Wuxiaworld > To My Sunflower > 26 A Time When the Cherry Blossoms Fell

26 A Time When the Cherry Blossoms Fell

Eiji and Tama survived animosity due to being contained within a holding cell on the deck of the US escort carrier headed for Okinawa. His left wrist was loosely bound to a pipe fixture. Otherwise, he was free to move about the cool metal tank, so he could tend to Tama. The metal floor was a soothing relief from the harsh and arid climate of the island. The stench of iron and old mould didn't bother his senses either.

The cell was nothing compared to the many days he had suffered the cramped sleeper cells of the cruiser he travelled for the Hawaii Islands at his last tour. Everyone had to rough the North Pacific Ocean to reach the islands by the middle of November 1941. Being jammed between fellow soldiers who hadn't bathed for days had been no fun at all.

He chuckled at a lighter memory of when he shared a sleeper cell with a fellow soldier named Yuri Sakamoto and a couple of newbies from Kyoto. There had been more soldiers than space on his ship, so sleepers were over capacity. His bunk partner had complained about the constant pong of foul eggs he had let off under the blanket they shared.

"Gaah! Tell me you didn't eat those bean rations Takaki!" Yuri had bitterly cursed whilst shaking out their blanket.
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Eiji's devilish chuckle at the memory stirred up the pain from his wound at his stomach, making him cough. As he patted his chest, he felt the stiff paper that was in his pocket. He pulled out Ohno-sensei's letter for his wife. The stale-yellow face of the envelope's paper was carefully smoothed out around her name written in the center whilst its edges suffered the most of the scuffs. He returned the tenderly cared for letter respectfully back to his breast pocket.

This made him remember his letter he had entrusted to Yuri for Hinata, praying the man had delivered it to him.

Tears welled in his eyes, which he kept from spilling out with a few heavy and uneven sighs. His memories wandered to Hinata's wifely scolding for him to pack away his books that he left lying around the floor or to stop gobbling his food, so it made him suffer indigestion afterwards.

"Eiji-san! You eat too fast! You have to chew thirty times before swallowing." Hinata would pout with a huff to signify the end of his scolding. Eiji would soothe his pouts with a tender kiss that led to further foreplay and love making.

He became aroused as his thoughts lingered on more memories with his lover. His heart raced feverishly as his fingers remembered their feathery touches along Hinata's maiden-fair skin and the warm and pleasant tingles he felt from Hinata's kisses.

"I miss you Hina-chan. Okamisama, I'll give anything to be with him again." Eiji deeply sighed. "Anything."

His mind lapsed further into blissful memories of their middle school's Entrance Ceremony where the crisp pure white and pink cherry blossom petals had lazily drifted through the air, stirred about by mellow winds. They fell about excited youths bracing their first day of new school life. He had been sucked into the duty of welcoming these newbies into the school hall for the ceremony.

"Ohno-sensei. Wouldn't Class President Sato be a better fit for the job? I'm likely to stab the kids with my heavy hands." He had moaned and whined to his homeroom teacher with hopes of getting out of it.

Ohno-sensei had responded with a chuckle and kind reassurance that he was the perfect boy for the job, sealing the deal with a pat to his back.

"Perfect my ass." Eiji had thought when he sat behind a long table laden with navy ribbons to pin to newbie jackets.

Black jacket after black jacket he pinned the things with his clumsy fingers near stabbing some poor kids in the chest. Hinata was towards the end of the line. By then his patience and strength had wane underneath the noonday sun. His fingers slipped when he pinned the ribbon to Hinata's jacket, accidentally pricking his chest.

"Oops." Was the only words he had said to him at that time.

Hinata stole his heart when he held both his hands and lightly massaged them.

"Your hands must be tired Senpai." Hinata's words and massage had soothed his pains. "I'm okay. Hope your hands are feeling better."

Eiji's heart had raced a million miles when he met Hinata's delicate light-brown eyes, warm smile and a countenance more beautiful than any girl he had ever seen before. When Hinata had moved up the line, and he saw the full length of his lean body in a no collar black uniform, his heart had plummeted with a realisation that his first love was a guy.

For the first few weeks of his school year, he spent a good amount of time brushing off the infatuation and telling himself he was going through a weird phase of puberty. Especially when he rarely saw Hinata around the grounds. How could he be in love with a guy? Was that even allowed?

His love troubles plagued him when Hinata joined his school archery club. He had been determined to hide his feelings and be the indifferent senpai. It was difficult when Hinata was an earnest and cheerful guy. There was a good chemistry between them. His love-struck turmoil had impacted on his sports performance, resulting to many clumsy trick shots and out of target landings. Unable to deny the truth of his feelings, he admitted his love. This had brought his sports performance back up in time to secure his second national win for his school. Not long after, Hinata had bet him to the punch on confessing his love for him.

Tama's excited cries drew him out of nostalgia. He smiled at her playfulness around their small space. She was running about the pipes that ran up the walls. Eiji saw there were mice passing through the room from cracks in the pipes. The kitten was having a field day.

"Tama, please tell you're not a nekomata." Eiji half joked.

He wasn't a believer of old wives tales and local myths, but having the cat in the cell with him was making him a believer. Especially when she was taking to the rugged sea journey like a hardy sailor.

Tyne had left him enough dinner rations and a canteen of water for three days for both of them. Eiji guessed he would need to portion out the luncheon meat for Tama to last five to six. He was content to survive on gum. He made sure the water was given sparingly with most of the quantity to the cat. It helped that she was also able to procure food from the live game the cell had to offer.

No one else aside from Tyne had visited the cell. This fact made him frown. Surely the enemy would be curious and paranoid that a prisoner of war was on board their ship. Either way, he was grateful for the respite. Plus, it gave time for Tama to move around like a kitten.

He was able to drift in and out of light sleep, enjoying the sight of Tama chasing her tail or being playful about the cell.