The day is bright and relatively warm for March. Everyone is all excited for me to be on my way to America.
Everyone except for me that is.
Fuji texted me last night to tell me he wouldn't be able to see me off. When I inquired about it he said he was on a train at the moment to visit Saeki and his family in Chiba for the week before attending the camp. I was pretty hurt since he didn't even tell me he was going until he already left. There's nothing I can do about it, but it still hurts.
Sighing, I look out the window of Rei's black sedan and what the clouds. They remind me of White Day only the week before. Of course, I was offered chocolates on Valentine's Day, but I never accepted any. It does remind though of the conversation I heard from a couple of girls in my class that day.
Sniffles and hiccups from a few feet away reach my ears. I lazily tilt my head in that direction in mild curiosity and annoyance. For today being White Day there sure are a lot of girls crying.
"Mou, what happened Suzu-chan?" A girl asks, rubbing soothing circles in the crying girl's back.
"H-he… He said… He said he di-didn't… Love me!" She hiccups, tears pouring out of her eyes.
"Who did? Fuji-kun?" The girl asks. My interest picks up at Fuji's name. It's no surprise that girls are always confessing to him, but bawling their eyes out afterwards is.
"H-hai!" More tears pour out. "Am I just not interesting enough Cana-chan?"
Cana looks confused. "What do you mean? What did he actually say to you?" She asks Suzu.
Suzu calms down enough to where there are still a couple of hiccups and stray tears, but she's easier to understand. "H-he said that… That I wasn't interesting enough to be worth his time. He was just pushing me around and I fell for the wrong guy!" Hot tears start streaming her face again. "Cana-chan what's wrong with me?"
Cana face shows a mixture of anger and sadness. "Nothing wrong with you Suzu-chan! Fuji's only into girls for the thrill. I warned you that he's heartless when it comes to love," she whispers the last part while holding the other girl close.
"I- I'm sorry Cana-chan, but I thought that maybe… since we were in the same class since middle school that… how could I be so stupid!" She yells angrily to herself.
"Not stupid, just in love with the wrong guy. Maybe," she says with a small smile on her face. "He'll really turn out to be gay and in love with Sato-san."
Suzu giggles lightly. "Yeah, he's just constipated because except for the tennis team his best friend is a stoic ice block."
Cana's face sports a light blush now. "Kind of like Tezuka-kun, remember?"
They both giggle lightly and Suzu stated that she felt better.
"I'll see you later Suzu," Cana says as she leaves the classroom now filling in with people, particularly from the tennis team.
"Kinta, what's wrong?"
Speak of the devil and he shall appear.
I smile forcefully. "Nothing Shusuke, just people watching."
I'll remember this if the day ever comes that Fuji Shusuke tells me he loves me. He doesn't love, because love entitles you to care. Evidently Fuji doesn't want to care enough for someone to love them. Especially if that someone has known him since middle school.
"Kita-chan we're here," Kirin says. His tone indicates that he's been trying to get my attention for awhile now.
I smile softly. "Sorry aniki, I was just thinking."
"About the trip? Don't worry about it. The fight won't be too long, you have a window seat, your own credit card, and you look great!" He points out excitedly.
Running my fingers through my hair for what feels like the hundredth time today, I can't help but feel lighter. My purple shaggy locks are now cut cleanly and half an inch shorter with my bangs two inches shorter than that. All in all, it looks girly.
"Kita-chan, it's not bad," Rei soothes, patting down some fly-away hairs. "It's not long like you had it before it was cut the first time, but it's still cute."
I huff knowing that my hair was the least of my worries. "Yeah and I wish it was longer still, but there's no use in fretting over it. So, who's my date?"
Kirin and Rei exchange glances. "I thought Atobe was coming," Kirin asks with a frown.
My gaze narrows and I look at the ground. "Right, sorry, I forgot."
After all, Atobe did pronounce himself my date over a month ago. I never did try to find someone else. It was just too hard asking one of them to give up the camp. The camp I so badly want to go to that I'll miss next week.
