It took years (04)

(14th February - part 2)


Hearing the cute voice, Yossi stopped on her way to the locker room and looked back. Two pint-sized girls, who were running toward her, soon caught with up; Notchi, the older of them, spoke:

“We heard from Konno-san that you aren’t joining us for lunch?”

Yossi nodded, smiling apologetically, wondering if she had appeared too patronizing to her juniors.

“But, Ishikawa-san said you’ll be joining us .”

The mention of the name seemed to have triggered some interest in Yossi. She looked behind her juniors, her height towering over them, and was disappointed to find the meandering corridor empty. “Where’s she?” she asked.

“She is still back there talking to the coach,” Erina offered.

Yossi nodded. She turned and continued her way back to the locker room while her juniors followed, sharing a weird look, wondering what was wrong with their usually mirthful captain.

How can she be sure? Why is she making decisions for me?

Yossi regained from her thoughts, wondering how long she had been standing in the middle of the locker room, thinking and staring into space. Giving a quick look around to ensure no one had noticed her strange behaviour, she strode to her own comfy corner and sat down. The sight of empty benches unsettled her; the senior’s corner was especially deserted today; Miki hadn’t turned up for training; Satoda had left early for a variety show recording; she had no idea where Korenaga, Shibata and Konno had gone to; and Rika was back there talking to their coach. All of a sudden, Yossi realized she wasn’t really used to this kind of quietness; or was it loneliness that she was feeling?

She snapped back when she heard chatters becoming louder. Her self-conscious mode engaged the moment she saw, from the corners of her eyes, four pairs of legs approaching. She straightened her back and looked up, putting on her best smile.

Notchi, urged on by others, took a shy step forward and extended her arm, an exquisitely wrapped present in her palm. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” the girls said in unison.

Instead of joy, Yossi suddenly felt consumed in guilt. “Wait. Had I forgotten something? Is there supposed to be a gift-exchanging thing going on?” She looked around worriedly, but began to frown when the girls broke out into fits of giggles; she has her pet anomalies and girls giggling senselessly is one of them.

Notchi quickly stifled her giggle to explain: “No, it’s a token of appreciation from us—for everything you have taught us.”

Her frown eased, her hand reached out, but she felt guilty again, this time for having behaved irascibly.

“Thank you.”

When her juniors left her, she looked at the small rectangular present, smiling. They all are good girls—thoughtful and hardworking. She drew the box near her face and shook it; a sense of déjà vu filled her.

Was this why she was suddenly feeling bitter?

However, as soon as she opened the door to her locker, her world collapsed…

The sonorous slamming of a locker’s door against its frame silenced whoever was talking in the confined room. The girls turned to look in the direction of the commotion, just in time to see Yossi striding out of the room. As they watched their captain slam the poor door closed with a similar impact, they were convinced their leader wouldn’t be joining them for lunch.

*** ***

Twiddling the little box in her fingers, Yossi felt her eyes warming. The box looked unmistakable with the imprints of pink tiny rabbits; it was unique because it was hand-made. She was the one who made it, and it was precisely why she was feeling upset.

The return of the present had spoken volumes for itself.

Yossi doesn’t normally weep, but today, she allowed her tears to flow; one by one they streaked down her cheeks.

Of all days, Rika had chosen today—on a Valentine’s Day—to reject her. What a mockery! And so characteristic of her.

Despite her body slowly going numb, she could feel, more clearly, her heart tearing and another tear flowing. She remained glued to her bench, for hours, staring aimlessly at the stamped grass before her, thinking, couldn’t stop thinking…

How they had met…
How she had grown to like her…
How her heart was stolen…
And now how the same heart felt so broken…

Pain continued to numb her senses though her eyes had become dry and could shed no more. She closed her eyes and felt them stung. The short extrinsical pain no help to her aching heart. Would she ever recover? Could she?

But why…

Finally, she took out her cell phone that had been vibrating incessantly in her pocket since she had sat down. An unknown anger began to surge when she saw how all the missed messages had shared the same contents. She stood up, her numbed legs stung where blood had suddenly gushed through.

Why can’t you leave me alone?
Isn’t the hurt enough?
If you cared… if you really cared, you wouldn’t be doing all these in the first place.

She walked toward the canal that was in front of her, the box clutched tightly in her palm. The gushing waters in the canal looked inviting, so inviting. All she had to do was to swing her arm and the object that spells unhappiness would be gone forever but…

Could she do the same for her memories?
She doubted not... the box remained glued to her palm.

She sniggered and put the box back into her pants pocket, sighing. Even if the box’s existence would only serve to mock her later, she couldn’t bare to throw it away. It—even sad remnants like it—had become too precious to her…



tmr said...

Uuuuuuuuuuu~ So sad!

kRisZ said...

Man, she should open it for sure there is something new in the box... well Rika was speaking on her behalf, so one good reason for that is, she’s claiming Yossie XDDD

Poets said...


kRisZ said...

And one good day to accept a proposal is on Valentine's Day... Yay! how romantic

Japanime1 said...

OMG~ you just HAD to leave it like that! XDD It was getting to the good part too!! AHh~ well, even more a reason why I will patiently wait for the next update. o(^^)o
Yossy! Yea! Open the box!! XD There is defintely something different in there now, and Rika's frantic calls to Yossy; she's trying to tell someone, something~...<333 (I hope) XD

wings4dreams said...

Such a sad chapter, poor Yossy getting all worked up over what's probably just a misunderstanding...and what a cliffhanger! Dying to see how things turn out!

...aww so Rika was waiting till Valentines day last chapter...

Mierna said...

Aw, Yossie crying, it's so touching! Continue it~

fcpremix14 said...

gah, open the box yossie!

i'm really glad you're writing again :] there's something to look forward to :]

katatsumuri said...

All such good guessers. ^^

The finale is up~