"Yumi. . .I love You." Sachiko blurted, drawling each word after releasing the breath she was unconsciously holding. She looked at Yumi intently as she moved closer to the brunette who was completely stunned and voiceless, gawking at her with utter shock and disbelief. "Yumi, I'm. . .I'm in-" Sachiko was wretchedly cut off at the sound of the door which emphatically cracked open and the worst, at the all so familiar angelic yet shaky voice calling out her beloved petite soeur...
Sachiko's dainty blood churned in an alarming state upon comprehending whose voice had called Yumi and interrupted their moment, her moment. She regarded the seemingly confounded Shimako with a rigorous and sinister profile and frenetic attitude.
It took Yumi a lifetime to process their awfully horrendous awkward situation, anxiously glancing to and fro at the two equitably mind-blowing beauties. Yumi was extremely leery of her actions and words that she opted to keep mum. Nevertheless, after sensing the suffocating heated tension intensified, Yumi boldly positioned herself in between her adored Onee-sama and most favorite friend and classmate. She might not have a clue of what had just happened between the two but she was not pleased to witness her most treasured and preferred people hating and giving each other silent death threats. She gingerly kept a painstaking watch at the two terrifyingly alluring Boutons who opportunely kept their standoffish mien at ease. Yumi apparently subdued the obnoxious lethal glowers that they sharply endowed at each other, but not for long, seeing that Sachiko stood bolt upright with a stoic expression, completely ignoring her and paced sternly towards Shimako with a flinty heart.
"O-Onee-sa-sama?" Yumi stammered shoddily, her voice quivered with fear as she was anxiously eyeing Sachiko who was steadily approaching Shimako.
Directly after hearing Yumi's nervous call, Sachiko flashed Yumi a stolid, enigmatic smile which was ostensibly a pretense to cover up her actual mood and disgruntlement. Thankfully, she just walked past Shimako, but forcibly banging the door shut after her way out of the old greenhouse. Immediately after she was away from Shimako, Sachiko heaved all the air that her lungs could accommodate, consoling herself from the vexation she felt for the other Bouton for what she strongly believed the brunette purposefully burst in, expeditiously just in time to cut what she frustratingly wanted to tell Yumi.
Sachiko always had a feeling about Shimako having the thing for Yumi. She frequently espied the brunette tacitly stealing furtive looks and glimpses at Yumi days before the latter became her petite soeur. It basically didn't bother her at first until two days ago where she had a disheartening moment with Yumi in her own bedroom which annoyingly concerned Shimako.
She knew it was utterly inappropriate and unladylike to feel and treat Shimako that way, but just thinking of Yumi being with Shimako or with other person besides her, hurt her to the point of wanting to annihilate their very being. Knowing that Yumi also liked Shimako pained her to the extreme. The pain was unbearable; it crushed her heart into immeasurable cellular level. She wanted to stop it, to repress it, but she just could not bridle the hurt, the rage, and the impulses to get mad and treat Shimako the way she was already treating her. She was sorry for her unbecoming behavior towards Shimako. She had always liked and respected Shimako before this thing with Yumi occurred. If she could only just break and end her detestation at Shimako, she sincerely would, but it also meant that she had already stop caring and loving Yumi. For her, that was the most impossible thing that could ever happen in her life. Loving Yumi was tantamount of being alive; and being alive was to survive, a fight for survival. Irrespective of where she could be, whatever continent, space and time, Yumi would always be within her. She would always be Yumi and Yumi would always be her.
It may be so selfish of her for desiring Yumi all by herself, but love was always grasping in nature. People became covetous and miserably zealous for the person they truly love the most. You just didn't want them to be with someone else who was not you. She might be a hopeless martyr before when she loved Suguru a long time ago, but not now. Not when she felt everything was so good and right; not when she knew Yumi was the only one for her, and her alone.
Yes, Sachiko knew she was selfish, egocentric, greedy...name it, she would acknowledge it without much convincing. Sachiko was very much aware of her flaws and treatments towards people, people who happened to be not in her OK list. She was not stupid, ignorant, or insensitive as what most people would say. She was Sachiko, an Ogasawara, a very well-educated, exceptionally clever and highly intelligent and distinguished lady. She might be a silent-type, aloof, and cold, but those were just the mask that had effectively concealed the sweet, fragile, sensitive soul buried deep within her.
