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The entire evening had long since gotten on her nerves and she didn’t think she could handle any more of the prim, proper and snooty. Antonio surely was having a ball. He was taking full advantage of the fact that she couldn’t do much and because of that he had put his hands all around her. He was lucky they were at this event or else she woulda gave his ass a beating. Sighing to herself, she shivered in the night and her breath nearly crystallized in the air. So much for some not pursuing her anymore. Bruh was not slick. At all. She closed her eyes and tilt her head back, letting the cold air caress her neck. She couldn’t stay out here too long or else she was fixing to catch a cold. But this place had to be her favorite discovery about the whole building. She had found it by accident as she was trying to get back to the gala from the bathroom. The starlight had bathed her in its brilliance and for a moment, she felt as though she was in a magical mystery that only she knew of and here she could have all the visual beauty she wanted. As she was getting ready to turn back around and leave, she felt a cold chill.
“Damn. Why the hell didn’t I bring my coat?” She expected silence. But what she got instead was a deep voice that replied.
“You do look cold.” The voice startled her and she spun around, eyes wide. She stared, mouth agape. She couldn’t believe who was standing in front of her. He smiled softly and she felt her heart begin to pound in her chest.
“Hi-Hiroto…” He stood there, his hands in his pockets.
“Hello beautiful.” She felt tears suddenly well up in her eyes.
“Why are you here?” He sighed, the cold curling in the air.
“I am here for a lot of things.” His voice so familiar and warm was making her dizzy suddenly and she didn’t like that it was making her react like this.
“Things like what?” The wind blew around them, the chilly air freezing her skin. With the wind, it brought his scent and it drifted into her nostrils. She tightened her fists. It was absolutely ridiculous how good he smelled. She brought her eyes up to his. Her throat tightened. How dare he stand there like he hadn’t ever left? He acted the same way she remembered in her memories and she grew more and more pissed how easy it came to him.
“I do have a business here. It is my place to be here.” She rolled her eyes.
“Why are you out here with me is what I meant Hiroto.” He licked his lips.
“Am I not allowed to be?” She sucked her teeth.
“No. You don’t get to stand there and act like you been out of my life for five minutes.”
“What?” He was quiet. The expression on his face looked pained, as if it hurt him to even talk. Good. It should hurt him to talk.
“I came to talk to you-”
“I don’t want to talk to you.” She replied quickly, cutting him off.
“This was my chance and I took it.”
“You shouldn’t have.” He looked into her eyes with a small smile.
“You still have that spunk. I’m glad you never lost it.” The intensity from his gaze was making her want to look away but she stared at him head on.
“Look, it’s cold and I’m getting ready to leave. Whatever you have to say say it now Hiroto.” He sighed, his breath curling into a thin cloud of vapor.
“I missed you.” She sighed, her hands shaking.
“Good to know. I’m going home now.”
“Let me take you.”
“No. If you know where I live, you’ll never leave me alone.” For some reason, her body wasn’t moving. She told it to walk away but it stayed put. Her heart twisted but she bit her lip and inhaled through her nostrils.
“I don’t know what to say or where to start with you. I wasn’t prepared for this.”
“It’s quite a shock for me as well.” It grew quiet and she shivered, tightening her arms around herself.
“When did you get here?”
“Three or so months ago.”
“You’ve been here this whole time. And tonight is the night I have to run into you huh?” He didn’t reply, just looked at her with that intense gaze. She lifted her head. Don’t back down.
“Tell me something Hiroto.”
“That woman I talked to earlier. Was she your wife?” He swallowed.
“So you never married her?”
“Hm. Ten years with her and not a ring for one. Don’t sound like you are happy to talk about her. You didn’t seem happy to be around her at all tonight.”
“Quite observant as always.” She pursed her lips.
“Was leaving me worth it?” The time seemed to expand and it took forever until he finally spoke.
“No.” His answer was simple but held so much suffering.
