"Uhh..." I said, and I felt stupid immediately, mumbling rather unprofessionally and uncomfortably in front of the guy I'd grown to befriend. Even though the screen quality was grainy, he was fine. His shoulders just screamed physical activity, and all sorts of physical activity filled my thoughts. I sipped on my slushie, and all of the regret that came at the price of my whimsical and thoughtless go-with-your-gut instinct slapped me in the face, and I was still totally silent when his look of wonder turned into a smile, and I was actively staring at his lips and the way that they stretched to accommodate his perfect teeth, and I could feel my skin heat up.
This... this was new! I've always seen animated blushes, read about it in book and fanfiction, but was this what a blush felt like? It felt like my skin was it was under a hair dryer, and I didn’t expect it to feel so uncomfortable. The heat, this skin tingling warmth licked down my neck, and across the the length of my collar bone, and I swore I thought it'd stop there. Blushes were on your cheeks, not across your entire body, and they certainly didn't... they didn't stoop down the nerves in your breasts, how embarrassing. Why, Makoto, why must you do this to me?
I bit my lip, and I prayed my smile wasn't offsetting. "M... Makoto, I'm drinking a slushie." That was my genius sentence, the very first time he would associate my voice with my face, and the very first time he'd heard me say anything, it was a stuttered utterance, and an obvious statement. I laughed at myself, and I felt like I had to clarify why I was so nervous, "Man, I rushed into this so suddenly, I had no idea how shy I'd feel." My shoulders hunched a bit lower and off the screen, hesitant and thankful that the camera was so grainy, for once. I put on my make-up so haphazardly that day, only slapping on eyeliner and foundation, and the only thing to hide my lips was a thin layer of chapstick. At least they weren't chapped.
He giggled at me, and his chest moved up and down, and shit no matter how many layers of clothes he wore, I could still make out the point of his clavicle under the stretch of fabric. I wanted to groan as I'd always done whenever his flawlessness slapped me in the face, as it frequently did, but I couldn’t, because he could see me. Damn him.
Other men paled in comparison to him, and it wasn't fair. It wasn't fair how when he laughed, it made me happy. It wasn't fair how he would always be polite to me, and was so respectful of me when most of the other internet guys who were messaging me were rather... forward, and went off of their own assumptions of who I was. The first thing he asked was about my dog, who I'd taken a picture of and posted it on my profile. It wasn't about America, it wasn't about speaking English, it was about me. I wouldn't have minded if he wanted me to help him with English, because I'd ask that he help me with Japanese, but I appreciated that he wanted to talk to me, and not someone who spoke English. (Not that I take offense to those that do.)
"What flavor?" I could hear his accent, and it was cute. I've helped him develop more of an American accent, and he's a quick study, but his accent is still cute. I hope it never goes away.
"Ichigo," Strawberry. I said, and smiled while I said it. I'm not a chipper person, but when you're showing off how much you're learning, smiles just tend to happen. He was helping me learn so much, and it was so helpful... and it didn't help that my heart was already starting to yearn for this man. He probably had a girlfriend or is gay, as good men always are. I really didn't have any confidence that he was at all available, so I vowed to merely admire in silence.
"Yoku yattane, [Reader]." Good job.
"Arigato, Mako-Kun." Thanks, Mako.
He was shuffling papers around on his desk, and I paid no mind to it, and began to pick at the croissant I bought. I felt awkward, and he was someone I wanted so badly to impress. He was indeed my senpai, and I his kouhai. Luckily, this senpai noticed his kouhai, and I definitely noticed him. Maybe I should be more talkative.
"I'm in a Starbucks, see?" I directed camera to it's lens in the back of the phone, and I showed him the rather large bowl of coffee beans, the cash register, as well as a few customers that were too wrapped up in what they were going to order to realize that I was filming them. His shuffling didn't cease, it continue through the earbuds in my ears. "Do you guys have Starbucks over there?"
"Ah, it's Sutabakkusu in Japanese," His shuffling paused, and I directed the camera back to my face. He looked like he was writing something, maybe doing homework.
