Four years ago when the first time I met him at the Christmas celebration in the pool area of the mansion whereas,
"Introduce yourself, my grandson.” Oba-sama gave to Ryota the mic and he took it.
“Hello, everyone. To those who didn't know me, I am Yamashita Ryota, the son of Yuta and Rina, and the only elder brother of Kyoko. I'm 22 years old and if you are curious about how tall I am, I'm 6 feet and 5 inches,” Kuya Ryota introduced with his cheeky smile.
After he talked, I was enchanted by him because he was the man I'd been dreaming to have. He's handsome, tall, looks like a true gentleman, and I bet he's kind too like Ate Kyoko and for sure he is smart as well. Based on his look, he is a well-favored man who already achieved a lot of things in life.
I think I fell in love with him the moment I saw him.
I like him.
"Should I call him Kuya since he is older than me? Or not? But it is inappropriate if I called him by just his name so, I'm gonna address him as Kuya." That's what I thought the day I saw him for the first time.
However, while everyone was enjoying themselves at the little party we had that night, we all suddenly heard a shout from the back and I knew whose voice was that. That's from Ojii-sama. We all ran to the back and the reason why I didn't see the older brother of Ate Kyoko was that he was like arguing with Ojii-sama that wondered me.
“Leave!" Ojii-sama yelled and Oba-sama immediately stood up and walked to go beside her husband to calm him down. “What are you waiting for? I said leave!" he repeated angrily.
“Honey, your heart.” Oba-sama caressed the chest of her husband to calm him down.
“No need to shoo me away, Ojii-sama because I never wanted to be part of this family. And I never will,” Kuya Ryota frankly told and he walked away.
That very night I realized that the older brother of Ate Kyoko was against the old tradition and he never likes to be part of the family we have. I know about the old tradition. We are all aware of that. And not that I am against it too, but somehow I found it unreasonable and unbearable seeing two people marrying each other just because of it.
I know what he feels.
That night too, I asked Oba-sama what happened and why would the older brother of Kyoko said those words to Ojii-sama and I was shocked at what I discovered.
“Oba-sama, what happened, and why would Kuya Ryota say such words like that to Ojii-sama?" I asked curiously.
“It was because Ryota once had an arranged marriage too but, he left to go to the other country for us his grandparents to know that he was against the old tradition. Rina, his mother, was on her son's side at that time that's why she didn't stop him and even helped him out to go to the other country. We had fought before but then, Kyoko came and she and Yuki arrived at the same time and because of that, the co-family we were connected which was the family Francisco decided that when the time comes the two have to get married. And so, Yuki and Kyoko were announced to get married as for the old tradition. Anyway, your Ojii-sama already let Ryota that time because we knew we can't force him to get married but when he heard that his younger sister was going to get married, he suddenly interfered. But he didn't know that we knew where he was living and that his every move was being watched. When we knew that he was going to come back here to Japan, we took an action too and for him not to interfere with the upcoming wedding, he sent Ryota to the military. But Ryota was a smart guy and he immediately knew that it was his grandfather who put him into that place so, he escaped. After that, we have never heard from him ever since where he is staying, and what he is doing. We lost a connection to him but we know that he is always contacting his younger sister."
What happened to Ate Kyoko had happened to him as well but he refused and he lived his own life.
What a brave guy.
If I were in his shoe, I wouldn't know what to do and I might have just agreed to get married. I will annul the marriage anyway afterward. And because I was so moved by what Kuya Ryota did, I decided to talk with him so, I asked Ate Kyoko about him and if she is going to meet him I want to come too. And so after the fight happened in the mansion, no one seemed to talk and would ever mention what happened that day.
Then, New Year's Eve came and, Ate Kyoko and I went to the house where Kuya Ryota was staying. I was so glad to see him again but he didn't give attention to me at all as I noticed. We just had a little celebration at that time. He and Ate Kyoko had drinks while I was just drinking juice since I was not allowed yet, and just staring at him. I was really shy that night even Ate Kyoko would make a conversation for us to talk, I didn't say much but I had a great night with them, especially with him. Eventually, Ate Kyoko was so drunk that she passed out so, he called her husband which was my older brother, Yuki. I know any minute Kuya Yuki will be here because he likes Ate Kyoko very much. I can see it in his eyes.
I, then, bravely started a conversation with him.
“Um...I think you should go to sleep too,” I told.
He smiled at me that I knew wine hit him already. “Don't worry about me. I'm fine. You go with your older brother when he gets my younger sister, okay? It's midnight already and a girl like you must not go anywhere anymore and just stay at home,” he said with concern.
