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I love Japan and I know some Japanese! Just like Lychee! I have some Japanese in this too!
Monday, October 29, 2044
“Lychee! Time to get up for school!” My okachan exclaims from outside of my bedroom.
“Thank you, Kaachan!” I get out of bed.
I always seem cheerful when I’m waking up, but inside I’m really tired and miserable. School. Why does anyone even need to go to school these days? There are hundreds of online schools nowadays. It’s 2044 for crying out loud!
It’s Autumn. So school has just started not too long ago.
I’m a first-year in highschool. Or well, a 9th grader or a freshman in America. I mean, I live in Seattle. Not Japan, no matter how much I want to. I’m American too. I know a lot about Japan but I’ve never even been there. My mother started learning Japanese when she was younger. She fully learned the language and culture, she taught Otochan, my father, Japanese, and a few years later, they got married in Kyoto, Japan, then went around Japan for their honeymoon. A few years later, they had me. Then Jaimie, my ototochan, or little brother, a few years later. “Neechan!!! We gotta leave soon!!” Jaimie exclaims.
I get dressed in my school uniform, a white shirt with a red bow and a black jacket over it and matching color skirt. We’re allowed to wear any socks we want, so I wear thigh-high black ones.
I open the door to my bedroom leading out. Jaimie is standing there smiling, wearing his jacket that Okachan and Otochan got for him last Christmas. It’s olive green and a gray part covers the bottom half of his face. It has a white stripe across the front. He thinks it makes him look like a cool person in the military, it has been something that interested him since he was little.
We go down the stairs together. Jaimie is eleven, but in seventh grade. He was always smarter than the rest of the students in his class and has a high IQ. He skipped a year last year, which was really hard for him, since his best friend, named Ichigo couldn’t skip a grade with him. I guess her real name isn’t Ichigo, it’s actually Yokami. But Jaimie always calls her “Ichigo-chan”. So I get pulled into whatever he calls her since she’s his friend. “Are you excited to see Ichigo today? It’s been a whole day after all!” I tease.
“Urasai! (be quiet) She’s just my friend, Neechan!”
“Alright, alright, but you’re blushing!!!” I giggle.
“Wha- I am NOT!!!”
“Why is your face red then?”
“Alright,” I smile. “I’ll leave you alone for now…”
“Fine!” he crosses his arms, still blushing.
My little brother is a little tsundere. He’s adorable. Tsunderes never admit that they are crushing on the person they are crushing on.
I pack a lunch for Jaimie and myself. “Here, Otochan, your lunch is done!”
We run out of the doors to catch the metro going to our schools. It’s only a few blocks away, but we still have to run to catch it.
We’ve always lived in Seattle, which is huge! It’s one of the main cities that EVERYONE knows about, of course. It’s so busy, so taking a metro is the best way to get to school. Traffic in the city is INSANE!!! We tried getting to school on the first day of Kindergarten, and, MAN, did I get there late. It was 9:30 in the morning when I got there, and my school, Sakura Academy, starts at 8:00!
We finally reach the stop and run onto the metro as the doors are just closing, running into a light brown haired boy wearing a short white hoodie with gray. “I’m so sorry!” I exclaim.
“Uhh, daijoubu… Uhh… I mean… Darn...what’s the word for… daijoubu?” he asks.
He’s speaking some Japanese. “Oh! Daijoubu is “it’s okay” or something like that in English.”
“Oh… Hold on, do you speak Nihongo(Japanese) or something? How did you know what daijoubu meant?”
“Oh, yes! I do speak Japanese!” I exclaim happily. “And so does my ototo here!”
“Hai! Walker Jaimie desu(I’m Jaimie Walker)! You may call me Jaimie!” Jaimie bows after his statement.
“And I’m Lychee! Lychee Walker, using American sentences.”
“So your first name is… Richi?”
“No, Lychee. To say an L you just try saying and R but you stick out your tongue a little on the top of your mouth.”
“Oh… Lllllllychee.” He laughs. “I must look ridiculous.”
“But you did it right! Just practice it more!”
“Ok. Hey, I like you, you’re probably the first person in America who’s actually been nice to me. Everyone has has been a jerk. I’m surprised with my myself, usually I think people are horrible creatures who should just… stop existing… But you’re okay. I’ll call you Lychee-chan… If that’s okay… I’ve… never used that… before on anyone’s name... “
“Oh, okay! I’m okay with that!’
“Oh! Man, I must be an idiot… My namae wa, dang it, my name is Soko Seno. Uhh, Seno. That’s my first name. You can use it to adress me… I guess? I mean.. Wait.. am I sounding weird? I bet I am… Sumimasen!!! I mean.. Uhhh… SORRY!!!” We all laugh together.
I look around. Seno isn’t the only one that’s Japanese on the metro. There are actually a surprising amount of Asian people on the metro today. Usually there’s only one, an old man who’s actually Chinese. But as I hear the people talking, they’re all Japanese.
“I just moved here from Osaka yesterday with my friends who are… somewhere… on here… I wonder where they are… Man, this thing is really huge, I can’t find them at all…”
“Yep. This thing is huge. I hope they didn’t get lost… I’ve gotten lost on here before actually.” I laugh a little.
“Really? Wow. That must have been terrifying.”
“Man, it was.”
“So, you’re wearing the same uniform as me, with the exception of a skirt and a bow, of course. So, you must go to the same high school. Uhh, Sakura Academy? Right?”
“Un(yeah)! I don’t know that much about it, since I’ve only been going for a few months, since I’m a first year. Chotto(wait)... if you and your friends moved here, how did you get enrolled at Sakura Academy? It’s pretty expensive… I’m not implying that you and your friends are poor or anything, just wouldn’t you probably not have that much money? Moving to a different continent is pretty expensive isn’t it?”
“Hold on, you’re only a first year? You look way older…” We stand in awkward silence.
“ANYWAYS, uhh..” Seno coughs. “It was expensive, but… uh… my friend Reiko… is really really rich… He paid for it all.”
“Oh...okay… Wait, why does he have so much money? He can’t be that older than you… It takes a long time to earn a lot of money…”
“Uhh… he inherited it…”
“Seno! Doko wa kimi o baka(Where are you, you idiot)?!!” A boy with spiky black hair and wearing all orange sporty clothes yells a few yards away.
“Nani?! Kore wa dare ga?!” This must be one of Seno’s other Japanese friends.
Suddenly he bent down and kissed my hand. Ohayo(good morning)! Ojochan, anata wa kirei desu(ma’m, you are pretty)! Watashi no tsumadesu ka o kudasai(please be my wife).”
“Nani?! Anata wa hendesu(You’re weird)!”
“Kuso(darn). Anata wa watashi no koto ga wakarimasu ne(you understand me)?”
“Hai! Soshite, anata wa hen desu!(and you’re a weirdo)!”
I inch away from my brother, Seno, and this other dude. Soon I’m a few meters away. ”Where are you going? I’m really sorry about my friend, he’s a baka!” Seno exclaims.
“Neechan!!! They’re weirdos, but so what, maybe they’ve never heard that first impressions matter!”
“Hey! What did I do?!” exclaims Seno.
“Fine… I don’t want you to get kidnapped... Especially by this weirdo…”
“I’m really really really really sorry! I didn’t mean to be a weirdo I just wanted to say something in Japanese to an American but I didn’t think they’d understand and… well, okay, you are pretty.. And I do want you to be my wife… But that’s not the point. Future.. Okay? In the future…”
“HOW DO YOU JUST… DO THAT?!”
“I dunno. In Japan, they look down on showing affection in public.. In America, people do… Is randomly asking a person to be your wife strange in America? Oh.. wait… based on your reaction it must be… Whoops… Sorry…”
“My friend is a weirdo, I apologize…” Seno says.
“Hey! Aren’t you gonna least introduce me to her?! Am I just Seno’s crazy friend or something?! DO I HAVE NO NAME?!”
“Nope. You have no name. You are the unnamed by your parents.”
“Hey! Don’t talk about parents here! Especially if it’s coming out of your mouth!”
Seno shrugs. Reiko sighs. “Well, I’m Reiko Tsuku! Using.. American introduction stuff… You can just call me Reiko.”
“Uhh.. My name is Lychee… Lychee Walker… And this is my little brother, Jaimie.”
“That’s… What… What does that mean? SERIOUSLY I LEARN ENGLISH AND ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL SOMEONE USES A WORD I DON’T UNDERSTAND!!! WHY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?!”
We blink in silence.
“Umm… Cough… Cough… So I’ll call you Lychee-tan, okay?” He winks at me.
“Fine… Just… Don’t go saying that to random people… okay? You could get sued or something.”
“But that would be cheating! If I’m going to marry you then why in the world would I go up to random people and say that?!”
I honestly don’t know what to do with this dude.
“Sooo… Be our friend, okay!”
“What?! That was really forward!”
“Yeah. I know. Still, be our friend! Your nice.”
“You’re a weirdo.” I say.
“And you’re a weirdo too.”
