It was a bright morning with clear skies and sunny weather. The locusts were starting to chirp while resting on trees. Somewhere in the city of Tokyo, in a double-storey house, lived the Toshikawa siblings. Sakura went to the bathroom after waking up from her slumber. When she looked at her reflection, she thought to herself, "I look terrible. And it's all because of that senpai." She remembered the memory during the school festival. She then shook her head violently, hoping to shake off the memory she didn't wish to remember. When she finally calmed down, she looked into the mirror and thought again, "I have been avoiding him ever since that day…Well, it's summer break now, so I won't be seeing him for the time being anyway."
After that when she opened the bathroom door, her younger sister, Matsuri, screamed, "A ghost!" Sakura then flicked her fingers on Matsuri's forehead.
"How come there would be ghost in the morning?" she said.
After that, when the three sisters gathered at the dining room for breakfast, Sakura looked very tired and out of energy. "Is there something wrong, Sakura?" Shion, the eldest of the three, asked.
"Huh?" asked Sakura, "Oh, not at all." Suddenly she exclaimed, "Oh gosh, look at the time! I got to go!" She gulped down whatever was in front of her. After that, she took the luggage bag beside her and went out in a hurry.
Sakura reached the entrance of the subway station. Eiji was waving at her from faraway. Along with him was a couple of his guy friends, and also Akari. Sakura ran over to them and said, "Sorry, have you guys waited long?"
"Not at all." Akari replied with a smile.
"We've waited forever!" Eiji exclaimed.
"Who cares what you think?" said Sakura as she stuck her tongue out at her childhood friend.
"Alright, let's buy the tickets." said one of the guys.
After that, they got on a subway train and found seats for themselves. Akari and Eiji sat side by side, while Sakura sat opposite them. She noticed that the couple was holding hands, and smiled. She thought about a memory during the school festival.
As she was on her way back to meet with her classmates, Akari came running to her. After panting for a while, Akari said to her, "I have something to tell you."
"What is it?" asked Sakura while blinking her eyes in puzzlement.
"I…really like Takanami-kun," Akari wrote with a blush on her face.
"I know that." said Sakura.
"But…Sakura-chan also like him." said Akari.
"Yup, that's right," said Sakura. When she saw that Akari was getting depressed, she added, "But as a friend." Akari looked at her in surprise.
"You don't like him?"
"Of course!" exclaimed Sakura, "Even if we are more than friends, it's only like a relationship between siblings. That's all."
When Sakura finished reminiscing, she looked at Eiji and Akari again. The two of them looked like they're filled with happiness. The feeling that Sakura had was bittersweet. Though she felt pain when she saw that they were together, she was also happy for the couple.
After getting off the train, they came to a small town filled with simple houses. Then they went to the outskirts of the town. They arrived at a beach and found the large guesthouse which they were meant to stay in. When Sakura saw the person that greeted them, she was shocked, for the person is actually Minoru. He too was surprised to see her.
"You indeed are a stalker…" he said.
"What about you?" Sakura asked furiously.
"This guesthouse belongs to my grandmother," Minoru explained, "I'm staying over for a couple of days."
"Is that the guests?" asked a crackly voice. A short and plump elderly woman appeared out of the house. Her hair was as white as snow and was tied into a bun, while her skin was all wrinkled.
"Yeah." replied Minoru. The old lady then patted him from the back with quite an amount of force.
"Then why do you let them stand here for?" she said, "Hurry up and help them with luggage!" She then turned to the other teenagers and said to them, "Sorry, his attitude is a bit terrible. Please forgive him."
"Obaachan…" Minoru frowned. He then tried to avoid his gaze from the guests, especially Sakura. His cheeks turned slightly red. Sakura looked quite surprised by his reaction. "Is he…blushing?" she thought.
"We'll just take the luggage ourselves." said Eiji.
"Here's a good young lad." complimented Minoru's grandmother. Suddenly Minoru's face was as dark as the raining clouds. All the others were frightened by the sudden change of mood. "He's angry!" they thought in unison. Minoru then turned around and walked away.
"Hey, what kind of attitude is that?" exclaimed the guesthouse owner, "Minoru-san!" When she saw that he didn't react to her call at all, she sighed, "That child really is…" Sakura merely watched Minoru from his back.
After they had settled into their rooms, all the youngsters changed into their respective swimwear and went to the beach. Sakura was wearing a navy blue one-piece swimsuit with black abstract patterns, while Akari wore a bikini with red and yellow flowery pattern. When Eiji saw her exposing attire, a drop of blood came out from his nose.
"Your nose is bleeding." one of his guy friends stated. Eiji immediately covered his nose and ran away.
