Eyelids fluttered and Maru can feel warm breaths below her neck. Maru groaned when she felt her arm muscles stiffened at the weight that pillowed her arm. Maru squinted at the huge familiar blur sighing when Maru shifted on their bed. It was one of the mornings that made Maru's heart clench. The first sight that greeted her when she opened her eyes. Maru can't help it, but to smile.
It was their morning night in their new apartment. After a year of dating, and a month of spending on each other's houses, they finally decided that it would be best if they shared a home instead. They bought a new apartment and it was the best among the selections offered to them. High ceiling, natural light and has a bathtub wide enough for two people. It has two-rooms, with the master bedroom that can fit a California King-size bed (but oh, com'on, they only bought a King-size though, after purchasing the said bed with red faces) and the other room as a make-shift office for Maru. The kitchen is to die for, good ventilation, and Maru can only imagine kissing her girlfriend into a beautiful curve on the dining table as she—
Then, there was the sound of their doorbell, breaking Maru's little moment of thinking–er... watching her beautiful girlfriend's slumber.
"Mmm... Urusai." The blur mumbled, her voice hoarse from all the karaoke they did with their friends last night. (Annoying.)
"I'll get it." Maru sighed and kissed her girlfriend's hair as she got up from their bed.
"Stay," her girlfriend says, burying her head to Maru's pillow and raised her arms trying to get a hold of Maru.
Maru caught her hand and kissed her fingers, "I'll be back before you know it." She grinned at her girl and tucked their blankets up to her chin.
Satisfied, her girlfriend only hummed her reply before sleep took over her again.
Maru chuckled as she got her eyeglasses and phone from the bedside table, then padded to the door when it buzzes again.
"Hai, hai! Ikemasu," Maru muttered, rushing to the intercom to check who was it. "Yes?" She watched the screen flickered to life and the delivery boy beamed to her. (Yes, yes! I'm coming.)
"Package for Hoshino-san!"
Ugh. Maru grimaced. It's too early to be this cheerful but nonetheless, she opened the door.
"Sign here, please!" The delivery boy chirped, showing a small clipboard with a receipt and a check mark beside the blank next to her printed name to sign.
"Thanks," Maru muttered after she scrawled her signature and took the medium box inside their apartment.
"You're welcome. Have a nice day!" The boy beamed again.
Maru only grunted before she toed the door close and the lock automatically clicked and a robotic voice echoed by the foyer, "Autolock enabled."
"Oh, it's from Hiroko-san..." Maru whispered to herself as she placed it on the middle of the coffee table. She sat on the couch and began on texting her aunt.
Message: Good morning. Thanks for sending the rest of my things. I received it well. Send my regards to Aeri and samchon. :-)
She was about to open the package with a blunt edge of the nail file she found on her girlfriend's box of nail polish when her phone began to ring. She paused, placed the nail file back on the table and took her phone instead and went outside the balcony as she answered the call.
"Ohayo, Neko-chan~," Hiroko greated her, she gave a little wave at Maru, showing her fingers.
"Ohayo," Maru grinned, her cheeks flushed from the morning cold.
"Have settled okay?"
Maru had to roll her eyes. Hiroko had been protective of her and always have been a mother hen. She couldn't actually help it, even Maru thought of her as her mother, since Hiroko's family had been a positive influence in her life. Maru's always thankful that they met them.
So, Maru answered truthfully, nodding as she explained that, "Yes, we had assembled most of the furniture last week, we had filled the fridge yesterday and had already filled their closet with our clothes," blushing a little deeper when she thinks how they attempted to mix some of their clothes together.
"I'm glad," her aunt sighed, a peaceful expression resting on her face.
"Love?" Her girlfriend called out and Maru turned her head to their bedroom door.
"Oh! Is that—"
"Hiroko-san! I should go." Maru blushed as she walked back inside.
"Yes, yes. Send my regards to—"
Maru had accidentally cut the call off when her girlfriend draped herself on her back. Maru eyed her phone but thinks that Hiroko would surely understand...
"Was that Hiroko-san?" She mumbled, tickling Maru's ear. "Oh, you got a package."
"Yeah...", Maru gulped.
"I missed you."
Her girlfriend looked at her amused. But her grin turned into a frown after a few seconds.
