Tuesday, April 03, 2007,10:36 PM
Traveler ch. 18



18


“Let me go!”

Of course, her request, which was more like an order because of the tone in her voice, wasn’t satisfied, at least, not until they reached the room and Yossi closed the door behind them. Just then, the singer released Aya’s hand, but far from calm down, the younger used her newly found freedom to punch her captor…

…or rather, to try it.

Aya’s fist hit hard the rough door, followed by a crack noise and the younger jumping back in pain, holding her hand and cursing. The last she expected was that Yoshizawa could avoid the punch so easily.

“I just want to talk but, if you insist on using violence, go ahead”

There it was that bold look in Yossi’s eyes again, a look that Aya knew very well. Something that told her that the other girl wasn’t going to let her go easily without getting what she wanted before.

“I know it must be difficult for you to be here with me” began to say Yoshizawa with a kinder tone in her voice “But it seems that I’m going to stay here for a while so I just want to make things work between us or, at least, to be able to get along. I’m asking too much?”

It was a reasonable request but not for someone as stubborn as Aya. She kept the same attitude and gave her back to Yossi, making clear that she wasn’t willing to cooperate.

“Look, I don’t want to take you’re sister’s place. It’s just a talk” tried Yossi again.

“About what?”

Aya’s sudden reaction was totally unexpected. She didn’t bother to turn to look at her and her voice sounded more annoyed than anything else, but the fact that the younger showed some kind of interest it was enough for Yossi to keep trying it.

Now it was time to panic.

From the start, Yoshizawa didn’t expect to be able to actually keep a conversation with Aya, so she didn’t prepare or thought anything to say. The truth is that not even in her own world she’d knew what to talk with Aya about. They were co-workers and, sometimes, they’d hung out together, but just because Miki was there too. In fact, if it wasn’t because of Fujimoto, Yossi barely talked with Aya. She was the one who knew Matsuura better than anyone; she was the one who Aya trusted the more, they were one soul together and felt incomplete without each other. Too bad that Miki wasn’t there to help…

Wasn’t she?

“You’re not alone” Those were the first word that came to her mind. Finally, Yossi had seen the light in her head. Of course her Miki wasn’t there, but there was another one, a Miki who seemed to feel some kind of attraction towards the younger. Maybe they could work on that. Maybe those two were bound to be together through time and space. Maybe a superior being had put here in that world to help them to find their destiny. Maybe…

Maybe I’ve seen too many movies

“That’s how you feel right?” Yoshizawa spoke again before her mind could process what she wanted to say. Something was true, if Aya still didn’t run away, there was hope. So, Yossi recalled the few things that Ishikawa told her about the younger and tried to build her speech on that. She breathed deeply one last time and got ready to continue “You think you’ve lost everything, that now that the ones you loved are gone you’re all alone in this world” Yossi made a pause and wait for some kind of reaction from the younger. Aya remained silent, still refusing to turn back and look at her “You’re not alone” repeated the older “There’s people here who cares about you…”

“Like who, you?” cut Aya sarcastically.

Well…, it’s a start…

“I’d like to say that I’ll be here to take care of you…” Yossi lowered her head and stared at the floor, feeling a bit guilty “…but we both now that I’m not going to stay. What I’m asking is for you to open a bit that tough heart and let people like Yuko or Miki to approach you…”

Yossi hadn’t finished talking when she heard a loud guffaw.

“Miki?” Aya finally looked at her still laughing “The last thing I need is that uncouth, tiresome and annoying girl in my life”

***

Uncouth?

There was someone leaning against the other side of the door, someone that raised an eyebrow after hearing Aya’s last words.

Ok, it’s true that she’d been a bit aggressive since they met and that her methods to get something from Aya were rough sometimes, well, all the time… But that didn’t mean that she was an animal to be treated like that.

…the hell… Why I should care about what that stubborn little girl thinks about me?

For a moment, Miki wanted to knock down the door and make Aya shut up with her bare hands but she held herself back and began to walk down the corridor.

She’s just another one to forget Miki. Just another one…

***

“You’re really funny, you know?”

“I’m talking seriously, Aya. I know there’s something going on between you and Miki. You just have to let it happen”

“There’s nothing between us” this time, Matsuura’s voice was cold.

Yoshizawa thought for a moment to give up there and leave the girl in the shadows where she wanted to stay, but her own pride and the image of a very pissed of Nakazawa made Yossi change her mind. She could try it one more time.

“I don’t know how this Miki is or how you are, but I have this feeling telling me that nothing here is coincidence, that things happen for a reason, that if fate put Miki in your way is because it has to be like this…”

“It was fate that my sister died, too? Aya began to seem really pissed of. Maybe Yossi hadn’t chosen the right way, but it was too late to go back.

“Maybe” answered the older, trying to stand Matsuura’s angry look “Maybe that’s why I’m here…”

“You’re talking nonsense”

“Yeah, probably”

“You’re so like her…”

What was that? She was finally cooperating?

“Like whom?” asked Yossi confused.

“She was always saying that fate brought me to her life to be able to have a family again…” Aya’s word didn’t sound angry anymore. The tough woman was now more like a little child filled with sorrow. Then Yossi understood.

“And it wasn’t like that? You became her sister”

“A real sister wouldn’t ran away while she was dying”

That’s it. That was the real reason because Aya was so bitter. She didn’t hate Ishikawa or anyone else. She hated herself. She felt guilty because she left her…

“She wanted you to live” now everything was clear. Yossi’s voice cracked a bit when she understood how the younger was feeling.

“A coward doesn’t deserve to live”

“To stay alive isn’t coward. To hide yourself from the others to not get hurt it is. Do you really want to be alone?”

Aya asked herself if that was what she’d been doing all this time, to keep the others as far as she could. Maybe it was. Not even Maki, no matter how much she tried, managed to be near enough, she was being pushed away again and again… Then, why she was still at her side? Why people keep caring about her if she didn’t deserve it?

“You don’t”

Yossi answered her own question while Matsuura was still in silence, her eyes half-closed and stuck on the floor, trying to hold back the tears. That was too much. That was too cruel. Since she found Yossi three days ago, Aya’d decided to see that woman like someone totally strange, unrelated to her, even if her heart was crying to run and hold her. She wasn’t her sister. She couldn’t be. But, even so, it was her. The way she fought, the way she speak, the worry in her voice. Aya wasn’t sure about what to do anymore.

“Think about it. I’ll be near if you need me”

Yossi left and a dead silence filled the room.

She stayed still. The tears threatened to overflow her eyes. Her fists closed with fury, her nails sticking in her hand, trying to erase the pain in her heart with it. It didn’t work.

And then, Aya did what she’d never allowed herself to do before.

She cried.

To be continued...

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posted by Lorena Enciso
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