“Stop telling lies, Takashi-kun!” Chiharu scolded.
“Hmm, did I tell you about…” Takashi began with an important air.
Immediately, Chiharu began throttling him.
It’s always been this way. Or at least for ten years. I’m always making up stories, putting on a blank, smiling, indifferent face. Funny how it is easier to make people believe in lies than the truth. My personality annoys Chiharu immensely, but that can’t be helped. Ten thousand times she tells me that I’m so unsympathetic and that she hates me.
When I look at her, I smile. She’s so loud-mouthed, frank, self-assured, hates lying, stubborn, and extremely straightforward. Yet these points about her makes me like her all the more.
Strange. In my heart, I like her
better than anyone else. Well, we’ve been best friends since kindergarten,
when we were five.
Like any other girl, I dream of Prince Charming who is serious, handsome, mysterious, and gallant. Takashi seems like the opposite from this.
True, he has so many qualities I dislike. He always makes up stories, lies, and never is serious about anything. There, he always smiles at me with that skin-deep calm expression, never wavering or showing me any true emotions.
Still, I’ve always liked Takashi better than any other boy and considered our friendship above anything else. Yet, it seems like he doesn’t feel the same about me.
Often, I feel confused because I like him, yet he doesn’t seem to want to return those feelings to me. I once gave him a teddy bear. I expected him to call it ‘Chiharu’ after me, to make our love come true, as the tradition was. Instead, he called it Suama, after his favorite dessert, with that ever constant smiling face.
Of course we are supposed to be ‘going out.’ Back when we were children he ‘proposed’ to me and asked me to go out with him. But that was only childish jokes and playing. Now, we are teens and it’s different. I don’t know what he considers me as. Will I always be a childhood playmate to him?
Till this day, I don’t know what
first drew me to him, ten years ago. Maybe it is because back then, he
showed his true self to me, without that superficial mask. And I still
know that side of him exists, only that he is hiding it.
Ten years ago, Tomoeda Pre-school…
Five year old Yamazaki Takashi sat cowering in the corner of the playroom, his knees tucked to his chest, trembling.
“Takashi-kun is a liar!” once boy stated. “You don’t have a mom.”
Looking up nut brown eyes brimming with tears, Takashi retorted, “I do have a mom! She’s very bwootiful(beautiful) and she’s an actress.”
“If you have a mom, then why doesn’t she come pick you up after pre-school is over? Why doesn’t she take you to school?” demanded another little boy.
Takashi stared back, trembling.
“See, you’re lying,” a little girl concluded. “My mom said don’t play with you at school. She says that you’re family is not a good influence on us. And she says don’t ‘ssociate with liars like you.”
“I’m not lying! My mom is better than all of your moms!” Takashi stated clenching his eyes.
“Stop lying, Takashi-kun!” everyone echoed.
“Yeah.” A fat little boy added, “I heard from my mom that your mom hates you. That’s why she left you.”
A shuddering chord ran through Takashi. His tears seized completely as an icy frost wrapped around him and trapped him inside. He blocked his ears with his hands. “THAT’S NOT TRUE!”
My father and my mother divorced before I even entered school.
It is sad, but I don’t have many memories of my mother. It is true that she was a very beautiful woman. There aren’t many pictures of her in the house. Father doesn’t like seeing her face and apparently burned all her photos. The only picture I have of her has a shadow overcast her face. Yet I can tell that she has beautiful long jet black hair and dazzling brown eyes. Father once told me, almost disapprovingly that I look a lot like her, especially my eyes. Since I’ve always cropped my hair short, I guess my black hair doesn’t matter. The few memories I have of when Father and Mother were together is of them fighting, throwing things at each other, and shouting, and me, crouching in the corner, sobbing like a coward.
So eventually, Mother left me when I was barely four years old; she left me with my father, though it didn’t matter, anyway. One can say my father was nice enough, except he was too busy to play with me. I was so lonely.
As a little boy, it felt strange not having a mother who packs your lunch takes you to school, comes participate in school activities, organize birthday parties for you, and most of all, love you and takes care of you. At that age, I was still naïve and innocent. I believed that my mother would come back one day. Come back to me because she loved me and missed me.
Continuation of pre-school flashback…
The words, “Your mom hates you. That’s why she left you,” vibrated in little Takashi’s mind. She hates me. That’s why she left me. That’s why she’s not coming back! “That’s not true!” he burst out. “She’s coming back to me!”
“See, you’re lying again!” the preschool children chanted. “Takashi-kun is a liar. That’s why his mother left him!”
Cowering in the corner, Takashi blocked out his ears tighter, feeling a wave of dizziness. THAT’S NOT TRUE!!! His mom will come back to him! She didn’t hate him… Or so he wanted to believe.
