Touya and Rei are frantically running around the house, trying to find and put together everything Touya needs to leave for school in a few hours. Today is his last day at home before he moves into U.A. Academy.
“You got your shoes? Your clothes for the semester? Your books?” Rei asks, in a tizzy.
“Yes, Mom. Can you chill? You’re making me anxious,” Touya says.
Rei straightens out her skirt. “Of course, dear. I apologize.”
“My shoes are in my duffel, my clothes are already in the van, and my books don’t come in ‘til Monday.”
“Are you sure?”
Rei reaches into her pocket. “Here, I want you to have this.”
“You got me a phone? Why?”
“So your dad and I can call you and check up on you. There are time restrictions on it until you can prove you’re responsible with it.”
“What are the restrictions?”
“Your phone will block you from texting and calling after ten at night and unblock at four the next afternoon. On weekends, it’ll open up at seven and close at midnight. If your grades ever suffer, we will address the situation and get you tutoring, but we will also restrict your phone even more.”
“You won’t have to worry about me being on my phone much. I have to keep a four point zero GPA or else I lose scholarships.”
“You better keep your grades up. I want to believe I can trust you.”
“I will,” Touya sighs.
“Alright, go put the rest of your stuff in the van. We leave in an hour. Natsuo, help your brother.”
“What? Why?” Natsuo asks.
“Because I said so.”
“Great reasoning, Mom. You should be a lawyer.”
Rei gives him an icy glare.
Natsuo's eyes widen in fear. “Okay, okay, I’m going,” he says as he picks a bag off the floor.
The other three kids pile into the SUV with Rei while Enji and Touya take the van with all of Touya’s bags and boxes.
“You ready for this?” Enji asks when they get on the highway.
Touya silently nods his head. “You make it sound like I’m leaving forever.”
“I just want to make sure you’re prepared for the next step in life, that’s all.”
Touya whines. “Dad it’s just high school. Nothing’s going to happen to me.”
“A lot could happen to you. You could get a girlfriend, you could discover you hate fried chicken, you could get a job during this time, you could learn to cook. The possibilities are endless.”
“What does fried chicken have to do with high school?”
“I knew a girl in high school that concluded while in high school that she didn’t like hamburgers. The same could happen to you.”
Touya sighs and looks out the windshield at the blue Mitsubishi in front of them. “I’m just excited to be able to spend the next three years with people my age. Fuyumi and Natsuo are cool and all, but I always felt like a big brother to them and not like a friend.”
“You may not feel that way the older you get. There will come a point where you see them more as your best friends than you will a sister or brother. There is also a chance that you’ll find someone at school you become best friends with.”
“I hope that’s the case. I want a break from only talking to family.”
“You love us and you know it.”
They arrive at the school and pull up to U.A. Alliance, the dormitory associated with U.A. Academy.
Natsuo is the first out of the vehicle and takes a look at the dorm building, slightly unimpressed. “This is where you go to school?”
Touya stands beside him and taps him on the shoulder. “Natsuo,” he points at the twenty-story building across the street, “ that is where I go to school.”
Natsuo hums. “Impressive.”
“So where’s your dorm?” Fuyumi asks.
Touya reaches back into the van and pulls out a booklet. “This booklet has everyone’s dorm numbers in it. Mine is A-113.”
“That’s what, bottom floor?” Enji asks, getting a box out of the back.
“Yeah,” Touya says slowly, “I think so.”
Turns out, A-113 is one floor up and the first door on the left. The room has its own air conditioning, closet, sliding glass door, and terrace. The bathroom is across the hall halfway down.
“This room is huge!” says Shoto, eyes getting big.
“Are you sure Dad can afford this?” asks Fuyumi.
“Your brother’s dorm is already paid for. Also, after today, we won’t be allowed to visit his room,” notes Enji, setting his box down.
“Yeah, so enjoy it while you can,” says Touya.
They finish up clearing out the van and getting Touya’s things into the dorm room.
“Do you need any help setting up or anything?” asks Rei.
“Mom, I think I got it. This is my time for freedom now, anyway.”
“Don’t be so ready to get rid of us. We’re only a few minutes away.”
Touya sighs. “I know. I’ll be sure to call you when I finish my room.”
“You better.” Rei pulls him into a hug. “I’ll miss you.”
“I know you will, Mom. I’ll miss you, too.”
He hugs all of his family members one-by-one until he gets to Shoto.
“Big brother’s leaving?” Shoto says, nearly on the brink of tears. “But I don’t want him to go!”
Touya squats down to meet him at eye level. “I’ll be back soon, kiddo. Don’t worry.”
Shoto wraps his arms around his neck and Touya can feel a tear soak through his shirt. “Please don’t go,” he whispers.
Touya hugs him tight and then holds him at arm’s length and says, “But I have to. You want me to be a big, great hero like Daddy, right?”
Shoto wipes a tear and nods.
“I need to go to this school, so I can be a great hero, just like Daddy. You’ll see me in the top hero spots one day.”
Shoto holds out his pinky. “Promise?”
Touya smiles and loops his pinky with Shoto’s tiny one. “I promise.”
He stands up tall. “Please don’t see this as a goodbye. See it as ‘until later.’ I’ll be back, I promise.”
The Todoroki family says their goodbyes to Touya and go back downstairs. Touya quietly follows them out and watches them leave.
He knows he’s making the right decision being at U.A. He has a good feeling about it.
He just hopes his feeling isn’t wrong.