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Plums and Cherrie Chapter One- A Handkerchief

Spoiled plums ... go untouched, Sayuri.

It seems impossible to look back on time and recreate memories that you've always felt ... and the harder you try to remember, the easier it is to forget. Features fade and words dissipate - leaving you with nothing. Soon no one knows what you once felt, not even yourself, and you can no longer imagine someone's touch or their warmth, and their words are lost forever. Can you gain it back?

As the black-haired woman stared upon the glimmering water of the river, the sun shining down on all of Kyoto, she thought back to when she was younger. When she was still back in her small fishing town, when she was part of a family with an older sister and a mother and a father. Closing her eyes, she felt a breeze brush along her back and neck. She wanted that back. But if she could ... would she love it? Would she remember it as she had once? Or was she romanticizing it? Growing up poor with a sick mother and an old father, instead of the glamorous streets of this town with silk gowns and face make-up. Did she miss that, truly?

Sighing heavily, the woman shook her head and turned her eyes up towards the sky. The bright blue color seemed fitting, framing the soft pink petals of the cherry trees and the rolling green hills. It was lovely here ... but, was her home lovelier? A sheer cliff with churning waves and massive storms? Is that what she wanted?

Absentmindedly touching the folds of her obi, she thought of the kind man that had met her when she was nine. The Chairman. Ever since the day on the bridge, she had fallen in love with him. Though it had been almost five years, she still remembered his face. And she was determined not to forget him as she had forgotten her home. She stuck her thumb and index finger down the crease between the belt and her gown and tugged out the fold of cloth. Pulling it up to her face, she ran her thumb over the initials at the bottom corner of the fabric. It was the Chairman's handkerchief. He had given it to her when she was nine, along with money to buy a flavored ice.

Placing it against her face, she breathed in the scent of pine and lavender. It would be her single reminder of the man, should she forget briefly whom she was fighting for. Her struggled into the life of a maiko, and even a Geisha, would be for him and only for him. Not for Mother, Auntie and Hatsumomo. Her torture by others would not be suffered through for herself, nor for the protection of Pumpkin. It would be for the Chairman. It was simple.

The Chairman had saved her life, her sanity. Now she would travel the entire world to find him, just for a single glance or a smile. Even if she saw the back of his head and not his face, all of this would be for something.

Placing the folded cloth back in her obi, she stood from her place on the stone bench and began to walk down towards the bridge leading to her district. If she were to find the Chairman, she would first need to become a Geisha.



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