Did I made it? I posted it right on time right??? Ahahahaha... HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!!!! what a way to start 2010...hmm, that means... I'll still be writing for the rest of the year..anyways...enjoy this 2nd to the final...yeah, you heard me right... the next one will be the FINAL chapter... and no amount of deal would make me post it sooner... I'll post it as Rika said... on her birthday..so you'll have to wait for 19days more to read it..I'll not stall this chapter any longer. Enjoy reading!
“So? What if I’m Kuwagata? It’s not really MY story… got that? So please just move out of my way.”
“SO THAT’S IT!!” Rika blurted. After staring for minutes in front of her computer, the ‘data’ input has been processed in her brain and she finally ‘almost’ understood what Miki meant.
“So.. wait… She’s not Kuwagata in that forum… but she’s Tenma. It’s either she has two usernames in that forum or… she’s not really Kuwagata, but then again, she said she’s Kuwagata. Hmmm, but if she’s not Kuwagata, then that means… HOLY CRAP!!!! Yoshizawa-san??? No way.”
“Who wrote this story?”
“Ahhhm… my … my friend. I was just...”
“I don’t know. We haven’t seen each other for a while.”
“My PC broke, I can’t proof-read her fic so yeah, she sent it to me via mail instead. Kinda low-tech right?”
“Speaking of reading. My friend’s on a roll, she told me that she already finished last night the fifth chapter of ‘Searching for the Light’.”
“Well, my friend was bothering me to check her draft. It’s almost midnight when I sent her the chapters. I bet you read it that’s why your eyes were like that?”
“Well, I believe she’s inspired to write every day… and if it’s based on something, expect it to be updated frequently than her fanfics with original plots.”
“I didn’t think about that one…”
“Hmmm, when I think about it, I think that’s not considered plagiarism. She didn’t copy the whole story although the idea’s still there… but it’s really different. That’s my opinion.”
“Hmmm, I guess she will end it up like the story. She’s a really sadistic person and she likes it when her main characters die. But she’s a masochist too… sometimes.”
Memories of her conversation with Hitomi flooded her mind. It’s as if she’s watching straight from a television and it showed her the important memories only.
“OMG! She’s just like Reina! She’s talking in a third person point of view!” Rika got her cell phone and was about to call Hitomi. But she realized that it’s already past midnight and the other was probably fast asleep. She will just have to call her tomorrow morning or go to her office. With that, Rika closed her laptop and decided to sleep.
“So, what now?” Miki glared at the person in front of her. She really didn’t want to talk about her ‘escapades’ but her friend was REALLY bugging her.
“Ayaya, can we please not talk about this for now? I mean, it’s already 1 in the morning and I’m already tired.”
“Hmmm, just a little bit of information? PLEASE?!?!? I’m your best friend and… come on!!! TAN~!!!! PLEASE~~!!!!” Aya started shaking the shoulders of Miki. No matter how hard she glared at Aya, it seemed that the other was already immuned to it.
“OKAY!!! Just stop shaking me! You’re making me dizzy.”
“Yey!!! So, uhhh… what happened?”
“Got on a date, saw Hitomi again, got in a bicker fight… resumed date… wrote a fanfic, oh yeah.. and then my best friend is bugging me. That’s it.” Miki muttered sleepily. She’s really exhausted and still hasn’t fully recovered on the ‘talking’ marathon that they’ve done at Maki’s house.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?! How am I going to understand it?”
“You asked for a LITTLE information. And I gave you one. Now stop asking questions and go to sleep. GOOD night!”
“Is that how you treat your FORMER love now that you found someone new?”
“Aya?!” Miki rolled her eyes as she saw Aya making her famous puppy eyes. Miki knew she would fall for the trap if she would not look away. She closed her eyes so that she will not see her ‘weakness’. “Look. I’m tired now. My energy’s been drained. I just want to get some decent sleep.”
