By Crow Skywalker
Disclaimer – I do not own Kodomo No Omocha, nor do I claim to. I'm only borrowing the characters and using them to write this fanfic. All credit goes to the creators. The song 'There You'll Be' belongs to Faith Hill and whatnot, so I don't claim that either ^^;
Author's Notes – Well, how many of you thought I was dead? ^^; Well I'm not..just working on some different things at the moment. You may know me as the author of the fic called 'Kodocha', and yes, I'm still slowly working on it...in fact, I started to re-write it after seeing the anime, and the name of it is going to change to 'Seven O'Clock News', so keep a look out in the future ^_~ But anyway, here's my latest KnO fanfic. Characters are really OOC, but it was still fun to write :)
For updates on Crow's fanfiction, please join her mailing list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crowskywalker/
Summary – When Mama and Rei are in a car accident, Sana's life turns for the worse.
Warnings/Pairings – PG-13, due to harshness, a bit of swearing, OOCness, death...PG-13ishness, basically :P Hayama/Sana, of course.
"Mama? You're going out today?"I remember asking, a wide grin spread across my face. My mother had never went out all that much, and usually got servants to get the things she needed. That was the good side of being a world known novelist, and having an actress as your daughter. Money was something we had never had to worry about.
Another reason why Mama had never liked to go out was the looks she always got as people have passed by. To me, she was unique in her own way, but to others – well, the most they could do was stare. You see, Mama had tried to be normal once, just like everyone else. But like me, she believes that normal is boring, and she likes to dress up and put weird things on. For example, each day she has a new hat house for Maro-chan, a squirrel that lived in her hair. Yes, lived. I say this in the past tense, for this was the day my life took an awful turn. It hit me harder than even meeting my real mother, and the book Mama wrote about me called My Daughter And I. You see, this was the day that the old Sana died...and the tragedy of my life occurred.
---"Mama? You're going out today?" I asked, grinning the way the old Sana would have, not a care in the world. Today was just another day, although I still had a heaviness in my heart due to a certain boy and best friend. But that's another story to be told later on, and since I had returned from New York with Naozumi-kun, I was feeling a lot better. I was ready to face my problems again – to face school.
Mama nodded, and I smiled at the hat she wore today. It was a small city, with small skyscrapers and buildings. I couldn't help but laugh as I spotted Maro-chan come out of one of those buildings and get into a small car. My mother was so creative! I hugged her then, and I felt her surprised reaction.
"What was that for?" She asked, and I closed my eyes as I continued to hug her.
"I love you, Mama. I hope you have fun!"
Smiling, she gently pushed me away. "I will." She promised, looking into my eyes. "Rei-kun will be driving me. I personally asked him, since I don't feel up to it myself."
I smiled to myself as I picked up my book bag, which lay nearby. If it was Rei-kun who was taking her, then there was no need to worry. Rei-kun had been a close friend since I was little, and at one point he had even been my boyfriend, but now he was just my manager, and a good one at that.
"I'm glad, Mama. Will you be home when I get out of school?" I had asked, turning once more to look at her. From deep down, I couldn't help but feel uneasy, although I couldn't of put my finger on it at that time.
Nodding, she answered yes, and I said my good byes. Pushing away the strange feeling, I had walked to school that day by myself. My friends had not known that I had returned, and I couldn't help but wonder if I still had any friends left at all. I had left so suddenly, and had not said goodbye to them. At the time, I hadn't wanted to. After returning from a movie shoot, I had learned that my best friend Fuka was dating Hayama – whom I had just found out I was in love with. Needless to say that there was an explosion when that got out, and I had learned that he had always loved me – while Fuka was listening. I was glad when Rei-kun announced that we were invited to New York, along with Naozumi-kun. But now...I've returned to what I left.
After arriving late, and having to talk to the Principal, I found myself wandering down the empty halls and opening my locker, which was just as bare. I had taken all my books home so I could study and do my work while I was gone. But my locker was soon filled with books as I emptied my book bag, and checking my schedule, which I had had to pick up at the Principal's office, I packed my bag for the rest of the day and headed to class.
A cheer rang out as I entered, and the teacher greeted me. "Miss Kurata, please take your old seat by the window."
I tried my best to smile and wave to those I knew as I walked down the aisle to my seat, and I glanced at where Fuka had normally sat. She was nowhere in sight. And that's how I had wanted to be all day – invisible, not there. But as lunch time rolled around, and I found myself standing there holding my lunch tray with nowhere to go...I wished that I did have someone to sit with and laugh with.
"Sana-chan!" I was attacked from behind, and found myself wrapped in hugs. "Why didn't you tell us you were back?" I smiled as I turned to see Aya-chan and Tsuyoshi-kun, and hugged them both dearly. So I still had friends...I was glad.
"Sorry." Was the only thing I could say, as I continued to hug them tighter, "Sorry."
