Hanabi

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 24, 2016

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Submitted: September 24, 2016

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Hanabi (??) – Yuu

---Summer 2014---

I always tried to make a point of bringing flowers on a date, especially on the very first one. Years later, even today, I’m still carrying a bouquet as I walk down the street. The sun allows the full purple of the iris flowers to radiate. The elderly lady tending the flowers at the shop smiles at me; she’s gotten friendly with me over the years, considering I’m here so often. I bow slightly before exiting and keep walking towards the train station. I put a hand in front of my mouth, trying to hide my laughter.

---Spring 2010---

Oh, man. There are so many people at the station going in every direction. I’m going to be so late. Where is it… Okay, I’m supposed to go in somewhere near the 7-11, but wh-

“Ow…” A bouquet of roses flies out of a girl’s hands as I turn around and run into her. I catch them before they hit the ground.

“Crap, I am so sorry!” I reach my hand out to the girl who incidentally is now on the ground.

She takes my hand and gets up. After brushing off her skirt and straightening up her sheer white button-down, she smiles. Her eyes move up a bit, quickly losing her smile as she realizes that there are strands of hair in front of her face, so she parts them to both sides of her head. Suddenly, she smiles again and looks at me curiously, tilting her head to the side.

“Uh…” I hold the roses out to her. “Here.”

She takes them with her free hand. “Th-thanks.”

I look at her other hand. “You can...  uh… let go of my hand now.”

“Oh, right…” Her face turns the same color as the roses as she drops her hand. We end up standing there in silence for a little while. “Inoue Ayame.”

“Huh?”

“My name—”

Suddenly, the crowd of people starts to rush towards one area of the station. Then, I hear the grinding of wheels coming in from the left. Right, I’m totally going to be late if I don’t get on that train.

“Inoue-san, which way are you headed?”

She just stares at me for a moment. “East,” she pauses for a moment, “I think?”

I grab her hand once more and follow the crowd of people. We just barely make it onto the train before the doors close. She and I are forced to stand very close to each other as the train is completely full.

“The roses,” she quietly squeaks out.

“Huh?” I look around to find that in her left hand, the roses are about to drop, so I take her hand and manage to hold them in between us without crushing them.

She turns her head away from me. “Thanks—”

“Sasaki Shiro.”

“Thanks, Sasaki-san.”

Until we arrive at my stop, I hold her hand in mine instead of just holding the roses. Neither of us particularly seems to mind.

---Summer 2014---

I look at my watch for a moment as I pass the local coffee shop, Café Colorado. Well, there’s no way I’ll be late to the train today. I turn around and walk into the café. I’m greeted almost immediately.

“Hey, Shiro! Just the usual for you?” The barista calls out to me while taking someone else’s order.

I wave at him. “Just a vanilla for today, Kai.”

“Oh. It’s that time of the year already, huh?” The smile that was previously on his face is momentarily replaced with a look of sincere reflection. “I’ll get it out for you. You sure you don’t want the warm black to go with it?”

I grin. “Nah, it’s okay.”

I take a seat near the counter and go through my phone. I carefully place the irises on the table while I wait. Suddenly, my phone vibrates. On the screen flashes a reminder to get a vanilla latte before getting on the train. Oh, that’s why I left so early today. After a couple minutes of mindlessly staring at my phone, Kai calls me over. I take out my wallet to pay.

“It’s alright, Shiro. It’s on the house for today.” He puts his hand on my wallet.

“Won’t you get in trouble for doing that?” I whisper to him.

He looks back at his manager. “Nah, he already knows.”

“Well if you say so. I guess I’ll take you up on your kindness, then.” I bow slightly to the manager and grab the irises from the table. Coffee and flowers in hand, I continue over to the station. As I approach the door on the way out, I look back one more time.

---Spring 2010---

“Just a black coffee for me, please.” I reach into my pocket for the wallet I realize isn’t there.

The young man behind the counter, perhaps around my age, stares at me for a moment. “That’s a pretty boring choice, don’t you think? Our lattes are pretty good, too.”