"What's wrong?" Maru asked when her girlfriend pulled the blanket resting on her shoulders and dropped them to a nearby armchair.
"I had a call from the company."
"But it's your day off." Maru stated as a matter of fact. Her girlfriend rarely gets a day-off.
Before, they made plans to go out of town. They visit an onsen or sight-seeing but since they live together now, Maru only wants to spend it in their new home. Maybe cuddle for a bit in their new king-sized bed or break into it, as what other couples call it (Maru blushed at this). Or maybe they could watch a some Ghibli movies on their brand new TV set and make-out on their new couch and (again) break into it.
There's a list of areas Maru thought of to christen their new home... except the bathroom since the two bathed together last night and things... Well, things got escalated pretty quickly which both of them slept soundly afterwards, exhausted and blissed out.
"Anyway, I have to go." Her girlfriend said sadly and kissed her temple and started to walk towards the bathroom.
"Do you want me to accompany you?" Maru suggested.
"To the office? Or... to the bathroom?" Her girlfriend smirked, her hand resting on the bathroom's doorknob.
"Both?" Maru grinned as she started to follow her girl to the door.
Maru as a dutiful girlfriend helped her girl into her clothes delaying as much possible as she could. Placing little kisses in small areas she only gets to do and —
"Love, I'm going to be late."
She was drying her girlfriend's hair when she asked again," Are you sure it's going to be okay with me not being there?"
"Yes, and you already asked that before." Her girlfriend replied, putting one small swipe of strawberry lipgloss on her lips and started to spread it with her finger.
"Well, I can go. I have nothing to do here." Maru sighed, her outdoor clothes are already out of the closet and placed strategically on their bed.
Her girlfriend grinned as she spun around the stool and faced Maru. She plucked out the hairbrush and hairdryer from Maru's hands and placed it back to the table. She held Maru's hands as Maru pouted, leaning over to taste that strawberry-flavored lipgloss on her girlfriend's lips.
"You can't go." Her girlfriend sighed, placing a finger on Maru's lips only to get attacked with Maru's little kisses. "Besides, you have things to do like, walk Orion (their dog), feed Paru (their cat) and Jurina (their soft-shelled turtle) and, clean Sayaka and Miyuki's cage (their lovebirds)."
"I can call Sakura over and let her do all the chores. You know she likes to watch Jurina swim by."
"No, you have to do it yourself. And you call yourself a co-parent? And Sakura's probably just weirded out with that turtle", Her girlfriend tsked and started on showering herself with perfume. "I'll be back before lunch." And she kissed Maru squarely on the mouth, nibble a little on Maru's lower lip and squeeze her into a tight hug.
When they separated, Maru looked dazed and mind blown.
"I'll miss you," her girlfriend says again, sadly this time and planted a shy kiss on the corner of Maru's mouth and before Maru knows it, her girlfriend was out of the door.
"Autolock enabled," said by a robotic voice.
After a short walk in the park near their apartment, with only Orion glomping on some ducks and chasing pigeons while Maru nursing a hot coffee between her hands, they came back in her girlfriend-less apartment. Maru then feed their cat, Paru, and Orion. Both of them wiggling their furry butts as they inhaled their food.
She then feed a scoop of fish food to Jurina who was lazily swimming in her aquarium. When she went to birdcage by their balcony, she felt a pang of jealousy as the two love birds groomed eachother with their tiny beaks.
"Good for you two," Maru glumly muttered as she dump two scoopful of birdfeeds on their bowl.
She then proceeded to clean their apartment. Fixing their bed, wiping spotless tables and chairs, dusting bookshelves twice , and vacuuming their already dust free floor. When she was done, Maru slumped on the couch and noticed the unopened box on the coffee table.
She remembered the package and proceeded on opening the box, this time with a box-cutter she found on the countertop.
When she was done, she carefully opened the flaps, tore layers of bubble wraps and watch the contents unravel to her.
It was her collection, carefully gathered all these years.
When Maru flew to Japan and had an unexpected turn in career, she was saddened to leave this part of her in Korea. Ofcourse her girlfriend knows these vast collection since she once visited her apartment in Korea and accidentally ran into her Shimazaki Haruka shrine while she was looking for the bathroom. It was a spare room dedicated to her most favored AKB48 member. And even in their new home, Maru never neglected to organize some of her collections she had bought as she stayed in Japan around her home office. Ofcourse her girlfriend didn't mind because she has, too, her own collections carefully placed around the house.
