In response to Word High July the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘dalisay’ or ‘pure’. It’s part of a series charting the impact of the discovery of intelligent life in space on five ordinary people over the course of a month. Enjoy!
Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.
The lights were dimmed for the movie, but Yuna hadn’t bothered to turn them up again when it finished. She and Shima were comfortable in the artificial twilight, the DVD menu looping in the background as they talked.
It was such simple conversation; their day, people at work, plans to buy a car. And yet Yuna found herself relaxed, happy even. The first date at her home had always been a stage in the game, an invitation to intimacy on the promise of maintaining a socially acceptable and therefore mutually beneficial relationship.
But when Shima had mentioned his desire to share an old movie with her, it seemed completely natural to extend an invitation for a casual Sunday together. The panic afterwards to plan a meal and select a suitably casual outfit had rendered Yuna almost unrecognisable even to herself, but her practiced dinner, nabe followed by flan, and the standard black dress felt wrong when she imagined Shima. He liked colour and spice and relaxation, and Yuna found herself wanting the same things.
“Ah, it’s getting late and I have to get the train,” Shima said, glancing at his watch. “I wish I could spend every Sunday like this, your curry making skills are incredible!”
“So soon? I have dessert too… you seemed to like the green tea cake from Super Sweet very much when we visited,” Yuna replied. Her chest felt tight at the idea that Shima might leave, and she’d deliberately hidden dessert when she’d gone to fetch drinks from the kitchen earlier with the intention of extending the evening as along as possible. “Shall I fetch it? The trains will run for another hour.”
“Yuna! You are a devil woman, but I can’t say no!” Shima declared, grinning as he threw himself back onto the cushions.
Hiding a secret smile, Yuna collected the two plates of cake from the fridge. A glimpse of her reflection in the window gave her a moment of pause and she glanced at the doorway to the living room. After a moment of hesitation she put down the plates and let down her hair, ruffling it slightly, before she bit at her bottom lip to make it a little fuller. Maybe they weren’t playing by the rules of the game but that didn’t mean Yuna wasn’t ready for a little seduction.
“Please enjoy,” she announced as she returned, passing Shima’s portion of cake into his eager hands.
“Still so delicious!” he exclaimed after the first bite, although Yuna noticed the way his eyes slid over the changes in her appearance. He was too clever a man not to notice or to understand what it meant. “Your hair looks very pretty, I think this is the first time I’ve seen it loose.”
“I thought I should relax a little,” Yuna said. She felt her heart begin to beat a little quicker and put down her plate. Nervousness was a new sensation and she couldn’t help the way she tucked her hair behind her ears or dropped her gaze to Shima’s mouth.
“Hey, Yuna… I-I have a question,” he said, setting his own plate aside and leaning closer until Yuna could almost feel the heat of his body radiating in the inches that separated them. “Well, not a question maybe, but I would like very much to kiss you, if you don’t mind?”
The smile that crept over the corners of her lips was unstoppable but rather than answer in words, Yuna lifted a hand pressed it to the side of Shima’s face to draw him near. The kiss was gentle, not a great deal more than the damp press of lips together, but the sensation spread like the sun through her flesh and settled bone deep. The coldness that Yuna so carefully preserved around her heart was warmed, if not quite melted, and she wondered what it would be like to feel Shima’s heart beating in rhythm with her own.
When he withdrew the warmth lingered and he smiled at her so softly that Yuna wasn’t sure where to look. “Now I really must go, a perfect evening should be ended at the right moment I think.”
As much as she would have liked to protest, Yuna appreciated the sentiment. Besides, it gave her time to plan another evening, one meant for seduction.
“If you’re free next week, I’d like to see the sequel?”