“Ready or not, here I come!”
The little girl shouted as an innocent grin appears on her face. She turns around and looks at her surroundings. The view surrounding her was much like a park. There were trees towering over her small body. There were small gardens with delicate roses neatly displayed. There was a gate separating the park to the forest of dense trees. The little girl began to walk towards the little gardens, hoping to find one of her friends there. She crept up to the bush, trying to be as quiet as a mouse.
“BOO!” She shouts as she quickly goes behind the bush where she thought her friend would be. Although, the spot was bare, no sign of her friend, or any life for that matter. The little girl sighs in disappointment as she walks away to find another spot where her friends could possibly be. She craned her neck to look up at the tall trees. Some of her friends knew how to climb them, so it was possible that they could be up there. As she looked, all she could see were branches twisting and leaves flowing from the breeze. Another sigh escaped her lips as she walked away.
After about an hour of searching, she decided that her friends were not in the park, although there was one other area they could have gone in. That area was the forest. Her parents always told her to stay out of forests such as the ones in front of her, but at this point she didn’t care either way. She walked up the stone path that lead to the gate, separating her from the forest. She saw the lock on this gate was terribly rusted. After tugging at the lock for a good ten minutes, it finally broke. She pushed the gate with all her might because there was rust all over the gate as well. Her friends must have climbed the gate because the gate seemed untouched for a long time.
She began to make her way through the forest. There was already a short set path made, but she could see the path was about to end soon. She walked carelessly around the forest. She craned her neck to look up the tall trees, and bent down to ground level to look under bushes, as well as walk around them. She walked for about two more hours and was ready to give up. She turned to head back, but then she noticed she traveled too far. Everything looked the same. The trees never changed and there was no more paths to follow. She had no idea which way was north or south. The trees were so dense that they covered the sun so she couldn’t tell where the sun was.The only hint was the stream of lights through the trees, but that wasn’t good enough. She ran helplessly through the dense forest, hoping to somehow find her way back, but no matter how far she traveled, she didn’t find any different path. She slowed her pace to a slow walk and eventually stopped. Tears started to stream down her flushed cheeks. She was officially lost in a forest where no one could find her. She fell to her knees and covered her eyes with her hands and cried. She began to cry harder and harder for what felt like an eternity. She could never get out no matter how far she walked, for all she knows she could have been walking farther than before.
After a couple minutes of crying, she began to hear footsteps coming closer to her. Fear and relief began to flood through her. Who was coming closer? Was it a nice person coming to save her, or a psycho coming to kill her? She cautiously looked up in front of her to see who was coming. She saw a handsome young man approaching her. He had short, soft black hair with eyes as red as freshly spilt blood. His skin almost as pale as snow. He was very tall for an average man, towering to almost seven feet. He wore a long sleeved white collared shirt with a jet black vest. He wore a black necktie with black dress pants. When he reached the little girl, he bent down to her height.
“What are you doing in a place like this?” The man asked softly. His voice was a soothing deep tone. He looked to her with compassionate eyes, seeming like a good man to her. The little girl looked at him in awe and started to wipe away her tears, although they kept coming back.
“I-I was...looking for my friends and...I can’t find them!” The little girl managed to say in between sobs. The man patted her head softly, trying to calm her down. He looked around his surroundings, not seeing any other little children around.
“Well, I don’t see anyone around. Let me take you home, it’s too dangerous for a little girl such as your self to be wandering around these forests.” The man said as he smiled softly to the girl before him. The little girl stopped sobbing and nodded quietly. The man stood up and offered his hand to her. The girl looked at his hand hesitantly before taking hold of it. The man led her out of the forest. He stopped once they were back into the park.
“Now, may I ask is to where you live, dear?” The young man asked as he looked down to the timid girl.
“I live a couple streets down from here...in a really, really big house.” The little girl said, trying to describe her house with opening her arms to replicate the size of this house. The man chuckled at the way she described it.
“You can lead me there, sound good?” He said patting her head lightly. The girl nodded cheerfully as she began to walk away leading him to her home.
“By the way, what is your name dear?” The man asked as he walked next to her. He looked down to her with a friendly smile.
“Mayu!” The girl said with a bright eyes, looking up to the man.
“What a beautiful name you have. You can call me Matthew.” He replied.
“Okay!” Mayu stated brightly. They continued to walk until they reached to a big victorian house. Matthew glanced at different parts of the house. It was big and was built of chestnut brown colored bricks. It contained at least three floors and reminded him of a small castle. It was a beautiful home, he could tell she was part of a noble family.
“Come on Matthew!” Mayu ordered as she took his hand and led him inside. As she opened the door, a woman dressed in the finest dress hugged her almost immediately.
“Oh Mayu! I was so worried! You were gone for about three hours! I’m so glad you are
alright!” The woman said as she hugged Mayu tightly.
“I’m okay mama, Matthew found me and took me home!” Mayu said cheerfully as she pointed to the man standing at the door way. The woman looked up to Matthew and approached him.
“I thank you for bringing our little Mayu home. Is there anyway I could show you my gratitude?” The woman asked politely. Matthew shook his head lightly.
“I do not need anything in return Madame, I only did what anyone else would have done in my position.” Matthew stated.
“Well then...Mr...?” The woman trailed off to the end, expecting a last name to be said for manner reasons.
“Quinn. Matthew Quinn.” Matthew replied nonchalantly.
“Thank you, My name is Reena Saruwatari, It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr.Quinn. Would you like to sit down and have some tea?” Reena asked politely. Although she did not give Matthew a chance to answer, for she had already began walking to get some tea.
“Thank you Mrs.Saruwatari.” Matthew responded simply.
As Matthew began walking to have a seat, Mayu tugged lightly on his sleeve. Matthew stopped and glanced down in curiosity.
