Here it is, the final chapter! :)
I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has read/reviewed/faved etc. Sorry I haven't replied to any reviews for the previous chapter, but it's late here and I wanted to get the chapter posted up tonight. I've loved reading everyone's feedback and views. I would never have thought I would have got this many reviews and hits when I firs started it, so thank you everyone! xx
Twist of Fate
Chapter 6: A Perfect Ending
That was it. High school was now officially over. Gone were the days of wearing the icky green, or puke green as Tai used to put it, uniforms, disgusting school meals and detentions.
Today had been their graduation. A ninety minute congregation of singing, listening to teachers drone on and watch every student receive their diploma. Despite being an important milestone in their youth, Tai found the whole thing rather boring to sit through.
So as soon as the ceremony was over, which also signalled the end of the school day and year, Tai had shot out of there as fast as his legs would take him. Although he'd been off his crutches for good for a few days now, he still sported a slight limp, which the doctor said would go away eventually. It still frustrated him though as regular journey's still took longer than they used to. But at least he was off those stupid crutches.
Before leaving, Tai had said a quick goodbye to some of his classmates, mainly the soccer team. It felt strange. After growing up with the same faces throughout elementary and high school; after today he probably wouldn't see most of them ever again. He especially said goodbye to Riku, also wishing him luck on his soccer scholarship.
Tai walked down from the sidewalk and towards the beach. There was a small seating area just on the edge of the sand. As he reached the nearest bench, he pulled out his cellphone and checked the time. It had taken him twelve minutes to walk here from school. Usually it only took him seven minutes. But he was getting better. Two weeks ago it took him almost twenty minutes to reach the same spot from school.
The brown haired teen tossed his green school blazer over the back of the bench and dumped his school bag underneath it before lying down on his back, stretching his left leg out.
It felt so good to finally do that. Being stuck in an uncomfortable chair for an hour and half with limited leg room really didn't do his leg any good. The wooden bench wasn't exactly the comfiest thing to lie on but it was far better than sitting in that auditorium hall.
Tai put his hands behind his head and stared up at the sky. That was it now. He could finally relax. No more exams or studying until his university semester started in five weeks time. His last exam had been an entrance exam for Osaka and he should be receiving the results back any day now.
He sighed loudly to himself and closed his eyes, feeling the rays of the sun. He lay like that for a few minutes and just as he felt himself about to doze off, a shadow loomed over his face. Not feeling the warmth from the sun, he cracked one eye open to see Sora leaning over him, smiling.
"Hey." Tai smiled back, looking up at her. "What're you doing here?"
"I was actually on my way to see you. You took off out of the auditorium hall so fast I was wondering if something was wrong."
Tai closed his eyes again. "Just couldn't wait to get outta there."
Sora smiled slightly as she sat down on the edge of the bench, being careful not to knock his leg. "It did sort of drag on for a while." She watched him for a few moments. He looked rather cute sleeping. Something she hadn't realised until recently. She felt her cheeks flush so she turned away, looking out across the beach.
Tai opened his eyes again and looked at her, smiling a little. "Your trip's coming up soon isn't it?"
Sora nodded, as she watched a water bus go by across the bay. "Yeah, I leave in a week."
Tai pushed himself up, resting his weight on his elbows. "Who would have guessed it would have been you who would have taken up fashion designing. I always thought that was Mimi's domain."
Sora cracked a smile, glancing at him. "Almost everyone else has said that to me. Even my mother was shocked when I told her. I think she was sort of hoping I'd take over the flower shop from her."
"Don't you want to?"
"Not really. I don't mind helping my mother out but it's not what I want to do for a career." Sora then laughed a little. "I used to find flowers really boring when I was a kid. I don't know what suddenly changed my interest in them."
"So why the sudden interest in fashion?" Tai asked casually. It had all been about tennis with Sora and then during the two years they had drifted apart she was suddenly into fashion. He really wished he could take those two years back.
"I think that field trip I went on to the fashion museum a few years ago got me started. I've always liked drawing and being creative when I was little so it sounded like something I'd really enjoy. Besides, we've all started to change as we've gotten older. I mean look at you. I'd never have guessed you would go for Business, Finance and Accountancy. You always hated math."
