Have you ever felt a knife in your gut? Chances are you haven't but I could help you understand the feeling. The sharp pain that rips through you as the knife sinks into your body? The lasting pain but even longer lasting weakness from the bleeding wound. Now imagine that knife being placed there by a friend. Several friends you taught you could trust to hold that knife as close as possible without hurting you and You got the jist of how everyone, mostly reacted to the news. Naturally I was exaggerating but it still hurt like hell. When you trust someone and it turned out they they didn't trust you as much as you thought, it stings and the salt on the wound was the idea that they thought we'd mooch off of them.
Adding insult to injury.
"Um...." Aika started looking at Mai with the blankest expression she could pull off. "You thought we'd do what?"
"N-not you guys! specifically....p-people..it's always been a worry that people would befriend us for what we have and ..not..you know us.." Still sat there silent on at the table. Since Jirou had been released from the hospital, it meant the only way we could visit him was if we went to his house. To be honest all the years I've known these guys never did I ever think the reason I'd never went by their house would be that. I just figured it was an Uchiha thing. Sometimes they were weird. My own grandfather has issues with me popping by unannounced, it was practically in their wiring.
"That's a great speech and all for like the 2nd date" I stated simply with crossed arms. I didn't even want to bother hiding how annoyed I was. "We've known you guys for years. Years and you didn't trust us enough to tell us that? It's not even a big fucking deal to begin with, who gives to shits about money here?"
"It's not that we didn't trust you" Madana said calmly taking a side glance at Ria who was just as upset.
"Sounds like it to me" He said with a mumble.
"Does it matter? you know now." Taro said matching my glare. "And if you guys didn't care it wouldn't have mattered when we told you"
"That is so not the point" Yukio said after finishing her smoothie. "Had Jirou never gotten hurt , we wouldn't have known.....I asked you...Mai..I asked you hey Maybe i could come by your house to study...and you just brushed me off..gave me an excuse...that was a few weeks ago.....did you really think we'd react like that? see dollar signs? seriously thats all you've picked up from knowing us all this time? It's not about when you told us it's the fact if circumstances were different you wouldn't. You didn't trust us enough to think we wouldn't use you... Did you really think that low of us that?"
"You're saying one thing but did another" Aika said looking straight at her. "We tell you guys everything, Money related or not.....You know my mom's side is well off or Kasume's aunt....money hasn't been an issue with our friendship..so why did you think it would be?"
"Just.." Madana started trying to figure out how to pace her words. "It just never left us I guess, we grew up with the idea in our heads for so long and it was an automatic reaction..." She paled when even Ria frowned at her.
"6th grade. We met you guys at 6th grade." Ria spoke sadly. "How automatic can that reaction be by now?"
"It was awkward for us being well off , how were we supposed to tell you guys without sounding like we were bragging?" I gave a harsh laugh as she bit her lip. I rested my forehead in the palm of my hand feeling a headache come on.
"That and our dad doesn't really like guests because he'd think we were being used. He's a bit paranoid and so we're uncomfortable having anyone over"
"The dad part I get" Aika explained. "But jesus Mai it's not rocket science....you should have just said so.....you're the last person on earth we'd ever think would be bragging. Any of you! come on give us a little credit here. We've known you guys how long? "
"6th grade" Ria repeated.
Aika gave a little point in his direction. "Anything would have done it really, literally anything. We talk about parents all the damn time, relatives, uncles. millions of scenarios and questions and any one of them could have done good in opening that can of worms." Yukio said with an exhausted sigh before her eyes landed on Mai. "Wait a minute.......that anonymous donation..." Mai's face paled just as our reactions understood just what she was saying. "Well if that wasn't an opening I don't know what is."
"You got your family to make that donation." Aika reasoned before Mae nodded. "And you pretended not to have a single clue about it....."
"To think I told Yui she was being paranoid when she thought it was you" Boy did this conversation hurt, seemed like more knives for lining up to stab us in the gut. "That was literally the perfect timing to say it, we wouldn't have cared about the fact you had money just excited about the epic move you did to stick one to those bitches who tried to close the clubs." I said with a shake of my head. "God I feel so stupid."
"We're sorry alright?" Taro said with a sigh. "We're sorry."
Kasume only looked sadly at them but managed a weak smile. "Guys, calm down please..just try to take a breather here?"
"I'm sorry if i'm pissed off that my friends think i'd was a gold digger. I solemnly apologize." I pushed myself from the seat. It squealed dragging against the tiles.. "We'll be there okay? obviously we want to know how Jirou's doing....i'll be sure to keep my hands off everything" I said putting up my hands dramatically.
"Amaya come on" Mai pleaded.
"Guys trust works both ways......and each of us trusted you guys with literally everything. There isn't much we don't know about each other outside our underwear choices...and I know some of those too.......I get your dad wouldn't have any reason to trust us...but he's not the one we've known for years...You guys were ..and if you honestly couldn't tell him we weren't like that.....then I don't have time for this. I'm heading to track.. 4:00pm right to meet outside the school after club meetings to head to the house? I'll be there but till then I don't have to be here." Mai tried to stop me but I just shrugged her off. Therapy at least has taught me that if an environment is upsetting you distance yourself from it until you're calm and that's exactly what I did.
I'd much rather run until my legs were like burnt rubber then stayed another minute in that Cafeteria.
Part of me figured that I should have stopped Amaya from leaving but I think she needed her breathing room. The air in the cafeteria was still tensed but it simmered down from the original anger just to everyone being upset at each other. Mai looked like she was seconds away from bursting into tears when Amaya shrugged her off. I know Amaya would have hated to make her cry but I also knew that she didn't handle stress that well either.
"Guys please" she pleaded practically begged. "There's way too much going on right now can you just be mad at us later?"