“AND I’M A WEIRDO TOO!!!!” Jaimie exclaims loudly.
We all stare at him. Everything suddenly gets quiet.
“Who is that?” Reiko asks.
“Oh… That’s my brother…”
“Ooh! Hey! Would I be a good brother-in-law?” Reiko asks Jaimie sweetly.
“I’m really really grateful that you aren’t attacking me.” says Reiko.
“What? What is that supposed to mean?”
“If you were like Yuuki and I said that I wouldn’t be very much alive right now…”
“Is she your oneesan(older sister) or something?” I ask.
“Sort of… But not by blood. Me, Seno, Yuuki, and our other friend named Tero, all came to America from Osaka together. We’re all kinda like siblings now, since we’ve known each other for since we were really little.”
“Okay… Wait, you all came together? What about your parents?”
Reiko and Seno become silent.
“Umm… Our… parents are… dead…” Reiko says slowly.
“Really? I’m sorry! I probably shouldn’t have asked!”
“No… It’s okay. There’s no reason you shouldn’t know… I don’t really have very many memories of them anyways…”
“Oh… That’s a little sad…”
“Well.. It can’t really be helped. The only memories I do have of them are my dad and they aren’t very good memories…”
“Oh… That’s not good...”
“Nah… It’s fine. Like I said, it can’t be helped…”
“My parents were horrible and I have very vividly horrifying memories of them. Reiko’s lucky because he can hardly remember..” says Seno.
“Horrifying?” I ask.
“Yeah… I’d rather… not talk about it…”
“Ok! That’s perfectly fine!” I exclaim.
“You could probably meet Yuuki and Tero and be their friend too, if you want. You can even join our group if you want to! That’d be great!”
“Un! Anyone who’s special can join our group.”
“What kind of special?”
“Not like mentally special… or like I dunno… “The One” special… Although I do believe you are that. It could happen, right Seno?”
“Not… not really… First time meeting her you were a complete weirdo…”
“So?! All sorts of things come from weirdness! It at least shows I’ma good actor! Do you like actors Lychee-tan?”
“I like… acting…”
“Great! That’s close enough! Anyways, our group is special.” His golden yellow eyes changed to silver for a moment.
I look at him for a second and stand in place. Everything seems like it’s in slow motion. He doesn't wanna say it out loud.
Suddenly, everything goes back to normal. What just happened? I look up at Reiko. His eyes are normal again. Huh… Strange…
“By the look in your eyes, you just saw that.”
Seno looks strangely at him. “What?”
The metro stops. “Nothing. When it’s lunchtime, go to the roof to talk. ...There’s a roof right?”
“Okay. Meet us there to eat lunch then.”
“Uh… Okay…” He disappears.
“It’s fine. Don’t be worried about him. He’s always like this. Uhh… I mean not asking people to be his wife all the time… but being a weirdo… It’s always been his personality… He’s had problems in his past… So have I… Actually… we all have… We grew up in a terrible orphanage most of our life… So obviously…” Seno disappears.
Of course. I always meet the strangest people.
“That was weird…” Jaimie says.
“Yeah.. Thanks… Have fun at school! With Ichigo!!” I giggle.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah... ‘ Jaimie says. “I will.”
I smile at him and start walking towards the door. It shuts in my face. “Huh?!”
“Oh no!” Jaimie exclaims.
I can’t be late. I touch the side of the metro. It lurches to a stop. Everyone gasps. I quickly touch the ground. I touch the nearest security camera.
The metro opens back up at my stop. “Bye, Jaimie…”
I’ve tried not to use them in public. Darn it, Lychee! Now someone is gonna find out... Darn it, darn it, darn it, darn it…
I run up to my school, get the things I need from my locker and run up the stairs to my first class. It’s filled with way more students than usually. It’s so crowded that I start to get a bit stressed out. “Hi again, Lychee-tan!”
I jump and turn around. Reiko is standing behind me, smiling.
“Uhh… Hi…” I say.
“Look at the board. I sit right next to you!”
I turn around to the board and see that Reiko is in fact, sitting next to me for this class. I see Seno sitting in a seat close to the front. He looks really nervous. Probably about sitting in the front. I don’t see him as a person as someone who would want to sit in the front. Multiple classes are in my first class. Then since I take 10th grade math instead of 9th grade, I’m always in classes with other grades. I’ve never never got along with any of the people in my own grade. Most of them are really mean. But that doesn't change no matter grade I’m in. “What I think is really weird,” Reiko says as we both go to our seats. “Is that there’s an extra grade in high school. What’s up with that?”
“It’s America. Things are different.”
“Well, I think it’s weird. I guess it was my idea to move to America in the first place… But still, I have no regrets. How does it work? I don’t wanna go to school when I’m nineteen...”
“Oh… You don’t unless you go to college.”
“Oh.. Well high school… I don’t wanna be in high school when I’m nineteen.”
“Oh… Well.. The 12th graders are only 18. The 9th graders are 14 or 15. “
“Oh.. So the extra grade is younger… Is there only two grades in middle school then?”
“No. There’s three.”
“What?! Even more confusingness…”
“Well, there’s sixth graders in middle school.”
“Oh, okay. Elementary only has five then?”
“What?! Is there a grade zero or something?”
“No… There’s kindergarten.”
“So confusing… Wait, how old are you? Don’t tell me you’re only fourteen.”
“Oh… Really? Well, I just turned seventeen on Friday so I’m only really one year older than you. Phew…”
“I’ll be turning sixteen soon.”
“I thought I should warn you… people here don’t like Japan and Japanese stuff for some odd reason…”
“That’s ridiculous! I’ll make them change that… But I probably won’t have a problem…”
“O-M-G(osh) REIKO RYUKEI!!!” A girl sitting a row across from us exclaims.
“Nooo.. They found me.. Okay, I’ll be back. Probably. No, definitely, because you’re here so… Yeah.. I’ll be back.”
Then he disappears. Oh great, here we go again. “Whaa- Where’d he go?! Lychee!!! Where did Reiko Ryukei go?!”
“Huh…? Who’s Reiko Ryukei?”
“You don’t- Well, you know, the guy you were just talking to!!!”
“Who? I wasn’t talking to anyone. No one wants to talk to me… remember…”
“That would be crazy. Reiko Ryukei coming here… Then he actually talking to you… Yeah… I must have been imagining things…”
“Can you please leave me alone…” I mutter.
“Why should I?”
Reiko appears again, now wearing sunglasses and a half-face mask, his hood is up. “You heard her.”
“Umm… Hoods aren’t allowed in school. What are you, in a gang or something? With that mask and stuff… Take it off. If you are in a gang, then leave this classroom right now.”
“Hey, I’m in this class, you can’t make me leave, and you don’t tell me what to do.” He takes off his sunglasses a little, his eyes change to silver again for a moment.
Everything goes into slow motion, again.
“Uhh… Okay… I’ll just… Leave you alone now… I’m… sorry…” the girl says.
I blink. What is up with Reiko? People’s eyes don’t just change like that and go into slow motion… Reiko takes his seat next to me and pulls down his face mask and hood, then puts his sunglasses in his pocket. He smiles at me. I stare at him. He puts his arms behind his head. “So, you knew it was me, obviously... “
“Yeah… Why didn’t she?”
“It’s a secret! I’ll tell you at lunch. Can’t have random people going around thinking we’re crazy, now can we?”
I blink at him. “Ok…”
My teacher for the first class stands at the front of the classroom. ‘Ooh, class is starting.” Reiko says.
“As you can tell,” my teacher says, “Good morning and ohayo to our new students. There are a few new students here today… Well, a lot, as you can tell. But that’s not important. I will have them all come to the front of the class and introduce themselves. First is Boko Randa.”
I cringe. They said the r’s and all of the vowels wrong.
A guy probably a few years older than me with black hair walks to the front of the class and stands for a few moments, then starts, “Hello. I move from Japan. Very nice country here. Very nice to meet you. Thank you.” he bows and walks back to his seat.
The teacher calls more students to the front and they all walk to the front and use some bad English or half english, half Japanese. Or just Japanese. If they were all coming to America, wouldn’t they at least know some English? Maybe something bad happened in Japan. That wouldn’t be good… “Next is Seno Soko.” I look up. It’s Seno’s turn.
“His last name means “there” isn’t it strange?” Reiko says.
Seno stands in the front of the classroom silently, staring at everyone sitting down. He stays silent. “Uh oh… He’s freaking out…” Reiko says worriedly.
“He has social anxiety…”
“Uhh… Umm… I… Hi… I’m Seno…” He turns and goes back to his seat.
“If I’m right, I’ll be next.” Reiko says.
“Next is Reiko Tsuku.”
“Reiko Ryukei?!” A few people exclaim.
Reiko smiles at me then gets up and goes to the front of the room. “Ohayo! I’m Reiko Kano Tsuku. Also known a Reiko_Ryukei on Instagraph, as most of you know me by. When I’m here, if you’re my fan or something. I’d rather have you not take random pictures of me and stuff… and don’t crowd around me.. It’s really really annoying… Well anyways, arigato!”
