CHAPTER TWO: Her Teardrop
“Mitsui! You’re back early, we have just finished practicing.” Miyagi called out to me as soon as I enter the gym.
“Oh. Yeah, something came up.” I weakly smiled.
“I see. We are going to eat out, do you want to come?” Miyagi asked. It seems that he understands that I don’t want to discuss the topic further… for now.
“Okay, sure.” I could use some company.
We went to a meat house and had some drinks.
“I won the bet. Why are you not giving me the money? Hey!! let go of me!”
“Take him out!”
A commotion started in another table. Three guys were dragging out a girl-looking guy wearing a cap. The girl-looking guy keeps on shouting and struggling to free himself. The people on the other table are looking as they get out of the restaurant. No one is daring to help the guy.
As I stood up from my seat, Miyagi grabbed my arm. I looked at him and he shook his head. “Don’t mess with other people’s business”
I just looked at him. He knows me. I can’t stand bullying so I often overstep on other people’s business. I grabbed his hand that is holding onto me and pulled it away. “Excuse me for a moment” I excused myself from the table.
“Michiboy, I know them. They are big bullies. So just don’t trouble yourself.” Sakuragi tried to stop me.
I smiled at him. “Just give me a moment.”
I head towards the door.
“You are actually asking money from me?! Don’t tell me you’re stupid that you don’t even know me.” one of the guy who looks like the leader is smirking while the other two guys are holding the dragged person. He then punched the girl-looking guy in the stomach who gave a loud shriek. The bullies laughed and took turns in giving out punches.
I can’t stand this. That person wasn’t even able to fight back. They pushed him to a wall then he fell lying on the floor.
“What the hell are you doing?” I shouted at them as I went closer.
The three guys looked at me and from their looks I knew that they recognized me. “Let’s go”. The leader said and they ran away.
I picked up the cap on the floor and I walked towards him. He is struggling to stand so I offer my hand for help. He looked at me and I lost grip on the cap that was on my hand. He is a girl. I mean she is a girl.
Her gaze then focused on my outstretched hand that is offering to help her get up. After a few moments, she grabbed my hand and I instantly pulled her up. I picked up the cap and gave it to her. I stared at her, she looks like she’s in pain. I feel worse since I know now that she is a a woman who just received a few punches.
“Thank you.” she whispered as she slowly walk away.
Without much thought, I lightly grabbed her arm. She turned to me.
“Are you okay?” I asked
“Yes.” she said unconvincingly. I can clearly see how she’s hiding the pain.
“Let’s go to the hospital.” I suggested and I can see that she’s about to turn it down. “I will not take no for an answer. You’re in pain so just go with me.”
She looked at me and she gave a light nod which I presumed as yes. I called for a cab and opened the door for her. I sat beside her.
“Do you know her?” She broke the silence. “Ainah”
The mention of Ainah’s name surprised me. She’s a stranger as far as I know.How did she know her?
“Yes. How did you know her?” I asked her.
“I don’t really personally know her. I saw her name. At the cemetery. I also saw you.” She answered back
“You saw me? Then you saw the other man too?” I asked her.
“I know him. He’s the reason I was there.” She answered. “I followed him.”
“Who is he and why did you follow him?” I asked before I can stop myself.
She looked at me and gave a slight smile. “I don’t even know you.”
“Right. Of course.”
“Then I’ll introduce myself. I am Hisashi Mitsui.” I offered my hand for a handshake as I introduce myself.
She smiled and reached for my hand. “Hana Kiiro.”
“So can you tell me now?” I asked. I want to know the whole story why all of a sudden a guy who I have never met before is suddenly standing in front of my girlfriend’s tombstone.
“We’re here.” She said as she get out of the cab.
I paid the cab and went out. She’s already walking towards the door and I ran to catch up to her.
“You don’t want to tell me?” I asked her and she stopped walking to look at me.
“Later. Okay?” She said and i saw that she’s clutching on her stomach.
“Sorry.” I opened the door as we went inside the hospital.
I am sitting at the lounge area of the hospital, waiting for her. I remembered the event this morning. I hesitated as I saw a man in front of Ainah’s tombstone. I know that there is a possibility that he may be a relative or a friend but why did I felt nervous and scared to approach him?
“Shohoku wins over Otaku High. 91-89.”
“This calls for a celebration team! Nice game, the finals is all that’s left.”
“That three point shot made us win Michi!” “Yeah way to go Mitsui!” “I know it’s the right thing to pass the ball to you.” “Never misses a three pointer!” Everyone was around me, patting my back and shoulder. I made the last shot that made us win in the nick of time. We won the semifinals and we’re going to the championship.
“Okay, I already reserved a restaurant for us. Change and grab your stuff and let’s meet here in 10minutes.” Ayako has just finished calling from her cellphone.
We happily went to our locker room. I grabbed by bag and looked at my phone. 21 missed calls. 10 messages.
I opened my inbox and scanned the unread texts, it was all from Ainah.
‘I’m on my way, whoever comes late treats dinner!!!^-^’
‘Hisashi, I’m already at the park where are you?’
