The Empress

Kathy  Walker took Yoshihiro's elbow and steered him away from the group.  When they reached a quiet corner between two paper doll displays, she let go of his arm.

"Okay Yoshi, I've had enough of this!  I'm your friend, you know that, but there's just so much I can take of your bored, don't give a damn attitude.!"

"What do you want me to say, Kath? I am bored, and I don't give a damn!"

"Well then, you can just be bored and apathetic all alone.  I intend to make something of myself. I like you, I do, you have so much potential, but you're wasting it. I'm not going to let you drag me down with you. If you change your mind about actually doing something with your life, give me a call. Until then, just forget I ever existed!"

Kathy marched away from him, head high, shoulders back. She rounded a corner and disappeared from view.

Yoshihiro slumped against the glass case and heaved a mighty sigh. He had just alienated the last of his friends. He didn't know what was wrong with him. He wanted to care about things, but he just.. didn't.

As he straightened up, his notebook fell out of his hand and fell on the floor. He didn't even know why he brought the stupid thing, he had never intended to use it.

As he bent down to pick it up, he caught a sudden movement out of the corner of his eye. The movement seemed to be coming from the display case.

He turned quickly, but the movement had stopped. The display was a seven tiered platform, with three dimensional paper dolls on each tier.

The brass plaque at the bottom of the case explained that this was a seven tiered Hina doll set. The emperor and empress were at the top, and various degrees of courtiers and politicians were arranged on the other tiers. There were also household items, and wardrobes, etc.

His gaze fell on the top tier, and right away he noticed that something was wrong. The empress was missing! He wondered if he should find a tour guide or something, and tell them about their defective display.

He pondered on the subject for about two seconds, then shrugged his shoulders. He didn't care if their display was defective or not. As he walked away, he heard whispers that seemed to be right beside him. He stopped and looked around, but he couldn't see or hear anything. With another shrug, he returned to the main entrance where the rest of his group were lining up to get on the bus.

He boarded the bus and sat way in the back. No one came back to join him, although he sort of thought that Kathy might. She meant what she said, apparently. She was done with him. This saddened him, but not to the point that he felt like doing anything about it.

When he got back to the university, he went up to his dorm room, and threw his notebook on the bed. It opened in the middle, and just as he turned away, he sensed movement behind him. When he turned back , he caught his breath in an astounded gasp. The paper empress sat on his bed, right on top of his open notebook!

The End

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