AI - Rejection and Truth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Five years has passed since Emma's disappearance. During the New years, Annie, Archie, Stear and Patty decided to start their search for their long lost friend. Their only clue about Emma lies in Joe, the mysterious boy who is a close friend of Emma. Will Annie and her friends be able to find Emma?

Submitted: October 01, 2018

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Submitted: October 01, 2018

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~ The Rejection & Truth ~

 

Characters

Aika Takekawa/Joe Adams (19)  – A bright and beautiful androgynous girl. She is eldest daughter of the Takekawa family. Sometimes she has a habit cross-dressing and names herself as “Joe Adams” due to her deep voice. She also keeps that as a secret from everyone around her except for her family and celebrity boyfriend, Terence.

 

Annie Brighton (19) – A shy and kind-hearted girl. She is Aika’s childhood friend, who also grows up together at the same orphanage in America.

 

Archibald Cornwell (22) – Younger brother of Alistair, a handsome narcissist, who admires his own looks and likes be fashionable. He’s Annie’s boyfriend, previously has a slight crush on Aika and now becomes one of her best friends

 

Alistair Cornwell (23) - Older brother of Archibald, a carefree and creative inventor but most of his inventions never work. He is Patricia’s girlfriend and also one of Aika’s best friends.

 

Patricia O’Brien (19) – Aika’s dorm mate; who stays in the next door.

 

Haruna Takekawa (18) – Aika’s  younger sister

 

Shinjiro Takekawa – Father of Aika and Haruna. He’s overprotective towards his daughters especially towards Aika.

 

Minori Takekawa – Mother of Aika and Haruna. She’s loving and supportive towards her daughters.

 

Melina Meadow – Aika’s close friend in university and housemate.

 

Tooru Takekawa – Shinjiro’s father. Also grandfather of Haruna, Aika, Tsuyoshi and Yui; who lives in the outskirts of Kanazawa in the Ishikawa prefecture.

 

Mineko Takekawa - Shinjiro’s mother. Also grandmother of Haruna, Aika, Tsuyoshi and Yui; who lives together with her husband, Tooru in Kanazawa in the Ishikawa prefecture.

 

Yui Koshiishi (18) – A 3rd year of high school girl in Nagano. She is Tsuyoshi’s only younger sister and also Aika and Haruna’s cousin. She has a close relationship with Haruna despite of being in the same age and they’ve always played together ever since they were children.

 

Tsuyoshi Koshiishi (20) – The 2nd year of college student in Tokyo University. He’s Yui’s older brother and also Aika and Haruna’s cousin from Nagano. He has a crush on Aika for 5 years since they’ve first met.

 

Naozumi Koshiishi  – Father of Tsuyoshi and Yui, who’s also an uncle of Aika and Haruna.

 

Misae Koshiishi  – Mother of Tsuyoshi and Yui, who’s also an aunt of Aika and Haruna. She’s the eldest daughter of Tooru and Mineko and an older sister of her little brother Shinjiro.

 

Terence G Grandchester (22) – A handsome and popular English actor in L.A. He is Aika’s ex-school mate and boyfriend and one of the people who know her secret. He also has a secret himself as well.  

 

December is almost ending and January is drawing closer. It was snowing steadily outside Aika’s apartment. The streets were covered with light snow.

 

Aika: [Walk towards the window of her bedroom and gaze out of it]

Melina: [Opens the door] Aika! I’ve made dinner, let’s eat!

Aika: [Turns back to Haruna] Ok Meli…

Melina: [Closes the door and leaves]

Aika: [Turns to the night desk next to her bed and picks up the photo frame] “We were so close, yet so far. Archie, Annie, Stear and Patty. I really want to tell you that I’m finally back and explain about the thing that I did 4 years ago”

Haruna: [Opens the door] I knew that you’re still in here!

Aika: [Quickly puts down the photo frame and rushes to Hauna] Oh right! Dinner! Sorry!

Haruna: The food is going to be cold because of you.

Aika: [Closes the door]

 

At the dining room as they are having dinner together

 

Melina: What were you doing earlier?

Aika: What? Oh…I was just looking that view.

Melina: [Worried] Really?

Aika: Well yeah, I’ve never thought Farmington would be so beautiful.

Melina: You were staring at that picture again, weren’t you?

Aika: [Surprised] Eh?

Melina: [Sighs] Who were those people in that photo?

Aika: There’re my precious friends…

Melina: Were they your friends from high school?

Aika: It was before that. They were always there for me whenever I needed them. I miss them so much. [Becomes sad]

Melina: Did you have a fight with them or something? [Eats her last meatball from her plate]

Aika: No…  well it’s a long story.

Melina: Do they know that you’re here?

Aika: Nope

Melina: Why don’t you just tell them that you’re here, they’ll definitely be happy right?

Aika: I wish I could but I can’t cause I did something terrible to them.

Melina: Like what?

Aika: I left them without a word but I left them a small note by their doorsteps. 

Melina: I see…

Aika: I only wrote a “Thank you for everything! Be well and goodbye!” on their notes. I’m the worst right?

Melina: Well I’m sure you have your own reasons right?

Aika: I wanted to leave that school, the Audrey family and England to start over in America. That’s why I left and I didn’t want them to find me.

Melina: The Audrey family? I thought your surname was Takekawa, why is it Audrey?

Aika: It was before I found my birthparents. I was adopted into that family when I was 12. It was hard to blend in with them at first, well they’re forced me to memorize all the family’s names from their family tree.

Melina: Wew that must be hard for you. You must have a hard childhood.

Aika: But…. I had the best childhood ever. The two guys from that picture were my adoptive cousins. [Smiled]

Melina: Really? The guy with the longer hair looks pretty handsome.

Aika: Haha oh Archie, well he is. He’s pretty good at catching girls’ hearts.

Melina: Right….

Aika: I’m just not ready to face them for what I did. I need some time, when the time is right, I’ll tell them everything.

Melina:  I understand, miss. [Picks up Aika’s plate and washes them in the sink]

Aika: ?

Melina: I’m sure they’ll forgive you, that’s because you guys are friends after all no matter what.

Aika: [Smiled] Yes!

Melina: By the way, have you finished packing your stuff?

Aika: Almost…

Melina: What! You’re leaving for Japan tomorrow and you’re not packed yet. I can’t believe this!

Aika: Ahaha…

Melina: What time is your flight?

Aika: Tomorrow morning at 8am.

Melina: Ok we don’t have a minute to spare! I’ll be helping you out tonight ASAP!

Aika: Thank you Meli! I’ll buy some snacks for you from Japan when I get back.

Melina: Yes! You owe me big time young lady.

Aika: Okay!

 

3 hours later as Aika finally finished packing her things for Japan, she turns off the switch of her room and turns on the night lamp by her bed

 

Melina: [Opens the door and yawns] I’ve never thought packing your stuff would take this long.

Aika: Sorry about that Meli.

Melina: Its fine, well get some sleep. You’ll have to take the morning train to the airport tomorrow.

Aika: Okay! Good night!

Melina: Nighty night! [Closes the door]

Aika: [Places the photo frame back on the night table] Good night everyone…. [Switches off the lamp and goes to sleep]

 

The next morning at Farmington train station

 

Melina: It’s a good thing that you didn't oversleep nor miss the train.

Aika: That’s right.

Melina: [Looks at her watch] You have 5 minutes before the train goes.

Aika: Oh right! Thanks for seeing me off, Meli. See you in a week! [Walks into the train]

Melina: Bye! Bye! Have a safe flight home and don’t forget my snacks.

Aika: I will! [Waves inside the train]

 

The train leaves from Farmington and goes all the way to San Francisco airport.

 

Aika: [Got down from the train and goes into the airport while stretching her arms] What a long ride! Time to check-in and leave my luggage at the counter.

 

Aika reaches the check-in counter at the airport and checks in for her flight

 

Counter lady: Can I have your passport please.

Aika: Ok [Passes her passport and flight details to the lady at the counter]

Counter: Do you have anything fragile in your luggage?

Aika: No.

Counter: Ok then! Thank you for your passport and here’s your boarding pass. Have a safe journey home.

Aika: Thank you! [Leaves the counter and walks to the boarding gate then take a seat]

Little girl: [Sits next to Aika and stares at Aika]

Aika: [Faces the little girl] What’s wrong little one? Are you lost?

Little girl: Why is your hair black?

Aika: That’s because I was born with it.

Little girl: You sound like a boy. Are you a boy?

Aika: Ahaha of course not! I have long hair because I’m a girl.

Little girl: [Scans her] Hmmm…

Aika: [Looks around for the little girl’s parents] Hmm where is your mommy and daddy?

Little girl: I don’t know.

Aika: This is bad but they must be here somewhere. Let’s look for your mommy and daddy.

Little girl: Ok!

Aika: First I’ll report to the security about you.

Lady: [Sees the little girl and rushes to her] Emily!!!

Little girl: [Sees her mother and embraces her] Mama!

Aika: [Smile]

Lady: [Looks at her daughter] Where have you been? I’ve told you many times not to leave my side.

Little girl: I’m sorry.

Lady: [Looks at Aika] Thank you for looking after my daughter. How can I repay you?

Aika: It’s my pleasure. [Looks at the little girl] Don’t get lost anymore, okay? Bye! [Walks away]

Lady: Are you hungry? I’ll get you something to eat before we go.

Little girl: Mama! I wanna be pretty like that big girl!

Lady: [Smile] Of course you will! Come let’s go! [Grabs her daughter’s hand and walks away]

 

30 minutes later….

 

Aika: [Takes her seat by the window inside the airplane] “See you soon America, I’ll be back after a week” [Falls asleep as the airplane takes off from the airport]

 

11 hours later as the plane landed at Narita airport

 

Aika: [Walks out from gate and looks around] “Mom and dad should be here”

Haruna: [Covers Aika’s eyes from the back] Onee-chan!! Welcome back!

Aika: [Lets go of Haruna’s hands and turn towards her] Haruna! I’m back! Where are mom and dad?

Haruna: Oh they’re waiting in the car. Come on!

Aika: [Walks with Haruna out of the airport] Ok…

 

At the car park, where Aika’s parents’ car is

 

Shinjiro: [Sees Aika and Haruna while standing outside of the car] Aika!!! Welcome home!!!!

Minori: What? Aika’s already here? [Get’s out of the car next to the driver’s seat then sees Aika and Haruna approaching towards them] Aika!!!

Aika: Otou-san!! Okaasan!!

Shinjiro: [Embraces Aika] You must be tired after that long flight, let’s go to your favourite restaurant for dinner.

Minori: [Embraces Aika] Aika!! I’m so glad that you’re back! You must be hungry right?

Aika: Not you too okaa-san! I’m fine; well I am a bit hungry.

Haruna: Me too! Let’s get something to eat. [Gets into the car]

Aika: Of course! [Gets into the car as well]

 

As Aika’s father drives from Narita airport and then all the way back to their residential area, Suginami in Tokyo.

 

Shinjiro: [Drops Aika and the others in front of the family restaurant and drives away] You guys go get a place to sit, I’ll go find a parking space.

Minori: Let’s go girls. [Walks into the restaurant]

Haruna and Aika: [Walking along with their mother]

Haruna: [Looks around the restaurant] I’ve never thought this place would be so packed tonight.

Aika: It’s a weekend after all.

Minori: That’s right, oh dear I’ve completely forgotten about it. What are you going do Aika? It’s hard to get seats here.

Haruna: Well since we’re here, let’s just wait until some customers leave.

Aika: [Nodded]

Waitress: Umm miss; we have a window seat by that corner over. Is it okay for you?

Minori: Oh really, thank you so much!

Waitress: How many of you are there?

Minori: It’s actually the 4 of us; my husband will be coming shortly after he finds a parking space.

Waitress: I understand, please follow me. [Guides them to the table]

Minori and the others: [Follows the waitress]

Waitress: [Reaches the table] Please have a seat.

Minori and the others: [Takes their seats]

Haruna: It’s a really good seat!

Aika: You’re right.

Waitress: [Passes the menus to Minori and the others] Once you have decided, please give me a call.

Minori: Thank you.

Waitress: [Bows and walks away]

Aika: [Flips through the menu] Wow everything here looks delicious.

Shinjiro: [Quickly takes his seat next to Minori] You can pick whatever you want.

Minori: Darling! [Turns to Shinjiro with a surprise]

Aika: Dad…. Okay if you say so!

Haruna: What about me? Why are you being so nice all of a sudden? Is it because one-chan’s home after a long time since the summer breaks?

Shinjiro: Calm down Haruna, I was about to say the same thing towards you as well.

Haruna: Hmph! [Looks at the menu and covers her face]

Shinjiro: Ahahaha..

Aika: Haruna…

Minori: Darling, you idiot.

Shinjiro: Not you too Minori…

Aika: I don’t know about you, dad. [Looks through the menu as well]

Shinjiro: [Sighs and looks at the menu]

Aika: [Peeks her father from the menu and giggled softly] Haha..

 

 

 

A few moments later…

 

Minori: [Pinches Shinjiro’s arm] Darling…

Shinjiro: Yes!

Minori: Call the waitress; I’m ready to take my order.

Shinjiro: Yes ma’am!

Haruna and Aika: [Laughs together]

Shinjiro: [Call her waitress] Excuse me, we would like to take our order.

Waitress: Of course!

Shinjiro: [Tells everyone’s’ order]

Aika: [Texts Melina on the her phone]

Haruna: Who are you texting? Is it Terry-sama? [Glittery eyes]

Aika: Yeah just in case, I don’t want him to worry. [Blushes]

Haruna: I knew it!!

Aika: And my roommate as well.

Haruna: Oh that pretty blonde hair girl.

Aika: Yep!

Haruna: What music instrument is she playing again?

Aika: She plays the harp and piano.

Haruna: Wow she’s so talented!

Aika: And bossy too but she’s the best roommate I could ever wish for.

Haruna: [Smiled]

Waitress: Sorry to keep you waiting, here’s your beef rice set with melon soda. [Places the food in front of Aika and leaves]

Minori: Eat as much as you want.

Shinjiro: That’s right!

Haruna: Well unless you want to get fat and let Terry-sama hate you.

Aika: [Pecks Haruna’s forehead] Haruna!

Haruna: Sorry about that!

Aika: [Laughs] It’s fine no big deal! Ittadakimasu~! [Digs in] It’s really good! I miss my favorite melon soda.

Minori: [Looks at Aika] “I’ve lost you for 15 years, I didn’t get to see you grow for 15 years. I’ve never thought you would grown up to be such fine and independent woman.”

Aika: Otou-san! Okaasan! Thank you! [Smiled]

Minori: [Sheds a tear] Aika…

Shinjiro: [Sheds tears of happiness] Aika!!! Eat! Eat!

Aika: Haha otou-san…

 

After dinner and Aika and the family finally reached home. 

 

Aika: [Gets out of the car and stretches her arms] We’re finally home at last!

Shinjiro: Aika, go to your room and get some rest. Otou-san will get your belongings to your room.

Aika: Oh my room! Thank you dad, you’re the best!

Shinjiro: [Smiled]

Aika: [Quickly runs upstairs to her bed room] It’s not dusty at all. Mom must have cleaned it yesterday before I get here.

Haruna: Well I did helped out too! Okaa-san tends to get pushy when it comes to cleaning. [Comes into the room]

Aika: Oh!

Haruna: Anyways we’ll be going to grandpa and grandma’s place tomorrow so sleep well. [Grabs her shoulder]

Aika: Ok!

Haruna: Good night! [Leaves and shuts the door]

 

The next morning at 7am in Tokyo station

 

Shinjiro: [Yawns]

Haruna: Did you stay up late again last night?

Minori: Of course he did, I saw him watching his live soccer match again. Serves him right.

Aika: Poor dad…

Haruna: You’re spoiling dad a lot, nee-chan!

Aika: I can’t help it….

Haruna: [Sighs]

Minori: Well we’ve got our tickets and we have an hour before the train comes. I’m going to get us some “Eki-ben” for breakfast.

Haruna: I’ll come too, mom!

Minori: Okay! Aika, you and your father wait for us outside and look after our luggages.

Aika: Ok…

Minori and Haruna: [Walks away]

Aika: [Faces her father who is sitting on the floor] Dad…

Shinjiro: What? [Looks Aika sleepily]

Aika: Just hang in there a little longer, once we get on the train. You can sleep as long as you want okay?

Shinjiro: [Rubs his eyes and yawns again] Fine…

Aika: For pete’s sake

Haruna: [Runs towards Aika and her father] I’m back!!

Aika: That was quick!

Haruna: I’ve bought us some warm tea. [Shows off the plastic of tea bottles]

Aika: Where’s mom? Is she still at the store?

