Monday, February 26, 2007

Commenting on the Prologue

Yeah, it's not yet on because the Document Manager there wouldn't let me upload it, and the updated version of the first chapter. So I'm just posting this out of boredome and wanting to avoid studying for just a few minutes longer.

Oh, and did I mention that my iPod is glitching, again. This time it hasn't turned on, or reacted to my power switch, or being re-setted. T.T Do I need to buy a new one? Waah!

A Decline in Faith: Prologue

[added] Ok, so I just inserted this prologue here so that if the need arises, I can rush this fic if I feel threatened with the deadline. Actually, I already am. Either way, could I ask a favor of those who intend to read this part? If you could, try to read it as if you have no knowledge of Initial D. This serves as my introduction for my teacher to Initial D so she won’t be confused when she starts reading the story… I actually, want to confuse her, but then I may get a lower grade if I do it on purpose… and she notices. Ah, and just so you know, I’m just summarizing Kyoko’s appearances in the anime here… So when she stays silent during scenes, I try to figure out what she may be thinking. Similarly, some scenes are not shown, but definitely happened, so those scenes were made up as well.

Disclaimer: Initial D belongs to its respective owners. Shigeno Shuichi decides the real plot and we’re all just hoping he’ll change this drive-or-date philosophy of his.

A Decline in Faith
- by Dial In fita


This story begins after the main character, a young racer by the name Iwase Kyoko – as the Japanese say it, the last name is Iwase goes first, while the first goes next – meets with her Prince Charming and gets turned away for the second time.

Her story begins much before this though, when she talks with her friend at a certain café, in the prefecture of Saitama, in the Kanto region of Japan, about her ideal man. This dream of a man who is handsome (and cool), drives a Rotary engine car, and is basically faster than her. Her friend, who in the anime and manga has no name, but will be given one in this story, Mayumi, incredulously questioned her about it all being based on a car. Kyoko dismissed it and continued that she will definitely meet her “Darling”.

The next day, she visited the base of the mountain, of which’s road, or course, is probably her “home course”, and is probably named Shomaru Pass, to look for her missing cell phone, which she apparently dropped around that area during her lunch break. She noticed a bright yellow RX-7, an FD, parked on one side of the road, quickly commenting on yellow being a nice color. Kyoko parked her own black FD on the other side of the street, and got out – still in her overalls from work, which is most likely some sort of position in an auto mechanic shop – to search the area for her silver cell phone.

A tall – and handsome – man with spike bleached blond hair approached her and asked if what she was looking for was a silver cell phone. She blushed and replied with an affirmative. He explained that he found the said gadget on the parking lot earlier and had the store across the road hold on to it. She then began stuttering about how clumsy she is and how she seemed to always lose her phone when she puts in by the side of her car and so on. Realizing that she was stuttering, she halted the nervous, meaningless chatter and stared at him adoringly. He suggested that she go and get it.

But for the moment, Kyoko was too stunned to move, the sound of violins playing fill her ears. She wondered if she had finally met her “Darling”. After that, her heart still pounding in her chest, the racer went over to the store to reclaim her phone, but when she turned around to see and thank him again, her Darling was already speeding away.

Fast-forwarding to tonight, the unnamed team Kyoko is a member of was discussing the arrival of the super-team, Project.D. Her team leader, Akiyama Nobuhiko, glad of this development, stated that he wanted to watch the team, who had the intention of conquering the entire Kanto region, carefully. He reassured his team members, because of the membership of their uphill ace. Their uphill ace, however, was not concentrating on the meeting; she was standing by, daydreaming of her recent encounter with her Darling.

When he called her to attention, he asked her to represent their team for the challenge, as, quite obviously, the uphill driver. She agreed. Then he asked her if she wanted to hear the information he gathered of the representative of Project.D and she declined elaborating that she could concentrate better without those details. She intended to drive the way she knew best.

Later, she was seen in her FD, practicing, but she couldn’t concentrate; her mind was on that spiky blond she just met. She gasped suddenly, after narrowly missing hitting the guardrail of a certain corner, she slowed and worried. She was hardly in the mood for a battle, much less a suitable state for it.

Back at the parking lot, where the home team was gathered at, Kyoko had open her hood and was checking her engine for some sort of unknown something causing the weird sensation in her car. She took one last look at it then dismissed it as her imagination. Her eyes and ears then took in what her team leader was saying; Project.D was on the way up now.

With that, she and the rest of the unnamed team turn to the point where you could see the cars coming up. Kyoko gasped –once again – at the sight of the car leading the motorcade; it was a yellow FD. Could it be? After all what were the chances that she would encounter her Darling here and now? As she continued to watch them, Project.D parked their vehicles and turned on the lights they had at the back of their three support vans. She gasped. She was in shock and shaking. It was he, her Darling, Takahashi Keisuke, her opponent for the match tomorrow.

The next day, Kyoko and her friend, Mayumi, were at the café they usually hang out in, discussing Kyoko’s predicament. Mayumi decided that their race is a very good thing for her, a chance per se. She explained that whatever result the race may yield, it was a great opportunity to get to know him. And also that, if Kyoko could perform well during thee race, her Darling would surely notice her.

Night fell, and the team was having a pre-race meeting discussing various things, such as the amazing level of their opponents, and the representative for the downhill match. Nobuhiko decided that since they didn’t have an outstanding racer for that style, he would be the one to race. He explained to them that they had no choice but to focus on Kyoko. Asking them not to worry, she promised to do her best.

She was once again seen practicing for her match later that night, when suddenly a strange wheezing sound came from her car’s engine and the power output suddenly dropped, significantly. She gasped for the umpteenth time as she slowed down and eventually stopped her car by the narrow road. Turning on her hazard lights, she got out to pop her hood and stare at the engine hopelessly unknowing of what to do.

Still staring at her engine, Kyoko ignored the sound of a Rotary engine in the distance; she still ignored it as it passed by. The yellow car parked itself in front of her car, and behind her. The driver got out and asked her what was wrong. She was jolted once more by the man and explained her predicament. He realized that she is his opponent later on and voiced his disappointment in her. He has had higher expectations in her, he rebuked her ands says that she should’ve had it checked in the day if she thought something was wrong. He felt that she had underestimated him, and that for him was a harsh insult. All while he was saying this, Kyoko’s eyes were already tearing dangerously. He walked away.

Minutes later, Kyoko had closed her hood and has her hands pressed against it, eyes releasing their salty liquid. She reprimanded herself for the same reasons Keisuke did veritably cursing at her foolishness for being so excited for the race that she neglected the essentials. Feeling so frustrated, she believed that he hated her now. Just as her mind said this, she heard the sound of some sort of vehicle coming up from behind her. She confirmed with the lights and wiped away the tears still at the edges of her eyes. Her eyes widen as she realized that it is one of the support vans of Project.D. It parked by her, the window opened and there her opponent was, telling her to bring her car to the parking lot so they could take a look at it.

After examining and diagnosing the problem, Keisuke and his mechanic worked on the car. Soon after, the car was fixed and ready to go. It all happened before Kyoko’s curious eyes. She tried to thank him, but he told her that he didn’t want to be thanked that way. He wanted her to thank him by racing her best with him later. Still blushing slightly, Kyoko found herself liking him even more.

Before the race, she decided to lead their race, although it was un-strategic for her to go ahead of him, she still wanted to do it, to show him her best possible driving. It was custom in their course to race with one car ahead of the other rather than starting side-by-side, as the road they drove on was very narrow; the leading car was called the leader, while the one following was the chaser. A race was won either if the leader leaves the chaser behind, or the chaser overtakes the leader, somehow.

A serious and determined look was in her eyes as she introduced herself shyly, while he did so in a snobbier manner. She believed in her heart that she would not, could not, win their battle, but, still, she wanted to make their match last as long as possible, to be on a stage where they would be the stars, where every ounce of his concentration would be on her.

Once they began, Kyoko realized that she was having the time of her life. Never before had she felt so “in her groove”. The idea of showing her Darling the true extent of her skills had her exhilarated. Later in the race, her lead was maintained and she prayed that their race would go on forever.

The goal was pretty close now making Kyoko want to bring it to the next run even more. She smiled for a moment. But that glee was short-lived, as her car seemed to go over a bump on the road, quick and sudden, the acceleration of her car reduces. She looked back and notices that even though she had maintained a few meters distance with her Darling earlier in the match, he was now much, much closer to her now. Her pleased expression now morphed to a much more worried and anxious one.

They were now on a relatively long straightaway, so when he moved to the opposite side of the road as her, she steered that way as well as an attempt to block him. When they entered the corner, she was ahead about three-fourths a car length. As she braked, his car nudged hers slightly, which caused her to corner more sideways than she wished. She was stunned by this motion that she momentarily released the accelerator. She soon realized that she should not have done this.

