The pitter patter of tiny feet rushing to his room effectively caught Fakir’s attention and he looked up just in time to see Uzura run into his room. What could she want now? What had her so excited?
He dog-eared the page of the book he’d been reading, but didn’t push it aside on his desk. “What is it?” Hopefully, she wouldn’t make such a fuss and would leave as soon as she came in. He was busy, researching and highlighting in hopes of finding useful information for his (and Ahiru’s) quest to help Mytho. So far, he hadn’t come across particularly helpful texts, but he was still trying. Nothing could take precedent over this task he had assigned himself to do.
Uzura walked towards him, a skip in her step and a glow in her smile as she handed him a red envelope. “I found Ahiru’s lovey-dovey for you, zura!” she said as she jumped enthusiastically.
“Lovey-dovey?” Fakir echoed as he looked at the envelope littered with hearts.
The curvy handwriting had Fakir feeling slightly uneasy. Maybe it was the fact that the envelope itself was decorated with an overwhelming amount of pink hearts. Or perhaps it was that this was addressed to him, supposedly from his friend…. He recognized what it was immediately. He had received similar envelops in the past, names of different girls written on the envelopes, all addressing him. This felt different, but it failed to excite him the way it made Uzura gleam at it with wonder.
If anything, it made him wary. Firstly, he knew Ahiru didn’t do confession letters. Or confessions of any kind. And even if she did, why would she waste time writing a letter for him, of all people? How pointless. This was obviously fake.
However, Uzura’s expectant look and the fact that Ahiru’s name was written on the envelope made Fakir decide to give this love letter the benefit of a doubt. He had never bothered to read the dozens of letters from other girls, but...it wouldn’t hurt...to read this one.
‘It’s stupid’, he thought as he carefully opened the decorated envelope to take the letter out. Uzura sat on his bed, clutching her drumsticks while looking at the letter curiously, but nonetheless patiently waited for Fakir to tell her what it was she delivered. He would think twice to withhold information lest he makes her furiously tap on her drum to get him to talk.
His suspicions were proven to be correct, though, when he glanced at the penmanship of the letter. The curvy handwriting alone was something that he didn’t trust. By then, he knew what Ahiru’s handwriting looked like and he was more than sure she never curved her As the way they were written there. He had seen her write with that scribbly kind of cursive that seemed to be pretty and barely legible, but it went all over the place. Fakir had to admit it was cute . However, judging by Mr. Cat’s constant complaints about the papers she wrote, it wasn’t the most presentable handwriting. The one on the letter, though, was too neat and too perfectly written for it to have come from Ahiru. Not even using a ruler could she have gotten it to be so straight and flawless.
If the handwriting hadn’t been enough to convince him, then the word choice would get the job done. Ahiru was an expressive person when she spoke, but her rambling didn’t exactly get her point across unless she calmed down to be more coherent. He figured she was the same way while writing, and the tone of the letter alone did not give away that it was penned by her one bit. In fact, it was an insult to her person because there was no ounce of her personality present whatsoever. Had Ahiru been there when this letter was written? How did she allow for her name to be attached to something so cheesy ?
‘ You make my heart burn hotter than a thousand suns’ , he read, cringing and wrinkling his nose at the phrase. ‘I crave for the warmth of your arms to make me feel complete.’ Who even wrote this and thought it was good writing? It was ridiculous and Ahiru would never come up with something as absurd as that. He finished reading, heavily criticizing the word choice and horrible grammatical mistakes, and set the letter on his desk with a grimace.
Well, that had been an experience…. If the rest of the love letters he had received in the past were anything like this one, then he was glad he had thrown them in the waste bin. With a displeased sigh, he turned to look at Uzura. The fascination had won over her and by the time he knew it, she was standing on her tiptoes and staring at him, waiting for his reaction.
“What’s the lovey-dovey say, zura?” she asked, clutching his sleeve eagerly.
