All Sochi could do was follow her, tugging along his bag behind him until she had yanked it away to give it to the bellhop. Within nothing in his arms, he lifted up and arm to cross his chest and nervously began rubbing his bicep. The biting tone to her questions made him feel like he had upset her somehow, breaking him out of the nervous and embarrassed feelings he had about sharing and making him feel like a tremendous burden.
His posture dropped into a wilt, emerald eyes glossing a bit as his lips thinned while he followed her as she huffed. Physically, despite the fact he was keeping up with her movements, he was recoiling, starting to shut down from fear of her anger. Sochi pursed his lips to the side before opening his mouth, deciding to try his best to answer her questions and, hopefully, apologize for whatever he had done or said that upset her.
"I’m sorry, Rory, for whatever I said that made you mad at me. I didn’t…is it because I’m dating someone now?" Sochi’s voice was barely above a whisper as they continued to move towards their room, into the elevator. When the doors closed, he backed into the corner, looking at the floor, "I’ve only really known him a little over a month. I was confused about my own feelings, so I didn’t tell anyone until I was sure. And even then I didn’t tell him I was even coming. I was going to text you about it when I got back from his apartment on Friday, but my mata and pita got home from India, and I had modeling jobs Saturday through yesterday…and I wanted to tell you in person because you’re my friend, and it’s easier for me to say these kinds of things in person.”
"I’m sorry…if I made you angry…I didn’t…" His voice tapered off, feeling like he was being selfish for even bringing it up when they were supposed to be having fun, "I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry."
Rory looked at him quickly and took note of his features and how he had considerably quieted. His eyes looked fearful, the way he held himself was indicative of fear and it was obvious that was no longer comfortable here. Rory felt like kicking herself. She shouldn’t have thrown all her insecurities at him like that. And she definitely shouldn’t have scared him especially considering the things he had gone through.
As they waited for the elevator to reach the designated floor, she remained quiet, thinking over her feelings and what she should say to Sochi to make it up to him. She had to admit, it was rather silly to feel hurt over the fact that he hadn’t told her before. He hadn’t known her very long, after all and, besides, it was really none of her business. In between the status of friend and acquaintance, she really didn’t know where she stood with him, after all and it made sense that he would confide in someone who would take the news a lot better then she did.
Rory sighed heavily. Guilt was settling itself over her head and stabbing her with reminders of his clouded eyes and the fear that was manifested in his stance and speech. Way to go, Rory, she thought gloomily to herself.
When the elevator dinged, making known that they had reached their designated floor, she lagged behind the bellboy and Sochi, still absorbed in her thoughts. When she finally caught up, the young man attending them was unlocking the door to their room. Dramatically throwing it open, He rolled the carrier in and began to remove their baggage and place it in an orderly fashion around the spacious main room. That done, he smiled nervously at the two of them.
Rory extended her hand and laid a very generous tip in the palm of his while saying, “Thank you very much.”
The bellboy was beside himself with pleasure but couldn’t think of doing anything but smiling and bowing to them as he left, dragging his cart with him. When the door finally closed, Rory turned to face Sochi, her face remorseful.
"Sochi," she said imploringly "I’m…I’m sorry. I ruined everything. Here you trusted me with this and I just acted all pissy."
Walking over to a luxurious looking chair, she sat down hard and stared at the floor.
"I just…I’m an idiot. When you said that, I felt like you were keeping it from me and I got hurt and upset and……I told you I was crazy, didn’t I?"
She curled up in her seat and looked at him before saying earnestly, “I know I was acting stupid but….please, listen to me. You need to be careful. You’ve only known this person for all of a month and I don’t want you getting hurt again. I mean, you probably don’t even know what they do for a living or how they act under stress or stuff like that.”
A thought suddenly occurring to her, she sat up straight and asked in a quiet tone, “Sochi, have you been intimate? Physically, I mean. Please tell me the truth.”
"No, no, no, no, no! I’m no poet. I’ve heard it said before, and I liked it, soooo I’m just borrowing the words because they’re appropriate," Sochi grinned, keeping his eyes closed as he felt Rory stroke the back of his hands. The affectionate touch was nice, and he enjoyed it in his head and felt the comfort in his heart, and it was those things that allowed him to slowly still them, placing his hand on top of hers.
"Uh-uh. It doesn’t bother me." He shook his head, opening his eyes and laying back down on the grass, propping his legs up so his knees were in the air and placing his hands folded on his stomach, "Because if I wish for those pieces back, then I know I’ll miss out on the other pieces I can collect and replace the holes with. Besides, I can’t think of life in terms of better or worse. It’s all life. It’s all part of the same beautiful mess. I wouldn’t change that even if I could.”
"I guess all I’m really looking for is someone or something that can help me collect my broken pieces and can help me make or find some replacements," Sochi swiveled his head from side to side to some beat, tapping his fingers to the same unheard rhythm, "Certain things help. Certain people help, buuut I know I need to get braver to figure out what pieces really fit.."
She laughed and teased, “You’re plagiarizing then. You should turn yourself into the scholastic police right now.”
Rory turned to face him when she felt the presence of his hand upon hers. Much to her happiness, he looked more relaxed then he usually was whenever she touched him and his shaking had subsided. The fact that he had returned her gesture only encouraged her to give his hand a quick little squeeze.
Sighing deeply, she said softly, “I guess that’s my nature then. I spend a whole lot of the time wondering what would’ve happened if things were different. What if my dad lived? What if never went to Japan? Would I be happier or worse off?”
Getting the smallest shadow of a smile on her face, she added, “But I would’ve really missed meeting the host club, I guess. That’s one part of me life I wouldn’t change at all.”
Looking at him, she commented, “It would help with me if I had a guide to know where the pieces fit. I don’t know what the finished product’s gonna look like and that just makes me even more lost. It would help if we were all born with a compass at birth to help us in life, you know. It would be a whole lot easier. I hope….I hope I can help you with that. I’m pretty good with puzzles besides my own.”
I was six when Robert from down the block
pushed me onto a pile of rocks
my mama brushed the dirt off my cheeks,
washed off my bleeding knees
and told me “don’t cry, don’t show
and in fifth grade my friend’s cousin passed away and
two days later i overheard some boys
calling her a crybaby
i think maybe i complain a lot about small things
like sore joints or headaches or chapped lips or
how long it is until the next episode of game of thrones
so everyone thinks the only problems in my life
are itty bitty butterflies but
I don’t talk about the bad stuff, you know? I don’t mention
the stuff that’s eating me up, the stuff that makes this skin
feel less like home and more like a prison,
the stuff that’s making my particles disconnect
from one another so i become
atomic dust, i just
i help a lot of people with their burdens, as often as i can
and i know they wouldn’t really mind it if i told them maybe
just a little about how bad it’s getting
but even my closest friends
i never want to bother because i hear their stories
about what they’re carrying and
i don’t want to add to it when they’re sad enough as it is
and when they’re happy, I know exactly
how rare it is for them,
so I don’t want to spoil it
the only thing is
a few days ago, I offered advice to someone who needed a
pick-me-up and she looked me in the eyes and asked
“how is it exactly that you know this stuff”
and I could have unzippered my bones and come
crashing out all over the floor
but instead I shrugged and smiled and said
“That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.”