I ignore Len for the rest of the day, and he does the same, which only fuels my anger. He shouldn't get to ignore me; I'm the one ignoring him. I go to bed angry, only to wake up exhausted. Good way to start a Monday.
School drags by, but for once, Len is far from my mind. Unfortunately, this is only because I'm too busy with hard schoolwork. I hate having to think so hard! I rather be lazy and watch TV instead. When the lunch bell rings, I feel another headache coming on.
As I'm waiting in line, I strike up a conversation with another boy who is a year older than me. We both had the same teacher last year. Suddenly, thoughts of Len begin to creep into my thoughts. This boy is friendly, and even cute in a weird way, but I keep comparing him to Len. A million things cloud my mind, He's not as sexy, not as gentle, or considerate; his eyes are just brown… not like Len's sapphire ones. Ugh why do I do this? I'm not even interested in him! And I'm so over Len, I'm tired of the games. I feel myself getting lost in thought as the boy in front of me speaks aimlessly, then trails off, looking over my shoulder.
Before I can turn and see what he is looking at, suddenly I feel a tug on my wrist. I turn, my skirt swirling, ready to rip my hand away.
"Come on Rin." Len says, pulling me away. The ends of his long shirt fly as he quickly pulls me away, his eyes staring straight ahead, his mouth set in an angry line.
"What? Why?" I say angrily. What was Len thinking? I dig the heels of my black flats into the tiled floor and pull against his hold, although I crave it. As he turns to look at me, I realize that he must have followed me then saw me talking to the other boy. His blue eyes flash, and I see him look at the other boy. Len was jealous. Frustrated against this possessiveness, I yank my hand back. He looks upset. How dare he? He gets to talk to a bunch of sleazy girls but I couldn't even talk to some random guy for five minutes. I could feel my temper rising. He starts towards me, opens those lips I love to say something, but I won't let him toy with me any longer.
"Rin-" I slap him, hard. He's doing it all over again. Playing with me, like I'm a toy. Kisses me, comforts me, acts like he loves me, but doesn't want to have a real relationship. I can feel the tears welling up again. I stand there like an idiot. I see that poor boy I was talking to inch away. Other students start whispering.
"Why?" I ask tearfully, before wheeling around and ducking into the nearest girls' restroom without waiting for an answer from his downcast face. I push the image from my mind as I scan the place. Luckily it's empty, so I can cry in peace. I get out my purple cell phone and call Luka.
"Rin? What's the matter?" Luka says , concerned.
"Can you come and get me? I-I don't feel so well." More like I can't function. At least not when the one I love keeps tormenting me.
"Of course sweetie. Lemme just- Meiko, where's the keys? WHAT? Rin, I've got to go, I'll be there as soon as I can ok? See you soon." She hangs up the phone and I lean up against the sink, refusing to look myself in the eye through the mirrors.
I sigh. Might as well go wait out front instead of hanging around a cold bathroom like a loner. However, if I run into Len one more time today, I'm going to scream. Better go around. Might take Luka a while to wrestle the keys away from Meiko or wherever they are anyways. I wipe the tears from my face and wonder when I will ever have a day where the stupid tears don't fall.
I'm walking the longest, most complicated route, weaving in and around dimly lit hallways strewn with paper, but when I turn a corner, I see Len. SHIT. He was looking around, his blond hair mussed and his phone in hand. Luckily he didn't see me, so I just run around the corner again, pressing my back up against the block wall, trying to settle my heart. He was alone. Was he looking for me? What else would he be doing around here? I wait until he's gone, and then continue on before successfully reach my destination. Unfortunately, as I push open the heavy doors to the outside, I see I'm not alone. Some boys I know and hate are sitting in front of the school. I have some classes with them, classes I've grown to hate. Why can't they just go away? They tease me all the time. And not the "Ha-ha secretly flirting" sort of teasing. The "I want you to cry because I'm stupid" kind. And sure enough, as soon as they see me, they set in.
"Hey, it's the little twin-whore!"
"Where's your boyfriend, huh?"