He sits down again next to me.
Everyone is staring at him.
I cough and look down. Reiko turns around and they all look away. “Did I do good?”
“Uhh… Yeah… I probably wouldn’t have done as good as you…”
“Oh, nonsense! I’m sure you would’ve done great! Maybe even possibly better than me!”
“I doubt it…”
More people sharing… Their English isn’t very good. It always sticks out to me. “Wait a second, why is your English so good?”
“Huh? Oh! Yeah! Well anyways… as you know, my parents were rich before they died and I got the money. And well, I wanted to learn more languages, ‘cuz you never know when you might need them. I’m learning French, German, Chinese, Spanish, and Korean. I’ve already mastered English.
“When you know English, it helps you learn other languages.”
“Yeah… I guess.. But I could never finish learning another language after Japanese…”
“Oh come on! I’m sure you could if you really tried and had lots of encouragement. By ME! I’m sure I’d be a great help.”
“I’m guessing you taught Seno and your other friends English then too.”
“Un! We had a lot of time on the boat here… And… stuff to keep our minds off of…”
“When my dad died, I got all of his money and our estate and stuff like that, but I was five… so I couldn’t get any of it… ‘Cuz what would a five year old do with millions of yen?”
“I have no idea…”
“Well anyways, when I first got it, I spent a lot of it on stuff like videos games and computers and electronics on stuff. Then I bought a house for us to all live in once we ran away after forging Yuuki’s birth certificate so that she was old enough to own a house and then she had her be our legal guardian. But we never got caught soo… yeah… But anyways, I still have like one hundred million yen… which is...uhh… umm… around ten million American dollars? I think… Is that a lot in America?”
“Y-yeah… You’re in the top class in America. Like… You’d be famous…”
“If you haven’t noticed… I think I already am…” he says, looking around the room at the random staring faces.
“So… You’re on Instagraph?”
“Yeah… With 1.15 million followers…and counting... Not that many… But hey, I’m not being ungrateful or anything…”
“Wow… How do you even have that many followers?”
“Well, Number One, I’m awesome. Number Two, I work out. Number Three, I’m on YouTube. Number Four, I built robots. Number Five, I play video games.”
“Ooh… That’s pretty cool…”
“You should subscribe to me on YouTube! It’s the same as my Instagraph account, @Reiko_Ryukei.”
“Ok. I will.”
“Oh, follow me too. I’ll do the same. What’s your username?”
“That’s long.... Here, write it on my arm with a pen or a sharpie or something… And your number too… ‘Cuz we’re friends… and stuff… It makes sense!!! You could probably take us all on a tour after school or something… To get to know the area better and stuff.”
“Uhh… Okay…” I get out a sharpie from my pencil bag and write down my Instagraph account name and my number on his arm.
“Uhh… You’re welcome… “
“Wow! People are gonna think we’re dating or something now!!!”
“Haha… Just for now, we’re friends, okay, just friends.”
“For nooow!!! Just you wait!”
“Fine. But for now, friends.”
“Ok, ok, ok, I get the point…”
Another Japanese student sits down. “Next is Yuuki Kagerou.”
“That’s Yuuki. The person who’s kinda like our neesan. She’s kinda terrifying… But, I’m sure you won’t have any problems.”
“I’m Yuuki… I moved here from Japan…” she sits down.
“Not a very social type then?” I ask.
“Nope. unless you make her mad, then rawr.”
“Ok then!” I laugh.
Suddenly the teacher looks worried. “Where’s Seno?! Has anyone seen him?!”
“Looks like he escaped again…” Reiko says.
“Huh? What do you mean he escaped?”
“He’s a bit of a troublemaker and a rebel sometimes, but really, he’s a good guy I suppose. He doesn't like steal or kill anyone or anything… he’s afraid of death itself actually, don’t tell him I said that, but he has pretty good grades too, despite running away from class. We were the top of the class back in Japan. We’re best friends though. And he practically only eats DANGO! It drives me nuts! So I drag him along to work out with me to make up for it. It’s better than going alone anyways!”
“Excuse me, is what you’re saying more important than where Seno went?” The teacher appears behind Reiko.
Reiko stands up, “Actually, I was just discussing with Lychee about the places he could’ve gone. He’s my best friend, you see, and sometimes he gets stressed out, being in a new country and all. I know where he might be though. I can bring him back if you want.”
“Alright, be back in fifteen minutes, not any longer.”
I look away from the teacher and see a bunch of the girls’ glaring eyes on me. Some of them are whispering and I hear one of them say, “Wow, Reiko comes to America and the first girl he talks to is Lychee. Surely there’s someone better looking, like me, that he’d rather to.”
“Nah, you don’t have ombre pink hair and the ability to know Japanese. Plus Reiko’s Japanese anyways.”
“True… But still, it’s sad.”
“Some friend you are!”
I look over at where Yuuki is sitting. She’s looking at me. She’s wearing a hoodie too over her school uniform, just like Reiko and Seno. Her’s is red. Reiko’s is orange. Seno’s is white with short sleeves and gray at the sleeves and middle and bottom. His school uniform sleeves show from under it, it looks kinda cool. They like having their hoods up too. Despite what the girl said before, Yuuki has her’s up.
Then the bell rings.
What about Seno and Reiko?! I sit here, unsure what to do. “Hey.”
I look up and see Yuuki standing in front of my desk, holding her bag on her shoulder. “Uhh… Hi! You’re Yuuki, right?”
“Yeah. You’re the girl that Reiko and Seno befriended, right? Lychee…?”
“Mhm. Lychee Walker. “
“Don’t worry about them… This would happen all the time in Japan. You can just go to your next class, they’ll be fine.”
“You’re welcome.. So you’re going to eat lunch with us on the roof, right? We can’t really explain it in school. Well, in class at least. In the building. “
“Ok. I understand.” Not really.
I pick up my things and start going to my next class. “Hey, Lychee-tan!!!”
Reiko appears behind me, already holding his stuff. “How did you…”
“It’s a secret, remember?” Reiko says and puts his finger to his lips.
“Can you teleport or something?” I laugh.
“Not quite.” he laughs, “What class do you have next?”
“Literature in classroom… Ugh… which classroom… can’t remember… I wanna say 137.”
“I have literature in class 137 next too! How are we getting all of the same classes?!” he exclaims excitedly.
“I’m taking 11th grade math and literature…”
“What?! They must have put me only on 11th grade studies!!! Usually I’d do advanced college level studies, but me starting out in a new school and stuff, the people here must not know how smart I am!!! I wonder if Seno got reset too… Probably. He might be in the next class though…”
“College… level… studies… You must be really really smart…”
“I am. I get pretty much a perfect score on everything! It’s kind of annoying though because I never really have a challenge, y’know?”
“Yeah…” I’m still a bit awestruck.
“At first I wondered, maybe it’s just ‘cuz I’m Japanese and in Japan, people are inventing all of these advanced things and stuff… But even people my age weren’t doing college stuff yet, so I kinda just… did whatever. I started school when I was four too, if that makes a difference…”
“Plus you don’t have kindergarten in Japan anyways…”
“Yeah, my dad kinda wanted to get rid of me.”
“Oh… That’s sad.”
“Oh well though, right? He’s not alive anymore anyways… Wait, are you impressed?”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Are you impreeeeesed?”
“Uhh… Yeah… I guess so… like… by having advanced college school stuff…”
“Yay YOU’RE IMPRESSED!!! I’ve impressed you again! You’re hard to impress you know.” he pokes my face, “Life goals accomplished here.”
“I feel so important.”
“Good! You are!” he puts his hand on the top of my head.
“What are you doing?!” I struggle to escape, but I can’t move. “How are you doing that?!”
“I work out.”
He lifts his hand up from my head and we walk up the stairs to our next class. Girls are still glaring at me. It’s not like I’m not used to it. But usually half of the class isn’t glaring at me, only a few. I sigh. “What? What’s wrong? Are you okay, Lychee-tan?”
“Yeah… It’s fine… People just keep glaring at me…”
He looks at the people weird and they stop looking at me. “Better?” he smiles.
I walk over to my normal seat. This time Seno is sitting in the seat next to mine. “Darn! You get to sit with Lychee-tan! I wanted to! I MEAN! Uhh.. because we’re friends… That’s the ONLY reason…” he puffs up his cheeks and squeezes his eyes shut.
Oh my gosh he looks adorable. WHAT?! WHY DID I JUST THINK THAT?! I sit down in my seat. “Well, see you later than Lychee-tan!!!”
I hear a girl in front of me whispering, “Darn it, Koko! He gave her a cute nickname! Lucky…”
“Yeah. She’s way too lucky… I should dye my hair and hope he notices me. Probably not going to happen though. My mom would never let me. LOL.”
Seno turns to me. “Reiko does seem to like you quite a bit… It’s kinda weird how he acts, but that’s Reiko for you…”
“Yeah… So, you’re his best friend then?”
