Chapter Three When Midnight woke up that morning, she had once again pondered what happened last night, what her feeling was that night. She has a crush on Shi. Midnight smiled. Never in life did she ever think she would have a crush on an Asian guy. But Shi is unique from those traditional Japanese guys portrayed in those movies she had watched. He doesn’t belong to the category of those Japanese warriors who are always serious, expressionless and has a perfect posture. Nor does he belong to those bumbling and comedic bespectacled Japanese tourists. Shigure Mirai is like the personification of the Japanese anime heroes she watches on Cartoon Network. Along with an ordinary boy-next-door looks and manner, he has this unfathomable personality. No one would ever think he was a descendant of a samurai lord or that could he even use a sword. Even his manner and attitude, you could not picture him as an heir, a rich boy. Yes, he sure look well educated but not as an heir. Midnight got up the floor mat she slept at last night. Looking at it, she was getting used to it. Beds are not a fashion in the countryside’s. She opened the windows of her room. Her eyes widened. The view! Looking at where she was, Midnight guessed probably on the fifth floor of the higashi-jo. Since the building was built on top of the hill she has a very good view of the town of Fukuda. Postcard scenery. The view looks like those you see in postcards. Enchanting, the scene gives you a feeling you are sent back to the past, the ancient past. She just hoped Shi gives her a time to see the whole town, to buy some souvenirs and take pictures around. She slumped, feeling down, this is her last day. The last day she would ever see the man again. Shrugging, never mind, she could still come back to visit again. Making sure that when that time comes she had already learned Nihonggo. But what if by that time Shi had already married? That would be unfortunate? Regretful. She had to do something memorable, which would remind him of her, to never forget her. There are memorable moments,alright. Midnight reddened, all of them were so shameful. Dazing off like an idiot. Walking right through a wall. Goodness! She should create memories, romantic ones, a beautiful memory. gods! How can I make someone fall for me in a day? All those men she had a crush on had never seem to notice her existence. She could go for months walking in front of them, making sure they see here. Hello! I’m here! You know me? Still, nothing. Of course, who would notice a wallflower when there are real ones planted in front of her? And besides as far as she remembers, Midnight would continually act like a fool in front of any man likes. She suddenly remembered what Shi said to him last night. Shi called her pretty. Must be because she is in Japan. She would be unique there. Blue eyes a blonde to booth. In Denver that might be considered ordinary but she was distinctive. She smiled. She might have a very slim chance here if she behaves for twelve hours, starting this minute. Midnight stared at the mirror in her room. She had to be in her best looks, alright, bathroom here I am.
Breakfast was served. It was a traditional Japanese breakfast. Miso soup, gohan wrapped with a nori, pickles and green tea. Midnight might find that strange, Shi thought as he looked at the food in the table. She was used to cereals and pancakes for a fast. He didn’t bother to tell Ojisan last night since the American foods are still in the next town. Anyway he would just treat Midnight with American cuisine once they reach Tokyo. Light footsteps caught his attention, turning around his eyes landed on Midnight. She was wearing a yukata, the kind that’s used inside the house. Ojisan must have lent it to her, that when he realized she did lose her clothes. He should have lent some of his mother’s clothes to her. “Sorry I’m late. It’s embarrassing that Ojisan had to come to my room. ” “It’s fine, I just arrived too. Sit down.” He observed her sitting on the tatami on the floor. She didn’t comment anything about how low the table was. Shigure smiled deep inside. So she knows how to adapt on different cultures. “Itadakimasu.” He said, picking up his chopsticks. “What’s does that mean?” “It’s our way of thanking the person who prepared the food and the same time grateful that there’s a food on the table.” “I see, I’ll keep that in kind.” She picked up her chopsticks clumsily. Shigure grinned as Midnight tried to find her ways with the chopstick. She is trying to accommodate their culture. Every once in a while te gohan drops silently in her bowl. “This is a lot of food isn’t it? Yesterday I just had a soup and rice.” “I have to apologize. I’m quite aware you are not used to this kind of food” “Huh! Why are you suddenly so polite? You’re not reprimanding me for lacking table manners.” Shigure laughed. “It’s the atmosphere. Every time I come here I get influenced by the people. They are so polite. My inbred city attitude and western influence get buried deep inside of me.” “Ahm, Shi can I ask you a favor?” “You know, you have already asked a lot right?” He reminded her. “This is a small one, a tiny bit I promise. I really do agree with you sending me immediately back to Denver. But since I’m already here, can I look around? This is just a small town it would probably take two hours, more or less. Please, it a waste to let send me back without a picture or a souvenir.” She is persistent. Shigure breathed, alright, at least he could do that. “Okay. I’ll go with, who knows what disaster you encounter again without me. Just take note that you will have to walk. Cabs are not a commodity here. ”
“Thank you!” a romantic scene suddenly pooped in her head. Shi and her walking on the fields, their hands clasped together. Suddenly she slipped then like a knight he held her tightly…..supporting her….looking at her with those deep eyes. His face slowly coming close….. Hot… Wait…. What?…. why is his hand too hot? It’s searing! Pulling her hands, reality came back as she realized her hands were soaked in the hot soup. “Ouch! Ouch!” She her hands held up high, as she blew off the pain. Shigure laughed at her so loudly. Midnight was depressed. Once again she became a comic relief, her romantic scenes slowly fading away into nothingness Great Just great.
