“Where were you when the world ended?”
It was a popular question at Second Shibuya High School.
Aiko Aihara wasn’t anywhere exciting when the world ended. Ryusei, a boy in her class was on a plane when the world ended. He barely survived. No, Aiko was nowhere exciting, rather at a place of peace.
Aiko Aihara wiped a tear down her face. She was where she was every time she had a problem. At the local park. It was nothing to look at. A block of green surrounded by small businesses. A swing set in one corner, a small unkempt pavilion in the other. Trees and shrubs of many different kinds were scattered throughout the park. She had been going to this park ever since she was little, in the beginning with her family, and later by herself. Aiko cherished the memories with her family. He big sister, Haru, was always doing her hair, painting her nails, and telling her about the biggest J-pop stars. He father was an electrical engineer, who loved to teach her about electrical currents, even though Aiko never really paid much attention. Her mother loved adventure and took the family all over the world. Aiko at that point in her life believed her life was perfect and her happy family would remain.
Aiko, sitting on the old park bench, was scared to go home. Her parents got into another argument on the way from Aiko’s school play. Her father left that night. That was four days ago. It seemed her father had left for good. Aiko wanted everything to go back to normal. Haru tried to give her strength but, Aiko noticed when she would cry at night. Haru was scared, and she too wanted things to go back to normal.
The sun was going down. Aiko didn’t want to go home where she could see the slow unraveling of her family. Then the world started to end.
Aiko Amhara’s eyes widened in astonishment and fear as she saw a plane start to fall out of the sky. She saw an SUV collide with a minivan at an intersection. People on the sidewalk, their eyes bulging, hearts stopping, they reached out desperately to grab onto anything; all they did grasp was the cold crisp unforgiving air.
“What was happening?” Aiko wondered, her heart began to beat faster.
Aiko suddenly thought of her mother and sister. Her father. What became of them?
Aiko ran, faster than she knew she could, to her home. There was another car crash on her street, she gave it no mind until she recognized the flipped over red one. It was her father’s Honda. Aiko stopped in her tracks and she cautiously approached the car, afraid of what she would see. Nothing. There was no movement in her father’s beloved Honda, with the dent in the right bumper.
Aiko dropped on her knees and scampered to the door. The window was rolled down and inside, her father was still.Too Still. Aiko mustered up the courage to speak.
“Father…” she said crawling closer. No answer. “Father…please, it’s your daughter Aiko” she said a little louder. She reached her hand through the window. He was dead.
‘No…No.. father please don’t leave me” she said ripping the door open and dragging the body of her father out.
“Father please, don’t leave again. Stay. Please. Stay with us, ” she said, tears were flowing down her cheek and onto her father’s blue collared shirt.
“Father…come back..stay…don’t leave us, Haru loves you…Mama..loves you..I-I love you” Aiko cried. He had come back. Her family was going to be whole again. But he never got home. After a few silent minutes, Aiko Fear gripped her.
Mother. Haru. She laid her father down gently. Aiko dashed up her yard and retrieved the spare key from under the doormat and opened the red door. The TV was running. Aiko dashed for the living room. Her mother slumped on the couch, Haru was leaning on her.
Aiko ran for them.
“Mama…Mayo…please answer me…” she begged as she checked for a pulse.
Nothing. Just like before.
“No…mom…Haru.. not you too” the tears were flowing all over again.
“Please wake up…please…momma…Mayo…father was coming back..” she said begging, tears stained her sports tee shirt.
“No…No.. not again.. mama...Haru don't leave me alone. What happened? Father was coming home. A-and we would be a family a-again. And we would v-visit s-some far away p-place to-together. ‘
Aiko Aihara never answered anyone that question. She pushed them away, determined to be by herself. No more sorrow would come to her if she did that. Yet she leads a squad and they were her family until their death and after the death of her squad, Aiko couldn’t take it. She was ready for her death too, and the blond vampire looking for a soldier named Yuichiro gave it to her.