He was bored. Lazily he opened his eyes to look at the clock hanging right over the door in Himuro’s room. He still had to wait for him at least half of an hour. It was so troublesome to wait, but the other had asked him for help at his favorite task, shopping for sweets. Apparently some of his friends back in America asked him what Japanese candy was like. Thus he wanted to send them some and asked him for help.
A deep grumble escaped his lips as he lazily moved his purple bangs out of his face. They were bothersome, but getting a headband would be even more bothersome. He yawned. Why did he have to wait again? Because Muro-chin was still busy with the student’s council. He was always busy with that. Furthermore they tended to make their sessions overtime. So, he probably had to wait even longer. At least the black haired teen had given him his key, so he could wait in his room. Lately he began to spend much time in this room instead his own. His new neighbor for the school-year was bothersome. He was always loud and voice-chatting with people. He couldn’t hear what he talked about, but he could hear him talk and his loud laugh. He didn’t like that. It was annoying.
It wasn’t that he couldn’t sleep like that, he could sleep anytime, but it still annoyed him. He liked calmer, quiet places. They were relaxing. Therefore Himuro’s room was great. He had no loud neighbors troubling him. And even when Himuro was around he was rarely troubling him. Frowning he looked at the ceiling. Was he bothering Muro-chin? But if he would be the other teen would have said so already. This was nothing to be worried about.
Lazily Murasakibara shifted a bit, then sat up and swung his legs out of the bed. He was bored, he needed something to do. Maybe the other teen had some sweets around or some comics or DVDs he could spent his time with. He didn’t want to fall asleep on the other’s bed while he wasn’t around. Despite being here quite often, the tall teen had never explored Himuro’s room properly. If he wanted something he only needed to ask the other and he gave it to him.
Lazily he looked around. Himuro’s room was tidy and clean. There was not much lying around, only a book on his nightstand and a few papers on his desk. He also had a large cupboard and a book-shelf. Maybe he should look there first. Yawning he stood up and made the few steps to cover the distance. He had to bend down a bit to look at the lowest rack. There were some more books, some basketball magazines, covering the NBA and some comics. If he would not find something more exiting this should do. Slowly he straightened up a little to look at the second shelf. It was filled with different DVDs of American dramas he knew Muro-chin watched. It also contained some software and a few computer games. Nothing he could spent his time with. He fully straightened up to look at the highest rack, right above his eye-level. Wasn’t it troublesome for the other to put his stuff so high he had to reach up to get it? There were some more books, which size didn’t fit in the lowest shelf. He almost wanted to bend down again, because it didn’t seem that interesting when something in the corner of the shelf caught his eye. It was a plain, closed box, tagged with the word: Memories. Slightly curious he reached over and grabbed it. He sat down on the bed again and looked at the slightly dusted lid. Now he had it in his hands, he could confirm that it was a shoe carton. Carefully he opened it and put the lid aside. The content of the box were various things. Murasakibara firstly spotted some tickets. They were for some American basketball games. So Muro-chin did really went to watch the pros? That was cool. There was an autograph too. Someday he should ask him how it was. He put the tickets aside to see more of the content in the box. Next he noticed bright green glittering child-fist-sized super ball. He had had those too, but he always lost them. It smelled like cheap rubber and looked like it was used very often. He put the super ball aside too. The next thing he took out was a yellow sack. It was rather heavy and it felt like it contained some kind of balls too but also some kind of paper? Curiously he opened it. It were juggle balls and attached to them was a small cut out newspaper article.
Open Day at Elementary School
There also were some marked lines. He skipped the rest of the article and only read those.
[…] talent show was a highlight of that day. Especially exciting was the performance of 8 year-old Tatsuya Himuro, who managed to juggle with 4 balls at a time. […]
“Muro-chin can juggle?” he wondered muttering to himself. He didn’t know that. It was surprising. Lazily he blinked at the wall, his mind trying to imagine his friend juggling. He should ask him about that too. Putting the article back in the sack he lay it to the other stuff aside and looked into the shoe carton again.
Next were photos. Carefully he took the out. Only the two last ones were in picture frames. The first picture was a class picture. It was rather easy to spot Himuro, since there was only one Asian looking kid in that class. The next were the same, but from different grades. Then there were pictures of some people in sport uniforms. He was sure that was the other’s junior basketball team or the like. Next were some pictures from trips and birthdays, mostly with the other teen alone. Not wanting to go through all of them he instead focused on the two framed ones.
The first showed Himuro at the age of estimating 10 years with two adult people in front of a house. He assumed those were his parents. Taking up the frame to put it aside he felt some paper beneath it. Curiously he turned it around, to find a note sticking to the back.
Family trip in summer 2003 at our beach house in Florida.
So, he was right about that being his family.
The next framed picture showed Himuro and another boy at his age on the beach. The other boy had red and black hair, also looked Japanese and was grinning brightly. They had hooked their arms around each other’s back and were wearing only swim trunks. Himuro was also grinning happily. In the background he could see the same house as in the photo before. Must be some close friend of Muro-chin, he thought and already wanted to put it aside when a detail caught his eye. The other boy wore a necklace, but not any necklace. It was a necklace with a ring attached to it. It looked familiar. Wasn’t that-
His eyes widened in surprise as he looked at Himuro in that photo. His first guess was right. The younger version of his team mate had the same necklace around his neck. The very same necklace he still wore every day. Stunned he stared at the picture in his hand.
