A Short Tale of Two Sunsets

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I am on my way to the restaurant Yoshi-kun. I’ll see you in a while.

All the chaos that happened in my agency perished because of an unexpected message from Ayaka. The sorrow that crept within me earlier, was whisked away and swiftly overlapped by anticipation. Anticipation in seeing the love of my life. What’s making me nervous though, is her response to the most informal marriage proposal in the world. I lost my job, but I still have Ayaka; I thought to myself. I don’t know what I’ll do with my life if I’ll lose her too.

I searched for a jewellery shop near the train station. This is all of a sudden and I am not quite prepared. I couldn’t even remember Ayaka-chan’s ring size. My feet dragged me to Tiffany and Co. because it is the nearest and the safest brand. As I entered the store, I began examining the engagement ring selection from a glass case and the first ring that I noticed, was a diamond ring with a marquise cut. Funny. The thoughts of Miss Erisse kept popping in my mind due to the trauma she had thrown at me this early afternoon.

"Good day sir! Is there something I can help you with? Are you looking for a specific design?” The sales lady asked.

" Just a simple engagement ring...Simple, but regal.”

“Which size sir?” the sales lady interrogated over.

“I honestly could not remember. What I know is, she has the slenderest fingers. All men in the world would like to hold and have her hand.” It sounded like I placed Ayaka on the highest pedestal in the world, although it’s true, since idol polls and celebrity crush surveys in magazines and forum sites suggest as well.

The sales lady brought out a round cut, 2 carat diamond on a white gold band. My eyes glimmered in satisfaction and excitement, which I cherished for a few minutes; then, I braved the reality and asked for its price. She took out what looked liked a pamphlet, and pointed the price that corresponded to the design I chose. No wonder she didn’t say it aloud because she didn’t want me to have a sudden heart attack yet, it won’t take away the fact that the cost of the ring is equivalent to two months of whole day performances in the Imperial Theatre. I scratched my forehead and gave the sales lady my Mastercard which she swiped away with utmost gusto.

"I won’t be needing the paperbag and the outer-box. Thanks.” I quickly grabbed the box and slid it in my pocket. This is it.

I looked at my watch, I am fifteen minutes ahead of time, but as I walk to the restaurant, I can already see Ayaka-chan. Why is she so early? She’s already there, sitting besides the window, waiting for me, and totally recognizable even if her head is wrapped in a scarf. The Ayaka I knew, was a T-Shirt, jeans and sneakers donning girl- a very simple woman. This must be a really special night for her, being as fashion forward as this. I could not help but to feel a bit of optimism. My heart raced once more, when I asked for the reservation under Ayaka’s name. I glanced over my shoulder and there she was, waving at me. I waved back.

All the butterflies swarmed in my stomach.

We ordered our usual favorite; Wagyu steak and baked potatoes with shrimp salad. Ayaka who is looking so fine, gazed at me directly and asked, ”It’s been a while Yoshi-kun, how are you doing?”

Wait, that’s it? The usual ”I miss you” and ”I wanted to see you” have vanished.

"With regards to my health, I’m doing okay, but I don’t think I can say the same with my career. It’s tumbling down recently, just because of a stupid tweet.”

"I saw that Yoshi-kun. Initially, I was shocked and it’s beyond my comprehension that you could do something like that; you being hacked, was the first thing that came to my mind. I’m so sorry Yoshi-kun. So, what’s your next step with regards to this?”

I told Ayaka the whole shenanigans that happened. The disappointment and sadness in her face were shown inexorably. It’s totally regrettable that I told her even the most minute details. I continued gibbering when... she unexpectedly interrupted me. I dug my right hand inside my pocket, and gripped the Tiffany box really securely.

“Yoshi-Kun, listen to me first. I want to tell you something.” Ayaka chan held my other hand for a second and looked at me, the disappointment is still obvious on her face. This abrupt onset of doubt, makes me want to cover my ears and not listen to what Ayaka-chan’s going to say.

“Yoshi-Kun, I want to tell you this because I don’t want you to hear the story from anyone else. It’s true that I went to South-East Asia to do some modelling gigs but there’s another purpose why I went.”

