The balcony at the second floor, the first day of Autumn
My family has just moved to this area for two weeks before the autumn starts. I like this place better, because our previous place was noisy. My new room is quite lovely. And it has a small balcony, where I can stand for hours, letting my mind wander on rainy days or watching tiny star at night. The night sky is beautiful and mysterious, making me oddly comfortable. Also, I can watch the lack, inhaling the fresh air. Nice lakes. Silent trees with an endless green color. The adults go for a walk and the children play their games, some couple kiss or hug on the parks. I really like this atmosphere? The reason is so simple that making you surprised. You know… from this balcony, you can watch the scenes without charge. In other word, it’s free. For me… as long as something doesn’t cost, it’s awesome.
Awesome, indeed. I am too lucky.
The balcony at the second floor, the first day of Winter
In this area, a house is rather far from another. Each house has its own yard, a small garden. Therefore, we don’t encounter many neighbors, except for some special occasions, that usually for children. And I never attend. In my mind, I am old enough not to attend such occasions, and my yard is big enough for me to walk around without being disturbed or stepping into people’s houses. I feel like I am rich enough to owe my personal dimension. In the morning, I can feel the fog touching my face gently, the snow remaining on my hair. I can make a snowman in my yard.
I’m rick. Because everything is free.
Three-way crossroad, the first day of Spring
My house is quite far from the school, so I barely meet my classmates on the way. It’s better. I prefer going to school alone, secretly enjoying the fresh air (cool and cold, too…) of the upcoming Spring. I like to ride my bike on fallen leaves, hearing them making some scratching noise. In the early morning, I usually ride my bike slowly like that. However, nothing lasts long. Sometimes, my preciously peaceful moment and my mood are “destroyed” with a certain red bike. A guy at my school, wearing a visored hat. Why do I know? He wears the uniform. He always rides his red bike… and suddenly passes running in front of me with surprising speed. I have never seen his face clearly, only vaguely remember his smile…
And I don’t care if I can see his face someday. Again, I don’t even know why I bother.
One day… which I thought it was like other days. We had our very first conversation.
“Hey you!” I startled, turning around. The troublesome red bike was being ridden along me. And that boy – the owner of this bike and this voice – was talking to me. He continued casually: “Your bag strap is about to catch your wheel.”
I looked at him, eyes wide, then turned my attention to my bag. Exactly what he had said. I hastily put it in the proper place – my bicycle cage. I opened my mouth to thank, but he didn’t give me a chance:
“No need to thank me! It’s free today.”
It was bright smile… and a new year greeting me.
The word “free” like electricity entering my mind, waking me up from my sleepy mood.
The story is: I met a “free” smile at three-way crossroad, and somehow, it sounded oddly important.
Balcony, the next day of Spring
I love cactuses, their way of growing up in harsh condition – silent and enduring, their way of growing with thorns, strong but beautiful. This balcony is where I collect cactuses with different thirty kinds in different pots. It’s what I deserve after three years of patience. No one can deny that, even my dearest parents.
Today is my day off…no… I didn’t go to school today, the consequence of being outside in the foggy weather and drizzle. Regardless of my mother’s words, I brought the chair, sitting at the balcony, listening to music and “playing” with my treasure. The house opposite to my house has several kinds of roses with many colors. The scent mixes in the air, which manages to give me comfortable feeling. Roses have thorns, and cactuses have thorns, too. Not that I don’t like roses, but they are too beautiful. As I say, my neighbor has many roses, mainly red ones. The color reminds me of his bike.
But I have never visited my neighbor, I don’t know why I have that thought. Whatever, I can watch flower without paying.
And one day, I had to stop my thoughts. The neighbor’s door opened. A second later, a boy with red cap appeared with a red bike by his side. He looked up.
Our eyes met.
So… the “free smile” happens to be my closest neighbor.
Three-way crossroad, Friday in Spring
I decided to go to school earlier than usual. No one could tell how much I missed the feeling of a quiet morning without being interrupted with a bike having whatever color.
And I was awfully wrong. Fate had proven itself was a cruel master.
The red bike ran past me again.
But this time, I was the one to call after him:
“What’s up?” My neighbor slowed down, staring at me with his brown eyes. Oh my god, his eyes were… his eyes were… breath taking. I swore that I could look into his eyes forever if I didn’t have something to say. No, Ruri, you are better than that. You have to control yourself.
With that, I smiled:
“Your school bag hasn’t been closed yet.”
My neighbor looked at me, then his bag, closed it calmly and gave me a grateful look. Well, I knew what I should say.
“Today, it’s free.”
And I continued to go, while my neighbor froze in his place. (like me that time…)
So… this is the feeling of making something “free”, huh?
Three-way crossroad, the final day of Spring
….as well as the who-knows-what day I go to school with Kyouhei – the owner of that red bike. I think it’s easier to call him Kyou, but he refuses and dismisses that idea. (This name is cute, how sad.) But I prefer referring as “my neighbor”.
“Your house has many roses.” I stated when we were riding our bikes, side by side.
“Yes.” He nodded. “And your house has just fixed the yard. In this house, there is someone usually standing at the balcony, looking at the sky without knowing there is a bike on Earth.”
I felt my ears reddening.
And Kyouhei continued as if nothing happened. (Ok… it was true that nothing happened.)
“There is a Sunday-ish person that never goes out and totally ignores the fact there is a handsome boy at the same age.” Did he just call him handsome?
I laughed. We laughed. We talked about many things that knew no stop. Kyouhei told me about our neighbor and strict teachers at the school, about the cute and mischievous kids. Everything as if setting in motion in front of my eyes.
So… people do share their secrets.
At the end of spring, it starts getting sunny. Drizzle has already stopped, the streets have been drier. The way to the school suddenly gets shorter. I have many reasons for it. I usually met a red bike at three-way crossroad and now, I always meet it parking in front of my house, with its owner waiting for me.
You see, my free secrets are no longer my own.
Three-way crossroad and balcony, the first day of summer
When it comes to summer, the first thought to appear in your mind must be: it’s super HOT and humid. No, before turning into hot like that, the weather is pleasant. In the morning, it’s windy. In the afternoon, the kids are everything but noisy and disorder. I feel that. Honestly, I won’t be able to hear anything if I glance at his house. Kyouhei has the habit of watering flowers while humming some strange melody. His eyes always meet mine, and a grin appears on his face.
Kyouhei… he has no rights to look dashing like that when he smiles or grins.
“For Ruri, the brightest smile is free!” He says. He always says that and I always smile back.
“Good, but the brightest smile isn’t free for others.”
“Deal!” And he thumbs-up again.
When Spring comes to an end, I have realized. Free things are priceless when you share them with a special friend. I start to like sharing fresh air and comfort with a cute (handsome) neighbor and joykiller. (And he is the one who brings joy to me.)
Early summer sun is warm. Early summer wind is easy. Everything welcomes a new season.
The first day of June, the first day of summer vacation, we both rode a bike, with full of roses in bicycle cage.