Tai smiled slightly. "I hated the teacher more than the subject. Besides, I passed it. I think Mrs Sato almost had a heart attack when she saw I got a B."
Sora giggled, slouching back a little. "To be fair, you did give her a hard time."
Tai frowned. "Hey ever since she caught me drawing that little doodle of her as a witch she's been giving me a hard time!"
Sora laughed even more. "Well what do you expect Sherlock?" She added sarcastically.
"Ah c'mon Sor' don't tell me you don't think she looks like a witch with that long black hair and green eyes."
Sora's laughter died down a little as she looked out across the bay once more. "I can't wait to see the look on her face when Davis arrives in her class."
Tai smiled softly. "Me neither." He said quietly. He watched her as she watched the bay. That kiss that had almost happened in the park was still driving him crazy, although he had covered it up well.
He had told Sora to forget about it and by the looks of it she had. But there were still little things that still made him think maybe she did have some feelings for him. Like yesterday during their last chemistry class. Tai had looked up to see Sora staring at him affectionately. It had taken her a few seconds to realise he was looking back at her and when she did she blushed madly and shoved her head down in her school book.
Tai lay back down, staring up at the sky again. If she did have feelings for him and he had a second chance, would he be an idiot not to take it? He was leaving in five weeks for Osaka…. Maybe it wasn't too late to change his mind….
Later that evening, Tai paced back and forth gingerly in the living room as he waited on the phone. He had been put on hold about ten minutes ago and now his patience was starting to ware down. How long could it possibly take to look up something on a computer? Surely it shouldn't take this long. Computers were supposed to make things faster. Just as he sighed impatiently, the woman arrived back on the other end.
"I'm sorry Mister Kamiya. But all the available places are taken for Business and Finance and Accountancy."
"What? Isn't there anything?" Tai pleaded. "Surely you can squeeze just one more in."
"We have a set amount of places for each course and we cannot exceed that. Now by the looks of our records you didn't even apply so you really should have applied sooner and not left it so late if you wanted to attend Tokyo so badly."
Tai had to refrain himself from answering back to the snide portion of the lady's comment. Instead he sighed and slumped against the wall. "Circumstances just changed that's all." He muttered solemnly.
"I'm sorry I can't help you any further. But you've made an excellent choice by choosing Osaka anyway. Next to Tokyo it's the best in Japan."
"Yeah… I guess so…. Thanks." Tai sighed before he ended the call. He slowly pushed himself off of the wall and sluggishly wandered over to the dining table where he slumped down in one of the chairs.
He stared down at the phone in his hands, fumbling with it a little. He knew it had been a long shot… but he had hoped there would have been a slight possibility there would have been something…
Almost defeated, he remained sat there just staring at the empty table in front of him. Not even the sound of the front door opening was enough to make him move.
As Kari walked into the apartment, still in her school uniform, she spotted her brother sat at the dining table with his back to her. "Hey Tai." After not receiving an answer, she then noticed his lack of movement. "Are you okay? Where's Mom and Dad?" she asked.
"They're out." He simply replied before he lifted his head up and watched his sister walk into the kitchen and open the refrigerator. "Hey Kari…." He finally spoke. "What do you think about long distance relationships?"
At this point, Kari had exited the kitchen carrying a bottle of still water. She placed it on the table before taking a seat opposite her brother. "To be honest… it's not for me. I'd like to have a relationship with someone face to face. Not through telephone or email all the time. Why do you ask?"
"…No particular reason…" Tai murmured.
Kari gave her brother a sceptical look. "That's the reason why Matt and Sora broke up isn't it?"
Tai nodded. "Sora doesn't want long distance relationships and Matt knew it wouldn't be fair on her so they both ended it."
Kari traced the rim of the bottle with her index finger. "Are you thinking of asking Sora out again?"
Tai looked up. "Well…I….ye- I dunno. It's complicated." He stuttered out. "Something happened and now it's messing with my head. I don't know what I want and I don't know what Sora wants either." He groaned as he banged his forehead on the table top out of frustration.
