Someone like you III
Published Mar 9, 2016

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Shane examined his face once more. His hair was cut just the way she asked and the beautician still left a fashionable stubble on his face to give that "I woke up like this" look.
Nobuo: So do you really think I look good?
Shane: You have always looked good, now you look EXTRA good! Now your outside match your inside.
Nobuo looked at himself again in the mirror.
Nobuo: Let's celebrate my new look. Want to go out or something?
Shane: I can't tonight. I have a date with Chad.
Nobuo: Chad? But I thougt- nevermind.
Shane: I've been spending so much time with you I almost forgot I had a boyfriend. But maybe we can do something tomorrow. Just you and I. Okay?
Nobuo: Alright.
Shane: In the meantime, try out the new look. Just walk around and see what happens.
Nobuo: Thank you again. For everything.
Shane: Anytime.
She gave his hand an extra squeeze before leaving to go back in the other room and allow him to change.
In the mornings, Nobuo and Shane would jog to the gym for the early Yoga class. It was a great way to begin his day. The sun had not long risen and there was still a crisp mist in the air.
Shane (quietly): Someone is looking at you.
She nodded to the lady in front of them. The woman kept glancing over as they changed positions. Shane knew she was trying to get his attention.
Nobuo: Too short.
Shane: Picky, picky.
Nobuo: Am I?
Shane: Yes. She's still cute.
Nobuo was not used to getting the extra attention from women and men. Although his outward appearance shined, he was still the shy individual from high school. He was not ready just yet to venture out on his own to meet people. So when Shane would point out someone to him he always made excuse to find a flaw.
He liked his alone time but also liked being around Shane. He was always more confident around her and willing to try new things just because she said so.
He tapped on her door.
Shane: It's open!
When he walked in the door he was taken off guard as he saw Shane with her head down. Her forehead crinkled and her eyes concentrated on her lap.
Nobuo: Are you okay?
Shane raised the book to her face.
Shane: Sorry, I've just been reading one of my Nicola Shark novels. I haven't read any of these since I was younger. I decided to pick one up again. It's so sad. I forgot how sad they were.
She wiped her nose with the kleenex in her hand.
Nobuo had never seen Shane cry before. The tears fell slowly down her face and quickly disappeared under each tissue she pulled from the box. She didn't make a sound, only the sniffling to draw back the water into her eyes. Her eyes were stuck to the book as she tried to read the final page before stopping.
She took one final breath to clean out her emotion. She shook her hands in front of her.
Shane: Okay. Sorry. I'm ready.
Nobuo: That must be some book.
Shane: I forgot what her words do to me. I mean you're right there in the life.
Nobuo: So you're reading books now.
Shane: I guess. I used to read all the time when I was little. Then I started dancing, meeting boys, and everything is history. So enough about me. Let's talk about you.
Nobuo: Well I know you've been trying to help me get out there. But it still feels like a little too much. It feels rushed.
Shane: I get it. But you have to at least try. Sometimes you just have to jump and see what happens.
Nobuo: But what if the one I want turns me down.
Shane: I doubt it. You're such a great person. In the months I've known you there is so much more about you that I like. It won't be difficult for someone else to see the same thing.
Nobuo: You really think so?
Shane: I don't lie Nobuo. Just take a small jump first.
Shane was inside the courtyard of the apartment complex. It was a nice sunny day outside with a small cool breeze.
She concentrated hard on the chess table in front of her.
Nobuo: Afternoon.
Shane: Oh, hey. Where have you been off to today?
Nobuo: I took a small jump like you said. I went over to the mall and just window shopped.
Shane: And...
Nobuo: And a few women approached me. One was trying to find the restroom but the others were digging me.
Shane: That's great. Small jump.
Nobuo: You play? (he pointed to the table)
Shane: I used to. My father taught me when I was little.
Nobuo: Can I join you?
Shane: Sure.
Nobuo: So I was thinking....would you like to join me for dinner tomorrow. Not as a date or anything. Just friends.
Shane: Sure. Are you cooking?
Nobuo: Well it's really a friends. I always eat dinner with them and I thought that I can bring you. If you're not busy.
Shane: I never turn down a home cooked meal.
Nobuo looked at the chess pieces.
Nobuo: So how long have you been playing?
Shane: Since I was 7. Why?
Nobuo: Oh nothing. I just thought you didn't play much.
Shane: I haven't for a while. I sometimes play by myself. Keeps me alert.
Shane: Check mate.
Nobuo: But.
Shane: I forgot to tell you I was state champion in the youth division for 3 years in a row.
Nobuo: I should have asked that before I played you.
Shane: You want another round? To save your honor? (she laughed)
Kait was shuffling through the refrigerator. She shoved the ingredients on the counter top.
Jack: Easy now.
