Chapter 1:

Orange you glad to meet me?

Anything but Boring!

Kimiko felt quite stupid wearing two swirly, messy buns on the top of either side of her head. She was sure they looked like two nectarines that thought she was a tree instead of a woman and decided to grow. This was especially considering that her hair was much more orange than the blonde tresses she'd had as a child.Bookmark here

She cursed her earlier peppy self for trying something different on the day that she might meet the love of her life. Part of her wanted to take them out, but she wasn’t sure if that might just make things worse.Bookmark here

Walking down the street, she found the tiny storefront she was looking for, with heart-shaped lights hanging over the small window on the side. The door was pink and had cheap stickers of various symbols of love placed all over it. Having only spoken to her matchmaker on the phone and through email, she hadn't known what to expect, but somehow she thought she’d be walking to a more upscale place, considering the price she’d paid. Still, she tried not to worry about being swindled just yet.Bookmark here

After taking a deep breath, Kimiko smoothed out her dark green skirt, fixed her white blouse, and adjusted her light grey knee-high socks, then knocked on the door. A few seconds passed. Then, a woman, likely in her mid-forties, opened the door. Her dark eyes looked her over with a grin, her black hair loose around her shoulders.Bookmark here

“My, my so prompt! You must be very excited!” She praised, before showing her inside. “Now, you’ve been a picky one so I only have two matches left for you dear. Let's just hope your selectiveness has paid off.” The woman said as she walked over to her desk, which was white like the other furniture except for the pink and red pillows and decor. It was a bit on the nose for Kimiko’s taste but at least it had a cohesive theme, she supposed.Bookmark here

“Now, one of these matches I know you are already familiar with. Asato, Daichi.” The matchmaker said.Bookmark here

Kimiko looked surprised. “Daichi? I had no idea he was interested in me like that. Are you sure we’re a match?”Bookmark here

“Completely.” The lady assured, however, she was busy looking through some files she’d brought out from the drawer in her desk. “Ah. There he is.” She said, then placed the file on the table and took out the picture for her to see. “Terada, Makoto. He will be your first date, with Asato following soon after. You are to go to the restaurant directly across from here and he will be there in twenty minutes. Well, if he is as punctual as you are, which… I am not certain he is, given he was thirty minutes late to his appointment today.” She said the last part under her breath.Bookmark here

Kimiko came closer to see the picture of the man. He had dark blue hair and pale blue eyes, so it would certainly be hard to mistake him for another. Bookmark here

“Makoto.” She said thoughtfully to get herself to remember his name.Bookmark here

After finishing her briefing with the matchmaker, Kimiko left for the restaurant even though she knew she would be much too early. She didn’t want to keep him waiting just in case.Bookmark here

The redhead was only waiting for a few minutes before the dark-haired man in question walked in cooly, wearing a dark coat and a light blue shirt with black slacks, his promptness a direct contrast to what the matchmaker had told her. Bookmark here

Once he saw her, he stopped mid-stride with a curious look. “Why do you have fruit on your head?”Bookmark here

Kimiko’s eyes widened and she self-consciously tapped the bobby pins back into her buns so it would hopefully look less like an orange with stems. “I don’t… usually put my hair up like this.” She said with some self-targeted resentment for doing it in the first place.Bookmark here

“No?” Makoto asked, looking over the top of her head as if examining it. “Why not? Pretty convenient to always have a snack with you.”Bookmark here

Kimiko's worry faded into a smile instead and a chuckle, realizing that he wasn’t making fun of her, but was just being playful. “I guess that’s true, but I think I would get tired of eating the same fruit all the time.”Bookmark here

“Ehhh… I'm sure I could twist some grapes in there somewhere.” Makoto said with casual confidence, before immediately speaking more seriously to the host and telling him their reservation. The contrast was somewhat jarring to her compared to his energy before.Bookmark here

As the host led them to their table however, Makoto snapped his fingers with a sudden thought. “Pumpkin.”Bookmark here

“Hm?” Kimiko hummed.Bookmark here

“Can’t make grapes out of orange hair, everyone knows that.” Makoto said, as if he were talking about something obvious that he should have thought of earlier. Bookmark here

Kimiko giggled. “I’m not sure that everyone does.”Bookmark here

Makoto looked thoughtful at that. “You’re right. People with black hair probably don’t. Man it must be hard trying to make soy sauce out of theirs.”Bookmark here

Kimiko could not stop smiling and looking at Makoto as he spoke so ridiculously. She was so amused that she almost hadn’t noticed when they were seated and given menus. Eventually the waiter came by and asked what they would like to eat.Bookmark here

Makoto set his menu down. “Whatever she’s going to have, make it two.” He decided.Bookmark here

Kimiko looked at the waiter. “I’ll have an order of cow brain please.”Bookmark here

“They sell that here?!” Makoto’s eyes widened, a bead of sweat threatening to roll down his forehead. Bookmark here

Kimiko giggled and shook her head. “No, but you set me up so perfectly I couldn’t just let you get away with it could I?” Bookmark here

Makoto breathed a huge sigh of relief and relaxed in his seat. "Oh, right. I knew that." He said with a wave of his hand.Bookmark here

"Mmhm." She said with a knowing look, then politely ordered a more conventional kind of food, which Makoto was glad to have as well.Bookmark here

Throughout their dinner, they chatted amicably, sometimes laughing so much that they'd get looks from other customers to get them to quiet down. By dessert, Kimiko was smiling shyly at Makoto, looking at him with sweet green eyes shining.Bookmark here

"I like you a lot, Makoto." She said with happy energy.Bookmark here

"I like you too, Kimiko." Makoto said casually as he poked his dessert with a spoon then scooped some of it up.Bookmark here

Kimiko leaned closer over the table with big eyes and an adoring smile, making Makoto lean back because at this point they were almost nose to nose. His face was the essence of confusion. "Uh… Kimiko?"Bookmark here

"Let's get married." She decided suddenly with spunk and a light bounce.Bookmark here

"Let's get what-now?" Makoto said, blinking several times before slowly putting the spoon in his mouth without losing eye contact.Bookmark here

Kimiko tilted her head, her voice soft as a blanket. "Didn't you hear me?"Bookmark here

Makoto took the spoon out of his mouth and swallowed the dessert in a gulp.Bookmark here

"Ah-ha…" He laughed nervously. "Sure I did, but uhhh… isn't it kind of soon for, I don't know, lifelong commitment?"Bookmark here

"Mmm… nope!" She beamed, eyes closed and happier than a cat basking in the sun.Bookmark here

When the waiter came around, Makoto had a funny smile. He cleared his throat, then said, "Check please."Bookmark here

Taylor Victoria
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