“Alright. I’ll give you a decent sleep. But promise me, tomorrow morning, you’re going to tell me the whole story. Got that?”
“Yeah, promise. Good night!” Miki hugged her best friend without ever opening her eyes, and went towards the bed. Miki faced the wall and was about to sleep when she felt that there’s someone on the other side of the bed. She turned around and saw Aya smiling sheepishly, with both of her hands under her head.
“May I ask you… What are you doing?”
“Come on Miki, have you forgot whose house is this? And whose bed is this?”
“ARRRGGHH!!! Ok fine it’s yours. Just let me sleep ok? No big movements!” Miki faced the wall again and closed her eyes tightly.
“Who’s the messy sleeper here?”
“AYA!!! LET ME SLEEP!!!”
“Ok~! Geez… Tan, lighten up. You’re so grouchy like an old person.”
“I’m not old. You are.”
“HOW MANY FREAKING TIMES SHOULD I TELL YOU…. I’M NOT OLD!!!!”
“LET ME SLEEEEP!!!!” Aya didn’t retaliate as she decided to let her best friend get her sleep. Instead, she hugged Miki from behind and nuzzled closely on her neck.
“Do you really plan to let me sleep?”
“Actually, I’m helping you get your sleep.” Miki felt Aya’s lips form a smile on her neck. She just let out a sigh as she held Aya’s hand on her waist and drifted off to dreamland.
As the morning came, a girl was awakened by the sounds of her phone ringing. She blindly searched for her phone, not bothering to take a look at the monitor to know who was calling her.
“RIKA~!!!! So how’s the date turned out with Miki?”
“Huh? What are you saying?”
“Geez, did you forget? I left you two yesterday… Well, I purposely left you two that is.”
“Uhhh, who am I speaking too?”
“Is that the way to treat your best friend? It’s me, Sayu!”
“Sayu? Sayu?.... Hitomi? Uhh no, she’s Risa…wait… best friend….. AYU!!!! What the heck was that?!”
“Ahahaha… so ERI? How’s Reina? Did she treat you really good? Come on tell me~!”
“Well, how can I explain it… Uhhh, good?”
“Come on Tan!!! You’re no different than last night!”
“It’s kinda awkward.. We role played a TanaKame scene.”
“REALLLY?!?!?! So Miki’s being straight forward with you?”
“Uhh, yeah and then, I held her hand.”
“MIKI!!!! OH MY GOD!!! You’re really the straight forward type!!”
“I guess so…And then she… uhh.. you know… hugged me.”
“OMG!!!! OMG!!! DO you know that I’m hyperventilating right now?!? Rika that was… KYAAAHH!!! Just like a real TanaKame scene.”
“And not just that. I caressed her cheek and said some sweet stuff.”
“KYAAAHH!!~ And how did she react by that?”
“Umeboshi? Way to ruin a good moment there Rika. And since when did you like umeboshi?”
“Come on Ayu… I don’t know how to react to those kinds of…. You know!”
“And you bought her umeboshi?”
“I was about to, but then Hitomi came.”
“Ohhh, the other manager popped out… is that the friend of Kuwagata?”
“Yeah.. and it turns out that Miki and Hitomi knew each other.”
“And she followed me into our role play thing, and became Risa.”
“Ohhh… Hitomi’s still updated with the latest buzz. She knew ‘GakiKame’ fans are multiplying. So what happened next?”
“They used the ‘role play mode’ to fight. I’m still not sure about the root of their fight though.”
“Ahhh… It’s really hard to be in the center of conflicts. So what did you do?”
“Rika pulled us into a quiet place to settle our thing and then… we settled our thing.”
“So… Hitomi and you are friends again?”
“I can’t hear them clearly but Miki said that they’re ok…. And she continued the date.” Rika took a peek at her wall clock. She still has time to do her morning chores before going to work. She just needed to finish her chat with her best friend.
