Part 8: Up Close and Personal With…  

"Huh?" Marron turned around when she heard somebody yell her name. "Oh! Hey guys!" She smiled and ran 
back to them. Their eyes were still wide. 
"Marron?" Goten pointed at her. His voice betrayed his disbelief. 
"Hmm? Yes." She smiled uncertainly. 
"Is that YOU?" 
"What a DUMB question!" Trunks murmured. "OF COURSE that's Marron! Just look at her! She's…she's…" He 
thought for a moment. "She's blond!" 
A big sweat drop appeared on Marron's forehead. "Er, guys, don't tell me you've forgotten me!" 
"NO! NO, NO, NO! Hahaha!" Trunks rubbed the back of his head. "Actually, I am, I mean, WE ARE very glad to see you again!" 
"Just one thing," Goten cut in. "I have to know. WHERE ARE YOUR PONYTAILS? This is very unusual. I've never seen you with your hair loose. In fact, I've never seen your hair down since the day you were born!" 
Marron frowned at him. "Is it so odd?" 
"Not really, but—actually, yes! It IS odd. It's like it's…'The Sudden Change of Marron' or something! But I think you are…" Before Goten could continue, Trunks gave him an evil look. So he shut up. "Gomen, Marron-chan. I just say whatever I happen to be thinking." 
"No, it's okay, Goten-kun. You almost scared me there." She giggled. "So, how are you guys doing?" 
"Terrible!" said Trunks. "Er, I mean, GREAT! I'm GREAT! Just…great." 
"I'm pretty good, too, you?" Goten asked absently, looking around. 
"I'm fine…" Marron stared at Goten, who seemed like he was searching for someone. "Um, Goten-kun…are you expecting someone?" 
"Yeah, I thought Paris might come today. But if she is, she should be here by now." His eyes were still searching for her familiar face among the crowd. 
"Oh…uh, is she still a model?" Marron knelt down on the warm white sand and faced them. 
"Wow…she must be busy, then!" 
"On Sunday?" 
"Well, maybe. Have you tried calling her?" 
"Of course. But she turned her cell phone off." 
"C'mon, she'll be here! Don't worry so much!" Trunks tried to cheer his friend up as he tried to put some sun block on his back. 
"Here, let me help you." Marron took the bottle from Trunks and moved behind him. She sat behind him and rubbed the lotion into his back gently. 
"Um, thanks," Trunks said softly, his ears turning 
"So, where's your sister?" Marron asked. 
"Over there." He pointed to the tables where the food was. "She told me she misses you a lot! I think she wants to take you shopping with her one of these days." 
"Shopping?" Marron grinned. "That would be great!" 
"It's much more fun with you than Tousan." He laughed and Marron joined in. Trunks took a deep breath. "Hey, Marron, I think we should—" 
He was interrupted when Goten's cell phone beeped. "Oh, good! It's her!" Goten exclaimed happily and picked it up. 
Trunks and Marron just listened to his side of the conversation. 
Goten grinned. "Hi! Yeah, uh-huh…what?" Goten's smile faded and he went from cheerful to disappointed. "You can't reschedule? All right…no, I understand. No, no, it's okay. Yeah. Love you, too. 'Bye." Goten hit the "End" button and set the phone down. He sighed heavily and looked up at his friends. "Well, she's not coming." 
For a moment, all three were silent. They just sat there and didn't say anything. Even the loud, crowded beach turned into total silence for Goten. He had thought he would spend time with his family and his girlfriend, and it was gone, just like that. He had never felt so pitiful in his entire life.... 

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"19 Blues" by Namie Amuro