The day, September 13th, a Friday. The event, a soccer game, Odaiba versus Saitama, and the score, 4 to 4 with only 2 minutes left. Sora Takenouchi sat alongside her handsome, blonde boyfriend, Yamato Ishida, cheering on their closest friend.
A petite chocolate eyed boy with a head of fluffy chestnut hair raced down the field, weaving in and out of other players. As he dribbled left, Taichi Yagami saw an open shot and took the chance, knowing the game was about to end. The ball flew only inches out of the Saitama goal keeper's reach and made contact with the back of the net as the game ended.
"Odaiba wins!" an announcement sounded, and the supporters of the school clapped and yelled victoriously.
His team mates congratulated him on making the tie breaking and winning goal, and Taichi then looked up to see his tall best friend and the auburn haired girl he had known since playing soccer in elementary school pushing through the crowd towards him.
"Good going Tai!" Matt said, high fiving his friend. Their hands remained locked for a moment and Tai flashed his classic grin as their fingers left each other.
"Congratulations Tai," Sora addressed him, smiling sweetly.
"I think we might make it to the playoffs this year," Tai told them and started packing up his equipment.
Sora, Matt, and Tai had been inseparable friends for over five years and were now in high school. They had struggled together the year before, studying for high school entrance exams but all managed to pass with decent scores.
There was only one problem with the relationship between these three teenagers. Two years earlier, Sora had approached Matt and revealed to him that she had feelings for him. He asked her to be his girlfriend shortly after. Sometimes Sora wondered if the fact that the pair was dating made Tai feel left out, like a third wheel. Tai however, never showed any outward signs of being uncomfortable with the situation, he was a very friendly and outgoing boy.
Sora was glad he wasn't bothered, for even though Tai had known her longer, and she would never want to lose his friendship, she loved Matt deeply and knew that if she had to choose between them someday, her heart would make her stay with him. She hoped she would never have to make a choice like that.
"Woo, I must stink," Tai said, pouring the remaining contents of his water bottle over his head.
"Yeah man, you're sweating like crazy," Matt remarked, backing away and holding his nose but still smiling.
"Oh shut up!" The brunette pushed Matt forward and giggled. That was one odd thing about Tai that Sora had noticed. Though he usually acted macho, playing sports and such, he never laughed, he always giggled.
The two boys horsed around for a short time, until Sora looked at her watch and noticed she was late getting home.
"Matt, I need to get home now," she called to him, Matt and Tai having run halfway across the soccer field chasing each other.
"Ok, Sora!" he shouted back. She stepped over and picked up her purse off the wooden bleachers, and as she turned around, she thought for a split second she had seen Matt whispering something into Tai's ear. Her brain only half registered this observation, however, the thought of getting home before her mother became angry was more important at the moment.
He approached and took her hand upon arrival. The blonde shot a glance back at Tai, still across the soccer field, and they departed for Sora's home.
Long, slender fingers dance tenderly over an olive toned chest, which heaves up and down as each gasp of air is breathed in deeply. Lids close over two dark eyes as the owner feels a hot tongue moving up his neck and a sucking at the corner of his ear. Tan lips meet ivory and the two mouths taste each other, savoring the mix of sweat and sweetness.
A whisper, "Stop..."
"What's the matter?"
"We can't keep doing this, she's going to find out sooner or later..."
"I've tried to tell her, but it would break her heart."
"She loves you."
"I know..." The azure orbs glance off into the darkness. A hand reaches up and runs through silky blonde hair. Another kiss, then the pale lips roam lower again, long eyelashes dusting over the creamy tan skin. Bodies pressing closer, the sheets wind around them and gentle thrashing knocks pillows to the floor. Tall but slight, the pale figure feels soft bucking against his hips from his partner and cannot resist any longer.
Sora looked up from her lunch and saw a little brunette running across the cafeteria, his uniform wrinkled and jacket unbuttoned, and tattered notebooks almost falling out of his arms.
Matt smiled as Taichi sat himself down at the table across from them, panting and slamming his books down on the table.
"Sorry I'm so late," he said. The three ate lunch together every day.
"What happened?" Matt asked, taking a sip of soda.