"It's okay, Sana-chan. You must have been really busy!" Said Tsuyoshi-kun, letting go of me. Deep down I felt really guilty. I had been busy, but not busy enough not to phone or contact them.
Nodding, I forced a smile. "I was, but now I'm ready to go back to school!" I cheered, seemingly like my normal old self. "I haven't seen you in such a long time! How is everyone doing?"
"We're all fine, Sana-chan. Thank you for asking. Although Fuka has been sick all week, but Hayama tells me that Fuka is getting better and will be back in school in no time." Smiled Aya, leading me over to a table. My heart sank at the mention of Hayama's name, but I tried to not let it show. There was no time for that anyway, as my eyes wandered to the table we were actually heading to, and my heart stopped. Hayama was sitting there, already eating his lunch.
I guess they felt me hesitate, because Aya asked me if there was anything wrong, and I told them it was nothing...but was I ready for this? Shaking my thoughts from my head, I silently sat down at the table, farthest away from Hayama.
"Akito-kun, Sana-chan's home! Isn't that great?" Asked Tsuyoshi-kun enthusiastically, and I stared at my lunch tray in silence. What would he say? Would it always be this uncomfortable around my friends? Around Hayama? I was such a fool for love, and I mentally smacked myself for it. First Rei-kun and now this. My friends had always told me that I was dense, but it took me a while to realize it. I never knew the meaning of love or friendship...and I never would.
I didn't wait for his answer. I couldn't stay there and hear him say that he didn't care. I couldn't stay there with him – and know that I had lost him forever. I wasn't ready for this – I should have known. I silently stood and left, not caring that Aya and Tsuyoshi were calling after me. Dumping the food that remained on the tray into the garbage, I left in a hurry.
It felt good to be alone again – to let it all go free. For a moment my worries vanished – until I heard an announcement on the intercom.
"Kurata Sana, could you please some to the Principal's office? It's an emergency."
An emergency? I remember thinking, what could it have been? I hurried to the Principal's office. On the way I couldn't of thought that things would get any worse...but boy was I wrong.
"Sana-chan, Please sit down." A voice said softly as I entered, and behind me I could see Tsuyoshi, Aya and Hayama run up behind me, curious to what kind of 'emergency' this could have been. I closed the door behind me, letting them wait for me outside, and sat down in a chair facing the Principal. He had a grim look on his face, and I could help but feel my heart pound deeply in worry. I had only been in school for one day, what could have gone wrong?
"Sana...I'm not sure how to tell this...but there's been...an accident."
"An accident?" My eyes immediately widened.
"I regret to inform you that both your manager and mother were in a car accident." The Principal went on to say, "It's a huge tragedy, but both of them were killed." Silence filled the air, and I felt the shock, horror, and sadness sweep over me. "I'm sorry Sana. You may be excused from school, if you wish to return home."
I continued to sit there, silent tears flowing down my face. I stared ahead, not seeing anything. Mama...I would never see her again. I would never see Rei-kun...I was wrong. There was a way my life could have gotten worse.
"Sana? Do you want me to give you a ride home? You must feel terrible.."
I shook my head, letting the voices of reality return. "I'd rather be by myself right now." I choked, slowly standing and making my way to the door. "Don't worry, I'll make it home alright."
Closing the door behind me, I found myself face to face with my friends, who had been waiting for me.
"Sana-chan! Why did you leave so suddenly?" Began Tsuyoshi, but stopped when he saw the emotionless expression on my face, and the tears that stained my cheeks. "Sana? Is something wrong? What happened?"
My gaze finally focussed on them, and for some reason landed on Hayama, who had a serious look on his face...and a look of..worry? I tore my gaze away. I couldn't tell them. I couldn't even repeat it to myself...because I feared that I would break. Crumble right there in the hall, for everyone to see.I don't remember when I started running, nor did I care. I just had to get out of there. To go anywhere but there. I ran and ran for what seemed like hours, and no one followed. I soon found myself in front of the large house where my once happy family had once lived – and would never more. Mama...who had been so cheerful that morning...Rei..who had woken me up on time for school, only for me to arrive late. They were gone. Gone forever. And I was alone in this world.
Pulling on a long leather jacket over my school uniform, which I was forced to wear, I lit a smoke and slowly drew back on it, letting it fill my lungs before I let it back out. A lot had changed since that day. It seemed like it had happened only yesterday, but it had been months ago. I wouldn't let it go, or let go of the pain. I had kept it locked up for the past few months, since my Mama and Rei's funeral. Of course I had attended, as many of the city had. She was a famous novelist, so the accident was very well known. That and that my acting career was just as good as over. I hadn't picked up a newspaper in the past week without seeing my name or my mother's on the cover. It was world wide news.
