Post by Fuukami Haruka on Jan 23, 2015 2:50:43 GMT -6
Nodding approvingly at the redhead's clarification, the bespectacled brunette decided to come up with a revision to her reply.
"You're right. Maybe afterwards we could buy more winter apparel, particularly shirts, pants, and maybe a pair of shoes, though they sell those at a different store at the moment. I would think that buying sweaters would be too much though."
She knew that the outfits they wore last winter were getting awfully worn out, and since moth balls gave off a detestable odor, the only thing they could do about it was buy more clothes to replace them. As for the food, the first year knew that there were all kinds of shops for Western and Eastern food alike, even though she wasn't too keen on whether they had several kinds of shops for Japanese food in particular, like they did in some department stores in the western regions of Japan. It would be weird for them to sell all of the Japanese food in one shop though, even if there wasn't one store for each regional cuisine.
A short pause ensued once Iryna had posed her question. It had been some time since the two girls ate some ramen. Hence, Haruka's answer was almost automatic.
"I would like some ramen, thank you. Is there a ramen shop in the food court?"
Post by Fuukami I. Iryna on Jan 25, 2015 19:21:24 GMT -6
"Winter apparel?" Iryna chuckled, "Maybe it's little too soon for that, it's not like we are planning to go to Patagonia this summer; but we can go and see if there are any sales available here." Iryna can't help but smile at Haruka being herself again. The brunette tends to think far ahead, sometimes a little bit too far. But those thoughts of hers usually have some rather sound foundations. In fact, Iryna would like to travel up north to Hokkaido next winter for skiing. Why not give another winter sport a try, Iryna thinks. But Iryna is a person who prefers to live in the present, so preparing for the seaside should be her top priority right now.
"I remember there's a ramen place further upstairs. I remembered seeing it in the map earlier. Let's go, Haru-chan."
Fortunately, the girls have little trouble finding seats after reaching their destination, and Iryna swiftly orders a plain miso ramen. The pigtailed girl tends to prefer more variety in her noodles, but after the feast the day before, she has to cut back some today. However, Iryna does not like the idea of models starving themselves to the point that they look like walking skeletons. Iryna understand that one has to eat to do their work properly, especially athletes, like her.
Post by Fuukami Haruka on Jan 26, 2015 12:16:11 GMT -6
"I guess you have a point." Haruka huffed. "Though it kind of bothers me that we're running out of winter clothes. Honestly, I'm afraid we'll forget to get new ones later, but let's check out some sales." Yes, she thought ahead but she held plenty of reasons to. Sometimes, one had to be prepared for every situation, even if it was far from the near future. For a moment, on the other hand, it surprised the brunette that Iryna mentioned Patagonia since Hokkaido was closer and a better option. Patagonia was all the way in South America, covering Argentina and Brazil. As always, she prided herself on remembering this specific piece of information that no one else would probably remember.
"Alright. I'll get a *Shio ramen then!" proclaimed the freshwoman, going with something simple and nice. She wasn't in the mood for soy sauce ramen, however.
Grinning, the first year was overjoyed to find that the food court wasn't overly crowded, especially during the time of the year when it was popular to visit the mall. Now, they could relax and enjoy their food in peace. After saying grace and separating her bamboo chopsticks, Haruka blissfully savored her lunch alongside the redhead. Thankfully, the ramen they ordered was quick and easy to make, fresh to order, too. In spite of not being the most athletic girl, she found it alright to have comfort food once in a while.
*Ramen served in a chicken broth with pork and seasoned with salt
Post by Fuukami I. Iryna on Jan 26, 2015 19:45:43 GMT -6
Iryna savors her lunch, while stealing some glances at her cousin during the process. The pigtailed girl finds the way Haruka heartily enjoys her bowl of ramen rather cute. Even though the brunette still observes her table manners perfectly, she must have been hungry. Haruka looks like a kitten enjoying her meal after a day out in the streets, even though personality-wise, she's more like a puppy.
After consuming her order, which she deems quite good, Iryna decides to sit back and relax for a while. After today, there will be lots of work, both school and training, so she have to enjoy this as much as she can.
