“Mommy… mommy… where are you?” you cried as you wandered a big and unrecognizable street. You had been walking with her until you got distracted by the pretty paper kites and lanterns that a store was selling. You began to get scared... no one was helping you.
Would you ever be able to find your mommy again?
You soon somehow found a big pond with golden fish. Over here, it was quiet. There was barely anyone around. You saw a statue of a big man with a big round belly. He looked happy, and kind of like Santa Clause, except he was bald. You sat down next to him and asked him, “Mister, can you help me find my mommy?”
“Are you lost -aru?” you heard a boys voice come from behind you. You turned around to suddenly see a giant panda.
“AHH the panda’s talking!!!” you screamed in fear and hid behind the big man, hoping he could protect you.
The panda laughed. “I’m no panda -aru…” he took of his head and it turned out to be a boy! A boy with really long hair. “I’m ----,” he said in a strange language you couldn’t understand. But you liked him. he seemed really nice, even though he looked more like a girl with his long hair.
“I’m ______. And I- I can’t find my mommy!” tears began to form when you suddenly remembered the situation you were in again.
“Shh.. don’t cry..” he wiped the tears off your face with the furry paw of his costume. “I’ll help you find your mommy -aru…”
I’ll help you….
“Hey, hey! Mei!!!!” you yelled as you glomped your best friend. You both started laughing and she hugged you back. She had been waiting for your class to end so that you could go out to eat lunch with her afterwards. “So how are classes going for you?” you aked her curiously.
“Oh just fine… actually, I met someone new in my class… there he is!” she began waving at a guy. “We have the same math class… isn’t he cute?” she whispered to me as he began to come closer. “This is Kiku… and this is my best friend, _________.” She introduced you to him. He bowed politely and you politely inclined your head in response.
You began walking to the dining area at your university. You looked over and saw that
Kiku was still following you and that Mei was talking enthusiastically with him. You rolled your eyes and sighed. Mei and Kiku… looked cute together. He seemed like a nice guy and all… but you didn’t think you’d be third wheeling for this lunch date. You sighed once more and instinctively touched your earrings.
These earrings were very special to you. When you were little, you were lost one day in China, and a boy- he helped you. They were his parting gift to you. The only thing you had in memory of him, since you couldn’t even remember his name! They were really cute- little panda dangle earrings. You considered them to be your good luck charm. After all, it was a “panda” that helped you find your mom again. As you, Mei, and Kiku began to walk towards the cafeteria, you struggled once more to remember the face of your hero. You wished that you’d be able to remember so that you could find out where he was and thank him.
You soon reached the cafeteria and sat down at a table in the shade. Kiku said something to Mei and walked towards the food service line. Mei waved and then smiled….guiltily… at you. She walked over with a very apologetic expression on her face. “Hi… _________,” she said innocently.
“Mei…” you said shortly as you began to take out your lunch.
“Okay! I’m sorry for making you third wheel, but he’s just so cute and-!” you stopped her by putting a chip in her mouth.
“Just eat…” you said as you took a big bite of your lunch.
“Really?!? So you’re okay with it?!”
“…” you looked at her. She smiled and then began talking, in detail, about how cute she thought Kiku was. You soon saw that Kiku was returning- and that he wasn’t alone. There was someone approaching- someone with long hair- oh no, did Mei have competition? However, when you looked closer, you soon realized that Kiku was with a guy. He had long brown hair that he tied back into a long ponytail and a really cute smile.
Mei waved enthusiastically and asked, “Kiku, who’s your friend?”
“Oh, this is my brother, Yao,” he said quietly.
“Hi nice to meet you ~aru!” he smiled. “I hope you two don’t mind if I eat with you...” we both shook our heads and he sat down with his brother and they began talking. For some reason you found yourself feeling really self-conscious. Something about him… seemed so familiar… but you couldn’t grasp what it was exactly. You kept fidgeting with your clothes and your hair and you felt yourself blushing. You pretended to be really interested in your food so you could avoid looking up. It was going pretty well, actually, until he spoke up. “Those are really pretty earrings, -aru!” Yao broke in through your thoughts.
