Sakurai Sho was the serious kind of playboy, the different kind. He wasn’t opposed to marriage and the idea of happily ever after, just as long as it doesn’t apply to him. Kuroki Meisa is aware of that but she doesn’t care. She’s immune to his charms anyway. Sho knew that and didn’t care either, because that was a bridge he wouldn’t dare cross.
But when Narimiya Hiroki entered the picture their perfect symbiotic relationship changed. And there rose Sho’s biggest problem.
“How exactly do you chase after a woman you’ve always thought you’ll never, ever want to catch?”
Japanese Entertainment Characters:
Arashi: Aiba Masaki, Arashi: Matsumoto Jun, Arashi: Sakurai Sho, Becky, Hiroki Narimiya, Inoue Mao, Kuroki Meisa, Takashi Tsukamoto
Jan 20, 2011 Updated:
Oct 30, 2011
Every story has been written in the past... the only difference is whether it's been read or passed on... so to claim originality is futile, ridiculous and preposterous... this means that i own nothing of what and who i've written... and this is written only in the name of enjoyment and fun, not for anything financial or likewise neither is it written to be offensive or hurtful to anyone...
1. Chapter 1 by lovesmatch
2. Chapter 2 by lovesmatch
3. Chapter 3 by lovesmatch
4. Chapter 4 by lovesmatch
5. Chapter 5 by lovesmatch
6. Chapter 6 by lovesmatch
a brief explanation...
this is actually one of those stories i've included in my possible stories list... (if you've read that...)
i just altered a few things a bit for this one, particularly the background story so that it wouldn't turn out to be a rehash of The Taming of the Shrew...
22 years ago…“When I’m 30, I’m going to be married!” the 8 year old boy, Sakurai Sho, exclaimed as he and his neighbor and closest female friend, Kuroki Meisa, walked home after school.
The topic arose when Meisa, who’s still in first grade whereas Sho’s already in the third, told him that the first graders would have a substitute teacher starting the next day because their teacher, Nakama-san, would be getting married to her long time boyfriend, Nakai-san. And she was just exclaiming that she liked her teacher’s boyfriend because he was nice and funny every time he drops by at their class when Sho suddenly declared that.
“Pffft…” the two year younger Meisa replied, not wanting to be defeated by her favorite playmate who’s also her number one competitor. “I’d already be a mother by the time you get married…”
“Oh really…” Sho snorted. “How would you know that? You’re just a kid!”
“You are too!” Meisa pointed out.
“But I’m two years older so I know more than you…” Sho declared with a proud grin as he held his head high and looked down at her.
“That’s unfair!” Meisa pouted. “You’re always gonna be two years older!”
Sho laughed and shrugged as he said “That’s life…”
“Life is unfair!” Meisa continued pouting as she looked up at the sky and pouted more as if showing the angels her displeasure. But then she felt something cold dropping to her cheeks. Wiping it away, she saw that it was water and she realized that the sky is cloudy too. Without further adieu, she broke out into a sprint.
Taken aback, Sho was left momentarily behind before he ran too and managed to catch up to her.
“What’s going on?” he asked, holding to her arm so that she wouldn’t run away again. After all, his mother told him that Meisa’s his responsibility, that because he’s older, he should take care of the two of them.
“It’s raining!” Meisa complained with a hint of fear already visible in her young face.
“We have an umbrella you know!” Sho replied, having already extracted the object from his bag and using it to cover both of them. But even though the umbrella was big enough to cover them both and that he’s still holding her arm, it still didn’t stop Meisa from walking very, very fast.
“Will you slow down!” Sho ended up complaining as Meisa didn’t care whether she’s stepping on land or puddle, resulting to the specks of mud now adorning his pants.
“We need to get home now!” Meisa insisted. “We have to be inside already!” she added, her voice a little panicky.
“You’re not going to get sick, we have an umbrella…” Sho patiently explained to her. But when Meisa turned to look at him, still with a pout in her lips and fear in her eyes, he remembered, it wasn’t the rain or getting sick that Meisa was afraid of. It was something else entirely.
With a resigned sigh, he placed his arm over her shoulder to pull her closer underneath the umbrella as he too hastened his footsteps.
“Yes, father, I do…” Sho heard her say to the priest and he couldn’t help but smile, his heart suddenly feeling warm and giddy.
“I do father… Yes, I do…” Meisa heard him excitedly answer the priest’s question and she couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle, although there’s nothing else but happiness now present in her heart.
”By the power vested in me… I now pronounce you man and wife… You may now kiss the bride…” the priest finally said and both Meisa and Sho could no longer contain their smiles.
