I’m One of the muses, A common wood nymph roaming around Parnassus, Happy with my little sweet pea. With her delicate, fragrant flowers Carried on long, slim stalks, She captivated me. I ran to her flaming with desire. I am flaming. Burning Blazing with desire. Too hot for my sweet pea. Because she’s so delicate, So delicate for me. As I touch her, she transformed into ashes. I burnt her. And out of a haze, you were formed. Like smoke given out by fire. A fireweed that sprang up in the burnt over area. A replacement, I thought. You quenched my thirst. Suffuse my hunger. My desire. I came to you for a crown And you gave me a kingdom. You made me eat on a golden plate And drink from your cup of diamonds. But like a common pitcher plant, Cut your base open And there you’ll find my body’s remains trapped inside. A pitfall in the middle of the forest. I will name you Venus? The goddess with a seducing brilliant red trap. Open to all beings that needs nurturing. Show your bosom and all will crave for your milk. From a butterfly, you turned me to an ant. When I brushed only slightly against your skin, You closed within an instant. Rigid spines on the margins of you blades interlock tightly. As soon as I was trapped, You digested me. Used me as a nutrient material. I know this is about to last for only a week. By the time your leaf reopens, You’ll be reedy for other sufferers. Trapped inside, I accepted my fate. Then there she came one spring day. My little delicate sweet pea. Now a spring beauty in full bloom. A low perennial herb. With narrow, succulent leaves And loose cluster of white and pink flowers. But your leaf has closed. I cannot escape.

Chapter 18  


“Rika! Don’t you have futsal practice today?” Mrs. Ishikawa was waking up Rika. It was already 9 in the morning but she’s still in her bed. Rika answered her but she was still facing her pillow.

“Rika! Don’t you have futsal practice today?” Mrs. Ishikawa was waking up Rika. It was already 9 in the morning but she’s still in her bed. Rika answered her but she was still facing her pillow.

“We don’t have practice today…”

“You will not visit Maki?”

“No… She had many things to do… I don’t want to disturb her”

“Hey.. Your voice seemed weird today… Are you alright? Do you have tonsillitis?”

“I’m ok… I’m just tired… I want to rest for the rest of the day.”

Mrs. Ishikawa knew that there was something wrong with her daughter. She knew Rika didn’t like her to worry. She didn’t push the topic further.

“If you’re hungry, just get your food in the ref… Your father and I will go to your aunt and we will be back tonight.”

“Hai, Kiotsukete kudasai!” Rika managed to say before her mother closed her door. She knew that her eyes were swollen. She can’t sleep last night because of crying. She was thinking that Maki was probably busy… That she wouldn’t do something like that… But the image of the scene in the canteen keeps popping up in her mind. She trusts Maki… But she knew that she must talk first to Maki to end all her doubts. She had a chance last night when Maki called. But she was crying that time when her mother called her. She just pretended that she’s already sleeping. She could hear her mother telling Maki that she was already asleep. She missed her chance… because of her weakness.

She was watching anime to distract her from thinking about Maki. But still it didn’t work out.

“I’m not sick ok! Hey, did you know that I’ve watched Captain Tsubasa last night. I think I’ll try his style in playing futsal… Hehehe.”

Rika turned off the TV and went to get some juice in the fridge. She felt that she would become crazy any minute now. She’s the only one in their house and there’s no one to talk to. This deafening silence was driving her mad. Suddenly, her phone rang. She didn’t know what to do… What if it’s Maki who’s calling? Would she be able to talk with her? She thought about imitating her mother’s voice… But that wouldn’t work. She gathered her courage and answered the phone.

“He… Hello?”
“I’m glad that you managed to come at such a short notice.”

“It’s ok… Besides, I’m the only one left in our house… My parents went to visit my auntie. It would be night before they’ll return. I don’t have anything to do anyway… So, what do you want to talk about, Reina-chan?”

“He… Hello?”

“Hello, Ishikawa-san?”

“Hai… Dare ni?”

“Ohayou! It’s me Reina… I would like to ask if you’re free today and meet me here at JJ Lin Restaurant?”

“… Yah, I’m ok… Just tell me the time and I’ll go there.”


“Hmmm, are you alright?” Rika wasn’t expecting that question coming from Reina.

“Ehh? I.. I’m alright… You don’t have to worry about me… Are you here to talk about the upcoming futsal competition?” Rika deliberately changed the topic. She went here in hope to forget about what she saw yesterday but it seemed that everyone’s making her remember it.

“No, I’m not worried about futsal…. Did you cry?” Reina crossed her arms over her chest and looked at her seriously. “Maybe that’s why you’re wearing dark sunglasses now… Am I correct?”

“…H… how did you know?” Rika mumbled. Was she too obvious for the other to notice?

“…. It hurts right?”

Rika couldn’t understand Reina... She was looking at her coldly. Why would she do that? She thought that Reina cared for her when she asked if she did cry.

“What are you trying to tell me?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m asking about what you felt when you saw Maki with another girl… It hurts right?”

“W.. why would I feel that? I don’t really care if Maki… was with other girls… In fact, I’m glad that she’s socializing with other people... “ Rika lied. What she said was true if Maki was ‘just’ her friend. Sad to say… they were more that friends that’s why it really hurts a lot.

“Oh… I see... I didn’t know that you can lie … even to me.” Reina sarcastically said and smiled. “So I guess kissing Maki on the lips was just your ‘friendly’ gesture to her.

Rika was shocked to hear that. She hasn’t told anybody about her relationship with Maki. Maybe, they were just so obvious that Reina saw through their cover.

“Wh… what made you think like that? Hahaha...” Rika laughed forcibly.

“You’re still denying what I saw at the back of our school… besides the Sakura tree? Or it just because you suddenly have amnesia right this moment?” Reina hit the spot. “From my point of view… That scene cannot be called friendship.”

“Ok, I give up… What do you want?” Rika suddenly turned serious. She was afraid for this to happen. What if the whole school knew about their relationship? Would they still consider them the valedictorian and the salutatorian of their school? Would they be expelled? These questions were bothering her the night she kissed Maki on the lips.

“I just want to know how painful it is to fall in love with Goto-san.”

“You’re right, it hurts a lot. What you said earlier about me wearing this sunglass is true. I literally cried myself to sleep last night because of that scene in the canteen… Now, are you happy?” Rika tried to keep her cool and kept her voice low though she wanted to shout at Reina. There were many people around them at that time and she didn’t want to make a scene.

Reina was silent but she kept her cold stare at Rika.

“If you that’s the only thing you want to know… I’m going home now.” Rika stood up but Reina said something as soon as she walked towards the door.

“I hope you know the pain I’m feeling when I first found out about your relationship with Maki. What you’re feeling today and what I felt that time is the same.”

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