Drawing in again, I watched as the smoke left my mouth. Like I said, a lot of things have changed since that day. The old Sana was dead. She died that very moment in the office, when she heard the news. The new Sana wasn't outgoing, likable, or even nice. I keep everything to myself, and I haven't been truly happy since that day. The new Sana was the opposite of the old – cold and uncaring. She dropped all her friends, who had tried to comfort her – even Fuka, and had joined a new crowd, with new hobbies.
Sighing, I set down the smoke in a nearby ashtray and set out of my room, ready for another day of pain.
"Oh Sana, you're up!" She called. I could not bring myself to call her Mother, even if she was my biological mother. In fact, the most I could bring myself to call her was Keiko.
When Mama and Rei-kun were killed in the car accident, I was shipped off to live in a cramped up apartment with her, and my little sister Mariko. She was so happy when she finally found out that I was her older sister and I was going to be living with them, although I wasn't quiet as enthusiastic.
"Of course I'm up. Why? Is there something wrong with me being up on time?" I asked nastily, and watched as she winced. We didn't have the best relationship – in fact, we didn't have one at all.
She shook her head, "No. It's just that..."
"Chana-chan?" Cried a voice happily, and I turned to see a small girl come flying at me. Mariko...she still couldn't pronounce my name right. None the less, when she hugged my leg, I picked her up.
"How's little Mariko-chan today?", I asked, picking a box of cigarettes out of my jacket pocket, "You're up awfully early. Are you going to school today?"
The small girl nodded, a wide grin across her face. "Yesh!"
I nodded as well, not hearing her babbling as I placed a new smoke in my mouth and carefully placed the pack back in my pocket. Smoking had turned into a new hobby of mine – there was just something about it that let me feel better. "Hey Keiko, got a light?" I asked, eyeing my petite mother.
Keiko frowned. She had never liked the idea of me smoking, and had grounded me a lot since I started, but there was no way she was going to stop me. She knew that now. "Sana, you know I don't like you –"
"Smoking in the house," I cut her off, setting Mariko down on the floor and taking out my own lighter, flicking it once to light the cigarette that still hung from my mouth. "I've heard that crap before."
Turning to her, I held out my hand, waiting. It was a known fact that Keiko gave me lunch money every day before I left for school, in which I would use to buy more smokes. And as every day, she handed me a five and I sneered at her. "Thanks."
I heard her sigh as I turned and laced up my black leather boots, which matched my jacket, and saying goodbye to my little sister, I left for another day of school – without my book bag. I didn't attend school half the time anymore, so why would I need such a thing? I laughed out loud. Who would need school period?
Arriving at school, I searched the premises before I entered the large gate. To my left I saw a few kids playing a small game of soccer, a few groups of kids talking, and kids entering the school. I quickly went to my right, spotting the rough crowd standing off from everyone else.
"Diana!" I called, smiling as I walked up to my new group, that consisted of three girls and four boys. Diana was the only one I had grown close to over the past weeks, and I guessed you could call her my new best friend. She had beautiful long black hair that went way past her shoulders, and wore mostly all black, even if there was a dress code in school. She defied the school rules even more than I did. She was a rebel, and I admired her for it.
"Sana!" She smiled back. There was no 'chan' or formal names. To us, that stuff was childish and had to be left behind. She held up her hand and gave me a high five, which led to our secret handshake. "Are you actually going to school today?"
I pretended to think about it for a while, then nodded. "Yeah, I guess. I have to go at least twice a week, so I won't still be in this dump when you guys all graduate. I'd hate to fail."
"I'm sure you won't, Sana." Said a male voice, and I looked up to find Kenchi staring down at me. He had blonde hair and looked a lot like Hayama, only cooler in his own sort of way. He was also a two years older than I was, and in the ninth grade. In fact, most of my new friends were older than me, except Diana, who was in my class.
"Well that's only what you think." I said, quickly looking away to find Diana snickering to herself. It was quite obvious that Yamato had a thing for me, but I wasn't ready to give in just yet. Love had hurt me too many times before.
"Hey, Sana, you know I believe in you." He grinned, taking a draw on his own cigarette.
"That's nice to know." I brushed him off, grabbing Diana away from the group and towards the school, leaving the others behind. Once alone, I asked, "Will he ever get the picture, I wonder?"
"Probably not." Diana snorted, flicking the butt of her cigarette away in a nearby bush, "So are you really going to school today? Because if you are I might think of going myself, or I'll end up failing with you." She joked.
I smacked her lightly, a small smile on my face. "Yeah. Whatever."
Overhead the bell to the school chimed loudly, and I winced at the sound. It feels like I'm heading to prison or something. But letting Diana go in front of me, I followed close behind. The first thing I noticed was the uncertain glances and staring. I was used to it by now, but every now and then it got to me. I could clearly read the minds of the people who stared at me, and they asked the same old question. What happened to the old Sana-chan that everyone used to love?-----
A lone, troubled and broken girl slowly walked down a crowded hall...all eyes on her, and apparently all conversations also. Whispers could be heard from every direction...
