Wednesday, April 25, 2007,6:52 AM
Traveler ch. 21


21


“You’re not coming” said Miki reading Aya’s thoughts.

“My leg’s ok already and I’m not going to play the role of the worried girlfriend waiting for you to come back, that’s not my style”

She’s said girlfriend?

Everybody stared at the younger, from Rika, who was looking a bit sad, Yossi smiling, Risa and the youngers surprised, to Nakazawa, who had raised an eyebrow hearing the good news.

“They’re my friends, Miki” continued Aya without paying attention to the others “I’m not going to stay”

“I’m going too”

Yossi walked towards the others, hanging up at her back the sword that Eri gave her. Rika took her arm and tried to stop her with a really worried look in her face.

“You can’t…”

“If I’m good enough to disarm Miki I’m good enough to fight. I’m going”

The small group left the tunnel when the sun had almost disappeared from the sky. Yuko grouped them and then made a signal to Miki, who was already at an advanced position waiting for the others.

“They’re hidden behind the ruins beyond the clear” explained Nakazawa “It’s difficult to get there without being seen and they can’t leave without attracting her attention…”

“Leave that to me”

The leader looked at Miki. She wasn’t sure about letting her go alone but, the truth was that just one person could get nearer that the whole group before being noticed and, if someone had to do it, Fujimoto was the best choice.

Miki didn’t need Yuko’s answer. She knew what to do and was going to leave when someone took her hand. They stared at each other for a moment, Aya unable to say anything but with the words ‘don’t die’ written in her eyes. Fujimoto nodded understanding, then she smiled and gave her a quick on the lips before disappearing in the shadows.

Yuko took a small radio that she was wearing at her belt and switch it on. Luckily, she’d taken precaution before Goto left the complex and gave her something to be able to contact them if something happened.

“Maki?” she whispered to the device.

“Yeah, we’re still here”

“How’s the situation?”

“Pretty bad…”

“Casualties?”

There was a sudden silence at the other end of the line and a few seconds passed before Maki decided to answer.

“Three”

“Who?” Aya had took the radio from Nakazawa’s hands and asked anxiously.

“Aya?”

“Who, Maki?” insisted Matsuura.

“Tanaka, Koharu and Ayaka”

Aya kept silence. She’d never been close to the younger ones, but Ayaka had been one of her sister’s best friends and a great lose…

“Something’s happening...” said Gottsan “I hear movement outside”

Yuko turned to the others. It was the moment.

“That’s Miki’s signal.

***

Now that the things where going so well… You guys always so timing, right?

Fujimoto was advancing through the shrubbery stealthily without taking her eyes out of the clear where the beasts were standing. There’s something else, though. A body, no, two bodies lying on the ground. It was too late for them.

Why are they so quiet?

It wasn’t normal. They weren’t eating? Not even surrounding the bodies? The monsters had their heads raised, like smelling the air, waiting for something…Then Miki looked in the direction where the ruins where and analyzed the situation. She would have to do something big to make them move further away from there.

Ok…kill some monsters before dinner, go back home and spend a lovely night with that hot girl who claimed herself as your girlfriend. God… I can’t believe she said that…

Miki averted her look a moment from the clear and stared at the point where her group should be. Aya’s worried look came to her mind once again.

Then, moving slowly, she kneeled down and seized strongly the hilt of her sais.

I hope you’re ready.

One of the sharp weapons flew directly to the nearest beast’s throat, piercing it as butter. The monster fell and, immediately, the rest of the group turned to the spot where the dead body of one of them was. But there wasn’t just the corpse. Miki was there too, with one foot stepping on the dead beast’s head. She pulled up her sai without any consideration and look at the monsters with a defiant glare.

“Let’s dance”

***

“Ok, Gaki, Aibon and Nacchi head straight for the ruins and get them out of there. Atsuko, Nono and Yossi with me, Miki’s gonna need some help. Aya and Rika…” she said turning to both girls “…you’ll stay here to cover us”

Everybody nodded and they dispersed in their respective directions. Yuko’s group advanced towards the clear quickly, but before they reached it, Nakazawa stopped Yossi a moment, putting a hand over her shoulder.

“You’re sure? You still can go back…” she asked the younger.

“I’m sure”

Yuko saw the resolute look in the younger and smiled. No doubt that girl was special.