"Has he gone to change his last name so you two can be together?" They laugh cruelly. I clasp my books tightly, wishing I could punch them in their stupid faces. But I might have already hit my boy-hitting limit for today. I scan the street for Luka, or for anything to distract from my anger and hurt. But nothing catches my eye. However, I soon feel hot rancid breath on my neck and my blood runs cold as I feel someone finger my white bow. I turn slightly to see one of the boys standing right behind me. I'm frozen, partly because of anger and even further because of fear. I stumble backwards. He comes closer.
He grins and his buddies chuckle, so I smack his arm that reaches towards me hard. He pulls back.
"You Bitch! You're just a-" I close my eyes and hug my books to me, refusing to hear. I feel heated tears stinging my eyes. I feel helpless against these losers, and never felt so lowly. I open my eyes carefully, ready to run.
When you think of Rin, you don't think of something breakable, something fragile. You think of firecrackers, laughter, the sun. Something in your face that's loud and silly. Something you shake your head at but smile at, because you can't help but love it. Rin was demanding and bossy, and had many faults. But she was perfect. The way she could make you smile, the way she gave off light, the way she smelled like a summer's day. But whether you see it or not, she is fragile. She is sensitive, and can be very sweet and caring, if you catch her at the right time. Or at least she used to be. Memories of her sweet smiling face and happy laughter flashes across my mind as I see her now. But right now she's broken, just as much as I am. She looks defeated; her head turned away, her arms wrapped around herself, as if she holds herself together. Anger boils up in me, anger at her stupid tormentors, anger at the world, anger at all the time wasted, but mostly anger at myself. I'm the reason she looks like this now. I didn't protect her. I hurt her. I'm the reason she no longer smiles like she used to.
All of this flashes through my mind as I pull my hand back, clenched, and then smash it into the side of one of the taunter's face. He's hit from the side, never seeing it coming, and flies sideways, away from my outstretched arm, his mouth wide. I glare at the group with hate, not putting my arm down.
"Any of you ever look, speak, or touch her ever again, I will hunt you down and beat you until there's nothing left." I hiss, anger seething from every bone in my body. The guys all stare at me, half in awe and half in fear. I don't have a reputation for this type of stuff. Blood drips out of the guy's mouth as he holds his jaw. They shout meaningless remarks at me as they help their buddy up and scamper away, back into the building. My eyes immediately go to Rin.
She stares at me in shock, one hand covering her mouth. Her knees shake, and her free hand is clenched into a fist like mine. Her crystal blue eyes fill with tears, and she turns, then runs. Instead of watching her fly down the pavement, I drop my fist, pick up my feet and run after her. I don't want to lose her, not ever again. My feet pound the ground as I get closer to her. It's good Rin isn't that fast. I reach out and grab a hold of her arm. She turns as I wrap my arms around her and hold her tight, tight as I can without squishing her.
"I'm so sorry Rin." I say in her ear. She stiffens at these words, then I feel her arms come up from her sides and wrap around me too, gripping my shirt. I pull my head back, gazing at her beautiful tear streaked face before I bring her lips to mine. She grips my back passionately, and kisses me back. I feel myself fill with heat as I lustfully hold her tighter, my hands aching to touch her even more. We stand in the middle of the parking lot, but I don't care if anyone sees. In fact, I feel like telling anyone and everyone.
When we pull apart, we stare intently at each other, then laugh. I place my hand gently on one of her flushed cheeks, and she leans into it and smiles. She covers my hand with one of hers, pressing lightly. I feel filled with courage and happiness.
"Rin, I love you." I say proudly. She gazes up at me, and smiles brighter.
"I know. And I love you too." She replies. But I'm not finished, even though just her smile is enough for me. I take a deep breath.
"Rin, I love you more than anything and anyone else. I'm sorry I left you alone, I'm sorry I didn't protect you. You are more than enough for me. You are everything to me. I will never, ever leave you again. No one else matters. Can you forgive me?" My stomach turns as she looks at me intently. Then she slips both hands around my waist and presses herself up against me, her head resting on my chest.
