Chapter 1

The Broken Circle

True Friends Forever - Inspirational friendship poems

Written with a pen

Sealed with a kiss

If you are my friend,

Please answer this:

Are we friends or are we not?

You told me once, but I forgot.

So tell me now and tell me true,

So I can say, I am here for you.

Of all the friends I've ever met,

You're the one I won't forget.

And if I die before you do,

I'll go to Heaven

And wait for you.

-unknown

She was surrounded by darkness. She couldn't remember where she was or what time it was, but she was vaguely aware that she was with someone before. That someone was no longer there, though. She had to find her.

All around her, pairs of red glowing eyes slowly appeared. A chill of fear clutched at her heart and she knew she should leave. Right now. But something told her to stay.

"Help . . . us."

"Yes, help . . . us."

"Help you?" She strained her eyes but couldn't see who was there.

"Yes . . . only you can help us . . ."

"But what can I do?" She felt a stab of annoyance. "I'm just a girl."

"You are Queen, Kari . . . only you can save us."

"Yes . . . come back to us . . ."

"Come back . . ."

Kari felt something cold on her arms.

"Your King is waiting . . ."

"Let go of me!" she screamed. She tried to break their grip but they were stronger than she realized. She screamed again.

Kari shot up into a sitting position on her bed. Her alarm was going off and the sun was peeking though the curtains. She heaved a sigh and laid back down. She frowned at the annoying beeping coming from her alarm clock. She was not looking forward to another day at her junior high school. If Mitchell Stevens asked her to go out with him one more time, she was going to . . . Wait! She should be at the High school now right? But . . . that wasn't right . . .

Since it takes three minutes for a person to be fully coherent after they wake up, it took her a while to realize she didn't have school and that it was the first week of summer vacation. She must have forgotten to turn it off. She stretched out her arm to hit the off button, but the beeping continued. Kari rolled over on her side to look at the stupid clock when she realized the beeping wasn't coming from the clock. Something behind it was flashing and causing the noise.

Reaching for it, she discovered it was her digivice. She picked it up and brought it close to look at it, but the sound and light faded away.

I have to tell Tai, she thought. She would have to wait until he got up, though.


"Kari, I'm going to the Health Food store! Are you sure you don't want to come with me? We could grab lunch together!"

"No thanks, Mom. Before you leave, do you know where Tai is?"

"I believe he's still sleeping. I'm going now, bye!"

"Bye." A wave of annoyance washed over her as she stomped down the hall toward her brother's room. Who sleeps 'till 12 o'clock in the afternoon?! She had waited long enough to get his sorry hide out of bed. This was important.

She knocked on his door. "Tai!" There was no answer. She knocked harder "Tai!" Still no answer. "TAI!" Silence. "Oh for the love of-" She opened his door. Tai, in nothing but his underwear, was face down on his bed, blankets lay forgotten on his floor, arm over the edge.

"Tai!" Kari said in a hasty whisper. He didn't move. Not wanting to touch him, she looked around the room for something to throw at him. She found a sneaker. "Tai, I'm warning you, if you don't wake up, I will throw this shoe at you." Nothing. With a frown she chucked the shoe at him.

Tai shot up. "Kari! For God's sake!" He picked up the blankets and tried to cover himself. "Knock before you come in here! I'm in my freakin boxers!"

Kari rolled her eyes. It wasn't like he didn't walk around the apartment in his boxers already! "I did knock. Like three times!"

He pulled the blanket over his head and moaned. "Why do you wake me so early?!"

"It's 12 o'clock in the afternoon!"

"Sorry we can't all be bright and cheery like you early in the morning," he said sarcastically.

Kari sighed. "Listen. I need to talk to you."

"That's what parents are for," Tai mumbled into his pillow.

"My digivice was glowing." That got Tai's attention. He sat up and stared at her.

"Are you sure?"

"I think so. I had this weird dream, and I was still half asleep when it happened."

"Well, mine didn't go off."

"How do you know?"

"I would have heard it!" Tai said, still cranky from being woken.

"Tai, all the screaming in the world didn't wake you, how would you have heard it?"

Tai muttered something that she didn't catch.

"Well did you have a strange dream like I did? Like someone calling for help?"

Tai thought about it for a second. "Dream . . . dream . . ." He snapped his fingers "Yes! You were in it! . . . And there was this ice cream truck . . . I was driving it. Oh man, then I crashed into a building and got my license taken away!"

