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Chapter Three: Disorder House:

Hours later, someone shook me awake. I slowly opened my eyes and looked over to my right. Akemi stared at me smiling.

“Oh good morning, Sunshine,” she said. “Finally to decide to join the world of the living?” I blinked at her.

“How long was I asleep?” I asked.

“Since we left Tokyo,” she said. I looked around confused.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“Hiroshima,” she replied. My face just dropped.

“Huh?” I asked.

“We are in Hiroshima,” Akemi repeated.

“Why?” I asked. My sister frowned at me.

“I live here,” she said. I looked out the windshield and realized where we had parked. It looked to be a large, vine-covered townhouse. The building itself looked out of place.

“And we’re in Hiroshima?” I asked.

“Yes,” Akemi said, nodding. I sat there trying to piece it altogether. We drove for about eleven hours from Tokyo to Hiroshima and I was out sleeping that long? I shook my head to myself. Akemi slapped me on the shoulder.

“Come on,” she said. “Get out. I want you to meet my friends.” She jumped out of the car as I rubbed my shoulder.

“Ow,” I mumbled to myself.

“Get moving, boy!” Akemi shouted at me.

“Okay, okay,” I grumbled. I pulled my backpack out of the back seat and stepped out of the car.

“Whoa, how long has this been here?” I asked as I looked up at the town house.

“Since after the war,” Akemi said. “Now come on already! I want to get this over with.”

“Okay, okay!” I said. “You don’t need to bite my head off.”

“Get moving!” she shouted. I raced up the stairs to meet up with her on the porch. Akemi shook her head and turned to the door.

“Hey!” she shouted as she pounded on the heavy wood. “Ayano! It’s me! Let me in!” I covered my ears over the pounding and shouting. Akemi only stopped when the door opened a crack. A bright red eye peeked out at us.

“You have a key, you know?” the owner asked. Akemi shrugged at him.

“Just let us in,” she said.

“I’ll let you in, but I’m not letting in another one of your boyfriends,” the owner of the eye said.

“He’s not my boyfriend!” my sister said back. “He’s my younger brother. Remember, I told you all about the nerdy boy.” A sweat drop formed on my head.

Nerdy… boy?

The door opened up wide. A man with long pink hair stared at us. Akemi gave him a small wave.

“Yo,” she said. The man turned his eyes on him.

“So this is the brother?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I’m Akemi’s younger brother.” The three of us didn’t speak at first. The man broke into a huge smile.

“Well, hello!” he said. “Come on in!” I blinked at him. What’s with all the pleasantries all of a sudden?

“Thank you!” Akemi said aloud.

“Next time, use your key,” the man said. I followed after my sister. The man closed the door behind us. My face dropped when I first saw the living room. I felt like I had walked into a J-horror film. Dirty clothes littered the floor. Old newspapers were plastered on the wall along with magazine cut outs and well-skilled drawings. A pile of beer cans sat over in the corner. There was even leftover food on the coffee table. I cringed at the very sight. Two other men looked up at me from the couch and their desks.

“I’m home,” Akemi said. The men gave her a sharp wave.

“Yo,” a black man said at his desk.

“Welcome back,” a blonde-haired guy said on the couch with a bowl of cereal in his hand. Akemi looked around for a moment.

“Where are the girls and Isaac?” she asked.

“Well, Isaac’s out with his girlfriend again,” the pink haired man said behind us. “Yumi went to visit her mother. I don’t know where Sakura-hime and Romi went. Miki is in Kyoto until Sunday.” Akemi nodded as she took in this information.

“You don’t say,” she said.

“But I do,” the pink-haired man said. The cereal guy looked at me with a perplexed expression on his face.

“Who’s this dorky kid?” he asked. I felt myself getting stomped on again. Again with the dork stuff? Akemi put her arm around my shoulders.

“This kid is my baby brother, Kichiro,” she bragged. I gave them a little wave.

“Hi…” I mumbled. The black guy at the desk looked at me intently.

“Well, I’ll be damned!” he said. “It’s the baby boy in the flesh!” I looked at him with big, blank eyes. Baby boy? What’s with all of the nicknames? Akemi patted my shoulder.

“Just graduated from high school!” she bragged.

“Nice!” cereal guy said.

“Kichiro,” my sister went on. “These are a few of my friends. The charming gentleman at the desk is named Cassius.

“Hey,” the black man replied.

“The funny man on the couch is Yusuke,” Akemi said.

“‘Sup?” the blonde man said. My sister turned me to the pink-haired guy.

“And this charming man here is called Sunao,” she said. He smiled and bowed at me.

“Nice to meet you,” he said. Sunao looked over at my sister.

“Don’t think the ass-kissing makes up for you pounding on the door, yelling moments ago,” he said.

“Look, my bad, okay?” Akemi said. “Can you please let it go?”

“Nope,” her roommate said.

“Pardon me,” Yusuke cut in. “But what is exactly is your brother doing here, if you don’t mind me asking?” Akemi turned her attention back to the blonde cereal man.

“Kichiro’s friend committed suicide,” she explained. “So, I risked him out of that boring Tokyo hell to hang out with us for a while.” I made a face as she said that. The hell? I didn’t decide this. You snuck back home at insane hours in the morning and basically kidnapped me! Don’t make up lies! Cassius rose to his feet from the desk.

“We have a spare room that he can use for the time being,” he said. Akemi pushed me forward.

“He’s all yours, man,” she said. I looked back and forth between them many times. Akemi? What are you doing?!? Cassius gave me a huge grin.

“Don’t worry, I won’t bite,” he cooed. That did little to make anything better. He grabbed onto my arm before I had a chance to protest and led me down the hall, up the stairs.

“So when are Isaac and them getting back?” I heard Akemi ask from behind.

“Soon,” Sunao replied. “They come dragging in once they get hungry.”

“I see,” she said. “And what’s Miki doing in Kyoto again?” Sunao groaned aloud.

“A photography exhibit, remember?” he asked. “She’s the main attraction.”

“Oh yes,” my sister replied. “You know I can’t keep up with these things when were drinking!”

“Which is why you need to cut back, love,” he said.

“Don’t be such a killjoy,” Akemi brushed off.

“I’m only trying to look out for you,” Sunao argued. That was all that I heard when Cassius opened the bedroom door. Oh lord! What has my sister dragged me into? I want to go home.

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