Italics- Mei's thoughts
I was hit with a roundhouse to the head by none other than the old man himself, Netero. After my brother died, I survived the heart transplant and was taken care of by Chairman Netero. He paid for everything, my hospital bills, my care, everything. But in exchange, my mother had to believe that I was dead. He promised to make me strong. He would make me a hunter and then I would be able to live with my mom again. I want to be strong enough to protect her. I always thought that I would take the hunters exam with Haru, but now that he’s gone…
It's been seven years since Haru's death. Today's the day that Haru died. I wasn't exactly focused on training today, but Netero-san always told me
"Your enMeies aren't going to drop their guard so you can cry. They'll kill you."
He was coming at me with a jab to the stomach, but I blocked and threw a kick to the jaw. He blocked, but I landed with a punch to the temple. When sparring I wasn't allowed to use my Nen. It would be too dangerous. I rarely land hits on Netero-san, but today I was sensitive and he knows that. That's why he's pushing me harder, today of all days. Netero-san trained and taught me since he took me in.
"Keep your guard up Mei-chan. Your showing me your weak side. The enemy would take advantage of that" he said with a sly smile.
Damn it! I threw multiple punches, he dodged all of them and threw a side kick that hit me in the stomach. I lost my balance and he's weeped me off my feet and slammed against the floor.
Grrrr... I was starting to get really pissed off.
"Don't lose your temper Mei-chan."
I ran toward him throwing a right hook to the head. He blocked it. I immediately threw a round house with my left leg. He caught it. A smirk appeared on his face. Using his grip on my ankle, I pushed myself up and kicked him in the jaw with my right leg and did a back hand spring away from him to give us some distance. He was caught by surprise for a moment, so I took advantage of that moment to throw a punch to the stomach. He blocked it in time and threw a heal palm to the face. I stumbled back and he threw a back kick that sent me flying into the walls. Thank God these walls are padded. My head is killing me. Damn it!
"I think that's enough for today. Take the rest of the day off. You worked hard considering your state."
"I'm fine. I can keep going."
"No. I want you to take a break."
I caught my breath for a second and said, "fine. I'm heading out. Thanks for the match!"
My once serious face eased its way into a small smile.
We waved goodbye. I grabbed my towel and walked into the dinning area where some of the other pro hunters were sitting. I grabbed a water from the fridge and sat down with them. Are they discussing the hunter's exam?
"Konichiwa! Mei-chan! Did you spar with the chairman again?"
"Mmh. He gave me the rest of the day off because of Haru. So what're you guys talking about?"
"The hunter's exam! You're taking it this year right? I'm can't wait to see you there!"
"Are you guys gonna be testing us?! Ooh wah! I can't wait! You guys wanna tell me what's in the exam?" I gave them a cheeky smile.
"No. That's cheating. But knowing you, you'll be fine" Satotz-san said.
"Well I'll let you continue you're talk. I'm gonna go for a walk. Bye guys! See you later!" I flashed them a bright smile and waved, they waved back.
The building I live in is where all the new hunters graduate. It's where Netero-san debriefs and explains everything to the new hunters. It's quite spacial and the surrounding area is quite nice. There are only five floors in the room areas. I live on the third floor.
I took the elevator to my apartment and unlocked the door to my apartment, room 308.The living room/family room, to the right, was decorated in a modern style with white furniture and the walls a light olive color. When you first walk in you see a flat screen TV, with a three-person couch, two single-person couches on both sides of the three-person couch, and a coffee table surrounded by the three couches. Plus two tall lamps on both sides of the three-person couch.
To the left was the kitchen and dinning room area. The kitchen came with a sink and fridge on the left, a stove and oven on the right, and microwave and toaster oven next to the stove. Right next to the sink is counter-top space and with my back facing the living room are four high-raised chairs to sit at the counter. Of course I can't forget about my wonderful Keurig coffee maker! To the right of the kitchen was a medium sized table that fit about six people.
Going past the living room, was a small hallway that had bathroom immediately on the left hand side. In the bathroom, there was a sink with a rectangle mirror that opens to become a medicine cabinet and storage below the sink with drawers on the left hand side of the sink. A little to the right of the door is a tall cabinet for extra toiletry supplies, hair supplies, etc. The shower is completely pushed against the far wall and the toilet next to it. There is a window high up above the shower so light can come in (it's high just in case perverts try anything).
Directly across from the bathroom is a storage closet with extra sleeping mats, blankets, and towels. Next to the storage closet is a guest bedroom with two twin beds and a sliding-door closet. Across from the twin beds is a dresser and desk.
On the left hand side of the hallway where the bathroom is, there's my bedroom. In the middle of the room there's a queen size bed, with black and white floral covers, and a head rest by my pillow. At the foot of the bed, there's a dresser with most of my clothes and across from my bed there's a medium sized, double door closet that contains my fancier clothes; dresses, blouses, skirts, and jackets. Walking in you can see a wall-sized window with curtains on either side. In front of the window, there's a long desk for me to do my work. On the blank wall across from my desk, I display all my photos and art work. I love art and photography. In my spare time, other than training and going to work, I do a lot of nature and everyday-life photography and acrylic and crayon art. Other than photography and art I have a lot of anime posters sprawled all over my room and little knick-knacks here and there. My room is the only room that isn't painted a light olive-greenish, it's painted a light teal-bluish.
