Hello, everyone! It's been awhile hasn't it. Very sorry about that. Because I haven't written for this story in a while, I've kind of lost my touch. I hope you're not too dissapointed. I tried my best. Whenever I write for this story, I put all my heart into it. I just love Gals!.
I was a bit distracted writing this story since I was watching the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals. What a game! I love baseball even when the Texas Rangers aren't playing.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy chapter 21. A thanks to all my readers, reviewers, followers, ect.
Chapter 21 – A Small Proposal
When the trip was finally over, things were different for Rei and Aya. To Aya's joy, they were officially a couple. Nothing in the world could possibly make her feel any happier. The smile on her face was pure and legit. They got down from the airplane holding hands, surprising everyone except her friends since Aya had already told them. They shared her happiness.
Aya hugged Rei's arm tightly as they walked together toward her house. He had agreed to walk her after they had arrived to Shibuya. Of course, Aya didn't mind. She loved spending time with him and especially now, when she didn't have to hide her feelings anymore. Aya looked up to see the sun setting in the background, turning the sky an orange color and making the air a bit more chillier. Leaning her head against Rei's arm, Aya saw her house coming into view from the distance.
"I wonder if my mom is home." Aya suddenly said, cutting the silence. She released Rei's arm and sighed to herself. "She told me that she had something important to say to me. I didn't think much about it then, but now I'm starting to get a bit worried. I wonder what it is that she is going to tell me."
"When did she tell you that?" Rei asked her, giving her a stiff look. He adjusted her backpack over his shoulder before pulling her towards him, trying to comfort her. "I don't remember you telling me that."
Aya shrugged and placed her finger over her lips. "She told me that before we left Okinawa. It was through a text message. It said that she wanted me home as soon as we arrived." Aya sighed again before closing her eyes with uneasiness. She had barely arrived and her mother was already making her stress out. "By the way, I can't wait to tell her that you and I are together."
Rei rolled his eyes, but he still let out a small smirk. "What are you saying? We've been together for a long time. Ever since we met, you've clung on to me like a piece of gum."
Pouting, Aya shook her head in disapproval. She playfully placed her hands on her hips and scolded him. "Rei, that's not what I meant. I want to tell her that we're together like a couple." Aya blushed and began to fiddle with her fingers in embarrassment. "That is what we are, right? A couple?"
Aya took a quick glimpse at Rei to find him nodding. He didn't say anything else, but that was enough for Aya. She busted into a smile and placed her hands behind her back triumphantly. They walked in silence for the next couple of minutes until they finally stood in front of Aya's home.
"So you're finally home," Rei told her as he looked up at her house. Then he turned back to look at her. "I'm sure that hairy dog of yours is gonna be happy to see you."
"Of course. He loves me very much." Aya told Rei as he gave the backpack to her. "He must have been so sad. I left him for a good couple of days. I don't regret it, though." Aya's voice faded, shifting her eyes toward Rei. "Thank you so much, Rei. Thank you for everything."
Without saying a single word, Rei grabbed Aya and pulled her into a tight embrace. After comprehending the situation, Aya placed her arms around Rei and hugged him back. "I'm the one that's suppose to be saying thank you." Rei whispered in her ear as he trailed his fingers down her waist. "Now that you're finally mine, I'm never going to let you go."
Aya pulled herself apart and placed her hand over Rei's face. Then she began to touch his soft brown hair. "I never thought I would be here like this with you. I never thought that you would be capable of showing me your feelings. I'm so glad that we're together, Rei. I love you so much that it overwhelms me."
Instead of replying to her statement, Rei took hold of her cheek and leaned down to give her kiss. Aya could feel herself blushing, but mange to compose herself and to kiss him back. She wrapped her hands around his neck. She loved feeling Rei so close to her. In times like those, she wished time could just stop so she could be that way with him forever. When Rei slowly pulled away, Aya was as flustered as ever. Rei smiled at her and patted her head with tenderness. "You're so adorable sometimes, Aya. I could just eat you up."
"Yeah, right. Whatever." Aya rolled her eyes and placed her backpack over her shoulder. It was amazing to her how Rei could act so gentle toward her. He made her feel special, almost one in a million. Aya pushed her bangs away from her face when an idea suddenly occurred to her. "Oh, Rei! Why don't you stay over for dinner? I'm sure my mother would love it. Wouldn't that be nice?"
"That sounds nice." Rei told her, but his voice sounded a bit hesitant. Aya looked at him with curiosity while he sighed. "Are you sure that's what you want?"
