“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…”