Captured Confessions – Chapter One
by Dreams in Pink
|Chapter Two →|
The sun shone through heavy slate clouds, fighting to warm the crisp, spring air as Mamoru marched down the sidewalk of the bustling Tokyo streets, a stiff leather briefcase dangling from his hand. He dodged fellow pedestrians with expert agility, stopping only to wait for the crosswalk light to turn a brilliant green. With a contented sigh, he paused in front of a familiar set of sliding glass doors, before stepping forward into the chaos of his favourite retreat: the Crown Arcade.
“Hey, Mamoru!” a cheerful blond greeted him, waving from his station behind the counter. “The usual?”
“Please,” Mamoru smiled, as he slid onto his regular stool and pulled a pair of wire rimmed glasses from the front pocket of his blazer. As he waited for his order, he tapped away at his phone, scrolling through lists of recent news articles, and weather updates.
Motoki placed a steaming cup in front of his friend, a wide smile pulling at his lips. “Look what I got,” he beamed, reaching behind the counter and bringing out a small video camera.
“What do you need that for?” Mamoru wondered, giving the device a brief inspection before handing it back to its owner.
“So I can record everything I do, upload it to YouTube, and become a huge star,” he explained, baby blues sparkling with excitement. “I figured I should really give people some insight into who Motoki is, you know?” he said thoughtfully, stroking his chin. “What he does, where he works, where he goes after work, who his friends are…” he listed, his hands rolling with each idea.
“Who is going to watch you?” Mamoru asked skeptically.
“You’d be surprised,” the blond replied with a pout. Mamoru only shrugged in response, before returning to his coffee and news. “And I bet people would rather watch me than you,” he contested haughtily.
“Whatever,” his friend replied, only half-listening as he focused on his phone. “Anyone with a camera can become a star nowadays,” he jabbed, “it doesn’t take a lot of talent. I bet they’d just as soon watch me,” Mamoru paused, his attention now focused on the blond. “Or a monkey,” he added, his smug smile making Motoki frown at the lack of support. He’d show Mamoru.
Motoki returned to his café duties: taking orders, cleaning tables, and filling drinks. He helped a few young patrons with their games, and mopped up a milkshake that had been spilt on the floor. It wasn’t long before the stream of customers died down, and he felt his hand inching towards his new toy. In one steady motion, he scooped up the camera, flipped it open, and turned it on. With his arm outstretched and the device resting against his palm, he checked his reflection on the screen. Before pressing the large, red record button, Motoki plastered a giant grin on his boyishly handsome face.
“This is Motoki here at the Crown Arcade, where I work part time.” He panned around the room, capturing the colourful games and flashing lights. “Today, I’m going to introduce you all to my very good friend, Mamoru!” he announced, turning the lens to the man on the stool. “So, Mamoru, tell us a bit about yourself!”
“What are you doing?” Mamoru snorted, his brow creased in annoyance.
“Filming a video,” Motoki stated simply, gesturing to the machine in his hand. Using silence as a sign of protest, Mamoru shook his head and went back to his reading. “Come on Mamoru,” he pleaded, blocking Mamoru’s cell phone screen with his free hand, receiving an angry glare.
“No,” Mamoru stated resolutely, batting Motoki’s hand away.
“Oh come on, don’t you want to help me become a famous YouTube star?” Motoki begged, bringing out his best puppy dog eyes.
“No,” his friend replied flatly, his attention never leaving the small screen of his phone.
“Pfft,” the soon-to-be-star huffed, turning off the camera and putting it down. He grabbed a cloth from the sink, and began to vigorously scrub the counter as a display of irritation. “So did you run into Usagi this morning?” Motoki asked, stopping his work as a sly smile invaded his lips; he was aiming to inflict similar feelings of frustration onto his uncooperative interviewee.
Mamoru ignored the question, jaw twitching with a hint of discomfort. He was in no mood to defend the so-called ‘excessive attention’ that he gave to the blonde sprite.
