Chapter 27:

The End?

Game Gyaru

Sunlight shined into Hakuta’s eyes as he groggily sat up in his bed. He sat there a bit rubbing his eyes realizing what today was. That fact alone made him want to lay back down and hope it was all just a dream. But reality was harsh and soon enough he got out and began getting dressed for the trip.

The boy peered outside his window and spotted his father and Shiuka’s dad dragging out luggage. It seemed those two were more than raring to get the show on the road with their pace.

“Wow, you really want me out of this place.” He said to himself. It made sense his dad would be excited on moving on with their lives. It was a great chance for the two of them to get a fresh start. Without financial problems, this was the freest either of them had been in a long while. “Guess with all my complaining, you’re doing this all for me.”

Once he got both arms through his sleeves, Hakuta was ready to head on downstairs. It was a melancholy feeling to be walking down these steps for the last time as well. His mind had been obsessed with those thoughts ever since she made a point of it. “Hey, where’s Shiuka?” He asked, noting that he bedroom door was open to reveal it was empty. It didn’t sound as though she was taking a shower, nor was she down here stuffing her face in the kitchen.

“She left to go do something important first.” It made him disappointed that he was barely out of her life and she was already moving on. His dad and Kankichi were both about to finish up carrying out all the luggage, so he knew his time was about up.

“Oh, I can’t believe you’re about to forget this.” He noticed his prized Toystation was still set up on the stand in the living room. “Oh, sorry I guess Mr. Otari owns it now.” Technically, that man did purchase it with his own money for his daughter. The only reason Hakuta had been playing on it up to this point was due to living here.

“Yeah we don’t need to take it.” His dad responded. It seemed his new start was going to involve leaving that behind. Actually, there’s something I wanted to show you.” Toukou beckoned him to come outside. “I think you’ll like it.”

“Actually…” As much as he tried to keep a positive attitude on this whole matter. It was too much for him to keep up this charade as his father tried to brighten things up. “I’m happy that you’re excited we’re finally moving into a new home, but…”

“You’ll miss your friends and Shiuka too much, right?”

“Yeah, look. I’m sorry but it’s really bringing me down.” He replied. “I promise, I’m sure I’ll move on, but maybe-”

“Just step outside.” Kankichi cut him off. “Like he said, you’ll really like it.”

“Huh?” Hakuta did as they asked, and what he saw shocked him. “W-where’s my stuff?” These weren’t the type of luggage he would’ve expected for people trying to move out. In fact, there was a lot less of their things here than what they actually owned.

“I’m surprised you didn’t notice your closet was still full.” His dad said, laughing about the surprise he had for his son. “I guess you just assumed we took care of everything.”

“Well yeah.” He replied. “When I looked at you from the window. It looked like you had everything taken care of.” Either way, this still made little sense to Hakuta.

“That’s what we wanted to surprise you with.” Said Kankichi. “Well, I would’ve liked to have both of you, but the point is-” Just as he lamented the fact his daughter wasn’t here at the moment, she finally showed up.

“Wait! Don’t go anywhere yet!” They heard her yelling as Shiuka dashed on the road to their location. The girl was breathing heavily from being out-of-breath. It seemed she ran quite a long distance to get where they were.

“What’s wrong?” Hakuta asked. He had assumed she went somewhere for fun and probably wasn’t going to say goodbye to him. Maybe that was a disrespectful thought from him, considering what they had been through. “Where have you been?”

“I was... getting… This.” She lifted up her hand to reveal a photo. “Printing… The store.” As it turned out, Shiuka had woken up early to get the pictures printed out so that he’d have it by the time he left. It took a while to get just the right one that she felt he deserved to have.

“You really did all that for me?” He responded in disbelief. The boy held up the picture she handed him. Seeing all of his friends one last time brought tears to his eyes.

“Can you please never lose it?” She asked, still leaning down from exhaustion. Though she was finally able to speak normally at this point. “Because… I don’t want you to forget us when you leave.” As he looked at her, Hakuta noticed sparkled of light fall from her face and hit the ground. “I hope that every time you see that picture, you think of us. Of everything we’ve done ever since you moved in because I’ll never forget the time you spent here…. I’m going to miss you so much.”

