It was a beautiful spring day in 1792 and I was laying on the grass under a weeping plum tree overlooking a lake. It was a peaceful place, the breeze moved the leaves making beautiful calming music the shadows of the hanging branches swaying. I often found myself resting there to clear my mind, I have been doing this ever since I was a kid. My mother brought me here, she said it was her “special place” since her death I feel this place is now my “special place” where I can meet her again. I feel like the branches from this tree are my mother’s hands embracing me.
I take a deep breath enjoying my moment. I hold my breath listening, I can hear horses, I feel the vibrations pounding on the ground, heading my direction. I let out my breath in a sigh, I don’t want to open my eyes, maybe it’s just travelers passing by and will move on. That’s when I heard my name being called.
“TAKUYA, TAKUYA!” someone is shouting for me.
“Of course someone would be looking for me. I can’t have a moment’s peace anymore.” I thought to myself. I stay quite maybe they’ll pass me by and I won’t have to leave until I’m ready to leave.
“There, I found Takuya!” Someone shouts.
“Shit. No such luck.” I said out loud. I place my hand over my eyes and slowly open them. After getting reacquainted with the light I see my commanding officer running towards me.
“Sir, Sir!” he shouts.
“What is it Miura?” I ask my step brother. Miura stops to catch his breath.
“Sir, Master Sato is looking for you.” Miura tells me.
“Okay.” I reply and sit up from my resting spot. I stand up and shake off any grass that’s on my yukata. I then walk into the home of my deceased mother to change into my samurai uniform. When I’m done, my brother had already gotten my horse ready and was waiting for me.
“Let’s get going. I want to be back by dark.” I said. My brother nods his head and gets on his horse. I follow.
Thankfully Master Sato’s castle wasn’t too far from my home so we were there in no time. I walk into his grand hall, when I reach the desired distance I get on my knees and bow to him.
“Get up Takuya.” Sato said. “You know you don’t need to do this. We’re friends after all.” I stand up still with my head bowed to him.
“Yes sir.” I know not to argue with him since he can lose his temper quickly over the smallest of things.
“I called you here because I have a favor to ask. I’m getting married and I would like you to escort my bride here.” Sato explains. I raise my head and look at my lord.
“Married sir.” I said with a smile and a light chuckle. I quickly place my fist over my mouth to muffle the chuckle, hoping he didn’t catch it but he did.
“Yes I know funny isn’t it, but I need to marry I’m not getting any younger.” Sato said.
“Yes my lord, I will escort your bride.” I reply. Sato gets up and walks towards me, when he reaches me he places a picture of his future wife in my hand. I take the picture and take a quick look. From the picture I couldn’t believe how beautiful she is, dark long black hair, slim looking body, big round eyes, oval shaped face.
“She’s beautiful my lord, you’ve done well for yourself.” I said. Sato smiles.
“Thank you friend, I’m sending you and your men to escort her because there isn’t anyone else I trust.” Sato explains. I understand fully what he means. It’s been a rough few years with the fighting between the shoguns.
“I’ll leave immediately.” I say to Sato, as I bow before turning around and walking out of his castle. My half-brother was waiting outside of the castle with the horses.
“Let’s go home.” I said as I walked up towards my brother. He jumps in surprise when he heard my voice.
“Oh god, you scared me.” Miura said. “Is everything alright, do we have a job to do?” Miura asks as we get on the horses.
“Yeah, we have to escort Master Sato’s new bride.” I said as I place the picture under my samurai uniform next to my heart.
We ride home and as my brother puts the horses up, I’m walking towards the villa, when I look up at the sky and see a shooting star. I stop in my tracks and close my eyes, praying that everything goes well with the escorting of Sato’s bride.
Meanwhile in Edo (Today Tokyo):
Looking at the sky I see a falling star, I quickly press my palms together in front of my chest and close my eyes and pray. “Please I don’t want to be married to someone I’ve never met. I want to marry for love. Please save me.” I plead.
“Y/N, Y/N!” I open my eyes to the voice of my Aunt calling my name.
“Coming.” I quickly get up from my perch on the ground by our pond and quickly run inside the castle.
“Have you packed everything you need to take with you tomorrow?” My Aunt asks me. I nod my head sadly.
“Must I go? Why? I don’t know this man; I don’t love him.” I cry. My Aunt takes me by the shoulder.
“You’re a grown woman now, and he will protect you in this crazy world. It’s dangerous for a young woman to be alone.” My Aunt explains.
Both of my parents are dead, it’s just my Aunt and myself. She’s getting older and is afraid that she won’t be able to care for me. I’m more concerned about her.
“What about you Aunt?” I ask. My Aunt just smiles at me.
“I’ll be fine, a friend of mine is kind enough to take me in as a house keeper.” She said.
“Why can’t I go with you?” I beg. My Aunt gives me a sigh of frustration we’ve already had this discussion before.
“Please, do this for me, so I know you’ll be taken care of. Now go to sleep, you have a long journey tomorrow.” My Aunt says as she gives me a tight hug and pulling back she moves my hair away from my face.