Birthday

I was walking home from school, and I saw my little brother running around aimlessly, and crying. "Teeks!" I yelled. "Teeks!"

He stopped running and looked around. "What? Who said that?"

I walked over to him. "It's me you baka! You know, your brother, Yamato Ishida?"

"Oh. Hey Yamato."

"Why're you crying?"

"Hikari's d-d-d…"

"Did you say she was dying?"

"No. She's dating someone else!"

"Well, at least she's not dying. Who's she dating?"

TK didn't answer for a while. When he finally spoke, he sounded stunned, as if he was receiving the news for the first time himself. "She's dating Miyako."

At first I thought it was a joke. "Good one Teeks, who's she really dating? Is it Ken?"

"No I just told you, she's dating Miyako."

"But I thought Miyako and Daisuke were going steady."

"They broke up when Miyako found out Daisuke was going with Ken."

"Okay…so let me get this straight. Miyako dumped Daisuke, because he was cheating on her, and now she and Hikari are together, which leaves you dateless."

"Yeah, that's pretty much it."
"That stinks. But'cha gotta toughen up Teeks. Get used to getting dumped."
"But I love Hikari."

"Well, now you hate her." I know it's hard when a girl leaves you, and it must be just plain weird if she leaves you for another girl. But whenever I get dumped, I convince myself I hate the girl. It's a good technique, and TK should know it.

"Okay…I hate her." TK said uncertainly.

"I really didn't mean to sound so…" I said. "I know how you feel. You want Hikari, but you can't have her. I want someone I can't have to."


"Hi Mom!" I said, as I walked into the house. I used to live with Dad, but they made a new settlement. For the first week of each month, I'm with Dad, and TK's with Mom. Then they switch, and the next week, we're both with Mom, then Dad. Right now we're both with Mom.

"Hi Yamato." Mom said.

"Is TK home yet?"
"Yeah…he's watching TV."

"Oh, okay." I walked into the living room. "Anything good on, Teeks?"

"L-l-l-look…look." He pointed to the TV. He was crying again.

It's a news report. The newscaster said, "Today at the Hodoi Ebi Mall, there was a shooting. As previously stated, two girls were killed, and one is on life-support. The dead girls are Jun Motamiya, and Sora Takenouchi. The one on life-support is Hikari Yagami."
Now I know why TK was crying. "Teeks," I said, in an attempt to make him feel better. "You hate her, remember?"

"No…no…I love her…" He turned off the TV, and put on his shoes. "I'm going to go see her."

"Alright, go 'head."

A few minutes after TK left, the phone rang. "Hello?" Mom answered the phone in the other room. "Yamato!" She yelled, coming in. "It's for you!" She handed me the phone.

"Y'ello?"

"Did you hear what happened?" It was Taichi.

"What? Did you actually pass a test?"

"Yamato! This is serious! Sora's dead, and Hikari's on life support!"
"I know."

"So why are you acting like it's so funny? My girlfriend is dead! And my sister…I don't know what's going to happen to her."

"So…why are you calling me?"
"Because you're my friend, and I need to talk to someone."

"Where are you?"

"Hospital. I'm watching over Hikari. If anything happens to her, I have to be there."

"Is TK there? He said he was coming to see Hikari."

"No. He's not."
"Okay."

"Yamato? Could you come?"

"Sure." I hung up the phone and got on my bike. I biked to the hospital.

"Where do you think your going?" The receptionist said.

"I'm going to one of my friends."

"Is your friend a patient here?"
"No. His sister is."

"Okay, whatever. G'on ahead."

I found Hikari's room and went in. "Taichi! Hi!"

"Hi Yamato. How are you?"
"Fine. You?"
"Grieving, but fine."

"Is Hikari going to…?"

"I don't know. Mom's trying to decide whether to take her off life-support or not. The bullets lodged in her heart. I don't know how she's still alive."

