Eiji stumbled into the room. He was impassive to everything and anything around him, he didn't know how to feel.
"Eiji! Good thing you're home… I was… just…" His sister stopped at the look on his face. "Nani? What- what's wrong?"
Eiji looked up at his sister through swollen eyes. And it suddenly had dawned upon her. Only one thing could make her brother like this.
"Oh… ohmigod. Eiji… I'm… I'm so sorry. I really am." His sister walked over to him and held him in her arms. Emotion filled Eiji and tears welled up in his eyes already puffy eyes. His stomach started to twist again, and he had a lump in his throat. He sobbed in his sisters arms, and in his mind, he secretly wished, that he was sobbing in Oishi's arms. Because that was the only person in the world right then, that could make him feel better.
Oishi returned home and slumped down on his couch.
"Oishi? I scheduled an appointment for you to see a therapist tomorrow. 5:00 sound good?"
"Mom… you don't need to. I broke up with Eiji. You're son is straight again. He's not a queer, a fag. He's the perfect child that you once knew and loved; the child that you could bring yourself to look at."
His mother stood there and stared at him, in shock, and somewhat relief.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I have some homework to finish." Oishi rushed past his mother without saying a word, or looking her in the face, and went to his room.
He knew that his mother knew he was lying. It was a Saturday, so obviously he had no homework. He slumped down on his bed and stared at the ceiling and thought to himself "I still love Eiji."
The next morning Eiji awoke with a start. His eyes were swollen and puffy from the crying the night before. He stared at his floor, and thought about what Oishi had said the night before. He stared wishing that somehow hoping it was all a dream. He sat there in a daze, unsure what to do about school today. He was sure Oishi still loved him.
Eiji arrived at school that day and met up with Fuji and Taka-san. They walked and talked, Eiji still smiling as he always did. 'Just pretend that there's nothing wrong. Act like the old Eiji that they knew.' He thought to himself.
"Oishi!" He heard a voice call out. Eiji's heart skipped a beat, and he whirled around, but there was no sign of Oishi anywhere. However, a couple of meters away a girl was waving frantically to a brown haired boy, who was headed down the street.
Eiji's heart sank and he turned around as the girl and boy greeted each other with very tight hug. Eiji quickened his pace a bit to catch up with Fuji and Taka-san.
"Nani Eiji? What happened back there?"
"Eh?? Iie…it was just… my imagination." Eiji smiled. When he looked away the expression on his face changed immediately. He looked dazed confused and heartbroken.
Oishi wasn't at school that day. Eiji sat in his classroom tapping his pencil, and each time the door slid open his eyes would dart to the door and his stomach would turn to lead. The constant paranoia made him very very jumpy and resulted in Eiji being very irritated through out the day.He snapped at Taka-san for stealing his cookie at lunch, and told Kaidoh to "Shut up" when he was muttering a prayer under his breath. The fact that Oishi broke up with him, wasn't the one making him irritable; the fact that Eiji was willing to stand up and face Oishi the next day at school, and Oishi was a coward and skipped, pissed him off more than the fight itself. Eiji still wanted to be his friend and it seemed Oishi didn't care. He didn't understand. After two years of being doubles partners he seemed to cut off the bond completely.
Eiji stared out the window in his last period class and watched the gray sky turn darker and darker. Droplets of rain fell on the window pane and soon turned into a shower of rain.
Eiji dragged himself down to the courts knowing that practice was to be cancelled.
"No practice today! I don't want any of you getting pneumonia!" Ryuzaki-sensei announced over the complaints.
really wish there were practice today."
"Yeah… I heard we were going to work on doubles today." A couple of freshmen chattered as they walked by Eiji.
Then he remembered. Doubles. Oishi had always been his doubles partner, him and Oishi had always been the best doubles pairing, the best, Golden Pair. He couldn't believe it slipped his mind.
"Uh… Ryuzaki-sensei, could I have a word?" Eiji said as he poked his head into her office.
"Sure Eiji. What is it?"
"… Sumimasen. I want to start to play singles." He said bowing low.
"Well, because… I just want to. It's something new you know?" He said still bowing.
"Eiji… you are and Oishi make our Golden Pair, the inseparable duo. Why the sudden change?"
