When morning had come, the two of them slept peacefully on the small bed. The lack of space caused the two of them to scoot closer with their backs against each other. The sound of rain could be heard outside the window, and light struggled to enter through the curtains that blocked it.
Slowly, the door to the dorm was opened, allowing you to see Teff’s peeking gray eyes. Why wasn’t it locked? Well he had forgotten to do so when he was making his leave. He went bug-eyed when he saw the two’s close proximity, and had to hold in a yell of surprise.
Teff tiptoed into the room and went close enough to poke Ritsu on his shoulder, “Asian dude…” he whispered.
Ritsu woke up due to the continuous poking, and glanced behind him to see Teff. “What are you doing inside?” he asked with his voice low and tired.
Fidgeting a bit, Teff realized that in this situation he was starting to seem a bit creepy. “I was just wondering how Kei was doing.”
With a groan Ritsu sat up and looked down at Kei who was still sleeping like a child, and snickered when he noticed his amazingly fuzzy bed hair. “Kei’s doing just fine as you can see.”
Teff had observed the familiar way Ritsu interacted with Kei, and he couldn’t help but wonder if he really was Kei’s best friend. You never know maybe he had a friend from the past that was even better than he was and that kind of made him feel strange. How many friends did Kei have? He never really talked about his past before, heck, he rarely even talked about himself.
“Asian dude… what was Kei like in the past?” he was curious, that’s all
“Ohhh… you wanna know his dark secrets?” asked Ritsu with an evil grin on his face.
“No, no… maybe later. How did he act before he went to college?”
“Hm…” Ritsu looked down at Kei thoughtfully, and said, “He was one of the funniest guys I knew.”
“Funny!?” Kei was funny!?
“Shhhh!” in a bit of panic, both of them looked at Kei who was still breathing softly. He was a bit of a heavy sleeper now, wasn’t he? “Let’s go talk outside.” With Teff’s nod, Ritsu got dressed.
The both of them snuck out of the dorm room like cats in order to keep the sleeping dragon undisturbed, and Teff led the both of them to a nice hangout place that he and Kei would usually sit in. A big tree right next to the dorm that had benches surrounding it from all sides. The rain was only a small shower, so all they needed was simple shade.
“Kei was always goofing around in some way, whether it be making silly faces are running around weird. He never failed to make anyone laugh, and that’s why he was friends with almost every person in our high school. He was very popular.”
Teff listened with full attention an awe at what Ritsu was saying. That sounded like a totally different Kei. The Kei he knew was brooding, quiet, anti-social, and had not sense of humor whatsoever. Just the thought of Kei trying to make jokes made Teff feel uncomfortable by how out of place it felt.
“Kei was making trouble wherever he went with his friends, all the while getting good grades. He’s smart, I’ll tell you that. He was one of the boisterous kinds, until Freya came into our school. Man, he fell down into that sticky, mushy, pile of love pit so fast that if you blinked you would miss it!” Ritsu laughed as he roamed through his nostalgic memories, “Freya was super quiet, I mean, she probably only spoke one word a day! But man was she pretty.”
Freya. So that was her name. Kei never told him her name before.
“It was so weird watching the naughty Kei go all shy and gentlemanly around her. So, so weird. But you know, they fit together perfectly. Kinda like they balanced each other, you know? Where Kei was too loud, Freya would get him to quiet down. Where Freya was too quiet when interacting with others, Kei would get her to open up with a smile. They were so couple goals since even though they were in a relationship, they still had high grades.”
“So… what happened to Freya?”
A grim expression fell onto Ritsu’s face, “It was sudden really. Just a day before it they were exactly how they usually were; so sweet with each other that I was sure they would start attracting ants. They had a small fight before their first real date, and Kei refused to go. Freya being the stubborn girl she is, went on her own. It didn’t really occur to us at that time that it would be the last time we would see Freya… you know, breathing.”
“How did she die?”
“Like I said Freya was a very pretty girl,” Ritsu took out his phone from his pockets and showed Teff their Christmas party photo, “Pretty catches a lot of attention.”
Pretty? This girl was beautiful. In the picture she had her arms wrapped around his shoulders, and her face nuzzling his cheek. Kei had his arm resting on her in an attempt to keep her close. Dang… Kei looked so happy.
“Being the softy that Kei was, he caught up with her to say sorry. It was normal after that but they bumped into the wrong people at the wrong time. To sum it up, Freya was raped— “raped!? “All the while Kei was restrained and forced to watch.”
“My God.” Whispered Teff.