They look at the clear through the trees and saw Miki. She was surrounded by six monsters, her sais filled with blood moving with millimetric precision, piercing the deformed bodies. But it was getting more and more complicated. Then they saw one of the beasts jumping over Miki and both falling to the ground. It was time to do something.

***

Shit!

Fujimoto kicked the monster; throwing it at her side and trying recover as quickly as she could. As soon as she stood up, an intense pain filled her whole body and her vision blurred for a moment. Miki shook her head and was going to continue the fight when she noticed that there was just one sai in her hand. The other was too far to reach it so, she had to reject the next attack just with one weapon and her bare hand.

She had just stopped one of the claws of another beast over her head when Yuko appeared at her side.

“How’s your record?”

“Twelve!” answered the younger punching the monster in its stomach and piercing the sai at the back of its neck.

“I think yo..u’ll break it to…day!”

Nakazawa got rid of the beast in front of her and stared at Miki for a moment. The younger hadn’t answered. She was concentrated in the fight, all sweaty and looking tired. Too tired to be Miki…

“Some help, please!”

The leader turned and saw Nono and Yossi surrounded. Almost every beast in the clear was there, leaving just a pair of them to Atsuko and still another three with Fujimoto.

“Can you handle it?” she asked to Miki a bit worried.

“You’re kidding me?!”

Seeing the younger knocking down one of them, Yuko decided to go to help the other two that were beginning to have some trouble to hold back the monsters.

***

From the line of trees, Rika’s shotgun was clearing Yuko’s way until she reached the youngers. Once she was there, Ishikawa’s attention diverted to where her friend was fighting.

“Something’s wrong with Miki…” she said with a worried whisper to herself.

It wasn’t Rika’s intention that her worries could reach Aya but, after shooting an arrow that knocked down a beast, Matsuura turned to her.

“What are you talking about?”

Ishikawa felt awkward. It was the first time that the younger said something to her without being a verbal attack. This time, in front of her, there’re just two worried eyes trying to figure out what was happening.

Then, without answering, she looked again at Miki and Aya’s eyes followed hers, understanding the moment she saw Fujimoto that Rika was right. Something was wrong.

***

Just a bit more… I just need a bit more time…

She recovered the second sai with a fast movement and stopped an attack at the level of her stomach, kicking the beast to move it further away from her. Each time it was more difficult… They where faster and she felt her legs less and less…

The pain began to be unbearable.

I want to go back home with you…

The wound in her side didn’t stop bleeding. She had been too self-confident with her own skills and that beast got to wound her when both fell to the ground. At that moment, Miki remembered all the times when Rika scolded her for being so imprudent and all the times that she ignored it. Now Fujimoto began to regret it.

Now, for the first time in years, she began to fear death. She never cared about it before, there was nothing in that world to keep her anyway, and so she just fought, waiting for her turn to be the looser of the battle. But now, she had made a promise.

“…will you stay by my side?”

She breathed deeply and kept the air in her lungs, tightened the grip on her sais and, with her last strength, stabbed the remaining beast in its heart right to the hilt of her weapon.

“I’m sorry, Aya…” Miki didn’t feel her legs anymore and kneeled to the ground, dropping the other sai still in her hand “…I can’t…”

To be continued...

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posted by Lorena Enciso
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007,7:20 PM
Traveler ch.20


20

“Stay…”

“I can’t”

“Why? So wonderful was your life back there? If it’s because of her… you have me here too. I can love you the same way as her… even more…”

It’d be so bad to stay?

After their conversation, Yossi was worried. What would happen if they couldn’t go back home? They had to stay in that hostile world, surrounded by monsters and wondering when would be their last day. But it was that so bad when she could have her love in return?

No… I can’t…

Yossi shook her head trying to clear her mind. It wasn’t good to think about that. The last she needed it was to be so damn confused. That’s why she should leave as soon as possible and why she was at Konno’s door right now.

She knocked and Konkon opened the door, letting her in before going back to her work.

“Where’s Kaoru?” the taller looked around the room but she didn’t find her.

“She’s on my bed. I sent her to have some sleep”

“To sleep? Why?”

“Kaoru have spent the last two nights awake, you didn’t know it?”

