Chapter 0:

Before the storm

Akira's Revenge

It was past midnight. The sky tinted greyish, and the moon stood at its zenith. Clouds, though not fully visible, were also scattered around. The wind blew softly and brought cold air with it. Street poles illuminated the empty streets of the city beneath. These streets, which during the day were full of citizens, were now completely empty. The silence had peaked through, limiting the sounds that could be heard. The meowing of stray cats and the engines of late driving vehicles were most common. However, on this peculiar night, two in particular stood out.

“Your dad gave you permission, right?” A person said. The voice belonging to it was deep. Undoubtedly a mans. He was of average height. His blonde hair put together in an short ponytail. He looked in his late teens. He wore a black colored jacket, with light brown jeans. His socks up to his ankles. Though his build was slim, his perfect stature, combined with his facial features, that could only be describes as “marvelous”, made him quite the looker. Like a polished diamond ring. His name was Akira. Despite Akira’s looks, his tone hinted anxiousness.

“Yes,” Another replied. “How many times do I have to say it, ugh.” This voice was high pitched, it was a woman’s. She was about 160cm. Her head barely reaching Akira’s neck. Her hair was brown colored, and worn backwards in a straight line. It reached down to her neck. Her facial features shone magnificent. She wore a red dress, it reached her knees. The dress emphasized her womanly figure. She leaned against Akira, his arm wrapped around her.

I still want to live, you know. Akira thought silently, and looked away for a moment, he sighed. Though he had finally asked out his childhood friend Naomi, the girl walking beside him, and succeeded. The fear he felt towards her father was something he thought he could never overcome. Akira made sure as to not cross the line. His efforts were paying off, until the very moment she stepped out her front door. Her extravagant figure was biting at him ever since. It didn’t help that her dress made it almost impossible to look away.

Though the dress didn’t show much cleavage, her voluptuous breasts did stand out. Despite Akira trying his utter best to resist his manly urges. He ended up occasionally stealing peaks, burning it in his mind.

“Pervert.” Naomi said pouting, as she looked at Akira. Akira’s cheeks turned red instantly.

“No…I didn’t..look..” He tried denying her accusation. He looked towards the sky.

A smile formed on Naomi’s face. She wrapped her arms around Akira’s stomach, as tight as she could. “Idiot.” She whispered.

Silence befell the two, as none wanted to ruin this wonderful moment. Akira’s heart beat slowly faster. He came to the realization, that he wanted to spend his entire life with Naomi. This moment vaporized any doubts from his mind.

I’m doing it tonight. He held something dearly in his right hand, hidden away in his right pocket. His resolve was strong and clear.

The two continued their walk in complete silence until they reached their destination. It was the channel near the port. The paths were covered with blooming flowers, they emitted a lovely aroma that was quite tickling for nose. The air between the two loosened.

“Wanna sit down here?” He pointed at an empty bench. He glanced at Naomi. She nodded in return.

They walked at a slow pace, step by step. Eventually they had reached the bench.

“After you.” Akira urged Naomi to sit first. “That’s sweet,” she sat down. She tapped the bench several times with her right hand. “come sit down.” Her eyes sincere, her cheeks red colored. Akira’s heart skipped a beat. He hurried himself and sat down. Huh, Akira had just noticed that he made a large distance between him and Naomi. You idiot! As he was caught up in his mistake, he averted his eyes, out of embarrassment.

“Hmph…”After seeing his clumsy display, Naomi couldn’t help but giggle. She turned to Akira, and gradually came closer. “Is this better?” She asked him rather teasingly, her smile wide.

“Yeah…” His mind calmed down, as he breathed in and out. “You’re right, this is definitely better.” He glanced at Naomi. Seeing her lean against him made his heart skip a beat. He prepared himself mentally, as he clenched his right hand. Without him realizing, five minutes had passed.

