The clock ticked loudly compared to the silence in the classroom. I didn’t dare look up from my desk, otherwise I would be caught by the teacher for napping during final period. My head was rested on my desk and I turned to face the window on my left. I could feel the cool summer breeze and the warmth of the sun’s rays on my face. I was jolted awake by the sound of the school bell ringing. Finally school was over for summer break and being the typical teenager I was, I couldn’t wait for the long sunny days ahead. I started packing my textbooks into my bag and I knew that the longer I spent in this hellhole of a school, the more time I wasted for R&R. I was then approached by three girls, all around medium height and their long hair tied up in ponytails. They’re my friends Mai, Nagi and Yui Nakamura. They’re also triplets which never fails to baffle me.
Mai: “Hey Ruka-chan, you planning anything this summer?”
Nagi: “Yeah I mean, you do throw the best parties in the whole school! Don’t you agree, Yui?”
Yui: “… Yeah.”
Honestly, what am I going to do with these three? I know that I throw some awesome parties, but I wouldn’t call them the best. Besides, I planned on studying rather than partying and getting drunk. It’s not my thing.
Me: “Sorry guys, I was thinking of studying instead. Y’know to get ahead of the game for the new semester?”
I thought they would understand my reasoning but the looks on their faces said otherwise. It looked like they’d seen a ghost. I didn’t say anything wrong, did I? I quickly packed the rest of my belongings into my bag and hurried out the classroom door. Now that was embarrassing. I continued walking at a brisk pace hoping they wouldn’t catch up; I was eager to get out. I arrived at the lockers where I changed my indoor shoes for my normal ones. “Thank god I don’t have to wear these for a while” I though to myself. I smiled and put my shoes on before walking out the locker room. When I stepped out, I felt the breeze rushing through my hair and I closed my eyes to enjoy the moment. I opened my eyes to see a swarm of girls blocking the exit gates. They were squealing. I was rather curious as to what could attract such a large crowd and I was getting annoyed too. I want to leave. The student council president, Yamato Maruyama, was standing beside me. Yamato was known as the handsome and princely president in school due to the fact that he has the best grades and also acts towards others in a sickeningly kind manner. I’m always second best. I’m always behind him: I’m ranked second in exams and I’m vice-president of the student council. The worst part of it all? This guy is my childhood friend.
Yamato: “Well well, what do we have here Miss Second Place?”
Yamato pushed his glasses up slightly and smirked. I thought the gesture was… sexy. Wait, did he just say ‘Miss Second Place’? If we weren’t on school grounds, I would have pounded him to death by now. I got my composure back together and replied.
Me: “Actually, I’m as clueless as you are.”
Yamato sighed loudly and began scratching his head. I watched his auburn hair rub against his skin. Geez, why am I getting fascinated now?! I shook my head violently and continued looking at the crowd of girls. I could hear them screaming “isn’t he gorgeous?” and other things along those lines. I was trying to hear more when I felt myself being dragged towards them. I look down at my arm to see Yamato pulling me along.
Me: “W-What are you doing?!”
Yamato: “What does it look like idiot?! We have to get out! You do know that this is the only way to get out of school grounds.”
I was squashed against the girls and I felt claustrophobic. It was too tight and I could barely breathe. Yamato kept on pushing through the crowd and just when I didn’t notice, we were already at the other side of the gate. I stood up properly and rubbed against my uniform to make sure there weren’t any creases. It was a miracle I got out there alive.
Yamato: “I’ll walk you home. C’mon, lets get going.”
Yamato seemed unharmed; his bag was slung over his shoulder casually, glasses still intact and hair perfectly swept over his eyes. This guy is impossible! How can he get out of that looking like as if nothing happened? Yamato was holding out his hand, waiting for an answer.
I was about to start walking when I was forcibly pulled back towards the crowd.
???: “And here you are, about to walk off with some other guy besides me. Dummy.”
I froze. That voice… sounded so familiar. Low and husky. I turned around to see a tall man wearing a choker which looked like a dog collar around his neck and a tightly fitted black shirt, exposing a small part of his chest. His muscled arms were in front of my eyes and when I looked up properly, I could see his black hair resting on his shoulders – hiding his many ear piercings – and his grey eyes staring at me.
Cain: “In the flesh. So what do you say we go home eh?”
What an arrogant bastard. The same as usual I guess, but that’s what I loved about him. This man is Cain. Our relationship is what you call complicated in some ways. But we still loved each other regardless. You could say that he’s my boyfriend.
Me: “Did you cause all that commotion?”
I pointed sharply at the girls who were standing behind him, squealing and fangirling to their hearts content. Cain glanced back at them and gave a small wave, making them squeal even louder.
Cain: “What if I did? I can’t help it that my dark aura and devilish looks charm them.”
