AN: It certainly has been a while since my last update, but I have been caught up in so many things lately. Although writing is my passion, as a student, it's truly difficult for me to focus on a single subject alone. My wonderful beta reader queenofsweets was very helpful. She fixed up a bunch of my grammar mistakes and even recommended me a software called LibreOffice.
Also, for those who took time out of their lives to comment about my work, thank you so much! I know my English is not the best, but seeing your comments really brought a smile to my face. These small comments makes me want to try harder and exceed my current abilities. I know I don't say this enough but I'm really thankful that a site like fanfiction exists, where an amateur fanfiction writer like me, can share their stories to willing readers like yourselves. For those who are reading this, I'm going to stop in track so you'll be able to continue on with the story~
=-=-=-=-= Age 15=-=-=-=-=
A large yawn escaped his lips from boredom and immediately his eyes were wet with perspiration. The words on the page bergun to distort as his focus dissolved.
Reading had never been his pleasure or delight. It irked him to death really. The position he held while concentrating upon the content before him was rather uncomfortable. The crook of his neck ached and his spine cracked as he returned to his natural posture.
He rested the leather book on top of the table as he brushed the pale blond locks out of his face. The boy pondered over the pages he just examined. From the opening of his grandfather's past thoughts, his perspectives had remained neutral. In fact, instead of rousing his interest in reading or whatever his grandfather initially intended, a heavy feeling of irritation had brewed in replacement.
The adolescent Sanji was quite the foolish one. His life consisted of girls, food, a rival, and other trivial matters. Even when discussing topics of life and death, he had unwisely placed the blames on this Zoro figure who seemed to be an intelligent guy. Even while saying he had changed, the year hardly had an effect on the teen.
A slight hint of the rose fragrance tenderly brushed past the boy's nostrils. It had an immediate soothing effect on his tense muscles. For a moment, his mind was freed as a soaring bird to a state of reverie. The colors the flowers gave off danced charmingly in his vision and the scenery surrounding him seemed somewhat more captivating than before.
Even while reading had been frustrating and troublesome, inquisitiveness overtook his mind. He wondered what might happen next. What drastically shifted his grandfather's personality and increased his wisdom. Almost frantically, his fingers reached for the book in front of him which was open for all its worth.
He repeatedly reminded himself that he was reading to satisfy this famine of interest and not to attain knowledge. Books were not capable of changing anyone's perspectives. They held facts and opinions. While the ones which held facts were quite useful, the ones that held opinions were pointless. Every author seemed to somehow contradict the other and while that may be pleasurable to someone else, it merely vexed the boy.
I am not the smartest person in the world but something terrible is happening in Zoro's life right now.
That annoying bastard hasn't talked to me in so long and not only that, he hardly comes to school anymore. I can feel that something is off about him. I can't explain it dammit but something is definitely out of place. Let's just call it my natural instinct.
Well guess who just won at being the biggest asshole ever. Yeah, me.
Shit, Zoro and I got into a serious fight earlier. It wasn't like one of our usual fights either because neither of us tried to brake a bone or slice off a body part. It was actually one of those normal fights and that scared the shit out of me. Our group is just a bunch of weirdos. Us being normal is almost weirder than the president jacking off to some anime porn. That's some disturbing analogy I just made up but I think it got my point across.
I think I really snapped when Zoro told us he needed to be somewhere else again. I tried to be nice at first, I told him, "For fuck's sakes, it's Luffy's birthday, just stay won't you?"
He snorted and it really ticked me off. "None of your business shithead," and that irritated me to no end. I thought who does this bastard think he is? Aren't all of us his friends? Well I'm his rival but still. He shouldn't keep any secrets from us. But since I wasn't too good at expressing myself, I kicked him instead.
To my surprise, he didn't even try fighting back. He merely blocked my kicks and when I noticed this, my focus kind of fell apart. He took this chance to push me back against a wall. I felt pathetic because I, Sanji Blackleg, was being pushed around by some damn marimo. It was so fucking embarrassing.
When his face came so close to mine, my breath kind of hitched. I felt my heartbeat speed up because I was able to see every outline of Zoro's anger on his face. He growled like some beast which caught my attention again, "Stop fucking resorting to violence all the damn time and stop interrupting my life every damn second. My life has nothing to do with you. Stay out of mine then I'll stay out of yours."
I was beyond angry. I was even angrier than the time he said my cooking was bad.
