We all loaded on the bus quietly. No one said a word, except for Numbah Four…wait…make that Wally. He was no longer Numbah Four anymore. I'd have to get used to that. I sat by my window and stared out into space, feeling empty. It was something we recently had in common.
"Hey, you." snapped Wally, pointing at me. "You got any music in this hunk of junk?" Numbah Two glanced back as he started up the engines, "Uhm, not a radio, we won't get any reception up here…but we have a CD player." he offered. Wally walked to the front of the bus, snatching the CD player from Numbah One and went to the back, sitting himself with his feet on top of the headrest of the seat in front of him while he slouched on the seat he was sitting on.
He lowered his hood, only to put the headphones on, then pulled it back up again. In the moment that it was down, I glanced at him quickly, admiring my crush from afar. But he caught me, and as he pulled up his hood, he had a small smirk on his face. He wouldn't be the same though. He pressed the play button on the CD player and winced as the music played softly. He opened the lid and tossed the CD that was in there, pulling out one of his own from his pocket and popped it in, blasting hard core rock into his brain. He bobbed his head happily as he sighed, "Now this is real music."
I turned my head to look forward and Numbah Five walked over to me. "Kuki, since we're twelve and from his same sector, we…are allowed to still see him." I tilted my head with interest, "We are?" She nodded, but hushed me. "Numbah One didn't want anyone interfering with our old ways, though. But I think it's not fair, especially to you. Me and Numbah Two already talked about it, and we think you should see Nu-Wally…as much as you need to. I don't recommend it safe if he gets accepted by…" she looked away, knowing her own sister had pulled together one of our greatest enemies.
I nodded, understandingly and realizing what I was urged to do would be against Numbah One's orders. "Let him get to know you again, girl. That's your boy." she said with a smile, and I blushed. She stood up straight and put her hands behind her back, as if this talk had been about a mission or something. I was still allowed to see him? To talk to him? But not about missions…or anything of the sort…never anything like that.
Then…what would we talk about? How could I start a conversation with a boy whose mind was already set in teenage ways? Who knows what was already lurking in the shadows of his mind? From his seat he looked around, "I'm hungry, you got any food in here?" Numbah Five lowered her cap from her seat and muttered, "Boy sure got bossy in the last few minutes…"
I sighed and shook my head. "What kinda bus is this anyway? Wait…am I on a roide or somethin'? I don't rememba' going to no carnival…" he fumbled, sitting up. Numbah Two blinked and glanced to the back, "Yeah, we are. You know, that new space ride that really makes you feel like you're in space?" Wally tilted his head and nodded, "Oh yeah…well it cruddy stinks! I want off, now!" Numbah Two pushed a few buttons and steered the bus down, "It's almost over."
"Good, I need to get myself a chili dog or cotton candy or somethin'!" whined Wally, crossing his arms. The bus rattled a bit and we put on our seatbelts. All except Wally. He placed his feet on top of the seat again and pouted as he put the music louder. "Nu-Wallabee! Put on your seatbelt now!" ordered Numbah One, but Wally just bobbed his head to the music. I undid mine and poked his shoulder. He glared up, but blinked when he saw it was me.
I pulled out one of the headphones, "Put on your seatbelt!" He smirked, "I don't need no cruddy seatbelt. It's just some stupid roide, anyway." I held onto the seat in front of him and shook my head as the bus gathered some turbulence, "No! You could really get hurt! Its extreme brutal force!" I pleaded, as Numbah Two tried to hold the bus steady, but Numbah One was talking to him about something while pressing various buttons. "Brutal force? HA! You don't know me very well, gerly." he smiled, glancing out the window as a bump from the turbulence forced him to bang his head against the back.
His words stabbed through me like ice. I didn't know him very well? If only he knew…
"Put on your seatbelt! Please!"
He arched an eyebrow and tilted his head, "Why do you care so much?"
Now he was messing with my emotions, and I couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed the front of his hood in a fist and glared at him darkly, fury burning in my eyes, "JUST PUT ON THE SEATBELT OR ELSE!" His eyes widened as he snapped it on and pulled it tight in less than two seconds. Being a teenager was making him stubborn. "Thank you." I said flatly and sat in my own seat, fastening my seatbelt.
