Shan was taking her luxurious time to get to her class on this Monday morning as she enjoyed the cool breeze the February morning brought.
Shan stopped and turned her head slowly to see her friend Yuki waving her arms excitedly towards her. She couldn’t help but smile at her friend’s bursting energy.
“Hey Yuki.” Shan started to walk slowly as Yuki caught up with her. Yuki was a half Chinese and half Filipino girl who she had met at the beginning of the school year. She was an exchange student from their sister school in Texas.
“Hey, hey! Guess who I saw at the gate with a bunch of flowers?” Yuki moved her eyebrows mischievously.
Shan rolled her eyes. She knew that when Yuki got this excited, something was up, and that she would not stop until she said what was on her mind. So, she decided to play along as they both walked inside their school.
“Okay, who did you see?” Shan finally reached her locker. She entered her combination while waiting for Yuki to share her news.
“I saw Toma!” Yuki enthusiastically divulged as she opened her own locker.
Shan’s hand suddenly paused in mid-air as her interest peaked. She looked at Yuki who was busy collecting her stuff from her locker.
Ikuta Toma was one of the most popular guys in their school. He was smart, funny, and very athletic. She had actually met him for the first time through a goukon planned by one of her cousins during the Christmas holidays, but had never encountered him again once school started.
She thought that he probably didn’t remember her at all since they had only spoken once or twice during that time, so she had just let it go.
She shook her head to clear her thoughts and grabbed the book for her class. She closed her locker slowly and turned to Yuki, who was still busy going through her stuff.
“And?” Shan asked while trying to look composed as she leaned on her locker.
Yuki turned to her and smirked. “Got your attention this time, huh?”
Shan furrowed her eyebrows and turned her back to Yuki and said, “Whatever.”
Yuki laughed as she closed her locker and followed Shan towards their class. “You’re such a sourpuss,” Yuki uttered behind her. “Anyways, since I’m being generous here, I will tell you more.”
Shan had enough of her teasing and turned around suddenly to face the startled Yuki. “Just give!”
Yuki stopped abruptly, almost kissing Shan on her nose. “Yah! You almost took my first kiss!”
Yuki hysterically glared at her with an accusing look.
Shan totally ignored her hysterics and raised her eyebrow.
“Fine…” Yuki gave up and walked past Shan as she entered their classroom first. “I saw Toma with a dozen roses. He was trying to hide them in this silly big bag of his, but one of his friends…I think it was Kame, took a peek inside and pulled out some of them for everyone to see.”
“Really…” Shan sounded more curious.
“Yes. Plus, I heard that he will be confessing to someone today,” Yuki shared as they both continued to walk towards their desk by the window.
Shan walked slowly with her head down not paying attention to where she was heading. Her mind was full of questions, especially who the lucky girl would be.
“Also, I heard it will be something roman …” Yuki stopped in the middle of her sentence.
Shan bumped on to Yuki’s back, who was just standing there like a post. “Yah Yuki! Why did you just stopped like that!?”
Yuki turned to her with a smile and motioned her head in front of her. Shan stepped to the side to see what was going on and her eyes fell on a Rose on top of her desk.
“Is that?” Shan stepped forward to see clearly. “What’s a rose doing on my desk?” Shan reached her desk and dropped her bag on the side. That was when she noticed an envelope under the rose.
“Is that…?” Shan frowned as she pointed at the envelope looking at Yuki.
Yuki rolled her eyes as she dropped her bag on her chair and then grabbed the envelope on Shan’s desk and shoved it towards her stiff friend.
“This is probably a mistake,” Shan mumbled.
“Yeah, right.” Yuki’s voice was oozing with sarcasm. “A mistake where someone ‘accidentally’ placed your name on the card and ‘unknowingly’ placed it on top of your desk, on which, by the way, you scribbled your name because you were bored.”
Shan scowled at her friend before she turned her attention back at the envelope on her hand. She hesitated a bit before finally tearing the envelope open and slowly pulling out a light pink card that smelled like roses.
“Is that a rose scented card?” Yuki stretched her neck behind her as she looked over her shoulders trying to smell and read what was on the card at the same time.
“Can you please?” Shan glowered at her friend, who slowly stepped back from her with a sheepish smile on her face. Shan just shook her head and sighed as she turned back to the card on her hand and read:
Something happened to my
Heart that I couldn’t do anything about
And I figured out that
Nothing else can fix it but You.
