Catch Me When I Fall.
Chapter Six. Goodbye, Hello
A/N: Hey everyone. Sorry it's been awhile. I blame global warming. Kidding, kidding. That's always my excuse. But really, it's been lack of inspiration. But I have been working on this chapter in bits and pieces. So I apologize if it's VERY VERY suckish.
"J-Jesse? What are you doing here?" I stared at the hallucination.
This is all just in my head. This is all just a dream. A dream, dammit!
"H-hey," the hallucination said to me, cautiously. It hugged me. "So, how are you? Man, I thought I'd never see you again." He let me go, realizing I wasn't responding to his embrace.
I looked at him. I could barely breathe. "Jesse..." I whispered.
He took me by the hand and led me into the glow of the bonfire. We sat down, took off our shoes , and buried our toes in the sand. It was one of those picture-perfect nights; the ones you always dream about having. And here I was: sitting on a beautiful beach, under a beautiful star-filled sky, with the most beautiful person in the Milky Way; and guess what? I felt the absolute opposite of beauty; of sheer joy. Tonight would be the most miserable night of my life. And yet, I made myself act like it would be the best.
"Hey. You okay? You seem, I don't know... distracted." Jesse looked at me with genuine concern.
Ugh. Kill me now. I can't believe I'm leaving this wonderful male specimen. I've gone insane.
"Yeah. I'm fine. Don't worry about me. I just have a lot on my mind, that's all," I lied to him.
Okay. I really have no idea why I can't just tell him I'm moving back home. It's really not that hard. I mean, all I have to say is: 'Jesse, I'm moving back to Japan. It was a promise I made to my parents, and I intend to keep it.' Of course, nothing's ever that easy in real life.
I took a deep breath. "Jesse? I have to tell you something."
"Me too. But before we say anything, let's go somewhere a little more private," he said unexpectedly.
So I simply followed him. He led me over to a rocky area of the beach, not too far from the bonfire that we could still see the glow of the flames. After we sat down, he looked at me, took my hands and held them in his.
Okay. Here I go. Deep breath, and-
"Kari... I love you."
Whoa. Wait. Now I know that wasn't me talking. Did he just say what I think he said? Or maybe I passed out from all of the insanity and this is just a dream. Yeah, that's it! I'm totally asleep right now.
I bit my tongue.
Ouch. Okay, I'm awake.
After a few moments of silence, I realized that he wasn't joking. Then I realized I still hadn't told him the truth yet. I looked into his eyes. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't.
"I love you, too," was what I ended up saying.
He gently tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear.
Oh, great. Here come the water works!
He laid his hand on my cheek. I tried my hardest to fight off the tears that stung my eyes. I was having my own Cinderella story; and yet, I felt like an ugly stepsister. And as his lips met mine, I began to feel even worse. The tears just went streaming down and I couldn't stop myself. I buried my face in his neck and sobbed; but he didn't even question me. He simply held me in his arms and whispered,
"I've never felt as happy as I do now. I'm never going to let you go."
He smiled at me. I could feel the tears again. His face became a blur.
Don't cry. At least, not in front of Koji and Kouichi.
"Kari," he said as he wrapped his arms around me once more.
"You said you were never going to let me go," I whispered through my tears. I was crying.
It took him a while to answer the door considering it was only six in the morning.
I am a stupid woman. This is a crazy idea. He's probably going to end up hating me forever.
Amidst my thoughts, I heard the doorknob turn. And standing there, in front of me, was Jesse. He was the boy who, just last night, told me he loved me; who held me in his arms and said he would never let me go; and who would soon have his heart broken into a million pieces, but I wouldn't be there to mend them. This would all happen with the utterance of one simple statement:
"Jesse. I'm moving back to Japan."
I couldn't believe myself. This was the moment I had been dreading all semester. I had almost forgotten the promise I made to my parents when they had agreed to the exchange student program at Shibuya High. I promised them I would live in Japan for my last two years of high school so we could make the college decision together as a family. Or at least that's what they would tell me. But I knew what the real reason was: they were afraid I would leave home for good and they would never see me again. They knew how much I hated it at home. Still, I respected my parents enough to keep my word. Even if it meant leaving behind the best thing that's ever happened to me; the person who turned my whole world around.