“Uhh… Yeah… He keeps me out of trouble quite a bit… I’m kinda prone to it for some reason… Like when it gets really loud, I can’t really handle it very well… I kinda...umm… run away… or well...disappear.’
“Well, as I’m sure you’ve been told by Reiko a million times, right now isn’t the best time to talk…”
“Why do you and Reiko keep saying that anyways and disappearing all the time?”
“We have to talk about it later… You see… we’re...different... We’re different from everyone else around us. Well, maybe not you. You seem to be different too. I’ll show you later, okay?”
My literature teacher comes around and passes out literature books to the new students. “I hope you all can read English, if not, please let me know and I’ll see if the resources manager has any Japanese textbooks. And the same for any other classes you have.”
“How well can you read English?” I ask Seno.
“I can read it. Not as good as Reiko of course, but probably a little better than how I speak it. It’s easier to remember that way.”
“Can you read it out loud?”
“Un… Back in Japan, I knew romaji pretty well, so I can read it pretty fluently.”
“That’s good. You shouldn’t have to worry then.”
“I… wasn’t worrying…”
“Well, for future… not worrying then…”
“I wouldn’t be worried in the future either.”
“Okay… then… I’m just looking out for my friends…”
“So you care then?”
Seno isn’t sure...? He must have not had a very good life, doubting if people care or not. What was Reiko even saying earlier? Saying something about him not wanting to talk about his parents… I feel kinda bad for him. I’ve never had to go through having bad parents. Why do I want to hug Seno right now?
“Wha-what do you mean?!” I exclaim, ” I’m your friend! Of course I care!”
“F-fine, then…” he looks out of the window next to his chair, his face is a bit pink.
⬤ ⬤ ⬤
The bell telling me to go to my next class rings. I get my stuff and stand up. Seno waves as he walks out of the door. I walk out of the door and start heading down the stairs to my next class. There’s still two more classes until lunch. I’m really getting anxious about it. I want to know what Reiko, Seno, and Yuuki are talking about. I still need to meet that other guy that Reiko was talking about… What did Reiko say his name was? Tero? I run into a tall guy with spiky black hair. “Oh my gosh I’m so sorry!” he exclaims as he takes his earbuds out of his ears to help me up.
“No, it’s okay. I’m fine.” I say.
Mostly everything he’s wearing is black. The only thing that isn’t black is jis pants, which are gray, and his scarf, which is also gray. I bit of his shirt shows from under his black jacket. It looks like he’s wearing a white button up shirt underneath. I let him help me up. He has his sleeves rolled up to his elbows and on his wrist is a smart watch. “I’m really really sorry about that.”
“No, no. Like I said it’s fine. You’re new here, aren’t you?”
“Well I’m Lychee Walker. Yoroshiku(nice to meet you).”
“Ohh… You’re Lychee… I’m Tero.” he looks down at his paper. “Do you know where uh…” he shows me his paper. “This classroom is?”
“Yeah, sure! That’s my next class!”
“Oh… Good… I guess I’m not bothering you then.”
“Of course you’re not bothering me! Any friend of Reiko and Seno is a friend of mine!” I exclaim.
We walk down the hall. He looks way older than me. He’s probably a senior. It’s odd that he’s going to the same class as me next though… which is 10th grade Science. He can’t possibly be in tenth grade though… can he? Maybe 11th in the least… “Here it is…” I say as I’m directly in front of my next class.
“Arigatogozaimashita(thank you very much).” he bows.
“I must be the last of the group for you to meet. Since you’ve met Yuuki already.”
“My full name is Tero Youko. You can just call me Tero though. It’s fine… Because we’re in America… It’s so confusing… We didn’t have much time to practice though…”
We walk into class together and I go sit down in my seat. At my lonely table. “Good morning, new students! Please just find a table and that will be your seat, okay?” My science teacher says.
This Science classroom is just like any other science classroom. Tables with sinks and drains. I can’t remember what we were supposed to do today… Oh wait, we were supposed to do a dissection. Poor new kids from Japan… “Umm… Hi again…” I jump.
Tero is standing behind me. “Tero! You scared me!”
“Oh… Sorry about that…”
“No, it’s fine.”
“Umm… Can I sit here?” he asks.
“Yeah! Sure! Reiko said I was possibly going to be in your guys’ “group” anyways! So I guess we’d be friends then!”
“Ok. Thanks, you’re nice.”
My science teacher goes to the front of the classroom. “Sorry to be starting something huge when all of these new students are here. It was completely unexpected. As I presume it was for all of you as well. Still, I’m afraid we have to stick with the lesson book. We are supposed to be dissecting a cow brain today.” Tero looks a bit startled. “We will be doing this in groups, since we definitely don’t have enough specimens since all of these transfer students came here on such of a short notice. So have one person in your group go and get the tools.”
I turn to Tero. “I will, if that’s okay with you.”
“Yeah, it’s fine.”
I get up and walk into the side room of the class. I see a tray of tools and pick one up, then I carry it to my table. “Have another person get the specimen from the same room.” Tero walks to get it sheepishly.
I go to put on a apron and put on gloves. Tero comes back to the table looking sick. “I think I’m gonna throw up…”
“Do you need like a garbage can or something?”
“No… I think I’ll be okay…”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah… I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”
He goes to get an apron and gloves on. “Are you sure you’re gonna be okay?”
Our teacher shows us instructions. “So…” I say, trying to get Tero’s mind off of the sickening feeling, “What grade are you in? I don’t think you’re in my grade.”
“I’m in tenth.”
“Really? One year older than me then… Wow!”
“Wait one year older than you? You look way older!”
“You do too.”
“I get that a lot.”
We look at eachother and laugh. But then we have to go back to the dissection… We follow the instructions and each second Tero gets paler. I feel bad for him. Maybe he didn’t do this in Japan at all. “Do you wanna do the first cut?” I ask.
He starts the cut and everything goes fine, besides him looking really sick. Suddenly see the blade run over his finger and we both gasp. Blood starts running down his hand. “Tero are you okay?!” I exclaim.
“Yeah. I’m fine.”
Why is he acting so casual?! “You need to go to the nurse’s office or something!!!” I exclaim, waving my arms around.
“No I don’t.” he hold his cut hand in front of my face as I watch as the blood fades and the cut completely disappear without a trace. It’s completely healed. “What!!!”
“Told you.” he smiles at me.
“We’re talking at lunch, remember? Only one more class, you’ll only be in the dark for a little bit longer, it’ll be okay.”
“Okay. I’m in awe.”
“It’s nothing that special. It’s normal. You’ll get used to it.”
The bell rings. “Hey, I’ll clean up, okay? Go on to your next class. Don’t worry about me. Don’t refuse. I’ll be fine.”
“Umm… Okay… Thank you.” I pick up my bags and start heading to my next class. I hear Tero throwing up.
Poor Tero… I hope he’ll be okay. He insisted on making me think he was okay. He doesn't just look mature. He acts mature too.
My next class is Art. Probably my favorite class of the day. “Hi Lychee! How are you?” a blue-haired boy in my class named Yeichtz asks.
“Oh! Hi! I’m good! How are you?”
“Great! Uhh… class is… gonna start soon so… I don’t want you to get in trouble.” he smiles.
I slowly walk to my seat where my unfinished ink painting is. Reiko is staring at it. “Lychee-tan, I believe that this painting is yours, am I right?”
“Yes! I did it!” Reiko falls into a chair behind him and spins around in it.
I overhear talking behind me. Something about a train. A… train… The metro.
I must have forgot about the people who may have seen in around!!! Plus security cameras outside of the metro. I walk over to the people who are talking in a large group. “Umm excuse me but…” I tap the shoulder of the lead person in the group. He turns around.
He blinks at me. “Yes?”
“Could I have some pencil lead? Mine ran out.”
“Uhh.. Sure, what size?”
“Here.” he gives me a few sticks of pencil lead.
“Thank you.” I walk back to my seat.
Reiko is smiling at me. “Ahh… I see what you did there.”
Great… Do I have to do this to everyone else too? “Don’t do whatever you just did to me, okay? I knew you were special.”
“What?! Are-are you flirting with me again or something?!!!”
“Well.. Yes and no I guess… Indirectly….” he smiles, “You’re like me, Seno, Yuuki, and Tero. We’re all special. We all have powers… And I’m guessing we’re not the only ones.”
I stare at him and gulp. “What do you do?” he asks.
“I… thought we were talking at lunch…”
“Fine. You’re not the only one incredibly curious though.”
We need to talk about something else. Having someone else know that I have powers isn’t a good topic in school. The government or something could try to get me if the wrong person knows. “So… How’d you meet Seno?” I ask.
