Chapter 24:

Needing Love

A Love So Sweet, I Get Confused

Sat in the far back booth of the coffee, shop Emi and Karasu sat, enjoying a break while the shop was quiet. Sitting in the back was quiet enough for the pair to engage in casual conversation while allowing Emi to keep an eye on the counter in case a rush of people appeared out of nowhere. Karasu currently stared at Emi wide-eyed at what she just said. “Confronting ‘Hana’?” He stammered to get his words out.

“You make it same worse than it is,” Emi tired to laugh it off grabbing onto his hand. “I need to just get it into my mind that se isn’t my mom, you know?” Karasu sighed, finally understanding what Emi meant. If there was anyone who understood how Emi felt, it was him. He gave a smile, though a sad one, as he thought back to how their love story began.

It was the spring of their first year in high school that Karasu took notice of the girl who sat by herself outside during lunch. He would watch from the safety of their classroom, her head down in a notebook and pen furiously going away at the page. He would ponder, chin nestled into his hand as he sat in his desk, why a pretty girl would be on her own during lunch? Surely someone with her looks would be popular with just about anyone, so why be alone? That thought made Karasu laugh. “Who am I to talk?” He questioned himself. High school was meant to be an era of reinvention for him. His hair still dyed orange; he kept the look but wanted to stray away from the idea of being a delinquent. Though it appeared his previous reputation had followed him.

Or so he thought.

The weeks passed and he learnt the girl sat on her own was also the girl who sat in front of him. Emi Ito was his desk neighbour. Unlike other people she didn’t seem scared to talk to him. Engaging in brief conversations when passing out notes or when they would be on classroom duty again. Then the day he started to fall in love happened. Summer was ft approaching and Karasu sat slumped over his desk, breathing heavy as students were not yet advised they could change into their summer uniforms. He left out a hum, feeling a relief of something cold pressed against his forehead. His movements were slopy as he ushed himself up, taking the cold item on his head into his hand and holding it in place. “You look like you needed that,” Emi giggled.

Karasu’s eyes shot open and he jumped back slightly. Emi pulled her chair to sit the opposite side of Karasu’s desk and got her notebook and pens out. “Wh-what are you doing?” Karasu asked as Emi continued to get her book open to the necessary page.

“I’m writing duh?” Emi teased.

“No,” Karasu shook his head. “Sitting with me.”

“Well,” Emi bushed, glancing up from her book. “I thought you might like some company.”

It felt like his heart grew twice it size, feeling like it was penetrating his throat. This was the moment he started to fall in love. Though it wasn’t where their love story truly began.

It was in their third year of high school, university around the corner when the accident took place. Karasu remember when Emi returned to school, her once bright smile replaced with a dark empty expression. She had stopped bringing out her notebooks at lunch. Now deciding to sit with some of the girls in the class that were offering her support through this time, leaving Karasu sat at his desk alone. He was watching his best friend lose her will to live.

During a storm, while sat practicing his guitar in his bedroom. Karasu had received a call from Emi phone, only it wasn’t Emi on the other side. It was her dad, sounding panicked and scared, begging for help to find Emi. Karasu wasted no time, grabbing his coat, shoes and umbrella before dashing out through the streets, the heavy rain made it harder for him to see but he continued to call out, hoping that Emi may just respond.

Eventually he was able to find her; standing alone near the park entrance, no coat or shoes as she just stood staring at the empty park. He wasn’t sure how he managed it, but he got Emi on to his back, taking her back to his apartment. Living alone had it perked when you bring home a soaking wet girl back. He left Emi sat on his bed as he ran her a bath and got her some clean clothes to wear. She hadn’t spoken all the way back but suddenly, just as Karasu turned around, she grabbed onto his shirt and started to wail. “Mitsu said he hated me,” She cried, pulling Karasu’s shirt to her face. “He said it’s my fault mom died. I don’t deserve to be here.”

That statement sent Karasu over the edge, Emi now finding herself pinned to the bed, Karasu glaring at her. “Don’t you dare say that!” He said, tears falling from his eyes as he spoke.

“It’s true,” Emi argument bac, wiggling under the heavy grasp. “Karasu doesn’t need my love, he needs mom’s. No one needs me.”

“I need you,” Karasu voice was husky as he leant down and kissed Emi. It was sloppy, wet and tasted salty but it was full of love. “I love you Emi. Please don’t leave me.”

“Karasu,” Emi whispered. “Me? Why me? My own family doesn’t want me.”

“I want you!” Karasu cried cupping Emi’s cheek. “Mitsu is just grieving right now. He’s finding it hard so don’t be upset with him. Be there for him.”

“Be there?”

“Yeah,” Karasu nodded, moving his hand from Emi’s cheek to her hand and brining it up to his chest. “And I’ll be there for you. Just don’t give up and leave me okay.”

“Earth to Karasu?” Emi called out, brining Karasu back from his thoughts. “You were spaced out a while.”

“Sorry about that,” Karasu laughed nervously. “You were saying.”

“Yeah,” Emi sighed. “I was saying that I need to understand that ‘Hana’ isn’t mom and well you know.”


“I think ‘Hana’ needs a bit of my love,” Emi smiled brightly.