“Okay, we’re here!” Comfort happily exclaimed.
Everyone began to pull their bikes off the pavement and towards the hill. It was midnight. The night was quiet, barely cold despite the winter season and time, and with most people in the city tucked away in their homes for the night.
“Okay, where even are we?” Takumi asked. He was confused and a bit tired, having been kept awake until they could finally arrive.
“Well, come and see.” Comfort replied, piloting her bike closer to the hill as Cy and Takumi got off theirs, following her.
Takumi’s confusion only grew as he looked up at the hill.
“Um…” was his only comment. He stared, trying to see something that could be taken as interesting but all it was to him was just a tall dirt hill. The heck were they planning to do? Climb it, maybe, but for what?
Comfort frowned as she glanced up at Takumi.
“It’s not really about the hill itself, more the view from up there. Maybe it’s not much but it’s quiet, especially at this time of night. Come on, give it a chance at least?”
Takumi frowned as he watched everyone else begin to head up the hill towards the top.
“I- Okay, I guess…”
Takumi gave Cy a confused glance, which Cy met with a glance that mirrored what Comfort said. The two approached the bottom of the hill as everyone else began to traverse up it and to it’s surface.
He hesitated, off-put by it’s height and how bumpy the way up seemed, even on foot.
Cy glanced at him yet again, before grabbing onto his hand and beginning to take him up the hill.
“Come on, it can’t be that bad up there.”
“It’s just… really high up there…” was all Takumi could muster out.
“It’ll be fine, it’s not like you’ll fall off or anything.”
Once they reached the top, the couple approached the edge and to where Meadow stood, looking out at the view.
Takumi’s eyes widened a little as he looked out at the view. The river flowing, the trees swaying in the oddly gentle breeze, the faint street lights… it wasn’t much, but what was there was pretty stunning.
“This is… actually really pretty…” Takumi said softly.
Cy glanced over at him with a smile.
“Isn’t it?” They responded.
Comfort and Meli stood, arms wrapped around each other also staring out at the view.
“See?” Comfort said, with a bit of an ‘I told you so!’ tone. “I told you it would be worth it.”
Takumi let out a chuckle, though a bit forced. “Yeah, you were right…”
“You never experienced stuff like this, did you?”
He paused. “…not really.”
“See, that’s just it. You never were able to so once you finally got the chance to, it didn’t seem like much to you.”
Takumi paused yet again, then frowned. She was right… he’d never given himself the chance to go out and experience stuff. He had completely missed out. His mood dropped, feeling he had not only missed out on so much but wasted the time he felt he could have spent before it was taken away.
“Hey, don’t get so upset, Takumi.” Eva broke the silence.
“Well, I just realized I wasted a good chunk of my life, so… not sure I can’t be upset right now.”
“What? No you didn’t. It’s not like you’re being put on a timer or anything. You’ll always have the chances to go out and experience things. There’s few situations, if any at all, where you can say you wasted your life or part of it. Maybe to you it feels like you did, but think about it. You’re only 20, and you were suffering with really bad depression. But look at you now, you’re starting to leave that shell. You’ll be able to finally step out of your comfort zone. You’re doing it right now, aren’t you?”
Takumi thought for a moment, then replied. “Yeah, I guess you could say I am..”
Eva smiled, finally turning to face him. “That’s what I’m saying!”
“You’re- You’re right… I-I can finally get back control. I can finally regain control of my life. I don’t need to hide away from everything. I can stop looking at things I could do and wonder if I could really do it. I can just… do it.”
Eva’s smile only grew wider. “Exactly! Look at you… you’re already improving. And I know you’re just gonna keep getting better.”
Everyone fell silent again, but for the first time in a while, Takumi couldn’t stop smiling. He’d rarely felt as happy as he did at that moment.
The three sat in what was mostly silence, though definitely an enjoyable silence. There wasn’t much to look at, but there was something about that moment. Maybe it was the feeling of just being with each other, or the feeling of being out so late at night. Or a combination of the two.
“We should do stuff like this more often.” Meadow said. “This is really nice.”
Cy nodded. “I agree…”
Cy couldn’t help but chuckle. “Man, and my mom always told me if I went outside after 10 PM I’d get kidnapped or something. There isn’t even anyone out here besides us.”
Meadow snickered. “My mom did the same. Except after I turned 18 she still said it. In fact she’d watch me like a hawk until I went to bed.”
“Even after you became an adult??”
Meadow nodded. “Yup.”