"'Yeah okay we didn't really intentionally hid this from you it's just we're not comfortable talking about it can you get that at least? If you haven't noticed our brother had is mind screwed around don't you think that a bit more important right now?'" Taro said with a frustrated sigh. They didn't get it, at least he didn't seem to. I didn't exactly fancy being upset with them not when all of this was going on but it didn't seem like they understood just why everyone was so upset. Madana wasn't even saying audible things anymore she just kept looking apologetically over at Ria who seemed far more sad than angry at her.
"okay we get it you're hurt we didn't trust you and that's not even why we didn't say so but whatever if that's what you're going to believe fine. Then tell me how do we make it right? Obviously offering you things will make it worse so what do you want exactly?" Taro looked so frustrated I knew it took him everything in his power not to walk away but he couldn't. He didn't want us upset with him, or any of them. He clearly didn't need that on him with the stress going on at him "Look our brother almost died and now for whatever reason he's in love with that bitch and THIS is what you're gonna grill us over? our minds are kinda elsewhere currently we don't need our friends pissed cause we didn't tell them ours dad is a founder and ceo of a company"
Yukio only looked to her feet. No doubt like everyone else feeling guilty about he had just said. "We can't help being upset Taro"
"But he's...right" Daichi spoke up after a while with all eyes turning on him when he had. "At least on the priorities we should be finding a way to help Jirou."
"Thank you" Taro said practically half relieved. It didn't help lift the atmosphere any brighter but we did all agree that we'd push the issue for another time.
"Just....one last thing?" I said. "Mai ....you were the first person who found out about my eating disorder.....I didn't tell you about it because it was easy to talk about....I didn't tell you because I was comfortable in saying it to a person. I hated it. I didn't want to talk about it. It made me feel so uncomfortable and guilty that even thinking about saying something would leave me ill but I told you....and everyone else...because you're my friend.you're all my friends...it took a while but I told you guys because I trusted you......It didn't matter what the secret was Taro, whether the secret was that Mai was depressed, you were gay, had eight toes on a foot or was getting married...and didn't tell us we'd still all be upset. Part of having friends...or being friends isn't being there for the easy times..it's trusting each other and being there for each other for the moments we wouldn't let anyone else help us with.....We get you guys were uncomfortable....we do.......but we all shared our uncomfortable moments .....just sort of wish you trusted us with yours...." I sighed but I didn't want to dwell on it much longer. Least I end up having to leave to leave as well which would no doubt send Mai into tears if I had.
Madana spoke up . "'it just didn't seem that important to us for you to know, we believed it wouldn't affect our friendship that much is true, and Jirou was even a bit worried you guys would be upset with us if you found out on your own but it just wasn't that beg a deal to us, a simple fact that we didn't think would really impact anything but at the same time we couldn't get ourselves to say it.'it just didn't seem that important to us for you to know, we believed it wouldn't affect our friendship that much is true,but it just wasn't that beg a deal to us, a simple fact that we didn't think would really impact anything but at the same time we couldn't get ourselves to say it." She just groaned sneaking one last look at Ria before looking away. "This this whole thing, was exactly what Jirou was scared of"
"It's not like we want to be upset with you guys" Ria said. "Believe me we don't. This sucks just as much for us too but it would have been alot worse if we laughed, joked and pretended it didn't bother us when it did. That wouldn't have been fair to anyone." The rest of us nodded.
"You guys pretty much said in not so many words you think we're shallow enough to be unable to handle the fact you guys have money" Kiseki pushed around his peas on his plate. His eyes glued to his tray. "Honestly I'm too exhausted to be madder than this."
Kasume sighed and Akina kept her eyes at the hallway Amaya disappeared too. "Guys I get it okay? It's only natural to be worried about people taking advantage of you" Kasume said. "Whether it's for money, skills or just using you in general that's all normal but like Amaya and Aika said, friendship is all about trust isn't it? of course you have to feel comfortable with us to share your story which is why it hurts so much. Not just because you didn't seem to trust us but because you may not have been comfortable enough with us too."
"That isn't the case though" Taro said. "We just didn't know how"
"I swear the god Taro, it's as simple as saying 'oh by the way family has money hahaha funny right?' It's not as difficult as you're making it seem and honestly I want to be done with this conversation because I'll end up leaving right along with Amaya." I hated that my own mind was guilt tripping me, being mad at people who already had so much of their plate but I couldn't help it. The urge to get out of the room was only growing. No wonder Amaya had to bolt. "We're still your friends.....we're upset yeah but we get's what important so......" I took a deep breathe trying to push down the hurt ."how do we go about getting this done ....stopping the bitch from stringing your brother along that is"
Everyone was still in a sulky mood but Ria managed to pipe up again still not catching Madana's glance. "Have you tried finding his journal?" Taro raised an eyebrow at him. "He keeps one. He mentioned it to me before he's got to have something about Kairi in it. I had a journal once and I wrote down a bunch of nightmares about- " His eyes glanced at Taro. "Not important.....point is he's got to have something"
"If the idiot didn't want his journal found we're not going to find it."
"That's not the attitude that'll find that thing that's for sure" I joked forcing my lips to a smile. "If all of us look we'll be able to find it no doubt. Maybe that'd help jog his repulsed memories for her"
"And if it doesn't?" Yukio asked
"We'll have to try plan C"
"We just thought of plan A what the hell is Plan C" She asked.
"We put him in a nun school....away from vile corruption....it's worth a shot" It did manage to make everyone laugh but Taro seemed like he seriously considered it as a viable option. "Dude i'm kidding."
"Never know" he shrugged. "But that's as good a plan as any" He looked off a bit in the direction Amaya went. "Remember 4:00 okay?" We all nodded before he nodded at us on his own and left. Mai sat down near me and I rubbed her hand. She was still pretty upset, we all were but when she turned I gave her a smile.
"Let's forget about that right now and just focus on getting brother back alright?" She gave me a a smile.
I was on my bed when my phone had vibrated to life. I raised an eyebrow. Harumi was on her way here what would be the point in texting me? Then I realized it was from Jirou and instantly I sat up after reading the message.