I pause for a moment. If I don’t even have my wallet with me, how am I supposed to pay for a latte? Man, this is embarrassing. The barista looks as if he’s getting a bit impatient as I try my best to seem as if I’m actually picking a drink. Luckily, it isn’t that busy today, so there aren’t any people behind me. At least, that’s what I thought.

“Can you add a vanilla latte to that order, please?” Someone behind me chimes in. What a familiar voice.

The barista cranes his neck to look behind me. “Inoue! You know this guy?”

“Well, he held my hand, and—” She blushes as she clasps her hands together.

A look of disbelief washes over his face before glaring at me. “Keep your hands off my—”

Oh, no. Don’t tell me this guy happens to be her boyfriend. I wasn’t even trying to hit on her, man. I just happened to bump into her at the station. But there’s no way he’s going to believe that. Wait, does that mean he’s the one that gave her the roses, too?

“Customer.” Inoue-san smiles innocently as she says this.

I continue thinking of a way to explain to the barista that I’m innocent, but I’m completely baffled by the whole situation. I’ve only been in Kyoto for a week, and I’ve somehow already gotten myself into a mess. Did she say customer?

“He handed me roses, too.” Inoue-san giggles innocently, as if she actually doesn’t know what’s going on.

The barista’s head practically hits the counter. “Inoue, don’t tell me this guy—”

“We met at the station a couple days ago.” Her face turns red once again. She holds her hands together in front her, between her legs and faces the ground, then mumbles, “he’s a nice guy.”

My God, she’s so cute.

“I see.” The despair on the guy’s face almost makes me feel sorry for him. He looks up at me. “You. Take care of my beloved.”

Inoue manages to just look at us innocently and blankly during this exchange. A wave of uneasiness passes through me as the barista takes my hands and looks at me with his glossy eyes. This has to be some sort of elaborate prank. Out of nowhere, a man comes from behind the barista and whacks his head with a menu.

“Stop messing with the customers!” The man examines me for a moment, his eyes piercing through me. “Sorry about that. This kid has no manners. Your drinks will be off his paycheck for today.”

The barista sinks to the floor and wallows in his stupidity, and the man behind him simply goes back to work without a second thought.

“I can still—” Right, I don’t even have my wallet. “I appreciate your kindness, sir.”

The man looks back with a grin on his face and gives me a thumbs-up. “Don’t worry about it, kid.”

While I wait for my coffee, I scan the café and realize it has a rather quaint feel. It’s not as modern as Starbucks or any of the other cafés in the area. The old chairs and dim, fixed lighting give off a calmer vibe. There are also definitely less people here. After a little while, Inoue tugs on my shirt.

“Sasaki-san, I think our drinks are ready.” She points at the counter.

Without even tasting it yet, the strong ground coffee brings me to life as it makes its way through the air. I’ve never smelled coffee so fresh and high quality before. There has to be a secret to this aroma. I grab my cup and take my first sip as I walk towards the door.

“Sasaki-san, are you going home already?” Inoue’s innocent smile strikes right through my weak heart.

I look back one more time.

And sit with her for a while.

---Summer 2014---

I walk back towards that old table, the same one where we sat every time we were here. I look at the spot where I accidentally cut myself on the sharp edge. It’s been that long already, huh? A nostalgic smile finds its way onto my face as I reminisce over the old days. The other customers must think I’m crazy right now, just starting at a table. There’s no way I could blame them though.

To be fair, I was never particularly good with girls to begin with. The only big chance I ever got was by a total accident. But who am I to complain? If given the opportunity and could go back, there isn’t really anything I would be willing to change. There isn’t anything I regret enough from my younger days. I sigh and start moving back towards the door again. As I exit the coffee shop, someone calls out to me.

“Shiro-nii, I thought you were with my sister right now.”

