For the first time in two years, Hodoka tasted the saltiness of the sea-wind splattering against his face. Ever since he was dragged back to the island, he pretty much became a prisoner. His movements were confined to home and school. He wasn't allowed to go anywhere without permission from his parents, and police were assigned to watch his every move. Things were different now. Yesterday, he celebrated his 18th birthday. He was now a free man. Free to escape the small confines of this island, free to live out his own life as he saw fit. It had seemed like he waited an eternity for this day to finally come.
He glanced across the ocean horizon. His eyes could see nothing, but in his heart, he could see the dazzling skyline of Tokyo. It was a place that had captivated him ever since he was a small child. A bustling metropolis, a place of endless opportunities. Sure... it could also a dangerous place, filled with unknowns, but still.
As the horn of the cruise ship blared throughout the air, Hodoka turned back one last time to look at the island. Despite growing up here, he felt absolutely no connection to the land he was about to turn his back on. He had made up his mind. His parents chided his decision to return to Tokyo. "The place is flooded now! What are you going to do there? It's dangerous! You don't know anyone there!" Hoisting his bag up onto his shoulder, he began to walk down to the pier. He would rather live in the "dangerous real world" as a free man and be given the freedom to fail than live as a prisoner in a "safe haven", robbed of the opportunity to succeed. After all, it was in his name. "Hodoka 帆高". To sail high, far away from this place.
He zipped up his jacket and pulled his hood over his face. He technically didn't have to do that anymore as an adult, free from the shackles that had bound him to the island, but old habits from his time as a runaway die hard. He handed over his ticket and stepped onto the deck of the cruise ship, his ride out of here, without another word.
There weren't many people on the ship, so he was able to find a peaceful little corner to sit in without much trouble. Before he sat down however, he patted his pocket to make sure that "the thing" was still there. It was. Sliding down into his seat, he took it out. A ring. He had polished it tirelessly for two years so it would still look as pristine as it did when he first purchased it back at the LUMINE.
He attempted to stifle a yawn as the cruise ship slowly began to pull away from the harbor. There was much he needed to think about when he arrived in Tokyo again, but none of that was as important as the person in his mind.
He needed to see her again.