I don't want you thinking I'm unhappy
What is closer to the truth, that if I lived till I was 102
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
I'm no longer moved to drink strong whisky, 'cause I shook the hand of time and I knew that if I lived till I could no longer climb my stairs
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
Your face it dances and it haunts me, Your laughter's still ringing in my ears, I still find pieces of your presence here. Even after all these years. But I don't want you thinking I don't get asked to dinner 'Cause I'm here to say that I sometimes do
Even though I may soon feel the touch of love
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
Colin Hay "I Just Don't Think I'll Get Over You"
I had never been accused of being overly sentimental. Nor had I ever been accused of being a cry baby, too emotional, or anything past a stupid jerk or lover boy. That really doesn't leave much for me, does it? And I'm sitting here, on a bed that is too hard, and in a hotel room I don't recognize, and I'm wondering: how did I fuck up this bad?
I'm rooming with a guy that I suppose is my partner at the office, except I don't have an office. What I'm saying is I don't have an office but we work together. He's probably, basically, my best friend. Well, he's one of the only friends I have that doesn't want my body receipt or my babies. I look over at him, staring idly in the mirror, fixing his collar, and wonder just what is going on in his mind. I wonder why he came all the way here, left his life behind, just so I could come back. Sure, it's probably not permanent, but it's so damn tough to decide what is.
He doesn't even know why I object. Well, not the whole picture. He thinks this is a good idea, and shot down every one of my objections. I suppose it might be the sake we bought, and drank in a few minutes, talking, but I think he deserves to know why he trekked halfway across the world. He came to a town he knew all too well and to people who wanted nothing more than his memory erased from their minds. Yet, he returned.
I clear my throat and he turns smirking, waiting for me to speak. I hiccup for the thousandth time this week and then slowly say, "You wanna know why I didn't wanna come back?"
He turns his whole body in anticipation and waits eagerly, "Of course, but don't take too long. I think I'll go for a walk later today and I want the stores still open," he stares straight into my eyes, "I'd really like to know why the hell you didn't want to come back. It'll be the social event of the season! You're gonna thank me for drugging you and putting you on that plane with me."
I nodded, "I'm tellin' ya the story, but not all of it."
"Why not?" He asked, more intrigued than ever.
I gulp down the bulge in my throat, turn around and closed my eyes, "'Cause I'm still groggy," I said calmly. Then my eyes lit up and I raised my voice, "from the drugs!"
He rolled his eyes and grinned again, "Don't be such a complainer."
Such a complainer? To get me on that oh-so-fateful plane trip he slipped a little something into my club soda after I drove him to the airport. Shows what you get for being a good friend. I guess I can't say I didn't think the thought was out of his mind, but I thought he remembered what I did for a living. Then again, he did the exact same thing.
"And plus, there's no way I'd get it out without doing something I'd regret," I stare down at the empty bottle in my hands and whisper, "I promised my self I'd never drink again."
"Oh Ranma," he cried lightly, "Stop being such a drama queen and tell me the damn story!"
He rolled his eyes and went on, "And I've seen you plastered many a time. So quit acting like a wuss or I'll kick yer ass!"
He couldn't kick my ass if it were the size of Japan, which by the way it is not; it is, in fact, quite nice, and I had to laugh at the threat. He chuckled too and I set to telling him.
"Well," I guessed, "I better start from the beginning," he nodded impatiently, "the Tendo family's only man, Akane's father, had just found he was receiving a large amount of money in an old friend's will and we were celebrating."
It was hard to muster up the strength to continue but I had started and knew what I was getting myself into. It tugged at something in me and I didn't like the fact that it was inside and not my shirt sleeve being used as a harp string.
"So," he asked, ruffling his hand through his black hair to its jelled and fashioned tips, we were supposed to be inconspicuous, guarded men you noticed right away and forgot in a second. When I told him this he simply responded by telling me that he would never give up fashion for industry, "how exactly did the lucky man celebrate?"
I rolled my eyes knowingly, "The only way they knew how; with plenty of food and plenty of drinks."
He looked on confused, "they?"
It had been a bright day. I remember that clearly because, aside from the impact this day made on my life, my Pop had opened the windows nice and early and I woke up to the blistering pain of my retinas coming in direct contact with the sun.
I had gone for a run in the morning. I didn't know why, but something inside me was off, telling me there was going to be bad things coming. I immediately presumed Akane was cooking.
I've now learned never to presume again.
The day went by quickly. We had graduated days earlier, the dance looming over me, and things were just as they always had been. Kasumi cooked, Nabiki laundered, and Akane fought (with me usually). It still makes me smile how that worked.
That night Soun had barged in while me, Akane, and Nabiki were having a small fight over finances. As in we owed her money, and she had too much film. I said no and so did Akane, but that was never a problem for Nabiki Tendo.
We all stopped to stare at the man, panting and out of breath (probably for the first time in a while), spitting out illiterate mumbling while he caught his breath. As he started to collect himself my Pop ran in, also panting but not as much, and stood blocking the other half of the doorway with his huge mass.