Kari sighed heavily. "Seriously, Tai."

"No. You know what? I think you just miss Gatomon too much and it's causing you to have strange dreams."

"But what about my digivice?"

"You said you were half asleep. You probably just imagined it."

"How do you know this isn't something serious?"

Tai put his hands behind his head. "Because I'm your big brother; I know everything."

Kari decided to let it go for now. "Well since you 'know everything' then I don't need to tell you that Mom went to the Health Food store and you know how long it takes her when she's in there, Dad's gone out to see the game and probably be gone all day, and I'm just about to leave myself so-"

"Wait, where are you going?"

"Out."

"Out where?"

"Out, out. Don't worry, Tai I'll bring my cell phone." She left his room and went down the hall, Tai following her.

"But where are you going?"

"I don't know when I'll be back so you'll have the apartment to yourself . . . again. Unless you invite some friends over, which I highly recommend because I think the lack of social life is getting to your nonexistent brain."

Tai glared at her for a second. "Just go already! Wait, where are you going?"

Kari opened the door to leave. "By, Tai!" Then shut the door behind her.

"Kari!"


Kari just had to talk to someone. Someone who would actually listen to her. So far the first week of summer felt very lonely. She unexpectedly found herself in front of the Takaishi residence. She rang the doorbell and waited for someone to answer it.

The door opened to reveal a boy her age, his blond hair disheveled, his T-shirt half tucked into his pants and half not. His face was a little red and he was rubbing his eyes. Kari could see the TV on behind him and she guessed he must have fallen asleep on the couch.

"Hello?" he said in a groggy voice.

"Hey, TK!" she said brightly.

"Kari!" Realizing who it was he combed his fingers in his hair in a vain attempt to make it look decent. "What're you doing here?"

Kari shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know. Just visiting, I guess. Are you busy?"

"N-no."

They stood there for a bit, not saying anything.

"Can . . . I come in, or do you want to go somewhere?"

"TK, who's at the door!?" called a woman's voice.

"Um, let's go somewhere." TK said quickly. He wanted to avoid all possible embarrassing conversations with his mother. "I'm going out!" he called to her before closing the door. He grabbed Kari's hand and hurriedly proceeded to leave the building.

"Um, TK?"

He stopped and turned around. "Yeah?"

"You do know you're not wearing any shoes, right?"

He looked down at his bare feet and briefly played with the idea to not waste the energy and just go shoeless. He sighed. "Yeah, I guess I kinda need those."

Kari shrugged. "Maybe," she said with a smile.

"Okay. I'll be right back with sneakers and probably a curfew."


"So you told Tai about your digivice?"

"Yeah," Kari was sitting sideways on a bench at the Park, leaning up against the armrest and feeding bread to the birds. "But he thinks I was just imagining it. I guess I could've been. I've had weird dreams like that before and I was disoriented when I woke up." Her knees hugged to her chest, she peered over them to look at TK who was sitting casually on the other side of the bench, ankles crossed and staring up at the sky. "Did your digivice go off?" she asked.

"Not that I know of, but I wasn't awake at seven o'clock in the morning and I don't remember having any strange dreams."

"Maybe Tai was right . . ." Kari frowned. "Which is scary. Tai is never right."

TK smiled. "How is Tai? I haven't seen him in ages."

Kari sighed. "He's been practicing soccer nonstop. He wants to get a scholarship with it. I'm a little worried because if he doesn't get it then he'll have to pay for college, which means he'll have to keep his job, which means he has to stop being late. Of course he doesn't care. He's so confident that he'll get it." She shrugged. "He is getting better. How's Matt?"

TK gave a humorless laugh. "Well," he sighed. "He want's to go professional on his band and travel instead of going to college."

Kari raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah. I can tell Dad's not happy with it, but he doesn't know what to do about it and Mom doesn't even know yet. Matt made me promise under penalty of death not to tell her."

"She's going to find out eventually."

"I know! That's what I said! And when she does find out, Matt's gonna think it's me that told her because it's not like our parents talk to each other, though they do, because Dad's gonna tell her, I know it." He sighed. "I haven't seen him in a long time, too."

"Your dad?"

"No, Matt actually. He's always has a gig or something. Then when he is home Sora's there and I just feel . . . awkward. You know?"

"Yeah." Kari turned her gaze to the sky. "It's too bad really. The three of them used to be the best of friends. Now . . ." She waved her hands vaguely.

