My Almost Last Summer (A Love Story)
I don't know why i told myself something like that. "Today is you're last and final day." maybe it's because i'm always hoping that i won't wake up in the morning. Though somehow the sound of my mother's voice always pierces through whatever peace i am usually at. "Honestly.. You're still in bed. It's so dark in here. You're not going to sleep your whole break away this time."
I was use to hearing this scolding by now, my health hadn't improved since moving here. And my mom always wanted for me to be in a more open field space where i could get lots of Oxygen. Just the very thought of something so stupid made me snort sarcastically, though i cleared my throat after seeing the distress on my mother's face. in reality what i really needed was time by myself, i didn't mind having the open fields and warm air. "Get dressed, now Ume."
I sighed sitting up in my bed, i had to do more than get dressed today. I had to finish packing, since last night my mother announced that we would be taking a trip to see my older (not-really brother) but cousin Kenji Koiso. The last time i really got a chance to see my cousin, was on the news. As a criminal. I always knew that his perverted ways would catch up to him in crime. However that wasn't really what happened, he and tons of other people around the world were framed for some sort of A.I hacking in Oz. It was Kenji's friend Takashi that told me about what was really happening with the system. He mostly kept me updated with what was going on, all the mistakes and tragic. Since every time i tried to ask what was going on people shut me down, mainly my parents. The incident was so bizarre that it all just seems like one big dream now.
I rest my case, "There we go. Much better dear." I sat down at the table across from my father, as usual he was reading the newspaper while quietly sipping on a mug of coffee. "No work today i see." I eyed him curiously, "Actually no. Not today, i called off since we are getting ready to take a trip to see your cousin." He neatly re-folded the paper and leaned his chin into the palm of his hand. "Mmm.. Right. So- Where are we going to see Kenji again?"
"For heavens sake child. I told you and everyone else where we going last night at the dinner party."
My mother's words struck me with a alarming flashback from last night's dinner party. Though, all i really did do was eat up all the small sandwiches my grandmother brought over while watching an episode of my favorite show Pamyu Pamyu. It was the last episode for the first season and the dramatic happy-sad ending where Nami Tamaki finally made her debut as a singer and was reunited with her long-lost childhood friend Rin was just so epic! It was the kiss and Nami's ending song Realize was what had me in tears. And it also had the eyes of all my fellow relatives eyeing me like i was off my rocker. So to be honest i didn't really hear what she said at all.
"Goodness, Ume. We're going to Ueda. Now, when you are finished your food go and finish packing, understood?" I don't know why she was consisting on us going to see Ken ken. "It's not like he really calls us anymore. He has Natsuki now.. He doesn't need me- I mean us! Coming to.. Bother him."
On that last note my mother and father both looked at each other with confused facial expressions, that left me a little too flushed. It wasn't really a secret. Ok it actually was. I use to have a huge crush on my big cousin when i was younger. But that wasn't really my fault, his dopey clumsy ways were somewhat attractive to me. I use to drool over the picture me and him took on the swing set when i was five years old. His arms wrapped around my waist ever so tightly so I wouldn't fall off, his chin leaned onto my head. And the softest smile plastered across his mouth.
At the time i wouldn't really think much of it, but i'm thirteen now. And the more i think about it. The more I want him to do it again. I miss when we used to play together, or just have a sibling-like bonding time whenever he came over. I was always the odd one out of my family always the frail one. People treated me differently because of it. Because of my illness. But Kenji didn't, he treated me normally. Like an actual human being. My big cousin. He's certainly the best.
"Ume..." I heard my dad call my name in his Fatherly voice. He only did that when the conversation was serious. "You know mama and papa only want you to get better right?" And there it was. The oh-so famous topic that was never suppose to be brought up. I couldn't help the way my pupils dilated and my eyes widened at the sudden change, it was unexpected and i could have sworn i heard my mother mutter something incoherent under her breathe. They wanted me to get better? That's where this breakfast was going to? I wanted to yell at them both. Scream at them. Tell them that i hated them. But i couldn't. And i wouldn't.
Not yet at least. Because as much as i hated them, i knew that it was them taking care of me not the other way around. All i could really do was leave and hibernate in my bedroom. "Excuse me.." I said as low as i could, suddenly not feeling the happy brighter day anymore, pushing myself away from the table i hurried out of the kitchen before the tears came pouring from my eyes. They hated me. They hated having an ill child that was so weak and so easy to break. And now suddenly i just couldn't wait to get to Ueda.