You face burned and you self-consciously touched one ear. “Thanks…” you said with a small smile. You tried to look at him, but couldn’t.
“They were given to her by a boy, “ Mei helpfully chimed in. “Her hero, to be exact. He saved her when she got lost in China… cute, right?”
“…Your name… is _______, right?... could it be…?” Yao said. You looked up and saw that something in his eyes- recognition. At that moment, you suddenly realized... !!
Your face flaming, you stood up suddenly and quickly started to put away your things.
“________________?” Mei said, concerned.
“I- I just remembered I had something to do…” you said, trying to hide your face. You grabbed your bag and began to run. Your heart was beating so hard that you thought it’d jump out of your chest. Why were you feeling this way? If your suspicious were correct, he was the boy who saved you all those years ago. You would’ve loved to have thanked him- in fact, you still wanted to! But it was just… it was just… you didn’t expect that…!!!
“_______-aru!!” you turned around briefly to see that Yao was chasing you. Alarmed, you started running faster. “______, why are you running, aru?!?!” he yelled, exasperated.
Not being a marathon runner by any stretch of imagination, you soon started to slow down.
“__-aru!” he finally caught up to you. You collapsed, giving up. You sat down on your
knees, huffing and puffing for breath. To your embarrassment, he knelt down as well.
“______, do you remember me -aru?” he said tenderly as he brushed back your hair so that he could see your face.
“Y-yes.. I do… thank you…” you said, face flaming.
He smiled at that. “And you still wore them, after all this time- aru…” he looked at you fondly. “You know, you still look as cute as you looked back then, -aru..”
“..What?!?” you looked up suddenly, embarrassed.
“I’m telling the truth! You know, I never thought that I’d ever get to see you again, -aru,” he said, suddenly being embarrassed himself.
“Well… I guess these are really lucky then…” you said, as you touched one of them again, smiling.
After a few moments of embarrassed silence, you two both looked up and said, “You know-!” then you both laughed.
“Uhm.. you go ahead first Yao…”
“Oh.. –aru… Would you like to come with me after we’re both done with our classes? We could go out to eat some Chinese food at the place I work at…”
You smiled and took his hand. “I’d love to…” Then you two both stood up and began walking back to where you left Kiku and Mei behind. You two held hands all the way back over. You touched your panda earrings and smiled, thanking them for the luck they really did give you.
“Look, there’s your mom- aru!” he said. You saw that your mom was calling for you with a worried expression on her face. He had taken you to the store that you had described to him.
Before you ran off, you gave panda boy a big hug. “I love you!” you said happily. He was surprised at first but then smiled and hugged you back.
When you let go and was about to run to your mother, he called you. “___, wait! Let me give these to you- aru…” he gave you a small box which you opened.
“Oh how cute! They are little pandas!” you said happily.
“These will give you good luck… I hope someday that I will have enough luck to meet you again someday-aru…” he gave you a sad look.
“Don’t be sad! I promise that one day I will see you again! I will wear these so you can recognize me!” you smiled and waved as you walked back to your mother.
He looked on with a bittersweet feeling as he was happy that you were with your mother again but somewhat sad that you were leaving. Maybe someday he’d meet you again… and with the confidence that you had in that future reunion... that big pretty smile you had… made him feel that it was true.
He looked down at you fondly as he recalled that last memory. He kissed your cheek and pulled the covers over you. You two had been going out on a steady three years. Before he left, he noticed a glint from the coffee table. Looking closer, he saw that it was the panda earrings. He smiled as he stroked your hair and whispered “wo ai nee… I am glad that fate really did bring us back together- aru..” he then smiled as he tip toed quietly out of his living room and into the kitchen.
You slept soundly with a smile on your face. You felt the same way too… exactly the same way. <3