"Of course." Aya clapped her hands together. She let out a small laugh before she headed toward the gate. She really didn't see anything wrong with it since it wouldn't be the first time Rei had entered her home. In fact, he had done it many times before. "If my mom isn't home, then I'll be the one that cooks for you."
Rei walked ahead of her and pulled the gate opened for her. Aya nodded as a thank you, then walked in. She had only took a couple of steps when she heard her dog coming towards her, barking. Aya happily leaned down to pat his head. It was clear that he was happy to see her. "Hey, boy! I missed you so much!" Aya looked around the vast front yard, standing up. "I wonder if my mom has you out here all by yourself."
"I really wish I could stay, but I have some things I have to do." Rei suddenly told her, scratching the back of his head. "I'll take you somewhere next weekend. It'll be my treat."
Aya wondered what it was that he had to do, but decided to not ask him about it. She was scared that if she pressed on that topic he could get mad. Instead, Aya gave him a smile. "Alright. That's sounds great. Can't wait. We'll just have to make sure Ran doesn't see us or else she'll tag along and leave your wallet empty. She tends to eat a lot."
Nodding, Rei grabbed Aya and gave her a kiss in the forehead. He brushed her hair with his fingers. Aya stared into his icey blue eyes, the sun making them look warm and gentle. She still couldn't believe that all that was happening to her. Sometime she thought things were too good to be true. "I'll call you later." Rei told her, letting her go. Aya just kept staring at him in a daze. "See ya'"
Aya waved good-bye to him as she watched him leave. Then she sighed to herself and leaned down to pick up Dylan from the ground. She scratched his fur behind the ears before she headed toward her front door. She pulled out the key from her pocket, placed it in the lock, and opened the door.
She walked inside, placing Dylan on the floor. He started jumping around excitedly before he headed toward the living room. Aya smiled to herself as she took off her shoes and placed her backpack on the floor. Stretching her hands, Aya called out to her mother while she walked behind Dylan toward the living room. "Hey, mother! I'm finally home. You won't believe what happened in the trip!"
The moment Aya stepped in the living room her smile quickly turned upside down. Her mother turned to look at her, tears swelled in her eyes. Aya, at first, didn't understand why she was like that. She walked toward her and that's when her father came into view. He was standing on the other side of the living room, across from her mother. His face was serious and stern when he looked at Aya.
Aya gasped, her hand flying on top of her mouth. She couldn't believe that her father was actually there. He was standing in his work attire, a brief case in his hand. He pushed his glasses back before he turned away. Aya's hands curled into fists while she stood next to her mother. After all this time that he didn't come, he decides to show up now, only to make her mother cry. "What are you doing here?"
Her father didn't answer and ignored her completely. Aya turned to look at her mother, her eyes flaring from sadness to anger. "Aya asked you a question! Why aren't you answering her?! Why don't you tell her truth?! Tell her why you're really here! Tell her!"
Nothing came out of his mouth, though. He continued to stay in silent, making Aya worry. It was obvious to her that her parents were having an argument. Deep down inside her, Aya was glad Rei hadn't accepted her invitation. If he had, then he would have witnessed her parent's dispute. Aya placed her hand on top of her mother's arm, insisting on her to tell her what was going on.
"I can't believe you!" Aya's mother exclaimed to her father. She was angry and sad at the same time. Aya could tell by hearing her trembling voice. Her mother pushed her hair back while she started to walk back and forth in desperation. "After this, I never want to see your face again!"
"What's going on?" Aya asked her mother almost in whisper. "Why are you two arguing? Shouldn't you be happy that dad is finally back after all this time? Shouldn't we be celebrating that he finally returned to us?"
"He returned in body only. His mind was left in another women." Aya's mother hissed toward him. Her words made him flinch, making him snap his head toward her mother. "Tell her how you had an affair with your secretary! Tell her how you came here asking for a divorce! Tell her, you heartless bastard! Tell her how you're breaking me right now!"
Aya stayed silent and turned to look at her father. It hurt to see her parents fight like that, but it hurt even more to hear that they were going to separate from each other lives. She had been so happy and excited to tell her mother that she and Rei were together. Their love had officially formed, but her parents love was disappearing. "Is that true?" Aya, distraught, asked her father. "Did you really do that?"
Instead of him answering, Aya's mother stepped in again. "Yes. He did do that. He has no shame. Coming here and asking for a divorce because he's infatuated with another women! That's why he took so long to come back. He was too busy entertaining another women! He didn't think about me or you! He only thought about himself!"
