-insert disclaimer-

Again, please take care of me! -bows low- Critique is always appreciated. Flames? -shrugs- Oh, well... They never learn, do they?


And there they go...

She was surprised. You grinned at her. She tried to push you away. You just grinned away and grabbed the bundle of books in her arms. She was reluctant at first... But her pout turned into a smile. A smile laced with genuine happiness that only you can give her.

I just sighed.

- -

It was the same routine every afternoon, really. I had to admit, you guys were so cute at first, but as time passed, everything was a blur. The sunshine and butterflies and sparkling rainbows sort of faded away, and all that remained was an arid air of uncertainty.

Graduation wasn't far off, and the little boy showed no sign of stopping.

Unfortunately, Boomer, two years really do matter.

Undergraduates and Seniors shouldn't have mixed. Ever.

It's not that I don't trust you, little man... It's just that... You're gonna make things hard for my friend when we all go to the big boys' and girls' school called college.

You're holding her back.

I know that you know that she loves you more than anything else, and you love her even harder... But wouldn't it be better off if you just be friends?

No, it's not that I'm stopping you guys, but... why don't you try to understand the situation. Try to understand her situation.

Unfortunately, Boomer, two years really do matter.

How do you think would the people react if she told them that she has a boyfriend that was still in high school while she was already in college? Look at the stark differences, little boy. You're younger, so I can't expect you to understand, but please try to.

Miyako may not show it to you, but she's confused about a lot of things. She's lost. She knows that you're there for her, but you're not gonna make things easier for her.

She's gonna have to leave you here.

Why, you ask? Let me be blunt, Boomer Boy. Listen up because I won't be telling you this ever again.

She's older. We're older. You're holding her back. You're stopping her dreams. She has a bright future ahead of her and she can't see it because you're preventing her from seeing it.

And you're doing it unintentionally. You never meant to do it. You never meant to hold her back. You love her, but you're hurting her un-in-ten-tion-ally. She doesn't know this either, so call it quits.

But I, as her good friend, can and will never overlook the situation. This is critical, doctor. I'm not gonna lie to you – to her– because I don't want you guys hurting each other accidentally, got that? I don't know if you got all that, but what the heck... You're a kid, so how can I expect you to understand the things going on so well?

And there's also Miyako to worry about...

She's older, all right... But she has the mentality of a child just like you. I don't know if she'll understand things as well as how I and Momoko see things.

And one more thing...

You're really serious when you said that Miyako's the only girl you'll ever love.

But I beg to differ.

If I remember correctly, you're quite popular with the ladies, little boy. What makes you so sure that you can be loyal and faithful to a girl who's older and miles and miles away from you and? College isn't just next door, little man. College is a big thing. It's a new world, got that?

Same goes for Miyako as well. Do you think she can put up a day without seeing you, her beloved younger boyfriend, who apparently, doesn't have any mean of keeping in touch with her? And if I may be so bold, there'll be lots and lots of guys lining up before her, no doubt about that.

Not that tough anymore, huh, kid?

What's that? What about me and your brother?

...Let's not talk about it. Let's talk about you guys. Mind your own business, kiddo.

Now to put things simple, you have to consider these things now that we're almost at the end of our road.

Number one, she's older. You're younger.

Number two, she's graduating. You're staying here for three more years, kid.

Number three, she's going to college. Did you hear what I said a moment ago?

Number four, the distance will keep you two apart from each other.

Number five, you're both popular. You're both gonna meet someone else. You're both gonna have to let go of each other. You can't limit yourselves to just your high school sweethearts.

You're both gonna meet someone... Someone meant just for you.

H-Hey! Stop crying, kid! I-I'm just saying the truth!

I did the same thing, you know.

Look, Boomer... Just because you have to let go doesn't mean that you have to forget.

Remember her as the first girl you gave your heart to. I'm sure she'll do the same thing.

Stop sniffling, kid. Miyako'll get mad at me if she sees you like that. She'll go berserk and "What the heck did you do to my boyfriend, Kaoru?!"

So... Hey, Butch didn't cry when I told him about this. C'mon. Don't be a wuss.

That's much better, kid. Chin up. Keep your head high. You're bound to meet a lot of girls. You're bound to like one of the million faces adoring you.

And besides... Who knows? If you and Miyako are meant to be, then you're meant to be! Not even age, college and distance can stop you two. Got it? Good!

I'll see you around, kid. Keep your head up. By the way, smile a bit. You're gonna worry Miyako. And... I don't know about her, but she's gonna talk to you about this. I can feel it. If you feel like she's gonna explode on you... Just...

Right. 'Til next time, little man.

- -

"Boomer-kun, is something wrong?"

"Ah, no," Boomer replied with a warm smile as he held seven thick textbooks in his arms. "I'm fine."

"Are you sure?" Miyako asked him again, to which he only replied with a grin.

Silence ensued as the young pair walked the quiet and empty locker hall.

"By the way..." she began uneasily. "There's something I have to tell you, Boomer..."

He knew where this was going. "Mm. What is it?"

Miyako stared at her closed locker door for a steady moment, her eyes not leaving the handle. A million thoughts ran in her head like a whirlwind. Memories, all fragile and delicate like butterfly wings. She breathed in and lifted a finger to wipe away a salty tear that rested on the corner of her eye.

And Boomer only watched in awe.

She shook her head and faced him with a bright smile on her face. "No. It's nothing!"

"That's not nothing," he told her, dropping her books. He raised a hand to her face and wiped away the beads of moisture that rolled down her smooth cheek. "I... I get it. I understand what you're trying to tell me."

She only stared at him with teary eyes.

"Just... Let's not talk about it now, okay?! Some other time! For now, let's just have some ice cream! C'mon!"

He grabbed her wrist, only to be held back again. "Miyako, what is it?! C'mon! Ice cream! My treat!"

"Boomer... my books..." she said softly.

"Ah, crap! Right!"

Boomer bent down on his knee to gather his girlfriend's dropped books. He hurriedly tossed them in her locker, brusquely grabbed her wrist again and sped out of the desolate locker hall. "Come on! We might run out of cookies and cream again!"

- -

Unknown to them, a figure was watching from the sidelines. She flipped her cap back on and shook her head. "Meh. Maybe it isn't really the right time to talk about it."

- -

And there they go...

She was surprised. You grinned at her. She smiled back. You held her hand with much care and love and you didn't dare let go.

And I? I will continue to watch over you two until you're both prepared.

Prepared for the future.