Hello and good to see you, reader! Apple Fairy here! Enjoy. :3
This story is a mashing together of the songs 'Spice!' and 'Rip=Release'. It's probably vastly different than what people are expecting, but I hope the surprise is a welcome one. I've retained most of the usual characterizations from the songs.
However, if you're a hardcore fan of Rin, Meiko, or Miku, then I'm sorry how I've portrayed them in this fic. It might seem offensive, and I apologize if this angers anyone. I assure you though, I've also given them redeeming qualities near the end, so please stick with me.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Vocaloid or the any of the other songs in this fic.
Spice! x RIP=RELEASE
Story by Apple Fairy
Women- they just can't stop talking, can they?
"Yesterday, where were you? With who? And don't tell me there was no one else."
I mean, it's like, even at four in the morning, they just got to talk. Nag, nag, nag…Didn't she ever sleep?
"Of course not. I was doing something yesterday."
"Oh, like what? Hitting up some more girls, right? You didn't answer any of my calls yesterday. You were out with some other woman, weren't you?"
I held back the want to sigh. Couldn't she just shut up already? It was like this during sex too. 'Oh, Len, you're so good.' 'Oh Len, I love you.' It was so annoying. Just lie there and moan, geez. I leaned back, the night air chilly on my naked body. I tried to keep quiet. I didn't need any more women yelling at me, so I better make sure the one next to me doesn't wake up.
"Of course not, baby. I was shopping."
"Shopping." She repeated flatly. I decided to lie then, be smooth and butter her up.
"What? What is it?"
"It was supposed to be a secret. Your birthday's coming up, right?"
She paused. I could imagine her face then; slightly shocked, not sure what to say. I began to twirl Miku's hair between my fingers as she fell for it.
Hook, line, and…
"…I'm sorry. I guess I was worrying too much."
"No, no, I'm sorry." I went on. I was on a roll tonight. "I should've at least returned your calls. I'm so sorry, sensei."
"Len." She spoke warmly, "I told you; call me Meiko. You needn't be so polite."
I know. I know not to call you sensei. But you fall for the charm of the title anyway. She spoke some more; which I didn't mind too much, as long as Miku didn't wake up. I looked over to her sleeping face; peaceful and content. They always looked like that afterwards. Well, what could I say…at least I kept them satisfied.
"I expect to see you at school tomorrow. I don't want you skipping again."
"I won't. I promise." Geez, you won't let me call you sensei, but still you get on my back on the school thing. Her voice was smooth and deep on the phone though, so I let her talk. She woke me up at this odd hour anyway, so it wasn't like I would be able to go to bed soon anyway.
I yawned, and with what she said, I almost burst into laughing.
"It's just me, right? I'm the only one you love?"
'The only one'? As if this phrase should even exist. What did that mean, anyway? 'The only one'. Like, what, the only one I would sleep with? As if that was possible. The only one I should date? What was the point of dating, anyway? The only one who I 'honestly, truly loved'?
Stuff like that made me sick. Romance and true love. Where was that in the world? It seems to be all this lying to get sex, and this settling to get married, and it's just stupid. You got all this build up, and then it's all downhill from there. There's the fighting and the putting up with it, and starting a family and all that senseless stuff. It's so stupid. It seems like all the girls I play with are like that. They always go like 'Len, I love you'. What is with girls and those words anyway?
Love is all this long waiting, and then settling for less. Now, passion. Passion never ends. And that's what I love. Not them, not their personalities, but how they please me. It's all I need. It's everlasting. It doesn't leave.
I drift away from this thought, and realize she's waiting for an answer. I lie to her, like I lied to all of them, just to make her stay.
"Of course. I'll always love you."
"Len! If you don't wake up, you're going to be late!"
I find myself waking up to another girl's voice. But this is at the right time, at seven or so, and she's not just a girl.
"Oh good, you're awake!"
She's Rin. My twin sister.
I blink away the sleep from my eyes, and she's looking down to me, standing next to my bed. She's already dressed in her school uniform, frowning.
"Get up, sleepyhead." She demands. I frown, still trying to wake up.
"…I told you to stay out of my room." I mumble, pulling the sheets over me. She pulls them away, though, and suddenly it's so cold.
"Get up, Len. Come on. Mom said to not let you skip again."
Speaking of women who never get off my back about school, my own mother was one of them. She's a single mother, working a clerk job, and she still has time to nag. You're not even home half the time, so lay off. I think this cynically, and see that Rin's still waiting for me. I sighed and got up, stretching.
"There, see? Up. Now go."
"I'm going to wait in the hall. If you're not out in five minutes, I'm dragging you out."
She casts one look at me, sticks out her tongue, then leaves, the door clicking behind her. I smile at this, for some reason. It's just the cute way she did it, that got to me. And the thought of us walking to school together, for once, was also nice.
…I let these thoughts go. Weird, I'd think such a way. I get up, though, just like Rin asked. She's waiting for me after all, and I hate to keep her waiting.
"Len! It's been too long!"
"You didn't call me back. Why?"
"Hey, can I…can I see you later tonight?"
"My parents are out of town. I'd just, you know, thought to tell you…"
The reason I don't like going to school is because all the girls come to me during lunch. And while it's nice, and I don't discriminate, with all of them clamoring at once, it's a headache. Making plans with all of them, giving them promises, telling them lies. It's enough to make a man tired.
"Ah, yeah, it has been too long. We should go out this Sunday, and catch up, yah?"
"I'm sorry; I lost your phone number. Could I get it again? I promise I'll call you as soon as I've got the time."
"Later tonight? Mm…well, I don't see why not. I've missed you, you know…"
"Are they? Ah, well, I'm actually really happy to hear that. It's been so long since I saw you…"
So, because I have my hands full with making plans, with the flirting, tired of all these other guy's glaring at me, I have to escape too from the hustle and bustle.
I know I have a bad reputation at school. Girls, they call me cute, and cuddle me, and smile and flirt. Guys, they're jealous; it's obvious. They glare at me, and yell at me for taking their girlfriends, and whatever. But it feels…it feels, I don't know.
Empty. I'm feeling empty now, and I don't know why.
Lunch is almost ending, and I know there will be class after, but I skip it. I'm walking up the stairway leading to the roof, now. Too much of a social buzz. I need my quiet. I need some peace of mind.
I need something to fill me up, too. This emptiness, I can feel it in the pit of my stomach. It's big and vast, and it bothers me. I need some company. I need a girl to love me, make love with me.
But whenever I do this, I don't know…it seems temporary. And afterwards, the emptiness feels deeper. What's wrong with me? Am I getting sick? Is something wrong? This emptiness, I need to cure it. But how?
I open the door, the old metal creaking. The sunlight blinds me, and I bring up an arm to shield it. My eyes adjust to the light, and wind is blowing past me. And then I see her.
A girl with long pink hair.
She's standing with her back to me, the wind blowing her hair, and she doesn't turn to see me. She's right next to the chain-link fence, fingers intertwined with the metal. Her uniform is different from the schools. Transfer student?
Finally, I walk forward, the door slamming shut behind me, and she finally turns to see me. Her eyes are blue, and wide; surprised to find herself with company. I smile, trying to be nice.
"What's a cute girl like you doing up here?"
She looks at me for awhile, then, with the wind blowing by her, she speaks. Her voice is lovely, like deep wind chimes.
"I was going to jump."
I can remember clearly when I started this hobby. I call it a hobby, because I'm not sure what else it would be called. When I was only twelve, my homeroom teacher had stroked my cheek, saying I was beautiful. She never did anything outside of that. In fact, it was the only time she did such a thing. Dad died somewhere around that time, and I had to transfer out of that school anyway. I haven't seen her since.
When I was fourteen, I had male friends. I don't anymore; like I said, it's hard because all guys hate me now. Anyway, as I was saying, we always went around Shibuya, trying to look cool and older. It was fun, nothing serious. But there was one day, when we weren't sure whether to go to the arcade, or karaoke, an older woman and her drunk friend past by us.
"Ah, you! Blondie! Yeah, yeah, Blondie!" She yelled at us. I was the only one with her blond hair, so I knew she was talking to me. I turned to her, and she was smiling, leaning against her sober friend.
"You're cute. Ah, how about you come and spend some special time with me, eh? I'll teach you a woman's secrets."
"Hey, don't say that to the kid! Ah, you really are drunk…"
I had no idea what she was talking about. They left anyway, and my friends were teasing me. I really had no idea what to do though, my face burning red. There was one thought on my mind though. I wanted to know what she was talking about. It sounded fascinating. Interesting, and mysterious.
My mother is very rarely seen. I was used to not growing up with a parent there, twenty-four seven. Rin was there though. She's always been there, a constant factor in my life. She and I are twins. When we were growing up, we always switched places to get to our parents or strangers. I thought it was fun that I had another me growing up, or at least, someone who looked like me.
But then Rin grew up. Her body matured. And there were changes between her and me. She got curvy and delicate, and I found that fascinating too. Her body, I wanted to see it. All of it. I wanted to see all the differences between us now. I wanted to see her curves and hold her delicate wrists. I had this craving, and it was weird.
I've chalked it up to curiosity since then. Curious about a woman's body.
In which, I finally got to satisfy that craving. I was fifteen, and had been invited to a group date. It wasn't until later I found out that I was invited because all the girls wanted to see me. I never noticed I was so popular. I do now, of course.
The date took place at a karaoke bar. We sang, and ate, and talked. Just like any other group date. Though, all the girls' attention was on me and me alone. Was I really this handsome? To charm girls and make them listen and pay attention to me…I liked this power. The charisma I discovered in myself, I used it, and kept talking and flirting. The rest of the guys had left early, frustrated that the entire spotlight was on me. It was just me, and three girls, then. The older one, if only by one year, whispered to me, what I would whisper to others long after.
"I want to taste you. Let's go."
And it was then I realized what it meant. Why my teacher touched me so tenderly, what the drunken woman meant, why a woman's body was so fascinating.
Sex. An activity humans do to procreate. Or just to pleasure themselves mindlessly with another.
I nodded, letting her lead me out of there by hand, leaving those other, angry girls behind. She took me to a love hotel, and I lost my virginity, to this girl I barely knew. She was disappointed at my performance though, lying on her side, away from me, after the act. I felt nervous then. Was being handsome and charismatic just not enough?
"Did I…Did I do something wrong?"
She was silent, and then sighed in the darkness.
"It's just…You aren't spicy enough, you know?"
"Forget it. You're too boring for me."
I'm not even sure what that means to this day. Did it mean to be rough? Overpowering? I hated how I felt then, though. Weak, self-conscious, like I wasn't enough. I could attract a woman, but I wasn't able to make her stay. Wasn't able to get any sort of approval. I vowed to change that. Their love and focus would be on me and me alone. They would stay, and even beg for more. They would beg for my spice, for my kind of loving that was enough and even more.
I'm not sure how I accomplished it. But the next time I slept with a girl, I imagined her as Rin. Girls haven't stopped asking for me since.
I wonder why.
"Luka. Luka Megurine."
"Ah…Len. Len Kagamine. That's my name, I mean."
We sat in silence, the wind still blowing by us as we sat next to the fence. It was an awkward silence, and I didn't like it. Would she honestly act like none of that even happened? Saying she was going to jump off the roof, and then stop when I was there. And asking me to sit next to her of all things. What's with this girl?
"Kagamine…how would you write that?" She asked me. Her voice was very pretty; mesmerizing in a way. I answered her anyway, because I wasn't sure where else to take this conversation.
"With the characters 'mirror' and 'sound'." I explained. She looked generally interested, which was also weird. She nodded though, and looked ahead, her demeanor still subtle and quiet. She brought her knees to her chest, and the bell chimed, announcing class was back in session. I looked at her, but it didn't seem like she was going to get up anytime soon.
"Aren't you going?" She asked then, her voice even.
"Back to class. You're going to be late."
Another gust passed by us, but neither of us moved. I shrugged. "I'm skipping."
She smiled then, and it was surprising to see it. It was pretty though. Beautiful.
"I am too, I guess." She decided, and leaned against the fence. I wanted to ask her what was up with the whole wanting to jump thing. But even I know when something might be too much of a touchy subject and decided to strike up another conversation anyway.
"So, that uniform…"
"What about it?"
"You new here?"
She nodded, her arms hugging her legs to her chest. She wouldn't look at me, which was fine. I didn't chase after girls that were this bizarre anyway. She tilted her head to the side, closing her eyes, like she was thinking or concentrating on something.
"Transferred last week, actually."
I raised my eyebrows at this. English, huh? There was no accent though, and I asked her about this.
"My father was stayed there for two years. I'm from Japan, though, originally."
"And the uniform?"
Interesting. Exotic. I was beginning to like her. I smiled then, deciding to work my charm on her. She was pretty anyway, so why not?
"That's cool. Is it exciting there? Were you in London?"
"Oh, that's really cool! So, like, you saw Big Ben and rode a double-decker bus, right? Can you speak English, too? You had to have learned it right?"
"… Could you shut up please?"
I looked at her surprised, and still she wouldn't look at me. The hell? That was rude. Honestly, here I am trying to be nice and asking question and just like that: 'shut up'. Not even 'be quiet', but 'shut up'. I frowned, deciding to give her a piece of my mind. Pretty or not, a girl with attitude really got on my nerves.
"Hey, I'm just asking. No need to get bitchy."
"Len." She spoke softly. It made me feel even more offended, like she didn't even care about what I said.
"What?" I asked harshly. She looked at me, though, and her eyes were sad then. It was breathtaking. I don't know why, but this girl just kept catching my eye.
"…I like your voice."
"It's pretty. I bet you could be a good singer."
Was she flirting with me? No, it didn't feel like it. Just a general compliment then? What a weird thing to compliment on. I was used to girls saying I was cute, but no one has ever talked about my voice. I frowned.
"Where's this coming from all of a sudden?"
"I just like it."
I looked at her for a moment. No ulterior motive, no hidden meanings in her words, no innuendo, not even a hint of any sort of other interests. She was literal, and face front about her feelings. It was weird to talk to a girl like this. No, it wasn't weird. It was…It was different. And, well…
"Yours too." I whispered. She looked at me, a little surprised. Her cheeks were a little red then, and it was cute.
"Ah? You…You mean my voice, too?"
She blushed then, and frowned, shaking her head. "Don't lie."
"I'm not." And I wasn't. For once, I told the truth. And for some reason, I found myself just literally complimenting her, no ulterior motives from my side either. When was the last time I talked to a girl, just for the sake of…I dunno. Talking? When I thought this, all I could think of was Rin. Did she really count though, as my sister?
"I can't sing." She told me, looking to the side, "Tone deaf."
"You don't know that. Hey, sing a song for me."
She frowned, casting me a look, still pretty and subtle even when angry. "Why should I?"
"I'll sing one for you." I offered. I could see her considering this, and thought she would fall for it like every other girl did. Instead, she shook her head, firm in her resolve.
"Not even then, will I sing."
"That's not fair. Hey, hey, what if we sing together? How about then?"
"…What song did you have in mind?"
Oh, she was considering now? I grinned, and tried to think of something she would like.
"Ah, well…how about, um…Oh! Imitation Black! By that really cool Visual Kei Band!"
"I don't know that song."
"What about BPM? That's a pop song…"
"No, I don't know that one either."
I frowned. I should've expected it, seeing as she hadn't been in Japan for awhile. I went back to thinking then. Something easy to remember, but not too recent…
I looked over to her, and she was examining her blue nails then, still lost in thought. She shrugged, though. "I like that song. Saihate."
"I dunno," I frowned, "it's a pretty sad song."
"But it has a lot of heart into it. I like it. Let's sing that." She looked at me then. "You and me. Let's sing it, Len."
I considered for a moment. I found myself really wanting to hear her sing. Which was weird. Why? This girl…No, Luka…Who I barely knew, who hadn't shown any interest in me. She was beautiful. Fascinating in her consideration and her soft nature. I found her fascinating.
She looked ahead then, and began to sing. She spoke the Japanese eloquently, her voice even and smooth. I found myself listening to it intently, until she stopped and glared at me, her cheeks red once more.
"You're supposed to be singing with me."
"Oh, right! Right." I cleared my throat, matching her tone as much as I could. And soon she joined me, and it was the two of us, a duet. I've never much taken to singing. It just never occurred to me to take it seriously. But with her next to me, it felt possible. With Luka seemingly singing a song full of heart, I wanted to. But only if it was her next to me.
When it was ended, I found myself blushing. Weird. When have I ever blushed? To blush means to feel embarrassed. I thought I had more confidence than that. I looked at her, and she looked calm then. Relaxed, maybe. She smiled at me again. God, I was starting to love that smile.
"I told you so."
I smiled at her. "I guess you did."
It was then my phone rang in my pocket. I frowned, and answered it, Luka watching me the whole while. It was Miku.
"Len! I heard you came to school today?" She asked, her voice peppy and excited as always. I glanced at Luka, wondering if I should sweet talk Miku here and now, or take the conversation someplace else. I was worried what she would think of me, which was silly. Honestly, I didn't need to worry about her at all, and went ahead, showing my true side to her.
"Yeah, that's right. I was sad to not see you here." I smiled. I heard her giggle. She was naïve and trusting, that's what I liked about Miku.
"Oh, well, you know, I had this modeling shoot today…Oh, but if I heard you were coming, I would've skipped it!"
She was a popular model, who might soon be an idol if she worked hard enough. And she was smitten with me, following each and every one of my words as I spoke. Miku was convinced we were dating. She spoke of love often. She was one of those kinds of girls.
"Ah, now, now, honey, don't do that. I want you to be happy too, okay? Did you have a good time, last night? I'm sorry I had to leave so early…"
"Oh, no, it's fine! I had a wonderful time last night…Just wonderful, so it's okay."
With her, though, I didn't even have to come up with excuses; she just let all my suspicious behavior pass. It was a small blessing, compared to Meiko who was just too demanding sometimes. It's like they thought they were entitled to own me or something, like I was theirs alone.
"I'm glad to hear that." I smiled, voice low, just how she liked it. I could tell Miku was probably flustered by now, as she stuttered her words.
"Th-that's…ah, well, look, Len? I want to see you soon, actually. Like, maybe tomorrow?"
As she said this, I got another call. I looked at the ID as Miku went on. Meiko was calling. I frowned, and talked lies to her once more.
"Oh, really? Cause I was thinking the same thing. But, see, I'm actually busy tomorrow; but I'd love to see you next week. How about that?"
"Oh, yeah that's fine! Okay, I got to go now. Bye! I love you!"
I cringed as I redialed Meiko's number. I knew she'd get angry. And her birthday was tomorrow, so I'd have to go out tonight to get her something. Geez, what a hassle.
"You didn't pick up."
"I know, baby, I know."
"You're skipping, aren't you?"
"I'm here, right?"
"I want you in class."
I sighed and leaned back, looking up at the sky. She was just never satisfied, was she?
"Okay, okay. I'll be there. Should I swing by your office, too?"
"…Of course. Come by later. I need you."
I smiled at this. This was why I stuck around. Not just because she was sexy, but because she couldn't get enough of me. I was a sucker for that sort of thing.
"How badly do you need me?" I asked, teasing her. I leaned forward, smirking. "Like, really badly?"
"…Hurry up, Len." She told me curtly, and hung up. I smiled. She was feisty; I liked that too.
I jumped in shock, and turned to see Luka staring at me, her gaze bored. I'd forgotten she was even there. I shrugged, trying to be nonchalant about it though.
"You could call it that."
"More than one girlfriend, I see." She noted, raising an eyebrow. I smiled at her, wondering if this would reassure her I wasn't all bad. I shrugged.
"You could say that too, I guess."
She stayed silent for a while, and it worried me. I don't know why either; I had nothing to prove to this person. Why should I care what she thinks? I got up then, and began to leave.
"I gotta go anyway. See ya." I waved, not even looking back. She didn't call out to me, which also worried me. Was I really that forgettable? Did I just not leave an impression on her? Was I not enough? I pondered this needlessly, with my hand on the doorknob, and waited for something, anything from her.
She began to hum.
Not call my name, but hum the very song we just sang together. I looked back at her, and she was already looking to the side, my presence long gone as far as she was concerned. I gulped, and decided to make the move on my own.