The pigtailed girl decides to start an idle conversation with her dear cousin, so they can recover a bit before any extra shopping:
Post by Fuukami Haruka on Jan 26, 2015 20:56:11 GMT -6
For a moment, the younger girl returns the redhead's quick glimpses at her before relaxing quietly, enjoying the steaming hot noodles and delectable salty flavor of the ramen. The pork was well done, cooked just right and the other ingredients were fresh and harmonious in the entire concoction. It had been most certainly a while since the cousins had shared a traditional meal like this, though the adults in their family often ate it together, serving it with a bottle of Sapporo beer.
Reclining back into the chair, the first year enjoyed her ramen, wondering what the other flavors of ramen tasted like, such as tonkatsu and miso. Dark eyes widened as a sudden inquiry snapped her back to focus.
Ah, how considerate of Iryna, asking her how the meal was. Well, it was only courteous to return the favor, but in actuality, Haruka hadn't had miso ramen before. She supposed that she wasn't interested in it before.
"Mm, I did! Did you? I hear miso ramen's really good but I have a feeling it's a little too strong for me."
Post by Fuukami I. Iryna on Jan 27, 2015 18:57:33 GMT -6
"Well, let's say that just salt or soy sauce alone does not whet my appetite." Iryna replies while adjusting her pigtails. "I prefer the broth having more tastes, you know." Especially in a dish like ramen, Iryna does not like the broth to taste little more than water. For ramen, no, for all noodle dishes that come with broth, the liquid decides whether the dishes taste good or not.
On the other hand, Iryna also enjoys the "dry" variety. She likes spaghetti. Grishin's meatballs are simply awesome. Iryna finds it funny that those Italian specialties are like ramen's brothers from another mother. Their creations are both based on Chinese noodles, and the Italian one is widely believed to come from Marco Polo's ideas after his journey to the Far East. But the Italians did not stop at just that, and they expand all possibilities to create a myriad of dishes that are collectively called "pasta". Now that is creativity.
Time to continue with the conversation:
"Glad that you enjoyed it, Haru-chan. Perhaps you can come back here with someone else other than me. It will be a nice treat for them." Iryna gives her cousin a wink. However, Iryna does not simply want Haruka to just bring a boy here, as her action suggests, but her female friends as well. It would be God for her if the brunette can have a group of close friends that she can trust, not just her cousin. Speaking of that, Iryna thinks maybe she should make more friends as well.
Post by Fuukami Haruka on Jan 29, 2015 11:48:01 GMT -6
"Mm... Interesting. I had always thought you'd go for something bold," was the brunette's reply, savoring her soup in between their dialogue, making sure none of her hair ended up in the broth. Unlike the red haired girl, Haruka preferred more mild flavors, enjoying that the meat and ingredients added to the ramen bowl gave the dish a more subtle taste than one would expect. Soy sauce was too much though.
Quite frankly, the first year preferred her noodle sauces to be light or subtle, like white wine clam sauce or a creamy vodka mix or just very simple ginger sauce. In her class, she had learned that Marco Polo was lucky enough to come across Chinese noodles and brought the design back to Italy before creating more fun and creative ways to enjoy the dish. However, when she researched the subject a bit more in depth, the brunette discovered that the Italians always had pasta, but not in noodle form -- more like a lasagna layer, actually.
Regardless, that was trivial. Now, she had to answer Iryna's suggestion.
"Well, thank you, though I'm honestly not too sure whom I'd bring," mused the younger girl thoughtfully. Now, who would she take? None of her classmates were people that she knew all that well. Most of them didn't get along with her too well, but they were always coolly polite with each other, meaning that though they didn't dislike her, none of them were interested in hanging out with her. To be honest though, Haruka expected that a bit, seeing that she could be an awfully intimidating girl to hang out with some time.
Post by Fuukami I. Iryna on Jan 29, 2015 20:41:23 GMT -6
"Ha, it's kinda hard to invite somebody else for a meal since we are technically each other's best friends." Iryna lets out a self-deprecating laugh, musing about their similar circumstances. They are teenage girls with petite appearances, born into well-off families, ambitious, and quite isolated from their peers.