I took this time to notice things around his room, and I saw that it was indeed tidier than mine. It wasn't cluttered, and although I could only see part of his house, I assumed that his parents were similar to Makoto. Which was a complete one-eighty from how I was, and I vowed never ever to be on camera and in my room. "It's really clean, Makoto, wow."
"Nan--What?" He usually did this, began to answer in Japanese and then correct himself in English. I usually did this, and our conversations were a usual mix of Japanese and English.
"Anata no heya wa kireidesu," Your room is very clean. I said, and I prayed that I hadn't butchered the language too badly.
"Thanks, I just cleaned it."
"Wouldn't have cared if it was so dirty that a new species of bacteria grew, to be honest."
He finally looked up at me, and a light chuckle vibrated against my ears, and the bass of his voice made something tingle inside of me. This tingle also spread to places that I knew were wholly inappropriate to feel in the middle of a cafe.
"Kou told me to tell you that she sent you a picture of what she wanted to get for Nagisa's birthday, did you get it?" His English was better than my Japanese.
"Hai, sore wa totemo kakkuikatta!" Yes, it's so cool! Kou had sent me a picture of the Head Spa Handpro, something that looks like long spider legs to me. There are many like those in America, but they're not very popular in America, from what I've seen. The Japanese version of that looks more inviting and cuter than the American variant.
"Wow, you're getting so good at Japanese!" He looked down at the papers he was shuffling about, and then at me. "Hey, do you have time for a short quiz?"
I truly wanted to groan, because the connotation so many of us human beings put on the word quiz was definitely negative, and was something we were reluctant to hear. I nodded, and a small tentative smile took its place on his face. So cute, so cute its just painful.
“Alright,” He said, clapping his hand and I jolted from it's impact in my ears. Makoto's green eyes looked authoritative, and reminded me of a school teacher that was garnering the attention of elementary students. Holy shit, was the way his eyebrows furrowed together in determination cute.
Oh my god, you're doing this on purpose, aren't you, Makoto? You just can't wait until the moment where I have an actual heart attack from how cute you are, you ass. Not in a million years would these thoughts leave my lips in the form of words, hell no. Makoto was someone important to me, and I was aggravated because I wanted to coddle him in a way that just isn't a possibility, I wanna cuddle and kiss his fuckin' fine ass face, hold his hand and play with his fingers kiss his face until he blushes and play with his fuckin' hair, take him out to dinner and start a food fight, go on a nature hike in a forest with him, go to the beach and find shells with this mother fucker--
"[Name]?" Oh, well, wasn't I just articulate today. Turns out I didn't nod my head, or acknowledge he'd even said anything. Whoops.
"Uh, yeah, let's do it." Nailed it.
Makoto put a piece of paper in front of his chest--oh god, his chest muscles were hugged by his tightly fitted shirt, this mother fucker right here oh my gOD-- that read, きれいだ.
Ki-re-i-da. I knew those characters, and when you put them together it meant--... oh.
"M-Mak--it means...?" It meant You are beautiful. "Y-You are beautiful." Maybe it was just a phrase that he randomly put on. Yeah. Just a phrase. My heart beat so fast it was frightening to me, and everything was just a thrill that I was racing on.
He shook his head, "No, you are."
My breath came out unsteadily, and I put a hand in front of my mouth, "Err--th--!" I coughed, and tried to gain control of my feeble lips and the words that fled faster. "Thank you."
He held up another sign, だいすき. I like you.
"Are you--" Was this actually happening? What was going on? MyfacefeelslikeitisonfireandIhopethisiswhatIthinkitisdamnIforgottobreathe--!
He nodded, and I noticed a hesitance in the next sign he held up, and I looked around me, embarrassed and shy, and so full of butterflies that I wished I had been in the privacy of my room. Makoto was blushing just as hard as I, though his was more obvious to the naked eye--my skin color protected me from revealing how warm my skin was.
His next sign read:
がるふれんどになtてくれる? Will you be my girlfriend?