And by the altar, right in front of the priest, Aiba Masaki and Becky, now husband and wife, turned to each other, their faces the symbol of absolute happiness and contentment. And then Aiba raised the veil that covered his bride’s face and captured her lips amidst the applause and cheering of those present, Sho and Meisa among the loudest of all.
“So, this really is it huh…” Tsukamoto Takashi exclaimed as he joined their table at the reception of their friend’s wedding with a wine glass in hand and an expression that’s a mix of happiness and nostalgia. “We really are one less from now on…”
“Yeah…” Matsumoto Jun, Aiba’s best man, agreed. “It kinda feels weird…” he added to which Sho nodded and agreed.
About a dozen years ago, ever since the four of them first met in college, he, Jun, Shii and Aiba had been friends. Well, Jun and Aiba were friends longer than that since they were high school buddies but it still did not change the fact that the four of them had always been tight knit.
They were, are, quite a good-looking group too, to the extent that their schoolmates would sometimes refer to the as the most handsome group in all of Meiji. And with those looks and intelligence came their popularity. It didn’t end there though, because it didn’t take long before their group became known as the playboys.
In Aiba’s defense though, it was mostly only Shii, Jun, and Sho, with Shii taking the lead. Aiba had always been the more serious one in terms of love issues and the like, but it still didn’t stop the tag from sticking to him.
“I’m not sure what to think of it actually…” Shii continued. “Whether to think that marriage is something that breaks up friendship like ours or whether it’s about time that I should consider seriously searching for that one special woman myself too…” he added jokingly.
Jun and Sho laughed at that, knowing that the first half was said in pure jest, seeing that they’re all so happy that Aiba had finally found that woman who compliments him and loves him as he is in Becky, but mostly because they knew that there was a hint of real realization in the second part of his statement.
“What’s this? Another one of Tokyo’s most sought-after bachelors is considering getting tied down too?” Inoue Mao asked as she joined their table, her plate now adorned with an assortment of cakes and other sweets.
Mao is Aiba’s bubbly and charming younger cousin by three years, who’s had the fortune, or misfortune, of tagging along with them in their less colorful pursuits and who now knows them like the back of her hand.
“Mao-chan… What is that?” Jun asked, eyeing her plate of sweets in confusion.
“Food Jun-kun… What else?” she replied a matter-of-factly.
“That’s not food…” Jun replied in disgust, wrinkling his nose at her.
Mao stuck out her tongue at him before taking an acceptable amount that’s just about right to fill her mouth. The three men in the table watched her in amusement as she savored the sweet taste in her mouth. Only when she had swallowed everything did she, or anyone else for that matter, spoke up.
“So, who among you guys are getting married next?” she asked interestedly.
“Absolutely…” Shii replied immediately. “Not me…”
Jun laughed but he too replied “No, not me either… Sho-kun, maybe…”
Sho almost inhaled half his drink the moment he heard his name being volunteered. “What? Why me?!”
“Well…” Shii shrugged. “I specifically remember you saying during the engagement party that you’re absolutely happy that Becky had embraced the possibility of forever with Aiba-chan… It sounds like you’re not opposed to the concept at all…”
“That’s right…” Jun agreed.
Sho snorted, remembering that night himself, specially because it was a night all three of them became quite expressive of their thoughts on Aiba and Becky’s then-pending wedding.
“That is if the concept of forever is for someone else other than me…” Sho clarified.
Before anyone could react, another woman joined their table. She was taller than Mao though, and while Mao had more of the sweet, charming air, this one had the feisty, challenging character. Her name is Kuroki Meisa.
“Why? Who’d want to spend forever with you?” she asked Sho as she took the seat next to him.
“A lot of women Mei-chan…” Sho grinned. “And it’s all thanks to you that I’m still single up until now…”
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confidences and competencies...
“Oh please… Don’t start blaming me for your utter inability to keep a woman for more than a month…” Meisa snorted.
“Of course I can’t stay long with those girls…” Sho grinned. “They aren’t you…” he added as he looked straight into her eyes.
They caught each others gaze for a while, both challenging. And it could have, would have lasted longer too, if not for someone else in their little group clearing his or her throat, attracting both their attention.
And sure enough, when they turned around to face the others, all eyes were on them, Jun, Shii and Mao watching them (not so) innocently and extremely interestedly.
“You know…” Mao started, pointing her fork towards Sho and Meisa’s direction.”You both make a really nice pair...”
“Don’t start with the intrigues about us, Mao-chan…” Meisa chuckled, shaking her head. “Because that ‘us’ is never going to happen…”
“Ouch!” Sho cried, his hand landing over his left chest, feigning a hurt look as he pouted at Meisa as the other men in the table started laughing in expense. Mao ended up chuckling too when Meisa simply smiled at Sho dismissively.
“I’m highly amused by the fact that other girls would swoon at Sho-kun’s slightest and lightest sweet words and actions but Mei-chan simply dismisses his most romantic words…” Shii told Jun.
