Title : Katsudon

Author : Pudy Kusumaningrum (pudy_k)

Genre : Teenlit, pop literature, romance, daily life

Type : One Shot (1686 words)

Rating : PG
A/N : Actually not the first time I write an entirely original fiction of my own, but probably the first time I publish it and make it available to the world. Well, I don't know though, because the main idea came from my very old fanfiction written in Bahasa Indonesia. Thus, I couldn't think of any other name beside the characters name in this fiction so I really don't know. I'll let you decide.
Disclaimer : My original fiction.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 Cover :  Photo by Tan Danh from Pexels

"Often times people say that when you’re madly in love with somebody, you will be able to do crazy things for them. Often times Hikaru thinks they’re wrong. Things that you do when you’re in love, you do it for love, voluntarily, willingly, unforcefully. In fact, it should be labelled as just something normal as everything else that you do for yourself in your everyday life."

- One Shot -

Often times people say that when you’re madly in love with somebody, you will be able to do crazy things for them. Often times Hikaru thinks they’re wrong. Things that you do when you’re in love, you do it for love, voluntarily, willingly, unforcefully. In fact, it should be labelled as just something normal as everything else that you do for yourself in your everyday life.

His part-time shift at the small gyoza shop in the midst of Tokyo Metropolitan Area ends at ten o’clock at night. He goes home straight away after cleaning up and hops on the train fifteen minutes away from the shop, and arrives at home half an hour later. Climbing up the stairs to the fifth floor—where his rented room is located—feels five times heavier at this hour, but there he doesn’t really have anything to complain. Although the apartment complex is quite recent, its rent fee is way cheaper than other student apartments in the area, and as an active college student with very limited amount of money who needs to budget everything, it’s just a perfect place to stay.

Hikaru opens his apartment door and finds the room pitch black. He frowns a little while taking off his shoes, socks, and cream-colored checkered spring coat. He let the door behind him automattically closing as his left hand lurking on the wall to find the electric switch and turning on the lamp. When the light finally illuminates his small loft room, he finds it empty, the cushions are still placed tidily on the sofa, the kitchen clean and spotless, just like how he had left the room earlier this morning. He has been expecting somebody to be present, but much to the boy’s disappointment, nobody even seems to visit his place that day.

The boy throws himself onto the fluffy sofa and his coat next to him, resting his head on the back of it immediately, his eyes focused on the plain ceiling as he does so. He remembers his girlfriend had called him this morning before he went to the campus, saying she would spend the night there because she would have a pre-final exam quiz tomorrow. Therefore she would have had been here at the moment, because Hikaru knows Haruka’s today class ends at five in the afternoon. Besides, Haruka has had her own spare key to Hikaru’s apartment, so his apartment being locked shouldn’t have been an issue.

He fishes out his phone from his pants pocket, and dials the number that he has been familiar with the most in the past year.

“Hello,” Haruka’s voice greets from the other side of the line.

“Where are you?” Hikaru asks, his voice calms yet soft.

“At the Lab,” She answers, making Hikaru rather puzzled. “I need to finish writing down this project before tomorrow.”

“It’s your professor?”

“Yeah—no—well, it’s a group project, but,” There is a small pause before she continues, “I kind of screwed up so I need to reconfigure.”

Hikaru sighs, but not of sigh of annoyance at all.

“You’ve had dinner yet?” Hikaru waits for the other to speak something, but instead of answering him, Haruka replies him with dead silence. Knowing that she might have probably not eaten anything since afternoon, Hikaru stands up from the sofa. “Is bentou from convenience store okay?”

“Thank you, Hikaru,”

Hikaru closes the phone with a chuckle. No, he’s not mad at all, although Haruka has just broken her promise to visit his place. Instead, he simply understands, he knows how hard it is to be a student in this monstous capital city. He has been struggling himself for more than three years in his architecture major, having to go and forth to the Lab to finish his projects and constantly being scolded by his professor for even the smallest thing. He’s now in the forth year, so his only concern nowadays only revolves around finishing his graduation thesis and getting full time job, probably in the industry. Haruka, on the other hand, is only a second year student. She’s been struggling a lot last year, but this year and the years coming, the hard times will be tripled in no time, and she needs to make it all through.