"YOU BAKA!" She yells, raising and punching my face. It's a simple, light blow, and she lowers her fist immediately. Seeing my startled smile, she leans into me with tears welling up in her eyes. "Len, you…" She laughs weakly. I wrap my arms around her again, wishing we could just melt together. Our feet touch; they are so close, as she looks up and kisses me again.
Morning again. Light streams in through the windows, creating bright squares on my bed as I lay there, intertwined with my sheets and blankets. I blink sleepily, then pull my head back to look up behind me.
I see Len's face, his strong jawbone first, turned up at the ceiling. He gazes up at it thoughtfully, humming something, while he fingers a strand of my hair gently. I smile at this picture of him, causing him to turn his head and look at me, his chin resting on his chest, as mine does on his as well.
"I missed this room." He says happily, smiling down at me.
"Just the room?" I tease, squeezing his hand that has been clasped in mine all night.
"Just the room." He says, laughter in his voice. I pout, and duck my head under the blanket, pretending to be mad as I hide my smile by pressing my face up against his side.
"Rin…" he says, and I can still hear the smile in his voice. He uncovers my head and I close my eyes and tilt my face up, my cheek resting on his arm. I keep my eyes closed, waiting. He chuckles, then places his lips gently on mine. I smile into the kiss, then press mine back before pulling away to smile at him.
"So stubborn…" he sighs, but his eyes melt into mine before he nuzzles my neck. I giggle, and wrap my arms around him. I wish we could stay like this forever, just me and Len.
He slips his arm around my waist and sits up, cradling me in his arms. I give a small squeal of surprise as he does, then hastily pull down my shirt that was riding up.
"Mmm-hm." He says, kissing my ear. I smack his arm playfully.
"What are you doing?" I scold. He leans in, placing his forehead on mine, gazing into my eyes. He grips me a little tighter.
"I'm going to carry you Rinny." He says, before leaning in closer to kiss me. I wrap my arms around his neck, kissing passionately before he pulls back.
"And where do you think you are carrying me?" I say, raising my eyebrows at him. He stands, and I kick my legs a bit, like a child throwing a tantrum. He grins at this.
"To breakfast! You can sit on my lap if you want…" I smack him again, blushing. He laughs, enjoying this. I turn my face towards his shoulder, my face red. He rubs my back reassuringly.
"Embarrassed Rin?" he teases. I bite his shoulder.
"OW! Rin!" I smile up innocently at him as he shrugs his shoulder towards his head, rubbing it.
"You deserved it." I pout. "Don't tease me." I defiantly toss my head a bit. Surprisingly, he grins at my pouting and pulls me closer, kissing me lightly on the lips before I can respond.
"I missed you Rin." He says, his blue eyes gentle. I nuzzle his shoulder.
"I love you." I say quietly, dropping my head so my hair falls to cover my face. He kisses my forehead and carefully places me on the floor. He keeps his hand on my waist as I smooth my clothes. I watch his lean muscles disappear as he grabs his shirt on the chair and pulls it on.
"Ready?" he asks, nodding towards the door. I nod back. He opens the door for me, and I check out before he follows me out into the hallway. He grabs my hand as we walk, and I inhale, surprised. It's been a long time since we've held hands so comfortably like this. I squeeze his hand, feeling a rush of happiness. He squeezes back.
As we reach the end of the hallway, I stop.
"Len, what do we say? Do we tell them?" I say anxiously, remembering our past. But Len only smiles.
"I say we do, but after breakfast, Ok?" I nod. He swiftly pulls me in to a kiss before heading out of the hallway.
Everyone is already awake, even Meiko. They all sit around the table as Kaito cooks breakfast. Miku looks worried as he does. Luka eyes the pantry, where the cereal is kept. Kaito constantly glances at the freezer, obviously wanting to add ice cream to his cooking. Teto looks up as we walk in, and a smile lights up her face. She pushes back her chair and approaches us.
