Chapter 7 Revealed
*A note, the majority of this chapter is dialogue, so keep up with me! There's one more chapter left after this! Also, there's some lyrics thrown in here. If you don't recognize the song, it's from Avril Lavigne. Kinda sudden XD Well enjoy!*
"Oh...hello, Fukae-kun!" Fuuko turned to look behind her. Akira stood there staring at her oddly. "What brings you down here?"
"I was just on my way to see my mom."
"Your mom works around here?"
"Yeah. Why are you here?"
"I was following Fujio.”
“Fujio? Don’t be stupid, Kuzuha. Fujio’s in America...”
“No.” Fuuko pointed to the cafe. “She’s in there. I want to know for sure.”
“Look, Kuzuha. You can’t go around assuming that Fujiko is Fujio.”
“But I know it’s her!!”
“How can you be so sure?”
Fuuko pointed to the window where Fujio was cleaning tables. “Just call her by her real name. I have to go now, Fukae. So please... don’t cause any trouble, ok?” Fuuko immediately left his side with a smile on her face. He looked passed her, feeling like he wasn't told everything. He was confused and nervous to even think about approaching Fujiko, and asking out of the blue if she was his long lost love, Himejima.
//"You will find out what you are looking for if you just call her by her real name."//
"By her real name?" Akira looked down at his hands. They were empty just like his words. His heart was pounding at the thought. "And what if she responds? Then what do I do?" He thought of no one but her now. Four years of almost forgetting... Fujio was not about to be just a memory. He kept his promise and let go of any girl who happened to fall in love with him. Every time a girl confessed her love, he would think of Fujio. She was the first girl to ever throw her heart out to him. She will be his only girl.
He walked down the halls of the busy school. Students passed him by. He had no care in the world for them and neither did they to him. He always had a mind of his own, a place where he can escape the horrible human reality of things. He stood by the stairs to wait for Fujiko. Today was the day he planned to ask her. She was unusually slow that morning. He could see her making her way from the gates of the school. The first bell already rang, so the hallways were becoming less crowded.
Meako stood at a distance with her head lowered. She was really nervous. Her hands were held together over her heart, taking the next step slowly. She shifted her glasses upward, and wiped the growing sweat off her forehead. Her short hair fell forward, covering some of her face. She lightly tapped Akira on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, Fukae-kun?"
"I have something that I would like to tell you, if you don't mind at all."
"Um...sure I guess. What is it, Meako?"
She blushed a little, turning her attention to her hands which were folded up nicely against her chest. She then brought them downward.
Akira got an instant flash, a memory of a girl in pigtails clouded with the sunset behind her, and her hands folded before her. He took a step back.
"For the longest time..." She began. Meako took him by surprise as she lightly leaned forward, kissing him on the lips. He immediately pulled away. "I love you!!"
"Meako..." Fukae turned away in disappointment. "I'm really sorry... but I can't return your feelings."
"What?? Why not?"
Fujio hapened to be walking down the hall that moment. She knew she was already late, so she didn't bother. However... when she caught a glimpse of the two alone, she immediately set out for the outdoors.
"Just as I thought." Said Meako in a low voice. "You always look at Fujiko-san. She's always on your mind, isn't she?" Akira didn't respond. "It is! Of all the girls, why her? You know I love you. How can a girl like her, a complete stranger, keep your heart so fondled?"
"Shut up." She instantly kept quiet. "My heart has been set on a girl for four years. I will keep my promise and wait for her. I'm really sorry. That's the reason why I can't return your feelings.
Meako made little reaction for a moment. She felt heartbroken, but had no where to run to. She had no close friends who would let her cry on their shoulders. They were in session now, and she didn't want to cause any attention. She just nodded and walked away. "I don't have the courage after a confession like that. My first love will always be a distant memory."
//"I'm sorry, but there's someone else."//
"Damnit!!!" Akira slammed his fists into the lockers. "Why am I always the bad guy? Every time I follow my own heart, I end up breaking someone elses in the process. What love is safe? My heart was set on Fuuko. Then Fujio confesses her love to me. Is it not right to reject her? It came natural to me. Then I find out Fuuko loves sensei... and I start having feelings for Fujo. Then it just so happens that my confession to her... is her goodbye to me. Now Meako-san is hurt. Damn it all!! Look what I get in return for caring so much about others. Four years ago is still very vivid in my mind..."
As soon as Fujio made it outside, she threw her books down, letting herself hit knees first against the ground. She felt insecure. She immediately forced the ribbons off her pigtails, throwing them angrily to the ground. She furiously stepped on them. Her hair was now loose and unorganized. She watched as Miho and Seiko walked by, pretending not to notice. They glared at her at first, thinking the new girl had some problems or something, but kept walking since according to Seiko, "It's rude to stare."
She sighed, grabbing her bag and tossing it beside the grand fountain that stood in the middle of the courtyard. She then climbed onto the cemented rail, walking around the fountain carefully. She forced a smile, trying to lock herself into a different reality, but being careful not to fall into the water. Meako took notice from the school's bathroom. She felt her heart fall, becoming angry at the sight of her. Even worse, she watched as Akira Fukae approached the dancing girl.
"Hey, Fujiko! What are you doing?"
"Hmm?" Fujio looked over at him. "Oh, Fukae-kun!!!" She was so surprised, that she lost her balance, falling directly into the water. He bursted into a fit of laughter, watching her slowly climb out.
"Fukae, you're so mean!" He took her by the hand, yanking her out of the fountain. She fell forward with her butt straight into the air. She blushed and immediately pulled down her skirt.
"Sorry." He turned away, embarassed.
"What are you still doing here?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing. But since we ditched classes together..."
"I didn't ditch!" She cried out. "I just..."
Akira turned his attention to the ground. He picked up two green ribbons, dusting them off with his hands.
"Green ribbons..." He looked up at her hair. Fujio tilted her head, confused. "Why did you take them off? You shouldn't. You look cute in them."
Fujio blushed in embarassment. "I'm sorry, I have to go. I'll be late for work!!" Fujio immediately fell on her knees. He tried to help her up, but she refused.