"She's back in school already?"
"Yeah, she was out for a few weeks...a month, maybe."
"I heard that her mother died in a accident."
"What will she do now?"
"What about her acting career?"
The girl kept her eyes to the ground, her books clutched tightly against her. She tried not to cry...she'd cried so many times in the past month..but the tears still came.
Familiar voices brought her gaze upward, and she found her so called friends among the crowd, staring at her just like everyone else..unsure of what to do.
Fuka..Hayama...Tsuyoshi...Aya...why do you stare at me like that? If you were really my friends, wouldn't you be comforting me? Wiping away my tears, and telling me that everything is going to be all right? Instead you stand there and gawk at me...as if I am a stranger, or you don't know me....I'm still Sana-chan!
I'm still Sana...-----
I felt an urge to scream at them. Sana is dead! She died months ago, when everything important to her was taken away! Get over it already! But of course, I always managed to keep my cool. Silence was something I had learned right off the bat. Feelings and emotions were to be kept inside; it was the safest way.
I followed Diana until I came to my locker, where I stopped to try to remember the combination. It took me seven or eight tries, but I finally managed to remember the three digits. Opening my locker, I noticed how bare it seemed to be. I no longer had a notebooks, because I no longer took the liberty of writing down notes. In fact, I very rarely brought any books to class. Today, I thought, would be like every other day.
Quickly pulling out a spare lighter that I kept in the very back of my locker, I slammed the door shut and locked it, and yawning, headed to my homeroom.
By now the halls were empty, and I had no trouble trying to find that old classroom of mine. Not bothering to knock, I simply entered, making sure the door slammed behind me. There it was again – the staring. I ignored it, as I walked over to my seat and casually sat down.
"Why Miss Kurata, you seem to have found your classroom this morning." Stated the teacher, frowning at the young girl unimpressed. "You're late."
Waving her off, I muttered "Whatever."
That got me another glare, and I could tell the teacher was fuming. I snickered and leaned back in my seat, waiting for the next interruption of class – which would be any minute now.
It was no surprise when the door once again opened, and in stepped Diana, clad in those dark gothic clothes of hers. The teacher's attention soon turned from me to Diana, who yawned loudly as she entered and didn't even bother to close the door behind her.
"Miss Yamai, you too seem to have found the class this morning. This must be a record for you two – to be seen in class at the same time." The teacher said nastily. Always so nasty...she picked on us the most.
"Don't you have a class to teach?" I heard Diana ask behind me, trying to ignore the teacher's snide remarks and glares.
Giving one last glare, the teacher turned and started going through the day's work, and I lazily slumped against my desk, trying my best to stay awake today. Staying awake was something that I found hard to do these days in school; everything was so boring! Who cares who founded electrons, neutrons, and protons in science? Those people were long dead...and forgotten.
Forgotten...like my mother...like Rei-kun...
A chill went up my spine, and that stopped me from thinking any more into that subject. Sitting up briefly, I felt it...a feeling mainly, like I was being watched. Turning my head, I glanced over the classroom and soon found the culprit. Fuka. I glared ever so slightly – and she soon looks away.
"Sana-chan What's wrong with you?" A worried Fuka had asked, several days after I had returned to school. It had been the first time anyone had tried to approach me. "You've been so distant...we're best friends, remember? You can talk to me."
It was too late. I had felt abandoned ever since the day I had returned – it seemed that everyone abandoned me lately...even mama and Rei-kun. They left me..just like everyone else.
"You left me Fuka-," It was the first time I left the 'chan' off her name, "You abandoned me just like everyone else." I continued, whispering quietly as my eyes once again filled with tears. "I'm alone..."
I ran again. It seemed that I'd been running ever since...ever since it happened. Running from things that would hurt me – that was the day my heart froze, and I swore to myself never to let my emotions show. They would only cause me a greater pain then I was already feeling.
I didn't want to cry anymore.
Smiling to myself, I once again leaned back in my chair, and stretch, I yawned loudly.
"Miss Kurata, do you find my class boring?" Fumed the teacher once again, disturbed from her teaching.
"Yes, very." I answered before quickly adding, "May I go to the bathroom?"
Eager to get me out of the room, the teacher quickly let me go.
Of course I really wasn't headed to the bathroom, but for a walk. Being cramped up and having to sit there for hours on hours wasn't exactly my idea of fun, and I needed my exercise just like everyone else. Although that was only one reason to get out of class. Usually I went for a smoke, but today I decided I wasn't up for it.
Stuffing my hands into my leather coat pockets, I strolled slowly down the hall, taking my time because I really didn't want to go back to class. I found that my mind was once again somewhere else, and my interest of everything else had disappeared. I seemed to do that a lot these days – blank out. So many silent thoughts and questions swirling around my head, that I had learned to ignore.
