Life is a Bowl of CherriesAuthor:
All characters are the property of Kaori Naruse. I claim none, I merely borrow them and take them to yummy shoes sales and put them through the horror of finding the perfect strappy sandal.
It was Hayate’s break, and he was taking full advantage of it to sit outside and enjoy the sunlight. It was a lovely day, bright and warm, the kind of day one could spend entirely outdoors without care. Bright sunlight, not a cloud in the sky, the faintest hint of breeze—it was as close to perfect as one could imagine. He loved days like these. Furthermore, if experience proved an accurate teacher, he would have a visitor in five, four, three, two, one…
He grinned, mentally congratulating himself for his accuracy. Bingo. Right on time.
Himeno bounced into view, holding what looked like a ziplock baggie filled with something red. She dropped down onto the bench beside him without need for invitation, positioning the the bag on her lap. “Isn’t it beautiful today?” she cheered in an unconscious echo of his earlier thoughts. As she spoke, she stretched her arms as far over her head as they would go.
He smiled indulgently. “It is a nice day.” His eyes came to rest on the baggie in her lap, and his curiousity got the better of him. “What do you have?”
“Cherries,” she reached into the bag and withdrew one plump red fruit. She popped it into her mouth with clear delight, and a second later she spit the pit out onto the grass. Belatedly, she offered a sheepish grin. “Sorry. Not very ladylike.”
He chuckled. “Not a problem.”
She chewed thoughtfully for a moment, then smiled wickedly. “Can you tie a cherry stem?”
Hayate blinked, confused. “Can I what?”
“Tie a cherry stem,” Himeno said matter-of-factly. “It’s sort of an urban myth. If you can tie a cherry stem in a knot with your tongue, then you’re supposed to be a really good kisser.” Her grin grew a bit wider, a bit more shark-like. “Watch and learn.”
She slipped the cherry stem into her mouth. Hayate watched in quiet amazement as her jaw shifted back and forth. And in far less time than he would have expected, she spat the stem back out into her waiting hand. Sure enough, the stem had been neatly tied in a knot.
He stared at it, then looked at her with wide eyes. “That’s amazing!”
She reached into the bag and withdrew another cherry, holding it by the stem. “Say aah…”
Feeling a bit embarrassed at her attentions, Hayate obeyed, and found himself biting into juicy goodness that was somewhere between sweet and tangy. And the cherry pit, but he followed Himeno’s example and spit it out with little care for manners.
But when he glanced at her again, she was holding out the stem to him. “Wanna give it a try?”
Sensing a challenge, Hayate took the stem. His eyes remained locked with hers as he popped it into his mouth, really not having any clue what he was doing. And he went to work as best he could. Let’s see…needed to bend it, that was fairly easy. Get that end over there…
And finally, he spit it out into his palm. The stem was tied into a knot—a slightly uneven knot, but a knot nonetheless. He looked in amazement at what he had just accomplished. “I actually did it!” he said, perhaps a bit more excited than he really should have been. Then he raised an eyebrow at her, remembering what she had said earlier. “So…this means that I’m a good kisser?”
His face was suddenly as red as the cherries in the bag on her lap.
Himeno nodded, seemingly mulling over this idea. Then she suddenly leaned up so their noses were brushing, smirking like a cat in a creamery. “I don’t believe you. Prove it.”
Cherries, Hayate decided, were definitely the greatest fruit in the world.PS. Short, sweet, and silly. This whole idea just made me giggle uncontrollably, for some reason. I hope y’all liked it, and I hope you’ll come back for the next exciting installment. Thanks, and much love!