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Romance Drama

Cars drove by, moving over the asphalt in quiet with a sigh, their headlights beaming through the nightly dark— the town started to feel alive now…

By the entrance to a little café, Haruto stood leaning against the wall as he waited for the others, phone in hand, him scrolling through it: they were on the way; they’d arrive in a bit, they said.

After a moment, a car pulled up and stopped right in front of the café; a familiar car. At the arrival, he got up from the wall and straightened himself…

Thnn…

 Out the back door, off the other side facing the road— appeared her, Yuuki, wearing a loose, white cotton blouse over a pair of tight jeans, their color faded; with her hair, a soft brunette, flowing down her back and curled by the sides, and her purse slung over her shoulder, held lightly in her hands.

Upon getting out of the door, she looked up and their eyes met.

A moment flickered like a musical note between them— but then she smiled, sweetly, as if hiding that it weren’t instant; Haru smiled back all the same— as a flush of perfume seemed to waft in the air…

“Hi,” Yuuki greeted, smiling, turning her gaze to the floor for a moment as she came up, her car pulling away behind her.

“Hey,” he replied, his eyes turning to his shoes as she neared.

As if it were a little awkward, she kept on her sweet smile as she shifted her gaze about, clutching to the sling of her purse, “It’s… been a while, huh…?”

“Guess so.”

An odd waft aired between them in silence, the only sounds being the cars moving on before them…

Letting out a pent breath, his lips still pressed— Haruto went ahead and asked,

“Uh… where’s Shoko? Don’t you two usually ride together?”

“Oh, that was a long time ago,” she said, looking at him for a moment. “She lives in a different area, now. Her own apartment, all to herself.”

“I see,” he nodded, an odd breath in his chest. “Have a license?”

“What?”

“A driver’s license.”

“Oh,” she shook her head. “No— no, I don’t. I don’t have one.”

With that, they fell silent once more.

So, standing still by the café, leaning side by side, the two of them waited on…

Today was Toru’s idea— he invited the group for a little high school reunion of their own since they heard that Haruto’s in town. But they seem to be running a little late— then again, they were twenty minutes early.

But before long the others arrived as well— Toru himself; Shoko, Yuuki’s best friend; Kakeru, the shorter of the group; and Kuroko, who completed the girl trio. Meeting each other again, they exchanged a couple of remarks, most of them friendly teases and fun hints of mockery at one another. Eventually however, the six of them went on ahead and entered the mall— crossing the road and walking around the western wall for the main entrance in front.

Along the way, they talked about the past— bringing up past ships which particularly knocked on Kakeru, since he was shipped with another short girl in class. They too brought up other memories like the school trip to Nagasaki or the school festival, with the final year’s festival being the most memorable with the little fireworks display and the many other activities present then.

After a while of walking they settled down at a little restaurant where Toru had booked them a little room.

The lighting there was dark and quiet— with the lights around set dim, giving the place an air of gold, like a breath of calm and warmth. The walls were a mix of dark wood and white, near creamy, wallpaper, with the floor and the large table a polished wood; the seats a fine faux leather.

As they ate there, drinking light shots of saké, they talked about what one another were doing now— with Toru being in Keio University, and Kakeru now studying in Kyoto; which only increased the teasing he got because now everyone learned the reason why he sounded a little funny. Yuuki and Shoko were the only ones who stayed here in town, so they talked of how things were going here, which was really nothing much, even then, Shoko was the doing most of the talking.

After a while, they drifted into talking among themselves— the girls among them, mostly excited to hear about Kuroko; and the boys, Haruto included, talking about sports, dipping a little into politics and complaints about the government while they were at it. They would sometimes overhear the girls, and it was usually Toru who’d speak up and make a remark, only earning a big ‘shut up!’ from the three of them; and of course, Toru being Toru, he laughed at their reaction, or probably just at himself.

