Clay Hands for Broken Hearts
"Hollow yourself out. Clay does not speak but it softly whispers and only a hollow heart can hear its most gentle utterance. And with this whisper your hands carve from dull clay its rightful shape, its most beautiful shape. Do not forget this Yamada."
Sitting before the spinner, Yamada allows the words of her treasured teacher echo softly in her head. Work roughened fingers tease the spinning clay before her into its whispered form. Her eyes are dull as they always are when she makes delicate art through the hollow within her.
In this sun lit room, time stills to replay itself in the smooth spinning of her clay.
Yamada is always blissfully unaware of her own beauty, both inner and physical. From his silent perch against the doorframe, Nomiya suppresses a sigh at the innocent beauty that is Yamada in her clay stained apron and her hands up to the elbows in brown muck. Despite her dreary surroundings, the young woman still firmly reigns over her surroundings like an angel in sunlight.
All that sap, just from the view of the back of her head. Nomiya is tempted to smack himself.
She is too beautiful for her own good.
Yamada smiles secretly to herself. She know well and good that she is not alone in her small workshop but she keeps her eyes firmly on her clay. The vase is nearly complete and it won’t do to be distracted now.
"Give me a minute Nomyia, I am nearly done here." She saya distractedly
Nomiya's surprise is nearly tangible throughout the small sunlit room "Hoi, have you grown eyes behind your head or something? I swear I didn't make a sound."
With a swift flick of her finger, Yamada turns off the electrical spinner before her, the whine of its slow descent to stillness fills the room.
Chuckling softly, Yamada gently lifts the freshly formed clay onto the waiting tray.
"This room always smells like wet or baked clay, so when I am suddenly smell cologne, familiar cologne none the less, I figure as much that it would be you."
Nomiya shakes his head. "Ah, so I suppose I will have to give up my cologne for the sake of surprising you. It is a heavy price to pay Yamada-san."
It is only then that she turns around to meet him eye to eye. As he suspects, her eyes are still in their semi-dull state from her heart-hollow meditation with pottery. There is a strong temptation to gape at beauty of Yamada draped in bright sunlight.
But gaping is UN cool, and subsequently must be stripped from his vocabulary.
"But Nomiya-kun, you would still smell like yourself, and after all this time even that scent is recognizable to me." She answers, her eyes slowly regaining the spark of life that made them dear to all who catch sight of them.
There are times when seated before her spinner, Yamada channels something far older than her youthful spirit. There is a deeper wisdom using her as its mouthpiece when she becomes one with her art. It sometimes scares him. At times like this, he takes comfort with the fact that this part of her comes out more often with him then with anyone else.
"Did you just imply that I naturally stink?" Nomiya's brow involuntarily twitches as proof that the man’s self-assured is not as set in stone as he pretends it is.
Yamada bursts into a soft chuckle at the look on his face. "Nothing of the sort, I was merely saying that you are so familiar to me I could recognize you by scent alone, with or without perfume."
Gracefully tugging up the finished vase, Yamada makes her way to the already pre-heated kiln and smoothly slides in the vase for a slow overnight bake. Fingers crossed, once finished, this vase will fetch a lovely price.
Nomiya is torn between the desire to smother the bubble of pride that Yamada’s familiarity with his scent triggers, while also battling the desire to stare at her fine form as she bent over to insert the vase into the Kiln.
He fails at both.
Reaching over for a stained rag, Yamada tries to rid herself of most of the clay that clings to her fingers. Despite the familiar rhythm of her movements, Nomiya recognises an alien stiffness in her shoulders, a firm straightness in her back that goes against her fluid nature.
With intuition firmly switched on; Nomiya sighs and leans against the wood of the doorway. "So who do I have to kill?"
There was a moment's pause as the words sink in.
"What?" with a sharp twirl around, Yamada nearly smacks Nomiya in the face with her clay stained rag. As usual, Yamada's response uses up twice the energy and enthusiasm needed for mere human communication.
With her bright blue eyes burning holes in his head, Yamada reminds Nomiya of part overbearing mother and part violent dog. His mother didn't have blue eyes and a rabid dog doesn't have Yamada's roundhouse kick, so this situation is infinitely more delicate.
Thankfully, Nomiya has recently become an expert in the art of Yamada-defusing.