"Are you sure?"
"I'm very sure!!"
"Well..." He laughed. "You don't suppose you are going to work all wet?"
"Oh no!!! I forgot!" Cried Fujio. "Great!! I have to go to Gochiso's...I mean..."
"Ahahaha!!!! Sorry, bye!!!" Fujio took off without an explanation.
"But wait... it's barely school hours..." He thought about it. "Fujiko is very odd..."
//"All you have to do...is say her name."//
"What a day..." Thought Fujio. "I couldn't just go to school wet."
"What, did you fall in the pool or something?" Baa-chan laughed at her.
"No, it was the fountain. I guess... I was depressed."
"You danced around and fell in, didn't you?"
"Yeah..." Fujio laughed. "It's kinda funny, really."
"So you ditched school?"
"I'm really sorry about that. I had to come home right away. I couldn't very well sit in class with glares and questions."
"Well, don't lose your job while you're at it. You need the money to pay for the rent. You are a bit short on cash."
"I know! I'm very sorry, Baa-chan. I guess I should head on to work then. What if Fukae thinks I'm lying."
"Fukae? What about that kid?"
"Well... actually... I met up with him just before I left. I'm very depressed and I don't know why."
Baa-chan set her cup off coffee down, and looked directly into Fujio's eyes. "Depressed? I'm guessing you had a moment there, and couldn't find the right words to confess."
Fujio turned bright red. "Just what are you saying?!?"
"I'm not implying anything." She laughed. "Head on to work!"
"Yeah...I'm on it." She grabbed her bag and headed out. "See you later, Baa-chan." She only nodded and watched as Fujio made her leave.
"Very hard working, but also very mysterious." Thought Baa-chan. "Reminds me of a certain someone."
"What if Kuzuha is right? Fujio and Fujio being one in the same. Then... what will that make me?"
Fujio arrived to work on time...or should I say, a bit too early. She quickly grabbed her apron, tying it around her waist. The woman greeted her. and quickly departed for the kitchen.
"If you would like to put on some music or anything at all, feel free to. Our slow hours are about this time anyway." She called out to Fujio from the kitchen. Fujio nodded and glanced around for the radio. She flipped to the clearest radio station she could find. It just so happens the station was playing music in english. She pulled out her chair, and rested her head against the cold table while listening to the next song.
//Something just isn't right
I can feel it inside
The truth isn't far behind me
You can't deny//
Fujio slightly lifted her head at the sound of the lyrics passing through her mind. This entire time, she felt an unsatisfied thirst for truth. She hadn't been around this place too long to recall any memories fully. If she suddenly told Fukae and Fuuko the truth... then they would hate her for lying to them. She was nervous.
"So..." The woman entered the room, setting a small cup of coffee in front of Fujio. She nodded and took the cup. "You look so down. Anything wrong?
"No..." Fujio rested her head against the table once more in deep thought. "It's nothing." She closed her eyes.
//When I turn the lights out
When I close my eyes
Reality overcomes me
I'm living a lie//
"My son might come in today for a visit!" The woman said cheerfully.
"Hai. I believe you know him. He goes to your school."
The cafe entrance is opened.
"Oh, right on que!" Said the woman excitedly. "Welcome back, son! Did you have a good day?"
"I did." He placed his uniform coat on the rack, advancing towards his mother. As soon as he saw Fujio, he turned away, continuing to the kitchen.
"Akira, don't be rude. Say hello to my new worker."
"Um..." Fujio quickly got up and bowed. "Thank you for your hospitality. Good afternoon, Fukae-kun."
"You don't have to act so formal around me, you know."
"AKIRA!" His mother scolded him. "Honestly, be a little nicer."
"Sorry..." Akira walked over to Fujio's table, seating himself in front of her. "I didn't know you worked here."
"I...I well...yes." She felt nervous.
"Cute." He said simply. She looked up in surprise.
//Together we've built a wall//
"I'm still very early. I think I'll go take a walk. I'll be back in a few minutes." As she stood up, Akira quickly snapped, gripping her arm. She spun around, focusing her eyes on his. He seemed so cold.
"I'm going with you."
"Why? I don't need a babysitter!"
"It's nothing like that." He stood up.
//When I'm alone I
Feel so much better
And when Im around you
I don't feel//
They walked out together taking the side walk on the path towards school. They had no idea where they were going. They just walked. For the first ten minutes in silence. She was dying to say something to him, but didn't now whether she should.
"You look a little nervous, Fujiko."
"Huh?" She blinked a couple times and looked up at him in question. "I'm not nervous. Why do you ask?"
"Do you think we should go back?"
"What? Now?" He paused. She just shrugged her shoulders and stared at the ground in silence. "We should keep walking. I have something to show you."
"You have something to show me?" Fujio thought. What ever could it be? "Hey, if you don't tell me, I'm leaving."
"Just stay calm."
"What do you mean stay calm?!? It's annoying not knowing what it is!!"
"You know, you remind me too much of someone I knew!!"
Fujio quieted. She turned away embarassed. "I'm sorry, ok? I'm just a little uneasy."
"Don't be." He took her arm, but she only pulled it back. "Do you like the ocean?"
"Of course. It's been a long time since I've been to one."
"Come then." He held out her hand. She only stood there staring at it. He sighed. "If you don't get to know a person, then you are only going to isolate yourself. The people who want to get to know you for who you truly are...can't. Stop hiding, Fujiko. You often seclude yourself. You shouldn't keep secrets, or you will be hurting yourself or the people you keep them from."
"You want to get to know me?" He nodded. "I'm really no one." She placed her hand in his. "I don't know about this."
"Don't worry. I'm not going to do anything to you." She froze. "HEY! Don't think that way! I'm not a pervert."
"I DIDN'T say anything!!!" She yelled out. Fukae started laughing. "What's so funny?!?" She demanded to know. He only continued to laugh at her.
"It's just...you look so funny when you get mad like that."
Fujio pouted. She snatched back her hand and folded her arms. "You are so cruel."