They exited the corner side-by-side. They continued on this way for the next short straightaway, but when they reached the next left-hand corner, Kyoko braked slightly later than he, so he ended up heading into the corner faster. This enabled him to pin her down and keep her from accelerating past him.

Kyoko was mentally pleading with him to let the race go on, but to no avail. He sped past her then past the finish line as well. He won.

Their race was over and there was nothing Kyoko could do about it. She drove past the goal and into the area where her disappointed teammates were waiting for her. She sat in her car, thinking deeply about what just happened. The first thing she did when she got out of the car was to apologize to her teammates. She understood very well that all their hopes on winning against their opponents were on her, and she just lost. Nobuhiko comforted her, in a brotherly sort of way, saying that there was nothing to apologize about and that it was all right since she did her best after all.

She listened to her team leader describe the impressive level and performance of Keisuke as she turned to watch him herself. Kyoko thought to herself that she never expected her Darling to be this amazing. When Nobuhiko spoke again, she redirected her attention back to him. It was his turn to race against the downhiller of Project.D; she noticed the stress of going against a much better opponent grading on his nerves. Then again, even though she probably shouldn’t, she didn’t care much about the succeeding match.

And as the next race began, she stood right where she was and stared at her Darling only meters in front of her. He, apparently, was talking with a teammate of his, a shorter man with a mop of dyed blond hair. She heard the man, named Kenta, tell Keisuke that he was hungry, and so he went over to the vans, not before asking his taller mentor if he wanted any (he didn’t), parked not a distance away from him to get some left-over rice balls.

When she saw that he was finally alone, Kyoko approached the slightly older Rotary driver cautiously. After staring at each other for a few silent seconds, she finally took the initiative to speak. She thanked him again for fixing her car, but still he insisted that she had nothing to thank him for. He even found that he has reason to thank her, admitting that he discovered a lot of important lessons from their race. And after that, he complimented her on her driving, and then finally apologized for the assumptions he made about her prior to the race.

She blushed, quite pleased. Continuing their conversation a bit, they ended up in silence once again. Flushing slightly, she asked him if he has a girlfriend. When he replied with a negative, she was overjoyed, so she thanked him quickly, and skipped away back to her car, failing to hear his explanation for it.

The next day, Kyoko and Mayumi were once again chatting over some tea. Mayumi congratulated her friend on her discovery, praising her as well for being brave enough to ask that much. She found that Kyoko was doubly lucky about his current status, and even teased her that her Darling was thinking of her as well. Mayumi decided that Keisuke had already figured out that Kyoko liked him. Confused, Kyoko didn’t know what to do, but decided that she wanted to look prettier, just for him.

Later that day, night to be accurate, Kyoko arrived at Mount Akagi, the home course of her Darling, totally made-over. Instead of her usual sports jacket and cargo pants, she was wearing a beige blouse with a denim miniskirt. She took note of the three guys on the other side of the vantage point of the peak and recognized them as members of Project.D so she bows in greeting.

There, she heard the sound of a Rotary engine, turning around she saw one, a yellow one, the yellow one she has been looking for. She watched it intently as it drove up the slope and parked near the van of his companions. He turned to her immediately as he got out of his car. He motioned to the area ahead, and they walked away from the three men to maintain some semblance of privacy between them.

They had a short conversation, but Keisuke cut it of by asking her the reason of her arrival. She wanted to watch him drive, she said, but he didn’t want her there. When she tries to explain her love, he explains that it wasn’t a matter of liking or disliking her, and rejects her. He explained further that she’d only be in his way, and that it’d be much better if she stayed away from him. Thus, he got back into his bright yellow sports car and made a quick excuse to his companions then drove back home, leaving the poor girl spilling tears onto her shirt.

The next day, Kyoko was leaning against her car, parked in front of the auto shop she worked for, reflecting on what just happened between them. She had to admit to herself that what he said was true; she really would get in his way if they would get together. Not believing that she would ever fall in love again, she did not know what to do. Being the determined girl she was, she decided one thing. She would not let something like this discourage her. She would not give up!

Another few days later, a small gathering of some of the Northern Saitama racers was assembled, and Kyoko was invited to join the meeting. Apparently, Nobuhiko had come up with a new plan for beating Project.D. A new team, between the networks of friends they had, was set-up for this very purpose. A member of this temporary team requested Kyoko to pitch in a bit of cash, but before Kyoko could hand over some money, one of her original teammates requested to speak to her first.

He told her that she didn’t need to participate in this effort if she could not decide on which side she was supporting, emotionally. He informed her about the Takahashi’s status in life, the two brothers, Keisuke (the younger one) and Ryousuke (the elder one) were sons of a director of some big hospital in Gunma, the prefecture the brothers resided in. He advised her not to pursue Keisuke, being the rich and handsome man he was, there would sure to be lots of competition. Regardless, she didn’t want to back down.

The challenge was sent, and Project.D was coming back to Saitama for the second round of the Saitama showdown. Away from the mountains and the speeding cars though, was Kyoko, who felt left out of the game, which she truly loved. Wanting to go, but feeling discouraged, she just leaned there, pondering.

The next day at about mid-day, the heavy clouds hovered above all, threateningly, but that certainly did not discourage the girl, she went to the course somewhat boldly, not being able to help herself. While driving around the course, she noticed the bright yellow FD parked by the open, un-guard railed area by the road. Surprised, she stopped her car and got out curiously then somewhat giddy-ly rushed to its side, wanting to touch the precious car.

Rushing over, she stroked the hood of the car then kneeled down to rest against it, still stroking it. Unbeknownst to her, the owner of the said car was inside the car and staring at her strangely. When the fact became known to her, she blushed then shrieked in surprise. When he got out, she expressed her shock at being there. After pointing out to her that it made perfect sense for a driver to be in his car (trying to rest for his race later in the night), she wished her Darling good luck on the race later on in the night. But for some surprising reason, Keisuke, being hungry, asked her out to eat at some family restaurant.

While they are eating, she asked him whether or not he went to restaurants such as the one they were at now often. He answered her incredulously that he did, after all he was a road racer, and it was a known fact that racers were patrons of such establishments. She shut her eyes cheerfully, glad that even though he was rich, her Darling was very down-to-earth.

Driving back to the course, Kyoko realized that Keisuke was asleep in her passenger seat. Not wanting to wake him, she slowed her pace and finally stops at the spot where she found him. Soon, she falls asleep as well, praying that this moment would freeze in time. But as time certainly does not stop, he woke up, hours later. After thanking her briefly, he rushed back to his own FD, to practice a bit more on the course as the rain soaks the pavement. She smiles as she watches him pull out of the space, shout another thanks, and drive to the starting point of the race, all the while thinking that spending time with him felt wonderful, when it lasted.

Later that night, after the race between the two downhill racers concluded, Kyoko approached her teammates at the starting point waiting eagerly for the results of the ongoing race, the one between her Darling and a cousin of her team leader, Wataru, who was currently driving a supercharged Toyota Corolla AE86 Levin. Nobuhiko commented on how she wasn’t the type to hideaway in the corner. He stares at her for a moment then declared what he had deduced, that she came to root for their opponents rather than them. When she admits this, he reassured her easily as they weren't exactly at war with each other, so in any case, she was free to cheer for whomever she wished.

When he turned away, she watched him gladly. Then her mind turned back to the dangerous race her Prince was in. She moved to face her black FD, clutching her cerulean umbrella with one hand over the other, cheering him on and declaring that she’d always be by his side.

After waiting for a few more minutes, she heard Nobuhiko – quite surprisingly – despite the rain say that Wataru had spun out and lost. If she weren't in a skirt, she probably would have jumped for joy and cheered unabashedly. Her heart seemed to have gotten in its own car to do loops. Waiting a bit more, she saw the two cars drive – a lot more slowly – towards the starting point, seeing her Darling get out of his bright car made her heart stop doing loops only to race around its own course.

She stared at him intently, hoping his gaze would be attracted by hers, somehow. And it happened. He looked around until she catches his attention. When he faced her, meeting her longing gaze, she pressed her hands – with the handle of the umbrella still sandwiched between – against her chest, trying to send him her message.

This time she wasn’t so successful, instead of him receiving her message gladly and springing towards her to wrap his arms around her, he turned around to get back into his car, not giving the poor Kyoko any more of his time. Her shock, once again, manifests itself in a gasp, as he starts up and drives away from her. She can do nothing but stare at the machine, taking her Darling away from her again.

Despite being hurt by the reaction of Keisuke to her visit, she is determined to keep pursuing him, no matter what.

Her chance to see him again lay in the next race of Project.D. The prevailing team had just challenged a shady team composed of only dreaded Lancer Evolutions.

