Chapter One: Sacred commandments, revised!
I don't know where or when it has started. But by God, to play the role of a hostess with an uncharming and ingrate guest, nobody, and I mean nobody could help but fail miserably to the task of playing the little miss congeniality with the man. I don't know why Tomoe Yukishiro, my stepsister, has to put me up to the chore.
Well, Kenshin and Tomoe have been in an on-and-off relationship for 5 years so I don't blame him. Yet, after all the rejection Tomoe has done, I think everybody gets the idea that it is O-V-E-R.
It's hard really, seeing them fall apart like that. They started out as friends, turned bestfriends, started dating until they've made it official. No problem there, really, until Kenshin and Tomoe have had this mysterious problem only they knew what.
Kenshin and I are acquaintances sharing courteousness and formalities that should be bestowed on a sister's girlfriend. There was even the funny part that he gave me lollipops like I'm some 8 years old that needs bribery so he could just take my sister away just like that back when I was 14. But I was never envious of their love affair, I matured early enough to know that Tomoe has to go through puberty before I do. Let's just say that they were my inspiration with a supposedly happy ending.
They really were a nice pair to look at. Both blessed with appearances and an unmatched attitude compatibility to boot. They are the paragon of sweetness and cute-sy effect even when they seem to have a disagreement. I really dreamt of having the same love story when I reached the age.
That's why this chore is so hard to do.
I sighed again then prepared myself before going downstairs. I need to be civil in the least.
I made a last deep breath before asking the question.
"Will you be staying over, Ken-san?" Was that too obvious that I want him out of my sight? When Kenshin just nodded, at least I knew he didn't take it as something that says, You're not wanted here, please go home already. Well, if wearing pajamas isn't obvious I don't know what is. Maybe I should try unrolling the bedding on the sofa and lie down right there for him to get the point.
"What time will Tomoe come back?" He said looking decent.
"Around 11, or later, if you need anything please help yourself. I'll be going to sleep."
"Don't worry I won't disturb you."
Urrgghh! Talk about insensitive.
"You have been disturbing me since the time you arrived. No need to stop now, right?" I said in sarcastic tone.
Kenshin's brow ticked. I did mean to treat him that way, the sooner he realizes that he's unwanted maybe he would mend his broken heart somewhere and leave us be.
"You do not like me very much, I see. Why didn't I notice that for the last 5 years?"
I rolled my eyes.
"Well, I guess that's because you haven't been noticing anything else either recently."
He smirked at me. I quite remember how my groupmates squirm when he did that when they stayed over for a project. They said I'll be lucky to have him as an in-law. I thought so too. But I will always be loyal and in favor of my sister's behalf.
"What's wrong Kao-chan? PMS?" He was suddenly concerned when he should be angry because I'm really trying to fend him off. The task of dismissing him is beginning to be very difficult.
"I'm ok Ken-san. But please, really you have to go. I can't bear you anymore. You come to our house every night waiting for Tomoe when I've done almost everything just to let you know that she isn't home in the most subtle, courteous way I know how yet you've never noticed."
He bowed his head down. This was the first real talk we've had and unfortunately it happened to be a confrontation brought about by 'this' issue.
"I'm sorry. I didn't know that was the effect I was having on you."
"Actually, not just me, in case you haven't noticed, my sister as well, that's why she's been hiding. Or didn't you get that?"
That was rude. I know. Can't help it, the lack of sleep could have done it. But he has to know clearly for his sake and my sister's as well. Instantly I regretted it, I was always courteous, I guess it can't be helped.
"I see. I'm heading home then. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for the wonderful realization."
With that he turned up and leave.
That was what I wanted, yet guilt is eating me. He's been a charmer if he wanted to but I don't see the point of hanging, or "bugging" someone when it is so apparent that your presence tags along a heavy air. That same night, I really prayed hard for my sister's happiness and her ex-boyfriend's healing.
The next morning, Sunday, I am out to set my priority straight. Since last night gave me unwanted depression because I was a victim of crossfire, I gathered my thoughts and made commandments for myself.
1. Thou shall leave the adults be. Affairs that are not your own, avoid at all cost.
2. Thou shall not lend a helping hand to your stepsister for you shall become an accessory and a mislead target of someone else's anger which goes by the name of Kenshin.
