Disclaimer: I don't own Memoirs of a Geisha.
Just so you guys know, this isn't my best chapter. I just don't personally like it. I guess it's the way I wrote it, I dont know. I couldn't really write much about the plane, since I've only rode a plane once in my life, and that wasn't in first class. But then again, I've never been to NYC and I managed the earlier chapters. Oh, well. I might rewrite this chapter later if enough of you dont like it. Also, the time of the flight is an estimate as well. Please bear with me if every detail isn't perfect. Please keep reviewing and tell me how you like/don't like my chapters. I do listen to every review!
Oh, and I know I said I'd update within a month, but maybe i should make that 2 months. They're working me harder at work lately so I am writing when I find the time. Regardless, I've done my best. I haven't forgotten about this story.
Memoirs of a Geisha 2: Sayuri's Next Journey
Chapter 8: "Crossing Times"
Emily and Riah laid their suitcases on Sayuri's cream colored couch. They didn't pack much, just about a weeks worth of clothes and a few necisities that they knew they would need before they reached Japan. Sayuri had told them they would be able to buy anything else when they landed, since Pumpkin never clarified exactly how long they'd stay.
Emily looked at her watch, the minute hand gliding to the number 6, and shook her head gently. "Thirty minutes until we meet Hatsumiyo. We can't back down now." She glanced up at her husband, who was sitting on the couch beside their baggage, waiting patiently, and frowned, "Riah, how can you possibly just sit there and be worried? This is-"
"I know, Emily." Riah interruped her, his tone float and dry. "I dont know if this trip will be for the better or worse. The only thing I know is that it is Ms. Nitta's decision. I think you should calm down and try to enjoy this trip. It's not everyday we get to go to Japan for free like this. Besides, we'll have Catherine and Wendy with us, so please try to act like an adult."
Riah's bluntness made Emily quiet for a moment. She paused, mulling over the calm man's words. "Oh, Riah..." She could only whisper, not being able to stop herself from wondering if he was right.
Pumpkin waved as the taxi cab dropped Sayuri, Emily and Riah off at the theater, signaling their location. She frowned. "Where's the other two at, Sayuri?"
"They haven't arrived yet." Sayuri said as calmly as she could, trying not to let her nervousness show. She was excited, yet scared. She didn't know what awaited her return to Japan. She would surely learn truths that she was better off not knowing and see old friend that she hasn't seen or heard from in over 30 years. Some of them may have died, she realized. She silently frowned at herself, trying not to think about it.
"Sorry we're late!" a cheerful voice interrupted her thoughts. Catherine approached the group. Beside her, Wendy could hardly contain her excitement. The smile on her face couldn't be taken away easily. "We're both excited, Sayuri. It'll be an adventure."
You don't know the half of it. Pumpkin smiled knowingly. I'll perform as usual, while Sayuri's mind breaks down.
"Hatsumiyo-sama!" Sachike's frenzied voice approached the group. She had a shamisen case looped over her right shoulder, which she slowly held out toward Pumpkin. "It's your shamisen, Hatsumiyo-sama. We were making sure we had everything out of your room. We were curious though, at to what the script written on the side was about. 'Thank you for everything, Pumpkin. Best friends forever. -Chiyo.'"
Sachike's words stirred Pumpkin's mind to when Chiyo wrote that on the bottom side of the instrument. "Sachike..." Pumpkin's voice became quiet and soft. She blinked her eyes, and hastily grabbed the case. "I meant to leave it, Sachike. But..." The corners of her lips turned up, but not completely. "Thank you, Sachike."
Nadori watched her with curiosity. Looks like the old Hatsumiyo is trying to reemerge. That half smile meant something. The fact that she kept the shamisen means she doesn't really want the past to go away. No matter how much she says she does, part of her doesn't.
Sayuri felt a secret satisfaction from that fact alone. She smiled to herself. It was over 50 years old, atleast. Does the old Pumpkin want to come out?Did seeing me make the memories come back, just as they did for me? If only you would come back to me, Pumpkin. Atleast then, something would be right again. Everyone else is gone - Mother, Auntie, Ken, Satsu, even Mameha. Not to mention my late Mother and Father, my birth parents. She felt an inward sadness at thinking of the names she had once known. She gazed at the shamisen case again, and immediately thought of when she wrote those words. It wasn't long after Hatsumomo became Pumpkin's older sister.
