Endorphin Rush – An Emilougue
Chapter 0 - “A New Constant”
“What do you want to do today?”
I ponder a few moments on my thoughts with a large grin on my face.
“Well … I’ve met your parents now. I think it’s about time you meet mine. My mom would adore you!”
I stretch from the bed to grab my phone that remains in my trousers. About three feet away, Emi yanks me by my wrist.
“Well, actually I kinda can. We can do this later.”
She playfully pushes me to the other end of the bed. I lie down on my back, and reply with a smirk drawn.
“Dammit, Emi! We haven’t even brushed our teeth yet!”
I continue by lowering the tone and volume of my voice, attempting to sound erotic.
“… Not that I mind.”
We lay next to each other glaring in each other’s eyes for a while.
After that while has passed, I, once again, stand up from the bed and grab my slacks that I wore yesterday. I'm quickly reminded of the past day’s events and how they materialized.
I’m now left wondering. Did Emi rush letting me in yesterday? It seemed so post-haste, though. I mean, it was the day after I had apologized to her on the track that morning for our fight at her house. I try to push that contemplation aside.
I’m in a good place with Emi right now. I need to focus on the present. I need to just enjoy now and stop worrying so much about the past. And enjoy her embrace.
I grab my phone and dial my mother’s number. Almost immediately, she picks up.
“Hicchan! I’m so grateful to hear from you! How’s school been? Life?”
“Amazing! I’m making high marks in my science course. Mutou, my teacher, has highly recommended me to turn it into a major at university. I joined the science club with him too. I was the first member.”
“Congratulations, honey! I’m so proud of my little Hicchan! How are you performing in your other classes?”
“What about social life? Make any nice friends?”
“Of course! For starters, there’s the roommate across the hall; Kenji. He’s a nut, but I’ve grown to like the guy. There’s the student council, only accompanied by the two girls Shizune and Misha. Those two always have me helping them out some way or another.
There’s the girl that sits across from me, Hanako. She’s really shy but is really sweet and passionate when you approach her right. She hangs out with Lilly, who is the class representative across the hall.
And you can’t forget about Rin! She is a brilliant artist; has crazy potential. I think she’d be a hit! Very hard to comprehend, though. But don’t they say that about artists anyway?
But there’s one person in particular I want you and Dad to meet.”
I grin over towards Emi before continuing.
“It’s a girl. A very special one.’
“Oh, darling, that’s great! And when shall we be meeting this ‘very special girl’?”
“Can you be here around five tomorrow? There’s this great tea shop we can have dinner at in town.”
“Okay, I guess I’ll let you go then.”
“So, let it be. I love you Hicchan! See you and this mystery girl tomorrow!”
“Tell Dad I said hi! Bye!”
And that ends it.
“I’ll ask again, Hisao. What are we gonna do today?”
“Snuggle with my girlfriend. That’s what I’m going to do today. I don’t know about you.”
I awake to my bliss-less alarm. As much as I want to toss it out the window to next Tuesday, I can’t live without it.
I hop out of bed and put on my running clothes and head to the track.
When I arrive at my destination, I notice my significant other is not here yet.
Maybe she’s just late. I hope she’s not duping me.
I stretch out for a good five or so minutes.
Still no sign of my running partner.
I start with a light jog, and three fourths away through the first lap, I increase my pace.
Still no sign of my girlfriend.
I finish my workout for the day, my legs feeling like they’ve been inflamed in a forest fire.
Still no sign of my pulchritudinous Emi.
I devise the plan of taking a shower and stopping by her room.
On the odyssey back to the room to grab my clothes, Kenji greets me.
He seemed to be running from something.
In the process, bumping me and almost knocking down the stairs.
“Kenji! What the fu-“
“Don’t go in there man! The general of the feminist navy has joined at your door! You’ve got to run with me man! You can’t be sucked into their bullshit! I’m telling you! No, I’m not telling you. I’m commanding you! Hurry!”
“Sorry, but I’ve got to like take a shower and talk to someone about something that’s on my mind. I’d really love to join in on your escape plot, but I’m in a rush to get things done today. Today is an important day for me.”
