LAST CHAPTER! Oh my goodness, what a journey this has been for me! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthan kyouthankyou! I am forever grateful for your reviews, they make me so happy!
SUNSHINE AND SUSHI!
Even a little over a year later; they still stared at her as she made her way down the halls. They tensed up when she made conversations, clearly uncomfortable, and always got a look of confusion on their faces when she laughed or smiled. It was as if they expected her to be depressed and miserable, to still be the girl she was a year before. But, fortunately, they were wrong.
After waking up, Kisa had suffered from brain damage. She had minor memory loss, but had regained all lost memories by the end of January. As for Takashi, he went to a correctional facility and they hadn't heard from him since. Hatori was horrified that Yuki, Haru, and Kyo had stolen his car, and claimed that the three Sohma boys were grounded for life. Akito and Shigure made an announcement shortly after Kisa woke up. They told the whole family what had been going on between them and then left the country for a month of vacation. Kisa made a smooth transition into school, Hiro never leaving her side. But their story was unfinished, and remained unfinished until over a year later, on Valentine's Day:
School had been a whirlwind of red construction-paper hearts and painfully sweet candy. Hiro let out a sigh and stuffed the last fistful of chocolate wrappers into his bulging pack. Valentine's Day had taken its toll on his now full stomach. He closed his locker, cast his backpack over his shoulders, elbows aching from the weight of the cumbersome text books, and paced down the empty hallway. It was the beginning of a long trek home. Hiro had reached the end of the hallway when a voice urgently called from behind.
"Hiro! Hiro! Wait!"
It was Kisa, running down the hallway at full speed despite the burdening bag on her own shoulders. Catching up to Hiro she wrapped her arms around him, hugging him so tight he thought his eyes were going to pop out. She held him tightly for almost a minute before gently releasing.
"What was that for?" Hiro smiled.
"Oh nothing. Hey, I have something to tell you. It's kind of important. Do you have a second? Can we walk home together?"
Dragging him by the arm, Kisa led Hiro into the cold February day. For a long period of time, they just walked, no questions asked, and none answered. Finally, Kisa spoke.
"It's been over a year."
"I know. It's felt like ten, though."
"I can never put enough time between me and…him."
Hiro glanced as Kisa, his eyes clouded with worry.
"Kisa, you know he's gone. For good. You don't have to worry."
"I know. But that's not why I brought it up. You remember the day I came out of my coma?"
"You remember how you were right there when I woke up?"
"Well, after I woke up, some things were foggy, and some I could remember as if it had just happened. They all started to come back, and everything was fine. But a couple of weeks ago, a totally new memory came. I think it may have been from when I was in the coma."
Hiro said nothing, listening with interest.
"It was you, your voice," Kisa continued. "You were talking to me. You told me that you would never forget me. And then," Kisa's voice was trembling, "Y-you told me that you loved me."
Hiro closed his eyes, remembering his own words, the ones he said months ago at Kisa's hospital bed.
"It can't be true, though. Is it? Do you love me?" Kisa's cheeks were bright red, and Hiro's were turing a pretty pink as well. "I don't know if you were serious or if I just imagined it." They had stopped at a crosswalk now. Kisa turned to face her old friend.
"I…err…" Hiro's face was flushed, staring furiously at the sidewalk.
"Because if it helps at all," Kisa blushed, "I love you, Hiro. So much."
And then, looking rather embarrassed, Kisa leaned in to kiss the boy she loved. Hiro, whose face now resembled a tomato, looked equally flustered. But that didn't stop him from leaning forward and responding to Kisa's advance. Their noses bumped into each other, their lips awkwardly met, and they were pressing into each other so hard that their teeth smashed together. It was quite possibly the most uncoordinated kiss two people could have, but it was still perfect. After a long while, Kisa pulled away, a smile on her lips. Laughing, she reached for Hiro's hand, and together they ran into the world that stretched out before them. And although neither of them knew it yet, that wonderful world was preparing itself for a long, glorious spring.