Not over yet
“Dad!!” you shouted, seeing your father standing at the front doorstep of the Tachibana household. He smiled, the stubble on his face clearly obvious and he was slightly disheveled, but he looked genuinely happy. You felt a tingle in your chest upon the sight of him, as if a heavy weight on your shoulders had lifted.
“[First name]!” he called out, making you jump off the couch and run to him. You were still a little sore from your injuries, but you didn’t care. Running to him, you tackled him in a tight hug, earning a chuckle from him as he gently ran his fingers through your hair. You could feel the stares of the twins and could feel Makoto smiling gently at the scene. Pulling away from your father’s chest, you noticed his eyes were shimmering in tears.
“Dad, you’re out. Thank goodness!” you stated, seeing him smile and felt him plant a small kiss on your forehead. Pulling away from the hug, he wrapped an arm firmly over your shoulders as he looked up to smile at Hiyori and Ryouta.
“Thank you so much for looking after my daughter. I’m sorry about everything that’s happened and I’m sorry for having dragged you all into this” your father apologized, making Mr. and Mrs. Tachibana smile at him.
“It was no trouble at all. [First name] is a lovely girl and she’s welcome back anytime” Ryouta reassured, smiling at the two of you. Hiyori giggled, giving you a small wink.
“Consider yourself already part of the family [First name], our home is your home” Hiyori stated, giggling more as Makoto’s face flushed red. You couldn’t help but smile brightly, tears brimming your eyes as you felt all their love and support. Turning, you saw your father smile down at you.
“Gonna pack so we can head home?” he asked, earning a nod from you. You pulled out of his embrace and jogged up the stairs happily to Makoto’s room.
“I’ll help you [First name]!” Makoto called out, running behind you. You turned, flashing him a bright smile before entering the room. Looking around, you found one of your carry bags and began stuffing your clothing in there. Standing, you walked a few steps to grab your hair brush when you froze. Arms had wrapped around your waist tightly and Makoto was burying his face in your shoulder. You smiled, placing a hand on his arm and turning to look at him. His face and ears were burning red and he was looking up embarrassedly from your shoulder.
“I’m gonna miss you…” Makoto whispered, making your stomach clench into a knot. You hadn’t realized that yet, that going back home meant you’d see less of Makoto. Smiling gently, you kissed his cheek.
“Come with us. Help us get settled again and then we’ll go check up on how Haru’s holding up. How does that sound?” you offered, earning a nod from him as his grip around your waist tightened before he slowly let you go. You turned, facing him directly and bent on your tip-toes to give him a peck on the lips. His face almost exploded into red. Pulling away, you saw he looked shocked.
“That’s… the first time you’ve been assertive in our relationship” Makoto whispered, earning a giggle from you. Turning again, you grabbed the rest of your stuff and stuffed it into your bag. Before you had a chance to grab it though, Makoto bent forward and slung it over his shoulder.
“Come on, let’s get you two back home” Makoto stated, earning a smile and nod from you.
“Yup! Let’s go!” you cheered, opening the door and skipping down the stairs. Makoto watched you, smiling gently. Following you, you both arrived at the foot of the stairs.
“Got everything? Let’s go then” your father stated, turning and opening the front door. You took a step before you felt something cling to you tightly. Turning, you looked down to see Ren and Ran hugging your waist tightly. You smiled sadly, seeing the tears brimming in their eyes.
“Ren… Ran…” you whispered, seeing them pull away and look up at you. Ren was a sobbing mess, but Ran was holding herself together as best as she could.
“Promise us, you’ll come back and play one day. You have to promise!” Ran demanded, holding out her pinky. You smiled gently, kneeling.
“Promise…” Ren managed to mutter in his sobs, tears streaming down his face. You linked your pinky with Ran’s, earning a big smile on her face as the tears began falling. She’d been trying so hard too.
“I promise” you replied, earning little sobs from then before they both charged at you and wrapped their arms around your neck, sobbing into your shoulders.
“Big Sister!!” they called out in their chorus of sobs and whimpers. You smiled sadly, petting them both on the back as they sobbed into your shoulders. Hiyori and Ryouta watched the scene, smiling before they each grabbed one of the twins gently by the shoulders, pulling them away from you. You flashed them a smile, standing and waving gently. They sniffled, waving back to you before you turned to Makoto, seeing him nod for you to exit first. You jumped through the door, turning to face them all again.
“Thank you so much for looking after me. I can’t thank you enough” you thanked, bending forward and bowing to Hiyori and Ryouta. They chuckled at each other, nodding their heads.
“Come back anytime you like. Our home is yours” Hiyori stated, making you stand up and nod. Seeing Makoto and your father further down the path, you waved goodbye to them before jogging after them quickly. Skipping to keep to Makoto’s side, you looked around happily in the silence that befell the three of you. A hand wrapped up tightly in yours, making you smile as you intertwined your fingers with his. Turning to face Makoto, you saw the blush on his face.
