Allen leaned back against the tiles on the roof. They were cold. She wondered if she stayed there long enough would the cold eventually seep into her veins and heart? She’d do anything to get rid of this aching feeling inside her chest. Annoyed, Allen uncomfortably rubbed her hand over her heart. “I don’t have time for this!” She shouted in frustration.
Isn’t what you’ve already done enough?
Hanka’s words flashed in Allen’s mind. She clutched her hands tightly against her, but it was of no use. Under he hands the burning sensation escalated and her heart beat against her in an effort to escape. To escape this horrid pain. Panicking, Allen’s breath caught, making it hard to breathe. Trying to calm herself Allen counted back from ten and the other way around until her breathing pattern had calmed down again. And the pain......well it had eased some too. Oh god.... I really DON'T need this.
Do you even know how worried we’ve all been for you?
She recalled Hanaka’s words again. . I’m sorry One-san..... But what am I supposed to do? It wasn’t.... I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. With a menelonchy smile, Allen looked up into the clear night sky. Dad...I..I wish you were here. You’d understand. Right? Allen rubbed her eyes together. It was getting cold. She should go back inside.....
“Moshi Moshi?” Allen muttered into her phone reluctantly.
“Yo. How’s it going?” (Here they’re actually talking in English)
Allen smiled, her mood lifting up by a mile. “Hey. It’s good. Sorry, I’m still in Japan so I reverted to answering my phone in japanese.”
A soft chuckle came thru the speakers. “Not a problem. How’d your sisters wedding go?”
“Ah, don’t ask,” Allen’s face screwed up horribly. “My freaking travel agent got the date wrong and ordered a ticket for a month later. I ended up traveling in Coach on three different flights. Stopped in Baghdad, Moscow, and Dublin. And then back from Dublin!”
“Whoaho,” a whistle was blown in appreciation of the horror. “We’ll at least now you know how the rest of us poor people feel like.”
Allen snickered, “Right,...I’m pretty sure no one has ever been thru that or will again! Anyway, since when are you poor?”
“It might not seem like it,” the voice interjected. “but, I’m just modest. That’s why you don’t know.”
That doesn’t even make sense! “Ethane...”
“So, did you get there on time.”
“I wish,” Allen puffed out a huge ball of air ruefully. “No. The whole thing took 4 days. I landed an hour before the wedding. It took twice the time that I had to reach the farmhouse where the reception was taking place.” (2 hours. Not sure that was clear)
Allen sighed. “Yea, well you can’t do anything about it. How about you? Are you still in Argentina?”
“Yea. We met a couple of sponsors at the festival. They want to hire me but they want me to join a summer camp here before they decide.”
There was silence on the other side of the phone.
“Yea,” Ethane finally said. “It’s great.”
“Yea,” Ethane finally said. “It’s great.”
Allen raised her eyebrows, “Right, so why does it seem like that’s not how you're feeling. What’s wrong?” Silence. “Is it Casey?”
“No. No, that’s not it.” Pause.
“Then what?” Allen asked exasperatedly. “I know you're not the type to hesitate. You gave me an advice once, and now I’m returning it. For both of our sakes, stop thinking! We both know you're going to accept that offer and your going to be damn happy about it. ”
Ethane chuckled, “So sure, are you? What’s with that conviction all of a sudden?”
“It was sudden for me too,” Allen accepted. “A sudden epiphany about life. And it said to tell you to stop muddling about unnecessary.”
“Thanks. That helped.”
“So, what was it, really?” Allen asked curiously.
“Yea, I’m alright,” came the weak reply. “How about you? When are you getting back home? I really need someone to go clean up the stadium.”
“I’m an errand girl now?” Allen asked curtly.
“Come on? Please?” Ethan begged. “The whole lot of us are here and no one’s returning any time soon.”
Allen sighed. “Fine, but you owe me one for this.”
“Thanks Allen. I won’t forget.”
“You better not,” She muttered under her breath. “So, where's the rest of the guys? How’re they doing?”
“Oh, yea, here’s Johnny. He want to talk to you.”
I’m hungry. Allen rubbed her belly as she leaned half out of her window. She loved the view from there. Yawning she pulled the blanket tighter around her body. She’d stayed up on the roof far too long. She’d lost herself catching up with her friends and had almost frozen solid as a consequence. Something she definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed. The she’d almost slipped while swinging back inside threw her window. Her belly grumbled, reminding her of her current dilemma. “Hmm, let’s get something to eat.” Pulling the blanket around her like a indian sari she headed for the door.
