“Let’s break up.” I hear him say and my whole being screamed at me to not let it happen. But I think over the possibilities of why; why he would want to break up and could only come to the conclusion that he didn’t love me anymore. I know I still loved him and maybe I would move on eventually, but I didn’t want to let go right now, it was too soon. I want him to be happy, so I did what I knew would kill me. “Okay.” I agreed; hoping that I kept my face as neutral as my tone. I watched his back as he moved toward the door and I reached out silently; mouthing don’t go while the tears faintly streaked down my face. He never looked back at me once.
“Ne, Nino-chan.” Aiba said as he sipped his hot chocolate; trying to keep himself warm since they just arrived at the café from outside where it was snowing lightly. “Hm?” I say absentmindedly. “I think you should give love a try again.” My ears perked up and I knew Aiba had noticed; being a very observant person even though he was interpreted as being an idiot sometimes. I sigh. “You know I’m not ready for that again, think of what happened last time.” “But that was a year ago!” He argued. “I know, but it’s a scar that’d never heal.” I said and I thought back to the warm kisses, promises, gentle hugs, and many things that warmed my soul; it still hurts but I’m not sure if it’s from the pain that never healed or that I still loved him somewhere deep inside of me. Aiba sighs and I feel bad for making him do that; since he was always so happy most of the time. “I know you’ve been together for 3 years and all, but it’s already been a year Nino. Maybe, what you need to move on is another person.” “I know.” I say but not really meaning it. We stay in the café until we finish our drinks and as we were about to leave, I accidently bumped into a person on my way out the door, he had gentle eyes and a warm smile. I apologized and walked out.
Aiba and I parted ways after the café, saying he needed to cook for his Sho-chan. Since the distance from my home to the café wasn’t far, I decided to walk. On my way I thought about what Aiba said. Get another person, huh… I don’t think I’d be able to. It still hurts and I’d never want to go through that pain again. I know it was only one break up like this, but it had hurt so much that I’m too scared to love again. I don’t want to be left alone again. Aiba has always been a good person, and I’m extremely grateful. I honestly think I wouldn’t be here if Aiba wasn’t there to help, even though Aiba had someone back at home waiting for him, he would always stay the night and drink with me or to always give me a shoulder to cry on when I needed one. I was always jealous of Aiba though, he had a loving boyfriend who treasured him and would fight the world to keep him safe.
I looked up into the sky and hoped the snow would numb some of my feelings. I stayed in the same position for probably a half hour with my eyes closed when I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I looked to the source of the tap and blinked rapidly to try and focus my eyes at the person in front of me. It was the guy I bumped into earlier. “Um yes?” I say. “Aren’t you cold?” He asks in a beautiful voice. I’m captivated and I feel like I’m being pulled into his eyes. I shiver and realize that I’m actually freezing; not knowing at all until he mentioned it. “Yes, yes I am actually. And who are you?” I say with a skeptical tone. “I’m Ohno Satoshi. Nice to meet you.” He sticks out his hand and gives me one of the most mesmerizing smiles ever. I take his hand and again I’m being pulled into his eyes. “Ninomiya Kazunari.” I hear myself say, but it sounded far away to my ears since I no longer felt I was cold or in pain or anything; just simply feeling peaceful.
I’m quickly snapped back to reality when he pulls his hand away. I’m confused as to what happened but quickly remembers the question that I was about to ask. “Why are you here?” “Oh, when we bumped into each other back there in the café, you dropped your cellphone.” He says while handing me my cell phone. “Oh.” I say, looking at it and taking it. “Thanks.” I say while stuffing it in my pocket. I turn to walk away when I suddenly felt a tug at my elbow. I gave a little yelp as I felt the warm contact. “Ahh, sorry. But do you want to have dinner or something sometime?” He says. I’m taken aback but otherwise agree; he seemed like a nice person and I felt peaceful being around him. We exchange numbers and part ways, on my way back; for the first time, I felt a fluffy light feeling inside of me.
Just as I arrived home, the phone in my pocket vibrated. I take it out and look at the ID, it read ‘Ohno Satoshi’. I open up the message “Just making sure you gave me the right number.” I laughed silently and replied “Of course I did, I’m not that skeptical of a person.” We exchanged light text messages for the rest of the day while I played my video games. I was feeling quite content by the time I got into bed. The last message from his was “Goodnight, Nino.” I smiled at the screen and realized it has been a very long time since someone has said a goodnight to me.
I woke up feeling refreshed the next morning. I checked the time and it was 12 in the afternoon. Getting out of bed and trudging throughout the house, I didn’t notice a new message on my phone. It wasn’t until a few hours later that I finally flipped the device open. The new message was from ‘Ohno Satoshi’ and it was sent at around 11. The message read “Let’s meet up today! I’m free. I’ll be waiting for you at the café we bumped into before at around 12. Let me know if you can’t come before then please!” It was well over 12 by now. It was now around 3, thinking that he surely still wouldn’t be there, I discarded the phone; not bothering replying and sat down in front of my TV with my video games.