Her hopes had been restored and now she was once again ready to face him and boldly cheer him on, if he would let her. Unsure if visiting them directly would be a good idea, she decided to take a bit of a joy ride on the course a fierce battle was sure to occur. But when she turned one corner, what was there to greet her but Darling sitting on his car. Hardly being able to help herself, she stopped her own vehicle by his and rolled down her window to announce her reasons for being there. Then quickly adding the inquiry of why he was parked there.

Looking back up at him, she noticed that he was staring at her, very intently at that. Making a face, she suddenly worries if he was upset at her being so persistent in following him. To her shock, he got up from his seat on the hood and placed a hand on the top of her car. His kneeling and leaning against her only augmented to that initial shock. And finally to top it all off, a cherry on top of a tall pile of ice cream and syrup, he suddenly, completely out of nowhere, asked her a favor.

He pleaded to her, asking to borrow her car for the race later. And of course, she couldn’t refuse such a request, or any request, in fact, from her Darling

After explaining to her how their sneaky opponents spilled oil across the road to sabotage their cars and how his car was the one that crashed, he lead her to where they were stationed at. As they arrive, she noticed the inquisitive stares of the other Project.D members on them, getting out she followed him to the group, but stayed at the back of which while he moved forward to face his brother.

She stared at the elder brother intently as Keisuke faced him, apparently still unsure how to say what he was. The elder brother certainly looked cool. He was handsome, much like his brother, only in a different, probably darker way. The deep blue, which is very natural in anime, of his hair and dark expression-less expression only added to his mysterious aura.

Once the man of her affections started speaking, she stopped looking at the elder one and decided to concentrate on the younger. He explained to his brother that he was determined to win, no matter what. It doesn’t matter to him whether or not Ryousuke approved of it – he hoped that he would if he didn’t – or even if wasn’t an official Project.D, all he wanted was to defeat the losers who were made to resort to such underhanded deeds to win, to show them that even with a huge handicap, Project.D was still the best. Much more, he couldn’t let Project.D’s pristine record be tarnished by the foolish mistake he made in that crash.

A deep silence follows that one-sided confrontation, one that had Kyoko holding her breath. A silence that was broken by the sighing of her Darling’s brother then when he slipped his phone out of his pants pocket and started to dial a number, it didn’t fail to arouse their surprise and curiosity. That was only enhanced by when he said the key words of “We don’t need that car anymore.”

Could it be? It would have been if it were not have been cancelled. Keisuke would have gotten his car and raced regardless of whether she came to lend him her car or not. But when his brother cancelled his own plans, it made Kyoko feel, well, wonderful. It felt great to have his brother’s approval of Darling racing with her car rather than whatever other car that he might’ve ordered. She could understand it clearly that he was not approving of her, per se, but the thought of Ryousuke believing in her car being advantageous for Darling made her like him, even if it were for a shallow reason.

She smiled as the group cheered with a newly charged enthusiasm ready to tackle any obstacle in their way. When he turned and beamed at her, she couldn’t help but blush shyly. After a few more minutes of heated up and excited discussion, she handed over her key to him.

Feeling compelled to stand back and watch the workings of Project.D Kyoko did so. Being the quick and efficient team they were, Keisuke was ready to race in a few minutes. Then the race began between the two powerful cars. Soon, two her teammates, Nobuhiko and Saitou (the one who asked her to wake up to reality) arrived to watch the race. They were both in shock when they heard that Kyoko had given her consent for another person to driver her precious car. She smiled and admitted that she never imagined that she would ever let another drive her car, she continued it mentally, but if her car could help her Darling win then she’d gladly lend it to him.

She faced the road and passively listened to her teammates talk; her mind was not there standing still, but with her car, with her Darling cheering him on and on. She hoped that he would win, minutes later it seemed that he does. Kyoko watched him get out of her car then face his opponent, who was making a lot of fuss she could not make out. Either way, he headed towards her with a satisfied expression on his face. He expressed his thankfulness once again verbally when he handed over her key back to her.

Kyoko stares at him, blushing, as she holds on to the key, still warm from his hands, close to her heart as she smiled at him. The smile widened and her heart quickened impossibly so, when asked for her number and gave Kyoko his. Sharing a brief smile with her, he said, somewhat hushed, that he wanted to meet with her again before smiling again and joining his teammates once again.

Quite honestly, she was hardly interested in the other racer of Project.D, so when other ace’s race began, she decided to take one last look at him, for that night, and get back into her car to head home.

The next couple of days, Kyoko was cheerfully breezing through her duties as a daughter, student, and part-time worker at Norisu’s Auto Shop. The only thing that prevented her from giving her… Everything, her everything was the fact that she was eagerly awaiting some sort of contact from him, a call or even a text message. But that was fine with her. After all she was just given a chance from the heavens to get much closer, or at least that was what her friend said. Either way, she agreed with it completely. It was just a Monday morning, he might’ve been tired, so, as Kyoko saw it, this would be the optimum day of the week he’d call her.

Then, at three o’clock in the afternoon, he called. Overjoyed at this, Kyoko quickly agreed to his suggestion of a date this Saturday. He’d pick her up at the Shibukawa train station and they’d decide what to do afterwards.

When Saturday came along, Kyoko took extra care in dressing her cutest. She stood at the station patiently waiting for her Prince to arrive in his precious FD. Only he didn’t. He came of course, but in a different car. He said that he borrowed his brother’s car, a white FC, the predecessor of their car, because his was still unavailable.

Cruising along, he asked her where she’d like to go, as he wanted to thank her letting him use her car for the race. Admitting that she wasn’t fond of lively places, they decided to hang around Gunma to enjoy. He brought her around for some sightseeing, where the topic of her following him during races came up. She didn’t mind whether he ignored her during his races, but she still wanted to go, to watch him drive. Also, there was still the possibility that she could end up helping him again, like she did last time. He chuckled at her persistence warmheartedly, calling her innocent, or maybe pure. Not wanting to continue this conversation now, he announced that he was hungry and took her to a restaurant.

In the restaurant, Kyoko encountered another one of those moments where she felt so warm and fuzzy inside that she’d love to stay there, forever. She imagined that, sitting there with her Darling, others would perceive them as a dating couple, rather than what they really were.

After picking up the bill, Keisuke brought Kyoko out to his home course, Mount Akagi for a drive, and some privacy. Going up the mountain, Kyoko couldn’t help but admire how he drove, the smoothness of his driving, the way he seemed to handle the pedals so gently on that winding road, way he seemed to make the forces when one shifts up disappear. And to think, he was speeding up that mountain pass. When they got to the peak, she didn’t fail to compliment him on such.

He told her that he wasn’t really trying, but that he was just being gentler on the car as they weren't in any sort of competition then. When he was racing though, he was a lot rougher on the car, putting a lot of stress on it. So he was driving normally, he had the tendency to baby his car.

Their conversation was interrupted by two guys who drove up and recognized Keisuke, noting that it was pretty rare for him to be in the company of a lady. They asked, quite cheekily, whether or not Kyoko was his girlfriend. The comment made Kyoko blush, while the male FD racer shooed them away, literally.

Slightly frustrated, he began talking about how he used to hang out with a bad sort of crowd when he was younger and hadn't gotten his license yet, he was rebellious and caused a lot of trouble. He felt that he had no goal in life, so he was bored and irritable, and just went around doing things he considered stupid now. In her heart, Kyoko could empathize with that feeling.

His parents had pretty much given up on him, but not his brother. One night, his brother took him to the mountain they were at now, and drove downhill so fast that Keisuke thought he was committing a double suicide. That was his life-changing experience, and hardly anything was the same then. He added that he felt that he hadn't surpassed that downhill ride, even three years after, although this seemed so unbelievable.

After Kyoko expressed her amazement at his story, he returned to the topic he had cut off earlier. He seemed to have a hard time saying it, but he said it, he apologized then said that he had no intention of dating anybody while being a racer of Project.D so he asked her not to chase after him anymore.

She couldn’t understand it. Explaining that she didn’t really expect him to return her feelings, Kyoko just wanted to go and see him. She told him the feelings she had in her heart, what she was thinking and feeling all day, her emotions of happiness and gratitude to him for being so kind to her all day, and the feeling of finally getting close to him. She understood how important Project.D was for him and how he had to do his best. But wasn’t it enough for her to just stand in the sidelines and watch? Apparently not.

For him, Kyoko couldn’t just settle for watching, not for long anyway. He could identify with her; he knew that if she had a taste of what she wanted, she would want everything. He knew that if she continued to chase after him, she’d only get hurt.

She had been trying to hold them in, but she couldn’t help it now. Kyoko held both her hands against her face and cried into them. She felt his hand rest on her shoulder, as if to reach out some sort of comfort to her. Everything, was this the end of everything they had been through so far? She didn’t want it to end so emptily. So she made a request of him. She asked him to let her ride by his side as he went full-throttle down Mount Akagi.

