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 22  


“Ok… Let’s have a one-on-one heart talk.” Maki sat herself underneath the Sakura tree. Rika followed her.

“What do you want to eat?” Maki asked Rika. They were in the food bazaar right now.

“I’m not that hungry.” Rika answered her.

“Hey… Are you mad with me?” Maki gathered all her guts to ask Rika. Rika didn’t answer. “I take that as a yes…” Maki pulled Rika towards the place with less people… Their favorite hangout place… the Sakura tree.

“Ok… Let’s have a one-on-one heart talk.” Maki sat herself underneath the Sakura tree. Rika followed her.

“Are you mad at me because I haven’t got the time to spend with you lately?”

“Hai… and…”

“And what?”

“I’m… I’m somewhat jealous with that girl from grade 5.”

“That’s what I thought… I tried to call you that same night to explain. But your mom said that you’re already asleep. And then when I checked on you… Your house was empty.” Maki explained.

“Yah… my parents went to my auntie’s house.”

“And you? Did you go with them…?” Maki asked

“Yah….” Rika tried to lie… but then… “Apparently, I just went out with Reina to Star City.”

“Ooh… That’s a good way to relax.” Maki said….

“Yah… we had fun.” Rika was somewhat feeling awkward. They weren’t like this before.

“I want to tell you that I wouldn’t dare cheat on you.” Maki looked at Rika reassuringly.
“You’re the one who changed me to become who I am now. And I really thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. I really love you very much. I’m just working on something... that I can’t tell you right now.”

Rika was teary eyed when Maki said that. She felt stupid for not trusting Maki.
“Hey… Don’t cry. It’s Ok…”

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” Rika said while Maki embraced her.
“I’m sorry too… It’s my fault originally… So… are you hungry now?”

“Hai… I want some yakiniku and yoghurt..” Rika said and smiled.

“This is the moment guys! I want you to give me your 110% performance!” Abe said to them. “The line up will be… Ishikawa, Shibata, Kamei, Michishige, Tsuji and Saitou… Let’s check their capabilities first.”

Their team had a hard time this time… Their opponents’ outscored them in the last 5 minutes.. 0-3. Abe called a time out and substitution.
“Goto-san, it’s your turn… Our line up will be… Ishikawa, Goto, Tsuji, Saitou, Masae and Korenaga… We will unleash our full power in the 2nd quarter. Reina, Ayumi, Kamei and Michishige… Rest for a while.”

“Hey!” Ayumi called Maki…

“What’s up?”

“I know that Rika and you had some problems lately… please don’t let that thing to ruin your chemistry in this game…” Ayumi was not only concerned to the outcome of the game… but also to her best friend… She knew Rika immediately looses focus if she’s thinking about a problem. And she will definitely think about it until that problem is solved.

“Don’t worry about that… We fixed that problem earlier… We will give our 100% in this quarter… and 110% in the 2nd quarter…” Maki smiled at her.

“Well then… Good luck to the two of you! Let’s see the extent of your ability.”

The opponent team was taken by surprise. Rika and Maki immediately did their thing and scored for the first time. They immediately went back to defense. Their opponent had a hard time crossing the field because of the tight defense, Rika’s team was giving them. Miki saw an opportunity to steal the ball. She anticipated the pass and immediately blocked it. She passed the ball to Hitomi. Two members of the opponent team were positioning themselves to double team her… She immediately passed the ball to Masae, which in turn, kicked the ball towards Rika. Rika ran towards the goal with Maki following behind her. She readied herself for the kick. She raised her right leg and the goalie prepared for the incoming ball. They were just 5 meters away. Rika imitated a kick but she didn’t touch the ball. Instead, her legs completely missed it. The goalie was surprised when Rika didn’t even touched the ball, that she didn’t notice Maki sliding beneath Rika and kicked the ball towards the goal. They scored and the crowd became wild. They managed to cut the lead to 2 by the end of the first period.

“I know that the two of you will do it!!!” Abe embraced Maki and Rika at the same time. The score was 2-4 in favor of their opponent team. “So, this quarter, we will unleash our offensive players… Ishikawa, Goto, Kamei, Michishige, Tanaka and Tsuji as the goalie… Eri, give them a hard time when we are on defense.”


“Sayu, If ever you need to do that flipping thing… Don’t hesitate to do it… Ok?”

“Hai! I’ll do my best...”

“Rika… I need your leadership skills this time… Maki and Reina… Be alert at all times…Rika might pass the ball to the two you. You’re the scorers for this quarter…. Tsuji… Don’t let the ball to pass by you… got that?”

“Hai, wakatta…”

“Yosh… Let’s do it!!!” Abe said excitedly. They watched the cheering team of the opponent school. It’s good. But when their cheering team showed up… The people were in a pandemonium. After all, most of the spectators were from their school. Kusumi led their cheering team and Rika saw that she flashed a smile towards Maki. Maki held her hand reassuringly and whispered. “Don’t get jealous… I’ll tell you all when the right time comes..”

The halftime immediately started after the cheering team left the field.

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