Springtime is here once again.
I sat on the bench as I watched the people pass me by. The park is filled with different beautiful flowers. The grass is much greener than the last time. The petals from the Sakura tree are being blown by the cook breeze, as if making an illusion of pink snow.
And this is the fifth spring that I’ve been sitting here all alone.
I remember the very first springtime that I was here. I remember that I was minding my own business. I had no care in the world. All I wanted in mind is to pass Philosophy with flying colors. I was not the guy that would take note of all the beautiful things around me. I wasn’t who I am right now, not until I met Hikaru.
8 years ago.
I clutched the book from my hand as I found an empty bench at the park. I let out a sigh as I sat. It was the third week of school, and right now, we’ll be having a major quiz in Philosophy. I was supposed to be at the library to study for the quiz, but the library turned out to be a circus, as it was too noisy inside. The librarian didn’t even tell off those damn students. And so, I found the peace and quiet I need here at the park.
I was reading the third chapter of my Philosophy text book, when I felt someone sat beside me. I glance beside me, and I noticed a girl with long, curly black hair. She was wearing a pink gypsy dress, and her hair was pulled up in pigtails. I chose to ignore her, and continue reviewing for the dress.
I looked at her, and she was smiling at me. I ignored her once again. “Are you new here?” she asked. I didn’t answer her. I continued to review, because Philosophy will determine if I would stay at this university or not, and staying here is much important that greeting her back. “Why so serious?” she hissed like Joker. I glanced up at her again, and saw her pouting. “Excuse me, but I’m studying here.” I said. “Studying should be done in libraries, not at the park. Grandpa always tells me that.” She said.
She had this giddy smile on her face. I looked at her, and observed her closely. I think there’s something wrong with this girl. “Well, your grandpa is wrong. Sometimes, you can’t study inside a library.” I snapped at her. She fidgeted her fingers on her dress as she looked at me. I was getting annoyed by her staring at me, but I decided to ignore her. There’s no use fussing over some childish girl. “Philosophy in Life by Arthur Tien. I like that book.” She commented. I gave her a glare. “I read that once. Grandpa made me read that. I like it.” She said with a silly grin on her face. “Seriously?” I asked her. She nodded her head. “Grandpa said if I read a lot of books, I will be smart. Just like him!” she said proudly. I could tell her grandpa is her hero. I closed my book, and turned my attention to her. “You finished this book?” I asked her. She nodded her head. “Are you also taking up pre-law at the uni?” I asked. She shook her
head. “I don’t study. I’m special.” She said proudly.
I don’t know whether I’ll believe her or not. Something is wrong with this girl, that’s for sure. Then, I decided not to mind her, no matter what. Philosophy quiz will start in a few hours, and I need to absorb everything that I could. There was a blissful silence between us, when she finally broke it by squealing. “Eeeeeee! Look! Look!” she said, pointing at the other side. I turned my book down, and look at the direction she’s pointing to. “What? What? What happened? Where is it?!” I asked. She looked at me, and let out a laugh. She was fooling me. “I saw a cute rose over there!” she said.
I counted one to ten silently, trying my best not to lash it all out at her. Then, she gave me that pout again. “Why so serious?” she asked. “Look, Joker.” I snapped. “I have a big test coming up. Now, if you will just let me study in peace –“
“You won’t have any quiz today.”
I gave her a startled look. “Excuse me?” I asked. “No quiz today!” she said. She stood up, hopped happily away from me. Finally, some peace for me.
I entered the room, and found Osamu-san by the door. “No quiz today.” He informed me. I gave him a puzzled look. “Professor Rihito is absent today. “ he said. I let out a sigh of relief. I wasn’t able to memorize all the things I need to memorize today because of that girl, and good thing Professor Rihito is not around. “Where is Professor Rihito?” I asked. “He had to take a leave because his granddaughter is coming today from Osaka, and he have to look after her.” Osamu said.
