"We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness - and call it love - true love" - Robert Fulghum
I woke up, and for the briefest moment, I could not remember where I was. I did not recognise the ceiling above my head.
I tried to think, but my entire body and brain felt like I had been lifting weights all night.
My name is Smith Kaito, Kaito Smith. I was in an accident. I lost my left hand and lower left leg. My parents are Johnathan Smith and Harumi Yamamoto. I live at Yamaku Academy. My friends are Hanako, Hisao and Lilly. I have feelings for Hanako. I was going to plan for the future. I had...
Oh shit. I had sex with Hanako.
I looked to my side, where the vague memory of Hanako sleeping was. The bed was empty apart from me. I was the only one in the room.
Shrugging off the fatigue with a yawn, I dragged myself to a sitting position, my legs dangling from the side (I hadn't taken off my fake leg. I had the feeling that was a thing I shouldn't have done). I looked for my clothes, finding them on the floor where I left them. Hanako's were gone, so she must have really left.
Slowly, I got dressed. Not really sure what to do with myself until the school day started, I decided to just sit down with my thoughts. I was left wondering where Hanako had gone. My stomach gave me the answer though. It was morning, she was probably hungry.
I was just about to go get breakfast myself when Hanako came back inside. She was holding a pair of instant meals, so she was slow in entering.
"Hi" I greeted her
"M...Morning" she gave a little bow before putting the plates down on her desk. They were two little satay dishes, each with a fork.
"For me?" I asked her. She nodded and we both got to eating. She let me sit at her desk as I couldn't hold the plate and eat at the same time, while she sat on the side of the bed.
We ate in silence, which wasn't bad. What was bad were the awkward looks we kept giving each other when we thought the other wasn't looking.
We were eating together. We had sex last night. Did that make us a couple? I kept feeling as if we should have talked about it, but we didn't.
We didn't talk as we ate. We didn't talk as we cleaned our dishes. We didn't talk as we walked to class. Were we meant to hold hands? Because we didn't do that either.
We entered class together, which got us a couple of funny looks. Hisao and Shizune shared a look. Misha had a massive cat-grin.
Hanako and I met eyes for the first time since we left her room "S-See you" I stuttered
"Okay" Hanako said automatically
I quickly made my way to my seat, Hanako doing the same. My face felt warm as I sat down. I was still confused about that morning and what happened.
Hisao leaned over to ask me something, but Mutou came in at that moment and class quickly started. I never thought I'd be glad for the presence of a teacher. I had no doubts that Hisao was wanting to ask me about what was going on between me and Hanako. He hadn't been around much due to his studying, but I think he could see something was going on. Shizune would probably ask something similar.
I didn't know how I felt about Hanako. No, that was a lie. I liked her, a lot, but what I didn't know was how Hanako felt about me. She never said anything about liking me beyond that of a friend, and yet we had sex. We slept together.
I was still thinking about it when the bell rang.
Unable to take it any more, I got to my feet and turned to look at Hanako's chair. She was still. She blushed and dropped her gaze as I approached.
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. What was I meant to say? I hadn't actually thought about that.
Hisao made his way over to us as we continued to just stare at each other. Shizune and Misha were looking at us too, sharing sign-words as if they were talking about us. I saw several others in the class sharing looks. Were they talking about us too?
"I..." Hanako spoke "I..." She sprung out of her seat "Ivegottogodosomething!" Then she ran out of the classroom, knocking a few books and pens to the floor in her haste.
A few people stopped staring after that, going back to other conversation as if Hanako running away was a common occurrence (which I guess it was).
I kept looking at the door, contemplating whether or not to give chase. But then again, I knew she could run faster than I could. I'd never catch up to her now. I still had no idea what I was meant to say to her anyway.
With nothing else to do, I knelt down to pick up what had been knocked down by Hanako's sprint. Hisao knelt down to help me "What happened, man?" he asked me.
I shrugged helplessly "I don't know...I just..." I sighed "I just don't know"
I felt something tap my shoulder. I looked up to see Misha and Shizune looking down on us, their faces a mix of curiousity and apology.
