We managed to find each other again.
I spent the first 17 years of my life with her. After that we went our separate ways. I left for an adventure, while she left for a special medical school.
Neither one of us wanted to leave but we were both too cowardly to admit it to each other. Which was strange, because we kept nothing from each other. I knew all her secrets, just like how she knew all my secrets.
On our last day together before the start of our separate journeys, we spent the whole day together at the lake. It was our official 'Hang out' area. This was the place where many important events took place. On one end of the lake was where we met for the very first time. On the other end of the lake was where we made many happy and sad memories together. But somewhere along the other side of the lake was where we hung out for the very last time and it was where we made the most significant memory in our history together.
That day, before the sun started to set, I cracked a lame joke in hopes of lightening up the mood. It was then, when I briefly glanced at her, I noticed that she had been crying the whole time. I was too busy talking to notice my best friend was crying. What does that say about me as a best friend?
"Hey hey hey, don't cry. It's not that bad. Everything will be alright." I whispered sweet words into her ears, hoping she wouldn't cry anymore. I continued to whisper soothing words into her ears until she calmed down.
I wanted nothing more than to have her smiling brightly at me rather than crying before we parted, I wanted my last memory of her to be smiling. And what I didn't want, was to remember her as a sad girl when I thought about her later on in the future.
"H-how do you know? We'll never see each other again!" I had a hard time deciphering what she was saying to me through all the hicupping that was coming from her.
"Never say never. Remember our promise."
"O-o-o-of course I will!"
I stroked her hair like I was stoking a little kitten. Our promise to each other was to promise that we'd meet again in ten years. We didn't know how, or where we'd meet. But we only knew that we'd meet again. Someday.
A little part of me knew the promise was ridiculous. But I wanted to believe... I wanted to believe that we'd meet again in ten years time, no matter what.
And until that day, I'd go out into the world all alone for my own little adventure. I knew I'd have a rocky start being alone for the very first time, but I also knew I was capable of adapting to my new enviroment without her. My other half.
"H-h-how will I remember y-you?" I clearly remember exactly how she said those few words. I remember how her watery eyes wobbled dangerously, how her thin pale lips quivered and most of all how her whole body trembled uncontrollably when I held her, very tightly, around her waist.
"Surely after all those years we've spent together you kept some memories to remember me by? Remember that day when I snuck into your house when you were grounded and I got caught by your dad whilst I was sneaking out. Boy, till this day, your dad still really scares me." I was delighted to see that those few words were enough to bring a small smile to her face.
"And hey! If you ever forget what I look like, you can always have a quick flick through our photo album. I know you have that picture of me sleeping, probably treasured under your pillow." I winked knowingly at her. It's true, she does have a picture of me asleep, but I don't think she treasures it under her pillow.
Don't ask me how or why she has that picture.
I felt my heart melt when she giggled uncontrollably at what I said.
"Don't be so silly. I won't ever forget our special moments or what you look like. I just want one last happy memory that I can hold onto for the rest of my life. A memory with you that I can always look back on and know it will bring a smile to my face." She said hugging me tightly around my neck.
I wracked my brains in an instant trying to come up with something while she innocently sniffed my neck as if she was trying to leave an imprint of my fragance in her memory.
Suddenly a brilliant - yet risky idea popped up into my mind. I knew I was going to do something crazy, but - heck, that's who I am. I take risks. And this was going to be the last risk she saw me take.
I leap up onto my feet, pulling her body up with me. A broad smile took over my face, I knew she'd never forget this moment. She tilted her head to the side cutely as she raised her eyebrows at me, I knew she was confused.
"Nothing, it's just that I have one last memory to make with you. I think you'll remember this one for the rest of your life. There is no doubt about it!" I said, punching one of my fists into the air.
She tried to hold back a small giggle, "I love how you're always so confident! I'll definantley never forget that about you."
We laughed for a short moment until I grasped her petite body tightly and leaned down to kiss her on the lips. At the time I didn't know what I was doing, it was my first kiss. I was just doing what I knew from reading all those teen magazines and from the television.
I was expecting our first kiss to be sweet and short. I was greatly surprised when I tried to pull out of the kiss but was stopped as her hands, which had managed to find their way to the back of my neck, held me in place. How things were going at that moment, had felt like that kiss would never end. To be honest, I didn't want it to end at all.
And so, we kissed our hearts out, until there wasn't a single ounce of oxygen left within us. We finally broke apart from the kiss, I was gasping for air while she started intently at me as a small blush tinted the bridge of her nose.
