The rain pounded against the clear, glass window, its sound hammering in my head. I had already pulled the shades several minutes ago; the vast, expanding darkness of the cloudy sky was overwhelming. The roaring winds continued to pick up, and I tightened my grip around the telephone I was clutching onto so desperately, speaking over the increasing noise. "Yeah, it's been kind of weird lately. I'm glad to be a second year, but…so far this year hasn't been so great."
"You miss Hunny and Mori, huh?" Mei's voice came, seeming certain of her guess.
"Yes," I agreed, knowing I couldn't rule that out. "It's strange enough without them, but on top of it…"
When I didn't continue, she began to edge me on impatiently. "On top of it…"
I let out a sigh, falling back onto my bed. What was wrong with me? Part of me felt funny talking to her about all the silly things I had been feeling recently, but I knew I couldn't hang up. I was desperate for something to take my mind off of what was going on outside. "On top of it, I haven't gotten a chance to talk to Tamaki at all. So it's just twins, Kyoya, and me. I don't know…it's just kind of weird compared to last year, when all of us were together."
"Cut the BS!" she snapped, catching me off guard. "You just miss Tamaki!" I felt like she was taunting me and could feel my cheeks reddening, but that only proved that she was right. "Where is he?"
"The main mansion," I answered, the words stinging my tongue. I was happy that his grandmother was finally recognizing him, but I couldn't help but feel that she was dictating his life. "He's been allowed to move in. I don't really know how it's going, though, since we haven't talked since he came to my house over the summer and told me about it." My mind wandered back to the day he had appeared at my doorstep with that sweet, innocent smile on his face as he shared his news with me. Not far before that, we had actually even…
I shook the thought away. That didn't mean anything. It had been an accident, and if I kept thinking about it seriously, I was going to end up like the girl from the shoujo manga Love that I had read the other day when I had been seeking an explanation to what had happened at the graduation ceremony. Looking back, I couldn't believe that I had actually consulted it as a legitimate source. It was all so embarrassing, and not something I wanted to share.
I couldn't hang up though, so it was impossible to avoid all subjects involving Tamaki. I was just going to have to pick and chose my words carefully. "It's like the other day when we went to karaoke. He wasn't allowed to come."
"He's just focused on his studies," she assured me. "You know, the business crap. You'll just have to go throw rocks at his window or something and have him sneak out and-"
"Be realistic!" I cried, drowning out her voice. In the background, I heard the distant rumbling of thunder.
"Be more aggressive!" she retorted. I rolled my eyes, even though she couldn't see me. "You're not getting anywhere with this!"
"I don't want to get in his way!" I argued. "He's got enough problems. He's waited for this too long."
I didn't want to interfere, but I wish I could at least see him once in a while. I really didn't get why he couldn't turn down the Host Club customers' invitations to lunch, not even for one day. Lately, the only thing really reminding me that he was still here at my school were the apology notes he kept writing for us. I knew I should be appreciating every little piece of communication I received, but after such a long time, I had begun to feel that it wasn't enough.
"I'm being selfish, aren't I?" I thought aloud, "and really stupid." I placed my arm over my eyes, feeling heat rush to my cheeks. "What's happened to me? I feel so pathetic," I moaned.
"I think it's cute."
"I think it's stupid."
"He's stupid. You're cute."
"It's just kind of…you know." Even though I was slightly reluctant, I went on, trying to drown out the sound of the storm outside. "I mean, I'm just so used to having the entire club together, and now we can't even have meetings anymore. I see Kyoya now and then, and the twins are in my class, but now Hunny and Mori are gone and Tamaki…he's there, but it's like he's on a different planet. I wish I knew how he was doing, at least. I mean, he seems fine, but sometimes he can be overly positive…I just wish I could know for sure." I knew I was rambling, but part of me didn't care. "I used to think his silly behavior and idiocy was annoying, but now it's like there's something missing. Even though he's so silly and crazy, he cares a lot about people and…his grandmother; I mean…what's going on with that? I just hope that-"
Simultaneously, all the lights flickered out, and blank fuzz came from the phone. The power was out. I stared down at it, feeling even sillier. I had taken so long to talk about my problems that I hadn't even asked her how she was doing before the phone died.
I placed the phone down on the dresser beside me, taking one of my pillows up into my arms. My week seemed to be getting worse and worse. I knew I wasn't supposed to focus in on the negative things – Tamaki would be disappointed if he knew how pessimistic I was being. If he were here, I'm sure he'd be doing something outrageous to get me to laugh…
I shook my head, tossing my pillow to the side as I sat up. I couldn't keep thinking about these things. It was only going to make me feel worse.
I became even more conscious of how dark my room was. My eyes were still adjusting, and I could faintly make out the shapes that surrounded me. I turned my gaze to the window and saw a flash of light trickling in from beneath the shades, faintly lighting up my room. Without a second thought I darted to my closet, dashing in and slamming the door behind me before I could even catch my breath.
Letting out a few heaving breaths as I tried to steady my heartbeat, I slumped back against the wall. I pulled my legs against my chest and held onto myself, my eyes fixating onto the crack under the door where the light was streaming in. Hiding here in this closet, I felt all the loneliness I had been trying not to face over the past week fall over me like a blanket, draping me in desolation.
I felt like beating myself up for my overreacting. I should be happy for Tamaki, but if I had already come to terms with my feelings about him, I couldn't deny that I had really missed him this past week, and that I was feeling jealous of the girls from the club. All these feelings were so new, but so real at the same time. If only I had talked to Mei sooner. I didn't understand why it was so hard for me to face how I felt and admit it to people like Mei who could help me through it.
Another streak of lightning flashed through the sky, pouring light into my room. I pushed myself further back into a corner, squeezing my eyes tightly shut.
It's much safer here.
I tried to block out the flashing lights and the echoing voice coming from a memory, so distant…
From now on, I won't take my eyes off of you, so you won't have to do crazy things…
I remember how I had responded to that: please don't. Sure, I had said that, but I had appreciated his being there. He hadn't even teased me for my childish weakness. He had been supportive and helped me through it without a single negative comment. He could be so silly, and then he could be so considerate. I couldn't help but love both sides of hi-
The crackling of thunder blared through the house, causing me to lose my train of thought for a moment. Oh, well. It was probably for the best. If I kept thinking about these things, I was going to make myself miserable.
It was so dark, but I had nowhere else to go. It was so lonely, but there was no one else home. It was so frightening, but all I could do was hold onto myself and try and make my way through it.
The storm would be over soon. For the time being, I just had to suffer through it. I knew this was true, but I couldn't help but hate storms. Why was it that every time it rained, it had to rain so hard?