(by: Nirvash Serpentine)
"Beauty is a mute deception."
-Theocritus; Apothegm, c. 310-250 B.C.-
She once again stood up and looked at herself at the mirror.
"Perfect.." she silently muttered as a gentle smile flickered on her lips.
"Ne, Jena….I told you …he's not interested in women…." Eigi retiringly declared as he anticipated the total rejection of his statement.
Jena gracefully turned and faced Eigi.
"…but I like him nii-san….." Jena replied with an innocent expression. "…so he must have to like me too.."
Eigi shook his head and just sighed as he stared at the lovely maiden in front of him.
***3rd Year Class-A***
"Anou….you are..?..."Fuji wondered as soon as he settled down at the back of Tezuka's desk and noticed the lady comfortably seated at his captain's seat.
Jena turned and smiled at the baffled tensai…"Hikari, Jena desu…" she declared.
"Ah….well.. you have to transfer to another seat if you don't mind…someone's already seated in there" Fuji gently explained as he pointed Tezuka's desk as if to emphasize his point.
"Tezuka-sama, ne?" she gracefully replied more like of a statement than a question.
"Hmm….what time will he arrive then?"she excitedly asked ignoring Fuji's confused look.
"…ah-…soon..perhaps…d-demo…Tezuka…he might be….-."
Fuji's remaining statement were left unsaid as the subject of their conversation entered the classroom.
Tezuka approached the two with his usual stoic and cold expression. He shortly glanced at the lady whom Fuji was talking before addressing the latter.
"…ohayo…Oishi-san…"Fuji greeted as he tried to hide a worried look on his face.
"Nani?..." Tezuka inquired in a tone that sends shivers all over your spine.
Fuji was an exception though..
The lady finally looked at Tezuka with a curious scrutiny upon hearing Oishi's name.
"Ne,…are you really the vice-captain of the tennis club? Souichiro Oishi right?"
Tezuka ignored Jena's inquiry as he looked at Fuji with the same pair of hazel eyes that is known to make anybody cower…..but then again…Fuji was an exception.
Fuji grabbed Tezuka's arm and smiled genly.
"We're doing morning exercises right? We better go before Tezuka sees us fooling around.." he said in a manner which would take no for answer.
Tezuka tried to pull back his arm as a sign of obvious protest yet Fuji had already managed to pull him away.
"Chotto …chotto matte!" Jena called out as the two guys fled.
"I demand a detailed explanation." Tezuka coldly declared as they both settled inside the tennis club dressing room.
Fuji sighed and sat down at the bench.
"Fuji…" Tezuka impatiently muttered.
"Gomen ne, Tezuka.."
"I haven't remembered ever asking for an apology."
"Right….Where do you want me to start then…" he asked.
Tezuka answered him with narrowed eyes.
Fuji once again sighed as he started narrating the events that happened earlier that morning.
"I don't think what you did was logical…" the taller boy finally concluded after hearing Fuji's side.
They were currently heading back to class after hearing the first bell, and if not because of Tezuka's concern of missing their first subject, Fuji might have decided to spend more time with him.
"Gomen nasai…Tezuka.." Fuji muttered apologetically. This time, Tezuka noticed the utmost sincerity of his teammate and was almost tempted to tap his shoulder as a means of showing that it didn't really matter. ..but of course…Tezuka was Tezuka…and showing such affection was never in his nature.
"Whaaa!What are you doing here Jen-chan?" Eigi reacted, more nervous than surprised, upon seeing his younger cousin gather tennis balls inside the court.
"..cleaning of course…." Jena answered without bothering to look at Eigi's pale complexion.
"…demo…Jen-chan…outsiders are not allowed to…-"
"What's the matter Eigi?.."
It was Tezuka.
Eigi visibly flinched as he heard their captains voice sneered with authority. He nervously laughed as he tried to pull her cousin away.
"It's nothing, T-"
"…ne Oishi-san…" Jena interrupted.
"O-OISHI?" Eigi exclaimed, obviously caught off guard by what her cousin just said.
Jena ignored him, and went closer to Tezuka. She leaned forward as if carefully examining his features.
"I thought Oishi has black hair….and no eyeglasses of course…hmmm…let me see…."
She rested her chin on her hand as if scrutinizing somebody in some investigative case.
"…well…you're more handsome than what nii-san told me…"
"J-Jen….-chan….." Eigi mumbled trying to silence her as he noticed the irritation that was starting to show around Tezuka's expression.
Just as everything was threatened to snap out, the Seigaku's tennis club captain silently retreated, and went to the far end corner of the court where Inui and Kaidoh has been doing their warm up exercises. He found it a bit strange knowing that nobody even cared to drive the lady away prior to his arrival. The others should have noticed her beforehand….or maybe the team was just too engrossed with the practice session to notice a young, and beautiful lady -which of course was pretty impossible-.
After all, she was beautiful.
Everything ran smoothly on the following days. Except of course when Jena's intrusion seemed to topple down the team's morale.
She would pop up out of nowhere and cling on to Tezuka's arm –much to his annoyance- and ask about different matters about the Seigaku captain. She still believed that Tezuka was Oishi, and it seemed like she enjoyed it more when the captain would answer him with a blank and cold expression ( Tezuka is Tezuka after all..) .
The same days where Jena would push himself towards Tezuka despite Eigi's threat of sending her back to America where she actually came from.
Days became weeks.
Tezuka was starting to feel uncomfortable with himself. He felt disgusted about his decision of going along with the entire pretension.
Deceiving somebody was not in his nature in the first place…especially not when it concerns Jena..
Right. Ever since the black-haired gal appeared on the scene, Tezuka's days turned different. It seemed to him that he was looking forward to feeling her presence around the corner, trying to annoy him with anything….well anything about "the captain".
