Tears were streaming down her face as she stared at the coffin being lowered into the grave. All the classe de 5ème was there; however, some of her classmates weren't paying attention to the service. They were whispering, gossiping, scrolling down on instagram...


Most of them just attended the funeral in order to skip class. "Whose funeral is it anyway?" She heard closing the eyes trying to ignore people's insensitivity. "Shut up, Mia can hear you" It was a feminine voice. "It must've been Mía's fault. Maybe he got too depressed for not being loved back" She recognized Arnaud's voice. "Stop it! Show some respect. Mia's here" Mia fought hard to restrain herself from punching that jerk's face.

Why Dom, why? Whatever it was, it had to be good. What was troubling you to the point of…? As the shovels were filling the grave she realized that those questions will never be answered.

The perfect day is coming soon, Mia. She remembered the words Dominic told her a week ago, with a smile plastered on his face. How could I have known what they meant?

School year was about to end, meaning that she had to cope with gossips, comments and pity stares for one more week. She didn't talk to anyone but Carolina, an exchange student from Spain who became friends with Dominic and her during her stance in Paris.

Last day was finally here. "What will you do in Summer Alex?" Patrick Brosset asked. "I will go to Monaco with my family. What about you?" Carolina and Mia could hear people talking about their plans for summer. Some of them would stay in Paris and others would travel, like Michelle, who was going to spend summer with her friends in the Greek islands. Albert and family would visit his grandparents in Napoli. Daniel was taking a german summer course in Hamburg. Unfortunately for Mia, her plans for summer were "ruined". She had planned to spend the soon to come 14 de Juillet with Dominic, it was a tradition since first year in elementary school, where they first met.

Mia met Dom at lunchtime the first day of school at the École Élémentaire Privée Victor Hugo. He came from the province and other kids mocked him for that.

"Is it taken?" A chubby, brown haired boy timidly asked.

"No, you can sit" Mia gave him a warm smile.

"Thanks. My name is Dominic by the way."

"I'm Mia." She was still curious about his origin. "Where are you from Dominic?"

"I come from Marseille. Dad got a new job here in Paris, so we had to move. I didn't want to. My sister told me that I would never make any friends because the Parisians are rude and don't like people from the province. But you seem nice"

"We can be friends Dominic" She happily said.


"Your sister is not wrong though. Some Parisians are quite rude. But I assure you I'm a nice one" She laughed. "So Dominic, what do you like to do?"

"Football. I'm a fanatic of La Liga, and my favorite team is Barcelona. In the local team I support Olympique de Marseille"

"Well, I'm a Dortmund fan. I really enjoy german football. Dad promised to take me to the Westfalenstadion's south stand once I turn 10".

"Wait, you like football too?!" He was flabbergasted.

"Surprised? Why? because I'm a girl?" She seemed indignant.

"No no, I didn't mean that" He embarrassedly replied. Mia was just teasing though.

"You would've seen your reaction" She laughed. "Friends?" The girl with shoulder length hair extended her hand.

"Friends" The honey eyed boy reached her hand for the handshake.

After that day, they became so close that some people mistook them for a couple, while others just mocked them.

"So Dominic, Mia, when will you two get married?"

"WE ARE NOT DATING!" They always answered.

Now she missed it. She missed the summers they spent in Dominic's grandparents' farm in south France. They were cheese producers and Mia and Dominic enjoyed milking the cows and selling cheese in the local market. She even tried to make her own cheese once, but miserably failed.

She would miss going to Barcelona's or Borussia Dortmund's matches on Toussaint and spring breaks with Dominic and her dad. He liked football too and every time they had the chance to go to any game, they would.

Her father was the CEO of the Banque d'Affaires Internationales in Luxembourg where he owns the 51% of the shares. Yes, he was filthy rich, but he didn't like to show off. Her parents had divorced when she was in École Maternelle. The reason: a love affair. However, at that time she didn't really understand. After the divorce, she stayed in Paris with her mother and his father moved to Luxembourg. Even though they were not living under the same roof, they were really close.

She spent the last three days locked in her bedroom, laying on her bed just wondering why. Suddenly, she heard someone knocking.


"LEAVE ME ALONE, JULIA" She shouted at her nanny.

"Your mother is here."

Maman ?, back already? How long I've been here?

"Mia, ma chérie, are you ok?

Mia took a deep breath and made an effort to get out of bed. She reached the door and opened it to find her mother on the other side. Eleonora Ferrandiz had been invited to a fashion event in New York in order to present her new summer collection. Usually Mia would have joined, but given the circumstances, she preferred to skip this one. Eleonora Ferrandiz was an Haute couture fashion designer born in Malaga, Spain. She was famous across Europe, mainly in the western.

"Maman!" Mia hugged her mother tightly. Tears forming in her eyes.

