Salty: So, we've come a long way you guyses. But, this is the last chapter. Honestly, I've been busy with school and stuff and this may be my last chance to update. Also, this may be my last fanfic. On this site, about anime anyway. I had more plans to continue on, more stories for Katsumi and Eiji, but none of them seemed right. So, without further adeu, the final chapter of Iris. Also, bonus points for people who recognize the park.
A link to Katsumi/Yui- .com/image/anime%?o=22
Chapter 22. Revelations
The phone rang while I chopped some onions to add to Kazuma's soup.
"Kazuma!" I called. "GET THE DAMNED PHONE!" There was no reply but the beeps of whatever video game he was playing for his video game club. Typical Kazuma.
I rolled my eyes, slid down the counted and was about to pick up the phone when I noticed the bits of vegetable and stew and my hands. I wrapped my hands in a nearby towel and held up the phone to my ear.
"Hello, this is the Saitou Residence," I said, glaring into the livingroom at my little brother, who didn't so much as glance at me.
"Oh! Katsumi, I'm so glad to hear your voice! It's like the angels first speaking to the first man!"
Several years earlier, Tomoeda Park
Eiji and I had been friends since infancy. Like, literally, our moms had us put us in pageants together as three month olds, which was how we met. Which is kind of creepy. We spent a lot of time at this one playground near my house, a really, really great square of a playground in the middle of lots of trees. There was a large crowned penguin in it, and a slide, a sea-saw and a swing set. Also, those things that are shaped like large animals that had some unfortunate accident, resulting in them being forever melted upon a large spring, which swayed very dangerously.
We went there everyday after school. Eiji liked the swings but I liked to climb on top of the penguin- a freaking huge slide, by the way-beneath its head and watch bystanders, like it was my own lighthouse looking over the world. Off the point but still badass.
One day, I saw a girl come through. A cute one with pig tails in her wavy brown hair, about our age. She looked a lot like Saitou Katsumi.
"Hi," the girl smiled, standing directly in front of the non-swinging Eiji. He looked up at her, slowly, like it was a movie.
"Hi." His eyes sparkled. I may have been really far away but damn me if his eyes didn't twinkle and he didn't immediately fall in love with the girl clutching a raccoon to her chest.
It was mid-afternoon as I sat in my computer chair, spinning about lazilly. My older sister-the brunette one, Yuki-leaned in my doorway with nothing else to do. She just stared at me, bored, unblinking.
"God, you've gotten lazy. Ya know? I used to watch you..." I stopped paying attention at that point. Not because I was uninterested and my sister was uninteresting.
Just because I didn't feel like her complaining. She was doing that a lot recently, ever since she and her best friend got into an arguement over a hot boy that didn't pay the slightest attention in either of them. I knew him, and he was a pretty good guy.
"I think you're in love. And further more," That caught my attention. I stared up in her direction, shocked, horrified, and some other third thing.
"What? In love? Why?" She smiled the evil smile that only sisters were capable of.
"Ohohoho! I've hit a mark now, haven't I?" Her brown eyes reflected years of payback, undeserved. "You are in love, Kikumaru Eiji!"
"Why would you say that, NYA?" My voice felt higher than usual. It hurt.
"Because you're lazy, you stare at things randomly, and you can't stop talking about that Saitou girl who stayed over at our house that one time!" There was no use in hiding it. She knew. She knew everything. Yuki was just the only one mean enough to say it directly.
And, it dawned on me then, that she was right. I was in love. With Tsumi-chan. I was in love with Tsumi-chan. Inwardly admitting it felt similar to her discovering it.
Yuki made a made dash across my room, landing in a steriotypical girly position on my bed, face towards me. Her hands held up her head, her legs up and twisted, she lay upon her stomach.
"Ooh! Eiji loves Saitou! Does she know how you feel? Does she luuuuurve you back? Come on, you can't shut up about your new Gundam toys but you don't say a word about this? COME OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-"
And again, I stopped paying attention and thought about how I was in love with Katsumi. How new that felt. How unsure I was that it was even love that I felt, and yet it was.
Then the phone rang, someone answered soon, and my other sister, a red head who looked very similar to me, ran into the room to hand me the phone.
"It's for you, Eiji-chan!" she chirped, before running out of the room. Yuki became quiet once I pressed the phone to my ear and it was apparent that I wasn't listening.
"Hell-o, Nya!" There was a brief silence on the other end, then a cough. I recognized the cough-Raki-chan! "Raki-chaaaaaan? Why are you being so meeaaaaaaan? Talk to me gal-frieend!"
"Saitou-san's moving," she said. "To America. She's moving in a week. Saitou-san just told me. She-she wanted me to tell you. Also, she's not going to be in school. Just...Just thought that you should know."
Silence. I couldn't think. I felt very blank, and I think Yuki heard as well, because she bit her lip the way she did when she felt very awkward or sad.
Then, when I didn't respond for at least a minute, Raki-chan hung up.
Then Yuki said, "I'm sorry, Eiji." And she walked out. I wished that she didn't, but she did. And I already missed her.
The girl with the raccoon-whose name was George Harrison-was named Yui-chan. I never learned her last name, because Eiji and I never spent much time with her apart from at the playground. She and I got along alright, but it was Eiji who she was really close to. Her eyes would kind of...light up, in a way, whenever she would see him, and so would his. I think she loved him, for a ten year old, and he just goddamn adored her.
She was very cute and very outspoken and just perfect for him, but also had a temper. She sucked at tennis, to be quite honest. But none of this matted to Eiji. He loved her.