“Did somebody said Prof’s granddaughter?” Da Dong, another classmate of ours, asked, joining us. I let out another sigh. Da Dong is the uni’s biggest playboy, and if the topic is about girls, he gets interested easily. “Don’t be fooled, Da Dong. I heard his granddaughter is a little cuckoo… if you know what I mean.” Osamu said. Then, he turned to me. “So, Ya Lun…” he said. “Want to go and eat out with us? There’s this new Izakaya outside the school. “ I smiled at him, and shook his head. “I think I’ll use this opportunity to study more. I don’t want to fail.” I answered. I could see Da Dong’s eyes roll. “As expected of the scholar, Yan Ya Lun.” He said. The two of them laughed at me. I just gave them dagger looks. “Well, if you want to join us, the Izakaya is just across the uni. You can’t miss it.” Osamu-san said. I said goodbye to the two, and headed back to my dorm.
I stretched out my hands as I prepared to study. As I was opening the book, I noticed some shadow by the window. I stood up, and looked outside, but I couldn’t find anything related to that shadow. I sat back, and began to read, when I heard someone whistling. I let out a groan. So much for my peace and quiet once again. “Hey! Hey! Hey!” I heard someone say. I stood up, and opened the window to look if anyone’s outside. “Anybody out there?” I asked. “Over here!” I heard someone say. I looked around, but no one is in sight. “Where?” I asked. “Down here.”
I looked down, and saw her again. She had that childish grin on her face once again. “Hello!” she waved at me. “Miss, I have no plans of playing hide and seek with you…” I said. I was about to close the window, but she stopped me. “Wait!” she said. I opened the window once again. She pouted as she fidget on her dress again. “Can… can you help me?” she asked. She bit her lips after she speaks. “I… I’m lost… I… I couldn’t find my grandpa.” She said. “You’re lost?” She looked up at me, and nodded her head. She was on the verge of crying, I could tell that. “I was walking at the park… and… and… I… and… there… I… I walked… I… was trying to follow… that… and… and… I got here… and… and…”
I don’t know why. Although how she explains herself is child-like and I can’t understand a thing she was saying, but I find it amusing. I found myself smiling at her. “And… and I saw you… and I said that’s the nice boy in glasses, even though he was scowling at me a while ago… and… and…, so I followed you here… so… here I am.” She said. She lowered her head as she pouted. Anytime now, I’m scared she would wail like a baby.
“So, let me get this. You were following something, you got here, you lost your way, then you saw me and followed me, and hoped that I can help you?” I asked. She slowly nodded her head. “Do you remember where you grandpa lives?” I asked her. She shook her head. “All I know is that he lives in this small house filled with a lot of books. And there’s a colorful glass. And there’s a daisy outside.” She said. I feel sorry for this girl. She must be really new around the place, that’s why she got lost. Although I know I need to study for another exam, I couldn’t let this girl go walking alone around the uni. What is someone made fun of her, or what if someone harms her?
“All right,” I said. She looked up at me. I see her face brighten up as I smiled. “Let me get my jacket. I’ll help you find your grandpa.”
We walked around the block for a while, trying to find her house. I guess we were walking for almost an hour. “I’m tired…” she complained. I just kept my silence. She looked up at me, and smiled. “Piggyback me, please?” she said. “No.” I said firmly. She gave me another pout. “Please?” she said. I let out a sigh and then carried her on my back. I need to find her house soon.
“So, aside from a colorful glass and daisies, what else do you remember about your house?” I asked. She paused for a while to think. “Daisies!” she exclaimed. “And?”
“There are roses too.”
I looked around the area, and saw that all the houses around the area are identical. All of them have mailboxes and white fences. “You’re not helping me, miss. What’s the name of your grandpa, and do you know his number? Maybe we can call him to pick you up?” I suggested. “No number.” She said. This is getting harder than I thought. I wish she could help me find her grandpa really soon.
“Ah! There he is!” She said. I looked at the house she’s pointing too, and I saw a familiar old man by the porch. I saw his face lightened up upon seeing her. He immediately ran up to us, and she got off my back to give his grandpa a hug. “Hikaru! You worried me! Are you all right?” he asked. She smiled at him, and nodded her head. “The nice boy in glasses helped me, grandpa. He’s really really nice!” she said. The old man looked at me, and gave me a warm smile. “Thank you, Yan Ya Lun. Thank you for taking care of my granddaughter, and for taking her back here.” He told me. I smiled at him, and nodded my head. “You’re welcome, Professor Rihito.” I replied.Read Next Chapter
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