Nom De Plume:Hermosa

First Chapter

She with the scarlet ink

If I dare to reach out and touch you

Will I really feel you?

Or will you disappear into the ripples of nothingness

Like a mirage woven by a forbidden thought

A forbidden dream

A forbidden emotion

"You're smiling,Master Eriol."commented Spinel,looking up from the book it was reading.

He folded the letter carefully and placed it back on the envelope."I received another letter."

"From Hermosa?"asked Akizuki Nakuru,looking up from her snacks she was feasting on."She's one weird gal."

"Speak for yourself."commented the cat wryly.

Nakuru stuck her tounge out at the feline before turning back to her 15-year-old master."I mean she must really like you,Master.A woman does not usually makes the first move in courting unless she's head over heel in love with him."she continued eating the heart-shaped chocolates that was sent along with the letter.

Eriol Hiragizawa stared at the linen envelope with his name embossed on it in red and blue.Ever since he moved back to Tomoeda from London two weeks ago,he had been receiving letters with snippets of poem written in a flowing scarlet script on a pearl-white linen paper.The handwriting reminded him of the elegant calligraphy work he had seen in one of his visits in the local museum of Japan.

He re-read the letter.Signed on the bottom was the name Hermosa,He knew that more or less,it meant "beauty".

"I wonder what my secret admirer looks like."he mused.

"So let me get this straight,Hiragizawa Eriol:You have a secret admirer who sends you mushy loveletters with chocolates on the side?"Tomoyo Daidouji sighed."Such audacity!"

"Yes,isn't it cool?"he told his default closest confidante dreamily.

Her eyebrow arched."Cool?Did I just hear you say 'cool'?"

He laughed,embarassed."Er,my apologies,Daidouji-san.I just can't find the words to express how overwhelmed I am."

"Groovy!"she said sarcastically.

He ignored her."It's my first time to receive a love letter from a girl-"

"You mean you receive love letters from a boy!"gasped the girl.

He hated being made to look like a dork,but somehow,Tomoyo always get away with it."No,I'm just more used to the notion of being the one to write such a letter."he replied.

"And naturally,it flatters your male pride.It feeds of your hunger for ego tripping,doesn't it?"

"Yes and no."he said,carefully choosing his words."Yes,I am indeed,flattered.But it's not enough to drive me to ego-trip."

"Tell that to the marines."Tomoyo grabbed the letter away from his hands.She skimmed its content."Unbelievable!Hermosa's got some nerves of steel to produce this."she muttered audibly.

"She's not much of a poet though."he remarked.

"Personally,I think it's a lovely piece of writing!"she said defensively.

"Suddenly,you're on her side."he commented.

"I'm just defending a fellow woman."she reasoned."I don't think it's right for you to act so oppressively when the girl's only fault is her lack of poetic skills."

"I'm aware of that."He grabbed the letter back."I can actually feel her sincerity,you know.She must be a really sweet and hopeless romantic."

"And you are one hopeless dork."She marched away."Let's hurry!I don't want to be late for school."

Two pairs of eyes watched as another linen envelope fell down from the boy's locker that afternoon.

"Another letter?"Tomoyo looked at the signature on the letter."From Hermosa again?"

He swapped the letter from her hands."Let me read first."

"Fine."She rummaged through his things to scavenge for left-over candies.

"Listen to this,Daidouji-san."He cleared his throat."Everywhere I see your Greek-god face,on the clear azure sky and on the stream underneath the wooden bridge you always cross.I see you in my dreams and I see you in my waking hours.Your smile is the first thing I recall in the morning after I wake up and you're the last thing I remember before I go to sleep at night."He looked at the slightly pink girl."It's entitled 'Ubiquitousness'."

"Ubi what?"

"Ubiquitousness."he repeated."It means you feel the presence of someone everywhere you go."

"So that means Hermosa actually sees your face everywhere?What a scary thought!"she retorted.

Eriol laughed."It's so nice to know you think of me so positively."He noticed the chocolate stashed between his History book and windbreaker.He took it and gave it to Tomoyo."Here,you can have this."

"No thanks,I've got lots of those in my room."she replied.

"You do?"

"Y-Yes."she said slowly.

He shrugged."Alright."

Tomoyo slammed his locker shut."Let's go home,Hiragizawa-kun."

That night Eriol read the mysterious letters again that totaled to 15 already."Maybe this is just a practical joke or something,like Tomoyo suggested.Or Nakuru's just trying to frame me up to prove that I do not love Kaho anymore."

But as he went through the lines in all its rhyming awkwardness,he realized that the intense emotion the poetess poured into the paper was real.It was genuine.

He brought the letter to his lips and kissed the name at the bottom."Hermosa.A perfect name for a perfect girl..whoever she is."

At the very same moment,Tomoyo was kissing the cream envelope with Eriol's embossed name on it.She smiled before signing yet another of her letters with a fluorish.

"Hermosa."she giggled."I bet Eriol-kun is going crazy thinking who his secret admirer is."She placed the letter beside her lamp and turned the lights off.

She's writing some make-believe letters from a secret admirer named Hermosa just to see if the unaffected Eriol Hiragizawa is really so.So far,she's seeing another persona of Eriol that she never imagined is possible-even in her wildest dream.

"Goodnight,Lover Boy and sweet dreams."She closed her eyes with a smile.