I opened my eyes.
Everything was a blur.
I didn't hear anything.
I was laying down, on some sort of bed. Not moving an inch.
My head stung.
My arm was shivering with pain.
My vision didn't get any better.
I could barely see anything.
Only the passing of bright, eye stinging lights.
I could feel myself moving.
Moving really fast.
I tried to refocus my eyes to escape my blurred world of lights but my head stung even more.
My ears twitched.
Suddenly I could start to hear.
I could hear the rattle of four wheels going down a narrow hallway.
I could hear the shouting of many.
I could here the banging of double doors echo through out the narrow hallways I was practically flying through.
And all this was unfortunately all too familiar.
As if I was in this situation a million agonizing times.
I was in a hospital.
"Docter! His eyes are partially open!"
I could feel a presence get closer to my face as I was being moved.
"Ura…ma-san! Urash..-s..! Can….hear ….e!" The doctor's voice faded in and out of my hearing.
But when ever I heard him my head hurt even more. As if the sound waves were tearing my brain apart.
I tried to respond back.
I couldn't do anything but hear and see the seemingly infinite spots of light pass my blurred vision.
"Da..n! We h..e to oper…e .ow! Nurse get clear a room."
"But his head was hit lightly! Even if he does have this illness it is minor!"
"No God d..n it! That is not …t I am wor… about! The b… fragments that b…. in his bra.. is c..sing major me…l pro..ems! His …. are open b.. he can't respond at all. Not even with the t..hing of a hand."
I couldn't understand a word he was saying.
I tried to ignore his stuttering voice to ease the pain.
It wasn't working. My head felt like it would explode at any given time.
I could feel another banging of double doors.
Then I stopped.
My hearing got better.
"Okie we move him on three. Be extra careful! He is extremely fragile!"
I couldn't feel the many hands grasping me gently. But I knew they were there.
"One, two three now!"
I could only assume by experience they were putting me to a new bed.
My head hurt more by assuming that.
But my whole body started to feel like it was about to shut down.
My already blurred vision started to twirl in an endless abyss of black and blue.
My breathing starting to become eerily calm.
Everyone's voices started to become mute.
Soon I couldn't hear anything.
My consciousness slowly, but surely started to wane into either a deep sleep or an eternal one...
I never knew…
I didn't care…
I just wanted the stinging of my head to be gone..
And within a split-second it was.
I started to sleep.
Everything around me was white.
I couldn't see the end, nor could I see the floor I was standing on.
I curiously paced around. Looking around for any abnormality/
There was none.
"What the hell is this!"
My voice echoed forever through out the room I was in.
I jolted and looked behind me.
There stood a cute five year old. Her bangs of hair covered a portion of her shy eyes as she approached me.
A plush toy in one hand and a piece of sweet bread on the other.
She reached me and handed me the sweet bread.
I gladly took it.
"Do you still remember our promise Onii-chan…?"
"Of course I do…"
I handed her a piece of the sweet bread and she gladly accepted it to start munching on it right away.
I slowly started eat my half till-
"Do you remember our promise…"
I jolted again.
Turned around and my eyes widened.
There stood another set of girls.
Two to be exact.
One had a jean overall over her red stripped shirt while the other, smaller girl had a kimono on.
Both of them extremely cute and innocent.
Both of them staring their round eyes at me.
I narrowed my own eyes to figure out their names.
Both of them nodded.
Now I remembered them. I remembered the promise in the sandbox also.
All three of the girls instantly jumped taking me by complete surprise and tackled me onto the floor.
A grassy floor.
I looked around to see that the white that seemingly went on forever had been replaced with a more familiar setting.
The park near the Hinata-sou.
I looked back at the three girls.
Their small hands were on my chest, and their heads were hovering over my own.
All of them happy, and smiling.
"Don't ever forget our promises…ok?"
"Promise?" the three said in cute unison.
Before I knew it, All three little girls leaned down and kissed me on my cheek. Their smiles ever so wide.
"Remember…don't forget..and if you die, you will forget...so don't die.."
And everything went black.
Haruka was still sitting down on a sofa in the main room of the Hinata-sou.
Not smoking, but frozen.