“Naomi, I have something to tell you.” He was mentally prepared now. He took a deep breath and stood up, he placed himself in Naomi’s line of sight. “What is it?” She hadn’t anticipated Akira’s sudden movement, it did take her aback. He did it so quickly, she couldn’t help but feel nervous. Her right brown lifted, a cold sweat dripping from her back.

“Do…y..yo..u..” Despite having mentally prepared himself for this very moment, at the last minute the words he had yearned to say were stuck in his throat. Sweat began dripping from his head. His legs began numbing, he almost fell over. His thoughts were hazy, it was like his consciousness was drifting away.

Oh, I’m messing this up. That’s what Akira could fantom of this situation he found himself in. A feeling of embarrassment and shame had spread through his very being. He was completely beaten. Why I am so afraid? He didn’t really know himself. They had know each other since they were five. This should’ve been done with, and yet something held him back.

“What?” Seeing him in this state fueled Naomi’s anxiousness. She didn’t understand it first what he actually wanted. She had looked at his face, and then it hit her. A smile formed on her face. “You can take your time Akira.” She had know him all to well, they were childhood friends after all.

“Okay…” Seeing her comforting him, as she would usually do after he messed up, broke the shackles that held him back. He took a deep breath, and finally confronted his feelings.

"Naomi," and so he began. "We've known each other a long time, right?" She listened in silence, answering with a hmm and nodding her head. "You see," this was it. Don't blow this now, he thought. "I have..." The words he longed to say to this girl in front of him. He was going to tell her. "You know, I've been wanting to say this for a while..." Akira clasped his hands, his eyes closed. "Naomi, I-I’m in love with you." And he pressed on, he had finally told her his feelings, his heartbeat beating faster. That was a burden falling off his shoulders. Nervously, he slowly opened his eyes.

Naomi's face was left in shock. Her cheeks slowly softened, taking on a reddish hue. "S-So straightforward," she said, lifting her left hand to her mouth. She was left speechless. Akira's face also began to turn red after he realized what he had said to his childhood friend. Her silence made him think that he should have told her another time. Thinking he had screwed up, he fell to his knees.

"Akira!" Naomi cried, as she jerked from the bench. "Are you okay?" She put her hand on Akira's arm, pulled him up and helped him sit down. Akira's face was lifeless, as if his soul had left his body.

"You're not dead, are you?" Naomi didn't know what to do. Things had never been awkward between them, and yet she couldn't get her thoughts in order. This had never happened before, she pondered. She was confused, and yet deep down she felt relieved. It took a few minutes for her to fully understand. Her heart skipped a beat the moment she did, she blushed even more.

After a while, she had regained her composure. Akira still sat there unconscious.

Suddenly Naomi had an idea, she grinned at her own genius. She gently held Akira's head with both hands and placed it on her legs, like a pillow. She gently stroked Akira's hair. Seeing how defenseless he was as she continued to play with his hair, she smiled happily. "I think we'll be here for a while," Naomi said, her smile wide as she looked at the beautiful sky in the distance. She sneaked a quick glance at Akira's unconscious body before looking away.

In that moment, she felt like the luckiest woman on earth. Her heart started beating faster. She closed her eyes as she continued to play with Akira's hair. Silence had made its way around the area, letting only the sound of passing wind through. Leaves flew past them, some weaved around them. It was truly a remarkable scene. The atmosphere remained like this for a while.

"Ugh....mmhh..." Then, after two hours, Akira suddenly began to yawn, his consciousness returning. He slowly opened his eyes. "Na-N-Naomi, morning…." Akira's thoughts were in a daze, his mind not yet fully awakened. "Pfff...." Naomi couldn't contain her laughter. He was usually like that. Her smile beamed brightly. "Good morning, Akira." Naomi responded. She gently touched Akira's cheek with her index finger. "Hmmm....." Akira hummed softly as his mind finally woke up.

