She sat at the window, looking out at the horizon. The radio buzzed from bad reception. Her sighs lingered in the air while the radio sang between the static.
"All this time you were pretending,
So much for my happy ending…"
She heaved another sigh as the song faded into static. She wrinkled her nose at the glass' translucent reflection of herself. "How could you have gotten yourself so mixed up in all this?" she murmured to the glass.
She pulled her knees to her chest and buried her teary face into the fabric of her pants. After dampening her knees with tears, she wiped her eyes with the heel of her hand. "Y-you don't need him…" she whispered, recovering from hiccups.Xx
A few hours of stammering on the phone with him, she called up a friend. Only after giggling for ten minutes she hung up the phone.
Content with his "yes", she fell back onto her bed. A few days of this, and, when on the phone with him another time, she whispered a confession to him.
It seemed so natural on her lips, but after a few seconds of waiting for an "I love you, too," all she could hear were the echoing beeps of the dial tone.
She sighed looking at her lap. She pulled the beeping phone away from her ear and placed it in her lap while she watched the seconds on the screen, near his name, blink. She got up and walked into her bathroom where she got out her toothbrush and began to brush her teeth. She felt a sour taste in her mouth.Xx
She pulled herself up and looked at the drowsy looking teenager in the mirror. Her hair was pulled up in a messy ponytail, and she was clad in a fitted tank top and an oversized pair of sweats. She bit her lip, and pulled her hair from its ponytail.
He'd broken it off two weeks ago, and she felt racked up about it still. It, obviously, didn't do well for her.
She grabbed up a purple brush off her desk. She looked at it like it was a stranger, but, after a while, began to use it to brush out the ratted mess of her hair. She brushed her hair out straight and looked at her closet.
"I sh-should face that b-big, bad world, soon…"
She slipped off her sweatpants, revealing her pale legs. She dug through her things in search of jeans. Once she'd found a pair of jeans, she pulled them over her slim hips. She buttoned and zipped the pants on quickly.
She looked into the mirror at a slightly familiar, small girl.
She grabbed up a three-quarter sleeved shirt. She tugged it over her un-pierced ears and her milky eyes. She shook her head at the reflection. That girl wasn't her.
She took a step towards the desk. She opened a squeaky drawer, revealing a beat-up, metallic green box with the word "yen" written on it. She'd obviously written it, since the calligraphy was perfect. She tugged the top off in one smooth motion.
The radio hummed behind her, the beginning of another song.
She huffed, removing the money. She slipped it into her back pocket and looked over at her reflection.
She wanted her back.
The pavement scratched familiarly with her heavy footsteps. It seemed to talk to her, and she nodded back at it. It was speaking of the other boys in Japan.
-You have all of these guys to swoon over, and, honestly, you barely remember what he looks like. Besides, I know of someone, who may have swooned over you.
She halted, quickly. After a gulp, she shook her head. She whispered to her, "I'm a failure… Men don't swoon over failures," she mumbled, sounding all too reassuring.
She smiled, sadly, when she reached her destination. It was a quaint, little hair salon. A woman ran out, enveloping her in a hug.
"You haven't been here in forever!" she pointed out. "I haven't even seen you in about a week and a half. Are you okay?" The woman seemed honest and sincere, and seeing as she was a mother of two small children, she was both.
She quickly nodded, knowing her mouth would deceive her lie.
"So, did you come here for a haircut?"
She didn't hesitate to nod quickly. "Can—Can you cut it how it w-was at the e-elementary?"
The woman grinned, guiding her to a swiveling chair.
The mirror was placed in her hands. She gave a meek smile at the reflection.
She recognized this girl.
The bell on the door rang quietly with a "good luck". She looked around outside, wondering whatever for.
She'd kept her mouth closed for most of the haircut. She kept thinking about what the pavement said, and what it meant.