Message: Hey sweetie! So um, So a bunch of people from school are coming to my house later today and it wouldn't be fair if my beautiful girlfriend wasn't there right? So ugh here's my address can't wait to see you
He left little hearts at the end of the message. My cheeks bubbled with warmed that spread all the way to my toes. There hasn't been a day before this year that I hadn't tried to figure out where he had lived and now here he was sending me his address without a single second thought. This was just beautiful. I wanted to dance and scream how I was so happy.
I looked at the time and realized that staying home today payed off. I couldn't do any spells my body felt too weak and I needed to sleep it off and thank goodness I had. I flew over to the closet and started scouting for an outfit. This had to be my best looking one yet. Casual but stylish and not too revealing after all his parents were going to be there and I knew he had young siblings.
Moms fell in love with me all the time but from meeting her at Parents Day I knew that Jirou's mom was going to be a challenge to win over. I couldn't do any mistakes with this one it was all or nothing. I bit my lip after choosing a dark one sleeved shirt with shimmering silver feather designs on it and the words "Angel" with a halo on it. It was one of my favorites so I paired it with my white jeans and figured it was perfect.
Harumi arrived just as I finished my makeup. "Where are you going dressed like that?"
"Jirou's house" her eyes widen as I smirked twirling on my flats. "How do I look?"
"Bombing and what he invited you over to his house?!"
"I know! Unfortunately the stooges would be there too. I have to get there before they do"
"Wait can I go? I mean if you're going to be there with them you'll need all the support you can get"
"No, you stay here. I promise next trip which will happen you'd get to come okay? I need to find something in Jirou's room and I don't want it to be obvious"
Her shoulders fell. "But I've been helping you for so long and I don't even get to see it?"
"You will just not today. I need to go alone for now Harumi" I placed my hands on her shoulder. "You've done great you have and I promise you'll get to see it just not now? She nodded after a while and I kissed her forehead. "Good girl. I'll text you okay?" I patted her shoulder and grabbed my bad. "Got to get there before the stooges...Wish me luck"
"I'll be watching from the mirror bowl then" I winked.
"That a girl"
I took a cab to a few blocks to the location and walked the rest of the way there. I kept staring at the phone to make sure I didn't get lost or anything. It wasn't that far away from where I lived, it was about an hour drive before I made a stop. That was good to know for convenience's sake. I walked along the blocks looking at the mail boxes. Then I got to the end of the lane and my jaw almost hit the floor. That couldn't be right. I kept looking at the phone making sure I had the address right.
I couldn't believe my eyes . The houses on the street were pretty great, huge actually but this house was absolutely gorgeous. Large black iron fencing and gate it was one of those traditional styled Japanese mansion, it rested on the end of a long road stretch of road, there were a few dozen trees to the back and few in the front. Cars were parked in the driveway and I saw what looked like motorcycle tracks no doubt from Taro's bike.
My heart threatened to leap out of my chest. I could have been staring for a half an hour straight I wouldn't have noticed. Talk about being lucky with my choice of guys. I was seconds away from taking a picture or something to send to Harumi but I bit off the urge and simply sent a text to Jirou to say I was there.
The drive way slid open making a grinding noise as the large iron gates slid open and I made my way inside. When I got to the entrance the door opened just as I was going to ring the doorbell. Eri had a surprise look on her when she saw me there. "Hello ma'am nice to meet you again" I said with a bow.
She blinked and tilted her head in confusion. "Um" Then her look turned to one of concerned when she saw the time. "Hello, um isn't school still going on? Taro said he would't be here with the others till Four"
"Today's my day off" she looked even more confused. "You see since I have so many positions in school, head of student console, hall monitor and a few clubs to run, I typically give myself a day off every two weeks" I giggled. "Got to rest up or i'd be running on zero" She nodded understandbly.
"Jirou did say he had invited someone else" I gave the sweetest smile I could and nodded before she directed me inside. "Well he's in his room" The sound of running me took my attention to the living room. I recognized one of the kids from meeting Eri on parents day. The little girl was playing with no doubt her younger twin brother.
"Hey there" I knelt in front of them. The second the boy saw me he made a beeline behind of Eri's leg. "It's okay you don't have to be scared of me.." But he only kept hiding. The girl looked straight at me.
"Hello" she said simply.
"Remember me from parents day?" she nodded. "Great..Yasu right?" She nodded again. Her expression didn't have anything you'd usually see, not curiosity, happiness or excitement. Just a blank look as if she was studying me. It sent a little chill down my spine but I brushed it off feeling ridiculous. What was she like four?
"Well I have to keep an eye on the young ones" Eri said putting a hand on the little boy's shoulder. He still didn't peek out to look at me so I only sighed. "Sorry about that Tsuneo's always been a shy boy" I smiled waving my hand dismissively.
"Don't worry about it." I kept my smile on trying not to let the fact Yasu was still staring get to me.
"Jirou's in his room like I said but please don't overload him with information or have him move around too much. He's still very fragile and the doctor said he needs all the rest he can get alright?
"I understand believe me the last thing I want to do is hurt him" She nodded her features still showing concern.
"Alright, my husband's in his study so you won't be seeing him until dinner and everyone would be here at four" I followed her to Jirou's room. Smiling when she opened the door meeting on his own smile. He was sitting up in his bed with sheets covering his leg. He had a few books at his bed side and was in the middle of finishing one no doubt.
"Mom" he beamed and looked excited even with me there. "K-kairi"
Eri went over to him checking the sheets and putting her hand lightly on his head."Are you comfortable baby? does your head hurt? do you need anything?" the speed at which she spouted out the questions made it a little hard for me to keep up but Jirou seemed to pick up every one of them.
"Yes mom, No mom and don't worry about it i'm alright" he smiled. She gave him a soft smile of her own before kissing his forehead.
"If you need anything, I mean anything."
