"KASEY wake up, we're already here." her grandfather said in a low tone as the old man lightly taps his granddaughter's shoulder to wake her up.
Still half awake she turns to face her grandfather with a faint smile on her face.
"Lolo, I'm already awake," she answered in a sleepy tone as she unbuckles her seat belt.
Kasey Okamoto, seventeen years old, the only daughter of one of the well-known restaurant owner in Japan, She has an older brother who was five years older than her and currently staying in Japan.
Her brother chooses to stay there due to his job and to took care of their business with their relatives while their father was in America managing the other branches of their restaurants over there, while on the other hand, she and her grandfather were in the Philippines, managing their new branch that was about to be open to the public soon.
Her brother promises her that he will visit his beloved younger sister from time to time whenever he has time, assuring her that she will be fine and she doesn't need to be afraid of the new environment she will face and encounter. New school, new people, and hopefully a new version of herself.
At first, she strongly insists that she will stay in Japan with her father but in the end, she failed to convince them, instead, they convinced her to go for her to heal, to forget, and ease all my pain she had.
Kasey was a Filipino-Japanese who grew up in South Korea before moving to Japan five years ago. That's why she and her brother can speak four languages; English, Japanese, Korean, and Tagalog since their late mother taught and urged them to learn her mother tongue language which will help her to adjust faster and to be able to communicate with others.
Their beloved mother died three years ago, due to cancer because by the time that they discovered it was already late. There's only a little chance of her being cured at that time since her cancer was already at its final stage.
"Kasey let's go." her grandfather told her.
She just nods as she follows him silently, like a child who was afraid to get lost and be left behind by his parents.
* * *
"WHAT?" Nice irritatedly mumbled as the person beside him keeps on poking his shoulder while he was resting on his table, his face was facing the desk as he used his shoulder as his pillow. "Hmm?" he mumbled again when the person beside him starts poking him again.
"Nice, Mrs. Gilda was calling you," James whispered to his friend who doesn't show any signs of waking up nor urge to listen to their teacher who was now staring towards his direction.
"Mr. Tolentino, how many times do I have to tell you that I don't want my students to sleep during my class, right?" Mrs. Gilda said, emphasizing each word she has said.
And upon hearing their teacher's voice, Nice immediately sat up straight, feeling the authority that their teacher has.
"I'm sorry Ma'am," he mumbled.
"If you want to sleep so badly, you may leave now." Mrs. Gilda said flatly. "Those who are willing to learn and listen are the ones who can stay," she added before she resumes her lecture.
A few minutes later their school bell rang, thus, the class ended, making Nice sigh in relief because he can now go home.
"Hey, Nice!" Hanz called him as soon as their teacher leaves them. "Let's hangout at Vincent's place today, after school," he added as he places his hands on Nice's shoulder.
"Hey!" Vincent shouted in surprise upon hearing Hanz. "Why are you deciding all of a sudden without asking my permission, you moron!" he added as he jokingly points his finger towards Hanz.
"Why? can't we just celebrate this day?" Hanz said innocently as he looks at his friends who are busy zipping their bags. "Because finally after the long courtship, Cherry finally gave her sweetest yes to our buddy, Kris," he added happily as he lightly slams his palm into Kris's shoulder.
Nice just silently shook his head.
"What a crazy man, he was acting like he was the one who became Cherry's boyfriend." Nice silently whispered to himself while watching Hanz acting like a proud mother towards Kris who was now giving Hanz a silent warning.
Vincent just heaves a sigh while watching how happy his friends are. "Okay fine." he surrendered without giving a second thought.
Kris doesn't have any slightest idea that they will be celebrating not even a bit idea of the plan that his friends made behind his back while he was busy discussing their group project with his groupmates together with Claude.
Even though Claude was busy listening to Kris's ideas about their project he was still informed by their friend James about the plan, while he and Kris were busy in their discussion James was just silently sending him messages regarding the plan.
* * *
"Annyeonghaseyo, Ohayou Gozaimas, Wake Up Sleepyhead, Hey!, Oi Kasey!, Kasey!" the voice of Kasey's older brother echoed in her room.
"Hmm?" she mumbled as she stretched her body like a cat. "You're so noisy my alarm version Oni-chan. I still want to sleep just give me ten more minutes," she added as she turns off the alarm on her phone, her eyes were still closed, proof that she doesn't have any plan to wake up and get ready for her first day in class.
Ten minutes … twenty minutes ... thirty minutes flew like a blink of an eye and still the young lady was still sleeping.
"Ahh!" Kasey shouted in panic as she saw the current time. "I'm gonna be late for my first day in school!"
"Ppali ppali." she mumbled in panic as she immediately got off from her bed. "I need to hurry. Ppali ppali Kasey." she continued mumbling while she was in a rush taking her clothes off.
She took a very short bath, wear her uniform as fast as she could, comb her hair without even drying it and that's it, she's ready to go. She didn't bother putting powder nor drying her hair because she doesn't care anymore no matter how she would look like. She was fine that way.
After twenty minutes of preparing immediately run towards the dining table where her grandfather was, having his breakfast while reading the latest news.
"Oh dear, you seem to be in a hurry. Why don't you join me here" the old man commented as he saw his goddaughter running down the stairs as she goes down towards the dining table. "Here eat your breakfast, you need energy so that you can focus on your studies," he added with a warm smile on his face.
"Good morning Lolo!" Kasey greeted. "Mano po." she added before placing the back of his grandfather's hand to her forehead.
"Sorry Lolo, but I don't think I can join you for breakfast today." she apologized with a faint smile on her face. "I need to go now Lolo, I'm gonna be late for today's class, so a sandwich will do," she explained as she grabs a piece of sandwich.
"Okay, see you later apo. Take care, okay?" the old man said.
Kasey bid her goodbye and then like a lightning she immediately leaves the house as she told their family driver to drive as fast as he could so that she won't be late because she hates being late in a class especially now that today was her first day to school.
[Transalation: Lolo - means grandfather; Mano po - "mano" is an honoring gesture, a sign of respect to elders; po/opo - an honorific to show respect, it is added to a phrase to show formality and a sign of respect.]