I told him, "I'm so disappointed in you, piece of shit" out of pure anger. I knew those words were more effective than a simple "I hate you," and I guess that's why I said it. Because at the very moment, all I wanted to do was hurt him emotionally and physically as much as possible.
His grip on my shirt tightened and his growls became louder in my ears. The anger he expressed at the moment, I felt ten times more bitter. "We're always here for you as friends but because you're some insecure shit, it leaves us to feel like we're the ones doing something wrong. But in all honesty, you're the only one screwing everything up. Even on Luffy's, your own damn best friend's birthday, without a reason, you decide to-" Before I could finish my angry outbursts, he cast me aside and threw me on the ground. Even though I called him the disappointment, by the cold look in his eyes, it was obvious who was the actual disappointment.
Luffy who spotted us came over to stop the fight. "That's enough Zoro, you should go on ahead." He stood like a barrier between us, putting one of his palms on Zoro's chest and the other in front of my face.
"Yeah I will, happy birthday Luffy," Zoro told him before sprinting away.
Luffy turned to me before placing one of his hands on top of my shoulder. He laughed like a little kid before giving me some advice, "Sanji, you should apologize to Zoro, you guys always fight but you guys always make up at the end too. I'm sure he'll forgive you." He grinned at me before helping me up.
Even though Luffy made it sound really easy, I wasn't too sure. I sounded like some shitty bastard back there and since this fight was different than the rest, I really wasn't too sure.
The whole day, I thought about that damn marimo. I thought about casually talking to him again then I thought about sincerely apologizing to him. Whatever those plans were, I decided to find him and talk to him first.
It was so easy to spot him because no one in our school had green hair. Actually, I don't even think anyone else in this world naturally owned green hair like Zoro. Just before I had a chance to confront that damn marimo, he ran outside of the school grounds, hurrying off somewhere again. My good conscience was telling me to leave him alone and let him do whatever he wanted, but as always, I followed my bad conscience. It was more exciting that way anyways.
Zoro ran the whole way there and I was right on his heels. It was exciting to follow him, I felt like I was in some action movie. But when he stopped at some hospital and glanced around, he noticed me immediately because my stupid flashy blond hair.
He looked really unhappy with crossed arms. He didn't freak out as I expected but he didn't seem too pleased either. "What are you doing here?" His frown appeared ruder than usual.
I dumbly countered, "What are you doing here?" I didn't think the trick would work but it did.
Zoro became distracted, "I'm here to see my sister."
"Is she sick?"
"I hope she feels better marimo."
"Thanks curly, you wanna meet her?"
I was surprised by the sudden offer but I accepted it willingly because I was curious. Zoro was like this Easter egg, very mysterious on the outside but hopefully worth it on the inside.
I followed after that marimo but he ended up getting us lost. So eventually, I had to find Kuina's room all by myself because Zoro was completely useless with directions.
"You came again Zoro? Don't you have a social life?" A girl who I guessed was Kuina spoke. She had normal black hair unlike Zoro but I felt that something was similar between them.
I haven't seen Zoro's boyish grin in a while but it immediately revealed when his sister spoke, "I got to visit you as much as possible before you die you know." I flinched at that because that was plain rude, especially towards girls.
But Kuina simply grinned at his response and said, "Who's going to die? You mean you? I mean, surely you're not talking about me seeing how I defeated you, oh I don't know, about a thousand times." Her cocky grin was almost exactly like marimo's. It was kind of scary how alike they were to each other.
Marimo became all embarrassed and turned bright red. "Shut up!"
Kuina laughed all cheerfully then noticed me, "Oh, who is this? You have friends Zoro?"
"He's not my friend!" We both said this at the same time and it made Kuina laugh again.
"You are pretty funny, what's your name and why is your eyebrow so curly?" Even though she was a lady, she was too blunt, just like Zoro.
"My eyebrows aren't that curly!" I accidentally shouted at first, but regained control again, "I mean, young maiden, my name is Sanji Blackleg and your beauty is almost too much for one's eyes. If I had a star in front of my eyes, I would still believe you to be the brighter one!"
Before she could respond, Zoro told her, "He's an idiot."
I kicked him in the head and we fought until the doctors had to break us apart. The whole time, Kuina was cackling like a maniac, calling us both idiots.