Now, in between my room and the guest room, there's my main work room. I don't train in there because there's a training room on the lower floors of the building. This room is where I'd do my art and photography. There are long tables that outline most of the room and a gigantic storage is placed up against the back wall. It contains shelves and drawers full of my art and photography supplies. There aren't any windows in here because sometimes when I have to develop my photos, this room becomes a dark room. When you first walk in the room, straight ahead you'd see storage, then to the left is my photography center and to the right is my art center. In the middle is where I mainly have what I am currently working on (mainly art things). The floor is covered with tarp that I never take off and in the far upper-right hand corner, there's a large sink for me to wash everything off.
Walking back down the hallway, behind the couch, there's a balcony. This balcony has an outdoor table with an umbrella, four chairs surrounding it and plants all along the railing. To the right of the table and chairs, there is a comfy, padded porch swing. This was my second favorite place at home. Other than photography and art, I would spend my free time reading outside in the nice sun and refreshing cool breeze.
I took a quick glance at my apartment *ahem cough cough* ok I'll just call it a Penthouse. I took a quick glance at my Penthouse, grabbed my phone, ear buds, keys and some money just before I left. I walked out of the Hunter's association and started heading for town. I'm gonna head towards the cemetery and visit Haru’s grave. But first I'll stop by Ayaka-san's shop for some flowers. The people in town have been very kind to me ever since Netero-san had taken me in. The nearby town's shop owners were mainly hunters, but not a lot of people know that.
I have four jobs in town. First I have to work at Ayaka-san's flower shop in the morning, then cashiering at Daisuke-san's grocery store at noon, start baking at Takahiro-san's bakery, and lastly working as a waitress at Ryou's café. I look up to all of my bosses, them being amazing hunters and all. Ayaka-san is a Botanical Hunter, she is knowledgeable about plants, and searches for and collects them; but she mainly specializes in flowers. Takahiro's a Gourmet Hunter, he searches for new ingredients to create new recipes. Daisuke-san's an Information Hunter and Ryou-san is a Hacker Hunter. Daisuke-san and Ryou-san know everything there is to know about their field; but them being hunters is kept a secret more than others because they know too much and we wouldn't want them falling into the wrong hands. The Hunters Association became part of my family. I love spending time and learning from them.
I'm closest with Ayaka-san and Ryou-san, even though I'm training to become a Blacklist Hunter and an Information Hunter, I should technically be closer with Daisuke-san. But I love them all anyways! They've all been very supportive of me since day 1. I thank them for not pitying me for not having any friends my age. I don't go to school outside of the Hunter's Association. Knov-san and Morel-san taught me all of the things I would learn in school, but at a much faster pace. As far as my Nen and combat skills go, I underwent training from Bisky-san and Netero-san.
Somehow I make time for everything; work, training, learning and a little bit of leisure time. My bosses usually give me the weekends off for training, photography and art. Since there's a small path through the forrest in between home and work, I can take pictures along the way. On the weekends I'll go deeper into the forrest for better wildlife and more time consuming shots. Another good place to go on the weekend would be the nearby meadow. It's so beautiful there with all the flowers bursting with color. Not only do I love going about taking photos, but I also make time for music and running. Menchi-san even taught me how to cook and I learned how to clean by myself; others aren't going to clean up my mess for me. Atsuko-san is a music hunter, she runs the local music shop, which I spend my time there too. Atsuko-san taught me how to play the piano, drums and violin. Come to think if it, Haru taught me how to play the guitar; Electric, bass and acoustic. All I have left of Haru was our recordings together.
For the past seven years that I've been here, everyone's given me such a wonderful life. And to repay them, I'm going to use my new skills to the best of my ability. I enjoy everything I can do, now that I can do them. Before, I was this useless girl in a wheelchair, too frail to go outside. But now, I'm a strong, happy, energetic girl.
I was listening to the song Heroes (we could be) by Alesso (ft. Tove Lo).
My mind started to drift a little. I went from thinking happy thoughts to somber ones.
Dad… Haru… Mom…
I wonder how she's doing? I've been tempted to go and see her, but I know I shouldn't, not yet at least. Haru always admired the Amaryllis flowers the most. That's what I should take to his grave.
I stepped into the shop and was greeted by Ayaka-san.
"Good afternoon Mei-chan. Coming to get flowers for your brother?"
"Mmh. Do you have any Amaryllis in season?"
"I have a bouquet reserved for you. It's in the back so I'll go and get it."
Ayaka-san came back with the bouquet.
"Arigato gozaimas, Ayaka-san! Just take it out of my pay check."
"Oh no! Today it's on me. Go and visit his grave. Don't stay out too long and stay safe!"
And with that, I left one of my favorite places to be. She's so kind to me; always looking out for me. Arigato, Ayaka-san.
I slowly made my over to the cemetery. With every step, I felt my heart weigh heavier and heavier. My pace became slower and slower. I finally reached the cemetery where I searched for Haru Fukushima. I placed the flowers on the grave and spoke,
"It's been a while Haru. I've really missed you. How could you leave us? Is it selfish for me to be asking that? I wish we could've taken the hunter exam together, neh?" I could feel the tears form in in my eyes.
Suddenly, I felt someone's presence behind me. I quickly turned around and stood in my fighting position.
"Who's there?!" I shout. No one came out.
Maybe it was only my imagination. I guess I am a little on edge today. I turn back around to face his grave.
"I'll be strong for you Haru. I'll become a pro hunter and protect mom." I quietly sat down and rested against his grave and closed my eyes for a short rest.
Little did I know, that there really was someone watching me. From within the shadows of the trees was a person's figure, watching my every move.