Kari bit her bottom lip, unsure what to say at first. She didn't want to force her brother to explain what had happened. She guessed it was between him and Sora. If he wanted to tell her he would have already. "You know…. You and Sora would make a really great couple…. But you've got to ask yourself is it what you really want considering the circumstances. I'd hate to see you hurt again if you were to take that chance and then things didn't work out the way you thought they would."
"Because of the long distance?" came her brother's muffled reply, still face down on the table.
"Yeah. You know Sora doesn't want that, and I doubt you want that too."
Tai slowly lifted his head up. Kari had a point. He was seriously kidding himself if he thought he wanted a long distance relationship. The thought of him being with Sora but at the same time being almost three hundred miles apart didn't appeal to him one bit. It's not what he pictured it would be. "Not really." He muttered solemnly. He knew straight off it would be a disaster. There was no use in putting them both through that heartache, especially since Sora had just gone through all that with Matt.
Kari got up from her seat, picking up her bottled water. She walked over to her brother and placed a gentle hand on his left shoulder. "Everything will work out eventually, you'll see." She said softly.
Tai almost scoffed a laugh in response as Kari walked away to her bedroom. Right now it didn't seem that way. Lately when things were finally working out for him and he felt his life was finally running smoothly WHAM! Something would happen that would turn it completely in the opposite direction. Perhaps him and Sora weren't really meant to be together...
A week later, the original eight DigiDestined, minus Mimi, had gathered in Smooch, a popular smoothie shop in Tokyo to congratulate Matt on his record deal. They were all sat round one of the large rectangular tables at the back of the shop. Even Joe had taken time out of his busy university schedule to meet up with them.
"Who would have thought my big brother would end up a famous rock star." TK smiled.
Matt smiled. "I'm not famous just yet." He replied modestly.
"When do you leave?" Joe asked.
"We're flying over there in six weeks to schedule an official press conference in New York. We'll be there for about a month but the first album isn't due out until early next year." Matt said casually leaning back in his seat and taking a quick slurp of his mango smoothie. "We're actually thinking of holding a farewell concert this Christmas for our Japanese fans at the Tokyo Dome. Once we leave for America it'll be at least five years before we do anything here again."
"I hope you'll get us all front row seats." TK said, nudging his older brother playfully.
The blonde haired teen laughed. "Of course. I'll even make sure they're VIP tickets."
Tai forced a smile as he stared down at his smoothie. Right now he wasn't in the mood to celebrate. He didn't mean to be selfish. It was great Matt was doing so well with his band but the way he'd been feeling over the past week it wasn't enough to change his current mood.
As Sora sipped her smoothie through her straw, she took the chance to steal a glance at Tai. He was sat to her left on the opposite side of the table next to his sister, now stirring his smoothie with his straw. She smiled softly at him. He'd been rather quiet lately. She'd asked him if everything was alright but he just shrugged it off and said everything was fine. Not wanting to stare too long in case he noticed, Sora turned her attention back to Matt who was telling the others more about his band's contract.
As she did, Tai slowly looked to his left and stared at her, not knowing she had just done the same thing.
"So when do you leave Tai?"
"Huh?" Tai snapped his attention away from the auburn haired girl.
"When do you leave?" Matt repeated his questioned.
"Oh uhhh… not for another four weeks." He replied in a slight mutter, looking down at his cup.
"Mom said I can have his bedroom when he moves out." Kari teased.
"You're not having my bedroom Kari!" Tai snapped almost slamming his cup down a little.
"Hey relax Tai I was only kidding. What's gotten into you lately? You've been acting differently all week." Kari commented.
Tai sighed. "I'm gonna go grab another smoothie." He said as he stood up and walked away from the table.
Izzy watched him walk to the counter before he turned to Kari. "He's probably a little nervous about University. It's probably hit him more now that high school has finally ended."
Kari glanced up at her brother. She knew he had been a little down because Sora was now single again and he had missed his chance… but she had a feeling something else was bugging him too.
