Sky Bird: Conclusion

Hi, whoever actually read my story. Firstly, thank you for reading Sky Bird. It was a really fun story for me to practice writing, because of the entire concept of the story being based on my high school experiences, but making the main character, Kendall, based on somebody who actually bullied me in real life. I just figured I would write this post so that I can put a true end to Sky Bird, and address any questions or thoughts you might have after reading this story series.

The reason why the real life Kendall bullied me was actually a combination of reasons, but it was not too unlike what happened between him and the Chiangs. Money, specifically financial statuses, could really sour relationships or cause others to question your abilities: the real life Kendall assumed that rich people could buy talent, which was not always the case. Trying to understand why he thought that way was key for Kendall’s character development. Unfortunately, I never quite reconnected or reconciled with his real life counterpart, but I can somehow live with that.

To be honest, I wanted Fanny to be the main character originally. I just enjoyed writing his character because he was so sassy and forward. I even considered writing a spin-off with Fanny as the main character, but because of how inherently interesting and progressive his character was, it would have been too easy and it would not have particularly challenged me. I found it hard not to completely develop Fanny’s character here, because he was not the main protagonist, and I tried really hard not to make him overshadow Kendall’s character.

Chloe and Megan’s dynamic was inspired by my own friendships in high school, specifically when I was in cross country and was really close with one or two of my teammates. I did not really get to develop their characters too much, unfortunately, but I wanted both to come across as competent, capable, and in Chloe’s case, more lighthearted and childish, while Megan would come across as more responsible and easier to anger.

Sophia and Carly each took qualities from a variety of my friends from high school. I wanted Sophia to be more of the outwardly shy, inwardly brave type of personality. In Sophia’s case, I really wanted to make her have a constant presence in Kendall’s life, something you can pick up on when you reread earlier chapters. I tried to make her more relatable towards the middle and end of the story, focusing on showing more of her perspective, just to further imply that she would get together with Kendall in the end.

I tried making Carly outgoing, but I wanted her to come off as generally uninteresting to Kendall, just to make it apparent to him that they were not I wanted Carly’s presence to completely overshadow Sophia’s in the beginning, since the story was told by Kendall’s perspective, and her initially being his crush. Carly was supposed to come across as the girl next door, and also a little miss perfect-type of figure.

For Jared, I really only took the name from somebody I went to middle and high school with. Aside from that, he was an original character from my high school experience. Since Fanny was gay, I wanted there to be somebody who could help Kendall become more accepting of Fanny, so Jared’s role changed from being a homophobic background character to being Fanny’s closeted boyfriend. For Kendall, seeing one of his closest friends date his mortal enemy, it challenged his views and priorities: would his hate for Fanny overcome his friendship with Jared?

Matt’s character, it was left relatively undeveloped. He was directly based on somebody I knew in high school, even down to the name. I really did not know what to add to his character, mostly because I felt like Jared already accomplished everything that Matt could in terms of the role of Kendall’s confidant. At one point in the story, I considered pairing Matt with Carly, in hopes that their relationship would help develop the characters, but I opted out of that, because I felt like at that point, almost all of the characters would be dating and that would just be a copout. So I left his character along with Carly’s relatively untouched. Needless to say, Matt is a very nice and funny person, both the character and the real life version. I hope some of that easygoing humor was able to come through in the few moments he actually had.

One of the recurring themes I wanted to capture was the idea of brotherhood. I focused a bit on the dynamics between Jared, Matt, and Kendall, trying to show the friendship between three young men. I also focused a few chapters on Kendall and Gil. I originally had bigger plans for Gil, wanting to expand his role into a main character, but him being a middle schooler made it difficult to include him as much as I would have liked to. Gil’s character was also left relatively untouched, but I hope I did include enough to make him a character of some interest.

Overall, I am happy with how the final story turned out, plot-wise. I honestly had no clue where I was going in the beginning. For a fleeting second, I thought about making Kendall and Fanny a pairing, but decided not to for the sake of it being way too polarizing and Romeo and Juliet-esque. I even considered putting Kendall with Carly in the beginning, but the more I wrote about Carly’s character, the more I felt they were incompatible. I was really happy that Kendall and Sophia wound up together, because when I first wrote in Sophia, I was expecting her to be a background character and remain relatively uninteresting. The first vision I had for Sky Bird was for Kendall to be a family guy, close with his two siblings, and using his family as an escape from the antagonistic Chiang family. But I added in more characters and started to expand the world, and it wound up being a story about acceptance, love, and having an open mind. I hope you enjoyed reading Sky Bird, and I look forward to continuing my next work, Road Movie!

Sky Bird: Chapter 25

“Congratulations! You have finished another year of high school!” Ms. Park smiled at everyone. It was the last day of school. Unlike most schools, Kendall’s high school had all of the finals on the same day. Everyone had just completed their Physics finals. “Kendall, can I see you after?” The teacher looked at him. “Uh, okay.” He was nervous. Did he mess up his final? Everyone filed out as Kendall sat there nervously. Once the classroom was empty, Ms. Park got out a folder and walked over to him. “Kendall, as you know, I used to be a scientist at UCLA for their Physics program.” She began. The brunette started thinking why she would preface with that statement. It probably was not a scolding? Although he has watched Hell’s Kitchen before and seen Gordon Ramsay faking out contestants like that before. “Are you doing anything this summer?” “Probably working part-time at Mitsuwa, but that’s really it.” “I see. Would you like to be a quantic optics intern at UCLA? This would be a great opportunity for you to learn more about engineering and you will be mentored under an industry professional. And it’s paid.” Kendall’s jaw dropped. He could not believe it. That was a perfect opportunity for him. “How do I apply?” “Just fill out these forms. I will handle the rest. UCLA always looks to me to recruit people for this program, and I will highly recommend you for this because you excelled in this course.” She smiled. The brunette quickly handed back the forms, all signed and filled out. “Thank you so much, Ms. Park.”