She walked to the other side of the poorly paved road and sat beneath a withering sakura tree. The trees in this part of Japan always kept lovely secrets and awe-inspiring memories, but for her… they were Hell.Xx
She'd never done it before, but she thought he would appreciate it, especially from his girlfriend, who was, supposedly, in love with him.
"C-close your eyes," she stammered easily. "P-please?"
He grinned widely, "Only if I get to know what my present is."
Her face donned a crimson blush over her cheeks and nose, and not from the make-up she'd chosen to wear just for him. She gulped and looked away. "N-never m-mind then," she stated simply, turning her back to him.
He put a hand on her shoulder, turning her towards him. He leaned forward to kiss her, but their noses clashed awkwardly, and she ducked down.
She thought she honestly wanted to kiss him, at her heart tugged away at the thought of their lips meeting.
That night, though, she did think it was cute neither of them were expert at relations, kissing, and, even, hugging, she found herself perturbed in the bathroom, puking the contents of the gourmet meal her neighbor, and best friend, made for her family.
Her friend knocked on the door, and even though there was no answer, he let himself in anyway.
A few gagged coughs later, and he was standing right outside her bathroom door.
"Are you okay?" he called, knocking lightly on the door.
Over the years, he'd softened to her, becoming her friend, and caring for her like an older brother would. He was there to help, not hurt, since to him, she was anything but troublesome, and he seemed to have a slight crush on her.
He opened the door to find his female friend leaning against the toilet, her hair a tangled, matted mess. She looked so distraught it nearly burned him to think of what happened, what her boyfriend did to turn her into this mess. He watched as she leaned forward to flush the toilet.
He watched her lean against the edge of the oversized bathtub, beside the toilet. He cleared his throat, as if to ask a question, but even without words, the question lingered in the vomit-scented air.
"H—We-we nearly kissed…" she said, breaking the silence's curse.Xx
She sighed, heavily. Maybe her body knew he wasn't for her, but, somehow, she made it seem like he was.
She pushed that thought from her mind. She was nervous about kissing. That's all.
Her eyes wandered over trees and the hair salon. She blinked at a shadow-like person across the way. She was… being watched?
She gulped and stood up. Feeling a little bold, she walked to the bush the person hid in. "Wh-who is there?" she called, pulling back leaves to reveal a boy. To be specific, he was her best friend, so, why was he watching her?
Her brows creased when she realized he was just going to keep staring at her.
She gulped and turned away, feeling the need to go home. She blinked a few times, thinking she heard words from him. "Hn?"
He smirked at her response, thinking she just wanted to hear his compliment again. "I said, you look nice with your hair like that." He snickered childishly at the widening of her eyes, but when she dropped to her knees in tears, he sighed and knelt beside her whimpering form. "Are you alright?"Xx
She did her hair up in a twist for him, even though they were merely going to a ramen shop. She was keen on looking her best for him. Always.
She'd gotten there early, so she'd passed time messing with chopsticks. After a few hours of that, and heavy sighs, she gave up waiting and when over to his home.
She knocked merely once before she heard rustling. He was at the door within a minute, and he wasn't wearing his shirt. He stood in a very specific place, just so she couldn't see inside the home. She blinked a few times, soaking in his appearance.
"Oh, hey," he said, easily.
She swallowed and looked up at him. "I—I thought w—we were g—going to e—eat together f—for lunch…" she said shyly, turning her gaze to an un-curtained window.
"I'm sorry, I must've slept in. By the way, your hair looks nice like that."
At that moment, a girl with bright pink hair opened the door even more. She kissed his lips, leaving her enraged.
She gaped at this, and she turned, running to her house where she met up with her friend.
"She kissed him…" she whimpered, lifting her head from her tear-stained pillow.Xx
They paused at the gate together, his hands fidgeting and hers hung lifelessly at her sides. He thrust his hands into his pockets, giving a sigh.
Instead of unlocking the gate and walking home, she turned to face him, and, with un-fallen tears gleaming in her eyes, she jumped forward, wrapping her arms around his neck in a hug. She took a few uneasy breaths before whispering a 'thank you' into his ear.
