Revelations: I'm WHAT?!
“Did you know,” Eriol waltzed into my apartment unannounced after school. “-that we are related?”
I watched my cell phone, waiting for a phone call. “Don’t be stupid,” I scoffed. “That sounds like something only kids would say whenever they wish their best friend was their sibling instead.”
Eriol grinned and busied himself in my kitchen. “I called Daidouji over. We need to talk about our Morality project.”
Groaning, I switched my glare from my phone to my best friend. “I’m not going to do it,” I said fiercely. “I won’t do it.”
“Don’t be selfish,” Eriol said mildly. “Daidouji’s and my grade depends on your participation, voluntary or not. I’m not above using blackmail, you know.”
I scowled. That’s not fair and Eriol knows it.
Eriol left the kettle boiling to open the door for Daidouji. She greeted both of us and held up a tin of English biscuits and a box of Ceylon tea.
“I apologize for not bringing something more appropriate but Hiiragizawa-kun caught me on my way home and this was all I had time to grab from the kitchen. I’ll bring cake next time.” She gave us an apologetic look.
Eriol reassured her that the biscuits and tea were more than enough and ushered her into the living room. I continued to watch my phone.
“Say, Daidouji-san, Japan is a small country. Would it surprise you if you were related to one of your close friends?”
She brewed the tea and leaned back into the sofa cushions. “I suppose not,” she replied. “Most Japanese families tend to stay rooted to one area. For example, my mother’s family has been in the Tomoeda region since the shogunate.”
“A prime example,” Eriol replied, taking a biscuit from the plate. “Oh, these are my favorite kind too.” He chewed on his food a little longer, something I knew he only did when he wanted to irritate me by holding out on information.
“Now,” Eriol thanked her for the tea. “Let’s say you have two people from two countries across the sea and somehow, from a single relative relocating to Europe, you end up related to your close friend, what are the odds of that?”
Daidouji looked thoughtful. “That is highly unusual but not unlikely if the European country in question was a major trade partner to both countries.”
“See, the funniest thing happened earlier when I went home. My mother had just gotten the results of our family’s genealogy back and it turns out that through my mother’s side, I am distantly related to my best friend. Isn’t that funny? To think my entire life, I thought I was pure Nihonjin but it seems like I’ve got some diluted Chinese blood.” Eriol sighed and turned his head. “Do you see it, Daidouji-san? I think it’s in that pesky nosebridge I used to abhor or the shape of my eyes, which I always thought were just a little too almond-shaped for a Japanese man.”
“Oh yes, I think I do. There is no denying that you are part Chinese,” Daidouji’s voice was grave. “In fact, you look a little bit like Li-kun when you—tilt your head a little to left towards the window—just like that! When the sunlight catches your features just at the right angle. The family resemblance is remarkable.”
That caught my attention. I could see the mirth in Daidouji’s amethyst eyes, her pale hand covering her mouth as she tried to contain her giggles at the sight of Eriol’s ridiculous impression of me glaring at the wall clock.
“You’re so full of shit,” I deadpanned.
Eriol gasped and put a hand over his heart. “I’m wounded you think so little of me, best friend. After all, everything I told Daidouji-san is true.”
Sneering, I snatched a biscuit from the plate. “There’s no way I’m related to a blue-eyed asshole like you. Li men are nothing but sincere. Half the smiles you give to people are convincing fakes.”
“Want to bet?” Eriol challenged. “Next time you come over, my mom is going to greet you like a member of the family.”
“She already does that.”
“But she’s going to show you the genealogy,” Eriol said with a smug smile. “And she’ll gush about how we were destined to be friends by the Gods themselves.”
“You’re on,” I said. I couldn’t help myself from looking at the clock one more time before taking a sip of my ignored tea.
“Are you waiting for someone in particular?” Daidouji asked. “We can leave if you need us to and talk about our project tomorrow.
I nodded, half-listening to what she had to say.
Eriol elbowed me in the side. “This is your cue to tell us who you’re waiting for, idiot relative.”
“Can you not call me that?” I groaned. “I’m waiting for Meiling. She was supposed to meet me here right after school to get her keys from the landlady.”
Eriol looked at the clock. "Shouldn't she have been here by now? It's five-thirty."
I growled and threw an eraser taken off the counter at the clock. "Where the hell is she? She's an entire hour late!"
We heard a truck pull up to the building outside. There was no helping it. Meiling would have to get her keys from the manager while we stalled the movers.
“Make yourself useful, cousin,” I emphasized the last word with a sneer as I put on my shoes. “Start moving boxes.”
“My hands are too delicate for such unseemly tasks,” Eriol complained even as he put on his shoes. “Would you dare to ruin my budding career as a professional pianist?”
Daidouji giggled, following us out the door. “Who was the one who tackled Yamato-kun during soccer practice the other day?”
Wisely, Eriol kept his mouth shut.
I dashed down the street to the apartment building I was supposed to be living in next door to my cousin. I saw him outside with a boy and a girl around my age. I ran up to the movers and quickly gave them directions before I talked to my cousin.
"Hey, Syaoran. Long time, no see." I greeted him with a hug. He let go of me and gestured to the other two standing nearby.
"Meiling, I would like to introduce to you Daidouji Tomoyo and Hiiragizawa Eriol, two good friends of mine."
"Nice to meet you, Meiling.” Hiiragizawa had a kind smile but possessed a mischievous glint in his sapphire eyes. I think I'll like this one.
"You guys go to Seijuu Prep, right?" I asked.
"Yes," the girl, Daidouji, replied, beaming at me.
"Do you know Kinomoto Sakura?" I asked, excited that someone knew my best friend. An uneasy silence greeted me as the trio looked uncomfortably at each other before Eriol replied,
"Are you friends?" I pressed them.
"No, she has no friends. She's the kaijuu," Syaoran replied bluntly. Toya’s old nickname being used as a derogatory slur shocked me.
"Given her reputation, it is a little difficult to wrap my head around the idea that the two of you were best friends,” Hiiragizawa admitted. “Kinomoto-san is not the most approachable of people with her no-nonsense attitude and her unnerving observatory skills.”
"Especially since you're so nice!" Daidouji exclaimed. “I was a little scared to meet you, to be honest.”
"Sakura isn’t like that." I murmured. My head spun. What was going on?
"What do you mean?" Syaoran and Hiiragizawa asked, surprised.
"Sakura had friends before. Their names were Yanagisawa Naoko, Mihara Chiharu, Sasaki Rika, and Amai Jade. But that was back in second grade." I explained. “Are they not still in Tomoeda?”
Syaoran and Hiiragizawa shared another look. Daidouji gasped.
"But they’re… those are the names of my friends,” Daidouji said, utterly shocked at the news. “I knew they were friends for a long time before I transferred into Tomoeda Elementary but they’ve never mentioned Kinomoto-chan before.”
"That explains why she never mentions them," I quietly replied, my chest growing tight. Why didn't Sakura tell me? In the last seven years we emailed back and forth, she never said anything. How much as she been keeping from me?
Kinomoto Sakura was alone. I don’t know when that happened or why it happened, but I made up my mind, right then and there, that I would change that status.
Even if I risked every thing.