My eyes finally open.
“Yuki, can you hear me?” her eyes red from crying.
“Mom,” I struggle unsure if I had said the word right.
“Yes, it’s Mom,” she takes my hand.
Where’s Satoshi?
I look around the room. He was crying in the corner.
“Satoshi!” Mom calls, “Yuki wants you.”
His body jumps, a hiccup, he wipes his eyes.
“Yuki, I’m sorry,” he cries.
“Not…your fault,” I struggle on the words.
Was those the right words?
A wail comes from him.
“Satoshi, go wait in the hall,” Mom directs.
He listens.
Wait, I don’t want you to go.
Mom stays quiet as he leaves.
“Mom?” I ask.
“Satoshi isn’t your brother.”
What? Yes he is. He’s my older brother.
“Satoshi is my friend’s son.”
Why tell me this now?
“He knows.”
“He suppose to watch over you, but he does.”
Yes he does.
“You could have died today.”
But I didn’t. Mom, stop it.
“If you did...what would I do?” she chokes on a cry.
“Mom,” I say slowly.
“I just don’t want you to die!” she embraces me in a hug.
“I’m okay, I promise,” I say.
“Ma’am,” a Doctor walks in.
She lets me go.
“If you want you can take her home, everything is fine.”
“Did you hear that, Yuki? You can come home.”
Was I here that long?
She helps me out of the bed.
Satoshi stood against the wall, of the hall.
He looks up then back down. He walks out with us, silent.
Why so quiet? I look at him.
The car ride is so quiet.

The sun light intrudes my eyes. Morning, already? I open my eyes; looking up at the ceiling. What did I dream about?
I roll over to my side. What was it? A yawn escapes from me and my eyes scan my night stand.
My clock, what time is it?
Seven forty-three, still early.
Footsteps outside my door grab my attention.
“She’s not going to be up yet,” a whisper breaks the silence.
“How do you know?” another voice whispers.
Ichigo and Ringo. I sigh, pulling my body out of bed.
“I’m up,” I say to the door.
The handle turns, opening. The first face I see, Ringo. Her hair tied in a loose ponytail.
Ichigo, her hair flared out.
“Morning,” Ichigo waves.
“Same to you,” I scratch my head. I didn’t want to be up.
“Want to hit the town?” Ringo asks sitting herself on my bed.
“Well,” I start.
“You wanted to show Leon around,” Ichigo finishes.
I look up at her. How did she know?
“Please, Yuki,” Ichigo places her hands on her hips, “it’s written all over your face.”
My hands move to my face.
“I meant I noticed yesterday.”
“I did too,” Ringo pats my leg.
“Fine,” I given in, “I wanted to show him around…”
They smile.
“So cute!” Ringo hugs me.
“It’s fine, take him too all the nice places,” Ichigo says.
“Oh!” Ringo drags me to my mirror. “Can I do your hair?”
“I want to pick your outfit,” Ichigo says already in my luggage.
“Guys,” I say half-heartily. “You don’t have too.”
“We want to,” Ichigo grabs out a laced dress.
“Yeah, like the old times,” Ringo says getting her hair ties and clips out of a bag.
I smile. They didn’t really change at all.
“There!” Ringo declares proudly once she finishes my hair.
I look at the mirror.
Ichigo peers at the mirror.
“I think it’s cute.”
My hair; big curls tied back in pig-tails. My appearance is almost doll like.
“Wow,” I say touching my face, “you guys really know how to change a person.”
“I’ll take it as a good thing,” Ichigo smiles, “Leon is going to be really impressed.”
“Huh?” I turn away from the mirror and look at Ichigo. “What do you mean?”
“She means you’re cute,” Ringo says. Her fingers reach to my bangs to fix them, again.
I smile. I am really thankful for them, but it wasn’t like that with Leon. He is just a friend. But they wouldn’t understand it.
“Thanks.” I smile at them I am really thankful to them. I get up and make my way to the door. “Really, thanks.”
They nod.
“When we get back, let’s go out. Just the three of us,” I say as I walk out.
My feet take me down the hall. Pictures of my past, brings back memories; both sad and happy.
My eyes glazes over them, watching me grow with every passing picture. From a little child to a pre-teen, a pre-teen to a teenager. Each one different. Different people.
A small smile spreads on my face. I don’t know if it is sad or happy, but it is a smile.
I realize that I have been standing looking at the pictures for a short while. I hope Leon isn’t still sleeping.
I look at the door at the end of the hall. His door. The door that separates him and me.
I place my hand on the surface. Should I know and see if he is awake? Or maybe wait until he gets up himself? I start to form a fist to knock on the door.
“Yuki?” Leon’s tired voice asks from beyond the door.
How did he know it was me?
“Yes?” I squeak.
The door opens. Ridding the space that separated us.
“Hi,” his hoarse voice told me he just woke up. His hand runs through his untidy hair, as he leans on the door.
“Hello,” I say. My eyes watch him as he breathes. What is running through his mind?
He stares at me.
“You look weird.”
I blush. “Good or bad?”
“Does it matter?”
Of course it matters.
I shrug, not wanting him to know I care.
“Not really,” I say.
Silence takes over. I try to look away, but his eyes lock into mine making it impossible.
“What are you doing here?” he breaks the silence.
“Don’t tell me you forgot,” I frown. Not waiting for an answer I continue, “We are going to today.”
“Oh, yeah.”
“You really did forget, didn’t you?” I ask, a bit annoyed by this.
“No,” he says, “Just chose not to remember.”
“Same thing,” I laugh.
“No, two different thing actually,” he smiles. “Let me get ready.”
I nod.
The door closes, bringing the space back.