Chapter 1: The First Day
The sun seemed to beam down at just the perfect angle every morning during the summer months. It prevented me from ever knowing the sensation of sleeping past the time of seven in the morning. Every morning at the exact same time, the sun's light would shine directly through the blinds covering my window. The sunlight would accurately land upon my eyes, waking me from my deep sleep no matter what happened the night before. As my thin body lay under the blankets, I suddenly jump at the sound of my alarm clock. I managed to beat it yet again. With a sigh, I rolled from my bed and grabbed my school uniform that had been hanging from the hook on my door.
It didn't take long for me to pull on the blazer before I glanced down at my phone that was resting on the nightstand beside my bed. The words "Fri. June 6th" shone in white letters that seemed to stand out against the background. A few moments passed before I had pieced together that the blazer over my shoulders would not be needed for quite a long time. The thought had completely slipped my mind. It was summer vacation. A whole three months without having to worry about the trouble of homework or tests that would cloud my brain.
With a smile on my face, I placed the blazer on the hook it originally hung, and will remain hung until a use for it comes. I prayed that the moment when its use would become relevant again would take its time on its way here. Maybe it'll stop and have some lunch. I wouldn't mind. More time for me, I would say. Now that I was awake at six thirty in the morning, I'd have to find something to occupy my time until I could call somebody up and hang out. I was sure to not let my final summer slip away from me. I'd take every opportunity to use up this summer for any fun reason possible.
Expecting to be the only one awake in my home, I slipped through the halls of my home as silent as a mouse. The white socks on my feet slid quietly and gently across the hardwood flooring of the second story of my home. Knowing every creak and crack in the floor, I slyly avoided making even the slightest bit of noise when I made my way down the stairs. Anyone watching me would have thought I was some sort of secret agent, sneaking my way towards the secret brief case or the top secret folder of classified documents. However, I just wanted a bowl of cereal. Though, there was someone who would beat me to the kitchen. The one would be young looking woman, who was actually far older than I was.
"What are you doing up this early? We're not supposed to be leaving for at least four more hours." The woman would speak. Apparently she thought she was my mother. If that was the case, then that would certainly be correct. This woman was my mother, but this trip that she spoke of was not one that I have heard of.
"Leaving? What are we leaving for? Is there a party that I forgot about?"
"No, there's no party." My mother would reply, walking over to the toaster and grabbing the slices of toast that rested freshly in the toaster. "You're helping your grandfather with his restaurant for the summer. I must have told you at least four times. Tell me that you have at least gotten packed!" No mother. I haven't. It's not that I forgot that she said that. I figured that it was some kind of mean joke that she played, trying to get me to come out of my room. Apparently, she was more serious than I imagined.
"I… I think I need to get packing…" I would say nervously before hurrying up the stairs, stealing the opportunity for my mother to yell at me before I had the chance to do so.
*** Quick Authors Note: I started this story in first person POV, but it was too late for me to switch it to third person before I figured it would be better for the story. From this point on, it will be told in third person***
The young male finished stuffing just about every piece of clothing into a suitcase that he owned. He had to use all of his bodyweight in order to keep the case closed long enough for him to zip it closed. When the boy looked at the clock, only about two hours had passed. He still would have two hours before they would leave for his grandfather's house.
"Akio! Akio, are you in your room?" A female voice called out to him. The voice was more than familiar. It was a voice that Akio had known for nearly the entirety of his life. It was the voice of his closest friend that was summoning him to the doorway. By the time the male would get to open the entry to his room, the female would be standing before him.
"I tried calling you several times. Everyone wanted you to come and hang out with us. We were going to spend the first day of summer together. If you hurry, we might be able to make it to the bus stop before everyone leaves!" The girl grabbed Akio's sleeve and attempted to pull him from his spot in the room, but he would refuse to budge.
"I have to apologize Mai, but I won't be attending any hangouts this summer. It's my final summer of high school, but my mom told me that I need to help out my grandfather for the entirety of summer. I probably won't be back until there are about two weeks left of break. Maybe I'll be able to clear up everything and spend the final weeks with you." With that explanation, Akio grabbed his suit case and hauled it down the stairs. His friend, with an obvious amount of disappointment in her eyes, would follow after him.