You could say she was unladylike, loud, obnoxious, and competitive, but I say that she was very lovable. She spoke the truth, accepted me, and she had a way with Zoro. Kuina was able to make her brother smile with only few words and stir him up like some angry cat with the next.
It was fun hanging out with the two. We played scrabble and card games until it became dark out. I almost felt bad leaving Kuina alone in the hospital room but she insisted that I hurry along and go home. "Come again Sanji!" She yelled really loudly before I shut the room door.
I became red because all the doctors and nurses turned to me.
Zoro snickered towards me after seeing my face. I felt like hitting him again but I restrained myself. Before anything, I had a question that was bugging me, "Why is she in the hospital?"
That happy look sort of disappeared and annoyance just somehow came back, "None of your business bastard, I told you she was sick." I frowned because Zoro was so bipolar. One moment he was happy and the next, he was angry. He was so unpredictable and because of that, I was intrigued.
Last night, marimo snuck me out of Baratie. I asked him many times where we were going but he refused to tell me until we actually reached the place. And when I say place, I mean a bar with alcohol and many many beautiful dancing ladies.
He grinned at me when he noticed my expression. I felt panicky inside because beautiful adult women with so little clothes were dancing all around me. I stuck like a glue by Zoro's side because for some reason, I felt more safe with him. Not that I needed protection or anything. He just knew the place better than I, so I just stayed by his side.
I was worried and uneasy when we reached the bartender because we were both underage. I was afraid that the bartender would call the cops on us. However, when Zoro ordered two glasses of something called rum, nothing really happened. Not even a suspicious glance was given. The bartender just handed two teenagers two glasses of alcohol without asking for ID.
I smelled the drink a few times and pulled my nose away because it stank of cheap vodka mixed with something fruity. When I told Zoro this, he smirked at me with that shitty arrogant face of his. He asked me, "Can't take a drink you sissy?" Then he drank his second glass with ease, showing off that he was somewhat better than me.
Since I was never one to back off from a challenge, I grabbed the drink and downed it in one gulp.
It literally burned my throat all the way down. When it landed, I was afraid that this shit was acid and would burn a hole in my stomach. I had this urge to fucking throw up because not only did it burn but the smell and taste was terrible. So as a chef who has tasted ups and downs in food quality, I hereby say this had been the worst.
Then I started to notice everything becoming so faint and blurry looking. I think I was scared of the lights moving because I swear, it was flashing everywhere! Also, the colors and body movements were invading my space, it almost felt like I was being absorbed into the crowd. To be honest, I really don't remember much of it. I have flashes of memories from when I was drunk. Like I remember when I was laughing at the bartender for being stupid and I also recall being carried on someone's back on the way home.
When I woke up on my bed this morning, I felt all sick inside. My head was throbbing so I took some painkillers and then I took a really long shower afterwards because my body smelled like alcohol and other people's body odors.
I'm probably never doing that ever again. Damn that marimo.
That marimo was mad at me because I threw up all over him the other night. I told him to get over it but I think that just made him angrier. What's that expression, adding fuel to the fire? Yeah, that's what I did.
Since my memories were actually coming back, I'm beginning to remember Zoro's face when I barfed all over his shirt. It was so freaking hysterical because his mouth was in that 'o' shape.
He looked so annoyed with everything but I guess that was part of the reason why it was so funny to me.
Summer is coming fast and I'm going to be a sophomore next year! This year went by so fast that I almost didn't notice it passing. I'm glad it's over though. I was on the verge of failing at least two of my classes.
I did another competition yesterday. The theme was called "Glamorous." It was basically about making a dish as pretty as possible. I think this time, it was easier for me because decorating my food afterwards was always my thing.
If I had another job, something else other than being a chef, I think I would want to be an artisan because the two jobs are very similar. They are both complicated and artful at the same time. But still, in my opinion, I think cooking is way better because artists can't satisfy anyone's stomachs.
So this time, when I won that competition, I was more than prepared to deal with those interviewers and they asked for some of my personal recipes I replied "that's classified." It made me feel like a CSI agent for saying that.
I'm hoping that my infamous cooking prodigy status will bring more customers to Baratie because I don't want to see Zeff's dream restaurant to shut down ever. I owe that old man too much for something like that to happen. He took care of me in his restaurant my whole life. Zeff and this place are almost sacred to me.
I visited Kuina at the hospital with Zoro again. I was worried because she seemed weaker than the last time I had seen her.
