Date Started: 2006-07-11
Date Finished: unknown
Chapter One-"Because I Am Me"
Note: I am so sorry for not having this out much sooner, but school had been bombarding me from putting much focus on my fic (as compared to the scene I posted recently), however, I had been working on it little by little, and well, here it is!
Chapter 2-"Let Me Fly Again"
Kei looked up at the building, or rather one side of an, what looks to be a semi run down apartment building. It was white, made up of 16 apartments; 8 on top, and 8 on the bottom. From the side Kei was standing on, when he looked up, he could see that there was dirt; a mark which existed due to the recent rainfall. However, the weather for the day was sunny, yet cold.
Looking at the bottom floor, he could see curtains fly through open windows, wooden doors that appeared to have uneven texture, and windows with wooden bars. ‘A somewhat decent place is better than having no place at all.’ He decided, opening the metal gate to find the Manager’s office. Luckily for Kei, the manager’s office happened to be on the first floor,
He didn’t have to wait long for the manager’s conversation to be finished, for in about 2 minutes, she had finished talking and looked up to find Kei standing there. “Hi! Come right in!” She greeted him in a warm tone, using her hand to wave him in.
‘Here goes nothing!’ Kei took a deep breath and opened the screen door. “Have a seat.” The manager instructed and waited for Kei to do just that. “Now, what can I help you with?” She asked, clasping her hands together on her desk.
He showed her the advertisement. “My name is Koyama Keiichiro. I’m looking for a place to stay, and so I thought I might ask you about it.” As he spoke, he maintained full eye contact.
“Ah, I see.” She handed him a clipboard with forms for him to read over and fill out. 3 hours later….
“...and here’s the key to the apartment. I do hope you enjoy it! Have a good day!” They were at a vacant apartment on the second floor. The manager, after interviewing him, decided that she liked his character, and showed him the apartment. As she opened the front door, she wished him well, and gave him the key.
He could have sworn he heard her say “Man! He’s hot! I wish I was about 9 years younger!!!”
After he set his bag down, he wondered around the apartment once more. When he was done, he went to lock the door, ‘So this is it. This is what I’ll call home from now on. Now to tell that father of mine, so he’ll shut up.’ He sighed and headed down the hallway towards the entrance of the building. Just as he was 2 doors from the staircase, he spotted a neighbor of his opening her door. He was about to introduce himself when he took note of her appearance. Her head was slumped over, her shoulders were dropped, her hair wasn’t neat, or glossy. Kei could’ve sworn he heard a resigned sigh. ‘Ah, she seems stressed or depressed. I should leave her alone.’ He walked down the stairs and stopped in his place.
“FRACK!!! I NEED A
Luckily for him, as he walked by a McDonalds, he saw the advertising that they were hiring and had walk in interviews.
As he filled out his application, some high school girls approached him, trying to get his number, but in response, “Nah, sorry, if any of you were guys and happened to have a bit of a resemblance to Saitou Takumi , then perhaps I’d give you my number.” With that, the girls’ faces went bright red and they went away. Kei grinned at the responses and finished filling the application.
Shortly thereafter, he met with the hiring manager. Luck was still on his side as there was an urgent need for more cashiers that night. Since his new home was less than 10 minutes from there, he agreed to taking on the position.
Later on that night….
“Keiichiro! Where have you been?!” his mother approached him as he walked in taking off his bag. “I was worried sick about you!!”
“Out”, he said, heading up the stars.
“Keiichiro…” His mother reached out for him, grabbing his arm. “Tell me, what’s the matter? Where did you go?”
“Kaa-san, I’m tired…”
“Keiichiro!!” He heard his father bellow from the library. He didn’t have to know that his father was there; the smell of a cigar gave that away.
Shortly after, his father did appear in the door way, glaring at his oldest son. The two locked eyes. Kei’s mother had a very worried look on her face. “Well, did you find yourself a place? You had better or--”
“I have father.” Kei cut him off. “Yes, I found a place, so you don’t have to worry about me anymore.”
Both parents were stunned at the news, and it seemed that there were tears that were ready to fall in Mrs. Koyama’s eyes.
“Well then, I hope you’re not expecting us to pay for your rent.” The father crossed his arms, an amused smile played upon his lips. “Oh may I ask, just how shall you pay for rent?”
Kei took the smile to mean, ‘Oh, you may have found a place, but you will not be able to afford it. So you’ll expect we pay for it. Think again, pal!’ and smirked right back. “Well, as I left the apartment building, I saw that McDonalds is hiring and since there was an urgent need for workers...”
The smile left Mr. Koyama’s face as Kei spoke and then trailed his voice off, feeling no need to continue on with his statement.
“Keiichiro…” This time, it was his mother. “When are you moving?” Unexpectedly, her voice came out smoother than her thoughts were.
“Tomorrow.” He responded, eyes still locked with his father. “Kaa-san, I’m tired. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight…” He faintly heard his mother say as he walked up the stairs. What he didn’t see was how her eyes suddenly had a flash of anger to them, or how her fist curled and her veins presented themselves boldly.
As his door closed, his mother turned from the door to her husband. Out of nowhere, she slapped him. He was stunned into silence as her seemingly pacifist nature, at least for that moment, changed. “Just what kind of a father are you!? You didn’t have to push him like this! I didn’t want him to leave! I didn’t want him to leave at all! How can you be so cruel to him?”