"We're all kinda like that now, Kari"

"What do you mean?"

"Well look at it. Mimi's in America, Joe is off in college studying to be a doctor, Izzy's in that computer thing that I don't really know what it's about, Tai's not talking to Matt or Sora, Cody's only just starting Junior High after we've graduated, Yoli and Ken are like . . . always together by themselves, and you and Davis-"

"TK, Davis is not my boyfriend. I thought you knew that already!"

"Yeah, but-"

"Is that why you never come to sit by us during lunch anymore?"

"Well, I sort of thought you two were together and, you know, three's a crowd."

"What ever gave you that idea!?"

TK got really quiet. "Maybe it was him kissing you at that dance last year."

Kari face turned red in a very not-Kari way. "You saw that!?"

TK shrugged his shoulders.

"Oh TK, no. No, no, no, no, no. Davis . . . He's was being a real jerk that night. Afterwards I hit him so hard that he was afraid to come near me for days . . . Oh God, no."

TK smiled. "It's okay. You just might want to tell Davis that. He still likes you, you know."

Kari sighed. She did feel guilty though. She didn't really try to hang out with TK much anymore. Even if it wasn't her fault that TK didn't sit with her, she could've called him . . . or something.

"What if we got everyone back together this summer?" TK asked suddenly.

"TK, how would we do that?"

"I'm sure Mimi could come. Her parents let her do anything. Joe has some vacation time coming up. We could all go to that camp we used to go. You know, the one by the lake? I'll be just the 12 of us."

Kari thought about it. It would be nice to have everybody back together. She did miss them, but . . . "TK I'm not sure that's a good idea. Tai, Matt, and Sora, together, for a whole summer, in the middle of nowhere, without parental supervision! They'll kill each other!"

"Come on, the have to be over that stupid little fight by now."

"Then why aren't they talking to each other?" Kari asked flatly.

"Yeah, you're right. They'll kill each other."

Silence.

"But you can't get them to ever forgive each other if you let them not talk to each other. They might just need a little push." TK had an evil smile on his face.

"But," Kari added. "Tai's not going to want a 'little push', and neither is Matt. They're not going to want to come."

"Sora will, and Matt will do whatever Sora does."

"But that still leaves Tai."

TK put his chin in his hand. "Can't you just . . . I don't know, make him go?"

Kari laughed. "Yeah right!" Then an idea lit up her face. "But my parents can!" All of a sudden Kari's cell phone rang. She picked it up, already knowing who it is. "Hello?"

"Kari, where are you!" Tai demanded angrily. She was surprised it had taken him this long to call.

"On a bench," she said vaguely. She could hear him sigh in frustration.

"Listen, Davis has been calling nonstop and been asking if you're back yet. He's driving me insane, so call him or something."

"Sure."

"And don't talk to strangers."

"Bye Tai."

"And I really wish you would tell me where you are."

"Bye Tai." She hit the off button. "I better go before Tai flips and calls the police or something."

"Okay . . . bye then."

"I'll tell Tai about the camp thing, and I can email Mimi, Davis, Yoli and Ken. Can you get the rest?"

"Yeah, sure."


Tai stared dully at his bowl of cheerio's, waiting for . . . something to happen. Kari to call, someone to come home, the moon to fall down, anything. He was getting sick of cheerio's. They were so . . . cheerioy. Maybe he should go back to sleep.

Someone unlocked the door, and his mom came in with a bunch of groceries. "I'm home! Hi Tai! Where's Kari?"

"On a bench." He let the little O's fall off his spoon and back into the bowl.

"Oh . . . okay. What are you doing today?"

Tai slowly moved his head so he could stare balefully at his mother. "Nothing."

"Why don't you invite some friends over?"

"'Cause."

"You haven't done anything all summer!"

"It's only been a week, Mom."

"Still, what about that Izzy kid? I liked him. He's such a nice boy."

"Mom," was all he said in an annoyed voice. He put down his bowl of unfinished cheerio's on the floor for the cat to eat and migrated to the couch and flipped on the TV.

The front door slammed open and Kari rushed in. "Tai, I need to ask you . . . a favor."

Tai grunted, but didn't leave his gaze at the TV screen.

"You know that camp by the lake that we use to go to?"

"Yeah, so?"

"Um, my friends and I were thinking of going up there for a month or two and we were hoping you could . . . maybe drive us there?"

"Kari, that's three hours away!"

