something comedic could happen during Risa's class. Actually, she wished for anything to happen. It was, ultimately, boring to say the least. Maybe if the wall behind Moriyano-san would explode, then she could run away from this hell-hole as fast as a bird with wings that cut through the air. Or maybe one of the sculptures in the Art Department could come to life and start wreaking havoc.

She sat near the window, so she was tempted more easily than the rest to stare outside and daydream—temptation number one. It was a big class and she had the good fortune of being stuck in the back right corner. It was only on extreme moments like these—bored with nothing to do—that she admired the simplicity of nature outside these walls. Risa imagined sitting outside, underneath the gorgeous maple trees (colors that would really look nice as her fall wardrobe). A few seconds passed and she imagined someone else sitting with her, enjoying the incomplexity of Mother Nature. This was definitely an extreme moment.

A white-feathered bird flew past her gaze, its wings beating her daydreaming into tiny pieces like its feathers floating gently down to the ground. The bird disappeared into the morning light, leaving the bored Risa Harada to sigh about her miserable situation.

"Harada-san, is there something wrong in the way I teach?"

Risa looked up, realizing that she must have sighed louder than she should have. 'Yes, you old goat, everything's wrong with the way you teach.' She straightened up in her desk and played the part of a serious student. "No, sir, there's nothing wrong."

"Oh, if that's true, then why were you sighing? Thinking about getting out of this class early? Well, if you don't have the strength for this class, then you shouldn't have taken it. Might I remind you that if you fail this class, you will no longer be a full-time student? There are dire consequences in failing to pay attention in my class, young lady, and your grades are quite clearly showing your lack of attention!"

He huffed and puffed from reprimanding the troublesome girl. It looked like he ran a two-mile race with his flushed features and his quick breathing. The students in front tearfully wished that Risa didn't get him riled up since that got his sweat glands to secrete even more of his infamous odor.

Risa nodded vigorously catching nothing of what he said. It was hard to convince the old man she was listening when in reality she didn't care. Even though this class was pointless to her, it didn't hurt to have a few brownie points. Finally, he shut up and went back to the current book they were reading, The Fall into Snow by M.M. d'Garnette (1).

Risa tried fighting temptation number two: laying her head down on her desk. So, she decided to quietly thumb through her notebook to avoid provoking the wrath of the English Banshee Professor.

Finding no entertainment from her notebook, she quickly snuck another glance outside the window.

She held her breath and let the leaves of her notebook fall.

There he stood.

For an instant, his cool blue eyes looked straight at her through his glasses. Then he turned away, his arms occupied with carrying a few books while his hip-length, beige-colored trench-coat whipped around in the autumn breeze.

The illustrious Satoshi Hiwatari.

She couldn't believe it. She was surprised, but she was more shocked at witnessing his return in her life. It had been a long time since she'd seen him. He vanished a few weeks after everything had been put to rest four years ago. She was worried at his sudden disappearance. But soon after, Risa pushed him in the back of her mind, reassuring herself that Satoshi was more than capable in fending for himself. She knew it beyond a doubt. She was also positive that he didn't want to associate with normal people—the reason Risa Harada thought he left them all.

"Okay, students! Class is dismissed!"

Risa picked up her things and walked out the door along with the rest of the students.

Lesson 1

"...What is this? You call this art?" A hand snatched away the paintbrush. "It looks more like a big mess, to me." A new canvas replaced the messy one. Then, a few strokes of a pencil created guiding lines. "Follow these lines with your paintbrush. Always plan out what you will create."

A/N: Hi everyone! I'm back...with a vengeance!

... :: Silence fills the room. ::

Okay, yeah, sorry for the idiocy... O.o;; Kinda lost it there. But I've finally decided to rewrite my DNAngel fic: My Desire. Seriously, I screwed it up and I'd like to apologize by starting all over. Hopefully, I can move on with this silly SatoxRisa idea of mine! I'm sorry for going back to the very beginning! Please bear with me! n.n;;

Thank you Chiaki Nozomi, thank you Crimson-Eyed-Angel99, and thanks to everyone who's been through the grueling efforts of My Desire. n.n

Please review! Reviews are nice—flames, criticism, whatever your thoughts on this.