Completed Chapter 32: "Absence"

Completed Chapter 32: "Absence"

A Story by Nariko

Chapter 32 of Completed


Eiko was getting ready to go to school. When she was checking to make sure all her books were in her bag, something slipped out. It was the pink and white azalea hairclip that Hiroyuki got her as a birthday present. She suddenly felt a rush of sadness from looking at the hairclip. Her lips started to frown. She quickly grabbed it and shoved the clip inside her desk drawer. She closed her bag.  As she was walking downstairs, a sweet smell tickled her nose. She went to the kitchen to look for something to eat for breakfast. On the table, there was a note next to a wrapped plate of pancakes.

The note said, “Fumiko and Shinji woke up early to make some pancakes for you. They wanted to cheer you up from yesterday and apologize for making your mood worse. I hope you can forgive them and understand how much we all care for you. Shinji used chocolate to draw a smiley face. Fumiko used whipped cream and sprinkles to give it hair. Enjoy the pancakes!”

Eiko sat down and unwrapped the pancakes and saw the smiley face, whipped cream and the colorful sprinkled hair. She picked up a fork and knife that were next to the plate. She started cutting a small piece of the eye of the pancake. She used her fork to put some whipped cream on the piece, took a bite and instantly smiled. She said, “It’s so sweet.” After she was done, she put the plate in the sink.

Eiko ran to the train station and headed to school. She walked inside the classroom and instantly looked at Hiroyuki’s empty desk. Everyone was whispering on how Hiroyuki wasn’t here. She saw Rie and Itsuki waving at her. Eiko sat down at her desk. Rie asked, “How are you feeling?” Eiko said, “I’m doing okay.” She stared out the window with a blank look on her face. Rie and Itsuki looked at each other in concern for Eiko. 

The homeroom teacher entered the classroom and said, “I have a class announcement to make. Hiroyuki’s parents contacted us early in the morning saying how Hiroyuki won’t be coming back to school for a while. He’s going to study abroad in another country. It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t say his farewells to us. But we wish him the best of luck and support from the bottom of our hearts.” Everyone in the class was surprised and exclaimed, “That’s just so sudden! How did this happen??? I miss Hiroyuki already!!” Eiko clenched her fists tightly and bit her lower lip.

Before lunch, Eiko kept staring at Hiroyuki’s vacant desk. She tried to avoid staring but her eyes were instantly drawn to his desk. The teacher calls on her and Eiko stands up from her desk. The teacher said, “Eiko, can you read the next paragraph.” She started to fumble on where to read next. The teacher said, “The second paragraph on page 130.” She apologized, turned to that page and started to read. 

During lunchtime they were in the cafeteria where Eiko was eating her lunch mindlessly. Rie noticed Eiko not acting like herself and asks, “Are you really okay, Eiko?” Eiko didn’t respond and continued to eat her lunch. Rie waves at her and Eiko finally paid attention. Eiko said, “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention to what you said.” Rie said, “It’s fine. I was just asking if you’re okay.” Eiko said, “Yeah, don’t worry about it.”

Itsuki said, “I know you don’t want to hear about Hiroyuki but I want to let you know that I tried contacting him. He didn’t respond to me. Texts, emails, and calls aren’t going through. It’s like his phone was shut off.” Rie said, “Yeah, I noticed that too. It’s strange. Eiko, Did you try contacting him?” Eiko stopped eating her lunch and got up. She left and walked out of the cafeteria. Rie said frustrated, “Ughh, I can’t believe I made Eiko upset by saying that!” Itsuki patted her head and said, “It was my fault for mentioning it. Don’t blame yourself. I think she needs a little more time”

Eiko stomped and headed outside of the school. She walked past a vending machine and contemplated getting a drink. She paused and walked back to the vending machine. She scanned to see what drinks they had and paused at the orange juice. A memory of Hiroyuki giving her orange juice in the library flickered in her mind. She kicked the vending machine in annoyance and walked away. She continued walking towards the school’s outdoor sports field. She saw some students participating in gym activities and playing soccer.

She kept walking and saw students taking out gym equipment from the storage shed. It reminded her of the time when she and Hiroyuki were alone together for the first time. She glanced at the bench nearby the shed where they sat and had their first genuine conversation. An image of her and Hiroyuki were sitting at the bench smiling, laughing, and drinking water appeared in her mind. She continued to stare at the bench until the school bell rang signaling the end of lunch.

She walked back inside the school and headed to her classroom. She sat down and class resumed. Her mind kept spacing out for the rest of class. It became the end of the long school day. Before Rie and Itsuki finished packing their bags, Eiko walked towards their desk. She said, “You two don’t need to walk home with me. There’s a place I want to go alone. See you.” They couldn’t say anything because she quickly ran out of the classroom and disappeared off of school ground.

She darted to the train station and said to herself in a frustrated tone, “I started my day off with a good morning. My family was trying their best to cheer me up. I thought I was going to be fine coming back to school but everywhere I look, it reminds me of him. Why is it all day, I am constantly getting these flashbacks about me and Hiroyuki? Why do I feel this longing to visit the places we spend time together? It’s only been a few days since I last saw him. There are times where I don’t see him for a few days but why does my heart feel so empty and heavy? Why am I getting so upset over him not being here? Why does it hurt so much? Just what is this feeling?”

She headed towards the train and went to Shibuya. She arrived at the stop and hastily ran out of the station. She ran towards where the Hachiko statue was located and was out of breath. She was breathing heavily and remembered the time when she was waiting for an online friend that turned out to be Hiroyuki. She started walking the same path they took towards the arcade. She felt a tingling sensation in her chest. She remembered how much fun they had at the arcade. She turned around and saw the cafe across the arcade.

Eiko went inside the cafe and stood in line. There was a flashback of Hiroyuki buying her a chocolate donut in the cafe. The cashier said, “Next in line.” She noticed that Eiko wasn’t walking towards the register and she said a bit louder, “Miss! Are you going to order?” Eiko snapped out of her thoughts and scurried to the register. She said, “I would like a chocolate donut.” The cashier grabbed a chocolate donut with metal tongs and put it inside a white paper bakery bag. She said, “That would be a dollar.” Eiko took out a dollar from her bag and the cashier took the money. The cashier handed her the donut and napkins.

Eiko walked off looking for some seats. She saw some vacant seats facing towards a window. She sat down in a seat and used a napkin to take the donut out of the bag. She started to eat her donut and her eyes sparkled. She continued to eat the donut and felt a familiar taste when she ate it with Hiroyuki. Her lips instantly grinned. She felt a bit of joy.

She left the cafe and headed towards home. She said to herself, “That donut really cheered me up. Food is really the key to cheering me up. But… that donut didn’t taste as good as when I ate it with Hiroyuki. I can’t believe Hiroyuki’s absence has affected me this much. He’s just a friend...A good friend?... That doesn’t seem right. Is he really just a friend to me?” 

© 2020 Nariko

Author's Note

ignore grammar problems, please tell me what you think of it? I hope you enjoy chapter 32 and thank you for waiting patiently for each chapter! I created a discord group that I can give you updates when a new chapter comes out. Here's the link to my group:

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Added on April 28, 2020
Last Updated on July 26, 2020
Tags: romance, anime-like story, gamers, comedy, highschool students, family, friends, conflict, some cursing words, anime



New york, United States Minor Outlying Islands

I like to watch anime,and read manga.I want to try posting some anime stories online.I wrote some stories myself but I don't let people read my stories because I think it's horrible.I would like to kn.. more..