She had been there since I had left the dorm. Everyone else had moved on. Not talking as much as they usually did that morning.
The atmosphere inside the dorm was as if someone precious to them all had died. Dark. Gloomy. Depressing.
The sad patting sounds of the rain adding to the atmosphere.
Haruka hated it. She always hated this tension looming above the Hinata-sou like as if death was laughing around them with a mist of worry and anxiety.
Haruka closed her eyes and sighed.
"Stupid stubborn Keitaro…"
A couple minutes passed of complete silence.
A cute Shinobu came strolling in to the main room.
She froze at the sight of Haruka sitting.
She cleared her throat.
"Everyone! It's time for lunch!"
Her small shout actually woke up the depressed dorm. And soon the familiar sound of footsteps stampeding down towards the kitchen could be heard around the living room.
Haruka gazed over to Shinobu's apron wearing body.
"Um...Haruka, would you like to join us." She said hesitantly.
Haruka stared but soon stood up.
A warmer yet still emotionless face on.
"Um..ano I'm sorry about Sempai leaving and-"
Haruka was now in front of Shinobu. A hand outstretched on Shinobu's shoulder.
"Sure why not. Wouldn't want to miss any of Shinobu's magnificent food wouldn't I?"
Shinobu's face soon lit up with a smile and nodded.
Shinobu turned around but-
The phone started to ring. Breaking the atmosphere between the two.
Haruka stared at the phone.
Shinobu did the same.
A couple of rings soon passed.
Summoning enough courage Haruka shuffled towards the phone.
She reached out and put the metal device to her ear.
Shinobu stood there, still like a stone statue. Looking at Haruka's face for any sign of change.
There was none yet.
"Hello. Hinata residence. May I help you.."
By this time everyone had walked downstairs. All of them silent, and looking at Haruka with curiosity.
"Yes, I'm Haruka…What do you need."
"The hospital Keitaro? What!"
Haruka's eyes widen. Her heart practically skipping a beat or two. The same with everyone in the room.
Shinobu's eyes on Haruka.
Naru and Motoko both clenching and unclenching their nervous fists.
Suu and Kitsune both staring along side Shinobu.
The words coming from the other line was always the same when Haruka heard it. Always the same words coming out from the doctor's mouth and into her ears. But even though they were the same words, it didn't mean she got used to it. In reality this was the first time she heard this kind of call for two years.
When Keitaro left for studying on his own for the first exam he took for Toudai. Haruka wasn't responsible for him anymore. So she never heard of any other incidents. She never received any calls concerning Keitaro because she wasn't under her care. And she worried about him every single day. It was the worst
But now she was. Keitaro informed his mother that he would be coming here, so she would be the person who would receive a phone call first if anything would have happened. And this was even worst…..
"O-okie..I'll be right there…"
Haruka's face was deadpanned by the time she hung up the phone. But none of the girls saw that. The girls didn't have a view of her face right now. Only the back of her head.
"Is…..is everything okay Haruka-san!" Motoko meekly said. Still in her training Gi.
Haruka didn't turn around. She didn't know why.
Everyone's hearts missed a beat once again.
"Go eat lunch…I won't be joining you girls today…I'm sorry."
With that plainly said, Haruka reached into her pocket and took out a cigarette. Placed it in her mouth and with her other hand lit it with a lighter.
"Don't wait up for me.."
Haruka took a drag from her cigarette and started to walk out of the Hinata-sou.
Not showing the face she had on. Not showing the single tear streaming down her white cheek.
The front door opened and closed leaving the girls alone in the room.
"Come on…let's eat lunch it doesn't concern us…"
Shinobu glared at Naru. But soon eased off.
With heavy feet and mind sets all of them headed for the kitchen. For lunch.
Haruka sat in her car.
The rain not letting up.
The cigarette still in her mouth as she drove her car unto an intersection. A red light.
The radio was off and the windshield wipers turned on every now and then.
Haruka just stared forward.
Smoking her cigarette.
A young Haruka was strolling down the sidewalks. An umbrella over her head keeping her dry from the rain.
But also keeping a young and cute Keitaro safe from the rain as well.
Haruka playfully whacked Keitaro with the handle of her umbrella.