“Well, when my dad died, I got sent to an orphanage, since my grandparents and all of my other relatives are dead, so I went there. I met Yuuki and Tero there, we were all the newbies there and we didn’t have any friends, so we all got along. Before I got sent to the orphanage, I met Seno. We became friends. He didn’t have any other friends and really didn’t get along with anyone. At first I didn’t like him because he was a jerk to me, but then we started getting along. He told me a little bit about him. His parents abused him. They were really really terrible. If they got mad at him, they’d abuse him. No matter what he did, his parents would scream at him and hit him and push him down the stairs of their apartment. I won’t say all of them, but he’s been threatened with knives and guns and it’s terrible. My dad was bad, but he wasn’t that bad… Sometimes he’d get cut with glass from broken bottles… He’d show me what his parents did to him, but he made me not tell anyone because his parents would find out and hurt him even more. He has a lot of scars… He hates his parents. He gets mad at them existing. He actually becomes violent when talking about them. I’ve helped him get a bit better… but he’s still scarred for life… I never saw him very much at school though, despite that being the place I met. He said that sometimes his parent’s would abuse him so bad that they’d make him stay home from school for sometimes weeks at a time, with a month being the most. He skipped a lot of school and was hardly ever talked to, besides his parents screaming at him. That’s why he’s so antisocial now. That’s why he mostly plays video games because your video games won’t abuse you. He really wasn’t very healthy. But I drag him along with me to the gym whenever I go so he can get some exercise and make him eat healthy foods as much as I can. He’s in better shape now, but he doesn't try very hard.”
I blink. I think I’m gonna cry. I might give Seno a hug the next time I see him. No. I am. “You’re one of those really healthy people aren’t you?’
“Yep. I pretty much just eat healthy things unless it’s a special occasion or something. I limit my amount of sodium and sugar and stuff like that.”
“That’s be so hard for me…”
“Just watching people go to McDonalds or something makes me cringe and be like, ‘Those poor people! They’re eating away at their health!’ and smelling McDonalds makes me feel like I’m gonna throw up.”
“I don’t like going there.’
“Reallyohmygoodnessthankyou.” Reiko hugs me.
“WHA-WHA-WHA-WHA-WHA-WE’RE IN SCHOOL!!! AND WHY ARE YOU HUGGING ME IF YOU JUST MET ME TODAY?!” my face flushes up.
“Come on! You’re gonna be my wife, remember?”
“We’re still on that?! We’re gonna get in trouble!”
He lets go of me, “Fine. I don’t wanna ruin your reputation. Or mine for that matter. Although I don’t think it’d matter.”
A few faces of the girls in the art room looks like they’re at the brink of tears and about to rip off my head at any minute at the same time. Reiko stares at them. “Leave. Lychee-tan. Alone.”
He sounds incredibly scary. Reiko always sounds so happy and carefree. But he genuinely scared me. “Lychee-tan? Are you okay? You look scared.”
“It’s just… You’re a little scary like that…”
“When it comes to protecting my friends or future-wife, I won’t hold back.” he tilts his head and smiles with his eyes shut.
Suddenly I feel the breath knocked out of me. Everything gets cold and dark. “Lychee-tan? Daijoubu ka?!”
I can’t speak. “Lychee-tan!!!” he grabs my shoulders.
I still can’t say anything. He looks up and glares at someone across the room. I can’t move… I move my eyes over to the side of the room. Reiko walks up to a girl smirking sitting at a big desk. Reiko stands in front of her. “Oi(hey). Yamero(stop it). Chi-Dan no kai’in.(Chi-Dan member)”
The girl goes pale and stops breathing. Reiko walks back to me. “Are you okay now? She was a member of the Chi-Dan.”
“Who’s the Chi-Dan?” I ask. I’ve never heard of them before.
“The Chi-Dan- Well… I’ll tell you later, it’s almost lunch anyways…”
The bell rings. I try to get up. I feel dizzy. I fall backwards onto Reiko, and he catches me. “You okay?”
“Do you need me to carry you?” he asks as he starts picking up our things.
“What?! In school?! I’m fine! I’ll be fine! Besides, I just met you today!!!”
“Yeah… So? You’re gonna be my wife someday so I gotta practice, don’t I?”
“Why do you keep insisting that I’m going to be your wife?!”
“I have really really good intuition. It’s a part of my powers. I can see you as my forever wife. Now come on, we’re gonna be late.”
“Fine… But you’re not caryinging me…”
We arrive on the roof. Late, just as Reiko has said. But I’m ignoring that fact. “Man, what took you so long, Reiko? Were you making out with Lychee or something?” Tero asks.
I stare at Tero. “I wiiiiiiiish… She wouldn’t even let me though! Even though she’s gonna be my wife someday!!” he puffs up his cheeks again looking adorable. SO CUTE!!!! I slap myself. “Are you okay…?” Seno asks me.
“Of course I’m okay!!! Why wouldn’t I be okay?!”
“Because you slapped yourself…?” Tero asks.
“Were you think I was adorable or something?” asks Reiko, making his adorable face again.
“WHAT?! NO! I WAS TOTALLY NOT THINKING THAT!!!”
“I was not!”
“No I wasn’t!”
“But you were, I have good intuition, remember?”
“WAAAH!!!” I run to the opposite side of the roof by the stairs. “So you were, admit it.”
“I’m not listening! La la la la la la la la!”
“La la la la la! Can’t hear you!” I suddenly lose my balance and start falling backwards. Uh oh. Reiko’s eyes widen, “LYCHEE-TAN!!!!!!!!” I can’t see anything but I feel Reiko grab me.
Everything stopped spinning. Wait a second… Why is Reiko on top of me? I blink and start freaking out in my mind. I take a deep breath. He’s adorable being asleep. I have the oddest urge to play with his hair. Here I go again… He dove down the stairs to save me… Am I really that important? No one has ever made me feel important before. He must really want me to be his wife. Reiko shakes his head slowly and looks up into my eyes. He blinks and his face turns red. “WAIT WHAT?! I’M NOT DREAMING?!” he jumps back off of me.
“I… Uh… I’MSOSORRYITWASANACCIDENT!!!!”
We must’ve not been out for long because I see Yuuki, Tero, and Seno running down the stairs. “It’s fine I guess… I mean… no… you saved my life. I’m very grateful.”
“I know how you can repay me!”
“Be my wife!”
I blink. Not a surprise. “Well… It’s only the first day we met.. And that was some proposal and you don’t even have a ring!”
“Huh… WAIT! I wasn’t actually asking yet!!!”
“In the future you’ll be my wife! Besides, you’re in love with me anyways…”
My face starts flushing. Darn it, Reiko. I only met him today. I wouldn’t know if I’d say I’m necessarily “in love” with him. But my heart feels fuzzy. And I have never been in love before… So how would I know?
“I can tell by your face.”
“Urasai!!!” I cover my face.
“Tsun-tsun alert and it’s adorable!!!”
“I am not a tsundere!!!” I exclaim.
“That’s exactly what a tsundere would say.”
“Ahem. Anyways…” Tero says. He, Yuuki, and Seno are all at the bottom of the stairs now.
“HAI! Discussing things! Back to the roof!”
Reiko suddenly picks me up and starts carrying me up the stairs. “NANI?!” I try to escape, but like before, I can’t move at all.
As soon as we reach the top of the stairs, Reiko puts me down, away from the stairs. Yuuki clears her throat. “So, as you know, I’m Yuuki, the leader of this group pretty much… I’m known as Yuko when we doing meetings and patrols though.”
“And Yuko means frieeeeeeendship.” Reiko giggles.
“I didn’t choose it!!!” Yuuki roars.
So that’s what Reiko was talking about…
“Anyways…” she glares at Reiko, “Everyone here has their code name in this group. I’m Yuko. Reiko is Ryukei. Seno is Zero. And Tero is Ayo. We all got our code names different ways. You’ll need one too if you’re joining.”
“Ooh! How about Kirei? Un! Kirei is good! AGREE WITH ME GUYS!!!!” Reiko exclaims.
“That’s fine with me.” Seno murmurs.
“And so Kirei wins by majority!”
“Reiko I haven’t even told her what we do yet!!! WE COULD BE MURDERERS FOR ALL SHE KNOWS!!!”
Tero turns to Yuuki, “You probably shouldn’t have said that so loud. Someone could hear us…”
“Lychee-tan! We’re not murderers, okay?!”
“I believe you…”
“Reiko… URASAI!!! STOP INTERRUPTING ME!!!” Yuuki yells.
“Gomen’nasai(I’m so sorry), gomen’nasai, gomen’nasai, gomen’nasai.” Reiko repeatedly bows.
I smile and laugh a little. They’re all so close. “ANYWAYS!!!” Yuuki exclaims, “We are called, the “Fukushu-Dan”. It’s a strange name, but it’s why we started the Fukushu-Dan(revenge party) in the first place. Not to murder anyone or anything, though! Even though it sounds that way… Back in Japan, we lived normally… more or less… All four of us lived in a small house in Osaka. It was a little pricey, but Reiko paid for it, so it didn’t matter. We all knew each other when we were little-””I told her.”
“Well, when Reiko was old enough, he inherited his father’s large amount of money because his father was rich. We forged my birth certificate to say I was eighteen and I bought a house with Reiko’s money. We all lived there for a few years, but one day, our house got destroyed, along with a bunch of other houses. We found out that an attack on Japan was happening so we had to escape or else we’d be killed by a group of people named the Chi-Dan. But we had no way to leave, we couldn’t go back to the orphanage. All of the airplanes were full and we weren’t close to water. We couldn’t take a shinkansen there either because they were blown up by the Chi-Dan. We didn’t know what to do and man, how Reiko freaked out.”