“I was worried you know…” your father suddenly stated, making both Makoto and you stop, looking at him in confusion. Your father stopped, turning to look at you both.
“When I suddenly heard from the police that [First name] had suddenly gone missing when a threatening note was left at the Tachibana household, I went into hysterics. I think that’s partly why I was released so early. They realized I was really innocent. It took four officers to restrain me and get me to calm down. Then you were suddenly admitted to the hospital after they found you. I’m just glad they caught the bastard who killed Julia” your father stated, his eyes darkening for a second before he looked up and smiled at you. You smiled back.
“I’m okay now Dad. You don’t need to worry. Now we just have to wait for the cops to decide how to deal with him” you replied. Your father’s eyes widened open your words before he looked down, as if in thought.
“Y-Yeah… We should hurry up and get home…” he muttered, turning and continuing to walk away. That was strange. Looking at Makoto, you saw him looking just as confused. Shrugging your shoulders, you both continued after your father as you all entered the house. Things were just like you’d left them, messy.
“We really gotta do some cleaning tomorrow… Thanks for this Makoto, you’re a good lad” your father thanked, making Makoto’s face turn red.
“I-It was nothing…” Makoto stuttered, his face and ears bright red. Your father chuckled as he looked down, seeing your hands linked together tightly.
“Um Damion? [First name] and I were wondering if we could go see a friend quickly to see how he’s doing… May we? I’ll bring her back myself” Makoto asked, making your father burst into laughter.
“Of course you can. Just, may I have a word with [First name] first please? Alone?” your father asked. Makoto nodded, turning and about to the head to the door. He stopped, turning his head to you.
“I’ll be waiting out front” he whispered to you. You nodded, letting your hands separate. When the door closed, you turned and looked at your father. His expression had gone serious, which startled you.
“[First name]… You’re almost 18, and I really hate to do this to you, but I’m sorry, there’s just no other way. There will be a court session over your mother’s death, and they will want you to give a statement, in front of Kurai, it’s in a few days…” your father stated. Your eyes widened upon his words. You had to what…!? In front of Kurai!? You couldn’t! But, if you didn’t… He could get away with what he’d done… That couldn’t happen, then your father would go back to being suspect number 1!
“I-I understand…” you whispered, seeing him smile gently. He put an arm on your shoulder, gently leaning forward and tapping his forehead against yours.
“We’ll be away from this soon… I promise, it’ll all be over… Julia will be able to rest easy and you’ll be able to live in peace instead of fear” your father promised, pulling away with a small smile.
“Go, Makoto’s waiting for you” he stated, making you nod, turning and running to the door. Upon opening the door, Makoto stood there, waiting patiently for you with a smile. Smiling upon seeing him, you automatically linked hands, beginning your trip to Haruka’s house. It didn’t take very long, and soon you were in front of his door. Makoto pressed the doorbell, hearing the familiar tune ring through Haruka’s house. The door slid open, revealing Haruka standing there.
“Makoto, [first name]… everything okay?” Haruka asked. You turned to smile at Makoto before nodding at Haruka.
“Everything’s fine, we just came to see how you were doing” you replied, seeing a small smile form on Haruka’s face.
“Come in then” Haruka stated, stepping aside and letting you both in. Sliding the door shut, Haruka began walking into the living room. You both followed him, unlinking your hands as you went to different areas of the table in the middle of the room. Haruka sat down, looking at the two of you.
“Well, as you can see, I’m fine. Not much has happened since two days ago when the bandages came off. What about you guys?” Haruka asked. You looked at Haruka, seeing the scab of the wound you’d given him. It was completely accidental, but you still felt very responsible for what had happened. It was your mess and you’d dragged him into it, maybe even given him a permanent reminder of it too. Haruka saw the look on your face as your eyes locked onto the wound on his head before his expression softened.
“[first name], look at me, not the top of my head” Haruka stated calmly. You jumped, eyes snapping to look at Haruka’s blue eyes. He didn’t look angry in the least, in fact, he looked sympathetic.
“I’m fine. I don’t blame you in the slightest. The only one I blame for myself getting injured is that damn Kurai guy… Speaking of him, we never properly asked what that was all about. Do you know anything?” Haruka asked, making your breath hitch in your throat. You looked down at your lap sadly, fidgeting a little.
“You do know something… don’t you?” Haruka stated calmly.
“Haru… I think that’s enough… She’s clearly not comfortable…” Makoto suggested, trying to change the subject. You shook your head.
“No…! I want to tell you guys this story… I need to tell someone…! I haven’t even told my father… He just has his own idea of what happened…” you exclaimed, looking at the table as painful flashes of memories came back through your head.