"But we've spent every summer together since elementary school! It's not even like I could go and visit you whenever I want! Your grandfather's shop is at least an hour away by train! I won't be able to see you for three months. We had an entire vacation planned too!" Mai tried to convince the boy to stay, but that was far out of his hands. Her topaz orange eyes looked like they were on the very verge of bursting into tears. Mai had harbored feelings for Akio for years and years. The vacation would be her excuse to finally confess to him. Her entire future could very well fall apart if Akio left.
"I'm truly sorry. It's not up to me. My grandfather wants me there to help and my mother will not take no for an answer. Like I said, we'll spend the final days of summer together. We'll take a trip to the beach, stay there for a couple of days, then come back and prepare for senior year. That's all I'm able to do." When Akio reached the garage, he opened the trunk of his mother's car and forced his suit case inside. At this point, Mai had nearly given up. Her long raven hair would create a shadow over her eyes, hiding them from his view.
"You have a little while until you leave, don't you?" She whispered. Her voice cracked at a volume too difficult for Akio to hear.
"I have roughly two hours until my mom drives me to the train station. Maybe we can head to that breakfast place that we always go to. From there, I guess I'll see what I can do about visiting you guys every so often." With a slam of the trunk, Akio opened the garage door to let the both of them out. Mai had silently agreed to his plan, exiting from the door and making her way to the sidewalk, which would begin their course towards the breakfast café.
There was a long, awkward silence between the two. Through the entire way to the breakfast café, neither of them said a word to one another. Mai had all too much to say to her friend, while Akio had nothing he could say. They were slowly killing each other with the silence. In that moment, Mai wished so desperately for her courage to build up so that she may confess already. Just as she took the deciding breath, a rather loud intrusion walked in on their silence. Suddenly, Mai wanted the awkward quiet to return.
"You two are out alone when everyone's waiting at the station? What, are you two love birds skipping out for a little date?" An energetic male was quick to jump to conclusions. Though, his actions would earn him a swift kick to the stomach. The attacker would be none other than the annoyed girl, which caused Akio to give her a concerned and intimidated look.
"A-Akio… why don't you go on ahead and get us a spot in the café, okay?" Mai suggested, trying to make sure that he didn't witness her do anything in case she decided to hurt the interruption yet again. Akio nodded, leaving without any verbal reaction. Mai's eyes then focused back on the male who was kneeling down in pain. "Get up. That was one of my weaker kicks."
"W-Weaker kicks?" The boy spat out, trying to stand up with weak legs. Mai was quick to assist him, grabbing him by the collar and pulling him to his feet in a swift motion. "S-So… I'm guessing you two aren't dating yet. You wouldn't kick me if things went your way."
"I was just about to tell him when you came in and ruined it, Hayate!" She was scolding him now. She was getting pretty loud with her voice, but luckily, Akio was just out of hearing distance. Hayate sighed and bowed his head apologetically.
"I didn't know. I saw you two together when everyone is getting ready to leave, so it's just what I assumed." He turned his head, facing the direction in which Akio had walked off to. "Come on, let's go catch up to him."
By the time the trio of friends finished off their breakfast, Akio had informed Hayate of his current situation. When they were given the bill for the meal, Akio received a text message from his mother, informing him that she would be waiting for his return so they would be able to leave. Without a final attempt to stay, he placed the money needed to cover the bill and scooted out of the booth. There was no verbal sendoff. Instead, the group simply waved goodbye, and that was the end of it.
"Don't have such a long face. When we lived near grandpa back then, you always loved helping out! Sometimes, we had to pull you away from the restaurant since you wanted to be in their so long." Akio's mother tried to cheer her son up on their way to their destination.
"Mom, we lived there when I was seven. I was a little kid at that point. Anyone I knew at that point in time must have grown up and forgotten about me. I'll be lucky if Junko is even still there, and that girl hated my guts." Akio sunk in his seat, staring out of the window of the passenger side door. "This is going to be a long summer…"