Chapter 25: Not Your Fault

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I woke up feeling a lot better. Looking around the room, Yuzuru was not in bed with me. {He’s probably in the bathroom.} Honestly, I really needed a shower. I got out of bed and got myself a change of clothes.

The shower was running. {He’s probably thinking about last night.} I knew that he wouldn’t forget. After a while, Yuzuru came out of the bathroom dressed for the day and a towel around his neck. He saw me awake and walked up to me.

“Are you okay?” he asked. Still, he looked a bit worried. I gave him a nod. He sat down next to me waiting for me to tell him. {Might as well tell him.} “It was a nightmare. The day that I got expelled,” I told him. “Oh.” He was a bit shocked.

“I always get that nightmare every year. The boys pointing at me and telling me that it was my fault. It's a bad memory,” I told him. 

Yuzuru pulled me into his arms. “It's not your fault. You didn't do it. You are not that kind of person,” he said to me. After a while, I pulled away and got up from the bed. “I’m going to take a shower. I’m sorry for making you worried,” I told him. “No need to apologize. I’m here for you Aya. You aren’t alone. I promised your parents that I would take care of you. Make you happy,” he told me.

I gave him a smile. “Thank you Yuzu,” I said and walked into the bathroom. I felt so much better.

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After my shower, I felt very refreshed. Yuzu and I walked out of our hotel room and went to the buffet to get some breakfast. After breakfast, we had to go to the practice rink. The hotel was filled with cameras from different media outlet. The media didn’t seem to question about our relationship this time.

Despite the cameras around, Yuzuru and I headed to the buffet to see Brian who was already eating. “Good morning,” he told us. “Good morning,” we said. “How are you feeling Aya?” he asked. “Alright. Feeling alot better today,” I told him. He gave me a nod. After a few minutes, Yuzuru and I went to get our food.

Yuzuru and I had similar taste. I got myself rice, miso soup, tofu with ginger soy sauce, tamago yaki [egg roll], mackerel, mikan orange, and a salad. Once I sat down, I took a sip of my water. Yuzuru got some similar things with addition of an onsen egg [really soft boil egg], chicken/tofu burger, meatballs, salmon, and nori.

Yuzuru set a small plate of a stewed cabbage next to my plate. “Make sure to eat it. You didn’t eat much yesterday,” he told me. I had a bowl of soup and rice last night. Usually, I didn’t eat much meat especially with rich sauce in the mornings. So, Yuzuru knew what to get for me.

Looking around, no media outlet was around to my relief. I ate my breakfast peacefully. On occasion, other skaters would Yuzuru a bit of a greeting. I managed to finish my main meal and starting to eat my mikan orange.

Yuzuru managed to finish his breakfast. “Here. You need the sugar,” I told him and gave him my last piece of mikan orange. Yuzuru ate the orange from my hand. Brian only smiled at our interaction. Yuzuru needed the calories.

“We should get to the venue,” Brian said to us. I walked with Brian while Yuzuru followed behind us. Yuzuru and I got our things and walked to the bus to meet with Brian. Yuzuru put his earphones on and listened to music.

“Like the earphones?” I asked him. He gave me a nod. {I should get him another custom one.}

I got my tablet and put my earphones on. I really hadn’t done much with music since I had gotten my music degree. I had been working on a couple of musics for a while but, I never got to finish them especially the lyrics. 

There were different music programs that I use too. I wanted the music to be able to make a person feel something. When I think about it, I was like my mother. My mother did study music as well. As a child, my mother and I would travel to Korea or the United States to a music studio or music label to record.

It was how I got custom earphones over the years and now. I only need to make a phone call to a close family friend of mine. {That reminds me, I need a new one soon.} 

It wasn’t a long ride to get to the venue. 

Once at the venue, we got off the bus and got to the practice venue to see a few skaters. The atmosphere was intense. Usually, the skaters didn’t really interact with each other until the event was over. Everyone was focused on performing very well.

We found a spot and Yuzuru started to do his stretches. I looked around to see the other skaters. The females were to practice on the rink later today. 

“Aya, You should stretch too,” Brian suggested. “Huh? It’s not like I’m getting on the ice,” I told him. Even though I brought my skates around, I didn’t really skate whenever I had to manage Yuzuru and Javier for their competitors.

“I know but, you will be helping Yuzuru a lot today,” he told me. I gave him a nod and went to do my stretches. I was very flexible so I was able to stretch my muscles very well. It was because I skate and dance.

After a while, Yuzuru and I threw a ball back and forth on yoga balls. Yuzuru would have a tough time. “I told you to work on your abs and find your center of gravity,” I scolded him a bit. I was fine balancing on my ball.

I know,” he said. It was funny to see him slip off though. He found it fun. A smile grew on my face. {At least he is having fun.} After a while, Yuzuru wore his skates and got ready to go onto the ice. I got Pooh-san and walked over to Brian who was waiting for us.

“Here.” He took his jacket off and had me wear it. I could feel his warmth from it. “Thank you,” I said to him. He gave me a smile and got onto the ice. He skated around the rink to warm up. After a while, he started to practice his programs. Of course, he didn’t show his jumps.

Once he was done with his program, he would skate toward us. Brian would coach him on correction and what to watch for. On occasions, I would say something. “You always seem to tilt too much when you lift off. You lift off at an angle so you won’t land comfortably,” I told him.

He understood and skated off. 

After four hours, it was time for us to go back to the hotel. We packed our things and got back on the bus. Once at the hotel, Yuzuru was doing some interviews so I went back to our room alone. Brian went to his room too.

In the room, I had thought about Yuzuru’s performance today. Yuzuru’s chances of winning were high. He was top choice to win gold at the olympics. Compared to Javier, Yuzuru’s winnings were becoming more consistent.

{He might become the best skater in history.}

The thought shocked me a bit.

“Aya.”

I looked up to see Yuzuru. “Oh. I didn’t hear you come in,” I said and took a sip of water. “I called out to you three times and you didn’t answer. What were you thinking about?” he asked curiously. “You competing and the Olympics coming up,” I told him.

“Oh.” 

You are doing very good Yuzu.  My parents would have been very proud,” I told him. He gave me a smile. “I hope they would,” he told me. I gave him nod. “Go shower and get something to eat,” I told him. “Okay,” he said and got his stuff to shower. 

{I know my parents are very proud and happy for me to be with someone like Yuzu.}

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