We never made a move to pull out of our embrace. I think we were both pretty content with how the way things were at that moment. Anyways, even if I wanted to, I wouldn't have been able to peel my hands off her waist. Her hands traced small circles on the back of my neck, that was enough to make my knee's buckle. But, I managed to pull myself together and keep my body upright.
Not once did we break eye contact as our faces drew closer and closer. Our lips met again in a heated kiss. I was in heaven.
My cold dry lips danced along with her warm moist lips in a passioned frenzy. Soon my dry lips, weren't so dry anymore.
We broke apart from the kiss in unison. I was glad to see her smiling brightly at me once again. Her face looked flawless under the moonlight. This was a picture I etched on into my mind. I would never forget how she looked like in that precise moment when she slowly opened her eye lids to look up at me.
"I never knew kissing you would have been this great" She whispered hotly into my ears.
I honestly didn't know how to react to that. It was perfectly normal for me to start mumbling words that even I couldn't understand myself.
That night, I realised my true feelings for her. After all these years, I realised that I had falled in love with her. I hated myself for not realising it sooner, maybe then the previous years I spent with her would have been much more enjoyable.
As we bid goodbye, I held my tongue. I never got to tell her how much I loved her.
But it wasn't all that bad. Atleast we parted on a happy note.
We stayed in contact for a little while. I called her every night for the first six months, but then she began to grow really busy with school work so I laid off for a while. I wanted her to be able to relax. I know how stressed out she can become if she doesn't get anytime to herself. Little by little I stopped calling her completely. It had been a full year by the time we stopped talking to each other. I hated to think about it, but we had broken off all contact we had. Within that little time I almost forgot what her voice sounded like. Life wasn't so great anymore.
I felt empty inside and slowly by slowly, depression began to consume me.
I was too scared to do anything about it. So calling her up was out of the question. I feared that she had changed - or worse - forgotten who I was to her.
The caring people around me told me to get a grip. And so I did. I started to pick myself. I worked hard to become an independant individual who could rely on herself.
After I had achieved independance, I went on with life. This is where my real adventure started. A year later I travelled the world, visiting all countries, both rich and poor ones. By the end of my journey I had gained friends from all over the world. Of course, none of them could compare to her. She was something else.
4 years later, I returned back to my home country. I had spent all my money, and now I was in need of money. So I searched high and low for a serious career. In the end I settled with teaching. And so I went in, head first, into training. After 2 years of studying and training, I was a qualified teacher.
Before I knew it, 7 years had pasted since I last saw her. Not a single day went by were I didn't think of her. She was constantly on my mind.
As for my love life, it was pretty much all over the place. It mainly consisted of summer flings. I hadn't been in any serious relationships.
7 and a half years down the line, I found myself back at Fuuka Academy. In front of the desks, not behind them.
I wouldn't say teaching was my passion. It was something I enjoyed. Getting lost in an unfamiliar enviroment was my passion.
I get to boss around a bunch of kids. Who wouldn't enjoy that?
The thing about teaching was that it kept me feeling young. That's why, as a joke, I'd walk around my new work enviroment telling all my colleges and students that I was 17 years old. No one fell for it, of course.
The kids I taught were a crazy bunch. They'd ask whacky questions that kept me on my toes. And in return I'd give them answers that were twice as whacky to keep them all on their toes. There were some teenagers than hung onto every single word I'd say, and there were some children who didn't pay attention to anything I'd say.
I had been working for only 2 weeks at Fuuka Academy and I had already gained so much respect from all the students and from all my colleges. Everyone loved to hear my stories of when I was 18 and travelling the world. Sometimes I'd get carried away and talk until the bells go. It still surprises me when all the kids complain and beg me to continue with my adventurous stories.
On my second week there, I almost fainted from dehydration in class. Fortunately there was a free teacher around to cover for me while I payed a visit to the school nurse. I hadn't ever been to the infirmary, so it took me quite some time trying to find the place. Eventually, I came across the infirmary. I tapped lightly on the door, not expecting a reply.
"Yes, come in. Make yourself comfortable." The nurse was a tall woman with a slender figure, she had her back to me so I couldn't tell whether her face looked as good as her ass.
I flopped down onto one of the beds and positioned my hands behind my head. I was ready to flirt - big time.
It's in my nature, I can't help it.
"How can I help you, child?" The nurse rattled around for a little while, putting her clipboard down, before turning her body to face me.
"Child? I'm actually a-"
"Midori?" The nurse whirled her whole body around and dropped her pen with a loud clatter.
