m9

9. “I’m sorry I punched you in the face.”

“Hey,” Annie says, eleven years later. “I’m sorry I punched you in the face.”

Mikasa laughed. “You mean when we were nine? It’s okay. I’m like totally over it.”

“Good,” Annie says.

They were in elementary school together, before Annie moved away. Mikasa never expected that they’d go to the same university. The memory of their schoolyard fight rushed back to her.

“Let me kiss you,” Annie had said.

“Why?” Mikasa asked, disgusted.

“…I need practice for boys.”

“No way,” Mikasa said.

Annie always wore a sour expression at that age, always tonguing the space where her two front teeth should have been. Annie tackled Mikasa then, holding her down and leaning in to kiss her. Mikasa pushed her off just in time. Annie fell back on her hands and scrapped them against the ground. Seeing what Mikasa had done to her, she threw a punch. Then their teacher grabbed both of them by their collars and demanded apologies.

“I’m sorry I punched you in the face,” Annie mumbled, looking away.

“I’m sorry too,” Mikasa said angrily, giving their teacher what she wanted.

The teacher left them alone after that. Annie glanced over at Mikasa. “You’re very pretty,” she said before blushing and running away. Annie moved away shortly after the incident.

Mikasa smiles at the memory.

“Am I still pretty?” she asks.

Annie blushes once more. “You’re beautiful,” she says, then seems shocked by her own words. “I mean…still. I thought you’d forget by now.”

“I’ve never once forgotten you, Annie.”

“Really?”

“Really. Wanna go for coffee sometime?”

“Sure. I’d like that.”

They smiled at each other. Someday Mikasa might tell Annie how beautiful her smile looks with all her teeth grown in.