I guess I was so out of it by the time I was down the long corridor that I didn't notice or hear the person turning the corner at the same time I did, and I bumped into them hard enough to send myself sprawling to the floor.
"Watch where you're going!" I shouted, rubbing my head.
It was then that I looked up to see a face that I had forever been trying to block out of my mind. Hayama, my eyes widened slightly. "Figures I'd bump into you." I glared at him, trying to hide my surprise.
From where he was standing all he could do was stare at me.
I frowned, staring back. What was his problem?
Then I watched as he held out his hand to help me out, and all I could do was stare at it.
My frown deepening, I ignored his gesture and picked myself up off the ground and quickly dusted myself off. "I don't need your help Hayama." I said acidly, before walking around him and continuing my way down the hallway. I don't need help from anyone..I'm fine by myself.----- If you ever need someone to comfort you...come to me.. Hayama had told me that once, and I had believed him. I let him comfort me all those times I felt that I couldn't handle life anymore – but the one time I really needed it he wasn't there for me. "Hayama?" I stood there, looking like I'd been through hell...while he and Fuka stood there, holding hands and staring at me blankly. "I-I.." I looked at both him and Fuka, and suddenly felt very awkward.
"Never mind." I whispered, turning away.----- Never mind...
Never mind that my mother had just died...
That I was alone in the world...
That I needed Hayama the most, even though he didn't know it.
I was truly alone.
And that had been the last straw that had broke me.
Broke me into a thousand pieces...which no one would ever put back together...
"You need more help than you realize."
I stopped in my tracks, and slowly turned back towards him.
"What do you know?" I replied, controlling the tears that I felt were coming, "You have everything you've ever wanted. A loving father and sister, tons of friends, and Fuka for a girlfriend."
I was determined to get the final word, and quickly turned on my heals and left. If only I had stayed a bit longer...
"I don't have everything...because I don't have you." He murmured, looking away.
But he had said them a bit too quietly, and the words were lost to the silence of the hallway.
I was fuming by now. How dare he say that to me? I glared as I stamped up the hall. How dare he?
I practically kicked the door to the girl's washroom open, and I barely noticed as the door hit a nearby trash can – its contents spilling across the floor as I continued my way in, stepping over the mess as if it wasn't there. Breathing hard, I took hold of the nearest wash basin and quickly turned the cool water on and splashed it over my face. It helped my anger a bit, but I was still trembling..was it really because I was angry, or because of something else? I had no idea. All I knew is that I stood there for a long time, staring at my form in the mirror.
Water running down my face, I studied myself for what seemed like hours, but only turned out to be minutes. Stared into the solemn face of Sana...the old Sana, who was trying her best to cope with the sudden changes in her life. She looked so lost and innocent, and for a moment, I glared at her, hating her for being so weak
"I hate you...I really do." I whispered through gritted teeth.
Behind me I heard the door open, signaling I wasn't alone anymore, but I didn't turn to see who it was. I didn't care.
"We once met in this bathroom," Came a voice who I instantly pictured as Fuka, "We immediately became the best of friends..."
I didn't answer her, and I guess she soon realized that I wasn't going to no matter what she said.
"Sana...what's wrong?" She stepped up beside me, laying a hand on my still trembling shoulder. I was clutching to the sink so hard that my hands were turning white. She seemed to notice this, and her next question was, "Are you all right?"
Silence hung in the air, and I gathered myself up the best I could. "None of your business." I replied shakily, shaking her hand off.
She stared at me for an instant before saying, "Of course it is...I am...was..your friend up until you changed...what happened to you?"
"I wonder," I rolled my eyes sarcastically, "Could it be because I lost everyone so close and dear to me?" I stopped to study her, "And you're only just now asking what's wrong with me...after all these months." I added nastily, "Some friend you are."
She looked shocked at what I had just said, and turned away as tears blurred her eyes. Well it's true, I told myself, a real friend wouldn't have left me alone when I needed them. And, I frowned, glaring at her back, tears are for weaklings.
"We were only giving you your time and space," She said softly, "We figured you'd want to be left alone...we never thought you'd turn up like this." She turned to face me again, the tears visible as they streaked what little makeup she wore down her face. "And we still miss you..the old Sana."
How many times do I have to tell people – myself, that the old Sana is gone! Gone and buried, along with the only people who loved her! I frowned at the girl in front of me. And how much of this bullshit can I put up with in one day? First Hayama and now his faithful little girlfriend! "Whatever." I said aloud, and turned before she could continue her little speech.
Kicking the fallen paper around my feet, I quickly left.