Putting on his shoes and coat again, he turns off the lamp and opens up the door before locking it from the outside. He checks the clock on his phone and it shows half an hour before midnight. Lucky that his apartment is quite close to the train station, and their campus is only ten minutes away. When he arrives at the station right across the campus’ gate, he stops by the convenience store to buy a box of katsudon, the most expensive one among other bento in the row, without warming it up in place.

He then walks into the tall building and goes directly to the left wing, immediately finding the elevator that will bring him straight to Haruka’s laboratory on the fourth level of the building. Only a few people are present in the vast lobby; they drinks hot cups from the coffee machine on the sofa provided by the campus. Hikaru walks past them and opens the door to Haruka’s lab after a few knocks, and finds Haruka staring at him with a smile on her face.

Hikaru notices no one else is there beside her. It’s nothing new to him, but he feels sorry for her for having to stay this late when nobody’s around.

“I’ll heat this up,” He says, his eyes still on Haruka when she nods so dashingly bright.

Haruka’s hair is messy and Hikaru can figure that she’s dead tired, but she will never tell it to him nor anybody else because she likes to be considered tough. He puts the bento katsudon into the microwave that is provided by the lab, and as he waits for the timer to stop, his eyes land back to Haruka’s figure, who is now staring at the laptop in front of her, focusing on her writing. The light from her laptop radiates on to her face, and Hikaru suddenly remembers all the year he’s been with Haruka.

The girl is the first person to cheer him up when he feels miserable about himself. His parents divorce, his financial difficulty, and his dropping self-esteem had made it very difficult for him to stand up. Last year, he couldn’t even decide whether he should just drop out of the college or continue his study. Even if he had decided to drop out, he didn’t really want to work nor did he have any desire to face the society. He had really wanted to be a shut in, just staying in his room and playing games all the time, cutting all ties with everyone including his parents. However, last summer, on a regional seminar of college of architecture, his near-abstract-and-impossible-to-implement maket that was displayed was highly praised by Haruka. She was clearly in love with his idea of absctract buildings. And from then on, Haruka always cheered him up with her bright smile, telling him he would be okay everytime any mishap occurred from out of nowhere. She’s a precious, and Hikaru feels lucky.

“Thank you so much, Hikaru!” Haruka claps her hand when the bento is food in front of her. “You really are the best.”

No, you are the best.

Hikaru sits on a chair and drags himself next Haruka. He glances at his girlfriend’s profile when she eats her dinner while still reading journals on her laptop screen, her nose sharp and her lips plump, and although he always teases Haruka about her somewhat tapering chin, and his friends always say that she’s very plain, he always, always finds Haruka to be terribly gorgeous.

They spend  two hours in the laboratory, with Haruka struggling to finish his report and Hikaru playing mobile games on his phone and checking his social networks once in a while. When Haruka abruptly stands up and surprising Hikaru in the process, they realize that it’s almost 1.30 in the morning, and they need to catch the last train or else they will be forced to spend the entire night at the lab. Besides, Haruka still has pre-exam quiz tomorrow on the first term in the morning to think about, so staying overnight at the lab would be just another nightmare.

“Hurry, hurry!” Haruka tells herself while packing up all her belongings into her bag.

Hikaru chuckles as he watches Haruka drags his hand hurriedly. They walk down the hallway to the lobby and the train station, which is almost empty by the time they get into the platform. They line up behind two salary-men who still wear their typical black suit at this hour, their hands entangled to each other all the time.

“You tired?” Hikaru asks.

“Your question is rethoric,” Haruka glares at him, rather pinching his eyes as if she disbelieves what Hikaru has just asked to him.

Laughing, Hikaru leans his body forward to get even closer to Haruka. He slips his other hand on her back, feeling the warmth as Haruka leans back towards him, letting him on her floral scented shampoo. It’s crazy to think that he would be willingly coming to the Lab just to accompany Haruka for two hours, not to mention buying her the most expensive bento in the convenience store. It’s even crazier to think that probably he’s madly in love Haruka that he unconsciously thinks that what he does is normal. They are both tired, yet although Hikaru’s graduation thesis hasn’t had any progress due to his busy part-time schedule and his supervisor who’s barely at the Lab at all, being together in an open space with Haruka in such a bizarre hour feels kind of nice.

The last train of the night come not long after that, and they enters the train car with only few people inside to their one and only destination: Hikaru’s apartment.

At least it’s close to summer holiday and they will have plenty of times for themselves.

*-* FIN *-*

No comments:

Post a Comment