Chapter 3:

Chapter 3: Brought Together by Cereal

The mystery of Kaiya Akasuki

I tugged on the strings of my hoodie making sure that it completely covered my face and with a deep breath I walked out of the house. I kept my head bowed low all the way to my mom's car and quickly hopped in. Bookmark here

"Are you ready to go honey?" Mom asked.Bookmark here

"Yeah." I called out from the backseat. Bookmark here

I pressed my face against the window, watching the buildings and people fly by as we drove. I wished I could lower the window and feel the breeze on my face but that would be pushing it. I settled for looking outside through the tinted glass. Bookmark here

Upon getting to our destination I didn't have to go through the same charade I did earlier, instead I simply walked out of the car with my hood down. Everyone here already knew who I was so. There was no point in trying to hide it. Bookmark here

My mom walked us over to the waiting room, where she instructed me to sit on one of the chairs. I obeyed and sat down at the furthest chair away from people. I ran my eyes over the number of people there which was not much just a couple and a boy around my age with a tattoo on his biscep and a magazine over his face. Bookmark here

"Kaiya, you're up." Bookmark here

I got up at the sound of my name and I walked over to the counter, signing in before making my way to the mahogany door on the other side. I glanced over at the boy from earlier, eyes widening in suprise at the sight of his face, the magazine now in his hands. He watched me with a frown on his face and I immediately looked away in fear before rushing through the door. Bookmark here

Immediately after shutting the door behind me I sighed in relief. Taking off my hoodie, I hanged it on the rack before making my way to the two sitter couch in the center of the room. Bookmark here

"Hello Kaiya, it's been a while. How are you?" Ezume-san's soothing voice came from a chair across the couch. Bookmark here

I smiled back, greeting her before settling down on the couch. Bookmark here

"So I heard that you are finally heading back to school. How does that feel? Are you excited?" She asked, eyes twinkling in excitement. Although she was very much older me, talking to Ezume-san sometimes made me feel like I was talking to a fellow teenager. I loved how friendly and approachable she was, it made opening up to her as my therapist a whole lot easier. Bookmark here

"More like scared. I'm terrified but I still want to do this. I feel like I need to do this, you know?"Bookmark here

She nodded. "You don't have to if you feel like you aren't ready but I think you are. So has anything happened to you recently? Anything out of the ordinary." She cleared her throat, eyes trained on me. Bookmark here

Takashi face immediately flashed in my mind and my cheeks instantly heated up. I tried to hide behind my hair but it was too late because she had already seen it and was now grinning from ear to ear. Bookmark here

"Tell me."Bookmark here

I sighed, turning my eyes down to the carpet as I spoke. "Misumi invited some group over after school and I happened to run into one of them."Bookmark here

"Oh, so what's his name?" Bookmark here

I flushed immediately sitting up and going on the defensive. "What makes you think it's a guy? It might be a girl for all you know." Bookmark here

She shot me a dry look. "I've been your therapist for two years now, I've listened to you rant about which dark haired anime boy you think looks better. I think I know which gender you prefer." Bookmark here

I rolled my eyes before settling back into the couch. "Takashi. His name's Takashi. Well technically, I didn't meet him we just happened to cross paths and stare at each other." My eyes darted around the room as I spoke. Bookmark here

"That's good. Why don't you try talking to him the next time you see him. Who knows you might just make good friends."Bookmark here

I nodded. Bookmark here

From there on we went on to talk about different things, with me mostly doing the talking and her listening. Bookmark here

When I was done I bade her goodbye and walked out of the office. My mom was seated in the waiting room and got up immediately she saw me and we both walked out of the building. Bookmark here

It was a quiet drive on the way home as it always was. My mom had never asked me about any of my therapy sessions, neither have I bothered to tell her about it. Bookmark here

Her phone rang and she picked it up. After a few minutes of dialogue she cut the call and said to me, "honey, I'm so sorry but we're going to have to make a detour to the grocery store first."Bookmark here

I panicked. "What? Why?" Bookmark here

"Your dad just called now and reminded me that we're running low. I'm really sorry, if he had told me sooner I would have gone during your session. I can drop you off at home and come back?" Bookmark here

I sighed. "No, it's fine, we can go." Bookmark here

It was not fine, not fine at all. My heart raced all the way to the mall, my eyes darting around, fingers intertwined with each other, I tried to do everything I could to try and calm down but nothing worked. Bookmark here

Although I had been preparing myself to go somewhere other than to see my therapist but school was still months away and this was too soon. I was not ready for this yet. Bookmark here

"Aren't you getting down?" My Mom knocked on the window. Then did I realize that we were already at the store. I could just ask to stay in the car but knowing my mom, that was a definite no.Bookmark here

I pulled my hood over my head and stiffed my phone inside my pocket before making my way out of the car. The walk from the parking lot to the door felt so short and I still wasn't ready yet. My palms felt sweaty, stuffed inside my hoodie pocket while my heart pounded furiously against my rib cage.Bookmark here