“No…”

“She’s been worried about you… about how you’re feeling with all this”

“I didn’t know…”

No, she didn’t know it. Yossi had been paying so much attention to Ishikawa’s problem, Yuko, Aya… that she didn’t noticed Kaoru. The girl was probably as scared as Yossi with the whole situation. She’d been travelling, but never stuck in one of those unknown worlds. And even so, she was still worried about her. Yoshizawa felt really guilty, thinking just about her own problems and forgetting the younger.

“She’s a good girl” said Asami with a smile while she was taking a little screwdriver from her desk “She has the same aura as her mom”

“She told you?” asked a surprised Yoshizawa.

“It’s not so difficult to see, you know? It’s in her eyes…” Konkon put the screwdriver on the table again and took the tongs, watching carefully to not damage anything “Besides…”

Suddenly, Konno stopped what she was doing, left the tongs and took the machine with both hands, raising it to the level of her eyes to watch it nearer.

“You’ve found something?!” Yossi’s hopes seemed to reborn when she saw the shining in Konkon’s eyes.

“I don’t know. Can you bring me Kaoru’s computer? There’re some notes that I need to check there. It’s in her bag”

Yossi nodded and went towards the bag, which its owner had left in a corner of the room. She grabbed it and took the thin folder from the inside, leaving the bag again on the floor, but when she was going to go back to Konkon’s desk, something fell at her side. Yoshizawa leant to pick it up and was going to leave it again inside the bag when something caught her attention.

That’s my writing?

‘To Rika’

“Something’s wrong?” asked Asami turning her head to look at Yossi.

“It’s ok…” said the older waving her hand “Just something fell…”

Konno went back to her work and Yossi looked at the envelope in her hand.

“If you don’t mind…” she said giving the younger the computer she asked for and walking towards the door “…I’ll be back later. I have something to do…”

The door closed behind her leaving Konkon a bit confused. Being already outside, Yossi leant against the wall and took the envelope that she’d hidden in her pocket.

***

What a strange feeling…

Miki had her eyes shut, hearing carefully every little sound that reached her ears, especially, the breathing coming from the girl in her arms.

Weird. That’s how she felt, but in peace too, as if being there, seated and leaning against the rough trunk of that tree, Aya with her.., was everything that she needed to exist. That, of course, didn’t make disappear the fact that they’d been only three days together, almost all the time arguing. Too fast, too sudden, too… deep.

She was trying to make her head clear about those feelings when she felt a hand caressing her right cheek. She knew what Matsuura was thinking when the younger’s index began to follow the line of the scar. Miki knew that, soon or later, Aya was going to ask her. Everybody did it before, it was the first thing that people always asked her, but she never answered.

“My mom”

Raising her head in surprise, Aya looked at the older who was still with her eyes closed. She thought that Miki was asleep and that’s why she dared to do it, but now, the sudden words, had cough her off guard.

“Sorry, I…”

She was going to remove her hand quickly, but Fujimoto took it with hers and made it rest in her cheek again.

“It’s ok” said Miki opening her eyes slowly and smiling gently at Aya “I guess it’s time to tell someone”

Aya felt a shiver travelling through her body and wondered if it was because it was getting cold already or if the true cause was the loneliness in Miki’s voice, that sorrowful tone and distant look reflecting a past full of sadness.

“I had a sister too…” began to say Miki “…five years older than me and my mom’s pride. She was beautiful, talented, strong… I was nothing compared to her, no more than a scared brat that can’t do anything more than run and hide herself” the older lowered her head and looked at Aya, caressing her soft skin with the reverse of her right hand “But she loved me…” continued “…and I loved her more than anything else in this world”

“You said your mom…”

“My father died a few years before the earthquake and, since then, Mom put all her hopes in my sister and never really paid attention to me. I guess that’s why it wasn’t so shocking when it happened. After all, her favourite daughter had died to save the useless and cry-baby kid that she never wanted”

“She…”

Aya couldn’t say it. The words chocked in her throat unable to believe what Miki was telling her.

“She tried it” finished Fujimoto, understanding what the younger was trying to ask “But hey, I was a slippery midget and I ended just with this awful present in my face”

“But why? Why a mother would want to do something so…”

“I guess pain changes people. She changed, she went mad and tried to forget that I’d ever existed, but I changed too…”

“You became a touching demon obsessed with girls?”

