“Keita! Keita come down here! You’re going to be late!” My mother screamed, but I had no energy to get out of bed. I had fallen asleep at about 4 a.m., and my flash cards were spread over my bed. “Keita!” My mom screamed again. Her efforts were futile, but unnecessarily consistent. I groaned, and realized that if I missed my test than my efforts would be the ones that were futile. I rolled, until I was able to role myself off the bed, and cursed as I stabbed myself with one of the pens that was on the floor, and slammed myself on some of the text books I had laying around. My room was covered in books and papers from studying for finals last night. I studied until I passes out, and I still couldn’t make it to my math worksheet. I thought leaving my comfortable bed would help me get up, but with how tired I was I just got use to the floor.
My mom called me again, and I turned my head to the door, and sighed trying to push myself up. “I’m awake! Not alive, but awake!” I called out, and tried to mask my annoyance. I was annoyed, but I was also excited, yet anxious, and then worried. With the way my body felt this morning It didn’t sound like it was going to get any better. Let the bad luck begin. I got up, and continued walking to the bathroom. Laying on the floor was going to do nothing for me today.
I stepped into the bathroom, and looked at the mirror. I looked the way I felt. I looked closer to the mirror, and pulled down the bottom lid to my right eye. The dark circles around my eyes were beginning to form, and for a moment if I wondered if I needed school to live my life as a raccoon. My hair was tousled from left to right, and with as terrible as I felt, I didn’t care if it stayed like that forever.
“Keita!” My mother called again, and I replied with a random noise so she’d know I was listening. “Do you want pancakes or waffles?”
“Pancakes!” I called back. I ripped off my shirt, threw it into the dirty close hamper, and started undressing to take my shower. I rushed through my morning routine throwing away those parts of it that weren’t needed. Like singing in the shower, or caring about which shirt I wanted to wear. The water wouldn’t be on through the first chorus, and a simple black shirt, and my green jacket would be fine, and I ran down stairs ready to make a new start.
"Keita, Kimi came by this morning, but I told her you were still asleep.” My mother was walking back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room. “She wanted to wait for you, but I told her to go on ahead.” She carried the container of syrup to the table and sat down in her chair next to me. The table was big, big enough for four people, but It was just me and mom. “I told her there was no reason that two people should be late for their test.”
I chuckled a bit, and started preparing my pancakes the way that I liked them. “I’m not going to be late. We live close enough.” I was pouring my syrup over my pancakes, and letting it run over the sides of them. The gooey syrup sparkling in the light, but my appetite just wasn’t really there. I cut a piece with my fork. “She’s going to come over later today anyways, isn’t she? To celebrate, right?”
“Well yes, she said she’d be there, and Yusai’s parents told me that they’d be here yesterday.” She said stuffing a piece of pancake in her mouth and washing it down with the orange juice. “Everything should be set. I just need to pick up a few things on my way home.”
“Like what?” I asked taking a sip of my orange juice, and then leaned my head on my elbow a bit. “We just got groceries yesterday.”
“Nothing.” She hummed to herself, placing another piece of pancake in her mouth. “You should eat faster. It’ll get cold.”
I raised my eyebrow. Weird. But I decided to shake it off and continue eating my breakfast. As much as I’d like to think of myself as a smart kid. I would like to, but I’m not. That’s more Kimi’s thing. She was the honor roll student that always topped her class, and I was at least on the honor roll until it actually was something you had to try for after fifth grade. No matter what her name was always after the number 1 spot, and then there’s me. The guy that’s only ever been as good as he could throw a fist, and I want to change that, because throwing a fist doesn’t make my mother smile. It doesn’t make her as happy as when she got to put my report card on the refrigerator. Now it’s just Kimi’s hanging there. Waiting for me to get my act together so I can put one next to her’s again. “Is it only going to be us then?” I asked. “Yusai, Kimi and me” I said.
She shook her head. “You know Yusai will probably bring that one boy with him. Sage? He brings him everywhere he goes like a puppy.” She was taking a sip, and stopped to look back at me a bit surprised. “Oh yeah! Yusai got himself a girlfriend, didn’t he?”
I shrugged. “He says she’s just a friend, but I don’t really believe him.” I said wondering if he would bring Veora with him again like he did New Year’s Eve. Yusai was the kind of guy that bended his words to please people. He was the kind of guy that considered his fake compliments his acts of kindness, and he was just someone I didn’t really get along with him, but he was family, and it’s not like I had much of that left.
“I believe him. Keita, girls and boys can be friends if they want to. You and Kimi are friends, and I don’t see you making a move any time soon. Unless you have something to tell me.” She snickered. “Do you have something to tell me?” She said looking back, and returning to her serious tone.
“Is a new drug creating cannibals? Some officers think a new drug coming out called Flakka is creating a craving for human flesh. Police officers believe that it is not the drug itself that is creating this cannibal like behavior, but more so the hallucinations that come with consuming the drug. Police warn that people who take this drug have severe…”
“Why would they.....” I said turning my attention to the television. “How does anyone even think of doing that?" I couldn't eat anymore. This news made me sick to my stomach. Flesh. How disgusting.” I held my hand over my mouth.
"I don't know." My mom started, “I’ve been hearing this kind of stuff a lot lately. The world’s becoming quite dangerous isn’t it, but don’t worry. I’m sure they’ll ban whatever product people are using to make this, and everything will simmer down shortly.” She said, and turned back to her breakfast. “People always think they can do whatever they want with this world, Keita. You’re father always believed differently.” She took a final bite of her pancakes, and She just seemed to stare of smiling at nothing.
“Mom.” I started but then she turned to look back at me, and stood up grabbing the plates, and then frowning at me. “What?”
“Keita, you need to eat more than that.” She reached for my plate, and then stopped lifting her hand up to hold my cheek in her palm, her thumb sliding down the bottom of my right eye. “You thought I didn’t notice, silly boy.” I pulled my face away from her grasp and she handed me my fork. “Hurry up and finish your food. You can’t take your test hungry and sleep deprived.”
“I’m fine.” I said getting up and bringing the plate up to the kitchen, and dropping it to the sink. “I’m going to eat lunch later anyways. So, I’ll just wait until then.” I said, and started walking to the door slipping off my slippers, and putting on a pair of green Nike shoes. “Ittekimas.” I said.
My mom walked around the corner. “You’re leaving already?” She asked. Wasn’t she just complaining that I need to hurry? “You just eat and leave, and don’t even help your poor mother with the dishes. How cruel. What am I a slave to you?” She said over dramatically sliding slowly down until her knees hit the floor.
“Mom.” I whined bending down to help her up. “You know it’s not like that. I just don’t want to be late for this test.”
She hugged me and I felt the need to hug her back. “You’ve really changed a lot, haven’t you? Your dad would be so proud.” She whispered in my ear, and I froze for a few moments before hugging her tighter. How could I forget, that she wasn’t the only one that I was trying to make happy.
I pulled away from her, and she handed me a small lunchbox. “Itterasshai.” She smiled, and I grabbed the lunch box and nodded at her before heading off to school to take my final.