Haruna: She said she’d be coming out soon.

Aika: I hope so; we don’t want to miss the train.

Minori: [Runs towards them] Sorry to keep you waiting! Did I make you all wait too long?

Shinjiro: You’re late, Minori. Where’s my breakfast?

Minori: [Pissed off] Well I didn’t get any for you! [Drags her luggage and walks away] Come on girls!

Haruna: [Follows Minori] Wait up mom!

Aika: [Sighs] You’re completely hopeless dad. Let’s go.

Shinjiro: [Gets up, wide awake] Aika!!! You’re such an angel, as expected daddy’s girl! [Walks along with Aika]

Aika: Stop hugging me dad, I’m a kid anymore!

Shinjiro: [Cheerful] But you’ll always be daddy’s little girl even if you get married and have kids.

Aika: [Laughs] Hahaha let’s go dad or else mom’s going to leave us behind.

 

Inside the bullet train

 

Haruna: We’re finally in! [Sits down]

Aika: [Sits down] I can’t wait to eat grandma’s homemade “Osechi’.

Haruna: Me neither and don’t forget the “Zenzai” too.

Aika: I love it too! [Nodded happily]

Haruna: [Nodded happily as well] Agree!

Minori: Quiet down girls, you’re going to cause an inconvenience to the other passengers.

Aika and Haruna: Yes mom…

Shinjiro: [Sits down and straight falls asleep] Now that my work is done, I’m going to take a nap.

Minori: [Pats his head] Oh dear…what a big baby. That’s what I love about him [Giggles]

Aika and Haruna: [Observes them and giggles]

Haruna: Did you and Terry-sama do the same thing as well?

Aika: [Looks at the view from the window] Of course we did, he slept on my shoulder.

Haruna: Wow that’s so romantic!

Aika: That was 4 years ago in summer when I had summer school in Scotland. At the same time, Terry spend the summer in the mansion that his dad own in Scotland.

Haruna: Did he attend the summer school?

Aika: No way he will. He’s not that kind of guy who would come to school especially during the summer.

Haruna: Why? He’s like an angel! He’s like every girl’s prince charming.

Aika: “Him? Prince charming? An angel? No way that guy is one. He was the worst” You really do love Terry, don’t you?

Haruna: Of course I do! I’m his loyal fan after all.

Aika: [Smiled] Thank you for always supporting Terry.

Haruna: Of course it’s my pleasure

Aika: One afternoon when me, Stear, Annie, Patty and Archie were going for a picnic by the lake just close to the summer. The lake was big and beautiful then Archie, Annie, Patty and Stear went for a boat ride by that lake. Annie and Archie rode on one boat while Patty and Stear rode on the other.

Haruna: What about you, onee-chan? Did you go with Terry-sama?

Aika: Nope I didn’t. I was watching them from the pier.

Haruna: Why didn’t you? You could have gone with one of them.

Aika: I didn’t want to spoil their romantic mood and I wasn’t in a good mood at the same time. So I’ve walked away from the pier and went for a small stroll along the lake. Then I saw Terry sleeping under the tree by the lake with a book covered on his face. I called for him and he woke up then look at me with his sleepy eyes.

Haruna: Terry’s sleepy eyes. [Excited]

Aika: We’ve talked a lot and that’s when he told me about his big dream of becoming an actor. He studied so hard about it; well he had good grades in the entire academy.

Haruna: Terry’s also smart in studies! Is he good at sports?

Aika: [Tries to remember] He’s good at fencing and horseback riding.

Haruna: Wow he must look dashing! Come to think of it, it was written in an article on his last magazine.

Aika: Oh did I forget to mention that Elisa and Neil also went for the boat ride by the lake as well. Well I felt bad for her; she almost drowned that day when their boat unexpectedly flipped over. Terry heroically saved her from drowning. I kind of think he was a little cool.

Haruna: [Excited and becomes a little disappointed] I know right! I wish I could witness the entire thing.

Aika: As a gift for saving her precious life, she decided to throw a white tea party at the Audrey’s summer mansion for him on the next day. She invited everyone except me.

Haruna: She’s so mean!

Aika: She always mean towards me and sometimes towards Annie just because we were orphans and grew up in the same orphanage.

Haruna: [Sad] “Onee-chan, you weren’t an orphan from the start. You’ve been through a lot and suffered so much. Yet you can stand up towards that Eliza and every obstacle alone with that small body of yours. I’ve salute you so much, I want to be as strong as you”

Aika: Anyways I didn’t want to go to that fancy tea party since rich people’s parties isn’t my thing and my strict grandaunt will be there too. I know she didn’t want me to be there either. Don’t pity me, I’m used to it.

Haruna: “Onee-chan has been suffering like that even though that rich family adopted her. They’re so cruel.”

Aika: The next morning where everyone left for Eliza’s tea party. Everyone was sad that I was the only one not invited to go. After everyone left, I walked along the forest path and climb onto a few trees like old times since no one comes. Except….

Haruna: Except? Terry right? You’ve met him along the way right?

Aika: Yeah….

Haruna: I knew it!

Aika: You really can read through me, don’t you?

Haruna: It’s obvious.

Aika: He was dressed in a white tuxedo while riding a white horse. Well the embarrassing part was he saw me almost falling down from the tree. He asked why I wasn’t dressed in white then I said I wasn’t invited for the white party. He made a disappointed look as he got down from his horse and said he didn’t want to go either.  To be honest I was a bit happy that he actually said that and I knew I shouldn’t though.

Haruna: Well you can be honest at times.

Aika: I haven’t been honest about myself for a long time. Thanks to Terry I was able to be honest about myself again.

Haruna: [Smiled] Good for you! “As expected Terry-sama, he does love onee-chan so much”

Aika: Suddenly it started raining heavily, we took shelter at his summer mansion. Both of us sat in front of the fireplace and shared the same blanket just to keep us warm. It’s easy to catch a cold when you get wet in the rain in Scotland.

Haruna: [Sheds tears as she was touched by Aika’s story]

Aika: Why are you crying?

Haruna: No…. I’m completely touched. I’ve never thought Terry-sama would do something like that for my sweet sister. He’s so kind!!

Aika: Haruna…. You will definitely meet someone like him someday.

Haruna: Did you get a reply from him?

Aika: Nope, he must be tired from work. Anyways let’s eat I’m starving here. [Opens the “ekiben” and eats it]

Haruna: Onee-chan… you haven’t told me everything yet.

Aika: About what?

Haruna: That Eliza must have barged in spoiled your romantic moment right?

Aika: [Felt a little guilty] Well it was partly my fault that Terry didn’t attend that tea party.

Haruna: He made a right decision for not attending well that’s because…

Aika: Because of what?

Haruna: I kind of understand how he feels. He can’t leave the girl he loves alone after all.

Aika: [Blushes and spoken to herself softly] That’s why he did when I told him to be honest about himself. So that was his true feelings. [Touches her lips]

Haruna: There’s some rice on your cheek. [Picks the rice out of Aika’s cheek] God you’re such a kid, it’ll be an embarrassment for Terry-sama.

Aika: Haha sorry about that.

Haruna: I’ll always be looking forward to hear more stories about your time in America or England. I kind of like hearing them, some of them might be sad but those were your precious memories right?

Aika: You’re right.

 

[The bullet train starts moving]

 

Haruna: Onee-chan, the shinkansen is finally moving!

Aika: You’re right!

Haruna: Ishikawa here we come!

Aika: [Looks at the scenery]

Haruna: Mom, will Yui-chan and Tsuyoshi-niichan be coming too?

Minori: Of course, they’ll be taking the train from Nagano.

Haruna: At least their travelling distance isn’t as far as us.

Minori: You’re right.

Aika: [Slowly falls asleep]

Haruna: [Turns to Aika and sees her sleeping soundly] Onee-chan? Oh she’s asleep.

Minori: She’s probably tired from yesterday. Let her sleep now.

Haruna: [Nodded as she agreed]

 

4 hours later in Kanazawa station

 

Haruna: [Looks out of the window] Wow we’re finally here! Grandpa and grandma are probably be really excited by now.

Aika: [Wakes up after hearing Haruna’s voice] Oh we’re here?

Haruna: Of course hurry up before you’ll get left behind.

Aika: Ok [Grabs her things]

Haruna and the family: [Gets down from the train]

Minori: Now let’s get out of here. Grandpa said he would be picking us up from here.

Haruna: Grandpa is? Let’s go! [Rushes down the stairs]

Minori: Haruna! Wait for us! Don’t run so fast or else you’re going to trip! Wait!

Haruna: [Stops and waves at her family who’s walking from the back slowly] Hurry up!

Minori: [Becomes tired and walks slowly] Wait!

Shinjiro: Haruna, wait for us! [Runs after Haruna]

Haruna: [Leaves the departure gate and sees her grandfather] Grandpa!!

Tooru: Haruna-chan, long time no see. You’ve grown up so much! Where are Shinjiro and the others? [Grabs her elbows]

Haruna: [Looks back] That’s funny, I thought they were right behind me.

Tooru: Hahaha I’m glad to see my granddaughter being healthy.

Shinjiro: Haruna! [Sees Haruna and stops next to her]

Tooru: [Sees Shinjiro] Shinjiro!

Shinjiro: [Sees his father] Oh dad! I’m glad to see you doing well.

Tooru: [Sighs] You’re a slow as always.

Shinjiro: I’m sorry…

Tooru: That’s why you’re my pathetic son.

Shinjiro: Dad!! [Sheds tears of joy and embraces him]

Tooru: Let go of me! [Tries to break free]

Minori: Oh father, it’s been a long time. Thank you for coming to pick us up.

Tooru: Oh Minori-chan, it’s my great pleasure.  

Aika: [Sees her grandfather and smiled] Hi grandpa, how are you?

Tooru: [Impressed] Wow, Aika has grown up so much! You’ve become so beautiful, just like Mineko when she was younger.

Aika: Really? No way….

Tooru: [Nooded] Of course you do. Come let’s get back home, grandma’s waiting for you.

Aika: [Smiled] Yes!

Shinjiro: “Oh yeah dad is right, she looks almost like mom when she was younger. But she has Minori’s light blue eyes”

Tooru: [Tries to get to the driver seat of the car]

Shinjiro: [Grabs his father’s elbows’] That’s okay dad! Let me drive us home. You can sit next to me.

Tooru: All right if you say so.

Aika: [Watches them from the back then gets into the car] “Good for you dad”

Shinjiro: [Starts the car and looks to the back] Is everyone in?

Haruna: Yeah dad! Let’s go!

Shinjiro: [Drives away]

Aika: [Looks out the scenery from the window] It’s so beautiful.

Haruna: It’s beautiful right? That’s why I love Kanazawa so much!

Aika: You’re probably right.

Haruna: Did Kanazawa snowed a lot yesterday?

Tooru: Well it did snowed last night. The news said it might snow again tonight.

Haruna: Wow I can’t wait!

 

 

30 minutes later as Shinjiro drives the car into the garden and parks in front of the house

 

Mineko: [Stands in front of the entrance of the house and waves at them]

Haruna: [Rushes out of the car and embraces her grandmother] Grandma!!

Mineko: Haruna, you’ve grown up so much!

Haruna: Grandpa said the same thing too!

Aika: [Gets down from the car and approaches her grandmother] Hi grandma! Mineko: [Surprised to see Aika then she smiled at her] Oh Aika! You have become so beautiful and mature. I heard you were in America, when did you came back?

Aika: I came home last night.

Mineko: Oh dear you must be tired.

Aika: I’m fine grandma! I slept a lot in the train this morning.

Mineko: [Smiled as she felt relieved]

Minori: Hello mother!

Mineko: Oh Minori-chan! Long time no see and welcome.

Shinjiro: Hey mom!

Mineko: Shin-chan, you must be tired after all of the driving. Come inside and have some tea.

Shinjiro: Thanks mom! Oh boy it’s sure great to be home again! [Goes into the house]

Mineko: Come on in everyone, don’t just stand there or you’ll catch a cold.

Everyone: [Enters the house]

Mineko: [Closes the door and arranges everyone’s shoes to the corner]

 

In the living room

 

Haruna: Boy I’m beat! [Sits at the “kotatsu’ and lies down] 

Aika: [Sits next to her] I’m tired too!

Haruna: Grandpa, Tsuyoshi-niichan will be soon right?

Mineko: [Comes into the living room] That's right. They’ll come before dinner.

Haruna: Okay!

Aika: You really do love Tsuyoshi-kun.

Haruna: [Blushes] Well I do…I mean before you came in, he was the only one who played with me a lot when we were kids. I’ve always wanted to have an older sibling at home. He’s like an older brother to me.

Aika: I see…

Haruna: You’re the best older sister I could ever get! If only mom and dad hadn’t lost you, we would have played together as kids.

Aika: [Smiled and embraces her] That might be true but…. thanks to that I’ve made many friends in America, experience many things and I also get to fall in love with Terry.

Haruna: [Smiled sadly]

Aika: [Nodded]

Haruna: I’m so glad that mom and dad finally found you after losing you for so many years.

Aika: Yes!

Mineko: [Pecks Aika and Haruna’s head] Girls, don’t just sit here, crying all day. Come help me out at the garden.

Aika and Haruna: Roger! [Quickly gets up and runs out]

Mineko: [Smiled]

 

In the evening before dinner time as Koishi family’s car arrived

 

Misae: [Enters the house] Hi mom and dad!

Mineko: Misae! Welcome home!

Naozumi: Hello father and mother!

Tooru: Welcome home! Come on in!

Yui: [Enter the house] Hi grandpa!!

Tooru: Yui-chan, welcome! Come in! Come in!

Tsuyoshi: [Comes in after Yui then sees Aika in the kitchen with Haruna] “Aika-chan! She has become prettier than before” [Blushed]

Haruna: [Turns to the back and runs to Tsuyoshi] Tsu-niichan!

Tsuyoshi: [Noticed Haruna in front of him] Haruna! Hey!

Haruna: Wow you’ve grown taller than last year.

Tsuyoshi: Of course I’ll grow taller everyday. I won’t stay short forever.

Haruna: Oh really?

Tsuyoshi: Of course idiot!

Yui: Haru-chan, guess what! Onii-chan has a crush in college!

Haruna: Wow really? Who’s the girl? [Excited]

Tsuyoshi: Yui! That’s not true!

Yui: Don’t deny it.

Haruna: Yeah!

Aika: [Sees Tsuyoshi and approaches him] Tsuyoshi-kun.

Tsuyoshi: [Faces towards Aika] Oh hi Aika… long time no see.

Aika: [Smiled] Long time no see! How’s college?

Tsuyoshi: It’s cool and I’ve made heaps of friends.

Aika: That’s nice!

Tsuyoshi: So…how’s America? Did you like being there?

Aika: Hmmm everything is cool. I can say I like it there, I’ve never actually thought about it.

Tsuyoshi: I see…

Aika: Well you can take a seat first; dinner will be ready shortly. [Goes back to the kitchen]

Tsuyoshi: [Leaves up his sleeves] No that’s okay, I’m free to help.

Aika: [Grabs Tsuyoshi’s hand from pulling up his sleeves] That’s okay, you must be tired right? Leave this to the woman.

Tsuyoshi: [Blushed] Umm okay if you say so.

Aika: [Lets go and walks back to the kitchen]

Tsuyoshi: [Goes to the living room and sat in front of the “kotatsu” then touches the spot where Aika touched earlier as his heart starting beating rapidly] “Aika-chan touched grabbed my arm”

Haruna and Yui: [Spies him from afar]

Haruna: [Speaks softly] Has Tsu-nii becoming weird lately?

Yui: Weird? Hmmm….

Haruna: Whenever he sees one-chan, his face tends to be red.

Yui: Oh! I think the person he like must be…

Haruna: It can’t be!

Yui: Yes! It’s Aika-neesan!

Haruna: Why? Actually onee-chan already has a boyfriend and they’ve been dating for almost 5 years.

Yui: No way! Do you know who’s that guy?

Haruna: Umm… “I can’t tell her, it’s Terry-sama. Why am I such an idiot? I should have made up something else besides this”

Yui: Tell me!!

Haruna: Hey I think I hear grandma calling me! Gotta go! [Runs away]

Yui: I don’t hear grandma calling you! Come back here! [Chases after Haruna]

Mineko: Dinner time everyone!

 

Everyone gather around the dinning table while Aika and Minori place the food on the table.

 

Aika: [Sits down]

Haruna: [Looks at Aika] Good work.

Aika: [Sighs] I’m beat.

Misae: I have splendid news for everyone!

Shinjiro: What is it nee-chan? Say it!

Misae: Shut up big baby!