Kei sat on his bed in silence, practically frozen, as the newly heightened pitch of his mothers tone reached his ears. It spooked him to hear that normally calm and reserved voice suddenly sound pent up in distress, tense, angered. It hurt him to hear this, but what could he do?
‘I’m sorry kaa-san.’ A tear slipped from his left eye.
Vaguely, Kei wondered if his mother had been building her emotions up and this event triggered the dam to break.
After a bit, Kei’s mother stopped speaking. There was silence between the parents. Kei’s father was still speechless. Kei’s mother glared at him, her hand still curled in a fist. They stayed that way until she closed her eyes and quietly went into their bedroom. Kei’s father followed her, questioning her actions, but she didn’t respond.
The next moment, Kei heard their door shut. He lay on his bed, looking up at his ceiling. Once again, his mind spoke the words that he wished he could say to his mother. ‘I’m sorry kaa-san.’
“Well, now you are about to head on your own, like a man should.” Kei’s father spoke up, the next afternoon as they all stood outside a white truck that held Kei’s belongings.
Kei had taken the day off. He hadn’t spoken much the entire day as he packed his stuff, though his mother came to speak to him, crying on his shoulder about his departure from the house, but Kei said to her “Mother, it is probably best this way. Please don’t cry.”
“Are you ready to leave now?” A foreign voice spoke up. They turned to the sound of the voice and saw the driver of the truck approaching them.
“Yeah, I am.” Kei replied to the driver, who was actually a friend of his. He looked back at his family, all but his father, smiling sadly. When he met his fathers’ eyes, his smile dropped and his eyes narrowed. Blinking once, he turned away, heading to the passenger side of the truck.
“Keiichiro…” the name was said sadly. A light pressure was felt on his back. He spun around and came face to face with his mother. They embraced each other tightly. “My baby…” Kei felt rather than heard the words as they were mixed in with sobs.
After a while, they pulled away. Kei got into the truck putting his seat belt on. He looked straight ahead, telling his friend to take off.
“Keiichiro!!” Mrs. Koyama grasped her dress over the part of her heart and collapsed to her knees. Everyone rushed to help her back into their house. Mr. Koyama looked at his wife with a mixed expression. The cause of it, however, wasn’t just from her collapse, but from the night before and from the final moment between himself and Kei.
A few hours later, with a huge box in his hands, Kei headed up the stairs to his new apartment. Unfortunately for him, the box blocked his view. Luckily, he reached the top of the stairs without a problem. However, as he headed forward a few steps, someone bumped into him, making him fall.
His box fell to the side and a few items came out, but with no damage as it was just clothing.
“I’m so sorry!” Suddenly, a woman’s voice was heard. “I didn’t mean to bump into you! I should have been more watchful!”
“Here,” she offered her hand to Kei. “Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine.” He replied and bent down to collect his stuff back into the box. The woman bent down as well to help him.
“Hi. I’m Mrs. Kato.” The woman offered her hand once the items were back into my box. “Your name..?”
“Keiichiro….” She looked at him with a glazed look in her eye, as if reminiscing about someone. Then she snapped back into reality. “Ah! You’re our new neighbor!! Handsome too!”
Kei blushed and looked down. It just so happened that they were right outside her door. She got out her keys and opened her door. “Why not put your box away and come back here? To make up for my clumsiness, I’m inviting you to have dinner with me tonight! I insist!”
Not one to turn down an offer for a free meal, he did as told and came back a few moments later.
“So you’re a college student?”
Kei found himself sitting in Mrs. Kato’s kitchen as she prepared dinner. He went onto to tell her how long he has been at school, and what is major is at the school.
“My Husband used to be a professor, but 2 years ago, he retired and last year, he passed away.”
“Oh, no, it’s alright! Well…dinner is ready!”
She brought Kei’s plate and placed his food on there before going back to the stove. As she turned away from Kei, her eyes darted to a bedroom door. She stood there for a good minute a soft “Mrs. Kato?” caught her attention.
She turned to Kei who looked at her with a questioning look. “Hmmm? What is it?” She asked him.
Kei was just eating his dinner when he noticed that Mrs. Kato didn’t move from her spot facing that bedroom door. ‘Wonder why she is staring at that door?’ “Mrs. Kato?”
“Hmmm? What is it?” He was asked the question.
Putting his utensils down, he looked back up at her. “Is something wrong?”
“Should I tell him..?” Mrs. Kato mumbled to herself.
“Mrs. Kato?” Kei asked again, seeing a bit of a troubled look in her eyes.
“Ah, yes, Keiichiro, you see, my son is ill right now...”
“Oh.” He was silent for a moment and then wore a thoughtful expression. “Perhaps, one day I can meet him?”
Somehow, Kei felt odd about the way Mrs. Kato trailed off. “Ah, I’m sure he would like some of this delicious dinner!” He said in a lighter tone, hoping to perk up the atmosphere.
“Well, he has been asleep the whole day.” She caught on to Kei’s light tone and lightened hers as well. “I’ll go feed him now.” She went to make a plate for her son.
“Mrs. Kato, thank you for dinner. It was wonderful! I should take my leave now. I have class in the morning. Have a good evening and I hope your son will feel better soon!”
They bowed politely to each other before Kei left. As he passed through the living room again, he saw some of the pictures. One picture in particular caught his attention. It was a black and white picture of Mrs. Kato, a man and a teenage boy. He presumed the man to be Mr. Kato, and the boy to be their son.
‘That must be their son. He looks a little like both of them.’
Quietly, he closed the door and headed to his own apartment.
Note:  Saitou Takumi-Actor