‘I got here first… prepare to treat me. I’m going to pig out!’
‘I’m a bit hungry, let’s eat before we go to the hospital?’
‘Hisashi, where are you? I already bought a sandwich cause I’m already hungry..come asap ok?’
‘Are you asleep??? Wake up H-I-S-A-S-H-I!!! sleepy head ^^~’
‘It’s already 5pm, the doctor is probably out already… where are you?’
‘Did something went wrong? Are you okay? I’m starting to get worried. You’re not even answering my calls? Text or call me asap’
‘It’s raining. I’m coming to the gym. Ayako texted that you have a game?’
I forgot.I totally forgot that I’m supposed to accompany Ainah to her doctor. She’s been fainting these past days and she wants to get checked up but she’s scared to go alone.
I pressed the button and called her. She’s not picking up. I tried several times but she’s still not answering my call.
“Hey Mitsui! Let’s go, everyone’s waiting.” Miyagi called me
“You guys go first. I’ll meet you there I’ll just go to Ainah’s place.”
“Okay. I’ll just text you where.” Miyagi waved goodbye.
I grabbed my bag and went to her place. I keep calling her on the way but she is still not picking up.
I’m at their gate. I texted her that I’m here, she did not reply back. I called her and this time she answered.
“I’m sorry Ainah, I forgot and the semis are scheduled today so the thought went off my mind… Are you home? I’m here at your gate.”
“Hisashi, this is Haru. Ainah’s asleep. She went home all wet because of the rain. She said she’s not feeling well so maybe just talk to her tomorrow?” Haru said.
She’s not asleep. I know Haru talks fast when she’s lying. Ainah’s mad at me.
“Can I come in at least? Just for a moment. I just want to see her.”
“But… she’s asleep… and not feeling well.. Just do it tomorrow?” Haru insisted
The gate opened and I saw her, Ainah.
“Ainah… I’m really sorry…” I grabbed her hand. She looked at me but she did not break free from my grasp, at least. Her eyes are swollen. She cried.
“Let’s not do this today Hisashi. I don’t want to say any bad thing that I might regret.”
I don’t want to end it like this today. I know that she’ll cry if I left things like this.
“Let’s eat out, just for a while. I’ll treat you anything that you want. Ice cream? chicken? cakes?”
She looked at me and she’s going to turn me down. “Hisashi….”
“Please, at least give me a chance to make you feel better?”
She nodded and we went to a mini stop at the corner of her street and ate some ice cream.
“So did you win?” she asked. She’s still not looking at me.
“Yes. I made the winning shot.” I said with pride and I saw her smile a little.
“You really love basketball the most.” She said and I sensed some bitterness in her voice.
“Yes. But that was before I met you. Now, both of you are the most important to me.”
She’s silent for a moment then she started to speak. “I’ll forgive you this time because you won.”
I smiled at her. But she is still not looking in my eyes.
I walked her home, my hand holding her hands.
“See you tomorrow.” She said as she opened their door.
I did not let go of her hand. “We’ll visit the doctor tomorrow. I promise ok?”
“There’s no need to go. I already went today.” She looked at me. She’s smiling but I see sadness in her eyes.
She never goes to hospitals alone. As I open my mouth to ask, she closed the gate.
“Everything’s fine. Just a few bruises.” Hana is standing up in front of me.
“Good. Let’s go.” I stood up from seat
“Uhm… the payment… I don’t have any money on me now… so.” She slowly raised her hand to gave me the receipt.
I grabbed it and went to the cashier. She followed behind.
“Thanks.” She said as we got out of the hospital.
I can’t stop my curiosity so I took this chance to ask. “So who is he?”
She looked at me. She was silent for a while. “Shin Collins.”
“How did he know Ainah?” I asked more.
“He liked her.” She scanned my face and continued. “So do you.”
He liked her? How…”We were in a relationship. How can he like her?”
She looked at me. “Feelings have no hard and fast rule. Him liking her doesn’t necessarily mean that she liked him back. It was a one side love all along.”
“How can you be so sure?” I retorted back.
“How can you not even trust her?” She looked annoyed. “If you were always acting this way then no wonder she had a hard time and turned to Shin for comfort.”
“What?” I can’t believe that this girl is judging me like this. ” You don’t even know me. You don’t know her too. You have no idea about our relationship so how can you say things like this.”
She smirked. She actually smirked on me, to the guy who just saved her.
“I’m just telling what I see” She answered then she turned her back and started to walk away.
I grabbed her arm. “Not everything you see is true. I don’t even have an idea about this and now you’re blaming me?”
She looked at me. “You’re deluded in thinking that you’re relationship is perfect. Have you even asked her before if she was having a hard time?” I sense accusation in her voice.
“Shut up!” I shouted at her before I can stop myself. Anger fills my head. “I am the victim here. I have no idea that this had happened behind my back so why are you even accusing me.”
“Because.. you’re acting like she cheated on you when in fact she never did. She did not break up with you for him. You may have lost her but not her heart… I.. lost him.” A tear fell down her cheek.
—-end of chapter two—–
Thank you for reading!