Jun laughed. “That tends to happen when the girl knows all the tricks in that guy’s book… Right, Mei-chan?”
“Right…” Meisa nodded before turning towards Sho and adding “And also if the guy has no effect on her whatsoever…”
As Jun and Shii snickered at her response, Sho raised an eyebrow at her as he leaned over, their bodies almost touching. “Are you sure I don’t have an effect on you?” he asked challengingly.
Before Meisa could respond though, or even for that moment to last longer than a couple of seconds, a figure suddenly bounded to their table.
“Am I seeing what I am seeing?” Aiba asked in surprise as he joined their table. “Are you two the next in line to get married?”
“Oh please…” Meisa sighed, shaking her head, as Sho straightened up to grin at his newly married friend.
“You heard her…” he shrugged as if agreeing with Meisa. But then he added with a groan “She wouldn’t accept me up to now…”
“That sounded almost believable!” Becky exclaimed as she joined their table, their hands automatically linking as Aiba pulled to hug her from behind.
“So, how does it feel being married?” Shii asked.
“Blissful…” Aiba replied quickly but then Becky chuckled and amended “We’re still quite caught in the midst of everything so we’ll tell you when we finally settle down…”
“Of course…” Sho amended.
“Fair warning though…” Jun grinned. “Living with Aiba might take a lot of getting used to…”
“Hey!” Aiba cried, pouting at his best friend but then Mao nodded and added “So please have a lot of patience…”
Becky chuckled though. “That can be arranged…” she smiled as she looked up at her husband’s face and smiled endearingly.
Aiba ended up smiling endearingly at her before turning to the table, to Jun and Mao in particular, and saying “I thought you’re my best friend! And you’re my cousin! You shouldn’t be putting me down!” he pouted.
“What?” Mao asked very innocently. “I’m just saying the truth…”
“Besides, you two are already married…” Sho agreed as the rest of them chuckled. “That’s already an inseparable relationship…”
“Funny Sho-chan…” Aiba pouted, although there’s no sign of real pain or offense anywhere in there especially since he ended up smiling. “Speaking of inseparable relationships, when are you two getting together?” he asked, addressing Sho and Meisa.
Before either of the two could respond though, Becky exclaimed, her eyes wide as she smiled at the two “No kidding! You two are getting together?”
“Of course not…” Meisa exclaimed as Sho simply shrugged, signifying that he’s going with whatever Meisa is saying.
“Oh!” Becky replied, her shoulders dropping very slightly before she bounded up again and exclaimed “Then it wouldn’t be an issue if I introduce Mei-chan to someone, right Sho-kun? He said he actually knows you two…”
“Narimiya Hiroki…” Sho said before raising the whiskey glass to his lips and draining its contents.
He was already at the open bar of the reception where he and the guys went straight to after Becky pulled Meisa and Mao towards the guy Becky was referring to who turned out to be her second cousin.
“You know him?” Shii asked as the three of them continued watching Meisa and Mao talking with the guy a few feet away from them, Aiba and Becky having moved on to talk to their other guests.
“Yeah…” Sho shrugged. “We were schoolmates in high school for about a year or two… And then he transferred out…”
“He’s pretty good-looking…” Jun observed, taking in the tall figure of the guy. “And he looks nice… And he seems pretty interested in Mei-chan…”
True enough, while the guy isn’t ignoring Mao and all, he’s actually treating the girls nicely as far as they can see, there was something different with the look he’s giving Meisa. It wasn’t desire, or lust, which they usually see in other men’s eyes, prompting them to go into action, but something a bit more wholesome, like admiration.
“I think he’s had a crush on Mei-chan before…” Sho said dismissively, truning around to face the bar instead of the three. “But it’s not like he’s the only one…”
“You mean those two had a past?” Shii asked, turning around and raising an eyebrow at Sho.
“No…” Sho snorted. “I think she actually ignored his existence back then…”
“She’s noticing him now…” Jun chuckled, nodding towards the trio’s direction, prompting the other two to look too.
Just as they did, Mao had excused herself before heading towards the buffet table, more specifically the dessert area, leaving the two behind. But Mao’s departure didn’t make the situation awkward at all. Meisa was actually laughing and smiling at something he said.
“She looks like she’s enjoying herself…” Shii observed.
“So she is…” Sho simply said.
Shii snorted as Jun asked Sho “And you’re not affected?”
Sho met the eyes of his two friends before he snorted and shook his head, a smug grin on his lips. “The relationship between me and Mei-chan is complex… You guys wouldn’t understand…”
“Yeah right…” Jun replied as Shii noted “Yeah, it’s so complex that even you two don’t seem to understand it…”
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“Remind me again why I’m here in your apartment when I could be in a club right now?” Shii asked Sho as he reached for another beer can from the table since the one he was just holding was already empty. “I keep forgetting why I’m here…” he added frustratingly.
