- Created By otakualchemist
"Do you like anime?"
When that question was asked to me, in the breakfast line at the middle school, I was in the middle of a conversation about an episode of Pretear that I'd just seen on Anime-on-Demand. My friend and I had loved that anime to death.
I remember turning to look at the boy who asked the question. He was chubby, short, and Hispanic, with a large afro of messy, curly dark hair.
"No," I answered, and immediately he looked disheartened. Quickly, though, I finished my sentence.
That was my first ever meeting with Domingo Toro-Winters. It was a bit convenient, and perhaps a gift from some deity, our meeting. I remember the night before, having prayed to the (Shinto) gods that I needed a guardian angel, someone to watch over me and make me a better person.
So Domingo waltzed into my life.
He and I chatted over things. Gackt. Sailor Moon. So many other Japanese things that I can't even begin to remember. It was strange. I'd only ever known Domingo from my chorus class, where he was the only bass in a room full of sopranos, altos, and tenors. But there we were, talking like we'd known each other for years.
He introduced me to so many new people. Old friends that I'd forgotten, new ones that I'd love for years to come. Every second with him was magical.
My home life was never the best. So when he gave me a large hug one day, the first one I'd ever gotten from someone other than a grandparent or aunt or cousin, I was stunned and flustered.
"Haven't you ever had a hug before?" Domingo had asked, laughing the whole time.
"Not really, not like that." I laughed right along with him.
There was one day, I remember. We sat up on the roof of the school shed after class had let out, while I waited with him for his ride. He told me something I'd never forget.
"You're still in your chrysalis, but you'll come out soon."
At first, I didn't understand what he meant, but he explained it to me with a smile on his face.
"You ever heard the term 'social butterfly?' It's like that. You're still in your chrysalis, and you were a tiny caterpillar when I first found you. But you'll break out of that chrysalis soon."
It was a strangely calming and beautiful metaphor. I suppose he meant for me to break free. I did.
Domingo was, in a way, my first love. Even though he was gay and I knew it, I couldn't help but stay just a bit attracted. It was in some sort of nature. But now, I love him as a brother, a confidante, and more importantly, my absolute best friend.
A story for Red Tigress' challenge. I'm using Yuki Sohma and his mother, from Natsuki Takaya's Fruits Basket.
"There was something I wanted. Loving parents. A home that no one would ever want to leave. A happy home. A warm place with everyone smiling at me. That was all I wanted. That and nothing else."
How often was it that Yuki had thought that? The words came back to him quickly as he approached his parents' home in the Sohma estate. He held the cell phone contract between the tips of his fingers, having read it over a hundred times on the walk there. There was no loophole, no way to avoid having to get it signed by a parent.
So he prepared himself. He prepared for his words not to reach her. For the color to be sucked out of everything. Even though it was his own home, he'd been there so rarely, he didn't remember the colors of the walls or the kind of furniture.
But the lettering on the nameplate was red. Yuki knew that, and felt strange looking at the red characters that spelled out "Sohma." Wasn't he red? Or something like that? He'd have to ask Manabe later. He had no time to remember stupid things like color assignments.
He didn't even have to knock on the door for it to open up. One of the maids that he didn't remember. A little older than him. She blushed at his face, too.
"I'm here to see my mother. It won't take long at all." He informed her, wondering to himself if his face was that good-looking. Yuki had never thought of himself as charming or a prince.
When he was allowed in, though, his thoughts shot back to his mother.
If he made a list of five things he was grateful to her for, would he be able to fill it up?
"Yuki, what do you want? I'm very busy, you know." She sighed, not bothering to hide her annoyance.
"I'd like you to sign this cell phone contract."
"And why do you need a cell phone?"
Yuki hadn't thought about her asking that. He struggled to find an answer, wondering if she'd even accept it, before finally finding one that even she might think was appropriate.
"I'm the President of the Student Council. I patrol often, checking on other clubs. It's very hard to reach me just by looking around to find me, with the school being as big as it is. It would be more convenient for the other Student Council members to just communicate with me via cell phone."
The room was silent for a moment, and Yuki resisted the urge to look down at his feet and apologize for suggesting something so outlandish. He did close his eyes, but opened them when he felt her tug the contract from his hand.
Yuki watched his mother look it over, watched her set it on the table, watched her pull a pen from her purse, and watched her sign it. He hardly believed it.
"... I signed it. This is all you need, right? For the cell phone contract?" She handed it back over to him, and he looked to make sure it was in the right place.
"Yeah... will Dad be getting home late tonight, too?" He asked, hoping just slightly to see his father, who had been less a part of his life than she had.
"Yes. He and I are both very busy. Is this all you wanted?"
"...Yeah. I just needed a parent's signature. Thank you." He folded the contract in half, his eyes closed again. He missed the look that she gave him. Surprise over being thanked, of all things.
As if she knew that she had abandoned him and wasn't deserving of it.
"Madame, it's almost time for you to be going out." The maid from before softly interrupted, standing in the doorway.
"Y-yes. I know." Yuki's mother rose from her feet, watching her son shoulder his schoolbag.
"Then, I'll be going home, too-"
Yuki looked up at her, not expecting what she said next.
"Don't.... don't use it wastefully."
He'd never expected such a motherly expression from her. 'Don't use it wastefully.' As if she was... worried that he'd be wasteful.
Perhaps she cared a lot more than he thought. She was still his mother, after all.