Ryrori is a new student at Tokyo High. She's smart, but not sociable. Has never had a close friend, but that's going to change. She meets Ryukeiaka, a boy that doesn't seem normal. They get close, and he tells his secret, but it's been in his family long before he was born. It will change them both. For him, it's a journey to find an unknown sibling, one who's DNA matches his. Will his secret be his undoing? Is a normal life possible? Or is he meant for something more?
Chapter 1: A Fateful Encounter
My name is Ryrori Zu Aeri. I am a seventeen-year-old Japanese girl. I’m standing in front of my grandmother’s house, waiting on the high school bus to pick me up. As I see the bus come to a stop at a red light two blocks away, I contemplate what brought me here…here being Tokyo, Japan.
Just yesterday, my parents got divorced, and since I didn’t want to pick between them, I decided to come and stay with my grandma.
I hate that I’m starting eleventh grade in the middle of December. Up until now, I went to a private, all-girls school, so Tokyo High School would be a new experience for me. In my opinion, my parents couldn’t have picked a worse time to separate.
I watch the bus approach, and a feeling of unease comes over me.
"I’m not ready for this," I whisper to myself.
The but stops in front of me, and after the door opened, I got on quickly, not wanting to delay the driver. After searching the bus for a seat, I find the only one to be available to be in the very back, where a boy is already sitting beside the window.
I sit down beside him timidly, wondering to myself if my presence would upset him.
Though I couldn’t be sure, it looked to me that he was around my age.
His face looked very interesting to me, mainly because it was framed by gorgeous black hair that fell past his cheeks.
I find myself staring at him. He turns to me slightly and looks into my eyes. His eyes are a light-brown shade, and much too serious. As far as proportions went, his face was perfectly aligned. At that moment, his eyes sparkled with curiosity.
"Hello," he said, surprising me with a deep voice.
"Hi," was my only reply, then as I looked away from his eyes and focused on his lips, the most obvious statement came out of mine. "I’m new here."
"I noticed," he said. "What’s your name?"
"Ryrori Aeri. What’s yours?"
"Ryukeiaka Kalihari," he replied.
"That’s a mouthful," I said jokingly, a small smile forming on my lips.
He smiled too, a beautiful, dazzling expression.
"My parents went for originality," he said with pride.
"I didn’t mean to offend you," I said quickly.
"Oh, you didn’t," Ryukeiaka said calmly. "So, do you know which classes you’re taking?"
"Not yet," I answered. "I have to get my schedule. My grandmother registered me just yesterday."
I regretted saying that sentence as soon as it came out of my mouth.
I assumed he would ask a follow-up question, and he did.
"Your grandmother?" He asked hesitantly. "What about your parents?"
"They’re divorced," I said quietly, secretly embarrassed by sharing this piece of information with anyone, but I was also wondering if I could trust Ryukeiaka.
"Sorry to hear that," he said softly.
At least he isn’t judgmental, I thought to myself. Maybe I can trust him.
"It’s okay," I mumbled. "It’s just something I’ll have to get used to."
"I’ll be here if you ever want to talk," he said quietly.
"Thank you, Ryukeiaka," I said in a grateful tone, and I don’t know why I got butterflies when I said his name.
We are silent for the duration of the bus ride. All too soon for me, the bus was in front of the high school. I had to admit, the building intimidated me.
I got off the bus confidently, and I was smiling slightly. The happy façade that was my face disappeared as I realized that I had no idea where the office was.
"Do you need directions?" A familiar voice asked.
I turn to find Ryukeiaka standing behind me.
"That would be helpful," I admitted.
"Follow me," he said.
I walk closely behind him through the windowless, midnight black doors. I follow him down a hall on the left, and find myself outside of the office.
"Thanks," I murmured.
I open the office door and find myself face-to-face with the secretary. Her nameplate identified her as Ms. Barnes.
"Hello," she said in a kind voice. "How can I help you?"