"Hey Pop, what's goin' on, finally see your toes?"
I sniggered at my own joke and he frowned.
"Shut up Boy, you're in the presence of a rich man!" He yelled at me, pointing at Soun.
"Grinnin', Boy? He just got an inheritance worth millions!" Pop bellowed in my direction, showing where I got my infamous smirk.
It looked better on me.
The rest of the conversation was pointless and lasted until Soun came from the other room with tons of sake. Where he had been hiding these reserves of sake, I did not know and did not care. I was a cheap drunk and usually embarrassed myself.
They told us to toast. Told us it was bad luck if we didn't. So we did.
Me and Akane finally had something in common: our cheap drunkenness. After a few shots we were plastered and as Nabiki braided Kasumi's hair whilst giggling, Mr. Tendo and my Pop watched the T.V. and laughed about the good ol' days, Akane and I were sitting across from each other in the kitchen. I had followed her in there, complaining about her cooking, and she had sat on the floor, refusing to go to the other room. I wondered why, but I should have left then.
She bobbed her head and retained eye contact with me through half lidded eyes. I was just as drunk and so I guess I was nodding too. She slurred and smiled.
"Ranma, I've gotta tell you something, it's been on my chest," she stared at her chest and laughed, "not much there, but it is!"
I nodded, staring and then looking back up at her eyes. She didn't notice, but then again, neither did I.
I was nearly comatose by now.
I nodded even more, signaling her to tell me.
She leaned in very close, still bobbing, smelling of ginger. She tried to keep staring me in the eyes, but gave up and stared down her nose into my ear.
"I'm in love with you Ranma Saotome, and there's nothing I can do about it."
She paused for a second, as if in deep thought.
I didn't notice. I was too amazed by the brilliant color of her hair and the smell: that smell, her smell.
She continued, clearing her throat majestically before hand, "And," she spoke.
I could picture her lips moving by my ear.
She whispered, "I'm feeling a bit dizzy."
I fell back laughing and she just sat there next to me on the floor.
I sat up again, saw her sad and tried to cheer her up. "Don't worry Akane; I still love you, even if you are dizzy."
She turned to me then and grinned, "We are so drunk."
I looked back shocked, "No we ain't, shuddup, you're ruinin' my good name."
She giggled and threw her head back, it was beautiful. "You don't have a good name!"
I huffed. "Well if I did it'd be spoiled, thanks for nothin' Akane."
She stopped at this and came closer, looking me right in the eyes, pushing herself forward and pressing her lips to mine, searching for a reaction.
It was a lottery and she got surprise. She released from me and threw her hair back and giggled again, "I'm so gonna regret this tomorrow morning."
I nodded, sedated for once.
She sat there, head down and staring up at me with those piercing eyes.
There was a long pause.
"So do ya wanna go to that dance thing with me tomorrow?"
"Naw," she swayed, "I'm thinking of going with Kuno."
My eyes lit up and showed just how drunk I was. "But, but he's a . . . he's a . . . he's a Kuno!"
"Well, in that case, I suppose," She lingered, "I'll guess go with you."
I outwardly sighed with relief, which makes me blush with embarrassment towards stupidity of my younger years.
I finally looked back into her piercers and she smirked.
Just like me.
He looked on, waiting for the end, "And the next morning?"
I shrugged. He looked put off and callous. I loved it when he was like that.
He rolled his eyes, but did not persist because he knew I am the King of worming my way out of answers. It made me good at what I did so he accepted it.
Too bad for him, he was curiosity's bitch, and finally gave in.
"C'mon Ranma, the story makes no sense."
He put his hands on his hip and huffed; the obvious sign of a trained warrior.
It made perfect sense to me.
"Makes perfect sense to me."
He pounced nearer to me, as if he'd jut caught me slip up.
Shows him, I never slip up. And if I do, I cover it up very, very well.
He lifted a finger at me and wagged it a bit in triumph. "Ah, but on the plane that was the night of our prom!"
He looked like a taller, less pixilated version of Megaman, striking a pose, with his fanatic hair and awkward bravado.
"Remember what I was wearing on the plane?"
He thought for a second and then his finger faltered a bit. "A tux."
I grinned, "Give ya a clue: I didn't dress up for you."
He threw his finger down, pulled his tight fitted black t-shirt over his denim jeans and rolled around on his heels in the other direction. "Cheeky bastard."
"I'm here to please."
See how nice I am at getting out of answering questions? I didn't tell the goof anything about the day I got on the first plane I had ever been on by myself. Thinking back, it may have been the first time ever.
I was still sitting on the bed, just filled with more drinks then I really should be before noon.
He was sitting in the middle of his, adjacent to mine, parted by a small night stand. He checked his watch and tapped the top.
"So, I'm giving up smoking."
Great conversation starter.
"Wanna join me? You could give up young girls' hearts."
I still said nothing.
