Status: Completed

As Planned


"I can`t believe you swung this!"

"I can`t either."

It`s Saturday morning. Normally I`d still be sleeping off my night at the races but today wasn`t a normal day. Neela showed up at my door with coffee and a request to go shopping. So I scrambled around the apartment, getting ready as fast as I dared my body to go.

"Maybe Han`s talk with him work," I suggested with a chuckle.

Neela laughed. "I wouldn`t go that far."

"No? Why not?" I asked.

"Takashi is very," she paused, brows furrowed and lips pursed for a second before she sighed and continued, "he`s very complicated."

"That`s one word for it," I muttered.

"He has a lot going on right now and it`s stressing him out."

"Stress is not an excuse to keep you from your friends."

"I know," Neela sighed. "I`m just trying to ease him mind."

"By doing everything he says?"

"Amelia!" She exclaimed, eyes wide in shock.

"I`m sorry," I groaned. "I just don`t like the way he`s been treating you."

"I know," She murmured, grasping my hand in hers and gently squeezing. "I don`t either. But my relationship with Takashi isn`t the main reason I wanted to see you."

"Then why did you want to see me?"

"What`s going on with you and Han?"

Immediately I felt my face heat up. Oh dear. "What about me and Han?"

"Oh no you don`t," Neela teased. "Don`t play coy with me. Something has been going on with you two since your birthday last week."

I shrugged and ducked my head, suddenly wishing I had long hair to hide behind and conceal my blushing face. "He uh, he kissed me."

"What?!" Neela shrieked, causing more than a few people to stop and stare at us.

"Neela!" I hissed.

"Sorry," she squeaked. "So? Are you dating now?"

I shrugged. "I suppose. We haven`t officially gone out on a date yet. But he`s been more affectionate like holding my hand and models don`t really hang all over him anymore."

"I noticed that," She commented. "I wasn`t sure what caused it though."

"I guess I did."

"I guess so."

"I really like him, Neela," I whispered. "A lot more than I ever liked Morimoto."

"That`s not a bad thing, right?" Neela asked.

"Well no, not exactly," I murmured.

"Then why are you so worried?" She questioned, gently squeezing my hand.

"I don`t know," I confessed.

Once again Neela gently squeezed my hand, trying to reassure me in a way. And it helped some. It was nice to have her back in my life. Even if it was at random times. I missed her and the advice she would give me. Sure, it wasn`t always helpful but it was always welcomed.

"Maybe it`s just one of those things you have to figure it out along the way," Neela said.

"Perhaps," I murmured. "I guess I`ll eventually find out."

We lapsed into silence after that, walking around the mall still holding hands. And at random moments Neela would gently squeeze my hand. Man, have I missed this girl! For a while we went into a few random shops and a few we used to go into regularly. After that we ended up grabbing some food.

"So how is the treatment going?" Neela asked after finishing her food.

"It`s working so far," I replied with a slight grin. "It`s starting to look like this one is gonna work. But you know how quickly that can change."

She frowned and murmured, "That I do."

"But I`m trying not to give up hope!" At least on the outside. On the inside, in the logical part of my brain, I kept telling myself not to start thinking of my future here or begin making plans past a week. But even a week might be too long. My treatment could stop working tomorrow and everything would go down the proverbial drain. Including my life. But I wasn`t going to tell Neela that. She had enough on her plate as it is. She doesn`t need to deal with my brooding as well.

"Any predictions yet?"

"Predictions?" I echoed.

"For how long you`re going to live," Neela answered hesitantly.

"Oh honey," I breathed. "You know it doesn`t work that way."

"I know. Doesn`t hurt to ask."

I reached across the table to grasp her hand and gently squeeze it. She gave me a tight smile and squeezed back. We both knew that it did indeed hurt to ask. This whole situation hurt. But we can`t let ourselves focus on that, right?"

"Come on. Let``s go get some ice cream," I suggested in an attempt to lighten the mood.

"Ice cream?" Neela laughed. "But we just ate."

"So? What`s your point?" I asked.

Again she laughed. "That is the point."

I shrugged and stood up from the table we had been occupying. After pulling Neela up from her seat we exited the small cafe we found and went to a little ice cream stand down the street. While eating our ice cream we leisurely walked back home, all the while still holding hands, despite the odd looks we got from more than a few people we passed. I guess some people never saw friends holding hands before. That or they thought we were lovers. Eh, oh well. Kimi always tried to teach me not to care what other people think. Especially strangers. I mean, what are the odds you are gonna see those people again anyway? Slim to none. Why let strangers dictate your life? It is your life after all. You`re the one living it. Not anyone else. It can be hard at times to think that way and keep that way of thinking. But it pays off in the end.

Halfway home Neela`s cell phone started ringing. And the way she grimaced when she answered told me exactly who it was.

"I`m so sorry, Amelia. I have to go," Neela apologized as soon as she got off the phone.

"Takashi summoning you again?" I grunted.

"Yeah," She whispered. "I really am sorry."

I shook my head. "It`s okay. I`m just happy I got to spend as much time with you as I did today."

"Me too. Hopefully we can do this again soon."

"It`s nice to get together outside of school."

Neela opened her mouth to say something but before she could utter a word a car suddenly pulled up along side us. The window rolled down to reveal a rather impatient looking Takashi.

"Hello girls."

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. "Hello, Takashi."

He smirked at me and then turned his attention to Neela. "Ready to go?"

She nodded and looked at me. "Will you be okay?"

I chuckled. "Of course. We`re close to my place anyway."

Neela nodded, gave me a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek. Takashi made an odd noise and had his nose wrinkled up in disgust when I looked at him. This time I smirked at him. I pressed a kiss to her cheek and grinned at her. She looked at her boyfriend from the corner of her eye and snickered. We hugged each other one more time before she got in the car and Takashi drove off.

As soon as the car was out of sight in groaned in frustration and disappointment. What to do now? I told mom I probably wouldn`t be home until tonight because I wanted to spend as much time with Neela as possible. We never get to see each other outside of school anymore. "Han`s it is."