Chapter 23 - Kurumi's dream
Math bore me right at the start, so I sketched Pablo's portrait without trying to look at him. He listened to the teacher, gazing at him while spinning the pen in his hands, and sometimes made notes, leaning on the palm of his hand and his head titled a little.
Pablo was interested in the lesson, having no idea I drew him. After the class, I almost finished the portrait. He faced me, noticing the drawing, and seemed nicely surprised.
“Is this me?” he asked, and I almost jumped up from my chair. “Huh?! Um... Hi, I drew you, yeah.”
“That’s amazing!” Pablo’s face brightened. “You’re an amazing artist! Can I keep it?”
“Oh...” His reaction raised a smile on my face. “Of course!”
I handed him the paper carefully. On the drawing, he sat at his desk and leaned on the palm of his right hand. His head was in three slash four angle view. He gazed somewhere in the distance with a window beside him. Sunset enlightened his face and, in the background, stood a sakura tree.
It may haven’t been perfect, but I captured Pablo’s appearance pretty well. He softly placed it between pages of his exercise book. “I don’t want it to bend.”
He hugged me, surprising me even more. “I’m moved. Thank you, really.”
“Awww. No problem, I’m glad you like it!”
“I sure do!” I’m happy to see Pablo this excited. Is it just me, or does he look the happiest this time since I approached him?
“What do you do in your free time?” I asked Pablo out of curiosity.
“I eat or sleep. Or read some book or manga, listen to music, watch some videos on Youtube, play games on PlayStation, babysit Mai, play with dolls with her, even though I dislike doing that. And sometimes, when I’m in the right mood, I go on a walk with Marshmallow or throw him a ball, sometimes Frisbee. Or I go to the playground and sit on a swing. It makes me calm. How about you?”
“Oh? I also eat or sleep.” I hesitated, “And I also watch movies and documents. Or I draw and sometimes go on a walk. Or I think about Mei, and then I sometimes cry... A lot of things remind me of her, and it’s sad.” I quickly continued, “Sometimes I daydream and think about my dreams, then cry because it’s so hard and far away, I’m not sure if my dreams will ever come true.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. What are your dreams?”
“I’ll tell you when we go together to your place after school,” I said while cleaning the blackboard with a sponge, and Pablo cleaned the blackboard too with a rag, realizing I wanted to become a professional artist.
The teacher let us finally go, and we strolled downstairs to our lockers.
I had my locker near the door and Pablo on the opposite side. I walked outside and waited for Pablo on a bench while watching other students leaving. He walked over to me.
“Will you tell me your dream now?” he asked as he sat beside me.
“On the train.”
“You don’t have to push yourself. But if you tell me, I can assure you; I won’t judge.”
“Alright, well...” I sighed when we were on the train, “My main aspiration is to find true love. Someone who’s going to love me truly, and I will love him back. Not someone who’s gonna break up with me. Not someone who is only going to be sexually attracted to me. And even if he’s gonna be nice and will truly love me, he could leave me because he wouldn’t be able to accept the way I am.”
I gulped, continuing talking. “I’m scared he might abandon me. Hurt me. And I’ll be alone forever... If I find the guy, I’d like to make a family. Have kids and give them my love. I want to have a loving family, not one that’s breaking, not one torn apart. And I’m scared. I’m afraid it will never come true. But I do want to experience love.
I kept searching for love this whole time, and I want to get a boyfriend. However, I must trust him a lot and honestly think about who I will trust. I want to make myself sure I can trust the guy when I fall in love with him.”
Her speech was pretty emotional; I have a hunch; her voice broke at the end. It matters to her a lot; I could feel the despair and hope in her voice. And I have to agree, Kurumi deserves love. Lots and lots of love.
“I’m sure your dream will come true. There will always be someone who’s gonna accept you, just the way you are.” I said, not believing my own words and no longer happy.
Kurumi hugged me. “Thanks for the support. I wasn’t sure how will you react.”
