Chapter 0:

Prologue: The Promise

Blue Memory

July 31st, 7:02 am

I see a familiar little girl run past me and into the crystal blue sea. A smile spreads across her face as she giggles playfully. But for some reason, I can't find it in me to smile back. It's like I know what's going to happen… Or do I?

The little girl's expression remains as excited as ever, as she points to the vast ocean and dives right in. Something rises deep within my chest. A bad, ominous feeling. I stretch out my hand towards the beautiful ocean, and I break the peaceful sound of the waves with my voice....

"Don't go…" A murmur escapes my lips, and seconds after that, my eyelids open. I groggily stand up, rubbing the sleep off my eyes, and look around in confusion.

"Still here..." I murmur again, this time having regained my consciousness completely, and get up to stretch. That B-grade cabin mattress did a number on my back that's for sure. I check my phone to see that the time is right around 7, meaning the ferry would be arriving on the island shortly in a while. Having had enough of this cramped cabin, I pick up my bag and luggage and make for the deck.

The island…

It's been 8 years since the last time I was here. And for better or for worse, I don't remember much about it. I only vaguely remember that I used to live here with my mom and dad. After mom passed away we sold our property and moved to Tokyo. And the reason I remember that is because I was told so. Frankly, all I have in my memory is a vague recollection of the blue sea, a little girl that I used to chase around the streets of the island, and the smiling face of my mother. Nothing more. In my mind, I've always been a Tokyo boy. That's all I remember. I don't think I'm cut out for life on an island. And from what I heard, it might as well be deserted! I mean why did my dad force me to come here in the first place?! "Now that your grandpa is gone, grandma needs help with her shop!" He said and wouldn't take no for an answer! I mean why does he care so much? I vaguely remember her and for the record, they're not even his parents! His parents live in Tokyo for god's sake! This island is where my mom spent her childhood...

Suddenly, her face crosses my mind, and a small part of that dream I just had makes its way into the front of my mind. "Seriously now, what even WAS that?" I mumble lowly and make my way up the stairs and to the main deck. The piercing sun greets me as if it were slapping me across the face and the wind messes up my hair making me look like I just went to a heavy metal concert. I hurriedly fix my brown hair back up, in the usual side part style that I wear, with a short fringe falling to the right side of my forehead and a longer fringe falling to the left and center. After I do that I throw on a cap so it doesn't get messed up again and lean against the railing overlooking the blue horizon. I whip my phone out of my pocket and start typing rapidly.

"Two hours to go... So bored..." I press the post button and the tweet fires off into the web. Or it should, at least.

"Come on, why is it buffering...?" I say somewhat irritated before clicking my tongue. I check the upper bar of my phone and realize there's no signal. "I just had to be shipped to the middle of nowhere, huh?" An exasperated sigh escapes my lips.

"Hey, no internet, but there is still view!" A western tourist with a camera around his neck and a white hat speaks to me and with his accent and points to the expanding blue ocean. I give him a forced smile and after a quick glance at what's ahead I retreat back in the shade.

I hate the sea…

That simple thought crosses my mind. I don't mind watching it really, but the thought of sinking to the dark depths? Yeah, I want none of that. Maybe that's because I can't swim...

"I swear if there's no internet service there..." I continue complaining for a good while, but who can blame me? A 26 hour trip on an old ferry like this would make anyone go nuts!

"Dear passengers, we have arrived at Ryusejima. Please head to the bottom floor to disembark. Thank you."

A message is heard from the speakers around the ship, and I couldn't be happier.

"Finally!" I pump my fist and get up from the couch I've been lounging on for the past hour. After making the necessary preparations I head down and wait in line with the other passengers, waiting to disembark. There I spot the same tourist from before, who gives me a smile and a nod. I reluctantly nod back and turn to face forward instead.

I swear, what is a western tourist like him doing out here in the middle of nowhere? He must be nuts to come here by choice…

And as my thoughts waste some of my waiting time, the ferry finally docks at the Ryusejima port.

I step out onto the iron bridge connecting the ferry to the land, and I feel relief washing over me as my feet step on the shore.

"Phew..." I breathe out reflexively as I remove my phone from my pocket, and to my delight, I realize I finally have some signal.

"Yes!" I say in a low voice as I step out onto the port and walk with my eyes glued to the screen.

"I'm not a fan of this really, but I better take some pics for Tweetar..." I mumble to myself as I hold my phone horizontally with both hands and start snapping pictures of the sea and whatnot.

Seriously who thought of the name Tweetar? Tweeter sounds way better!

I don't know when I started caring so much about social media, but frankly, it doesn't bother me. That's the natural evolution of technology. Soon social media will take over the world, as they should. You can deliver countless information around the world in the blink of an eye. What in the past years seemed impossible is now just one click away! Soon everyone's lives will revolve around social media and that's an idea I can get behind.

"Crap, I'm late!" A female voice snaps me out of my trance and I realize I'm still taking pictures aimlessly. For a moment, I let my focus wander, and my phone slips out of my grasp.

"Shit!" I exclaim as I realize I'm so close to the sea, one wrong step could spell the end for both me and my phone. My reflexes kick in as I lean forward and grab my phone mid-air.