Then, came a distinct, angry girl’s voice. Little Mihara Chiharu, age five, with her mahogany brown hair tied into two pigtails stamped her feet down hard and stated, “All of you stop pwicking on Takashi-kun! I’m going to twell all of your moms how you all were being bwad children, bullying someone.” With flashing eyes, she glared at all of the other pre-schoolers. “Aren’t you guys ashwamed? How can you say thwat Takashi-kun’s mom hates him? Of course she loves him! Don’t all your moms love you? I want an apology to him, wight(right) now!” Her chubby hands were on her waist, and she made a powerful impact on all the little children.
In unison, the boys and girls bowed their heads guiltily and chimed, “Sorry Takashi-kun. We didn’t mean it.” Slowly, they wandered back to their usual activity, leaving him alone.
This was the first time that Chiharu and Takashi saw each other face to face.
Smiling brightly, Chiharu held out a small hand. “Hello! My name is Mihara Chiharu.”
Slowly, Takashi lifted up his tear-stained face from his knees. He looked up to see the kindest, most friendliest face he’d ever seen. An angel? His mother? No, it was even better than that. It was Mihara Chiharu.
“You’re Yamazaki Takashi, right?
Let’s be friends from now on,” Chiharu shook his hand.
Later on, they sat on the playground swing. Finally, Takashi gathered the courage to speak up. “Why did you stwick up for me? Why didn’t you twease me about my mom and call me a liar wike(like) everyone else?”
As she tilted her head, little Chiharu’s pigtails swung prettily. “Because I believed in you.”
Those simple words were like magic in the little boys ears. Someone believed in him. Someone knew he wasn’t lying. Someone believed that his mother still loved him and will come back to him someday.
Chiharu believed in Takahi, even
if no one else did.
From then on, Chiharu became Takashi’s hero. They always stuck to each other and Chiharu was always keen on protecting Takashi from other people’s teasing about his mother. Such instances was when Takashi didn’t bring lunch to school because he had no mom to pack one for him and his dad was too busy.
Someone might comment, “Ha ha, Takashi-kun doesn’t even have a lunch because no one packed it for him.”
In return, Chiharu would declare, “He does have a lunch. See, here’s mine.” Chiharu brought lunch for Takashi and made sure he got something to eat. Often times, she brought suama for dessert. At home, his father didn’t buy that many sweet things to eat, and the snacks that Chiharu brought for him were always special.
“Eww… Chiharu-chan is Takashi-kun’s girlfriend. Eww…” that person will continue.
Putting her hands on her hips, Chiharu stood up with her chin tilted determinedly and stated, “So what if I am?”
And little Takashi stared admiringly
at Chiharu, blushing hard.
It was when they were around six when Takashi boldly declared, “I like Chiharu better than everything else, better than my teddy bear, better than suama, even better than my mom and dad. I want to marry you when I grow up!”
“Eh?” Chiharu stared back puzzled.
“Until then, until then—“ Takashi struggled to say the words, clenching his fist tight. “WILL YOU GO OUT WITH ME!!!” Little Takashi turned bright red with the effort.
Then, Chiharu laughed, holding Takashi’s
Of course, we were only little kids at that time, and it was only a childhood joke. Yet, those were the best of times. Everyday, we played together. Often, we played ‘family.’ I was the mother, he was the father, and we had little dolls for children. That was the best family Takashi had. He made me a ‘engagement’ ring made out of four-leaf clover. I still have it. Now it’s dry and frail, and so very tiny, but I still keep it pressed into our little photo album.
In kindergarten, it was mostly me who was protecting him from other’s bullying. But as we entered elementary, it grew the other way around. Takashi grew stronger, or maybe he grew to hide his emotions better. He showed less and less the pain he felt inside that year after year, his mother didn’t return to him. Maybe by then, he realized deep inside that she never would.
Still, first and second grade, he was never hesitant in sticking up for me and heedless to the teasing of how I was his little ‘girlfriend.’ When an older kid pushed me off the swings, Takashi made sure that he sent the person sprawling onto the playground floor. When I was sick, he did my classroom duties for me. When I was stuck on homework, he helped me out.
I’ve always complained how Takashi is always better at me than anything else. Cooking, sports, school work, brains, and even sewing. I’m really clumsy and foolish. Yet, I liked how Takashi always let that be. As we grew older, though we stayed friends, he grew less like the little lost boy who I had found, and more and more like a smiling, never angry, never showing any emotions person I hardly understood.
