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Moving Day

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Hikaru took a good look at his empty room. Everything except for the cupboards and the bed had been packed into boxes that now filled up the kitchen downstairs. The sun was shining brightly outside and a warm breeze entered through the open window.

Suddenly he felt a soft ache in his chest.

He'd miss this room.

He had spent all his life in here and some of the happiest moments of his life playing with Sai on the goban that was sitting in a box of its own somewhere downstairs. Yes, he'd surely miss it.

A cloud moved in front of the sun and the room darkened a bit. Suddenly the empty cupboards seemed to look at him accusingly. He noticed the wear on them and the spots that seemed darker then the rest where his books and toys had been. The sun hadn't been able to bleach them like the rest. It might get its chance now, he thought.

From this day on this wasn't his room anymore. He smiled a somewhat nostalgic smile unusual for his young age and then he turned around and left. Carefully he closed the door behind him and without looking back he followed the stairs down to the kitchen.

While he had been checking the room for the last time, the movers had arrived. They brought the carefully labeled boxes outside and then heaved them into the truck. His mother was trying to keep herself busy by shouting directions and asking to be careful with this or that. The movers ignored her mostly, knowing how to do what they did well. Soon enough the kitchen was empty.

Hikaru stepped out on the front porch where his mother was standing. She was silent now, her back turned towards him. He wondered when he had become taller then her. Hugging her from behind, he comforted her quietly. He could hear her quiet sobbing now.

Gathering her motherly courage she turned around and faced him with a smile. Tears were shimmering in the corners of her eyes accenting the small wrinkles that had appeared there during the past few years.

"Mom, I'm only moving a few train stops into town. It's not like I'm going abroad," he tried to comfort her.

"I know," she replied simply. After a moment of silence she added: "It's just… you've grown up now. You're leaving the nest." Tears shimmered in her eyes again and so he took her into another hug, letting her wet his white shirt.

When her sobbing stopped he stepped away and held her at arm-length.

"Thanks," he said. "Thanks for being here for me and taking care of me." He bent down and kissed her on the cheek, making her blush slightly like the schoolgirl that she had once been. "I'll see you next Sunday."

The truck had left already, taking his belongings to his new home. He had to take the train to follow them there. He turned around once more and waved a last time. Somehow he felt sick, as if he had eaten something bad. His stomach acted up, mirroring the inner turmoil that took place in his heart. Turning his eyes forward he hastened his pace.

With each step he took though, the feeling that seemed to have taken hold of him since he left his room got lighter and lighter till it dissipated. When he reached the station, he was already looking forward to opening the boxes and decorating his new room.

"Ochanomizu! Ochanomizu desu!" Hikaru ignored the rest of the announcement and stepped to the door. Moments later he was running along the platform and then up the stairs, taking two steps at once.

During the train ride a feeling of expectation had built up inside him and he wanted nothing more than to reach his destination as fast as possible. He passed the gates like a whirlwind, only slowing down for a moment to reclaim his ticket. Heading down the street he turned right at the first light. Panting heavily he stopped in front of a five-story apartment building. He glanced at the cars parked in front and noticed, satisfied, that the movers hadn't arrived yet. The traffic in Tokyo was mostly standing still at this time of the day.

Hikaru searched his pockets for the keys and while his hands were occupied his eyes spied a shiny new name badge beside another one that wasn't just as shiny anymore. It said: Shindou Hikaru. Having found the key he burst into the building and ran up the stairs, taking two steps at once like before. His apartment was on the top floor, but this did not deter him from trying to reach it as fast as possible.

His enthusiasm finally claimed its price. When he reached his floor, he felt like crawling to the single door that occupied this floor. Getting out his key again he pushed it into the look, only to have it pulled out of his hand as the door opened.

A dark-haired boy with an earnest look stood in the doorway. When he saw Hikaru's condition he smiled softly.

"I've been waiting for you… Okaeri, Shindou-kun."

"Tadaima." Hikaru replied with a smile of his own.