Maki’s had a soulmate for as long as she could begin making a ruckus on her first piano.
At least that’s what her parents taught her. (And every other adult for that matter, but that’s not important.)
She’d never believed in being linked with someone she’d never met before, especially one who seemed to listen to only incessant, overrated pop music. It wasn’t even all that catchy.
It’s not like she was just the slightest bit interested in this person, or clumsily ran straight to her mother as soon as she could feel the first inklings of a song she’d never heard before resonating in the back of her mind. It definitely didn’t make her feel an unfamiliar, yet comforting warmth in her chest or anything of the sort. And she’s certainly never scaled her father’s giant office chair and begged him to help her search for the name of the song.
Nope - not even once.
Despite being seven, she was resolute in her beliefs. It didn’t phase Maki when her parents warmly laughed at her skepticism.
Besides, how could anyone willingly listen to, much less stand, such distasteful music? Maki much prefered the sonorous, relaxing sound of the piano. Nothing could quite soothe her nerves like the satisfaction of a well-played piano piece, the feeling of ivory keys against her fingertips like a clear spring on a hot day.
Especially when her soulmate’s music suddenly went quiet.
“That’s messed up, nya.”
Maki polished off the last of her drink, idly stirring the ice cubes at the bottom. She shrugged nonchalantly,“It’s not like it never returned. It came back around when I turned nine.”
“It made me think about the whole soulmate business,” she continued, setting her empty cup down. ”Humans are pretty fragile. What’s the point of getting all worked up over your soulmate when they could easily die before you even meet them? On top of that, just the idea of such a convenient partner seems...well...kind of unbelievable.”
Amber eyes scrutinize her from across the table. ”Maki-chan I think you’re overreacting just a bit, nya.”
Maki frowned,“I am not overre-” “Kayo-chin! You’re here!” her friend shrieks.
Rin springs up in delight - narrowly avoiding spilling her own drink - and pounced on Hanayo. The lavender-eyed girl squeaks in surprise, but quickly returns the embrace. Rin purrs contentedly, nuzzling into her girlfriend’s neck. Maki watched the display unimpressed.
She begins again,“As I was saying, soulmates are-” “Kayo-chin, Maki-chan says she doesn’t believe in soulmates, nya!” cries a seemingly distressed Rin, interrupting the redhead yet again. Hanayo chuckles quietly, disentangling herself from the ginger. Rin drags her over to their cafe booth and continues her mournful speech.
“Maki-chan says she doesn’t believe in true love!”
“W-what? Who said anything about true love? I’m merely stating that you shouldn’t blindly put your trust in ‘fate’ or anything of the sort. Sure there are countless stories about finding your soulmate, but what about the few where it doesn’t work out?”
“See Kayo-chin! She’s a non-believer! We have to convert her immediately, nya!” Rin exclaimed. The ginger lowered her voice to a whisper,”I also think she’s reading too much angsty fanfiction, nya...”
“Does this sermon come with a pamphlet too?” Maki responds dryly, picking at her nails.
Hanayo pursed her lips, folding her hands in her lap. “I can kind of see where she’s coming from though. I think Maki-chan’s just worried about losing her soulmate again. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if you just disappeared…,”she commented shyly, mouth curving into a small worried frown. Rin cooed affectionately, snuggling into Hanayo’s side.
“I’d never leave Kayo-chin!”
Maki almost gagged at the overly sweet exchange. It was to be expected of the childhood sweethearts. They’d met each other in primary school when Hanayo had been quietly humming Rin’s song. The two had been attached at the hip ever since. She had thought the story extremely cliche.
Maybe a touch romantic, but it’s not like she’d ever admit it. (Rin was also an avid listener of EDM so their meeting was incredible in its own right.)
Clearing her throat loudly, she raised an eyebrow at them. Lightly blushing, Hanayo turned back to Maki, smiling apologetically,”Sorry, but I don’t think we’re the right people to talk to about failed pairings. I think it wouldn’t hurt to put a little faith in the universe for a bit though.”
Maki sighs heavily before moving to throw away her cup and gather up her belongings. ”Thanks, I guess,” she spared a glance at her phone,”I have to get to my anatomy class soon. See you guys tomorrow.”
“Bye Maki-chan!” called Rin, still happily draped over Hanayo. Maki waved in return without looking back and left the two lovebirds to fawn over each other.
“I still think she’s looking too much into it, nya.”
Maki made her way across the campus field, taking her usual shortcut past her favorite bench as well as studying spot. She was particularly attached to that location as the low-hanging branches of the residing oak tree offered a shady, secluded spot beneath them with leaves that filtered in a cool breeze and just the right amount of sunlight. It was also quite distanced from the stone walkway, which meant people rarely passed by.
Today’s weather had convinced Maki it was the perfect day for going outdoors, whether it was to hit the books or simply enjoy the crisp fall air. Unfortunately, she had no time to relax currently, instead settling for staring at her phone screen and scrolling through her messages as she walked, legs jostling her sling bag.
Maki paid no mind, opting to change apps and check her Twitter feed. Why anyone would come out here to pass handouts she didn't know. Either way she wasn’t interested in joining any groups or organizations at the moment.
“Hey! I’m talking to you.”
She heard the grass behind her rustling with someone’s quick footsteps. Maki began to walk faster as well.
“Oi! Slanty eyes!”
She frowned, stopping a moment before turning around in annoyance. She was faced with what appeared to be a raven haired girl about a head shorter than her. The pigtails and red ribbons gave her a bit of a childish look. Perhaps she was a highschooler?
The girl’s ruby eyes were narrowed in irritation, deep scowl in place. Maki is reminded of an angry rabbit, its nose all scrunched up. It was kind of adorable. She could do without the angry squabbling though.
The girl looked taken aback at such a curt answer. It doesn’t take her long to respond in turn.
“I’m trying to record here, so can you go around?” she asks, exasperation present in her voice. It’s only now that Maki notices the toppled over miniature tripod she brushed past earlier. She’s too prideful to give anything even vaguely resembling an apology though. Instead she retorts with something along the lines of,”Is that the only phone stand you could get that doesn’t shoot over your head?”
Maki realizes this is the wrong answer as the shorter girl only gets more infuriated.
“First you knock down my stuff and ignore me, and now you have the audacity to call me short?!”
“I’m only telling the truth so…” She threw her hands up in mock innocence.
The girl flares up, hissing under her breath,”Well, tomato head, maybe if you actually opened your eyes and looked, you wouldn’t crash into things.”
“I’m not the one who sets up whatever in the middle of an empty field!”
“Yeah, cause it’s freaking empty!”
“Well maybe you were too small to see?”
“Oh yes, very mature. Haven't heard that one before.”
Maki seethed. A teenager, lecturing her on maturity?
”High schoolers shouldn’t even be on Otonokizaka’s campus anyways!”
The girl stares at her in disbelief and the redhead interprets this lapse of silence as a victory on her part.
“I’d love to stay and argue, but I have a class to get to. You should go back to school. Don’t want your parents to know you skipped, do you?” Huffing indignantly, she turned on her heel, and checked her watch. She definitely wasn’t making it in time.
“I’m older than you!” screeches the girl at Maki’s receding back. She stands there fuming for a moment, muttering darkly, before returning to her camera and guitar case.