I get up frantically. The other half of the bed is untouched. His clothes are gone. I go to the balcony and see multiple cigarettes pressed inside a glass.
What was the last word I said to him; I don’t remember. Maybe he’s at breakfast. Before I open the door I close my sash and close my robe. I braid my hair and put it up. There’s no trace of him through the halls.
“Setsuna-sama, you’re late for class.”
I run into one of my teachers. I don’t have time for class.
“Um, where’s Kyoya-sama?”
“The Niwa family left early this morning.”
“So he’s gone?”
“Princess, it’s time to start class.”
I run pass her and go up to my room. His number should still be there. I want to speak to him again. I open my door and mother is waiting for me.
“Where were you last night?” she asks me.
I’m stricken but move to the bookshelf. I know I left it here.
“Answer me, Setsuna!”
I kneel down to the book I dropped. It’s not here. No, I drop it on the vanity when he asked me to take off my makeup. I walk to the vanity.
“There it is”
Mother’s hand reaches for it first.
“What is this, huh?”
No, he told me to keep it secret. She tosses it back to me and I stumble to catch it. The numbers are gone. It rubbed off. Why didn’t I memorize such an important number.
“I was in Kyoya-sama’s room. I wanted to talk to him more.”
“You were in his room after dark-”
“I just wanted to talk to him.”
“What if someone saw you? Do you want to be labeled a loose woman? You have no reason to be in the prince’s room. You’re not married. All you are is a burden to him.”
“No, he says he likes me-”
“He’s being polite. There’s nothing you can offer him besides a title.”
I thought that was the case but I think he likes me. He hugged me and listened to me. He took the ribbon from my hair. I nod to her. There’s allowed to be secrets between me and him; this will be one.
“You’re right mother; I was foolish.”
“Clean yourself up and get to your classes.”
I wanted desperately to talk to him again.
“Did you really spend the night with him?” I hear.
I turn around and Yumi steps in. She’s about to go out it seems.
“We like each other,” I say to her. “He’s amazing.”
“I’m happy for you,” she says smiling.
“What did Kantarou-sama talk to you about?”
She sighs and walks to the vanity. She checks over her hair.
“Oh my gosh! Did he propose to you?”
“No, unless he has a weird way of doing it. He wanted me to come to his country for a cultural exchange.”
“I told him “no.” It was because of how he asked.”
“Kyoya-sama said his brother doesn’t have much sensitivity. Perhaps he didn’t know how to ask.
But it’s such a great opportunity.”
“It is but-”
“And I’m sure you’ll be learning from the court ladies and not him especially. You always said you hated the reputation your mother put on you. This is a chance to create your own.”
She holds her head down.
“That man just bothers me.”
“I think you should do it. I’m so jealous of you. Oh, and you can help me and Kyoya-sama communicate,” I say to her.
“He did throw his number at me.”
“Let me see it. I’ll call!”
She passes her phone to me lazily. I’m so close to talking to him.
“They should be off the jet by now,” she says to me.
I sit down at the floor of the vanity. Each ring makes me more anxious.
“Only for you, Setsuna-chan,” she says to me wither head down.
“Kantarou-sama can give you anything. This is great. You can finally pursue your dreams without being mocked by my mother.”
I think he picked up.
“Who is this?”
He has such a deep voice.
“Hello, this is Setsuna Asahina, princess of Morinaga, I would like to speak to Kantarou Niwa-sama please.”
“I’m calling on behalf of my cousin, Yumiko Yamamoto-chan. I have persuaded her to take your generous offer of a cultural exchange.”
I feel my training kicking it. I’ll persuade him to make her dreams come true.
“To think you have more persuasion over me.”
“I find it very believable. I will relinquish her to your care only, and if something happens to her I will hold you responsible. Do you understand Kantarou Niwa-sama?”
“Who do you think you’re talking to-”
“You express an interest in her, did you not? All the more reason for you to assume responsibility.
I assume you’re a great man, being a Han Commander. This should be easy for you to handle.”
I hear him laughing deeply on the phone.
“Fine,” he finally says.
“I look forward to your return. I will only relinquish her to you. Now….would you be so kind as to put Kyoya-sama on the phone.”
“I’m afraid he’s unavailable.”
“W-what is he doing?”
“He’s a busy man. He doesn’t really have time. Do you have a message, princess?”
“Um…not really. Kantarou-sama, do you think he’ll come back soon?”
I feel depressed now. I just sent Yumi-chan to Han and that means I’ll be here all by myself. I don’t even have his visit to look forward to.
“Do you…do you think he likes me?”
“I can’t say. I really don’t have time to be your in-between.”
He hung up on me. Yumi-chan looks down at me from the vanity.
“Very impressive. You sure know how to talk to him.”
So he won’t be back. I want to speak to him so badly. I pass the phone back to her. It was somewhat comforting to hear Kantarou-sama’s voice. I’m getting closer to him.
“Don’t be so down.”
“But now that I know him-”
“I get it. But he’s working hard so that the two of you can be together.”
He is. He said he had a lot of press to do. As soon as our nations accept it, we can come together. I smile thinking about it.