Coming from the direction of the station, a young woman walks up to me. Oh, it’s Ayame’s little sister. I just remembered she’s going to be a freshman soon. I totally forgot she’s going to be at the same university I attended before. She looks nothing like her sister, and their personalities are even further away from each other.

I smile. “Yeah, I’m actually going to her right now. I even got coffee for her.”

“And her favorite flowers, I see.” She winks. “Did you get me anything?”

“Oh, I have something for you, alright,” I say, smirking. “Here’s a little gift from me to you.”

I flick her forehead and begin walking away. Her childish nature is practically no different from how I was when I first met Ayame. Surprisingly, the first time we met was already 4 years ago, and it wasn’t until a year later that I had met her sister, Haruka. I wonder if springtime will come for her soon, too.

She calls out to me once more. “Shiro-nii, wait.”

“Hm?”

“What kind of flowers do you think I should get?”

I just smirk at the thought. “Whatever you think looks the prettiest today.”

---Early 2011---

“Sasaki-san.”

I look at Inoue for a moment. “What’s up?”

“How come you still call me Inoue?” She pauses for a moment before going on. “Well, I mean I guess I still call you Sasaki-san, but…”

I nearly spit out my drink. “Well, I mean… don’t you think it would be a bit weird to call you by your first name?”

“But we’ve been dating for more than half a year already…”

“I mean that’s true….” I take a moment to calm my nerves. “A-a—”

Her eyes grow larger as she leans closer to me.

“Ayame-san.”

Out of nowhere, Haruka hits my arm. “I get that this is my sister’s apartment, and you guys do what you want, but can you guys please not forget that I’m right here?”

“Hey, that hurt!” I scowl at Haruka.

She hits my arm again. “And if you are going to do this, at least take off the ‘-san’ when you say her name. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go somewhere where you stupid couples aren’t going to be all gross.”

“Shiro, I’m so sorry about my sister.” She puts her hand near where her sister hit me. “Are you okay?”

“Never mind my arm; did you just call me by my first name?”

Silence.

Her face suddenly turns an extremely bright red as she continuously tightens her grip on my arm.

“A-ayame…”

“Y-yes, Shiro?”

“You’re really starting to hurt my arm now.”

She quickly drops my arm and retreats off to the corner of the room. “I’m so sorry.”

“Hey, it’s alright.” I massage my arm a bit. “You don’t have to sit so far, you know?”

After relaxing herself, she moves back next to me, but we’re both unable to start conversation. We sit quietly for a while until Haruka suddenly opens the door again. She sighs at the sight of us sitting here quietly.

“You two are hopeless. My sister can’t wait forever, you know?”

I watch Ayame glare at Haruka before looking towards the daffodils I got her. “Thanks for the flowers you got me today.”

“Well, I mean… you’re the one who told me you’d like it if I got flowers whenever we saw each other, right? It’s the least I can do since we don’t see each other often.”

“Even so, you do it anyway.”

Man, I feel like it’s getting really hot in here. Maybe we should turn the air conditioner on. Wait, it’s the middle of winter. How could it possibly feel this hot in here? Without anything else to occupy my mind, I finally acknowledge Haruka.

“Wait, Haruka, why did you come back so quickly?”

“Oh, I was waiting outside the door for you guys to do something, but you guys got really quiet, so I realized you two are absolutely hopeless.”

Ayame grabs a cushion and throws it at Haruka. “Haru, don’t just stand there listening to us!”

“Well, what do you expect me to do, Sis? I’m kind of stuck in your apartment because Mom and Dad are gone and left me with you for the weekend. Sometimes I rather wish I was coughing out blood.”

Their eyes are completely focused on each other; this time, I’m the one that feels like he’s not in the room. I can’t even begin to imagine the argument they’re having in their heads. I try to think of anything I can to diffuse the situation.

“Hey, Ayame.”

As if saying her name managed to flip a switch in her head, she looks at me with her usual smile. “Yes, Shiro?”

“How do I know what flowers to get you? I know which one is your favorite, but I don’t really know anything else about flowers.”