It seems my last statement has made him incredibly distraught. I feel bad now. I even consider taking it back for a second, before he replies back.
“Oh, I see how it is. Too haughty to defend yourself from the supreme feminist Reich. I understand. See you later. Don’t let them manipulate you too much.”
I get to my hall, and see the least expected visitor at my door.
“Hisao! I’m sorry for interrupting you today! I just really need you to return those books you’ve borrowed from the library. They’re over two months overdue! It’s just that other students want to read those books as well!”
It’s Yuuko. And she’s panicking severely. She’s on the verge of trembling with fear.
“It’s okay, Yuuko. Just calm down!”
“… Okay …”
“I’ve got to get my thoughts together first. My girlfriend wasn’t at the track today, Kenji just nearly gave me a heart attack and knocked me dead running for his life …”
She begins to oscillate directly after the mention of Kenji’s name.
“ …. And … Hey, what’s wrong?’
‘N-nothing. Nothing at all.”
“… Okay … Well, anyway, he bumped into me and now you want your books back.”
“… Yeah, we really need those back! The administration has been on my back about it! If I can’t get them back from you, then I’ll lose my job andIcan’tlosemyjobbecausethenIcan’tpayforuniversityandifIcan’tpayforuniversitythenI’mdoomedforeverandI’ll-“
I eventually get her to chill out.
“I’ll go get your books, okay?”
When I return to my door, she looks me in the eyes for a second and starts staggering for a few moments. Whenever I blink again, she stops. It’s off putting, and a vision I don’t need in my mind right now.
I need to remain focused on my current task; finding out where Emi is. I don’t need to be caught up in someone else’s affairs.
But, I can’t deny the fact that there’s obviously something up between her and Kenji. I’m not sure what. Maybe he was running because he saw her? Well, he’d probably run from any woman if he got the chance. Scratch that. I remember him saying he had a girlfriend once.
I also remember in that same conversation him saying that he’s twenty. I denied it. Preposterous. But, what if he really is? He’s got the height I suppose. I’ve seen him shave multiple times. His voice sounds old enough. And Yuuko is currently at university for a BS degree. Which makes her anywhere between nineteen and twenty-two………………….. Oh …………………… OH …………………
So maybe this was the one girlfriend he had, and the one boyfriend Yuuko has talked about having?
I’m just now noticing that she’s been looking at me for a while now.
I guess I should confront her now about what needs to happen next.
I tell her exactly what comes to mind.
“Look, I need to go find out what’s up with my girlfriend, (and you need to go back to work (but I don’t think she really needs to worry about work right now)) and you should figure out how to fix … whatever it is you’re having trouble with. Don’t deny it.”
“What? You know-“
Anyway, I’ll be on my way now unless you need me of any other assistance?”
“N-no, that’ll be it.”
She seems to be more pragmatic now.
“Well, I should get back to work now.”
She is immediately on her way back, but I halt her for a split second more.
“Hey, if you ever need to talk to someone about these kinds of things, you can always talk to me, you know? Do you want my number? Don’t worry about bothering me, I’d rather be able to help you and miss out on something that I’m currently doing in my mundane life than you remain hurt.”
We exchange phone numbers.
Not having exchanging any more conversation, she smiles and walks off.
I wave to her.
Well, that was an interesting turn in events.
Here I am, standing at her doorway.
I knock, with three equivalent intervals.
“Emi? Are you there? I'm just checking up on you. You weren’t at the track.”
As I turn to leave, I hear an ambient shriek reverberate from her room.
Not this again.
And I’m stuck outside her room.
Watching her suffer.
Just like I did a few weeks ago.
I can’t be there for her.
Maybe she'll let me help?
[Enter room/Head back to your own bedroom]
I go to turn the door knob. It’s open.
What materializes before my eyes is even more heart wrenching than before. Her lights are off. All that aluminates her room is the natural sunlight outside the room. It’s bright enough that I can envision her in her sleep.
