Kentaro Nara. I missed him. When we were kids, we'd used to play together all the time.
The day was sunny, but grey clouds loomed above, threatening rain. Yagami Park, a local park in Tokyo was empty save for two elementary students.
"Amiko! Over here!" a boy shouted, his short blue hair tousled.
Said girl picked up the ball, she knew that they probably weren't playing the game right, but she didn't really care, it was fun. She watched as Nara's big light brown eyes lit up as she threw him the ball. She was taller than he was, but she was a year younger, his excuse was that girls grew faster, Amiko always laughed at the way his face turned red every time she brought it up. Her own looks were that of an ordinary eight year old. She had green eyes, the shade that you only saw in pictures and long curly brown hair that ran to her shoulders that she kept in a ponytail. She was never one to stay sad; she always had a smile on her face.
Nara was prepared to pass her the ball again when something wet fell on his nose. Water. It had started to rain. The two looked at each other before laughing and running off, leaving their ball in the grass. The two ran past park benches and went straight home, well after playing in the rain some more.
Hand in hand and drenched in water, the two arrived at Nara's home greeted by the smiling faces of his parents. It was obvious that the two would get sick, both parents knew that already even without looking at their flushed faces. After giving the two a bath, they fell asleep, faces flushed from being sick instead of the cold. They'd be sick for days, but there was no way of separating the two, Amiko's father was away on business and wouldn't be back for a while. Nara's family would always babysit the girl, since there was no one else to take care of her in his absence. Every night was the same and tonight was no different, Nara and Amiko would fall asleep in the same bed facing each other and holding hands. They were inseparable…that is until she moved away.
Today is my first day at Yagami high school, the same school Nara goes to. It's been eight years though, so I doubt he remembers me…but that's no reason to get discouraged! I'm determined to see him again. I had already showered and dressed in my uniform, school wasn't that far away, but I wanted to get there early. I left and walked to school alone, on the way I saw three girls, a bone, a blunette, and a squirrely girl with pigtails. They were excited and happy about something or the other. She just ignored them and kept walking. She never really knew what it was like to have friends, but she only wanted to be with the one she ever had, the one she had to fall in love with as well. She blushed at the thought, and kept walking. When she got to school, she found that unfortunately, she was not in his class, and during her lunch, she didn't know where to start looking. She hadn't talked to anyone either, and it appeared that no one wanted to talk to her. She ate lunch alone and before she knew it, the bell rang signaling the end of school. She wanted to at least talk to Nara on her first day. She went to her locker to change her shoes, and then she saw him. He was standing at the doorway of the school talking to his friends. Her heart stopped, her feet started walking towards him without her permission.
"Nara!" she jumped on him hugging him, taking his hands, and spinning him in circles.
"A-amiko! Is that you?" he stated while dizzy. He heard a laugh.
"Of course it's me silly!" She could swear that her heart was going to beat out of her chest.
Imadori's eyes went straight to her chest. He pushed Nara out of the way. "So Amiko was it. I'm Imadori." Amiko blinked in surprise as Imadori was pulled away by the nape of his neck.
"Imadori what are you doing?"
"Hey Mikoto. What's up?" he asked calmly.
"Sorry about him, he still needs to be trained." She stated ignoring Imadori. "I'm Mikoto by the way."
"Mikoto what's up?" Eri stated walking up with Akira and Tenma.
"Yeah, I thought we were all going to study and have ice cream!" Tenma added before realizing Amiko. "Hey you're the new girl from Class 2-B, right?" Amiko just nodded.
"I knew it!" Tenma had lost interest and had gone over to help Nara who was on the ground. ("Nara, silly, what are you doing on the ground!")
Eri walked up to her. "Here's a tip, stay away from Imadori, he's just a pervert. I'm Eri by the way." The blond girl with pigtails stated.
"And I'm Mikoto." The bluenette said.
"I'm Amiko. It's nice to meet you." Amiko said only being polite. She looked back momentarily to a blushing Nara speaking to the squirrely girl with the pigtails. Amiko's expectations suddenly dropped. 'What if he likes her?' the thought horrified her.
"Don't be afraid to come to us if you need something." Mikoto offered. "Tenma we're leaving!"
Said girl responded quickly before running off with her friends and waving. Amiko sighed, she would never get used to the whole friend thing.
"Amiko what are you doing back?"
"What? I came back to be with you Nara. Studying abroad is so boring."
"Well I'm glad you're back. I missed you."
