M L Sparrow
Taiyo is a normal high-school girl living with her Grandmother in Sendai. She goes to school, partakes in club activities and hangs out with her two best friends, twin brothers Ryuu and Kairi. However, her perfect world is shattered when she begins dating Kairi but quickly discovers she's already in love with Ryuu.
A tangled web of lies surrounds the pair, but everything is suddenly knocked into perspective on March 11th when they are caught up in a natural disaster that devastates the country and robs thousands of their homes, their possessions and their lives...
Everything was perfect until the ground began to shake. There was no warning. The warning system on their mobiles didn’t begin to sound until after it had begun.
“Jishin!” people shouted above the low, grumbling roar beneath them. Earthquake.
A red car skidded into a blue one at the top of the road, both of them trembling and bouncing.
Dropping her school bag, she grabbed Ryuu’s hand and tried not to fall. He dropped into a crouch to keep his balance, taking her down with him. She kept thinking it would be over in a minute, but it never seemed to end. Someone screamed and across the street a man lost his footing and fell to his knees. A crack appeared in the pavement, inching towards them. They scrambled away and her heart jumped in her chest as the road split open.
Roof tiles rained down, shattering on the ground and another crack appeared, this time in the wall of a small shop. Dust and plaster billowed from the crack and the wall began to buckle.
Taiyo didn’t know how long it lasted, it must have been minutes at least, but it finally subsided to a shivering tremble before petering off all together. Everyone looked around, holding perfectly still, afraid to move.
“That was a big one,” a lady near them, clutching a little boy, said fearfully, glancing in the direction of the sea, “should we move to higher ground?” Around the coast there was always the risk of a tsunami after an earthquake and they’d learnt about their country’s devastating history with the huge waves in school.
“It’s all right, the seawalls will protect us,” someone else answered.
Taiyo glanced at Ryuu nervously. In turn, he looked around at the locals, many of whom were gathering in little clusters.
Anxiously she bit her lip, her stomach twisting itself into knots; something didn’t feel right. Like all Japanese people, she was used to earthquakes, however, she couldn’t remember ever experiencing one quite like that.
Several people rushed into houses and reappeared with bags, chivvying along children or their elderly parents, before getting into their cars and driving away, but the majority of people remained.
A few houses and shops had crumbled, but looking around no one that she could see appeared to be seriously hurt. One man had been hit by a falling roof tile and was bleeding from a gash to his forehead. Sitting on the pavement, he was being attended to by neighbours.
It looked like the worst was over, but then someone shouted and they all turned to look out over the grey-blue sea. At first Taiyo didn’t know what she was seeing, but then the breath caught in her lungs.
The alarms began to blare.