The posters which decorated her Shimazaki Haruka shrine before are now carefully rolled and wrapped in plastic. Her AKB48 CDs and Blu-ray DVDs which were proudly displayed before are now stacked up with a cushion of cloth in between the plastic case as Maru preferred not a scratch on them. The calendars were stacked and wrapped in a bubble wrap, afraid that the metal wires would scratch her other beloved merch. There are also action figures of her AKB48 favorite members with a number of Shimazaki Haruka in different poses and clothes and sizes each on their individual boxes. There's her Paruru mug which was custom-made, also a few pillow cases she ordered online. Also, cheap collection of ballpens, pencils, erasers, stickers, slippers (that is too big for Maru's feet), mouse pad, notebooks, and backscratcher and more. There's also her treasured photobook of Shimazaki Haruka, gifted to her by Hiroko and a few Shimazaki Haruka custom-made plush toys which samchon gave her every Christmas, and a photo album filled with carefully collected Shimazaki Haruka photos, which Aeri helped her bid online.
Maru can't help but to sigh lovingly at each item. She carefully removed each one from the box, letting her fingers trail at the plastic covering her collection. When she reached at the bottom of the box, she gasped at the sight.
It was her Nike shoebox. She reached for it and opened the cover.
There rested among the package peanuts is a foot-long balljointed doll.
The doll's glass eyes are looking at her under the fan of her black eyelashes. Her lips pink and glossy and her cheeks dimpled as she was smiling shyly to Maru.
"Baby..." Maru cooed as she lifted one resin arm and locked a finger in the inside of the hand of Shimazaki Haruka doll.
This doll had been a product of Maru doing small part-time jobs for months. She played online games for lame gamers, she tended the convenience store, she had fried some chicken and delivered jajangmyun to houses, she made lattes for snobbish office workers, she mixed alcohol for rich businessmen, and she had climbed mountains and picked ginseng for this. This doll is the embodiment of her hardwork, tears and blood, and obsession. This was the center, the Queen of her shrine
and not even her girlfriend knows this (because the doll was inside her Nike box, a makeshift bed Maru made for her doll).
It started with her search for merchandises of her favorite idol. And after searching the web for various dolls, she has stumbled upon a small website for doll collectors. Some were pro in painting the doll's faces, making them look like famous actors and actresses, some were painted like idols and it perked her interest. She researched for 3 nights. Obsessively watching YouTube videos of doll owners. Reading Tumblr and blogsites of how to make your own wig, how to make doll clothes, how to make the eyeballs. And after a month of watching them she decided to save up money for her own doll.
After six months of working, and a month of waiting for the package, her custom-made doll arrived. She even made a box opening video for her to reminisce the first ever feelings she had.
She remembered she was slightly disappointed.
Her doll was faceless, her eye sockets are empty. Her face has no colors. The resin body is naked, and her head is bald.
A month later, her Shimazaki Haruka doll, was glaring at her. Maru thinks she needs to practice her face-painting more. Her clothes was a pre-made sailor uniform, ordered online because it was 75% off. Her socks have different lengths, because Maru don't know how to sew, and her shoes where from an old Barbie doll she found lying in a dumpster.
Maru was placing her newly made beanie made from her old sock on doll Haruka's head when Hiroko came inside her room. The older woman looked at the doll who looked like she has cancer because of the lack of wig and at the helpless look on Maru's face.
A week later, doll Haruka has 137 set of clothes, 87 pair of shoes, 53 undergarments, 41 pair of socks of different designs and sizes, 95 pieces of accessories, and 37 wigs of different hair color and styles. Doll Haruka had her face pofessionally painted, a small blush dusting her cheeks and her smile brighter with her glossed lips. (Courtesy of Hiroko-san) And had various home-made furnitures that Maru delicately assembled on nights.
Hiroko only beamed at her when Maru dressed her doll for the first time in Japanese traditional clothes. She trembled as she let it kneel on a small plush pillow and placing a small teacup on her little hands.