Her heart just melted.
The next day Amiko sat alone at lunch once again, after school went, and watched Nara from a distance.
"So you like that Nara kid huh?" Amiko was startled at the voice behind her. She turned around to see a boy with a red beret, black hair, and a go tee behind her. He had a scary looking appearance, but Amiko was never one to judge by looks.
"Oh, it's just you."
"Hey, what do you mean, just me? By the way, the name's Harima. Kenji Harima."
"I'm Amiko. What are you doing here anyway? You just stand and watch people for fun."
Harima blushed and instantly turned away. "I-I could ask you the same question." Amiko followed his earlier gaze and smiled.
"So you like Tenma. Let me guess she's too dense to figure out you have feelings for her and she has her eyes set on someone else."
"The Hell? Are you some kind of mind reader?"
"No, I'm just…in the same boat as you." Harima looked at her and her longing eyes and sad expression.
"You're a cute girl, why wait for some guy who won't give you the time of day?"
She just smiled at him. "Take your own advice. And don't give up until she gives you a reason to." He watched her run up to Nara smiling and laughing. She had guts, he'd give her that, but he couldn't shake the feeling that she was about to get her feelings hurt.
Today was the day. Amiko was going to tell him that she loved him. She noticed that it was raining outside. She had brought her umbrella, expecting the weather, but Nara hadn't.
"Hey Nara, I'll walk you home since you don't have your umbrella."
Nara thought it over: run home in the rain and get soaked or share an umbrella and get home unscathed.
The two started walking home together, seen by everyone and gaining whispers as they walked. Amiko was beet red.
"Nara…I have something to tell you." They had walked a little ways and were far from any other people.
"What is it?" he stopped walking as she did. Amiko took a deep breath.
"The reason I came back, was to tell you that…" There was a choking feeling in her throat. She couldn't get the words out. "I-I love you Nara." She had been waiting years to hear his response, hoping for a positive one.
There was a long hesitation before his answer. "I'm sorry Amiko. I know I shouldn't be picky about a girl actually liking me, but there's someone else."
Amiko's heart stopped. No. no. no. no. no. no. NO! She had always imagined this moment to be different; she could feel tears start to well up in her eyes.
"Oh it's alright!" she said smiling at him. She instantly turned away from him. "I just remembered that my dad might be calling me from America today, so I have to get home soon so that I don't miss his call." She turned and waved to him as she ran into the rain. He protested but she didn't bother to turn around and listen.
He didn't go after her…
She just ran blindly and found herself at Yagami Park, the same park she and Nara had played at as kid, but somehow, now the memory didn't bring a smile to her face. She sat down on a nearby swing. No one could tell she was crying because of the rain. Maybe she should've stayed with her father abroad going around the world. Or maybe she should've taken her own advice, that she'd given Harima earlier, or—
"Maybe I should've given up."
She felt the pelting rain suddenly stop from above her. She looked up to see a familiar face.
"It looks like you need a little cheering up." Harima was standing over her wearing a black hoodie and jeans; he had obviously been at home before coming to the park for some unknown reason.
Amiko smiled at him. "I'm fine!"
He just looked at her with pity and took off his hoodie. "Here, take this, I'll walk you home. It's not gentleman-like to leave a cute girl out in the rain to freeze to death."
He could clearly see the tears in her eyes now. He held out his hand to her. "C'mon."
She took it.
"T-thanks for walking me home Harima." Amiko thanked him while shivering. "Why don't you come inside and warm up. I can dry you clothes for you're too, some of my dad's old clothes will fit you."
Harima agreed, although reluctantly. She gave him a towel and some of her father's clothes before going to her room to change.
Harima took a look around. It was a small room, maybe two bedrooms.
"It must be lonely being in a house all by herself."
"I don't mind being alone." Amiko said, coming back into the room with pajamas and bunny slippers. She was drying her hair with a towel.
Harima rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to be rude."
She brushed him off and went into the kitchen to make him some tea. He protested of course, but when he found himself face to face with her tea and homemade cookies, he scarfed them down. Amiko only watched him, amused at his antics but down about what had happened earlier.
'I'm sorry Amiko. I know I shouldn't be picky about a girl actually liking me, but there's someone else.'
"So, Amiko, why were you out there in the rain? –I know it's not any of my business, but-"
"I was rejected." She saw the pitying look on Harima's face and instantly wished she didn't tell him the truth. "It's alright! The two of us can still be great friends!" she was smiling once again.