Her repugnant facade was her well-built armor from everyone and everything that might cause her of what she had felt at this very moment, hurt and pain. She already tasted enough pain all throughout her entire life and she was pretty much satiated by it. She was so unshakably sure she didn't need any more of it so she shut her heart and soul off from all the possibilities of getting it harmed. However, she never knew that there was one vital key to her overly sealed being; she never in her wildest dreams saw it coming. She had never anticipated that the key was the simple, timid, apprehensive, yet fascinatingly beautiful brunette with pigtails, and moreover to a girl, her own petite soeur whom she had just met a few months ago.
If having Yumi meant having a third world war, then she would let the war happen; she would fight for the love of her life. No Ogasawara, family, friends, entities could stop her from having and loving Yumi; not now, not ever.
"Gokigenyou, Yumi-san!" Yoshino dashed towards Yumi after seeing her friend solemnly finished sending her prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary. "Are you okay, Yumi-san? You don't look so good." She asked, lacing her arm into the brunette's as they walked into the path to the Rose Mansion. She considered Yumi with concern but with curiosity beamed in her face. "Did something happen between you and Sachiko-sama, Yumi-san? You two were not in the meeting yesterday, we thought-"
"It's nothing, Yoshino-san." Yumi interrupted her, waving her free hand vigorously. "There's nothing to worry about, really." She assured Yoshino when she noted her friend narrowing her eyes in disbelief. She forced a weak smile at the braided-haired girl and slowly letting go of her friend's clasp. "We'll talk later, Tsutako-san." Yumi hastily went to the opposite course of the Rose Mansion, leaving her friend dumbstruck and irritated at her flee.
"What was that?" Yoshino eyed the almost-running brunette with one eyebrow raised. She folded her arms across her chest and sighed loudly. "I can't believe her. Where the heck is she going?" Yoshino was so deeply engaged in her musing that she did not notice someone was approaching her until she felt a warm hand lightly landed on her shoulder.
Yoshino turned her back, not surprised to see the lovely Rosa Gigantea en Bouton, but she was pretty much stunned to be apprised of Shimako's brightest smile that she had ever caught sight of for many years they had known each other. "Go-gokigenyou, Shimako-san. . ." She stuttered, eyeing the buoyant Shimako intently. 'Shimako-san is bizarrely different today.' "You look so...happy today, Shimako-san."
"I have wonderful reasons to be, Yoshino-san." Shimako shot back with a wider and sweeter smile marked on her face. She patted Yoshino's shoulder once and said her goodbye, "See you later at the Rose Mansion?" As she was about to continue her step, her friend forcedly halted her.
"Ah. Wait, Shimako-san!" Yoshino firmly grabbed Shimako's wrist, inadvertently pulling the brunette to face her. "Don't tell me you're not going to the Rose Mansion too! You were not in the meeting yesterday, Shimako-san. Sei-sama was looking for you and I'm sure she will be-"
"Yoshino-san." Shimako called softly, breaking off Yoshino's yak. She was still smiling regardless of her friend's insistence and harsh grip.
Yoshino let go of Shimako when she perceived that she was holding the beautiful Bouton's wrist harder than necessary. She smiled apologetically and babbled. "Forgive me, Shimako-san." She anxiously scratched her head and forced a half-laughter. "It's just that. . .I just don't understand why everybody seems to be avoiding the Rose Mansion lately. Yumi-san and Sachiko-sama were also not in the meeting yesterday and now, you and Yumi-san-"
"What about Yumi?" Shimako asked with an apprehensive tone, her bright smile faded and shifted into a fretful look.
'Yumi? Are they that close? Sounds like Sachiko-sama talking.' Yoshino shook her head and cleared her throat before she warily responded and regarded Shimako suspiciously, "Well, Yumi-san is not also going to the Rose Mansion. She skedaddled before I could convince her to go with me." She stressed out the honorific in case her friend forgot to utter it. "She is not in her usual cheery self today, Shimako-san. I wonder what's wrong."
