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Mar 22, 2018 - 12:40 PM

Who I Am (7) ~ Confidence

On this Sunday afternoon brother decides to run even a bit more after his daily shooting drill. Did I mention his shooting technique is just *perfect*. It's almost too beautiful to look at.

I sigh.

"Brother, I think I'm gonna catch some air," I smile at him as he looks back, "happy running!"

My star player stops dribbling and holds the ball in his side. He must be a bit amazed that I don't stay with him today, but he smiles back. "Go have fun."

It's a beautiful day with bright sunshine that would sometimes hide behind the furry white clouds. The summer of Kanagawa has always been a pleasant season.

I grab my bike from the shed and notice the purple mountain bike a few spots away. There are only a few other bikes, as it is Sunday. I think that one further away belongs to the captain of the baseball team. Only the sports club members come here on Sunday.

As I cycle along the boulevard I feel the sea wind through my half long hair. I take a deep breath that fills my lungs with air and my veins with energy. I initially wanted to go to a basketball court in the neighborhood. With some luck I might have got to see a good streetball match.

But eventually I end up at the beach, looking over the water towards the horizon. A few sea gulls float on the sea breezes shouting to each other. I chain my bike to the railing.

I take off my sneakers and walk on the soft sand. As I sit down my hands and feet slide in the soft warm sand. I lift my left leg so that the sand playfully tickles down between my toes. The little waves of the rippling sea whisper sweet words.

I fold up the pipes of my pants, jump up and run to the shores, where the cool sea water brushes the hotness away. I spread my arms and look at the sun with my eyes closed. The wind floats along my slim body and the free feeling overtake my mind.

"Hey Shizuri, what are you doing...? Hey, stop it!" A far voice echoes in the wind, "haha, I'll teach you!" He runs into the clear sea towards me. Salt water spatters in my face and my slender hands try to carry as much as they can to throw back at the handsome basketball player.

Slowly I open my eyes and I see dizzy spots everywhere.

I carefully walk back avoiding the spots. I shake and brush off the sand of my shoes and fling my bag over my shoulder, holding my shoes in my right hand. Slowly I walk to the peer.

I see a guy fishing at the end of the narrow peer and staring to the horizon. I quietly walk closer trying to recognize this familiar posture, but I can only see his back.

"The spiky hair... Where do I know that from?" I wonder.

He must be in deep thoughts as he doesn't notice my approaching to about three meters just behind him. He doesn't even hear me putting my bag and shoes on the wooden surface.

At this distance I notice his height, even when he sits and leans forward with his elbows on his knees. He must be at least 1.85 or 1.90. Then suddenly I vaguely see a white no.7 jersey on his shoulders, with strong basketball arms at each side.

"The one they call the true genius..." I think with a smirk, taking two more steps to look at his catch in the basket next to him.

Suddenly he sits up and yawns loudly. I startle and step back from his sudden actions. My foot steps on my bag (or shoe, I can't really tell). Trying to find my balance again I look for a safer place to put my feet. In the corner of my eye I see a long rod coming right for my face.

I can barely dodge it, now totally losing my balance. Then it happens really fast. I'm sure I see some sparkles under me in the second of my fall that ends in a deep painful plunge in the cool sea. I think I shouted "shit..."

With the salt on my tongue and in my throat I cough as I come to the surface. I look up into a startled face and I notice how deep the fall was. But even from this distance I can tell it is a handsome face.

"Are you alright?" he shouts down at me.

I try to speak but I can only cough. Before I can say a word I hear a loud splash near me. And soon the handsome face pops up on the surface, water dripping from his spiky hair. He quickly swims towards me.

I cough once more and then finally say: "I was about to say that I'm okay."

He startles and then smiles: "Sorry about that."

I look at his disarming smile: "Well, I'm not the only one that got soaking wet, so I think we're about even now."

"Do you want to hang around here longer or shall we swim back?"

"Let's go."

We walk next to each other on the beach to the stairway of the high peer, water dripping from all over us. When we climb the stairs I start realizing that my fall was really quite deep. No wonder that he jumped after me...

As we reach the top of the stairs coming out on the peer the wind suddenly feels very cold. I shiver twice and sneeze.

"Bless you," his friendly voice says.

The funny thing is that I can only think: "He's really tall."

His wet shirt sticks on his body and I can see his trained torso and abs. He quickly gathers all his fishing gear at the end of the peer. He brushes through his wet spikes and rubs his wet hands on his wet pants.

I pick up my shoes and bag too and wait for him so that I can say goodbye.

Does he really have to smile so sweet like that? He just got soaking wet and he didn't seem to care at all.

"Erhm, I don't know if I should tell you," he pauses, "but well, your shirt is a bit see-through now..."

I feel a blush redden my face and quickly hold my bag before my chest. Then I realize that I'm also wearing a tank top underneath the shirt, so it wasn't through and through, I comfort myself.

The breezes that were nicely cool are now damn cold. The pimples swarm on my arms and back. I try to hold it, but I have to sneeze twice.

"You're getting cold." The genius makes a not so genius-like comment.

He puts down his gear and opens his sports bag. He twists and turns the contents and finally pulls out a white jersey with the characters Ryonan printed on it. On the other side there is a big number seven. His number. "I know it's not much, but it might work as well." He says as he hands me the shirt.

I'm a bit surprised by his kind offer and for a second I don't know what to say to that. My body starts trembling from the cold and I try to suppress it.

"Come on, your lips are turning blue... Don't worry, it's a clean shirt." He smiles and slowly walks closer. He stands just in front of me and his muscular arms almost wrap around me as he puts the Ryonan jersey crosswise on my shoulders.

I don't know if it's the shirt or the blush but I already feel warmer.

"Th-thank you..." I stutter uncontrollably to the Ryonan ace. I've never felt so embarrassed and stare at the ground.

"Let me carry this for you," he says and takes my bag.

I try to brush off the sand from my feet as much as possible before I put on my sneakers. The sand uncomfortably spreads to every corner of my shoes.

"Don't think wrong of me, but do you want to change clothes? I live nearby. I can lend you a shirt." His innocent face and ever disarming smile complete the question.

I raise an eyebrow: "How stupid do I look to you? I don't even know you..." My voice sounds almost as cold as I feel at the moment.

"You're right," he even smiles at my rejection, "I should introduce myself: I'm..."

Before he can finish I say: "You're Sendoh Akira." I don't know why I'm being so rude and I actually feel bad about it, because this guy has only been friendly trying to help. I hope that he won't get mad...

"I thought you said you didn't know me?" he winks.

Although this guy seems really trustworthy I'm not that stupid to follow this stranger with a well-known name home. But man, I feel so damn cold. Strangely the cold doesn't seem to affect him at all.

"Nice girl without a name, I'm getting cold too," his ever friendly voice speaks.

"He is such a flirt," I think.

"Thanks for your offer, but I think I better go home now." I pull the jersey closer around me. "How do I return this to you?"

He shrugs: "I come here fishing often. You might just run into me someday," he smiles as if he heard the double meaning of that sentence too, "don't worry about it. After all, you fell in the water because of me. I can get a new shirt from the team."

My body shakes from the cold but I pretend being strong. "See you around then." He hands me the bag and I walk to the boulevard trying to find my bike.

"I'm here every day, except Mondays and Thursdays." He shouts and I pretend not hearing him.

~~ Some things you shouldn't get too good at. Like smiling, crying and celebrity. Some people got way too much confidence baby. ~~

--> To Chapter 8.