I probably would’ve played my games for forever if I could, but my body just wouldn’t have it. With my stomach growling, I quickly got up to go to the fridge and looked for something quick to eat. Upon opening it, I realized there was nothing edible at all. I sighed and grabbed my wallet and keys and went out the house.
The convenience store was only a few minutes away and I bought a bento and some ramen for the future. Remembering the message from my phone, I walked the extra few minutes to the café. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but I sure wasn’t expecting for him to be sitting there. I gasped and looked at my watch, it was 8pm. Feeling incredibly bad, I walked in and sat across from him. He looked up with a sad expression and quickly changed it to one of surprise. “What are doing here?” He asked. “You asked me to come, remember?” I replied back. He nodded. “Yeah, I did but it’s late. I thought you weren’t coming.” Feeling no need to lie, I opted for telling him the truth. “I’m sorry, I checked my phone late after you sent the message and I didn’t reply after since I thought you probably already knew I wasn’t coming and would’ve left the café already.” “Would it have been better if I didn’t wait?” He said. I looked at him with a surprised expression and my heart skipped a beat at what I saw. He was looking at me intently with many emotions in his eyes; some I could decipher like hope, sadness, and gentleness but some I didn’t. I didn’t know how to reply, so I just stayed silent. “Nino, I want to get to know you more.” I really hoped he wasn’t meaning it like how I was taking it. I wasn’t ready to open back up and I really liked this guy, he would make a good friend; one I could keep for a long time, even if we only met yesterday. “Okay. I want to get to know you more too. Let’s be good friends.” I said and I knew he heard the extra emphasis I put on the word friends since he gave a little flinch. “Okay.” He said, sounding a bit dejected. We stayed there for the next couple of hours talking about nothing and everything.
Having Ohno Satoshi as a friend was really as good as I thought it would be, actually it was better. He was kind, gentle, caring, funny, and unique and everything a perfect friend should be. I found out that he liked fishing, and painting. Sometimes, I would hang out at his apartment watching him paint while I played my DS or he would come to my apartment and we’d play games, well really me and I would teach him most of the time. I hung out with him a lot more, so much that even Aiba got jealous. I didn’t really care since I knew he didn’t actually mean it, he looked happy that I found a new friend, but sometimes he would give me a certain look that I couldn’t understand. It was fine though, since he always never really made sense. By the time I had noticed how long we were actually together, it has been more than a few months. We were pretty much inseparable and everything really was going fine until tonight.
We were walking back to my apartment for a few drinks when he said what I dreaded most. “Nino, I really like you.” I froze and he turned around to look at me. “Oh-chan, I can’t.” I said quietly instead. “I already know what happened back then Nino, and I promise you it won’t end like that with me. Please, just give me a chance.” He looked hurt. I know Ohno would be perfect, and everything I could possibly wish for and more, but there was always something pulling me back; a voice telling me “You’ll get hurt again” and I really wished it wasn’t there, but I was too scared to try again. “Oh-chan, let’s just go to my apartment and have some drinks, like we planned, okay? I’ll forget what you said, and let’s just go on like normal, okay?” I look at him and touch his arm. “Okay Oh-chan?” I say again in a tiny voice. He looked at my hand holding onto his arm and then shook it off. “Nino, I’m sorry.” I could feel my heart break. “I really can’t do this anymore. You don’t know how much I love you and I can’t be around you anymore trying to hide it. I’m sorry.” He started walking in the other direction. “No wait!” I yell. He turns around and gave me one of the saddest smiles I’ve ever seen, it makes my chest constrict with pain. “Don’t, don’t leave me Oh-chan. I need you. I really do.” He turns back around and starts walking. “I need you.” I say again in a tinier voice, but he doesn’t turn around.
Being away from Ohno was even more difficult that I thought it would be. I didn’t know he was such a significant being in my life. I didn’t know he would be so important that I would feel such a huge void when he wasn’t there. The only way I was getting by everyday was telling myself that he would come back and everything would be normal again. I didn’t even know why I felt so hurt. We weren’t anything more than really good friends, and I honestly didn’t think of him more than that too. Wait, was that it? Did I have feelings for him?
“Nino, how are you actually doing?” Aiba asked while he was cleaning my living room. “I’m fine, I really am.” I say while trying to slay the monsters on my DS. “No, you really aren’t. You look like shit, Nino.” He says while stealing the DS away from my hands. I yell a “hey” but don’t make a move to get it back. He shuts the screen and stares at me with his deep brown eyes. “You know, the only time I’ve seen you like this was when—” I cut him off. “No, don’t say it.” I say with a frigid tone. He sighs and sits next to me on the couch. “Nino, you obviously have feelings for him.” I look down at my lap and stare at nothing. “No, I don’t.” I say; even to my ears it sounded unconvincing. “Why don’t you just try, I’m telling you, he’s going to be different.” This time, it was my turn to sigh. “But what if he isn’t different?” I look back up at him, staring at him so intently like he had all the answers in the world. “Then we’ll just have to beat him up ‘till you’re satisfied.” He gave a smile and opened his arms and I couldn’t help but smile back. “You’re not alone, I’m here.” I smile even wider and jump into his embrace. “You know, you get on my nerves so much.” I say to his neck. He giggles and I can feel the little shakes. “Yeah, but you love me.” I give a little smack to his head. I do, I really do. I hold on just a little more tightly.