She’s curled up in a fetal position. Tears are surging down her face. She’s griping tightly on her pillow, not wanting to let a single crevice of space between them. Emi is mumbling words (or more like unintelligible noises).
It reminds me of that documentary I saw on sleep paralysis. It seems to be some of the same symptoms at least.
I’m this close to her already, so I decide to get closer. I remember that documentary said that you shouldn’t try to wake someone up who is experiencing sleep paralysis (if you even can) because it can send them into cardiac arrest.
I very slowly and methodically remove the pillow from her arms. She doesn’t move an inch. It’s incredibly disturbing . I climb in between her arms with the same amount of care.
She starts screaming again.
“DAD! Please Dad! No!"
I can’t take it anymore. I’m losing it myself. They said in that documentary that you can’t react to any sounds around you during sleep paralysis, right?
“Emi! It's okay Emi! I'm right here! It's Hisao, I've got you Emi, don't let go!”
They also can’t react to physical contact, too, if I remember right.
So I hug her merely as taut as I can.
I feel tears crawling down my cheeks.
This might be the first time I’ve cried since I was told about my condition.
She tugs on me tighter. It’s surreal. It’s like she can hear me and acknowledges my presence.
I’m here now. She doesn’t have to suffer alone now..
I’m now thinking back about how closer we’ve become in the past few days. Not even three days ago, I couldn’t have even imagined being this close to her again. It’s a reassuring idea.
She eventually releases the tension on her arms that are wrapped around me.
The next thing I know, Emi opens her eyes.
A few moments later, she breaks the silence.
“Emi, you okay?”
She embraces me tightly.
“I love you, Hisao! IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouloveyouloveyouyou!”
I return her embrace, holding her tight, I'm not letting her go, not now.
“It was all in this dark room. I couldn’t see anything but my father! And he was on the ground hurt just like the accident.. But I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do anything, but weep his name and stand there motionless. Just like how it happened. I stood there, looking him in the eyes. Those eyes spoke a thousand words to me. They were crying for me to help him, Hisao! But I didn’t know what I could do! It was all my fault! He would’ve still been here if it wasn’t for me! I hate myself! Why couldn’t it have been me? I was only a child! I didn’t have any impact on anyone’s life yet! My father was a good man! Why do good people have to leave, Hisao?”
“Emi, it’s okay. You are a brilliant person. You are everything to me. Do you have any idea where I’d be right now if I hadn’t found you? Nearly dead. I’d still be sucked into my depression and self-loathing over my condition. Feeling sorry for myself. You gave me a newfound confidence. We can get through this together, one step at a time. I love you so much, Emi Ibarazaki! It’s not your fault, it’s just the way it happened. If it didn’t happen, you wouldn’t have lost your legs, you wouldn’t have the confidence you have, and you wouldn’t go to this school. Ergo, you would’ve never met me.”
A silence occurs for a while. She then speaks up, changing the subject.
“How did you get here though? You weren’t here with me last night.”
“You weren’t at the track this morning.”
The widest smile appears on her face.
“Well, let’s go now!”
We pass by the nurse’s office. I notify him that today is a big day for us. That she’s meeting my parents for the first time.
“Are you nervous? I know she is.”
“Well, it’s the first time they’ve ever met a girlfriend of mine before. So, yeah. I guess you could say so. But I’m confident that they’ll like her.”
“That’s good to hear. I’m not sure if I could’ve said the same when I was in your position myself way back when.”
A distant stare aluminates in his eyes as he furrows his brow.
I arrive at the front gate.
“You’re late, Hisao!”
“You’re early, Emi!”
“Shuddup! It’s not my fault I’m nervous!”
“And I’m not? They’re my parents, you know?”
She looks gorgeous this evening. She’s not wearing her usual attire. Instead, she’s in a lightly toned red dress that caresses her curves. A lot like the color of strawberries. Moving down to her feet, she’s wearing (well, not conservative, but not contemporary, either) heels with a silver/black theme. The entire sight of her has left my hormones temporarily unstable. And she seems to take notice.