“Time’s up! Hand in your exams!” Ms. Ling stood in the front of the class as people passed their papers over to her. It was third period. Kendall felt great about the exam overall. He had went over the topics repeatedly and he knew what to expect for this test. “Kendall, you have had a rocky road with this course. But I’m proud to have had you as a student and to see you grow. Keep doing your best and if you need any college recommendation letters, my door is always open.” Ms. Ling offered him. “Thank you, Ms. Ling. That means a lot to me.” The brunette almost felt like crying. He never felt so touched before, having so many wonderful people in his life. “Absolutely. You have a lot of potential in the engineering field. You’re a smart kid.” “I’ll make sure to take Chem AP with you my senior year!” The brunette promised. Today was a good day for him. Even if he failed all of his exams, Kendall never felt better about just being himself. After spending half a semester loathing himself, thinking little of his own abilities, he was surprised by how much his teachers actually valued him. It was much needed.

“How did you think Pre-Calc went?” Sophia was sitting with Kendall, Jared, and Matt, picking their brains on how the exam went. “It was not the worst. You’ll do fine.” Matt assured her. It was lunch time, and the boys just finished Pre-Calc honors. Sophia had that exam for her sixth period, and was nervous about it. “You’ll do fine. You were smart enough to date me.” Kendall grinned cockily. “And I was even smarter to dump your arrogant ass.” She frowned sarcastically. “Ha! And I thought Fanny was sassy.” Matt sniggered. “I am sassy.” The blue eyed brunette froze. “Uh….” Fanny was right behind him. “Well, I just technically finished sophomore year. No Japanese final since I got a 99% in the class, and sixth period is post season.” He turned to Jared. “Babe, are you doing anything after lunch?” “I have my Chem final and that’s it.” “Want to go do something during sixth period?” “Sure.” The blonde nodded, trying to diffuse the awkward tension between Fanny and Matt. “And Matt,” the Chinese boy started, wrapping his arm around the brunette’s shoulders, “don’t you ever forget how sassy I am.” He whispered into his ear, before getting back up. “I need to go back to helping Carly study for Algebra 2. I’ll see you guys.” He walked off as a confused and terrified Matt whimpered. “Aren’t you glad you’re not dating him?” Sophia smirked at Kendall. “Yup.”

Fifth period Japanese 2 was quiet for once. Kendall, Megan, Sophia, Carly, Fanny, and Sharquiqui were the only people who were exempt from the final, so they sat off to the side. Everyone else had scored less than a 94%, so per Kawaguchi-sensei’s policy, they were required to take the final exam. “I’m so bored.” Kendall wrote and passed a note to Sophia. But the girl was busy studying, so she just shook her head and returned to her Pre-Calc Honors book. Sharquiqui and Sophia were both studying intently for their next and final exams. Megan and Fanny were nonchalantly doodling together, barely staving off the boredom. Ugh, this is boring. Kendall sighed to himself. He could not even enjoy his freedom with his girlfriend. Sharquiqui and Carly were talking about the potential existence of a plankton that can make your food turn glow in the dark. The wait was torturously slow. He just wanted the day to be over. The brunette drifted off to sleep.

“Hi, Kendall.” The brunette found himself in the field of flowers again. He turned around, trying to see where the voice came from. It was not the same voice as before. This was not Sophia who was calling out to him. “Who’s there?” He called, expecting a response. Nothing. There were no other people in the field as far as he could tell. “Hello?” His voice echoed off into the distance. “Who called my name?” “It was me.” A bird glided down, and perched itself in a small bed of flowers before the brunette. “Who are you?” “Darby.” It chirped. “Darby?” It was his grandfather’s name. The bird flapped it’s wings, and took off into the air. “Wait!” He beckoned, hand outstretched. It was too late. The bird had disappeared into the horizon. Before the brunette could do anything else, a white light filled the sky. The brunette woke up to a bell ringing. “Alright, see you all if Japanese 3. Unless you failed this final, in which case, you suck at life.” Kawaguchi-sensei frowned. “Hey, Kendall! Let’s go!” Megan whispered, tugging his arm. Fanny was waiting at the door for the two. “Oh, shoot. Okay, hold on.” The sophomore grabbed his bag and joined his sister and the Chinese boy in walking to the gym.

