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"Hey, you with the big fish ears, I got a bone to pick with you. How does a dead guy win!?"
--Yusuke

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Here to Eternity

by Cody

Chapter II

By the river, where dreams have never died.

By the river, I look through children’s eyes-

“Where the River Flows”-The Scorpions

Three years had passed since Yusuke and Kayko’s final meeting, and as Kayko was approaching her final months as a senior in high school she could not help but be depressed on Yusuke’s 18th birthday…of course she had the same feeling on his 16th and 17th birthdays.

“Yusuke…”

“Hey Kayko!” a fellow-female classmate shouted.

“Uh…oh, hey!”

“Hey, are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. I was just thinking that’s all.”

“Oh…what about?”

Kayko turned away. “Why does everybody have to know my feelings? It’s none of their damn business! I mean, I know that Yuria’s a friend of mine, but…”

“Kayko?”

“Sorry, I was just thinking again.”

“About what?”

Kayko sighed. “Today’s Yusuke’s 18th birthday…”

“Yusuke? You can’t mean Yusuke Urameshi?!”

Kayko nodded, although she could not stand the fact that every time she mentioned Yusuke’s name in a positive light people were so quick to condemn him.

“Look Kayko, I know how you told me you used to hang out with him when you were kids, and how you liked him, but Kayko…Yusuke was a loser! I don’t mean to be rude to you, but that’s exactly what he was. He never came to class, and all he seemed to care about was getting himself into trouble.”

Kayko said nothing, and turned away. “You wouldn’t call him a loser if you knew just how many times he saved your ass!”

“Anyway Kayko, what I wanted to tell you was that Shane Li’s have a party Friday night and we have to go! He’s the hottest guy from the entire school next door (an all-boys school)!”

“I can’t go, Yuria.”

“What? Why?”

“I just don’t feel like it.”

“Kayko, I don’t understand you. You hardly ever go to parties, you hang around with the weirdest people—Kazuma Kuwabara and his bunch—and I’ve never seen you with a boyfriend, despite what the guys next door are saying. They think you’re one of the hottest girls at Kaija!”

Keiko sighed. “Well good for them.”

“Huh? You don’t like it?! I’d love it if the guys over there thought the same about me!”

Again Kayko sighed. “Look Yuria, I’ve been keeping this secretly to myself for a long time, but my heart belongs to another.”

Yuria gasped. “You have a secret boyfriend?!”

Kayko nodded.

“Really? Who?”

“…Yusuke Urameshi.”

“Huh? …Kayko nobody’s seen Yusuke for at least three years. For all we know he left the city. How is it that he’s your boyfriend?”

“…He just is,” Kayko said short and to the point.

Kayko did not wait for her friends after the final bell rang. She left school as soon as it was possible, charging past the whistling boys from next door.

She was nearly out of breath when a male voice called, “Hey Kayko! What the hell’re you running from? You act as though Toguro was after you.”

“Oh, Kuwabara.”

Kazuma Kuwabara stepped forward while his curly-red hair blew in the wind. Despite how tough Kuwabara was, he displayed his gentile side by smiling at Kayko.

“I’ve never seen you run so fast before. For all I knew I thought that a demon was after you.”

“No, I just wanted to get away from everybody at my school.”

“Oh, why’s that?”

“Kuwabara, do you know what day it is today?”

“Yeah, it’s Friday.”

“Yes, but it’s also Yusuke’s 18th birthday.”

Kuwabara gasped. “My god, it is!”

“It’s been three years.” She paused, and lowered her eyes to the side-walk. She thought about the final words Yusuke told her before she returned her gaze to Kuwabara’s blue eyes. “Do you remember what I told you he told me?”

“Yeah, that he’d come back on his 18th birthday.”

Kayko’s lip started to quiver and her voice became huskier. “That’s today…he didn’t…he didn’t fulfill his promise…”

“Don’t give up hope yet Kayko. The day’s still not over.” But in the back of his mind Kuwabara believed that it was over, even though he did not want to. “This is just one time you couldn’t pull it off, could you Urameshi (he always addressed Yusuke by his last name)? It just really sucks that Kayko’s the one who has to suffer the most from it! Of course, I miss Urameshi too. I want him to bring his ass back here so I can kick it a few more times! Come to think of it, I wonder what Kurama and Hie…no, I could care less about Hiei, but Kurama I care for…”

“Kuwabara?”

“Oh, it’s nothing. I was just thinking.”

“About Yusuke?”

“Yeah, a little. God I hope she doesn’t start crying.”

Kayko did not cry she only nodded.

“Well, Kayko, I have to get going. Shizuru’s going to kill me if I don’t get home soon, and then I think I’ll go over and see Yukina some.”

“How’re you two getting along?”

“Oh, well, umm…” As much as Kuwabara tried he still could not get Yukina to become his girlfriend. “…Same as always, you know?” Kuwabara smiled, an attempt to hide his failures.

Kayko smiled back, although it was a forced smile.

“I’m going to take her to see Iron Maiden tomorrow. Maiden’s touring Japan and Yukina’s never been to a metal concert.”

Kayko continued to force herself to smile.

“Well, I’d better go before my sister kicks my ass. What’re you going to do Kayko?”

“I think I’m going to go for a walk, but do you think it’d be all right if I came by later to see Shizuru?”

“Sure, I don’t see why not.”

“Thanks, I’ll see you later.”

“Later, Kayko… “Damn you, Urameshi!” Kuwabara said, as he watched Kayko walk away. “How could you make such a promise to Kayko when you knew that you couldn’t keep it? I wonder how much more Kayko’s going to keep waiting for you. It’ll be your fault if you lose her forever.”

The sun sparkled beautifully over a stream in a little woodland area that Kayko used to visit with Yusuke. It was here what Yusuke told her his plans would be. She climbed into a nearby tree—something she did with Yusuke when they were younger—and stared into the distance. Her thoughts drifted back to a memory in this tree eight years ago.

“Wanna play house, Yusuke?”

“No, that’s a stupid childish game!”

Kayko laughed. “Come on, it’ll be fun.”

“I don’t want to Kayko. I’m ten, not five.”

“Oh, I just kind of wondered what kind of husband you’d be like.”

“Huh? What?”

“Well, you know, we might get married one day.”

“You think so Kayko?”

“Kayko.”

“Huh? What…”


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