"I'll go and talk to her, Yoshino-san. Kindly tell my Onee-sama I'll go see her at lunch." Shimako gave her friend a faint smile and proceeded to the school building, impetuously treaded towards her classroom. She was not entirely sure what was in Yumi's mind but she had an odd hunch that it had something to do about what happened yesterday.
Shimako sat on her seat, heedlessly staring at her teacher discussing about French Revolution. Shimako was always the prodigy of everything: a star student in her batch and a very talented dancer, singer, and artist in Lillian High. She was already noted as the young Ogasawara Sachiko in terms of academics, aptitudes, and a bearing of a fine lady, before the two had the chance to meet each other. But Shimako was altogether different from Sachiko; she was amiable, forbearing, and easy-going. In spite of that, she was also very well-known to be extremely prudish and puritanical in morals and religious matters, unselfconsciously, just like Sachiko herself.
Shimako had never missed a single word of what her teachers uttered during lectures and never neglected even minor announcements. As the matter of fact, she was always updated and well acquainted with everything in regards to school work and activities or any scholastic matters. She was the perfect student every educator would wish of having, utterly contrary to Yumi.
But, not this time.
Shimako was bolted back to reality by her teacher's ear-piercing voice, irately calling the name that was ironically very sweet-sounding to her ears.
Shimako instinctively swiveled her head to her right just as she caught a glimpse of Yumi jumped from her seat and shrieked. She hid her smile and amusement at her most favorite person in the classroom as she hung on the words that the teacher exclaimed at the same person that incredibly took her breath away. She abruptly turned her gaze away from the brunette immediately upon discerning Yumi glancing and smiling at her like she was not being severely reprimanded by the teacher mere seconds ago. She smiled inwardly and tried to soothe her burning face, concealing it from her classmates and most especially from the brunette with pigtails.
Shimako had never experienced to love and be loved romantically, yet she never questioned herself when she felt a passionate profound affection and desire towards her intimate classmate and friend. She was initially determined to keep it to herself, but the more she knew Yumi, the more she was enthralled by her natural charm and glamour and earnestly impelled to express her private desires for the brunette. 'I will tell her , Later.'
Just as the bell rang which connoted the end of the class, Shimako unweariedly stood from her chair and turned to look for Yumi. But the jaunty brunette was not there.
"Shimako-san." Tsutako called, standing at the door near Yumi's seat. "Are you looking for Yumi-san?"
"Yes. But I'll just probably see her at the Rose Mansion, Tsutako-san." Shimako walked towards the door when Tsutako spoke again.
"Do you know why Yumi-san is such in a hurry, Shimako-san? She's kinda weird when we talked...I mean, weirder. I know she's already weird, but-"
"I'm sorry to interrupt, Tsutako-san, but I really have to go. If you'll excuse me." Shimako said before she stepped out of the room.
"What's with people today?" Tsutako tsked several times, shaking her head in bewilderment.
Shimako hastily marched towards the Lillian ground, hoping that she could see Yumi before she would go to the Rose Mansion. The Yamayurikai would be having their first meeting after the school festival later this day, but that was the very last thing in her head at this very moment. She needed to find Yumi before anything else.
"Have you heard the news? Yumi-san is now Sachiko-sama's petite soeur." A petite girl, seemingly a first year, buzzed animatedly at the other three girls flocked together like they had a very crucial matter to discuss about.
"Really?" Another girl whispered, leaning closer at her friends. "But I saw Yumi-san went to the greenhouse. Isn't the Yamayurikai having their meeting today?"
"The old greenhouse? Are you sure? That's a creepy place to stay."
'The greenhouse?' Shimako incidentally heard the girls' conversation. She was sorry that she heard their private chat because unlike Yoshino, it was never her nature to eavesdrop someone else's conversation; but right now, she was grateful that she heard it. Now, she knew where Yumi was and she would not waste a single second of her time to tell Yumi what she wanted to tell the brunette a long time ago.