“Sad you had to go ten years before you realized that.” She watched him step closer. Still her body didn’t move.
Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her flush against him. She let out a breath, the tears threatening to overflow.
“I wasn’t strong enough then.” She fought against the urge to lift her arms and press her hands against his chest. She wanted to hate him. She had tried for so long. And she thought she finally had succeeded.
“I’m much stronger now.” He spoke against her temple, his breath warm. His scent was so dizzying. Why did he feel and smell so good? So warm. All these years later…he had control of her..
“Let go of me.” She reached up to pull him off of her. There was a time she would have melted in his captivity. His arms once brought her peace but now it just hurt her. She didn’t want to be under his captivity any longer.
“What?” Her tone was hard.
“Tell me something.” She didn’t reply, keeping her mouth shut as she waited for him to speak.
“Have you completely closed your heart? Have you used up the last amount of love we shared and turned it into hatred?” His calm quiet question stung her.
“Hiroto…” He pressed his face into her hair.
“If that’s so, I understand. But, I’ve never stopped loving you.” His warmth threatened to overwhelm her.
“L-Let go…” He let his arms slide away from her at once and slowly, he took his body heat away too. She stood there shivering, clenching her teeth. The unshed tears slid down her cheeks, cold as ice. He watched as the tears fell.
“You are such a bastard.” He stood still, letting her insult wash over him.
“I deserve your anger.” His voice was quiet, barely audible.
“I haven’t seen you in ten fucking years. And you come out of nowhere…. telling me all the shit I don’t need to hear right now…” He remained quiet and let her continue.
“I’ve tried to hate you. Do you understand? After all the shit I had to deal with you were just another traitor.” Her body shook almost violently and she tightened her fingers around herself.
“That’s great, you’re strong and everything. That’s great you’re going places and doing big things. But in the midst of that… did you ever think about me? Did you ever stop to think how hard and long it took me to pick my life back up?”
“More than you know Rae.” She scoffed, the anger within her tears turning her cheeks hot.
“You don’t deserve this… my time. My space. And keep your damn hands off of my body.”
“If that’s what you want.” She eyed him from head to toe.
“Look at you. Standing there like you were then. You’re not getting any pity from me.” His eyes grew hard with resolve as they flickered to hers.
“I do not want pity. I want your heart.” The ferocity of his statements took her back and she was at a loss for words. The man in front of her… the one she tried to see from her past… was no longer there. Her lens had shattered and in front of her was a warrior. Who wasn’t not taking any prisoners. Even so, her mouth opened and the words just kept coming out.
“You lost out on that chance.” He tightened his fists and the look in his eyes took her breath away.
“I’m prepared to wait.” His voice once overflowing with pain sounded much stronger with determination. She reached up and wiped the tears from her face.
“Don’t bother waiting for me. It’s too late for us. Us died a long time ago.” She gathered herself and stood straight, holding her head high to look up at him.
“Goodbye Hiroto.” Her voice was as cold as her skin. As she started to walk past him, his arm reached out and grabbed her pulling her against him. The breath whooshed out of her.
“I will never give up on you Rae. Don’t completely rule us out.” She looked up at him, eyes wide. His fingers gently stroked her cheek. Against her will, the tears continued to flow, leaving paths of ice in its wake.
“I let you go before. I will not make that mistake a second time. This time, I will fight for you. However long it takes, I’ll wait.” He gently ran his thumb across her bottom lip,
“I’ll wait until love fills your heart once again.” He slowly let her go and she stood there, still. Words didn’t exist as she watched him walk away from her. She trembled, her skin tingling. Anger still dwelled in her chest but her heart weeped. It cried out for him. Deep within, it answered him.
“Rae,” Hands gently rubbed her back.
“Come on boo. It’s time for you to get up.” She groaned and turned over in her bed. She opened her eyes and looked to see Amee. She sighed.
“I just need ten more minutes.”