“Why not just get whichever ones you think are the prettiest that day?”

---Summer 2014---

“You know, that’s basically no help at all.” Haruka stares at me, completely unamused, just blinking.

I grin. “Yeah, but it helped me out more than you’d think.”

She stares at me with one eyebrow raised. “Right… Well, I guess you can go see my sister now.”

Man, was I that awkward when I was younger? Wait. What if I’m still that awkward? Ah, whatever. I’m still pretty early for the train. I guess I’ll just get on an earlier train and stop at the shrine first. After about 20 minutes, I get off at Kawaramachi station and notice the rush of people walking every which way outside the station. Typical for mid-July, everyone is getting ready for the Gion Matsuri (festival). After crossing the river and walking a little bit, I see the steps to the shrine.

An old, smiling image of Ayame calls out to me from the bottom of the steps.

---Summer 2011---

“Shiro!” She waves her hand wildly. Her modest figure, wrapped tightly in her purple yukata, leaves me absolutely breathless.

With a bouquet of irises in my hand, I walk toward her and hand them to her. “It’s my first time seeing you in traditional clothes.”

“How does it look?” She twirls around then blushes while staring at me with her innocent brown eyes.

I’m absolutely speechless.

“Does it not look good?”

“N-no, it’s not that.” I attempt to gather my thoughts together. “You look amazing. Uh… graceful! Beautiful, like an iris in full bloom.”

She gets even redder after actually hearing me say it. “Really, you think so?”

“Of course.” A warm smile crosses both our faces as we slowly walk up the steps together.

We go from stall to stall, trying out different food: fried octopus balls, candy, chocolate dipped bananas, everything. The whole prefecture is bustling with people we don’t know. All the small businesses that set up stalls start putting out lanterns to light the paths. She makes me do all sorts of stupid things like scooping a goldfish (and failing) and shooting rubber bands at things for prizes (and failing that, too). Even without winning anything from the stalls, her smile still continuously wins my heart. At the peak of the night, many people walk towards the clearing to watch the fireworks display.

While we’re walking, she suddenly stumbles and falls into my arms. The ground is completely flat, so she couldn’t have tripped over anything. She seems a little red, but she remains insistent to watch the fireworks.

Ayame’s innocent face beams with joy despite how weak she looks. “Let’s go, too!”

“Are you sure? You look like you’re barely able to stand.”

“Shiro, let’s go.” She remains adamant.

After a few minutes of tense anticipation and preparing our ears, we suddenly hear the loud popping above us. Flashes of red and green come first. There were multiple pink explosions, like cherry blossoms in the night sky. All sorts of colors and streams lit the navy blue canvas above us, from rapid yellows to extravagant displays of reds and purples.

I wish I could get a picture of her face right now, a look of innocence and wonder, so intoxicating that I could die happy right here. After the fireworks display, we go around through more stalls and pass through the night together in any way we could. I didn’t want this night to end, and I’m sure that she didn’t either. Her irises in one hand and my hand in the other, we flew through the shrine.

At the end of the night, I ask her, “Why is it that you never let the flowers I get you out of your sight?”

She thinks for a little while. “Because they’re pretty.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

I wish that every night could be like this, small moments of fleeting happiness and a calm, simple close.

---Fall 2011---

“Shiro, I don’t get how to do this at all.”

“You kind of just have to move your hand back and forth, I guess”

“Like this?”

“Y-yeah, perfect. Now you use your left hand, too.”

“But what do I do with it?”

“Just pretend you’re playing a trumpet or something with the other one.”

“Huh? So just press down?”

“Yeah, but make sure your fingers are just on Q-W-E-R.”

She leans back in her chair in utter defeat. “This is so difficult. How do you play this game so much?”

“Who knows? I think it’s fun though.” I sit back down on my bed.

“Can we get back to math homework now?” She puts her forehead to mine, but her eyes are looking at the lilies next to me. “Weren’t you going to have me help you with one of the problems?”