When Iryna was still in Russia, she did not have many friends in primary school either, as she was not the type to go ask around for playmates. However, there was a group of kids in the neighborhood whom she got along with. They used to tease her by calling her "cotton candy", but after some time, it has become an affectionate nickname. There was also a girl in her ballet class, named Anna, whom Iryna grew quite close with. The pigtailed girl was devastated when Anna's family decided to move to France. After that, Iryna has become reluctant to make new friends and tended to keep relationships with her classmate on "colleague" levels, being afraid that she may lose a person close to her again. Furthermore, she felt painful having to leave Russia and leave her old friends behind. Now, in high school, she feels the girls in her skating team dislike her for various reasons, but at least her classmates do not bother her much, even though they tend to make a distance from her despite her attempts to look more sociable. Maybe it's because of her temper. However, there still are good signs. While on a trip to Paris while she was thirteen, Iryna happened to meet Anna, who was on a day out, and the two had a very long conversation before going their separate ways, promising to see each other again.
On the other hand, even though Iryna claims not to be interested in love from time to time (before confessing her crush, that is), she has been intrigued by fairy tales about princesses since she was young. The pigtailed girl used to "force" her parents into playing King and Queen, with herself as the lovely Princess, in her royalty role play, and even dreamt of a Prince who could give her a happily-ever-after. Even though she has become more down-to-earth as she grew up, that dream is still there, albeit considerably subdued. Maybe that was the reason Iryna was unsure of herself after experiencing love at first sight, as she felt it was too good to be true. Now that she accepted it, she knows she has to be more proactive.
"Haru-chan, maybe you need to smile a bit more? People will be more willing to approach you." Iryna decides to give some advice, tilting her head to one side. If Haruka's classmate feels intimidated by the brunette's presence, maybe a smile can give a more friendly image. Even though this seems a bit hypocritical coming from her, who also has trouble making friends, but the two cousins will always help each other in any way they can.
Post by Fuukami Haruka on Mar 16, 2015 16:17:14 GMT -6
Allowing a light chuckle to flow through her thin lips smoothly yet bitterly, Haruka responded, "La vie est drôle. Life is funny. Sometimes, it just works out that way." Somehow, though, she was beginning to think that maybe she was ten billion light years too early to say such a phrase. However, she was not asking rhetorical what-ifs and the other curses that life put on humans as they aged quickly and fiercely. Neither was Iryna, even if their circumstances were similar.
From the very beginning, Fuukami Haruka had stayed and lived in Hikarizaka. It was where she grew up, so it held a special place in her heart in spite of the fact that there honestly wasn't anything that would put it in bolded letters on a map. A small town like Hikarizaka was a very idyllic area, so Fuukami Shinjirou and his wife Maya would have obviously moved in prior to their eldest child's birth. The high school was private, and though there was nothing to give it prestige beyond its vicinity, the education was splendid, and Haruka and her younger sister turned out well. For the longest time, she didn't even know Iryna up front and personally, however. It was only until junior high, when Yusaku and his family settled down in the same town, that she came to knew the second year.
Regardless, the wait was long worth it and the two became as close as sisters, though they were family already technically. From the very beginning, Haruka had been a hard worker: a bit more energetic and open than she was now. It was only her loneliness that had hardened her, even if just a bit slightly. While the first year kept excellent ties with her family, she thought very few people would understand her and she became known as a stick in the mud and a perfectionist. Of course, this was true but only to an extent. To everyone's surprise, on the other hand, it touched a few nerves since she just wanted to know kindred souls. That of course, would only be possible if she put more effort into it, but the social climate in Hikarizaka was not the kind that would breed the ideal conditions for her wish to come true.
There were many more facets to this ambitious young maiden, including the fact that she did not have a clear idea of whom she truly was. That and she once was a romantic, who fell in love with Iryna's chef at first sight, but then eventually grew out of it because it really was just admiration. Now, Fuukami Haruka was not the type to fall in love so easily. In fact, she was worried more about making friends since there were more freshmen. It wasn't ideal, but she'd have to put up with something good enough. Romance could wait until when she was truly ready for the idea of having a boyfriend. Unfortunately, her social skills were far from being refined enough to achieve that goal, even if it was very far in the future. Time tended to catch up quickly.
