I sat on the wall of Mika's house, waiting for her to come out so we could go to school. Even after everything that had happened yesterday, she had assured me she would be going to school tomorrow. I sighed at the thought of yesterday. You would think after bullying Mika for going on thirteen years Kimura would've got bored and left us alone. But, apparently, although Mika and I were both seventeen, he was still suck being four.
My thoughts were interrupted by Mika opening the door and shouting goodbye to her mum. She shut the door behind her and I jumped off the wall. Mika smiled at me. "Ready?" she asked and I nodded, my eyes lingering on the dozen or so plasters and bandages that decorated her skin.
"I'm sorry." I said as we started walking.
Mika shrugged slightly. "Don't be: I'd be worse if it wasn't for you." I smiled slightly, hoping she didn't remember that it wasn't only me that had helped her. "Speaking of which, who was that guy that took me home?"
My eyes widened slightly "Uh…What guy?" I lied quickly.
Mika glared at me; "Don't give me that. 'What guy' my foot…Who was he? I want to thank him. What happened between you two anyway? Mum says you were having an argument when you left. She said she wasn't sure it was a good idea to leave you alone with him but you had already gone so it was too late. He didn't hurt you did he?"
My head snapped up and I saw genuine concern in Mika's eyes. "Of course not! He wouldn't do something like that!" I cried indignantly and Mika raised her eyebrows at me, clearly startled by my outburst.
"Ok, ok! Geez I was only asking."
We walked in silence for a while and I tried to make sense of my outburst, it had surprised me as much as it had surprised Mika. I barely knew Hanazawa-san and here I was defending him to my best friend. For all I knew she could be right: he might be that kind of person, but I didn't think so somehow.
For some reason I trusted Hanazawa Rui. I wasn't used to trusting people, and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't too sure how comfortable I was with it. My mind wandered back to yesterday and I chewed my lip lightly. If I trusted him so much, why hadn't I just told him the truth?
Mika brought me out of my thoughts, poking me and giving me a friendly grin. "C'mon. I can see the wheels of your mind working!" I snorted at that and she shushed me, trying not to laugh herself. "So come on, tell me what happened yesterday!" I grinned at her enthusiasm. Mika had a way of always making me feel happy, like she brought the sunshine with her. And who knows, maybe she could help me figure out what was going on in my brain.
Hanazawa Rui carried Mika out to the front of school. I followed behind keeping a close eye on him; that was my best friend he had there.
"Good! I was beginning to think you would hand me over to just anyone!" Mika said in mock anger but ruining the effect by giggling all the way through.
I shushed her quickly; "I'm trying to tell a story here." I said, laughing a bit.
He called his driver to come and pick us up: There wasn't room in his car for all of us and my feeling of trust had subsided slightly letting common sense tell me that it wasn't a good idea to leave Mika alone, unconscious, in a car with someone I'd only known for about twenty minutes. Besides, he didn't know where she lived.
An expensive looking white car swept into the driveway of the school only minutes after he made the call and the driver got out to open the door for Rui but he gestured for me to get in first. I climbed in and between us we managed to get Mika in the car with her head resting lightly on my shoulder. "Where to?" Rui asked me and I recited Mika's address. The car ride was a quite one, mainly because I spent most of it staring out of the window in an attempt to keep my eyes off Hanazawa Rui's face. It didn't work. I studied his jawline and the way his hair fell across his eyes. He noticed me staring and met my gaze. I looked away quickly, trying to ignore the way my heart had leapt when he looked me.
When the car rolled to a stop outside Mika's house I helped him get Mika out of the car before getting out myself and knocking on the door. Mika's Mum answered it and after taking in the three of us assembled on her doorstep she quickly helped Rui get Mika inside and lie her on the sofa.
"Kimura?" She asked me and I nodded. She sighed "What happened this time?" I told her all I knew of what had happened and she thanked me and Rui for helping Mika "It's good to know she has people who look out for her." She said, smiling kindly at us before hurrying up the stairs to get some plasters.
Rui stood up when she disappeared. "C'mon, time to go, I can't leave Tobianka sat there all day." He said lightly before taking my hand and helping me up. "What do you mean?" I asked, confused. "Well, I did promise to take you home as well didn't I?" He said, nudging me with his shoulder. I knew he was only trying to be nice but I instantly froze up. I couldn't tell him where I lived. He couldn't know. If he knew he would ask questions. I would have to explain things; explain my past. I didn't want to do that. Not now. Not ever. It just wasn't worth the nightmares I knew would come afterwards.
I suddenly realised he was still holding my hand and I quickly pulled my hand away. What was wrong with me? Usually I couldn't stand males touching me in any way; it made my chest constrict with fear and breathing almost impossible when they did. I edged away from him. My heart pounded with fear, this was not good. The fact that he could keep away my fears scared me almost as much as if the fears had been there themselves.
It dawned on me then what it was that was wrong, the thing that was holding me back from trusting him: It was too perfect. Somebody who I had a ridiculous urge to trust whose touch I just happened to be completely unfazed by? That was a disaster waiting to happen if ever I saw one. With that revelation, my walls went up and my rational mind kicked in telling me to get away from said potential catastrophe at all costs. Not to mention if he did take me home I'd be the laughing stock of high school.