"Wait Kari," her mother cut in from the kitchen. "Is there any adult's coming?"

"Uh no. I guess I didn't think of that."

Tai sighed in relief. He didn't want to do anything this summer except sleep and soccer of course.

"I know!" Their mother exclaimed. "Tai can watch you guys! He's old enough and I'm sure he'll be really responsible."

"What!? Mom! For a whole month!?"

"Or two," Kari added quietly.

"Is there anything else you were doing this summer?" Mrs. Kamiya asked.

"No, but-"

"Then you're going. A bit of fresh air will be good for you."

"But how will I practice soccer!?"

"Don't Davis and Ken do soccer? You can play with them and you can bring a friend!" Mrs. Kamiya was getting excited at the thought of the kids gone for the summer.

Tai got up and stormed off to his room, banging the door hard.

Well, Kari thought. That went better then I thought it would.


"Sora, Sora,"

There was a pause as Matt tried to think of something that rhymed with Sora before continuing strumming on his base guitar.

"Your name rhymes with Dora,

Dora the Explor'a

Soooooraaaa!"

Sora was sitting on Matt's bed with her face in her hands. "Matt, stop. That's God awful," she said trying not to laugh.

"It's a shame," da da da da "It's a shame," da da da da "that nothing seems to rhymes with your naaaaame!"

Sora got up from his bed armed with a pillow. That was it. She was going to be force to kill him. It was the only way to rid the world of the horrible song.

Wham!

The motion almost caused the music stand to fall over, but Matt caught it. Though when his hands left the guitar, it hit the ground with a loud sound that only guitars can make. "Sora!" Matt scolded with a fake scowl. "I poured my heart and soul into that song!"

"You just made it up as you went along!"

"In fact," Matt said ignoring Sora. "I think I'm going to play it on stage! In front of millions of people." He smiled at her.

"I thought you were going to show me the song you told me about last night on the phone."

"That piece of crap?"

"Why don't you want me to see it?" Sora asked as she began to search through his papers and folders. Knowing what she was looking for Matt pulled the piece of paper out before she could find it.

"It's not even done yet!"

"Oh come on, I don't care." She tried to make a grab for it, but he stood up and held it above her head.

"You're just going to have to wait." Sora jumped up to try to grab it again but Matt jerked his hand back. The quick motion caused both of them to lose their balance and they both tumbled to the ground, knocking over the chair.

They wrestled around on the floor for a bit until Matt manage to stuff his arms between his back and the floor, Sora sitting on top of him trying to pull out his arms. She gave up with a sigh and straightened. "You're a jerk you know that?"

Matt smiled up at her. "You're just mad because nothing rhymes with your name."

With a frown, Sora leaned up close to his face. "Aura, bora, flora, fora, maura, mora, ora, torah, zora, angora, aurora, fedora..."

"Okay, whatever!"

She leaned down and kissed him. He kissed her back.

Then the door opened. "Oh God! Sorry!" The door closed again.

"TK!" Matt pushed Sora off of him. "Wait come back!"

The door opened a crack and TK peered an eye in. "I am really sorry. I didn't want to interrupt . . . anything."

Both Sora and Matt blushed but Matt quickly recovered. "What are you doing here, TK?"

"Didn't Dad tell you I was coming over today?"

"He might have, I can't remember," Matt said trying to remember what happened yesterday.

"When you're not busy, I'd like to talk to you."

"Do you want me to leave?" asked Sora. "I can come back later."

"No. I want talk to you too." TK let himself in. "Kari and I wanted to invite you guys to come camping with us. We're trying to get the whole team back together for the whole summer."

"The whole team?" Sora repeated. "Wow. We haven't been all together in forever. That would be really nice."

Matt was silent.

"Yeah that's what Kari and I thought. We were going to the old camp by the lake."

"Just like old times, huh? Is everyone coming?"

"I don't know yet. I still need to ask Cody, Izzy and contact Joe. Kari's doing the rest."

"Matt, what's the matter? Oh." She covered her mouth with her hand. "Tai."

TK looked from Sora to Matt and back again. Each lost in their own thoughts.

"Okay," Sora said. "We can't stay like this forever. I really would like to see everybody again-"

"Everybody?"

"Yes, Matt everybody. And we can't get this little thing from stopping us. It's time we settled things with Tai."

Matt was looking away and gave a slash sigh slash grown type thing.

"Matt, please."

