I'm not sure if I like this, but I don't know what else to do with it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha.
How To Read a Newspaper
How To Read A Newspaper
By Kagome Higurashi
All he did, every morning at nine o'clock, was read the goddamn newspaper.
In particular, he read the Toronto Star. He sat in a small booth that benched alongside a large window facing the bustling street. Downtown Toronto was always busy with life, but looking at him, so peaceful and relaxed as he read the newspaper, was something that screamed life in itself.
He was gorgeous of course. Long silver hair that streamed elegance, soft amber eyes that looked like melted gold and the most adorable ears on the top of his head, were just some of the most attractive features on his body. End of story, he was the most attractive thing ever.
I sighed at the thought.
And here I was, every morning at nine o'clock, watching him.
Not that I was a stalker or anything. I came here because it was a good way to kill time while I waited for transit to work. I was never longer than thirty minutes, but truth be told, neither was he. We always entered relatively the same time and exited at the same time too. And yet, I had no clue who he was. I didn't know his name and I didn't know what he was doing at the tiny café. I knew he ordered some sort of coffee, but he only got a small and he never drank much of it.
To my luck, the closest garbage disposal to me was quite close to him, so frequently, I passed by.
It was on January 9th, 2009 that I finally decided to talk to him. I mean, get the nerve. We've been going to the same coffee place for two months. Every one of those days, I watched him. I wasn't obsessed, just...absorbed. I wanted to know why the newspaper was so damn entertaining.
Yeah, I've read the newspaper once or twice. Sorry, but it's nothing special. A few stories, a couple letters, some events... Nothing that strikes my fancy, per se. If I wanted to know about the latest pandemic, I'd watch Global at eleven. If I wanted to know which hockey team won, I'd watch TSN. Honestly, can you re-watch glory in action, when there's three seconds left and he scores on a newspaper? No. But you sure as hell can on TSN.
So why did this random nobody enjoy it so much? I couldn't wrap my head around it and it had to be the biggest anomaly in my life since I'd first laid eyes on him. Sure, he was hot-to-trot and all, but the newspaper thing is what really got me in trouble.
So I'm writing this essay to make sense of it, not only to me, but to you. And you know who you are. Don't think otherwise or I'll make sure to shove this down your throat.
But back to my story.
Like I did every day, I threw out my coffee cup in the garbage disposal right by him. For the readers out there, I'll call him Inuyasha. I didn't learn his actual name until a few days later, but that information can't be released anyways. Today is the day, I thought, telling myself that on this particular morning, I was going to ask him what the hell was so intriguing about the Toronto Star.
And, like I did every day, I lost the nerve, looked at the ground, and pretended like I didn't watch him every morning like I had since sixty-two days ago.
And yes, I'm counting. It will be one-hundred days as of today, which is why I think I've finally gotten a bit of a backbone.
But on this day, I wasn't able to go unnoticed by his golden eyes. No, not because I'm The One, but because I'm just another girl at the coffee shop. I bet you, Inuyasha, never realized that we'd entered and exited at the same time for over two months. Oh, but now I'm rambling again.
As I looked down at the floor, trying so hard not to look at Inuyasha, a poor server with a large tray filled with coffee, espressos and lattés crashed into me.
"I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed, staring at me in complete horror. I was lucky it was so cold in blasted Toronto, because my jacket took most of the liquid. It didn't burn me because nothing landed directly on my skin.
But it did on – you guessed it – Inuyasha.
"What the hell?"
Now, for a gentleman I had observed for months, I would have thought he was...a little less foul mouthed. Maybe, you know, British or Australian with a yummy-scrumptious accent?
"Are you okay, Sir?" the server asked, her face red. She quickly got napkins and helped dried his jacket. Others came over to help, but oh no, he wanted to be a pain in the ass.
"You've already ruined it, so don't bother trying to do anything else. Just go back to work," he said roughly.
The server looked like she was going to be in tears. She bit her lower lip and then left, probably to get a mop and broom for the glass and spilt drinks.
"You jerk!" I announced, glaring at him. "If maybe you put that stupid paper down, you would've seen it coming and used it to protect you!"
He looked at me like I had six heads.
"At least be nice to her. She's obviously very sorry," I added, taken aback by his lack of interest.
And, typically, Inuyasha ignored me.
"You're one fine class-act, you are," I scoffed and turned to help the server bent on the ground. She smiled and shrugged at me when I gave him another dirty look.
