…All romantic ones, unless you are up for that type of..movie?
… I’ll talk to you in the morning, Anastasia. Enjoy your night.
…..Very well then. Come be a Prince and rescue me?
Do you have a movie?
Because…I don’t know. I’m a complicated girl? The question is, why would you want to rescue me?
…. Because I don’t want to be around someone that doesn’t enjoy being around me.
Am I sure on what? You rescuing me or staying in?
Me ‘rescuing you’… why would you want me to rescue you?
Oh! Right..ha.ha. Oh, I am terrible. Ummm, well yes unless you wanna rescue me from my room.
….Are you sure?
As much as I am flattered by your sense of sarcasm, no I am not. I just don’t have anything to do and..besides I really don’t even know where to begin.
That was a genuine question. It was cold in China and now it’s warm here….
Are you going to seclude yourself the first day in Australia?
Are you melting?
She tried wiping the tears from her eyes but the effort was useless, they kept falling as she thought more about what she had done. She was pathetic. Crying at the side of the road while the crowds of people simply walked by and stared. She could feel the judgements piece through her skin and prickle through to the soul. Even more, she had embarrassed herself in front of Ray because she couldn’t control her emotions, she had let them take over. What would he think now?
The touch of Ray’s hand sent goosebumps up her arm and to the nip of her neck. She looked up at him, trying hard to control her sniffling. She nodded her head slightly, biting onto the insides of her cheek. She would try to forget even though the task seemed impossible, she could for today. “Alright, I just…I..” She whimpered softy, trying to gather up enough words to make a sentence.
As he wiped the tear from her face, she looked up at him. A small smile peered through her lips as she saw his. “I’m sorry…I’m just..I won’t.” She babbled, letting out a sigh. She stepped towards him to give him a hug and wrapped her arms around him tightly. His words were the ones she needed to hear. For the last six years, all she had ever heard was it was her fault, entirely her fault. His words had calmed her down and for that, she was grateful.
As she let go, she cautiously looked around to see where they were. “I have no clue where we are…” The buildings stood tall, the sounds of cars drifted by and the sea of people walking seemed endless. She let out a little laugh and looked at him, regaining the little spark in her eye. “How ‘bout we just make our own little adventure and do whatever the hell we wanna do” She paused for a moment before a confused look washed over her face. “What should we do?”
“Whatever the hell we wanna do,” Ray repeated and replied to Anika, with her moreso newfound confidence in the situation. Of course, Ray couldn’t fix her past. So maybe fixing her future would change her mind. He looked around for the nearest sight of something interesting or adventurous. Ray couldn’t define adventurous even if it had been a snake that bit him over and over again. His safe and reserved life left no room for impulse because of his fear and need for safety and little danger. But a certain blind someone taught him a little bit about trusting yourself and doing something fun, which was what he planned on doing.
Ray spotted a river like lake to his left. He assumed they were in a small village, due to the small shops and number of people that hung around the seats by the water. It was a quaint and enchanting town that Ray had recognized from pictures. “Hey Mulan,” Ray called, slightly satisfied that he finally thought of a name, “I think we should ride a boat over there. And I think I have 5 yen for your thoughts again,” Ray smiled, attempting to impress a smile on Anika again. Anika had the kind of disposition that had to be happy, no matter what was happening. Like painting a very broken canvas with pretty colors, hiding the tears underneath something superficial and unreal. He was sad that she felt like she had to do that, but then again, that had been Ray for a very long time.
The small river turned out to be a lake that had free boat rides. Ray noted the boats as they trugged along the river beside them. He dragged Anika onto a boat that conatined a couple other passengers. Ray decided to sit adjacent to Anika, slightly eager to see her facial reaction. He slipped the yen out of his pocket and held it up to the blonde to take. “Wait, I’m not sure if it’s yours or my turn.”
“Exactly like Mulan…”Anika laughed, shrugging her shoulders effortlessly. The Disney reference had surprised her and left a smile on her face. She wondered how he had known about Mulan or even Disney for that matter but none the less, it was impressive. “All I need to do is find my Li Shang.” She said as her laugh faded.
She watched as he talked, listening to every word he spoke. The smile that had been tattooed onto her face quickly diminished, leaving her staring at him wide eyed. She bit down on her lip and looked towards the ground. There was pain behind his voice and although he hid it well, Anika could feel it. Her own experiences had left her feeling the exact same way. His chuckle had caught her attention causing her to look up with a small smile on her face. “It’s her loss…really it is.” She placed her hand gently on his arm at an effort to comfort him.
She glanced down at the yen and reached for it. She held onto it as he still held it, biting down on her lip as she thought of what to say. “You already know I’m from Miami…I don’t kn-..”She pondered aloud, pausing for a moment to recollect her thoughts. “Oh! Well, I’m an only child…it was always just me, my mom and my dad…but I never saw my dad much. I grew up watching chick flicks and Disney movies. When I was 5, I wanted to be a princess. I’ve been planning my wedding ever since I was seven years old and how many kids I would have, the kinda dress I’d wear and finding my…” She paused for a moment, clearing her throat. “My prince charming.” She let go of the yen and stared into her lap, fiddling with her fingers.
“I thought I found my prince charming…he was my boyfriend in high school. I really thought he was the one. When I was 17 years old, I got pregnant. I didn’t know what to do -I was so young. I mean, I was still in school…I couldn’t raise a child. I wasn’t prepared, he wasn’t prepared and so…” She bit down on her lip, trying to hold back the tears. She was weak, too weak to fight back the emotions. She let the tears roll down her cheek before she saying anything else. “I got an abortion…I murdered it.”
The car stopped and she looked up Ray, forcing a smile through the tears. She quickly opened the door and stood on the edge of the sidewalk. She waited till Ray came around and whispered “ It’s all my fault. I’m a murderer…aren’t I?”
Ray, stunned, grabbed the yen and scooted out of the back of the car. He took a quick survey of his surroundings and was at a loss as to where they were. He hated the feeling of disorientation, and his anxiety started to pick up when he saw tears. Not only was he dizzy from being somewhere unfamiliar, he was upset that he had to bring up something that made her upset. It was familiar, of course, the tears and the whisper. He felt deja vu, like someone important in his life had done the same thing and he had to fix it.
He trotted around the car after leaving an assortment of yen in the seat for the driver and met with Anika again, “Hey, no you’re not,” Ray tried to assure, using a softer voice. His hands familiarly and lightly held her arms to keep her still. As much as Ray hated crying, he hated other people crying. It tore him apart, “Forget about that, okay?” Raymond didn’t want to pretend that he knew all about her. She was damaged and he had to bring it up. He couldn’t change the past to stop her tears, but he could do something now. Say something now.
“You were young,” Ray started, “And although you feel bad, you did the right thing, okay?” Ray wasn’t politically or religiously interested in the debate of abortion. He knew that times were changing and if something had to be done, then it had to be done. In this case, someone so faithful in altruism, abortion wasn’t necessarily the right way to go, though she went through with it. That must’ve been one of the hardest things for her to do…
Ray kept a smile, handing her the yen in her hand and rubbed the tear off her cheek. “Don’t cry, okay?”