He just smiled at her, stretching his arms far out. He then folded them behind his head. "It's up to you if you want to come with me. You won't be late."
"Hmm..." She thought for a bit. "Alright, you win. Let's go quickly."
//"It was four years ago that I last appeared at a quiet and soothing place such as this. Before I ever realized how much I was in love with him, surfing had never really interested me. My parents brought me up in Martial Arts. I've trained like crazy for my black belt. I used my skills for self-defense, and that only. My surfing days began here... inspired by my beloved Fukae-kun. I remember Mala and everyone. She purposely pushed me off my surf board and everything became so dark. I found myself in Fukae's arms. His heart was so warm."//
"Hey Fujiko?" Her mind was set on her memories too much at a time. She wanted to touch the ocean's waters with her hands. She wanted to run around in the sand just like before. She turned to him and smiled.
"I was thinking of the wonderful memories I had here with y- I mean... with my friends." Fujio ran passed him towards the waters. He ran after her as soon as she took off.
"Hey, where are you going?"
"To relive a memory!" Fujio took off her shoes and ran barefoot into the water. The waters splashed against her legs and up to her knees, almost wetting her outfit. She never felt this excited or free. She danced around while laughing to herself. Fukae found it amusing and weird at the same time. He walked up to her. She continued carrying on in her memories by dancing around in the water.
//Call her name...//
One of Fujio's pigtails came undone in the wind. The green ribbon in her hair floated around, flying right smack in Akira's face. An instant flashback came into his mind. She stood there before him, staring at him out of curiosity.
A flashback came into her mind as well. Except... this flashback took place eight years ago when Fukae and Fujio were just children.
"I'm coming, wait up!!" Little Fujio tried to catch up to her friends. She stumbled upon herself, falling flat on her face with her butt in the air, revealing her little panties. She started to cry.
"She's so slow!" Called out one of her friends.
"Let's leave her."
"Okay!!" Cried the other cheerfully.
"Wait...please don't leave me!" Fujio cried out. "Oh no...I'm alone now."
"Some friends..." Fujio turned her attention to the little boy standing against the tree beside her calmly.
"It's a boy." Thought Fujio. "What do you want?"
"Why don't you stick up for yourself?!? You weak little girl!" The boy only scolded her for her clumsiness. Fujio was surprised by this boys sudden approach. He grabbed her hand, forcing her up. "It's just a scratch, nothing to cry about."
"Th...Than...Thank you..." Little Fujio felt nervous. To his surprise, she pecked a little kiss on his cheek, then ran away giggling.
"Ew, sick." He wiped away where she had kissed him. "Now I have cooties."
"It's that boy..." Thought Fujio. She walked up to him and his friends. When the boys around him saw her, they quickly jumped back in fear. She stood behind him.
"Hey, Akira!! There's a girl behind you! You might get her germs!!"
"I'm not scared of any girl germs." He laughed. He quickly turned around to face Fujio. "Oh, it's just you."
"Just me?!?" She pouted. "Take that back you meanie!!"
"What does she want? Make her go away!!" Said one of his friends.
"If you want her to go away so badly, why don't you make her?"
His friends kept quiet.
"So what is it you want?" Akira asked Fujio roughly. She just blushed and grabbed him tightly.
"Play with me!!"
His friends bursted into a fit of laughter.
"Shut up!!" He yelled at them. he couldn't help but turn red with embarassment.
"Fukae and Fujio sitting in a tree!!!" They chanted. Akira quickly jumped up from his seat about ready to strangle his friends. He then turned to Fujio.
"I'll play with you, alright? Just leave me alone."
Fujio just smiled and walked away happily.
"What was that about?" Akira thought to himself. "She's weird."
"What do you want to know about Fujiko-san?"
"Please, Kuzuha. Tell me if Fujiko really is Fujio."
"You should really ask her yourself, Fukae-kun."
"But I don't understand. I've..."
"Have you fallen in love with Fujiko that you are willing to forget Fujio without knowing the truth of it?"
"What?!?" He was shocked by her mention of it. "It's not true, Kuzuha. It just can't be! Fujiko and Fujio are two different people. They may look alike but they are just different. I don't even know how to describe it."
"Four years can dramatically change a person in time, Fukae-kun."
"What are you saying?"
She just smiled and looked him in the eye. "Remember when you tried to help me that day? You and Fujio worked together to follow my heart. I'm very grateful. I've returned the favor. I want to help you. I don't want you to forget that you have a heart and should put it to good use!"
"But I can't fall in love again!! I promised to wait for Fujio!! I promised her... and now this?"
"Here you go, Fukae-kun!" Little Fujio handed Akira a little box wrapped neatly. He unfolded it, opening the box to reveal delicious snacks just waiting to be eaten. His eyes glowed in awe. "I made it just for you!" She smiled at him. He blushed, turning away from her view. He was too embarassed for her to see him so red in the face. He poked at the rice balls with his chop sticks. "It's probably gross anyway."
Fujio glared at him. "Not true! You are so mean, Fukae-kun!!" Her eyes grew teary. He just rolled his eyes and laughed. He took the chop sticks and stuck the first he could get into his mouth. His mouth became watery as his eyes grew big.
"Wow! Fujio-chan, these are delicious!!"
She wiped her tears away and smiled widely. "You...really like them?"
"Of course I do! You know...we should get married one day!"
Fujio froze. Her little cheeks flushed red. She almost lost her balance. "M...married?"
"Let's make a promise, Fujio-chan!"
"Okay!" Fujio nodded. Akira held out his pinky finger towards her. She placed her pinky around his.
"There." He told her. "We promise to get married to each other one day."
Fujio nodded in excitement.
"Fujiko..." He came closer to her, lightly touching her face with his hands. She had stopped dancing, letting his cold fingers caress her skin. She was startled and confused at what he was doing all of a sudden.
"Fukae, what are you doing?"
He brought his lips near her ear and whispered. "Fujio Himejima. Please tell me you don't know her."
Fujio froze. She pushed away from Fukae and started running away from the waters towards the shore. He caught her by the hand. "No, let me go!"
"Please tell me it isn't true..."
