As I approached the town's edge, I could already smell the crisp downtown scent. The wind here was crazier than where I had been the previous month; the sky, however, was much more bluer. Much more clear. I passed the super market where I had shopped since I was a little kid, and the high school I had been attending since I was fifteen.

I was now seventeen, in the twelfth grade. Practically a graduate, since there was only two or three more months left in the school year. Almost an adult. What was I going to do with my life?

Would I spend it two-timing my two best friends?

Would I spend my life with one of my best friends?

Spend it alone?

Or would I find a nice guy?

I had taken my break to find the final answer, and I have arrived at it. I smiled. Destiny seems so cruel sometimes, but I know I can change mine and make it bright. Sure, there will be dramas, pain, loneliness even. But there will be plenty of laughs and love to spread around all over the entire world.

I strode down Main Street, heading towards my home, to pay my mother a visit. I passed by the barking dog, memories flooding into my mind. The time Kairi visited, Touji, even that nice guy that left the country. I realized that I didn't share a similar memory with Haruhi, but shrugged off the thought.

I finally arrived at my home, and took in the features of the house. Warm and welcoming, old but cozy, very family-oriented. Once I reached the steps, I knocked on the door in front of me with no hesitation.

The door opened warily, a woman peeking her face out. I saw that it was my mom, and smiled happily.


"Hey, Mom." I stood in front of her, cheerfully smiling and she immediately came out and hugged me.

"Don't just stand there, come in!"

I listened to her command and entered my childhood home. It hadn't changed a bit since I left. "I've missed you, Mom. Sorry I left without any warning."

"Where have you been?! I was so worried about you!" she exclaimed, her face filled with a bit of worry and relief at the same time. If that was even possible.

"I'm sorry, Mom. I was taking a trip." I allowed myself to take a seat on our couch, and noticed that I had already changed into house slippers out of instinct.

"A trip?" She took a seat next to me, still staring me in the eyes, her expression now holding some curiosity as well.

"To find myself. I was confused about lots of things. How to live my life; the choices I should make; what to do after school ended; who I should spend the rest of my life with." I crossed my legs and gave her the most reassuring smile I could, sighing softly. I had finally made up my mind, and it felt so good to have the confusion out of my life. Although I knew I'd be confused again one day.

"I see."

"Mom, I'm exhausted. Making it for a whole month with no home and very little money is hard work. Mind if I relax for a bit in my room?" I rose, stretching my arms upward and letting out a tired yawn.

"I understand, honey. Go right ahead." She smiled and rose herself. "I, too, will go to bed!"

"Good night, Mom." I walked away to my room, turning on the light to find my pajamas in my backpack that was now resting on my floor. When I found them, I undressed myself and put them on. Then, I hopped into my bed and had a dreamless sleep.

I woke up early that morning for a school break. Around 6:00AM, I dressed in casual clothing and left the house, waving off to my mom. "Don't worry! I'll call you if I can't make it home tonight, okay?"

"All right, Momo! Have fun!"

As I started walking towards Haruhi's house, I realized how lucky I really was. To have such an understanding mother and such good friends, no matter how many had backstabbed me. I lived in a semi-clean neighborhood, and although it does have its creeps, I guessed that that was every city.

Digging through my purse once I reached Haruhi's apartment door, I pulled out the keys. I decided to act as if I still lived there, to avoid any confusion or weird feelings. Opening the door, I found Haruhi asleep in her bedroom. I walked into it and sat aside her bed, deciding to wait until she woke up.

She awoke in an hour, shrieking with screams and yells. But she calmed down once she realized it was just me, Momo. I instantly started laughing at her priceless expression: she was so scared!

But she didn't laugh. We talked for an hour, normally, about my whereabouts for the last month. How I traveled from inn to inn, stayed with very kind people as well as rude ones, and how well (or should I say bad?) the food I ate was.

After that, she started to stare off to the side nervously, her voice much more quiet than it was when we first started talking. She tried to avoid using her voice at all, communicating with nods or head shakes.

"What's wrong? Aren't you happy to see me?" I scooted closer to her, but she pulled away, refusing to look at me. "Haruhi...?"

"Momo... I'm... so sorry..." Her front broke, and tears formed in her eyes, released and falling down her cheeks.

