MidReal Story

Love Amidst War: Forbidden Hearts in the Philippines

May 16
Scenario: Philippines vs. Japanese Navy romance and war story
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Philippines vs. Japanese Navy romance and war story
I first met Hiroshi when he was brought in injured, his uniform soaked in blood.
I was a nurse at the time, and I’d been assigned to clean his wounds.
He was unconscious, so I didn’t expect him to respond when I talked to him.
But as I worked, I couldn’t help but notice how handsome he was.
He had sharp features and a tall build, which made me feel even smaller than I already was.
I’m petite with dark hair that falls in waves down my back, and my skin is a warm shade of brown that many people say is beautiful.
But Hiroshi didn’t say anything about my looks when he woke up.
Instead, he asked me if I could help him write a letter to his family back in Japan.
I was surprised by his request, but I agreed to help him anyway.
As we worked on the letter together, we shared a moment that sparked an unexpected connection between us.
The naval officer was so much taller than me.
Even lying on the makeshift cot, his head and shoulders hung off one end and his feet dangled off the other.
He was big and intimidating, and his uniform was drenched in blood.
My heart raced with fear as I looked at him, but I tamped it down.
I was a nurse first and foremost, and I wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of my caring for this man.
My hands shook as I prepared to work on him, but I couldn’t stop staring at his unconscious form.
He was so different from any other man I’d ever seen before.
His skin was pale and smooth, and his features were sharp and handsome, even with a thick layer of stubble covering his square jaw.
His hair was cropped short on the sides and back but still had a little length on top.
The dark brown locks were slicked back, exposing his high forehead and making him look even more severe.
I’d never been this close to a Japanese man, especially one who was in the military.
Chills danced along my arms as I looked at him and tried to figure out what this new feeling was.
Was it fear?
Or was it something else entirely?
Whatever it was, it was foreign to me, and I had no idea how to deal with it.
I reminded myself that he was just a man—a human being in need of my help—so I couldn’t let whatever this feeling was get in the way of that.
I had wanted to be a nurse for as long as I could remember, and now that I was finally doing that, I wouldn’t let anything stop me from making sure these men were taken care of properly.
I picked up my first aid kit and took a deep breath before stepping closer to the cot.
As I did, Hiroshi’s head lolled toward me, and my gaze caught the long, angry red gash running down the side of his face and neck.
Blood still seeped from the wound, staining his skin and uniform.
Though he was injured, he was also somehow stunning.
His cheekbones were high and pronounced, and his eyes were set back in deep sockets, making him look almost like a reptile in the dim light.
He had a long, straight nose, which only made me feel more self-conscious about my small one.
My face was round and doll-like, but my nose was too big for my features, sitting front and center so that no one could ignore it.
As I glanced up at Hiroshi’s face, I couldn’t help but feel like it made me look even less feminine when compared to his.
Even my frame was little in comparison.
My body was short and curvy, but not in an exaggerated or overtly sexual way.
I’d always been embarrassed by my smaller stature, especially when all of my friends began to grow up around me.
It made me feel like a child when they all started to look like women.
While Hiroshi wasn’t much taller than many of them, he still felt like a giant compared to me.
But as I looked down at him, I tried not to let my fear show.
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I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked up to see Maria standing behind me.
“He’s not dead,” she said with a small smile.
I realized I was gripping the bag in my hands so tightly that my knuckles were white.
“I didn’t think he was,” I said in a small voice.
“Just a little nervous.”
Maria laughed softly.
“There’s no need to be, Sofia.You know what you’re doing.
And even if you don’t, there are plenty of us here to help you out.”
I knew she was right, and I tried to shake off the feeling of unease that still gripped me as I turned back to Hiroshi.
I would do what I could for him because that was my job.
With another deep breath, I tried to shake off the nerves for good.
As I looked over the officer’s wounds, I could see that they were more severe than I’d originally thought.
He had a large cut on the side of his forehead that was crusted over with dried blood.