"Ma chérie, don't do this to yourself" She stroked her child's hair. "Hey, look at me" She cupped Mia's face. "This was not your fault. No matter what people say. It's not" Mia just nodded, her eyes red and swollen.

"Now, take a bath and change those stinky clothes. I'll be waiting for you in the dining room." And so did Mia. Her mother was right, she hadn't showered for the last three days and hadn't realized how smelly she was. After the warm bath she felt renewed and decided to wear a simple jumper blue dress for dinner.

"Thank you Julia, it was good" Eleonora replied.

Mia stood from her seat and hugged Julia from behind. "Thank you Julia. The chocolate pudding was my favorite"

"You're welcome Mia" She turned and hugged her back.

"I'm sorry" The 13 year old regretted the way she treated her nanny for the past days.

"Don't worry my child" Julia had been working with them since Mia was born. She was her friend and confident, and basically raised her since her parents traveled a lot due to their jobs.

Eleonora looked at the scene from the table. She felt content and please for Mia's new mood. After the tragedy it was the first time her daughter smiled.

"Sorry for interrupting, but I have some news" Eleonora caught Mía's and Julia's attention.

"What is it mom?"

"I know this might be hard to swallow, but I can't sleep on it anymore."

"You're scaring me"

"I will undertake a new project and I feel I need new inspiration, so I discussed with Giancarlo and we both concluded that it may be a good idea to move…" Giancarlo was Eleonora's right hand.

"That would be great mom, where is it? The Greek Islands or maybe Barcelona?" Mia excitedly interrupted.

"No, I was thinking somewhere a little bit farther"

"Like New York?"

"Nope, more like Japan"

"JAPAN? Mom, that's on the other side of the world!"

"I know, I know and we won't move unless you want to"

"No, I didn't say that, it's just…, it'll be a huge change. And what about dad? Or how will I attend to a Japanese school? I don't speak Japanese"

"Right, your father" Eleonora rolled the eyes. Her marriage with Pierre Morand didn't end so well. "You still can visit him in vacations, and for the second, you can enroll at a Japanese Language academy for the next eight months. You still have time because the school year in Japan starts in April."

"You think I'll learn Japanese enough to attend to school in eight months?"

"Ma chérie, you learnt german, I don't think Japanese will be that difficult"

You must be kidding…

"I already told you Mia, we won't move if you don't want to." Eleonora stood up from her seat, hugged her daughter and placed a kiss on her cheek.

"Mom, wait" Mia stopped her mother from leaving the room. "I will do it. I think is the best for me too and thus I will be able to write a new chapter in my life" She said lowering her gaze.

"I have news Dom" Mia stood in front of her best friend's grave. "I'm moving to Japan. Can you believe it?" A small smiled formed on her lips. "I wasn't sure at first, but I think is the best for me." She made a pause and took a deep breath. "Please don't be upset. I know Paris is our city, our home and it'll always be our place" Her eyes became watery. "Mom told me you're an angel now, and that you will always protect me. I believe her Dominic, even though I don't think I deserve it" She was about to turned to leave but she had something to add. "I loved you Dominic, not just like friends. When people mocked us about being a couple, I deeply wished it was true. I'm sorry for not telling you when I had the chance. I'm so sorry, please forgive me" Her tears couldn't be held back anymore.

"Over here Mia" She heard Carolina's voice and turned to see her waving at her.

"I'm sorry I'm late Caro." They sat at the little table in the terrace.

"I just arrived 5 minutes ago, don't worry"

"When are you going back to Spain?"

"This weekend. When school ended, my parents thought we needed to spend time together as family, thus they decided to come to Paris. We've visited like almost every museum in the city, if I see one more sculpture I promise I… I don't know what I would do, but I'm tired of it" They both laughed.

"At least you can spend time with your family. My parents can't stand each other."

"Yeah, I still remember your birthday last year"

"I won't be able to erase that from my mind"

"So, Japan, huh? I've heard Japanese men are not good lovers, you sure will miss France"

"Really? That's all you can think about?" Mia giggled.

"Why do you think I came to France in the first place?"

"How can you be so shallow?"

"Oh shut up" They laughed.

"Picture time" Mia searched for her flamingo pink instax inside her bag. She didn't like wearing purses, she found backpacks way more comfortable.

Planes landing and taking off. Families and friends being reunited and couples saying goodbyes. It was at the airport when Mia realized there was no going back, no returning point, no time to regret. Her brother Victor and his family had come from Lyon to say goodbye. He had married Camille Rogier and had two children, the twins Julien and Sophia. Well, actually he got Camille pregnant when they were 22 and six months after giving birth they got married. Victor was a chocolatier and Camille a pastry chef. They met at the Academy of Gastronomy and decided to move to Lyon after graduation.