He held up the tiny string and pulled a small button from under his shirt. "I know mom, don't worry I'm okay"
"Sweetie you're my baby, all I do right now is worry" she smiled before adjusting his covers and putting her hand on his cheek. "Have to go keep an eye on the twins......remember..every and anything..you need"
"I'll call I will" She smiled. I knew the last thing she wanted to do was leave his side but after a while she reluctantly left. I went over and sat down besides him on the bed. His cheeks lit up and I gave a little laugh. "You're nervous around me...I get it I do...don't worry I don't bite"
He nodded and I rubbed my thumb across his hand when I placed it on top of his. "What are you reading hmm?"
"Um..j-ust an adventure novel...n-not sure"
"That's alright, You used to read those alot" I laughed "sometimes I thought you liked them more than me...you always had at least one in your hand. You had the cutest look and pout whenever something happened to one of your favorite characters...It was so funny"
"W-e-ll...i-if I like the character I wouldn't want t hem t-to die....some authors are just cruel" he stammered.
"You said that all the time too" I smiled. "You full on cried after reading mockingjay. That much I remember.......I'd read it with you but I don't want to make you cry" he looked horrified.
'I think I just read...catching fire.....If i cried in the last book...something bad must have happened."
"I don't..want to spoiler you" I smiled. "I'll be there to wipe your tears when you read it though alright?" He blushed even deeper with a nod. He stayed quiet for a little while. I told him he could keep reading that I didn't want to disturb him and after a while he did. He looked really into the story but I was more proud of myself that I remembered that mockingjay thing.
When I was with Harumi in the library and Jirou, Amaya and Aika just happened to be nearby when we were. Jirou started tearing up and complaining to Aika about the ending of Mockingjay and about how just yesterday he finished catching fire and she didn't even blink or warn him. He apparently really liked some guy named Finnick and a little girl name Trim, or Prim I believe. She only smiled sadly telling him that 'true friends give friends books to ruin their lives'
Saya was confused and only patted his back while he sobbed for a good twenty minutes. He couldn't even explain why to Taro knowing he'd get smacked if he had.
During the time though, I used my mind to figure out just where exactly he'd hide a journal if he kept one. The usual suspects were under the bed or hidden in his dresser but those were far too simple. Anyone looking to hide something would hide it right. I glanced around the room during those moments he kept his eyes on the pages and when my eyes fell on a poster an idea came to mind.
The poster was a simple enlarged picture of his swim team at a regional competition holding up their trophies. It was the only one that was that massive. Why was that? Every other poster around was about medium to smaller size. Jirou did woodshop in school and I was willing to bet there was a hidden compartment in the wall behind that poster.
"Um....I have to go use the bathroom" He said getting up. "I'll be right back...." I smiled nodding just as he left the room. I knew I had only five minutes at the most before someone walked past that door. No doubt his mother who loved checking up on him was the biggest concern. The second she heard movement upstairs she would be there before I could blink.
I carefully removed the poster off the wall and just like I thought there was a box perfectly fitted in the wall. Pulling it out I opened it my eyes landing on a few things I recognized from years before. A wooden rapidash sculpture, he carved it as his first woodshop project back in 9th grade, a few photos of his family and a few old items no doubt having some meaning to him. I took out the brown leather back book that was tucked at the bottom and shoved it into my bag before putting everything back in place. I couldn't risk having him walking in while reading it. My curiosity just had to wait until I got home.
Jirou walked in a few moments later and climbed back onto bed. Soon enough he started asking me questions, about our first date, how we met and why was it that the others didn't seem to like me much. I took the opportunity to plant seeds of distrust about them. Flipping the story wherever I needed to suite. I warned him especially about how manipulative Kasume could be and that he shouldn't trust her, that she played innocent knowing that the others would back her up no matter what might even going as far as to suggest she might have been the one to push him after all she did find him first.
He seemed a bit concerned that his sister and brother would have friends like that but I told him not to worry too much about it and went on telling more positive things to make him smile. I couldn't wait until 4:00 came, If i can manage to get Amaya to cause a scene during dinner no doubt that'd aid my plans even further. This was their first time coming here as well and first impressions always mattered. I highly doubt Eri would want fighting, so I was going to do exactly that.
This day couldn't possibly get any better only I knew it was and that brought a genuine smile to my face as I started telling Jirou another story.
Turns out running did absolutely nothing to help at least not the way I thought it would. I kept my soaked rag on my face trying to soothe my splitting headache. Coach told me to take a breather that I had met my quota for the day and then some so I did. My legs were secretly thankful but if she hadn't told me to stop I probably would have kept running.
What the hell was I doing? Their brother almost died and here I am being pissed off at them and being unable to stop it on top of that which only made me feel worse. They just didn't want to talk about it, Why couldn't I get that? Why couldn't my head get the idea that it wasn't because they didn't trust me? or thought I was shallow? I hated the fact my feelings were hurt so much for something that seemingly shouldn't matter. It was only 2:00 pm so I figured I had two hours to cool off when I felt someone approach where I was.
"You're still invited you know.." Taro spoke up. "And for what it's worth we really are sorry"
I just gave a frustrated sigh. I so didn't need that right now. I felt like crap enough all on my own. Kendo club and Track were very close to each other meeting room wise. The sports clubs typically were all close to each other in general. "Dude, I was always going but can you please leave ? I really can't handle this right now." I really didn't want to sound irritated because I knew he'd think it was more at him than myself. "You know though last year when I had my accident. I didn't want a soul to bug me. I literally told the nurse to tell everyone I really didn't want any visitors. Most people minus my mom listened and as you know. You didn't."
I kept my back to the door and the sheet over my head. Part of me hoped I was invisible because god knew I wanted to be. When I heard heavy feet walk in I knew it couldn't be a nurse. "Go away."
"You're not going to get rid of me that easily" I heard Taro say.