"I merely enquired as to which individual that I should dispose of, hopefully in a rather gory way, for performing a transgression of which I have clearly informed all of our associates to stand clear off."
The total confusion on her face, replacing the blistering anger, is testament to Nomiya's continuous existence.
"Uh…what?" Wide blue eyes blinks in cute confusion.
Nomiya is hard pressed not to smile at that face.
"Who told you Yamada?"
Nomiya watches as confusion in her eyes fades slowly to grief streaked knowledge. It was one thing to know, but quite another to get proof of suspicion. It is not a pleasant victory to have.
Tearing her eyes away from him, Yamada twists the cloth between her hands and mumbles her response.
"It's not like it’s some big secret or anything. They are my friends after all, it’s only right I should be there to greet them."
"And that is why you are hiding in the workshop?" Nomiya askes sharply.
"I am not hiding!" Yamada insistes, once again catching the gaze of knowing brown eyes.
"So the fact that you have not come out of this room or talked to anyone in the last twelve hours has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Mayama and Rika are on their way back from Spain?"
Her retort dies on her lips, along with the light in her eyes. Not for the first time, Nomiya curse his lot in life to be the proverbial bandage puller in Yamada's life.
Tearing her eyes away from his, she fiddles with the rag cloth in her grasp.
"I just needed time to think. That's all. It's only been a couple of months since Hagu's accident. I am not really sure I'm over it yet."
Nomiya sighed. "Yeah, six months, and by it you mean him right?" sometimes being the good guy royally sucked.
Yamada silently wrung the cloth nervously between her fingers. In her eyes, a very familiar slash of guilt shone clear.
"Have we or have we not gone over this about a thousand times?"
Sliding himself forward, Nomiya places himself directly in Yamada's line of sight. With deft fingers he grasps her chin, and forces her to meet his eyes.
"I don't care. It could take years, but I know what I feel. Even if you are still hung up on him, I still don't care. As far as I am concerned, what we have right now might be as good as it ever gets and I could be content with that, not happy mind you, but content."
As expected, a thin film of moisture gathers in the corner of her eyes.
"You are a stupid man, do you know that?" She whispers.
"So, I've been told, but there is this blond I know who beats herself bloody for caring too much about people and then cries about it. Personally I think she takes the cake."
She snorts, or perhaps it was a sob, Nomiya didn't have much of a chance to decide which before he finds his arms full of sobbing girl.
"Hey, watch the tears, this shirt is dry clean only." Nomiya says lightly, even as he curls his arms around her shaking body. "Mayama is an idiot, I know a good thing when I see one, and I never take no for an answer."
"You make me sound like a saint." She mumbles into her shirt.
"I never said you were one. That’s just what you do, and that is the same reason you are the only non-celebrity to have ten proposals in one hour."
She smiles into his now damp shirt at the memory of the dear boys that flocked around her in their last days of university.
"But you still haven't answered my question though." He says.
"Who do I have to kill for telling you about their arrival?"
She smacks his chest lightly before pulling away from him. "None of your business."
"Of course it's my business, I need to know who I need to kill right? I can't just go around killing everyone who tries to talk to you. There would be far too many bodies for me to hide!"
Laughing lightly at his attempt at humour, Yamada enjoys the rare physical contact she shared with Nomiya.
"So you are going?" He asks, almost dreamily as he tucks one hand behind her neck between warm flesh and silky hair.
"Yes, I think it’s time…time to face up to this."
He sighed, savoring the feel of her within his arms. "That's good to know, I despise driving alone. Plus I've already booked the van, and you're the only one who can keep Mayama from being a back seat driver"
"Why a van?" she asks absently.
"NO reason, I enjoy the space of it."
Looking down at her former head rest/ tissue, despite the instant peak of curiosity Yamada is suddenly seized with an urge to run away at top speed.
Looking down worriedly at her, he wanders what could have triggered the mood swing form livid to nervous once again. "Yes?"
"Do you have a spare set of clothes in the office?" Looking firmly down at his shirt, Nomiya wanders at Yamada's sudden interest in his clothes.
That's when he sees the twin botches of brown-ish grey clinging to his very expensive, very clay stained shirt.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I totally forgot about it I swear!"
Rushing his way to a nearby sink in a desperate attempt to remove the clay stains on his shirt, Nomiya curses is lot in life to be the living handkerchief of a very pretty, emotional, pottery inclined girl.
The things he did for love!