But, after a while, they eventually got up and went out for a karaoke place instead, hiring the room with drinks in it— it turned out they merely gave them a lot of Asahi beer, which disappointed them but at once revived the conversation between them as they complained about the town for the fun of it.

And so, drinking in between, the six of them took turns, some singing duets, as the spent the night there in the comfort in their little room… just the six of them, friends from senior high…

But eventually, their night came to an end as they exited the place and went out the mall— and after exchanging their farewells, the most of them parted.

So, now— set under the shadows of the deepening night, were the two of them, just the way it was earlier…

“You going home with your mom?”

Yuuki nodded. “Yeah, she told me to wait over there,” she said, tilting her head toward the western wall. “You can go back home first, it’s alright.”

“No, it’s fine. I’ll wait for you, there’s still a while until the last train.”

And so, the two of them headed down and waited by the western wall of the place.

It was dark, veiled softly in the night’s shadow, with little red lanterns strung overhead. A little further down the path would be a 7-Eleven, but Yuuki stopped right here, so Haruto didn’t question her— he would’ve preferred to stand by 7-Eleven’s entrance, though; he would’ve liked to check what’s in store for the trip back home.

Just then— with his mind lost in thought— Yuuki, as if trying to discern her car home through the dark, walked past him…

And just then— she tripped.

Ahh-!!

Hh—?!!

Thrrnn…!!

He caught her fall…

Hmnh…?

Their eyes met— his heart beat at his chest, and he could just barely feel hers…

But there, in the shade of the night, she was in his arms…

She used to be his crush back in senior high; back in junior high even— but they were never in the same class again…

So they ended up drifting apart…

But now— there she was… in his arms…

Shhhrnn…

A car passed, picking them up in its light for a moment…

It lit up her cheek, then shone over her fair face… twinkling for an instant in her eyes— for a moment, coloring her lips like a rose… as light moved over them, as she laid in his eyes; laying in his arms…

Her lips were a soft red…

— Soft…

They were looking on into each other’s eyes— as if looking at something nostalgic, at something lost.

— Nostalgia; a pain from an old wound…

Why did he think of that…?

But there— the thought perished itself into the darkness as the warmth of the lanterns hung over them…

He could feel somewhat pulling him, something warm, like a distant hug…

Something captured in her eyes, like a white star— and she drew closer… and he did too…

And there, under the quiet lights— their lips met…

Her mouth was moist— tasting of the beer they drank, mixed in with something sweet in her lips…

A softness like a cushion, warmed before a quiet TV… the room set alone in darkness…

Beep-beep…!!

Hh…!!

Their lips parted— there, pulling up beside them, its lights catching them full for a moment; was her car…

Haruto helped her to her feet, she thanked in quiet. She brushed herself off, and he did as well. Then, looking at him for one last time, something like a spark in her eyes— she looked away, gaze to the floor…

Thank you…

To that, in silence, Haruto nodded, putting his hands into his pockets in the darkness…

With that, she walked away and got into her car before driving away— him watching all along in the shade, caught in the lights of the many cars…

 Without another word, Haruto shook his head, scratched the back of his neck, and walked away— time to catch his train back home…

September 25, 2020 14:30

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4 comments

From My Library
23:12 Oct 07, 2020

I can’t exactly express who your writing style reminded me of but it did of someone wonderful who i remember fondly from my youth - maybe Gibson or Vonnegut or such. Anyways, thank you for writing this because it seems so yearningly real and i rather enjoy feeling actual emotions now a days

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Adam Wan
05:21 Oct 10, 2020

And thank YOU for reading it. I'm glad to hear that, I really appreciate it. I truly do. I hope to hear from you again. Thanks!

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Elle Clark
07:08 Oct 03, 2020

What a lovely story! It has a very soft tone that feels very intimate and very relaxing. I really like the undercurrent of romantic tension between the two characters and how that’s result in the end. A lovely piece of writing; thanks for sharing it.

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Adam Wan
12:27 Oct 04, 2020

And thank you for reading it. Appreciate it!

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