“When somebody called the police the suspects killed her on the spot out of panic. Of course, they tried to get Kei too, but they were caught before they were able to. I don’t know all the details, after all, I’m not Kei, but at least those guys were given the penalty that they deserved.”
“That explains the…” Teff rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly and gulped.
“The insanity? Well, Kei was mentally weak in the first place. You’d be surprised by the amount of times he’s broken down crying in high school, but Freya was always there to cheer him up.” Ritsu yawned, “I don’t like talking about negative things like this. We should go back to Kei, it’s morning and I need to be there.”
Kei liked waking up to the sound of the rain’s pitter-patter, it always made him feel peace somehow. He sighed and sat up to comb his hair with his fingers. Was it morning? It was Saturday, wasn’t it?
“Good morning, Kei!”
At the sound of such a familiar voice, Kei jumped and opened his eyes wide. It was Ritsu. He had forgotten that he slept over.
With a smile, Ritsu handed Kei a glass of water along with his morning dosage of medication, “Here ya go.”
This was new. “Ah… thanks.” With a gulp he swallowed it down his throat, only to be shocked when he saw Teff waving behind Ritsu, “T-Teff, what are you doing here!?”
“Well, I was listening to Ritsu talking about your dark past before you woke up.” That wasn’t an entire lie.
A shadow covered half of Kei's face, his voice becoming low, "Ritsu... what did you tell him?” he glared at the man he called his friend.
Ritsu winked and laughed, “It’s a secret that you already know.” He laughter was reduced to a smile, “So it’s morning, and I was wondering if you were thinking about packing your bags with me.”
Oh yeah. He almost forgot about Ritsu’s suggestion. “Well…” should he say yes? It was a very good idea, and it would help him a lot. “Um…” it would certainly be better than living in a tiny dorm like this, “Uh…” there was no downside, really.
“Packing your bags? What is Asian dude talking about, Kei?” asked Teff curious and alarmed.
Teff. He wasn’t alone here, that’s for sure. He made a friend. His first friend after all that drama.
Kei sighed. Ahh, he did it again. Embarrassing himself. Kei opened one eye to look at Teff and saw him glancing between him and Ritsu worriedly, and laughed silently to himself. Too cute.
“Ritsu, I think I’m fine right here.”
“What?! Think this through, Kei!”
“Ritsu.” Kei looked deep into Ritsu’s eyes, “I’m fine.” He smiled and glanced at Teff fondly.
Ritsu was extremely confused. Can’t Kei see the large amount of positive sides that can come from moving in with him? But he knew that if Kei wanted something, he would have it. He just had to give up.
Slowly, Ritsu stood up and brushed some imaginary dirt from his pants, “Well, it’s about time for me to get into the hotel. I’ll see you sometime around, Kei, Teff.” He grinned and started picking up his bags. “It was nice spending the night with you!” he gave Kei one last hug and went for the door.
“Bye, Ritsu.” Said Kei waving with the glass of water still in his hand.
“Bye Asian dude!” Said Teff who was still a little confused by their previous interaction.
Was Kei really fine with living in the dorm by himself? There would be no one to help him, no one to be there for him during the night, no one to remind him when to take his medication, no one to reassure him that everything was alright.
Ritsu couldn’t help it, and so to calm his nerves he allowed himself one more look behind him before leaving entirely. When he turned he was met with the sight of Kei and Teff whispering to one another; Teff looking extremely distressed, and Kei was smirking fondly.
Oh. So that’s why.
Ritsu’s doubts and fears all washed away with just one scene, and immediately he knew that he was okay to go. Kei didn’t need him anymore, and maybe he didn’t really need him in the first place.
He closed the door and left. Kei certainly made some nice friends during his first years of college. Well, friend.
“Seriously, Kei. What were you and Asian dude talking about!?” Teff whispered/yelled.
“Nothing that concerns you, Teff.” Replied Kei who was getting ready to get out of bed. From the corner of his eye he saw Ritsu look back for just a few seconds, and smiled. He was alright.
“Kei!” Teff was close to crying dramatically.
“Come on,” said Kei who was putting on a jacket and combing his hair, “Didn’t you want to try out that new breakfast restaurant?”
“Of course I did.”
“Hey is Asian dude straight?”
“Why in the world would you ask that question? Of course he is.”
“Nothing, just wondering.”
“His name is Ritsu, stop calling him Asian dude.”
With that the two of them went on their way, starting another day together just as usual. Nothing was going to change any time soon, and they wouldn’t want it any other way.
Ritsu grinned and thanked the lady at the hotel desk, and made his way to the elevator. Man, this was a nice hotel. He certainly had a lot to work hard for to prove that he was worthy of such a place. When he used the card that he was given to open the door, he was met with a humble view of a very nice room.