When he agreed to it, she dried her eyes as they walked back to the white beast waiting to be unleashed on the road before them. And when he started racing the mountain, she found her amazement being replenished. Switching her view from him to the road, to him again, she knew it; the driving that she was experiencing now was completely different from the one he showed to her earlier.

Amidst the amazing driving and her growing admiration for him, she found herself hurting once more. She didn’t want it to end. She wanted to stay with him, because to her, he was the one and only, he was special. Tears streamed from the sides of her eyes, as she decided that it was impossible for another man to be better than him, or even as good. How could she even fall in love with another?

She could do nothing else. She just sat there in the borrowed car with her hands pressed against her face, weeping.

A few days after that, Kyoko and her best friend, Mayumi, agreed to meet at the café they frequented, to talk.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Decline in Faith: Chapter 3 - High Tension Battle From Within

Disclaimer: fita doesn’t own Initial D.

Chapter 3 – High Tension Battle From Within


Kyoko pulled her knees ever closer to her chest, sandwiching her pillow between, tears leaking from the sides of her eyes as she stifled the sobs that were wracking her body. This had been going on for more than an hour no. She imagined that her supply of tears had run out, but surprisingly, they were still flowing. It was ten, her stomach was complaining, but her mind couldn’t stand the thought of taking anything in.

The state the young racer was in was caused by the sudden revelation her parents had revealed to her.


“Kyoko, dear,” Her mother began in her uncharacteristic gentle voice, “We’ve got something to… tell you…”

Slightly stunned, the star of the Saitama team stared at the matriarch of her family. She attempted to speak, but only a silent, “What is wrong mom?” came out.

Her old man, kneeled beside his wife and looked up at her sadly, “Miwako… Darling, don’t force yourself…” He stroked her hand gently before kissing it tenderly.

The look on the elderly woman’s face was of determined pain, “Your father and I, we just came from the hospital,” The beginning of her announcement made Kyoko’s heart only thump harder in her chest, “Actually, we’ve been going there for the past few weeks, but today we got the confirmation of our… inquiries…”

Konousuke, her father, seemed to take a deep breath before speaking, “What we’re trying to tell you, Kyoko, is that…”

Kyoko’s mother, tightened her grip on her husband’s hands as she shushed him, “Konou… I think it would be better if I were the one to tell her…” She shook her head when he attempted to persuade her otherwise. Intimidation and anxiety filled Kyoko’s heart as she watched her parents. Her mother almost never interrupted her husband, not because of some overbearing fear, but rather of love and respect for him. Her parents looked into each other’s eyes for a few meaningful seconds before the woman continued, “I've got an… [1]advanced case of breast cancer.”

The statement seemed to reverberate in her mind; also, it seemed to slip into one ear then crawl out from the other. As was the case, the girl gaped and asked in quite a shocked tone, “What?!” It seemed though that the words were in her head long enough for her to understand it, unbelieving at the same time.

“I’ve got cancer dear…” Her mother’s demeanor totally changed. It was as if she had resigned herself to the thought and simply leaned back.

Kyoko’s eyes got dangerously shiny, as her fist seemed to have frozen into the form they were currently, clamped shut. She tried to form words of comfort; perhaps she could even draw out some words of wisdom, but to no avail. Her mind seemed to have decided to shut down and blank itself, for its own sake.

Konousuke seemed to have tensed up upon hearing those words leave his wife’s own mouth. Right now though, he was most concerned for his dear daughter. She certainly wasn’t taking the news any better than they had, when they first heard it. He rushed over to Kyoko, holding his twenty-ish daughter close to him. He hoped he could ease up his daughter as he used to his wife.

He held her even tighter when he felt her wrap her arms around him and press her face against his shoulder, soon the area of which she had pressed it began to moisten up.


How could she react like this? She was twenty-one years old! How could she react so immaturely?! Her mother was sick, terminally sick, and what was she doing for her? Making her situation worse, that stupid little scene she had pulled in the living room. She should be supporting her mother right now, not cooping up in her inner sanctum. How selfish of her… These were the thoughts roaming free in the enclosure that was her mind.

Regardless of what went through her head, she couldn’t bring herself to pull herself together and plod over to her parents room to talk about this.

Hours later, Kyoko was sprawled out on her bed. She had fallen asleep from crying. It was horrible for her in multiple ways for her, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

When she finally looked up, the first things she saw was the plain wall calendar pasted against her door. Yesterday was a Sunday; today was a Monday, deducing from the bright light coming from her accursed windows, it wasn’t too early in the day anymore. She bit her lower lip before she dared to glance at her clock. Yep, the time supported her guess; it was eleven o’clock.

She loathed to get up, to face the reality that was just beyond her bedcovers and mattress.

For whatever reason her mind came up with, she decided that if she was already two hours late for her class, she may as well miss it and ask Sakaki-san, her seatmate in her classes for the day, for the notes he had taken down, just so she could linger on her bed just a bit longer. And if that were to happen, she may as take a day off, for personal reasons… That basis seemed suitable enough.

Sighing, she pulled one of her smaller pillows against her and wishes for this to all be nothing but an illusion, a dream.

My apologies to those who don’t like Kyoko’s parent’s names. Also, I know the first part was overly dramatic, and kinda corny, and extremely predictable, but I’m already rushing this story… So, yeah, another apology for it being pathetically short. :P

Thursday, February 22, 2007

VB.Net Progres Bar - Timer

Private Sub Timer1_Tick(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Timer1.Tick

If ProgressBar1.Value <= ProgressBar1.Maximum - 1 Then

ProgressBar1.Value += 1

Else : Timer1.Enabled = False

End If
End Sub


Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles


StatusBar1.Text = "Hello"
End Sub


Friday, February 16, 2007

A Decline in Faith: Chapter 2 – The Widening of Eyes

Disclaimer: Initial D does not belong to fita, nor does HMV, the cars, and all the other things I really wish did belong to me…

Chapter 2 – The Widening of Eyes

The sunny Sunday morning sun found Kyoko lying on her bed half-asleep and staring at the photo of her darling on her bedside table. Her eyes fluttered as she reached up to rub the morning dust off her eyes. Reaching for her small black cat alarm, which she had violently slammed on when it dared to meow, she realized she had, once again, slept in. Stretching her arms over her head, she yawned and headed for the bathroom.

Minutes later, a different cat watched its master leave her room to find a meal her dear mother had prepared for her earlier in the morning. Accompanying the fried egg, fish, soup, and rice was a small note written in her mom’s ever-patient hand. “Kyoko,” She read, “your father and I will be out for the rest of the day. Don’t bother waiting up for us later, we may go out and watch a movie.”

The receiver of the note and meal smiled to herself. Typical of her parents to leave a note, why her parents seemed to treat “unnecessary” items of technology with disdain, simply escaped her. She could imagine her parents riding a carriage to work, if it were available, very vividly. Either way, she only found that trait made her old-fashioned parents dearer to her.

Another thing that she really found endearing about her parents, her mother particularly, was that she insisted on her daughter eating a full meal, at the very least on Sundays. Although, quite honestly, I don’t see why you are dieting in the first place, fine, worry about your figure. That seems to be what all the kids your age are doing, but you have to feel filled at least once in a while, or you won't even be happy, regardless of your weight. When I was your age, your father courted me, regardless of what I looked like. Now look where we are today… Her mother, the accountant, seemed to love talking about how fiery her relationship with her husband was when they were Kyoko’s age.

Her father was just as close to her heart as her mom was, but only in a different way. If her mother only, seriously, shut up, it was because of her work. Her father, on the other hand, only seemed to speak up when he was at work. He worked in an engineering firm; more appropriately, owned and headed it. At home, he usually just sat down and read the remaining parts of the newspaper he hadn't finished earlier in the day. Her dad was the type of person who would only attempt something if no one else could succeed in it. So, he usually was the one who ended up cheering up his daughter when his wife couldn’t do so. This trait also explained why his firm was so successful.

So, she still lived with her parents, all the while envying their successes in life. She envied the fact that they married whom they loved. She envied the fact that they both knew what they wanted in life, and had acquired it. She envied the fact that they were happy.

Setting down her now empty teacup, Kyoko started cleaning up the table. After piling what she had eaten from in the sink, she picked up the small black following her and pressed her nose against the back of Miko’s fluffy head. After listening to the pleased purring from her cat of more than four years, she set the said cat back down then started on the dishes, but not before glancing at the kitchen wall clock behind her. It was almost eleven o’clock; she had about an hour before she met with her friend to accompany her with her shopping. She paused a minute when she remembered why her friend was so insistent on the help.



Kyoko pressed on the brakes gently; trying to copy the delicate handling her Darling showed her only a couple of days ago. Her eyes were focused ahead on the intersection, as she concentrated on how she would control her accelerator and brakes, just waiting (as if daring it) for the light to turn green. She could practice on the touge, she knew that, but she believed that it was better if she tried practicing on normal streets at normal (in the normal sense of normal drivers) speeds.

