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15 years old

It wasn't easy to turn your back to the world you used to know. You would have to urge to face it again, despite the pain that would always creep in your heart whenever you try. What makes it harder is when you know the one you expect to be there wasn't there, because he chose the company of someone much better than you. In other's sight, though.

Kahoko walked lazily down the halls during her afternoon shift. She has been excused from classes because of an upcoming festival. She didn't show much attention to events nowadays, for they were lame without the person she wanted to spend time with. Len would not be there because he was busy, having the time of his life with another girl.

"Hey. You look tired." Ryou marched beside her, trying to keep pace. The green-head has been there through it all. The cries, the rants, the sleepless nights, the painful reminiscing ā€“ name it and he could give you a review on what has taken place in Kahoko's life. They have been closer since that wariness between the two violinists.

"I practiced until late night. I thought I slept a few minutes short 'til 2 or 3. I simply can't remember!" She yawned hugely, stretching her arms in front. The green head laughed at her childishness. She has been ignorant since that happened. He never pushed her to the details though. All this time, she has kept her mouth shut whenever they're with the group.

"You have to give yourself a rest, Kaho. Stress isn't really good for the body." He reminded her. She would complain on him being a kill joy or him acting as her father, but it didn't really matter.

"I enjoy playing. It's fun! It's fine if I get tired, at least it makes me feel that there's still something else worth paying attention in life." She whispered the last part of her statement. Here they go again. It was always a tension ā€“ filled walk whenever one of them reminisces about the thing Len has done.

"Kahoko, we are worth paying attention! We're you're friends, remember?" Ryou pointed out. Kahoko had to smile at that. She engulfed his chest to the softest of the hugs she could muster. It wasn't easy to have physical contact with another member of the male species. Kahoko has had issues with her proximity to the other gender since last year.

"Yes. And you're a great friend to me. Thank you, Ryoutaro, for staying with me all this time. I hope you don't get tired." Her voice was muffled by his chest, but Ryoutaro has heard her words clearly. He hugged her tightly back, until she could breathe no more.

"Iā€”"

"Sorry." Then they both laughed -- soprano and bass. The two didn't notice the blue-haired individual looking at them with intense eyes.

---

"Ryou-kun!" Kahoko ran away from the green-haired figure. The two were just lounging around one Saturday at Kahoko's porch. With their parents away, they got all the freedom they've been wishing for.

Kahoko was glowing today, in a much better way. The loom of sadness that enveloped her when Len started being high and mighty slowly drifted away. Ryou became a constant source of fun and enjoyment. In every way he could think of, he entertained Kahoko.

"You have nowhere to run!"

"No monster!" Kahoko flailed her arms around. She escaped through one of the open windows. Surely Ryou wouldn't be able to enter through that passage, as his body was bigger. Kahoko made her way inside their entertainment room and locked it. She was absolutely safe.

Not.

"Intruder!" Kahoko covered her mouth with her hand when she realized the shout that she let out. A guy was hovering over the piano, skimming a clear book. The shout took his attention. The guy shifted his gaze to Kahoko.

Len.

Kahoko blinked repeatedly to assure herself she was not hallucinating. His cold demeanor struck her with memories of their childhood. Her lips jutted to a pout, her eyes a bit wider than usual. Len blinked once, then a shadow of bittersweet reunion made his eyes smolder.

"What are you doing here?" Kahoko's voice was small in wariness.

"I am borrowing a piece."

"How did you enter?"

"Your mother lent me a spare key."

Kahoko's feet shuffled. She played with her hands, unsure of what to say. A conversation would be impossible. After all, there was nothing to talk about. After contemplating for a few seconds, she turned around and twisted the door knob.

"Don't leave." Len's voice rang in her ears.

She followed his command, though Kahoko remained unmoving. His request made her knees go weak. His voice would always be infallible when it comes to her. With her remaining willpower, she turned the knob.

"I said, don't leave." His shoes brushed the posh carpet lining the room's floor. In a few strides, his chest was pressed in her back. Len slowly touched her hand with his. Both were shaking in nervousness.

Nobody has made Len nervous before. The blue-haired prodigy faced the audience with complaisance. He was this perfect boy everybody likes. Len never failed to astound everyone. Even his girl. He never failed to make her heart stutter.

Except for Kahoko.

Len failed Kahoko.

Kahoko, the best friend. Kahoko, his companion. Kahoko, the red haired childish teenager. Kahoko, the only girl who could defeat her.

"Ryou-kun is waiting." She tried to push him back. Her actions were in vain.

"I really miss you." Len snaked his arms around Kahoko.

The moment was indescribable. No words could explain how bittersweet it seemed. Under Len's arms, Kahoko's body shook into soft sobs. Len slowly rocked her, whispering sweet nothings regarding their deteriorating relationship. He took comfort in smelling her red mane. Oh, how he missed those times.

Time was left forgotten as they shared the silence. After releasing the tears, Kahoko slowly drifted to sleep. She was lulled by Len's warmth. Len swooped her petite frame and carried it to the room beside the master's.

Kahoko's hair fanned on the pillow, framing her delicate face. The rims of her eyes were red from crying. Len tucked some stray hair behind her ear. How she missed looking at her for the longest time. Her girl was a not the best, he had to admit.

But he doesn't deserve the best.

"So, you're sneaking in now?" Ryou leaned against the door frame. His eyebrow arched in suspicion.

Len did not answer him.

"By now, you should know that you've hurt her. Big time." He crossed the room and sat on Kahoko's bed, adjacent to Len's. Ryou cocked his head to the left, waiting for an answer.

"I'm not going to beat the hell out of you. Just make sure you'll never hurt her again."

Len thought of the deal. Hurt Kahoko again? That would be impossible. He knew he had hurt her. He knew he was the one who shied away. Len could promise to be closer, but with a relationship, you have to choose which side are you going to stay for long.

And that couldn't be Kahoko's.

"I'll take that you will hurt her again." Ryou lifted Len with his collar and dragged him out of the room. With great force, his fist slammed Len's stomach. The blue-haired guy choked on his breath.

"Don't even try to come back here." With that, Ryou left Len's recuperating body in the hall. The green-headed man returned inside Kahoko's room and locked it.

The message was clear: You don't belong here.


Forgive me for the long wait. *Almost a year long. Bah. (Slaps herself)* I can't promise you frequent updates, because I have other things to take care of. I hope this chapter could fill what you're waiting for. :) I shall wait for your reviews.