“Hey, there, Kendall!” School was finally over. Kendall, Jared, Fanny, Matt, Chloe, and Megan were greeted by Carly and Sophia. The eight of them were in the front gates of the school. “We’re finally done with another year.” Jared groaned as Fanny latched onto his shoulders affectionately. “We’re finally done with our first year.” Chloe and Megan giggled at the couple. “Well, let’s go on an adventure!” Matt proposed to everyone’s delight. The eight took off for Fanny and Kendall’s cars; Jared, Chloe, and Carly were riding with the Chinese boy, while Matt, Megan, and Sophia were with Kendall. “Alright, Chloe, you’re waiting for Megan’s text, right?” They were relying on Megan to let them know where Kendall was going to drive to. “Where are we going?” Sophia looked at her boyfriend. “Anywhere with you, it’ll be a great adventure.” He smiled at her. Matt and Megan just groaned in irritation. “Geez, stop rubbing it in that we’re single!” The two passengers crossed their arms in frustration. The couple just ignored them. Kendall was genuinely happy. This past semester, he managed to let go of a longstanding grudge, gain an incredible internship opportunity, and most importantly to him, find a girl who he was madly in love with. While he did not know for certain what his future had in store for him, Kendall knew that even if he finds himself in rock bottom, he will always find a way to soar above the obstacles, and take for the sky. Figuratively, or hopefully, literally with his dream plane, “Darby.”

Sky Bird: Chapter 24

“So how was school today?” Mr. Skye looked at his children. It was Monday night, and they were all eating dinner together for once. “Well, I won this challenge thing in my Physics class, so I got extra credit.” Kendall started, unsure if he should mention Sophia at this point. “And we got an A in our Japanese movie project.” “Kendall, aren’t you avoiding something really important?” Megan stared at him expectantly. “Uh… well… so, everyone remembers Sophia Puckchareon, right?” Kendall’s parents and Gil nodded slowly. “What do you guys think of her?” “She’s very funny and smart.” Gil pointed out. “She’s really smart, right? You said she’s taking a lot of honors classes, and she’s on honor roll?” Mrs. Skye noted. “She’s pretty cute. I know you have a crush on Carly Ahn, but Sophia would suit you better.” Mr. Skye finished. “Well that’s good, because she’s my girlfriend now.” The room went silent. Mrs. Skye looked mortified. Mr. Skye’s face looked blank. Gil’s jaw dropped. “Wait. When? How? Why? What?” Gil babbled. “Son, I’m proud of you! Even though it took you longer than your siblings, I’m glad you finally got into the dating game!” Mr. Skye patted his eldest son on the back. “When will we get to meet her again?” Mrs. Skye looked at him, concerned. She wanted to make sure that her son was dating the right kind of person. “I’m sure you’ll see her soon enough.” Kendall smiled.

“Hey, Sophia, are you doing anything this Friday?” The brunette texted his girlfriend. He was laying in bed, getting ready for the rest of the week ahead of him. “Nothing. Did you want to go out or something?” “Yeah.” Kendall smiled to himself. He wanted to take Sophia to LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was an iconic place in LA, especially the white lamp display; it was an entire square with rows of street lamps lined up. There was something breathtakingly romantic about the sight, which was why he wanted to take here there. “Alright. Where?” She sent back. Sophia was in her own room at this moment, and she was curious what kind of places Kendall thought were date-appropriate. For her, it was a real test of Kendall’s idea of romance and its compatibility to her own. “Have you ever been to LACMA?” He sent back, grinning to himself. He knew she would love it.

“So I’ll see you tonight at 5?” It was Friday, fifth period. Sophia and Kendall were sitting together, discussing the details of their date later that night. “Yup. I’ll pick you up.” He smiled at her. “Do they really need to sit separately?” Fanny rested his head on his hands as he pouted. He was sitting with Carly, Megan, and Sharquiqui at a different table than Sophia and Kendall. “Bitch, I don’t know why you’re complaining. You get three lovely ladies all to yo’self.” Sharquiqui pointed out. “And I’m not into ladies, lovely or Yubin-like, so that’s just a wasted opportunity.” The Chinese boy rolled his eyes. “Megan, do you know where they’re going?” Carly looked at the younger girl. “I don’t, but I know that they’re meeting at 5 at my place.” She smiled mischievously. “You’re thinking what I’m thinking, right?” Fanny looked at her. “Crash their date?” She laughed, enjoying the prospect of doing that. “Yup. Chloe and I will pick up Carly and Sharquiqui, and then go to your place and we can tail Kendall’s car.” “Hold the fuck up, I will not be a part of this!” Sharquiqui frowned. “Too fried chicken?” Fanny raised an eyebrow at her. “Shut the hell up, fool. No! I have to teach another seminary at John Hopkins tomorrow, so I’m flying out tonight! But seriously, have a lot of fun. Make sure to record all of this. I will live vicariously through yo videos.” “Got it.” Fanny grinned.

It was finally 5pm. And as expected, there was a knock on the door. Kendall got up, and opened it. It was none other than Sophia, wearing a white blouse and a dark blue dress. “Wow, you look… amazing.” He trailed off. It was hard to believe that he was dating somebody who was kindhearted, smart, and beautiful. She was his perfect girl. “So this is Sophia?” Mrs. and Mr. Skye walked out and greeted the girl. “I’m Kendall’s mom.” “And I’m his brother.. no, I liked. I’m his dad.” Sophia laughed as she hugged Mrs. Skye and gave Mr. Skye a firm handshake. “Have fun, you two.” Mrs. Skye smiled. Sophia was a very polite and warm person. Just from seeing her, Mrs. Skye knew that she would be a good girlfriend to her son. “Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Skye. I will try my best to make sure that your son will be back before 12.” She promised as they left. “Mom, dad, I’m heading over to Chloe’s!” Megan chimed as she left, shortly after Kendall and Sophia were already gone. “Oh, okay. Have fun!” “Everyone’s out? Well, I guess I can play on wi-fi battles or something.” Gil grumbled, getting out his DS.

