Chapter 8:

Ok, maybe it’s a date

After 400 years I finally met you

Many people come and leave during everyone's lifetime. What’s important is what you learn from them and the connections you made.Bookmark here

The sound of the cicadas travels through the air, a melody that every year can be heard. Hana is happy looking at her brand new phone, she hasn’t installed any apps yet but is amazed just by flicking and moving the apps around the screen.Bookmark here

“How do I open the lemon that you and Valentine use?” Hana suddenly asks.Bookmark here

“Lemon? Ah! LIME?” Bookmark here

“Yes, the thing. How do I use it?I can’t find it here” She moves across all app Icons as the man at the store showed her “Don’t tell me, did I buy the wrong phone? Oh no! It was so expensive and now is useless!!”Bookmark here

Jeanne laughs and then says “No, no. You need to install it. Are you hungry or something? We could search for a place to sit down and I’ll give you all the basics about your new phone” Bookmark here

“Uh?” Hana hadn’t realized that she was really thirsty <Wait, when did it get so hot?> she looks up, the sun can be seen shining brightly. She starts noticing the drops of sweat on her forehead “An Ice Cream would be nice” She finally says. She looks at Jeanne, and notices that she doesn’t have any sweat on her “Hey, are you not feeling this heat?”Bookmark here

“No” Her answer is quick “Same as the food. I can’t feel if the weather is hot or cold, neither any scent or even pain itself”Bookmark here

“Ugh, lucky you” She starts using her hand as a fan.Bookmark here

“You think so? I feel like I’m missing a lot of awesome things and I’m just there watching…”Bookmark here

“... Sorry, I talked without thinking”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry. So, Ice cream, right? I think there’s a store nearby. Come”Bookmark here

They walk just for a moment and arrive at a small ice cream store, its exterior walls are painted with red and white, and the interior ones with sky blue. The seats on the inside are already occupied by many young people, so there was no other option but to take the outside seats that have a table and an umbrella with the same colors as the store, they order from there to a tall bearded waiter. Bookmark here

“Here you have your vanilla ice cream, and your clear soda with ice” The man brings the order, the glass cup with two white spheres inside and some cherries on top of them is placed in front of Hana, the other half of the order stays at Jeanne’s side “If you need something else, just let me know”Bookmark here

“We will, thanks” Hana smiles, grabs the long spoon that was left beside the cup and starts eating, with the left hand she follows the instructions that Jeanne is telling her as she pulls the chair closer.Bookmark here

The app installation and setup turned out to be easier than what she expected.Bookmark here

“Really? That’s it?” The witch asks, she is halfway through finishing her ice cream and was sure that it would have melted by the time they were over with the app installation.Bookmark here

“You did it great! Not bad for your first time using this gizmo. Now add me and I'll also share with you Valentine’s number” With excitement, Jeanne helps Hana with another little explanation about adding contacts and how to chat.Bookmark here

Using what she learned, Hana’s first message is a smiley face to Valentine. Her second message is the same smiley face to Jeanne, who answers with a sticker of a ghost holding a sign that reads: Hello!.Bookmark here

“Wow! Your icons of emotion are amazing” Hana’s eyes open big.Bookmark here

“Emoticons… But this one is a sticker, the next level, you’ll get there eventually. You can have entire conversations using only those”Bookmark here

“Ok, for the moment. I’ll use what I have at hand to express… Valentine will be shocked when she wakes up and sees that I’m now part of the modern world” Hana smiles imagining a Valentine with messy hair checking her phone. Then sees the profile picture of her open chat with Jeanne, it’s one of a beach with some palm trees in it “Do you like the beach? It’s been a long time since I went to one… Even before skipping all those decades”Bookmark here

“Yeah, Valentine told me about your situation. Yes, I like going to the beach a lot. If you want we can go together someday” Jeanne smiles and then points at the picture “By the way, that’s a picture of me, my real self but… Well, nobody can see it. Hiroshi took it”Bookmark here

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that” Hana looks again at the picture trying to see if she can maybe have a glimpse of someone standing there, but nothing happens. She makes a sound with her tongue but then has an idea “Hey, I haven’t set up the picture for my profile… Do you want to appear with me?”Bookmark here

“As I am right now? Sure!” she smiles.Bookmark here

And so, with a little bit of guidance, Hana takes her first selfie. It has her and Jeanne smiling at the camera.Bookmark here

They spent a while talking, it was easy to go from one subject to another. There is so much to talk about for two people who have been in this world for centuries, like how everyone now uses electricity and how useful it is, or how using leeches for medicine isn't a thing anymore.Bookmark here

“Wait a second” Hana says, after finishing a glass of cold water she ordered after the ice cream “Why did you order a soda? Didn’t you say that you don’t eat or drink? You are even taking sips every now and then”Bookmark here

“It’s just a facade. Wouldn't it be weird if a person on a day like this doesn’t try to refresh with something?”Bookmark here

“Fair point” She takes a peek at her empty glass “Ugh this heat is killing me… no offense”Bookmark here

“None taken”Bookmark here

“Was summer always this hot? Seriously”Bookmark here

“Nope, earth has become warmer each year. But the good news is that many people have become aware of this”Bookmark here

“Well, I hope they are doing something about it. I don’t want this heat to end my life just like dinosaurs did”Bookmark here

“Well, I’m pretty sure the most popular theory right now isn’t that one”Bookmark here

