He kept to himself on the train, sitting in a nearly bare car, stretching his legs out. One thing that wasn't near the compound was a station. The seven or eight blocks burn in his thighs as Lan rubs on them, sighing as the short train ride pulls into Hiroshima Station. Were he not trying to save money, he would have called a cab.
Groaning out loud, he pulls himself up to stand and ducks under the car's exit as others start to pile in. He only had a few blocks to go from here.


  Saya picks out some long slacks and a blouse from her suitcase, laying both out as she thumbs the power on the TV while still dressed in a towel. The news was on, which she didn't understand, but she didn't tune in for that. The weather eventually came on, it jumps from place to place in Japan until it gets to Hiroshima, a humid, hot eighty-some degrees with a chance of rain.
Saya looks over at her choice and puts the slacks back in her suitcase, pulling out a white pair of shorts instead. If Tokyo was hot, Hiroshima wasn't to be reckoned with, she concludes. Stepping into her shorts and pulling the shirt over her head, she bounces on her heels, standing in front of the full-length mirror.
Neck down, she loves her look – neck up – lacking makeup and her hair in a wild tangle, that comes next. She holds up a hand towards the mirror, blocking her view of herself from the neck up. Pastel blouse, white shorts, she wiggles her toes, her slip-ons waiting for her at the entrance of the room.
Now, head up, she thinks, walking over towards the bathroom and pulling the wall-mounted hair dryer out from the cradle, grabbing her curling brush and getting to work.


  Lan did stop into a shop for a moment, buying a small bottle of water as he pops open the top of his prescription, reaching in and pulling out a Xanax.
He stops mid-stride, turning towards the building near him as he takes it in both thumbs and breaks it in half, dropping part of it back into the bottle, and putting the other half under his tongue.
It starts to dissolve in a bitter taste, and he starts thinking why he did it that way – a nurse once told him it worked faster that way. The frown on his face makes him wonder if it's worth it until he unscrews the top off the water and rinses his mouth out, swallowing.
In a moment of forgetfulness, Lan pats at his front, then back pockets for keys, rolling his eyes as he starts to remember the beginning of last night – Saya took the valet card, and Reo took the car back. Shit.
Eventually, he walks up in front of the Sheraton, walking inside and looking around the lobby. It was early, still, but there she was.


  Saya accidentally gets out at the mezzanine, looking around until she finds a set of stairs leading down to the lobby.
She pulls her purse up against her side, over her shoulder as she looks down at the lobby from her higher viewpoint, looking around the crowds until she spots Lan.
Saya bites her lower lip as she holds back a smile at the bewildered boy looking around for her.
Don't be an ass, go down, her conscience prods at her, and she turns, starting down the stairs towards the lobby. It wasn't until the last flight that she stops midway, her hand on the railing, looking down at Lan.


  His hand on the same railing, he stops at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at Saya, raising his free hand up in a hello, while his mind is churning.
Close your mouth, you knew she was cute before this, he thinks, but fuck me if she isn't..
Lan looks down and shakes his head clear a bit before looking back up at Saya.
“Right, hi. It's.. sorry I'm early.” He looks at his watch even though the LCD doesn't respond. Lan hides it behind him, stepping back down to the ground floor.
“You look.. very nice,” he manages to get out. Then, laughing a little, Lan looks up at her, and whether this was the Xanax speaking or him, or both, it wasn't clear. But the confidence came from somewhere.
“So, my town. Bored, depressed, or happy starting off?” He asks, ticking off fingers on his other hand as he asks. All three were valid, thinking of the transportation museum, the peace memorials, and one in his back pocket, a silly little amusement park.
“Breakfast,” she answers, walking down to join Lan on the ground floor, “or at least coffee. Yeah?”


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About the author


Bio: apologies for everything about me, it might get better.

updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)

feel free to come hang out in the discord, if you like.

[email protected]

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