"HUH!!!" When Akira’s vision sharpened, he realized the beautiful face he saw was only centimeters away. His blood pressure rose, adrenaline coursing through his veins, his face turning red. Though it was not his intention, a screeching noise escaped his mouth. Akira’s body was sluggish and before he knew it, a loud thump had entered his ears. He felt a painful sensation all over his face.

“Akira!” Naomi yelled. “You okay?” she stood up from her seat and kneeled before Akira’s body.

‘’I-I-I’m fine,” Akira answered her quickly. He pushed himself of the ground with both his arms, Naomi supported his arm. When Akira had regained his footing, he didn’t move a single inch. His embarrassing scene had gotten through his head. He couldn’t look the girl before him in her eyes. And as for the girl in question, seeing his face all dirtied and scratched, it hurt her. She wanted to do something but as it was the case with Akira, she too couldn’t move a single muscle.

Both stood there in complete silence. The sound of the passing wind filled the atmosphere. The air chilled. Despite this, it wasn’t enough to break the ice between the two. Somehow it felt like time slowed down. One minute felt like an eternity. That was how awkward this had been for them. This never ending feeling of shame and fear, it was horrible. Akira had fantasized of this moment for a long time, and now it had all crumpled in little pieces. A total waste of time, you might say. I shouldn’t have started this in the first place, a regretful thought crossed his mind.

All along he knew that it would end this way. He knew it, and yet…

Somewhere deep inside him told him that he should chase the very thing he wanted the most. He had finally moved on from his past, that was all because of her. Naomi was all he ever needed. Without her, he would’ve ended it a long time ago, but he kept enduring it. All of the pain he felt his entire childhood, meant nothing to him as long as he knew she would be there with him.

That’s the reason he planned this date out in great detail. He wanted Naomi to feel the gratitude he felt towards her. But now that his plan was in jeopardy, he couldn’t help but feel angry at himself. It was after all his own fault for ruining it in the first place.

He grabbed his chest with right hand, squeezing it with all his might. His eyes glued to the ground beneath him. He thought that Naomi had enough of this already and go home. The mere thought of it, stabbed him right through his heart. He didn’t want to end it already, after all he hadn’t told her what he actually wanted.

“N-N...” He had finally opened his mouth, and yet he couldn’t say a single word. He felt pathetic.

Things were quiet between the two, there was no point in breaking the ice now. Akira had missed the perfect opportunity to do so. This was beyond the point of second chances, in other words completely hopeless. The only thing he could do now is to end it here. “Let’s go home, Naomi.” He forced a smile while he said this, his eyes emotionless. “hmm” she responded silently, nodding her head.

Akira had already started walking towards the exit, he was a short distance away from Naomi. As Naomi began following Akira, she glanced at the beautiful view to her right for the last time. Her pace slowed without her realizing, as she imprinted it in her memory. She felt it would be a waste to not enjoy this scene before her. After she had noticed that Akira was getting further away from her, she had hastened her pace.

She began walking as fast as she could, but because the heels she was wearing made it extremely difficult, she reluctantly yelled to Akira to slow down, but he never stopped. Did he not hear me?, she had asked herself. “Akira, wait!” she screamed at the top of her longs. In that instance, Akira’s shadow stopped for a moment, he turned his back.

Naomi felt relieved that he finally stopped, and with that she took off her heels, holding the pair in her hand. She pushed past her limits, and slowly closed the distance between her and Akira.

Two minutes passed, and now she stood beside him gasping for air, her arms on her knees. "You jerk," Those were the first words out of her mouth as she steadied her breathing. "How can you leave a lady alone?" Despite asking her question, her voice did not sound angry at all; instead, she pouted. Her bulging cheeks wore a red color. Seeing this in front of him, Akira couldn't help but laugh.