Shinjiro: What did you just call me? [Pissed off]

Misae and Shinjiro: [Angry towards each other]

Mineko: [Pecks of their heads with her indoor slipper] Stop fighting both of you! When will you ever change?

Misae and Shinjiro: [Guilty] We’re sorry…

Naozumi: Misae is pregnant with our 3rd child for 3 months!

Everyone: Wow congratulations!

Minori: Congrats Misae-san!

Misae: Thank you so much, Minori-chan!

Shinjiro: Well good for you, nee-chan…

Misae: [Smiled and pinches Shinjiro’s cheeks] Thanks!

Yui: Tsu-nii and I actually knew about it a week ago before we came here.

Haruna: You’re going to be a big sister!

Yui: Oh yeah, what a drag.

Misae: [Looks at Yui] I’m counting on you, onee-chan.

Yui: [Blushes and turns away]

Misae: [Laughs] You don’t have to be embarrassed.

Yui: “Oh shut up, mom”

Everyone: [Laughs]

Minori: Enough the talk everyone, now let’s eat!

Naozumi: Let’s give a toast for Misae!

Everyone: Cheers!! [Cheers and starts eating]

Aika: Ittadakimasu! [Starts eating]

Yui: This is really tempura is good, grandma!

Mineko: Actually Aika is the one who made it.

Yui: [Looks at Aika] No way! This is really good, Aika-neesan!

Aika: Thanks! I’m glad it didn’t taste bad but it won’t be as good as grandma’s.

Mineko: Don’t worry about it. There’s always practice, Aika.

Aika: [Smiled and nodded]

Tsuyoshi: [Looks at Aika from afar then eats the tempura] “It really is delicious”

 

After dinner as Aika walk to the balcony and slides the door.

 

Aika: [Sees the entire place snowing outside] It’s snowing outside…

Haruna and Yui: [Rushes to Aika and sees it as well] Wow!! It really is snowing!

Haruna: Let’s have a snow fight!

Yui: The pleasure is mine [Rushes out and quickly makes a snowball then throws at Haruna]

Haruna: [Quickly goes outside] Hey that’s unfair!

Tsuyoshi: [Walks to Aika] It’s beautiful

Aika: Yep.

Tsuyoshi: [Looks at Aika and blushes] Just like you…

Aika: [Turns to Tsuyoshi] What?

Tsuyoshi: [Stares at Aika] When we’ve first met, I’ve always thought that you are beautiful as a sugar plum fairy. Your skin tone…. your rosy cheeks … especially your lips. That are red as cherry.

Aika: [Blushes] Tsu…yoshi-kun…

Tsuyoshi: Aika…I’ve always liked you since the day we’ve first met. Will…will you…

Aika: [Grabs Tsuyoshi’s hands] Thank you…. but…. I already have someone else in mind.

Tsuyoshi: I knew that… Haruna told me about it a year ago.

Aika: You knew then why do you want to confess your feelings to me?

Tsuyoshi: I don’t want to keep them in my heart forever if I do I probably won’t be able to let go of you and regret it for the rest of my life. That’s why I want to have the courage to do it.

Aika: I see…. Tsuyoshi-kun. [Grabs Tsuyoshi’s shoulders]

Tsuyoshi: [Blushes]

Aika: I’m really happy that you confessed to me, thank you for liking me. Let’s stay as cousins and talk a lot as usual.

Tsuyoshi: Of course! [Nodded]

Yui: [Stops and looks at Aika and Tsuyoshi from afar] “Onii-chan finally confessed his feelings. Way the go!”

Haruna: [Stops as she looks at Yui] What’s wrong Yui?

Yui: [Looks at Haruna] Oh nothing! It’s getting pretty cold, we better get insode.

Haruna: You’re right, let’s go. [Grabs Yui’s hand and goes inside of the house]

 

[Aika’s phone rings]

 

Aika: [Looks at her phone and sees it’s from Terence]

Tsuyoshi: [Noticed] Oh it’s from your boyfriend. Hurry up and pick it up before he gets angry.

Aika: I will, see you later. [Walks away and goes into her bedroom then answers the call]

Terence: Hey my angel Tarzan, how are you doing?

Aika: Hey… I’m doing great! What about you?

Terence: [Sighs] I’m tired of all the busy work. Where are you right? Are you still at that apartment? I’ll come over.

Aika: You idiot! Didn't you read the text I’ve sent you?

Terence: What text? I didn’t receive any.

Aika: [Surrounded by demonic aura as she becomes slightly angry] Are you sure?

Terence: [Becomes a little frightened and quickly checks his chat box on Whatsapp] Wait I’ll check on it.

Aika: Is it there?

Terence: [Scrolls down and sees the text] Found it so you’ve left Farmington and now you’re in Nagano with your family for the new years.

Aika: That’s right

Terence: Are you having fun there?

Aika: Well you can say so. We just had dinner just now and my aunt’s going to have a baby soon.

Terence: Oh congrats…

Aika: Thanks… what are your plans for today?

Terence: Maybe a drive I guess, today’s a Saturday after all. If you were in America, I would have flown to California to see you.

Aika: [Blushes] Sorry about that….

Terence: Nah it’s fine. Family always comes first right.

Aika: You’re right.

Terence: It should be midnight at your place soon right? Get some sleep! It’s bad for your skin if you stay up late.

Aika: Ok I’ll go to sleep then.

Terence: Good night Ai.

Aika: Good night [Ends the call and lays on her futon]

Haruna: [Enters the room with Yui] Onee-chan…

Aika: Haruna…Yui…

Haruna: Was that a call from Terry-sama?

Aika: Yeah…

Yui: [Surprised] Terry! You meant that Terence G Grandchester?

Haruna: That’s right

Yui: [Grabs Aika’s hands with excitement] No way! How did you get his number? How do you guys know each other?

Aika: You’re also a fan of Terry?

Yui: Of course! I mean Haruna and I are huge fans of Terry!

Aika: [Smiled] “Terry, it looks like my cousin also likes you”

Haruna: Well you’ll be pretty surprised if you hear this, actually onee-chan and Terry were schoolmates when they were studying in England 5 years ago.

Yui: No way! Please introduce me to him! Please! Please!

Aika: Well that will be hard. Even when I was in America, we don’t really meet very often.

Haruna: [Whispers to Yui] Do you want to know the worst part?

Yui: [Whispers back to Haruna] What is it?

Haruna: Onee-chan is actually…

Aika: [Pulls Haruna from Yui] Let me tell her!

Haruna: Onee-chan! Let go of me!

Aika: Terry is my boyfriend and we’ve been dating for 5 years.

Haruna: “She finally said it”

Yui: [Disappointed] No way…

Haruna: “She finally said it didn’t she?”

Yui: I see…

Aika: [Looks at Yui as she becomes worried] Are you okay?

Yui: [Becomes cheerful] That’s great! You’re so lucky to have a celebrity boyfriend. I’ll be rooting for both of you!

Aika: Yui…. Thank you!

Haruna: [Yawns and sleeps on her futon] I’m going to bed now! Good night!

Aika: Good night! [Lays on her futon and sleeps]

Yui: [Turns off the lights and straight sleeps on her futon]

 

The next morning as everyone finishes eating breakfast and goes to the town center for New Year shopping.

 

Minori: We adults will be doing some shopping for a bit. You children can go for sightseeing around town.

Haruna: Okay mom!

Minori: Haruna, take care of your sister. She isn’t used to this place yet so why don’t you show her around a bit.

Haruna: Okay mom! I will!

Aika: [Frustrated] Mom, I’m not a little girl anymore.

Minori: I’m counting on you, Haruna! Bye! [Walks away as she drags Shinjiro away]

Haruna: Well you heard her, don’t you?

Aika: Yeah I did…

Haruna: [Grabs Aika’s arms] Now let’s go!

Aika: [Gives up on opposing Haruna] Okay! Okay!

Haruna: [Points at that shop] Let’s check out this shop! I promised Keiko that I’d get a souvenir for her.

Aika: Sure

 

In the souvenir shop as Aika and Haruna are looking at the goods.

 

Aika: [Suddenly remembers about Terence and Melina] “Maybe I should get something for Melina…. and also Terry. I wonder if Terry would like it if I get something for him” [Stares at the black katana keychain]

Haruna: [Sees Haruna] Onee-chan!

Aika: [Notices Haruna and quickly turn towards her] Are you done?

Haruna: Well yeah, do you have anything you want to buy?

Aika: [Blushes]

Haruna: [Shows a sly smile and pecks Aika’s shoulder] I know you want to get one of these keychains to Terry right?

Aika: [Nodded shyly] Not only Terry, I also want to get one for my roommate and my orchestra mates as well.

Haruna: Hmmm… for Terry and your room mate maybe you can get them a pretty one like that black katana keychain over here [Picks up the black katana keychain]

Aika: [Becomes surprised as Haruna picks up the keychain that she has been staring] Yeah that will do for Terry. I’ll get something cuter for my roommate.

Haruna: [Picks up the pink cherry blossom keychain and shows it to Aika] What about this one?

Aika: It’s so pretty! I think I want this one for myself.

Haruna: Onee-chan…

Aika: I’ll get this brown kitty keychain for my roommate.

Haruna: Ok!

Aika: I’ve found some nice ones for my orchestra members! A whole set of them right here and they’re cheap too!

Haruna: That’s great! [Looks at the time and panics] Oh no! We’re supposed to meet up with mom and the others at the station. Let’s hurry!

Aika: Ok! [Quickly goes to the cashier counter]

 

A few moments later, Aika and Haruna quickly dashes out of the souvenir shop and go to the meet up spot where everyone is waiting for them.

 

Yui: [Sees Aika and Haruna coming towards them] They’re back!

Naozumi: [Looks at Aika]

Aika: [Stops with Haruna] Sorry we were late; it took us some time to pick some souvenirs at the shop.

Minori: Well it’s fine. Let’s go home now.

 

Meanwhile in Chicago, Archibald, Annie, Alistair and Patricia are hanging out inside the teahouse at the Audrey mansion.

 

Archibald: [Sighs in frustration]

Annie: What’s wrong Archie?

Archibald: Argh I just couldn’t stop thinking about that guy.

Patricia: That guy? You mean Joe?

Archibald: Yes! He somewhat reminded me of Emma for some reason. Especially that cheerful smile of his, it looks exactly like hers.

Alistair: Maybe they both might be the same person.

Annie: What?

Alistair: No way! It’s true that Joe and Emma almost have the same personality. Besides, they have different genders too.

Annie: Emma is typically a girl while Joe is a guy.

Patricia: On the other hand, Joe doesn’t act like a feminine as well. He’s somewhat pretty cool and more like a boy.

Archibald: Stear, you might be overthinking.

Alistair: I was only saying, I didn’t really mean it.

Annie: [Focused] “Stear might be right. Joe doesn’t even join pool parties nor change clothes with Stear and Archie. He also plays the violin exactly the style as Emma did when she played the violin.”

Patricia: I’ve always thought that Joe can be a bit strange and mysterious as if he holds many secrets.

Annie: He actually knows some things about us, which only Emma knows. Emma isn’t the type of person, who talks about herself often.

Alistair: Judging him is pointless. Let’s just ask him in person.

Archibald: [Hits Stear’s head] You idiot that will never work for sure.

Patricia: He did say that Emma talked a lot about us. That’s why he knew all about us.

Archibald: Whenever I tried to make him about Emma, he keeps avoiding that conversation. All he ever said was “We’ve only met once and don’t speak to each other much. We didn’t our contact numbers or email and not even the home address”.

Patricia: That’s really suspicious, it’s pretty obvious that he’s hiding something from us.

Annie: Let’s look for Joe!

Archibald: [Surprised] What! Annie you can’t serious right?

Annie: [Looks at Alistair with her serious expression] Of course I’m serious! “I want some answers no matter. He might know where Emma is”

Alistair: No way….

Annie: Oh I am; I’ll make Joe spit out those secrets that he’s keeping from us about Emma.  

Patricia: Annie… I’m in!

Annie: [Delighted] Patty!

Patricia: I don’t want to wait for answers to come to me. It’s time to take action, I’m sick of waiting.  

Annie: It’s been 5 years since Emma left us. 5 years is just so long for all of us. I miss her so much… I want to see her again. [Sheds tears]

Patricia: [Embraces Annie and sheds a tear] Annie… I’ve always believed that Emma is watching over us somewhere. I always imagine her laughing and playing her violin. I want to her with that smile and playing that violin again.

Alistair: You’re not the only who’s missing her, Annie. Archie and I missed her as well. We have been searching her for these 5 years.

Annie: Did you find any clues?

Archibald: Not a clue.

Annie: Did you go to Michigan, pony home or any where around there?

Alistair: I’ve searched around every town in Michigan but there was no sign of her.

Archibald: Every year whenever Archie and I went to visit Anthony’s grave there was always a bouquet of white roses in front of his tombstone.

Alistair: The only person who knows Anthony’s favorite was only Emma. It was Emma’s 13th birthday present from Anthony.

Archibald: That flower was…. the symbol of their true love.

Annie: No way…. [Sadden as she covered her mouth with her hands]

Patricia: Anthony really loved Emma right? That’s why he gave Emma that flower on her birthday.

Archibald: “Beloved Ai” that was the name of that flower, which Anthony named after Emma’s name.

Annie: I wonder if Emma knew about Anthony’s feelings and what that flower meant.

Archibald: I’m sure she did.

Alistair: Whenever I look at “Beloved Ai” it reminded me about Emma and Anthony at that rose garden.

Archibald: I wish we could go back in time and go back to the way things were before when Anthony was still alive.

Annie: [Slaps Archibald’s cheek] Archie!

Alistair: [Looks at Annie] What’s that for?

Annie: We can’t go back to the past…. It’s impossible. Emma…once told me when I’ve lost in my piano recital. “What has been done, it’s been done. You can’t change the past but you can do whatever it takes to change the future, don’t always dwell about the past. Move forward.” Those words really encouraged, it gave me lots of strength.

Patricia: I’ve never thought that Emma’s words can actually be good.

Alistair: You’re right Annie. I’m sorry…

Patricia: Come to think of it Stear, you’re close with Joe right? Do you know his address?

Alistair: Yeah I do, I did promised him that I would stop by at his place someday.

Annie: Let’s go then! Where does he live?

Alistair: Joe lives in Farmington in California. 

Annie: All right, let’s pack up and head to Farmington!

Patricia: Ok! I’ll go pack my suitcase!

Annie: Me too! Don’t forget to bring some snacks to eat in the plane.

Patricia: Why are you guys standing there? Hurry up and get ready!

Alistair and Archibald: Yes ma’am!

 

Eliza and Neil hiding behind the bushes by the tea house as they watches Archie and the others leaving the place

 

Neil: Hey Eliza, it seems those people are trying to look for Emma.

Eliza: When will these people ever give up? She’s gone! That bitch quietly left volunteered to leave St Paul 5 years ago.

Neil: She’s probably lying dead somewhere around the globe, where no one will find her.

Eliza: If she were alive, she would have contacted Stear and the others.

Neil: She’s probably hiding like a coward.

Eliza: Stear said there was always another person who visited Anthony’s grave before them during his death anniversary.

Neil: It can’t be her right?

Eliza: I’ll tell Mr Watson to track Emma down and I want you to keep spying Stear and the others then report every word they said to me at once!

Neil: Got it! “Why do I always have to take orders from Eliza” [Frustrated]

Eliza: “Emma…. I will find you! I will find you at all cost! Just wait and see!”

 

An hour later as Stear and the others head to the airport and boards into their private jet to California

 

Annie: [Sits by the window with Patricia]

Patricia: Don’t worry Annie; we’ll try our best to find Emma.

Annie: [Worried and becomes confident] That’s right! Let’s try giving it a shot! I’ll make that secretive Joe to spill out the beans.

Alistair: Annie’s being scary…

Archibald: Well it’s Emma all right. Emma is like a big sister to Annie.

Alistair: Yeah right! Let’s just catch Joe and make him talk.

Archibald: It’s only a 2 hours flight. I’m going to get some rest.

Alistair: It’s not like you’re going to be driving.

 

2 hours later as Stear and the others landed in L.A and depart to Farmington.

 

Alistair: [Driving] Ok according to the GPS, it would take at least 5 hours to Farmington. In my speed that will be 3!

Archibald: Make it 2, bro.

Alistair: No way if I do. I’ll be fined and my licenses will be taken away.

Archibald: Don’t worry just do it!

Alistair: “Well it’s for Emma after all. I’ll do it!” Buckle up your seat belts; it’s going to be a quick ride.

Archibald: [Excited] Now we’re talking!

Alistair: [Accelerates] Here we go!

