Chapter 1- Diving In
"Oh! I'm going to miss you sooo much!"
"Mother, please. We're in public." The brunette teen frowned at the cliché sendoff.
"Ohhh, but my baby's growing up and moving away!" Her mother held her at arm's length as she looked her up and down as if it was the last time she was going to see her.
"Mom, we're just going to Japan till we graduate. It's not like its permanent or anything…"
"And don't worry I'll take care of her." Added a brown haired, college aged man.
"Xavier, that's not reassuring." Scoffed a black haired girl as she shoved the older male away from the mother and daughter duo.
"I agree with Trina." The first teen added, she hadn't known Trina's cousin long but he didn't seem to be much more mature than her.
"You'll be fine." Sighed Trina's mother as she watched the exchange.
"But still, if anyone's the most adult-like here, its Charlotte." Trina pointed out, leaning against Xavier.
"Have fun finding your apartment on your own then." Xavier shrugged and started walking towards the boarding gates. Trina stumbled as she lost her support and glared at the retreating figure, her green clump of hair falling into her eyes.
"Just get along with your cousin." Trina's mother sighed again as she handed her a green suitcase.
"And don't cause too much trouble." Added her father as he gave her a farewell hug.
"The same goes for you Charlotte." Smiled Charlotte's own father as he gave her a hug as well.
"I'll be good."
"Don't forget to call us when you land." Added her mother as she too leaned in for a hug.
"Of course. I won't forget." Charlotte smiled for them as she tightened her grip on her own suitcase.
"I love you."
"Love you too."
Safely on the plane and 10,000 feet in the air Trina and I started to discuss what our new life would hold.
"So, what do I have to look forward to at Iwatobi, Char?" Trina drew out the 'r' at the end of my nickname to emphasize her question.
"Well…I don't know. It's been awhile since I left."
"I still can't believe the coincidences. My cousin getting the coaching job in the town you used to live in, in Japan, then asking us to come train on his team." Trina went on as she opened her bag of complimentary snacks. "I mean, what are the chances of this happening?"
"Slim to none." I answer, opening my own bag of free nuts and crackers.
"Are you excited to see your friends again?" She questioned.
"Yeah, but I don't know if they'll remember me."
"Oh come on! Who could forget you?" She joked, batting at my curled hair. "They were all guys right? What were their names again?"
"Haru, Nagisa and Makoto."
"Didn't you mention a guy named Rin too?"
"You have a better memory than you let on." I comment, stealing a handful of soy nuts from her bag. "Yes, there was a guy named Rin but he went to Australia before I came back to the states."
"Yes, Australia. Is that weird or something?"
"I don't know. It just sounds weird to me." She shrugged.
"He went there to attend a swimming school."
Trina just shook her head. "I don't understand competitive swimming."
I shrugged back. "I don't either."
In the end Xavier did take us from the airport to our new apartment but not without bickering between the two cousins. After deeming the two of us could finish decorating by ourselves the brunette male headed out to his own apartment, two streets down from our own.
Trina and I started hanging posters and pictures around the apartment since Xavier had been kind enough to put most of the furniture together for us. The two of us rocked out to anything from Skillet to anime soundtracks as we made this new place our home. We continued our chat about how fun it was going to be to living on our own as the realization that it really had happened sunk in.
As dinner hour snuck up we decided we go out to eat since there wasn't a morsel of food in the apartment. We walked around town until Trin pointed out an American styled burger joint.
"Char, let's get burgers!"
"Sure, why not?" I agreed and we went in.
We chatted as we waited for our burgers and flirted with the teen waiter whenever he came by our table. When the burgers arrived we deemed that these were probably healthier but we missed real American food.
Our free two days sped by as we went shopping for groceries and decorations for the apartment. We went out to eat most of the time because we were too lazy to actually cook anything. We visited Xavier at his apartment and bugged him for a little bit before heading home on the second night.
"You ready for school tomorrow?" Trin questioned as we laid out our new school uniforms.
"I should be asking you that." I chided "You've never gone to a Japanese school before."
"True..." She stood and thought for a minute, "Can we just be on the tennis team and not go to school?"
"It's not that bad."
"Yeah, sure." She rolled her eyes at me.
I just chuckled and smoothed out the uniform sweater.
"My one problem with this school is the stupid skirt." She glared at the piece of clothing like it was evil.
"Just wear shorts underneath."
"Oh trust me, I am."
The next morning I made oatmeal for the both of us while Trina made toast.
"Why toast?" I questioned as we sat down to eat.
"Because everyone has toast for breakfast here, any when they're late they eat it while they're running." She joked, taking a bit of the crispy bread.
"Ohhh, of course. I totally forgot." I rolled my eyes and my black haired roommate.
