My shoulder droops as I stare out the window; seeing the huge number of passerby walking on the sidewalk, sighing deeply, I look upward at the advertisement board on top of the building in front of me occasionally I glance toward my smartphone on top of the window sill.
The police chatter from the CB radio on my desk filled the room, the feeling of worried weight on my heart as I wonder how Stephanie doing, I hear footsteps inside of my room; I don't even have the motivation to turn my head as I already know who just enter my room.
The police chatter stop as someone turn the CB radio off. I felt the shift of the bed as if someone sat behind me.
"Stephanie will be fine, stop worrying about her," Li said; as she taps the top of my head with a thin piece of paper
"It just so hard to not think about it" I sighed; my shoulder droop even more.
"You know Brandon dad just passed away, she couldn't help herself but be there for him, that why she left us, she will be back after everything is settled, it not like she leaving us forever" Li assures me.
"Haaaaa.... we should have followed her," I said.
"You know, she doesn't want to trouble us, that why we stay behind," Li said
I turn my body to face Li and lean closer to hug her, Li return the hug. Li placed her hand on my head and begins to rub the top of my hair gently. She would occasionally ruffle my hair; sniffing my hair?
"Why are you sniffing my hair?" I ask.
"The shampoo you used for your hair smell great, I can't help myself maybe I should buy one," Li said; inhale the smell of my hair deeply.
I push her away gently with both of my hands.
"Stop it Perv!" I jested.
"Come on child, let mommy smell your delicious head, he-he-he" Li imitating an old woman voice as she wiggling her finger creepily.
Li plunge toward me, forcing me to lay on the bed and start tickling the side of my stomach; I let out a laugh and keep pushing her hands away. Li still laughing creepily as she keeps on tickling the side of my waist, I reach for a pillow and slap Li face.
"Stop it!" I said; while my breath became heavy.
Li laugh muffled by the pillow on top of her face as she laid beside me, she removes the pillow away from her face, and slap my face with it; I move the pillow behind my head and we both start to stare at the ceiling above us.
"I worried about Stephanie too, you know?" Li said.
"I know..." I said.
"But I can't always be moping around the house, Stephanie would felt bad if she knows whats going on," Li said.
"And she already has a lot going in her life so don't make her worried even more, okay?" LI continue.
"Your right," I agree.
"but I can't just take my mind off it" I complained.
"I know how you could take your mind off it," Li said; then she brings her hand containing two tickets to in front of my face.
I look closely at the ticket; annual art showcase featuring new artist from all over the world. My eyes widen as excitement surface from my heart, I look at Li surprised, and she replied by grinning.
"How do you get these? I thought the ticket was sold out,"I exclaim.
"I have my method and contacts," Li said.
"If you want to go with me, you know what to do first" Li smirk.
"Oh great Li Yin, goddess of awesomeness, please let this humble servant come with you" I plead.
"No," Li said flatly.
"What? What do you mean no? I did the things you wanted"I exclaim.
Li stand up from the bed and turn her body to face me.
"First off, if you want to go with me, you have to wear proper cloth, and I have something in mind for you," Li said; while she looks at me up and down while a smirk plastered on her face.
12 minutes later.
I tug on the bottom half of the dress that Li suggested me to wear; Looking around Li room, I could see a sewing machine at the corner of her room, and rolls of fabric inside of the basket next to it, Li has always had the interest in designing cloth beside painting art, she even has the easel stand facing the windows and an unfinished painting on it.
"Are you fine in there? do you need my help fitting you in the dress?" Li ask; as she stays outside of the room waiting for me to come out.
"It's fine, I coming out right now," I said the brush off the bottom half of the dress.
Opening the door; I exit the room. I look at Li face; her eyes widen as she looks me up and down.
"Damn you look good girl" Li compliment.
"I do?" I ask.
"Yeah, look in the mirror behind you and see it for yourself," Li said; gesturing toward the window behind me.
I turn and face toward the full-body mirror on the wall and look at it: The short dress that Li suggested me to wear has red velvet color, the dress hugs my body tightly showing an hourglass curve that even I didn't know that I had and the dress ends at my thigh showing my bare legs, it has no sleeve.
When I turn around the dress, I could see that the dress didn't cover my back, showing fully of my bare back and almost showing the crevice of my butt; the top half of the dress is held by a tying itself around my neck.
"I don't know this dress a little bit revealing" I grimaced.
"It supposed to be revealing so we could attract guys and maybe we could find someone decent there," Li said.
"I don't want to meet new guys," I said.
"Girl! you have been obsessed with the guy in your drawing for god know how long, its time to meet new one and forget about him" Li said.
"But?!' I said but Li is pushing me back to her room.
"No but. now let's fix your hair" Li said, as we enter her rooms.
After unloading the stuff from the truck,
"Yaah!" I let out.
As I swing the pipe from 2.00 clock to 8.00 clock; I bring the short pipe close to the side of my waist as I prepare for another swing.
I need to work on my stance, just like you said. right uncle?; I let out a smile as I remember those last day that we had together.
I separate my feet even more until it just the right placement, then I release another swing; "Yaah!" I let out.
My shoulder cramp up after the swings, showing me that I'm doing it wrong. I wish, I had pay attention when he teaches me years ago. I let out a long breath as I rotate my shoulder blade; walking toward the crate, I lean the pipe on it and grab the small towel on it.
Wiping my face I look around the basement in which I found the mech suit, it all empty now except for that large pipe leading somewhere. I hear small footsteps walking down the steps toward where I am now.
"Kusagi you there?" I ask; I ask without facing the source of the sound.
"How do you know?" Kusagi ask.
"It a guess really," I said; turning my body to face Kusagi.