"I fell asleep in biology again and my teacher was giving me a lecture about how to become a successful young man," he answered, stealing some food out of Matt's lunch and munching on it.
"Your biology teacher is an idiot," the blonde said, grabbing the straw of his soda out of Tai's mouth and taking another sip himself.
"You two don't mind sharing a straw?" Sora remarked suddenly.
"Huh?" Matt raised an eyebrow and Tai gave her a confused puppy look.
"You act as close as family," she said. Matt looked as if he was about to say something in reply, but Tai burped loudly and distracted him.
"You're such a slob," he said, finishing off the last of the soda.
"Why thank you," Tai answered, giving a cheeky grin. "Oh by the way," he added, "are you two going to the dance tonight?"
"Do you have a date, Tai?" Sora inquired.
"Um, no..." He said uneasily.
Matt then gave Tai a look which Sora could not quite determine the meaning of. She at first assumed it was sympathy, but for a brief moment, the blue eyed boy looked almost pained.
"I guess I'll just go alone," were the next words Tai spoke.
"No, you can hang out with Sora and me," Matt told him.
"Are you sure you want me around?" he asked, glancing over at Sora.
"Of course," Matt answered before Sora could even speak. She would have much rather enjoyed a romantic night of dancing with her boyfriend, but did not want to push her friend away. She nodded her head in agreement and then began to wonder why Tai had never had a girlfriend of his own. In fact, she had never even seen him with a girl, maybe he was too busy worrying about soccer to be interested yet. She would have continued this train of thought if the bell for lunch to end had not rung at that time.
"This sucks, I barely got to eat anything!" Tai moaned.
"What, half my lunch wasn't enough?" Matt said as they got up to leave.
The trio exited that cafeteria and split up in different directions for their next class.
"See you in History, Matt!" Tai called after him and hurried down the hall.
"I'll meet you after school," Sora said as they departed.
"Alright, later Sora."
She tucked her orange highlighted hair behind her ear and made her way slowly down the center hallway towards Algebra class, with her back to the lunch room they had just exited. She held her books to her chest and looked ahead, never seeing her companions meet again at the intersection. The two boys watched as she walked away and then left for a destination in which neither of them was supposed to be.
The door of an unused classroom locks from the inside, the shades drawn, the shadow cast over the desks makes them resemble a graveyard. A disheveled uniform blazer is cast aside, kisses fly back and forth, ivory lips meet the hollow of their lover's throat. The athlete's body drops to the floor and is soon pulled into a narrow lap. Musician's hands toy with his hair and he feels the tip of a tongue run roughly along the roof of his mouth.
"What if we get caught, I've already gotten detention once this year."
"If your teacher asks anything I'll cover for you, don't worry."
Lips lock again, a soft purr comes from the back of one figure's throat. A pair of palms run over muscular thighs, massaging tenderly. A low moan is heard from deep within as a zipper goes down and wandering fingers touch forbidden places. Their behavior is taboo, and even more, dishonest. The trust of a certain mahogany eyed girl would be shattered forever if she only knew.
Friday evening, the night of the dance, and Matt and Sora had greeted Tai and their computer whiz friend, Koushiro Izumi, better known as Izzy, outside the school a short time before. The theme of the dance was 'Flashback to the 80's' and Matt had been complaining since they arrived.
"This is the crappiest music I've ever heard," he groaned, blowing a few strands of his long blonde bangs out of his eyes.
Tai leaned over to him and poked him in the cheeks with his fingertips.
"It's just supposed to be fun," he said.
Matt rolled his eyes.
Sora had been waiting for Matt to ask her to dance, but so far he had just sat against the wall between Tai and Izzy. She decided she would make the offer to dance when the next slow song started playing. At this point, she stood up from her chair, feeling the need to go to the bathroom.
"I'm going to go use the ladies room," she said, picking up her purse. "I'll be right back."
"Okay Sora," Matt replied, and she walked off.
After taking care of her business, the tennis player stood in front of the mirror in the rest room, washing her hands. She looked at her reflection and thought to herself how she and Matt had been spending less time together lately. He had even cancelled their date the previous weekend, saying he had already made plans, and apologized fervently. In the past weeks, whenever they spoke, he seemed to have a wayward stare fixed on something besides her.
