Chapter 1

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   You leaned against the side of the window panel, watching the clouds waft by from your airplane seat. Your mother studied her book with her hair tied up, revealing bags under her eyes. You painstakingly remembered the night you lost your dad in the plane crash. Luckily, a night after the crash, you and your mother washed up on a small island, inhabited by a mere 200 people, who were gracious enough to feed you and send you on your way to California.

Your mother was heart-broken beyond repair, so, she worked extensively, you hardly saw her. But you didn't mind, as long as she wasn't moping in despair you were fairly content. She worked hard, which led to her being offered a CEO position of a popular designing company in Japan. Of course she accepted, which led to your flight back to your childhood. But, there was one down-side, your mother would be living in the quarters offered at her work building, while you would stay in a house, right across the street from your old one in Tokyo, alone. But, once again, you didn't mind, you were a stellar and outgoing student.

California treated you well, your once (s/c) was now tanned, giving your fairly muscular legs an attractive color. Your (h/c) hair now had light blonde laced throughout the tips of it, and your (e/c) eyes glimmered like it had captured the sun.

At first, you were worried about making friends, but, luckily several girls came to your aid and befriended you. All of whom are still your best friends to this day. You enjoyed going to school, you were loved by everyone for the most part, except by the slim group of people who were extremely jealous of you. Even at a large high school, almost all the boys fell for you. You radiated confidence, beauty and intelligence.

You picked up soccer and volleyball, becoming stellar in both sports. But, after suffering too many concussions because of your smaller size, you developed brain damage, pulling you out of your beloved sport. Brain damage came with several side effects, which you experienced. Although you lost soccer, you still played volleyball, using your quick reflexes and ability to study people's reactions to your advantage, making you the best libero in the state.

But, you were not only valued for you intelligence, beauty, and athletic abilities, but for your caring and addictive personality. You were always smiling and laughing, everyone viewed you as extremely genuine, and came to you for a friend if they were in need.

Yet, you still felt lonely, an unescapable void in your heart. You did not know why, or you merely forgot, one of the curses of your brain damage was memory loss. Your mother noted you did not remember basically anything before that awful night.

You shifted your position in your seat, the dark blue sky reminded you of someone's eyes, glistening with stars. You faintly remember their eyes glowing slate

blue or green, maybe a mix, you couldn't recall. The plane began to descend, as you dropped from the clouds, you spotted white flakes swirl past your window. In a day, you would start your second year at Fukuordani Academy as a 17 year old American transfer student, what an awkward time too, the last months of the school year. Internally you sighed with relief, being fluent in Japanese since you could speak would make the transition easier, hopefully.

You hoped no one would remember your name, and you definitely hoped no one would recognize you, you looked like a completely different person, even your personality was unrecognizable to those who knew you previously.

You studied the outside of your house, a dog, who knows whose dog it was, sat at your front door. Small flakes of snow wafted down, falling on the poor shivering dog. You sighed, part of your heart breaking for the poor guy. "Come here boy," You said walking up to the door, taking out your keys with your bags in tow behind you. The door slid open, with some coaxing the dog scuffled inside, while you followed, placing your bags off to the side, shutting out the cold.

Quickly, you flipped on the switch, lighting the fully furnished house up with a warm glow. You looked around, before tending to the dog, pulling out half a biscuit you saved from the plane ride and heating it up for him. Once finished, you placed it down, using a towel to dry him off completely.

He was quite a big dog, he had thick grey and white fur with one blue and one brown eye, he was quite the looker. Deciding Storm would be a suitable name for him, you made your way to the couch, turning on the T.V and listening absentmindedly.

Your mom made sure to hire someone so the house would be decorated and the fridge stacked for your arrival. She went straight to her work, splitting up with you from the airport. You felt the loneliness sink in, until Storm trotted up to the couch and joined you, pressing himself against your chest and sprawling his body over yours. You giggled, running your fingers through his fur.

While laying on the couch, you surveyed the house, it had a large kitchen and living room, with a bathroom down a hallway that led to a guest bedroom. Your bedroom was above the living room in a loft. The whole house was decorated with beachy themed items, from starfish to seashells.

Within hours it was six at night, both you and Storm had not moved one inch from the couch, browsing for any American channels you recognized from home. You were quite surprised upon the discovery of him on your doorstep, especially since he was quite a friendly dog, he must have been abandoned you thought, taking in his rugged and scrawny appearance. Upon Storm's light barks, he broke you from your thoughts. Begrudgingly, you trudged off the warm couch to the backyard, letting him deal with his business.

Letting the adventurous side of you take over, you walked down the steps of the porch, a little ways away, a gate revealing a door to your neighbors. Curious, Storm sniffed the gate, which appeared to be unlatched, and slid through. "No! Storm! Don't!" You began, rushing after him through the gate, realizing he wouldn't recognize his new name.

Upon entering your neighbors backyard, you noticed quiet sniffling coming from a bench seated under a snow covered cherry blossom tree in their backyard. "I'm so sorry-" You started, walking over to the bench, revealing a woman in her mid 40's or maybe early 40's? It was too dark for you to tell.

"Oh no it's fine." She said, looking up revealed her slightly curly black locks that fell in a cascade down past her shoulders. She briefly ran her sleeve over her nose, making eye contact with you. Her gorgeous emerald green eyes were swollen and puffy. "Are you okay?" You asked, moving to the ground and looking up at her, with Storm nudging himself under your arm.

"Oh, yes I'm fine." She said simply, but the pain embedded in her irises told you otherwise. "No you're not, is she okay Stormy, huh?" You asked, he stuck out his muzzle, nuzzling her hand. She laughed, a tear trickling down her cheek. "I guess I'm not okay as I'd like to think then." She said softly, reaching out her hand to run through his fur.

"You know, I won't kidnap you or anything, but as your new neighbor, I'd like to invite you to a cup of warm hot chocolate, the Hallmark channel, and some company at my house." You offered, brushing the snow off your very thin jacket.

"I think," she pondered her response, "I'll gladly accept, did you just move here to Japan?" she asked, standing up and dusting the snow off her lap.

"Is it that easy to tell? I'm sorry I sort of forgotten how honorifics and courtesy work here." You mumbled quietly, a guilty expression covering your features, "I used to live here when I was younger, in a house right across the street actually. I don't remember much though, or anything at all. Too much brain damage." You said chuckling, tapping your noggin.

Her laughter filled the silent night. "What are we waiting for? My son is staying the night at a friends anyways." She said, as if to herself. "My name is (f/n)(l/n) by the way, " you said with a smile making its way to your features, groaning inwardly that you forgot to introduce your surname first. She stopped walking for a brief second, running her eyes over you, a slight gasp seemed to catch in her throat, as if she realized something.

"Is something wrong?" You asked worriedly, moving to the gate. "No, no," she said, a look of disbelief covering her face. "The name sounds familiar that's all. You can call me Akaashi-san, but I'd prefer if you called me Okaasan." She said softly, her eyes glistening as she followed you through the gate.

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