I look at her and realize it set of new clothes that she wears; a pink hoodie, a jean short and she even has a custom shoe to fit her animalistic feet.
"Did Lucinda get you a new cloth?" I ask.
"Yes, does it look good on me?" Kusagi ask.
"You look cute," I compliment; Kusagi let out a small smile that just melts my heart, her cuteness just overwhelm my heart.
"What are you doing down here?" Kusagi ask.
"I practicing The Tashikawa sword style" I answer.
"Why?" Kusagi ask.
"I don't know, nostalgic maybe or maybe I'm feeling somewhat homesick, do you know that my uncle used to teach me this sword style" I answer.
"Uncle?" She let out.
"Oh yeah, I never told you about my uncle," I said.
"Do you want to know about him?" I ask; Kusagi nod her head eagerly.
"Well, if I'm gonna tell you about my uncle Touka, I might as well tell you about my family history since you are a Tashikawa well temporarily that it until you remember your own name," I said; stepping backward, I sit on the crate while I laid the towel over my shoulder.
Kusagi walks closer toward another small crate and carries it closer to me then she takes a seat on it, facing toward me; her eyes look at me with expectant and her rabbit ears perk ups as she ready herself for my story.
"Hmm... I think it starts like this if I remember it correctly. The Tashikawa family first exist in the Heian period in Japan, at first, the family was thought to be cursed by the Emperor because one out of two children that were born under Tashikawa family line has a power that can cause great destruction" I said.
"So, our family were constantly preyed and discriminate upon by normal people, so the Tashikawa family went into hiding to avoid the cruel of men, but it all change when the great flood caused by earthquake impact the island of Japan, one of our descendants at the time rise up from hiding and save the people of Japan" I continue.
"Since then our family has been view as a guardian of Japan by the people and the discriminate stop instead we were praised and being view as the same level of nobility" I continue.
"Here is the best part of the story. since the beginning, only one child has the power and another was not as lucky as the other one, that where the Tashikawa sword style comes in. It was created by a younger brother of the gifted one when he views his older brother in so much pain and fatigue defending Japan. He went on a journey to train under the great masters at the time until he created his own technique, he used that technique to fight beside his older brother" I continue.
"And he been fighting alongside his brother for a long time until he passed down the technique to his descendant that was like him, powerless and normal." I continue.
"The descendant name the techniques the Tashikawa sword style, he continued to use that style to fight alongside his sibling until he passed to his descendant and so on until my uncle inherit it and then he passed it one to me" I continue.
"But I didn't do it any justice, I never pay any attention when Uncle try to teach it to me, I wish I had listened closely to his teachings" I grimaced
"What was Uncle Touka like?" Kusagi ask.
"He was warm and always make feel like home if you met him he probably ruffle your hair and baked you a cookie..." my voice trail off as the memories begin to resurface.
"Haru...?" Kusagi called out; I snapped back to reality from the dreamlike state I was in.
"Ohh yeah, I forgot one part of the stories. Along the way of our family history, a sword was created from a falling star and imbued by a magical power, I forgot the name of the creator of the sword and the rest of the stories but what I remember was the sword is always passed on from a generation to a generation and only a Tashikawa can unsheath it and used it"
"If I remember correctly, my uncle used to wield it until he lost it," I said.
"How the sword look like?" Kusagi ask.
"It has a black wooden handle color and silver blade with waving line on the blade from the handle to the tip and yeah, a bell tied by a red long piece of fabric," I said as I remember the detail from a picture my uncle once show me.
"Wow.," Kusagi said; as her eyes show a glimmer of wonder in it. I think she has already imagined how the sword looks like in her mind.
"Can I ask you something, Kusagi?" I said; Kusagi snapped from her imagination realm and nod slowly.
"Why did you avoid me around the warehouse?" I ask; Kusagi bite her lip keeping her mouth closed and her eyes averted away.
"Are you afraid of me?" I guessed; Kusagi looks at me shocked then she shakes her head quickly denying my remark.
"No? then do you hate me?" I guessed.
"No, I don't hate you Haru!" Kusagi blurted out.
"Then why?" I ask.
"Hmmm... I wanted to train myself " Kusagi said.
"What training got to do with avoiding me?" I jested.
"I wanted to surprise you by becoming strong so I can stay by your side. I know what you are doing here is dangerous and I don't care! If anything happens I wanted to be strong enough so I can be at your side no matter what and not be a burden to you" Kusagi said without breathing after she finishes her sentence then she take a long breathe in.
"I wanted to be strong like you" Kusagi confess.
"Strong like me?" I said; the let out a giggle. Kusagi becomes slightly annoyed and pouted at my response.
"I'm sorry but I'm not strong," I said.
"You are!" Kusagi retort.
"Strong people protect what he cared about but I failed, that means I'm weak," I said.
"You better search another role model because I'm not a good choice for you," I said.
"No you are strong, and I don't care about your point of view, I want to be just like you!" Kusagi said; she stands from her crate and stomps her feet to the ground.
"Since when you become such a brat?" I joked; Kusagi lower head a frown form on her face.
"I'm sorry for being selfish" Kusagi apologized.
"Are you sure, you not changing your mind about becoming like me?" I asked.
"I'm sure," she said after raising her head and look into my eyes with determination.
"Well it's a bad idea but if you not changing your mind, at least let me show you a couple way to get strong.
Kusagi face light up like a Christmas tree as she heard what I just said, she brings close both of her hand to her chest bending her body forward then she raises her body and both hand up in excitement.
"Come on, we can start right now. First, you must understand this advice 'Arrogance lead to defeat' then we can work by building your body," I said; standing up from the crate and stretching my arm.
It gonna be a long day before the night came.