"I'm going to the washroom!" he exclaimed. Everyone merely stared in puzzlement.
After that, the rest of them went on their plans without Eiji. Some of them went to swim in the sea while some were playing beach volleyball. Sakura was an expert in the game. She made all her opponents grew weary. Meanwhile, as Minoru was helping around in the guesthouse, he was gazing at Sakura as she enjoyed herself beating the guys. After a while, Minoru's grandmother came over and saw him. She then hit him with the broom she's holding.
"Obaa…san…" said Minoru in pain.
"You're the one who's not paying attention to your work!"
"I AM paying attention to my work!" Sakura, who heard the noise, stopped and looked at Minoru. She laughed when she saw the grumpy look on his face. Suddenly, the volleyball hit her head. She grew furious and yelled at the guys, "What are you think you are doing!?"
"Sorry." said the guys on the opponents' team. But Sakura's anger was not finished, so she threw the ball at full throttle. But the ball was pushed away by the guys and went into the sea.
"I'll get it!" Sakura said to them loudly. She then went into the waters. Since the ball fell to a place that was quite far, she had to swim to get it. As she was swimming, she felt a sudden sharp pain in her leg.
Meanwhile back in shore, the guys were watching her. "Something is not right…" stated one guy. Minoru immediately knew what happened and put away his chores.
"Minoru-san, what are you…" But Minoru was already rushing to Sakura's rescue.
Sakura's body slowly sank into the waters. Then Minoru came and carried her. The two went out of the water safely, with Minoru holding an unconscious Sakura. He put her down on the sand and began to compress her chest. After a while, Sakura spat some water out and began to regain conscious. Akari quickly went to her side. Sakura turned her head and saw the concerned girl.
"Akari-chan?" said Sakura, "What's with that face? I'm alright." At that moment, Minoru walked away from them.
During the night, Eiji went to the girls' room and stood at the door. Sakura came out not long after that. "Eiji?" Sakura looked at him in astonishment.
"You are nearly drowned today," said Eiji while lowering his head, "I'm sorry."
"It's okay. It's not your fault." said Sakura, "Why don't you come in?" Eiji was a little surprised by her request, but he did as he was told anyway. In a split second, Sakura managed to get out of the room and shut the door. Then, she went and locked the door. Eiji was shocked by this and patted the door.
"What are you doing!?" asked Eiji.
"Enjoy the night, 'cause I have the only key to the room." said Sakura.
"Wait, Sakura!" Eiji exclaimed, but there was no answer. He sighed in defeat and went to sit on a chair in the room. Suddenly he realized that there's water splattering in the bathroom.
"I-Is Amakura in the room?" he thought. At the same time, Akari came out from the bathroom, with only a towel wrapping around her body. Eiji widened his eyes. And when the girl turned around and saw him, he couldn't take it anymore.
Akari had changed into her clothes, and was helping to wipe the blood from Eiji's nose, while he himself looked very upset.
"Sorry, I'm a pathetic person, am I?" asked Eiji. Akari shook her head hard. Then she took Eiji's hand and placed it on her cheek.
"Amakura…" said Eiji. Then he smiled and added, "Thank you." After that, he sighed and continued, "Now, what should we do? What is Sakura thinking, locking us like that?" Akari then blushed.
"Don't tell me…N-No way, I'll bleed to death if we do that." Akari scribbled on her sketchbook.
"How about we go to bed together tonight?" Her face was as red as a tomato.
"T-That's a good idea." And so, the two lied on the bed holding each others' hand, and slowly drifted into sleep.
The next morning, Sakura went out of the guesthouse and was about to head out. At the same time, Minoru was heading towards her direction while holding a toolbox. "Hiroshima-senpai?" said Sakura, "What are you doing?"
"I just did some repairing." Minoru replied, "Heading out?"
"Y-Yeah," Sakura answered him, "My friends asked me to buy some souvenir."
"Is that so?" asked Minoru, "Do you want me to come with you? I'm much familiar with this town."
"Eh?" Sakura blurted out in surprise. "Um…I…"
"I'm sorry if I scared you that day," said Minoru, "I won't bother you with that matter. Don't worry." When Sakura remained speechless, he continued, "I'll put the toolbox back in place. Wait for me." After that, he went inside the house.
Minoru and Sakura went to the town after that. Even though it was a small town, it was a busy town with many people. The two went into shops and browsed through the souvenirs they could buy. After they finished with the shopping, they were on their way back to the guesthouse. Meanwhile, Sakura exclaimed, "Wow, I saved a lot of my money! Hiroshima-senpai, you're amazing!"
"That's because I lived here when I was little." said Minoru.