Shizune sighed something "Kaito...if there's anything we can do..."
I just shook my head. They couldn't help. No one could. What was going on was just between me and Hanako. Misha and Shizune shared a defeated look, I got the impression they knew that. They bowed and left me alone.
Hisao put a hand on my shoulder as we put all of Hanako's stuff back o her desk "You can fix this" he told me
"How?" I asked
He merely shrugged "Hanako's a friend, but I barely know her. I think you'll know what to do when it comes down to it" And with that he left, and I was left alone as the sole person in the classroom. I was left alone to think.
I liked Hanako, but I barely knew her on a deep emotional...thing. I didn't know how she saw everything. I've tried to change, because I thought would make things better and I could be a better friend to Hanako, but we seemed to be farther apart than ever.
I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know anyone who could help me with it.
Whatever I had with Hanako...that was never coming back. We had sex. We have changed, and I had no idea what I to do, what I could do with that information. I wanted to at least save our friendship, but I didn't even know if that was possible.
The classroom was silent as I thought away, the only sound being the faint ticking of the clock. That silence was swiftly shattered by my fist hitting the desk. I wasn't angry though, I was just determined. I knew what I had to do.
I had to talk to Hanako, and I knew how.
I was in the park, sitting on a bench under the trees. My phone was in my hand. I had just sent Hanako a text.
I'm in the park, if you want to talk
I decided that if I went looking for Hanako, she'd only run away again. So I decided to give her the option to come to me.
I felt anxious as I waited. My leg was bouncing up and down like a jackhammer. I had bought some apple juice to try and calm myself, but it seemed to only to taste bitter in my mouth and I crushed the can in my hand.
Being nervous was natural though. Hanako was dear to me. I didn't want to lose her, to lose everything we had done together over one stupid (if absolutely amazing) night.
Then again, what had we done? We had sex, but I still didn't really know a lot about her. I probably knew more about her than most, but that wasn't saying much. I wasn't even sure if she'd show up.
"K...Kaito?" Spoke too soon.
I stood as I turned to look at her "Hanako..." I said, but found myself unable to say more.
We stared at each other for a bit before Hanako blushed and broke eye contact, fidlding with her hair.
"Hanako..." I knew I had to something, to break through the wall between, so I kept trying "Hanako, I...What...What are we? What we did...What did it mean?"
She stopped playing with her hair and looked at me again "I thought...you might eventually go away if I was only someone you needed to protect. I thought that if I let you do that...you might see me as someone more than that"
Wait. "Let me"? Did that mean she didn't actually want sex? I was suddenly very worried. "Did that mean you..." I had to choke the words our "...That you didn't want it. Did I...Did I...?" I couldn't stand the idea that I might have taken her against her wishes, that thought made me feel a little sick inside. I couldn't bring myself to finish asking the question.
"I knew..." Hanako spoke "I knew you couldn't look at me that way..."
"What way?" I asked
"All I ever was to you was...a useless person. Just someone...to prtoect. Someone like...a child. I-I wanted to be more to you than that, but after so long...I...got used to it" her voice sounded disgusted, but I couldn't tell who was digusted with.
"After I came out of my room..." she continued "I saw that you had started had started drifting away. I felt like I was going to lose you, because...you wanted somebody you could have...that kind of realtionship with. You were more quiet in school than before, and you were getting on so well with Yuuko...I thought...that I might lose you"
I shook my head sadly, my feelings so mixed up I was sure there were tears forming. She thought I was bored of her, because I wanted a romantic relationship? "You..." I whispered "You're my friend. I'd never give up on you"
Hanako looked defeated as she admitted "Friendship...was something I thought I'd given up on. I stopped believing in others...after what happened after the accident..." she took a shaky breath, tears forming in her eyes "Before the accident happened, I got on well with people and other children. I didn't have many friends...but I didn't mind, because I treasured the ones that I had. Afterwards, though...I was called names by the others, and teased a lot. It hurt...really deeply. The teachers tried to help, but they couldn't do much, and even many of them recolied just at the sight of me. Among those calling me names and teasing me...were the ones I thought were closest friends"
She paused as she wiped some tears away with her sleeve "From then on, I believed that it didn't matter if nobody else acknowledged me. All my existence ever did was make people troubled after all. It was...easier...if I just didn't exist" She finally looked me in the eye again "But after meeting Lilly, and then you...I tried, but I...couldn't make myself think that way again"
I couldn't wrap my head around what she was saying. I understood being wary of others, but to expect me to just so...so callously throw her away once I got bored with her. It seemed too heartless to be human. I guess I really never understood the pain that Hanako felt. I felt like a idiot (more than usual anyway).
