The first thing Risa felt was Usagi nudging her face, as she finally awoke. She looked around, and found herself lying on her bed at home, wearing the same clothes and backpack she had on when the tornado had struck almost two weeks ago. Everything was the same, except for her stocking feet-the ruby tap shoes were gone.
Had she just dreamed the whole thing, or was it real? It sure felt real…Risa was suddenly jolted out of her reverie by arguing voices echoing from the parlor of her house. She ran out onto the balcony to see what was going on, Usagi following right behind.
She stopped short, seeing her friends from school arguing with some of her parents' servants. Apparently the servants wouldn't let them in to see Risa, and ordering them to get out. Risa immediately called out, ordering the servants to stop, as she ran down the stairs. Quickly dismissing them, she hugged them in turn, happy to see them and happy to be home.
"Where have you been, Risa? We've been worried sick," Mai-chan informed her.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Risa answered, not even sure if she had been dreaming or not, sick and unconscious for the last while after being returned home. "Let's just say the tornado blew me away a lot farther than I ever thought it would."
"What happened?" Tiko asked. Risa pursed her lips, trying to explain.
"I…learned a lot about myself," she replied. "I only got back just now-I couldn't reach any of you before."
"You were gone for two weeks and your parents didn't look for you?" Mitsuko asked incredulously.
"My parents don't care if I live or die," Risa replied. "I'm not interested in their intrigues, so I'm out of the will and could move to America for all they care."
"Well, we care," Kai said firmly.
"And that's all that matters," Risa answered. She was still a social pariah, and her parents didn't care one bit about what happened to her, but that didn't matter anymore. She'd survive-she always did, somehow. And she knew she wasn't alone.
But something still nagged at Risa-had the whole thing been a dream?
Back in Risa's bedroom, hidden behind her hope chest, the ruby tap shoes glittered silently, ready should their rightful owner ever need them again.