"Well, I guess I'll be off," I tell them after checking in my luggage and standing off to the side.
"Call us every once in awhile," Rei asks while hugging me.
"Make sure to be polite," Kirin adds hugging me as well.
"I get it already!" I huff, before smiling. "I'll miss you all. Even you two squirts," I tell the infants in the stroller.
"Let you know when I'm safely in California," I smile, waving once as I make my way through the security checks and to my gate, leaving my family behind.
After boarding the plane and finding my window seat, I relax and listen to the bustle of people as I look out the window towards the runway. I feel a brush against my jeans.
"Sorry," a voice says as I turn to look at him. "I hope this seat isn't taken."
"Shusuke! What are you doing here?" I exclaim, bewildered.
His smile widens at my reaction. "What were you doing not inviting me to the wonderful vacation and wedding as your date?" He counters. "Did you really think that I would let you go with Atobe?"
Suddenly, I'm less excited for him being here. Of course he'd make this a competition for my attention with Atobe. Even though Fuji doesn't have any feelings for me, or anyone for that matter, he can't let Atobe get anywhere near me. Still, I'm happy to have his company and not Atobe's.
"So where is dear Keigo?" I ask him.
He smiles. "Taking my place at the U-17 camp."
I look at him, trying to figure out why he wasn't going as well. "I thought you'd want to go, since everyone else is and it's your last year."
He turns his head away to look at the aisle before speaking. "There are more important things than a camp with great tennis players."
For a moment, I forgot everything that's happened and what I've thought. For a moment, I assumed that he was talking about me. That being with me is more important than tennis.
Then, I remembered. This is tensai Fuji Shusuke who wants nothing but the best. This is Fuji, who will do anything for himself, including playing with girls and spiting Atobe. I remembered that this is my best friend… and nothing more.
"I'm glad you're expanding your horizons," I tease.
After those two long moments everything went back to normal. We talked like we are the best of friends, gossiped about the freshmen, and strategized about tennis. Because even after two moments were long gone, the ache in my heart is still present. I have to let myself get over him, because Fuji Shusuke will only ever break my heart.
"It's seems that we've arrived," he says as our ears pop from the descent.
"Yeah, it seems like we just spent nearly thirteen hours talking, only pausing to eat and use the bathroom," I reply grinning.
He chuckles. "Or in your case, talking while eating."
I glare at him playfully. "I was choking! You can't call those noises talking."
"I see, my bad. So, how good is your English?" He asks me a we walk through the airport to collect our luggage.
"Hmm… I don't think it's too bad. I'm better at reading and talking than comprehending," I tell him honestly.
"Saa… I'm decent in all areas, but I think you should do most of the talking if necessary," he decides and I give him a look.
"What? Scared you'll say something rude or perverted," I tease him.
He glares at me. "That was one time! Besides, I think Eiji sabotaged me."
I giggle. "Well, whatever happened I'll do most of the talking. After all, it is technically my family."
Fuji was about to ask what I meant by technically, but didn't get a chance to.
"Here's our luggage!" I say, interrupting his thought and making him forget it altogether. "Now, Rei's sister should be the one to meet us at the entrance and take us to the hotel."
"Why are we staying there instead of Rei's niece's house?" Fuji asks.
I blink, recalling the reason that Rei told me when I asked. "Because she lives in a one bedroom apartment. We wouldn't be able to stay at Rei's sister's because they already have other family in all of the spare rooms," I explain. "Frankly I don't really care since that means more peace for us."
I didn't even get a chance to look around for Rei's sister as someone decided to grab my attention by screaming my name.
"Kita! Kita over here!" A brunette screams while waving her arms frantically.
Fuji and I sweat drop and laugh at her actions. "Guess she's pretty lively," I comment.
"Should be interesting," he agrees.
