Densetsu Kenshi: Beginnings
There are many ways for a first date to go down. However, I believe that there's only one way to truly succeed. That is to be completely natural with the other person, show them who you are, and let them accept you for as you are. There really is no better way. The date is already happening because there is some form of common interest between the two, and the only thing left is to grow that interest and the best way is to accept them for who they are.
If they don't like you in the end, they don't like you.
Tough luck, maybe next time.
That being said, I didn't end up going out with Miyamoto-san that night. Instead we chatted for a bit and we both got tired and called it a night.
Later that week, I headed out for the date. I looked for my mom to tell her I'd be out, but she wasn't there. Thankfully I wasn't cursed with a helicopter parent that keeps a strict curfew or checks my messages or anything. She keeps to herself. As it has been.
Anyway, I left my house and waited at the appointed spot. In front of the train station I reviewed the plans for the date in my mind.
Karaoke. I'm not a good singer.
Dinner. I'm not really hungry.
Walk around town to finish the night up. I guess I could do that one.
Sheesh. What kind of date is this? Full of stuff I'm not good at and an unnecessary dinner and a walk after. It all seems forced on me.
Well, it was set up by Maekawa-sensei.
"Hmm. Still not here yet?" I said to myself. Thirty minutes had passed since I got here.
"I'll wait 2 more minutes, then I'm out" I concluded.
Out of tune whistling.
One minute and thirty seconds.
Self resolution and walking away at one minute and fifty-nine seconds...
"Seiji-kun! There you are! Don't tell me you were going to stand me up on our first date. You have got to be kidding me!"
Oh. She's here.
"Hello Miyamoto-san. I wasn't leaving... Uh, I was just looking for you" I said. Saved it.
"Yeah yeah okay. Lying to me on our first date isn't a good impression Seiji-kun!" she chirped.
"You're right. I shouldn't lie. I meant to say goodbye." I started to walk away again.
"Nooooooooo. Don't leave meeee!"
"Why are you taking this so serious? It's not like we're an item or anything. Sometimes first dates flop" I shrugged.
She pouted and said, "I had plans this week, but I chose to be with you. And because you brought it up, it sounds like you do think we're an item, so maybe we are? What do you think?"
"If we're an item, then it's an item of the lowest quality."
"The most low-lowest quality!?"
"Absolutely. Low durability and utility. Basically useless."
"Wow. That's poor quality."
"Yep. Even worse is that we had materials to make a better item, but we chose to craft this."
"What a waste."
"Mhm. I agree."
"Why would anyone want an item like that?"
"Well, it may have uses in the future right? Suppose from this I learn a lot more about you and find out that you're a super good cook. Whenever I'm hungry, I'll ask you to make me something to eat!"
"Whaaaat! Don't try and take advantage of me like I'm some item in a video game! I have more than one purpose!"
Did she just deny me using her for a singular purpose in favor of using her for multiple things?
"Haha, relax. Everyone has something special to them that helps out in the end of the day, right?"
"Oh yeah? And what would that be for you Seiji-kun?"
"Well, I guess you'll have to ask me the right questions to find out" I replied. "Now let's go! The night is young! C'mon Miyamoto-san!" I cheered. I felt that I would need all the energy possible to make it through the night. I took her hand and we rushed off to karaoke.
I'm actually really excited for tonight.
Why is it that the really great moments in life are the hardest to remember? If someone asked me why I was so happy after karaoke and dinner, I would probably say something like, "I don't know, it's karaoke and dinner! Isn't that enough? I'm just happy! Leave me be!"
But would that person really just accept my answer like that? I don't think so. I believe they would pester me about every little thing.
Every word said.
Every song sung in karaoke.
Every flavor tasted at dinner.
Every feeling felt.
Every sound heard.
Every object seen.
Every little thing.
Made me realize.
There really can be joy in the company of others.
On a bridge, at night. The moon shined brighter than the streetlights.
"Seiji-kun. Thank you."
"Don't thank me. I had fun tonight, thanks to you Miyamoto-san."
"I'm sorry. It was fun for both of us right?"
"Yes. It was really fun."
"Can I ask you something?"
"I've been wondering for a while now but, how come you don't go by your family name?"