Sighing, I plumped down on one of the old cushioned chairs in Keiko's living room, and absent mindedly searched for the television switch. I found it where it usually was hidden – under a cousin I was leant up against. Keiko insisted on hiding the switch whenever it wasn't being used so that little Mariko wouldn't find it. One of the strict rules in the house was that Mariko was to do all her homework before she could watch her afternoon cartoons.
Lucky for me, I smiled slightly, Mariko won't be home for a while. With a little girl in the house, I had to give up the television many a times, since it was the only television in the house. And when Mariko was home in the afternoons, after being dropped off by the neighbors, I usually had to argue and sit her down to do the homework. But today, being Friday, Mariko was staying at her friend's house for the night.
Shaking off my heavy boots, I lazily sat so that my legs were dangling over the arm of the chair and sat comfortably as I switched through the channels. After clicking through about twenty, I sighed again heavily. There was just nothing on..until I spotted something, or should I say, someone familiar –
"Yes, I've been very busy for the last few months," Said the person, smiling outwardly, "to the point of exhaustion, in fact. But I refuse to give up, and I'm going to fulfill my dream of becoming a world known actor."
I blinked, staring at the figure. Sparkling blue eyes, a gorgeous smile, and the silkiest purple hair I had ever seen. Smiling, I took all of this in. Naozumi-kun..you haven't changed one bit...except maybe grow a bit. Still as outgoing as always. I continued to stare at him, although the voice droned on, and my mind went back to the night...
"Sana-chan..this must be really hard for you." He had said sympathetically, gazing into my eyes.
It had been just after the accident – right after I had moved in with Keiko. He had shown up at the apartment, and together we had went for a walk through the misty rain outside, "just to talk", he had said. But the silence had been unbearable, right up until we had reached a park, and there we stood, unsure of what to say.
I nodded, staring into his deep blue orbs. After everyone had abandoned me, Naozumi was the only one who was left by my side, and I had prayed to God that he wouldn't be the next to leave me. The prayer went unanswered as the days wore on.
"How are you taking it?" He asked gently, as if I was a small child, and brushed a piece of damp hair out of my eyes.
"Not so good." I said with a shaky voice, and I was soon pulled into a loving embrace. I returned it, grasping any warmth that I could. I always felt so safe with Naozumi – he had always been the second person after Hayama that I would turn to. He was also the second person I had ever loved – although the emotions weren't quite as intense as the ones I had for Hayama, and even he knew this.
"It'll get better, Sana-chan," He said, holding me tightly, "Just give it time."
Just give it time...
----------I had given it lots of time – months, even, and I still felt the emptiness. Naozumi, too, had left me not too long after that. He had to continue with his job..his life, and told me that maybe it was best if we broke up. Of course, he had told me that he still loved me, and that he would always love me, and we could still be friends – and yet, he rarely visited me.
Even now, as I watched him smile for the camera, memories of the past came flashing back. That used to be me, smiling for the camera..a happy little girl with no care in the world. Someone who was always happy to make someone else happy. Now my joy was bringing misery.
I pictured my self very small, standing in front of the homeless people – eager to help them, and taking Rei-kun in, who turned into one of the most amazing people I had met in my life, and so gladly dedicated himself to me and my work. I smiled slightly at that thought, and how it had changed both our lives.
The time I had helped Hayama with his family problems – he, too, became a great friend that I could always rely on.
Naozumi and I in New York...we had stuck together through it all..
Such happy thoughts and memories for someone such as myself. Memories that I had to bury, I thought.
"Is it true that you and Sana Kurata, ex child actress who accompanied you to New York, have broken up? Why?"
My mind returned to the real word, and I watched the television in unease.
Naozumi was silent for a moment, before answering. "Yes, we have been for quite some time now. As for why, it has nothing to do with the position she is in right now. It has much more to do with love...and the fact that I'm quite sure she'll never love me, or ever love me, as much as she loves her first secret crush, Akito Hayama."
Groaning, I threw a pillow at the television, not caring if it broke or not. "Thanks a lot Naozumi-kun! Like everyone needed that reminder."
"So you gave up on her so she could be happy with another guy?" The television droned on, but I wasn't paying any attention to it anymore. I closed my eyes, sighing. Hadn't Naozumi learned better the last time he tried to pull this on me? The time we got back from the movie shoot and Hayama found out that I loved him? Obviously not.
Of course I knew that it was the real reason he broke up with me – I just couldn't love him anymore than a brother. But how could anyone think it was so I could be with Hayama? Because that was far off – I could never be with Hayama – and I learned that the hard way. He loved Fuka, not me...and that was the way it was always going to be.
Looking back at the television, I'd had enough. Why bring back hurtful memories? I switched off the television. If that were the only good thing on, then I'd just have to do without. Surely there was a lot better things for me to do. But walking around the old apartment, I found nothing that could hold my attention for any amount of time. So, seeing the last rays of setting sun, I decided to take a nice night stroll – maybe that would keep me busy for a while.
