When Cherry Blossoms Bloom

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20 Questions

When Ruth woke the next morning, she lay there for a moment. Already she could feel her cheeks warm as she thought of Hirozaki. What would happen today? She threw back her covers and put her legs over the side of her bed. She could hear the birds chirping outside. She dressed and fixed herself a cup of coffee. Again there was a knock on the door. When she opened it, she found another box. She picked it up and shut the door. She picked up her laptop and got herself comfortable as she checked her email.

Activity 2: Picnic in the Park

At noon today, we will meet in the park.

South Park Gazebo on Mass. St.

Your ride will pick you up at 11:45AM

Ruth leaned back against the couch and sighed. When she opened the box, she found a long, emerald green ankle length dress with matching sandals and a matching comb. She checked the time. It was only nine. She took a shower and ate her breakfast before getting dressed. She brushed her hair and left it down simply putting the comb in her hair. She sat down and decided to write to pass the time. It worked wonderfully. There was a knock on the door. She put away her laptop and answered the door. An Uber driver was waiting for her. He even opened her door for her. Ruth smiled and nodded in thanks. When she arrived at the park she got out and walked towards the Gazebo. Hirozaki was sitting on a blanket he had lain out on the floor of the building. He was dressed in a matching yakata of emerald green. When Ruth approached him, he couldn’t help but stare. The dress fit her perfectly. He motioned for her to sit down. This time lunch was a pair of bento boxes with sushi, rice balls as well as a few other things. He put out two cups and pulled out a bottle. Ruth recognized it. Sake. She smirked and then made a face. Hirozaki only smiled. “The dress fits you wonderfully.” He tells her as they began to eat. Ruth smiled. “Thank you, its beautiful.” “We’re going to play twenty questions.” He tells her simply. “That wasn’t included in the email.” She replies as she took another bite of sushi. “True, but the goal is to get to know each other.” He said. “Any questions?” He looked at her then and grinned. “I did promise that nothing inappropriate was going to occur,” He reminded her. “And I’m going to make sure you keep it.” Ruth retorted. He held his hand out then and nodded. “Lady’s first.” Ruth thought for a moment. “Is your hair colored or natural?” Simple enough question, she thought. “Natural.” He answered and flipped his hair. Ruth couldn’t help but laugh. “Your favorite color?” He asked as he took a bite. “Purple.” She answered. She stopped him for a moment. “I’m not trying to rush anything, but I don’t think I can come up with twenty questions.” “That’s cheating.” He tells her. She watched him and smiled. “I’ll give this one to you for free. We will split the questions evenly. Ten a piece then.” Ruth nodded. “But,” She looked at him and waited. He pulled out the sake and poured them each a small cup. “You have to take a shot of sake. It’s a fair trade.” Ruth rolled her eyes. They both held their cups up and drank it down in one gulp. Hirosaki started laughing when he saw Ruth’s face. “Nasty.” She tells him and takes another bite of her lunch. “It’s an acquired taste obviously. Question two?” “Why do you dress traditionally?” ” Fair question.” He responded. “I have a love of history as you know. So I wear traditional clothing so that people that I meet will always remember the simpler times. Simple pleasures.” He said the last waving his hand over their picnic. She felt her cheeks warm. “Do you prefer wearing dresses or pants?” He asks. “I love dresses on special occasions, and pants the rest of the time.” Ruth answered. Hirozaki nodded. “Question 3?” “What is your greatest fear?” Ruth asked. He paused. Ruth thought that maybe she had said something wrong and started to apologize. Hirozaki put his hand up and smiled. “It’s alright. I’ll answer.” He says. “Dying alone.” Ruth’s breath caught in her throat for a moment. “You?” “I’m afraid of the dark, or rather what’s in it.” He nodded. “Question 4?” “What is your greatest achievement?” “My students who go on to be successful in their own lives.” He looked at Ruth then. “My greatest achievement is my children.” He nodded. “A grand achievement indeed.” “Question 5?” “Your favorite food that you have tried since you’ve been here?” ” The milkshake.” He answered. “You?” “The sushi.” “That one was too easy.” Hirosaki says and hands her another cup of sake. Ruth drank it and only shuddered some. “We are halfway there,” He says. “The next five questions will be of a more personal nature.” Ruth blushed. “If you choose to pass, you are required to drink more sake, understand?” Ruth nodded. “Question 6: Are you on good terms with your extended family?” “No.” She answered quickly. He nodded. “My family died when I was a young boy.” Ruth started to apologize, but he put his finger to her lips to silence her. Her breathing became rapid at just his touch. “Question 7?” He asks putting his hand down. “How many women have you....” She stopped. Not even sure where that question had come from least of all why the hell she had dared to ask him that. “One.” He answered simply. No sign of embarrassment. He waited for her answer, but she decided to drink the sake instead. He chuckled. “Question 8?” Ruth nodded then. “Then I’ll go first this time.” With that he leaned in and whispered in her ear. “You’re favorite position?” Ruth dropped her sake cup. Thankful it was empty. Hirozaki took another shot and waited for an answer. He expected her to back out and drink the sake, but instead she leaned near him and whispered. “Any.” He blushed. Apparently he had finally tired of the game, because he grabbed and held Ruth as he kissed her long and deep. It was interrupted when they heard a giggle and saw a young couple walking by having seen their exchange. They looked at each other for a moment and then started laughing. They worked together to clean up the remains of their picnic. He handed the sake and glasses to Ruth to hold. After disposing of what he could, he put the blanket over his shoulder and took her hand. They found a bench and sat down. Just as they were about to continue their game, the skies opened up and rain began to fall in heavy drops. Hirozaki used the blanket to protect them as best he could, but thankfully Iruko pulled up and they climbed in the back seat. Hirozaki handed his friend the sake. “I’m sorry.” He tells Ruth. “Please don’t be.” She tells him. “I think you’re wonderful.” Iruko raised an eyebrow. Their next stop was a pool hall. Iruko was looking forward to this one. Though as the designated driver, he didn’t get to participate in the next game his friend had planned. Hiro may be able to hold his Sake, but American drinks would be an entirely new experience. And his friend would learn this when he woke up in the morning. They spent the next several hours playing pool together. Both Iruko and Ruth introduced Hirozaki to different drinks. It was the taste of Vodka that resulted in him making the same face and Ruth had when she drank the sake. Iruko was very impressed with Ruth, unlike his now inebriated and slurring friend, she held her liquor quite well. Iruko did not relish what was going to happen next, but he drove them both back to his apartment. He was not about to leave Ruth at home alone in her condition. As he lay Ruth down on the couch and covered her with a blanket, he heard her whisper. “I love you, Hirozaki.” He shook his head and smiled. His best friend certainly had a gift when it came to women. One he envied. He helped Hirozaki out of the car and after taking a few steps, his friend threw up. “Ruth?” He asked suddenly serious. “She’s fine, she’s sleeping.” His friend smiled before promptly throwing up again. Iruko got him into the house and lay him down on his bed. Thankfully he hadn’t soiled his clothes, so Iruko left him as he was. “You and your brilliant ideas.” He tells his friend. With that he retired himself.


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