Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prologue (b)

It's an event that goes way back when we were both little children. I was playing with my friends in an abandoned yard. That was our turf.
Man, that brings back quite a lot of memories...
Anyway, I was there and then Hitomi appeared and demanded we let her join our exclusive circle for cool bros. And I said: "No way, get out! You're a girl, you can't join!"
Oh, didn't that piss her off? She asked what being a girl had to do with anything. She wanted to know what were our reasons.
My friends snickered, quite amused by the view of that bratty girl being all flustered.
"You're a girl, you're too weak. You can't keep up in our games."
"You'd only slow us down, and then you'd just keep crying."
"Little girls are just a bother, get lost!"
I agreed and I added that I didn't want any trouble with her mother should she get hurt. That wasn't a lie, her mother knew me well, since we lived so close to each other and all.
And then Hitomi clenched her fists and yelled at us. She said that she was stronger than all of us and that she could best any of us, anytime, in any kind of physical competition.
She said it.
At first we just stared at her, completely dumbfounded. Then we burst into laughter.
That didn't faze her one bit, she kept looking at us with those determined eyes of hers.
Incredulous, I asked if she was serious. She was no longer irritated, nor angry when she answered. She just showed a derisory and confident smile.
"Wanna bet?"
Now you need to consider my position, I was the leader of my little gang and I had to protect my reputation. I couldn't really back off from such an outrageous challenge.
However, I'm a knight and a gentleman and my code of conduct forbids me to cause harm to a girl. That is true now as it was back then.
So in the end we decided to settle our dispute with a running contest. On retrospect, that was a very bad idea.
We were about to start the race, when Hitomi reminded me that I never answered her question. I asked which question she was talking about and yet again she said: "Wanna bet?"
I didn't think she seriously meant to bet something on the outcome of our little duel, but she insisted.
And so I thought... "why not?" The prospect of losing didn't even cross my mind for a second.
"Sure! Whatcha wanna bet?"
"The loser will carry the winner's schoolbag for as long as we go to the same school!"
"Fine! You've got a deal!"
"I won't let you go back on your word, useless man!"
"Shut up! That's not gonna happen!"
"Don't cry on me when you lose."
"That's my line!"
"You better not pretend you didn't promise!"
"Stop nagging me! I said I won't!"
"Don't you ever, ever, ever forget that!"
"Aaargh damn! I told you to shut up! I will honor my promise, no matter what! Okay?!"

And I did.
Now that I said it, try to picture my brow and my eyes completely hidden behind my right hand. Yeah... that's exactly the feeling.
How in the world could I imagine that ten years later I'd be still bound by such promise? Why did she have to end up in my same school for all the years to come after that day?
That's just not fair! If there is a destiny, I hope it will rot in hell! Even if that doesn't make any sense!
Why does my childhood friend have to be such an athletic savant? I forgot to tell you, but she is the ace of the basket club in my school.
Now that we are both older there is no doubt who is the strongest among us. I am the tallest guy in my class and I tower Hitomi by a good 10 cm. Plus I have developed quite some muscles, so I'm confident I could overwhelm her by brute force, if I wanted.
But if I were to race her, She would undoubtedly best me again. Hitomi is not the kind of girl you want to trifle with, trust me.
So now I'm carrying myself and the two schoolbags towards school, following her trail with a disgruntled face.

Hitomi: "Hey, useless man..."

Meito: "What do you want?"

Hitomi: "Did you watch One Peace yesterday?"

Meito: "Why should I watch that childish anime?"

Hitomi: "It's not childish, it's all the rage now, and a lot of people enjoy it, children and adults alike."

Meito: "It's based on a shounen manga, right? It's a childish anime."

Hitomi: "You are way too biased, and you're not fun at all! You sound like my grandpa."

Meito: "Eh... what?! Don't compare me to a 80 year old geezer!"

Hitomi: "But you are an old man."

Meito: "Which part of me is an old man?!"

Hitomi: "Eeeeverything!"

Meito: "I'm not even following you anymore..."

Hitomi: "You always have that grumpy attitude, always complaining about this and that. That's why you're on old man."

Meito: "I don't complain about everything! Only about things that are wrong..."

Hitomi: "In other words: everything."

Meito: "Kh..."

I decide to keep quiet. Calm down, Meito, calm down. It's all right, it's just the usual Hitomi. You can survive this.

Hitomi: "Hey, useless man..."

Meito: "Look... this is probably the thousandth time that I say this, but my name is Meito! Meito, understood? I know it's an unusual name, but try to remember it for crying out loud! You write it with the kanji of 'famous' and 'person', okay? In other words I'm not an 'useless man', I'm a V.I.P.! Got it?!"

Hitomi: "An useless name for an useless man, and you're still complaining... Q.E.D."

Meito: "You really want me to kill you today..."

Hitomi: "Ha ha! I'd like to see you try it!"

Hitomi turns around and looks at me with a teasing, coquettish expression.

Hitomi: "Hey, useless man... I was thinking... if you are an old man... are you also a... dirty old man?"

I'm sure right now my face turned red and steam is blowing from my ears.
I snap and I raise my fists to the sky.

Meito: "What the hell are you blabbering about?! You shameless woman!"

Hitomi: "Ha ha ha! Pervert! Pervert!"

Hitomi springs away from me and starts running. I follow suit still waving my fists in anger.
But as I explained earlier... there's just no way I can outrun that snake! Especially now that I'm weighted down.
She's a devil...

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