She coughed every time she spoke and wheezed with every breath she took. She told us, "I just caught a really bad cold, don't worry about me." But even though she was trying to reassure us, it was so obvious that she was in pain and that she didn't have just a mere cold.
It was hard for me to see her in pain but it must've been a thousand times worse for Zoro. His face was all scrunched up into a forced grin but no matter how hard he tried, it just seemed miserable. Kuina probably saw through his bad acting skills too. But like me, she didn't say anything.
We didn't play games this time. Instead, Zoro took out a book of poems and read it to her with a soothing voice until she quickly fell asleep.
I carefully listened to Zoro's voice, even after Kuina went to bed. I loved poetry, but was unfamiliar with who wrote the beautiful words the marimo was now relaying."
My mind was completely in a daze. I even took time to memorize some of the poems because they held special meanings for me.
As memories, I'm going to leave the titles here 'Dreams' by Langston Hughes and 'Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep' by Mary Elizabeth Frye.
The boy dashed indoors with the tattered journal in hand, feet skimming across the stylish floor underneath. The sound of his quickly thumping feet resonated in the hallway like a drum.
He was headed towards the library which held many classic novels and poems created by variety of authors. Part of his brain was insisting, almost pleading, for him to nourish and supply the desire to know more. The boy anxiously wished to know the exact feeling that his grandfather felt when hearing those poems. He shuffled through the rows and rows of hard covered books that were all placed alphabetically.
Within only a few minutes, he was able to acquire the two poems he sought for. Then the boy surreptitiously sauntered back towards the room.
The script was most strangely written and the paperback had an unusual feel to it but the scent was the most noticeable of all. A smell emanated from the worn leather, one that resembled the fragrance of a lush green forest. Air of dusts clouded in front of the exposed pages, much visible with the aid of the natural light. His eyes scanned each page in impatience, sheer anticipation seeping in hopes of encountering the two poems.
Jingles of a golden bell were lightly heard faraway, soft soprano hums echoed, and a faint noise of paws skittered across the hallway. These sounds dispersed as he focused on the poetry, absorbing the words until they became as permanent in his brain as a tattoo was on skin.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
-Mary Elizabeth Frye-
The poem was unexpectedly short. He initially imagined pages and pages of metaphors, personifications, hyperbole's, and all those literary devices which were favorably used by all kinds of poets. He had not expected so many mature elements would be present, bringing about feelings that he found confusing. Topics of love and the true value of friendship were still too complex for a boy his age.
The boy lightly flipped the pages to find the next poem.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
The crinkles in between his two eyebrows loosened with ease as his breath hastened. The harmonious thumps of his heartbeats vibrated across his ribcage and his chest swelled with some sort of an emotional reaction. This enigmatic state stirred confusion within the boy. He imagined his grandfather experiencing the exact sentiments as he, maybe even far more in depth. After all, reading was far different than listening to another being. When you hear a poetic voice, it's easier to derive emotion from that voice than just words. The hitch of a person's breath, and hints of hesitation, you're able to recognize it all. You're able to feel it all.
But the mere action of reading seemed so dull and dry. So irksome and tiring. Yet the boy continued through the book of poems and the diary entries nonetheless.
To leave Kuina in peace, Zoro and I left the hospital.
Since it was still early, we decided to go to Zoro's house. That marimo was against the whole idea at first but I eventually convinced him by telling him that I'll be making food. He pretended not to care about the offer but it was so obvious that he was tempted.
The dojo he always talked about, I finally saw it. It was huge and there were little kids everywhere, swinging their small bamboo sticks around. Some were our age but most were younger. They all greeted Zoro and even asked him for a duel. He refused all the requests like a cocky bastard though.
"You're really popular here," I told him with a laugh since it was pretty amusing to see how he acted at home.
Zoro only grumbled, "shut up, shitty cook."
But of course, being the calm person that I am, I ignored that comment.
The kitchen was an exciting place to be because there was so much strange cooking equipment that it almost seemed foreign to me. Actually, they were all probably foreign, specifically Japanese, because everything in this place seemed so oriental. This whole place practically shouted Japan!
My hand itched like crazy to test out all the ingredients and equipment.
"What do you want for dinner marimo and do those kids normally eat here too?" I wanted to know exactly how things went around here and also, I didn't want anyone starving.
"I don't care what you make and yeah, the kids normally stay over for dinner but you don't have to make food for them, I usually feed them ramen noodles so..."