"They run because..." she paused knowing I knew the next line.
"...they're gonna be late for anime school." we said in unison as we quoted one of our favorite abridged series.
"Well we may be late if you don't finish soon." I added as I got up to put my dishes in the dishwasher.
"Okay, mom." Trin drawled as she too got up to clean her dishes.
We walked to school since our apartment wasn't horribly far from the campus. We passed a few familiar sites as we strolled along and I pointed a few out to Trin and told her stories. One overhang where Makoto and I took shelter when it started raining on our walk home, a street corner where I would always meet Nagisa before heading to the swim club, the stairs that led to the playground Haru and I would hang out at on days off and the candy shop Rin would take me too when I complained that I was hungry after swim lessons.
"I really hope I get to meet these guys, 'cause they seemed to be really close with you back then." Trina commented as we came up to the school gates.
"I hope so too." I agreed, I had been with those four 24/7 back then, I missed them a ton when I moved back to dreary old Washington.
"Well, lets us go then!" Shouted Trina, thankfully no one was around to notice her outburst, pointing forward towards the school building, "And make this the best school year and reunion!"
After Trina's inspirational moment we went to the gym for the opening ceremony, which was long and boring (but honestly, are they ever fun?) and we got the class lists. To our surprise the two of us were lucky enough to be in the same class. We made our way to the classroom on the second floor and found a younger lady standing at the front. "Seats are predetermined." She informed us, setting out a seating chart on her desk.
I found my seat in the middle of the classroom where Trina was closer to the back by the windows. I set my bag on my desk and went over to chat with Trin, having not recognized anyone from elementary school. I did watch the doors, however as more students strolled in, hoping that there would be someone from Iwatobi Elementary. A particular light brown haired boy walked in alone and something about him seemed familiar. He was taller than most of the other students and his big green eyes were calm. He looked over in our direction and I think he made eye contact with Trina because she shuffled a bit in her seat.
I elbowed her and received a death glare in return. 'What?' I mouthed, playing innocent. Trin just rolled her eyes and shooed me off her desk as the teacher started back towards the front of the class. I took my seat to find the brown haired boy sitting directly to my right, I shot him a smile in attempt to be friendly and he nodded back with smile as well.
As our homeroom teacher introduced herself as Amakata Miho, before taking roll, starting in the front corner and working towards the back. Soon enough she came to the boy to my right.
Makoto… Makoto-san…Mako-san…Mako-chan…Mako-chan! My breath hitched slightly as I came to the realization that the boy sitting next to me was none other than one of my childhood friends. I wanted to lean over and talk to him, ask him how things had been since I'd moved away but I stopped myself. He hadn't recognized me when he saw me, not that I had really recognized him either… I decided to wait. I had recognized his name so maybe, just maybe, he would recognize mine.
As out teacher read off the name of the girl in front of me I sighed, wondering how this was going to turn out for me.
"Hottle Charlotte-san?" I heard a couple of snickers throughout the class at my last name. I knew I was American so it made sense for my name to be weird but the jerks in the rest of my class didn't seem to notice.
There was a scuffle to my right so I twisted to find Makoto staring at me with his mouth gaping open.
'Char-chan?' he mouthed silently when he found that I was looking back.
Memories flooded back at the mention of my nickname. For as long as I can remember my nickname had been Char because Charlotte was often too long, so when Nagisa had started addressing us all by –chan he had taken my shorter name and from then on called me Char-chan, which the other three picked up as well.
I grinned back and nodded at the flabbergasted male, ecstatic that I had not been forgotten after all these years.
Despite our reunion our teacher had continued with roll, coming to Trin.
"Huh? Oh, here." She responded sloppily.
I spun around to face my roommate only to have her gesture between Makoto and I very confusedly.
'I'll explain later' I mouthed and received a frown before the two of us went back to paying attention.
Class could not go by fast enough. I was so desperate to talk with Makoto again, ask him about Haru (who happened to be in our class despite the fact that he skipped today) and Nagisa, to see if he had heard from Rin over these last few years. Yet that clock couldn't move any slower.
As soon as we were dismissed Trina bounded over to my desk as Makoto and I turned to face each other.
"Charlotte-san, when did you come back?" Makoto questioned hurriedly.
"'Charlotte-san'? Since when were we formal towards each other?"
"Well, it was Nagisa who called you Char-chan…"
"I don't really care what you call me, just don't make it sound like I'm a stranger now."
"Would some care to tell me what the hell is going on?" Interrupted Trina, leaning over my desk towards my childhood friend.
"Trina, meet Makoto, or Mako-chan, one of my friends I was telling you about." I promptly spun around to face Makoto. "Makoto meet my friend Trina."
