Wednesday, December 28, 2016

the cardigan

The Cardigan




Its been such a wacky weather month, this December. Some nights have been a 3 dog night (that's Canadian for it takes that many dogs to keep you warm at night) while closer to Christmas we had almost 60 degrees! Fog that freezes things. Thunderstorms. I know, it could have been so much worse.

And to have Monday off these last two weeks of the year have been exciting yet depressing (making up those hours at work.)

Thankfully, that trusty gray cardigan of mine has gotten me through the month. Every year, I look for a new one (except, its not always new..I do thrift) However, this year I found a really long cardigan that I can practically trip over (that is if I'm trying to escape the mall quickly, but I never go there.)

However, I was out before Thanksgiving and found someone who makes their own fashions at a craft show, and saw all these cardigans. Of course, the price was a little hefty. I told her I loved the look and flow of them and she said, "Well..I LOVE the one you have on."

Suddenly, it occurred to me..I'm actually in style. Me? I live in the mid-west, and we are a conservative bunch..I might add. No one around here looks like they are ready to make a booty call. Plus, I work at the library and one might think we are all nuns in black.

Of course, the very long cardigan was very helpful during the furnace breakdown at work. Its been a bad year for us at the library when it comes to heating and cooling. Also, our director lives in her coat, most days. Anyway, I used the cardigan as a blanket.

Truly, I'm not always fashionable. But I love a piece in my wardrobe that's functional.

Yes, I'd wear my flannel pjs to work..if I could. Since I have a very long cardigan..a lot of times, no one really knows what kind of bottoms I'm wearing.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kaori & Ellie prt.12

Kaori & Ellie prt.12




Ellie could see there wasn't much to worry about, getting ready for Kaori and J's night.  Nico, closed shop and decorated the place to J's specification. After all, many of his old friends wanted to celebrate with them. They would take care of the alcoholic beverages.

Still, Ellie worried about Kaori. Didn't it take weeks to prepare for a wedding? Evidently, not.

There was cake and lots of goodies. Most were made by Nico, but some were provided by J's Aunts.

"How come they knew about this, before we did?" She kept hugging herself, eyeing the beautiful spread of food on the table.

"It wouldn't have been a surprise, now would it?" Of course, he kissed her on the cheek, and she wiped the sticky kiss away like a spoiled child. She made a sour face.

So many things she needed to talk about. But it wouldn't happen today. All she needed was to wear something nice. It would have to come from Kaori's wardrobe, but she was here at Nico's not there. She guessed her drab sweater would do, over her shabby attire.  Nico was in his usual duds. They were not the guests of honor.

Soon he coaxed her out of the shop. They bundled up to get to the registry on time. Ellie did have her doubts it would even happen, but there they were. Simply a classic couple.

 J wore a suit and Kaori was in white. Her bouquet of pink flowers made the moment, all the more romantic, even in a busy hall.

Ellie wanted to be in a pout. However, her best friend was getting married. It only took a few minutes for it to happen. Even Micky was there with some other guy.

Ellie looked to Nico who's smile was so sincere as he watched. She gritted a smile.

But suddenly tears emerged. She didn't mean for it to happen.

Kaori looked back and laughed.

"Why are you crying?" She asked Ellie.

"Because..because..I'm so happy, for you. I'm really happy that you've found what you wanted." She hugged her friend, doubting she'd ever be so lucky.

Kaori & Ellie prt.11

Kaori & Ellie prt.11



Kaori was still in shock. J bought her so many nice presents. The coat was warm and vibrant.

It was all so sudden. She'd hardly blinked, trying to take all this new information in.

1. he'd found a job in the country-side and he'd found them a place they could be in by January. He'd even chatted up the local school. They needed a first grade teacher.

2. and they would be married. Perhaps, it wasn't quite the fairy tale she dreamed. Still, this was the real world and lot of paperwork went along with it.

So it was happening. Maybe by tonight.

"Tonight?" That wild-eyed look of Ellie's was the way Kaori felt. She didn't know if she could keep up.

Kaori nodded, unsure they would even have time to decorate a tree. Of course, Kaori wanted Ellie and Nico to be their witnesses. Her grandparents couldn't get out in this kind of weather, but they'd had a long talk about her future at breakfast. The major reason she was late.

Ellie nodded, as she would see to it.

"Wow, that J..." Ellie's smile was open. "He knows how to get things done."