“Good lord.” Takumi chimed in. “Even my mom didn’t do that, but then again I moved in with my dad as soon as I turned 18.”
“Never realized we all had interesting family dynamics.” Cy said jokingly.
Meadow frowned. “Oh, you’d be surprised if I told you about everything that went on in my household…”
“Well, you know what?”
Takumi wrapped his arm around Cy. “Thankfully none of us have to deal with that stuff anymore.”
Meadow looked away for a few seconds.
“Yeah, that’s good…” their tone dropped a bit.
Takumi noticed their change in tone and frowned.
“Are you okay, Meadow?”
“Oh, um… yeah, I’m fine.” Meadow smiled, though there was something… not genuine about it.
Takumi was about to say something, only for him to be interrupted.
“Hey, guys, I have an idea!” Comfort called out as she hopped off the fence and took off down the hill.
“What is it?” Takumi called to her.
“We’re going back home, I’ll show you there.”
Comfort stared down at her phone screen, scrolling through playlists until she finally was able to settle on something. She turned on a playlist before setting her phone down and turning back to climb into the pool.
“Oh, lord-” Comfort exclaimed under her breath as she got in. “This is a lot colder than I thought…”
“It’s not that bad.” Takumi replied, turning to face her.
“Maybe not to you but I’m very sensitive to cold temperatures.”
The two laughed a little as Comfort swam over to where Takumi was.
“So, how do you feel?” Comfort asked.
“Um… honestly? I feel pretty good right now. I didn’t expect to like all this very much but for once I feel… really good.”
“Well, I’m glad. It’s nice to see you happy for once… it wasn’t something I saw that often beforehand.”
The two looked over as Cy rushed over to the pool and climbed in.
“I’m here! I’m here- sorry.”
Takumi smiled. “Hey, sweetheart.”
“Hey.” Cy swam over to Takumi and leaned against his float, returning the smile.
Takumi brushed a hand over Cy’s cheek.
“You know, it’s oddly not cold for being mid-December…” Cy couldn’t help but point this out, glancing up to the sky.
Takumi also glanced. “Yeah, it’s strange… it’s nice, though. Tonight could have been pretty insufferable. I mean, imagine swimming in 35 degree weather.”
Cy cringed. “I’d probably die immediately. I swear I can’t handle the cold even when I’m dressed for it, let alone in the pool.”
Takumi chuckled. “Am I the only one who can handle the cold?”
“You’re the only one who seems to want to get frostbite.”
“Oh, quit being dramatic.”
Cy laughed a little as well. “I’m just saying.”
Takumi took a hold on Cy’s hand and gently pressed a kiss against it.
“You worry too much, love.”
“Speak for yourself.”
“Hey, I didn’t try to comfort you only for you to insult me. …with something that’s completely right.”
The two laughed again, as Cy let go of the float and swam off.
Takumi turned over as he noticed Shawn and Comfort both approaching. He gave them both a smile.
“Hey.” Shawn returned the smile. “You seem like you’re in a good mood.”
Takumi sighed. “Is that all you’re going to talk about with me?”
Takumi snickered and shook his head. “You know it’s not that big of a deal.”
“Maybe not a huge one, but it’s big enough to us.” Comfort chimed in.
“I know, I know, you’re gonna go into some spiel about how you rarely saw me in this good of a mood… this is like the 5th time today.”
“I know. But seriously, Takumi. You don’t seem to get just how much we all care about you. So, to see you finally deciding to improve on your mental health… really, we’re proud of you. I mean, that’s a really hard thing to do.”
Takumi stared, a bit in shock but also in appreciation.
“You guys are proud of me…?”
“Of course we are.”
Takumi fell silent, but just couldn’t stop smiling. He was overwhelmed, yet in a good way. The fact was finally fighting this. That so many people were really proud of him, and were rooting for him. He’d never felt this way before. He’d never had so many people who cared this much about him.
For once he really felt as though the pieces were finally being put back together.
After some time had passed the group finally had gotten out of the pool and most were either asleep or about to go to bed.
“So, did you have fun tonight?” Cy asked, a smile forming across their face.
Takumi returned the smile, bringing a hand up and going to stroke Cy’s cheek.
“I did… we should do stuff like that more often.”
Cy layed down next to him. “I don’t know, there’s something about being out this late that’s just…” they paused, trying to figure a word to end the sentence.
Despite their tiredness the two continued to stay awake, happily talking the night away.
It really had been a great night, and Takumi wouldn’t trade it for anything.