A year had passed. Mark and Aki had become good friends. (Still no real relationship. Not yet anyway. It’s still too early!) The “couple” was typing and playing their usual video games when, the big message came. Aki was just about done with her latest paper when it came. Mark was almost at the next when he heard a loud squeal of delight. Startled, he jerked his head around quickly. “What?” he snapped. Aki looked up in joy. “My big brother’s coming today!!!” she exclaimed. “He’s enrolling in some classes for a semester!” Mark’s face lit up in bliss. He had heard nothing but good about her brother. Aki and Natsu talked sweetly about him. So this was a real treat.
Mark turned completely around to her. Finally, a sibling he could be proud of meeting and knowing. (Haru was a walking nightmare. Natsu was okay, but sometimes he and Aki wanted to be away from her.) “When is he coming?” he asked. “This afternoon.” Aki answered. “Great!” Mark called. A pause passed between them. “Want to go get ready?” his “girlfriend” asked. “Yeah.” Mark answered. Then, the “couple” rose to their feet, cut off their electronics, and headed to their rooms to get ready for her brother.
The sun was at high today. Mark and Aki huddled together waiting. They were so excited. They seemed like fans camping outside the movie theater waiting for the grand opening of a long awaited sci-fi movie. This was grand. “I invited Natsu along.” Aki informed her “boyfriend.” “Great!” Mark called out. “She should be here right about…. now!” “HEY!!!!” Natsu called out behind them. The “couple” looked up behind. The kid sister stood smiling. “Got the e-mail!” she replied. “Sweet!” Mark and Aki said in unison. A pause ran by them. “May I join in your wait?” Natsu asked. “Sure.” Mark said. “Sweet!” Natsu exclaimed. Then, she joined the huddle.
Minutes felt like hours at the South gate. The suspense was high. Mark, Aki, and Natsu just couldn’t wait. Finally, a red Subaru pulled up to the gate. The joy heightened. The car parked at the gate perfectly. The intensity rose faster. A well-dressed Japanese man stepped out of the car. Aki and Natsu’s eyes went all starry. “Ichiro!!!” they exclaimed together. Mark just couldn’t help but smile. The man turned to his welcoming party. “Hello ladies!” he called out in a proud voice. Aki and Natsu couldn’t help but bust in sweet blissful excitement. Ichiro turned to Mark. The man became excited as if he had just seen a hot-looking woman. “Well, hello…” Ichiro said to Mark like the grinning Cheshire cat. “Hi…” Mark managed to say at last. A long happy pause passed by.
“Well,” Ichiro spoke up again. “Why are we all standing out here? Let’s go in and eat!” “Right!” his welcoming party exclaimed. Then the four of them headed inside of the Dark Moon House.