Kaori nodded, not wanting to head into the school, but they had too. She could hardly think to have a whole classroom to herself. Was she ready for that sort of life?

And married.

She felt faint, but she knew she needed to keep her eyes open. No way was she going to let this slip through her fingers.

"Its a great Christmas," Kaori kept telling herself through out the day. Still, she could feel her heart flutter. There would be more changes than she ever expected. Was she ready to say goodbye to her old life?

"We've been such good friends, all this time." She winced when she passed Ellie during lunch while on duty.

Ellie laughed softly. "And we'll still be friends." She assured her they would call and text, everyday.

Kaori nodded. Still, this Christmas would be different.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Kaori & Ellie prt.10

Kaori & Ellie prt.10




Ellie waited for Kaori on the snow-covered playground. She felt a little lost, especially since she was in the outfit from yesterday. Hopefully, no one would question her.

She'd gotten up early. She smiled now, thinking nothing would wake that boy, Nico.

The smile faded to a straight lip. Why was she smiling? Bad habits were evidently hard to break.

This was the third time it happened. And it really didn't have anything to do with sleep.

The first time was on New Year's day. She thought it had a lot to do with the rice liquor.  Ellie nursed her her bottom lip. They'd decided to count that one, as a one off... since neither remember what happened.

Then over the summer, Nico and Ellie took a bus trip to the seaside for a comedy festival. Actually, they'd found time to put a routine together. Just a little act..they should have left at home. Yes, they were laughed off the stage, but not in a good way. They'd drank themselves silly, in spite of not being very good comedians. Still, it was hard to say, who got the last laugh.

But this time, it was different. She'd never seen her friend so serious. Nico was really worried about a certain someone. She'd met online. And when Nico kissed her, it was very real. She hadn't meant to let the passion grow, but it did, and it was all so rather simple yet sublime.

Ellie gritted, vowing to never ever mention this to anyone, especially Kaori. However, she would be back at Nico's place, again. She definitely needed to pick some things up, from home.

Finally, Kaori appeared. Happy. Refreshed. In a beautiful red coat.

Kaori showed Ellie the simple ring on her wedding finger. Ellie smiled. Yes, she was so happy for her best friend.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kaori & Ellie prt. 9

Kaori & Ellie prt.9




Kaori wanted to smile all through the night, as if a dream was finally here.

But there was talk about her grandparents. J held her close in the cold.

"I've talked to them." His smile was genuine and honest. Still she worried.

"Oh." She was serious. What was he up too?

"They know, I have good intentions." He nodded. She nodded.

It wasn't long until they were at her place.

He'd brought a tree.

Kaori was full of laughter. It was so unexpected.

Was that what it was all about? The Christmas tree? She was a little lost in thought. Still, she had not expected him a day early.

"I wish you would have told me." She went to put on the electric kettle.

"Where's the surprise in that?" His face was as smart yet humble, as she remembered. She knew she needed to trust him more. She wanted too.

He embraced her, and she fell into his cozy warmth.

"Now wash up. I'll make the coffee." He kissed the top of her forehead. It sounded as if he'd take care of everything.

Was that the way she wanted it?

She took her time, gathering her things for a shower. She winced, thinking she hadn't had time to find the right pajamas, nor pretty undies. A part of her felt she had such a sheltered life, and maybe she did. If only, she could have thought ahead, and have these sexy little things, hidden away in her underwear drawer.

She sighed, wondering what J had in mind. She finally turned on the hot water, noticing someone had already showered.

When she returned, there he was in Ellie's flannel pants. At least, it was the clean pair.

She couldn't help but feel laughter.

If Ellie only knew J looked better in those pants than she did.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kaori & Ellie prt. 8

Kaori & Ellie prt.8



After J and Kaori left, Ellie looked at Nico straight lipped. The dishes were practically done and the pots were where they were suppose to be.

She sighed.

"What?" He looked at her as if it wouldn't be so bad. As it was, his place was above the shop. It was all his, since his Dad moved to the Philippines. He shut off the light and they went up the narrow passage.

His place was locked up. He opened the door and let her in first.

Ellie took a look around the minimal living space. If only he had a dog or a cat. She found herself mentioning it to him.

"I feed the strays out back." He was matter of fact. Ellie felt her shoulders sink in. This was going to be the worst night ever.

He asked if she wanted coffee as she took the papers out of her backpack. There were 52 papers to go through. There was a key with the answers. She might have it done in 40 minutes or so, if she tried, but she didn't really want, too.