"What?" he said, rubbing his eyes as though making sure all this was real.
"I'm moving back to Japan," I re-stated clearly. "I'm not sure how long, but two years at the least."
"But... I thought you said you were staying in the program for the full four years."
"That's what I thought, too. Then I remembered I made a deal with my parents. I promised them my last two years of high school would be spent at home in Shibuya."
"Wait... When did you remember?"
"Beginning of last semester."
"And you didn't tell me? Why?"
"I've been trying to- I tried to last night- but it was hard. I just couldn't. Please understand."
"Well, I don't, but I'm trying to." He paused and tried to search for my eyes for an explanation. "So, I have to wait two years?"
"I'm not sure yet. But my parents really don't want me going away again."
"But, aren't kids supposed to go away for college? I mean, I know some parents have a hard time with that stuff, but it has to happen eventually."
"I guess. They're just afraid they'll never see me again. As in I'll vanish from their lives."
"Well, of course they think that. But you won't. I mean, you visit them every time we have a break from school."
Oh great. Confession time. Deep breaths, Kari. Deep breaths.
"Actually... I didn't go back home on breaks. I flew to California instead. I stayed with some relatives."
"Jesse, I'm sorry I lied to you. But I just couldn't go back home."
"I can't tell you."
"Tell me," he insisted.
"Tell me why. Tell me why you couldn't go back home. Tell me why you lied to me."
"Stop hiding things from me and tell me now."
"No. Trust me. You'll never understand. I promised my brother I would never tell a soul."
He stared at me. I wouldn't blame him for being mad. I wouldn't blame him if he didn't trust a word I was saying.
"... When are you leaving?"
Apparently, he got over it already.
"Look, before I tell you... Just kiss me first."
"Why? What's wrong?"
"Just... just kiss me. Please."
And as I kissed him for what was most likely the last time, I shut my eyes tight and tried to store the moment in my memory to make sure I would always remember it. I took a deep breath and readied myself for the worst part of this whole predicament.
"My flight is at nine."
"Nine. It's at nine"
"Yeah, I know. But what day?"
"My flight is in two and a half hours. I'm leaving this morning."
I opened my mouth to tell him again, but he cut me off before I could even make a sound.
"No, I know what you said. But how can you be leaving this morning? How can you be leaving in two hours?! Oh, right, sorry- ha- I forgot; you like to tell me things at the very last minute."
I opened my mouth to try to explain myself but I had to hold back the tears. Plus, he wouldn't even let me say one syllable.
"No. You know what? I don't even want to hear what you have to say next. Any more exciting news? Hm? Maybe a husband waiting for you in Japan?" his voice just kept rising an octave.
"Wait! You don't understand!"
"Of course I don't understand! Because I'm some idiot in the world who means nothing to you since you kept this from me! How could you not tell me?!"
I saw a tear run down his cheek even though he looked like he was about to punch me in the face. He looked at me, allowing me a word. I didn't know what to say.
"Why do you even care if I leave, anyways?" I whispered.
"Why do I care? Why do I care?! Be cause I love you, dammit!" he yelled and slammed the door in my face.
I knew he didn't go inside, though, because I could hear sobs from the other side of the door. He knew I was still there, too. My mind couldn't even process what had just happened seconds ago, so I just stood there and listened to him cry. Before I knew it, I was crying with him. After a few minutes, I checked my watch and realized I was going to be late. As I walked down the steps on his front porch, I could hear footsteps fading from behind me. I didn't dare look back.
to be continued... eventually...
A/N: So, school is starting in two days and I am going to be extremely busy. But I'll try to update this story whenever I get the chance. Especially before I have to start studying for the Academic Decathlon.
Koji: cough nerd.
me: raises eyebrow what?
Koji: acts all innocent nuthin...
anywhoo, look out for updates in the future. and i assure you there will be tons of updates if you happily review! so go and click on the pretty review button. go on!