"Why do you smile like that when you're upset?" Amiko couldn't give him an answer. "It can't be healthy." He added.
Amiko stood up, talking about getting his clothes of the dryer. When she came back, she had his clothes in her hands. He knew he should leave.
"Are you sure you can't stay any longer?" Amiko had let him keep her father's clothes and was watching him as he put on his shoes. He mumbled something about getting home to his cousin and left. He knew why she wanted him to stay. She was desperate…and she was alone.
Amiko sighed and decided to clean up before heading to bed. While in the kitchen while washing dishes, she felt light headed and sneezed. She knew she'd get a cold after being in the rain, but she'd never been out there for so long before. She had passed out on the kitchen floor.
Nara was worried about Amiko, she didn't come and find him after school like she usually did, he also felt bad about what he said the day before when she confessed, he wanted to apologize to her. Nara found out from one of her classmates that she was absent, but there wasn't an explanation as to why.
"Yo." Harima walked up to Nara. Nara instantly felt chills up his spine. Every time Harima talked to him, it was when Tenma was around, and Harima wasn't the best if company. He was surprised when Harima handed him a piece of paper. "Here"
The paper had an address on it.
Nara went to the house on the paper it was small and homey; it looked like no one lived there. Why would Harima send him there? It wouldn't hurt to knock though. Walking up to the door, Nara knocked. On closer inspection, he found that the door was unlocked; he opened it and found that the lock was broken. Maybe someone did live here.
"Hello? Is anyone here?" Nara walked around and found himself in the kitchen. Amiko was on the ground breathing heavily and red faced. She had a fever.
"Amiko!" Nara picked her up and carried her to what appeared to be her room. It was pink and had a lot of stuffed animals and childhood pictures. Pictures of the two of them together.
He was snapped out of his reverie at the sound of her voice.
"Amiko what happened to you. I knew I should've followed you, I shouldn't have let you walk home in the rain—" he stopped short and realized he was babbling on. Amiko had only talked in her sleep. He sighed, put her in her bed and covered her with blankets. He went into the bathroom and wet a rag for her forehead. He would take care of her, after all, he wanted her to get better and he very well couldn't leave a girl alone with a broken lock on her door. Besides. He has something to tell her…
It was hours before she woke up again. She was in such a daze that she didn't even know where she was. She stood up, slightly light-headed, and walked clumsily towards her kitchen. She grabbed a glass from a cabinet and filled it with water. While taking a drink she heard snoring from somewhere within the house. She put down the glass and walked into the living room. How could she miss this if she walked by the living room to get to the kitchen? Slumped in a chair, was Nara sleeping away. What was he doing? She reached down to shake him awake. He woke up, startled.
"Nara, what are you doing here?"
He stood up abruptly. "You shouldn't be up and about. Amiko you're sick, remember."
"Relax I feel fine." She smiled before falling forwards into his arms. "Well…maybe I could use some more sleep." She laughed.
She felt his arms go around her and hold her tightly. She looked up at his. "Nara what's wr—" He kissed her. She had never been kissed before, but there was a warm feeling from the pit of her stomach that heated her face. When the kiss ended, the two could only look at each other embarrassed.
"Amiko, I wanted to apologize to you. I was so happy that you came back, but I didn't know about how you felt. Honestly, I've never thought of you as anything more than a sister to me. But yesterday after I…rejected you, you just smiled. And I realized why. You did it for me, you didn't want me to feel bad, you were always the one to cheer me up, so you now it's my turn."
Amiko pushed herself out of his grasp and started walking away she had to hold on to the frame of her bedroom door to steady.
"So that kiss…was because you owed me?" She felt the world start spinning around her.
"No! I didn't mean it like that, it's just." He took a deep breath. "Like I said, I never thought of you as anything more than a little sister to me. After yesterday, I had to think. 'Don't I have the same feelings too?' I love you Amiko, I'm sorry if I'm too late." He waited to hear her response and was shocked at what he did hear. "It took you eight years to figure that out? I was right, you really are dense." He had come from behind her to help her stand up. "But I love you anyway." She kissed him this time.
"You'll thank me for this later Amiko." Harima thought aloud as he hid her front door lock in his pocket.
"Imadori you've been sitting in that dark corner for three days now. What's wrong with you?"
"Yes, was it that Amiko girl?" Yoshidayama asked. Imadori only nodded. "What size?"
"Pervert." Hanai stated from across the room.