Sho was just about to say something in response from his seat opposite his friend when they both jumped in surprise when Shii opened his beer can with a loud bang followed by a fizzle of beer suds flowing out of the can. Both guys turned immediately to the sofa in between them and breathed freely upon seeing that its occupant seemed undisturbed, almost undisturbed that is since he grunted in what could possibly be due to annoyance and buried his head deeper into the pillow.
Sho aimed one of his throw pillows directly to Shii’s face and was glad to see it making contact before he said “Are you nuts?!”
It wasn’t that they were both afraid of Jun, who’s currently face down at the sofa, because Jun is their friend and the apartment, to begin with, is Sho’s. But they also both know that Jun is not a very easy person to deal with when his sleep is disturbed and most especially when he’s still in the midst of catching up on it which he currently is in.
He had just worked practically 36 hours straight, being the second shooter of one of the countries premier fashion magazines and with the lead photographer just happening to call in sick during a location shoot 5hours away from Tokyo (Sho’s place being the nearest he could crash in which is why he’s there in the first place).
So in a combination of being considerate to their friend and feeling concerned of their own well-being, they tried to curb their noise (Sho had already offered that the guy sleep in his room but Jun said it’s too messy for his own peace of mind) with even the TV, playing a baseball game, was on low.
“What?!” Shii exclaimed as he dropped the throw pillow on the floor next to his chair. “I didn’t do it on purpose you know…” he said before he added as an afterthought “Well, maybe to a certain degree… If Jun-kun manages to wake up now, he might end up being in the right enough mood to go clubbing later…”
“After 36 hours of no sleep?” Sho snorted. “He’s not that addicted to clubbing to forgo sleep…”
“And what, pray tell, can you not forgo yourself when you too don’t want to go out clubbing with me?” Shii asked him instead, both of them well aware that they could just easily leave Jun in Sho’s apartment and not worry about his (or the apartment’s) well being.
Sho sighed. “I already told you… Mei-chan’s going out for a date tonight…”
“And?” Shii asked but when Sho just looked at him as though that’s a ridiculous question he just asked, he exclaimed “Wait… Are you saying that that set-up you two had in college is still working up to now?!”
Sho shrugged and replied “Why stop a good thing?” making Shii guffaw.
The ‘set-up’ Shii was referring to was actually the sort of unspoken but understood deal that Sho and Meisa had back in college. Whenever either one of Meisa or Sho wants to ditch a boyfriend or a fling, the former for Meisa and the latter for Sho, the other one would show up in a pre-agreed date to act as the real partner with the other one acting guilty for being caught cheating.
Of course, the fact that Sho has both the face and physique that could match Meisa’s strong and gorgeous looks and vice versa helped a lot to make their act sell.
Most of the time, it is Sho benefiting in that set-up of theirs seeing as the guy almost always has a date but with a girl that would rarely last longer than 2 months. But on the rare occasion that Meisa makes use of that arrangement though, she had only made use of it thrice, it is big. The biggest of which was back in the year before their final in college and she was set-up by an old colleague she couldn’t get out of herself. It turns out that the guy she was set-up to wanted nothing else but to take her to bed, whether she likes it or not.
And since Meisa had already made it clear that she wasn’t interested, the guy was already leading towards the ‘not’ part of ‘whether she likes it or not’ when Sho came in. After Sho did his thing and Jun, Shii, and Aiba did a bit of their own (although they really didn’t need to after Sho was done with the guy), the guy, who was from another college in Tokyo, apparently transferred out of his school and possibly out of the country.
“And what makes you think Meisa-chan’s going to need your services this time?” Shii ended up challenging. “From what I heard from Mao-chan and from what I’ve seen, seems like Narimiya-san is a decent fellow… Besides, he is Becky-chan’s cousin…”
“There’s nothing wrong with being prepared…” Sho simply said as he directed his attention to the TV screen even when he can’t keep his focus on it.
“Cheers!” Meisa and Narimiya cheered, toasting with their champagne bottles as they started on the date that Narimiya had planned for the two of them.
They were in the restaurant of one of Tokyo’s most prestigious hotels in what could easily be considered a formal affair, what with the ambiance the restaurant has, Narimiya looking dashing in his suit and Meisa gorgeous in a (n almost) long gown.
It wasn’t really a situation that Meisa is not used to. In fact, it can be said that she’s been there and had done that. But there’s just something different about it this time because Meisa could feel that her heart had increased its pace. It’s like she’s excited, giddy even. And all because of the guy sitting across her.