I smiled at him because he actually cares for me even though we didn't get along that much and we don't know each other yet.
Wait. I want to pee.
But that was I thought he was concerned of me.
“Um...where is the restroom? I need to pee,” I asked politely.
“Just straight that path and to your right, there's a door,” he responded.
“Okay. Thank you."
I stood up and went to the restroom and while peeing I heard a familiar voice and I knew that was my older brother already. I hurried to go out of the bathroom when I stopped on my feet because I heard their conversation.
“It was her choice. I don't like to deprive her and say to her 'no' because in the first place she likes to get intoxicated. I don't like to control her like Ojii-sama,” Kuya Ryota said.
“Yes, you are letting her do everything and anything she likes but you are also letting her know that she has no limits. You know that a body of a human being has a limit. You are a medical physicist so, you should know that. I am taking her home now."
I saw Kuya Yuki get Ate Kyoko at his back but before he took another step, Kuya Ryota spoke.
“Until when are you going to stay quiet about everything that is happening?"
Kuya Yuki's feet stopped and he turned his head to look at Kuya Ryota with his poker face. “Not everything should be discussed openly,” he coolly answered.
“Even your feelings towards my younger sister? She should know what you feel so, she won't have the thought of leaving the old tradition that we have,” Kuya Ryota straightforwardly said.
“So, you know."
“Yes, I know. It's really obvious. Only a blind person will not see it and that includes, Kyoko.” Kuya Ryota chuckled.
“She wanted her freedom and I'm going to give it to her—"
Kuya Ryota cut him(Yuki) off with his earnest look, “Although, you know that Kyoko will not return to you the same feeling you have for her?"
“Even though. I am going now."
Kuya Yuki walked out closing the door behind him while he is carrying Ate Kyoko at his back and that's when I came out.
“You should be going now. Your older brother just got out. You can still catch up with them,” he told turning his head to me.
I don't know what to say to him so, I walked going to the door and I can hear his footsteps following me but before I could leave him, I turned around to look at him again. For once, I wanted to say what I feel for him.
“Um...I...I have something to say to you,” I started.
“Yeah? What is it?" he asked standing at the door.
I breathed in first to compose myself before saying what I truly felt for him while he was just looking down on me.
“I like you,” I shyly confessed.
He laughed. “You like me? But you are just a kid." He, then, put his hand above my head to emphasize the difference between us.
I looked up at him seriously. “No, I'm not. I'm already 16."
He lowered his head to get into my eye level and said, “And I'm 22. What you are having is just an impulse."
“No, it wasn't,” I frowned.
I know what I've felt. It wasn't an impulse for sure.
“Yes, it is.” He smiled at me. "Wait for four years and for sure your feelings that you are having for me will be gone. And it is because it's just puppy love,” he told.
Puppy love? Maybe. But I don't think my feelings will go that soon for him.
I put on a serious face. "And if not? Will you acknowledge me?"
“Maybe. Or maybe not. Go home and it's cold. You might get sick." He smiled charmingly and straightened his back ready to close the door when I pushed it back that stops him, and he didn't expect I will do.
I looked at him fiercely. “Wait for me 'til I become 20. I'll be a lady for you."
After that, I walked away with determination in me.
Thereafter, I went back to the Philippines and continued my studies but I never forgot what I said to him.
Two years have passed by and still, he is the guy my heart wants. For two years, I stalked him through social media and I was so happy that he accepted my friend request. I chatted him but he has only seen my chats and never reply to me.
Well, it's still a good thing that he was seeing my chats than not at all. And because I know he was using social media, I didn't forget to post my whereabouts on it to let him know what is happening to my life even though I know he doesn't care. I also got to see what he has been doing because he posted some achievements and things too that I never have forgotten to put my heart into or the right reaction to it.
I am still hoping that one day he'll acknowledge me.
Call me a stalker but I like him and I'll do everything for him to notice me.
I graduated from Grade school with a salutatorian honor and then, I migrated to Japan to join my family. Living together with my family including with the family Yamashita, I took it as an advantage to get information about him by asking Ate Kyoko and she always answered me and from that I think, she was having thoughts of maybe I liked her older brother.
It's not just a maybe because I really do like him.
Also, I got to see the sweetness and bitterness of the relationship between my older brother with Ate Kyoko and I must say that I like seeing them together. The cool and cold Kuya Yuki was gone whenever Ate Kyoko was around and I was liking the atmosphere every time they were sweet unlike before when they used to argue and fight every single day. Hearing them arguing and exchanging words I didn't know at all make my ear and head hurt, to be honest.