She stopped then, and looked at me, considerate as always. She waited for me to continue. Which was odd, because I wasn't even sure what to say. Such a short amount of time spent with her, and already she was the top concern on my mind.
"Are you…um, I mean…Are you going to be here? During classes, I mean?"
"That's the plan." She answered. I felt like returning back to her, sitting next to her, and forgetting any other obligations I made for the day. But I stayed where I was instead, and went on.
"Are you going to be here, like, for the other days too?"
She looked at me, and took a moment to answer. Then, "Maybe. Depends on how the day is. I'll be here for lunch though."
"Then is it alright if I see you again?"
I'm not sure why I said this. And why I said it with no hesitation either. No stuttering or pausing or nothing. Like I had so much confidence in saying this. And you know what? I did. I waited for an answer nervously.
She answered me with that smile. That beautiful smile I so loved.
"I was kind of hoping you would."
And this just put me on Cloud 9.
"Alright then! S-Sounds good. I'll see you tomorrow! Like, when lunch starts, okay? Bye!"
So I waved goodbye, the door slamming shut behind me as I left. I skipped down the stairs, my whole body feeling light for some reason, the whole world seeming brighter. Tomorrow. I would definitely come to school tomorrow, rain or shine. And when lunch would roll around, I'd definitely head to the roof as soon as I could. Cause she'd be there. Luka.
Luka and her beautiful smile and voice.
I stopped by the teacher's lounge first, Meiko the only one there, reading a paper as she sat at her desk. I knocked on the door, and she looked, and frowned. She opened it, hand on hip.
"I told you to get to class."
"I thought you needed me."
She considered this for a while, then grabbed me by my collar, dragging me in, kissing me. My hands were already searching her body, feeling every inch.
And yet, all my mind could think about was Luka.
Luka, Luka, Luka.
"Yeah. Luka Megurine. She's a transfer student."
"Yeah, I've heard of her." Rin answered, turning around again, to the stove, mixing the soup as I sat at the kitchen table. I was texting Neru if only because I promised I would. She's angry, but that's nothing new. She had a temper; but it was easy to quell with a few sweet words and compliments. I was working on doing that right now, pushing the buttons as fast as I could.
"She's in my class actually. A bit quiet."
"Really?" I mumbled, pressing send. The scent of miso hung in the air as we spoke, the soft bubbling of the soup in the background, the sizzling of beef steak next to her, in a different pan. Finally, Rin turned to me, frowning.
"Look, I'll tell you more about her if you help me. Don't be lazy, Len."
"Alright, alright." I sighed, closing the phone, and getting up. She set me to cutting some vegetables, and I did so. No complaints either, how surprising, she noted, half laughing. I frowned, and looked at her.
"How much do you know about her?"
"She came from London; that's what the teacher told us. But…she's kind of mean, too."
"Yeah, like during lunch a few days ago, we were all trying to be nice to her, ya know? Like, telling her about this city, and asking how it was like in London, and she just sat there. Glaring. Then, finally, we invited her out for shopping and she looked at us. And you know what she said?"
Rin sighed, an angry sigh, and looked straight up, straightening her back. Then, with an imitation of Luka's voice, deep and fake, she talked. "'I'm sorry, but I just can't stand to be around any of you. Please go away.' "
I looked at her shocked, vaguely wondering if my sister was blowing it out of proportion. I tried to imagine Luka saying this, her voice straightforward and harsh. It just didn't fit her. No, maybe it did. After all, she told me to shut up, so I guess it wasn't just me. I noted that when she would say mean things to people, also, she would add a 'please'. How strange. Rin was sighing again, done stirring, lowering the heat.
"How annoying is that, huh? We haven't talked to her since. And today, can you believe it? She just stormed out of the classroom. She even bumped me on her way out. She didn't come back after that, either. She's weird." Rin ranted, putting a lid on the soup, then checking the steak she was panfrying. I thought back to Luka, how I found her on the roof.
I was going to jump.
I found myself interested in what would push her to that, to what was her problem. She had issues, but about what? If I hadn't gotten there, would she have jumped? I wanted to know about her. I wanted to learn whatever I could about Luka.
"By the way." Rin cut in, and I looked at her. She leveled her gaze at me, like I was being interrogated. "What's with this sudden interest? I hope you're not going to chase her. She's not worth it, Len."
Rin knew about my 'hobby'. She kept out of it though, knowing it was none of her business, and I was thankful for that. But sometimes, she did warn me or scold me. It was after I went after Miku, one of her friends, that she became to be involved, if only a little. I shook my head, though.
"I'm not going after her. She just…sounds interesting, that's all."
"You know that's not all you look for in a woman."
Suddenly, I cut her off without meaning to, a sharp pain in my finger. I looked down. Slipped up, and cut myself with the knife. Blood began to ooze from the wound and I winced. Rin picked up my hand, and frowned.
"You're so clumsy. Here."
She put her tongue to the cut then, licking it. I froze, my whole body aware of the touch, how it felt. I felt my knees go weak, the feel of her tongue warm and nice. She looked up at me with half-lidded eyes. Like she was daring me, or tempting me. I finally gained my composure, taking my hand away from her grip.
"D-Don't be gross!" She smiled though, an enticing smile. I turned away, leaving the room. "I'm getting a bandage for this."
"It's not gross. It helps disinfect the cut, stupid." She called back, as if nothing had happened. I felt my heart beat madly as I wrapped up the cut. My whole body felt hot and aware. I kept thinking back to that tongue on my skin, to what such a simple touch of hers did to me. I wanted more. I wanted more, and I didn't know why. I didn't even know what I wanted, specifically, but I did know I wanted her touch. Something. Anything.
"Len," she called out, voice steady and sweet, "come on. Dinner's ready."
I stopped thinking about it. Suppressed the thoughts. I didn't want to think about what these urges meant. But I did know that if I kept thinking about it, it would get worse. That it was already bad as was. So I stopped thinking about that moment altogether, and walked back to her, to her side. She smiled at me again, eyes looking at me as if they could see right through me.
She was waiting, and I hated to keep her waiting.
"What are you writing?"
She looked up at me shocked, covering the paper with her arms. She looked flustered, putting the paper back into her binder. I see she bought her school bag this time.
"You're not going to show me?" I asked then, sitting next to her. Luka was frowning, looking down at her binder. She was here like she said, and this put me in a good mood. I wanted to talk with her. I wanted to know her. I wonder why.
"They're song lyrics." She mumbled. I looked at her surprised, and I guess she noticed this. "Is it that shocking?"
"N-No! It's just, um…" I thought for a while, trying to think of a word to describe it. "…I just think that's really cool. Can I see them?"
She hesitated for a moment, then pulled it out, handing the paper to me. "They're not finished, of course." She told me, as I scanned what little words there was. It was in English, done in pen, some words scribbled out. I frowned.
"…What's it say?" I asked. She looked at me bemused, than smiled a little. Oh, geez, if I could find a way to make her smile more and more, I would. She pointed at the words, leaning next to me, her finger leading the way as she spoke each one.
"All people are Free, always. When working. When enjoying a game. When studying at school. When you are with a friend. When you spend significant time with the person you love. We are always... Free." She spoke, her finger stopped on the word. She looked a little embarrassed then, and moved away from me, placing her hands on her lap.
"It's not very good, is it?" She asked, looking away. I was used to girls putting themselves down, if only to fish for compliments. But Luka's sounded like genuine worry, and I wanted to ease it.
"No, it's good. I mean, if you keep at it, it'll be good. When you finish it, can I see it again?" I asked. And this too felt genuine. I wonder why.
She was quiet, and looked at me, nodding. "Alright."
A wind blew by us, the weather feeling colder. I shivered, rubbing my arms for warmth. Luka sneezed then, and even that she made cute. She sniffled, and sighed.
"It's going to be winter soon, huh?" She asked. I was surprised she began to strike up the conversation. Not that I minded. I had all day to be with Luka, and I was going to spend the time wisely. I nodded.
"Yeah. You don't like cold weather?"
"I love it, actually."
"Really? I can't stand it."
"Perhaps you're too cold-blooded."
I looked at her surprised, and she was normal as always. Quiet, and considerate, acting like she hadn't just made an under-handed jab at me.
"Are you calling me cruel? What a mean thing to say, when we barely know each other."
"I've heard about you, actually."
She looked me straight in the eye then, but her face was the same as always. Solemn, and pure. No anger or accusation in her tone as she explained.
"Len Kagamine. Girls talk about you a lot, you know. About all those one night stands and dates and everything."
I felt mortified then, like I wanted to crawl into a hole and just disappear. Which was weird, because I've never been ashamed about my history. If someone had a problem with it, then good for them. Not like I cared. But this was Luka. And somehow, Luka made it all different. I looked down, my face feeling like it was on fire.
"How many girlfriends do you have anyway?" She asked, still her tone had no traces of judgment. She sounded unbiased instead, just stating facts. I gulped, trying to calm myself down, not letting her see my loss of composure.
"I, uh…I think like, four? Maybe?"
"Does that include all the women who you've slept with?"
"…No. It doesn't."
What did that mean? This worried me, what she thought of me now, and I looked back at her. Her eyes were as soft as always though, no traces of anger. I frowned then, wondering why I let this get to me. So what, if it was Luka? She was a girl, too, like the rest of them. Why should I prove myself to her, worry what she thought? I thought I vowed to never feel like this again; self-conscious and weak. I tsked then, looking in front of me, my eyes not allowing myself to even glimpse at her.
"So? What about it? If you've got a problem with me, then say it." I dared her, hoping to leave her speechless. However, this had the opposite effect then what I wanted.
"Okay. I think you're cruel." She began, catching me off guard. I still refused to look at her though, and she continued. "I also think you're promiscuous. And reckless. I think you're hard to approach. I think you're insecure."
"I'm not done." She cut me off, and looked up, closing her eyes in thought. I turned away from her, though, having realized I was looking at her. "You're also very easygoing. And you have a pretty voice. And you're the most interesting person I've met here. That's what I think of you."
Well, wow. She sure knew how to make a man speechless, I'll give her that.
And so we stayed like that. Sitting in silence, as the wind passed by us, softly howling as it did. We didn't look at each other, and we didn't move, not even as the bell rang for lunch to end. I finally spoke, for both of us, feeling exposed for some reason. I've been insulted before. I've been complimented before. But as I said before, Luka made it different. She made it like she knew all of me, and who knows? Maybe she did. No charming words could cover up myself this time, no way to get out of this situation. So I faced her head on.
"Well, you know what?"
"I think you're weird." I told her, my voice steady as I said this. I soldiered on, baring all of my feelings on her. "I think you're gloomy. And quiet. A little mean, too. Rude and too straight forward. You're beautiful, though, and I like your smile. I absolutely love your smile. And I like you too."
"Is it love? Like for a girlfriend?"
"No, not really. I just like being around you." I shrugged. This was the truth too. This wasn't love I felt for her. Admiration? Maybe I was enchanted by her. I'm not sure. It didn't matter though, 'cause she leaned against me then, her head warm on her shoulder. I nearly gasped in surprised, but suppressed it, caught off guard by this action. It's obvious I'm not nervous to be touched by a girl. But this didn't feel like the touches I was used to. This was tender and quick and it felt right, this position we were in, so I let her stay, leaning my head on her own. My heart was pounding in my chest, and I didn't feel like myself, but I liked that.
"Good. Because I feel the same." She whispered. I found myself smiling, this whole wave of relief coming over me. Her hair smelled like strawberries. And all felt right. The fact that she liked me too, was wonderful. I guess it was the same for her, as it was for me? Admiration, interest, this need to know this person. I felt like there was this powerful feeling between us. Not the sort of feeling of sexual tension, like I could recognize clearly. Neither one of grudging acceptance, but maybe…friendship? No, it felt even bigger than that. I let this thought slip my mind though, breathing in her strawberry scent instead. We stayed like that for a moment, the air light and chilly, but it didn't matter, because she was warm. And she knew how I felt about her. It was weird, how we barely knew each other, just having met only yesterday, and yet already we found comfort in one another. Found this connection between us. Who knows? Maybe this is what they mean when people say 'kindred spirits'.
"I got the uniform yesterday. This school's uniform. It finally came."
I glanced at her, still wearing the old one, with its blazer and plaid skirt. "You're not wearing it."
"I didn't want to. I was afraid everyone in class would tell me how good it looked, and try to be friends with me again."
"You don't want to make friends with them?"
"No. I hate it when they talk to me, so nice."
She blinked then, and closed her eyes, burying her face into my arm. "…I'll tell you some other day." She mumbled. I accepted this answer and closed my eyes as well. Because I had as much time with Luka as I wanted now. I was sure this wouldn't end. I'm not sure how, but I knew, no, maybe even wanted this to last. Whatever this was. She could take all the time she wanted to tell me, because I wasn't going anywhere soon. We stayed like this too, this comfortable silence until her stomach rumbled. And for some reason, that loud sound just made me crack up, and I began to laugh. She punched my arm, and sat up.
"I'm hungry." She announced. I was wiping tears from my eyes as she said this, the moment broken, but the feeling still comfortable between us.
"I can tell."
She punched my arm again. She had a good left hook. I was rubbing my arm, and decided to take her seriously. "I'm just saying, what do you expect? You skipped lunch. I'm a little hungry too, actually."
"We can't get bread, can we?"
"No. They've probably already left."
She sat there, deep in thought. She frowned. "Let's leave. I'm bored of this place."
"Alright. I need a change of scenery, anyway."
So we left. Just like that. Still in our school uniforms, we just walked out those front doors and left. And it wasn't until we were headed to a café that I remembered I had promised to take Miku out after school, that I should've stayed. I forgot, also, that Meiko's birthday was today too, that I forgot completely to get her a present. But even if my schedule was falling apart, I didn't care. Like, I should've, but it just didn't seem important then. Not when me and Luka were holding hands in the streets of Tokyo, indifferent of the world around us. Not when we talked over lunch, about stupid stuff that people our age usually did. And I especially didn't give a damn when she'd smile that incredible smile.
It was when we passed by a jewelry store that I remembered, and asked her to wait outside for me. I spent half my allowance on a present for Meiko, and when I found Luka outside waiting for me, just like I left her, she was looking at a necklace on display. A simple silver chain, with a blue tear-dropped shaped pendant. It was on clearance, having not been popular enough, I guess. Luka was staring at it though, and I stood next to her. She looked at me.
"It's pretty, isn't it?" She asked. I slipped my hand into hers, intertwining our fingers together.
"Do you want it? I could get it for you." I offered. She shook her head though, squeezing my hand.
"It's just a necklace; I don't need it. Let's go."
"Where? What do you have in mind?"
"Let's go to a love hotel."
I looked at her shocked, and she turned to look at me. Then she grinned, a look I wasn't used to seeing on her.
"It was a joke."
It took me a moment, but then I laughed, sincerely amused by this. She didn't joke around much, so this was a surprising and fun thing to see. She giggled, and it sounded like bells. It was when my phone rang, was when the moment was broken. I looked at her, letting it ring. She smiled a sad smile, motioning to my pocket.
"Are you sure?" I asked, puzzled by my own response. Why did I need her approval? She had no hold over me. She didn't question this, though, and shrugged.
"It's fine. Answer it."
I did, and Miku's voice filled my ears.
"L-Len…where are you?"
"I thought we were going to meet after school…It's been half an hour; did you forget, love?"
I cursed myself, all the responsibility rushing back, and looked at my watch. It had actually been longer than that. I decided to lie again. How did it get to be so effortless?
"Oh, I'm sorry, babe! See, it's like this; I got in trouble for missing so many days, and when I was dismissed from the teacher's lounge, it totally slipped my mind. I'm sorry, Miku, baby, I promise to make it up to you. How does tomorrow sound? I promise this time I'll be there. I love you, okay?"
I tacked on this 'I love you' because I knew it was unstoppable. No matter how much you crossed a woman, no matter how angry she was, tell her an 'I love you' and she was yours all over again. It only worked, though, if you said it rarely. Tell her every day, and it'll lessen its meaning to her. I could tell it worked, then, when I head Miku sniffling on the other line.
"L-Len…I…I love you too."
I could hear her at the verge of tears then. From happiness, most likely. Miku was very emotional, so much; it was cute in a way.
"Okay. Tomorrow, alright?"
"I love you. Bye, sweetie."
I hung up, looking back to Luka. Her face was the same as always; slightly bored, but waiting. She tilted her head to the side a bit, the pink strands falling with it.
"Do you have to leave?"
She asked this as if it was routine, like something she would, and has, gotten used to. I shook my head, though; deciding this sort of dealing with it, was the best.
"Not yet. But I'll have to later. For, um, another girlfriend."
"Is that who the present's for?"
She was silent for a while again, and I knew not to worry. She squeezed my hand again though, and it reminded me of when I was a kid, when Rin would hold my hand, the two of us inseparable.
"How long do we have?"
"About an hour."
"…Let's go shopping. I need to buy some new CDs."
She acted as if it didn't bother her at all, my commitments. Which made me happy, because I hated when girls tried to tie me down, make me theirs and theirs alone. Luka was vastly different from them; she was quiet and patient. Pure. She talked and none of it was faked. No fake interests to match my own, no fake enthusiasm about myself. She was…very down to earth. She was nice to be around. She was…
She was my friend. For once, in a long time, I had a friend.
I squeezed her hand, and when we looked at different music titles, she leaned against me. I was going to have to leave her side soon, I knew that. So I kissed the top of her head, and savored her presence as much as I could.
The smell of sake stank in the air, and her bed sheets were soft and warm against my bare skin. She cuddled against my chest, smiling with those red lips. She kissed my neck, and I closed my eyes. It felt strange, this whole thing. Just hours before I was saying goodbye to Luka at the station, and now I was back in my old routine. Making love to woman, I knew how to do it now, knew how to do it well. It's a technique I've mastered, a comfort zone if you would. But that time with Luka was different, actual talking, no trying to get her into bed. I adapted quick though, going back to my old roots. And with the way Meiko was smiling at me, cheeks flushed, I could tell I haven't lost my touch.
"I needed that. I really did."
"Stressed, love?" I asked, arms wrapping around her shoulders. She snuggled in deeper, her chest big and warm on me.
"I got a call from my ex-husband yesterday. It was so annoying." She murmured, kissing my collarbone. I let her rant, because today was her special day. She was wearing the earrings I had gotten her. They glinted in the dim light.
"You're divorced?" I asked. I really didn't know this, but I sort of didn't care anyway. I faked care though, because she liked that.
"It was only for awhile." She sighed, melodramatic, "He wished me happy birthday. I swear, he's still not over it."
"How long ago was it?"
"It doesn't matter." She told me, her voice sultry and low. Then she got up, pushing me down by my shoulders. This took me off guard, but I eased into her mood anyway, smirking. She kissed me, then whispered onto my lips. "I've got you now. That's all that matters."
"Of course, love." I assured her, and we kissed again. And we made rough, unfeeling love because it was my expertise. Because I can say I can make a woman stay. That I can make her satisfied.
But was I?
"Len, hurry up. We're going to miss the train!"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming."
Sundays were always my busier days. I usually had lots of dates set up, and right now I was spending my time with Neru. She sat next to me on the train, as she texted away on her phone.
"I swear to god, if we're going to miss this show, I'm so breaking up with you. Can you believe how many times I've had to reschedule because something came up for you? I've wanted to see this movie for a long time, so I better not miss it, alright, Len?"
"Of course, baby." I assured her. She was always like this, ranting and angry. But I could tell she still loved me, her hand still holding on tightly to my own. She hit send on her phone, and looked at me, glaring.
"Don't call me 'baby'. I told you I hate that."
She was lying, I could tell, what with the blush on her cheeks. Neru had lots of pride in herself, and I found that cute, which is why I kept her around. She looked away then, as the scenery went on by.
"Why don't you answer my messages, by the way?"
"I send you tons, but still no answers."
I frowned. The one thing I didn't like was how she seemed to be so attached to that phone. I got texts and calls from her constantly. I made up a lie, though, to ease her thoughts.
"Actually, it's been broken these last few days. I'm sorry."
"You better not be lying."
"I'm not. I love you, Neru."
She was blushing again, but she glared at me. I hated a girl with attitude, but I loved her when she was still so crazy for me.