“Is that a yes or a no?” the Motoki pushed, eyes narrowing as he watched the man take a quick sip of his drink. He drummed his fingers against the laminate surface, waiting for a reply. “Well…?”
Mamoru met Motoki’s wily gaze, and ran an aggravated hand through his ebony hair. “Can we not do this today?” he snapped, shooting a piercing glare. Motoki shrugged; some day he would make Mamoru admit everything.
“I guess that’s a no. Otherwise you wouldn’t be so cranky,” he murmured, purposely loud enough for Mamoru to hear, as he turned his back to make a fresh pot of coffee.
The arcade grew busier as high school students finished their daily lessons and activities, opting to relax with friends over milkshakes and video games. Each time the doors slid open and the bell chimed, Mamoru casually peered over to see the new arrivals. He slowly sipped away at his freshly filled cup, and divided his attention between watching the door and pretending to be engrossed in reading something interesting.
From the corner of his eye Mamoru watched Motoki fast at work, fulfilling orders and chatting happily with the customers. A touch of jealousy panged the back of his mind; interacting with others always came so easily to Motoki and it seemed like he could make friends with anyone. He had no problems with self-expression or sharing his feelings, two skills that Mamoru found himself lacking. Lost within his reflective thoughts, Mamoru failed to notice that the customer he had been waiting for had finally made her appearance.
“Hey Motoki,” two girls called, as they hopped up onto stools, the petite blonde making a valiant effort to ignore the man beside her.
“Usagi, Makoto!” Motoki greeted them, slinging a cloth over his shoulder. “Let me guess,” his eyes narrowed as he looked back and forth between the pair, “one strawberry and one cherry milkshake?”
“Sounds perfect,” Usagi grinned, clasping her hands in anticipation. Makoto glared at Usagi, gesturing with her head in Mamoru’s direction.
“Say hello,” she mouthed, which only caused Usagi to shake her head vehemently. Makoto looked askance at her friend – everyone could see that Usagi and Mamoru had feelings for one another, however, the couple seemed quite content to continue with their childish charade of petty arguments and hurtful banter.
“Hey, Mamoru,” Makoto said, smiling charmingly as her friend shot daggers in her direction.
“Makoto,” he replied, nodding politely and grinning at the fuming blonde. “Odango,” he addressed her, watching as pink crept up her cheeks.
“You know that’s not my name,” she stated, crossing her arms over her chest, “Mamoru-baka,” she snapped, sticking out her tongue.
“And you think Mamoru-baka is mine?” he countered, turning sideways on his stool, his knees lightly brushing the side of Usagi’s leg. The girl inhaled sharply, trying in vain to quash the fluttering in the pit of her stomach.
“It is,” the girl stated matter-of-factly before attending to the cold drink that had been placed in front of her. Mamoru shook his head with an amused smile.
“Hey, would you girls answer a question for me?” Motoki asked, cutting the tension. He leaned on the counter, palms flat against its smooth surface.
“Sure,” Makoto agreed.
“Would you watch my videos on YouTube?”
“Yeah, I’d watch you,” Usagi chirped, bright eyes big and excited. “Did you make some?”
“Of course you’d watch his stupid videos,” Mamoru scoffed. “You have a massive crush on him,” he muttered, trying desperately to mask any tones of jealousy.
Knowing what was coming, Motoki nonchalantly moved his camera to the side, angling it just right, and pressing record as he did. He needed footage to showcase his day, after all, and this was pretty much a daily occurrence.
“I do not,” Usagi retorted, brow furrowing and shoulders growing rigid.
“You do too,” he reiterated with a snort.
“I do not,” she yelled, face growing hot with anger and embarrassment; it had been months since she had had a crush on Motoki. He had become more like a big brother to her, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“You come in here all the time and fawn all over him,” Mamoru charged, waving in Motoki’s direction.
“It’s not you she’s fawning over,” Makoto whispered behind her hand to the blond, who chuckled knowingly.