"Oh all right. But if he starts something I'm not promising anything."

"Then there's the problem of you being free for a while." TK added.

Matt thought for a moment. "I don't think the band is doing anything until August so I can stay till then."

"So that's it then? You guys are coming?" TK asked hopefully.

"Looks like it." Sora said with a smile.


Mimi opened up her fuzzy pink laptop. She hoped someone emailed her. After her break up with Chris, she had given her email address to all the good-looking guys at school. She would have so many dates that Chris was just going to explode with jealousy. That would teach Chris. She giggled almost evilly to her self, No one broke up with Mimi Tachikawa!

You've got mail

"YES!" She quickly looked over all her emails to see if any of them were from guys, but to her dismay they were all from her girlfriends . . . except one. She quickly clicked on it before recognizing the address. "Joe?!" She fell into her stuffed animal covered bed. Joe from Japan. None of the boys from school emailed her. She wailed.

Her father and mother came rushing into her room. "What is it Darling?" her father asked.

"Nobody loves me!"

"But what about Christopher, Honey?" asked her mother gently.

"He's dead to me!" She rolled onto her stomach so that her face was buried into her stuff animals.

"Well . . ." Her father tried to think of something to make his daughter feel better.

"Just leave me!" Mimi sobbed. "I need to get used to being alone. For when I'm old, that's what I'll be! Old and alone!"

"Mimi-"

"Leave!"

They left.

She wiped her big brown eyes and tuned back to the computer. What could Joe possibly want to talk about? Probably about health problems.

Mimi,

I got an email from Kari trying to get us all back together for the summer at the camp by the lake. I hope you'll be able to come. Make sure it's all right with your parents first. If it is, I can pick you up from the airport on my way there. Let me know all right? Don't forget to tell me what plane, time, day etc. I'd have a hard time finding you. Pink hair or not.

-Joe

Mimi's eyes started to water again. Seeing all her old friends from Japan again?! That would be wonderful! "Mama! Papa!" Her parents rushed in a second time. "Oh Mama, Papa, look!" She held up her computer to them so they could read. "Can I go!? Oh please! It will make me so happy!"

"I don't know," said her father. "Who are these people you are staying with?"

"My old friends, Papa! You know!" She thought a bit before running off their names. "Tai, Matt, Izzy, Joe, Sora, TK, Kari, Davis, Ken, Yoli, and Cody!"

"Most of those sounded like boys' names," her mother said with a frown.

"And how old are theses . . . friends?"

"Cody's only 12, but Joe's 18." Mimi answered not knowing which one was the one her parents wanted to here.

"I'm not liking this Joe character."

"Papa! You know Joe! He wouldn't hurt a fly! He's going to be a doctor. 'Course I don't think he'd be a doctor for flies. I wouldn't want to do that-"

"Which one was Joe?" asked her mother trying to remember Mimi's old friends.

"The dorky one with glasses."

"Oh, that one. Yes, darling I believe he's the reliable sort," she said to her husband.

"Oh, all right. You can go, but if you need to come back for any reason, just call us and we'll rush over there and bring you home."

"Oh thank you!" She hugged her parents.


"Kari, it's TK."

"Hold on." Kari took the phone and made for her room. Tai was watching her suspiciously as she did so. He still hadn't forgiven her for dragging him to the camp. She closed the door and put the phone back to her ear. "Okay,"

"I got everyone to come. You said we could leave next week right?"

"Yeah."

"So can everyone come on your side?"

"Yeah."

"You got Tai to come?" TK asked excitedly.

"Uh . . . yeeeaaah?"

"What's the matter?"

Kari made a check to make sure Tai wasn't listening at the other side of the door, then said. "He doesn't know who's coming."

"But how-"

"I asked him if he could drive me and my friends down there and my mom is making him stay to supervise us. He thinks he's just bringing me, Davis, Yoli, Ken and Cody. He has no idea that Matt and the others are coming at all. He's all ready mad right now when he finds out . . ."

"You are so dead."

"You're going with Matt, Sora and Izzy right?"

"Yeah."

"And Joe is picking up Mimi."

"Yep."

"So we're good to go, right?"

"Except for the whole Tai thing."

"Oh man. Maybe it won't be that bad."

"I'll pray for us. Twelve people in a six-room building. Things are going to get interesting."

Kari laughed. "I'm going to hide behind you so your going to have to protect me, all right?"

TK's voice got really quite. "Sure . . . I'll protect you."