"Onegai shimasu!" He said pleading bowing lower.
Ryuizaki sat in the chair and leaned back. She understood.
"I'll think about it…"
"Arigato gosaimashita…" Eiji said walking out of the room. He had been bowing so that Ryuizaki-sensei couldn't see the tears in his eyes.
Splish, Splash. Eiji walked home. He stared at his feet and the grey concrete sidewalk. The rain dripped down his face and his neck. His body was drenched but he didn't care. He had to leave the past behind him now. Oishi was no longer his. No longer would they laugh about the stupid things, no longer would Oishi hold Eiji in his arms, no longer will they play on the court together as Golden Pair. Eiji looked up and saw the park and the tree in which he had carved Golden Pair Forever just yesterday. Tears welled up in his eyes and he broke down. He sank to his knees and started crying again. All the emotions he held back that day, all the anger, frustration and grief he had came spilling out in tears.
Splish, splash, splish, splash. Footsteps. Eiji looked up. A silhouette of a familiar person came walking towards him as it drew near, Eiji felt his stomach clench. Eiji stood up and faced Oishi. Oishi's eyes were swollen and red. It was obvious he had been crying.
"Eiji…" He reached out to touch him on the shoulder, but Eiji drew away.
"What're you doing here?"
"I was hoping you were here."
"Why? You didn't hurt me enough and you're back for a second round?"
Oishi stood there and stared at him.
"Eiji… look I know I've hurt you. I know I have."
"Then why are you here?"
"I came to apologize."
"You just thought it was going to be that easy? What was yesterday some lame joke? Do think that's enough for all the pain you caused me? It's only been 24 hours Oishi but I don't remember ever being this hurt, even less by you." Eiji screamed. His cheeks were red and tears rolled down his face intermingling with rain drops.
"Eiji I know what I did was wrong-"
"No… Oishi it wasn't wrong, what you did might have been right."
"STOP! Just stop! Eiji listen to me. I love you."
"Then why?" He said sobbing. "Why would you say those things that you said yesterday?"
"I don't know. Please. Eiji. You, have been there for me always, and I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Oishi… you're just gonna hafta learn to live without me."
"Eiji. Maybe this, our breakup, was supposed to happen to help me realize. Realize how much I love you realize that my life is going to change if I'm going to be with you. And what if everything had changed and we just haven't realized it? What if you're the one that I've been waiting for my whole life, and I let you go right now?"
"How do you know I'm the one you've been waiting for you're in entire life? It could be someone else. Fuji or Tezuka."
"Screw Fuji and Tezuka, they're my friends yes, but you're the one I love. You the one I'm willing to walk to the ends of the world for. You're the one that I can't live without. Without you I feel empty, like some part of me is missing. You're the blood within my veins, my sunshine on rainy days. Without you, I don't know how to live happily, without you I'm no one. For the past two years together we have been Golden Pair, forever, and right now, I mean forever. Eiji, you know I hate the rain, but here I am, standing in it, trying to tell you I'm sorry and I Love you."
Eiji stared at Oishi with tears in his eyes and he closed them and shook his head. He turned away. Oishi sighed, his heart sank, he knew he had hurt Eiji to the point where he was numb with pain. Oishi's heart pounded harder as he looked at Eiji.
"Look… I understand how you feel, and I know I've hurt you so much, I'm sorry. I know an apology can make up for how much I hurt you." Oishi turned away from Eiji. "But… if you could find it in your heart to somehow face me, one day… please, try." He took a step away from the one person he loved before he felt someone snatch his wrist, and Eiji pulled him closer and planted his lips on Oishi's.
Oishi stared at Eiji's eye lashes and felt his legs go numb and his heart swell up. He wrapped his arms around Eiji and pulled him closer. Eiji pulled away from the kiss and stared into Oishi's eyes. Oishi noticed new tears in Eiji's eyes.
"… What's wrong?" He asked
"Nothing." Eiji said smiling.
"Then why are you crying again?"
"Because I'm happy. Because you love me again, and I knew you would."
Oishi smiled and pulled Eiji into a tight hug. Eiji buried his face into Oishi's chest, smiled, and thought;
Golden Pair, forever.