"You're acting too childish." Her father turned back around, showing his face which expressed no emotions whatsoever. "I never imagined such a reaction from you. You making a big deal out of nothing. I am telling you the truth. I don't want to have any ties with you anymore. I think it would be best for the two of us to get a divorce."
Aya's mother bit her lip while tears ran down from her eyes. "If that's what you want, then fine. I'll give it you. I can bear with that. What I'm not going to fight you is the custody of Aya. She's staying with me!"
"With you? Do you honestly think you can take care of her after what happened to your son?" Her father pushed his glasses back while he placed his brief case on a near by table. "I'm going to tell you this right now. Aya will be better off with me. I'll make sure she gets everything she needs. I'll make sure she gets the best education out there."
"No way I''m going to let that happen! I can take care of her without any of your help." Aya's mother wiped her tears angrily. She glared at her father with hatred and disgust. "I'm her mother! I'm not going to let her live with you and that woman. Never, never."
"Can you guys just stop?" Aya said quietly. Her heart was being broken in two. She didn't want to hear any of that anymore. Why couldn't they work things out smoothly? Why did her father have to leave after he had finally arrived? Tears rolled down out of Aya's eyes. She looked down at Dylan who in returned looked up at her with his wagging tail. He was lucky to not understand anything that was going on.
"I don't want this. I want you guys to stay together." Aya told them, but when she received no answer, she sighed while the tears continued to flow. She placed her hand on her aching chest to try to make herself feel better. There was no way she could ease her heart, though. "I don't want to hear any of this anymore!"
Aya turned around and went of upstairs to her room. She slammed the door before dropping herself in her bed. The tears started to flow more freely now that no one was watching her. Even though she had her door closed, Aya could still hear her parents arguing downstairs. They just wouldn't stop. They were arguing about her and then about her dead brother.
Where did all the happiness that she had felt earlier go? No matter how much she searched her heart, Aya couldn't feel anything that wasn't sadness. Her parents had crushed her happy mood, leaving her with only bitter tears. Aya grabbed a near by pillow and hugged it tightly. Why did this have to happen to her? She had arrived from her trip hoping to receive smiles and warm welcomes, but instead she received her dad's cold shoulder and her mother's sad tears.
Aya sat in her desk, distracted more than ever. She was looking out the window, feeling torn and thinking about her parents. She sighed for the millionth time. The teacher kept going on with the lesson, but Aya wasn't listening. She could feel Rei staring at her, but she didn't feel like turning around. If she did, Rei would see her teary eyes.
A few more minutes ticked by when the bell to lunch rang. Aya didn't hear it, though. Her mind was still in a daze as she stared off into space. She was brought back to reality when Rei hit her playfully in the head. Aya looked up and gave him a small smile, but he gave her a serious look instead. "Hey, Rei. I brought you a lunch today." Aya bent down to grab it from her bag. "It's not much, but I'm sure you'll like it. We can share it if you want."
He didn't say anything, leaning closer to her. He placed his hand under her chin and lifted her so that she was looking at him straight in the eyes. Aya tried to look away, but her eyes were drawn to him. She blushed at sight of having him so close. She was already going out with him so she didn't understand why she was still getting all embarrassed like that. He stayed in silent, staring at her and making her feel very uncomfortable. "Rei? What's wrong?"
"What's wrong? Nothing is wrong with me." Rei told her, standing up and leaning against the side of her desk. He crossed his hands while he looked down at her. "What is wrong with you? You've been so quiet. Even in the morning when we were walking to school. You hardly talked. I want to know why. What's wrong with you?"
Aya gasped and gripped tightly on the box of lunch in her hands. The class was now empty since everyone had already gone of to eat. There was no excuse for her to avoid the topic. In the morning, when Rei had asked her what was wrong, she had simply said that she was sleepy and tired because of their long trip. He had probably believed it then. Now, he could probably see through her lie. It was already past noon and it was hard to believe that she was still tired. Aya sighed sadly as she placed the lunch on her desk.
"It's nothing really. I'm just making a big deal out of nothing." Aya told him, repeating her father's words and looking down at the floor. In order for her to speak without fear, Aya began to count the tiles that covered the floor. That was one way to keep herself from making contact with Rei. "When I got home yesterday, I found my parents arguing. They're getting a divorce. They don't love each other anymore."
Aya tried to keep a straight face when she was telling this to Rei, but she couldn't. Her tears started to flow. She still couldn't believe that after years of them being together, they would just separate just like that. Aya didn't know if her father had really had an affair or not, but she knew that part of the whole mess was his fault. Ever since the incident with her brother, her father started to distance himself from her and her mother.