“Shan!” Yuki gasped.
“What?!” Shan jumped from Yuki’s sudden yelped.
Yuki shook her head with an excited look on her face as she pointed at the card. “Not you Shan…well, it’s you, but what I meant the message!” Yuki was shaking her now. “Look at the first letters of the sentences! They spell ‘Shan’!”
Shan quickly turned back and read the card again. Yuki was right. It did spell her name.
“Wow…who would…” She hadn’t even finished her sentence when she saw a commotion at the door. She stretched her head to see what was going on when saw someone enter with a single red rose on his hand and walk towards her.
Yuki excitedly whispered behind her. “Is that Ryo from the class next to ours?”
Shan didn’t know what to do. Everything was happening too fast.
Ryo stopped in front of her with a grin on his face. “Shan?” He asked.
Shan blinked twice and Yuki nudged her side before she actually found her voice. “Yeah?”
“A Rose for you from someone who patiently awaits you from above.” He said in a very mysterious way.
“From above?” Shan squeaked and stepped back from Ryo. “Am I going to die?”
“Silly, it’s probably a riddle or something.” Then Yuki looked at Ryo, disappointed. “Really? Awaits you from above?”
“Too much?” Ryo grinned widely as he scratched his head.
“You think?” Yuki crossed her arms over her chest. “Who is waiting? And where?”
Shan was still lost for words. She was seeing her best friend arguing with one of the popular guys in school right in front of her.
Ryo hesitated before looking from Yuki to Shan. “Well, I’m not really good at this. I’m just helping a friend of mine.” Ryo shared.
“Yeah, I noticed.” Yuki was totally straight forward.
“You’re mean.” Ryo frowned at Yuki.
“What?!” Yuki glared at him. “Just tell us what to do next.”
“This is for your friend Shan not for you,” he pointed out.
“Well, we’re not getting any younger you know. Just tell Shan where to go next.” Yuki started tapping her foot on the floor which irritated Ryo, a lot.
Ryo just gave up. “Fine…go to the rooftop.”
Yuki looked at Shan. “Go…I think you need to do this alone from here on out.” Yuki pushed her gently with a grin on her face.
Shan nervously stepped towards the door and when she reached it she turned around to see her friend arguing with Ryo. She smiled gently and walked outside the classroom.
Not even two steps out the classroom she found herself in front of another guy who just stepped in front of her with another red rose.
“For you from your secret admirer.” The guy called Yamapi said. She knew of him since he was the Captain of the school’s Basketball team.
“Thank you…I guess.” Shan took the rose from him.
“Keep going straight and you will find the one you’re looking for,” Yamapi instructed her with a wink.
“Uhm…Okay.” Shan still thought this was all crazy and that someone was setting her up.
She continued to walk down the hallway. She felt like a person who was walking her last mile.
“Hi!” Another guy jumped in front of her.
“Hi to you, too,” Shan answered as she saw another red rose on his hand.
“My name is Kame and this is for you.” He wiggled his eyebrows as if he knew something that she didn’t.
“Tell me.” Shan leaned forward. “How many more guys would be jumping in front of me with a single rose in hand?”
Kame almost laughed out loud from her question. He tried to keep a straight face. “I’m not allowed to tell you.”
“Why not?” Shan looked at him suspiciously. “Do you all want me to have a heart attack?”
She joked with a straight face.
Kame’s eyes went big. “No…oh no. Wait! Do you have a heart problem???” He started to panic.
Shan felt bad scaring this guy, so she set him straight. “No, I was just joking.”
Kame stood still and looked at her. “Seriously?”
Shan grinned at him. “Seriously.”
“I wonder if he knows this side of you.” Kame mumbled.
Shan leaned closer to hear it clearly. “Who?”
Kame tsked. “You know…To…” Kame caught himself before he blurted out his friend’s name. “You sneaky you!” Kame pointed at her.
Shan pretended to look offended. “What?” She asked. “What did I do?”
“That’s it!” Kame pushed the rose to her. “I’m not saying anything anymore. Go!” He pointed to the hallway towards the stairs going up the rooftop while he stepped on the side giving way for her.
