Chapter 7 - Hearts Of Steel and Molten Aluminum
After that night, I went home. Nothing really happened, but she was really close to me the whole way back. I didn’t back away because that would be rude. Then again, I suppose I didn’t mind that much.
I slept for a good few hours, but I kept thinking about the last thing she told me before I went home.
“Hey, you know you can come to my place, right? I only have one bed thou--”
“I apologize, but I’ll have to decline that offer.”
I was about to leave, but she grabbed my shoulder with her hand, and even though I didn’t turn around due to being paralyzed with fear, she spoke anyways.
“Really though, you can always come to my place if you have some free time. It’s pretty boring over here, but today was fun. Thank you.”
The onslaught of thorny roses still did not allow me to turn around, and with a nod, I began walking back home.
I looked at the time, and it was almost noon. I already made and ate breakfast. I was playing some games until I fell back on my bed, and then I realized how bored I was. There was really only one thing I kept considering.
“Maybe, maybe I should go over there again?”
“No way, it’s going to take a while to get over there, the people are scary, and it’s rude to show up to someone’s place without telling them. I don’t even have her contact info, well, it’s not like I could ask for it anyways.”
I was getting a bit frustrated, a very unusual thing for me.
I turn around and lie face down into my pillow, and calm down a bit.
“I guess I’ll go. This boredom is going to drive me crazy.”
With a quick lie and other swift motions, I got ready to go and left for the station.
When I arrived, I made it to the place much faster. It was 1:14 P.M. The restaurant avoided all light from the sun, but a dull glow came from inside.
I knock, and then knock some more. It was then I realized the door was unlocked. I don’t want to go in without permission, but I bought an ice cream cake after leaving the station and wanted to put it in the freezer. Excusing my rudeness, I walked inside and put the ice cream cake away safely.
I look around a bit and start wondering if she’s even here. I look around some more, oblivious to my potential rudeness. And then I notice a room, a small room with a small door that was almost completely tacked with stickers. The door was slightly open, oddly.
I figured she was probably asleep in there, so I turned around to go back and wait.
Before that, though, I saw a razor in front of the door. What the hell is it doing there? She’s going to step on it!
I rush over to pick it up and dispose of it, but as I do, my curiosity gets the better of me and I look inside. And I couldn’t look away.
Inside was Y, still sleeping on her bed. She was completely still. There was no motion, it was incredibly strange.
I finally looked down at the razor, and I go to throw it out, but once again, I noticed something as I put it in the trash. Why was there a razor there? Why was there no movement in her sleep?
A chill went down my spine and I dashed towards the door and opened it fast, with no consideration of being proper. I looked down at her in her blanket and listened closely. Her eyes were still closed. And I listened.
She was breathing, very quietly. It would be impossible to notice if one were not intentionally trying to hear it. I slump back down and lie back on to a chair, a wave of fatigue hitting me after the adrenaline left. I look down at her, still sleeping on the blanket.
I realize what I’m doing and immediately exit the ro--
“What’s up, X?”
I slowly turned around, to see her awake and sitting up on her bed. I swear she was asleep just now, I didn’t even hear her get up.
“Oh hey, uh hello, you see what happened is--”
She closed her eyes and then cut me off.
“Heh, I see I see. Trying to steal a kiss from me in the morning, how sly of you.”
She stood up from her bed, and in her pajamas, she walked up to me.
“So, if you don’t mind, could you tell me why you’re here?”
“Oh! Well, you see…”
I told her about how I got here, explaining all the intricacies and circumstances that led to this situation and she nodded in understanding.
“So...you came here because you were bored?”
She saw straight through me, I was a bit flustered because of it. Was it that easy to tell?
While I pondered, she walked past me into the main area of the restaurant. I realized her room was directly connected with the restaurant, even though her room was kind of in the back. It struck me as off, but I decided to leave it be.
I left too out of courtesy, and she was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. I went to the main area where the tables were. After a few minutes, she came over there too.
“Still in your pajamas, huh? I didn’t know you liked rabbits.”
She was still wearing the same pajamas in the main restaurant area, water had splashed onto her sleeves.
“Is there a problem with that? Pajamas are comfortable, and it’s cold so I don’t want to wear my home clothes. Also, rabbits are adorable!”
I thought she was going to start a rant about rabbits like a certain character, but I spoke before she could continue.
“Home clothes? I wear a sweater and cargo pants usually, why wouldn’t that suffice?”
She looked back at her room, and back at me, thinking.
“Well, I wear shorts and a tank top most of the time for my home clothes, but it gets tough in winter since I outgrew all my old clothes. I haven’t gone out to buy new ones in a while either.”
“Why not just go buy some clothes?”
“Well, I usually end up spending a lot over my budget, so I’ve been trying to keep myself in check.”
Ah, so she’s one of those types.