Pumpkin approached Sayuri with saddened eyes. "Chiyo-chan..."She said quietly as she brought her shamisen to her lap. "Chiyo-chan, I'm sorry for everything."
Chiyo? The younger Sayuri looked at Pumpkin with curiousity. "Didn't they tell you - "
"I know, it's nearly been a year, Sayuri. You're not Chiyo anymore. But we're getting further apart. Hatsumomo is pulling us further apart day by day. I called you Chiyo at first when I came out here because I wanted it to be like old times, like before we became geisha." She looked at Sayuri again, this time with the beginning of a tear in her left eye. "I want to have one last time together as friends. I want to play my shamisen for you, but first, I want you to sign it on the bottom."
"But I don't have anything for you to sign, Pumpkin. I'm sorry - "
"It's ok. You can keep me in your heart, can't you?"
Sayuri nodded. "Yes, I can. I'll never forget you, Pumpkin." She smiled as Pumpkin's music calmed her. It would be the last time they ever talked of anything good about their former friendship/
Pumpkin pulled the shamisen case beside her as she opened the door to her personal taxi. Sayuri smiled sadly. Are we going to ever go back to that, or is that door closed forever?
Sayuri was surprised when all 8 of them were showed to their seats in the first class section. Pumpkin must always ride in first class. She mused as she watched Pumpkin practically order people around, including the pilot. They all called her Hatsumiyo-sama and treaded carefully around her. After about half an hour, Pumpkin finally settled down as the plane took off. When the flight attendants signaled that all was clear, Sayuri slowly stood up, and looked around her. She tensed her fingers, the fact of where she was leaving and heading to sunk in.
I'm going back to Japan... to Kyoto. Sayuri silently gazed at the red leather seats and more room for each of the passenger's belongings. She remembered the last plane she rode on was the one taking her from Japan. She wasn't first class then, of course. Sayuri walked down the aisle, breifly glancing at the businessmen and the other men and women in professional attire. When she came across a woman about her age, holding a magazine with the cover story of a woman and her lost siste, she immediately thought of Satsu. The thought made her stop. She shook her head, trying force herself not to start crying again.
"Ma'am, are you ok?" A middle aged woman with blonde hair touched her left shoulder. An infant was asleep in her left arm. Sayuri glanced down at the baby girl, and smiled. "Are you ok? You look like you need to talk about something." The woman spoke again, invitingly. She looked at Sayuri for a moment, but had to divert her attention to her child. The girl shifted her head and let out a big sigh.
"I'm ok." Sayuri spoke softly and looked back up at the woman. "You need to tend to your daughter." She turned back around, unaware that she had wandered out of first class in her thoughts. She slowly walked back to her cabin, thinking about the child in the woman's arms. I'll never have children to carry my name and stories on. Maybe Satsu has children, if she's still alive. I wonder if she would have told them about me. She sat down in her seat, and suddenly felt drowzy. She noticed that the others were asleep already. Maybe I should get some on this flight so I won't be as jet lagged... Maybe. Sayuri tried not to think about Satsu as her eyes drifted close.
Sayuri was gazing out the window of the airplane when the pilot's voice over the intercome announced their arrival. After nearly 20 hours on the plane, they were going to land in Tokyo in half an hour.
"It'll be alright, Ms. Nitta." Riah's voice told her on her right across the aisle. On her left, Emily smiled, silently telling her the same thing. Pumpkin was walking around, despite the orders to stay seated. In front of her, Nadori and Sachike were telling Pumpkin to sit down. Catherine was holding an excited Wendy's hands behind her. Sayuri smiled at the scene, wondering if this was the last of her New York life and a step back into her old life. She closed her eyes, with these thoughts swirling through her head.
The 8 of them stepped out of the airport and said nothing. Pumpkin looked around, used to her current surroundings. Emily, Riah, Catherine and Wendy were in awe. Sayuri gazed at Narita, took and a deep breath, and closed her eyes. Japan... It feels like I'm at a new home already.