Shan shrugged as she left Kame behind. She started to walk again when she felt like all eyes were on her now. It seemed like everyone realized something was up. Who wouldn’t when one by one the popular guys were popping out of nowhere in front of her with roses on their hands? There were girls murmuring around her and guys looking excited. She was about to pass Class 5 when another guy stepped out the hallway blocking her way…again.
“This is becoming redundant.” Shan said under her breath.
“I heard that.” Shun, the school’s high jump champ looked at her with an amuse look. “Just bare with us a little. Give that guy a chance. He did plan this you know.” He winked at her.
“Don’t you think it’s too much?” She asked as she looked around her. “I don’t like being the center of attention.”
“Really?” Shun shrugged. “I thought all girls love to be courted like this.”
Shan made a face. “You haven’t really met a lot of girls huh?” Shan didn’t even let him say a word as she grabbed the rose from his hand and left him with his jaw dropped.
“Yah! You!” Shun barked behind her.
Shan turned around and started walking backwards. “Thanks for the flower again!” She winked at him to infuriate him more before turning her back on him. She could still hear him furiously calling her.
“Whoa! Did you just piss off Shun?” Miura, another popular guy in their school, stepped up in front of her.
Shan looked behind her and saw Shun still spouting nonsense towards her direction. “Nah…he probably stepped on something sharp.”
Miura couldn’t help but laughed. “You are one unique girl. No wonder…” He stopped himself before he could say something unnecessary.
“No wonder what?”
“I meant no wonder you’re late.” He started pushing her towards the stairs where another guy was waiting with a rose on hand. “Yo, Jin! She’s all yours!” Miura said in a hurry before leaving her with the other guy.
“Coward.” She called back at the retreating Miura.
“Who’s the coward?” The guy leaning on the barrister asked. He looked bored.
Shan turned to Jin. She knew of him too. He was the so called ‘player’ among the popular guys that she just met today.
“Miura…” She shrugged. “He won’t tell me who is on the roof waiting for me. It’s the same with the other guys.”
Jin nodded his head in understanding. “Here you go.” He handed her the next rose.
“No poems? Or riddles?” Shan pretended to be disappointed as she took the rose from him.
“Nope…what’s the use? You already know someone’s waiting for you at the top.” Jin placed his hands in his pocket as he said it without a care. “Just go up there and see.”
“I pity the girl who falls for you,” Shan said under her breath as she walked past him and up the stairs. “Not a romantic bone in your body at all.”
“Did you say something?” Jin looked over his shoulder towards her.
“Nothing… just wondering when this will end.” Shan didn’t even bother to look down when she answered Jin. She just continued walking up the stairs.
She was about to reach the top when she saw Jun, an old friend of hers back from their primary school days. “You too?”
Jun grinned at her. “What do you mean by that?”
“That you’re part of this crazy ridiculous game.” She stretched her arm towards Jun.
“What?” Jun frowned when he saw her friend’s hand in front of him.
She wiggled her hand again. “Isn’t that flower for me?”
Jun stood up straight. “Oh yeah,” he laughed while he handed her the rose. “I forgot about it.”
“That’s just like you. I’m still wondering why you’re part of this.” Shan looked at him curiously.
“Well, he is my best…” Jun bit his mouth. “I meant he is waiting for you now…go up the stairs and open that door then you’ll meet your prince charming.”
“Prince Charming?” Shan sounded a bit doubtful. “I don’t know about that…Prince Charming is only for girly princesses.”
“Don’t worry he is not like your ordinary prince anyway.” Jun laughed. “So, go!”
“Fine… fine… geez… pushy much?” Shan left her friend Jun behind as she climbed the last set of stairs.
When she got to the top of the stairs, she reached for the knob and was about to turn it when she hesitated and let it go. She looked at the door and then at the roses she had received on her hands. She counted nine in total.
It had been a bit of fun messing around with the guys earlier, but now that she was actually at the end of this scavenger hunt, she was a bit scared and nervous. She thought she might have an idea of who the person behind this door in front of her was, but at the same time, she might be wrong. She doesn’t want to have her hopes up and then get disappointed when she learned that she was wrong.
“Yah!” She heard a shout from behind her. She turned around and saw the boys who had given her the roses at the bottom of the stairs pushing each other.
“What are you doing?” Kame shouted.
“Why are you still there?” Jun yelled.
“Sheesh, push the door already!” Jin added.
Shan placed her hand on her waist and glared at the boys. “Oh hush! I was about to open the door when you boys started making a racket!”
