Niki San and Mari Noko are sitting on the floor in the dining room, drinking tea and playing the card game Makao. Niki San is in his late twenties, tall, slim, with an elegant, regal aura around him. It is hard to tell how his gentleness strikes you more. In the way he looks at you or in the way he moves. Mari Noko on the other hand is tiny and delicate like a flower. You look at her and you immediately think of pink rose buds. I’m sitting quietly on the sofa beside them and my mind wanders off to an unexpected meditative state. Slow and easy just as this Sunday morning. It is cold outside. It is late autumn. Each new minute is late by two to three seconds every hour. Our lives are late as well. Just like the city buses.
I’m becoming aware of the sounds in the flat, I’m aware of the sound the cat makes when she licks her paws and walks with grace on the soft carpet. I’m becoming aware of the romancing energy coming from the dining room. I’m aware of the inviting smell of the tea my friends are drinking. I can hear the sound the cards make when they are thrown on the floor. I can hear the conversation.
-Come on, play your card, says Niki San. I’ve been waiting for far too long.
I can hear Mari Noko throwing her card. Niki San than sighs. He throws his card as well. Jack, he says.
-Which suit are you changing to? -asks Mari Noko.
-The one you do not have. Says Niki San.
I have them all. Come on, tell me. Which one? Mari Noko laughs softly.
-The one you do NOT have, emphasizes Niki San.
-But I have them all. Choose whichever, she laughs on.
-I change it into Heart. You do not have a Heart.
-I have it, she laughs in amusement. Here it is, she says and throws her card.
-You do not have a Heart. You do not have it HERE- dramatically emphasizing the words, Niki San places his hand on his chest.
-Ha ha ha, Mari Noko laughs somehow hesitatingly now. Come on, it is your turn.
Niki San throws another Heart with a dignified gesture.
-I have more of them, babe. Don’t worry. I have them for both of us.
Mari Noko quietly withdraws by the dining table, still sitting on the floor with the hands on her cheeks. She looks sad and it seems like she is troubled by Niki San words. Niki San approaches and places his hand on her shoulder.
Suddenly her face is illuminated by a new feeling.
-I love you, she says. Let’s play another round. I would like to find back my heart.
One beam of light enters the room.
Suddenly, our flat begins to look like a castle. Inhabited by Kings, Queens and Earls.
I hope they all have a heart.