"Don't say stuff like that so lightly, idiot."
"But it's true. We're dating, right?"
"I told you, I'm only going out with you because it's something to do." She sighed, texting away on her phone again. I knew she pushed me away because she had too much dignity not to. I smiled again, at her, and she looked away, but squeezed my hand. I knew everything was fine. It was cute to see her fight for power in this relationship, while all the while I had the upper hand.
We walked to the movie theater, and watched her stupid movie (something about a scientist and a robot who got a 'heart'; I don't really remember), and I can remember kissing her when we were outside. She got angry then, but she was honestly just flustered.
"Wh-What was that for?"
"I love you."
"You're so stupid!"
I could tell she liked it though, that it was what she wanted. I looked to my watch then, and played the role of a sad, lovesick boyfriend.
"I've gotta go soon."
"Yeah, I'm sorry." I smiled at her sadly, as if I was really regretting leaving her side, "See, I've got some errands to run for my sister."
"I hate her. Have I told you that? Because I really do."
"I know, sweetie, but she's family." I gave her what seemed like and honest smile, "Will you be able to call me as soon as you can?"
She frowned then, and looked away, blushing and shy. She really couldn't get enough of me, it was obvious.
"…I guess if I have the time. But don't count on it." She huffed. I smiled at this. She'd call me. Of course she would, she's crazy for me. So I kissed her again, and she got all fussy and mad, but I waved to her goodbye anyway. Playful and sweet; that's the kind of guy I was for Neru, because she secretly loved it.
It was four thirty. I'd promise Haku I'd be there at five. I'd have to be a little late, as I stopped by a flower shop, getting a bouquet of white lilies. Her favorite.
She was at the café like I asked. She was checking her watch nervously, and looking around for me. Haku was lovely, with sad eyes, and long white hair. She was an older woman, yet so very insecure. It was adorable in a way. I walked behind her then, putting my hands over her eyes, the lilies under my arm.
She looked back at me, surprised, her cheeks flushed. "Len?"
"In the flesh." I grinned, taking the seat across from her. I held out the flowers for her. "For you."
Her eyes sparkled as she took them, looking so overjoyed for something that'd probably die in a few days. "Oh, Len, this is…I mean…" She began to tear up, shaking her head. "Th-Thank you…"
"Ah, now, no need to cry. Smile for me, Haku; I love your smile." I grinned at her. She blushed, and looked down to the lilies. She smiled a faint smile for me then. I knew she'd do it, if it was me asking. So simple to control.
"I'm surprised you came. I thought you were going to abandon me, surely…"
Geez, I was only like three minutes late. Haku lacked a lot of self-confidence, and that's why she was so clingy. At least I knew she wouldn't leave me anytime soon. And at least she smiled when she was around me. This much made up for it. I looked at her intrigued for a while, then smiled softly. I put a hand over hers, and she looked at me surprised.
"Why would I ever do a thing like that? I love you, Haku." I told her softly. Her face turned even redder, and I knew she would fall for it.
For Haku, I was kind and gentle, just as she wanted. Someone liked her, who wanted someone to comfort and love her. This was why she stayed with me. The waiter came then, and we ordered our food. We talked some more (well it was mostly me; Haku was more of a listener). She was an office worker, and was regularly bullied by her colleagues, so she came to me for relief. In this relationship, too, I had control. It relieved her stress, and it gave me something to do, so what was wrong with this, yeah?
Halfway through the meal, I checked my phone for the time. I excused myself to the bathroom, and called Lily.
"Len, where are you?" She asked on the first ring. "I'm getting impatient."
I smiled, leaning against the wall. "I'm sorry, love, I'll probably be running a little late."
"You always say that." She sighed, over-the-top. If there was one thing I could say about Lily is that she certainly had a flair for the dramatics. "I got these reservations just for us, you know. You promised tonight it'd just be us. You promised, Len."
"I know, babe, I know." I reassured her. Her voice was low then, on the phone, her silky voice filling my ear.
"I'm craving you."
I smirked. Lily wasn't one to waste words, getting straight to the point. She was sexy and daring, and it got to me really good. I matched her tone, playing with her as well.
"Are you? How badly?"
"Don't be dirty, Len."
"Hey, hey, you started it."
She laughed then. "Badly, okay. Really badly. Do you miss me?"
"I miss you." I lied; I didn't miss her specifically, but I did sort of miss the sex, "I miss you a whole lot, love."
"I'm going to have to punish you for being late. Maybe I should tie you to the bed?"
"Ah, and you call me dirty!" I laughed. She was harmless really; she wanted to be the one with all the power, but really she played to my favor. Risqué and cool Lily. For her, I was just as sultry and racy, playing a game of love with her. I told her I'd get there soon as I could, and said bye. When I got back, I told Haku something had come up, I'm so sorry, call me later?
"Of course." She agreed without hesitation. I smiled at her, a gentle smile, and bent down kissing her cheek. I left her then, blushing. I wonder if she'd mind that I left her to pay the check.
The hotel was only a few blocks away, so I walked there briskly. I checked my phone; one message from Miki asking me out to the observatory on Monday; another from Teto asking if we could check out a new bakery that just opened up. Three from Miku telling me how her new commercial was going, saying she loved me. One from Meiko, making sure I was doing my homework, regardless if it was Sunday or not. I sighed, and suddenly felt tired. It was tiresome to juggle all these girls, to keep them satisfied. There was some sort of art to being able to shape one's schedule around all of them. But the payout was worth it so I kept up this lifestyle.
I looked up at the nearly full moon then. What a clear night sky, but obviously no stars. What would you expect in the city? It was then, I suddenly thought of Luka. Was she looking at this same moon, I wondered?
I looked away then, and kept walking. If she was, I hope she was okay where she was. Maybe getting ready for bed, or something. If so, then I wished her sweet dreams. Until then, I'm still up in the early hours of night.
I still felt so tired though.
Sometimes he doesn't come to the roof at all.
I continued writing the lyrics, the wind blowing by coldly. I wish he was here so he could warm me up. He had to be good for at least something, right? I looked at my phone, re-reading his message. I can't even remember when we exchanged numbers; maybe it was last week or so, that day when we both just left the school just to get something to eat. In any case.
Can't come today; seeing someone
It was fine. I needed to catch up on my writing anyway. I went back to this task, and thought of Len. I wonder which girlfriend he was seeing today. Sometimes I saw him after school with them. There was one with bluish green hair and pig tails. Maybe her. Or maybe the one with the long blonde hair. There were probably many others I've never seen. Did he skip school with her instead? Maybe they'd go on a date.
It's strange that I find myself unfazed with this. I'd think I'd be able that I knew a lady killer, one who gave no regard to girls' feelings at all. He used them; I could tell. If there was love, then he would've chosen only one, or felt more guilt about it. No, Len was instead heartless and cruel, like a spoiled child with too many toys.
I think I don't hate it, because it's actually such a relief to meet such an unkind person.
I looked behind myself then, at the chain link fence and everything behind it. The ground was so far down. A fall far enough to kill someone.
He's visited me ever since that first meeting. This was my first time all alone, no one to stop me, Len none the wiser. I considered picking up where I had left off. I thought on it awhile, considerate, as the wind howled past me.
It was then I got another message, and looked down to my phone. Len again.
I promise I'll be there tomorrow. I'll see you then!
I felt my heart warm then, with the help of Len. I smiled, and put down my phone. Tomorrow. I looked forward to tomorrow. I turned back around, and started writing again.
It seemed like a silly idea, all of a sudden, picking up where I left off.
The next day, she wasn't there when I got to the roof. This worried me, the place bare and quiet, except for the howling wind. I decided that she probably would be a little late, though, maybe she was busy with something. No worries. However, my heart felt empty then, that same emptiness I had felt before, settling back in. I forgot all about that feeling, yet here it was again. Deep in the pit of my stomach, big and noticeable. I frowned, sitting next to the door this time. I wanted to see her as soon as I could.
But when the door opened, and I looked in eagerness, it wasn't Luka, but Miku who smiled at me.
"Len! I knew you'd be here!" She cheered, then sat next to me, catching me in a tight embrace. It took me a while to get what was going on, and when I did, I pushed her back, holding onto her shoulders.
"What…What are you doing here?" I asked, keeping my voice as calm as I did. Her shoulders were warm on my hands, on this cold roof, and I didn't want to lose her so soon. She smiled nonetheless.
"Ah, see, I wanted to talk to you, and Rin said you'd probably be here. So, here I am, darling!" She smiled again. I wasn't sure what to say. Rin knew about my meetings with Luka? No, she couldn't be any the wiser. For some reason, I wanted to keep Luka a secret, if only because she was so sacred to me. And while I thought this, Miku was looking at me with big eyes, hopeful and naïve. I smiled at her.
"You surprised me. It's been long, hasn't it?" I asked her, a rhetoric question, as I brought her closer, sitting her on my lap, kissing her. I could feel her shiver under my touch, like she always did. Putty in my hands.
"Len…" She breathed my name, face red. She held me closer. And soon, I was kissing her again, hand going up her shirt. I wanted to fill this emptiness. So I went back to what I was accustomed to, to what always helped. She was warm on this cold roof, and I'd be sure to make her feel like she was on fire.
"L-Len!" She gasped as I kissed her stomach, moving to her breasts. And the emptiness was filled then, with moans and smooth skin. A woman's body truly is a sexy, mesmerizing thing. So I explored it all, knowing exactly where to touch, where it felt good. She ran her fingers through my hair, and I just lost it.
It was then the door opened, stopping me right in my tracks. Because Luka was looking at us with wide eyes, some packets of bread in her hand.
We looked at each other for a while, Miku frozen just as well, not even turning to look at her. Then Luka looked at me sad, sort of disappointed. In me?
"I'm sorry." She told us quickly, closing the door behind her. After a few more seconds, Miku sighed in relief, her body relaxing.
"Oh, God. Did you see who it was? Len, did you? Ah, maybe I should go…" She spoke quickly, getting up in a hurry, fixing her clothes. I sat there stunned. She wasn't meant to see that. Luka wasn't meant to see the real me at all.
"Len? Len, I'm going okay. I'll see you later?" Miku asked, her face red, probably mortified. I nodded dumbly, and she bent down, kissing me. But I barely felt it, didn't even notice when she left. The bell for lunch ending rang. I got up then, rushing from there. Luka.
I needed to find Luka.
I knew where Rin's class was, so I checked there first. Through the window, I couldn't see her there. I thought of the library, and rushed there. I was stopped by a teacher though, on the way.
"You there! No running in the halls!" He called out. I turned to look at him. I didn't want any detours, so I acted kindly.
"Ah, yes sir," I bowed, "I'm sorry."
He looked at me strangely, then pushed some of his blue hair behind his ear. "What class are you from?"
I gulped. Oh, geez, I really didn't need this distraction. If he was a woman, I could've gotten out of it with a few sweet words, and smiles. But he was a man, so I had no choice but to deal with it like normal people did. I stood up straight though, and spoke politely instead.
"Class 2-A, sir."
"And where are you going?"
"The library," I answered, then lied about my reason, "I left my notes there when I was studying during lunch, and I'm going to get them."
He paused and I was worried he wouldn't buy it. But then he nodded, curt and sophisticated. "Alright. Go on then."
I held back the want to sigh in relief. On my way there though, I noticed something; I've never see that teacher around here before. Was he new? Older, mature with blue hair and blue eyes, a doctor's lab coat worn over his clothes. Maybe he wasn't a teacher at all; a nurse instead? I think I would've remembered him. I shook the thought away though, and walked quickly. Luka.
Luka was in the library, just like I suspected.
She sat at one of the tables in the far back, writing, seemingly unaware as I approached. She glanced to me though, then looked back down to the paper.
"…You're done?" She whispered, the air in the library stiff and quiet. I felt a pang go through my chest. Was she mad? She continued writing, her indifference painful to me. I sat next to her, and still she wouldn't stop to look. Just went on writing, like nothing was wrong.
"I'm sorry." I whispered.
"That you had to see that. Look," I began to explain myself, trying to get her approval, "I didn't ask her to meet me there. She came on her own. I'm sorry."
"You didn't send her away though." She pointed out, quietly. So I was right. She was mad. I frowned, then opened my mouth to say something, but she looked at me, eyes serious.
"…I'm not saying I hate when you flirt with girls." She spoke quietly, "Just don't do it in a place where I'll see it."
"Do you hate that part of me?" I asked, my eyes tearing up. Weird. Why was this making me so emotional? Oh, that's right.
Because it's Luka.
She paused for a moment, and went back to writing. This silence between us felt obvious and it scared me. I waited for her to respond, and she finally did and smiled, her hand reaching over to wipe away my tears. "No, I don't." She reassured me, "That's just how you are."
Then, she put down her pen and hugged me, and I closed my eyes, my heart feeling warm, as I held her back. She didn't judge me, but she didn't encourage me either. She just let me be, and liked me for it. It just made me more and more happy to be with her.
"You want to go back to the roof?" I offered. I wanted to make it up to her, somehow, anyway. She sighed though.
"It's too cold today." She told me, her words muffled on my shoulder, "Let's stay here today."
"I thought you liked the cold." I pointed out. She let go of me, shrugging, her hands still on my own.
"Not today, I don't." She grinned. I grinned back, and so we settled there. The anxiety melted away and we went back to our old routine. Which was fine with me, because I hated drama anyway. She continued writing, and I laid my head on the table, arms as my pillow, watching her.
"You're missing class." I told her. She shrugged.
"I don't want to be there anyway."
"You'll fall behind."
"What other time will I be able to see you?" She asked, quietly. I thought on this for a while. She had a point. In the mornings, Rin was there. In the afternoon and nights, my lovers were there. So, during the day, I had Luka. I decided not to answer this, though, and changed the conversation topic.
"What are you writing?"
"The same ones?"
I still couldn't read it, my English not up to par. She turned to look at me then, stopping in her writing. She put the pen down, and she was frowning, frustrated for some reason. This caught me off guard, confused for this sudden change in emotion.
"Len, I don't get it."
"Get what?" I asked, confused by the turn of events. She turned to look at me, eyebrows furrowed, pointed at my glasses, and explained.
"Are those real?"
It took me awhile to process what she said. What a weird question. I shrugged it off though and sat up, taking them off, looking at them. "Yeah, they are. See, they've got lenses."
"I've seen you without them, though."
"They're my reading glasses." I shrugged, slipping them back on. This seemed like the simplest reason to give, and it was true. Still she seemed unsatisfied with this, and raised an eyebrow.
"You don't seem like the type to read." She pointed out nonchalant-like. I wasn't bothered by this response, because it was also true. She was very straight-forward about it though, and I frowned.
"They're to look cool." I explained, and still she rolled her eyes, going back to her work. "What? It adds charm."
"You're strange." She told me, "Just to look cool. You didn't even try to lie."
"It's true though," I explained, smirking, "Women love a man in glasses."
She giggled at this, and this made me smile. I should've felt insulted, but I let it slide because it was Luka. "I don't." She pointed out, scratching out some words, writing something else. She was tapping her finger on the table. Testing out the tempo? The rhythm? I didn't really care to ask.
"Then what kind of guy do you like?" I asked, voice still a soft whisper. She shrugged at this, and drew a line against the paper, writing something underneath it.
"I've never really thought of it." She answered, and I saw she began writing in Japanese again. It was romaji, though, so it was still incomprehensible to me. "I guess someone taller than me. Blunt. With a pretty voice."
She looked at me, smirking, eyebrow raised. "Oh, and I'm guessing every girl is your type."
"Hey, hey, I've got standards too." I put a hand up, and she looked at me with that smirk again, and I looked at the paper, crossing my arms, thinking. "Like, she has to be cute."
"Or sexy." I went on, not letting her get to me, "Long hair, short hair, either is fine. Fox-like eyes…or maybe big ones? Voluptuous, or athletic build…oh, but she has to be shorter than me. And feminine. Pretty smile, and maybe mature. No, no, naïve is fine too." I trailed off, thinking.
"And she has to be good in bed, right?" Luka added. I glared at her, and she was still smirking, writing, having the upper hand. She accepted this part of me, but I guess it didn't stop her from poking fun at it either. I sat up, glaring at her, and still she acted coolly.
"Oh, but I hate pink hair. Especially if it's long." I told her. She glanced at me then, realizing my challenge, and tilted her head to the side.
"Well, I hate blond hair. Especially if it's put in a dinky, little ponytail."
"I-It's not-!" I began, but she put a finger to my lips, stopping me mid-sentence. I stopped in shock, and she shook her head.
"No, loud noises in the library." She told me, and took her finger away, going back to her work. I watched her for a moment, and realized I liked the feeling of her against my lips. So I leaned in, lips on her ear and whispered.
She didn't budge, but did glance to me. "About what?"
"I actually really like long hair."
She paused for awhile, and I could feel the tension between us, the warmth. I liked talking to her like this, no underhanded tricks, no hidden agendas. Just teasing, just hinting, just pushing the limits. She turned her head, and our lips were inches apart, and I really liked that too.
"It's okay. I actually like glasses too."
And I smiled, and her breathe was against my lips. She turned away though, and the moment passed, and that was fine. I didn't want any more anyway, that very intimate behavior enough for me. I teased her anyway, just because I liked to.
"Perhaps you're falling in love with me?" I asked her, grinning. I was used to asking girls this, especially when they played hard to get. No matter what, the reaction would always be cute, so very, very cute. This time, however, that wasn't my aim at all. Rather, I asked it because I had no reason to, because I didn't put a lot of thought in it, and just wanted to keep talking to her. I knew she'd say she wasn't anyway. She smiled that gorgeous smile.
"I like you," she explained, "and I'm in love with your voice."
"Just my voice?" I asked voice low and sensual. She seemed unfazed though, and nodded.
"Yup. Just your voice."
I smiled and decided I liked this answer. I let it go, and leaned against her; she stopped working. "I can't write if you're on my arm like that."
"Then stop writing."
She kissed the top of my head, putting the pen down, and wrapped an arm around my shoulders.
"You're so spoiled. Like a kid." She chided softly.
We didn't talk after that one phrase, and it was fine. The ticking of the clock in the library was the only sound around us. And it was comforting. She was too. I could feel my phone vibrate in my pocket then. A text from Lily, asking when I was free. I texted back, and I could feel Luka's eyes on me. I wondered if this counted as 'somewhere she could see it'. I got another message from Miki and answered that too. When I was done, I closed the phone, slipping it back into my pocket. Luka was quiet for a moment, but then spoke.
"Hey, are you hungry?" She asked all of a sudden, her voice still quiet. I nodded though, just going with the flow. She reached into her skirt pocket then, taking out some packets of bread, laying them on her paper and written words. I remembered her holding them just moments before.
"I bought them just for us." She explained, as I got up, looking through the pile. "So we wouldn't have to leave again."
"What the…?" I asked, picking up one pack, "…tuna flavor? Gross."
She glared at me, frowning. "I like tuna."
"You didn't get banana-cream filled." I pointed out, sulking. She grabbed it back from my hand then, gathering it all into one pile, away from me.
"Banana flavor is gross too." She answered.
"No it's not, it's delicious."
"If you don't like any of it, then you won't get any. And if you want to make requests, then come with me next time." She huffed. She seemed offended, her anger still beautiful, her pink hair shining in the light. I was mesmerized by her, and talked without thinking.
"Maybe I will."
She looked at me, holding my gaze for a while, then blinked. "Promise? That won't cut into 'girlfriend' time?"
"Is that what we're calling it?"
"We can call it something else if you want. Like, I don't know, 'promiscuous, questionable morals' time."
"Hey, don't be mad."
I blinked, then grabbed one of the packs from her pile, opening it. I could feel my phone vibrate again, probably their answers, but thought better to ignore it for now. I'd answer it later, maybe.
"…That name's too long. Call it 'girlfriend' time." I took a bite of the bread, settling for melon flavor, and spoke again. "…And yeah. I promise I will."
She sighed, and smiled, a sort of bitter smile. "No, you won't."
"I swear I will."
"You lie to women a lot. How can I take you seriously?"
"Because you're not a woman."
She looked at me, confused. I began chewing as she asked, "Then what am I?"