“No, come on Ebbie. You’ve been shut in this house all weekend.” She sucked her teeth and groaned again.
“What happened at that gala? You’ve been in space ever since you came back.” She blinked and tried to orient herself. She had been in bed all weekend. And had definitely been ignoring calls. Anger flared up in her chest, making it feel like a burning fire. Damn him. How dare he? Who the hell did he think he was?
“Never mind that. Where’s my phone?” Amee sighed and pulled it from under the blanket. Glancing at it, she scowled.
“You don’t even have to tell me.”
“He’s confusing me. One moment he complain about everything, the next he crying wanting you back.” She shrugged.
“I don’t have no time for a nigga that don’t know what he wants.”
“You’re better off without him.”
“Good damn riddance.” She sighed and turned over before slowly putting her feet in the carpet.
“You gunna get up now?”
“Why don’t you call Lee? Maybe we can all go to lunch.”
“Sounds cool.” She got up as her sister closed her door, leaving her in privacy. Stretching, she sighed deeply. Iwase Hiroto had hit her like a tidal wave and she hadn’t been prepared. She had spent the rest of the weekend in bed… reflecting… crying…all things she couldn’t stand that he had made her do. Ten years ago hit her in the face all at once and she had been cast out to sea. Too many things had happened. Her break up with Kwasame and then BAM Hiroto came. She hadn’t known what to do. But, she would figure out what to do.
She got in the shower and massaged her scalp. It would be time for a co-wash soon. She washed herself and got out. She came into her bedroom to find her sister staring at a picture she had on her small bookshelf.
“You look so happy here…” She tightened her towel and looked at it from her side. It was a picture of Hiroto and her with Tobu and the old gang. She had kept it pressed face down for years.
“I was.” She looked at Hiroto.
“He looks different here. He looks like he actually smiled.”
“He did.” Amee smiled sadly.
“I remember the pictures you showed me of him… on your phone. The one you took on your birthday. The smile that kid had on his face was bright enough to light a thousand galaxies.” Her throat was tight suddenly.
“You saw him didn’t you?” She looked up at her, eyes wide.
“At that party. He was there wasn’t he?” She bit her lip.
“Now I know why you been actin like this.”
“It may not be any of my business but… you’ve tried to make it work with someone else…. but it hasn’t.” She glanced back at the picture.
“You still wear his ring. You still have his pictures. You even still have some of his clothing. You’re not ready to let go of him are you?” Silence. Amee took it as an opportunity to continue.
“I know you mad at him. I know he don’t deserve to come back and pick up where y’all left off… right away. But…I love you so I’ma keep it real.” She faced her.
“You’re still in love with him Ebbie. And somethin tells me he’s in love with you too. The way all this shit been goin down with Kwasame and everything else… it was meant to happen. After all this time. Y’all don tried to move on but y’all can’t. Y’all ain’t supposed to.” She felt tears well up in her eyes and she couldn’t contain the small cry that had come from her chest. Amee pulled her close.
“Sweetheart, what you had with him…you can have it again. Just let it run its course. I want you to look and be as happy as you were then.”
“He’s such a jerk I can’t… how dare he just…” Amee smiled.
“No one is gunna rush you. Forgive in your own time. But Ebbie, you need to forgive him with him. Maybe he can forgive himself when he’s with you. You can’t do it by yourself.”
“I wish I could.”
“Ebbie, don’t act like that.” She groaned and lifted up, wiping her tears.
“Why did he have to come now? I finally got my life together and he had to come and hit me from the side.” Amee grinned.
“He came right on time too cause you just broke up with ol dude.” She sighed heavily.
“Just take it one step at a time. You were friends before anything else.”
“Yeah yeah yeah…” She sniffed and chuckled at her sister who was trying not to laugh.
“You know you miss him as a friend…” She nudged her and got a playful hit on the shoulder.