I stare at Ohno’s apartment complex from the corner where I’m standing at. While trying to work up the courage to go inside, he comes out. Just as I was about to step out to confront him, he walked toward a guy that was tall, had strong facial features, and was very very good-looking. I must’ve not noticed him while I was fighting a mental war with myself about going in or leaving. Looking at the two hug and walk away made my heart shudder and my insides boil. I noticed a wet droplet fall down on my arm and I look up. It was raining lightly, like the sky was crying for me. I really should’ve realized how much I actually liked him, before he walked away with someone else. I’m too late.
By the time I come back to my senses, it was dark and I was drenched by the heavy falling rain. I was still near Ohno’s apartment complex but this time sitting with my back against the wall. My eyes stung from the unshed tears and I felt weak. I get up and feel myself sway; the reason being, not eating and sitting in the rain for hours. I walk a few more steps when I felt my step falter and I was falling. I closed my eyes waiting for the pain as I hit the ground, but it didn’t come. Instead it was warm and felt ‘oh so wonderful’. I closed my eyes and let myself go.
I stir awake to the sound of pans and pots falling to the floor. I open my eyes and I’m met with the dark. I get up and quickly take in the surroundings; it wasn’t my home, but Oh-chan’s. I weigh my options of trying to make it out of there unnoticed or confronting Ohno; like I should be doing, but I knew that the first option was highly unlikely since I knew the kitchen was where Ohno would be and I had to pass it before I reached the door. I sigh instead and get up walking towards the kitchen.
I was standing there for a few good minutes before he turned around and noticed me. Shit, I actually could’ve probably made it out unnoticed. “Oh, you’re awake.” He says with unreadable eyes. “Yeah, how long was I out?” I say while trying to keep this conversation as less awkward as possible. “Um—” He looks at the clock. “For about 2 hours.” I nod. “So, why were you out there for so long?” I give a little jolt; shocked and I quickly say to him. “You knew I was out there?” He gives me a weird look and says, “Well, I’m assuming since I had to change your clothes; you were drenched and that you fainted. That stuff doesn’t happen if you weren’t out there unless for a long time.” I mentally sigh and felt relieved. “Oh.” But then it clicked into my mind what he said. “Wait… you changed me?” I say while looking down and only now noticing that I was wearing a baggy t-shirt and someone else’s boxers. “Yeah… sorry. I couldn’t leave you all wet or you’d get a cold.” He says while looking anywhere else but me. I noticed the red tinge to his cheeks and I felt myself blush. “Thanks.” I mumble. “You still didn’t answer my question.” He says while staring at the kitchen counter. Damn, and I thought I side-tracked him well enough. “I was walking by?” I said hoping he would get the hint. But of course he never and looked at me so intently that I had to look away from his strong gaze.
“Nino, I’m not an idiot. What were you actually doing out there?” He clicks off the stove and moves closer until he’s standing directly in front of me. I tsk loudly and look at him. “Idiot, idiot, idiot! Shouldn’t you take the hint that I don’t want to say anything! I like you, okay? I REALLY REALLY REALLY like you.” I look down at my feet trying to hide my blush and mentally scolding myself for saying to many “really’s”. He giggles and I look up. “Nino’s so cute.” Before I had a chance to reply, his lips covered mine. I practically melted into him. When we pulled away to catch some air, I remembered why I was even in the rain earlier for so long. “Wait, this is wrong.” I push him about an arm’s length away; still holding him in place. “Huh?” He looked a bit dazed and ‘oh so cute’ that I wanted to ravish him.
“The guy with strong facial features.” I say; trying to keep the seething jealousy out of my voice. I watched him and he sported a confused expression but then I could almost picture a light bulb on top of his head as the person I mentioned dawned on him. “Oh! Do you mean Jun-chan?” I gave a nod, not really knowing if that was his name or not. “Silly. He’s just a childhood friend.” He says at the same time while pulling me into him by my arms. I melt into his embrace. “Next time, just ask me instead of staying in the rain and making yourself get so weak, okay?” He says into my hair. “Well, if you haven’t noticed, we kind of weren’t talking for a few weeks.” I say into his shoulder. “What does this mean though?” His voice barely above a whisper. I break our embrace and look at him in the eye. I want to give love another try, and this time, I want it with you. Deciding that, that was too cheesy, I settled for something easier. “I’m sorry for not realizing it sooner that I needed you more than I thought I would and that I’m absolutely head over heels for you. So yes, if you’re willing to give me another chance, I’m willing to take it.” Dammit, still a bit cheesy. I smile. He gives me one of those breathtaking, knees turn to jelly, and head gets dizzy kind of a smile. We end the distance between us with another kiss; sweet and gentle; yet enough to make me crazily happy.