When she saw Narimiya again in Aiba and Becky’s wedding, she cannot deny the fact that she felt attracted to the guy. He looks, well, gorgeous to put it bluntly but it wasn’t his looks that really pulled her attention back then. She’s already so used to attractive men around her, what with Jun, Shii, and Aiba adding to Sho in her mix. It wasn’t even the confidence he clearly portrayed that got her; she’s used to that too.
Maybe it’s because he’s a new good-looking guy in her world where she’s getting tired of them already. Maybe because there was something heartwarming about the way he smiles. Maybe because although he didn’t hide his interest in her, he wasn’t overly flirty as guys tend to become after a while.
Or maybe just because.
“I almost couldn’t believe it when you accepted my invite, you know…” Narimiya started conversationally after the two of them had taken a sip off the champagne.
“Why is that?” Meisa asked with a smile as she placed her glass on the table, part of her realized that he had already placed his drink back on the table too. How she realized it though was a bit of a mystery seeing as it’s almost as if she’s entranced by his eyes; she hadn’t seem capable of removing her own from it.
“You never really took notice of me back then…” Narimiya said.
The statement was plain and simple and Meisa didn’t really know how to react to it. After all, that was true. She tended to ignore the men around her back in high school, except for Sho of course, mainly because she wanted to focus on her studies. This is why she just ended up smiling in response.
“Besides, when I saw you and Sakurai-san together at Becky-chan’s wedding, I thought you two are still together…” he added.
The mention of her best friend’s name seemed to have roused Meisa as she finally got to tear away her eyes from his. She laughed as she started playing with the handle of her fork.
“Oh no… Sho-kun and I... There’s no Sho-kun and I… Nothing of that sort… We are and always have been just friends…” she said.
When she looked up again, she realized that Narimiya is looking at her with some sort of amusement in his eyes but there’s no hiding the interest in it too.
and there goes chapter 3!!!
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okay... late update is late update...
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“I have to say, I really had fun tonight…” Meisa smiled as Nariyama turned around to hand her back her key.
They are already in her apartment building, right outside her door, their date having just ended quite successfully.
“Glad to hear that. Me too,” Nariyama smiled as his eyes looked directly into hers and Meisa almost felt like blushing.
That had been the story of most of the evening, Nariyama making her feel so many things she hadn’t felt in a long, long while. For the past years and even as she went on to other dates and relationships, Meisa hadn’t really been much of the blushing type. Somehow, it just doesn’t come to her no matter how sweet or romantic or dashing the guy is supposed to be. She’s got four men, one of them especially, to blame for that.
But there’s just something about Nari, the smile, the eyes, the unwavering attention that seems to be reeling her in.
The night wasn’t without incident of course. There were a few minor hiccups here and there particularly when Narimiya ordered curry, which turned out to be his favourite dish, when Meisa is allergic to coriander seeds, one of the ingredients used for curry powder.
But the biggest hiccup, per se, of the night was after the dinner when they were leaving the hotel. And it wasn’t even a hiccup that actually relates to them.
Passing by the lobby, it was Meisa who first noticed it. At first, she wanted to sigh, knowing that Sho could and would do something like that ever since that date she had back in college when she was almost in trouble. If he wouldn’t be there, he’d send someone else, and that someone else could be any one of their friends. During some parts of the evening, she’s had split second thoughts of her playboy best friend and what he could be doing at the moment. Because while Sho didn’t voice out any objections of her going out with Nari, he also didn’t look all that supportive of the idea either.
But a split second later, she realized that it didn’t seem to be the case. Mao didn’t look like she was out there to spy on her. In fact, the girl didn’t even look like she knew they were there. She was so busy arguing with a good-looking guy by the elevator. If Mao’s presence at the hotel came as a surprise to her, seeing the girl like that came as a shock. Mao’s normally a bubbly, happy creature and rarely does she look as annoyed as that.
By the time she and Nari joined her, the guy she was arguing against had already turned his back, almost dismissively, she noticed, leaving Mao fuming. What happened after made her appreciate Nari more.
He never looked the part of the date who got annoyed because their date was interrupted by the sudden appearance of her friend. It was even Nari who initiated that they check it out during that moment Meisa was rooted to the spot. He also volunteered that they drive Mao home, an offer Mao declined saying that she brought her own car.
They were just looking at each other for a few moments until Nari cleared his throat and they both ended up chuckling.
“I guess I better go now...” Nari smiled and all Meisa could do is to nod. “I’ll call you...”
“Sure...” Meisa replied and Nari’s smile widened just a tad bit more before he forced himself to turn around (because it sure looks like he can’t get his eyes off of her) and headed out of the building.
Meisa just stood there for a while, watching him until he was out of sight. Only then did she enter her apartment, a smile still plastered on her face.
“I ran out of coffee.”