With her blanket trailing behind her, and her phone held up for light, she descended the stairs. It was past four and it wasn’t likely that anyone would be lingering around here. Unless of course they’d stayed up late talking to people half-way across the globe. Or posting on the computer. Or watching Anime. Or-
Allen paused her train of thought and decided there was too many things that could happen. She really didn’t want to run into Hanka One-san. She knew she’d have to apologize,.... and tell her about her decision. She really wasn’t looking forward to that. She looked back at the stairs and pondered her options. She’d come too far to go back now. Beside her stomach might decide to eat itself if she left it like the way it was. The decision made, she headed towards the kitchen.
Ok, let’s inspect the treasury. Onigiri, some pudding. Nope. Fish? Nope. Curry. ooh! Grabbing the box, Allen peeled off the container. Yuck! Grossed out by the stench coming from the box she put it aside. One for the garbage.
When was the last time Hanak-One went out for groceries?
“How come you're up so late?” A gruff voiced asked making Allen jump in the air.
“One! Why don’t you just put a price on my head and get it over with!” (She’s referring to a bounty offered for someone’s death)
Hanaka raised her hands up warily in surrender. “Sorry, didn't mean to scare you.”
“I don’t believe you,” Allen stated. “Besides when was the last time you went grocery shopping.”
Hanaka gave the question some thought. “I don’t know. Probably a week before we left for the farm house...”
“Three weeks!” Allen exclaimed. Poor Orihime and Isamu. I wonder how they’ll survive....
“Hai, hai,” Hanak pulled her aside and leaned in to check the contents of the refrigerator herself. “Seeing you so perky at this time of the night makes me want to puke.”
“You're not going to find anything edible in there,” Allen informed her as she leaned back lazily against the wall. “So what are you doing up so late?”
Hanaka yawned as she grabbed the only bottle of milk and dragged it to the stove. “I’m working on a project. It’s taking a bit more time than I thought it would.”
“Something big?” Allen asked. Closing the refrigerator door, she barely restrained herself from shaking her head, she hated when things were left half done.
“Are you making coffee?”
Hanak nodded, “You want some?”
“Yes, please.” Allen replied while pulling herself on top of the counter. “With milk and everything.”
“Sure. Are you still having trouble with jet lag? Is that why you're up so late?”
“I was catching up with a few friends.” She tucked her feet under her and watched Hanka work.
I’m even surprised that you showed for the wedding. Should we thank you for gracing us with your divine presence yesterday?
Should I bring it up....
Hanka smiled, “Looks like you've settled well in the States?”
Allen nodded. “Hmm, not at first. I've met a lot of good people.”
“No! No one like that!” Allen giggled as Hanak wiggled her eyebrows at her.
“That’s nice. I’m happy for you.” A pensive air settled in the large kitchen.
Allen twirled her hand towards Hanak. “You first.”
Hanka took a deep breath and smiled warmly at Allen. “I wanted to apologize for what I said the other day. I didn't mean it.”
“I think you did, One-san,” Allen said sadly. She clenched her finger around her other wrist. It seemed like her heart was caught in her throat. Quite literally. “You don’t need to apologize....I know.” She paused, fighting for the right words to express herself. “I know,..I know I haven't been exactly behaving the best. But I promise...I wasn't trying to hurt anyone.” Besides my self.
Hanka left the stove and grabbed Allen’s hands from her lap. “It’s ok,” She said looking up at Allen’s face. “I really didn't mean any of those things. We’ll not all of it. I was just worried and scared for you. I understand that you think that you can take care of yourself...but this life is more complicated than it looks.”
You have no idea, One-chan. Squeezing Hanaka warm hands, Allen smiled. “I know, One-san. Don’t worry, I’m not getting myself into drugs, or anything like that.”
“You had better not,” Hanak warned as she pulled Allen into a scrumptious hug. “I love you sweetheart. I just can’t help worrying for my baby.”
“I love you too,” Allen muttered snuggling into the hug. Wouldn't it be nice if I could stay in a warm hug like this all my life....
“But...I am thinking about getting a tattoo...” Allen said mischievously. (Referring to Katane’s Wedding)
“No problem,” Hanak waved as she left the kitchen.
Climbing the stairs Allen realized that her heart wasn't aching anymore. Weird...maybe it’ll stay that way. Not likely.
“Hey. Just wanted to tell you that you’d better make other arrangements for your stadium.” She listened to the reply. “Um, yea. I decided to stay in Japan a little longer. Everyone else are away on vacation as well...Yea, talk to you later. Take care.”