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Broken Road

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***1

So it all started a few months after Yui asked if her high school friend Tia, could move in for a few months. She was between jobs, working part time, and having troubles making ends meet. Naturally, I agreed, because I wanted to believe it was Yui looking out for her friend. Slowly but surely, Tia drove a wedge between us. It wasn't hard, considering Yui and my relationship wasn't all that great to start with. I didn't want to believe it. I slogged on, choosing to stay ignorant to all the red flags. That is, until I could no longer ignore them.

Yui and I divorced after only being married for 2 years. She and Tia moved closer to home, and I moved into my office. I buried myself in my career. Diligence and hard work had always paid off for me in the past...I was hoping they could help me mend my broken heart, too.

That brings us to now...it has been a year since Yui left. I was given a promotion opportunity within my company. It required me to move to Tokyo...so naturally I took the time to catch up with some old friends..and rivals.

 

I cannot believe someone would leave you…” Kuroo Tetsuro had not changed much since I last saw him in college. He was still a lanky beanpole with messy hair, couldn't grow a mustache to save his life, and had a smirk that made one suspicious of his motives. I cannot believe that we became such close friends. The only change that I could see was he now wore glasses. Kuroo waved at the bartender to refill his glass.

“What happened? Seriously.” He shot me an earnest grin.

Well that was uncomfortable. I forgot that Kuroo was capable of being a good friend. He wasn't bullshit 100% of the time...maybe 95%.

I-I don’t really know.” I stammer a reply. I need more to drink if we were going to talk about shit. That scab was still too fresh. “I honestly feel like so many things changed after we got married. Like Yu...like she wasn't the girl I dated and fell in love with.” I accept a new glass from the bartender. Kuroo took a long sip of his freshly refilled beer, then nodded.

That is why I refuse to get married.” Ah, there’s the asshole side.

Wow, Kuroo, so supportive.” I mock. Kuroo’s cheeks turned red.

Shit. I’m sorry. That was…” he chuckled. “I mean, do you ever really know a person, Daichi?”

It always bothered me that Kuroo felt comfortable calling me by my first name. He called everyone by their first name. Why should it bother me? Kuroo kicked my shin gently under the bar.

“My eyes are up here…” he winked.

Asshole.” I quip. That was not the beer talking. “You are one to talk.” Okay so that was the beer talking. Brain, stop teasing Kuroo. You KNOW how this ends. Just stop. Kuroo’s sly grin covered his face.

Did she ever find out about our wild college days?” He took another drink. “I mean, maybe she got jealous of your adventurous side, and decided to try it for herself?”

You are not…” I trailed off as a gorgeous creature walked past our corner of the bar. Kuroo followed my gaze, elbowing me.

Dude.” He hissed. I punched his arm in reply. It was probably the alcohol urging me on, but I HAD to go talk to this girl. She reminded me of a crush. Maybe I was feeling nostalgic and needed to act on this feeling, unlike what I did in high school...hide from it. I got up, made sure my sleeves were rolled up evenly, because women love forearms, and mine are pretty defined. I felt Kuroo slap my ass, another thing he often did to rankle me in the name of being a good friend. I fought through the crowd’s push. She went out the door. I shoved some skinny punk to the side and burst out the door in pursuit. There she was, waiting for a cab, next to a man in a nice suit.

Um, excuse me?” I clear my throat. She turned around and I almost puked on her shoes. Maybe because I had drank a lot that night, but moreso because standing before me, dressed in a very expensive suit was none other than Shimizu Kiyoko, my high school crush (that I never ever had the balls to ask out).

This was unexpected.

She cocked her head to the side. Oh good grief, she got hotter.

SPEAK TO HER.

Sh-shimizu-san?” I fumble for some sort of words. She blinked a few times. A cab pulled up to the curb.

Kiyoko-san, our ride..” The man next to her cut me a snide look. She nodded, never taking her eyes off me.

Shimizu-san, wait.” I try to stop her. The jerk shuts the car door in my face, and the cab pulls away. I have no idea how long I stood there. Kuroo eventually puts a large hand on my shoulder.

So?” He hands me my jacket.

I missed her.” I couldn't tell him that I found the one person I truly wanted to find after all these years. Kuroo grunted.

You pay next time, then.” He draped an arm over my shoulder and started walking. “Home?” I simply nodded. I was in shock. Of all the people and places on Earth, I run into Shimizu again?

Here.

Today.

God she looked great.

 

“Ah no worries, Daichi. There are plenty of fish in Tokyo.” Kuroo must have mistaken my silence for feeling sorry for myself. He nuzzled his face against my neck.

Ah yes... that . It wasn't that I disliked whatever it was that Kuroo and I had in college...it was moreso I was surprised Kuroo was initiating it again. After 3 years of being apart I figured he would have moved on.

Kuroo...not where everyone can see…” I grumble, bumping my head against his.

Aw Daichi, I'm just drunk.” He kissed my ear.

Sure you are…” I muse.

You’re drunk too…” Kuroo lead me up a flight of stairs to his apartment. He had graciously offered to let me rent his extra room until I found a place. I was beginning to wonder if taking him up on that offer was a mistake. The door clicked behind us. I slipped off my shoes and wandered to my bedroom.

You gonna shower tonight?” I call. Kuroo paused at my door.

Yup. You?” I paused while getting undressed. Usually I would shower at night and leave as early as possible...but I didn't need to avoid anyone now…

I will probably go for a run in the morning, so I'll shower after that.” Kuroo gave me a smirk.

Okay then, Mr. Serious.” I found a reason to turn around while continuing to undress. Since when did I give a shit about Kuroo staring at me? Since I had not seen him in 3.5 years, and I was not ready for him to make meat jokes at my expense. I mean, I’m not fat.

I’m not.

I just got a lot thicker after graduating (not to mention stress-eating for the past year). It is mostly muscle. I change into a shirt and shorts. It was an adjustment going back to sleeping on a futon, but I can sleep anywhere. It was also a bit of an adjustment getting used to Kuroo rumbling around the apartment like a pack of wild dogs. What was he doing? Wearing a blindfold? Bowling? There is a quiet knock at my door.

Yeah?” I call, propping myself up on an elbow. Kuroo slides the door open, and flops onto the futon next to me. His hair is still damp. “Can I help you?” I’m not trying to hide the sarcasm.

Maybe…” Kuroo curls up next to me under the covers.

I have to work tomorrow, and I’ve been drinking.” I mumble as his fingers slip under the hem of my shirt.

Me too.” He huffs against my neck. I try to keep my face turned away from him.

I suddenly feel very shitty for moving in. Did he offer me a place to stay because he was hoping we would reconnect? I mean, I wasn't completely against something with Kuroo.

Maybe.

I am still hurting from everything that happened over the past year. It isn't smart to get involved on the coattails of an ended relationship. Things that happen on the rebound are not healthy.

I really want to cry and feel sorry for myself. It wasn’t my fault, right? How could I have seen that coming? It was really hard for me to allow myself that guilty pleasure of wallowing in self-pity with Kuroo snoring right beside me. It had nothing to do with being unable to stop thinking about Shimizu, either... Or so I tried to tell myself.

Why was she in Tokyo?

How was I going to find her again?