Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Chapter five (segment two), 2017, year's end
Birthday, first his, and a week later, Kyoko's. Both were among the kiddies in their respective class. Today he joined the league of sixteen, and he did so together with his girlfriend.
So all should be sunny and well. Well it wasn't. The last weeks Kyoko's parents, not only her stern father, had looked at him with something akin to pity in their faces. The worst was that sometimes Kyoko joined them as well.
Yukio knew her parents really didn't see him as a proper match for her daughter, but they were more than a little grateful for him trying to save her twice.
So why the pity?
Yukio hit the brakes, and Kyoko got off the bike. Two on one bike wasn't too smart anyway. The police didn't like it too much. Well, and there was that part of it supposedly being dangerous as well, which normally was the kind of concerns parents had. Problem being both Yukio and Kyoko had good reasons to respect the danger aspect themselves, what with hospitals a common stay-over and all.
“Hang on, I'll lock the bike here,” Yukio said and did so.
Behind him the old mall saluted memories from days gone by, and to be honest neither he nor Urufu spent much time here any longer.
Easier days, Yukio thought. He looked at Kyoko, who seemed to be in a good mood. But I wouldn't say better days. Sorry, man, but Kyoko's the most important one for me.
Huh? Oh, OK. “Sure.” Silently Yukio thanked Kyoko for suggesting they take the train from the closest station. Less risk of meting people they knew, and he really wanted to spend the day alone with her.
This were streets he seldom walked. Urufu used to bike them, and Yukio trudged along enough times not to get lost. Some low rise office buildings, mostly a residential area and the occasional shop. The years hadn't treated the buildings too kindly, and the muted yellowish colour displayed drab lines of blackened dirt. The kind of Tokyo their parents grew up in.
“Where?” he asked when he saw the station ahead of them.
Kyoko smiled and placed a finger on her lips. “Shinjuku. Or rather the park.”
Sure, if she wanted to walk, then walk they would. “Let's see where we change,” Yukio said and sauntered away to a map. For Kyoko, at least sometimes, he wanted to look cool. Usually she just laughed at him, or when she felt considerate, giggled. He loved that part of her as well.
He found the station where they needed to get off, and with her hand in his he navigated the crowd to their platform. Not too many minutes later they left, climbed a few stairs and after that they headed down into the subway area. Trains arrived every ten minutes or so, and shortly after they were at Shinjuku.
The park lay a fair distance away, still in the same range as what they walked to school every day, and Yukio had to agree it was worth it. Entering the park the heavy Tokyo traffics suddenly vanished into the background and gave way to a luxurious greenery.
“We're here. Just walk around, or did you have somewhere in mind?”
“Follow me,” Kyoko said rather than answering him.
Yukio let go of her hand and stretched his arms into the air. “Sure, wherever you go.” Cause I'll follow you wherever you go.
She ran ahead, and Yukio literally had to follow her until she found what she was looking for. A great lawn under the shade of trees. It looked like somewhere where he'd like to take her on a summer's day.
At that time Kyoko dropped her backpack by a tree-trunk and produced a blanket from it.
It turned out one.
Despite the cold Yukio enjoyed his silent meal with her. Compared to everything else that had happened this term this was a luxury he hadn't been awarded earlier, and he drank her presence undisturbed by angry looks from his own classmates, condescending ones from hers or the fearsome and pitiful ones that dominated the club.
At least today I belong to you only. Yukio swallowed the last of his lunch. “Thank you for a wonderful birthday!”
Kyoko grinned. “I didn't plan anything for rain. So I got lucky.”
“We got lucky. I love you.” So simple. He loved her. Half a year hadn't lessened his feelings at all. After she agreed to be his girlfriend their friendship just grew stronger as well. Urufu, is this what you meant with real love?
“Yukio, what do you like about me?”
Minefield! Tread carefully! Yukio thought about it for a while. He really couldn't find an answer. He just did. “I don't know. I'm in love with you. Do I need a reason?” I hope that was the right thing to say. Right or not, there was nothing else he could say.
She sent him a glance with both happiness and worry in it. “No, no you don't. I never knew you were so strong.” Then Kyoko blushed. “But that's not why I love you, or it is, but not only.”
With his face splitting into a grin Yukio revelled in the feeling of his stomach heating up at her words. “Thank you. I feel the same way.”
Kyoko started packing away their trash. Turned away from him she spoke into the air. “My parents don't think I'm fit for you.”
“You really gave them a good impression in the end. I want you to know that.” Yukio could hear how she choked on her own voice. “They want me to break up with you so I don't steal your future. But they really, really like you.”
What the hell? “Kyoko, I love you. Why would I want you to break up with me?”
A moment of silence stretched out between them. “But children?”
“I said I love you, not the thought of our children. Could you please not decide what I want?”
A thought of a much older man ran though his mind. “If that day comes, I promise I'll tell you. Do you still want to be the girlfriend of someone who might change his mind?” This was him gambling everything on one card.
Kyoko nodded. She turned and faced him. There were tears in her face. “I love you so much!”
I'm going to make your birthday the best. I'm going to make your life the best.