UNDER THE SAME SKIES

2015.04.24

Chapter One


"Just… please tell me where you are right now. I won't get mad," I said—more like, pleaded—through the phone.

He paused. Two seconds, I counted. "Did you just count?" he asked.

"No! I mean, yeah, whatever. What time will you be getting here? It's getting cold. But like I said, I'm not mad." Although, I am.

"Mikan, you always count when you're stressed or pressured or getting mad. I know you," he chuckled. "Why don't you just go home? We can go another day."

"Okay that's it. Tell me where the heck you are right now Takumi. Are you even coming? Or am I waiting for nothing at all? I've been waiting for two hours and seventeen minutes!" I was almost shouting. Some people turned their heads towards me. I smiled guiltily at them, and they went back to their own businesses.

"I'm sorry, Mikan. I can't go right now."

Tired from standing under a tree, I walked over to an empty bench and plopped down. "Why didn't you tell me? You could've texted me earlier!"

"I didn't know how to tell you. You've been excited for this date. I am, too, but things just came up," he said; his rueful tone evident. But I wouldn't be fooled by the boisterous laughter on the end of his line.

"Things, huh? Like, hmm, your training camp?"

"What—," he paused for three seconds, "how did you know about that?"

"What do you take me for? A fool? For your information and shall I remind you one last time Takumi, I am your girlfriend. You know, the girl you've been dating for five months and had been always waiting for you to finish your meetings because that's what you're good at and I'm supposed to be doting. But hey, no pressure at all. In fact consider your well-respected self relieved from this girl. Congratulations to you for being single again!"

I hung up the phone, seething with anger. My face, I could feel, was warm and red from anger. How could he?! I couldn't believe he chose to go to a stupid camp instead of going with me. We've been planning this for a month! I helped him finish all his work as the vice president in the student council so that we could have this date. How unbelievable!

I counted to five to relax myself. I didn't want to blow up. This was the method I taught myself for when I needed to calm down because Takumi, most often than pursuing me was upsetting me. I liked him too much I wanted to be the perfect girlfriend for such a res—no, irresponsible guy.

But realization hit hard. I broke up with him. It's not only him who became single, but also me. I lost him. The one thing I was very much afraid not to happen. And so tears fell. Because it hurt. Maybe this was for the best, we had been fighting recently. Still it hurt.


After crying my heart out, being stared at by curious eyes, and feeling the embarrassment from it, I stood up and went to the bathroom, covering my face with my hair that stuck on my tear-stained face.

Today was supposed to be the day when we carry on the postponed date we were supposed to have two months ago. We postponed it because he had to attend a meeting with other schools as the proxy for the student council president who got sick. I understood him then, but it was different now. His duty called for him, but what about me? Didn't he think that I meant it when I said I'd be waiting in front of the park? He could have called me, at least even if I got furious, I wouldn't look like a fool in front of many people.

I looked at the mirror and almost screamed at the hideous creature staring back at me. My messy hair was sticking on my face and my eyeliner got smudged around my eyes. I wanted to cry again, but I knew better. I should save my tears, not cry them out for a stupid guy.

I remembered what my aunt who was infamous for her notorious dating said: "You can cry for a boy. Once is acceptable. Twice and more? Plainly stupid." She's right.

I splashed water over my face and washed it until my make up's all gone. I reached for my bag and took my hanky to wipe it dry. Then I brushed my hair, and even though I sucked at braiding my hair I had to ask my friend to do it for me, I redid it hopelessly, ending up with what appeared as a something worse than tangled roots.

With a resolve and somehow trampled heart, I exited the bathroom. Immediately the cold air enveloped around my bare arms. It's around seven p.m. now. If Takumi chose me, we could've been riding the Ferris wheel situated in the park. But he didn't, and I still had the tickets we bought beforehand. Whoever said I couldn't date myself?

