The next day I was awoken by the shrill sound of my alarm.
"Ugh…it can't possibly be morning time already."
I turned over and looked at the time on the clock, I let out a groan, 6 o'clock, right on the dot.
Slowly, I sat up and got out of bed. I shuffled across the room and into my bathroom. I took a quick hot shower, pulled on some clean clothes, and stumbled outside with Lady following close behind me.
I walked into the barn and looked around with a smile on my face. The past year, I had been successful at ranching. I had 3 cows: Betsy, Daisy, and Midnight, 2 sheep: Christy and Trina, and my horse, Briar.
I milked Betsy and Daisy, but couldn't milk Midnight because she was expecting. Christy and Trina coats were growing in nicely and I made a mental note to figure out where I had put the shears the last time I had used them. Briar let out a whinny when I came over to brush her. I smiled and scratched her fondly behind the ears.
I had gotten Briar last spring and since then, work on the farm has been a lot easier.
I herded the animals out of the barn and into their nearby pasture.
I then grabbed my watering can, and watered my crops in the field. When I checked my orange trees, I was pleased to see that nearly all of them had an orange or 2 ready to be picked. I put most of them in the shipping bin, but put 3 of them in my rucksack.
After making sure that everything was going smoothly at the farm, I made my way up to the Garmon Mine District. Along the way I picked up the berries, mushrooms, and herbs, I found.
Even though it was early morning it was already hot, and I was grateful when I went over the Garmon bridge, the mist from the nearby waterfall reached me.
As I came into view of the Garmon Mine District, I noticed people preparing their stores for business. I smiled when I saw the old boat lying against the carpenter's shop.
When I went inside the shop, I was hit by the familiar woody smell.
"Hey! Anybody here?"
"We're in the kitchen!"
I walked into the next room, which was the kitchen, where Dale, Bo, and Owen were all drinking coffee.
"'Bout time you got here," said Owen. "We were afraid we'd have to leave without you."
"Sorry. Where's Luke?"
"Still asleep." grumbled Dale.
"You mean you guys haven't waken him yet?"
"We think it's funnier when you do it." Bo grinned.
I rolled my eyes. Bo had came to Castanet shortly before I did to become an apprentice at Dale's Carpentry Shop. When he was hired, he and Luke became like brothers and they enjoy pestering each other. When I came to Castanet, Bo used me to pester Luke even more.
I walked into Bo and Luke's room. You can easily tell where Bo's room ended and where Luke's room began. On Luke's side of the room, Lumber Jack Magazines, dirty clothes, and trash litter the floor. On the shelves that Luke had proudly built, were all the things that he had collected over the years: seashells, rocks, bits of odd shaped wood and metal, and a black pearl.
Luke was asleep on the bed, which was the only place that was clutter free.
He's even cute when he's asleep, I thought.
I looked over at Bo and Owen who were waiting for me to make my next move. Quietly, I tiptoed over to Luke's bed. I then leapt up on the bed and put my head directly over his.
"WAKE UP LUKE!" I hollered.
He sat up so fast that I couldn't react, and we knocked heads. I let out a yelp of pain and tumbled backwards off the bed.
"What the… oh, hey Akari! Watcha doin' down there?"
"Throbbing," I rubbed my forehead and looked at Bo. "What do ya think? Will it leave a bruise?"
"Probably, Luke's so hard headed."
Luke leapt up from the bed and looked at Owen.
"Is today the day?"
"Yeah, we'll wait for you out front."
Me, Bo, and Owen walked back through the kitchen and into the shop.
Owen needed Luke and me to help him break this really big rock in the mines. I didn't know how big it was, but if Owen needed help with it, than it had to be pretty big.
When Luke was ready, me, Owen, and him stepped outside and walked towards the Garmon Mines. Waiting for us at the entrance was Chloe, Owen's little cousin.
"Owen, can I come along? Puhleeeeease? Grandpa said I could as long as you said okay." she begged.
"Sure I don't mind, as long as the others are okay with it too."
"I'm okay with it." I said. "Oh, hey before we go I got something for you guys."
I reached into my rucksack and pulled out the oranges.
"These are the first batch."
"Oranges! Awesome!" Luke shouted.
I gave Owen and Luke each an orange, and split the last 1 with Chloe. They were sweet and juicy and most importantly, delicious. When I finished mine, I felt Luke tap me on my shoulder. When I turned around, I began to laugh. Luke had put an orange peel in his mouth, and he looked like had orange teeth.
We walked into the mines. It had been a while since I'd been in there but it hadn't changed a bit. The 1st floor was pretty big with light fixtures all around it. To the right, a ladder led up to the upper floors. Owen led us over to this ladder.
"Chloe stay close to me, you can easily get lost in here."
He wasn't lying, Garmon Mines is like a gigantic maze. There are many ladders on each floor going up and down. It's very hard to find your way back to the main floor.
Luckily, we were with someone who knew the mines better than anybody.
Owen led us up about 10 levels until we found it. This floor of the mine had been completely cleared of stones except 1 huge stone.
And trust me, it was huge.