Then, about a two years later, I was still in my lighthouse-watchtower and Eiji sat on his swing, waiting for his companion to fill the slight emptiness by sitting on the swing next to him. Summer morning burned to summer afternoon then faded to summer evening until our parents had to come and get us. We were never to see Yui-chan again. Mostly because I would soon move to Seishun and Eiji would soon follow. But Eiji was devestated.
He wouldn't eat for a very brief time. For a while, he didn't even speak. I think that's about when he became so cheerful. It was kind of a way to distance himself from it all. To create the Eiji persona that would let him live life to the fullest. I hope that I was informative.
Yamashita Ren laid back in her bed after shutting off the tap player, not the one in the apartment that she set up with Katsumi but Das Epos Lair von Ren, or the Ren Cave, set up in a secret place that no one else the she personally knew was awair of. The one where she could explore her obsession with all things girl-ie and non-goth things without being judged.
She looked into the eyes of a unicorn with similar hazel eyes to Suzuyama Kei, and sighed. Katsumi was moving soon. Eiji was going to be devestated, if he'd gone through something similar once. And what was she going to do about Kazuma's unrequited feelings? She'd pretended to be indifferent and unknowing for some time but...
Yamashita Kei puffed out her chest (embroidered with rhinestones saying 'I Love Ponies!') and banished the last thought about the youngest mortal from her mind. It was Katsumi and Eiji's love life that demanded her full attention.
A probably scenario began to form in her mind, the less likely ones being banished as the entire thing mapped itself out. But she had to start it up, and it began with one boy. She knew this well as she went to speed dial, pressed four for Fuji Syusuke and pressed the phone to her ear.
"Hello? Fuji Syusuke here. Who would this happen to be?" he said after four rings.
"It's Ren," she said. "Things are in motion with Katsumi and Eiji. Everything begins now." Fuji didn't bother asking stupid questions.
He merely said, "What do I need to do?"
The phone remained on my desk, above my computer, when it rang again. I hoped that it was Katsumi. I hoped that it wasn't Katsumi. (Spoiler Alert! It wasn't Katsumi.)
"Hello?" My voice seemed like a dry baritone in my own ears. "This is Kikumaru Eiji," I added for fear of seeming rude.
"Eiji, this is Fuji. You need to-"
"Heeeeey, Fujiko-chan. Did you hear about Tsumi-chan?"
"Yeah, I did. But that's not exactly what I'm calling about."
"Really? I'd like to talk about it a bit." I did, but I didn't. It was all I could really think of at the time.
"Well, okay, I suppose. But I really, really have to speak with you about something else."
"Go ahead." I didn't want to hear about Katsumi anymore.
"I broke up with Katsumi." HE WAS DATING KATSUMI?J(!U#&UI!(I!(I*&^$*()? (I wasn't angry or hurt, well not a lot, anyway, just surprised.) "And she's moving. You have to make your move NOW. Capital N now. Just hang up with me now, and confess your feelings NOW."
"What? Why-but I don't-" How did he know? Call her and tell her? I wasn't so sure...
"Look, just call her. Tell her what you've meant to tell her for months now, satisfy the world from the awkwardness and just tell her."
"What? On the phone? Now, I don't..."
"You're right. Too impersonal. Go there yourself, on the tram. Go. NOW!"
I was too frightened to disagree, so I hung up the phone, put on a jacket and got on the tram to Katsumi's apartment.
Dusk descended upon the apartment complex as Kazuma and I sat outside, watching the WacDonalds across the street. It looked rather beautiful in the seeting sun, almost like twin arches. A lot had happened. My parents had called, informing Kazuma and I that we were to move to America within a goddammed week, of all things. Fuji-kun had broken up with me, which was understandable since we didn't have great chemistry, were just friends who were in love with other people and also because I was moving continents.
Kazuma was taking it much worse than me. He threw down his game console, stomped outside and damn near cried, though he thoroughly refused this. His eyes, though, his caramel eyes were misty as he stared at the upside-down twin arches overhead the WacDonalds.
"I'm in love," he suddenly burst out, staring at the horizon, neither fading nor setting. "With Ren-chan. And I've told her but she hasn't said anything. She said that she needed time to think, and now we're moving and there isn't Any. MORE. TIME." A tear leaves his face and does so on mine.
Then my chest fills with this hopeless, suffocated feeling. The feeling you might get when you had time to save yourself from falling or drowning, but didn't take it. And the tears continue for both of us.
Suddenly, and impulsively, I got up and Kazuma got up and we hugged for the first time since he had arrived at my apartment. At least we could drown together. Then I thought of Eiji and just buried my head into Kazuma's baby blue sweater. I hoped that he didn't know that it was to hide the tears.
I was just so damn...embarrassed to be crying. Why was Eiji bringing that up? Was it because I loved him like my own son?
"Hey." Kazuma nudged me off and twirled my shoulders in the direction of the WacDonalds, then twisting my head down to the lawn. "Look."
Down in the grass lawn was a panting Eiji.
"I LOVE YOU, TSUMI-CHAN!" he screeched out hoarsely. That is, before passing out on the grass.
I went down stairs to check on him, while Kazuma called the medic.
As I stared down at his cute, cat-like (albeit sweaty face) I wondered why the hell he'd come to my house on a roasting day, why he wore a large sweater, and why he said he loved me.
"It doesn't matter," I suddenly said aloud, kneeling down next his passed out body and suddenly feeling so weak that I laid down beside him. "God damn it, I think I love you too, Eiji-kun."
I feel like a troll. For some reason...So, end. And sidenote, each chapter ends with someone calling someone on the phone. Goodbye forever!