Patricia: [Grabs onto Annie] Stear!!!

Archibald: Wohoo!!!! Yeah!!!

 

Another 2 hours later as they’ve reached Farmington and then drives around town to look for Joe’s apartment

 

Archibald: We’re finally here; Joe’s house should be around this area.

Alistair: Well I hope the GPS is taking us to the right place.

Annie: Archie! Look I think it’s that maroon apartment! [Points out that apartment]

Patricia: You’re right, that’s what the address was written.

Annie: Pull over there next to the taco shop.

Alistair: Got it! [Parks his car and gets down from it]

Annie: We’re finally here. Now let’s go!

Patricia: It looks like a nice and clean apartment.

Alistair: He did say that he shares the same room with his college mate.

Archibald: Yeah…yeah… let’s go!

Annie: Joe’s in room 508.

Patricia: That’s on the fifth floor.

 

Everyone enters the apartment and goes up to the fifth floor after that they finally reached to Joe’s room.

 

Annie: We’re finally here.

Patricia: Well ring the doorbell.

Annie: I know already. [Takes a deep breathe then rings the doorbell]

[Doorbell rings but no one answered]

Archibald: Stear, are we really at the right house?

Alistair: He’s probably at the supermarket or something.

Archibald: What are we going to do now?

Annie: First things first we need to book a hotel for us to stay.

Patricia: Stear’s tired after all the driving.

Alistair: I’m pretty hungry too.

Archibald: One of us stays here and wait until Joe comes back then the others can go get some food and book the hotel.

Annie: Great idea. Patty and I will get us some tacos downstairs.

Alistair: I’ll go look for some hotels where we can stay.

Melina: [Walks out from the elevator with the groceries and sees Archie and the others in front of the door] “Hmm? These people… what are they doing in front of my doorstep?” [Approaches Archie and the others]

Archibald: I’m counting on you guys.

Melina: [Barges into the conversation] Excuse me… I hate to interrupt you people. Just what are you doing standing in front of someone else’s house? Are you looking for someone?

Archibald: Oh sorry about that. We’re looking for a friend of ours.

Melina: [Observes Archie and the others closely] “These people look familiar. I think I’ve seen them somewhere before but where.” Oh I see…

Annie: We’re looking for a boy name Joe Adams. Does he live here?

Melina: Joe? Hmmm… [Tries to recall] “Joe…wait as in Aika? Aika did say she cross-dresses and called herself Joe if I’m not mistaken”

Patricia:  Miss?

Melina: Ah Joe! Yeah that dude stays here of course!

Alistair: With a girl?

Melina: “Oh crap, I can’t tell them more about Joe. What should I do?” Well Joe is my distant cousin. It’s obvious that we stay together as close relatives, am I right?

Annie: That’s true. Sorry about that.

Melina: You guys seemed tired, why don’t you come in to have some tea and I’m about to make dinner too.

Annie: Really?

Melina: Yeah! Come on in! [Unlocks the door and enters the house]

Annie and the others: Thank you [Enters the house]

Melina: [Switches on the light and goes into the kitchen to place the groceries into the refrigerator] Sorry that my house is small since it’s only Joe and me after all. Sit wherever you like and make yourselves at home.

Annie: It’s fine, I mean what a lovely apartment and the house you have.

Melina: Well thanks!

Annie: Do you need some help?

Melina: That’s all right! You’re my guest. I can’t let you do all the work.

Annie: [Walks to Melina and helps her sorting out the grocery] Please let me.

Melina: But…

Patricia: I’ll help out too! Annie and I can cook. It would be faster if there is another helping hand.

Melina: That’s true. Thank you!

Annie and Patricia: [Smiled]

Melina: I’m going to make some cream stew for dinner.

Annie: Patty and I make some potato salad and garlic bread. Do you have some olive oil and bread?

Melina: Yeah I do.

Annie: Perfect.

Patricia: We should introduce ourselves first. My name is Patricia O’Brien but you can call me Patty for short.

Annie: My name is Annie Brighton; just call me Annie or Ann.

Alistair: I’m Alistair Cornwell; Stear is fine. I hate it when anyone calls my full name. It sounds weird and this is my younger brother Archibald.

Archibald: Archie is fine.

Melina: I’m Melina Meadow; you can call me Meli or Lina for short.

Annie and Patricia: [Shakes hands with Melina] Nice to meet you too, Meli.

Melina: Let’s get started!

Annie: Okay!

 

The girls started cooking for dinner while Archie and Stear falls asleep soundly on the sofa in front of the TV.

 

Patricia: Stear and Archie must be tired getting us all the way here.

Annie: Let’s cook something good for them!

Melina: Say Annie and Patty. I hate to be nosy, why are you guys looking for Joe?

Annie: Well… we’re trying to look for a friend who disappeared 5 years ago.

Melina: Wow that’s pretty long. Where are you guys come from?

Annie: We came from Chicago.

Patricia: My hometown’s actually in England but I come to attend a medical university in Chicago.

Melina: Right…. Okay girls go wake the guys up. The stews ready!

Annie: Okay!

Patricia: Our salad and the garlic bread is ready too!

Annie: [Goes to the sofa and wakes Archibald and Alistair up] Wake up boys! Dinner’s ready!

Alistair and Archibald: [Wakes up but have half awaken] What?

Annie: Hurry up!

Alistair and Archibald: All right we’re coming… [Both sits at the dining table in front of the kitchen]

Melina: Well sorry that you had to sit on the stools since we didn’t have enough dining chairs. [Sits at the dining table]

Archibald: It’s fine Melina.

Alistair: I’m starving! Let’s eat! [Starts eating]

Melina: [Starts eating then finally recognizes Archie and the other after looking at their faces one more time] “Oh my god, I finally remember it’s them. The ones that Aika has been trying to hide from…. I can’t believe they’re finally here. They are looking for Aika but they don’t know that Joe and Aika is actually the same person”

Alistair: This stew is really good [Eats faster]

Melina: Thanks….

Annie: Will Joe be back?

Melina: Oh yeah about that… he’s not coming home for a few days.

Archibald: What!

Patricia: You can’t be serious. Where did Joe go?

Melina: “Shot can I actually tell them where she is” Well Joe went back home to see his family.

Alistair: Where?

Melina: Where….

Annie and Patricia: [Gives Melina a straight expression] Where is he?

Melina: “Forgive me Aika” He’s in Japan.

Annie: Japan? Why?

Melina: His family is pretty complicated. He’s half American and Japanese. So he went back to his grandmother’s place somewhere in Japan. If I’m not mistaken it’s in… [Tries to remember]

Patricia: Where?

Melina: Ah! It’s the Ishikawa prefecture. Joe’s family’s house is in Kanazawa.

Annie: So now we have to get to this Ishikawa and find Joe again.

Patricia: We’ve finally found our first clue.

Melina: Why do you want to find that person so badly?

Annie: Because that person is my best friend and a sister to me.

Melina: I see… well sorry I don’t know the address of the family’s house. This is all I know.

Annie: That’s all right; you’ve helped us quite enough.

Patricia: You even offered us dinner. How can we ever thank you?

Melina: It’s no biggy since you’re Joe’s friends. Oh right I’ve overheard you guys haven’t decided where to stay yet. You can here for a night and take the morning flight to Narita tomorrow.

Annie: Really?! Oh thank you so much!

Melina: My pleasure! Let’s eat before the stew goes cold.

 

After dinner as Melina takes Annie and Patricia to her room while she sleeps in Aika’s room instead.

 

Melina: You guys can sleep in my room tonight and I’ll sleep at Joe’s room. “Since I can’t let them see Joe’s stuff and know that he’s actually a girl”

Patricia: Thanks!

Melina: Hohoho good night then! [Closes the door and enters Aika’s room next door]

Annie: [Sits on the bed and sighs]

Patricia: [Looks at Annie] We really had a long day today.

Annie: Yeah and I’m really glad that we start looking for Emma again.

Patricia: Me too! I’m glad that we came all the way here from Chicago. It’s like an adventure to all of us. We even made a new friend along the way.

Annie: I wonder if Emma does the same thing when she left London 5 years ago.

Patricia: I’m sure she does. She’s Emma after all.

Annie: Hahaha! the bright and energetic Emma. She always had been this way ever since we were kids. She was always friendly towards everyone in town and everyone adored her. I was always watched her from afar and admired her.

Patricia: [Nodded as she agreed] I remembered the time she first transferred to St Paul and moved into the dorm room next to mine. She saved me a lot and even got into heaps of trouble because of helping others. I was one of them though. We both got punished together. My punishment wasn’t severe as Emma’s.

Annie: Oh the time before the May festival right? She was locked in the confined room and wasn’t allowed to take part in the festival too.

Patricia: At least she escaped by dressing up as Romeo.

Annie: I didn't recognize her back then until she took off her mask.

Patricia: Me too! We even danced together! She was a good dancer!

Annie: Emma has always been bad at ball dancing.

Patricia: No way!

Annie: I’ve practiced dancing with her a few times for the school stage show when we were 6. She stepped on my feet countless of times; luckily she danced pretty well for the play.

Patricia: I see...

Annie: [Yawns then straight lies down and falls asleep] I’m going to bed now. Good night Patty!

Patricia: Good night Annie. 

 

In the living room where Alistair and Archibald are in

 

Alistair: [Looks at Archibald who is sleeping on the mattress next to sofa] Archie? Are you awake?

Archibald: [Opens his eyes] Yeah I am. What’s wrong? Can’t sleep?

Alistair: What will you do once we have found Emma?

Archibald: I don’t know….

Alistair: Me neither. Maybe it’s nice to see how Emma looked like after 5 years. Will she changed or be the same Emma that we once know.

Archibald:  She wouldn’t change that easily.

Alistair: Why?

Archibald: I don’t know but I just got this feeling that she wouldn’t. She’s Emma that we’re talking about.

Alistair: I kept thinking that how Emma would look like when she becomes an adult since we were kids.

Archibald: She’ll be more beautiful than she was before. 

Alistair: I miss her laughs, cheeky smile and our wonderful time together.

Archibald: We all have so many things to say her after all.

Alistair: It’s been 5 years after all.

Archibald: Is that all? I’m going to sleep now. We have to leave this place first thing in the morning tomorrow. Good night! [Falls asleep]

Alistair: [Falls asleep] “Wait for us Emma, we’re coming for you”

 

At the same while it is broad daylight in Kanazawa, Aika and her family are in right now. She, her younger sister and her cousin were trying on their kimonos for the New Year visit to the shrine.

 

Haruna: Onee-chan, you look so pretty in that kimono! Red really does suit you!

Aika: Thanks! You looked adorable in pink.

Haruna: I love pink after all! It’s my lucky colour!

Yui: Guys, what do you think of my yellow kimono?

Aika and Haruna: [Looks at Yui as they were impressed]

Aika: [Thumbs up] It looks great in you Yui.

Haruna: You were always into yellow since we were little.

Yui: Thanks Aika-neesan!

Mineko: Girls, tomorrow is finally the New Year!

Yui: I’m really excited about it grandma!

Haruna: Me too!

Mineko: [Looks at Aika] Ai…

Aika: [Looks at Mineko as she just noticed her in the room] Yeah I’m really excited about it too!

Haruna: What’s for lunch grandma?

Mineko: I’ve made some udons with fish cakes in it. Everyone is waiting at the dining table.

Haruna: Okay! Let’s go Yui!

Yui: Yeah! [Nodded and leaves the room together with Haruna]

Mineko: [Approaches Aika who is standing next to the window] Aika? Why the sad face?

Aika: Well whenever I see snow, it reminds me of the sad memories I had in the past.

Mineko: About the time before you came here? When you were in America.

Aika: That’s right. I left my precious friends without saying a word.

Mineko: But it was your own decision that you’ve made right? Your mother told me about it.

Aika: [Nodded] I… I should have at least told them after settling down. But I was too scared to do it. If I tell them, they’ll definitely come find me and persuade me to go back to school with them. I want to live my life as a free person, without others telling me what to do. At the same time, I also wanted to search for my real parents. That’s why I left and cut ties with the Audreys.

Mineko: [Impressed] I’ve never thought you’ve grown up to be such a mature lady.

Aika: Haha I even started cross-dressing, cut my hair short and named myself as “Joe Adams”. I was able to live freely as “Joe” but as “Emma” it was hard since I have to fake my own voice. Leaving England was a great and a hardest decision to me. I’m really glad that I left.

Mineko: Ok then! I can hear tummy rumbling! Let’s go downstairs for some lunch! Everyone is waiting for us.

Aika: [Grin] Of course! I love grandma’s homemade udon!

 

The next morning in Farmington, Alistair and the group leaves Joe’s apartment and drives all the way to the airport.

 

Melina: [Yawns]

Annie: Sorry to wake you up so early, Meli.

Melina: No biggies guys!

Patricia: Thank you for letting us stay at your place last night.

Annie: The food was delicious.

Melina: Not at all!

Archibald: Thank you so much for everything!

Melina: [Smiled] Well take care of yourselves! Safe flight to the rising sun!

Alistair: Thanks!

Melina: Oh yeah send my regards to Joe for me!

Annie: Of course!

Alistair: [Starts the car and honks] Hey, it’s time to go guys!

Annie: Bye Meli! [Rushes into the car with everyone]

Alistair: [Drives away]

Patricia: [Waves] Bye Meli! Call us when you come to Chicago!

Melina: [Waves] I will! “What a great bunch you have Aika… Make sure you make up with them properly before you come back”

 

Along the highway

 

Archibald: [Yawns]

Annie: What’s wrong Archie?

Archibald: I couldn’t really sleep last night.

Alistair: Did Emma pop into your dream last night?

Archibald: [Blushes] What? No!

Patricia: Are you sure?

Archibald: Of course! Why would she appear in my dream for?

Annie: You missed her right?

Archibald: [Remained silent]

Annie: “He really does miss her”

Alistair: Were you dreaming about the time when we were still in St Paul together?

Archibald: No… it was the time when Anthony was still alive and we playing at the rose garden as kids. She was smiling so happily while Anthony was by her side. Anthony was everything to her; she was terribly devastated when he died.

Alistair: When Terry appeared, she was able to move on.

Archibald: Emma somehow acted a bit different whenever Terry’s around. Don’t you think?

Alistair: Oh yeah come to think of it. She was acting a feminine than usual.

Patricia: That’s love, idiots!
Annie: Patty, you’re awake!

Archibald: No way! Why would she like that guy?

Annie: We wouldn't know Archie. Different people have different tastes.

Patricia: They do argue a lot but they still get along very well.

Annie: Sometimes whenever we talked about him, she tends blush.

Patricia: I know right!

Annie and Patricia: [Laughs] Hahaha!

 

Alistair stops in front of the airport entrance in the evening. All of them get out from the car and walk to the place where their private jet was parked.

 

Alistair: We’re finally here at last! Let’s go back to our private jet.

Annie: Yeah!

Archibald: Stear, did you tell them that we’d be flying to Japan?

Alistair: Yeah I’ve called them last night after we had supper.

Patricia: I hope so.

 

Annie and her friends finally board into the private jet.

 

Annie: [Sits down] It’s going to be a long flight.

Alistair: [Sits next to Patricia] I can finally have a wonderful good night sleep.

Patricia: [Pats his head] Oh Stear!

Alistair: [Sleeps on Patricia’s left shoulder] Good night!

Annie: That’s so sweet!

Patricia: He’s such a baby; well that’s what I like about him.

Archibald: We’ll probably reached around midnight or more than that. So it’s better we get plenty of sleep.

Annie: You’re right.

Patricia: First we’ll land at Narita airport then we’ll take an hour train to Tokyo station then switch to a bullet train to Kanazawa station which will take about 2 hours. That’s the research I did last night and I even bought the tickets online too.

Archibald: [Thumbs up] Nice one Patty!

Patricia: [Looks at Alistair] It's to help Stear out a bit, he’s just tired after driving us around.

Archibald: Poor Stear, let’s treat him something good for him when we get back.

Patricia: Thank you!

Annie: [Smiled]

Patricia: It’s all thanks to you, Annie. You’ve come out with this idea of looking for Joe and Emma.

Annie: Oh no, it’s just….

Patricia: It was really fun!

Archibald: This will be our next round, let’s do our best to find Joe and Emma.

Annie and Patricia: [Nodded]

Archibald: Stear and I have been to Japan a couple of times before. I think we might remember the way.

Annie: [Leans closer to Archibald] We’re counting on you.

Archibald: [Blushes] Okay!

 

The private jet departs from San Francisco airport.  Then, the clock strikes 12 and it is finally the New Year in Japan. Aika and her family were watching the count down on TV in the living room.