“You know. You two are really like Reina and Eri. You’re weird. And Miki’s really yankii, my hand still hurts a little from her grip. Anyways, what happened next?”
“I’m going to be late if I don’t hang up now.” Rika excused. Should she tell her best friend what happened with their ‘date’? Up to now she, herself, can’t imagine as to why she allowed herself to be dragged in this so called ‘mess’. She’s the president’s daughter and Miki’s one of their employees. Not to mention a ‘girl’ employee. Rika massaged her temples. She’s been into too much ‘Shoujo Ai’ or even ‘Yuri’ genre with the Three-Tums that somehow it’s back firing at her own life.
“Come on Rika. I know you can make it in your office in just 20 minutes. So, what happened? TELL MEEEE~~~!!! PLEASE~~!!” Rika cringed at the high voice of her best friend and let out a sigh. She’s still her best friend no matter what.
“Well, she took me into this another restaurant with some live music performance and great ambience and then she accompanied me to my house… and…”
“THAT’S SO SWEET!!!!! You know. I’m not imagining a Rika x Miki scene… I’m imagining a REINA x ERI scene! That was so sweet!!! Geez, Rika… you’re such a lucky girl!” Rika smiled at the comment but decided to remove that smile from her face.
“AYU!!! Come on, Miki’s a girl! I’m a girl!”
“Reina and Eri are girls too. I don’t see any problem with that.” Ayumi defended.
“Ayumi, we’re living in the REAL world.” Rika retaliated. She heard her best friend chuckle a bit. She already knew she would get some ‘stupid’ argument after that chuckle.
“They are living in the REAL world too. And you should know that because WE are attending their concerts.”
“But… Their relationship.. you know.. Tanakame, TanaShige and KameShige thing are just a figment of our imagination. It’s just can’t happen in real life.”
“Really? How sure are you about that? Did you already do a research about that? Come on Rika, reality’s even ‘magical’ than the movies or fanfics if you think about it. We say that ghosts or creatures don’t exist but there are evidences that they exist. There are lots of ‘impossible’ things happening everyday at the different parts of the world, we just don’t know it because of the lack of media or information.” Somehow, her best friend has a point. Before Ayumi would only give her crazy answers whenever she was asking or telling her point but now, she’s answering sensibly.
“Ok, I must say that you have a point there but still, I think, they are just doing purely ‘fan service’ because it’s what their fans, like me… and you, want.”
“If you put it like that then I’ll become a fan of YOUR pairing. Hhmm.. Fujimoto Miki and Rika Ishikawa… It could be IshiMoto but since Miki’s the one leading, I think it’s better if we named it FujiKawa. What do you think?” Rika face palmed at what her friend said. Ayumi’s taking their discussion really far.
“AYUMI!!!! ARE YOU REALLY PUSHING ME TO THE ‘OTHER SIDE’?!? ARE YOU REALLY MY BEST FRIEND?!?!” Rika yelled playfully. Somehow, the blush on her cheeks wasn’t cooperating with what she’s saying.
“No, I’m not pushing you to the other side and yes, I’m your best friend.”
“Then why does it seem like you’re pushing me towards Miki?”
“I’m not pushing, I’m just merely telling facts from my observations. You were really happy when you changed her. You bugged her in ways a superior would never do, in ways that you would never do to someone who you just met. You seemed really happy when you were talking with her when we were in the restaurant. Rika, the signs are right there in front of you, ready to pounce at you anytime. You just have to grab it.”
“I don’t want to grab it! Is this even legal?”
“I guess the right question is, is it even accepted here? If you worry about it too much then go to Spain, or Belgium, Canada… or Sweden! You can have your marriage there and then straight to honeymoon.” Ayumi followed her comment with a laugh that’s different from her normal, ‘fangirl’ laugh. It’s more on the ‘crazy’ laugh.
“SHIBATA!!!! It’s really early in the morning!”
