“Kiyoko? Kiyoko?” Akira asked while shaking Kiyoko slightly.
“Huh?” She replied back as she wasn’t paying attention.
“Did you hear what I said just now?” He asked.
“Are you okay Kiyoko? You seem to be spacing out a lot today. You don’t look too good, and earlier you mixed up the orders, knocked a cup of tea during lunch and now you’re not paying attention to what I’m saying.” He said with concern.
“I’m sorry…..I….I’m just not feeling too well now.” Kiyoko replied.
“Well take some medicine and rest for a bit. I’ll call you down later on, if you’re still sick tomorrow , tell Akiko that you’re not feeling well and call the day off instead. You should take care of yourself Kiyoko.”
Akira hit her forehead lightly.
“Hai, I will.” Kiyoko smiled a little.
It’s been around three weeks since Kiyoko started working in here. She was timid at first, but slowly she got close with the others. Akira and Kichiro were like a brothers to her, they acted silly and immature all the time, but when something happens they would be serious and they’d do whatever they need to protect her.
There is also a neechan named Akiko, she was nice to her and like an older sister that she never had. However she only worked three days per week. For the past few weeks, they had helped her out a lot.
During all these times, Kiyoko didn’t even notice the fact that ever since she had started working here, she had smile more, she was slowly turning back to that cheerful girl she once was.
The people around her were changing her bit by bit. She even had less nightmares about the past, compared to when she used to have them almost every night.
Kiyoko spent most of the time with Satoru. She felt the most comfortable with him, maybe because he was the one that pulled her out of the misery and helped her out when she needed support the most. She felt that she had special feelings towards him, maybe like you would have towards an older brother ? No, that would be more towards Akira and Kichiro, but she couldn’t tell what it was.
Today was saturday and Kiyoko didn’t have to work today. She had asked Akiko to go to the mall with her to buy some things to decorate her room and buy more new clothes as she only had what she brought with her and some that were given by the others. She felt better than yesterday so she was going with what she had planned to do.
“Kiyoko take this cup of hot chocolate with you.” Akira said as she walked down the stairs.
“Keep yourself warm.” Kichiro said.
“Yes mother.” Kiyoko joked.
“You nagger. Where is mine?” Akiko asked.
“What yours?” Kachiro asked back as he put his arm on Akira’s shoulder.
“My hot chocolate! Where is mine? You guys only gave one to Kiyoko! Not fair!”
“Geez Akiko! Stop being jealous. They are just fooling around, here’s yours.” Satoru said as he handed her a cup.
Kiyoko laughed at her childish friends. She lightly pulled Akiko’s sleeves.
“Come on neechan.”
“Just you wait boys! Hmph! Let’s go.” She pretended to throw a fist at them and walked out of the cafe with Kiyoko and headed towards the/their car.
Soon they arrived at the mall and the two girls shopped around. This was the first time Kiyoko ever came here and the first time shopping with a girl as she grew up with two boys. Besides it was somewhere isolated where she was never allowed to go too far. This was like a whole new experience to her, a good one.
The two girls shopped for hours, they bought bags and bags of new clothes along with other things that they needed. Those two were dead tired and could no longer hold any more things. They decided to go back as it was almost dinner time and the boys might get worried.
Just as they stepped out of the mall, Kiyoko saw a familiar figure walk past her. She dropped her bags and ran after that person but she couldn’t catch up to his speed. She had lost him. All the feelings and memories rushed back.
“Hayate.” She whispered.