"H-hello." He stuttered is greeting, seemingly confused at the introduction. "Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too." Trin grinned back, slightly more confident than my old friend.
Students started to file out of the classroom for lunch and Makoto took notice.
"Do you want to continue this conversation over lunch?" He offered
After Trina bought a few snacks from the school store the three of us went to the roof to eat and catch up.
"So why are you back, Char-chan?" Makoto asked, opening his lunch.
"Well, Trin's cousin is the new tennis coach here and he asked us to come and help out with the new team." I explained, giving him the short gist of things.
"He had you come all the way to Japan?"
"It's 'cause we have mad skills." Interjected Trin.
I nodded in agreement and Makoto just stared back at us silently.
"Well what have you been up to while I've been gone?" I asked, changing the subject.
"Not much..." Makoto trailed off.
"How's Haru doing with swimming?"
"He's not swimming anymore." Makoto replied quietly.
"WHAT!?" I nearly jumped over the railing.
"I don't understand." Trina added calmly.
"It's equivalent to you not playing tennis." I calmed down enough to take a seat again.
"What what in the butt WHAT!" Trina almost dropped her chocolate milk.
Makoto looked towards Trina confusedly, probably because of the fact that her reaction was in no way normal.
"Get used to it." I sighed, shaking my head "That's just how Trina is."
After lunch we returned to class for the second half of the day, which went just as slow as the first. Afterword's we made our way out to the tennis courts, not knowing where else to find Xavier.
"Xxxaaavvviiierrr!" Trin hollered, opening a gate to a pair of courts.
"Who died?" Xavier called back as he came running towards us.
"Well if you had taken any longer I could have died." Trin scoffed before stealing her cousin's visor.
"Are you going to help out or just cause more trouble?"
"Well, you brought us here to help so I guess we should." I shrugged, following Trin as she started towards the locker room.
After returning to their new placing of dwelling the two girls were lounging and filling out some of the new student applications that the school had sent home with them. The tentative silence was broken when the song "Different Colors" started playing on Char's phone.
"That be you gurl." Grunted Trin, rolling over on the couch.
"I know." She reached for the pink cased device with its Levi keychain. Reading the caller ID she stood up. "Grandparents, gotta take this." The younger girl said, standing.
" 'Kay." Trin sighed and pushed the green stripe in her hair out of her eyes, watching as her roommate exited their apartment. And she waited. Her stomach growled as she changed positions on the couch multiple times, waiting for Charlotte to come back in and feed her. But she wasn't coming back in. Grumbling the older girl staggered to the front door and stuck her head out into the hall but found her friend had disappeared. She thought back to the phone call, she had said her grandparents; that probably meant there was news on her grandfather who had been admitted to the hospital again right before they had left for the new country. Well, that meant she was going to be on the phone all night. Shit. Trin closed the front door and wandered into the kitchen, she was in need of sustenance. And soon. The two girls had been planning on making soup for dinner since they didn't have the groceries for much else. Trin might as well start it without Char, she could manage. Probably. Maybe. Maybe not.
She quickly dashed into Char's room and stole her laptop which had the recipe on it. They were planning on making leek soup, something the duo did from time to time in honor of a certain anime character. Trina pulled out all the ingredients listed and all the necessary utensils and pots hoping that by the time she was done her cooking-inclined friend would have returned. No such luck. She glared at the bag of leeks, deciding to start on her own.
I was walking back to the apartment after the phone call, thankfully it had been relatively good news on my grandfather's recovery condition, when I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong. I sped up my step, rounding the corner in the hallway only to hear the dampened sound of fire alarms. I sprinted to the front door and yanked it open, allowing the smell of burning onions to waft up to my nose.
Gagging I raced into the kitchen to find Trina smothering out a fire with a dish towel. Seeing as my roommate had that under control I ran to the other end of the apartment and started opening windows and fanning the smoke out of the apartment. We quickly satisfied the fire alarms and they stopped screeching.
Hands on my hips I spun around to face Trin. "And what were you doing?"
"Trying to cook the leeks."
"Because I'm starving." As if in agreement her stomach growled loudly.
"And you couldn't wait ten minutes?"
"You were out there forever!" Trin whined, tossing the pan of burnt leeks into the sink.
"It was a ten minute phone call!"
"Was not." She pouted.
"Yes it was." I said matter-of-factly, pulling up the call record on my phone.
Grandma Mary (Home)
Received 7:12 PM Ended 7:23 PM
(Duration 11 minutes, 23 seconds)
"Shit." Trin mumbled, flopping onto the couch.
So how did you guys like the full first chapter? I hope it wasn't horrible... I would love to hear what you guys thought so R&R please :) ~Crystal