It was around seven at night, just before we were going to eat dinner. Eli told me to go under the cherry blossom to look at his painting.
I sat down waiting.
Keep it together Faith.
Don't cry, Yua.
It's going to be just fine.
A salty drop of water reached my lips. I touched it. Tears.
I tried to wipe them away but they just kept coming, kept going. I resisted the urge to call out my sister's name into the sunset.
I heard the garden door open and quickly pulled myself together. But not in time. Eli had seen me, and he gently placed a piece of paper with a cloth on it to the side.
He hurried over to me, wiping another tear from my face.
"What's wrong? Are you okay?" He pulled me into a hug.
I hugged him back firmly. He was pretty much the only thing keeping me here. I was so thankful, so happy with him.
"It's nothing." I shook my head.
He tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear. "I'm here for you." He said.
"Can you show me what you made?" I said, changing the subject.
He took a good look at me, and went to bring over the drawing.
He unravelled the cloth and I took a gasp in awe. It was beautiful. The shading was just right, the colours lively as it was that day, and he even managed to make me look somewhat...
pretty, I think is the word.
"I love it!" I exclaimed.
"Really?" He seemed happy.
"Really. It's perfect, Eli." I smiled at the painting. A real smile.
He smiled right back, and set it to the side and came a little closer to me.
"And there's something I might need to tell you." He said.
I leaned in, ready to listen.
"Remember about something that felt missing? I think I figured it out." He said, and his words sounded like wavering notes when you pluck a guitar string too forcefully.
"What is it?" I asked.
"I-I think it was the words to describe something." His voice quavered.
"Faith-- I think I..." He took a sharp breath in. "I like you...more than a friend."
His chest relaxed, and he looked down, like he couldn't meet my eyes.
Let me just replay that in my head.
I let a small gasp escape me. Is that...what I've been feeling too? Things I couldn't describe?
"I think..." I started. "I think it's the same for me."
His head immediately shot up.
"I like you too, Eli. May as well love you for the amazing person you've been to me." I said sheepishly.
I was cringing on the inside but this really was a serious topic.
"You sure?" He said.
"Definitely," I smiled. "How could I not?"
Eli was struggling to find the right words but I decided to save him the trouble.
I leaned in fast, eyes shut, and brought my mouth close to his lips. Our heads were crazy close, and I could smell the scent of even his shampoo from this close.
I placed my lips on his, kissing him. A few seconds passed, a few peaceful, exploding moments of new feelings. I pulled away slowly.
I blinked a few times.
I-- did I really just do that? I didn't think I had it in me.
The words that Eli said next weren't what I expected.