With a whistle, he nodded in approval. Nice. Very nice. Wait a second.
Why was Teff always calling him Asian dude?
“Why can’t we hang out in a place where we don’t have to spend money on food?” groaned Kei who was once again standing in front of another restaurant with Teff who was jumping in excitement.
“Because food is the greatest love that any human can ever receive! Now come on!” Teff yelled trying to pull Kei inside.
“Teff, just take a look at my wallet!” Kei brought it out for the other to see, and opened it showing only ten dollars to spare, “This isn’t enough for me to last a week.”
“Ouch… that’s… that’s tough dude.” Teff winced when he took a peek inside of the desolate item of despair, and rubbed the back of his neck, “Hey, if you want I can always just pay for you.”
“What, no. That makes me uncomfortable. Save your money.”
“Kei, money is just money. Friendship? So much more.” Said Teff nodding to himself with a grin.
He had never been comfortable with accepting help from others. It had become a habit. Why? Well, there was just that feeling where you felt guilty for letting that person go through such effort, or feeling as if you had to repay that person.
Kei looked at Teff’s eager smile and opened his mouth to speak until he was suddenly reminded of an old memory.
“Hey… um, you don’t have any snacks?” asked the pretty girl who sat in front of him.
Kei was silent for a while from shock and awe; Freya was talking to him. It took a lot of sheer will for this seventh grader to prevent himself from jumping in happiness.
He snapped out of his state, and immediately replied, “Ah—um, heheh… No I don’t have snacks.” Kei tried to give her the best smile he could offer, but he was pretty sure it only came out as an awkward curl.
Her eyebrows furrowed and she glanced down onto the little biscuits in her hands, “That’s…” she lifted them up in front of Kei, “You can have my snacks.”
“What!?” Kei jumped and shook his head rapidly, “No, no, no! It’s fine, really! I’m used to it!” he formed an X with his arms.
“Eat it. I will not stop forcing you until you eat it.”
At her adorable demanding face expression, Kei gulped down his guilt and hesitantly accepted the snack, “Thank you…” was his silent reply.
For the first time in the year the first few months he had first seen her, Freya smiled… and his heart jumped in a way that he wasn’t sure how to describe, but all he knows is that it was a nice feeling.
“You are very much welcome, Kei.”
After that, Freya never failed to feed Kei. It became part of their daily routine, although Kei had greatly tried to refuse. Needless to say, Kei enjoyed his recess time very much with the little chats he was able to spend with her.
“Freya, you should stop spending money on me.” Kei said slightly depressed as he held the bag of chips in his hand.
“Nonsense. Money is just money. You are… you are more than whatever price it can give.” She smiled and twirled, her green school skirt swaying with the wind in grace.
A warm feeling filled Kei’s chest, and he couldn’t help the smile that invaded his lips. Ah… that was a very memorable moment.
Kei returned from his de ja vu with a jolt from hearing Teff’s voice, and said quickly, “I don’t have snacks!” shucks… that wasn’t what he was supposed to say, “I-I mean, yeah sure… you can pay.”
Teff blinked, that was weird, but nonetheless, he gave out a hearty laugh, “Snacks? Hahahah Kei, where did that come from?” he heaved in some air, “Let’s get back to the restaurant!” he wrapped one arm around Kei’s shoulders and led them both inside.
Memories are just memories. Dreams that came from the real world that you chose to let live inside of your mind. Moments with Freya were the best times Kei had ever lived, and nothing can change that. They may be just past images now, but they never fail to make him happy.
“How did it feel to be eating a free meal?” Teff asked as he patted his stuffed belly.
“Great. It would be greater if we were not eating fried chicken again.” Kei mumbled.
They were on their way back to the dormitory, when they saw Ritsu crossing his arms at the entrance. “You guys! I’ve been waiting here forever! It’s already dark. What were you two doing?” he was in a grumpy mood considering the amount of time he had to stand there.
Teff slid his arm off of Kei and went forward to bro fist Ritsu, “Asian dude, you’re back.”
“Stop calling him Asian dude…” grumbled Kei, “What are you doing here, Ritsu?”
“Kei, you didn’t give me your phone number back then!” said the other with a pout, “You should be happy. I came all the way here and even waited for you to come back just so I can find a way to contact you.”
Teff laughed, “Dude, why didn’t you just ask him through Facebook or something?”
Ritsu accusingly pointed at Kei, and yelled, “This guy never goes online! He has no sense of online socializing!”
“Sorry if I don’t spend all my time on the internet, some of us are just trying to get through college!” Argued Kei, “Not all of us are geniuses, you know.”