After some major turbulence and a wicked stop, we were back home. Well, in the parking lot of a carnival anyway. We all unbuckled ourselves and began to exit the bus when Wally began to look under the seats. "What are you doing?" asked Numbah Five as he got up with a frustrated expression. "Did you see a little kid, looks like me and whines a lot?" he asked. "You mean…Joey?" asked Numbah Two, rubbing his head.
"Yeah! Hey...How do you know his name? Did he talk to you?" asked Wally, looking angry already. I glanced at Numbah Two who shook his head, "No, you just mentioned him before! And you didn't bring any kid with you when we got here." Wally blinked and shrugged, "Oh…okay, good. Its enough trouble trying to watch myself an' the squirt." I stared at him with shock. Of all the insults he could have said, he chose the one he hated the most to make fun of his little brother?
I gave him a confused stare as he went exited the bus, stretching. "Ah, this led to the parkin' lot…an' I'm toired." he grumbled, cracking his knuckles. I leaned against the C.O.O.L.B.U.S. and crossed my arms, watching as the Ferris wheel and roller coasters lit up the entire park with their bright rainbow lights. It was a place of happiness and fun. A place that I wish could take all my worries away if I went.
I watched as he glanced at me and turned to Numbah Two. I could still hear him, although he thought he was speaking low enough so I couldn't. "Hey, whose that gerl with the cute attitude?" he whispered, but he had a loud type of voice, so of course I heard him. Numbah Two blanked out for a moment, "Uhh…which…?"
"The one who was yellin' at me on the bus."
"Oh…that's the girl who's taking you home." Numbah Two answered, as I walked over. "Let's go…" I sighed, taking his arm and pulling him away from the rest. The carnival was a few blocks away from his house, so this would take a while. He placed his hands back in his pockets when I let go and I just stared ahead, feeling miserable. He had no idea who I was. He didn't remember anything. Not even the kiss outside of the tree house. Nothing…
He stopped suddenly, leaving me to walk a few steps ahead without noticing. "Hey, uh, I neva' got yo' name." he said with a smirk, looking at me with his hood over his eyes. "You don't remember…do you." I said quietly, looking at the sidewalk beneath us. "Rememba' what?" he asked, confused. My chest felt tight as I let out a breath of defeat. "Nothing…Its Kuki…Kuki Sanban."
He walked the few steps to me and nodded, "Wallabee Beatles…but, you can call me Wally." he said with a sly smile. "Nice to meet you." I said glumly and he gave me an odd look. "Have we met somewhere before?" he asked, shaking his head to lift the hood off his eyes so he could really see me. "I…uhm…I live around the block." I said quickly to hide my sudden burst of happiness.
"Oh, okay. Cool." he grinned, following me as I led the way. But within those few minutes of silence, I realized all the differences with him. He walked slightly different, his attitude was slightly different, and his outlook on life itself was different. And maybe not his heart was so different, but something was. Still, he sort of remembered me, a little. His mind was trying to understand what was missing, but he kept shaking his head saying, "Nah…"
I wrapped myself in a hug as the temperature went down and Wally glanced at me, "Hey, Kuki?" I blinked as I looked at him. "Yeah?" He talked while he turned his glance in front, "Did I do somethin' to ya?" I tilted my head and realized there were so many little stars out tonight. How could I tell him what he's done to me? How he's made me feel over the past three days when he would have no clue what I'm talking about? "No, Wally, why?"
He shrugged, "I dunno…you seem sorta…depressed?" My head bounced in shock. Maybe his senses were kicking in. I was only being quiet, not looking all mopey. I tried to smile, but my conscience wouldn't let me. I trembled a frown instead. "I…I lost someone very close to me…" I whispered, my eyes tearing up. He leaned against a light post that was next to him and looked at the ground, feeling sorry for me, "Well…yeh know, things loike that happen sometoimes…an' at some point you gotta move on or else you'll be miserable all ya loife."
He was right, but I didn't want to believe him. I felt I couldn't move on from this. I was acting like Numbah Four had died, when in reality, he was standing right in front of me, with just an erased mind. I wanted to hug him…hug him so badly…for him to hold me so I would feel better and he would smile for me. All for me. But I wouldn't be able to do that. Not when he had no clue who I was. I hugged myself instead, but felt no comfort. "I'm really sorry and all." he said quietly, nodding.