"So is that what happened?" Rei asked placing his hand on top of her head. "You're parents are getting a divorce?"
Aya nodded, but couldn't speak. She felt like if she spoke, she would end up crying even more. She wiped her tears with her sleeves while she looked up Rei. He was looking at her with a much more kind face. Aya got up and stood up next to him. "I was so excited yesterday. I couldn't wait to tell my mom about us. I thought she would be happy." Aya paused to sniff. "I didn't even get a chance. She was crying. She was mad that my dad had asked for a divorce . It hurt to see her like that. I don't know what to do to help her."
"There's nothing you can do. You just have to let them sort it out." Rei told her, pulling her into a hug. Feeling Rei's arms around her, in such a protective manner, Aya started to cry even more. She hated doing that, but she just couldn't help it. "Calm down, Aya. Everything is going to be okay."
"I hope so." Aya pulled away from Rei. He helped wipe her tears away until none remained. "If they get a divorce, my father said he was going to fight for my custody. He'll probably want me to stay with him for a certain amount of time. I don't want to go with him. I'm tired of all this stress. If my father does leave, my mother is going to enter that depressive stage she entered with brother. She'll start burring herself in her work. She'll just shove me to the side."
"Your brother?" Rei suddenly asked, changing the topic. He looked at her with confusion and Aya couldn't really blame him. She hardly ever talked to him about her brother. She didn't like to mention him because his memory stung.
"Yeah. He died a long time ago." Aya quickly said, not wanting to ever say that again. She could tell that Rei sensed that too. "I wish I could help my mother, but I can't. I know she's not going to let me get close to her."
Rei began to brush her hair with his fingers. "You're not alone, Aya. I'm here with you." He placed his hand on her cheek, looking at her closely with serious eyes. "I know this might be a bit unrelated, but Aya, I want you to come live with me."
Her eyes widen at Rei's proposal. She rubbed her eyes dumbfounded, not sure if she had heard right. Scratching her head, Aya took a step back as she tried to carefully process the words that had come out of Rei's lips. "Wait. What? Are you serious?"
"Yeah. I've been thinking about it for awhile." Rei shrugged his shoulders, placing his hands in his pockets. He was calm unlike her. Aya's heart was pounding like crazy. "I think that it would be good for you at least until your parents settled things between each other." Rei caressed her cheek with kindness. "I don't want to see you cry everyday because of your parents. I'll end up hating them."
Aya didn't know what say. She didn't know what to do. It seemed a bit wild and drastic for her to move out of her parents house to move in with her boyfriend. What sixteen year old did that? If she did do something like that, Ran would choke before she stepped one foot into Rei's home. It was too crazy. They would be like a married couple. She couldn't do something like that no matter how much she loved Rei. "I don't know. I don't what to say."
"When I'm with you, I feel like all my problems go away." Rei told while he walked over to the window to look out into the gorgeous afternoon. "You know, my parents were also the reason why I ran away from home. I left everything I had and I started a life on my own."
Aya looked up surprised that Rei had actually talked about his past. He would never say anything when it came to his past. Could it be that he was opening up to her because he was starting to trust her more? Of course he trusted her. If he didn't then he probably wouldn't have accepted her as his girlfriend and he probably wouldn't have asked her to go live with him. "What did they do?"
By the time Aya asked that, Rei had already dropped that conversation and continued to press on with his previous question. "Aya. You should come live with me. I don't want your dad to take you away from me."
"I'm not going to let him do that. So don't worry." Aya said, resilient to her resolution. "I promise to always stay here. I'm not going to leave you."
"Alright, then." Rei told her, grabbing the lunch from her desk. He opened it and looked inside before giving her a small smirk. "Just remember that my door is always open for you."
Rei walked Aya home after school was over like he always did. He didn't insist on her living with him anymore, but Aya was sure that sooner or later that topic would show itself again. Sighing, Aya opened the door of her house. She expected to find her mother and father arguing again, but instead she was welcomed by the smell of cookies in the oven.
"I'm home." Aya stated with a discouraged voice. She looked down for only a second, to find her mother standing the next. Startled, Aya took a couple of steps back, almost stepping on Dylan. "Oh. Hey, mother. What are you doing?"
"Nothing. Just making some cookies for you. I was in the mood for cooking." Aya's mother stated with a smile. She had cookie dough all over her face. She stayed in silent for a couple of seconds and that's when her cheery smile started fading away. "Your father and I are getting a divorce."
Not surprised by her words, Aya nodded. "I know. I saw part of your argument. I honestly don't know what to say. You guys completely crushed me yesterday."
