The sky grew darker as the minutes ticked away. Thousands of light lit up the city, and citizens of Tokyo marched through the streets proclaiming the New Year.
Amber stared out the window of their house as a group of boys ran by, carrying lanterns and calling out, "Happy New Year!"
"I wish Natsumi would hurry and call me already," she whispered against the glass, an impatient edge to her voice.
The cell phone in her hand was silent, and she waited for it to ring. She was already dressed up for the party. Donning a black, lace-up corset top with long sleeves, a pair of designer jeans and boots, she was ready for anything.
Her forehead rested lightly against the cold pane of glass. She closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath.
The chirp from her phone startled her out of her reverie. She flipped it open and grinned when she saw Natsumi's number show up.
"Moshi, moshi!" she answered.
"We are almost ready," Natsumi said. "You can come over. Do you remember how to get here?"
"Yeah, I know what train to take," Amber answered. She finished up her conversation and hung up.
Racing to the kitchen, she tore open the fridge, reaching in for the bentos. Stashing them in an old shopping bag, she brought them to the door, and slipped into her coat.
Yelling a goodbye to her father, she left the house and headed down the dark street for the train station.
It was pretty busy. She purchased her ticket, and moved down to the platform. An announcer came over the intercom and directed everyone to stand behind the yellow line as a train was approaching.
Amber watched the people board their train and gazed after it as it sped off. Everyone was heading somewhere for New Years.
Her train came then, and she moved in line. The doors opened and she pushed her way through the people getting off. Taking a seat, she remembered to count five stops until hers.
The lights of Tokyo whizzed past her as they sped through the city. At that moment, Amber couldn't picture being anywhere else in the world.
Five stops later, she rose from her seat and filed off the train. Arisa lived in the housing district to the right, and that's the direction she walked in.
It wasn't too hard to find the house, seeing as Natsumi was waiting outside with Suichi.
They greeted her, Suichi planting a kiss on her cheek. They both blushed, and Natsumi laughed at their childish antics.
"Lets go inside," she beckoned to them, pulling the front door open and disappearing inside.
Suichi took Amber's hand and pulled her with him. They went into Arisa's house.
Some funky techno-pop was blasting out of the speakers in the living room. Arisa and Kaoru were dancing wildly to the bouncy beat.
Namiko was there as well, and Amber recognized her right away with her ripped jeans and punk rock top.
Arisa bounded over to the happy couple and asked about the bentos. Amber handed them over, since there were about seven of them, and Arisa put them in the kitchen.
"Time to eat!" she yelled from there, and everybody slowly gravitated into the kitchen to devour their food.
They didn't moved too far after that, preferring to stand around in a circle and munch of their food.
Amber liked the sense of community she was feeling, and it had been a long time since she'd been part of a group like that.
The night whiled away with more fun and dancing, and even some sake that Arisa had managed to slip in.
Amber was enjoying herself. "This is the best New Years party I've ever been to," she whispered to Suichi, who put his arm around her in return.
"I'm happy you are having a good time," he whispered back.
New Years was the greatest time I've had here in Tokyo. Right before sunrise, we all went up to the roof of Arisa's house and sat around waiting for the sun to come up.
We all made a wish together. Just as the sun rose over the horizon, we all wished that we would be good friends forever.
Isn't that totally cool! And even better, Suichi and I totally made out. It rocked.
Well, the sun's been up for five hours now, I'm finally home in my nice and cozy little bedroom with my pajama's on. I've been up literally all night. I'm going to bed now!