“Hai, hai… I’m just stating my opinion. You don’t have to be angry. ”
“Well, you’re the one making me angry.” Rika pouted even though she knew her friend wouldn’t be able to see it. She took another glance at her clock and decided that she really needed to end the call. “Anyways, if you’re just going to annoy me at the start of my day, I’ll hang this up. I need have to prepare now.”
“Ok, I’ll just annoy you later.”
“Geez, thanks, you’re really my best friend.” Rika replied sarcastically.
“Good luck with your love life. I’m officially into FUJIKAWA now. I’ll write fics about you two, ja~!”
“AYUMI DON’T YOU…. dare.” Rika put her phone beside her. Her best friend cut off the line even before she even completed her sentence. She sighed out loud. Her friend has a point. Ever since she ‘officially’ started in her work, her father sent her into different branches ranging from a month up to five months. Her three-month stay in Hokkaido was, for her, the happiest and at first she didn’t know why. Her father also noticed it too and thus, she was given a day to visit it again five days ago. Ayumi’s right. All the facts were there, hitting her every time. It’s just that she didn’t notice it… or was trying NOT to notice it. Rika grabbed her pillows and screamed on it before deciding to finally start her day.
“Ohayou!” Rika turned around to see the owner of the deep voice.
“Ahh, Ohayou, Mr. Nishida. You’re pretty late this morning.” Rika made it into their office 5 minutes before her official work time due to her early phone call. Usually, Mr. Nishida was earlier than her normal arriving time of 20 minutes before the official work time but now, it seemed that she reached the office first. The door of the elevator opened and the two went inside. They were staying on different floors.
“My car broke down but I managed to fix it in time. So, how have you been? It’s just a few days from now and then you’ll go back to Kobe. I hope that you enjoyed your stay here.”
“Yes, I really enjoyed my stay here. And I learned a lot from this branch.” The elevator stopped on Rika’s floor. She stepped out and turned back as she heard the older man said something.
“We also learned a lot from you. Do your best today. See you later!” Rika smiled at Mr. Nishida before the elevator door, closed. She walked towards her office to start her work and it seemed that she will be quite busy before she will go home as Mari showed her a list of meetings and paper works that she needed to attend. During her lunch break, she just ate her lunch silently, without even checking her laptop for updates. She has lots of paper works to do so she completely set aside her fangirl side for the first time since her stay in Saitama branch. As she was munching and checking some papers, her phone rang. Rika rolled her eyes and mumbled a silent prayer before answering it.
“Oh please… I hope it’s not Ayu.”
“Good afternoon, Ishikawa Rika speaking. How may I help you?”
“Uhh, hi… so uhhh.. My flight back to Hokkaido is tonight at 8. Can I see you after your work?” Rika blinked many times. Rika wanted to scold herself from blushing as soon as she heard Miki’s voice.
“Uhh, ok. Where?”
“Let’s meet at that restaurant last night. I want to treat you again before I go.”
“Ok. There’s so many things that I want to clear with you after reading that fic. I want to ask it now but I have much work to do before I go back to Kobe five days from now. So I’ll just see you later at 5.”
“Alright. Uhh….uhhh… Take care always.” Rika knew Miki wanted to tell her something else but it seemed that the other can’t say it.
“Sure, you too. Bye.”
“Bye.” Rika clearly heard Miki sighed before she fully put down the receiver. Somehow, hearing Miki’s voice made her heart beat really fast.
“What’s going on with me!!!! This cannot happen!!! My dad’s gonna kill me!!!” Rika managed to finish her meal without a glitch and continued her work. She managed to finish ALL of her work an hour before 4 in the afternoon. She stretched her arms as massaged her eyes. She pressed her intercom and called for her secretary.
“Yaguchi-san, kindly pick up the files. I’m already finished with it.” After a couple of minutes, Mari emerged from her door and picked-up the papers. Before going out, Mari gave her a present.
“A goodbye present. I want to be the first one to give you one.”