Changing out of my uncomfortable school uniform, I traded the green and white for black. Black had turned out to be my most favorite color after everything I had went through, and even though Keiko didn't approve of this, I insisted on having an all black wardrobe. So, I easily slid a black tank top over my head, and buttoned up my long black leather pants, adding in my leather jacket for the effect. Perfect, I thought as I looked into the mirror.
Doing up my boots again, I made sure I had a pack of cigarettes in my pocket, and a lighter as well. You never know when the urge to have a smoke could come up. With me, it could be at any time. So, grabbing my keys, and making sure the door was locked, I stepped out of the little apartment that I was forced to call home.
The night air was warm, but was soon cooling down. The sun had set not long ago, and now that the night had taken over, it wouldn't take long for the sun heated air to cool down. That was fine with me – the cold was where I liked it, and sooner or later the afternoon sounds would die down, and I would be left to my silence as well. This was when I could really think – in the peace and quiet of my own world.
I soon found myself in that secluded little park that I had walked through so many times when I was truly myself – it felt like it was years ago, when in reality, it was only a few months ago. I blinked, staring at my surroundings. I hadn't been here since the accident – it held too many memories. I had made a point of staying away – so why had I walked myself here now? I admit, I was deep in thoughts...but would I subconsciously walk to a place where I tried my hardest to stay away? I shrugged, trying not to think about it.
But I couldn't help it, because when I came upon a clearing, I stifled a laugh. I was in the same clearing...the same clearing where I had brought about Hayama's position as 'boss monkey'. The same place where me and Tsuyoshi-kun had masterminded to stop Hayama's rain on the class – where Tsuyoshi-kun had pulled down Hayama's pants, and I had taken a picture for blackmail reference.
Those were the days...it was funny to think of how Hayama used to be, before the whole ideal. Hayama had been out of control – out to rule the classroom. Me, I was a naive little girl – who believed that life was perfect – until Hayama showed me otherwise.
When I think back
On these times
And the dreams
We left behind
I'll be glad 'cause
I was blessed to get
To have you in my life
When I look back
On these days
I'll look and see your face
You were right there for me
I had helped him, and from then on we were friends – although sometimes he got to me.
It was strange to remember such things – I remember myself so happy and outgoing, so friendly and caring – and now when I looked at myself...I was a nothing. A nobody, that went unnoticed by everyone. Mama had once told me to never change...and back then, I wouldn't of even thought about it. Acting was my life, and I thought it would always be.
I thought that I'd always have everyone...Mama, Rei-kun...Hayama....but now, I had only myself. I had lost everything, including my friends and family.
I stood in the clearing, staring at everything but nothing. I thought about these things a lot. Who wouldn't? They were constantly on my mind. I always wondered what everything would be like if I still had my family – if I still had Hayama as my best friend....
But I guess I should be happy with what I got...myself.
Sighing, I put my hands in my pockets, and kept walking, mentally telling myself to stop thinking about all these things. But I couldn't help it – they were always there in my mind. Mama...Re-kun...Hayama...
I looked up, and found myself in a even worse place. The park bench – where so many things happened.
When Hayama's family was unstable – I had comforted Hayama on that very bench, my mind sought, staring at it through the darkness. I had helped Hayama, and he had been grateful, even if he didn't show it. From then on, his life improved, and so did his personality...he wasn't alone anymore.
He had repaid me a million times since then. Like the time Mama's novel hit the stores, and I was so worried...what would happen to me? Most of all, would I have to leave Mama? He had been the one by my side through it all...he had saved me from the depths of depression during that time.
But this time around, when it had truly happed...when I had lost Mama, and my worst nightmare had come true...where was he when I needed him?
I bitterly slumped down onto the familiar park bench.
That was right, I thought darkly, just where was he when I need him? Where was anyone? These thoughts always assured me for some reason. When I thought that I was losing the war against the pain and tears, I would always turn to these thoughts. They saved me many a time – I could count on them, just like I thought I could for Hayama...
But even so, being in this place of memory – I could help think it was wrong to think such things. Once again, I had lost myself in those dark thoughts...and I guess I never heard the footsteps, or the person come up behind me...
In my dreams
I'll always see your soul
Above the sky
In my heart
There always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
I blinked, snapping out of it. That voice...I spun around to face its owner. "Hayama!" I cried, for a minute forgetting my tough outer layer. I quickly recovered though, jumping up from my seat and glaring at him. "What are you doing here?"
He stared at me for a moment, as though he caught my shield lowered. "I could ask you the same thing."
"Well I don't have to answer to you." I stated coolly, thinking of how ironic it was, that he'd turn up here and now. He had always seemed to be able to find me, no matter where I went.
He caught on to my moment of silence. "What's wrong with you?"