"God…that's terrible. Are you, you know okay about it? And Sora to?"
"I have to tell you…I broke up with Sora before she went to the mall. She went there to drown her sorrows in gossip. If I had just waited….she'd still be alive…" Taichi started to cry.
"Hey, Taichi, don't cry. Mimi would've probably made her go anyway. And why'dja break up with her anyway? I thought she was the love of your life."

"Because…because…" And then he kissed me. It was so weird, but it felt good to. "That's why. I know…you probably hate me now."

"No, Taichi…I…I feel the same way, if you want to know the truth."

"You do?" He started smiling very hard. "For real?"
"I wouldn't lie about this Taichi. I wouldn't ruin my perfect reputation if it wasn't the truth."

"This is great Yamato. I was so scared that if I told you, you'd hate me forever."
"Taichi, I could never hate you forever. I…love you."

"I love you to Yamato. It's just…I feel so guilty about Sora, and no one knows except maybe Miyako and Mimi, who were at the mall to. People will think I'm such a jerk if I…"

"Taichi, don't worry. We don't have to tell anyone."

I got on my bike and walked home. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy. Taichi felt the same way as me!

I saw TK walking a few paces behind me. I slowed down, and he caught up. "Teeks, where were you?"

"Hi Yamato."

"Where were you?"

"You know that little kid Iori?"

"Yeah."

"I met up with him, and we hung out."
"Okay."

"Where were you?"

"I went to the hospital. Taichi called, he asked me to come. I found out something that made me very happy."
"What?"

"I can't tell you."

"Okay…do you know if Hikari's okay?"

"Her parents are debating whether to keep her on life support or not. There's no hope."

Strangely, TK didn't cry. He just smiled, sadly, but it was still a smile. "Yamato? If I tell you what I did today, will you tell me what made you so happy?"

TK just finished telling me. He met up with Iori, and TK was crying, again. Iori took him over into an alley, and asked him what was wrong. He kind of spilled his guts. But he told me, that afterwards, he looked at Iori for so long, and he couldn't look away. He just couldn't.

Then he didn't know what came over him, but he kissed Iori. He kissed him for at least ten minutes. Iori didn't run away though. He kissed TK back, and the kept kissing. Finally, they got out of the alley. They kept touching each other, until Iori ran across the street, even though it was more convenient to stay where he was. I can understand why, and so can TK.

TK's crying himself to sleep now. He said to tell him about what happened to me in the morning.

"Teeks? I'll tell you now." He was barely awake, and I didn't care. I just told him everything, and got ready for school.

"Yamato!" Taichi ran up to me. He looked a lot happier then the last time I saw him. "Hi!"

"Hi Taichi."

"How've ya been?"

"Fine. How is Hikari?"

"Mom and Dad decided to take her off life-support. As soon as everyone gets to say good-bye to her."

"God…that's really terrible. What I can't believe is that TK hasn't mentioned it yet."

"He hasn't been around the hospital. He probably doesn't know. Why should he come anyway? Hikari blew him only hours before."

"Still…"

"I guess, you should be worried. I just hate the way your face looks when you're worried. You look so cute when you're happy."

"Okay, I wont think about TK's weirdness. What should I think of?"

"…Me?"

"Be glad to." I walked very close to him, and kissed him. I wonder if anyone saw…I hope not. He kissed me back. He seemed as scared as I was, that someone would see. Even scarder.

But someone saw. Two someone's. Daisuke and Ken. They walked up to us. "What'cha doin'?" Daisuke asked.

"Uh…um…heh…um…" Taichi stuttered.

"We…"
"It's okay." Ken said. "We know what you were doing. We wont tell anyone."

"You must think we're crazy." Taichi said. He didn't know that they were gay to.

"Nah. Daisuke and me…we're like that to. We're just a little more public about it then you two."

"Yeah." I said. "I heard you two were going together. Do people…make fun of you?"
"Yes." Ken said, a little bit sadly.

"But I punch who ever does!" Daisuke yelled.

"Yes, Daisuke is very…violent…when it comes to our relationship."

