“Onee-san! Nakazawa-sensei’s looking for you!” Hitomi shouted from the door of the gym. She smiled briefly at Rika and went out.
“Oh man! I guess my happy time’s over. Take care and be alert always so that you won’t get hurt, got that?”
Rika nodded in response to Miki. She was shocked when Miki unexpectedly kissed her cheek and ran away. She stood motionless for a few minutes, trying to process what had just happened.
“Hey sis, you alright?” Miki stopped to wait for her sister who’s walking rather slowly right now.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Hitomi lied. Her stomach’s been hurting like hell. She hadn’t eaten anything since this lunch and now, it’s almost 10 in the evening. She’s just drinking lots of water to pacify her grumbling stomach. Surprisingly, there were many students who tried out this year but only 3 were chosen because of the high standards of Nakazawa-sensei. She didn’t expect that they will come home, this late.
“You sure? You look so pale…” Hitomi could not stand Miki’s concerned look. She’s somehow feeling guilty about it. She made up her mind earlier. Actually, besides minding her grumbling stomach, her mind was wandering off; she’s busy thinking about her feelings towards Rika while playing futsal on the field.
She must face herself first before facing Rika. She must learn how to be strong; mentally, physically, and emotionally. If Miki can, and WILL do anything, she must also do it, and 10 times harder than what Miki had done in order to succeed. A realization hit her; she’s ready to sacrifice her sister that she love and respect, in order to be with Rika. Knowing Miki, she knew that she wouldn’t bear a grudge against her for a long time.
“Don’t worry about me. I’m just so tired from the practice.” Hitomi lied and walked faster. Miki followed her immediately and messed up her blonde hair.
“There’s a ghost behind us…” Miki tried to sound scary but it was obvious that she was restraining her laughter. She ran towards the direction of their house which was only a good 15 minute walk from school.
“MOU!!! DON’T SCARE ME AND DON”T YOU EVER TOUCH MY HAIR AGAIN!!”
“STOP SCREAMING OR YOU”LL WAKE THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD!”
“BUT YOU’RE SCREAMING TOO!!!” Hitomi didn’t mind her stomach and ran faster. She caught her sister and jumped on her back. Miki supported her sister and gave her a piggy-back ride.
“You’ve become heavy… And I thought that you’ve lost weight… We should switch places, you know. It’s not fair that I’m always the one who’s carrying you.” It was only a joke. Miki always like to carry her sister ever since they were small.
“You want to experience it too? Ok, tonight, I’ll be the one to carry you.” Hitomi jumped off from her sister’s back. She lowered her back a little bit because though Miki was older, it’s not that obvious because she was taller than Miki. Miki wrapped her hands around Hitomi’s neck. Hitomi put her hands under her sister’s butt in order to support her weight. Hitomi started to walk towards their home.
“Suteki!!! Now I see why you always want me to carry you… This feels so good!” Miki tightened her hug making Hitomi choke a little.
“Ne-san… I.. can’t… breathe…”
“GOMEN!!! gomen… Ureshii” Miki loosened her grip a little and rested her head on Hitomi’s shoulder. “I’ll let you sleep in my room and read all my manga tonight.”
“Oi, what’s with that blank look of yours? Are the aliens from outer space’s contacting you again? Come back here to earth!” After almost 4 long years, Mr. Ishikawa didn’t change a little. He’s still the same father who likes to tease her daughter with his lame jokes.
“Yeah, they were asking me if they could take me to their planet and be their queen.” Rika responded nonchalantly. She’s not the same Rika who would always pout her mouth and be annoyed when she was being teased. She learned how to counter-attack her father’s jokes.
“Please stop that… We’re eating our dinner… By the way, what club did you join this year?”
“Basketball club… I’m finished … I’ll go to my room now, gochisousama desh’ta!” Rika stood up went upstairs.
“What time will otousan leave tomorrow morning?” Hitomi asked without looking up from the book that she was reading. Miki snuggled beside her.
“If I remember it correctly… the plane will leave at around 6am… and you need to be in the airport, 1-2 hours before the flight so, approximately, he’ll leave this house at around 4 in the morning.” Miki explained while hugging her sister tighter. She knew that Hitomi was really fond of their father that’s why it’ll be hard for her to see him go away again.
“Onee-chan, you’ll break my bones…” Hitomi laughingly said. She put down the manga that she was reading and turned off her sister’s lamp. She lay down beside Miki and closed her eyes. “Onee-chan, how does it feel to fall in love?”
“Ehh? Nani?! Stop thinking about those stupid things and sleep right now. You said earlier that you’re tired right?”
“Were you avoiding my question? Seriously, what did you feel when Rika came into your life?”
“Ehh? You’re acting weird today… I guess the air from your stomach went into your mind, distorting the way you think.”
“Just answer my question!” Silence followed after Hitomi raised her voice. “I promise, I’ll sleep right after I get your answer.”
“Happy… I guess that’s always what people feel when they’re in love right? Now you got my answer, let’s sleep now or you’ll not be able to wake up early to bid otousan, goodbye.”
“Happy?......... maybe for some people… But I’m feeling some sort of loneliness and confusion right now… I love the two of you, but I must let one of you go to be happy with the other… Will I be contented when I loose one of you? Where’s my courage earlier? And why the heck am I thinking about these things? I want to sleep now… I want to say something to father tomorrow…”