3. Thou shall not face Kenshin. Guilt trip is something heavy to bear.
4. Thou shall start looking for a potential company for internship. This will be helpful to stay out of the battlefield which used to be called Kamiya home-sweet-home before the red alert.
5. Thou shall do this to shed off excess emotional baggage.
I re-read my 5 commandments several times before I went down the stairs to have a breakfast. Passing by the newspaper, I grabbed it and went to make coffee. I pony my hair before settling in on the dinner table with Tomoe who seems to have spaced-out for the longest time resulting to not noticing my constant re-looking at her.
"Tomoe, is something the matter?" I queried to stop her of her too-early reverie. I thought she shouldn't be up if she still needs to dream.
Instead of answering my question, she just looked at me then continued staring at who-knows-where while unceremoniously trying to do a depiction of 500-peso-bill pose.
"Hey! Tomoe, keep your elbows off the table. And what's the matter anyway, getting gloomy early in the morning at exactly 7 sharp? What's wrong?" I asked her again just to see if she'll take the bait this time. I really want her to share whatever is bothering her but I promise not to disobey the sacred first-three commandments while doing that. Last night was too stressing to add more.
She looked at me, AGAIN, and just sighed deeply.
"Kao, you wouldn't understand.."
I rolled my eyes. Please! Let's not use the age difference as an excuse. Everybody knows how we, teenagers, seem to mature early.
"Tomoe, if you are thinking that I'm 6 years early to listen to your problems, I have to remind you that my brain matures 10 years than its supposed to. That makes me 29."
I continued scanning the classified ads for companies on marketing or advertisement. I am the best marketing advisor in the making and I'm pretty sure a good exposure will definitely give me the boost I want. I was able to encircle 6 companies already and I'm set to inquire to at least 15.
"Kao, we broke up."
That revelation had me confused, shocked, speechless and I don't know what else.
" When? Why? With Akira? But you said you he was just courting you? Did you become "it" already? How come you didn't tell? How come I didn't even see him for at least 5 times in the house?"
All the questions just flooded in. I mean, I'm 19 and I can handle the truth if she was able to forget about Kenshin and grab Akira after less than 2 weeks but to get out of relationship again after 2 days that's hard to follow through.
I do not know if it's just me, but Tomoe is really looking guilty and displeased.
"Kao, Kenshin and I, we haven't broken up yet when I started dating Akira."
I almost spilled my coffee.
"WHAT? How come? WHY?"
"I wanted to forget about him because of our problem, remember? So I agreed on seeing Akira, to dull the pain but he never had any idea of my feelings towards our situation until you told him last night."
This time, I really spilled the coffee.
I went to the countertop to get a rug and clean my mess. If only this rug could also clean "MY" mess with my sister's affair, I could have had.
"I didn't know. You never told me. I just placed one plus one and resulted to two that's why I said the things I've said last night." I said in my defense.
I was an accessory who blew it all for the main participant. Damn.
"I know. But when he knew about it, he broke it up with me. He was devastated."
"Of course. Who wouldn't be? But why did you do that?"
She wiped off the impending tears before explaining her claim.
" I still love him. I really, really, really do. But the confidential problem we're having is too heavy for me. I wanted an easy way out."
"..and you saw Akira? ...and he was the fastest way out of your pain because he adores you so much you thought you can start falling out of love with Kenshin?"
She was torn, I know. Yet the remedy, for the first time, isn't something I can advise her with.
She just nodded at my analysis.
"so what do we do now?" I said. It was more of a question for me than for her. I made the revelation too early for my sister's liking and now she has to experience the unwanted aftermath.
After making a few calls that day, I went straight to my bed and reviewed my commandments before I made some revisions.
1. Thou shall meddle with the adults. The affair that has impended, resolve.
2. Thou shall lend a helping hand to your stepsister for you became a failed accessory and a mislead target of someone's wrong decision which goes by the name of Kenshin.
3. Thou shall face Kenshin. Guilt trip is something heavy to bear so, sort things out already.
4. Thou shall start looking for a potential company for internship. This will be helpful to stay out of the "depressed zone" which used to be called Kamiya home-sweet-home.
5. Thou shall do this to shed off excess emotional baggage. "?
I re-read my note once again before sleeping everything off, hoping tomorrow will lead to many resolutions.