She dried her hands and left the bathroom, heading back towards the gym. As she was about to enter, Izzy stepped in her path.
"Uh... Sora, maybe we should have some punch or something!" he said, sounding nervous.
"I'm not thirsty right now," she told him, "Thanks anyway Izzy." She moved past him and entered the gym.
"I wouldn't go in there if I were her..." Izzy mumbled to himself.
She saw that a strobe light had been turned on, making it hard for her to see where she was going, and heard Cindy Lauper blasting from the speakers. Sora then noticed a group of her classmates laughing and pushed past them to see the source of the amusement.
There were Matt and Tai dancing, quite provocatively in fact, to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun in the center of the gym. Though the pair were well known for fooling around like this, she blushed and tried to hide her face. Then she heard something horrible from a girl standing next to her.
"That is the gayest thing I've ever seen."
Sora became so embarrassed, everyone knew she was Matt's girlfriend, what would they think of her now? Just as she was about to leave and go get something to drink to calm herself down, she noticed Matt's hands gripping tightly to Tai's hips. But, no, as they turned she could see he was not holding the smaller boy's hips at all, but seemed to be groping his rear end. They danced and their hips began grinding against each other. Even with the strobe light flashing, she could see the blonde grinning seductively down at his dark skinned partner. They touched with the subtle passion of two people that had been in an embrace many times before. It hit her now that this was no joke.
She gasped at the sight, covered her hands with her mouth, and ran out of the gymnasium before she began to cry. She was choking back tears as she left the school and headed for home, with only the light of the street lamps to keep her company.
When Izzy saw her depart, he hurried back into the gym and found Matt and Tai laughing and heading for the refreshment stand, the song was over.
The blonde looked up at him.
"What's the matter, Izzy?"
"I think you should know that Sora just ran out of the school and she appeared to be in tears."
"What!?" he shouted.
"Apparently your dancing didn't go over well."
Matt and Tai looked at each other for a moment, in somewhat of a panic.
"Izzy, we were just playing around!" Tai said.
"Well something made her run out of here." He folded his arms and looked at the two, trying to analyze the situation. He had been around them when Sora was not, he saw they way they looked at each other. Even when they did nothing more than brush against each other, there was a certain intimacy. He had wondered for a long time if there was something more than just friendship between Matt and Tai.
"Damn it..." Matt sighed and looked down to the floor. "We need to go after her and tell her... tell her we were just joking."
"Matt..." Tai placed his hand on the tall musician's shoulder. "We have to tell her the truth."
Sora stared into the mirror above her dresser as she sat, with no lights on, no one was home. She was alone. She wondered what she had done that would make Yamato want to be with someone else, and worst of all, another boy. She never imagined that her boyfriend would be taken away from her by Taichi, her best friend.
She looked at herself, she wore little makeup, but the eyeliner she had put on to make herself look nice for the dance was smeared from crying. What was wrong, was she not beautiful enough for him? The girl examined the image before her. She had small breasts, was thin but her hips seemed too wide for her body. Her clothes and hairstyle looked plain to her now. Maybe her hair was too short, maybe she was too tall or too tan. Many reasons ran through her mind, there must have been something wrong with her to cause this.
"How could he do this to me..." She began to sob again, draping her upper body over the desk, knocking objects to the carpet in the process.
"Did he ever really love me?"
The teenage girl stared off into the darkness with half lidded eyes for a long time, thinking of all the things she loved about Yamato. His eyes sparkled so brilliantly in the sun during the summer. When she was sad, his honesty always seemed to make her feel better, and he never failed in making someone laugh when they needed it. He could be a perfect gentleman when the occasion called for it, and swear like a sailor when something didn't go his way. Always fiercely loyal to those he truly cared for, but would cast aside anyone else without a second thought. During good times, he was laid back, playful, and when times were bad she knew she could go running to him and he would be there.
Then, she realized, that when times were hard for Yamato he did not go running to her at all. He would close himself off, tell her not to worry about it and give her a kiss to make her forget. When he needed someone to confide in, it had always been Tai.
