Okay, my educational field trip is done and it was awesome! i will never forget riding SPACE SHUTTLE! IT WAS THE COOLEST OF THE COOL! you should try it!

Oh yeah, this is only a short story. Guess the problem okay? And I'll make a song fiction on your stories. . .!

I'll continue 'I am Your Life' this week, so stay tuned! I hope you enjoy!

Takuya, happy, full of desires twenty-one year old who just graduated at Singapore as a successful Engineer. When he landed at Shibuya, the sky was perfect, cloudless blue as he remembered. He was wearing his red t-shirt with sleeveless black jacket.

His family was waiting for him with the car. This he was missing so much: Mr. Kanbara, Charles, a business man; Mrs. Kanbara, Emily, a housewife; and last but not the least, his fourteen year old little brother, Shinya.

Emily and Charles hugged him tightly for a minute while Shinya gave him a power one-armed hug.

"It's good to see you, kid," Charles said, smiling as he automatically caught and steadied him.

"You haven't changed much," Emily grinned.

"How's the graduation?" Shinya asked.

"Everything's fine. It's good to see you, too, guys."

He had only a few bags. It all fit into the trunk of the car.

"We found a good car for you, really cool," Charles announced when they were strapped in.

"What kind of car?" Takuya asked.

"Well, it's a pick-up truck actually," Emily answered.

"When did you buy it?"

"We bought two days before, I think," Shinya replied.

"Please tell me Shinya wasn't the one who pick the truck," Takuya groaned.

"Really, big brother, the thing looks new and drives great."

"Is he telling the truth?" Takuya asked his parents.

"Well, honey, we kind of already bought it for you," Emily chuckled.

"As a homecoming gift," Charles added.

Shinya peeked sideways at his brother with a hopeful expression.

"Wow. Free," Shinya whistled.

"You didn't need to do that. I was going to buy myself a car," Takuya sighed.

"We don't mind. We want you to be happy here," Shinya was looking ahead at the road when he said that. Shinya was comfortable with expressing his emotions out loud.

"That's really nice, Shinya. Thanks. I really appreciate it," Takuya patted Shinya's head.

"Well, now, you're welcome," he mumbled, embarrassed by Takuya's thanks.

They exchanged a few more comments on the weather, which was sunny, and that was pretty much it for conversation. They stared at the windows making a lot of noise.

Eventually they made it to their house. There, parked on the street in front of the house that never changed, was his new truck. It was black color. To his intense surprise, he loved it.

"Wow, Mom, Dad, Shinya, I love it! Thanks!"

"We're glad you like it," Charles said gruffly.

It took only one trip to get all his stuff upstairs. The room was still the same as he left it. One of the best things about his parents is they don't hover. They left him alone to unpack and get settled. It was nice that Shinya was helping him unpack his belongings.

After unpacking, Takuya told them he'll be back in an hour—he wanted to look for a bookstore. Shinya was willing to come with him, but he encouraged having fun with his friends—he didn't know how preoccupied he could get when surrounded by books; it was something he preferred to do alone.

Takuya walked off to his new car happily, and he headed in the direction he remembered where he used to go every weekends.

He had no trouble finding the bookstore. After he bought a book, he remembered his high-school sweetheart, Zoe. So he bought three red roses. While Takuya was walking back to his truck, he wasn't able to notice his old best friends as he put the roses on the passenger's seat.

"Takuya!" Koji and Koichi yelled after him, waving when Takuya turned. Takuya rushed back to them, the pronounced relief on both their faces simultaneously changing to surprise. They touched their fists to each other.

"What's up?" Koji barked.

"What a pleasant surprise!" Koichi followed.

"So what are you doing here?" Takuya finally asked.

"Nothing much," Koji muttered.

"We're only buying a gift for Mom and Dad," Koichi admitted sheepishly.

"So how are you?" Takuya asked.

"Oh we've never been better," Koji laughed.

"And you? It's been a long time since we last saw you." Koichi asked.

"Yeah. Since we graduated from senior year. We went to college at California while you went to college at Singapore."

"Oh, I got a part-time job at a bookstore there," Takuya murmured.

"Is that so?" Koji raised an eyebrow.

"When did you get back?" Koichi flashed a gleaming smile.

"Just a while ago. I'm home on vacation," Takuya answered. "How about you?"

"Just last week," Koichi responded.

"So are you going back there?" Koji wondered.

"Well, I don't know."

"Well, it's good to see you again."

"You're looking good," Koichi commented.

"You, too!"

"We'll come over to your house tomorrow."

"Sure, sure," Takuya muttered. Then he slid into the driver's seat and buckled his seat belt.

"Cool car," Koji commented.

"I know," he agreed. "I was just thinking the same thing."

He continued to drive quickly down the overgrown lane, twisting through the trees that arched over him like a green, living tunnel. His hands were shaking, so he tightened his grip on the steering wheel.