“Hurry, hurry!” Megan gasped in a hushed voice. She ran into Fanny’s car, and they started to follow Kendall’s. Carly, Chloe, Fanny, and Megan were all wearing pitch black clothes as a way to blend in. “Wouldn’t Matt and Jared want in on this?” Chloe looked to her older brother. “Eh, I’m not close to Matt and Jared is terrible at keeping secrets or staying under cover, so I didn’t want to invite either of them and potentially blow our cover.” The Chinese boy was specifically referring to how his boyfriend overcompensated with pretending to be straight, which made it very obvious that he was secretly gay. “That’s true.” Carly nodded in agreement as she took out her video camera. “I am so ready for this. They’ll thank me if they ever get married.” The Korean girl laughed. “Carly, this is why we’re besties.” Fanny smirked. “Fanny, keep going straight.” Megan was in the passengers seat, keeping track of Kendall’s car.

“Okay, we’re here.” Kendall parked behind a 99 cents store, which was the only place nearby with somewhat free parking. There were signs saying that he needed to purchase something from the store, but they just ignored that. “I can’t wait to see LACMA!” Sophia clapped her hands together excitedly. The two walked over, crossing the bustling Los Angeles traffic and making their way to the heavily illuminated square. “It’s so beautiful.” The Thai girl trailed off, awestruck. Against the dark sky was a forest of white pillars, each carrying a beacon of light. There was something inspiring about this. As if everyone’s hopes and dreams can stand together and against the darkness. The two shared an embrace. “They’re so cute together!” Carly squeaked from afar, her camera recording everything. “Sophia, thank you for always supporting me. You were always there for me, whether I knew it or not.” Kendall looked at her graciously. “Kendall, you were the first friend I made when I transferred schools. You accepted me when others did not. I will always be grateful to you for that.” She returned. The brunette leaned in and gave her a kiss.

Sky Bird: Chapter 23

It was finally Monday, first period. The moment of truth for Kendall. He sat there, nervously with Matt and Fanny, waiting for Sophia to talk in. “Hey!” Sophia ran in, panting. “Sophia! You’re late!” Mrs. Johnson frowned. “I’m so sorry!” She apologized frantically, making her way to her seat. “They locked the back gate, so I had to hope the fence.” She sighed. “At least you did the smart thing. Remember Kendall earlier this semester?” Fanny sniggered. “Shut up, Fanny.” Kendall growled. “Are you okay, though?” The green-eyed brunette turned to her. “Yeah, I am.” She nodded. “You’re not hurt or anything?” Nah. I’m used to hopping fences.” She admitted. “Learning new things about you every day.” Matt laughed. “Okay, guys. Since we can’t just have you guys doing nothing, I’m going to be putting on a movie based on a book you’ll be expected to read next year if you’re taking English 3 AP. It’s the film adaptation of Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. Fun fact, Oprah Winfrey played the lead!” Everyone looked at each other in amusement. “Alright, let’s do this!” Matt and Fanny shouted. “Wait, Beloved? Oh, that’s a scary novel! Carly told me about it.” Sophia turned to Kendall. “Wait, are you scared easily?” Sophia smirked. “Dude, I’m Thai and those ghosts are terrifying. I doubt anything from the American horror genre can be remotely as bad.” “Alright, let’s begin!”

“I thought you said you weren’t scared by American horror films.” Fanny shook his head at Sophia as they walked to Chemistry Honors together. “I don’t know why I lied to Kendall. I guess I didn’t want him to think I’m weak or vulnerable?” She turned to him. “I can get that, but if you’re going to be in a relationship with him, it’s perfectly fine to be honest. Yeah, it’ll be annoying that you guys will be getting all lovey-dovey-boo-hoo-I’m-so-scared-hold-me-boyfriend-annoying, but that’s just natural with young love.” “Love? I’m 16, Fanny! 16 year olds don’t fall in love!” She rolled her eyes at his comment. “You’re probably right. I mean, maybe in year, you guys will outgrow each other, break up, and block each other on FaceBook, but that’s just life.” Fanny chuckled. The Thai girl looked horrified. “Oh come on, it’s not as bad as it sounds! Even if Jared and I break up, I might be all hurt and shit first, but then I’ll get over it.” He mentioned, trying to make her feel better, but evidently failing. “Okay, I’m not going to you for love advice.” Sophia shook her head. “You’re going to go to Carly with her majestic relationship with Damian?” The Chinese boy raised his eyebrow skeptically. “Okay, touche.” Carly and Damian’s break-up was so devastating that whenever Carly’s friends see him, they outright ignore him.

“Alright, so here’s what we’re going to do today in Physics.” Ms. Park looked around. “Since we want to have some fun, we are actually going to play the marshmallow challenge. Do you guys know what that is?” A small blonde junior raised her hand. “Yes, Hannah?” “Isn’t it like Chubby Bunny? So fitting a ton of marshmallows in our mouths? And what does that have to do with Physics?” Ms. Park stifled a laugh. “No, it’s not that! It’s a game where you have four pasta noodles, tape, scissors, rope, and a marshmallow and your goal is to building the tallest, stable structure to hold the marshmallow on top.” Everyone looked at each other, concerned. “So let’s go at it individually.” She smiled, handing out the supplies. Today was going to be a very fun class. The brunette smiled to himself, thinking about how he would get the marshmallow to balance. “And if you get the highest structure, I’ll give you 5 points extra credit. More incentive!” She wanted to make sure that everyone would try on this. “I’ll give you all 15 minutes, since we need to take time to measure them and everything.”

