Just a normal day for Rui with the same activities like the previous days; she worked at the theatre from 9 AM until 4 PM and then headed straight home. By the time she arrived, she did her chores, ate dinner, took a bath, and followed by chatting or calling Shiori, talking about how her day or the project was. The last one was the most important thing for Rui before wrapping the day up. She didn't want to miss her quality time with her beloved fiancée even when the time difference was around 14 hours long. Rui thought that she shouldn't've gone to work yet if she sent a message every 10pm. But…
“I miss Shiori so much…” Rui muttered as she turned off the laptop.
She wanted to spend a day with Shiori. Just the two of them alone. It had been so long that Rui started to feel yearning for Shiori. She was a bit sad that she couldn't spend her birthday with the one she loves for this year.
Previously, Rui felt a desire to take a time-off and visited Shiori. Flying to America wasn't a cheapskate thing, especially for round-trip. That would deplete most of her savings.
If only I could meet Shiori as soon as possible… Rui said to herself before turning the lamp off and slept.
November 18, 11 PM
“Damn, did Rui really believed that you're still in America?”
Hearing her sister's respond, the younger blonde giggled.
“I purposely didn't tell her that I've already arrived, onee-chan. I want to give the best surprise I could give, so” —Shiori stood from the sofa and walked towards the guest bedroom in Fumi and Tamao's house— “I decided to lie that I was still in America. That's why I asked if onee-chan got a spare bedroom or not before I departed.”
November 19, 12 PM
Less than 24 hours before Rui's birthday.
Shiori could have bought a box of Mister Donut for the surprise, but no, she didn't.
Instead, Fumi entrusted her kitchen to Shiori for her to prepare the surprise she had planned, starting with whisking the dough with the ingredients she wasn't sure of if they were in the right amount. It wasn't like that Shiori couldn't cook; she could do a few dishes and Rui was there to teach her, but baking donuts were something that she hadn't tried yet. Her schedule was so tight she had no time to learn how to bake.
“Mmmm… After mixing the ingredients well, prepare the donut mold. Put the vegetable oil on the mold and the dough as well…”
Shiori placed the bowl of dough and took out the mold. Then, she put some vegetable oil so the donut would be easily be flipped afterwards. Carefully, she placed the dough onto the mould and made sure she didn't accidentally put too much dough on one part of mold.
After placing the doughs, Shiori lifted the mold into the oven and baked. While waiting for the freshly-baked donuts, Shiori looked to the recipe and started making the glaze and the sprinkles.
“I hope Rui would like this.”
Shiori couldn't wait to see her beloved fiancée's reaction on the night full of surprise.
November 19, 9 PM
“It's pretty cold here.”
Rui could see her breath the moment she stepped out from the Minowa Station. The gentle, yet cold wind welcomed her as she walked away from the entrance. The season was slowly transitioning to winter but luckily, she already wore a jacket as her outfit for that day. She then took a sip of the hot cappucino she bought from the minimarket with her right hand and lifted her left arm to look at her watch.
“Eh, it is now 9 o'clock…”
A small smile grew on Rui's lips.
I'm curious about what she would give to me.
With her honest feeling, Rui didn't expect much from her birthday since her friends were running towards their own paths. Most of them were in performance path such as the hit actresses Maya and Claudine, but there were some that were in different paths. While Yuyuko became a rising rakugo performer based in Shinjuku Suehirotei, Misora got her hands on a gym and became an instructor. The newlywed Yachiyo and Tsukasa opened their own fashion line.
So many differences on becoming a fully-grown 26 years old adult with a 16 years old teenager. Sometimes, the future was unpredictable.
“Time has moved that fast, huh?”
Rui felt old. Her gaze locked onto the gold-plated ring on her left ring finger.
She didn't know that Shiori had already prepared an engagement ring for her during their stay in Nusa Dua, Bali. At first, Rui had planned to propose Shiori during the sunset to be memorable. It came to surprise that the blonde pulled the red, heart-shaped ring box out of her hand bag. “I've been waiting for this moment, Rui,” Shiori said in the most gorgeous smile Rui ever witnessed.
Whenever she remembered the unexpected double proposal, her pulse raced and she could feel her cheeks were getting warmer—
Wait wait wait I shouldn't linger here or else I'm going to miss my quality time with Shiori—
Rui snapped back into reality. She could tell that her cheeks became red as her mind wandered off the track. She took notice of the time, tossed the now-empty coffee cup to the nearest trash bin, and continued walking until she arrived back home.
Rui took off her jacket and hung it on the hanger. She started to clean the house and cooked the dinner for herself afterwards. Before Shiori flew to New York, Rui usually was the one who prepared the dinner since she was the the first to arrive at home after work hours.
Oh, how she wished she could see Shiori soon and have a dinner together someday...
Rui took her phone and scrolled the chat and not a single message came from Shiori.
I wonder why…?
November 19, 11:32 PM
“Will we get on time? Isn't Minowa far from Kawasaki?”
“Of course we will. I'm a great driver!”
The metallic sport car sped up on the tollroad, getting faster and faster as they raced on time. Train wasn't an option since Shiori was still a bit jet lag. Not to mention Fumi came home late because of her habit of going to Izakaya with her co-workers afterwork but fortunately, she didn't drink too much beer just for this day.
“Don't worry, we can arrive in less than 25 minutes from now on. I know the fastest way to get to your house. Look, we'll soon arrive in Tokyo.”
“THAT FAST? WHAT THE HELL, ONEE-CHAN?”
“Yes yes, my beloved little sister. I love my gorgeous car. She's my little baby, but the cutest one will still be Tamao in my heart.”
“A— Onee-chan, are you sure you're not drunk?”
Though she was indeed very not drunk due to alcohol, if looking at the amount of ponzu she intake…
“I'M FLOORING IT.”
November 19, 11:58 PM
“I wonder how is Shiori doing right now…”
The only message that shown on her desktop was from her crewmates. Shiori hadn't contacted her since this morning, making Rui felt worried as time passed by.
“I should wait a bit longer…”
Shiori was usually the first one who congratulate Rui every birthday, same goes to Shiori's birthday every June.
“Huh who's there?”
Rui immediately went down the stairs when she heard the bell rang.
The moment she finally opened the main door, her heart skipped a beat.
“Happy birthday, my love!”
Rui even pinched her cheeks to make sure she wasn't dreaming.
She was speechless. She didn't know how to react.
“Thank you for everything, Rui! Here's the special surprise for you: homemade donuts made by me! Anyway, onee-chan is in the car if you want to say hi.”
Rui got completely out of words.
Her sweetheart was always unpredictable.
“I… you know, I don't know how to react, but—” Rui wrapped her arms on Shiori, hugging the blonde tightly. “Shiori, I love you even more. Please be on my side forever! Let's…
Let's get married!
November 20, 00:00 AM
Happy birthday, Rui!