"Well," Taichi said. "I'm really happy for you guys. But how in the world did you manage to get it going?"
"I don't know." Ken said. "Sorry we can't be of more help, but I really don't know. It just…all came together somehow."

It was recess now. TK walked past me, with Iori. "…Over to my house tonight?" He said to Iori.

"Yeah, defiantly." He said.

Well, looks like we'll be having a guest tonight.

I walked into the house. "Yamato?" Mom asked. "Do you know TK's new friend?"

"You mean Iori? Yeah I know him. He's part of the group of kids TK's been hanging out with. You know, Ken, Daisuke, Miyako…you know them, right?"

"I think so."

"Okay then." I walked into TK's room. "Hey Teeks." I looked at the tow boys, sitting on the floor. They had their shirts off. I guess they weren't ready for the other thing. They are only kids.

Iori was nervously explaining. "It was to hot in here! So we…"
"You guys were touching each other."

"No…we weren't. You need glasses!"

"Iori." TK grabbed his shoulder. "It's okay. He knows about us."

"He does? Why did you tell him?" Iori jerked away.

"He's gay to."

"We're not gay…"

"Face it Iori, we are. At least, if you feel the same way I do."
"I do."
"I thought so." TK turned to me. "Yamato? Please don't tell Mom. Please…"

"Don't worry Teeks. Just don't tell Mom what I told you."

"You think I'd do that to you?"

"Do you think I'd do that to you?"

"No."

It was nighttime. I'd just finished talking to Taichi on the phone. He said I should spy on the little ones. So I am. I'm peeking in the keyhole.

It looks as if they're asleep. They're in the same bed. But what do you expect? Most kids under thirteen sleep together on sleepovers. They sleep with backs facing. These two, I could see, they were touching each other. I hoped they weren't…doing anything. But they touched each other, and then they hugged and kissed, and said 'I love you.'

And I left and went back to my own room. It was so sweet. I wish Taichi were here. I love him.

Riiiinnnngggg…riiiinnnngggg… The phone rang. I picked it up. "Who's it?"

"Hey Yamato…" It was Taichi. I didn't mind him calling so early in the morning.

"Hey buddy. Wassup?"

"They just took Hikari off life-support."

"Did you see...?"

"Mmm hmm. I saw her die forever." He started crying again.

"God, Taichi, this is awful. I can't even think of anything to say except how terrible."
"Stop it. I know it's terrible."

"I love you."

"I love you to Yamato. I love you forever."

Today was Hikari's funeral. Normally, I wouldn't attend. But I told Taichi; I'd be there. How can I not be there for him when he needs me?

"Would anyone like to say a few words?" The preacher said.

I looked around for Taichi. He was gone.

I found him elsewhere in the cemetery. "Taichi!" I yelled.

I looked at the grave he was staring at. It was Sora's. Taichi was talking softly. "Sora, please, forgive me. If I hadn't broken up with you, you'd still be alive today. Hikari told me it was cruel to break up with you. That there could be permanent damage. Well there was Sora. Your dead now. And it's all my fault. And now I'm with Yamato. I feel really dirty. I feel like I'm committing some horrible sin by loving someone else, even though I already broke up with you. You died thinking I didn't care about you. Well Sora, I did. I didn't love you. I can't. But I still cared about you very much. I should've told you right off the bat. Sora, I'm so sorry."

"Taichi?" I said. "Aren't you supposed to be at your sister's funeral?"

"Yes." He got up off the ground. "I just had to apologize to her. Even though she's dead, and she can't hear me. Her spirit knows I'm sorry. Plus, I couldn't go to her funeral. Her parents blame me, and they wouldn't let me attend."

"That's cruel."
"No, it isn't. I don't blame them. I'm going back to Hikari's funeral now. At least I'm aloud there."

"Okay. C'mon."

"Before we go, can we kiss?"

"I'm glad you asked."

And we kissed. And it was wonderful. And I loved Taichi. I loved the whole damn world.