A Tanabata Story

Once, there was a country called Amanogawa. The people in that country had one unique feature. All women have a plug born with them and all the men have a socket born together with them. The pattern is always different but in pair and to find one's pair is the joy of life in finding life partner.

There once lived a young woman called Orihime. A lady with big dream of marrying somebody. She made love her aspiration. Staying beside her loyally is her best friend and retainer, Hikoboshi. Together they travel the country to find the perfect socket for our young Orihime.

'Orihime-sama, I'm tired! Can't we take a break?'

' No way! It only been what… a few hours since we last stop right? Let just move on until we find another socket.'

'A few hours? It's been five hours non-stop! Are you out of your mind, Orihime-sama? Where on earth will we find another socket in the middle of a forest? I'm starting to regret coming with you on this silly adventure of yours,' he started to mumble that last line. Afraid to be caught by the ever feisty Orihime.

Orihime, pretending not to hear his mumbling, suddenly shouted, 'Hiko-Chan! Look! I found a hut! Maybe there's a socket inside. Come on! Move on! You are so slow for a guy!'

'You're the one too fast for a girl. How many times have I told you stop calling me Hiko-chan? I'm not a kid anymore. Neither do you. My name is Hi-ko-bo-shi.'

'Yes, Hi-ko-bo-RI. I hear you. Just hurry up. Who's the one complaining about taking a break just now?'

'It's Hikoboshi! Fine, I give up. I'll be there, right behind you.'

And so, our young adventurers went into the hut.

The hut was in fact a left out hut. Nobody was there and it was in a mess. There are newspapers and trashes everywhere. Outside, the weather started to show signs of raining.

'Damn it! There's no sight of socket anywhere!' said the frustrated ORihime.

'Obviously! It's a hut in a middle of nowhere. How can you expect to find a socket here? And please, Orihime-sama. Take more cautious in your language. You are a lady nonetheless.'

'Can you just stop with the honorific? Don't you ever feel tired of saying it every time? Come on, we know each other our whole life,' reply Orihime while passing a water bottle to her retainer.

'You're right but still, you are a lady. And I am your retainer. We maybe best of friends but I believe we should still take care of our master-retainer relationship.'

'Fine. But on one condition.'

'One condition?'

'Yup. When we're alone, I want you to drop the honorific and treat me as your equal. Your friend. Your brother. We can play the master-relationship thingy when needed,' she said as she made herself at home and signalled Hikoboshi to do the same.

' Alright, but I can't treat you as my brother. You are a female after all. Haha.'

He gave up. He knew nothing could change the thinking of Orihime-sama. And now, he got the honour of treating the ladyship as his friend, his equal. They've know each other their whole lives and no one understand each other better than themselves. No one understands her better than himself.

'Ne, Orihime. Counting today, it's almost six months since we left the mansion. Aren't you feeling tired of all this?'

'Nope. I told you. I'm not going back until I found the perfect socket for my plug and I have no intention of letting my parents finding them for me. Where's the joy of finding them if I didn't do them myself?'

'But, your ladyship, you are a lady, have you ever thought of the danger and the responsible you left behind?'

'Hiko-chan, not this again. I told you I don't care. This is what I want to do and I talked to them already. Plus, you're here. So, there's nothing to worry about. But, Hiko-chan. I'm really glad you're here with me. Thank you for always playing along with my wishes and games. I promise this will be my last game. I'm going to find my partner and succeed the family after this,' continued Orihime with a sad face.

Hikoboshi suddenly stood up. He faced Orihime with a pained look and then kneeled down in front of her ladyship.

'Your ladyship, no, I mean, Orihime. I, Hikoboshi, your loyal friend and retainer would like to wish this moment that Orihime-sama forget the statuses between us and just let me do the talking.'

Orihime looked confused but she agreed with just a slight nod.

Hikoboshi continued on, with his back towards her, 'I-I- I have always like you! I think I love you. If it's alright with you, would you like to check my socket? I know this is too much but don't you think it's also too much asking me, the man who love you to go on a quest with you to find your life partner?'

Orihime looked shocked. She never expected to this kind of surprise.

'What? You, you- you like me? That's a surprise. Haha. I know you are tired and got bored but isn't it too mean of you to make fun of me like this?' ask Orihime as a reply, slightly blushed.

To be honest, she also had liked him. Maybe still is. In fact she did try to pair up their socket and plug together whenever she had a chance ever since they were children. They just won't fit. Maybe this final adventure of theirs is her way to finally let go to see if they are just not meant to be together.

'Orihime, I believe you know and understand me better to know that I don't joke around this matter.'

'I like you too, Hiko-chan but we just not meant to be together. Our socket and plug won't fit.'

'How do you know that?' Hikoboshi looked slightly surprised.

'I do. I tried before,' said Orihime, disappointed with a hint of frustration.

'What? How come I didn't know this? Orihime-sama you always did stuffs on your whims.'

' I'm sorry, Hiko-chan. It just that…you know.'

'Well, I don't. If you please, can I have your plug please?'

'Here. What for?' she handed him her plug.

'I'm going to show you how much I love you. If you think it's enough just by trying to pair them with hope they'll fit when they're not, well you wrong. I'm going to show you some magic,' said Hikoboshi with a small smile on his face.

He knew how Orihime had always tried to pair them up. It's always amused him and not so long, he started to realise, he also wished for the socket and plug to fit together.

He took his socket and Orihime's plug and put them together. It just won't fit. Then, he tore a piece of cloth from his shirt. He forced the socket-plug together until they were forcibly in. In a second, the socket-plug started to vibrate and produced a very loud, screeching noise. Hikoboshi quickly took the piece of cloth and tied the pair together as tightly as he possibly could. Orihime looked worried at what happened.

The vibration won't stop and the noise increased for almost ten minutes. Then, both the vibration and the noise started to fade away. Slowly and slowly, they stopped.

'What had just happened?' asked Orihime.

'That, your ladyship, is your answer. I searched high and low for us to be together. It's only took courage for me to confess to you and this simple method for us to be together.'

'And now what?'

'Now, we do this.'

Hikoboshi dug a deep hole and placed the socket-plug inside. He carefully covered them, making sure nothing's wrong. He took Orihime's hand and said, 'My Orihime, what I just did was illegal and wrong. It broke both our socket and plug together. If it's not to your liking, my life is yours. You, a lady of the country, and me, just a humble retainer, we're stuck for life I guess.'

Orihime grabbed his hand, looking into his eyes. 'If you think of running away ever, I demand you to be returned and suffer my punishment and if you ever made me cried or unhappy, you'll see what happen. You did say you life is mine,' with that, she pressed her lips against his and hugged him.

Softly, she whispered into his ears, 'I love you,'

And Hikoboshi whispered back, 'I love you too.'