When Cherry Blossoms Bloom

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Growing Flames

Ruth sat alone on her couch. She felt the warmth touch her cheeks as she thought about Hirozaki. So gentlemen do still exist. She felt like a true lady when she was with him. His every word and then touch set her body on fire. Old fashioned she may be, but God her body was screaming for her to be a harlot. She rolled her eyes. Good grief. They had only just met. And she knew better than anyone that love at first sight was bullshit. She had thought differently when she was younger and look how that turned out. Is it possible for a man to be able to balance being a gentleman and having the urge to ravage the woman he chooses? Hirozaki seemed to have the latter part down to a science. As she lay there, she imagined for a moment, his hair must be so soft. She would consider it an honor if he allowed her to touch it, least of all running it through her fingers. His eyes seemed to smile, even when he was being serious. Like her, he seemed lost in time. The best parts of history had passed them by without so much as a sideways glance. He had told her he was a history professor back home. She adored history, and listening to him speak was so calming to her. Her nervousness now had nothing to do with being around him after this. She enjoyed his company and found herself missing him already. Ruth sighed and decided to get ready for bed. She always slept naked. Especially now that she no longer had to worry about her children crawling into bed with her anymore. She lay down and covered herself. But could not sleep. She sighed again. “Damn it body.” She says out loud. She tried to relax, closing her eyes. What would it be like to lay with someone like him? Would he be shy? Or would he know exactly what to do to pleasure a woman? Ruth began to touch herself. Imagining Hirozaki kissing her gently first before beginning to explore her body. Her imperfect body. Ruth grimaced then. And stopped for a moment. Her self consciousness threatening to cure her of her body’s prior demands for attention. She roll over then. A tear falling. She was certainly not worthy of such a man. Why would he show interest in her? She fell asleep not too long after holding a tear soaked pillow.

Hirozaki had only just fallen asleep when he felt his chest tighten. Only just enough that he noticed. He closed his eyes again, unsure of what had wakened him. He dreamed. He saw Ruth sitting alone in the dark. He could hear voices whispering. As he concentrated on what they were saying, he heard. “You are such a fucking whore.” He looked around trying to locate the source, “How dare they?” He thought. “You are a terrible mother.” The same voice. When he tried to walk towards Ruth, she seemed to slip away. “No man is ever going to want you.” A different voice this time. A man’s voice. Hirozaki clenched his fists. What was this? “Stop this!” He yelled. The voices seemed to laugh then. But he found that he had gained some distance in reaching where Ruth sat. He noticed, she was bound in chains. Her head bowed, he could see the tears falling. “What is this?” He yells. He then heard Ruth’s voice, faint. “So gentlemen do exist.” A faint light appeared above her subdued form. A flicker like a star. But then a hand seemed to appear out of nowhere, as well as the first voice from before. “She’s damaged goods, what do you want with her?” The hand then extinguished the light as quickly as it came. He heard Ruth’s voice again. “I could never be worthy of such a man.” The other voice seemed to gloat as it laughed. Hirozaki closed his eyes and breathed. “I’ll show you.” He yelled at the voice. “I’ll not allow you to keep her.” The voice just laughed. “She’s been mine for a long time, boy.” For only a moment, Ruth turned her head and looked at him. Her eyes pleading. The chain that bound her jerked her forward again. Hirozaki woke suddenly. Covered in sweat. He found his palms bleeding, having dug his nails into them. He grabbed a Kleenex from the box beside his bed and held them in his hands. He dressed and found his way to the bathroom. After washing his hands, he cleaned and dressed them. As he looked in the mirror, he could see the bags under his eyes. He had not dreamt like that since he was a child. Having dreamt of the demise of his parents before it occurred. He had awoken much as he had now. But as a child, he had screamed and his parents had both come to him. Comforting his fears with assurances that it was all a bad dream. Until it wasn’t. But why would he dream of a woman he had only just met? He could sense her sadness at their first meeting. Saw the fear and anxiety as she fled from him, so overwhelmed that she forgot her purse. His presence alone seemed to have an impact on her. And he found that her presence was doing the same. He was calmer as well. No wonder Iruko had looked at him so strangely. He was acting out of character when he was around her.

Iruko woke and found his friend in the kitchen drinking a cup of green tea. He was staring off. “Hiro, what happened?” Iruko asked when he saw his friends wrapped hands. “It’s nothing.” Iruko sighed. “It’s clearly not nothing, your hands are bandaged.” Hirozaki looked down and flexed his bandaged hands again. “Do you still believe in fate?” Hirozaki then asked his friend. Iruko looked at him and shook his head. “Haven’t in a long time.” His friend nodded. “I dreamt about Ruth last night.” Iruko raised an eyebrow. “Like when we were kids?” He nodded. Iruko sighed. “It was a dark dream. She was trapped.” Iruko simply nodded. It was easier to do that than to say anything. Just to show that he had heard him.

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