It was as simple as that. She was Luka. She was different. And she realized this, and smiled that smile. I've gotten so used to its beauty, its simplicity. That didn't mean I didn't like seeing it though, every single time. She looked away, cheeks red and picked out the tuna flavor bread, opening it. It was then I decided to go an extra mile, to make her even happier.
"Actually, I won't. Go with you, I mean."
"Because I've decided I'm going to make lunch for us."
I said this without thinking, without even seriously considering the idea. But I wasn't angry at myself for doing that, and decided fine. I'll do it anyway. Luka considered this for a moment, and I waited for her to smile, and give me a small thank you. I got the opposite instead.
"You can't cook."
"I can tell. I bet you've never cooked in your whole life. You've never even made a bento, much less rice balls."
"I-I can cook!"
"Quiet over there!" I could hear someone yell, probably from the front desk. I frowned, suddenly annoyed, and turned back to Luka, who was quietly chewing and looking at me with bored eyes.
"Can you?" She asked. I gulped and looked to the side, trying to remember when I have. I mean, I knew the basics, of course. But in our house it was mostly Rin who did the cooking. She gave up making my own lunch long ago, when I began skipping. Before I met Luka, girls usually offered me some of theirs, feeding it to me, and giggling when I approved. But to do my own cooking…It was now I began to dread the promise I made. But I also had too much pride than to back out now. So I defended myself, firm in my resolve.
"I can. You can even make requests. Go on; ask." I dared her. She looked to the side.
"Fatty tuna. Sushi. Lobster."
"Hey, that's all too expensive!"
"Quiet!" The person yelled again. Luka ignored them, grinning once again.
"I was joking anyway. How about the basics? You know; rice balls, rolled egg, pickles…Like the ones at the convenience store."
"That's a little boring isn't it?"
"It's a classic. I miss traditional Japanese food."
"…Alright. I'll bring it then. Enough for both of us." I promised her. "To make it up to you." I quickly added. A thought came to me then, and I decided to go through with it. She looked at me confused.
"For what you saw today."
She stayed quiet for awhile, and I wonder if it had been too soon to bring it up. She went on though, and all my worries were put to rest.
And she held my hand then, her fingers and skin warm, and I held her hand back. These small, tender touches we gave each other, I liked this too. It was vastly different then what I was used to. Passion was forever. I believe that. Passion lasts as long as you can be attractive and cunning. Sex and hooking up, and dim bedrooms smelling of sweat. I was used to this, I preferred this. Making a woman moan, and wanting to taste every bit of her.
However, this was making Luka smile, and wanting every bit of her time. I wonder why I was so attached to such an innocent thing. Who knows? Maybe it was because we were kindred spirits. Maybe it was because I liked long hair. I've given up analyzing it. I still love women, and stick to making love, not relationships with them. But Luka, I've decided, is a friend. No, maybe even deeper than that. We've got no boundaries, no set rules. We've got each other, and we're going to do whatever the hell we want.
"Luka?" I whispered then. She rubbed her thumb on the back of my hand, the motion comforting and warm.
"I'm in love with your smile."
She looked at me, and tilted her head to the side. "But you only like me?"
"Then kiss me, because you love my smile, and I love your voice."
So I did. Because it made all the sense in the world, for some reason. The kiss, it didn't change anything, wasn't this whole sudden change between us. It wasn't loaded with sexual tension, and it wasn't romantic either. It was a kiss. Warm and simple, a kiss. When we parted, I could feel my knees go weak, my heart fluttering, and this was completely new. She pressed her forehead against mine, and smiled. Her cheeks were flushed, and I smiled at her too.
"You want to keep kissing?" I asked. She grinned and nodded and we did. In our minds, I kissed her smile, and she kissed my voice and we kissed the one thing we loved about each other. The only thing we loved. And when we parted, I could see someone at the corner of my eye watching us. My heart missed a beat, a chill going up my spine when I noticed who it was.
Rin. Holding a book in her hands, and giving me one of the scariest and angriest looks I've ever seen.
She caught my gaze, knew I saw her. She glanced to Luka, then back to me. She mouthed something, then smiled a malicious smile, and left. Walking to one of the aisles of shelves, and was gone from my sight. I tried to think of what she had said, analyzing the movement of her lips.
I felt another chill go up my spine.
I looked back to Luka, and her face was considerate. "Your sister." She said, and I realized she saw her too. I nodded, at a loss for words. It hurt for some reason, for Rin to see me with Luka. I had wanted to keep it a secret, and it looked like I lied that I didn't want to chase her. But why did I care? Rin knows my secret, knows how I am. Maybe it wasn't that I was hurt that she saw it.
Maybe it was that I felt afraid, all of a sudden, for no reason. It felt like intuition warning me, but I ignored it. Because it was Rin, the person I grew up, my only sister. There was no way she could wish me harm. Maybe she was being petty, maybe that's why she glared at me. Angry and spiteful that I had lied to her. But in truth, I didn't because I'm not trying to get with Luka or anything, but-
I stopped thinking about it. Bad situations like this, I'd just deal with it like I always did. Just deal with it when the problem arose, and take it easy. A care-free and calculating nature, that's what worked for me.
Luka was still looking at me. I wondered if she was scared too. I smiled at her, offering some support.
"Don't worry about her." I told her, and kissed her cheek, "She's harmless."
"She was glaring at us."
"That's just how she's like. She'll be fine." I whispered, looking at her lips. I wanted to kiss them again, wanted to keep kissing them until I ran out of breath. Luka let go of my hand, though, and looked away from me. Suddenly, I was worried for her. Maybe she was scared?
"…I want to go back to class."
I looked at her confused, puzzled about this change in subject. "I thought you hated it there."
"I'm going to give it a second chance." She told me, and then looked back to me. "I want you to do the same."
I laughed, a little hurt by this actually. Rin hadn't spooked her that much, did she? "What's this all of a sudden? Now you're not afraid?"
Then she smiled and it just drained all my worries away. She put a hand on my cheek, and whispered softly. "I think I got some of your courage. Thanks."
This girl, she kept doing these things to make my heart jump, I swear. She stood up, taking her hand away, putting all her stuff back into her bag. I watched her, then hugged her hip, snuggling my face into her side.
"You'll be here tomorrow, right?" I asked, my voice small. Was I begging? How weird. How pathetic. She placed a hand on my head though, a small warm comfort.
"I'll be on the roof. I'm looking forward to what you make." She told me. "C'mon. We'll walk each other back."
I frowned. I wasn't really in the mood for class, but then, where else would I go? I got up, deciding to go along with it, pocketing some of the left over bread. She smiled as she saw me do this. And when she turned to leave, I put a hand on her shoulder, and she looked at me.
"Is it alright if I can kiss your smile again?"
She paused for awhile, then smiled. God, did I ever love that smile. "You're so spoiled." She told me softly, "Can't even be left on your own."
I ignored this and pulled her to me. We kissed again, and I wondered if she'd keep letting me do this. Cause I wanted to do this again and again. I wondered if she felt the same.
She pulled away quickly. It was then, I realized, it was only me who felt this way.
When I was five, Rin followed me everywhere. She was a 'fraidy cat, who was scared of her own shadow, even. Wherever I went, she followed, holding onto my hand limply. It always annoyed me, and I always told her to grow up. Mom would scold me though, and make me cart her around. So, I did. Mom also had a tendency to dress us in identical outfits, like most mothers do when they have twins. The only way to tell us apart was the white ribbon Rin wore. She still wears it to this day; says it makes her cuter. And it does, it really does.
In any case.
One day, when we were playing at the park, our mother talking with the other housewives at a bench nearby, I found a black cat in the bushes. It was relatively young, if I can remember correctly, and it didn't hiss at me when I kneeled down, and reached out to pet it. Its fur was soft, and it rubbed against my legs. I instantly loved it. Rin ran up to me then. Today was one of those rare times that we weren't dressed alike. Her white dress flowed around her legs, and she still wore that hair ribbon.
"Len, you're not supposed to run off like that." She told me, catching her breathe. I smiled, and picked up the cat. It only let out a small mew as I did. It was warm in my hands too.
"Look, Rin, look! A kitty!"
She gasped and smiled, petting it. It looked at her dumbly, and began to struggle in my hold, kicking at my hands. I let it down, but it stayed there, and rubbed against her legs. Rin's smile got wider.
"It's cute!" She clapped, "Let's keep it!"
"Let's name it."
"Len." I stated. I was a kid, so I wasn't too creative, and it was the first name that popped into my mind. Rin frowned though and shook her head, crossing her arms.
"Something else." She demanded, pouting. I thought for awhile, bending down to pet it.
"Rin, then! It'll be just like you." I decided, nodding. Rin didn't say anything though, and I looked up at her to see why. She was glaring at me, frowning. She began to tear up and shook her head, crying. I stood back up, bewildered by her sudden breakdown. I asked her what was wrong, and she pointed to the cat.
"You want to replace me!" She cried, as the cat cleaned itself, unaware of our drama, "You want to replace me with the cat!"
At loss for words, I shook my head, my little hands on her shoulders. "No, I don't!"
"I don't want to be replaced! Len's supposed to love only me! Only me!" She went on, screaming. She shook off my hold, then and picked up the cat. It struggled in her hands, but she ignored this, and ran away. I chased after her, her sobs and hiccups still loud, as she reached a trash can, ready to put the cat in it.
"I won't be replaced! I won't!" She cried. The cat hissed loudly, and scratched at her.
My mother rushed to us then, but it was too late. The cat was safe, but Rin had gotten scratched. She still has the scars, on her left forearm, to this day.
At the hospital, when I went to visit her with my dad, she had glared at me, her arm bandaged up already. She had to get stitches, I remember that. I also remember her refusing to speak to me for weeks, save for a few sentences she gave me.
"You're not supposed to replace me. Ever." She told me sternly, "This is your fault, Len. All your fault."
I've tried my best never to leave her side since.
"What are you; training to be a housewife?"
She caught me off guard, and I nearly dropped the rice ball I was shaping in my hands. She was leaning against the kitchen entrance way, arms crossed, like she caught me red-handed or something. I had a flash of her angry face, the one I had seen yesterday, the fear it struck in me, but ignored it, and went back to shaping the sticky rice.
"No." I answered her, "I'm making lunch."
She walked next to me, leaning against the countertop, arms still crossed. "It's weird enough to see you up this early, but making lunch makes this bizarre. Are you really Len?" She asked. Her tone wasn't an easygoing one though, instead stern and accusing. I frowned, and glanced to her. The swell of her breasts rested on her arms, and it caught my eye. I looked away though, doing my best to ignore the thumping of my heart. Instead, I focused on wrapping some seaweed on the riceball, putting it neatly in the bento beside me. One was already full, another to go. Who knew this would be so time-consuming.
Rin noticed this though, and looked back up to me, her gaze unwavering.
"Making lunch for yourself?" She asked, her tone even and clear. She was daring me to lie, I could tell. She already noticed both lunchboxes. I found no reason to lie to her anyway, though, and shrugged.
"For me and a friend."
She was silent, as I began forming another rice ball, putting some tuna in the middle. My hands felt wet and would stink of vinegar after this, I could tell.
"Anyone I know?" She asked, and stretched her arms above her head, yawning. I tried my best not to look at her, and her developed body. I'm not sure why, but it was a hard urge to suppress. I focused on answering her, in the mean time.
"Miku?" She asked. I shook my head, keeping my gaze from her. "Neru?"
I shook my head again, beginning to second guess myself. Would it be wise to tell her…? She went on though, throwing other names out there.
"Miki? Teto? Lily? Haku?"
"No, none of them." It felt weird, to hear her list every girl I've been with. I don't brag about it at home, so how would she know all of them…? Oh, well, maybe they talked to her. It was then I worried if my lifestyle had any effect on Rin at school.
"…Then who?" She whispered, and this seemed weird and out of place. I placed the last rice ball in the bento, and put the lid on it. Done. Rin was still standing next to me, waiting for her answer. So I told her, just so I could make her go away. She was beginning to scare me.
"It's for Luka."
At first, she didn't do anything. At first, she just stood there, eyes wide, as I began to walk past her, grabbing my bag on the way, headed out the door. At first, she seemed fine. It was when I was putting my shoes on, that she finally struck me with her bag, and hit me over and over again.
"Ah! Hey, what're you-! Ow!" I tried to grab her wrists, but she was too fierce. This wasn't the kind of hitting that was light and playful. It was the kind of beating out to hurt someone, something savage and cruel.
"You lied!" She yelled, "You said you weren't going after her!"
"I'm not, I'm not! Ah!" I screamed, the buckle on her bag cutting my cheek. She stopped then, and gasped loudly. I put a hand to my throbbing cheek, and pulled it back. I was bleeding. Not profusely, but I was still bleeding. I looked up to her, and she began tearing up, shocked. She frowned though, and shook her head.
"I saw you kissing her! And now this! You're in love with her, Len!"
I tried to say something, my mouth opening and closing, but I just didn't know what to say. She spoke anyway, screamed more so.
"You lied! You lied to me! You're in love with her! You're not allowed to, you're not!" She sobbed. She kicked me then, catching me off guard, and grabbed her shoes. Then she ran out of the door, and it slammed shut.
Silence, heavy, heavy silence set in.
I didn't move if only because I couldn't believe what just happened. I didn't think of anything as I set to cleaning my wound, putting a bandage on the cut. Her words rung loud in my head though, no matter how hard I tried to ignore it. Rin had attacked me. She had honestly just attacked me. And she called me a liar, and she had cried. I had made her cry. I looked in the mirror by our door, staring at my reflection before I left. I saw Rin's same face in mine.
You're in love with her, Len!
I'm not, I wanted to tell her. I'm not. I don't love Luka, I just love her smile and her company. The one I love, the one who matters most to me, the one I want to make the happiest girl in the world is really…is really…
…Is really you, Rin. I love you. I-
Slam! My fist met the wall, and I closed my eyes, grimacing. It began to throb, and I tried my best to focus on this pain, this aching in my hand and not my heart. I was going too far. Thinking too much about it. She's just my sister, my twin sister, and nothing more. Rin was nothing more. I couldn't think on these desires. I'm afraid if I do, then I'll unlock something dangerous, something I won't be able to ignore.
So, instead, I focused to getting to school on time. Maybe I should call Miku and ask if she'd like to skip first period with me, so we could kiss and make out and do whatever. I needed to have some contact, some passion. I needed some other woman on my mind. I needed to think of her as Rin. That I was kissing Rin, and making love to her. And use it as an excuse that the actual person was less satisfying.
If I did that, the urges died down. So I needed to, most of all, right now.
Miku picked up on the first ring. She agreed whole-heartedly. And in the tool shed outside, she gripped my back and moaned my name. Just as I thought Rin would, if I ever had sex with her.
Just like how I wanted. Right in the palm of my hand, and right under me.
"You seem troubled."
Luka blinked for awhile, chopsticks right above her food, her face solemn. "I said," she repeated, "you seem troubled."
"D-Do I?" I laughed nervously, not sure what to say. She frowned.
"If you didn't, I wouldn't have pointed it out." She said flatly. I looked back to my food, the lunch I made so painstakingly, tasting dull in my mouth. My cheek was throbbing, but I tried to ignore, tried to ignore everything that happened this morning. The sky was cloudy this afternoon, and the air felt heavy and humid. Was it going to rain soon? That'd be bad if we stayed on the roof like this…
"Yeah?" I answered, trying to act like nothing was wrong. I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to think about how I broke Rin's heart, how I realized why I act the way I do. I just wanted to forget it all, and just go back to how it was. When I didn't know, when Rin didn't know. Right now, Luka was looking at me, putting another pickle into her mouth.
"It tastes good. You proved me wrong."
"Oh, yeah? Thanks."
I realized this was a weird answer, and she was looking at me again. It was obvious, I guess. Damn. Just damn. Luka put her chopsticks back into her bento, slipping the lid back on. I noticed this.
"We need to talk."
I frowned, and sighed. I guess it was too easy for her to notice there was something wrong with me. So I gave up, and let it happen. My mind was too muddled now. I'm so used to being in control, nothing going wrong for me. Ever. Yet now, here I…I'm…
"Len. I finished the lyrics."
I looked at her, surprised. She…didn't want to ask what was wrong? "R-Really?"
Luka was smiling then, and nodded, pulling the paper from her skirt pocket. She held it out to me, and I took it, unfolding the edges. There was lots of scratch outs, and smudges here and there. There were notes in the side, in Japanese, and a tiny score music above each words. But, as imperfect the paper and image, here they were. Luka's hard worked lyrics. I looked up to her, and she was beaming in pride. I felt happy for her then, because when she looked like that, who couldn't be?
"I-I know you can't read them." She began, "And it's not very good. But I wanted to show you first."
"Can you read them to me?" I asked. She nodded, scooting next to me, pointing at the words once more. She got through the first set of lyrics I already knew, and read out the rest.
"All freedoms exists in who I am. The person who is restrained and hates cannot exceed the limit of who they are. A person hating a rule is a resident of "the unworthy". However, it is not so! My idea changes greatly by accepting the hated person. Let's value opposite of my idea! If it is such a good idea a lot of people can immediately become Freedom."
She stopped then, a line under her words, and under this line was romaji. It was then I saw the characters written for 'mirror' and 'sound' next to the section. My last name. I looked to her, surprised. Her cheeks were red, but she was smiling.
"I'd like to sing this song." She explained, "In English. However, I thought it could be great if I could have both languages. English and Japanese. And so I wrote some lyrics in Japanese, see? But, I also wanted a different section entirely in English too. So both would be sung at the same time."
"But?" I asked, urging her on. She looked at me, her eyes so blue.
"I'd like if you could sing the Japanese. It seemed to fit you, and…and I love your voice."
My heart skipped a beat, and I could feel the blood rushing to my face. It was weird to be embarrassed about such a thing, such a simple request. No, I think, instead, I was so happy. Because Luka picked me. Because she loved my voice. I nodded and gulped.
"Read it out to me."
She did. Her voice even matching the rhythm I would sing it in.
"I want a "freedom" with no answers. I don't need a freedom with answers. But with knowing that "answer" my freedom expands. Even if we've passed a time of no freedom it's good that you want to change it into a time with freedom."
I mouthed the words, and requested she write in in kanji. She did, on the back of that paper, and I tried my best to memorize the lines, and the beat. She sang the rest of it to me, and we practiced, and I forgot all about this morning, and about Rin. All that mattered, now, was singing. With Luka, the very song she created, all by herself.
"You like it?" She asked, as I drank some water, my throat having become dry. I swallowed it quick and nodded, grinning at her.
"I love it."
She smiled and you could tell she was relieved. Or happy. Either way, it made me lean closer to her, my forehead against hers. She raised an eyebrow.
"What are you doing?" She asked, voice light. I smiled.
"I want to kiss you."
"You've got hickies on your neck," She pointed out. I immediately placed a hand on my neck, covering them. I should've expected it seeing what I did this morning. Luka was raising an eyebrow, and smirking though. "I'd rather not be kissed by you right now."
I frowned. "Not even a little?"
"You reek of perfume too. It smells like roses." She told me, scooting away. I lifted my shirt to my nose, and she was right. I sighed loudly. Miku, she was probably promoting some new scent, wearing it when required. The problems that came when dating an idol…
Luka ignored me though, placing her lyrics back in her pocket, the finished bento into her bag. We had eaten while singing, and she liked my cooking, making request for me to do it everyday. I frowned and told her she'd have to pay me for that kind of service. She smiled, but didn't laugh. It was then, I noticed, Luka's never laughed. I mean, yeah, she giggles sometimes, but never laughs. Like full blown laughs, the kind that made you tear up, and feel good afterwards. I could hear some thunder rumbling in the distance, but didn't pay attention to it.
"Have you ever laughed?"
She looked at me strangely, confused. "Of course I have."
"I'm not sure; I guess when I was a kid…"
"Not recently though?"
She paused, thinking over this, and shook her head. "Not really."
"I guess I've just never found a reason to laugh." She shrugged. She stood up then, and looked at me. "Lunch is going to end soon. Come on."
"…So I guess we're done skipping for good?"
She smirked, and held her hand out to me. "For now, at least."
