Based on the book 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Arthur Golden, from Hatsumomo's point of view.
I find it rather amusing that just one simple thing can change your life forever. A simple thought. A simple dream. A simple person. A simple choice. I have been a slave to the notion of acting on your instincts, and find that these simple things often affect what your instincts tell you.
Now, I am not a philosopher and I am certainly not wise, so the reason I know of this change of mind is from experience.
My life was an elaborate world of colour and silk, powder and paint. I can barely remember what life was like until I was eight. It was lucky for me, that I found a good life in Kyoto- people admired me for my great beauty and many talents. But I had to harden myself to be the best I could be. You cannot get far in life as a geisha if you care too much. I became one of the greatest geisha in Gion, and although I had my enemies, I also had friends, in both high and low places. I was Hatsumomo- everyone knew my name.
After many years, our okiya received many young girls, Mother didn’t like most of them and they were sent away. After I had been there for many years, a little girl named Chiyo arrived. I will admit, I was a little harsh when I first saw her in the doorway of our okiya, but I did not believe her to be of any significance. I soon found out that she was to live there, but I never saw her. I think that she was scared of me. She was an imaginative girl who came up with strange stories and goings on that only occurred in her head. One day, no-one was in the house so I had to answer the door. A girl stood there, obviously from a bad part of town. I was about to ask her to leave, but she quickly asked for Chiyo, wishing for me to tell her that her sister was looking for her. I nodded solemnly, and told her I would. I felt sorry for Chiyo; although I enjoyed my life now, I knew the hardships of becoming a great geisha. I had seen the pain in some of my once friends who had failed and I thought that Chiyo should not have to lose everything, as many did, if she had the chance of happiness.
Chiyo often moved my things around when tidying; it annoyed me immensely. One day I saw her in my room, moving my things around yet again. She played with them as I stood in the doorway.
“I thought I heard a little mouse, so came up to see what was happening, and you are tidying my room! Thank you.” I said to her. “But please could you stop re-arranging my make-up jars?” She looked up at me with big blue eyes. I could see that she would be a beauty, and I can admit that I was jealous of the little ocean in her eyes.
“I was only dusting.” She said rudely, but I ignored it. She had an arrogant air about her.
“My things will start smelling of fish!” I said, joking. She looked up at me with her clueless eyes that flashed with fear. She thought I was being serious.
“Your sister she looks nothing like you.” She was ugly, and Chiyo was pretty, though I would never say that to a child. She was surprised to hear this, and started to fidget in anticipation. “She told me to tell you where she was living so you could find her. I’ll tell you later, but I would like to be on my own now.” My day had been confusing and hard, and I wanted to think.
“Please, Hatsumomo-san, I know you don’t like me...” It was ridiculous to think so; I barely knew her. I found myself irritated by her ignorance. “But I would like you to tell me where she is, now.” I was angry. I had asked politely to be left alone. I walked up to her and moved my arm to point to the door, but I clipped her face accidentally. It had the desired effect of making her leave. I regretted not apologising, but I had more important things on my mind. I was doing what a geisha must never do- I was falling in love.