It started with the wine. The wine? Yes, the wine. She and Atsumu were shopping at a New York corner store for a bottle to bring to her mother’s soiree. Her mother, a former chef during college. Hana was very gourmet.
Atsumu got his favorite Cabernet. Emi sighed. He’s got no clue. So she said, “Baby, the wine,”
“The wine?” asked Atsumu confusedly, giving the wine a second look.
“The wine! They’re serving monkfish, so baby the wine can’t be red,”
Atsumu protested while Emi looked around the aisle for an alternative her mother would like.
She said, “So, how ‘bout this Austrian Riesling instead?”
Atsumu gagged. “Emi, you know I don’t like the Riesling! When have you ever seen me drink Riesling?”
“Never,” said Emi, nodding her head. “But can’t you listen just once? Red wine and fish? You’ll look like a dunce!”
“Fine, I’ll bring the red, you bring the white. That way, I’ll still get drunk, you’ll still be right,”
They sighed and said, “Fine,” as they left.
But then there was the cab. The cab? The cab was stuck in the middle of traffic on Broadway. Ten minutes they’d wait. Emi fiddled with the ruffles on her black dress, already getting annoyed. They were twelve blocks away, and already late. She pursed her lips. “I guess there would be no delay, if we would just turn that-a-way,” she said to their driver.
Atsumu held her hand, confused. “The cab was pointed squarely down Broadway. I know you’re concerned. But your mom is on Broadway, so why have we turned?”
“Baby, I know my mom is on Broadway, but there was lots of traffic on Broadway!”
“Surely,” said Atsumu, “But now, in my own defense: we’re further away, which doesn’t make sense,”
Wanting to avoid a full-blown fight in front of the taxi driver, Emi smiled, “Fine. Driver, please stop here if you would. I think walking will do us both some good,”
“Fine,” bit out Atsumu.
“Fine,” agreed Emi.
They got out of the car.
“Fine,” they both said.
They didn’t say anything as they walked down Broadway. It was like walking next to a stranger, They’d had that feeling more and more, like they didn’t know each other. But right now, it’s cold and they're still in a hurry. Emi won’t stop and she’s not gonna worry.
They’ll be fine.
And then it started to rain.
Emi’s hair started to drip, her shoes were a mess. Her handbag was wet, so was her dress. Next to her, Atsumu didn’t mind. He loved the rain, how everything shimmered. Even as the wind picked up, and they didn’t have an umbrella, Atsumu noticed how the rain dotted Emi’s brown hair like morning dew.
And that made him think of the day that he first met her. A bucket of snow had landed in her hair, launched by her annoying twin, Daisuke. He pictured her shaking the snowflakes off her shoulders, and somehow, he wanted to get back to there. He wanted her to know that he couldn’t bear to spend a single day without her. But how could she know? How could she know?
“Shit! Ow, my shoe, my shoe, my shoe! Damnit!” said Emi, whose shoe had gotten stuck in the mud. “This is really fantastic, no. Really absurd! And what,” she scoffed. “You just stand there and don’t say a word!”
Atsumu simply watched her, still too awestruck at how pretty she looked. Her yelling, being a foot and two inches shorter than him, made it even cuter. It reminded him of a little Pomeranian. Or maybe a cat. She did go to Nekoma after all.
“Fine,” she snapped, foot finally free from the mud. “I’m gonna go, we’re late for my mother. God help the soul who’s late for my mother! You can stay put here out in the rain, but don’t leave it up to me to explain. Now give me the wine,” she made grabby hands for the bag, but Atsumu was still distracted by her hair. “Don’t take all day! Fine then! Bring it yourself, your Cabernet, Jesus!”
“Shut up Emi, and marry me!”
“Fine!” she shouted. “Wait. What?!”