Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Chapter five (segment ten), twenty four years earlier, June, Ryu

“What's that?”

Ryu looked around. Kuri-chan had arrived in a dress that was best described as rustic. Yellow and blue. And she wore a white blouse under it. And of course she managed to look stunning.

“National traditional dress,” Kuri-chan explained. “Some of the guys from Sweden brought it for me.”

“What?” Ryu took a few steps to get away from the steady stream of arriving festival visitors.

“In exchange for me being their mascot earlier this week.”

Kyoko-chan frowned. “That's most improper. Freshman high school student all alone with university students.”

“Think so?” Kuri-chan looked genuinely surprised.

“Yes, in this case I'm bound to agree,” Urufu-kun said. “It would be improper back home as well.”

“Boring.” Kuri-chan pouted and stuck her tongue out a Urufu-kun. “Anyway, I can't walk properly in a yukata.”

Urufu-kun did you mean thirty years ago or now? No probably now as well. Some of those guys are over five years older than us. Ryu shook his head. Bet that third year we Skyped with earlier is involved. She said her boyfriend attended university.

“You can't walk?” Ryu said when he had decided to change the topic. Kuri-chan probably knew how to handle both boys and men.

“No. Toes inwards and cuteness galore, like this.” She pulled her dress tight and showed them a perfect display of a beautiful woman in a kimono. “I'd go nuts in ten minutes.”

Kyoko-chan clasped her hands to her mouth. It had been a perfect display, and even Ryu's usually unperturbed sister stared. It took some serious training to walk that way.

“How can you walk then,” Ryu challenged her.

“This dress should be worn like a bell and the wearer is supposed to be a beauty of nature. Like this.” And the dress rang around her, very much like a western style church bell with her legs as bell hammers. “Rustic innocence wouldn't you agree,” she laughed.

So you knew exactly how that dress looked. Who were you in your previous life?

“It's a bit hard with this fabric, but a more elegant dress is usually worn the traditional way.” She let her hands fall along her sides and gathered parts of her dress into them. Suddenly she was more slender and walked away like the model she looked like. She turned on her toes and walked back. Her face challenged the world to look at her and her feet circled and conquered enemies beneath her.

More than a few arriving visitors had stopped to look at the show. A few appreciating wolf-whistles flew through the air followed by raucous suggestions.

Ryu threw an irritated glare after them before he returned his attention to Kuri-chan. Strange, her smile was natural until just now, but it's like she's remembering how to perform an act.

He could hear his sister choking beside him.

Sis, what was that just now?

“Model?” Noriko asked in a voice that had yet to be fully restored.

Kuri-chan looked at Urufu-kun. “I've had a shot or two taken. You saw those?” And she winked at him.

Urufu-kun just shook his head but his eyes never left her. There was something sad about his smile, like he also was immersed in memories.

Noriko looked up at Ryu. “Bro, not fair. We can't follow them there,” she sulked.

So that is the look of memories. But they never told us they met before. In that other world.

Yu-kun had stood a bit apart under a tree and watched the impromptu show. Now he left the canopy and came closer. “Ladies, beautiful all. I have to admit, though,” he turned to Kuri-chan, “that I prefer the yukata.”

Kuri-chan tip toed and clapped her hands. “I'm devastated, but then how could I possibly compete with her?”

Kyoko-chan and Yu-kun flashed red in seconds, but then in an unprecedented act of bravery he faced Kuri-chan and smiled weakly. “You can't.”

Well done, that was well done. Ryu felt his respect for Yu-kun grow a few notches. There was more to the loyal wingman than met the eye.

Kuri-chan's face opened up in a big 'O' but her eyes still glittered with mirth. “I'm mortally wounded! Betrayed! Betrayed I say!” She threw an open hand across her forehead, rolled her eyes and fell backwards dramatically. Only to be promptly caught by Urufu-kun who had apparently been waiting for the show.

“She's such a stage monkey,” Noriko said, her voice rumbling with disapproval.

I don't care she says she's fifty. I don't care she's a foreigner. I don't care she's taller than me. I don't even care she loves Urufu-kun. She's easily the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life.

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