"Whoa," Luke gaped at the stone. "Owen, you weren't kidding about this rock."
The rock was bigger and wider than I was. Chloe scrambled up to the top of it.
"Wow… I bet that my whole class could fit in this thing."
"Come on Chloe, get down from there." Owen said impatiently. "We got work to do."
Disappointed, she leapt down from the rock and sat down on the stone floor.
"Alright, are we ready?" asked Owen.
"Umm…not really…I…uhh forgot my hammer."
"Luckily I came prepared." Owen pulled 2 hammers out of his rucksack and handed 1 to Luke. I myself pulled out my copper hammer.
"Okay lets get started."
We each took a place on a side of the boulder. Then we raised each of our hammers and brought them down in 1 quick movement.
The next 7 hours were absolute grueling. Hit after hit, we hammered at the boulder, but it seemed not to give in. Every once in a while, we each took breaks and sat on the hard floor munching on berries and mushrooms (yuck!). Chloe was like our personal cheerleader, cheering us on between breaks.
All of a sudden I heard an odd noise.
"Hey guys, stop for a minute."
We stopped and heard a loud crackling sound.
"It's breaking!" Luke shouted.
"One more hit ought to do it. Everybody stand back!" Owen commanded.
We all stepped back to a corner of the room. Owen raised his hammer and brought it down hard on the boulder.
At first nothing happened, but we heard more crackling, only it was now way louder. Then we could see cracks forming all over it.
Owen gave it one final kick, and Giganto (what Chloe was calling it) crumbled into about fist size rocks. He began to rummage through the rubble.
"Looks like we got some silver ore." He held up a sparkling rock. In it you could see traces of silver.
We carried as much of the rocks as we could leaving behind the junk ore. It took twice as long to get back to the mine entrance as it had to get to Giganto.
When we got back outside, we went straight to the Jewelry Store. Inside Julius, 1 of the store clerks, was lounging on a couch reading a magazine. When he saw us, he leapt up, and hurried back behind the store counter
"Hey guys, what can I do for you today?"
We dumped the silver ore onto the counter top.
"Do ya think you can refine this for us?" asked Luke.
Julius stared at the pile for a moment; he than ran over to the door led to the living quarters.
"Uhh… Mira? We got some big customers."
Mira came storming through the door.
"Julius how many times do I have to tell you not to make fun of the slightly heavy-set pe-" She caught sight of the pile. She stood there speechless for a couple of seconds and then snapped right back into business mode. "Umm this order might take us a couple of days. You guys mind waiting that long?"
"Not a problem." answered Owen.
We walked back outside and stood in the middle of the street.
"So what do you guys wanna do?" I asked.
"Lets go to the bar to celebrate." suggested Luke.
"Sure," said Owen. He turned to Chloe. "Chloe you need to go home and eat supper."
She stuck her tongue out but obediently ran off. We walked up to the old mine cart. This cart would take us all way down to the church.
"Luke, you and Akari go first, alright?"
Me and Luke climbed into the cart and Owen pushed the start button and we were off.
Riding in the mine cart is a lot of fun, kinda like riding in a roller coaster. Except there are no seatbelts or seats and all you can do is hold on for dear life and hope you don't hit your head on a beam.
Still its pretty fun.
Once we reached the church, we waited for Owen before heading for the bar.
The bar wasn't as busy as it had been last night. The only people who were there was Maya (yapping away to a very irritated Chase), Jin & Anissa (on a date), Hayden (polishing a glass), and Kathy (wiping away at a spotless table).
Kathy hurried over to us.
"Hi guys, I was wondering if would come in today."
Owen smiled. "I couldn't go a day without saying hi to my girl."
Luke pretended to gag and I just rolled my eyes. Those 2 acted different when they were around each other. I sure hope it's just a phase.
"So let me see if I can remember, you guys all want today's special right? Except you'll want green beans, Akari wants mash potatoes, and Luke will want spinach."
"Okay well give me 1 moment."
She walked off into the kitchen and we sat down at a table. After we got settled, a door flew open in the back and in came Selena.
"Hey guys glad you could come by."
You know, Selena wasn't as bad as I'd thought she'd be. She was actually kinda nice. Either she'd been through some major changes or this wasn't the same Selena that Kathy had been talking about.
"Oh, I almost forgot to tell you guys something, I got a job at the Brass Bar!" she beamed.
Luke's jaw dropped. "Seriously?"
She nodded. "I now dance every Wednesday."
Kathy stuck her head out of the kitchen. "And she's also suppose to be a waitress."
"Oh! Right!" Selena hurried off to take Jin and Anissa's orders.
"Akari, can you help me with these plates?" Kathy asked.
Oh no, not another one. I sighed and reluctantly got up a went into the kitchen, Kathy was of course, waiting for me.
"So, did you tell him?"
I stared at Chase.
"Oh…please excuse me while I hum the Castanet Anthem very loudly." he said.
Once he started, I told Kathy everything making sure to include the gift Luke gave me.
"So nothing happened?"
"Akari, you promised that you'd tell Luke!"
"I did not!"
"Kathy, Akari is right, she didn't promise anything."