“You know, since you’re here, I could wear my home clothes if you're absolutely dying for me to do so.”
She walked to the main area and slid some dust off the counter, looking back at the palm of her hand, and then wiping the particles away onto her sleeve.
“It’s another cold morning today, huh?”
I realized that I forgot to mention a key detail.
“Uhh, speaking of cold, I actually bought an ice cream cake. I put it in the fridge to defrost a bit, if you want we can ea-”
“ICE CREAM CAKE? AWESOME!”
She dashed over to me immediately, but she overshot and crashed into me, making us both fall to the floor.
“Ouch...is it really something to be that excited for?”
She was laying on me, apparently not trying to get up. My back still aches from being tackled.
“Of course it is! Ice cream cake is my favorite food! How did you know?”
“Eh, I could just kind of tell.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I bought it on a whim.
She got up and went over to the fridge. She opened it and took out the vanilla ice cream cake with the chocolate mousse that I really like.
“Wow! You even have chocolate mousse in here!”
I watched as she looked at the cake in childish wonder. I can’t believe we’re the same age. Wait, actually…
“Oh yeah, Y, how old are you again?”
“15. My birthday was in July.”
Wait. What? She’s older than me by three months?
As I stood in shock, she tore all the plastic wrapping and got a knife from the kitchen table. She washed it, dried it with a towel, washed it once more, and then dried it with a tissue until there were no specks of water left. I’ve never seen someone so meticulous.
“Hey, is this a belated birthday gift by chance?”
She looked at me with such a genuine smile that I was practically forced to lie.
“Well, the chit-chat is good and all, but I think it’s about time to eat this cake.”
With delicacy and precision, she cut the cake into many exquisite slices, taking two for us to eat and saving the rest. The technique was so perfect that it would be impossible if she had not done this at least a hundred times.
There were two slices on the table, one was slightly bigger. They sat on two different plates, one blue with a plant root pattern, and one pink with a pattern resembling a bundle of ropes. These patterns lie on the outer edge of each plate, and both had smooth, white porcelain in the middle. These plates were very unusual, but they had a warm feel.
“What slice do you want?”
She asked me first, but at the same time, she could not look away from the bigger slice, her attempt to hide her desire failing miserably.
“I’ll choose this one. I think the root design look nice.”
“Oh! Okay, then I’ll take this one!”
She grabbed the plate and used a fork to tear apart the cake into little pieces, eating each piece with a single bite. I just ate it in large bites, and I finished before her.
I looked over and there was white frosting and chocolate over her mouth and on her lips, even though she was eating with much precision.
“Well, do you like it?”
That smile is nice. But somehow, I don’t like that smile.
I walk over to sit down in a chair, and she pulls one up next to me, still eating her cake.
“Hey, X, there’s something on your face.”
Oh, it’s probably some frosting or something.
“Yeah, one second I’m going to wash my mou--”
I was about to get up but she immediately moved her hand to my cheek and kissed me quickly, and immediately went back down to her seat. I didn’t realize what had happened and stood still like a deer in headlights for a moment.
“Hmm, so it still tastes like chocolate.”
Then I realized what had happened, making me go to the bathroom to wash my face and take a breather.
What the hell was that?
I walked outside, filled with questions. I walk into the kitchen room once again, and she was still sitting there, the cake now having been finished and both plates being washed.
“Hey, sorry if I startled you. Thanks for the ice cream cake.”
I want to ask questions, but I decide it probably won’t solve anything after all.
That was a lie. I’m not sure what to say, or if I should even say anything. This is a completely new situation, one that I have no clue how to deal with.
“Cat got your tongue? You’ve probably never kissed a girl before. I can tell.”
It hurts, that’s no good. No good of me. No good.
She stood up from her seat and walked towards me, and now standing in front of me, held my right hand with her left.
“I’d like to know a definite answer. Yes or no.”
Wait, is she perhaps referring to-
“Want to go out with me?”
I took a step back and then relaxed my posture, I put my hand to my head, and soon after, let it go back down to my side. I realized there was no stalling or deflecting because that intense look would not let me escape. Thus, I had to think and think and think and think and think until I came up with an answer. I considered all factors minus one and came to a decision.
“I’m sorry but I--”
It hurts, something in the abyss of my mind came to light and I choked on my own words. Indeed, it seems that I was lying to myself because if this didn’t go any further, nothing would happen like that. Yet, that was a long time ago, wasn’t it?
Even then, there was a disconnect.
I know I’m making the right decision. I’m only trying to prevent the same thing from happening, in a situation all too familiar.
I’ve logically considered every factor, and by doing this, I’m avoiding a lot of trouble for both of us. Yes, rejecting her would save a lot of hassle and trouble. There is no doubt about it!
“I’m on the fence a bit...”
But even then…
“Is that a yes or a no?”
Those eyes demanded the truth, above all else.