“Thank you very much! I appreciate your efforts.” Rika gave a hug at her secretary at this branch. She was thankful that she met a certain Mari Yaguchi who has been a great helper. Rika went back to her seat and took a good look at her office. She stayed here for at least a month and she knew somehow, she’s going to miss it.
“Ahhh!!!” Rika suddenly exclaimed. She grabbed her phone and called someone whom she should have called earlier.
“Yasuda-san, is Yoshizawa-san there? Kindly tell her to go here in my office. Thank you.” With that said, she put the receiver down and waited patiently for the other party to arrive.
“Uhh, Yasuda-san said that you wanted to see me.” Hitomi greeted after knocking on Rika’s door.
“Yeah, Gaki-san, I need to talk to you about something.” Rika smiled as she said that. She can’t believe she’s the one who started the ‘role play’ mode, in which the other one gladly played along.
“Is it about last night with Tanaka-san?”
“Yes… I’ve already asked her what happened but she told me to read a fic instead. And that fic, was…well, I think it’s about you and Reina’s story.”
“Well, what’s there to explain when you already know the whole story?” Rika saw Hitomi’s sad expression on her eyes.
“I need to clear something on my mind… Are you, the real Kuwagata?”
“Yes… and no at the same time. It’s our nickname. I’m Kabutomushi and she’s Kuwagata… but I decided to use the latter in that blog… so as not to forget her completely.”
“I see.”Rika leaned back on her chair, trying to imagine what happened between the two friends. “Do you and Miki… I mean, Reina already fixed your differences last night?”
“You’re still having a hard time talking about this right?” Rika asked as soon as she noticed Hitomi fidgeting over the topic.
“Yes…. But if you really want to know what happened, I think I’ll update my fic tonight. But you’ll have to analyze it yourself because I’ll tackle it through symbolism.”
“Ok, I think I can manage that.” With that said, Hitomi left Rika’s room as the other readied herself for another ‘date’.
“They are both alike; expressing their explanations through fiction.”
“Hi there! How’s your day?” Miki stood up as soon as she saw Rika coming near her table to pull out a seat.
“Thanks!” Rika sat down on the chair while Miki get back on her on seat. “Well, I’ve been pretty busy this morning. I have to finish a lot of paper works before I go back to Kobe.” Rika mumbled a simple thank you as the waiter gave her the menu. They ordered their food first before Miki finally continued their conversation.
“When are you going back?”
“Five days from now. “
“Ohh.” That was all that Miki can say because her mind was drifting somewhere else. She was being very nervous every time she took a glance at Rika.
“You alright Reina? You’re sweating profusely. Do you have a fever?” Rika touched Miki’s forehead to check her temperature. Miki quickly swatted her hand away. Rika was stunned at the action.
“Yeah, Reina’s fine. Reina’s just nervous… about my flight. That’s all.” Miki lied. Based from her experience, Rika will start to worry about her about that simple thing.
“Then don’t take that flight! You know, just like Final Destination. Something might happen… and I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.” Miki saw a light blush on Rika’s cheeks. The other girl decided to look away from her and turn her attention on the waiter who was serving their food.
“Does Eri worry about Reina?”
“Of course.. you’re… my friend.”
“Ohh.” The two silently started eating their meal. Miki knew they were in an awkward situation and she needed to fix it up before she will board her plane. After eating, Miki took Rika to the nearest park. There were few couples walking around the park at that time so Miki decided to take the chance to confess her feelings for her ‘boss’.
“Uhh… Reina only have an hour left before she’ll go to the airport but before Reina will go, Reina needs to say something.” Rika’s heart started beating really fast as soon as Miki said those words. Rika took a deep breath and decided to act naturally.
“What is it, Reina?”