My heart thumped crazily in my chest. It felt like it was going to snap my ribs in half and burst right out of my chest.
I couldn't believe it. It was her. My best friend. My Yohko.
It took a while for it all to sink in. That overwhelming feeling was a bit too much for me, I was already feeling faint from the dehydration. I wouldn't have been surprised if I fainted on the spot.
Somehow I managed to recover. I looked at Yohko, who was standing a few feet away from me. Her face wore all the same expressions I was feeling inside. She looked fantastic. She no longer looked like a girl, she looked like a woman. A damn sexy woman.
Yohko had grown a lot taller. But - still not enough. I was a foot or two taller than her. Her body was thin but had curves - to die for - all in the right places. She wore square, thick rimmed glasses, that brought her face to a whole new level of maturity.
What happened to the cute, innocent Yohko I knew? What happened to the flat-chested Yohko I knew 7 years ago?
And who is this sexy, smart and sophisticated young lady dressed in a lab coat?
"Y-oh-Yohko?" I'm stunned to learn that I am actually able to say her name through my swollen throat. My voice is raspy by now and I've already forgotten how to breath. Her facial expression changed the moment her name escaped my lips. 7 years ago I probably would have been able to read her facial expression like a book. I feel awkward standing there, not knowing what is going through her mind.
She hesistantly takes a step forward. It hurts me to see this. 7 years ago she probably would have leapt into my arms without a care in the world about what others thought. Now it looks like she's forcing herself to approach me.
And it hurts. It hurts so bad that I want to whirl around and throw up into one of the basins.
When I first met Midori, I wanted to kill her. And to think, we were both only 4 years old when we first me. She was the most aggrivating girl I had ever met. Midori was the complete opposite of me.
A few months later, I found myself trailing around behind her. Following each and every step she took.
She'd play in the sandbox, so I played in the sandbox with her.
She'd run away from the angry teachers, so I'd run away with her.
She'd skip classes, so I'd skip classes with her.
She'd go swimming in the lake during the winter, so I'd go swimming with her.
We were inseparable. We were like siemese twins. But it was still unknown where we were joined from. I liked to think that we were joined from the hearts.
By the age of 16 I had completely fallen in love with her. And she had no idea. She was far too busy digging up dead bodies or whatnot to notice me. I wanted her to know how I felt about her. So I left her hints. Some were very subtle. Some were very obvious. Our time together was coming to an end. We were going to part for the very first time.
She never did discover how I felt about her.
On our last day together she kissed me. I thought it was a way of showing her affections for me. I actually thought she felt the same way about me, but I was mistaken. She only kissed me to cheer me up, (which she did) and so I could remember it for the rest of my life. I never forgot how she kissed me. And I never will.
When I hugged her for the very last time before I boarded the train, I noticed there was something wrong. I could tell by the way she scratching the back of her neck that she had something to tell me. But I let it go. I bid her goodbye and turned my back on her.
Wet, hot ears rolled down my cheeks. That day I thought I'd never see her again. I felt like I was saying goodbye to her forever.
"Don't worry. We'll see each other again."
All these years, I believed everything she said. Until that day, for the very first time in my life, I doubted her.
She'd call me every day. Those phone calls were the only thing in my life that kept me feeling alive. Gradually she began to stop calling me. And what I feared most was taking place: Midori was moving on with her life.
I cried myself to sleep everyday after that. I wanted my old life back.
I could have easily called her, but if I was right, if Midori really was moving on then it was best that I didn't call her. She probably didn't want me around anymore, to anchor her to the floor when she wanted to fly sky high.
The next summer holiday, I went back home. Instead of going to my house, I went straight to her house. I heard that she had left to travell the world. Without telling me. Her best friend.
All of a sudden I felt like someone had grabbed me by the throat and plunged me into cold water, trying to drown me.
I went back to school, before the holiday was even over. It was too painful for me to be back there without Midori. My other half.
Within the next few years, I had become a pediatrician. I took up a job in a school and worked there full time dealing with children. I was named the "School Nurse" even though I was a fully qualified docter.
The school I worked at was the one in which I grew up in with Midori. I was back in Highschool, but in the absence of Midori. It felt weird walking down the hallways without her by my side.
A million years later, I bumped into Midori. My one and only love.
She walked into my office when I had my back to her. I thought it was just another child with a tummy bug walking in.
"Child? I'm actually a-" I could recognise her cocky, smartass voice a mile off. It was her. My Midori.
All of a sudden I was overcome with a mixed selection of emotions. Hurt, anger, happiness, joy... love.
