Kazuha feels her stomach twisting into knots again. She tells herself that it has happened too many times for her to feel hurt. But it does, and the pain that she feels hurts even more than the time she was shot in the abdomen during one of her father's cases.
Damn, it hurts. She can hardly breathe, and she tries not to cry.
The tears spill out anyways, and she slams her bento box on her desk before racing towards the school's washroom.
When she finally calms down enough, she is able to at least fake a smile when she sees Heiji with the new girl, Tomozaki Haruko, together.
She is able to laugh when she sees Heiji put an arm around Haruko's waist protectively.
She is able to call the two of them "cute."
However, inside, it feels as though a drill is creating a hole in her heart.
She can't stand it anymore.
At graduation, Kazuha does not speak to Heiji or Haruko. By keeping her distance from them, she is at least able to feel somewhat glad that she is now officially a high school graduate. She can't take her eyes off either of them, though, and she can't tolerate putting up her fake smile for a minute longer.
She is the first person to leave once the ceremony is over.
He tugs at her arm, willing for her to stay a while longer so that he can have a final picture with her.
She does cannot bring herself to look at him.
Finally, when she does, her eyes are brimming with tears.
"Heiji, you bastard. Look what you've done to me. You've destroyed me. But…b-but," she falters, her voice quivering. "But, the good news is that I'm leaving for a university in America. It's prestigious, but my grades were good enough."
All he can do is stare. "Does that mean that you won't be staying in Japan anymore?" he croaks.
"Well there, you ahou, obviously this means that I'm going to be leaving Japan."
With this, Kazuha turns and runs.
Heiji can't bring himself to chase after her, because at this precise moment Haruko comes running towards him, dragging him to their group of friends to have "last day pictures" together.
By the end of the pictures, he feels as though he were in a daze.
Kazuha is leaving?
He feels an emptiness inside of him. Suddenly, his graduation does not seem to be that awesome anymore.
He was going to be losing a childhood friend, after all.
That night, Heiji can't fall asleep. He tries everything from counting sheep to putting on his iPod touch to listen to some songs with calming tunes. Nothing works.
All he can think about are his last moments with Kazuha.
About how sad she looked.
Somehow, he feels guilty, although he can't quite put a finger as to why.
That night, he cracks and calls the Toyama household.
Kazuha's mother answers. "Heiji, why Heiji… Didn't Kazuha tell you? She jumped on a plane right after the ceremony."
"Where is she going?"
"About that… it's somewhere in the east side of the US. See, I'm not very good with maps. I think the name of the state begins with either an N or an M. You should ask her yourself!"
He suddenly feels a wave of pain cursing through his chest, and he politely says a goodbye to Kazuha's mother before cursing.
That witch left so early, didn't she?
He doesn't even know where she went.
And that's what worries him the most.
Did that ahou even know how to take care of herself?
Kazuha begins to regret her decision immediately precisely when the plane is directly over British Columbia, Canada.
She just left all of her family and friends.
That bastard. She tried to keep him out of her thoughts, but they ended up coming back again and again. Like they always do.
She tells herself that she should be happy about leaving him, because that will allow her to move on.
All she feels is pain and emptiness.
Every time she closes her eyes, all she can see are Heiji's bright, green eyes and his dark skin.
Every time she opens her eyes, she can't help but imagine that the man with the bright green eyes sitting next to her was Heiji.
She tells herself that she must be crazy.
She realizes that she has already become crazy since a long time ago.
Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and months turn into years. There has not been a single day in which Kazuha did not cross the now twenty-one year old Heiji's mind.
He wonders if she is safe in the US alone.
He wonders if she had made lots of friends there.
He wonders if she is doing well in school.
He wonders if she is happy, and if she was currently dating someone. Somehow, the thought of that makes his blood boil.
Heiji doesn't understand why he still feels this way, even after years of being apart. Kazuha had not made a single phone call since she left. Furthermore, he is engaged to Haruko.
Everything snaps into pieces when he and Haruko arrange to meet at the playground of Heiji's elementary school. The moon is bright, and its silvery rays illuminate the playground just enough for Heiji to be able to make out Haruko's eyes, nose, and lips.
When he leans in to kiss her, all he can think about are the memories that he and Kazuha once had here.
"Watch me, Heiji! I can swing on all of the monkey bars now!" a pony-tailed girl yells from behind of Heiji.