With a smug grin, Ritsu huffed and nodded, “Yes, thank you for finally noticing that.”
“Genius? Wait, you mean he’s actually smart?” Asked Teff who was more clueless than the other two.
Kei sighed and crossed his arms together, “He used to be the same grade as me, but he skipped a lot of grades in High School… he’s a college graduate now.”
“NO WAY!” Teff was mind blown right now. How was that even possible? “Dude, how old are you!?”
Ritsu made a peace sign with his fingers, “I’m twenty years old!”
“You’re one year older than us?!”
“You make it sound like I’m an old man.”
Kei turned away and headed for the entrance to the dorm rooms, “I’m going ahead.”
Ritsu pushed his glasses back, and caught up with him, “Your number!”
“Asian dude, stop being so desperate.” Joked Teff.
Teff was left to be seen zoned while Ritsu trailed behind Kei like a puppy, “Kei. Your number. I am not leaving until I get your number.”
Kei tried his best to ignore his childhood friend throughout the small journey it took to reach his dorm room, but alas Ritsu was stubborn.
“Ugh, here!” Kei pulled out his cell phone and showed Ritsu his number, “Now go home.”
Sparkles shone in his eyes, and Ritsu gladly copied the number into his phone, “You’re the best, Kei!”
Teff was still behind them, seemingly out of place. “I refuse to be the third wheel.” He said as he draped himself all over Kei, who nearly stumbled because of the sudden weight.
“Ack! Teff, get off of me!” Kei pushed the taller one away, and opened his room, “Now that everything’s been settled, why don’t we go to our separate ways?” he was about to close the door when two hands stopped it.
“I can sleep over if you want.” Said Ritsu with a smile. He wanted to make sure that Kei would be alright.
“M-me too!” yelled Teff. He was being slightly competitive… but he couldn’t help it since Asian dude made him feel very prickly.
Kei tried to force the door closed, but against two he wasn’t able to, “No! You guys can’t!”
Teff released animated tears and sobbed, “But whyyyyy?”
“Because I need privacy. I don’t want the two of you to be breathing down my neck wherever I go. I’m not a little kid anymore. I need to study.”
Ritsu grinned and tried to step inside his room, “Studying? Well I can help you with that.”
“I can also help!” said Teff.
“It’s psychology, Teff. You’re not taking the course.”
“Oh…” Teff slumped his shoulders. True, he knew nothing about that.
“What a coincidence, I also took psychology when I was in college. I know a lot of things.” Said Ritsu.
In the background, you would be able to hear Teff’s shocked scream, while Kei perked up with interest, “Really? Well…” you can already see Teff writhing in agony, “No.”
“But, Kei!” whined Ritsu, “You don’t know how long I’ve waited. The least you can do is offer me a room to sleep in. It’s already dark.”
“You big baby, you can’t walk yourself home? Knowing you, I’m pretty sure that you brought your motorcycle here.”
“That’s true but— “
“No buts. I’m going to go close my door right now and sleep alone. Goodnight.” with all the force that he could muster, he shut the entrance to his dorm room; leaving his two friends outside to stand awkwardly.
Sighing, Ritsu clicked his tongue, “Well I guess that’s that. Man, Kei sure has changed over the years. He always jumped at the chance to get a sleep over.”
“Asian dude, didn’t Kei say that you had a motorcycle?” Asked Teff.
“Yeah, you wanna see?” Ritsu cackled while he rubbed his palms together.
“Yeah I do!” like an excited child, Teff jumped up with a ‘yeah!’.
“Alright, let’s go!”
Kei listened to them from the other side of the door and released a relieved sigh when he heard them walking away. It was tiring to deal with them. Having Ritsu around was like having another Teff. Yep. Complicated.
A while ago he took back the bottle of medicine that he gave to Teff to use for himself. He gave it to Teff just in case he forgot to bring his own pills and considering what happened a few weeks ago he was right to do so.
Pouring himself a glass of water, Kei quickly swallowed the medicine down his throat. Time to study. He tied his hair into a short ponytail with the black hair tie that he always kept on his wrist, and sat down on his desk.
But before he was even able to pick up a pen, he heard a ding coming from his cell phone. Kei already knew who it was and was about to ignore it, but out of curiosity, he picked it up to read the message.
It was Ritsu. He sent Kei a selfie that he did with Teff in front of his motorcycle, and below the picture was: “We hope you sleep well, Kei.”
“What?” Kei snickered, “These two…” he smiled and tapped on the selfie, saving it into his phone, “Are idiots.”ns 188.8.131.52da2