“If you’re sure… we’re not gonna force you…” Makoto stated, looking at your trembling shoulders.
“It all started about a year ago… It was back before I moved here… I’d been dating Kurai for a while. He was the popular boy in school, charming, fun, sophisticated, he was everything every guy aspired to be in school. And I was incredibly dense and blind back then. He invited me to his place, claiming he wanted me to meet his parents, and I was foolish enough to go with him. I hadn’t even noticed the darker side of him yet” you started, your shoulders shaking violently as you swallowed a large lump in your throat. Haruka and Makoto were looking at you worriedly, unsure if they should attempt to stop you.
“We were greeted by his butler who took our bags, and then I followed Kurai up to his room. I… I remember a lot of white. His room was very white. I was sitting on his bed, just looking around when he sat next to me. We talked for a little before he suddenly pushed me down on the bed. He… He began kissing down my neck and I was trying to push him off. During our struggles he… he bit me… I still have the scar…” you stated, your voice turning into a whimper as you put a hand over your neck. Makoto and Haruka’s eyes had widened and in a matter of seconds, Makoto was behind you, hugging you tightly and gently stroking you hair in his hand. Your other hand which had been resting on the table was now being held tightly in Haruka’s.
“We… we fought some more, and I managed to get him off me. He slapped me… He called me a filthy bitch… claimed I’ve offered myself to him then denied him. He was screaming at me, claiming I’d never be able to escape from him, that I would always be his… Then he began laughing. I ran, I ran as quickly as I could. But he was right. I wasn’t able to escape from him, not even cutting my hair helped… or moving…” you finished, your form trembling in Makoto’s arms. Makoto’s eyes had widened upon your words.
“So that’s why you cut your hair…” he whispered under his breath before kissing the top of your head.
“And now, I have to stand in court and testify against Kurai… Otherwise he’ll be released…” you stated, making both of them gasp loudly. Haruka’s face scrunched up in anger.
“It’s because he’s under 18, isn’t it?” he hissed, earning a nod from you. Haruka lifted his fist, smacking it harshly into the table as he clenched his teeth tightly.
“Damn our law system! Why can’t they lock him a cell and throw away the key!?” Haruka yelled, his shoulders shaking from his anger. You blinked, looking at him. This was the first time you’d seen Haruka so angry, or even show so much emotion on his face. Makoto was watching his form sadly.
“Oh, it’s late. I’d better get you back home [first name], or your dad will be worried” Makoto stated, breaking the silence when he looked up at the clock. Haruka froze, composing himself before he looked up at the two of you with a calm expression.
“I’ll come with you. I’d like to see [first name] get home safely… and see if her father’s picked up his act” Haruka stated, earning a nod from the both of you. You all stood, exiting the house and began walking down the path that connected all three of your houses. Makoto was holding your hand tightly in his and Haruka was walking on the other side of you. Upon arriving at your doorstep, the door opened and your father stood there with a small smile on his face.
“I’ve already begun cleaning the house. We still have a bit of work to do, but that can wait till tomorrow. Did you have fun?” he asked, earning a nod from you as you turned, giving Makoto a peck on the cheek before letting go of his hand and running to your father. He placed a hand on your shoulder, pushing you inside gently as he turned with a smile, nodding to the two boys and shut the door. Makoto and Haruka stood there for a minute in silence before Haruka turned to face Makoto.
“I’d better get you back home too” Haruka stated, seeing Makoto turn to smile as well. They both began walking to Makoto’s house.
“So… I know this is about another 4 months away, but I’ve been meaning to ask. What’re you planning to do for the future?” Haruka asked, making Makoto stop and turn to look at him. He looked down at the ground in thought.
“I… Well, I haven’t really thought about it. I’m thinking of going to university. What about you?” Makoto asked. Haruka looked down at the ground as well.
“I don’t really care, as long as I’m free. But that’s not what I meant… I meant with your relationship with [first name]” Haruka stated, making Makoto’s cheeks turn red as he looked up at Haruka in confusion.
“Haru… What do you mean?” he asked, making Haruka sigh.
“Are you in love with her? Are you going to marry her?” Haruka asked. Makoto gasped, jumping back with a bright red face.
“H-Haru! I-Isn’t it a little early to be thinking that!?” he exclaimed, earning a small smile on Haruka’s face before it fell. His expression became serious.
“Have you seen the look on her father’s face? Did you actually look into his eyes? He already knows how this court case is going to go, and he has the eyes of a man who has nothing left to lose. [First name] may find herself dependent on you for quite a while soon” Haruka stated. Makoto raised a brow in confusion before seeing Haruka turn and begin to continue walking.
“H-Haru! Wait! What did you mean?” Makoto called out, but Haruka quickly changed the subject.