“Reina”. – short english story
I stared at the name carved on the silver sand with a teary eye without caring about the world. The sun has lost all brightness while the moon shined. The sea is calm today. The foamy waves are barely touching the shore. The salty wind cutting through my rough hair made no sound.
“Still upset about her, Akihiro-kun?”, a shadow whispered near me.
I was so engrossed in myself that I never noticed that someone was present.
“Ah, well. She was all I had”, I said wiping my tears. “how come you are here?”
“Really? Do you really want to ask this after so many months you never came to see me?”
“I never promised you anything, Naoko. May be you got the wrong idea about what I meant the other day.”
Nagasawa Naoko was the only daughter of the wealthiest man of this small seashore village of Kagoshima. My mother made kimonos for the women in the Nagasawa household and my father dressed them, tying the “obi” is a part done mainly by the men as it takes quite some strength. My family, Murashita, has been loyally them ever since the dawn of the Heisei era until I became an orphan.
I have known Naoko for 10 years now. I met her at a wedding ceremony on a Spring day of March. The cherry trees had just begun to bloom and the breeze wrapped us in that sweet scent. She was busy combing her doll’s hair while I stared at her. She felt my presence and startled me with her glance. She smiled and invited me to her. Soon we became friends. I often visited her to play in the name of delivering kimonos, because though we were friends we had different statuses. Naoko knew that but never treated me like an inferior.
“Reina”. – short english story
Even when my parents died and I was homeless, she demanded not to cut ties with my family. The rich man however might had power of his own, he was powerless to his daughter . I will always be grateful to her for what she did when I really needed someone by my side. I paid uninvited visits and her face would light up. I knew she was lonely as well. She might had money, clothes and food but what is the use of them when you can’t share. No amount of money can buy you happiness forever. So, I always tried my best to repay her by being with her as much as possible. We were almost inseparable.
A few months ago, I heard from the maids in the mansion that Naoko met a business man’s son who came from a far away island, possibly from the extreme West. I stole a few peeks of them together talking and laughing. I was sure they were into each other. It made me so happy that my best friend will finally find eternal happiness and I will be free from my debt. The next day, I decided to push her a little more towards her happy marriage so I went home finishing my gift for her.
We met under a persimmon tree near an old shrine. We often came here to pray whenever she felt down. Naoko spotted me from the corner of the road and came running and tripped. I caught her in my arms just in time. She smiled and I laughed.
“So, what’s the big appointment for?”, she said while gasping for breath.
“Here”, I gave her a brooch that my mother told me to keep. “It’s for you, Naoko. May you find all the happiness you’ve been looking for all these years.”
“What do you mean?”
“I know, I know. It’s not much, but it is my most precious possession. I want you to have it. Its like a good luck charm, okay?”
“But…”, she tried to say something, but interrupted by a shriek noise behind her. It was one of her maid from the mansion. She hurried towards us with someone with her calling out Naoko’s name.
“Naoko-sama. Naoko-sa-ma. Please don’t run so fast. I am not a young woman like you anymore, you know!”
“Oh! Yui-san. I totally forgot you were coming behind me.”
“Of course you would! Whenever Akihiro is around you forget your surroundings.”
We all had a good laugh.
“Here you go, you wanted her to meet Akihiro, didn’t you?”, Yui-san pointed towards the “someone” she brought along with her.
Hope you like the first part of the short english story Reina. Click here to read the second part.