I took it, and she helped me up. That's when I took the opportunity to kiss her, leaning down, catching her lips in my own. I remembered why I wanted it so bad, and why I missed it already. When we parted, she was scowling at me.
"…I told you I didn't want to kiss you."
"I know." I whispered, smiling. She still frowned at me though, and I could see a crack of lightning and thunder from the corner of my eye. She looked to it, then back to me.
"I think it's going to rain soon." She whispered back. I was still smiling then, and shrugged.
"Then, let it rain. Let's stay up here a little longer."
It began to sprinkle then, and Luka shook her head. "Don't be crazy, Len."
She tried to walk away, my hand still in hers, but I pulled her back. She looked at me real angry then. The rain fell faster, still staying at a mild pace.
"Luka, have you ever danced?" I asked her, the rain hitting us, the rain cold. She looked at me confused.
"Then let's dance."
And I pulled her back, forcing her into a one-sided waltz with me. She tripped and looked at me bewildered. The rain began to pelt us then, the thunder rumbling all around us.
"Len, you're being crazy!"
"Crazy for you, babe."
"This is insane!"
"Isn't it?" I grinned at her. We were getting soaked, the rain hitting us, and I twirled her and she nearly tripped.
It was then my Luka began to laugh.
She laughed in embarrassment, maybe from the absurdity of the moment. Maybe cause she was having fun. Either way I began to dance on my own, shaking my hips, fingers running through hair, and I winked at her. She laughed at this, she shook her head, and I grinned at her. She grabbed my hands and danced with me, as we rocked to whatever music we were thinking off, as we twirled and laughed and jumped just because we could.
And my Luka, she laughed and laughed, and it was the prettiest sound I've ever heard. I decided then, I no longer loved her smile. I was now madly in love with her laugh.
The bell rang, and the thunder rumbled, and the sky lit up with lightning. The raindrops fell and fell on us, and we danced. Boy, did we dance. And she laughed, and I laughed, and it was only us. The roof was our dance floor, and the raindrops were our music, and it was just us two dancers. Dancing, and boy, did we dance.
Then, she jumped on me, arms wrapping around my neck. I stumbled a bit from her weight, and she kissed me.
Boy, did she kiss me.
So I closed my eyes, holding her close, and we stayed like that. And when she drew back, she was smiling, her cheeks flushed. I think we both realized something then. Something happened between us, this quick connection, and a realization. We didn't say it, though, because it was pretty obvious. It was just as Rin said. Exactly, the very words she said.
"Len?" Luka breathed, trying to catch her breath, from all the dancing, the laughing.
"You're crazy. You're crazy, and I love it."
I smiled so much, the wound on my cheek hurt.
"Crazy for you, Luka. Crazy for you." I told her. And she grinned, grabbing my face, pulling it down for another kiss. So we kissed in the rain, without a care in the world.
My cell phone rang then. I ignored it, thinking it was Meiko or Miku, or someone else. They didn't matter then, not compared to Luka, so I didn't answer it. It wasn't until later though, when I checked my phone, that I saw I had a missed call from Rin.
And a message.
I'll never forgive you.
A few weeks passed. I barely saw Rin; I think she went out of her way to avoid me. Which was fine, because I didn't even know how to confront her. She had left earlier than me in the mornings, and I never saw her during the evenings. I did continue going back to school though. And I went to class, to the relief of Meiko. I still saw my girlfriends, but the meetings lessened more and more. I've always told myself that love was a temporary happiness, which soon reduced to nothing more than settling with what you have. That passion was eternal, and it never ended, and it felt good. I knew how to work a girl to my favor. I had a certain 'spice' they couldn't resist.
But then the sex got boring. The flirting was the same thing I've been doing for years. The women were the same in their reactions and moods. The passion paled in comparison to her light.
What a clichéd story, right? The lady killer falls in love, and reforms himself. He finds out what was so great about this 'love' thing, and they both live happily ever after. What a forced Aesop. What a stupid, boring story. But it looks like I've fallen into that plot, no way out. Oh, well. Reality is unimaginative anyway.
It's strange though. Luka never said we were 'dating'. Or that we were even in 'love'. In fact, she still encouraged me to go have, what she called it, 'girlfriend time'.
"If it makes you happy, then do it. I don't care." She shrugged, taking a bite into her sandwich. We had decided, for lunch, to pick things up at the convenience store, and see what we liked best. Today we were testing tuna sandwiches. Hers was too salty, just not how tuna should be, and mine was subpar. What were we expecting, really?
"You sure?" I asked, looking at her. "You're not jealous?"
She shrugged. "Why would I be?"
Maybe it was only me who felt like we had 'fallen' for each other. I didn't bring it up, because of this suspicion. Love really was a complicated manner. I'd have to adapt. Luka looked at her watch then, and got up, crumpling up the wrapper.
"Come on. We don't want to be late." She told me, helping me up. She was our time-keeper too, and she walked me to my class. Making sure I would attend. What was it with women and my education anyway? I followed after her though, and we threw our trash away, holding hands on the way there. I'm pretty sure there were rumors about us now. But neither of us cared, not at all. I was used to rumors anyway, and Luka already stated she didn't like the people here. So we were unfazed when other's stared, or whispered amongst themselves.
Yeah, Len Kagamine has a new woman. Or he's settled down. The transfer student is a lost cause now. Or she's always been a bit loose. Say what you will. I'm still going to kiss her in front of my class when we parted ways. What I was really worried about was when I let her go, back to her class.
The same one Rin was in.
She wasn't being bullied, was she? No, Rin couldn't be that cruel. I just hoped she wouldn't take out her anger on Luka. If she should be angry at anyone, it should be me.
But she wouldn't confront me, so I was stuck with worrying.
I asked her about it the next day.
"Yeah. She's not…she hasn't done anything to you, has she?"
I felt bad going behind Rin's back like this. But I still couldn't work up the courage to meet her myself. Luka shook her head though, no hidden emotions.
"No. She hasn't been in class a lot, actually." I looked at her surprised, and she explained. "She's been going to the infirmary a lot these days."
It was then I panicked. The infirmary? Was she sick? Something wrong? Why was she going everyday? Was she not telling me something? If there was something bad going on, I'd want to know, regardless of her past actions. I was worried for Rin, and suddenly felt guilty for what I've made her go through, like it really was my fault. I got up then, Luka watching me.
"Going there?" She asked, already reading my mind. I nodded, and frowned.
"It's probably best you don't come."
"I understand." She nodded, then got up, smiling, standing right next to me. She patted my back. "Good luck."
I didn't think of why Luka hadn't told me earlier. I just thought of how I would face Rin, and whatever she was in the infirmary for.
Rin was laughing when I stood outside the door. An honest laugh, a laugh that meant she was happy. This was strange, not what I was expecting at all. I had expected something more tragic, or sad, but this was the exact opposite. I stayed where I was, eavesdropping on the conversation that occurred in the room.
"And so I said, 'I was too busy eating ice cream, don't worry! I'm still here!' She nearly slapped me then, but can you believe it? She took it instead. The limited edition flavor that only came out that day, too."
Rin giggled again, raising my interests. That voice, the one that wasn't Rin's…where have I heard it before? Somewhere, but where…?
"You're like a kid, sensei. It's just ice cream. Are you really a doctor?"
"D-Don't tease me! It's true, I am!"
She laughed again. When has Rin ever laughed this much? I felt my stomach turn into knots. She's never laughed that much around me. Who was this guy? I dared a peek through the window, and instantly recognized them. The blue-haired nurse. Or doctor, I guess. He was sitting at his desk, flustered, as Rin sat on the patients' bed nearby. Her cheeks were red, and she wiped a tear from her eye. She was happy. Smiling, giddy. It pained me to see her like this, if only because I haven't seen her so happy in a long time.
"Oh, oh, then what happened?" She asked, excited, hands clasped before her. He frowned and looked away.
"If I tell you, you'll laugh. I just know it." He mumbled, his tone gloomy. Rin pouted and grabbed his hand then. I felt this sudden burst of hate go through me. She was holding onto it though, pleading with him, promising she wouldn't laugh. Finally he caved, looking away as he ended his story.
"…She dropped it, right there. Right in front of me. And then she told me to clean it up. Can you believe how cruel that is? Too cruel, really." He sighed. He looked at Rin, but she wasn't laughing. Instead, she smiled.
"Actually, can I tell you a secret?"
"My brother did the same thing to me." She told him, her voice silent. His eyes widened.
Rin nodded, her face serious, and she continued, "See, it was during winter. And I was under the kotatsu, minding my own business, eating oranges. See, oranges are best when eaten during winter. Then my brother enters the room, and takes some for himself!"
I frowned. I knew what she was talking about. I had been hungry, what can I say? And I had been eight, so I was a little selfish, so what? She went on though, painting me as the villain.
"And I yelled at him, for taking it without my permission. And you know what he does? He just grabbed all the slices, and put them down the garbage disposal!"
Like I said, I was a little selfish, okay? All kids were. Get off my back. The doctor laughed though, and Rin blushed.
"Ah, it's not that funny is it?"
He smiles at her, and I can see he's still holding her hand. What was up with that? That was way too long to hold hands, between a teacher and student. Something was going on here, but I couldn't figure it out at all.
"No, no, it's rather cute, is all." He told her, his voice calm and deep. I could see her blush more, and it felt like my whole heart was being clenched. What was going on here? What was I missing?
"Kaito-sensei, you say such nice things without thinking…" She mumbled. Kaito. So Kaito was his name. I haven't heard of him, so I guess he was new. They looked at each other for a long while then. Something was happening between them. It was obvious. But just what was it…?
"What do you mean?" He asked. Rin blushed and looked away. The perfect image of a bashful schoolgirl; even her ribbon was a little drooped, for that extra cute effect. She glanced back to him, then away.
"I mean, you're kind. It's in your nature." She explained. I could see Kaito blushing then. I felt my throat constrict then, like I was on the verge of tears. There was something between them, and it was affecting me like this. Why can't I name it? Why? Am I just stupid? Or is it that I don't want to admit it?
"Thank you." He spoke quietly. Rin looked back to him, and he smiled at her. "Rin," he spoke her name softly, like it was sacred, "you're the same."
She shook her head. "I'm not nice at all. Don't lie. If you knew me, you'd know I'm actually sort of mean…"
"That's fine. Everyone has their flaws." He reassured her. "I actually sort of like you."
I felt a pang go through my heart at this. And surely, Rin felt the same thing, looking at him surprised. But I think we felt it for two different reasons. I knew what is was, what was happening between them. I'm not blind. But I don't want to admit it either. I don't want it to happen. Rin's not supposed to. She's not. That's impossible. That's too cruel. She can't do this to me. She can't.
"Sensei…" she whispered, and looked down, cheeks red. No. Stop. Stop it, Rin, stop. Don't look so happy. Don't look so overjoyed. Get out of there. Get away from him. Come back to me.
Stay by my side, and my side alone.
I beg for this, but still she is returning his smile, and there is something in their gaze, their hand-holding that has gone on for too long. He speaks to her, with his deep voice, and I suddenly hate this man.
"Kaito is fine enough." He tells her, "Just call me Kaito."
"Kaito." She tries out the word. She likes it, I can tell. The word, on her tongue, and the permission granted. She likes it. He continues speaking, and I have a vision of myself putting hands around his neck, his very life in my hands.
"I actually like these talks, you know."
I imagine myself squeezing until there is nothing left, no breathing or light. I can see myself doing it, no hesitation. I feel a faint wish in my heart to do this. It scares me.
Rin, I'm scared. Don't you understand? I'm scared. I need you.
"It's relaxing. You're so…ah, this is a bit embarrassing…free-spirited. Cheerful. I enjoy your company." He says, and I think of hurting him again, and I'm more frightened of myself. How dare he talk to her like that? Who does he think he is? And, Rin, why are you blushing even more? It hurts me, when you do that, it really does.
"I thought you saw me as a burden. Coming here with no excuse but to skip class…"
"You're not a burden at all, but I would like it if you'd go back." He told her, voice firm. But his face softened once more, "…You're still more than welcome to stay here though."
"As a student?"
She looks back at him, looks at him straight in the eye. She's not blushing, her face is serious, but it seems uncertain too. I know that look, and I know where this conversation of theirs is going to go. And I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. The one thing I know, I don't want to hear it. I don't want to acknowledge it. Not by me, or Rin.
But she's uncaring of my feelings now, and goes on.
"Just as a student, do you let me stay? Or is it more?"
Unsurprised, he looks down, and it's then I notice his face is flushed too. He's quiet, and it reminds me of Luka when she too is considerate. He looks at her, eyes soft, and I'm suddenly envious of how handsome he looks.
"It's unprofessional to say otherwise." He tells her softly.
"…That's not what I asked."
"What I'm saying…what I'm saying is, is that I'd like to say otherwise, but I can't."
It's then that I feel the tears. Already, it's happening. What I feared the most was real. I was powerless to stop it. No matter how much I wanted it to stop, no matter how much I wanted Rin to leave there it wasn't going to happen. Which was unfair. Rin said to me that she was to never be replaced in my life.
So why couldn't I have the same in hers?
I look away, but I bet she's shocked, or elated or something I don't want to think about.
"…But it's alright if I say it, right?"
Don't. Please don't. Have mercy.
"A doctor and a student, it's against the rules. And our age difference…if we were to be found out, surely-!"
Rin, stop. Please, stop.
"I don't care! I…I think I…!"
Rin, I…I'm sorry I didn't say it before. Maybe if I did, this wouldn't be happening. Look, here's the thing. I know we're brother and sister. I know it's wrong. But I can't help it. I really can't. I can have any woman I want. I already do, even. But that doesn't matter. Because…
"Kaito, I think I'm…"
Because, none of them compare to you. Because I…
"I think I'm in love with you!"
…I'm in love with you, Rin. I love you. I say I hate passion, and I say I love Luka, but in reality, it was you all along. It was you I loved, and no one else.
But it's too late.
There is silence between them. I can't handle it, and begin to walk away, yet I can still hear his answer, no matter how much I don't want to.
"…I love you, too, Rin."
"Children shouldn't drink."
I take another swig, the alcohol going down hot. I feel a buzz starting, my mind feeling a little clouded. She watches me, as she fixes her clothes, looking at her watch. I hand the bottle back to her, and she snatches it away. Geez, I only took a sip. No need to be angry.
"Len, you're going back to class soon, right?" Meiko asks, taking a swig herself. We were under her desk, the lights dim. Our clothes were disheveled, already done having a quick sex session. I was lucky to find her here, to find her willing at this time. It was almost time for school to be over, but I didn't want to go back home. I didn't ever want to go back home. I definitely didn't ever want to see Rin again.
"It's too late to go back." I told her. She frowned and looked at me. I could still hear Rin's voice in my head, so I grabbed the alcohol from her, and drained the last of it. I wanted to drown it out, wanted the sound of her confession to go away. It never happened. Rin was still mine. Out of harm's way, close to me, as always. Meiko crossed her arms, and leaned against the edge of her desk.
"You're a mess. Something happen?"
"No. Hey, can we do it again?" I asked suddenly, needing any escape I could get right now. She crossed her legs at the ankle though, and shook her head.
"I've got to get going soon. I don't want to see him on my way out." She told me, and got up, straightening out her blouse, fixing her hair. I watched her, watching the curves of her body.
"Him?" I asked. She sighed, frustrated, melodramatic again, as she reached for her purse, pulling out lipstick and her compact. It was fascinating to see a woman apply make-up, for some reason. Like it was an art form, or something.
"I haven't told you, have I?" She asked rhetorically, as she slid the lipstick over her lips, making them red. She checked it over and talked once more. "My ex-husband got a job here. As a doctor. Can you believe it? I think he's stalking me." She added nonchalantly, and smacked her lips, smiling at herself. I caught that last bit, and felt my body freeze.
"School nurse, doctor…it's the same thing." She shrugged, like this was nothing. It was then everything began to hit me then. No matter how much I ran from it, I still remembered it all. It still came back for me.
"What's his name?"
"What's his name? Tell me." I demanded, my voice stern and scary, even to myself. She looked at me a little concerned, then, and answered.
…Too funny. No, I'm seriously laughing over here. That's just too funny. Way, way too funny. Such a coincidence. I had his ex-wife, and he took my sister. Did he plan this? Hilarious. What a funny scenario. Bastard was jealous, so he took Rin. He took my Rin.
So very funny how this all worked out.
I looked up, Meiko bending over, her eyes generally worried. She placed a hand on my forehead, and it felt cool, my skin hot and clammy.
"Are you alright? You don't look so good, love." She cooed, her voice gentle. It was rare to see her like this. For once, she wasn't demanding or sensual or shy. She was concerned. An honest, pure feeling. It was then I realized that besides the sex and the nagging, she loved me. Like all the rest of those girls I never took seriously, she loved me. I began to tear up. What was wrong with me? I must be broken. I'm in love with my own sister, and I treat everyone else like trash. How much more messed up could you get?
"Len? Oh, Len, don't cry. What's wrong?"
Her voice was kind, and I just hugged her. She smelled like sake and perfume. For once in a long while, I didn't have the upper hand. I wasn't manipulative and lying and getting my way. I was weak and vulnerable. Not a womanizer or a lady killer, just Len.
Very simply, at that moment, I was just Len.
She rubbed my back, and held me tight, and suddenly I felt terrible for everything I've done. I wanted to apologize, and make up for it to everyone. I didn't want to be this messed up. I didn't, not at all.
"…Can I stay at your place tonight?" I asked, the tears choking me up. I was afraid she'd turn me away. Just like how I was turned away my first time. If I wasn't confident and strong, women would want no part of me, right? But she held me by my shoulders, and smiled at me, as if saying 'what am I going to do with you?'
"Of course. Let's go."
I think I've been judging these girls all wrong. They're more amazing than I thought.
We didn't have sex, but we did sleep in the same bed. She cuddled me, and that felt different. Pure and loving…I can see now why girls were so in love with this 'love' idea. It had its benefits. But as much as I kissed Meiko, I still didn't feel anything. It wasn't like passion, which could be felt with everyone. But I think that was okay. To be able to love multiple people…didn't that cheapen the feeling? I was starting to appreciate 'love' too.
In the morning, she made sure I got up to go to school. I guess I still owed her in a way.
Luka was waiting at the gates for me.
She noticed me and waved me over. How long had she been waiting, I wondered? I felt a swell in my heart, and I wondered what this was too. I felt completely drained from everything that had happened, and it was like I was slowly recovering. And in this recovery, I was starting to realize different things too, like I was seeing the world in a completely different way. I think I realized something then too, as I felt myself smile when Luka smiled.
I think I loved Luka. Like, honestly did love her. I wanted to make her happy, and wanted to hear her laugh, and everything.
"Len, at lunch today, can you meet me in the music room?"
I held her hand in mine, and we walked to school together.
She wanted to borrow the piano, that's why. Why we went to the music room, I mean. I was surprised to find out she knew how to play, and she told me she learned a long time ago, when she had been a child. She looked at me then, only the two of us there, surrounded by instruments, the air silent. She sat at the old piano, the sunlight streaming through the windows. She really was beautiful.
"You've never played an instrument, Len?"
I frowned, trying to think of a time when I had. I shrugged.
"When I was fourteen, I tried the guitar. I never really applied myself though." I told her, leaning against the piano. It was true; me and my old friends were convinced we were going to start a band even, and had dreams of being famous. It was really stupid, now that I think about it. Of course, it was lost when I began to focus on girls more. Luka was taking some papers out of her bag though, and decided to focus on this.
"Sheet music?" I asked. She nodded, not embarrassed in the slightest, and put papers up on the stand.
"For the song I wrote." She told me. I could see the words 'Free' written in kanji on the top. So that's what she named it. I watched as she tried out the first few notes. She was precise and refined when she dealt with music. Careful and lovely. I really was in love with her. I closed my eyes, and listened as she played the keys. She began to sing the song then, her voice soft. Those lyrics I knew so well, they just flowed with her voice. She stopped mid-sentence, and I looked at her. Her eyes were fixed on me.
"You know why I asked you here, right?"
"Sing with me, Len. Could you?"
I did. She sang, and when my part came, I sang with her. Her steady English overlapping with my quick Japanese really was something. Luka, I could tell she had a future in music, either writing lyrics or singing songs. She had talent, and I wanted to support her in whatever she did. The song was finally complete, her melody spoken, and I felt proud of her. And when we were done, she was smiling.