I quickly bring my lips to hers for just a moment, barely letting them touch before backing away. “But since you’re already here, don’t you think it would be a waste of time to do homework?”

She flicks my forehead. “Nice try. I was here for the whole long weekend. It’s time to get this work done.”

“Yeah, but we barely get to see each other.” I grab her by the waist and pull her onto my lap. I rub my face next to hers. She breathes in and out deeply.

She turns her head to face me. “You know you have work to do.”

“Yeah, I know.” I kiss her cheek, then her neck, and behind her ear. “But I’m working on making you feel good right now.”

“Fine, we’ll have a ten minute break.” Her soft lips meet mine, bringing her head towards and away from mine to look into my eyes for a moment. Her gentle eyes contrast her passion with every glance. She backs away for a moment and smiles deviously. “You have less than eight minutes left by the way.”

I smirk. “I didn’t think you were actually keeping time.”

“You wouldn’t get anything done if I didn’t… seven-and-a-half.”

---Spring 2012---

Time goes by even faster than I ever thought it would. Two years have passed since I started college and since Ayame and I started dating. Who would’ve thought I’d ever end up in a long relationship with a girl who I accidentally pushed at a train station? I look at her face as she takes sandwiches out of the basket she brought.

“Are you thinking about something, Shiro?”

“Yeah. Cherry blossoms are just as pretty as flowers, don’t you think?”

She giggles. “I guess you could say that.”

We eat quietly for a while. She then rests her head on my lap and says something I wasn’t expecting. “Hey, Shiro.”

“Hm?”

“Speaking of flowers… you don’t bring me flowers that much anymore.”

I try to think of a specific explanation, but I can really only think of one. “I mean, the flower shop is out of the way sometimes depending on where we’re meeting.”

“But you always used to go out of your way to get me flowers back then.”

My heart skips a beat, and for a second, I thought even Ayame noticed. “I guess it’s because the beauty of flowers pales in comparison to you.”

Ayame frowns, not in the mood for flattery. She lifts her head off my lap and gazes into my eyes, or perhaps past them.

“There’s something on your mind.”

“You’re the only thing on my mind.”

“Is something on your mind, Ayame?”

“Not really.”

I sigh. There’s definitely something going on here. “Can I ask you something, too?”

“Sure.”

“Where do you go for so long when you miss class?”

She looks up at the sky, her face still as innocent as always. “Mmm, I guess you could say I just get sick easily, so I have to take long breaks sometimes.”

“Then let me—.”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

Her honest smile breaks me in two. “I’ve always been this way, Shiro. It’s okay.”

---Summer 2012---

Ever since the cherry blossom viewing, Ayame and I have gotten into more arguments. She always insists that I’m not working hard enough, and that I’m always fooling around or playing games. I’m trying to balance my schoolwork, part-time job, and social life. Who is she to tell me that I’m not working hard enough? I put a lot of effort into basically everything I do. She just doesn’t realize it.

As I lie in my bed, I get a call from her. “Hello, Shiro?”

“Ayame,” I whisper.

“We’re still going to the shrine together, right?”

“Yeah, of course.” I’m almost reluctant to answer her. “I’m busy at work right now, but I’ll make it by seven, okay?”

Man, I feel like a terrible person.

Despite my obvious lie, she still sounds as if she’s still filled with joy. “Okay! Don’t work too hard, okay?”

Later that day, I get to the shrine steps at around 7:05. She’s looking at the ground for some reason. I stand next to her, but she doesn’t seem to notice.

“Ayame?”

“Liar.”

“Huh?”

“I stopped by your work on the way to the shrine. I wanted to surprise you.”

“I just—”

She looks up at me with glossy eyes, ready to burst into tears. “I don’t get you sometimes, Shiro. I don’t ask for that much.”

“Ayame, no, look, I—”

“Am I as unpleasant as your work that you can’t stand spending time with me, pretending you’re at work?”