Maru smiled wetly at the doll and pulled the gloves folded and tucked at the bottom of the box's lid. She wore them and carefully picked the doll up, fixing the doll's wig, straightening her already straight clothes and fixing her shoes. She let it sit on the table and opened another box nested beneath her Nike box. "Now, what do you want to wear for today?"
Maru had finished putting her collection back to the box, re-taped it and placed it safely in their closet, except for her Nike shoebox and another box filled with doll clothes and accessories. When she received a text that her girlfriend would be late and that Maru could order some food for lunch but would be back for dinner. But Maru opened their cupboards instead, boiled some water and unpacked a pack of ramen.
When she placed it on the dining table, sitting across her on the table was doll Haruka on her own dining set and sporting a miniature ramen bowl and chopsticks on her hands.
"I'm glad you're keeping me company." Maru smiled and started on eating her noodles.
After lunch, Maru unboxed her gaming consoles and played games on their widescreen TV, beside her is doll Haruka and on her hand is her own plastic mini-gaming console, smiling at the TV all the same.
After Maru got bored playing, she pulled a random book from their shelf and lounged on the couch with her feet propped up by the arm on the end.
Beside her, on the coffee table is doll Haruka sitting prettily on her arm chair with a book.
Maru woke up with a start. The first ray of sunset filtered through the glass wall and she looked at the clock. In an hour her girlfriend would be coming home and she should be starting on preparing for dinner. But first...
Doll Haruka was standing on the breakfast counter. She's wearing a bandana headband to keep her bangs from falling and a pink frilly apron on her clothes. Her hands were rested on the countertop of her kitchen set as she watched patiently on her empty plastic pots placed on the top of the plastic stove.
Maru smiled as she tasted the soup from a pot and added a pinch of pepper to it.
"Okaeri!" Maru rushed to the door. She placed her blue apron on the chair and meet her girlfriend who was placing her handbag on the couch. (Welcome home)
"How was your day?" Her girlfriend asked and meet Maru's lips halfway.
"Oh... It was fun!" Maru smiled and started on setting up the table.
"Fun? Really?" Her girlfriend muttered as she sat on one of the empty chairs which was replied with an enthusiastic hum from Maru. "Love, are you sick?" She asked because Maru doesn't do fun. She always replies with an, "okay", "it's alright" or "no, I missed you a lot" then would attack her with little kisses until she can't breathe.
"I'm fine, really."
"So... what did you do?" The girlfriend asks scooping the soup into the little bowls they bought two days ago.
"Well... I walked Orion to the park, feed all the pets and cleaned the litterbox, the birdcage and set the thermostat in Jurina's aquarium. Played some games for a while, read half of the book and slept for two hours then made dinner." Maru explained, her voice tilting in a melody she had never heard of before.
"O-okay..." She picked a pickle and munched on it, weirded out with her beloved enthusiasm.
When the two of them finished eating, Maru draw a bath for her girlfriend and started on cleaning the kitchen. Maru bathed after, put on some matching PJs with her girlfriend and eyed the Nike box on their closet longingly before walking to the bed and sitting beside her girlfriend.
"You know..." Her girlfriend whispered by Maru's ear that had Maru's stomach clench needily. "I don't have anything scheduled tomorrow morning. We could break in the bed today."
Her girlfriend bit her lip as she loomed over Maru. "Yes." As she kicked a leg and sat on Maru's lap. " I missed you a lot." She whimpered and embraced Maru tightly.
"I missed you, too." Maru breathed in a good amount of her girlfriend's scent.
And they kissed. Hungrily, exploringly and lovingly wild. Their hands roamed each other's bodies and as her girlfriend started to undress herself, Maru watched in horror when the closet door slowly opened.
"Baby!" Maru exclaimed and started on pulling her girlfriend's clothes back and held her hands tightly.
"Baby? You never call me that." Her girlfriend gaped. Then she was pushed aside by Maru as Maru rushed to the closet and locked it firmly.
Maru looked so panicked that her girlfriend got so curious over what was inside the closet.
"Love? What's wrong? Is someone in there?"
"N-no! Noone! There's no one." Maru assured her as she flailed her arms frantically.
"Are you sure?" She asked but Maru only gulped so she decided to take the matter in hand. She got up from the bed and shoved Maru aside after fighting for the door lock and opened the closet.