"It's done." She said to herself, and giggled. "I actually finished it."
I sat next to her and she leaned against me. She was done. The song was done. It was then that it felt like the perfect time to tell her my feelings.
I could feel my face warm. I've never confessed my love, that's true. I've smooth-talked, sure, but never actually laid my feelings bare. She was waiting though, and I swallowed, my mouth feeling dry. What was I so nervous for anyway? Why would Luka say no? She felt the same way, right?
"Luka…I'm, um…I…" I found myself pausing though, unable to get the words out. She looked at me, patient. "I-!"
It was then my phone rang. I glared at it, wondering who could be calling at such a time.
"Answer it." Luka told me. I looked at her, frowning, but she motioned to it nonetheless. I sighed, and took it out of my pocket, answered whoever was daring to ruin this moment.
I froze. No. Not now. Just when I was beginning to forget you and what I saw. Rin, you really are mean, sometimes.
"Hey, can you do me a favor? Come see me by the shoe lockers. Okay?"
She asked this as if there was no problem. As if I hadn't had my heart broken just yesterday. And well, who could blame her? She couldn't have possibly known I had seen her and Kaito. She was none-the-wiser, so I had to act as if nothing had happened, too.
"Why?" I asked, acting like the skeptical brother, playing my role. She also didn't know I loved her. No, no…used to love her. Used to.
"Hurry up." She told me curtly, then hung up. I frowned, and looked to Luka. Her face was as calm as ever, with no care in the world.
"Girlfriend?" she asked. I shook my head.
"Oh." She noted, and looked back to the piano. "Did you ever find out what was wrong with her?"
"The thing about the infirmary."
I felt a pang go through my heart. She just had to remind me. "Oh, yeah, um…it's fine. Don't worry. Look, I have to go." I told her, standing up. She watched me, disinterested, and it was a little worrisome.
"I'll see you tomorrow?" She asked. I nodded, and began to walk quickly. What did Rin need anyway? We were still on the pretense of her calling me a liar and whatever, so what was with this? Maybe she was going to forgive me? As happy as that would've made me, I already know it's too late. So then, what was it?
She was there, just like she said, looking at her phone, texting. When I approached, she looked at me. There was no anger in her expression. She did look bored though, like I was a very unexciting sight. A lot had happened since the last day I had actually saw her, so I wondered how this meeting would go.
"Here." She cut me off, holding out a book. I looked at it confused, then at her. Her face was still solemn though, no emotion. "Give this to Miku. I promised I'd return it to her."
I took it gingerly, confused. "Wait," I stopped, "aren't you two in the same class? Just go give it to her now."
"I'm leaving early; I won't have time."
I frowned. "Why? Something wrong?"
She smiled, at first. It was shocking, a drastic change from the previous treatment she had given me. Then she looked away shyly, and gave me the vague reply.
"I've got somewhere to be, so I'm skipping for the rest of the day." She shrugged, crossing her arms, avoiding my gaze. I didn't like this, and I had an inkling feeling as to what it was.
"Where?" I asked, voice serious. She shrugged once more, so uncaring.
"Just a place. Don't worry. I'm seeing someone."
"Who? Someone I know?"
"Is it a date? You have a boyfriend now?"
"Geez, Len!" She exclaimed, looking back to me, glaring, "Enough with the questions! You're getting on my nerves!"
I knew it. Just as I thought. She was going to see Kaito. I wanted her to know I knew too. Because I was feeling spiteful and hurt and petty.
"So it is? You sure it's not someone I know?" I pressed on. She was really glaring at me now, but I ignored it. "I think I should at least meet them. Or at least know their name. So; who is it?"
"I don't have a boyfriend."
"Then who're you going to see?"
"Why the pause?"
"Would you shut up?" She yelled, really angry at this point. "Why do you care?"
Because he's no good for you, Rin. I bet he has some underhanded motive to get back at me from hooking up with Meiko. I bet he's just using you. I don't like that, and I want you to be happy.
I want to tell her this, but I don't, and instead go for something more shocking instead.
"I saw you." I blurted out. Her face went from angry to confused then.
"Yesterday. At the infirmary. I saw you."
She was surprised, but soon calmed down. She was trying to cover it up. "I had a headache. So what?"
"No, Rin. I heard you too. With Kaito-sensei."
It was then she looked at me shocked. I knew her secret. And she knew that. She frowned then, but I went on anyway, not letting her explain herself at all.
"You love him? He's an adult, Rin! You know that's wrong! What're you doing anyway? This isn't right!" I lectured. Maybe this would dissuade her. Maybe this would save her. Maybe I just really hated this.
"Shut up! Who're you to talk, anyway? You date Meiko-sensei! And all those other girls too! Who're you to tell me anything?" She screamed. I could feel the shame heat my face. We were arguing then, like children, just like the old days. The only difference was there was so much more at stake now.
"This has nothing to do with me!"
"I love him! There's nothing wrong with this!"
"You don't love him!"
"Yes I do!"
"Why not? Who are you to decide that, huh?"
"I won't allow it, okay? I just won't!"
"Because…I…!" I struggled with my words. Suddenly all the anger was winding down, and I lost my speed. I knew my reason. I knew why I didn't like this. I loved her. No! Used to…I mean…
I just couldn't tell her. I couldn't. No, no. But if I did, would she come back to me? Would she love me back? I wanted that so bad for some reason. No, I knew the reason why. I wanted her. No one else could have my Rin. It just wasn't fair. She waited for me to continue, but I couldn't. So she smirked at me, and took the lead once more.
"You don't like it when I love Kaito?" She asked, bitterly, "Well I hate the fact you're with Luka."
She was looking at me smug then, a hint of anger in her face. She was crossing her arms, and leaned her weight to one side. She had me then. You could tell with the confidence in her stance.
"You're settling for once? How stupid. You can do better than that, Len."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, she's not good enough for you. I hate her. I don't want you to be with her."
"I…You can't decide that…"
"Tell you what." She cut me off, her voice steady and firm. "If you break it off with Luka, I'll leave Kaito."
I considered her offer for awhile. It'd be just like old times. I'd still be loose and a flirt, but Rin would still be there for me, a constant in my life. The ones we could really rely on in the end would be each other, and only each other. Our bond, the one of a twin brother and sister, of maybe even more, would still be strong. No others to share that attention with. Just each other. Like it had always been.
She waited for my answer. I liked it. I loved the thought of only belonging to Rin, and Rin being only mine. I wanted it. Like how I wanted her. But then I thought of Luka, and her laugh and her kiss, and our bond as well. Kindred spirits, maybe even more. How could I choose? It was unfair. So, I remained silent, and it was then she looked out the doors. I looked with her, and there was a car parked in front of the gates, one that wasn't there before. We looked back to each other, and she still looked so smug.
"There's my ride. I'm going." Rin said curtly, and turned to leave. It really was out of my control. What could I do? I didn't want to lose her. Why did this happen? It was just as I feared. I could make a woman happy.
But I couldn't make her stay.
She turned her head to look at me. She waited patiently, as I asked her one last question.
"What…what do you see in that guy, anyway?"
She was quiet for awhile. The bell for lunch ending rang, and then she spoke.
"He understands me. He's kind and patient. Considerate. Like…" she looked away then, "…like, I'm this terrible person, but he doesn't mind. He understands me. It's like…It's like…"
It really was out of my hands. I couldn't handle this situation, not at all. Because I could understand exactly where she was coming from. There was no choice to make between me and him. Just like how I couldn't choose between Luka and Rin. It was the same thing. Exactly the same thing Luka and I had.
"…It's like we're kindred spirits."
The same exact thing.
I never saw them together. Not with my own eyes did I ever see them with one another, with their shows of affection here and there. What I saw instead were hints of it. Rin stopped avoiding me, but she didn't go out of her way to see me either. But I saw those hints, showing me their relationship was still there, that they were together. Sometimes I would hear her on the phone, her voice muffled behind closed doors. She would talk, and laugh, and it was painful. Other times, it was that dark blue car of his. I could notice it out my window, and heard her leave, the door closing behind her. She would climb in, and I'd stop wondering there. Because I didn't want to think about what they did together.
Maybe it was harmless. Wholesome dates, and simple hand holding. Nothing more. Or maybe it was the exact opposite. Maybe it was racier than that. If it was, I didn't want to think about it, or what he could be doing to her. I didn't want to think of them going into a love hotel, and Rin losing it to that bastard. I felt angry then, and I wanted to hurt him, and that scared me, so I just stopped thinking about it.
It was hard though. While I used to go out with a girl to forget my problems, I realized I've already distanced myself from that hobby. Girls called, but I always turned them down. They took me to their place, and tried to coax me into sex, but I always backed down with some excuse. It wasn't that I avoided them, but that I began to respect them. I didn't want love making to be an outlet for me anymore. I needed something else.
I found that in Luka.
I hadn't confessed my love yet. For some reason, I found no point in doing it just yet. Or maybe I was just too scared. Either way, I spent more time with her now. Hell, we even went on a few dates. Well, I thought of them as dates. I'm still not sure about her.
"You seem different." She told me one day, as we sat at a café. I took a sip of my hot chocolate, and it went down warm. It was winter now, the air cold outside. It was warm in here though, with her.
'What do you mean?" I asked, letting the cup warm my hands. She frowned, her face considerate. She fixed her scarf, thinking on her words.
"It's like…you've changed." She shrugged. "Like you're different."
"Is that a good or a bad thing?"
She looked back up to me. "Not sure yet."
I frowned, looking at her confused. She seemed unfazed though, and looked out the window, to the bustling streets. I didn't want the conversation to die down just yet, so I bought up a different subject.
"Hey, your song."
She looked back to me, waiting for my words.
"Um…now that you finished it, do you plan to write anymore?"
"I already am, actually."
She smiled and nodded. "Like this new one," she began, "I'm going to name it 'secret'." She looked away then, a playful smile on her lips. "Some of it's inspired by you actually."
"Is that a good or a bad thing?" I asked once more. She shrugged.
"A little of both."
I smiled at her, and she grinned back. I wasn't bothered by this, maybe even honored a little. I wanted to affect her somehow. I wanted her to notice me. So we went on talking, and she talked about music genres, and bands and we were off. Without a care in the world. I could tell she had a passion for music, most of all. It was what she loved, what she was good at. Luka had talent. I wondered if I could have something like that too. Something I was good at.
I told her this. She seemed unbothered being told she had a talent in music. Instead she paused for a while, then:
"Take up the guitar again."
I nearly laughed. I told her I only played it casually, didn't I? That I didn't really have this great passion for it, so how could I do it again? I mean, I learned to play one song, and that's it. I couldn't do it. It was stupid. And when I told her this, she crossed her arms, and leaned back in her chair, leveling a steely gaze at me.
Am not, I said.
"You won't even give it a shot. You're being a coward."
Then maybe I will. But where would I be able to play one to 'give it a shot', anyway?
She smiled. "Follow me."
And that was how I finally got to visit Luka's house.
It was big. That's the first thing you notice about it. It's not a mansion, but it's still impressive. I learned her father had a big part in his company, and they're pretty well off. Which bought up the reason why she was in Britain; a project overseas, and the family had to come too. But that didn't matter now, as she let me in. It was quiet in there. I wondered if there was even anyone home. I looked to her, about to ask, but she was already walking up the stairs.
I guess it didn't really matter, right now.
Her room was big too, and mature. Nothing frilly, or girly here. The basics, mostly; bed, desk, a dresser, etc. There was a large bookshelf. Most of the books were covered in dust though. I guess it was just for looks.
"Sorry for the mess." She excused, and opened her closet, looking through it. I sat on her bed, and looked around. There's a certain level of intimacy gained when you're allowed to visit someone's room. Like you know now they trust you. I wondered if I could invite her over myself.
I thought of Rin then, and decided against it.
I looked over to her. In her hands was a bright red guitar, and I looked at her surprised. "The hell?"
"You can have it. I never wanted the thing anyway." She told me, shrugging, and walked toward me, putting it in my hands. Wait, she just had this thing lying around? What the hell? That was too much of a coincidence. I looked at it warily.
"It's not going to bite you." She told me.
"I know. Where'd you get this thing?"
"…It was a present. I don't want it though."
"You're just giving it away? Don't you think this was expensive?"
She frowned at me, and walked over to her dresser, and grabbed her jewelry box, rifling around in it. She pulled out a guitar pick, and handed it to me.
"That doesn't matter," she told me, voice stern, "what matters is that you give this another go."
There was a deeper meaning in her words, I could tell. What I couldn't tell is what they were; it could be a lot of things, actually. 'Give it another go.' So much has happened now, my whole world changing. Rin had left me, and I've given up on my loose lifestyle. I've fallen in love. It felt like this pick in my hands, the tune I would play with it, would signal a whole new change. That this was me, agreeing that, yeah, I have changed. For better or for worse, I have no idea yet. Just like Luka, I'm not sure. But I do want to give it another go. Start over again. Change. Be something different. Hopefully something better.
Someone she could love.
So I played. Of course, it was terrible. I mean, I haven't played in years, after all. I was blushing, and apologizing, but she said it was fine. She sat next to me, and asked me to try again, and I did. I kept going at it, and she helped me along. We pulled out some of her old 'how to play' books, and soon I was learning. And applying myself. And I had given it a go.
I changed. I was enjoying it. And I looked at her. She was smiling, and I wanted to tell her thank you. I wanted to tell her I loved her. But I looked away instead, strumming the strings without any direction. Suddenly, she grabbed my face and kissed me, and I could feel my whole body stopping. My heart and my pulse and I loved this too. I closed my eyes, feeling it in my core, and when she parted, leaving me breathless, still she was smiling.
"What was that for?" I asked her, my voice low.
"I'm in love with your playing."
"I'm just a beginner."
"You have potential, though. That's what I love."
She took the guitar out of my hands then, putting it on the floor, then hugged me. My heart was beating rapidly, and I held her back, and she kissed me again. I wanted to say I loved her. I wanted to tell her thank you. But she kept kissing me and kissing me, and I couldn't say anything at all. And when we fell back on her bed, and she pressed her body against me, I wondered if it was really necessary.
"Luka." I breathed her name, "Luka."
She smiled, and looked down at me. Her pink hair framed us, and I ran my fingers through it, and she placed a hand over my own. It was just us, no distractions, no interruptions, nothing at all. I knew what this meant, what we were doing. I've played this game before; what I wasn't prepared for was the fact it was Luka I was with. Like I said, she was different, and I wondered how to make this good for her. I wasn't even sure if she was experienced in this, but shrugged it off, and played along.
"This is a lot of kisses for just my playing." I grinned, picking up my old ways, but using them wisely. She tilted her head to the side, assured of herself.
"Maybe I love more than just that."
"Your voice. Your glasses. Your smile. Your bluntness."
She leaned down for another kiss, and I took it gratefully. I wanted this to last. But I should know by now, that Luka and I never get a quiet moment alone. It's as you guessed.
My phone rang.
She parted and looked at me. I let it ring though, and she frowned.
"I don't want to."
"Len, answer it. Don't be rude."
She glared at me, then reached into my pocket, catching me off guard.
She pulled it out, and answered it herself. I could hear a girl's voice on the other line asking for my name. Who was it this time? I tried to think; it couldn't be Neru because she said she never wanted to see me again, finally meaning it, not just playing hard to get. Lily and I got in a fight yesterday, so she wasn't a possibility. When I heard Luka say her name though, it was already answered for me.
I looked over to her worried. I didn't need Miku finding out I was with another girl. She really did believe I only loved her, and if she found this out, it'd really break her heart. I sat up, reaching for the phone.
"Give." I told her. Luka looked at me for awhile, then finally gave it back. I snatched it away, and called Miku's name.
"Hey, love." I smiled, knowing she couldn't see it, but did it anyway. It fit the mood I wanted to put her in anyway.
"Who was that before? Rin?"
"N-No, my, um…my mother. Hey, so what's up? You need something?"
I could feel Luka's eyes on me as we talked. She wanted to go on a date next week. I kept Miku around because she wasn't in it for the sex, but because she honestly loved me. I didn't know how to turn her down yet, and until then I made up for how terrible I've been to her. Which wasn't good, because it only made her fall for me more.
So I agreed, and told her I loved her, and Luka was getting up then. When I hung up, she was heading back to her closet, looking around it once more. I could fell a change in the air between us then, and not for the better.
"…Girlfriend, right?" She asked, as she pulled something out.
"Don't be." She shrugged, and I saw that it was a guitar case. She dusted it off, and looked back to me. "You can't help it, right?"
I could. I was, even. Didn't she see that I was trying to break apart from this? Or maybe she wasn't that caring to notice anyway. I didn't feel like she was that concerned with my love life, or my feelings on other girls. She was nonchalant about it, and that made me feel a little sad. If she cared, it would at least assure me there was something romantic there.
"By the way," she went on, "I think you should go. It's getting late, and my mom's going to come back soon."
See? Just like that, I was sent away. She didn't stutter in her words, and she didn't bring up anything that's already happened. Were those kisses really nothing? Was it really just my playing, glasses, voice, and bluntness she only loved? Was I the only one who felt this way, this much?
I tried not to think about it, because I'd get sad then. So I just accepted her orders.
She really did give the guitar to me. I asked her again if it was okay to take it off her hands. She just zipped it in its case, and handed it to me, without a word. I took it, and her instruction books, and she walked me out. We didn't mention what happened before the phone call, as much as I wanted to. Because I felt something had happened then. A possibility and I wanted it to become true.
But, instead, she said bye to me at the door, nothing more. Like nothing had happened, nothing she really cared about. I asked her if I could see her tomorrow, and she shook her head.
"I've got errands to run."
And just like that, she shut the door. Once again, I'd been rejected by a woman, and I felt weak. Exactly what I had been trying to avoid in the first place.
I think I hate him. At first, he was nice. Well, it was fake, but still. Then he was a little rude and care-free. Flippant and stupid. But right now, I, Luka, think I hate him. I don't know why, not yet. But I know I hate him. I don't want to see him, and I'm sick of him.
I think this as I lean against the door, after closing it behind him. Len…just what was there to hate? His casual words, and lazy demeanor. He was spoiled too, used to getting what he wanted with a few sweet words and a wink or two. Women just ate out of the palm of his hand.
No. This isn't why I hate him.
In fact, I love that part of him. He doesn't care what people think. He's self-satisfying. He's not a saint. And I'm not saying I love bad boys, but rather I like that part that makes him unlikable. Because I'm sick of nice and good people. Len's truthful. Blunt and truthful about what he wants, no way around it. I miss that in people. When you're younger, you never notice it, but when you grow up, you can see we're all selfish people. It's just we're trying so hard to cover it up. Len's not like that, and I love that part of him.
So why do I hate him, I wonder?
The house is deadly quiet, so I decide to head to my room. Was it how he kissed me? No; his lips are plenty soft. And you can tell he has experience. Is it the way he talks? No; his voice truly is beautiful. Youthful, but strong. Maybe it was the way he looked. No, not that either. He's very handsome, with a boyish charm. There's a reason he can get so many girls at his beck and call.
Is it how he's changed?
…Maybe that's it. He's less smug now. No, he still is a little. Still childish and rude, at times. But it's like he's matured. He's more kind. More stable. Is this what I hate?
No, I don't think so. Not this either. I collapse on my bed, and I still can't get these thoughts out of my head. I don't want to hate him, because there's a lot of him I like. So I want to find out what part of him I hate, so that I can go back to liking him. I close my eyes, and I see him. With his hands in his pockets, and his stupid glasses, and that cocky grin. I see him with a girl, then. Flirting maybe. Or not holding back at all. This is when I begin to feel angry. Strange; I never let it get to me before. He can have his girlfriends; it doesn't matter to me. It's not like I'm extreme enough to see him as an enemy against women. I just don't care. So why does this make me angry?
He talks about his girlfriends sometimes, and that makes me angry too. It's now that I see him in front of me, so self-assured. Maybe he smells of perfume. Maybe his hair's a little messy. Maybe he has hickies on his neck. Either way, there's proof he's been with someone recently. Hints, that I hate to see.
