[Fiction] What it Feel To Fall in Love

Rhifa Nadya Ulhaq

Hey, my name is Mary Masayoshi, yap, my father is Japanese, he met my mother in Boston like 25 years ago, married her 23 years ago, and having me in 20 years ago. Anyway, my friend called me Mary M, it is burdensome to call me with my full name they said, but deeply I know, they feel hard to pronounce Masayoshi, once I heard one of my friend called me by my full name and it’s went from Masayoshi to Ma-ya-o-si, and the guy in the library who I had conversation with every time I went to the library pronounce it as ma-ya-ya-si. I also find it hard to pronounce my own name, funny right? I hope I have my mother family name ‘Portgas’ which easy to pronounce rather than my father Japanese family name.

My parent lived in Boston from 1994, one year after their marriage in Pennsylvania, my mother hometown. I once asked why they leave Pennsylvania and move to Boston, and my mother said she is sick to death living in Pennsylvania, since she’s been there like since she was kid, she wants new atmosphere, new environment when she had a kid. And two years later they have me, which they said “it was our happiest moment!”.

So, I’ve been living here in Boston for 20 years since I was a baby and never go to other country, even for holiday. My father said I have to wait until I am 20 years old to go overseas, I think it is something I couldn’t understand the reason is, unreasonable sentence. And here I am now, in Boston, as 20 years old woman –mom said it is fine to called myself woman because I am now 20 years old— and four days after my 20th birthday my father told me that we are going to move to Japan. I asked why, and he said because I am 20 years old now with exited voice, again, unreasonable answer. And now, I’ve been sitting in my bed for like 20 minutes, with two big suitcases beside me, one is pink and one is ocean blue with no motif. My mom said I have to pack all my belonging quickly because we are going to Japan in two days, enough time to packing, she said. But I don’t feel like packing my things up to my suitcase, I’m not ready yet to suddenly moving overseas. I’m always want to go overseas, but Japan is not my choice, because my father never talk about his country and I think that’s because Japan is boring, so I have never want to go to Japan, I want to go to France, US, Korea (because lately I am so into Korean drama, and I want to go to the exact scene of my favorite series), and the last is Indonesia (I know someone there which always talk about how beautiful Indonesia culture is, and I want to know! I’m culture seeker!), so my mind kinda blow up.

My phone rang when I’m in the middle of get hold on myself (I always staying still for minutes to get hold on myself), my mom called. I was wondering if she doesn’t know if I’m home because before I go to my room, she was happily packing her favorite books.

“Yes, mom” I said.

“Hey sweetie, done packing up your things?” she ask with giggling voice

“Mom, if you don’t have things to pack, don’t play around with telephone, the bills mom, the bills, just come up to my room and help me pack my things, I am in the middle of get-hold-of-myself ritual” and I turn the call off. Jeez, seems like my mom got nothing to do, she is not the type of person that will call another person in the same house.

Few minutes later my mom standing beside my open door room, she said she will help me with the packing, and she started to pack my bunch of sweater which I bought twice or three a month in the department store in Boston. “You know sweetie, these sweater will really help you in Japan, you don’t even need to buy new one” my mom said while she — my light blue sweater. “I always can buy new one there mom, I love sweater anyway” I said. And yes, I really love sweater and other knitted clothes. Once I got in Japan, I will search for clothes store which sell sweater. Then out of nowhere my mom give me a card, it is Japanese ID card. “Mom, what is this? Are we changing nationality?” my mom smile, “Your dad changed his nationality when we got married, and it’s our turn, you and me, to change our nationality, and of course your dad do it too, he changed back his nationality” and I think mom became unreasonable, it is not enough explanation. Hey, I love this country. The ID card is in Japanese letter, and I can read it, because even though my dad did not tell me about Japan, I learn the language, in my Japan class, my high school provide Japan class to take. Hey, wait, why there isn’t my name but ‘Hikari Mayayoshi’ name on it? My mom said it is mine. “Mom?” I asked, “Hikari Mayayoshi is your Japanese name Mary, which is used in your Japan ID, it’s not like we change your name as well, we just made you a Japanese name. I also have it, Japanese name; it is Mana Mayayoshi, pretty isn’t it? Hikari for light and Mana for beautiful”

After all of our things packed, my dad call – to send it to Japan, and I told by dad that I just need to bring necessary thing to airport, because the rest of it will be delivered. And now, I’m in the airport and the funny thing is, I tried to thing what will I miss from Boston, which I barely miss anything before. I don’t have many friends, just Gray and Lucy that are my childhood friend. And I already told them, they sad, but I bet it is just for months they are going to miss me.