The thick, almost jungle-like growth crawled rapidly past his windows. The drive wound on an on. He started to go slower, getting edgy. How long had he been driving? Shouldn't he have reached the house yet? The lane was so overgrown that it did not look familiar.

Then there was the break in the trees that he was looking for, only it was not so pronounced before. The flora here did not wait long to reclaim any land that was left unguarded. The tall ferns had infiltrated the meadow around the house, crowding against the trunks of the cedars, even the wide porch. It was like the lawn had been flooded—waist-high—with green, feathery waves.

And the house was there, but it was not the same. Though nothing had changed on the outside, the emptiness screamed from the blank windows. It was creepy. For the first time since he's seen the beautiful house, it looked like a fitting haunt for ghosts.

He hit the brakes, looking directly into the house. He was not sure to go farther.

So he felt the engine running and jumped out into the fern sea.

He approached the barren with the roses in his hand, vacant face slowly, his truck rumbling out a comforting roar behind him. He stopped when he got to the door. He knocked on the door twice but nobody answered. He looked in the windows. The room was bare, echoing empty from floor to ceiling, it certainly hurt him.

But wouldn't it be worse if there were no change? The couches sat just as he's last seen them, the paintings on the walls. Everything remained, untouched and forgotten, behind them.

"Takuya?" somebody called.

"Zoe!" His excited grin stretched wide across his face, the bright teeth standing in vivid contrast to the deep russet color of his skin.

They met halfway to the house.

Takuya hugged Zoe in a romantic hug that about broke for a few long seconds.

"I've missed you so much!" Takuya's hot fingers caught Zoe's hand.

"Yeah, I missed you, too."

"Sorry if it's only three red roses," Takuya handed her the flowers.

"Thank you," Zoe smiled her beaming smile.

"Wanna go for a walk?"

Takuya took Zoe at the beach for some catch ups. Even though it was hot and sunny, the beach was crowded with tourists. On this day, Takuya and Zoe had the beach for them to do what they liked.

Zoe was skipping at rocks while Takuya was talking.

"So, how's your life? Anything new?" Takuya cleared his throat.

Zoe stopped and very sorry to tell him the answer. "It all started four years ago, maybe a few months after you left. . .I've been having sleepless nights because of Dad fight Mom for no good reasons. Days go by, nothing's changing, and they're still the same. I can always hear her crying. . ." Zoe's voice trailed off when tears run down her face. She hides it away from Takuya.

He caught her face and wiped all the tears away. "Shhhh," he shushed her. "Everything's all right now."

"I'm scared," she whimpered. "Everytime I tried to defend Mom, I get a lot of bruises as an exchange."

Takuya noticed a few marks at Zoe's arms then he hugged her tightly.

"You're Dad's stupid, Zoe. Do you want me to sleepover to your house just for tonight?"

"No, I'll be fine. I'm used to the hitting parts," Zoe chuckled. Finally got her humor self.

"That's not funny."

"Okay then. I'll see you again tomorrow," she waved goodbye at Takuya then ran away from the shore.

"Wait, Zoe? We haven't talked much yet," Takuya called over as he was catching up to Zoe.

Suddenly, he lost her but he swore she went down the road where his truck was parking.

AT home

"Where were you?" Shinya asked.

"Got a few minute talks with Koji and Koichi and went to Zoe's house," Takuya said, squinting at Shinya, "it seems she's having a rough time around her parents."

Shinya was confused at Takuya. "But big brother—"

"Poor Zoe, she's got a lot of bruises around her arm," Takuya interrupted. "She's strong, I know. She's the only girl that I've seen who doesn't care to get butchered by her own father."


"Dinner's ready!" Emily called from downstairs.

"Yeah, mom!" Takuya shouted. "Race ya!"

At bedtime, Takuya tossed and turned all night, scarcely getting any sleep because of his own worried thoughts for Zoe. When he was almost drifting away, icy fingers touched his arm.

"Gah!" Takuya quickly sat up but it was only Zoe, he checked if Shinya was awaken but rolled over. "Wait. . .How did you. . .The door's. . .The window. . ." Takuya blurted and wondered why Zoe was crying and another mark was on the edge of her mouth.

"Takuya, they're fighting again," Zoe whispered. "Please don't make me go back in my house," she begged. "I'll sleep at the floor."

"Don't cry anymore. I'm here, nobody's going to hurt you here," Takuya kissed her forehead gently. "And there's no way I'm taking the bed," Takuya said. "I'll sleep on the floor. You're the guest.

"That's not right. It's your room."

Takuya snorted quietly. "Ha. No, the bed is yours."

"No way." Zoe lay down on the floor, hugging herself.

"You can use my pillow," he told her, he reach for the pillow under his head.

They lay in silence for a while, listening to the low whistle of the kid's breathing.

"Shinya's all grown-up now, isn't he?" Zoe whispered.

