[Hyacinth] Chapter 1 - Abor Vitae
Vekter Mar 13th, 2013 (edited) 993 Never
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- Chapter 1
- I yawn quietly as I wake, sitting up and stretching. Another beautiful day. Hanako's still out like a light. I watch her sleep, her chest slowly rising and falling with each breath. The sun shines in on her, making her hair almost glow with light. Absolutely beautiful.
- It's been six months. Six long, confusing months. I wouldn't trade a day of it for anything, though. A few weeks after I woke up in Hanako's bed, I asked her out on a date. It was downright magical, and about a month later, she confessed to me. And now, here we are, months later and madly in love.
- As far as Lilly goes, Hanako is still friends with her. She calls Lilly once a month or so to catch up with her. We've talked a few times, but never about what happened between us. Either she just wants to forget about it, or she doesn't care to discuss it. The only time I brought up the subject, she "had to go". I guess she hasn't changed a bit.
- Looking back, I'm a bit thankful, in a way. I loved Lilly, and I still care about her, but if she hadn't left me, I would have never fallen for Hanako. I lean over and plant a kiss on her forehead. I can't believe I never noticed how beautiful she was before. She stirs, opening her deep amethyst eyes and smiling weakly, a look of utter contentment on her face. I'd kill to see that every morning, if I could.
- "Mmh... G'morning, sweetie." She wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes, hugging me tight before kissing me. Yeah, I could get used to this. Her head rests on my chest as we lie there, both of us reluctant to leave our bed. We rest for a while, with Hanako listening to my irregular heartbeat and me stroking her hair. She told me once it was relaxing.
- As much as I'd like to let her sleep all day, today is our only day off together, and I don't intend on wasting it. I run a hand under her chin and slowly lead her back up next to me. Gazing into those deep purple eyes, our lips meet, and everything just sort of melts away.
- Slowly, savoring the moment, I push her on the shoulder, flipping us over so I'm atop her. I kiss down her cheek and to her collarbone, searching for her pulse. A light moan tells me I found the spot, and I suck gently, causing her to gasp. "H-Hisao, st-" She stops mid sentence as I run a hand along her side, brushing her skin lightly and feeling her shiver at my gentle caress.
- Like I said, I'm not wasting my day off.
- She rests a hand in my hair and gasps as my hand runs across her breast. "Hisao", she whispers as I play with her exposed flesh, running my hands along the line between her scars and her unblemished skin. Another moan escapes her lips and she runs a hand long my back, clutching me closer.
- Unfortunately, fate is determined to ruin the moment. Hana's phone blares a loud blast of J-Pop, her ringtone immediately killing the mood. I wish she'd turn the damn thing off before bed...
- "Hello? Hey Lilly, how are you?" ... "You're where?! That's great!" She shoots me a worried glance. Somehow, I don't think this will end well. "Dinner? Tonight? Um, h-hold on." Called it. Hanako quickly mutes her phone's microphone and turns to me. "Lilly and Akira are back in Tokyo for the week, and they want to know if we'll join them for d-dinner."
- Six months. Its been six months now, and even longer since I've seen her in person. Can I do this? She won't even talk to me for longer than a few minutes. Why would she even want to see me? My hands start to shake from the stress, a very familiar pain rising in my chest, almost imperceptible, but still there.
- I feel a slight pressure on my hand as Hanako takes it in hers. She lifts my chin and kisses me lightly on the cheek. "Y-You okay?" I take a deep breath and compose myself.
- It'll be with her and Akira, right? In public? I can't imagine anything terrible could happen. Maybe it would even clear the air between us. Plus, it'll be nice to see Akira again. I slowly nod at Hanako. "Okay. We'll go." She smiles back at me. How can I be upset with her smiling at me? She tells Lilly we'll be there at around eight and hangs up.
- "I should probably get cleaned up." She stands up and makes her way to the bathroom, swaying her hips as she walks. As she turns to close the door, she flings her nightgown out of the room and calls to me, "You're m-more than welcome to join me, Hisao".
- I bolt up and head in behind her. Maybe today won't be so bad, after all.
- As long as I have Hanako, I think I'll be fine.
- “We’re here, Lilly.” Familiar smells and sounds assault me from all sides as Akira leads me to our seat. I vaguely remember this restaurant; Akira used to take Hanako and I to dinner here from time to time. Even without sight, the unmistakable smell of American food gives it away. "It's been a while since we ate here, hasn't it?" I muse as Akira shows me my chair.
- "Yep. I thought somewhere familiar would be nice", she responds. "Besides, the food is good and cheap." I sigh and try to find some way to busy myself until the others arrive. I slowly drum my fingers together. It's been quite some time since the four of us were together; Akira, Hanako, Hisao, and myself.
- Hisao. It’s been six months since that day. Seven since we last saw each other. Eight since Hokkaido. I can remember Hokkaido like it was yesterday, as cliche as that may be. The warmth of his body, his smell, the way his hand felt in mine. I thought it was perfect. I really, truly loved him.