Curious, I impatiently asked Ayaka. “What was it?”

Tears fell from Ayaka’s eyes. This gets more confusing. I am having a hunch, that I won’t be liking the ending of this night. All the excitement that I felt and even the butterflies that swarmed moments ago, died. The gravity just pulled them hard as they fell on the floor. The exhilaration caused by these butterflies was substituted by a stone in my throat, and a rock in my gut.

“Yoshi-kun, I am deeply sorry, but I hid the fact that my mom fell into an unforeseen illness and the money that I earn from being a model is just enough for me to survive and buy medicines for my mom. Medicines are not enough for her to get well. She needs chemotherapy and an organ transplant. The savings that I have is very scanty. I may want to work double or triple, and exclude sleeping in my routine but at the same time, I want to maintain the lifestyle that I presented to people. There’s no way Yoshi-kun, but to do the impossible.”

“What do you mean?” My brain can’t process this anymore and so is my heart . I think I know what she will say next, but I honestly don’t want to hear it. I think my head and chest are going to explode. This day...Is just too much. Too much. Ayaka continued...

" This is too shameful and beyond embarrassing to admit, but I registered myself in a Papakatsu agency. I know for a fact you’ll insist and offer your money and I don’t want you to do that. I don’t want to give you this kind of burden Yoshi-kun. Your work is toxic enough, and I can see that you already lost a significant amount of weight, it’s not fair for you to carry this as well. You don’t deserve this.”

I want to scream. Every inch of my well-being can’t take this any further. Betrayal is all I can feel. The woman I love so much went astray behind my back as if she didn’t have a choice. She had, and she just didn’t choose me. I loosened the grasp on the Tiffany box inside my pocket. I thought this is just useless. I’ll probably return this ring to the store tomorrow morning.

“So I went to Singapore, after my gig in Bangkok...To meet my Papakatsu. He is a big Malaysian businessman who actually co-owns a construction firm here in Tokyo. We met when he had to do business here. Maybe you are wondering why I am wearing this headscarf, but you already know what this means Yoshi-kun. He asked me to be his wife. With the situation I had at that moment, to agree with his proposal is to continue giving aid to my mother while being able to live my life the way I want.”

My head is spinning. Ayaka placed her left hand on mine. Why didn’t I notice that she’s wearing an engagement ring? And for fuck’s sake, it is the same marquise cut diamond ring and the rose gold wedding band with Miss Erisse’s. I looked at Ayaka’s face, it wasn’t hers, but Miss Erisse’s. This woman from the Philippines ruined my whole life in one day.

“Is there something wrong Yoshi-kun? I am so sorry. I know this is something unacceptable. No amount of apology will make you really forgive what I did. But I hope you understand. I did love you Fujiwara Yoshi, but I have to choose myself this time.”

DID. Ayaka said “DID”. Tears trickled down my cheeks as I covered my eyes. The anger that I feel right now is so immense, it is immeasurable. This whole day is really impossible for a simple human being to handle. I just want to go home, but it seems that the universe wants me to suffer more and remember this day as a hard-knocked lesson combined with a wrathful reaping from all the bullying I’ve done to my oldest sister when I was a kid, and for being a one-day racist as what most people implied.

" Ayaka-chan, you know I love you so much that’s why I asked you to marry me. I want to forgive you I do, but this day...Is just so tough.”

“Yoshi-kun, I’ll do everything in order for you to forgive me, even just a tiny bit. Let me lessen a small amount of affliction that you feel. Please, this is all my fault.” Ayaka plead.

“Spend this night with me. I’ll fuck you hard for the last time and when we’re done, leave immediately because I am more than sure that I don’t want to see your face again.” I said it. I finally said these words that will definitely make me lose Ayaka forever. I regretted saying it for a while, but I want her to feel the same pain she induced in me.

Ayaka wiped her tears and nodded. “Let’s go Yoshi-kun, because I want to get the first train at dawn.”

I signalled for the bill, paid for our meals and hurriedly went outside without waiting for Ayaka. My mind has shut down. My libido is the only thing that controls every movement in my body. My head is in space, it’s grey, and it doesn’t care about anything anymore.

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