It’s been a while time since I inherited my family’s onsen (hot spring) and inn business. I live alone in this place while managing my business because my parents died in their travel through the sea last month. Luckily I wasn’t with them. Moreover, with or without them won’t change my condition. They often left me since my childhood. The only one who took care of me was my grandma. She died when I was fifteen. She used to manage this inn, and she taught me how to do that too, so I could earn a living even without her or my parents. I wonder if my parents really love me.
Managing this inn isn’t difficult although I don’t have any servants. Not many people come here, because it’s located on the almost isolated hills. But at least the cost for living here isn’t too much. An earning from one people can be used by me for a couple of weeks. People who come at summer are more than at winter, and I must be smart to save the earnings from summer to be used later.
It’s raining today. I really hate the rain, because it brings thunder. I really scared when I hear thunder’s sound. It also reminds me about my grandma. When she was alive, I always run to her when rain. The rain also reminds me about my grandma’s burial. But like or not, I must stay awake and waiting for someone who might come here. Maybe there will be a traveler who searched for a place to stay for one night. It seems that a storm would occur tonight.
I don’t have to wait for a long time. When I see at the outside, there is a man who looked curious while seeing at this building, so I asked him to come in. “Hey, are you looking for a place to stay tonight? You can come and stay here”
“Is this an inn?”
“Yes, of course”
Then he comes closer. His cloth is wet. His body is really thin and his face is pale. I also see a black circle on his eyes. “Are you ill? You look thin and pale”
“No, I looked like this since I was born”
“Oh, forgive me. Please follow me, I will show you your room”
Then I guide him to his room. “This inn also includes onsen facilities. You can go there to warm your body if you want”
“Thanks, but can I borrow a piece of yukata (daily kimono)? I only bring this wet cloth with me now”
“Ok, I will send that to you”
I remember there are still many pieces of my parents clothing, so I go to the warehouse to take some. Then I go back to his room. “Here is your yukata sir… oh, I… I’m sorry; I forgot to knocked the door” I close the door at the moment. He is shirtless, because he spread his cloth in front of the window to dry it.
“That’s alright, give me my cloth” He open the door a bit and stick his hand out to me. I give him the yukata and get away to the kitchen to prepare his meal.
I think he is a weird man although he doesn’t look like that. But I don’t care about it. For me he is just a mere guest and that’s all. I go to the warehouse again to take some fish and vegetable because the stocks in kitchen are running out. When I come out from kitchen and walk to the warehouse, the man asks me,”Where do you want to go?”
“To the warehouse near here”
“We haven’t introduced each other, my name is Seta and you are?
“Aiko, you can call me Ai”
“Okay Ai, pleased to meet you”
After a short conversation, I leave him and go to the warehouse but then I forget what I want to do there. So I go back to the dining room and Seta was there. I look him, his very pale face and his black circle eyes with wondering expression. “Where’s the food? I’m so hungry,” said Seta. Then I realize that I forget to take the food from warehouse. ”Sorry, the food isn’t ready, go back to your room and when the food is ready, I will call you,” I said. Seta back to his room with smile and I think he knows that I’m nervous because of him. Tonight a huge storm occurs and I can’t imagine what kind of noisy voice the thunder brings. Suddenly a thunder strike near and I decide to walk to the place where I can feel safe. I close my door and when I want to leave my room I surprise that there is somebody walk to my place now. And slowly but sure, I begin to see that person. “Oh my God, what are you doing? You almost make my heart attacked. “Sorry, I don’t want to make you surprise, I just can’t sleep because the thunder” said Seta.
“I just know that there is a man that scared by thunder”
“I’m not afraid of thunder, I just remember my parents burial”
“You’re same with me”
Then I feel a strange feeling, is this love?
Seta and I decide to go to the dining room because we can’t sleep. In there, we talk about our live, our hobbies, our favorite food and many more. That time, I realize that me and Seta are really close. I feel that I have a new friend or maybe a boyfriend? That night, is the first time for me to smile since my grandma died.
Two weeks has passed since Seta comes. He brings a new life to me. He makes me smile, laugh, happy, and many other feelings that I have buried in the deep of my heart. He also helps me to serve the guests. Then I decide to take him to the place that has many meanings for me.
“This is very beautiful, what is this place?”
“This place called lake fireflies. The legend said that if you make a wish in this lake, your wish will come true”
“Oh, is that true? I want to make a really big wish”
“What is it?”
“I wish we will meet again”
“Why you say that?”
“I must go to my hometown and it’s very far away from here. Now I must say the truth, my hometown was attacked by the emperor soldiers and I must go there to save my hometown”
“Why? Why don’t you tell me earlier? Okay, you can go but promise me you will survive and meet me here. I’ll always waiting you here until you come back.
“Okay, I’ll go now. I promise I will be back soon. Until that, wait for me.”
Every day I always go to the lake of fireflies to wait him but he doesn’t come. I wonder if he will come back and I can hold him tightly, tell him about my daily activity after he left and I can laugh with him again. Now I’m preparing to go there again, as the rain is coming. I wonder if I will meet him today. When I arrived, I see someone standing there. As I comes near, I realize that he is Seta. I run and hold him tightly then I kiss him under the rain.
By : Vicky / XI IPA / 33