"I can't believe mom and dad are in the same place at the same time. The apocalypse is about to come." Mia whispered to Victor.

"Stop saying those things"

"But it's true Vico. I hope they don't kill each other here" He let out a chuckle.

"It's almost time." He watched the time.

"Don't remind me" They hugged tightly.

"Enjoy this new journey Mia and behave, don´t give mom any trouble" Mia nodded.

She said goodbye to her brother and his family. She would miss them badly, mainly Julien and Sophia. "Promise me you'll come and visit"

"We will Mia"

"Wait. I want a photo with you two and the kids"

Now it was her father's turn. "Dad, I will miss you. I promise I will come as soon as I can" She didn't want to let go her father. "Take care my sweet child. I love you"

"Love you dad" Before departing she took a selfie with her father.

The flight was smooth but the jet lag was going to kill her. It was too hot and humid for her. Maybe Japan wasn't a good idea. The taxi ride seemed eternal. Her mother had told her that they would not be living in Tokyo, but Kawasaki, a city located in the Kanagawa Prefecture. "Aren't you excited Mia? I know you'd love our new apartment." Eleonora enthusiastically said. Mia just wanted a bed and sleep for at least twenty hours straight. They finally arrived at their destination. Mia stared in awe at the huge building that stood up in front of her. It was modern looking, way different from the building she lived in Paris. She noticed the sea was close too and there was a park two blocks away. Maybe Japan was a good idea.

The apartment was modernly furnished. Everything was brand new and looked sophisticated. Wooden floor, white walls, high ceiling; clean, straight lines. She liked the way silver and purple combined. She had to admit her mother had a good taste.

"This time you really impressed me mom, I admit"

"Thanks sweetie, I'm glad you like it. Now go and check your bedroom"

It wasn't as big as her room in Paris but it has enough space. Wooden floor and white walls too, built-in lights in the ceiling forming a patron. Her bed was queen sized and she had a ceiling hanging chair in her own room. She thought that was the best part until she checked her custom closet full with new clothes, shoes and jewelry. She continued the tour and found the bathroom. She had her own bathtub and a fully equipped corner shower.

Mia ran to find her mother sitting in the living room. She just couldn't hide her excitement and pounce hugged her mother. "Mom, you seriously are the best! I mean it. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. A million times thank you."

"Anything for my little girl" Mia let go her mother and sat right next to her.

Eight months past in the blink of an eye. Mia enrolled at the Japanese Academy where she learnt the language enough to attend a Japanese school. In the meantime, she made friends from all over the world. She also sent pictures to her father and brother of the things she found interesting, tried the famous Japanese cheesecake and sent a picture to Camille. You should really try this Cam, she typed in the caption. There were so strange flavored ice-creams too. Once, she took Julia with her to an ice cream shop and tried the wasabi flavored one. Wasabi and ice cream together wasn't a good match.

It was already March 31st. Classes would start the following day, and with that the cherry blossom season. On her way home she found a French bakery and felt like having Pain au chocolat before dinner. Her mother didn't like her to eat too much sugar, but she just couldn't say no to the best invention the French had come up with.

She ordered two pieces of bread. I hope mom doesn't find out. Her mouth was watering by then, but all the tables were taken. Her eyes quickly scanned the place and found a bright red-pink haired teenage boy sitting alone in the corner table.

"Ano… Is this seat taken?" She knew her Japanese wasn't the most fluent, but she could make herself be understood.

"No, you can take it." His eyes came back to the strawberry cake in front of him. Do I look that creepy when I eat pain au chocolat? Mia wondered.

"Thanks" Mia replied and took a seat. "Is it good?" She asked him about the cake.

"The best in town" He answered as he took the fork into his mouth. "By the way, where are you from?" He bluntly asked.

"I'm from France, but I moved here last summer. I'm actually starting school tomorrow"

"So am I. Where?"

"Let me check" Mia didn't remember exactly the name of her new school, but her mother promised it wasn't far from home. "Here it is" She said as she scrolled up the Whatsapp conversation she had with her mother. "Rikkai Dai Fuzoku Chuu. Have you heard about it?" The boy almost spilled the water.

"You kidding. That's the school I attend." What a coincidence. "I'll start my second year of Junior High"

"No way. Me too." Was that just a coincidence?

The boy stood up from the table. "Well, I guess it's time to go home"

"Yeah. I'll take my leave too. Dinner will be served soon".

They exited the local together. "Well, I guess I see you tomorrow then" He said placing a hand behind the head and smiling at her. "I'm Marui Bunta by the way"

"My name is Mia." She double cheek kissed Marui. "Enchantée, Bunta. See you tomorrow" And with that she turned and left leaving him startled. What the hell was that? And she just called me by my first name? He blushed at the thought and rubbed one of his cheeks.