Cheers and hearty laughter erupted in the room I dwelled in. Rips and tears echoed throughout the room as Ayumi-chan, Kojima-kun, and Tsuburaya-kun began opening a few presents. Several others soon followed the kids' examples. Hakase had gotten more materials to make numerous more inventions. Mouri-san and Suzuki-san received clothes, in the latest fashion, but not the fashion in my magazines. Mouri-san gave Kudo-kun a present that Kudo-kun gladly accepted. I never saw what he had gotten. I turned away from the scene and walked out from my position in the corner of the room onto the balcony.
The entire pandemonium taking place in the room seemed to have ceased as I closed the doorway leading to the balcony. Of course, it hadn't, the thick door had just blocked out the great amount of noise. I was grateful for the thick door. I know I sound selfish, but I couldn't really enjoy Christmas day. My favorite Christmas day was spent with Onee-chan, but she wasn't in this world anymore. I gazed up into the stars of the night. Tiny pricks of light in the dark sky calmed me as a cool breeze swept by.
Numerous people in the household had tried in vain for me to get in the Christmas spirit. They thought I was odd for being so cold and sarcastic to them. Especially that Suzuki girl. She keeps thinking I'm weird for my age. I wasn't acting like any of the kids. Enjoying the presents and joy glowing in the household. I received a couple presents from Ayumi-chan, Kojima-kun, Tsuburaya-kun, Hakase, Kudo-kun, and Mouri-san.
All the presents were meant for actual girls for my age. All except for Hakase and Kudo-kun. Hakase had given me a new Prada purse and the latest fashion in kid-size. Kudo-kun hasn't given me a present yet, but I saw him toying with a box that had my name on it. I wasn't in the mood to receive any presents, even if it was from Kudo-kun, who saved my life countless times.
Sighing, I wondered what my life would be like if I had gotten out of the organization with Onee-chan. I wouldn't have met Kudo-kun. He wouldn't even know what to do in pursuit of the Black Organization. Many things would have changed… The door behind me opened, spilling a sliver of light into the darkness of the balcony. Footsteps fell behind me, stopping a few feet behind my back.
"What do you want Kudo-kun?" I sighed out, sick of any more attempts to get me into "The Spirit."
"Haibara… could you at least face me?" Kudo-kun asked.
I turned around slowly, eyes begging for the celebration to stop for one moment so I could collect my thoughts.
"Yes Kudo-kun?" I asked lazily, not bothering to add a delighted, "Merry Christmas!"
"You're thinking about Akemi-chan, right?"
I held in a gasp and instead had my breath hitch up in my throat.
"… Yes…" I whispered wistfully.
Kudo-kun strode up to the railing of the balcony where I was. He propped up his arms and placed his chin in his hands as he watched the stars. We stood in a comfortable silence for a few minutes.
"Do you ever wish that you could always have her around you? Like a picture to remind you that you aren't alone in this world?" Kudo-kun stated softly.
"At times, yes. Whenever I think of a picture of her, I feel like I'm not alone. But most of the time, I feel like I'm the only one in this cruel world. Most people don't try to befriend me because I usually push them away or intimidate them with any cold glares saying don't come any closer." I faced Kudo-kun to see his twinkling eyes meet my gaze. "I'm the one who isolating myself. You could say that I don't want anyone to try and stoop to the level of Onee-chan. No one could erase any memory of times spent together. It's either forever in my mind of never."
"Haibara, I know that you don't want to be in the midst of accepting presents, but here." Kudo-kun handed me a small box with my name on it. It had my actual name in print at the edge of the box, but in bigger letters it had the name 'Haibara Ai' in the center of the box.
I slowly opened the box, expecting a plain bracelet or necklace located in it. Instead I found a heart-shaped golden locket. It had a pink minute heart-shaped gem attached to each side of the locket. I fiddled with the clasp, nervous on what picture took residence in the locket.
I gasped as I saw the inside. It was a picture of Onee-chan, at one of her friends' parties. Her beaming face warmed my heart. On the other side of the locket inside was a picture of Hakase, the Detective Boys, Kudo-kun, and I. This picture had me smiling in it; I recalled that I had grinned for the picture only after 30 minutes of persuasion from everyone.
"Where did you get this photo of Onee-chan?" I breathed out, after I tore my sight away from the gift after a while.
"You know that floppy disc that had pictures of Akemi-chan with her friends doing a bunch of activities? I asked Hakase if he could obtain that disc for me. I resized the photo to fit inside the locket. Do you like it?"
I nodded, not trusting my words. It was the first present I had gotten from anyone today that actually took to my heart.
I clasped it onto my neck, but Kudo-kun took over as soon as he saw what I was trying to do. After completing that task, he turned me around by my shoulders so that I would face him.
"You're not alone in this world, Haibara. You're not alone, Ai." Kudo-kun whispered with determination and confidence.
Then he kissed me straight on the lips. I didn't know what happened to me. Maybe I was thankful that he shined into my life. Maybe I had fallen for him when I met him. All I knew what that I also enjoyed the kiss. After separating, he hugged me from behind when I faced the stars again.
"I'll always be with you Ai. I'll never leave you because I love you." Kud – Conan declared, his words laced with promises and a better future in store for me.
Maybe I can enjoy life with a little more happiness flurrying throughout me because I love him too.