"What do I do?" Thought Fujio in her mind. "If I tell him...he will hate me. But if I don't tell him, I will continue lying to him. I can't keep on living this lie."
Fukae wouldn't let go of her. He threw his arms around her, tightly locking her to his chest. No matter how much she wanted to run away, she couldn't. She wanted to scream.
"Calm down! I won't hurt you. I just want to know the truth!"
"Well...what do you feel?"
"I don't know what I would do..." Fukae trembled a little. "Because I'm in love with Fujiko. What would Fujio have to say..."
"You..." Fujio finally broke away. "You broke a promise to me..."
"And you lied to me." He added in anger. "You lied to me, Fujio."
"It's true." She cried out. "I'm...Fujio. Fujio and Fujiko are one in the same."
He didn't say anything. He just nodded and began walking away. She wanted to call out to him. She didn't know what to do anymore.
"Fukae, stop!!" She grabbed onto his back, but he only pushed her away. She fell back into the water. He paused for only a moment, then kept on walking. "Fukae..." She whispered under her breathe. "It's all my fault again. I lied to you, so this is what I get." Tears fell freely from her eyes. The water sent chills up her body. "Fukae!!!" She screamed once more. "My ankle..." She had difficulty standing. Her ankle was twisted. Her tiny body shivered. She kept pushing herself up with all her mind, no matter how much pain she was going through. She finally managed to stand and walk out of the water before the waves could pull her back in.
"I don't know what to do anymore. He's in love with Fujiko now. If I hadn't lied to him... we'd be together...and I wouldn't have to pretend to be the girl that never existed." She just side and kept walking with her head lowered the entire walk. "I'll buy a ticket. We can just...start all over again. If he continues to see me, It will only hurt him. I should leave this place..." She gritted her teeth together, feeling another sharp pain hit against her leg. She felt as if she were ready to faint. "Please...not now. Oh please...let me make it!" She begged herself to keep going.
Chapter 8 One of the many ways to say goodbye
//"How could I..."// Fujio felt a rush of emotions inside her. She felt crushed, defeated by her own words. She didn't know what to think anymore. //"I can go back. Back to America. Then no one will be hurt."//
Fukae stared at Fujio's empty desk beside his. She hadn't shown up. It wasn't like her to ever be this late. He didn't feel like caring so suddenly. She would show up eventually, according to him. He couldn't keep his eyes off her desk without worrying a bit.
"Forget about her." Said Meako as she walked passed him to her seat.
Baa-chan was the first to notice Fujio. "What's wrong, kid? You look pale!" She immediately went to the aid of the girl. Fujio suddenly collapsed just a few steps to the door. Her face was stained in tears. Her body was very weak.
"Hush, don't talk like that. Why don't you go inside and get some rest?" Fujio wasn't able to respond. She just nodded, letting Baa-chan take care of the rest. She was immediately guided to the door with a comfortable chair waiting for her in the center of the room. She had forgotten to take off her shoes. It didn't seem convenient to worry about a little thing like that at the moment. As soon as Fujio was guided to her seat, Baa-chan went to bring her some warm tea. She then sat across from her without a word. She just sat there patiently.
"Baa-chan. Please listen to me. I have something to say...and-"
"You missed work." She looked up from her cup towards Fujio's direction. "What is it you are trying to say?"
Fujio hid behind her cup. Her little hands began trembling, making the cup shake in her hands. She shut her eyes tightly to hold back her tears. "I've been lying to everyone!!!" She shouted out with all her might, almost dropping the entire cup and tea on the table. "I'm so sorry. I keep making a mess!!"
"Don't worry about it!"
"NO..." She found herself shouting by accident. "Baa-chan, I can't lie to you anymore..."
"You've finally come to your senses, Himejima."
Fujio froze at the sound of her last name. She looked at Baa-chan with curious wide eyes. "You just said my last name?"
She simply nodded and replied. "I knew all along. How could I forget such a face. You were the one who gave Hibiki a hard time, you know? The way you always stare at Fukae is pretty obvious."
"I'm so sorry." Fujio bowed, leaning her forehead against the table. She stared at the floor for the longest time with more tears building up inside. Her eyes became shakey. Her body began to tremble. "What should I do? Fukae hates me now. I just want to get out of this place. I can't erase what I did and I want to!"
"Calm down, Himejima-san! You are taking this too far. Crying isn't going to get you no where-"
"I have a flight scheduled this afternoon."
Baa-chan was quiet. She was rather shocked at what she just heard, and sat down in her seat in disappointment. "You are just going to leave things as they are?"
"What good is it..." Thought Fujio. "If I stayed, he will only despise me. His heart was broken more than once. I just added to those numbers yet again."
"But this isn't what you want."
"What I want...no longer exists in my life." With the help of the table, Fujio forced herself to stand. Baa-chan also stood, wanting to stop her.
"But wait! You can't just go anywhere as you are! Your ankle is twisted. You will only make it worse if you don't see a doctor!!"
"It's alright." Fujio forced a little smile. "I'm scared of doctors."
Baa-chan watched as Fujio forced herself to the door. She could only go so slowly, falling against the door with her entire body. She forced herself back up again.
"Where are you going?"
Fujio stopped walking and turned to face her. "To school. There's someone I really need to say goodbye to."
The end of the day bell finally came. Fukae was more worried than ever. He couldn't stop thinking about the events of last night clear in his mind. He had hurt Fujio. He knew this because it somehow connected with Fujio not showing up the next day to school. He feared the worst. He had hoped she was still alive. He was afraid that Fujio would try to end her suffering or ran away. He quickly got up from his seat and walked to the door. Fuuko immediately jumped in front of him.
"I'm going with you, Fukae-kun!!"
"Kuzuha, this isn't any of your concern!!"
"Was it any of Fujio's concern when you both helped in vain to keep me running after my love?" Fuuko embraced him tightly, surprising him by a lot. She began to cry on his uniform. "I care about her just as much as you do. Miho and Seiko may have forgotten...but I never will. I want to help find her!"