Sora looked up at Tai by the counter. He was leaning against it slouching as he waited for his drink. "I'm gonna get another smoothie as well." She announced quickly before getting up and walking away from the table. She walked over to the counter and stood beside Tai. "Hey." She said quietly.
Tai, who seemed to be lost in his thoughts, jumped a little. "Oh hey…. You want another smoothie?" he asked.
"Oh sure. Thanks." Sora smiled as she rested her arms on top of the counter. As the waitress made their drinks, she looked up at him. "Is everything okay Tai? You've been rather quiet all week."
"I'm fine." Tai simply replied, not looking at her.
"You sure? You know you can tell me anything."
"I said I'm fine Sora. Just drop it."
Sora frowned, getting a little tired of his sudden attitude. "Tai don't lie to me." She said abruptly. "I wasn't born yesterday. We've known each other since we were four so I know something's wrong. Stop being so damn stubborn and tell me."
The brown haired teen sighed as he stared at his smoothie that had just been placed in front of him. He was getting a little tired of people asking him if he was alright, and by the sounds of it Sora wasn't going to let him forget it. He stepped away from the counter and grabbed Sora by her wrist before dragging her towards the door.
"Tai, what're you doing?" Sora asked, taken by surprise a little.
Once they were outside and out of view from the others inside, Tai let go of her wrist. His heart was beating rather fast now. He couldn't believe he was about to do this. "Okay fine. You really want to know what's been bothering me?"
Sora slowly nodded, not sure now whether she wanted to know or not.
"Alright…" Tai took a deep breath. "That day… at the park when we almost…. You know…. well Sora, I need to know… did it mean anything?"
"W-what?" Sora gasped.
"Did it mean anything? You don't just lean in to kiss someone like that for no reason Sor'. Ever since it happened I've not been able to get my head straight. You turned me down two years ago and now suddenly out of the blue you do that. At first I thought if it was just my mind playing tricks on me but the past few days I've noticed things…. I'm just not sure what to think. I need to know Sora."
Sora opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out at first. She was completely dumbfounded. She hadn't expected Tai to come out and ask her this straight out like that, especially after he had told her at the time to forget about it. "I…. I'm not going to lie to you Tai. Yes. It did mean something." She finally spoke. "After it happened I did feel guilty at first as I was still with Matt. But I realised it had felt right, and it wasn't Matt I was meant to be with. Lately all I've been able to think about is you."
Tai just stood there, completely still and gobsmacked. He'd had an incline she did have some feelings for him, but to hear those words from Sora herself was an entirely different feeling. Naturally he should have been jumping up and down with excitement. But he wasn't because he knew they couldn't be together.
"Tai…." Sora said softly. She didn't like this silence. She stepped forward reaching her arm out and placed her hand on his shoulder.
Tai had his head down, unable to look at her. Knowing what could have been, just like his soccer career was heartbreaking. Over the past few months it just seemed to be one bad thing after another. But this… this just felt like the final nail in the coffin. "I…. I gotta go." He murmured. He turned around and walked off, without hesitating.
Sora watched him leave, her eyes starting to well up with a few tears. Why did she have to realise her feeling so late? Her heart felt like it had sunk into her stomach as she watched her best friend walk away. She quickly wiped her eyes dry before slowly heading back inside Smooch.
As she walked in, she closed the door behind her and looked up to see the others all looking at her. She sighed and slowly made her way over to the table.
"Where've you been? Where's Tai?" Kari asked, glancing behind the auburn haired girl for any sign of her brother.
"He uhh… he had to go." Sora murmured as she sat back down between Joe and Izzy.
Tai was sat alone at the beach on the same bench he had been lying on after high school had ended. He was sat up on the back part of the bench, slouched forward with his feet resting on the seat and his arms resting on his knees, watching the sun set over Tokyo city across the bay. He'd been sat there for almost an hour now.
There was a slight chilly breeze blowing across the beach but it didn't faze him. He couldn't care less if it started to rain either. How low his mood was at this moment he couldn't care less about anything right now.
Two years he had been waiting for Sora to say that to him and now it was too late. He hadn't felt this depressed since the doctors told him his professional soccer career was over.