When the three of them were together he would keep an arm formally around her shoulder, but still seem drawn to the brunette. They looked at each other with such longing, she could hardly believe she'd hadn't noticed it before. This was why her boyfriend had been distancing himself from her more and more. He did not, and could not love her.
"They've been in love this whole time, and I never knew..." She said to no one in particular. She began to cry more as this vague reality suddenly solidified and she was sure of the truth.
At that moment she heard the doorbell ring, quickly drying her eyes and attempting to make herself look halfway decent, as she knew who it must be. She walked slowly through the apartment, her breathing still uneven from the heaving sobs of a few minutes before. She opened the door and saw the tall, slim blonde standing there, with a tousle of brown hair peeking over his shoulder. It seemed Taichi had come as well.
"Sora... I have some explaining to do," he started. Before he could finish though, Sora did what any level headed sixteen year old girl would do in the same situation, she slapped him across the face. Tai appeared rather shocked, but said nothing.
Matt brought his hand up to the fresh red mark on his cheek and sighed.
"I guess I deserved that..."
"Sora can we at least come in?" Tai asked.
"Come in..." she said softly, and sat down on the edge of an armchair. The two boys seated themselves on the love seat opposite the coffee table and a silence fell over the room.
"How long has this been going on?" she asked after what seemed like an eternity of saying nothing.
Matt ran his hand through his hair and looked away, not knowing what to say in reply.
"Sora, try to understand," Tai said.
"Try to understand!?" She shot up off the armchair, her usually calm and reserved attitude gone. "My boyfriend is gay and has been cheating on me with my best friend and that's all you have to say!?"
Tai seemed somewhat taken aback, Sora very rarely even raised her voice, he had never seen her so furious.
"I didn't want to hurt you, ok!?" Matt yelled suddenly. When he yelled however, it seemed more of a roar. Thought delicate and slim, he could become almost frightening when angry, the shadow of his overworked, divorced father in his face.
"So instead of just hurting me with the truth you lied to me all this time!?"
"Don't you think it's hard enough for two guys to be in love and having to keep it a secret?" They were in each other's faces now, Tai stayed sitting on the love seat.
"You didn't seem too concerned with keeping it secret tonight..." she said, turning her back on him and folding her arms.
"We really were just fooling around at first, but we got carried away," he said. He placed his hand on her shoulder and she began to weep at his touch.
"I thought you loved me..." she whispered, her eyes overflowing.
"I'm sorry," he said, removing his hand and moving back over towards Tai. "I can't change what I am."
"I was hoping you'd come here and tell me this was all just a big mistake."
"Well I can't." He sunk back down to the love seat and Tai shifted uneasily, listening to Matt and Sora argue making him uncomfortable.
"I guess a sixteen year old boy never asking his girlfriend to have sex should have clued me in..." She said, knowing they rarely did more than kiss. Matt felt somewhat ashamed hearing this, he and Tai had made love many times without her knowledge. Tai had now taken to watching his feet very intently and not saying anything. Sora sat back on the edge of the armchair and covered her face. Matt watched, but did not know what else to do. What else good he do besides say he was sorry?
"We'd better go..." he sighed. "It's getting kind of late." He stood and Tai followed suit. When the blonde had walked out the door, Tai turned and looked back at Sora again. He had known her so long, but had never seen her cry like this.
"See you at school, Sora..." he said. He exited slowly, giving her time to respond, but she did not.
Then, they were gone.
She walked to the window and saw them on the sidewalk below. They talked for a moment, Tai glanced back at the apartment, and Matt kissed him on the forehead. As they walked away together, she began to feel disgusted. How dare Matt kiss someone after what he had just done to her.
She walked back into her room, and stood before her mirror, staring. Why had this happened to her, she couldn't find a reason. She really had loved him, more than anything. Pleading would do nothing now, she somehow knew in her heart that the two boys would never leave each other. So what could she do? Her happiness had been lost. Where sadness had been, rage started to build. Her reflection was glaring back at her, the girl who had not been good enough. Ready to scream, and her hatred building, she grabbed a ceramic music box from her dresser, Matt had given it to her. She swung it with all her fury at the pathetic image of herself in the mirror. It, and the music box, shattered into a thousand pieces.
"He'll be sorry..." she sobbed, silently swearing revenge on the boy who had broken her heart.