Akira had no clue what to say. He very much wanted to go on his own, but the look in Fuuko's eyes was too promising. She had a point brought up from the past. She also cared about the same person he cared for. He nodded. "Let's go then, Kuzuha."
"Okay!!" Fuuko cried out excitedly. She followed him onwards.
"I couldn't say goodbye. I, Fujio Himejima, have decided it's best to leave unnoticed. If he sees me, he will only see the pain inside of himself. I can't let that be. I don't really wish for anything anymore. I love him but I can't stay. The rain keeps falling today. It feels like a sign of sadness overwhelming my heart. So please, Baa-chan. Don't tell Fukae."
"Are you very sure?"
"I am..." She slowly opened the door. "My ride will be here very soon. Thank you for everything. I promise to repay the gratitude that you diserve."
"Don't worry about it, kid." Baa-chan smiled at her. Fujio returned the smile then walked out of sight.
The cab had just left from Gochiso when Fukae and Fuuko arrived. Baa-chan was now standing outside, watching as Fujio slowly faded away and became more of a memory to her. They were both out of breathe when they stopped in front of her. She was almost too surprised. When they both found their breathe, they wasted no time in trying to talk.
"Please, tell us where Fujio is!!!"
"Oh, you mean Himejima? She's long gone."
"What?!?" They both said at the same time.
"On her way to the airport as we speak."
"Please, Baa-chan!!" Pleaded Fuuko. "We must see her!"
"I was told specifically not to tell you, but if I did that, then it would be wrong of me."
"Why..." Thought Fukae. "Why wouldn't she let us know?"
"It was for your protection that she worried so much about."
"Please...take us to her!" Fukae pleaded with her.
Baa-chan nodded in understanding. She pointed to her motorcycle parked by the entrance. "I'm afraid I can only take one of you."
Fuuko and Akira looked at each other. Fuuko nodded and stepped back, giving Akira the honor to see his girl. He gladly accepted it.
"Alright! Let's get this show moving then!!" Shouted Baa-chan excitedly. She slammed on the pedal, almost making Akira fly off. He grabbed on to her tightly, almost losing his mind.
Fujio stood waiting in line to hand in her ticket. She watched curiously as a rather familiar girl gave a gentle kiss to her lover. She guessed it to be her lover. The girl had the same features of Akira's ex girlfriend, Mala. She had the hair and the same stabbing green eyes. Her clothes weren't so flashy. She was rather casual in her taste of clothing. The boy in front of her waved goodbye, and she went over into the line behind Fujio. Fujio stared at her carefully from the corner of her eye.
"Excuse me, miss? But why do you keep looking at me?"
"Eh? Who?" Fujio glanced around as if to play dumb. "You mean me?" She laughed nervously.
The girl just nodded and crossed her arms. "Is there something on my face? Do you find me that dumb?"
"Oh..." Fujio bowed. "I'm very sorry. It's just that..."
"You look a lot like someone I know."
"Ahhh..." She snickered. "You mean my sister, right?"
Fujio bit her lip. "Mala's your sister?"
"Uh huh!! Are you a friend of hers?"
"Oh well...not really." Fujio looked away in disappointment. "She was rather mean to me in Junior High. She always-"
"What?" The girl couldn't believe Fujio's words. She just shook her head and responded. "My sister would never do such things. Why does everyone say she was so mean?"
"I don't understand..."
"Well!! Do you know who I am perhaps?"
"I'm afraid not."
"I'm Mina. Mala's sick sister. I guess I'm just being blunt, and you might be wondering why I'm saying all of this to you on a first encounter." Fujio kept quiet. She wanted to listen because she found interest in this Mina girl. Mina nodded and went on. "I wasn't ever suppose to walk again. My sister always took care of me with much compassion. She never hurt anyone or yelled at anyone in front of me. She always talked about the friends she made. She said that she was really hurt one day. I remember a boy named Akira whom she would always talk about. She said he was in love with another girl and came to despise her because she felt like she had lost him. She never wanted the love between the two to end. I even came to despise this girl as well."
Fujio turned pale. She knew this very girl mentioned was she herself. She couldn't possibly tell Mala's little sister that she was the cause of all of this. Or was she? "I haven't seen her in forever. Is Mala around?"
"She..." Mina took a deep breathe. She tapped her fingers together. Her lips quivered a little bit. This meant a lot to Fujio. She felt like she had asked the wrong question. Fujio had always experienced Mala's wrath...but she never knew that Mala was always compassionate on the inside. Was Mala ever mean to any other girl? "She's dead."
"I'm so sorry."
Mina shook her head. "Don't be. I blame Fujio for all of this. Mala committed suicide on the day of my release. It was the Seito Sanimiyo Private School's festival... and I wanted to see my big sister in the play. I didn't show up because I had a horrible attack. But when I got the news of her death... I couldn't ever forgive such a girl who would let this happen. But why would I possibly have a grudge against a girl I never even met?" Fujio lowered her head in shame. "Perhaps I shouldn't be angry with her."
"Well, are you girls boarding or not? We can't keep the line waiting all day you know?!?" Yelled the lady at the front desk. Fujio and Mina immediately jumped up to hand the lady their tickets.
"Say, I didn't get your name!"
"Well Fujiko!!" Mina smiled at her. "Let's sit together, okay?" Fujio forced a smile.
"I can't believe she'd do something like this!!" Screamed Fukae in his mind. He raced with what seemed like all he had to find her flight. He had asked and didn't bother with permission. Security was already on his tail. As long as he found her, he didn't care about anything else. Baa-chan had access to all information, so for her getting by was no problem. If only Fukae had listened to her, then security wouldn't be on his tail. He had no patience.
"Stop the plane!!" He screamed at the lady at the front desk.
"Young man, it isn't possible. Do you have a ticket?"
"No! Just let me through! I have no time to explain. If you let that plane take off, I won't ever forgive you!"
The woman was offended by this. She grabbed her phone, connecting to the security line. She quickly filed a disturbance. Fukae was very pissed. He pushed her aside and ran for it.
"I won't let anyone stop me. Even if she never forgives me, I will never stop trying. I will not lose her again." He thought to himself as he ran to the front door. A flight attendant spotted him.