Typical Hayama. I mentally shook my head. Always knew when something was up...and for a moment, that night we spent the night down that big raven – right before my mom's book was published – came to my mind.
If you need to cry...come to me...
Well you showed me
How it feels
To feel the sky
Within my reach
And I always
Will remember all
The strength you
Gave to me
Your love made me
Make it through
Oh, I owe so much to you
You were right there for me
No...no way. He was not getting to me!
"No, there's not." I spat, "And even if there was, it's none of your business. Now go away." I stated, sitting back down on the bench, hoping he would just leave me alone. I didn't want to talk – especially to him. It would only lead back to me crying...and I swore to myself I would never do that again.
"It's a free park." He stated, sitting down next to me, much to my annoyance.
"Yeah, well that doesn't mean you have the right to sit exactly where I am and annoy me." I countered, keeping my eyes straight ahead. If I were to look into his eyes, I'd most likely end up doing something I didn't want to.
"But I'm not annoying you." He replied, and I could see him smirking from the corner of my eyes. He always knew just how to get to me.
Sure you aren't, I thought mentally, but voiced, "Fine. If you don't leave, then I will." I stood, and started walking away.
"I saw Naozumi on television." His voice came from behind me, and I stopped.
"So what?" I asked, turning to face him, "I care...how?"
In my dreams
I'll always see your soul
Above the sky
In my heart
There always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
"Fuka saw it as well." He stated, looking down at the ground, "And we decided to break up."
I blinked at this. They broke up over a stupid television show? Couldn't of been much of a couple, I mused. "Life's a bitch, now isn't it?"
His next movement surprised me – he was suddenly close, very close, lifting my up by the collar of my jacket, and I was forced to stare into his glaring eyes. "No Sana...you're the only bitch I know of." He said quietly, staring deep into my eyes.
I was shocked – he called me a bitch! How...how dare he? Hayama would never call me that...
"I don't know what the hell is wrong with you Sana, but it's time to get off your high horse. Ever since...the accident...you've treated everyone around you like dirt. You've shunned everything you used to be....everything that you still are. It's time to get over it Sana. You're right, life's a bitch – and it certainly was to you – but things like what happen – they happen all the time, to the nicest people. Cruel things Sana, much worse things that you went through. Even so, the people get over them – they live on. *You* must live on!" He was breathing heavily by now, and I all I could see were the mixed up emotions he was going through.
What he was saying...it all seemed to make perfect sense to me, and mentally I knew he was right. I couldn't win this losing war anymore...I wasn't being fair to everyone...myself... "You talk about cruelty...and yet you cause so much of it..." I whispered, tears coming to my eyes.
'Cause I always saw in you
My light, my strength
And I want to thank you
Now for all the ways
You were right there for me
You were right there for me
He let go of me, and I sank to the cool grass below me. It was too late to go back now...I was cracking, all because of one boy...the same boy that I had always loved so dearly...was destroying me...
"Fuka told me about earlier.." Hayama said quietly, "Do you really think your friends abandoned you? Do you think I would *ever* abandon you?"
"You did..." I said shakily. I was on my knees now, holding onto myself tightly.
Hayama bent down in front of me, and gently lifted my chin so that I was once again staring into his eyes. "I would never do that, and you should know that by now. The only reason everyone kept their distance was because they were so unsure of what to do. Everyone loves you Sana...they still do. I....I love you Sana."
I blinked back the tears, trying to clear my eyesight. Did he really just say that he loved me? Those three words I waited so long to hear.... I sobbed, launching myself at him, and wrapping him in a hug. Those words...they meant everything to me....I hadn't heard those words since Mama...
He returned the hug, holding me gently but tightly in support, letting me cry as long as I needed to.
"I'm sorry...so sorry.." I found myself repeating, burying my face in his chest.
"Its okay Sana...it's all okay now." He whispered soothingly in my ear, trying to calm me.
A thought suddenly occurred to me, and I gently pushed him away. "I...we shouldn't...you just broke up with Fuka...it must have been.."
"Hard?" He ask, a small smile on his face, "It was the right thing to do. She was a lot like you Sana – that's why I liked her, but she could never replace you – and she knew that."
I listened in silence, wiping away my tears.
"After she saw Naozumi on television...she said she just had to let me go – to you." He finished, lifting my face up to his, and gently brushing his lips against mine.
It wasn't our first kiss – there had been a few others, but not like this. Never had I returned the kiss, which surprised him. The warmth of his lips on mine – it was like a blessing. I felt everything melt away, until I knew only him and me...the old Sana reborn. Sure, it would take time...but I'd be all right now. Hayama loved me...and so did everyone else. Most of all, I loved Hayama. He was my savior, and I'd never forget him. Never.
Breaking the kiss, I looked up at him, a genuine Sana smile on my lips.
"I love you Hayama....Always."
In my dreams
I'll always see your soul
Above the sky
In my heart
There always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be