A simple story - their story (02)

(DATE: near the end of YEAR 2001)

Everyone appeared to be absorbed in their own doings, but like vultures eyeing their prey the seniors were in fact watching the juniors surreptitiously, meticulously capturing and remembering their every little action. And in this room, one particular lady was starting to get restless.

She made a wink at Yasuda and then at Abe, but that was all she could do as she deemed the room to be too crowded for any serious talk or, in this case, gossip. She pretended to go back to reading her magazine, though she would look up from time to time, anticipating when the kids would leave the room for their lunch break.

Half an hour later, her prayers were answered. As soon as the room was left with three women, Yaguchi slammed her thick fashion magazine on the table and burst out: “Now, what you girls think?”

Though equally piqued, Abe and Yasuda pretended to be unbothered and continued to flip their magazines casually. It worked because it irritated Yaguchi more.

“Come on~ We won’t be alone for long.” Yaguchi glanced over at the round clock on the wall. They would have, the most, ten minutes of privacy before the kids would come back to the gakuya.

Yasuda lazily lay down her magazine and looked at Yaguchi. “What’s it?”

Yaguchi tried not to roll her eyes, and had to use more effort to contain her climbing anger. How could Yasuda not know? They were talking enthusiastically about it just an hour ago until the crowd started coming in, interrupting their discussion. Yaguchi, in an attempt to leave Yasuda out of the chat, diverted her attention to Abe and said: “For me to decide, I think it is true.”

“Are you sure?” Abe asked, peering over her magazine. Yaguchi almost laughed at the speed how Abe’s pretense had faded. “I am not VERY sure. But I do trust my intuition,” she said, straightening her back and getting ready; she knew she had successfully started the ball rolling again.

Abe pouted her lips and nodded silently, and seemed to have fallen into deeper thoughts. Yasuda made a little cough. Yaguchi, who was still feeling sore, purposely ignored the attention-seeking gesture and continued to just talk to Abe. “You would have noticed it going on for some time now, if you’re observant.”

“I don’t think so,” Yasuda interjected loudly; she was now bent on being part of the conversation.

Yaguchi gave Yasuda a dirty look; she couldn’t stand girls who would act classy when they were, in fact, inveterate gossipers. But being a magnanimous girl that she was, she decided to give Yasuda another chance. “Why?” she asked Yasuda.

A smile flashed across Yasuda’s face. She cleared her throat, ready to share her views. “Because you can’t gauge, based on things like that! They’re from the same generation. Just look at you and me. We’re from the same gen too, which makes us generally closer, though…”

“Though?” Yaguchi challenged, raising an eyebrow.

Yasuda took a quick moment to think of a better euphemism. “We have nothing in common,” she finally said, secretly pleased with her new-found sensitivity, knowing it was better than saying they actually hated each other’s hobbies or they could never see eye-to-eye in their views.

Yaguchi paused momentarily, clearly lost for words. She couldn’t believe how easy Yasuda’s seemingly innocuous statement had refuted all her beliefs. Yasuda was right: there was no doubt that she was close with Yasuda, and if she was to see Yossi & Rika’s closeness as being an item, wouldn’t others felt the same for her and Yasuda?

She looked at Yasuda, and mimicking a retching face. She just couldn’t entertain the thought of Yasuda and her being buddy as dating. It was simply revolting.

Yasuda smirked, knowing well enough that the rude gesture was something Yaguchi could only do whenever she was on the losing end of a deal.

“But Marippe and you are different,” Abe said innocently.

Yaguchi’s eyes brightened up at Abe’s timely intervention. She looked toward Abe, her eyes beseeching.

Abe felt herself momentarily flustered by the sudden attention. She looked at Yaguchi and then at Yasuda before clearing her throat. “I can’t really explain. It’s more about feeling…” She stopped, continuing only when her listeners had shown no signs of interrupting. “Now, where am I?”

“You said we ARE different!” Yaguchi and Yasuda both said at the same time. They quickly looked at each other, surprised at the rapport they suddenly shared.

“Oh yah! You see, when you’re talking or bickering or doing things together or just being beside each other and doing nothing—like now—the way you look at each other is different from the way they look at each other,” explained Abe.

“Yah!” exclaimed Yaguchi. “So, you agree with me?” she asked, feeling herself getting excited all over again now that she had found someone who shared her views.

Abe nodded subtly.