Sora watched him for a few moments. He hadn't moved an inch since she had arrived and not realised she was there. She was stood behind him, holding a smoothie cup in her right hand. She took a deep breath before walking towards him. "Hello Tai."
Tai, a little startled, sat up straight, turning to look behind him.
Sora smiled slightly as she reached him. "I brought you a smoothie." She said softly, offering the cup to him.
Tai looked from Sora to the cup in her hand. It was a banana and peanut butter smoothie, his favourite. He showed a flicker of a smile as he took it from her. "Thanks."
As Tai took a small sip from it, Sora stood up onto the bench and sat on the back part of it next to him, almost copying his position. She turned to him and smiled a little. "How can you drink that?" she asked, trying to lighten the atmosphere.
"Huh?" Tai glanced at her, the straw still between his lips. "It's real nice. Here try it. You'll like it." He said offering her the cup.
Sora took the smoothie from him and took a small sip before pulling a face. "No thanks. I think I'll stick to my strawberry and apricot."
Tai shrugged before shoving the straw back in his mouth. "Suit yourself."
Things fell silent and a little awkward between the two friends as they both sat there watching the setting sun, neither unsure what to say at that point.
Tai chewed the end of his straw a little, lowering his head. "I guess I really screwed up huh?" he spoke, breaking the silence.
Sora snapped out of her own thoughts, turning to look at him. "What do you mean?"
Tai almost scoffed a laugh. "I've fought against Digimon, faced off against some of the most powerful in the Digital World and I couldn't even muster up the courage to tell the girl I love how I feel."
Sora stared down at the ground, biting her bottom lip nervously. "Love is more powerful than any of that…" she murmured. "I should have realised my feelings sooner. I have the crest of love and it took my own mother to open my eyes and realise how I really felt about you."
Tai sighed as he slid down the back of the bench, sitting on it properly. "I would have never chosen Osaka if I knew there would be any sort of chance we'd be together."
Sora did the same so she was sat next to him again. "Why did you?"
"You suggested it to me Sora!" Tai exclaimed. "You said it would be good self-confidence boost if I moved away and lived independently."
"I was being supportive. I thought that's what you wanted. I thought you would choose Tokyo to be close to your family so when you said you didn't mind attending Osaka it completely threw me. I thought if that's what you wanted, I would support you. Believe me, I've regretted it."
Tai hesitated for a moment. "Sora….. I said I wanted to move to Osaka to get away and move on from my soccer dream. Well, the truth is that was only partially the reason. The other reason was seeing you with Matt was killing me inside. Every time you were together I was just filled with jealously and I didn't think I could take it any longer. So like a coward I just wanted to get as far away as possible from it all."
Sora was a little stunned. She knew Tai had suffered over the past couple of years but she didn't realise she had caused him this much pain. She slowly slid her hand across the bench and placed it on top of his. "I'm sorry." She whispered gently.
Tai's eyes widened a little at her touch. He was quite surprised actually. After spilling the truth about the past two years he had half expected her to act the complete opposite. "It's not your fault Sor'." He muttered. "I should have handled it better instead of acting so selfish."
Sora, her hand still on top of his, looked away and glanced down at the ground. "Maybe we could-"
"No Sora." Tai interrupted her, knowing what she was about to say. "You don't want a long distance relationship, and to be honest neither do I. It would never work and we both know we'll both end up hurt. There's no point in going down that road."
Sora bit her bottom lip. He was right. There was no point in starting a relationship together just to be left hurt a few months down the line. She gently took hold of his hand and lifted his arm up. She scooted across the bench so she was sat right up beside him. Leaning in against him, she draped his arm over her shoulder still holding his hand. "I love you." She whispered, her voice breaking up a little.
Tai glanced at her and couldn't help but smile slightly as he felt her lean her head on his shoulder. "I love you too Sora."
They both sat there, cuddled up, as they watched the rest of the sunset across Tokyo Bay. Despite the silence, neither felt uncomfortable. The beach was peaceful and the water was calm, which just added nicely to the already perfect mood. They seemed to forget everything else that was happening around them in the distance, and they also wanted to forget the up-coming changes in their lives….
