“Hey Kiera, wake up!”
Kiera woke with a start. There was Kairi, staring over her from her bed. Kiera had been staying at Kairi’s house, and slept in a cot next to Kairi.
“What? What’s wrong?” Kiera moaned.
“It’s summer vacation!” Kairi announced, cheerfully, “Selphie and I are going out today, and I want you to come with us!”
Kiera was surprised. “Er, wait, you sure?”
“Of course! You’re my friend, and it’s been so long since you’ve been here! We have a lot to catch up on!” Kairi exclaimed.
Kiera smiled. “Uh, okay, just give me time to get dressed, and eat breakfast.”
Kairi grinned. “Okay!”
Kairi spared no expense with this trip. Kairi offered to buy anything that Kiera saw and wanted. Kiera politely declined since she had some munny leftover from her previous journey. However, Kairi persuaded Kiera to let her purchase a few things. Kiera didn’t get much, just a new shirt and skirt here and there, but didn’t see much of interest. However, when it came to ice cream, Kiera spoiled herself a little. She had never craved ice cream as much as she did then. After a long day of seeing the sites, Kairi and Kiera said goodbye to Selphie, and they stopped at the seashore.
“So, you’ve never been back to the island since?” Kiera asked.
Kairi shook her head.
“No. I told myself I would never go back until you, Sora, and Riku returned.”
Kiera frowned when Riku’s name was mentioned, and said nothing. Kairi quickly noticed.
“You know, every time I mention Riku, you get all quiet and distant” Kairi addressed, “Is something wrong?”
Kiera shifted her weight. She didn’t speak for a long time. Kiera reached for a scallop shell that washed up on the beach and began fiddling with it.
“I…” She stammered, “I’m not like you and Sora. I’m not as easily forgiving. I looked up to Riku, trusted him with my life, and after what he did, when he tried to hurt Sora, when he turned his back on me…I just can’t share your enthusiasm…”
She went to her neck to feel her locket. She wrapped her arms around her legs.
“Sora said that Riku made it out alive, safe and sound. He wanted to go find him, but I don’t. I couldn’t. Not just because my memories are still slowly coming back to me, but because the thought of seeing Riku again…absolutely terrifies me.”
She rubbed her eyes, as they were growing misty. Kairi put her hand on hers, and smiled sympathetically. Kiera smiled back, sadly.
Then, Kairi resolved. “Well, don’t worry! I’ll be there to help you!”
Kiera was surprised. “What?”
“It’s okay to be scared. I understand. I want to help you and Riku be friends again. When Riku comes back, I’ll have your back.”
Kiera’s heart suddenly warmed with joyful feelings. Her smile turned into a grin.
“Thank you Kairi.” She added, “You know, I’m glad I came back sooner. I felt like I needed to be with you until I got my bearings back.”
Kairi grinned with her.
Finally, after sitting on the beach for a little while longer, Kairi and Kiera decided to head back home. But before they left, Kiera spotted a peculiar object wash up on shore. It was a shell, a Thalassa shell, composed of yellows and purples. But, it had beads attached to it. It was another charm. Kairi closely examined it with Kiera.
“Look, there’s something on the back” Kairi observed.
Kiera turned the shell over. There were words etched inside the shell, but part of it had been chipped:
The girls were puzzled.
“Huh…wonder who this belongs too…” Kairi wondered.
“It’s strange…I’ve never seen this charm in my life, yet it seems so familiar…”
Kiera grew more and more puzzled. She decided to put the charm securely in her pocket.
“We’ll just have to keep our eye out for whoever this belongs to” Kiera resolved.
Kairi was surprised.
“Kiera, you’re crying again.”
Kiera noticed and quickly wiped her tears away.
“Okay, that was weird…” Kiera noted.
And with that, they departed the beach, and returned home.