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 20  


“It’s really hard to hide something to someone…Gomen, Eri, Sayu… Rika. I must keep my promise to Maki.”

“What took you so long?” Rika was waiting at the exit of the Cyclone Loop.

“Gomen, I just had some… ‘contact’ with the sink.” Reina couldn’t look straight into Rika’s eyes. It seemed that her lie was somewhat lame and she really hoped that Rika .didn’t notice that.

“I see. I guess riding that rollercoaster did that to you, nee?” Rika said before laughing hard. Reina was relieved that Rika didn’t notice it.

“It’s really hard to hide something to someone…Gomen, Eri, Sayu… Rika. I must keep my promise to Maki.”

The whole school was busy preparing for the event next week. They were the host school for this year in the Interschool Futsal Competition which was usually done every first week of December that’s why the principal wanted their school to look at their best. The members of the varsity team were also busy preparing for the said event. The principal granted them a privilege not to attend their regular class for Thursday so as to focus on their game on Monday next week. There were no regular classes on Friday for the both the elementary and high school students. Some were busy for the beautification of the school; others were preparing for their presentation and cheering choreography.

“Look! The sempais are practicing really hard!” Sayu pointed at the track and field. The high school futsal varsity team was running around the track for their warm-up.

“I can see my idol, Yaguchi-sempai! She’s really good even though she’s small.” Eri exclaimed.

“Yeah, small but terrible as they say.” Reina said before drinking water from a cup. They have just finished their running exercise and were resting a little in the bench. Across them, they saw Rika and Ayumi talking seriously. And on their left, they saw that Maki was talking with Nono, Hitomi and Miki.

“I guess that Shibata-san and Rika-chan are discussing our tactics for Monday.” Sayu thought out loud.

“If they were discussing that, they will include us… especially Maki and Reina.” Eri replied.

“Ehh? Why did you involve me?”

“Because both of you were scorers of our team.” Sayu explained.

“Ahh… I see.”
“My guess is that they’re talking about Rika’s situation with Maki.” Eri stated.

“W.. what made you say that?” Reina stuttered. “I hope they wouldn’t ask me about it… I don’t know if I can lie to them.”

“It’s because Maki and Rika didn’t spend time with each other anymore.”

“Yeah! I’ve noticed that too. Rika would always spend her lunch and break time with us without Maki… And Maki’s always running off somewhere. And during practice, Rika seemed to hesitate to pass the ball to Maki!.” Sayu said with widened eyes. She faced Eri and Reina before continuing. “I smell something fishy around here.”

“You’re right… And they didn’t talk in between practice also. Rika would always go with Ayumi.” Eri followed. “Didn’t you notice it too, Reina-chan?”

“ Ha.. Hai… I guess it started two weeks ago. Maybe Rika was just disappointed when Maki didn’t spend some time with her and would always run off…” Reina drank again. She felt that her throat was dried up by the tension from their topic.

“What do you think Reina? I guess they quarreled or something.” Sayu said.

“Quarreled? I guess not. Rika and Maki were like best friends…. More than best friends.” Reina trailed off.

“What do you mean more than best friends? Are they officially lovers like what we assumed? Is Rika jealous with that girl from the canteen?” Eri shook Reina’s shoulders while saying it. She was somewhat thrilled by what Reina said to them.

“Oh great… Me and my BIG mouth. I hope I survived this.”

“Well… Ahmm.. Ano…”

“You’re hiding something from us! I can see that! I thought best friends don’t have secret from each other?” Eri continued on shaking Reina’s shoulder. Reina removed Eri’s hands.

“How can I talk easily when you’re shaking me like that? Geez…”

“Gomen… I just want to know the answer immediately.”

“Well,” Reina looked on the ground. She was thinking what she would say to her friends carefully. “I’ve confirmed that Maki and Rika was… you know… and it’s true that Rika was jealous with Kusumi.”

“Eh? Kusumi? I thought I’ve told you that her name was Kasumi?” Sayu asked

“It’s Kusumi… Rika told me.”

“What!?! You’ve talked to Rika? Why haven’t you told it to us?”

“Am I not telling it now?” Reina rolled her eyes at Sayu.

“You could have told us earlier.” Eri seconded.

“I’ve just talked to her last Saturday. I just wanted to confirm that they’re officially lovers... and also…I’ve told her about my feelings for Maki.”

“EHH?!? NANDE?” Sayu and Eri said in unison.

“Hahaha, it’s nothing really. I’ve just told her that I’ve given up my feelings for Maki… That her’s was love, mine’s just infatuation… yada yada… And then to cheer her up a little… We went to Star City.”

“Why didn’t you tell us? We could have followed you there.” Sayu said. She was somewhat hurt by what Reina told them.

“My mother didn’t buy me a cellphone yet. She said that I’m still young to own one.”

“But still, there are lots of pay phones in the amusement park right? Why haven’t you called us?” Eri answered back.

“It’s because Maki was working in there and we had a little secret which maybe discovered if the two of you where there.”
“It’s because we are enjoying ourselves that I’ve forgot to look for one. Gomen ne. Next time, I’ll promise to tell it to both of you.” Reina said while bowing her head for forgiveness; forgiveness for not telling the ‘whole’ truth to her best friends.

“Oi! The three of you! Break time is over!” Abe-sensei commanded them to come to the field. Reina was glad that Sayu and Eri wouldn’t have a chance to question her further.

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