The brunette pursed her lips quietly once the redheaded girl shared her tip. Maybe it would work out, but it all depended on multiple factors and not just a pretty little smile. Surely, she could whip up something charismatic anyway. "I suppose I'll take your word for it, but don't blame me if the other students take it as a beeline to run," she added wryly. There was no substance in that quick quip, but their situations were too complicated to boil down like so.
Post by Fuukami I. Iryna on May 21, 2015 20:43:34 GMT -6
"Run, really? You are not an ogre, you know? If you can be nice to the neighborhood kids, why not your schoolmates as well?" Iryna replied, with a bit of disbelief in her voice. In Iryna's mind, Haruka is not the kind of girl who cannot emote. She is more about keeping her own feelings to herself and be rational. Iryna just can't do that, as emotions are necessary for her skating performance, just like any other art form. On the ice, she has to let herself burn with passion in order to put on the greatest performance in her ability. This seems contradictory, but a hot heart is necessary for effort, and effort is what she has to produce all the time.
Haruka, on the other hand, encases her own heart in an ice cage, to keep it in control. The ice only melts a little when the brunette is with her family members, especially her redheaded cousin. Or around young children, or animals. Iryna can imagine Haruka as a princess who sits on an ice throne, lives in an ice castle on the top of a perpetually snowy mountain. Haruka looks like she wants to be in control of everything, which means that the moment something totally unexpected happens, she will be lost. Even the sturdiest iceberg will disintegrate by just a single crack. She may put on a confident front, but who knows what will happen if she crumbles under all the pressure.
"You are a cool girl, Haru-chan. You'll be fine." Iryna gives her cousin a reassuring smile. "As long as you believe in yourself." Iryna muses to herself that how she and her brunette cousin tend to learn from each other. On the redhead's side, Iryna really wants to learn how to focus on her tasks at hand better like Haruka. Iryna wants to keep her head cool like Haruka, but think that Haruka needs to warm her heart up like her. A hot heart and a cool head will be the keys to success in any path of life, that's what Iryna's father once told her.
Post by Fuukami Haruka on Aug 16, 2015 2:38:14 GMT -6
"Hm... Honestly, it's a bit complicated. The short-hand, most simplified explanation would be that I'm shy with people that are my age or somewhere around it. Not too much unlike you, hmm?" Now, she would never mean such a statement harshly. It was just a teensy little and friendly jab, but after all they've been through, she wondered if it hit too close to home. To be fair, Hikarizaka High was close to home from the very beginning. And they had lived in that quaint little town for as long as could be remembered. Unfortunately, the conversation reminded Haruka of her most... inept social skills. It had been, and still was rather difficult her to put the effort in to try and make new friends. If she was going to fail, and if the potential friends weren't interested to begin with, she had always pondered if there was some sense or reason in trying.
Yet, Haruka had to go out in the real world. Yes, she was only but a freshman at her high school with all the time in the world. Yes, she had a lot to learn. Yes, it wasn't wise to push oneself. In the end, though, she couldn't afford to dawdle. Even with all the riches in the whole entire world, they couldn't buy her the whole world to explore in luxury and at an idle pace. Rather, she'd have to gather up her courage in the sticking place before letting herself dawdle the time by and cost the world she sought to imprint her mark on by discovering more about it. She'd have to find her passion and melt in its flavorful embers and lick back at the painful but pleasant spitfire in order to move beyond her fears. Like Iryna. Yes, like Iryna, the bespectacled brunette would have to be stronger than her fears and resignations, no matter how much she'd like to pass herself off like a tactician who knew when to retreat.