It hurt. Out of all the people I wanted to be close friends with, to trust and to care for, it was her.
"I...I never want to hurt you" I said "Never. Why didn't you say..."
"Was...Was I wrong?"
"Yes! Wait...no, I..." I took a breath, I felt that I had to talk "I wanted to help you, the same way I'd like to help anyone, if I could. But I couldn't, because I thought of you as broken, when I wasn't any better"
Hanako was looking at me a bit more intently now. No turning back "When you locked yourself away, I got scared. I thought you were breaking down. I thought...I wanted to help you, to make you better. But...I couldn't. I thought...I thought you were locking me out. Re-Rejecting me"
"I wasn't rejecting you!" she blurted out, before reining in her voice again to a whisper "I wouldn't ever to that. Not to you. Even though I was scared...even though I tried to push you away...you still tried to get closer to me. I locked myself away because...I was just a burden to you. To Lilly. To everyone"
She seemed to be on a roll now, her voice gaining confidence once more "E-Every birthday was the same. Everyone doing their best to pretend that I mattered. Everyone pretending everything was all right...for that one day of the year. I didn't want to exist, but they wouldn't let me. Even after meeting Lilly...everything was the same. I was as useless as I'd always been, unable to do anything for her, or for myself. I didn't want to be the same way...to you"
We had it all wrong. I was wrong.
Everything we did only made her feel worse. Even the little things I thought I had right about her were wrong.
"Hanako I...After you locked yourself up, I tried to make myself better. I thought that, maybe, we'd be closer if I changed...got better at things. I wanted to help, but to do that I had to...I needed to help myself first"
There was silence as our words hung in the air. Hanako took a deep breath, then swiftly sank to her knees in tears. To see her that upset broke my heart, because I felt responsible for it. I wanted to help her, to make her feel better, but I didn't know how, and I doubted I would ever be able to do such a thing. Shame filled me as I could only watch Hanako cry her eyes out, my own eyes streaming tears as well.
I crouched down and wrapped my arms around her. I didn't care how we must have looked. I didn't care that I could only really hold her with one hand. I just wanted to hold her, be near her.
"I'm sorry, Kaito" she sobbed "I-I've messed up everything..."
"No," I shook my head "I'm sorry. I should have said something. You never messed up a thing" I knew I should have talked to her more often, but I couldn't. That was why I was trying to improve.
My eyes felt blurry as the tears fell "I was...scared. I was scared that I would lose you" I admitted "I never had many friends. I...I care a lot about them a-and I didn't want to lose you. I...I needed you"
"But I'm just a useless-"
"No you're not!" I cut her off. I refused to hear her lies again. She was only deluding herself "You're my friend, Hanako! You...You..."
I had to say it. There would be no other opportunity "You mean a lot to me, Hanako. I...I think...I luh...I love you. I love you, and the idea that I might have lost you scared me so much..." I wasn't really sure what I was doing, aprt from baring my soul as messily as I could.
"I'm sorry, Kaito" Hanako voice was shaky, but it seemed a little less upset. "I can't help...feeling a bit happy. For so long...that's what I've wanted...to hear..."
Her tears still fell, but she wasn't sobbing any more. I was the same, holding on to her, sharing her grief and her happiness. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but at moment I didn't care. I just wanted to hold her a little longer, just until she stopped crying (and maybe a little longer).