She sighed when she felt the distinct forces pushing against her as she shifted gears. Her foot was being to heavy against the pedals, even though she started at a pathetically slow pace for her FD. Maybe she was going too fast…? But it was not based on speed, was it? Keisuke was speeding up Mount Akagi, but whole thing felt so smooth, as if they were drifting on silk and at the same time it was as if they were on a roller coaster, where every move was planned out and secure. It was as if street racing was nothing but a calculated risk to him.

“I don’t get it…” She murmured as she went back to her normal pace for public streets. Kyoko decided that it was unlikely that she’d just “stumble” upon how she could achieve that sort of level; that was probably something achieved through constant practice and thinking. While thinking this through, she continued to cruise along the streets, and before she knew it, she was already lining up at the entrance of the parking lot right next to the Gunma mall they agreed to meet at, for whatever strange reason. Taking the ticket, finding a parking space, and doing the actual parking took about more or less five minutes. And in the next minute she was heading towards the bright commercial palace with surprises aplenty.

Taking her time to walk over to the entrance, she let her arms brush against her pants’ pocket then she realized that she had once again forgotten her precious silver cell phone, turning back to retrieve the silver gadget, a certain being just happened to glance her way. The result: a widening of eyes.


Takahashi Ryousuke, the brilliant doctor-to-be and team leader of the powerhouse team, Project.D, was not one to forget things easily, especially things that had at least some significance to him or his dear little brother, “What is she doing here in (1)Ota?”

“Aniki!” Takahashi Keisuke shouted, albeit softly when compared to his standard, “Where’s the shop again?”

Ryousuke’s eyes remained pensive as he turned to reply to his Otouto, “Let’s go, Keisuke.”

The look was enough to trigger the thinking clogs of Keisuke’s mind as they walked to the nearest escalator and down into the basement.


Looking up, Kyoko felt some sort of light tingle go up her spine, just as it did whenever something – something – unexpected happened. Holding the phone in her hand, the FD racer headed back over to the entrance where her best friend was heading to – from the inside of – those automatic sliding doors. Mayumi smiled in combination with a raised hand, this served as her cursory greeting as they approached each other.

“So,” Kyoko began, watching the older girl’s expression, “Have you eaten yet?” Her friend raised an eyebrow at her curiously, “It’s just like you looked a bit…”

Mayumi interrupted her quickly, “Never mind that.” She said as she hurriedly waved her hand in front of her face. “We should hurry to the stores during lunch hours, it’s usually less crowded then.” She said nonchalantly, taking her friend’s wrist and practically dragging her to the elevator before the racer could suggest anything else.

“Hey, hey.” Kyoko said, freeing her wrist from her friend’s grip, “What are you shopping for anyway?”

Mayumi stopped and let her back face her friend. It was one of those rare moments when the normally loud one became oddly silent. “Well, you see…” When she turned around, it could be seen that she had turned bright red.

Kyoko’s friend told her story as they strode to the section of the mall they were heading to. The swimsuit department. “You see, Kyoko, we kinda agreed on going out on a special date this summer, I know you know that much. The thing is…” She took a moment to twiddle her thumbs trying to figure out how to break the news to her best friend. “I really want to ‘impress’ him then, but you kinda are aware that my figure is hardly something to be proud of, so apart from having to cut back a bit, I want your help on that by the way.” She said flashing a somehow cheeky grin at her friend, “I also want a bit of advice on something.”


“Uh, yeah…”

“On what…?”

They stared at each other apprehensively before Mayumi turned away and directed her gaze at the floor instead.


Minutes later, the two ladies were browsing through the racks swimsuits, while going through their usual discussions. The boutique’s dim spotlights shining down on the mannequins posing on small podiums in the middle of the store, along the wood-paneled walls, appropriately placed mirrors hung. They had a couple of weeks to plan for Mayumi’s date; wasting a weekend was not an option for the louder one of the duo.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to help you there much…” Kyoko said as she flicked through the selection, “Hey, I think this looks kinda nice…”

Mayumi turned her attention away from the piece she had in her hands to peer at her friend’s suggestion. Blinking a few times, the girl gazed at it, scrutinizing it carefully. “It is very cute, but really, a bikini? I may seem confident when I talk and stuff, but I'm not totally confident about my figure, as I’ve told you over and over…” She said pouting a bit and ignoring the look she was getting from the saleslady a few meters away. The racer sighed at put it back on the rack, “Anyway, why not?”

Kyoko looked at her then realized what she was talking about, “Ah… Well, when you asked me to give you some tips to relate to guys more closely, I don’t think I can give you anything there… I’m only close to guys because I, well, ‘associate’ with them a lot. So, it kinda grows from that.” Her friend’s expression fell, just a bit, “But either way, I think just talking to him frankly will help.”

“Right… Talking with him frankly…” Mayumi sighed and resigned to browsing the available choices.

Shaking her head slightly, “Hey, you're the one who asked…”

“I know, I know, you don’t have to remind me.” Then taking a one-piece and holding it in front of her, while facing a mirror and admiring how it might look on her, she continued, “I’m not like you. You have a common interest with guys that’s why talking ‘frankly’ with them works with you, but you know very well that like when you doze off when I talk about lovey-dovey stuff, I doze off when you talk about your cars and stuff.” She crossed her right arm over her stretched left after she put the suit back.

Kyoko looked up and said, “You’ve kinda got a point there… But do you really need another way to ‘bring you two closer’?” Mayumi looked away and to the mannequin posing lifelessly, this went on for a few seconds before Kyoko started waving her hand in front of her friend’s face, “Mayumi? Earth to Mayumi?” Snapping out of her reverie, the racer’s friend brought her attention back to her friend. Kyoko laughed affably, “And you said that I was the one who’s always day dreaming.”

Sticking her tongue out, Mayumi replied whiney-ly, “Well, friends supposedly ‘share’ some of their traits because they spend so much time together.”

Kyoko laughed, “Touché.”

This made her friend laugh as well. “Anyway… As I was supposed to be saying, I want us to be able to talk more freely. I mean, it’s not like we’ve got a whole lot in common, so occasionally, we run out of things to talk to…

“Uh-huh…” If Kyoko could, she would've raised her eyebrow, but it just happened that she was one of those people who didn’t have full control of her eyebrows. “Well, what’s wrong with that?”

“Well, yeah, that’d be a great question to answer, but I can’t quite answer it. It just feels that… It’d be better if there were a continuous flow of things to talk about. I can understand that it’s natural for us to run out of things to talk about, and sometimes it’s kinda romantic. Sometimes it’s just plain awkward…”

“Right…” Watching her friend thoughtfully, Kyoko scratched her cheek before she decided on speaking again. “Well, then I suppose that’d be nice to share some more interests with him… What are the things he’s into anyway?”

Giggling slightly, the slightly older girl answered, “(2)The normal guy stuff! Cars and gadgets that kind of stuff.”

“Wow… Cars and gadgets…” Pausing a moment to think it over, Kyoko continued, “Well, then, what brought you two together in the first place?”

Mayumi beamed brightly, “Well, let’s say that I just bumped into him. Anyway…” The sunny expression on her face set as she continued, “I’ve already told you this story…”

Kyoko’s face took a surprised expression as she pointed to herself, “Eh?” She tried to make the wheels in her head spin as much as her FD’s do while racing, “You bumped into each other while in (3)HMV!” Pausing once again, “Right?”

The slightly older gild stared at her friend silently, taking up a few more moments than necessary, as if to scare her, “Well, you got that right.” Once again she let her smile shine, “At least you were listening at that point.”

The racer looked pleased for a while before her mind process something, “Hey… If I remember this right, weren't you saying that you two end up talking for, like… Three hours? On a regular basis.”

“Yeah… I know I said that. And it’s true! We do end up talking that long, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. I feel that it is partly my responsibility to keep our relationship…” She snapped her fingers as if searching for that invisible word.

Staring at her friend, Kyoko realized that Mayumi was trying her very best to make her romantic venture successful. “All right!” When Mayumi looked at Kyoko curiously, the relatively young racer finished her statement, “I think we should be getting back to business!”


Almost an hour later, the two girls sat down by the fountain in the center of the surprisingly scarcely populated mall, sipping their take-out iced tea, with the drink to quench their parched-from-talking throats, they could sit there for hours, or for as long as they could without getting into trouble, talking.

Unnoticed by the ladies, two eyes were watching them closely. Quietly, the shadowed figure inched in their direction from across the area. Suddenly, the figure dashed forward, and when the girls noticed his proximity to them, he had already snatched Mayumi’s purse and Kyoko’s phone, which was placed between them, away. The younger girl’s reflexes made her grab on to his sleeve and call out for help, but before anyone could go fort and help them, he had already broken free of her grasp and sprinted away.