“Heheh. There was an old lady there who helped us escape on a cargo ship. She didn’t go with us though… She said that more people needed to be helped. I don’t think she made it…” Yuuki bows her head and everyone else follows.
“I’m sorry.” I say.
“She had no idea who we were, yet she helped us anyways. She sacrificed herself for saving kids like us. I had my code name be in her honor.”
“I’m so sorry. That’s really sad.”
“In addition to our abnormal lives, we ourselves were never normal.” Yuuki continues, “I have the ability to transport objects or people to a different place. Teleportation.”
Oh… That’s why Reiko was laughing a little earlier when I asked if he had teleportation… “I have enhanced human abilities!” Reiko exclaims, “So, for an example, I’m super strong, super smart, super handsome.” I give Reiko an odd look, he smiles. “I have really good intuition and I’m great at video games, must to Seno’s disappointment. I can beat him at his own game! I’m good at a lot of other things too!”
Seno glares at Reiko, then smiles. Maybe he was pretending? “I can disappear, woo…” he disappears then reappears.
“I have invincibility.” Tero says, “I can cut my hand off and it’s come back in like five seconds. That’s what you saw in science.’
“That’s… nice…” I saw with my eyes widened.
“Wait- YOU CUT OFF YOUR HAND IN SCIENCE?!” Reiko exclaims.
“No. I just cut myself on accident with a scalpel.”
“Oh… That’s still pretty bad though…”
“So…” Yuuki starts, “What do you have to make Reiko brings you here? Besides him having a major obsession with you?”
“I DO NOT!”
“Well, the first time you met her you said, ‘Please be my wife.’ in Japanese…” Seno says.
“What?! REIKO WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” Yuuki yells, hitting Reiko on the head with her hand.
“OW! I dunno... “ Reiko says, rubbing his head, “ I just wanted to see what would happen...: Plus I saw her as my wife so I said so…”
“But you said, ‘Please be my wife.’ That’s different.”
“I want her to be my wife though…”
Yuuki sighs. “Anyways…”
“Ummm…” I’ve never told anyone about me having powers before. I’m afraid that if I just randomly tell people, then someone bad could find out and try to use them for bad or something. I’m not bad. I want to be good and make people happy. But these guys just poured out their entire story to me, whom they just met today… Their group does translate in Revenge Party. But I’m sure they’re not bad. Plus Reiko risked his life to save me. He doesn't have invincibility, he could have died. “I have something to do with memories.” I say. “I can erase, rewrite, or add something to someone or something’s memories, including objects.”
“That’s pretty cool. It would be really useful for fighting the Chi-Dan.”
“So… Who exactly are the Chi-Dan?” I ask.
“The group of people who made us leave our home… We want to get our revenge on them. That’s why we’re called the Fukushu-Dan.”
“So, Lychee-tan… Will you join the Fukushu-Dan?”
I might get killed by this Chi-Dan they’re speaking of… but… someone risked their life for saving people like them and they want to fight back against a group of terrorists. I want to help protect people from them. “Yes.”
Reiko hugs me. “Good! Your training begins tomorrow!”
“Here…” Tero says, looking at his watch. “We should eat. Lunch is almost over.”
“LET’S EAT THEN! ITADAKIMASU(the word that’s kind of like praying before you eat)!!!!”
I pull out my bento box. Everyone else does too. It’s kind of funny. I start eating my food with a pair of chopsticks. “Did you make that?” Reiko asks, his chopsticks halfway in his mouth.
“Cool!” he takes his chopsticks out of his mouth and uses them to eat some of my food.
“Oishii(yummy)… This is so good... “ he shuts his eyes.
“Reiko! LEAVE LYCHEE’S FOOD ALONE!!!” Yuuki yells.
“But my food is BORING! Plus Lychee-tan made it!”
I continue eating my food, while Reiko occasionally takes some. “I haven’t had home made food ever since my mother was alive… That’s when I was two. Besides, Yuuki, you never make food.”
“Because I don’t have to.”
“You are a terrible person.”
“No I’m not! You’re old enough to make it yourself!”
“Right… I forgot…”
“Sometimes I honestly wonder…” Yuuki sighs, putting her face in her hands.
“I definitely wanna marry you!” Reiko exclaims to me.
“Yes… I know…”
Reiko smiles. He always smiles. I wonder if he has any other expression than smiling. Wait… no. When I was falling he looked scared and horrified and he was crying. I only met him today, why does he care about me so much? Why do I feel like I’ve known him for so much longer? “So,” Reiko says, “You’re meeting us after school, right? For the tour of the town! Then next week we’ll show you our hideout!”
“Yeah, okay, but I’m gonna have trouble waiting...”
“I know. But you’ll survive.” Reiko smiles at me.
A week going by never felt so long. “Neechan!” Jaimie exclaims and runs off of the metro to hug me.
“You’re gonna meet my new friends today!”
“Who? Reiko and Seno? I already met them last week…”
“Yeah, but you haven’t met Yuuki and Tero yet!” I exclaim smiling.
“Oh, the other two that Reiko was talking about…”
Yuuki, Reiko, Seno, and Tero come out of the school building. “LYCHEE-TAN!!! We’ve been looking for you all over the place!!!” Reiko exclaims.
“Oh… Whoops… I forgot to tell you I was gonna get my little brother, Jaimie. Everyone, this is Jaimie. Jaimie, this is everyone. Aka Yuuki and Tero, since you already know Reiko and Seno. “Yoroshiku!” Jaimie exclaims and bows.
“Yoroshiku.” Tero says.
“Hey, Lychee, who are these guys?” I turn around, the guy named Yeichtz from before is standing a few feet away from me.
“My… friends… from Japan.”
“Oh yeah… Uh… I’m Yeichtz. Hold up, do they speak English?”
“We’re kind of in a hurry…” Reiko says, crossing his arms.
“Oh! Sorry about that! I guess I’ll talk to you later then. Bye, Lychee and Jaimie!”
“Bye!” Jaimie exclaims waving while Yeichtz gets on the metro.
Suddenly sirens start going off. “Kuso(darn)!” Reiko grabs my hand and he starts running.
Everyone else does too. “Are you guys in trouble with the police or something?”
“No. Well, not in America at least. But this siren is the one that the Chi-Dan set off in Osaka when they caught a bunch of things on fire. It’s easily mistaken for a police siren though. They’re the sirens that would go off in World War Two.”
“I didn’t think they’d reach America this quickly, though!” Yuuki yells over the sirens.
“We got on a hidden cargo ship that travelled at eight hundred kilometers per hour! There’s no way they caught up to us this fast! We’ve been here for only a week! How would they know we were here?!” Seno exclaims.
“It doesn't make any sense at all!” Tero sighs.
“Wait, I thought you guys said that they were after all of Japan. Eventually they would’ve found out some of Japan fled to America. They could’ve tried anywhere in the world and they would’ve found a fraction of Japan there…” I say.
“Yeah, well we forgot to say that they’re actually targeting us for our powers. They want us to join them.”
I look ahead of us and see a ditch. We can’t cross through the bridge because it’s blocked. What are we supposed to do?! We can’t swim through it! It’s illegal! “Hey, Lychee-tan...”
“How far can you jump?”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“Across the- Nevermind…” He can’t possibly think that I can jump that!
Soon we’ll all be running in water! “Reiko-” Suddenly Reiko picks me up and jumps over the entire stretch of water. Everyone else made it across. Maybe it wasn’t as deep as I thought it would be. “Good job, guys!”
“Reiko… PUT ME DOWN!!!” I flap my arms around, trying to escape.
“Aww… Do I have to? You’re so cute like this!”
I try to escape again. Reiko sighs. “You just don’t learn… do you?”
He puts me down and we walk the rest of the way. Reiko’s somehow not out of breath at all like the rest of us. I won’t ask questions.
Soon we arrive in front of a run down looking apartment building. “You guys have to stay here? Didn’t you have a lot of money and stuff?”
“Yeah, I do. But we didn’t want it to be obvious where we were hiding to the Chi-Dan. They’ll be searching all the expensive apartments and houses and not find us.”
“Oh… That’s smart.” I say.
Reiko opens the back door and we all walk down a flight of dark stairs. I swear I saw a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign on the door leading to them. “Are we supposed to be down here? I mean… there was a sign and stuff…”
“Just to make sure that no one else comes down here. We don’t want anyone finding us, do we? Only the manager knows we’re down here. Plus you and Jaimie now.”
I had almost forgot about my little brother. He stands next to Tero with an excited smile. Reiko turns on a light switch somewhere once we reach the bottom. It’s just a basement. But it’s decorated like an actual house. There’s a few doors that must lead to different rooms. A kitchen, a small beveled circular area for a living room. It’s actually nice. Reiko takes my hand, “and this is my room!” he exclaims, opening one of the doors.