Notwithstanding, I enrolled here in Japan to resume my studies as a College student and one year passed by, a lot of things happened but the most unforgettable yet, the best months came. The day Auntie Rina gave birth to baby Kino everything changed all of a sudden and at the same time, a rain of sorrow and tears were coming down because she died due to complications. Because of that, Kuya Ryota showed and I know it was not nice of me if I showed happiness seeing him now that he's mourning for his mother so, as long as I can I tried to comfort him with words and wisdom but he seemed zoning out.
I understand that he was grieving so, I didn't dare to say anymore but I was always watching him, and whenever he needed me I was always available for him.
Things got so messy when Ate Kyoko and Kuya Yuki broke up. Kuya was the one who broke up with her and I don't understand why he did that if it's really visible to his face that he still loves her so, why did he do that?
I was questioning him but he didn't seem to be bothered by me. He was not listening to anyone's opinions. After what happened, I've seen that my Kuya always wanted to be alone and locked down himself in his room and I wouldn't dare to knock because I know it was not the time to tease him.
However, I was so glad that Kuya Ryota stayed here in Japan to look after his family, especially Ate Kyoko but still, he seemed not to notice me.
Days turned to months and everything was slowly coming back to normal, but I can still feel the tension in the air between Ate Kyoko and Kuya Yuki. We can all feel the affection and hatred all at the same time between them and I wouldn't dare to get in between or I'll die. I cannot take them two. Ryota anyways left again which saddened me.
Afterward, Ate Kyoko and Kuya Yuki graduated from College with degrees and honors but it turned out that the happy moment wasn't welcome because she got into a coma and that was the time Kuya Ryota showed himself again which made me happy.
I think I was the only one that was happy.
Eventually, before Ate Kyoko got into the surgery and I felt like Kuya Ryota needed me, I approached him without thinking that it was an advantage for me. I comforted him with words and wisdom and for the first time, he responded to me.
All of the members of the family were present except onee-chan Akari and onii-chan Kevin while Ojii-sama and Oba-sama were facing Yuta, Jen, and Jero and talking. Kuya Ryota anyways and I was on the couch to the side.
“So, Ate Kyoko has a brain tumor. Meaning, her brain is not working but her heart is, right?" I spoke.
“Yes. Or doctors may call it, 'Braindead,” he answered blankly without looking at me.
But at least, he replied to me.
I turned to stare at him. “She's still going to wake up, right?"
He twisted his head to me. "I don't know. But, I hope she will,” he emotionally responded and he turned away. "Or, I don't know what I'm gonna feel. I lost my mother already. I don't wanna lost her too."
Kuya Ryota curled his back to put his hands on his face as he was facing depression after losing his mother and now, his younger sister was in a coma while I looked at him sadly because I may not know how it feels like but for sure, it hurts.
From that, we started talking until Ate Kyoko got into the surgery.
Whilst, Kuya Ryota was on the couch seems bothered and anxious so, I took a seat beside him and elbowed him to make him turn to me. We looked at each other and just staring at him made my heart beat so fast.
I managed to put on a smile. “She's gonna be okay. I know Ate Kyoko can make it. She's a fighter."
“I hope so. Or, I don't know what to feel anymore," Kuya Ryota sadly commented and he looked down at his clasped hands.
Thereafter, the operation lasted for six hours until it was night already outside of the hospital, Kuya Ryota and Kuya Yuki were the only two who remained sitting and waiting outside of the room with their unexplainable feelings while the others went back to the private room but still, no doctor was coming out when I walked in and I offered the two food and drinks.
“It's dinner time. You must have something to eat while waiting. Here."
Kuya Yuki and Kuya Ryota accepted the food I gave and they thanked me which made me smile. They ate silently while I took a seat beside Kuya Ryota to open up his bottle of drinks and gave it to him that it was not obvious I like him. Kuya Yuki anyways didn't mind us at all because his attention was on the operation of his beloved. After a while, a doctor came out from the operation room so, the three of us stood up to face the doctor and before the doctor announces it, Uncle Yuta came running in front of the room.
“How did it go, Doctor Sakasa?" Yuta asked worriedly.
Dr. Sakasa smiled. “The operation was successful."
Hearing those words from the doctor made us all breathe in relief because Ate Kyoko survived the surgery as we all prayed for.
“We already removed the tumor she has in her brain and now, we’re going to bring her to the intensive care unit for 24 hours of monitoring then after that, she can transfer again to her room. And, we wait until she wakes up,” Dr. Sakasa informed us happily.