"Ramen noodles for dinner? Are you trying to under nourish them?" I snapped at him because being unhealthy with food just meant plain laziness. "I'll cook for the whole dojo tonight so stay out of my way until then." I learned the ways of being bossy in a kitchen from Zeff and it worked like a charm on Zoro. The marimo head merely snorted at the comment then went outside to play with the kids.
I smiled to myself as I experimented with all these spices and sauces from overseas because it was fun to cook, to see how well ingredients were able to match one another. It took awhile cooking for about twenty people, but it was worth it to see the happy looks on everyone's faces afterwards. I wasn't too big on compliments but when it came to my cooking, my heart bloated each time.
I didn't see Zoro's father but the fact that I saw Zoro's home and his homelife made me feel satisfied. Was I somewhat obsessed with marimo? Was that why I felt the need to see every part of his life? What was so special about him that interested me so much?
I didn't have answers to any of these questions and it frustrated me. All I knew for certain was that I needed to know more, to create a deeper connection with Zoro. It scared me to a certain extent to realize how much I desired that.
The days have been extremely hot lately, I literally carry a fan around with me wherever I go.
Lately, to make everything worse, Zeff tries to save money by shutting off all of the air conditioning systems. When things become too unbearable in Baratie, I head over to visit Kuina at the hospital where Zoro is most likely there as well.
Us three, we're like the three musketeers. That sounds so lame but that's the best term to describe our connection.
Sometimes though, I do feel left out. It seems like Zoro and Kuina have a deeper understanding of each other. Well, that is an obvious statement since they knew each other for a really long time, plus, they're siblings, of course they know everything about each other. It's like they're telepathics, they're able to tell what is on each other's minds without really saying anything. I feel like the third wheel and it's lonesome at times. I'm glad though, because they accept me for who I am. Being a teenager and all, I think less people are able to understand me nowadays. Hell, I am still unsure of who I am. But even so, having friends who understand you is more valuable than having enough money for a lifetime. That's just my opinion though, a lot of people would disagree.
Approximately two days ago, I overheard a conversation between Zoro and Kuina. It wasn't like I meant to eavesdrop on the conversation or anything, it just happened. I even tried forgetting about it afterwards but it wasn't easy.
When I offered to buy us each a soda, I accidentally left my wallet in the room, so I went back. I stopped at the door though because I heard Zoro mentioning my name.
At the time, I wasn't thinking much so I hesitated and ended up digging myself into a bigger hole. Since I was already in too deep, I thought listening to them a bit further wouldn't hurt. Boy, was I wrong...
"Sanji... I still haven't told him anything but if you want me to then..." That marimo actually sounded gentle and mannered.
I heard Kuina having a coughing fit before speaking, "Tell him when... gone... don't... sad..." Her breath came out as wheezes. Her voice was almost dropped to a whisper so it was hard to make out certain things.
Zoro sounded angry from her answer, the gentleness that had been in his voice completely disappeared, "Shut up, stop saying that you fucking coward." I was infuriated hearing such rude comments directed toward a lady. Zoro needed to have some damn respect, especially since Kuina was sick.
"Zoro, I thought I told you before. You have to accept fate if you want to become the greatest swordsman and don't call me a coward, you know I hate that comment." It was really obvious that Kuina was tired and didn't want to talk about this topic anymore.
But that marimo continued, "Well if you're giving up on your dreams then you're a coward." I became curious when things became silent after. I didn't know that Zoro was heading my way, if I knew, I would've been long gone.
When that marimo saw me, he glared for a split second before walking away. He didn't even bother to comment on my eavesdropping. It made me feel embarrassed and ashamed at the same time. I think it would've been better if he had said something, anything! An insult would've been better than a silent treatment. It was like I disappointed him or something, it made me feel really uneasy.
The next day which was yesterday, they acted completely normal around each other. I guess that's what families do. They fight, they argue, and they forgive without actually apologizing. That's what I do with Zeff and the other cooks in Baratie too.
Even though they thought I was clueless, I still had some idea of what they were talking about the other day.
Kuina was telling Zoro how she might pass away soon and obviously Zoro freaked the fuck out because I would have too. His own sister, his own fucking sister was telling him that she was about die. I don't even have a sister so I can only imagine but Kuina is still my friend. I feel this strong sadness over the news. But it has to be worse for Zoro. He lived with her his entire life. Sure they're not blood related but they grew up together. The bond they share is stronger than any normal friendship or that of a sibling. So yeah, I sympathize with him. I sympathize with him so much that I went as far to cry for him.