I moved the rag looking straight at him. "when I had my breakdown last year the person who convinced me at the hospital to talk about it and agree to therapy was you. I didn't want to talk about it. Every fiber of my being wanted to evaporate but you didn't have it and in the end I didn't tell you because i finally suddenly got happy about talking about talking about it wasn't because you were being so persistent either. I trusted you, it wasn't easy to say it wasn't comfortable to hear the words out my mouth but I trust you...Trusted that you wouldn't judge me or something...I just wish you guys trusted us is all. It didn't matter what you hid just that you guys felt the need to hide it" I put the rag back over my face so I couldn't see his reaction but his voice portrayed it well enough.
"It didn't seem important to us to tell you since we didn't think it'd impact our friendship, we didn't think it'd be important to you guys either... and i'll let you know one thing... our dad doesn't even trust his own family, he doesn't like dealing with anyone in the Uchiha clan, and not even we know why. He only seems to trust our mom and us" I took my rag off of my face and sat up in my seat.
"That seems to be an Uchiha thing since my mom and uncles don't exactly trust many people in their family either but if it wasn't important then why lie? People don't lie about things that didn't matter....we don't care about the secret taro..its the fact you guys lied about it just seemed like you didn't trust us at all. You barged into my hospital room and practically didn't want to leave till i told you why i almost ...you know..and that wasn't comfortable ..i didn't think it mattered..it already happened..why was the why important?..but i told you anyway..you said see a therapist that people were worried and that they could help. I hate therapists but you know what i gave it a try because i trusted you....three therapists i went to before I saw doc...three.....all because i didn't want go give in that quickly....it wouldn't have been important to us..we don't care who your dad is..what he does..only thing that mattered is you guys felt the need to hide it or something and that's what bothers me.."
I didn't have to look at him to know he was getting irritated. I heard the light ruffle of his shirt when he crossed his arms and the low growl that past his lips. Hell even I was getting annoyed.
"well you know now, and we're trusting you not to tell the school, i don't want more damn groupies then i can handle, you think if we wanted to continue hiding it we wouldn't have told you?"
I frowned laying back down putting the rag back on. "dude do not get on my nerves..i'm trying to calm down. You think I want to be pissed at you guys? I don't I'm completely hating myself and I feel like shit just being mad this long after whats all that's happened...I'm already pissed at Kairi and Harumi and their zombie minions I do not need to feel like I'm angry at my friends too. I get it. You guys didn't think it was important..you didn't feel comfortable..you're trusting us now I get all of that but I cant help the nagging voice in my head that's saying stupid things in my head. I'd like it to stop im trying to make it stop I need some alone time to try I cant get annoyed with you right now cause it'll end up in an argument and i don't want that so please go"
I peep past the cloth to see him raise an eyebrow before shrugging. "you're joining us after you're done with track, don't make me hunt you down" he warned.
I almost scoffed and shot him a look that clearly challenged that notion. "Right"
"'Trust me don't I'm aggravated enough" Wait did he actually believe me? I sat up the rag falling into my lap.
"Of course i'm coming just cause I'm pissed doesn't mean I'm heartless even if you guys are all fucking idiots" He started walking past me just as his hand patted my head.
"I know you aren't" He said before leaving. I groaned laying back down on the couch the feeling of the headache only getting worse but a slight sigh left my lips. I couldn't ever stay mad at those idiots for long anyway.
When 4:00 hit I found myself at the school gate. A little disturbed some seemed surprised I'd be there at all. Mai looked incredibly happy and looked like she was seconds away from hugging me. That fact she felt the need to restrain that made me hate myself a little more so I warped my arms around her in a quick hug.
"Everyone here?" Taro asked and we looked around to check. Yui and Ria were next to each other, my sis and Aika were near Daichi, Saya and Kiseki, Mai and Madana were standing near Taro and Kasume was leaning on the school gate.
"Seems like it" Kasume said with a smile.
"Alright" He said getting on his phone and in a few moments a black mini limousine came from the road and drove into the school grounds. "Let's get going then"
We went into the limo while Taro and Mai used the back in front of us. None of us really said anything just kept looking on the road trying to figure out the streets we were in. For a while I didn't recognize them but I knew the general direction so that was good enough. Eventually we pulled up to this large house that was fenced by huge iron gates. The gates slid open allowing the bike and car into the long drive way. The house on the end of the path was gorgeous, I didn't care much for how fancy a building looked but I gave credit where credit was due. An old Japanese style mansion was the best way I could describe it though another word I'd use for the place was definitely big.
Kasume was probably having a field day looking at it. She loved designs and appreciated it in any form. When the limo parked we all got out of it with Taro walking towards us after parking his bike. I knew he and the others were watching our reactions. Part of me questioned whether why and didn't feel like showing any outward care for it. It was a house after all.
Kasume looked like she wanted to kiss, sketch or marry the thing which was a tad concerning. Waved my hand in front of her a few times but she didn't seem to notice me.
Mai giggled a bit before leading us to the front door. I had to guide Kasume along since I knew if I left her staring any other she'd pull out a sketch book and probably never leave till she was done. When we got inside, we were met with a taller woman who looked alot like Mai and otherwise looked way too young to be a mom.
"Hey mom." Taro, Mai and Madana said.
"hello my name is Eri, please welcome to our home," Taro stepped in front of us and started introducing us one by one. When he got to Ria and Yuikio though Eri made a smile and mentioned how she'd met the duo previously as Ria and Yuikio grinned.
"Nice meeting you again!" They both said. Ria threw his arms to the back of his head as Eri giggled. " well I'm very happy to finally meet the friends of my children, Thank you for visiting my son, he's been getting lonely, his girlfriend is already here though."
The general reaction was probably alot like my mental one. Taro did his best not to hide his mental annoyance but I knew behind that calm demeanor he was letting out a string of curse words internally. My eyes drifted around the corner and saw the flash of red hair by the couch. Taro eased into me when his mother had turned to guide us into the living room.
