Wednesday, 3 August 2016
Chapter six (segment six), 2017, spring break
It was a desperate plan, but she was trapped if she didn't do anything. No way in hell she'd let the pigs decide who had access to her body next. So Christina found herself with a problem she couldn't solve.
Until she saw Ryu with his girlfriend. She looked like she had cried her heart up, and for a moment Christina boiled with anger at whatever Ryu had done to the poor girl. Ai-chan was too lovable to hurt like that.
In the end Christina decided to spy on the pair.
She never got close enough to hear anything, but from what she saw they tried to resolve some kind of crisis. She smiled when she saw their embrace, but a spike of pain shot through her immediately after. Should have been me and Ulf. Ulf, where are you?
Then, to her huge surprise Ryu left Ai-chan and walked back. Christina saw the girl staring after him with an expression of longing and abandonment in her face. Then she broke down in tears and vanished under the bridge.
What the hell just happened? Ryu, you bastard! I'll wring you dry. But his face combined with his words told her another story when they sat over a table with overpriced food. It was at that moment her plan came to her.
“Would you like to date me?”
The two of them hurting for someone they still loved. It would make it all so much easier to explain.
Well, after he wiped that dumbfounded grin off his face.
“I said, would you want to be my boyfriend?”
“What the hell? OK, I'm off.” He grabbed his jacket and left the table.
Christina calmly collected her own and followed him. Her plan was harebrained enough it might just work. She caught up with him just as he entered the elevator.
“Let me explain,” she said on the way down. “It's not what it sounds like. Well, it is, but still not.”
He didn't try to run away from her, so she made him company to the station. Ryu walked a few steps ahead of her, but she could still imagine his stony face. An honest boy. That was the part of him Christina liked most. He made a good friend to both Yukio and Ulf.
Again, thinking of Ulf bled a razor of pain through her. He would always hurt in her mind.
“Ryu,” she said as they swiped their wallets over the receptor at the turn stile. “I'll always love Ulf.”
That had him stop temporarily.
“Make no mistakes about that. Ulf is the only man I could love fully.”
Ryu slowed down enough to make her come up by his side.
“My employer thinks I'm some kind of property they can have and sell as they wish. Now they're trying to force a boyfriend on me.”
For the first time since she dropped the bomb Ryu's face softened a little. “I'm listening.”
“I refuse. If I can show I already have a boyfriend from what the arseholes here consider a good family I'll be off the hook.”
“So pretend boyfriend?”
And here was the catch. “No, boyfriend. We may not be in love with each other, but I'll only do this for real. If it doesn't work out, or if it's too weird, we'll break up. OK?”
She didn't want Ryu to learn how to behave like a player. If he just pretended to be her boyfriend he'd start having girls on the side, and even if Christina wouldn't feel betrayed, she still didn't want him to get used enough to that kind of life to hurt the girls who entered his life after her.
“So you want me to be your real boyfriend when you're still in love with Urufu and I'm in love with Ai-chan?”
Christina nodded. “Yes.”
Then he surprised her. “Let me think about it.”
“Please do, but not longer than before school starts, OK?”
Ryu nodded. “I promise.”
She watched him take his train. There would be another in a few minutes, and she had to respect him enough to give him some time on his own after her absurd suggestion.
From some distance away her bodyguard, the one who had worked with her for over half a year by now, came up to her. “I couldn't help but hear. Are you sure about this?”
Since she slowly crawled up from the hell hole that was leaving Ulf behind they had begun talking. Not much, but some.
“No,” she said. “I'm not. But if I can't have the man I love, at least I can have control over my own life.”
“Yes miss. I understand.” He had the look of a worried father on his face. Maybe he was one for all she knew. “Please be careful,” he added.
Yeah, you probably are. I wish you a good life. In this life she had decided to treat those who worked with her like people and not like human resources.
“I'm going home. Ready for that bike of yours?”
He smiled. “I'm ready. Just don't leave me behind.”
They took the next train and left at the station where both bikes stood locked to a stand. For once she kept her speed safe and sane. Ulf's birthday gift to her. Whenever she had a chance she rode that bike.
At a red-light she dug into her pocket and picked up her latest gift. Her ring. I can't wear you for much longer. At least not if Ryu agrees. She put it on her finger. Pretend wife. For a few days she'd be a pretend wife.