"Ahou, I could do that ages ago!" Heiji calls back.
"Ahou, at least try to be happy for me! We're in the first grade now, and we're big kids now. Stop being mean!"Kazuha shouts indignantly.
"You're the ahou!"
"No, you are!"
Both of their faces were now red with fury.
Heiji feels his heart thump in his chest. He tries to focus on Haruko.
His lips are just one centimetre from hers.
Another flashback comes.
"Heiji, are you alright?" Kazuha says, staring at him with tear-filled eyes, as he lay in a bed in Beika General Hospital.
Heiji can't help but stare into those eyes.
"Don't worry, ahou. The Organization didn't do Kudo or me any harm. It's only a broken leg," Heiji grins. "That Organization is damn stupid. The members didn't even know that me and Kudo were at their headquarters until all the FBI and CIA went rushing in."
"I'm so glad!" Kazuha whispers, before hugging him tightly.
Heiji's lips are brushing Haruko's by now. He can't stand this kiss any more than he could stand Haruko at this moment.
"I'm so sorry, I have to go," he mutters, before scurrying back to his house.
That night, he tries to email Kazuha.
"We are sorry, but your email was not sent. This account has been closed."
Kazuha has really tried to forget Heiji. She really did. She tried to date other guys and fall in love with other guys. However, the only guys she is remotely interested in all have bright, green eyes. Heiji's eyes.
She groans heavily in class, half awake, as she tries to pay attention to her professor rambling on something about the stock market.
Heiji would be acing this class, she tells herself, before realizing her mistake.
She wants to slap herself for thinking about him again.
Why on earth did he have to cross her mind every day?
Cross that out.
Why did he have to cross her mind every hour of every day for four years?
It didn't make sense to her at all. Logic told her that it was impossible to still be in love with a person for four years without having any sort of contact with that person at all.
When class ends, she heads off to the nearest café to meet up with her newest date, Takashi Reiji.
"You know, I think that Ellery Queen is an awesome detective," Reiji says excitedly, his eyes lighting up with that same fire that Heiji's would whenever he spoke about his favourite fictional detective.
She runs off, leaving Reiji in the cage without even saying a goodbye.
She wants to see Heiji again, and she doesn't care whether or not he is dating anyone at the moment. All she needs to see are those eyes.
As soon as she arrives back at her dorm, she books a ticket to Tokyo. She knew that Heiji was currently attending the University of Tokyo.
"I'm coming!" Kudo Ran shouts as she runs down the stairs to the Kudo mansion. "Kazuha-chan?"
Kazuha is soaked from head to toe in rain, but leaps into Ran's arms anyways.
"Where's Heiji?" she croaks.
It's three o'clock in the morning, and there is someone banging on the door to his apartment. His heart skips a beat. He thinks that it may be a murderer, or possibly even an Organization member who escaped from prison.
Grabbing the broom from the living room closet, he opens the door slowly, fully preparing to beat the brains out of whoever was waiting outside.
That is when he sees Kazuha.
His breath catches in his throat, and his broom lands with a thud on the ground.
She is more beautiful than ever. Over the years, her face is now no longer that of a high school girl but that of a mature woman. Her green eyes are as bright as ever… and her figure is still as flawless as before. Her skin is still as perfect as it once was…
Kazuha feels her stomach twisting into knots when she sees Heiji. He seems to have gotten more good-looking than before, she thinks to herself. His shoulders had gotten broader, and his jawline had become more defined. And those eyes. They are still as bright as they were four years ago.
Without thinking, she runs into his arms his hugs him tight.
For the first time in years, she feels complete.
This is where she belongs.
She doesn't have to ask whether Heiji feels the same way or not. She knows.
Heiji feels his heart beating faster and faster as Kazuha holds him. His fingers move automatically to her hair. His fingers shake when he smoothes her hair.
She is finally here.
This was it. He brings his face down to Kazuha's and leans in for a kiss.
It is incredibly gentle. It is not like kisses that he once shared with Haruko.
At that moment, he realizes that he had been in love with Kazuha all along.
And, at that moment, he hears fireworks.
Pulling Kazuha to his window, he sees the words "Congrats, Hattori!" on a banner on the building across from his.
"Damn Kuroba," he mutters, before leaning in to kiss Kazuha again.