“So it wasn’t awkward in first period?” Carly and Sophia were in the gymnasium for their fourth period together. “Nah, we watched a movie, but I lied to him. I told him I wasn’t scared easily, but who am I kidding myself?” “I’m surprised he doesn’t remember you being a scaredy-cat.” Carly giggled.” You’ve known each other for so long! Not one Halloween Party where you were scared?” “It’s more like Beloved is just scarier in general.” She admitted. “It’s not like the rest of the stereotypical scary movies in American culture. That movie actually made me want to scream and cry. It rivals Thai ghost stories.” “Uh, do I want to know?” Carly shuddered. She hated horror movies. The only person in their friend group who wasn’t scared was Megan; she loved scary movies. “But you really shouldn’t lie to Kendall. Especially if you’re about to get into a relationship with him. You guys need to trust each other.” She reasoned. “Yeah, you’re right. I’ll go talk to him after this.” Sophia wanted to make sure that whatever it was between her and Kendall, there was honesty.

“Kendall!” Sophia ran up to the brunette. It was lunch time, and he was with Matt and Jared eating lunch in front of the library. “Hey, what’s up?” He turned to see her standing next to him. “Can we talk?” “Oh. Uh, sure?” He got up and headed off with her. “I’ll see you guys later!” He waved. Matt and Jared exchanged looks of amusement. The two made their way towards the black top, where almost nobody was. “So, what is it that you wanted to talk about?” “So when we were watching Beloved, I might have lied. I told you that I was not scared by non-Thai things, and that was a half-lie. I didn’t think that American things could scare me. Except Beloved was terrifying.” The brunette began to snicker. “Wait, that’s what you wanted to tell me? That you were scared of Beloved?” He was laughing at this point. “What’s so funny? I’m trying to be honest with you, since we are…. are we in a relationship?” She looked to him as he stopped laughing. “Sorry, it was just really cute the way you thought it was that important to tell me. I appreciate your honesty, Sophia. And yeah, why the hell not? Do you want to be in a relationship?” Kendall grinned at her. “Of course! Why else would I try to be completely honest with you, right?” “Okay. I want to you to be girlfriend.” He nodded, holding her hand. “And I want you to be my boyfriend.”

“Are they holding hands?!” Megan and Fanny were shocked to see Sophia and Kendall walking into their Japanese classroom, hand in hand. “Aw, I’m so glad for them!” Carly laughed. “Oh, young love. These bitches are crazy. Make sure that they use a condom. Don’t want somebody to be somebody’s baby mama!” Sharquiqui shouted. “Uh… that’s a bit extreme.” Kendall glanced at her as they sat down. “Skye-baka is dating Puckchareon-san? Well, Puckchareon-san, be careful. You might catch his stupid.” Kawaguchi-sensei warned. Sophia just rolled her eyes at the comment and turned back to Kendall. “At least being in class with you will make Mondays go by a lot faster from now on.” She beamed at him. “Time flies when you’re having fun.” He agreed. Fanny, Megan, and Sharquiqui all groaned as Carly giggled. “I swear, if Jared and I were ever this sappy, I apologize now.” Fanny frowned. “I think I am getting physically ill from watching this.” Megan shook her head in irritation.

Sky Bird: Chapter 22

“So you guys kissed?” Carly gasped. Sophia and Carly were getting brunch together on Sunday. “Yeah. It was so awkward.” Sophia put her hands on her face, embarrassed. “Oh, come on, it couldn’t have been that bad, right?” “Okay, fine. I really liked it and I thought it was sweet of him to drive all the way to my place to talk to me like that.” She confessed, putting her hands back on her lap. “So are you guys official? Or at least spoke since that night?” Carly asked before taking a sip of her tea. “Not yet. I’m really scared to.” “What’s there to be scared about?” The Korean girl raised an eyebrow. “You guys both confessed to each other. Isn’t the next step to start dating?” “I’ve never done this before, neither has he, so it’s just really awkward.” Sophia shook her head, trying not to blush. “Hmm… Well I still remember from when I used to date Damian, how he’d always take me on dates and stuff. Granted, we kissed after maybe the third date, so you guys are going in a very different direction than I did.” Carly chuckled. “Kissing before the actual dating? But I’d say just go on a couple dates with him. And if it doesn’t work out, just laugh it off and go back to being friends. Don’t let the romantic feelings make anything weird, okay?” “Alright, Carly. I’ll try. But if things go south, then what?” “Then we just cut Kendall out of our lives. Easy peasy!” She laughed.