"I know. I'm terribly sorry about that. As my way to ask for forgiveness, I'm making you some of my special cookies. They'll be ready in a second." Her mother told, trying her best to give her a sincere smile. Aya could tell that she was too happy for own good. There was something up with her and she was trying to hide it within her smile. "I worked really hard on them. I hope you like them."
"I'm sure I will." Aya replied. She grabbed Dylan's leash from the counter and placed it's end on his collar. "Anyways, I'm going to go walk Dylan. I'll be right back."
"No, wait! Aya!" Her mother grabbed her wrist before she could even take a step toward the door. Aya stared at her as she backed away with a sadden face. "I haven't told you everything yet. Your father decided that he wasn't going to fight for your custody. He said he would be happy to see you every once in a while."
"Well, that's great." Aya told her even though she didn't really mean it. It was hard to accept the fact that she really didn't mean that much to her father. It made sense, though. She never was her father's favorite after all. "Is that all you had to tell me?"
Her mother shook her head while she looked down at the floor. "No. That's not it. I'm been told at work that I'm going to have to travel overseas for a while. I'm going to have to leave you alone for a few weeks. I'm very sorry, Aya." Her mother grabbed her shoulders tightly. "Please forgive me. There's nothing I can do. I promise to still take care of you from afar."
Aya didn't say anything. Instead, she let out a big sigh. She knew that was going to happen. She knew that her work hadn't asked her to do anything. Her mother was planning to bury herself in her job in order to forget her father. She had done the same thing before in order to forget her brother. Did it workout for her? Aya wasn't sure, but she seemed determined to forget the pain.
Once again, her mother was tossing her aside for her own reasons. Normally, Aya would have protested, but this time she didn't. She took her mother's words with calmness and ease. Aya looked at her mother and gave her a smile which left her completely stunned. She wouldn't be reacting this way if it wasn't for Rei. "I understand, mother. Do what you think is best for your heart."
"Aya. I really don't want to leave you alone." Her mother said with a worried tone. "Is there something I can do to change that? Do you want to come with me? Do you want me to call someone to stay here with you?"
Aya shook her head. Her mind was already thinking way ahead of her mother. "There's something I need to tell you that I didn't get to say yesterday."Aya looked at her mother for approval to go on. Once she saw her nod, Aya continued speaking. "During the trip, Rei and I were able to say our feelings for each other. We're together now. So even if I wanted to, I can't be alone. I have him. He's with me."
With a smile on her face, Aya's mother walked toward her and gave a tight hug. It was clear that she was happy at news. "Aya, that's wonderful. Rei seems like a very nice person. I'm sure that he'll be able to take care of you well. I can leave with no worries, then."
"Yes. I know. Rei is a wonderful person. That's why I'm in love with him." Aya admitted, feeling a blush form on her face. She pulled away from her mother's embrace and looked at her in the eyes. "There something else that I have to tell you." Aya took a deep breath. "Today, I explained to Rei the situation that was going on between you and my dad. Then he asked me to go live with him. Of course, at the moment I said no. There was no way I could do something like that."
Her mother was so surprised that she was left speechless. Aya smiled before pushing her hair back from her face. "But, now that I know that I'll be staying alone for a while, I see nothing wrong with going with him. Nothing would make me happier than making him happy. I want to live him at least until you come back."
"Are you sure?" Her mother sounded worried. "Does it have to be him? You can stay with Miyu if you like. I'll even let you stay with Ran! I must admit. It makes me nervous to let you live with a boy. What if you guys make babies? I don't want to come back to find out that I'm a grandmother!"
Aya blushed madly before she started shaking her hands back and forth frantically. "No! Don't think like that! I would never do something like that! At least not yet anyways! I'm not ready for that at all!" Out of breath, Aya watched her mother laugh at her. Aya pouted as she let out a big sigh. "So what? Are you going to let me stay with him or not?"
"As long as you two, don't make babies. If I find you pregnant, I don't know what I'll do." Aya's mother told her with a long face. She was being serious now unlike before. "I can't really say no since I am the one that's leaving you."
Nodding, Aya dropped Dylan's leash and ran upstairs excitedly. Without her ever imagining it, she was going to stay over with Rei until her mother came back from her trip. That sounded good enough for her. That way she wouldn't have to be alone with Dylan. They were both going to live with Rei even if it was for only a couple of weeks.
Aya pulled out her cellphone from her pocket. She couldn't wait to tell Rei. They would be able to enjoy each other's company for as long as they liked.