Fujimoto laughed and Aya felt a bit relieved. She knew what Miki meant but seeing her hurting herself remembering her past it was making Aya feel her own pain again. She couldn’t let that happen, not after how well things seemed to be going between them.

“We should go back” said Miki looking at the horizon “It’s getting dark”

***

I shouldn’t…

The letter was in her hands, still closed. She was dealing with an internal fight, trying to restrain herself from reading it when she was dying to know what it was written inside.

‘To Rika’

She read again. No doubt it was her writing, but she never wrote it. Probably it was the other Hitomi, the one from Kaoru’s world… A letter to her mom…

Yossi stared at the corridor for a moment, making sure that there was no one else there and then she opened it.

“Just a look...”

‘Rika…

I’m sorry, I know I told you that I’d be there tomorrow but I can’t go back.

I can’t go home… Something’s happening here, something related to the project. People are acting weird since that new boss came. Even Asami’s nervous all day. I don’t like that man. He’s asking too many questions… I guess is his work, but the way he looks at us, the way he wants to participate in every move we take…, I don’t know. Until yesterday I thought it was just me, but Miki told me that she had suspicions about him too and then, this morning… her patrol hasn’t come back. The base lost their signal and we’re still waiting for news. I have to be ready with Maki and Mai to leave at any moment for a rescue mission. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m almost sure that this isn’t a coincidence…

I’m worried… worried and scared ‘cause I have this feeling telling me that we have to be careful. I think I wouldn’t send you this letter if it wasn’t because of Mako-chan. She’s the only one I trust enough…’

“Yossi!”

Yuko called her from the other side of the corridor and Yoshizawa put the letter in her pocket again as quickly as she could. The leader was running towards her with a worried look on her face.

“You’ve seen Miki?”

“No” answered a clueless Yocchan.

“Shit! That girl always disappears at the worst moments…”

“What’s wrong?”

“There’s no time now. We have to find them first”

***

“This is weird”

“What?”

“You, taking my hand like this…” Miki looked at their entwined hands while they where walking back to the refuge. Aya stopped and stared at her obviously hurt.

“If it’s so weird you can let go…” she said releasing Fujimoto’s hand almost with angry.

“No! What I mean is… Come on.., three days? It’s pretty fast for falling in love you know?”

“I’ve never said that I’ve fallen for you” Matsuura began to walk again, hiding her face from Miki, trying to avoid that the other girl could see the blush in her cheeks and denying whatever thought about what Miki’d said. That’s impossible. Love? No way. Never. No.

“You know you’re already mad about me…” insisted the older, surprising Aya from behind when she took her hand again.

“HA! Keep dreaming Fujimoto. You’re the one mad about me”

Miki pouted, Aya laughed and made the older pouted even more. They’d reached the door already.

“Someday I’ll kill you…” said Fujimoto in her desperation while she let the younger enter the complex first.

“You’ll try it” corrected Matsuura “Besides..., without me you’d get bored the first minute”

“You irritate me” said the older, closing the door and moving towards the other girl that was waiting for her already inside.

“And you exhaust my patience”

Aya surrounded Miki’s waist and attracted her, the other girl couldn't fight her words back. She loved to win, and even more, to win over Miki. It was a way to show the older that she wasn’t going to let her do whatever she wanted with her.

“Just three days and…” began to say Fujimoto leaning to found the other girl’s lips.

“Mmm..?”

“…I…”

“Miki!”

The girl almost had a heart attack when she heard Risa shouting her name. She was running towards them. Such a bad moment to interrupt.

“What?” asked Fujimoto obviously pissed off.

“Nakazawa… trying… find you…” Niigaki stopped, trying to recover some air.

“What does she wants know?”

“Her friends…” answered the younger pointing at Aya “…trouble… hurry!”



To be continued...

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posted by Lorena Enciso
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007,12:19 AM
Traveler ch. 19


19

Yoshizawa closed the door behind her and leant against it for a moment. Aya was crying. She could hear the sobs coming from inside the room and wondered if that little talk had been a good idea. If, at least, could change something…

The singer sighed and raised her eyes, just to meet with someone else’s.

“How long you’ve been here?

“Enough to see Miki leaving and enough to hear part of your conversation too. Sorry”

“It’s ok… Wait, Miki was here?”