 

Everyone: [Cheers] HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Aika: Happy New year everyone!!

Haruna:  Happy New year!!

Yui: It’s finally the New Year in Japan!

Tsuyoshi: [Approaches Aika] Happy New Year Aika.

Aika: [Grin and wraps her arms around his shoulders] Nishihi Happy New Year Tsuyoshi! Hope you find a girl who’s ten times better than I am. 

Tsuyoshi: [Blushes and nodded] You bet!

Mineko: [Looks at Aika and Tsuyoshi] “I’m glad she’s back to her old self again.”

Tooru: Aika is finally again like she always does.

Mineko: She’s much better this way. Just like a tomboy.

Tooru: You’re right.

Aika: Wanna go to the shrine for our first visit?

Minori: Aika, we’ll be going to the shrine tomorrow anyways.

Aika: No, I’ll be going to the other shrine.

Haruna: You meant that small shrine?

Aika: That’s right! Let’s go!
Haruna: Sure.

Minori: Ok but be careful and make sure you take Tsuyoshi with you.

Aika: Ok!

Yui: Onii-chan, let’s go!

Tsuyoshi: Why me?

Aika: Because you’re a guy. You can’t possibly leave 3 beautiful ladies to wander around town in the middle of the night right?

Tsuyoshi: As if Yui is a beautiful lady, she’s more like a chimpanzee.

Yui: [Pissed off] What did you just say?!

Tsuyoshi: See what I mean. [Points at Yui]

Aika: Let’s not argue and get going.

Tsuyoshi: [Surrenders] Fine.

Yui and Haruna: [Puts on their warm jackets and shoes at the entrance] Hurry up guys!

Aika: [Puts on her warm jacket and shoes] All right! All right! We’re coming!

Yui: Hurry up onii-chan!

Tsuyoshi: Shut it, will you? I’m coming already. [Quickly puts on his winter jacket and shoes]

Haruna: Ok mom, we’ll be leaving now!

Minori: Ok children, be careful and don’t stay out too long or you’ll catch a cold.

Yui: We will aunty!

Aika and the rest: [Leaves the house and walks along the road side]

Yui: It’s freeing out here.

Haruna: That’s because you aren’t wearing enough clothes on.

Yui: You’re right.

Aika: Sorry I forgot to bring my scarf along.

Yui: That’s okay, Aika-nee. I’ll be fine.

Tsuyoshi: [Yawns]

Aika: [Turns to Tsuyoshi] Sorry for making you to come with us.

Tsuyoshi: It’s fine.

Yui: [Sees the shrine by the side of the river] There it is!  [Quickly run towards it]

Haruna: [Runs after Yui] Wait for me Yui!

Yui: [Squat down towards it and prays] “I wish you to protect my family and friends. I also hope I can do better in school”

Haruna and the others: [Joined in]

Haruna: [Prays] “I hope I can do better in school and get a handsome boyfriend like Terry”

Tsuyoshi: [Prays] “I wish to have a girlfriend”

Aika: [Prays] “I pray that I could see Archie, Stear, Patty and Annie again. Please give me the courage to face them and apologize properly. I hope they forgive me for everything. I wish for my family and precious friends will always be in pink health”

Haruna: [Finished praying and turns to Aika] What did you pray for?

Aika: [Stnads up] It’s a secret

Everyone: [Stands up]

Tsuyoshi: Let’s go home.

Aika: [Yawns] Yeah, we have a big day tomorrow.

Everyone: [Walks home]

 

The next morning as the private jet lands at Narita airport. They grab their luggage and wander around the airport

 

Alistair: [Snoring]

Patricia: [Wakes Alistair up] Wake up Stear!

Alistair: [Ignores] Give me another 5 minutes.

Archibald: Let me try. [Place his IPod next to Alistair’s right ear and plays loud metal music]

Alistair: [Quickly gets up and puts on his glasses] Hey! Why did you do that?

Annie: Cause you didn’t wake up when Patty tried to wake you up just now.

Alistair: Oh right…

Archibald: What an idiot.

Patricia: We’re finally in Japan now!

Annie: [Looks at the time from her smartphone] It’s should be 5am in Japan.

Archibald: [Picks up his bag pack from the head compartment] Lets get our things and take the earliest train to Ishikawa wherever it was.

Patricia: [Looks at the train schedule from her mini tablet] First we’ll have some breakfast then we’ll take the Narita express to Tokyo station after that we’ll take the bullet train to Ishikawa.

Alistair: [Yawns and stretches his arms] Great cause I’m tired and hungry after the long ride.

Annie: I’m hungry too. Lets look for a place to eat in the airport.

Everyone: [Take their belonging and leaves the aircraft. Enter the airport]

 

Inside the airport

 

Archibald and Alistair: [Drags the luggage trolley and walks along with Annie and Patricia from the back] Any cafes?

Patricia: Hang in there guys.

Annie: [Sees McDonald] I see McDonalds! Let’s go! [Runs towards the empty spot and sits down]

Patricia and the others: [Finally caught up and sits down] Great job Annie.

Patricia: Annie and I will queue up to get some food. You guys can rest here and watch our things. [Leaves with Annie]

Archibald: Ok!

Alistair: [Gets up and walks away] I’ll be heading to the restroom

Archibald: Do you know where it is?

Alistair: I’ll find out somehow.

Archibald: Don’t get lost.

Alistair: [Waves while walking away]

Archibald: [Sighs] “Will he be okay?”

 

20 minutes later

 

Annie and Patricia: [Returns with the food] We’re back!

Archibald: Great I’m starving! [Grabs a packet of burger and unpacks the packet]

Patricia: Where’s Stear?

Archibald: That’s weird; he said he was going to the rest room. He should be back by now.

Patricia: I wonder if he’s lost.

Annie: No way, he wouldn’t. Right Archie?

Archibald: Ye… yeah!

Alistair: [Yells while running towards them] Hey!!!

Annie: See?

Patricia: What took you so long?

Alistair: Sorry, the rest room was pretty occupied. So I had to wait.

Patricia: Thank goodness.

Alistair: [Sits next to Archibald and sees the food on the table] The food’s here, I’m starving.

Patricia: [Sits next to Alistair] Go ahead and dig in.

Annie: [Sits down and digs in]

Patricia: [Digs in] This is really good.

Archibald: You’re right!

Annie: This is the beef teriyaki burger.

Archibald: I see! I wish they had these in America too.

 

After breakfast, they take the next train from the airport to Tokyo station.

 

Tokyo station

 

Patricia: Lets go to the bullet train platform. It should be on the first floor then straight to the left.

Annie: [Looks around with amazement] Wow so this is Tokyo station. It looks so big and there are so many people here.

Archibald: [Takes Annie’s hand] We don’t have time to look around. Lets go before we miss our train.

Annie: Oh right!

Alistair: [Looks for the bullet train platform]

Patricia: [Grabs Alistair’s sleeve]

Alistair: [Turns to Patricia] Patty?

Patricia: It’s easy to get separated from here.

Alistair: [Holds Patricia’s hands and walks away] Lets hurry Patty before we get left behind.

Patricia: [Smiled and nodded]

 

At the bullet train ticket booth, Annie and the boys wait for Patricia opposite of the counter

 

Annie: We’re finally here.

Archibald: It took us a while to look for this place.

Alistair: I’m beat.

Patricia: Here are the tickets, guys! [Passes the tickets to everyone]

Archibald: Thanks Patty.

Everyone: [Proceeds to the ticket gate and slots the tickets in then enters]

 

At the train platform, the bullet train arrives on time and the passengers enter the train

 

Archibald: [Turns the seat towards Alistair and Patricia’s seat] I’m glad we could turn the seat around.

Alistair: [Places everyone’s belongings onto the upper compartment and sits down]

Patricia: [Takes off her jacket and sits by the window] We’re finally leaving Tokyo.

Annie: [Sits opposite of Patricia] You bet.

Archibald: [Sits down] Lets hope we can track Joe down.

Alistair: Don’t you think we should get a place to stay first?

Patricia: Oh my god, I forgot about that.

Archibald: It’s okay; we’ll ask the locals about the hotels.

Patricia: Ok.

Alistair: [Puts on his sleeping mask] Anyways it’s going to be another long ride to Kanazawa. I’m going to take a nice long nap.

Archibald: Well it’s only about an hour and a half ride there.

 

[The bullet train departs from the station]

 

Annie: [Looks out from the window] It’s finally moving! Patty looks at the view!

Patricia: [Looks at the view from the window] Wow it looks great!

Annie: So this is the town where Joe lives.

Patricia: After we find Joe and Emma, lets go for sightseeing in Tokyo.

Annie: I thought so too!

Archibald: [Lean against the seat and pushes the seat down] “We’re coming for you, Emma. Wait for us”

 

Half and hour later at Kanazawa station

 

Archibald: We’re here at last!

Patricia: [Looks at her mini IPad again]

Annie: [Looks at Patricia’s IPad] What are you doing?

Patricia: [Scrolls down at Booking.com to search for nearest hotels] I’m searching for the nearest hotel from here.

Archibald: You don’t have to, Patty.

Patricia: [Finds the hotel and books the rooms] Found it!

Archibald: Great.

Patricia: I finally got rid of my guilt.

Alistair: So what’s the name of it and the location?

Patricia: It’s called Shinomiya Inn and it’s about 5 or 7 minutes walk from here.

Annie: There’s also a supermarket and convenience store nearby.

Alistair: What are we waiting for? Lets get our butts going! [Walks ahead of them]

Patricia: [Keeps her mini IPad into her sling bag and catches up to Alistair] Wait for us Stear!

Annie and Archibald: [Walks after Patricia and Alistair]

 

Shinomiya Inn after they’ve checked into their hotel rooms. Alistair and Archibald’s room is next to Annie and Patricia’s

 

Annie: [Draws the curtains]

Patricia: [Comes out from the bathroom after taking her shower] It’s your turn Annie.

Annie: [Turns to Patricia and quickly takes her towel and clothes to the bathroom] Oh right! [Shuts the door]

Patricia: [Sits in front of the dressing table and uses the hairdryer to dry her wet wavy hair]

Archibald: [Knocks the door] It’s me!

Patricia: [Switches off the hair dryer and walked to the door. Quickly opens it]

Archibald and Alistair: [Enters] Are you guys ready?

Patricia: [Closes the door] No Annie’s still taking the shower.

Archibald: [Sits on the left bed with Alistair] Right…

Patricia: [Takes the TV remote and switches on the TV] I wonder if there’s anything good to watch. [Keeps switching channels]

Alistair: There aren’t any English channels here.

Archibald: [Disappointed] No way! I can’t understand a single word in Japanese.

Alistair: [Looks through his smartphone] Well I heard from the receptionist that there’s Wi-Fi here.

Archibald: Excellent! Give me the password!

Annie: [Comes out from the bathroom then sees Archibald and Alistair in room] Hi boys! Just give me a few minutes to get myself ready.

Patricia: [Sits in front of the dressing table again and combs her hair] Me too

Archibald: Take your time; we’re not in a hurry.

Alistair: I hope grandaunt Elroy doesn’t find out that we’re gone.

Archibald: Me too

Annie: Well I’ve texted my parents that I’ll be going to Japan for a new year count down with you guys.

Patricia: Same here

Archibald: So we’re the only bad ones here.

Annie: I guess so.

Alistair: We can’t simply tell aunt Elroy that we’re going on trip.

Archibald: She’ll probably insist us to take Eliza and Neil along with us.

Alistair: [Disgusted] No way!

Annie: [Finished drying her hair with the hair dryer and combs her hair then braids it] We’re all set, lets go!

Alistair and Archibald: [Gets up and leaves the room] Finally!

Annie and Patricia: [Gets their bags and leaves with the boys]

 

Outside of the inn

 

Archibald: We’ll split up and search for Joe. I’ll go with Annie.

Alistair: Patty and I will search from the other side. First we’ll go ask at the police station.

Archibald: Ok call us if you guys find out something. See you guys later! [Walks away with Annie]

 

At the police station

 

Alistair: Excuse me officer.

Police man: Yes? What can I do for you, sir?

Alistair: We’re looking for someone.

Police man: Please tell me the person’s name and show me a picture if you have it.

Patricia: [Shows a picture of Joe to the police man at the counter] His name is Joe Adams. He’s 19 years old and we’ve heard that he’s staying at his relatives’ house around here.

Police man: [Looks closely] Hmmm… do you know the area of that person’s relatives’ home?

Patricia: We don’t know. All we know is he come here with his family 2 days ago.

Police man: This is hard. Do you know the name of his relatives? The family name for instance.

Alistair: [Shook] That’s okay; we’ll find him ourselves. Thank you for your time. [Leaves the police station with Patricia]

 

Outside of the police station

 

Patricia: Asking the staff at the police station didn’t work.

Alistair: Well if only we knew Joe’s relative’s name. We could be able to get the address.

Patricia: That’s too bad

Alistair: Lets ask someone nearby.

Patricia: We’ll start from the supermarket store over there.

Alistair: [Approaches the staff at the supermarket] Excuse me!

Lady staff: [Turns to Alistair and blushed] Yes? “Oh my, what a handsome man”

Alistair: [Shows a picture of Joe on his smartphone] Mind if I ask if you’ve seen this person around here before?

Lady staff: [Looks at the picture] I’m sorry I’ve never seen this person before.

Alistair: [Disappointed] That’s okay, thank you so much. [Leaves]

Patricia: That’s okay! Lets keep trying!

Alistair and Patricia: [Leaves and starts their search again]

 

Annie and Archibald’s side

 

Annie: [Approaches café staff in front of the café and shows Joe’s picture] Excuse me! Have you seen this person here before?

Café staff: [Shook] Nope

Annie: [Disappointed] Thank you! [Leaves]

Archibald: [Asked the café customers who were queuing up] Excuse me! Have you seen this person?

Café customer 1: Nope

Café customer 2: I’m afraid not

Café customer 3: [Looks closely at the photo] This person looks kind of familiar.

Archibald: [Excited] Really?

Café customer 4: Is this person a guy or a girl?

Annie: It’s a guy.

Café customer 3: Hmm the one whom we saw 2 days ago was a girl with long hair. But they looked the same.

Café customer 4: She looked kind of beautiful.

Archibald: Where did you last saw her?

Café customer 4: They were at the souvenir store, which is 2 blocks away from here.

Archibald: Thank you so much! Lets go Annie! [Leaves with Annie]

 

At the crowded souvenir store

 

Annie and Alistair: [Rushes in and cuts in the long queue to the cashier]

Annie: [Shows the cashier lady and man] Excuse me! Have you seen this person who came into this shop about 2 days ago?

Cashier lady: [Shook] Not a clue

Cashier man: [Looks closely at the photo] Oh that pretty girl! I remember her! “Wow she looked like a real guy in that photo. It could be her old photo”

Cashier lady: Tell these two to stand at the side! They’re interrupting our business.

Annie: We’re sorry!

Cashier man: Sorry about that woman! [Leaves the counter and takes them to the side of the shop]

Archibald: We’re awfully sorry!

Cashier man: It’s fine kiddos!

Annie: Did you just say young lady?

Cashier man: Yeah, she was here with her little sister 2 days ago.

Archibald: Do you know where they go after that?

Lady staff: [Interrupts their conversation] I’ve overheard them saying that they’ll be meeting someone.

Cashier man: Someone?

Lady staff: I think it was their mother.

Lady staff: It might be possible.

Annie: I see… thank you so much.

Cashier man: I’m sorry this is all I know.

Lady staff: [Nodded]

Archibald: No not at all! You both have been a great help to us; we can’t thank you enough.

Annie: [Smiled and agreed] That’s right

Cashier man: Wait here for a sec. I’ll be right back. [Walks away]

Annie and Archibald: [Puzzled and waits for the cashier man]

Lady staff: I need to help out my mother at the cashier. Bye! [Walks away]

Cashier man: [Returns and passes the city map & tourist brochures to them] Ok kiddos, here are the city map and tourist brochures. I hope it come in handy.

Annie: [Delighted] Thank you so much sir!

Archibald: [Looks at the map and brochures] Wow the map’s easy to read and we’ll know where to have dinner tonight thanks to these brochures.

Cashier man: Good luck looking for your girl!

Archibald: It’s a guy!

Cashier man: You sure? I think this person might look like a guy cause of her short hair.

Annie: Anyways thank you for the information. [Leaves with Archibald]

Archibald: Don’t you think it’s weird that the people here said that Joe is a girl with long hair?

Annie: True, but we need to keep trying. It can be our clue.

Archibald: [Nodded]

 

Hours have passed and dusk finally arrives; Annie and her friends are still looking for Joe’s whereabouts by asking the locals in every tourist spots, department stores and shopping districts.