"Good morning!" she trills, wrapping her arms around us each briefly. As she hugs me, she whispers:
"I see you and Len have worked it out Rinny!" I blush and stutter, but she is back into her chair before I can say anything.
Len glances at me curiously while sitting down at the table, then looks at me and then the chair beside him pointedly. I sit down cautiously, gazing around at the others as I do. Gakupo reads the newspaper, Luka gets up to "help" Kaito, and Miku ducks in and out of the freezer quickly, hiding the ice cream. Len grabs my hand underneath the table. I relax, feeling his warm hand against mine.
Soon breakfast is ready, complete with the ice cream Kaito found behind the paper towels. Luka hands out bowls and cereal while Kaito glares at us and Miku delicately tries his dish.
After breakfast, before Meiko starts her orders, Len clears his voice and grabs my hand again. Everyone turns to stare at him. He blushes.
"Um, Rin and I…We wanted to say something." He nudges me, and I glare at him. Why do I have to say it? Teto stares encouragingly, and nods excitedly. I'm still confused of how she knows.
"We… um… I mean, yesterday…" I stop, suddenly overwhelmed with shyness. I look down. There is an awkward silence, and Meiko taps her long nails on the wooden table. I get even more flustered as time passes. Len stands up suddenly, our hands still together.
"I love Rin! A-And we are together! If you disapprove we will leave! We don't care!" he huffs, his whole face red. I stand up, not wanting him to feel alone, and he pulls me towards him. He wraps his arms around me protectively, my back resting against his front. I flush too, not used to making such gestures in public.
Everyone stares, caught completely off guard. Suddenly Meiko laughs, a large bell sound.
"Finally! I thought you two would never get back together!" she sips her sake and Teto cheers. Len and I both breathe sighs of relief and surprise.
"You two are so cute!" Teto squeals, wrapping her skinny arms around us both, squeezing tightly.
Kaito and Miku laugh too, glancing at each other as they do. Luka looks thoughtful, staring at us with a loving smile.
"I hope you two weren't serious about leaving. We would really miss you." She says. Len shakes his head, his straight locks hiding his face. With my free hand, I reach up to brush them away, tucking them behind his ears. Len leans into my gesture, and grins at me. Kaito suddenly punches Len in the arm.
"No wonder you never wanted me to set you up on a date! You sly dog!" he says, grinning. Miku socks him.
"Len is no dog! They are in love silly!" She says. Kaito grins and kisses her nose lightly. Len leans down and kisses my cheek. I place my hands on his arm and lean into him.
Gakupo just slowly smiles at us and nods. Although he said nothing, I somehow feel embarrassed, like he said something pervy anyways. Stupid Gakupo. Meiko begins her order of business, listing off everything to be done. I turn around to face Len, his arms still laced around me.
"Was it really that bad?" I say.
"Not really. But totally worth it. Now I can do this." I open my mouth for a protest, already knowing what he's going to do. He leans me back, still safely caged in his arms and kisses me passionately in front of everyone. I hear them whistle and cheer. My face blushes, yet I move my lips back against his for the moment. He straightens us back up. I glare at him, crossing my arms after he releases me. He grins and wipes off his lips.
Meiko glares, irritated by the interruption before continuing. Len sits and grabs my waist, pulling me onto his lap.
"Might as well get used to it Rinny, because I hate letting go of you." He whispers in my ear as I struggle slightly against his close hold.
I give in and snuggle into his chest, watching everyone else. I twist my head up to see Len, smiling. I smile too, happy that we are together, and happy to see that expression on his face.
Later, I walk into the house after a costume fitting, hoping to find Len. I search everywhere, looking first in the main halls, then our bedrooms. As I look into mine, I already see that Len has started moving some of his things back into our room. I smile, seeing his papers already littering the floor and desk area, and seeing his yellow pillow next to mine. I glance at his room, but it's empty. I climb the second staircase up to all the empty rooms that we only use occasionally. As I climb the stairs, holding carefully onto the handle, I hear something. I stop mid step and listen hard as sunlight streams through a small window at the top of the staircase. Strains of beautiful music filter down. We have a grand piano stashed up here, but hardly anyone uses it. I skip up the rest of the stairs, and turn into the first doorway.
