Why Do You Get All the Love in the World?
Chapter Three: I Wanna Be Happy, I Don't Wanna Be Sad
11252007 – 0149P
Any time you see these kanji symbols in my story: の場所, when a character is looking at a sign or something, it means station. For example: Shibuya の場所 Shibuya Station.
So yeah. Just so you know, if it happens, which I think it does, in Yokohama.
Music: "Take It With A Kiss" by The Pistolas.
I had been in twelve shops in the tourist district so far, and no one needed help. I guess because it was no longer tourist season. I sighed heavily. I didn't know what to do. I had to get a job. Or else I couldn't keep my apartment or pay tuition or… anything. I'd be as good as dead.
"Calm down," Andrews voice commanded. I took a deep breath before looking at him. "You'll find something, but not if you look all uptight. Look over there." I followed his finger and saw where he was pointing. It was a small store, with kimonos in the display window along with fans and parasols. The sign above the door read Kikyo's Kimonos.
Cute, I thought with a snort. But as we drew closer I saw a few more things: first that the store was packed to bursting with people pushing and shoving to make their way around the shop. Second was that the kimonos on display had to be the most beautiful, ornate creations I had ever seen. The expensive silk fabric was intricately embroidered with patterns of flowers, butterflies, and swans, and the obis were tied perfectly about the mannequin's waist.
We pushed our way inside and I saw a saleslady bustling around ahead of me, wearing one of the shop's kimonos.
"Excuse me," I started, miraculously managing to make my way to her. "Are you hiring at this time?"
"If you can't work right now, there no place for you here," she said briskly, bustling further toward the back of the shop.
"Come pick me up later," I told Andrew, immediately making my decision. I hurried after the other woman. She was waiting in the back, an ornate pink kimono and yellow obi laid out.
"Arms out," she instructed, and began to put the kimono on me. I was in awe. This was a uniform? I just got to wear this?
"I make this," the woman finally spoke. I gaped at her for a moment before realizing how rude it looked.
"Really?" I asked, examining the long sleeves. The woman nodded, tightening the string at my waist.
"Yes," she said. "My name is Kikyo Matsuto. I am owner of this shop."
"Thank you for giving me work," I said, bowing the way I had seen people do before. She returned the gesture, tightening my obi.
"Well then… You do it," she said, leaving through the door to the main shop. After taking one look in the mirror, I followed her.
For a while I just shadowed her. She didn't say anything, but instead exaggerated everything that she did, or else spoke about it out loud to help me learn.
"Now, when customer buys kimono," she explained as she took me to the stockroom, "you come back here, you find another same size, and you bring it out to front, replace old one. Understand?" I nodded. "Good."
That was generally how the first few hours went, and then Kikyo let me help some of the American customers myself. I managed to sell five kimonos by the end of the day (the shop closed at five), and Kikyo smiled warmly at me.
"You do good, Lacey," she said after I changed back into my regular clothes and hung up my kimono. "You will come back, or just today?"
"I'll be back. Tomorrow?"
"Yes, yes, tomorrow. Early morning, you here. Seven o'clock." The next day was Saturday, which meant no classes, so I nodded. "Very good."
"Arigato, Matsuto-san," I said, bowing again. She bowed back and I left the store. Andrew was waiting for me outside.
"How was it?" he asked. I beamed.
"It was great. I really like it there. I'm working again tomorrow."
"Nice, nice. Do you know how to get here again?" I stared at him, horrorstruck. No! I didn't! "Haha, calm down. I'll get you here, no problem."
"Thanks," I said, breathing a sigh of relief.
"You're so cute sometimes. You should've seen your face," he said, still laughing.
"I hardly think it was cute."
"Oh, but it was." He ruffled my hair again. I instinctually reached up to fix it, but he caught my arm. "Hey," he said in a good-natured warning. I smiled sheepishly, dropping my hand. He laughed. "Let's get home, okay?"
I nodded and we walked together towards the setting sun of the Tokyo skyline.
