"Ladies and gentlemen, we will begin our decent momentarily. Please ensure that all loose luggage is returned to the overhead compartments…" Hisato took a deep breath to relax his nerves as the announcement continued over the speakers. Glancing out the small window, Hisato studied the landscape below.
The tickle of anticipation that he would soon land filled his stomach, a smile spreading onto his face as he leaned back. The familiar feeling of falling accompanied with the tires contacting ground was felt throughout the plane. As the stewardess's voice came over the speaker once again Hisato released a long breath, unaware he had been holding it. He loved travelling but the take-off and landing always upset his sensitive stomach. He sat back and closed his eyes to gather his thoughts as the plane moved towards the terminal. He was finally home.
His muscles felt stiff and tired from the long flight as he stood to gather his carry-on. As usual, he waited until most of the other passengers exited the plane before he stood. Struggling through a sea of other eager travelers desperate to get off the plane didn't seem enjoyable, so he waited it out. By the time he reached the luggage carousal his bag was waiting for him. Content with everything, he headed to the exit, stepping out to the crowd of family and friends awaiting the return of their loved ones.
"HISATO!" He turned quickly as a tiny figure leaped towards him. Frantically trying to brace himself, he dropped his luggage, managing to catch the figure in his arms. "I missed you so much." The female in his arms tightening her embrace.
"I missed you too, Romi." Hisato choked out before prying the girl off. He offered a warm smile, receiving one in return. Though Romi stood nearly half a foot shorter, it was clear the family resemblance between the two. It had been a year since the siblings saw one another and Hisato couldn't help noticing the maturity in his younger sister's appearance. "Did you cut your hair?" He asked, observing her usual long hair was now chin length.
"Do you like it? I thought a change would be nice." She gently touched the dark brown strands, seeming to blush. Hisato nodded in agreement. "Enough of that, tell me about your trip. I want to hear all the juicy details." Romi quipped as her brother gathered his fallen bags.
"Juicy details?" He asked a little bothered. He never really thought of any event being juicy.
"Yeah. How was it?" Romi continued on, managing to flag down a taxi in no time.
"It was good." Hisato replied as Romi climbed into the cab, the driver assisting Hisato with his bags. After giving the driver a destination, Romi turned her attention back to her brother.
"So what happened on your trip? You can't tell me Europe was just 'good'." She gave him a look, expecting to hear something thrilling or exciting having happened and wouldn't accept anything less.
Hisato shrugged, glancing away from her. "Europe is Europe."
She watched him, waiting for him to continue but he seemed to avoid eye contact. "What happened?" She knew there was more to the so far bland story he wasn't sharing.
"We broke up." He looked out the window, keeping his voice low, but audible enough Romi could still hear him. There was a short silence, Hisato realizing Romi wanted more details. "He kept flirting with some guy we met in Germany and, well, we broke up." He looked back at the girl staring at him questionably. "What?"
"That's it? Some flirting and you end it?" She shook her head and looked away while tucking some hair behind her ear.
"I don't really want to get into the full details right now." He huffed, turning to look forward. He felt a surge of frustration that his sister didn't try to understand his feelings.
"Oh, Hisato. You're hopeless" He shot her a look, though it did nothing to affect her. "No guy is perfect. You need to realize that."
"I'm not looking for someone perfect, just someone perfect for me." Hisato half mumbled, sighing in frustration from lack of success in actually finding such a man.
Romi rolled down the window to freshen the air. She closed her eyes, letting the rush of wind comb through her hair before replying. "You're going to get yourself hurt badly one of these days, believing in this romantic fantasy of yours."
"Fantasy?" Hisato turned to her, annoyed by the word that made him sounds delusional. "Just because I believe in true love, doesn't mean I have to settle for whatever egotistical, lazy, jack-ass comes along and acts decent enough for me to stand long enough and commit to him. I'd rather wait for someone I can bear to wake to every morning instead of the low-life idiots you tend to snatch." He shot out his words, grabbing his shoulder immediately after from Romi's forced response. Hisato was close enough to her in size that her punches still hurt.