This was it.. Tomorrow.. I'd be heading to Ueda to see big cousin. I lingered over to where my packed suitcases were, a small grin creeping onto my face as i stared at the Vintage floral patterns. I always was into that Victorian-Era stuff. Even my style in a way was old-fashion my causal style that was. But even than when i would try to be myself in the clothes i wore mother would simply find a way to drag me down or force me out of it. "Mama sure is meaner.." Huffed sighs escaped my mouth. What was i even still doing up? We had to be up and at em' tomorrow morning catching that first train. I couldn't sleep. We would be seeing Kenji in less than a couple of hours. and it was already like 2 in the morning. "Stupid Ume! Argh!" This never got easier. This.. This.. Life. More importantly i shouldn't be yelling so loudly late in the morning. But my head was pounding and i was going insane, some reason i felt suffocated and that made me more light-headed than anything being in this house. At least a change of scenery in a more open area would await this teen later on.
I crashed hard into the softness of my blankets and sheets. My head nuzzling my pillow, this was my home. My safe comfort, safe haven, my room. And on the front of my door there was a sign that read DO NOT ENTER- that should get my point across more sweetly than just coming out of my mouth and saying it? "Heehee-" I could be so random when i was half awake.
Though i knew exactly what i needed.. "You are my sweetest downfall-" I opened my mouth and huffed out lyrics to a song i was currently writing. Whenever troubled times came i remembered mama would always start singing to me. Or she would sit me down next to her while she played the piano. She's really earning my affection tonight, if i'm calling her "Mama" now. "I loved you first. I loved you first. Samson came to my bed, told me that my hair was red. He told me i was beautiful. He- came into my bed." The words need i said endlessly started to flow passed my lips without effort really. It was no secret that talent ran in our family, and i grew up with music so it was definitely one of my strong points. The lyrics i had token hours to think of and write down in my Kawaii Pamyu Pamyu notebook flowed through my room in a beautiful rhythmatic andante pace. And i kept singing myself to sleep.
"kissed me 'til the mornin' light, the mornin' light. And he kissed me 'til the mornin' light.. Samson went back to bed. Not much hair left on his head. Ate a slice of wonderbread and went right back to bed. Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down. Yeah we couldn't destroy a single one. And history books forgot about us- And the bible didn't mention us, not even once. You are my sweetest downfall. I loved you first.."
Bright and early. That was the deal, and just as the sun decided it wanted to rise i had finally actually started to get some sleep. At least until i heard my mother's voice break through my dream, "Get the hell up Ume! We all over-slept!" Sigh.. Sigh.. The torture the agony of mothers and their booming morning voices when their late for something and they try to pin it on their children. I ignored her and her request until another alarming order came from my doorway.
"Ume! You can sleep on the train! Now come on girl, get up and throw something on dear." I looked up and to my shock it wasn't my mother's voice that woken me up for the second time this morning instead it was.. "Sachi-mama!" For her, I hopped right up out of bed ignoring my mother's distaste and scrunched up face expression. She hated the name i gave my god mother. Ok well aunt. Ok well. Sachi-mama. That's what i call her at least. She's related to us but, she's not. It's so complicated. "What are you doing here?" I whispered into her ear through the bear hug she gave me, A smile sprawled across her purple painted lips. "Me and the kids are joining you guys in Ueda." "Huh?!" That was definitely startling news, but i was happy. Sachiko was going to be joining us on her travels! And so were her kids.. Her kids.. "Where are Moka and Yuujiro?" I looked up at mu aunt who had beckoned to the moving shadows in the hallway, they were helping with the bags. Oh that made sense. I smiled and started undressing, it was already late and well- mama was panicking as it is all they needed now was for me to get my ass up and get dress. No problem. I looked to right and saw my favorite old blue sundress, perfect occasion for this trip. I quickly grabbed it and threw it on over me, lucky me no shower was needed and i didn't have boobs that needed to be supported with wire and cups. All i had to do was slip on my sandals and brush my hair.
"Come now everybody." my mother hurried everyone out the door, and as usually i was the last one out but i didn't lack behind. "Thank you again for deciding to come Sachiko." I heard my mother thank Sachi-mama, i was just about to say something went (Tap) I felt a hand touch my back, i turned to see the devil herself, Moka. She smiled all wide at me. I wasn't buying it for a minute, "Good to see you again Ume. It's been a while. You never call or-" "I'm gonna go head and stop you right there Momo." I pressed my hand to my mouth, sighing softly. This trip was gonna be long and painful I just knew. The only good thing about this was that i would be seeing my cousin. "Ok everyone gather into the vehicles and let's hurry before we miss our train." Mama rushed everyone into the cars, typically mama. I thought this ride was gonna be long and painful if Moka was going to be riding with me and mama, instead i got her ravenette silent brother Yuujiro. It was better him than her, but Yuu didn't like speaking to me much. I never understood why. I always tried to include him in but he pushed himself away from me. "Say mama. I remember papa saying aunty was going to meet us at the station?" "Yes. She'll be house sitting. Plus she's got permission to use the car while we're away." I nodded to this, and sat back without another word. Mama needed to concentrate on the road, and i'd hate to bug her while she was driving. Instead i relaxed myself and plugged up my ears, they would wake me when we arrived. i hoped. I had plenty of time to finish dreaming to one of my favorite songs. Yuka. Neon Girl.
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