"Sure." She'd drag this night out as long as she had, too. But her eyes were tired, as she was certain, they were red too.

She cracked her knuckles and fixed her red pen to mark out the wrong answers.

"They sure do trust you." He observed.

"Well, yeah, I'm actually a certified teacher." But it hadn't happened yet, the teaching. It was still part-time. No benefits. "Kaori's in the same boat." Ellie wanted to tell him it was hard work, but what would Nico know. He'd been a layabout most of his life. And now he had his own ramen shop, thanks to his dad.

"You know, I'm here for you. Right?" He put down the black coffee next to her papers.

She looked at him. She couldn't help but scowl.

"So." Her voice was ever so dull. "I have someone." She sounded as if Nico didn't have to worry about her mental state.

"Who?" He looked puzzled as he sat down across from her at the coffee table.

"You, don't know him." She shrugged and went back to grading papers. She'd see who would fall asleep first. Maybe they'd sleep right here.

"Just tell me who it is?" He wanted to know as if this was a real threat.

Ellie couldn't help but have an open smile. "I know him online. He lives in New York City."

"Stop, making crap up." Nico drew a frown.

"But, its true. And..and we text each other..all the time." She winced and went back to writing in red, on an elementary student's paper.

"Text?" He made it sound like a dirty word. "I bet he doesn't even exist."

"Oh," Ellie laughed softly. "He exist."

"You, don't even know if its really him, you're talking too." He shook his head, no.

"Oh god, haven't you ever heard of something called Snap Chat?" She winced.

"You're a liar." He pointed a finger at her, and she snatched it. Were they going to have to get in a wrestling match over this?

Kaori & Ellie prt. 7

Kaori & Ellie prt.7




Kaori thought she might lose consciousness. Was she dreaming? J was actually here!

Suddenly, he'd arrived too early. She wasn't expecting him, just yet. There was school tomorrow.

Yet, she let him sweep her off the floor. He swung her about as if she was in her own movie moment.

She studied his eyes, there was so much she wanted to say, but she couldn't. And he didn't really talk, either. The kiss was so unexpected, but definitely a sensation of what she remembered of him. Amazingly electric.

Finally, he let her down.

"I came home early, so we could spend more time together." He looked to Nico and Ellie who were behind the counter.

Ellie looked surprised, but she snapped her fingers and smiled. "Time, yes, time..you two need..a..lot of time." She mimicked then said something into Nico's ear, as if he needed to put in a good word.

"Well..yeah." His eyes were open wide as he looked at Ellie. "Of course, they do." He put his arm around Ellie who slid his arm off her shoulder, immediately. "Ellie, can..she's..she's staying at my place tonight." He stuttered.

Immediately, Kaori looked to Ellie, who smiled meekly, but then made a funny face. "We've been talking about this for weeks." She jabbed Nico in the side. He tensed and jumped away from Ellie, but she took his arm and put it around her waist as if they couldn't wait to get out of here.

"Huh." Kaori felt slightly not ready for this moment. She needed to shave her legs. She needed new underwear. All she owned were boy briefs that were much more comfortable than those lacy ones. She almost made a face. J might see her in her underwear tonight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Kaori and Ellie prt. 6

Kaori & Ellie prt.6




"What happened this time?" Nico had the pots boiling with broth. As usual, he spent some time chopping and preparing the ingredients in the correct order to make his masterpieces.

"I..I might have said something..to..set.. her off." Ellie was closed mouth about it while putting on her apron.

"Has he called her?" Nico wanted to know about J.

"No. I think he wants to surprise her." She went to tend to some dumpling dough.

"Surprise her?" Nico looked out of the corner of his eye. He smiled as he looked out on the street. Was he already here?"Oh, she'll be surprised all right." Nico thought he saw J walk by.

"What?" Ellie looked to him.

It must not have been J, after all. But Nico was certain it must be him. He'd know J's smile anywhere. He hadn't changed that much, had he?

"Never mind." He took an order then. What was J up too?

Of course, as he stirred the hot liquid, he hoped J didn't do something stupid. What if he came back engaged? Or already married. What could they do for their Kaori then?

He guessed he'd have to man-up and console her. Except, he wasn't much for that sort of thing. Most girls made him nervous..unless it was Ellie.

He winced with disgust. What if he had to come between Kaori and Ellie? Which one would he choose? Kaori was always dear to J. At least, he imagined them married one day, and he and Ellie would be God-parents to Kaori and J's bundle of joy.