“No that’s not—”

With tears streaming down, she looks straight into my eyes. “Those other times we had dates planned and you said you had to work, I knew you weren’t working. But I at least thought today would be different. I thought maybe we could at least watch the fireworks together. I thought you would at least look at me with the same eyes you did before.”

“No, Ayame. I was thinking about you all day. I was about to get you flowers, too… I just…” ran out of words. I ran out of chances.

Before I could think of anything else to say, she was already out of sight. I kick the wall, and people just stare at me, whispering. I know what they’re all saying, and I couldn’t care less. I just need to figure out how I’m going to fix things with Ayame.

I watch the fireworks alone that night.

Ayame and I didn’t talk for several weeks. In the meantime, I took time to myself and stopped slacking. I finished all my schoolwork and went to class. Every time I’m at the station or the café, I always hope I’ll run into her, but I never do. I visit the flower shop every other day, and the elderly lady always asks me about Ayame. I put on my best smile and tell her that Ayame’s gone on vacation.

The image of her crying face is etched into my mind. I force myself out of bed and look into the mirror. My eyes are a little bit red, and my facial hair is a bit prickly. I try to force a smile, but I just look terrible. Making my way to my desk, I look through all my schoolwork only to realize I’ve already gone ahead. My work schedule is written on my calendar, and I actually managed to go to all my shifts. Is this what she meant?

Under my piles of books, I find the album Ayame gave me a few months ago for my birthday. I don’t even think I opened it yet. Upon opening it, an envelope falls out of the first page. How long has this been here? I open it and begin reading.

I drop the letter and grab my shoes, running out the door.

The flower shop is as empty as always, and I tell the lady that I need her prettiest flowers. I reach for my wallet that I didn’t bring because I was in such a rush. She smiles and hands me a bouquet of white lilies.

“Go,” she says.

I bow and run. An ambulance passes me, sirens at full blast. I keep running until I get to the hospital. The receptionist stares at me with bewilderment. “Can I… help you?”

“Inoue Ayame’s room, please.” I pause to catch my breath. “It’s important.”

She looks at the flowers and smiles. After looking through the directory, she points me to Ayame’s room.

Once I get there, I try to calm myself down a bit. I knock.

“Come in.”

And I do. Haruka is sitting next to Ayame’s hospital bed.

“Shiro…”

“Ayame, why didn’t you tell me?”

Her eyes are filled with sadness, but she smiles anyway. “You seemed like you were having a hard time, so I didn’t want to worry you.”

“Of course I’m worried, Ayame!” I walk towards the bed, and Haruka excuses herself. “Ayame, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

My face gets warm, and I can feel my eyes getting wet. “But I… I never listened. I didn’t give you—”

“Shh.” She puts a finger to my lips and sits up. “Give me the flowers.”

I hand the flowers to her. She keeps them by her side. “Ayame…”

“Shiro, do you know what color goes best with irises?”

“No…”

“White, like you, Shiro.” She giggles. “Ayame and Shiro, Iris and the white flower, don’t you think it fits so well together?”

With tears flowing down my cheeks, I hold her hand. “How long?”

“Have you ever listened to fireworks from a hospital room? I couldn’t even see them from here. I was never able to. You know how hanabi is the word for firework, but the first character is the same as the character hana for flower? I want to watch the fireworks with you again and watch the flowers in the sky.”

“Ayame...”

“Will you still bring me flowers…” she coughs out a little bit of blood in the middle of her sentence, “I wonder.”

“I’ll always bring you flowers.” Our sleeves are both soaking with tears as I hug her. “Always.”

---Summer 2014---

“I’m here, Ayame.”

I continue walking past Yasaka shrine. Stalls are already set up for the festival. Amongst the crowd are couples walking together, getting ready for the fireworks. Past all the stalls and in a less dense area is Oubiyama Cemetery.

“I brought irises for you, Ayame.” I grin. “And the old manager gave me your vanilla latte for free. We can watch the fireworks together again, too.”