Tezuka started to feel tired of it somehow.
He was fooling Jena…and he never liked it.
When she first met the real Oishi who pretended to be him, Tezuka hoped to tell her the truth..but everything just didn't go well…at least not with what he expected.
Jena would still appear on school, smile the way she usually does , and greet everyone else with utmost enthusiasm…yet everything had obviously changed…..for she was then more engulfed in seeing Oishi whom she believed was Tezuka.
"Ne…..how was your injury…?" Jena once asked during his date with Oishi.
"Ah-…well…my right arm isn't hurting anymore…so I bet it's fully healed by now…hehe" he nervously replied as he dug up more information he can get about Tezuka.
"Ne, Tezuka…..am I beautiful..?" she curiously asked.
Oishi was completely and obviously caught off guard by the sudden question.
"Well….of course…" he curtly muttered, unable to decipher what Jena was trying to drive at.
"You're physically pretty…but I probably need to know you better before I can decide if you're really beautiful…This is what a Tezuka should have said " Jena replied out of nowhere.
Oishi was then filled with horror. Not just because of his obvious mistake, but more into the fact that Jena had already found out the truth.
He drew out his hanky and tried to wipe away the sweat that was starting to fall down his forehead.
"That's enough.." she retorted.
Jena finished her glass of pineapple juice and sighed.
" I'm not a fool, got that?..There's no way you could be the Tezuka I know…I just don't want to play along anymore..I'm starting to get bored you know." she declared as she reached out for Oishi's glass of water and drank it.
"Oishi-kun…..enough is enough…" she said adding emphasis on her last words as if to emphasize her point.
" I don't want to offend you by saying this, but you're making a fool of yourself if you insist that Tezuka's injury is on his right arm…." she added with a mischievous grin
Oishi was speechless.
Right. How could he ever make a mistake about Tezuka's left arm injury?
He sighed in resignation as he uttered an apology to the young lady.
Jena in return gleefully smiled and leaned closer to him "You're not a very good liar, Souichiro Oishi.."
Oishi just looked back at her and sighed.
The whole Seigaku tennis team was gathered in Kawamura's sushi house as the latter promised an eat all you can treat to his teammates.
Everybody was present including coach Ryuzaki, and some first year members of the team who have been very close to them lately…of course…she was also there.
She was the first one whom Tezuka noticed the moment he entered the place. Jena was different that evening..well she has been different ever since things were settled. She was honest in admitting that she knew for long how the team deceived her. It was not something she took seriously though….yet, something still changed the moment she settled her eyes on Tezuka…
He knew from then on that a gap between them has been made….and it didn't really settle well on him.
Eigi was thankful when Jena stopped visiting the school, at least he wouldn't have a hard time making unnecessary speeches anymore…but deep in him he knew that her cousin's absence was a loss…..he never gave a thought about it though…..not until he saw how that loss changed Tezuka.
It was not Tezuka's nature to deal much with his emotions. He grew up and was raised in an ideal family where logic and rationality became the bases of every actions. He was as they say the ideal man, a woman could have wished for, yet he never really gave a thought of it. What matters most to him is tennis and the team.
He was an admirer of art, and the moment he first set his eyes on Jena, he knew that she was a masterpiece. She was pretty, and Tezuka admitted that he was smitten by the simple unpredictability of the woman. It was not like she was Tezuka's ideal girl , for he never really had one in mind…but he had also to admit that he liked her.
"What's up…Tezuka…" Jena greeted as she noticed the captain entered the room.
The others seemed to be so preoccupied with what they were doing that they didn't even notice his arrival. He went close to Jena and calmly stared at her.
"..what?..." she inquired.
"We need to talk.." Tezuka replied in a tone that would take no for an answer.
Jena just nodded, and followed him outside.
"Well…it's cold….I hope you don't mind if..-"
"This won't take long." Tezuka assured.
Jena remained silent and was looking far away ahead. She was actually not thinking of anything. All she wanted was to hear what he has to say.
"Stay." Tezuka said in an almost inaudible tone.
Jena looked at him and smiled, a bitter smile which Tezuka didn't like.
"I don't want you to go back to America…..not yet…I mean..We still have to clear things out.." he declared, though he, himself was confused with what he's talking.
Jena finally faced him.
" It's you who needs to clear things out, Tezuka…I know who you are in my life..and that's not anymore a question.."
"And just who am I in your life, Hikari…" he asked almost tired of their obscure conversation.
Jena sighed and looked at him straight in his eyes.
"I love you…" she declared…."I always did love you Tezuka…..and I guess I always will…"
It was Tezuka's turn to remain silent. He doesn't have any idea how to answer that confession, for never did it happen in his entire life. He receives a lot of love letters, but personal confession was a different story….and he just couldn't find the right words to say as of that moment.
To his surprise, Jena started to giggle. She only stopped when she noticed the frown on Tezuka's face.
"..hey…look..I just found your reaction funny, alright?...don't take it too seriously."
"If you're just fooling around, then better think twice before saying such stuff in front of me.." he retorted with his usual stoic expression.
Jena just smiled and offered a quick kiss on his right cheek.
"I wasn't joking when I said I love you…and I'll wait no matter how long it takes…"
"So you're staying." He asked more like of a statement.
"Of course…I just can't let any other girls flock their way on you…" she mischievously replied.
Tezuka for the first time smiled…and the mere sight of it almost made Jena crazy that he eventually hugged him tight as if telling the whole world that this guy belongs to her, and nobody else.
"I really love you Kunimitsu Tezuka…" she warmly declared.
"Hn.." he curtly replied as he held her closer.