“You didn’t talk to her since then?!” Jared and Matt looked at Kendall in disbelief. “Well…no? I’m not sure what to do.” Kendall sighed. He felt like he blew it royally. “Don’t say that. I’m sure she appreciated how straightforward you were, you know, driving to her place and talking to her in person? It shows that you’re a decent person.” Matt pointed out. “How did you and Fanny end up together again?” Kendall looked at Jared. “We started dating in the beginning of the semester. It was pretty awkward actually…” The blonde started. “Why was it awkward?” “Because it just happened for us. The first time, uh.. well… so I might have been checking him out in the locker room? He was taking off his shirt, and then I noticed his butt and how perky-” “Okay, can we please not get that much into detail?” Matt interrupted, clearly uncomfortable with Jared’s summarization of Fanny’s body. “Okay, but basically Fanny caught me checking him out. And he thought it was hilarious, because he had a feeling I was gay because I kept saying words like ‘fag’ and he had a feeling I was checking him out for quite a while.” “And?” Kendall was not quite sure where this story was going. “Well, he and I just started talking more and we started to go on dates. It was pretty thrilling at first, because it was all done in secret, but we started to realize how badly we needed to go public about it. Both of us felt like it was an itch that needed to be scratched, and that’s when we came out to you. Well, accidentally.” Jared chuckled. “But for the dates, did you guys just initiate it?” Kendall pressed, wanting to figure out how this whole concept of dating worked. “Yeah, we kept talking, and then I was like ‘let’s get dinner sometime!’ and then it happened. We kissed on the first date and everything.” The blonde laughed. “Alright, so I’ll just text her now.” Kendall sighed, pulling out his phone. “Hey, Sophia. Are you free for a meal anytime this week?” He sent. “Sure. What time?” She shot back.

“Kendall! Let’s go!” Gil tugged at his older brother’s arm. They were supposed to go to Little Tokyo to hang out together for the rest of the day. “Alright, give me a sec.” Kendall rushed to pull on his socks and shoes. “Okay, coming now!” The older brunette ran down the stairs and joined his little brother in the car. “Alright, let’s go!” The engine revved and the two left the apartment complex. “Why did you want to go to Little Tokyo again?” Kendall looked at his brother. “Mostly because I miss actual Japan.” Gil sighed. The middle schooler has been having Japan-withdrawals since spring break had ended. “Well, I’m with you on that. I miss Japan too.” He sighed. It truly was a wonderful country. And Little Tokyo would probably be the best approximation to it outside of Asia. “Hold on, I’m going to try to park.” Kendall saw a parking structure just off the Japanese Village Plaza. “Alright, and we’re parked!”

“I love this place!” Gil and Kendall were getting takoyaki from a small stand across the street from the Tokyo souvenir store. Sitting down on a bench underneath the large umbrella in the center of the plaza, the two brothers continued to snack on takoyaki while talking about life. “So for high school, Algebra 2 Honors, English 1 Honors, and Biology Honors?” Gil looked to his brother for class suggestions. “Yeah, that’s probably the best. And which sport were you thinking?” “Either football or cross country.” “Hm.. knowing you, try cross country. Megan, Chloe, and Fanny can look after you.” Kendall pointed out. “That’s true. Fanny’s on varsity so he can help.” “Yeah, I’ll try cross country, and if I don’t like that, I’ll try football or maybe even soccer?” He looked the brunette hopefully. “If you do soccer, let me know. Jared’s going to be captain next year.” “Will do!” Gil grinned.

“So what’s for dinner?” The younger Skye looked to his brother. They were still in Little Tokyo, but it was already night time. “How about Kula?” “Ooh! The revolving sushi place?” Gil’s face lit up immediately. The two made their way to the restaurant and put their names on the waiting list. While they were waiting, the brothers were admiring the array of paper lanterns that hovered over the plaza. It was breathtaking to see the white and red orbs illuminating the blue tiled roofs of the buildings nearby. This sort of view made Kendall wish he could move to Japan. Never has he felt so grateful to be part Japanese. “Oh, look, it’s our turn!” The two turned and saw the hostess calling their name. “Let’s get some sushi on our bellies!” Kendall patted his stomach jokingly. “Yup!” The two walked back over to the restaurant, and took their seats in front of the revolving sushi belt. It was so interesting, watching plates of sushi just move past them. But for some reason, Kendall just could not stop thinking about her. No matter what he tried to do to distract himself. He could only think about spending these memories with Sophia.

Sky Bird: Chapter 21

It was Friday afternoon, fifth period. “Here it is, Kawaguchi-sensei!” Fanny handed the bald man his flash drive. “The movie, delivered on Friday, as promised.” “Good job, Chiang-san. You saved Skye-baka’s grade!” He laughed. “Yeah, Skye-baka owes me his life.” Fanny laughed in a dramatic fashion. “You’re not allowed to do that! Only select princess-type characters in animes and dramas are allowed to!” Kawaguchi-sensei hit the boy in the back of the head. “Ouch. That fucking hurt.” Fanny groaned, walking back. “Alright, guys. So instead of watching a drama, we’ll be watching Chiang-san’s movie project!” He put the flash drive into his projector. “Alright, so here it is!” The screen projected the title “The Land of the Rising Love.” Snickers could be heard cross the room at the ridiculous title. “IT WAS KENDALL’S IDEA!” Fanny screamed, trying to avoid being laughed at by the rest of the class. Everyone else just rolled their eyes at him. The movie opened with Megan and Kendall, walking out of LAX. They were immediately greeted by Fanny, who welcomed them to the land of Japan. The movie started out really slowly, in Kendall’s eyes. They didn’t really aim for comedy unfortunately, so the brunette was worried people would fall asleep.