After few hours in the plane, we arrived in Japan. Dad bought us an apartment room in Tokyo, it is in the six floor, room 6010. Sakurakouji apartment, it is said in front of apartment building with big green letter. I guess the owner is named Sakurajouji or it is a family name. Anyway, the apartment is really nice, it have modern decoration, cozy one, with light green color in its wall and three bedrooms. Green is not my favorite color but I love our new apartment. Japan is not bad. So when we are resting while looking around our new home, someone knock our apartment door, I guess that’s our neighbor, I read about Japanese social life one day before we went to Japan, and it is said that Japanese people tend to greeting their new neighbor with food or drink. I did not go to open the door, my dad did, he is really happy we are in Japan.

“Hello, I heard you just move in today, I’m from room number 6011, right beside you. My name is Kei Satoshi, and this is my brother Ichigo Satoshi” see? I told you, it is neighbor; guess they bring lot of food. My father happily greeted them with my mother in excitement, they told them to get in to our apartment room. I standing and bowing when they are in our living room. One of them is girl with short hair and really nice one piece dress and I think she is in my age, and the other is, wait, no kidding, he is cool and hot, he is muscular but not too muscular, I guess he’s 25 years old and he’s working in a company, he has sharp eyes and I don’t believe it, his jawline is soooooo my type. He has sharp jawline, really manly with his muscular figures, he wear glasses, which is plus point because I love glasses man. I think I really into him because my dad nudging my arm and said that I have to stop looking at them with amusement, and somehow, I feel embarrassed.

It been two months since I live in Japan, and I made few friends already, most of them are Kei’s friends which she introduced me to. By the way, I am right about Kei age, I said that she’s in my age right? And it is exactly right, she’s also 20 years old, the different is, she’s a college student and I’m not. Well, my dad said it’s already too late for me to sign up for college this year, maybe I can go next year, and I am also thinking the same, which is why I am now living like an unemployment.

Talk about Kei, it remind me of her brother, Ichigo, whom I had crush to from the very first moment I saw him. And I really do like him; he is really charming in some way. And I think it is funny, because I never been in love before, not even with my ex-boyfriend, Scott –I dated him because he said he will let me being tutored by me for free, and back then I got D for my math class, and I said yes— I saw Ichigo frequently at Okonomiyaki place in front of our apartment building, and of course I know from Kei that her brother really like okonomiyaki and tend to buy it after work in front of our apartment building, so I decided to went to okonomiyaki place the same time he got off from work. Ichigo and I became close, not close enough for lover, sadly. I just close as her sister’s friend and close enough to going home together every time we done eating okonomiyaki.

But you know, the sad thing is, one day he started to bring a very beautiful girl with beautiful legs and nice long light brown hair. Her name is Ran, and she is nice too, which I hate about her. Ichigo said Ran is his college, but I don’t believe him, they are very close; up to the point I think she is Ichigo’s girlfriend, and I hated that, I really do. By the way, I am in Kei and Ichogo’s apartment room, in Kei room, accompany her staying up late because she has assignment to be done tomorrow. Of course I am not helping her doing her homework, because I did not understand a thing, and I’m still slow for reading Japanese word, despite my good Japanese speaking.

“Hey, you know Ran?” I asked her while she rest awhile. “Ran? My brother friend? Yeah, I know her. What’s about her?” she lay in her bed. I ran my fingers through my hair, my mom always said it is the way I expressed my curiosity. “You like my brother, doesn’t you?” Her question really hit me hard, before I answer, she already said something else “You’re thinking she’s his girlfriend right? You’re so funny, really. So funny I could die laughing” I have nothing to say again, my mind stuck. Try to comprehend her word. If not girlfriend, then what? They are really super close, like super close.

