The sounds of natured floated through the morning sky. Birds were chirping merry tunes; the chatters of chimps were mixed with the running of horses; the light steps of timid deer and rabbits could be softly heard below the layer of noise made by the more boisterous animals. But louder than any beast outside, the snores of an unconscious Brazilian boy drowned out the natural symphony.
Raimundo slumbered in his quarter of the trainee dorms, the only Wudai Warrior who decided to squander his only free day with extra sleep. Immersed in dreams, he was unaware to Kimiko stalking up to his "bed" with a bucket of water carried in both hands.
She gently placed the filled bucket on Raimundo's chest and kneeled next to his head. Setting up a miniature gong next to Raimundo's ear, she struck it with all her might; Raimundo jerked into an upright position, causing the bucket to tumble over and fill his lap with ice-cold water.
"You just got burned, Rai!" Kimiko shrieked with laughter as she ran through the door before her friend could retaliate.
A few hours later, Kimiko entered her own quarter of the room in search of her swimsuit and lotion; what she found instead was Raimundo tapping away at her PDA, which rang the words "Mail sent."
She snatched the device from his hands and opened her "Sent Mail" folder. The most recent e-mail had been sent less than 2 minutes ago, and was delivered to everyone in her address book. The electronic letter read:
I would like to announce my undeniable love for Clay Bailey, the ice-skating cowboy.
Love (but not as much as I love Clay),
Further scrolling revealed dozens of pictures of Clay performing amazing feats on a frozen pond. She glared up at Raimundo, who gave a quick "Burned ya." before darting out the door.
Lunch arrived, but not soon enough for Kimiko, who spent a frustrated hour convincing her friends and family that she was not seeing the prancing cowpoke.
Wrong monk, Rai… she thought.
As he entered the room, Raimundo, expecting the girl to be embarrassed and flustered, was surprised to find Kim smiling up at him from her seat. He smiled back, assuming that she gave up now that they were even.
The boy was, however, oblivious to the bundled string trailing from the seat of the chair beneath him into Kimiko's hand. With a unnoticed spark, the Japanese girl lit the thread, which subtly wound its way to Raimundo beneath the table. Within seconds, the fuse set Raimundo's chair ablaze; the screaming teen shot off his chair like a rocket, and dunked himself into the nearby fountain to douse his flaming pants.
"Burned, Rai!" Kimiko taunted, "Twice!"
"No kidding," he retorted, "Cause I've got a burn on each cheek now."
He stormed off, leaving Kimiko blushing from a mix of embarrassment, guilt, and affection.
The rest of her day was spent in search of Rai so that she could apologize for literally scarring him for life. This proved to be difficult, as her friend was trying to avoid her at all costs.
At sunset, she finally discovered him in her room, smirking at her with Omi sitting behind him. In Omi's tiny hands was a purple book, which he read eagerly although he did not understand half of it. Upon recognizing it, Kimiko asked the mini-monk, "Omi, where did you get that?"
"Raimundo gave it to me." Omi replied, his voice filled with amusement.
"Yeah," Raimundo said. Kimiko's head jerk toward his direction as he went on. "The little guy kept saying things like, 'I do not understand how the female mind works.', so I gave him your diary."
"Raimundo!" she screamed, abandoning all previous pity for him. "You-"
"-just burned you. Big time."
A sudden voice in Kimiko's mind urged her to set his pants ablaze again; Another voice defiantly advised her against such actions. While she fumed, Raimundo cackled madly. Omi sat in the corner of the room, reading page after page until he came across a sentence he did not understand at all.
"Kimiko," he began, "what do you mean by 'I love Raimundo.'?"
The laughter and voices suddenly died out, only to be replaced by an awkward silence and a passing tumbleweed. After a few minutes, Raimundo silently strode over to Omi and snatched up the diary, which Omi tried desperately to re-obtain. After rereading the sentence countless times, he softly asked Kimiko, "You serious?"
Instead of the reply, he got a shrug as the girl stared at the ground to avoid the uncomfortable situation. Around her, she could hear someone moving and felt a pair of arms wrap around her. She blushed as her head pressed against her chest and looked up to find Raimundo smiling down at her. And in one swift movement, she pulled him down and kissed him on the lips.
Time flew by, and when they broke apart, both of them were smiling. Raimundo looked down at her wide grin, but heard laughter behind him.
Why would Omi, who didn't even know what a kiss meant, be laughing at one?
But as he looked farther down, he found his pants around his ankles and Omi cackling madly at his heart-print boxers. From the doorway he saw Kimiko, the devilish fiend who pants-ed him, struggling to say "Burned!" through her giggling.
He let her continue laughing at his expense while he pulled his pants back up to waist-level. When they were secured, Kimiko turned on her heel to leave, but stopped before taking a step out the door. Turning her head to face Raimundo, who was frowning at her, she whispered, "Yeah, I was serious."
Her face flushed a bright crimson, Kimiko bolted out of the room, leaving Raimundo to plan not only his revenge, but perhaps dinner as well.