Sweat piled up on my forehead as I followed closely behind my mom as she pulled out a cart and started pushing it through the aisles. I tried to stay as hidden as possible behind her and that plan was going smoothly until, "Kaiya, could you go get a pack of kellogg's from the cereal aisle," My mom said.Bookmark here

I looked at her incredulously, disappointed when I saw that her attention wasn't even on me but on which brand of tampons she should choose like she didn't know what she was asking of me.Bookmark here

"Be back soon." I grumbled. Bookmark here

"If you don't see me here then just wait for me at the counter." She yelled after me. Bookmark here

I kept my head low, dodging people left and right, hands still stuffed in my pockets like a shoplifter, as I searched for the cereal aisle. It wasn't very hard to find. Bookmark here

I rose my head up for a second, quickly scanning the aisles for the type of Kellogg's I wanted and I found it, brown rice flakes. I gladly reached for the last box, holding it in my hands and getting ready to head back to my mom when a little boy came to stand beside me. Bookmark here

I froze in fear, hugging my cereal against my chest. My heart continued to race and heavy breaths pushed through my nostrils on after another. My chest ached I wanted nothing more than to run back to my mom's car and curl up into a ball. I snuck a glance at the kid, relieved to see that his attention was completely on the cereals. I let out a sigh of relief that soon got stuck in my throat as another figure came to stand by me. Bookmark here

"Have you found what you're looking for?" A deep voice came from the figure. Bookmark here

I nearly let out a whimper. I closed my eyes, praying that this person would leave soon.Bookmark here

"It's not here nee nee." The voice came from the kid on the other side. In a moment of confusion, I snuck a glance at him only to see him teary eyed with a sad look. Bookmark here

"I'm sorry Sho but you're going to have to go for another one." The other replied. He left my side to go squat beside the kid. Bookmark here

Relief engulfed me for a second but that was later overcomed by an intense desire to leave. I took a step back and another, ready to make a retreat.Bookmark here

"No. I don't want another one. I want Brown Rice Flakes." The boy yelled before bursting out into full on tears. Bookmark here

I stopped in my track. I wanted to go, I wanted to take this opportunity and escape so bad. I wanted nothing more than to be back at home in the safety and solitude of my room. But I couldn't leave a poor child crying just because I wanted to avoid human interaction. Bookmark here

He's just a child Kai, a small, innocent little child. There's nothing to be afraid of in a child. Children aren't scary. Bookmark here

I took a deep breath before turning around and walking back to the little boy and his guardian. I pulled my hood down as I got on my knees beside the boy, Cheerios in hand like a peace offering. Bookmark here

"You can have mine if you want." I looked down to the ground as I held the box in front of me.Bookmark here

"Wait, no. We can't inconvenience you like that we'll..." The older boy defended. Bookmark here

"No, it's fine. I can get another one." Bookmark here

"Are you sure." He asked again, confusion laced his voice.Bookmark here

I nodded in reply. Bookmark here

The little boy reached out and took the box from my hand. "Thank you." Bookmark here

It took all the left over courage in my body to meet the little boys eyes and upon seeing the bright smile on his face I immediately decided that it was all worth it. Bookmark here

"Thank you so much, sorry for any inconvenience." The older boy called out. Bookmark here

I got up from my knees and dusted off my jeans. "No, it's totally fine." A proud smile grew on my face and a feeling of accomplishment bloomed in my chest. I felt drunk on this feeling and in that moment, I looked up and met eyes with the older boy. Bookmark here

Oh my God. Bookmark here

I stumbled back in suprise and in a moment of fear I turned around and dashed out of the mall. Bookmark here

A few minutes later I was crouched behind my mom's car as my mind raced to keep up with what just happened but couldn't because I was still overcomed with fear. Bookmark here

A few moments later my mom arrived and saw me crouched behind her car. "There you are. What are you doing all the way out here and what happened to the cereal I asked you to get."Bookmark here

"I wanted to get it but..."Bookmark here

"It's fine, just get in the car." I silently got in. "I didn't expect you to get it anyways." She said as we pulled out of the mall and onto the road. Bookmark here

"I'm really sorry Mom." A wave of disappointed washed over me. Bookmark here

The rest of the drive home was filled with silence, the only sound being the classical music playing from the radio. All the way home, the only thing I could think about was the color blue. His eyes were blue, the most vibrant and beautiful shade of blue I had ever seen. And I ran away from him. Bookmark here

Ugh, I am such an idiot. I groaned, running my hand over my face playing our meeting over and over again in my head and cringing every time. Bookmark here

I sighed, pressing my face against the glass and looking outside. I couldn't ignore that I liked the fact that I got to see him again even though it ended with me running away like a lunatic. Bookmark here

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Taylor Victoria
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