“Shiuka…” Stunned, he realized just how badly he missed the mark in understanding the feelings she kept welled up inside about him moving out. She simply put on a happy face so that his final moments here could be happy and joyful one. Yet now, faced with him about to walk out of her life. Everything was coming out.

“I don’t want you to leave!” She stood straight up. They all saw her makeup streaming down her cheeks as she pleaded with him. “Can’t you… Oh, I don’t know find somewhere here to live? Does it have to be far from us?”

“The truth is… I never wanted to leave either.” He joined her in their crying as the pair embraced each other for what they believed to be their final time. “I wish I could stay too!”

“Well then, don’t we have some great news for the two of you.” Toukou interrupted the moment they were having with a tone completely befitting of what they were going through. “You’re not moving out.”

“Huh?” They both responded at the same time, still standing in a hug with the other.

“The two of us talked about it.” He said, referring to himself and Kankichi. “It was great working together on that job. In fact, your old man even wanted me to join for another one.”

“Hey, I’m not old.” Shiuka’s father countered. “But he’s right. I’m about to head off for another adventure, so I wanted my best friend to come along with me.” As things had turned out, Hakuta and Shiuka weren’t the only ones disheartened about him moving away. The two men wanted to continue their escapades after the journey they went through together on that island. So despite no longer needing money to stay out of debt, the pair decided to go about this partnership with more than just one job in mind.

“We talked about this last night and decided it was for the best. I hope you don’t mind living here for say… The rest of your time in high school though.”

“I’m…” Hakuta caught himself before speaking out in too much of an excited manner. “I’m fine with that.” He said, downplaying his emotions. Shiuka cared less for maintain appearing as she gave him a hug from the side.

“That’s amazing.” She cheered. “I didn’t think we’d still live together, but that works for me too.”

“All this luggage will be for our next trip.” Said Kankichi. “So, when our limo gets here. I guess that means we’ll have to say goodbye again.”

“Aww, you barely got back this time.” There still was some news that got her to pout and cross her arms in disappointment. However, at least she knew he’d be coming back sooner or later.

“Can you guys try to stay a little more safe this time?” Hakuta gave his dad a lecture as they packed the stuff into the limo.

“Don’t worry about me. Everything’s going to be just great.” His dad didn’t pay attention at all to his son’s words. So he chose a very generic response as they got into the vehicle and left their children for the second time.

“You know, I can’t believe you really wanted to join me again.” Kankichi said as they rode off. “You were looking forward to having a home to call your own again.”

“But look at those two.” He said, as the figures of their children got smaller and smaller. “He’s changed a lot since the last time I saw him. So how could I have ever thought to separate those two.”

“I won’t argue with you there.” He could agree. The man felt the same way when he also saw his daughter again. “But if they get married, you’re paying for the wedding.” The pair laughed as they rode off to the airport.

“I guess that ended better than I thought.” Hakuta said as they head back towards the house. It was an odd feeling to be walking back here when just moments ago he thought he had taken his final steps inside of it. Even if what just occurred made the last couple of days meaningless in what he thought were his final moments. Having to confront them made the boy truly appreciate who he had standing next to him. “I’m glad to still be here.”

“Heheh, and I bet I’m happier than you.” She giggled as they got onto the porch.

“Say, you want to play something on my Toystation?” With the recent influx of cash, he was able to go look out for some new games to download.

“You really do have a one track mind.” She replied. “But it looks like I was right after all.”

“Right about what?”

“That it was going to be fun to have you here.” She smiled at him. When he looked at her in this manner, despite always stating he was never attracted to gyarus. Hakuta knew that she was a real pretty girl that even someone like him could like. “And I should thank you for that.”

“With wh-” She surprised him by leaning in and giving the boy a light kiss. Just as soon as she did it, their lips separated with her putting up a finger in front of her lips. Her move had left him speechless.

“Well, I’ll see you inside.” Shiuka gave him a playful wink and ran inside.

“Hey, wait a second.” He yelled for her, giving chase. “What was that all about!?”

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