"Is everything alright sir? We are just about to take off. Please find your seat!!"
"Please make an announcement!!" He tried to catch his breathe while saying. He grabbed onto her shoulder. The woman backed away frightfully. "Please...call for Fujio. Please tell her..."
"There he is!!" Screamed the woman's voice from the hallway. "He's the one without a ticket!!"
"Oh shit!!" Akira screamed.
"SIR, please keep your tone of voice down!!" The flight attendant tried to hush him, but he refused.
"Look, I just want my girl!!!" He pushed passed her, running down the aisle. He called out for her. "Fujio!!! Where are you?!?" He glanced around the seats. Everyone looked up at him as if he were out of his mind. "Fujio!!"
"Fukae..." Fujio's head shot up from the seat. She peaked up.
"Is something wrong?" Asked Mina.
"I hear my name."
Fujio saw Fukae getting closer. She jumped up in surprise. "Fukae..."
Mina's eyes widened in horror. "Fu...jio?"
"Mina...I'm the Fujio you despise..." She cried out.
"But...why didn't you tell me this?"
She couldn't find the words to say. Fukae pushed passed people to get to her. Without a word, he immediately grabbed her, pulling her towards the aisle.
"What are you doing?!?" Fujio demanded angrily. "I want to go back!!"
"NO YOU DON'T!!" He screamed. "I won't let you!!"
Mina was just blank. She saw Fukae and Fujio running towards the front. "So that's them. Sister...I got to meet them in person. Do I really..." She lowered her head against the back of the chair. "Do I really have a reason to hate them?"
"Fukae!! You can't! You are only getting yourself in trouble!!"
He didn't respond. He just continued running with his hand wrapped around hers. They ran down the hall. He saw the security running towards them. He stopped running and pushed her against the wall. "Don't...ever...leave me!!!" He began sobbing against her shoulder. She felt so confused. She could only brush her fingers through his hair and hold him still.
"Or am I making the biggest mistake of my life..." She thought aloud. "Fukae..."
"Fujio, I love you. I made a promise to you years back that I should have kept!" He wrapped his arms around her body and forced his lips upon hers. Her eyes shot open, filling with pain and tears. Those tears slid down her cheeks and onto his skin. Fujio couldn't keep focused. She was beginning to feel dizzy. The world around her began to fade and turn black. Her lips slowly parted from his.
"Fu..." Fukae's eyes widened in horror. "Fujio??" She slowly lost her consciousness. If he hadn't grabbed onto her, she would have fallen. He looked around for Baa-chan.
The security guards stopped right in front of him. Instead of just taking him down at the spot, they were concerned for Fujio, who had passed out in his arms. He looked at them with fear in his eyes. "Please call a doctor!!"
"Come this way." One said to him. He nodded and picked up Fujio's body. He carried her down the hall while another quickly picked up the phone for emergency.
//"That's right. I have no reason to hate those two. They are just a couple in love. I don't really know who they are. Maybe there was a side of my sister I never did see. If I ever see her again...I'd ask her. I want to know."//
She was carried into her room carefully. The doctors came in at once to examine her body. They took her temperature and immediately began hooking things to her body. Fukae watched impatiently from the doorway. They ran back and forth endlessly for solutions when it was all too simple.
"You there, young man."
"We have some questions to ask."
Akira nodded and walked over to them.
"The patient, did she force herself to move in a weak state?"
"Huh?" He was confused. "Well...she does have anemia...and she does faint often." They said nothing in response. He was beginning to get more frustrated with their silence. He wanted answers. He immediately jumped up beside Fujio's bed and looked them straight in the eyes. "Tell me what it is that I don't know about? Tell me damnit!!" At this point, Baa-chan stood by the door watching. he grabbed onto one, clutching his shirt collar tightly. "Explain this in full detail!"
The doctor became disgusted by Fukae's actions. "Only if you release me."
Fukae dropped him and then folded his arms across his chest. The doctor brushed himself off as if his coat were suddenly filthy.
"Since you want to know. People like her are out when their body is weak. It is really rare that one pushes his/herself even though the body can't sustain consciousness. She also seems to have a sprain on her ankle. But for some reason, the medication we gave to her isn't working to the full potential we had hoped."
"What do you mean?"
"You can help us figure it out then. Did she do anything to over-exert herself today? Or maybe even last night? Her body is very weak and cold."
Fukae looked away in shame. He thought about last night. "Then It's my fault." He said aloud. Everyone turned to him curiously. He went on. "I left her there...when I shouldn't have. The lie wasn't worth all this trouble. I never went back for her..."
//"But I didn't let myself. I didn't want to give up on my last breathe. I pushed myself farther. My ankle and my bruises kept weighing me down..."//
"It all makes sense now. But I don't know if she will ever wake up. Her body is sleeping though her mind doesn't seem all too ready. This could be a coma but we aren't too sure yet."
"Why..." Fukae's eyes filled with tears. He was angry and trying to hide those tears the best he could, but it was useless. He found himself punching into the wall as a way to release that anger. "Please wake her up..." He ran over to her bedside again and sat there. He placed her hand in his own, holding it tightly. "I want to see you again. Please wake up..."
Baa-chan walked over to him, placing her hand on his shoulder. She nodded when he looked over at her in wonder.
"Even grown men have a reason to cry." She said to him.
//"All of us have dark secrets deep inside ourselves. I've figured out by now of these reaccuring nightmares. They were a constant reminder of the pain in my heart- The pain of my own selfishness. The blood on my wound, my arm, was reopened because I needed to remind myself how much I disliked these feelings, and how much I tried to avoid them. I didn't want him to suffer the pain alone. I stabbed myself..."//
"I want to promise Fujio something."
"It's amazing how much people can change." Thought Baa-chan. He could only smile at those words. "You changed for the better half, you know?"
"I know." He leaned toward Fujio's body. "I wan't to make a promise to Fujio to always be there for her no matter what. Maybe this is even a confession. I didn't have to be so arrogant. She was always there. She was the only person who could ever really love me despite the person that I was. I was never like her. I was always so cold and rational. I never even knew she existed. She gave life back to me."