"Just because I'm not as picky as you, doesn't mean I don't find great guys." Romi folded her arms and directed her gaze forward, sternly watching the road out the front window. "Besides, I have a great guy now." She lifted her chin, gloating over her relationship success.
"Yeah? And exactly how long have you and been dating?" Hisato rubbed his shoulder while trying to keep his attention on the girl next to him.
"We're not exactly dating." Her eyes dropped to her knees. "I haven't…you know..." She glanced at her brother who looked back, listening intently for her to finish. "Confessed." Romi mumbled shyly.
"Wait." Hisato couldn't hold back a smirk. "So you mean to tell me he has no clue you even like him." He couldn't believe she scolded him for his dating background when she couldn't even take the first step and yet somehow knew this guy was the right one for her.
"It's not funny." Romi blushed, threatening to hit her brother again. "He's a really great guy." She lowered her fist, her lips softly turning to a smile as she fell into thought. "He's a friend of mine I met at school. You'll meet him and see."
Hisato gave her a look of uncertainty. "Sure." He turned to watch out the window as the cab sped down the road. He felt a little envious that Romi had met someone apparently so great. A light sigh escaped from him as he wondered about his own love life. Since he was younger all he wanted was to fall in love like in the fairy tales. Find his prince charming who would whisk him off his feet and they would live happily ever after. Unfortunately, having such dreams and being such a romantic at heart, Hisato had heart break after heart break when what he thought might be his one true love turned out to be, well, not what he thought. Hisato would instantly fall head over heels for any guy that was sweet on him, leading him to believe he had finally found the one, but after only a short time their imperfect personalities would show and dampen Hisato's fantasy. All he wanted was to feel love for more than a brief moment, but his one wish just slowly began to seem impossibly attainable.
Hisato snapped out of his thoughts and chatted with Romi the remainder of the ride. It wasn't too long before the cab stopped out front of a house. Climbing out, Hisato stopped to study the small structure. The blue building was well kept, a little porch at the front door. The neighborhood seemed quiet and lush with tall trees out front many homes. "You're really renting an entire house?" He stared in disbelief at the decent place that looked more like a family home than a student residence.
Romi giggled. "I told you that I'm sharing with three friends." She counted out some money as Hisato removed his luggage with the help of the driver. The cab pulled away as the two walked towards the front door. After fumbling with her keys, Romi pushed open the door to a small hallway painted eggshell with varnished wood trim to match the floor boards. He stepped onto the cutesy purple mat inside as he observed the small space. He immediately noticed the nice aroma that seemed to fill the hall. Perhaps some sort of floral scent he figured.
Romi had already removed her shoes, Hisato quickly pulling his off to follow her as he grabbed his suitcase and headed down the hall. "I'll show you where you'll be staying first." Romi took him to a small room at the end of the hallway. The room appeared more like a storage space than any sort of guestroom, with a futon in the couch position, totes piled on top of one another, some old boxes, books and a shelf in the corner with odds and ends on it, including a dated lamp.
"It's…cozy looking." Hisato coughed out, unsure how to describe his temporary residence.
"Sorry, I know it's not much." Romi sighed heavily, seeming not so pleased with the sight herself.
Hisato turned to look at his sister. "No, it's great." He smiled, hoping to hide his uneasiness of the visual discomfort of the room, but knew his sister was still in college and had nothing better to offer. At least it beats paying expensive hotel costs.
"Let me show you the rest of the house." Romi offered. Hisato left his suitcase in the room as he turned to follow his sister through the small house. It was perfect for four girls, small, but a decent size. After being shown the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, living room and every other bit on the main floor, the upstairs being all the bedrooms, other than his 'bedroom', Hisato decided to turn in for the night.
Though it was late afternoon, Romi didn't complain, knowing her brother was suffering jet lag from the long trip back to America. Once he and Romi figured out how to get the futon fully flattened out and some bedding on it, Hisato climbed under the covers and fell asleep as he thought about his trip and the mix of good and bad events that occurred. He wasn't sure whether he was happy to be home or upset he cut his Europe trip short.
Updated chapter 05/05/2015