Chapter 12:


A Love So Sweet, I Get Confused

Walking through the busy outdoor market ‘Hana’ held his bag close as Akio guided him through. He wasn’t too sure what the plan was for today but after the bowling incident, he was truly showing a shier side to ‘Hana’. Though Akio experienced the intermate moment with Mitsu and not ‘Hana’, Mitsu couldn’t separate his mind from the incident for this visit. He felt his face heat up with each accidently touch. Tomo used to hold his hand all the time but the feelings were different. It was comforting and enjoyable but with Akio it was nerve wracking and made him cautious of every movement. “You’re awfully quiet today,” Akio said, looking down at ‘Hana’.

“I-I um,” ‘Hana’ stuttered, not really knowing what to say. “I’m just excited to see what you have planned today.” He laughed nervously, knowing it wasn’t exactly a lie. No matter how many times he had visited the outdoor market, he had never gone pass the exit. His hands fidgeted with the hand of his bag, the walk falling back into an uncomfortable silence.

Akio smiled, coming up with an idea to help ‘Hana’ relax. He raised his hand, taking ‘Hana’s’ hand into a tight grasp. ‘Hana’ let out a small squeal with his lips closed tightly. He was learning Akio was not shy when it came to physical touch. Taking a deep breath, ‘Hana’ relaxed his hand into Akio’s touch, taking hold Akio’s hand tightly. He looked down at his hand, surprised by how much his heart has seemed to calm down and how natural it felt.

Though the walk remained silent, it wasn’t awkward anymore. In fact, it was somewhat pleasant. Their hands swung slightly as they walked to the end of the outdoor market, ‘Hana’ taking note of the various stores he hadn’t seen before. “There’s a lot more handmade items down this part,” He noted, smiling up to Akio.

“Yeah,” Akio brought them to a quick stop, just outside what appeared to be a bakery. “I have to pick something up. I won’t be a second.”

‘Hana’ whined at the loss of Akio’s hand from his own. He looked down to his hand and then back into the store, Akio had gone in quickly and could see him through the window. He wondered, Akio had once said, I’ll make you something sweet, so why was he buying treats from an artesian bakery in the edge of an outdoor market? Thinking about it, what did Mitsu really now about Akio that made him so cautious that he might steal Tomo? “Maybe I don’t really know him,” ‘Hana’ said to himself, catching his reflection. “So why can’t I stop?”

“Stop what?” Akio made ‘Hana’ jump, coming back outside holding a bright pink cake box with both hands. “Well, anyway, our next stop is the hospital.”

“The hospital?” ‘Hana’ questioned as they continued onwards.

“Yeah,” Akio just sighed smiled continuing to look forward while not daring to let go of the cake box.

Fortunately, there wasn’t much more walking and they arrived at the hospital within five minutes Much to ‘Hana’ relief as his shows were starting to pinch at his skin. As they made it through, nurse and doctors greeted Akio as if he was a regular to the building. He even knew the exact direction to go in. “Here we are,” Akio proclaimed, stopping outside a particular room. “Mind knocking the door for me please?”

‘Hana’ gave a solid knock against the door and getting a small ‘come in’ in return. Akio gestured for ‘Hana’ to open the door. Gulping, ‘Hana’ was nervous opening the door to see a pre-teen girl sitting up in bed reading a book. Her attention turned to the door and she gasped in delight upon seeing Akio, “Big brother you came!”

Brother? ‘Hana’ questions as Akio sat on the bed, placing the cake box on the bed tray. All that walking was so Akio could visit his little sister. Akio turned to ‘Hana’ waving his hand, “Come on.” Who would have thought, Akio believed for them to be in the meet the family stages of knowing each other? ‘Hana’ walked over, standing tall as she waved hello. “Yui this is my friend, ‘Hana’,” Akio introduced. “’Hana’ this is Yui, my little sister.”

“Hi Yui,” ‘Hana’ smiled brightly.

Yui looked ‘Hana’ up and down, her face looking annoyed as she turned to Akio. “Is she going to steal her from me?” She whined., grabbing onto Akio’s arm like a small child throwing a tantrum.

Akio laughed, patting her head. “You’re my umber one girl,” He assured. “You know that.”

Yui’s face immediately brightened up. She turned back to ‘Hana’, “Then it’s nice to meet you.”

He has a little sister, ‘Hana’ thoughted to herself as they continued to make idle talk. This is why Akio would listen to him when he talked about his sister, why he would encourage ‘Hana’ to open up more about family. This made sense and also confirmed. He truly doesn’t know anything about Akio.