He practically winked, wondering if it had already changed, and he didn't even know it.

Soon enough, the orders came. Lots of them. He needed to hurry, putting the meals together, quickly. Ellie would put on the finishing touches. Nico didn't have time to dwell on how to fix this for Kaori.

Before he knew it, he was in a sweat as the orders finally wound down. They'd be out of here by 10 p.m. sharp.

"You're being so quiet." Ellie mentioned.

"Huh?" He looked at her, almost forgetting all the scenarios he'd imagined. Being the father to all of Kaori's children. It was starting to make him tired. He winced hard.

Ellie nudged him. She smiled. "You're such dreamer." She remembered how he used to talk about being a rocker...only he didn't know anything about music.

Nico smiled back, even if he felt a little guilty, about being with Kaori in his imaginary world. Deep down, he knew who he was really meant to be with, and he was looking at her.

"What?" Ellie said.

Before he could say anything, the door jangled and someone was here with presents.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Kaori & Ellie prt. 5

Kaori & Ellie prt.5


It was another busy day. No way, could there be time for the homemade chocolates, but Kaori had her heart set on the delights. She would write perhaps sweet nothings on each candy (or they might be wishes of being together for an eternity). It was the latter she hoped for, but wasn't sure she should wish it.

In her head, she made the chocolates, and J would bite into one and tell her how sweet she really was. She'd shake the thought. Besides, there were children to keep in the lunch line. Everyone was so excited for winter break.

As soon as she left the school, she walked in the cold to the ramen shop to get ready for the evening meals. Ellie looked just as dazed as Kaori felt.

"When is winter break?" She was practically sleep walking as they huddled together.

"Tomorrow." Ellie reminded her.

"Tomorrow?" It couldn't come soon enough for Kaori.

"Don't look so worried. You've made all your presents, already for J." Ellie sighed as she carried a load of papers in her backpack. She'd have to grade papers tonight.

"Not all of them," Kaori said.

"Seriously?" Ellie looked at her as if she didn't need to make him anything more than a scarf and mittens. "Don't tell me." She pressed her lips tight. "You, got a motel room."

Now Kaori looked at her shocked. How could she think such? She hugged herself tight as if she were mad at Ellie. Kaori walked ahead.

How could Ellie have said such a thing? Her love for J was..well, maybe it couldn't move mountains nor anything epic. Still, it was more than physical attraction. They were truly in love.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Kaori & Ellie prt. 4

Kaori & Ellie prt.4




Ellie couldn't help but smile when she found Micky putting lotion on Kaori's hands. Naturally, Kaori pulled away quickly, as if she wasn't having fun. However, someone had painted her nails, and her hands were lovely.

"I didn't want him to do it." Kaori soon told her, after Micky left.

"Its OK, to have a friend, like him." Ellie said after she washed up. Ellie relaxed in her sleep pants and sweater. She helped lay out the bedding where they would sleep on the livingroom floor. They would pack it back up in the closet by morning. This was their usual routine.

Kaori kept looking at her bright fingernails.

"I don't like it." She protested only a little.



"But, you do." Ellie smirked. "I wish he liked me enough to do my nails." She looked at her chapped hands and jagged fingernails. She worked days at the local school along with Kaori. both assisted teachers. No way, did she want anyone to see her tired feet.

Kaori sighed as she climbed in under the thick cozy blankets. Ellie got the light and got under the covers, where they laid side by side staring at the ceiling. There was a golden glow from outside which warmed Ellie more.

"Maybe he's gay." Ellie finally said, hoping that comforted her friend.

"You think?" Kaori winced, as if she would be OK with it.

"We might never know." Ellie sighed and turned her back to her.

"What do you think J might be doing?" Kaori wanted to know.

"Sleeping, I guess." Ellie said as if she was hoping there would be no more talk.

"I should have text him." She sat up, reaching for her phone.


"Leave him. He'll text when he needs, too." Ellie told her. "I know that doesn't feel like a promise." She knew how  the unknown felt. She hadn't heard from her friend in the states for ages. Maybe he'd totally forgotten about her. Still, life went on. "But Christmas is in a few days, and lets think about how to celebrate." They didn't even have a tree.

Koari laid back down, but she cradled the phone in her hands. Hopefully, good dreams would sink in soon, of a beautiful Christmas with friends and family.