It was dark and full of their clothes and shoe boxes. Her girlfriend stuck an arm and started on reaching out to spacious areas and found that there as no one. She sighed and closed the door and put on the lock.
"Well?" Maru asked calming down and holding her girlfriend's hand pulling her away from the closet.
"There's no one."
"Told you so."
Her girlfriend only hummed as she went back to bed. Her back turned to Maru.
"Oyasumi," she said as she turned her lamp off on her side. (Good night.)
Maru only frowned, putting her own lights out and hugged her girlfriend from behind.
Their morning was domestic as ever. They shared slow kisses after Maru woke up ehen she found her girlfriend fixing breakfast. The impending fight forgotten from last night and the two lazily planted soft kisses in each other's lips.
"We could do it in the kitchen." Maru whispered as her left hand started on groping her girlfriend's right butt cheek and her other hand massaging the inside of her girlfriend's thigh.
"N-no, not in the kitchen. We cook food in here." Her girlfriend moaned but all the same grinded on Maru's fingers.
When they reached to the living room they discovered that there were no curtains on their full glass wall.
"Bedroom." Her girlfriend started to pull her to their room but Maru look so scandalized and pulled her hand.
"Just... Just not there, please?"
Her girlfriend looked at her confused.she then headed straight to their room and started to open all the doors of their closet. Maru could ony watch her reach out again and started on checking if there was hidden doors or something.
When the last of the doors are closed, her girlfriend look like she was about to cry.
"Orion!" She called and dog bounced to their bedroom. "I'm going to walk the dog out." She announces and picked her coat and plucked the lead hooked beside the door. "I'm eating breakfast outside."
The door clicked shut.
For the first time, Maru felt ashamed.
Maru walked to the closet and opened the box. Doll Haruka was smiling brightly at her. She wore a white nightgown and there was a little dirt on her arm.
"I'm going to take care of you."
After cleaning up Haruka, she had the doll dressed up in some pretty sundress, matched her shoes to the color of her handbag and placed some sunglasses on her hair.
"Beautiful." Maru says and tears fell from her eyes.
She placed doll Haruka back in the box and waited for her girlfriend to return, her fingers deep in Paru's fur.
When the girlfriend returned, the two of them had red-rimmed eyes, flushed cheeks and red swollen lips. The two embraced tightly and cuddled on the couch and spent the rest of the morning watching some old Japanese gameshow.
Two days later, the girlfriend discovered some blonde strand of hair on their bathroom sink.
She clutched the strand of hair tightly and stopped herself from crying.
"Love..." Her girlfriend says as the two of them lied on their bed, equally naked as Maru acting as the big spoon and her girlfriend's back on her.
"You'll tell me when there's another person, right?" Her girlfriend whispered.
"Huh? What brought this on?"
"Please... Just tell me when that time comes, okay?"
"I don't understand."
"Please..." She trembled and Maru thinks this is her fault. She embraced her tightly as her girl curled in tighter to herself.
"I will... I promise." Maru says, but she knew that it would impossible.
"Thank you." She sobbed.
Four days later, the girlfriend found a small piece of jewelry on the carpet. It was a small tack earring with a small diamond on the end of the thin wire.
She placed it carefully on a piece of tissue and put it on the coffee table, where Maru could see it whenever she looks for it.
She left home in a hurry and came back by midnight — drunk.
Maru doesn't wear an earring.
Maru had enough. Her girlfriend doesn't even speak to her anymore. One day her girlfriend came home drunk, ignored Maru's nagging and questions of where she had been to or who was with her. Maru bristled when her girlfriend continued to ignore her and drunkenly dropped herself to bed without removing her socks and coat.
Maru just sighed to herself and started on undressing her girl. She wiped her body with warm water, clothed her and kissed her forehead worriedly. When she tucked her lover to bed and when settled beside her, Maru can feel her tremble and soft sobs whacked her small body. Maru did as best she could, holding into her lover afraid that when Maru wakes up, she would be gone.
Maru can't even understand what was happening. One week in their new home and their relationship is falling apart. She thinks that this is some curse or something. She definitely heard the landlord says that it was pre-owned by a married couple and decided to sell the place when they got divorced.
