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MASAKI'S DELIVERY

Chapter Text

That old shrine hidden behind the trees in the forest hadn’t lost its charm. He climbed up the wooden steps that led inside and let out a deep breath when he reached the fountain. Wild flowers bloomed around it and the water was as pure, crystalline and fresh as he remembered. He only had one wish: the same one from his childhood, the one he carried with him through his teenage years until his adulthood. He kept it in his heart when they separated.
Now that Destiny had brought them together again, his wish was still alive. After all, he was Masaki from Masaki’s Delivery, the one who delivered the most precious wishes to customers.
He smiled while closing his eyes. He clapped three times in front of the altar. Sho had always been an excellent student and a very determined person, even when Masaki met him during elementary school. He had always been dorky as well. That was what he loved about Sho the most. Years hadn’t changed any of that. He sighed. Destiny worked in mysterious ways.

 

A couple of weeks ago, the little bell on top of his Masaki’s Delivery rang when the entrance door was opened. That was an indication of a new customer. His Shiba Inu barked excitedly and he couldn’t believe his eyes when he turned around to face the customer. None other than Sakurai Sho was standing inside his business with the same stunned expression he had.
- So the Masaki is my Masaki? – Sho stuttered – I mean, the Masaki I knew.
Masaki laughed and nodded.
- I’m back in town. I was looking for the old places and the name Masaki’s Delivery caught my attention. I wondered if it were you. Indeed, it is.
- My name is Aiba Masaki, I’m here to deliver your most precious wishes.
They both laughed and hugged. They had met at school, become the best of friends until they had to separate. Sho wanted to study architecture so he left for the big city college. Masaki remained in the town working in the gardens, the orchards and the forests. He had always loved nature and couldn’t be away from it. He had thought he’d never see Sho again, but deep inside, he knew that wasn’t going to happen.
- I’m back and I’m not leaving this time. The city is too suffocating. I’m going to work for the town hall. They need my services to restore some of the old buildings.
Masaki clapped and congratulated him.
- Just like that, like a butterfly spreading its wings and flying, everything is back to the past.
Sho scrunched his nose.
- That doesn’t sound right. It’s not good to be back to what’s past. It’s better to look forward to what’s coming.
Masaki agreed. He carried a light of hope in his soul and now it shone brighter than ever. Masaki loved Sho since the day they met, he had never stopped loving him despite the separation. The possibility of Sho loving him back was not that wish he cherished. If that wish were ever fullfiled, that would be the proof of Sho’s love for him.
- Is the Old Tree still where it was? – Sho asked suddenly.
Masaki told him it was there, that nothing had changed. He was getting so happy he almost couldn’t contain himself. Sho explained he had rented a small house to live, with views to the forests. He was busy unpacking and settling. They arranged a meal for the next day to keep talking. Sho wanted to meet old friends too. He hugged Masaki again, petted the dog and left.

It was late afternoon when Masaki walked home after finishing his day at the Delivery. He left the Shiba there and picked his bicycle to pay a visit to the Old Tree.
In the middle of one of the forests, not far from town, stood a huge sakura tree, like a wise kami observing the other trees, like a sensei teaching his alumni. It had a thick trunk, large and strong branches, a tupid crown permanently adorned withcherry blossoms. The elders said it had survived all the emperors, leyasus and lived through all Japan’s eras and even more. Some even said it wasn’t really a tree but a friendly yokai trapped. Its aura was magical, it could communicate with human beings. One of them was Masaki.
- He’s here. – Masaki informed the tree.
- I know. I perceived him. – Old Tree replied. – You shouldn’t worry. He’s back because he loves you. He’ll grant your wish.
Masaki sighed.
- But I’m the one supposed to grant wishes.
- He will through you. Masaki’s Delivery is a blessing in this town. It’ll be a blessing for all of us.
The trees seemed to giggle happily at Old Tree’s words. Masaki nodded, then ran around touching their trunks with the palm of his hand. He picked some sakura flowers, yuzu fruits and apples.
- These are for a customer. She wants to bake the best cake for the birthday of her beloved grandmother. I’m going to deliver her wish.
He, then, vowed at Old Tree and cycled back to town.