"I need my schedule."
"Your name?" Ms. Barnes inquired.
"Ryrori Zu Aeri," I said, and then I spelled my name for her slowly.
She typed my name into the computer on her desk, then clicked the mouse a few times, activating the printer. After she hands me my schedule, I leave the office.
"May I?" Ryukeiaka asked, his hand extended.
He was standing just outside of the office, waiting on me. I was a bit surprised, but secretly flattered. I could definitely get used to him.
"Sure," I said, handing him my schedule.
"Hmm…"He said, looking it over."
"What?"I asked, looking toward the four hallways, distracted by thoughts of new teachers and possibly unfriendly.
"Nothing,"he said. "I just find it a bit odd that we have all of the same classes…even Gym."
"Interesting,"I said seriously, overjoyed that such a miracle was possible.
"Well, I guess I’ll be your guide," Ryukeiaka said, smiling as he handed my schedule back.
"Thanks,"I said, smiling in return. "I really appreciate it."
He pointed out the four hallways, starting on the left.
"Our hallway is the third one," he explained.
"Got it," I said, looking him over.
He was wearing blue jeans and a light-blue turtleneck sweater. I could see the muscles of his arms, and I wondered to myself what it would feel like to have them wrap around me in comfort.
I’ve never had a boyfriend before, but I’ve had plenty of crushes. I somehow see myself inadvertently falling for Ryukeiaka.
"What?"He asked self-consciously, as he caught me checking him out.
"I was just thinking how nice you look."
"Is that all?"
"What else could I be thinking?" I asked him innocently.
He seemed amused by my words.
"The mind has limitless possibilities, Ryrori. Maybe I understand that better than most people."
When he’d said my name, it had felt like a sweet caress. I bet I could tell his voice apart from a thousand others.
"What do you mean?" I asked him.
"Maybe I’ll tell you one day," he said softly. "Now, let’s go. We don’t want to be late for our first class."
We walk down the eleventh grade hallway. When we got to our first class, Ryukeiaka introduced me to Mr. Greenfield, our homeroom and English teacher. I noticed that the latter is American, like Ms. Barnes.
"Pull up an extra desk beside yours, Ryukeiaka," Mr. Greenfield said.
I smile at Ryukeiaka does as the teacher asked. As we sit down, he engages me in conversation.
"I guess I’m lucky you’re here," he said. "I needed a partner."
"A partner?" I asked curiously. "What do you mean?"
"You know…someone to bring me notes from class…in case I miss school. Or I could bring you notes if you’re absent," he said.
"Oh, that sounds good," I said.
"Where do your parents live?" Ryukeiaka asked with interest.
"They both moved to the United States. My mom lives in New York, and my dad lives in California."
"Wanted to be far apart, huh?" He asked.
"Yeah,"I sighed. "Can we not talk about my parents? It just depresses me."
"Whatever you want," he agreed.
At that moment, the teacher began talking. I reluctantly looked away from Ryukeiaka’s handsome face, and paid attention to what Mr. Greenfield was saying.
During the next week, Ryukeiaka and I became very good friends. We hung out every day after school, always at the bus stop down the street from his house, since we discovered that we lived less than five blocks away from each other.
The following Wednesday, Ryukeiaka wasn’t at school. I was really disheartened after I got on the bus and our seat was empty. I couldn’t admit it to myself-in English, anyway-that I genuinely missed him. In the rest of my classes, I had to acknowledge the fact that he was now a major part of my life. After all, he was only my best friend.
I went to school without him, and took notes avidly in each class so that I could give them to Ryukeiaka when he returned.
On Thursday, he was on the bus.
"Where were you yesterday?" I asked after I sat down next to him, sure that he could hear the disappointment in my tone.
"I had the twenty-four hour flu," he said.
"Are you feeling better?"
"Yes, much better," Ryukeiaka said. "Thank you for your concern."