Sometimes, I felt lonely because someone who I always thought I knew best seemed so distant. Though I never got to tell him straight to his face, I like him. I still remember his proposal to me, though he no longer makes any references to it. I wish he was speaking the truth. There was a time when I felt so hurt and ignorant.
Yet, now I know better. Eventually, Takashi will take off that mask and show me his real feelings, when he is ready. Though it is hard for me to always joke every single day, I will always be strong and keep that bright smile, which made that little boy open to me ten years ago. And when he opens to me once more, this time I will make him see someone who he can depend on for the rest of his life.
But till then…
“Here’s your lunch!” Chiharu said, setting a blue lunch box on the desk like she did every day.
With that smiling face, Takashi began, “Did you know that hundreds of years ago, lunch boxes were the sign of war? Each side made a lunch for their enemies and pretended to be friends. But actually, they hid bombs…”
“As if I would hid a bomb. Just eat it. Do you think I’ll poison it or something? It’s your favorite omelet rice…”
Still smiling, Takashi said, “You don’t have to make me lunches anymore, you know. We have a new housekeeper. She’s a better cook than you, anyway. Thinking about it, I’m a better cook than you, also.”
It hurt. It hurt that he could say it in such an uncaring, frank manner. Chiharu knew that she wasn’t good at cooking; she was only in third grade. Yet, it was her effort and her heart for Takashi.
Without much thought, Takashi continued telling his story to the people who had gathered to listen in awe.
Finally, she couldn’t stand it any longer. Stomping up to Takashi, she punched his head, shouting, “Stop lying!”
And so started the tradition.
“Amazing!” Rika exclaimed, clapping her hand together. ”Chiharu-chan’s the only one who can handled Yamazaki-kun’s stories.”
“After all, they’ve known each other since kindergarten,” Tomoyo pointed out knowingly.
“Wow…” Sakura said, her eyes bulging out as she stared at Takashi. “Really? I never knew that in the olden days, ward papers were bigger than human.”
“Hmm… that’s a little weird,” commented Syaoran.
“He he… I shouldn’t tell stories about Chinese legends, since Li-kun’s here,” Takashi said. “But, I have a story about…”
“Shut up, Takashi, shut up!” Chiharu
We’ve always stayed close. Now, we’re in our last year at Seijou Junior High. Next year, we’ll enter high school. Seems like time is passing by so fast. I can still distinctly remember her sunny smile when I looked up from crying into my knees, so long ago.
Most people have a basic idea of our relationship. I tell stories, which I find an extremely amusing past time. Especially with gullible people such as Sakura and Syaoran. Well, they’re getting a little better. Anyway, this results in me getting throttle by Chiharu. Strange. Now that I think of it, many of my friends have missing parents. Yet, they’re so strong about it. I want to be like them.
I am older and now I no longer believe that my mother’s coming back for me. I believe in at least that she loved me when I was born. She has left, and that’s that. The past. That doesn’t matter anymore. However, I will never forget that warm feeling I felt, ten years ago, when little Chiharu with her cute pigtails told me, “I believe in you.”
Till this day, I still like her. I am sincere about what I told her when we were six. I do treasure her above anyone else, though I hardly think she feels the same thing for me. I try to hide that weak, cowardly little boy I used to be before Chiharu came to save me and make me feel like I belong again.
And someday, I’m going to slip off this lying, smiling, emotionless mask and show her the real, simple Yamazaki Takashi. One who contains no lies nor twists in him. One who is serious, simple, and straightforward, having one motif in mind.
Slowly, I open my glimmering light
brown eyes, which I inherited from the mother who left me. I hope that
Chiharu still believes in me when I tell her, “Thank you for always being
there for me, and I love you Mihara Chiharu; always have, always will.”
Wish-chan: He he... sorry I write so many side stories... Actually I like them because I can explain things that don't quiet fit in but connect to the plot. I always wanted to write about this couple, and I always found the way Takashi told stories fascinating. And I always wondered what was behind his smiling face. (I have a fascination with masks, such as Chichri from FY and that guy from KareKano...) Also, since I focused on the couple a bit more in Chapter 34, I thought a special story would be nice. I wrote this in kind of a different style, I guess. I included Chiharu and Takashi monogues and then included the story in third person. Their story would tie in to the main story, so it helps to read this~
Plus, special stories relieve writer's block~ ^_^...
Oh yeah, the 'fourth grade' scene does actually occur in the manga. The rest is made up...
Will love to hear response at firstname.lastname@example.org...
visit my page at www.geocities.com/wishluv.
I don't think I'll write that many
more special stories... But one I would definitely write is Kaitou Magician's
special story. And Syaoran's B-day special. That is, if people want me
to write it. ^_^.