If only she hadn’t been there with him at that time. She had come to him with so much joy...and if he was being honest with himself, he would have liked to give her a positive response. But if he’s learned anything, it’s that lying to someone he cared about would end up hurting them as well as himself.
“It says a lot of dumb things,” Fakir explained. “Things that Ahiru wouldn’t say. It’s not a real letter. At least, it’s not a real confession.”
It was inadequate and poorly tailored for him, anyway.
But that lost importance when he saw Uzura’s face drop. And damn did that hurt because deep down, he, unfortunately, shared her sentiment of disappointment. It wasn’t real and it didn’t come from Ahiru and he had to accept that.
“So then...Ahiru and Fakir aren’t lovey-dovey with each other, zura?”
Fakir couldn’t look away from the saddened toddler. “No, we’re not,” he answered.
He thought that would be a straightforward answer for her. Honest and to the point. It should have satisfied him as well. So then why did the edges of his heart ache when she hugged him?
It should have been enough to read the letter and notice how evidently fake it was. Fakir had done his best to forget about it. Still, he wanted...he needed for Ahiru herself to confirm or deny the intention of that preposterous letter. He searched for her after class, trying not to look as impatient as he felt, and finally came face to face with her.
“Uzura brought this to me,” he said, showing her the envelope.
As soon as she saw it, she became nervous, stuttering on her words as she took the letter from him. “I--I didn’t write it. Pique and Lillie wrote it.”
Ah , so there were two uncreative authors behind this farce.
“What can I say...I’m sorry?”
‘I knew it’, he thought as he let out a disappointed sigh and walked away, seemingly unfazed. “Don’t waste time on trifles, idiot.” His words were meant for her, but he himself was trying to believe them so he could focus on things that mattered. So it wouldn’t sting and hurt his feelings, just a tiny bit.
It wasn’t real and he shouldn’t have expected anything otherwise.
“I’ll find another lovey-dovey from Ahiru, zura! Just for Fakir, zura!” Uzura said once he got home from school that day. He appreciated her optimism, but it wasn’t helping him at the moment. To save his heart, he told Uzura not to bring it up, and despite being a child that was still learning about boundaries, she respected his wishes and kept it to herself.
“Did...did he really read this?” Ahiru groaned as she read over the love letter. It sounded so silly to her. How did her friends have this warped romantic view and why did they think it would work on Fakir? She was sure he had scoffed at every word and she didn’t blame him one bit.
“ ‘You make my heart burn hotter than a thousand suns’ ? Where did Lillie even get that from?” she frowned, feeling judged for something she didn’t even participate in. Not even Drosselmeyer would be proud and he was dead . She considered tearing the letter and throwing it away, but also throwing it at her friends would be equally satisfying. This was so embarrassing . She hoped it wouldn’t affect her relationship with Fakir. They were just starting to get along and now this stupid love letter had to come along. She hoped it didn’t hurt him. That was the last thing she wanted as an outcome.
She held onto the letter until she got to her room and gently placed it on her desk. It was true that this wasn’t something that came from her. It didn’t convey any of her feelings towards the knight in sour armor, and it wasn’t fair that he had read it when it didn’t represent how she felt. Her friends wanted to help her, but it may have done more harm than good. She knew Fakir was a strong person. He had to be in order to protect Mytho. Still, he was human, too, and it didn’t mean he was impervious to pain.
Sitting in front of her desk, she took out a blank sheet of paper from her notebook and began to write what came to mind. She crossed out her sentences multiple times, and took a couple of breaks because she couldn’t decide on what was appropriate to write. But she got it done.
‘Even if the first letter was fake, this one is real’ , she wrote before continuing on and expressing her feelings on the page.
She folded the paper as neatly as she could when she finished, wrote her name and Fakir’s on the blank spot in her messy cursive, and placed it on her desk. Maybe she wasn’t ready to give it to him yet, but perhaps...there would come a day when she would.