It was now two against one, but Yasuda wasn’t going to give up without a proper fight. “Nonsense,” she challenged. “They look at each other normally. As far as I’m concerned they are just girls who happen to be good friends with each other. And the word I’m talking about here is Kinship, KINSHIP. I wonder how long the two of you had left school.” Yasuda looked disbelievingly at her friends as if their existence were as archaic as samurais. “When I was in high school, I knew girls who were very close but it was just about kinship, being sisters. People thought they were together but later, and most of the time, too, they would end up dating boys. Everything is, but a passing phase.”

Yaguchi was annoyed; she couldn’t understand why Yasuda was being obstinate. “Haven’t you heard of the word lesbian?”

The casual mention of the word made Abe cringe; in her mind, blasphemy was the other word that had popped up.

“They’re not,” Yasuda rebutted. “They’re young. They just enjoy each other’s companionship, but they don’t love each other in the sense a girl is attracted to a boy or vice versa.”

“I saw them hug each other!” Yaguchi almost shouted.

Yasuda’s look was one in great shock and it was not Yaguchi’s words that surprised her but Yaguchi’s naivety. “SO? If you still remember. I had kissed you on before! Does that make us lesbians?”

Yaguchi wanted to talk back but she looked as if she had lost her voice.

Yasuda continued on her ride. “I didn’t kiss you in the way I was attracted to you. We did it out of fun—pure fun. And I don’t see why by simply hugging each other makes you think they’re sexually attracted to each other.”

“Then how do you explain they’re always together? Or why can’t they speak normally but have to whisper into each other’s ears? Or why are they talking softly, but laughing out loudly? And their hands are all over each other!”

“You mean like this?” Yasuda suddenly struck her hand at Yaguchi’s bubby. Yaguchi dodged quickly and slapped the offensive hand away. Seeing that Yaguchi’s face had turned red, Yasuda and Abe burst out laughing.

Yaguchi felt chagrined. The tide had turned; it seemed Abe was now on Yasuda’s side. “Why can’t you believe my theory?” she insisted, stomping her feet.

“Because I was young before, I’d seen more than you. So, I am telling you they’re not!”

“Why can’t they be in love?”

Yasuda rolled her eyes. She knew the argument could go on forever. “Marippe,” she said, her tone turning serious. “We’re Morning Musume. We have fans. Teenage girls all over Japan look up to us. We’re role models. There’s a reason why Tsunku has chosen us. There is one thing I can tell you for sure and that is, ‘They are’—read my lips—‘no lesbians in Morning Musume!’”

As if to mark a dramatic closure to her statement, the door swung open with a loud thud. Tsuji and Kago, with others following behind, marched into the room, looking gleefully at their bentou on the trays they’re holding, oblivious to three pairs of startled eyes looking at them.

maa~” said Abe to her comrades, glad that their tension-filled conversation had come to a premature end.

Iida, who had walked into the gakuya, joined their table. She placed her bentou on the table, sat down and rubbed her hands together. As she looked around she wondered why three women were staring at her. “Aren’t you all hungry? You better hurry before all the nikus are snapped up.”

“I’m on diet,” Yaguchi said spitefully.

Yasuda and Abe wanted to laugh; Yaguchi never knew that she actually looked cute when she was angry.

“We’ll get her one,” Yasuda said to Abe as they left the room.

But Yaguchi wasn’t feeling an iota of gratitude. And no, she wouldn’t touch the lunch they would bring back. She was still feeling sore, her lips pouting. Why didn’t they believe her? She looked around the once-again crowded room, her eyes soon locked on the couple sharing a double-seater sofa and food.

Arghh! she screamed inwardly. Fate was playing a fool on her. Why had Yasuda and Abe left the room at this time? She pricked her ears and listened…

“Why are you giving me your ebi-fry?”
“It’s your favourite, isn’t it?”
“How about you? Your lunch box now looks empty.”
“I don’t like ebi.”
“But there are other choices just now…”
“It’s all right,” Yossi told Rika.

Then Yaguchi saw Rika looking at Yossi, smiling.


Anonymous said...


Yankii Heart said...

Thank YOU so much for coming back!

I really missed your fics...
Awesome Ishiyoshi from an equally awesome writer!

Nice re-writing! (I secretly liked more the first versions of all of them...). I must say the grammar was not good at all, but it was your very escence and I am greatful to have read those...for now I can really appreciate the change.

I'll be waiting for an update! =)