"He's always like that," she whispered. "Every day."
"I can hear you, you know," he yelled, snapping the paper back down on the table. Golden orbs stared directly at me and for a moment, I was frozen. "Do you have a problem or something?" he asked me.
Now, I'm really a nice girl. More than nice, on occasion actually. I excelled at my job and if I did say so myself, I deserved a promotion. I did my part in the whole saving-the-plant bit and I used the green bags instead of the plastic ones at grocery stores. Generally, I was good. And nice. And calm.
"You asshole!" I screamed, standing up and looking down at his seated form. "I do not have a problem!"
First problem right there: screaming like a mad woman that you don't have a problem really doesn't help prove your case at all.
He chuckled and – surprise! – kept reading the paper.
"Why do you even read the paper?" I asked, incredulous. "I mean, isn't it boring? You can just watch all of this on television. Or read it on the Internet. Why the hell would you read a newspaper?"
I was surprised when he didn't answer me in an angry tone. I would've answered me in an angry tone, but instead, he just shrugged. "I like reading between the lines."
I frowned. "Between the lines? What does that mean?"
"Why don't you see for yourself?"
"Are you okay?" the server asked again, nervously smiling at me.
I smiled back and nodded, and waited until she left before I returned my attention to Inuyasha. Was he inviting me to sit with him?
I did, ever so slowly in case he decided to bite my head off. When I was comfortably seated, he raised a brow at me. "I won't kill you."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
Inuyasha just smirked. "Have you read a newspaper before?"
"Um, maybe three or four times?" I answered, trying to be honest.
"Why did you stop?"
I looked at him, frowning. Was this some sort of test? "Is that a trick question?" I asked, voicing my concern. "Why are you so interested?"
He rolled his eyes. "Answer the damn question."
"It was boring." I blurted it, without making the conscious decision to say that. Thinking back, I should've said something more refined and dignifying. I don't have enough time to schedule it in. Or, Newspapers are a thing of the past. I live in the future. Duh.
Okay, so not really that refined.
"Ah ha!" he chuckled, pointing at me. "You don't read between the lines." Yeah, that's right. He chuckled. Who chuckles these days?
"Um, I'm pretty sure between the lines is white. You know plain newspaper?" I retorted. He wasn't very bright and seemed to be a bit on the "off" side if you know what I mean.
"Wench, shut up and actually pay attention."
That got my attention. "How dare you call me 'wench'?" I yelled, standing up. "I have a bus to catch. I don't need to stand here and be insulted!"
And so I left.
And, yeah, I came back to the same coffee shop the next day. And, yeah, he was sitting in that damned window seat, reading the paper.
"Okay, you win," I sighed, sitting down gracefully in the seat across from him.
Inuyasha put down the paper and gave me a pointed look. "Do I know you?"
"Oh, shut up and tell me what's between the lines!" I exclaimed. I had been thinking about what he had said all day and all night. I couldn't sleep and it was because of his stupid yogi shit.
"Are you going to storm away like a stupid bitch again?"
I almost did right there. "No," I growled. "Let me just order my coffee first."
Half a cup gone and there I was, sitting with my mysterious obsession as he forced me to read a stupid little insignificant article on elder abuse. It was really sad, truthfully, of all the facts. Elder abuse was terrible and the homes that these people were forced to live in were truly disgusting. But it was one article. Big deal. When I finished, I raised a brow at him. "I'm not 'reading between the lines', I assume."
"Are you interested?" he asked.
"Then you're not," Inuyasha answered. "Step one: learn the topic."
"Elder abuse is bad and it's out there," I said in a snap. Really, I wasn't that idiotic. I was only sitting beside a complete psycho who read the newspaper.
"And?" he urged.
"Homes are gross."
"And?" he pressed.
"And... It's sad."
His expression didn't soften at my touched tone. Damn, for a moment, I thought I did the whole 'reading between the lines' thing. "What did Elder abuse sound like in that article?" he said, exasperated.
"Terrible," I said, rolling my eyes. Duh.
"Are you going to form a group and chant outside of a government building until they do something about it?"
I thought about it realistically for a moment. "Probably not."
Inuyasha smirked. "You have just read between the lines."
As you can imagine, I was confused as fuck.