Once the sun had finally disappeared completely behind the tall city buildings, it got a little colder and the breeze picked up across the beach.
Sora shuddered a little before she sat up straight. She was a little stiff from sitting in the same position for what felt like almost an hour now. She took her cellphone out of her pocket and checked the time. "I better go. My Dad's picking me up early tomorrow morning and I haven't finished packing yet."
Tai stood up, stretching as he did. "Okay. I'll walk you home."
Twenty minutes later, they reached their apartment complexes. It was now completely dark, and the moon and stars were out filling the night sky.
Tai finished off his smoothie and tossed the empty plastic cup into a nearby trash can. He shoved his hands in his jeans pockets and looked up to the eleventh floor apartment. "So uhhh… it looks like your Mom's not home." He commented.
Sora looked up and saw there were no lights on in her apartment. "Yeah… she said she was going to work late tonight." She replied.
Tai kicked some dirt with his foot. "Well, have fun on your trip."
Sora smiled slightly. "Thanks I will." She stepped up to him and stood up on her tip-toes before giving him a gentle peck on the cheek. As she pulled away she hesitated a little her face inches away from Tai's, just like that morning in the park. She stared at him, that same feeling coming over her but this time there was nothing holding her back. She moved in closer and closed her eyes before softly pressing her lips against his.
Tai tensed up at first; but gradually relaxed as he slowly began to return the kiss, closing his eyes.
Sora slowly pulled away her breathing laboured and her heart rapidly beating away. She opened her eyes and stared up at him. "Bye…" she whispered tenderly.
Tai's heart was pounding like thunder as all he could do was just stand there, staring at her completely bowled over. "B-bye…." He choked out, as Sora turned and made her way towards the entrance of her apartment building.
Once she had gone, Tai stepped back and collapsed onto the empty seat behind him. He groaned and laid down on his back, spreading his whole body out along the bench and stared up at star filled sky.
He was feeling a little uneasy. He wasn't sure if it was the adrenaline of the kiss had made his stomach do cartwheels or he shouldn't have had that third banana and peanut butter smoothie Sora had brought him.
He didn't feel like going up to his apartment just yet, so for now he just lay there. Staring up at the sky, the kiss playing in his mind over and over again…
Sora gazed a little glumly out of the car window watching as the streets of Tokyo passed by. She yawned slightly, resting her chin in the palm of her hand. It was almost seven fifteen in the morning and they had been on the road for just over ten minutes.
It was only a thirty minute drive to Yoyogi National Stadium, but the fashion events started at nine am sharp and her father didn't want her to miss a thing. They were staying at a hotel suite in the stadium itself so they were going to be in the heart of it all.
Her father Haruhiko glanced at her for a quick second before turning his attention back on the road. "What's wrong Sora? I thought you were excited about this trip."
"Huh?" the auburn haired girl snapped out of her thoughts. "Oh… yeah, I am Dad… it's just… I've just got something on my mind that's all."
His daughter sat up straight, looking at him. "How did you know?"
"Just a father's instinct….. Plus your mother told me before we left." He added with a smile.
Sora sighed, sinking back down in her seat. "Life just seems so unfair sometimes." She murmured.
"Well that's part of growing up I guess. We all make mistakes and choices we sometimes regret in the future. But sometimes fate can take a surprising twist. You never know things might just work out for the better."
Sora sighed and turned her attention back out of the passenger side window. That sounded like the story of her life so far. She made the mistake of turning down Tai for Matt two years ago, she regretted helping Tai choose Osaka instead of Tokyo so she couldn't possibly see how "fate" was going to take a surprising turn for the better…...
Tai sighed a little too loudly as he fumbled with his chopsticks, his chin resting in the palm of his left hand. His sister and father were sat opposite him at the table whilst his mother was in the kitchen making their breakfast.
Normally at this time in the morning Tai would be just staggering out of his room yawning his head off still dressed in his boxers and t-shirt after his mother had nagged him countless times to come get his breakfast.