It finally got to the big scene. Kendall and Sophia’s kiss. The entire class gasped, as the two looked at each other, embarrassed by it. “Did you guys really kiss?” Kawaguchi-sensei paused the movie and looked at them. “No…” Sophia shook her head. “Lame. You guys should have just done it for the movie!” He shook his head. “Skye-baka! You’re the man! Grow a pair and kiss the pretty model!” “That’s what I said!” Fanny agreed, looking at Sophia and Kendall. “Take one for the team, guys.” “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” The entire class started to chant. “What the actual hell?” Kendall glared at everyone. That escalated really quickly. “No, we’re not. You can’t make us.” Sophia shook her head. The two were both starting to blush furiously. But the chanting wasn’t stopping. “Okay, fine!” Kendall growled, cupping Sophia’s face and kissing her on the lips. Everyone just gasped before going silent. That definitely stopped the chanting.

The rest of the day was awkward for Sophia and Kendall. The two did not speak since the kiss. It all happened so suddenly that Kendall did not know how to process it. He felt like the kiss was right. When their lips touched, Kendall just felt like Sophia was the person he needed to be doing that with. The feel of her lips against his made his heart flutter. But seeing how Sophia reacted, and the circumstances in which they kissed, he felt horrible. It was almost like being a rapist in that he did not get her consent to do that. He forced himself upon her. He genuinely felt like a terrible person at this moment. Quietly, he laid on his bed, pondering what will happen to their friendship. He did not know what to even say in this situation to rectify it. Dozing off, Kendall just tried to preoccupy his mind with other things.

“How dare you!” The girl in the white dress shouted at him. “My purity. My innocence.” She covered her face in shame. The flowers around her began to wilt. “It’s all dying.” She sobbed. The grass and trees joined the flowers, drooping and sinking into the soil. “Hey, what happened?” Kendall approached her. “I did not want this to happen. Not like this.” She sobbed from behind her hands. “Did not want what?” “The kiss. Not like that.” The girl placed her hands down. She was Sophia. The girl from his dreams. It was Sophia. “No. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do it. The chanting, the pressure, it just got to me.” Kendall slowly walked over to her before falling to his knees. He gently placed his hands beneath hers. “You’re somebody who was always there for me. Somebody I could rely on to make me smile, laugh, and keep me calm.” He smiled at her, fighting back the tears. “Sophia, I think I might love you.” He admitted. “Kendall… I love you too. I have for such a long time.” She confessed. Suddenly, the grass began to sprout up again. Green started to flood the meadows and plants. “Kendall, she’s waiting for you. The real me. Go to her. And tell her everything you told me.” She smiled, getting back up.

“Hey, can we talk?” Kendall messaged Sophia. His heart was racing. He did not know what kind of response to expect. “Okay, sure.” Sophia sent back. “I’ll go to your place.” The brunette sent back. He got up and went into his car. He needed to see her. Arriving at Sophia’s apartment building in Westwood, he sent her a text. “Okay. Coming down now.” The girl appeared and got into the passenger seat. “Hey.” She seemed to be avoiding eye contact with him. “So you wanted to talk?” “Yeah. Sophia, I’ve known you since we were little. And honestly, I didn’t really think much of you beyond being friends at first. But I realize how kind, patient, and caring of a person you are, especially with me. You’re somebody who I genuinely appreciate. I really like, Sophia. That kiss, I’m sorry that I forced it on you like that. But it felt right to me.” The brunette confessed, terrified of what she thought of him. “Kendall… I’ve had a crush on you since you first defended me in the first grade. You’re somebody whose friendship I have valued for a long, long time. You mean a lot to me too. That kiss, it just confirmed what I had already felt about you.” The brunette blushed as he turned to face her. Their hands met, and then their lips.

“Oh, I need to get going. I’ll see you later, okay?” Sophia blushed, after their lips separated. She got out of the car, and ran back up to her apartment. Kendall felt happy knowing that Sophia reciprocated his feelings. He honestly did not think that he could date anyone after Carly and him never got off the ground, but he was happy with the end result. Sophia, on the other hand, was still in shock. She did not think that she would ever date Kendall. But it looks like that was a very likely possibility at this point. She finally got her Cinderella moment so to speak. Her proverbial prince charming had arrived, and swept her into his car. That sounded horribly inappropriate, but it was not remotely as illegal as it sounded.

Sky Bird: Chapter 20

Somehow, Kendall and Sophia found their way over to Santa Monica Pier. “Why did we walk all the way back over here?!” She gasped upon seeing the large ferris wheel. “Because we were busy talking, I don’t know.” Kendall sighed, frustrated at the prospect of walking back. “Well, we’re here now. Ooh, look! That guy’s hold an anaconda!” Sophia was surprised to see a bald man, arms covered in tattoos, displaying the large yellow snake in public. “Oh!” Kendall recoiled in fright. Like most human beings, he was not comfortable being that close up to a snake. “Uh, let’s just walk past him” Sophia ushered the two along past the snake man and onto the pier. “It’s funny that we are back here though.” She laughed as the two made their way back to the ferris wheel. “I can’t believe that we’re back here.” Kendall sighed; the last time he was at this ferris wheel, he found out that Carly was not the girl for him. “Ooh, look over there!” Sophia pointed out to a plane that was taking off. “You can see so much from over here. There’s LAX and past that, Manhattan Beach!” “It’s beautiful.” Kendall was taken aback by the view. Seeing the blue ocean spread out and be surrounded by the golden yellow sand and the small structures, it was gorgeous. “It sucks that it’s only Wednesday.” Sophia shook her head. “If it was a weekend, I could enjoy this view a lot longer.” She smiled at the brunette.