The next morning, I entered the coffee shop and ordered my drink before sitting beside him. I had been up all of the previous night reading newspapers, so I could fully 'read between the lines'. Before I knew it, it was five a.m. and I had to go to work in a few hours. Fuck my life, sometimes, just doesn't cut it.
"Good morning," I said wearily. I could tell that I looked like a mess and that the bags under my eyes were good indicators of lack of sleep. I probably looked like utter hell, but Inuyasha just rolled his eyes at me.
"As if. Have a good sleep?"
I glared at him.
"You know," Inuyasha said suddenly, putting the newspaper down. "You never told me your name."
"It's Kagome," I said, confused. His tone at the time had been so soft I almost thought I was with a different person. Usually, big macho Inuyasha spoke only in a very rough manner but at that moment in time, he was almost a completely different person. "And yours?"
By the end of the day, I had learned that the mayor was objecting to the accusations against him for taking special bonuses, and that the writer of the article clearly disagreed with his statement. Why? It was between the lines.
"Step two," Inuyasha started. "Look for double meanings, double standards and hints of sarcasm." All of those little factors were ways to tell what the writer really felt on a certain subject.
It was almost time for my transit to arrive, so I gave a small smile and took the copy of the day's newspaper with me. I was just about to leave when an urge hit me. "Um," I murmured, looking at Inuyasha. His eyes were so beautiful that in a second, I realized my mistake. I started to walk away.
"What were you going to say?" his voice called out to me.
I stopped and turned. I didn't know why, especially since the thought had been stupid, unthinkable, and embarrassing. But I did turn around and I found him standing right in front of me. His hard features stared down at me and I realized that his face looked to be in a permanent scowl. "Nothing," I answered quickly.
"Well, duh," I sighed, knowing that I had to voice my thought. I remember how angry with myself I was for stopping when he called. "Do you want to...trade numbers? I've been reading the paper..." And the rest came out in a blob so incoherent I was surprised he understood me at all. I told him about the fact I had been reading the newspaper every night to practice and that sometimes I wasn't sure and that if I could call and ask him...
He laughed. He actually laughed! He took out a business card and handed it to me, tapping the spot where the cell phone number was. "Call me anytime you want." Hurriedly, I wrote down my cell number when he asked for mine, never once looking at his face.
I was so flustered, I ran out of the shop like it was a bomb about to explode.
Classy, I know.
That night, I was attempting to read the newspaper – only I couldn't. All I was thinking about was this stupid guy I kept seeing in a little café, and how he interested me in more ways than one. Who knew that curiosity over someone's habits would be such a life changer?
Just before I was going to put the newspaper away and give up, my cell phone rang. Checking the time, I saw it was ten at night. I didn't know who would be calling, and my caller ID picked up just a number.
It was Inuyasha.
At first, the conversation was about the newspaper. I'll admit – I lied through most of that part, only because I hadn't read a thing since I booted it out of the coffee shop that morning. But then suddenly, it changed. It wasn't just about reading between the lines, it was about me.
"Single?" he asked casually.
"Is it really that obvious?" I asked dryly. How pathetic my life was turning! I had become obsessed with reading between the lines of newspaper articles and the mysterious man behind it all.
"Well, you never once talk on the phone there for the whole thirty minutes that you wait. And usually, I would think that you would call a boyfriend or something like that."
"What if I'm married and I just left my cozy bed with him to go to work?"
Inuyasha scoffed and I could practically see the frown on his face. "What kind of man sleeps longer than his woman?"
I could go into the sexist lecture I gave him, but I'll spare you the details. In the end, I'm not sure if I won. Maybe, but I'm pretty sure I got distracted by something else he said and the conversation just happened to change.
"Well good night then," I said, yawning at midnight after a two hour phone conversation – the longest conversation I'd had with a non-familial male in my entire lifetime.
"Good night Kagome. Sweet dreams." At first, that little statement startled me.
"Tomorrow morning? Another lesson?" I asked quickly, wanting to make sure that this odd fascination I was having wasn't going to end anytime soon.
"It's a date," he said, and then hung up. Now, what's a poor girl to do with that?
I'll spare the rest of the grimy details, but I'll part with you on this last one. This memory I'll probably never forget, because it's the most recent of my newspaper lessons and the most...astounding. It was the ninety-ninth day I'd seen him and the thirty-eighth lesson I'd had. To you, readers, it was yesterday. We had talked on the phone all of the previous night, as we had for almost two weeks straight. I was what Inuyasha considered a pro at reading between the lines, and I was damn proud of it. What I learned in that time was that the newspaper was the most interesting piece of information I'd ever laid eyes on. It was intriguing, full of drama, guilt and glory, and it was better than television.