Those were the first words that greeted Meisa as she stepped out of her bedroom into her living room to see none other than her best friend, Sho, sitting comfortably on her sofa, a cup of coffee placed on the center table in front of him and a newspaper in his hands. Meisa couldn’t even force herself to become surprised. The sight of the guy like that, in her own apartment, had been such a common occurrence, she had already half-expected it to happen, especially when she didn't call or send him any message the night before when she got home.
“I don’t think you even buy coffee anymore,” she shook her head with a small chuckle as she walked over to him.
When Sho simply grinned at her implying that she got it right after taking a sip of his coffee, she snorted, reaching out for the cup and taking a sip herself while Sho watched. She had already cleaned herself up a bit but she hadn’t combed her hair all that much, preferring to do so after her first cup of coffee. Sho seeing him like that doesn’t concern her though. They’re both used to each other already.
“So, how was last night?” Sho started. “You didn’t call last night...”
“It was good,” Meisa simply replied before crashing to the sofa leaving a bit of space between her and Sho.
“Good?” Sho repeated. “Define good.”
Meisa chuckled, seeing how serious he looked when he said that. He had even placed his newspaper down, meaning that he really is serious and would not be dropping the topic any moment.
“We had dinner,” she pointed out. “It was nice, it was fun, he was a perfect gentleman.”
“Oh,” Sho exclaimed as he tried to look nonchalant about what she just said. “So, he didn’t touch you or anything?”
“Sho?!” Meisa exclaimed, reaching out for one of her throw pillows to throw at him. He easily caught the object that was aimed at his face though but during that split-second when his face was hidden by the incoming pillow, his expression changed. By the time his face reappeared, he no longer looked that serious.
He had a small smile on his face.
“What? I was just asking!” he chuckled.
“Perv!” Meisa called as she too grinned.
“Oh, you know me...” Sho simply said a matter of factly as he threw the throw pillow on the seat adjacent the sofa to not be a hindrance. When Meisa simply rolled her eyes, he asked “So…”
“So what?” she asked.
“So, is there anything else I’m supposed to know?”
Meisa snorted and chuckled simultaneously. She had thought he’s dropping the issue already when Sho started smiling again. It seems he’s not finished yet.
“Why are you so interested?” she demanded.
Sho looked at her directly in the eyes for a while before he grabbed his cup Meisa had re-placed on the table and took a sip before saying “Because you’re not saying much. Usually, you’ve already belted out a long list of complaints even before I take my second sip.”
“That’s if I don’t like the guy,” Meisa pointed out.
Sho seemed ready to just shrug before he doubled back at what she said and stared at Meisa, his cup still in hand. “You mean you like him?”, he exclaimed.
“Narimiya-kun is a nice guy,” Meisa simply said, a small smile rising to her lips at the memory of how he made her feel the previous night. “We’re going out again next weekend.”
It actually looked like Sho was about to say something but then he looked at her and then he sighed and shrugged.
“I’m guessing last night was perfect then,” he said.
“Not that much,” Meisa smiled sheepishly, sliding closer until their shoulders were already touching. “His favorite is curry,” she added, pulling the hand Sho was using to hold his cup of coffee to allow her to take another sip.
“Oh,” Sho said. “What did you have?”
“Chicken,” Meisa shrugged.
Sho chuckled. He had long since dropped curry from his menu ever since he witnessed how Meisa couldn’t breathe after taking a very small bite of it. That was his first time skipping class because he rode in the ambulance that took her to the hospital that day. He knew he wouldn’t be able to concentrate on school.
Placing an arm over her should, he said “Yeah, I’d figure that much…”
and that's chapter 4...
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“You mean she likes him?” Shii exclaimed for what’s possibly the fifth time that evening, Sho having told them the reason behind him calling Shii and Jun out on a Saturday night for drinks when they usually hang-out during Sundays.
The reason, to put it simply, is that Meisa had just told him that she’s going on that all important second date with Narimiya that afternoon. She’s probably there already, in fact. And Sho just couldn’t understand what that bit of information is making him feel.
“How many times are you going to repeat it?!” Sho retorted before taking in a long swig of his beer. “Are you just rubbing it in?!”
“You have to say, he’s got reason to be surprised,” Jun reasoned with a mysterious smile on his lips and a spark in his eye. “After all, rarely had Mei-chan been really interested in a guy these past few years… With her career and you in her life, she already had her hands full.”
“Funny,” Sho snorted, taking another swig of his bottle, making Jun and Shii caught each others eye knowingly.
“So, you’re saying we’re here waiting out again for Mei-chan’s SOS?” Shii asked, his voice sounding curious but the wink he gave Jun says otherwise.