“It’s okay…” Reiko’s face is a slight tint of red.
I sit down on his bed. His room is very orange. It must be his favorite color. It seems to be the only color that we ever wears. His bed is orange. The walls are orange. There’s not much actually stuff in his room. He sits down next to me. “Lycheeeee-taaaan,”
I look over at him. “I’ll never hurt you, I promise. I’ll give my life to protect you, I promise. I want to make you happy.”
He hugs me and buries his face in my shoulder, “Lychee, I love you.” he quotes from a song that I’ve heard before. It’s the only English in the entire song, “I wanna always be with you. I wanna hold you tight right now. I swear I will wipe your tears. I’ll give it everything I have…”
Then I hear Jaimie scream.
Reiko looks at me worriedly, his face still bright red, “Did you hear that?”
He grabs my hand. I hear gunshots and a thud. Reiko flings the door open. Jaimie is crying. Tero is bleeding, then not. Yuuki is holding a red stained bat. Seno is probably invisible because I don’t see him anywhere. There are three new people, all dressed in black except for their white bloodstained cloaks which don’t allow you to see their face. One is on the ground, out cold. One’s holding a revolver. Another is holding a rifle. “All of you are coming with us or else the kid gets it.” Jaimie looks a little surprised, but I have no idea why.
But they’re scaring him. They’re scaring Jaimie. “You, stop crying!”
They’re yelling at Jaimie.
This is not acceptable.
I move out from behind Reiko, who was protecting me. He looks at me worriedly, “What are you-”
“Don’t move!” The hooded persons yell in harmony, quickly moving their fingers to their triggers.
I move behind them quickly and kick them over from behind. I bend down and place one of hands on each of their necks. I shut my eyes then get up. Reiko stares at me in awe. “You’re so cool…” he says, smiling.
The people look up. “Where… are we..?” one asks. I take their guns and turn on the safety lock, carefully making sure that they don’t see me do it and I point them to their heads.
They scramble up and run out of the basement, tripping over each other, trying to pick up their fallen friend. If that’s what they are.
I stand in silence for a few moments and let my arms fall to me sides, still holding the guns. “Lychee-chan is really cool.” Seno says, reappearing, half-way glaring at Reiko.
What’s up with him? Jaimie runs and hugs me. “So that’s what you do. You are gonna be really helpful in defeating the Chi-Dan. And Jaimie,” Yuuki turns to him, “You need to join the Fukushu-Dan.”
“But Revenge Party sounds scary… How about something better… We’re helping people, right? Or like saving them? How about… Tasukete-Dan?”
“It definitely sounds cooler!” Reiko exclaims.
“Ok fine. It sounds way less murdery than Fukushu-Dan…” Tero says.
“Yes. Yes it does…” says Yuuki.
“Tasukete-Dan it is then!”
It does sound better. And less murdery… But that’s a good thing. “Wait,” I say, “I thought the Fukushu-Dan, now known as the Tasukete-Dan, was only for people with special abilities…”
I look over at Jaimie. He’s grinning at me. “I can make… FORCE FIELDS!!!” he exclaims, jumping up and down.
“Yeah! The guy that was unconscious tried to shoot me, but it bounced off and grazed the guy that shot it! And that’s how he became unconscious!”
“Wait, why is Yuuki’s bad red then?”
“Well… Yesterday we were making hamburgers and we didn’t have a meat tenderizer and so we used Yuuki’s bat.” Reiko says sheepishly.
“YOU WHAT?!” Yuuki roars, whacking Reiko on the head with her hand.
Yuuki sighs. “I was wondering why it was red. But the problem now is… HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO MAKE IT GO BACK, REIKO?!”
“You don’t have magic, Reiko.”
“Why do I have to?!”
“Because YOU’RE THE ONE WHO MADE IT RED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!” Yuuki hits Reiko on the head again.
Jaimie starts talking, “Umm… Sorry to interrupt your… umm… whatever this is…? But uhh… do I have to hurt people to be in the Tasukete-Dan?”
“No. You can be our medic.”
“You need a nickname too, Jaimie, so they won’t find out your true identity!”
“Ok! I need it to be something easy to remember…”
“How about Jei or something then?” Reiko asks.
“Sure! Sounds good to me!”
“Then welcome to the Tasukete-Dan as an official member, Jei.”
“Oh, it’s Ryukei.” Reiko whispers to him.
My phone starts ringing as a siren goes off. It’s Kaachan. “Moshi moshi!” I exclaim, answering the phone.
“Lychee, I need you and Jaimie to stay at your friend’s house if it’s okay with their parents. At least until the terrorists stop attacking...You’ve seen the news, right?”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
Reiko looks around strangely, “Chi-Dan sirens…” he mutters.
“Check the news,” my kaachan requests. “The phone lines might be tapped or something… Bye, honey, I love you.”
Everyone is looking at me. “Someone turn on the news…”
Reiko walks over to the circular living room and plops down on a semi circle couch while turning on the TV. “This is very hard footage to get right now,” the tv reporter whispers while showing fires and the cloaked people marching around, laughing maniacally, “Since they’re trying to kill everyone in sight… But whatever you do, don’t go outside. Hide. Hide your family. This is no joke. I repeat, this is no joke. They’re armed and dangerous and calling themselves ‘The Chi-Dan.’ Do not confront them. Do not go outside.”
Everyone looks a little pale. Then we all look at eachother. Reiko is smiling. “So, what’s the plan?” Reiko puts his arms behind his head.
Typical Reiko. I smile. His positivity is contagious. “Well,” Yuuki starts, “I think we’ll need to make a distraction so that Lychee can get in towards the lead commanders and erase their memories, so that hopefully they’ll retreat… I think…”
“Sounds good to me!” Reiko exclaims, smiling.
“Here, Lychee-tan! I’ll show you the weapons room!” Reiko takes my hand and we start walking towards the door at the end of the room. He looks over my shoulder and suddenly he stops and his face goes blank. I turn around and see Seno glaring at Reiko. Wait, weren't they best friends? Reiko lets go of my hand.
Then they both disappear. “Wha- Where did they- I thought Reiko was…”
“I’ll show you the weapons room…” Yuuki says.
Does she understand and I don’t for some reason? Why does she get to know? I hesitate for a moment. “Okay…”
Yuuki opens the door and goes up a few stairs. “Welcome to the weapons room. It’s not much though…”
There’s a long table with things like baseball bats and kendo staffs. “They’re not very lethal.” I observe, “I mean, I guess we wouldn’t need them in the first place though.”
“I don’t want weapons at all!’ Jaimie exclaims, “I just wanna help people!”
“How do you even want to join the military then?” I sigh.
“The cooler lethal weapons are in here actually…” Yuuki says, opening a chest filled with swords in sheaths, katanas, arrows, knives, daggers, shurikens, sai, and a scythe that folds down.
I blink. Weird. “How do you even get these?”
“Reiko. First, he’s rich. Second, he likes to hoard cool weapons.”
I giggle as I picture a chibi Reiko holding a bunch of weapons, laughing. “I don’t think I need any weapons though because of my power.” I say, “If one of them gets close to me, I can can just erase their memory.”
“What if there’s more than one?” Tero asks.
“I touch the ground of erase all of their memories.”
“Oh… Umm… What about sneak attacks, then?”
I pause. “Alright, I suppose I might need a weapon…” I go through the weapons and grab a sheathed nihonto, a sword of Japan. I tie the sheath to my back. “Better?”
“Yeah, I’d feel better if you didn’t get brutally murdered by a Chi-Dan member…”
Yuuki looks over at Jaimie, “Jaimie, you’ll need a weapon too, just for self defense.”
“I can’t just use my force fields?”
“Fine…” Jaimie grumbles as he walks over to the chest and grabs a few tiny shurikens and puts them in a small pouch, which he ties to his belt of medical supplies.
When did he get that? Tero is holding a long bow and has a few arrows. “Tero’s our sniper,” Yuuki says, “He’s pretty good at archery, so we let him do his thing. He was the president of the archery club back in Osaka. I’m good with a bat, with my being in a softball league. Seno’s good at sneak attacks for obvious reasons. And Reiko… he just does... whatever he wants to I guess. He’s well skilled in fighting with multiple weapons, even though he doesn't need one in the first place, his martial arts skill is very high.”
“Neechan? Are you drooling?”
“No, of course not!!!” I exclaim as I wipe off my mouth.
“You know… Seno and Reiko both like you a lot…” Yuuki says, looking at a wall, “They’re kinda fighting over you… Mostly just Seno being mad at Reiko then Reiko getting upset about it. They’ve been friends for so long and it just seems… odd…”
Tero nods, “It’s kinda weird of us to be saying this, getting involved in your love life or whatever, but just…don’t worry, okay? They’ve got into fights before and they got resolved. Just.. you know what.. I don’t really know what I’m getting at…”
How would they know that I kinda like them both?
“Well, speaking of them, we’d better go find them…” Yuuki sighs.
