Chapter 9:

Him and Her

A Love So Sweet, I Get Confused

The more Tomo spoke about her new friend, the more Mitsu died inside. At ‘Hana’ and Akio’s last date, Tomo just happened to be at the same theme park. Where Akio just happened to take advantage to introduce ‘Hana’ to Tomo with pride. “She makes the perfect girlfriend for Akio,” Tomo awed, a hand on her cheek as the pair continued to walk through the high street. In the depth of his disappear, Mitsu had noticed the word ‘girlfriend’ come out of Tomo’s mouth and she sounded happy about it. “I wonder if she would be up for a girl’s day with Emi and I?”

Mitsu’s eye twitched. “You have days out with my washed-up sister?” He asked, his tone unimpressed. Tomo puffed out her cheeks, slapping Mitsu’s shoulder, making his flinch and whine. “Ow. Do you have to do that?”

“And do you have to be so mean to your sister?” Tomo snapped, turning her head away to look through the shop windows. “Your sister is following her dream. Remember when you used to dream?”

Mitsu blew a raspberry, trying to forget about his young immature self. It was in high school when Mitsu came to the realisation that dreams are for children. He needed to work hard to become a respectful adult so he could lead a comfortable life. Also, to show Tomo he could provide for her when they got married. “All I want is to get a steady job and build a family of my own,” He explained, crossing his arm like a stubborn child.

Tomo sighed, raising her arm, making Mitsu flinch thinking she was going to hit him again but instead, she just held his shoulder with a soft grip. She couldn’t help but feel sad, thinking back to the young Mitsu who would dress up in different costumes and put on shows for the class. “I miss him,” Tomo said to herself. ‘Him’? Mitsu questioned to himself. Who was Tomo speaking about? Mitsu thought about asking but he was sure Tomo didn’t want him to hear what she was saying. “Anyway,” Tomo’s changed her voice tone, trying to sound cheery. “Think Akio will pass on the message to ‘Hana’ for me.”

Words wouldn’t leave Mitsu’s mouth. What can he say? He didn’t know what a girl’s day would entail; if it involves the hair salon, he wouldn’t be able to take part with a wig. Nail bars would mean physical evidence of his dual personalities. “I don’t mind,” Akio? The pair turned around, seeing Akio carrying several shopping bags in each hand. He smiled brightly. “I think it would be great for ‘Hana’ to spend some bonding with you and Emi.”

“Yay,” Tomo cheered, clapping and jumping on the spot to release some pent-up emotions. “I’ll text you the details and don’t let her say no.” The feeling of dread and despair was coming back. He wasn’t going to be able to back out no matter what excuse he gave.

And that feeling of dread didn’t leave right until the last minute when ‘Hana’ found himself walking to the water fountain in the middle of the mall that Tomo had designated as their meeting place. Now not only was he at risk of Tomo recognising him, it was the fear Emi would be able to call him out at a single glance. As he got closer to the meeting place, he could hear Emi’s overly obnoxious laughter. Emi and Tomo were in his line of vision as he finally made it to the water fountain. Tomo must have seen him the corner of her eye. She smiled widely, gesturing with big arm movements for ‘Hana’ to join them.

Taking a big gulp, ‘Hana’ was caution when walking over, trying to keep his attention on Tomo and trying to ignore the burning stares coming from Emi. Tomo grabbed both of ‘Hana’s’ shoulders, turning her around to meet Emi face to face.

Emi physically was taken a back. Her eyes widened as she stared at ‘Hana’s’ face, examining each detail; from lips to ears. “You look just like her,” she said barely above a whisper.

‘Hana’ could feel her chest tighten. After dressing up for so long, had he not noticed he resembled someone special to him. “Now that you mention it,” Tomo looked between ‘Hana’ and Emi. “You two look like you could be sisters.”

Shit! ‘Hana’ cursed himself. It appeared he wasn’t as good at make up as he thought. Not being able to hide distinguishing features that would still resemble the ones he shares with his sister. Emi smiled, trying to ignore the sickening feeling in her gut. She reached forward, taking both of ‘Hana’s’ hands into her own. Her hands shaking slightly, making her squeeze onto ‘Hana’s tighter to ensure he doesn’t notice. “It’s a pleasure to meet the young woman who had captured out Akio’s heart.”

Tomo sighed happily, her heart practically bursting with joy to see ‘Hana’ and Emi making quick friends. She pulled out her phone getting in the middle of the two and ordering them to pose for a photo. Emi and Tomo gave large smile while ‘Hana’s’ smile was smaller, reflecting her discomfort. It seemed he had gotten away with another miracle.