“I do not come in here and fawn all over him,” Usagi leapt to her feet, tiny fists shaking in anger. Mamoru rose from his stool, using his height as an advantage over the petite girl.
“The second he asks you to do something, you’re all, OF COURSE, MOTOKI,” he bit, mocking her by batting his lashes and raising his voice.
“We’re friends. It’s called being friendly,” she yelled, “something you clearly know nothing about!” she accused, sticking a pointed finger into his chest.
“Whatever you say, Odango,” he said, plopping down on the stool with a sigh.
“For the hundredth time, my name is Usagi,” she barked, unwilling to back down; Mamoru was not going to win this time. “You know what, I think that you’re just jealous,” she sang triumphantly, jumping back onto her seat as she playfully swiveled back and forth, her knee repeatedly bumping his.
“I’m jealous?” he echoed, the surprise catching in his throat. How could she possibly have known?
“You’re jealous that all the girls come in here to see Motoki and don’t pay any attention to you,” Usagi concluded, a wild grin curving her lips. While she knew the statement was untrue, her only goal was provoke the now heated man.
“Don’t kid yourself, Odango,” Mamoru scowled, huffing in contempt.
“Then why do I never see you with anyone?” she asked, eyebrow raised expectantly.
“Because when you’re around people leave to preserve their hearing,” he snarled, the self-satisfied expression now completely wiped from his chiseled face.
“You’re just as loud as I am,” Usagi grumbled, twirling her straw in her melting shake.
“Your voice is deafeningly shrill,” he said through gritted teeth, glaring at the girl, “and while we’re on the topic, why don’t I ever see you with anyone?”
“I’m always here with people,” Usagi exclaimed, spinning in her stool to face him head on.
“Yeah, your girl friends,” he goaded, “it’s because you can’t get a guy, right Odango?” He flashed a complacent smile, which only served to further provoke the seething blonde.
“Okay, we’re going to stop there for today,” Makoto stated, stepping between the fighting pair. “God I wish you two could see yourselves sometimes,” she sighed. The apron-clad man’s eyes went wide with an idea, and a mischievous grin spread across his face.
“Motoki, we would definitely watch your videos,” the brunette said sweetly, earning an enthusiastic smile. “Usagi, let’s go to the booth, we’ll wait for the girls there,” she suggested, gently grabbing the girl’s upper arm. Before they left, she turned to Mamoru, eyes squinting disapprovingly, “Mamoru, you should know better.”
“Why should I know better?” he wondered incredulously, watching as the two friends walked away. “She started it.” He frowned.
“Really? That’s what you’re going with?” Motoki challenged, knowing all too well that the opposite was true.
Without a word of reply, Mamoru took a handful of change from his pocket and counted it briefly before slamming it onto the counter. He glrared pointedly at Motoki before stuffing his phone into his pocket, and stalking angrily out the door. As soon as everyone had left, Motoki grabbed the camera and turned it off, sliding it under the counter for safe keeping.
Motoki sat at his computer, illuminated by the glow of the screen. He played back footage of himself from earlier that day watching with a critical eye, deciding what to keep and what to throw away. He spliced the film and added special effects with ease, throwing in some catchy background music for good measure. A devilish grin spread across his lips as he posted his newest creation; he just couldn’t resist.
With another idea hanging in the back of his mind, Motoki navigated back to his files, opening and fast forwarding his way through one video in particular. He toyed with the thought of sharing it with the world, wavering back and forth on his decision.
Part of him knew that it might not be a good idea; what if they got angry? He pursed his lips; maybe it was best to keep this video on his hard drive. He leaned back in his chair, and stretched his arms over his head with a heavy sigh. Tapping foot anxiously against the floor, the blond weighed the pros and cons. Having finally reached a decision, he bent forward, logged back in to his YouTube account, and hit Upload Video. Within seconds his work was making its way onto the Internet and there was no turning back.
|Chapter Two →|