A girl stood by the doorway, watching Fukae from afar. She held a white rose in her hand, clutching it to her own heart. They turned around to see her walking towards them. She smiled sweetly at him, pushed up her glasses a little, and handed him the white rose. "This is for you, Fukae-kun."
"Meako, why are you here?"
"I wanted to cast a blessing on Fujio-san. I heard about it at school so I rushed down here. I was so worried."
"But you don't really know her."
"I am aware of that. But because she matters to you, she also matters to me. I feel a purity around you two. It lead me to find you."
"Meako...what should I do?"
"Don't you see, Fukae-kun? It's a little curse." The expressions around the room were expressions of disbelief. She just smiled and went on. "You've made a confession, did you not? All you need is to be patient for her reply."
The screen immediately began flashing on Fujio's monitor. Everyone jumped up in surprise.
"What does this mean??" He ran to the door and called out for the doctor. They immediately rushed in, forcing everyone out of the room. The door closed behind them. "Wait!!" He pounded on the door. "What's going on?!?" Meako tried to pull him away from the door with her tiny arms.
"Please don't, Fukae!!"
"Fujio!!" He screamed. He couldn't hear Meako's words over his own. "What's wrong with her? Let me see her!!"
"Fukae-kun..." A little girl in pigtails sat against a hollow tree. A small boy joined her side. She pointed towards the sky. "Look, Fukae-kun! All the clouds are gone!"
"Don't be stupid." He told her while laughing. "They aren't gone, they are just hiding."
She stared at him with her cute little face. He blushed and turned away, not wanting to face up to her. Nor did he want her to catch him blushing.
"It's almost like we are married, huh?"
Fujio blinked a couple of times in astonishment. She just poked at his side while smiling. "Does it?"
"Let's make a promise then." He told her. She tilted her head a little while looking at him with those big and hopeful eyes. "Let's promise to be together forever."
//"And what ever did happen to that promise?"// Fujio's voice could be heard in her flashback. She thought about her past with him. //"Eventually, he didn't want to be around me. We were friends at childhood...and then he met up with friends who always kept him from me. Did they turn his heart so cold? I began to develop a hate for him and always thought of him as a pervert... but on that day when he grabbed my arm, threatening that he would do something if I ratted out him and his friends for what they were about to do, I found myself locked in those cold eyes, falling for him all over again. Except, this time it was stronger."//
Fujio's eyes shot open. Her tiny fingers clutched the side of her bed, immediately throwing back all the doctors and nurses examining her. She looked around the room in horror. "What is this place? Why are these things on me?" She tried to rip the wires off of her arm. One of the doctors pushed her back down, restraining her.
"Please, Himejima. We aren't going to hurt you. Your body is still very weak. The medication we are giving is for you to make a full recovery along with some rest."
Fujio nodded and relaxed. She gazed around the room, feeling a little nervous. She looked up at the nurse nearest her. "Where is my Fukae-kun?"
She pointed to the door.
"Oh please let me see him!!"
"That's right." Thought Fukae aloud. "I made a promise to her."
Meako released her grip from him, taking a few steps back. She was tired and confused. Her white rose was crushed into pieces from when the doctors forced them out of the room. He kneeled down and picked up the rose, piece by piece. She kneeled down beside him.
"It's okay, really!!" She forced a smile. "Akira...could I ask you something?"
"Do you really love Fujio? Is there any-"
"I love her with all my heart." He cut in. "I'm sorry I couldn't be that person for you. Even if Fujio would have never came back, I wouldn't stop waiting. You will find someone some day. Everyone does."
"Thanks." She couldn't force this smile this time. She really meant it. "That's what I like about you, Fukae. You are very warm." She pointed to his heart. "If you lose that warmth, you or the person you love with hurt for it."
She got up and left. Not even a goodbye was left for Fukae and Baa-chan. She left with a smile on her face.
"What's wrong, Akira?" It was Baa-chan's turn to ask.
"I know that..." He looked down at the rose in his hand. "You can never stop being in love with someone even if the truth is clear."
"Did you brighten up in one night or what? I don't think I know you." She joked with him. "Not the same Akira and Fujio from Junior High. Fujio was a tough cookie...and I admit, pretty annoying. Akira was the cold and arrogant type who had his heart set on Fujio's friend originally. Fujio has bloomed into a lovely flower. She has learned to put people before herself in a good way instead of being so jealous about certain things. And you..."
"Yeah yeah, I know."
The door opened, catching their attention. The nurse came out and signalled for them to come inside.
"Akira Fukae, is it?"
"Well, the patient in this room has requested to see you."
"Fujio?!?! She's awake now?!?"
"Miracle, isn't it? We didn't even expect her to-"
"Let me see her then!" He pushed passed her. When he saw Fujio, he ran over to her. She quickly jumped up, trying to reach him but remembered the equipment that was attached to her. Her eyes lit up. He quickly wrapped his arms around her, clutching her tightly.
"Fukae, I've kept my promise..."
Fujio made a quick and full recovery and was able to return to school two days later. She decided not to go back to America after all. She was happy that she had her Fukae with her. He met up with her on the way to school, the usual path they took to school when they were younger.
Fujio needed to find Hibiki because she had something important to say to him. They walked to homeroom together to find him. As soon as Hibiki caught eye of Fujio and Fukae, he ran up to them in relief.
"Thank goodness you two are alright!" He said to them.
"Hibiki-sensei!!" She gave him a quick hug. "I have something I'd like to say to you and the class."
"Eh? What could it be?"
"Well..." She looked down at the floor shyly. "Today, I am Fujio Himejima...and I've come to tell everyone that."
Hibiki Amawa was surprised by this. He only nodded and agreed to it. As her classmates began seating themselves, Fujio stepped up to the front of the class as if she were a new student all over again. Hibiki jumped forward.
"Class, may I have your attention!!" She pointed to Fujio. "We seem to have a new student joining us in place of Fujiko Hime."