 

 At the shopping district

 

Annie and Archibald: [Walking tiredly] 

 

[Archibald smartphone rings]

 

Archibald: [Picks up his smartphone from his right pocket and looks at the screen] It’s from Stear.

Annie: [Turns to Archibald] Answer it.

Archibald: [Answers the call] Have you found him?

Alistair: [Sighed] Not a clue. Where are you guys?

Archibald: We’re on our way to the hotel. Let’s meet at the lobby.

Alistair: All right, see you guys there.

Archibald: [Ends the call] Let’s meet up with Stear and Patty at the hotel.

Annie: Ok

Archibald: [Looks at the time on his smartphone] It’s half passed seven.

Annie: I’m starving….

Archibald: Lets hurry back. [Grabs Annie’s hand]

Annie: [Nodded] Yeah

 

At the hotel lobby

 

Alistair: [Takes a nap on the couch]

Patricia: [Looks at the time on her watch]

Annie: [Approaches Patricia and sits next to her] Patty!

Patricia: [Leans on Annie’s right shoulder tiredly] Hey!

Archibald: [Sits on the small couch next to Alistair’s and sighs] I’m beat!

Patricia: Me too, Archie…

Archibald: [Picks up the brochures from his bag back and flips through it] It’s obvious after looking at Stear.

Patricia: I’ve never seen Stear this tired before.

Archibald: Just let him be.

Patricia: What are you doing?

Archibald: I’m looking at the brochures that the old man from the souvenir store gave us.

Patricia: Ok…

Archibald: [Excited and shows one of the brochures to Patricia] Hey let’s have dinner at this place!

Patricia: [Looks at the brochure] Hmm it looks good.

Archibald: I’ve been craving for meat for weeks.

Patricia: Were you vegetarian before we got here?

Archibald: Yeah…

Patricia: Ok… anywhere is fine for me.

Annie: That’s Japanese barbeque. It says its one of the best BBQ restaurants in town. It’s pretty close from here.

Patricia: Are you okay with it, Annie?

Annie: Crystal!

Patricia: [Goes to Alistair’s side and wakes him up] Stear! Stear! Stear, wake up! Annie and Archie are back! Let’s go out for dinner!

Alistair: [Slowly gets up and rubs his eyes] What? What time is it?

Patricia: [Hoists Alistair up and pushes him towards the rest room nearby] It’s 8pm. Hurry up and wash your face, we’re leaving in 5 minutes.

Alistair: [Adjusts his glasses and enters the gents] All right, give me a minute.

Patricia: [Walks back to Annie and Archibald’s side] He’ll be right back.

Annie: [Yawns] I’ve been really tired since we’ve landed in Japan.

Archibald: It’s the jet lag, you’ll get used to it soon.

Annie: [Gets up and goes to the ladies] I’m going to wash my face a bit.

 

 

 

10 minutes later at the Japanese BBQ restaurant

 

Annie and the others: [Sits down and flips through the menu]

Waitress: [Serves 4 glasses of ice water and leaves] Here’s some glass of water. Call me if you need anything.

Annie: [Turns to the waitress] Thank you.

Archibald: I’m going eat heaps of meat tonight, don’t try and stop me guys!
Alistair: We won’t, Archie. Eat as much as you want. [Picks up his glass and drinks]

Patricia: Why did you have to be vegetarian?

Archibald: Cause I’ve lost a bet with T.K 2 weeks ago. So I had to be vegetarian for 2 weeks.

Annie: With Tristan and Keith?

Patricia: What did you guys do?

Alistair: You don’t want to know.

Archibald: [Blushes] This is guys’ stuff, Patty. “I can’t possibly tell them that I’ve been trying to ask Jennifer Stevens to be my date for Stephen’s party”

Patricia: Oh I see then it’s fine if you don’t want to tell us.

Archibald: [Relieves] “Stear, you’re a lifesaver. In the end I couldn’t ask her out cause Dylan from the Engineer department did before me. I didn’t want to betray Annie so I don’t mind losing to this shitty bet”

Annie: [Raises her right hand up and waves] Excuse me waitress! We would like to take our order!

Waitress: [Rushes to Annie’s side and takes out her pen and notebook] 

Annie: [Points the set menu on the menu] We’ll take this set menu then.

Waitress: Ok! Is that all?

Annie: Yes, thank you.

Alistair: What? But we haven’t decided yet.

Annie: That’s okay; we’ll be having the set menu. It’s perfect for the four of us.

Archibald: Ok as long as I can eat whole lot meat again.

Annie: [Drinks the whole glass of water and slams the glass down as she was frustrated] Argh!!

Patricia: What’s wrong Annie?

Annie: We’ve spent the entire day looking for Joe in this damn town.

Archibald: Hell yeah and it’s funny that some of the locals we’ve asked said that Joe was a girl with long hair.

Patricia: [Surprised] What?

Annie: I couldn’t believe it too.

Alistair: When I looked into Joe’s eyes, he had the same eyes as Emma.

Annie: That ocean blue eye.

Patricia: The police couldn’t help us either.

Alistair: There’s still tomorrow. Let’s not give up.

Everyone: [Nodded]

Annie: [Stares at Joe’s photo sadly]

Patricia: [Embraces Annie] Don’t worry we’ll find him.

Annie: [Sobbing]

Waitress: [Places 2 plates of raw meat on the table] Here’s your order.

Annie: [Places her smartphone on the table] Thank you.

Waitress: [Sees Joe’s photo on Annie’s smartphone] This person… Isn’t that….

Everyone: [Surprised and stares at the waitress]

Archibald: You know him?

Waitress: Yeah, she’s my neighbor’s granddaughter. We’re pretty close. “Him?”

Annie: Tell us where his grandparents’ house is!

Waitress: What exactly are you people to him?

Patricia: We’re his close friends.

Waitress: Where are you guys from?

Annie: We’re from America.

Waitress: [Made a slight smile] I see…. [Writes down something on her notebook and rips the paper off. After that, passes it to Annie] Here’s the address and my neighbors’ family name.

Annie: [Thrilled] Thank you so much!

Waitress: Good luck! [Walks away]

Archibald: [Thrilled] Finally! We’ve got you now, Joe!

Annie: This calls for a celebration!

Alistair: [Places the meat on the grill] Yeah so let’s eat all we want!

Waitress: [Watches them from the counter] “So these are your friends that you’ve been missing. I’m glad they’re here to find you, Aika” [Texts Aika on her smartphone]

 

In the living room at her grandparents’ house

 

[Aika’s text tone from her smartphone rings]

 

Aika: [Swipes the text notification and becomes shocked] What?

Haruna: [Turns to Aika] What’s wrong nee-chan?

Aika: I’ve got a text from Miu.

Haruna: So?

Aika: They’re here.

Haruna: Who?

Aika: [Turns to Haruna with her shocked expression] My friends from America?

Haruna: The four people from your picture?

Aika: [Nodded] They were looking for me and happened to be having dinner at Miu’s workplace.

Haruna: Oh wow that’s a coincidence…

Aika: [Panicked] What should I do? I’m not ready to face them yet.

Haruna: Don’t worry about it; I’ll talk to Miu and Yui about this later. Onee-chan just try to come up with what you’re going to explain to them tomorrow.

Aika: [Sighs]

Haruna: We’ll be home all day tomorrow and Miu doesn’t have work tomorrow so we can help you out.

Aika: [Holds Haruna’s hands with delight] Oh Haruna, you’re the best sister I’ve ever had!

Haruna: You owe me an ice cream if everything’s ok tomorrow.

Aika: Ok

Yui: [Sit’s next to Aika in the kotatsu and joins the conversation] What are you guys talking about?

Haruna: Excellent, you’re just in time.

Yui: What?

Haruna: [Calls Miu on her smartphone] I’m calling Miu now

Yui: Why? What’s going on?

Aika: My long lost American are in Kanazawa.

Yui: [Surprised] What?! No way! You mean the four people from your photo?

Aika: Yes…

Yui: Oh my god! Isn’t that great! You can finally see them again!

Aika: To be honest, I do see them often but as somebody else in America.

Haruna: Onee-chan’s been cross-dressing again.

Yui: You mean as “Joe”?

Aika: That’s right

Haruna: [Call connected] Hello Miu! Are you free to talk now?

Miu: Yeah, my shift is over now so I’ll be heading home soon.

Haruna: Is it true that Onee-chan’s American friends are in your workplace?

Miu: Well yeah… sort of. They looked exactly like Ai’s friends from her photo 5 years ago.

Haruna: Show me!

Miu: Okay, I’ll take a photo of them.

Haruna: [Receives the photo from Miu and quickly taps the photo] You’re definitely right.

Aika: [Takes Haruna’s phone and looks at the photo] So it’s true. They’re coming for me.

Haruna: [Snatches her phone from Aika] Okay so I’ve come up with a plan when they come for one-chan.

Miu: Say it

Haruna: First I want you to tell them to take the bus to Shiragami bus stop then you pick them up and guide them to my grandparents’ house.

Miu: Well I did leave them your grandparents’ address and their family name. Why should I pick them up?

Haruna: Onee-chan kind of need time, she isn’t ready to face them yet.

Miu: Oh….

Haruna: She is having an awkward relationship with them and isn’t ready to face them yet.

Miu: I see…

Haruna: That’s why I want to buy her some time to come up with it.

Miu: All right, I’ll do it. Tell Aika that she owes me an ice cream.

Haruna: [Turns to Aika with a sly look] Ok~!

Aika: [Frightened] “Another ice cream to treat”

Haruna: Once they arrived, Yui and I will take them to onee-chan’s usual hangout spot. She will also dress as “Joe” then the rest is up to her.

Aika: What?

Haruna: Once everything is ok, our jobs are done then we’ll get our free ice cream.

Yui: Count me in too!

Miu: Ok then, is it okay if I tell them to come after lunch?

Haruna: Definitely. Yui and I will tell onee-chan to standby.

Miu: All right then call me back if there’s any changes.

Haruna: Thanks! See you tomorrow. [Ends the call]

Aika: [Worried] Can I really do it?

Yui: You can do it, Aika-nee!

Haruna: [Nodded]

Aika: I need to borrow Tsuyoshi’s jacket tomorrow.

Yui: Did you bring your wig?

Aika: [Whispers to Haruna and Yui] Yeah, just in case.

Yui: Good luck for tomorrow! We’ll be supporting you!

Aika: [Lies down on the floor]

Haruna: [Pats Aika’s head] Good luck O.n.e.e - c.h.a.n!

 

Meanwhile outside of the Japanese BBQ restaurant, as Annie and the rest have finished their dinner.

 

[Door opens]

 

Cashier lady: Thank you for coming.

Alistair: [Leaves the restaurant and approaches Annie & the others] I’m completely full.

Annie: Me too

Archibald: Let’s head back to the hotel; we have a big day tomorrow.

Patricia: We need to check out before 10am. After we’ve returned the keys, let’s have lunch somewhere before going to Joe’s place.

Annie: Great idea

Miu: [Calls Annie and the others from the back] Excuse me!

Everyone: [Turns to Miu]

Annie: Oh you’re that waitress from before. The food was delicious.

Miu: [Smiled] I’m glad to hear that.

Patricia: Umm… what was it that you wanted to say to us?

Miu: [Remembered] Oh right! About going to my neighbor’s house, I’ll take you all there.

Annie: [Surprised] Really?

Miu: [Nodded] Yes and you can take the bus from Kanazawa station to Shiragami station.

Annie: Shirogami station?

Miu: It’s the nearest bus station close to my house.

Patricia: [Takes out her mini IPad and jots Miu’s instructions] From Kanazawa station to this Shirogami station, which is the bus number should we take?

Miu: You can take any bus number 16.

Patricia: Got it [Finished writing down]

Miu: Meet me at the bus stop after lunch.

Annie: Okay!

Miu: Which hotel are you guys staying?

Patricia: It’s Shinomiya Inn.

Miu: [Shocked] Wow! That’s like one of the best inns in the prefecture.

Patricia: I see… How far is your house from here?

Miu: An hour

Alistair: That’s pretty far.

Miu: It’s normal for us here.

Alistair: Right…

Miu: I’ll be taking the bus from that bus stop over there! See you guys tomorrow! [Walks away and goes to the bus stop]

Everyone: [Slowly walks back to the hotel]

 

The next day as Annie and the others grab their belongings and finally checks out of the hotel

 

At Family Mart

 

Annie: [Walks out of the store] Wow Japanese convenience stores have lots of good snacks!

Patricia: You’re totally right! Everything looked totally delicious so I’ve bought a lot!

Alistair: [Eats the spicy dried seaweed from the packet] This stuff is totally good, you should try it Archie!

Archibald: [Drinks the milk tea] No thanks Stear, you know I hate spicy stuff.

Alistair: But this isn’t spicy at all. Trust me!

Annie: [Looks at the time from her smartphone] Let’s go to one of the cafes nearby the station.

Patricia: We’ll be taking the 12:30pm bus. Better not be late.

Alistair: Lets go guys! [Grabs his bag pack and walks ahead]

Annie & the others: [Follow Alistair from the back]

 

At Miru Café close the bus station

 

Annie & others: [Takes the sofa seat by the window]

Annie: [Drinks her tea]

Alistair: I think Archie and I are going to step out and find out which stand we have to wait to take our bus.

Patricia: Ok

Archibald: [Gets up] Call us if there’s anything you need.

Annie: Okay! See you boys later and don’t be late.

Archibald: Bye! [Leaves the café with Alistair]

Annie: [Gaze at the scenery from the window]

Patricia: We’re finally going to see Joe and also find out about Emma’s whereabouts.

Annie: [Smiled] I can’t wait!

Patricia: [Reads her novel]

Annie: [Touches the window] “We’re almost there, wait for us Joe”

 

2 hours later at the bus stop opposite of Kanazawa station

 

[Bus number 16 arrives and the door opens. All the passengers get into the bus]

 

Annie: [Takes an empty at the corner back of the bus] 

Patricia: [Tries to drag her luggage with her]

Alistair: Leave your luggage to us, Patty.

Patricia: Really, thanks.

Archibald: Go to Annie before someone gets to her.

Patricia: Ok! [Walks to the back and quickly sits next to Annie]

Annie: It’s a shame that there aren’t anymore seats for the boys the sit.

Patricia: They’ll be okay.

 

[Bus departs from the station]

 

Annie: It’s moving

Archibald: [Turns to Annie and Patricia then shows a thumbs up sign]

Annie & Patricia: [Giggles]

 

And so in Aika’s bedroom at her grandparents’ house

 

Aika: [Sits in front of the mirror then ties her into a low bun and puts on her wig]

Haruna: [Slides the door and enters] Are you ready onee-chan?

Aika: [Stands up and turn towards Haruna with a masculine smile] Absolutely

Haruna: [Blushed] “She really looks like a guy”

Aika: [Approaches Haruna] Miu is in the living room right?

Haruna: Ye…yeah! Let’s go before they get here.

Aika: [Grabs Haruna’s hand and drags her downstairs]

 

In the living room

 

Minori: [Serves tea to Miu, who’s sitting at the kotatsu with Yui and Tsuyoshi] It’s nice to see you again, Miu-chan! You look beautiful as always. [Leaves]

Miu: [Slight bow] Thank you very much, aunty.

Haruna: [Opens the door and enters] Sorry to keep you waiting guys!

Yui: Where’s Ai-neechan?

Aika: [Enters] Hey ladies ~!

Tsuyoshi: [Shocked] A…Ai…?! Why are you dressing up like a guy?

Aika: [Grin] Cause I’m going to meet some friends later.

Tsuyoshi: But why as a guy? Can’t you just wear your own clothes?

Aika: Cause they don’t know who I really am yet, Tsuyoshi.

Tsuyoshi: Your friends, are they from America by any chance?

Aika: That’s right.

Tsuyoshi: So they’re finally coming for you. Good luck Ai… nope I mean Joe.

Aika: [Grin and shows a peace sign] Wish me luck guys!

Minori: [Enters the living room and becomes surprised after looking at Aika] Ai! What on earth are you wearing?

Aika: [Looks at the time and panicked] Oh no! We better hurry! The bus will be in 20 minutes. [Quickly leaves the living room]

Minori: [Chases after Aika] Where are you going in these clothes?

Aika: [Ignores, puts on Tsuyoshi’s jacket and shoes] Got to hurry!

Miu: [Finishes up the tea, puts on her shoes and leaves with Aika] Thank you for the tea, aunty! See you later!

Haruna: [Grabs Minori’s arm] You’ll find out soon when onee-chan gets home later.

Minori: [Lets go to Haruna’s hand and goes back to the kitchen] There won’t be a next time if I see her in that wig again.