“Well, you see, Reina was really angry with her heart. Before, her heart was pure and full of kindness towards her friends but something happened and Reina’s heart turned into ice. It was covered with impenetrable ice that even Reina herself had a hard time removing. Somehow, someone came into Reina’s life that started melting the ice that Reina unknowingly put up, and now, it’s completely melted.” Rika listened intently on what Miki was saying. Deep inside her, she knew she was the one Miki was pertaining too. “Reina tried scolding her heart and did her best to not let the person into her life because Reina knew she would only get hurt in the end. But Reina’s heart was stronger and even though she knew she would get hurt, it wants to take the risk.” Miki looked straight into Rika’s eyes. “Reina’s in love… with a turtle.”
Rika wanted to melt at the way Miki ‘confessed’ her feelings. Her other half wanted to say yes right at that moment but still, her ‘rational’ side won the argument.
“Ano, that turtle is me right?”
“Yes, my one and only Eri.” Miki took Rika’s hand into hers, hoping the other would receive her.
“I’m sorry that I destroyed the ice wall that you built.”
“But I’m really thankful that you manage to break it down.”
“Ok, uhh.. I appreciate your confession... no, what I mean is… I appreciate your love for me, but I think,” Rika paused, still thinking of a ‘lighter’ way to say it, “ I’m still not ready to accept your love. You’ve fallen in love with a turtle who wouldn’t want to go out of her shell. There are lots of factors to that but the number one reason is fear… fear of the unknown. Turtles’ feel secured inside their shell and I think it will take some time for a turtle like me to go out of my security zone.” Rika explained but her heart felt heavy as she was doing it. Add to that, Miki’s almost teary eyes made it hard for her to stop herself from hugging the other one.
“It’s alright with me. Reina will take her time and instead of putting up an ice wall, I’ll develop myself and become a shell. So when Eri will finally decide to go out, I’ll become her shell and protect her from outside forces.” Rika finally let her tears fall freely from her eyes as she lunged forward and hugged the other girl.
“I’m so sorry.” Rika cried on Miki’s chest as the other girl hugged her back and stroked her hair. Miki took a deep breath as she, herself, was having a hard time holding her tears. She mustn’t cry now. Rika need her strength.
“Don’t be. I’ll wait for you, promise.” The girls remained in that position for what seemed like an eternity before Miki took the courage to move away. “Reina has only one request before she goes away.”
“What is it?”
“Will Eri let Reina kiss her goodbye?” Rika didn’t answer instead, she closed her eyes. Miki put her hands on Rika’s shoulders and pulled her closer to her. It was nothing more than a quick, chaste kiss on the lips. Even though she really liked it, Miki has to pull back. “I have to go now. Thank you, for everything.” Miki walked away but was stopped when Rika hugged her from behind.
“On my birthday. I’ll post a fanfic. Be sure to read it.”
“Sure. See you again.”
Rika went home as soon as Miki went to the airport. She was really tired from all the stress in work and the emotional turmoil that she was going through right now, but she definitely needed to read Kuwagata’s next chapter. She opened her laptop and typed in Hitomi’s blog. Her sleepiness vanished when she saw that the next chapter has already been uploaded.
“So, what is it this time?” Reina asked as soon as she got on the place that Sayumi said. Sayumi decided to go for the ‘direct’ approach too.
“Do you have feelings for my best friend?” Reina was taken aback at the other girl’s question but decided to answer it none the less.
“Well, I’m asking that to myself too. Lately your friend’s making me confused.”
“What if I told you that Eri likes you, how would you feel about that?” Reina blinked at the other girl. She still find Sayumi quite hard to read and she’s definitely having a hard time analyzing as to why the other girl’s telling her stuffs like this.
“Why are you telling this to me now?”
“Because Eri’s too ashamed to tell it to you in person. Being her best friend, I want to help her out.”
“Really?” Reina crossed her arms trying to get the real intention of the other girl.
“Yeah, you don’t believe me do you?”
“Well, based from experience… yes. You’re hard to read… But I feel that there’s something else that you want to talk about.”