After seeing a comforting smile and hearing warm, sweet reassurance like the daybreak, Haruka began to feel a pang of guilt for her faux pas. "And... I'm most certain you'll be able to make many wonderful friends too in order to go out on outings like this." The redhead, as impulsive and passionate as she was, was incorrigible in the sense that beyond all the layers of her own complexities she could be the kind and loving big sister figure that the younger girl had always needed and adored. Things were complicated in their own ways, and they'd only become more complicated --
A hint of a smile graced dry, restraining lips which said, "We'll be alright as long as we have each other to rely on too. It's needless to say, but you're my Oneechan, and I couldn't forget about you if I tried -- even if we did end up making a lot of friends or make a few really close ones that linger in our minds at all times."
Post by Fuukami I. Iryna on Oct 9, 2015 9:52:54 GMT -6
Iryna cannnot help but feel bliss at the brunette's word. Even though Iryna and Haruka are only related by their fathers' bloodline, the redhead has always seen Haruka as a genuine younger sister. Not totally by blood, but totally by bond.
Bonds, now that Iryna thinks about it, they are everywhere. Between parent and child, between siblings, between friends, between couples, even between a pet and its owner. They are invisible threads woven together, connect people to one another, make each and every one of them feels a sense of belonging. Iryna finds the kanji character for that word rather interesting, as it has the character for "silk" in it. Looks like the Japanese people are rather fixated to that "silk thread" idea. The redhead thinks it's rather fun to imagine all those strings being visible.
And then there's the concept of a "red string of fate", which is supposed to symbolize two people who are destined to be with each other. When Iryna was young, and in her "little princess" phase, she wondered at times whether she can find the person her red thread is connected to. She has grown out of that phase a long time ago, but the remnants of it, which have materialized as her hidden romanticism, are still there.
Thinking about the metaphorical strings makes Iryna recall that chance encounter with the boy she has a crush on, more than a year ago. The pigtailed girl just decided to go on a stroll by the riverbank totally on a whim, as she wanted to kill some time after the high school entrance ceremony. Then she saw an incredible scene: a white-haired boy trying to save a cat, who was stranded on a wooden board in the middle of the river. He went into the river, getting wet all over while trying to take the feline in distress to safety as quickly as he could. Thankfully both the boy and the cat were safe and sound. Iryna felt her heart skip a beat after witnessing the scene, and trailed off being confused at her newfound feeling without him noticing her. The redhead has been denying that emotion being love, despite keeping an eye on him secretly since then (until they "officially" met). Now that Iryna thinks about it, she realizes the animal rescue is very likely to be a "fateful encounter", and Ayumu may be that "special" person who is destined for her to be with. The idea makes her feels heat again, but, unlike the previous times, somehow this feels so pleasant, so warm and fuzzy, like being near a kotatsu.
After getting herself lost in Memory Land, Iryna decides to continue her conversation with her dear cousin, asking her slowly and rather bashfully:
"That's really nice, Haru-chan. We will make fond memories together. And, you know, I hope I can make fond memories with... that person, too. You know who he is. Still, do you think it is weird that I came to like him because I saw him saving a kitten? Because, well, what if he asks about my reason for liking him after I confess?"
Once again, they breach the topic of romance. Also once again, the younger Fuukami voices her reassurances tenderly. The vulnerability Iryna shows would always be cherished and protected. For sure. It was but a small part of the hopes and dreams that Fuukami Haruka had.
"I know you'll be able to make lots of fond memories with Mizukami-senpai. I am certain he would not freak out if you discuss the inner workings of your heart if he has at least one ounce of decency and enough manners. First of all, no one asks why someone fell in love with them until they start dating; it is rude for him to ask after you confess because even though you trust him a lot, he has to prove he trusts you too," was her lengthy reply. She added wryly, "Nonetheless, it is not weird. Hero worship often transforms into affection." Indeed, her knowledge bank of all the relevant romance novels and movies was not put to waste, but it did not mean she could not have fun with it.
Basking in Iryna's joy, Haruka found she could never get enough of it. Truly, she, Iryna, and her little sister were always as close as real, full sisters. Growing up together as neighbors in the same town for all of their life made quite the difference.