"You have to calm down during this okay? if anyone causes a scene my mom will throw you out" He warned in a harsh whisper. I gave him a surprised look before I rolled my eyes. I was absolutely furious. Naturally. There was no denying the idea of dinner with Kairi there or her being anywhere around Jirou made me ill but I wasn't an idiot.
"I know that smart ass. I can control myself." he gave me a doubtful look. Which I admit was a tad hurtful but then again I hadn't exactly shown a track record of control. Considering him and his siblings were on thin ice with us I didn't feel the need to point out the hypocrisy of him getting mad at me. "You think I'm going to risk being kicked out? forget it I got this"
He didn't seem all to convinced but he didn't grill me about it any further. Just before we had gotten to the living-room I heard Daichi pip up.
"So what do you think of Kairi?" Eri gave one of those smiles mothers typically gave. You know the ones when they're trying to be fair but are truly lying through their teeth.
"Well any mother would be wary of a girl thinking she's good enough to date her son until she proves she's worthy" I liked that answer. Hopefully she'd realize the answer to her whether she was worthy or not soon enough. When we got into the living the sound of running feet practically came to a halt. Two kids seemed to be playing before we got in, the smaller boy had a look of panic mixed with worry. He was about to duck behind his mother's leg when his eyes fell on mine and stopped. Looking a tad bit scared so I tried my best to give the warmest smile I could.
"Oh hey buddy" I said going on my knee. "Remember me? We met when you were with your uncle at Parents day?" He nodded and I titled my head with a grin. "How's it been ? these are my friends....and don't worry they're cool too"
Kasume smiled near me. "You must be Tsuneo right? He nodded hesitantly. "It's okay to be nervous sweetie but I promise we're not here to scare you or be mean at all. You don't have to be scared"
"You know I'm not a meanie right bud?" He nodded before whispering a 'right'.
"Hi" he said softly and Kasume and I smiled. Everyone gave him a small wave while Eri seemed a bit shocked. She managed to shake out of it long enough to point out the small girl not much further away.
"And this is his twin Yasu"
I heard Ria let out a tiny squeak and when I turned around he was huddling behind of Saya who looked so confused. Eri seemed a tad lost as well but Yasu only gave a smile to all of us.
"Hey" we all responded but Ria kept his eyes from her view. It could have been my imagination but at the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw that kid smirking at him. The second I focused my gaze though it was a regular smile. She even turned and faced me with a little bow. I figured I was seeing things until I heard Ria whisper over to Saya.
"You've got to save me. She's a demon"
"Please Ria I could only deal with one headcase friend at a time thank you." She whispered back.
Kairi and Jirou were on the couch watching television when he turned to face us. She had the smuggest smile on her face looking at us and of course it turned to picture perfect smile she developed specifically to win parents over when Eri had turned to look at her before her own cheeks turned a bit pink.
"Forgive me though I completely forgot do any of you have any allergies? I'm just so used to cooking for my family I forgot to have Taro find out for me"
"That's alright" Aika smiled with a giggle. "No allergies."
"Nuts" Kasume answered and Kairi laid back into the couch completely relaxed.
"Only shell fish and peppers" She said hesitantly sneaking a look at us. What she think I'd do poison her? It was a thought but I wasn't her. I didn't fight dirty nor was I homicidal.
Eri breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness. You all can still eat the meal then. I'm making a sweet beef stew with potatoes carrots and green beans" Jirou's entire face seemed to light up with joy. Eri giggled at his reaction.
"That's my favorite! are you going to make those little cheddar biscuits I liked too?"
"Of course sweetie if I'm going to make your favorite stew I'm going to make your favorite biscuits" Jirou gave a fist bump to the air practically hopping in his seat.
"YAY!" He cheered. We all couldn't help but smile. Kasume giggled and Eri just laughed before petting his hair and kissing his forehead. He was practically a little kid the way he was reacting and Kairi had the nerve to try to string him along like that? Her little kiss on his cheek made me want to punch those lips right off of her. Leaving gaps in those pretty white teeth of hers. Taro gave me a little bit of a look as if he could read my mind or something. I just rolled my eyes and mouthed 'I know' over to him.
When Eri left the room Jirou started playing with his fingers. We all took a sweet, I was seated on the floor opposite to where he was near Aika.
"How have you been feeling?" Aika asked. He seemed nervous but gave a few small answers.
"P-pretty good...just tired sometimes especially in the morning"
"You never were a morning person" Kasume added with a giggle "You always used to complain about whose bright idea was it to have school start in the morning"
"Then you said you wish you were a vampire sometimes just to have night school" Yukio added. I'm sure we all felt a little happy seeing him crack a smile at us.
"T-h-hat does sound like me" He laughed. "I-i guess. Night school thing sounds like a good idea though but I do love sleep"
"Don't we all" I smiled. It felt like those moments at the cafeteria, though Jirou was a tad more nervous here than there it was still pretty close and I'm sure we all missed that. Suddenly a small black tabby ran into the room dressed in a light blue skirt and polka dot top adorn with a bow. It meowed and ran up to Jirou's leg.
"That's quite the fashion statement" Ria said with a snicker. Eri walked in with her hand on her hips just as Yasu came closer to the kitten.
"Sweetie are you torturing the poor thing again?" She gave her mother a little smile.
"It's not torture it's dress up. " She answered simply and Eri gave an exasperated sigh.
"You have dolls for that sweetie, cats aren't even supposed to wear clothes. It's lucky that dear wouldn't hurt a fly" It didn't seem to matter to Yasu who only shrugged and walked away.
"Aww, Ko right you're such a sweetie?" Kairi asked with a smile putting her hand on Jirou's hand. Ko hissed at the contact which surprised the two on the couch especially Jirou. Eri looked puzzle but her expression seemed a little suspicious as well.
"Huh? buddy that isn't nice" Jirou said petting the kitten's ear. "Is Ko usually mean mom?" She shook her head hesitantly before shrugging.