"I'll be fine to make my own way home." I said smiling at him in what I hoped was a reassuring way.
"Nonsense." He replied, "It's no trouble at all." I could see he was only trying to help but I just couldn't let him take me home.
"No, it's fine, really. I live just around the corner anyway." Yeah, in one of the shops that are the only thing around the corner, I camp there all night. Real smart Kairi.
He frowned at me, obviously knowing that I was lying. "Why don't you want me to take you home?" His voice was surprisingly calm but along with the confusion in it there was something that sounded like hurt. Did it really matter to him that much that I didn't want him to take me home?
"It's not that I don't want you to it's just that…" I searched for a viable excuse and my eyes landed on Mika. "I want to stay here to make sure Mika's going to be ok." There, that was believable.
"She's home, with her mother to take care of her, she'll be fine." He said raising an eyebrow at me.
"Why are you pushing this?" I asked my voice rising a little as I panicked internally. "Is it such a big deal that I don't want you to take me home?" Where was Mika's mum? Now would be a great time for her to come and help me out.
"Why don't you want me to take you home?" Rui deflected my questions, responding with one of his own and frowning at me all the while. "What are you afraid of? I won't hurt you." His voice was steady and just as quiet and soothing as it had always been but I was good with finding the things people tried to keep hidden; I heard the almost invisible undertone of pain in his voice.
I suddenly felt bad. It hurt me to know that I'd upset him. It shouldn't hurt me to know, but it did. In that moment I wanted to do anything to take away his pain and that was downright terrifying. Suddenly the room was too small, there wasn't enough air in it and I couldn't breathe.
I stumbled past him out the front door and I took a few deep breaths before turning to find him right behind me with his head ducked so it was on a level with mine. I stared at him for a few long moments before snapping out of it and quickly backing away, stumbling and almost falling in my haste to put some space between us. He frowned at me seemingly confused by me reaction. "Did I scare you?" He asked softly and I shook my head, not trusting my voice enough to use it.
"So," he began. "Am I taking you home or not?" I panicked: what was I going to do? This was no longer solely about keeping away the nightmares, it was now also about the fact that someone I barely knew could touch me without me being afraid, could take all my breath away, make me care for him like I hadn't cared for any male in so long and could make me loose myself in his sparkling caramel eyes. It was about getting, and staying, as far away from this person as humanly possible.
"So what happened in the end?" Mika asked as I finished my story.
"I asked him if he would compromise by taking me halfway home and he agreed. He took me to the dango shop halfway between our houses and I made my own way from there."
"The Dango shop is in completely the opposite direction to your house Kairi!" Mika scolded me but I could hear the laughter that she was trying to supress threatening to break through.
"Well he doesn't know that." I muttered and Mika burst out laughing, me following suit soon after as she stood doubled over in the middle of the street, many passers by stopping to stare at her.
"But wasn't he upset that you wouldn't tell him where you lived?" Mika asked, poking my arm to reinforce her point.
"I suppose he was." I said, fighting to keep the slight edge of unhappiness that I felt out of my voice.
"And that bothers you." Mika stated, not asked, stated.
"No." I said flatly, picking up my pace a little to try and show that I didn't want to talk about it but Mika effortlessly kept up with me.
"You care about him." There was a little teasing and triumph in her voice but the largest overtone was simply of happiness.
"I don't!" I flat out lied, I might irrationally care just a little bit for the floppy-haired boy but that did not mean I was going to admit that I did.
"It's ok to admit it you know." Mika said gently.
"There's nothing to admit." I said stubbornly, walking a little faster again.
Mika pulled at my arm, trying to get me to stop, and I sighed but stopped walking. "What's so wrong with liking someone? What are you afraid of?!" She asked exasperatedly
"What am I afraid of?" I asked in complete disbelief. "Maybe because I've lost everyone I've ever cared about? Or maybe because most people are only interested in me because of my father and once they find out what happened they suddenly become much less interested? Could it be because of what happened with Takeshi? Or maybe-"
"I get the point!" Mika cut quickly across my rant and I turned away from her, wiping away the moisture that had collected in my eyes.
"I'm just glad I haven't lost you." I murmured. There was no reply.
"Mika?" I asked turning to look at her; she was biting her lip and deliberately avoiding my gaze. Unease knotted my stomach as I waited anxiously for her to answer me.
"The thing is, Kairi-"
"HI!" She was interrupted by Makino Tsukushi bouncing up to us. Neither of us looked away from one another and the smile on Makino's face faded "What's wrong?" She asked, looking worried.
"Nothing." Mika said, breaking eye contact with me and smiling at Makino. I put on my best pretend smile and three of us walked the rest of the way to school together. Mika was acting perfectly normal and it was hard not to be swept up into the happiness that Makino had seemed to bring with her, but lingering on the edge of my mind was the idea that maybe I was about to lose someone else.
Hello I hope you all missed me :D I haven't updated this in a while but I was having a bit of writers block with this so I was mainly updating my Harry Potter story. But hopefully now I've got into the flow of things I'll be updating a little more frequently :D A big thanks to anyone who's still reading this and I will love you forever if you're so kind as to review! Keep a look out for chapter 3