“When you’re done with tea, wanna go up to my room and see all my toys?” Mayu asked innocently.
Matthew chuckled, “Sure, that sounds wonderful.”
Mayu looked up to him with a bright smile as she happily walked away to her room to wait until tea time was done.
“Mr.Quinn, you can have a seat in the living room if you’d like.” Reena called from the nearby kitchen.
“Okay, thank you.” Matthew responded simply. He made his way over to the living room and sat down on the couch. He looked around the room. It was fairly large with long maroon curtains draped on the window. There was a small coffee table placed in front of him with various books. There were cabinets with glass doors placed at the far wall. The cabinets held various China plates and tea sets. The floor was a beautiful cream color. The walls were a dark brown. There was various Catholic crosses hanging around the room. It was a very nice living room, he had to admit.
After about five minutes, Reena returned with a silver tray containing a teapot and two tea cups. She placed the tray on the coffee table and began to pour the tea into the cups.
“Would you like any sugar in your tea?” Reena asked politely as she added sugar in her cup.
“No, thank you.” Matthew answered with a smile.
Reena nodded simply and put his cup on a teacup plate to catch any spills and put it in front of Matthew. She sat on a chair that was next to the couch, bringing her tea with her.
Reena took a sip of her tea and then set it down lightly. She looked at Matthew with a smile, “Again, I appreciate you bringing Mayu home safe. We don’t like her out by herself with her friends alone for about two hours because she is so young.”
“Really, it was no problem at all, although when I found her, I didn’t see any of her friends around.” Matthew stated.
“Oh, I see...”Reena sighed. She looked down into her teacup. “I should have known.” She added.
“What do you mean?” Matthew asked. He picked up his tea to prepare for a drink.
“Well, her friends tend to go off on her. Although she keeps insisting that they are just playing with her. She keeps saying they are just really good at hide and seek. I try to tell her that thats not what they are actually doing, but I just can’t bring myself to tell her.” Reena explained as she set her cup down on the coffee table.
“Well, children will tend to have false ideas about what is really going on. I’m sure she’ll figure out what’s really going on.” Matthew replied.
“I know, but when she does, I fear that she will change completely,” Reena responded. She looked out the window for a second, and then looked back at Matthew, “She’ll probably start to think that friends are a bad thing to have.” She finished.
“Well...”Matthew began. “You seem like a nice family. You daughter seems like a nice child. If you’d like, I can come over often and make sure she has a friend there when that does happen.” Matthew suggested with a smile.
“Really? You’re a good man Mr.Quinn.” Reena said with a smile as she drank her tea. “I would appreciate it if you could do that. You would be helping her out a lot.” Reena added.
“It is no problem at all Mrs.Saruwatari.” Matthew replied shaking his head lightly. “I’m glad I could be of help to you.” He added.
After about an hour of talking and drinking tea, they had finished their tea. Matthew stood up.
“Thank you for the tea Mrs.Saruwatari. It was wonderful.” Matthew complemented.Reena simply chuckled and waved her hand slightly.
“There is no need for flattery, but I thank you for the compliment.” Reena replied.
Just then, Mayu made her way down to the living room and walked in.
“Is Matthew done with his tea?” She asked innocently.
Matthew chuckled, “Yes, I am done. Shall we go up to your room like you wanted?”
Mayu nodded happily. She led Matthew up to her room. The room was about average sized, not too big nor small. There was a bed by the window. The blankets were of a dark blue and the pillows were a beautiful baby blue. The walls were snow white and the carpeting was a
very light gray. The curtains were as black as a void. She had some toys and playsets placed in the corner of her room. She had a large variety of stuffed animals. There was a single cross hanging above her bed. There was a closet in the upper left wall of her room containing many
“This is my room!” Mayu introduced as she went farther into the room.
“It’s a very nice room, Mayu.” Matthew complimented as he looked around the room.
“I play with all my friend here!” Mayu added in as she sat on her bed.
Matthew chuckled lightly, “Oh really?”
Mayu nodded, “Yeah, but I’m the only one that can see them.”
Matthew looked at her in confusion.“Only you? Why?” He asked as he sat next to her.
Mayu nodded once more, “Yeah, mama says they are just imaginary friends, but I don’t believe her. I think they are really real!”
“Well, if you can see them, then its alright.” Matthew said simply. He wondered if it wasn’t imaginary things she was seeing, but more like dead people. Young children are prone to see things of the supernatural, and houses such as hers tend to be haunted, so it was only natural she would mistake them for “imaginary” friends. Matthew lifted his wrist and moved his sleeve to view his watch. It was almost time to go, but he decided to stay a bit longer.
“Matthew...?” Mayu called innocently.
Matthew looked down to Mayu in curiosity, “Yes?”
“May I call you Matty?” Mayu asked once more, looking up to him.
Matthew chuckled slightly and patted her head.
“Sure.” He said lightly.
Mayu giggled happily, “Matty~!” She sang as she hugged his arm with a huge grin on her face.
Matthew sighed, “Well Mayu, I must take my leave for the day.”
Mayu’s happy face turned from a bright smile to a depressing frown.
“Awww, will you come back?” Mayu asked, still clinging to Matthew’s arm.
“Of course I will dear. I’ll be back tomorrow.” He added in as he stood up.
Mayu quickly got up as well and hugged him.
“I’ll miss you Matty!” She said as a smile, knowing she’ll see him again.
Matthew smiled, “I’ll miss you too Mayu.”
Matthew left the room swiftly, leaving Mayu in her room alone. Matthew made his way to the living room and said his goodbyes to Reena and left the house to go home. The house was starting to tire him, so he had to leave quickly. Although, Mayu has struck an interest to him, so he will definitely return.
A soft smile crept onto his face,“Until tomorrow...”