"My family name?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I really shouldn't have asked. That was out of place."
"No, no, it's fine. The truth is that my father up and left early on in my life, so I'd rather not carry his name."
That name from my father. I only know him as that.
I never learned his given name and I'd say it's not common for young children to know their parent's first name, but who knows.
"Is home-life difficult for you, Seiji-kun?"
"I'm used to it by now after all these years, but lately it's been different."
"Since my younger brother went missing."
"How long has it been now?"
"Oh you heard? It's okay. About three weeks."
"About three weeks... right around when you met Sensei."
"That's right. I met Sensei a few hours after he disappeared."
"Were you two close?"
"No. He's a lot younger than me and got all the attention from my mom at home."
"And what about you?"
"I was close with my father, but he's been gone. My brother was closer to my mom and now he's gone."
"How is your mom handling it?"
"She puts on a brave face at school, but she grieves every day. She doesn't talk at home anymore. Not even when I tell her I'm leaving."
She just sits.
In his room.
Staring at the walls.
Staring at his belongings.
Never saying anything.
She's there physically, but she's not really there.
She's gone now too.
"... So it's really just you at home Seiji-kun?"
"Something like that."
"Don't apologize. You didn't do anything wrong. I'd say the same things to the next person that asked me."
"Oh... I see."
"Well, what about your family, Miyamoto-san?"
"My family? Well, It's just me and my parents."
"Do they know about these eidolons and spectra energy and everything?"
"Oh... well, um, why do you ask?"
"I was just wondering what I'd say to my mom if I ever had to tell her."
"I see. Well, they do know. I come from a generational family of swordsmen."
"Really? That's crazy. I never would've guessed."
"Well it's really just my mother. The Miyamoto clan is matriarchal, so my father doesn't really do much except work all day."
"Wow. To each their own."
"Mhm. Sometimes I get lost in the pressure. The expectations. Who I need to be for the sake of the family. What about who I want to be?"
""I-I'm sorry. I got worked up."
"That's okay. Hey, I have a question."
"Where does your sword fit in with your family?"
"Oh, that. The sword I use has been passed down for several generations now. It's a Tier 2 blade that has a lot of sentiment to the family."
"Woah. Is there anything special about it?"
"Yes. The Miyamoto clan traditionally built mirrors back in the day, and my sword has all kinds of abilities that coincide with mirrors."
"Yes, that's particular to the Miyamoto clan and doesn't work with any other blade that I know of."
"Wow. Y'know you're pretty cool Miyamoto-san."
"Ehhh? Oh...really? Th-thanks."
"Can I trust you with something?"
"I want to be someone independent,"
Someone brave and confident.
Someone patient and humble.
"... I want to be someone like you, Seiji-kun."
"... You think I'm really someone like that?"
"Yes. I really do."
"And the first thing for me to change is... I-I want you to call me by my first name."
"Your first name!?"
"You know it, don't you?"
"Calm down... Mitsuki."
"Phewww, that feels better."
"Mitsuki, I've been meaning to tell you."
"What is it?"
"I... uh, I..."
She looked at me; I looked at her.
A step forward; a step away.
I never got those words out. I ended up walking her home and thanking her for the date. She seemed to enjoy it.
"Seiji-kun. Why do you stay with Sensei and I? What's in it for you?"
Mitsuki asked me that on her doorstep. I told her that as long as there is harm being done to people, and I am able to prevent it, then I will do what needs to be done so that the largest amount of people don't have to experience what I went through.
A curious thought, she said to me.
But not a thought.
More than a feeling.
More convincing than a belief.
That is what I know.
To do everything I can to help others.
That's what's in it for me.
Although I've been a staunch believer that happiness and joy are relatively shallow, I realized tonight that I was wrong. They are profound. You can learn from these emotions. Just like you learn from the people around you.
From the way they act.
The words they say to you.
The looks they give you.
The smiles and laughs that they share with you.
The depth of their happiness that they trusted you with.
It's a good thing to make others happy.
I'm happy that I went on the date tonight, but I do have a regret.
I regret not saying those words.
Those words that would've made her happier.
The words that I know are true.
"Mitsuki, you really are beautiful."