Their plan was interrupted when a flashy car suddenly appeared in the quite town of Fukuda. The car was parked in the courtyard and it did not escape Midnight’s notice hoe Shigure’s expression changing as the car settled in. He took a serious and difficult countenance. “Guests?” “My parents.” “Oh….” Uneasiness spread into her. What of his parents doesn’t like her? A bad impression on her. “Ah.. Shi can you go ahead, I’ll stay behind. I might say something I would really regret, you know me. Accident prone and I don’t think your mother would like to see me in her clothes.” They were beside the higashi-jo, so the new arrival could not see them. “My mother won’t mind. Those clothes don’t fit in her that’s why those are stocked here. And I would be an insult if you don’t greet the lady and lord of the castle isn’t? I pretty sure they already know about you, Ojisan had told them already. In fact that old man must have tipped off my parents that’s they are here. Old man……” Shigure exhaled. “Are you hiding from your parents?” “Let’s just say that, according to my father Fantastic TV is a cheap TV show unbefitting for a Mirai. He even threatened to disown me. Their impression about would not matter. I’m already in trouble. ” “An exact opposite of my parents, mine were ecstatic when they learned Dawn was going to join. ” “Our worlds are really different, Midnight. C’mon let’s see my parents.” He held her arms gently. Midnight glanced at him. Touching moment. She shivered at his touch. He didn’t even notice her, his thoughts completely focused on his parents. Stop being dramatic, behave! She reminded herself. They used the back door returning back in the palace. They went directly to the reception, his parents already waiting. The room looks like a throne room with two large sofas placed at the end of the room. His parents were also seating there. They really look like rulers except for the fact that they were wearing business suit. No crowns, gold laced clothes. Shi paid his respect. Shi bowed down, Midnight followed him. “Ogenki desu ka Otoosan, Okasan?” From there on she could not follow their conversations. Seeing Shigure looking at the floor for the whole conversation, she knew he saw getting disciplined. After sometime his father glanced at her, Midnight suddenly found something interesting on the wooded floor. He was talking to her. She thought she would also get scolded basing on his expression that’s why she was quite startled when he talked so politely with her. His Japanese accent laced with his English. “I hope you enjoy your stay here, Midnight-san. Forgive us for ignoring you earier but our son needs to exprain a rot of things to us.” “Are you going to disown him?” She blurted out. Those words had escaped out of her mouth before her brain could process it. Mr. Mirai guffawed at her. “I would rike to unfortunatery he is my only son. And I think he was abre to rearn some ressons from that TV show. He might grow up to be a fine and responsiber man after all.” She nodded and smiled in agreement. Midnight wanted to ask what ‘onry’ ‘responsiber’ and all those words she could not understand meant but held her tongue. She had this nagging feeling it would be for her own safety. His parents stayed for lunch. Midnight first impression of them of being a son vanished the moment she got to be with them longer. They are very humble and great to be with. She likes them as much as they had expressed their approval of her. After lunch they said their goodbyes and went on their way back to Kyoto. “Shi are we not going with them?” “They are going to Kyoto, out of our way. Besides they told me to entertain you and show around in your stay here.” “I’m not going back to Denver today?” “I’m paying my debt by being your tour guide for a week.” “Debt? How? Did I do something?” Shigure smiled at her and for a moment her world focused on him. Her heart stopped beating. “Do you know that Tsuyoi Mirai had a German mistress? It was rumored that she had golden stresses and eyes the color of the sky. And because of that my ancestors reputation boosted to the sky. I was an honor for him to have a foreign concubine, who according to folk stories is a very loyal and faithful to him. Because of that if had become a source of pride for any Mirai to have a blonde, blue eyes woman fall for him.” “Several years ago, one of my cousins had a girlfriend like that concubine, blonde and blue eyed and because of that my father’s pride was affected. Especially when he inherited this higashi-jo. As his only son I had never had found a woman such as her. My father is very loyal to my mother and he could not bear to take another woman in her life. My uncle is very competitive and he was gloating with his son’s accomplishment. So to make our side of the family take back our pride I was sent to the States to study at the age of fifteen and hoping that I met a blonde, blue eyed woman I could marry. ” Her jaw dropped. “Did you tell them I was your girlfriend?” “No, I introduced you as my friend. They were the ones thinking we are more than what we let on.” His eyes shine with mischief. “But I did lie saying you were a schoolmate I met at the university.” “If you knew your father’s anger with have ceased the moment you introduce a woman witht= that features, why did you turn down my proposition at the hospital?” Midnight asked. She wanted to ask if he already had a blonde, blue eyed girlfriend he would introduce to his parents. “I don’t have the habit of using people for my advantage. Besides that story about the concubine never occurred to me. What happened today was, I simply turned a bad situation into a good one. I took advanta-” He was thunderstruck. She was startled when he suddenly smacked his forehead. “Kuso!” He vented out. Midnight knew it was some kind of a cussword. “Damn that devil!” his fist clenched tightly. It was clear he was angry. “S-shigure?” He took a deep breathe to relax himself. “I’m sorry Midnight. To think Gareth McGuirre would affect me like this. His twisted way thinking crawled into me.” He shook his head in disbelief. “I can’t believe it. I used his way to handle my situation.” She got puzzled. “Who is Gareth McGuirre?” “A guy you should never ever meet or even know about. That man isn’t just a bad influence, everything he gets in contact to will be poisoned. Anyway, let’s forget about him. I’m really sorry about this and like I said I will be your tour guide. It’s the least I could do.” As much as she was curious who Gareth McGuirre is, her attention perked on what Shi was offering. “It’s fine. So if you really want to be my guide, we better start touring Fukuda.” He bowed gracefully like a servant ready to serve her. “Your wish is my command, Midnight-chan.” A heat washed over when he said her named. Chan is an endearment word. That’s what the guide book said.