Naomi Asakura is an ordinary girl who has been living with her older brother, Miki. On their parents' death anniversary, she runs into a man who tells her that her parents are alive. Naomi then starts to investigate her parents' deaths, the mystery surrounding it and the truth behind it all. What Naomi doesn't realise that her parents' deaths are just the beginning...
Naomi Asakura returned from school and slumped down on the sofa. She sighed and checked her phone. The bright screen read "15:32. 10.10.10". Naomi sighed again and clicked on "pictures". A photo came up showing a white man with short brown hair hugging a Japanese woman with long black hair. Her eyes started to water as she looked at the screen. It had been exactly 4 years since her parents had died. Suddenly the door opened and Naomi turned to see who it was. Her older brother popped his head around the door. He was white, like Dad, and had bright green eyes. He was dressed in a black suit and black tie with a white shirt underneath.
"You ready Naomi?" he asked quietly. This was the hardest time of year for Miki Asakura. When he was 13, he had witnessed their parents' deaths. Naomi felt sorry for her brother. It's hard enough losing your parents in the first place, but to see the both of them die... She shook the thought from her head. She didn't want to be any more upset than she had to be. Naomi nodded to her brother, stood up and silently followed her brother out of the room.
Naomi got into Miki's car and they drove to the graveyard. When they arrived, she noticed how everything seemed dead here, the trees were bare and the only sound were crows screeching in the distance. She followed Miki towards their parents' grave-site quietly. Her eyes were watering and she kept her head down. Miki carried a basket with him, filled with flowers, chopsticks and some food. Naomi continued walking until she reached a huge cherry tree. It was the only tree in blossom in the graveyatd, the pink petals gently falling onto her parents' grave. She stared at the earth surrounding the Cherry Tree. Her parents, Terry and Hanako Asakura had decided to be cremated like most Japanese people. Naomi gazed into the distance, remembering her parents, playing in the park with them and eating sushi at her home in Japan. She'd always found it funny how her father had decided to take her mother's surname instead of the other way round. Her father was obsessed with Japan, its culture and society, but mainly its Mythology. Naomi knew the myths well, they were always her bed time stories; of legendary Japanese swords, magical Gods and powerful Emperors. She turned to her brother, who had tears running down his face. She squeezed him and reached down to place the flowers against the Cherry Tree. Miki then pulled out a bowl of rice and placed the chopsticks in so they were sticking out the top. This was a common custom in Japan, and Naomi could remember doing it at her Nan's funeral as well.
After staring at the grave for a few more minutes, Naomi turned and walked back towards the car, leaving Miki some time to himself. As she passed other grieving families, she respectfully nodded to them. She carried on walking but just as she approached the car, a young man in a hoody barged into her.
"Karera wa ikite iru" the man whispered.
Naomi froze and turned around to look at the man. There was no-one there. She ran back into the graveyard and up the path. She looked around franctically, searching for the man. But he had gone, just vanished into thin air. Miki saw her and ran up to his little sister.
"Naomi! Are you alright?" He looked concerned as he held onto her.
"I'm... I'm fine. I just started panicking cause I couldn't see you." she lied, "Sorry."
"That's alright Naomi," Miki replied "Lets go home."
Miki lead Naomi back to the car and watched her carefully. 'He's so protective.' she thought. Then she turned her thoughts to the strange man in the hoody. The man had just happened to speak Japanese to her, even though they lived in England now, shouldn't he of spoken English?
"Karera wa ikite iru" she whispered. "They're alive..."