He gave her a shy smile, taking one of his hands out of his pocket and putting it on her back. He ran his hand down her spine softly. He breathed in her scent and breathed out a 'no problem'.
Was it obvious he had a crush on her?
She stepped back, leaving both of them with tainted cheeks, though hers were much brighter than his.
With the open gate telling him he should keep his distance, he took a few steps back, returning his hand to his pocket.
"Outo-san—he's out… W-will you k-keep me c-company?" she mumbled, just loud enough for him to hear. She really wanted a shoulder to cry on, since she'd been stuck with her simple pillow for two weeks, and it never told her everything was going to be all right.
He bristled at the though, wanting to go, but knowing he could end up doing something he might end up regretting. Lucky for him, she linked her elbow with his as she walked with him to the top of the hill, where her home glistened with wet paint.
She moved to open the door, but he'd beaten her to it. He took his hands out of his pockets and opened the door, allowing her to go before him. She gave him her usual—especially after her previous boyfriend—sad smile and walked in before him.
He followed her in and closed the door behind him quietly, even though he was sure no one else was home. He easily found his way to the kitchen, and he began to peek into cupboards, knowing cookies and milk would mend some of the problems they had going on.
Since he didn't exactly want to make them, and she probably wasn't up to it either, he was in search of store-bought cookies in her can-filled cupboards.
She thanked him lightly, taking a sip of the cool cup of milk. He sat beside her, hands cupping the back of his head, eyes closed. She let out a relieved sigh and glanced at him.
She took another sip of milk and composed an appropriate apology.
"I—I'm sorry I lost m—my self-control l—like that…" she whispered to the milk.
He opened an eye and trained it on her. Beside her perfection seemed to be her changing self, who, in his mind's eye, seemed more perfect and more beautiful that the perfection that sat beside him.
"Troublesome…" she heard him murmur as he got up to check on the baking sweets.
She felt something tear inside her, though she wasn't sure why. He was her friend, nothing more. She placed her glass of milk on a wooden coaster atop the glass tabletop. She followed dizzily behind him.
She picked up the oven mitts that he seemed hastily searching for. She gave him a soft smile, remembering when he'd first moved in as their neighbor.Xx
"Hurry up!! It's four twenty, and we still haven't met the new neighbors!" her father barked up the stairs.
In a zombie-like manner, she sat up, running her fingers through her tangled hair. Without a yawn or blink, she shuffled to the bathroom, arms holding a set of clothes. The three-year-old was used to waking up this early by now, but it was still hard falling asleep after about eleven at night and waking up at the crack of dawn.
She bathed quickly and dressed herself well. She hopped upon a stool too greet her reflection in the glass. She blinked groggily, and she used the heel of her hand to wipe away the condensed steam from her six-minute shower.
She looked at herself and began to arrange her hair carefully. A knock was heard upon her bedroom door. All of a sudden, she brightened up and ran, a secret smile hidden in her eyes, to open the door. She opened it slowly, revealing a boy about three or four years older than herself.
"Good morning, nii-san," she said softly.
The boy didn't seem as amused as her, seeing as he gripped her upper arm and heaved her from her room. He slammed the door behind him, and he tugged her after him.
"Your mother is staying home, its almost time," he grumbled at her. "And your father is staying with her, so I'm going with you."
If her vocabulary had been broader, she would have told him he didn't seem so thrilled or enthusiastic about it, but, instead, she simply nodded, following at two arm lengths behind him. She let him force her after him, since this was their normality.
They made it to the door with only the sounds of their breathing. His was heavy with anger, and hers was heavy from trying to keep up.
"Konichiwa," they greeted. He bowed to the woman in the doorway. She followed his suit, and bowed to her as well.
"Oh, my!" the woman faltered. "I didn't expect such manners from young children, such as yourselves."
She grinned at them, and they kept their straight faces as they exchanged names with her.