Everyone stared at Fujio and Hibiki. She could tell by the look in all their eyes that they had no idea what was going on and were rather confused. Fujio just smiled and waved at everyone cheerfully. Fukae almost laughed at her. He took his usual seat, watching her with amusement.
"I have a confession to make to all of you. I've known some of you from Junior High before my sudden leave to America."
Miho, Seiko, and Fuuko looked up at her with much interest. Fuuko already knew. She just couldn't wait to see the surprised reactions on Miho and Seiko's faces. She held her thumb up at Fujio and smiled. Fujio nodded.
"My name is Fujio Himejima and I've returned from America. It's a pleasure to meet you and I'm very glad to be back. I've decided to permanently stay." She bowed. After standing up straight again, she looked over at Hibiki, who nodded in reply. He also smiled. Everyone looked at the front of the room with much interest now. Miho and Seiko, as Fuuko and Fujio predicted, were very surprised.
Miho stood up suddenly. "I THOUGHT you looked familiar!!!"
Seiko stood up as well. "Oh my..." She looked over at Miho. Miho nodded and ran towards the front of the class, unexpectedly glomping Fujio.
"Oh my god! This is so unexpected."
Fuuko quickly joined in on the glomping, causing Miho and Fujio to fall over.
//"Why did I lie to begin with?"// Thought Fujio. //"It only harmed the people I loved."//
"I'm sorry to break up your moment, girls. But I have a class to get back to." Hibiki wasn't angry or anything. He remained smiling, though he understood that the rest of his class was a little behind. Most of the students in his class were never in his Junior High class. Some of them even remembered there being a Fujio and just smiled to themselves. "However...you four may be excused."
"Excused?" They looked at him strangely.
"That's what I said, didn't I?"
"Alright!!" Shouted Miho. "See ya later suckers!!"
"Oh and Omieda? You can stay five minutes after class." Added Hibiki as Fujio, Fuuko, Miho, and Seiko made their way outside. Miho put on a disappointed face. She just crossed her arms and went on ahead.
"Oh my god, I still can't believe this!!" Miho was all over Fujio, jumping up and down excitedly. "We all thought we'd never see you again!!"
"Yes, and when you came in the first day, we could have all sworn you were familiar."
Fuuko just kept her smile while walking very close behind them.
"I'm so sorry I lied to you guys." Said Fujio. "I was just very scared that you would be mad at me after I left so suddenly. I never even got the chance to say goodbye."
"Well whatever it was, it's done and over with. I'm just glad you are back!! It wasn't the same without you, you know." Added Miho. "Looks like your boobs got a little bigger too! We should compare measurements!" She winked at her. Fujio blushed and thrusted her arms forward to cover her chest. "Aw don't be embarassed, I was just kiding."
//"I'm so glad we are together again..."// Thought Fuuko. She immediately linked arms with Fujio and Miho. Miho then grabbed onto Seiko's. "We are together again!" Fuuko giggled. "This is so exciting!"
"However Fujio, you still need to give us an explanation some time! I want to hear the story!" Seiko stepped right in front of Fujio. "It's not like me to do this, but..." She hugged her. "Welcome back!!!"
"Seiko..." Fujio felt pressure around her body. She couldn't breathe. "Can't...breathe..."
"Ah, I'm sorry!!" She released her. They laughed together again. Fujio was already too glad that Fukae stopped her from leaving. She was happy. She never did get to thank him.
Akira stepped out of the door from inside the school. He saw them from the upstairs window conversing and laughing together. He wanted to join them outside, so he asked for a leave. If you didn't know, That's where they went- outside. (XP)
He smiled from the doorway.
"Hey..." Miho looked over at him suspiciously. "Why is Fukae standing there?"
"Fukae?" Fujio looked over at him shyly. "Oh right...they don't know..."
"AH!! Fukae-kun!!" Fuuko waved excitedly at him.
"Don't tell me he's stalking us now..." Seiko looked a little disappointed.
Fujio shook her head. "No, you have it all wrong!" She quickly left their side and ran up to him. All but Fuuko were confused.
"Well you see..." Fuuko began. Miho and Seiko looked at her. "Fujio and Fukae are girlfriend and boyfriend now!"
Both girls sweatdropped. "NO WAY!!!" They said at the same time.
"Well, aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?" Akira joked. Fujio nodded and grabbed a hold of his hand. She pulled him towards her. She quickly lead him over to her friends.
"What's the meaning of this!?!?!" Miho grabbed Akira's cheeks, trying to stretch them with her fingers. She made a wicked little grin. He looked a little aggrivated by this.
Fujio whispered something in Fuuko's ear, which quickly got everyone elses attention. They wanted in on her little secret. Fuuko nodded and smiled.
"Last one's buying everyone meat buns!!" They both started running towards the school's gates.
"Hey, wait a minute!!" Miho immediately followed along with Seiko.
"Aw crap!" Akira immediately tried to catch up.
"Feeling a little slow, aren't we Akira?!?" Miho mocked.
"You'll see. You are the one who's going to buy the damn ice cream for all of us, you watch!" He smirked at her.
//"I'm so happy..."// Thought Fujio. She looked behind her, watching as everyone tried to catch up to her. She smiled and continued to look forward.
"Oh, Fujio!!" Akira quickly passed her.
"Oh no you don't, Fukae!!" Fujio tried to run faster, but it seemed that even Miho and Seiko were getting passed her. "You guys!! No fair!!" She cried.
"Don't worry, Fujio-san!" Fuuko ran up beside her. "I'll split the cost with you."
//"My own best friend. She's always stood beside me even though I haven't always been there for her. This entire time she knew... and offered all kinds of help. I got my charm from her. She went out of her way when I was in so much trouble. I owe a lot to her."// Fujio nodded. "It's okay. I have ot this time!!" //"Even though I wasn't paid too much this week for work, I don't mind. Not at all. I've learned a lot these four years too. Even little white lies can be a harm to others, and having to correct the lie isn't always easy. You could lose those friends who built strong trust in you, or in other ways, bring a reputation upon yourself. I won't lie to them anymore..."//