Nerves took over as I paced up and down on the spot waiting for Masato to arrive. He said he was taking me somewhere today, but when I tried to inquire where, he didn’t say a word. All evening after he’d told me his plans, he’d been reassuring me how much he’d loved me, and became far more attentive than normal.
He was an attentive and affectionate boyfriend but at the ball, he’d been even more so and it made me nervous. He’d said he wanted to show me something, but as much as I tried to think what that something could be, I came up short and I had no clues.
I’d even gone to the lengths to ask his best friend, Ben, if he had any ideas, knowing Masato usually told him everything, but even he was perplexed. Although he’d pointed out Masato had been acting a little strange the past couple of days since I’d broken the news.
“Breathe, Hallie, Breath.” Alicia chuckled as she stepped into the lounge to find me pacing.
“I just, aargh, come on Mom, you know I hate surprises or not knowing things, it drives me insane. It would have been better if he’d not told me he was taking me somewhere to show me something and just said he wanted to see me. I’m going mad here I swear!”
“Come on sweetheart, it’s Masato, do you think it’s something bad?”
I shook my head, “No, but he was acting a little odd, and Ben said he’d been acting a little strange since I told him.”
“Well, you told the guy his girlfriend of two years who he’s madly in love with is moving to a different country. I’d have slapped him if he acted normal and as if it was no big deal, he loves you, Hallie, of course, he will act a little odd.”
I sighed as I ran my fingers over the braid that sat over my shoulder and chewed on the end, “I guess so, but this is so frustrating.”
“Look, you trust him, right?”
“You know I do, so much so I’ve nearly told him who I really was more than once.”
“So, why haven’t you?” Alicia questioned as she raised her brow, “You know Emmett and I have said if you want too, you have our blessing and we’ll help put out the fire if he doesn’t handle it well.”
“Because I’m terrified if he finds out that he’ll hate me, leave me and you know, go telling everyone. Plus, what difference does it make if he accepted it?” My body slumped as for the first time, I voiced my feelings on the situation.
“He’s human, Mom, he’ll grow, age and die while I don’t. The only way I could ever be with someone forever is if they’re a Vampire, too. And I also considered if he accepted it, he may try to force me to turn him and I can’t do that.”
Alicia closed the gap between us and enveloped me in her arms, “I understand, I’m sorry you’re in this situation, Hallie, if I’d have been able too-”
“Mom, stop, it’s been eight something years, and I’ve told you so much what happened that day wasn’t your fault, or Emmett’s, and I’m glad you saved me.”
“I know, doesn’t mean we’re not sorry that you have to deal with situations like this though.”
Just as I went to reply, the doorbell chimed loudly throughout the house.
“That will be Masato.” I sighed as I pulled away from Alicia.
“We’re only a call away if you need something, but I’m sure, whatever it is, will be a good thing.”
“Thanks, Mom.” I placed a kiss on her cheek before I turned to head to the front door.
“Hey, beautiful.” Masato smiled as I opened the door. However, although he smiled, there was something off about it. It wasn’t his full smile; it’s the one he wore when he was apprehensive about something. I couldn’t help but feel a little unsettled.
“Hey, handsome. Everything okay?”
“Yeah, suppose a little nervous, but everything’s okay.” He reached out his hand and took mine in his, instantly spreading warmth over me. “Come on. I said we’d be there just after half four.”
“Where are we going?” I asked as we passed the town border and turned into a country road, driving down through farmland, various animals like cows and horses grazing in the evening sun.
“You’ll see. But Hallie, this is important. I love you, so damn much.”
Nerves began to claw their way at me, my insides churning as he came to a stop outside a small farmhouse. It was the first farmhouse I’d noticed, and as I looked around, the only one I could see.
“It took me so long to persuade my mother to let me show you. What I’m about to show you, you need to know that I love you, and I’d never hurt you.”
“Masato...what’s going on?”
“Please, Hallie, I promise you’re safe with me.” He climbed out of the car and came around to my side, opening the door. As he held his hand out to me, I looked from his hand to his eyes only to see the fear behind his eyes, but there was an earnestness in them too.
I hesitated for a moment, but I trusted him, so I took his hand in mine as he helped me out of the car.
As soon as I was stood, his hand cupped my chin between his finger and thumb to lift my face to his before he pressed a soft, loving kiss on my lips.
“I just hope you won’t hate me.” He sighed, pressing a kiss to my forehead before he took my hand and showed me towards the house.
“Masato?” A man’s voice called weakly from another room.
“Yeah, it’s just me. I brought my Hallie with me.” He turned his eyes to me and flicked his head, “In the kitchen.”
He led me to the left of the small living area and through a wooden door that led to a small kitchen where a man with gray hair sat in a wheelchair with his back to us.
“Hallie. I want you to meet my dad.”
My eyes shot up to him in pure shock, for all the time I’d known him, he’d told me his father had died and that was why he and his mother moved here, “But you said-”
“It’s what he has to say.” The man croaked as he put down a glass on the table. “Are you sure about this, son?”
“More than anything. I love her, and I can’t keep lying to her.”
“Very well.” The man slowly began turning his wheelchair, but when his eyes found me, he stopped instantly and his eyes narrowed.
I could hardly believe what I saw when I noticed the man’s face. He looked far too old to be Masato’s father, more like a great grandfather, easily in his nineties.
“Hallie?” The man croaked in disbelief as he stared at me intently.
I gazed into the eyes of the man as his bore into mine and I felt as if a freight train stuck me as memories came flooding into my mind.
Visions of a young boy with ocean blue eyes, running around the woods, laughing, and smiling began twisting in my mind. Flashes of a time long before now, playing, dancing, singing without care.
I saw his smile as other children surrounded us, playing a game of tag, and we began to chase each other.
Another image of the same boy came shortly after, one of him picking a daisy from a small patch on the outskirts of the village and placing it in long silver hair.
A recollection of the words the young boy had spoken as he gave me the first daisy when my family and I were in exile.
“You’re like a daisy, Hallie. You’re a little different, and some might call you a weed, but I think they’re beautiful, like you. You’ll always be special to me.”