By some miracle, I hope things will turn for Zoro's favor.
Even though I was so against the idea of keeping a journal before, I'm kind of glad that I have one now. My mind is always running, I always have things to say but not everyone has the patience to hear me out. So having a journal is like having a friend. It lets you go on a rampage and talk continuously without having to stop. I can talk about whoever I want and whatever I want and it wouldn't judge me. Well, it wouldn't be able to judge me anyways since it is an inanimate object after all, but what I'm trying to say is that it's nice to let it all out. Keeping things in makes me feel stuffed up like a turkey during thanksgiving.
So here I go, I have a theory that could get me beat up whether it is true or not.
It may be becoming a habit of mine but I've been eavesdropping on Kuina and Zoro lately. I do value their privacy and I wouldn't want anyone listening on me either but I just can't help it. That marimo refuses to tell me anything himself so I feel like this is the only way. I'm not even sure why I'm so curious about his life in the first place but I'm already in too deep. It's not like I can take back my actions or what I heard anyways.
This afternoon, I pretended to head home but in actuality, I stayed behind to listen in on their conversation. I stood right behind the door and held my breath. I was scared that they would catch me sneakily listening in on them.
The first voice I heard was Zoro's, he casually chuckled and said, "I thought that curly brow would never leave." I grinded my teeth when I heard that, I was even tempted to go back in there to beat the shit out of him.
Kuina laughed with him a bit. "Sanji can be annoying," My jaw dropped and my heart crushed when I heard that. However, before I even had the chance to mope and get all depressed, she continued. "But he's a good friend. Actually, he's a lifetime friend. He is someone who will stay with you even through the darkest times, the most sorrowful times, and even the most pathetic times. I noticed that he hardly talks about himself and I figured that is because he thinks of himself as someone undeserving. I can almost see the patterns of self destructiveness. Zoro... Promise me that you will stay with him."
I bit my lower lip because Kuina was too kind. She cared for me even if we haven't known each other for that long.
"I'll promise if you promise me to stay too." Zoro's response caught my attention again. The subject change was almost too sudden. Also, the emotions behind his words were so unlike Zoro that it caught me off the guard.
I heard Kuina sigh for the bazillionth time this week. "Zoro..." She sounded tired again and my heart, my heart just wrenched for her.
"I know, I know all your shit about accepting fate. You and Koshiro tell me this every single day. Accept fate Zoro because there are no ways of escaping it. Do what your gut tells you Zoro because that's probably your fate leading you. Follow fate Zoro because things are going to fuck up if you don't. I know all about it." The 'fate' he spoke of was a harsh reminder that Kuina was to die soon. And although he acknowledged this power of 'fate,' the way he spoke of it oozed of mockery.
"What the hell do you want from me?" In my mind, I silently thought oh snap. I didn't expect such a bold answer from her and neither did Zoro. He was speechless. "What's wrong Zoro? Cat got your tongue? You weren't like this when you asked me out for a date."
What? What? WHAT? I had to calm myself because I couldn't blow my cover away at such a crucial I misinterpreted her comment or something, but it was so straight forward. I'm not sure how else anyone could have understood it.
I kind of expected Zoro to be like what are you talking about? But he didn't. Instead, he said, "It's not like you accepted it though." It came out so cheeky and playful that I had to wonder if my guess was really wrong or not.
"Of course not, we're siblings."
My heart was thumping really loudly in my chest. I wanted it to shut up but of course I would've died if that ever happened. My suspicion of them just grew larger and larger with my curiosity. Every single thing they said sounded damn fishy to me. I wanted to be creative and think about other possibilities, but my mind just kept coming back to the first theory.
The siblings were in a taboo relationship with each other, or at least I think.
And I would also like to point out that I used the word 'taboo,' because it's so damn taboo.
So that marimo, like the annoying bastard he is, replied to Kuina in a very cocky way. "I thought you didn't care about those things Kuina? What happened to your big talk about fate this and fate that?" I pictured him with a stupid smirk plastered all over his face, thinking he was some clever shit for saying that. But what happened next was what kept my attention. Zoro continued on to prove his point, "When we were twelve, I clearly recall you telling me-" His sentence was abruptly cut off.