But Maru wasn't even religious. She paced on the kitchen sporting a new apron with the same design as doll Haruka, which was sitting on the countertop, her resin legs dangling on air.
"What should I do?" Maru whispered as she paced back and forth. "This definitely started when we made love in that new bed. She started on saying like there was some sort of third party between us."
Maru paused from her pacing and looked at the doll straight in its glassy eyes.
"She isn't cheating on me, right?" Maru whispered and she sunk on the nearby seat. "But she's not like that."
Maru thinks of the times her girlfriend pushed her when she tried to kiss her. There was one time when Maru playfully planted a kiss on her cheek, too overjoyed that she found the missing earring of doll Haruka the day before but her girlfriend only ducked away from her and ran to the bathroom muttering that she's going to be sick. Maru only ignored that time because after that encounter, she can hear wretching and vomiting in the bathroom. When Maru later came with a glass of water, she was again ignored as her girlfriend tells her that she wants some tea instead.
Maru watched doll Haruka which was smiling at her, never judging and also never talking. She sighed and Maru untied the apron from doll Haruka and started to pick another set of clothes from the box.
"Today, Haruka's going be a guest-host in a talkshow. Let's try to match her up."
Maru was excited, there was a new package delivered to her before dinner and when she opened it, it was the new curtains she had ordered online. Hiroko helped her match it up on the interior of their living room, also choosing the design and quality that would be suited during daytime and night.
Orion sniffed at the new curtain, followed by Paru who left after a few sniffs, uninterested. Jurina only swam by and the lovebirds ignored it, too busy cuddling on their perch.
The sound pulled Maru out of her thoughts and walked towards the foyer, welcoming her tired girlfriend as she plucked her shoulder bag and gathered her coat.
"Welcome home!" Maru greeted her lovingly. She was excited to do the most awaited deed on their couch. She knows that her girlfriend is looking forward to it. Maru though hard and she traced the problem way back when they tried to do it the living room but found out of the lack of curtains. Now, there are two beautiful heavy set of curtains hiding their privacy away from the public's eyes.
Maru placed the bag and coat on an armchair and led her girlfriend to the couch.
"I know that we should be choosing the curtain together but I wanted to surprise you."
Maru watched her girlfriend crane her neck and spare a look at the said curtain.
"I asked someone who is expert in this field. I showed her our interior and she said beige would suit our living room well. Then I had her picked among some items I personally liked but she said, I should choose this kind of material because it's durable, eash to clean and — Eh?! Why are you crying?"
Maru panickedly kneeled in front of her girlfriend as she started to cry. Maru tried to hold her hand but her girlfriend clutched at a throw pillow.
"Babe, what's wrong?"
"I'm not your baby!" Her girlfriend shouted which shocked Maru. "I—I... Let's breakup." She deflated and started crying harder.
"W-what do you mean? I... We just..." Maru started on babbling, she can't understand this situation. Her girlfriend should like her surprise. She was very sure of it when she picked the design, even their dog approves of it. She started on rummaging her thought of what to say but she's reaching nowhere and she's starting to feel so helpless. Then her thoughts stopped altogether and Maru can only think what can make her beloved stay."... So much. I—I love you so much."
"Do you?!" Her girlfriend snarled and threw the pillow at her. "You were... You were ch-cheating on me."
Maru gawks and she threw the pillow back to the couch. "I'm not! I'm not cheating on you. Where did you get that idea?" Maru softened her glare, there must be some reason why her beloved girlfriend acts like that. But there wasn't anybody else. She had remained loyal and so, so inlove with this girl that sometimes it scares her. "Tell me who told you that!"
"No one!" There were tears on her girlfriend's eyes, rolling to her cheeks, never ending. And Maru badly wanted to brush them away. "You bought this damn curtain with her, right?!" She waves forcefully at the curtain and surprising Orion and Paru which made tge two fluffs raced to the kitchen.
"No way! Hiroko-san helped me buy it!"
"Excuses!" She scoffed and shoved Maru. "Who's that girl you were hiding then? You even let her entered OUR apartment! I saw a blonde hair on the sink when neither of us had dyed hair! And–and there's this earring I saw the other day. I don't own that one and I know don't even wear one! Tell me if that isn't proof enough! And on our second night–oh, god, our second night into OUR NEW home and you invited someone else into OUR room. Just who is that you were hiding that night in that damned closet?!!" Her girlfriend heaved and like a burnt out candle she stopped crying as she realizes something.
