From Mirage_GSM for Lap
(As last year, the prompt as well as comments will be at the end of the post for spoiler reasons)
It was swelteringly hot as was to be expected for late August - just a few days before the end of the summer holidays. There was a lot still to do for the coming trimester, but for that evening Hisao had asked me out for a date.
He’d made a big secret out of it, too, adamantly refusing to tell me what we were going to do. All my three guesses had been wrong, so I reluctantly had to give up my desert at lunch today… Well, I thought I’d at least have to give him points for creativity, even if I wasn’t confident he had come up with something actually good.
We met up at the gate at half past five. He was wearing the shirt I’d picked for him when we’d been shopping the week before and had a jacket casually slung over his shoulder, waving to me with his free hand. All in all he made quite the dashing figure, and I felt an approving smile form on my face.
I remembered how my father had complained about his sweater vest when that day had been literally the only time I’d ever seen him wear it. But it wouldn’t do to think about my father that day, so I banished those thoughts from my mind and greeted him with a peck on the cheek.
“So, are you going to tell me where we are going now?”
He held his jacket awkwardly between his chin and his shoulder before he replied, “Not quite yet. For now, we’re taking the bus to the city.”
During the drive we did some small talk about our respective days, because other than lunch we hadn’t seen each other much. I’d had a lot of paperwork to manage in the student council, while he was helping Misha with what was left of her summer homework – apparently quite a substantial amount…
In the city he led me to a small restaurant. Nothing too fancy, but it seemed nice, and I knew he couldn’t afford any more expensive places at the time. Still I gave him a mock-annoyed smile.
“You know that a dinner-date was my second guess, right? If that’s your plan, you’re going to return my desert – with interest!”
He waves his hands in denial before responding. “Don’t worry, this is not the main event. Let’s just eat something first.”
So we had a pleasant dinner. The food was good, and the interior was rather tasteful. I wondered if Hisao had scouted out the location beforehand. Anyway I mentally awarded him passing marks for the dinner date so far, though I still had no idea what he was up to.
After we left the restaurant we headed for a small park nearby to take a walk. It was now half past seven, the sun had already set, and twilight had set in.
I was increasingly curious about what Hisao was up to. The park was quite the romantic location, but Hisao made no move to find a place to sit down. Instead he seemed to be quite nervous, alternately checking his watch and staring up into the sky.
“Is anything wrong? Are we meeting someone here?”
“No, that’s not it, I just…” He trailed off still looking up to the sky as if searching for something. Then he grabbed my hand and started to march off swiftly, almost dragging me behind.
We left the park and marched on through the city, Hisao checking his watch a few times on the way. Since he was holding my hand, I couldn’t talk to him, and I was starting to get a little angry at his antics.
The street was snaking up a small hill, and when I noticed Hisao starting to breathe heavily I finally decided to put an end to this.
I stopped walking and pulled my hand away from him. “I have no idea what is going on here, but it can’t be worth you risking a heart episode like this!”
He turned to me guiltily. “I’m sorry. You’re absolutely right. Let me catch my breath for two minutes. We’re almost there, and there is not much time left.”
I shook my head exasperatedly but went along with his antics for the time being.
Ten minutes later we arrived at the top of the hill, rounded a street corner, and…
Hisao stopped abruptly. “Damn, we are too late. It is already ending,” he cursed and then pointed up at the sky.
I looked up to see the moon just starting to leave the earth’s shadow – a lunar eclipse just starting to end.
Hisao looked at me apologetically. “I’m sorry, I thought we’d watch the eclipse from the park, but it seems the moon wasn’t yet high enough in the sky to be seen from there, so I thought coming up here…”
I silenced him with a sharp gesture. “Do you mean you dragged me through half the city to this…” I look around me. “…rather run-down area and risked a heart attack, just to show me a lunar eclipse?”
“Yes.” His reply was so meek I can hardly decipher it.
I was shaking. I was thinking I could hardly contain myself much longer.
“Hisao, you know what you are?”
“You’re a dork!” At this point I couldn’t contain my laughter anymore. “But you’re my dork.”
And I kissed him straight on the lips.
“…and that’s the story of the first date your father ever took me on.” I finish the tale looking across the table at our seven year old daughter.
The other guests around the Christmas dinner table – Hisao’s parents, Hideaki, Misha and her girlfriend Lynda – are all smiling while Hisao is trying his best to sink into the floor. Misha has just finished translating for those of our guests who don’t understand sign.
“You’re already finished? But I wanna know what happened next!” our daughter complains.
From the grimaces of our guests Misha has just let out one of her trademark laughs. Then she replies both in sign and out loud. “That’s a probably a story you’re not nearly old enough for, Lilly-chan…”
And now as promised the prompt for this story:
Comment:On Aug 28, 2007, there was a lunar eclipse visible in Japan. Who did Hisao view it with, & what happened next? If you really need/want to make it holiday themed, move the eclipse to December, I'm sure only Mirage will check the date to see if it actually occurred then .
OF COURSE I checked the date! I also checked the time, duration, maximum elevation etc – all of which gave me the inspiration for how to write this story in the first place…
And in the end I didn’t move the eclipse to December but the story as a whole.
It’s been a few hectic weeks for me, so I’m glad I was able to write this before Christmas.