“Yeah.” as I wrapped my arms around her, I realized her body is warm, and her hair smells nice, like a coconut shampoo. And of course, she will have a boyfriend once, when it’s her dream. And I hate even this expectation; it makes me sick.
What will be with me if Ku finds a boyfriend? I’d be left behind like always. Just as a best friend or even only a friend. Replaced again. We will no longer stay in contact. The guy will smirk at me and laugh in my face because he stole my best friend from me. Because he’s better than me.
A guy who doesn’t show feelings and has many muscles, he’s handsome, and the girls go crazy because of him... I’m not the kind of guy. I’m not good enough for her.
She kisses me on the cheek, and then this, did the kiss not mean anything? Unacceptable!
Is it because of Fujioka, or why? Why am I feeling so scared of being replaced? Why do I still feel not good enough, ugly, worthless, and stupid?
The group of bad guys and Hamasaki changed Fujioka. Someone could come and change Kurumi. Sure, it’s excellent for Kurumi to complete her dream, but what about me? What’s going to happen to me after?! I don’t want someone better than me between us! I don’t want to lose another best friend that way!
Kurumi buried their face in my shoulder, and I returned my attention to her. You’re a hypocrite, Pabs. Oh, yes, you are. Does it bother you then, or not? Why can’t you feel happy for her good? For her happiness? Why are you selfish?
I inhaled the scent of her hair. She may act tough sometimes. However, she doesn’t want people to see her vulnerable.
I like her a lot; I don’t know why. But... do friends do this? Isn’t it making her uncomfortable? Or are we... Something more?
Kurumi seems very happy to be in my arms. I have a feeling she likes being close to me. I must protect her. I’ve never seen her parents. Does she have any?
Kurumi pulled from me with a smile. At this time, I calmed down already. She didn’t even have the time to notice I was angry and upset a few seconds ago.
“And what will you do in the future?”
I pulled a long face. “I don’t know. I never really gave it a thought. I just wanted to have a friend and dance.”
This is a half-lie. I already told her I wanted to be a professional dancer before this; my dream got ruined. I did want a true friend. I couldn’t find anyone. Refuse to talk about my broken dreams anymore.
“I’ll have to charge my card.”
“Oh, reminds me I wanted to buy a new one.” (In Japan, you can get a prepaid transportation card, also known as an IC card, which needs to be charged with cash. You can use it, so you don’t have to buy tickets anymore).
We walked over to the machine that gave a ticket or could buy cards and charge them.
I placed my card inside the machine and charged it, while Kurumi bought a new one. We used them to exit the train station by putting them close on a contactless reader.
The weather was windy; it rose and ruffled through our hair and the trees’ leaves. Sky frowned, meaning a storm may occur.
“Is something wrong? You kept looking at me. If there’s anything you want to say, say it.”
Kurumi blushed. “Uh. It’s nothing. I was just thinking... I don’t like storms. I also had a strange feeling... nevertheless I’m fine. I feel pretty good.”
“Está bien. Are you hungry?”
“I thought I should buy you something ’cause you gave me the drawing.”
“No! It’s okay. I don’t need anything!” she said quickly.
“It wouldn’t be fair.” I objected. “What do you want?”
“Hmm...” Kurumi examined the place and spotted a fast-food stand. “Hotdog!”
“You were hungry, after all.”
“Yeppers, I didn’t want to bother you.”
“It’s fine with me.” I came to the stand. “What would you like?”
“Hmm...” she inspected the menu. “Probably the pork one.”
“I’d take the lettuce one. However, I’m allergic to it. Do you think they will take the lettuce away If I ask them?”
“I think, yes.”
Kurumi walked to the lady who sold the hotdogs and asked her for the hotdog without lettuce. She explained she is allergic. The lady nodded and gave her the hotdog without it. The girl thanked her and handed her the cash, returning to me. “It’s pretty good,” she said, biting into it.
“I’m glad you like it.” I smiled a little, “We should get going, as it looks storm will be here soon. You can sit and eat it, though.”
“No, it’s fine! I’ll walk, and while walking, I will be eating it.”
Kurumi continued eating the hotdog beside me.