In fact, they could never ever see their parents, and Haruka would feel it was enough. Surely enough though, her parents were there for her and Tomoka. After all, they had learned parenting was a full-time occupation soon after having a second baby. They had underestimated it when they first had the freshwoman because she was so well-behaved unless if she saw people she considered equals being dishonorable and unkind. However, after all the little chats she had shared with her redheaded cousin, she could not help but wonder, no, even doubt if Iryna ever felt the same for her parents: particularly her father. But Haruka also trusted the half Russian to take good care of her affairs.
She'll be fine.
A three word mantra that was used only by Fuukami Haruka.
Romance and red strings never really bothered Haruka. She had crushes, and if teased, was easily flustered. After all, the young girl was not known for her silver tongue or an immunity against similar guiles, but nonetheless, it would always come second to her family, her friends, her duties and her ethics. That was all she could be certain about, and she was fine with it. If she ran into anything she did not like, it was her fault for running into such unpleasant consequences.
Post by Fuukami I. Iryna on Nov 21, 2015 11:26:44 GMT -6
Once again, Iryna gets reassurance from her brunette cousin. Even though that makes her happy, Iryna cannot hide the awkwardness in her subsequent smile. The pigtailed girl is the elder one, yet it looks like she has had to seek advice on love from her younger confidante, who is no more experienced at it than herself. And that seems... kinda pathetic. Iryna fancies herself as a cool elder sister to Haruka, and yet she has just treated the brunette like a counselor. Maybe it stems from Iryna's subconscious admiration of Haruka's intelligence and wisdom. Adding her calm demeanor and traditional appearance, the brunette can be like a sage sometimes.
"Thanks, Haru-chan. Ayumu seems to be a considerate guy to me, even though I feel I've been pushing him around a little. Maybe he will at least hear me out." Iryna proceeds. "I'm planning to become closer to him before confessing during the trip. I've decided that the vacation would be a perfect opportunity for me to tell him my feelings."
Even though she said "planning", Iryna tends to do things on a whim. Even the trip to Okinawa that she's so looking forward to comes from seeing a documentary about it on TV one day. The redhead initially thought the trip could simply give her a chance to get to know her crush more, but the recent developments have spurred her to take it up a notch. Confessing on the beautiful southern islands, how can it get even more romantic?
But she has to get Ayumu to truly see her as a friend he can be comfortable around first. Maybe inviting him to lunch is a good idea. Playing together somewhere may be nice too. Like a festival...
A bulb lights up in her head.
"Oh, Haru-chan! Have you got any plans for Tanabata?"
Post by Fuukami Haruka on May 30, 2016 17:26:10 GMT -6
Tilting her head, Haruka then soon noticed her big sister figure's awkward smile. Did Haruka talk too much again? She was never any good at this sort of chat. Most of what she was relying on was honestly decent etiquette, but as for the physical touch, the compromises and communication involved in relationships, that was a mystery for the first year. Since she had never been in a relationship before, the only knowledge that she could be relied upon was of tact, and even then, Fuukami Haruka was not the paragon on which a yamato nadeshiko could be modeled. In fact, she didn't know much about traditional feminine pursuits. Perhaps not even she could be perfect, as hard as that was to believe.
"I don't see why Mizukami-senpai wouldn't hear you out. To be honest, I doubt he would ever see your confession coming, even if you hinted at it before," she candidly replied. "But don't go overboard, alright? it's good to try and deepen your bond, but you mustn't be too presumptuous. You are a young lady of the Fuukami family, no less, after all."
Despite having shared these words, the brunette still couldn't help but worry. Iryna was a kind and free but nonetheless impulsive spirit. It was amusing and anxiety-provoking alike to imagine all the shenanigans that one girl could get into. Mizukami Ayumu was a bit flaky, but good intentioned, and Haruka assumed that there had to be a bit more for him to attract her cousin's attention. But would Iryna be able to understand if he was uncomfortable?
Haruka certainly hoped so, but she found herself worrying less than anticipated. Despite how quick and sure-footed the ice skater was, she was also pretty intelligent and showed many traits of leadership.
Certainly it would be alright, until the conversation suddenly shifted --
"Oh, um, not really," the younger girl expressed bemusedly. "What about it?"