Haruna: [Goes back to the living room and sits next to Yui at the kotatsu] Seeing onee-chan with wig makes me want to fall in love with her.

Yui: [Blushed] Me too! She looks exactly like my dream guy.

Haruna: I wish she were a guy.

Yui: [Nodded] I know right!

Tsuyoshi: It’s better she’s a girl than being a guy.

Yui: [Turns to Tsuyoshi] Why?

Haruna: Onee-chan once said being a guy gives her freedom. That she can be who she truly is than being a girl.

Tsuyoshi: Her voice is deeper from the rest of the girls I knew.

Haruna: That’s why onee-chan hates it and has been faking it for a long time.

Yui: No way!

Haruna: [Nodded] When I’ve first met her when mom and dad took me to America 5 years ago. They were looking for her and I got lost while wandering around town. That’s where onee-chan appeared and saved me, she was dressed in a funky lose black jacket, greyish sweat pants, sneakers and also a messy short hair with slightly long fringe as if she’s like a real guy. I was surprised when I’ve found out that she was a girl and also my long lost biological sister. She has been the one who always save me.

Yui: [Smiled] Then it’s our turn to lend her a helping hand.

Haruna: Let’s do our best!

 

20 minutes later at Shiragami bus station

 

Miu: [Arrives and patiently waits for Annie & the others’ bus to arrive] ‘Just in time! They should be arriving soon. Come to think about it, Ai’s guy friends were pretty hot and I bet those two were their girlfriends”

 

[Bus arrives and stops]

 

Annie & the others: [Gets off from the bus and sees Miu next to the signboard]

Miu: Hey guys!

Annie: Hi!

Patricia: Oh yeah! We forgot to ask your name last night.

Miu: It’s Miu.

Annie: My name’s Annie.

Patricia: Mine’s Patricia, everyone calls me “Patty”

Alistair: I’m Alistair Cornwell; call me “Stear” for short.

Archibald: The name’s Archibald Cornwell, “Archie” is for short.

Miu: Ok, now that I’ve known all of your names. Let’s go to my neighbor’s house. [Walks ahead]

Annie & the others: [Calls Haruna from her smartphone and speaks in Japanese] Hey Haruna, I’ve just picked them and now we’re on our way to your house. So get ready.

Haruna: Roger that!

Miu: [Ends the call]

Archibald: Say Miu, how long does it take for us to get there?

Miu: Hmmm… maybe 7 or10 minutes.

Archibald: Seriously?! [Sighs]

Annie: You can do it, Archie!

Patricia: Go for it!

 

10 minutes later as Miu and the others arrived Aika’s grandparents’ house

 

Miu: Here we are guys. [Rings the doorbell]

Haruna: [Gets up and quickly opens the door]

Miu: I’m back Haruna!

Haruna: [Blushes as she looks at Annie and her friends] “It’s really them and the guys from the photo look hotter in person than in the photo”

Archibald: [Grabs Haruna’s hand] Hello young lady, how do you do?

Haruna: [Suprised] I…I’m…. I’m good…

Archibald: [Kisses her hand] Good to know

Haruna: [Grabs Miu’s hands and whispers in Japanese] Oh my god that guy is totally hot! I can’t take it anymore!

Yui: [Goes to the entrance and sees Annie & the others] “They’re really here” Come in everyone! It’s getting colder outside.

Annie & the others: Thank you [Takes their belongings and enters the house]

Yui: [After everyone enters the house, she shuts the door]

Haruna: [Takes Annie’s luggage] I’ll leave your luggage over there. You and the others can have some tea in the living room.

Annie: [Smiled] Thank you.

Yui and Miu: [Grabs Patricia, Alistair and Archibald’s belongings] Leave your stuff to us and get to the living room.

Tsuyoshi: [Opens the door] Come on in.

Archibald: Thank you. [Enters]

Tsuyoshi: You guys can warm yourselves at the kotatsu in front of the TV.

Annie: Kotatsu?

Tsuyoshi: It’s one of the customs in all Japanese homes.

Haruna: It’s a more like spot with a table on top and the thick cloth surrounding the side it. There’s also a heater underneath the table. Once you get in, I gurantee you’ll never want to leave.

Tsuyoshi: [Bends down towards the kotatsu and serves tea to everyone in the living room] That’s right.

Annie & the others: [Sits around the kotatsu]

Archibald: Wow it’s so warm.

Alistair: I want this in my room.

Patricia: Me too!

Annie: I love it!

Tsuyoshi: Have some green tea; it’ll warm you up in no time.

Annie & the others: Thank you! [Drinks the tea]

Miu: My job here is done, now it’s your turn to shine Haruna and Yui. [Drinks her tea]

Haruna & Yui: You’re right! [Quickly finishes their tea and gets ready to leave the house]

Patricia: [Looks at Haruna and Yui] What are they doing?

Miu: They’ll be taking you to the person whom you guys seek.

Archibald: [Quickly finishes his tea] It’s hot! [Gets up and prepares to leave]

Miu: Don’t worry and take your time. You guys must be tired after walking all the way here right?

Alistair: We’re okay now after sitting and having some tea. [Gets up and prepares to leave]

Annie and Patricia: [Gets up and prepares to leave with Alistair and Archibald]

Haruna: We’re ready to leave now!
Miu: [Goes to the entrance where everyone is about to leave] See you all later.

Yui: Bye Miu!

Everyone: [Leaves the house and walks at the side of the road]

Yui: [Stares at Archibald and Alistair]

Archibald: Why are you staring us like that?

Haruna: You guys are really hot!

Alistair and Archibald: [Speaks proudly] Thanks!

Annie and Patricia: [Pissed off, hits Archibald and Alistair’s arms]

Haruna: Why are you guys looking for my brother?

Annie: Because we are looking for our long lost friend.

Haruna: I see so he’s the only one who knew where she is?

Patricia: That’s what we’ve suspected.

Haruna: I understand! Let’s hurry then! [Runs ahead of them]

Yui: [Runs after Haruna] Wait up Haru!

Annie & the others: [Runs after Haruna and Yui]

Alistair: Why are we running?

Patricia: I don’t know but let’s try and keep up.

 

On the hill by the beach, not far from Aika’s grandparents’ house

 

Aika: [Stares at the ocean while leaning against the big tree at the edge of the hill] “Archie, Annie, Patty and Stear. You guys have come this far to see me. Not as “Emma” but as “Joe”. Today’s the day I’ll tell you everything that I’m supposed to a long time ago”

 

[Aika puts on her earphones and plays “IDOL” by BTS on her smartphone and crosses her legs on the dry grassy land. Slowly falls asleep]

 

On the other hand, Haruna and the others finally arrived the hill park and quickly runs up the flight of stairs surrounded by trees

 

Haruna: [Running and pants] We’re almost there. My brother should be up there, I’m sure of it!

Yui: [Pants and stops midway]

Haruna: [Turn back to Yui and goes to her] Yui? Are you okay?

Yui: I’m okay. Don’t mind me, go on without me.

Patricia & Annie: [Stops and turn to Yui and Haruna]

Haruna: Go! My brother’s waiting for you! Go quickly!
Annie & Patricia: [Nodded and runs up]

Archibald: [Turns to Annie] Where are the girls?

Annie: They told us to go without them since they’re slow.

Alistair: Right, let’s go then! [Dashes all the way to the top]

 

[Everyone reaches to the top and sees an old large tree at the edge of the hill, surrounded by dry withered grasses. The ground was also dry]

 

Alistair: [Bends down while panting] We’re finally here but I don’t see Joe anywhere.

Annie: [Wipes off the sweat on her face with a floral handkerchief] The girls said he’d be here, let’s keep looking.

Patricia: [Walks to the edge and sees the ocean] This place is fantastic.

Archibald: [Touches the tree and looks at the branches of the tree] Guys, doesn’t this place looked familiar?

Annie: Oh yeah, come to think of it. It looks more like…

Alistair: The hill at St Paul Academy! That’s it!

Archibald: I can’t believe there’s also a place like this here. 

Annie: This tree looks exactly like the one at the orphanage and St Paul hill.

Patricia: [Turns to the left and sees Aika asleep with her earphones on, behind the tree] I found him guys!

Annie: [Turns to Patricia] Where?

Patricia: [Points at Aika’s direction] Behind the tree here, he’s asleep.

Aika: [Moves her head]

Patricia: [Stares at Aika] “He’s waking up”

Aika: [Opens her after she hears noises. Then sees Patricia by her side] “Why is it so noisy?”

Patricia: [Grabs Aika’s right arm] Joe, you’re finally awake. We’ve been looking everywhere for you.

Aika: [Turns off the music and takes off her earphones] What? Why are you people here?

 

[Archibald, Alistair and Annie gather around Aika and Patricia]

 

Aika: [Stands up and sweeps the dry grass off of her pants at the same time. Then, walks through them]

Alistair: Did you know how long it takes for us to look for you?

Archibald: We’ve paid a little visit at your apartment, and then your roommate told us that you’ve left America.

Aika: [Sighs and places her hand over her face] “Argh that girl, why did she had to tell them? She could have just refused them, what a drag”

Annie & the others: [Remained silent]

Aika: [Turns back at them with a fake smile, speaks in a girlish tone] So now that you’ve found me, let’s get on to business. Shall we?

Annie: Joe… there’s something we’ve been wondering for a long time.

Patricia: Promise us that you’ll be truthful and tell us everything we’ve asked.

Archibald: And don’t try to change the subject.

Aika: [Made a slight smile and nodded] I promise… “I won’t run away anymore”

Annie: Here I go… [Takes a deep breath]

Aika: [Pays full attention] Go on

Annie: You’ve once said that you and Emma are close friends, am I right?

Aika: [Panicked a little] Ah…yeah we are.

Annie: [Walks closer to Aika and leans closer to her face at the same time] Emma has never mentioned you before, when did you guys met?

Aika: [Takes a few steps back from Annie] Well that’s because we’ve met after she left that prestigious St Paul Academy five years ago. So that’s when both of us worked together at the same diner in London. I was a part-time musician and a waiter that time.

Alistair: [Studies Aika closely] You both have the exact same eyes… and the hair color.

Aika: [Giggles] She said the exactly the same thing when we’ve first met. We thought we could be twins, hilarious huh?

Archibald: [Made a sly grin] No… but we can find out. Since we don’t know your blood type yet.

Alistair: We can hire somebody to get Emma’s medical report and then get Joe to take the blood test to see if his blood matches Emma’s. Don’t you agree?

 

[Everyone nodded as they agreed Alistair’s idea]

 

Archibald: [Keeps his sly smile as he stares at Aika]  “If it does matches then there’s no escaping Joe. This proves that our Emma”

Alistair: [Points closely to Aika’s forehead] You’re Emma right?

Patricia: I thought so too! You have to be her!

Annie: Everything you do is exactly like hers.

Archibald: Especially the way you smile. That bright cheerful is what we’ve loved the most from Emma.

Patricia: Her smile saved and cheered us up a lot.

Annie: Not only that, she always lend others a helping hand. But in the end, she was the one getting into trouble because of others.

Aika: [Soft tone] I liked that part of her too. So that’s why I’ve been trying to be like her. She’s the first girl I’d admire the most. “Haha… this should do it a bit. I’m actually admiring myself” [Twirls her hair and tucks it behind her ear] Would you do the same, if you have someone you admired?

Patricia: [Giggles] Hihi probably but not as obvious as you are.

Aika: [Made a calm smile] “That’s obviously a lie, in fact I’m already myself”

Annie: Why can’t you just tell us Emma’s location?

Aika: That's because I don’t know where she is.

Annie: Aren’t you guys close?

Aika: Well we are but I couldn’t keep in touch because...

Annie: Cause of?

Aika: I actually never thought about getting her contact number. Well we do see each other everyday at work, so I thought it wouldn’t be necessary.

Patricia: [Places her hand on to her forehead]

Alistair: In addition, Archie and I have checked with your university about your enrollment.

Archibald: It seemed the name “Joe Adams” was never on the music department student name list.

Annie: [Shocked] What is the meaning of this? Why did you lie to us?

Alistair: But it’s true that you’re name was on the orchestra club member list.

Aika: Heh what else you’ve found out, detectives?

Alistair: The fact that you and Melina aren’t true relatives, am I right?

Patricia: She was obviously lying when she said you were her cousin. I could see the way she acts and speaks when we were there.

Aika: “Oh snap! I forgot that Patty is a good observer. Her predictions were never wrong”

Archibald: Melina knew that we would come for you one day. At least, she was kind enough to tell us that you’re in Kanazawa.

Alistair: Other than that, everything was all an act to cover your relationship with her.

Aika: You guys are pretty sharp; I’m impressed. By the way, did you peek my bedroom?

Archibald: Unfortunately not

Annie: But she offered Patty and me to sleep in her room, instead of yours.

Aika: Well she knew my room’s always in a huge mess. That’s why she didn’t want you and Patty to enter.

Annie: Joe, you’re such a mysterious person. Just full of secrets, which makes us want to get to know you even more. However…

Aika: [Turns straight to Annie]

Annie: Emma isn’t a playboy like you!

Aika: [Mind becomes completely blank due to the shock] What?

Archibald and Alistair: [Bursts out their laughter] Hahahaha!

Aika: [Quickly recovers and speaks in a girlish tone] Oh my~ is that so? Did I look like that to you, Annie?

Patricia: [Blushes] That’s precisely true! Cause you’re so nice to the girls around you. That narcissism could also surpass Archie’s.

Archibald: [Shock strikes him instantly] For real?

Alistair: [Grabs Archibald’s arm to console him] Hang in there bro.

Aika: Ahahah, isn’t that what all guys supposed to do? Am I right boys?

Alistair: Well… I hate to say this but he’s right, Patty.

Archibald: [Scratches his head] He hasn’t beaten me yet! Since he hasn’t kissed or dated with a single girl, all he does is flirting and using sweet words to make them fall for him.

Patricia: Any... anyways!  You’re just too much, Joe!

Aika: [Grabs Patricia and leans to her ear] Were you jealous, my sweet Patty?

Patricia: [Pushes Aika and goes to Alistair’s side] Of course not! But… that doesn’t mean I hate you

Aika: [Sarcastic laugh] Ha ha ha ha! You guys are an interesting bunch. I didn’t know you guys liked me this much. Well but this doesn’t prove that I’m Emma yet.

Annie: When we were at your apartment, the room was clean and tidy. Everything was in order; it goes the same in Melina’s room.

Aika: That’s because I always nag Melina to clean her room every single day.

Annie: [Remembered something] The sticky notes…. behind the curtains in the living room. It was your doing right?

Patricia: When Emma was still in England, she told me that this was her secret trick to hide them. She didn’t like anyone looking at them, so that’s why she always hid them behind the curtains.

Annie: No one other than Emma would do something funny like that.

Aika: [Bursts out laughing and lifts half of her arms up as she surrenders] I give up! I really can’t hide anything from you guys much longer.

 

[Haruna and Yui finally reach to the top of the stairs and watch the scene from the back]

 

Annie & the others: [Puzzled]

Aika: As a reward, I’ll tell you guys my biggest secret.

Annie & the others: [Surprised and becomes impatient] Really?

Aika: But in one condition, you guys need to turn a around a bit.

Archibald: You’re not trying to escape, are you?

Aika: [Hits Archibald’s back and quickly turns everyone to the back by force] I won’t okay? I promise!

Annie: Why do we have to turn back?

Aika: [Slowly steps to the back] It’s a surprise.

Patricia: Okay…

Haruna: [Watches Aika from afar] “Onee-chan’s going to do it”

Aika: [Slowly takes off her wig and unties her hair]

Archibald: Are you done, Joe? How long are you going to make us wait?

Aika: [Speaks in a feminine tone (As Emma)] You’re impatient as ever, Archie.

Annie & the others: [Surprised to hear Aika’s [Emma’s] voice then slowly turns around]

 

[Aika’s long wavy hair blowing strong in the wind]

 

Haruna: “Why is onee-chan speaking in that kind of tone?”

Yui: “It’s so fake”

Archibald: [Sheds a tear] Emma? Is that you?

Annie: [Starts shedding tears and slowly walk towards Aika] Emma… Am I dreaming? Is that really you?

Aika: [Spread her arms wide] It’s really me guys and you’re not dreaming, Annie.

Annie: [Embraces Aika tightly] I’m so glad!

Patricia & the boys: [Join in]

Aika: [Sheds tears as well] I missed you guys so much. I’ve never stop thinking or worrying about you guys a second.

Everyone: [Lets go]

Patricia: Why did you have to leave?

Annie: Was it because of Terry?

