It was summer on the Destiny Islands. It had only been a few weeks since school had officially gotten out, and the youths of the Islands had already forgotten completely about it and were enjoying their freedom.
The wind blew through Kairi's red hair as she raced along the beach, trying her hardest to catch up with her two best friends, Sora and Riku. They were having a race to the paopu tree, something they did often while on the play island.
"Sora, Riku! You're going too fast!" she panted. "Let me catch up!"
"Then it wouldn't be a race any more." Riku laughed from the lead. Sora was tailing him closely.
"Yeah, Kairi! You'll have to catch up by yourself!" Sora added.
Kairi laughed to herself, and then sped up as best she could. She found herself getting closer to the boys, and had almost caught up with them, until she was stopped short by something on the ground below her. She fell forward, crying out as she hit the sand.
"Kairi!" Sora cried out, turning around and running over to see if the girl was all right. Riku followed him. In an instant, both boys were beside her. Sora reached out a hand to help her up.
"You okay, Kairi?" Riku asked, concerned. "Looks like you tripped over that rock back there. It sounded like you fell pretty hard."
"A rock? Well, I think I'm okay…" Kairi replied as Sora helped her up. As soon as she was on her feet, she let out a yelp of pain. She lifted her left leg up slightly.
"What is it?"
"Did you hurt something?" asked Sora.
"It's my ankle. It…hurts to walk on it."
Riku stood up calmly, then said, "Okay, don't worry. Sora and I will help you get back to the main island. You're going to be fine, Kairi."
"Yeah." Sora nodded.
The boys quickly helped her stay on her feet, Sora under one arm and Riku under the other, and helped her walk to her boat. Once she was comfortably inside, they went to their boats and all three of them headed back to the main island. In a few minutes, they had arrived at the Destiny Islands hospital. After a few more minutes of waiting, they went in to see the doctor, who took an x-ray picture of Kairi's foot.
"I hope it isn't bad." Kairi said as they sat waiting for the results.
"I'm sure you just sprained it." Riku said reassuringly. "It can't be that bad."
"Yeah. It was just a rock after all!" Sora added.
"It must've been a big one." Came a voice from the doorway. The three teens looked up to see who it was. The doctor was standing there, an envelope of x-ray pictures in his hand. He pulled them out to show them to the trio and sat down in a chair across from them.
"See here? You fractured this bone right here." He said, pointing at a bone near her toes. "You'll be on crutches for the rest of the summer thanks to that rock."
"Crutches?!" Kairi gasped. She frowned. "That means no more races on the beach. Or swimming." She sighed.
"Aw, it'll be okay Kairi! We'll find other stuff to do!" Sora said brightly, trying to cheer her up.
"Like what? There isn't much she can do on crutches." Riku said.
"Uh…well…" Sora frowned as he realized that Riku had a strong point. "We'll think of something."
"All right then, while you boys do that, I'll take Kairi to get her foot all wrapped up. Sound good?" The doctor asked.
"It's fine. Unless Kairi wants us to come with her." Riku said. "Will you be okay?" he asked her.
Kairi frowned. "I'll be fine, Riku! It's not like I'm getting surgery or anything!" she said with a huff.
"Okay, okay, fine. I just wanted to know if you wanted one of us with you." Riku sighed.
"I think she's perfectly fine by herself." The doctor said with a small smile. "Come with me, Kairi." He helped her up.
Once they had left, the boys began to brainstorm things they could do with Kairi while she was stuck on crutches.
"We could play board games!" Sora said. "Moogleoply, checkers, cards…stuff like that!"
"I think all of us would get tired of playing board games all summer. And cards isn't a board game, Sora." Riku replied.
"Well, what else could we do?"
"We could just hang out on the beach, like we normally do. We don't have to race or swim."
"Oh, yeah! We can build sandcastles!"
"Or just relax and watch the waves."
"Yeah! That sounds great, Riku!"
"There's all kinds of things we can do that don't involve Kairi putting stress on her leg."
As they continued to think of things to do with their friend, the doctor returned with her. She was now hobbling on crutches. Her left foot was all bandaged up with a cast.
"Well, just keep off that foot for the next month or two." The doctor told her. "If anything happens to it, or if you need anything else, just stop by here and we'll take a look, okay? Oh, and don't forget what I told you about taking care of it."
"Okay. Thank you, doctor." Kairi said with a nod. With that, the doctor left the room.
"So, how is it?" Sora asked.
"Well, I can't really do anything that involves this foot." She glanced at it. "But I figure that since I'm going to be stuck like this for a while, I can make some more lucky charms or something like that." Kairi said. "It won't be too bad."
"You'll find plenty of things to do, Kairi. Don't worry." Riku said.
"How about we sign your cast?" Sora asked.
"Okay!" Kairi smiled. "That would be great!"
The boys took markers, Riku a blue one and Sora a red one, and signed her cast. She smiled upon looking at it.
"Okay. We can go now, right?" Riku asked.
"Uh-huh. The doctor sent the bills to my house. I don't think my parents will be very happy." She frowned.
"I'm sure they'll understand. It was just an accident, after all." Sora reasoned.
"Yeah. Anyway…want to go see a movie and get some ice cream with us, Kairi? It's on me." Riku asked.
She beamed. "Really?" she asked.
"Yep." Riku said. "So, I'm guessing you want to go?"
"That would be great!" Kairi said with a grin. "Let's go!" She quickly began to limp towards the door on her crutches. She wobbled a bit. "Oh, oh!"
"Whoa, take it easy." Riku said, running over to her. Sora followed him."Take your time, Kairi. You might slip."
"Okay. One step at a time." She said as both boys helped her steady herself.
After Riku called each of their homes to tell their parents that they would be in town for the rest of the evening, the trio headed to out to get ice cream. Once they had gotten their cones, Kairi a strawberry cone, Riku a vanilla, and Sora a chocolate, they went to the theater to see what movies were playing.
"All right Kairi, it's your pick. Whatever you want to see, we'll go and see." Riku said to her.
"Anything you want!" Sora said.
"How about we go and see the one about the two childhood friends who see each other after a long time, and fall in love?" Kairi suggested. "I've been wanting to see that one!"
"A chick flick?" Riku rubbed his forehead and sighed. "Well, if it's what you want…fine."
After the movie, Kairi made one last request.
"I want to go to the beach, out on the play island." She said. "And watch the sunset."
"Huh?" asked Sora. "How come? You've seen it a bunch of times."
"I know. But…it feels like it's been so long since we've sat and watched the sunset toghether. Just the three of us."
"It has been a long time, hasn't it?" Riku said.
"Yeah," Sora sighed.
"Can we? Please?" Kairi asked.
"All right. Come on you two." Riku nodded.
The three of them took their boats out to the play island for the second time that day, and sat down on the beach to watch the sunset. As they watched the sun sink down, Kairi put her arms around both of the boys and pulled them a little closer to her.
"This has been a great day." She said softly. "Thanks Sora, Riku."
"Anytime, Kairi." Riku said.
"Yeah." Sora agreed. "You're our best friend. We'd do anything for you."
After the sun had disappeared completely, instead of heading for their boats, the trio laid back down into the sand hand in hand, and fell asleep together, the waves silently lapping at their feet.