"What's so funny?" Naomi asked him, still pouting. However, Akira continued to laugh. After receiving a full blow to his stomach, that was when he stopped. The blow didn't hurt him, though. "Sorry," He smiled, his eyes closed. "It's just..." He stopped for a moment, opening his eyes. "This date wasn't so bad after all." Hearing this, Naomi tilted her head in confusion. "Bad?" She put her left index finger to her lip. "Why do you say that?" She asked him.

Huh..., confusion arose in Akira's mind. "I-I mean, haven't you had a bad time?" His right hand placed on the back of his head. "Why would I?" She answered him nonchalantly. Her straight face when she said it made it even more confusing. "Y-You know, how I kept fainting....." His eyes glued to the ground, his expression darkened.

“Ah that,” She let out, she turned her back on him. “It was nothing, really.” She paused for a moment before continuing. “It was cute though.” She turned her head, looking at Akira. “Cute?” Akira’s expression regained its light, as his eyes slowly rose. She confirmed it by nodding her head. That wasn’t the response he expected. He found himself unable to understand though. Cute… How the hell can you call that cute?

“Yeah, C-U-T-E - cute,” She spelled every letter one by one, she turned around, her eyes locked on Akira. “Don’t you think the same?” Her head tilted slightly. “H-huh?” That was what Akira could only say. “What do you mean by cute?” He asked her. “You know, seeing you lay there without a care in the world, it was just…” She crossed her legs, both her auricles turning red, her hands glued together behind her back. “Cute, you know.” Her eyes looked towards the dirtied path beneath her.

“I see,” After Akira had reevaluated the conversation, he could only come up with one conclusion “You don’t make any sense.” His eyes lacking life, he pointed his left index finger at her. “And what’s that supposed to mean?” She pouted angrily. “Are you messing with me?!” He didn’t understand it anymore.

How come she didn’t resent him, or at least hate him for what he had done. Why didn’t she blame him, and why was she so carefree about it. That was what Akira had asked himself. He couldn’t comprehend it. It wasn’t logical in any sense. So why? Despite ruining the day they both had been waiting for, why was she still willing to walk beside him?

Conflicted feelings began bottling inside Akira’s mind. “I ruined it, didn’t I? ” He said quietly, his expression blackened and his tone cold. “So tell me,” His eyes locked on Naomi. “Why are you still here?!” He let out all his frustrations. Naomi didn’t respond at all. She just stood there, all silent. The joyful expression had vanished from her face, her eyes downward.

“Y..” She muttered something, it was so quiet that Akira didn’t hear it well. “Well, I’m waiting.” Akira’s patience had ran out, and began forcing the issue at hand. Naomi bit her lip, staring blades at him. “It’s because… I-I….” She almost had it, but she still couldn’t say it.

“’.I-I..’, what?” Despite him feeling bad for his behavior, he felt it was necessary to end this uncertainty. “You idiot,” Her entire face turned red, as she couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. “It’s because I love you too!!” Naomi let out her emotions for the world to hear. Her voice echoed throughout the area. Akira stood there with his mouth wide open. “Huh?!” He was baffled, as Naomi’s turned even redder, she looked away.

“You love me?!” He couldn’t believe it, it was so shocking that he like fainting. “Yes, you stupid idiot!!” Naomi lunged at him, waving her fists against his body. Akira didn’t stop her, he stood still. His mind somewhere else. “That’s why…” Akira’s mind returned when he felt something heavy pressing his chest.

Naomi had stopped a moment ago, and was now leaning against Akira. She pulled on his jacket, her grip hard. ”I’m still here, Akira.” The way she looked up at him, with her puppy eyes and her red cheeks. It could make any man die this instant. Akira had trouble maintaining his cool, that was how adorable she was. He gulped. He had to do something before it was to late. After examining the possibilities, he had finally decided.

