Chapter | 12
I woke up the next morning feeling new and improved. Somehow the moment Haku and I shared made me less insecure about the whole him and Luna thing.
Another thing I felt the moment I woke up was that my angry jog yesterday left me smelly and aching. I barely made it out of bed before there was a knock on the door.
“May I come in?” I heard a voice ask from outside the room, it sounded like Linn. “Um, sure” I yelled back and Lin opened the door.
“Good morning” she said with a bright and cheery smile.
“Now, let’s get down to business” she said before I could greet her back. “As you probably do not know, tomorrow Yubaba will be returning to the bath house” she said as she walked over to the windows and threw the curtains open. It took everything in me not to make a hissing sound like a vampire.
“And if you didn’t know that then you won’t know that every year after this little break, Yubaba has a huge ball of sorts” Linn continued as if me in my stinky state didn’t bother her.
“Okay, but what has that got to do with me? I’m pretty sure Yubaba doesn’t want some mouthy human there” I said while covering my eyes with my hand.
“So I assumed as well, no offence, but I have just received a letter from her telling me that you have to go” Lin said while opening the door to let in some fresh air. So, she did notice the smell.
“Which means that we have to get you a dress and everything since I’m assuming you don’t want to dress like the women here in the Spirit World” she said.
“Where am I supposed to get something like that?” I asked, but the look in her eyes told me that she had everything planned out.
About an hour later I was being pulled out the front entrance and down to the water below. Linn had given me a brown dress to wear after my extremely quick bath. I was still busy pulling it right when I Linn started explaining things again.
“Okay, right now we are on our way to Zeniba” she started and already I liked the plan. “She said that she can make you a dress by tomorrow evening so start thinking about what you want on the way there” she continued as we reached the water where a little barrel boat was already waiting for us.
“Lin, what kind of dress should it be? I mean, humans don’t dress anything like spirits anymore” I said as we dropped into the boat and Linn started furiously rowing, answering my question between breaths.
“That’s fine, think of a design you would wear to a ball in the human world” she said.
I was about to tell her that there weren’t things like balls in the human world, but ended up just leaving it.
Zeniba’s house looked the same as it did the last time; the wooden arch leading to her yard, the heavy wooden door and a sense of deep tranquillity surrounding the quaint little cottage.
After the second knock there was the sound of a chair being pulled across the floor followed by footsteps. Zeniba opened the door and led us inside to where she had already laid out tea and some cookies- which, by the way, smelled amazing.
“Welcome, please make yourself at home while I go fetch No-face and Boh” she said as she made her way to the back of the room.
She barely stepped out of the room before Linn and I gave each other a look that said “chow time”. Without a second thought we started stuffing our faces with cookies that tasted even better than they smelt- an almost impossible feat.
About five minutes later Zeniba returned with two figures trailing behind her. No-face, who still lurked tall and black over everyone, came in after Zeniba, followed by a boy that appeared to be about fifteen years old. Before I could ask who he was, he threw himself at me where I stood.
“Sen!” he yelled out as his arms wrapped around my neck and, pulling me into a tight hug.
I stood there staring at the roof while the boy held me, luckily he let go quite quickly so blood circulation would be able to assume along with normal brain wave function.
“I’m sorry, but who are you?” I asked as the boy stepped away from me. He seemed puzzled by this question.
“You don’t remember me?”
I could see by the way his eyes started to cringe and his lips turned down that he was about to cry.
“No, wait! Let me think” I say and look him up and down. He wore a outfit that modern girls would see as stylish, with a ninja style pants and a loose hanging grey shirt. His hair was long enough to be pulled back into a pony tail, but still short enough to hang on his shoulders. The most striking characteristic about the boy was that his hair was a darkish grey, a colour I had only seen on two other people. Yubaba and Zeniba.
Somehow Zeniba didn’t strike me as a person who would actually have a son, but I knew for a fact that Yubaba had one, whom was living with Zeniba.
“Boh?” I asked hesitantly, praying that I was right. What use to be a frown turned into smile on the boy’s face. Guess I was right.
He hugged me again, this time more calmly. I returned the hug, putting my arms around his waist since he was taller than me.
“I’m guessing you’re the same kind of spirit as Haku?” I asked as I pulled away to look at him again. He nodded and stepped away so that I could properly greet No-face standing behind him, as silent as ever- except when he got hungry.
“Hi, No-face” I said politely, not sure if I should hug him, or if I even could hug him without squishing him in my arms.
“Ah-ah” he said so I just smiled, because I had no idea what he was saying.