The woman halted them before they turned to leave. She called for a boy who looked a year or two older than the three-year-old. She blushed and took a step behind her nii-san. The boy stood before them, looking rather bored with the situation at hand. He yawned, covering his mouth with the back of his hand.
"I'm going back inside…" he murmured to his mother, and he went to walk back into the home, but his mother' clearing of her throat stopped him. He gave a huffy sigh and murmured a 'konichiwa' along with their names.
She blinked at the sound of her name on his lips. She tugged on her nii-san's arm. "I—I wanna go h—home now…" she whispered quietly to him.
He nodded at her request, and they bother bowed to the two. They boy blinked at them and rose an eyebrow at why they seemed to be leaving. Usually, visitors left when his mother made them dinner. He shrugged, pulling his hand out of his pocket. He waved at the two as they walked away, back to their estate.
She glanced back at him, and blushed.
He smiled lightly at the turn of her head, and he, too, blushed, lightly.
"You like her, huh?"
He blinked at his mother's sudden reaction to his blush. He scratched his nose and walked into his room. "None of your business," he stated, firmly.Xx
"Hey, you still on this planet?" he asked, with slight sarcasm. He waved his hand in front of her face.
"Hn?" She blinked a few times, obviously baffled.
"I asked if you felt better."
"O-oh…" she nodded quickly, her eyesight blurring a little bit. She sniffled twice and picked up the empty plate of cookies. She walked into the kitchen.
She set the plate in the sink, and then put her hands on either side of the silver sink. The rain began to pour. She whimpered a few times and bowed her head to the sink. Her tears pattered softly along the metal of the sink. Her breathing was uneasy and quick. She felt shattered inside.
She was troublesome.
She was troublesome…
Her shaky breathing continued as she thought about it. He'd broken up with her because she was troublesome.
She didn't hear his footsteps as he entered the kitchen. She didn't hear him set down their empty glasses of milk. He put the dishes beside her on the counter. He took a breath of her freshly cut hair. He blushed and placed his right hand on her shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze.
Her head jerked up and she looked up at him. Her mouth gaped open a little, and her lashes stuck to her cheeks with tears.
Her breathing went shaky again, and her knees collapsed beneath her. He dropped to his knees with her. He leaned forward and pulled her into his arms. He was sure he was blushing brightly, so he was glad she wasn't looking at his face.
"I—I should have f—figured it out s—sooner…" she mumbled into his shirt.
He raised an eyebrow at her. "What do you mean?"
She gave a laugh and looked up at him. "I—I told him I l—loved him… and… I—I was kidding m—myself…" Tears welled up once again, and she leaned back against his chest, grasping handfuls of his shirt. "I—I thought I—if I could tell him I l—loved him… That… It'd be true and… and… he—he'd l—love me b—back…" she finished.
He put a hand on her face and wiped her cheek with his thumb. "And, b—because of y—you, I know h—he broke up w—with me b—because I—I'm troublesome…"
He knit his brows. He'd never called her troublesome, at least not to his attention. She wasn't normal; she wasn't troublesome. "You thought I called you troublesome?"
She nodded at him, watching as he chuckled briefly to himself.
"I was talking about the timer for the cookies. I… err… like you. I couldn't do that to you."
She blushed brightly, feeling like she had when she was younger, and he had held her hand just to "cross the street", but kept doing so all the way to the store and all the way home. She gave a slight laugh. "A—are you s—saying that j—just t—to make m—me feel b—better?"
He put a hand behind his head, running his hand over the back of his tight ponytail. "I'd say yes, but you'd get angry about that; if I say no, you'll think me crazy, and I'll be utterly embarrassed."
She wiped her eye with the back of her hand and hurled herself forward, tackling him in a hug.
"I w—was too w—worked up about the past th—that I forgot about y—you and reality," she whispered to him.
In an embarrassed haste, she figured out what kept her from breaking up with him, what depressed her so much, and why she couldn't kiss him. She liked him when they were little, but she knew that since they were so different that they could never be.
