It's been days after she found my secret. I'm still sulking about it, a little. The only good thing that came out of that is my unrestrained movement around her. What's the point of being scared she'll see the cuts if she already knows it's there. Now i can stretch around her, raise my hands; technically i have a free range of movement.
A sigh escaped my lips. I went for a walk with the intention of just clearing my thoughts but somehow i've made my way to this park. It reminds me of the first time i met her here.
The sun was setting in the horizon, its reddish hue filling the sky. I had stopped at a bench to watch the sunset. There wasn't really much to watch considering, that the trees in the park kind of blocked my view. But the beach was quite a distance out of town. So i had opted for the bench on the park.
I noticed a bouquet of flowers lying on the bench. Probably left behind by some spurned lover. The corner of my mouth turned up. I picked up a rose twirled it; noticed somewhat absentmindedly that the florist had shaved of f the thorns from the stalk. How facadious. I snapped the rose in half, with almost vicious glee, started plucking at each petal.
It was then she strolled up to me. I noticed her scent first, over her. A sweet spice with the clean wash out smell of detergent.
I looked up to see crimson eyes and honey brown hair flitting in the wind. She plucked the last petal from the rose in my hand, held it carefully. And then she blew it out of her palm.
It shocks me and angers me that there could be so much difference in meaning when the actions were so similar. I dropped the crushed petal pieces from my hand. They sank to the floor, whilst hers floated in the wind before finally rustling down into the ground with finesse. Although she looked familiar, I couldn't quite place her face. What should i say to this stranger?
"That was rude. That flower was mine." The words jumped out of my mouth.
"Ara, i don't believe so. I've been in this park for over a hour. I saw a man present these flowers to a woman. She must have rejected him, because when she left, he dumped the bouquet on the bench before walking off." She smiled gently at me.
Who was she I felt all the anger in me dissolve in the smile of hers. There was an air of elegance, mystery and something piercing behind those ruby red eyes that shone almost unnaturally.
"Whatever." I scuffed the toe of my turquoise converse sneakers on the floor and looked away.
She moved to sit on the bench beside me.
The audacity! Who was she, it's not like i asked for her company. Here she was taking all the liberties as though she knew me. Hell, she didn't even ask for permission to sit on the bench. There were over 4 other benches around us that were empty.
As though she knew my thoughts, she turned to me. "Ara, is it all right if i sit here?"
What the fuck was Ara? "I'm cool." It's not like i can say 'No' after she's all seated.
"My name is Fujino, Shizuru."
"Natsuki." I replied shortly.
"What a beautiful name. It reminds me of summer and blooming flowers and a swim by the beach in a bikini." She giggled as though caught in some fond memory.
The small tinkle of her laughter was so pure and light, I wanted to know her more. It seemed almost magical in a world of forced laughter. It was as though there was so much freedom in that laughter of hers.
"My mum liked the summer. Personally, i prefer it when it's winter."
I had no idea how, but the conversation continued and continued. I found out she was from my high school. And somehow after that day we continued to meet up every once in awhile.
A small smile crept onto my face at that nostalgic memory. Realizing it, i shifted my face back into passivity. I stared out at the trees, the old playground with its worn out slide and the bench that we sat. Maybe i should go and visit Shizuru at the shop she's working at. It's not far from here at any rate.
Much as i like my taking my Ducati for a spin, there are times, i enjoy walking. It didn't take long before i'm standing outside the shop. A huge flashing label of pink neon lights that read "Victoria's Secret."
Ahh lingerie, i love collecting them. I mentally chastise myself. I have an ever growing collection of lingerie and today i would NOT add to them. Today's purpose was solely to check on Shizuru. Not that she needs checking on. Even though it's just her second day at work, she's probably their top salesperson already. If that's even possible...
I slouch my shoulders as i walk into the shop. It makes me mildly uncomfortable to be surrounded by so much lingerie. Much as i love collecting them, strolling into these shops, makes me feel embarrassed. My eyes wander, over the vast range of bras and latched onto a black lacy one with red stripes. I took 2 steps in that direction before i caught myself.
Uh uh, no way. I shall not be tempted.
I avert my eyes, and scan the shop for blond hair. I see her, at the end of one of the aisle talking to a customer. Her back's facing me, so I can't see the expressions on her face.
Oh wells. I'll probably talk to her after she's done. It'll be rude to interrupt. In the mean time...I could just allow myself a slight indulgence by looking at some of these new pieces of lingerie.
I jumped and turned around. I was so quickly raptured by some of the finer pieces of lingerie that i had lost track of time. "Oh uh. Hi Shizuru."
Crimson eyes focused on the pair of lingerie in my hands. Black lace along the edge with stripes of red running diagonally across. "Ara, that is indeed pretty. I wonder if Natsuki wants to wear that for me?"
"Baa-ka." I threw the lingerie back on to the hanger.
She simply smiled at me. It is a layered smile. "Why did you put it back? Did you not come here to add something to your spilling-out-of-the-wardrobe collection?" Reaching over my shoulder, she picked up the hanger and dangles that exquisite work of art in front of me.
I tucked my hands into my pocket and looked at the floor. "No, actually not. I urm...came here to see how you were doing."
Her hands still their movement. That is probably the only indication of her surprise. "Ara how sweet. I'm doing fine. Does Natsuki intend to wait for my shift to end so that she can take me out on a date to dinner?"
"What time do you end?"
She tilted her wrist. "Mmm in about forty five minutes."
"Yeah, okay sure why not. I'll just hang around or something. You can think of where you want to have dinner." The smile i receive is dazzling. It makes me happy, that something as simple as dinner with me makes her happy. "Why don't you uh you know go back to talking to the customers or something?"
She dangles the lingerie in front of me. "Maybe you'll like to buy this. The lace is of exquisite quality and the bra is made of silk." She grabs my hand and runs it over the bra. "Can you feel how soft it is?"
"Yes, i can." I recover my hand from her possession. "But no Shiz, as you already said. My wardrobe is bursting full."
"That's what your mouth says, but your heart says otherwise." She lifts one eyebrow at me.
"Stop playing the devil's advocate!" I tear my eyes away. "I'm not buying it. Bye. I'll see you later."
"Ara, i'm so proud of your self control. I'll catch you later."
Without turning around, I raise my hand over my shoulders in a wave and walked away from this shop that was full of temptations.