As the adrenaline rushed through them, Panic took hold of them till a powerful grip held on to the thief’s wrist and sent the crook forward then back, (4)in accordance with Newton’s Law for Inertia. And lo and behold who took the stolen items back from the thief’s hold and sent the still-unknown man to the ground, it was the (5)Rotary Prince.

He glared at the man who had just been pushed down, “Get out of here already! Scram!” He growled. And when the man got up, in much hurry, Takahashi Keisuke watched him go then faced the victims of the theft. His pulse skipped a few beats when he saw just whom he was about to face. Keisuke glanced at his brother quickly before moving towards the girls. No help from his currently expressionless brother.

The yellow FD driver stretched out his arm to reach out the little white purse to its owner. A word of thanks came from the mouth of the older female, before she turned to her stilled friend. The atmosphere was solemnly silent as she moved away only to stare again at her friend then nudge her a little in the direction of the waiting blond.

Blushing terribly, Kyoko moved forward coyly to take the phone Keisuke was offering wordlessly. Turning her head away, she thought, there has to be some meaning to Darling returning my phone to me two times in a row. The two observers watched as the female rotary racer reached out to her taller counterpart, all as in if in slow motion. As soon as the silver gadget was back in her hands, Kyoko turned it over in her fingers as her habit dictated when she was nervous. “Thank you, Da-,” She blushed once more as she stopped herself, “Keisuke-san…”

He ran his hand through his spiky hair and nodded, “Maybe you should start taking care of that cell phone of yours…” He then looked down, smiled, and turned around to face his Aniki, who just nodded; and so the Takahashi kyoudai walked off to wherever they were heading.

Once that wonderfully momentous, Kyoko’s hands were shaking as she stared after her Darling longingly.

“Kyoko… Was that him…?” A nod to the floor was all that came from the young female racer till she arrived home.


When that particular racer arrived home, she slipped her sandals off hastily then pushed it in the direction of where they were meant to be, easily noting that her parents were yet to arrive home. She then rushed to her room, clamping tightly to her phone, which suddenly had much more meaning to her emotional heart. Getting to her room, Kyoko dropped off her wallet on her desk and paused when her eye caught the picture by her bed. She moved much slower when she placed her phone delicately by the photo, fingers lingering where she imagined her Darling held it.

“Darling…” Closing her eyes she spoke, envisioning Keisuke standing before her, “Do you think there’s a chance…? After Project.D, that is…” Holding her hands close to her chest, feeling her heartbeat hastening within her.

Her thoughts were rudely interrupted by the entrance of quiet noise from beyond her room. As she moved towards her door and pressed her ear against it, she heard the hushed voices of parents discussing something of severe importance, this she could discern from the tone their voices were in and from simple female intuition. A few moments after the hushed voices were hushed, her hand gripped the door knob and turned it slowly, begging the slightly creaky object to, for once, be silent, to no prevail.

Stepping out, Kyoko felt apprehension heaving against her, as if pushing her back to the privacy of her room to never come out, unless Keisuke himself knocked on her door. Her steady forward motion, commonly labeled as walking, soon brought her to her parents. Mrs. Iwase was sitting on the light colored easy chair by the window, with her husband by her side supportively holding her hands in his.

“Kyoko, dear,” Her mother began in her characteristic gentle voice, “We’ve got something to… tell you…”

Anyway, I don’t think that Kyoko’s really from a rich family, but it’s part of the plot I’m trying to form, so a bit of a modification there. And, I’d have to say, I’m having second thoughts about pairing Kyoko up again, with another guy nonetheless, but either way, the story must go on. We’ll just see where this takes us. :D

1. Ota is a city in the western part of Gunma, not too far from Takasaki, where the Takahashi live, actually…
2. I’m kinda generalizing this from what I can see anyway. I’m not too close to the guys either so I can only second-guess this kind of stuff.
3. HMV is a music store I found in Hong Kong. It’s awesome, much better than the music stores here in the Philippines anyway. The selection there was amazing, C-Pop, C-Rock, J-Pop, J-Rock, and of course “normal” American music as well. There was loads of anime OSTs there as well, not to mention anime DVDs.
4. I have to apologize for this bit… We just studied Newton’s Laws of Motion when I wrote this…
5. Apparently, this is one of Shigeno’s titles for Keisuke…

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Decline in Faith: Chapter 1 - Devotion

Well, I've already blogged about how we have to make a five-chapter narrative (that's the minimum, the max is supposedly ten chapters) for our quarterly English project, and after that I've already decided on putting it up on for reviews from fans, now I want my only regular viewer (who is currently banned from the Internet, but I'm hoping that she'll be able to see this soon) to see it. I've already adjusted the typo pointed out by an author on the Initial D fanfiction section, so here it is. The AN version:

This is going to be all about Kyoko. I’ve seen several other Kyoko/Keisuke fics around, but they seem to focus mainly on the mister side of it. He denies her, and quite honestly going how Initial D goes, I doubt they’ll ever really get together, as in canon. But Kyoko seems like such a sweet girl, and in my opinion, she deserves a better ending as well, with a new guy. After a bit of contemplation, there’s only one guy around that would seem like an ok pairing that looks and seems right. Then again, I’m making this whole thing up.

By the way, since this is on Kyoko-focus, her friend (from the café) needs a name, as it would be extremely discomforting to constantly call her “the friend from the café”, so it shall be Mayumi (間弓), for whatever reason that may exist.

Having that said, there is nothing more to warned of.

But the thing is, I’m really making this fic for our English project; it’s supposed to be a “five-chapter narrative” but it can go over five chapters. It’s due in March, and I’d like to improve it as much as possible. So, I really hope that some of you could review and actually suggest stuff I could improve on. And since I doubt that my teacher is actually aware of Initial D, it really doesn’t matter much to me if the characters are out of character or are not in line with the actual canon. My basic concern is that the story is basically good, on an overall basis, and that the characters are acting appropriately human. Oh, and if you spot any, please report any grammatical errors.

Disclaimer: Initial D belongs to its respective owners. Shigeno Shuichi decides the real plot and we’re all just hoping he’ll change this drive-or-date philosophy of his.

A Decline in Faith
- by Dial In fita

Chapter 1 - Devotion

(1)The moment I set my eyes on you, my beautiful darling, my heart fluttered and my senses practically overloaded. I felt a thrill that I can't experience anywhere else, not even racing could make me feel this fulfilled. I love you. And I gave you my heart, but now… I feel so empty inside. My darling, the man I dreamed of for so long, you don’t seem to have any plans of receiving my heart the way I wish. Still, I don’t want to give up. While I breathe, I hope.


“Kyoko.” Mayumi called out to her friend, gesticulating with her white bendy-straw, “Oi, Kyoko!”

Kyoko jumped slightly in her wooden chair, tipping her glass of iced tea over. “Eh?” She said as she deftly took to wiping the spilled drink with the provided napkin.

As the racer patted the remaining tea, her friend begun once more, “You're all spaced-out again… What’s wrong? I mean, you said you went out with him a few days ago.” Mayumi grinned widely. “Speaking of which, how did it go?”

“Well…” The FD driver stammered as she wiped the moist table.

Mayumi tilted her head slightly, “I expected that you’d be really excited today… Don’t tell me something… unfortunate happened the other day…” As uncertain her voice was, Kyoko’s face expressed an image of undefined anxiousness, her face comparable to the pink jacket she was wearing.

She stammered with her words a bit before she managed to murmur a sentence worth noting, “How can I say this, but he… dumped me.”

Mayumi stared at her for a few moments letting the quiet noise of the café reign between them. “He dumped you?” Kyoko nodded shyly, “What the heck? You just went out on your first date the other day and he dumps you?!” After receiving another nod from her shyer counterpart, Mayumi continued her rant, all the while thinking up of a plan to hook up her reluctant friend up.

After disturbing the other patrons of the café they frequented, Kyoko sighed. Her friend’s complaints only mirrored her own, which she found difficult to express on her own. “Please, don’t say those things. I still want to wait for him, I still think that regardless of what he may say, there is always hope.”

Staring at her friend, disbelief shimmering in her eyes, Mayumi flattened her hands against the wooden top and said, “Then it’s decided!” Drawing her friend’s eyes to her with the finality in her voice, she continued, “I’ll be making sure that you cheer up tonight! Whatever you want, whether racing or going to a club, or whatever. Except!” She said, cutting Kyoko off, “Staying at home for something quiet. You’ve been doing that too much; you need to get out more, Kyoko. All you do is study or work in the morning till the afternoon, and then in the evening, you go out to the touge and either race, or practice your racing.”

It was really difficult to resist such a forceful companion, especially one with a gaze that made sure that you could only nod and follow quietly. And so Kyoko did just that, contemplating a bit she remembered something she really didn’t want to miss.

“So anything up for your side? Because if you don’t have anything in mind, there is this pretty cool club… I mean, the world would be much poorer if it weren't for ladies like ourselves going out on a Saturday night.” Mayumi said resting her elbow on the table and leaning against her upturned hand cheerfully.