The room has many windows, which allows bright sunbeams to stream in, and they bounce off the dusty but glossy black grand piano that sits in the center of the empty room. Len sits behind it, his hands flitting across the white keys. He has a peaceful, happy look on his face, a small smile on his lips. Although the sight of him makes my heart flutter, what takes me in the most is the music. It's upbeat, like I like, familiar somehow, and couldn't be written by anyone other than Len. He stops playing and looks up when I enter the doorway, my bare feet making small light sounds on the wooden boards. His smile grows.
"Hey Rin." He pats the spot next to him, and I pad across the room to slide in next to him. He kisses my forehead, then turns to the handwritten music sheets in front of him.
"Will you sing this for me Rin?" He says hopefully. I look at the music and the lyrics for the vocal part. It's beautiful. I glance up shyly.
"When did you write this?" I say curiously.
"It's been in my head since yesterday, and I wrote it down this morning after you had to leave."
"Oh…" I trail off, not sure what that means. He looks at me, his blue eyes intense.
"It's about us Rinny. I mean, the lyrics are kinda coded so no one really understands but…" he looks at the keys. The space between us is small, and I shiver, feeling his arm brush up against mine, making my skin tingle.
"I'll sing it." I say suddenly. His face lights up, and he places his hands on the keys. Glancing at the lyrics, I begin to sing, the notes echoing in the empty room.
migikata ni murasaki chouchou
kisu wo shita kono heya no sumi de
setsunai toiu kanjou wo shiru
hibiku piano fukyouwaon
migikata ni murasaki chouchou
kisu wo shita kono heya no sumi de
setsunai toiu kanjou wo shiru
hibiku piano fukyouwaon
warui yume ni unasareta watashi wo hayaku okoshite
donna koto demo hajimari wa sasai na koto deshou?
dokoga īka nante kikare temo komaru
kirei na yoru ni madowasareta mama yukue fumei dakara
nagai matsuge mikazuki eyeline
mabuta ni nosete hikaru rippu
migikata ni murasaki chouchou
kisu wo shita kono heya no sumi de
setsunai toiu kanjou wo shiru
hibiku piano fukyouwaon…"
I now know Len loves me. He tells me and I know. It's in every touch, every embrace, every passionate kiss. It's the look in his eyes when he sees me, it's the way he knows me to the core, with all my flaws, and still loves me all the same. As I wrap my arms around him, I hear his heartbeat, a familiar rhythm that matches my own through his skin and the fabric of his clothes. He lifts his hands off the keys to wrap them around me.
I love Len more than anything, so much that it would overwhelm me if I thought about it too much. I feel like laughing all the time, my chest bursting with happiness. I love everything about him, and I someday wish to somehow return all the love he gives to me right back to him, so we can share it. As I clutch him, I smile through happy tears for one that threatens to burst. I have never felt so safe. I lean back in his arms, so I can reach up to trace his face, carefully memorizing it, in case we ever need to be apart for any second. He smiles, and so do I, but we don't say a word. The silence envelopes us as stare at each other intensely, because we don't need any words to say I love you.
I smile at him, and feel flutters of happiness his lips break into a happy smile. I lean forward eagerly and wait, my chin lifted. He just grins a bit more, teasing me. I raise my eyebrows, giving him a look. He carefully places both of his gentle hands on my cheeks, cradling my face, and leans forward to softly press his warm lips against mine. I throw my arms around his neck, and we mutually push our bodies forward, meeting in the middle, as close as we can be. After our lips part for a much needed breath, he leans forward to whisper in my ear.
"I love you Rin." He then kisses the side of my jaw gently. I suddenly feel a rush of tears, as feelings rush inside me. I kiss his cheek and whisper the same back into his ear, meaning every syllable.
"I love you Len."
And we sit there together, intertwined as we are in each other's lives, in the room full of sunshine and a piano.