Kait: How can you be so nice about this? I was not planning to fix dinner for four.
Jack: What is one extra seat.
Kait: Alot when he wants to bring that girl over.
Jack: Come on K. Give her a chance. You never once spoke to her.
Kait: I don't need to. The way she prances around here with that brute of a boyfriend says alot.
Kait: I'm not going to like it. But I will sit there and behave for Nobuo.
Jack sat quietly enjoying the rest of the tv program while Kait was preparing dinner. He knew not to bother her when she was upset and handling knives.
At dinner everyone was quiet. Whenever Nobuo looked up from his plate he was met by a sly smile from Jack. Kait stepped on is foot under the table when she saw him the final time.
Kait: So tell me about yourself Shane. I hear so much about you from above but never have we met. You go to school, work, kids, married?
Nobuo choked on his last bite.
Shane: Are you okay?
Nobuo: Fine. I'm just fine. Can you pass me some water Ms. Kait?
As she left to the kitchen he gave Jack a big stare. Jack shrugged. She returned back with a glass of water and an large pitcher to put in front of him.
Kait: So where was I..
Shane: Well, no I'm not married or have kids. I did go to school but took some time off. Sometimes college may not be for everyone.
Kait: So what are your goals? You must want to do something.
Shane: Well I'm saving up to go back. I wasn't ready at the time but now I'm really dedicated.
Kait: I heard you work at the clubs downtown.
Shane: I do. I dance.
Nobuo: Shane went to school for dance and now she works to save up for college.
Kait: Well that is nice.
Shane: I really like the dinner. Do I detect a pinch of coriander in the seasoning?
Kait: Why yes.
Shane: My father was a chef for many years
Kait: And where is your father now?
Shane: He's back home in Jersey. My older brother doesn't live far so he visits as well. You must be proud of your children.
Shane pointed to the photograph of three adults sitting with Jack and Kait.
Shane: You have a wonderful family.
Kait: Yes we do.
Nobuo's worry began to lessen as Shane and Kait continued to talk. They shared stories and laughed as if they were girlfriends. The two men listened and joined the conversation at times.
Nobuo was happy Shane had won her over. Jack gave him a head nod from across the table.
Jack: I knew when she knocked on my door and asked for some sugar that we would be together forever.
Kait: Well it took a little longer to convince me. I was only 12 and we were neighbors.
Jack: I was 13 but I still knew. And 50 years and 4 kids later we are still together.
Kait: No regrets.
Shane and Nobuo looked in awe.
Nobuo: That's it.
Shane: Exactly.
Jack: When you find your love don't let them go.
Nobuo: So what did you think?
Shane: They are adorable. They've been married for 40 years and it's as if you're watching a newlywed couple. That is love.
Nobuo: Better than a Nicola Shark book.
Shane: Ten times better. They invited us for dinner next week too.
Nobuo: You really won them over.
Nobuo walked Shane to her door. He took her keys and opened her door for her.
Shane: Thanks for tonight. Dinner was great and I got to meet a great couple.
Nobuo: They have been like family to me since they moved here. I thought it would be nice to share them with you.
Nobuo: Well goodnight.
Shane wrapped her arms around him in a big embrace. He was dumbfounded. The hug caught him off guard and so he stiffened under her.
Shane: Goodnight.
----------------------------------------------------------- A walk in the garden
Nobuo: So tell me more about your dancing. What kind did you do?
Shane: I was trained in contemporary and african jazz. But I love them all.
Nobuo: Why did you stop?
Shane: I just haven't had the time to actually practice again. I was too immature to realize how great I had it and quit to do it on my own. But after months of auditioning, no one hired me.
Shane: Now I just want to go to school at least.
Nobuo: And dancing?
Shane: I haven't trained in so long. I haven't really thought about starting over again.
Shane: My father used to take me to plays all the time. I only paid attention to the dancers. And when I went home, I would try to imitate what I saw. Me, twirling around my bedroom. But enough about me. Ask me out?
Nobuo: What?
Shane: Ask me out?
Shane: You have to get over your fear of rejection. Now ask me out.
Nobuo: Okay. Will you go out with me?
Shane: No. Absolutely not.
Nobuo: Okay....
Shane: Now that I've rejected you the only way from being down is getting back up. Now try to strike up a conversation with me BEFORE asking me out.
Nobuo: So what do you do for a living?
Shane: Try something personal.
Nobuo: What do you like to do when you're not busy?
Shane: Alright, alright. I like to fish.
Nobuo: Fish....well I don't know how to fish maybe you can show me sometime.
Shane: Excellent. Way to turn that around and ask for a date.
Nobuo: I think I kind of like this. Can I try again?
Shane went over a few other scenarios with Nobuo. The practice was building up his confidence and he was getting the hang of it quickly. Even when she turned him down a few times he was able to take it and still end up on a strong note.
