Chapter 3

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The next day came like a bite on a cookie. The weather was great just as the glassy sky was blurred away by a bright sun with warm breath. The white cumulus clouds were like fluffy cotton candy that was out of reach. Quickly tying my shoe laces together, I ran out the door and quickly hurried towards the station. I felt extremely excited for some reason just as I couldn't erase this smile on my face. My heart was pounding, I wanted to see him.

The sound of the city was the same as usual. I recall some of the stranger's faces but only their clothes were different. Rushing down the stairs, I saw that old lady again. I then walked up to her and carefully helped her down the steps again, going at her pace. She thanked me again with her kind and soft toned voice. Giving me a piece of candy, she walked off happily to her destination. Smiling back, I stuffed the sweet candy inside my bag and went towards the train. Waiting for Yoshitaka to appear, I glanced down at my feet impatiently. Glancing to the side, I saw that group of boys from before standing not far from me. They spotted me and traded glances with me for a second before going back to their business. They didn't seem to be interested in me anymore. Thank god.

Just then I heard footsteps walk next to me. My shoulders jumped and I clutched the strap of my bag. Timidly glancing up, I realized that it wasn't Yoshitaka but a big man in his sweatshirt listening to his earbuds. A bit of relief and disappointment rested on my chest. Letting out a small sigh, I felt someone blow into my ear. I jumped to the side as the tiny hairs on my ear stood up. Clasping a hand over my ear and looking to see who it was, Yoshitaka was there smiling.

"Good morning," he chuckled, "Aishita."

"I-It's Ashi-

"Ashitaka," he then answered. "What? Did you perhaps think I forgot your name? Sorry, once I know a name, I know it."

Pouting my cheeks, I avoided his gaze but he only laughed in return. Tapping my cheeks with his knuckles, he teased, "Just like chipmunks."

"Please don't tease me..." I mumbled.

"Huh?" he uttered.

"It's nothing," I told him.

Yoshitaka only tittered and turned his attention back in front of him. He suddenly yawned and rolled his shoulders back. I could hear awful cracks from his stiff muscles. I couldn't help but stare at his actions. He then took a deep breath and hung his head down a little, closing his tired eyes with a frown.

"Um, d-did you get enough sleep last night?" I then asked.

"Hm? Oh, sorry. Does it bother you?" he then asked, bring his smile back.

"N-No, not at all!" I immediately answered shaking my head. "You just look very tired..."

"There was a slight problem with the computer yesterday and I had to repair the data so it took all night to get it fixed," he replied, giving a slight yawn.

"Oh, I see..." I whispered.

The sound of the train tracks rattled as the train was getting closer. It arrived at its designated time and we all entered the box. Again, the inside of the train was packed. Holding onto the bar of the railing, Yoshitaka was standing one person away from me. Even as we were mashed tightly in this box, he still looked tired and started dozing off while standing. I softly chuckled as I could see a small drool trailing down the corner of his mouth. A little girl sitting on the bench next to me stared at me with her big round eyes. Our eyes met and I blinked as she didn't move. I awkwardly smiled back at her and tried greeting in my best friendly voice, "Hello..."

She answered back with her adorable grin and she waved at me. Glancing back at Yoshitaka, he looked knocked out. I tried my best to squeeze my way through and I tugged on his suite, whispering, "Yoshitaka, Y-Yoshitaka, please wake up."

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