"Don't call me that. I'm only fourteen. That title makes me sound really old.."
Young Keitaro rubbed the top of his head, and smiled.
"That's better. Now what do you need?"
"Why do you smoke!"
Haruka stopped. Shocked at her nephew.
"You got in trouble yesterday, by Mother. You were caught smoking by mother last night and you two fought…"
"You heard everything…?"
"Not everything, just when you two shouted loud enough."
"Why don't you quit Haruka-chan! "
Haruka gazed down towards the sidewalk. "I can do what ever I want to my body Keitaro…"
"I heard that smoking can kill you! I don't want you to die Haruka-chan!"
Haruka's anger rising. The same anger that was in the fight between her and her sister. "Keitaro be quiet!"
Keitaro grabbed unto Haruka's school uniform.
"No! I don't want you to die Haruka-chan?"
Haruka's anger rose to its peak and her mind became clouded. Her face scrunched up into a fitting rage.
Swiftly she rose a violent hand upwards and prepared for a smack to Keitaro's face. The fact that the mere blow to the cheek may ruin his face or kill him was out of her train of thought.
But not Keitaro's.
Keitaro winced and prepared for the smack and closed his eyes.
Haruka had stopped her self.
Her hand still raised.
Her face lightening up.
She looked at her hand, and back to the young Keitaro.
Keitaro had his eyes closed and a horrified look on his face.
Realization hit her like a ton of bricks.
"Wh-what was I about to do!" She said horrified. Tears starting to come out of her eyes.
Haruka knelt down, dropped her umbrella and hugged Keitaro gently.
Keitaro opened his eyes and slowly hugged back.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry!" she repeated. Sobbing as she rocked back and forth with Keitaro in her warm wet arms.
The rain soaked both of them.
Their umbrella by their side.
Haruka's face distorted to anger and she took the cigarette out of her mouth.
She opened the driver's window besides her, threw the piece of burning tobacco out onto the rain and closed the window instantly.
Haruka sighed…defeated and worn out.
"Damn it Keitaro…you better live through this…"
The street light turned green.
And she sped off…
Back in the Hinata-sou…
Everyone was sitting around the now lit fireplace in the main room.
Some on the sofa, some on the floor. But all of them extremely anxious. They knew that Keitaro was injured but they didn't know what to do. Should they just wait there patiently, or help out. But what could they do…
Shinobu stirred "Do you think Sempai's alright!"
"I don't know Shinobu. You saw what happened last time. Who knows what condition Keitaro might be in…"
Shinobu ran a worried hand along her blue hair.
"But this wouldn't have happened if we were just nicer to him.."
Naru picked up her head.
"I'm sorry guys…again. I acted rash and with out thinking again. I'm sorry."
"We already talked about this Naru. There's no need to apologize."
"I too acted out of hate during time he was here. I thought of him as just another low life male. Someone who is just after girls and seeing them naked. But when he told you, Naru, to express your feelings. To say if you were letting him stay here because of pity. I saw a different side to him that I have not seen in other males."
"Yea, it was impressive too. Standing up to you and forcing you to give him the truth."
Motoko and Naru nodded.
But Shinobu stood up.
"But-but-but That is not how Naru feels now, and you too Motoko. You two said it your self! You guys actually like him a little bit, and that's enough to let him stay isn't it!"
Motoko shook his head.
"No Shinobu-chan, it may be to late for that. He may not believe us again…..if he recovered.."
"I don't care! We have to at least try and talk him out of it. Lets all go to the hospital now!"
"And do what!"
"Let's go just talk with him! And you two have to confess your true feelings to him.."
Suu jumped on Shinobu's back.
"Yea! Operation get Keitaro back is a go!"
"I'll agree to that." Kitsune said standing up.
"Sure why not." Naru did the same.
"Aren't you all jumping the gun here. Urashima might be dead." Motoko said.
"We have to at least go there and see! And if he is alive and well. We will plead for him to come back!"
"Ok..let's go….wait…..confess our true feelings!"
Shinobu then blushed. "Aaauuu, I didn't mean it like that!"
And like that the atmosphere changed. For the better…
-End of Chapter 6-