I didn't know how to feel. I had forgotten how to feel. All these years I had been numb, until this moment.
"Midori" I turned around so fast that my short hair whipped me across my face.
"Y-oh-Yohko?" Her voice sounded so raspy all of a sudden. Midori didn't seem to have changed much, she was still the lanky girl I knew. Her appearance was still scruffy, I had to resist the urge to neaten up her hair. It was a horrible habit I had obtained when I met her. I was always pushing her bangs out of her eyes, or fixing up the top she was wearing.
I wanted to be in her arms that instant. Naturally I would have been in her arms already if this was 7 years ago. But that was then, this is now.
I hesitantly took a step towards her, hoping she doesn't take a step back from me. My hand reaches out to her, and even though she is several feet away from me, she rushes towards me and takes my hand into her own and kisses my palm before pulling me into a deep embrace. I took in a deep lung full of air in and let my senses take over. My nose recognises the subtle fragrance of men's cologne mixed with the fragrance of her strawberry shampoo.
I felt like I was 16 years old again.
Maybe things weren't so bad after all. After I had pulled her into a hug, she stroked the back of my neck like she would have done 7 years ago. She was still the same Yohko I knew. I had nothing to worry about anymore.
"Small world, huh?" I chuckled nervously, trying to break the silence.
She hummed along in agreement.
"Your stethoscope is jabbing me in stomach."
I laughed as she took a step back from me with her face blushing the same colour of my hair.
"I've missed you so much." I hear the words I've wanted to hear all along.
"And I've missed you too." She sighed deeply as she fiddled with the stethoscope in her hands.
"Why... why did you stop calling me?" Yohko's voice was filled with broken glass. Her eye's don't meet mine with I glanced down at her with a meaningful look.
"I'm so sorry." My own voice was shredding apart.
After our first encounter in 7 years, we bagan to get back into our old habits. I'd sneak into her office and lock the door so we didn't get disturbed when we were getting to know each other all over again. I told her all my stories of travelling all over the world. And she taught me all the wonders of the human body.
Soon we were the same again. It was like there wasn't a huge empty 7 year gap in our lives. And I was still in love with her. Now that I was much older, more mature with experiance, I wanted to express my feelings for her. But I was still that cowardly wimp too shy to admit her feeling. Old habits die hard, ey?
On the night of my 25th birthday, I spent the day at Yohko's place. She planned a party for me, I was surprised to find that she had invited almost everyone I knew. I was even more horrified to find two of my students, Shizuru Fujino the school council president and her girlfriend Natsuki Kuga, getting it on in Yohko's guest bedroom. It was then when I decided that everyone should be heading off home.
By the time the very last guest left Yohko's apartment, me and Yohko were absolutely shitfaced. She was a little more sober than I was.
"Mi- hiccup- dori"
"You didn't tell me why you stopped calling me."
"Oh? I didn't want to stop. You were just so busy, I thought I was taking up your time."
"So what? I'm never going to be too busy for you. I... I thought I lost my bestfriend when you stopped calling me."
"You'll never loose me as your bestfriend. I'll always be here for you. No matter where I am, whether it be on the other side of the road or the other side of the world, just give me a call and I'll come running."
I lovingly watched Yohko play with the beer bottle in her hands, I didn't need to hide the look on my face. I was staring at her and she knew I was, everytime I did that she'd go out of her ways just to avoid my gaze. But then I was stunned for a split second when she lifted her face and looked up at me. She caught me in the act. I quickly recovered from the shock and tried to mask what I was doing by pretending I was sleepy as I rubbed my sore eyes.
She peeled my hands away from my face. I watched her intently, play with my hands with her long fingers. She traced all the little lines on my hand. This brought back a memory of us when we were younger. I vaguely remember her trying to teach me why we were born with these little lines on our hands.
Yohko stopped tracing small patterns on my hand. I was far too intoxicated to realise that she had crawled into my lap like a little kitten. She snuggled her body into mine to make our bodies fit together like a key in a lock. Her forehead rested on the crook of my shoulder.
She lifted her face up to mine, her nose merely a few centimetres away from my own. I don't know why I didn't stop myself. At the time it felt like I was doing the right thing as I cupped her chin, tilted it up and kissed her smoothly.
Her hands weakly grasped the shirt of my collar as we pulled apart. Her face still so close to mine, so close that her face was just a milky white blur to me when I whispered my final words for that night, "I love you."
After Midori confessed her true feelings for me, I was able to come out of my shell and tell her how I had been in love with her since the age of 16.
We were no longer just bestfriends. We were more than that. We were lovers.