Jin Mako, the name he did not usually go by in public, was an enigma. An amazing sort of man, he had seen a lot and been through a lot and yet, he remained positive. I told him once it was his positive upbringing and he snorted. I met him on the plane out of our town. The thought that someone from my class, someone I did not know at all, would be sitting next to me, intrigued me. We began to talk and realized we were both running from demons we'd really rather not face running from alone. So we got off the plane, joined the army, and after that went into being civilians . . . of sorts. The people who hire us know us as a pair, not just individuals. Usually one of us takes care of the business, but if it's an important job, or a boring week for that matter, one would tag along with the other.
Physically, he has black hair and brilliant green eyes; I tell him they're dangerous because they are obvious. Then he tells me my eyes are sissy blue and we fight; thus is man's way. He has a great body, which I take partial credit for creating, teaching him much of what I knew. I liked being able to teach something I was good at to someone who rocked at it. He taught me about the basics of guns and armor. He taught me a little sword fighting too; he had taken fencing, which I didn't think was real fighting. When I voiced my opinion on this, he fenced me in the eye.
He's shorter than me, which makes me grin and makes him call me a giant. I don't mind, I like to be taller than the girls I go out with. He's always saying I don't go out with girls, I get acquainted.
When I was younger I was embarrassed about these things, wanted nothing of it, for the most part, and would rather fight a bear than slow dance with a babe. Now, I respect my amazing talents at picking up women and making them for get their morals in exchange for, well, the best acquaintance of their life.
"You've given up smokin' twenty-two times, ya sayin' this time's gonna be different?" I asked.
He'd probably give up by tomorrow and start seeing little cigarettes dancing around his head.
Truth was that I wanted him to quit, thought it was horrible what he was doing to his body, seeing as he had to run a lot in this business. I had weaned him off of them almost completely and so I thought I deserved to provoke him a little bit, it always seemed to work.
"Nope," he shook his head and his hair rattled, "I'm leaving them right on this table."
He whipped out a pack of Du Maurier and slapped it on the nightstand, eyeing it right when it was extricated from his body.
The room was pretty bare; it was just the night stand, two beds, a bathroom in the back, a kitchenette that was not highly technological, and a TV on a wooden chest against the wall facing the beds' bottom ends.
Jin stared at the walls, "This wall paper sucks. I mean really, does there have to be humungous, rotting flower prints everywhere we stay?"
He huffed again and I got the feeling the walls would be painted trendy colors when I returned. Attacked by the trendy monster from the black lagoon; your sock with sandals will never be safe again!
'This is just 'til the penthouse suite's ready. Believe me; I want outta here just as much as the next guy."
I really did, rundown places meant run down people who would try to steal my sweet ass Rolex.
I say try because if they did they'd never succeed. If they did I'd be a failure in my profession. Jin and I were at the top of the tier so I highly doubt that. See, we had a rarified job market, a growing industry with tough competition and competitive prices.
We were professional killers.
Don't worry, we don't just shoot any ol' people, usually it was someone you'd use your one-free-kill on anyway.
I don't like thinking about myself as what I do. If I was a meat grinder I could be a vegetarian. Although, I see that as being very hard to pull off.
Jin changed the subject, yawning and kicking his legs over the bed and into his unpacked sneakers. He squished them in and stared off at the ceiling. "I'm going for a walk, want anything?"
I shook my head. Something about the outside frightened me. Well, not frightened, just made me tense.
I warned him, instincts had helped me a lot in the past. "Watch your back, I got a feeling."
He nodded and walked to his suitcase, open in one corner of the closet. He flipped around with a red bomber jacket. "Are you gonna hole yourself up in here until the reunion?"
I hated the fact that he made me come here, going to a ten year reunion is bad enough, but going with the pasts that we had was just plain stupid.
"We're here to make a hit."
I was here to make the hit not go to the stupid party. I probably wasn't even going to go anyway. It was sort of a dumb idea anyway. So what, we get to see a bunch of pictures of some guy's kids or some chick's new promotion? None of that meant anything to me.
Jin pulled the jacket over one muscular arm, and then the other. He grinned devilishly, "Sure you're not here for Akane?"
I had tried to stop that sudden impulse to jump when I heard her name and had pretty much mastered the skill, but Jin knew me, when my guard was down, and what to say.
I coughed and pounded on my throat, "Uh," I tried to cover, "got a cold comin' on."
"Dude," he told me, one hand on the door, "it's the summer. And please, if you go out; try to wear something not black!"
As he sauntered out the door I countered, "You can have colds in the summer too! They can be even worse!"
Smooth move Ranma Saotome, you dork.
I checked the table and smiled. The pack of smokes was gone.
A/N: So, yes, this is the first chapter; the first of many, hopefully. Can you guess what I got my idea from? It's an awesome movie. Anyway, I'm thinking either each chapter will be Ranma narrating, or I'll switch between Ranma, Akane, or Jin because there are three separate storylines going on I suppose. Review my pretties and your little dogs too!