“What do you mean? Even the dinosaur extinction changed while I was asleep? What is it nowadays?”Bookmark here

“Asteroid impact. One fell from the sky and BOOM everyone gone”Bookmark here

“You want me to believe that they died from a space rock? That’s preposterous! Maybe from a rain of rocks, but even so it doesn’t make any sense”Bookmark here

“It was a big rock, a really big one”Bookmark here

“And? It squashed them? If it’s so big, where is it?”Bookmark here

“Huh, I… I don’t really know, somewhere out there I suppose. Anyways it’s just a theory, one of the most popular ones”Bookmark here

“And a new one… Well, at least that means that those creatures are still popular”Bookmark here

“You’ll be surprised. Almost everyone loves them, especially kids. They have toys and clothes with drawings of them.”Bookmark here

“Really? But aren’t they like monsters?” She ponders for a couple of seconds “Well, to be honest, I would have loved to have one dinosaur looking toy when I was growing up” Bookmark here

“Right? Me too, I would have loved to have one back in the 1600s” Bookmark here

“Oh! You are from that era?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, more or less. In France the Gregorian calendar was still a new thing at the time so I’m not totally sure of it, or my birthday. You?”Bookmark here

“I… I have no Idea of when I was born, all I can say is that it maybe was one of the worst times to be born in Africa… Oh, I say it as a whole since I don’t know either the exact place where I was born”Bookmark here

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. What about your family?”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry. I got separated from them at a young age so I don’t remember them very much. I don’t even remember my original name, only its meaning” She sighs “So every new place I visit, I change my name to the local language, maybe someday one will resonate with me. I’ve been called Flor, Fleur, Flower, and many more, right now I’m just Hana”Bookmark here

“Wow, you have been through a lot, huh?Bookmark here

“Sorry for bothering with a sad story, I feel I kinda ruined the mood”Bookmark here

“Not at all, you are one interesting fellow. If you don’t mind, you can talk whenever you want to me about anything and I will hear you”Bookmark here

Hana smiles, Jeanne’s words really resonate with her. They don’t know, but if the Gregorian calendar is used to search the days of their birth, it turns out to be something interesting. They both were born at the exact same time but if we use the Greenwich Mean Time we could say that Hana was born in 1599 A.D. at 23:35 while Jeanne was born in 1600 A.D. at 00:35. Human creations and concepts for understanding their surroundings are such an interesting thing, it doesn’t always look like it but sometimes those are even more mysterious and amazing than magic itself.Bookmark here

BUZZ BUZZBookmark here

CHIRP CHIRPBookmark here

Hana’s phone vibrates on the table while playing notification sound, startling her.Bookmark here

“Looks like you received a message!” Jeanne says.Bookmark here

Hana grabs her phone and unlocks it as she recently learned, then remembers the steps to open the LIME app, and there it was, a number 2 right next to Valentine’s name. Her profile picture is of herself winking. Hana touches the screen and an image of Valentine with messy hair is loaded, she is wearing a violet nightgown and is making a V pose with her right hand. Right under the picture there is a message.Bookmark here

[Hello~! How’s it going? I just woke up]Bookmark here

Hana smiles “Its from Valentine, she woke up early” <With this I can know when is ok to go to the basement and keep her company>Bookmark here

“Great! Time to use what you learned”Bookmark here

“Right!” Hana looks at the small keyboard, it’s her moment to show that she is now modern too. And so, the exchange of messages begins. Bookmark here

[Fine! Youwoke up early todya] <Oh no! A mistake! What do I do now?> She moves her eyes nervously and looks at Jeanne who is smiling, and then her phone vibrates again.Bookmark here

There is a sticker of a girl with shining eyes [OMG! You really are writing here! Isn’t it exciting? Lol]Bookmark here

<Lol? I don’t get it, should I ask? No, I’ll show no weakness> [Certainly, didyoudoubt my skills?] <Again!? I’m not giving a good impression>Bookmark here

[Never ;) I’ll eat something and then will be busy with a dress, have fun with your date]Bookmark here

[NotadatE!]Bookmark here

“Is there something wrong? You are making some funny expressions” Jeanne chuckles.Bookmark here

“Ahaha, no, no” Hana nervously laughs “Anyways, I should be heading back. I have to buy some fruits and vegetables and they’ll close if I don’t hurry up”Bookmark here

“Great! Do you mind if I go with you? Or is it something you prefer to do alone?”Bookmark here

“I don’t mind”Bookmark here

“Awesome, then I’ll pay what we had here, and then we can leave”Bookmark here

“OK, I’ll text Valentine to let her know”Bookmark here

“Using the vocabulary already” Jeanne smiles “That’s the spirit, be right back. Remember to use emoticons”Bookmark here

<Right, emoticons to describe what we do> She opens the emoji options and starts scrolling <Which ones will be good to say that I’m going to buy some fruits and vegetables?... Oh, I know!>Bookmark here

Jeanne and Hana leave the place just 5 minutes later. Meanwhile, Valentine is working on one of her designs, she ignores the buzzing of her phone while she is focused on the task. After half an hour she grabs the phone and takes a look at the messages, she opens Hana’s conversation and reads:Bookmark here

[I’m heading home. But first we will 🍑🍆 ]Bookmark here

“WHAT!?” Valentine covers her mouth with her left hand as her eyes keep looking the peach and eggplant emoji “Hana… you are really wild”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.