But last night Tai had hardly slept a wink. He'd had a restless night where he'd tossed and turned mostly. So when the sun had started to rise just after half past six he had decided to get up, knowing he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep with the sunlight glaring through his window.
Kari watched her brother carefully. "You okay?"
Tai, who had started to nod off a little, acknowledged her and sat up a little. "Huh? Uhhh… yeah I'm okay. Just a little tired. Didn't sleep all that well last night." He replied slowly as he slouched back in his chair.
Yuuko then walked out of the kitchen. "Kari, be a darling and go check the post would you?" she said to her daughter as she dished out the food onto the plates.
As his mother served up his breakfast, which looked and smelt nothing like eggs should, Tai pulled a face and stood up. "I'll go." He said before disappearing down the hall.
Susumu folded up his newspaper and looked down at the food in front of him, a little uneasy. "Umm… honey? What is this?" he asked, braving a smile.
"It's an omelette." His wife replied.
Susumu picked up his chopstick and observed the omelette in front of him, lifting it up a little off the plate. "What's this green stuff in the middle?"
Yuuko gave her husband a look as she sat down at the table. "Spinach."
At that point Tai walked back to the table, considerably slower than before as he read a letter he was holding. He dropped the other items of post that were addressed to his parents in the middle of the table before collapsing back into his chair.
Yuuko glanced at her son and was about to take a bite of her omelette when she noticed the expression on his face. "Everything okay sweetie?" she asked.
Tai remained silent at first, as he stared at the letter. "It's from Osaka University…... I failed my entrance examination." he murmured. "They said there was such intense competition and my mark just fell short of that."
Sasumu took the letter from his son and read it over. "I wouldn't say you failed son. You scored 75%, that's an impressive mark. It must have been very tough competition."
"It's better than your usual test results." Kari added, trying to lighten the mood. But her brother didn't seem to respond.
Instead Tai just slouched forward and banged his head against the table in frustration, remaining in that position. Couldn't he do anything right? First he messed up his chance at making it in professional soccer, then he completely screwed up his opportunity to be with Sora and now he couldn't pass one stupid last exam. It was like someone up there really didn't want him to be happy.
"You know you still have options Tai." His father added. "It says you can start a college education or wait until the following spring to take the examinations again."
Wait..…. Sora…. Tai hadn't been listening to his father. How could he have let that slip his mind? All this time he had been mentally kicking himself for again missing the chance to be with her, but now it couldn't have worked out any better. He caught the last part of what his father had said about waiting another year to take the examinations again. He'd just apply for Tokyo next time. Perhaps this was third time lucky?
Tai shot up out of his seat and left the table heading down the hall to grab his jacket.
"Hey, where're you going? What about your breakfast?" his mother called after him.
Her answer was given when she heard the front door slam shut a few seconds later.
Ten minutes later, Tai finally arrived at the Takenouchi apartment. He had almost ran the entire way there, which hadn't done his leg any good but he didn't care. He knocked on the front door and waited, almost a little impatiently.
The door was soon answered by Mrs Takenouchi. She was still in her pyjamas and dressing gown, which made Tai realise during his rush over he had forgotten how early in the morning it still was.
"Oh hello Tai." Toshiko greeted him with a smile.
"Hey Mrs Takenouchi, sorry I've called round so early. Is Sora in?" Tai replied, talking a little faster than usual and also trying to catch his breath. Until now he hadn't realised how unfit he had become after almost six weeks without soccer.
"No I'm afraid you've just missed her. She left with her father about half an hour ago"
"Oh…." Tai murmured a little disheartened.
"Is something the matter?" Toshiko asked.
"No… no it's okay. I just wanted to tell her something. It can wait I guess." Tai replied, smiling slightly.
As he said goodbye to Sora's mother and walked out of the apartment complex, he shoved his hands in his jeans pocket and decided to talk a walk. He wasn't all that hungry and his mother's spinach omelette was certainly something that wasn't worth rushing back home for.
Tai didn't know why he has said to Sora's mother it could wait. He couldn't wait ten days until Sora came back home. Ten days just seemed too long. It was more than a week. What if she met a guy there? He knew that would be probably be unlikely and it was just his mind getting paranoid on him but he would never be able to live with himself if he missed his chance again.