Nobuo: Man. I feel better. If only meeting people was this easy.
Shane: It is. You just need to right setting and right cues to know when it is time. Ladies flirt with their eyes more than their mouths. So look for the signs, flipping of the hair, a small cute laugh, simple touch of your arm.
Shane: come on.
Nobuo: Where are we going?
Shane: Just come on.
Nobuo: You are not...
Shane: Chicken? No one is watching. It's so hot outside we need a little cooling off.
Nobuo: No.
Shane: Nobuo! Come on. Take a leap, or a small jump.
Nobuo scratched his head. He started to remove his shoes and socks, placing them neatly on the pavement next to the fountain. He looked around to see if anyone was around.
Shane: Now jump!
The water was cold and he let out a small sound when his feet entered the water. Shane kicked the water in his face.
Nobuo: Hey!
Shane: I need for you to have fun. Live a little.
It didn't take long before Nobuo was splashing in the water as well. They were laughing and yelling while pushing the water at each other.
Afterwards they sat on the edge of the fountain to dry off.
Shane: Penny for your thoughts.
Nobuo: I was just thinking about how I was a few months ago. I barely came out my apartment. My only friends were the elderly couple above me. And then you came.
Shane: Now you are out and about and you have one extra friend.
Nobuo: extra friend.
Nobuo invited Shane over to watch his favorite cult classics , Zombie Nation 1 and 2. He also wanted to show her the new furniture he picked for his apartment. They sat eating popcorn and enjoying the movie. Every now again Shane covered her eyes.
Shane: So much gore.
Shane: How is the book coming along?
Nobuo: Great. I actually finished a few more chapters and sent some to a publishing company. It usually takes a while to hear back but I have good hopes about it.
Shane: Can I read some?
Nobuo paused the second movie and took his book out from the desk.
Nobuo: I write most of it here so I don't forget when I get home.
He flipped through the pages and came to a few of his favorite lines.
Nobuo: If pleasure was a sound he would be screaming it......Her skin felt like lilly petals under his fingers. He loved to trace her frame as they lay......He was always vulnerable to her, unprotected, he left his feelings waiting for her to share.
He closed the book.
Shane: That was wonderful. You are really good at this.
Nobuo: I hope so.
Shane: You have a title.
Nobuo: Not yet.
By the end of the movie Shane had already fallen asleep on top of Nobuo. He called her name and she responded in half sleep. She mumbled a few unclear words. He rubbed her back.
Nobuo (quietly): Hey Shane. The movie's order
Shane: That's great. Just give me five more minutes.
She adjusted herself again, nestling her head in his chest and placing one leg over both of his. Instead of waking her he turned on the television and allowed her to sleep longer.
Hours passed before Shane finally woke up. She didn't know how long she had been sleep. She took a big stretch. Nobuo had also fell asleep by now. She called his name but he didn't wake up. She gently tapped his face.
Shane: Like soft lily petals
She gave him a small kiss on the cheek.
Shane: Sweet dreams
Nobuo: Okay. Keep your eyes closed. Are they closed?
Shane: Yes. What are you up to?
Nobuo: You'll see
Shane: Are you going to kill me? Is this how I'm going to spend my last moments?
She could hear people chatting around her. Nobuo promised her a night she would never forget. She picked a great dress to wear but was still curious as to where she was going.
Nobuo: Okay. Now!
Shane opened her eyes and saw that they were in front of the Performing Arts theatre.
Nobuo: Surprise! I got us tickets to the see the Debbie Reynolds Dance company.
Shane: You did what!?
Shane: I can't believe this!
Nobuo: Are you happy?
Shane: Happy...I'm trembling. I have never seen them perform live. But how did you get tickets? I thought they were sold out.
Nobuo: They were. I just called in a few favors.
Shane: This is unbelievable!
They walked in the theater arm in arm. She turned a full 360 degrees in the lobby area.
Shane: I can't believe it.
When the door finally opened an usher took them to the box seats on the top floor.
Nobuo: I figured this way you could see the entire stage from here.
Shane: This is perfect.
Once the lights dimmed and curtains drawn, Shane never stopped looking at the dancers on the stage. Each performance told a story to the audience. She laughed and cried as she watched from her seat. She held on to Nobuo holding her breath with every leap and jump from the dancers. And when the final performers took a bow she raised from her seat applauding them with the rest of the patrons. Shane: This was the best date ever
Nobuo: Date?
Shane: I mean, date with a friend. Did you see how they moved? Their bodies were so fluid to the music. I just want to dance all the way back home.
She began twirling around Nobuo.
On her final spin she landed directly in front of him.
Shane: Thank you so much. You are the best.
Nobuo did not want to let go.
Nobuo: You're welcome.

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