"I'm going to... move out." Her girlfriend says and it's enough to bring Maru out of her shock.
"No..." Maru whispered as she held on her girlfriend's hand.
"I should leave... Now!" She says as she tried to free her arm, pulling it from Maru's grasp.
"No, let me explain!"
"And then what?! Hurt me some more?" She pulled her arm successfully but she ended up sitting back couch instead. Maru kneeled infront of her again. Her heart ached when she saw the tears on Maru's eyes. God, she love this girl so much for letting Maru do this to her. The girlfriend thinks she doesn't deserve to be this hurt. But she also thinks that Maru shouldn't be this hurt when Maru was the one who was hurting her from the start. So, she gave up, giving small chance to fix this. To fix them.
Lacing their fingers together as Maru begged her, "Come with me. I need to show you something. Please..."
How could she deny when Maru looks so desperate to her? She nods and followed Maru to their bedroom.
Maru lets her sit on the bed as she opened the closet and got a shoe box. She placed it on her girlfriend's lap and urged her to open the box.
She gasped. The doll looked at her with a small shy smile, a blush on her resin cheeks, as she meets her owner's beloved girlfriend for the first time.
"She's... She's..." She has no words for this but Maru helpfully finished her sentence.
And Shimazaki Haruka cried and laugh so hard as she clutched the box tightly, afraid to muss up the delicate doll nestled on a bunch of foamy peanuts.
"I hate you so much." Haruka says as she throw a fist to Maru's chest. Maru caught it and kissed her fingers which made her cry some more.
"I love you, too."
That night they placed doll Haruka by the couch she's wearing mini-headphones and a small laptop was perched on her lap. Beside her is Paru on her back and her white belly exposed.
The two dorks are inside their bedroom, making love slowly, kissing tears in each other's eyes as they explored a new part of their relationship.
"I still hate you for letting me cry this much." Haruka pulled Maru closer, letting their lips touch but doesn't kiss.
"I hate myself, too, if that would comfort you." Maru grinned, her eyes, too, are puffy and Haruka gently brushes some stray hair from her cheeks.
"So... She's Baby?" Haruka shyly asked.
"Hn... My Baby."
"And... And, what am I to you?" Haruka looked so small when she asked it, she held on to Maru afraid that a doll would win her lover over.
"You're my lover, my girlfriend, my partner, my everything, my forever... My love and life. My beautiful, beautiful Haruka."
Haruka blushed and she ducked her head. "You're an idiot." Haruka says, planting a soft kiss on Maru's kiss-bruised lips.
"Your kind of idiot." Maru murmured and started on deepening the kiss. "And besides, Baby and I go way back. She was everything."
There was a sparkle in Maru's eyes that made Haruka gritted her teeth. "Shut up."
"Make me — A–Ah... Haruka~"
Two months later, there was a built-in glassed-covered wooden shelves in the living room. Each shelf was designed like a room, filled furnitues and trinkets of random miniature things. And on the bedroom at the top most shelf are two dolls sitting on a miniature couch, resin hands holding and equally smitten with each other.
Doll Haruka smiled her dimpled smile while doll Maru had a small smile playing on her lips. The two are wearing a couple sweater. Pink and full of hearts.
The two are equally and irrevocably in love.
"My Baby's all grown up!" Maru sobbed as she placed doll Haruka carefully on the miniature bed, beside doll Maru.
"Someday, you'll find yourself sleeping on the couch alone." Haruka warned and pushed the glass cover close. There was a small click and she walked back a step to look at their miniatures selves looking quite contented in their bed.
"Oh... Are you jealous, Shimazaki-san?" Maru teased then wrapped her girlfriend in her arms.
"Congratulations, Hoshino-san. You just won a night in the living room." Haruka bristled as she opened the latch of the doll house and pulled doll Maru out, leaving doll Haruka with a sad smile. "Yobo and I are going to sleep in the bedroom tonight." Haruka left a gaping Maru. "I'll leave the blanket to you, it gets cold here." Then the sound of the door lock.