- In the end, though, he never really seemed to show the same interest in me. That night at Yamaku, the night before I would leave, he didn’t even attempt to stop me. He knew I had to leave, but couldn’t he have just tried to make me stay? Couldn’t he make me feel like he wanted me?
- We drifted away after that. He stopped calling me eventually. I had to call him, and even when we did talk, it was all small talk. There were no talks of the future, or how much he missed me, or how he would do anything for me to return. He must hate me now, but I did what I had to. I didn’t love him anymore, so why should we pretend?
- Eventually, I learned that he and Hanako had started dating. At first, I didn’t know what to think. I guess I was a bit sad, but, well, Hanako seems to be happy with him, so as long as they’re happy, I suppose that’s all that matters.
- I sigh again. "You alright, Lils?" I really wish she wouldn't call me that. "Somethin' on your mind?" I shake my head slowly.
- "I'm fine, really. Just a bit nervous is all." The understatement of the century. "I will be alright, though. Thank you" I suddenly feel a hand on my shoulder. A small hand, gripping me lightly. Mine quickly finds the stranger's: smooth skin with an unmistakable line of rough, scarred flesh. I feel a weight lift from my chest as I stand up and wrap my arms around Hanako.
- "Hi, Lilly." She hugs me back and I smile as we share an embrace for the first time in months. "I missed you." Surprisingly, she sounds less nervous than usual. And no stutter... We part and she leaves, presumably to take her seat. That only leaves-
- "Long time no see, Lilly. Er..." There is only one man I know who would say such a thing. I smile at Hisao's almost endearing lack of tact, and hesitantly hug him around the neck. “It’s been a while, huh?” I nod and smile.
- “That it has. It’s good to see you all again.” I sit back down and we catch up, talking about jobs, life, and anything we can think of. Hanako tells me about her job and how it’s helping her come out of her shell. I smile a bit at that; it’s good to see that she’s finally starting to open up.
- The meal goes on rather uneventfully. We talk of Scotland for a while and, for the first time in ages, I feel like I’m home again. It almost feels like we’re back at Yamaku again, in the tea room on a warm summer’s day. I certainly have missed this.
- As we sit here and reminisce, I notice just how different the both of them sound. It's as if Hanako's laugh has more joy to it. She's stuttering less, as well. It would seem as if just being with Hisao was enough to help her come out of her shell.
- And then there's Hisao. He sounds positively overjoyed every time he speaks. I haven't heard him like that since that day in Hokkaido.
- Not since he told me he loved me.
- I feel my heart drop as what I've done finally hits me: by breaking up with Hisao, I've inadvertently pushed him and Hanako together. I should be happy. I mean, they're both happy, right? Isn't that what's important? Hanako's finally found what she needs, and now she can finally be the person she's always wanted to be.
- So, if I should be happy, why does it feel as if I've made a grave mistake? Why am I sad when they're so happy? Do... Do I still-
- No. No, I don’t. At least, I don’t think I do. When Hanako told me about them, I thought it wasn’t a big deal. They’re two independent people; why should who Hisao or Hanako decides to date be of any concern to me?
- I don’t think I realized what that means until now, though. Hanako and Hisao are happy with each other, so where does that leave me?
- "L-Lilly?" Hanako voice snaps me back to reality. "Are you alright?" I nod my head.
- "Yes, thank you. I'm just a bit tired from the flight." She can't know. She would think me a horrible person for those thoughts. Shortly after, we all say our goodbyes for the night while Akira pays the tab.
- "Lilly, why don't you come over for dinner tomorrow?" Hanako offers. I smile and agree, for the time being. I have a lot of thinking to do tonight.
- It doesn't take long for us to reach Akira's loft. I sit on my bed and sigh, the night's events catching up with me.
- ‘What if I still love Hisao?’
- That one question continues to linger on the edge of my conciousness. What if I was wrong? What if the distance was what was pushing us away, not him? What if I’ve just thrown away the best thing I had?
- ‘Why should they be happy if you aren’t?’
- A part of me long ignored speaks up; a quiet voice in a sea of thought that grows louder and louder with each passing moment. That’s wrong, though. I am happy for them, at least I think I am. Why wouldn’t I be happy? Hanako has finally found someone who can help her in ways I never could, and Hisao has the woman of his dreams.
- ‘Then why are you crying?’
- I realize vaguely that my face is wet; numerous tears drip from my cheeks as I begin to realize what’s going on. No matter how much I try to deny it, I’m jealous of them. As disgusting as that thought is, I’m jealous of their love, and moreso, jealous of Hanako.
- I feel my hands ball up, squeezing tightly in anger. ‘I’ve made a terrible mistake, haven’t I? Being so far away from them made me think I didn’t care about him, but now that I’m back...’
- For what must be the tenth time tonight, that day in Hokkaido comes rushing back to me. The feel of the wind, the smell of the wheat and his cologne, the warmth of both of us just standing there, holding each other... All of it, every last bit, comes back to me.
- Then, the memory of me tracing his features, his face, memorizing every inch of it. That picture stands before all of it, his features as perfect as if I’d felt him only yesterday, and I smile.
- ‘I... I think I still love him.’
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