“Thank you, Dr. Sakasa. Thank you very much,” Uncle Yuta happily told.
Uncle Yuta shook the hands of Dr. Sakasa because of the delightful feeling and successful surgery he had done and Dr. Sakasa bowed in return. Kuya Yuki, Kuya Ryota, and I thanked the doctor too and we bowed to him to give our respect to him.
“You're all welcome. I'll go ahead now and I still have a lot to do."
Dr. Sakasa then left us and because of the good news we all heard, we all hugged each other happily, especially Kuya Yuki and Uncle Yuta and then, I got overwhelmed by the embrace that Kuya Ryota gave me because of too much happiness but I was more than happy knowing that I got to hug my three years crush.
No, it wasn't crush anymore. Because I think I love him, and that's what I feel for him.
Then, I remembered too what we talked about when I and Kuya Ryota were left alone to watch over Ate Kyoko.
He was sitting in the chair beside Ate Kyoko while I was on the couch when he talked.
“You can lie down and have a sleep if you want. I'll watch over my younger sister,” he said glancing at me.
I looked at his back. “No, it's okay. I'm not sleepy. You might be." And, I stood and I walked near him that I stopped at his right side. “Go ahead and lie down. I'll take care of Ate Kyoko,” I told worriedly.
“Nah, I'm good,” he answered, insisting.
I can see in his face the sadness and sorrow after what happened to his family. I didn't know what had gotten to me and I went to his back and I hugged him. I put down my chin on his right shoulder when I heard him breathe, that I thought he would remove my arms around his neck but, no. He let me hug him for a while.
“Everything is gonna be fine. Ate Kyoko will wake up soon so, stop worrying,” I muttered, comforting him.
“I hope so,” he replied, sounding tired.
Then, I slid my head to look at him resulting in our faces getting near to each other and my eyes widened when he tilted too towards me. We looked closely at each other and for a moment my world stopped. My eyes couldn't help to wander into his face and good-looking was an understatement to describe his face.
“I have a question for you,” he spoke huskily, looking at me seriously.
“W-what is it?" I asked awkwardly but I didn't move away.
“Do you still like me?"
I was taken aback by his question so, I let go of his neck but he held my arms before I could walk away. He was preventing me to avoid the question. Why did he ask me that question all of a sudden anyway?
“Answer me,” he demanded.
“I...um...I do. Why?" I confusingly asked.
“Even after three years had passed by already?" he kept questioning me.
“You wouldn't believe me if I say yes," I responded seriously.
“You remember what you said before?"
“Before?" Then, a memory came to me. "Oh. I never forget that,” I told honestly.
“So, do you think you're a lady now?" he straightforwardly asked with his husky voice.
“I don't know. It depends on you on how you look at me. Am I a lady to you now?" I bravely responded.
“It depends on how will you act to what I will do to you,” he told.
My eyebrows knitted because of confusion. “What do you mean?"
He, then, closed the gap between us when he kissed me on the lips. My eyes got bigger because of what he was doing now.
He just kissed me!
After a minute I think, he faced me again and I was so dumbfounded by what he did to me.
“I guess that's your first kiss. Though, you're still not a lady for me,” he frankly told.
I woke up to what he just said right through my face and I felt so embarrassed suddenly so, I pulled myself out of him and I ran to the door when I heard him speak.
“Stop stalking me, will you? It's not appropriate for you as a girl to chase one guy. Find a guy that matches your age,” he dictated.
I turned to look at his face but he wasn't facing me, and because his eyes were fixed on Ate Kyoko while I suddenly felt furious at what he was acting towards me.
He just stole my first kiss and he was telling me to find another guy? Is he serious? He wouldn't have kissed me if he wants me to give up on him!
What a bastard!
I didn't talk back anymore because I felt like if I open my mouth my voice would crack so, I wouldn't dare. I might get more embarrassed if I say something back. And so, I left the room.
After what happened to me and Kuya Ryota, I didn't go to the hospital in the meantime because I felt so embarrassed and it would be awkward and because I was mad at him for taking advantage of my feelings. But then, we met in the mansion because Ojii-Sama announced that he was going to stay for a while and that means I will get to see him more often. Somehow I felt happy but every time I remembered what he did, I couldn't help to get mad at him. But as days passed by until Ate Kyoko woke up, he seemed not to notice me again and as if nothing happened between us because he was ignoring me AGAIN.
I opened my eyes slowly because I can still remember what happened last year and although, I am mad at him because of how he acted before I still found myself stalking him. I cannot get him off of my mind whatever happens. My heart is still shouting his name.
He's still the one.
To be continued...