I walk out of the weapons room and I overhear yelling. “You’re being a horrible friend you know!”
Silence. Wait, do they know I’m here?!
“Alright… Fine… I guess I have been acting like a horrible friend…”
“Thank you…” Seno opens the door and we stare at each other for a few moments. “L-lychee-chan!”
“S-Seno! Look, I found you! Oh, and Reiko-kun too! Wonderful! Guys, I found them!!! Haha… Heh…”
“How much did you hear?”
“Uhh… Whatever do you mean?”
“I know you’re lying.”
“Umm… Something about a horrible friend?”
Reiko is staring at the ground. Why won’t he look at me? “Umm… Reiko, you okay?” Silence. “Reiko, you’re-” “Well… Umm… I mean! Well! That’s okay! I don’t mind!” Seno smiles.
“Seno, you’re scaring me…”
“You’re acting enthusiastic…”
“Oh… Really? I thought I always acted like this!” I sigh and look at Reiko. Our eyes meet for a moment, then he looks down, mad. I think his eyes are tearing up. Reiko stands up quickly and leaves the room.
Something’s wrong… “Uhm… You... need to go get your... weapons from the... weapons room.”
“Seno, seriously, I think you must be sick or something… You never have acted like this in the week I’ve known you…”
I turn around to walk away and see Reiko about to laugh, he sees my face and instantly his face turns blank. He grabs his arm, digging his nails into his skin and walks away. It looks like he already got a weapon, a single sword. Yuuki looks at Reiko weird, “Reiko, there’s something wrong with you. You’re just bringing a normal weapon… Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” he walks over to the couch.
“Do you know what’s up?” Yuuki asks me, “Doesn't he tell you everything?”
“Now he won’t even talk to me…”
“SENO!!! WHAT DID YOU DO TO REIKO?!!” Yuuki roars.
“Nothing! Reiko is doing this all by himself… I didn’t tell him to!”
“Did you guys somehow switch personalities or something?” I ask, only half sarcastically.
We all start going up the stairs to the first floor. “Reiko? Are you doing okay?” I ask, grabbing his arm lightly.
“Leave me alone!” he yanks his arm away.
“It’s okay, Lychee-chan! Reiko is just being moody for some reason!”
“And you’ve gone crazy… Why are you so talkative and happy?”
“I dunno! Heh…”
“Let’s just go guys…” Yuuki sighs ahead of us, “Everyone put up the hood of your hoodie.”
“Huh? Why?” Jaimie asks.
“It’s kind of our trademark or something…”
Jaimie zips up the gray part of his jacket to his face then puts his hood up. “I’m so cool!” he says.
I zip up my white hoodie and put my hood up. Everyone else puts up their hood. Reiko already had his up. We all walk to the center of town where they said the Chi-Dan was attacking at the bottom of the screen. “My feet hurt…” Jaimie complains.
“You’ll be fine…” Yuuki replies.
“Hmph!” Jaimie crosses his arms.
I hear a different set of sirens going off. It’s the actual police this time. I see another hooded person dressed in the same things as the people who attacked us before. All black with a white bloody cloak. There’s no doubt about it. It’s a member of the Chi-Dan. “Targets spotted.” The person says.
Instantly everything turns to a haze. I can hardly pay attention. Is it magic? Or is it just me being upset about Reiko? I don’t why he’s acting like this… Did Seno actually do something to make him change? I close my eyes. I feel my insides hurting. I feel so empty. It’s weird having Reiko be like this… I miss him being so adorable and randomly talking about me being his wife. I feel tears welling up in my eyes. Reiko. Why are you acting like this? I run through the mass of cloaked people, just dodging their sharp, disfigured weapons. It’s hard to get close like this. But what I’m supposed to do is find the main commander and erase their memory so they go into confusion and have to regroup. Whoever I can touch I think, Forget. Forget. Forget. Forget. Forget. Some randomly run away or go to the ground and hug their head. Then they start shooting. “Lychee-chan. The commander is in the all red cloak!” Seno exclaims from beside me. He startled me. I had no clue that he was there.
Oh, right, invisibility. I spot the red cloaked man. I weave through the multiple people and leap up into the sky and knock down the man. I stare at his covered face. They must be wearing a black bodysuit underneath because their face is unrecognizable. I place my hand on their forehead then I shut my eyes. I start walking away. “H-huh? What’s happening?” They ask.
Another member of the Chi-Dan runs up to their side, “Commander, they’re strong, as suspected, what should we do?”
“Umm… Sir, why do you sound unsure?”
“I’m a commander?”
“TAIKYAKU!!! TAIKYAKU TAIKYAKU TAIKYAKU!!!” the second Chi-Dan member screeches. I cover my ears.
I slowly walk through the crowd of scattering people to where I see a few of my friends. Why does Seno look horrified? I run over to where he’s standing. “Is everyone o-” I scream.
Reiko is laying on the ground out cold. Jaimie is sitting next to Reiko worriedly. I quickly sit down next to him. “He wasn’t into it I guess… They got him…”
“Reiko-kun…” I say. I’m trembling.
“Shh!!! We’re on a mission!” Jaimie exclaims.
“Sorry…” I hug Reiko. Why does his side feel wet? Is he lying in a puddle or something? I slowly get up from hovering over him. My arm is covered in scarlet blood. Reiko’s… blood. I let a scream escape from my mouth.
“I can’t fix this!” Jaimie exclaims, “Someone call an ambulance!!!”
Yuuki picks up her phone and dials 911. When she gets off, she says, “Lychee, you and Jaimie go back home. Act casually. We’ll see you on Monday.”
I take off my jacket and grab Jaimie’s hand. We ride the metro home.
If only I had been paying attention so I could’ve made them retreat sooner… I let my tears fall down my face that I’ve been holding in.
The metro stops and we walk the rest of the way home. I open the front door. “Tadaima…”
Monday, November 8th, 2044
“Unfortunately, Reiko won’t be here for a while. He got attacked by the Chi-Dan on Friday…” my English teacher says.
Three-fourths of the classroom gasps. I’m barely paying any attention. I clasp my hands in my face. I do all of my assignments regularly, but I’m sure I’ll fail because I can hardly pay attention. Nothing makes any sense. I miss Reiko so much. Everything seems way too quiet. I hope he’s doing okay. The only thing is, if he did, would he just be mad at me? In all of my other classes, people are mean to me. I’m completely unprepared. It’s just like old times before Reiko came in. Seno is still acting weird. We meet at lunch, but we have nothing to talk about. Reiko usually starts all of the conversations.
Friday, December 3rd, 2044 After School
I’ve decided to Reiko today. I will go insane if I don’t see him again. I want to at least know why he was mad at me before the first attack from the Chi-Dan happened. I knock on the hospital room door. “Who is it…” Reiko asks amusedly.
“Uhm… It’s Lychee…”
“I don’t… wanna… talk to you…”
I feel my insides crumble, “At least-At least tell me why!!! Then I’ll leave you alone and you’ll never have to see me again!”
Reiko stays silent. “Reiko please… You promised you’d never hurt me! I didn’t think you’d break that promise on the same day it was made!!!”
‘I really wanna talk to you and see you and hold your hand and hold you and kiss you and say I’m sorry. But then I’d be an even more horrible friend!” Reiko sounds like he’s crying.
“Reiko-kun…” I open the door.
“Lychee-tan… I-I just…”
I walk over to his hospital bed and hug him. “You’re not being a bad friend. You’re being in love. And it’s okay. “
“I’M SO SORRY!!!” he’s sobbing now.
“Hey… Since we know each other well enough, you can just call me Reiko now… I think it’s appropriate..”
“Okay, Reiko…” I laugh, Reiko was sobbing a few seconds ago and now we’re both laughing.
“It sounds much better.”
“Reiko, I’m so sorry for not trying harder to figure out what was happening. I’m sorry for not making them retreat sooner. I’m sorry for not being nicer to Seno. I’m sorry for-”
“Shh… Lychee-tan, it’s okay. None of that is your fault. You tried. I love you. And I promise to keep all of my promises.”
“Rei-Reiko…”I feel myself crying.
He grabs my shoulders and kisses me.
“Reiko, I love you too...”
I think of the song from before this terrible thing happened. “I wanna always be with you. I wanna hold you tight right now. I swear I will wipe your tears. I’ll give it everything I have…” I sing quietly.
Reiko, having a realization moment, wipes my tears off my face with his thumb. “Heh heh…”
I just realized that Reiko’s hair is dark blonde now. “Wait, did you dye your hair?” How did I not notice this before?
“Yeah… They said it would be something for me to do for fun.”
“I like it. It suits you.” I say smiling.
I’d do anything to never let this moment end.
Unfortunately, that couldn’t happen.
End of Book 1 😊
Tasukete-Dan Book Two Preview!
Jaimie has had a crush on his best friend Yokami. Whom he calls Ichigo, for practically his entire life. But not much was ever known about her. One day he invites her to see the Tasukete-Dan hideout. But Reiko suspects that she has connections to the Chi-Dan!
Find out more in Book Two!