Disclaimer: I do not own or pretend to won any of the rights to the storyline or characters in Wataru Yoshimizumi's "Marmalade Boy" Series.
Author's Note, Originally this was an assignment for a creative writing class I took several years ago. We were told to retell an already existing story through the eyes of a minor character! So, here it is, with a lot of the plothole's filled! "Marmalade Boy" through the eyes of Rokutonda Tsutomu!
'It was a normal day. Or, as some might contradict, as normal a day as there can be in the modern city of Tokyo. The sun is shining brightly and the bustle of people who crowd the streets continued to move as always. A group of teenagers walked home from their Saturday classes, laughing and making plans for their free Sunday. A business man hurries down the street mumbling angrily into his cell phone and mothers chatted happily on their way to the grocery store with neighbors. One man stands still under the over hang of a small café. He shakes his head and laughs aloud.'
"Wow, I really have to stop narrating the days activities in my head." The man laughed again and paused when he heard a tapping sound, looking around he sighed.
"He's late. That's a bit unnerving. Ginta's usually annoyingly on time. Hah! He must be embarrassed at how I wooped his ass in our match last month. The loser probably won't even show his face." The man said haughtily to himself, earning curious glances from the people passing by and mothers shushed their questioning children. Yet, the tapping grew louder.
The man was too young to be senile, his youthful face and fit body contrasted greatly with his aged eyes, which were the only window that looked into his past.
He checked his watch again and glared at the sky while running a hand through his hair. "I hope the idiot's alright at least." Worriedly he pulled the cell phone he had gotten recently and began to dial a number. "Where is he? Damnit, he knows that I can't-"
"Rokutonda Tsutomu are you deaf?!" A cocky voice shouted from behind the man, who then jumped and growled angrily.
"Ginta, I have been waiting out here for fifteen minutes. Where the hell have you been?" He shouted, disturbing the people on the street. Spinning around, Tsutomu came face to face with another young man, whose brown eyes glowed with mischief and whose handsome face was smirking.
"Dearest cousin, were you worried about me? I'm touched." The new man cooed.
Tsutomu grimaced. "Keh. Not on your life Ginta. Now where the hell were you? You're paying for my meal for making me wait."
The brown-eyed man, known as Ginta, allowed his smirk to widen. "I've been here, sitting inside for twenty minutes." He laughed.
Flustered Tsutomu spoke, "W-Well then why didn't you try to get me earlier?"
Ginta looked as if his ego would never deflate. "We tapped on the window for ten or so minutes, cousin."
Rokutonda grimaced and then his expression became confused. "'We?' Is she here too?"
Ginta's smile softened, "Yea, she's right inside, its been awhile since you've seen each other right? Come on, she's saving our table. We have something to tell you." His expression turned serious and Ginta turned and walked into the little cafe.
"Oh... Alright." Tsutomu replied in a daze. As he quickly followed Ginta into the restaurant, his eyes searched the room for the face which he found instantaneously. 'There are the eyes I fell in love with.' He thought as he walked towards the girl in the arms of his smiling cousin.
"Mommy! I don't wanna go! I don't wanna! Stop!" My little boy-self had wailed as I pulled against an older woman who was guiding me into the elementary school yard. My precious toy racket dragged against the ground.
"Tsutomu! Don't drag that, it will get dirty and then I'll throw it out. Is that what you want?" The woman, Mrs. Takahashi I believe, scolded. My mouth shut immediately as my eyes widened in fear, I hugged my racket close and complied to the teacher's tugging. "Now, sit here in time out until I come back." She said sternly and gestured to the corner near the book case.
"Yesh mam." I mumbled and stared at the ground. Hugging my racket to my chest I picked at the carpet. 'I almost lost my racket, then I wouldn't have been able to become as good as Mister Agassi.' I continued to sulk until a high girly voice broke my thoughts.
"Heya. What-cha doing?"
"Heya! Rokutonda! How have you been?!" The girl and Ginta's arms smiled brightly and caught a glimpse of her long-time acquaintance.
"Sit down Tsutomu and we'll order when the waitress comes over." Ginta suggested, looking at the chair adjacent to him. Rokutonda sat down and faced the couple, wanting to avoid an awkward silence he addressed the woman across from him.
"Hey Suzuki. I'm fine, you?" Rokutonda smiled gently.
The girl let loose a bell-like laugh. "Oh please, Rokutonda, we've know each other for years. My name is Arimi, no need for formalities."
"My name's Arimi! What's yours?"
The voice spoke again. I lifted my head, about to tell the annoying girl that I was busy when I came face-to-face with the most beautiful pair of eyes I had ever seen. "Wow…" Was all I could say.
She giggled. "'Wow'? That's a funny name." She laughed again. It was a beautiful bell-like tone.
I jumped up, flustered, and began to correct her. "N-no stupid! My name's Rokutonda Tsutumo, you may know me as the Tsutumo the Great! The best tennis kid in the world!" I puffed out my chest and pointed a thumb at myself, grinning stupidly.