When I woke up in the morning, I find myself in Kei’s room, with her beside me, still sleeping so soundly, up to the point I can’t wake her up. So I tip toed very quietly, open her room door and tried to close it without much noise. “Hey, Hikari, you sleep here? Having pajamas party with my sister?” I feel as if my heart dropped, he’s here; Ichogo is in front of me, topless, just with a towel partially covering his leg. “Yeah, we have great girl chit-chat” honestly, my answer seems stupid. Actually I just accompanied Kei and yeah, a little talking about him and Ran. He smile, I swear, if I was chocolate I would melt instantly, his smile like the sun, very bright and warm, I wish I was his moon. Because I don’t know what to say anymore, I excuse myself, remembering that I am still in my pajama and did not take a bath yet, and added with my note book in my arm. “See you again” he said in lovely voice, and I just smile like an idiot, quickly walking to their apartment door, feeling like I wanna go to my room as soon as possible and write in my note book, which I always bring anywhere, because I intend to forget little things that will be useful. Maybe I was really distracted by his handsomeness, when I passed him, my note book dropped. He takes my note book and hand it to me. Rather than give it to me without read the content, he gave it to me after he read one page of my note book. Oh my God, the page he read is; the page where I wrote about him. Now he looking me like a stranger, and I think, I’m done, I will avoid him as I can for the next days, maybe months, and maybe years.

It has been one months since I avoiding Ichigo at any cost, when I am thinking about it, it feel like I’m going crazy. Why would I write something like that in the first place? Don’t I bought note book because I tend to forget little thing, and I have to write it down. So why I wrote about Ichigo in that note book? I am totally insane.

“Sweetie, could you buy instant ramen and some chips in the convenience store?” My mom asked from the kitchen, I am in the sofa in the living room, it seem we out of ramen in the kitchen. I’m stand up and grab my mom wallet in her room, take few yens. The convenience store is right beside the apartment building so I did not have to wear sweater because it only few steps from the apartment building. It 10 pm and the street is crowded as always. Tokyo never sleep, it seem.

After I bought the ramen and few snacks, I’m heading towards the apartment building, it’s cold, I regret not to bring my sweater because it is only few steps from the apartment building. I fasten my step so I can be home as soon as possible. Just when I am in the lobby, someone walking toward me, it is a man in 20s, he smile at me. Hey, why would he smile at me? Did he know me? Or did I know him? He approaches me and told me that he’s seen me these day in the lobby and he want to know more about me. Geez, he’s creep me out. I said I am now in hurry and apologize at him; he seems annoyed, he keep telling me just to talk with him in the coffee shop. I told him to stop, I am in hurry but he is not listening. I’m scared. Mom, dad, anyone, please help me. I tried to close my eyes. I know it stupid, but I’m scared.

“She’s with me” I know the voice, it is Ichigo’s. I open my eyes and there he is, grabbing left arm of the man whose name I don’t know. His eyes is different, it is seems like anger. Wait? Anger?

“Let her go, she is my girlfriend” Ichigo says. Whaaaat?

Before I protest, he grabbed my arm and took me to the lift with him. I don’t know what to say, he seems very angry. So I just shut my mouth. When we are in front of my apartment door, I thank him and also apologize for what happening. He’s still quite. So I think I should leave him and never appeared before him again. But when I reach my apartment door, he grabbed my arm.

“Let’s date” What?

“I know you’re avoiding me because you think I am not into you, but the thing is, I am into you, and I don’t want you to walking alone at night, even to the nearest place with this building. Let’s date, Hikari”

“I thought, Ran is your girlfriend” Stupid me, saying that.

“She’s not, she is my best friend and moreover, she has a fiancée” Ichigo smiled. So, Kei laughed that night because she already knew about Ran? I am really stupid.

“So, would you be my girlfriend?” He asked once again, I just really happy so I just said yes. And we are hugging.



– Bleach character

– Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer

Word count: 2786 words

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