Once all the hearty hellos where done we all sat down and Zeniba ‘poofed’ us all some more cookies and tea before she started explaining things to me.
“Now, I was told that you needed a dress” she said once all of us were eating something to keep our mouths occupied, so I simply nodded as my reply.
“Good, now I want you to imagine this dress, along with accessories and shoes, as best as you can” she said before standing up and coming to stand behind me, placing her hands at both sides of my head.
I quickly swallowed my cookie and started imagining the dress I wanted, down to the last bead on the sleeve. After about two minutes of intense concentration, Zeniba took her hands away from my head and returned to her seat.
“Thank you, my dear” she said “That will be all I need, the dress will be sent over tomorrow.”
The rest of the evening Lin and Zeniba taught me some “manners” and how to hold myself among the high-class spirits, because, and I quote, “A human girl without manners or and formal experience” wouldn’t last long at a ball.
It was already late by the time we went back home. Yeah, home. The bath house was now my home, not the crabby blue house back in the human world. Still, there was a pain in my chest when I thought of my parents, wondering if they were still looking for me or if they had given up by now. I thought about them all the way back to my room before I actually realised what the feeling was.
I was homesick; who would have thought that would happen?
Slowly I eased myself onto the bed, but before I had a chance to get comfortable there was a knock on the balcony door. Due to the curtains being closed, I couldn’t see who was at the door, so I had to be careful. For all I knew it could have been a Shadow Walker. Or worse, Luna.
“Who’s out there” I asked; my voice a little shaky.
“It’s just me” a male voice came from behind the curtains, one that could only belong to Haku. I pulled back the curtains, unlocked the door and pulled it open so that Haku could walk into the room; luckily it was only him and not another unwanted guest.
Before I could pull the curtains back into place, Haku spun me around and pushed me into them. His lips where on mine before I could object, not that I would have, kissing me gently.
He pulled away and took both of my hands in his own, caressing their backs with his thumbs.
“I missed you today” he said while looking into my eyes, but I was so overwhelmed that all I could do was nod, my pity party forgotten. He gave a little laugh before pulling me over to the bed. We sat down next to each other, our shoulders touching.
“What’s wrong?” he asked after a few seconds of silence, raising his one eye brow in a way that looked so sexy that some kind of law had to be made against it. It shocked me that I let my feelings show so easily, or maybe Haku just knew me very well.
I told him about my parents and how I missed then for some reason. Somewhere along the line I must have started crying, because Haku got up and brought me some tissues to use. After I was done rambling he gave me a moment to calm down.
“You are allowed to miss your parents, and if you want to go home, you can tell me” he said, but it was clear that the last few words almost caused him physical pain.
I stopped crying and look up at him, but he wasn’t looking at me. I took his face in one of my hands and pulled his gaze back towards me.
“I am never going to leave you again. Isn’t that what you told me?” I said and before he could interject I continued. “And it works both ways. Yes, I want to see my parents again, but if the price is losing you, then I won’t think twice about staying.”
It seemed like it had rendered him speechless so instead I just straightened myself up and kiss him on the lips. I guess a guy’s brain is wired differently, because even though his words where at a loss, his action definitely were not.
His lips moved along with mine as his hands slid along my arm. I couldn’t tell if he was being nice or if he didn’t want to touch me more than that, so I decided to make the first move for once.
In one smooth motion I pulled my legs up and wrapped them around his waist, the fluentness of this motion surprising me even more than it did him. Luckily he caught on fast. Without hesitating he pulled me close with one arm while his other hand slipped underneath my shirt. Our kiss deepened as his hand move more freely. That was until he reached my bra.
“What is this” he asked as he pulled away.
For a moment I didn’t know what he was talking about, but when I felt his fingers were still rested against the wire of my bra, I realised he didn’t know what it was. Well, since I’ve never seen a spirit wear one, that much is to be expected. I already knew I was going to have a hard time explaining without being awkward.
“It’s a bra” I started, “Humans wear them to hold their… well, we wear them” I said while laughing at him.
“That’s odd” he said.
When he suddenly pulled my shirt off me the next moment, I didn’t think it was because he wanted to undress me. He wasn’t staring at my chest, but rather at my bra from the front. Slowly he dragged his finger along wire of the bra before pulling up over the cup, which made me flinch since this was the furthest I’ve gone with a guy in, well… ever.
He seemed to notice my expression and ripped his hand away from my chest.
“I’m sorry…” he started to say, but I stopped him by pressing my hand to his mouth. A laugh escaped my lips at his complete innocence (rich coming from me), but at the same time I found myself wondering how I could be so lucky.