“Yeah, whatever!” Ryo called out.
Shan stomped on her foot and turned her back at the guys and took a deep breath. She reached out and wrapped her hand on the door knob and slowly turned it around. When she felt she could push the door she gently did so and light seeped in the corridor. She was blinded at first when the sun shined directly on her.
She blinked twice to get used to the light and when her eyes finally adjusted, the first thing she saw was the red petals scattered on the ground. She stepped outside and closed the door behind her slowly as she followed the rose petals with her eyes. The petals were going on one straight direction and at the middle it turned to two directions and then coming together at the end again forming a big heart shape.
There in the middle of that heart stood a boy with his back on hers looking over the school field. He was wearing a red hoody underneath his school jacket with the hood covering his head. She couldn’t tell who it was.
She coughed to get his attention. She was watching carefully as he slowly turned around to face her.
Her jaw almost dropped on the ground when she saw who it was. His face brightened when he finally saw her.
“Wait…” Shan lifted her hands in front of her. “Did I barge in on something I’m not supposed to?”
“No you did not.” He walked towards her.
“Then…is this a dream?”
“Nope, this is all real.” The guy informed her while walking closer to her.
“Then all these are…” Shan looked around her.
“Shan…if you just shut up for a few seconds then I’ll tell you what is this all about,” he jokingly said as he grabbed her free hand and led her towards inside the heart shape rose petals.
“Toma…” She finally said his name.
Toma stopped walking and looked at her. “You finally said my name.” He grinned at her like a child who finally got the candy he had really wanted for a long time.
Shan felt her face turn red from what Toma had just said. “You’re so silly. What’s the big deal with calling your name?” She tried to act indifferent. “Other people call you by your name.”
“Well, it’s different when it’s coming from you,” Toma answered with a serious adoring face.
Shan looked down immediately after Toma said something embarrassing like that. She could feel her face turning redder. “Stop it.” She pushed him a little.
When she didn’t get a reaction, she called his name again while raising her head to see him.
Toma turned to face her. That was when she realized that both of them were inside the heart shape petals. She didn’t even know when that happened.
“Shan…” Toma called her name.
She looked at him and saw him looking at her straight in the eyes. “Yeah?” She squeaked.
“I know you think this is all sudden,” Toma started. “But… I’ve been thinking about you since the time we met during Christmas holidays.”
Shan clamped her mouth shut. She could feel the seriousness of the situation they are in right now and she doesn’t want to ruin it by saying something stupid.
“It took me a whole month to come up with all these.” Toma waved his right hands around.
“Okay…” She answered softly as she looked around the rooftop. When she turned her attention back to Toma she was surprised to see him kneeling down in front of her.
“Shan…” Toma started.
Oh crap…what is he doing?!
“Will you accept my feelings and be mine?” Toma pulled the last 3 roses behind him to complete the other roses she received earlier.
Shan was stupefied by what was happening right in front of her. Am I Dreaming?
“Shan…” Toma called her name.
Shan blinked once…then twice before she got her bearings back together. “Ah…Yeah?”
Toma smiled at her with that gorgeous smile of his. “Your answer?”
“Oh!” She stood up straight. Her heart was beating like a hundred times per seconds…well, that was how she felt. “Is this some kind of prank?” She asked.
Toma couldn’t help but laugh “No, this is not a prank.”
“You’re really asking me to be your…” She couldn’t even say the words.
“Yes, I’m asking you for real if you can be mine.” Toma reached out and held her hands. “Please say yes,” he said as he kissed her hand.
“Ye…Yes.” Shan finally answered. “Yes, I’ll be yours.”
Toma smiled really wide and jumped off his feet. “Yeah!”
Shan couldn’t help but laugh from his reaction. Then she heard the door open and a few of the boys fell out on top of each other. They had been obviously listening to what was happening between them.
“So?” Jun asked them.
Toma pulled her closed to him and looked at the boys. “She said yes!”
“Finally.” Jin shook his head. “We have been waiting for a long time, you know?”
“Oh shut up, you player!” Shan stuck her tongue out.
“I don’t care what you all say.” Toma turned to Shan. “She’s finally mine.”
Shan blushed again and said softly. “And you are mine.”
Toma smile reached all the way to his eyes as he leaned closer and whispered. “Yes… I am all yours.” He sealed that promise with a kiss.