“Yeah.., and she seemed angry…”

“Great. Now I’ll have to deal with her too”

Rika stared at the younger. Yossi looked tired, overwhelmed by the pressure that everybody was putting on her. So different from the girl she heard a few minutes ago… The strength had disappeared and now, it was just a normal girl, far away from her home, trying to hold the weight of somebody else’s actions over her shoulders. It wasn’t fair…

“I just want Aya to be ok” sighed Yossi again.

It’s not fair…

“I hope she didn’t misunderstand me. I’m just trying to make things easier for her before I leave…”

…how I’m going to let you go now? It’s not fair that you care just about her. What about me? I’m here too; I’ll miss you too, not just the past anymore but you, the girl that came from another world to save us. It’s not fair to make me fall for you again and say that you’re going to leave as if no one cared about it.

“What if Konkon can’t repair the Traveler? It would be so bad to stay?”

I’m sorry… I need to know it. I’m hurting you. I can see it in your eyes, the restless, but I’m hurting myself too, ‘cause I know the answer…

Yossi froze. Not able to go back home? She’d denied thinking about that possibility before. The single thought made her shiver. She had to go back. She was going to graduate soon, she wanted to see Miki teasing the youngers and running after whoever dared to wear a short skirt in front of her. She wanted to try a solo and see how many more generations Morning Musume could handle. There were still so many things for her to do… but, the most important.., she needed to see Rika, her Rika, and tell her how much she missed her.

“I…”

Ishikawa sealed her lips before the younger could say anything.

“Please…” Yoshizawa heard Rika’s tiny voice whispering in her ear and felt something wet in her cheek at the same time “…stay”

***

I could try it…

She had decided, after spending the last two hours crying, that it was time to do something. Yossi was right; she didn’t want to be alone, but…

It has to be her?

Both girls had been staring at each other for a few seconds already, standing in silence at the exit of the rooms. Well, if Aya was going to do something, she’d never have a better chance to do it.

“Where are you going?” asked the younger, trying to sound nice for once.

“Outside”

Miki’s answer was cold. Something was wrong.

“Alone?” tried Aya again.

“Yeah”

“Can I go?”

“No”

Definitely, something had changed. Fujimoto’s words, or rather monosyllables, were like ice bullets. The night before she’d had said something like ‘you shouldn’t ‘cause your leg’s still weak’ or ‘better let’s go to my room and have fun’ but no… Just that glare… Even so, when Miki began to walk away, Aya tried to follow her. Before she could take two steps, the older turned to her again.

“Stay-here”

HA! As if someone could make Aya change her mind now.

She saw Miki leaving through a little door at one side of the square and wait a bit before going after her. Forgetting about her previous plans about trying to be friends with Fujimoto, now Aya’s priority was found the reason about Miki’s change of attitude towards her. No one could be flirty and playful one night and cold like a stone the next day.

The vegetation was dense outside. It seemed that the complex was surrounded by a forest where the paths had disappeared already. It’d be difficult to follow Miki’s steps there. After all, maybe had been a bad idea…

“I told you to stay”

Aya was surprised by a rough voice behind her.

“I don’t accept orders from anyone” she fought back.

“It wasn’t an order. It was a suggestion. It’s dangerous…”

“Then, why are you here?”

“It’s a good place to be alone” answered Miki a bit annoyed “Go back inside”

“Come with me”

“What’s wrong with you today?!” Fujimoto shouted almost with rage “Last night you wanted to get rid of me no matter what and now you’re like an annoying puppy following me around!”

“Oh! And who was the puppy yesterday, Tan?” said Aya sarcastically “I have to remember you that were your hands the ones trying to get into my pants at the first chance?!”

“I’ve changed my mind!”

Matsuura should felt relieved. Since the first moment she’d wanted to get rid of Miki and forget that the older had even touched her but, instead of that, the sudden change in Fujimoto’s attitude hurt her some way. Now that she was going to give her a chance Miki didn’t want it? Oh no, no one rejects Aya Matsuura.

The older was going to walk away and disappear again but Aya stopped her. She took Miki by her arm and turned the girl towards her. Now they where face to face, so near that they could feel each other breathe.

“Tell me that you’re not dying to kiss me right now” teased Matsuura.

Strong arms surrounded her waist and Aya smirked. Finally some reaction. Miki attracted her until there wasn’t any space between their bodies and tilt her head a bit to the right.

