Theme: Stages of Change - Adaptation
The house was quiet. Much too quiet. Sonomi still expected to hear Tomoyo humming along to some of her music while working endlessly on the piles of homework high school teachers seemed to insist on assigning each day. Those days were gone now, though. Tomoyo was off at college and suddenly her house seemed far too big for merely one person to live in.
Sonomi was jerked from her trip down memory lane by the sound of the phone ringing. She heard one of the maids answer it and a few seconds later the quick patter of footsteps down the hall told her the phone call was important enough to merit her immediate attention.
“Daidouji-san, there’s a Kinomoto-sensei on the phone asking for you.”
“Thank you,” she said as she made her way to the kitchen. Picking up the phone with a curious expression on her face, she answered. “Fujitaka-sensei? Why are you calling?”
“You seemed lonely the last time we talked. I know adjusting to having Tomoyo away constantly must be difficult for you, and I thought maybe you’d like someone to talk to, say, over dinner?”
A small part of Sonomi’s mind screamed at her that, if he were any other man, that line would make a great date invitation. He wasn’t any other man, though; he was Kinomoto Fujitaka, the man who she had once considered her greatest enemy in the world. That man and ‘date’ didn’t belong in the same sentence together.
“What did you have in mind?”
“There’s this nice sushi place near the university, and I know how much you love sushi…”
“Sounds great. Give me fifteen minutes?”
Sonomi enjoyed dinner that night more than she’d enjoyed any meal since Tomoyo had left for school. The two adults chatted, joked, and laughed. As the night wore on, Sonomi was more and more surprised at just how easy it was to tell things to Fujitaka. He was possibly the best listener she’d come across in ages, and he never passed judgment on her for anything she said, unlike all the suits at work who wanted nothing more than to make her look bad to help their own positions.
When he took her hand to help her out of her chair, she felt a surprising tingle rush up her spine. For a moment, their eyes met and for once in her life Sonomi couldn’t think of anything at all to say. Her mind had been wiped completely blank by the disarming smile and kind glint in his eyes.
“We should do this again,” she finally managed. “Dinner… and such…”
They did, too. Nearly every night from that day forward, he would join her for dinner, sometimes at a restaurant, sometimes at his house, and sometimes at hers. Eventually Sonomi began to wonder what she’d ever done without him. She didn’t know that all that time he was wondering the exact same thing.