“Yes, what is it, Atsushi?” The other teen looked at him as calm and charming as always.
“I just wondered. Why do you always were that necklace? Isn’t it bothersome?”
“This one?” Himuro reached under his shirt and pulled out an ordinary silver chain with an also silver simple ring attached to it.
“Well it’s something which reminds me of a promise I gave to myself and a very special person.” He answered, looking at it with a slightly sad smile.
He always assumed that Himuro meant some girl with that special person. It never occurred to him it could also be a boy. He looked at their faces again. They seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Curious he turned the picture frame around to check if there was a note like it was at the last one, but he didn’t find anything. Frowning he turned it around again.
Somehow his slightly good mood while discovering those things was vanishing and being replaced by a rather dull feeling in his stomach. He felt himself tense up as he felt some pressure in his chest. Just who was this guy? And what exactly was he for Muro-chin? If he recalled correctly that kid had been in other photos too. Hurriedly he grabbed some pictures from before again and yes, there he was. So, Himuro knew him from basketball.
Murasakibara was surprised when he felt himself biting his inner cheek. Why was he beginning to feel angry anyway? It was not like the boy had done something to him? Where was he anyway? How come he didn’t hear anything of him when Himuro still carried their necklace around? His team mate surely wasn’t all about the past wasn’t he? He surely thought the present was much more important than the past. That boy was no match for him anyway. If he would ever play against him he would totally crush him. He was able to crush anyone, except Aka-chin. And if that boy seriously would just show up and wanted to take all the attention to himself he would show him his place.
Grumpily and confused about his sudden mood-swing he wanted to quickly put the picture frame aside but he did it a little bit too quickly and with too much force. Like he was watching in slow motion he saw the photo slip over the edge of the bed. A loud crack was heard when it connected with the floor. Somehow hoping it sounded worse than it was he leaned over and reached out for the picture frame. It wasn’t destroyed but there now was a big crack in the glass. It started at the bottom left corner and went up right into the middle to their faces.
With a hollow feeling calm he put the picture frames and everything else in the box as it was before again and quickly placed it where it belonged to. Then he sat down again. Shocked of himself he looked at the floor. What would Muro-chin say when he found out that he wrecked something out of a box he maybe even didn’t meant for him to explore? Should he tell him? He wouldn’t. He would just buy a new frame and then replace it when his team-mate was away again. Still, why had he felt so angry in the first place?
Frowning he let himself fall back, looking at the ceiling. He still had not shook it off completely. The ill feeling was still lingering in his stomach. It was annoying. It was even more annoying because he couldn’t put a concrete source or name to it.
Obviously the source was the other boy. But why should a childhood friend of Himuro upset him that much? Was it because of the rings?
He shifted to the side.
If they had matching rings they must have been pretty close. It made him wonder why the black haired teen never mentioned him before. If he was that important to him he would sure enjoy telling them some stories about him, right? But when he asked about the necklace he hadn’t even said his name. Instead of saying: “It’s a memory of a close friend” he said “It’s something which reminds me of a promise I gave to myself and a very special person”.
A “very special person”, what exactly was that supposed to mean? And what about that promise? Grumbling he turned sideways. He didn’t like such bothersome thoughts. It was truly annoying. But he could not simply stop focusing on it either. The picture somehow had made it into his head and remained there.
He didn’t like that boy. He knew it. Even if he didn’t know him. There was something about his stupid grinning face that made him feel uncomfortable.
Could it be that he was jealous?
An approving sound escaped his closed lips. Yes, jealousy was the right word for this feeling. But wasn’t that strange? Why should he be jealous at some childhood friend of Himuro?
After five minutes of further thinking he still had no answer. Thus he decided to drop that matter for now. After all, everyone knew thinking in circles didn’t lead you anywhere. This decision was supported by the sound of the door to the room opening.
“I’m sorry it took so long, Atsushi.” The black haired male greeted him, placing his school bag at his desk.
“The people from the baseball club were really stubborn and didn’t know when to stop arguing.” Slowly Murasakibara turned his head, looking at the other.
“No problem, Muro-chin.” He answered. The other smiled at him. Then he opened his back and shortly after a chocolate bar was placed in front of him.
“Thanks for waiting, I know it must have been boring.” Grabbing the candy Murasakibara made an approving sound. Himuro really knew how to handle him. He heard some rustling of clothing while he unwrapped the chocolate and began to consume it.
“Well then” Himuro’s voice made him look at the other again. He changed out of his uniform into a plain but fitting pair of jeans and a violet sweater.
“Shall we go? I really need some movement after sitting at a table for two hours.” Slowly the purple-haired teen rose from the bed.
“Okay, Muro-chin.” With the same bored expression as always he followed the other teen out of the room.
“What is that Muro-chin?” The tall teen curiously looked at the plastic bag in the other’s hands.
“It’s a picture frame” his team mate answered, pulling said thing out of the bag.
“I just went through my things yesterday and noticed that one of my pictures frames must have been damaged during the transport. Thus I got a new one.” He explained. Satisfied with the answer Murasakibara turned away. Then his eyes widened slightly. Himuro surely wasn’t talking about that frame, didn’t he? But, if he was, he thought it was broken during his flight. That was good, right? It meant he noticed nothing and would never know. And it meant he didn’t need to replace it. That was good. Replacing it would have been stressful and he didn’t like stressful things. The only bothering thing was that he already purchased a picture frame.