“I’m not…” she whispered almost caressing Aya’s lips with hers “…but you are”

Aya was, indeed, dying to kiss those lips teasing her, but her stubbornness didn’t let her take the first step. She wasn’t going to let Miki win their little battle so easily.

“The Princess and the Monster…” said Fujimoto again, this time the cold tone in her voice had been replaced with something else. Sorrow maybe? “It’d never work…”

“Stop calling me princess” Aya was looking straight at Miki’s eyes. At some moment her arms had ended around the older’s neck as if she feared that Fujimoto could leave.

“Not until you stop hating me”

I… I don’t hate you…

“Not until you understand that I couldn’t do anything”

It was my fault. I was the one who left her…

“Not until you stop thinking that I’m a monster”

I’m the monster, the weak one. I blamed the others when I was the only one to blame.

The younger couldn’t stand Miki’s look and turned her head trying to avoid that intense eyes staring at her.

Maybe it’s true that I hate you. I hate you because who you are, because what you’re doing to me. And I hate myself ‘cause I let you do it. You make me feel alive and I don’t deserve it. I hate you. I hate you because all my strength means nothing when you look at me…

“Say something”

I need you.., and that’s why I hate you more.

Miki was still waiting an answer when Matsuura buried her face on the older’s shoulder.

“Aya?”

Suddenly, Fujimoto realized how intimate was that hug, far from being just something physic or sexual. The words she heard hours ago in that room meant nothing now. Aya was accepting her, maybe even forgiving her… They could forget the past and start again…

“Tan…” this time Matsuura’s voice didn’t sound mocking saying the other girl’s nickname. She turned her head and let her lips caress Miki’s neck slightly “…will you stay by my side?”

“As long as you want”

The answer left Miki’s lips almost instantly and just then, hearing her own words, she realized how long she’d been waiting for someone to ask her that.



To be continued...

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posted by Lorena Enciso
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007,10:36 PM
Traveler ch. 18



18


“Let me go!”

Of course, her request, which was more like an order because of the tone in her voice, wasn’t satisfied, at least, not until they reached the room and Yossi closed the door behind them. Just then, the singer released Aya’s hand, but far from calm down, the younger used her newly found freedom to punch her captor…

…or rather, to try it.

Aya’s fist hit hard the rough door, followed by a crack noise and the younger jumping back in pain, holding her hand and cursing. The last she expected was that Yoshizawa could avoid the punch so easily.

“I just want to talk but, if you insist on using violence, go ahead”

There it was that bold look in Yossi’s eyes again, a look that Aya knew very well. Something that told her that the other girl wasn’t going to let her go easily without getting what she wanted before.

“I know it must be difficult for you to be here with me” began to say Yoshizawa with a kinder tone in her voice “But it seems that I’m going to stay here for a while so I just want to make things work between us or, at least, to be able to get along. I’m asking too much?”

It was a reasonable request but not for someone as stubborn as Aya. She kept the same attitude and gave her back to Yossi, making clear that she wasn’t willing to cooperate.

“Look, I don’t want to take you’re sister’s place. It’s just a talk” tried Yossi again.

“About what?”

Aya’s sudden reaction was totally unexpected. She didn’t bother to turn to look at her and her voice sounded more annoyed than anything else, but the fact that the younger showed some kind of interest it was enough for Yossi to keep trying it.

Now it was time to panic.

From the start, Yoshizawa didn’t expect to be able to actually keep a conversation with Aya, so she didn’t prepare or thought anything to say. The truth is that not even in her own world she’d knew what to talk with Aya about. They were co-workers and, sometimes, they’d hung out together, but just because Miki was there too. In fact, if it wasn’t because of Fujimoto, Yossi barely talked with Aya. She was the one who knew Matsuura better than anyone; she was the one who Aya trusted the more, they were one soul together and felt incomplete without each other. Too bad that Miki wasn’t there to help…

Wasn’t she?