It's then that I think of grabbing his neck with my two hands. Grabbing that throat, and hurting him. I open my eyes, because this is also strange. An impulse to kill him? But why? Did I hate him so much I wanted to rip out his throat? No; I shouldn't. I imagined myself releasing that throat instead, trying to overcome this hate instead.
I sat up. Inspiration. I grabbed my journal and a pen, and began to write. A song. A song dedicated to Len.
I'm still trying to figure out why I hate him. I'd like to, so I may be able to love him once more.
Seven weeks went on by, the same thing happening again and again. Rin's still with Kaito, and Luka's been avoiding me. (Which is even more sad, because I noticed she's begun wearing our school uniform. She's changed just a little, and I'm happy for her. I want to tell her this, but she avoids me, so it's impossible.) I'm losing girls by the day, too. (Surprisingly, even Haku has left me, saying she didn't need me anymore, that she was going to be fine from now on.) Somehow, it's gotten very lonely around me. I cope by playing the guitar. Who would've thought I'd really get this into it? By my hands alone, I'm making music, all by myself. Sometimes I stay up so late practicing, Rin knocks on my door, telling me to be quiet. I keep playing though, because it's all I have for now. Miku and Meiko are persistent and seem to be the only ones who haven't given up on me. But I don't love them, so I keep playing instead.
I want to write songs too. And play them, and keep myself busy. I don't know what to write though. I wonder if it came naturally to Luka. She was a natural-born talent, and I couldn't compete. But I really didn't want to, and instead went on my own path.
It's conceited, I know. Writing about what I've done. How I used to be. I could feel my old self coming through the lyrics. Uncaring and cruel, yet sexy. But I was proud of myself when I finished the lyrics. Maybe it was a sort of cleansing for me. Either way, I made up a melody, with fast beats and a quick tempo. I played it, singing it, and I wondered if Luka would've been proud of me too.
It was December before I knew it.
For once in a long while, I had nothing to do for Christmas. No woman was calling for me. Meiko was going to hang out with some coworkers, and Miku had an album out, so she was busy promoting it. Luka didn't answer the phone. Rin was different though, and was busy getting ready in her room, her door wide open. Our rooms were directly in front of each other, and I could see her as I played.
"Would you cut out that racket?" She called to me, as she checked herself out in her vanity. "It's starting to get annoying."
She looked back to me, and I stopped, staring at her. She was beautiful, all dressed up, looking so mature. I wonder how everything had changed when we were kids. How did it get this way?
"Where are you going anyway?" I asked. She smiled, smug, and I hated that look, but admired it too.
"Kaito and I have a date."
I cringed. I wish that part of my life could just go away. Everything else I could deal with, but that part was just grating on my nerves. I went back to playing, and Rin was still staring at me. I avoided her gaze.
"Again?" I asked, "Don't you two ever get sick of each other?"
"Nope. We're madly in love." She gushed. "He's mature, you know. And cool."
I glared in front of me, no real target. What did he have that I didn't? Rin, how was he any better than me? I'm mature too. Girls called me cool. I'd treat you nice, and I'd love you. I'd never get sick of you. Haven't I been here from the start anyway? It's not fair. You know I hate sharing. I want to think he's using her, but they've been together so long, I'm afraid I've been wrong this whole time. I wished they'd be caught already, but there's been no rumor about them. They're smart. I want him to go away, nonetheless. He's not allowed to have Rin. I never gave him permission.
I strum away more angrily this time.
"Is he? He seems like a loser. I mean, going after high school girls?"
"He's not a pervert. He loves me."
"I bet he does." I scoffed, the noise angry and low now. "I mean, he's a doctor right? Why isn't he working at a hospital or something?"
"He says he likes the reward of helping kids."
"Yeah, like the pervert he is."
"Len, shut up."
I stop, my arm feeling sore all of a sudden. It's then I notice she's in my room, standing next to me, arms crossed. She smiles then, and it scares me. She places a hand on my cheek, and my body is suddenly aware and alert. I wanted more. I had no idea what she was planning, but I wanted more.
"Len," she spoke softly, bending over to look me in the eye, "are you jealous?"
She smirks, and I look down. I can see down her shirt, her breasts round and lovely. I wanted to see all of her then, her whole body, nothing covering it. I wanted to hold her and I wanted her body warmth against me. These thoughts scare me and I look away. She grabbed my chin though, forcing me to look in her eyes.
"You are jealous, aren't you?" She cooed. What are you doing, Rin? You and I both know it, that this is wrong. We're brother and sister. I realized that Rin also loved me, that she returned my feelings for her. That was bad. Really bad.
"I'm…I'm not…" I struggled with the words. She leaned in closer, her lips so close. I wanted to kiss my sister then. I wanted to kiss her and force her down on my bed, and make sure Kaito never got to touch her again. Because I'd give her my spice. And she'd be begging for more, just like they all did.
"Don't lie." She kissed my forehead then, and it sent shivers down my spine. I could feel this hunger in me then; I wanted more and more, and it scared me.
"I don't want to. Len, touch me."
I froze. Touch her? Like how I've always wanted to? No hand holding or simple kisses. That's not what I wanted to do. I wanted to do more terrible things. I shook my head, fighting off the temptation.
"I know you want to."
"This is wrong."
"Who's stopping us?"
I gulped. No one was. It was just like she promised. I'd give up on Luka, and she Kaito, and then we'd have each other. Just like I always longed for.
I could still feel the weight of Luka's guitar in my hands. I thought of her. Luka. I thought of how we first met too.
I was going to jump.
Luka. Luka. Luka.
I think you're cruel. I also think you're promiscuous. And reckless. I think you're hard to approach. I think you're insecure. You're also very easygoing. And you have a pretty voice. And you're the most interesting person I've met here. That's what I think of you.
Luka, Luka, Luka.
"Len, I love you."
I like you and I'm in love with your voice.
Luka, Luka, Luka!
"It's always been you, Len. I'll break up with Kaito, and it'll be just how it should be. You and me. I love you, Len. I really do love you."
Give it another go.
I pushed Rin away, my guitar hitting the floor. She looked at me bewildered. I needed to see Luka. I needed Luka. Most of all, right now, when my body was fighting against me. So I grabbed my coat, and ran out of there, Rin calling back to me. I didn't care. Luka.
I needed to see Luka.
"I swear, I'm feeling so sick right now," I lied, "I don't want to get everyone at the party sick, too, so maybe I shouldn't go."
My step-mother's eyes were worried then, and she looked at me. 'Oh, poor dear,' she was probably thinking. What a farce. I sat there anyway though, keeping these thoughts to myself, sitting in the dress she had bought me just for this occasion. It must've cost a fortune, but I didn't care. I didn't want it, and I didn't want to go to that stupid holiday office party, and I didn't want to be with those people. She smiled at me though, and I almost cringed.
"Alright," she said kindly, her hand on my shoulder, "You don't have to go, Luka. Are you sure you want to be here by yourself, though?"
"I'll be fine."
I saw my father at the doorway, checking his watch impatiently. I knew he was angry at me, and this I was happy to see. At least he was open about what he felt. This is why I stayed with my father after the divorce. I hate people that cover it up. You're never sure if you're in the right or the wrong, and it's like they can't trust you. This is why I didn't like my stepmother, and her always smiling face and her too nice words. She patted my head then, the hair done up, all for nothing.
"Alright then. Take some medicine and get some sleep, okay?"
And soon they were gone, with a click of the door. I sighed in relief, knowing it was a dramatic thing to do, but didn't care. I set to undoing the straps on my heels. Now what? I had the entire house to myself then, on Christmas night. I could watch the specials on TV, but it's all the same anyway. I could practice the new song I wrote. But that made me think of Len, and I'm tired of him always being in my dreams, as is. I kicked off the heels and laid back on my bed. So then what?
It was then I heard something hitting my window. Pebbles? I guess I could answer that.
Something to do.
So I walked over, opening the windows, letting the cold night air in. When I looked down, there was Len. I felt my heart catch in my throat, but tried best to not let this be seen. I just looked at him, and his disheveled look, and the fact that he was panting. Had he run here? It was an interesting scenario I found myself in.
"Romeo, Romeo; Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" I asked him with a smirk. Len's expression changed from desperate to more irritate then. Which was fine, because that expression suited him better.
"Luka, let me in." He called up. I considered it for a while.
"Why should I?"
He frowned. It's not that I wouldn't really deny him entry, but rather that I was stringing him along. I think it's because I still hated him, just a little. He reached into his pocket then, and pulled something out. A small box, like jewelry was packed in. And I was right in my description because he took off the lid then, and held it out for me to see what was in it.
I had almost forgotten all about it. A blue tear-drop shaped gem on a thin silver chain. It sparkled from the light that came through my window.
"Because I got you a present. Let me in."
I wanted to deny the fact that I missed him, so I used my excuse that it was something to do, and that I wanted the necklace. Something interesting to get caught up then, rather than the genuine worry I was feeling for him at that moment. I leaned out more, hoping he would hear my voice.
"Wait at the front door."
And would you know it?
When I answered the door, it was snowing outside. To think; snow in Japan. Maybe it was a sign. Or maybe it just made Len shiver and frown.
"Let me in; it's freezing out here."
It must've been a sign.
"Hot chocolate." She said. I took it gratefully. You know how when you run in the cold, it's just more painful? Like, it's cold, and you can feel your body shivering, but then it's giving off heat, and you're sweating anyway. It feels all messed up, and I hate it. Which is why I drank the hot chocolate gratefully; it didn't feel out of place, but perfectly normal. Luka was beautiful when she looked at me as I did this. Her hair was done up in a messy bun, and was wearing a puffy black dress, mature yet feminine, and I wondered what the occasion was. I asked, and she shrugged.
"When no one's looking, I like to play princess."
I smiled at this. Isn't she just charming? We were sitting in her living room, the furniture white, and a bouquet of poinsettias on the coffee table in front of me. She sat next to me then, and the necklace was already worn around her neck. I didn't get it for her as a bribe, but because I wanted to make it up to her. For intruding on her hospitality, and coming so suddenly like this.
Or maybe I wanted an excuse to get her a present. I don't know
She fingered the necklace, then placed her hands in her lap, looking at her black gloved hands, then to me.
"I hope you came here with a reason."
She stared at me then, and I felt my mind go blank. Why did I come here? I had a reason; I just didn't know what it was yet. I looked down to the hot chocolate, its brown surface, and tried to come up with one. So much has happened. Rin loves me. My own sister loves me. Yet, I ran away from her, to here. Why?
"I need to tell you something."
It's true. I love Rin. My own twin sister, and that's wrong. I used to treat women like playthings as an escape from this, to ignore this want for her. It was my way to distract myself, to feed this craving. I've never been very kind or polite. I'm rude and blunt and I didn't even cry at my own father's funeral, much less care for my own mother. It was like all the love I gave to Rin. My parents, my girlfriends never got as much attention as she did. She was special to me; sacred and mine all mine.
Then I met Luka. And then everything went downhill. I spent more time with her, and Rin got jealous, and I lost her and here we are. I can say it was all Luka' fault, but that wouldn't be right. Because I wanted Luka to stay. And because of that, I had to tell her. Finally, for once. I mustered up the courage, and could already feel myself tearing up. I acknowledged it then, all of it. Who I am, who I was. Who I love, and why. And it sickened me.
"I think I love my own sister."
Just like that. Finally this confession was out in the open. Luka looked at me slightly surprised and opened her mouth to talk, but I wouldn't let her, placing the hot chocolate on the coffee table, not in the mood for something so sweet. I shook my head.
"Like, in love with her. I think I want to have sex with her too. Can you believe that?" I asked, hiccupping now, full on sobbing. It's true. I love her, and I want to make love to her, and that's just messed up. Sick. I smiled bitterly, as Luka looked at me worried.
"I'm so messed up. I really am."
And I couldn't hold it back, this hate for myself, and kept crying like a baby. I don't want to be like this. An incestuous womanizer with no care in the world. I want to be something different. Someone she could respect; someone she could love.
Luka watched me, and her face was calm then. Not judging, neither bored. But like she was at peace and she slid her hand into mine. I looked at her, and she wasn't smiling or calm. But she looked sad then, for once. An expression I've never seen. Like she, too, was scared and desperate and unhappy.
"It's okay," she shrugged, "I'm pretty messed up too, actually."
I watched her face for any lies, but there was none. Just her and me. The messed up couple of the century. The playboy who wants to rape his own sister, and the antisocial girl who once tried to kill herself. Look at us, in all our flawed glory. Jeer at us; I don't care. Because we had each other and that was enough for me.
I leaned against her, letting all my tears out. I wonder how I've gotten so weak. Maybe I'm just discovering emotions for once. Maybe I've had a lot stored up, and maybe it doesn't matter. Because Luka's kissing the top of my head. Much more innocent than Rin's version, much more pure and comforting. She looked ahead then, and I sat there, all worn out from the crying. Finally, she spoke.
"Remember how we first met?"
"I tried to kill myself."
She was quiet, then began talking again. "You never asked me why."
"None of my business." I shrugged. It was as simple as that, no more and no less. Also, it never really came up.
"I had a reason."
I looked at her, and her face was solemn. I let her go on, because she wanted to do this, she wanted me to hear. She took a breath, and began.
"I had a boyfriend, back in London." She started, "His name isn't important. What matters was that I loved him. A lot, you know."
She looked down at her hands, fiddling with her fingers. "We broke up, of course. We knew long distance relationships never worked out well, so we agreed to break it off. And at the airport, when he was saying bye to me he said 'let's be friends'. Just like that; like let's forget everything that's happened, and just be friends."
She frowned and glared in front of her, to her hands. "How stupid, right? Like it was that easy. 'Just be Friends'. Like I could forget all of what I felt for him, and downplay my love, and try to ignore it. I realized, he was just being nice. He didn't want to break my heart, so he gave me a less meaningful relationship. Which was stupid. Just let go of me, and I'll be fine. He didn't need to baby me. I'd get over him; don't give me pity."
She crossed her arms, leaning back, settling into the couch. She wasn't done.
"The guitar I gave you; it was a gift from him. He saved up all this money just to buy me it. But I don't want it. It hurts because it reminds me of him. He calls me sometimes; just to chat. He just reopens old wounds like that. 'Just be Friends'. What a hurtful phrase." She scoffed.
"When I got here, it was no better. Everyone was so nice. Just being polite. I hated it. They asked me about London, and if I could speak in English, and it was stupid. Like I was some toy of theirs. It was fake. I could tell it was fake. They were just being courteous, and I hated that. It got on my nerves, and people never stopped trying to talk to me, and I just wanted them all to shut up."
She began to tear up then, and frowned, crying. "I don't like it when you pity me. Talk to me truthfully, you know? Talk about yourself. Stop asking me the only thing you know about me. No pretenses, no fake care."
She shook her head, and put a hand to her forehead, as if she was getting a headache, and she avoided my gaze. "So, I got sick of it. I got sick of all the pretend care. So I ran to the roof. I wasn't really going to do it. I thought about it, but I don't think I really would've. I didn't have the courage to climb over that fence, and jump. But just as I was daring myself to climb, you were there."
She looked at me then. I've never seen Luka cry, and she seemed so defenseless now. She was baring all of herself, and it wasn't like her. I think she knew that too, and kept going, saying everything while she still could.
"Which was good, because you're exactly what I wanted. Someone who wasn't afraid to say what they thought. I liked being around you, and I liked you and…"
I looked at her surprised then, my heart skipping a beat. Luka wiped her eyes, and sniffled, correcting herself. I could feel my face get warm as she did.
"I…I didn't like you. No, I still do. Look, what I'm trying to say…is, um…I…Look! It's like, I don't get it either! I see you with all these girls, and I hate you. And I hear this about you, too, and suddenly I wish I was in Rin's place. And I…I think…"
She shook her head, and her shoulders were shaking. It was then I decided to go first, just as it should be.
"…I love you, too."
At first, she just looked at me, eyes wide. I couldn't blame her; I was pretty surprised with myself too. Then she kissed me. Just as it should be.
I don't remember what else we did. But I do know I felt a great weight be lifted from my shoulders. And as we fell back on the couch, we continued where we left off that afternoon seven weeks ago. She was smiling at me, and I loved her and finally it was just us.
My phone rang.
She didn't tell me to answer it this time.
I never wanted to see Rin again. I don't hate her. I don't think I'd ever be able to. But I knew if I ever saw her again, I'd succumb to the longing and make her my own. I don't want that. I've made my choice. I've chosen Luka. So I made the choice to never go home, ever again. When I told her this, as we laid next to each other, as she snuggled into my chest, she shrugged.
"Then let's run away."
I was unsurprised by this. It sounded like a wonderful idea for some reason.
"You mean elope?"
"You could call it that."
"You don't have any attachments here?" I asked her. She shook her head, and looked up at me. Her hair was down now, a little messy.
"Not really. I'll miss my father, but that's it." She tilted her head to the side, "What about you?"
I thought about it. I had no friends at school. Meiko would cope, maybe call me a bunch of times before finally giving up. Miku would cry and cry; I know that. But she's strong too; her undying optimism would get her through. My mother would worry, I know. Or maybe she was waiting for this to happen this whole time.
Would she come after me? Or would I be out of her grasp forever? I couldn't answer it, if only because Rin has changed so much to me now. I got up, and Luka watched me with disinterested eyes. I had nothing to lose. I didn't really have any dreams. So sure, why not?
"Let's run away."
She smiled at me, and it was still such a breathtaking sight. Just as it's always been, nothing has changed. I had a feeling then, an inkling that Luka and I were going to be together for a long time.
We got up and got dressed then. She packed some stuff, and said we'd take her car. I was surprised she had one. They really were well off. She took some money, and we got in her car, and we just left. Just like that.
Well, not yet.
I wanted to go back to my place, to get the guitar. She frowned at me, her hands on the wheel.
"Are you sure?"
"She might be there."
Luka waited for a moment, and then turned the key in the ignition. "Where's your place?"
I wasn't afraid. I could do this. I wasn't afraid. I could do this. I could face her. I can say no. I was free now. I didn't need Rin.
Luka was enough.
She wasn't there when I opened the door, and walked to my room. My room was just as I left it. The sheet music and there was my guitar on the ground. I set to packing what I could. Clothes and money and anything else I could. I wouldn't be coming back. It was a sad thought, and I looked around my room, the apartment I grew up in. In a spur of the moment, I wrote my own mother a note, thanking her and saying sorry. I wasn't a good son, and I know you tried your best. Maybe with my leaving, she'd get to work less, seeing as she had one less mouth to feed. On another impulse I called Miku; she had called me before, and I hadn't answered. She picked up on the second ring.
"Hey. You called?"
She was hesitant, her end of the line quiet. This confused me. Did something happen?
"Yeah…um…H-Hey, I got good news."
"My album that came out? It's already a best seller! Can you believe it? My first single? You remember 'Melt'? It's on the Top Forty list, too! Isn't that wonderful?"
I smiled. I was actually really happy for her, truthfully. "Yeah, really wonderful."
"…I think we should break up."
That surprised me. It honestly did. It wasn't that I was sad, but just shocked that it was Miku who said it first. "Wh-What?"
"…I'm sorry. See, I'm so busy, and I really want to focus on my career and I really did love you and-"
"Miku, its fine. I…best of luck, okay? I really do want you to be happy."
"Len…" She whispered, and I could hear her choking up with tears. So we talked some more, as I finished packing. We said our goodbyes, and then I hung up. I really did wish her the best. I called Meiko then, and she answered on the fourth ring.
She sounded a little slurred, and wondered if she'd been drinking. I could hear laughter and talking in the background. I went on.
"Meiko, hey, I need to tell you something."
"Eh? What's this all of a sudden? You're being sweet for once?"
"I love you."
I made this sound as genuine as I could. I did, but to an extent. I was grateful for her. She cared, and that nagging she did, she did for me. This whole time, I don't know why she stuck with me. Maybe the sex was good. But if that was it, then why did she always baby me like she did? This whole time too, she asked me if she was the only one. She wasn't. I know she wanted to be loved, so finally, I loved her. I told her, to the best of my ability.
She was quiet. The noise was loud behind her, and with a clear voice she talked to me.
"What are you up to, Len?"
"This isn't like you."