He snickered a bit, and he wrapped his arms around her, returning her hug. "It's alright, " he said. "I'd ask you on a date, but I don't want to make you feel guilty about making me rebound, so, how about we watch a movie like old times?"
She pushed herself up to look at his face. They were both blushing brightly, and, from their current decision of stance, they both felt the same awkwardness.
The popping of the microwave was soothing in the background of a sappy, love movie. She hopped up in the middle of a kissing scene and when she'd returned, she had a large bowl filled with salted popcorn for the both of them.
They both sat reclined on her bed with the television on the wall at their feet. He lay with his legs extended and an arm limply over her shoulders. She lay on her side, her head on his chest, listening to his breathing and steady, rhythmic heartbeat. At the last scene of the movie, the main characters ran up to one another and shared passionate kisses.
He could tell, from the coloration on her ears, she was blushing. He gave a smile and squeezed her closer to him. The credits began to roll and they were in the dark, save for the white script on the screen. She moved her knees up, and she looked up at him timidly. He was watching her still. She blushed again, since her precious blush was gone.
He leaned forward, and her mouth went dry. He kissed her forehead. "Your dad's not here, and I don't know if my mom's home. Do you think I can sleep in the guest bedroom?" he yawned.
She pondered a bit, and then shook her head. "Well, why?" he questioned.
"W—we have storage in th—there."
She sat up and pressed the "OFF" button on the television. "I'll s—set up a m—mat in the l—living room," she explained, walking down the hallway. She heard a noise and walked back to her room, blankets in arm. The lights flipped on, and he was asleep. She smiled a little, and pulled a blanket over him.
He was going to wait for her as long as it took. She didn't mind. She was waiting for him to realize she was waiting on him.
"He spent the night in your bed?!" her nii-san asked. She nodded at him and he blinked a few times at her. "Then why did you sleep out here?"
"He is your boyfriend, right?"
"He's… a friend."
She winced at herself. It hurt to say it so blandly.
The neighbor boy walked out from down the hall with a large yawn. He tapped his wrist lazily to her. "Two nineteen."
He nodded back at her, then with a kiss on her cheek, fumbled to the couch where he proceeded to sleep.
"Not your boyfriend? Heh… And you write more about him than you did that bozo. Read your diary over," he murmured, tossing a small book at her.
Her mouth was gaping, but she wrinkled her nose at him as he left the room. She walked into the living room, where the fire in the fireplace flickered.
At nearly four in the morning, she yawned, realizing her nii-san was right. She wrote more about having a crush and being in love with her neighbor than him. She shook her head. She was kidding herself when she said she was in love with him.
Daylight broke through the trees, creating a spotlight on a pair. She was curled up at his side, her head on his shoulder, and he was propped up with an elbow on the armrest. A bright flash of light shone, causing the two to stir.
He stretched his arms up and yawned. When he put his arm down, it wasn't on the couch. It was on her shoulder. She opened her eyes, ending up staring at her nii-san with a camera. "Your mothers knew it." He nodded, thieving the camera and photo of the two of them sleeping together on the couch.
"Feeling regrets?" he asked.
"No, n—not in the least."
He brushed his lips against her forehead. "Good. Me, neither."3 3 3
Heh… In the beginning, this story was fro my friend as a Christmas present. I, sorta, shared it with a bunch of people, for checking my grammar and such, and they loved it. Someone told me "I think it's based off Naruto!"
If I'd been an anime character, I would have sweat dropped. I kind of nodded at him and he grinned at me. Then, he told me "put it on I bet they'll love it. And, ask 'em who the characters are. All of them!!"
So, here I am! And, I have some characters that need their names back!!
The ex-boyfriend's sleaze??
The girl's nii-san??
Just so you know, the hairdresser was my mind's creation, so guess all you want, but you'll be wrong. Heh…
Love to all who've read it, but more love to those who click "go" and review!!
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