Time passed as our eyes dried and her bodies stopped trembling. A few hankerchiefs later we looked at least somewhat better. We couldn't really hide bloodshot eyes after all.
"Feel any better?" I asked her.
"Y-Yes" she nodded with a weak smile "Thank you"
We sat there on the bench talking for a while, rebuilding ourselves with conversation.
"The weather is nice at this time of year" Hanako noted. Talk about the basic topics.
"Yeah" I smiled "It is" I closed my eyes, enjoying the sensation of sunlight on my face "Do you want to stay a little longer?" I asked.
Hanako nodded with a smile. It was weird. You'd think a smile was a completely natural thing, something you'd seen so often that the novelty would have worn off by the time you'd learn to tie your shoelaces. Not Hanako's smile. Not to me. Hanako smiled so rarely and so sincerely that I could not help but feel better in its presence. I felt priveliged to see it, to be trusted with such a sight.
"I'm sorry" she said "For...everything"
I nodded "Honestly, it's okay. We were both kind of at fault I think"
"I know that...I'm too shy. I know yoy don't want me to be, I don't think I can..."
"I think you can" I assured her "I know you can. You've already changed after all, since we met for the first time. I mean, look at us. We're outside, broad daylight, having a conversation" Slowly, I took her hand in mine "You've already changed, Hanako. You will keep changing. It won't all be at once, and that's okay"
"But I can't be like that for everyone" Hanako protested softly "I don't know how. I don't have any plans for after school..."
"Neither do I" I admitted "Give it time, you'll figure it out. We both will. I know we will. I know you've been trying, and I have faith in you. And if you need someone...anyone for support or anythin, I'll be there. Promise"
"B-But I can't ask that of you..."
"You can. I'll probably ask you for help from time to time after all, so it seems only fair we help each other out. I think that how these things, these relationships, work. I think this is what love is"
Hanako smiled as we got to our feet "You want to get something to eat?" I asked her "I'm kind of hungry"
She smiled again as she nodded. I think she was happy, as in truly, genuinely happy. It was a subtle thing, the twinkle in her eye, the glow from her cheeks. It felt as if I was seeing her for the first time.
"Hisao?" Hanako spoke up as we walked
"I...I think...I don't really understand you"
Well that was a bit of a punch. Didn't make it any less true "I don't think I really understand you either" I admitted "I think that's okay though"
It was completely normal I suppose, we had a lot of mental wall between us it was unlikely that they'd all be broken down in a day. But that's what the next day was for, and the day after that. Brick by brick a day if that was what was necessary. I was willing to put in the effort to make it work, and I was pretty sure she was too.
Hanako eyes kept flicking to my face and down to the street and back to my face.
"Something up?" I asked
She stopped and looked at me, taking a deep breath in the process. Her expression reminded me of the time I had surprised her in her room
"I..." she started to say "I think...I think have something...I need to give you"
"What is it?"
"I wanted to give you this for a long, long time, but...now that I need to..." she dropped her gaze again "It's too embarrassing..."
Colour me intrigued. "It's okay. You don't have be embarrassed. I'll accept it, whatever it is"
She looked back up and smiled at me. It was a smaller smile than the last one, with a bit more red in the cheeks. She placed a hand on my shoulder "Then, please accept my first gift to you, Kaito..."
And so, standing on her tiptoes, she kissed me. On the lips. In front of anyone who happened to be walking past us. I didn't really care about that though. It may have not technically been my first kiss, but it felt right.
It felt perfect.
My name is Smith Kaito, Kaito Smith. I was in an accident. I lost my left hand and lower left leg. My parents are Johnathan Smith and Harumi Yamamoto. I live at Yamaku Academy. I'm in love with Hanako. We are in a relationship.
I am happy. I am in love.
Life is perfect.
Thank you to everyone that read this story, favourited, followed and reviewed it.
Keep your eyes open for anything else I might make.
Thanks once again!