"Oh Kita it's so good to finally meet you!" She gushes as she hugs me. I don't know how to react so I awkwardly put my arms around her. "So who's this that you've brought with you? Your boyfriend?" She asks, smiling brightly at us both.
I blink, overwhelmed by the language barrier. Rei's sister, as I'm referring to her since I've forgotten her name, is speaking rapidly in English. That and the sudden embrace threw me for a loop.
"She's asking me," Fuji clarifies in my semi-state of awareness.
"Aa… This is Shusuke Fuji, my best friend and tennis doubles partner. He's my date for the trip," I tell her in English. The one thing that I remembered from Rei is that no one knows Japanese.
Her smile widens. "Oh… well I'm sure you two would make a great couple!"
I blink again. "She's saying that we should date," Fuji whispers in my ear.
Realizing this I open my mouth to retort, but the forty-something-year old is already on the move with our luggage.
"Now, I know you've had a long trip, but would you like to stop by the house to say hi to some family before I take you to your hotel?" She asks.
I smile, happy that she has stopped talking so fast. "Sure we don't mind."
"Great! So, how much Rei has told you about her family?" She asks, making conversation as she begins to pull out of the parking lot.
"Actually, I don't know much at all," I confess, interested in Rei's family. True, I'm not legitimately Rei's daughter as the adoption certificate says, but she's close enough to me as a sister.
"Oh? Well, Rei's mother divorced your father, who was Japanese, and married my father when I was ten. My father had custody of me and my brother James, who was six, making us her half-siblings. She went to Japan when she was twenty, married Kirin and everything you know from there," She simplifies.
"Ah… umm… forgive me, but what's your name again?" I ask her embarrassed.
"Oh my! I totally forgot to introduce myself. My apologies. My name is Kathryn Gerard and my husband is Daniel. Our daughter, Amelia, is twenty-two and the one getting married. We also have a son, Simon, who's eighteen. He'll be there along with Stephanie, my brother's only child who's fifteen, my brother, his wife Denise, and our mother Cindy," she sums up. "I would've had you stay with us, but Amelia sold her apartment and with my brother's family our house isn't big enough. I hope you understand."
"Of course," I say at once. "We wouldn't want to inconvenience you and your family."
"Your family too," she says with a smile.
After another twenty minutes of chatting, we pull up to the house. Climbing out of the van we see that it's an average-sized two-story house. Walking up we can hear some loud laughter emanating from just beyond the front door.
"Excuse me while I settle them down," Kathryn says as she stomps her way into the house, leaving us by the front door.
"Now listen here!" She yells and we can overhear from right outside. "We have guests outside all the way from Japan. I expect you to be kind, clean," she stresses, "and- oh for God's sake don't do anything stupid!" A series of low agreements could be heard before the door swung open, revealing Kathryn.
"Sorry about that," she says grinning while her hair and clothes are slightly more disheveled than before. "Please, come in and make yourselves at home."
"Ah," I say completely forgetting that I should speak in English. "Shitsurei shimasu," I say before entering the house. Fuji gives me a nudge and I look at him questioningly.
"Remember to speak in English," he tells me in Japanese.
"Oh, right sorry," I tell him before turning back towards the rest of the house. "Please forgive me for the slip. I was saying 'Please forgive me for the intrusion'."
Kathryn giggles into her hand. "Oh you don't need to say that! Please, just make yourselves at home. No need to be so formal," she teases and I blush.
"Thank you for your kindness," Fuji tells her and she seems to melt.
"Oh dear, it's no problem at all! You're both like family to us," she says, insisting that we come in and have something to eat while meeting the family.
While pointing them all out to us, she introduces us to everyone. "Over there on the left is my husband and next to him is my brother. On the couch is Amelia with Cody, her fiancée, and next to him is Simon. Stephanie, the blond, is in the love seat next to Denise and in the sofa is our mother Cindy. Everyone, this is Kita and Shusuke."
We both smile at everyone. "It's nice to meet you all. I'm Kita Sato," I greet them.
