"Please come in Miss! Len-sama will be down shortly. Would you like some tea?" a maid asked, as she leaded the way to the living room. "Don't call upon Tsukimori-kun yet. He is still practicing. He will come down when he is ready. If it is not too much of a hassle, I will take a cup of tea. Arigato." Hino smiled at the maid as she sat down in the lavishly decorated room. Although she has been to Tsukimori's house before, all she had been so far was to his front door and not the interior. Now is the chance to see!
Graceful beams swept across the whole living room, ending off with a grand staircase that will lead to the upper levels of the house. All around the room are glass cabinets, with numerous trophies inside while great brown urns with hothouse blooms are tucked away at every corner of the room. Standing up, Hino stepped over to one of the glass cabinets, peering at the contents within. She read the inscription "International Violin Competition, Paris, France. Junior Division. Winner: Tsukimori Len." She smiled to herself as she continued to look at the next few trophies located next to it. As expected, Tsukimori won the competition, year after year. She then came across a photograph of a young Tsukimori, looking at the camera, not smiling at all as his parents looked on with proud smiles. "Why is it that you do not smile then, even when you have won the competition?" Hino mumbled to herself softly.
"Because that I do not feel that that is worth smiling for." Tsukimori's voice rose as Hino whirled around in shock. "Welcome, Hino." Forcing a smile to her lips despite her still thundering heart, Hino replied "Thank you for your invitation, Tsukimori, are you done with practice already?" As Tsukimori nodded, the maid came in with a trolley, with two cups and a pot of tea. Next to it are 2 slices of cake. Settling the tea set down, she poured a cup and handed it to Tsukimori before doing the same for Hino. Taking a sip, Hino exclaimed "This is nice! What is it, Tsukimori-kun?" "Earl Grey." Tsukimori replied after taking a sip of his own.
Silence prevailed for a moment as both teenagers tried to gather their thoughts. Finally, Hino spoke up. "Tsukimori-kun, as promised, I have something for you." Reaching into the paper bag next to her, she handed it to him, saying "I hope you will like it." "Arigato, Hino." Tsukimori said, as he took over the bag. "Can I open it?" At Hino's small nod, he reached in and pulled out a white box, nicely wrapped up with a red ribbon on it. Putting aside the lid, he reached in and pulled out a long scarf, obviously handed knitted. Using dark blue wool, Hino knitted the middle into a long stretch, ending off with white ends. Musical notes and mini violins decorated the white portion, carefully sewed in.
Since Tsukimori was silent as he looked at the scarf, Hino broke into a chatter, so as to cover up her unease. "Ano…ano…something to thank you with, Tsukimori-kun. After all, you have been very kind in teaching me the violin and all various assistance as well. And since you are going over to Europe, it is bound to be cold and therefore, you might need a scarf so as to keep you warm. I have no idea what colour you like so I made it with colours that I think will complement you well and also-" she was cut off as Tsukimori reached out and covered her mouth with his hands as he stared for a while at her. "Arigato, Hino. I will use it whenever I am overseas. Did you make it yourself?" As Hino nodded, Tsukimori continued "I will release you soon, but please, can you stop rumbling?" At this Hino blushed furiously as Tsukimori released her. Leaning back in the armchair, Tsukimori glanced down at the scarf in his hands for a while more before packing it away in the box that it came in.
Looking up at the still blushing Hino, Tsukimori said softly "it's a good thing that you came today. I have something for you as well." Seeing Hino's surprised look as he took out a box from the floor next to his chair, he handed it to Hino with a small smile. "Open it."
"Ano…. Tsukimori-kun, there is no need to give me a present! As said, the scarf is to thank you, how can I still accept your gift to me? I have not done anything to warrant for it!" Hino shirked back a little, as she waved her hands frantically in front of her. Shaking his head slightly, Tsukimori slid off his chair as he pulled off the cover of the box, revealing a pair of heels. At Hino's gasp, he slid off her current flats and slid her right foot into the heel. He then did the same for the other foot. Grabbing her hands, Tsukimori then lifted Hino to her feet.
A pair of white jeweled peep-toed heels meant more for ballrooms and concerts than daily wear. Fashioned out of leather, it is then smoothened out with diamondites etched in middle of the bow, located at the front of the shoe. Inside, each step felt as if one if stepping on cotton. However, the most interesting focus point of the shoe is that the heel is shaped after a violin. It is a pair of shoes that cannot be found anywhere in the world, as obviously, it is custom-made and thus, unique. Hino continued to gasp as she looked down at her feet. Seeing this, Tsukimori nodded. "Good, it fits you perfectly. I was worried about certain areas of the design." Leading Hino back to his chair (so as to make sure she takes a few steps in those shoes), he then urged her to sit as he occupied the seat that Hino took a few moments ago.
Snapping back to reality, Hino cried "I cannot accept them, Tsukimori-kun! They must be very expensive!" "Iie, Hino. I won't accept them back. It is designed and made for you anyway. No one else will be able to wear this." Tsukimori replied. "Remember that time when we went to the concert a few weeks ago? The night when I told you that I am going overseas for my studies? You were wearing heels that caused your feet to blister. Back then, I was thinking of a pair of shoes whereby, upon wearing, will not cause any blisters to form. Something that is suitable to wear to concerts as well."
"I…" Hino stammered, but no words came out. Taking a deep breath again, she whispered "Arigato, Tsukimori-kun….I…I will treasure them always. I promise…should I ever attend a concert or even perform on stage again, I will wear them, while remembering you." "Good." Tsukimori smiled then. "Should I ever come back to Japan, you will then wear these shoes to meet me then, alright?"
As Hino nodded in final acceptance and agreement, Tsukimori gave a final smile. Reaching out for the pot of tea, he poured another cup of tea and took a sip. Looking at each other over tea and cakes, both of them spent a very enjoyable and relaxing time talking away, treasuring every moment that they have, until the day that Tsukimori has to go.
I am done, I am done! How do you like it? Review please!
Don't ask me about the selection of the tea. I based it on what I liked to drink. Hahaha.
Upon completion of this story, I am suddenly inspired to write another. Heehee...but let's see whether I have the time for it! Till the next story! Ja-ne! =D