Kyoko pursed her lips slightly, “Well, our team leader, said that there is going to be an interesting race tonight. He said that one of the best downhillers in Saitama is going to be racing on Shomaru pass later.”

“Fine! Let’s just hope that there's a cute guy there!” Kyoko smiled, her friend’s cheerfulness was truly contagious.


Nobuhiko’s ears perked up as he heard the distinct sound of a rotary engine, only expecting one rotary driver tonight, he turned around to watch the black FD exit the final corner and park itself in the space next to his precious Altezza. He was somewhat surprised to see another girl step out of the car, but expected it to happen one day. It only took so long before a racer introduced another person into the world of so much importance to them.

“Nobuhiko,” Kyoko said plainly, “this is my friend, Orikasa Mayumi. Mayumi this is my team leader, Akiyama Nobuhiko.”

Mayumi bowed then said, “Nice to meet you.” Looking up at him, she commented to herself, I hope this isn’t the only kind of guy Kyoko hangs around during these races. Although he looks smart…

Nobuhiko did the same, “Nice to meet you too.” Giving her a quick one-over as well, he nodded before continuing, “So, Mayumi-san, how are you interested in street racing?”

Slightly stunned by the question, she paused before answering, “I wouldn’t say that I'm too interested in it. I certainly don’t intend to become a racer, no offence meant. I’d have to say that I’m just here to make sure Kyoko cheers up.”

Pushing up his glasses, in the classic geek manner, Nobuhiko glanced at Kyoko’s expression. If she has her friend here, he thought, perhaps there was some sort of incident with Takahashi Keisuke. I don’t think I’ll interfere. “Is that so? I hope Kyoko here, has filled you in on the details of the race.”

Kyoko suddenly looked up, exposing the fact that she had once again spaced-out on their conversation. Mayumi smiled good-humoredly, “Kyoko, I swear, one day you have to stop daydreaming and start acting out whatever may be going through your mind.” The racer made a slightly confused face before letting the expression fade back to her normal one.

Nobuhiko smiled at the light-hearted and somewhat one-sided exchange, “So, Kyoko, have you told your friend about the race yet?”

“Er… Not really. I’m not really familiar with those who are racing.”

“The race will be starting in a few minutes, (2)Saitou is at the starting point, he’ll call me when the race has begun. (3)Yokota, on the other hand, is waiting at the goal. My cousin, Wataru, Kyoko, I don’t think you’ve met him yet – for some strange reason - is going to race against some guy named Kudo Gouzou. Wataru drives an AE86 Levin, while Kudo drives an S14.” Nobuhiko said somewhat quickly, “I saw Kudo driving around here once and he was pretty good, somewhat on the impatient type. So, the longer Wataru can make this last, the more the odds will be in his favor.”

Once he stopped speaking, he noticed Mayumi’s confused expression. “Ok, ok, what is a Levin and an S14?”

Nobuhiko chuckled slightly, as Kyoko smiled in the sideline. “A Levin is basically a Toyota Corolla. And the S14 is the Nissan Silvia Q.” Kyoko said, with much less air than Nobuhiko.

“Right… But what’s with the AE86 thing?”

Smiling, a bit on the patronizing side, Nobuhiko said, “AE86 is the chassis code of the particular Corolla. The chassis is basically the frame of the car, so a car can have the same frame, but have different parts on it.” Seeing the confused look on Kyoko’s friend’s face, Nobuhiko decided to stop, if she wasn’t too interested then there wouldn’t be any harm if she didn’t fully understand these concepts.

The ringing of the man’s phone distracted the group’s awkward moment; Nobuhiko picked it up and nodded once after a moment. After a brief thanks, Nobuhiko disconnected the connection and said, “The race has started, we’ll see them pass by us in a few minutes.”

Kyoko nodded then asked, “Who do you think will win?”

“I’m 95% sure that Wataru will win this race. He’s much more skilled than Kudo, and this is his home course. So unless Kudo pulls something off, which is already highly unlikely, the result is very much expected.”


Kyoko sighed inwardly at her friend’s enthusiasm, or obvious lack of. That was to be expected anyway. She and her girl friend moved away a bit, to preserve some semblance of privacy in the company of a relative stranger – at least in Mayumi’s case.

“Ne, Kyoko, Nobuhiko-san here said that you haven't met his cousin yet, but have you heard of him?” She said this in a somewhat gossipy tone, with the accompanying action.

Kyoko nodded and faced her friend once more, “He’s one of the best racers around. You could ask Nobuhiko about him if you’re interested. They are cousins after all.”

Mayumi stared at her friend oddly, then laughed quietly so only Kyoko would see and hear it. “Of course not, silly! I already have a boyfriend. I thought maybe, you guys might be, well… compatible.” She grinned with a mischievous intonation.

The FD driver present gaped at her friend. She was about to act on this shock when the sounds of tires squealing nearby absorbed them. A black and white then gray flash soon appeared in the corner nearest to their gallery. Kyoko shut her mouth (before any dust, exhaust or - god forbid- insects got in) and carefully watched as the older cars raced by. She wasn’t nearly as analytical as her team leader, but she could tell, partly by experience, partly by instinct, that the Levin had the upper hand in more than one way.

When the cars disappeared past the next corner, only then did Mayumi recover from the shock that had her more than momentarily stunned. Nobuhiko amusedly watched her expression of awe then said; “This is probably your first experience watching a street race.”

She turned and nodded then she looked at her best friend, “I wasn’t aware that racing was so…” She trailed of, unknowing how to describe the shock and awe in her. Kyoko smiled slightly, her demeanor returning to its previous cheery state for a moment, before the reason of her “mourning” appeared in her mind once more. At least it’s a start, Mayumi thought. She watched her friend stare into the foliage in front of her.

Moments of silence ponderings in the confines of each of the persons’ mind were broken by the ringing of Nobuhiko’s phone. “Moshi?” He paused and listened, “All right. As expected. We’ll be there in a few minutes.” The cut the connection of and turned to the girls, “Wataru won. Do you want to meet him then?”

Mayumi took the chance to answer for her friend, “Yes, why not? I mean, it’s not like there’s another race… Is there?”

Chucking, he replied, “No. This was a simple battle between two racers, not teams.” He glanced at Kyoko and her air headed demeanor then continued, “You two can go ahead, I’ll pick up Saitou then head over there as well...” He waited for Kyoko to respond in one way or another, which manifested itself in a nod, before heading to his precious silver car and starting off in the direction of his teammate.

As the two girls got into the black FD, Mayumi’s smiled curled in a mischievous manner, thankfully it wasn’t noticed by her friend. Mayumi decided one thing at that moment; she would hook Kyoko up with someone who could make her happy. Whether it was this Wataru guy, or some other guy, she was going to make sure that her best friend would be happy.

“Kyoko,” when her friend replied with a quiet, “Hmm?” Mayumi continued, “these races are really fun. Exciting.” Seeing her friend smile at that remark, she knew that she had to do better than that, “You should bring me to these things more often. Although the point to this was to cheer you up. But, hey, if you bring me more often, I could point out some nice guys when they come along.”

“Mayumi…” Kyoko said, half sighing, half admonishing her friend for being so persistent, “You never tire of doing this, do you?”

Looking at her friend tiredly, “That’s because you’re not outgoing enough to do it for yourself. You may be the ace uphiller of your team or whatever, but you're usually so shy. You're cuter than I am,” Returning the look of Kyoko, she continued, “Yes you are, so more boys should be interested in you than me. But look at our picture, I have a boyfriend, whom I am very happy with, by the way, while for some reason, you don’t.” Cutting her friend off before any words could come out of her already open mouth, “You should go out more, and I mean to be on the lookout for guys, and not just for your team practices or races. And hold on to the guy you think is really worth holding on to.

When she stopped, Kyoko looked at her, “May I speak now?”

“The floor’s all yours.” Mayumi snickered for a moment, obviously catching some sort of humor in what she said.

“The thing is, Mayumi, I have found a guy that I want to hold on to. I don’t want to let go of him by going out and dating other guys. Even though Keisuke-san said no, I seriously want to wait for him.” If you would look into Kyoko’s eyes, you would see that firm determination she set aside for those things she wanted more than anything. “Plus, I don’t have the same kind of style as you do. I don’t feel comfortable going out and meeting guys, just for that purpose, much less speed dating. When you took me to one of those, I felt so out of place that I just wanted to melt into the seat.”

Kyoko’s friend stared at her quietly, ponderingly. “So you intend to wait for him, till God knows when, and put your heart on the line for your dream man?” She stated it so firmly and seriously that it came out more as a right out statement. When Kyoko nodded, Mayumi sighed, “Fine then. I can’t force you out of it, although I don’t support this kind of one-sidedness. I suppose that’s what's wrong the having an idea for your ideal man, you give your heart away way too easily.”

