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Desire of the Samurai: Chapter Four

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Aikasa woke up from the noise outside her door. Sighing, she got up and opened it.

“What?” she asked, wiping the sleep out of her eyes.

Akihiro stared at her sister, amusement was visible in his eyes. He shook his head.

“Dinner is ready sleepy head!” he grinned.

“Dinner?! W-what-” Aikasa stammered, her eyes wide as she threw a glance at her bedside clock.

6:45 o’clock.

In the evening.

Oh great!

She slept all day and forgot that she was supposed to meet Kenji in their meeting place. They didn’t have any agreement about this but she knew he’d be there. She ran her palm on her face and turned to her brother whom she forgot was still standing outside her door.

“Yeah, yeah I know. I thought you’ll gonna be sleeping until tomorrow never comes. Now, fix yourself. You look like a truck just hit you.” Akihiro snickered while Aikasa just rolled her eyes at him.

“Now, now, don’t roll your eyes at me, young lady,” he reprimanded.

“Whatever you say, old man. I’ll be there in five.” And slammed her door shut on his face.

Stepping in her own bathroom, Aikasa washed her face and wiped it dry. She combed her wavy hair and let it down. Standing up, she took a peek outside of her window.

It’s still raining.

She hoped that tomorrow would be a sunny day so that she could get to meet Kenji. She headed down into their dining room. All the members of the Sakuraba family were already seated and waiting for her. She carefully and silently sat down beside Aoki.

Aikasa’s gaze fell on the vacant seat next to her father. Her eldest brother, Yamada, used to seat there with them. But now, he rarely visited them. She guessed he’s occupied due to his duties on the Yamato household. She wished that Yamada would come and visit them before she leaves. She really missed her cunning brother. Yamada’s really just like their father, intimidating in so many ways but nevertheless a very good man.

With a sigh, Aikasa started eating her fair share of dinner. She didn’t know who among her brothers cooked since their Okaa-sama was not feeling well but it tastes good. Her brothers and her father were good at cooking, if she may add. Despite how they look, they still have good hands when it comes to food. Minutes had passed and their dinner was over. All stayed and chatted with one another while sipping their tea.

“When will be your departure, my daughter?” Genjiro asked.

Aikasa carefully set down her cup of tea and gently wiped her mouth with a napkin.

“At the end of this month, Otou-sama. I’m already preparing all the necessary things. I have to arrive on the university early so that I could find my dormitory and classrooms. I also need to have a tour on the university in case I’d get lost on my ways.”

Genjiro nodded. “I see. It seems like you have already decided and wouldn’t let anyone stop you.”

Hai.” Aikasa muttered while letting her gaze down.

“I hope that you’re happy on your decisions my daughter. You know well that it is my heart’s desire that all of you would stay here where I can see that all of you are safe and sound but I don’t have the heart to stop you from making your dreams come true. Though most of the members of the Sakuraba clan might not agree with me and will question my decisions knowing the status of women in our society. I know that you’ve study hard and waited long for this opportunity to happen. If you’re happy about this, then I will support your decisions no matter what,” Genjiro said while looking at her daughter affectionately.

Aikasa looked back at him while smiling. The tears were threatening to pour out of her eyes.

Arigatou gozaimasu, Otou-sama.” Her voice shook.

“But you have to tell all about this to Kenji. He has all the rights to know. You know he’s like a son to me and I wouldn’t want him to be left out in oblivion. If you’re not only so much eager to pursue your dreams then I would be thrilled on him being my son-in-law. But I value my family’s happiness that’s why I am supporting you for this matter.” her father reminded her while looking at her sadly.

“Don’t worry Otou-sama. I will tell him, I promise.”

Genjiro just nodded and resumed on sipping his tea.

Himeko, Genjiro’s wife, put her hand on top of her husband’s hand and smiled at him lovingly. Genjiro in return, grasped her hand and smiled back at her warmly.  The unusual display of affection didn’t escape Aikasa and her brothers’ gazes. She started wondering if Kenji would still be in love with her years from now. Would he still look at her the same way her Otou-sama would look at her Okaa-sama?

She didn’t have an ounce of idea. It pained her to leave Kenji but right now, her love for her dreams was much stronger than her love for him. She loved him but she couldn’t agree on marrying him. Maybe someday she could. Only time could tell what their fate will be.

Aikasa closed her eyes and took a deep breath to somehow ease the pain she’s been feeling. She opened her eyes and saw her father helping her mother to get up on the chair. After so many years had passed and they were clearly still in love with each other. Her father would still look at her mother with all his heart.

The status of women in the society of her ancestors was so low that they treated women as their property. Women held no power over men. They didn’t have a say who their father would marry them off to. From the very moment they opened their eyes, women’s fate had already been sealed. They were trained to become good housewives and mothers. And when the time comes, when these poor women were on marriageable age, they were given off.

Although some daughters of samurai were given a proper education, though not enough where it will threaten the superiority of men among women. Other descendants of Hatamoto questions her father's decision for sending Aikasa to a much higher education that women same her age and status will never ever acquire unless they’d also brake some traditions just like her father did.

Aikasa looked up at her brothers who were starting to clear off the table and gather the plates. They all nodded to her and gave her warm genuine smiles.

“Don’t worry, we will support you too.”

She just nodded her head not trusting herself to speak in case her voice would break and instead hug them all at once. They tapped her at the back and stalked away from the kitchen. She washed all the dishes and dry it up. She then made her way upstairs to her room closing the door behind her and landed on her bed back first.

Tomorrow will be a very eventful day. Aikasa already decided to tell Kenji about her decisions and her near departure. She prayed to God that he’d take her news easily. She wouldn’t expect much but she hoped that it’d turn out fine. Turning on her side with a deep sigh, she surrendered to a deep slumber.


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