"Not at all really, maybe he's just over protective." She suggested. "Or jealous"
"I don't know" I said with a smile rubbing the tabby's ears. He purred and rubbed his head against my hand. "He seems like an excellent judge of character to me" The others gave a slight chuckle and Kairi sent a glare at me. Jirou only pouted holding Kairi a bit closer.
"That's not nice"
"Glad we're getting that surprise out of the way then" I said with a wink. Though it was time to end the poor thing's torture so Akina and Saya removed the clothing. It was a bit tricky since they were on pretty snug but we managed to get it done before I lost my patience and scissored the damn thing. "Freedom" I cheered. Ko only stretched his limbs before jumping on the chair besides Ria and rested on his leg, nothing but the low grumble of his purrs were heard from him after that.
"Food's almost ready alright guys" Eri said with a smile. Jirou was shaking with excitement. How good was that stew? I certainly couldn't wait to find out. Taro gave me a look and I figured that was the signal.
"Hey Taro where's the bathroom?" I asked getting up. He got up out of his own seat and ushered me upstairs. When we got to the entrance of the bathroom he pointed further down the hall .
"That's Jirou's room you have 5 minutes at the most before they get suspicious. I'd help but I need to make sure no one else goes upstairs alright? Hurry up." He whispered. Taro would have looked for it himself if Jirou actually left his room long enough and was comfortable enough around him. They still had a bit of tension from what he had described. "Go." he whispered. "You better find that thing"
"I live on searching for dairies my friend. If there is one i'll find it." He left and I went into Jirou's room and closed the door quietly behind of me. The room was fairly large, bigger than mine that was for sure and filled with bookshelves, marvel and Supernatural figurines, posters and clothes scattered across the floor. I checked all the obvious spots first despite knowing Jirou was too smart for that you never knew for sure. Sometimes the answers were in the most obvious of places. Under the bed and his clothes drawer was empty. Not a thing in his closet besides lots of wooden pieces no doubt from past projects he'd dump in there. Found his consoles, texts books and a few drawings no doubt from Kasume but no book. Checked for false bottoms, hidden panels in the floorboards or drawers in the closets and nada.
I looked around before looking to my wrist. Barely two minutes left and nothing. I bit my lip. "Come on Amaya, if you were a shy dorky teenager with a wood-shop major and a moody twin that'd live to embarrass you...where would you hide..your journal..." I found my eyes rested on the rather large poster on the wall left to the bed. Why was that thing so huge? I knocked my fist against it lightly and heard a hallow sound. I smirked. Gotchya.
Moving the poster carefully there was a box wedged and fitted in a space in the wall. How he managed to carve that out without anyone noticing? I was a bit impressed but none the less I checked in the box and my soul deflated. Small wooden pieces and other stuff no doubt with some importance to him but no book. "You have got to be kidding me" I groaned but quickly put back everything the way it was and headed back downstairs.
"Took you long enough" Kairi said with a tilt of her head. I only gave her a forced smile before sitting down. Taro gave me a look when the conversations started back up again and I gave him a little shake of my head and mouthed 'none' . He sulked back into his seat with arms crossed. My mood fell for a while and didn't seem to get better when we sat down to eat either. Taro and the other's dad had emerged from his study and joined us for dinner. I could see where Taro got alot of his charm from. Eri smiled and greeted him with a kiss on his cheek.
"This is my husband, Madara" She introduced and began recalling our names. We all said our good evenings and he nodded at us before taking a seat and eating his plate. He seemed a tad upset which Eri caught onto and gave him a smile. "Is everything alright hon?"
"Just the stress that comes with idiots working under me" I few of us snickered a bit. Definitely where Taro got his charm. Kairi didn't waste any time milking that situation.
"I know what you mean, being in leadership positions tend to raise the blood pressure" She said but he only nodded. He didn't talk much after that and mostly for a while everyone was too busy enjoying the food.
Yasu had taken a seat near Ria which seemed to freak him out. He barely touched his food at first. I was in love with the thing. Stews were always my favorite things, only more on tons of beans side rather than the meaty side.
"I think I'm going to need a new favorite" I heard Yuikio said with a dreamy look. "This is delicious."
"Thank you dear" She smiled.
"Closet thing to anything this good would be the Culinary Meet we had last year" Aika said with a smile.
"Culinary meet?" She asked.
"It was this event we had in 10th grade, we invited a few top chiefs to participate in contest. It was held by the Culinary club, everyone had to try to match each of the chiefs dishes in their time frame. The food was so so great but still pales in comparison to thIs" Kairi added much to Aika's annoyance then she turned to me. "You remember right Amaya? the food was to die for."
I blinked feeling my mind go blank. "Um...no?"
"She wasn't there" Aika said with a quick stare.
"Oh right, forgive me. It was around the time of your accident right? My bad....just so used to seeing you close to club activities I completely forgot" I almost bent the spoon in my hand. I knew she was trying to bait me but that was so fucking low.
Jirou shot her a confused look. "Accident?"
"Amaya had a little bit of an incident last year in the girl's bathroom. Who knows what would have happened if Yuiko and Saya hadn't found her. She ended up having to go to the hospital for a long while just before the dance. She worked really hard that year...sometimes that can get to even the strongest of people. We're all happy she's okay, no relapses and she's taking her medication" She explained with a smile at him. Taro gave me a side glance knowing in my head I kept replaying the scenario where I stabbed her with a fork for saying that but I kept it calm on the outside despite the fact my blood was about to steam over. My hand shook a little but I kept it under the table.
"Oh." He said. "Well glad you're okay now" I knew Aika and Yukio were pissed off but they did an excellent job at hiding it. I was almost a little proud. Akina laced her fingers between mine under the table. I knew the only thing going through her mind was all the ways to get the bitch back. Eri turned to look at me with a soft smile.
"Oh so you're the patient Yoichi bumped into then? He really likes you" I perked up as my eyes lifted off the food and onto her. Stabbing the biscuits with my fork was the only way I could keep it out of Kairi's face.