"So, how are you?" Inuyasha asked me after yet another step. He took a sip out of his coffee cup, the third of the morning. Now that was more than unusual. As I mentioned earlier, he never drank anything and yet here he was, walking a very fine line between an overdose on caffeine and a crazed man about to rip his clothes off to create excitement (well, I wished).
"Fine." I gave him a smile and watched in confusion as he turned hastily away. "Why, how are you, caffeine-junkie?"
"I never drink coffee," Inuyasha clarified but I cut him off before he could rant.
"And yet, that's your third cup." I watched the way his face, usually so stoic, seemed to sag, as if weighed down by an enormous pressure. It was disturbing to witness. "Are you okay, Inuyasha?"
Inuyasha gave a smirk in my direction and sighed. "Want to go for a walk?"
Oh no. This is where some big tragedy occurs and someone dies, right? Well, that's what I was thinking at the time. In the past month, our relationship (let's call it that, though not in a romantic sense) was nothing more than a phone call each night and a private newspaper reading lesson every morning. The odd day I met up with him for lunch or dessert after or during work, but that was it. I always secretly thought of it as a date, but never voiced such thoughts for obvious reasons.
Hesitantly, I nodded and followed him out of the shop. It was cold, but February always was in Toronto. The wind gusted through the streets and sent a chill up my spine. What could we possibly be doing right now?
And that's when it happened. Out of the blue, before I could even think to react, he kissed me. And not just a peck, a real long kiss. Something-to-gossip-about kiss, you know? I didn't even have time to kiss him back, because he quickly wheeled around and left me with stirred emotions, desolate confusion and hot lips. But back to the newspaper thing.
In a month, I had learned over thirty steps on how to read a newspaper. It's not as easy as you think. Honestly, have you ever truly read a newspaper? Reading a newspaper is an art. There's so much more to it and I would never have known if I hadn't gotten coffee spilled all over me. This is the gist of it:
When you read an article, what does it tell you? Facts, sure. Events, of course. Details, check. But does it do anything for you? Does it make you feel emotion? Does it tear you up inside? Reading a newspaper is all about reading between the lines. When an article talks about a dog being saved from cruelty, you learn that a dog is saved from cruelty. But are you crying? No. Reading between the lines is just another way for saying, understanding. Of course there are animals in bad situations, bad homes with bad owners, but you can't do anything about it. It's because writers, journalists, typists all don't feel when they write it. It's a story that covers the basics and voila. End of story, literally. What people need to understand about newspapers is that it's not the story that's being told, it's the emotions.
Books and novels are people's way of expressing their deepest thoughts, sanctions and prayers. People write to escape reality, to create dreams and fantasize about things they normally couldn't fantasize about. I mean, who wouldn't want to play God? As a writer, you do. You tell the character what to do, where to go and how they will behave. You are God, in a sense, and it's the emotion and passion you put into it that makes it good.
A newspaper just doesn't do that. The real passion, the true understanding, is when you read between the lines. If a story is heart-wrenching but your gut doesn't churn, it's because what's in between the lines is a bored writer trying to make a living off one story at a time. If that's the only understanding that's there, you don't have anything to begin with.
Inuyasha taught me that newspapers are interesting because people often write for side A when really, they believe in side B. You can see, just from reading between the lines that they do. There are stories in stories, actions within words, if only we could understand.
It took me one hundred days to read between the lines. It took me one hundred days of morning coffees, lunch dates, midnight phone conversations and endless dreams to read between the lines of my own life.
Inuyasha, I think I've fallen in love with you.
Inuyasha Taisho smiled. It was mid-February and he was reading the Toronto Star. The best part of the Star was their essay section. Every day, people would submit to them personalized essays that came from a wide variety of different people. Today, the story had been called How to Read a Newspaper and it had been written by Kagome Higurashi, his newspaper reading student.
"What did you think?"
That soft voice, so beautiful and melodic stirred him out of his thoughts and into his fantasies. "I was able to read between the lines."
Hurt crossed her features. "What do you mean by that? If you want soulful, that's the most you're going to get. That was the heart, raw."
And it was true. He had been able to read that from her.
Instead of pressing that matter, much to her dismay he knew, he shrugged. "Why'd you write it?"