"Let's go to Yokohama," Andrew suggested, looking at the train map.
"What's in Yokohama?" I asked, twisting around in my seat to look at him.
"I have no idea. Wanna find out?" I nodded. "Okay then. To Yokohama." I looked out the window of the train as it started to move and the Tokyo の場所 sign disappeared around the corner. I was really glad I had a seat. I had been on my feet for about eight hours selling kimonos to rude tourists. No wonder the rest of the world hates Americans.
I sighed out loud and Andrew looked at me concernedly. I smiled sheepishly. "Just tired," I assured him. He nodded.
It wasn't long before we reached the Yokohama の場所 stop.
"Look," I said when we exited the platform. "It's a seaport."
"I haven't seen the sea since last school year. In New York," Andrew said. I scoffed.
"I've never seen the sea," I admitted. Andrew did a sort of double-take.
"Well then… Let's go."
It was too cold for swimming. That made me a little sad. But Andrew and I walked along the beach, eating ice something that I still to this day don't recall what it was called, and talking.
"I want to be a sculptor. I want to create something so… impressive, that everyone , young and old, will stop and stare, and talk, and wonder. I want to make that impression on the world," he said. I nodded. He could put into words so much that I couldn't. Sculpture aside, I was already impressed by him. "What about you?"
"I don't really know," I lied. I knew, of course, but he would laugh at me.
"Come on, tell me," he pleaded. I sighed. Here goes nothing.
"I want to become a painter. I want to be so great that – centuries from now – people look back at me the way we look back at DaVinci or Michelangelo. I want to paint portraits, church ceilings, anything… But the era of painters like that is over, isn't it?" I looked at him imploringly. I wanted him to tell me otherwise, to give me hope as he does every day.
"Yeah, I guess it is," he agreed. My face fell. "But it only takes on more artist to get the ball rolling again."
I pursed my lips in thought. He was right. I just had to be the leader in the movement. I had to create another Renaissance.
I almost laughed out loud. I had never thought myself a leader before.
"What's so funny," Andrew asked. I smiled wider.
"You bring out the best in me, don't you?" I asked. He smiled.
"I try." And then he leaned in, bringing his face close to mine. My eyes fluttered for a moment, but stayed open. "But then," he added, "it's not really hard."
When his lips touched mine, it was like static shot through my body. Not quite the electric shock that people always describe, but a small tingling sensation spreading through me and shocking my nerves ever-so-slightly. He pulled away and I inhaled quickly. He was smiling at me.
"There are so many good things about you, that it would be hard not to see the best. Actually, it's hard to select the best trait. It could be your mind," he kissed my temple, "or your eyes," he kissed said eyes, "or your speech…" my mouth. "Or," he said thoughtfully, "it could just be all of you altogether." He didn't kiss me for this thought, and I was both a little disappointed and relieved at the same time. "You're just so… perfect."
"No," I said with a laugh. "I'm not. I get lost easily. I can't speak Japanese. I'm a picky eater. I get bad grades. I want to rock the world, but I don't know how…"
"I have all those faults too," he interrupted. "Minus the directional difficulties." He grinned. "But I don't think myself imperfect."
"That's because you're not."
"Neither are you."
AN: Whoo, another chappy. I'm excited. Are you excited? Yesh.
Anyway, sorry it took so long to update this. I've had a lot going on. As you can see by the date, I started this on November 25. It's now December 3. Yikes. I can't believe it's taken so long.
Also… about Yokohama… it's a major seaport, so I'm pretty sure it has a beach, at least in the tourist district. But… if I'm wrong, please feel free to point it out.
And am I making Andrew and Lacey's relationship move too fast?
So… review replies anyone? I still only have one reviewer. Please join her. :)
VintageMiracle: Thank you so much for reviewing again. I don't know what it is with this story, but it's not getting much attention. So I'm glad to know you like it so much. :)
Reviews? Please? If you like this story, I'd love to know.