I needed to clean it out if it was going to have any chance of healing without becoming infected.
I moved to one of the jugs of water we had set up on a small table near his cot so I could fill my basin.
I made sure it was clean and then picked up a washcloth, wringing it out in the water before I leaned over Hiroshi’s large body to begin cleaning him.
His broad chest rose and fell as I worked, but otherwise, he remained still.
The only sign that he was even alive was the steady thrum of his heart beating against my fingertips.
I began to wash away the blood on his forehead, careful not to move him too much.
But as I did, his eyes fluttered open.
For a moment, I froze as I looked down at him.
His eyes were dark brown—almost black—and they sparkled with an intensity that sent shivers running down my spine.
A small noise escaped his lips as I worked.
It was something in Japanese, at least that’s what it sounded like.
I didn’t understand what he’d said—other than that it wasn’t anything particularly offensive—but I didn’t stop what I was doing.
“What did you say?”
I asked, but I knew there was no way he could understand me.
“Is something wrong?”
Maria called from behind me.
I glanced back at her before turning to Hiroshi again, but his eyes were closed once more.
“I don’t think so,” I said, frowning slightly.
“He just made a noise, is all.”
“Well, make sure you clean out that cut on his head,” Maria instructed, her tone firm.
“If we don’t get it cleaned out and stitched up properly, it could get infected.
And if it does, it might be the death of him.”
I nodded and turned back to the officer’s face.
I used the rag to clean out the wound, washing away the dirt and debris and some of the dried blood.
As I did, I noticed how deep the cut really was.
It wasn’t very long or wide, but it went all the way down to his skull and looked like it had been made by something sharp, like a piece of glass.
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His gaze was so intense, and now that it was gone again, I found myself missing it.
I shook my head, trying to clear it, but I couldn’t help but feel drawn to him in some way.
There was something about his eyes that was so compelling, even when he was unconscious, and I found myself getting lost in them for a moment.
And what had he said just before I looked away?
It had sounded almost apologetic, but that couldn’t be right.
There wasn’t anything for him to be sorry about, not when this whole thing was his people’s fault in the first place.
“He wouldn’t have been wounded in the first place if he hadn’t come here trying to kill us all,” I muttered under my breath as I continued my work.
As I cleaned his injuries, I tried not to think too much about the man beneath the uniform—the man whose eyes had drawn me in so completely.
But it was hard not to notice how well-defined his muscles were, even though I could only see them through the thin white material of his undershirt or peeking out from beneath the sleeves of his jacket.
And his features were so sharp and angular.
Even with the deep cut on his forehead, he was still remarkably handsome in a way that was almost intimidating.
His lips were full and plump against his dark skin, and I couldn’t help but notice how they curved ever so slightly as he slept.
And then there was his hair.
It was shorter than I would have expected it to be on a Japanese man, but it was thick and smooth, and it shone like polished onyx in the flickering candlelight.
And then there was his height.
I knew that I was smaller than most people, even by Filipino standards, but this man had to be huge.
He was only a few inches taller than Hiroshi, but he was much larger in build, with broad shoulders and a thick chest that made mine feel even smaller than it already was.
Even if he was the enemy, I couldn’t help but feel like he was almost god-like in some way.
But I had to keep reminding myself that he wasn’t just an enemy.
He was also my patient.
And not just any patient, either.
He was my first patient of the night, the one who had been assigned to me by Maria because she thought he would make me uncomfortable.
She wasn’t wrong about that, but I couldn’t help but think that she didn’t give me enough credit.
I might have been small and scared—especially with so many people dying all around me—but I wasn’t going to let my fear get in the way of me doing my job.
My people needed me.
I couldn’t afford to let them down now.
With that thought in mind, I turned my attention back to Hiroshi’s wounds so I could finish cleaning them properly before I moved on to something else.
His eyes were still closed when I finished working on his head wound, but as I moved on to clean the blood off of his neck and shoulders, he started to stir again.
I’m sorry,” he mumbled as his hands tightened into fists at his sides.
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