"Really? I don't annoy the living day lights out of him?" I sighed slumping back into the chair. "Well that's a relief."
She only smiled after taking a bite. "No, he really likes you even said something about being a younger version of me" She scratched her cheek a little. "Not sure what he means by that but he wouldn't give puppies to anyone how are they doing by the way?" I grinned and snickered a little when I saw Mai grumbling in the corner. Eri turned to look at her. "you know the deal darling straight A's like you promise your father in return for helping with the budget then you can pick a couple of your choosing from the pound, child and cat friendly requirement of course"
I blinked at her a little. Me? a younger version of her? "You don't look like you could have been the hell raiser I currently am" Aika gave a small bow though.
"Thank you and your family again for the donation"
"Yeah it saved our skin a ton" I added. "And the puppies are doing awesome and getting along with my kitten misha too so that's a plus"
She only shrugged. "i'd ask but doctor/patient confidentiality, so only you're able to ask him, he certainly didn't call you any variation of hell raiser though. and that's good to hear, he was so proud of himself for thinking of using the pups as part of therapy"
"He should be proud those puppies help tons!" I grinned "No matter how bad her day got..or how..troublesome some people got" I said wearily trying my best not to look at Kairi though I'm sure she knew I was talking about her. "Snuggling with pups helped a ton...and well...I'm not exactly the calmest person in the world....or the most peaceful"
"Glad to hear it, Yoichi always puts so much into his patients so I like hearing about the results" Then she shrugged and mentioned how people tend to calm down after having kids. I only paled at that revelation. "I'm utterly doomed then but Yoichi's pretty much the best therapist I've ever had and he hasn't gotten fed up of me or judged me so much like my middle school counselors did."
She let out a laugh. "You never know Amaya, I'm very proud of him because he's a very good person and quite frankly I don't know where I'd be without him" I could practically feel the anger radiating from Kairi from afar. She looked very pleased with the conversation but I knew otherwise. She was absolutely furious that her attempts for me to cause a scene backfired like this and I was damn happy about that too."I was quite a different person before having the twins, never fancied myself a mother before I was pregnant with them and now my children are my world" she commented.
Taro raised an eyebrow mid way lifting his spoon. "How different?"
She waved her hand dismissively. "The past is in the past darling. I've changed" A small scoff was heard from her husband besides her. She only pouted before turning to him. "I have"
"I didn't say anything" he responded with a smirk before continuing his meal. My fear only deepened. While the spat with her husband was funny it did nothing to help.
"My mom said the same thing about me and my sister....maybe if i say I want kids i'll escape...." She held her hand to her mouth as another laugh escaped.
"Kids aren't for everyone but no one said you needed to change dear" I only rubbed my shoulder with a pout. No one said directly I needed to change but teachers all taught it.
"It's not that I need to change...I just need to yah know calm down sometimes....well ...triple digits detentions from middle school don't exactly look good..I mean teachers decided whether to like me or not on the first day of high school"
She had a really pretty smile so it was good to see her do it often. "Well the puppies will help, they're like children in a sense" I thought on that for a while before crossing my arms in another pout.
"I do like puppies..I could live with puppies..." She laughed at my reaction. Glad to know my horror amused her. The puppy idea wasn't a bad one for the future though. Kairi shoulders seemed to tense up and I gave her a little smile. "I think you should get a bubble bath or something when you get home Kairi. You seem tense"
"I'll be sure to remember that suggestion" she said calmly. "Thank you" It's amazing how threatening a simple thank you could sound with the right pair of hatred emanating from her eyes. I've never felt more proud of myself and that was the honest truth.
The dinner conversations lasted another thirty minutes or so before we had to leave. Eri had the limo drop us off at our individual houses since it was a tad late. I had no problems with that. I would consider the night to have been a mini success. Unfortunately while Jirou didn't seem to have a diary I may have won over his Mom which is always good and succeeded where Kairi obviously failed which made me feel even better. In fact I was in such a good mood I didn't punch out a few of her teeth the next day for dealing such a low blow at dinner, nope the utter realization her bitchy tactic only got me on Eri's good side was enough of a win for that week.
The next day started out pretty mediocre. All of my prefects were late and Kairi wasn't in school that day. I snickered picturing her tearing her clothing apart at how bad her plan failed. Opening the locker door I started sorting out my books.
I didn't see just when Taro had ended up behind of me but luckily no one was around to see that startled jump. He raised an eyebrow me and I stared at him.
"That never happened" He only shrugged before I leaned against my locker door after closing it.
"Are you sure you looked everywhere?" He started.
"Dude I'm a master diary finder. Ask, Saya, Daichi or Kiseki" or you. I wanted to say, I did take a second bathroom break and found Taro's journal though I figured to keep that to myself "I checked everywhere even the floorboards, see if there were any hidden compartments, false bottoms, believe me the places people hide their diaries can be unbelievable sometimes and I checked every one of them. The only weird part was the fact there was secret compartment in the wall behind his largest poster but all it had in were pictures and a few other stuff" I crossed my arms. "I didn't get why he went through the trouble putting that there......Thought for sure I had found it.."
"There are some pictures my dad definitely doesn't want around..even my mom..it'd make sense for him to hide those..I guess" he groaned. "That nunnery idea is sounding better by the second"
"Might be the only thing to cleanse him of whatever evil Kairi put on him maybe an exorcism or something" I finished arranging my bag and turned to meet him. "because I swear magic's the only way Jirou would ever fall for Kairi" His entire body seemed to tense as he looked straight at me. "What?"
"Say that again exactly how you said it"
"What?" I repeated.
"No. The thing before that"
"That magic was the only way Jirou would ever fall for Kairi?" I asked confusingly. He frowned his mind clearly elsewhere. "Um i'm not following how that's an idea"
"I got to go research some things now. Thanks" He practically power walked down the hall the way he was going so fast.
"You're welcome?" I groaned. It seemed like my friends were losing their marbles far too quickly for me to catch them.