And true enough, when Sho simply snorted, Shii and Jun shared a smirk before Shii said “Ah! But why would you? Mei-chan already said that she’s interested in the guy. It’s therefore highly not likely for her to send the bat signal tonight, or any future nights for that matter, considering that you said she said she liked him.”
Sho looked at his two friends who were both looking at him quite innocently before he snorted once more and shook his head. He didn’t need for them to talk to know that the innocence they’re showing is purely just for that, a show.
“I am not taking the bait,” he simply told the two.
“Ah, Mei-chan’s interested in a guy,” Shii told Jun in a singsong voice, ignoring what Sho just said, almost like a senior talking about his junior with pride. “I wasn’t expecting time to fly by this fast.”
“Yeah,” said Jun, mimicking Shii’s tone as they both threw Sho furtive glances. “I wasn’t expecting it this soon too. Although, I have to say, I’m not entirely sure what to feel right now.”
“Really?” Shii asked with the air of great surprise, turning his body fully towards Jun when in truth, it’s Sho, who’s seated between the two of them, he’s looking at. “”What do you mean?”
“Nothing much,” Jun shrugged before throwing Sho a pointed look. “I mean, as her friend, I should be happy for her, right?”
“Right!” Shii jumped in, nodding patronizingly. “You should. I mean, a good friend would be happy with the development of that part of her life and shouldn’t be dragging his other friends along because he’s moody. A good friend would happy! ”
The sigh Jun released would have been entirely believable if not for the small smile that rose to his lips for a few seconds as he and Shii both saw how Sho started gritting his teeth.
“But…” Jun continued.
“But what?” Shi prompted.
“But somehow, it feels weird that she found that happiness in someone else and not with me.”
Shii gasped. “Are you saying you like her?” he exclaimed, his eyes wide open but is trained at Sho and not at Jun.
“Am I?” Jun asked back, his eyes on Sho too.
Sho needn’t look around to see those pairs of eyes on him. He could feel their stares. He knew the moment they started that conversation that they were doing it for him, or as him. For a lot of reasons too. But he didn’t look at his friends. He just stared at his glass before drinking it all in just one gulp.
There was a smile on Meisa’s lips as she made way through the hallway leading towards her apartment. Nari had just dropped her off, their date having just ended.
It was a simple dinner, a lot more simple than the first one they shared. But in more ways than one was this one more relaxing than the first one. Maybe because the first one started awkwardly when Nari ordered a dish, curry, she can never eat, and this time he knew better. Or maybe it’s because the previous one was “the” first date and it is a date destined to be awkward and weird even when they’re practically adults now and no longer teens.
Whatever the reason was, it still was different from the first one.
The talk they shared wasn’t intruding. Nari made sure that the conversation stayed on mutual and safe grounds, like work, hobbies, and the like. They had a bit too much fun talking about what could have happened between Aiba and Becky by now, considering that the two had gone on a European trip for their honeymoon, and speculating on whether or not Becky would be pregnant by the time they come back in about a week.
To a certain point, they even talked about the weather, but that was mainly because it started drizzling outside when they were half-way through their meal. She was almost about to feel afraid when the drizzle started turning into rain just before they finished eating. But thankfully, while the rain did strengthen, some things that would usually come in with the rain didn’t occur.
Still, it did affect their plans. Nari was thinking the two of them could share a walk after dinner but considering the rain, they had to change plans. They just decided to call it a night and maybe rightfully so because the rain looked like it had no plan of stopping. In fact, when Nari was driving her back to her apartment, it started raining a bit too hard that Meisa insisted that he needn’t walk her to her door. He didn’t have to get wet, after all.
Not that Meisa got really wet with that quick run she had to do from Nari’s car towards the sheltered walkway to her apartment. In fact, other than the water droplets clinging to her coat and hair, it was as if she wasn’t wet.
The same can not be said for the guy currently sitting outside her apartment door, with his hands holding his head as he looked down and looking very much worse for wear as droplets of water dripped from his clothes and hair.
“Sho?!” Meisa exclaimed.
i enjoyed writing the part where Jun and Shii were joking around Sho... i hope you liked that part too...
how was it? like it or not?
reviews are always loved! :)
it seriously feels like it's about time that i update this story... LOL... :)
Meisa couldn’t help but heave a sigh coupled with a bit of small laughter as she came out of her kitchen and into the living room only to be met by the sight before her: Sho already fast asleep in her sofa.
He had already changed out of his wet clothes, which are now hung by her bathroom to dry, and into a pair of Meisa’s loosest clothes. The shirt actually was once his but he had removed it from his back and ‘given’ it to Meisa that one time they spent the night with Jun, Shii, Aiba, Becky, Mao, and a couple of Shii’s workmates at the beach and Sho said that he didn’t like how Shii’s workmates were looking at her with only her bikini set on. She had laughed at his weirdness then but, with Mao’s insistence, followed his almost demand when she saw how serious Sho looked.