“Like what you see?”
She’s teasing her fingers now.
“I could tell.”
She comes closer to me and whispers into my left ear.
“And I’m not wearing any panties.”
“Not now, Emi! Later.”
She gives me that hurt puppy expression. Gets me every time.
A blue sedan arrives at the front gate.
My parents step out of it. My mother on the right, and my father on the right.
Mom is the first to greet.
“Hi! You must be the mysterious girl my little Hicchan was talking about! I’m his mother!”
Dad gives me a noogie and whispers to me.
“You did good, son.”
“I’m Emi Ibarazaki! The fastest thing on no legs!”
“My, my! Impressive.”
“And I totally beat everyone on the track team by a mile!”
“Emi, it’s not polite to brag!”
I tug on her arm.
“So, where are we going?”
“The Shanghai. It’s in town. We can walk from here.”
“Sound good to me!”
We enter the beloved tea shop, and are all greeted kindly by Yuuko.
Seeing her after this morning’s events is outrageously awkward. I don’t even want to reflect on her and Kenjji … Ugh.
She’s bowing several times with a faltering pace before speaking.
“Welcome! How may I-“
“Mom, Dad, this is Yuuko, the librarian at Yamaku. She also works a job here at The Shanghai and attends university.”
Yuuko stutters for a few seconds; unsure of how to react. She seems to be having a debacle in her mind on embellishing on the information I just gave to my parents and acting “professional”.
She eventually gives in after a while.
“Yes. My job at Yamaku doesn’t pay the bills alone for university. So I’m working here, too. … So how may I help you this evening?”
“If you can give them a menu, we can sit ourselves at the booth over there.”
Yuuko reluctantly bows a few times and grabs the menus that are still located at a disclosed location.
We sit in a booth in the far right of the building. The same spot I sat with Emi and Rin the day of the picnic. It had rained in that day so we sat in here to dry off before going back. I remember that cute face
she had made when raindrops began to fall from the sky. She was so determined to have it her way. It fit her personality well. That day was a big day for us, even if it was such a futile and mundane era. We seemed to connect and immolate like never before that day. If I had to pick a day where I had a conviction of when I feel in love with her, I’m almost positive it was that day.
I sit on the left of Emi in the middle isle of the horseshoe, Mother to Emi’s favored side, and Father to mine.
Dad orders a pure black coffee and a plate of takoyaki. Mother grabs some sort of salad with chicken in it. Emi orders a parfait. I order a simple green tea and slice of lemon cake. I guess Emi and I have a mutual, non-confrontational agreement on being able to eat unhealthy food for today. She ordered before me anyway.
Yuuko brings us our meals around ten minutes later. My mother and father teasing me about my childhood misadventures to Emi meanwhile.
(And as far as first impressions go, st least Dad seems to be pleased with my “catch”.)
“Oh, and remember that time when he was trying to describe that spider he saw in the cupboard once?’
“Oh yeah! He told us it was a ‘jacking off spider’.”
“Hey! I was only six! How would I have known? That’s not what I meant!”
Everyone bursts out laughing, including me. At least I’m willing to be a good sport about it at this point. If this was even two years ago, I’d rush out the restaurant in embarrassment. I’ve come a long way just in two years of my life. I’ve had a massive heart attack right in front of, what I thought at the time, the love of my life. But I have a new one now. Her name is Emi Ibarazaki, and I’m amorous liaison with her.
My father interrupts the laughter.
“You’ll have to excuse me for a moment.”
He begins to make his way towards the restrooms.
An epiphany has arisen in my mind. It’s very precipitous, sure, but I’ve NEVER been so sure about anything before in my life.
[Follow your heart/Bottle up newfound inspiration]
[Follow your heart]
“You’ll have to excuse me too, for a moment.”
My senior and I enter the men’s restroom, and I take a deep breath, commence on my monologue.
“Hey Dad, I need to ask a favor of you…”
"I like a cool, good pedal." - Nick Reinhardt (guitarist, main vocalist) of Tera Melos on his pedalboard.