I have always wanted to ride this Ferris wheel. It wasn't that big like the ones in theme parks, and not as bright as them either. But I don't know. There's just something special and different with this one. Whenever I look at it, I felt sad. I'd always imagined that it was someone's pet and it was left alone there in the middle of the park. While watching couples walk around, all it could do was to wait for its master to come back.

Don't worry Mr. Ferris, I'm the same. Let me join you.

Not many people were in queue for the Ferris wheel, and much very rare were single people like me. No, I was probably the only one to ride it alone.

In front of me was a couple who seemed not only perfect for each other, but also familiar. I could only see their backs. And was it just me or were they giving off the cold shoulder towards each other?

Then, it was their turn to ride the car. The staff opened the door for them. The guy touched the girl's elbow gently, as if helping her inside. How sweet. Evidently, I was wrong.

But then, things quite escalated quickly. The girl jumped out of the open car, squeezed herself through the thin space in the line and exited to the entrance. She was intelligent enough to pass through there so that the guy, who was shocked to his feet inside the car, could not follow her.

More surprisingly, the staff mistook me as their companion and pushed me inside the car. I almost landed flat faced on the floor had I not been able to hold on to the seat opposite the guy whom I recognized now.

It seemed he didn't notice me until we were five feet away from the ground. He was still staring at the ghost of the girl who left her. He looked at me then with such grudging eyes.

I gulped. "Hello, Natsume."


Natsume Hyuuga was my classmate. He was famous for his looks and for being the only guy who ever dared and survived to date our school's ice queen Hotaru Imai. He was on the brainy side and his dad was vice mayor of our town. Quite the catch, eh? Many girls thought so. I did, too, but he was too quiet for my own liking. He answered with his stares and he barely talked to people outside his group.

I wouldn't narrate how the Ferris wheel ride went, but here's the thing: it was minutes and minutes of agony. Not only did I realize that I was scared of heights, but Natsume Hyuuga, after seeing me only glared at me for three seconds and then ignored me. I'm thankful, though, because if I talked, I might've vomited all over the place.

After our car reached the ground, Natsume rushed outside. I had to steady myself before I could exit. When I did, I searched the area with my eyes for him. At least I wanted to say sorry that he had to expend his time with me (and maybe ask him what happened because I wanted to know). I could imagine how he felt when Hotaru unexpectedly ran off. I kind of felt the same way.

When it looked like he already left, I gave up searching for him and swayed my towards a nearby bench. I guess we were only classmates at school. He didn't know me outside school.

All of a sudden, someone handed me a cup of lukewarm water. I looked up and it was Natsume.

"You're pale. Drink," he said, handing me the cup.

Although surprised, I smiled at him and thanked him. The warm water indeed calmed my insides that were in after-shock.

"I see you're fine now. Bye." Inserting his hands on his pockets, he turned around and started walking away.

I jumped up and followed him, tugging the back of his shirt just in time before he could take another long stride.

"Wait! I'm sorry if I interrupted, um, earlier. I didn't mean to. But do you mind if I ask you what happened?"

I let go of his shirt as he faced me with an annoyed look. Then he turned around again. "Didn't you see? I got dumped."

Wha-what?

Before he could walk away, I ran in front of him. "I'm sorry! But you see, I recently got dumped, too. No, I did the dumping but because my value was nothing compared to bonfires. What do you say we hang out a bit? Ah—I'm sorry, I'm not trying to make a move. It's just I don't what to do," I said, pointing at myself.

His eyes were clearly asking me if I was stupid.

Ah, I'm so stupid. And desperate. "You know what, forget it. I'm sorry, really. I must be crazy."

"Yeah," Natsume replied, walking ahead of me. Then he stopped. "Aren't you coming?"

"Eh? O-of course!" I ran to keep up with his pace.


A/n: Hello there! I've been in a long hiatus and I wasn't sure if I wanted to come back, but my love for Gakuen Alice and writing wouldn't leave me alone. So here I am. This idea's been bugging since this afternoon and I wanted to write it or else I won't be able to have a peace of mind. I hope you give this a chance, and please tell me what you think of it. :)