Even in his mentally blocked state, he still had a big heart. "Thank you." I mumbled, but I felt a little happier, knowing he was in there somewhere. "Anytoime." he said with a lift in his voice, seeing that his attempt to cheer me up had worked a bit. He kept his head low for the rest of the way and I kept quiet. The only sounds of the night were the crickets chirping their evening tune.
The familiar house of the Beatles' residence came into view soon enough and my mind seemed to slow for a moment. What would I do when we got to his door? What could I say? My nerves overtook me and I felt my hands tremble. Thankfully, they were covered up, as they usually are, with my sleeves, but I knew they were trembling, which made me feel embarrassed anyway.
"Heh, this is koinda strange…"
I snapped my neck to look at Wally, cracking it irritatingly. "Hm?"
"I said its koinda strange…yeh know, a gerl walkin' a guy home?"
I blinked as I found his humor in it and smiled slightly. "Yeah, not too many of those, huh?" He shook his head, "Nah, not really, but…uh…it was still noice of yeh to." I nodded with a serious expression as we walked up the path and to his door front. I placed my arms behind my back as I thought of what to say, but he started first. "So, Kuki…" he murmured, glancing at me, "You…live far from here?"
I shook my head negatively, "Not too far, it's a safe distance." He reached for the doorbell, but snagged his hand back for one more question. He rubbed his neck, avoiding to look me in the eyes. "Uhmm…we're in the same classes…I'm guessin'…you got an email or somethin'?"
I couldn't help but smile at his actions. He looked really nervous about asking me this type of information. Before…before when his mind was in tact, he had no problem asking for anything, even from a girl. But the way he was acting now, made me giggle, and both of us blushed slightly. "You have it." I answered with a shy smile. His eyes widened with confusion, "I do?"
Nodding, I pressed his doorbell for him. It was getting late. Really late. "Yup! And my number, and my address, too. And we have most of our classes together, so communication won't be a hassle." He arched his left eyebrow in wonder of how I knew these things, but he decided to let it pass as the door to his home opened with his father. "Hey, it's about time you came home!" he said, still an easy going dad, ruffling Wally's hair as his son pulled off his hood.
"Hey there, Kuki!" he greeted with a wave. "It's a bit late to be hankerin' about, isn't it? Do yo' parents know yo' here?"
I shook my head, "No, but I'll be sure to get home right after I leave your front yard." I smiled and Mr. Beatles nodded. "Do you want to call them befo' you go? Yo' welcome to use our phone." he offered kindly, glancing at his son. "No thank you, Mr. Beatles, I'd rather just run home and waste less time." I said with a slight bow of respect. I was taught to always respect one who offers things to you in times of need. It was proper.
"Alroight then, good noight!" he waved and Wally squeezed himself between his father and the door, "Lata' Kuki!" I smiled and waved back as I walked down their front path. "You know you should've walked her home befo' you came here, sport." I heard Wally's dad scold. I glanced over my shoulder as I turned to walk down the normal sidewalk and saw Wally with his arms crossed and an 'I always get blamed for everything' expression.
The door closed and I shot down the block faster than I could think the words "Rainbow Monkeys". I opened my mouth to breathe in more air than I could breathe normally, since my nose wasn't quiet fitting the job for my little power walk. Cold air filled my lungs as it whipped around my hair and smacked against my chest. I held onto my jacket and closed my eyes as I ran the last bit to my house and smiled as I walked to the door, regaining my breath.
I timidly rang the doorbell, not knowing how my parents would react. A few seconds passed as I re-acted the memory of Numbah Four losing his memory of all of us and my chest tightened even more. I looked to the sky, watching the clouds cover the moon, then drift away, revealing it. "I love you, too, Wallabee Beatles…" I answered in a whisper, hanging my head as I wrapped myself in a hug.
Author's Note: I think its funny how a lot of reviews came out with begging that 'decommissioning' wouldn't be the last chapter.
Reason 1: I never let my stories end without me giving a warning first.
Reason 2: The story isn't about Numbah Four, it's about Numbah Three's life revolving around Numbah Four.