"What is it? What happened?" I got closer to her, but she stood and walked away from me.

"I did it! ... We did it!" She broke into sobs and started trembling, holding herself with her own hands as she sunk to the ground.

" 'We'? Who? Did what?" I lowered myself to where she was sitting on the floor, wrapping my arms around her in a comforting embrace, her face in my chest.

But she shoved me away. "Me and Sae... we did it. Momo, I'm sorry... I'm so sorry...!" She started crying and crying, more and more. It was like she held a water tank inside her body; so many tears were falling.

I chose to wrap her in my arms again, shhing her reassuringly. "It's all right, Haru-chan. Don't worry. You may not forgive yourself, but I forgive you. It's okay!"

She cried in my arms for a little while longer, but eventually calmed down and hugged me back. "Momo... I don't know why I did it, or why it happened... I was searching for you, thinking you may have been at Sae's house... But Sae wouldn't stop... She wouldn't let me go..."

"It's okay, Haruhi. I deserved it. I'm sorry I cheated on you." I lifted her head and placed a soft kiss upon her lips, then parted them and hugged her tightly to my body. I wanted her to feel safe and forgiven, to ease her regret and guilt. "Haruhi, do you mind coming to my house today? I need help with my stuff."

"Okay, sure, Momo..." She smiled up at me sheepishly, but then added, "I promise... I never saw Sae again after that! Not even to say hi!" Her arms tightened around me, and I smiled back down at her.

"It's all right, stop worrying about it." I stood from the ground and lead her to her room, walking over to her closet. I picked out a pretty blue summer dress, and motioned for Haruhi to come over to me.

She was next to me in a flash, staring up at me innocently. "Eh?"

"This would look beautiful on you." I put her arms in the air, sliding her pajama top off and throwing it into a pile of other dirty clothes. She blushed as I pulled off her pants and handed her clean underwear to change into.

She turned away, her back facing me as she slid off her underwear nervously.

"Ooh! Haruhi has a mole on her butt! How cute!" I teased her, and her face lit up a bright red when she turned to stare at me.

She quickly slid on the under wear, and I motioned for her to raise her arms again while I put the dress on her.

"Wow! Just as I imagined!" I smiled at the sight of Haruhi in a blue dress, and then walked into the apartment's bathroom. I grabbed a brush and comb, and decided to put Haruhi's naturally curly hair into pigtails that sat at her ears. "You sure look cute."

Once she was completely ready, shoes and all, we left the house for a quick stroll around the block. Then, I lead her to my house and knocked on the door again.

Mom answered as usual, and then her eyes widened at the girl. "Oh, how pretty!" She stared at Haruhi, a short but petite girl. "Her hair is so cute!" Mom was awestruck, but regained composure. "Oh, where are my manners? Come on in!" She waved us in and had Haruhi sit down on my favorite couch.

I took a seat next to Haruhi, smiling nervously to her.

She flashed me the same smile.

We sat in silence for a few minutes before I started the nervous-making conversation. "Mom, this is my love... Haruhi."

Her eyes widened, but she made no negative comment. "Oh! I see! Well, you brought a handsome... er... pretty one home, and she seems very polite!"

I nodded in agreement, grabbing my lover's hand and squeezing it lightly. "I... plan to live with her after high school and, in fact, attend the same exact college as her."

Then Haruhi's eyes widened as well, her lips breaking into a gorgeous smile as she threw a hug at me, causing me to fall off the couch and onto the floor. We hugged tightly for a little bit before realizing the position we were in, and both of us nervously rose from the floor and back onto the couch.

"Oops, sorry." I scratched the back of my head nervously.

"Heh heh." Haruhi was blushing at me and we stared off to the side before our eyes met again, and we smiled.

"Well, that's that! It's time for breakfast, Momo, Haruhi. I'm sure you haven't eaten yet, right? Oh, I hope not! I'd like to whip up a celebration feast!" Mom shot up with a broad smile, looking as if she'd die if she didn't hop into the kitchen right now to cook.

In unison, we exclaimed, "Well, I'm hungry and I haven't eaten yet!"

Then we stared at each other, blushed, and bursted into a fit of giggles.

Thus began my life with the love of my life, Haruhi, and the hard but good times that came along with it.

I could finally look forward to all the bad things to be thrown at me.