She quickened her pace going to the remote greenhouse with a sweet, valiant smile on her face. She could not tame her savage heart, pounding drastically at the sight of her destination. Her eyes gleamed with sweet hope and resolution as she went nearer to the old greenhouse, with wild butterflies in her gut. Shimako was determined. She would finally tell Yumi.
Shimako was about to grab the doorknob when she heard the familiar voice enunciating the very words she desperately yearned to tell the brunette...
"Yumi. . .I love You."
Her eyes widened in shock and terror at the stunning declaration and the recognition of the voice. Just as she thought. She was right after all. 'Sachiko-sama loves Yumi. She is in love with Yumi.' Shimako was not an imbecile, she knew what would happen next. She would not let it happen if she wanted to tell Yumi first.
"Yumi, I'm. . ."
Just as she anticipated, Sachiko would clarify her admission.
Approximately seconds before Sachiko could divulge Yumi her feelings, Shimako purposively opened the door and uttered a loud, feigning innocence...
Shimako was jolted back to the present at the sound of Tsutako's voice. She was definitely amazed that she was already in their classroom without even realizing it. She followed Tsutako's gaze and was baffled to see Yumi hurriedly leaving their classroom, apparently averting her gaze. It took her a lingering moment to absorb the situation. 'Yumi is avoiding me. But why?'
She opted to wait for Yumi in their classroom but she figured it was best to talk to Yumi and immediately settle whatever their problem was in a more secluded place. She hastily went after Yumi and after a few minutes, she found herself and Yumi at the back of the school gymnasium.
"Shimako-san." Yumi said after turning to face Shimako with an apologetic smile. She stepped closer to Shimako and gently held her hands. "I'm. . .I'm sorry, Shimako-san."
Shimako's heart was suddenly ebbing into the abyss. Yumi might uttered a vague statement but she knew what it meant. "Yumi-san." Her whole body went numb, she didn't even notice her tears fell until Yumi softly brushed the forlorn drops away.
"I hate to see you cry." Yumi morosely smiled. "I feel like a terrible person for making you cry...for hurting you, Shimako-san." Her sad smile melted. She looked at Shimako closely in the eye and sincerely added, "You deserve to be happy, Shimako-san. That's why you don't deserve me."
"Yumi-san." Shimako forced a smile but she could never hide the hurt she was feeling. She broke Yumi's gaze and mumbled. "You do truly love her, don't you?" She asserted, clear bitterness evident in her voice.
"I love you, Shimako-san, but-" Yumi tried to put her feelings in plain English, but dejectedly, Shimako cut her off.
"I know." She confirmed but with a doleful look on her face. "But you love her more." Shimako looked at Yumi for a tormentingly agonizing second before she gave her a reassuring smile and honestly said, "I'm happy for you, Yumi-san. Sachiko-sama loves you very much."
"Shimako-san." Yumi didn't know what to say or do. She couldn't help stop the tears from falling. She could badly felt her chest being crushed. Her heart ached like a million daggers stabbed her chest. She hurt Shimako, her most beloved friend who stood by her when everyone else left her into the darkness. She pained her deeply; she was damn worthy of the pain. She deserved to suffer. She even deserved to die. 'I'm so sorry, Shimako.'
I hope you won't be mad at me for hurting Shimako that way. I know, I'm a little harsh on Shimako but she has her own perfect moment, but not with Yumi. I kinda love the idea of Shimako falling for Yumi when I first saw the series. Expect for more of Yumi's love interests and Sachiko's rivals; there will be a lot of them, actually. Let me know what you think. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and gladly appreciated.
I'll try my very best to update as soon as possible. I was planning to update this chapter last Wednesday, but something came off and I still had to practice my Taekwondo after duty and school. I was kinda really busy lately, but promise I'll do my best to update the next chapter either on Wednesday or Friday.
Miracles79: Thank you so much for your never-ending support. You're really my inspiration in making this story. Please do continue reviewing, you're really a great help. :)
SweetestSuicide: I really hate to disappoint you so I can't tell you that yet. But I guess you already know. ;)
To everyone: Thank you! Until next time. :D