“Who told you to come to my house and get all wise on me? Dag. I ain’t ask for non this.” Amee finally let out her laugh.
“I’m your sister. You was gon get it anyway. And you know Lee probably would say the same thing.” She laughed softly.
“Yeah except she might say it like, “Make that nigga suffa.” Amee nodded.
“You know your friend is crazy.”
“Gotta love her.”
“Okay so you good?”
“Yeah. I’m good.”
“Now, get dolled up. We’re going out. You, me and Lee.”
“Well alright.” She was determined to make this upcoming so much better.
At work the next day, she found that Mr. Rossi had not come in which as very unusual. The man never missed a day of work in his life. For him to call in sick was something of an eyebrow raiser. She supposed this was her time to shine and put what she’d learned in all those meetings and fancy smancy galas to work. She smoothed back her hair and put it into a bun and sat down at his desk. Feeling the wood beneath her fingers, she retracted her them quickly. This was weird. Sitting at your boss’ desk in your boss’ office when he was not there. She felt so out of place. Sit up straight and stop worrying. Rossi left this to you on purpose. She could handle this. She cleared her throat and gently pressed the intercom button that went out to Jenny’s desk.
“Yes Mr. Rossi-I mean Ms. Marshall?”
“Are there any packages, mail or messages for Mr. Rossi today?”
“One moment please.” She heard ruffling in the background.
“He has one package from his business partner in California. Two letters and there seems to be something else.” She waited for her to speak.
“It is addressed to you Ms. Marshall.” Poking out her lips and scrunching up her eyebrows, she stared at the intercom. What?
“A package for me?”
“Could you bring it all here please?”
“Yes ma’am. Right away.” She soon heard a knock on his door.
“Come in Jenny!” Jenny stepped in and gave her first the things for Mr. Rossi. The last thing she had to bend down to get and when she stood back up, her arms were behind her back and her face was pink.
“Jenny?” She blushed harder and smiled.
“I think you’re going to like this one.” She pulled a single stemmed red rose from behind her back and handed it to her. Attached to the beautiful red wrapping paper was a small note and a small box also was given to her.
“Is that all ma’am?” Jenny asked, a smile on her lips and blush still in her cheeks. She blinked and nodded.
“It’s no problem ma’am.” When the door was closed, she stared at the rose. Could Antonio have sent her this rose? With his hooky self, she wouldn’t be too shocked. Kwasame? Him tryin to butter her up wouldn’t be a surprise either. Honestly, the man needed to gon somewhere. Her mind raced and she reached for the note, fingers trembling. Opening the small card, she saw the message and felt her heart speed up.
I hope this eases your mind and makes you smile. R.
Opening the small box, she found five wagashi, all different colors of pink, blue, green and purple. Sighing, she placed the box down on the desk. So, he hadn’t wasted no time making a move. So like him. Picking up the small pink treat, she glanced at it. It made her remember a time underneath the cherry blossom trees. Taking a small bite, she sighed again and placed it back in the box covering it with the lid. If he thought sending her sweets would make her acquiesce, he had another thing coming. He’d have to do better than that. Nevertheless, it made her smile… as intended. As she continued her work, she ate one until they were gone.
A/N: After ten years, finally Hiroto and Rae meet for the first time. There is so much pain within Rae's heart... and so much love in Roto's. No matter what, she can't fight what is in her heart for him. So, she'll come around. I near swooned writing this chapter lol. Hiroto know how to talk man. *dreamy sigh* Next chapter is still in the works :) Let me know your thoughts! Hopefully, it was a chapter worth waiting for! :) Take care and God bless!
This how I imagine it would be if made into an anime (if my story was made into an anime I would freak out lol):
Yes I would make them make the girl brown and like legit brown.. not that "tan". BROWN. And she would have natural hair and would have a button nose and full lips and look like like a real black woman would look like. *sigh* That would be amazing. To see a love like this with a non Japanese character.