She had stared at me for a second and then began to laugh. "You wish! You are the stupid one!" With that she ran off.
"Hello…? Rokutonda, you alright?" A hand waved in front of Tsutomu's face.
"Oi, Arimi you know him, he's just being stupid, fading out into flash backs! Haha No wonder you still can't beat Yuu! You're-" Ginta was cut off as his cousin bopped him on the head.
"SHUT UP! He totally cheated! He told me that Miki had found me a girl and then lobbed the ball!" He defended. Ginta laughed out loud and Arimi giggled behind her hand.
Tsutomu played with edge of his menu awkwardly. "So… how are the lovebirds? Yuu and Miki, I mean." He asked and looked down at his choices.
Arimi's face instantly brightened and Ginta rolled his eyes. "They're doing FANTASTIC! Did I tell you that I'm going to be a bridesmaid?!"
"Just look what you've done Tsutomu. Now she'll never stop talking about it." Ginta sighed.
Tsutomu's eyes widened and then blinked a few times. "They're ENGAGED?! Since when?"
Just as the word's left Tsutomu's mouth, the table's waitress walked over. She had a grin plastered to her faced and her eyes practically screamed "You-re my last table so order NOW!"
"Hiya! My name's Ayame, what can I get you all?" She said, her cheery disposition was more forced than her smile.
The group placed their orders quickly to avoid being the object of the curses of the waitress when she got home. The tired woman walked away and the group got back to their conversation.
"Ginta what did you order?" Tsutomu asked, trying to avoid the oncoming awkward silence.
"A hamburger and fries. You?" Ginta answered while sliding his arm around Arimi's shoulders.
Tsutomu glanced at the couple. "Oh the usual, Ramen and a Ramune."
"Ramune and Ramen again?! Tsutomu, you've brought the same thing to school everyday since kindergarten." A now twelve-year-old Arimi complained. It had been seven years since we had first met and, unlike most twelve-year-old boys, I didn't believe that Arimi had coodies. In fact quite the contrary, I was madly in love with her.
I grinned widely as Arimi sat down. "Hey! Ramen and Rumune will make me the strongest tennis player in the Tokyo! Did you see yesterday's match? Sukatsu's back hand was weak, I crea-"
"Yea, yea, that's great Tsuto, you're the greatest and strongest blah blah. Maybe if you actually started doing your homework you would start to look good to me and your teachers." She had never really cared about my accomplishments, probably because she knew I was just trying to show off.
"Awww. Arimi, you're no fun. I don't care about that because my future's in Tennis! I'm going to get noticed when I go to Wimbledon next summer, I just know it!" I gloated, confident in my abilities.
The object of my attention rolled her eyes. "Sure Tsuto that's what you have said EVERY time you have gone. And just as always it's not gunna happen." Looking back, Arimi was never very supportive of any of my ideas, G-d why I am so dense.
"Just you wait Arimi, they will never be able to resist scouting me this year, I'm better and more dashing than ever!" I said smirking. And cocky. By G-d was I cocky!
She laughed and stood up. "You wish Tsuto! The day any one scout's you because of your looks is the day I'll dye my hair purple and cats will tap dance and sing in the streets." She pinched his cheeks and walked away.
I let out the breath I had been holding since she first came over. Arimi was so beautiful. 'Will I ever be able to tell her how I feel? When did I become such a coward?!'
I was never the type of person to just back away! NO! I was a MAN! And I was going to use my manly strength and courage to Arimi how I felt. My stomach growled. "Maybe I'll eat my lunch first." I said, determined. "Yea! I can do this!"
By Gym, a period after lunch, my confidence had skyrocketed when Arimi told me that I had looked good in my gym clothes. I was ready to tell her. Boys and girls had different Gym classes, but that didn't stop me.
I found Arimi's class playing baseball in the lot in the back of the school. I sighed as I watched her play. She was pitching. Standing tall on the pitching mound, she gracefully wound up and shot the ball straight at the batter, until just as it got close, the ball curved under.
"Third striko-desu! You're out!" The teacher called.
Arimi's team was switching sides so I went around to where the makeshift dug-out that ourfield contained.
"You were amazing out there Arimi-chan! If only our school had a girl's baseball team!" Her friends flocked around her, gushing out comments and compliments when ever they could, if Arimi had not looked and noticed me, I doubt would have ever gotten a word in edgewise. "Tsuto?! What are you doing here?" She asked while walking over to me, her friends giggled behind her.
"I uh…" My confidence wasn't backing me up anymore. "I have something to tell you."
Arimi cocked an eyebrow. "Well, say it. It's almost time for me to bat." She pressed.
"Ummm. You see," Maybe I should have just given up? Maybe that would have been the wise decision. Maybe that would have saved me a world of pain. But as always my little friend, the ego, got the better of me. I would not be a coward!
"Well…?" Arimi continued, a little annoyed.
I grabbed both of her hands with mine. "I, uh, I LOVE YOU!"
Author's Note: Next installment to come soon! Reviews are always greatly appreciated! Thanks!