“And what’s that?”
“Earlier… before you called. I felt like.. I don’t know. Somehow I felt like Eri’s in danger or something. It’s pretty late when you ran out of the court. I guess, the sun rose up even before she was able to go inside her house right?” With that said, Sayumi removed her gaze from Reina and her smile vanished. Reina knew she hit the spot. “Is she alright?”
“For now.” Sayumi responded. Reina looked away from the girl. She somehow felt guilty as to why Eri wasn’t able to go home earlier. If only she noticed the time. Sayumi sensed what the other girl was thinking. “It’s not your fault. We knew it will come to her sooner or later.”
“Her death… it will definitely come sooner or later.”
“Hey there Reina! What are you doing here?” Eri tried to greet cheerfully even though she doesn’t have enough power on her voice. She gave her best friend a questioning look as to why the other girl was here.
“I felt that something bad happened to you earlier and I asked Sayumi to take me to you. We didn’t notice the time earlier and the sun rose up even before you went inside your casket right?” Reina tried to lighten up the mood a little bit by bringing up the ‘vampire’ thing.
“Yeah, but you didn’t need to worry that much. I’m a tough vampire; I won’t go down easily without a fight.” Eri reassured her friend by holding onto Reina’s hand and squeezing it a little bit.
“I’ll gladly help you with your fight.”
For the next three months, Sayumi and Reina were always visiting Eri and if it’s their lucky day, Koharu would tag along with them. Aunt Iida would always cook for them as they cheered up the little turtle. As the days go on, Eri’s health grew weaker and weaker. And the weaker she became, the more Reina wanted to stay by her side.
“Hey, are you sure you’re not sick? You look paler than before.” Risa commented. She noticed that Reina lost some weight and she’s always running away right after the school was over. She didn’t even have the time to play basketball with them on their free time. Reina was completely taken by her ‘vampire’ friend.
“Yeah, I’m alright. I’m just, well… doing some important stuff.”
“Would you mind sharing what that ‘important’ stuff is?” Ai asked, concerned at what her friend was acting for the past few months.
“I think in due time I’ll tell you about it, but for now, let me do this alone.” The two saw the seriousness in their friend’s eyes that they just let her do her way. Reina immediately excused herself as she saw Sayu waiting for her outside.
“Did you tell your friends?”
“Nah, I don’t want to bother them. Besides, they’ve only seen Eri once.” Sayu was about to reply when her phone rang. She answered it and Reina saw how Sayu’s facial expression changed to shock.
“It’s Koha-chan.. We need to go to the hospital, fast.”
“Eri… wake up… Eri... We’re here now.” Eri slowly opened her eyes as soon as she heard her best friend’s voice.
“Hey.” Eri weakly replied. “How’s school?” Reina bit her lip as she saw how Eri gave her best effort to smile and pretend like she’s not in pain. Reina wanted to tear up right at that moment but knowing Eri, she would just ‘forcefully’ laugh at her weakness.
“Fine.. how about you? How are you feeling right now?”
“I’m much better now that I’ve seen the two of you.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“Well then, what do you want me to say to you?” Sayumi opened her mouth but her voice didn’t come out. Reina put a hand on Sayu’s shoulder.
“Eri, are there still things that you want to do?” Sayumi glared at her. She didn’t know what came to Reina’s mind. Eri stared at Reina’s determined eyes. She let out a dreamy smile as she told them her answer.
“I want to do a dunk… That’s the only thing I haven’t done ever since I started playing basketball.”
“Then, get stronger… and when they discharge you from this hospital, we’ll play basketball.”
“yes.. I promise. Rest now and be stronger.”
“What the hell are you thinking?! Are you insane?!? You do realize that Eri’s weak.. and she’s becoming weaker every single day!!! Look at me when I’m talking to you!” Sayumi pulled back Reina, only to be surprised to see her crying for the first time.