He winked at me. Well too bad for you, winking isn’t going to make anything better.
Me: “What were you thinking?! You don’t need to pick me up from school, I’m old enough to walk home on my own!”
Ha! Answer back now you fool!
Cain: “And risk him making a move on you? No way.”
Cain nodded his head at Yamato who was still standing behind me. Damn it. I was so immersed in my rant at Cain that I forgot he was there. I thought he already left without me. How long was Yamato standing there? How much did he hear?
Yamato: “Heh. So this is the guy you chose Ruka? Cain Kurosaki. Lead singer of the rock band Fallen, am I correct? I don’t know what you see in him. How old did you say he was Ruka? You told me that he was eighteen right? Hm, I’d say that he’s a womanizer by the look of it. You can do far better than that.”
Yamato’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Cain. There was a hint of sadness behind it and I clutched my chest. Yamato.
Cain: “What did you say?!”
Cain snarled at Yamato and grabbed his shirt. Oh crap, these two would tear each others throats out! The situation was tense and I had no idea how to calm them down. How are you meant to react in these situations?! Think Ruka! Think!
Cain: “Look here smart ass. Who are you to judge whether I’m good enough for Ruka or not?!”
Cain’s grip on Yamato’s shirt got tighter. I began to worry about Yamato and checked to see if there were any signs of pain. Yamato shot a glance at me and gave a sheepish smile before he turned his attention back to Cain. Yamato was calm and composed and I wondered if he was just assuring me that he was fine.
Yamato: “I’m her childhood friend. It’s my job to protect her. That’s all. Now if you excuse me, I must take my leave.”
I was prepared to throw myself between them if things got worse. That was all I could think of doing. But that could make things worse. Instead I spoke out.
Me: “Cain. Just let him go.”
Cain loosened his grip on Yamato and turned around to look at me. Yamato brushed off his shirt and left quietly without giving a second glance at me. I watched his retreating figure until he wasn’t in sight. The sun was setting and I could see my shadow forming on the ground; the breeze was beginning to die down and I could no longer feel the lingering touch of it against my face. I continued to stare at the path that Yamato walked down while the feeling of regret crawled its way into my mind. I regret that I dragged Yamato into my problems. I think that he’ll never forgive me. All I could do for him, was nothing.
He was staring off into the distant. His train of thought was likely to be messed up after that. I watched him intently and his face was illuminated by the sun. Signs of anger, jealousy, passion and regret were clear. Cain’s hands were clenched into fists; they were shaking. I felt like crying at the sight. It was pitiful. Lonely. Silent.
Me: “Why did you have to do that to him? He didn’t deserve it. He only did what he thought was right… for my sake.”
Silence. Cain refused to look at me in the eye. He couldn’t answer me, not after what he did. I knew that, but I wanted him to talk to me. To at least explain himself before I make the most difficult decision in our relationship.
Me: “Cain, you’re only making it harder for yourself. Answer me. Please.”
Cain hesitated for a moment before turning around to face me. We stood there in front of the school gates without a single movement from either of us. Cain slowly moved towards me as he reached his hand out and held my face in it. He stared into my eyes as if he were seeking answers. I closed my eyes and let his hand caress my face. Cain lowered his arms around my waist and pulled me closer to his body and he embraced me softly. We stayed in that position for a while before he finally spoke.
Cain: “Before I met you Ruka, my life was a wreck. I always got into trouble and did reckless things. But you. You turned my life around. When I needed you most, you appeared before me like an angel from heaven. Having you here with me now is a dream and a miracle itself. I’m sorry about what happened earlier. I truly am. But I was scared. Scared of losing you. Scared of you choosing him instead of me. I thought that because I wasn’t always around. If I can take back what I did, then I would. I love you to the point where I would die for you. Please, forgive me for what I’ve done. Ruka.”
His voice was almost a whisper. He was in so much pain. My cocky, arrogant and beautiful Cain. He’s a huge part of my life and always will be but… I don’t know where we stand anymore. Do I still love him? I thought deeply knowing the solution was absolute. Of course I do.
Me: “Thank you.”
He looked at me quizzically.
Cain: “What have I done to deserve your thanks?”
Me: “You were honest. And truthful. That’s why, I can never hate you no matter what despicable things you do!”
I giggled to myself and Cain appeared to look slightly relieved. Then his expression quickly changed to one of utter confusion. Cute. Teasing him was probably the best thing I’d ever done and knowing me, I’ll probably do it for the rest of my life.
Cain: “Oi. That last part was a joke right? What do you mean by despicable?”
Cain continued pestering me but even he was laughing. Then his lips brushed over mine and we shared a long, deep kiss to determine our love for each other. Cain laced his fingers into mine as we walked off towards the sunset hand in hand. The link between our intertwined fingers will never cease. Summer was just beginning.