“Where the hell were you?” Kendall returned home, only for Megan to frown upon his arrival. “I even got back from Chloe’s before you returned.” She had spent the rest of the afternoon and dinner with Chloe, and in that time, Kendall had just returned from his walk with Sophia. “Sophia and I kept talking and started walking, and eventually made our way to the pier.” “SANTA MONICA PIER?” Megan’s eyes widened in disbelief. “You went that far? Are you kidding me? How did you get back?” She was still in shock. “I walked.” Kendall sighed, gesturing towards his shaking legs. “Sit down. You’re not a runner like me.” Megan frowned. “Yeah, I am.” He sighed, resting on the floor. “Did you get dinner yet?” She called, walking back to her room. “Not yet.” “Gil! Cook something for Kendall!” Megan shouted. “Okay, will do!” Gil shouted back. Kendall smiled in amusement; his siblings were so self-sufficient and it was great for him, especially when he was too lazy or tired to do something.

“Wait, so you spent the entire afternoon with him?” Fanny smirked, texting Sophia from his room. “Yeah. We went to Santa Monica, and then we realized how far we walked, and we had to walk back right away.” She responded, feeling embarrassed. “You didn’t try to make a move on him?” “No, that’s weird. Why would I do that?” “Because it’s clear Kendall doesn’t have the balls to do it.” Fanny snickered. “Hey, he’s got balls.” “You’d know.” The Chinese boy teased her. “Shut up, Fanny.” Sophia turned off her phone and sighed. She felt like she blew a huge opportunity to confess her feelings to Kendall. Maybe it was not meant to be? She knew that he had feelings for one of her closest friends for the longest time, but she could not help but develop a crush on him. The human heart is just a horrible thing sometimes. Scratch that. All the time. Sophia was just annoyed at this point. She could not wrap her mind around why she was attracted to Kendall. Frustrated, she just started to think back to her childhood. Back to when she first came to California for school.

“H-hi. My name is Sophia Puckchareon.” A small 6 year old Sophia took a bow. She was in 1st grade, and just recently transferred into a new elementary school from an international school in Bangkok, Thailand. “Welcome to our class, Sophia.” Her 1st grade teacher, a tall Asian woman in her 30s named Mrs. Ip smiled warmly. Sophia took her seat at a table of four with two boys and another girl.  The girl Sophia sat next to was Caucasian with blonde hair, fair skin,  and blue eyes. “Why’s your name so weird? Puck-charmeleon?” The girl looked at her, scoffing. “Why can’t you have a normal last name? Weirdo.” She flicked her hair before turning away from her. “Hey, that’s not nice!” One of the boys glared at the girl. “Lindsay, say you’re sorry!” “I’m not apologizing for her having a weird last name. That’s her fault.” “Lindsay, if you don’t apologize to Sophia for that, I’m going to tell on you.” The boy threatened, adamant that she says sorry to Sophia. “You wouldn’t.” Lindsay rolled her eyes. “Mrs. Ip! Lindsay’s being racist to Sophia!” The boy called, raising his hand. “Lindsay!” Mrs. Ip looked at her. “Sophia, what did she say or do to you?” She looked greatly concerned. “She made fun of my last name. She said it was weird.” Sophia whimpered. It was her first day at this new school. She almost felt guilty for tattling on Lindsay, but she also felt scared that everyone else would think the same way as Lindsay about her. “Lindsay, you’re getting a time out! And I’m going to give your parents a call. This behavior is not acceptable.” Mrs. Ip frowned. “Lindsay, you can sit int he corner for the rest of the day and think about why making fun of peoples’ names is inappropriate.” The blonde glared at Sophia as she gathered her things and went to the table in the corner and sat alone. “Hey, I know you’re having a tough first day, but it’ll get better. You’ll make friends, and they won’t care about your name.” The boy from earlier reassured her. “Oh, and my name’s Kendall by the way. And this is Jared. He’s my best friend!” “Hi, Sophia!” Jared grinned at her. Sophia felt like she was accepted by the two, as if her name or identity did not matter to them. She could be herself.

That must have been it. Sophia thought to herself. He was one of the first people to ever accept her. He did not care what her name was. He did not think her being shy or awkward was something to frown upon. He welcomed her and helped her gain some albeit soft-spoken confidence. Kendall was always there for her, even before she became friends with Fanny back in 6th grade. She still remembered that. It was in gym class. She had met this incredibly sassy boy who mispronounced her last name. At first, Sophia felt offended, before realizing that the boy did not actually know how to say her last name. Brushing it off and taking amusement in his comments, the two became close friends. And after getting close to Fanny and Carly, she drifted away from Jared and Kendall. And that’s how things were. Kendall did not like Fanny, and that caused an awkward rift for the longest time. During that rift, Sophia could only see Kendall from afar. She knew Kendall didn’t hate her for befriending the Chinese boy, but she felt uncomfortable knowing how Kendall being in the same school as Fanny had affected her childhood friend. She did not want to cause any unnecessary drama between the two. But seeing Kendall from afar, it gave her a newfound appreciation for him. She noticed things about him that she had not before. How silly he was, how eagerly he tried to make others happy, and just how generally selfless he could be. These were qualities she never really thought about. But they were what made her start to appreciate him that much more.