He turned in the opposite direction to his own apartment and walked down the sidewalk. There were a long row of stores that were just starting to open their doors for the day.
As the owner of a stationary shop opened up the security barriers, Tai caught a glimpse of something in the window. It was a red portfolio book. The same colour red as Sora's crest. Tai smiled a little as he looked at it. That would be perfect for Sora's fashion designing. It definitely had Sora written all over it.
A thought then struck his mind and he smiled to himself. He definitely couldn't wait ten days. He had already waited two years and even though compared to those two years, it was only ten days; it was ten days too long….
It was now midday and the Yoyogi National Stadium was now heaving with people. Inside the stadium the first of many fashion shows was beginning with the catwalk situated in the centre whilst outside, there were stalls and fashion parades taking place.
Sora wandered through the crowds looking at the various stalls. Her father was currently getting them tickets to the five o'clock fashion show and told her to take a look around and meet him back at the main doors in an hour to get some lunch.
The stadium and the areas around it were a lot bigger than she originally thought. It would be extremely easy to get lost, especially in the huge crowds so she didn't wandered too far away from the ticket office.
As she looked around, her mind kept drifting back to her best friend. All she could think about on the car journey here was him. She had tried to forget about it and concentrate on the trip, but so far it wasn't working.
Sighing, Sora stopped in front of one stall that caught her attention. It was an armature fashion designer who was showing off her work. She had items of clothing, sketches and photos pinned up.
Sora picked up one of the portfolio books that was on the table and skimmed through it. There were some very impressive designs for an armature. She smiled a little as it made her more excited about starting her fashion course at Tokyo next month. It was certainly starting to help her take her mind off Tai for the time being…..
Sora gasped dropping the book and spun round at the sound of her name. "T-Tai?" she choked out, seeing him stood behind her, with his hands behind his back. "What are you doing here?"
Tai walked up to her smiling. "Surprise."
Sora stepped away from the stall and closer to him, a look of confusion plastered across her face. "What?"
Tai removed his hands from behind his back, revealing what he had been hiding. "This is for you." He said, handing her something that was wrapped in a black carrier bag.
Sora looked at him and the bag curiously before she took it from him. She opened it up and pulled out what was inside. It was somewhat heavy and wrapped in a layer of silver tissue paper. She carefully removed the paper to reveal the red portfolio book. She gasped quietly. "Tai… it's lovely. Thank you so much." She said with a smile.
"I thought you'd like it. I think this is the first gift I've given you that didn't backfire on me." He said, jokingly.
Sora let out a giggle, knowing he was referring to the hairclip incident when they were kids. "You didn't come all the way here just to give me this did you? Don't get me wrong it's a lovely gift but it could have waited until I came back."
"But this couldn't." Tai stepped up and gently pulled her in closer to his body, kissing her softly.
Sora, taken by surprise, froze as she felt his lips press up against hers and she closed her eyes. As he pulled away, she opened them up again and just stared up at him. "Tai… what's going on?"
"I couldn't wait ten days Sora. After two years of waiting, ten more days was too much." He said softly.
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"I'm not leaving."
Sora's eyes widened a little. "W-what?" she gasped quietly.
"I'm not leaving Sora. I got a letter this morning from Osaka saying I didn't pass my entrance exam. My mark just fell short of what they were looking for. At firs I was disappointed because I thought I'd failed, and you know me I hate failing, but then I realised it couldn't have worked out better for us. I've never been so relieved in failing an exam in all my life."
Sora couldn't help but smile widely. She threw her arms around Tai's neck and hugged him tightly. "Me too." she said unable to tame her huge smile. It seemed like luck was finally shining down on them. "I guess my father was right after all." She added in a whisper.
Sora continued to smile as she pulled away, looking up at him. "Oh, nothing."
Tai grinned at her, showing his familiar Kamiya grin that Sora hadn't seen from him in a very long time.
He gently wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her closer; and they shared their first kiss as boyfriend and girlfriend.
For the first time in two years, he was genuinely happy.