That silence lasted for a whole minute and within that minute, I couldn't help but to assume certain things. My mind basically went like this 'oh god, what are they doing in there? Are they fucking kissing or something? Holy motherfucking shit, I can't believe this. I can't fucking believe this. Should I get out of here? Oh my fucking god.' So yeah... I guess you could say that I was freaking out.
When Kuina's voice broke the silence, I almost had a heart attack. "What were you about to say Zoro? Or marimo-kun?" She started to laugh at her own joke. Actually, she wasn't laughing, she was more like cackling. And since Zoro wasn't responding, I imagined him being all speechless. I don't know what went on within those silent seconds but shit must have gone down if it shocked Zoro to that extent.
Kuina started choking after laughing for so long. I didn't think much of it until her chokes turned into painful coughs. Zoro started patting her on the back. "I'll get you some water."
That was the last thing I heard.
By the time he reached the door, I was already long gone, out of the hospital, running down the streets. Running and running until my lungs couldn't take it anymore. For some reason, I expected Zoro behind me, chasing me down, but of course that didn't happen. I was scared because I knew I heard too much. I knew the information wasn't meant for me to hear.
It was too late to regret anyways since I was already too far into their personal lives.
Its just that, I didn't know how to process the information yet. I'm pretty sure that I wasn't weirded out or disgusted by this, and I wasn't really happy for them either. I just felt neutral when hearing this, slightly surprised, but that's it.
I guess I will try my best to put on a front because they are still my good friends. I wouldn't want them to think that I'm judging them on their decisions or anything.
You know what? I have to be honest here. I'm way too good at acting in these types of situations. I feel like if I ever get the chance, I could really polish my skills and be a movie star or something. Then maybe I could meet all those gorgeous, celebrity ladies! If only. Then my life would be truly complete.
I love grocery stores. It is literally like a chef's paradise.
So many different types of fruits and vegetables, rows and rows of them laid out, decorating the place with bright colors. Who needs ornaments and decorations when you have fruits and vegetables? Also, when you walk in, the smell, the smell of variety of spices, it just hits you full force. For a chef, it's as lovely as a normal person smelling flowers in a garden. You just can't get enough of it.
I think the best part is that you can literally get any basic ingredients you need. If you want to make some chicken caesar salad for the night, then boom! You can get the chicken, some romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese, and a bottle of high quality extra virgin olive oil instantly. And if I can go on and on about anything, it would have to be food related because I can literally rant forever about this.
So the reason why I started off with the topic of grocery stores is because I went to one with my group. And let me make it clear who is exactly in my group; Luffy, Zoro, Nami swan, Usopp, me, Chopper, Robin chwan, and Franky. Ace also belongs with us but since he is older, he has another group of his own, so he can't spend as much time with us. It can't be helped.
For the past five days, we've spent a lot of time with each other because Luffy and Ace invited all of us to a beach house. At first it annoyed me to know that they are filthy rich enough to own a beach house, but I was able to get over that irritation.
We threw a beach party to celebrate our last day today and of course I ended up cooking for everybody.
I enjoy cooking for large groups though since it lets me go all out, and I especially liked gathering ingredients today because Zoro accompanied me as a pack mule. Of course he objected to it at first but when Luffy told him to, it was like he had no other choice. It's weird how loyal he is to Luffy. I respect that straw hat kid but that respect is nowhere as close to Zoro's.
We ended up getting lost on the way back. I was annoyed with Zoro's navigation skills at first since there are none at all. He is literally mentally retarded with directions. When I tell him to go right, he goes left. When I tell him to go straight, he ends up going in a circle. I really have no idea how his brain works. But despite this small problem, it gave us a great chance to talk. I don't remember what we talked about exactly, but I do recall sharing comfortable silences and that really says a lot. Silences usually make me feel uneasy and awkward, so it causes me to be more talkative. Only few people can share a peaceful silence with me. Only around my closest friends, I can remain calm. And I guess somehow Zoro ended up in that list. I'm still not sure what he thinks of me though.
Since I was completely behind schedule, for five hours straight, I cooked nonstop. And I didn't even bother taking breaks in between. With raw materials, I created dish after dish from scratch. But it was all worth it at the end because everyone was left satisfied. As a chef, I think that's the best feeling ever, knowing that your food was the reason for everyone's smiles.