She didn’t bother returning the shirt to him though. And while the shirt does look okay on the guy (considering it is his), the pants, Meisa’s loosest, looked a bit funny on him. After all, it was still a bit girly and somehow did not match well with his physique.
Shaking her head a bit, she walked towards him and reached out to touch his forehead. He still felt warm but it was already good news since he felt like he’s having fever earlier when Meisa got home. The medicine must have already taken effect.
Her worries about the guy’s health had already eased up a bit by the time she had extracted a blanket from her closet to cover the guy with and she was about to head to her room already when the corner of her eyes caught something by the side table. It was Sho’s jacket, the one she removed from him earlier after she dragged him into her apartment. She had simply placed it on the side then before she hurried off to get a towel and a change of clothes while Sho murmured stuff that sounded suspiciously like apologies.
Picking the jacket up with the intention of hanging it with the rest of Sho’s clothes to dry, she realized that there was something heavy in one of the pockets. It turns out that it was a set of keys, Sho’s set of keys and while it is just normal that he would have his keys on his pockets, she noticed a familiar key that made her forehead crease.
It was the key to her apartment, the very same key Sho claimed to have left in his own apartment when, for some reason she still hadn’t found out, Sho decided to walk in the rain and into her apartment.“Why didn’t you just enter anyway?” Meisa asked worriedly taking the towel from Sho to continue the drying of his hair on her own. “You didn’t have to wait for me you know.”
“I…” Sho started to say but he didn’t follow it with anything for a while. Only after she prompted him did he continue “I didn’t have your key with me.”
To be completely honest, she felt a bit hurt when she heard him say that, after all, she’ll never leave the key she has of his apartment when she goes out of the house. It’s almost as important to her as her own keys. But seeing it amongst his house keys confused her even more. It’s highly unlikely for Sho to forget that he has her keys there. But there lies the question of why Sho didn’t use it in the first place.
With a worried look, she turned to Sho again and asked in a low voice “What’s going on?”
“Thank you for taking care of me last night,” Sho said in a really low tone before he took a sip of the coffee Meisa had placed in front of him.
It’s morning already and they were in the kitchen, with Meisa preparing for their breakfast after having made sure that Sho’s temperature had gone back to normal. The two of them were quiet, a lot quieter than they would usually be when the two of them are together. Sho had not said much since he woke up while the questions of the previous night continued to haunt Meisa.
“Un…” Meisa simply nodded.
Sho must have noticed her unusual quietness too because after a little while, he added “I’m sorry too for ruining your night last night. You must have been tired with your date and all and you had to take care of me.”
Meisa ended up snorting at this, breaking out of the silent slump she’d been in since they woke up.
“It’s not like I can leave you out in the corridor, right?” she chided. “What really happened last night?” she continued. “I asked you but I don’t think you understood what I was asking, or if you did, I couldn’t understand what you were saying at all! You were just mumbling and mumbling.”
Sho chuckled a bit. “Jun, Shii and I went out drinking last night,” he admitted.
“So you were drunk?” Meisa asked.
“No, no!” Sho said immediately. “You know us, we don’t really get drunk.”
“What happened then?” Meisa asked, turning around to face him.
Sho was silent for a while as he looked into her eyes.
The honest answer to her question was “Because I realized last night that I might have always been in love with you!” but he knew he couldn’t’ say it. But it truly was what he had come up with the night before.“Are you saying you like her?” he heard Shii ‘ask’ Jun, making him roll his eyes.
The gist of that question had already been asked to him a million times in the past, both by friends and acquaintances, that he’s not really that affected by it anymore. He’d already been asked that even with Meisa around and he’d always say “Of course I do!”
But then Jun’s chosen answer to that question, or to be exact, the question Jun answered with Shii’s question, and the intonation and insinuation behind the words “Am I?” somehow startled him.
It wasn’t about him just ‘liking’ Meisa anymore. It was something more.
And even as he told his two best friends that he’s “Not taking the bait”, his mind and heart couldn’t help but start a conversation of their own. And as much as he would never admit it to Jun and Shii, the conversation the two continued doing, even after he figuratively told them to drop it, helped him come up with the realization that he’s always had that special feeling for the closest woman in his life.
“I was just a bit confused,” he ended up admitting vaguely. “Not anymore though. Do you think it’s weird?”
“What is?” Meisa asked.
“That when I’m confused or something, I always end up coming to you,” Sho asked.
“Do you?” he heard Meisa ask again.
“Yeah,” he admitted, not knowing that his words, and his vagueness, are causing Meisa’s heart rate to increase. “I always find myself coming to you and then it all clears out,” he added seriously as he looked into her eyes.
how was the story???
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