Chapter Forty-Eight: Day Out:
I: Escape Plan
My grand plan comes to life on a Sunday. I'm so excited that I can't help but shake Anna-chan awake. "Anna-chan! Wake up! Wake up!" She turns over, grumbling.
"Go away," she mumbles into her pillow.
"Please?" I ask. She rolls over, peeking up.
"What is it?"
I smile at her. "Let's go out today!"
Anna-chan sits up, staring at me groggily. "Why?" She shrugs.
I lean in close to her and smile, "Because I want to." I playfully swat her on the shoulder. "C'mon… Get up and let's get going!"
I leave the room to let her get herself sorted and, an hour later - we head out the door.
II: Dim Clouds
"I don't get it," Anna-chan says as we begin walking around our neighborhood.
I look over at her and shake my head. "Don't get what?"
"Why are we even out here?" she asks as we round the corner.
"No reason," I answer.
She struggles to come back with a response, and has none.
I turn around, smiling. "I just want to spend a whole day with you, Anna-chan." Her facial expression said everything she couldn't.
"Well… where are we going?"
She tilts her head. "That's it, huh? Just wandering around for no reason? I don't get it."
"Actually…" I grab her by the waist.
"What the-?!" In a flash, we were in a local park with a beautiful walking trail. Anna-chan looks around, puzzled.
"Where are we?" she asks.
"I just thought a change of scenery would be nice," I grin at her.
"But where are we?"
I rest my finger on her lip to stop her talking. "Don't ask questions." I stop her before she speaks. "Just enjoy the day."
I walk ahead her only to stop and hold out my hand for her. She takes it without vocalizing anymore misgivings. "That's better," I smirk.
III: Summer Day
This all we need. One nice day, with no distractions - just Anna and me. Nature adds a nice touch with the cherry blossoms. The petals look so lovely as they flutter to the ground around Anna-chan, almost creating a veil.
"You're so beautiful, my darling." I tell her.
"Thank you," Anna-chan smiles shyly and begins to blush replies. I turn around and kiss her, but she moves her hand to my chest and pushes me away. I draw back with a blank stare.
"Something wrong?" I ask.
Anna-chan shakes her head, smiling. "Not now!" she says. "Wait until later!"
"What?" I ask as Anna giggles and hurries ahead of me.
"Wait!" I shout. I run to catch up with her. She laughs the whole way.
IV: Cut and Rain
"Ow!" Anna-chan cries as she stumbles to the ground. I run over as fast as I can.
"Are you alright?" I find Anna-chan sitting on the ground, cradling her foot.
"Ow," she whimpers. "I hurt my foot."
"Let me see," I say.
I take hold of her right foot. A bit of a broken glass has pierced through her flip-flop and gotten into her foot.
"Ooo, hang on," I say. I carefully slide off her flip-flop and examine her foot. The shard is impaled in the bottom. I pull it out and examine the wound. "It doesn't look like it's bleeding," I say. "Does it hurt when I do this?" I press my thumb against the cut.
"YES DAMMIT!" Anna-chan winces.
I sit back, thinking, then spring into action "Hm, looks like I'll have to carry you for the rest of the walk," I say. Suddenly, a stray of moisture drop lands on my hand. "Hm?" It breaks down into downpour no sooner had I asked that question.
"Now what?" Anna-chan wonders.
"Looks like we need to find shelter," I answer.
"But where?" She asks as I sweep her off her feet and throw her over my shoulder to carry her away.
We follow the trail to a temple. Anna-chan looks at it with her head tilted.
"Why here?" she asks.
"We don't have any other choice, we?" I ask.
She goes quiet as I walk up the path with her slung over my shoulder. I set her on the floor once we go inside. I take off my shirt and wring it out. When I turn around. I notice Anna-chan smiling and blushing.
"What?" I ask.
"This," she answers. "I love mornings like this."
"Oh? Why is that?"
"It's raining and we're alone together."
I can't help but smile because I definitely catch her drift. "So, what do you suggest?"
Anna-chan leans forward. "You can start by kissing me."
I crawl over and kiss her on the lips. She takes me into her arms and pulls me down to the temple floor. In no time at all, her dress comes flying off and winds up under the altar.
Anna-chan looks up with dreamy eyes. "Take me. Right here..." she murmurs. I press a kiss to her lips in reply.
Today was the final day. The priest carried Megumi back to the woods. She looked at him with great sadness.
"So this goodbye?" she asked.
"Yes," he nods.
"I wish we could go on forever."
"I do too." He headed down the dirt road. Birds sang their summer song as a way to see them off. She cuddled close to the priest as they walked.
"You passed her test."
The priest looked down at her. "What test?"
"You have freely opened your heart. As a reward, the graces will bless you tonight."
He tried to speak, but she stopped him.
"Please," Megumi said. "I want us to spend our last moments together without words."
"I understand," he whispered.
"I love you."
"I love you too." He carried her off into the woods. At the edge of the forest, they share one more kiss before the priest turns away and abandons her there forever. Tears filled her eyes as she watches him vanish into the distance.
Once he was gone, Megumi transformed back into a deer and disappeared down into the lush greenery of the forest.
VI: Rain Away, Wish Away
Anna-chan sleeps beside me on the altar as I look out and wonder how long the rain going to last.