“You’re not alone” Those were the first word that came to her mind. Finally, Yossi had seen the light in her head. Of course her Miki wasn’t there, but there was another one, a Miki who seemed to feel some kind of attraction towards the younger. Maybe they could work on that. Maybe those two were bound to be together through time and space. Maybe a superior being had put here in that world to help them to find their destiny. Maybe…

Maybe I’ve seen too many movies

“That’s how you feel right?” Yoshizawa spoke again before her mind could process what she wanted to say. Something was true, if Aya still didn’t run away, there was hope. So, Yossi recalled the few things that Ishikawa told her about the younger and tried to build her speech on that. She breathed deeply one last time and got ready to continue “You think you’ve lost everything, that now that the ones you loved are gone you’re all alone in this world” Yossi made a pause and wait for some kind of reaction from the younger. Aya remained silent, still refusing to turn back and look at her “You’re not alone” repeated the older “There’s people here who cares about you…”

“Like who, you?” cut Aya sarcastically.

Well…, it’s a start…

“I’d like to say that I’ll be here to take care of you…” Yossi lowered her head and stared at the floor, feeling a bit guilty “…but we both now that I’m not going to stay. What I’m asking is for you to open a bit that tough heart and let people like Yuko or Miki to approach you…”

Yossi hadn’t finished talking when she heard a loud guffaw.

“Miki?” Aya finally looked at her still laughing “The last thing I need is that uncouth, tiresome and annoying girl in my life”

***

Uncouth?

There was someone leaning against the other side of the door, someone that raised an eyebrow after hearing Aya’s last words.

Ok, it’s true that she’d been a bit aggressive since they met and that her methods to get something from Aya were rough sometimes, well, all the time… But that didn’t mean that she was an animal to be treated like that.

…the hell… Why I should care about what that stubborn little girl thinks about me?

For a moment, Miki wanted to knock down the door and make Aya shut up with her bare hands but she held herself back and began to walk down the corridor.

She’s just another one to forget Miki. Just another one…

***

“You’re really funny, you know?”

“I’m talking seriously, Aya. I know there’s something going on between you and Miki. You just have to let it happen”

“There’s nothing between us” this time, Matsuura’s voice was cold.

Yoshizawa thought for a moment to give up there and leave the girl in the shadows where she wanted to stay, but her own pride and the image of a very pissed of Nakazawa made Yossi change her mind. She could try it one more time.

“I don’t know how this Miki is or how you are, but I have this feeling telling me that nothing here is coincidence, that things happen for a reason, that if fate put Miki in your way is because it has to be like this…”

“It was fate that my sister died, too? Aya began to seem really pissed of. Maybe Yossi hadn’t chosen the right way, but it was too late to go back.

“Maybe” answered the older, trying to stand Matsuura’s angry look “Maybe that’s why I’m here…”

“You’re talking nonsense”

“Yeah, probably”

“You’re so like her…”

What was that? She was finally cooperating?

“Like whom?” asked Yossi confused.

“She was always saying that fate brought me to her life to be able to have a family again…” Aya’s word didn’t sound angry anymore. The tough woman was now more like a little child filled with sorrow. Then Yossi understood.

“And it wasn’t like that? You became her sister”

“A real sister wouldn’t ran away while she was dying”

That’s it. That was the real reason because Aya was so bitter. She didn’t hate Ishikawa or anyone else. She hated herself. She felt guilty because she left her…

“She wanted you to live” now everything was clear. Yossi’s voice cracked a bit when she understood how the younger was feeling.

“A coward doesn’t deserve to live”

“To stay alive isn’t coward. To hide yourself from the others to not get hurt it is. Do you really want to be alone?”

Aya asked herself if that was what she’d been doing all this time, to keep the others as far as she could. Maybe it was. Not even Maki, no matter how much she tried, managed to be near enough, she was being pushed away again and again… Then, why she was still at her side? Why people keep caring about her if she didn’t deserve it?

“You don’t”

Yossi answered her own question while Matsuura was still in silence, her eyes half-closed and stuck on the floor, trying to hold back the tears. That was too much. That was too cruel. Since she found Yossi three days ago, Aya’d decided to see that woman like someone totally strange, unrelated to her, even if her heart was crying to run and hold her. She wasn’t her sister. She couldn’t be. But, even so, it was her. The way she fought, the way she speak, the worry in her voice. Aya wasn’t sure about what to do anymore.

“Think about it. I’ll be near if you need me”

Yossi left and a dead silence filled the room.

She stayed still. The tears threatened to overflow her eyes. Her fists closed with fury, her nails sticking in her hand, trying to erase the pain in her heart with it. It didn’t work.

And then, Aya did what she’d never allowed herself to do before.

She cried.

To be continued...

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posted by Lorena Enciso
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