He had wrapped his arms around Naomi gently, comforting her as much as possible. Naomi cracked a smile, her teeth shone bright. “You like it?” She said, teasingly. “A lot.” He responded, he smile wide. “Does this mean that we’re dating now?” He touched Naomi’s nose with his, teasing her for a bit. “hmm….” Naomi hummed, as she thought about it. “Yeah, idiot.” Directly after, she responded with a wide grin on her face. “What did you expect?” Both of them laughed, as they had accepted each other’s feelings. Now it was official, she had confirmed it herself. Akira couldn’t believe it was true. He thought he might be dreaming. So to confirm that this was real, he gently stroked Naomi’s right cheek. He could feel the warm emitting, his heart felt relieved.

“Wanna go home?” He held his hand up, waiting for Naomi’s response. “Hmm..” That was all she said, she grabbed Akira’s hand and held it tight. Her smile shining brighter than before. Akira had let go of her hand, and began walking towards the exit, this time he waited for Naomi.

Naomi was about to walk, but stopped in her tracks when she heard something fall on the ground. “Did you hear that, Akira?” Confused as she was, she asked Akira for conformation. “What are you talking about?” Akira said, his face showing concern. “That noise, didn’t you hear it?” Naomi asked him again.

“As I said before, I heard nothing.” Akira didn’t seem like he messed with her. Annoyed, as she was getting by the second. She decided to find by herself, but before she did that. She wanted to tease Akira a bit. “You’re completely useless.” She said, she raised her head up high, and crossed her arms.

"Like you're the one who should talk!" He fumed at her, veins began popping on his head. “Pffff…” She couldn’t keep it together after seeing how pissed he is. She began laughing. Seeing how she made fun of him, and still has the audacity to continue, more veins appeared on his head. “You’re rude.” Akira tried saying it as nicely as he could, but it was for nothing really. Even he could hear the rage leaking out.

“I’m just kidding.” She realized she had gone to far, she looked the other way. “No need to be so mad about it.” She pouted, while she said it. “Right.” He understood that she was messing with him, but he let his emotions get to his head. Once Akira’s mind had calmed down, he could only sigh.

“Let’s go home now.” He started walking. Naomi looked annoyed at him. “Wait for me.” She yelled at him. Akira stopped, and looked at Naomi, waiting for her. Naomi walked as fast as she could. “Thanks for w…” But stopped midway. Akira raised his eyebrow. “Why did you stop?” He asked her. But she didn’t answer. She stood there, gazing at the dirt path beneath.

Akira tried calling out to her, but he got no response. It was like she was searching for something. Maybe she did hear something fall? Akira thought to himself. Or could it be that she’s just pretending. With her you couldn’t really know for sure.

Akira thought about saying something, but decided against it. Because if she was indeed in the right, then he would have to hear her constantly say stuff like, ‘I told you so!’ or ’Didn’t I tell you!’, and he didn’t have the patience to hear all of that. It would be a pain in his ass.

With that, he let Naomi have her way, and patiently waited for her.

Meanwhile, Naomi continued inspecting the ground, her eyes scanned every inch of it. She began losing hope, after she hadn’t found what she was looking for. She was one hundred percent sure, that she seen it here, but the problem was that it was too dark to see clearly.

Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem, but despite it being early in the morning, the sun stood very low, and to make matters even worse, the trees blocked most of the sunlight. Naomi sighed. She didn’t want to make Akira wait any longer, but she couldn’t leave this matter unfinished.

She began searching harder. But unfortunately with no success. She sat lumped, her expression darkened. She questioned whether she even heard something. And even if she did, she wasn’t even sure what it actually was. Despite not wanting to, she admitted defeat, she bit her lip regrettably. As she stood up, that was when her luck was truly tested.

“Huh,“ She saw something reflected in the corner of her eye. "Over there,“ She suddenly let out. “What's that?" She pointed with her finger, and crouched, resting on her hips. “Something wrong, Naomi?” Akira asked her curiously. “Did someone drop this?” Naomi responded. Naomi picked it up, and raised it towards the sky.