I glared at Chase who shrugged and went back to work. Hmm… so maybe he had been eavesdropping. Silently, I picked up mine and Luke's plate and walked out the kitchen door. Kathy followed close behind with Owen's plate.
Maya had wondered over to our table by the and was chattering away to the boys. Honestly, I didn't know how that girl could possibly talk so much.
"Hi Akari! Did Chase say anything about me? What'd he say! What'd he say!"
"Maya calm down! He didn't say anything about you."
"Aww… Well, I know that he likes me! He just got to! Did I ever tell you how I met Chase?"
"Yes, Maya you have… About 3 times since you sat down." groaned Luke.
"Hey Maya, tell Akari about your kittens!" said Kathy cheerfully.
"Oh yeah! My cat had babies! You have to see them Akari!"
"Umm… sure. Let me finish eating."
"No! you have to see them NOW!"
Maya grabbed my hand and yanked me out of my seat and towards the door. Everyone, including Chase, gave a sympathetic look as Maya towed me out through the door.
Kathy waited until the door slammed shut behind Akari; then without warning, she hit Luke across the back of head.
"Ow! What was that for!" He rubbed the now bruising spot.
"You told me you were gonna tell Akari you liked her two weeks ago!"
"Oh… right." He stared at his plate, as if all of a sudden, he hated spinach.
"LUKE! You can't keep pushing stuff like this off for later!"
Luke looked over at Owen. "Some girl you got." Owen just smiled.
"Luke! If you don't tell Akari, then someone else is gonna fall for her and then she'll be gone."
Luke's stomach churned at the thought of someone else with Akari. But his stomach practically flipped at the thought of telling her he loved her. He'd never told anyone that he loved them, not even Selena! Speaking Selena, she sauntered on over.
"Luke, I agree with Kathy. If you don't tell Akari you love her, you're gonna lose her!"
Luke couldn't believe it! Was Selena, his ex-girlfriend, encouraging him to ask Akari out? She really had changed.
"Alright I'll talk to her later."
"And this one, I'm gonna name him Mr. Snuggles. 'Cuz he LOVES to snuggle."
"Uh-huh, that's nice Maya."
"And this is Cuddles, 'cuz she LOVES to cuddle."
"Listen Maya, I think I'm gonna walk home now."
"Yeah… Just have Luke bring my dinner over."
I turned away from the Ocarina Inn and a disappointed Maya holding 2 kittens and headed home.
It was a couple of minutes after Kathy and Luke had their discussion when Maya skipped back to the table.
"So what's for dessert?" she asked brightly.
"Maya where's Akari?"
"Oh, she said that she was going home and that she wanted you to bring her dinner when you headed back."
Kathy gave Luke a meaningful look. He let out a sigh. Here we go, he thought.
After making sure that all of my animals were safely back in the barn, I trudged up my steps and into the house.
I was just about to sit down and watch the Cooking Show when I heard a knock at the door. When I opened it, standing there was a familiar face.
"Luke!" I gasped. "What are you doing here?"
"You wanted me to bring you your supper."
"I didn't mean right away." I said annoyed at myself and Maya.
He shrugged and I let him in. He gave me a to-go box that had my food in it and I put it in the fridge and sat back down on my couch to watch TV. Luke sat down with me.
"So how come you left without saying goodbye?"
"I wasn't feeling good. Sorry."
"Oh… I hope you didn't catch anything."
After a couple of minutes Luke stood up.
"Guess I better get going before Bo and Dale freaks out."
"Alright." I stood up too and hugged him. "Bye."
Luke hesitated at the door.
I looked up at him. "Yeah?"
"Uhh… N-never mind. 'Night."
With that he hurried out the door and left me to close it. I guess that's it, I thought. he knows and know he's embarrassed and doesn't know how to tell me he just wants to be friends.
Miserable I crawled into bed without supper or changing into and cried myself to sleep.
I woke up to the sound of Lady barking at the door. Someone was outside! Who could possibly be here at 3 o'clock in the morning?
I looked out the window and got my answer. I opened the door and glared at my visitor.
"Luke, it is 3 in the morning! WHAT DO YOU WANT?"
He shifted uncomfortably. "I have to tell you something."
Here it comes.
"Alright tell me."
"Uh… Okay…" he took a deep breath. "Akari, I love you. I'm pretty sure I've loved you ever since I met you."
I stood there speechless for a minute. That was not what I was expecting.
Luke looked at me. "Well?"
"I'm in love with an idiot."
"Oh… Okay… I guess I'm a bit late… So I guess I'll go now." He turned to walk away.
"Luke your that idiot!"
"Huh?" He turned back around, confused now.
"Oh for the love of-… Just kiss me you big dummy!"
I am absolutely, positively happy to tell you he did.
Okay so this is the end to this story. I never meant it to turn into this. The first chapter was origanally supposed to go in my other book, but it didn't sound right so I just made another fanfic for the chapter.
**About my other fanfic All's Fair in Love and War** I'm working on it, I promise. It's just taking a little bit longer. Hopefully it'll be out for Christmas since it's a Christmas special.