Day 7: The Definition of the Word
Tomoyo lay in bed at Sakura's house, the sunlight barely peeking through the window. Sakura had been kind enough to go get her pink nighty, so she had worn it to bed, but through most of the night she slept restlessly, which resulted in messy hair.
All the thoughts had spun through her head. All the horrible events… but mostly all the wonderful things that had happened with Eriol… At first he was a bit of a jerk, but now that she'd had time to dwell on it, she realized that she hadn't been the sweetest person either. He'd soon become a great friend to hang out with, and he was so caring and inquisitive. During some of their conversations, he would be so philosophical and intelligent, unlike all the rest of her boyfriends. He was fun and exciting and joked a lot, but he was also sweet and knew how to make someone feel better. He'd even opened up to her and made her realize how badly he'd been hurt in the past.
She rolled over on her back and stared up at the ceiling.
He'd even… saved her life…
"I have to talk to him!" She exclaimed, raising up.
She stumbled out of bed and rushed out of the room, heading down the stairs in a flash. She froze when she saw Sakura sitting on the couch, reading. "Oh, Tomoyo, you're up," Sakura greeted, smiling.
"I need to talk to Eriol. Can Syaoran give me a ride to the hotel he's staying at?"
"He won't be there," Syaoran's voice came from the kitchen as he approached, looking solemn.
"What do you mean he won't be there?" Tomoyo asked, panic rising in her voice. "Where is he?"
"He's headed back for England on a plane. It takes off twenty minutes from now."
"WHAT!" Tomoyo screamed, eyes filling with tears. "NO! TELL ME IT'S A LIE!"
Syaoran's eyes were downcast. "He told me not to tell anyone he was leaving…"
"You have to take me to the airport, Syaoran!" Tomoyo begged. "You have to! Please!"
"-but you're clothes and-"
"We don't have time to waste! We have to now, Syaoran!"
"Well…" He reached into his pocket and pulled out his keys. "If you say so."
Tomoyo bolted to the door and slipped into the first pair of shoes she saw, a pair of Sakura's house slippers and grabbed one of Sakura's light-pink sweaters off the coat rack.
She was the first one into Syaoran's car. "DRIVE!" She told him as Sakura scrambled into the backseat. "We have to get there before it's too late!"
"-but why do you need to talk to him so bad?" Sakura asked, laying in an awkward position in the backseat as Syaoran backed out of the driveway.
"I… I just have to see him… I have to thank him for all he's done for me… I can't just let him go… I won't let him go without saying goodbye!"
"I think that if we hurry we might just make it," Syaoran commented, concentrating on the road as he headed toward the airport. "Let's hope for the best, ne?"
Tomoyo clasped her hands in her lap and stared at them. "I can't believe he'd do this…"
Nobody answered to her call.
Syaoran continued down the road. Sorry, Eriol… but I don't keep your promises. Not when it comes down to this… Not when I have to see her like that…
Eriol sat at the airport, staring solemnly at his suitcase in front of him. His eyes trailed up to the plane schedule, and he sighed. He softly sang to himself, "If I loved you…time and again I would try to say… all I'd want you to know… If I loved you… words wouldn't come in an easy way… 'round in circles… I'd go… Longing to tell you but afraid and shy… I'd let my golden chances pass me by…" He froze for a second, then continued, changing the words. "Soon… I'd leave you… Off I would go in the mists of day… Never, never… to know… how I loved you…" He didn't finish, hanging his head and sighing again.
"There it is!" Tomoyo exclaimed, pointing to the airport as they approached it and checking the clock in the car. "We only have two minutes to find him!"
Syaoran pulled into the parking lot, trying to find a parking space. She didn't wait for him to find one, opening the door as the car was still moving and hopping out, running in slippered feet toward the door.
"Tomoyo!" She heard Sakura shout but didn't turn around. There wasn't anytime. Her precious two minutes were ticking away.
"Now boarding," The intercom said. Eriol followed in line with the rest of the people headed towards the plane to England. He stopped and looked back for a moment, then turned to face the person in front of him again. "Is this my last time seeing you, Japan? Was that my last time seeing you… Tomoyo?"
Tomoyo was panting heavily, her side panging, as she pushed and shoved her way through the crowd. Several times security officers tried to stop her, but by sheer determination and will, she managed to outrun them or escape them. She didn't have time to waste. She cursed at people and told them to move, going as fast as she possibly could towards the waiting area.
"I'm almost there," She told herself aloud to reassure herself. "I'll find him there."
She shoved a man out of the way, knocking him to the floor and zooming onward. The man was too stunned to be angry.
"Almost there, almost there."
Her heart was pounding.
"He'll be there, he'll be there."
Her body was sweaty.
Her eyes were stinging.
She burst into the waiting area wide-eyed and huffing. "ERIOL!" She screamed out over the crowds that all looked at her in surprise or dazed-wonder. "ERIOL!" She shouted again, slowly walking around the place.
Her eyes went to the flight schedule, and she felt her entire world crashing down on her. This said that it was currently taking off…
"NO!" She yelled, running to the window. She saw the plane slowly moving along on the runway. "ERIOL!" She shouted, banging on the window. "ERIOL, COME BACK!" She burst into tears.
"ERIOL!" She bawled, sliding down to her knees and leaning her head against the window. She screamed hysterically, scaring a few people, and banged her fist against the window in hopelessness. She was too late… "Damn it…" She sniffed, then sobbed his name again, trembling with her sorrow.
Sakura and Syaoran spotted her with ease when they entered the room. "Tomoyo!" Sakura cried, teary eyed. "Oh, no!"