Aika: [Shook her head] No… it’s because I wanted to…

Archibald: Did you know how worried we were when you’ve disappeared?

Aika: [Felt guilty] Of course you guys would be. I also sent a letter to uncle William before I left.

Annie: Why didn’t you contact us after you’ve reached America?

Aika: I wanted to be but I couldn’t.

Annie: Why?

Aika: Cause I was afraid to… I know you won’t forgive me for what I’ve done and …you’re still angry with me for not contacting you all for these 5 years. I felt terrible about it.

Annie: But at least, you left us a tiny note by our doorsteps.

Aika: I’m sorry for everything….

Annie: We were never angry with you… We were so worried that something terrible might happen to you. I just couldn’t stop worrying.

Aika: [Pats Annie and made a slight smile] Thank you… I can finally live without guilt now.

Patricia: You disguised yourself, as “Joe” to approach us on purpose, didn’t you?

Aika: You can say that.

Annie: I was surprised when I first saw you as “Joe” and I’ve always known that you were Emma all along.

Patricia: You’ve been with us all along but as someone else.

Alistair: 5 years ago, you were the one who came before us and left those white roses on Anthony’s grave right?

Aika: It was all me.

Archibald: There was once, Annie and I saw you running away when we’ve arrived.

Alistair: Luckily I caught you from running away.  

Aika: Ahaha… oh god that was a surprise. It was the first time you’ve met me as “Joe”.

Archibald: Then you lied to us that you were Anthony’s close friend at the rodeo club.

Alistair: We knew you wanted to decline Annie’s offer when she invited you to join us for tea. But you’ve gladly accepted her invitation while you were on the run.

Aika: That’s because I wanted to hang out with you guys.

Archibald: But seriously, you sounded just like a real guy. That goes the same with your looks too.

Aika: [Shows off her wig] It’s all thanks to this baby here.

Archibald: So you wore a wig 5 years ago?

Aika: Nope, I’ve cut it when I started working at the diner in London. Cause they wanted to hire a male staff. So I had to hide my true gender and name.

Alistair: You really fooled us big time, young lady! [Left arm around Aika’s shoulders and scratches her head]

Patricia: You truly are Terry’s girlfriend.

Aika: Just because Terry is my boyfriend, doesn’t mean I’m good at acting like him.

Alistair: Don’t be modest, Emma.

Annie: Anyways we’ve finally found Emma then this calls for a big celebration!

Archibald: Once we get back to America… we can hang out like old times again.

Aika: [Smiled brightly] Haven’t we been hang out a lot lately? Even when as “Joe?

Archibald: Duh… you were a guy back then. This time we want you to be your true self again.

Annie: [Nodded] I did see you as Emma when you were dressed as “Joe”.

Aika: I see!

Patricia: What made you want to flirt with girls, whereas you’re already a girl yourself?

Aika: That was just for fun! I wanted to try to be like Archie once in a while.

Patricia: [Blushed] You’ve almost made me angry earlier.

Aika: I was only teasing Patty. You’re fun to tease as always.

Patricia: Hahaha!

Annie: [Grabs Aika’s hands] We’re glad that you’re alive and staying well.

Aika: From now on, I won’t leave you guys ever again. If I do I’ll always keep in touch.

Patricia: Have you met Terry?

Aika: I did when he came to Japan for a radio interview after his first movie became popular in Japan 4 years ago. It was hard to approach him because of the crowd. Luckily, he knew the bouquet of spider lilies and the letter were from me. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to see each other again.

Annie: That was a sweet.

Patricia: So near yet so far.

Aika: Ever since then he’s been coming to Japan often until I’ve graduated from high school and return to America for my studies.

Archibald: One question, how did you end up in Japan?

Aika: My biological parents have been searching for me for so many years. I’ve always thought they’ve abandoned me at the orphanage. But it turned out; a thief who sneaked into my parents’ hotel room to steal their belongings then kidnapped me as an infant.

Patricia: What happened next? How did you ended up at the orphanage?

Aika: The thief left me under the father tree and fled with the stolen goods. Fortunately, he was caught red-handed 2 weeks later. My parents’ stolen goods returned but not me.

Annie: On the day of the robbery was the day that miss Merida and miss Caroline found us that snow night.

Aika: [Nodded] It was Jake who has heard us crying from the window.

Annie: Oh yeah! Then again…things would have been different if you’ve been found.

Aika: If the police had found me, I wouldn’t be able to meet you all. To be honest, I kind of hated my parents at first, but after I knew the truth. I was relieved and then I’ve forgiven them.

Annie: [Saddened] You wouldn’t have to suffer so much.

Aika: I’ve never thought that way at all. It was the best life I could ever ask for and I’ve appreciated god to keep me alive till I’ll be able to find my parents. I was happy that they’ve never given up the search. 

Annie: [Wipes her tears] Emma…

Aika: It’s Aika… my real name is Aika Takekawa. The word  “Ai” from my locket stands for “Aika”.

Annie: Emma... No I mean Aika.

Aika: You guys can still call me as always.

Annie: I’m so happy for you Emma!

Haruna and Yui: [Approaches them]

Haruna: [Yells] Onee-chan!

Aika: Haruna!

Haruna: [Speaks in Japanese] You’ve finally done it! I’m so happy for you.

Aika: [Speaks in Japanese] Thanks

Annie: [Surprised] You can speak Japanese so well.

Aika: [Speaks in English] Duh I’ve been living here for 5 years and also learned a little from the dolls maker when we were kids.

Annie: Oh that Japanese old man from the antique doll shop. He went retired and closed down the shop before he returned to Japan right?

Aika: That’s right. He was my grandpa’s close friend.

Annie: Did you get to see him again?

Aika: I did…

Annie: How was he?

Aika: [Saddened] He died 3 years ago. Before he died, I’ve met him bedridden at the hospital; he was dying and didn’t have much time to live. But he was glad to see me again during his last breath.

Annie: [Sobbing]

Archibald: [Embraces Annie and pats her head]

Yui: [Speaks in Japanese] Aika-nee! You owe us an ice cream, remember?

Aika: [Speaks in Japanese] Argh don’t remind me, Yui.

Patricia: I’ve been wondering who are these girls?

Aika: [Hangs her arms around Haruna and Yui’s shoulders] Allow me to introduce them. The girl on my right is my little sister, Haruna. The one on the left is my cousin, Yui.

Annie: [Smiled] Nice to meet you both…

Haruna: We know all of us!

Yui: That’s right! Aika-nee has been showing us your pictures and talking about you guys often.

Aika: [Pinches their cheeks] Stop it you two! You’re embarrassing me! [Lets go]

Haruna: That hurts onee-chan!

Yui: You’re so violent, why did Terry-sama have to choose someone like you?

Haruna: I’ve been wondering about that too.

Aika: [Pissed off] Shut up you two!

Annie & the others: [Laugh] Hahahaha!

Aika: Let’s head to the convenience store for some ice cream.

Archibald: [Crosses his arms] On this cold day! Count me out!

Alistair: I’ll just get some warm coffee.

Patricia: Me too, I’m pretty thirsty.

Annie: Let’s go then.

Haruna: Onee-chan….

Aika: What?

Haruna: Stop speaking with that kind of tone. It gives me the creeps.

Yui: Exactly, you’re obviously faking your own voice.

Aika: [Speaks with her true voice (Gravelly voice)] Okay!

Alistair: Why are you speaking like Joe again?

Aika: Why can’t I?

Archibald: Well not to say you can’t… it’s just…

Aika: It’s just not natural to you. Sadly this is how my voice really sounds.

Annie: [Remembered] Oh I remembered now!

Patricia: What’s that?

Annie: I remembered Emma used to talk like that when we were kids. Suddenly she stopped after Anthony gone back to Scotland.

Aika: Well that’s to changed myself to be more feminine while waiting for him to return. It took me a long time to get used to speaking in that kind of voice.

Archibald: So it was Anthony who changed Emma to be that way.

Aika: The boys also teased me in my elementary school because of this deep voice. Which made hate it so much.

Archibald: I see…

Aika: [Joins her hands and places them next to her right cheek] Which also made me want to go cross-dressing. Thanks to that I can be free and be my true self again. Every evening after I get home from school, I would cross-dress and join the other boys to play basketball, sometimes soccer and skateboarding.

Archibald: You’re still our lovable tomboy even after you’ve changed to be more feminine. Like the time you did lasso to save me when my boat was washed away.

Alistair: Plus you climbed trees after my car sank into the lake when I was sending you back to Eliza’s.

Aika: Hahaha I remembered it all.

Archibald: Then you also met Anthony again for the first time during aunt Elroy’s birthday at the Audrey’s mansion.

Alistair: Our meeting with Emma wasn’t our first time; it’s more like an expected reunion.

Archibald: Especially towards Anthony, he couldn’t recognize Emma at all.

Aika: [Twirls her hair] Well… I did change a lot after all these years. It’s obvious he wouldn’t recognize cause I looked like a guy that time.

Archibald: I know right!

Aika: But Anthony’s mother knew that I was a girl when we’ve first met.

Alistair: Really? How can she tell?

Aika: It’s because of my eyes I guess.

Archibald: I see…

Alistair: Emma… Are you really okay with it?

Aika: What do you mean?

Archibald: About mentioning Anthony… we know you’re trying to get over him right? We’re sorry…

Aika: [Shook her head] No… I’ve gotten over it thanks to someone. Remembering him does hurt and saddens me but he’s one of my precious people in my life.

Alistair: [Sad expression] He loved you from the bottom of his heart.

Aika: [Places her hands onto her chest] I knew… That’s why I’m cherishing those feelings and his memories will be kept in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

Annie: I’ve met him once before. He’s a nice guy.

Aika: [Sad smile] That’s why I fell for him.

Haruna: [Drags Aika away] Onee-chan! Let’s go to the convenience store!
Yui: [Holds Aika’s other hand and walks with them] Yeah! Don’t forget to buy one for Miu too.

Aika: Ok! All right! Let’s go!

Annie: [Giggles and walks along with them] Hehehe

Patricia: [Wraps her arms around Alistair’s right shoulder and walks away] Let’s go Stear.

Archibald: [Quickly catches up to them] Hey! Wait for me!

 

At Happy Mart along the street nearby the hillside park

 

Aika: [Pays for the ice cream at the counter]

Cashier lady: Thank you, have a nice day.

Haruna & Yui: [Eats their ice cream outside of the convenience store]

Aika: [Exhales as she walks out of the store]

Haruna: Thanks for the ice cream, onee-chan!

Yui: Thanks for treat, Aika-nee!

Aika: No worries girls. “It’s not like I treat them all the time. Once in a while is ok”

Annie: [Walks out with Patricia] It’s getting chilly here.

Aika: Let’s hurry back and get into the kotatsu together.

Patricia: Absolutely!

Annie: [Turns to Archibald and Alistair] Archie! Stear! Hurry up we’re leaving!

Alistair: Just a minute! [Quickly drags Archibald out of the store]

 

20 minutes later as they finally reached home and enter the living room

 

Aika: [Passes the plastic bag to Miu, who sitting on the couch] We’re back! Here’s your ice cream, Miu.

Miu: [Unwraps the ice cream packet and licks the ice cream from the top] Thanks!

Aika: [Sits next to Miu]

 

[Haruna and the others quickly sit together at the kotatsu and lie down on the floor]

 

Archibald: This is much better…

Alistair: It’s so warm.

Tsuyoshi: [Enters the living room] Welcome back guys!

Aika: [Smiled] Thanks.

Tsuyoshi: [Sits next Archibald at the kotatsu and turns to him] You like it right?

Archibald: [Turns to Tsuyoshi] You were right! I really don’t want to get out.

Tsuyoshi: Hahaha [Watches a variety show on TV]

Miu: It seems that you and your friends have settled things properly.

Aika: Yeah… it was difficult to hide it longer.

Miu: I’m happy for you Ai.

Aika: Thanks Miu.

Miu: [Looks at them sleeping soundly at the kotatsu] Look at them sleeping like little children. They must be tired, coming all the way here to see you.

Aika: [Nodded] Yeah… I’m happy they did.

Miu: What are your plans tomorrow?

Aika: I’ll tell take an early shinkansen back to Tokyo and go sightseeing with them.

Miu: Well have fun!

Aika: I will.

Miu: [Gets up and leaves the living room]

Tsuyoshi: [Waves] Bye Miu

Miu: Bye Tsu!

Aika: [Follows her] You’re leaving?

Miu: Yeah… my mom just called and we’ll be heading to my aunt’s place for dinner shortly. [Puts on her warm jacket and shoes at the entrance]

Aika: Okay… send my regards to your parents for me.

Miu: I will, see you around. [Waves and leaves the house]

 

Dinnertime at home, as Aika’s family sits on the dinning table in the dinning room while she sits with her friends at the kotatsu

 

Haruna: Wow tonight’s dinner is Sukiyaki

Minori: That’s because Aika’s close friends from America will be staying with us tonight.

Aika: Tomorrow we’ll be taking the morning shinkansen back to Tokyo. Can they stay at our house?

Minori: Of course, we’ll be back in a few days.

Aika: Ok ~!

Haruna: Mom, can I follow onee-chan home?

Minori: Of course not, she needs to spend her quality time with her long lost friends. Don’t get in their way!

Haruna: Cheh! How boring…

Yui: Well I have to go back in Nagano in 2 days cause dad has work in 3 days time.

Haruna: I hate to be alone.

Minori: Don’t worry we’ll give you plenty of chores to do later.

Haruna: No way mom! I don’t want that; please spare me!

Shinjiro: Listen to your mother, Haruna!

Haruna: [Sulking] Fine

Everyone: [Laughs]

Mineko: [Stops laughing] Now let’s eat before it goes cold. [Turns to Aika’s group] Eat as much as you want kids!

Annie: [Whispers at Aika] What did she say?

Aika: [Whispers back] We can eat much as we want. You guys can have seconds.

Annie & the others: Thank you!

Everyone: [Starts eating]

Alistair: [Eats the cooked meat] Mmmm… this is super good!

Archibald: You should cook this for someday, Emma.

Aika: Sure if I get the whole of the ingredients in America.

Annie: [Enjoys the food]

Patricia: Emma… I wonder how will Eliza react if she finds out that you’re Joe.

Archibald: [Laughs] She’ll be super pissed off and starts cursing Emma like she always does.

Aika: Even the Audrey’s doesn’t know yet. I think I should pay a little visit to aunt Elroy and uncle William. I want to properly apologies to uncle William for what I did 5 years ago.

Annie: We’ll be there for you.

Archibald & Alistair: [Nodded]

Patricia: Once this trip is over, I have go back to London. I have to study for the next semester.

Aika: I also need to practice my new piano piece and come up with a new dance cover for the next competition next summer.

Annie: Everyone’s going to be busy when they get back. How sad.

Archibald: When are you coming to Chicago, Emma?

Aika: This year’s dance competition will be held in Chicago so I pay aunt Elroy a visit once the competition is over.

Alistair: All right.

 

As dawn comes, Aika, Annie and Patricia slowly carry the luggage downstairs to the front door. While Alistair and Archibald drag them towards the car and place them into the trunk. Mineko and Minori quietly watch them preparing to leave, next of the front door

 

Aika: [Embraces Mineko and Minori] See you soon, mom! Thanks for having us here, grandma.

Mineko: Take care, Aika.

Minori: Take good care of yourself and look after your friends as well.

Aika: [Grinned] I will

Annie: [Stands next to Aika] Thank you for allowing us to stay at your humble home last night.

Patricia: The food was great. Thank you.

Archibald: [Gives Mineko and Minori a present] This is a token of our appreciation.

Alistair: Please accept it.

Mineko: Oh my! Thank you so much!

Minori: I’m the one who should be thanking you. The four of you have been friends and looking after my Aika for many years before we’ve brought her back to Japan. Thank you so much!

Archibald: [Shook] It was all thanks to you for giving birth to her. If she hadn’t appeared, our lives wouldn’t have been fun without her in it.

Alistair: You have two beautiful daughters.

Minori: [Blushes] T... thank you so much. Please take care of my Aika when she gets back to America. I’ll be praying for you all.

Aika: [Blushes] Mom! You guys are over-exaggerating things. It’s embarrassing.

Patricia: It’s the truth Emma. [Smiled]

Aika: Look at the time, we are leaving right now or we’ll miss the train. See you in a few days, mom! [Gets into the car]

Annie & the others: [Bows and go into the car]

Archibald: [Waves] Thank you for everything!

Alistair: Bye! Bye!

Shinjiro: [Starts the engine and drives] Have you forgotten anything?

Aika: No dad!

Shinjiro: And we’re off!

Mineko & Minori: [Waves and watches the car leaving from the back]

 

 

THE END


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