"Yep. I think his much more mature than me," Takuya scoffed.

"It's been a while since we last met," Zoe had almost forgotten what Shinya looked like.

There was a dead silence again.

"Shinya has a nice snore, doesn't he?" Takuya whispered.

"It won't keep you up," Zoe agreed.

"You tired?"



He waited for her to say something more, but she was quiet. He realized Zoe had already fallen asleep.

Takuya crawled off the bed, squeezing into the hard space, and threw his arm over Zoe's chest. He leaned his head against her hair and felt her tears, warm on his neck. She was crying in sleep. Takuya waited until she was sure she was deeply under, and then she crawled over her and very carefully shifted him from the floor to the bed. She was lighter than before. She didn't wake. He brushed off of the remaining strands of her hair on her hair and kissed her cheek slowly and warmly but sweetly.

"Sweet dreams," he whispered through her ears.

He put his pillow back where it belonged, and then stretched out on the floor.

When Takuya woke, the crevices in the ceiling were bright with echoed sunlight, and someone was whistling.

The whistling stopped.

Takuya rolled onto his side when his eyes fluttered.

Shinya was leaning against the door frame, his arms folded across his chest. "Morning," he said. "Get enough sleep?"

He stretched, decided that he felt acceptably rested, and found that Zoe was nowhere on his bed.

"I slept well, thanks," Takuya muttered absentmindedly. "Have you seen Zoe?"

Shinya stirred at the sound of his voice.


"Yes, Zoe. She ran away from her home last night."

Shinya blinked and pulled his tangled hair out of his eyes. "In case you haven't heard—"

"Takuya, you have visitors!" Emily interrupted from downstairs.

"I'll be there in a minute."

Takuya washed his face and brushed his teeth then came downstairs quickly.

"You remember, Ash, right?" Koji said, as if reading Takuya's thoughts.

"Because she's having a party tonight," Koichi said.

"What time?" said Takuya.

"Five o'clock sharp," said Koji.


"So where do you want to go?" Koichi snapped.

"How about at the park? We could have a few sodas there," Takuya suggested.

"Well, it is a nice day. We'll meet you there before ten, alright?"

"Sure, sure," Takuya muttered.

Takuya ate his breakfast, ignoring his worried stares of his little brother.

"I'm getting worried about you, big brother," Shinya sighed while his brother's getting dress.

"There's nothing wrong with me, is there?"

"Last night, are you talking to yourself or talking in sleep?"

"So you're listening. Well, none of the above. I was talking to Zoe. She was here, Shinya."

"I hope so."

"You don't think I'm lying, did you?"

"It's just because—"

"Would somebody please answer the door?" Emily interrupted Shinya again.

"Ugh. I'll get it," Takuya stumbled his way through the stares.

Takuya opened the door and found Zoe standing. His heart felt firm and warm all of the sudden.

"Hello there!" she called out. "Would you like to go to the beach?"

"I'm sorry, I have plans with Koji and Koichi—speaking of the twins, they haven't seen you for a while, would you like to meet them at the park later?"

"Yes," she said. "But can we please go to the beach first?" she pouted.

"Anything for you," Zoe hugged him thankfully.

At the park

While Takuya and Zoe were waiting were the twins, Takuya bought them something to eat and drink. Takuya was pleased, that much was easy t read in his face.

"All right then," he said his voice seething with approval. "Why didn't you wake me up before you left?"

"I just wanted to check my Mom and you looked tired so I didn't bother."

Takuya laughed. The sound was easy, natural, and effortless. It sounded right. "Even though. And I'm not really that tired."

Zoe turned her face toward him and pressed her hand into the warm skin of his neck. "I trust you," she assured him. "It's me I don't' trust."

"Explain that, please."

"Well—" she struggled to find the right way to phrase it. "I don't' trust myself to be. . .enough. To deserve you. There's nothing about me that could hold you."

He wrapped his arms tightly around her, hugging her to his chest.

"Your hold is permanent and unbreakable," he whispered. "Never doubt that."

But how could she not?

"You never did tell me. . . ," he murmured.


"Whether or not you can still love me, after everything I've done to you. . .after I left you broken. Can you?" he whispered.

"What kind of idiotic question is that?"

"Just answer it. Please."

She stared at him darkly for a long moment. "The way I feel about you will never change. Of course I love you—and there's nothing you can do about it!"

"That's all I needed to hear."

Before Takuya's mouth was on Zoe's, the twins interrupted in a casual tone.

"Watcha doing?" Koji asked playfully.

"Uhm. . .nothing," Takuya blushed as he lied. "Oh yeah, Zoe—"

Zoe just disappeared like a blink of an eye. He swore she was right beside him.

"Zoe what?" Koichi snapped.

"She was. . .Maybe. . .But that's. . .nothing," Takuya spluttered.

Have you guessed what's happening? If yes, let me know. Don't forget to read/review!