"Phew..." Just as I'm breathing out in relief, someone bumps into my back, with just enough force to make me lose my oh-so-important balance. I turn around and see the face of a girl, with her light brown hair tied up in a high ponytail and before I know it, my face is inches away from the water.

"AHHH!" I cry out as I fall into the ocean with a splash.


"Crap, I'm late!" I say to myself as I dash down the port and towards all the disembarked passengers of the ferry.

I was supposed to be meeting him here and I'm late! I hope he's not lost!

As those thoughts cross my mind I evade a walking tourist just in time and step closer to the edge of the port. That's when I notice a tall boy basically balancing on the edge right in front of me! Before I can even think of reducing my speed I collide with his back, and as luck would have it, he's sent flying into the water with a big splash.

Oh crap, now I've done it!

I nervously peek inside the water where small waves disturb the calm ocean in the spot he just landed. I frantically look around and notice his luggage is still on shore as well as his backpack. But wait? Why isn't he coming back up? Don't tell me he can't swim!!

As soon as that thought crosses my mind, I waste no time and start unzipping my sleeveless jacket, and taking off my jean shorts. I discard my clothes to the side, kick off my sandals, and since I'm thankfully wearing my swimsuit underneath, I jump into the water behind him.


As I feel myself sinking and sinking, I resign to my fate and close my eyes.

Seriously, am I gonna die just like that?

Just as I think that, I feel something wrap around my outstretched hand and pulling me upwards, towards the surface.

Am I being saved?

Probably the same person, grabs me around the shoulder and I feel my face break the surface of the water.

"HAA... HAA... HAA..." I breathe in the fresh air, feeling my lungs with much needed oxygen, before opening my eyes. I look around and see the blue sky on top of me, and through the corner of my eye, I notice a face. The face of a girl. In fact the same girl that knocked me over!

"Are you okay?!" She yells next to my ear as I grab the concrete pavement in front of me.

"Barely..." I answer vaguely, still trying to catch my breath.

She on the other hand swiftly jumps on top of the pavement, getting out of the water in an instant. "Here." She stretches out her hand.

Heh. I may not be able to swim, but I'm not some wimp either!

I state confidently inside my head as I put strength in my arms and elevate my body over the shore by myself.

The girl watches me, and retreats her hand with a shrug.

"So you good?" She nonchalantly asks with a faint smile on her face.

Just then I feel a vein pop out of my forehead.

"Good?! You're the reason I almost died!" I shout out in anger not caring one bit about the weird stares we're getting. Seriously, what's with this girl!

"Hey! But I saved you, didn't I?!" She fires back furrowing her brows and leaning closer to me.

"Yeah, because otherwise, you would be a murderer! Besides, look at me! I'm soaked to the bone and my... wait..." I pause and realize that something VERY important is missing.

"Your... what?"

"Oh shit! My phone!!!" I yell like never before as I run towards the edge and crouch over, looking at the water. OH NO! OH NO! It's probably in the bottom by now! And even if it's not it's surely dead!

"Hey relax, you can always buy a new one, right?" The girl waves her hand dismissively as if all this is none of her concern.

"Buy a new one?! Don't you know how much these things cost?! This was the latest model!"

"If it concerns you that much... here." She hands me something as she speaks.

"What is this...?" I ask as I notice the old-ass flip phone she's holding.

"I don't really need it, so take this and let's call it even!" She smiles at me and somehow that infuriates me more.

"Even?! You want me to replace my latest ePhone with this piece of junk?! What am I supposed to do with this? Play Pacoman and call my granny?!"

"Heh, pretty much. But it can also take pictures! Although the quality kinda sucks..." She replies nonchalantly and I feel my anger boiling over.

"Damn it! I should have never left Tokyo! I knew I shouldn't have come back to this stupid island! What am I even supposed to do here?!" I shout out to the heavens in exasperation. This is legit the worst case scenario!

"Tokyo...? Come back...? Wait, are you...?" She looks me up and down clearly pondering something. "Yukio?" She spells out my name and for a second, I'm left frozen on the spot.

"How do you know my name?" I give her a questioning stare.

"Haha! So it is you! I'm Hana, remember me?" She smiles at me as my eyes widen in shock. I quickly look her up and down.


Then again her rude nature is still the same... but I would have never thought that a girl you could have mistaken for a boy way back then could turn into... this. With only her swimsuit on, her tanned and wet skin glistens in the sun, and her orange bikini highlights her every curve. Her wet light brown hair sticks to her shoulder and those honey-colored eyes of hers are as wide as mine.

"You look nothing like back then..." I spell out completely baffled.

"I could say the same to you, Yukio. I didn't know you were a playboy!"

"A what now?"

"I don't know, you look like those stupid tourists that always hit on me!"

I give her a confused look and a silence crosses the two of us.

A sigh escapes my lips as I glance back to the spot, where my dear friend sank to the bottom of the ocean.

"This" I point between us, "doesn't fix anything though..." I sigh yet again and ruffle my wet hair. "What am I supposed to do in this stupid island, without a phone?!"

"Heh. You don't need one!" She gives me a cocky smirk and takes a step back.

"What?" I ask, as she gives me a beaming smile.

"Just you wait! You will like it here and I'll make sure of it! I promise!"

And with that silly promise, my life on this island was afoot…