It was made of metal. It had a circular hole in the middle. The base was shaped like a flower that had already bloomed; in the middle sat a small stone. It had rough edges, but the surface was smooth, it had a tickling touch. When the light of the rising sun had illuminated the area around them, it became clear what Naomi was holding in her hand. "A ring?" Naomi raised her right eyebrow, looking at it more closely.

Without saying a word, Akira slowly dug his hand into his right pocket, his body freezing in place. His face began to sweat profusely, turning red in an instant. "Give that back," He lunged toward Naomi, his right arm in the air. "Don't look at it!!!" Unfortunately for him, Naomi had already taken a step backward, rendering his efforts futile.

When he had collided against the ground, he ignored the screaming pain from his face, and stood up for another attempt. Again Naomi had jumped aside at the last moment. Akira fell right on his face. It became increasingly difficult to ignore as the pain increased. This went on for a while, and Akira was already getting sick of it.

Naomi, on the other hand, was having quite a good time. As she watched Akira tried everything to stop her and couldn't. She could only laugh, because this was what they did when they were younger. Having fun while Akira was miserable. It brought back fond memories. If only we could do this more often like we used to, she thought to herself. After all, he was being himself.

"Akira." Naomi stopped suddenly, her tone serious. It made Akira stop, too. "What?" asked Akira to her, his tone hinting concern; "Can you explain this?" Naomi held the ring up in the air. Her head tilted slightly, her eyes were closed and her smile shone brightly.

He hesitated for a moment, but....

"Fine..." He had given himself to her. And why wouldn't he. This was the perfect time to do so. Otherwise, she wouldn't know his true feelings. He strengthened his heart, his resolve, and took a deep breath before addressing the girl in front of him.

"F-From the beginning, I've always dreamed of it." He took the ring from Naomi's hand and rubbed it with two fingers. "About marrying you," He cast a few glances at her. "How we would start our own family," He turned his head, toward the rising sun, its light shining dark orange. "How we would spoil our children, and raise them to successful lives," He turned back to Naomi, his smile bright. "Then we would retire, and grow old together." With determined eyes, he continued. "What I'm trying to say is that I'm happiest when you're in my life. So..." He got down on one knee. He held the ring toward Naomi. "Naomi, do you want to be with me forever?"

Of course, he knew this was not the most spectacular way of doing things, but what do you expect from him. But he hoped she would at least appreciate the effort he was making with his whole being. Because well, if she didn't, that would just stab him right through the chest.

He looked at Naomi. When he saw her face, his face turned red, too. Trying to hide her embarrassment, she covered her face with her hands. After a while, she began to speak. "Y-y-y..." Her words stuck in her throat. "Yes. I would love to." She said, her smile shone at its brightest, it was almost blinding. Akira slid the ring on Naomi’s ring finger. Naomi held out her hand, and inspected the ring up close. Her cheeks turned redder by the second. After Akira had gotten up, Naomi launched herself at him. He caught her. He secured her with his arms, as he tightened his grip. Both spun around a few times, Naomi secured in Akira’s embrace.

After this, Akira had carefully placed Naomi back on the floor, but he still embraced her. Both smiled happily. Without saying a word, Akira’s face came closer to Naomi’s. He lent in for a kiss. When his lips made contact, he was truly happy. It felt surreal to him, but no, this wasn’t a dream, this was real.

He had proposed to his childhood friend and she accepted his hand. Despite all the hardships he faced during his childhood. He has finally gotten peace. At that moment, he felt like the happiest man to walk this planet. And with her by his side, he felt like he could do anything.

The sun began rising as well, as the morning chirping of the birds could be heard. Akira stopped kissing Naomi, turned towards the exit, and held his left arm up. He looked at Naomi, and waited. Naomi had wrapped herself around his arm, and hugged his stomach.

The newly-wed couple began walking for home as the wind began to blow around the area. They would face many hardships together, argue a lot, or maybe hurt one another. But one thing is certain. Its that they would always be together, forever.

Sui Mai Files
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