When Mayumi looked forward and out of the FD’s front screen, waiting for her to start her car and get to their destination, Kyoko turned her key in the ignition, causing the 13B engine to growl threateningly. Maybe it was true that the sound of a car reflected the mood of its driver, especially when the driver and the car had such a strong bond.

This wasn’t supposed to happen; Mayumi was her best friend. She was giving her advice, but the problem was Kyoko didn’t like the advice she was hearing. She stared ahead, hearing the Altezza’s engine in the distance. She decided to let it past first; after all, she could keep up with her team leader, no problem. Gripping her steering wheel tightly, she recalled a story she had read a while ago from some magazine during one of the slow hours of the auto shop she worked for.

It was about a young man who met his demise, simply because he had failed to heed the advice given to him by his father. The young man in the story felt that the advice was like bitter medicine on his tongue, but that was the thing, it was certainly a very bitter medicine to his sickness.

She engaged the clutch as she saw the Altezza exit the corner, the same corner where they first saw the 86 Levin and the S14. As he drove past them, she stepped on the accelerator and released the clutch, making a quick dash to the position right behind him.

Was the advice Mayumi giving her the bitter medicine for her own situation?

She stuck close to Nobuhiko’s bumper and piled pressure on him, letting her frustrations manifest in her driving. She cornered aggressively; that alone made Mayumi force her eyes close and grab the sides of her bucket seat, which actually surprised her. Add the g-forces forcing to them to the opposite side of the corner, via centrifugal force. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to pass her team leader on this course no matter how hard she pushed herself in the corners or in the straightaways. Shomaru pass was hardly wide enough to allow any passing, especially with a car like the Altezza ahead of her. She could hardly imagine passing him his car here even if it were parked at the side, both cars being almost too wide to fit the width of the road. So she continued with her uselessly aggressive driving.

When his brake lights came on, her quick reflexes, honed by all the racing she had participated in, reacted. Before she realized it, they were already at the end of the course. Forced to do so, she slowed down and prepared to come a complete halt. Once she did so, Mayumi seemed to finally relax her grip on the bucket seat and murmur, “I’m alive…” softly.

Internally laughing at the expense of her friend, Kyoko engaged the handbrake then turned to speak to her, “Look, Mayumi…”

Shaking her head, Kyoko’s friend cut her off, “I’m the one who should be sorry. I shouldn’t force my opinions on you. Although I think it’s perfectly alright to give advice, I think I was too forceful by forcing you into situations where you’d have to meet guys you don’t want to be involved in.” She paused a moment, “Especially now. That Takahashi thing was very recently ago.”

“Thanks…” She smiled then sighed and continued, “Well, let’s get this over with.”

They got out of the black rotary car and saw Nobuhiko watching them with a curious expression on his face. Shrugging it off, they simply walked over and let the elder man introduce the remaining participant of the race earlier.

“Kyoko, Mayumi-san, this here is my cousin.”

The young man in his early twenties with long black side bangs and lean figure smiled appropriately at the two girls. “Nice to meet you. Name’s Wataru, Akiyama Wataru.”

1 – This was actually different before, but some sort of computer error came up and the text turned into gibberish, so I just change it. I may try and re-create what I wrote, but I can’t remember it anymore.
2 & 3 – These are supposedly the names of some of the members of Nobuhiko’s team. Taken from Wikipedia.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Slacking 101

So, I’m here to describe to you how to be a slacker. But seriously, must I need to teach this obviously mediocre subject? I’m sure you could do some self-study on it that would be sufficient. So turn your book, A Slacker’s Guide to Slacking Off, and I’ll be back, like, never.


Ok. Seriously, who would study a subject about slacking off? I mean, if you study it, you're obviously not slacking off. Remember Timon ang Pumba from the Lion King? Hacunamatata ang that stuff? Hah, yeah that’s the one. Anyway, this post is kinda inspired by an old episode of the Timon and Pumba show (or something like that), although I haven’t seen it since. But let me get myself clear before everything else, slacking off is bad, and it will get you nowhere in life, as shown by the show as well. XD

The problem is that slacking off is terribly easy to do. Hell, it’s much easier than to do actual work. Actually, slacking off is very hard. It’s hard because if you slack off, you have to catch up, if you don’t catch up, you fail, at least in us student’s cases. So yeah, slacking off still sucks. Our Chinese class also had a lesson that can be related to this. Yes! I can understand some of our lesson. (It’s not a great progression; it’s simply a simple, simple translation.) The lesson was along the lines of if you work hard now, there will be happiness afterwards, and if you slack off and enjoy for the time being, some sort of retribution or sadness will follow.

Anyway, the whole (actual) reason why I’m writing this is that yesterday, on the first day of the shortest month of the year, I just totally slacked off from what I was supposed to do, what I planned to do, which in all honesty was quite a lot.

First, I had to do our literary analysis thingy on a Filipino piece, Dayuhan. I’m really bad at Filipino, understanding it that is. All the difficult words make my head feel dizzy and my eyes sore. So somehow, I can relate to those who struggle through an English analysis. And we have more English literary analyses because of our new teacher, Mrs. Gubat, who makes us interpret every poem we encounter. Anyway, I slacked off on that and ended up sleeping at about 4 AM, with a couple of catnaps in between. And I was wondering why I was feeling sick in the morning. The feeling of wanting to puke went away after I lay down for a few minutes, unlike my friend, Clarissa, who felt sick today and threw up a couple of times in school (in the “right places” though), but that’s another story.

I was so relieved last Wednesday when our Chinese teacher announced that she was postponing our quiz n the extra twelve vocabulary words we got. So, I was supposed to study for that as well, but well, to put it quickly, I so flunked the quiz earlier. Why? Because I played Sims in the morning, Gaia in the afternoon, and downloaded the entire Death Note manga series and a lot of the Toykopop Initial D ones as well. (I hate how the characters say things in the Toykopop translation; btw, they sound like crazed gangsters. Dimwits with shitty fashion taste more like it. I honestly, don’t understand why anyone would want to be a gangster, or even act like one.) Anyways, I got a little retribution when downloading the manga though. The Death Note ones were so messed up, I’d probably have to spend the entire weekend organizing the whole thing. The punishment for the Initial D ones wasn’t so severe though, I just had to rename about more than 40 chapters so that they’d be all organized. (Contrary to my mom’s belief, I hate things when they are out of order. The reason why my room’s messy is because that’s the way I want it to be arranged. I don’t loose stuff when my room is in the way I put it, I do, however, loose track of my stuff when someone else arranges it for me. Case in point, I can’t find my Algebra book and my History notebook. Anyway, my perception of organization isn’t based on appearances, it’s based on everything being where I want them to be, not where my mom wants them to be or my maid places it. Another case in point, of the point that I want everything to be in order is that when I’m typing up something, I want everything to be formatted the same way. I want all my text to be in Arial, 10, purple. Yes, I have purple text on my laptop.)

Whoa, got a little sidetracked there… Anyway, where was I…? Oh, yeah, I was preaching of how sucky my day has been because I slacked off yesterday. Another couple of things I was supposed to do yesterday was my chapel notes reflection, my art border, our Chinese PowerPoint report on the Jade Emperor, in, duh, Chinese, and finally to make more stuff for our five-chapter narrative for English. Being a junior sucks!

As to the Bible stuff, I think I missed a couple of things, like the assignment where we have to write down the lessons we learned upon reflecting on 8 of the 12 given psalms that we had to originally classify. We also had this assignment where we have to reflect on one Psalm every week, so far I have made none, and so far the total I should have made is either 4 or 5.

Anyway, I don’t think I fully explained our five-chapter narrative (at all!). Mrs. Gubat assigned to us a project, one relating to one of my hobbies! Great, huh? Not so. Apparently, I stopped writing stories for a while for a reason, writing a story (a fanfic to be exact) is hard. What will come next? How do I make him/her say this/that? Why the f*** hell did I write such utter crap?! Writer angst, if you will… I’m kinda wondering though, whether I’d be more suited to writing feature article-ish stuff instead… But anyway, I think I’ll try to seek the help of some of the Initial D readers out there, like Sanae, but I’ll be using a different pen name than the one I use to review her. I’ll make my name, “Dial In fita”. Lol. I dare you to find the meaning behind that. :P

Whatever once again. Our narrative is suppose to have some values you can acquire from some of the selections we tackled. I intend to put the values of not falling in love too easily, humans are destined to fail, and other that I can’t recall right now. The reason why I put them there though, is pretty obvious. It’s because, to an extent, I believe in these values.

For some reason, partially unbeknownst to me, I have become a lot more critical and sarcastic recently. Not really cocky, just really skeptical of most things, with a different approach for saying things. Yeah, the weapon of sarcasm is very sharp!
Pokingly yours.