I leave the irises on the ground next to the grave along with the latte. After going around the festival for a little bit, I watch the fireworks from the same clearing that we went to two years ago. It’s weird how much different the same event feels when you’re alone. Seeing as though I don’t have anything better to do, I end up just going home.

On my desk, I keep a framed picture of us from the album she had given me. Next to it is a vase with lilies and irises. I reach into my drawer and grab the album one more time. For some reason, I actually haven’t opened it at all in the past year. Not that I need to either; her smile is still etched into my head. Oh, right. I left the letter in here, too. I put it off to the side and start flipping through the pages.

The first page is empty, and I look at the framed picture. The second page is full of pictures at the café with Kai and some of the other workers. The third page through fifth page is filled with pictures of us at various parks and amusement parks. Perhaps spring came too late for her or maybe too early for me. Would things have been different if we hadn’t met? Maybe she would’ve gotten the surgery, and would’ve ended up living longer. My eyes begin to well up with tears. One drop lands on the sixth page – it’s a picture of me, completely unamused after having a cake smacked against my face on my birthday.

I can’t help but laugh a little bit.

Next are some pictures of us with Haruka at a spring festival. Their parents made them wear matching yukata, and one sister was much more bothered by this than the other. Wiping my eyes, I continue to turn page after page until I get to the last page: they’re all the flowers I ever got her. I don’t remember ever seeing this part of the album. I flip back a few pages and realize that there are multiple of them without any pictures at all. I must have stopped flipping the first time when I saw a lack of pictures. Inside the back cover was written, “I left some space for the memories you’ll make after me. I couldn’t get any pictures of the fireworks, so I’ll leave it up to you. I’ll never stop thinking about you, but it can’t be helped if you forget me once I’m gone. But at the very least, keep making memories, and keep buying flowers, even if they’re not for me… because they’re pretty.”

Drop upon drop falls onto the back cover. I leave it on the desk and reach for the letter, reading it for the first time since that day.

 

 

To Shiro

Did you know irises look best with white flowers? I never really thought about it until I met you. I guess you could say I was sort of used to receiving flowers already, but that was back when I was stuck in a white room all the time. It was lonely. At times, I didn’t see the point in being in this world when my world was confined to one room. Two years ago, my parents were offered the chance to have me taken in for surgery, so that I could have a chance to live longer. Even with this in mind, the chances I would be able to leave the hospital room after the surgery were very slim. A few days later, I had just bought flowers near the station, when I met this lazy, apathetic college student who got lost so easily. He got lost walking around, lost in life, lost through his own thoughts. But I found you. Or maybe you found me. I guess you pushed me is the better way to put it. And I held onto you. I held on because you reminded me how much more there was to live for. Is that cliché? I really thought that, you know. Have you ever been afraid of dying? I stopped being scared… instead I just wanted to leave something. Something to know that my existence meant something. You made me mean everything. So, in the end, I never did end up getting that surgery. I was given the choice to live a few more years in a world that existed in one room or the choice to live in your world for however much time I had left. My parents said nothing to dissuade me, and did everything to hide the truth of my condition. For that, I’m sorry. I know you’ll think this letter is cheesy. I also know you won’t read this right when I give it to you; you probably won’t even find it for years. That’s okay. That’s just who you are. But I’m still glad you were the one I ran into. Or the one that ran into me. I’m sorry if things get a bit difficult for you in the near future, but I guess I do have a lot on my mind. But by the time you’re reading this, I’ll probably be gone. So here’s to all the fireworks we won’t see together and all the flowers that I won’t get to see. Will you still bring me flowers, I wonder. If by chanceyou see this letter sooner than I expected, you know where I’ll be. I’ll be waiting for that lazy, apatheticcollege student who bought me flowers just because I asked. Who gave me everything I never thoughtI deserved. Who gave me a world I forgot even existed. So I’m sorry if I’m a burden to you now, butyou gave me so much, I forgot what “nothing” was. If I can be so selfish and ask, let’s just watch theflowers in the sky, the irises I never saw bloom in this small world of mine.


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