"I think that was obvious," Kagome said, rolling her eyes. "You don't get out that much, do you?"
"Why?" Inuyasha pressed.
Kagome looked at her work of art, her Inuyasha, right in his golden eyes. "Because I love you and you always said that what's between the lines speaks the loudest and means the most."
"Step twenty-four: read what they write and figure out what they mean," Inuyasha murmured. "You're a good student."
"Something has to make up for my obvious lack in company. Though the kiss would've suggested otherwise."
Inuyasha didn't have to read between the lines to know that she was making fun of herself to make it seem like she was okay. She was hurt and he knew it.
"How'd you manage to get this story of an essay in the paper?" Inuyasha asked. "And the day before printing?"
"I have a few sources," Kagome mentioned but didn't seem to want to linger on the topic.
"And my 'name'?" Inuyasha said. "'For the readers out there, I'll call him Inuyasha.' That's my real name."
"It was your real name pretending to be your fake name, or Mr. Gorgeous."
He chose not to comment on that. Looking outside, Inuyasha watched as the snow fluttered down. It was breezy but he felt he knew what had to be done. "Want to go for a walk?"
"Um, no." Kagome's statement stopped him in his place. "It's negative something-rather out and I would prefer to be inside the nice, cozy café. Not only that, but last time we went for a 'walk' you kissed me and then left me with no phone call that night...nothing. Sorry, no deal."
"Call in sick for work," Inuyasha said immediately. He stood up from the chair and stood beside her. "We're going back to my place."
"Maybe you are," Kagome shot back, "but I'm staying here. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I'm not going to let you ditch me again. And since you 'read between the lines' on my article, it's obvious what you feel." She cast her beautiful eyes downwards, making sure to not look into his.
Inuyasha felt, for the first time in his life, that this moment was more important than any other. He felt that if he didn't do something now, that he was going to regret everything. Bending down, he roughly grabbed her chin and tilted her head up.
She gasped, but didn't have time to complain. His lips crushed hers and he pressed for her to respond. He was more than surprised when she did.
God, she was beautiful. She was everything he needed and he learned that the moment she screamed bloody murder at him. He knew that when she asked for his number, that he was going straight to hell. He knew because he was already obsessing over her, wondering what she would do, if she would show... The first day that she had stormed off on him had been the strangest, loneliest day of his life –and for a stranger!
Call it fate. Call it love at first sight. Call it whatever the hell it wanted to be called. He knew that he was screwed and despite everything, he couldn't sleep until he called her, he couldn't walk to the shop anymore but jog. He was becoming a total nutcase and he knew it.
"Kagome, you don't know a thing," Inuyasha murmured against her soft lips. "I want you to come to my place with me, so we can talk."
Without a doubt, Inuyasha had determined that his ability to romance women was very slim. He didn't know what the hell to say. His biggest problem though, was that he didn't know how to be subtle. He fully intended to bring her to his place, after explaining to her what...craziness he was feeling and then make love to her. Talking, really, wasn't part of the day plan.
From the knowing look in her eyes, he knew that she could see right through him.
"I think I'm reading between the lines," Kagome whispered, her eyes wide. "Inuyasha, say it."
Inuyasha kissed her again, but she refused to respond. She pushed him gently away. "Say it," she urged.
"I...I love...you," Inuyasha managed to say. He felt vulnerable, weak and didn't know what to do about it. She could easily turn him down, right then and there, and crush everything within him. He was trapped. "I love you."
Kagome smiled and grabbed his jacket, pulling him to her. She kissed him passionately, leaving him wanting, needing more.
"Give me a minute," she whispered tenderly and then pulled out her cell phone.
But he couldn't wait that long. Without thinking, he scooped her up from the chair and into his arms bridal style, exiting the building. They were going to get there soon, dammit, or he was going to have a fit.
Kagome laughed. "I can read between the lines you know. And what makes you think we're going to be getting that far anyways?"
Inuyasha smirked, pressing her bundled up body closer to his own. "Because I can read between the lines too. I'm the one that taught you how to read a newspaper, remember?"
Kagome smiled and called her work.
Please tell me what you think. I tried a different style, but what was hard about it was it didn't show ANYTHING about Inuyasha's feelings through this. I may decide to do a sequel or something, with Inuyasha's point-of-view.
And I know, newspapers would never print swear words, but this is fiction :)