“I know… I just want her to do her dream… so she will not have regrets later. I know it’s hard for us.. but it’s even harder for her. Please, help me with this… I beg you.” Reina pleaded over the now crying girl. “Look, from what I’ve read, fewer than 40% of individuals with this disease survive beyond the age of 20. Eri’s nearing her 20th birthday and we don’t know whether she will die earlier or later. With her current state, I don’t know how long she would last so I want to do this… for her… And I need you to help me. Please, Sayu.
“Why do you need to cover my eyes?” Eri asked her cousin who was pushing her wheelchair.
“Well, because it’s a surprise.”
“Where are you taking me?”
“To the usual place” Koharu continued their journey and after a couple of minutes, they reached the place. “Here we are… you can now take it off.” Eri took off her blindfold and saw that they were in the court. She squinted her eyes and saw that Sayumi and Reina were already there, waiting for her.
“Hey guys! What are we going to do here?” Koharu pushed her closer towards the two and that’s the only time that she noticed that there’s a large trampoline underneath the basket. Reina grinned excitedly.
“We’re here to see you dunk the ball.” Eri’s eyes widened as Reina took her ‘request’ seriously. Reina walked closer and offered her a ‘piggy back ride’. “Let’s go. Hold on to me.”
Reina was able to carry Eri’s current weight with ease. Sayu put a strap to ‘lock’ Eri to Reina so she wouldn’t fall when they will jump. Reina and Sayu climbed up the trampoline as the latter gave the ball to Eri. Koharu was on the side, busy filming the entire event on Eri’s camera.
“Here, hold the ball tightly.”
“Thanks Sayu.” Eri mustered all her strength just to hold the ‘heavy’ ball.
“Ready when you are.”
“I’m ready.” Reina started jumping on the trampoline, slowly gaining height as she put force on her jump. She jumped a little closer towards the hoop so that Eri can do the ‘dunk’. She tightened her grip on Eri as they neared the basket.
“Come on Eri…. You can do it!” Sayu yelled, encouraging her best friend.
“Yeah!!! Do a windmill!!!” Koharu cheered. Eri focused as she neared the hoop. She readied herself as Reina jumped higher on the trampoline. She raised her hand and did a two-handed windmill. Sayu and Koharu applauded as the ball went through the basket perfectly. When their ‘bouncing’ stopped, Reina put Eri down and gave her a hug.
“That was great! I was just expecting you do a regular dunk instead you did a windmill. You’re really great!”
“Thanks.” Eri mumbled. As she hugged back her friend.
“You don’t have worry about us. We’ll be fine. We’ll see each other again at the finish line.” Reina whispered so that only Eri would hear it. Eri tightened her hold on Reina.
“Thanks a lot. Let’s play basketball when we meet again.”
“Hey, what are you doing there?” Risa called back as soon as she noticed that their other friend was not following them.
"Just saw a good book.... It's about taking care of your skin."
"Yeah Sayu... you and your narcissistic ego strikes again." Ai commented and the three laughed.
"Hey! I'm not that narcissistic!!!" Reina went close to her and patted her head.
"Yeah, yeah... and I don't have wonky eyes... Geez, Sayu... you're like that ever since I've known you."
"Whatever... Let's just continue shopping."
An hour later, the two excused themselves and went off somewhere.
"I can't believe it's already been three years."
"Yeah... But I know, she's happy where ever she is." Reina replied as she looked towards the sky. "Hey, let's buy your book."
"What book?" Sayu asked as Reina pulled her back towards the bookstore.
"You know, the one which tackles on taking care of your skin."
Rika didn’t expect that she would cry over a fanfic. Her imagination was really vivid that she felt like she was watching a movie. She was about to type a comment but, it’s Hitomi’s ‘explanation’. Instead of making a public comment.. She decided to PM the author instead.
by the way... you have 19 days to 'interpret' Searching for a Light before Rika will post her interpretations...nyahahaha.XD