"Mmm… Shusuke Fuji. I'm accompanying Kita," he greets everyone as well.
All of the sudden a lot of talking ensues. Questions, yelling, and hugs are coming at us at once. As soon as we sit down in some chairs, food is shoved under our noses and the noise never stops. For the next hour we talked and laughed with everyone, just getting to know each other. When I yawned, Kathryn remembered how long our flight was and ushered us right out the door, so we could get some rest in our hotel room.
"Now, I've already checked you in and there's an objective itinerary on your desk. Things for the wedding and things you may want to do in your spare time. Feel free to look at it when you've rested," she tells us. "It also has my cell phone number I there, so call me when you need a lift. Talk to you both tomorrow!" With that she hurries off.
"Well, shall we go inside?" Fuji asks me politely.
"Yeah, I'm dead tired," I tell him with another yawn escaping.
He chuckles and unlocks the door. At first we both gape at the room in awe, but when we walk further inside it's for another reason.
"You're kidding," Fuji mumbles, eyes wide.
I however am now steaming in anger, sleepiness be damned. There's only one bed in the room with one person to blame. "Kirin!" I yell. "When I get back you are so going to pay for this," I seethe.
"Are you sure the room can't be changed?" Fuji asks me, nervousness in his eyes, but I don't see it. All I see is hate for one person.
"No," I bite. "Kirin told me expressly that nothing involving the flight and hotel could be changed." I knew there had to be a catch to this. Well, another one at least with Fuji being my date as the first.
"Ah… well, it's not so bad. Or are you afraid to sleep with me?" He teases.
I should be blushing. I should be embarrassed, but I'm not. In fact, I'd like nothing more than to be with him. However, this isn't how I imagined myself sleeping with him. I imagined it with my own bed. This can't be helped though.
"No," I glare at him. "But I suggest that you stay on your side of the bed," I growl at him, shuffling past him.
"Alright, but if you decide to snuggle up with me…" he trails off, trying to catch me in his pit of teasing. I'm not falling for it.
"Just take your shower after I'm done," I tell him before I walk into the bathroom after grabbing some clothes.
I let Rei pick out my clothes since I didn't have time and I couldn't by them myself. She knows what I like, so I trust her. Well, I will unless this trip changes that. After slipping into silk pajama bottoms and a black tank top, I throw my clothes onto the floor and climb under the covers.
"Want me to turn off the lights?" Fuji asks. I can't tell if he's teasing me or not, but I don't think he is.
"Hai, thanks," I tell him softly, voice laced with sleep.
"Aa…" he responds, watching my form breathe softly and slowly under the blankets turned away from him. He smiles, thinking that maybe he should give Kirin a gift when he gets back.
Double checking to make sure that I really am asleep, he picks up the packet that Kathryn had left us. Inside are some photos with names of people on them, contact numbers, and a temporary itinerary.
Monday, March 21: Arrive in Los Angeles.
Tuesday 22: Meet family and wedding party.
Wednesday 23: Dress/suit shopping with family or sightseeing.
Thursday 24: Dress rehearsal and family dinner.
Friday 25: The wedding and reception.
Saturday 26: Free day
Sunday 27: Morning brunch.
Monday 28: Family game night
Tuesday 29: Shop in the Avenues
Wednesday 30: Free Day
Thursday 31: Beach Day
Friday April 1: Disney
Saturday April 2: Free Day
Sunday 3: See family one last time
Monday 4: Leave for Japan
Fuji smiles at the thought of my family going through so much to make sure we're not bored and feel comfortable. Thinking back to Kirin's packet, Fuji wonders if he prepared him enough for this. All he gave him were the tickets, hotel information, and told him to make sure he packed his camera.
After one last look at my sleeping form, he walks into the bathroom to take a long hot shower before sleeping away the eighteen-hour exhaustion he collected from being active for this long.
A/N: my computer may be sent away to get fixed So, I'll try to write on another computer, but if I don't update for more than 2 weeks, you'll know why. Thanks