Today was like any other day really. I woke up with annoying sleepy head by my side and had to kick him to get him moving. As soon as he finally sat up the doors to my room would open and two men would come in to help me get dressed. A ceremonial gown put on me as I headed to meet my fiance yet again.
He was a really shy boy. Every time we met he would look away with a blush on his face. Considering he was older than me I couldn’t help but laugh. Shouldn’t a boy grow out of that by nine years old? I thought men of that house were beat into growing up quickly.
My cousins started to compliment my attire. Probably out of custom more than appreciation. “Tomoe-sama you look lovely in this color.”, “The higanbana look great on the kimono.” Great, huh. Weren’t you just dressing me up in symbols that were for you instead of me. “Thank you cousins.”
I left my room and started my awkward journey to the Burizado main house. Since it was one of the clans we were attached to the most the journey wasn’t far. However, it wasn’t uncommon for some of the other clans come out to watch the rare glimpse of a Gozen women dolled up in a proper Kimono. I was another spectacle for them too. Their symbols.
When we reached the house the doors opened. The Clan Head Yoshiro and his first son Yasushi stood waiting for us. My father eagerly joined his childhood friend for drinks. I heard they were both in the 4th Division. It was comical that healers were commonly married into the Gozen family. Apparently Yoshiro was so close to the Gozen family that his own brother was married to one of my cousin’s. How incestual if you asked me.
Yasushi and I were escorted to the gardens. We would talk, play games or test each other in swordplay. I found it mentally taxing to have to remember to contain Kage. Yasushi was talented but it wasn’t a fair match at this time. He was a child and I was a combination of adults in a child’s body. Still, he was a very relaxing existence. Especially, when he ignored etiquette to help me wriggle out of the kimono when we played. Yasushi even knew how to help me put it back on afterwards. To sum it up: he was gentle, kind and caring.
However, the only real pleasure that came from these days was the slack in rules from my overseers. Always when we returned they would look away and let me sneak out for some fun. I got to leave the staunch cage of false perfection for some fun of my own.
The deeper I went the poorer in the city I got to not only see the imperfection of soul society but see the freedom of it. If one was honest about being imperfect their was a freedom in dropping the act. They could live simple lives with little aspiration and little challenges. All they had to do was survive. Plus, it was great stress relief to deal with everyone who came to try to steal off of me. Although, that has been happening less and less since I’ve started to get known. Still, walking in these areas as a semi-notorious rogue was better than home.
Especially today, when I met him. This tiny kid who followed me for such a long time in hopes to jump me in a secluded area. He had heard the rumors and didn’t care. All he wanted was to show me how conceited I must be for thinking I was unbeatable. He wanted my valuables and my pride. The boy wanted me to know I wasn’t perfect, so I crushed him. My feet grinded his face into the ground. I told him if I was imperfect so was he. But in his defiance, his eyes twinkled with a madness and determination. They were such beautiful eyes.
I couldn’t help but remove my foot and bend down to his level. My hand naturally wiping the dirt off his face and moving his hair so I could see those eyes better. I told him let’s try to get perfect together. Let’s try to be the only perfect thing in this imperfect world. I don’t know why but I leaned forward and kissed his cheek. For the first time, I felt my own madness instead of Kage’s. I wanted to posses this little mad boy. The feeling that he could surpass me someday was odd and sudden. I couldn’t help but tell him that I wanted to see if he could.
He accepted the challenge readily. I couldn’t begin to imagine how my fate would change so drastically when this boy and I crossed paths. I couldn’t imagine a Gozen woman finding anything but imperfection and sacrifice.
I think this boy was going to be special to me.