Last day of winter vacations, it is as typical as those days that had passed, cold as an ice-cream freshly picked from the freezer, the city painted in a gloomy way, maybe for the sky being melancholic as if mourning for the loss of it's loved one, or maybe because I am looking at the world from a different perspective and not like the magazine sitting on the magazine rack near the counter that I am paying my cup of coffee for; on the cover of the magazine depicts the other face of the winter season with the cover girl happily making a snowman, enjoying what the season brings.
It is not really different from the others since magazine covers were created mainly to be attractive and seduce the eyes of the people, who would buy a magazine that has an unattractive cover anyway.
I let my attention drift away from the magazine rack, took the cup of coffee and the change with me and started walking toward the automatic door of the convenience store while removing the plastic lid of the paper cup and throw it at the trash can near the door.
As I am making my way through the almost desolated street I take small sips of coffee to subdue the coldness that the winter brings and tries to penetrate and freeze up to death my exposed and naked cheeks, the air crystallizes and becomes smoke as soon as I open my mouth and breathe out, due to the low temperature.
Even though there are few stores that are open, it still give me chills for the city seems haunted as if I am living in a horror book, though it is normal for the city to be deserted in this part of time, it is vacation after all and most of the citizens go on trips or return to their provinces to pay a visit to their families. Upon reaching my destination, a bookstore, I take my last sip of coffee while gazing at the sign written on the window, Mint Leaves, this is not the first time visiting this bookstore, but I still keep wondering why the owner named it like that; the thought vanished as I threw the empty paper cup on the trash can and pushed the door gently to get inside of the store.
The sweet perfume of old books drifting inside my nostrils welcomed me, it is like I warped into another era for the antique scent and the aura of the milieu, the door slowly closes behind me making some faint screeching sounds, I look around and seems like no one is here as if it was abandoned centuries ago.
I started walking, going to the furthermost part of the bookstore where the fiction books resides, while walking I keep scanning the shelves, looking for something that might poke my interest, but scientific books and historical ones do not tickle my taste so it did not bother me to thoroughly look at them even though there are new ones on the bookshelves.
As I finally reached the most interesting place in the store, which is clearly my point of view, there is a girl around my age that is busy arranging the books, her mocha colored skin that compliments her navy blue sweater, amber red and shoulder length hair that gently sways on her every move, dirty white jeans that envelops her slim but curvy legs and pitch black boots.
It seems like I am looking at a painting, a picturesque view that only a few have the privilege to see this masterpiece; I cautiously advance to spook the busy gal, I was ready to grab her shoulders and indulge myself hearing her squeak in shock, but it seems that the girl was gifted with a sixth sense as she elegantly sidesteps to evade my ambush and graciously counterattacks with a chop in my forehead using a book, with a smirk she looks at me and with a victorious tone she says:
"Serves you right for pulling another dirty trick again, be thankful that I used a light novel this time and not an Anatomy book like before."
with a giggle, she resumes on arranging the books.
Whining and rubbing the swollen part of my forehead I sit beside her looking at the newly arrived books, groaning
" That two inches thick book is a light novel? How can that be light if it is as thick as a scientific book!"
she slips a soft chuckle while hiding her mouth with her free hand, I look at her with a puzzled expression
"Why are you chuckling all of a sudden Chizuru?"
as a reply she started laughing too hard that tears started forming at her eyes, a burst of laughter that echoes around the store; a few laughs after she then replies with an unstable voice as if trying to suppress the urge of laughing again
" Sorry about that Hinata..."
she takes a deep pause as if trying to catch her breath while wiping the tear running on her cheek
"... is just that your joke is funny."
and with a warm smile, she ended her reply, I just smiled back since I did not know how to respond.
It has been a year since I knew the existence of this place and still clearly remember how I first met Kiryuu Chizuru, the daughter of the owner of this bookstore, my classmate and now my girlfriend.
It is like it was yesterday when I first met her, fell in love with her and confess my feelings; reminiscing the past makes my heart warm and makes me feel surreal, the girl that I dreamed for is now my lover.
Chizuru also sits on the floor so she can put the remaining books beside her on the lower shelves; staring at her is always refreshing, especially those adorable mint green eyes of hers that gives her the calm and cool looks, and those morbid flesh pink lips that make her an innocent maiden.
She broke the silence that wrapped us for quite a time and looks back at me
"Are you all right?"
I snapped back from my daydream as I heard her calling, my heart skipped a beat and I softly blushed as my eyes met hers, with a sincere smile I held her hand and replied
" Thank you Chizuru for making me fall in love with you every single day, I am the luckiest guy in the whole world for having you."
I gently pulled her towards me, lips touching hers, a refreshing and calming sensation, crisp as mint and sweet as blueberry.
As our lips separate from the sudden collision I can't help myself nor my heart for going crazy all over her; I took a glance and a different Chizuru is in front of me, a side of her that only I can see; red as a tomato she's staring back at me with her green eyes
" Ah, you're so cute!"
I said while chuckling at the blushing Chizuru, she simply looked away as a response, maybe because of embarrassment, and whispers to herself
" You could have asked instead of stealing, dummy!"
I didn't quite hear what she whispered to herself so I kept on chuckling, I wasn't expecting that she will pull me towards her and steal my lips, she then wore the warmest smile on her face that had almost melt me and whispered in my ear
" I love you too Hinata."
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