"I know. I'm trying to make up for it."
"Did something happen?"
"…I love you. That's all."
It was a bit sad she was such a pessimist. Maybe I made her that way. I wouldn't blame her then.
"…I love you, too." She finally said, "I know you're up to something. Look, all I can tell you is…be safe. Okay? And I appreciated our time together."
Just like that, she hung up. I haven't heard from her since.
I looked down to the phone. I hoped Meiko would also find happiness. She's had her heart hurt so much, with a divorce, then a guy like me. I hope she'll learn to put down the sake bottle for once, and find someone nice, and settle down. She really is a good teacher, and had a good heart. I wished her the best of luck, too.
I zipped up my guitar case, and grabbed my bag. I looked around my room one last time. I was really leaving. Just like that. I realized it wasn't that easy though, when I heard the door open and close, someone walking in. I knew I had one more obstacle to overcome. And when she walked down the hallway, and caught my eye, I wasn't afraid this time.
Rin was looking at me. At first she was unsurprised. It was when she noticed my bag and case that she looked at me confused.
"What are you doing?" She asked me. I could've lied to her, and got out of there. But that was a cowardly thing to tell her, so I didn't.
Her eyebrows rose, and she took a while to process it. "L-Leaving?"
"…Like, running away?"
That was when she got angry. Her face changed from sad to furious. She looked back to the door, then to me.
"So that car outside-?"
She frowned, glaring at me. "You can't. You're not allowed to leave. That's not fair."
"I'm doing it whether you like it or not."
"Len, you can't just leave! That's…I…I love you."
My heart panged at this, but I didn't care. I didn't need her love, not anymore. I shook my head, "I'm sorry, Rin."
"I thought you loved me too."
I did. I still do. But I can't falter now. I'm still in the middle of changing. I want to be a better person, I want to be something different. So I muttered another sorry, and walked by her.
She grabbed me by the collar though, and kissed me.
I wasn't prepared for that. Her lips were as warm and soft as I always dreamt they would be. Her fingers ran through my hair, and I nearly lost it. When she parted though, her eyes were soft, and shining.
"Don't leave." She whispered, begged even. I could still feel the taste of her lips on mine, and I felt my knees go weak. I tried to fight it. I had Luka. I had freedom. I had to go. I shook my head.
"No." She frowned, then kissed me again. It felt so good, and nice, but I tore myself away. She began to kiss my neck though, and I couldn't help it.
"Ah!" I heard myself whimper. Rin parted again, her breath warm on my neck.
"Don't go, Len. Please, don't."
She kissed me again, and her mouth was warm, and I couldn't help it. I closed my eyes, kissing her back, dropping my bag, putting my arms around her waist. This was exactly what I wanted this whole time. Rin, in my arms, and her lips on my own. I felt my whole body warm then, and it was something I never felt with any other woman. Rin was so much better than any other kisses I've had, then any other woman I've been with. They were more intimate kisses, more dangerous and personal. When we parted again, both panting, she looked me straight in the eye.
"Len, please, I…" she trailed off, tears rolling down her cheeks. She really did love me. Honestly, did love me. I kissed her cheek, and then her lips then her neck. I kissed her until I shrugged the case off my shoulder and carried her to the bed.
"Rin." I whispered, as I kissed her neck. She was holding my head there, her fingers warm on me.
"I love you."
He's been taking a long time in there, I noted. It was cold in this car. I wished I could turn on the heater, but knew we had to conserve as much gas as we could. I wondered where we were even headed. Maybe we should go to Kyoto; I've always wanted to go there. Maybe we'd just head south, with no real place in mind. Or maybe we'd leave Japan entirely. I shrugged these thoughts off. We'd see. All I knew, was that we were finally leaving this place.
If he'd hurry up already.
I sighed, leaning back into the seat, and looked at my blue nails. Did it really take that long to pack? Maybe I was being impatient. Maybe too eager. But I really wanted to leave; I really wanted to go places. With Len.
I smiled at the thought of him. Where will we go, love? It doesn't matter. As long as it's you and me together.
I wanted to scold myself. Hadn't I learned my lesson? My last relationship was the same; I'd be all giddy and excited, but it would end badly all the same. I didn't care this time, though. Maybe what we were doing was reckless, but I didn't care. At least I was doing something about my life. I was so tired of it, it was time for a change of pace. And I would have it, with Len. Because he wasn't going anywhere soon.
My thoughts were put to a halt as I saw another car pull up close by. A girl got out of the passenger side, and I could notice that ribbon anywhere.
I felt a chill go up my spine. She walked around to the driver's side, and said something; she leaned in, then pulled back out. A kiss? She had someone? The car drove off, and she waved to it goodbye. It was when she began to approach the apartment that I felt my heart beat rapidly.
Was I scared of her? No, I couldn't be. I think, more so, I was worried for Len. I didn't get out of the car though. He'd be fine. He needed to face this himself. So, instead, I sat there, wishing him the best of luck. So Rin walked up the stairs, and I could hear, faintly, a door opening and closing.
He'd confront her, and be out soon. Regardless of love, he'd leave with me. He said he loved me, so surely, he'd come back outside.
…Before I knew it, fifteen minutes had passed. He was just a little late? Maybe. He'd come back though. I know of it.
So I kept waiting.
…Thirty minutes. Was she being persistent? Len, hurry up. I'm beginning to worry.
So I waited some more.
…Forty five minutes. Should I go in there? Len, you're okay right?
I frowned, and could feel the optimism dying with each second that passed on by. In its place, I felt a feeling of anger and frustration.
…Or maybe, you're completely fine, and you're with her. In her arms, and making her yours.
No, this couldn't be happening. He wouldn't take her back, would he? I mean, it's his own sister. Even he was disgusted with himself. He wouldn't still chase after her. No matter how tempting it was, he wouldn't go after Rin. I mean, if he did, that would have to make him lower than low. And besides, he said he loved me.
That was enough, right?
…Who am I kidding?
I lean forward on the steering wheel, my forehead pressed against my arms. I could feel anger in my heart then, burning at the back of my neck. Who was I really kidding? This is just like him. While I admired his honesty, it was still a fault. He led on woman, and hurt them. And now I'm one of those many. He said he loved me, but I'm sure he's said that to many girls. The only girl he truly loved…who was special, in his heart was Rin. I figured it out then; that's why he's done all this womanizing. He couldn't have Rin, so subconsciously he went after a myriad of women. And while I thought I was special, I was just a part of them. In the end, it's Rin he loves.
I'm a fool.
It's as this I begin to sing the song I wrote for him. I don't cry, because in a way, my song is my tears. It's exactly as I felt. Rip=Release.
Maybe it was a form of narcissism. Maybe that's why he loved her. Or it could be that they grew up together, and it formed a bond between them, something more than just siblings. Or maybe he was just some sick bastard. I didn't care.
Do not touch my already nervous self, do not give me hope with your gentle words, for when I extend my hand for the proof of your love,
you will already be gone.
When I finished, I felt drained. What was I expecting really? Did I honestly think I'd find love in a guy like that? Looks like we were better as friends.
Just as friends.
How terribly ironic.
I looked at my wristwatch again. Eleven thirty. He's been gone for an hour and a half. I've given him enough time, and it's very clear. Len wasn't coming back. He's chosen her over me. I wasn't enough. He says love so lightly, and I had expected too much.
I turned on the car, the engine revving to life. The heater blasted on, and I could feel warmth returning to my body. It snowed on outside, softly and slowly. I guess it was just me. Where would I go? It was up to me now. I gave one last look to the apartment building. The place he walked into…all the lights were off. Of course.
Len was gone to me then.
I began to sing again, to him, and drove off. It was fun while it lasted, I guess. But it's time to go.
Goodbye, my love.
I never heard from her again.
It felt weird, cutting off all ties like that, without a proper goodbye. But I didn't really get a chance to give her one anyway. I guess that's just how life is. Even when I tried to, her number never worked, and I didn't have the guts to go look for her. I wonder how she's doing now, without me. I at least wanted to give a proper sorry. A sorry for leading her on like that, for affecting her so much. If life had been different, I would've stayed with her. But this is just how it is. So, for that, I say I'm sorry to her.
I couldn't help it, you know. I couldn't choose between the both of you. This is just how it was. I'm sorry. I hope you're okay now, happy or something. For now, I'm with her now.
I looked over to her, her face solemn. She seemed dissatisfied. Did I do something wrong? I asked her, and she frowned.
"You kept me waiting, Len. Waiting way too long."
I had my reasons, but I kept them to myself. I didn't want to think of the disgusting thing I did back there or the sins I committed. I didn't want to tell her them, just now. Instead, I felt the white ribbon in my pocket, the one I took from Rin. I should be thankful Luka stopped when I rushed out, calling her name. I should be thankful she even let me back in the car. I should be thankful she even loves a guy like me.
She looked over to me, the light red. It felt warm in that car, and she was lovely in the light.
"Let's get married."
"Rin? Where are you?"
"Over here, darling!"
Kaito entered the kitchen, and smiled at his wife. Rin was washing the dishes, and she kissed him on the cheek as he approached.
"How was it at the hospital today? I hope you're not being bullied."
"Ah, don't say that," Kaito laughed, loosening his tie, "everything is going fine. The kids won't stop talking about the new Miku song, as usual." He smiled. Rin smiled back.
"Oh, you mean the 'World is Mine' one?"
"They all try to sing it. It's like we're holding auditions or something."
Rin giggled, and turned off the water, done with her work, wiping her hands. "I'm sorry I'm not able to come with you to see them. Do they miss me?"
"Of course." He replied, voice soft, as he poured himself a cup of coffee, "but what matters most is that you take it easy for now. We don't want anything happening to the baby."
Rin ran a hand down her belly. Barely a few months in; it was only a bump for now, but she knew it would grow bigger. Kaito reached over and turned on the small TV they kept in the kitchen, the picture a little fuzzy. He flipped through channels as Rin set to starting dinner.
"It's the moment you've all been waiting for!" a voice came from the TV, "the ultra exclusive interview with the infamous, musical duo Lenka; Luka Megurine and Len Kagamine!"
Rin looked to the TV, not in shock, but with a smile. She had found out about it a while ago. At first, she had burst into tears, crying hysterically. There was Len, after so many years, on the screen. Kaito was almost worried she was having a nervous breakdown after Len had run away so long ago.
She's gotten used to it, though. Kaito looked at her worriedly, like he always did, but she shook her head. She was fine, just fine.
The interviewer, a spunky girl with green hair named Gumi sat next to the two, where they sat on a couch in some familiar TV studio. "And here they are, in the flesh!"
There they were indeed. Slightly older looking, but they both matured nicely. Luka had grown up to be a beautiful lady, and Len was handsome. They both looked so happy, Rin noted. They had to be…twenty by now. So much has happened…
A crowd cheered and Len blew kisses to them. Luka only smiled shyly. When the cheering died down, Gumi smiled at them.
"Ah, it's such an honor to have you two here! The mysterious two who arrived on the music scene only years ago. Your popular song 'Free' hit the charts only a week after release! And still so popular! It's an honor to meet you two!"
"It's an honor to be here." Luka told her, voice soft and mature. She was popular with men and was very talented, writing their own lyrics even. While Len wrote some, she provided the bulk of them. Which was fine, because it was Len who did most of the singing anyway.
"Okay, first question! What inspires the both of you most?"
"Relationships between people, and love." Luka answered simply.
"She does." Len nodded to Luka, and the crowd laughed and whistled. He grinned, regardless of Luka shaking her head, the hint of a smile still on her lips.
"Ah, Len, still so daring." Gumi laughed, "Alright, next question; What got you into music in the first place?"
"Ah, well…an old boyfriend of mine. And I've always loved playing the piano." Luka answered. Len shrugged.
"My very first guitar."
"Third question; how did you two meet?"
They both looked at each other, and Len answered for them. "In high school. She approached me and gave me a love letter."
The crowd laughed, as Luka shoved his arm, as he grinned at her. "That's not it." She huffed, "We met once, under strange circumstances, and we just sort of…clicked."
Len was an attention-getter. You could tell. He was handsome and charismatic. Many women and girls loved him; a heartthrob in the eyes of many. The two complimented each other well, in the eyes of the public. Boyish and cute Len, and mature and beautiful Luka. They were fascinating.
It was like nothing had changed them at all.
"Okay, next question. There are many rumors going around of a potential rivalry between Lenka and Miku Hatsune. Is this true?"
Len laughed at first, and shook his head. "No, not at all. We're very good friends with her. There's nothing bad between us. In fact, we hope she'll keep coming out with catchy songs, like she has. I know I like them." He smiled.
"Ah, yes, speaking of that, Len, there seems to be a rumor that you and Miku Hatsune used to be involved with each other." Gumi asked, an eyebrow raised.
The crowd gasped a little, the sound light. Len sat there unfazed though, a smile still on his face. He shook his head.
"I knew her in high school, too. We were just really good friends, nothing more."
Scandal averted, Rin noticed. She hadn't been able to keep in contact with Miku when she got famous, but she knew this is probably how she wanted it. Besides, Miku was already engaged to her producer. There were no more feelings left for Len.
"Last question; in fact the question that's been on everyone's minds!" Gumi cheered, and leaned near the two, a mischievous glint in her eyes, "Is there anything going on between you two?"
The crowd cheered then, and Rin was bought out of this thought as the phone rang. She went to go pick it up, and in the background she could hear the program going on.
"I'm madly in love with her, actually." Len was saying, and 'aww's were heard throughout the audience. He didn't even try to downplay his feelings, instead stating them outright. He was fearless like that, and that's why the crowd loved him.
"Hello?" Rin asked through the phone, back turned to the TV.
Kaito looked over his shoulder to her. He was still surprised the two could uphold a friendship without him in the way. It felt as if Meiko forgave him though. Theirs was a quick courtship, and those never lead to happy marriages anyway. It just didn't work out. They both understood that, and have since moved on. Speaking of that…
"Oh, did he? I say, go for it."
"Yeah, but this is a little sudden, isn't it?" Meiko sighed on the other line, "It's like, he seems like a good guy, but…"
"Just go on one date with him; I'm sure he'll be nice."
"Never dated a racecar driver before."
Rin laughed, and on the TV, the crowd had calmed down, a blush on Luka's cheeks. She looked away from Len, even when he put an arm around her.
"He's proposed to me, but I'm still not sure what to say." She explained, "I'm still trying to figure out my feelings. There was one moment that I still haven't forgiven him for."
"I proposed to her years ago actually," Len chipped in, his tone sounding hopeful, "I'm still trying to get her trust back. I'm sure she'll come around any time now."
The audience laughed, and Gumi looked back to the camera. "Well, there you have it folks. Lenka! Any last words for our viewers, you too?"
"Well, alright, I'll give him a shot." Meiko agreed, "I mean, yeah, Al's a little out there, but he's got a good heart. And he doesn't mind my hectic hours at the daycare…"
"Best of luck, okay? I've gotta go."
"I'll talk to you later then. Bye!"
Rin turned toward the TV, and the camera was focused on them. Len was still smiling, and this made Rin happy. To see him like this…he was never like this around her, not back then. He looked free now. Happy, enjoying life, how to say…like he's changed. For the better.
"If you've got a passion, pursue it." Luka began, "And try to be truthful about your feelings. Don't hold back. Don't be afraid to be rude. Be yourself."
The camera was on Len then. He pulled Luka closer, and she still blushed, the blue gem on her necklace shimmering as she smiled.
"Treat people nicely. Cherish what you've got, and live for yourself."
He looked directly at the camera then, and Rin felt like he was staring straight at her. What they did, that Christmas night so long ago, she could still remember it. It was their secret, no one any the wiser. And she was fine with that, because she was happy right here, right now. Len had left her there, all by herself, and it was then she realized. He wasn't completely hers, and as much as it hurt to realize that, she grew up and accepted it. Because she had Kaito now, and a child on the way. She walked over to her husband, and felt him lean his head against her hip.
She loved Kaito all the more, because she told him what she felt for Len. And he had been fine with it, understanding and kind. He loved her, ugly personality and all. A welcome replacement, just as well. She placed a hand on his head, and they both looked at the TV as Len gave his final message.
"Ah…well. You. You know who you are. Best wishes to your new family."
He smiled then, a wide beautiful smile.
"Look at us, yeah? Look how far we've gotten. I think we're going to be okay."
"We are." Rin whispered, "We really are."
"You know," Kaito spoke, "you can go see him. I can help arrange it, if you want."
She shook her head though. "It's fine this way. For now."
"That's it then, viewers!" Gumi cheered on, "And now for an exclusive performance of the new song by Len coming out this fall; 'Spice!'
The crowd cheered again, and after the commercial break, a stage showed. The music started. A fast beat song, one that a person could dance to. It was catchy, and pop, exactly what the people loved. Soon, Len was singing. Still as youthful as ever, yet seductive in this song. Rin watched his performance, his voice singing smoothly to the crowd. The crowd of girls cheered, reaching out for him, as he walked on by. He seemed to enjoy the attention, smiling the whole while. It almost made Rin laugh.
'You're the only thing I need' What does that mean? My body hurts from laughing too much. Just want to be together with someone?
The bitter taste of hot, burning SPICE, just this once, I'll let you have some. Because I know you're taken with me, with my taste. And doesn't it make you love it more?
And only half way through the song, it suddenly stopped. The lights turned low then, and Len looked surprised. The crowd was silent, then, confused. Rin bet it was all a part of the show though, as Gumi began to talk.
"Oh what's this? Ah, it seems Lenka wishes for us to hear another song. Ladies and gentleman, RIP=RELEASE by the lovely Luka herself!"
Another song began to start then, a much slower beat, yet still techno. A spotlight then began searching, as a woman's voice sang a high note. And from behind the stage curtain, Luka appeared, the spotlight hitting her. The crowd cheered at this theatrics, and she strutted out, walking towards Len, and she sang. Her voice was deep and mature, yet somehow sad in this song.
Ah, I knew I hurt myself if I was with you. Yet I couldn't help but be with you. I should have left, rather than ask about the affairs you've had.
Even if I overflow with tears many times, pain will never be my friend. If I could rip and release your throat I could release myself from this misery.
She sang this, and you could hear the raw sadness in her voice. It was mesmerizing in a way, and beautiful. She sang and held her hand out to him, to Len. He smirked though, and grabbed for it. It was then both songs began to play, Spice picking up where it left off. And while it might've seemed like a horrible mash-up, it was changed so that both blended well with each other. Then both Len and Luka sang, and it truly was harmony.
Do not touch my already nervous self, do not give me hope with your gentle words, for when I extend my hand for the proof of your love,
you will already be gone.
They circled each other, looking only at the other, hands still holding. The crowd cheered, and to Rin, they seemed like they were meant for each other, despite the song.
Despite everything I still don't understand love. I only guess it could be good for me. But if it's good, why is it so painful?
So without it, I know I'm better off.
It was then they stopped singing, letting the music go on its own without words. It was then they danced; waltzed with each other, while the audience cheered. It was no wonder the public didn't believe them to be together, seeing as how romantic they were onstage. Rin watched on, so proud of Len then. He really did seem so happy, with the attention and the music. And Luka, too, especially Luka.
And when the music ended, Len held both her hands, and she touched her forehead to his. With the last note, the spotlight turned off, only darkness. A pause, and then clapping and cheering resonated. It was over then. All of it. People would be talking about their performance for weeks on end, and it that same time they would finally announce their engagement, Luka finally agreeing.
Until then, Rin turned off the TV, putting an end to their performance. She sighed. So much has happened. So very much.
It looked like Len didn't need her after all.
That's end of it! Thank you for reading!
Ah, so long. Sorry if it's too long. And a bit repetitive. This story was actually planned out very differently, but somehow, it took on a life of its own. A lot of what happened wasn't planned at all, yet it turned out like this. I hope it's for the better.
I'd also wished I could've placed more depth in Rin and Kaito's relationship. I didn't have any place to do that, though, and I'm afraid the relationship seems a little flat, because of that. My apologies.
(Also sorry if there's any inaccuracies concerning music or instruments. I admit it's not my forte, and I'm sorry if there are any mistakes.)
I've never written such a dramatic story, so I hope this is okay! Thanking for reading it! It makes me very happy!