"I see." said Sakura. After that, they ran into a young girl who resembled their age. She had long, dark, straight hair with a pair of bright, sparkly brown-colored eyes. Her skin was very fair and she had a thin figure. She was wearing a mint green tank top with a pair of denim shorts.
"Minoru-kun?" she called out.
"Himeka?" said Minoru as he looked at her in shock.
"You came back from Tokyo?" asked the girl.
"Yeah," replied Minoru. Sakura then noticed the unhappy expression on his face.
"Eh? Who is this?" asked Himeka. Sakura bowed down and introduced herself.
"I'm Toshikawa Sakura, Hiroshima-senpai's kouhai." The girl peered at Sakura for a while. Sakura only blinked her eyes in puzzlement.
"She's quite cute!" exclaimed Himeka, "Ah, since it's such a rare chance that we see each other, why don't we sit down and chat. My treat. Sakura-chan can come too."
"Oh, no. I can't-"
"Please, I insist," said Himeka, "Besides I bet you want to know more about Minoru-kun, don't you?" Minoru looked at Sakura out of curiosity for her reaction.
"Alright, it's decided then!" Before Sakura could say anything more, Minoru stopped her. "There's no way you can stop her once she decided something." he whispered to her. As they were walking, Sakura looked at Minoru and Himeka from the back. "They look so close. And they call each other by their first names," she thought, "I wonder what relationship do they have?"
They stopped by in a coffee shop and sat at a table. Himeka started to introduce herself. "I'm Mizushiro Himeka. I'm…" She looked at Minoru for a moment before she continued. "…Minoru-kun's long-time friend." Sakura was puzzled over her actions.
"Toshikawa-san, which year are you in now?" asked Himeka.
"Eh? I-I'm a first-year student." Sakura replied.
"First year, is it?" asked Himeka, "First years are always the cutest, isn't it Minoru-kun?" Sakura looked at Minoru and noticed the unhappy look on his face.
"He looks troubled…" she thought. Himeka looked at the two for a while, and continued the conversation.
"Toshikawa-san, do you have a boyfriend?" Both Minoru and Sakura were taken aback by the question. Sakura lowered her head in embarrassment.
"Sakura!" a voice interrupted her. When Sakura lifted her head, she saw Eiji walking towards their direction, along with Akari by his side. She was quite upset by her sight, but managed to cover it up with a smile before anyone noticed it, except Minoru.
"Why are you here?" she asked Eiji, "Are you guys dating?" Both Eiji and Akari blushed. Sakura laughed when she saw their reaction. Minoru looked at her, while Himeka noticed his gaze. After a while, she said, "I think I should go home. Minoru-kun, can you escort me home?" Minoru looked very surprised. Himeka grabbed his arm and continued, "Come on!" The rest of the people could only watch them leave the shop.
After that, as Minoru and Himeka were walking, Minoru said, "I heard you went to Kyoto for studies."
"Yeah," said Himeka, "I came back to help my parents with the shop. How about you? How's life in Tokyo?"
"It's alright, I guess." replied Minoru. After a moment of pause, Himeka continued, "I never saw such an expression from you when we're dating. I'm a little jealous." Minoru then stared at her. Himeka burst out laughing and continued, "Don't worry. I won't do anything!" She then walked forward and turned to face Minoru, "Alright, you can stop from here. See you then!" As she left Minoru merely looked at her as her figure turned smaller and further.
Meanwhile, Sakura was walking by herself on the streets of the small town. "It's best if I don't disturb the two lovebirds," she thought to herself. She then recalled how Himeka dragged Minoru away. She then stopped her footsteps and shook her head while shouting, "Why did I remember that?" The people who passed by stared at her in shock. She noticed their stares and quickly covered her face in embarrassment. Then she stayed in that pose.
"I wonder if she's an ex-girlfriend of his," she thought to herself, "She's so beautiful and so feminine…It's normal that guys would like her, right?"
"What are you doing?" asked a voice from the reality world. Sakura removed her hand and turned her head around. Then she found that Minoru staring at her.
"Where's that kid?" he asked.
"That kid?" Sakura asked. Then she realized that he's referring to Eiji. "O-Oh, I went back ahead of them."
"I see," said Minoru.
"Anyway, why are you here? Aren't you escorting Mizushiro-san home?"
"Does it bother you?" asked Minoru.
"Me being with Himeka,"
"W-What are you saying?" asked Sakura, "It doesn't matter to me, does it?"
"She's my ex," Minoru replied.
"L-Like I said, it's none of mi-"
"I have no intention to lie to the person I like." The words made Sakura's cheeks reddened.
"I-Is that so?" she asked, "Whatever." After that, the two of them went back to the guesthouse together.
Author's Notes: Thanks for reading, and your reviews, I appreciate it.