I'm going to feel sad about leaving this place because I really enjoyed spending time with everyone. If only time could freeze. I would like to live in these happy moments forever.
It seems that I can't visit Kuina anymore because she just underwent surgery. The visitors are restricted to only family members so it's just unfair to me. It's like the whole universe is plotting together to keep me out of Zoro and Kuina's lives. I know I'm nosy and all, but I genuinely care for them. I want to get to know them more, get involved more, and become closer with them.
I sometimes feel so left out of their conversations that it's like there's a barrier between us. They're in their own little world where no one else can ever bother them. I want to step inside that barriers. I want to join in on their private jokes and laugh along with them because I know they're worth it.
I think it's so cool how they are open minded about stuff, so fucking flexible with everything, from childish opinions to serious values, they're always there to hear them out. I used to think Zoro was this simple minded bastard but he really isn't. Well... He is a simple guy and a bastard on top of that, but he's somewhat more than that.
How should I explain this...
He is really stubborn and I guess that goes against the whole 'flexible' comment, but I swear it all makes sense. If you know him in real life, he literally goes against every stereotype. Even though he is mean looking and foul mouthed, deep in there, really deep in there, gotta dig real hard, you will kind of see a soft kitten hiding underneath everything. Soft and furry as it goes. All cute and fluffy, kind hearted, still idiotic, but nice in weird ways.
He's authentic, that's something nowadays. He is so true to himself that he makes enemies wherever he goes. People hate his guts for who he is and he doesn't give a shit about it. To tell you the truth, I would never have the guts to be like that. I'm always careful about my image, so careful that no one in our school knows that I'm actually some foul mouthed cook.
In some ways, I guess Zoro and I are pretty similar. But I still refuse to be grouped with that gorilla.
I noticed that somehow I always end up at the topic of Zoro for some odd reasons. Ever since he rudely barged into my life, I have been talking about him non stop. It's like I have an obsession with him, not that I admire him from afar or anything. He's just different, that's all, different from the normal people I meet every day, with an exception of our crew of course. Even the taboo affair he has with his sister is so fascinating, so different, and unexpected. Not even in million years, would I have been able to guess his life.
In order to reveal what's inside, you gotta crack him open with a hammer or something, just like an Easter egg as I have mentioned previously. But allow me to correct myself. That marimo is not an Easter egg. He is more like the Earth where there lies multiple crusts. You think you cracked it after the first layer then you find out there is another layer hiding underneath, then again, then again. And the deeper you go down, the harder it is to break.
There are times when I think that I have him all figured out, then of course, out of nowhere, he proves me wrong with his unexpected secrets. It's almost impossible to know where the core of his 'earth' is because there are so many layers of him.
I don't want to deepen our friendship, but I have to say that I'm very curious about him. He is my surprise, my puzzle, it's fun to put the pieces of him together to see the actual beauty. I mean... The actual self, his actual personality, not beauty. Only ladies are beautiful.
I really don't get some people sometimes. When there are shitty consequences at the end, why do it? When you know your actions will end up hurting the people around you and yourself, why risk it? Why is it so fucking difficult for some people to understand that every choice leads to a payment in this shitty life? I don't understand, I really don't. I would like to understand but it's completely and utterly impossible.
Someone from Baratie got arrested today for holding illegal drugs. I'm not going to say his name but let's just say that he used to be part of our staff. I used to talk to him casually and occasionally shared recipes with him. I never knew there was more to him than what was shown.
I'm not exactly sure what was worse; finding out his true face or knowing that he had used us and Baratie all along.
That damn bastard knew that he was risking everybody else with him. He knew, no matter what, that he was sacrificing our reputation.
I'm angry, not because of obvious reasons, but because I'm slowly beginning to forgive him. Even though he fucked us all over, this anger is little by little turning into sympathy. And I hate myself for it. It would be easier if I was mad, then I could thrash here and there, and that emotion will be over with. But sympathy is a much different story. I can't satisfy sympathy. Sympathy is guilt and pity, it's a feeling of compassion. Nothing can satisfy sympathy until the other person is satisfied.
I'm a cook, so the only thing I can satisfy is hunger, and that is the limit to my usefulness.
I can't cure a drug addict or help anyone else. I can't be the superhero who saves the day or be the sunlight that shines on someone else's day. I am just an individual who will live his life and die without making a difference in this world. People will use me along the way and my sympathy will guide them through. This so called compassion will ruin me at the very end.