Tama ran out of her house. The thunderstorm that was threatening the city had finally scared her enough to go and find someone, anyone to keep her safe. She didn't think to grab her umbrella as she ran out of the door. She turned the corner and saw three young men dodging into a restaurant. Tama didn't pay them any mind. They were trying to get out of the rain. She was going to find her family.
The rain soaked her clothes and hair, but she didn't care. She was trying to forget that night, but the storm wasn't letting her. It was haunting her. No matter how fast or how far she ran, Tama couldn't escape the storm following her.
"Hey, get out of the rain!" a man's voice shouted to her.
She was in the middle of crossing the street when she heard it. And she stopped cold in her tracks. "Papa said that," she remembered. "The night he was killed, he said that to me," she thought.
Cye ran down the block trying to get out of
the rain. His mother was going to have his head when she sees him walking
into the house. "I can just hear her now, ‘Cye, I told you this morning
to take an umbrella,'" he mumbled to himself. "It's not my fault it broke
as soon as the wind touched it."
"Hey, Stupid, I said get out of the rain!" one of the shopkeepers yelled.
Cye looked at the shopkeeper and frowned at the husky old man. He simply had no manners. Cye then looked out into the street. "Tama," he called. It was raining so hard he could barely make her out. He looked at her as she stood perfectly still in the center of the street. "Tama, are you all right?" he called out.
"No, she aint all right," the shopkeeper said smartly. "She's been standing there for five minutes all ready. I'm about to go out there and...."
Cye looked down the street and saw a pair of faint headlights. He eyes widened as the lights started to get brighter and brighter. "Tama! Get out of the street!" he yelled.
"Cye, is that you dear?" Ms. Mouri asked from
"Yes, Mom." Cye kicked off his shoes and started to take Tama up to his room when his mother stepped into the hallway.
Ms. Mouri looked her son over, and then the huddled girl in his arms. "Why do you look like a duck?" she asked calmly. "And why do you have a strange girl in your arms?"
"Just give me a minute to warm her up, and I'll explain everything," Cye said as he walked to the stairs. Just as another thunderclap sounded, he felt Tama's arms tightened around his neck. "It's okay, you're safe now," he whispered to her.
"I'm sorry Papa," she whispered over and over again.
Ms. Mouri looked at Cye and shook her head. "He was always trying to bring home strays," she thought as she walked into the kitchen. "I should have known the stray would be a girl someday."
Ten minutes later, Cye walked into the kitchen wearing dry clothes. He looked at his mother and sighed. "She's a friend of mine. Her name's Tama Toshiba, and we met at the shop. She's always been afraid of thunderstorms, and her mother died when she was very young."
"She told you all of this in ten minutes?"
"No, I've know that for a while now. Mom, I really do care about her. And tonight... tonight she almost let herself be run over by a car. There's something really wrong, and I would like to help her through it. Can she stay Mom?"
She looked into his beautiful eyes and sighed. Even though she tried to be forceful, she'd melt at the sight of the pure innocence in his eyes. "I'll fix some tea. Try to keep her warm. And if she doesn't want to talk, don't force her to."
Cye smiled and kissed her cheek. "Thanks Mom."
Tama sat on Cye's bed rocking herself as she
watched the fish in his aquarium swim around without a care. They were
She was cold. Her clothes and hair were still wet, and still clinging to her. She tried not to think about any of what happened. It was her fault that her father was dead. She could still hear the glass breaking as his body hit the windshield. The sound of his body falling onto the pavement as his neck snapped sounded a lot like a thunderclap.
Cye walked into the room and looked at her. He held one of his old sweat suits in his hands as he carried it over to her. "Tama, I have some dry clothes for you," he said softly. He looked at her eyes and lowered his head.
Her golden eyes were now bloodshot from crying. They were also wide and void. It was like she was staring into nothing... with nothing. No emotion what so ever.
He stood and placed the garments next to her. "I'm going to get you a cup of tea. You can change while I'm gone." As he turned to leave, he heard a soft whimper from her.
"I killed my father," she said in almost a whisper. He sat next to her on the bed, but she refused to look at him. "When I was ten. I got really scared in a storm, kinda like tonight, and ran out of the house. He ran after me, yelling for me to get out of the rain. I turned to tell him I was only going to the cemetery to see Mama... I didn't even see the car coming. He just pushed me out of the way. When I looked up, he was just hitting the windshield. I could only watch as he tumbled over the roof of the car. But when he hit the ground again, I heard his neck snap. The doctors said that I was too far away, and it was too noisy, but I know I heard it."
Cye put his arms around her and held her as she cried. "Shh, let it out," he whispered as he gently rocked her back and forth. He held her in silence for two hours before slightly pulling away from her. "Where were you going when I found you?" he asked.
She lowered her head and leaned against his shoulder. "To see Mama. She was the only one who could make the thunder go away," she whispered.
"Do you want to stay here?" he asked. "My mother said it's all right. I wouldn't want you to go back out in the storm."
Tama leaned over and kissed Cye gently. "Can you keep me company?" she asked weakly. She smiled as she saw Cye's cheeks turn red with blush. His arms tightened around her protectively as she leaned her head against his shoulder. "You make the thunder go away too," she said as she started to drift off to sleep.
Cye smiled as he kissed her temple. "Tama," he said shaking her slightly. "Tama, Love, change into some dry clothes. You're going to get sick," he said giving her the sweat suit.
She looked at him and nodded. She saw him walking to the door and felt the fear of being alone grab her by her throat. "Where are you going?" she asked in a panic.
He smiled at her. "I'll be right back. I'm going to get that tea for you." Cye walked over to her and kissed her lips. "I promise, I'll be right back." When she nodded he walked out of his room and down to the kitchen.
"She can stay as long as she needs to," Ms. Mouri said softly.
"That poor girl. All of this time she thought her father's death was her fault? Doesn't she have any family?"
Cye shook his head. "None that count. They're all dead as far as I know." He poured two cups of tea and looked at his mother. "I know why she was going to let that car hit her," he said softly.
"History was repeating itself."
"I'm just thankful that you know how and when to reach out to your friends." Ms. Mouri smiled and kissed her son's cheek. "She seems like she could use someone like that."
Cye started to blush. "Mom, Tama and I are just friends."
"It didn't look like that a few minutes ago," slipped out.
Cye's eyes went wide. "You were spying the whole time?" he asked stunned. At her weak smile, he laughed. "Well, I've learned everything I know about caring and needing a person from you," he said kissing her cheek. "I'm going to go have Tama drink this."
Cye walked up to his room carrying two small tea cups. He gently opened the door and saw Tama laying on the damp bed, already asleep. He smiled as he placed the tea on his desk. He then found a large goose-down comforter and laid it next to the bed. Cye placed Tama on the blanket long enough to change the bed sheets and turn the mattress over to the dry side. Once he was done, he picked her up and put her in the bed again. As he laid the comforter over her, he noticed she held one of his stuffed whales in her arms. Cye smiled as he touched her face.
Tama's eyes slowly opened as she turned her head towards Cye. "Cye-kun," she said softly.
"Shh, you go back to sleep," he whispered.
She turned to him completely. "Will you stay with me?" she asked.
Cye looked into her eyes and nodded. He laid down next to her and pulled her into an embrace. "I'll stay with you Ta-chan," he said as she drifted off to sleep again. He glanced out of the window and sighed. The thunderstorm was over, and now the only thing he could hear were the sounds of the raindrops against his window.