"We're too late…" Syaoran hung his head in disgust with himself. "Why couldn't I have driven a little faster!" He spun around and punched a nearby concrete pole. "OW!"
"Ah! You idiot! You probably broke your hand!" Sakura squealed in horror.
"You're right…" He winced. "I am an idiot… and in pain… lots of pain… I need anger management classes or something… ah… ow…"
"Oh, S-" Sakura began then silenced, looking up. "Syaoran…" She whispered, watching a body walk across the waiting area, suitcase in hand.
Syaoran looked up. He didn't say a word, but a smile spread across his face, despite his hand.
Tomoyo had settled down to a whimpering squeak of his name, sniffling. Her hands had dropped to her sides, and she just looked pitifully lost.
Someone stepped up behind her, but she didn't notice.
"Did you wear that for me?"
Her head jolted up, and she flung around to look at the boy before her. "E-Eriol!" She exclaimed, unable to breathe.
He smiled slightly, setting down his bag and shoving his hands in his pockets. "Good morning."
She stood up. Her legs burned with the pain of running so far, but it didn't matter now. "Eriol?" She asked again, unbelieving.
"That would be me…" He shrugged, smiling calmly.
"Wh-what are you doing here? The plane…" Tomoyo trailed off.
"I… I thought about something…" He explained.
"Thought…" She whispered.
"Yes… I was just about to get on the plane and I realized… that I wasn't finished here in Japan yet."
Tomoyo stared at him, sniffing.
His smile widened only slightly. "I realized that I had not yet finished my bet."
Tomoyo couldn't believe what she was hearing. "The-"
"Let me finish," He told her, and she silenced.
He began approaching her as he spoke. "Yes, I realized that I have failed in my bet to make you fall in love with me, therefore losing… but I had one more day, you see. We made the bet for one week which is indeed, seven days, and I was giving up my opportunity to win." His grin broadened even more.
Tomoyo stared at him hurtfully.
"At that point, I still hadn't convinced myself to come back," He told her stopping right in front of her. "I didn't want to see you… Actually, I did, but I couldn't face you."
She was incredibly confused at this point.
"I was afraid of how you'd react when you realized you'd won the bet, considering that one day isn't even enough for a master player like me to win over a lady for life. I expected you would laugh at me, not only because I'd lost, but because…" He put his hand against her cheek and rubbed it with his thumb slightly. "Because I had become a slave to you."
"Indeed," His smile brightened, his eyes warm and caring. "I came back because I knew that no matter what, I was a slave to you."
Tomoyo stared blank-faced at him.
"You haunt my thoughts… You haunt my dreams… You speak I cannot do a thing but cater to what you say… You laugh and I cannot help but smile… You cry… and I cannot do anything but cry along with you… and…" His voice trembled, his smile fading. "You live…"
Her eyes moistened.
"…You live… and I cannot live without you."
Tears spilled down her cheeks, but she didn't speak.
"I figured that you would laugh at me because…" He repeated. "Not only because I'd lost…"
A tear slipped down his cheek, "but because I'd fallen so deeply in love with you."
"Eriol…" She choked, sniffling.
"The hunter becomes the hunted…" He joked, sniffing as well, wiping his tear away from his eye. "You are a marvel, Tomoyo… A true marvel…"
"Eriol… you're wrong!"
"I would… I would never laugh at you!" She cried, tears rolling down her cheeks. "Eriol… I… I love you!"
His eyes widened. "You… You do?"
"Of course I do! Why do you think I came here?" She sobbed. "I couldn't let you go! I wouldn't! I can't imagine my life without you! I would be so miserable if I never saw your face, never heard your voice…"
"-but I- I'm…" He began, at a loss for words.
"You're an amazing person. You're smart and fun and caring… You treat me with more respect than any of my other boyfriends, and you relate to me more than any of them to… You aren't afraid to cry in front of me, and you're not afraid to let me cry in front of you… Y-You put your heart into everything that you do, and even if you go astray, you try to fix it… You're passionate and kind and… everything I could ever want… You saved my life and risked your own… How could I not be in love with someone like that?"
"I thought I was…" He trailed off.
"Whatever you thought you were, you were wrong," She told him.
He looked down into her eyes. "My God…" He said, coming to a revelation. "You are a marvel. You've changed me."
"I didn't do anything…" She whimpered.
"No… no… you're right… It wasn't you… It was love," He winked.
She sniffed again. "That's so corny."
"Yeah…" He whispered, leaning in closely. "It is…" His lips touched hers, and she soon returned the favor.
"Aw… that was so beautiful!" Sakura wailed, waterfalls of tears pouring off her cheeks. "It's just like a movie!"
"Wait… I'm confused…" Syaoran began. "Who loves who again? Was it Eriol in love with Tomoyo or the other way around?"
"You're silly," Sakura joked, laughing. "They love each other, just like we do!"
Syaoran smiled. "Yeah… that's right."
Sakura took his hand to hold it.
"AH! My hand, ah!" He yelped.
"Oops, my bad… I guess we should get to a hospital."
"That would be good," Syaoran said gruffly, cringing in pain.
Tomoyo and Eriol didn't notice anything happening in the world around them, lost in their own bliss. Eriol had been lost on the path, forgetting what the difference between love and loneliness was, and Tomoyo had given up on love… Their two paths had met, and they came together to remember the definition of the word.
Love (n): A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person
…but then again… it really isn't that scientific, is it…
It really isn't definable at all.
A/N: Ta da! I finally finished it! I'm on a roll! Thank you all so incredibly much for reading. Your reviews and comments mean so much to me and really make my day. I'm really glad you stuck with me and that you enjoyed it. I hope to bring more writing for you to enjoy in the future. My love goes out to all of you.